Four Hours. Thirty Minutes.

I am a marathoner.

Started the day with less sleep probably than I should have gotten.  Woke up, ate a hearty, multi-part breakfast. Then I saran-wrapped my blister and headed to the start line. There were FedEx trucks for drop bags, so I dropped off my gear. Meanwhile, I was freezing to death. I hurried over to Houlihan’s the restaurant attached to the iHotel, and huddled there, waiting for the marathon to start. I met an ultramarathon runner there named Judy, which was pretty awesome. I had no intention of meeting people. I was too damned cold.

When I finally headed out, there was less than a minute until the marathon started. I went out to the 4:30 and 5 hour pacer groups and ran into Justine and Kim, which was perfect. The race started and we were off. I had to pee almost immediately and lost sight of Justine.

The rest was 4:28:40 of experiences, so it’s hard to encapsulate. I’ll just use bullet points.

  • Some guy answered a call which happened to be the wrong number…while he was running the marathon. It was pretty ridiculous.
  • I FOUND THE SILVER BULLET BAR. Let’s never go here.
  • I remember the dogs along the route so much more clearly than the children.
  • I think I 100% genuinely thought, “I like dogs better than children”
  • GU is a energy supplement, basically liquid calories, and it has a disgusting texture. Kinda like toothpaste. I must have eaten 8 of those = 800 calories. I found out later that it was only recommended to eat 2 during a marathon. What?!
  • I ended up stopping a lot. For water, Gatorade, and GU. Unfortunately, the primary method of disposal was to throw stuff on the floor, which I hated. Absolutely hated. However, I caved. Just more convenient.
  • One of the entertainers was setting up beautiful, long-tailed kites that you could see from miles around. The wind was a boon to the kites, and the kites were a boon to my spirits.
  • Kim would later comment on Facebook that I looked energetic and free. I think that surprised a lot of people. I took time to smile at people, and it was really encouraging to see them smile back.
  • Met Jim, from Chicago. He was cool. Stocked up on Gu, must have had 8 in his pockets.
  • Eric Gaussman – I ran with this gentleman of 50 some years for the last half. He was a machine. I probably would have run the marathon half an hour slower if I hadn’t encountered him. We talked for a good long time. I was just absorbing his wisdom.
  • John, of the class of 89 or 92. And then his wife Pat, of whichever one John wasn’t. John commented on my Vibrams.
  • Jim Hayes. Beasted the half marathon…barefoot.

Lots of really awesome people. The entertainers, the spectators, everything was awesome. In the last quarter mile or so, as the assembly hall was in sight, Eric told me to give it what I had, so I boosted all the way to the finish.

When Eric crossed the line, we shook hands and hugged. We might never speak again. I sure hope we do.

And now I’m almost recovered and ready to run again! Perhaps I’ll bandit the Chicago marathon.