Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Photo: 4,200-yard swim, 112-mile ride, 26.2-mile run, 7:00am, 65 degrees, Upstate, New York

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 9,300 yds (ytd 168,400 yds.)
Bike: 165 miles (ytd 3,626 mi.)
Run: 36 miles (ytd 853 mi.)

To my fans,

Okay, so you’re not my fans. You came out to see [insert friend or loved one] cross the finish line last weekend, not me. Your sign that reads ‘GO [insert friend or loved one] ’ is wonderful – really, it is.


You just about knocked me out with that sign when I passed. I wasn’t being rude when I tore it from your hands; I was just to gassed to get out of the way. I appreciate your excitement, but I really don’t want my last vision on earth to be ‘GO [insert friend or loved one] .’

I also need to tell you that ‘Looking good’ doesn’t work. I’ve been on the course for hours. I don’t look good. I swam in a lake filled with ducks, fish, algae and 2,500 unshowered bodies, and then drip-dried on the bike, peeing myself periodically along the way. Now you see me out on the run and I’m looking good? Really? Is it the salt stains? My gel encrusted fingers? The sexy aroma? I appreciate the thought, but I beg to differ.

Oh, and when I passed by the second time and you said ‘Almost there,’ that one doesn’t really work either. I’m no aerospace engineer, but I’ve done the math. My pace has been fading for the last hour or two. The sun doesn’t feel so warm (because the moon is about to rise) and the race is now between me and the demons in between my ears. ‘Almost there’ is beginning to sound much more like ‘Almost on the brink of lunacy.’ Maybe instead you could meet me at the finish line and just say, ‘there.’ (Then grab me a chair, fast.)

Also, you can scrap ‘Just one more mile,’ ‘Pick it up,’ ‘Chase ‘em down,’ ‘Only two more hills,’ or any other motivational quip. I’m moving at a snail’s pace, but it’s all I’ve got. Chances are, if I do anything differently, my head, legs, stomach or some unmentionable body part will burst. Please just leave me alone to the obsession I’ve just developed for mumbling Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ over and over… and over.

Don’t ask how I’m feeling. If I say ‘good,’ I don’t mean it. If I say ‘like hell,’ you’re going to worry (though it’s the truth), and we can’t have you worrying. Instead, ask me in the morning. By then, when I say ‘not so hot,’ I’ll say it with a limp and a smile.

Your child, she’s adorable. But when she darts into my path and you think it’s funny, she’s more like a crazed goblin in my addled brain. I startle, seize up and suddenly I’m very aware of how miserable I am. Please keep those cute dimples on the side of the road and out of harm’s way. Besides, watching an adult wretching in the road is no fun for any child – my daughter will attest.

The cowbell – it’s cute for an hour… and the worst thing ever invented for the next 10. Thundersticks, same deal.

Your chalk on the hill – I can’t even read ‘GO’ at this point, much less what you spent all morning creating. ‘140.6!’ suddenly looks a lot ‘IEOb!’


My brain doesn’t need that right now.

I tossed that visor at the aid station for a reason. I don’t want it back. Leave it there. It was giving me a headache. I also don’t want the watch I pitched a mile back either. Or the number belt I’m about to remove. At this point everything is irritating. The shades… I hate them right now more than I loathed their price. No, really, I don’t want the damned visor.

Anyway, thanks for coming out to support [insert friend or loved one]. They appreciate it and I do, too.


The Old Bag said...

I was schooled in what-not-to-say by a marathoner friend...I have permission to jump up and down and say "yay."

C. P. said...

TOB, quietly, please.

Ron said...

And my friends wonder why I haven't done an Ironman race...-).