On Saturday, I was texting a friend I knew was running in the marathon, despite not having time to train, and wishing her luck, when she asked if I wanted to run with her. I replied only if she could get me a bib, thinking she. Probably just wanted company, but Not wanting to stick out for not having a race bib. I already knew 'strollers ' weren't allowed, and didn't want to be part of the mess as a crazy tagging along with no baby in her jogger. Turns Luther friend wasn't participating, and she had a bib I could wear. I took a cab to the start line, and I almost always ride with green cab, so, by now they know my deal, and treat me well. My driver was so excited for me, when I told her I was going to try to run it. I think I got my first ever, and probably only free cab ride because she was so excited for me. That was an amazing start to my day, and some of my fears washed away. And then, I stood at the top of Depot St. Where the race begins, and waited. And called my friend, and waited. Then began freaking out, I'd be running alone, or have wasted time and money if she didn't show. Then, she appeared, at the top of Depot St. Because I'm always the one whose late for everything, I'm not used to being early, and waiting for people. I was soo relieved when I saw her coming up the hill.
She put my bib on me, which said, "BRING THE HEAT" which made me so happy, as I'd figured it would say the gals name whose bib it was. It was absolutely amazing the supporters were. One of the most ridiculous moments was right of the bat, when one of the radio djs spotted my jogger, and says'oh my god, there's no baby, Ma'am you've lost your baby. After ayesr using this thing, I'm kind of used to that kind of camaraderie. I did my typical cake look of shock, towards the stand, mouthing 'oh no' and then turned around, somewhat embarrassed. That made it extremely real. For me.
Getting underway takes somewhat of an eternity in large races, at least when you're in the back, which I always am. It was a great tour of Burlington, marathons must be a great way to learn a new city! We went up in the more east part of the city first, doing our first shortcut, thanks to Burlington PD, who tools us where to meet up with the pack. We then ran up Church St, and headed to the Old North End, to run up and down the belt-line, which was the part of the race I was looking forward to, as it's smooth, and there are no potential jogger hazards. However, I'd previously thought the belt line was flat. It's not, so Ran down, about 2 miles, and stem stealthily turned around, well before the actual turn around. I was reluctant to do that, but the idea of 127 being opened to traffic was relatively terrifying. After 127, we ran back down curch st. Where I shocked myself, and I'm sure countless others, by the number of people who yelled my name as I ran by. The support was incredible, and the spectators made my day. One of my favorite parts was reading the signs, people made. We agreed, "Run like you stole something" was our favorite, but,it made the marathon far more entertaining. The houses with folks spraying with a hose, was pretty spectacular too. Running down Pine St. Was fantastic too. The marathon also takes you down the bike path along the lake. It was hard talking myself out of taking a siesta on the beach, as we went by. I felt guilty taking up so much space on the bike path, as runners weaves around me. People were largely accommodating, but it didn't quell my annoyance with it. Toward the beginning, we'd been going down Main St. were an older woman, straight up called me out about the fact that strollers are illegal in the marathon. Here demeanor was such that I wasn't willing to contain my sharpness, "Notice there's no baby, this is an adaptive device because I have a brain injury". Not sure if she understood everything I said, but she took off, and I was happy not to run by her again. I didn't go expecting people to accommodate me, as I'm obviously not competitive, but I wasn't about to let people step on me either. Aside from that one interaction, I still can't get over how accommodating other runners were, cheering me on as they passed. This mentality is one of the biggest reasons I work so hard to run. I'm obviously not a neurologist, but I'd place money on running triggering something in the brain, that takes people down a notch, in terms of being so strung out. Suppose that would be the runners high.
We ran up to the high school, immediately turning in, and not heading up on course. I really wanted to, as I was really enjoying running in the middle of the road, though, my energy level was clearly dwindling. Minor victory in that I recognized that, as I'm not always aware I'm crashing, until it's too late. We hit the bike path in the thick of the masses, again. Getting back on the path wasn't too difficult though, as there was a water station right there, and people were slowed, or standing. If I'd been your average runner, I would've loved the bike path, for the amazing view, well as the occasional breeze. As we scrambled to cross the finish line, people were so enthusiastic. I, of course, tripped on one of the sensor blocks, falling in front of throngs of people. Miraculously, it may have been the only fall I took, though, not only was it horrendously embarrassing to fall at the finish, bût, I also cut myself, so I had a very dramatic finish. That is, apparently, my lot in life. Pretty sure I had a similar fall at Beach to Beacon last year, so smooth.
Après 'marathon' activities included a trip to the medic tent, pizza, and ice cream, which, for me are beyond unappealing, after pushing my body so hard. There was also a beer tent, but I couldn't go near it. I was lucky to hold the pizza down. I don't know how people hold these foods down, after depleting themselves so fully. When I started running, at age 12, I quickly made a name for myself as the girl who puked mid run. Extremely attractive race behavior. Thank god, I haven't done that in years, but, it's still a vivid memory for me.
After food, came massages for the runners. This is, without a doubt, the most ingenious plan race planners have ever come up with. Helps loosen up the muscles, and feels wonderful. I wish my muscles felt that relaxed today, but what can you do?
A huge thank you to the runners, Ann in particular, who suffered through feeding me, while moving, and discarding objects in my path I couldn't get around, crowd control. and morale. It couldn't have been a better race day if we'd planned it.