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Running On Empty, pt 2: Preparation and Execution

Put ’em on. Stand up. Take a step. Repeat

The Trail’s End Marathon in Seaside, Oregon is a flat track. The race is long enough, who needs hills.

Pay attention to those who say don’t buy new shoes before a race.

New insoles are worse than new shoes.

At least shoes don’t wad up and crumple.

But do you listen?

  • Three miles in with new insoles and you feel like you’re running on hibachis.
  • Five miles in you squeeze an aide-station sponge on your neck. You react to something in the sponge water.
  • Now it feels like you’re wearing a sandpaper thong dipped in Tabasco with your feet on fire.

At six miles a runner heaves up the right side of the McDonald’s breakfast menu.

At seventeen miles a guy drops to the ground to stretch. He looked like he was stretching, so you do too. You’re so weak you crawl to a bench to pull up to your feet. You hobble away while an ambulance rolls up for the other guy.

At the finish line you’re ready to fall into the arms of…?

There were few at the finish line. There was barely a finish line. No massage tables, no survival silver space blanket. So you wander around in shock. That’s what marathoners do.

  • You are a marathoner, the only one in the history of your family.
  • You learn to walk up stairs backward.
  • How to give yourself first aid for bloody friction burns. You’ve seen runners with two red spots on the front of their shirt?  Ouchee.

Two weeks later you’re healed. It’s cool until five fat guys in a row say they ran a faster time than yours. They didn’t say it like ‘my kickass can kick your kickass’s ass,’ but that’s what you hear.

You are a marathoner. That’s the big deal, not the time.

BoomerPdx Lesson: Set goals and hit them. Then set new goals. Life is one step at a time.

Better Boomer says, keep your time to yourself. The last thing you want to say to a youngster is “Wanna race?”

About David Gillaspie


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