Two days ago, I did what is likely the dumbest sober thing I’ve ever done: I participated in the Little Rock marathon. I did the half marathon.
Let me clear, I really like that our city does this. I love the way it brings people together from across the state, country and world. There were runners from something like 837 different countries. I don’t remember the exact number, I wasn’t paying much attention when they announced it.
I wasn’t paying attention because I was standing in Corral D trying to remember what my life insurance policy looked like…hoping it would be enough for my son because I was sure I was going to die.
I didn’t actually die. But my legs are certain I tried to kill them. I’m still being punished. So.much.pain.
The only legitimately good part of this event was being on Team Chelsey again. That means more to me than I could ever express. I’m so grateful to her family for involving us each year.
All my life, I’ve heard lies about running: runner’s high, victorious finish, rainbows and unicorns. It’s all fiction. Don’t believe the hype. Let me address those one by one.
- Runner’s high: I have never once experienced this. Maybe other people have, but I think it’s some form of delirium after a near death experience.
- Victorious finish: When I was done, I didn’t feel like I had achieved some goal. I felt like the sucker at the end of a con, who’s standing there with a deed to a bridge or ocean front property in Arizona.
- Rainbows and unicorns: The punks lied.
I’m willing to concede my experience might have been somewhat jaded by the weather. It was brutal. At the 8am when the race started it was about 50 degrees. When I finished, it was 34 degrees. The temps continued to drop and we’re now in a straight up ice disaster.
Not only did the temperature drop, but the front that was coming through produced “thunder sleet.” I did not make that up. About 20 minutes after I finished, they called the race and began to drive vans along the course to pick up racers. Bedlam is the only way to describe the whole thing.
So to recap: I
ran covered 13.1 miles in wind, rain and thunder sleet, which I still can’t get over is a real thing. Every single minute of it was zero fun. Any idea I might have entertained about training to get myself into the Boston marathon as a bucket list item is now gone.
To be fair, I have several friends who had such a fantastic experience they plan to do it again next year. When I suggested they seek professional help, they were all offended. Something about being better than CrossFit. Sure, that’s true. But if CrossFit is the seventh level of Hell, then marathon training is the sixth. Sure it’s a step up from CrossFit, but you’re still in THE SIXTH CIRCLE OF HELL.
I do realize I need to stay in shape. Running is a good way to do that. I’m pretty sure 5-10k races are much closer to my speed. It’s not nearly as hard on my body. Also, my boxing class is super too. At least I get to hit stuff when I’m there. As it turns out, punching other runners is considered “inappropriate.”
In the end, I guess I’m glad I did it. I can say I did now. But there is no medal worth that kind of suffering. None.