Saturday, October 20, 2007

Marathon Madness

Something totally unexpected happened this morning. Something weird and bizarre that has never happened to me in my three years of running. Oh sure, I’ve heard it happened to other runners before. I’ve heard that if it happens to you, you’re suppose to embellish it, embrace it, and share it amongst your friends, and have them analyze it and tell it back to you so you can pick the version of the story you like best and retell it to new people when someone asks about it in the future. So what happened this morning? You really want to know, don’t you? Okay, I’ll let you, my loyal blog readers, know, but only if you promise to analyze it and tell me what it all means.

I woke up this morning to the realization that I had my first ever running dream. A few moments before I found myself drenched in sweat, sitting on my bed, I was blazing down Fifth Avenue in the 22nd mile of the New York City Marathon. There were tons of runner all around on both sides of the street, but for some reason, they were all shouting out my name, “Laminator! Laminator!” My body was sore at this point, but I used the energy of the crowd to forge ahead. I checked my Garmin at the 23th mile and realized that I had about 14 minutes to run the last 3.2 miles to qualify for Boston. “This is it,” I told myself as I ran through the entrance to the Park. “If I want to make it, I’m going to have to run the fastest 5K of my life!” I gritted my feet and kicked it up a notch; telling my feet to move as fast as it could and daring the rest of my body. At the 24th mile mark, I slowed momentarily, pushing my way to the side to grab the last cup of Gatorade from an unsuspecting volunteer. “Sorry!” I shouted in between breaths. “Boston is waiting!” Gatorade in hand, I was panting too hard to even take a full gulp. Half of it went up my nostrils, and I poured the other half over my head. I picked up the pace. I’m running faster now than I’ve ever ran before. I’m passing runners on my left and right like the 4 train pulling away from Grand Central Station at rush hour. Now I’m at the 25th mile, 1.2 to go, 7 minutes left. “C’mon Laminator, almost there!” Someone’s shouting at me from behind. I dare not look. I make the final turn and see Tavern on the Green and the finish line in the distance. I quicken my pace and feel my lungs burn like an abandoned inferno. 800…then 400 meters left. I have so much sweat pouring down my face I couldn’t make out the digits above the finish line. No matter, just run. Ten more paces…nine, eight, seven…”Am I going to make it? Just run. Damn it.”…six, five, four…

BBBBBBBRRRRRIIIIINNNNGGG!!!! Next thing I know, I’m in my bed. No, no, no. I hit the snooze and slip back under the covers, trying to coax my mind back to the finish line. But it’s over, I’m shut out. So now, I’m here, a whole day later, still trying to figure out if I made it or not, and what it all means for my race in two weeks.

5 comments:

nwgdc said...

you made it. you were looking at the clock time, but your chip time was a minute and a half slower. congrats!

AndyTheRunner said...

You made it. I am not so sure about that 14 minute 5k you must have read the watch wrong and had 24 minutes left.
No problem on race day either.
Good luck

Non-Runner Nancy said...

OH you TOTALLY made it. And, that is a great Omen. :D

aham23 said...

crazy. it must be the taper madness setting in. later.

The Laminator said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words. After a few days of thinking and running about it, I'm starting to feel like it was a good omen after all!

 
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