Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bayshore Marathon: Recapped to the Album "Graceland"

Short story: Finished in 4:01. 2nd slowest marathon time ever, but one of the best marathons ever.  Bayshore marathon was the prettiest course, smooth as silk, surprisingly nice fan support (intermittent, which is how I like it. Coming upon a group of spectators after there are none is like an Oasis desert.)

Long Story: (and I'll try to skip the parts that people don't read anyway)

I am driving up north to Traverse City, singing to the album 'Graceland' very loudly and badly. I'm 2 hours from home, change lanes, hit a HUGE pothole, tire is blown like I hit pile of bricks.

Waddle over to the emergency lane. Triple A comes 45 minutes later, (because I'm not into hanging my legs onto a busy highway while I change a tire.) The exploded tire is replaced with a tiny 'only drive for 50 miles' spare tire.  "Who am I to blow against the wind?"   

 Triple A guy follows me to 'Timmy's Tire's' and the tire guy (I don’t' think it was Timmy) says they can't fix it. Rim is shot, shattered.  No rims anywhere. Only a Mazda dealer can help (they don't do Mazda dealers up north). I search on laptop using McDonalds’ Wi-Fi, and phone many Mazda dealers down south. No help at 2 pm on Friday.  Calls home, and there's really nothing anyone can do. Next solution: dump this car and rent one. More phone calls, no rental cars anywhere. Resign to going home and running a solo 26.2 in the morning, just to see what might have happened.

"Break downs come and break downs go, what are you gonna do about it, that's what I'd like to know?"

No, I can't give up.  Instead go to Belle Tire website and search custom inventory for all of Michigan. Find a rim and call. They have a custom rim and can get it done if I am there by 5. Drive on a tiny doughnut with my hazards on an hour back south the way I came. New rim and tire is installed in an hour and a half. Mismatched rims. This Rim is pimped out (just one of them). Get back on the road. The trip takes 9 hours instead of 4.

Sleep well. 430 am wake up. Take a world class BM which should have earned me an age group award.  Coffee and breakfast and check email. Message from the publisher that my novel is to be released on June 10th (tentative). Psyched! Write emails back.

Wait, I have to leave. I get to the marathon at 7, package pick up at 7:05, walking to the chute as the anthem plays since it starts at 7:15. I'm pinning on my bib as people begin. Oh shit! I'm still holding my goody bag. Give it to a stranger and beg them to put it at bag drop off. They ask me suspiciously if there's something dangerous inside. (There were dog sniffers for all the packages, I later learned.) 

Race starts. Beautiful fucking course, great stuff, great communal running spirit. Start slow and all is well. At mile 8 knee pain inflames. "Why am I soft in the middle when the rest of my life is so hard?"

 Mile 13 I feel a surge of energy and tap into my primordial brain matter and flow the next 5 miles. I dig into that area that only comes with marathons, some strange mix of anger and joy and subconscious life matter that makes me keep coming back. The running mojo flows through my veins and Icona Pop sings “I Love It” in my ears and Lake Michigan glistens with diamonds to my side. These miles will be what I grasp onto.   "I've reason to believe, we all will be received, in Graceland."
Feeling Groovy Camera Dude

Knee pain becomes terrible between miles 17 and 18.  I envision a red, throbbing tendon that is cracking and may snap. Running gait is affected and I walk/run mix and feel I may fall over. I become carnage and harrow hell for 8 miles, see a few friends there, and get out before the devil knows I’m dead.
A runner in yellow tries to overtake me for 929th place

The day after, I feel a truck has hit me, of course, and had those crazy weary marathon day dreams last night.  My ego is still in ICU in critical condition for not breaking 4 hours, but my spirit has already visited and said, "You know if given the shot, you would take the same exact experience tomorrow and would do it all over." 

My spirit is right. Even though in my head I was writing letters to the New York Road Runners begging to defer my planned 2013 NYCM to 2014 (they would say no). "There's a girl in New York City, who calls herself the human trampoline."

Today, I'm looking forward to many weeks of rest.

On the drive home, I took a different route, still sang loudly and badly to Graceland, and I ate a full Hot and Ready Little Ceasers Pizza that sat on the passenger seat, not to mention 2 big cookies, a candy bar, a granola bar, and some sweet-tarts.

I thanked and hugged my wife and children, put my race shirt and medal on my child, and watch the Red Wings lose. But they still have game six, and I still have miles to go before I sleep.

"I need a shot at redemption. Don't want to end up a cartoon, in a cartoon graveyard."

Still the best driving album ever.


Kathee said...

Sorry that your knee hurt, but I love the story of your challenging trip to the race. It's not fun at the time, but it becomes a great story of your life!

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

You didn't look in pain at mile 19 when I saw you. Lol. Nice job. Glad you like it. It's a great course. I have a picture of your back. Haha.

Mark Matthews said...

Thanks Katie! Jeff, I saw you before you saw me, and was readying my photogenic face for a picture.

SupermomE13 said...

Congrats on finishing a tough race!! Definitely one to be proud of.

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