May 24, 2010
My iPhone tells me it is Monday. It also tells me a free market economy is a pipe dream. My iPhone frightens me. I think it watches me while I sleep. Anyway, today’s Monday is a bit of a different variety: GUEST POST. This wasn’t planned, and like most pregnancies it is also glorious and disgusting.
Today’s guest poster is the Dawgz. Exciting! Dawgz is a bit of a runner. Not like a coward, but with purpose and for predetermined distances. Saturday morning, for whatever reason, he decided that he would run a half-marathon in BK, NY and if you haven’t listened to enough rap music in your life that stands for Brooklyn, New York. This half-marathon was quite an experience for Dawgz. Even stranger than volunteering to run for 13 some odd miles consecutively, Dawgz works on the weekend. Nuts, right? “Nuts” as in crazy. At work, Dawgz wrote up his delightful Saturday morning in graphic detail and sent it out to his friends including myself.
Below the story has been copy and pasted word for word. That was a terrible decision by me. I later realized I could have copy and pasted the whole thing at once instead of literally word by word. Oh jokes!
Of course, I – KaySWidgeIzzle – need to wax on and off for a moment even more so than I already have done. The main topic I want to lightly touch-on to massage just for a moment with firm, but gentle fingers as if to relieve the tension from a spasming muscle. Said topic: Lost series finale.
I am/was a fan of Lost. I too watched the finale with heavy anticipation. I have written several times about Lost on this blog. If I recall correctly, I did write about one episode this season when Desmond, Charlie and Daniel discover their constants – their links between the two worlds. I mentioned that Lost was getting romantic on us. As most stories are, Lost is a love story. This final season of Lost in particular was about love – people refinding their one true loves. The series finale was no different and continued on a path about love and in the end the show culminates in the majority of the characters finding each other because they all love each other. Over a treacherous island, through different time periods, and, finally, in the after-life they reunite because they love each other. It would be downright cynicism – just downright dying your hair black, wearing black, sitting in a room with black cloth over each lamp, writing with black ink on black paper, and rhyming final syllables morbidly about loathing fireworks – to not think that is beautiful. And a bit sappy.
I liked the finale. My favorite character was Jack. He is an Atticus Finch type. I thought the show ended very sweetly with him re-entering the bamboo forest where the show started with him. And I fucking definitely cried a few tears when Vincent appeared and laid down next to Jack. They truly are man’s best friend…. and now I’m crying again.
If I ever go rogue (which is apparently very possible) and begin a militaristic coup to start my own totalitarian dictatorship of the Northern territories, my weak point is dogs… and Scarlett Johansson. Damn you, Johansson! I tried watching He’s Just Not That Into You and I didn’t understand it at all. Why doesn’t Bradley Cooper leave his wife like instantly!?! It’s the Johanssonator and she’s beating down his front door… and trying to beat something else of his, if you know what I mean! I’m kidding. I really didn’t get the point of that movie besides relationships be rough. Also, the movie continued the unexplainable Kevin Connolly phenomenon. Why are women sleeping with him? I don’t remember a slew of leprechaun movies and books where a 115 year old virginal leprechaun falls in love with an underage thoroughly average and listless high school girl where Kevin Connolly plays that virginal leprechaun bad boy with a hero complex.
Anyway, onto the words of the Dawgz (which is where I got the title of this post):
Nobody is going to believe me and nobody should, but I tell you all that I was cruising through the first 9 miles. My breathing was comfortable. My legs felt tremendous. My form, as to be expected, was perfect. In a moment of hubris I thought that taming this half-marathon would be easy and, just like Icarus, this foolhardy disregard for the limits of my nature would be my downfall.
I kept thinking, ” 78 minutes through 9, your ahead of schedule KB.” My goal was simple, average 9 minute miles and come in comfortably under 2 hours. At this moment my pace was 8:40 a mile. The morning sun was emerging from behind the early clouds, a breeze swept through the Ocean Parkway, spectators were cheering and I felt great, but then I hit THE WALL.
The Wall started innocently enough. I felt a slight unease in my stomach and immediately upon recognizing the feeling I noted to Alyse that, “I have to take a monster shit.” It was probably just the natural digestive tract of my morning coffee and banana and I decided that I would deal with it in due time after the run was done. Yet my festering deuce would not adhere to this best laid plan and I quickly began to consider the seemingly imminent possibility that I was going to shit my pants, on the streets of Brooklyn, surrounded by thousands of people. This is when I began to frantically search out the nearest port-o-john. Thankfully I spotted one and dashed to it. After taking care of business, I thought I was back on track, little did I know the Wall doesn’t necessarily begin at dizzying heights. It is more of a gradual incline that accumulates inches, which turn to feet, which turn to yards, which translate into a gradual multiplication of obstacles that will eventually all add up to insurmountable pain.
As I passed the 9.5 mile mark, any belief that my unpleasant internal feelings would be allayed by a simple bodily movement were completely debunked. In rapid succession my thighs, calves, stomach and chest all began to cramp. The agony of athletic glory had arrived and I was unprepared. Bravely, I kept going, but my pace was gone and any quaint belief that I would finish this race with any type of time consideration had evaporated. It was now a war of attrition. I was now more concerned with survival.
After stumbling through the 10 mile mark and pounding numerous cups of Gatorade Fuel, I could barely move. Barely lifting one foot after another I shouldered on repeating in my head “only a 5K left, only a 5K left be brave damn it be Brave!” But finally the limits of my mental and physical toughness were reached. I threw my hands on my hips and walked. I maybe walked 25 feet before I began running again, but for a runner in a race this was the ultimate sign of humilitation, or at least I thought so at the time.
As I approached the 11 mile mark my entire left side, from rib cage to ankle, had become one large cramp. Trying to alleve the cramp I again chugged numerous cups of Gatorade Fuel ( the liquid hydrating stands were located at each mile marker) and this proved to be a very, very bad move. As I left the refueling area I started to cough and this coughing quickly turned into a rather painful session of vomiting on the side of a major highway in America’s grandest city. People looked on, commenting among themselves as nearby I heaved up a combination of coffee, water, Gatorade and not to mention parts of my dignity and my soul. In normal times I would have told these hecklers to all go fuck themselves but the only response I could muster in my feeble state was a languid wipe of my mouth to remove the excessive saliva that was dangling from my lip.
The last two miles were a blur. I seem to remember looking over at the people cheering with great contempt and then somehow I ended up shirtless on the Coney Island boardwalk. I do not remember taking my shirt off at all. As I crossed the finish line I immediately fell on the boardwalk. A stranger and Alyse carried my lifeless body away from the finish line as I mumbled nonsensically and tried with all my wits not to black out. I laid on the old wood of one of America’s iconic amusement areas for a long time, just listening to the people pass, while trying desperately to capture new life on the shores of the old Atlantic.
Eventually I go to my feet, chastened, exhausted, and I hoped a little wiser. The Brooklyn Half MARATHON was an unequivocal reminder that although fortune my favor the bold, it ultimately respects the humble.
You have all been warned.