Saturday, May 17, 2008

That's What You Get...

More tomorrow, but tonight I just want to share a story.

I called Mom to tell her the news.

"I made it. I finished."

"Wonderful. I was thinking about you this morning. How did it go?"

"Well, about 3/4 of a mile into the race, the first pair of walkers passed me - two perky little sorority looking types who zipped by without the least nod of respect for their elders. There were a couple of housewives walking along at my pace too, but the little blonde and her brunette walking buddy really stuck in my craw. For one thing, they were walking. For another thing, they didn't appear to be walking very hard. I tried to keep up, but no chance, so I fell back into pace with the other old ladies.

"After two miles I was feeling stronger, right at the pace where I had trained. I got to the bottom of a long hill and at about 2 1/2 miles I saw the pair ahead. They were slowing down! I felt fresh, my second mile had been faster than my first. I figured if I was going to catch them, it would be on this last climb, then I'd just have to keep it up on the short down hill to the finish line. I kept my stride short, but quickened my pace, just like I had practiced. I was reeling them in! I wondered if they could hear my footsteps. I could hear Jim McKay from ABC sports announcing this remarkable turn of events. 'In the waning moments of this contest, with the battle almost surely lost, the Fat Man is making his move! He is gobbling up ground with each step! The sorority girls eyes are widening with desperation as he closes in like a panther ready to strike!' I looked up ahead. They were within 10 feet of me. We had plenty of hill left - plenty of time to pass and let them watch the Fat Man fade off into the distance. I could see it in my mind, but my lungs were aching. My heart was pounding and my breath was coming much too hard. At this pace, I might catch them before the top, but I would never make it back down without a stretcher. I decided to be smart. I let them go and slowed down to walk a few yards and get my wind back.

"The first walking step that hit the pavement, I caught a cramp. Now I have had cramps. Writers cramp. Stomach cramps from bad Chinese food. The leg cramp that wakes you up in the middle of the night clutching the bedsheets and wondering what the hell happened. This wasn't like that. It wasn't like anything. It was the most sudden, clenching, crippling pain I have ever felt in my calf. I not only lost my stride, I nearly fell over backwards from the jolt of the thing. I managed to hop to a nearby port-a-potty and stretch it out enough to walk up the rest of the hill, then I picked up my feet and hobbled my way to the finish line doing something between a limp and a jog. I probably added about three minutes to my time. It's been about 5 hours and it still really hurts."

Mom paused for a moment to take it all in. "Well," she said wisely. "That's what you get for chasing young girls."


1 comment:

  1. Chasing of young girls aside...

    What an accomplishment!!! That is wonderful!


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