Phoenix

DesertExile: Stages of any Marathon--and one you won't forget.

19 April 2006

Stages of any Marathon--and one you won't forget.

For some privileged few born with athletic ability, lining up on a marathon day is basically"Let's get this over".

To the average Tom, John, Mary and Sally, there are some distinct phases:
1. (Start)Did I train enough?

Did I do enough hills?
Did I eat right (for 6 months)?
Are my clothes(running gear) right for this race? Are my shoes too (Tight or loose)?
Will I need to go to the bathroom too often? They say to "Hydrate", and I drank a lot.

2. (10 miles)I'm doing pretty good. I'm staying up with (pick a designated person)

3. (18 Miles)Lord, I'm wearing down a little but I shouldn't have trouble finishing.

4. (About 20 miles) Uh-OH! I am running out of energy. Should have grabbed that banana they held out at the last Aid Station.

5. (24 miles) OH-GOD!. Calves are cramping. Getting a stomach ache. Energy is in the GONE status. Just let me make it to the Finish.

6. (FINISH!) Find me a place to lay down! I'll NEVER do this again. Lord,. I could have DIED!

7. (A month later) You know what!? I can improve my time. God, I can't wait to get back and run THAT course again!

At the Big Sur Marathon site:http://www.bsim.org/ Hard, grueling, mountainous, windy, spectacular, unforgiving, rewarding, spiritual, mystical and unforgettable ---are some of the adjectives that have been used to describe our Marathon.

Yes, it is ALL that! I've done it four times. Right now, I'm trying to get over a procedure to correct atrial fibrillation, but if I could, I'd be signed up, and headed back!

This race is an ASS-KICKER. The normal temperature advertised is Average Temperature: 50° - 60° F. Average Humidity: 30 - 50% RIGHT! Last time I went, it was 42 degrees at the start. We had hail at mile 2 and 4. The start is usually 45-48 degrees. It got up to 72 degrees on the course one year.

The couse: The MOST SCENIC you will ever see. It is like going to church in a huge artisticly built Cathedral. BUT--There is a 500 foot high hill in the middle. If you don't know the couse, you get there and say" Boy, I got this one beat!" RIGHT!. Rounding the top, you find out why they named it "Hurricane Point". The wind is ALWAYS blowing , north to south, from 20 to 40 miles an hour. You are literally "Running against the wind". O K Champ. You have some other surprises. In your car, you do not notice them, but there are SIX--yes, 6 --200 foot hills before the finish.

Right before Carmel, there is a stately older white building off to the side. It is a poster moment. It is owned by Clint Eastwood.

You finish, and wonder," How could I have done this to myself?"

It sets in about a week later: That fascination with what you saw. You forget the aches, pain, and discomfort as you ran. You remember those grand scenes. And you can NOT wait to go back next year.


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