I skipped work today to go run in the Country Music Marathon
. Alas, I didn't win, though I did have my own personal best time: 3:13:19. This beats my best time in the Country Music Marathon. Three years ago, I ran a 4:00:04, and two years ago, a 3:29:39. Last year, I was lucky enough to run in the Boston Marathon, but while I stretched, I pulled my hamstring, and was only about to go a couple of miles before the pain was too much.
Now, when I say marathon, it's not an actual 26.2 miles. It's more like 26, because I don't like to pay little things like entry fees. They want me to pay to run
? Screw that. Actually, it's kind of funny. I have a little number sheet that I tape to my unitard, and it says "Screw That!"
So, I jump in about a quarter of a mile in or so, after they've stopped watching the lines so closely. I get in the pack and just run.
Let me talk for a second about my running style. I call it "Guerilla Tactics," not only for the way I enter the race, but also for the psychological edge is gives me over the other runners. It's divided into five phases.
The first phase is called "Small Talk."
After I jump the rail, I make my way into the middle of the pack, keeping pace, which is at that point in the marathon a quick jog.
Usually, I'll start weeding out a few people. Run along side them for a little while. Make small talk. Ask if they want to run and grab a burger after the race. Ask if jamming marshmellows up my butt counts as "carbo-loading." Challenge them to races, and in general make a nuisance of myself.
That's phase one. It's called Small Talk.
Phase two begins at around the three mile mark. It's called "Police Chase."
At this point, a lot of the runners are starting to hit "the zone."
You have no idea how much "the zone" pisses me off. Because they aren't actually ignoring you just to ignore you. They're ignoring you because they're so intent on what it is they're doing and what they're trying to do, that they enter "the zone" and the rest of the world becomes a distant blur. I have absolutely no tolerance for that kind of arrogance.
As we hit the three mile mark, I announce that I'll take the point, and that "I'll see you losers later."
A lot of things happen at once. First, I hyperventilate. Then, I start screaming at the top of my lungs. Then, I'll break into a full sprint, and run madly to the front of the crowd, as if being chased, arms pinwheeling wildly, screaming the whole while.
Then comes phase 3. It's called "Taser."
In phase three, after I've run full bore for about two miles, I've jumped out to the lead of the marathon, passing all those Kenyans and Russians.
I hit roughly the 5 mile mark, where I stop on the side of the road, throw up and pass out due to exertion.
Then comes phase four. "Serious Runner."
Sometimes I manage to wipe off the vomit. Actually, that's a lie. Usually, I wake up after about fifteen minutes, and I re-join the race. This phase is the longest, as it goes from mile 5 to mile 25. During this phase, I cry.
I cry about a lot of things. The state of the world today. The shambles that is my social life. The price of petrol. But mostly I cry about the tremendous pain and exertion.
Quick Big Stupid Tommy Fact: I lose more water due to tears and mucus than I do actually sweating.
Then comes phase 5: "Robocop."
For the final mile or so, I imagine that I'm a robot, except that I was once a cop, and that I'm chasing the man (Clarence Boddicker) who killed me once. My murder led to my turning into the robot. And I'll catch him if only I keep running one more mile. And when I catch him, I'll arrest him. And regain a little bit of my humanity. Plus, I pretend that I have a gun that comes out of a holster on my hip.
I really need to work on phase 5. Perhaps I could hire Kurtwood Smith to be at the finish line for me. But so deep am I in my delusions that I'd probably do something really horrible and not just arrest him. However, as things stand now, I'm usually pretty despondant, because there's nobody there for me to arrest.
Thus I do not regain my humanity.
Usually, I'm carted to a local hospital for rehydration afterward. Usually the "doctors" give me "advice" like "don't run any more marathons" and "you're foolish."
Then, I eat like 8 bags of potato chips. And get ready for next year.
One day, I'll be Kenyan.