Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Which seems longer?

For some reason, today I remembered a time when time stopped.  It happened an eon ago when my wife and I lived in Nebraska and were preparing to run the Portland Marathon.  Our long runs were getting longer and longer and as the designated mule, I had to haul more and more stuff to keep both of us fed and hydrated.  We then agreed on a brilliant plan.  We would "run" the Omaha marathon as a supported training run.  We would run like typical for 22 miles and then walk out the rest.  No need to be a mule and it would be fun.

We splurged for the weekend and stayed in a hotel and went to the registration and show.  It was at this point that we both thought another terrible idea was a good idea.  They were providing course previews.  For free, we could ride a bus and see where the course went.  We signed up for an allotted time and then waited at the designated spot.

The time warping device pulled up to the curb and we filled on.  The device was yellow, with wheels that go round and round, and wipers that go whish-whish-whish.  But not the kind of vehicle that they say "Tickets Please".  Instead this torture device was the kind that was filled with vynal seats that are designed for bouncing school kids and a special back section for defiant middle-school kids. 

Since my wife is motion sick, we found  seat toward the front and squeezed into the seat.  The bus headed out with the rattling surging only busses can do. 

26.2 miles crammed in a swaying, hot, and noisy bus is horrible beyond words.  It also can be demoralizing because it seemed like eternity and the hills (yes there is one that you go over and back on) seem really steep and long.  The bus didn't break down but it felt like time came to a stop.

Hours later, we somehow got out of the bus and desperately tried to get blood flow back into our legs and butt.  I was dehydrated from the heat and grumpy.

The next day we had a great run.  The course goes through the Omaha Zoo which is great and you even cross a bridge and head into Iowa which is kind of cool.  We didn't have to carry anything and the miles skimmed by.  At mile 22 we quit running ands started to walk and chat.  We were still spry and happy.  It was so much easier than being on the bus.

The race has an indoor finish and even through we were walking, we were keeping up with a lot of runners.  As we neared the finish line, my wife suddenly broke into a full on sprint for the finish.  She wanted to finish together but more than that, she wanted to finish strong and beat the others.  I was embarrassed, she was thrilled.

Great memories...I have a Vineman coming up.  I now have a fear that as we walk through the expo, now with two little girls that are collecting stickers and plastic stuff, that we will hear an announcement about a course preview and next thing we know, Four of us will be sitting in a school bus, my girls will both be jumping up and down on my bladder and six hours later, we will get off the bus and I will have to race the next day.

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