Straggled Out to Watch Stragglers
So today was the New York Marathon and every year it comes around I always think the same thing- that one day I have to 'run the marathon'. It seems like something that needs to be done once for some reason. And every year I go out to watch em go by and think... next year...I'm gonna be out there.
I already have a strategy planned in terms of training. I'm not going to train for long distance. I'm going to train to sprint. To sprint a mile as fast as I possibly can. So when the real marathon starts and the gun goes off, I can go sprinting like crazy all pushing people out of the way till I'm at the front of the pack and side by side with the odds on favorite dude from Kenya. Me! In first place! And after I have the lead for a split second I'll immediately pull over and collapse for like and hour and recuperate. Then get back in the race. That's the plan.
Anyway today I was psyched to watch because the runners were running like 5 blocks away from me here in Brooklyn which made it convenient for me to go join the crowds. I planned to head out at like 10:30-11ish when the bulk of the runners would be going by. I could cheer em on and eat chips and drink Dr. Pepper or whatever. But I got kind of hung up in my apartment doing stuff. I had to clean up a few things and then I played some Wolfenstein and watched some TV. I realized that if I was having trouble getting motivated to go 'watch' the marathon this year then I definitely have a long way to go till I actually run in it. I didn't really get out there till like 1:30.
But watching the marathon all late was totally coolio. I didn't see the typical marathon runners. The usual pack of too skinny joggers looking like they're about to drop, or lunatic guy dressed up in a rhino suit with his number on the outside of the suit, or the too intense athlete looking angry, or the pack of five geeks all dressed the same or whatever. Today I saw the stragglers, the tail end of the race, and they were so excellent.
There were lots of oldster folks cruising along. There were some way way out of shape people that were chugging doing it up. General freaks dressed in regular clothes like jeans and stuff with regular shoes- totally unprepared. People with big backpacks cause they knew they were in for a 14 hour day. Bunch of dudes that looked like they took smoke breaks. Actually most of em weren't really running they were walking and chatting with each other. I was watching them at mile 7 out of the 26 and they were already way out of the race. And just doing the marathon for unknown reasons. Just to do it. For whatever reason. It's coolio to see.
So it was the first time I could seriously see myself doing it next year because I saw my group. The stragglers. Running the marathon in no rush at all. Walking along. Semi-jogging. Best effort for what you got. No pain. No gain. Hopefully next year that's where I'll be. Chatting it up with fellow stragglers and telling em how just a few miles back I was in first place.