Friday, November 12, 2010

Marathons are Turning Me Gay

Weird things can happen when you are pushed past reasonable bounds of exertion. I've read about people talking to imaginary people during ultra marathons because they start to hallucinate. I've never gotten that bad, although I did become a bit of a crybaby during this last marathon I ran. And not from pain. From "sentimental value"...

I've been fretting this Santa Barbara marathon for a long time. First is because long ago I had set my sites on this being my qualification for Boston. And second because I hardly trained for it. Ooops.

I knew long before the race that there was no way I was going to qualify for Boston, so the lack of training was more worrisome just because I knew running the marathon was going to REALLY suck!! How little did I train? Well, let's just say that I trained more for my first marathon. And during my first marathon I basically spent the last 8 miles focusing on not puking/passing out.

Surprisingly, the Santa Barbara marathon didn't go as bad as my first one, even though the final 8 miles of Santa Barbara were also spent in hell. So let's get into the interesting part. It was about 4 miles into hell (i.e. mile 22). There was a family of 4 people holding a sign that read "Great job Steve! You are almost done. Finish strong. We love you!!"

I read it, and I was overcome with emotion. It was just such a nice sign! It was a sweet token of love for Steve. His family looked so happy, and they had probably been waiting there awhile for him. And I was in a mental grip of despair. I started to cry. And then quickly realized that I was running a marathon, so I got a hold of myself. But then came the upbeat cheering person.

She was at an intersection at mile 23. It was raining lightly so she was sitting in her car to stay dry. She was screaming at the top of her lungs, "You guys are so awesome, holy crap you have almost run a marathon, you are almost there!! Keep going, I know you can do it!" All that stuff that spectators yell. Except that she was really into it. I started to cry. And then, again, quickly realized I was running a marathon... Not sitting on my couch watching a sad movie. What the hell?? I almost cried twice?? I'm just going to write this off as one of those weird things that happens when you are pushed past reasonable physical levels of exertion. Either that or marathons are turning me gay. Just like Baby Carrots (as Stephen Colbert would say).

Even when I'm not on mile 22 of a marathon I tend to be a sentimental person. Never to the point of crying when I see a "You Can Do It" sign. :) But I like to think about good memories of the past as much as possible. And try to find ways to extend the value of those experiences; whether it be to nurture a relationship with somebody so that more good memories can unfold, or to re-visit places that I remember. Perhaps I'm getting old. Perhaps I'm just human. Or perhaps I should train a little more for my next marathon. Probably YES on the last one. Haha.

Santa Barbara International Marathon
Time - 3:50:01
Pace Overall - 8:50 min/mile
Pace First Half - 7:50 min/mile
Pace Second Half - 9:45 min/mile. Yikes!!
Moral of the Story = Do some distance runs (15-20 miles).


  1. I love it. What an awesome post. I got teared up for you!

  2. I always get all teary eyed with sweet families/signs/etc. But I'm also a chick. :p jk. I really enjoyed your moral of the race. :D Congrats on another 'thon!

  3. Congrats on another marathon! Not a bad time for not training! And it's easy to get all teary when you've pushed the body to the limits. Maybe it's just sweat coming out of your eyes. Yeah, that's it.

  4. WoW! Awesome job, dude! (Don't get all teary over these posts now) but, congrats nonetheless. Jen, I think you're right. That must have been sweat coming out of his eyes.

  5. Oh, man, I am cracking up right now! Congratulations on pushing through - even through the emotions!

  6. Dude, HTFU!

    Joking! LOL Nice post!

  7. Awww I almost teared up reading this post. Being sentimental is okay and I think WHATEVER you are doing at mile 23 is okay in a marathon because well... you're at mile 23 of a freaking marathon!

  8. Great job on the marathon! haha, I loved this post, and I think its cool that you cry during marathons ;) hope all is well in Cali!