How it Went… (plus a bonus montage)

Always fade out in a montage.

WEATHER: Delightfully chilly



WHERE TO: Self-pityville

MOOD: Harumph.


Dear Readers,

Yesterday was the Marine Corps Marathon, and I gotta tell you…sometimes race day does not go according to plan.  I mean, sometimes you get blisters, sometimes your shorts chafe, sometimes your gels fall out of your sports bra, and sometimes you slow way down to chat up that dreamboat who is, frankly, below your running standards but waaaaay above your “reasonably hygenic and literate” standards.

And sometimes you pull off the course FIVE TIMES during the Marine Corps Marathon to be fantastically ill and miss what should have been an easy PR by 10 flipping minutes, thus making it TWO marathons in a row that you have finished with what are–for you–really sort of shameful times.  Those are 10 minutes you will never get back.  10 minutes you could have spent at the finish line bobbing for bagels in the boxes of goodies being handed out by the nice friendly Marines.  10 minutes you could have spent doing anything aside from resting your head on your knees, clutching your spasmodic stomach, and wishing for the Rapture.

In other words, sometimes the wheels just come off.

And, choking back tears of disappointment, you say to yourself, “Ah, well.  There will be other races.  These things happen.  Life goes on and the world spins madly forward, after all.”

Or, if you’re like me, you stop the choking-back process and instead just let ‘er rip as you drop to your knees and shake your fists at the sky and say, “FaaaaAAAAAHHHHHHHHCK! <vom vom vom vom>”

I’ll spare you the play-by-play, since I try to involve bodily fluids/functions in only, oh, 50% of my posts. The point is that the Mountie and I both finished (the Mountie with a PR!) and ate a lot.  The end.

So I now have three weeks until the big 50-miler, a race in which I must redeem myself.  And I will now dispose of the self-pity and look ahead, as all good efficient midwesterners do.  Because, you see, there’s a lot of prep I have to do.  I mean, I have a few more training miles to go, yeah, but I more importantly have some mental prep.

Shit needs to be done, my friends.

And if there’s one thing we all know, life is like the movies.  The guy gets the girl, the girl gets down on the third date and brings along her impossibly large hoohoos and disproportionaly teeny waist and rarely utters any lines that do not have to do with her waaaay-below-her-real-world-standards love interest, and car crashes aren’t so much terrifying as slo-mo and way cool, and are usually accompanied by a just-dirtied-enough-but-completely-unwounded Vin Diesel, walking away from the wreckage and towards the camera but slightly off-center to the left, scowling because his black beater is TORN, forcing him to SHOW OFF HIS TRAPEZIUS MUSCLES and now he means BUSINESS and the Michael Bay soundtrack swellllls with overdone brass and autotuned violins and you know that SHIT IS ABOUT TO GO DOWWWWWN which is OK because holy God look at Vin Diesel’s pipes, oh baby, I hope you get into like 50 more car wrecks, hot stuff, because if it means we get to see-


The point here being that, as in the movies, when stuff needs to happen, we all know that there is a montage. And stuff most certainly needs to happen in the next 19 days of my life if I want to be prepped and primed and ready for action at that start line.  So I have concocted a montage of how my life is going to go for roughly the next three weeks.  Enjoy:


FADE IN to me on front steps of my NW Washington, DC home.  It is dawn, and I am tying my shoes as I prep for another long run through the glorious trails surrounding DC.

<Chariots of Fire theme begins playing in background>

I stand and stare into the middle distance as the dawn breaks behind my head.  A pensive look crosses my face…a look that says, “I got this, motherf**kers.”  I bound gracefully down the street, past the run-down rowhouses and abandoned storefronts, creating a powerful metaphor of a woman running away from life’s problems and into a better world.

<piano enters>

CUT TO me sitting in my room, calmly and quietly making a checklist of things I need to pack for the race.  Shoes?  Yes.  Hairbands?  Sure.  Band-Aids?  Most definitely.

<music builds, horns now come in>

CUT TO me shyly and humbly asking my housemates to come be my aid crew at my race.  They happily agree, their faces wearing looks that say, “We would be honored.”  We hug.  (Audience cries.)

<massive crescendo>

CUT TO a glorious morning on the C&O trail.  My pace has picked up and I am feeling the burn.  I spit, as is my wont.  It lands on the foot of a passing powerwalker.  She turns to spit an obscenity at me, but seeing me barrel past and sensing my commitment to running, she stops, folds her arms, and nods appreciatively and approvingly.

<Chariots of Fire fades out and in its place comes a driving-but-family-friendly ’80s-rock song like “Livin’ on a Prayer” or “Paradise City,” but not “Don’t Stop Believing,” because come on.  We’re not slaves to cliches, am I right?>

CUT TO Now I’m in my warm-up sweats in the Whole Foods energy bar aisle, thoughtfully weighing the merits of Clif shots versus Powerbars as the other customers bustle madly around me, creating a powerful metaphor of the craziness of our wildly busy urban existences.

<Jon Bon Jovi sings about how tough it is working down on the dock>

CUT TO…The list-of-things-to-pack continues and grows.  I gnaw thoughtfully on the end of the pen, cross “Oreos” and “tortillas” off list, add “8 oz block of Mild Cheddar.”  More thoughtful gnawing.  <Jon Bon Jovi grows impassioned.>  I change it from mild to sharp cheddar.

<Bass line thumps, grows intense>

CUT TO me back in Whole Foods aisle, stuffing Clif Gels into my sports bra to test out their carryability.  I bounce up and down a bit and nod approvingly as I reach for a few Powerbars.

<Guitar solo>

CUT TO me finishing training run, soaked in sweat and gracefully galloping down my block.  It is now a beautiful autumn day.  Neighbors are out walking dogs, children jump rope, babies gurgle.

<Guitar wails progressively louder>

Neighbor guy walks by with his two little yappy dogs.  I finish my run and throw my fists up triumphantly.  I head-butt the chihuahua out of sheer excitement and scream, “I AM SPARTACUS!”  Neighbor guy folds his arms and nods respectfully and approvingly.  The scene is a powerful metaphor about the uselessness of tiny yappy dogs.

<Full band joins in to alert us that WhoooooooOOOOOOOOOAAAA, WE’RE HALF! WAY!  THEEEERE!>

CUT TO Vin Diesel, exiting a 1987 Buick Skylark in which sits an evil mobster.  Who is he?  Why were he and Vin in the same- BOOOOOOOOM! says the bomb BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM FLIPPIN’ POW!  Manalive, was that amazing!  Vin, assault rifle strapped to his back, gives the flaming sedan a sidelong look that says, “I meant to do that.”

<Drums grow louder, heavy crash cymbal usage>

CUT TO me at Whole Foods, now in nothing but sports bra and sweatpants.  Sports bra holds five Powerbars, 3 Clif Shots, several mustard packets, vitamins, and what appears to be a Tofurkey sausage (uncooked).  I jog up and down aisle, for the most part managing to keep all food items in my brassiere.  Aisle-cleanup kid picks up bits of Tofurkey sausage and nods respectfully and approvingly, with a look on his face that says, “I’m gonna eat these when no one’s looking.”  Gross, kid.

<’80s hair rock cuts out, abruptly replaced by “Hungry Eyes”>

CUT TO me, now showered and post-run happy, sitting at the dining room table, eyeing an omelet the size of my head.  I grab my fork and lunge at it, devouring it in a way that can only be described as “aggressive, sensual, and sort of gross.”  Housemates, backing slowly from room, decide that maybe the omelet and I need to be alone.

<Cue that one Shawshank Redemption song, all timpanii and violins and E-flat-major chords that make the heart just melt.>

Roll credits.

<fade out>


Are you a videographer/editor?  Call me.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by AL on November 2, 2010 at 9:19 am

    This whole story so far really is kind of like a sports movie! The marathon not going exactly how you wanted right before the really big race, giving you the perfect chance for redemption… the darkest hour is right before the dawn!!


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