Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

Jersey Girl and the Marathon…

December 10, 2009

 I ran the Marine Corps marathon in 2002. I am NOT a runner. I hate running and always have. But our realtor ran it a few years prior to raise money for the Whitman-Walker Clinic in DC. Of course, she did yoga, and ran 500 miles a day, and wasn’t bigger than a minute—you’d think my internal warning system would have gone off reminding me that I had eaten steaks bigger than she and that this was not such a good idea. Alas, it did not and a signed up anyway. Through the training program, I would be better, stronger, and faster and I would bond with the people in my pace group, blah, blah, blah. I fell for the little promotional video hook, line and sinker. I was a sucker. I thought aaawwww, I could say I ran a marathon AND helping people living with AIDS. I was reserving my seat in heaven. So I go out to the meet site on the first day. Mind you, I have given birth to two children thus far, so there is some extra shit jumpin’ around that wasn’t there before. But I’m figuring I was an athlete in college and I’m not in all THAT bad shape. And I have mega-ultra spandex on, so bring it on, baby! I am, along with about 100 other people are all pumped up, ready to do our part for mankind. Go Team! We are instructed to run three miles, 1.5 out and 1.5 back in. In my usual, overly exuberant way (that’s code for not being able to pace myself), I blast out, thinking 3 miles is easy, how bad could it be? Bloody Hell!!! I get about 1/8 of a mile and get a stitch in my side and a cramp in my calf. Trying not to look like an Uber Ass, I pushed on through and FINALLY finished. I think I missed one of my kid’s birthdays it took so damn long. The following week we are assigned our pace groups. They call names for the four-minute mile group, then the five-minute mile group (Bitches). I know I am not in the fastest groups, but am sure they’re going to call my name relatively soon. Eight-minute milers are called (Whores). Ten… (I must be in the next group, okay maybe the next). I finally hear my name. 15-minute mile group????!!!! Surely there is some mistake because I KNOW I can walk backwards faster than that. My pace group gathers together for introductions….One guy has a pacemaker and went to high school with Jesus. One lady, whose running in orthopedic shoes is rubbing her varicose veins. I am soooo screwed. I “ran” with this group on Sundays for a few weeks, but then decided to change groups, otherwise I was doomed. I put “ran” in quotations, because those of us that were younger in the group never got a full run in because we were too busy administering CPR to Methusala and her posse of ancients who picked the symbols for the Rosetta Stone. So, I switched to a Saturday group. The gods had indeed smiled upon me for there were people who were born within 10 years of me, so I could hang up my defibrillator. There was another transplant from different group who left her original group because they said they didn’t cuss, to which she responded, “Well FUCK!” My kindred spirit! Fuckin’ A right!

There was another woman in our group, with whom we bonded, who oddly enough walked faster than she ran. I’m not sure how this works from a physics standpoint, but hey, she worked it out. Three Musketeers look out!

Through it all though, Jersey Girl and I really bonded and pushed each other, laughed, growled, and cussed, and then cussed some more. We talked of her upcoming nuptials, parents, my life on the edge of crazy. Only she could appreciate me showing up to her wedding in my running shoes because I was running late and thought I’d rather witness the big moment than wrestle my pumps on. She is God-Mother to my youngest child. I am the one she calls first when her son is sick. Her husband has reminded her on occasion that I am not actually a doctor to which she responds that I have four children that are alive and thriving and that I don’t charge for midnight calls. I can call her to back me off my edge of crazy so as not to end up in jail for some momentary lapse of sanity.

I laugh that we could have been on the sappy promotional video for runners that took up the gauntlet in the years following our successful completion of the 2003 Marine Corps Marathon. (My husband laughs because the 83 year-old man and the one-legged man finished before us, but we finished damn it, unlike the 4,000 runners and the dead woman who didn’t. ASS!) It was most certainly true that the bonds we would make would be for life, that we would be forever changed by the experience. Truer words were never spoken.

I still hate running. But I love my Jersey Girl.


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