Last weekend Usain Bolt (name has been changed to protect the privacy of my husband) decided he would run 26.2 miles. After a tough week of training, which consisted of working and sitting diligently at a desk, Usain hopped in the car and said, like a true Olympian, "Let's just get this thing over."
On Saturday morning, he woke up, ate an English Muffin, that would later come back to haunt him, pulled on his jeans (we forgot it was going to be cold) and climbed onto a cold school bus that took his fellow runners up the canyon. At 6:45, the gun went off, indicating the race had started, and everyone started to cross the start line. Ten minutes later, after Usain decided to pull his jeans off, give his last pieces of clothing away, and without stretching, because let's be honest whoever said that was a good idea, took off and started weaving through the "slower people." According to Usain, the first five miles were absolutely torturous. His delightful pairing of an english muffin and a gatorade started to swirl his stomach, his Ipod didn't work and a small cramp started in his calf. But, like the great Cake song, "He's Going the Distance" states,
The sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
And long ago somebody left with the cup.
But he's striving and driving and hugging the turns,
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.
Cause he's going the distance.
He's going for speed.*
And Usain truly was going the distance.
Eventually, I was able to catch up with Usain at mile 18. He looked good, outside of the fact that he threw his Ipod and running belt at me, and shuffled on with a grunt. (Seriously, he looked like he was on mile 4. Later, he described that point as the "wall," but I couldn't tell.) From mile 18, I followed Usain into town. Lining the streets were marching bands, signs and cheering fans. Unfortunately, because of Usain's overwhelming speed, and me running through a crowd with a camera, video camera and bike, I missed him crossing the actual finish line, but I'm sure we all can imagine how cool that must have been.
When I finally found Usain he looked me in the eye, and with an exhausted face, simply said, "I'm never doing that again." I don't know if those were words of confusion, dehydration or of misguided agony, but I hope, like many of you, that I'll see the great Usain run one more time...