Ruinous Runs and Other Things I’ll Do Again 6


Detour Coin, Medal, Beer, Smile

Detour Coin, Medal, Beer, Smile

I have nothing. Or perhaps I have a field of tumbleweeds sweeping across my thoughts.

Marathon Four has left me in a weird and untenable state, a state of which I was I previously and happily unaware. I have been rendered proudly disappointed.

Marathon Four picked me up, turned me upside down and shook me loose. Those hills, and that wind, and my stupid arthritic knee—after the first half, I am not too proud to point out—emptied the lint and lies and wooden nickels I had secreted away in the wilding crevasses of my mind. A murder of crows feasted on the stinking mess.

Worthless wooden nickels that repeated to me my own worthlessness, my own inability to climb and and descend, to soar on wings, to persevere.

But still I ran. I cursed the hills. I drank the beer. I spoke to the man on whose shirt was printed that verse from Isaiah that called to me. I saw Lauren, Kenna, Elizabeth, and Alicia. I saw Whitney and Ben and Anna. I saw Chris and Curtis and Terri. I saw Amber and Sarah and Courtney. And though we ran that finish line in our ways, in our own times, they were with me. They took the place of the feasting crows and the linty lies.

And when I crested the hill to the Center of the Universe detour, a rude and wacky climb, I was more than my aching knee. I was more than just some old slow fat average runner. I hit one of my goals. I ran three tenths of a mile longer than a marathon. I did that.

For the first time, my family met me at the finish line. When I saw them, I nearly crumbled. Instead, I did a little bake the cake dance and dashed to the Finish Line. Not a PR. Not even close. I was mildly incoherent, and happily angry.

Angry I did not PR, happy that I finished that sucker on my terms, and with the detour. I’ll keep shaking loose the crumbs, because they have no place in my head, even hidden the secret corners. And I’ll keep running.