Big Sur – the aftermath – part i

Four weeks ago my racing status in the Big Sur marathon was anything but certain – again. Despite careful training, I was sidelined with what appeared to be the same injury I incurred before last year’s race – a blown out calf muscle. I thought the marathon was cursed. I assumed my body was not built to handle the distance. One friend even hinted that “perhaps the universe is trying to tell you something.”

But deep down, I knew better. If the universe wants to tell me something, it better pick up the phone and tell me directly. I don’t do mixed messages and I resolved to be on the starting line at Big Sur even if it meant shredding my calf during the race.

So I took two weeks off, let a friend perform active release therapy on my leg, and two weeks later was back running – albeit two weeks behind schedule. Originally I was shooting for a 3:15 finish. But after the calf scare, I just wanted to get on the starting line healthy. I just wanted to try. Anything under 3:30 became acceptable.

Since my parents flew out special for the race from Boston, I decided to keep a log of the weekend via Twitter. (It’s got to be useful for something right?) Besides, summing up 26.2 miles in 140 characters or less somehow seemed appropriate.

Friday, April 24, 2009
6:21pm: Final run in SF before Big Sur

I stalled for a second deciding where to go. To the ballpark? Through the Presidio? But my feet seemed to know exactly where to head. Running along the waterfront I had to remind myself to slow down several times. This run was for fun. This run was for me. When I finally reached the base of the Golden Gate Bridge I smiled. I love touching the cold steel supports. They vibrate. They respond to outside forces like wind and temperature. They almost feel alive. And they serve as a reminder that man can accomplish great things with determination and support.

10:12pm : The folks at In N Out think I’m drunk. Just drove past the drive in speaker, nearly crashed after placing my order plus I’m psyched to run.
Driving down the 101 to meet my parents in Carmel I was feeling feisty, I was feeling … like a burger. Naturally in my excitement I blew past the speaker at the drive thru. Backing up went fine. It was the pulling forward part that got me. I apologized to the cashier. But it was past 10 – I was just another weirdo. I decided I was probably a hazard on the road so I pulled over to eat my double double and fries. I am happy I thought. I am radiant. I am … out of napkins.

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