“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. - General George S Patton.
I quit. Twice.
So the Marathon is now a thing of the past, no longer looming over my life as one big, giant excuse. Except for the “Crocs and socks in public” fashion statement I’m making. Yes, I’m 33. Yes, I’m married. No, I haven’t given up on life. However, my feet are fucking trashed from the bullshit 26.2 miles I “jogged” on Sunday.
Here’s the Recap: First 10 miles were sub-10 minute miles: Look at me go, I can do this! Wooo...wait, is that rain?
Mile 13 - First time I quit. Temperature dropped and my body began to shut down. Legs would not keep up with the rest of my body, but still managing to put one foot in front of the other. Asked the wife for a beer.
Mile 14 - My knee lights up like a Christmas tree and I slow my pace. 2 more miles and your beautiful wife will be waiting with dry clothes and new shoes. Maybe, just maybe, your knee will feel better too. Just keep pushing. But mentally I shut down and quit again.
Mile 16 is close, I can load my ass into the car and drive home, head down, tail between my legs. Mile 16 hits - I catch eyes with my wife. Shit. I can’t bear to tell her I can’t go any longer. I tell her my knee hurts, but life is good!! I hang for 5 minutes, slam some gels, and change my socks, shoes, and shirt. Holy shit, I’m like a new man, my feet are dry, and even though it’s still raining, my shirt is dry for the first 5 minutes. What a refresh, only 10 more miles…wait,10 more miles?! That’s so many miles….
Mile 18 - Forearm cramps. Why the fuck are my forearms cramping? Oh wait, I’m so cold and shivering that I’m clenching my fists as I run. I loosen my grip and massage my arms as I run The hug helps. Kind of. Not really. Mile 22 - I round the corner and decide that if I have to crawl the last 4 miles, I’m finishing this race. My blistered feet throb with every step. Only one hour left. I grab my phone, shrug off the blood dripping down my chest, ignore my throbbing knee, and press play on Trench Warfare. Take me home, Jocko. Headphones in, head up, do work, one foot in front of the other. As I shuffled past the finish line, I was hit with waves of anger, frustration, happiness, and sadness. All of which were completely overshadowed by straight up exhaustion. No, I don't want your space blanket or banana. TAKE ME THE FUCK HOME, and let’s never do this again. My dude CP yelled at me to walk another mile so I don’t cramp up and told me to let my feet air out. Which made for a particularly pungent 2.5 hour ride home. But with burgers and a beer waiting for me, I though to myself: how long is an Ironman again?