Thursday, April 28, 2005

Marathon Flashbacks or The Fog of Sur

I wonder how many people have trouble remembering the details of race day?

For me, Sunday is immersed in the soup of memory like a good night of drinking. Little details are emerging over time: some stuff comes back in drips, clips, fragments, like the race was a waking dream. But much of the desperate hours from miles 18-26 remain bathed in darkness.

So it was that I was driving to work today and had a vivid memory. It must have been somewhere around Mile 18 or so, because I was getting a drink from an aid station (my on-board bottle of Gatorade must have been empty, and I still was running.)

I had grabbed a cup of water and gulped down part of it. Running by a trash can, it had enough weight in the bottom that I felt I could make a clean toss, Kareem-style, into the bin. So I threw it. It sailed in a clean arc, through the air, almost in slow motion like one of those floating objects featured so prominently in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Then, it started tumbling toward Earth. Down, down, down, the cup went, little drops of liquid splashing to the edges.

That's when I saw her: the teenage volunteer in the expensive-looking black coat. I wanted to yell, watch out, but somehow the words couldn't escape from my mouth. It hit, with 5 oz. or so of water splashing on her coat and down her neck on a 55-degree mornining.

"Oh my gawd!" she exclaimed.
"I'm sorry," I said, as I kept shuffling by.
"Oh my gawd," she said, an amazed but angry expression spreading on her face. "I can't believe this,"

And then, I was gone. And so was she. Until this morning.

Speaking of memories, I've received my marathon pics by email from marathonfoto. Here's a link.

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