Friday, April 08, 2005

Ye olde Fridaye Sacke 'o Mail

I haven't run yet today, but I will. This time I promise.

Anyway, here's the fat sack (o' mail)!

Hello Jonathan,

I read your column for the first time on Friday, and the next day our training path crossed on the bike path in Pebble Beach, one mile before the Spyglass road -- I thought: I saw this guy before ... c'est pas possible!, this is the big guy from the Herald on training for Big Sur IM. And I learn today that you were running a 21-24 miles via the hills. Impressive! And you are still in good rounded form. How can this be?

And no, I am not this young tall blond that passed you near Spanish Bay...

-- Mario
Pacific Grove

Hi Jonathan,

Oh my gosh, you are hilarious! I love your daily blog of the Longest Mile. I look forward to reading it daily.

A friend of mine who lives here in Dallas, Texas, is training for the Big Sur marathon and stumbled upon your website and forwarded it to me. First off, you are a fabulous writer, something I truly admire. Second, I think it's great you are training for this marathon and I know that you can do it despite any road blocks that may come your way.

I decided to train for the Dallas White Rock Marathon back in 1997, shortly after my mother passed away. I thought it would be a great obsession to get my mind off the grieving and also shed some extra pounds. Well, I did manage to shed some pounds, and on occasion, it did help the grieving process, but a month away from the actual marathon, I ran a half marathon and I ended up getting a severe upper respiratory infection, which slowed me down mentally and physcially. I didn't do the marathon that year, which was terribly discouraging. But, I decided to train again in 1998. That extra 12 months helped and I was determined to accomplish that goal. I remember, I could barely sleep the night before, b/c I was so pumped up. I must have gone to the bathroom 4 times before the gun went off. I felt great, hydrated, fueled and ready to run the full race. At mile 10, my running partner stopped to pee. I didn't. I felt great. By mile 13, I had to pee, and when I crawled into the stinky portapotty, I only trickled. It burned like hell. I had a bladder infection...half way into the marathon. I thought I was going to die. I thought I would have to quit. But, I had trained too long and hard for this, I would just have to muttle through it all. I continued to drink water, gatorade and eventually, the pain in my feet and legs overpowered the pain in my bladder. I managed to "shuffle" my way through the 26.2 mile adventure and it was the best feeling ever. Needless to say, it was my first and last marathon. I swore I would never put myself through that again...and I haven't. I do still run on ocassion to try and stay in some sort of shape. But, my latest passion for the past few years is ice hockey. I Iove playing this game.

Anyway, I just wanted to cheer you on, and tell you, even though it's probably nothing new, make sure you drink plenty of fluids, eat when you need that extra energy and be aware of your body. Don't hold your piss too long, even if you feel great. :-)

I'm inspired by your efforts, and your creative writing skills. You're amazing. If you start feeling weak or discouraged, just keep in mind that there's a girl in Dallas, Texas who will be anxiously awaiting your "blog" and/or story on how you finished your first marathon. Go Jonathan Go!!!!!

3rd Grade Teacher
Dallas, TX

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