Story last updated at 5/28/2014 - 2:38 pm
I’m writing this column in my head as I run a half-marathon, hoping that A.) I remember great lines should they come as my feet pound the asphalt, B.) enough interesting things happen to make it worth reading and C.) it’s interesting, but not because it ends up being my athletic or actual obituary.
Warmups and pre-race anticipation is over-hyped and boring. I just want to get started. I’m not nervous, or excited. My pre-race emotions can be summed up best by the great scholar-poet Ron Burgundy who said, “apparently you just run for an extended period of time.”
That’s all I’m going to do, and it will probably be more of a jog than a run. Unless there’s a bear. Or wolves.
My buddies and I are wearing flannel shirts. Not because we have #SWAG but because a few years ago some other friends and I ran a six-mile race in flannels and it’s sort of a tradition. Plus, outside of writing two columns a week and freelancing for a magazine once in a while, I don’t have a full-time job. No one without a full-time job can have swag. Impossible.
Start time. Here we go. Nice and easy, it’s only 13 miles.
Mile 1 — Is it possible to feel heavy and light at the same time?
I have no idea what kind of pace I have. In no way do I feel obligated to stay with the people passing us. My competitive nature applies to basketball and fishing and football and shooting and rock-skipping — well, everything except running I guess. Not even a trash-talking student can get me to speed up.
Mile 4 — Feel great, having a great time. We’re talking every once in a while, but it’s hard to understand what we’re saying because of the bouncy delivery of our speech. Cotner just said something and I laughed. I’m now thinking it was a question because he and Adam are quiet as if waiting for a response. It’s too late to say, “wait, what?”
Mile 7 — Still feel strong. Not fast. But strong. I feel like I can do this all day. I feel like I’d have no problem going fishing after this once I consume copious amounts of food at the finish line. By the way, nothing sounds better than honey BBQ buffalo wings and a Jamba Juice. Nothing. If I ate them right now, my stomach would curse me and I would throw up out of numerous openings, but at this point in my life, nothing would please me more than to have wings at the next aid station.
Next aid station — No wings.
Mile 8 — Cotner and Adam want to sing a song we used to serenade sororities with in college, but I have a stabbing pain behind my shoulder. I’m focused on stretching it out, but they are still singing. I want to laugh, or even join in, but I feel like Maximus after he’s hugged by Commodus before the final battle scene in “Gladiator.” Only, I’m not Maximus. You know what I mean.
Mile 9 — How did I run two marathons? I guess your mental approach is tied to your goal. Maybe that’s why I didn’t get homesick when I went to college in Arizona. I wanted off the island, so to avoid misery I had to focus on being there and not being homesick. This is turning into a deep thought. Oh look, the ocean.
Mile 12 — It’s pretty much kicked now. I just banged out a half marathon and feel more together than I ever have. I have muscle fatigue, not joint soreness. Previously I had a little left knee issue and a right hip issue, but everything feels connected. Adam has caught up and we’re sprinting together up the last hill to the finish.
Done. I still feel like eating some chicken wings, but I guess baked salmon will have to do.
Postscript — My left knee tightened while sitting and typing out my thoughts, but other than that I feel like at least a hundred bucks.
Editor’s Note: The Prince of Wales Marathon starts in Craig and runs north through Klawock before turning back around to a finish at the start line in Craig. The race offers shorter events includng a half-marathon that turns around just north of Klawock.
This was the 15th edition of the race run each May.