I’m busy up to my eyeballs, and yet I just spent 45 minutes teaching a colleague how to start her own blog so how can I not spend just a few minutes adding a little update to my own blog? There’s a ton (really) of stuff I could share, but I think the most significant item is the big weekend event: the Myrtle Beach Marathon and Half Marathon.
As in years past, thousands of participants converged at the intersection of Robert Grissom Parkway and 21st Avenue in the predawn darkness to stretch, chat, drink water, and ponder what was ahead. As I looked around at some of my compatriots, I couldn’t help but wonder if they were thinking about their race strategies, their shin splints, last year’s time, or even the huge breakfast they planned to consume after the crossed the finish line.
Shortly after listening to the National Anthem, the starting gun fired, and the front runners were off. Those like yours truly in the back of the pack didn’t move for several seconds, and then we began inching our way forward in fits and starts. Even though I was not prepared for it, I had to jog the first three miles or get left behind, but after that I switched back and forth between a fast walk and intermittent jogging. As in the past, the absolute best part was the several miles down Ocean Boulevard. Why? Because the sights and sounds are spectacular, and you’re still strong enough to enjoy them.
Nearly a week later, I’m still thankful for the young African American woman who sang aloud to the tunes on her Ipod; she pepped me up. I’m also grateful for the hundreds of volunteers and onlookers for their support and offers of refreshment. The cheering section outside of Starbucks was especially encouraging. And the cowbells…we liked them too. About the refreshment angle, nothing beats the taste of cold, clean refreshing water when you’re thirsty…nothing. (I also like the sound of the paper cup plunk when it hits the pavement). Special thanks go to the MB Police Department, the Red Cross, and the race organizers for jobs well done.
The only complaint I have about the entire weekend was the $5 that the manager at Captain D’s tried to charge my sister-in-law for parking in the parking lot at 8:00 in the morning. It’s not like too many patrons were going to be eating shrimp for breakfast, so we figured the motive had to be pure unadulterated greed. All she wanted to do was find a vantage point to spot her husband and support the other thousands of walkers, joggers, and runners. Shame on Captain D’s.
Naturally, all was not perfect. I had my challenges along the way, especially with new shoes and old socks. After stopping and readjusting the socks several times, I finally took the left sock off and sort of jog/limped in. Oh, and I had a bad cold (still do) and had experienced a long night of insomnia. Still, I finished in a reasonable amount of time and was happy to do so. Anyone who feels like whining during an event such as this only has to be passed by a wheelchair racer one time to feel much better about her painful feet.
I’m wondering about all of the participants who ran beside, in front of, and behind me. Are they, like me, planning to give it another shot next year? And what about those of you who’ve never done something like this but might want to? If I can do, anyone can.