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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My First Marathon

So I ran my first marathon on Sunday. Well, not the entire marathon. It was actually a little less than a full marathon. It was more like the last two miles of the 26.2-mile course. Did I mention it was really windy?

One of my Ameri-friends, K-Man, ran the entire Bay State Marathon. He finished in an impressive 3:20:40 (that’s three hours, not three days). I waited for him at Mile 24, watching runners and cars cut through the ugly landscape known as Lowell, Mass. Seriously, Lowell is a hole.

By now you’re probably wondering the significance of running the final two miles of a marathon with a friend. I failed to mention I ran those two miles holding a boombox, blasting motivational tunes for my tired friend. As soon as I saw him approach, I pushed the play button and started running, remembering I hadn’t stretched after sleeping on the floor the night before (no, I’m not married).

I assumed K-Man would be thrilled to see me. After he failed to show much emotion, I remembered he’d been running for three hours and decided to let it slide. Our conversation was a struggle, too, considering I really have no idea what to say to someone who’s just run 24 miles and still hasn’t finished. Plus, I was hungover.

J-Mazz: How’s it goin?
K-Man: All right.
J-Mazz (two min. later): So, is this your first marathon?
K-Man: (shakes his head and holds up two fingers)

Luckily, we could find common ground in the mix tape I’d made the night before. Yes, I’ve heard of CD burners, but mix tapes don’t skip when they’re jostled. Plus, I wanted to relive my romantic days of high school, back before I had more baggage than a 747.

I immediately noticed his pace picked up during the first tune, the Rocky theme song. Fans along the course cheered extra hard for us, hearing the music long before we passed them. The inspirational melodies quickly transitioned to Pearl Jam’s “Rearview Mirror,” which got K-Man going even faster. I think my pace pulled him along, as well. As we approached one runner, he turned around and said, “Yeah!” That’s the extent of excitement from runners near the end of a marathon. I appreciated it.

The quick pace continued with “Welcome to the Jungle.” This got everyone pumped as we passed a water table. Down the victory stretch, Outkast’s “B.O.B.” chimed in as we rounded the corner and headed for the minor league baseball stadium, signaling the end of our arduous journey was near. Just as we entered the stadium, Outkast ended and “Eye of the Tiger” began. I held the boombox over my head and ran behind K-Man as we followed the course along the warning track, crossing the finish line at home plate together, instant legends of the Bay State Marathon.

I'm now training for my next 1/13 marathon.


At 3:46 PM, Blogger Gregg M. Schmidt said...

HaHa - good blog. I know what your friend was feeling like. The last 5.2 miles of the Marine Corps Marathon last October were excruciating. First my left knee started to hurt...then my right hamstring...then my right foot...all coupled with the fact that my body was exhausted.

So much fun.

But I'm sure the music and you running helped him out more than you'll ever know.
Good job.


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