That’s right. My life has been hectic as hell for the last week or so, but yesterday I got up at 5:30 drove to Harrisburg and ran and won the Harrisburg half Marathon. I ran 13.1 miles in one hour fifty-five minutes and thirty-nine seconds.
I beat over 10,000 other people, and got first place!
What I mean is, I’m sure I was the only Doper to run, so I finished first place among this community. There were of course lots of people that finished the race ahead of me, but none of them were Dopers so I still feel entitled in claiming victory.
The night before Mrs. Scylla, Little Scylla and myself went to Outback Steakhouse. I had a Blooming Onion about 6 beers, and the Fettucine Alfredo with shrimp and mushrooms.
I figure I cut about a minute off my time due to the fact my gastrointestinal track was loaded up with odiferous propellant. Every mile or so I’d cut one loose and get an extra burst of speed.
My sweat also smelled like a fried onion soaked in beer, and I sweat a lot. Naturally it’s stinky, but yesterday was something special.
I’m 6 foot and now 190 pounds, and I look athletic, but around mile 10 I get passed by this lady with grey hair. She just goes whizzing by!
A minute later these two girls pass me. They look about mid-twenties. And, I don’t want to offend, but let’s just say that they are “dumpy” looking. Neither of them looks like they could run a mile. They pass me, chatting happily about a soap opera or something, breathing easily.
As I watch these two heavyset unathletic looking women leave me in the dust, I start feeling that something is wrong.
My self-image is a having a problem with this. I know it’s wrong, and looks can be deceiving, but dammit I look like I should be kicking their asses. I’m built like King Kong! I can bench 275! I’ve been running all year. I’m lean and mean. These two looki like they sit around all day eating cheese fries!
I cut loose another ripper, surging ahead while the people immediately behind me start coughing and otherwise keel over into the bushes, and I put on the speed.
I pull ahead of them easily, as we follow the river back to the Market Street Bridge and the finish at City Island, my body starts to tell me something my mind already knew.
I’m an idiot and an asshole. I broke my pace and pushed it way too early, and now I’m gasping like a fish and there’s still almost two miles left. I need water. I’m hot. My shins hurt. I’m not used to concrete. I ate and drank too much the night before and I didn’t hydrate properly before the race. There’s a lead weight in my bowels and gravity is increasing rapidly this Sunday morning.
Up the hill and to the bridge, I’m dying.
I hear the two chatty heavyset girls coming up behind me, but I’ve got nothing left.
“Good run there,” one says. “Push it to the end othe bridge, then it’s down hill for 1/3 of a mile. You can do it.”
I smile weakly and hold up my head with what little machismo I can summon.
“Thanks. Just getting ready for the final push,” and they’re by me again.
I set my eyes on the back of the shoes of the one on the left and keep them there.
I’m five paces behind them, hearing them chat as we cross the bridge. Going down hill I feel better. One half mile left. I start thinking about putting on my finishing burst.
“Ok, let’s go,” one girl says to the other, and the feet pull away. No matter what I do I can’t pull them back into view. They have plenty left I have nothing, and they’ve just increased their pace by half.
I’m, left eating their dust, sweaty, stinky, and rotten. Nevertheless I surge across the finish line to some good natured cheering and encouragement of the earlier finishers, beating out all other Straight Dopers.
Those were some tough broads.