Always Stop for Pain; Never Stop for Despair.

october 12th, 2015

My mom told me about a friend of hers who had to quit drinking a few years ago, and is now taking on an intense work schedule. She was worried for him. i said, “sometimes you gotta choose the form of your own self‑destruction.”

And that is how i feel about marathons. Extravagant, expensive, self‑destructive. Like snorting a pile of cocaine, or losing $50,000 at craps.

i'm joking. Sortof.

chicago marathon 2015

An old running buddy (Audrey) once said of marathon training: “there's lots of ways to, like, *optimize.* But really, I think you just run it.” Yup.

Longtime Dear Readers know my running rule: “always stop for pain; never stop for despair.” You gotta listen to that pain! Avoid injury. You gotta push past that despair! Make the marathon a spiritual experience.

Yesterday was my third. In 2013 a small fleet of helicopters circled overhead. This year i didn't see any, altho there were plenty of THREAT LEVEL: MODERATE signs around.

There's a marathon spectator sign: WORST PARADE EVER. Ooh, i hate that sign! Usually there are like six to eight of them. Similarly there are usually at least two puns on [Christopher] Walken and walkin'.

Anyway, WORST PARADE EVER burns me up so much that i printed out little slips of paper that read “your sign is dum.” But the first WORST PARADE EVER sign that i saw was held by a white middle‑aged woman dressed in Skokie Mom Fall Chic, sitting on the traffic divider on the State Street bridge, screaming, “YOU'RE AMAZING!! YOU'RE AMAZING!!!” She cancels out all my past and future annoyance.

The first twelve miles were almost too easy. Then i slammed directly into the hard stage of “ok this isn't fun anymore.” Last time i was spared that stage until mile 18. Thankfully i had Slayer loaded up on my iPod, courtesy husband Vlad. For the last mile i had Katy Perry's Firework on repeat. Tif Harrison of the Neo‑Futurists created a piece four years ago for Too Much Light to the tune of Firework. i still think about that piece. i still think about that choreo. She danced on a platform in a US flag bikini. Someone fed her a hot dog. The rest of the company synchronized danced behind her. A key component was a slow‑raising fist during the pre‑chorus. It sounds so much smaller in words but it was big, so big. That piece moves me. That piece makes me feel connected, human, powerful. So i wasn't listening to Firework for Katy Perry or popular music reasons. i was invoking Tif power.

post-marathon chicago 2015

in other news
Today is my three year sobriety anniversary. Happy anniversary! i raise a glass of ginger ale, toasting the choice of my own self‑destruction.