My letter to the Falmouth Road Race Runners:
Just know, The first 3 miles you are pushed by a claustrophobic herd of sweaty beings...then oxygen happens around trunk River. There will be a rock and roll band and water station on the side of the road.
It's then you realize for the first time the only sweat your feeling is your own... Thank God!
You will breath deeper and find your pace...
But somewhere around the Clam Shack you'll contemplate a sweet refreshing swim across the harbor on to the yacht club docks and the surmountable Falmouth heights hill to the finish.
But you won't do it. You will think about your daughter, and the last time you swam and maybe boat traffic... Certainly the current...
So you circle the bend onto Scranton Ave where friends will be tailgating with bloody Mary's, which sound disgusting when you've run 5 seaside miles...
You'll lift a sweaty hand in exhausted but noble greeting while trying not to wretch at the sight of tomato juice...
Crossing the Harbor at the Raw Bar the enthusiasm amps up and you start to realize. "I'm almost there". But here is where you see your fellow runners with heat exhaustion, blown out knees and dehydration.
So you sip some water from the water stop and drop the cup because today you have permission to litter.
Falmouth Heights road will be full of cheering enthusiast and maybe a friend will run out from the sideline in his " go to church" clothing and stumble along side of you passed the Island Queen and while he's encouraging you with every cheer leading word... he then stops and realizes he's out of breath and his wing tip shoes are making hamburger meat out of his heels. He drops out, wincing.
Alone at last! You pass the boat yard condos feeling the lack of training in your thighs but certain the end is in sight!
The slight, and I mean barely recognizable, incline that brings you passed the Silver Shore Shanty and St Thomas chapel nearly sends you to sit on the curb but you say NO to your aching knees! You say NO TO THE LOWER BACK PAIN...and you say NO to your shoe string that came untied because leaning over to tie it will take too much energy... And will certainly be painful.
"Shit", you say under your breath as people from your networking group hold up signs of support by the kite flying hill across from the Falmouth yacht club. You love these people but now, because their there... And out of pride
You can't even consider walking up the heights hill. A wave of hatred for 'those supportive people' washes over you and you smile that painful runners smile while raising a hand in salute! Meanwhile,under your breath, your exclaiming "WTF"?
You have made the corner at the Falmouth yacht club and you stop. You throw your leg up on the fence that lines Vineyard Sound and tie your shoe ... You tie that sneaker with a special precision that takes time... And breath...which flows from your hair follicles to your ankles with each inhale.
You head up the hill ... You hear your foot steps rattle through your skeleton. Like a drum beat or the bass turned up too loud on your car radio. 'Thump, thump-thump..' The vibration of every step is testing your internal circuit breakers....
So many people cheering. You can't
It's too beautiful a view.
As you crest the hill you see the American Flag towering over the track by the BBC and your confidence soars!
You then realize. 'I've got this' even if it means the rest of the day in the medical tent...
YEAH...I've run, danced, jogged, tripped and walked this historic race...if I can do it...no worries "You've got this! Have the best time!"