This morning pretty much everybody was like, "Thank God today it's only 21 km!"
Yesterday was hard on lots of people. Even some of the Kenyans dropped out, one of them limping insanely (from a previous injury resurfaced).
In fact, i started realizing how dangerous running is. (don't tell my mom). Everybody was pretty aware of the risks and precautions involved. I accepted a blue tensor bandage to wrap up my left knee. I accepted a variety of muscle recovery sprays from people. i accepted help from a woman who offered to bandage my left nipple in the middle of the race. i accepted ibuprofen.
But as for the race... for the first 5km, my right leg was super stiff. Very uncomfortable but nothing to stop me from running. I was just plodding along. Again: the goal was to finish the race, not get picked up by the van, and to get my plane ticket reimbursed. But i was feeling good enough that i could try to run the entire 21km, hoping that wasn't sheer stupidity.
i contemplated doing a Thriller-esque zombie limp over the finish line, for a laugh. And about 5 minutes after that idea, i realized that i seriously had to limp to keep up my pace. That was ok. if i stayed off my left heel, i could limp along stably, w/out risk of injury. So i did that for a kilometer or so, somehow breaking into a sprint for the last 50m, and felt pretty damn good. 2h 20. i could've done a lot worse.
So i was feeling pretty good about myself. But also before the U-turn i had my first chance to see the professionals burn past. Holy fuck, those men and women are on a completely different plane. And also the old timers, like Chinese men and women who are like 60, 70 years old, and i have no hope of keeping up w/ them. They humble me. i wonder if i might be able to still race when i get up there...
Also, i got to talk some w/ some of the Kenyans and Ethiopian professionals. Super duper chilled out folks. It was really a pleasure to hang out w/ them. Pretty tough life, i think. Training yr ass of all year long, targeting 4 races. And for one guy, he didn't win any prize money, so he lost his own investment of the plane trip over from Kenya. Dang.
Now most people have left, to catch airplanes from the city. I'm here for another night, sitting around w/ muscle rub wafting about the room.