Meg and Laini have managed to do it again. The hospital is where I magically didn't end up this weekend, though I was fully prepared to if necessary. This weekend was the 32nd Annual Marine Corps Marathon, also known as the 1st Ever FireCat Runs 26.2 Miles At One Time and Manages to Not Break Kneecaps (Her Own or Anyone Else's).
Here's the general time line of the marathon, by pee break:
4:40 AM, Room 909: FireCat wakes up and thinks, What the hell am I doing? while shuffling to hotel bathroom.
5:30 AM, Hotel Lobby: FireCat exits elevator and decides she has time for a nervous pee before leaving for the start line. Gnaws on stale bagel and drinks remaining Gatorade.
6:00 AM, Hotel Lobby: FireCat heads for Metro with shivering parents in tow to see her off. Makes it all the way to Runners' Village at the Pentagon before she actually needs to pee from her morning tea and Gatorade. Legitimate peeing experience.
6:30 AM, Start Line: FireCat lines up at porta-john for "one last pee." Lee is amused.
7:00 AM, Start Line: FireCat gets back in line, behind Len, with uneasy feeling in heart and familiar cramping feeling in uterus. Copious swearing begins as she rummages in her snack-ass shorts for tampons. Lee is sympathetic. Len and Holly are amused.
7:50 AM, Start Line: Wheelchair start gun goes off as FireCat lines up for the menstrual peeing deluge. Not legitimate peeing experience.
Mile 8 (?): FireCat heads for the nearest opening porta-potty door and nearly runs into Lee, who is exiting. Lee is sympathetically amused. Not legitimate peeing experience.
Mile 11: FireCat and Holly meet FireCat's parents waving proudly and taking photos. Rummages in dad's backpack for a Clif Bar and a tampon. Manages to insert each into proper orifice at the appropriate time.
Mile 13.5: FireCat ditches Holly on the National Mall in search of porta-john. Legitimate peeing experience.
Mile 17: FireCat exits porta-john number three and nearly runs into Holly. Non-LPE.
Mile 22: FireCat sees porta-johns just past bridge, but also sees sweep bus still chasing her. Decides to hold it and run.
Mile 24: FireCat sees a mirage in a finisher's space blanket that turns out to be Len. Toddles full-tilt at him, hollering, "Lennnn!" and hugs him. When asked by Len, "How you doing?" replies forlornly, "I gotta peeeeee!" Len is beside himself with amusement, enough so to retell this story to everyone he sees at Carpool later that night. FireCat earns new nickname: Mad Marathon Pee-er. Endures countless hours of peeing references directed at her. (Side note: only an event run by the USMC would have toilet paper remaining after 30,000 people at Mile 24. God bless the US Marines.)
And for the record? I only stopped to pee ONCE on my way home to Three Feathers. So there.
Lee meeting me at the bottom of that last hill and saying, "For those last 200 yards, as you go up the hill, I want you to be thinking about ass cancer."
Mile 22: "CECIL!!!"
Mile 24: "LEN!!!!!!!"
Somewhere in Palisades, getting a good luck snuffle-kiss from the world's most adorable husky.
Also somewhere in Palisades, pointing out to Holly a rather elderly woman in a housecoat and slippers who'd come out to perch on her railing (or walker? or cane? we can't remember. but she was old and stooped), waving at said woman, and having her wave back and holler, "Hi, S_____!" Realizing that even if she had been able to read my shirt from there, what it said was "FireCat". Truly weird, but cool.
Realizing that I can run and eat a Clif Bar at the same time.
Coming up that last hill after "ass cancer" and realizing that, though I wasn't crying, both of my parents were.
The announcer reading my shirt aloud over the mic, and assuring me there would be cookies up ahead. (getting home and finding out that my mom made my favourite orange-glaze cookies!)
Getting looked in the eye by a newly minted Marine as he was presenting my finisher's medal and having him say, "Oorah, ma'am. We're proud of all of you." Marine, we're all proud of you.
Two words: Dutch. Baby.
Getting my period at the start line at 7:00.
Realizing at certain points that I could actually SEE the bus.
Having to pee every four miles because that's what my menstrual cycle does to me. (It's the opposite of water weight, I guess).
The wind. Yeah. Really could have done without that. Nuff said.
Realizing that I need to start wearing different running shoes, because there's no way my feet should have started to hurt before I got to the Mall.
Having to leave Holly. Although watching her ear explode was kinda fun, once she reassured me she wasn't going to fall over.
Learning about the specific patellar tendons and ligaments in a very new and very concrete manner. (Pun possibly elocuted.) I mean, I always knew they were there, but I knew it in a very abstract sort of way.
Having to use handicap bathroom stalls for the next 36 hours.
Having to decide whether to do another before Country Music Marathon in Nashville in April, or just train really hard till then.