I am sitting here in my robe and slippers, sipping weak tea and holding back a little nausea, a little nasal congestion and a tear or two. What's strange is I'm not feeling sorry for myself. No, I'm feeling sorry for another running blogger that as I type is probably starting to struggle along that open stretch of Palomar Airport Road, with its rolling hills and relentless sun. Bex is running the Carlsbad Marathon this morning, with injuries and without friends she expected on the course.
A small group of us gathered last night at a downtown Carlsbad Italian restaurant to discuss the race and running and triathlons and one of the women there was supposed to help her through the last part of the race. Only she bailed on Bex to watch the Chargers vs. Patriots game this afternoon. I wanted to fill her shoes but stopped short when I realized (a) I had a business call to make Sunday morning; (b) I can't run that far right now; and (c) I can't run that fast right now either. Add that I still feel rundown since my blood donation, and I was going to be a no-show too.
I've been there, running on my own for a very long time, without any tunes, without any idea of the course, and without the mileage or mental preparedness to prevent too many moments of "What the heck am I doing out here?" I've been there, fighting injury and doubt even before the race is underway. I've been there, already planning the next marathon even while this one still hangs in the balance.
I hope that Bex is empowered, rather than enervated, by the unanticipated isolation. I hope her husband is glad, not mad, that he is the fill-in and that he enables her to reach her goal, whatever it may be by morning's end. I hope that I get a chance to make it up to her because, like all of the running bloggers I've had the pleasure of meeting in person (and even those I have not), I think she's a winner. I'm just really, really sorry that I can't be there because, as I've said, I've been there.