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Misery Hates Company


On May 20, 2007, I went downtown to run the Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon, my 16th marathon. I'm not bragging here, 
particularly since most of you, my devoted readers, run that many marathons in the first six months of the year. This particular race was relatively easy for me as I finished in under 4 hours, and felt pretty good for most of it. So, why am I telling you this? Well, for one thing, it is highly unusual for me to feel good during a marathon.

But what really makes this one different is that Barb S., with whom I ran this marathon, did not have a good race. She felt 
lightheaded and dizzy and couldn't run anymore after Mile 21 and blah, blah blah blah.... Like I wanna listen to THAT. I don't wanna hear about it. Just because I happened to have one decent race, she thinks she can "one up" me (or "one down" me, whichever way you look at it) in the misery department. Well, I'll show her. NOBODY outdoes the Queen. Let's compare notes, shall we?


                                                                Barb                           Aimee

No. of marathons                                    22                                   16

No. of ultras                                              3                      You're kidding right?

No. of miserable races                           3                     11 (incl. the one where I was rolling around on the ground in agony. Top                                                                                                       THAT one!)     

Marathon PR                                          3:19                         Whatever

Post-race pain                                          2                                   16


The more I thought about the race, the more cheated I felt. Who the heck does she think she is? What does she know about real suffering? I relish doing the death march in those last torturous 6 miles of the marathon because (a) it forces me to dig down deep, to see what I'm really made of, and (b) it give me something reasonably legitimate to complain about after the race. And now, here's Barb, my one-time "friend" trying to steal my thunder. You think you know someone, and then they stab you in the back.

Well, Barb, enjoy your moment in the sun. At the next marathon, I expect the natural order of things to be restored. Barb will kick my butt, and I will limp my way to the finish line, while preparing my list of complaints which will probably include:

  • How much I hate the medal;
  • How much I hated the sports drink offered on the course;
  • How much I hated the weather;
  • How inconvenient the parking was.


So don't mess with me, my dear friend. I don't want to be forced into any cataclysmic actions such as not finishing the race, or running in the rain. It could get ugly. You gave it your best shot Barb, but its over. Time to move on.

This article was originally written By Aimee Gilman for the newsletter of the NERC, Northeast Running Club. It may not be reproduced without the express, written consent of Aimee Gilman.
Copyright 2010.

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