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Warning: Porta Potties, Skinny Girl Runners And Taxi's Can Ruin A Marathon!!

Posted Nov 19 2012 11:31pm
I just got back from an awesome 3 mile run (yes, I KNOW I am running the Boston Marathon in April and should be upping my mileage a bit!), and I thought I would sit down and blog about some of the "random ramblings"  that went through my head while out there! Of course, you may be thinking that there wasn't a lot of time during a mere 3 mile run for a lot of "rambling".....and you would be WRONG! Once again, I remind you.....I AM SLOW!!

You know those things in life that happen to you and even though everyone upon hearing the story, ALWAYS say's......"One day you will look back and laugh about this!!?" You know, the one's where you think, "Yeah, RIGHT!" Well, for some reason, one of those stories popped into my head today. Let me see if I can do justice to this little laughable event!!

NYC Marathon-Maybe 2008?

I have had some pretty interesting occurrences while running NYC, but looking back, this one WAS pretty funny!

First of all, I was running along and feeling REALLY good, at about mile 7 (yeah, it's easy to feel good at mile SEVEN of a 26.2 mile run!), when I felt the urge to visit a porta-potty. The porta-potties were up on the sidewalk, requiring me to jump over a curb. As I was stepping/jumping over the high curb.....a skinny cutesy.... young woman came FLYING out of NOWHERE, and jumped in front of me, knocking me off the curb in the process! Not a sorry.....kiss my hiney.....NOTHING from the young woman! Oh well, maybe her urge to go was a lot more URGENT than mine! Anyway, as I fell, I felt a sharp pain in my right knee.....YES, the one with the arthritis...ugh...Well, I continued on (after the pit-stop), but my knee kept getting worse, and after a few more miles, my lower back started hurting pretty bad. I assumed my back was hurting, due to the weird way I was now running, or limp-hop-jumping along! Anyway, I got to mile 12 and I was crying when the sweep bus came along to pick up injured runners. I was thinking, "There is NO way I can make it to Central Park.....I may as well just get on this stupid bus now." SOOOO........I limp over to the bus and the door opens and the driver say's, "Need a ride?" NOW, I can just IMAGINE how crazed I must have seemed! I stood there looking at this man and sobbing! He said, "Um....lady, are you getting on?" To which I sobbed at him, "NOOOO......I CAN'T!" This man who was now looking at me like he was a little SCARED of me, said, "Well.....you want me to HELP you get on??" Me: NOOOOO.......I don't mean I CAN'T get on.....I just CAN'T get on!!!?! Him: WHAT??? Me: Okay, I'm getting on....NOOOOO.....I CAN'T! Him: Um, you okay? You gonna get on here, or what?? Me: NEVER MIND.....I'm going to run now! Yeah, I have to go! And on I continued to mile 18. I don't even know HOW I got to mile 18, but at one point I was sort of hopping along, crying and SHIVERING.....I was SOOOO cold, and I looked up and there was a STARBUCKS......and it was ALL over! I went inside, asked for a hot coffee, called Ray and said, "I'm DONE.....I QUIT!!" I was babbling on about having a collision with a runner and a porta-potty and just plain blubbering! That was my first ever DNF, and I was devastated! Between the crying and the shivering, which by now was almost 'seizure like', I was walking along and sloshing my coffee all over the place.....WHAT A DAY!! You would THINK it could only get better now, right? NOT REALLY..........

After figuring out where I needed to go to get to the ABC Studios, which was where The Team Hole in the Wall folks, and Ray and the kids were....I started walking.... back in the direction that I had just come from! I walked, and walked, and walked, and I was still FAR away from where I needed to be! I called Ray again and some of the people from THITW suggested that I get a taxi and they would pay for it when I got there...GOOD IDEA! So, as I was walking, I was trying to hail a taxi. The problem with that was....every time a taxi stopped, the driver would roll down his window and ask where I was headed and as soon as I told him, he would shake his head and drive off!!? WTH?  After walking forever, I finally stopped on a corner.....just standing there very frustrated.....when yet another taxi pulled up and refused to take me. I was about at my wits end! I was cold, hungry, dizzy, angry, and in PAIN!.....HOW was I going to get to the other side of Central Park and to ABC studios? As I was about to just sit on the curb and CRY, a police officer (female), who was directing traffic.....asked me if I was okay (must have looked almost as bad as I felt!) and I told her about the taxi's. She said that the reason they wouldn't pick me up, was because they couldn't drive THROUGH the park, so they would have to drive AROUND the park, and they didn't want to WASTE their time getting there?? She had a few choice words for them! After all, they were going to get PAID for their time?!! This wonderful police officer said, "Hang on.....I am going to get you a taxi, and you just open the door, park your butt on the seat and tell him where you are going! Do NOT tell him before you get in! Legally, he HAS to take you!" So, she stopped a taxi and told me to get in! Okay, I GOT in! The driver proceeded to tell me to GET OUT!! The officer told him that I HAD to get to my destination and that HE was going to have to take me!They yelled at one another for a few minutes and he finally started to drive. He kept driving and he kept SCREAMING at me in his language (not sure WHAT it was, exactly!).......Finally, he had me so freaked out that I told him that he could just pull over and let me out, but that my husband was waiting at ABC to pay him......so if he let me out now, he wouldn't get paid anything! Soooo, he kept on driving and kept on YELLING! OMG......REALLY?? I should have just FINISHED the marathon!! Surely THAT would have been less painful! So, we finally pulled up outside of ABC Studio's (it really wasn't that hard getting around the park!)........and Ray was there with the money. The driver who had been screaming at me the entire way......looked at me and said, "I'd better get a damn good tip!"........Yeah, you THINK so????? NOT!

I had never been so happy to see my family and friends, but I was SOOO angry with myself for not finishing the marathon. Everyone KNEW how bad I felt and they were all so very kind to me, but the words that really made me cry, and yet made me feel so much better came from Ken Alberti. Ken said quietly....."Pam, you raised enough money to send a sick child to Camp. Do you think that we are going to tell that child  that they can't go to Camp because you ONLY ran 18 miles? Running 18 miles is amazing, especially after the day you had, but the really important part....you DID finish....you raised the money for Camp." There I was, blubbering again! I finally got a few bites of food in me and even a glass of wine, and I was feeling somewhat human again, though not laughing about my day, just yet!!

Wow, that was a LONG story from such a SHORT run, huh?!! Actually, I only thought about the taxi ride after I got home and started to write about my DNF!! It's amazing how some marathons have been pretty uneventful for me, and then other's were just one crazy thing after another!


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