Six years ago tonight, I sat in this same hotel, in a bed just like this one. I ordered spaghetti with grilled chicken, red pepper flakes and olive oil from room service, seeking to recreate the pre-run meal I’d grown accustomed to at home. It wasn’t on the menu, but the kitchen obliged. When it arrived, however, something in the chicken smelled like bleach. I ate cautiously, only until I felt like… Read More
Thirty-four races, and it’s just another Saturday. Just another 10k, and I run, not drive, to and from Magnuson Park in Seattle, turning the morning into 18 miles. There is nothing remarkable about Race 34, on a course I’ve run before. Except perhaps, the sky.
The clocked ticks to 24:22 as I approach the 5k split, the half-way point in my 10k race. A decade ago, back when I ran 5ks regularly, I used to count anything that started with “24” as a solid race effort. But I don’t race 5ks anymore. Forty-nine minutes. I did the math quickly. 24:22 times two is 48:44; round up to 49:00. My 10k PR is 49:17. It was 2009 and… Read More
Sharon gets into the car, black technical race t-shirt, leggings and neon Asics, holding her iPhone armband in her hand. She reminds me of a younger version of me, had I been a runner when I was her age. “Good morning,” she says. Her Indian accent sounds like chimes. In the drive from the Marriott to Magnuson Park, I point out the University of Washington and Mount Rainier. I describe the race… Read More
“Is there a race up there?” I asked the woman running down the steep, grassy patch cutting the corner on the intersection between Lake Washington Boulevard and Interlaken Boulevard. “Um, yes,” she responded. “You go up and across 24th. You have to cross back over 24th.” I said, “thank you,” but what I meant was a four letter word, starting with F. I looked at my watch. This race was starting in… Read More
There were spectators on the course today. On the Boardwalk specifically, a looped area made to look like an old fashioned, summertime coastal Atlantic City. Spectators. Non-runners assume spectators line every course, because that’s what they’ve seen on television during the Olympics or the New York City Marathon (if someone has forced them to watch such tedium). But the truth is, the sidewalks of most courses are empty. So to have spectators… Read More