I was tired. I could not have ran another meter. Luckily, I felt like I could still walk at a decent pace. Which was good because I was about twelve kilometers from home. I walked for a bit. Then was forced off the trail by some running groups. I thought they were a bunch of jerks because they couldn’t share the trail and were running three abreast. Two separate groups did the exact same thing. I wanted to yell at them, “Hey! I just ran a half marathon! Give me some respect!” I had ascended. I was in a new class of runner. I was no longer the kind that just runs fives and tens. I could go further now. The next distance goal would be a full marathon. My head kind of spun upon that realization.
About two kilometers after I stopped, I came across the trailhead that I passed long ago, around kilometer six. I hung a right and headed west. I saw a sign that said Gilmore Station was seven kilometers away. I changed albums. I couldn’t listen to Mastodon’s Blood Mountain anymore. Although fitting for this run, three times was enough. Before I switched, I finished the album’s last song. The one where the hero has perished after battle and ascends into the afterlife. That is the way I have always interpreted it anyway.
I finished the rest of my water. I called my wife and asked her for a ride. Of course she agreed and we decided to meet near the skytrain. A cold front was moving in and the wind was blowing. I was growing cold quickly. Cotton mouth was setting in.
When I finally got to the pick up spot, I was thirsty, cold, and smelled horrendous. I was also bleeding because I had finally pulled the thorns out of my hand. The blowing wind had covered my dried sweat sticky skin with dirt.
I stood there, watching some radio station put on bean bag throwing contest. I thought about wandering over there and giving it a try. I felt like I could do anything. I had a good sense that I could win whatever it was they were giving away. I had ran a half marathon, I could throw a bean bag like a muth. The wind shifted and I was reminded of how bad I smelled. I decided not to after all.
My wife showed up and I got in the car. I remarked on how bad I smelled. In a, I wasn’t going to say anything tone, she requested I roll down my window. She had brought along a Clif Bar. It was the one of the best things I had ever tasted.