Mile 23 Dillinger
One week after Steamtown, I was back on the wagon, running an ill-advised 17 mile jaunt through the trails of Harbison Forest with some buddies. The typically lively banter (most of which I cannot and will not repeat) was interrupted by a question from a bloke soon to embark on his first marathon.
â€œWhat does it feel like after mile twenty?â€
Before I could muster a pithy response, another runner (a tanned rugby coach) answered with blunt hyperbole, â€œ[after mile twenty] if I had a gun, Iâ€™d shoot myself.â€
But you know what? For a hypothetical nanosecond he made perfect sense. Iâ€™d never actually contemplate self euthanasia, but the unrelenting misery of miles 21-26 can be overwhelming. You must fight the almost irresistible urge to stopâ€¦ to end it.
While crude, gunpowder projectiles seem as good a metaphor as any.
Just call me Old Yeller.