The other night, on my husband’s behalf, I had to call the Karma Police.
It started with Chris complaining about his feet. Last weekend, in the half-Ironman, he forgot to wear socks. And since then he has been starting and ending each day with “my feet hurt”. So much that at the start of last night’s run when he said “my feet hurt” I said, yeah, got it, got it good, got it yesterday, last night, the night before that, after the race, post-race morning, got the point that your feet hurt. So there we were in the kitchen and again he was saying his feet hurt.
But part of me inside was thinking oh you just wait. You think your feet hurt after running sockless for 13.1 miles? Imagine twice the pain. For twice as long. Let me tell you running 26.2 miles after 112 miles even with socks on, feet lubed, shoes powdered and greased, even with all of that you still are not prepared for foot pain.
So as I was telling Chris to ZIP IT about the feet because if he cries sore feet now he’ll use up all of his sore cry points for after Kona. And he just might need them. Heck, we all will. And as I was about to say that, he beat me to the next word and pulled out his ace in the hole.
The Kona card.
“Oh yeah, well you…..,” he began leading to a crescendo of complaints in which he told me I was going to be no fun in Kona before or after the race. Because I’d be too nervous before and after because I’d be too sore. Because this, because that, blah blah blah blah.
True, true, all true. Even the blah blah's. Last year I was sore, I was nervous, I was blah blah blah. But still, I felt for someone that had never done the race before it was probably bad mojo for him to call me the one that was going to be nervous and sore.
When two athletes train for Ironman together, conversations happen like this. You know the race is heavy on the other person’s mind. You know it’s a card, an ace in the hole you can pull from under the table and use for nasty play when one said spouse is annoying the crap out of you because she won’t – for the 100th time – listen to you lament about your SORE SORE OH SO SORE feet. So you pull the Kona card to make your point.
Being woman and sensing this evil card trick, I said stop right there. And then I called in the Karma Police.
Arrest this man and his accusations right now. Because as far as nervousness and soreness go, oh first time Ironman, you never know. And you know what goes around will come around and hell if I’m going carry you, husband, on my back after the race because Karma took a bite out your big toe. And little toe. And all ten toes, two legs, lower back, arms, abs, and ass, and….you get the sore point.
So you better knock on our wooden cabients and hope the race doesn't do nervous or sore things to you. In fact, how ‘bout we pick up this conversation in 3 weeks at the pier and as you look out at 1800 other athletes funneling into the water tell me if you don’t get a little…..well, nervous?
And then somewhere I think I heard a knock.
But part of me had to laugh. I’m going to be too sore? You'll see. YOU'LL SEE. I’d like to think that muscles have memory. That my body sort of “knows” or at the very least vaguely remembers the level of pain that I will find in a few weeks. Not that any of that will help, but at least I sort of know how bad it will get. I know the Palani Hill feels bad going up but even worse coming down. I know the imaginary hill out of the Energy Lab that makes you feel like you're carrying a gorilla on your back really doesn’t exist. I know the walk from the finish line to the massage tables will feel longer than any distance covered the entire day.
Husband, on the other hand, his body doesn't know. And so that is why it is best for him, an all of us, to keep karma a close friend. Especially before Kona. Admit your weakness, revel in any strength you find on the day, and pray that the winds, heat, and water just graciously let you through.
And if you can emerge from all of that not nervous or sore, well then you can stop knocking on wood. But until then, those of us Kona-should request a Karma Police Escort for the next 3 weeks and carry around a wooden box just in case.