Monday, September 5, 2011

My Life in Safety Pins

Race bibs. They're everywhere. Stuffed in the junk drawer, used as bookmarks, stacked with my magazines. Some of them are scattered on the desk in my room at my parent's house. I've never ever thrown one away.

I'd been meaning to buy a scrapbook to put them into, but hadn't gotten around to it yet. Tonight, though, while I was musing over another old volume collage'd with dorm-era nostalgia, I saw it on the shelf—low and behold there was an empty scrapbook just waiting to be given a purpose.

So now I'm sitting on my bed in a sea of Tyvek, dozens of numbers looking back at me. I've detached enough safety pins to service the entire NYC Marathon. This is a photo album only a runner could love—reminding me of the winter chill, the spring rain, the summer heat and the autumn leaves that I run through. My first race, waiting for every gun to go off, my first half-marathon, first marathon, each new PR. And that time I puked Gatorade at mile 11.

At first I just thought "Wow, that's a lot of races," but then I noticed my age printed on one of the early ones and thought "Wow, this is my whole running life. This catalogs my existence as a runner, ever since I started to put one foot in front of the other a little more quickly." So far.

Sometimes I wonder what the heck I'll do with my time once I finally take a break from training for something. But the truth is, at this moment, I can't see myself ever having to face that predicament.  

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