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  • Mike Ehredt

For the love of 13 seconds.....


I have been around for a while now. In dog years I am 8. My chocolate lab India, lived to be 9. I hope that is not an indication I will be joining her any time soon. She was a great dog and could fetch rocks underwater. I once timed her holding her breath searching for a piece of marble in a stream, 23 seconds. Great lungs for a dog.

When I was 10 years old I began mowing the lawn at our home in IL. I knew that it took me exactly 17 minutes and 26 seconds. Give or take a few and also depending on how accurate my rows were. I ran my first mile in the 6th grade and it took me 7 minutes and 45 seconds. I could run to school in around 12. Catholic Mass lasted 42 minutes. I know, I was an altar boy. I once shot 56 carp from the river one summer with my bow. Instead of seconds that took days. Working as a letter carrier I could do my route in 5 hours and 12 minutes and still fill my ice cream fetish at Dairy Queen 3 times a day at an average stop of 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

I can't say I lived by a stopwatch but I will admit some obsession with it now and then.

I once told a friend that marathons take hours.

That a mile can take minutes.

That one step can take a second.

You can do that all day long and finish your race.

Respect is in the effort and not the time.

I ran a marathon not long ago. It was a miserable affair. All downhill. Crushing the quads for 20 miles and then hanging on for dear life the last 6 miles. At my age it is a sure thing that nature will call at the worst moments, and it did, 4 times." What the hell?" Seriously? But hey, I would rather feel better running with an empty bladder than hold it in and try to run fast. The price of those pit stops was 18 seconds depending on flow of course. With 6 miles to go my pace began to slow little by little.I was wilting in the heat and effort. The clock was ticking. Just give me a crib and let me crawl in and cry.

Every second counts.

Every step.

Every day.

My time was irrelevant but I was pleased to have qualified for my 6th Boston Marathon by 3 minutes and 10 seconds. Ahhhhh that was a relief.

I registered on-line the following week.

It took all of 2 minutes and 23 seconds.

I am notified a few days later.

Not this year bud. Sorry.

The cutoff time for all qualifiers is 3:23 across all age groups. This means you have to run that fast UNDER your qualifying time to get in.

I miss by 13 seconds.

13 seconds......

It could have been 1 or 2 seconds or 13 minutes but no just 13 seconds.

It takes me that long to write a sentence, to brush my teeth, to pour my coffee, to feed the cats and to tie my shoes.

13 seconds......

There will be other races, other marathons and another Boston someday.

I guess the moral of this story is, save your seconds, each one and don't drink to much coffee on race day.............................


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