HERE WE GO 'ROUND THE HIGH SCHOOL TRACK,
Yes. I did it. 105.5 laps. In Ohio.
What I learned on my winter vacation: Ohio's January differs from Miami's January. By, say, 40 degrees. This morning in Vandalia the mercury registered 19 degrees—Fahrenheit—with extra chilling breezes of 5–10 mph at no extra cost. This kind of event, under these conditions, evidently attracts people who strongly want to complete a marathon, or whose brains are already too frozen to grasp the realities, or both.
Sitting in my toasty warm rental car I deliberated for 10–15 minutes whether to do this. Finally I made the decision with just enough time to register and line up with the frozen few. Each participant keeps count of her/his own laps. Every hour, RD Denny Fryman rings a bell; we finish the current lap and then reverse direction for the next hour.
At halfway I still thought I might actually pull negative splits. Duh—Miami Boy hadn't yet understood how much of an effect the cold would have on my muscles, though sensibly layered. I felt adequately comfortable, but my muscles never could actually warm up. So I couldn't get up to speed.
Good thing I brought two PowerBars and a half-gallon of Tropicana; the event provided only water. During miles 14–15 I had to try to work out problems with my new TEC prosthetic liner. During miles 16–17 I flirted with the prospect of quitting; evidently rationality tried to chip through the ice layer now surrounding my brain.
During mile 24 or 25 I began feeling increasingly painful abrasion on my stump. Finally I discovered that the TEC liner had actually broken. Nooo—hardly more than a single mile to go, but that's enough to blister myself badly—and yet I couldn't drop out at THIS point, so close to finishing.
Then I remembered that I had my everyday prosthesis in my car. It's far bulkier than I'd want for doing a full marathon, but I can certainly knock off a mile in it. I hobbled out to the parking lot, changed legs, and returned to complete my certified distance. Yes!
By the time I finished, the mercury had risen into the nice, cozy low 30's. Matching my IQ.