Photo provided.

Photo provided.

Jack and Jill’s Downhill Marathon 2018

Two fat flies spin wacky spirals around my head and torso, like tiny sharks circling their prey. House flies vomit and poop when they land on you, but they don’t bite, and I have worse things to worry about, so I leave them to their fun. I’ve reached mile 20 of the Jack & Jill’s Downhill Marathon.

I’m feeling really rotten with six sure to be excruciating miles to go, so everything is bugging me. A pony-tailed young woman in navy shorts and a matching blue and white tank invades my personal space as she speeds by, continues for a couple of minutes, then walks.

As soon as I catch her, she starts running again. I just want her to go away and leave me to my pain.

In 1987, when I ran my first 26.2 miler, the Emerald City Marathon in Seattle, I gave in to the walk/run method during the final two miles.

Not only did I feel guilty every time I stopped to walk, the gap between my walk breaks and returns to running lengthened over every interval, which is why I ran a second marathon in the first place.

About mile 22, I pass a nearly dead man walking in his thirties who gives me the thumbs up sign, then returns to running, “I’m going to try to keep up with you,” (just trying to put one foot in front of the other here), “Except you’re going too fast,” (trying to ignore him in an energy-saving strategy), “My watch isn’t matching the mile markers.” (mine’s matching).

Finally, he fades, which is when I hear, for the first and only time, the lie that well-meaning spectators feel compelled to tell, “You’re almost there!” Argh!

• To read Julee Rudolf’s complete blog, go to https://juleerudolfblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/jack-jills-downhill-marathon-2018/

More in Life

Giraffe Heroes: Honoring those who do the right thing, regardless of obstacles

There aren’t any live giraffes in Langley, but the blue Giraffe Building… Continue reading

Journey into the African savanna

Disney’s The Lion King Jr. showing at Whidbey Playhouse through July 28

Share the shore during pup season, look but don’t touch seals

Advocates for marine mammals are making their annual pitch to beach watchers… Continue reading

Top 4-H student of the year reflects on experiences | Whidbey Island Fair

SWHS grad Camden Miller participated in the horse division for years, switched to cattle this year

All kids on deck: New park makes a splash

Children play in the cool water of the new splash park, Shipwreck… Continue reading

A chance to learn about Whidbey waters

Guided Beach Walks program an opportunity to spot wildlife, learn about ocean

Art & About | Whidbey Island’s July art events

• SECOND SATURDAY ART WALK at Historic GREENBANK FARM is 2-5 p.m.,… Continue reading

Patriotism on parade in Oak Harbor

American spirit was on proud display at Oak Harbor’s Fourth of July… Continue reading

Sweet treats to beat the heat

Fruity recipes from Bell’s Farm, Lavender Wind and Mutiny Bay Distillery

Radio Club holds annual Field Day

Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson and Island County Amateur Radio Club… Continue reading

Navy open house draws fans of all ages to Ault Field

Although the Navy’s presence is always visible around Oak Harbor, both on… Continue reading