Are You there, God? It’s me, CJ. I need Your help. Lobsterman 2011 is 48 hours away and I’m as jittery as a crustacean on the counter when there’s a steaming pot on the stove.
True, I’m always antsy before a race. But this one has me even more bugged out than usual as it’s another “anniversary” for me; Lobsterman 2010 was my first-ever Oly (refresher: that’s a .93-mile swim, 25-mile bike and 6.2-mile run.) Like Marlborough 2011–the anniversary of my first tri of any distance–this weekend’s race has that back-to-the-scene-of-the-crime feel. I’m a little bit older, I hope a little bit wiser and a heck of a lot better trained. I’ve got something to prove although I’m not exactly sure what it might be.
Now, I know that the Bible says You know every star in the sky by name and how many hairs are on every human head, apparently including mine. (BTW, does that include my eyebrows? And if so, do you recount every time I pluck? And if yes, am I pissing you off with all my plucking?) You know I struggle with the implications of all that; between what’s going on in Libya, Somalia and right here in the US as we stare down the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I find it colossally hard to comprehend that You’d have cycles to spare on my second round with Da Lobstah.
I’ll keep working on that, and for the time being I’ll employ my willing suspension of disbelief to ask for a few favors as Race Day approaches.
Prayer Request #1:
Please let Daughter #1 not take advantage of my pre-race giddiness. By this I mean guide Emma to order something other than the most expensive lobster entree in all of Maine the night prior to the race. And if even You cannot restrain her, please let me realize some unexpected windfall by the end of the month so I can pay off the plastic.
Prayer Request #2:
Please let there be good weather. I beseech You: no white caps in Casco Bay, no torrential downpours to make the 3.3 miles of nonstop climbing on Pleasant Hill Road even less pleasant than they were last year. It’d really rock if You’d ensure the skies are slightly overcast and the temperature is around 58-61 degrees on the run. Should the wind start to whip, please have Jesus do an encore of that kickass “Quiet! Be still!” speech of his.
Prayer Request #3:
Please let me not suck. If the man who clobbered me in the head with his closed fist during the Mooseman swim leg is registered for Lobsterman, please by Divine Intervention create some last-minute reason he cannot attend, or if he does race, please work with the race director to ensure our waves are not contiguous. Open my eyes, dear Lord, so I see all potholes and bumps before my rented Zipp wheels find ’em, and remind me to remove my Garmin from its bike mount before I start running towards Run Out. Give my hands strength so they don’t drop the water cups I am handed before I drink or drizzle their contents on my overheating head.
Prayer Request #4:
Should You opt to not grant #3, please cancel Prayer Request #2. If I do indeed suck, please, please, please send another hurricane, another earthquake, another flash flood—the calamity of your choice. No loss of life or property damage this time, please–just send enough weather-related insanity that I can safely blame my poor performance on it.
Prayer Request #5:
Please let me not run into my old flame (my old mini flame? old flickering candle?) in Transition. Remember my two-race beau, the one who told me I was “The One” then ditched me the Thursday before Marathon Monday? Via cell phone? Of course You do, being all-knowing as You are. Well, aside from a brief sighting at Mooseman (I artfully avoided it escalating to an actual verbal exchange), and a flurry of apologetic texts, emails and even snail mail (I deleted the electronic ones and recycled the paper ones) I’ve successfully avoided any contact since that ridiculous cell phone call. If indeed his race calendar and mine align, please let him look doughy and heinously fat and act as if we never met. OK, so the “doughy” part is highly unlikely, since he seven weeks ago finished Ironman Lake Placid in a time that I’ll begrudgingly admit was respectable. Perhaps instead You could send some locusts to follow his Felt? Or enable me to smoke him on the bike or chick him at the finish line? Any of those would be truly epic.
And last but not least…
Prayer Request #6:
Please grant me either: A). a good hair day or B). a mother who keeps her mouth shut, whichever is easier.
Since my hair is the shortest it has ever been, I’m betting “A” is the easier of the two miracles to pull off but I leave it in Your hands 😉
Now, You know I couldn’t care less about what my hair looks like. However, I was apparently not cut from the same cloth as my mother. When I gleefully showed her this triumphant finish line photo from Lobsterman 2010, her first words were not, “Oh! I’m so proud of you!” or “You look so happy!” No, no, no…instead her response was:
“What on Earth happened to your hair? You look like Bozo the Clown!”
While “The Bozo Comment of 2010” has become a funny part of every athletic event I’ve undertaken since (my girls greeted me at the finish line of the Boston Marathon wearing “Bozo the Clown Mom” masks—kid you not), I’m thinking it’d be a nice change of pace to have that not be part of my 2011 experience.
To recap, I’m asking for a fiscally responsible kid, good weather, a non-sucky performance, locusts waiting in the wings and a muzzle for my mother. (Who, btw, religiously reads my blog. Sorry for the public flogging, Ma! But you kind of deserve it! Love you! Thanks for watching Sam while I race!)
Thanks for listening, God. See Ya in Casco Bay.