Thursday, June 12, 2008

the caffeine man

It's time for the first installment of fine Grandma's Marathon memories. Enjoy.

Part 1 - The Caffeine Man
I met the caffeine man while standing in the port-a-potty line at the Grandma's start. I didn't really meet him I guess. I experienced him.

For those of you who remember, '02 was the year that the start of the marathon was delayed 30 minutes due to really bad thunderstorms near the halfway point. Most of the conversation in port-o-john lines was centered around weather. There was one notable exception - the caffeine man.

He was in the next line over from mine. The guy was about 5' 10", skinny & spoke with what I think was a Texas accent. He was bouncing up & down and talking with his buddy, who was also from Texas. They weren't so much talking with each other - caffeine man was firmly in control of the conversation.

He talked about Minnesota accents (he thought we sounded 'neat'), storms, shoes, socks, anti-chaffing solutions, blister prevention and at least 30 other things in a span of 2 minutes. All the while he was jumping up & down like a kid on a pogo stick.

After a few minutes, the woman standing in line in front of him turned around & asked "What got in to you this morning?"

He quickly announced, "500 milligrams of pure caffeine, ma'm!"

For a sense of scale, that's 10 cups of black tea, 20 caffeinated GUs, or about 30oz of Caribou or Starbucks coffee. I'd like to call to your attention some other drugs that, like caffeine, end in 'ine'. Morphine. Codeine. Draw your own conclusions.

What really cracked me up was that he knew the exact dose! This dude was likely eating his morning bagel while reading the back of the No-Doze bottle. He probably said to himself "If 100 mg will wake me up, and 200mg will keep me up, 500mg will make me fast!" He then popped 5 pills, almost certainly against the advice of friends,loved ones, and the poison control center. I bet his wife has them on speed dial.

Not long after making his 500mg proclamation (like, maybe 20 seconds) the caffeine man turned to his Texas buddy & said "I can't handle standing still right now" and jogged off. They were one person from the front of the line.

I don't know whatever happened to the caffeine man. I would like to know if 500mg is still enough to fire him up before a race. If you told me he now snorts a few lines of powdered caffeine before a 5K, I'd believe you. I bet he has a big pile of it on his desk at work, a la Scarface.

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