When I woke up in the hospital a year ago, I had no memory of being a runner, let alone my own name. That I had been in a half marathon was a strange and extraordinary thing to imagine. As I laid there in the hospital bed, I pictured myself running, painted out all the details of what it must have been like. I pictured a wide straight open road, in full sunlight, running down the center, wearing all purple and black with a white visor, because that seemed right, and we were all running quite fast, and it was very hot, and there were so many people. I was able to keep my false memories of my half marathon long after I regained my real memories of that race, which was on a small windy lake shore bike path, with trees and very few spectators.
So you can imagine my surprise when, yesterday, running in a half marathon, I realized that it was an exact replica of my false memory. Except in the false memory, I fell, in the middle of the swarm of runners, and they weaved around my body. Coming up on the ten mile mark, realizing all of this, I said, out loud, walk, walk, walk. So I did, for ten seconds. And while I still ended up on a stretcher at the finish line, I was alive. Thank you, false (true) memory.