WEATHER: Gorgeous and autumnal, once again.
MILES THIS WEEK: 8.5
WHERE TO: Georgetown, around that general area, back.
My dear readers, I don’t ask you for much. I put up my posts and I hope you read them and derive some form of enjoyment. I occasionally nuzzle your neck at night when I’m feeling lonely. But now I ask you to sit there and nod understandingly as I explain to you that THE G.D. BOSTON MARATHON SOLD OUT IN ONE EFFING DAY AND EVEN THOUGH I DUTIFULLY LOGGED ON AT 9 A.M. THE SITE WAS DOWN AND BY THE TIME I GOT BACK ON THAT AFTERNOON IT WAS SOLD OUT, GODDAMMIT SO I WILL STOMP AROUND IN MY STRIPEY KNEE SOCKS AND YELL AND THROW MY BOWL OF FROZEN BROCCOLI AT THE WALL WHILE MY HOUSEMATES ROLL THEIR EYES AND WAIT FOR THE TANTRUM TO PASS HOLY FREAKING KNICKERBOCKERS WHY AM I YELLING.
Anyway. I figured that I should follow the ages-old adage: when life hands you lemons, write a rage-filled-yet-semi-educational blog post.
I will write you all the greatest blog post ever. Yes, I will. Siddown.
You see, everyone, it’s time to get superpumped because in seven days’ time it will once again be the long-awaited MARINE CORPS MARATHON!!! And furthermore, everyone’s favorite Alaskan, the Mountie, is going to be running it as well. I’m excited, she’s excited, we’re all twitching in our britches about how sheerly amazing it’s going to be.
And while (a) neither the Mountie nor I are marathon virgins, and (b) I had originally intended to write a flaaaaamingly angry blog post directed at the Boston Athletic Association, full of naughty words and photos of me giving my Macbook camera the finger, I figured I’d fill the world instead with happiness and fun and inspiration and kittens. So instead of fuming and raging, I am here to give you…
Inspirational Stories of First Marathons!
Because I know a lot of you are non-runners, but that doesn’t mean I can’t convert you with real, true-life tales of endurance and conquering pain and blisters and delirium and incontinence.
Inspirational Story #1: Roberto Phillips — Beattyville, Kentucky
Roberto was a 59-year-old worker at a battery plant in Kentucky and was steadily growing more and more ill due to the toxins in his system from hears of working in such an intensely alkaline environment. But batteries are apparently luxury goods in this economy, so due to lagging revenue, he got fired. And while he no longer had toxins leaching into his system, he also no longer had a job or benefits to pay the medical bills for his bad back from standing on the line 9 hours a day since the Carter administration.
But then one day he saw that beautiful young redheaded girl from down the road trotting out on old Route 9, and old Roberto thought to himself, “How carefree she looks! Perhaps this can solve all of my life’s problems!”
And as one might expect, running completely solved his problems. Roberto began running every day, and his fellow townspeople, inspired by Roberto’s newfound athleticism, pooled what little extra money they had and bought him food and clothing for the next few months of his training, and also paid his way into the Marine Corps Marathon, and Roberto and his wife traveled to great Washington, DC, where Roberto ran a 2:24, and his story made it into the Washington Post. President Obama heard of Roberto and called him up after the race. “Let me be clear,” said the President. “You are an inspiration to us all. Please come be my goodwill ambassador to Kentucky. I will pay you $600,000 a year and also give you some really nifty ballpoint retractable ‘White House’ pens.”
In addition, Roberto and his wife rekindled their patriotism and their passion for each other on this trip, and Roberto’s nagging back pain and also that weird, misshapen, steadily growing mole that had been on his right shoulder for years…well, glory, hallelujah, they were CURED! When reached by the Washington Post reporter for comment, Roberto said, “Running truly saved my life.”
“Journalistic GOLD!” screamed the reporter. That issue of the Post sold 50 million copies, and helped revive print journalism across the U.S.
Inspirational Story #2: Tracey Thompson — Council Bluffs, IA
Tracey Thompson was a 42-year-old, 310-pound woman with a truly major case of Type-II Diabetes. Her annoyingly fit younger sister had been bounding around in spandex for years, telling her about marathoning and how it can truly change your life for the better. Tracey usually scoffed and settled in for 5 more episodes of “Two and a Half Men.”
But then Tracey’s doctor sat her down one day and said, “You essentially have Betty Crocker Funfetti SuperWhipped frosting sludging through your veins.” And that is when Tracey put down the pre-cooked bacon and wiped the blue-razz slushy flecks out of her hair and said, “I’ma run a MARATHON!”
“You’ll ruin your knees,” said the doctor.
“BLAMMO!” yelled Tracey, skipping gaily out the door, the exam robe fluttering open for all to see.
The doctor picked up a discarded piece of bacon and chewed it thoughtfully.
Meanwhile, Tracey signed up for a marathon 6 months away and set out to train. It was difficult, to be sure, and she passed out a few times. But she also used the experience to raise funds for fighting against obesity and Type II diabetes, which kept her focused. And the good, inspirational moments in the long run outweighed the bad, and after an inspiring half-a-year of training that would have made an AWESOME Biggest-Loser-style montage with the right music and slo-mo camerawork, Tracey was 160 pounds lighter and in the best shape of her life.
Needless to say, when she bounded across the finish line with a smile on her face and a spring in her step, Tracey threw her fists in the air and yelled, “DIABETEEEEESSSS!” and the crowd cheered.
And glory, hallelujah, dear readers, Tracey’s diabetes was CURED reasonably manageable for the rest of her life.
Inspirational Story #3: Fiona Weeblehawken — Portland, OR
Fiona Weeblehawken, 28, had been a runner all her life, and was the 10-K and half-marathon CHAMP of Oregon. But to be honest, she was just so mad that she could spit, because here she was running these freaking incredible times and NOT GETTING ON THE COVER OF Gorgeous Oregon Running Babes because, you see, Fiona had a pretty bad case of psoriasis, and apparently airbrushing out the scaly pinkish areas was just too hard. Which is a shame, because skin issues aside, Fiona really had it going on.
One day, Fiona’s dermatologist was saying that maybe she needed a new type of cream, because he was at his wits’ end.
“No, dude, I’m gonna run a MARATHON!” she said.
“Doesn’t that ruin people’s knees?” he said.
“BLAMMO!” she said, putting down her precooked bacon and bounding out the door.
The doctor chewed on the bacon pensively and wondered how she would ever get her prescription now.
Inspirational Story #4: Craig Buchanan — Philadelphia, PA
The young men of Pi Kappa Chi were at the start of the Philadelphia marathon, hung over and chuckling like nitwits.
“Oh my GOD look at these runner people what a bunch of SUCKERS,” they said. “These hot chicks could expend that energy ANOTHER WAY, you know what I’m saying?” said one.
“Yeah, dude…SEXUALLY!” said another.
“In my BED!” said the first, and they chest-bumped.
The gun went off. The waves of runners went by. Suddenly, young Craig Buchanan was struck by the beauty of athletic competition and the intensity on the runners’ faces. He stripped off his sweatshirt and handed his Solo cup to his buddies.
“Whatcha doin’?” they said.
He stepped over the barrier without responding and took off, ready to show the world that he was READY FOR SOMETHING NEW.
“Dude?” said his bros.
Craig ran and ran and ran, and then, having gone about 100 yards, turned back, grabbed his Solo cup of PBR again and then his buddies’, and drained them all, one by one.
“Right ON!” yelled the frat boys, a little disheartened at having lost their beer, but excited that Craig had finally found a pasttime that didn’t involve the liquor luge or the International Male catalog.
“Penn Staaaate!” he yelled. “Penn flipping State WHAT WHAT WHAT!!!”
He barreled past the timing gate a mere 1.5 hours later. Unfortunately, this was the timing gate at mile 6. He then collapsed and rubbed his stomach sorrowfully, thus worsening his already pretty awful vomit-on-the-t-shirt situation.
“Nittany LIONS,” he muttered, thrusting a fist into the air.
The young men of Pi Kappa Chi nodded approvingly.
Inspirational Story #5: Fiona again.
Fiona had worked her ass off. She had trained. She had used every skin cream known to mankind. And she ran a good, steady 7:00 pace for much of the course.
Until mile 26.
Which is where the wheels came off. Now she would never be a Gorgeous Oregon Running Babes centerfold.
Fiona, now lying on her right side on the asphalt and shivering with exhaustion, rolled over and saw the finish line a mere 200 feet away.
“Get up,” said the voice in her head. “Get. Up.”
I can’t, said her chafed legs and blistered feet and sticky hair, from when she accidentally doused herself in Gatorade instead of water at mile 14.
“You can,” said the voice in her head. “Think of the children. Think of the children with psoriasis.”
And lo, Fiona got to her hands and knees.
Then she got up to just her knees.
Then she dropped to her hands and knees again as she again regurgitated profusely on the asphalt, and then she slowly and shakily stood and hobbled down the road. “PSORIASISSSSSS!” she yelled.
A man at the side of the road began clapping slowly. The man next to him joined in, and then a woman, and then a few small children, and soon the entire road was lined with people cheering for this one, pale, blotchy woman who slowly hobbled across the finish line, where she collapsed and giggled deliriously and may or may not have soiled herself.
The medics put her onto a stretcher. “Ma’am? Ma’am? Can you hear me?” said one medic.
Fiona beckoned him closer as she whispered.
The medic bent his ear closer to hear how he could help, but all he caught was the phrase “itchy red patches.” He shrugged and ate a strip of precooked bacon.
(Epilogue: Gorgeous Oregon Running Babes finally heard of Fiona’s story, including the fact that the $200 she raised for psoriasis was the largest amount ever raised for the disease, ever, in the history of mankind. They invited her over for a photo shoot in her singlet and skivvies and informed her that she would be featured on their website. This was a lie, but she wasn’t a subscriber anyway, so they figured she wouldn’t check, and she didn’t. Everyone went home happy. BLAMMO!)