Sunday, April 12, 2009

Why I'm Running The Boston Marathon: Part 1

Countdown to the Boston Marathon (my first): One Week

In mid January, I found myself running around Castle Island in South Boston at sunrise, on a morning when the temperature dipped well below zero. It was dark, with only faint splashes of orange, the color of campfire embers, alighting the skyline opposite Logan Airport. Castle Island, it should be said, is not actually an island, as in a land mass surrounded by water. Instead, it’s a small bay, encircled by a footpath that typically draws throngs of runners, walkers, bikers, and loiterers. This morning, however, I am alone—save for some construction workers at Conley Terminal, who, when they glimpse me struggling to negotiate my way over sheets of ice, are barely able to conceal their shaking heads and incredulous expressions that all but say, “WTF are you are thinking, lady? It's freezing out here!”

Not that one could even discern that I belong to the female gender, dressed the way I am, buried beneath layers of fleece and wearing a knitted Red Sox hat down low over my brow. Admittedly, I more closely resemble a crazed and desperate bank robber on the lam rather than a lucid 20-something (OK, “late” 20-something) woman forgoing much needed hours of sleep in favor of a treacherous run through ice-encrusted streets, with a blustery ocean breeze to boot. Seriously . . . WTF am I thinking! Then, it dawned on me, there, at dawn, in Southie.

Maybe I should have experimented with drugs as a teenager.

I'm not kidding. This thought really crossed my mind. Why else would I be engaging in such ill-advised, half-witted behavior as running along the ocean, in the dark, when the wind chill could easily freeze my face off, and the roads are so slick I am almost certain to break an ankle? Surely, I would be home, warm and toasty in bed (like all the normal, well-adjusted adults), had I shaken this reckless streak in my youth.

So, there it was. The way I saw it, I could either start dabbling in the usage of illegal substances to fill what I speculated was some need for crazy, risk-seeking behavior OR sign up to run the Boston Marathon, a punishing course with a daunting (read: cold and icy) training schedule, particular for a first-timer. See, when you're "in training" for something, you can justify your insanity a bit. Plus, there's no chance of incarceration with marathon training (as opposed to drug use). Put simply, I have zero time for a prison sentence. Unless inmates are permitted to maintain blogs . . . Anyone? In which case, I could probably get A LOT of writing done.

To be continued (for now, I need some sleep; I suspect zombie yoga bloggers don't fare well on race day).


YogaforCynics said...

Having experimented with drugs as a teenager...actually conducted long term research...I can say that I ended up finding better, healthier crazy risk-seeking behaviors. One of those was hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, on which I met many fellow "thru-hikers" who had to quit because of problems with their legs...practically all of which could be traced back to sports injuries in high school or college. I thought "thank god I spent my adolescence getting fat in front of the T.V.!"

Best wishes for the marathon.

Om Gal said...

Bahahaahha. Brilliant. Thank God someone caught my attempts at irony. And, btw, I ALWAYS wanted to be the type of doctor who could explain Faulkner to you while you die, except I'd opt for Shakespeare. Thank you for reading, commenting, and wishing me well on the marathon. Are you just saying that because you're a cynic, and you think I might not live through my first 26.2-mile attempt?