Good morning from
Massachussets Masachusets Massachusetts, a state I still can't type without doing a Google-assisted spell check. Did you mean Massachusetts? Yeah, that's the one. I'm sitting in an overpriced, underappointed hotel trying to smooth the pillowcase creases out of my forehead and obsessively counting the hours until tomorrow's Boston Marathon. I'm running this thing for the second year in a row because I enjoy both a sense of accomplishment and severely chafed nipples. I'm getting ready to go scarf a pair of Dunkin Donuts, pick up my number, and get a handy typewritten list of ways I can die during the race but first...
Five Quick Things:
1) Traveling yesterday was liberally doused with Unpleasantness, mainly because I didn't gobble my normal pre-flight anti-anxiety meds, lest they interfere with my highly tuned Diet Coke-and-Cakester fueled training plan. I spent a pair of flights shaking, twitching and picking at my eyelids while the man in Seat 3B gave me the mile-by-mile replay of the 112 Boston Marathons he's done before. I'm not down with generalizations but runners tend to be intolerable when they meet other runners and this guy was no different. He had the healthy complexion of a dried apricot and cheeks hollow enough to hold my winter clothing and--somewhere between one-sided explorations of his pulled hamstring or his plantar warts--I noticed that he was wearing a t-shirt that said "RUN LIKE AN ANIMAL". I assumed that meant "on all fours and in pursuit of prey", so I debated whether to throw my pair of USAirways-issued peanuts into the aisle to see if he'd chase it. Instead, I nodded politely before excusing myself to hide in the bathroom.
2) Since I didn't really pack anything other than my running shoes and my Snuggie, my bag was small enough to cram in the overhead bin. The downside? TSA confiscated my hair gel because and--I'm quoting here--it appeared to have been "tampered with", it looked "suspicious", and I had to "surrender" it. I tried to argue my case by pointing out that the only thing suspicious about it is why a land-locked kid like me would smear her head with something called "Surf Hair". The man in the blue vest didn't budge, dropping it in a plastic bin where it landed with a muffled thud. Obviously a stop at CVS is on the agenda today because I can't be seen in public unless my hair is a carefully constructed mess of matted peaks.
3) As if dragging our carcasses the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to the Common isn't painful enough, Boston hotels enjoy adding to the misery by quadrupling their room rates. I'm staying in a place that falls between "discarded refrigerator box" and "kidnapper's basement" on the luxury scale, but the three nights I'll be sleeping here are pricier than the FIVE I spent in a hotel in London, where the linens weren't made of a shoddily woven combination of pollen and gravel.
My room is the definition of basic, co-starring the aforementioned itchy sheets , an unfortunate-looking armchair, and a bedside shelf bolted to the wall. Oddly enough, there's also a collection of reference books in here, ranging from Fenway Fiction--an anthology of Red Sox-related short stories--to a thick volume simply called FACTS. They must know that I plan on spending a lot of time in the bathroom. This morning I learned the names of Latvia's former presidents.
I'm also distressed that there's just a small shower--one without a bathtub--especially since I was counting on a post-race soak. This means I either transported this carton of Epsom salts up the eastern seaboard for nothing or I'm going to have to flood the lobby.
4) Speaking of the Sawx, I'll be at the game this afternoon. Here's hoping Jon Lester's left arm looks better than it has so far this season.
Confidential to Jon Lester: After the game, would you like to share my Snuggie? What if I told you I could list the national holidays of Vanuatu?
5) I'm nervous, yo. Without boring you with the details, my training wasn't quite as stellar as it was last year. I missed a handful of workouts because of travel or our disgusting wet winter and I honestly just don't feel that sharp. My times were always slower, the workouts felt harder, and I have no idea what to expect tomorrow. I'm trying to be optimistic that I won't be openly weeping by the sixteen mile mark but--at the same time--I don't want to get disappointed when I get passed by a runner wearing a costume. Or pushing an oxygen tank.
OK. I'm out to roam through the Race Expo, which promises to be a crowd of people with prominent rib cages and oversized calves. There will be more from me later, perhaps tonight when I liveblog all the reasons I can't sleep.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Good morning from