On Patriots’ Day, that glorious Massachusetts and Maine−only holiday when two states get to bask in our New England eliteness while the rest of the country suffers a painstaking case of the “Mondays,” I undertook the most grueling task I have ever faced, one that promised to test — and likely break — my every will and push me to a breaking point never before experienced.
I ran the Boston Marathon.
Actually, that’s a lie. While friends — far physically and mentally stronger, and far more admirable than I, mind you — were trekking from Hopkinton to Boylston Street beneath a blistering April sun, I sat indoors and envisioned what it would be like to run the actual Boston Marathon. What follows is a running diary of my experience:
10:00 a.m. — Start of the elite women’s race. I am neither elite nor a woman by any stretch of the imagination. Given this newfound data, I probably should not be allowed at the starting line right now. For an international event, the Boston Marathon is extremely relaxed on security. Going to get a quick snack for some last−minute fuel before the starting gun fires for my wave in 40 minutes.
10:10 a.m. — Downed three soft tacos with sour cream from Chipotle. Their barbacoa is tops. The tortilla was slightly soggy.
10:36 a.m. — Officially lined up to begin my 2.62−mile−wait … the decimal goes WHERE?
10:40 a.m. — And we’re off!
10:41 a.m. — And I’ve fallen!
11:21 a.m. — Following a quick 40−minute pavement power nap, I’m back on my feet and ready to run.
11:32 a.m. — One mile down, and this is already getting boring. Really wish I had something to occupy my time on the run. Luckily, I’m carrying a backpack filled with hardcover editions of all seven Harry Potter books. We’ll start at the beginning…
11:34 a.m. — About to grab a cup of water from a beautiful volunteer beside the road. I think I’ll talk to her.
11:35 a.m. — Rejected pickup lines, part nine: “Want to see my Boston Marathong?”
11:39 a.m. — Hagrid just told Harry that he’s a wizard.
2:13 p.m. — Received word that the Red Sox lost to Tampa Bay at Fenway, 1−0. Pitcher Daniel Bard loaded the bases then walked Evan Longoria, scoring Sean Rodriguez as the Rays avoided a sweep on a day that manager Bobby Valentine called out Kevin Youkilis for a perceived lackadaisical effort. Both Longoria and Youkilis make millions of dollars each year. I take this as a sign that I too should be lazy and walk.
3:04 p.m. — Snape killed Dumbledore.
3:56 p.m. — I am roughly halfway through mile four, as I stopped in a Dairy Queen to read and pick up a DQ Caramel Delight Pie Blizzard. Did you know that you flip the Blizzard upside−down and the ice cream won’t fall out? These are the important things in life.
4:08 p.m. — Hailed a taxi and moved up a few miles. Had to exit in Natick because I spent my last three sock−quarters to put rainbow sprinkles on the Blizzard. Worth it.
4:20 p.m. — Another mile down. The time is 4:20. That means it’s time to smoke … the competition.
4:46 p.m. — At the halfway point just outside of Wellesley. Trees are a blur on the side of the road. I grab a cup of Gatorade at the next aid station. It is lemon−lime flavored. I hate lemon−lime.
6:41 p.m. — Ghost−riding a van to the finish line.
6:42 p.m. — Fans are chanting my name as I cross the finish line. Turns out that a homeless guy named Alex was chugging a gallon of milk down the road.
8:00 p.m. Back at Tufts, home in time to file my column and watch “Bones” on FOX. What a great show.