Yesterday was five weeks to go until Boston Marathon 2013. Why on a Monday? Because Boston is ridiculous and refuses to acknowledge that Patriot’s Day isn’t a real holiday.
So, I was going to write this post yesterday, but I had writing to do for getting paid — though, not like I have that much of that right now, so if you want to pay me to write a book collection of witty personal essays, let me know. With five weeks to go, we’re in the midst of super serious training. That kind of training, combined with general what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life stress, and the whole being sad about the best cat ever dying, has prompted lots of spontaneous crying and laying on the couch watching Law and Order: SVU reruns (because regular Law and Order is dumb, obvs).
Last Thursday was that workout from hell, which someone really should have warned me was going to be that hard. And, then, this past Sunday was a much more normally hard workout — biking, followed by long amounts of running at marathon pace — which I killed, which is why it was totally ok that the only things I got done this weekend were: help at high school track meet, write article, reorganize clothing drawers, workout.
I’m definitely where I need to be, fitness-wise. I’ve been feeling strong enough in workouts, I almost don’t care how I run at the race. Almost. But, not really.
Today, Rachel pointed out that bib numbers for The Race are out. I am in Wave 1, Corral 9. I don’t know what that means exactly because The Race does not believe in providing information about things like waves or corrals or schedules or shuttles. I’m assuming eventually someone will also point me in the right direction of the bus to the right start time.
So, why do Boston? If it’s crazy crowded (like the above picture) and short on details and over-hyped as The Only Race That Matters, what’s the big deal? There are plenty of people who just don’t want any part of that and I get it — though for me those questions are more apt when it comes to Kona.
Reasons Not to Do Boston:
- It is a scene. And, who likes scenesters.
- It’s a lot of money to sign up, to fly there, to get a hotel when hotel prices are going to be high, to take off of work, to rent a car if you need to get around from your hotel to the start, which as far as I can gather is not in the same place as the finish.
- You will, at some point in the training and getting there and participating in the scene and racing process, feel bad about yourself. It is inevitable. And, really, isn’t there enough opportunity to feel bad about yourself at other points in life.
- Because, in some larger sense, you don’t believe in the monetization and privatization of sport, which is at it’s essence a thing that can not be monetized. And, who are these people to judge what is and is not a good time. I don’t agree with the specific time line they have drawn in the qualification process. It is not the line I would have drawn, so it’s arbitrariness has no value to me. It means nothing. But, at the same time, I feel for those people for whom it does mean something, who chase the BQ (because Boston Qualifier has even created it’s own acronym, so sanctified has the goal become) as if it, in itself, is the only goal, constantly feeding the marathon beast with money and time and hotels and flights and coaches and equipment and doctors. Though, yet again, these criticisms are more aptly leveled at Ironman and Kona.
Reasons to Do Boston:
- “The experience.” Which is really just another way of saying: It’s a scene.
- If you are like me and you’re not sure how long you’ll be into this whole running thing, before losing interest or going back to triathlon or trying something new, but right now you are, then why not do it while you can. You might as well cross off one of the must-do races once. How can you have an opinion if you never try it?
- And, anyway, it’ll be a whole vacation. And, Steve has never been to Boston and he’s actually into shit like The Freedom Trail, whereas I found myself constantly wondering why none of the founding fathers felt the need to walk us past some restaurants or shops. Of course, now, Steve can’t come, so hopefully some other friends are able to make it and I’m not just by myself wandering around Newbury Street, because that is typically when I end up spending absurd amounts of money on things I don’t need.
- Because there is something to be said for all agreeing that ‘the best’ will come to one place and duke it out. And, don’t you want to know how you’ll stack up. Isn’t that, underneath the money and the bragging rights, what it’s all about.
- It’ll be fun.
Five weeks to go. Let’s get down to race weight (which requires that I stop drinking a bottle of wine every other night), push through the next three weeks of training, and get ready to run. Oh, and let me know if you’ll be there, because I hate sitting by myself in the cafeteria while everyone else enjoys the scene.