December 7, 2007
Well, it's here--this is marathon weekend. On Sunday morning, I will skip my churchly duties, and with a desperate prayer in my heart, I will run 26.2 miles with the ultimate goal of qualifying for the 2008 Boston Marathon.
The weather reports have been all over the place, and seem to be changing dramatically by the minute. A week ago, weather.com really got my hopes up. They told me that I could expect sunshine, rainbows, butterflies, and a high temperature of 65 degrees. There was a slight chance of the sun turning into a cartoonish smiley face, and the clouds breaking into spontaneous show tunes. I was really looking forward to it.
By the middle of this week, the weather wasn't looking quite so ideal. The forecast called for a high temperature of 78, high humidity and strong winds. It wasn't the perfect running weather, but it was the perfect spectator weather, so I was still feeling fairly optimistic about the whole ordeal. If I was extra hot and sweaty, so what. At least there would be friendly folks with signs, forty rockin' bands, goofy looking little boys ringing cowbells, and Snickers bars at mile twenty-one.
But the latest forecast could very well be the worst--60ish degrees at the start, with declining temperatures throughout the race, heavy rain, and a possibility of thunder and lightening.
So what does that mean for the runners? It means that we will get colder and wetter with every mile, and there's a strong possibility that a few of us will get our hair singed off by a stray lightening bolt. The band members will be sleeping, the Snickers man will be hiding, the spectators will be Christmas shopping, and the kids with cowbells will be forced to play inside.
So basically, the race festivities will consist of 15,000 runners, 15,000 disgruntled spouses, and my very enthusiastic friend Catherine cheering everyone on like a mad woman. If there are no bands, Catherine will sing. If there are no cowbell kids, Catherine will beat her chest like a female ape. And if there are no Snickers bars at mile 21, I'm sure that Catherine will do something to appease the athletes (remove her shirt, perhaps?).
So yes, I will admit that I'm kind of discouraged and a little bit disappointed. But I'm totally prepared, and I'm not at all afraid. On Sunday morning, at 8 o'clock central standard time, I will stand on the starting line--probably smelling like a wet dog--I will look Mother Nature bang in the eye, point my umbrella to the heavens and say "Bring it on you crazy, heartless ho-bag. BRING IT ON!"
I just hope that the woman standing next to me doesn't think I'm talking to her.