Tuesday, April 21, 2009

High on my list of "things I wouldn't do unless being chased"

Yesterday we went to watch the Boston Marathon. Despite the fact that we've lived in the Boston area for almost eight years now, we've never been to the Marathon. We've never been to a Red Sox game, either, though. I suspect we're failing miserably at integrating into the Boston culture.

Anyway, it was very exciting because my cousin qualified for the race this year. So we went to cheer him on. Things I learned in this, my first marathon:

1) Traffic is horrific anywhere near the race route. We've always steered well clear of the race area in previous years. It took us almost twice as long to get to the race as we thought it would. In fact, we got there just after the press trucks drove by.

2) Ten gazillion people watch the marathon. If you're not there early, you're not getting a good viewing area. At least not without walking far further than would be recommended with three year old twins. Arriving when the press trucks are going by is not "there early".

3) A crap load of people run this race. When I think "marathon", I think oh, 10 or 12 insane people. Turns out it's a giant convention of insane people. Okay, fine, I knew a lot of people run the Boston Marathon. It's just hard to imagine the sheer volume of runners that go by. I've watched a number of other races in my day, and I've never seen anything like this.

4) My facial recognition abilities are completely worthless. Not only was my cousin running, but so was my neighbor from when I was growing up. Did I see either of them go by? Nope! And I know they both did, as they both finished the race. In my defense, though, there were just huge constant packs of runners, and you couldn't really see anyone running toward the other side of the street. Perhaps it's because we were watching at about mile ten. Maybe things spread out further toward the finish line?

5) Because the cheering sections along the road were so crowded, you couldn't really look ahead at who was coming as ridiculously tall people were next to us, blocking our view of the upcoming racers. Watching people run by directly in front of you for an hour or so actually makes me kind of motion sick.

6) It's tiring to cheer for an hour. Yes, I just complained about how one hour of cheering (and watching insane people run) tired me out. Clearly actually running 26 miles would not be something I'd be up for.

7) Despite the fact that I believe marathon runners are probably certifiable, I was kind of touched and amazed at these insane people who get out there and run, either to raise money for a cause (it was nice to see so many people wearing shirts for the charities they were running for), or just to prove that they could do it. So congrats to all you marathon runners. I'm impressed!


Heather said...

yes, we marathon runners are certifiable. :)

but, it is actually quite a wonderful experience, knowing that you can push yourself to accomplish something so difficult. :)

LauraC said...

Thank you! I am definitely certifiable!

Do you want to hear the stupidest idea ever? I was living in SF (pre-husband, pre-bebes) and heard the LA Marathon was on my birthday. So I decided to run it. Trained for a year to make it.

Advice: never, ever run 26.2 (it's the point 2 that will kill you) miles on your birthday. It is quite possibly the worst birthday present you can give yourself.

I cried when I cross the finish line bc I was just so very happy to stop running.

But the upside is that running a half marathon 10 years later seems like such an easy thing to do! And I cried again bc I was SO PROUD that my boys were cheering for ME!!!!!

(I put all the exclamation points on there bc I know you LOVE THAT!!!!)

Urban Earthworm said...

Ha, I love this post. I feel the same way about marathon runners! I just don't get it, and I know a LOT of them. I esp. like #6.

Just came across your blog (you roll called right near me at SITS), and I'm looking forward to exploring it more!

Nancy said...

LOL!! I totally laughed out loud at #6...sounds very much like something I'd say :)

You guys should TOTALLY go to the Spinners game with the twins club...Burke is still talking about it from last year and can't wait for the one this year. And it's a LOT less expensive than a Sox game. (Might help with that culture integration thing ;) )

Susan said...

Great post....I like #6 as well. I respect runners because not only do I hate it, I couldn't do it ;) You have never been to a Boston Red Sox game??? I guess I ask just because I love baseball ;)

Jeanne Estridge said...

I've watched my daughter in the Columbus Marathon a couple of times -- same traffic issues (though much less, of course) but at least you can pick out individual runners.