Pretty fun little day on Sunday. Got things started with my daughter adding a couple of extra wake-ups Saturday night to make sure I was on full tilt. Wouldn’t want me going into this thing overly fresh now would we? This was of course after going to bed pissed off about the Ohio State football team who, coaches included, folded faster than the Danish in World War II against a half-shitty Nebraska team. I had everything ready to go and walked out the door in plenty of time. I could’ve walked to the Red Line and taken it to Jackson, then walked to the starting area. But I didn’t want to waste valuable leg strength, so I got a cab. When he pulled up he was ripping a butt. Ciggy smoke is like the top thing you want to inhale right before you run for 4 hours, at 6:30 a.m. The first thing I tell the Marlboro Man is that everything is closed, so he needs to go west, track north or south, then back east to Lake Shore Drive, where he can deposit me and I can take a short trek to the start. He nods his head in agreement, then proceeds to head due east into the first of 4 blocked roads. The blocked roads I told him would be blocked before we even left my building. Awesome part was, at each police blockade he would slam on the brakes like a baby had just crawled in front of the cab, and curse loudly in Farsi. Then he would, without heeding anything behind him, screech the tires in reverse and drive one block south, before heading east again into the next police blockade, again the same blockade I told him was most surely there to begin with. After the 4th attempt he looked at me with the exasperated face of the truly stupid person who doesn’t believe what is happening to them, even though the thing that is happening to them is by far and away the most probable-and in fact expected-outcome. So this fucktard drops me off at Grand and Wells, where I am forced to jog to the Red Line. Once underground, I realized I don’t have the proper change for the ticket. I proceed to the woman stationed in the kiosk, who wanted me to fuck off and in no uncertain terms die painfully for even requesting that she listen to me say something. I wanted change for a $10, given that I had only 2 $1′s and a $10, and the fare is $2.50. She could not believe I would have both the audacity and stupidity to make such a preposterous request. She had no intentions of humoring my request, and directed me “To a Walgreens or somethin’”. Luckily a police officer made change, and I was able to descend further into the bowels of Chicago, where of course the Red Line took its sweet assed fucking time arriving. By the time I exit at Jackson I am forced to not jog, but rather run to the starting corral, passing people pissing in the trees and bushes (including chicks). Although winded, chock full of anxiety, and thoroughly pissed the fuck off, I am happy to see that it is assholes-to-elbows in the starting corral. An added bonus is that 50% of the runners thought it folly to brush their teeth that morning. I was forced to endure nearly 20 minutes of stenching small talk about such compelling subjects as “We’re at the Chicago Marathon baby!” and “Where are you from?”. I knelt down to make a last-minute adjustment to my shoe laces, which is when I inhaled my first second-hand fart of the day. It was a heavy pea-soup fog of a fart, with a long finish. This person was not going to have a good day. I conservatively estimate that I inhaled approximately 873 farts by the end of the race.
And we’re off…..like a herd of turtles. It takes me 6 1/2 minutes just to get to the starting line. The temperature is already well into the 60′s which might not seem like a big deal to most. But when it is going to finish near 80 and you’re running for 4 hours, it fecking sucks. The fact that I cannot pee next to a tree with 1,000 onlookers (fuckin’ Puritan ancestors) results in me running the first 3 miles carrying around a gallon of piss. Once I relieved myself of that burden, things weren’t too bad. For a while. Then somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-17 miles, you leave the tree lined and building-shadowed streets behind for wide-open, sun-drenched boulevards on the near west and south side. And you are fucking hating it. It becomes the Bataan Death March, and you are most assuredly not the Japanese soldiers. Your thoughts begin to drift into the realm of darkness. You are no longer capable of positivity. I know there are people who claim that it makes them happy, in those moments when they are at the gates of hell. Those people are either lying, or they are crazier than a rat in a tin shithouse. From roughly mile 20 on, I was wishing destruction and pestilence on people. Not on certain individuals, but rather large groups of people. I wanted a population I’d never met to be struck by a natural disaster. I wanted children to discover there is no Santa Claus. I wanted Republicans to be forced to interact with black people. I wanted to laugh at the end of Old Yeller. I wished rain upon all parades and hoped that Mr. Potter finally got George thrown in prison. I no longer cared about the crowd or my fellow runners. I just wanted to drag my corpse across the finish and be done with the whole miserable affair. Alas my torment was over as some poor lass had to put a medal around my sweaty fucking neck and smell my death breath as I rasped “Thank You”. I did not proceed to the party area and claim my free 312 beer from Goose Island. In fact as I walked west across the Balbo bridge like an old man looking for a suitable place to die I encountered two men drinking their 312 victory beers. I asked them if it actually tasted good. They looked at me like I had a giant cock growing out of my forehead before one of them replied, “Dis izz dah best bier I’ve had in mye liife”. Great, as a final indignity I had two Germans thinking me a pussy of colossal proportions and wondering how in the fuck they ever let a country of teetotaling twats best them twice on the world stage.
And now home to celebrate my victory. I’m eating 7 burgers for lunch with 6 heavy beers, and then washing it down with a dinner pizza and two bottles of wine. Or at least that is what I threatened to no one during second half of the race. What really happened is that I was sick to my stomach and had a throbbing headache, so I ate some, but not much, and managed to choke down a total of 2.5 beers in approximately 8 hours. What a fucking stud. The Nazis at the finish were right to scorn me. I went to bed early and sober like a little bitch.
I will say this: It is an amazing feeling to be running the marathon and get passed in the first mile by some fat fuck who is on a sugar high from the pasta dinner he/she had at Maggiano’s (aka Chicago’s Olive Garden) the night before, with a fanny pack loaded to bursting with two dozen Power Shot Gels, only to fly by their bloated, cramping corpse 5 miles later as they realize they’ve no chance at finishing this thing still running. Way to take it easy on the start, Pork Chop.
Chicago Marathon, catch the FEVER!