Monday, December 6, 2010

To Run or Not To Run

On October 7th, Flutie Foundation Marathon Team Director Chris Chirco sent an email to all of Dougie's Marathon Team's past members inviting them to be a part of the 2011 team. See one former team member's amusing reply below:

Based on his chirpy invitation to join the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation’s Boston Marathon 2011 team, methinks our dear Christopher Chirco has never run a mile in his life, much less a marathon.

I think the e-mail should read a little something like this:

“It’s that time of year again! The sadists who organize Dougie's Marathon Team want to know if anyone who did it last year has recovered enough to take another crack at running their body into the ground.

Are you mad at your toenails? Want to punish ‘em and make them disappear? Watch your feet sprout blisters the size of an extra toe as you pound your feet mercilessly into the pavement in the name of training.

Ready to take this exciting opportunity to figure out which nasty, thick gel best fuels your overtaxed, dehydrated body but doesn’t make you bolt for the nearest filthy porta-potty? Better yet, learn how to slurp it out of a tin-foil package without dribbling it down your sweaty face.

Now’s your chance to commit to a running program created by Kenyans, for Kenyans. Run, leap, soar, and cry. Cry when your children ask you why you’re even doing this race when there isn’t a chance you’ll win it. Cry when the thermometer reads below freezing on the day of your long run. And cry, cry, cry as you watch your spiteful scale jump up a pound or two after spending a week putting more miles on your body than you did your car. (Kenyans apparently don’t carb load with Oreos.)

Run, don’t walk, to sign up for this internationally famous race - only to spend the better part of your spring cursing yourself.

Look forward to seeing you crawling up Heartbreak Hill!

Most Sincerely,
Chris Chirco.”

No thanks. Find some other schmuck to run this year.

And yet.

And yet I find myself considering running it again.

Of course there’s always the charity angle. If I ran for Dougie’s Team – which is realistically my only chance of stepping one blistered toe into Boston on race day since I surely don’t qualify for it – then I’ll be raising money for autism. Seeing as I have a son with autism it’s nearly a no-brainer. I could re-send the letter claiming how my training will be nothing compared to the struggles Jack faces every day. (I’m reluctant to admit that in my darkest, meanest hours of training last year autism looked pretty darn fun compared to running for 18 weeks straight. While I was lacing my sneakers over my screaming feet it was hard to ignore the image of all my children – Jack included – lingering over their Star Wars-shaped pancakes in their fuzzy pajamas. Frankly, his request for more syrup as I headed out the door seemed ungrateful.)

Raising money notwithstanding, the invitation to the Marathon has piqued my interest. Once again, I’m being offered a chance to participate in one of the most prestigious races in the world. And goodness knows I wouldn’t mind a second chance, a chance to do it better, faster, and with less visits to the porta-potty because of the pre-race Dairy Queen blizzard I mistakenly treated myself to last year.

Why, I’ll do it right this time! Better nutrition! No dairy! I’ll sprint cheerfully up the hills of Bedford and be sure to stretch afterwards. I’ll rest when I hear my body screeching in protest and push myself in moments of doubt. I will not complain to everyone at Saturday night’s party how I have to “run 18 miles before you even get out of bed tomorrow” as if I’m a member of the United States Army.

This time, in addition to autism, I’ll run it for myself.

Or not.

~Carrie Cariello
Member of Dougie's 2010 Marathon Team

Update on Carrie's decision - She did end up accepting the number only to have to change her mind due to a running-related injury just days later.