Contrary to popular belief, running isn't a common subject of conversation around the workplace. For one, very few of my colleagues run. Those that do are in it more for fitness and weight control than as a way to test physical limits. For another, since I deal mostly with obese kids and teens throughout the day, most of my patients and their families would probably define marathon as a long drawn-out movie or TV show. So imagine my surprise when this morning, in the middle of a highly stimulating and intellectual Grand Rounds presentation on the genetics of autism, a colleague that I didn't know well suddenly turns to me and whispers "Hey, aren't you running Boston next week?"
"Uh...no!" I whispered back.
"Oh, why?" He continues, with a surprised wrinkle on his face.
Before I could think of a suitable explanation, someone in back shushes us, bringing about an abrupt end to the conversation.
I didn't think too much of the previous interaction until it repeated itself again a few hours later. This time it's one o'clock and I am in a jam-packed elevator with patients, nurses and doctors all waiting to go on a lunch break. In between floors, one of the doctors in another department who I didn't know but obviously knew me asked loud enough for all to hear "So you're going up to Boston this weekend for the big race?"
"Not really. I'm not running Boston this year." I said.
"Really? That's sad. Why not?"
"C'mon dude. You seriously want me to hit the emergency brake and give you my exhaustive list of reasons for why I'm not running Boston this year. You really want to know that badly?" That's what I should have said. Instead, my mind drew a blank and I gave a lame-ass excuse that I'm running a marathon next month instead. The doors opened, he left and I felt like an invisible jackass the rest of the day.
Seriously, I had no idea so many people around the hospital had such a vested interest on my not running the Boston Marathon next Monday. Maybe I missed a memo. If I did, I would have taken my time, drafted a suitable response and printed them out as flyers to hand out to all the department heads. In actuality, it would have looked a little something like this:
Top Ten Reasons Why I'm NOT Running the Boston Marathon
10. Because I haven't any practice chugging beer at mile 20 on any of my 22 mile long runs
9. Because some Red Sox fan might want Buckner's ball back and kidnap a Mets fan for ransom.
8. Because I'm waiting on my Queens homie, Kara Goucher, to make a triumphant return. (Both of us ran our best times in NYCM '08, and Boston '09. Just sayin')
7. Because you gotta fall in love before you experience Heartbreak again.
6. Because last year's celebration jacket is way cooler.
5. Because I'm boycotting this race on behalf of all my friends who qualified late and got shut out of registration. (So completely unfair!)
4. Because running a marathon PR in Boston (and not NY) would cause my brother (a Yankees fan) to completely disown me.
3. Because running two Bostons instead of just one might give me a swell head.
2. Because I haven't yet forgotten how much the Newton Hills suck!
1. Because it's not New York!
Best of Luck to everyone who IS running Boston next week. May you all have great weather, awesome races, and very speedy times! I'll be cheering you on virtually with a simulcast of the race in the background in between patients. Have fun out there! Rock on Boston Marathoners!