Oh, what the hell, I'm going to run the NYC Marathon. Am I physically ready? Heck, no. But
there is no crying when you run in the Big Apple, or at least not until you finish. Mentally,
I'm locked in. I'm going to make this one of the best days of my life. I never intended to run
a marathon when I started my Forest Gump training program nine months ago. I was just
looking to lose some serious weight.
But here I am. Can't wait to run, see the sights, hear the sounds, and experience the adrenaline
rush that comes with running on the streets of the greatest city in the world. Sorry, Boston.
You are hands down the best sports town in the country, but nothing beats New York for
MY NYC MARATHON PREPARATIONS BY THE NUMBERS
48, 142. That's about the number of people that will be running with me, ahead of me, and
behind me. If the New York Mets ever sold out Citifield, that's about how many
of people will be running in this thing. Hope everybody remembers to roll on that
19, 178 According to STATS, inc., Nate Silver, and the random number I picked out of my
gluteus maximus, that is where I'm going to finish in the race. Check the New York
Times on Monday for the results. It'll be the last time I'll be in that great paper until
my obituary is printed. Hope they don't happen to occur at the same time. It's going
to be only time that I'll be able to say I've won after finishing 19,178.
19, 178 The number of times I will say, "What the hell was I thinking?" during the 26.2 mile
2, 134 My bib number. I wanted number 1, but it was given to some Ethiopian guy whose
name I can't pronounce or even spell. I offered he and his family a year's supply of
Happy Meals from McDonald's, but he wouldn't give up the number.
878 Number of miles I've racked up since starting my unofficial training program back on
February 24. The miles and runs were witnessed and notarized by my 98-year old
bartender girlfriend. Angela isn't as meticulous and that good with numbers as she
once was, so the 878 might be a little off.
238 My weight when I started running in earnest back in February. I'll start Sunday's race
at 208. For those scoring at home, that's a loss of 30 pounds. My knees keep thanking
me every day.
226 The amount of my entry fee to run in the event. Special thanks to Tom Beusse and
Andrew Hersam, one of New Canaan's all-time greats and record holder for number
of pull-ups in high school, a mark established in 1981. They jumped through hoops,
walked on hot coals, and moved mountains to get me in. I received entry just 25
days before the event.
217 The number of people who were injured or killed in the Boston Marathon bombing.
I will be thinking of all of them, especially Carlos Arredando, a lot during the race.
The man in the cowboy hat was a true hero that day, saving the life of Jeff Bauman.
57 The number of songs on my Ipod. That might increase before Sunday. Four of the
songs are by the artist known as Pink. Is that a bad thing? Does it make me weird?
Those songs by her get me pumped up. No Donnie and Marie for this race.
21 The number of days before the marathon that I blew a tire. Calf muscle and knee.
I figured it was better to get to the race than be on the shelf with an injury. I took
two weeks off before trying to run again.
18.6 The distance of my last timed race in September. Finished in 2:33 and was feeling
good. Then came the injury.
13 I'll be running this race for my six nieces and nephews, brother Pat, sister Kara,
brother-in-law Chad, sister-in-law Imma, Uncle Jack, mom Charlene, and my Dad,
Patrick, the big guy in the sky who will be watching me every step of the way.
7 Number of miles I've run in the last three weeks. I took 17 days off re-habbing
a calf/knee injury. I could've dropped out, but Beusse and Hersam worked too hard
to get me in. This one is going to be all about will and desire. Will and desire.
6 The number of half-marathon races I've completed since last March (Sleepy Hollow,
Danbury, Brooklyn, Lake Placid, Fairfield, Norwalk. Personal best: 1:45) By the
way, I don't really like running. Does anybody?
5 Are you serious? I have to worry about daylights saving time on the day of the
marathon? I have to catch a bus to the starting line at 5:30 a.m. I'm already having
nightmares about oversleeping and I haven't even gone to bed yet. I'm going to set
five alarms to make sure I get up. It's Fall Back, right? If I give you my phone
number will you call at 4:30 a.m. to wake me up? I didn't think so.
3:47 The time I want to finish the marathon in. Is it ambitious? Hell, yeah, but what the
hell, you gotta have a number? What's your number? And if I don't finish, it'll be
because I probably got arrested for trying to give Pamela Anderson a floatation
device. Yes, that Pamela Anderson and she's running in the marathon.
3 Number of pairs of shoes I wore during my training program. I know---that's not
a lot. I wear them until there is no tread and the labels are falling off. Again, I know,
it's not good for one's health. Probably the reason for the injuries.
1 The number of people whom I know are definitely running in the race. My former
NESN colleague and current MSG reporter, Tina Cervasio. This will be her fourth
NYC Marathon. This will be my first and definitely my last. I'm doing the Ironman
in Lake Placid in July, so I needed to know what the pain in a marathon was like
before running one after biking 112-miles.
0 The number of alcoholic beverages, slices of bread, scoops of ice cream, and bottles
of soda I've had since February 10. Don't miss any of them one bit. But after Sunday
night, I might have to break out the bubbly and celebrate like Big Papi and the Boston