Some people have the deep misfortune to be struck with tapeworms in the brain. But there are those of us that are a lot luckier and only have to deal with taperworms. No one really knows how they get infected, but it is almost a guarantee that symptoms will begin 2-3 weeks before race day. The worm starts small – maybe you feel some butterflies when you think of the start line or casually wonder what you will wear for the run. As the days tick by, symptoms often get worse. The following is a diary entry from a patient with full-blown taperworm madness. Note that during the later stages, the victim will start bonding with her captor, Stockholm syndrome style.
My brain is not my own. I have found myself doing the following over the last week:
1. Checking the AccuWeather extended forecast daily and letting the temperatures dictate my mood- the upper 40s and warmer with sun= elated Kashi while cloudy with upper 30s to low 40s = nail-biting Kashi.
2. Looking forward to 11/9 when I could FINALLY see the 10-day forecast on no less than three weather websites.
3. Staring idly at this hypnotic wind map and wondering what Aeolus has in store for us. To be fair, staring idly at this map is something I do even when not infected with taperworms, but the difference is that I don’t usually look for hidden messages about how the race will go in its mesmerizing rivers of air.
4. Crying at anything even remotely emotional, including but not limited to, thinking about the NYC marathoners who will get the chance to run in Philly, scenes from Cloud Atlas, Sandy destruction, love I have for my sister, frustration during commutes and thinking that I was getting a cold (I was not -buuuut I probably just jinxed myself. Damn!).
5. Eating everything in sight, despite the fact I am running less. The taperworms need nutrition and I am happy to oblige but I am not sure my pants are on-board with this plan. However, the pants don’t wear the pants around here, so I continue to munch.
A starting line horn is the only known antidote so I just have to hold on for 9 more days. There is no escaping the taperworms, and truth be told I kinda like them. They remind me that despite the fact that this race means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, it means an awful lot in my little scheme of things. So the taperworms and I will be strange bedfellowing it for the next week – we’ll have movie night (paging Spirit of the Marathon!) while we chow like queens on carbs and worry endlessly about weather and imaginary injuries.
How are your taperworms treating you?
What do you do in the days leading up to a race?