Starting Line: This shouldn't be so hard, right? Look at the other people running this: there are a lot of old folks and chubbsy ubbsies. No problem.
5K Mark: Woo-hoo! 5K done! And in just 20 minutes. That would have been, like, good enough to be top-15 in my YMCA's Turkey Trot last Thanksgiving. No big deal.
Mile 4: Why do all women run funny? I swear every one of them has the same gait as a gazelle who's been impaled by a spear, only with more awkward arm-swinging.
Mile 6: All of these people cheering from the sides of the course are really encouraging. If my name was Jenn, Heather, or Sarah and they were yelling for me, it would be at least twice as inspirational.
Mile 7: Just had my first energy gel. It was coffee flavored, and it tasted just like the real thing, except if coffee was a disgusting viscous gel instead of a delicious liquid.
Mile 8: Jesus, it's hard to drink from a tiny cup of water while you're running. This is probably why very few bars feature treadmills.
Mile 9: Nine miles in an hour? Sub-three-hour marathon, here I come! I'm pretty sure if I do that I get dual citizenship in Kenya. Next stop: being a benevolent dictator!
Mile 10: My legs are starting to feel like maybe I should have gone more than eight miles on my longest training run. Probably shouldn't have gotten off to such a fast start.
Mile 11: Okay, fine, I can't break three hours. I'll just try to pace myself using, hmmm, how about that chubby girl over there?
Mile 12: Alright, Fatty could really haul her gigantic ass. That wasn't even fair. I'll use this 70-year-old man as my new pacer. He sort of wheezing, so I should be able to keep up.
Mile 12.1: How can an old man move that fast? It's gotta be steroids.
Mile 13.1: Alright, halfway there. And really, I only puked a little blood on the last mile. I can totally make this.
Mile 13.2: Christ, I totally can't make this.
Mile 13.3: What do you mean the next first aid tent's at mile 15? So I've got to wait another 1.7 miles to quit this nonsense?
Mile 14: I've gotta pee so bad, but the line at those Porta-Potties is like a hundred people deep. I'll just find some other place to go.
Mile 14.5: Oh, come on, dogs probably piss on that guy's mailbox all the time! Does he call the cops on them, too?
Mile 15: Crap, I was going to drop out here, but there's a really hot girl at the first aid tent. I think her dad just had a heart attack during the race. Sure, she might be distracted by that, but no way I'm going to drop out now and humiliate myself in front of a girl who's at least a seven.
Mile 16: Would it be weird to ask for her number after the race? Remember to cross-check obituaries with Facebook if I can't find her.
Mile 17: It feels like someone's stabbing my calves with each step I take. Oh, well, it's worth it if I can have a beer at the finish line.
Mile 18: Yes, my sponsor would be cool with me having a drink after this race. If I can stay sober for 26.2 miles I've earned it.
Mile 19: This hurts so much. I blame the ancient Greeks. Lousy endurance-running, polytheistic sons of bitches.
Mile 20: At this point, I can't quit without an injury. What does an injured hamstring look like?
Mile 21: Tried looking like I had an injured hamstring as I ran. The looks people gave me were more confused than sympathetic, even when I yelled, "Ow! My hamstring!"
Mile 22: I'm pretty sure the blister on my left big toe is now large enough that it has a decent shot at getting statehood.
Mile 23: You know, they say you go faster if you take a walk break every once in a while, then start running again refreshed. Why not try that?
Mile 24: I think this walk break may have dragged on a bit too long. An old man just told me to "Keep running, boy!" I'd punch him in the throat, but I don't have the energy.
Mile 25: God, if you're up there, I swear to Christ I'll start going to church if you get me through this.
Mile 26: If I stopped here and threw my shoe across the finish line, my tracking chip would record my finishing time. It's worth a shot…
Mile 26.2: Finally! I've gotta remember to tell my friends this was easier than it sounds.