1. My playlist was killer. Just before the race was going to start, I hit play and heard "The Final Countdown" by Europe. I also entitled the playlist, "Chicago Marathon. You Can Do It," so the little voice in my headphones told me that when I selected that playlist. Sometimes I name lists with swears just to make the guy say them. Anyway, the race took me a little longer than I thought so I had to skip through to a couple songs to hear them twice. Songs heard twice: "Back That Ass Up," "Train in Vain," and "Just Like Heaven" to name a few. Major props to Kyuss for having two full albums on my list. I recommend them to anyone who works out or beats people up.
2. The signs people had were great. I saw one that said "Worst Parade Ever," which I thought was hilarious until I saw two more. However, the third one had the pic of the comic book store guy from "The Simpsons," which was a nice touch. Another said "Don't poop" (in big letters) and then "out" in small letters. Another said, "While you're out, can you pick up some bread and milk? We're all out." Turns out it was a friend of a friend with that sign. Another said "Run, total stranger!" These signs made me laugh, which is huge when you're running. Other signs were inspiring, if even just for 5 seconds.
3. People give you cheers and high fives as well, and it's even better if you have your name on your shirt so they say, "All right, Dr. Ken!" High fives from little kids kept me smiling. One lady had a sign that said "free hugs," and I really considered it. Another guy had a sign that said "free beer for runners," and he was giving out tiny cans of beer. I saw one lady with a sign that said "shortcut to free beer" with an arrow pointing the way everyone was running anyway. I only got a quarter through my free beer at the end of the race. It tasted amazing (Goose Island's 312, a great Chicago beer), but it just wouldn't go down.
4. I had plenty of beer after getting home and taking a nap. The last bar we stopped at had a drunk sweaty Black guy doing Thai Chi for the whole bar, for some reason. He was quite pleased with himself, but I was more impressed with the sweat coverage on his shit, which was thicker than anyone in the race that afternoon.
5. I was running a couple miles with a friend of mine until she stopped to pee at a point I didn't have to, and as we were approaching the gay neighborhood of Chicago, Boys Town, where there were male cheerleaders and all sorts of fun stuff, I said to her, "I can feel the gayness." And she said, "What? You can smell the anus?" I laughed and said, "No, that's not what I said, but I wish I had because it's fricking hilarious . . ."
6. On a serious note, I wore a ribbon with my buddy Gung Ho's mother's name who just died of cancer. I had it on my back, so I would periodically check it it was still there through out the race. She made it the whole way!
7. Was I in pain? Yes. At one point people were handing out Ben Gay type stuff in packets, and I damn near squirted in my mouth before I heard someone yell, "No! Don't eat it!" Wait, it gets dumber. After putting it in my hand, I rubbed it all over my knees and took a pee, touching my wang with the stuff. I'm not going to say it hurt, but it did just feel super weird, and it was all I could think about for a whole mile.