YOU: You don’t seem like much of a runner….
RUN FOR GRUB: Fair point. But while It’s clear I’m never going to break any land-speed records, I've been running consistently for a year. Plus, I didn't actually tell Grub Street that I was going to do this until I challenged myself to run 13.1 miles. I figured if the half marathon felt doable--it was totally doable--I could be confident about my physical ability to stick to the training program and finish.

YOU:  And what about your psychological ability to stick to it?
RUN FOR GRUB: I’m an incredibly stubborn person. I've been working on a novel for five years and haven't given up on that. That's kind of like sticking to a marathon.

YOU: How exactly is your inability to wrap up your novel supposed to convince us that you're a finisher?
RUN FOR GRUB:Now, that's just mean.

YOU: Sorry.
RUN FOR GRUB:  My POINT was that I stick to things, so I'm running this marathon one way or another. If I can do a little good for a worthy non-profit in the process, so much the better. Speaking of which, have you pledged yet? You really should just click on over to my sponsorship page at First Giving right now!

YOU: Working the plug in like that was really crafty.
RUN FOR GRUB: I do my best.Any other questions about my skills?

YOU: Well, just this one: what happens if you get hit by a truck and can't run?
RUN FOR GRUB:  How supportive of you!

YOU: You know what we mean.
RUN FOR GRUB: I'm running the race. If something happens and I can't run, I'll hobble my way on crutches if I have to. The only way I wouldn't finish is if something happened on race day. When I registered for the marathon, I had to sign a waver that basically said I would agree to stop running if the doctor on sight told me to stop. Which seems reasonable to me. Or did you want me to keep running if I'm bleeding like the black knight in Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail?

YOU: Now you're just being silly.
RUN FOR GRUB:I do my best.


YOU: How are you running the marathon on Friday, July 30 if marathon Monday is on April 19?
RUN FOR GRUB:  I'm not running the Boston marathon--I'm running the 24 Hour Race Around the Lake in Wakefield. 

YOU: But isn't that one of those crazy ultra marathons where the runners go for 24-hours straight? Oh my god! Are you running the ultra?
RUN FOR GRUBI'm absolutely NOT running the ultra marathon, and yes, the Race Around the Lake is an ultra, but it's also a half ultra (12 hour race) and a marathon. I've registered for the marathon which is roughly eight times around a nice, flat lake.

YOU: So what you're saying is you signed up for the wimpiest marathon you could find.
RUN FOR GRUB: You want to run it for me?

YOU: Ummmm...
RUN FOR GRUB: I thought so. And while it's true this race has no Heartbreak Hill, I figured that was just a smart move anyway. Running 26.2 miles in a row is going to be hard enough without panting up a big fat stupid hill.

YOU: Does it really start at 7 p.m.?
RUN FOR GRUB:That's what they tell me.

YOU: But you'll be racing in the dark.
RUN FOR GRUB:I think that's cool, figuratively. And I'm hoping it's literally cool. Running a marathon in July seems like a recipe for complete and total heat stroke. But at night? Not so much.

YOU: Why are you doing this exactly?
RUN FOR GRUB: Because every good thing that’s happened in my writing life can be traced to finding Grub in 2001, and I like the idea of being a money siren that calls other first-timers to Grub.

YOU: No, yeah; we read that in the introduction. What we’re wondering is why anyone would want to run 26.2 miles?
RUN FOR GRUB: Oh, lots of reason. I’ve figured training for a marathon would blast through my weight loss plateau (I lost a ton of weight last fall and then stalled). That plus I'm pretty stubborn. I caught myself thinking that marathons were for the skinny folks and negative thoughts like that usually rattle around my brain until they transform themselves into a challenge. So I guess the quick answer is I want to do this because I once told myself I couldn’t.

YOU: Sounds like you could use some therapy.
RUN FOR GRUB: And how does that distinguish me from any other writer in this crazy world?

YOU: Touché