Mystery with a twistery

Tarzan is a SpongeBob junkie. Most boys his age (almost 5) are.

So are some of the girls. 

His favorite SpongeBob episode is the  “Mystery with a Twistery” — a spoof on Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” 

In this episode a train passenger steals the key to unlock the formula to the coveted secret Crabby Patty recipe. 

“Mystery with a Twistery” combines two of Tarzan’s passions — trains and the “porous all over and yellow is he ” SpongeBob. (Yes, my hidden talent is the ability to sing the SpongeBob theme song in its entirety. Please don’t tell “American Idol.” )

During my training I’ve stumbled upon my own “mystery with a twistery” to solve. Mine does not involve aquatics or sea creatures but rather terrestrial beings at sea level — namely, me. 

The secret formula I want to unlock isn’t about fast food. It’s about fast legs and whether or not I’ve mixed the right ingredients to create them at Boston.    

I live and train at 5,900 feet altitude. Boston is at sea level. This is supposed to an advantage for me — in theory.

Now comes our “mystery with twistery.” Boston is rated a moderately hilly course. Although I train on rolling hills in Colorado, it doesn’t mean I’m great at doing them. I’d like to think I’ve “made peace” with them over the years, especially in the past few months.

Peace and mastery, however, are not the same thing, just like being a fry cook and a sous chef are two different skill levels.

The question looming is, will I still be able to gain an advantage from training at altitude when I run at Boston? Or will the hills along Boston’s course cancel that out for me?

The hills show up late along the Boston Marathon course — at a place where even seasoned runners can hit the wall.

In all the SpongeBob episodes the grass-sized and -colored villain, Plankton, never succeeds at stealing the secret Crabby Patty formula. SpongeBob always prevails with his goofy buck-toothed smile.

I don’t know how my mystery with a twistery will end yet. I want to believe I will be happy-go-lucky like SpongeBob as I scale Heartbreak Hill and not get launched into oblivion like puny Plankton. 

We shall see …

The train for the Boston Marathon Express leaves in 38 days.

All abroad, “choo-choo heads”!


Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Mileage today: 5; Denver to Boston miles logged: 1,413; Miles left to go: 357. 

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