free hit counter Snacks, please!: The weekend report

Monday, May 12, 2008

The weekend report

This weekend's torrential rains didn't deter Auntie Pamela and I. But it did keep home most of the other casual runners who entered Saturday's 10K, which means we entered a field of crazy dedicated shoesters, wearing short-shorts and too little body fat. While waiting (in the downpour) for our shoe chips, a girl in a lavendar running bra says in mock exasperation to me, "What are we doing here?" I shake my head. "We could sleep in," she continues. "And run 12 miles this afternoon!"

Mile 1: Yoohoo! We're off! And it's all downhill! We jog past a cadre of Arlington's finest, guarding us from errant SUVs. "You should date a cop," I tell Pamela. (If we'd been thinking, we could have staged a collision in front of Sgt. Handsome. Ms P could have gotten out of five miles and into seven digits.) Then we pass a language school and I see the Bosnian girl who enters our house without knocking and says she doesn't like fat people. Yoohoo, girlfriend! Can you run six miles??

Mile 2: I'm running at the same pace as a very skinny woman. Impressed? You should be -- she's pushing a jogging stroller with a newborn inside, so small that he can't hold his own head up. I speed up. (Later, I see the same woman at the finish line, wearing an "Iron Mom" shirt.) Still downhill! Zoom, zoom!

Mile 3: The winners pass by, going the other direction! Good for you, ye of little body fat! In front of me, a middle-aged man in a Potomac River Running Club shirt slows, then starts walking. Oh look! Here comes one of the first women runners on the backstretch and... she's pregnant! Her t-shirt is rolled up above a belly that must measure at least 28 weeks. The Middle-Aged Man immediately begins running again. Oh! Goddammit! We're going under a highway overpass and a car above has sent a stream of dirty water into my face!

Mile 4: My eye hurts. I think I have been poisoned by dirty overpass water. I think it probably has mercury in it. That is possible, I think. And my music stinks. Who loaded this crappy 1970s stuff on my iPod? Me? I did that? Well... The slow runners around me are starting to walk. I pass by one in a high-tech green performance jacket and she immediately starts running again. Hmph. I pass two girls in matching beer t-shirts. I am gratified to know that I'm faster than teenage alcoholics.

Mile 5: Oh, the hill!! Furiously, I thumb through the iPod. Oh, thank God. I won't stop believing... There is a woman in front of me with a gigantic tushie. She is still running. I think I should not stop until she does. But then, when she does, I am convinced I can do better than that!

Mile 6: Almost done! A homeless man in a bus shelter is cheering us on! (But I can't understand a word he's saying!) Another college girl in a Greek sorority T-shirt is falling behind. Her friend runs from the sidelines and begins dramatically exhorting her on, "You can do it! You're almost done!" And the girl begins sobbing, hands to her face, stumbling to the left. "I can't!" And I think, Jesus Christ, this is much more exhilarating than the homeless guy.

Mile 6.2: Done! (1:06:45) Give me a banana! At the Gatorade tent, some girl says, "I don't think we ran nearly far enough to deserve Gatorade." I disagree. Minutes later, Pamela skips across.

What else? We went to a Nationals game on Saturday night to celebrate our newfound athleticism. (You know, we're athletes. They're athletes...) The new stadium is quite nice. Really good food options. But I bought the tickets and accidentally selected the handicapped section...

Side note: When I was a kid, my father used to take my brother and I to Whalers games at the Hartford Civic Center. Often, he would make us sit in other people's seats, which was very embarrassing. This was back when Bob Uecker was making those Miller Lite commercials and when we were forced to move by the rightful ticket-holders, people would shout down, "You must be in the froooont row!" But when we'd whine about public humiliation, he'd force us to sit in the handicapped section, which was even more mortifying -- but had an unobstructed view of the goal. I would tell my brother, "Act retarded or we'll get thrown out."

Anyhoo, on Saturday, David's friend says, "These are good seats!" And I said, "Yes. I got them for you." Hahahaha!


Blogger zoloft mom said...

BIG congrats on the race. you are now my personal hero! i love the line about the teenage alcoholics...

and thanks for stopping by my blog!

May 12, 2008 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger zoloft mom said...

and sorry if i missed this somewhere in the post..but do tell, what apparel did you settle on?

May 12, 2008 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

Good question! I stuck to the pants. Since it was cold and rainy, it was a good choice. And, of course, I got a special race T-shirt, which I will wear to the grocery store on weekend mornings to intimidate people at the deli. Um, excuse me. I'm a runner. I need some protein. Like that.

May 12, 2008 at 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Alain said...

I'm totally impressed.

But what were you doing--dictating notes along the way into a recorder?

Actually remembering all this detail for six puffing miles?

Or making it all up?

May 12, 2008 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger marymurtz said...

You know, if I didn't like you so much, I'd hate you for making me feel like a lazy loser.

I loved the part about the bad 70s music on the iPod, and the teenage alcoholics.

I could totally WALK over 6 miles. But I still wouldn't be able to remember details.

This is one of my favorite Snacks, Please posts!

May 12, 2008 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger Daav said...

Don't forget, Tall Bosnian Girl is also a committed smoker. Though I almost don't hold that against her. In Bosnia they probably still have cigarette advertising that says smoking is good for you.

May 12, 2008 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger What A Card said...

Wow, I'm impressed. I spent this weekend mostly competitively eating. Or at least that's what it felt like with my parents in town and visiting my grandparents.

I could probably out-eat the teenage alcoholics and overly skinny people. The pregnant running lady might be a challenge, though :)

May 13, 2008 at 5:43 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

I'll testify it's real! although you'll notice after mile 1 I was far behind- but I could almost always see her! Didn't think I need 6+miles of dating advice (as if I only get it when running in races).

Plus, the cops were nicer and flirted with the slow girls.

May 14, 2008 at 12:36 PM  

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