Thursday, January 09, 2014

Racing at Andrew's Run and Barely Surviving

Larry the Leftie reappeared as mysteriously as he had left a few months back. I looked down and there he was one day, looking at me forlornly. No one had answers for how he'd mysteriously rematerialized. I have several theories mind you. The first was that he had gotten kidnapped by Tuco, taken to a ramshackle hut in the middle of the desert to hang out with his scary uncle who uses a bell to communicate and have to make the tough trek back home, alone, thinking of several lies to cover his tracks (RIP Breaking Bad. I miss you). But I'm pretty sure that if my left running shoe was actually an underground Meth Kingpin, I'd know by now.

The second theory involves a peyote fueled vision quest, but where would an Adidas shoe even know where to get peyote? The third theory is that he just needed to take some time to find himself and maybe write the great American novel, and when that didn't work out, he decided to come back.

Whatever his reasons for disappearing, his returned was much appreciated, by me anyway. Ralphie is still a bit mad because Larry still won't tell him what happened and they've been really terse with each other for awhile.  I'll put them in couples counseling soon to resolve the issue.

But I need them to work in unison because I had another 5k to run. This time it was for Andrew's Run in Modesto CA. Andrews run was reason for wanting to run a 5k in the first place. The proceeds go directly to George Mark House so you know I was going to support it fully.

Thankfully, the race started at 9 am, which was nice. It takes about an hour to get there from where we live, and not a one of us, baby, grandpa, husband or wife, cherished leaving in the dark of the morning. Leaving out at daybreak made the transition a little smoother. The car ride was spent with me entertaining the baby while my husband argued with his father and with the GPS at differing intervals.

Even though we'd been at the park where the race was being held once before, we still got lost again which led to more arguing with the GPS which is always fun because my husband is arguing with an extremely proper British Lady who ISN'T THERE. I find it amusing every time it happens.

The race  set-up was a little ramshackle. I'm use to several tents and booths you can meander around while waiting for the race to begin, but this race didn't have that sort of set up at all. Some of the organized futzed with the race sign for twenty minutes. Race organizers were using the picnic tables and to be honest, everything looked scatter shot. But we got our bright green, very awesome long sleeve race shirts with the George Mark logo emblazoned on the front, so I was happy as a clam.

We waited at the start line, which was not your typical race line. I looked at fighting nun and said, where's the race clock? We looked around  and determined that a man in cap, and long somewhat disheveled hair was the time keeper. "Mr. Rosso is our timekeeper?" I said incredulously "But he can't even keep Lindsey Weir on the straight and narrow. We're doomed!"

We started the race somewhere in the middle of the pack and based on my pace, we were getting passed left and right. Fighting Nun was trying to get me to pick up the pace and I was just trying to keep it together. I don't know if my sleep deprivation was catching up with me, if the blerch had gained three pounds and hated me or what, but I wanted desperately not be doing what I was doing.

I tried looking at the scenery instead, which was actually very picturesque. Actually, the park and the path  in the park on which we were running would have to be considered my ideal running situation. Since I have started running, I have longed for a wooded, wonderfully shaded path with lots of greenery so I could avoid the sun while having something to look at. The park saw my shaded path with lots of greenery and raised me with a running river so I could listen to the water go by. It was perfect if I wasn't such a crabby mess.

I was always looking for the next marker, telling me how close I was to the finish line. I found it interesting that the markers were chalked onto the walk instead of signs on display. It just felt slapped together as a whole enterprise which is not in and of itself a bad thing, but just worth noting.

And then I had that moment again, where I find my champion, my inspiration to keep going. This time it was in the form of a man with cerebral palsy. He was older than me but only by a few years I'd reckon and his running form was hampered by something, but he kept pushing on. That lasted until I lost sight of him, then my shoe came untied (you'd think it was Larry, trying to make a clean break for it, once and for all, but in a clear sign of mutiny, it was Ralphie).

With about 3/4 of a mile to go I said "I'm Run DMCing it hun." It was all I could get out of my system.

"That's nice dear," my husband who clearly didn't understand what I meant said. "Keep running."

Finally it took a runner passing us to say "Do you know your shoe is untied?" for my husband to get the point.

"Your shoe is untied?"

"Yes, that's what I said a tenth of a mile ago. I"m Run DMCing it, adidas's with no lace's, Walk this Way? Duh."

"Whatever, just finish the race."

We finished the race about twenty seconds off my best time but we still got it done. Bottom line is it was a lovely race despite some foibles and I'll be happy to do it again, provided Larry doesn't disappear again and Ralphy doesn't try to jump ship mid-race. See you there next year.

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