Sunday, April 1, 2012


I recognize defeat when I see it.  Defeat is old age, where your most unattractive feature becomes more loathsome and the chaotic universe of your being coalesces around it, presenting it with cosmic bombastic emphasis.  Oh, just get drunk and kill yourself; or, pick yourself up and walk a charity race of at least 6.3 miles.

The Free Goody Bag (Shirt, Water, Coupons...No Easter Turkey)

As I write this, I attend nerves, sinews, muscles, joints, and (I maintain) bones which are in full rebellion after the insanity induced pilgrimage of today - March 31, 2012 - in the form of Richmond's "Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K."

At the start, I was in the "wave" of amateurs and novices; my daughter (CBW) was farther up the road with runners/walkers of legitimate abilities.  Even so, Meg, my new friend from Williamsburg, took off at the starting line and I never saw her little pink hat again; ditto, Ann Marie, our friend in her little red crab hat.  There were people in costumes, which I did not require to elicit pointing and laughing.  I still marveled at the competitors who blew past me:  the highly motivated, the gray and thin-haired, the morbidly obese, the amputees with artificial limbs.  The good news:  no terrorist snipers leaning from upper windows.  Still I was proud of myself for trying and determined to finish well.
To preserve dignity, I ran when necessary to secure the good opinion of onlookers who lined Monument Avenue shouting, "You can do it!," "Just 5 more miles!," or "Free hot dogs and beans!," which on hearing my stomach almost caused my knees to buckle.

My Little Outfit (Not Pictured:  the panty-girdle which will accompany me to the crematorium )

After the projected consequences of my foolish commitment set in, I enumerate all the possibilities and prepare for:  (1) an undistinguished upright finish; (2) embarrassing failure to reach a porta-potty in time; (3) mental confusion; and (4) sudden death.  I decided to maneuver things toward number (1) with a cautious eye on number (2).

At about the half-way mark, the bricked road became uncomfortable underfoot and brought me back to Paris in 1983, where my feet cursed my shoes for just such inhospitality.  I made a mental note:  "Don't forget where you are, stay focused; and should the worst happen, DO NOT ASK, "Is this Paris?"  It is my fondest wish not to die in a mental hospital.

At the finish line, I ran confidently, my apple-red cheeks spreading to the whole face; and after a Chinese buffet, a turn in the jacuzzi, and a three-hour nap, it has only recently returned to normal.    I may do this all again next year!!


  1. You did GREAT. What an achievement. And yes, we will do it again next year. All except the post-race Chinese buffet part, thank you very much.

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  3. No, buy I felt like it for a spell there coming down I-95.

    It wasn't the actual food so much as the volume of it I inhaled.

    What a great experience even if it was painful. Most of the good things are, evidently.

  4. I know. I can't believe how I want to go out and do more now. I survived the excruciating punishment; therefore, I require more.

    I was queazy all night but the sleep did me good. And meat is the new nasty. I guess that's why so many runners are vegetarians.

  5. Meat is the new nasty and I also want to know "What's next?"

    At a minimum we can prepare for the November Half Marathon (13.1 miles) in the Outer Banks with Mental Mama and Ann Marie.

    Lots of time to prepare, and walking is as good as running.

    Let's do it.

  6. I've run lots of races and nowadays finish in the slowest 20% or so. My goal is just to finish vertically.

    I think you did great. Always remember to have a great finish.

  7. Way to go, Mom! I'm proud of you. I used to do the March of Dimes walk in Williamsburg with the company I work for. We were supposed to do this circuit around the W&M campus, but I never could make the 2nd half! And I THOUGHT I was in good shape! Congratulations!