Last week I had a six day business trip to Nashville. Which is apparently referred to as NashVegas. After pulverizing my sensibilities (and my liver) into submission for nearly a week (oh yeah, and I worked some too) (more than some, really, because by the end of it all, the partying *was* work) I returned home over the weekend.
A few months back, in a moment of pure folly, I signed up for the Nashville 5k Fun Run, a work sponsored event that took place on Wednesday morning at 630. In the weeks prior, I started training for said Fun Run by purchasing $110 bright orange shoes and a little Nike+ apparatus ($29) that goes into the shoes to tell me how far I’m running and how fast and all that. I bought insoles ($20) that I used for half a run and an armband to carry my iPhone ($25). I of course needed to buy new headphones and naturally could only buy the ironman brand ($29) because every other brand is for pussies and also because they guarantee that they will never fall out of your ears.
And with all that training, I got up to the level of being able to run five kilometers. And I took an extra large suitcase to Nashville to house all my extra large shoes, including my bright orange Nikes. By Tuesday night, at the beginning of the third night of ridiculous debauchery, a colleague of mine said to me, “You aren’t running that race tomorrow.” And I told her: “Yes I am! Why are you trying to challenge me!?” And it turned out that she wasn’t challenging me at all—she was just stating the blatantly obvious. So by 230 Wednesday morning I asked myself just who exactly I was trying to kid—and my bright orange Nikes were the shoes that never saw the light of the Tennessee sky. Don’t act surprised.
Fortunately, all that money I spent is not in vain because I am pretending to train for a half marathon with two of my closest friends (who are much more likely to actually complete the half marathon). Well tonight was the night that I opted to get back on the horse (sadly a metaphorical horse and not a real horse to carry me to the end of my destination) and run again.
As you may know, a 5k is 3.11 or so miles and that is the most that I have done anytime in the last five years, so tonight I thought it would be wise to detox my system of all the vodka and fried pickles and run a personal best of 3.5 miles. Now you might look at me and think that my real obstacle when I’m running is gravity, but in fact it is boredom. So tonight I ran a different route—up the gigantic main road we live on. It was dark along the road and I was running into headlights.
There aren’t many things that annoy me about *the* OC but the spiders are one of them. There are spider webs everywhere, and I always find myself walking through them. It kind of unnerves me. For the obvious reason that there is web all over me, but also because I always feel a jolt of panic that there is a spider on me somewhere and an ancillary jolt because I realize that someone might be watching me freak the hell out. (You might remember this.) So I’m running my run and right as a car comes around the bend so that the headlights are pointed squarely at me, I run through a web. Because I am who I am, instead of playing it cool and just wiping the web off of me, I kind of jump and spaz out and my arms kind of kick and flail for an instant—an instant only, but a long enough instant surely to end any misconceptions in one driver’s mind that I am anything at all resembling a man.
Which is cool. Because it wasn’t nearly as bad as one time a few years ago when I still lived in Arizona. For whatever stupid reason back then, which was probably as stupid a reason as my stupid reason now, I was running on a semi-regular basis. We lived in a neighborhood that had a big grassy area and a lot of sidewalks, and as I ran my loop I would run near a lot of trees and right along a row of houses which, conveniently, had view fencing along the walkway instead of block fences. In case you don’t know, view fencing is the sort of thing you want to have when you like to kick your feet up and look out your backyard at whatever is going on in the real world.
So I was making my loop and had been running enough to have a layer of sweat, and then I ran through some sprinklers and came around the corner to the sidewalk with all the houses along it. I don’t know if it was because the water from the sprinklers mixed with the sweat on my shiny head, but for some reason a bunch of bees decided that I was some sort of attacker to their interests. (If you know me, you know that I don’t attack anything.) I didn’t know this because I was running, innocently, ignorant of my impending fate. Suddenly I felt a stab of pain right in my head, and then another, and this was right when fight or flight kicked in and I realized I was being attacked! So of course I fled. And as I was being stung by a million bees of course I was flailing my arms and legs like in cartoons, you know, and all I could do was imagine the swarm of bees forming a giant arrow and chasing me. So I ran. As fast as I could, with my arms and legs akimbo, a fat, bald guy flailing and running so forcefully (but so slowly) that I think what had to have happened is that the bees just thought that there was no way that I could be attacking them, such was the pathetic nature of my attacking abilities, and finally realized that it wasn’t worth ending their own noble lives to sting me.
And that’s why I don’t ever run.