Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Blister for Valentines Day

For Valentines Day. my husband gave me a blister. Yep, no roses, no romance just a blister. And, quite frankly, I'm still wondering how it happened.

I'm usually much more savvy and wary than that. Look, when living with a mutant superhuman who thinks nothing of going out and running marathons before breakfast, one develops a keen sense of self-preservation because the mutant superhuman is ALWAYS trying to talk their normal and sane partner into doing extremely ridiculous and dangerously uncomfortable hiking to the top of Mt. Whitney with a 40lb pack strapped to your back ("because it's there and wouldn't you like to say you've been to the top of the tallest peak in the lower 48?"), or doing the Australian Wobbly Wine Cycling Tour ("See, it clearly states "no fitness required"". For the record, those Australians are lying bastards! I swear it was like racing Lance Armstrong up Mont Ventoux in the Tour de France....tipsy) or zip-lining through a Central American rainforest with a couple of local teens who had strung some wire up in the canopy and thought it was fun to go balls-out wearing nothing more than a climbing harness and a leather glove they had found in the barn hoping against hope today was not the day the line would snap and send us all crashing to the forest floor at least 1/4 mile below us....oh wait, that was my idea. Shit, well, that was only because my mutant superhuman husband must have spiked my drink and the heat and humidity had muddled my brain. Let's move on.

So, the blister. I vaguely remember him excitedly jabbering about all the races he was going to enter in the next few months but, since this is a weekly conversation, I was distractedly answering yea, yea, yea while painting my toenails and trying to watch the next contestant on American Idol make an ass of himself. I also do remember the words "5K" and "Walker friendly" being bandied about but I absolutely do NOT ever remember hearing "you are going to run a walker-friendly 5K...on VALENTINES DAY" Nope, I distinctly remember NOT hearing those words. He might have said something like, "I'm sending in the entrance form for you, ok?" But again, no mention of Valentines Day. None.

So, imagine my surprise when I finally got around to asking, "So, when is this 5k? and hearing the sheepishly mumbled reply, "Um, Feb 14th". Notice he didn't say, Valentines Day. Nope, he was hoping his normal and sane partner wouldn't recognise the date to which I say, "Are you effing kidding me?" I don't care what all of you haters out there say about good ol' V Day. I happen to think anyday that celebrates love....and the mass consumption of chocolate! should be celebrated EVERYDAY! In fact, I'm off to have some chocolate in St. Valentines honor right after this rant.

The fact that I didn't wring his neck goes to show the considerable restraint I've developed over the years. There's an Olympic event for you. And on February 14th, I found myself woken up not with breakfast in bed, not with a loving caress. Oh no, I was woken by my loving spouse yelling at me to get my butt 5:15 in the MORNING...on a SUNDAY. Grrrr!

It always amazes me how many people are willing to wake up at ungodly hours to run around and punish their bodies. You can always tell the mutant superhumans because they're the ones stretching and jumping and running around to warm up and slapping each other on the backs and excitedly chattering about how fast they're going to be able to run. Take a valium, would ya! By contrast, the normal and sane people who have not had their coffee, shuffle around, avoiding eye contact, and huddle miserably together and grumble if anyone asks them a question.

Notice the mutant superhuman in the foreground. They're easy to spot.

And that's how I found myself in a park with a bunch of lunatics before the sun was fully up with an electronic monitoring device attached to my foot. Funny where life takes you, isn't it? So, since I was up, I went ahead and ran the Palm Springs 5K. And I had a good time. I think this was due to the fact that I wasn't awake yet.

Erik told me that if I made a break for the car, they'd track me down

It really was a beautiful morning and since the 5K course winds through the old Movie Colony neighborhood of Palm Springs, I had a great time looking at all of the houses (and of course the landscaping, as I'm crazy like that) as I huffed and puffed along.

And, as is usually the case when I get roped into these ridiculous and dangerously uncomfortable events, I learned a few things along the way . I discovered that irritation is a great motivator and that I could run quite fast to escape the bullshit yammerings of my fellow competitors (if the guy in the fluorescent yellow running shorts had told his wife to "pick it up" one more time, I would have clobbered him!). I discovered that it was the 4 year olds you really had to watch out for. They'll take you DOWN!

My competition. Notice he's in front of me but the kid was quick as lightening!

I discovered not looking at the race route map before you start running could add quite a lot of distance to your run!

Aren't we only running 3 miles?

And I discovered that if you just keep going, you'll eventually make it it to the finish line.

Me in my snazzy Skirtports capris.

Ok, so I didn't get roses and chocolate for Valentines Day this year. Big, fat bummer, yea, but what I did get was my sweaty high-five at the end of the not so grueling but still unnecessary run...and the satisfaction that my very own mutant superhuman was proud of me and happy that I was taking part (albeit small and begrudgingly) in something he loves more than I love chocolate (I told you he was a mutant!). Oh, and, of course, let's not forget that blister!

Love you, baby!

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