Tales from the road race
Mile One — My body breathes a collective sigh; “Steve, you’re doing this to yourself again!” But this 10-mile road race could be the worst yet, I warn, because I haven’t trained much. My body tells me I’m an idiot.
Mile Two — I try to pick up the pace, but my right big toe sounds the alarm with a sharp pain (hopefully, the foot forecast doesn’t call for gout). And in the exact same accent as James “Scotty” Doohan from Star Trek, the toe yells, “I’ve giv’n her all she’s got captain, an’ I canna give her no more.”
Mile Three — I stick out my thumb and unsuccessfully try to hitch a ride to the finish line with a police officer in a patrol car.
Mile Four — Some encouragement from a spectator. She’s sitting with a cooler and suggests pretending I’m having fun like on New Year’s Eve. “OK,” I say, “Did you bring beer?” She didn’t. Should auld acquaintance be forgot?
Mile Five — Divert into the Dairy Queen on the race route and eat large Blizzard with Smarties, plus a small ice cream cake and chocolate-covered soft serve. Just joking. My mind wandered over into the DQ. My body wouldn’t. Interestingly, DQ is an abbreviation for “disqualified.”
Also on Mile Five, I pass a woman holding a sign that reads “I love you, Random Stranger.” I plead with her not to tell my wife.
Mile Six — I pick up the pace for a few strides and regret my choice of running shorts. Because the freakin’ things start falling down, falling down. My fear is they’re going to fall south to my knees. So I hold them up with my hand and then pray, hand and then pray … Anyway, that throws my new balance off and I find myself listing towards the curb. I’m not too torn up about having to slow down.
Mile Seven — My legs are aching, burning, chafing, and wishing their work for the day was done as I trudge up the course’s steepest incline. I’m suffering and want to scream, but remind myself that this is not the hill to cry on.
Eight Mile — A 2002 movie starring Eminem. The rapper’s hit song from the film was “Lose Yourself.” Exactly what I was trying to do at this point of the race.
Mile Nine — I get a last-mile lift from the smell of a fish and chips shop along the route. Ahhh … A contact fry.
Mile Ten — Mission accomplished! And I finished 3,000-and-somethingth!
Your columnist is a hurting unit though. I’m stiff from head to hoof, and there’s a real possibility I might lose a toenail. My body is now showing me, not just telling me, I’m an idiot for running a race without properly preparing. Hopefully I’ll learn a lesson — this time.