Saturday, October 8, 2011

Running and other such activities

As longtime friends of mine know, I have a tempestuous relationship with running. I had to run in high school--the final exam at the end of the year was a 5K--and I hated it with a firey passion. I picked up running again a little bit in graduate school because I lived with a runner and running was free, but I didn't really do it all that regularly until Albuquerque. I ran regularly last fall, culminating in my first (thusfar only) 10K race, which I completed in under an hour, which unfortunately was my longterm goal. Unfortunate because I refused to create a more stringent goal, like running a half marathon or something. So, my running dwindled over the spring and summer.

When we moved to Fayetteville, both Doug and I started running regularly. This semester, we run on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and one weekend day. It's not a lot, but it's been pretty consistent, and both of us have increased our distance and our speed.

Funny sidebar story here. A couple of weeks ago, we ran in the late afternoon, and as we headed out the door, Doug started complaining about how awful running is (this is a common topic in our home, as we both do it but neither of us gets a ton of joy from the experience). We each had our own route planned, but we had a system designed that if he passed me, he'd hand over the door key because that would mean I'd be back before him. He said "OK, well, see you soon, unless I end up keeled over on the trail." We each headed our own ways, and when I got back, the door was locked, which meant that (a) we should have passed each other on the trail or (b) he was keeled over on the part of the trail I didn't go down. Thoughts of option (b) took over my head, and I went back out to the trail, running an additional mile or so, just to make sure he wasn't there, actually keeled over. I returned home 10 minutes later to find him drinking some water, safe and sound. Turns out we HAD passed each other on the trail, and he'd even waved the key at me, but I was so much in my zone (about ready to run up one of Fayetteville's Hills of Doom) that I didn't even see him. He felt awful, and I thought it was hilarious.

This morning, we both ran a 5K, our first in Arkansas. It was sponsored by a sorority or fraternity (or both, I don't know) to support children's literacy. Which, you know, is a good cause for nerds like us. Especially since there was a poster of a Razorback Cat In the Hat, which I am truly sorry I didn't get a picture of. Picture a cartoon Cat In the Hat with a red pig face, and that's what it looked like.

Anywhooo.....the race began at 8am, so we got up and walked up to campus where the race began. They had more registrants than expected, such that they'd run out of t-shirts, so our registration fee was less than half what I'd expected. Score one! Then we ran, which was mostly awful, because running sucks, and running the hills of Fayetteville is worse, but I felt pretty cheery throughout most of the run. I've acclimated to the hills, and the weather was fantastic, and the up side of hills (pun intended) is that you also get to go downhill! I finished in just under 30 minutes, and Sir Douglas, who last fall ran a 5K in just under 40 minutes, finished this one at about 32 minutes. Score two! That's right, he improved 7 minutes in one year, which I think is pretty damn impressive, especially considering all the stupid hills.

As a part of our race packet, we got buy-one-get-one-free coupons for Chipotle (Score three!), which thus became our lunch. Burritos, not the paper coupons. And this after we participated in what has become our Saturday morning tradition of the $4 movie. That's right, one of the local movie theatres shows all flicks for $4 before noon on Saturdays. Score four!

What I'm telling you is that it's a four-score day. If we're following the traditional meaning of "four score," that means today already ranks about an 80 on the day-o-meter, and it's not even 3pm!

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