Friday, November 24, 2006

Awesome timing

I have a somewhat bad history with Thanksgiving Day races, and this time was no exception. During high school and college I ran a five-miler called Fast Freddie's Festive Five Mile Foot Feast. I started running it as a sophomore in high school and the last time was two years ago, the last time I was home for Thanksgiving. And twice in that string I've had to bow out (after signing up). The first time my foot was injured and the second time my knee was squishy and I didn't realize at the time that running on it would have been okay. I wish I could remember the scientific names for these afflictions! The squishy knee is chronic; in fact my knee was squishy quite a bit before the Chicago Marathon, but I just did my sideways leg lifts for a while and it went away.

Anyways, the point is, this year I was set to make a return to running on Turkey Day, but unfortunately events conspired against me.

We left for Michigan at 4:30 p.m. Now, usually the 326-mile trip to Ann Arbor takes about 5 hours, not including whatever stops we care to take. So I was thinking we might roll in at 9:30 or 10. However, the traffic was an absolute nightmare. I mean, there's traffic, and there's bumper-to-bumper on the highway. This happened three or four different times, and elsewhere it was impossible to go much faster than 55-60 (this where the posted speed limit is 70). Add into the mix that my cold medicine is not working and my head is completely stuffed up for most of the trip. Anyway, long story short, we finally got to Mark's parents' place at 12:30 in the morning. We immediately went to bed. Mike had gone and picked up our t-shirts and numbers for the Turkey Trot that afternoon, so all we had to do was roll out of bed and show up at the starting line.

I slept quite well, until I woke up at 4:30 a.m., needing very badly to go. =) So I did, and then I went to to kitchen to get a glass of water because I was feeling a bit dehydrated. At this point I felt pretty crappy, but it was mostly "I'm-up-at-4-in-the-morning-and-my-stomach-no-like-it" crappiness. I felt like I could at least participate and finish the race. I went to look for a glass and suddenly a wave of nausea hit me and I sprinted for the bathroom. Imagine throwing up on your future in-laws' carpet!! Luckily I made it, and this began a four-hour cycle of dry heaving interspersed with brief periods of lying in bed. I had a lot of practice throwing up in college, so I can usually make myself do it and get everything out right away, but this time it kept coming back, even though there was nothing left in my stomach. I was certainly not thankful for the first 9 hours of Thanksgiving (although the rest was delightful). Suffice it to say, I did not make it to the race. Mark and Mike did and had fun; Mark ran a 24:30. Another $28 down the drain, sigh. That's disappointing, but I am glad it didn't happen before a marathon or something.

But as usual, I recovered quickly and enjoyed a wonderful turkey dinner that afternoon. I still feel a bit off today, but I'm pretty much back to normal and I think I will take advantage of the beautiful weather forecast for tomorrow and go for a run.

Oh well...next year I think we'll be back to Clarksville for Thanksgiving and I can run Fast Freddie's again.

Things I am thankful for:
1. Mark
2. My family
3. My friends
4. Not being predictable. Oh...wait...
4. Seriously, my (overall) health
5. Having a job
6. That multitude of small moments throughout the day that brighten your life, like being able to enjoy a hot shower, or a pretty autumn leaf, or that feeling of invincibility you sometimes get when you're running.

I complain a lot, but honestly I've been extraordinarily lucky.
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