“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” — Blanche DuBois, A Streetcar Named Desire
On Sunday, I was one of the 23,000 dots pictured below. I “ran” the 2011 Capitol 10,000, a race I first tackled in 1989 and last took on somewhere around 2000. That would be pre-kids. Or as The Big M and I call it, “BC.”
As 10K’s go, it’s a pretty easy course. There aren’t a lot of hills, and the ones that are there go mostly down. Sunday was perfect, weather-wise. It was overcast, temps hovering around 60, and very low humidity.
I lost my running partner somewhere between miles 4 and 5. I needed to walk, and she needed to keep running. One of us is considerably flabbier than the other.
I’ll give you a hint: she is not the flabbier one.
Somehow I missed this sign as I passed my old high school. Maybe I was distracted by memories of the days when I wanted to fly free and live somewhere other than Austin.
More likely, it was Mario and Luigi’s fault. They were so funny — so perfectly made up to be the characters of MarioKart for Wii. Even Yoshi and Princess Peach were there.
Luigi had bananas hanging from the back of his car. Mario had the electronic game music playing. They kept hurling stuffed turtles at each other as they ran.
I promise, it was hilarious if you know the game.
Regardless, I missed the sign. Shortly afterward, I caught my toe on a reflector and did a faceplant on Lamar Boulevard.
You know that collective “oooooh” that a group of people make when they see something painful and instinctively feel it themselves? I made that noise a few weeks ago when I saw a guy smack his cranium right into the point of an aluminum canoe.
“How does someone bump their head on a canoe?” you ask. That’s a good question. The answer is: some dumbass tied a canoe to the roof of his SUV, let it dangle off the back four feet, and parked it in a dimly lit parking garage where the canoe stuck out in the aisle just above eye level and just below crown-of-the-head level.
“Oooooh!” I yelled sympathetically, and asked the poor guy if he was all right. I couldn’t tell if it was just embarrassment or a concussion or both, but he didn’t want to make eye contact. He stumbled away towards the elevator, muttering to himself and refusing assistance.
When I faceplanted on Lamar, I got to hear that ooooooh from a large crowd. About four strangers lifted me out of the gravelly asphalt and landed me back on my feet. One commented that it was a good thing I was wearing long pants.
And it was. The vanity that made me cover my flabby thighs protected my knees from more than minor scrapes.
Unfortunately I was wearing short sleeves. For the rest of the week I will be wearing three-quarter length sleeves to cover this:
I stumbled on towards the finish line, and completed the race in what I felt was a respectable 1:16, all things considered.
Best of all, I did not break any bones or teeth, or tear any tendons, or otherwise irreparably injure myself. I live to fight another day!
Hope you had a good weekend. :)