I can usually tell how epic an adventure I had by how exhausted I feel afterwards. I'm typing this now with leaden fingers and drooping eyes. My awesome friend Lois invited me to be a bike marshal at this morning's Glassfest 8K. And rather than enjoying a single weekend off, I said, "of course!" I figured, bike marshal? I just cruise on a bicycle while other people run the race. There's no way I can embarrass myself.
I fell twice.
And then biked 50 more miles with Curt with my sore legs. I'm getting all scattered. What happened?
I drove down Friday. Wait, that's last night. I drove in my kilt. Well, in my car. But also in my kilt. With my bicycle on the back. On the bike rack I stole from Geoffrey. I searched the house for 10 minutes for that bike rack. I finally found it in his car. And rather than asking, or even TXTing like, "hey, I'm borrowing your bike rack." I just took it. And left.
And it would've been a perfect crime, if I wasn't writing about it RIGHT NOW. And I know he reads this shiz. So, uh... Thanks Geoffrey! He was helping Meghan move all weekend. Was/is... it's an ongoing thing. I vaguely promised his son that I would help. Instead I was frolicking in Corning with a kilt and.... Sandals maybe?
Curt, Lois, and I walked down to Glassfest for a little bit. Each of us was utterly oblivious to what we did. Each one of us said, "I don't care what we do. It's up to you." We immersed ourselves briefly in the event. Everybody eating fried foods, listening to a band that was all.... drums? I think it was a high school marching band. On stage. Finally, seeing that none of us was going to make any decisions at all, I said, "let's go." And we left.
Then I made them walk with me to Wegmans, where I bought grapefruits, lox, and Halo Top. I explained to them along the way that I have a very bizarre diet these days. I don't make any pretenses about knowing what I'm doing. I told them, "my diet is: I starve myself all day and then binge eat at night. Mostly cucumbers, fish, and Halo Top." And grapefruits. But I get like 150 grams of protein per day. And 400 grams of carbs. Still. Somehow. Sometimes I just close my eyes and eat an entire loaf of bread.
|"Take a pic in front of the Halo Top!|
Everyone must see the Halo Top!"
That was Friday. Saturday we got up at 5:30am. Chris met us at about 7. Again, getting all scattered, I have to mention that Curt and I totally ditched him and Lois on our long bike ride later. It wasn't on purpose! We still love you! But you know how us triathletes are. All a$$holes. We're like, "we're not doing this for fun. We're training." So after a few miles, we tore up some pavement and flew away. With Chris trying to catch up to us to tell us we were going the wrong way.
But getting un-scattered, we biked down to the race. We met Sheila, the race coordinator. We wore our bright green vests, and horrible whistles. I refused to use mine. It had a compass on one side, which always pointed the same direction no matter where I turned. And a thermometer on the other side which always read 85 degrees. It wasn't 85 degrees. But that's what you get in a 99 cent whistle. Decorative but useless features.
We rode the course once before the race. I didn't fall down (yet). Then we got back, made some semblance of a plan, and waited for the race to start. Pow! Everyone started running. I loitered, feeling like a cheater on my bike. I hung out in the middle most of the race. Chris was in the lead, Lois in the back, and Curt.... I'm not sure. Probably clearing the road of any errant gators.
|"This road is gator free."|
At about mile 3, I drifted into the grass on the side of the road. I tried to drift back but my tire caught the lip of the road and I fell with a resounding clatter. One of the runners tried to rescue me, which was doubly embarrassing.
After some time runners started crossing the finish line. The four of us after that just cruised back and forth, cheering runners on. At one point I saw Chris (I think?), and stopped next to him. I pulled my right food out of the pedal. My bike leaned left. I fell on my a$$. Again! I pretended like I was just practicing my martial arts. Just ignore these wounds on my legs.
We cheered on the remaining runners. Well, walkers. As the last two ladies traversed the course, I let the volunteers know they could go home. I mean, they had to pick up cones, or something. But I said, "forget it! Just go!"
I didn't say that.
The two ladies finished after an hour and a half. They were cool. Just doing their own thing. I talked to them a lot. As they approached the finish line, I told the remaining high school students there that the last two people were going to pass them soon and then they could go home. And they replied, "TUNNEL. NOW." And they totally made a tunnel. And cheered the F@#king $hit out of those two ladies. It was exceptional.
|Check out those sexy marshals. Pay no attention|
to the terrible whistles.
We talked to people some more at the end. Saw some more LUNARs. Took some selfies, and went and got lunch. I don't think anything noteworthy happened in that period, but my memory is terrible. Soon we were back on or bikes. We had already ridden about 17 miles. Lois got the idea that we should ride the Wineglass route.
I didn't realize she meant every single little turn. I got completely lost. Running the marathon is one thing. There's signs, and volunteers, and the runners in front of you. But riding it on a random Saturday, in reverse... Lois could've been taking us to Alaska and I would've had no clue. Finally we got out of Corning and Curt and I completely abandoned her and Chris. Just, unapologetically. With no warning.
Curt and I just rode until our watches said 25 miles. Then we turned around and rode back. The exact point where we stopped happened to have a cute ice cream shop called Twin Kiss. While we stopped, I walked across the street and peed into a bush. That's, um... the end of that. We rode back.
Five miles from Corning Curt got a flat tire. I watched, transfixed, while he fixed it. I didn't help, except to hold up his bike. I just stared. Occasionally I made a comment. Stupid things mostly. Probably like, "oooh, that's what a tire looks like inside. What makes it all hard and stuff? Air? Huh. That's why I have that pump, eh? Fascinating."|
|I told Curt I wasn't going to post this pic...|
We got home and Lois made an absurdly large dinner for us. It was the most delicious thing I'd eaten in my life. Her friend Emily joined us, and we had some edifying conversations. But I don't remember any of them. She was cool.
And then. Then! Curt facetimed with Jenn, right there at the table! I was so giddy I almost peed my kilt. She's a supremely awesome lady on LUNAR. I didn't know that Curt had been coaching her for her first marathon tomorrow! I kept butting my big stupid face into the phone and making ludicrous comments. He was giving her final pointers on her race. I just kept saying useless things like, "you should run the race in a bathrobe." And I gave Curt bunny ears.
This is why I'm not a coach. She'll kill that marathon though. I'm excited! On my drive home I thought, I could just drive to the airport and fly to Minnesota and pace her! With my broken legs. Oh but that won't work. I've missed all the registration deadlines. But what if I jumped into the race a few miles in! Is that a d!ck move? Finally I decided to just get more Halo Top and go home.
So I spent about 24 hours with some really amazing people. We shared a ton of love and a ton of laughs. I fell down a lot. I bicycled a lot. And it was worth every second. This is why I do what I do. Not to crush pavement. But to to crush... um, friendships? You know what I mean. Love is where it's at. And all these beautiful and exceptional people keep piling in on my life thanks to running (and biking, and everything else). So it's absolutely worth the sore legs and (occasionally) sore behind.
I can't wait to do it all again.