I'm pretty sure the recent weather here is signaling End of Days. Seriously, it's like Vegas hot. Especially at dusk when you could be wearing a scarf and dental floss and not have a single goose bump. It was a long freezing winter whereupon I wore my grey duffle coat all day every day, literally. I didn't need a purse what with all the pockets in that coat. If I become famous, that coat will be hung in the Smithsonian.
Anyways, this weather I guess is a little bit of "Fine, here you go, you wanted hot, try and put makeup on your slippery face at THIS TEMPERATURE!" or something like that. One of the few highlights of this heat is remembering how much I adore the smell of baby sunscreen. My niece came galloping out to greet me the other day and she was coated in the stuff and I wanted to eat her all up, even more than usual. The weather does pose the challenge for sickly fair complexions like mine, but as long as there is SPF 80 on this Earth, I will be fine. My goal in life, above all else, is to still be ID'd when I buy Nuv's smokes, and so far-> goal achieved.
The greatest feat of athletic-ness I ever completed was a half marathon. My Mom has always run; I started years ago when I needed to move this body about. It was cheap and easy; it was also the worst way to spend any amount of time. I hated it. Every single step. In rain, under the sun, holding water, holding nothing, with an iPod clipped to my arm, or not, it is just the worst. Boring, repetitive, creating a stitch so wide and deep and painful in your side you think loops of intestine are about to come pouring out, and a faster way for me to fall down and hurt myself. That is what running is. But I did it. Did some 10 km runs for good causes. Cheered my Mom on at the end of full-length marathons, and then was finally talked into signing up for a half marathon.
Weeks before the run, I got sick. I didn't do anything other than watch TV, work, and worry about the run. So, the day of, I couldn't have been in a worse mood. Koleman always films the beginning and end of Mom's runs and if you look very carefully in the crowd of well-groomed, game-faced, stretching, stoked-to-be-alive crowd right before the run starts, you see me, sullen and terrified in a ripped purple hoody, fingering the camera.
It is no exaggeration that every single step of the 2 hours 30 some odd minutes was the worst moment of my life. My poor Mom would run with me, eventually get ahead of me and LOOP BACK to encourage/aggravate the FUCK out of me until I became particularly ungrateful and snarly and we parted ways. I nearly laid down near the end when my blood sugar dipped, and when I asked the two ladies jogging beside me if they had any candy and they ONLY had gluten free candy, life was suddenly the most marvelous it had ever been.
The last miles I was fake running in a shuffle style; elderly people with no legs were lapping me while laughing and pointing, but I willed my way across the finish line, proud that I had finished the run with hate in my heart for every step.
Not at ANY point did I think it was rad. Not when we were hurdling fallen trees in Stanley Park, not when the ocean water came up and kissed our sneakers over the Seawall, not when we'd pass the Gatorade volunteers who would cheer and blow on novelty horns. Nope.
The rest of that day and the following two I felt EXACTLY like an old arthritic woman. I know for Goddamn sure what that will feel like when I'm old. The frailty in my knees was terrifying. Stairs, sitting down and getting up – all nightmare sequences of watching my legs with big eyes and no breath, praying the skin would not come unsheathed and reveal the mess of red bloody muscle, twisted and smoking around my joints.
The ONLY cool thing about after the fact, well other than the medal, was being able to boast about this feat. This boast will now be shared as my friend Ali is going to tackle this run, but on Tofino, wearing hemp shoes and no bra or something. I wish her well, but there is nothing I can do about the part of me that hopes she twists an ankle and can't finish. If that happens I'll be sympathetic and squeeze her hand and let her wear my medal. For like a minute, then I'll take it back.