And I ran. I ran so far away.

I just got back home, because today is my holiday. It's marathon day here in Greensboro. And no, I don't mean we're all eating Marathon candy bars. Do they still make those? I am not a fan of caramel-only candy bars.

At any rate, I did not bring my camera because I was in such a rush to get out there and commence to cheering. Ever since I ran a marathon in 2000 (and yes, the term "ran" is a little strong), watching other people run marathons is my favorite thing to do.

On marathon day in LA, I would bring packets of aspirin, or tortilla chips, or orange slices to share with the runners, but as this was my first year watching the one here, I brought nothing and just concentrated on actually finding it.

But find it I did and YAY! I heart marathon day. I stand there and cheer like an idiot. Which is why Marvin does not come with me. Marvin is not what you'd call a cheer-on-the-side-of-the-street kind of guy. He does not cotton to the sight of me jumping up and down and screaming, "You go, girl! The end is in sight! Wooo, yellow shirt guy! Almost there, dude!"

I am hoarse by the end of marathon day.

I stay until the people who take six hours to run a marathon come in, because those are my people. Oh, shut up. Do I see your jiggly ass out there running 26 miles? Okay, then. The nice thing about this marathon as opposed to the LA one is there was actually a bench near the finish line that only had one guy sitting on it. He had a racer's number on and ice on his knee.

"Can I sit here?" I asked.

"Of course!"

Southern people are nice. Even after they have finished a marathon and have ice taped to their knee.

He was waiting for his friend to finish, and we just had the nicest visit. He had finished in two hours and something, so naturally I hated him, and he told me how he competes in races in this area all the time, and how every single race there is this guy who runs in a kilt, and the guy beats him by just a smidge each race. This humiliates him, getting beaten by a guy in a skirt, so I told him about the guy who had one leg in MY marathon, who beat me by an hour.

An HOUR. He had ONE LEG.

Anyway. Mr. I-ran-a-marathon-in-two-hours-and-something told me about his Lab, who runs with him, right next to him, and I told about Tallulah, who does not. He says he can take his Lab to downtown Greensboro, leave her unleashed outside, go in and have coffee, and the dog just sits outside and waits.

Do you know what I would find when I came outside the coffee shop? Chaos and Tallulah's dust, that's what I would find. Fifty car accidents while she darted around traffic, children crying as she stole their plush toys right out their hands, people's tacos stolen right from their mouths, bistro tables knocked over, banks robbed, computers hacked, armored trucks stolen, acts of terror.

The LAB sits outside the SHOP. Waiting for the TWO-HOUR marathoner. Why did I enjoy talking to this guy, again?

After awhile it was getting hot and I told the guy I had better go, as I was getting hungry and I was thinking of stopping off at Sonic for a foot-long chili cheese dog on my way home.

"Really?" he asked, astonished. I guess two-hour marathoners do not imbibe in Sonic.

"Yeah," I told him. "I have the diet of a 16-year-old boy."

"Well, you're hidin' it good," he told me.

Oh, right. That's why I liked talking to him.

Anyway. We finally have a comment of the week, after 28 weeks of me forgetting. This week it goes to BlondeCarol. Also too, book club is going to be NEXT Sunday rather than tomorrow, seeing as I have not finished the book. Because I am busy eating Sonic. And hidin' it good.

46 thoughts on “And I ran. I ran so far away.

  1. I hope you get time to finish the book before next Sunday – it’s a great book! I read it on the recommendation of my online book club (yes, my book club is online, go ahead, make fun!) and I’m really glad I did!

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  2. I have always been a Clydesdale; never had one thoroughbred racing moment. So my reward in my middle years is that I can still run while most my age are doing well to walk. I know now that I am lucky that I was such a carpy high school athlete, bc now I still have my original knees and hips.
    I have a friend, George Bailey, who ran a marathon under 3 hours ten years or so ago. Now, he can’t run at all. I feel very lucky to be able to go out and run, and yes, Hulkster, my brutha, it makes me very happy. Like seeing my fat out of shape college classmates makes me happy.
    What, Paula? You can’t run and drink? That is basic southern multi-tasking. Work on your form, woman!

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  3. I have always been a Clydesdale; never had one thoroughbred racing moment. So my reward in my middle years is that I can still run while most my age are doing well to walk. I know now that I am lucky that I was such a carpy high school athlete, bc now I still have my original knees and hips.
    I have a friend, George Bailey, who ran a marathon under 3 hours ten years or so ago. Now, he can’t run at all. I feel very lucky to be able to go out and run, and yes, Hulkster, my brutha, it makes me very happy. Like seeing my fat out of shape college classmates makes me happy.
    What, Paula? You can’t run and drink? That is basic southern multi-tasking. Work on your form, woman!

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  4. I have always been a Clydesdale; never had one thoroughbred racing moment. So my reward in my middle years is that I can still run while most my age are doing well to walk. I know now that I am lucky that I was such a carpy high school athlete, bc now I still have my original knees and hips.
    I have a friend, George Bailey, who ran a marathon under 3 hours ten years or so ago. Now, he can’t run at all. I feel very lucky to be able to go out and run, and yes, Hulkster, my brutha, it makes me very happy. Like seeing my fat out of shape college classmates makes me happy.
    What, Paula? You can’t run and drink? That is basic southern multi-tasking. Work on your form, woman!

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  5. Back in my running-and-volunteering-at-races days, I LOVED working the finish line at the marathons. By the end of the race, I had my vocal chords so loosened up that you could hear my screech half a block away. And I tried to be loud for every one of those late finishers. I love the back of the packers – they ran the same distance but worked twice as hard. I couldn’t talk for the rest of the day, but it was worth it.

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  6. Love me some ChikFilA and also wonder why this subject comes up on Sunday. For me, at least, because I’m reading yesterday’s comments today.
    Go me.

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  7. Katie, welcome to our world…at least you can go tomorrow and get Chick Fil A. Enjoy it and think of us while you do.

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  8. Shana, congrats on staying ahead of the runner with the oxygen tank! They sound closer than they are because of the throat thing that vibrates when they talk, “coming up on your left!”

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  9. Ugh. I am running for the first time since high school nine bazillion years ago. I have to ice my knee. It is not fun. I am not smiling…
    That is, until I realize that my jeans are a size smaller and they are SKINNY JEANS PEOPLE!
    That is why we run, Hulk. For simultaneous fried chicken and skinny jeans.
    PS to June: When did a chili cheese dog become a veg? Is that like listing mac-n-cheese as a veg when you order a meat and three?

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  10. Ugh. I am running for the first time since high school nine bazillion years ago. I have to ice my knee. It is not fun. I am not smiling…
    That is, until I realize that my jeans are a size smaller and they are SKINNY JEANS PEOPLE!
    That is why we run, Hulk. For simultaneous fried chicken and skinny jeans.
    PS to June: When did a chili cheese dog become a veg? Is that like listing mac-n-cheese as a veg when you order a meat and three?

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  11. Ugh. I am running for the first time since high school nine bazillion years ago. I have to ice my knee. It is not fun. I am not smiling…
    That is, until I realize that my jeans are a size smaller and they are SKINNY JEANS PEOPLE!
    That is why we run, Hulk. For simultaneous fried chicken and skinny jeans.
    PS to June: When did a chili cheese dog become a veg? Is that like listing mac-n-cheese as a veg when you order a meat and three?

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  12. Here in Boston, the Marathon is the hugest deal… I live ON the course, about a mile before the end. So, the first year, I had just moved in about a week before and didn’t know I was on the course, I woke up to Boston University kids with a boom box at 10a and was like.. what the hell are college kids up congregating outside for so early? Didn’t they just get home like two hours ago? Then I got up and “OH. Marathon.”
    Massachusetts conveniently has a holiday that coincides each year with the marathon, Patriots’ Day, commemorating the beginning of the Revolutionary war, Paul Revere, British are coming, Lexington & Concord, etc.. and the Red Sox, who play mere blocks from my house, also on the marathon route, decide to play the earliest game in baseball every year, starting at 11, so they can add to the already ridiculous traffic and crowd situation by timing it so all the fans dump out into the street just at the bulk of the runners are coming through Kenmore Square. And that is where I live.
    So, instead of trying to be productive with the day off, not being able to use my car, pissing off the cops when I try to anyway, and generally being at odds with the marathon, (tried that one year, only pissed myself off..) It’s a When-in-Rome situation around here, and I’m one of the big cheerers on the sidewalk in front of my house.. cause where else am I going to go?
    This is my last marathon next month because I’m moving! I’m kind of getting a little sad thinking about it now..
    And also, why does Chick-fil-a always come up on Sunday (granted, you all were talking about it yesterday..) when I can’t buy any?!

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  13. My first race, I vowed not to let any mommy joggers with strollers pass me. Then I realized those chicks? ARE FAST. Next goal: do not let the one-legged guy pass me. Which, of course, he did. Final goal: Do not let anyone wheeling oxygen pass me. Guess what? WIN! Yay me.
    PS: Sandra, meet met at the Chick-Fil-A!

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  14. Power walking AND working in the yard is like a whole week’s worth of activity over here at Casa de Chief. Perhaps that’s why it takes so long to get anything done. Sigh.

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  15. Hulk (Who doesn't always actually SMILE when he is playing, but sure doesn't look like he's going to keel over...)

    michelle/nft~It’s “IH-rahn”. Not ‘EYE-ran”. Didn’t I cover this once?
    I never understood people running. Nobody EVER looks like they are having fun. I mean, I play softball and basketball, and I am always smiling. Runners always have this pained look on their face like they are going to keel over any second.
    Don’t get it…

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  16. Oh, heavens. I mistyped. It was supposed to read “It was gorgeous over here in MA today.” I was sweaty and gross. As per usual after a power walk and then working in the yard.
    Hate self. Thanks, Chief. Oy.

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  17. I think if Your Pal in MA is going to boast how she was gorgeous today, she ought to send you pics to share with the class.

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  18. As someone who is naturally over-endowed in the chesticle area, the only reason I will consider running is if I’m being chased by chainsaw-wielding zombie gangbangers.
    Loved the description of what would happen if Tallulah was allowed to Run Wild in the Streets. There would be anarchy!

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  19. I like people cheering AT the finish line but not before. It makes me feel very awkward when people are looking at me running and sweating and tripping over my two left feet. Probably the same reason I don’t want to walk down the aisle at my wedding… QUIT STARING, PEOPLE! ohmygod it’s just a dress. It’s just sweat. And yes, they’re BOTH left feet! JUST STOP LOOKING AT ME! 🙂
    However, I do always thank the policemen at races who help keep traffic off the course. They keep us safe and happy.
    And I really, REALLY appreciate the people who bring food and water. Love me some food and water. THANKS, JUNE! 🙂

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  20. I LOVE Chick Fil A!! It is the best fast food ever! The closest one is about an hour drive away, so I that is not an option. We were in a big city the other day and I almost peed my pants with joy when we saw a sign that announced a Chick Fil A. Oh it was so good. We have a more Sonics around than anybody would ever need, but Chick Fil A? Grr. Now I want Chicken Nuggets.

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  21. I ran a half marathon a few years ago. We had to start running at the crack of dawn. There were so many people on the sidewalk cheering me on, but I couldn’t figure out how they all knew my name. I kept looking at them, trying to remember where I knew them from. By the time the tenth person yelled, “Go Misti, you can do it.”, I realized my name was printed on my bib. Did I mention it was the crack of dawn and I was not quite awake yet?

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  22. Duffylou, where is CLE? Is it somewhere in the Midwest? Because I grew up in the Midwest and every time I go back there, I am struck anew at how DING and ridiculous DANG reserved people are. I say something in line ast the grocery store and people act like I am insane. Oh, calm down, you reserved jerk.

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  23. Ahhh…Explain’s it.
    I’m not even up to walking a mile yet. I can’t even comprehend 26 miles.
    I want to live somewhere other than the suburbs of CLE. Let me assure you, 1.) I do not have a hump on my back. 2.) Not a wart on my nose with a wiry hair. 3.) one arm is not longer than the other and knuckles do not scrape the ground.
    Every time I start a conversation with a stranger, they look at that third eye in the middle of my forehead and go running and screaming from the vicinity.
    Is that a geographical phenomenon? Don’t get me wrong, people here aren’t rude..,all the time, but if people in the South really are that nice, then that’s where I belong. Although I was hankering for New Mexico, but I can adapt.

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  24. There is a Sonic about 10 miles from me. It’s the closest one. But you know what there is not within 100 miles of me? A &*#4’ing Chick-Fil-A. How can that be? Do you know how long it’s been since I have had a chick-fil-a nugget? In my mind, it has now been built up to be the best food I’ve ever eaten.

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  25. “Do I see your jiggly ass out there?” Heeeee!
    NO, because (a) spontaneous poopage phobia and (b) a plane might fall on me. Besides, when I run, the ice cubes fly out of my drink.

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  26. Methinks 2 Hour Marathon Runner was hitting on June!
    I, personally, just polished up my 17 minute mile. Cannot imagine 26 miles. I’ll sooner finish a marathon as wake up tomorrow and be 6 feet tall.

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  27. Yaaaaay, Lauren! Way to dust that table! Way to vacuum that rug! Wooo HOOOOOOOOOO! You go, girl! Keep up the good work!
    Wouldn’t that be nice? To be encouraged during our mundane tasks?
    Happy first day of spring, everyone!
    I was GORGEOUS over here in MA. : )

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  28. Love that song. Love Sonic. Don’t love marathons – running them that is but you’re quite the fan. I would like hearing someone like you cheering me on. Who doesn’t like that? Maybe I’ll hire someone to cheer me on when I do housework. Because I think I’ll never get to the finish of that.

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  29. Shana, perhaps you should have met my grandmother. I think you would have liked each other quite a bit. You could have made a date for coffee on your matching holocaust calandars.

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  30. Wait. So those people at the end of the race saying stuff like “Almost there!” and “You’ve almost made it!” weren’t MOCKING me? My assumption was they were mocking me. Because when a stranger calls out, “You go, girl! The end is in sight!” my response is, “WHAT? Do I LOOK like I couldn’t ever make it?! Is that what you’re saying to me!?”
    Who was a tad cranky after running a half marathon? I wonder.
    Also, at the end of my half marathon, I had on my lovely giant medal and was walking back to the hotel. A woman walked up to me and asked, “What’s going on over there?” indicating the festivities commencing at the finish line. I told her it was the marathon finish line.
    She admired my medal and said, “Wow, does everyone who finishes the marathon get one of those?” And I said, yes, and then I clarified that my medal was for the half marathon.
    And she said, and I quote, “Wow, I wonder what you would have got if you’d finished the whole thing.” STAB.

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  31. Topamax makes me not want to finish the whole hot dog. Anyway you will be glad to hear I did not go to Sonic. The way the roads were closed made it impossible to get there. Stupid healthy marathon.

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