I realize I haven’t written Parts 1 and 2, but this story has been begging me to write it, and since I just returned from Miami, it’s fresh in my mind.
Chris and I were sweating in a perfect Big-to-Little Spoon hold, something that only happens about once a month since he moved to Miami when my phone alarm went off. I writhed out of his lock, pressed snooze, and tucked myself back into his arms. The sun would not have it. She slipped under the door and stared into my eyes like an unrelenting toddler waiting bedside for cereal and morning cartoons. I surrendered. I knew the longer I waited, the more abusive the Florida heat would be. I had reached the twenty-mile point in my marathon training and it was time to start my Long Run morning ritual:
1. Hate everything/one.
2. Sip coffee while contemplating going back to bed.
3. Spot iPod on the table and realize I forgot to charge it.
4. Hate everything/one.
5. Locate: hat, sunscreen, compression socks, dead iPod, earphones, water belt, food, bullet proof vest, binoculars, fishing pole, 6 pack of PBR. (Always over-prepare.)
6. After consuming approx. ½ cup of coffee, tiptoe optimistically from the kitchen to the bathroom for hopeful morning poop.
7. Trip over Chris’s shoes, knock hair dryer on the floor.
8. Hate everything/one, especially Chris. This is all his fault.
I finished getting ready, poop and all (SCORE!), and snuck out the back door. I was confident about my plan – which was to not have a plan. I figured, I don’t need a route. It’s my first time in Miami. I’m just going to explore. That’s what you do on vacation, right? One mile in as I started to cross MacArthur Bridge I was breathless – not from my heart rate but the view. I patted myself on the back. See that everyone? I’m one hell of a Non-Planner! Next I’ll run blindly to the beach! I’ll run downtown! I’ll feed the homeless and knit baby booties for orphan children!
Adrenaline is like alcohol: It distorts your perception, forces you into bad decisions until it’s too late and before you know it you’re on the couch watching Serendipity and making out with a forty-five-year-old balding, divorced pastor.
So there were a few problems with my non-plan:
No. 1: Yellow tape. It’s dangerous. Sure, it’s unlikely someone is going to abduct a woman leaking sweat from her boobs, butt, ears, EVERYWHERE, but possible. Crazier things have happened. Like, Lauren Conrad wrote a book. And it was published. And people buy it.
Number 2: It’s defeating. By mile 16, every ounce of energy, physical and mental, is devoted to moving your legs one step at a time; or not crying; not pooping yourself, staying vertical. There’s no energy left to think. I was in historic downtown running the same four blocks for 2 miles and when I looked at my GPS watch to discover I was only at mile 18 and out of water I lost my shit. I started screaming, “WHAT THE FUCK? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK.”
OK, now hang on. If that offends you, I’m sorry. I don’t want you to be mad at me because I really need your approval despite what my therapist says. But it’s important my daughter knows it’s OK to be real. That doesn’t mean I’ll allow her to fling that word just anywhere. If anyone is going to scream EFF YOU SEE KAY on the soccer field it’s going to be me. But I have defined exactly four scenarios when SHE has a pass to drop that bad boy:
(1) When something life threatening happens.
(2) When a guy dicks her over.
(3) When she runs out of water on mile 18 in Miami, FL on a 90-degree day.
(4) When someone eats the last donut of the dozen without asking. WHAT THE FUCK.
Wait! Don’t leave! I love you! Your hair is pretty!
It was too humid to continue. I started walking in and out of high-end stores looking a lot like a wet, drunk, 8-year-old boy with fake boobs. If that’s confusing, we obviously haven’t met.
At this point if I had to rank my dignity on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being I FEEL LIKE NELSON MANDELA, and 1 being I FEEL LIKE DAN QUAYLE THE MORNING AFTER I MISSPELLED POTATO ON NATIONAL TV, I was about a four, somewhere near Miley Cyrus twerking. Or is it Twirking? Don’t act like there’s a right answer.
When I made it home, Chris and Nora were waiting outside cheering me to the finish. In typical fashion, it was so incredibly sweet of them, but instead of waving or smiling or thanking them, I yelled something like, “GET AWAY!” I had point two miles until I hit twenty and after what I’d been through by God I was going to get to twenty. So without my mapped route, I was just running back and forth outside of his house waiting for my GPS to hit the magic number. And I could tell Chris was like, “What the fuck is she doing.” And I could tell Nora was like, “What the fuck is my mom doing.” (I didn’t use question marks because I don’t think those were questions as much as acknowledgements of shame.)
My watch beeped at twenty miles and I pulled myself together enough to embrace Nora and thank Chris for spending over four hours with Nora while I ran like a jerk in circles around Miami. I asked if he was exhausted from entertaining her, and he smiled and kind of shrugged, like, I certainly wouldn’t object to a Jager bomb right now. But I don’t look like you. So I’m good.
This is when it starts to go downhill. Yes. STARTS. Everything 20 miles and prior is soft baby butt cheeks and puppy breath. Because everything after 20 miles is me holding my own poop with my bare hands.
See you for Part 4 next week. Clothes optional. I know I’ll be naked.