Monday, September 05, 2005

6:00 a.m.

I’m deep in the heart of Insanely Long Marathon Training Country—which means weekend runs that cover anywhere from 15 to 20 miles (which translates to a good three hours of huffing and puffing). And since the temperatures here are still landing in the low 80s, I do everything in my power to make sure I’m done with all that huffing and puffing well before the weekend has a chance to get hot.

So I tend to be in bed on Friday nights by 10 p.m. and I get up at 6:00 on Saturdays to get my dirty, farty sweaty deed done and out of the way.

Which isn’t all bad. Running in the cool morning air is definitely a high point of my week. Most hardcore runners are up at that hour, so I get to splash in puddles of runner camaraderie and train without armies of civilian dorks wandering aimlessly all over the lakefront path. And I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish my training just as the rest of the world is tumbling out of bed.

Best of all, I sometimes get to witness a Walk of Shame.

This weekend, for instance, I had a trashy, shameful dinner on Friday night at a chain restaurant in a mall parking lot (but it was Olive Garden, I was carbo-loading and it was delicious). Then I snuggled in for a long, restorative sleep. And when I got up before the sun headed out into the morning, I rode the elevator partway with an obviously lost couple who 1) had clearly just met 2) were doing that weird drunk leany thing where they could not find their center of gravity (or their correct floor) and 3) left a toxic effluvium of alcohol, smoke and the promise of really bad sex in the elevator when they finally got off (HA! GOT OFF!) at (presumably) their floor.

Somehow I get the feeling that my 18-mile Saturday morning was way more satisfying than their 18-minute Saturday morning. (Plus: No chlamydia!)

Speaking of bodily discharges—and I know I’ve stated this before—there is no quiet way to fart when you’re running. And running long distances definitely makes you farty—especially if you’ve just eaten one of those gritty energy bars. I’m really good about checking—twice—over my shoulder to see that the coast is clear before I let anything rip when I’m out running, but some runners just open the floodgates with no concern for any potential victims behind them. (Public service announcement: Do NOT be one of those runners!)

Unfortunately, I made a less-than-discreet trumpet call Saturday morning that I’m still flush with embarrassment over. There’s this old stone bridge, see, that the running trail goes under. And you turn a sharp corner before you go under it, so when I did my double-over-shoulder-check, I didn’t see the guy who was just about to turn the corner and go under the bridge behind me. And since it’s a stone bridge, it has the acoustics of a Medieval church—which gave my demure little gas bubble all the subtlety of a hunter’s duck call.

Which means the guy behind me has probably already told all his cool runner friends about the out-of-control farter in the green wife-beater he got trapped behind on his morning run, and now I’m the laughingstock of the Chicago running community.

But still: No chlamydia!

No comments: