Sunday, September 18, 2005

¡El Sábado Gigante!

¡La mañana temprana y las 20 millas!
Where were you at 6:00 am on Saturday? I was gently unlocking my hamstrings and choking down some gritty energy bars in preparation for the longest run of my marathon training. And when I stepped out the door at 6:30 and discovered it was just on the cold side of perfect, I knew my run would be a breeze.

20 miles later, I returned triumphantly to my refrigerator to chug a quart of victory Gatorade and officially mark the beginning—the blessed beginning—of my tapering. From now to October 9, the longest run I’ll do is 10 miles, and I’ll be able to freakin’ SLEEP IN on Saturdays.

And, unlike last year’s festival of debilitating injuries, I’ll be just fine when the marathon finally gets here. Yay!

¡Los maricónes y los aficionados de Cubs!
Normally, I give myself a couple hours to warm down, stretch, and locate my strangely silent appetite after a long run. But my secretary booked me to the gills on Saturday, and I had all of 45 minutes to recover, shave, shower, get dressed and even put on a freakin’ necktie because I was scheduled to sing the National Anthem with the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus at Saturday’s 12:20 Cubs game.

It was our third time singing for the Cubs, and it’s always so much fun that I’d reschedule my own autopsy to make sure I wouldn’t miss it. About 90 of us sang on Saturday, and the crowd wasn’t sure what to make of us when we marched on the field in our white shirts and our expertly dimpled ties. And, as usual, there was a bit of a surprised buzz when we were introduced as a group of homosexuals at a sporting event. But about two bars into the music—when our bass notes began to rumble and our gorgeous sound washed through the alcoholic vapors in the stands—the stadium fell completely silent … and then erupted in patriotic whoops and cheers when we finished.

But by then my appetite had awakened from its hibernation, and the Cubs fans were starting to look like food to me. I had to get to a restaurant STAT.

¡Los zapatos unidos mal!
I headed back to the car first to change out of our monkey suits and plug my meter (that’s not a metaphor for anything) … and when I pulled all my carefully packed clothes out of my backpack, I discovered I’d packed two different flip-flops. Like a moron. (Thankfully, I had one for each foot—just imagine how thoroughly Dubya’s PR people would have destroyed my candidacy if I didn’t at least have that accomplishment to stand on. So to speak.)

Then some friends and I hobbled over to a nearby diner, where I proceeded to eat everything in our bread basket, everything on my plate, half of what everyone else ordered and a few of our neighboring patrons who, frankly, weren’t very fast anyway and didn’t deserve to survive.

Then we went and got pedicures! Marathon training hasn’t made my feet all troll-like and repulsive like it does for some runners—I barely have blisters, and only one pinky toenail has turned purple—but it sure has made them sore. So my focus at the pedicure store was all about keeping my feet in the little footsie hot tub as long as possible. Plus: I got to read all about Kirstie Alley’s weight loss in People! So now I’m all caught up on my celebrity news.

¡Los libros nuevos!
And while I was in a literature frame of mind, I headed across the street to Unabridged Books for some post-pedicure, still-in-mismatched-shoes browsing, and I stumbled back into the sun an hour later with American Gothic: A Life of America's Most Famous Painting and David McCullough’s Pulitzer-winning John Adams in my hands. Not that I’ll have any time to read the damn things, but at least they’ll be within arm’s reach should I suddenly find myself with a couple free hours and no CSI reruns on my TiVo. (The horror!)

¡Las fiestas de cumpleaños sin fin!
But my Saturday adventures were far from over. I headed back home to shower and upgrade shoes and then I trekked back out into the world to celebrate three birthdays (which were, mercifully, condensed into two parties).

And after four hours of food and drinks and cake and singing and conversations with strangers and looking for parking, I headed home once again for the final leg of my jorney:

¡El agotamiento completo!
Yes. I was completely exhausted. And I slept like the dead. Like the poor dead patrons of the diner who weren’t fast enough to escape my ravenous hunger.

And on a completely unrelated note, has anyone seen my cat?

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