Stupid/Wonderful Life

I am back in New Wye after a lovely weekend away.  It’s always hard to get back to reality after a really great weekend, especially when reality entails grading essays, giving and grading final exams, tallying and reporting semester grades, and moving into a new office on campus.  Suffice it to say this will be a busy week.

Let’s not think of all that now, though, shall we? Instead I will tell you all about my wonderful weekend.  Friday after class I headed over to the Crooked Letter State to visit my friend Clarabella, her BF Philly, and their adorable two-year-old boy.  It’s always lovely to stay with them, and not least because C. is one of my oldest and dearest friends.  I always get to stay in their comfy guest room and am fed delicious home-cooked meals made by Philly (who is completely patient about my new dietary nonsense).

Friday night I also got to play with a Wii for the first time.  I’m no video game aficionado, let me tell you: the last time I played a video game I think it was either the original Mario Bros. game or Duck Hunt, sometime in 1985.  The Wii, however, was super fun.  We played around with the various sports on the EA Sports Active game, which are cool and definitely a good workout.  Bonus: I cannot actually get hit in the head with a volleyball or accidentally smack my tennis doubles partner in the face with my racket; after all it is only make-believe. I tried out some yoga on the Wii Fit, too, which was pretty nice in spite of the cartoon trainer’s smug attitude. (“You’re looking a little shaky there,” he claimed as I was in the middle of the steadiest and best tree position I have ever managed in my life. And then I killed him.)  If you’ve ever played on the Wii Fit before, you know about the “age test,” which tries to estimate your body’s “age” based on balance, BMI, and so on. It thinks I am 38. Will have to work on that.

Saturday morning was the 5K race – my first ever – and it went so much better than I expected! I will refrain from recapping every step I ran, even though I could. Trust me, those many steps are each seared on my brain.  The main point is that even though I am only on week 6 of the Couch-to-5K running program I still managed to run almost the entire distance with only a few short walking breaks and I came in 3 minutes under my goal time! It was a true personal best, since the only times I have run that distance before have been on a treadmill.  Most people say that running goes both harder and slower when you switch from the treadmill to the streets, but the opposite was true for me.  I ran longer, faster, and better than I ever have on the treadmill.  I think this probably has a lot to do with the fact that on the treadmill you set your speed at a certain number. It’s easy to think to yourself that whatever number you have managed to settle on is “your” speed, i.e. the fastest or best speed for you.  In my case I was sorely underestimating myself.

I was really happy that my friends Clarabella and Ruby were both doing the 5K with me, but since we were going different paces I wound up running by myself the whole way.  In spite of my surprising “speed” throughout the race, I am still a really slow runner.  I was slower than most of the other runners and faster than the walkers, so I found myself truly alone on the road for most of the time.  It’s funny that way – no matter what kind of “support system” (or whatever – GAG) that you have, when you are out there running you are always alone.  No one else can do it for you; no one else can want it for you. It’s just you and the road and no one else.  I like that.

After we finished the race, we girls collected our free participants’  tee-shirts only to learn that we could never, ever wear them in public.  Emblazoned inexplicably across the back of the shirt is the slogan “Come on and take a free ride.” Uh, thanks, race organizers, but clearly you are oblivious to the idea of dooble entendres.

That night we and several others gathered chez Ruby for a great evening of grilling out and the most ridiculously delicious watermelon margaritas you can imagine.  Later that night, C., P., and I stayed up late late late talking, as we often tend to do when we are hanging out and the adult libations are flowing.  I do love those nights!

I also had a great time hanging out with their little boy, my honorary nephew, who is now learning to talk, draw, dance, and all sorts of other fun things.  Kids are weird, man; weird and awesome sometimes.  I mean, you know, as long as I don’t have to wipe their butts.

All in all it was a most excellent weekend – even better than the thoughts that were sustaining me throughout the crushing tedium of last week. And now, though, I suppose I really must return to thinking about real life and work and other such stupid trappings of adult life. Stupid life!

4 thoughts on “Stupid/Wonderful Life

  1. John August 3, 2009 / 10:03 pm

    Hey, congratulations on the 5k race. That’s fantastic, and even more so since it’s something you enjoy. Plan on doing some more?

  2. clarabella August 3, 2009 / 11:19 pm

    I wore my 5k t-shirt to the gas station tonight. Felt the stares. Never again. (Just slightly kidding.)
    Wow, it’s weird how much I love seeing my little family, of which you are most certainly an important part, written about here. Philly basks in your culinary praise.
    I think I sort of see my Wii the same way you consider Jillian Michaels, in a mostly unfair sort of comparison. I know it’s just a machine and not realizing that we DID have a couple glasses of wine before we played with it, etc. So I wouldn’t take that “38” too much to heart. (Two things: do you remember I told you it once gave me a fit age of 41 (the humanity!) AND I don’t usually have a few glasses of wine before I play with it, of course.)
    This comment is probably going to be redundant seeing as how most of it will be in my next Fit post, but anyway.
    So how many weeks IS the C25K anyway?
    So much fun this weekend . . .

  3. Vague August 4, 2009 / 10:11 am

    J – Thanks! I am already planning another one in the Fall and hopefully more after. Maybe longer races, too.

    C – The C25K is nine weeks – you can see the progression here if you scroll down to the table. Anyway, I look forward to shaving the years off that Fit age!

  4. Timothy August 8, 2009 / 3:24 am

    Late to the party. 1st – Nice work on the 5k! That’s a great distance – long enough to be challenging, but short enough that it’s over in at worst half an hour so if you’re having a bad day it doesn’t last too long. And thanks for the link to the cool running site!

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