“They got all the cars on the left side of the street.”
This is not something you want to hear when your car is on the left side of the street.
I’m at work. It’s late. I’m feeling the effects of the first double-digit run of the training cycle. I want to go home and have a beer. Turmoil? No, thanks.
I try to overhear what they’re saying. Apparently someone walked along in the grass outside the building and broke out the windows of all the cars parked on that side. The side where mine is. Someone says a six-pack of beer was taken from his car.
Two coolers are perched in the front of my car, one on the floor and one in the passenger’s seat, remnants of the 72HOM. If I’m smashing windows looking for beer, this car would be a slam dunk.
I grudgingly go downstairs to survey the damage. And then, nothing.
The cars all look OK, except they’re missing windows. Somebody just walked along smashing them out, one by one, car after car.
Except one. Mine. Why?
The other cars are all shiny and new, the kind of car folks buy when they’re young and have new careers and extra money. My car is an ’88 Honda that would appear to have escaped from the wrecking yard. It is a magnet for dents and seagull poop, the price of three decades of parking in bad neighborhoods and running courses next to the bay.
It’s just sitting there, looking at me and saying “what?” Both coolers still there. Expired GU still on the dash. Broken glove compartment hanging open, Fez Monkey and Yellow Pig peeking out with relieved expressions. Six pack of H-E-B cola (aug. 1 expiration date) still standing ready.
I guess that’s the way my running is going. The first 10-miler is big. It says “now we’re getting somewhere,” even if that somewhere is just a 0.4 mile dirt loop by a big puddle that eventually leads to the Atlantic Ocean.
Other than a virus last week, I can’t remember the last time I was sidelined. I read about super-fast peeps who find themselves injured for long periods. But for some reason, my body is hanging in there. Everything feels pretty good today. That tired but happy feeling in the legs that serves as a reminder of progress.
Maybe the Running Gods look on me the same way the banditos viewed my car. This one’s been through enough, they say. We’ll skip it.
Life is sad and random and frustrating. Sometimes nothing makes sense except that hour when you put on your shoes and control your fate for a fleeting few miles. That’s enough.
Today I’ll run an easy 3-miler. Then I’ll drive to work in a car with four windows and two coolers. Repeat as necessary for another 22 weeks.
And I’ll probably walk out tonight to find my car on fire in the parking lot. That’s OK. A cold front is coming through this afternoon. I’ll make s’mores.
Life is funny …