It seemed simple enough. Why do these things always seem simple enough? In honor of Camper Van Beethoven’s Beanee Weeniepalooza, eat four cans of Beanee Weenees while running 4 miles. Brilliant!
I got to the track around 6 p.m. There was one serious runner, a couple of joggers, some class with ropes and kettle balls and free weights and jumper cables hooked up to a car battery. But nobody was packing beanee weenies. I suppose it has to start somewhere. Even the Boston Marathon started out with just one guy out lost trying to pick up chicks at Wellesley College.
I lined up my cans and my secret beer (I’m not sure if beer is welcomed on high school campuses. I remember we drank beer back in my high school days, but only during algebra class. I took the silent vow to do some algebra in my head during the run. Or maybe convert mile splits to kilometers.)
After the national anthem, a brief invocation (dear Lord, bless our underwear), a song by an up-and-coming country singer accompanied by hundreds of earnest but out-of-place junior high students, four commercials and some brief commentary from the booth, the race commenced.
It was fairly simple. Hit the start button on the watch, then eat a can of beanee weenies. The run a mile. Then more beanee weenees. Then another mile. Four cans, four miles. USA USA.
The first mile was actually pretty comfy. I felt no ill effects, other than it was hot and I’m old and the gravitational pull on Earth seems to be stronger when you’re near the ocean. Something to do with the tides I suppose. And then it was over and time for round 2.
Again, not awful. I was feeling a little heavy, and I could feel the 1,700 milligrams of sodium pumping through the tiny veins in my forehead. But a guy was doing 400 repeats in lane 2 and I couldn’t hope to look as bad as him, so on I went. And then, round 3. Sadly, a camera glitch left me with but a small portion of that pit stop. But I didn’t barf during it, so basically you missed me making faces and eating. But I was starting to feel it. And not in a good way.
On the third mile, I walked a little in hopes of not having a calamity on the track. There were a lot more folks out than I expected, and beanee weenee barf, while admittedly an attractive concept, might have been deemed impolite in lane 4. But it wasn’t tooooo awful.
And then, the fourth can.
It was really, really, really, really bad. And I stop there only because i got really, really, really tired of typing really. Really. I had that one second where I started to gag in the way that happens when your pal says “No, that really isn’t a Power Bar that really IS dog poop don’t eat it” but you know he’s playing an elaborate joke so you chomp into it and realize it’s either not an elaborate joke at all or maybe one of those Epic paleo bars.
I started out on the fourth mile. And I felt bad. And then I felt worse. But then with about 800 meters to go, something happened. All of a sudden, I still felt bad. And then as I started to kick it in for the last 200, out of nowhere, I still felt bad.
But I finished, and I didn’t barf. I finished under an hour, which was actually better than I had hoped for. And two hours later, my heart hasn’t exploded. And I will never, ever eat Beanee Weenees again.
At least not till next July 13. See you then!!!