The Week I Was a Runner

I was running for a small period of time with a large German man. By small period I mean until it got cold. So… one week just before Thanksgiving, that’s how long I ran with him.

M Marine was asking me about it during a recent long, tedious drive to Ohio. We had just finished trying to calculate the actual speed of his truck if you took into account the new, larger tires. I suppose it was time to move to a more mundane subject. He asked if I’d been running recently with his friend the Giant Gentle German (heretofore know as GGG).

“Of course not,” I said to him, turning my nose up at the thought.
“Why not?” he asked in return.
“Because it’s cold,” I replied. The ‘you idiot’ was probably implied a little more strongly than necessary.
“Cold just makes you work harder,” he laughed. “It makes the survival instincts kick in.”

I’m sorry, but whomever it was that discovered this should just be locked in a room somewhere. I remember when I first read that article in the New York Times. I posted it to facebook. I was highly skeptical and not because I just don’t like to exercise, as it has been suggested.

It’s because, dear reader, freezing cold temperatures do not inspire me to rush out and run far distances. It makes my jaw hurt, my nose hurt, my lungs hurt. There is a distinct feeling of suffocation in the winter times for me and my immediate survival technique is to get out of there. I mean, who when faced with freezing climes ever thought to themselves “best go for a run” before they thought “best make some form of shelter”?

Yes it’s true, GGG may think along the lines of physical activity to stave off death but I want to construct a lean-to next to the jet fuel storage units.

Jet fuel, yes, since we run at the airport. Air field, something like that. Ran, rather. We ran for a week there. Running, I’m told, is bad for the body so I’ve been keeping up the yoga and hiding from the cold.

The NYE Accident

I have a bruise on my chin. I look like I’ve gotten punched, though only if you look up at my chin from the ground. Yes, it’s a bruise on the underside of my chin… along the jawline, you know.

It happened on New Year’s Eve and I wish I could say it was the result of some wildly fun moment but really it’s because I slipped and fell on the ice.

It was before we’d even left the apartment parking lot.

We were all dressed and ready to go. La Doyenne was wearing a charming black and white dress. Her boyfriend was in jeans and a button down (the new club casual uniform) and I was wearing jeans and a sweater. Jeans and a sweater because it was 15 degrees when we left and only 4 degrees  by the time we were heading home.

With these duds I was also wearing my boots: knee high, black, with heels. Right.

He had gone down the stairs first  and then I followed. A step that I had trod when I’d arrived, and countless times before that, without incident sent my feet flying out from under me. Not just out from under me, out from behind me leaving me to fall on my face into the deck and accompanying cement slab.

Fortunately, I had the good sense to lift up my head neatly avoiding a broken nose; hence the bruise. Another fortunate thing is that the girl with pants on was the one to discover the ice. I know how it is to slip and fall in a dress and it’s far worse than slipping in pants simply because there’s so much skin to ice contact. Yet another fortunate thing is that I made it away with only a bruise and a couple of gashes.

That Christmas When Everyone Fretted Over the Weather

“You know, you should really leave soon,” he said to me. It was JJ calling from five floors down. “I’m leaving at noon, I’ll take you to your car. It’ll probably need to be scraped.”

He was right, it would be in need of a good ice scraper. I agreed with him on that.

“I can’t leave yet,” I said.
“Are you at least going to leave early?” he asked me. I told him I was leaving around 4. He scoffed at the idea.

Almost immediately I received a call from M Marine. I missed it but he left me a message saying that he was watching my weather and I should probably leave early. He then sent me a text saying the weather in my state was about to get bad and I should leave now if I could.

I called him back, because I didn’t actually listen to the voice mail he left. He told me I needed to leave now if I could. “I’ve been watching the weather there and here both,” he said calmly, “and if you left right now you might miss everything.”

I hung on until 2:30, scraped the ice off of my car, and headed south for Christmas. I was nearly to the state line when my mother called to ask where I was – apparently she’d been told I left at noon. I asked what the weather was like and she said it was doing nothing and was 40 degrees out. She was inside a church though, so I called M Marine to ask him.

“Hang on, I’ll go look.” A moment later he told me there was no precipitation but there were gusty winds. “About 36 degrees. We won’t be getting really bad weather for another hour. Will you be home by then?”
“Yea, I’ll be home. I’ll call to let you know I’m safe.”

I hung up and found a new text from JJ telling me that the weather up north was officially bad and he hoped I’d left. Also to call when I got there so he knows I wasn’t dead.

And all the time I was being annoyed by the constant pestering, I reminded myself that it’s better than not having anyone who cared at all.

I arrived safely, called everyone I supposed to call, and was asked this question by M Marine:

“How’s the car?”
“Well, it has little icy strips along the side where the rain froze. And also the antenna looks like a skewer of ice cubes. The side mirrors have a centimeter thick coating of ice. There is a little accumulation of street sludge behind the wheels.”
“… that’s good… but I guess I meant that whole problem you had with starting it.”
“Oh, that’s fine too.”

Again, good to have people fretting over you.