Quote of the Day: “The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.”
- Joe Ancis
Since my running has progressed, I thought it would be a good idea to do a monster run. What exactly makes me do this, I don’t know. Don’t ask. It’s something between retardation and delusions of grandeur.
Like I’ve done every time I come home I visit my college and combine the visit with running as to kill two birds yadda yadda yadda. Last time, , I had aspirations to do the double run I did today but I was in no shape to do so back then so the experience left me a little disappointed. Today, it just left me in shambles.
The first stop was to the NROTC building but no one was there. The Marine Officer Instructor was TAD and because it was summer, not many people were around. I did get to get onto a computer thanks to walking in like I owned the place and just plopping down like I belonged there. Ooh-rah security.
I noticed they had a picture on the wall that surprised me a bit. It was a color guard in black and white in the middle of the Kingdome right before the Green Bay Packers ripped the panties off the Seahawks many years ago. The young Sergeant holding the Marine Corps Colors was yours truly, although mine is the only face you can’t actually see because of the angle. I was surprised they actually still had that picture and a certain amount of pride rushed through me.
I changed over and ran around the campus visiting the highlights to include my old Technical Communications building, the first classroom I had during my Freshman year, Hec Ed Pavilion, and the stadium. I even found my way through the famed tunnel and onto the field where practice was just starting. Feeling I was pushing my luck, I left and got to the business of running.
I hoofed it out to Gasworks Park going under and over a bridge at the same time. Why I have to note this every time I do this is yet another mystery but it’s true: I am passing over a bridge and over me is a highway so I’m doing both at the same time. My teethed bucked.
Getting out to Gasworks, I sat on top of the hill and looked out on the Bay for a perfect view of Seattle. I love this place and in the quiet of the morning, I got to relax in the sun and soak in the beautiful sight. I need to get back to this place because it’s been too long.
Returning to the ROTC building, I set out to do the second part of the run: Greenlake. This route took me through the campus, down Greek Row, and past Ravenna. I hadn’t done this run in about a decade but every step was still familiar. By the time I got to the lake, the plan was to run around it.
The plan hurt.
There were a lot of people and I mean A LOT. I had always run this early in the morning so I never realized this was a wildly popular walking/running area around lunchtime. It also seems to be a wildly popular gathering place for the wildly popular among, er, the same-team-types. Ew.
By the time I started around the lake, I had already clocked quite a few miles and it was getting warm, or what passes for warm in Seattle. It didn’t take long before my nostalgia turned to downright hatred. I starting conking out about Â¼ of the way around and therefore the rest of the run was less than optimal (read: sucked).
Stumbling back, I decided to combine a third route that I hadn’t visited in over a decade: Ravenna Down. This simply means I took a detour at the Ravenna park and ran through the park. Well, walked a bit but again, it was a trip down memory lane as I passed through woods I had not seen in a long time. Except for the utter fatigue, it was a great time.
By the time I got back to the campus, I had to tackle the famous hill from the parking lot to the ROTC building and everyone knows that you have to give it everything you have when you go up this, gathering strange looks from backpack-laden students who hate to even walk it.
I jammed up this hill in complete anger. It’s the only way to get to the top. When I did, I wanted to die. Quickly.
OK, running done, it was time to go to the Ave. I got changed over and my rubbery legs took me across campus again to the famous Ave. Every campus has an Ave; it’s the place just off campus that has bars, bookstores, and beatnik shops selling everything you could ever imagine.
As I was entering the Ave with my backpack and iPod on, looking like a million other students, a cop car came speeding up behind me, came to a screeching stop, and the cop yelled “HEY!”
“Hey back, mother#$%$#%!!!” — OK, maybe that’s just what I THOUGHT.
I pulled my earbud out of my ear wondering what the hell I did and he says,
“Did you see a black male in a white T-shirt run by here?”
I told him I didn’t and he sped off. A few other cop cars were scouring the area and uniformed cops were power-walking up and down the Ave looking in every shop.
Gotta love a college area.
My first goal was to get a haircut and I went to the place I had always gone to. They gave military discounts (if you’ve committed this far, that’s for you, Killjoy) and were the only ones in the area that knew how to do them right. The Sandpoint Navy base had shut down when I was going to school and Juan the Barber who came in every Monday had long since retired and likely died since then. He was ancient when I was there.
I got my haircut and then hit the China One which, of course, is damned near a requirement. I was still sweating and went through dozens of paper napkins and many pitchers of water. They had to have thought I was on drugs.
Now I was full. And worn out. But there were books nearby.
The University Bookstore is to me what a vat of shit is to a fly. OK, maybe I could have come up with a better analogy but like I said, I was tired and full. I was lucky to even be standing.
I wandered through the immense gut of the bookstore but my concentration level was at an all-time low. I did my best but there were other fish I wanted to fry before I fainted. Namely, Barnes & Noble.
Leaving the Ave and going to the University Center, I entered the Mecca of bookstores. I might even have to give B&N the edge over Borders, especially this particular one because it’s as big as a warehouse.
If China One thought I was on drugs, B&N must have thought I had washed down those drugs with Jagermeister. I was so tired I kept bumping into aisles and it was difficult to focus on the words in the books I’d pick up.
But what an afternoon of blissful Oneness with books as far as the eyes could see which, for me, wasn’t all that far. I was in a stupor of happiness.
My stupor soon evaporated when I left to go home when I realized the depth of my stupidity:
It was Friday.
It was the Friday of the busiest traveling weekend of the year.
It was afternoon rush hour.
I was in a highly congested area.
I was screwed.
How could I have possibly overlooked this? I was stuck in traffic going so slow that people were getting out of their cars. My legs were cramping, I was falling asleep at the wheel, and there was a distinct possibility that I was pissed off beyond all description. Maybe.
It took me almost 2 hours to get back to my in-laws house and I was completely zombified. I had accomplished everything I wanted today but at a price. After cooling off from the ride, I was happy.
Mission accomplished for the day and now it was nap time.
I woke up and it was already dark. A few hours later, I was back down.
Free Advice for Today: “Fly Old Glory on the Fourth of July.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.