Monday, August 06, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

Have you ever had one of those days when you're pretty sure the world is blatantly and shamelessly giving you the bird?

Saturday was one of those days.

It'd started out well enough. I'd traveled two hours to volunteer at a triathlon in the same city my marathon will be held next month. My parents also live there, so I had a free place to stay (not to mention a free refrigerator to forage). The only catch was my parents were going to be out of town for the weekend to attend a wedding. But no problem, they told me. I had the code to get into the garage and was welcome to my choice of guest bedrooms.

All was perfectly dandy until I came home from the triathlon. I let myself into the garage, climbed the steps to the door and placed my hand on the doorknob. That was the moment I knew the world was gonna talk some smack. On my way out that morning, I had locked the door I was supposed to get back into without giving it a second thought. Inside the house were all my belongings, including my carefully packed bag of running gear for that evening's training run.

Now, I'm not one to panic. I knew my parents would be home late that night, so it wasn't like I was going to have to sleep on the sidewalk or anything. But dagnabbit... my running gear's in that house and I'm supposed to run tonight! So, I set out determined to do what it took to make that happen.

Long story made longer, after five hours of several failed attempts to get into the house, I finally found a window that had been closed, but not locked. For a few minutes, I had to do my McGyver impression to get the screen to come out so I could even open the window. It was still broad daylight and one of my parents' neighbors was in his backyard, no doubt raising his eyebrows at what was going on next door. To his credit, he made a lot of noise, I'm sure just to warn me that he could see what I was doing. I dutifully ignored him, though, and went about my breaking-and-entering business. I impressed myself with my ability to lift my leg at a rather high and unusual angle to climb into the window. I attribute that to my yoga. Chalk up another useful purpose for the side-stretch triangle pose.

Finally-- finally!-- I broke into the house and headed straight for my gear. I changed into my running clothes almost as quickly as Wonder Woman changes into her superpower outfit... just without that "twirly" thing. Time was of the essence now because the sun was quickly going down. I had seven miles on my schedule to run and I'd be darned if I'd come this far only to be forced inside by the dark.

Once dressed, I jumped into my car and drove five miles to my sister's house and a location that offered a flat route. (My parents quite rudely moved to a new house three months ago literally at the base of a mountain. Nice for scenery; not nice for running hill-free routes.) I fired up my GPS and mp3 and started my warm-up walk, with just a little bit of attitude thrown out there to flaunt at the world's feeble attempt to thwart my run.

That's when I felt my legs on fire.

I looked down and saw my legs and arms covered by mosquitoes. I'd say there were a gazillion of them, but I know that would be grossly exaggerating, but there were at least several thousand. I started freaking out a bit at the fact I was being eaten alive. I slapped at them furiously, but they just kept coming. I wasn't 30 yards away from where I'd begun when I was forced to turn around and run back to the house. I'm sure it didn't really look this way, but I imagined a scene on TV with a cartoon character frantically running away from a swarm of bugs chasing it. Or maybe it did look that way.

Once in the safety of the house, I assessed the damage: swollen and itchy mosquito bites all over me along with a whole lot of smashed dead bugs and the blood they'd managed to suck out of me before meeting their violent demise. It might've been a good time to just give in to the fact I wasn't going to get in my run that night.

Pfft. Whatever.

I got hold of some bug spray and doused myself in it. Bathed, you could even say. I headed outside again, a little tentatively this time, my eyes darting back and forth to see if any mosquito dare fly close to me, let alone bite me. After a couple minutes without incident, I finally figured I was good to go. And although I only managed to get in 4.5 out of the seven scheduled miles before darkness closed in, I considered myself the victor.

Take that, world! That'll teach you to mess with an obsessively-determined marathoner in training.


Laurel said...

Wow! I am impressed! You are REALLY determined. The mosquito thing would have freaked me waaaaay out.

I love the bit about the nosey neighbor too, classic. At least the cops didn't show up!

Ovens2Betsy said...

First there were the gnats, now there are the mosquitoes. What's next, locusts? (Not that they'd stop you, of course) :-)

AddictedToEndorphins said...

Hahaha That's awesome!!!! Look at you go! It doesn't look like ANYTHING will stop you in making it to the marathon!

Steve A. said...

Sounds like you had a great
day!!! :) As always, you endured.

robison52 said...

Thank goodness Vegas doesn't have mosquitos! I HATE them. You are one determined runner!! I'm always walking around in my old, previous running shoes, if worst comes to shove, I would've just took a chance and run in them and scare the neighbors by running shirtless.

Andrew CT. said...

"Long story made longer" LOL...too funny--I wanted to tell you that I really like your sense of humor; it is very refreshing.
Also, if anyone has any plantar faciitis (aching arch/heel area) I came upon something that really seems to help. Rolling your outstreched foot over a smallish bottle (such as a small vitamin bottle) has helped me a lot.

Tall Girl Running said...

Thanks for coming by, Andrew!

To expound upon your very good suggestion for plantar fascitis, you might also try using a can of frozen juice. That way, you can benefit from the massaging rolling action along with the cryotherapy.

See Zanne Run said...

haha ... when girl's got a run on the schedule, girl has got a run on the schedule! don't mess with it! 5 hours to get into house? good god - how many expletives did you let fly for those 5 hours? i think the words obsessively-determined are an understatement. you go girl!

i'm also happy to hear that you didn't spray the can of bug spray in your face - a la your pepper spray incident. progress!

Jim said...

Were you wearing your black skull cap when you were breaking into your parents' home? I'm sure that looked perfectly normal to the neighbor... :)

Way to endure after the skeeter bites. It shows true dedication...or obsession.....or....

Tall Girl Running said...

Don't be ridiculous, Jim. Of course I wasn't wearing my black cap. It's way too hot for that!

I was just wearing the standard pantyhose over my head.