Thursday, May 24, 2007


Well, I'll be damned. Here I am, ambulating around on my two bruised feet like a sucker, when all I had to do was rent myself a Scoot-a-Long? Boy, do I feel stupid. Go read that article. It'll make you weep into your hands.

What you might not be able to see in the picture above, taken in front of the lovely meditation area of my expansive work cubicle, is that my second toenail is not the same healthy pink of those around it. It's a sort of dusky lavendar. The shiny bit at the base of it is trying hard to be a blister, and I'm trying equally hard to stop it. I don't think the toenail's going to turn darker or, even worse, fall off. I think, and those around me who've seen it agree, that it's just bruised.

What the hell did I do to myself, you ask? I ran, O.K. mostly speed-walked, the Bay to Breakers 12K without doing any pre-race training. That's the damage done by shoving my toes into the fronts of my shoes with every stride for better than seven miles.

"I don't want to have to wash a spoon. Besides, this is how the athletes do it."

This was the line to get to the starting line. We didn't cross the actual starting line until sixteen minutes into the race. The lead runners had already crested the Hayes Street Hill, while we were standing on Spear Street, getting pelted in the back by corn tortillas.

Here's me at the top of the hill at about the 45-minute mark. I'm smiling because it's a steep hill and I'm looking down the other side of it.

Also, I'm smiling while looking down at this throng of humanity. Here's a question for you. Say you're planning to run, or at least briskly walk, several miles through San Francisco. You'd bring some water, maybe a protein bar. You put on your good walking shoes. You might think to wear a hat. I didn't, and the part in my hair is sunburned as a result, but most people would think to do it. You shove your supplies in your backpack. After all of that planning, would you think, "Ah, screw my running clothes. I'll go naked," throw your pack over your shoulders and march on out? Me neither. It takes a special kind of person, and usually it's a guy, to think that thought and then carry it through.

I call that guy 'Bunsey'.

An eternity, or maybe only two hours later, we crossed the finish line. I hate how I look in this picture, but Accountant Boy loves it, and it does show the finish line. It doesn't even look like I'm running, which I most certainly am doing here. When we rounded the corner and hit the Great Highway, we decided to finish big.

You know what'd be a great idea? Have people run a race, then put the festival at the end of the race another mile and a half beyond the finish line. That's smart thinkin' there. But I'm smiling anyway, in spite of the extra walking, both to get to the starting line and to get to Footstock, because we did it. I figured out how much actual walking we did that day, and it's about eleven miles, including the walk to the start, the race, the walk to Footstock, and the walk from the park up into the Sunset to catch the Muni to get back downtown.

Accountant Boy steps out in front of the camera. The race might actually have been harder for him than it was for me, because he had to keep slowing himself down so that I could keep up with him. He says I kept him fron going stupid-fast and burning out before the race was over. That's one more reason that I love Accountant Boy.

Next year, we're going to break the two-hour boundary. We're going to start training for it tomorrow, or as soon as my toenail reverts back to its normal color.

1 comment:

Batty said...

Your poor toe! I hope it feels better soon. 12K untrained is nuts, but you did it. With clothes on.

Now, I've got an altered version of free falling stuck in my head.
"I'm freeee, free balling!"