9:34 a.m. – I have no memory of the last 14 minutes, other than darkness followed by tiny sparkles of light. However, I do find myself on a level surface and it appears the rest of the race is downhill. Unfortunately, every muscle in my legs has tightened up to the point that I can no longer bend my knees and am forced to bounce around like I’m miming my way through a potato sack race.
9:39 a.m. – While making my way down a very steep hill, I trip and fall. Momentum takes over and I stop-drop-and-roll my way to the bottom. I now have a huge lead over my smart mouth daughter.
9:41 a.m. – I now trail my daughter by at least 50 feet. WTF? Realizing the odds are piling up against me, I decide it is time for my Rudy moment. I’ve never actually seen the movie Rudy, but I assume it ends with the title character faking an injury and telling his daughter that, as a result, the race doesn’t really count.
9:47 a.m. – I think it’s awesome that people run these things with their dogs. What I don’t think is awesome is when a dog that is roughly the size of a mastodon drops a load as big as a kiddy pool in the middle of the road. I, along with at least seventeen other runners, am now in need of a Silkwood shower.
9:56 a.m. – In the distance, I see a child holding up a sign, clearly encouraging one of her parents. As I get closer, I realize it’s my child and the sign reads, “Wanted: Step Dad Who’s Not a Total Gimp.” Yeah – that’s probably justified.
10:01 a.m. – I finish, just behind an octogenarian carting around an oxygen tank, but just ahead of a dead turtle that has been slowly pushed along the road by a very weak breeze. Seeing my daughter, I tell her that I strained my quadroplexis band and the race doesn’t count. VICTORY!
The final leg of the Polar Bear Grand Prix, the Snowman Shuffle 4 miler, is a month away. Although that seems like enough time to turn things around and redeem myself as a runner, I also realize that it’s enough time to drink a bunch of beer and finally get around to watching Dexter. Oh, the choices.
Photo by Katy Whitpan