Wednesday, December 17, 2008

#3 Running Nirvana Is...

Wherein I recount my running highlights for the year…as if any of you care.

At the risk of being branded a Flaccid Bag Full of Cry (again), my countdown continues with another sappy entry. Despite all of the animal and reader abuse (one and the same?) you get in these parts, maybe I’m really more of a softy? Hmmm, I’ll consider this tonight as I pull the legs off spiders and burn frogs alive while tied to crucifix bound popsicle sticks between rousing games of Thumbbug.* I’m not heartless but someone has to torture these creatures and none of you seem to be pulling your share. I don’t like to go all political but, in the creature world, I’m known as Gitmos Nitmos.

#3 Bridges of Wayne County

Early on in the Detroit Marathon, I had a feeling this was going to be a good race. The first 2 miles were both under seven minutes even though I felt like I was holding back a little - a good early sign that this was not one of those ‘not so fresh’ race feelings. Then comes the Ambassador Bridge to Canada. First, you run under it before running up it. The ascent looks daunting but it’s still early in the race and I’m bounding with energy.

The race begins in the dark but by the time your reach the bridge, the first rays of sun light are peeking over the horizon. The city is illuminated. Detroit, with all of its well known social flaws and aesthetic deformities, looks stunning in the distance. You don’t even need to squint hard to focus out the hookers and crackheads. The burned out cars and buildings are indistinguishable in the overwhelming totality of the skyline. It’s still dark enough where you can view the cityscape with big wide eyes and not see the seedy underbelly which, typically, makes you pray for an instantaneous rapture.

This is one of my all time favorite running moments: Looking left off the Ambassador Bridge with Detroit in the distance. The GM Renaissance Center is the focal point. Considering the recent auto bailout talk, if Simon and Garfunkel ran this race, I’m pretty sure they’d have an album image for their Bridge Over Troubled Water song. Literally. We were running on a Bridge Over A Troubled City.

I knew we’d eventually return from Canada and pop out onto the streets of Detroit. There’d be no more time for misty eyed sentimentalism lest I desired a used hypodermic needle stuck to the bottom of my foot (again).**

But, for those fleeting moments on the bridge, I had a feeling that is so rarely expressed in Detroit: I was happy to be there. I was glad to view Detroit under the glow of a morning sun. And, assuming my family wasn’t carjacked after leaving them an hour before, I was grateful for the chance to run this marathon on that day.

There’s a lesson here I think. Any thing, any person, any object looks better when silhouetted against a morning sun. A pile of poo may look like a delicious plate of cookies. Vanilla looks less Joseph Merrick-y. Hell, even a llama may appear to be the lovable - albeit cancerous - Joe Camel. I’d even be willing to admit that, with a morning sun rising behind him, Dana Carvey may look like David Schwimmer.***

The Bridge of Wayne County. I loved our brief affair. I did not see Meryl Streep but, after cresting the middle, I did tongue kiss a bum who looked an awful lot like Clint Eastwood.

Happy trails.
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* Game ingredients = a 30 second timer, a hard table top, a bucket of ladybugs and an active thumb.
** The first time was during the expo when I reached out to press the elevator button and somehow had a needle stuck to my finger. I couldn’t believe it so I rubbed my eyes in sheer disbelief…only to then jab the needle into the fleshy part under my eyeball.
*** Though that may be more of a lateral silhouetted move.

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Podcast #6 in the Runner's Lounge series is now available. Once again this features Amy, Vanilla, RazZ, and myself. I haven't heard this one myself yet so I'm just as curious as all of you as to how it turned out. Again, remember, you will learn nothing from this podcast that you can apply to your running. Enter at your own risk.

17 comments:

Sarah said...

The approach to and journey over the bridge is my favorite memory of the Detroit race. The race was still young, I still felt fresh and vital, and the way the sunrise created silhouettes of the runners stretching across the bridge is something I will never forget. The view from the crest of the span wasn't bad, either.

Amy said...

Watch it. My mother and er boyfriend live under that bridge in Detroit.

tfh said...

I think your nickname (Gitmos Nitmos) extends beyond the creature world. Then again, I guess children are creatures, so I take that back.

Vanilla said...

I think you have an unhealthy fixation with David Schwimmer.

Viper said...

Thumbbug sounds like fun.

Will Vanilla star in David Lynch's sequel to the Elephant Man? Elephant Man 2: Only Worse ...

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

"I’d even be willing to admit that, with a morning sun rising behind him, Dana Carvey may look like David Schwimmer."
----
Ok, that's one comparison too far young man. You've gone and jumped the track. Proud of yourself...I think not.

*aron* said...

ohhh i just saw your next marathon over on the side :) i might be running one the same day.

great post - sounds like it was an amazing morning to be running a marathon :)

Kristina said...

Oh goody, something to listen to on the treadmill this afternoon. And I'm being completely serious for once.

Xenia said...

You had me until the last sentence. Then I mentally vomited.

Liked the podcast, but you need to talk more. Don't let Vanilla yak so much.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I didn't understand this post, so I threw an ice-encrusted Popener at it.

Infallible? Not today, Popener. I'm still at a loss.

Marcy said...

I totally forgot everything after the "flaccid bag full of" part :P

Ms. V. said...

Um, I liked the rays on the bridge bit.


PS...your word verification is "antic". That is so you.

joyRuN said...

That was a pretty paragraph buried in the middle. Yes, the one containing "hookers & crackheads".

Melissa said...

Why do I read this blog? I'm not even a runner.

Oh wait...BECAUSE IT'S FREAKIN' FUNNY.

X-Country2 said...

Someone on the Detriot Chamber of Commerce is going to put this on their brochure. It's probably the nicest thing they've read.

Chic Runner said...

You are too funny, just catching up on some old blogs. ha ha, anyways, that picture is goregous! must have been a great race. :)