Monthly Archives: June 2007

My Running Partner is Trying to Kill Me

I tell you, my running partner is trying to kill me. I don’t know why. She’s not a beneficiary on my life insurance or anything.

Maybe she just doesn’t like me. But if that was the case, then why would she keep inviting me to run with her?

Perhaps, and I just thought of this, perhaps my husband has brokered a deal with her? She takes me out on a run that kills me, he collects on my insurance, the two of them split the money to pay bills or take vacations with or something. I wonder if that’s it?

You see, I joined this, for lack of a better term, “running club” last year. Most everyone in the group was training to run some distance. Some were looking to complete their first 5K, but primarily folks were training to complete a marathon or a half-marthon. I originally signed up with the group because I wanted to run the Army 10-Miler. It’s an event that is held in D.C. each fall, and one that many of my friends participate in. One that my running partner participates in, in fact!

So I joined this group, I ran, and my expectations about what I could accomplish grew. and grew. And Grew. First I was aiming for the 10-miler. Then I signed up for a 1/2 marathon. And then, before I knew it, I’d signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon! That’s 26.2 miles folks. A distance I wouldn’t walk if my car ran out of gas. A distance I won’t cover on a bicycle. But I decided it would be a good idea to run it for no particular reason (well, you do get a medal just for finishing, and everyone could use a little bling,right?).

Unfortunately, 3/4s of the way into the season, I got hurt. Somewhere along the way on a 19 mile run my knee started to hurt, then my calf cramped up, and then my leg wouldn’t bend. At all. X-rays and MRIs revealed nothing of significance, so the suggestion from the quack orthopedist was to use crutches and stay off it for as long as I could. Which turned out to be about 10 minutes.

Two weeks later I ran that 1/2 marathon. Okay, it really doesn’t matter how I did it, but I finished it, I got that medal (and some blisters, and lost 2 toenails. But I was hooked.

I laid low for the winter, did a little rehab, and stuck to short runs on my treadmill and rides on my stationary bike. I slowly built my distances back up and at the end of April, I ran another 1/2 marathon, bettering my time by some 20 minutes over my previous one. Confident that I was “back” I signed up to run with the same folks again this summer and I plan to give the Marine Corps Marathon another shot.

But back to my running partner. We’ve agreed to run together this weekend. We agreed on the day, the time, the distance, and the place. The place is known for what runners call “rolling hills”. You go up, you go down, up is kind of hard, but down is great, and in the end you feel pretty good. The place also has a side road that juts off to the right. The side road is aptly named “Providence”. It’s a hill. Strike that. It’s a mountain. I’m not certain, but it just might be the largest mountain in the entire state. It goes straight up to the sky, to Providence himself, I believe (hence the name!). Through an entire year of running I have yet to let my running partner talk me into running Providence. For one thing, I don’t have the grappling equipment that I believe it will take. For another, I hate getting out of breath.

Alas, she’s determined that this weekend, we will run Providence for, get this, “a work out”. As if the rest of our running that day is akin to a nap. She says “we will attempt the hill and if you have to walk up it, then that is what we will do”. “If you have to walk up it” means me. If I have to walk up it, she’ll do it with me, but she won’t be happy about it because well, she won’t get as much of a “work out”.

Regrettably, I’ve agreed to try, but only on the promise that she’ll call the ambulance for me and then notify my next of kin when I die.

If you happen to spot her or my husband driving around in a fancy new vehicle, or taking posh vacations (not together), or buying cool new audio equipment, anything like that, you might want to ring the police. Suggest my demise wasn’t entirely an accicent. Unless, of course, they’ve arranged to share some of the money with you too?

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Highway Signs

Not too far away from where I live there's a highway sign that says something like “Stay Alert, Watch for D.U.I. Drivers”.

And then, another mile or two down the road, is another, that says “D.U.I. Enforcement Area”

And every time I see them it drives me crazy.

What do they mean?! Are they seriously warning those of us who are sober that there are a bunch of driver’s under the influence out there and WE have to be on the lookout for them? I thought that was a job for highway patrol!

And why the enforcement area? Is that a warning sign and to whom? To Me? I’ve just been warned to say alert and be on the lookout. Should I now patrol that stretch of road as the enforcer? Am I to pay particular attention right there only, in the enforcement zone? And where, exactly, does that zone end? There’s no sign about that. So when can I relax and go back to my normal driving where I crank the radio and don’t assume every other car out there is full of drunken party goers?

Is the “Enforcement Zone” sign a WARNING for the DUI drivers? Maybe they are supposed to contain themselves to that stretch of road now that they’ve imbibed a bit too much? Or perhaps they should step on the gas and get out of there quickly, before I spot them?

Maybe the signs are a notice to the police that THAT’S the area they should concentrate on? Perhaps they’ve been getting it wrong in the past and the signs are the only way to indicate where the problem drivers congregate.

Really, somebody, tell me.  What DO these signs mean?


Filed under highway, signs