Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

I was lying on the floor of my hotel's casino after my recent half marathon, wondering what the point of   anything was and whether anyone would ever notice that I was there. Perhaps it is a frequent occurrence, the person laying flat on their back on the (rather digusting) carpet while the lights continue to flash and the booze continues to flow. Thankfully, a friend texted:
where r u?
To which I answered:
on the floor of the casino

She heroically came down to fetch me, and the hotel pseudo-medics did their best to talk me into an ER visit. No offense to my friends in the ER business, but no thanks. So instead I got a first class limousine wheelchair ride to the 22nd floor of Mandalay Bay, baby, with a gallant assist-transfer into the fetal position in bed.

The end.

All of this is to say, if you are going to run a half marathon, consider adequately training first. Then consider that 40-50 mph gusts of cold wind with sand flying into your eyeballs while rain is falling in the dark on the strip of Las Vegas at night may not actually be ideal running conditions.

Still, I am glad I did it. No really, I am. Mainly for the time with the good people that I spent time with in Sin City. Also, because it reminded me that even when running reminds me of some kind of Dante circle of hell I still like it and the medals in Vegas had these slot machine things on them that were pretty snazzy. Also, I met Meb at the expo. He is very kind.

Big race expos are bizarre. Or maybe like a bazaar. How much running related merchandise can one fit into a convention center? Is that much spandex in an enclosed building hazardous to your health? And how much stranger can the Gu energy gel flavors be? These are the questions I have.

Today I was walking down the street, basically minding my own business, when a bird nailed me. That is to say, it shat upon me, on the front of my pants. I was 15 minutes away from my next house call and this was one impressive stain. The last time I was targeted by a bird was in 6th grade, on one of my first dates with my boyfriend Fritz. That time we were holding hands under a tree when a bird nailed me on the shoulder. He laughed at me. That relationship was short-lived.

Last night, I was awakened by a windy, rainy storm. I groggily raised my head, and my trusty dog was sitting up on his haunches, staring intently at the skylight. I finally coaxed him back to a restful position, but he was disturbed.

Storms, bird assaults, casino floors. What is the meaning of all of this?

As Snoopy noted, it was a dark and stormy night. And this, though terrible writing, is an accurate depiction of so much of life. Why do people hurt each other? Why do children die? Why must people respond to fear with hateful actions and thoughts?

A wise person I know mentioned that the woods at night represents the dark parts of our being. However running in the woods is like the light that diminishes what is scary and dark. And having someone with you running in the woods at night is even better.

Running the Las Vegas strip at night? Perhaps not so profound. Still, as I ran toward the finish line at The Mirage in Las Vegas (the irony here was not lost on me), I could see the light. Mainly from the fake volcano and the neon signs. Still, light is nice, especially on a dark and stormy night.

My dog peering at the fathomless night sky may not know the mystery but he knows that what matters is we are safe. Or maybe we are not. If you cannot be safe, be near those you love. Thus he snuggled next to me, spine to spine. And the wind howled on.


  1. I commend your Vegas effort through Hell. Hope you gazed upon some calming desert scenery after the maelstrom. Happy New Year.

  2. Very well written, a real pleasure to read. You definitely have a talent for creative writing. Sorry to hear that the half marathon did that to you. I made the same mistake and ran one without doing any adequate training. A lesson learned. Glad you came out unharmed and have such great friends who look after you.

    Marci Deegan @ Twin Pine

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