Thursday, October 26, 2006

riding & running for the cure

hen’s running the Race for the Cure in princeton NJ this weekend. in one season, his physique’s morphed from a cyclist’s to a runner’s, and you could use his legs as an anatomy lesson for discrete muscle groups.

he and AJ finished up their duathlon (that's a run-bike-run race) seasons @ henlopen a couple weeks ago – without ME i might add, sulkily. hen’s a uniquely trained individual, in that he prepares for his races by getting shitfaced the night before and using the first miles of the race as detox. AJ made the mistake of following his lead when it came to jagermeister shots, and when race morning arrived, hen found him notably unenthusiastic about waking up.

-- i woke you up in the bedroom, and when i went back to check, you were gone. then i found you asleep in on the sofa. i woke you again, and somehow you ended up asleep in a corner of the kitchen. you kept running away and going back to sleep.

-- i don’t remember that.

he doesn’t remember hen driving them to the race, nor does he recall reaching up into the truck to hoist his bike out and in the process hurling the contents of his stomach onto the pavement.

hen shrugged.

-- it’s your truck. well do you remember this? when we were on the starting line in our gaylets (hen-speak for our tight racing singlets) and everyone’s all nervous and you can smell other people’s diarrhea farts, i said to you, “andy, is that a hickie on your neck?” and everyone craned to look.

-- i do remember that.

hen turned to me.

-- he’s kinda embarrassed but also a little proud and i lean closer to him but say loud enough so the people nearby can still hear: “andy, you’re a dirty little bitch.” the guy next to me’s jaw dropped and the starting gun went off. he looked great in that first run, but when i passed him in the transition zone and he was walking i knew he’d probably sobered up.

-- the first thing i remember about that race is wandering around in transition looking for my bike. i felt like a kid in the grocery store looking for his mom. you could have helped, asshole.

-- it was too funny. and i knew i had to make up time before the second run. even drunk, you’re faster than me.

hen ended up 7th overall, AJ 5th.

-- see what you missed tearing your shit up, finn?

that’s perfectly clear. resolved for next year: stay healthy. but don’t overnight @ hen’s beachhouse before a race.

so he’s racing for the cure this weekend, as i did last weekend in baltimore MD, where i saw race numbers in the 21,000s. my mom and i ran together, like we always do, finishing in around 34:40, NOT including the minute-forty it took us to reach the line after the start gun.

my mom did great: that’s one of the faster times we’ve run in recent years. and even when she’s running uphill, out of breath and suffering, she’ll still shout out "thank you officer!" to the police stopping traffic for us. i’m for some reason embarrassed to do the same thing when i’m with her, but i’ll do it during my own races, and thank the volunteers during a cooldown. i wish she knew i did this without having to tell her straight-up.

anyway, when we were running down Key Highway two chicks running in front of us were having an animated conversation. one looked to her friend to make a particularly emphatic point and ran straight into a traffic sign on the median. i can still hear the tuning-fork ring of that signpost after her body flattened on it. we thought she was out for sure, but she got right back up, giggled, and resumed her story.

i don’t even know the winner’s time.

-- a couple weeks ago i did support for a Ride for the Cure, which went from manhattan to trenton -- hen said -- and we had to mark the course with pink triangles.

-- triangles? not ribbons, or arrows?

-- triangles. which is stupid cos you can’t see which way they’re pointing on turns. turn all ways!! anyway, it was a crappy, cold rainy day, and where they started the pavement was buckled and potholed. and these women didn’t bitch AT ALL. they just got on their bikes and rode and talked and joked.

-- nice.

-- and i said to them, “you know i’ve done a lot of support for pro bike races and the racers make a stink about everything – even the weather. somebody can always find something wrong. but you ladies just take it in stride.” and one of them said to me, “are your racers cancer survivors?” “ummm, no.” “well, there you go.”

so you see life is good, mostly, if you choose to take it that way.


Subhangi said...

How cool it must be to run with your mom! Back in school, during the vacations I would cycle to the beach - a distance of maybe 10 km, I must have been around 11 - and dad would jog alongside. Dude's nearly 52, but he's fitter than most guys half his age!

Then he tore his calf ligament in early 2005 and couldn't go for walks anymore - we even had to buy a new car coz our old one's brakes put terrible strain on his leg, and he's the only driver in our family - it was rather sad.

Happily, though, he's back to his walks. I'm really looking forward to getting down to some biking and running while I'm at home.

Keep going, girl! Give my best wishes to your mom.


addon said...

a lovely tale, finn. how's about some pics of these goings on?


finn said...

subh, i'm glad your dad's back to walking. i bet he had some serious cabin fever before he finally got out again.

one week and you'll be home!

thanks adam. no pix of me, but here're pix of AJ finishing and hen finishing.