Just Runnin' From The Homeless
I woke up motivated at 6AM after about 3 hours sleep and put on my Marine Corps PT gear, complete with skin-tight green T-Shirt and shorts that just narrowly avoid being cited for indecent exposure. And it that moment I realized something: PT gear is meant for people still actually in the Marines, not guys who got out three years ago. Either that or I'm just getting a little too fond of kettle cooked potato chips.
Next door, my neighbor who usually blasts Reggaeton and Mariachi music at this hour had on a different selection. Today it was "Love Hurts," followed by "It Must Have Been Love" followed by Bryan Adams' "Everything I Do, I Do it For You." Look, pal, just because you got dumped doesn't mean the whole neighborhood needs to get woken up before their pet chickens. I was up anyway, so my tirade was reserved. After all, I was on my way to run my first competitive race since 1996.
In true Miami fashion, absolutely no strategic planning was put into a race being run across the main causeway to South Beach, closing off 2 lanes at 6 AM the weekend before the Super Bowl. Not to mention the two thousand or so people running the race at 7:30 that had to drive there. So of course there was bumper-to-bumper traffic as soon as I hit downtown at the always-congested hour of 6:30 on a Saturday. Yeah, let's close two lanes of a major thoroughfare and not even suggest alternate routes. Does anyone ever think anything through in this town?
My friends had signed me up for this race since they know I run for conditioning purposes, but by no means are any of us "runners." We are more what you would call "drinkers." As in when the "runners" are up and about at 6 AM on a Saturday, we are still "drinking" and usually "stumbling/swerving home" as they are out "running." Yeah, you know when you see those people out jogging as you go home at an ungodly hour and wonder who the fuck they are? This is who the fuck they are. The people who are about to make you look really, really bad.
The funny thing is that in my age group, that is males 25-29, the average time was slower than any other. You know why? Because I don't think anyone takes running all that seriously unless they are a teenager and running cross country or old and afraid of getting fat or having a heart attack. The rest of us? Running is really just something we do to justify the massive amounts of light beer and fried foods we consume while those who pretend to enjoy it are doing healthy things like sleeping or eating a salad. Nonetheless, the rest of the guys our age looked equally if not more hung-over and equally if not more unprepared. Which may explain how my friend who ran a 5K in a blazing 23 minutes finished 9th. Still beat me, though.
The run was nice enough, although getting passed by guys you'd swear should be dead by now is always a little demoralizing. We ran over the MacArthur Causeway into South Beach and ended up at Nikki Beach Club. Where we were greeted with water, a steel drum band and, oh yes, chocolate chip cookies. Because nothing is better than kicking your ass for half an hour trying to burn off calories only to take them all back in roughly 25 seconds. Thank you very much, Tropical 5K. Thanks to you this whole thing was a wash. We were all given medals at the finish line, and I didn't remove mine all day. Everyone who asked why I had it I told "because I'm a winner." I'm thinking they probably figured it was from Special Olympics.
All in all it was an excellent and scenic run under perfect conditions that the following day's marathon runners wish they'd had. I got a T-Shirt that said "Just Runnin' For the Homeless" (apparently this race was for some sort of "charity" a fact I learned as I was crossing the starting line that definitely would have prevented me form doing this in the first place.). I thought it would have been much funnier if the had replaced "for" with "from." I guarantee you if that were the case everyone's time would have been cut by at least 3 minutes.