Marathon Training: Incident #3
September 23, 2007
Last week, my friend Sarah convinced me to sign up for a 20k (12.4 mile) race on Saturday. Based on the fact that I don't really like to run, I was a tough sell. But Sarah was relentless and persuasive--she also promised me that we could ride the city bus to the starting line, something I've never done in Dallas--so I finally gave in.
I was like, "City bus you say? Okay, fiiiiiiiiine. I'll pay forty dollars and run twelve-and-a-half miles for a ride on the city bus. You've got me, I'm in."
**Side note: The city bus was everything I thought it would be and more. It actually picked us up on time and brought us right where we needed to go. So convenient! Who knew? I was, however, highly disappointed when Sarah pressed the little stop-dinger without offering me the honors first. So Sarah, if you're reading: I will ring the dinger next time...got that biz-natch?!
When Friday morning rolled around, I realized that I had failed to take the most critical step in successful racing--registering for the event. I had a very busy day of babysitting ahead of me, but I had to get myself signed up before 5:30. In a moment of sheer stupidity I decided to pick Garfield (my babysitting charge--fake name) up from preschool and bring both kids to the running store.
I prepared to walk into Luke's Locker with two two-year-old boys by delivering a stern little speech:
"Boys, this is a public place. You are not to hide in the clothing racks, operate the treadmill without assistance, tickle the mannequins, or embarrass me in anyway shape or form. Got it?!"
"I'm serious. If you love me, and if you love your toys, then you will behave. Do you understand?"
"Ok, good. Let's go."
We walked into the store, up the stairs, and within three seconds the shiz was already hitting the fan. You see, there's a mini-track painted on the floor of the running store, and to a two-year-old, a mini-indoor track is an open invitation to run as fast as possible while pushing a five-hundred dollar jogging stroller in a haphazard fashion. I put the brakes on the jogging stroller, and sternly told the boys to pipe down.
Just as the word "behave" rolled out of my mouth, James turned away from me, ran in the opposite direction, held out his arm to purposefully knock the stack of race application off of the registration table, and high-tailed in straight into the store's stockroom.
C'mon, I'm no fool. I know that my kid is badly behaved, but I genuinely had no idea that he was capable of doing something like this. I stood, in shocked silence, jaw hanging wide, in a virtual cloud of race applications, as my crazy little two-year old defied the sign that very clearly stated EMPLOYEES ONLY.
Now James has been know to do some tricky things, but as far as I know, he's never been hired as an employee at Luke's Locker. Still, he crossed that line. My kid had disappeared into the stock room. I'm not sure what type of expression I wore on my face, but whatever it was, it must have been noticeable--because everyone was looking at me.
A legitimate employee blazed a trail through the race applications, approached me and asked, "Is there something wrong? Is there something I can help you with?"
"Um, yes" I replied. "He's two years old, three feet tall, he's got very curly hair, and he went in there."
"Oh" she said, making it kind of obvious that she wasn't much of a kid liker. "Well, let me see if I can find him."
About sixty seconds later, the kind employee came out of the stock room, noticeably winded, holding my kid under the armpits and out in front of her body. His hands were jammed into his little toddler pockets and his feet were thrashing all through the air, as if his toes were being tickled by a nine-tentacled octopus.
She handed him over, and I sat him on my hip. "Jaaaaaaaaaaaames. That was not nice. When we get home, I'm going to put your giant dinosaur in the closet. He's staying there until Tuesday."
I'm not sure why I picked Tuesday, but just as I said it, James pointed to the employee and said, "Moyee! Dat yadee es vaywee, vaywee fast!" (translation: Mommy, that lady is very, very fast).
And then we slipped out the back entrance.