Hockey season is fully underway. Tonight was the boy’s first game of the season after a few weeks of scrimmages. Full ice for him this year, and late ice times (so far he’s had practice/games at 7:40 p.m. on Sunday nights!)
The girl had her final day of soccer today. She loves the sport and watching her play is a joy: She truly gives it her all. The New York Times recently ran an article about how hideous running photos turn out. You feel like you’re a champ, giving it your all, and the race photos show a bloated middle-aged woman who looks like she’s out for a leisurely stroll. (“Runners with two feet on the ground look as if they are walking.”) Luckily, Pie has no such woes as this. You can tell that girl is flying.
Today, as the boy was putting in his many hockey pads–an event that takes him a good 20 minutes–I said, “Hey, Dad’s the only one without a sport!”
“You don’t have a sport,” the boy told me.
“I don’t?” I said, surprised.
“What?” he asked. “You mean running? That’s not a sport.”
Last weekend I ran a half. I started keeping track of my races late in the game, but it was the 14th half marathon I’ve run since I started counting. I promised myself I wouldn’t race anymore–training took the fun out of running for me and I grew to dread speed work and intervals and all the other miserable things you need to do to train–but I had a friend who wanted to run her first half. What kind of a loser would I be if I didn’t pace her?
I was pretty pathetic out there. I had gum surgery quite recently and my mouth is hyper sensitive to cold. Tap water makes the nerves in mouth scream in agony. So I was freaked at how to hydrate when the temps were just chilly enough to turn every water station into a waterfall of ice daggers to my mouth (note to self: work on metaphors). My brillant idea was about an 1/8 of a mile before each water station, I so elegantly dug out of my pants rear pocket a tube of Orajel. I gracefully opened it while running, slathered it on my finger, shoved it in my mouth, then put the tube back into my pants. It worked enough that I didn’t hurt myself on the run and had the bonus of disguising the taste of the gel, which I don’t like. My mouth was numb, but not so numb I couldn’t yell out drill-sergeant-esque insults to my running partner, my favorite one being “You can’t cry till you cross the finish line!” Her goal, she mistakenly admitted to me in mile 10, was a 2:20 half. She did it. She probably won’t ask me to run another race with her again, but I got her across in 2:18.
And I just saw the race photos. I look like I”m walking.
I’m not sporty, my ass.