Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gallows Hill and Andersonville


Last week was a doozy.  It wasn't all that bad – meaning not much happened that was "bad" – but boy was it disappointing.  Let's document the disappointments, shall we?  I mean, mostly I plan to document them and then tell you about a song called It Could Be Worse by They Might Be Giants and Sarah Vowell. This little ditty reminds us that, whatever it is we're going through, it isn't all that bad when you compare it to Gallows Hill and Andersonville.

The disappointments started on Monday.  It was the very first day of my 12-week Houston training.  This day included a 9-10 mile run with 8 to 10 strides of 30 seconds with a one-minute recovery jog in between.  Nothing major.  Just something to get the body turning over.  It was a cold, dark morning.  One without a moon.  One without street lights.  Prolly crawling with vampires.  I was running along and fell off a six-inch ledge at the side of the road.  Took a nasty little spill.

Here's the cool part about this spill:  After 15 years and who knows how many sprained ankles, whenever I trip or begin to roll an ankle, my knees do this buckle-thing, and I go down.  This has saved an ankle or two on many occasions.  I don't know how it happens, but it happens.  Automagically.

Here's the not-so cool about this spill: The knees buckled and I was headed for a face plant.  At the last minute I did a tuck 'n roll kind of thing, and somehow thwacked the tailbone.  Hard.  I jumped up and hollered "I'm okay! I'm okay!" Mostly to convince myself that I'd be fine.

While I thwacked the tailbone, I really thought I was okay.  I was able to finish the strides and the remainder of the run.  About two hours later, however, I was sure I broke it.  Or something.  It hurt to walk and it screamed at me violently when I walked up stairs.

Oh my finger, oh my thumb,
Oh my belly, oh my bum!

(I'm happy to report that after several doses of ibuprofen, a couple days rest, and sitting on an ice pack, the tailbone is back to normal.  No pain!)

The next disappointment has to do with Halloween.  I enjoy a good Halloween celebration.  Extra especially if the celebration involves the wearing of costumes.  Spouse and I have had a "crunch mode" week with both of our jobs.  We rarely have our crunch modes at the same time, but when we do, it's intense.  Spouse and I are working a bunch, every spare minute, in fact.

On Wednesday, there was a costume party for kids and adults.  A Costume party?  Oh please!  Please, yes!  I had a pretty serious deadline on Friday.  If I was going to take a few hours to party a la masquerade, then I'm most definitely be up half the night working.  But it would be worth it.  Any costume party is worth working all night.  And so it was, that I worked my guts out in the morning, worked my guts out through the day, ran around to fetch ingredients for a dish to take, and finally made time to put on my costume.  I arrived at the party, only to discover that adults weren't wearing costumes.  Boo.  I went home to sit on an ice pack and finish my work.  (Remember?  I still had a sore butt.)

The third disappointment came in the form of the biggest cluster I've witnessed in the running world –  the Provo Halloween Half Marathon.  My friends and I had registered for this race several months ago.  We started working on our costumes several months ago.  Tina was coming to stay.  We have been looking forward to this race since several months ago.

Long story, short, the race organizers changed their software last minute and lost anyone who registered before October 1.  That would be us.  Hillene had gone to pick up her number and found that people were waiting in line up to two hours, then told to come back later because their number wasn't ready.

Luckily, I had received word of the mess before driving down.  Luckily.  Others weren't so lucky.  Many drove an hour or two, only to discover that they'd be turned away empty handed.  I planned on finishing this race in an hour and half.  I will not, refuse to, wait in line longer than it takes to run.  Therefore, I bagged the race, expecting that if the bib numbers weren't ready, nothing else would be ready either.

Saturday morning, I slept in with the Yahoos.  We read about Abraham Lincoln, made banana-blueberry bread, and watched a few episodes of the Munsters.  Then we took a nap.  Then I ran 14 miles while listening to The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell.  Sarah told me about how she uses things like Gallows Hill and Andersonville to remind her that whatever she's going through isn't so bad.

She's right you know.  Nothing could be worse than Gallows Hill and Andersonville.

They Might Be Giants recorded a song called It Could Be Worse that was fashioned along Miss Vowell's Gallows Hill and Andersonville comparison.  I cannot find the audio anywhere, but here are the lyrics:

It's raining so hard
And the cabs, they won't stop
But compare and contrast for one moment
to the Montgomery bus boycott

Gallows Hill and Andersonville
It could be, it could be worse
Gallows Hill and Andersonville
It could be, it could be worse

You're hosting a party
And you ran out of beers
And your guests, they left early, now, didn't they, but
That's no Trail of Tears

Gallows Hill and Andersonville
It could be, it could be worse
Gallows Hill and Andersonville
It could be, it could be worse



1 comment:

megan said...

I have just the thing to cheer you...a picture of Matt dressed up as a giant weiner...I have no idea what possessed him to buy a weiner for a costume or strut it up and down the busiest street...but it sure has a way of putting a smile on my face. Sorry about the lame-o runs and the crazy work week...If you had only watched the Adams family I'm sure it would've helped!