Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Post

Memorial Day is supposed to be about so much more than cookouts and picnics and three day weekends.  It should be a valuable reminder of the sacrifices of many brave people so we can all enjoy the freedoms we often take for granted.  In honor of Memorial Day I’d like to thank all the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country.

The Memorial Day weekend turned out to be a very good and very low-stress weekend of activity.  When I got home from work on Friday I was supposed to join friends at Goose Island to meet up with a friend from out of town. I think her flight was delayed which worked out because 1) I took a nap, overslept and opted to skip it because 2) I had to get up before the buttcrack of dawn for a race.

Saturday morning I ran the Soldier Field 10 miler (SF10). In its 9 year existence, I've run it probably seven times with my best time (1:09) under Elizabeth McClain's bib number in 2007. Two years ago after the race one of the volunteer physical therapists looked at my knee and suggested I get an MRI -- which lead to the discovery of my lacerated meniscus.

There were at least three groups of runners I wanted to meet up with: DrDrea and her crew; Jema and Magenta; and of course my old crew of CARA ex-group leaders. Jema was visiting from St Louis.  The one challenge is I know a lot of people at these races and I want to talk with as many as possible. More so especially since last year I was kind of isolated between not running, changing jobs and Unexpected Wedding Drama planning a wedding.

The race turned out well for me. I had a slightly faster time than last month's Lakefront 10. More importantly, I had a better experience. I didn't stop and walk nearly as much as last month. In fact, think I only walked through the water stations. I think my 1:23 was about what I did the first couple of times I ran this event.

Saturday Evening was Na's birthday bash. In her more wild days, she would have us meet at some club. These days a BYOB Cuban restaurant a few miles from her house sufficed.  Still, it was a late evening.   When you're out on a Saturday night, the time from 7:30 to 9:30 moves kinda slow.  The time from 9:30 to 11:30 moves a bit quicker and the time from 11:30 to 3 am can arrive in a blink.  Na's husband suggested we go back to their house to see the recent renovations they had done.  They essentially took their West Town cottage and added a second floor.

Sunday was very low key. We slept in. We grabbed some breakfast and then did some grocery shopping. put together the rest of our new deck furniture and then headed out to my buddy Ainski's cookout. There was one other couple there whom we met before. The last time we saw them was before our wedding so we went through the usual litany of wedding-related FAQs like "oh when did you get married? where was the wedding? where did you go for your honeymoon?"

I'm not the biggest fan of small talk, I prefer more substantial discussions.  I do realize that you're not going to get that with a couple you see once every 12-18 months especially if large amounts of alcohol are not involved.  Still, small talk should have two standard components: 1) Not getting too personal too quickly and 2) keeping the conversation flowing.  Component1 is why you don't ask if you prefer Reverse Cowboy over Standard Doggie Style and Component2 is why you don't ask questions like "oh what part of Chicago do you live in" if you have no F-ing clue where anything is in the city.

Monday was winding down for the week. We still had one more cookout to attend. Mr. Massage was having his once a year smoker and we were invited, along with DrDrea. She had made arrangements to come over to our place first to print out her wedding invitations.  So basically Nightingale and DrDrea printed out envelopes while I served them wine.  Yep, I didn't see that one coming.

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