Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Have I ever mentioned that Runners are Narcissists?

Apparently, the Easter Bunny was supposed to bring babies, not chocolate: Easter was mostly good for us. We went to my aunt B's house in Roselle and fielded questions about whether we were pregnant, when we are getting pregnant and why we don't simply buy a house in the suburbs already. Even though Cousin Wednesday is already with child, apparently the rest of us – Wednesday’s brother’s wedding was about a month after ours -- have to get with the program and bring about the next generation.

It seems strange to field questions about our reproduction plans, especially when we are supposed to be such an enlightened society and consider that 1) some people want children and are unable to have them, 2) if you are preggers, protocol suggests you wait about 3 months to share the news and 3) some people are unable to have children. My family, like most I suspect, ignores these considerations, especially #2 which exempts close family I suppose.

The simple answer is while you really cannot completely control when/if you get pregnant, we need to put it off a little bit. Now that Nightingale has passed her Nurse Practitioner Boards, she needs to find a suitable job – one with better hours than she works currently. It wouldn't be right for Nightingale to start a new job and then go on maternity leave, nor would anyone hire her if she were already pregnant during interviews.

Sidenote: Cousin Wednesday was released from her teaching position while 8 months pregnant. Not sure what happened since you don't fire a pregnant woman in CA unless she kills someone AND you have it on YouTube.

We also agree that we want one more Summer of Fun. By that I mean since we've been together, there has always been grad school, and crappy work schedules, and later wedding planning, and more crappy work schedules. This is our first summer since we met that we don’t have any major obligations than house and job hunting. We can hopefully enjoy street fests and cookouts and hanging out with friends.

Not rocking out at the Shamrock Shuffle: A couple Sundays ago, Nightingale, I and 35,000 of our running friends ran the Shamrock Shuffle. I’ve run the Shamrock Shuffle almost every year for the last decade and a half. [In 2007 I didn’t sign up because we were going to run the Atlanta Marathon. I missed my l flight and thus my first SS which I believe contributed to 2007 being a sucky year.]

When I first started doing these races, I had no one to meet up with before or afterwards and it was kind of depressing. Then I joined a running group and became part of the running community. At any given race, I’d see dozens of runner friends. This would sometimes cause conflicts because different groups were having different post-run parties and it becomes social poker picking one.

 Now it’s getting to the point where I don’t see many running friends anymore. Some say the event has gotten too corporate. To be sure, the hassle of the expo is getting to be more of a PITA and less of a runner swag free-for-all. It’s no fun registering for a race 6-12 months before because it sells out quickly and the field has increased exponentially since the early 90s.

Luckily, I’ve run the race so long that I seem to get a preferred start despite my diminishing speed each year.

My best time for this race is 32:04 in 2006 when I was in my peak running condition. Since then, my finish times have gone up slightly each year. This year I finished with a 39:25 -- ironically the same time I ran it in last year. I did okay for a 42-year-old who is losing his running godpowers.

I don't get to bitch about it though because so many of my friends will never do it in 39 minutes let alone 32. Not to mention that my finish time is still in the top 25% of categories (12% overall, 22% gender, 21% age group).  We will probably run this race one maybe two more times before we call it quits for good.  Not because of my ego but hopefully because someday, my kids are bitching that they didn't quite break half an hour for their nth Shamrock Shuffle.

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