My Crazy Life…Oh, and the Blue Points 5K

Since I’m getting a little tired of writing the same old stuff, I’m guessing that you’re getting a little tired of reading it.  And while my running escapades the last couple of weeks have been more of the same old boring junk, other aspects of my life have been anything but.  So this post I’m going to try something new by telling you a few stories from my non-running life.

Eminem vs Kalil

This training cycle, I’ve been trying really hard to have a more holistic approach.  Meaning, I’ve been trying to watch my diet, incorporate some cross-training, cut out sodas and alcohol, etc.  But I don’t always succeed.  This story is about one of the times I failed.

Last Thursday, after a relatively stressful week at work, I could no longer resist temptation.  Beer beckoned me so I headed over to my usual jaunt, the Hickory Tavern.  As I entered the bar, I faced a typical single guy dilemma: do I sit at the bar to essentially let any single women know that I too am single, or do I grab a table to prevent random freaks from plopping down nearby and harassing me?  Usually, I opt for the table but this night, for whatever reason, I opted for the bar.  Bad decision.

Within seconds, an Eminem look-alike, complete with wide-bill-worn-sideways baseball cap, plopped down in the bar seat to my left while a young(ish) black guy grabbed the seat to my right.  Great, sausage-fest, the number one problem for a single (straight) guy hanging out in a sports bar.

Turn the hat sideways, lose the award, and this guy is a dead ringer for the dude on my left.

Initially, the 3 of us drank our beers and minded our own business.  But maybe 2 beers in, folks started getting chatty.  The black guy introduced himself as Kalil.  Allow me to present the rest of the conversation (abridged for the sake of brevity) in screenplay format:

KALIL

(to me)

So, what do you do?

ME

You mean like for a living?
I’m in IT.  How ’bout you?

KALIL

I’m an inventor.

EMINEM

(Overhears Kalil.  Speaks in a thick Brooklyn accent.)

An inventor?  You’re an inventor?
What’ve you invented that I’ve heard of?

KALIL

You ever heard of the SIM card?

Okay, at this point Eminem and I both pretty much know that Kalil is, well, full of, um, dung.  No way he invented the SIM card and the big giveaway is because he’s much too young to have invented the SIM card.  Personally, I could care less that Kalil wants to tell tall tales.  In fact, Kalil is quite engaging and entertaining, so I encourage him.  I say things like “Wow!  Very cool.”  But Eminem is not willing to be as obliging.

EMINEM

The SIM card?  You invented the @#$!ing SIM card?
I’m an inventor too.  You know what I invented?  The
@#$! ing lie!

And just like that our pleasant little conversation heads in a rather unpleasant direction.  Eminem begins, in what I think is an attempt to simultaneously put down Kalil and be funny, to facetiously rattle off things he has invented.  Most of the items Eminem claims to have invented are obscene devices that I cannot mention on my rated-PG blog.  One thing Eminem clearly did not invent – a punchline.  He rambles on aimlessly, futilely trying to come across as funny.  I interject a few nervous laughs, hoping against hope that maybe Kalil will laugh too and things will somehow get smoothed over.   No such luck.  After a few agonizing seconds of this – which feels more like HOURS – one of the pretty, young bartenders (let’s call her Sharon) walks up.

KALIL

Miss!  Miss!  Do you know this guy?

(pointing at Eminem)

Is he a nice guy?

SHARON

Yeah, I know him.  Sure, he’s a nice guy.

KALIL

Because he’s trying to start something!
Tell him I will make a phone call, one
phone call!  I’m just minding my own
business, having a conversation with
this gentleman…

(he points to me)

Now I’m not exactly sure what Kalil is implying about his one phone call, but I really don’t care to wait around and find out.  By this point, Eminem is jawing back again and I find myself dead smack in the middle of The Jerry Springer Show.  I mouth to Sharon “Check, please” and gesture like I’m writing with a pen.  She is more than grateful to have an excuse to walk away.

EMINEM

You are so full of (CENSORED)!  The SIM card?!
Seriously?!

KALIL

You don’t know me!  I’m an engineer!  I make
my living inventing things!  I get 40 per cent
of every SIM card sold in America!

Now Kalil reaches in his pocket and pulls out a wad of bills, which he proceeds to unwad and show to Eminem.  And to his credit, they’re all $100 bills, probably totaling a grand or two.  This is not the move of a particularly intelligent individual.  This is a move that will have you waking up in an alley with your pockets conveniently emptied.  Eminem mocks Kalil by pulling out ones and fives and throwing them on the bar.  I frantically motion for the waitress to hurry up.

The jawing continues as Sharon walks up and hands me my check, which I promptly close out and stand up.  I quickly shake Kalil’s hand and say, “Nice to meet you!” and then I slap Eminem on the back (I never caught his name) and say, “Take it easy big guy!”  I get the hell out of there.

This is my life.

Fender Bender

One week after the incident at HT, I got rear-ended in the Y parking lot as I was forced to blindly back out of a space next to a massive pickup truck that I couldn’t see past.  As soon as the tail end of my car peaked out past the truck, I heard squealing brakes, a honking horn, and a bang.  Luckily, there was minimal damage and the other driver and I both agreed to just let it go.  There was no need for Thomas to rip off his shirt and yell at somebody and if there had been such a need, that could have been problematic since Thomas was not anywhere near this incident, at least not that I know of.

I got hit at 6:40 and still made it to the 7:00 free premiere of the movie 30 Minutes or Less – the reason I was rushing out of my parking spot in the first place.  I thoroughly enjoyed the movie by the way – multiple belly laugh moments.  2 thumbs up, way up.

Torrential Downpour

Friday, I braved the sudden thunderstorms (which I also got caught running in earlier, but that’s a story for another day) to drive over to the Burger Company to join the gang for lunch.

As I was driving down 77, a pickup truck pulling a trailer up ahead lost control as the trailer slammed into the barrier on the right side of the road.  This sent the truck and trailer careening out of control.  The two of them crossed four lanes of traffic, the trailer madly jackknifing the entire time until the forces at play wrenched it away from the truck.  About 4 other cars and I went veering in every direction to avoid the 2 vehicles now stopped in the middle of the interstate.  Miraculously, we all avoided hitting anything.

But as I looked in my rear view mirror, I saw the occupants of the banged up truck exit their vehicle and start attempting to pull their trailer out of the road.  Did I mention it was stopped in the middle of the interstate?  Did I mention visibility was virtually non-existent as it was pouring down rain?  “No, no, no!  Don’t do that!” I screamed (inwardly) as I thought they were surely destined to get plowed over by oncoming traffic.  Apparently, they survived as I think I would have heard about it on the news if they hadn’t.

At lunch, rain found its way through the leaky roof of the Burger Company and onto my head, but my cat-like reflexes saved my precious burger and fries from getting drenched.  Two catastrophes avoided in less than an hour.

After lunch, as I drove back up Morehead, the city looked like a scene from a disaster film.  Flooded streets, cars pulled over, fire trucks with sirens blazing weaving in and out of traffic.  It was utterly surreal.

On 77, I experienced a few harrowing, hydroplaning moments, and a few others where cars doing their own hydroplaning sent waves of water splashing  across my windshield, completely blinding me.

I felt like I was in one of those Final Destination movies.  But I must have been the protagonist as I somehow made it home, alive and intact.  Unless this movie’s not over yet.  Shudder.

Blue Points 5K

Ben Hovis snapped this photo of me, looking like death, coming down the home stretch.

So you can see how the race was a little anti-climactic.

The most interesting things about this race happened before it ever started.  For one, my alarm clock (cell phone) never went off (the battery died sometime during the night).  I awoke knowing I was late as sunlight was streaming through my window.  I wasn’t even registered yet and I woke up, in Cornelius mind you, at 6:40 to get ready for a race in Charlotte that started, or so I thought, at 8:00.

I jumped up and scrambled to get ready, throwing on race clothes.  Lucky for me, I just bought a Keurig coffee maker this week, otherwise I wouldn’t have had time to make my precious pre-race cup of coffee.  During the drive to Panthers Stadium, I used this coffee to wash down the giant breakfast of one granola bar.  It was odd how Morehead, an insane scene of flooding and chaos the day before, seemed perfectly normal some 20 hours later.

I pulled into the Dowd parking lot at 7:20, grabbed my checkbook and took off to register.  I found the race-day registration table and quickly filled out a registration form and wrote them a check, officially getting registered by 7:25.  I snagged my race tee and started to run back to the Dowd to drop my stuff off at the car.

But as I passed the starting line, I noticed quite a few people were already lined up.  I spotted Steve Spada and yelled to him, ‘Steve, what time do we start?”
“7:30.  In like 4 minutes.”
Insert curse words here – I was holding a check book and a t-shirt and no way I could make it to the Dowd and back before the start.

I saw Christi Carter.  Her boyfriend, Jamaar, told me yesterday he was not running the race.  I yelled out, “Christi, where’s Jamaar?”  She pointed him out to me.  I ran over and asked him if he’d watch my stuff for me to which he responded, “Sure, no problem!”

“I love you man!” I cried out, already running back to the starting line.  Later Jamaar recruited Karin to watch my stuff so he would be unencumbered and could run around the course and cheer the racers on.  Special thanks to Christi, Jamaar, and Karin!

Back at the start, I chatted with Thomas for a second, telling him how I’d barely made it to the race on time when I glanced down at my shoe and noticed something missing – no timing chip.  Insert more curse words here as I sprinted over to where the chip ladies were.  “733!  733!”, I yelled out my bib number to them as I approached.  They were awesome, quickly, efficiently, and best of all, kindly, grabbing my chip and handing it to me.  I thanked them profusely, tied the chip to my laces, and sprinted back to the start, just in time to take off with the gang.  (I haven’t been this close to missing the start of a race since 2007 when I was so late to a 5k that I put the race tee on over my warm-up jacket and pinned the bib to it at the same time the starter yelled “Go!”)

The rest of the race was standard fare.  Go out too fast.  Chase people,  pass some, get passed by others.  Carolyn and Anthony beat me and got a measure of revenge for the 4-miler.  Clayton held me off by a second.  I barely broke 20 minutes (which, according to my marathon training plan, was officially the goal as I was supposed to use this as a tempo, running at approximately 10K pace).

The good thing about being 45 is that you can come in 6th place in your age group and still get an age group award.  (The top 3, Jim McKeon, Mr. Spada, and Bill Shires got 1, 2, and 3 overall masters.)  6th place in my age group won me a sweet travel coffee mug which ironically would have come in very handy before the race as I instead gulped my coffee out of a Kenan Stadium souvenir cup (every Carolina alumni has tons of these unless their significant others have thrown them out).

And that’s it for one very bizarre period in my life.  Will things go back to normal soon?  I’ll let you know.

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3 Responses to “My Crazy Life…Oh, and the Blue Points 5K”

  1. Stephen Spada Says:

    Could.Not.Stop.Laughing!

  2. Cool Down Runner Says:

    Nice post. Definitely, it was well worth reading 🙂

  3. CLizzle Says:

    Yea man, that was a great recap, i wished I could have been at the Bar too. I would have been poking Eminem the whole time, to get him fired up

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