If Miles Were Measured in Donuts

I haven’t written much about my marathon training lately because most of it consists of things like, “Oh my holy hell, it’s hot y’all!” and “Someone talk me out of this madness!” But overall it’s going well. I have about seventeen weeks until the marathon. Yes, seventeen. I had to make a wee change in my plans. I am not going to Florence for the marathon. Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, I am still running a marathon. It’s just not in Italy. It’s in Massachusetts. Cape Cod, to be exact. Racing in Florence with a weak dollar and the cost of everything rising due to oil prices seemed like a big burden right now. So, instead, I decided to race in Cape Cod, which is just like Italy with fewer popes.

Why Cape Cod? Well, everyone knows that Italy is shaped like a boot, but did you know that Cape Cod is shaped like an arm? Check it out on a map. I am all into running in places shaped like extremities, so Cape Cod and Italy were the natural next choices after my first race in Manhattan. Hey, if any of you are truly disappointed by this change in plans, I will reluctantly accept donations of cash, air miles, free drink coupons, duty free discount certificates or, hell, any old thing, toward the Send Dingo to Florence fund.

The Cape Cod Marathon is sponsored by Dunkin Donuts because, you know, donuts and exercise go hand in hand. I’m counting on them to have donut holes at every water station. Or even instead of water stations. I can bring my own freakin’ water, but I want to make Dunkin Donuts put their “America Runs on Dunkin” money where my mouth is.

Yummy Donuts!While my race training has gotten tougher and the hills don’t seem to be getting any easier, I have reached a running milestone. The other day, I finally passed the old lady with a walker I see on the park track all the time when I run. And I did it with style and only a small amount of gloating because I’m just humble like that. When I first started running, Old Lady With Walker would kick my ass. She would come out of nowhere and I’d think, “I may be slow but at least I can beat Old Lady With Walker.” Only, I couldn’t. I could never catch up to her.

At first, I thought I had the upper hand. OLWW is always dressed from head to foot in a white calf-length puffy coat — the kind you wear when the New York winter is at it’s worst and the mayor is telling everyone to stay home from work so the snow plows can do their job — and leather gloves. She looks like the Michelin man, except I don’t recall ever seeing sweat stains under his armpits. Anyway, I figured if I couldn’t catch up to her on my own power, she’d eventually fall out from heat stroke and I’d be able to hurdle over her prone body and claim victory. Unless I was really tired from running. Then I would have to step on her. Gently.

But I think OLWW has a tricked-out walker. It’s sort of the Sports edition of walkers. It has thick SUV wheels on the back legs and tennis balls on the front ones. Tennis balls! How could I compete with that? She pushes this walker up and down the hills of Central Park like she just won a $5000 shopping spree at Tar-zhay and has only five minutes to reach the check-out line. I thought, “Day-um! I should be able to beat OLWW!” But I just couldn’t. The distance between us would continue to increase until finally she came around behind me.

And then…. this week, the impossible happened. I passed OLWW. I didn’t just pass her. I passed her going uphill! I was ecstatic. Rocky Balboa couldn’t have been more pleased when he reached the top of those famous steps than I was at that moment. I heard his theme music in my ears, danced a jig and did a couple of fist pumps in the air before becoming so out of breath my vision began to blur. But I wanted to savor my victory. So I turned around to see if she was choking on my dust. Folks, I am just mastering the art of forward movement. Running backwards is the Ph.D of coordination and apparently I don’t have that gift. I tripped. And fell.

The world looks completely different when you are only six inches off the ground. I did not relish having the Nike Swoosh tattooed onto my forehead by the approaching runners who did not stop. Yeah, no one stopped. They just kept on running although I think I heard one woman say something to her running buddy about stepping on me gently. Through my haze of embarrassment, I swore I could hear OLWW’s wicked cackle as she anticipated leaving walker tracks across my outstretched body, so I quickly jumped up and continued my run.

You would think making a complete ass of myself would dial back my snarkometer to acceptable leveIs, but you would be wrong. The only thing that can make you feel better after an incident like that is to make fun of someone else. It’s really not hard to do. At my pace, there is plenty of snark material running right past me every few seconds. The normal people pass me too quickly to fully engage my Bitch Vision, so all I’m left with is the freak parade. Now, I know what you are thinking, and shame on you. I am not a freak. I just run like one.

I was not disappointed. Two of my favorite runners appeared up ahead and instantly lifted my mood. First there was the guy who runs like he’s on his way to a Broadway audition or the Extreme Cheer Challenge competition. Arms bent at the elbow, fingers fully splayed, he has the perfect jazz hands. My internal iPod doesn’t know whether to start humming tunes from A Chorus Line or reciting dialogue from Bring it On: In It To Win It . (Shush! Don’t judge me! I’d like to see your DVD collection!) I always want to slap a Spirit Stick into his hands just to see what happens.

Speaking of flashy numbers, did you know they make gold lamé running shorts? Well, they do! And my second favorite runner, Lame Lamé, has a pair for every day of the week. Either that or she wears the same ones over and over again, but that’s just too nasty to think about. Luckily, they make gold lamé running shorts in various sizes so you can choose ones that are two sizes too small, allowing everyone to see the shape of your girl bits. I am glad I wear sunglasses because the reflection off her ass can scorch your corneas. When she passed me the other day, the heat from her vulva-laser caused me to stumble, but I somehow maintained my balance. Not only would falling twice in the same run have been mortifying, but it would be a sad day indeed if the last sight I ever had of this world was a pornographic baked potato and OLWW tennis balls approaching my forehead.