Monday, August 5, 2013

half marathons

Back in 490 BC, after the Greeks beat the Persians at the battle of Marathon, the Greek general sent two runners back to Athens to inform the citizens of their victory. The first runner, Pheidippides, made the 26.2 mile run back to Athens and collapsed in the city streets yelling "we won!". The second runner, Christoffipes, either collapsed or gave up after 13.1 miles, either due to exhaustion or claims of long-distance running being bad for your heart health.1

In honor of this noble Greek, I ran the Summer Breeze half marathon on Saturday to celebrate his great accomplishment. The opposite of most races in my life, this one began in the bathroom, as I arrived late, along with the entire city of San Leandro who all needed to use the same port-a-potty IMMEDIATELY before the race. I sprinted to the start, and spent the next mile running through crowds of the unwashed masses,2 attempting to overexert myself to the extreme at the beginning of an endurance race.

After catching up to my friend, Will, who is an actual runner and not a fake like me, I, like Dumbo, realized there was no ground under me and my magic feather, and I slowly dropped back and began heaving the breaths of a wounded rhinoceros. The course ran along the east bay shoreline to the San Mateo bridge. Some horrible, horrible person designed a long series of zig-zags in the miles leading up to the bridge, causing me to think I was close...then another sharp turn in the wrong direction.

By some miracle of science, or possibly just the miracle of wearing what my wife calls "fairy shoes",3 I completed the race, though immediately after being passed by what, under any other circumstance, I would refer to as a short, stocky 41-year-old woman.

I am now one of those people real runners refer to as "not a runner", having not completed a full marathon, and not planning on one either, mainly because of my sissy nature, but also because my underwear CUT AN ACTUAL GASH IN MY ABDOMEN. It's made of polyester people. POLYESTER WHAT HAVE YOU COME TO IN LIFE THAT YOU SHIV ME. Don't even get me started on the chafing under my arms and the severe pain you get when you mix a shower plus salty sweat being poured into open wounds.

Also, I apologize to any short and stocky 41-year-old women I have offended in my life. You are obviously much more athletic than myself and you should be respected more.

1. There is some dispute among the historical sources.
2. To give credit where credit is due, my friend Andrew used this phrase the other day and I've been looking for a way to incorporate it into my life.
3. Carrying the last name of Perry and having attended Elementary School, I am intimately familiar with the use of fairy as a descriptor. My wife would also like to point out that this is not a homophobic slur, she means they make me run like an actual fairy with wings. Her words. Not mine.

3 comments:

brittney said...

Christoffipes. The sexiest of all Greek heros.

Unknown said...

Chris I am so glad to hear that you were actually wearing underwear...so sorry to hear it caused you undue/undie shiv...

J J Perry MD said...

I have been looking for underwear made of polyester people, but nice ones that won't incise but caress instead. Have you any suggestions?