Every year I, along with 18,000 other Madisonians, run in the 5 mile Crazylegs run. It doesn’t matter if I train for it or not (generally not), I always end up with the same time. I was determined to make this year different.
So about a month ago, I thought I’d really start busting my ass to see if I could get in shape. I wanted to see how fast I could actually run the race if I applied myself. I started running five miles a day, and did so for about three and a half weeks. I ran through soreness, blisters, and fatigue, determined to get a little faster. I paid the entrance fee and got ready to test myself on Saturday.
This week, everyone in my family was sick. My kids got a bug that had them throwing up, combined with uncontrollable diarrhea. Determined to dodge this plague, I sequestered myself for most of the week. And I managed to stay reasonably healthy.
You can probably guess what happened next. Early evening on Friday, my stomach started to feel a little uncomfortable. I was looking forward to my team’s first softball game at 10:00 on Friday night, so I didn’t think much of it. Then, about 8:00, it hit me – I had to make a mad dash to the bathroom to avoid a rectal apocalypse. Runs to the bathroom every ten minutes followed, along with a 20 minute vomiting session. (I have not yet ruled out the Mexican swine flu as the culprit.)
My wife was appalled that I remained determined to play in the softball game. It was clear my whole weekend, and all the work I had put in to get in shape, was about to be flushed down the toilet, along with everything I had eaten for the past three days. So I wanted to salvage little bit of fun – and I was afraid that if I didn’t show for the game, my team would have to forfeit.
When I got to the softball fields, I scoped out the bathroom situation, in case I had to make a mad dash. Of course, the toilet was in typical public restroom shape – it was clogged up, with water running over the top, and other people’s handiwork floating inside. Sitting on it was an impossibility.
The game got started, and every time I took the field, I stuck a towel in the front of my shorts, just in case. I managed to get a couple hits, and each time I got to the base, I felt like I was going to hurl. Running anywhere was a risky proposition, as each step could trigger untold embarrassment. Fortunately, the game passed without incident, and we won, 12-2. One of the guys on the team mentioned what a big win it was – “You have no idea,” I said, hunched over.
I got home and crawled into bed, shivering uncontrollably. I barely slept, feeling like my temperature was 110 degrees. Of course, I missed the race the next morning, as I was hugging the porcelain throne. So much work, all gone to waste.
On the upside, there were worse weekends to be laid up – with the NFL draft, NBA playoffs, and Brewer games all going on. (Generally, I\’m against dopes that watch too much of the NFL draft, but I ended up watching virtually every minute of it – on both ESPN and the NFL Network.) As I was drifting in and out of consciousness on Sunday afternoon, I actually saw my Mom and Dad on national TV, standing right off the 18th fairway at the golf tournament Jerry Kelly won. I thought I was hallucinating, and checked – in fact, the tournament was in New Orleans, where they live. So completely random and bizarre.
Hopefully, I\’ll be back in fighting shape on Monday (which also happens to be my birthday.) I’m looking forward to eating again.