Sunday, January 25, 2009

Painting Walls and Talking Rats

Yesterday was my road group's last big long run before the Austin marathon - we joined up with another training group downtown and basically ran the last 22 miles of the marathon course. It was cold and windy, and I started off running with a few of my guys, pointing out bits of the course as we ran - where the hills were, where the mental low points were, where to push it and where to hold back etc. I felt for our volunteers manning the water stops we'd set up along the way - they looked very cold - and I made sure to thank them for coming out.

Once the group started to splinter, I ended up running with a guy we've dubbed "wildman" because of his long hair. He's run with us on and off all season but I haven't gotten a chance to talk with him much, so we had a good chat while keeping a nice steady 8:30 pace. It turns out he's a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness, and since I've been considering studying for my PT certification (though it's expensive, and what would I do with it anyway) we talked about that for a while. He's also training for an Ironman - something I can never imagine myself doing. He was a nice guy and the miles went by very quickly.

Eventually we made the turn onto Congress at 11th, and he sprinted off to where the marathon will finish at 7th Street. I let him go (because I'm mean) and carried on at the same pace. When I caught up to him, he was bent over recovering. Trying not to laugh I casually said "you know we're not done yet, right? We've still got another half mile back to the cars and we're going to run it". After a second of stunned disbelief he sucked it up and we ran the final half mile to make it a 22.5 mile run. Oh, when you're as evil as I am it doesn't take much to make your day.

I stayed around at the finish until the rest of my guys came in. They all looked strong (and they all ran that extra last half mile) - I'm sure they're going to have a great marathon. However, for some reason there was no water at the finish and it was still cold and windy (especially after we'd stopped running), so after a quick chat we said our goodbyes and I headed off home to paint Gavin's room.

I got the first coat of green on the walls, and the antique white on the ceiling. Then I went back and applied the second coat today. Gavin chose the color and I have to say I like his taste - it looks very good. Once that dries we'll get the painters tape off, fill in any bits we missed, vacuum and shampoo the carpet and then roll his stuff back in. That will make my "honey do" list much shorter.

This afternoon we went to a birthday party for one of Gavin's friends at Chuckie Cheese. What a bizarre place. I'd never been to a Chuckie Cheese before, but the concept is kid-friendly pizza within a kind of amusement arcade presided over by a giant rat (call me Sherlock, but I'm guessing the rat is Chuckie - wow, what a gimmick). It was very busy and filled with screaming kids. Gavin enjoyed himself for a bit while we mingled with the other "overwhelmed-looking" parents. Thanfully, eventually we escaped. I think Gavin is very much like his dad and doesn't like crowds very much. We got home and he went to the swings with his grandpa instead.

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