Sunday, December 29, 2013

Battle of the Sexes

Tomorrow, I will be fighting for my life.  Well, at least for some self-respect.  Tanya and I will be running in a 5km race around our neighborhood.  It'll be a race of two: mano y mano.


Rewind to New Year's Eve, 2011.  While announcing our resolutions for 2012, I stumbled.  For years, I was resolute in not buying a new car.  However, not only did I get a new car, I bought another tiny vehicle.  The only thing that was resolved last year was that I am forever destined to drive the smallest car in our employee parking lot at work.

For 2013, I really wanted to announce a resolution, a goal, that would be an out-of-the-park smash hit. We were with our friends, and each of us took turns sharing.  Two themes emerged before it was my turn: Being present (in the moment, with our kids, etc.) and athletic endeavors (marathons, grueling bike rides, etc.).  I was blank.  Nothing.  Frozen.

Tanya broke the silence with a suggestion:  "How about running a 5k, Steve?"

Some folks may not consider a five kilometer run as a worthy New Year's Resolution. However, Tanya knew my history. Running and big-boy Steve didn't mesh too well.

At midnight on the 4th of July in 2009, we ran in the Firecracker 5000.  It was a 5k run through downtown Seattle, encircling the Space Needle with a route skirting the South Lake Union, Belltown, and Lower Queen Anne neighborhoods.

I started out like gangbusters, running as fast I could.  In retrospect, thinking that my long-legged strides would get me through the race faster was a bit ridiculous. For what it was worth, that was the plan, though.

Within minutes, I was tanked.  Now walking, the participants that I nearly ran over just moments before, zinged past me. Basking in embarrassment, a girl spanked me while running past.  It was Tanya, and as she glanced back, there was an eye-lock of understanding that I was a fool.

For the rest of the race, I was too tired for even continuous jogging.  So, I walked.  A lot.

The streets and neighborhoods around Seattle's Space Needle rarely sleep and include many bars and night clubs for hipsters to enjoy.  On the particular night of this Firecracker 5000, most of the watering hole patrons enjoyed their libations outside in the summertime air, watching the runners on the street pass by.

More than four years have passed, and I am able to recognize the silliness of the situation.  While I am no longer emotionally scarred, there is still a good dose of embarrassment.  

Trying to redeem myself after getting spanked by my wife, I alternated running as fast as I could with walking and gasping for air to regain my strength.  By the halfway mark of the race, I was literally grunting on the walking/recovery cycles.
Okay, I see the resemblance.

Coincidentally, the halfway mark of the Firecracker 5000 took the race entrants through the streets that so many of those local bars were on.  I first heard a drunkard yell, "Hey, look!  It's Sasquatch!" However, since I was on my walking/grunting cycle, I was unfortunately privy to other, more colorful, remarks.

Our local NBA team, the SuperSonics, had just finished their first season in Oklahoma City after leaving Seattle the year before.  And the Sonics' mascot was a Sasquatch.  I get it: me being 7 feet tall and grunting like an animal was irresistible.

To add to my woes, I looked up the race results afterwards and saw that I had finished in 96th place in my division.  Interestingly, we realized that Tanya had placed in 49th the same division?

Yes, I was put into the women's division:


Now, here we are.  It's December 29th, and I have two days to complete my 2013 resolution.  Tomorrow, my mom offered to watch our kids so that Tanya and I could go on a day-date.  Originally, Tanya was thinking about us heading to a movie, or even going out for lunch/coffee.  I had different plans, though.

We are going to run a neighborhood 5k.  To raise the stakes, we will be broadcasting the race live via Glympse.  At 12:00 noon, we will post the Glympse map under the group !BattleOfTheSexes

We encourage you to click on our Facebook link at noon tomorrow or to type in our Glympse group into the app (yes, put the ! at the beginning).  You will see the race results live, showing our location, running speed, and direction.

I hope for redemption.  I hope for a win!

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