Charlie’s been running for about as long as he’s been on his fitness regime. He started with basic 5Ks, but when he saw the awesome medals that the Capital City Half Marathon handed out for their quarter- and half-marathon finishers, he began training for longer runs. For a while, a knee sensitivity had him sidelined, only planning running a quarter marathon at his longest clip.
Being the competitive family his is, when Charlie saw Ada registering, running, and placing in half-marathons, Charlie wanted to do the same. He spent the better part of 6 months strengthening his knee so that he could run in the 2013 River Run.
Being a huge fan of Matthew Inman’s The Oatmeal, of course he related to The terrible and wonderful reasons I run long distances. I think he can relate to “Part 2: The Feeding,” (you haven’t seen what he can do to Fourthmeal), I relate to “Part 4: Vanity” (more on that at a later date), but he feels he relates most to “Part 1: The Blerch.”
When Matt listed his Blerch shirts available for sale in the store, I had to get one for Charlie. There was some doubt as to whether it would arrive on time, but Hermes himself smiled on us, and I had it hanging on the banister of the stairs as a surprise when he came home from the away football game for the high school.
I thought there would be a couple of people running with Blerch shirts, but as far as I could tell, Charlie was the only one. I really hope it was entertaining for anyone keeping pace behind him during the race.
The night before the race, Charlie wanted to get waterproof earphones. The ones he normally used (janky ones that came with his phone, I think) would get covered in sweat and cut out, crackle, and generally sucked. I thought it was kind of neat to peruse the running-specific training equipment. Part of the reason I took up golf (which I eventually abandoned because, boring), was for the super cute clothing.
I enjoyed picking my way around compression sleeves, toe-socks specifically for running, and sports-geared ear buds. We ended up picking out a pair of Yurbuds. They were $30, and the only thing different between them and regular ear buds is a silicone sleeve that goes into your ear. That said, I’m not one to quibble if they work (and they did). Now, I’m saving pennies to get a pair of the women-specific ones, which is great, because I have tiny ears and have been athletic-taping my ear buds in when doing cardio.
Both Charlie and Ada ran in the half marathon. Ada’s live-in ladyfriend and her sister, the third brother and his wife, their mom (my mother-in-law) , and I sent them off at the beginning of the run, and waited for them to cross the finish line about 2-ish hours later.
I’ve been to a couple of Charlie’s races, and I always get lucky as hell at my placement at the finish line for being able to see him finish. I get my spot early and park it until I see him finish. This is probably why people find me boring at get-togethers: I’m a park-and-partier, seldom leaving my seat to mingle.
Aside from Charlie and Ada being my favorite finishers, one gentleman got down on his stomach on the finish line and log-rolled himself across. I did not get a picture, but I wish I had.
Ada crossed the finish line first. No surprise: his stride is longer, he got the tall genes.
Shortly after the 2-hour mark, Charlie crossed too, mugging for the official camera.
I’m also kind of a jerk: I had Charlie grab me a bagel from behind the corrals reserved for the runners because I’d missed breakfast. I did not plan ahead.
All in all, both Charlie and Ada had a good run, and I was able to get a rare non-Chandler’d picture of Charlie. I’ll be printing it, framing it, and putting it on the mantle.
After spending the rest of the day at Charlie’s parents’ house, Charlie started looking up the 2014 Capital City Half Marathon. Apparently, the half-marathon bug only burrowed deeper.
And because I like shiny neckwear and dislike being the odd man out, I said that I’d do the 5K portion of the race.
I guess I better get to training, then.