Sunday, September 7, 2008

Redemption

Rob took the train up to Chicago this weekend for a conference. He rode his folding bike (the Pocket Rocket) over to the train station, folded it up, and got on the train. I guess when he arrived in Chicago, he unfolded his bike and rode to the conference. Rob isn’t one to mince words, so he hadn’t told me much about all this before he left. My impression is that what was most intriguing to him about the whole process was doing it all by bike and train. Maybe he’ll write about it on his blog and let us know how it went.

Left on my own this weekend, I drove the car (Iris) to Peoria to run the Illinois Valley Striders Half Marathon and see my family. I arrived on Friday afternoon and had my mom (a hairdresser) cut about 8 inches off of my hair. My original plan had been to donate my hair to one of the charities that makes wigs for women who have lost their hair after chemo, but my mom didn’t think my hair was quite long enough. Once I’d decided that I wanted my hair cut though, there was no turning back. So I went ahead and had her cut my hair, even though I didn’t donate it anywhere. This is the first time in about 4 years my hair hasn’t been long enough to wear in a ponytail; its going to take some getting-used-to!

Saturday was the big day. My friend Joshenski was in town visiting his family in P-town too, and we had big plans to meet for coffee just like old times. The only difference would be that we hadn’t seen each other in almost 10 years. I still can’t believe so much time has passed. I’m not really sure how Josh and I became friends back in high school. One day he was just there, and after that, we were always riding around in his car—chewing cinnamon gum, going to visit my aunt and her beanie-baby collection (it was very popular to collect beanie babies at the time), having tangerines on our Seder plates. Our friendship worked out well at lunchtime too: whenever he got Pop-Tarts from the vending machine, he would give me the crusts—which were my favorite part, and his least favorite part. He was also there one of the only times I ever got in trouble at school. We had to take this totally lame class called something like “Resource Management,” where they taught you how to balance a checkbook and warned against the dangers of credit cards. At some point during the semester, we had a guest speaker come to our class and talk about the DeVry Institute, which I found so pointless that I spent the whole time reading Dr. Zhivago (the book I had selected for my term paper in English class). Dr. Zhivago wasn’t really any more interesting than hearing about the DeVry Institute, but at least I was getting work done. Unfortunately, I also got a stern warning for being disrespectful to the DeVry Institute speaker by doing homework while she was talking. As I recall, Josh thought this was hilarious (actually, it was hilarious). I started calling him Joshenshki after that because all the characters in Dr. Zhivago had names that ended in “ski” somehow. I’m not sure that he liked being called Joshenski, but he never complained.

I never really thought we would grow up, get old, and not see each other again. But these things happen. You graduate, go to colleges in different states, make new friends and new memories. You go one day without talking, then a week without talking, you eventually lose each other’s email addresses, and all of a sudden you wake up and its been 10 years. One day I was on Facebook, seriously contemplating canceling my account because 1) Facebook is lame –and- 2) there are people I really really don’t want to find on Facebook, and then out of the blue, Josh’s name popped up. I sent him a message that said something like, “Joshenski, is that you” and of course it was, so we started emailing each other again and catching up on the last 10 years. We discovered that we were both planning on visiting our families in P-town this weekend, so we made plans to have coffee at one of our old stomping grounds. We pretty much picked up right where we left off. Our tentative plan is to see each other again before another 10 years has passed!

BFF at BNN.
Joshenski was friends with me back when I was this wanna-be hippie writer poet chick who was afraid of everything, especially spiders. I guess I am still afraid of everything, but not actually spiders so much.

On Sunday, I got up bright and early (actually, dark and early) and went to Glen Oak Park to run the half marathon. It was going to be a little weird for me to do a half marathon without Rob being there to cheer me on, but I needed to get in some miles this weekend. The weather was gorgeous (not too hot, not too cold), but the course was hell of hilly. I knew that going into it though, so the hills were no surprise. After living in the flatlands of Urbana for more than a decade, P-town seems like veritable hill country to me. The half-marathon was two loops around a 6.55 mile course. During the first loop, the hills didn’t bother me too much, but during the second loop, those same hills were so much harder and they slowed me down a lot. I can’t complain though. My finishing time was 1.46.27, which isn’t breaking any world records, but is 3 whole minutes faster than my abominably abysmal run at the Mahomet half marathon just 2 weeks ago. It was so bad that I didn’t even blog about it. Back in the day, I was running half marathons in around 1.43, and I have been more than a little depressed that I’ve become too old and fat and slow to be a runner anymore. I’m still not back to my former glory, but at least I’m moving in the right direction. I’ll just keep at it until I redeem myself.

Smiling at mile 6.5; its too small to see, but I am wearing my Bitch Socks.

My mom always takes a picture of me as I'm driving away. I'm not sure why.

Alright. Got to go. RB and his folding bike finally made it home from the trip, so I’ll have to go see what he has to say about it! Thanks for reading!

8 comments:

Ragfield said...

Great job with the race! I knew you could do it.

Anonymous said...

YOU DID GOOD at the race, in spite of the HILLS!!!!! Tell Rob, he takes much better pictures, but it's HARD TO CAPTURE A MOVING TARGET!!!!!!! it was great fun having you home !!! You filled every hour and saw and did a lot while here!!!! Maybe next time , you can just come and 'rest'!!! luv you, foxymama

Logan's Mama said...

Congrats on the race! Love the hair... :-)

josh said...

the best part of "resource management" was the day we learned about consumer scams and our teacher said she ordered a breast enlargement kit from the back of magazine, and when it arrived it was a plastic man's hand. and then i said "plastic man's hand" for the rest of the year. i agree, that class was awful. congrats on the race- it was good seeing you again. -josh

Cara said...

cute haircut! You got in trouble for reading Dr. Zhivago? nice

Melissa said...

HA! i almost fell off my chair laughing.

Aimison said...

LOVE the haircut!!

amypfan said...

JOSH! Love the picture. You guys look great.

As a side note, while that may have been the only time you got in trouble in high school, we did have to stand on the wall in grade school once. :)