Thursday, June 23, 2011

Juneathon Day 23 - I'm Not Running at 2AM

How was your day?
Looking forward to the weekend?


Oh. OK. Juneathon Day 23.
Finally some decent post-informal-marathon mileage.

Ran 5 miles to dinner.
Arrived a sweaty heap.

My wife brought along a towel and change of shirt.
Fellow dinner patrons must have been glad we were segregated into a private room.
Seeing me shirtless for a spell in the parking lot, trying to sop up the unrelenting perspiration.

Wings were on special at dinner tonight.
I only ate 4. Had a salad instead.
Because there's a race tomorrow.
And I fear it is gonna be tough.

This is my first Open Water Swim (as opposed to Triathlons with a swim leg).
I picked a doozy. For the circular course. Not for the distance. Point Seven miles should be cake.
Tonight, I was reading the kids a book about the Statue of Liberty that we bought at the Statue of Liberty.
It had an illustration of the island. I'm gonna swim around that? :-)

I am not nervous. Yet.
By race time, I will be.
But then, I'll get kicked in the face a few times, reciprocate, and life will be great.

Back to the title:
I'm Not Running at 2AM

Did you read about my inaugural Father's Day Disjointed Marathon?
I was supposed to run up to 40 miles that day, and leave the house at 2AM to do so.

But I stayed in bed a little longer because:

  • Running at 2AM along major roads might be dangerous. Bars let out at 2AM. Drunk drivers and such.
I had no specific reason to think along those lines.
But I left the house at 3:15AM anyway, thinking at that point the drunks had plenty of time to get home.

And since I'm typing this, I probably didn't get hit by a drunk driver.
And that's a damn good thing.

However, 24 hours later, just a few miles away.
A generally nice guy as attested by friends and family, he decides to be an asshole, get drunk, drive 130+ miles per hour and wipe out, destroying his car, his life, and his friend's life.

Let me tell you right now.
Running at night, and I've said it several times, I feel quite safe because drivers can see you from so far away.
You can see drivers from very far away. At least half a mile away.
Thus you both have time to position yourself to accommodate the other's presence.

Do some quick math.
That's 2 miles per minute.
1 mile per 30 seconds.
Half a mile in 15 seconds.

Now toss in a BAC of .20%

That's right.
You're don't stand a chance.

The exact thought in my head that morning when I made the choice of self-preservation:
"I'm doing this because I'd like to be alive for Father's Day."

Probably a little dramatic.

But I promise you this.
I won't be running at 2AM anymore.

Not sharing the road with kamikazes.
Sorry for the loss of life, but that type of behavior is really not fair to the rest of us either. 
We all lose a bit of freedom.

I am not without criticism.
Have I ever driven drunk? Absolutely. I was a stupid kid.
Recently? Nope, haven't drank alcohol in 4 years. Since training for my first marathon.

Have I ever driven 130MPH?
No, probably not much more than 100MPH.

Have I ever been in a similar situation?
I guess I just got lucky.

People get away with DUI all the time.

I've been to 2 funerals for guys who were killed because they, or a friend, were driving drunk.
2 caskets was enough for me.
Point taken.

2 caskets was not enough for other people I know.

While there's a lot of anger and denial about this recent tragedy, I do hope everyone familiar with the story takes something away.
Maybe they don't drink and drive.
Maybe they offer to be Designated and drive a friend.

But let's not have a repeat.
It's not worth it.


ihaverun said...

I am very glad you won't be running at 2 am anymore.

As for the race: good, good, good, good luck!! I can't think of a more amazing place to swim.

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited, can't wait to hear how you did! Was it magnificent? Hurry up & post so I can relax & know you're OK & have some remarkable story to tell!

I would've volunteered to watch your kiddos on the island during the event, but well, you would have needed your brother there anyway... to watch the 3 of us... cuz not having kids myself, well, 20 min. is plenty of time to stir up a heap of fun... er, I mean trouble :-)

matthewreinsmith said...

Right On, My Brother! I just have to say, I have a very hard time NOT speaking ill of the dead in this case. Some strange role model this person made, but hopefully it does get through to some of his followers. Even ONE person would be worth something. I'm not a fan in the least but I will say RIP.