WEATHER: 45ish at running time, gradually warming to 53ish.
MILES THIS WEEK: Who even knows?
WHERE TO: Great Falls and back.
MOOD: Perhaps less embarrassed than I should be.
Today’s embarrassing-running-story is brought to you by…
- The Great Falls Visitor Center
- The C&O Towpath
- Target running shorts
- Stray tree branches
- The phrase, “Read to the end before you yell, ‘GROSS!’ and pledge to never read my blog again.”
- …because (as the title implies) IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK.
It was a great day for a run, dear friends, with the kind of weather that made up for my fantastically tired legs, still in need of recovery from last weekend’s race. I trotted down to Georgetown and onto the C&O, where as the sun warmed God’s beautiful creation I dropped my gloves off at the 2-mile marker, fighting through a small shrub to deposit said gloves in the crook of a tree bough.
Tralalala, I thought, upping my pace to a brisk trot and making my way down the well-shaded path, actually managing to maintain my composure despite the fact that clearly (CLEARLY) the water fountains need to be shut off when the temperature hits 45, because CLEARLY (clearly) water–especially water below ground in thick pipes made of, judging by the taste, lead and ass–freezes at 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
<deep cleansing breath>
Apparently, it was High School Field Trip Day today in C&O National Historical Park and Great Falls National Park, because I encountered several large groups of roving hormonal awkwardness being led on tours by the most patient adults in the world.
I turned up my Enrique and continued on past one of said groups, and thought I heard giggling as I passed.
That wasn’t at you. Coincidence, I thought. Those kids are in awe of your mind-blowing gams, if anything. Yeah.
Contented, I continued. And after a few more giggling groups, I saw a brunette 15-year-old young woman tug on a super-lanky young fellow’s jacket sleeve. They turned to me and, while they stopped short of pointing, they definitely stared, laughed, and turned away.
Yeah, I was weirded out, but Whatever, I thought, eyeing the various sweater-and-tights combos. At least I understand the concept of pants.
Arriving at the Great Falls Visitor Center, I gulped greedily from the water fountain and took a pit stop in the bathroom, where I was given the once-over by a few North-Face-clad 40-somethinng ladies, whose facial expressions moved quickly from “mild interest” to “rather troubled” to “Judgy McFascistpants.”
I entered the bathroom stall and looked down and NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
nooooooooooooooo….oh noooooooo…….<fetal position in corner behind toilet>
OK, so I trust you to not stop reading after this paragraph, because it is in this paragraph that I tell you the problem here, which I promise can be explained in a rational and not-gross way, so sit down and take a deep breath as I let you know that there was blood on my legs.
The insides of my thighs, to be exact.
“AAAAAAAAAAGH!” you say, slamming your MacBook shut so hard that Steve Jobs himself feels it.
NO! WAIT! You see, upon further inspection, I realized that, when I dropped my gloves off waaaaay back at mile 2, that particularly sharp branch I snagged my legs on must have been particularly-PARTICULARLY sharp, and snatched (ha!) at me hard enough to draw blood.
My first instinct, besides the de-nastifying process, was to come busting out of the stall to see if the judgy middle-agers were still there.
“IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK!” I wanted to yell, pointing at the lacerations on my legs. “Look! Look and BELIEVE!”
But the women were not there.
And thus began The Run of Justification.
“MY LEGS WERE CUT!” I yelled, passing the first group of high schoolers.
“I AM A HYGIENIC PERSON, CAPABLE OF SELF-CARE!” I yelled at Group Two of high schoolers.
“BESIDES,” I continued when I reached a small cadre of powerwalking elderly Asian women, “WOMANLY BODILY FUNCTIONS ARE NOT GROSS! THEY ARE A THING OF BEAUTY AND WONDER!”
“EVEN THOUGH THAT’S NOT WHAT WAS GOING ON!” I yelled at a deer.
“GIRLLLLLL POWERRRRRR!” I howled at a park ranger.
Actually, what I really did do was pull the neck-hole of my shirt up over my head so I could run, Scooby-Doo-Headless-Horseman-style, down the path without showing my face for a good five miles. Yeah, it probably did me a fat lot of good, as my Day-Glo yellow shirt was pretty memorable and unmistakable. But then again, so is the red, salt-covered, puffing face of that woman that Little Miss No-Pants will remember on graduation night as she stands at a keg of Schlitz next to Lanky Zitterface and says, “Dude. Remember Period Legs?”
“Huh-huh-huh,” Lanky will laugh, sloshing beer on his Ed Hardy t-shirt.
Then they’ll high-five and then maybe even make out a little bit, but then No-Pants will realize she can’t hold her Schlitz and vom on Lanky’s chest.