and it’s HOT HOT HOT.

craaaaazy hot.  but at least it’s only supposed to last a few more days, as opposed to a couple of years ago when it was hot all summer long.

luckily, last sunday, the 17th, was cloudy and relatively cool.  a perfect morning for running abe’s amble!

here’s kevin and me before the run.

linda castor was also running, and we saw her husband bill, who was nice enough to take the photo.

now, you see that blue pad there to kevin’s right?  that’s the start line, and we had to cross it in order to activate the timing chip embedded in our numbers.  all the other slow, slow, slooooow runners were way way in the back, so they wouldn’t get trampled by the fast runners who were clustered around the starting line.

but it was very close to the start time of 7:30 so i figured, why walk all the way back there, and then i’d just have to run back up; this would be more running than absolutely necessary.

so i just stayed right there, next to the start line, and when they blew the whistle, off i went!

and of course, many of the approximately 760 runners passed me.

but it’s not like they pushed me down or anything; it wasn’t that crowded, and i didn’t mind everybody passing me.  nobody invaded my space or anything.

as i ran down sangamon avenue towards lincoln park, people continued to pass me, but they were all panting and seemed to be struggling for air.  this seemed a little silly to me, because the run had just started – wouldn’t they collapse by the end of it?

i always run with a bottle of water strapped around my waist but i decided against it, because there would be water stops, plus it was mild and cloudy.

it did start to rain for a while, but that wasn’t so bad either.

after i’d been running for about 20 minutes, after i’d run down the huge hill in back of lincoln park, a police car came towards us – the first runner was running back!  i think it took him about 30 minutes total.

for one tiny, brief flash i thought I NEED TO START TRAINING SO I CAN BE A FASTER RUNNER!

and that’s the entire time i spent thinking that i need to push myself.  i realize that i’m the exact opposite of all those huffing and puffing people; i’m extreme to the other way.  i just feel like i’m accomplishing something by running, in spite of my ridiculously slow pace – i know i’m getting a good workout, my heart is pumping fast, i’m burning gobs of calories.

but as i ran, i thought about the fact that i could try running a little faster.  a little less slow.  i could, indeed, try to push myself a little.

i hope that kevin will be able to run with me next year.  he continues to be blind in his right eye, so it wouldn’t be good for him to run in a big mass of people.  he’s sleeping propped up on his back now, and i keep hoping that he’ll wake up one morning and it’ll be noticeably better.

hopefully soon.

but back to the run – i ran up and down the big hills in oak ridge cemetery, and i saw linda sprinting towards me.  i called to her, but she was way too focused to even glance my way.

between you and me, she looked very intense and hot and uncomfortable.

i guess i don’t care about getting to that point.

and i did get to an uncomfortable point – as i ran up the little hill on sangamon heading back into the fair, i felt tired, but mostly my legs were starting to yell WHAT’S GOING ON HERE???  WE DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS!!!  IT’S TIME TO STOP!!!

i had to push myself up that hill and into the fairgrounds, so i wonder what kind of shape i’d been in if i’d pushed myself earlier.  maybe the same shape, or maybe i’d have passed out.

i did start talking to another runner, and her name was amy, which i thought was very nice, and she was very encouraging.  when we reached the home stretch, down the avenue before the grandstand, she said “let’s push it,” and i said “you go ahead.”  i didn’t want to keep her from giving it that one more burst of energy that i absolutely did not have.

but then, just as i was so close to the finish line, some great big tall guy starting sprinting up next to me, so i felt obliged to not let him beat me!

i don’t think he did, but i can’t say for sure.

it was nice when it was over.

i ate two cookies and some orange sections and drank a lot of water.

it took me an hour and nine minutes.  not terrible.

afterwards, kevin and erica and i walked around the fair for a while.  this would have been a fabulous time to get lots and lots of fair food, but i wasn’t that hungry for it, a darn shame.  kevin and i did split some fries and they were pretty delicious.  i did want some mini dougnuts but you couldn’t get them in increments of less than 20, and i didn’t want 20 doughnuts.  kevin said he’d eat one, but erica doesn’t care about sweets.

i should have gotten them and thrown away the ones i didn’t eat.

dang.  next year.

i did feel pretty good after running, though, and it makes me want to run another 10k.  there’s one on october 19th, and it starts from UIS so we could just walk over there, and the 10k doesn’t start til 8:00, which is a half hour more civilized than 7:30.  plus it certainly won’t be hot that late in october.  there’s also a marathon and a half marathon at the same time, but i don’t ever see any of those in my future.

meanwhile…mom and i had gone to the fair the thursday before the run, and we passed news personalities vince dementri and liz foster.  vince’s hair looks a lot like a helmet in real life.  they reported from the fair all week, and one evening we were watching and a hefty young woman walked right up and stood in between vince and liz.  she kept looking at the camera and waving every few minutes, as the news anchors ignored her.  she didn’t seem to care.  i texted this picture to kevin, who said GO STAND BEHIND THEM!  but i didn’t.

at this point my yellow jacket stings were kind of painful and were about to get all bad and puffy again, so walking around wasn’t super fun.  but my main objective at the fair was this:

saganaki.  i’d been thinking about saganaki all summer, and first we stopped at the wine tent and i got a frosty and refreshing wine slushy.

mmmmm.  the saganaki was fantastic, and the peda bread was fluffy and wonderful.

the weird thing is, there weren’t many people at the fair on thursday, and there weren’t many people on sunday, and i’m not entirely sure why people don’t go to the fair so much anymore.  kevin says it’s because there aren’t as many things, but the only example he could give me is that there used to be some big boot store on the corner of main street.  it can’t just be the loss of a boot store?

that is all my exciting fair news, so we’ll all have to wait til next year.

ok then,

mrs. monday morning hughes.