THE ODDS (Debbie Does ALS)


Have a great day

Becky and her beau ran the Monument Avenue 10K race in Richmond today and I was determined to be there. Naturally Lynne came with me because, even if we can't run these races together, we will certainly be there to support our other runners.

For the first time in the many years we have been coming to Richmond for this race, we found incredible (translated legal and free) parking only a few blocks from the race finish. Because crowds and walking were a concern, we brought my snazzy wheels.

My ensemble was put together with the object of keeping me warm as the temperatures were in the 30s this morning. I was a vision of loveliness in my thick track pants, my bulky red hoodie which peeked out from underneath my bulkier maroon fleece pullover, and a gold jacquard scarf which, incidentally, nicely complemented my gold "Riddler" shoes. Yes, I was breathtaking.

My breathtaking self comfortably settled in my cute little chair, Lynne and I headed toward the park and Becky. We encountered a few bumps in the sidewalk and learned a little bit about physics. Fortunately our lessons were limited to potential consequences versus actual (meaning I did not do a face plant when we tried to roll over a bump) and we continued on our way.

The chair really did come in handy. The old me would have covered the distance without a thought but since Louise insists on riding piggyback even a short distance can be tiring. The walk from the park to the race start was longer than I remembered and I was thankful to be sitting despite the fact that I still feel very self-conscious.

Becky and John did well, both beating their projected times. After we saw them finish Lynne and I made our way back to the park where we were to meet. Once again, the chair was a godsend.

When we got back to the park, Lynne left me by the YMCA tent and went off in search of the runners. There I sat, in all my loveliness, watching as the inhabitants of this microcosm walked by. A man wearing a hat and long overcoat came up the path, talking on his phone. He made eye contact with me and smiled so I smiled back. Then the strangest thing happened: he came over to me, leaning down so he was close to my ear and said, slowly and very loudly, "Have. A. Great. Day." Then off he went. A few minutes later Lynne, Becky, and John came over and I was telling them the story, laughing because I got the impression from his delivery that the man might have thought I was "challenged." Just then the man came back and, since we were all looking at him, stopped to say that he had seen me and wanted to wish me a good day, that he was working with the announcer at the race, and introduced himself. I introduced myself, too, but the cold weather and the fact that I was laughing gave me a bit of a Louise-accent so that instead of sounding like Debbie McGee, it sounded more like Deh-ie Muh-ehh, probably confirming his suspicion. Perhaps I am being oversensitive -- who knows -- but I found the whole episode very amusing.

Race update: John, with a time of 38:49, was 29th of over 1300 in his age group, was 162nd overall men, and 178th in a field of over 30,500 runners. Becky ran a 46:38, was 74th of over 3100 in her age group, was the 261st woman overall, and was 1685th overall. I'm very proud of both of them.

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