Friday, November 26, 2010

2010 Black Friday 20K Solo Relay - FINAL LEG!!!

Planned Start Time – 11:00PM
REAL Start Time - 9:40PM

“Dammit! I’m getting myself an Energy Drink!!!” I cheered and opened a Victory Prima Pils at 6 o’clock

I’d been at this for 12 hours now, and had been doing everything [mostly] according to plan. Now, much like an expectant Mom, I just wanted it to be done with.

It was now time for dinner, and not wanting to make a WHOLE meal, I whipped up a batch of fresh gravy [we don’t save it] following a recipe I’d seen on Rachel Ray’s new show “A Week in a Day”

Maple-Worcestershire Gravy
4 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock-in-a-box
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup dark amber maple syrup
Lots of coarsely ground black pepper

Add the butter to a medium sauce pot and melt it over medium to medium-high heat. Add the shallots and thyme and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the flour and stir 1 minute. Whisk in the stock, Worcestershire and maple syrup. Season with black pepper, to taste, and reduce the mixture until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 to 12 minutes.

I threw a bunch of leftover turkey in it and stirred around … “Dinner’s ready,” I shouted to D’Kid, “Make what you want.”

Again, I was getting that twitchy feeling; I just wanted to go.

‘This must be what any athlete who performs in “heats” must go through. I guess that makes me an athlete’ I rationalized. Not being of the same caliber of Michael Phelps and having my own Green Room to put on an iPod to chill out and prepare for “the next round,” I put on the TV … again … this time we had
The Sandlot which D’Kid had never seen before. It was a pleasant diversion.

“One hour and forty minutes” she reminded me at 9:20.
“I dunno if I’m waiting that long” I answered her “Ten o’clock might be good enough.”
“It doesn’t have to be EXACTLY six hours, does it???”

I was tempted to explain the whole 4-5-6 sequence and the spirit of the thing, but …

“No, not really.”

After she had eaten and gotten caught up with her emails and Facebook [around 9:30] D’Wife announced “I gotta get a walk. I had a mind-numbing day, I’m feeling a little stiff and I want to get outside. I’ll be back before you do your next ‘thing’ … Eleven, right?”
“Yeah … I guess”
“Mare, you wanna come with me?” Mom asked, as she bundled up. It had gotten pretty cold since we’d been outside last [it was now below 40°].
“No, thank you” D’Kid answered.
“Okay, fine” and she was out the door.

It was barely five minutes later that I had an idea.

“You know what??? Let’s go NOW! We can catch up to Mom and I can finish my last three miles with both of you”
“Don’t you have to run it???”
I made an Executive Decision as Commissioner “At this point? Not really.”

I quickly asked D’Kid to find my phone and to call her Mom; firstly to tell her that we’d changed our minds and were coming out and to find out approximately where she was. Mare told her to “Wait for us” but that wasn’t happening; we’d have to chase her down.

We got ourselves bundled up as well and headed out to the other development that Mom likes to walk in. We ran the first half mile, but stopped after that, since D’Kid isn’t used to running that far at once, especially on a cold dark night, and pretty much past her bedtime.

When we got to the first “decision point,” I asked, “Straight or left? Which way do you think Mom went?”
“We could call her”
“Good idea, give me the phone”

Yep, we left it home.

So our back-up plan became: walk about a mile and a half, constantly scanning the neighborhood for the flicker of a flashlight, then turn around, perhaps to meet up with D’Wife on the return. We reached our pre-determined turnaround point with a glimpse nor a sound of her [I figured that since it was pretty much silent out there, we’d be able to hear the rustle of leaves or crunch of gravel generated by anyone walking near us within a couple hundred yards or so] We didn’t give up entirely, however. We stopped and looked down each cul-de-sac we passed by, in the hope we’d spot her.

Just as we were descending the last dip out of the development and heading back to our own, D’Kid halted turned around.

“Is that a flashlight?” she asked, pointing behind us.

Sure enough, a single, small flicker danced rhythmically toward us.

“You guys are nuts!!!” she shouted to us with a laugh as we backtracked to rejoin her.

D’Kid gave her mom a hug and we strolled home, chatting about not much at all. We were almost all the way home when she asked me …

“So … when’s your next race???”

Final words in The Epilogue >>>

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