This weekend was action packed. I fell off the wagon and then got back on. I saved a stray dog, got accosted on a run, and swam across a lake by myself. I also hosted a wiffle golf tournament, then went to a pool party, hit a going away bash, got hit on in the YMCA pool by a Shakespeare character, and went down to the Honky Tonks for the first time in years.
Coco The Straggler
Friday started with an awesome lake swim and continued with a scramble to pick up supplies for my wiffle golf/pool party. On my way home from the store I noticed a little dog hanging out in the road. He was near some kids so I didn’t think much of it, but when I parked at the gas station this little ankle biter timidly approached my car. I checked his tags and realized he was a couple miles from home, which I thought an amazing feat based on his short leg gate. I called the number, but got a machine and decided I’d just take the dog back home.
The whole way there he looked up at me like I was a dog-napper and drooled on my seat. I parked in the driveway next to a tattered pick up truck and the dog jumped out and ran to the front door, which I figured was a good sign. I knocked, but no one answered, then I went around back and the dog took off into the woods. He was a quick little bugger and my good deed just turned into a nightmare. Eventually he came around front and I hooked him up to the leash that was tied to the porch, gave him a little water, and left.
I didn’t think much of little Coco over the weekend, but was a little surprised the owner never called back. Then, this morning around 8:00 my phone rang and it was her. She was so relieved and said Coco means the world to her. She was an older lady and oddly, Coco had jumped out of the car on the other side of the gas station while she was airing her tires. We were literally 50 feet away when I put Coco in my front seat. We got a kick out of that and laughed like two old ladies playing cribbage, then she thanked me profusely and said goodbye to each other for the last time.
People Who Hate Runners
I had a couple buddies come into town for my wiffle golf tourney and a general exploration of Nashville. They drove from Wisconsin and didn’t get to my house until Saturday at 2 am, which puts a minor crimp in an early morning workout.
I had loosely planned to do a long ride on the Trace with the Fab 5, but decided 6 hours of biking and running before hosting a party would wear me a little thin. Instead I did a hard 2-hour trainer ride, then ran about 4 miles. Nice, solid, workout, followed by a nice, solid, long day of drinking.
I rarely drink much these days, but decided I would blow it out a little this weekend and use it as a “last hurrah” of sorts before turning up the intensity for Wisconsin. I made the decision to be a little wimpy and drink light beer all day, and it really paid off. I was a little buzzed after a couple and pretty much stayed on that plane until 11 that night when I crashed hard.
I woke up at 8 and felt like a million bucks. I kept waiting for the hangover to hit, but it never did. I strapped on my Pearl Streaks and set out on a 2 hour run figuring the whole time I’d be lucky to make an hour. About 2 miles in, I knew I was essentially running a 1/2 marathon.
At mile 8 I was cruising at a 9 minute pace (my lofty goal for Ironman) and felt like I could go forever. I was alive, free, and completely at peace with the morning. As I ran up the left side of 17th Avenue toward Eastland a guy driving a black, sissy-sized pick-up truck turned the corner and drove right AT me. There was plenty of room on the street, but I was about 5 seconds from jumping off onto the grass when he made a last minute swerve around me while angrily flipping the bird. I was f8cking furious and stopped in the road, begging him to come back. I’d gone from complete serenity to rage in 15 seconds. Do some people really hate runners? I guess so.
A Night in The Honky Tonks
After my 2-hour run, and a little lunch, Sunday quickly turned back to drinking. Went to a great party down the road filled with heated pool volleyball and endless food. About two light beers in, I had that light buzz that stayed with me the rest of the day.
Around 6:00 we dropped by a going away party for Mark and Kara on our way down to the Honky Tonks. There was a solid group of East Nasties and I would have much preferred to stay there, but out of town visitors want to go down to Broadway for a taste of Nashville’s country scene.
We started at Pirahnas before heading to Tootsies and fighting our way through a packed house at 8:00 on a Sunday night. Both upstairs and downstairs were absolutely busting at the seams. We left and hit Rippy’s where we hung outside on the deck overlooking Bridgestone arena. This is probably the best outside venue in downtown Nashville. Then we walked over to Layla’s Bluegrass Inn, then ended up at Honky Tonk Central. Everything was rockin and it just amazes me. We grabbed a cab back to East Nashville around midnight and that little honky tonk stint will hold me over for another year.
Swimming With A Gay Man In the Next Lane
The tourist crew got up early to make the long drive back to Wisconsin and I went straight to the pool. Once again, I was waiting for the day of drinking to come crashing down on my workout, but it never did. Instead, I had the privilege of swimming 12 sets of 300 meters in the pool with some guy in the next lane trying to hit on me.
Between 300’s, I had a :15 rest and Hamlet (not his real name) and his cute nose plug apparatus happened to be waiting for me every single time. He was very curious about my swim trunks for some reason and kept asking where I got them and if they helped me swim faster. Now, I have zero problem with gay men and their lifestyle, but when it’s so overt in tight and vulnerable quarters like the Y, I have an issue.
Me: Do these trunks help?
Hamlet: Yeah, make you swim faster?
Me: Oh, yeah, they make me a speeding bullet, but it’s nothing compared to when I swim naked.
Hamlet: (sneaky smile) Ohhh, really??
Me: Sure, in fact, since you like them so much, I might as well take them off right now and give them to you. That work?
Hamlet: (Blush) Oh, yes.
Anyway, this went on and on until he couldn’t justify hanging around anymore. About 20 minutes later I went in the locker room and sure enough, he was just kinda “hangin out” in his black, tight, one-piece “Livestrong” sweat suit. I minded my own business, but couldn’t help seeing him drift back and forth out of the corner of my eye. Then I made the mistake of looking at him and he gave me a sly little wink.
I know this is all good and a compliment and I should feel flattered, but it’s just creepy and makes me feel for women who have smarmy guys lurking in the strangest of places. I took a deep breath, resisted calling him out in front of 10 other guys, and started walking out. “Somehow” he ended up in front of me, then stopped in the hall, turned around, and put out his hand.
“It was really nice meeting you, Mike.”
“You, too, Hamlet.”