Azawakh Training

October 6, 2008


I’m not talking about training your Azawakh. I’m talking about your Azawakh training you. Specifically, as an exercise partner. After my second daughter was born, I put on a few pounds and had some unfortunate waiste expansion. Over the last several months, my young Azawakh has been running with me. It’s like motorpacing – Azawakh pacing. He always wants to run faster, farther, more. I’ve been able to tighten my belt two notches. Yesterday, I ran the Army 10-miler and set a personal best time. Unfortunately, the Azawakh is not able to train me to be smarter.

Running shoes and finishers medalion

Running shoes and finisher's medallion

Since Christie and I were both running the race, we needed a babysitter to watch the kids (and hounds). Fortunately, Cherish was game to babysit and she was willing to be picked up at 6:30 AM. Unfortunately, I hit the snooze bar a few times and that led to a cascade of unfortunate events. I picked up Cherish about 6:45. We were running late but it was manageable.

We planned to take the metro (subway) to the start at the Pentagon. I grabbed a fistful of change from the penny jar and we hustled off to our local metro station. I pumped all my quarters into the machine and it spit out a $4 paper fare card – which was more than enough to get to the Pentagon and back. Then we got on the wrong train.

I’ve lived in Washington, DC for over 10 years, now. You would think I would have a clue which metro trains go to the Pentagon. But no. We hopped on the first train which was green and we should have been on Yellow. I told Christie that they both go the same place. Well, that’s sort of true as long as you don’t want to actually leave DC. The last stop where the Yellow and Green lines are the same is L’Enfent Plaza. When we pulled up to the Washington Yard station stop, we realized we were in the very wrong place. (The Washington Navy Yard is in Southeast DC and is about as far from the Pentagon as our house was to begin with; just in a different direction. ) By this point it was 7:55 AM and the race begins at 8 AM.

We got out and switched trains to get ourselves back to L’Enfent Plaza so that we could switch again to the Yellow line. We arrived at the Pentagon about 8:30. We sprinted across the parking lot just in time to join the very back of the pack as they crossed the starting line over 33 minutes after the leaders.

I had a great 10-mile run. I’m not really a fast runner but each of my mile splits were between 8 and 9 minutes. I even had some energy left for the last two miles from the Holocaust Museam across the bridge of death. The last two miles of the race are actually on I395. The bridge is heavily canted and rolls up and down. It is a horrible and depressing thing to run across, but I made it to the finish and felt pretty good. I could almost feel Azelouan pulling me along and looking up at me with disgust at how slowly I was moving.

I felt pretty good  about my personal best time and everything. I was pretty much euphoric until I tried to fish out my metro card. After being up next to my sweating body for an hour and twenty-five minutes, the paper card really resembled nothing more than a couple of spit wads. There was no possible way that I could use that thing. Of course, if I had been smarter, it might hae occured to me that quarters are waterproof.

If I had saved half my quarters for the return journey, I would not have found myself walking 5 miles home from the Pentagon after running 10. To recap, I was 30 mintes late for the race and had to walk home. In both cases my misfortune was caused by my utter failure to engage the grey matter. My Azawakh was good for training my body but he hasn’t made me smarter.

One Response to “Azawakh Training”

  1. two words: spell check!

    Seriously though, we’re proud o’y’all out here in NM….the only marathons we do involve food and alcohol

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