Friday, May 4, 2012

Viva Breakaway!

Thursday night.  Cinco de Mayo Run.  6:15 p.m. from the midtown store.

I show up early to make sure I get a free T-shirt, and though I haven't dressed up, this is, technically, a costume run.  This being Breakaway, the people who have dressed up have gone all out.  Perhaps most notable is a group of Mexican wrestlers, complete with masks and tiny man-tights.  The wrestlers are made up primarily - though not exclusively - of members of what I have dubbed "the freshman class," as the guys in this group are all relatively new to running and relatively new to Breakaway.  Earlier in life, I may have accused certain of these freshmen of having repressed exhibitionist tendencies, but the older I get, the more I consider that Rhodes may have skewed my viewpoint on the "average" male, and so my updated hypothesis is that what I witness on a weekly basis is just normal behavior for boys.

Picture stolen from Ying Malady.
Our first stop is Young Avenue Deli ("Young Ave" for those cool enough to call it that...and for the record, I'm not cool enough to call it that) where I find out one of our group is leaving for bigger and better things, and then I steal a beer from a wrestler, and then I spill that beer all over me before I've even taken a drink of it, and then I have a brief conversation with two (non-wrestler) guys about Fifty Shades of Gray.  (Which none of us have read.  Or at least two of us haven't; the other - not me - refrains from commenting, so take from that what you will.)

I was told the run from Breakaway to Young Avenue Deli was "about a mile."  It's actually a mile and a half, and I wish I would have followed through on my claim as we started that I was going to run "super slow." Instead, I get caught up (as I always do) in the group momentum (dammit) and run about a minute and a half per mile faster than I meant to.  It's barely May but summer arrived weeks ago here.  The afternoon sun is warm, and the PBR tallboy that I swiped is sitting heavy as we file out the door and run one last mile to get to the Slider Inn.

Picture stolen from Patty Strain.
I've often said that there is nothing outwardly remarkable about the Slider Inn except it's within walking distance of Breakaway Running and currently the place where all of us converge on a nearly-weekly basis.  But the mere fact that we have taken ownership of it as we have is exactly the thing that does make it remarkable.  The parking lot has been roped off for us, and there are tents and tables, and even though it's the third of May and we're a bunch of sweaty, drunken American runners who are hanging out in a parking lot drinking Yuengling out of plastic cups, it is, undeniably, a damn good Cinco de Mayo party.

I finally meet my brother's friend Liz, who works there.  In fact, in the brief times I talk to her, we surpass the depth of conversation I have with many that night; despite being an introverted loner, I've been around long enough now to know too many people in the group to talk to everyone at these things.  Fireball shot at the bar.  Yes, Liz, another Yuengling.  I'm having a deep conversation about the musical merits of George Harrison, and then I'm talking to a couple of girls about their boy problems, and then I'm taking a swig of tequila from the bottle that's magically appeared on the table, and Adrian says, "Becky, I can see it.  You've really got this figured out."  Because I'm part of this, but also, on some strange level, not part of this.

When it's nine o'clock, I'm able to resist the temptation of another drink and instead stand up and say my goodbyes.  Predictably, I'm accosted by a couple of wrestlers as I try to make my exit.  ("Oh, GOD!" I yell, and genuinely, because of their tiny man-tights.)  I walk back to Breakaway alone, go home alone, and wake up happy both that I have this in my life, and that I can step outside of it when I need to.

Cinco de Mayo.  How did I ever celebrate before I started to run?


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun, and I am proud of you for following through on your 'leaving-when-I-damn-well-feel-like-it-and-not-lingering-too-long-with-the-crazies" resolution ; ) I'm locking myself in the apartment tomorrow. Small college town + finals week + too many bars + drinking holiday = lots of crazy people!

    An old building was renovated near our square and looked really cool. Then we found out it was another bar. As Jonathan said, "How many bars does this small town need? One more..."

    1. My stated goal at the start of the evening was to not be hungover today. I didn't 100% make it...but close enough that I can give myself credit! :) I left at just the right time and managed to have a lot of fun before I got out of there. There really is a right balance for me and, as you more than well know, it's taken me a little time to figure that out! But in the future, I will be using Cinco de Mayo as a guide for my personal best-of-both-worlds equilibrium. :)

      I don't blame you at all for staying in tomorrow. And HAHAHA to Jonathan!! If I was still keeping a quoteboard (and really, WHY AM I NOT?) that would so go on it. :D

  2. Cheers to you for sticking with you goal :)

    Another time to me to say: I wished I was half as comitted. But at least I'm not giving in 100% - I always stand up and go for it again.... till the day I will make it - or die *ggg*

    What's that Cinco de Mayo about??? Everyone is all over it and I feel left out on my FB-feed o.0 LOL


    1. :) Cinco de Mayo is the fifth of May, and it's a Mexican holiday that we also celebrate here in America (although I'm not sure how widespread the celebrating is throughout the rest of the world). It's mainly an excuse to drunk...but aren't most holidays??? :D

      And YES, you will make it! Of that I have no doubt. :) Say what you will, but you've got lots of perseverance, Sasha!!!