With 25 days until graduation, I am trying to force nostalgia on my college experience. This entails playing lots of Green Day's "Time of Your Life" on an acoustic guitar and looking over my shoulder wistfully whenever I ignore a panhandler. Also, it involves taking a lot of pictures, so today I took a camera on the recovery run. Duathlon Nationals (an A race) is this weekend, and the photos forced me to slow down. Yes, the Nostalgic 8 Miler is a race where the goal is to finish last. I am pretty sure this is the same approach that the Mets take to the baseball season, or Ben Roethlisberger takes to non-rape contests.
After an excessively hearty breakfast of Peanut Butter Panda Puffs, I was out the door into Riverside Park and down to the Hudson. Now usually, people only spend time anywhere near the River of Rancidity if they bet the wrong horse habitually, or for some reason thought registering for the New York City Triathlon was a good idea. Also, THERE ARE GHOST SHIPS FROM THE 1700s:
What should I tell these time travelers?, I thought as I continued my run south along Manhattan. Two things come to mind:
1. A black guy is president.
2. Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
My name is Inigo Montoya. PREPARE TO DIE!
At this point, I slowed even further. I was not going to get beat in this game of being last BY ANYONE. Basically, my mantra involved being the lone white guy in the 100 meters, or Ryan Hall in a major marathon. About two miles in, my path was diverted:
NO EARTHLY 'ZONE' CAN TELL ME WHAT TO DO, I thought in capital letters. So I continued wogging (jog/walk hybrid) until I heard a menacing bark. It was a pitbull. Where is Mike Vick when you need him? So I turned around and headed into the park. Oh, what's that? PRETTY FLOWER INTERLUDE:
I feel as if my love of this picture is enough evidence to gain me admissions to an all-women's school, or perhaps a Twilight Fan Club. I continued running across town at 70th street, struggling to continue forward movement through the clouds of my own personal estrogen, until I came to a beautiful pink tree in Central Park. MID-RUN ZOMBIE ATTACK:
FIX YO FACE! The modern-day Medusa above continued jogging through back trails in Central Park, attempting to avoid hobos with chainsaws and the equally dangerous oblivious Asians with cameras. You know what I like?.....REDUNDANCY:
Tu sabes que me gusta?......Redunduncia! It was time to head north through the park, past the famous Reservoir (much more talented photographers than me have done that already) and back to Columbia's campus. I think I was passed by a stroller. The hamsters on the wheel that are Sarah Palin's intellect run faster than me on a taper recovery day. Finally, I was back to campus, firmly secure in my last place.
Getting ready to say goodbye, I took one last picture of campus with world-famous Butler Library in the background. "Love. Cherish. Defend It." Notably, if you go to Cornell, their flagpole says "Ambivalence. Meh. What are we talking about?"
I finally returned to my room, secure in my knowledge that, on this day, no one beat me in time it takes to run 8 miles. Nor did they beat me in nostalgia.
P.S. I want to give credit to Tim Waggoner (author of Joghard), whose amazing website gave me the idea to do a photo-journal on an easy run day. If you don't already read his blog, you should.