Saturday, September 14, 2013

Race review: Gruene 10K and a bonus victory

 Gruene Hall is such a great Texas landmark.  It's the oldest continuously-operating dance hall in the state.  It oozes with real charm, the ambiance and wall-memorabilia the utter envy of artifical places like TGIFs and Applebee's.  I love that George Strait got his start here in the 1970s and the creaky wood floor just melts my heart.  Most nights, live music performs on stage at the Hall.  I love the cash-only bar and the sound of the screen doors creaking shut around the building.  Even more, I love that the town of Gruene, for the 4th year in a row, hosted a 10K race today.  

Nice shirt!
 I'd been here before for the Tour de Gruene cycling event, in a November a few years past.  This morning was mildly cool, with sunlight easing in by about 0830.  Make no mistake, despite the gentle setting this is hill country and this race will surprise you with its hill teeth!

I arrived at about 0700 for the 0800 race start.  There's no other race than the 10K and the simplicity is nice.  Packet pick-up is within Gruene Hall itself.

 The race starts in a grassy knoll across the street from the Hall, the same starting area as used for the cycling events.

I loved the course.  I loved hearing roosters along the way especially in light of recent events.   The scenery is hilly, farmy, and the course winds over the Gruene River and under a few railroad trestles.  Just lovely, and a few degrees cooler than the city.

There was a good crowd for the event and a very nice post-race gathering on the grounds of the Hall.  A live band played, massages were available, so too beer, sausage wraps, water, fruit, etc.  The German roots of Gruene seemingly dictate that a sausage or wurst is involved with most every event held there.  Fine by me!

I met my goal and squeaked in just under 8min/mile. I'm happy with it and those hills (when will I learn that Hill Country is hilly?!) tested my courage, which I like every now and then.

A great morning race and a perfect start to my weekend!

And now for the real highlight of the day...

After the race, on my 30-minute drive back to San Antonio, I needed a lift from my good friend caffeine.  I stopped at an on-the-way Einstein Bros Bagels.  I won't tell you where.  But I needed the loo.  Before coffee.  

Just in time, I arrived at the shop's lovely and clean one-seater.  All was well, la-di-dah, and another person had barely knocked on the door as I was about to exit.  Good timing!  Time for coffee, I tell myself, and I'm a flush and a hand wash and $2.99 away from my delicious beverage from a magic bean.  

But what happens next forever changed my flushie...try flushie...uh-oh.  And though my first instinct is to low-crawl out of there, I have one exit only and I just cannot leave the commode as-is for the next waiting lady.  What to do?!  My husband's in a different time zone and I'm not sure our relationship is up to these sort of situations anyway.  I can't feign death plausibly, so I'll tell you what I did.  I pried open the tank, evaluated my patient, diagnosed the situation, ran a few tests and I fixed that thing in about 15 seconds. 

I maybe have opened a toilet tank once before.  


So I'm calling it right now:  this is the most amazing thing I have ever done and I will take this victory even over meeting my pace goal at the 10K.  I AM A TOILET SURGEON!!  You cannot imagine the unspoken pride with which I held the door for the lady after me.  Or the celebratory manner in which I purchased and drank my coffee (why yes, I will go for the vanilla syrup today, tyvm!).  I called D immediately and shared with him the fantastic news, which he said I should share with you as well.  I am aware of the yuck factor.  I apologize.  But this is my real life.  You just have to play pick-up plumber every now and then.  One's dignity deserves it.  And if you've ever doubted the existence of God, take this lesson as proof that He is there and watching over everything :)

I hope I am just as good with my [human] patients.

Also, toilets are less complicated than I previously thought.

Happy running all!