Except this Saturday. I did not experience an ounce of anything good during my long run.
I will admit, I made some mistakes. First, I got out of the house too late. We've been on a bit of a Lego kick here in the Boschee home, so when Scotty woke up at 7:15, I went downstairs to build with him. (It all started with a deep desire to restore the Lego castle to its former glory. Once we rebuilt the castle, I organized the rest of the pieces and couldn't stop. Legos are fun!)
My early run morphed into a "later morning" run. No problem.
Then, I grossly underestimated the weather. It's been windy in Vegas for the last few weeks, making the temperature seem cooler. My weather app told me we were looking at a high of 97, but we hadn't hit any highs lately so I dismissed it. I packed 20 ounces of water for 10 miles - a ridiculous amount, if you asked me. I mean, just the day before, I run the exact same route (minus five) with not a drop of water. It was at 4:30am, but I was fine. I had done seven earlier that week with no water. I'm training myself to be a camel.
Very bad idea.
By mile 5 of this Saturday's run, I was completely dry. I couldn't believe I had sucked down both bottles - and my throat was still parched. The wind, hot, dusty, and unrelenting, was killing me - it was like a hair dryer blowing directly in my face. A quick temperature read showed 88 at 10am and climbing. My path had zero shade and the Vegas sun was downright unforgiving. I knew I was rapidly overheating, so when I saw an errant stream of water shooting over someone's brick wall, I scampered up the embankment and just hung my head in the stream for a good two minutes. It felt heavenly.
Brian and Scotty flew by me in the car on mile 7. They mistook my frantic waving to be an overzealous acknowledgement of their presence. With no phone, I couldn't call Brian and tell him what was really going on. Plus, they were late for swimming lessons. I decided on the next best thing: stop by a store and ask for water. Even better, maybe I could refill my bottle and be on my way. After all, I'm in civilization. Water is plentiful and people are kind, right?
When I burst into the PT's (a local bar/tavern type establishment for you non-Vegas folks), I caught sight of my reflection in the doors. My face was beet-red and caked with salt. I was soaking wet from my sprinkler shower. I looked like a disaster. I ripped my ear buds out, paused the Garmin, and made a bee-line for the bar. There were only two people in the whole building; the bartender and a guy eating breakfast.
I explained to the bartender I was out for a run and ran out of water. Would she be so kind as to help me? She started walking towards the cups but then paused. "Are you ordering food?" she asked. I tried to not let the surprise register on my face. "Um...no," I told her. "I'm out for a" [gesturing to my clothing, watch, hydration belt and general disheveled appearance] "long run." She frowned. "You aren't supposed to get a drink without ordering food," she stated curtly.
I nodded like, sure, sure. Of course. Rules, love them! "Totally get it," I said, trying to not let my annoyance show. Just hand me the water, lady. "That's so nice of you to still help me, really appreciate it." I smiled at her like, we're in this together! Honey, not vinegar. By now, she had filled the plastic glass and I could literally hear the ice cubes clinking together. It sounded like church music. I think I may have stuck a dry tongue out in anticipation.
She slowly moved to my end of the bar (slowly...so slowly). With the glass in hand, arm outstretched, my hot, sweaty hand clawed for it. She paused again. "Do you have your ID?"
I must have looked surprised because she pulled her arm back. "I can't give you this without ID."
I blinked. "What do you mean, ID? I'm running right now. I'm -" I turned my Garmin so she could see the watch face "- eight and a half miles in to a long run. I don't have my ID with me."
She paused. And then dumped the water out.
You know the expression "seeing red"? I get it now. Because that morning, on that run, in that PT's, I saw red like I've never seen. Having a glass of cold, thirst-quenching water within arm's reach - and then to watch it be so unceremoniously poured out - made something in my brain explode. Vibrant hues of crimson flooded my vision and that very important connection between my brain and my mouth, the one that censors what you think versus what you actually say - unhinged.
I don't know how coherent I sounded, dry mouth and all, and I don't remember everything I said. But I may have put a pox on her house. (Kim goes Shakespearian when angry...who knew?) I may have told her she was unchristian (aren't they supposed to give drink to the thirsty?). I do know several expletives came out in a choked fashion and I shouted "Shame on you! SHAME! SHAME ON YOOOOOOUUUUUU!" multiple times. (I know, really hit her where it hurts. Disapproval is my only weapon). My attempt to burst through the exit door was thwarted because it was too heavy, making me unable to slam it shut. It closed with a gentle "whoosh." So much for a dramatic exit.
And there you have it: liability trumped basic human decency. Instead of doing the right thing, she chose to follow the rules. Kohlberg's theory on moral decision making, anyone? Milgram's study on obedience? Let's rise up and become post-conventional thinkers. Rules are not absolute. Basic human rights, such as life, liberty and cold water -- these are things most important, particularly on a hot Saturday morning.
What is even more concerning, if you play it out -- what if a sixteen year old cross country runner came in, desperate for water? She would refuse because he is underage? That seems downright cruel, particularly given the minor status. I'd like to think that if I saw anyone (anyone - even cyclists) in need, I, much like, you, would do everything in our power to help them.
I made it home safely, obviously. I reminded myself people on "Naked and Afraid" go three days without water; my 90-minute jaunt was merely uncomfortable, not dangerous. I was fine. And like every bad run, there was very good lesson to be learned: put the Legos down, pack more water. And go to Starbucks instead.