Running Down The Road
You might think given the title of this blog post and previous posts I’ve written that this post is going to be about running. You would be wrong. This post is actually about temptation. I’ve been training for the Bay to Breakers race now for about 5 months. It has at times been more difficult than others, but never have I been as tempted to pass on running this race as I am at the moment. In order to truly explain the nature of my temptation, I need to first give you a little background on myself.
I freely admit it. I am an Arlo Guthrie FANatic! For those of you who don’t know who Arlo is (sacrilege), he is a folk singer from the 60’s who is best known for his song Alice’s Restaurant. Why am I such a big Arlo fan? To be honest, I really don’t know. I first saw Arlo in concert with Pete Seeger at Pershing Auditorium in Lincoln, NE, when I was around 7 years old. Even at that young age, I had been to a lot of concerts, but never one quite like this. His concerts are kind of a cross between a feel good sing along and a stand-up comedy routine. I loved it. After the show, we went out to Tico’s Mexican restaurant for dinner, and Arlo was there. It had never occurred to me to want someone’s autograph before, but I wanted his. He was eating dinner after a long performance and many days on the road, and I am sure that he didn’t want to be bothered by some little kid, but he was nothing but kind to me. Between that and the concert, I was hooked.
Now I should explain, I come from a very musically inclined family. My Dad makes musical instruments for a living, and I had been exposed to all kinds of musicians from a very young age. Peggy Seeger even stayed at the house. I have had the opportunity to attend concerts from everyone from Garth Brooks, and Reba, to Arrowsmith and Whitesnake. I even helped out as a Roadie on part of the New Mexico leg of Warrant’s Blood, Sweat and Beers tour. Through Dad, I have met many different artists; Peter, Paul, and Mary, Kathy Mattea, and Van Halen to name a few. (I think I am probably the only 16-year-old girl who did not fall all over themselves for Van Halen’s autograph.) I mention these people not to brag so much as to explain that I am not easily star struck. I just love Arlo.
Since that first concert, I have been to see Arlo anytime he played anywhere near where I was living, and sometimes even not near where I was living. I have easily seen him in concert almost two dozen times, and every time was just as much fun as the last. I even have an Alice’s Restaurant 50th anniversary jacket. So, imagine my delight to find out that he was coming to Lincoln, for the first time in several years. I found out when the presale was going to be, planning to get myself front row seats, and called up Mom to see if she wanted to go too. She said “sure, when is it?” I told her May 19th. There was a long pause and then she said “that’s the same weekend as the race.” Well, #@#$!. I had just told the world that I was going to run a 12K, I couldn’t very well back out now, but I wasn’t ready to give up on seeing Arlo either. I got online to see if he would be playing anywhere else in the area. Eureka, he was going to be in Kansas City the night before, all might not be lost.
I spent the next several months trying all kinds of different airline combinations. Flying out of Kansas City; back to Omaha; Omaha to San Fran the day before the race, etc., etc., etc. Finally, last week I had to admit defeat. There was just no good, affordable way to fit in the concert and the race. I know that not everyone will understand this, but it really bums me out to miss him for the first time in almost four decades. Not only that, but to add insult to injury, my favorite radio station has been giving away free tickets to the concert all week. My mom asked me yesterday if I would have gone to the concert instead of running the race, if I had known about it before I signed up to run. I have to truthfully say, ABSOLUTELY! That being said, I am really glad I am going to run this race. I have gotten so much encouragement from everybody, and I have really enjoyed training with my youngest. Sometimes you just have to face temptation head on, so, I bit the bullet and bought my airline tickets. I also got on Arlonet.com and ordered me a tour t-shirt from his aptly named Running Down the Road Tour. The day of the race I plan to be wearing my tour shirt and listening to every Arlo song I have on my MP3 player (and I have pretty much all of them), as I do some Running Down the Road myself