I can still vividly remember the thrill of turning 18, which qualified me for a driver's license. How cool was that! 21 was pretty special too - the age of majority. Grown up at last. Well maybe not quite but that's another topic. Those age-related milestones were all happy events. After that it all goes kind of quiet on the 'major birthday' front. You get married, start getting serious about your job, have kids, try to raise them and so on and so forth. Birthdays come and birthdays go and the years go by. 40 is pretty special and 50 is a real big deal for many people.
It wasn't until last year or maybe the year before that I experienced another age-related marker. It was when some 14-year old offered me the discounted 'Senior' option for tickets at the movies, for the first time. I asked for the qualifying age. '65'. I was 55 at the time. Ouch. Kathleen and I had gone to see (of all things) a fairly late 10:00P showing of Harold and Kumar goes to White Castle. This is a 'stoner' movie, about two pot-smoking guys who get involved in some weird and weirder stuff. You'd think I'd get a break on the age thing for my choice of movie and timing... Nope. Either way, kid behind the movie ticket counter, don't go and offer older looking people the senior option. It is definitely not a good idea. Some of them don't like to be reminded that they are coming apart at the seams. If they want to pay more, let them! After all, they are paying your minimum wage salary. If they want (or deserve) a senior discount, trust me - they'll ask for it.
On a more uplifting note, I am getting excited about Sunday's half marathon in San Antonio. We will be heading out tomorrow morning so that we can swing by the expo to pick up the race packet etc. before checking into our hotel, the Hilton Palacio del Rio on the Riverwalk. Still looking for a restaurant for dinner tomorrow night. San Antonio's only vegetarian/vegan restaurant - Green - is closed on Saturdays. Bummer. We'll probably have to settle for a pasta with a tomato sauce or something like that. The pre-race nutrition is not such a big deal with the half.
I haven't done any running since Wednesday's 5-miler; just some core/abs and weightlifting routines. It's tempting to go out and do a nice 6-mile tempo run, but it won't make me any faster by Sunday... So we will just call it a week and hope that there won't be too many teething problems at Sunday's marathon. Although they do lots of other races, the San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon is a first for Elite Running. Any first-time event involving 30,000 participants is bound to produce some gremlins. I'm anticipating that the shuttle process - getting everyone to the starting line in time - will not go as smoothly as anticipated. We will see.