Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Michigan Mile

Wherein I take a general air of familial superiority and harass unsuspecting children.

This past Saturday was a wonderful day for the Nitmos clan. Time for the annual Michigan Mile: A one mile fun run for the kids starting at Oldsmobile Park in downtown Lansing (home of the class A Toronto Blue Jays minor league affiliate the Lansing Lugnuts) and looping around the outside of the park and back ending at home plate. It’s a great event and one my kids do well in. Far be it for me to suggest my kids are better than yours though. This is not the proper space for that.*

At this point, I have trained my kids well and see them as little more than objects to do my biding. I had a filly, aged 6, and a colt, aged 10, running in the event. They were under strict orders to not embarrass their Dad in any way. The race strategy was simple: Pull, bite, or kick your way to the front and then punch, gouge and expectorate (+2) on all challengers before passing the finish line in a gallant backwards trot. If some jerk dared to pass and the race strategy could not be employed, collapse to the ground feigning injury and, if possible, blame the winner for the maiming.

It’s a simple tenet that forms the cornerstone of the Nitmos philosophy: Win Cheating or Lose Blaming.

I watched with maniacal, hand-rubbing glee as my colt lined up with the other 10 year olds for the start. He was off like a shot! Not nearly enough punching to suit my tastes but the little bugger was near the front! Outside the stadium, I caught him rounding the corner in 7th place. A careful intrusion of my foot onto the course instantly vaulted him to 5th! Trippy McFallsalot and Ima Poorhurdler wailed in pain as I retreated back inside the stadium for the finish.

In through the center field fence they galloped. But where is my colt??? There he is in 6th place. Clearly, he knew by now his favorite goldfish would be in for a one way swim down the family’s mini “whirlpool”. Sixth!? But wait. Another kid, Slowy McPuffsalot, made a move on the outside 30 yards from the finish. My colt was in danger of falling to 7th (and missing dinner!)

“Push him in the head!” I yelled like your average proud father. “Destroy his soul!”

Instead, my colt dug deep and rejected his training. He sped up! Poor race strategy, if you ask me. It’s always better to immobilize your competitors. Alas, his plan worked. My colt came in 6th out of roughly 200. He posted a mile time of 5:47 (mile distance yet to be officially verified). But as I explained to him, ‘you are the first kid across who isn’t on steroids. All of the other kids are cheaters.’ I gave him a nice tussle of his hair. Then reminded him we had to flush his goldfish down the toilet. Sixth is not the new first after all.

My filly was up next. Due to her age, I would be running with her which was fine by me. This time I could make sure proper race strategy was employed. Last year, she sprinted out quickly apparently misunderstanding “one mile race” with “20 yard dash” and we walked much of the way. This year, she started with a nice even pace.

I launched into my “helicopter technique” on a few occasions to clear some needed running lanes. My filly trudged on with nice even strides. This time, she made it the entire way without stopping to walk at all. Her time was almost exactly 9 minutes. A solid effort. But not solid enough to save the heads of three more dolls which would be ritually lopped off later that evening. She finished roughly 30th of 200 but around 7th place of 6 year old fillies.

After both races were complete, it was time for another important life lesson: post race gloating. I made sure to mention to any parents I knew how proud I was when my kids came in so much further ahead of their kids. For those few parents whose kids came in ahead of mine? Well, of course, I barely acknowledged their existence.

Filly and Colt (to be renamed trophy #1 and #2 later this summer)

Another great day at the old ballpark!

Happy trails.

* However, this is the proper space down here. My kids are, in fact, better than yours. Sorry about that. Truth hurts.

Check out:

The Marathon Mama took the time to let us all know everything we accepted as fact is, in fact, not fact.
Congratulations to Mir for setting a new PR and getting within BQ range!
Don't miss sRod's irregular series profiling Gym Carnies! We've all seen and smelled them.

Also, don't forget to influence my next book selection by voting in Monday's post poll. As Topher pointed out, you'll be staring at the book cover for, potentially, the next several months so vote wisely.


Kristina said...

You did make your kids take an ice bath afterwards, right?
Thanks for the link btw.

Xenia said...

The little Nitmoi are cute and fantastic runners. I'm assuming they have their mother's moral compass, though. Good for them. :)

Marcy said...

You only prompt them to punch and gouge eyes in races? Tsk Tsk Tsk. And what's with that affection towards each other in that pic? I expected at least a b*tch slap from the youngest :P

Cute kiddies ;-) Clearly they get their looks from their mother. Only playin.

nwgdc said...

GREAT STORY! A 5:47 mile?! I think you chose to only run with your daughter because YOU can't even run a 5:47 mile!

Do they even make Oldsmobiles any more? I'll ask around the next time I'm watching a game at Studebaker Stadium.

Meg said...

Hilarious. Congratulations to your kids!
When I first saw the title of your post, I briefly confused it with the Naked Mile and was hesitant in clicking on it!

Viper said...

How are two kids better than zero kids?

Another question: Speaking of staring at book covers, why did you not choose the DQ with the Picasso painting?

Triseverance said...

Must be tough having a son faster then yourself. Nice footwork, Trippy and Ima don't deserve to win.

Hope Nemo had a nice swim a small sacrifice to drive quality lessons home.

RazZDoodle said...

“Push him in the head!” “Destroy his soul!”

I'm reminded of the blond antagonist in Karate Kid, "Put him in a bodybag! Yeah!"

Jeff said...

The Lugnuts? What a positively swift and speedy sounding name.

I'm sure every kid in school wants to grow up to be a Lugnut!

(And congrats to the philly and colt, too.)

sRod said...

"Trippy McFallsalot and Ima Poorhurdler"

I know I shouldn't be finding that so funny, but it really made me crack up. Your kids are either going to wind up really messed up or they are on the way to sainthood.

Kristina said...

Oh yeah, I tagged you. Now read that Rushdie book.

Mir said...

Did they not have a beer mile division for the parents? Hmph. :) I confess I'm not brave enough to attempt a beer mile, but I like to laugh at those who are.

Thanks for the shout-out!

Viv said...

What cuites! Congrats, man those are some fast mini-Nitmos! Speed is in the genes, I am doomed. I loved that..destroy their souls. ROFLMAO!

Frayed Laces said...

Great family values.

As for the book, I suggest "Finnegan's Wake" by James Joyce. It is considered to be the hardest book to read in the English language. How cool would that make you at cul-de-sac bbqs?
Mrs Nitmos: This is my husband, Mr. Nitmos. He runs marathons.
Mr Nitmos: Oh, honey, don't make me blush. You also forgot that in my spare time I enjoy reading the hardest book in the English language!

Scott said...

Ha Ha, LOL!! Funny stuff... Keep training them colts!!

jen said...

Congrats to the little ones! Cute pic.

Kevin said...

Congrats to the mini mr and ms mini-nitmos. Your son is quite fast. No wonder you chose to run with your daughter

MissAllycat said...

Expectorate? +2? Puh-lease! I learned that word when I was ten*.

*Only because it's in the lyrics to a song in "Beauty and the Beast". But STILL.

The Laminator said...

Maybe you should have your young colt train you for your Summer of Speed campaign!

audgepodge said...

This post is hilarious! I love the nicknames... I wanted to come up with one for myself but all I got was Giggly Runstooslow. I guess not all of us have mad naming skills like you. :)

BTW - in regards to your post, I haven't seen Biofreeze anywhere else either! When I went back to Disney for the Minnie Marathon, the first thing I did when I hit the expo was to track those people down. I now have my own special tube of that magic stuff.

AddictedToEndorphins said...

Your kids may be better than mine--I have no kids! hehehe Got you there!

It's great that they're following in your footsteps! veryyy cool!:) Good for them.

MizFit said...

man that is cute.

and precisely why Im running now.

the sight of my 2 year old when she's running cracks me the hell up (and yes, that's typically down the hall screaming PEE PEE POTTY but still).


Paul said...

My oldest just concluded his freshman track season in H.S. This was the first year that he competed in nice sharp 1/4" spikes. Unfortunately he drew nary a platelet from his competitors during the season.
Please let me know how he can best leverage those little meat tenderizers to achieve a spot on the podium.
Yours in 19:3x 5K Brotherhood,

thebets said...

Ahhh...gotta love those Nitmos family values..."Win Cheating or Lose Blaming." Great post...Mrs. Nitmos must be a saint.

Oh...and thanks for the advice about not lifting my arms above my head, but how, exactly, am I supposed to shave my pits? I'm not exactly the hippie type.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

That poor goldfish.

Cute kids. Your wife must be gorgeous cuz we know what you look like. :D

Lily on the Road said...

hahahah Nancy, you were reading my mind...

make sure those kiddies get some treats with weekend! A nice lump of sugar or a handful of hay would suffice...LMAO...

Betsy said...

Time to start feeding the colt and the filly nothing but sport beans with caffiene. That'll speed them up.

Laura said...

Congrats to the kiddies!

Also, I saw Audrey's comment about Biofreeze. I actually got some at a different race in Florida (it was a 5 miler in Bradenton in January 2007... can't remember the name). So maybe it's a Florida thing? Hope that helps!