Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Spooning: A Form of Celebration

For obvious reasons, a lot of time and thought is put into what you need to do to get to the starting line and, ultimately, through the finish line of a marathon: the tempo runs, the long runs, injury prevention, llama avoidance, and hydration planning. It’s enough to consume your mind as you barrel towards the marathon. I’m staring at the heart of my Detroit Marathon training schedule – three 20 milers in the next five weekends – and I haven’t given any thought to What’s Next. What happens after the first (and 497th) person breaks the finish tape and the rest of us mortals come stampeding* through the finishing chute?

As Ben Franklin once said while catching for the Yankees: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

But when it’s over, it’s party time!

Or, as much “partying” you can muster with shredded calves, throbbing hamstrings, an unexplainable foul odor vaguely reminiscent of rotted skunk disemboweled by a rabid, ill-tempered wolverine with stage 2 halitosis, and enough body salt oozing from your pores to keep a meadow of deer happy for weeks.

So what do you do when it’s over? Did you plan this out in advance?

Mrs. Nitmos and I have a little tradition. She’s says she hates it and will “cut me in my sleep” if it continues. She’s being playful, of course. I know she enjoys it. I love to spoon. Right there on the grass within 100 yards of the finish. I stagger through the finish area, trying not to look ridiculous with my Mylar blanket, past the nutrition tents and out to the public reunite area in full on slicky, icky, salty, sweaty, Gu stained goodness for the BIG post race HUG. And then I collapse to the ground holding Mrs. Nitmos around the waist. We spoon. And besides the medics, who scream “resuscitation” at me, and the police officers, who scream “assault”, it’s really very, very nice. I’m considerate enough – unlike most runners – to share my experience with my non-running spouse.

I hold on and squeeze in spoony embrace for 15, 20, even 30 minutes. We are stuck together like two pieces of Velveeta single slice cheese. Once the salt remnants, sweat funk, and other unexplainable moistures transfer from me to her**, it’s time to get up for a beer. Mrs. Nitmos feels better too. In fact afterwards, she always makes these hilarious “trial separation” comments that make me laugh so hard.

This has been tradition. But this is not what I would like to do in Detroit. I’ve always felt that, post race, it would be fun to sit atop a majestic steed sans clothes wearing only my medal with my long, flowing, Fabio style hair blowing in the breeze. I would gallop through the throngs of adoring fans amidst showers of flower petals and $30 gift certificates to Applebees. Then, my steed would launch skyward to fly me to the land of corporate-run, generic food and appetizers with overly cheery names*** for a final post-race celebration.

This is ridiculous of course. I don’t have nearly enough time to grow my hair to Fabio length.

Instead, I’d be happy just getting a chance to fight Cher. I’ve always wanted to fight Cher and post-marathon seems a great time to do it. What is her deal anyhow? I would totally dominate her without the post-race wearies so, to be fair, I’d only fight her after running 26.2 miles.

Failing all of that, I’ll once again ignore Mrs. Nitmos teasing jests that she’ll-cut-off-each-of-my-21-digits-one-at-a-time-until-I-promise-not-to-post-race-spoon-again and give her a big old hugging spoon where the sweat oozes out like Play Doh barber hair.

Besides, twenty-one digits?

Oh. I get it.

Happy trails.

* And by stampeding, I mean, crawling, staggering, stumbling, or rolling.
** My little Salt Sponge. Sorry to cutesy you out with our pet names.
*** Applebee’s


So what’s in YOUR post–race celebration plans? Marathon or shorter, a race completed is a reason to celebrate. What’s your favorite way to mark the achievement? Or what would you like to do (and don’t steal my galloping steed riding idea)?
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Didn't get enough Nitmos? Of course not! Head over to Fitarella's site for more llama bashing and see if you can spot the cleverly concealed hidden addiction I reveal.
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Check Frank out. He's at 43 states and counting on his 50 states marathon quest. For some reason, he was wearing a giant Steer head on his shirt for all of his races. Frank, the colors are maroon and white not burnt orange and white. I assume you would like to be part of the Steers LDP?

38 comments:

Sarah said...

Post-half marathon: show off race swag in parking lot reunion area.

Post-one-mile race (plus 18 mile "warmup" run): go comatose from exhaustion. Then drink beer and eat pork chops.

Post-Detroit Marathon, probably more of the same. Coma, revive, beer, slab of meat. For protein, you know.

Wendy said...

LOL!

I haven't thought this far yet. Hmmm, how to celebrate? I'm going to check back here for ideas. :)

Marcy said...

ROFLMAO AHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAA Fight Cher? I don't know homie, she's kinda bad a--.

BTW, did you know that all the nurses (in training) have you as a marathon resource? :P

www.collegetrainingschoolsonline.com/blog/2008/08/100-tips-tools-and-resources-to-train-for-a-marathon-the-healthy-way/

Some chica sent me the link to the site via e-mail and lo and behold ;-)

Marcy said...

Sorry, to make it easy . . you're number 80

Vanilla said...

After most races I like to celebrate with enough beer to make me forget the race entirely. Otherwise I probably wouldn't do it again.

joyRuN said...

I feel for Mrs. Nitmos - I can't even stand to be near Mr. joyRuN after his p90x session. That's right - I said p90x.

Roisin said...

I can't give away all my secrets, but post-race celebrations involve large quantities of hard liquor. Usually Jamesons. And a nap.

tfh said...

What IS it with you husbands?

Mine comes stampeding into the bedroom at midnight after hours of playing sweatybasketball and crawls UNDER THE COVERS to give me a hug.

After reading this I am going to do everything in my power to discourage him from ever running a marathon. Shudder. I would say give Mrs N. a hug for me, but you know what? Don't. Just don't.

*aron* said...

i thought i would want to celebrate more post marathon but all i wanted to do was sit on the couch eating a pizza and then sleep :)

Jess said...

Poor Mrs. Nitmos...

Marci said...

LOL. I think even as a runner if Hubs did this to me, I would protest. Mrs. Nitmos is a special gal.

Russ said...

Might I recommend a trip to Slow's Bar-b-Que that has some fine microbrews on tap and some of the best BBQ this side of St. Louis/Memphis etc....a grand way to step off the carbohydrate train.

Blyfinn said...

I normally try to head for the most nearby pizza joint to refuel. Limping the entire time to gain as much sympathy as possible.

Big said...

my post marathon celebrations have included throwing up (Chicago), accidently kicking a dog (Detroit), and swearing in front of a child (Cincinnati)

Lil and I hit those roads frequently, plus a jaunt onto campus during our lr. Otherwise we hit the Park Lake and Coleman hills. Now that I know, I’ll say hello next time.

S said...

I don't run that many races...so my "big" races (aka half marathon or marathon) usually involve some sort of tattoo or piercing. I like to have permanent reminders :-P. Then comes the binge drinking :-)

Viper said...

I like to remain sober and have athletic sex afterward. But that rarely happens.

Charlotte said...

You know, I was right with you until you said "non-running" wife. The hubby and I have been known to collapse on the grass together in a big sweaty oozy mess and make out a bit but that's only after we've both run the race. If he tackled me after a race I hadn't even run... well, your wife and I should chat. Of course, I always have the option of blocking him with a small child - we do have quite the selection of those.

runjess said...

I have a post-race pancakes and nap routine.

But I'm doing my first marathon in December. How should I reward myself for this? Hmmm...
www.seejessrun.wordpress.com

Adam said...

After Chicago this fall, I hope to recreate the slow-motion beach run, midriff/cut-off tee clad, sweaty, hairy, jump/hug, celebratory fist pump with the appropriate musical accompaniment a la Rocky and Apollo. I'm looking for volunteers to play the part of Apollo. Any takers?

RazZDoodle said...

*standing ovation*
Friggin' hilarious!

(I'm limiting my comments in fear that the dark overlords will shut down our hole in their blockade)

Ms. V. said...

We are stuck together like two pieces of Velveeta single slice cheese.

That was an interesting simile.

My post-race celebrations usually involve food. Last time, I bought new shoes, which is NOT good to do after a race.

theloosemoose said...

Sacred post-marathon tradition: A trip to the nearest Ponderosa, whereby my running buddy and I consume our weight in dead cow. We are generally MESSED UP, and we cause quite a scene as we stagger to the buffet. My friend professes her love for me often and loudly, and all the other diners imagine that we are drunk, affectionate, lesbians rather than sore, relieved-to-be-finished hetero marathoners.
Another sacred post-marathon tradition: Uttering the words "That was my LAST marathon! Ever! And this time I mean it! Seriously!!"

steersldp said...

If celibacy increases one's speed and endurance, I am betting that you will set a new PR in Detroit in October.

You have set a new low, which is pretty hard to fathom, but you did it. Congrats!

...and Mrs. Nitmos, I am sorry.

Viv said...

LMAO at Applebee's I don't know why that one just really got me....

Big post race fun must include wings and beer. A football game would just finish off the day!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

A well deserved nap always sounds good to me after a race. As in:
"Don't wake Mommy, she's taking a well deserved nap."

Beth said...

Just started this racing stuff, but a nap and then a trip to On the Border for a strawberry margarita and all you can eat chips was wonderful!

Nat said...

Funniest thing I've read in a really long time.

Me... well... I smell more like a dead goat dunked in blue cheese, with a touch of skunk. The Man says this is sexy.

Post race: shower. put on race shirt and medal, eat. nap. eat. nap. brag. blog. eat.

Xenia said...

You want to ride bareback while naked? Do you hate yourself or is Mrs Nitmos getting you to try a new sterilization technique?

I have no idea how to celebrate my half marathon on Sunday besides enjoying the post-race bbq and hopefully not being super sore.

Meg said...

At first I was just going to applaud your mention of llamas, but the rest was hilarious too! Mrs. Nitmos is a champ, even for the blog-mocking.

Tall Girl Running said...

Geeeeeez. Get a room!

I celebrate the end of every race by vowing never to do another one.

KC Stine said...

Good luck in Detroit. Someday I'm going to come home and run this one too.

Maybe Cher would prefer to spoon with you?

e said...

You could totally kick Cher's ass.

After a long race, I enjoy clutching my stomach wondering "Why did I drink so much gatorade???"

Dando said...

Thank you for your blog. It is so funny and informative. I have added you to my google reader. I am learning so much. I run in a 10k this Monday and the runners are going to wonder why I am laughing out loud as I think of the words "strollered, grand mothered, and fisher priced."

Keep up the great work!

Lily on the Road said...

Poor, poor Mrs. Nitmos.....

and

poor, poor llamas....

AddictedToEndorphins said...

My post race celebration includes hanging out in the med tent with the cute medics thinking I'm just the greatest thing in the world (*or thinking I'm going to die because I look so bad), hobbling over to my 'fan club' (family of a million) to half-heartedly thank them for coming (cause I'm too grumpy/tired to talk and socialize with them) and then having my mom pop the 23 blisters I got.

Then I sleep for 4 hours and go for milkshakes.
I dont handle alcohol well fully hydrated and on 8hrs sleep...i can't picture myself drinking after running for (just less than) four hours.

Have fun with your 20 milers:)

Marlene said...

Your name comes up all over the place, so I finally wandered over here. Good read!

To answer your question, eeeek! My FIRST marathon is coming up in <1 month and I have no idea.

Ltos of great suggestions here... for now, I'm just concentrating on getting t othe finish line. After that, I'll see if I'm inspired!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

I hereby by officially nominate Mrs. Nitmos for sainthood.


*Nevermind that the catholic church hates me and will no longer accept my nominations.

Robin said...

hey guys winning a race is a little bit of issue for me as I am too lazy to run but yes definitely if I win a race then lots and lots of beer would be a good option to celebrate with