With apologies to Tom Wolfe.
You can always tell when you pushed a bit too hard on a long run. The lactic acid builds up in the legs leaving you shuffling over the next few days as it works back out through the ever-whitening shades of your urine. Even the 5 and 10 mile mid week runs turn into a challenge.
This past week has been the Great Lactic Acid battle for this marathon training season. Every season has them. I pushed a bit too hard on last weekend’s 20 miler. Since I’m not running a half marathon or other distance race prior to the marathon, I decided the 20 miler could afford to go a little faster than I would normally treat one of those.
My normal Mr. Serious Runner Guy face has been replaced with a Mr. Contorted Grimace* for the last few runs. The look that says, ‘Yeah running is really, really fun. Honest’, to all the passing cars. The adults in the front seat give each other the knowing see-I-told-you-it isn’t-good-for-you look while the children in the backseat now have a fresh face to the beast prowling their closets after Lights Out.
Unlike the Tom Wolfe novel, this story isn’t loaded with Merry Pranksters but Merry Crampsters. After each run, my leg muscles were twitching faster than a tasered college students pectoral muscles after a post game, alcohol fueled, couch burning riot. I consoled them with lots of Gatorade and happy thoughts about being only a few days short of taper.
And as the final big long run approaches (21 miles this coming Sunday), the schedule is getting increasingly cluttered. Had I known the children would take so much time out of my day, I may have opted for pet ostriches. Here’s a recap of yesterday as an example:
8-11:30am Drive home from visiting grandparents.
11:30-12:00 Detox from grandparents visit (i.e. slowly resume amount of profanity in your conversational language)
12:30-2:15 Attend son’s soccer game in the next town over (away game)
2:15-2:35 Rush to car to drive dangerously fast with flying middle fingers to make it to daughter’s soccer game. Profanity spikes here.
2:45-4:00 Daughter’s soccer game.
4:00-4:10 Drive home.
4:15-5:55 Run 14 miles (somewhere in here look enviously at hobo and wonder how bad it would be to be a crack head)
5:56-6:10 Shower and pretty myself up. (Had to cut 1 mile off LR for this activity)
6:11-7:30 Drive puppy over and attend her training classes.
7:50 Arrive back home and begin getting kids ready and into bed.
7:51 Put "nighty night water" (i.e. bourbon) back in cupboard.
7:52-8:29 Look busy while Mrs.Nitmos graciously irons clothes for me and trudges heavy laundry up and down stairs.
8:30 - ?? Sob uncontrollably and consider becoming a crack head.
Life would be so much easier if I just bought myself an old school bus, painted it in rainbow strips, loaded up Mrs. Nitmos, the kids, dog and newly adopted ostriches and toured the country on an psychedelic rush of endorphins, Gu, Gatorade and (lactic) acid.
But, then again, I’d have to give up my HDTV. Pappa can’t have that.
* I’m not sexist. I just don’t think my facial expressions are feminine or married. Otherwise, there’s no reason they couldn’t be Mrs. Contorted Grimace. You may certainly assign gender to your facial expressions at your pleasure.
Colt’s team is a regular league menace. Yesterday’s tally? 11-1. Son didn’t score but made Mrs. Nitmos and I proud with many terrific centering passes for goals as the left winger and much post goal preening. I believe I saw him bust out The Worm at one point before drawing a yellow card. He was also pretty pleased that this was the first game in awhile in which Daddy didn't verbally assault the ref and have to spend the rest of the game in the car.
Filly? Yes, she earned a name. In fact, she earned a first, middle, and a few nicknames. Five goals in all. Really, she embarrassed the other team. As coach and ref, I was able to keep my mutterings of ‘oh, man, you just got served…again’ barely audible. The other team heard. But not their parents. That’s really the Lasting Lesson I’m trying to teach: When taunting, make sure you do it in a way that injures the psyche of your opponent but does not get you in trouble. I think they are starting to get it.