Thursday, September 25, 2008

Whitehead

Lots of things are coming to a head this week: work assignments, training plans, soccer tournaments, the destruction of my retirement savings, and, of course, those ever loving leaves that drop in spurts of only a couple dozen a day littering my yard. It’d be so nice if that pesky little tree dandruff could agree on a ‘drop’ date and just get it over with already.

The pressure is building…

Sometime this weekend, I’ll knock out my 21 miler and then call it a taper. Not sure if it’ll be before or after my son’s soccer tournament, daughters game, or my customary weekend fit of rage. It’ll get done though. Dreams of crackheadedness will no doubt haunt my long run once again.

One by one I’m plucking the mountain of tasks off my checklist. Each completed in half ass fashion. There’s simply no time to do any of them thoroughly. Need the TPS report completed at work? Here it is. Of course, I know it’ll come back to me after it’s reviewed as it’s rife with inaccuracies and falsehoods but that’ll buy me a week anyhow. Need to rake the yard? Why do it now? The little buggers are just going to keep falling. Might as well wait until they are all off the tree. Between now and then, a huge wind storm might blow through making it my neighbors problem anyhow.

The training runs? Oh, those get completed on schedule and with due diligence. I massage this task like I’m working a whitehead into a fine conical point in the bathroom mirror. Calmly. Confidently. Precisely.

See, the disadvantage work has is that it does not help me train for a marathon. If anything, it hurts it (other than equipping me with the ability to afford race fees, Gu, and shoes at regular intervals.) Until my office decides to make me Senior Marathon Runner with exceptional pay and benefits instead of Easily Replaceable Atonamaton, they’ll have to continue to deal with half ass work and a snarky attitude.

Since I treated my 20 miler a few weekends ago as a race pace practice run, this weekend's 21 will be done, hopefully, a bit slower. It’s time to cover some distance at a bit easier pace. There’s nothing to be gained by cranking out 21 miles at race pace three weeks before the marathon. This is all about confidence. More than the physical, I need the mental reassurance that 20+ miles on a given weekend is within my range. No matter how many marathons I run, there is still something a bit intimidating to me about the 20 mile mark. But I’m fearful of most numbers without a square root and also divisible by 5. I’ve been that way for years.

Squeeze it. Poke it. Pinch it.

By the time this week is over and I’m rounding the bend on final mile number 21 with taper in sight, I figure I’ll have the same euphoric sense of accomplishment as when I defeated those engorged pores all over the bathroom mirror as a teenager. (Pop! Ahhhh. Uh-oh, get some Kleenex it dug too deep! Mom, someone made a mess all over the mirror! Can you come clean it up?) But approaching taper is just like prepping for Picture Day at school. You would like to deflate those skin volcanoes but, if not, you can always turn a little to the right for one of those artsy profile shots to hide the eruptions.

The marathon is the Prom. Taper will create another big, fat whitehead right on the tip of my nose. One of those really enflamed ones with a mound of white bubble surrounded by a ring of red irritated flesh. I need to work it carefully. Prod it. Not push too hard. Bring it to a fine, elongated point with maximum pressure build.

And then, on October 19th, give it that final squeeze and watch it explode all over the streets of Detroit (and Windsor, Ontario).

Ahhhh, the sweet relief.

There’s nothing like finishing a well run marathon with medal draped around your neck, water in hand, and a giant oozing nose crater.

This is heaven to me.

Happy trails.

_________________________________

Two Tales from the Nitmos Home for Parentless Youth

On a completely different note, my nearly 7 year old filly decided to turn teenager on me this morning. I hear a disgusted “awwww” and then her sweet little muffled angry voice calling out to me from the bathroom, “Dad, why is it so hard to put the seat down on the toilet?”

Of course, I replied the way any good parent responds when confronted by their children: with belittling sarcasm.

“Well, when you grow up, you can rent your own mobile home and leave the seat down if you like.”

Which brings me to the second tale of morning school preparation. Again, my filly, when asked to go downstairs for breakfast (she’s up earlier than her brother today), she responds, “I don’t like to go downstairs first. There are zombies down there.”

To which I reply, “There are NO zombies down there. Zombies don’t exist. But werewolves? Maybe.”

She didn’t go downstairs. Hello, Academy? Still waiting for my award for Exceptional Work in the Field of Parenting.

__________________________________________

Good Luck to Viper and Laura at the Akron Marathon! Tear it up!

39 comments:

Sarah said...

And then, on October 19th, give it that final squeeze and watch it explode all over the streets of Detroit (and Windsor, Ontario).

YEAH! TAKE THAT, CANADA! You think you're so smart with your smoke-free casinos and universal health care!

You need to purchase The Zombie Survival Guide for your filly. Talk about winning the Parent of the Year Award.

Jess said...

Only you could successfully compare training to popping a zit...amazing lol!

SJ Goody said...

I just vurped... thanks for the delightful morning read. :)

AddictedToEndorphins said...

I heart your analogies. Taper is JUST like a whitehead:)

Have a great run this weekend!

Xenia said...

Thanks to you I just relived my teenage years...and it wasn't pretty.

I heart your filly.

Tall Girl Running said...

Toothpaste on a zit will make it go away faster. I know that doesn't really have anything to do with your post, but neither did your post really have anything to do with tapering. So, even stevens? ;-)

Marlene said...

What a thoroughly disgusting and accurate metaphor!

I know you'll knock the socks off your 21-miler.

Good vibes on Sunday would be appreciated for my first 26-miler. OH GOD. I only hope I can explode all over the streets of Toronto with your style and PIZAZZ!

Vava said...

I'm just glad you had the good sense to post this late enough in the morning for me to have finished my morning coffee. Man, you should have been a dermatologist! And shouldn't you be doing things 'Half-FASSt" not "Half Ass"?

Viper said...

Oh, man, I can't wait to pop this sucker!

Thanks for the good luck.

Big said...

and the worst part about work is that it never asks how running is doing, or if running needs some time off. work is so selfish.

Lily on the Road said...

yes, I have to concur with Xenia, thanks for the memories!

Love the filly's 'tude....hahaha, you get what you give, I always say...LMAO!!!

Blyfinn said...

Well that was a nice trip down teenager lane. Some pretty horrible memories.

tfh said...

Teenager? What? Am I the only one sobbing here in my cubicle, seeing if I can catch a reflection of my adult acne in a particularly shiny white binder? Trust me-- if you need non-metaphorical pus, I'm your girl.

Good luck on the 21! I like your pep talk to yourself. We'll see if you can actually slow it down...as for the filly, your wife is clearly doing something right!

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

You are right - work needs to be outlawed. It is not a running-friendly activity at all. Bad work. Bad.

I have three boys, so I can only live the saga of life with a 7-year-old filly through you...thank God.

Good luck with the 21er.

*aron* said...

seriously work just gets in the way... i was approached by some co-workers yesterday to help them prepare for a half marathon... so many i will be able to become the running consultant at work??? i can wish right.

good luck on your 20+ miler this weekend!!! almost taper time!

Two Left Feet said...

i don't know whether to laugh or gag at this post. maybe both. good luck with the popping!

Roisin said...

I squirmed in my seat for the duration of that post. *twitch*

chia said...

I'm sure Windsor is accustomed to its share of indescrept bodily fluids on its streets. Have a great run!

Marathon Maritza said...

Should NOT have read this post whilst eating my lunch...

Frayed Laces said...

That was disgusting. Thanks a lot.

Kristina said...

Oh man, I was hoping for a prom story from you. Something with a mullet, spiked punch, and a blue tuxedo perhaps?

Marcy said...

Dude I need a shower and some Oxy now. Thanks.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Me thinks you've rubbed off a bit on the filly. Should be interesting when she *really* hits the teen years.

nwgdc said...

Do you put cover sheets on your TPS Reports?

AKA Alice said...

We love Filly :-)

Vanilla said...

Wait, so running a marathon is going to cause me to get zits? I'm confused.

Vava said...

Nitmos, check this out: zit blog.

Pokey said...

Love the parenting...we would get along GREAT!

I hate that work gets in the way of running. When you find a solution for this pesky little problem, will you let me know?

I'm certain I could be a super runner if I was independently wealthy.

Pokey said...

Oh, and the zit thing? That's just gross! LOL!

Vava said...

And another one! Who knew there were blogs devoted to acne?!?! Can you tell I'm bored right now?

Viv said...

I was drinking a lemondade and I knew by the title you would mention something about poping that bad boy and ewwww you did as soo as I gulped. Good luck on the 21 training run this weekend. Ply that Pebo, baby!

Marci said...

Somehow you made a logical link between a zit pop and a training run. I totally get it!

Scott said...

Clip of the cafeteria scene from Animal House (Belushi) would have been a nice visual for this post. :)

Marathon Me said...

"And then, on October 19th, give it that final squeeze and watch it explode all over the streets of Detroit (and Windsor, Ontario)."

Quite possibly the most disgusting thing I've read in a while. Good job.

aham23 said...

work is always getting in my way, but now that my life savings has been totally destructed i dont care and just leave. later.

sRod said...

Likening a Marathon to a pimple? Dude, are you sure you aren't already a crackhead?

thebets said...

Your ability to paint a vivid, yet disgusting mental picture is astounding.

SLB said...

Will you be running the marathon with a mouth full of custard waiting to explode all over the finish line?

Laura said...

I once worked with a manager who subscribed to the philosophy that since the partner was going to make us revise the document a zillion times until the night before it was due anyway, why not wait till the night before it was due to really work hard on it? That was my favorite manager ever.