Thursday, May 07, 2009

Time is an Albatross

Upon re-reading my last post, I realized that the whole wee wee wee run a marathon for fun and finish in 4:26 thing might have sounded a little arrogant. Everyone has their own abilities and challenges. Everyone has their own personal time goal they’d like to achieve. Though I love to make fun of all of you, I prefer to do it by ridiculing your personal hygiene , your intelligence, or your superfluous use of bullet points.

I realize that running sub 4:30 is a huge challenge for some just as obtaining my own time goals is a challenge for me. And that other runners destroy my PR’s all of the time in every single race.*

But, lest you think I’m getting soft, I would like to remind everyone of some other unique talents I have that are unequivocally better than you. And for which you should feel ashamed.
  1. I was once able to recite the entire script of The Breakfast Club by memory.
  2. Until a horrible accident left a permanent burn mark near my right thumb, I once set my college dorm record for most amount of dental floss burnt with a Bic lighter in one sitting.
  3. I am still the reigning Nitmos Household Champ at living room wrestling. I toss my kids around like, well, how you would expect an adult to toss small children around.
  4. I have consumed three consecutive individual size chocolate puddings through a straw (beer aided.)

Top. That.

The Flying Pig Marathon was always about fun for me. It’s a pig marathon for chrissakes. The medal has a pig, front and back, with wings and wearing some sort of bondage mask over his snout as near as I can tell. Fun right? I love mythical creatures. Especially those with wings (Lord, please tell me there is a Puking Unicorn Marathon somewhere.) So, though I trained almost as hard as I normally do, I had almost no mental pressure going into the race. No PR chase. No BQ chase. No pressure. Just run. As long as I follow the official course, I’ll eventually finish right?

Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t my normal modus operandi. I’m an inveterate PR chaser. If the PR is a dude with a broken back being rushed to the hospital after slipping on some ice outside of WalMart, I’m the slip-and-fall attorney speeding after the ambulance. Me and PR’s go together like Larry and girls at the Reagle Beagle.

In fact, I rarely sign up for a race unless I feel there is plenty of time to train to get a PR. I won’t even sign up for the race otherwise. Someone may say, “Hey Nitmos, there’s a half marathon in three weeks. Want to get in on it?” Sure, I could run a half marathon. But I don’t have nearly enough time to properly train to make a PR attempt so “no” I say. I’ll line up a different race.

Weird, right? I think I got wired with a few too many competitive neurotransmitters.

On one of our first dates, Mrs. Nitmos and I decided to play basketball to determine who would have to pay for tickets to an Aerosmith / Black Crowes (hey, they were big once) concert. We played to ten. I chivalrously spotted her five to start the game. What more can you ask? Maybe a little bit of a jump shot, I guess. I was swatting her shots aside like flies at a picnic. Final score? Me 10, Eventual Mrs. Nitmos 5. Scoreboard! She bought the tickets.

I didn’t know how I would feel about Not Competing in an event. I thought it might feel sticky somehow. Turns out, it was a huge relief. And a ton of fun. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to turn into one of those Just For Fun guys anytime soon. But, I think, every now and then, it might be nice to just show up and run nice and easy and throw the time goals right out the window. It was pretty liberating. I felt so loose and relaxed during the race that I really absorbed the experience more. I had some interaction with the spectators and took in the nuances of the course. I had a big ole smile on my face – instead of grimacing in pain – all the way into the finishing chute.

It was pretty cool.

Now, a few days after the race, I feel really invigorated. Refreshed. There was something cleansing about experiencing a marathon free from pressure. Like a deep high colonic cleansing (except I didn’t need to lie on my side and bring one knee up.) Basically, I feel extremely focused again and ready to push myself this summer. I’m not sure I would have felt that had I destroyed myself at the Pig.

Ready, set, go...I’m ready to burn up some miles like so many strands of dental floss.

Happy trails.

* Of course, those “runners” are known as Assholes.

30 comments:

M2Marathon said...

1 - FIRST!
2 - LOVE the Regal Beagle comment.

M2Marathon said...

Oh and congratulations on your watershed experience. Maturity: one small step at a time.

Kristina said...

Brian used to recite The Breakfast Club when we first started dating but I threatened to dump him if he didn't stop. Then pretty much as soon as we were married, he started reciting The Big Lebowski. God, I miss The Breakfast Club.

joyRuN said...

You should use a disclaimer when you're gonna let someone guest post like this ;)

tfh said...

I didn't think you sounded arrogant. In fact, this & the last were the two gentlest, friendliest posts I've ever seen on this blog. Running for fun really DID make you a better person! At least, temporarily.

Al's CL Reviews said...

Stopped paying attention after the Reagle Beagle comment...

Vanilla said...

I disagree with tfh, but then I always think you sound arrogant.

I've only occasionally done the whole "run for fun" approach and it is, well, fun I guess. I'll look forward to doing it more when I am no longer able to try for PRs.

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

I didn't realize being able to recite The Breakfast Club was a talent - I thought everyone who lived at that time could do it.

Same with Caddy Shack...

Sarah said...

1) The Regal Beagle! At my office we have a favorite happy hour spot, and we nicknamed it "The Beagle."

2) I can say the alphabet backwards really, REALLY fast. Way faster than you, I'll bet.

nwgdc said...

Great post! Thoughtful and funny, all wrapped up into the latest FMS publication. Nicely done.
Re: your decision to get back to speed work now: it's gotta be hard to live anywhere near Detroit and NOT run fast all of the time out of fear.

Running and living said...

Hey, more power to you for being able to run a marathon 'just for fun'. I run so few races because I can't help but race them. Maybe one of these years, I'll learn...
Ana-Maria

Spike said...

what I'm surprised at is how you failed to find a way to deduct points form the Eventual Mrs. Nitmos. you must have been really trying to make a good impression.

Marcy said...

Fo fun is the only way to roll (90% of the time). Me no likey pain LMAO!

Viper said...

So what you're saying is that smell is probably me?

I used to be able to do the same for Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Excellent! Bogus ...

Jess said...

I keep starting races with the intention of just running to finish and for fun, but each time I end up competing anyway. At least the pressure is off at the beginning.

Anonymous said...

I am impressed that you could run a decent Boston Marathon (Unicorn as it's logo) as the Hello Kitty runner, then two weeks later drag yourself around Cinci in a Pig race. Did you wear an animal costume in Cinci?

So is the "animal themed" races your new preferred race? When's the Sloth 5k or the Save the Giraffes 10K.

-a big animal lover

Jess said...

I'm glad you had fun doing the race! It's a nice change of pace just running for fun! Congrats on your finish!

Marlene said...

I'm a relatively new runner (2 years or so and 10 or so road races under my belt) and so far I have never run a race without competing. However, with 5 races in 5 weeks starting in Ottawa later this month, I realize I will havre to learn to run some for fun. I'll draw on your Pig experience for inspiration...

Tall Girl Running said...

My marathon PR (the one I've unsuccessfully attempted to break a couple of times) is 4:26. After this post, I might consider taking back the "arrogant bastard" remark I muttered under my breath after reading your marathon report. But only because I'm quite certain I could easily top your chocolate pudding feat if I put my mind to it... sans alcohol even.

Irish Cream said...

Hmm, I guess you're right. I can't top that. But I'm sure as hell going to try regarding number 4. Watch out!

Ted said...

Hey... What about Cheap Trick? Who likes Aerosmith these days.

I am glad you went out and enjoyed the run. No pressure. No stress.

Beth said...

Larry and the Reagle Beagle. What ever happened to Larry? He had quite a head of hair! I loved your last post and this one. We all have our own bodies and issues to deal with. Just because some of us are slower doesn't mean that we aren't trying just as hard- I think it's obvious that you get that. Are we going to see some pictures of you smiling?

theloosemoose said...

"Next time I have to come in here, I'm crackin' skulls!"

Richard said...

I'm glad you posted this. I was feeling like a slow sack o s%^t after your last post!

Where's the kleenex.

Vava said...

Can I play your wife for the right to pay my next race registration fees sometime? Being a gentleman, like you, I will also spot her 5.

Ms. V. said...

I guy in my training group ran your Pig race last week.

I thought not having a goal was a testament to how much you enjoyed running. Back to PRs, but seems like you enjoyed relaxing too.

Lauren said...

Why would you burn dental floss? Is it the waxed kind at least?

Roisin said...

It took me a minute to get the dental floss thing. Silly college students...

And I still have Jurassic Park memorized word for word. Dinosaur roars included. Beat that.

Jessica said...

It's a good thing you are a fast runner, since some of your other "talents" leave much to be desired! :) Funny post, loved the Reagle Beagle!!

sRod said...

I could probably chiem in on any song from a Disney movie...does that count as comparable and enviable talent?

Good job grounding yourself. Dont' want expectations getting too high about your just-for-funness.