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.
- I was once able to recite the entire script of The Breakfast Club by memory.
- 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.
- 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.
- I have consumed three consecutive individual size chocolate puddings through a straw (beer aided.)
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.
* Of course, those “runners” are known as Assholes.