Friday, January 30, 2009

Exile on Feet Street

I’m not sure what happened to the M word from my blog title in this post title. It must be around here somewhere.

If there’s one thing I enjoy about typing up these inane thoughts a couple times per week, it’s imagining the reaction of the reader. Are you amused? Dumbfounded? Annoyed? Disgusted? Appalled? Hopefully, all of those things and all at once, preferably.

I usually create these posts first thing in the morning after turning on my work computer, grabbing a cup of putrid bulk office coffee, and chit chatting amiably with Cube Farter. It really kick starts the day and gets my addled brain moving somewhere other than the fact that I’m sitting in a partitioned office surrounded by the Many Shades of Beige in middle south Michigan.

And it brings some clarity and connection to my passion for running with the outside world.

I don’t draw my inspiration to run…to strive for PR’s…to challenge new distances from this blog. With or without the blog, I’d still be out there cranking out the miles and seeking out challenges. Rather, the blog provides an outlet for expressing random thoughts that occur to me that, typically, would swirl then disappear into the dusty corners of my memory. Or get foisted upon Mrs. Nitmos and my family sometimes welcoming, sometimes unwillingly. Instead, I trap them and bring them before you thrashing and kicking. Admittedly, these thoughts are strained through a Bozo the Clown shaped filter and out the big red nose before landing on the computer screen in front of you with a squishy, loud PLOP. Because who doesn’t like a little Bozo snot with their post?

I always get a chuckle at your comments. Mainly because you are all childish. And if there is one thing I love to do, it’s to walk around with undeserved air of faux superiority. The fact that any of you have decided to regularly stop by here, read these often ridiculous posts, bother to leave comments, and then cut me down on your own blogs is touching. Touching in the same way the iron maiden is touching. You may each consider yourself a spike that has pierced my tender skin at one point or another.

There are some other things swirling in the back of my noggin’ these days. Some things to pursue. One of those things is that I would like to eat more Fruit Loops this year but that is really ancillary to this. My posts are developed on company time. Surprisingly, “blogging” is not in my job title (I checked.) I have another thing or two I’d like to spend company time working on. It’s hard to keep packing personal interests into my “work” day. Already, I barely have enough time to get, well, actual work done.

So, I’m going to take a bit of a sabbatical. Probably not permanent. I’m going to leave this site in the hands of the llamas for awhile. They’ve promised to behave (though watch out for the spitting.)

I’ll be around. I’m omnipresent. I’m ubiquitous. (Choose your favorite adjective.) Really, how many times do I have to describe myself in celestial terms? This should be rather obvious.

I’ll still be running, racing, stretchy banding, crunching and, occasionally, robbing from orphanages. I just won’t be the one to compare any of these activities to goofy looking animals or vague historical war strategies. At least, not until I get my gangsta rap album off the ground.

Hey, here’s my missing “M” word!

Until we Meet again.

Happy trails.*

* Thug life 4 ever.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Product Review: Not a Plasma TV

After eagerly awaiting my ProWash Ferrari a few weeks ago and then being disappointed to find out that it was, in fact, a sports detergent, I vowed never to repeat that mistake again. So when someone from Nike promised to send me WIN to test out, I didn’t expect a Ferrari. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well, I won’t be fooled again.

I felt pretty excited to be receiving my WIN plasma TV to test out! I cleared out my old crappy LCD TV from it’s stand and awaited the arrival of my shinier new WIN. Imagine my surprise when, once again, a shoe box shaped package showed up on my door step.

Maybe this is one of those inflatable plasma TV’s, I thought. But inside was a blue bottle labeled WIN. Perhaps, like Aladdin, I just needed to rub the 21 ounce sides vigorously and a Genie would pop out in super high definition for my viewing pleasure.

I rubbed it’s sides like a teenager alone in the bathroom with a Martha Stewart Living.* I set the WIN on my TV stand. I pointed the remote and attempted to change channels.

Nothing. No Genie. No shows.

Granted, it still was as entertaining as The Bachelor but, ultimately, it appears I was duped again. Maybe – just maybe- this was another cleverly packaged sports detergent. The preponderance of the evidence, at least, suggested I didn’t get a plasma TV here.

Down to the laundry room it went. I just soiled some clothes that very afternoon so it was going to get its own work out right away. With trepidation, I tipped the bottle into the measuring cap keeping a careful eye out for a few episodes of The Office or Weeds that might come tumbling out. Keep hope alive, right? Nope. No shows. Just fluid.

I used WIN for three washes. I didn’t have anything particularly stanky outside my normal nostril curling run odor so I can’t say it was challenged with anything above regular channel surfing.

Keep in mind, I’m not a laundry maestro. I’m as adept at laundry as I am at cooking. That is to say, I’m at the laundry equivalent of fish sticks and waffles. So I judge based on my five senses…and price.

Taste: Yeah, so what? Like you don’t lick your clothes sometimes? It tasted fine. No complaints. Worth a lick.

Touch: My wicking clothes still felt wicky. That’s good.

Sound: They didn’t sound any different. They didn’t sound like angels singing either but I don’t believe that’s part of their marketing campaign.

Sight: They sure looked clean. I didn’t notice any lingering bloody nipple residue or hardened snot rockets.

Smell: This is interesting. The smell, when transitioning the clothes from the washer to the dryer, was horrendous. I can’t really describe it but it was unnatural somehow. Like Hitler’s armpits. But, by the time they were done drying, you magically couldn’t smell anything. In fact, the clothes smelled pretty fresh.

Overall, a solid product. Obviously, having just reviewed ProWash, it is natural to compare the two.

ProWash has a more detergenty smell throughout the entire process including the finished product. The clothes definitely smell like they’ve “been washed” the entire time. With WIN, you need to plug your nose for the washer-dryer transition but the finished product doesn’t have such a detergenty smell, which I prefer.

Overall, they both taste, touch, sound, and look about the same.

It appears WIN might be slightly cheaper per ounces as well. For a cheapskate like me, that’s a huge bonus!

Though neither of them drive like a Ferrari or view like a plasma TV, their differences generally come out in a wash.

Happy washing.

* Don’t judge.

5 miles last night @ an easy, snow accommodating 7:30 pace. Will the weather allow for 12 miles, per the schedule, this weekend? We shall see.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Dysfunctional Sledder

Have you ever taken a cheese grater to the fleshy part of your upper thigh and ass?

I think I just did. Metaphorically, at least.

The Nitmos clan decided to make Sunday our annual Winter Activity Extravaganza. We aren’t “winter” people by nature. We shy away from the cold like Michael Jackson shies away from normalcy. Have you ever seen those Norman Rockwell paintings of idyllic winter life? The warm fire…cozy blankets…hot chocolate…baking cookies. In our house, similar but different. Instead, we are gathered about a warm, crackling hi-def LCD TV. The hot chocolate is not hot but, in fact, cold and called “beer.” (The filly can’t hold her liquor, by the way) The blankets are really extra layers of old race shirts. And we aren’t baking cookies but watching age inappropriate movies or video games.*

But once every year, we don our heterosexual apparel and take on all that winter has to offer in a four hour flurry of winter fun. One day and one day only.

First up, sledding. Or, as I call it, my annual ass raping by the local hill. An adult is not meant to hurtle down a hill on a thin plastic sled. This particular hill featured a nice bumpy, mogul style terrain to greet your sore bum at the bottom. Just when you thought it was over, here’s a rapid attack of 7-8 bumps - like the rolling conveyor at a UPS store – to grind you to a halt. Package delivered.

After the third or fourth trip down, and much to Mrs. Nitmos delight, I decided to buffer against the pain of the moguls by pushing myself up using the sled walls. The first bump dislodged my hands, sent the sled spinning forward without me, causing me to skid down the rest of them with nothing between me and the death bumps but a thin layer of fabric. I skidded to a halt sideways with my legs still outstretched in a wonderfully comedic fashion. Then did the walk of shame to retrieve my sled which careened on another 15 yards.


Hill 1, Nitmos 0.

I could feel the looks of disgust from the other kids as I reached the top of the hill again. The shame was so great my kids and Mrs. Nitmos had already hurried down to the bottom. I stood alone clutching my traitorous sled, sore-assed and red-faced.

To make matters worse, I could not, for the life of me, get the sled to stay straight. Every trip down, it would start turning 180 degrees so that, by the time I stalled out, my legs were pointing back up the hill to fully display the chuckling s.o.b. children at the top.

Mrs. Nitmos? No problem operating her sled to perfection. The kids? They whooshed right down the hill setting new distance records. Me? Pure, unadulterated humiliation.

I’d bounce down the hill with such stressed discomfort chiseled on my face that Mrs. Nitmos thought I looked like a NASA astronaut re-entering Earth’s atmosphere with a cracked heat shield.

Houston, we had a problem. It’s my ass. And a complete inability to operate a simple sled.

After signing off from that sledding adventure, it was on to ice skating where, I’m happy to report, things went off without a hitch. I circled the rink with constant fear that I’m one step away from tripping to the surface and having the trailing skater slice off a couple digits as they pass. We left with the ten fingers we each came with.

I survived. We survived. Now, back into the house for the next several weeks where the only thing cold is the beer in my hand and the embarrassed glances from my kids.

You’d think that, after running six marathons, I couldn’t be heeled by a plastic sled.

You would be wrong.

Happy trails.

* I’m normally not a video game player. However, the last few weeks I have taken great delight in a few shoot ‘em video games. In these games, you restart at a certain stage if your character is killed. Unfortunately for my kids’ tender ears, I got stuck at a stage in which the game animation had one player saying to the other “What took you so long? Johnson here was about to shit himself” before I was allowed control and the game began. This was repeated over and over and over. I just couldn’t get passed it. The kids loved it as you can imagine.

Again, awaiting that call from the principal.

The paths were half cleared. I hit my goal of 10 miles yesterday morning before the Extravaganza began. My pace is still suppressed by about 45 seconds per mile but, at this point, I’m just trying to hit my mileage goals. Speed will come with the thaw in a few weeks.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Director of Office Smiles

Mrs. Nitmos doesn’t post here. She rarely comments here also though she’s welcome to do both. She does read everything written here including your comments sympathizing with her for tolerating me. I’m not sure what you are all talking about, of course, because I think she’s quite lucky. It’s not just anyone I ask to pop my back pimples. Sometimes love manifests itself in a volcano shaped skin explosion. At least, that’s how I see it. Ask yourself, have I asked any of you to pop my back pimples (there are many…enough for all) and now you understand the special place she holds.

Mrs. Nitmos works in the human resources field. She finds jobs for people. You’d think it would be rewarding work especially in this tough economy but then you would be forgetting about human nature. Some folks don’t really want a job. And some folks think way too highly of themselves.

We always think of foul Uncle Eddie from Christmas Vacation who has been out of work for something like 8 years and his family is reduced to living out of an RV because “he’s holding out for a management position.”

One client checked the “Spreadsheet” box under the computer skills category. When Mrs. Nitmos inquired about his experience in that area, he replied that he spent a few years working at a hotel making up beds. Spreading sheets. I’m surprised he didn’t check the “Excel” box because, you know, he’s like a real go-getter.

Several different folks have innocently explained that they left their last position because they “choked their boss” or “ punched the foremen in the face” or “was arrested for suspicion of rape and couldn’t make it to work.”

Have you ever had to sit in a room by yourself with a suspected rapist? Mrs. Nitmos has. Awk-ward.

Another potential client sent her a resume that listed her previous receptionist position as “Director of First Impressions.” Er, sorry, that’s even too bullshitty for me. And I Excel at bullshit.

I suggested to Mrs. Nitmos that, on her own resume, she gloss herself as Director of Office Smiles. Or Director of Safety Management (changed smoke detector batteries). Or Executive Attachment Specialist (she has the keys to the paper clip and staples supply closet). You know, something to spruce that baby right up.

I don’t know how I could title myself. I’ve always wanted to be an Executive of something though. Everyone is an executive of something - and it’s usually bullshit – so how ‘bout Executive of Office Awesomeness. I work in an office. I’m awesome. Seems like a good fit.

Or maybe the Run Conquistador. Everyone in my office knows I’m a runner. If you heard the podcast, you know that I wear my race medals around as buttons on my shirt. And who wouldn’t want to be a Conquistador? You get to wear metal pointed helmets and maraud Central and South American villages while avoiding small pox and measles.

At the very least, any of these titles would be better than “Office Asshole.”

I’m tired of hearing that.

Happy trails.

8-10 miles planned for this weekend. Some of you are surprised that the sidewalks in my area are plowed. I should note that I live smack dab in the middle of the school zone. The high school, junior high and elementary schools triangulate my position. So the county plows the walks for the kids to get to school safely. Or maybe they do that for me to run safely. I’m not sure which. Sometimes I think the sun rises just for me also.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Frozen Throat Chronicles: Episode 1

Note: I have no intent to make this a regular, running series despite the episode numbering scheme. If conditions conspire, it may become one. The option is left open.

Episode 1: The Great Esophagus Freeze

The man dons his battle armor: Hind running pants, two moisture wicking shirts which, between them, send the sweat droplets into an alternate dimension, a zip up vest, North Face bionic jacket, hat, gloves, Garmin, and mp3 player tuned to Social Distortion followed by the greatest hits of one Hue E. Lewis.

The Asics are laced and double knotted.

Ready, set…Garmin activate. The count up begins.

The icy cold wind slaps the hero across the face with repeated south easternly blasts. Fifteen degrees feels like five degrees. But he is up to the challenge.

Four hard miles to do battle. Four miles to prove his worth. Four long miles to come up with a way to over dramatize a fairly normal mid week run.

An extended stop at a busy rush hour intersection puts the Garmin briefly on pause. The icy winter claw grabs at his wrist and envelopes Garmin. Winter attacks his weakness. The legs don’t move if the Garmin doesn’t tick tock. Or so it seems.

An opening and the man battles onward across the frozen intersection. He pushes the start button on faithful Garmin. He pushes again. The button stays depressed but the Garmin doesn’t respond. The breeze blows in a gleeful cackle. Garmin is disabled. It is frozen on his wrist.

Hope is lost.

But the legs are still moving. The man is still running! Without Garmin, he is running blindly. Or, at least, he risks incorrectly estimating his distance on this familiar course by around 1/10 of a mile. The man is a numbers geek. One tenth mile might as well be 53 miles. Tragedy. Death.

If Garmin is sacrificed, the run must not be in vain. He presses on.

Two miles in, a wad of pre-run chocolate cookie residue mixed with nasal drainage lumps at the back of his throat. The spitting mechanism is strong in this runner. He coughs up a tight ball of expellant on the back of his tongue. The command to spit is issued. The neck and mouth lurch into expectorant duties.

And seize.

He tries again. Same result. The gooey concoction is suspended at the back of his throat.

Winter has claimed a second victim. Frozen air traveling over a frozen tongue has caused a frozen throat.

The man presses on. Winter attempts to knock him off stride with sudden, unexpected ice patches…the spit lump swishing side to side.

The man musters steely resolve and hacks a strong, cannon blast loogy echoing across the frozen tundra. It lands with a brownish plop in the snow bank. The man has triumphed! His throat continues to hack out loogies every few steps in an open act of defiance.

By the time the man completes four miles and returns to his front porch, he notices that Garmin has started ticking again. His spits are frequent, thick, and unfettered. He may be coming down with a cold. Or stop eating mushy cookies before he runs.

A new man ascends the steps and enters the house. Winter has been defeated amidst a flurry of nasal mucus stained sidewalks. He has met the enemy and came away victorious.

He is no longer a man. He is a superman able to reclaim a frozen throat from the clutches of dastardly Old Man Winter.

He is Captain Esophagus, the newest and lamest super hero in the pantheon.

All hail Captain Esophagus.*

Happy spitting.

* Look, it was either the esophagus or the epiglottis. I realize the esophagus might not be the correct biological term to use for what I'm describing. Maybe the epiglottis isn't either. In any case, I didn't want to go with Captain Epiglottis because, obviously, that just sounds stupid.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Boob Tube Shows Shows

The harsh winter has kept the Nitmos clan inside much of the last few weeks. As such, I’ve added a little winter padding to my normally stretchy band chiseled torso. Also, it has allowed us time to sit uninterrupted in front of the boob tube and not feel guilty about it whatsoever. Normally, we sit uninterrupted in front of it feeling mildly guilty.

My daughter has taken to Run, Fatboy, Run. Yes, we let our 7 year old children watch PG-13 rated movies. Usually, they hear daddy Nitmos using similar language around them so they barely bat an eye when a movie character tells another to F&*% Off! After all, daddy tells other drivers to do that all the time. Or, when his TV football players aren’t moving to the right spot on the field, he insults their manhood and suggests that they’d make terrific jailhouse prags. And my favorite pro football team is the Detroit Lions (0-16) and, college, the Michigan Wolverines (3-9) so you can get a sense of how the fall went around my place. I’ve invented a few new profane words I hope to get into the next Webster’s edition. I’m not going to tell you what a shitspicket is. Or a garglefart. You’ll have to wait for the next Webster’s.

We’ve seen Run, Fatboy, Run about three times in the last week. Boy do the kids laugh when the main character, Dennis, suffers scrotal rash after his first run and decides to relieve the itch on a clothing store mannequin’s hand. Good times, good times.

I’m expecting a call from the principal’s office any time now.

Besides the silly humor of Fatboy, my family does not seem to have the desire to watch other running related shows or documentaries. That’s odd. You’d think they’d want to watch video of people running for hours on end. I taped a documentary called Running the Sahara about three guys who ran 4300 miles in 111 days across Africa to reach the Red Sea. I watched it alone. I guess no one wanted to watch because they didn’t molest any department store mannequins.

If you get a chance, the documentary was fairly interesting. Not really interesting but certainly captivating to see these guys take on sandstorms, 140 degree temperatures and re-route on the fly to avoid African political turmoil. It’s worth a look. The feature focused quite a bit on the interpersonal relationship side of the runners and their crew. As a runner, I would have liked to see more of the detailed, technical aspect of their nutrition, pacing, and hydration but I understand they probably wanted to open this up to a wider audience. And I’m a running geek.

There is one line in it that I found hilarious though. At one point, one of the runners is thinking about leaving the expedition. Charlie Engle, the lead musher, challenges this runner by saying:

“If you don’t want excitement, go run a marathon!”

Ha. Perspective, I guess. To me, marathons are exciting. But, I guess, when you run across a continent in a harsh climate, comparatively, it’s not.

The forecast around these parts indicates we’ll be watching more shows in the days ahead. Unless I want to watch running movies alone, I guess I’ll choose the ones that involve foul language and pus spewing blisters.

Or, at the very least, I can rub up against Mrs. Nitmos whenever a rash develops.

Happy trails.


Congratulations to the three PR setting P.F. Changer’s this weekend: Vanilla, RazZ, And Kristina.

And congratulations to Nic on an indoor PR and feeling like a spinning top.


Seven hard outdoor miles on Sunday at a slippery, slushy pace. Someone PLEASE tell the road commission to plow the sidewalks AFTER they plow the roads. Honestly. Common sense.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cold Metal Jacket

My snowman committed suicide this morning.

It's -14 degrees. School is cancelled due to "cold". Seriously. I stepped outside to retrieve something from my car and my snowman looked over mournfully and said, "I just can't take it. Sorry." And blew his head off.

On my way back in to call CSI: Snowman, I stomped my feet on the front deck and heard a loud POP POP POP! I ducked a bit thinking another snowman might be taking a few of us out with him in one of those "...before turning the gun on himself" stories you see in the news. Instead, it was just the nails popping and cracking on the other end of the plank of wood. Great. Another item on the Spring to do list.

Mrs. Nitmos and I have a set of snow shoes. Real nice ones, in fact. So nice that I feel guilty not using them as much as we should. We always talk about taking a trip up north and finding some trails to trudge around on but then we realize, you know, it's cold out. Who wants to walk around in the cold?

Already Mrs. Nitmos tolerates a lot with me dragging her to various races at ungodly hours on cold fall mornings. You'd think I wouldn't push the envelope right? Clearly, you haven't been reading this blog for long. One of my favorite things to do is see exactly how long folks will tolerate my behavior. And then push just a bit more.

The recent Runner's World had an article on snow shoe racing. For some reason, I had no idea this existed. Running and snow shoes? Oh, God, my calves ache in pure joy just thinking about it. Of course, I'll need special winter racing gear. Probably one of those awesome hooded one piece jump suits that the Olympic speed skaters wear (and an extra sock to ahem fill out the pants).

This is something I must check into. If I'm going to live in the arctic, might as well make the best of it right? Here's a link to a snow shoe racing organization for anyone interested. At least this would bridge the Fall and Spring running seasons and get us through the depressing suicidal snowman weeks!

I wonder, though, do they serve cups of hot chocolate at the aid stations? If you get hurt, do they wrap it in a heat pack?

Is there anything called a Snow Shoe Marathon?

Sorry, Mrs. Nitmos, but you bought the snow shoes for us. You should have seen the logical conclusion. Everything - everything - can be turned into a running event.

Now what did I do with the kids' pogo stick?

Happy trails.

Huge well wishes go out to Vanilla and RazZ running their first marathon this weekend. Also, in the same race, Kristina will be BQ-ing. Good luck, all!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Decaf Dog

This is our dog, Bella.
She’s a great dog if not a tad on the energetic side. If, that is, “tad” is defined as “constantly pacing the house and sticking her nose into anything that moves, doesn’t move, or thinks it might want to move some day.” I believe she thinks she is a shark. If she stops moving, she dies. Seriously, I get tired just watching the dog roam about the house.

Try walking across the room and you’ll get a wet nose jabbing you in the back of the legs. Leave a food wrapper unattended? It’ll be in her mouth within 10 seconds flat. Forget stuffed toys. She rips them apart in five minutes. And one day she decided to eat a two inch section of wood off the bottom of my slider door. Fortunately, she seemed to pass it okay. I can only imagine what a naturally hyper dog with a colon splinter would be like. Do they make tweezers for that?

The slider door seems to bear the brunt of her attention. It’s the window to the outside world, apparently provides tasty treats, and the object of her tongue licking affection. We were concerned that the slider may ask for a restraining order due to all the molestation it has received. But, no, when it came to us it only wanted a jar of peanut butter. Not sure what that means.

She’s a nine month old Brittany spaniel pup. And you would be right if you think I considered naming her “Britney” and getting a second dog to name “K-Fed”. The thought crossed. But I didn’t want that level of lameness and general douchebaggery in my house. The Us magazines would get jealous.

So we’ve been patiently waiting out her puppy months and the promises of a more content and relaxed dog. We’ve also been less patiently waiting out winter so she can return to her futile butterfly chase for hours on end in the backyard.

This past weekend, she came racing up the stairs and sat staring at me in much the same way she is doing in the picture above. Mouth agape. Panting. A ball of anxious potential energy. Now, I’m huge in the canine world. I’m the Hasselhoff of German Shepherds. The Jerry Lewis of French Poodles. Besides Mrs. Nitmos, I’m not popular amongst common, human females but I’m beloved by fawning, tongue lolling dogs. Hell, sometimes they even chase me down the street when I run by. I feel like a regular Beatle. And not George Harrison either.

This time, however, Bella had a slightly crazed look in her eye. She was really panting heavily. Her eyes were darting with my every movement. In fact, I think her eyes were getting to the destination of my next motion before I actually got there myself. I was changing into my running clothes at the time. Naturally, I thought sure, I’m crazy sexy but this is a bit ridiculous.

I went downstairs to the kitchen to retrieve Garmin with Bella rapidly nose bumping my calves all the way. Sure enough, there in her water bowl was a full bowl of discarded coffee grounds. Caffeinated coffee grounds. She had pulled it from the top of the trash next to her bowl and dumped it into her water. And then lapped up the water. Basically, she mainlined some Starbuck’s Breakfast Blend. And then, I can only imagine, subconsciously disappeared into a frenetic super galactic freak out that caused her brain to spin counter-clockwise at 400 rpms and her eyes to see the world through a kaleidoscope of neon colors.

I tried to work her through it like I remember folks doing for me in college. That is, I put on some Jimi Hendrix and settled her down on a bean bag chair with a black light.

When that didn’t work, I took her for a run around the block.

My shoulder is now slightly dislocated but that seemed to work. She calmed down a bit and returned to licking the slider glass until I returned from my run. By then, I was happy, Bella was happy, and the slider door seemed relieved.

But we need to buy more peanut butter. Again.

Happy trails.

I braved the 15 degree temps and snow covered sidewalks to knock out 8 miles Monday night and 3.6 miles Tuesday night. Both runs were at a winter induced pace of 8 mins per mile. I don’t believe I’ve run a mile at an 8 minute pace since, roughly, 2003. And, as an added bonus, I leaped through a foot of snow in various sections of the path, like a deer fleeing from a hunter, to get in a little cross training as well. God bless the snow plow drivers who come after the sidewalk plowers.

It’ll be 5 degrees today. And 0 degrees tomorrow.

And God bless winter.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Hello Kitty Mystery Runner

NOTICE: Visitors from Eastern Europe, welcome to Feet Meet Street! I know your search strings of ‘hello kitty nipples’ and ‘hello kitty buff’ and, possibly, ‘hello kitty impotent’ brought you here. I apologize. These are not the photos you were looking for. Move along quickly before I have to put this post on antibiotics. Thank you.

I’ve run with dudes in pink tutus.
I’ve run with folks in Superman costumes.
I’ve heard about people running in the buff.
Hell, some people even run in gorilla costumes.

Now comes photographic evidence of the Hello Kitty Mystery Runner. You may remember this same runner as profiled previously in my landmark Garden Variety Hello Kittty N-pple Guard post.

It’s not me. First of all, Mrs. Nitmos is allergic to cats. Second of all, it’s Hello Kitty?! I’m more of a Wiggles guy (and, apparently, I’m the guy in the Blue Shirt.)

I’m not going to tell you how I came across this. I have my sources. I’m everywhere. I’m omniscient. I’m also like omnipotent since I’m a marathon photo messiah lately except I hold no actual power. So, I guess that would mean that I’m impotent.

You might notice that the mystery runner is flashing a two fingered Hang Loose style sign to the camera with his right hand. This could also be interpreted as bull or steer horns which might provide us some clue to the mystery.

I also notice that the head is missing. The head was also missing is the previous Kitty post (photo now removed, sorry) which leads me to believe that the runner wishes to remain anonymous. Or I have a so far undiagnosed decapitation fetish. Come to think of it, I have been leering at headless mall mannequins lately.* Gosh, I hope it’s not a decapitation fetish. I don’t have nearly enough room in my cellar crawl space to support that lifestyle.

Judging by this tiny photo, the mystery runner appears to be moving at about a 3:14-ish marathon pace and probably swift enough for about 2nd-ish overall at the Florida Marathon. Just estimating here. How do you think the other runners felt getting passed by a dude wearing a Hello Kitty shirt? If I could kibble with this just a little, I think the Hello Kitty should be on the back. That would have provided maximum humiliation to a passed runner.

But maybe that’s just me being catty.

This begs the question: At which point would you pack it in during a race? For me, I’ve made a promise to myself that if a person wearing a Hot Dog costume and pushing a stroller passes me, I’m giving up. I’m sitting down in the middle of the street and untying my shoes. I always carry a small vial of gas and a couple of matches in my pocket. I’ll light the shoes on fire and walk away. It’s all over.

Time to play golf.

Happy tee time.

* I originally heard the joke about a decap fetish after looking at mall mannequins from a stand up comedian whose name I cannot remember. If you are the comedian who owns this joke, it was very funny at the time. Please feel free to take credit in the comments. I'm sure you are a regular FMS reader.

In my last post, I casually referenced that I might not be posting for a month. I was joking but I received exactly one response indicating dissatisfaction. One. Nice. You think it’s easy to knit this sweater of comedy and knowledge for you people to wear every few days? It’s not like I’m just typing whatever pops into my head…well…er…anyhow, what I mean is, you are all ungrateful.

No long run on Sunday due to colt's birthday and snow covered roads/sidewalks. I'll be out for 8 miles tonight as make-up.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Randumbery V Redux

This is my version of the Results Show for the previous post.

Big surprise, I ask for some assistance with the title of this segment and the top vote getter is “Who Gives A Shit You Self Important Jackhole”. I should have known. You are the type of folks that would grab a lawn chair and drink a beer while I flailed around engulfed in flames.

Who gives a shit you self important jackhole.

Keep it Randumbery.

Change to Rundumbery.

Well, it’s a bit of a clunky title but if that’s what you want…

As for Where’s Nitmos? I think most of you spotted me. I don’t think I’m hard to find. I thought I might fool you because I wasn’t wearing my helmet that day. And thank you for pointing out my goth look. You might not be able to tell but I’m wearing mascara, listening to Marilyn Manson, and thinking about how society doesn’t want me to run marathons.

Actually if you look around, I’m basically the only dumb ass that wore dark colors on a sunny, 90 degree day. In my defense, not everyone can be smart.

Thanks to Perry for stopping by to identify himself. Click to enlarge the picture above and you’ll see the joggler under a blue arrow. Me under the red arrow (with more PhotoShop magic! Hey, I have a full time job and it is incredibly hard to work with photos when people can see my screen. Cut me some slack.) As a special bonus, I have identified my favorite runner….the dude with the headband matching green arrow. Dare to dream.

A few of you pointed out runner #1771. I’m not a fan of chest waxing and I believe this illustrates my argument quite nicely. I’m not sure I really need to say more on the matter.

Incidentally, my filly gets angry when she sees this picture. She’s under the illusion that I win the races I’m in. So, she sees all of these other folks in front of me and wonders why they are beating her dad. Of course, I have to then sit her down and explain how performance enhancing drugs work and that some people choose to cheat.

As an added bonus, I found two other disturbing Waldo cartoons on the net. Credit is given for the pictures. If you want to sue me for copyright infringement, I can be found here.

Next week, I will have a special post with more pictures. Some of you who have been crawling around these parts for awhile may remember the infamous Hello Kitty band aid covering the nips post. I had to remove the photo due to the spike in Eastern European pervs descending on this site. It was giving me the willys. At risk of attracting this audience again, there has been another siting of the headless Hello Kitty runner!

Thus completes a New Year’s resolution…to post five days in a row. Next up? To not post at all for a month.

Have a wonderful weekend. Here’s to wishing dry roads for the northern states and Canada and a great big ole snow storm for the west coast and southern states on your weekend long run. It’s about time you ran a few miles dressed like an Eskimo.

Happy trails.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Randumbery V

I used to run this semi regular feature called "Randumbness" about, as you would guess, various random and dumb things going on. It was a nice page filler. You thought you were getting actual carefully constructed content. Instead, you were getting fluff, filler, time wasters. I'm not saying this to foreshadow this post. I'm just saying the post title is Randumbery and if you can put 2 and 2 together....well, we'll both be pleasantly surprised at your cognitive skills.

And this edition of Randumbery goes interactive! At least, interactive in a way that requires only slightly more effort than the regular ole post.

It’s been awhile. Time for another haphazard collection of partially digested thoughts! I’ve mixed a delicious recipe of loosely related topics together to form a nonsensical stew.

Eat up.


First, I’m living with pangs of regret. I’ve just recently decided that I should have called this semi-regular (i.e. not regular) feature “Rundumbery” instead. Seems more appropriate somehow. But then Randumbery ties in the word random better. What to do…what to do…such useless thoughts occupy my mind. You decide. Vote here:


I added up my official mileage total for 2008 and it was surprisingly low. Only 1054 total miles. I did 1240 in 2007. What gives? Maybe all of those real attractive runs I thought I was completing weren’t real. They were just running through my head all evening.

The ever present pain residing in my right ass cheek indicates I did plenty of running in 2008. Maybe the lymphatic drainage will take care of that. There are ass lymphs, aren’t there?


This is one of my favorite marathon pictures snapped by the one and only Mrs. Nitmos in 2007. I just happened upon it the other day when moving some photos to CD. It’s a stampede of folks that, really, should have better sense than doing what they are doing. This is near mile marker 1. Only 25 more miles to go everyone! Don’t look so happy.

Let’s play a Where’s Waldo? game renamed, fittingly, Where’s Nitmos? Can you spot me in this cavalcade of marathoners? Also, there is a juggler in this photo. I hesitate to call him Perry the Joggler – though it could be him – as I don’t know for sure (though I know he ran this race). I ran along side this person for the first ½ mile to check out his joggling skills. Pretty amazing. I’ll give you the answer to both of our locations next post. I’m pretty obvious, I think, but the joggler is harder to spot. He appears to be cupping something in his hand as if he brought along some water but forgot to bring a cup to hold it in. Or he’s a 70 year old woman without an athletic support bra.

Click to enlarge...wouldn't it be nice if life was that way?


Now that you’ve finished your Nitmos stew, feel free to purge…and then go back to the top and binge again. My posts become even more satisfying the more times you read them.

Happy trails.
Good luck to the Goofy Challengers and all Disney runners this weekend! I wish I was there. If someone would generously donate about $1500, I’ll be there next year. Let me know of you’d like to help a poor runner achieve his dreams in this tough economy.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

When Pigs Fly

Wherein I return to the over indulgent use of the footnote…and other 2008 traditions.

When pigs fly
When a cow jumps over the moon
When monkeys fly out of my butt
When a llama is dipped into a pit of boiling acid after four hours of horrific torture*

These are all popular slogans used to express something that seems near impossible to occur. One of them is also the unofficial rally cry for the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio. That’ll be lucky marathon #7 overall for me and my sixth on a completely new course. So far, I’ve only repeated Chicago.

I may have mentioned a long time ago that, when I first crossed that final mental hurdle to take the marathoning plunge, I wrote down a list of nine races I’d like to run. I had (and have) no intention of marathon Oprahing. In other words, I figured once I was in shape for one I’d knock out as many as I could, while it was still fun. I would not get in shape for one, fall back out of shape, get back in shape for another, etc. Too much work. Once I got in shape, I would roll through as many marathons as I could before retiring to my couch for a life of tank top undershirts, Cheese curls, and steadily growing man-breasts.

From that list of nine, the second marathon I jotted down was The Flying Pig (Chicago was first). By now, you’ve noted my penchant for sophomoric humor. Not to quibble but it’s probably more freshmanic even.** As soon as I saw that a race existed called The Flying Pig and, upon that race medal a pig with wings(!), I knew this was a race for me.

But this race will be different than the others. For the first time, I have every intention on running this marathon purely…for fun. This will be a brand new concept for me. While personally I’m often described as lazy, laid back, sullen, creepy, why-is-he-eating-that? and quick to anger – a type B personality – my running has always brought out the inner go-getter/type A in me.

My training runs are always very nearly at race pace.

I’ve always gone into a race attempting to set a new PR.

I’ve stepped on the back of other runners’ shoes because, you know, they had a real smarmy gait.

This will be a challenge. Running for PRs = Fun to me. I’ll need to remove the “for PRs” and change the equation to Running = Fun. I want to do it just this one time. You know, to see what it’s like. Will it be thrilling like the first time you rob an orphanage?

As usual, I ‘ve created my own training plan. It is very similar to my Detroit plan from October though, with this weather, I doubt I’ll be training at the same speeds and intensity. This Sunday, there will be 16 weeks until race day.

Training plan in place and activated. Game on.

Official Flying Pig Marathon training begins in 3 – 2 – 1…

So I will run Cincinnati’s Flying Pig this May. And its winged pig medal will bump the Boston Marathon medal to the side as my new favorite. I will rub its pig stamped curves…shower with it…buy it stuffed Velveteen rabbits just cuz…and, occasionally, surprise it with some morning French Toast.

That is, until someone invents a Clown Barf Marathon.

Happy trails.

* this one hasn’t caught on yet.#
** though I doubt it’s eighth graderic at all.
# I made it to January 7th before threatening a llama again. A new record!##
## Screw Schwimmer too!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Product Review: Not a Ferrari

I received an email from a marketing group several weeks ago asking me if I would like to test their product, ProWash, and write a review on this site. I said ‘Sure but “ProWash” is a funny name for a Ferrari manufacturer.’ I offered to send them a copy of my garage door opener so they could park my new ProWash in my garage. They said no, they’d just sent it through regular mail and it’d probably be on my porch. I’m not one to look a gift Ferrari in the mouth so I just chuckled and thought fine, just wait til you see the size of my porch!

Then, a few weeks later, a package showed up. On my porch. About the size of a shoe box. That’s odd. There was this little pouch inside filled with liquid laundry detergent and the name ProWash splashed across the front. I was confused for a moment until it hit me: these people don’t know how to make a high performance sport vehicle. Fools.

Instead of getting into another shouting match with a stranger that day, I decided against calling them out on their rather obvious error. I’d just review their ProWash as if it was intended to be activewear detergent and no one would be the wiser.

Now, the problem with my review of this product is that I don’t normally do the laundry at my house. We have a strict Separation of Duties rule in the Nitmos house. Mrs. Nitmos does the laundry, cooking, cleaning, child rearing, and tire stacking. I do the TV remote battery replacement, recliner cushion testing, and, occasionally, check and clean the Unicorn traps as necessary. You might think I have it easy but then you’ve probably never had to remove a broken necked Unicorn from a spring loaded trap. Though, truth be told, neither have I. The Unicorn traps are always empty (which leads me to believe I’m either a kick ass home defender against flying Unicorns or my traps don’t work.)

Anyway, we gave my running clothes several washes with ProWash to get an idea on how well it works. Normally, my running shirts have a lingering funk to them even after returning from the wash…like a Ghosts of Runs Past type smell. Frankly, I enjoy it. I imagine that, if I were a cartoon, you’d see little squiggly aroma lines trailing behind me as I run. After the ProWash treatment, my running clothes seemed to be pretty much robbed of their perpetual stank. It was still there if I sniffed hard but it didn’t immediately smack me in the face like before as I pulled my shirt over my head. In fact, my clothes had an overpowering clean smell. Not sure how to describe a “clean” smell but I think you know it when you smell it. If you are still not sure what I mean by clean, then let me spell it out for you: It didn’t smell like my hairy arm pit, an accumulation of 100 saturations of groin sweat, or my anus. Got it?

All in all, I’d say this is a good product. It definitely seemed to clean my “activewear” (which, I think, is Flamboyese for “running clothes”) better than regular laundry detergent. The clothes felt and smelled fresher which might be a nice benefit for those that have that, um, not so fresh feeling. And I don’t believe it slowed me down any when running. I don’t think it made me any faster either but I don’t believe they market that it will.

I endorse.

If there is one drawback, it would be the price. It costs quite a bit more than regular detergent. And I’m a huge cheapskate (unless it comes to me buying more running shoes and race entry fees then I’m surprisingly benevolent.)

But, if you are someone who wants cleaner, fresher running clothes, then ProWash just might be the Ferrari of the activewear laundry detergents. (Note: Not an actual Ferrari. Learn from me.) Comparatively, everything else is just a supped up Honda Accord.

And if you want a better review of this product - one that doesn’t involve talk of Unicorns, Charles Dickens references, or my anus - then go here and here. Apparently, the ProWash folks didn’t think I’d effectively disperse their product through the running blogosphere so they enlisted other false prophets.

No worries. My feelings aren’t hurt. I’m still Magnum P.I. cool.

Happy trails.

Monday, January 05, 2009

2009 Resolutions: Lymphatic Drainage

Well, Belated Happy New Year!

I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things around here. Somehow I managed to arrange nearly two full weeks off at the end of last year/beginning of this year. That time has allowed me to explore my inner blood thirsty warrior through rousing matches of Soul Calibur IV. I love impaling my colt’s wimpy game character with a vicious multi-pronged blade, twisting, and ripping out his innards while cackling with glee. Then, once he has been decimated the necessary three times to claim victory, I turn and yell at him in a deep, foreboding tone soooouul caliburrrr!!

I love humiliating the children. I sure hope he doesn’t disconnect my breathing machine one day while hissing maniacally ressss-pirrrator!!!

We have survived another holiday season. It went well. In fact, I would say this Christmas had approximately 70% less profanity than the last. There were two reasons for this:

1. No toys required assembly.
2. Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Merlot. And a rum chaser.

I have a few resolutions for 2009. And I believe a yearly “goals/resolutions post” is compulsory around these parts, ain’t it?

As the title suggests, a lymphatic drainage is at the top of my list. For Christmas, Mrs. Nitmos bought me an hour long visit to a wellness clinic. She (and the certificate) say it is intended to be used for a "sports massage." But the certificate clearly states that it could be exchanged for a different service of my choosing. Of course, they helpfully included a list of other services. And what does my wandering eye see? Lymphatic Drainage!

Oh, yeah, I have to have this done. I don’t even know what it is but I sure as hell want to say I’ve done it.

The pamphlet explains:
A massage technique used to improve the flow of lymph using light, rhythmic
strokes. Lymph glands act as part of the body's defense system against
infection. According to practitioners, by improving lymphatic circulation,
many health related complaints are corrected and the immune system is improved.

I’ve always been a big fan of rhythmic stroking of my lymph glands. Ask anyone. No comment as to whether it includes a happy ending though.

Besides the Mrs. Nitmos approved five knuckle shuffle on my lymphs, I have a few running goals as well.

1. Set another PR in the 5k. Can I go under 18 minutes? Not sure. But I can beat 18:30.
2. Run a half marathon. I still have not done this. I ran one official half marathon as part of the Goofy Challenge around this time last year but I took it easy (time = 1:39) and really viewed it as part of the two day challenge. I’d like to run a half under 1:30.
3. Run the Flying Pig Marathon for FUN. No time goal allowed (well, maybe one I’ll keep secret.)
4. Finally, run The Crim 10 miler this year. I’ve been trying to run this for three years now and something always comes up. (Time Goal = 65 minutes)

Non-running goals? I have a few:

1. Continue to look cool in my parachute pants.
2. Cultivate anger towards a different animal (can 2009 be llama-free?)
3. Consider opening a savings account for my kids college fund. Dismiss this idea. Buy myself (another) Hi-Def TV.
4. Reconcile with David Schwimmer. It’s time.

Happy New Year!

Congratulations to fellow Steers LDP member Tange who completed the Florida Marathon in something less than 3:12 (re: 3:14). Good for 2nd overall! Congratulations first loser! And, you’re right, I wouldn’t have mentioned this at all if you had gone under 3:12. But you would have won the race. ;)