Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Purple Jelly Beans

I have a bowl of delicious jelly beans. I like jelly beans. They make me feel happy when I eat them. Not heroin in the eye balls happy but, you know, regular average-dude-with-too-much-credit-debt-working-a-dead-end-job happy. That is to say, sullen punctuated by brief periods of complacency. I blindly rummage through the bowl and enjoy an orange one or black one. Hell, even the pinks are okay. I’m secure enough to admit it. I won’t be composing lengthy sonnets or holding boom boxes up outside the jelly bean manufacturer’s door any time soon but I’d consider sending an inexpensive Thank You card or, at the very least, include an homage to them at the top of a blog post.

The point is I really like jelly beans. Except the purple ones. What the fuck is up with those? Seriously, talk about ruining a perfectly good assortment of jellied candy. What exactly is that flavor? Chalk? The hardened physical manifestation of the ennui of disappointed runners?

But that’s what you get with a mixed bowl: Mixed results.

And, finally, three confusing paragraphs in, we get to the point of today’s post: A review of my much ballyhooed 2010 Year of the Ass Kicker. You’ll recall that 2010 was going to be the pinnacle of my running career. I planned to stand on a mountain of defeated PR’s and pound my chest skyward in an open blasphemous, triumphant challenge to whatever spiritual being to which you subscribe. If I graphed my running speed, this would be the year at the top of the ascending line immediately before the sharp downward turn (see: economy, 2001). Starting in 2011, I planned to – get this – run FOR FUN. Crazy, I know. Maybe I had injected some of that heroin in the eyeballs when I wrote that post.

As with all things connected to F.M.S., the pomp and bluster with which it was presented did not meet the reality. In short, my 2010 Y.A.K. plans deflated like air rushing from a balloon with one of those comedic squeaky noises and ending with a flatulence-resembling rumble. Or, cue sad trombone, whatever your preferred sound effect.

The 2010 Y.A.K. had some successes...but more purple jelly beans than expected.

In summary, I had vowed to:

-Refine my training by adding a day of running each week and organizing my speed work. (Partial credit: I ran a bit more sporadically but did get some structure in my speed work.)
-Set a new marathon PR. Run more miles during training. (Partial credit: Missed my PR by 38 seconds due to poor pacing in the last 10 miles. Did run more miles though.)
-Break 18 minutes in the 5k. (No credit: Training indicated it was possible but...PURPLE BEANS!)
-Sign up for an ultra marathon. (Nope.)
-Race more. (Nope.)
-Sign up for a team relay. (Credit!)
-Don’t give in to easy excuses to miss a run. (Credit! Barely missed any scheduled runs this year so far.)
-Approach the puke threshold frequently. (Credit! This summer, I was on the edge frequently.)


My half-marathon PR and generally successful interval training were delicious orange and red jelly beans. I ran more miles this year (already!) than any previous year (mmmm, black beans.) I enjoyed Life on the Puke Threshold. But I paced too conservatively in the second half of the marathon and ended with a mouthful of purple. And those 5k’? More purple beans. More ennui.

It seems that my running this year can be summed up by continuing the tiresome analogy: In training, I enjoyed the varied jelly delights with lip smacking joy. In races, I mostly consumed purple.

If you are thinking that this sounds awfully like a year in review – in early November – you’re right. I probably won’t race again before the end of the year. My jelly beans are in the barn. And, more importantly, I beat everyone else’s yearly review before it became cliché. First! Stay tuned for my 2011 goals post which will undoubtedly be better than yours. Or, at the very least, FIRST!

Now, off to see how the purple jelly beans feel when injected directly into the eye balls. They didn’t feel too good when kicking me in the nuts.

Happy trails.

20 comments:

Viper said...

Nobody likes the purple ones. I notice when the bowl gets emptier, the more plentiful the purples are. Those scheming bastards who share the bowl, pick out all the delicious ones. But we conscientious jelly bean eaters take what the handful brings. Sadly, it's ever more disappointment. Sad trombone, indeed. Cheers!

Ironman By Thirty said...

Ugh. You eat the black ones? Seriously? I don't know anyone that willing eats the black ones.

Running for fun? Dear Lord. This isn't going to turn you into a banjo playing, barefoot running hippie now is it? We've already got one of those. haha

The Sean said...

I like the black ones...

(is that what she said? is she allowed to say that?)

Andrew Opala said...

hmmm must be an American thing ... no purple Jelly Beans in Canada.

you miss runs? =8-O

P.S. funny post

Viper said...

I eat the black ones. They're my favorite. What else you got to say about me, Kevin, huh?

Xenia said...

Purple jelly beans are like the infamous purple koolaid. You may hate the taste at first, but then you begin to crave it. Pretty soon you'll be like me, setting PWs at every turn...when you can be bothered to sign up for a race, that is.

Welcome to the dark side, my friend. Here, have another purple one.

Velma said...

I love the black ones. Purple in general is a weak color - look at the Vikings.

Looking forward to the 2011 fun run year. Does this mean you will leave the Garmin at home - PBTG

Thomas said...

My little one would vehemently disagree. She loves everything pink and purple. Of course she judges them entirely by colour rather than taste.

Irene said...

Well, that explains it. I've had a purple jelly bean year in running...

Elizabeth said...

oh well you achieved some of your goals so that's good. I failed to achieve (try) some of my goals too, but there's always next year!

Julie said...

I love the white ones! They are my favorite:) I always throw the black ones away and the purple ones taste like grapes:)

Have a great week!

Lisa said...

purple jellybeans are very disappointing. purple popsicles, on the other hand, are fantastic. Best wishes for more purple popsicles and less purple jellybeans in the year to come.

Anne said...

Love jelly beans...never even saw a purple one. :)

I don't get willingly going to puke threshold...I guess I'll never run an 18 minute 5K.

Jess said...

Not a bad year at all! If it makes you feel any better, I didn't do structured speedwork from February until October. And who really wants to do an ultra marathon anyway?

Aka Alice said...

I can't stand jelly beans...period.

On the other hand, I would go the distance for a green peanut M & M...

Ace said...

Save time, gain efficiency. Eat Puke-flavored jelly beans. Running no longer required.

Running Through Phoenix said...

Great post Nitmos. Appreciate the allegory. Hope one of your new goals is to write more for the blog. Take care!

Nick said...

I heard if you eat and pink and a purple one at the same time it tastes just like a marathon PR....then you can change that from a kick in the nuts to a partial check!

Danielle in Iowa in Seattle said...

Please send your purple jellybeans to:

Danielle in Iowa in Seattle
Seattle, WA 98103

Don't let the "Iowa" bit confuse you.

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

What!?! No Santa or Christmas themed races? Just giving up on 2010?