I kid, I kid. It means more than nothing…but certainly south of something significant. It’s my first race of the year and, after a long cold winter and consistently depressing rainy spring, it will serve as a “baseline” race to determine where I’m at and where I need to go for the rest of the year. This isn’t a big showdown race between me and PR. Though there is an off-chance I could PR, doing so would probably inspire one of the following surprised proclamations:
- “Holy shit, a PR!”
- “Damn, I’m faster than I thought…someone get me a mirror, maybe I’m better looking than I thought too!”*
- “I was kidding when I said ‘do not resuscitate’….” Beeeeeeeeeeep!
It’s one of those races where I’m going to just show up and see what happens. I do that a lot in life. Others may have kicked ass on exams, quizzes, and SATs but I never – never – lost attendance points. Who’s the dummy now? You in your Cadillac and multimillion dollar home or me typing lame blog posts in my basement while wearing slippers? I think we both know the answer to that. Attendance! Attendance paid for this drop ceiling and sensibly priced basement carpeting. Attendance pays for this HEPA filter to combat the mold spores surrounding me all day and the Claritin I take when the filter doesn’t work. I don’t know what’ll happen on May 28th but I know I’ll ATTEND the event and that’s really half the battle.
Plus, I just love to get my Gu and Gatorade on. Seriously, there’s no place else where you can just suck down Gu and guzzle Gatorade to your heart’s content without getting a sidelong, disapproving glance. I think I’m addicted. Really, that’s why I continue to sign up for races…so I can feed the monster within. Nobody cares if I double fist some Gu while attending, participating or even cheering at a race. In the proper environment, it’s completely acceptable. Light up a doobie at a PTA meeting? You’ll get those angry sidelong – hell, full on frontlong – glances. Go to an Amsterdam café? No one gives a shit. Leave the PTA meeting and casually pick up a hooker on the way home? More enraged frontlong glances from the passing PTA motorists. Hang out at Charlie Sheen’s house sitting on a chair made of interlocked, contorted hookers? No problem.
See? It’s all relative. And speaking of relative….(insert your own Appalachia joke here)
So I’m missing some of the nervous, excited anticipation for race day. To be honest, my excitement levels have decreased with each passing marathon since I first toed the line (i.e. stood nearly 18 minutes behind the gun start literally at the very back of thirty thousand people) at the 2006 Chicago Marathon. There I was all wide-eyed and trembling with excitement. The only thing more numerous than my goose bumps was my adult back acne.** I’m an old, grizzled race veteran now. I still look forward to the races but, instead of dancing back and forth with anticipation and taking in the scene with every sense with which I’ve been endowed, I’m more likely to be yawning and reaching back to try to erupt a few ripe ones on the ole back before things get started. You know, “two birds, one stone” er, “two whiteheads, one set of pinching fingers”…however the saying goes. Some folks get blood “rose blossoms” around their skinned nipples towards the end of a race…..I have them dotted all over the back of my shirt pre-race.
So where does that leave me with this race (besides amongst a litter of rhetorical questions – sorry about that)? I will attend. I will run hard. I hope to run well. But a 15 second PR means the same to me as a 30 second PR miss. I’m ballparking my current fitness level so I can revisit a half marathon later in the year and take a run towards 1:25. Also, the Bayshore takes place in my hometown and who doesn’t like to run well in their hometown? (Rhetorically speaking.)
Just excuse me if I don’t have to nervously pee every five seconds, I seem tired, and my back “itches”.
** sadly, still the case
Mrs. Nitmos would like you to know that I don’t have bad back acne. Sure, occasionally, I have one of those middle of the back ragers where the hands, cloth and soap don’t reach and you have to try to pop it by angling yourself up against a door frame. But, generally speaking, I’m as smooth as a baby’s bottom (if a baby’s bottom had killer lats). She says that, when she runs her hands over my back, it’s like "dragging a palm across an abacus". I don’t know what an abacus is but it must be smoo-ooo-ooth.
Also, Mrs. Nitmos recently celebrated a birthday. You may recall that last year I took her to New York and wined and dined her in an extravagant, credit card buckling fashion. Our luxurious dinners nearly cost the same as a car payment – if I owned a used 1986 Dodge Aries K car, which I do. This year? Olive Garden in Nowheresville, MI. The sands of time shift suddenly and unexpectedly…and seemingly impact the gastro-intestinal tract. Happy birthday! Next year? Arby's. Drive-thru.