Monday, April 30, 2012

Randumbery Hears Sad Trombones

You know the drill, it’s Randumbery!  It’s bite size portions of news of interest to only me, probably.  Don’t like it?  Get your own blog.

Who’s running New York?

The NYC Marathon drawing was last week and, I have to ask, is ANYONE running New York?  As I survey the blogscape, I see all NO’s from the lottery.  How can that be with roughly 45,000 possible entries?  Are bloggers the unluckiest group of all?  Believe me, I’m happy to be running it this year but I guess the other 45,000 runners will be complete strangers. 

I almost feel guilty about buying up those 5,000 registrations - to go unfilled - just to keep the crowds away from me.  It seemed prudent at the time but it’s starting to feel…a bit selfish.  Almost.

One Mile Time Trial:  Act Two

I’m a sad marmoset.  My recurring spring/summer series “One Mile Time Trial” held another showing at the local high school track last Friday.  It was a rerun.  Or almost a rerun.  Whoever said that you’ll find the greatest improvement between the first and second attempt, as you apply lessons learned, is completely full of shit.  In Act One, I ran a 5:39.  I fully expected at least a 5:35 for Act Two.  What do you think I ran? (Don’t look at the big red numbers below.)


Srsly?  That sucks.  If my math is correct, that’s a one second improvement.  And that could just be due to a quick finger on the stop button since I’m manually starting/stopping the Garmin.  Heck, that could be a rounding issue.  I thought I was going to hear a triumphant trumpet processional announce a successful time trial as I crossed the finish.  Instead, it was all sad trombones making a mockery of me, my Garmin, and my rosy cheeks (due to the harsh wind in the 2nd straightaway and turns 3 and 4).    Jealous how I slipped that excuse into my own pity party? 

I’ve been kummerspecking all weekend about it.  Next time, do better, Nitmos.

Filly Four

More soccer!  It is America’s sport!  The filly was the only one in action this Saturday.  Her team eviscerated an over matched squad 4-0.  The filly knocked in all 4 goals while splitting time between striker and midfielder.  I had to buy her 4 donuts as payment as this was our pre-game deal.  She got 3 chocolates and a powdered donut post game.  Fortunately, she did not eat them all at once. 

The other team had a long, shameful ride 90 minutes home to Dearborn.  I’m sure they did some kummerspecking of their own.  Maybe next time they'll do better as I hear the greatest improvement is better the first and second attempt.

Pictures?  Why, of course (click to make like a prostate and enlarge):

Splitting the D

Determined (and open)

Look, I can dribble backwards!

Goal in 3-2-1....  Ref, get that whistle ready.

Happy Trails.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Marathon Whisperer

There’s this little thing I do and I think I’m pretty good at it.  I’ve alluded to it in the past and I’m going to recycle it for you now in longer form because repetition is what I do here.  What would a blog be without a little recycling?  F.M.S. has been around for 6 years (?!?) now talking about running, llamas, anti-coaching, and many other nonsensical subjects and  I have to dress these posts up in new baubles, hats, shoes, nipple rings, tattoos and other accessories to keep things from drying up and you guys enjoying all the sparkly new accouterments.  By year ten, this blog will look like Lisbeth Salander but without the anal rape.  Or maybe with the anal rape.  I go where the momentum takes me even if it’s anal rape.  I’d prefer it not be anal rape because my Google bombing will bring a whole new, weird audience here of people searching for ‘anal rape’.  The only thing I could do to make it worse is tie the whole thing to Betty White.  Better not.  Oops.

Today, I’m talking self soothing.  When I’m on a harsh round of 800 repeats or particularly challenging limbo run, the heartbeat escalates; breathing becomes rapid and loud; day dreaming becomes deranged and psychotic haunted by the mysterious Zombie Llama.  In short, all of the signs of exhaustion creep into my psyche threatening to submarine my remaining workout.  Oh, it’s mental for sure.  I’m a physical marvel so there is no way my body is trying to tell me anything of any value.  I’m tiring physically but need to rally the mental troops to complete the run.

When these demotivational symptoms emerge, I call on the forces of my intellect to calm, soothe and restore order.  I talked about disassociating my brain from my body before in this post.  I usually start with a reaffirming pep talk.  Something like, “You’re getting old, Nitmos, this used to be no problem.  Why don’t we go home and sit in a rocker and watch Matlock?”  Then, I take a few deep breaths and get the short, loud, huffy breaths under control.  Believe me you can do it if you try.  When I focus on my breathing and relaaaax, my breathing actually slows back under control.  It's very obedient.  Then, I remind my brain that my dumb ole body will just do what you tell it to do so stop listening to its talk back.  Viola!  What was once a rapidly sinking ship becomes a fully erect Nitmos cutting through his miles like a man on Viagra working his way through a pile of Scandinavian hookers.

It’s self soothing.  It’s what a baby learns early on through hours of alone time in a dark room with nothing but his wailing scream, wet diaper, burst eye vein, and a few well placed strips of duct tape.  They calm down eventually.  Yes they do.  And when they learn to self soothe, you have more time for your running as they’ll spend hours in a crib without any supervision whatsoever.  (The More You Know.*)

I’ve been pretty successful about getting my own body back in line when things get a little ragged. I’ve learned what to think, how to breathe, how to adjust my pace momentarily to allow a short break and let everything sink back into alignment and then take off again.  I’ve even used my technique on others.  Not the anal rape (I won’t kiss and tell; I’m a gentleman). 

I spectated a marathon my buddy was in a few years ago.  At mile 20, he was looking like the Staggering Dead.  He could only offer a gasped, pathetic “Hey” on the way by (which I thought was pretty rude considering I was out there cheering him on.  How about a little pizzazz….a little zest!?).   We talked about me pacing him through his last few miles so I was prepared (as I always am – I wear a racing singlet under everything I wear.  I’m like Superman that way.) to jump into the marathon and help him through the final 6 miles.  Considering that 1000 mile stare, jump in I did!

He was exhibiting all of the signs of a complete meltdown:  staggered, inconsistent pace, droopy head, loud, rapid breathing like he was being auto-erotically asphyxiated.**    It was time for me to do some soothing.  Not the anal rape, would you forget about that already?  I spoke calmly, steadily and with a series of oddly motivational encouragements.  I suggested that he concentrate on his breathing and take some deeper, longer breaths.  Frankly, his huffing was driving me nuts.  It was like when I see someone having a severe asthma attack and, really, I just need to leave the room because otherwise I start breathing funny.  Someone call 9-1-1, sheesh

Then we found a consistent, slightly slower pace that he could manage and keep moving.  We broke the race into small junks and celebrated those mileposts as they passed.  We talked about his family at the finish and how happy they’d be to see him.  I was like the Horse Whisperer.  I even complimented his mane and tried to rub the bridge of his nose.  He swatted me away but I think he was just being bashful.

He made it to the finish with his second best marathon time ever.  I was so excited, I jumped on his back*** and yelled “Hi-ho, Silver!” but he was being pretty selfish and inconsiderate and collapsed to the ground.  I guess finishing the marathon was all ab out "him".  I would have put him down right there at the finish but a starter pistol doesn’t carry live rounds.  It just makes a loud noise and returns shocked looks from the other finishers.

It appears I may be a bit of a Marathon Whisperer.  I soothed myself on my 7.5 mile run yesterday as I limboed down from 7:14 beginning mile to a 6:18 pace.  I’ve soothed others.  It’s a proven technique.  I’m available for hire for you too!  I’ll whisper inspiring things, keep you moving, rub your snout, and climb on your back when the race is over and take you on a victory trot.  I’ll do everything but the…well, you know.

Your expenses + my whispering = successful marathon.

Call me.

Happy trails.

**Or so I’m told.
*** Again, not for the anal rape.  Give it up already.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"I Already Killed Stacy"

 …and other comments from the backseat of my car.

Let me clarify before the local constable comes knocking:  I did not kill Stacy.  I don’t even know a Stacy as far as I know.  I’m sure there are a lot of terrific Stacy’s and I doubt very much that I’d want to kill any of them.  I could have called this post “Kids Say the Darndest Things” except for (a) it’s not a very catchy title and (b) no one says ”darndest” anymore now that Art Linkletter and Bill Cosby are dead.*

This is why I should dust my mantle for my Father of the Year award which, I can only assume is in shipment.  These are things my kids said to me and Mrs. Nitmos this weekend while criss crossing town for soccer, burger, and beers.

I should also note that we are what you would call “relaxed” parents.  Sure, we do all of the health, safety, and general social etiquette stuff that keeps us out of jail and the kids reasonably socialized but, if a “shit” or “damn” slips out of their young mouths, I don’t really say much or care much.  The world is full of worse.  I’m a BIG PICTURE kinda guy.  They are good kids even if a profanity slips out or my colt kills prostitutes named Stacy.

Okay, maybe context is important.   My colt plays a few violent video games:  Call of Duty, Kill Zone, Grand Theft Auto, etc.   He was being a little sullen, as teenagers are want to do, so I thought I’d goad him into speech by asking:

Me: Have you had to shoot any prostitutes yet in GTA?
Colt:  I already killed Stacy.  She wasn’t the first though.  I ran Jolene over with a car.

Now, you are probably thinking that I took the opportunity to scold him and, maybe, give a stern lecture on economics and the value of capital.  Instead:

Me: Did she get out of line?

Dusting that mantle….

Meanwhile, my filly – going through reproductive health class and learning all sorts of AMAZING things for which there is no end to the questions (that I’m having a difficult time redirecting her back to her mother) – blurts out:

Filly (very serious):  I wonder how much blood is in my uterus right now?

I miss the days when we'd talk about My Little Ponies.  They don't have a uterus.

Dusting that mantle…

This all happened on the same car ride home Saturday night;  a car ride that lasts only 7 minutes from a burger pub up the road.  By now everyone is laughing hysterically at the dead prostitutes and inappropriate filly question.  So, naturally, things could only get worse.  My filly starts to improvise a hip hop song she heard but substitutes “dancing” for "candy".

Filly (singing and lilting her elbows back and forth in a seated dance):  Eating some candy and getting fucked up.  Gonna eat some candy and get fuuucked up.

The f word always gets a severe “Hey now” from us but it loses its power when you say it between fits of unrestrained laughter.  Just a little tip from Nitmos to you perspective parents.  The More You Know.

Dusting that mantle…

Finally, we pull into the garage, home at last.  I’m a classy guy.  Unfortunately, I’m also a gassy guy. Fffffrrrrumphhhh…pip.

Filly:  Dad, stop farting and making us feel it.

Apparently, that one shook the seats.

That was an eventful car ride home.  I think this should decisively end any Father of the Year debate.  Or maybe I’ll stop dusting that mantle.  It’s hopeless.  The best I can hope for is no calls from the principal before they head out on their own as young adults.  Then, they are the rest of the world’s problems. /Gacy’ed

Happy trails.

*Not sure about Cosby but who’s got time for research?

Photos from the weekend?  Why not.  Here’s the filly breaking in on goal….

...and here’s the filly blasting a ball off the goalies face with a sharp line drive strike.  Note the ball willowing away to the side and the grimace and backward descent of the face smashed goalie.  Please note that the goalie is technically out of the goal box so her only option to play the ball anyhow was by feet or face.  She went for face.  Or rather, the decision was made for her.

Here’s the colt. How did he not get a shot away on this?  I should have told him that the ball was a backhand and the goal, Stacy.  C’est la vie. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

That'll Do Pig

It’s important to take time to congratulate yourself on a run well done or a race well raced or a well well welled.    I mean, you don’t need to go crazy with confetti and champagne over every little run.   You could go crazy with balloons.  Balloons are always fun and appropriate, after all.*  But there’s nothing wrong with metaphorically patting yourself on the back on occasion.

We all have race mantras to help push through the tough times….Don’t give up….Dig deeperHurry up, I’m crowning…things like that.  Do you have a Go To back pat to celebrate a nice training run?

I used to use the crass and vulgar FUCK YEAH!  That didn’t win me too many friends when I ended each run by breaking the line of hand-holding kindergartners on their way to a park led by their teacher like I was breaking the tape at Boston.  I’d thrust my hands in the air as I split between little Susie and little Johnny and scream FUCK YEAH because damn if those two kids at the “break point” weren’t absolutely howling over their skinned knees.  Uh, got a little celebration going on over here, let’s not ruin it you Debbie Downers.  Skinned knees heal but a nice run lasts forever in the training log. 

Over time, you might say I’ve become more of a minimalist celebrant.  I no longer shout vulgar words.  I don’t mow down kindergartners with a strong finishing kick.  They've re-routed.  Instead, when it feels right, when that run went just as planned, I usually allow a little smile and a softly muttered, That’ll do pig.

That’ll do pig, that’ll do.

You’ll remember that line from Babe (1995) as the dignified and demure Farmer Hoggett recognizes the triumphant Babe’s sheep herding skills before a raucous crowd by gently smiling, That’ll do pig, that’ll do.  That always seemed like a classy and concise way to sum up a job well done.

I’m an understated kinda fella so this low key celebration fits better than the violence, vulgarity and blood of my old ways.  In fact, I find That’ll do pig is appreciated in many settings. Receive good service at a restaurant?  Shoot a That’ll do pig at the waitress and enjoy the surprised look in return.  On your way out from Sunday church, a pastor or priest or rabbi or shaman or Chief Scientologist (?) equally appreciate a That’ll do pig.  My kids clean up their filthy sty bedrooms? That’ll do pigs.  Finish a considerate meeting at an Overeater’s Anonymous Club? That’ll do pig.

I use it everywhere.  I’ve found that it’s a nice way to convey appreciation in all but two situations: (1) after sex and (2) when Mrs. Nitmos spends time making a thoughtful Lasagna dinner with a wonderful salad and exhaustedly sets it in front of you after her long tough day at work.  Something’s lost in the translation in those two settings where That’ll do pig somehow becomes something of an insult, I guess.

I hope you find your own self congratulatory way to celebrate a good run whether it’s vulgarity, assaulting school children, or swine references.  Give yourself a That’ll do pig on occasion because, Pig, you deserve it. Everyone else is sitting on their couch whereas you are actually out doing something.

Maybe another time I’ll tell you about my in race mantra.  It’s also from Babe.  I really should watch other movies.  Did Chipwrecked come out on DVD yet?


Happy trails, pig.

*Mrs. Nitmos and I have a long standing disagreement over a business venture plan of mine.  I believe most people would like to have a balloon as much as possible in their daily lives.  I would like to sink the family fortune into a "Balloon Saloon" serving all different shapes and sizes of balloons – largest selection in the Midwest!  Our professional Balloontender will pour air or helium or a nitrogen or whip-its or whatever you order into your professional balloon.  She thinks this is folly.  I think Balloon Saloon/internet cafĂ© is the next Great Wave of retail – think Krispy Kreme.  I’m sure you agree with me.  Who doesn’t like a balloon?  And who wouldn’t want a professional balloon served by a professional balloontender?

Congratulations to 2012 Boston Marathon winner Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop.  Both of their times were depressed due to the heat of the day.  Like last year, I’m sure their times will be shaved down a bit to account for the hot weather, right?  I mean, last year’s winner didn’t have his world record recorded as such due to the “helpful” weather so this year’s winners should have a couple minutes shaved off their times due to the “hurtful” weather right?  Well, either way, congrats.  That’ll do pigs, that’ll do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A 'Little' Smile Goes a Long Way

Have you seen Zeddie Little yet? Do you not live and breathe? He’s all over the internet for his 10k photo. He’s like Waldo of Where’s Waldo? fame except the opposite: we all can see him rather easily. Apparently, the fact that he isn’t gasping for air and lacks sweat glands has earned him the web nickname “Mr. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy” and his photo has gone viral. (click those links, pretty funny stuff inside . Also, they are the source for the photos.) While it’s true that most of us would rather douse ourselves on fire rather than look at our tongue-hanging, face-contorted, sweat-dripping race photos, I think the kerfuffle over Mr. Little (left side, plum shirt)is a bit misplaced. I’m not saying he isn’t handsome. That smile makes me want to smile too and that’s the nicest thing I’ve ever said about someone on this blog. Here’s the second nicest: I’m heading to MC Sports to look for a plum covered wicking shirt right after I type this.

I’m saying that, if he could release such an effortless, relaxed smile, perhaps he’s not giving an all out effort? C’mon Zeddie, the ole saying isn’t “More Smiles, More Miles”, it’s “No Pain, No Gain”. Can a fellow runner get a small grimace up in here? You’re making everyone else look bad. (See woman in white who appears to be looking for an aid station directly in front of you.)

He finished the race with a nice 47:16 time which places him easily within the top 10 percent of all finishers. He might have been 1323rd place overall but he’s definitely #1 in Fantastic Smiles.

The internets, being what they are, went ahead and photobombed the rest of the people in the shot.

What a friendly, happy, relaxed eternally optimistic group of runners! Though, truthfully, when I saw the title “Mr. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy" came across my computer screen, I expected to see this:

Admit it, this makes more sense. And I look great in plum.

Happy trails.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Tyler Perry Presents:Summer of Speed 2012

After a long deliberative process, I finally decided on my title for this Spring/Summer’s season of training! As you may recall, I like to title my summer training with a unique, wholly original themed title to focus my posts and guide my training. There was great debate in F.M.S. headquarters this year but, in the end, creativity and alliteration won out.

Introducing (drum roll, please)…the Summer of Speed 2012!

That’s right, that’s my title for this year. Long time readers will no doubt feel shafted. You’ve seen this tired old theme before – specifically during Summer of Speed and Summer of Speed II. But if you are still reading this after all the insults I’ve thrown your way over the years, I feel like you are pretty much going to keep reading anyhow and your feelings no longer matter. Yes, drink the sweet, sweet recycled theme. Also, your outfit is ill fitting and what did you do to your hair?

Before I get to my ALL IMPORTANT GOALS for SoS12, a few things to note about the title: First, look (!), alliteration NOT involving a day of the week! That’s right neither ‘Summer’ nor ‘Speed’ are days of the week yet still share a common first letter! Neat trick, huh? I like to think it’s these kinds of touches that differentiate this blog from all of the others.

Second, while you may think “how lame of Nitmos to keep reusing his old blog themes. How lazy is this guy?”, I’d like to point out that (A) I’m pretty lazy* and (B) I consider this an homage to 2008 rather than a rehash of originally unfunny content. When it is an “homage”, it makes the original seem like a “classic” and the repeat seem like a reverential bow. All classy.

Third, this SoS is sponsored! I mean not “officially” but close enough. I figure Tyler Perry sponsors everything else so he might as well sponsor this right? I think he needs to branch out from horrible TBS sitcoms, with very generous laugh tracks, anyhow. If he sues, then I’ll sue right back. I’ve seen Meet the Browns. I'm safe.

Goals? Goals! There are some….ALL IMPORTANT GOALS:

· Beat 1:26:37 in the Half Marathon. Set a PR.
· Beat 5:20 in the One Mile Time Trial summer non-invitational race series.
· Not blow out my knee in the trail Dances with Dirt race. Be van sweaty with other men.**
· Continue my streak of summer nights where I utter the phrase “please leave Daddy alone in the dark with his bottle.”

I’d like to set a 5k and 10k PR but that fact is that I may spend more of my time this year trying to get faster at longer distances rather than faster at shorter distances. That’s the long and short of it. But, if I enter a 5k or 10k, then I would instantly be trying to PR those races. That’s how we roll here…hellbound for crushing failure…set up for success like a condemned man on scaffolding.

I look forward to a lot of miles this summer. I expect to be mainly dehydrated most days with mild to moderate kidney damage come September. But I’m rich in kidneys: I have TWO fully functioning ones! One can be sacrificed for 10 seconds off the ole half marathon time. That’s why Oprah gave us two!

That should take me right into Fall. I’m still working out my sponsorship for Fall training. I’ve been told flat out that I don’t have enough emo vampires and lame Nicholas Sparks love story plots on my training plan so the Twilight movies will not be participating. I don’t want to jinx it but we might be looking at “Fall Farness: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire”. Details coming soon.

Until then, enjoy your own Summer of Speed (or, your own wholly original title). You may announce it during your Monday Mash-Up, Tuesday Tidbits, Wednesday Words, Thursday Thoughts or Friday Feetures*** post. If you want, Tyler Perry will even sponsor it. I assume.

I’m poised on the scaffolding with my safety loop around my neck ready to burst through the door with an emphatic KER-THUNK. Let’s get this speed party started! Someone pull the lever.

Happy trails.

*I’m going to update the look of this blog soon.
**Also known as “typical Friday night”.
***I have dibs on this name. Keep your hands off.


Happy Easter F.M.S. Originals and Newbies! Enjoy your Easter Bunny Hop Run or Bunny Race or Hoppy Run or Run for the Rabbit or whatever else your hometown is doing Sunday.