Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Year That Wasn't

How do you encapsulate a running year when you didn’t actually run a race during the ENTIRE YEAR?

You lie. The Koreans can have their “gangnam-style”; here on Feet Meet Street, I do it “Nitmos-style”. It just so happens that “Nitmos-style” involves prevaricating, expactorating, and swaggering. Good thing I have a blog! Reality gets so cliché…

So let’s review, Nitmos-style:
  • Planned a spring half-marathon. Planned so hard I conveniently forgot to sign up because, you know, nothing fit into my “busy” schedule. I felt like I wasn’t in PR shape anyway.
  • In July, decided I’d run the local festival race – that I once ran 8 years in a row but took the last two years off – then failed to sign up. I felt like I wasn’t in PR shape anyway.
  • In September, RAN a 100k relay race, Dances with Dirt, with some friends. It’s a relay so…not relay a “race” per se (get it?). At least, not when all five of you are crossing the finish line trying not to spill your beer. Oh, and we got beat by a group of ladies in French maid outfits.
  • Could have done the local half marathon in late September. I’ve done it three years in a row and set a better time each run. But the kids had soccer – stupid kids – and, really, I felt like I wasn’t in PR shape anyhow.
  • But at least I got to run the New York Marathon right! Er, right? Of course, I totally was in PR shape too. If only the winds weren’t unusually strong…
And that’s it. Three near races. One relay. One canceled race that, no doubt, would have been an automatic PR.

Final tally? Not a single race run.

But here’s the good news: I’m on track for my second HIGHEST mileage year ever (only 40 miles off my most). So I’ve been running, training, expactorating…just not racing. I’m like Rocky without the ending fight. I scream “DRAGOOOOOOO!” from the mountain top and then….roll credits. It’s like being half way through sex (or “87 seconds” to the rest of you) and then saying “nah, I’m good” and rolling over…

I know you are thinking ‘but Nitmos there is still time for a Jingle Bells run or New Year’s run, don’t give up now’. Then, you are new here. Welcome. Do I look and sound like the type of guy that attends a run like that? You can put a red reindeer nose on me for a race when you pry my running shoes from my cold, dead feet.

Perhaps This is 40, Running.* Running fits around a busy kid schedule. Running fits around a busy work schedule. Running fits around a busy…I don’t need to give excuses I just don’t feel like it schedule. As a competitor, running, for me, is about challenging my best times. When I don’t feel that I can do that, I don’t really feel like racing. It’s not about red noses and shitty times, for me. Never has been. I enjoy running and being “in shape”. I can do that without the race fees. The race is about the time challenge, for me.  The stark reality of 'peaking out' is fast approaching.  Will I find enjoyment in attending races with absolutely no hope of PR'ing?  Stay tuned.

So what will 2013 bring?

I wish I could say. I know I’ll be running, training, expactorating, prevaricating and swaggering. Will I be racing? If I were to bet, I’d bet on a Yes. A little time away from a timed event…you start to miss it. Besides, I receive almost all of my personal validation from a stopwatch. And that is in no way pathetic whatsoever.

In the meantime, I'll continue posting...sporadically.  And, yes, I realize that this is my lowest number of postings in a year since 2006.  But, ask yourself, have you done your part?  Who's really to blame here?  Are blogs becoming more like MySpace or AOL, a relic of the past that only the coolest of people hang on to?  Those same people may also have an extensive Beanie Baby and Silly Bandz collection that can be purchased by inquiring at the email address in the preceding sentence.  Used Kajagoogoo CD's also available.

I tweet some.  Always witty, sometimes malicious, rarely important. 

I'll be along soccer pitches through-out mid, western and southeastern Michigan every weekend starting January watching the filly knock in goals and the colt destroy attacking forwards. 

Considering the popularity of racing, it’s also time – probably well past time – to start scheduling next year’s events. Hell, it might even be time to start planning 2014 events before they sell out.

But you can count on me running no matter what. I’m always running. I hope you are too.

Happy Holidays!**

*I’m totally copyrighting that title.
** I don’t even have the energy to compose a full length post this year about the ridiculous “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” debate. Suffice it to say, I will now always say “Happy Holidays” simply because I know it annoys a certain segment of our population despite the religious etymology of the word “holiday” (i.e. “The word holiday derived from the notion of "Holy Day". The word originally referred only to special religious days. In modern use, it means any special day of rest or relaxation, as opposed to normal days away from work or school.) It seems so easy, people. Keep teeing ‘em up for me.  Let's all pretend that the word "holiday" doesn't have religious connotations so we can engage in an asinine debate!