Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I Believed I Could Fly

Wherein I cleverly disguise a discussion on Newton’s Laws of Gravity as a race report.

Like a lot of kids, I had this idea growing up that somewhere within me was this hidden superpower and that, if I believed enough, I could make it become a reality.  I was sure I was one Professor Xavier mentor away from coaxing it out of me.  As a young boy, I wanted to fly.  I wanted to soar amongst the clouds with my pillow case cape.  As a teen, I reverted to my base desires and hoped to make myself invisible so that I could foil a bank robbery or, um, say, walk in to the girls’ changing rooms unnoticed.   As a young man, I simply wanted the power to overcome Jagermeister with my impenetrable steel liver.

And now I’m back to flying again…mainly because I can’t stand small children kicking the back of my seat during a flight.  Rob all the banks you want but Nitmos is going Detroit to New York non-stop in one single, childless bound.  R. Kelly, he of questionable judgment, general douchebaggery, and toilet training issues, was right about one thing: I believed I could fly.  I believed I could touch the sky.  Isaac Newton and his apple had other ideas but there was only one way to settle this scientific debate:  an experiment of one.

The Dances with Dirt 100k trail relay race is a much anticipated race around these parts.  I ran it last year and told you about it here.  It’s a hilly, off-road, wet, difficult race filled with fun, falling, beer, mud, poison ivy and, usually, a few swollen ankles.  Appropriately, it takes place in Hell, Michigan.  We had a five man team ready to cover the 15 legs of the course.  I was blessed with one river crossing (i.e. the perfect opportunity to test the theories of gravity.)

My money – the smart money, in this case – was on R. Kelly.  He believed he could fly.  I believed I could fly!  My Asics would not absorb a drop of non-sweat liquid, this I vowed. 

My river crossing was set for my third and final leg.  I figured I would launch myself into the air and fly away all the way home as a spectacular way to end the long day.  But a funny thing happened at the end of leg two.  They redesigned the course slightly and, oh, no, a surprise river!  Unprepared, I plopped into the water like a common bipodal Metropolisite and trudged across.  Asics soaked.  Not very heroic.

And there was no time to change shoes as my final leg came after a brief twenty minute wait.  So, off I ran into leg 3 with heavy, squishy shoes through the weeds, onto a two track, up a hill and nearly bisecting myself on a barely visible waist-high wire fence marked with a single barely noticeable ribbon.  The wire gave enough at the waist to allow me time to stop, back up a step and duck under to continue towards my date with destiny. 

The river approached; I could see it after leaping through the mud bog from one of the higher elevation grassy patches to the next.  R.Kelly vs. Issac Newton:  Game on.

Down the embankment with a few cautious steps ready to leap and jet away into the sky…

I believe I can fly; I believe I can touch the sky!

Off I go, gleeful, majestic, the fulfillment of a childhood dream!  Soon, all of our scientific notions about gravity would have to be thrown out and reexamined!  Nitmos, the non-fiction embodiment of Superman, takes flight!

Seriously, have you ever seen a take-off with such impeccable form?

It’s going great!  I’m flying!  Look at the joy.  I'm mesmerized by the shimmering mirror image of myself in the river water. I’ve broken free of Newton…of the laws of Gravity…confirming soon-to-be-Nobel-winner R. Kelly’s theory! 


Prepare for impact.

Les Brown is attributed the following quote: “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll still be amongst the stars.”   I’d like to modify that a bit.  From my experience, “shoot for the moon and, when you miss, you’ll be amongst squalid, cow dung, fecally-infested river sludge with a better than 50% chance of just having acquired dysentery.”  True, not as inspirational or bumper-sticker concise but definitely more accurate.

I don’t know what went wrong.  Maybe I didn’t believe enough.  Maybe Newton is right.  Maybe Les Brown and R. Kelly are full of shit.

Either way, I believed I could fly…and I ended up with a mouthful of cow shit flavored river water.  Don't follow your dreams, kids, you might end up with cholera.

Maybe next year I’ll forget all of this flying nonsense and just drink more Jagermeister (aka Steel Liver!).

Happy trails.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (see sidebar) already knew this.  Lucky you!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

When Will Marathons Come in Bite-Size Portions?

Another in my continuing series of race-improvement ideas.  See here for the previous installment.

The kids were off at school and I was rifling through my daughter’s Halloween candy bag, as I normally do, when another epiphany (ed: that’s not the giant drums, right?) came to me by the reflective glow of a Peppermint Patty foil.  My fingers slowly raked through the tumbling bite-size candy portions like an Asian masseuse through unkempt pubes.  So many “bite-size” portions…so evenly divided to save my teeth the trouble of separating a piece from the main body of candy…offering both a fun and healthier alternative to the “full-size” bar.

My maths aren’t no good but I believe it means:

Bite-size = Fun! = Healthier = BETTER

And here’s where the timpani comes in: Marathons should be offered in bite-size portions!

Let me explain since you come here for sciencey stuff.  Each bite-size Snickers is advertised as more FUN than a regular size Snickers.  It’s also marketed as healthier since, of course, portion control.  And since I would rather die than question an expensive marketing campaign geared towards misdirection and positive trigger words, bite-size is truly infallible compared to full-size.  (By the way, YES you may insert a “that’s what she said” at any point in this paragraph or the remaining text, reader choice, and it would be completely appropriate.) 

For example, without going over the maths, I believe one full-size Snickers equals roughly 29 bite-size Snickers calorie-wise, fat-wise.  Who’s going to eat 29 bite-size Snickers in one sitting?  Sure, throughout the day it wouldn’t be unusual to pound down four or five dozen but in one sitting?  Ridiculous.  And each and every portion involves a fairly rigorous and complicated set of finger maneuvers to open the little package in order to extract the chocolate shame pie.  You probably burn as many calories as you ingest simply by walking by the candy bowl, debating with yourself if you should have another, passing on after a mournful pat of the belly, and returning a minute later only to shift through the candy orgy in search of a prize, unwrap, chew, chew, chew, swallow.  That’s a lot of work and a lot of calories burned!  It almost makes more health sense to DO this several times a day than NOT to do it.  At the very least, it makes more sense than eating ONE regular size candy bar in one sitting.  No fat-burning candy bowl drive-bys.  No mentally exhausting debates filled with lust, anger, shame and, finally, sadness. Is this an approved diet plan/fitness technique?  It should be on an infomercial somewhere.  (PsnickersX?!)

So, how does this relate to marathons?  Well, let’s face it, running 26.2 miles is hard.  That’s a regular-size marathon.  If we learned anything from my maths and sciencish discussion in the preceding paragraphs, it’s that regular-size is bad and bite-size is good.  And this would be a good time to insert a 'that’s what she said'.  The math adds up.  You can basically eat as much as you want in bite-size portions without the harmful effects of a full-size portion. 

When I run a marathon, I usually start out strong, controlled, and confident but somewhere around 20 miles in my pace slows a bit, breathing becomes labored and, mentally, it can be a struggle.  I exhibit none of those signs after completing my third dozen of bite-size Snickers.  I’m just as ravenous, confident, and energetic as the preceding 35!  In an all-out effort, I can probably run a mile in around 5:10 (if I haven’t had three dozen bite-size Snickers that morning).  That would put me near the front of any marathon if not outright winning it.  But that’s only for a mile.  I couldn’t keep that pace for any more than one mile.  There’s something about a "regular-size" marathon that zaps my energy.

I’d like to split my marathon into 26 fun-size bites.  Over a few weeks, I could put together a pretty respectable marathon time.  One that just might have certain long-legged Kenyans quivering in their unflattering side-split running shorts.  Suddenly, in bite-size portions, I ‘m not just one of the (admittedly rugged-jawed, genetically “put together”) rabble trailing the leaders;  I’m a bite-size champion! (t.w.s.s.)

And that’s maths we can all get behind!  Race directors, take note!

Happy trails.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

It (Don't) Gotta Be the Shoes

Remember those early 90’s Nike commercials featuring everyone’s favorite anti-Bad Boy, Michael Jordan, and Spike Lee (aka Mars Blackmon) ruminating on the secret to MJ’s success? 

“It’s gotta be the shoes!  It’s gotta be the shoes!”

No, it WAS the friendliest ref’s whistle known to man but that’s neither here nor there.   I did a lot of b-ballin’ back in those years and, although I avoided Nike like any good Pistons fan – and human being, in general - would, I admit to being overly selective about my choice of footwear.  Maybe it really was all about the shoes?  Why take the chance?  I mean, if a celebrity, barely disguised and using a pseudonym, tells me to do something, I normally do it no questions asked.  That’s always been my policy.  Even if I feel uncomfortable doing what Carlos Danger has asked me to do with that rolling pin.

This shoe-fixation has carried on into running.  When I first started as a naïve, newbie runner, I wore Adidas Response (I know, right?)  Never mind that I was a bit portly around the midsection and could barely maintain a solid half mile of non-stop running, it had to be the shoes.  Certainly wasn’t ME.  Nope.

So, off to the specialized running store I went for the expert advice.  And so they recommended the Asics GT line.  Woooo, I thought I was personally fit with a shoe just for my stride and body type!  Little did I know that everyone was running in this, the #1 selling brand.  Turns out, that was more like going into Hot Topic, telling them that I have no innate musical discernment and unsure of my sexuality, and happily walking out with a One Direction CD. 

It’s been Asics GT-whatever’s for years now.  And they’ve been good shoes.  I have moonlighted with different brands from time-to-time and, you know what, they’ve all been varying degrees of “good shoes” too.  For years, I thought I HAD to run in Asics GT-whatevers or I just couldn’t do my best.  Maybe it’s a product of getting older, not liking unexpected things on my lawn, and no longer feeling the tug of misplaced loyalty and trusting fealty. 

I recently ran the Dances with Dirt in an old pair of Mizuno’s and I barely noticed any difference in comfort or support.   My current pair of Asics have long since expired their Run By date.  There’s almost no padding left.  I feel almost like a barefoot runner except minus the desperate need for attention and faux enjoyment.  I was going to ditch the shoes but my inner cheapskate won out.*

I remembered that several months ago some trusting company had sent me a free pair of Ortholite inserts to try out and review on my blog.  (Yeah, how’d that work out for you?)  Well, I inserted them into my dead Asics last night.  They went in smoothly like a lubed up rolling pin.  After a nice tempo six miler, I felt like I was running in brand new shoes.  Nice and bouncy and comfortable like a less methy Tigger.  I don’t need new shoes now!  Maybe I don’t need new shoes ever?

Turns out, it’s gotta be the inserts!**  It’s gotta be the Ortholites!

I always new Mars Blackmon was full of shit.

Happy trails.

(Were you just Ovaltined?  I think you were Ovaltined.)

*If you knew what we spent annually on soccer in this house, you’d guffaw.  Loudly.
**Take it easy, Carlos.

In the last two months, I’ve completed two races.  Will I ever post a race report or photos?  Will I ever post again?  One can never tell…

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Running from Rheumatoid Arthritis

I thought I’d take this occasion to post about something that someone somewhere might actually get some use from during a Google search.  According to my history, most searchers usually arrive here through an unsavory combination of search words like “anal” and “leakage” and “Charlie Sheen”.  There is benefit to knowing about all three of those things but perhaps this post will delve into a slightly less off-putting topic.

I am a runner.  I’ve also been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).  So far, I haven’t been diagnosed with Handsomitis, Charmingectomy, or Modest Egoism.  In fact, unless your computer screen is 30 inches wide (and widescreen), you probably can’t keep my ego within frame.  Buy a larger monitor to view the whole thing.

The nice thing about the internet – and a blog – is that it doesn’t forget.  That’s also the worst thing.  But, in this case, we can all look back at the innocent little post I did, pre-diagnosis, where I complain about stiff joints and feeling old.*  Hey, whaddya know, I had RA and didn’t know it at the time!  How sweet and naïve.

Here’s the thing about RA for those not in the know: it’s an autoimmune disease; it’s incurable and, usually, progressively gets worse; it’s not as dire as some cancers but more ominous than, say, Handsomitis.**  For me, it started with sore, swollen joints on the outside of my feet every morning, then hips (which made it a bit difficult to sleep), then neck, finally, ending in the hands.  By the time it reached the hands, the foot, hip, and neck pain had mainly gone away, thankfully.  It took up permanent residence in the middle two fingers of both hands.  At the time, I thought this was just some sort of karmic retribution for all the flipping off I’d done (and was yet to do).  But, joke was on RA, as it only served to make my middle finger knuckles slightly larger and thus more visible from a greater distance.  Duh, winning! (We are still doing this right? It’s been awhile since I’ve posted.)

The long term outlook can be anywhere from nuisance joint pain to complete joint failure/replacement/immobility/beep-beep-beep motorized cart.  In some cases, it can progress into the lungs and heart wall lining and, well, not good.

The first symptoms appeared in December 2009.  After several months of believing the swelling was due to running or soccer or weight lifting soreness, etc., Mrs. Nitmos finally convinced me to head into the doctor’s office early summer 2010.***  Ultimately diagnosed with RA – which I told you all about here – I ended up on two medications.  First, a weekly eight pill regimen of methotrexate, which can best be described as tasting like Sweet-Tarts – if Sweet-Tarts tasted like death.  Methotrexate is RA's gateway drug.  Second, twice monthly, I would give myself an injection of Humira (I’m sure you’ve seen the non-stop ads on TV) into the upper thigh.  Combined, the two medications cost the insurance company a princely sum of around $2000 monthly.  Fortunately, I only paid around $100 monthly due to my decent work health insurance but I’ve always wondered how anyone without insurance (or with poor insurance coverage) manages.

And, believe me, I have my own insurance company horror stories as they tried frantically to force me onto other, cheaper medications so their bottom line would look better.  For profit insurance, hooray!  Several HOURS spent on the phone tussling with these soulless profiteers…but that’s a story for another blog…

Methotrexate is a baseline drug almost all RA patients take.   Then, you end up with a second drug and that could be Humira or Enbrel or Trexall or dozens of others.  If one doesn’t work, you go on to the other.  Fortunately, my doctor was always optimistic and confident that there is a drug out there that matches a person. For me, the first try was successful.  Humira (along with meth, as I lovingly called it) worked right off.  Within a few weeks, my symptoms were under control.  Within a few months, my joint pain had vanished.

And since this is a running blog, I should note that I never stopped running.  Again, my doctor is the best.  He totally contradicted the layperson’s advice (which I heard, repeatedly) that I should stop running “because you’ll just damage your joints further”.  As he said, the worst thing an RA patient can do is STOP exercising.  This, in fact, IS what many RA patients do which only serves to accelerate an AUTO-IMMUNE disease that, already, is compromising your ability to fight it.  The best defense, he said, is to take your medication, eat healthy, don’t gain a lot of weight (which many do as they stop moving and become immobile thus creating even MORE stress on the joints), and keep exercising.  The qualifier here, of course, is that if it hurts don’t do it.  Find a different exercise.  Fortunately, the pain in my feet went away. So, I kept running.  I kept fit.  In fact, outside of pill-popping and drug-injecting, this guy here felt completely normal or, at least, like a typical Wall Street trader hiding a secret meth addiction.

Early on, there were times where a run would totally wipe me out for the rest of the day.  There was some guilt too because the kids would want to kick a soccer ball around in the yard and, man, I was just beat and had to decline – something I normally never do.  But the thought to stop running never even occurred to me.  In fact, I considered it a key part of fighting RA.  Physically, I wasn’t 100% sure it was the right thing to do but MENTALLY it was exactly what I needed.

Drug-taking began in August 2010.  With no symptoms recurring, the doctor agreed to let me wean off the drugs starting August 2012.  First, we stepped down off the Death-Tarts.  By the time I was sitting in a New York City hotel room not running the 2012 NYC Marathon, I was off meth.  In February this year, I stopped the Humira injections (just in time before my insurance company decided to start charging me an exorbitant sum for it because THEY don’t have a deal with this manufacturer but DO have a deal with another drug manufacturer and were forcing me to an unknown medication….again, a story for another blog…)

It’s been 9 months and, so far, so good.  No joint pain.  No swelling.  As of now, I’m one of the lucky ones as my doctor tells me less than 5% of patients can go off medications.  Usually, pill-popping, injecting is a life-long thing.  He thinks it was due to my young(ish) age, being fit, and catching the disease EARLY – hitting it hard with heavy medication (which, again, the insurance company could not understand, you know,” costly”…but that’s a story for another blog…) - before the body adjusted to having it around.

There’s always the chance that the symptoms may recur at any time.  But, for now, there is only one conclusion you should all take from this somewhat somber tale:  I beat an incurable disease!  I healed myself!  Yeah, that’s right, Nitmos is just THAT awesome.

Adjust your monitor for continued viewing.

Happy trails.

*Also, note one of the commenters cleverly advising me to have it checked out in a follow-up post I did complaining about knuckle pain in March 2010.
**Not to be confused with Hansonitis that we all had a case of in the 90’s, Mmmm-kay?
***If you experience similar symptoms, the thing any RA doc will tell you is that the quicker you can get treatment the better.  RA can be stopped in its tracks with modern medicine before joint damage takes place but you must ACT within the first 6-8 months from the onset of symptoms.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Duel of the Son

The Fruit of My Loins Showdown

My colt is not a runner.  He plays sports.  Specifically, he plays lots and lots of soccer.  For my fellow Americans that may not be aware, soccer involves a significant amount of running at times.  It also involves a significant amount of players falling on the ground acting like they broke their leg in overly dramatic fashion every few minutes but that’s not relevant to this tale.

He runs…but only after things.*  When I come back from a long run and casually mention that I just knocked off 14 miles (really, only 8 but what does he know?) the response I normally get is “why are you doing that?  That sounds so boring.”  A runner, he is not.  Not yet at least.  I spent my youth running after balls too.  Well, not balls per se…well, kinda balls per se…you know what, you can all go to hell, you know what I mean.  Balls!

As a requirement for his high school soccer, he has to meet a fairly challenging two mile time goal of 12:45.  Two miles in 12:45?  Guess what 42 year old blogger just made a high school soccer team?  For Mr. Look Down His Nose at Boring Runners though, this was going to be interesting.

I haven’t seen him just plain run that far all at once.  Sure, I gently encouraged him.  I even got in a few humblebrags about how my own dedication and hard work made something that seemed difficult become easy.  It was during the discussion of fartleks where the conversation ended with a “ you know what, if you aren’t mature enough to say fartlek without snickering like a toddler then maybe…okay, okay very funny, stop snickering…I know the word ‘fart’ is pa-….that’s right, I just said ‘fart’ again.  STOP LAUGHING.  Fartleks aren’t – okay, it’s just a SWEDISH WORD SO STOP….HEY, IS THAT A NEW PIMPLE ON YOUR FOREHEAD???”  The rest of the drive home in silence.  Kids today.

Eventually he agreed to head up to the high school track so I could dump some long-overdue fatherly wisdom on his unsuspecting teenager ass.  Also, maybe show him a thing or two about running that I’ve learned over the past 13 years.  You know, real condescending father-teaching-naïve-son bullshit.  

I decided to start him slow – a couple of 800’s around 3:00 pace, separated by a 90 second rest.  I thought that might just be enough to break him.  And, when broken, that’s when I reintroduce the whole fartlek discussion.

I heard him breathing heavy following my lead but his footsteps kept right on my heels both sets.  I kinda expected to lose him during the second 800.  He was wearing a COTTON t-shirt ferchrissakes.  But, no, there was the typical non-runner slapping of the feet right behind me, overwhelming my perfectly tuned low-impact, barely audible stride. 

He did it though.  Two 800’s in about three minutes each.  Oh, his hands were on his hips and he was sucking in wind like a canklesaurus that just climbed a flight of stairs.  I threw in a little comment about how “this is good warm-up for me.  I usually do 4 to….18 of these.”  I could barely get the sentence out before descending into a gasping, coughing fit due to lack of oxygen that I explained away by blaming the huge fly I just sucked in.

I didn’t think he fully got what he needed from this session.  In other words, he wasn’t defeated.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from running over the years, it’s that it is best used to show up, humiliate, or injure an inferior runner.   Since he was none of those things – just a bit tired – I decided to go for the kill.

“How about one balls out** 400 meter before we head home?” I suggest with pitched tent finger tips slowly tapping together under an evil grin.

Sure, he responds, unconfidently.

YES!  I wish I brought my shovel…cause I’m going to need it to scrape that ego up that I leave smeared all over the track. 

In my most condescending manner, I suggest to him that he shouldn’t start out in a full sprint.  Start the 400 comfortably hard then, at the 100 meter mark, start gently accelerating until the hammer is down at 200 meters to the finish. 

Unspoken?  Wave goodbye to Dada.  He’s gonna rip your will to run right out from you, sweetie.  There’s nothing more enjoyable then shredding the fruit of your loins into ribbons meter by meter!

With that sage strategy in place, we line-up to start our balls out 400 meters.***  I know he’s going to follow my advice because he foolishly looks up to me (I think).

Off we go!  And I’m GONE.  Fuck this if I’m going to let some 15 year old hang with me for 100 meters gathering confidence every step of the way.  The hammer is DOWN immediately.  Whoosh!

And I pop into a nice little lead around the first bend.  His footsteps – SLAP SLAP SLAP – grow distant behind me.  We hit the 100 meter mark and I’m in the lead by a good two seconds.  The fool followed my advice!  Now, just a little work over the last 300 meters and the Master will head home to modestly tell Mrs. Nitmos how the boy is still trying to learn the Art of Running.

But then the footsteps get louder again on the back straightaway.  He’s on my heels.  Did he follow my advice?  It was good advice but, really, it was designed more for me to get a lead and hopefully break his spirit than to actually, you know, help him win. 

By 200 meters, we are neck and neck.  And he’s in the second lane.  I glance at my watch and we are at 33 seconds.  I’m not normally a good sprinter and this is about as fast as I’ve ever gone.  I’m hoping he sprinted himself out trying to catch me as we head into the second turn. 

Turns out, he’s a fast little fucker.  I’m huffing and puffing through the turn.  He’s SLAP SLAP SLAPPING away – cotton t-shirt flapping in the wind - through the turn across the 300 meter mark oblivious to the need for a Garmin, specialty running shows and moisture-wicking….everything.   The arrogance!

We hit 300 meters and he shows no signs of letting up.  In fact, is that a kick down the home stretch?  Now it’s me and my barely audible, perfectly tuned stride that starts to fall away.  It’s painfully obvious that I’m not going to catch him.  Is he a machine impervious to exhaustion?  Is this the same kid that spends 8 hours a day playing Call of Duty and FIFA ’13 and doing rails of sugar off the TV? 

Truly, I underestimated him.  But if there is a lesson to be learned, I should be the one delivering it. 

In the final 100 meters, mid-stride, I change strategy.  Now, there is a lesson to be taught about winning gracefully, respecting elders, exemplifying modesty, and congratulating a competitor on a well-run race.

But I’m not going to deliver that message.  This ain’t an after school special and I’m not Oprah. 

“Aaaaahh!” I scream out.  I figure I have a second or two before he looks back…just enough time to gently ease myself onto my side on the track as if I’ve fallen hard.  I hold my leg in the air and grab my hamstring.  He finishes and circles back in an arrogant, non-exhausted jog. “What’s wrong?”

Here, I go for the two-fer:  (1) Rob him of his clean victory and (2) blame him for my “injury”.

“Well, I was just about ready to go for my hard finishing kick (grimace-grunt) after my warm-up 300 meters when you carelessly kicked some loose gravel into my lane. (grimace-facial contortion) I slowed up – you had been doing that the last 100 meters or so – to get around it (uggghhh, grooooan) but it slid under foot causing me to twist my leg funny in an attempt to avoid it.  I did the best I could but, man, you screwed me over.”

After a suitable amount of time selling the injury, I popped up and, feigning sportsmanship and general humanity, patted my son on the back and said, “Despite the rather large asterisk looming over it, that was a nice job you did there – including spewing gravel in my lane!”

And then we drove home…as only I could do of the two of us.

Happy trails.

* Meta Alert: I know, I know, WE run after abstract concepts like physical fitness, health, happiness, and PRs.  Tell that to a 15 year old.
** Look I don’t have a ‘balls’ obsession, alright?  It’s an expression.  Don’t get teste.
*** Stop it already.

Postscript:  My colt made the time with a nice 12:26.  The preceding story was entirely true up until the 300 meter mark at which point it diverted into Hey This Would Make A Better Blog Post Ending.  In truth, I finished 3 seconds behind him despite running my best 400 ever. 

The little shit.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Phantom of the 800s

The few of you that follow me on Twitter received an undetailed 140 character (or less) description of an unfortunate event at the track yesterday whilst doing some 800 meter intervals. Except, on my tweet, I didn’t use the word ‘whilst’. This is a problem I intend to correct on all future tweets whilst there is breath in my body.

The thing we all know about 800 intervals is that they can be grueling. As each one completes, you are that much closer to being done whilst also knowing that the next one will be more difficult to maintain pace than the previous. Your breathing will be more labored; your perceived effort will be higher. Real fuck with your mind shit. Do I really want to do these 800’s? Instead of six, how about five? Instead of 2:50 pace, how about 3:00 pace? Mentally, I start looking for an escape hatch to make things easier. In a way, I go through the five stages of grief during one 800 session:
  1. Denial – I’m not going to work this hard today
  2. Anger – WHY DO I HAVE TO DO THIS?
  3. Bargaining – Okay, I’ll do them but maybe only 4 intervals rather than 8.
  4. Depression – This sucks. Why does Beardsley hate me?
  5. Acceptance – Alright, I’m here. Might as well get it over with.
To distract all of these swirling emotions within, I ratchet up the ole iPod with some raucous RAWK music. Real ear bleeding stuff to get the heart pumping, legs churning, and mind fucked. I’m not a huge metalhead but I do dabble in a few headbangers to facilitate some speed work. I even had a playlist designed at one time for just such workouts. That playlist got deleted at some point during one of the never ending iTunes updates and has not been recreated. Since then, I tend to select an album or artist that I know can provide some adrenaline and hope that the record label required “power ballad” doesn’t pop up at some point.

That’s usually how I do things.

Yesterday, I decided to hit Shuffle and tempt the fate of the music overlords. Now, I know you are thinking ‘Nitmos, you are super cool and thus all of the music on your iPod would be Super Cool Approved also so what could go wrong?’ Thank you for thinking that and, largely, you are correct. However, it should be noted (as seen on my profile page), that I do hold a soft spot for garish show tunes. If you are surprised by this, you shouldn’t be. I recently used the word “garish” in a sentence. /deadgiveaway

It started out alright. My first few intervals had a nice smattering of 30 Seconds to Mars and Rage Against the Machine. I was off to a hot start. I knew I was cranking along when Linkin Park kicked in not once but back-to-back selections!! The home stretch was near.

But then some elongated silence. Did my iPod turn off? Battery drain? Seconds go by and…nothing.

Wait…not nothing. I hear something. What is that?

Nighttime sharpens
Heightens each sensation
Darkness stirs and
Wakes imagination

It started slowly, quietly and then built to a, well, sloooow show tune pace. Not something bouncy and Pirates of Penzancey. Nope, “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera instead. I’ve got 2000 songs on that iPod and THAT’S what is selected?!? Can a runner at least get some Joey Fatone up in here?

Now I’m as entangled in the torrid love triangle between Christine, Raoul and the Phantom as any normal red-blooded American. But in the middle of some 800 intervals, I care more about my own tortured soul rather than some damn fool with a half mask. But you can’t stop and change tunes in the middle of an 800 right? That’s got to be against some kind of runner code.

So, powered by the Original Cast Recording of the Phantom of the Opera, I completed my intervals. Somehow. I’m living testament that it can be done though it does not come with a recommendation.

And then Johnny Cash came on.

Clearly, I really have got to go over my iPod selections. At the very least, the lesson I learned the hard way for all of you is not to hit Shuffle whilst doing speed work. Too many things can go wrong. Anne Frank may be a Phan (or would have been, one assumes) but this runner is not. At least, not in this context.

In summary: Show tunes rule…but not during speed work.

Happy trails.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Immaculate Confection

I don’t know how it got in there – divine providence I’m guessing – but it’s there and letting me know it every step of every mile of every run.  I’m FAT right now.  Like, grossly obese stuff.  I must be a good 4-5 pounds (!!) over my normal race weight.  Look away if I repulse you.  Don’t laugh as I parade my collection of the Midwest’s finest wind pants before you each day.  Yep, I’m a wind pants guy now.  Fatties like me do what we must.  I pulled the string through them and everything.  I’m not even buying the good quality Adidas wind pants.  Instead, bulk Walmart models because what the hell.

The thing is I don’t know how it got in there.  Sure, I always put on a few pounds over the winter months – I’ve referred to it many times before as my Cheeto Layer – but I know where that fat layer came from.  See Cheeto, eat Cheeto.  See rum, drink rum.  See leftover fry wedged between the garbage can and floor baseboard, eat leftover fry wedged between the garbage can and floor baseboard.  Simple fat calorie economics.

But I don’t know where this first trimester bulge came from.

Once February rolls around, I start watching what I eat a bit more.  The holidays are over.  There’s no ready made excuse.  Speedo season approaches.  I can’t let a bulge get in the way of my bulge ifyouknowwhatImean.  Nothing takes away from the sensual delights of a male in a Speedo more than cottage cheese thighs and a donelop.*  As in “my belly just donelopped over my waist”.

I’ve been eating more fruits and vegetables.  I’ve been drinking plenty of beer but I’ve cut out (most) of the rum consumption.  Cheetos?  Not a single baked cheesy delight has passed these lips since the New Year.  No, either my system is automatically transposing the mixed vegetables into a bag of Skittles – just out of confusion due to the similar color spectrum – or something else is going on.

I think something else is going on you guys.

I’ve been blessed.  It’s an Immaculate Confection bouncing around my belly.  Except this one isn’t going to make it to the third trimester.  My recent spate of 800’s at the local track will see to that.  I don’t know that I want to go against the will of God and the gift of a tasty baked good but there are Earthly races to run.  So, my belly is on the shrink.  It’s demaculating.  I will not be birthing a sugary delight onto the world to save us from the South Beach diet.  Was Mary a distance runner?  I doubt it or things would never have gotten that far.**

I’m back in shorts; the weekly mileage is going up; the body is reshaping.  Sure, my winter Michigan Pale is still in full bloom.  Eggshell white mocks my whiteness.  But the sun will return around the time the belly leaves.  All of this according to prophecy.

Immaculate Confection or not.

Happy Nitmos 4:10.

* Well, maybe gnarly pubic hair jutted from underneath like roots and branches from the Fangorn forest.
** Come to Feet Meet Street for the sarcasm, stay for the blasphemy.

Thanks for asking, yes we have chipped away at the 49 soccer games this Spring. There are only 27 left to go!  The colt completed 6 shutouts in 8 games of his last indoor session as Left Defender of the Goal.  The filly connected on 18 goals in leading her team to a 6-1-1 record in her last indoor session.  She’s on a 4 game hat trick (or better) stretch.  Now, outside! In the rain!  State Cup games!  Junior State Cup games!  Premier games!  See you on the pitch!  I can’t stop talking in exclamation points!  Seriously!  Help! This is ridiculous! !  !

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Runner Advice: 49 Reasons to Raise Lazy Kids

This is the first installment of my popular one segment series, “Runner Advice”. Enjoy. It probably won’t return.

I’ve been trying to fill out my yearly race dance card lately. It’s not an easy thing to do. It’s like Kristen Stewart trying to find time to brood; there’s never enough time to brood. The will is there: I’d like to run races. The health is there: I’m strong like bull. The finances are there: I have a credit card. So what’s the hold up?

Kids. Yup, those guys. Again. Sheesh, I provided the ingredients; Mrs. Nitmos baked ‘em in the oven; Life was created! You’d think that would be enough of our involvement for them. Nope. They require a couple decades worth of constant “attention”, “food”,” water”, “medicine”, “love”, and “guidance”. What the hell did we invent TVs for? I think there’s a word for this: ungrateful.

I’ve been thinking about a spring half marathon and a fall marathon with some summer 5 and 10k’s thrown in. I might as well keep thinking about it because the reality of making it happen is proving difficult. We just received the kids’ spring soccer schedules. Two kids, two sets of indoor games, outdoor regular season games and additional bonus State Cup games. If you include my soccer games, we have 49 games on the schedule over the next 13 weekends. That doesn’t include practice time, of course.

You know that May race I was thinking about? Not happening. There are a few races I’ve always wanted to do the first weekend of June. And I’ll continue to still want to do them because that particular weekend is the final weekend of soccer games for the season. Oh, but there’s a nice half marathon the second weekend of June…which is soccer tryouts for the following season. Not happening.

I should have been one of those dads that hides behind a newspaper and only grunts in the direction of the kids when he wants another beer. What happen to those dads? What happened to the good ole days? A little neglect and deep emotional scarring never hurt a kid before.

For those of you with kids already, you know what I’m talking about. They are little Time Thieves. They are like an engrossing reality show. They get you all wrapped up in their little dramas and then you realize two hours have gone by and your kid didn’t get the rose.

For those of you without kids, let me be the first to suggest: Don't have them.  Or, at the very least, raise lazy kids. Television is a wonderful babysitter, friend, confidante, therapist, and educator. It can do a much better job in those areas than you could ever do. Think you know a lot?  The History Channel knows more.  Think you can unravel their traumatic emotional issues?  Not better than Dr. Phil, you can't.  Think you know better than TELEVISION?  Don't be arrogant.  Also, you’d be surprised at how much more running you can get done when you plop the kid right down in front of the TV with a bowl of chips. This is a fact: The lazier your child; the better your chance of PRing. Heck, I set all of my PRs when I could put the kids in a child swing, set it on Slow, and head out the door for a long run as they gently rocked back and forth and drifted off to sleep. Every five miles, you come back around to make sure there are no fires, dump some Cheerios on the tray, grab a swig of Gatorade and Gu and head back out the door. My motto was: Unless they are blue in the face, keep training for the race!

But that doesn’t work anymore. Ever try to get a 15 year old to cooperate while you attempt to stuff him into a swing? (Not to mention that the tray won't latch.)  And he sure as shit won’t eat dry Cheerios anymore. The language – and strength – of a 15 year old these days!

We should never have encouraged them to be active. Forty-nine games?!?! I suppose I could do laps around the field while they play but that would cut into my valuable Yelling at the Ref time. (I find that most referees need a parents help in order to correctly whistle an offsides. This is a theory I’m attempting to prove.) You reap what you sow and I sowed the seeds of future running obstacles way back when I rolled that soccer ball out onto the grass and encouraged my new little walker to kick the ball. It was a pathetic kick – barely went an inch – but he was delighted despite my disapproving scowl. He (and then, she) continued to kick the ball over the years and now I don’t have a free weekend to run a goddamn race.

My time would have been better spent teaching them how to work the remote control. Soccer’s more fun to watch then to play anyhow, right?

Kristen Stewart’s not the only one brooding these days. Just how many kids does she have anyway? 

Happy trails.

Last weekend, my filly contributed 4 goals and an assist in stirring 3-2 and 3-0 wins. It was fun to watch even though I estimate that it cost me approximately 20 seconds off my next 5k time. /Reaped

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dtoilet Paper Unrolled

Considering I don’t promote this blog any longer or run around trying to stoke my comment bonfire, receiving 24 comments on my last post is quite an unexpected windfall. What created this outpouring? I’ve had recent posts about Lance Armstrong, deer antler spray, the New York City Marathon, my own off season battle with the candy bowl…some real deep, introspective shit laid out for you all on my blog buffet. Nope, you didn’t give a sniff about any of that. You metaphorically sneezed on my blog buffet sneeze guard and walked away.

No, your comments came ROLLING in due to a postscript I hastily tagged at the end of my last post. About toilet paper and how it should unroll. Wiperz, pleeze!?! That’s what gets your interest? Believe me, I underestimate all of you but this even seems below that deeply underestimated level.

Well, I give the people what they want. You want a toilet paper discussion. I’m a giver that way.

Left or Right?
I pulled your results into a spreadsheet and analyzed the comments based on spelling, grammar, and clarity. I then pie charted, bar graphed (both vertically and horizontally), and power pointed the results. I was going to do a picture graph but that just seemed unsavory somehow.

The results?

24 total respondents
15 correctly chose Left (over the top)
5 incorrectly chose Right (from below)
4 seemed confused by the simple choice between two things and fell into an Other category

That means 75% that chose, chose Left. And they are correct. I mean, who wants to grab toilet paper from below all up against the wall like that? If I’m in a public stall, you think I want my fingers scraping up against the wall, with “stuff” potentially collecting under my exposed fingernails from a thousand poopers before me? Maybe if I was a filthy animal like, say, a llama. Hell, maybe they could get the toilet paper to spit at you too. Would that make your Below Rollers happy? Have some class. Don’t invite me over unless you correct this social faux pas or I’ll use one of your hand towels instead and fold it over and rehang it on the rack, out of spite.

My favorite “Other” response was from Danielle in Iowa in Ireland:
I know it is supposed to be the left, but I just put it on however and deal with the consequences.
I like to know that there are still rebels out there, man. You are the Abbie Hoffman of toilet paper. Be free but….beware of your hand towels, just sayin’.

Mrs. Nitmos and I have settled into an uneasy peace about this issue, truth be told. There might be a small chance that I’ve waaaay over thought this particular piece of household engineering.

But the results rather decisively speak for themselves. Using some transitive logic to other areas of the homestead, if I am correct about the positioning of the toilet paper, then I am also correct about a few others: Dirty clothes do, in fact, only need to fall within two feet of the hamper; Dirty plates do not require rinsing before going into the dishwasher; Why lift the seat to urinate?; Milk will not “go stale” when left on the counter for hours at a time; Farmer’s blows indoors are actually a good idea; Farting in bed is both expected and welcomed.

We’ve settled quite a few matters with that post which makes it very successful. Thanks to you all for clearing things up, transitively speaking.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming about running, life, feelings, and important social issues. You know, those things you don’t care about.

First, I need to grab a clump of toilet paper (from over the top), as if I was displaying an egg to the world on a tiny fingers pedestal, and swab out my cranium from this whole discussion.

Happy wiping.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sans Treadmill

I feel like I think I’m just cool enough to get away with saying “sans” a lot. I know you are all snorting and snarkily declaring that I am “sans cool.” But I am sans a fuck about what you all think.

We are in the middle of another snow dump today but prior to that I had managed to get three consecutive runs off the treadmill and back out on the cold, hard ground in the past week. Whenever I’ve spent too much time on the mill (which, prior to this winter, was rarely), I usually hit the ground going way too fast because it just feels too damn good. Sans proper pacing, I end up limbo running what was meant to be an easy pace, maintenance run. Yesterday’s five miler culminated in a last mile of 6:11. Considering I had started around a 7:15 pace and had planned an even tempo run, you can see I was sans discipline.

Screw it. It’s so nice to be back on the road in (relatively) firm footing where a forward tilt actually means something other than that I might hit the front of a treadmill, slide backwards into the wall, and miss the end of Cougar Town in an unconscious haze while the whirring belt scrapes uninterruptedly across my drooling cheek...

As nice as it was to be back on the road, as Beardsley gives, he also takes away. My beloved stretchy bands – that I just waxed poetic about in the last post – snapped in my hands Wednesday night. When stretchy bands fail – and they always eventually fail – they can’t just tear unassumingly. No, they got to make a BIG production out of it. Always during butterfly curls…when your fists are up near your throat like JFK after the first shot…SNAP! punch yourself in the nose and the detached end whiplashes out and strikes your dog in the hind quarters where she lets out a yelp and scampers across the room into a table, knocking over orange pop onto the carpet.

So now I am sans stretchy bands. Dusting iron is becoming even more imperative.

Tonight is soccer night. We’ll see how that speedy last mile feels on the hamstring when I slide across synthetic turf in a few hours. I’d hate to be sans hamstring.

This weekend’s long run may or may not be on the mill. We’ll see how the snow plows do their job and Mother Beardsley conspires to make things difficult. If I have to go back on the mill, I’ll do it like I always do: Sans balls.

Happy trails.

Why don’t you all settle a little dispute around the Nitmos home? I have very strong feeling on this matter. It is a source of conflict between Mrs. Nitmos and I. It usually involves one of us turning the roll around to “fix” the proper direction of the roll dispensary. Tell me in the comments which photo below – left or right – is the proper way to put on your toilet paper. I don’t want to overemphasize but…you may be responsible for the happiness of our marriage based on your response.  There's a correct way and then there's a way animals do it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dusting Iron

In order to make one’s pecs dance spastically to the awe and delight of others, it’s necessary to have pecs. In order to have pecs, it’s necessary to have a gym membership, home work out equipment, a good plastic surgeon or a 1985 Camaro, muscle shirt, mustache, and gold chain. Lacking a Camaro and unable to grow a passable mustache and definitely not rich enough to afford implants, my options are dwindling.

We had a gym membership for a few years but I cancelled that as soon as my locker room fascination with the Laws of Gravity sagged and wrinkled. Fortunately, I own some home workout equipment of my own. See? My weight bench is right over there…underneath the suitcases and laundry. It’s held up the suitcases for two years now without fail. It’s doing a good job.

Now, I’m not a muscle headed no necker. That’s not real conducive to strong running. You probably want to aim your body type more for a gazelle than a rhino, as runner. The first Kenyan I see that can beat a twelve year old girl in an arm wrestling competition will be…the first Kenyan I see that can do that, I guess. Sorry, I couldn’t quite land that comparison.

But I’m not running to win marathons or shorter races. I’m an amateur, recreational runner. See how I don’t have a running coach but DO have a full time job? That identifies me as an amateur. I also play soccer every Friday night (those of you on Twitter already know this…repeatedly! Look for the next tweet around 5:30pm this coming Friday!) Let me let you in on a little secret, get real close: I also don’t have a soccer coach for that. Why? BECAUSE I’M AN AMATEUR, RECREATIONAL PLAYER!

As an amateur, I’m thinking I might want a bit more muscle to go with my running. It won’t help me finish 236th in an 800 person race. Maybe I finish 254th instead. But those newly pumped pecs will bounce every step of the way. My race photos might look better. Less gauntish. I’ll need more body glide for my protruding nipples. I’ll definitely need to go on a shopping spree to Tank Tops R Us. Do they make Rogaine for upper lips? This is all a small price to pay. Heck, I might even have to check the XL box instead of the L box on race registrations. We are talking a millimeters difference there.

I used to pump iron all of the time. For ten years, I’d dutifully pull my weight bench out 1-2 times weekly and run through 10-12 little exercises, ogle myself in the mirror for a few hours, then complain to Mrs. Nitmos about how my mustache would never properly fill in and whether or not I should consider a tight perm. Toothpicks? Chewed constantly!

Then two things happened nearly simultaneously: we remodeled our basement and I discovered stretchy bands. The remodel moved the weight bench into the laundry room where I promised to still pull it out every week for a good workout. Like a Grandma checked into a senior home “just for a visit”, it has never left.

And those of you who have read F.M.S. for a while know that I’m an acolyte at the Altar of Stretchy Bands. Those things are awesome: portable, effective little bands of stretchy fitness. I love pulling, elongating, snapping and stretching on that rubber.* I love it so much; I’d probably make a great balloon animal creating clown (or a male Dominatrix). Resistance bands are great for keeping your muscles toned, loose and stringy. Also, you can knock off some DVR'd Billy On the Street episodes while stretching them right in the middle of your living room.

But they don’t build bulk. Nitmos needs some mass. Bikini season is right around the corner here in Michigan. I believe it’s a Thursday this year. Most of you have Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter as your seasons. Not us. Here’s how our seasons break down:

Michigan Calendar of Seasons
October-mid November = Pre-Winter
Mid-November-Mid December = Winter
Mid-December – Early March = Deep Winter
Rest of March = Winter
April = Post-Winter
May – Early July = Spring
July 11th = SUMMER (Bikini Season)!!!
July 12th- September = Pre-Fall
September to Early October = Fall

If I want to be ready for bikini season/day, I better get that weight bench out and dust it off. The suitcases will have to sit on the floor for a while. Summer’s going to be a great day this year! With all of the extra weight I’m about to pack on, I probably won’t run as fast but I’ll look better not doing it. Dusting iron comes before pumping iron. Pumping iron comes before mustache. Mustache comes before tank tops and gold chains. Tank tops and spandex tights come before race photos.  It’s the Circle of Douchebag Life! Pink pajamas penguins at the bottom, pink pajamas penguins at the bottom....

If you have a used Camaro for sale, I might be in the market soon. I pay extra for flame decals on the side.

Happy pumping.

*Keep your filthy thoughts to yourself.

There's a new race on the sidebar calendar for 2013.  Okay, it's a relay race.  The Dances with Dirt 100k relay is on again.  Teammates assemble!  I still need to find me some solo races....I'm currently circling a few...decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nitmos and the Amazing Monochrome Compression Shorts

I love a good Broadway musical: the music, the dancing, the costumes, the colors and pageantry. Lovely. I also love my ball sack. This is more about the latter.

There’s a lot to love about my compression shorts too. There’s a lot for you to love about me in my compression shorts, in fact. I look chiseled. I look bulgy in a good way. It appears this baby even got a little back! And that’s saying something as normally my ass is concave. In jeans, it looks like a Rottweiler had grabbed ahold and taken off a good chunk of the better parts leaving just a sunken in pair of ass-less jeans and the outlines of a pelvis bone in its place. If Sir Mix-A-Lot tried to walk on my bubble, he’d fall into a cave.

I run in compression shorts all of the time now. That wasn’t always the case. In my early days as a runner, I wore boxer shorts and even tighty whiteys. Then there was the misguided jock strap year that no one wants to relive.* All of these appendage restraint experiments came to an end one sunny spring day when I simultaneously chipped a tooth and dented my ankle with one innocent leap over a pothole. Enough. This Django needed to be chained.

The first time I tried on a pair of compression shorts, I fell in love. With myself. All over again. I took one look in the mirror and I believe I even said out loud, “That’s what I’m talkin’ about.” I’m not sure but there even may have been an, “Oh, snap!” mixed in as well. Bulgy? Check. Ass? Yes! Django? Defined. Compressed? Completely. Forget about the slight muffin top, I was in love. With myself. All over again. When security finally removed me from the dressing room, I paid and wore them home.

I wear my compression shorts everywhere now. There’s really not a good place to not wear them. Sure, both the parents and teachers at a Parent-Teacher conference may look at you cock-eyed** when you walk in compressed and ready for business. But everyone appreciates everything being held into place. Am I the only one that wants to see corsets come back into fashion? Psh, pleeze.

Hang out at a mall food court in your compression shorts long enough and you’ll see what kind of looks you get! So many admirers…from afar. You can clutch your children and hurry off to, what I assume is, the nearest athletic store and thank me later.

And lets not even talk about the magical properties of compression shorts when on the run. No swaying. No tooth chipping. Mudbutt. Problem. Solved. If you have a little accident mid race, don’t worry about. It ain’t going anywhere. You can take care of it later, homey, finish that race! That’s why my compression shorts are black and gray in the appropriate spots. Race gravy is treated at the finish line.

Every now and then, a non-compressed fellow runner suggests that I really should wear shorts over the compression shorts.  I remind him/her that (a) they are called compression "shorts" not compression "underwear" and (b) you don't wear a t-shirt over a life vest.  Psh, pleeze.

Mrs. Nitmos heads off to spinning or yoga in her compression tights and I’m a big fan. Why doesn’t she wear them to work? *shrugs* Beats me.

I can not lie. I think everyone should wear compression shorts as regular wear. They sure do tighter things up a bit around the soft edges whether you’re rolling around in a Honda or playin’ workout tapes by Fonda.

If I see you wearing your compression shorts at the grocery store, we can exchange a knowing smile and head nod. Be compressed, be proud.  Don't worry if you are a bit hirsute and, from the rear, it looks like you shit a wig.  We are on the right side of history, my friends. Unless you ride more to the left….either way, everyone will know.

Happy compressing.

*The Year of Groin Burn
**Pun intended

Friday, February 01, 2013

Will We Put Anything Up Our Nose?

So now Ray Lewis has to answer questions about putting deer antler velvet spray up his nose to promote healing from a torn right triceps. And, possibly, improve performance (as it is a growth hormone as well.) Problem is…the substance is banned by the NFL. Is it a big deal? I don’t know. I don’t really care, I guess. There are technicians in lab coats and bureaucrats in suits that’ll decipher test results and make a verdict or, in this case, issue a punishment.

I’m more interested in how this stuff comes about.

Who the hell looked at a deer and decided to snort their antlers? Seriously. It’s such a random thing to do. I admit to being more than casually interested in a libidinous bull or a particularly fluffy lamb hindquarters but that seems only natural. I never once looked at a deer and wondered how it’s antlers would be if inhaled.

Oh, yeah, can't wait to inhale you, baby.
It seems folks will do almost anything to get a physical edge in athletics. If that involves injecting drugs or hormones, snorting deer, or rubbing turtle shells on the groin*, someone somewhere will do it. What’s the old saying? If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’, (eh, Alabama?)

Maybe they’ll come out with Deer Velvet Gu one day. For now, I’ll stick with my finger, my nose hair trimmer, model glue, and the odd occasion I have some cocaine, mixed with a hooker’s ass sweat, as the only things going up my nose.

For you injured marathoners, time to get out the bow and let the healing begin! No judging from me.

Happy snorting.

* No proven results so far but I’m still in early testing.

Please to join me over at Bottle Fed Parents for another exciting tale. This time, I discuss a torture device that every kid wants but every parent hates.