Thursday, April 09, 2009

Domestic Abuse Diary: Ultra Marathon

One thing I am not is “PC”. I often say inappropriate things at just the wrong time. I call it an “unfiltered pipeline from my brain to my mouth for me to express my spur-of-the-moment thoughts and feelings.” Others call it “being an asshole.” To-may-toes, to-mah-toes.

A few years ago, some of you may recall a TV public service announcement against domestic violence making the rounds where an off-screen couple were heard arguing before the angry hubby started smacking his wife around. Or choosing an odd time to violently fluff his pillow. The action occurred off screen so you couldn’t be certain. Either way, the woman started crying and complaining that ‘it hurts’ (which leads me to believe he wasn’t fluffing pillows after all!) The hubby – in a Jim Carreyesque-over-the-top sarcastic tone – then started mocking her by repeating “Ow, it hurts, it hurts.”

Is it wrong that I found that commercial hilarious?

No, seriously, I laughed every time. Now, for the record, I want to make clear that I Do Not Condone Domestic Abuse. There are a few loons out there that – no matter how clear you make a joke – can’t seem to catch on. No, domestic abuse sucks.* Are we clear?

But, boy, was that commercial funny. I have an odd ability to break down an otherwise tragic event into smaller disassociated actions and somehow find a nugget of humor in one of those fragmented pieces. The hubby’s mimicry was so ridiculously over-exaggerated, I just found it funny. Who talks like that? In another example (to further destroy my already teetering character), I was watching this really good movie once when a scene came on where this one armed man is staggering around with this confused look on his face until he found his other severed arm, nonchalantly picked it up by the sleeve, and walked away. Surreal? Check. Amusing? Kinda. I chuckled a little, I have to admit.**

Disassociation. It’s what I do. I’m sure there is some larger psychological thing going on here but what might be your Undiagnosed Mental Disease is my Lovable Character Trait.

What does any of this have to do with running?

Well, frankly, there’s been some domestic abuse going on around my house and I’m the victim. No, Mrs. Nitmos isn’t hitting me. She is making me watch a lot of reality based TV however which is a form of abuse, of course (i.e. American Loser and Biggest Idol or whatever they are called.). And she continues to make something called “ham steak” for dinner against my vigorous protestations.

This abuse is more of the interpersonal variety. For the first time in four years, I don’t have a fall marathon already on the schedule. I’m toying with the idea of scheduling a 50k ultra. Yes, my virginal Ultra! Already, my legs are not too happy with me just from regular training schedules. As you know, my calves have even staged a few Operation Shutdown style sit-ins in the middle of a few marathons which, last I checked, are 26.2 miles. The 50k is 31.1 miles.

I like my leg muscles. I don’t mean to hurt them…and they don’t mean to hurt me I’m sure. We just have one of those stormy relationships were sometimes things go to far. My shin suddenly shows up with an unexplained bruise from “falling down the stairs.” Maybe an IT band is stiff and sullen and no longer interacts with the other IT bands. That’s just how things are.

I know you are all thinking that maybe I’m not doing right by my legs. You’re wrong. It’s not me, it’s them. They need to change. They need to look in the mirror. If I want to run 31.1 miles, I will.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to pull the trigger and sign up for the ultra. I’m afraid that my legs and I will start fighting again. We'll start fighting like the ShawWow guy and his hooker. Then I’ll have to explain the black toenails and the cigarette burns all around my ankles all over again.

I guess – if I do – I’ll sign up quietly. I’ll buy my legs new socks, shoes, and treat them to a soothing massage. Then, I’ll just show up at the 50k start line and they won’t know what hit them.

By the time they realize it isn’t a long training run and start screaming out in pain, I’ll just sneer, cackle maniacally, and mock them:

Ow, it hurts, it hurts.”

It’s not me. It’s them.

Happy trails.

* Unless it’s for a good reason, of course, then it's totally warranted.
** I’m ashamed to admit that the movie was Saving Private Ryan and this scene occurred in the horrifically bloody opening D-Day battle sequence. The man was clearly in shock as he just lost his arm. See, when you look at it in context, it’s not funny at all is it?
And I'm a real jerk.


Vava said...

Just do it, and don't tell your legs until you hit 26.3 miles. And I didn't know about the ShamWow thing - hilarious! What in the name of St. Peter is "ham-steak", and perhaps that was the source of the problem in that domestic dispute commercial?

RawBodyGoddess said...

PC is overrated. I found your post hilarious. And, sad as it is, when I found out the movie you were laughing at was Saving Private Ryan I laughed more...I blame it on all the oxygen going to my brain.

*Disclaimer: I do not condone domestic violence either. It is wrong and heinous. So is war, and any conceqyences thereof. But, really, we all need to lighten up :)

Aileen said...

You could maybe tell one leg that you have a marathon coming up and then tell the other leg that you have an 8K. Lies work exceedingly well in these situations. For sure.

X-Country2 said...

Do it! Once you get past 26, it's all about running for the free food at the end. There's no bagels if you stop out in the wilderness.

Al's CL Reviews said...

I do that too. In Stand by me there is a scene where R.Phoenix's character is crying by a tree. No clue what he is talking about because snot flies out of his nose.

This killed me in middle school when I saw it in the theatre and still kills me.

Lie to your legs. Tell them you are going for 20.

C said...

I'm all for you running the ultra. However, haven't your leg cramps been occurring around the 20-ish mile mark? If so, doesn't that mean that you'll have to endure them for eleven miles during the ultra? I think you like the pain. Sadist.

tfh said...

I think I'm a bigger asshole than you are, if the fact that I hunched over laughing hysterically over * and ** mean anything.

So, you know what? Yes, you should run an ultra. That would certainly contain some painful, wrenching moments to bring tears (of laughter) to my eyes.

Unknown said...

If you want, you can come join me in Arizona on November 15th for the 50k I'm doing. You can pepper me with all sorts of non-PC talk while we try to convince your body that it really isn't going longer than a marathon.

Kristina said...

Here's what I think is most funny: you calling that guy "hubby." My choices would be more like "asshole" or the more forgiving "schmuck."
Oh, and go for the ultra. I'm thinking of the Folsom to Sacramento 50k. We could whimper, "ow, it hurts" together.

Ian said...

I can see why you have to use disassociation a lot. I would too if I was you. *zing!*

Spike said...

it’s sorta like Titanic, when that guy falls off the edge of the ship as it is almost vertical, then hits a propeller and does directly into a tailspin. and speaking of tailspins, like the time in Top Gun when Goose gets a gigantic FAIL when ejecting and he goes dead into the water…awesome.

Jessica said...

Do it Nitmos! It's only 4 more bad can it be? I will find out 6 days after Boston and let ya know!

Aron said...

do it!!! I keep looking at them too :)

Melissa said...

Cranky Fitness talks about this today. Kind of. Me, I say if it doesn't feel good, don't do it. That's the kind of McSlacker I am.

Jess said...

I've asked several people to shoot me in both legs if I start talking about doing an ultra. Both legs in case one heals too quickly. Several people in case one or two wuss out. Can't be too careful.

Aka Alice said...

I'd never seen Saving Private Ryan until last week when it was on TV, and I know exactly the scene you are talking about...and I giggled...

Now I'm REALLY wondering what is wrong with me... the 50K...easy for me to say, huh?

Marcy said...

OOoohhh dude just do it and better yet just go all out and do the 50 miler. Your legs want something to cry about? Cry on that and they'll never give you shiznit in a marathon again.

Unknown said...

Sheesh -- you go on sabbatical for a few years and your mind turns to mush. 50 x .62 = 31 miles. (Although now that I think about it, forcing you to run the extra .1 sounds pretty good).

Welcome back!

sRod said...

Is it somewhat sad I've started to toy with this idea toy? Sheesh, as if 26.2 miles wasn't enough.

But it's the same thing they say about Mt. Everest: people climb it because it's there.