Thursday, August 26, 2010

Magic 800 Ball

I don’t know what’s so “magic” about an 8 ball but someone – Mattel, apparently - decided it was, so far be it from me to question the wisdom of a toy conglomerate. Besides, the product involves an “icosahedral die floating in alcohol with dissolved dark blue dye. The die is hollow, with openings in each face, allowing the die to fill with fluid.” Sounds magical! Icosahedral balls? Floating in alcohol? Hollow? Filled with fluid? Yep, pretty much describes me. Am I blushing? You may rely on it.

I don’t want to quibble with a company that has supplied us with both Rock ‘em Sock’em Robots AND the 2007 Chinese export toxic toys scandal but a magic “8” ball is not enough for me. Without a doubt. More like a magic “800” ball. When I’m feeling, er, not so fresh, when my legs are tired or disinterested, when my hamstring feels a bit strained, I like to go to that giant oval down the road and knock out some 800 intervals. It is decidedly so.

I tweaked my right hamstring around the seven mile mark during this past Sunday’s 11 miler. Oh, I pressed on despite the pain. I’m nothing if not stubborn and stupid. And handsome. (Reply hazy, try again.) It was still a bit sore on Tuesday as I laced up for my normal lunch hour run. So I did what any conscientious runner with a sore hamstring would do, I hit the track for my regularly scheduled 800’s and completely ignored the twang in the hammy! If I ignore it, does it still exist?

In eleven years of running, I’ve so far been very fortunate with injury: nothing serious. Nothing, at least, that hasn’t been cured with more than a week or two of rest and some extra stretching (and, possibly, an increase in alcohol consumption, which probably doesn’t have anything to do with healing, but why chance it?) You want to know the magic behind my successful injury avoidance? Denial. And 800’s. Seriously, when I’m feeling sluggish or achy, a nice jolt to the system in the form of an extra strenuous work-out seems to knock me back online.

I took to the streets on Tuesday well aware that I could rip that hamstring right up the side of my leg like a fat guy sitting down in comically under-sized jeans. I had a brief moment of doubt as I hit the track as to whether or not the 800’s were wise but my dimpled, isocahedral balls said Outlook good so off I went.

Oh, the hammy barked the first few laps but then settled into a nice dull ache before disappearing completely under a tidal wave of endorphins and adrenaline. Would the sore hammy show up later as I reposed at home with a grape flavored Icee? Ask again later.

Turns out, I completed 6x800 at planned pace with almost none of the post run hammy pain that had plagued me the previous 48 hours. So, it appears that once again I was right and years of dedicated research and clinical analysis was wrong. The best way to overcome soreness and injury? Magic 800’s! It is certain.

In fact, magic 800’s might just be the cure for all of life’s troubles. Canker sores? Yes. Crippling credit card debt? Yes! Snooki?? Yes Yes Yes. Auto-erotic asphyxiation? Trick question – that’s not a problem so it cannot be "solved" by a magic 800 ball.

Would this work long term if you are experiencing O.J. level stabbing pain to the back of the leg? As I see it, yes. Would it work if the pain is milder, say, like a depressed goth teen cutter? Yes – definitely.

Should you follow my advice and throw away your “casts” and surgically implanted “neck halos” for the healing promised by the Magic 800 Ball? Well, if you have isocahedral balls*, like yours truly, most likely.


Don’t count on it.

Happy trails.

*Or isocahedral Fallopian tubes. I’m not sexist here at F.M.S. At least, not in today’s post.

Sunday: 11 miles @ 6:57 pace.
Tuesday: 6 x 800 @ average 2:57 pace (10k level 800 pace). The 5k level 800 pace was 2:45ish but it seems, since the distance is larger, the 800’s could be completed a bit slower, no?
Today: Planned 8 miles @ 6:40 half-marathon race pace goal.

I’m surprised I didn’t receive more negative reaction to my anti-coach screed at the bottom of the last post. Perhaps your silence is a form of protest? Really, I have nothing against coaches. I think everyone…no, no, I can’t get all the way through this with a straight face: Quit your coaches. Now.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Vacilador

A Steinbeck soaked introspective.

I have to admit, after much ballyhoo and hype, my running has been a bit vacilar this summer. For you rubes not familiar with obscure references to John Steinbeck novels, I’ll let him describe vacilar:
It does not mean vacillating at all. If one is vacilando, he is going somewhere but doesn’t greatly care whether or not he gets there, although he has direction.
Yep, that pretty much describes my running this summer, at least, as far as pursuing PR’s.

This comes from Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley” which is NOT the book in which the mentally ill man is shot to death for being…mentally ill (among other things). Can you imagine writing that book – “Of Mice and Men” – these days? Sarah Palin would have a conniption fit and demand an apology. Most of you would probably feel better if I ended the literary references right there but you’ll be greatly disappointed. There’s a ton more to go and none of them are Stephenie Meyer or involve romantic, shirtless vampires so try to stick with me.

As I’ve mentioned, I have been out there training and training hard this summer. But do you know what makes this year different than previous years? I haven’t really written out a run schedule since the Bayshore Marathon. It seems, after several years of running now, my body just goes on auto-pilot, puts on shoes at the same time on the same day each week, and heads out the door like I’m Lenny the farm hand used to following orders. Oh, there’s a race coming up? I vaguely have an idea that I should increase mileage at a certain point and maybe do a few more 800’s. But I can’t be bothered to look at a calendar and actually map these things out. I’m too busy petting my rabbits and dreaming of a better run to notice that shotgun aimed at the back of my head.

I have a half-marathon coming up in one month and I just realized that my Sunday long runs should be longer than I’ve been doing. Oops. This weekend, I compared my training log against last year’s training log, since I’ll be running the same half-marathon, and noticed that I really haven’t done anything different either in pace or distance than at this same point last summer. In other words, I’m primed to NOT PR yet another race (though I’m prepared to come in around the exact same time.)

My ambitious Y.A.K. plan provided general direction for the year but clearly I don’t greatly care whether or not I get that PR. Year of the Ass Kicker? More like Year of the Vacilador. I’m going somewhere but, about that PR, eh, who cares if I get there? I’ve been enjoying the journey without regard to the destination.

Maybe I need a running coach* to keep me focused on the destination as well as the journey. Like dim-witted** Lenny, perhaps I need George to provide the dream of a farm loaded with PR’s that we’d get to one day own. In my dreams, the PR’s would gather at my feet clucking and bobbing their little PR heads like a bunch of hungry chicks. I’d feed them with the sweat from my successful runs completed off my George designed training plan. They’d grow tall and plump until I’d feel they are ready to trot out for the next 4-H fair. There’d always be room for more PR’s on the farm as I’d simply add onto the barn or maybe expand the fence range. George would keep me moving in the right direction, to supply me with rabbits, and dreams, and soft, shiny training plans for me to touch…to stroke…to love until OH GOD I DESTROYED THE TRAINING PLAN WITH MY CLUMSY STROKING.


BAM! Thud.

Happy trails.

*I’m kidding. Unless you are a top athlete, you don’t need a running coach. Seriously, when’s the last time you heard about Softball Guy practicing with his softball coach or pick-up Hoops Guy going to the gym to knock out a training session prepared by his basketball coach? I don’t know what is up with amateur, recreational runners and their “coaches” (i.e. internet certification). That’s as pretentious as, say, quoting Steinbeck while insulting a popular modern writer.
**Sorry Sarah.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Vanilla, Extracted

By now you’ve already read that our popular, though recently absent, blogger Vanilla* has put a coda at the end of Half-Fast and bid us all a possibly-permanent-though-probably-temporary adieu.

It’d be so easy for me to launch into some snide personal attacks and juvenile name-calling now that he’s not here to defend himself. Even by F.M.S. standards, it’d be too easy. So, let’s get on with it…

How many of you think the obvious phonetic similarity between ‘Half-Fast’ and ‘Half-Assed’ was intentional? Methinks he might have had one of those ‘uh-oh’ moments like the one the parents of NASCAR driver Richard Trickle must have had.

The thing I always enjoyed about Half-Fast was his ability to write simply, in a crass and clunky style, in an effort to relate to the trailer park crowd. Trailerparkese is a difficult language but, dar gum, he did it! Most wouldn’t go to those lengths – mainly out of a sense of pride for oneself – but he did and I think he believes he’s better for it. Which is sweet. I think we all can agree that he didn’t deploy nearly enough asterisks/footnotes though.

I’ll most miss the attempts to PR that often ended in failure.** And then the excuses. Oh, man, the excuses were pure gold! It would be funny if not for the fact that his disappointment in missing a PR led to 45 more home foreclosures in the greater Colorado area.*** I believe the general philosophy was: No PR for me; No home for you.

I shared a podcast with him at one time. First it was through the Runner’s Lounge site under the title “Be Funny” subsequently renamed to “Laugh Tracks” and finally, after some thin skin controversy caused us to go independent, Banned on the Run”. Through all of the changes Vanilla attended every taping and, in every single episode, offered his greatest contribution, whether it be school or work: attendance. He was awfully good at it! Thanks for bringing that to the podcast!

What will my life – hell, all of our lives - be without such regular blog entries as Weekend Splits, (Celebrity) is Running, or Off Track? Not a whole lot different really. I don’t know why I mentioned it.

I’m sure Vanilla would like to pretend that he never ran across F.M.S. or that he agreed to be part of a podcast with yours truly or be the subject of a multi-pronged lawsuit that awarded someone**** a substantial financial settlement as well as restraining order. But if regrets and jury verdicts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas.

For my part, to be fair, I have a few regrets also. There were a few times I might have gone overboard in the hyperbole directed at Half-Fast. For example:

  • It’s been unfair of me to suggest that Vanilla, the English banker, is single-handedly responsible for this country’s mortgage meltdown. There’s loads of circumstantial evidence and a strong, strong probability but do I know that for sure? No.
  • I don’t know for certain that Vanilla finds the War of 1812 the single greatest moment in history because “we burnt the White House to the ground”. I don’t even know where that quote comes from but it sure does sound like something he’d say right?
  • I regret insinuating that his blog – and by extension his very being – smells of moldy cheese. If there is one thing my parents taught me, it was never to make fun of someone’s personal hygiene choices.

So we come to the end of this phase of Half-Fast. I’m sure it’ll come back again and never truly fade away, no matter how much we may want it, like new Bon Jovi albums.

Some of you might think I’m being harsh. You might say that F.M.S. owes about half – or more - of its readership to his coveted Half-Fast Recommends link list. You might say that he nailed the short form blog entry style with highly readable, witty, and clever entries. You might say that the running blog pantheon is a little more bland today.

You might say a lot of things but then what do YOU know?

I wish Vanilla well in his new endeavors. There’s no one left in the running community to call me a terrorist. What will his future hold besides writing classes (obvs.)? More time to devote to foreclosures? More time for personal hygiene?

Wait…the timing of this is odd. Could it be?!

More hasty MS Paint magic!

Happy trails.

*”Ian” sounds like the name of the lead singer for a British alt-punk band. I call bullshit that he’s a banker. Either that or his name ain’t Ian. Right Carl?!?
**Lord knows I know nothing about that around here.
***He’s a banker remember?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sweep The Leg

Wherein I unveil my new race mantra. Can you guess?

There was a time when I enjoyed kicking the crutches out from under a casted loser and watching them flail to the ground as if they could prevent gravity by flapping their arms and screaming out. Better yet, those dudes with the white canes and red tips like a candy cane where all the peppermint ran to the bottom? They’d go straight down with a flour sack thud making no attempt whatsoever to break the fall. They didn’t even see it coming. Hilarious. I’d stand over their helpless, struggling bodies and breathe in their potentially broken-armed wails through my nostrils (and out the mouth – I’m not a Neanderthal). For a while, I was convinced that the cries of the weak fueled my soul like blood feeds a vampire. Sure, the spitting was unnecessary but I liked to think of that as my ‘cherry on top’.

That was then. That was a hobby. It’s not much fun anymore now that I’ve matured. I still do it but it’s an empty, hollow, felonious experience these days. It’s done more out of a sense of duty. If I don’t knock the walker over, who will? Look around at all of the upright becaned, it’s a lost art.

I was reminded of this tripodal abuse when watching The Karate Kid, the original 1984 version, at home with the kids the other day. We try to watch old 80’s movies as much as possible: Back To The Future, The Breakfast Club, Hardbodies, Hardbodies 2. I feel terrible that the kids today are growing up without realizing that anything can be accomplished within a two minute Huey Lewis musical montage.

What does The Karate Kid have to do with running? Well, let’s just say I’ve been thinking a lot about my races this summer. Since I’ve been running, I’ve never experienced a situation where my race results were so…off…my training times. It’s been eating away at me since the Bayshore Marathon in May. Literally, eating away…at my joints, apparently. My training times this year have been great – best ever – so what gives on race day? I’m falling short of my PRs every single time.

The hero of The Karate Kid, Johnny of the Cobra Kai gym, faces a similar struggle in the movie. Despite the fact that he is clearly the most gifted karate tactician, he is beaten by a punk upstart from New Jersey who is mentored by a mystical occult wizard that can heal his charge with a magical pain-suppressing touch. The kid is clearly under trained and has no business competing with Johnny but, somehow, he lands an ethically questionable Crane Kick to end the championship match. It’s an interesting movie in American cinema as, most often, our films focus the bulk of their time on the hero of the film (ala Rocky) overcoming obstacles to a victorious conclusion. In this one, the hero, Johnny, barely appears and, when he does, typically loses the physical conflicts set up for him. It plays like a modern tragedy and against the grain of other sports related movies of our time. No matter what the hero does, no matter how hard he trains or how bad he wants it, he cannot win. Sisyphus, push that boulder! It’s like Jimmy Chitwood rimming out every shot in Hoosiers.

In running, my enemy is the clock. I want to beat that sumbitch. I want to beat it bad. I’m training hard like Johnny at Kreese’s dojo. I can hear Bryan Adams’ “Hearts on Fire” in my mind’s ear while intervalling around the track. I can hear that great coach, Kreese, shouting STRIKE FIRST. STRIKE HARD. NO MERCY with his outlandishly dimpled chin. When races roll around, I am ready. I am ready to run hard. If need be, I am ready to bully new students with a generally frail physique. Canes? Consider them toppled.

But then I’m yawning at the start line. I’m relaxed; I’m confident. Hell, I’m bored. Where’s the fire? Am I overconfident? Did I leave the burning hearts on fire at the track? I’ve arrived at each 5k and marathon this year thinking a PR was in the bag only to come up short. Immediately after finishing, I’m left with a confused feeling of what just happened? like I took a sudden – and ethically questionable - Crane Kick to the head.

As I watched the final, tragic act of The Karate Kid unfold, I realized what I was missing: Sweep the leg. Johnny is forced to counter the mystic’s illegal paranormal healing tactic, under Kreese’s expert orders, by sweeping the under trained puppets already injured leg (i.e. attacking his weakness. Smart strategy, no?) in an effort to win the match.

SWEEP THE LEG. Sweep the frickin’ leg!

That’s it! On race day, you have to come prepared to push farther than your training. Backed with adrenaline and untapped energy, you CAN and WILL do more than your peak training levels indicate – if you are willing to SWEEP THE LEG. To go to that extra level. Run angry. Run to maim. Run to WIN.

I’ve been showing up at races thinking that all of the work I put on the track and roads made the race result a foregone conclusion. Like folks were going to be maimed just by my very presence. The truth is, I haven’t been running to win on race day. I haven’t been prepared to push a bit harder, to pass my normal bounds of exhaustion, to SWEEP THE LEG both figuratively and, in a few cases, literally (I had my chances on some pimpled high school kids along some back roads, believe me). I’ve been sweeping the canes at local malls for years. Why haven’t I been sweeping the leg – albeit in a metaphoric sense - on race day?

When you arrive at the starting line of a race, you have to assume that the clock is operated by a sorcerous Japanese cheater willing to use supernatural healing methods to keep you from your goal. And every other runner is a potential Crane-wielding Daniel-san. Are you willing to push the boundaries past your training to obtain your goal? Will you SWEEP THE LEG? Starting immediately, this is my new race mantra. Sweep the leg, sweep the leg, sweep the leg. I’m going to arrive at each race assuming that I’m under trained. I’ll need to bring all of my training –and more – in order to achieve my goal. Legs will be swept. Spitting may occur. If need be, pony tails may be tugged violently backward (I doubt Kreese’s philosophy is gender specific). Exposed Achilles of lead runners may be stomped. I’ll assume that my training is inadequate and that I’ll need to push harder.

Sure, you might be floored by an ethically questionable Crane Kick mid-race, like Johhny, but at least you went for it, right? Besides, what are the odds of most folks landing that kick?

Don’t be a Johhny in your own race day tragedy. Run to win. Sweep that leg.

Happy trails.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You Have An Incurable Disease!

How ‘bout that to greet you on a Wednesday morning?

That’s what the doctor told me yesterday as I sat there giggling and knocking his reflex hammer against my knee over and over. I love how my knee jumps involuntarily while I thump away at it with the little rubber mallet. Thump Thump tee-hee Thump Thump. Does this place have any sugar-free suckers?

I had been into the doctor’s office a few times now for exams, needle pokes, x-rays, and a semen sample (I did that one on my own. Turns out, it was unnecessary and they were quite pissed especially since I didn’t have a cup or anything. Sorry!) I hinted at some joint related issues I was having way back in this I is Old post. (Use caution when clicking the link as it contains an old dude in a purple Speedo.) Then, I figured I was just cold, old and creaky from a long winter inside.

But then spring and summer came and my finger joints were still swollen and creaky. Each morning, I could barely bend them until I got into the shower and the warm water loosened them up leaving me with just a nagging, low-level ache the rest of the day. Two weeks ago, my left index finger remained swollen, extended and unable to bend for 48 hours. Every time I spoke, the kids thought they were getting a lecture the way I was pointing at them. It was great for picking my nose and ass but not so much for clutching and pinching once an extractable item was located. Ever try to flip another driver off with a swollen, extended index finger? It doesn’t work. Everyone thought I was giving them the peace sign…with cursing malice. It causes confusion more than anger which makes it completely ineffective.*

Finally, after some postponements, I went back to the doc to see what the tests showed. I already knew what the tests would show. This is the age of the internet and Google. You can’t surprise us anymore. The doc is just a dude with a hip white jacket, cool rubber mallets, nice house and the ability to prescribe drugs. In short, a drug dealer…with a rubber mallet.

“You have an incurable disease.” He said.


“Stop playing with the fucking mallet for a second. Did you hear me? You have rheumatoid arthritis.”

“Cool. Do I get to park up front now? ”

“If we don’t put you on medicine, your finger joints might become so damaged that they’ll curl up into a claw…” And he makes two curled up claw hands to demonstrate.

“Like Hawkman?!” I ask, barely able to contain my enthusiastic smirk. I start making claws of my own, my eyes wide with wonder and excitement.

“Get the fuck out of my office.”

The truth is, I wasn’t so much kicked out of the office as held for ransom in the lobby until payment could be made. A bunch of aged, arthritic seniors surrounded me with their walkers hissing and threateningly stabbing at me with clawed hands.

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis though, fortunately, it is considered a mild case at this time. RA is considered an incurable disease though sometimes the symptoms can go into remission for years on end and, in odd cases, disappear entirely forever. I don’t intend to be a “long term” patient. Besides, what does a doctor know? I was once told I had another incurable condition: Herpes. You know what? I cured it. I didn’t treat it (or tell anyone about it) and it just went away. The only things that remind me that I once had it are the occasional cold sores on my lips and itchy, burning genitals. But that only happens periodically and Mrs. Nitmos now shares these sympathy “after effects”, as I call them. Bless her heart.

So, for the short-term, I’ll be popping some weekly pills and continuing to run, run, run. I haven’t missed more than two scheduled runs all year. Fortunately, the symptoms have largely left my feet alone except for some tenderness in the small toe joint. But who uses their small toe joint anyhow?

How did I get this? The causes of RA aren’t entirely clear but there seems to be some genetic disposition to it. But no one in my family has it.

As I sit here in my basement playing with the rubber mallet**, I think back to the I is Old post and the first symptoms I was experiencing. What is that nestled quietly, in smaller font, at the end of that post? A note about reading two Beardsley books! My nemesis. The man solely responsible for undermining my 2008 Boston Marathon. He’s done everything in his power to keep me from a rematch in 2011. Has he started…biological warfare?!


Happy trails.

*But I think slashing their tires probably cleared the matter up.
** Yes, I took it.


I am concurrently training for a half-marathon and 10k for the end of September. I have been invited to join the Dance with Dirt 100k relay team in September as well but I may have to pass due to soccer coach obligations.

Speaking of which, prepare for more soccer stories in which, despite my expert coaching, my team continues to under achieve.

Anyone seen Vanilla/Ian?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I'm A Little Teapot

Short and stout
Here is my handle…

Actually, I wasn’t the little teapot. It was Mrs. Nitmos.

She wore this for a 5k this past weekend. I’d like to say that she just did this on her own and that all of the other runners thought she was crazy but, the truth is, it was a Costume 5k put on by a film festival. She looked completely natural amongst the Batmans, Spidermans, Supermans, cast from Up, Thelma and Louise, crew from Gilligan’s Island, and Indiana Jones. It was her husband that looked out of place.

I didn’t wear a costume. That’s right, I’m a fuddy-duddy. Want to fight about it?

It’s been years since I wore a real costume. Roughly, fourth grade, I believe. I don’t even remember liking it back then either. Maybe because those little bungee strings that tied around the molded plastic masks (think 1970s-early 80s, people) use to snap back before I got the Jimmy Carter face on and then got wrapped in my hair (thick, shaggy – think 1970s-early 80s, people) until it threatened to pull the hair out in bunches at the root level. All of this work to dress up like a one-term president, with lust in his heart, to get bits of candy from neighbors that, on the other 364 days of the year, I spent riding across their lawns and pissing in their bushes? No thanks. I left costuming behind for good around 1982 and haven’t looked back.

Still, I recognize that other adults get into it for Halloween or Costume 5ks and that’s all cool with me. But one thing I’ve noticed, if you don’t join them, they get angry. I counted no less than five comments, ranging in severity from playful teasing to sneering derision, regarding my choice not to wear a costume. If I don’t wear a costume, am I not human? If you prick me, would I not bleed? Apparently, the answer is NO. Pricks.

I wasn’t the only one without a costume. There were only about 120 runners and roughly ¼ of them were sans costume. I wasn’t really worried about my time for this race. It took place at 6 PM after a day of boating and eating and walking. Usually, by 6, I’m ready to get my drink on not run a 5k. Plus, there was on overall mood of festiveness, rather than ego destroying intensity, that pervaded the starting area.

When the gun sounded, I immediately found myself in a group of four runners in the lead pack though I’m pretty sure I was the only one in possession of a high school diploma. Only one of us had a costume: Batman! Before the first mile, one runner dropped off leaving me to chase the two leaders, running shoulder to shoulder, by about four steps. First mile: 5:49. The pace was faster than I expected especially since Batman isn’t known for his speed. I kept warily eyeing his utility belt to see what might grapple out of them in the direction of my knees.

After the first mile marker, Batman, clearly toying with us in mile 1, took off and left me and the other guy behind like a couple of Jokers. He increased his pace. I wasn’t about to do that. He was gone and I immediately declared him the winner. But the other runner seemed to be laboring: big huffy breaths, Raggedy Andy form. Maybe second for me? I passed him at the halfway point. By the two mile marker, I couldn’t even see him anymore. One of the cyclists leading the race would circle back to me periodically to encourage me to catch up to the leader. Easy to say when you are sitting on a $1500 bike and wearing way too much spandex.

Batman was so far ahead – at least 45 seconds – and the third place runner was about 30 seconds behind me, that I actually relaxed my pace content to run it for second.

And run it in I did onto the finish line red carpet in front of the beautifully restored State Theatre wherein everyone’s favorite liberal, Michael Moore, was presenting some films at that very moment. They handed me an Oscar – much overdue in my opinion – and showered me with applause.* My time was 19:03. My worst 5k in over two years but I didn’t really care. This race wasn’t about time. Even if I had set a PR there was no way I was catching Batman anyhow.

I settled along the race course to watch the costumed runners come in. A few minutes later, Mrs. Nitmos came through to the finish. Be advised that Mrs. Potts is not moisture wicking. Sweat was pouring down the teapot. She confided to me that, at the two mile maker, she almost passed out from the heat of the night (about 84 degrees) and the heat of the costume (about 156 degrees). Mrs. Potts also doesn’t come with a nutrition pouch or water holder. In fact, combined with the hot tea, it really isn’t a runner friendly costume. Maybe Brooks or Asics can take up the cause and make it more efficient for running? At any rate, she did a great job representing the costumed half of this marriage and finishing 6th in her age group of 19 runners!

So my Oscar now rests on my night stand as a gleaming, erect monument to running a sparsely attended race (I highly recommend!) in which you can finish second overall because none of the top area runners show up . Some of you may even think I shouldn’t take home an award when I didn’t bother to dress up for a costume 5k. Well, all I can say is…

…Here is my spout.

Happy trails.

*If “shower” and “smattering” are the same thing.