Thursday, October 28, 2010

Procrastination! (A Love Story)

Here are three recent events in the lives of the Nitmii in which my natural inclination towards laziness and do-another-day-ism resulted in a net benefit to me. Rest assured, no animals were harmed in any of these tales. (Wait for those in a subsequent post: Cat-Water Box! (A Torture Story).)

F.M.S. presents: A Chronology of Dawdle

October 17th: Deferred Motivation

Mrs. Nitmos and I took to the streets of Detroit once again for the 2010 Detroit Marathon relay. We were competing in the Open Mixed group which requires no less than two 'outies' and two 'innies' in the sexual organal make-up of the roster. Due to some last minute team member gerrymandering, we were one vag short of the required 'full house' of genitalia to make our team street legal for a run at the division awards. Instead of five – three men and two women – we were four (three men and one woman). As such, I was burdened with two legs, approximately 12.7 miles, of the race. Having no inclination to tuck for one of the legs (and, really if you knew me, the physics would be impossible), there would be no chase for an award.

It wasn’t the distance but the wearisome roster shenanigans that left me in need of motivation as I boarded the bus for Canada to await my start at leg #2 that morning. I would run but I wasn’t exactly sure how hard (t.w.s.s.) I would do so.

I completed leg #2 in less than stellar time. Since I was going two legs, I bypassed the exchange station in downtown Detroit and headed north of the city onto leg #3 with only a passing consideration towards accelerating. As I passed the exchange zone, however, I noticed one fire engine red shirt wearing chap beginning his leg of the relay with gusto. He ran alongside me for a bit after leaving the exchange zone and then zoomed away all hopped up on his fresh legs and obnoxious shirt. I plodded along content to finish the last 6.6 miles at…whatev pace.

But then I started playing a little game to pass the time: Catch the pace groups. When I joined the race, the 3:35 marathon pace group had just passed. They were toast within the first 1/2 mile. By the time we arrived in Detroit at the end of leg #2, I had passed the 3:30 group already.
So, I started accelerating. I could feel the latent motivation returning from my untucked regions surging through my limbs like an estrogen boost injection for a pre-op tranny. The 3:25 group fell and then 3:20 was left behind.

And then fire engine red shirted guy came into view with just under 2 miles to go. As I pulled alongside of him, he surged ahead with a ten second full thrusters on kick. He did this four times in a row clearly trying to fight me off. At this point, I would have knocked over some struggling marathoners (mile 18 for them) to beat this guy. I’m not going to let some one-legger with horrible fashion sense get the better of me.

I pulled ahead again. He charged up next to me again, breathing heavy, and said “Nice job relayer.” I replied with a fake smile “You too." Then, just before I burst ahead one final time, I innocently looked over and asked “Is this your second leg too?” I didn't see him again.

We finished 9th of 210 teams in our category.

October 18th: Frittered Chance

This Monday was Boston Marathon registration day. I knew registrations would be going fast. I took the 18th off from work to recover from the relay and take care of some other errands. I even viewed the BAA website early that morning but passed on registering. A dentist appointment…raking the yard…these things just seemed more important.

That evening, with sparkling teeth and an uncluttered lawn, I logged back in to the BAA website to see that registration had closed. (cue sad trombone) There was a slight twinge of regret for not registering first thing in the morning. But considering the expense it takes to get me, Mrs. Nitmos, and potentially the kids to Boston for 2-3 days minimum, I was conflicted about the whole idea altogether anyway. I’m passive-aggressive that way.

In the end, with registration closed and Boston 2011 out of reach, it didn’t take long before I decided that I was okay with it. A nice clean mouth of teeth and five heaping bags of raked leaves were the alternative instead. You know what? I’m at a place in life where that still seems like a good trade-off.

Besides, Boston Schmoston. When’s the NYC Marathon?

October 27th: Stalled Rake

After the October 18th raking session, the rake was placed away to a life of ease and solitude along the garage wall as a steadily growing pile of leaves fluttered to the ground in the days that followed. I’d look outside, shake my head at the work that needed to be done, and return to my DVR and Sons of Anarchy.

And then the wind came. Heavy winds. And the leaves tumbled down the road. And now I don’t have many leaves left in the yard.

My rake still sits along the garage wall. There are no leaves. My DVR is empty.

I win. But where do the leaves go? I can only imagine my neighbor five doors away that stepped outside for his morning paper only to discover that his yard now has a four foot blanket of leaves draped across it. My advice? Go back inside and put on the DVR. They’ll be gone before you know it.

And finally, an apology. I’d love to have posted more over the last month but, well, it seems I just didn’t feel like it. Will you hear from me again? Maybe when I can’t put it off any longer.

Happy trails.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Mine Is Longer Than Yours

But we knew that already.

Consider this the bookend companion to my other landmark blog post, Mine Is Shorter Than Yours. I’ll warn you upfront, Garmin (praise be thy name) comes in for some gentle teasing, though we know it is infallible and all-knowing. Anyhow, I think I’m safe down here in my basement, within my cocoon of mold spores and spiderwebs, from any celestial lightening strikes.

The 2010 Capital City River Run Half Marathon Race Report

I started this blog a few years back so I feel some weird sense of obligation to post a race report so that future generations can peruse my mind-numbingly dull stats. Posterity can be a pain in the posterior. Does anyone read this blog anymore? Unlikely. But, hey internets, here’s a race report! I’m following the General Internet Rule #1: If you don’t know what to do with useless information, post it online!

It’s been 9 days since I ran this race and 40 days, Garmin (p.b.t.n), since my last blog post. I haven’t been a very good blogger lately and certainly not a very good commenter on your blogs. Does that make me a bad person? No. It’s your fault.* Write something that I want to comment on. All of your race reports are entirely devoid of things dripping in syrup. Shame.

Besides, I’ve been busy working on my screenplay: Feet Meet Street: The Movie. It’s a cross between Dude, Where’s My Car? And Behind the Green Door…except with more dick jokes and a notch or two up on the vulgarity ladder. I’d like to get it turned into a feature film staring Carrot Top**before 2012 if only the studio execs would stop saying things like “You can’t do that with string cheese, that many times, in one movie” and “Did you have a mother?” Answers: That’s called “Saturday” at my house and yes, I had a mother but she recently changed her name and moved away.

But about that race. My Y.A.K hasn’t been going very well this year as I’ve near-missed PR’s in a few 5k’s and the full marathon. A few trifling seconds here and there have undermined a great summer of training. It was put up or shut up time at CCRR. Or another whiny blog post. I was fine with either one, actually. Last year, my Garmin (p.b.t.n.) told me I ran 13.21 miles for this same half-marathon which nearly caused me to miss my race goal. A 1/10th of a mile is a considerable distance when you are cutting it close to the goal time. After last year’s CCRR, I snarkily declared that my half-marathon distance (13.11) is shorter than their half-marathon distance (13.21) apparently which, in turn, spawned several comments calling me a whiner or a wimp (and generated at least three sessions of self-mutilation arm cuttings in the privacy of my bathroom as I struggled to deal with your hurtful comments.)

Well, I’m back. And I’m whining some more. Garmin (p.b.t.n.), like Jessica Biel’s ass, is perfect in all ways. We know that. But it measured the race this year at 13.29 miles. Since there’s no way Garmin (p.b.t.n.) could be wrong, CCRR, j’accuse!

Sure, my Garmin (p.b.t.n.) records .26 miles almost every lap around a 400 meter track but, once again, I assume the track is incorrect, right? If Garmin (p.b.t.n.) is wrong than what, pray tell, makes sense anymore? Is the sky not blue (or gray here in Michigan.) Is Carrot Top not actually funny?

No, Garmin (p.b.t.n.) is correct. I must believe it. As such, it’s clear that the CCRR tried their best to fuck me over again but I overcame.

Here are my gloriously consistent, even slightly downward trending, race splits. To maximize the whining, I’ve even included the finish stats based on the official race totals and what Garmin authoritatively says. That should instigate some insults in the comments (I have my razor standing by if you get in some real good zingers.)

Behold the breakdown of a well-paced, negative split race!

Mile 01 6:46
Mile 02 6:48
Mile 03 6:46
Mile 04 6:35
Mile 05 6:35
Mile 06 6:37
Mile 07 6:37
Mile 08 6:36
Mile 09 6:32
Mile 10 6:30
Mile 11 6:35
Mile 12 6:30
Mile 13 6:31
Last bit 6:03 pace (1:47 time)

Numbers? Yes, numbers:

1:27:43 time
13.11 miles (Garmin sez 13.29 miles)
6:42 pace (Garmin sez 6:36 pace)

37th of 1455 overall
4th of 89 in age group

A new PR by 70 seconds! (drum roll, cymbal crash, and update my side bar.) I’ll take that. I even left the finish area feeling pretty energetic. This was, by far, the smartest race I’ve ever run. I resisted the urge to take off like a shirtless drunk on Cops and paced nice and easy for the first three miles before ever so gently turning up the pace. A positive byproduct of training at near race pace constantly, like I do, is that the actual races feel pretty much like any other run. However, a negative byproduct of that type of training is that I often complete a race realizing I should have pushed harder than my normal training run. I lazily allowed myself to lapse into ‘training pace’ rather than shift to a higher ‘race pace’ gear. I think the 1:27 marker, at the very least, should have fallen…maybe even 1:26. But everyone probably feels that way after a race, right?

I’ve felt so good about this race, that I’ve been consuming an avalanche of sugary sweets that would make Thintervention subjects sweat with envy from their purple, blood-engorged cankles. I can hear my filly’s left over birthday cake shaking within it’s cake container as we speak. I’m coming for you cherry chip cake…just let me get the syrup first.

Happy trails.

*Come on, you expected that.
** Comeback vehicle?

I skipped out on my planned 10k this past weekend and I don't feel bad about it. I'll try to latch onto another 10k down the road before 2010 ends. That PR should easily fall.

My filly's travel soccer team, expertly coached by yours truly, is in the hunt for the league title at 3-1-1 with a string of home games to go. Can we win? Only if they closely listen to every word I say like I'm Garmin (p.b.t.n.) reincarnated. The filly has pumped in 5 goals in 5 games. She has been earning her dinner...for now.

Will I post again before the Detroit Marathon team relay in less than two weeks? I'm as curious about that as all of you. Once again, for the relay, Nitmos = two people (which is odd because my ego says Nitmos = 10 people. Maybe the CCRR did the calculation?)