Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wine Teeth

As I implied in The Implication, Mrs. Nitmos and I escaped to the Great White Moderately Brown-Beige North for a little cherished “time away from the kids” this past weekend. How’d it go? You need ask, Mr. Rhetorical? Fantastic! Of course, we could have found ourselves buried up to our necks with red ants biting our eye lids under a blazing hot sun and still found the Down Time refreshing.

We wined. We dined. We…whatever rhymes, add it here.

I drank a lot of wine on Friday. I ended up with wine teeth. You know those crystal meth addicts who lost their front teeth and the few they have left are all brown and black? Have a few buckets of red wine and then smile. You look like a crackhead. Welcome to Wine Teeth! The red wine stain makes it look like your teeth are either (1) missing and/or (2) horribly unclean. We dined at a nice little hamlet called TraVino’s Wine and Grille near Traverse City, MI. When you go – and you’ll find yourself there eventually – I recommend. I had entirely too much of a locally grown Black Star Farms concoction. I think I had Wine Teeth before even leaving.

But then we headed downtown “TC” later Friday for more after dinner drinks at the Red Ginger. If you like sushi, fishy foods, and – oh, yeah - wine, this would be another spot for you. I sampled an Argentinean brand – Armador, I think - and was unimpressed. Should have went local. Red Ginger, however? I recommend.

Mrs. Nitmos was on her best behavior so the food and drink ran plentiful and the whirlpool ran warm and full. No worries. The implication was well received...things didn't turn nasty. We make a trip just about every February around this time to give a big F.U. to Old Man Winter and prepare ourselves for the coming spring. At Red Ginger, we briefly discussed race plans for the coming year. I decided that, come March 1st, the winter maintenance mode officially ends and it will be time to kick things into high gear. I’ve been sleep running for two months now and it has grown tiresome.

Saturday morning, I brushed twice in an attempt to return my Wine Teeth back to white, or yellowish-white, let’s be honest here. We got to experience what it is like to be a hobo standing outside of a soup kitchen in the freezing cold. There was a tent set up for a “winter festival” in the middle of a parking lot. A soup tasting competition was within. But they wouldn’t let us in until noon sharp and we got there at 11:50. Ever have to wait in the freezing cold for…SOUP?!? Damn, I don’t think I could have survived the Depression. Hobos, I don’t know how you do it you filthy rascals!!

The soup was good but so not worth the cold. Again, how do the bums do it? Soup, after all that time in the cold? Can a hobo get a steak up in here??

The rest of Saturday was spent much the same as Friday…aimless wandering punctuated with drinks…except this time it was locally crafted brew in place of the wine. There is no such thing as beer teeth. Beer farts? Well, that’s another story…

Mrs. Nitmos and I retrieved the spoiled kids and drove home Sunday afternoon feeling pleasantly drained and simultaneously revitalized…until later that evening when we sent the kids to bed early because they were driving us INSANE. And then I drank more wine. But, this time, it wasn’t from a glass and it wasn’t a sip. glug glug glug

March 1st, come hell or snow shower, hard training begins again. The time for kicking back and relaxed running and wining has ended. Maybe I’ll come up with a clever, wholly original and inspirational slogan…something like “Spring of Speed” maybe.

Someone queue the Rocky theme. Someone’s Gonna Fly Now In Another Week. Anyone want my old sweatpants and half-consumed bag of Cheetos?

Happy trails.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

For the 500th Time...!

Alright, put a fork in me. I’m done. I’ve created 500 wondrous blog posts for you people. 500!?!? Congratulate me for my lameness. Seriously, is there anything more disappointing than realizing you’ve spent time writing 500 blog posts? I guess renting - then watching - the entire first season of Bosom Buddies comes close. (That was a long night…especially when the acid gives out after 4 episodes.)

That’s 500 times I had an opportunity to play a game with my kids, teach them a life lesson, listen to their hopes and dreams. That’s 500 opportunities I could have given Mrs. Nitmos a hug and a deep, soulful gaze with pleasantly moist, passionate kiss. That’s 500 chances to tell my family how proud I am of them. Instead, I have 500 examples of my childish, selfish and unbridled egomania. What’s that, hon, there is a bully at school? Can we talk tomorrow, Daddy needs to finish his thoughts on taint moles and then loosely connect that with running? Post your worries online…someone will help.

This post here is actually post #501. Let’s celebrate the start of the next 500 blog posts! (which can only end with my suicide.) I’m a bit disappointed that none of you eagle-eyed readers noticed that Friday’s post was #500. I have to point it out myself?!? I have a birthday coming up in a few weeks…just giving you some advance notice so I don’t have to throw out a "Happy Birthday to Me" on my own blog.

We’ve covered a lot of ground in 500 posts. All of them have been completely heartfelt, edifying, and spiritually uplifting. At least, the ones that didn’t involve metaphors about fruit falling from my anus or Rocko, the bethonged stud muffin. Truthfully, the number of posts that apply to running, running tips, race reports, running motivation or stories, instead of surreal tomfoolery, is somewhere in the neighborhood of 37. That’s 37 of 500, or .074%, which…NOT BAD! I actually thought I was pushing 98% non-running related content. Of course, a “post” is not an official “post”, per FMS policy, unless I’ve said something hurtful or derogatory so that may change the math a bit.

In honor of 500, I’m going to do another giveaway! The first person to have one of my posts – your choice – tattooed on their torso (photo evidence will be needed) will NOT be sued for copyright infringement!!! Enter away. Enter as often as you like. I’m giving you a one-time No Lawsuit pass. You may even tattoo your infant. After all, the growth will only cause an increase in font size but that text still should be legible!

I’m not going to recap my highlight, landmark blog posts for you. First, there’s too many to count. Second, they are all right there on the sidebar for you…I’ve put them in chronological order. And, third, I think you all know which one is the best. It’s the one where I refer to myself as handsome, rail against amateur coaches, and talk smack about Viper, Ian, and/or Razz. You know, that one.

Here’s to the start of the next 500! At this point, it makes no sense to reconnect with the family. You can’t walk into a movie halfway through and expect to ever catch up (unless it stars Jennifer Aniston and she’s trying to fall in love with someone). So, may as well pound away at the keyboard. We can celebrate post #1000 along with the graduation of my youngest kid, whatsername. And, don’t worry, I’ll continue to talk about my favorite subjects…running, racing, barefooting, “coaching”, llamas, orphanage robbery, and myself. Heck, I might even regale you with a story about the time I ate too many fudge stripe cookies…wait, am I repeating now...?

That’s an awful lot of lameness to commit to in the coming years but, the way I see it, I don’t have the worst of it.

Guess who’s reading these 500 posts?

Happy trails.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Implication

Mrs. Nitmos and I are heading out of town for a little R ‘n R before the next round of kids’ weekend games kick in (get it?) Weekend “free” time is extremely limited in our family life so it must be taken advantage of when the opportunity presents. We are disappearing to my ancestral homeland where we’ll encounter a winter festival that, for some reason, celebrates this sickening collection of frozen water, as well as locally cultivated wine, fine foods, jetted tubs, and general NO KIDS alone time. In other words, there will be ROMANCE.UP.THE.ASS. (that’s not what I meant, sickos.)

Though we’ve been married for over 16 years now, I don’t take Mrs. Nitmos for granted. However, when I go through the trouble to rent a hotel room…when I make sure that hotel room houses a delightfully large whirlpool…when I ensure an adequate supply of booze and other goodies are on hand…when I predetermine restaurant selections to fill a hungry gullet with delicious steaks and seafood…a fella expects a little something in return, you know? I fed you, bathed you, housed you, drunked you…now, here we are alone in this room. What now? I’m not being a chauvinistic pig when I suggest that there is a certain IMPLICATION there, no?

I would never demand or insist. I’m not uncouth. There will be no Tina-Ike situation. Nothing bad will probably happen. The warm, swirling waters of the tub may suddenly disappear down the drain…the booze may get locked in a high cabinet (at least, higher than a 5’3” person can reach)…and maybe Burger King will be just fine for dinner, you know what I’m saying? We all make choices. I’m not demanding…but there is an implication.

I’ve crammed a full week’s worth of runs into four days to make sure the entire weekend is free. Mrs. Nitmos will have my undivided attention. We should have a great time as we always do when wandering about aimlessly during a few days with no plans or schedule. It’s carefree. It’s fun. It’s stress-free.

Well, not entirely stress-free. There’s an implication hanging in the air. It’s like prom all over again.

Happy trails.

Regarding yesterday’s post, a few of you voiced your doubts that I actually blacked out while on the treadmill and then woke up seated in a folding chair wearing a slutty nurse’s uniform. Uh, you’ll need to explain to me what part of that was not plausible? Everything you read here is entirely true. My blog posts are dipped in truth and presented to you with truthy sweetness dripping off it like so much honey. Are you going to believe me or your lying brain? HATERZ gonna hate, I guess.

Special thanks to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia ("The Gang Buys a Boat") for this implication.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Back to the Treadmill!

We all know running on the treadmill is an odd, unnatural activity. I hate it. You hate it. I’m pretty sure Marty McFly hates it too. But sometimes it is not just ‘odd’, it can be paranormal as well.

I think something…unsavory happened on it yesterday.

As you know, we invited a treadmill inside of our house. We hear groans, the spasmodic random whirring of the belt, and an occasional shriek from the basement at odd hours of the night but we chalked that up to “owning a treadmill and having it in the basement”. The devil inside us, remember? We expected some devilment coming from the area. It’d be like bringing an ancient mummy into the home. Of course it’s going to come to life and walk around the house attempting to eat our brains. Of course. It’s not just going to stand in the corner, leaning against the wall, harmlessly wrapped in gauze.

So we have basically ignored the portal to hell – and all its tomfoolery - positioned near the rear corner of the basement pointed towards the TV. I’ve used it on only a few occasions but when I do there is always something strange that happens. Last evening as I beep the Start button to life at 4:45 PM and the slow, accelerating turn of the belt begins, time seems to stand…still. Or, at least, move extremely slowly. Four seconds seems like four minutes. Four minutes seem like four hours. When running outside, I’d easily knock off a quarter mile between glances at the Garmin and that quarter mile would seemingly go by in just a few seconds. Inside on the treadmill, that same quarter mile ticks away one hundredth of a mile at a time…second by second…minute by minute…hour by hourdamn was that a quarter mile or a 10k?!?!? I stare at the display with disbelieving eyes wondering how exactly 1/100th of mile takes that many seconds.

The rules of time no longer exist. I tell myself I won’t look at the display. I’ll just watch TV and forget about it. So I watch TV until the next commercial break and then, suspiciously glance at the display and…I’ve apparently only gone 2/100th’s of a mile further. Now how is that possible? I must have watched The Real Housewives of Atlanta the game for ten minutes!?! The belt started shuddering and squeaking and it sure as hell sounded like a demonic laugh.

The plan was to go five miles. I’m just in ‘maintenance’ winter mode still so I wasn’t busting too hard of a pace. But after what seemed like an hour on the thing, it appeared as if I’d only gone 37/100th of a mile…I think, I was getting delirious. I decided to speed things up to get it over with as quickly as possible.

7.6 speed was nudged to 7.7….then 7.8…every few minutes, I’d increment a little further.


By now, I’m at nearly a 7 minute per mile pace. The treadmill shudders and squeaks. I look down at the display. I’ve gone 39/100th’s of a mile now. Total. Now, how is that possible?!?! The mill continues to mockingly chortle and spin away as my arms fling sweat and my legs struggle to keep up.


This was way more effort than I wanted to get into for a “maintenance” run. We have a little license plate on the back of the ‘mill, for fun, that says OUTATIME. It begins rattling with hard metallic clanks threatening to fall off. I’m in full on speed work territory now.


The display blinks rapidly

I don’t know how fast that is in miles per hour but as soon as I obtained this speed, the license plate zipped off the back and spun around in frenzied circles. I recall a blazing fiery path zooming out in front away from me and then a kaleidoscope of colors…closing in….narrowing…then darkness…and the mesmerizing whirr of the belt….

I came to a while later. I have no idea how long it had been. The distance display said 5.0 miles on the nose. But I was not sweaty. I was not in shorts or a wicking shirt either. I was seated. In a folding chair. In the middle of the treadmill belt. The mill was still on, humming serenely, but the belt wasn’t moving. The clock on the wall said 4:45…the exact same time I started the run.

I looked down at myself sitting in the chair. I was wearing a nurse’s outfit with a blond, curly haired wig capped by a little 1950’s style nurse’s cap. My lips were streaked with fire engine red lipstick, smeared seductively in one corner. What in the hell just happened? The fish net stockings, the only thing I remembered wearing when I actually started the run, were torn and destroyed.

I don’t know what happened when I hit 8.8. Did I run the 5 miles? Can I record it in my running log?* Why is my lipstick smeared? And why am I wearing lipstick? And why do I have this letter in my pocket addressed to myself warning me never to start a blog "in the future"?

There’s just something altogether unusual about the treadmill. And, apparently, paranormal as well. Time and space do not exist in the way we are accustomed. There is simply no way you can run for 4 ½ hours @ 8.0 speed and only go 47/100th’s of a mile. Whatever happened during that lost run, I hope I didn’t screw up my future. This level of mediocrity is hard to obtain.

I turned off the mill and headed back upstairs to fix my make-up in a dazed confusion. I could have sworn I heard the thing laugh at me as I closed the basement door.

Happy trails.

* I’m going to record it. Paranormal or not, I must have logged the miles.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Runner Conversation Hearts

I wasn't going to post today -back to back days for a gentlemen of my delicate constitution is almost more than I can bear - but a few of you had such tremendous additions to the Valentine's Day conversation heart suggestions that I'd like to highlight them here before they got lost in the comment bin of history. They are so much better than the ill-considered, hastily conceived creations I puked out on the blog when posting.

Here's some good ones. Add some more if you think of others.


- It's Hard
- I Won
- Bib 69
- Gu?
- My Nipples are Raw (ed. Raw Nips?)
- Fast.
- Chicked
- Suck It Up


- You'll Always Come in First
- Hard Core
- Just Do It (ed. Nike may take issue)
- We Did It!
- I Will Beat You


- Pace me?

Mine (with additions):

- Long run?
- My PR!
- Wanna Fartlek?
- Chase me
- Wanna tri?
- Let's Get Sweaty
- Puke much?
- Go Long and Hard
- Your Gu or Mine?

What else do you got?

Okay, I'm done for today. Back to the nap.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Conversations with My Heart

I know this sounds like the name of a new Sally Fields movie, co-starring Julia Roberts. It’s not. It’s me taking a quiet moment for some introspection. I like to drink coffee alone in my basement every weekday morning. Usually I catch up on the BIG NEWS of the day according to and the Who am I kidding? I spend all morning on TMZ.Com looking for nip slips. Then I nap.

But today I’m just not in the mood for celebrity nipples. It’s Valentine’s Day. Mrs. Nitmos is at work. The kids are at school. Heck, I’m even “working” right now (though I doubt my employer cares that I just found an old Cameron Diaz nip slip). On this day of wine and roses, I’m sharing a warm coffee with a group of ants that have recently started scouting the walls of my house looking for a nice nesting spot. They zig, then zag, until I pin the bottom half of their body to the wall and then watch their top half slowly unwind away its life in a frantic arm wiggle over the course of the next hour. Each time I look up from TMZ, the arms are moving a bit slower. While strangely, erotically satisfying, today is not the day for insect torture. Today, their benevolent overlord dispatches them with a full thumb BOO-YEAH smash that sends them straight to hell. I’m not even going to look at celebrity nip slips either. Call me a romantic.

Mrs. Nitmos knows how lucky she is to have me. Hell, I feel lucky just being me. As always, the thing most people love about me is my modesty. I’m told it really shines through from my granite jaw line, fierce, determined eyes, and bouncing could-cut-glass pecs. I’d blush if it weren’t so true. I know you all appreciate me too. When someone asks, 'have you ever read Feet Meet Street?' You all probably say with a playful, dismissive wave of the hand, “Who, that modest guy’s terrific blog?” Do I have flaws? Of course…a complete inability for accurate self-reflection. It’s liberating.

But this isn’t about me – what kind of egomaniac has a blog to talk about themselves?? This is about Mrs. Nitmos. She’s been in the business of getting back into the running business lately. She’s been treadmilling, shoe buying, and contorting herself all over the house into weird configurations that she calls “exercise”. Her arms are sore. Her glutes are sore. Her hamstrings are sore. Her flux capacitor is sore. Really, it’s beautiful to see. I’ve been running, stretchy banding, crunching and pushing up the same general way over the last several years that I’ve missed that good, old-fashioned I WANT TO DIE DUE TO THIS MUSCLE PAIN feeling you only get from new exercises. I’m jealous. I like watching her limp around rubbing her ass. I like hearing the pan fall in the kitchen because her arms were sore and gave out trying to lift it. (Don’t worry, hon, the dinner can be made again! Repetition is the key to success! A runner doesn’t build speed through just ONE 800.) There’s something weirdly erotic about seeing her in pain due to working out. Call me a romantic.

Running is a solo sport…done adjacently to others. It’s better in a pack though.(t.w.t.o.s)* While I enjoy the solitary nature of the sport, it’s nice to share the pain with a loved one. It’s like going to a his n’ her submissive club and being tied up together with one of those little red balls in our mouths. Each whip sting sends a dreamy, heavy eye lidded glance of love between our two restrained heads. This is something we are doing together – in our own independent world of torture - no matter the pain. Safe word, schmafe word.

This is the conversation I’ve had with my heart this morning. I love to see Mrs. Nitmos in pain: her arms flailing away in exercise…getting slower and slower due to fatigue…the intoxicating pain and searing muscle burn…the frantic fight against the natural, inexorable pull towards inactivity to which most people succumb. You all may like your chocolates and sappy poems and significant others dressed up in pretty clothes and coiffed hair. I prefer my sweaty wife with sore arms and the zesty scent of a good work-out. Though, to be fair, I wouldn’t turn away from a good Nike sport bra nip slip either.

Call me a romantic.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

*That’s what the orgy says

BONUS: My V-DAY Gift to You: Worst Conversation Heart Phrases (according to

1. UR. . .pretty?
2. Be Som1 Else’s
3. Where’s UR Mom?
4. UR GR8T. . .Psych!
5. UTI Luv
6. Eeew
7. Breath Mint Plz
8. It’s Over
9. Not Sry
10. #1 Hussy

What about for runners? Any ideas for run related conversation hearts? Let me get you started:

1. Long run?
2. My PR!
3. Wanna Fartlek?
4. Chase me
5. Wanna tri?
6. Lets get sweaty.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Rote Running

People see me about town on the run. My running routes take me along a couple of the major roads and high traffic areas. This is one reason I remain steadfastly devoted to the sidewalk. I like my runs with as little GMC Acadia grills to the face as possible. I find my pace suffers greatly if an Escalade uses my torso as a speed bump. I get honked at on occasion. I wave. I don’t usually know who I’m waving at but I figure they must know me. Or they are honking at the car in front of them, in which case, I’m waving at someone else. I’m still cool.

I’ve been running these (nearly) same routes for ten years. Same houses, same intersections, same trees, same rotting deer carcass (deer skeleton…deer bones…swarm of flies…deer ashes), same everything. I believe I know every square of sidewalk that has been replaced by the road commission and could offer a few suggestions on some others that are due.

It is rote running at its finest. I put on my shoes, tune in some tunes, and head out the door without thinking or planning. The only question is…which way to turn first? At the end of my driveway, I can go straight and do the more challenging 7.5 mile loop or right and take the flatter 6 mile loop. Or still go right and merge the flat course into the challenging course halfway and go 8.5 miles. And there are various combinations of these loops that can make the distance anywhere between 5 and 10 miles arriving back at my driveway at precisely a ½ mile mark on the nose. I know the loops and distances like the angry mole near my taint.

This probably sounds boring to some runners. I’ve heard it before…”don’t you get tired of the same routes”. “I’d be bored.” Why don’t you find someplace else to run?”Why do you want me to look at your taint mole?”

But running in and of itself is pretty repetitive. You place one foot in front of the other aaaannd REPEAT a few thousand times until you’ve covered the desired distance. It’s not a steeplechase. Sure, you may have some curbs to jump, pedestrian walk signs to inspire an impromptu fartlek, or an irritated mole snag to create a slight hitch in the stride but, generally speaking, the entire act of running is one big rote exercise. You must love the sameness of it all on some level.

And I do…which is why the scenery while running barely matters to me. Plop me along a country trail and, while refreshing, I’m still concentrating on the run, my pace, and evaluating my effort towards the work out. Put me in the Boston Marathon and….I’m still thinking about my pace and completing full body system checks every twenty seconds, approximately. I might catch a few sights in passing but, really, the scenery changes but I don’t typically notice.

I don’t even have a race on the calendar (yet) in the coming few months but I’m often asked “what are you training for?” Well, nothing, really. I just run because that’s what I like to do. I still do tempo runs, long runs, track 800’s because that’s part of the rote routine. I don’t need a race to keep me motivated. I don’t need a change in scenery to keep the activity enjoyable. I may need a dermatologist to look at my taint mole but that’s a completely different post I have planned for you.*

While I enjoy the roteness of my running, there lurks a hidden danger. I’m so used to my routine that weeks and months go by and I realize that I’ve barely pushed any harder outside of my comfort zone. I’m running the same paces and distance I did six months previously. And for an inveterate PR chaser, this is a danger. While the rote keeps me heading out the door, the rote also confines me to a certain level of training.

You must know when to cut the rote off and start fresh. Maybe I’ll go counter clockwise on my long run this Sunday…see what everything looks like coming from the other direction. I’m feeling a bit crazy.

I guess what I'm saying is...everyone needs a taint mole along the way to interrupt the rote. I hope you find yours.

Happy repeating.
Happy repeating.

*Plus, Giveaway!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Runner Zero

It won’t be a surprise to you to learn that I have a disease. It may be a surprise to you that it didn’t originate from Singapore. I was infected sometime about July 1999 in a small northern Michigan community. I had full blown symptoms the following spring. There were no “bathhouses” involved, no toe tapping, no George Michaels so – WHAM! – get those thoughts right out of your head.

No, it’s not Chronic Handsomeness either thankyouverymuch. It’s not even mild Pancreatic Hirsuteness. It’s running. I’m stricken. Someone gather my friend* and family and hook me up to a Gu I.V. I’ve been ill for over 12 years and the symptoms are only getting worse.

- Long periods of raging symptoms followed by shorter periods of (post-race) remission? Check.
- Inability to concentrate (on anything but training plans and paces)? Check.
- Preoccupation with inconsequential things (such as the elevation levels of a city’s streets)? Check.
- Explosive diarrhea? Of course.
- Inability to control my vulgar language? Fuck yeah.
- Change in body disposition? How high do you want that quarter to bounce off my ass?
- Change in temperament? Do I seem stable to you?
- Engages in hopelessly repetitive and damaging behavior? Want to watch 'Spirit of the Marathon' again?

I’m a first generation runner in my family. I come from an athletic clan too but usually they were chasing balls of some sort. I’ve evolved to the point where I don’t need balls to engage in a sport. Er, I don’t use balls…I mean, I don’t have any need for balls. Look, I have balls, okay? Stop badgering me.

Like patient zero, I’m runner zero in my family. Whoever is infected with the disease from here on out, well, it’s my fault. Being runner zero, the rest of the extended family generally has no idea what it takes to train, run a race, recover, work on speed, etc. We’ve all heard the “what distance is your marathon?” question. We’ve all heard a family member announce proudly that they are walking a “marathon 5k” for charity. My mother thinks the Gu packets I take out the door with me are some sort of illegal steroid. My dad has always told me that it’s good to be a little overweight…provides extra substance to your body to help fight illness. They both look at me sideways when I get noticeably gaunt (i.e. “fit”) as race day approaches.

No, the extended family doesn’t get it. I guess it’s probably the same way that the African guy, who came home with that satisfied look smelling of monkey sweat, must have been treated. It’s strange; it’s different; I’ll be gone tomorrow afternoon too.

In this case, I’m hoping the illness is carried by at least one, if not both, of my kids. Like any disease carrier, I’d like to spread it to as many people as possible. In fact, I’ve been trying to make running “cool” for my kids (who seem to think everything I do is “lame” and usually just look at me and say “Really?” in a disgusted tone). So, as I strap on my Asics, I cry out “Yo yo, I’m going for a run, bitches!” That’s cool, right? Plus, I made up a little rap to explain my disease-like devotion to running in hip Generation Z vernacular:

I’m heading out the door
No, that’s not a cold sore
It’s not Herpes simplex one
It’s Herpes simplex RUN!

Cool right!?! They scoff and eye-roll but I know they’re impressed that I came down to their level. See how I make running cool for the next generation? Yep, this disease should spread in no time.

Happy transmitting.

*clerk at Blockbuster

Friday, February 03, 2012

Dirt Dancing

Admit it, you looked at that title and thought “Stupid Nitmos, he forgot the ‘y’. What a dipshit.”

But I didn’t forget the “y”. Y? Because it doesn’t belong there. Y? Because I’d prefer to use it as a pseudo-literary device. Y? Because you expect nothing less than that here, dipshit.

No, seriously, Y? Because I’m not dirt-y dancing. I’m going to DIRT dance. There’s no Patrick Swayze to save me from the trappings of my exorbitant richness here. After a few years of flirting with Michigan’s most infamous trail race, I decided to pull the trigger. Actually, the gun was loaded and cocked for me and placed in my hand. A buddy of mine (and co-marathon collaborator) has done the 100k team relay for a few years in a row now. The last two years, he’s called me up a few weeks before the event to let me know that someone has dropped out and would I like to fill their spot. This is quite an offer too because, with this race, you can’t just fill out a registration and sign up. They don’t let just any Tom, Dick or Razz in. To gain entry, you either have to join an existing team or volunteer at the race the preceding year as your penance for next year’s entry. I’ve had to turn him down because of prior plans each of the last two years and I’ve kicked myself both times. This year, instead of a last minute “sub” offer, he’s invited me to register with the team from the get-go.

This race is called Dances with Dirt and it takes place in, appropriately enough, in a little town called Hell, Michigan. It involves trails with no markings, hills with no footing, poison ivy with no mercy, rivers with no bridge, mud with no hard surfaces, and vans with no rape. The relay involves a team of 5 covering 100k in about 4 mile segments at a time. You know the rest…vans, smells, body odor, sweaty skin rubbing…general filthy unpleasantness…like being at a Phish concert but with less pot.

The event features cleverly labeled trail segments such as:

- Buttslider
- Purgatory
- This Sucks
- Styx River of Death
- Stupid Lake

And here I thought Buttslider was just the name of a White Castle hamburger. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for This Sucks. How bad could it be?

The event date is September 22nd – about 6 weeks before the NYC Marathon. I’m sure a nice ankle busting, knee twisting gruelathon is exactly the type of training I need to conquer the concrete jungle of New York a few weeks later!

Well, it looks like my Fall dance card is filling up. We all have to die somewhere and tumbling down a poison ivy strewn hill into a muddy lake is as good a way as any (better even, ask David Carradine).

I’m up for the challenge…because no one puts Nitmos in a corner.

Happy trails.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

YakTrax for Two!

The free YakTrax contest is over. Deb, Mindy, and KMR, you can stop entering now. I’m glad you three – though special commendation to Deb and Mindy in particular for their dogged determination – understood that each entry only increased your odds of winning. This is something you other pinheads didn’t seem to understand. It’s a real testament to these folks lack of employment, hobbies, family, and general interest in ‘other things’ that they could continue to enter so often. I don’t make judgments around here. Feel free to spend your time however you choose…even if it is through the pursuit of a not-very-expensive free item.

I once had a couple spend 15 minutes trying to talk me down from 50 cents to a quarter for a Jell-o mold at a garage sale. I wouldn’t budge…on principle. I would have just given it to them if they asked nicely but they came at me so obviously intent on “winning” a price bickering contest that I dug my heels in and refused to budge. They walked. I believe I ended up throwing the Jell-o mold in the garbage afterwards and felt incredibly good about that. So, as you can see, there is within me a sick, twisted part that would find it absolutely hilarious if, after all the time commenting, Deb, Mindy, or KMR didn’t win.

But I had to be fair. I used’s random number generator. I’m afraid I couldn’t capture the results photo. I know it can be done – seen it before – but I wasn’t able to do it before I lost the result. You’ll just have to trust me on this one. I know you expect high moral standards around here so you’ll take me at my word. The random generator pronounced the winner as comment #48 (range 1-59), which was actually a response to someone else’s comment but still counts:

Deb said...
Xenia,You ROCK!!!! And for the record, I would never shank you...hamstring you, maybe, to rip the Yak Trax off of you in a more benign manner, but NEVER shank you. You once gave me a map to find the tastiest gelato in all of Rome, therefore you are NOT on my shank list!!!!
Wed Feb 01, 06:58:00 AM

DEB, YOU WIN!! Your total lack of ambition or any other hobbies paid off!! Email me your shipping info and I’ll get you hooked up with the YakTrax folk. See sidebar for email address.

But, I promised TWO YakTraks to giveaway and two it shall be. For the second one, I vowed to select the most creative answer to the following question:

If you could embezzle money from a charity and never get caught, which charity would it be and why?

What I didn’t tell you (though hinted at in yesterday’s post) is that there was actually a correct answer that would have guaranteed you the win if you entered it. Sarah McLachlan’s television campaign for the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) features a rotating bunch of animals - dogs mainly – that have been abused to a background of sad music. It’s a real heartstrings tugger. One dog seems to have a messed up eye. All you had to do was say something along the lines of “I would steal from the ASPCA, use the money to buy a stick, and use that stick to beat the dog in the other eye.”* =WINNER!

Though no one entered that, there were quite a few solid suggestions as well as a little socio-political brouhaha that started up, apologies, and general drama. Exactly what I was hoping for. I would have liked to have seen even more clever ways to screw a charity but I understand most of you aren’t like me. Every community of assholes needs a chief. I’m Chief Asshole…you are all just little taints.

Despite that, there was one terrific entry. It combined mean-spiritedness and humor to make a cocktail of snark which fit perfectly with the theme:

Xenia said...
I'm going to hell for even thinking this. I'd embezzle from an alzheimer's
charity because god knows they wouldn't remember it afterward.

Ticket to hell in hand!

XENIA, YOU WIN! I think you even discouraged others from trying. There’s truly nothing funnier than poking fun at someone’s life-threatening and seriously debilitating disease. Way to go! You should be proud of yourself. Better use them on mortal coil because you ain't gonna find much use for them where you're going afterwards. Email me your shipping address.

If only I had more YakTrax to give away…Oh, well, until next time!

Happy Yaking.

*I don’t condone animal abuse except in cases of rape or incest…wait, what are we talking about? In other words, don’t kick your dogs. That's mean. Kick your cat.