Saturday, April 26, 2008
I have returned from the Boston Marathon! I had a good time (both in the duration of my race and the trip in general). Two of my friends, however had a spectacular story. The three of us sat down to write it last night. We've discussed sending it to Runner's World. Let me know what you think!
PR = Party Race
A true story of Ms Mileage and Hillene (in the voice of Ms Mileage) authored by the RabidRunner.
You’d think with 24 weeks of preparation, 1500 miles, umpteen hours of intervals, hills and tempo training, I’d be ready to PR at the BM.
Okay don’t get ahead of yourself. The BM is not a trip to the bathroom, it is a reference to the mother of all foot races: The Boston Marathon. In order to run the Boston Marathon, you must 1) qualify, 2) find transportation and lodging, and 3) show up ready.
First: I qualified at the St George Marathon with a PR (as in Personal Record) of 3:08. Check. Second: I bought a plane ticket with friends and landed a sweet deal at a hotel near the finish. Check. Third: I had trained well. Or had I?
One week before race day while on vacation, I went out for a final 8 mile mid-effort run. After six miles, it felt like the oxygen was gone. I began to wheeze, feel light-headed and ended up in the ER. They told me I had severe anemia and shouldn’t attempt a marathon.
So let’s do the math. How many hours did I spend preparing for this? How much money had I spent on massages, energy gel, shoes, supplements, and dashing outfits? What did I spend on plane tickets and hotel accommodations? You want to tell me to throw all of that away for a measly bout of anemia? Sorry.
After returning home from vacation, I phoned a doctor who is also a close family friend. He had several options available that might allow me to run the marathon. One of these options was a blood transfusion. Risky yes. But come on this is the BM! Earlier that week I was informed that my red blood cell count was as low as someone who had four consecutive C-sections. Naturally with a red blood cell count that low, a transfusion isn’t so far out there. Besides, think of how well I’ll perform after blood doping! With the help of my family, we decided on a blood transfusion the next day - Thursday (BM minus 4 and counting).
The transfusion was supposed to take 8 hours. I arrived at the hospital with the latest Runner’s World, three weeks of People and the supplies for a full pedicure. Eight hours is a long time to sit there with many a stranger’s blood being pumped through your veins! But to my surprise, the doc marched in and declared that the cheeseburgers, prime rib, top sirloin, and raw roast beef had miraculously increased my red blood cell count. My cholesterol was up - but at least I had more oxygen carrying Oompa Loompas to facilitate in the upcoming race. The doc ordered an iron infusion in lieu of a blood transfusion. And Yipee! It only takes two hours.
Let’s fast forward to race day (and skip the flight – especially the guy with the stinky feet in front and whiner to my left; the oh-so-fun Olympic Trials; the twelve miles we walked around Boston; and the anxiety-induced insomnia the night before). I was scared to death. What pace do I run?! Will I be able to keep up my friends?! Who am I kidding?! AM I GOING TO FINISH?!
The race starts and I run. But after a difficult first 10k, I knew I was in trouble and had a long way to go. I wanted to stop but didn’t dare show my vulnerability to a crowd of thousands and ducked into a porta-john to have a good cry. Crap!
After shedding a few tears, I was able to regroup and continue. At mile 9, I phoned my husband who told me to be safe and call it a day. At mile 10 the family doc called and said “find the nearest medical tent”. My eyes looked up and behold a medical tent complete with angels and harps and clouds appeared.
I stumbled into the tent hyperventilating and defeated. Between the medical personnel in the tent and the family doc, they decided to hook me up with a hit of oxygen and a bag of fluid – IV style. I was heartbroken, vanquished, and done. I cannot finish. Especially by myself.
That’s when my phone rang.
Imagine if you will the person on the other end. Her name is Hillene. She is a great training partner and friend who had entered the BM to party. Hillene had a phone, camera, more make-up than Cleopatra, and a spiked, ribbon-encased pony tail on top of her head. She was calling herself “Pebbles” (as in Bam-Bam, Fred, Wilma - you get the picture).
“Huuuulllooo?” It was me, not too happy.
“MS. MILEAGE! WHERE ARE YOU!?” amidst hysterical giggling.
“Medical tent mile 10. Where are you?”
“I don’t know. Let me check.” Hillene asks others (in her best Pebbles voice), “Hey guys. Where are we?” Then answers with, “Mile 11. I’m coming to get you.”
And come to get me she did. We were both a little hesitant at first, but Hillene ran upstream a whole mile, threw open the curtain of the tent and yelled “Let’s Party!” After a quick squeeze of the IV bag and a photo with the personnel we were off.
I finished the BM in what would become my best race ever. We stopped to take a couple of pulls on a road side rowing machine, we threw M&Ms and grapes to gaping mouths in the crowd, and we high-fived until our arms were sore. We made phone calls, we took a giant bite out of a stranger’s sandwich, we laughed ‘til our bellies cramped, and we stopped to walk when needed. The best part? We took photos of it all - each with a smile so large no one would know the pain.
With the help of Hillene, I finished a marathon that 16 miles earlier seemed impossible. I started this training season with the hope of a PR but left with a friend for life. And as for Hillene? She says the 28 miles on her GPS were well worth it. Let's face it, who wants to party alone?
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I was just now thumbing through my blog categories (listed ever so neatly to your right) and I heard myself gasp. There's a category there called "gratitude" and there is one measly entry in that gratitude category! Gasp again!
What does this say about me?!
Either I need to write more about how grateful I am, or do as the politicians and pigeonhole previous posts so they work into my gracious agenda.
I'll probably do both.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Today's Friday Flashback is brought to you by The Record Bar. Do you remember that place? Yum, I can smell the vinyl now. Or is that Naugahyde? Deer Hyde? Elephant Hyde?
Theodore Nugent was born December 13, 1948 in Detroit Michigan. Because "Theodore" is too elegant a name for this ruffian musician, author, political activist, TV show host and killin' machine, he prefers to be called "Ted".
Ted first began his musicianship with a band called The Amboy Dukes. After a mediocre few years with that band, The Nuge ventured solo and produced several hits including, Cat Scratch Fever, Free For All, Strangehold, Dog Eat Dog, Wang Bang Sweet Poontang, and Wango Tango. In 1978 the Ted Nugent band dismantled.
After his solo career, Ted formed a band called the Damn Yankees. If you're into dropping names, this is a good band to know! The Damn Yankees had Nuge, Jack Baldes from Night Ranger, Tommy Shaw from Styx and Michael Cartellone from Italy (okay, I don't know if he's from Italy but you can't tell me Cartellone is NOT Eyetalian.) The only noteworthy mentionable from the Damn Yankee era is the hit High Enough.
Presently, Ted Nugent is busy killin' and either writing about it or displaying it on TV. The Ted Nugent literary series includes, "Gods, Guns and Rock n' Roll", "Kill It and Grill It", and "Bloodtrails II: The Truth About Bowhunting". He's also threatened a few times to take his conservative political activism to office (as in Senator).
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I need a running music refresher. Not that the 485 songs in my "Running" playlist aren't enough, it's just I need something new, fresh, and invigorating. What's the best way to find music you can run to? Google it. (I really love that google is a verb).
Anyway, so I google music you can run to and I get this web site called http://www.jogtunes.com/. They have all sorts of junk on this site and it's nifty. You click on the link, it opens the Itunes store and you can listen to the selected 30 second snippet. Fantastic!
'Cept 9 out of 10 bands in the Alternative genre sound like Blink 182. Why don't they just change the name of the genre from Alternative to Blink 182. Geez.
Can anyone help me? Can you send me some music I can run to?
Friday, April 11, 2008
Today's Friday Flashback is brought to you by Tea Parties, Paul Revere, Harvard, and the Red Sox. But most of all, today's Friday Flashback is brought to you by the mother of all foot races, the Boston Marathon!
Boston was chosen for obvious reasons - the 112th running of the Boston Marathon - set to take place on April 21. You might think that Boston (the band) was chosen because the rabidrunner is a fan. Actually the opposite is true. I am not a fan.
Here's a true story: I was on the phone earlier with a friend. I mentioned that I had to get off the phone so that I could write my "column" (I can't have two late Friday Flashbacks in a row you know). He asked who I was going to write about. I said "Boston" then he started to laugh and said "you hate Boston!"
That's right friends, Romans, countrymen... I hate Boston. My hatred for Boston is More Than A Feeling, it's a passion. I get a melancholic Piece of Mind knowing that I Don't Look Back to hear their music ever and shutter at the thought of naming any of my children Amanda (mostly because they're boys).
But for the love of the city and the race, Boston it is.
Unlike a previous flashback by the name of Berlin (where the band came from Los Angeles), the members of Boston are actually from Boston. An MIT grad by the name of Tom Sholtz (keyboards, guitars) established the band with guitarist Barry Goudreau, drummer Jim Masdea and the ever popular (ick!) vocalist Brad Delp. They reigned supreme from 1976 to 1983 and sold over 30 million copies of sludge.
Have I gone over the top yet? Let's keep going!
The foursome created a bunch of cheesy 70s love songs. All of which I'm sure were danced to at many a prom. Being as Boston is before my prom time (if I were to go to a prom), I'll assume that the music of Boston added to the ambiance provided by all of that feathered hair and booger soled shoes.
New for Boston, besides the reunion stuff that so many old geezer bands do these days, is the battle of the presidential contender. Evidently Goudreau is a supporter of Mike Huckabee and allowed Huckabee to use "More Than A Feeling" in his campaign. Scholtz, who favors Obama, wasn't at all happy about the conservative yip using the hit.
I'm sure there was a cat fight over that one.
So who do you think is going to win the race? And what about the Women's Olympic Trial Marathon (to take place the day before the Boston)? Who's going to win that one? And who will make the team?
Such excitement! I can hardly wait.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Spouse is in surgery right now and I'm a nervous wreck! HOWEVER, I'm a nervous wreck with internet access.
As I sit in lobby of strangers brought together by broken bones (we're at an orthopedic specialty hospital), I'm filled with the desire to document our second honeymoon. Which coincidentally began with an accident (and is missing a few crucial elements of a honeymoon - if you know what I mean).
March 26, 2008 - it was day like any other day. Except Spouse had taken the day off to ski (boss of spouse was schmoozing other software engineers in India). Spouse had arranged to take some friends skiing. They have a Yahoo the same age as our oldest Yahoo and it was going to be a "fun, easy day with the kids."
The trouble is our Yahoo likes the terrain park. And when Spouse sees the terrain park, he must take kickers and get what the kids these day refer to as "air". He's done it a 100 times this year (not exact but you get the picture). And I've seen him get "air" on this particular kicker probably 50 of those hundred times.
On what was to be the last run of the day (accident or not), Spouse stopped at the top of the terrain park located on a run called "Jonsey's". There were three relatively small jumps all in a row. He was going to hit all three (like he had done a few times that day). The Yahoo and I are at the top watching.
Spouse takes first jump. No problem. He takes the kicker to the second jump and gets some GIANT air. So giant that he overshot the landing by about 3 feet and landed on the flat. See the way these daredevils take the jumps, you're supposed to land going DOWN, so that the whole inertia gravity thing (or whatever) is going with you instead of against you (if it's flat).
Spouse disappears. I hear SLAP. And not just any slap. A slap worthy of putting twelve wife beaters away for life. Seriously that loud. So I get this strange stomach ache and say to Yahoo "we better check on Dad." We head down, Yahoo skis on past him (laying on his hands and knees) and I stop.
My original assessment (as a software chap) was he's okay. He is laughing - but the giggles are interjected between complaints of some "numb heels." After a few minutes I convince him to get a ride down so as not to ruin anything further.
Spouse takes a ride in a toboggan. Yahoo and I meet him down at the U of U medical tent where we quickly discuss insurance logistics with the nurse (before figuring out if he's okay and it's not really a tent). The nurse says we don't take your insurance and Spouse say fine we'll pay cash (ouch!)
Being as Yahoo will most likely drive us nuts chasing the avalanche rescue dog, we send him home with the friends (bless their hearts). Spouse is wheeled off to x-ray and I wait. My spot for waiting happened to be within ear shot of where the x-rays are read.
The mood in the place was light. Everyone was making fun of my 43 year-old Spouse in the terrain park. I hear the flapping of x-ray plastic and then "Oh Crap" and then "That Sucks" and then "Go x-ray his back". It's important to note that no time elapsed between the rattling of plastic and the "Oh Craps" and the "That Sucks". There was no discussion. There was no pencil following the lines of bones, shadows, etc.
Then I cried. It wasn't one of those dainty tear down the cheek cries. It was a bunch of those prune face, wrinkled nose, hyena-gasping-for-air cries. I was in a room full of nurses, doctors, ski patrollers, patients (who came in on back boards but walked out) and dogs!
Now the skinny little nurse with gray spiked hair gives me a hug and tells me I need to be in there with him when they unload the news. Yeah right. Send the losin' it wife in there to comfort him. I had visions of her shaking me like a coconut and screaming that I need to get it together. She didn't. She looked at me above her shallow reading glasses and said "he's being very brave."
Two crushed heels no tears? Undeniably brave.
For one long dreary day, we had doubts about him walking again (thanks to the orthopedic surgeon on call at the hospital). After that day, our night in shining armor, Dr. Drew Van Boerum walked in and told us he could fix his feet. He's had more challenging cases and he's fixed over 150 calcaneus fractures. Spouse will need several weeks in a wheel chair, but he'll walk and ski and play just like before.
We returned home to loads of people with concern. They brought meals, they took Yahoos so that we could adjust to the situation. They built us a ramp in the garage. They brought treats, flowers, balloons and called with words of encouragement. We are so loved
And speaking of love. This whole mess has made me fall in love with Spouse all over again. He is my everything. My heart skips a beat now each time he adoringly speaks or looks at me and his touch is electric.
A second honeymoon indeed. Except now I get to push him around more.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Today's Friday Flashback is late! Brought to you by sheer sloth, procrastination, laziness, otiosity and last but not least IDOL.
William Michael Albert Broad was born November 30, 1955 in Middlesex England. As a toddler (age 2 is the rumor), the Broads moved the family to Long Island, New York to pursue a life in America. Evidently the American Dream didn't solidify and the family would return to England two years later. One of my sources said "America made a big impression on Billy; he loved the big cars and rock music" to which I say "How do you know?" Come on now. He was only 4... what do YOU remember from age 4? Anyway the young William Broad came back to England with a sister.
Young Billy Broad was mischievous and non-committal in his studies. One teacher wrote "Billy is Idle" on one of his papers. The remark was meant to be criticism I'm sure, but not to Billy Broad - Idle was a reference he would not forget.
Let's think about it for a minute. Billy Broad? What were his parents thinking? I'd change my name too.
Back to the flashback. In 1975, Billy entered a low budget-we'll accept anyone-type college called Orpington. He was idle you know so it's not like he'd be going to Cambridge or Oxford or any of those other hoity-toity-let’s-go-drink-wine-and-go-rowing schools. After a year of some seriousness at Orpington, Billy was accepted to Sussex University. It was here that he would study philosophy and schlep along with the Sex Pistols fan club.
Philosophy? Sex Pistols? Fan Club? If that isn't a recipe for rock star, I don't know what is!
After Billy Broad became Billy Idol, he formed a band called Chelsea and later renamed it Generation X. In 1977, Idol and his Generation Xers - a punk band at the end of the punk movement - were offered a recording contract. After three of their albums tanked, the band split and Idol moved to New York (dreaming of those fast cars and rock antics of his toddlerdom).
In New York, Idol decided to go solo and hooked up with [soon-to-become] legendary guitarist Steve Stevens. The new Billy Idol band hired Kiss manager Bill Aucoin at the dawn of the new wave explosion and with a special thanks to MTV, Billy Idol the rock star was born.
Speaking of MTV, remember Martha Quinn? She had the coolest haircut.
And if you're up for something slightly new and oh so fresh... check out his 2005 album Devil's Playground housing the hit Body Snatcher. Sounds uplifting, doesn't it? Oh well.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
At the dawn of this glorious April Fool Day (yesterday actually), I had hopes that some fruity court jester would barge into the house and declare Spouse's broken feet (and inability to walk for three months) a joke.
Alas the jester did not come. But broken feet or not, we're having April Fools Day! (As an aside, is it April Fool's, Fools' or Fools?)
The origin of April Fools day is obscure. One theory is the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1582. The Gregorian calendar changed the beginning of the new year from April 1 to January 1. Those who rebelled against the new calendar still celebrated the new year on April 1 and were considered "April Fools".
Most of the western world observes April 1st as a day of practical jokes and pranks. They call it "Hunting The Gawk" in Scotland and the French refer to the day as "Poisson d'Avril" or April Fish. The French would celebrate the day by sending dead fishes to friends, enemies and the like. Those eco-friendly-save-the-planet-and-animals people have ruined all the fun so tricksters now attach paper fishes to the backs of said friends, enemies and the like.
Our April Fools Day began with backward clothing and a ham/ice cream sandwich for breakfast. And the Finale? A Jeff Gordonesque attack on Vera and Stu's home. Think of it. Hundreds of that red-neck Jeff Gordon in every room. Frightening.
"April 1st: This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three-hundred and sixty-four." - Mark Twain