Posts Tagged ‘Analogies’

QUADRICEPS AFLAME: Part 3 of 7. In which I get shameless.

If this man doesn’t make you think of romance, I don’t know who will.

WEATHER: Steeeeeeamy.

MILES: 11.


WHERE TO: New and exciting areas of Georgetown.

MOOD: Steeeeeeeeeamy.


Chapter 3: A Woman-Sized Hunger

Friday came all too quickly.  Jessica Boudoir woke that morning for her run with more than her usual amount of alacrity, thinking of her fast-approaching carbo-loading date with the dreamiest runner the Potomac had ever seen.  From 6 AM onward throughout her day, Jessica’s mind was occupied with thoughts of Rod Deltoid.  As she increased her pace that morning, passing at a good clip down the National Mall, she tried to shake his presence in her mind. As she passed through the shadow of the great, girthy Washington Monument, thoughts of keeping up with Rod on a 3-hour run on the Appalachian Trail made Jessica’s bosom heave with longing, and for the first time in its short life Jessica’s 34A sports bra felt its capacity truly tested.

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The Boyfriend Analogy


WEATHER: 20 degrees and sunny.




WHERE TO: From Iwo Jima Memorial, across Key Bridge, over to the Rock Creek Park trail, and up through the park until our watches said it had been a bit over an hour.  And then back to Iwo Jima.

MOOD: Cold


Long run with S. today, up Rock Creek Parkway and back.  I had been considering a large bowl of oatmeal for brunch, with maybe a bowl of fruit on the side.  So naturally we went to Ray’s Hell Burger.  Having been eating quasi-vegetarian-ly for a while, and having not eaten red meat in at least 4 months, I was unsure.  Until I had a few bites, followed by a full-on mouthgasm, and had to lie down.

One topic on which S. and I talked today is the challenge of not showing off as a marathoner.  It’s a tough line to walk.  One tries not to bring it up, but then again — well, OK.  It takes up a lot of time.  It’s a daily companion.  It’s like a boyfriend.  So.  Imagine going through your life without telling anyone about your significant other because every time you did, you felt as if you were saying, “Ooh!  Look at me!  I’m dating So-and-so!  Lalala!”

But then someone at, say, happy hour brings up running and you just can’t help but get excited — “Oh, really?  Where do you run?  What races have you done?  ISN’TRUNNINGAMAZING??!?!!!?” you say, with a sort of creepy and disarming enthusiasm at having FOUND A KINDRED SPIRIT!  Maybe he’ll talk chafing with you!

But oh, now you’ve done it.  Because after rattling off all his achievements, large and small, then Mr. Happy Hour says,

“What races have you done?”

Now here you have a problem.  Do you say, “Oh, just a few here and there…” and hope Happy Hour leaves it there?  Or do you go for honesty?

Well, let’s assume you’re honest.

“Oh, I’ve done a few marathons.”  (Which, using my analogy, is the equivalent of saying, “Not only do I have a boyfriend, he’s HOT.  And LITERATE.”)

“Oh, which ones?”

“Twin Cities, Marine Corps, Grandma’s…” (“…and he’s employed…”)


“Boston…” (“…employed as a BRAIN SURGEON…”)

See, now Happy Hour is not so sure he’s happy he walked into this situation, but you’ve both gone down a path you can’t get off of, because once you tell someone you’ve run Boston, they HAVE to ask, “Ummm…how fast do you run?”

And so you respond by sort of muttering your qualifying time. (“Did I say ‘brain surgeon’?  Because I meant ‘brain surgeon AND a model AND an Italian chef AND the DC Fire Department’s resident HOTTIE…'”)

Happy Hour cocks his head, now clearly thinking you’re such a tool for having told him about your mad running skillz (boyfriend), and now he feels inadequate, and, to be honest, you feel kind of dirty, too, but someone is asking about your BOYFRIEND, for Chrissakes, and what are you supposed to do, just sort of shrug and say, “Meh, he’s OK”???  NO!  What did we learn in Girl Scouts?  HONESTY, kids!

“And how many have you run?”

And then you tell him your number.  (“Also, my boyfriend farts rainbows and knows where SEVEN HIDDEN G-SPOTS ARE.”)

Happy Hour, unable to take it, punches you in the face.  You slump to the floor, rubbing your jaw, a little stunned, but generally thinking, “Meh.  I probably deserved that.”


I think we can all learn a valuable lesson from this little parable: lie.  LIE. The next time someone asks me if I’m a runner, I’m going to go in the complete opposite direction.

“Ummm…I don’t have legs…”

I think this will work well.

Intervals = Ear-Peeing

WEATHER: As of 6 AM — 19 degrees or so?  Something like that.  Chilly, breezy.  And dark.




MOOD: Chipper

TYPE OF RUN: Intervals, as recommended by the VeteranTraningProgram (from the Boston Marathon website).  1 mile – 2 mile – 1 mile, plus warm-up, cool-down, and 4 min/7 min recovery.


The blog is paying off — the knowledge that the like 5 of you who read this might judge me if I didn’t do my daily running duty caused me to roll out of bed at 5:45 and not only do my 10 miles but do the intervals.  Which for me is an accomplishment.  Intervals might be considered the vegetables of training — like making your 10-year-old eat his brussels sprouts because they’re GOOD FOR HIM even if they TASTE LIKE CAT VOMIT.

This is a stupid analogy.  Vegetables are food.  Food is awesome.  Food is eaten.  Eating is the best thing in the world, next to being 15 and realizing that Lance Bass is STILL SINGLE and so you STILL HAVE A CHANCE WITH THIS GUY!

…so, yeah.  Eating.  It’s awesome.  Anyway.

Interval training is more akin to this thing this powerfully strange study hall monitor told me in high school.  I walked up to Mrs. I.’s desk one day (I. stood for her surname, “Ihavelowpaydemands”) with an earache, hoping to go to the nurse’s office.

“You know,” she smacked (for Mrs. I. said everything through these thin wormy lips that guarded the entrance to a hyper-salivated mouth that was NEVER CLOSED FOR LONG ENOUGH), “when I was a kid, if you had an ear infection, you had someone pee in your ear.”

“……huh,” I responded.

“Maybe YOU should have someone pee in your ear!” she suggested, without the faintest trace of joking-ness.

“…but…but we don’t know I have an ear infection!”

“Oh, if it hurts that much, you probably do.”

Gosh, OK. “Well, how do you know it helps?  Are there, like, studies?”

She put her hands on her hips, exasperated at this pinhead before her, asking impertinent questions.  “Of COURSE not, but it certainly never did anybody any worse!”

Touche, madam.

So there you go.  This is how I think about speedwork — it sucks while you do it, it feels like maybe the benefits are purely psychological, you have to close your eyes and grit your teeth and bear it, it’s probably better done (at least in my case) when it’s dark out and you’re too groggy to know better, and it never made anybody any WORSE off.  Not unlike getting one’s ear peed in.

Unbeatable inspiration.  There you have it.

You’re welcome.