Monthly Archives: March 2011

As clumsy as you’ve been there’s no one laughing

Not my ankle, but close enough.

Suddenly I have cankles.  Correction, a cankle.  I first noticed the weird swelling Tuesday evening, but Husband thought I was being paranoid.  By Wednesday he could no longer ignore  the complete lack of definition in my left formerly-known-as-ankle. 

There has been no noticeable reduction in dimension despite my three-day committment to left-sided RICEing.  It does not hurt to walk or run or hop or skip or jump; it’s just painlessly bloated.  I do not know the cause or the cure.  I suspect it may be related to the expired gel.

Title: Our Lady Peace – Clumsy. 1997.

totally confused all the passing piranhas, she’s lump

For the Annals of Stupid Things I Do to Food/Drink During Races, I have not yet exhausted my supply of stories from Around the Bay. 

I packed my race kit the evening before the race (I’m organized!) in the dark because it was Earth Hour and I’m awesome in a turn the lights out way (I’m not organized enough to finish before Earth Hour!) and thus my gel selection was touch based.  I quickly discovered that my gel selection was limited to two choices: lumpy or really lumpy. 

I opted for Lumpy.  Lumpy, I later discovered by candlelight, was over a year expired.  Really Lumpy was nearly two years expired and intelligently went right to the garbage bin.  You may recall my recent brush with expired products.  I lost.   Sweaty Kid reminded me of a recent tangle with gels during a race.  I lost.  Someone with more foresight than me could have easily avoid certain tragedy.

But Lumpy seemed fine except for the bottom lumpy bits.  I reasoned I could eat around the lumpy bits, which would helpfully stay put at the bottom of packet.  I estimated 5/6 of the packet was edible.  The odds were in my favour.

I saved my gel for 21K, a sugar kick for the final push.  In my race haze I greedily consumed the entire packet, lumpy bits and all, then immediately freaked as the disgusting and no longer vanilla flavoured lumps bumped down my throat.  

I do not know the physical side effects of expired gels, but the psychological side effects are an urgent need to go and to go is code for two not one, obsessive worrying about the side effects of ingesting expired chemicals, and the constant feeling of not vanilla regurgitation. 

 Not one to let a near poisoning throw me off my game, as you well know, I stoically soldiered on.

Title: Presidents of the United States of America – Lump.  1995.

I’m hot, sticky sweet from my head to my feet

I have an Around the Bay FuelBelt curse.  I do not know what I did to deserve a cursing, but I can only imagine that the transgression was particularly bad.  There is no other explanation.  See evidence from 2009

Yesterday I broke the cardinal rule of racing: do not try anything new on race day.  I tried three new FuelBelt brand water bottles.  I carry my own liquid during Around the Bay because the aid stations are “approximately every five kilometres”.  This is neither accurate nor frequent enough for my compulsion liking.  

At 6 am I filled the three new bottles with lemon-lime Gatorade, packed my FuelBelt, and drove to the bay.  As I got ready for the race the bottles felt strangely sticky and I assumed – wrongly, I’ve since learned- that I spilled some Gatorade in my sleep-deprived state of bottle filling.  I am very apt to spill Gatorade or get distracted and overfill bottles, so this was not a conclusion without precedence.  Also, I was worried about race day attire and did not give my FuelBelt the attention it needed.  At least I got the what to wear part right.  I cluelessly strapped on the belt and lined up behind the start banner. 

At 3K (every 3K is to my liking) I grab Bottle 1 from its house on the front left for my first refreshing drink.  Mysteriously, the bottle is empty.  What happened to my lemon-lime Gatorade?  I looked around, confused, as though I might find the precious neon electrolytes somewhere on the road.  As the sticky liquid quickly seeped through my wicking layers I found the Gatorade.  In my increasing damp shirt and tights.  The entire contents drained all over me.  Not only was I sticky mess, but I looked like I lemon-lime peed my pants.  No, I am not that hardcore.  To my relief Bottles 2 and 3 seemed reasonably intact, in that they still contained some (but not all) fluid.  At 6K I attempted to drink from Bottle 2.  Half went in my mouth, half dribbled down my shirt into my welcoming bra.  Of course.  Repeat at 9K with Bottle 3.  As though I was drinking from a childish joke cup.  Half in, half down my shirt, leaving an attractive lemon-lime bib around my neck.  

Not one to let a lemon-lime leak throw me off my game, I stoically soldiered on.  Upon successful completion of the race I hugged a friend and promptly adhered to him, my Gatorade forming some sort of superglue.  That last part is a lie, but he did smell faintly of lime after.  Before contaminating anyone else I dashed to the stadium washroom for a quick hooker bath to scrub away the remaining substance.  And so ended my fourth run around the bay. 

Title: Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me.  1987.

Shake it up, just like bad medicine

Warning: Do not use in replace of medical advice. This is neither medical nor advice.

Q.  I’m running a tune-up race tomorrow and my back hurts for reasons that shall secretly remain a secret.  Should I try the pain reliever patch a stranger gave me for free at a race expo three years ago even though it expired one year ago and spent considerable time in direct sunlight despite the bolded do not store in sunlight warning?

A.  Yes, you should use the patch.  Always trust free medical supplies distributed at race expos.  The ingredient list is impressive in that most of the words are long and unpronounceable.  If the patch burns do not remove it.  That means it is working.  If the patch itches do not remove it.  That means it is working.  If Husband notices a weird odor coming from the patch do not remove it.  That means it is working.  After up to but not exceeding eight hours of burning itchy smelly torture, the patch removal doubles as a back waxing.  Win win. 

Title: Bon Jovi – Bad Medicine. 1988.

A year has passed since I wrote my note

Dear Runshorts,

I’m not sure I can trust you.  I think you need a gentle reminder that, for you, the Around the Bay 30K is a run, not a race.  An expensive run so you can avoid the hated stop lights that are at least 20 minutes long.  In case you start getting silly ideas, I must remind you that last Saturday you ran 37K.  On Tuesday you ran an easy 8K but in minimalist shoes that graced your weary feet for the first time since September.  On Wednesday you ran slippery hill repeats in a snowstorm.  On Thursday you enjoyed a 75 minute athletic (euphemism for painful but in a good way) massage.  On Friday you went to the track for the first time in 20 weeks and ran loops into the wind, mysteriously in every direction.  Sunday is your day of rest.  30 restful kilometres. 

Do not screw this up by running too fast. 


Your voice of reason

Title: The Police – Message in a Bottle. 1979.

I don’t need no beast of burden

Monster month = monster appetite.  I need to feed the long run beast.  This happens every training cycle. 

Today at 2 pm, at my desk, I made s’mores.  My coworkers must secretly suspect I have a tape worm.  

I made s’mores without marshmallows because I don’t eat vile food that doesn’t look, smell, or taste like food.  Also I didn’t melt the chocolate.  I worried a bunsen burner might cross the fire code line.  Also I used cookies instead of graham crackers.  No reason, except one of convenience, as in I conveniently had cookies at my desk. 

So technically I ate a bag of animal cookies covered in chocolate buds.  Calling them s’mores sounds classier than calling it what it is.  A pathetic binge.  Yeah, it’s a sad scale when s’more is the sophisticated end point.  

 Title: Rolling Stones – Beast of Burden. 1978.

Warm beer and bread they said could raise the dead

Have you ever been asked that old nugget, if you could invite five people, living or dead, to dinner who would you invite and why?  Yeah, I hate that question too.  Let’s play, with the obvious running twist.  I’ll go first.

1. Terry Fox – Why?  Childhood hero.  I once went to a museum to look at his shoes.  So yeah, I’m a fan.

2. Jacqueline Gareau – Why?  She’s the one that Rosie Ruiz totally screwed over and she handled it with grace.

3. Simon Whitfield – Why?  My enormous crush He stars in one of my favourite Olympic moments and is the only person on the list I’ve run with FOR REAL. 

4. Roger Bannister – Why?  Science geek and runner.  Just like me.  Except for the neurologist and record breaking parts.

5. Roger Robinson – Why?  I love his articles on running and I think he’d be good at filling those inevitable awkward silences at the dinner table.

And if any of them send their regrets,

Tom Longboat – Why?  Controversy and stories of intrigue followed him as he raced – and often bested – the greats of the time (Shrubb, Pietri). 


Your turn!  (Conveniently bolded and exclamation marked so you know to reply.  Even if you only want one guest.  I know it’s a lot of work to host a dinner party, even an imaginary one with dead invitees).


Title: Jimmy Buffett – Cheeseburger in Paradise.  1978.