Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Meaning for an Old Term

I had an unholy experience today.

Let me begin by catching you all up to my training.

I've hit a few more 13 milers, all with intention of getting up to a nice 20 mile run before petering down as the marathon approaches.

When I finally set out to hit my goal, my knees had other plans. I made it 12 miles before having to stop, lest the incessant grinding of my kneecaps bother the wild geese.

Looking ahead, I was worried. I hadn't hit anything over a 13 miler, my body was showing signs of kidney stones, and my motivation was still low.

Today, things changed, but only a little.

I'm still sick in my stomach area, but managing. My knees hurt something awful.

But my motivation is back on.

I woke up this morning and it was cold. I mean seriously cold. I'm not saying that because I'm from Texas and am not used to Boston weather, I'm saying that because it was 30 degrees with a wind chill of 22.


I got in trouble with the Army (missed PT) so I had to attend a Saturday morning run.

So I throw on my running shorts, by under armor shirt, a long sleeve shirt and a ski jacket. I figure, with the weather like this, the Army isn't going to let people outside. It's too damned cold.

Once again, I am an idiot.

I arrive just in time to hear the Master Sergeant call for us to get ready for the run. I drop my ski coat and pull on a beanie and gloves. I'm shivering already.

The run begins, easy 9:00 pace, and my lungs are dying. The cold is literally freezing the water in my body. I'm wheezing like an asthmatic, though still leading the pack (cold doesn't change the fact that I'm a stubborn ass).

After three miles, my lungs warm up and I'm running easy, but I'm still worried about my knees.

And then something off happened. My knee started to hurt, but then just froze over. It was as though a layer of ice formed where the cartilage in my knee should have been. I was able to maintain my pace with no pain.

After 9 miles, I was giddy. Endorphines were rocking my brain, and I was able to lead the pack and carry a nice conversation.

Then mile ten came.

Last night, I'm sad to say, I ate pizza. This was a mistake.

Like most members of my family, I have some lactose issues. I won't say I'm intolerant because I feel racism is disgusting, but I do tell the odd lactose joke to my friends.

At mile 10, my stomach awoke. It told me, in no small terms, that a deuce was coming. I had three miles to go before I'd be home, and there was nary a Port-o-John to be seen.

It seemed like it would be the end of me, save one thing: The Sherman Proximity Law

Albert Sherman (old friend) once told me that craps, like most bodily functions, are as much mental as they are physical. When you are stuck in a line, for instance, your bladder panics because it doens't know when the line will end.

The same idea can be applied here, but with favorable results. The dump knew I wouldn't let it down, and that there wasn't a place to properly release, so it stayed in place. Sure, I hit some AWEs (Almost Wet Emission) during my final mile, but I made it back to a reliable john.

Now, the Sherman principle applies in two ways. Being far from a facility can cause the body to panic, but being close can cause the load to commence firing procedures prior to bay doors opening. This is known in layman as "prarie doggin".

In any case, I made it back safely.

None of this, however, refers to my original quote: something unholy.

As I said, it was 30 degrees. I was wearing shorts. In the event of hypothermia, the body removes blood from unneeded body parts to continue circulation amongst the organs. Today, my body made a poor choice about what was necessary.


I was a mile from home when my groin started to hurt. I stopped at a crosswalk, jogging in place to keep my legs warm, and placed a hand "down yonder" to check on the situation.

I couldn't feel anything for a moment. It was as though I'd dropped "them" along the way, like car keys. After a moment, a horrible sensation came over me.

Excuse my language, but my junk was frozen.

It wasn't until after I'd arrived at the Track and Tennis Center and gone into the bathroom for emergency reheating that I realized the scope of the threat.

Thankfully, my "team" was well trained in cold weather. I won't give you the gory details (mainly because there aren't words in the tongue of man to describe this) but I was able to restore 100% functionality to all equipment.

What's even better, I ran 13 miles. I ran it well. After I was done, I wanted to run more.

And I could have. My knees felt fine. I could have done more.

13 more? That we'll have to see.

Until then,

Run fasterest.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Oh man...not much to say after reading your account. I think your "guys" and your bowels decided to give you something else to think of so your knees wouldn't slow you down.