Tag Archive: running


 

It’s a crisis!  I wish everyone I know would just buy a goddamn Porsche and be done with it.  Instead, everyone around me – everyone who is every bit as middle-aged as I am – is not doing that.

Porsche

Midlife crises used to be so easy work through.  So predictable, so easy; practically transactional.  You ran out and bought a Porsche.  Or you got some bouncy new boobs.  Swipe your credit card, you’re done.

Suddenly a 911 and pectoral saline vessels aren’t good enough anymore.   No, now everyone’s got to get fit.  Gotta work out, gotta pump up!  When you realize that you’re closer to death than you are from your birth, no one wants to go out in a blaze of glory anymore.  Instead, everyone wants to amp up the health factor, make up for years of indulgence and intoxication, desperate to try and reverse the aging process.

So yeah, let’s all work out and kick ass.

Remember when everyone on the planet wanted to take up kickboxing?  Ooooh, so tough.  But kickboxing is just so ‘90s, you guys.  Now, if you really want everyone know you’re middle-aged, kicking ass, and taking names, you gotta run a dozen miles, AND go to a spin class, AND take a crossfit session.  All before lunchtime, bitches.

Marathons?  Fuck that shit, you pussy – ULTRAMARATONS FTW, motherfucker!  Wait, scratch that – running’s not enough, I better tack on some swimming and some cycling to it!  Fuck yeah!

“Hey, how’s your marathon training coming along?” “Hey, are you signed up for next month’s tri?”  “We totally need to sign up for that obstacle race where they swing glass-encrusted sledgehammers at you and send 50,000 volts of electricity right to your nipples.”

OMG, SHUTTHEFUCKUP, SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP, SHUTTHEFUCKUP!!!

A buddy of mine once shared this joke with me, “When you’re at a party, how can you tell which ones are triathletes?  Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.”  Except it’s not a fucking joke.  The only thing more irritating than a triathlon are all the assholes running them.

All these fucking guys can’t wait to tell you about all their training, how their last event went, what races they’re signed up for, how many miles they ran this week, what shoes they ended up with after they got sized up by some supercomputer or some fucking shit like that.

Stop being so psyched, for fuck’s sake.  It’s fucking irritating.  Fucking nerd dorks with 2% body fat.  No one’s impressed.  You’re annoying as fuck and you look gross.

The most irritating of all are all these obstacle races that are all the fucking rage.  Crawling through mud, climbing walls, running under barbed wire, and fuck know what.  And these fuckers get so fucking carried away with all of it.

Mud Run

Admittedly, I signed up for one of these fucking things.  A year ago, happened upon one of these races and saw a bunch of people climbing ropes and running through mud, and thought, “Hey, playing in that mud looks fun.”  I have the maturity of a 5 year-old.  So I signed up for this year’s Merrell Down And Dirty Mud RunAs a goof.  Because I hate running with every fiber of my being, and I am the least competitive (in physical activity) person I know.  I chose this particular event because it was the most creampuff event, and it took place 5 miles from my house.  That’s how lazy I am.

No fire pits, no swimming through pools of urine, no electric fences, none of that bullshit.  This was no more treacherous than playing flag football a bunch of pissed-off midgets.  Seriously.

Yet, I showed up the day of the event, and the entire scene instantly laughable.  Girls with team shirts saying “Beast” or “Tough Bitch” or something touting grrrrrl power.  Beefcake dudes with bandanas wearing eye black.  Everyone was constantly growling or grunting and pumping their roided fists in the air.

I had entered the WWE of running.

Are you fucking kidding me.  This was little pussy 3-mile run with a bunch of shitty obstacles thrown in, and you guys are losing your shit over this?  Calm the fuck down, you Adderalled assholes.  Maybe cut your Red Bull intake in half, let’s start there.

MuddyShoes

And for all the posturing and bullshit tough guy theatrics, I ran this race and came in 8th in my class.  8th.  This fat fuck.  All without any growling or making my pecs dance.  Puh-fucking-leeze.

You fuckers need to save all the grunting and shouting and the eye black and the compression sleeves for something that’s worth going ape shit over.  At the rate these types of events are taking off, it won’t take long.  Assholes aren’t going to happy until there’s an event in which race organizers are firing live rounds at the runners, making them run through actual minefields, and playing dodgeball with a balloon filled with the Ebola virus.

This is how “The Running Man” will come about.  And when it does, I hope it comes with all the shiny spandex we can stand.  Until then, would the rest of you please, PLEASE, PLEASE shut the fuck up about your workouts.

 

 

 

Pizza race number

So one week after I partook in a bike race by mistake, I found myself in another race this weekend.  This time, my entry was entirely on purpose.  And completely impulsive.

Because I’m surrounded by avid runners who take their sport very (too?) seriously, I’d been swept up with all sorts of talk about running.  I fucking loathe running.  I find it the dullest, most tedious athletic activity on the planet.  After all, per “the rules,” one should only run if being pursued; and one should only run fast enough to evade capture.  Everything else – fuck that noise.

So what the fuck was I thinking on Thursday when I opened my email and read an article about a foot race around Tompkins Square Park on Saturday?

This race was called the New York Pizza Run.  Apparently, this was the fourth year it’s been run, but this was the first I’d ever heard of it.  But unlike other races, this had a splendid twist to it.

The race comprised 4 laps around the perimeter of Tompkins Square Park in the East Village.  At the completion of each lap, you had to devour one slice of pizza before you could commence to the next lap.  At the end of the fourth lap, you cross the finish line and you’d have 2.25 miles in the books.

Two-and-a-quarter miles, four laps around a small park, three slices of pizza.  That sounded so goddamn ridiculous, there was no way I couldn’t not do it.  And so I signed up.

But I also invited my runner friends.  The ones who run multiple marathons a year.  The ones who are constantly training for some triathlon or other.  The ones whose every conversation at every party is about running.  It was as if to say, “Hey, you guys, I’m doing a foot race, I’m one of you guys now!”

Except, I wasn’t, of course.  This was just running around stuffing our faces with pizza.  TOTALLY NOT SERIOUS ENOUGH.  Not within a million miles of being in the same league.  If they were the NFL, I was tossing around a Nerf ball trying to be cool.  “I’ve got not time for jokes, bro.”

Hardly anyone even acknowledged getting my email asking them to join me in this ludicrous run.  Not that I gave a shit because I was going to do this run with or without them.

So Saturday came, and I took the train down to Astor Place and walked the four blocks to Tompkins Square Park.  I might’ve even sprinted a couple of blocks.  Gotta warm up, get loose.  This is a race, after all.  (barf)

I checked in to the race, and got a race number.  Ooooh, a number, this is serious shit.  Then I looked to my left and saw the professionally-crafted start line on the sidewalk of in the middle of 7th Street.  SO OFFICIAL, you guys.

Pizza Start Line

And of course this was exactly the sort of race that draws participants who dress up, run goofy, and take the piss out of the whole running thing.  There was a girl dressed in a banana suit, another dressed in a pizza costume, another in a Superman outfit.  Shit, even I ran with baggy knickers but that’s because that’s all I had.

Shortly before the start, a friend from work actually took me up on my offer and joined me for this race.  Yay, somebody to run with!  Except he ran a fucking marathon this past spring, so, you know… I figured he was going to just lap me at some point.  He’s fit as a fiddle, I’m fat and slow, it’s inevitable.

Pizza3So we lined up along the chalked line, and without much fanfare, the race was on.  This was not a closed course.  We were simply running on the cobbled sidewalk around Tompkins Square Park.  That meant we had to swerve around the homeless.  We had to take evasive action from oncoming hyperaggressive city moms with their massive strollers that were not.moving.out.of.the.way.because.fuck.you.runners.  We had to run around tourists (those fucking, wandering guys).

Oh yeah, and at the end of each lap, we had to wolf down some pizza.  And it seemed a real goddamn shame to have to go all Joey Chestnut on these incredible slices.  Sure, by the time we got to them, they weren’t warm any longer, but holy shit, they were delicious.  They were supplied by Cer Te, and they were quintessential New York margherita pizzas.  Ultra thin crust, sweet fragrant tomato sauce, large discs of melted mozzarella, and slivers of basil on top.

Mmmm pizzaThe rule was that you couldn’t run with the slice of pizza.  Before you were allowed to start your next lap, you had to eat the whole slice.  You were permitted to run-and-chew, which is what I tried on lap 2, and that turned out to be another in a string of poor decisions.  Trying to run with a bolus of half-chewed pizza in my fat gob meant that I choking on bits of pizza that would go down the wrong tube.  When your mother taught you to not run around with a mouthful of food, she was right.

When I got to the end of the third lap, I paused before I took that slice of pizza.  Three slices of pizza on any day would be more than I would typically eat.  Three slices while trying to run – that was bullshit.  But I had one lap to go and my friend had started to take off for his final lap.  I grabbed the final slice, stuffed it in my mouth, slugged some water, and staggered on to the final lap.

When I reached the finish line – yes, it was also drawn out in chalk – there wasn’t any over-the-top fanfare.  There wasn’t any big noise or confetti or anything grandiose.  (It’s a fucking pizza run, what do you want, jeez)  Just a lot of laughter, a lot of high fives, a lot of beaming smiles.  And for me, a slight sense of “huh.”  Somewhere between “well, that didn’t suck” and “that was pretty awesome.”

And that was it.  Four laps and three slices later, we were done.  It was hilarious, it was ridiculous, it was oddly satisfying, it was brief, and no one threw up.  We got a bit of a workout, and we were well fed.

My first ever foot race, only my second time ever running outdoors.  I was never going to come in first, but if I didn’t come in last, that was my greatest achievement of the day.  You know what, scratch that – the fact that I even ran this thing was my greatest achievement of the day.  And if it wasn’t so ridiculous, there’s no way I’d have done it.

Count me in next year.  Because when there needs to be a futile and stupid gesture done on somebody’s part, I’m just the guy to do it.