Before today's post, one quick reminder and one cool announcement ...
The reminder is quick: there's still time to enter my Orbana energy drink giveaway, so you can (hopefully) put the stuff to better use than I did. Winners will be announced Saturday night.
As for the announcement: It's time to grab some discount VIVOBAREFOOT running shoes from The Clymb again. The featured models are the Evo and Neo; the Evo is the high-performance running shoe, while the Neo serves equally well as a running shoe or all-purpose athletic model. During this flash sale, the Evo is available for $55, and the Neo is available for just $50 - both prices are crazy cheap.
There are a few casual models available as well, primarily in the women's variety, while the running models are available in both genders. Like all Clymb sales, time is limited - this one ends at 9AM PDT on October 14. Remember the procedure here: sign up with an e-mail address, then get access to the super-steep bargains. Go check it out now - the post will be here when you get back.
As for the post, my friend Mike wrote some recollections of a few runners we shared the road with in the past, and turned it into a Monterey Herald column that published last week. I know all of the people he's referring to, but I confess to having forgot most of these stories until reading them recently and thinking, Oh, yeah ... I forgot about that one. And by the time I finished the article, I remembered that I was glad to have forgotten.
Running Life 10/06/11 “Running Characters”
Like any great story, your running life is made more interesting by the characters who inhabit it. Over the years, we’ve certainly run with our share of memorable cohorts.
Usually what happens on the roads and trails stays there, but we’ve decided that the statute of limitations for a few transgressions has expired, so we’ve decided to tell a few of the more interesting stories. Besides, these characters have moved away by now, and we’ve changed the names here so they wouldn’t be recognized anyway.
The Stealth Guy: “Doug” had a job that kept him travelling a lot, and even when he was home his hours were unpredictable. He knew where and when we ran each morning, but we never knew when he was going to show up. And even though most of our early morning runs were done in the dark, Doug always wore black shorts and a black shirt.
He was a very fast, efficient, and quiet runner and loved to unexpectedly come up behind us and yell loudly; or sometimes he’d lay in wait ahead of us when he knew we would be passing. Believe us – being startled in the dark early morning causes an adrenaline rush that can last for several miles. It certainly helped our training.
Doug also provided some unexpected advice one morning when we had a discussion of what male runners wore under their running shorts. To most of our knowledge, the choices were the lining of our running shorts (nothing), a jock, boxers, or briefs. However, Doug added another choice one day, casually commenting that he wore his wife’s underwear as it was more comfortable and didn’t chafe. For the benefit of all involved, that part probably should have remained stealth.
The Pitt: Most conversations in our mixed-gender group are typically rated PG, but whenever “Dave” ran with us, the subject inevitably turned to sex. He had a sort of Brad Pitt complex, believing that he was irresistible to all women. Whenever we ran by any attractive woman on the trail, Dave would wait until she passed out of earshot (sometimes just barely so), and then say, “She wants me.”
This particular quirk of personality became so standard that whenever the group ran by any woman, the entire group of us women included, would all say, “She wants me!” at precisely the same time as Dave.
Often on very long training runs, typically over the 20 mile mark, Dave became afflicted with some strange runner’s variant of Tourette’s Sydrome, where his mouth simply failed to filter anything the brain was thinking. At those moments, EVERYONE on the trail would hear “she wants me”, “he wants me”, or “it wants me” as they were near our group. It made for some embarrassing moments, but just as with The Stealth, it caused a training benefit, too – because our group often tried to sprint away from Dave in the later miles whenever another walker or runner approached.
Special Forces: We had a military Special Forces officer run with us for quite a while, and he taught us one very important lesson: experienced, disciplined runners who run at the same time every day are usually very aware of their bodily functions. If there’s any possibility of “going” on the run, they typically carry toilet paper and a plastic bag.
Inexplicably one morning, our Special Forces guy had the need but forgot his paper. In this dire circumstance, “Paul” kept a cool head under pressure and acted resourcefully, heading to the nearest house that had newspaper delivery. He politely stole the classified ads for later use, and folded the rest of the paper back the way it was.
Paul continued this habit every now and then, and it was just a little story until we realized that whenever Paul had a “need” on Thursday morning, he made a point of grabbing our column from the sports section. Needless to say, after that realization, we didn’t think our Special Forces guy was quite so special.
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