Happy Thursday! Today is day 4 of my 30 day writing challenge. On my run this morning I started to consider what it is exactly that I think about during all the time I spend gallivanting around town in my running shoes. If I’m doing a tough workout the answer is, shockingly enough, running, otherwise my mental landscape is a mishmash of random thoughts, shit I’m trying to work through, things I want to eat when I get home, fleeting worries about muscles that twinged. I do feel like I spend a lot of time visualizing myself in my next race, especially when I get to the end of any given run. The last half mile home is almost always an imagined grind to a finish line. Fortunately for me, my usual route sends me downhill for this final kick.
Anyway, in the spirit of the Dadaist splattering that are my thoughts on the run, I thought I’d share 10 random things; random factoids, random memories, things about myself that I am compelled to impart on you today. No real guidelines, just in the spirit of fun and sharing. Here we go.
- I’ve never had a running injury, minus mildly straining a tendon, but this was dubbed an injury that really wasn’t (phew). It was corrected and strengthened with a few months of daily exercises, never really affected my running. I haven’t had any issues since. I blame a few runs in powdery snow last winter for exaggerating my foot strike (I’m naturally a forefoot striker). The caveat to this story is that I once injured myself cross training during my first marathon build up. Long story short, I hit a patch of gravel on inline skates and ended up with a busted tailbone. As it turns out, this is a runner friendly injury, as the real issue was sitting.
- I’m named after the Fleetwood Mac song, not the Jefferson Starship or Hall and Oates songs everyone actually knows and likes. The Fleetwood Mac song feels more, I don’t know, experimental than the other two and makes it onto no one’s 80’s party playlists.
- The worst racing mistake I’ve ever made was eating Thai food the night before a half marathon. The real horror was that it was a point to point trail race, so it’s not like there were accommodations along the way, if you know what I’m saying.
- Driving home from a race in Chicago many moons ago, my car was struck my lightening. Yes, I was in it while it happened. It was one of those crazy Midwest summer storms that comes rolling over the plains and has no hills or mountains to break it up. There was nowhere to get off the highway and I thought “How bad can this be?” I felt lightening strike near me because the car shook and thought I had marginally escaped disaster. A few seconds later it sounded like I was in a vacuum sealed jar that someone was trying to pop the lid off of. My radio antenna burnt up like a sparkler on the 4th of July, and my car made a sad little dying sound straight out of a cartoon. I sat on the side of the road for a few minutes trying to figure out what in the hell to do, and then by some miracle my car started and I was able to drive home, minus a few key electronic features. The next morning I drove to work, because I figured I’d just call the insurance agent from there (great idea), and things started to really go haywire. I’d turn on the blinker and the windshield wipers would start swiping instead. The horn started going off sporadically. When I finally called my insurance agent and he asked where the car was. (“I drove it to work.”) He said something really scary like “DO NOT drive it again. We’ll come get it.” It was towed to a dealer, where I was a short lived legend. The repairman said he could actually see where the lightening had traveled through the hood of the car. Three weeks later it was good as new.
- My first boss out of college was a former CIA operative. I never lied about being “sick,” or anything else for that matter, because I knew she’d be able to call my bluff in one erroneous eye twitch or upward change in inflection.
- I love all seafood. Fish, shellfish, things with tentacles, things I have to crack open myself. It’s all good to me.
- I love string quartet covers of classic rock songs, or really any pop music. They’re at the top of my guilty pleasure list. Lest you be curious yourself, my favorite groups that fit this criteria are Dallas String Quartet, Two Cellos, Turtle Island String Quartet, and Quartet San Francisco.
- Speaking of music…run confession: I love to listen to marching band music while I run, especially during hard workouts. It’s perfect in all ways. I love the percussion to keep me moving, it is motivating (hello, football stadium), and it’s nostalgic. (Yes, I was a band nerd and loved all 4 years of it.)
- I don’t really like cake, and never have. I just don’t see the point, really. I’m talking about your standard cake with icing. I’d much rather have creamy, rich treats, like dark chocolate, fudge, or cheesecake. Likewise, most potato chips taste like cardboard to me, especially in their aftertaste. I also don’t like them because they’re kind of sharp. I much prefer greasy corn products instead, like tortilla chips, Fritos, and Bugles. Bugles are, without a doubt, America’s most under-appreciated snack food.
- I’ve never traveled outside of the continental U.S., unless you count Niagra Falls, and Windsor, ON. I don’t count these as international travel, so you don’t have to either. Someday (sigh).
Yours in running, silliness, and corn snacks,
*Photo credit: The awesome picture of the Bugles tin is courtesy of Joe Loong.