Boston Marathon 2014

April 22, 2014

melanomateam2I ran the Boston Marathon!  Amazing.   Inspiring.  Sad.  Awesome.  Mission.  Accomplished.

And that’s it folks.  The show’s over.  Wally World is closed.  This is the end of the line for the Boston or Bust! blog.  I’ve been at this for a long time.  I documented my first marathon in Run. Fat Bastard.  Run.  (www.rfbr262.com).  Soon after I decided the next big goal had to be Boston.  In fact in my very first post in this blog in November 2011 I said “only 41 months and 26.2 miles to go…”.  That is how long I thought it would take between when I said I’d do it and April 2015.  Fate intervened and gave me the good fortune to join a charity team called Running for Cover raising funds and awareness for the Melanoma Foundation of New England.  It allowed me to obtain a bib number and run this year – 2014; the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.  My goal was running the Boston Marathon but by being part of the team raising awareness for Melanoma and funds for an organization that is doing incredible things I was given more than just the gift of the Boston Marathon; I was given the gift of establishing inspiring new friendships all over the country and the gift of giving back to this cause.  I am incredibly blessed.

I know most of these blogs have been a bit verbose so I thought you’d rather see the event in pictures and then I’ll summarize my thoughts at the end.

IMG_2229

Gourley family in front of the Green Monster and Advil sign (my new best friend after this race). Tribute night at the Red Sox game for the victims and first responders.

 

I was hoping they would drop the big flag again.  So awesome!

I was hoping they would drop the big flag again. So awesome!

 

Big Papi!  The Fenway announcer says "Remember last year when our Big Papi said this is our (something) city?"  He used the word something this time.  Not quite the same effect.

Big Papi! The Fenway announcer says “Remember last year when our Big Papi said this is our (something) city?” He used the word something this time. Not quite the same effect.

Bagpipes, UMASS Marching band, victims, medical staff, police and fire, volunteers, runners all on the field together.  Awesome and tear jerking moments throughout.

Bagpipes, UMASS Marching band, victims, medical staff, police and fire, volunteers, runners all on the field together. Awesome and tear jerking moments throughout.

Adding this one in honor of Team Running for Cover!  (on statue just outside of the gates of Fenway)  I bought a Red Sox hat and adopted them since I love Boston!  So long Braves...

Adding this one in honor of Team Running for Cover! (on statue just outside of the gates of Fenway) I bought a Red Sox hat and adopted them since I love Boston! So long Braves…

In honor of my wife and best friend and the Melanoma she had to have cut out of her right calf.

In honor of my wife and best friend and the Melanoma she had to have cut out of her right calf.

I can't tell you how many people confused the Packers with NC State along the race.  C'mon man!

I can’t tell you how many people confused the Packers with NC State along the race. C’mon man!

Walking to start in Hopkinton

Walking to start in Hopkinton

My running partner through the first half Nick.  He was so close to finishing last year (26 and change) but got to do it this year!  Congrats Nick!

My running partner through the first half Nick. He was so close to finishing last year (26 and change) but got to do it this year! Congrats Nick!

Wellesely girls at the midway point.  Tradition is to kiss them.  5 was my last count.  This killed my time and is where I lost Nick.

Wellesely girls at the midway point. Tradition is to kiss them. 5 was my last count. This killed my time and is where I lost Nick.

 

Holy Crap!  That was brutal.  26.2 miles done.  Boston Marathon 2014.  Might as well jump!

Holy Crap! That was brutal. 26.2 miles done. Boston Marathon 2014. Might as well jump!

I read one quote I very much agree with. “There’s never been a day like this, there’s never going to be another one. Might as well stay out here and enjoy it as long as possible.” – Amby Burfoot, the winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon.  I wish I could make yesterday groundhog day and we could do it over and over.  But there will never be a day like yesterday again.  It was inspiring, motivational, brutally hard (especially the not over-rated Newton Hills and where they come in the marathon) and just plain perfect.  And I got to share it with my wife Lynn, daughter Anne Marie and son Adam.  Perfect.  Since yesterday, my team has been busy sharing pictures and stories from the race with each other.  Some people blew away their PRs, some got injured and hobbled in and some just soaked it all in.  I would say I was in this last camp.  I ran a great first half marathon and then when I realized I was dead on time I just enjoyed it all.  (I should have listened to Bill!)  Kudos to the women I kissed, the kids I high fived, the Boston College kids who were leaning over the rails so far they might fall and SCREAMING c’mon Paul!!  But everyone finished this year.  Also perfect.

When we were flying up to Boston we sat next to Carri who had completed 25.5 last year and was returning to finish what she started.  She said (and I wrote it down) “To me there was so much more good that came out of that day [April 15, 2013 – last year’s bombings] than bad.”  So true.  I slowed down a bit (if I could go any slower) at each of the spots along Boylston and said a small prayer.  It was very emotional and to see the spirit of Boston come alive for all 26.2 miles was the best tribute of all.

Thank you to all my friends and family who came along for this ride.  Many joined in with the campaign for supporting the Melanoma Foundation of New England – and for that I was overwhelmed and grateful.  (FYI – we are now over $400K!).  And many joined along on my endless Facebook posts and e-mails.  I am sorry about that but I think after a while everyone got used to it and had fun with it (just like I did).  And on the day of the race I gave up trying to keep up with all the texts, e-mails and Facebook comments.  I have so many great friends and family and everyone realized how important this race was for all of Boston and all of America.  I thank you all for the comments, “Likes” and support!  You are all awesome!

Say.  Do.  This huge goal is complete.  The End.  No more miles to go.

Sincerely,

BOB (Paul)

 

 

 

 

 

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Terrorists And Melanoma…Suck

April 9, 2014

flagbostonUnless you’ve been under a rock or are not my friend on Facebook you know I’m running the Boston Marathon on April 21st.  I’ll write about that amazing experience after the race.  But I thought I’d pause for one moment and write a bit about two of the reasons I’m running – Terrorists and Melanoma.  These might as well be the same word because they both suck.

Heroes

In just a few days the media will be talking about a moment last year we’d all like to forget but will always remember.  April 15 marks the one year anniversary of last year’s Boston Marathon bombing.    We’ve all read the stories and seen the horrific pictures.  And ever since being selected to be part of a charity team running this year’s Boston Marathon I bet I’ve recalled that day in my head and what those poor people went through a thousand times.  Instead of recalling the horror those bastards caused I thought I’d highlight a few of the hero stories I’ve since read.

There was a physician named Dr. Natalie Stavas who happened to run the entire marathon on a broken foot (injured in training) and who, after hearing the blasts, turned and ran some more – towards and not away from the people hurt.  She jumped the barricades and tended to the people on the ground not worrying about her own safety and ultimately saving many lives.

There were also the first responders.  Many of these were, fortunately, EMTs, doctors, nurses, firemen, police officers all trained to treat victims but who probably thought their day might consist of dehydration and possibly a cardiac arrest.  They all likely never expected what they experienced that day but all rose to the occasion without a second thought.

The marathon runners and Boston residents all jumped right in to help.  I remember watching the videos and what really struck me was how quickly EVERYONE ran to the aid of all the victims with no regard for a potential third bomb.

And the one who I originally pointed out in this blog series still sticks in my mind.  Carlos Arrendondo is the guy in the cowboy hat who was famously captured helping a victim, who had both legs blown off, get to medical attention.  I think he was even thought to have squeezed the artery as they raced to an ambulance to stop the bleeding.

I read a great quote in an article highlighting some of the “helper” efforts.  It was from a long time ago and from none other than Mister Rogers.  I’ve honestly never used a Mister Rogers quote in one of my blogs but he captured it perfectly:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Mister Rogers

I could go on and on.  There are literally a MILLION stories and it is worth reflecting a bit and taking stock in the goodness in all of us and particularly in the people of Boston.

Teammates

I have reflected on the tragedy and been saddened by the senseless terrorist act.  The acts of heroism have been the shining light from last year and the piece of that story that we should all remember.  On top of reflecting and reading all of these great stories I’ve had a double bonus.  I have become a member of one of the best teams I’ve been a part of in my life.  It is still going on but I’m already sad because I know it will be here and gone before I know it.  Soon I’ll be able to reflect on one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with a group serving a common purpose.

“There is no ‘i’ in team but there is in win.” – Michael Jordan said that (I think).  Well, my team Running for Cover who are raising awareness and funds to support the Melanoma Foundation of New England are all winners!  We’ve already raised more than $300K as a forty-four person team and even though we’re small in number (compared to the larger charities with hundreds of runners) we are actually on the front page of the leader board of all the Boston Marathon charities.  That is the competitive me speaking.  But really, I’m amazed and proud of all the charity runner’s efforts.  Collectively these charities will have raised more than $20M when it is all said and done.  I still can’t believe that number and the generosity of people everywhere.

I know everyone on the Running for Cover team was moved by last year’s events and everyone wants to run the Boston Marathon.  But most importantly I sense a real bond forming amongst the team members in just a few short month’s time.  Most of the team is from the New England area and have been slogging through the snow and ice doing their training runs.  And a few of us are spread out across the country in California, Texas and Georgia among other places slogging through the sunny and ice-free days doing our training runs.  Throughout the entire training period for a marathon you’ll always have ups and downs, injuries and such but I haven’t heard a peep out of this team about their issues (not even much about running 20 miles in the snow.)  Instead, what I’ve heard is an outpouring of how can we do more to raise even more awareness, raise even more money to support the foundation and most importantly how can we help our teammates through their efforts and personal tragedies.

There are many stories on my team but none more powerful to me than one woman who lost her 20-year-old son in January to Melanoma.  Many of us have become friends with her on Facebook and heard stories of her son and seen pictures of the good times they had.  But we’ve also had our hearts torn out listening to her pain as she grieves.  “Melanoma sucks.”  It is a common post on her behalf.  And she is so right.  To use another quote she sent me – “Melanoma is a sneaky bastard and moves through a body with a vengeance like I have never seen. People need to know about this disease.”  She has seen this “terrorist” first hand and what I admire is her passion to spread the word and to help others know how dangerous this disease can be.  I’m proud to call her a teammate and fired up to run with her in person at Boston.

If you go to my donation site (http://www.crowdrise.com/mfneboston2014/fundraiser/paulgourley) and click on any of my teammate’s stories you’ll read the story of  others who have had loved ones die from Melanoma along with those who’ve survived and are now helping raise awareness and funds.  Take a moment to do so and I promise you’ll walk away with a different perspective and might even create a blog of your own to spread the word (and you might even quote Mister Rogers; or not; but maybe).

I’ve had an overwhelming outpouring of support and I thank you all for all of your donations and kind words during this Boston Marathon “run”.  You’d be surprised how many friends and neighbors we all know have been impacted by Melanoma as well.  I know I’ve over-posted and you’re probably ready for April 22nd (the day after the marathon) to be here.  But hopefully I have given you some new insights on this horrible disease and you’ll soon be breaking out the SPF 50 (or higher).

One more blog post and we’ll call it a day for BOB.

Only 11 days (wow) and 26.2 miles to go…


Sochi-see

February 7, 2014

vladSo cheesy.  That is this picture of me and Vladimir Putin in front of the Red Square in Moscow.  Ok, it is a fake Vladimir.  But it is a real me.  It was a toss-up between Vlad and Stalin.  I chose Vlad since he is like a Russian Jack Bauer (former KGB and all).

I love the Olympics.  And so I thought why not write a little bit about my favorite parts of the Winter Olympics and this year’s Sochi games.  Here’s my favorites (so far):

Slopeside Snowboarding – this is a NEW event this year for the Olympics.  X Games has made it to prime time. When I come back in my next life I no longer want to be a Golden Retriever.  I want to be like this guy in this picture.  And my board will have Awesome on the bottom too!

Next life.

Next life.

Jamaican Bobsled Team – Who doesn’t love the Jamaican Bobsled team?  I have a friend who has a half USA half Jamaica flag as her profile picture.  I’d like to be 1/2 from Jamaica too.  It is just a happy-go-lucky country and they win the gold for looking like they are having the most fun.

Ya Mon

Ya Mon

Scott Hamilton – this guy cracks me up almost as much as Will Ferrell.  He LOVES his figure skating sport and his passion comes through in his announcing.  But I can’t get the SNL and Blades of Glory skits out of my head (he was in BOG).  So…I used to not watch figure skating but because of Scott I’m now a fan.  He makes me laugh.  I love it.  (And by the way – he’s a great humanitarian.  He has gone through a lot with cancer and continues to be one of the top supporters for various causes including the Paralympics and the Make a Wish Foundation where  he was named the first ever Celebrity Wish Granter of the Year.)

Kudos

Kudos

Toilets – My extended family (mother-in-law, brother-in-laws) run plumbing businesses up in Wisconsin.  And so, I do get a kick out of any toilet related humor.  I feel bad for the folks of Sochi but unfortunately this toilet humor and their Olympics will forever be linked in my mind.  The truth is they’ve had many issues which became public via the Twitterverse.  I posted one image on FB of a hotel that tells you to not flush toilet paper (nasty) so I won’t repeat that.  But here are several others that were very good in my opinion.

Innovative conference room idea.

Innovative conference room idea.

Just in case you thought about fishing in the toilet...don't do it.

Just in case you thought about fishing in the toilet…don’t do it!

People are very creative.

People are very creative.

Skin Cancer Prevention Tips:  Many of you have been bombarded by my personal “campaign” to raise funds in support of the Melanoma Foundation of New England (http://www.crowdrise.com/mfneboston2014/fundraiser/paulgourley).  Hopefully there has not been duplication of “ads” but I do want to get the word out not only about my participation in this year’s Boston Marathon on Team Running for Cover but also about the things you can do to help prevent Melanoma.  Here’s a few new tips and a link at the bottom if you’d like to help support my efforts.  Thank you.

  1. Being a white male over the age of fifty
    Although people of any race and age can get melanoma, people in this demographic are at particularly high risk for getting and dying of melanoma.  In this group, melanomas are most common on the back.  However, pay particular attention to moles on the scalp, since melanomas on the scalp have a higher mortality rate than elsewhere, because they are usually diagnosed when they are thicker and deeper.
  2. Having other family members who have had a melanoma
    Melanomas often run in families.  The more family members you have with melanoma, the higher your risk.  Some of the genes that occur in people with familial melanoma have been identified and can be tested for, but many patients who have family members with melanoma have no gene problem that can be tested for.  Most melanomas are easy to stop if caught soon enough — all it takes is a yearly skin exam.  Go find a dermatologist and just do it.
  3. Use sunscreen!

http://www.crowdrise.com/mfneboston2014/fundraiser/paulgourley


Wicked Awesome!! B is for Boston!!

January 24, 2014

planbBoston or Bust could be Boston after all.  Knowing my aging, larger than desired and injury prone body is never going to get to a sub 8 min per mile pace for 26.2 miles to qualify for the Boston Marathon I went to Plan B.

Each year the Boston Marathon selects twenty-nine organizations to raise money for charity.  In return they distribute a limited number of race numbers for individuals who are raising the funds.  So…Plan B had me applying to two charities that hit close to home – the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Melanoma Foundation of New England.  It is not at all easy to be selected.  They only have around 30-35 team members per charity.  And you need to guarantee a minimum amount of money you’ll raise, write a personal essay on how you are connected with the particular charity and be interviewed by a selection committee.  They then go off and deliberate and let you know.  As you can imagine, the applicants this year are through the roof given the horrible events this past year.  But after all of this and after months of waiting, this week I was selected to be a team member of the Running for Cover Melanoma Foundation charity!  [Plan] B is for “Boston”!  Holy *hit!  I’m running the Boston Marathon this April!

I think this is beyond belief not only because I will get to fulfill a bucket list dream of running in this marathon but I’ll be raising funds for a disease that could have taken my wife from me and my family not too long ago.  Even I took it in stride early on as we’ve all most likely had spots checked, frozen by liquid nitrogen and such.  I don’t take it lightly any longer.  You may not know this but if the cancer that has been found and diagnosed as Melanoma spreads beyond the local area into another organ and reaches Stage IV the prognosis has survival rates of 7-19% of making it five years longer.  In layman’s terms – those aren’t good odds.  This is cancer.  When her spot started to spread significantly (50 cent piece size) they took a big old chunk out of my wife’s calf to try to make sure this sucker didn’t spread any further.  She is very lucky to have caught it early and had it treated.  And now, I feel lucky to be able to give back to the charity to raise awareness and try to find even better treatments to eliminate this disease.

Here is where I need your help (keep reading; and then click link below or click here:  http://www.crowdrise.com/mfneboston2014/fundraiser/paulgourley).   I’ve been writing these blogs for the past 3 years or so.  I try to brighten people’s days and make them as light and humorous as I can.  Remember the “Got a Hemi in There?” one?  Or maybe the “Get in Mah Belly?!” one?  Or there is always the classic “Crop Dusting” issue?  I’ve also had several serious moments when I wrote about getting caught in Mumbai while serious bad guy terrorists were bombing three parts of the city where I had just been.  (Yes, they may have been chasing me – or so I thought.)  And of course the most relevant to this blog – last year’s bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon.  It has been fun and sad to write all of these and now I think I’m nearing the final six point two miles.  I’ll write more between now and April 21, 2014 (Patriot’s Day) when I run this year’s race.  And I’ll also be asking for you to help me raise funds for Melanoma and to support my efforts and America’s stance against terrorism.  Think of it as a way of saying to these nuts (in a powerful way) that you may have tried to break our spirit but once again the people of Boston and all of America proved that we are unstoppable.  We go on and on and on.  And we will continue to do so.

Here is a link to team Running for Cover’s donation site where you can join my team and contribute.  I’ve never asked for donations on any other run or event I’ve done and kind of feel strange doing so now.  I’ll also commit to not asking you again in the future!  But I do need your help.  This provides a strong combination of supporting Melanoma awareness and research and making a statement in support of my efforts in this year’s Boston Marathon!  I’d appreciate anything you can do.  And I’d also appreciate it if you’d tell your friends about my efforts and pass them the link so they can join in.  Thank you!

http://www.crowdrise.com/mfneboston2014/fundraiser/paulgourley

Skin Cancer Prevention Tips:  Instead of Running Updates I am shifting gears and giving you all a few tips to prevent skin cancer each blog post.  Some of this is common sense but even if it has you putting on sunscreen on a more regular basis I’ll call it success.  Here you go.

  • Do Not Burn or Tan (Avoid intentional tanning; avoid tanning beds (Todd?)) – Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds causes skin cancer and wrinkling.
  • Seek Shade – when the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (go to the Tiki Bar instead)
  • Apply Sunscreen – SPF 30 or higher (on you AND your wife)
  • Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand – these surfaces reflect the sun and increase chance of sunburn (think Shark week)

Early detection of melanoma can save your life.  Carefully examine all of your skin once a month.  A new or changing spot should be evaluated.  and click the link above to help Paul.  Or click here:  http://www.crowdrise.com/mfneboston2014/fundraiser/paulgourley  🙂

Boston Strong!

Boston Strong!


Deep Fried And On A Stick

August 5, 2013

Deep Fried and On a Stick was the food of the day at the Wisconsin State Fair this year.  There is absolutely no food that is off-limits.  Everything is good when it is deep fried and even better when it is deep fried AND on a stick.  They’ve found the answer!

Last week my family and I spent a sunny 70 degree day in West Allis, Wisconsin at this fair looking at fancy cows, shiny Clydesdales and big, big pigs.  We watched some of these (smaller) pigs with names like Jean-Claude Van Ham, Chewbacon and Jerry Swinefeld race around a track for an Oreo.  We rode the Carney rides.  And we ate.  I got such a kick out of the creativity of the food vendors I thought it was worthy of a blog post.  Truly, if you ever get the chance you need to go to this state fair.   Deep Fried and Awesome!

I thought instead of a bunch of babble you blog fans out there would get a much bigger kick out of pictures capturing the event.  So here are a few of the sights and sounds of the fair in my own personal Top 10 favorite list.

#10 – Free Bacon For A Year!

Free Bacon for a Year?!  Whaaaat?

Free Bacon for a Year?! Whaaaat?

#9 – Steak and Eggs (On a Stick of Course)

Not deep fried but still looks good!

Not deep fried but still looks good!

#8 – Deep Fried Snickers (On a Stick)

(or Milky Way of course)

(or MilkyWay of course)

#7 – Pizza Cones

Why didn't I think of this?

Why didn’t I think of this?

#6 – Deep Fried Cookie Dough

My wife says this must be good.

My wife says this must be good. And yes, there is a stick inserted.

#5 – Deep Fried Mac & Cheese (On a Stick)

Yep

Yep

#4 – Deep Fried Crab Cakes (On a Stick)

Seemed fancy so I let it make the list.

Seemed fancy so I let it make the list.

#3 – Beer Sorbet (On a Stick)

I'm not sure what Sorbet is but it is with Beer so makes the top 5.

I’m not sure what Sorbet is but it is with Beer so makes the top 5.

#2 – Cheese (On a Stick)

They didn't specify but I have to believe this is (Deep Fried) Cheese on a Stick!

They didn’t specify but I have to believe this is (Deep Fried) Cheese on a Stick!

#1 – Doughnut Burger!

This looks like a Krispy Kreme cut in half with a burger and some healthy lettuce and tomato inserted.  Wins just because it makes you gag looking at it.  (Edged out the Pork Doughnut (Bismark filled with Pork).

This looks like a Krispy Kreme cut in half with a burger and some healthy lettuce and tomato inserted. Wins just because it makes you gag looking at it. Edged out the Pork Doughnut (Bismark filled with Pork).

Running Update:  Ok, we didn’t eat all that stuff.  Honest.  We did have some Frozen Bananas dipped in chocolate and sprinkles and we did have some sort of disgusting sausage reuben bites with a pretzel stick inserted.  But other than that, no Deep Fried anything.  I think it may have had to do with the fact that the previous night we ate at Food War’s winner for Best Burger – AJ Bombers!  Between their monstrous (and very good) burgers and the Bloody Mary’s (with bacon wrapped cheeseburger, pickles, lemon, lime and other such stuff) we had already stepped a bit off the training program.  Not much running news to report but I did, however, get an 8 mile run in on Saturday under a bright blue sky out on the country farm roads.  Pretty uneventful other than the Beast dog that came flying across the farm at me barking up a storm, hair on end and running one hundred miles per hour.  It was either my last run or he was just kidding.  Luckily he was just kidding.  He came screeching to a halt at the ditch and then just wagged his tail.  Good one Beast!

Wife's Bloody Mary.  Cheeseburger was hot and good!  And the pickles were "on a stick".

Wife’s Bloody Mary. Cheeseburger was hot and good! And the pickles were “on a stick”.

Only 20 months and 26.2 miles to go…


Wanda the Bang Bang Lady

June 25, 2013

bangbanglady

Wanda is the Bang Bang Lady from Bangbanglady.com.  And Wanda knows marketing.  Her sign works!  When I was in Columbus, GA this past weekend for my daughter’s tennis tournament Wanda the Bang Bang Lady was everywhere.  You couldn’t miss her.  I too am in marketing and my only suggestion is to maybe use a fake Bang Bang Lady model when you’re posting these on 10′ x 20′ billboards (sorry Wanda).  But still, it works.  I’m writing and thinking about it as we speak.

So it is almost the Fourth of July and Wanda inspired me to talk a little bit about what is most popular these days in the world of fireworks.

#1 on the Bang Bang Lady’s list is “The American Trucker”.  It shoots off red white and blue sparks out of the exhaust pipes of a semi.  That is just plain cool and American.  I’d buy that.

#2 is “The Blonde Joke”.  I’m not sure what this one does but the packaging has a bunch of blondes pictured on the box and I am envisioning it telling one liner blonde jokes as the fireworks go off.  Something like “Why did the blonde runner stare at the orange juice container?  It said concentrate on it.” or “Why did the blonde runner cross the road?  I don’t know.  Neither did she.”  or “Why do blondes write TGIF on their running shoes?  Toes go in first.”  or “A blonde goes out for a run. She comes to a river and cannot see a bridge anywhere nearby. She spots another blonde on the opposite bank.  “Yoohoo!” she shouts, “How can I get to the other side?” The second blonde looks up the river then down the river then shouts back, You’re already on the other side!”  Ok, I’ll stop right there as I know I have plenty of blonde followers and friends and I want to keep them (even Wanda is blonde which may be why subconsciously I’ve resorted to stupid blonde jokes for a laugh; I apologize).

#3 is “The Killer Alligator”.  This is another one where I have no idea what would be inside.  I am imagining an alligator head that opens slowly and out spews more blonde jokes like this one – A blonde was on vacation in the depths of Louisiana. She wanted a pair of genuine alligator shoes, but didn’t want to pay the high prices.  After unsuccessfully haggling with of one of the shopkeepers, the blonde said, “Maybe I’ll just go out and catch my own alligator, so I can get a pair of shoes at a reasonable price.”  Later in the day, the shopkeeper spotted the young woman standing waist deep in the water, shotgun in hand. She took aim at an alligator, killed it and hauled it onto the swamp bank.  Lying nearby were several more of the dead creatures. The shopkeeper watched in amazement as the blonde flipped the alligator on its back and shouted in frustration, “Damn it, this one isn’t wearing any shoes either.”

What is with me and these blonde jokes tonight!  It’s Wanda I tell ya!  Again, I am sorry.

Running Update:  Week 1 of 20 is in the books.  Savannah Marathon here I come.  I have stuck to the training plan without a problem.  The old body is falling apart but no misses yet.  And why write about signs?  Summer is my daughter’s tennis season months where we visit and I run in all the small towns in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama.  They like their signs.  In fact, I may just pick a sign in each small town we go to and write about it.  Truly, I think I could write a book on the signs I see and the smile and inside laughs they bring me.  People are very creative in these small towns.  If only they had a blog!  And if I only had a camera on my runs!

Still only 22 months and 26.2 miles to go…


Crop Dusting

May 30, 2013

cropdusterFlatulence.  That is the nicest thesaurus alternative to what I recently learned is called “Crop Dusting” in runners vernacular.  Have you ever been in a race and had the headphones blaring and then, wait for it…flatulence.  And then you run as fast you possibly can to make sure they have no idea it was you.  That is called “Crop Dusting” I am told.  And I found that pretty darn funny!  Been there, done that if you know what I mean.

My wife says “you’ve never been there done that and I’ve never heard it called that”.  And then she laughed.  Well, she may have never heard it called that but she is wrong on the first point.  I don’t even look back.  I just run my arse off to the next water station and hope to god those people don’t catch me.

One guy crop dusted me in Nashville.  I didn’t know he did by the sound but by the pungency of his presence.  See how I’m using that thesaurus?  That’s what us runner writers do.  And pungency is what us runners do too.  It’s disgusting I know; but it is natural.  And you don’t even have to worry about it.  Move on people, there’s nothing to see here.

I just wonder if this is a male thing or an equal opportunity thing?  I bet it goes both ways.  It would be one heck of a Survey Monkey survey if I asked questions like “which mile causes you the most flatulence?” or “have you ever looked back after crop dusting someone?” or “does GU make you crop dust?”?  I bet we’d hear from both sexes on this one.

I was “uninspired” until my wife and I both bust out laughing on this particular topic.  So now?   Call me inspired.  People laugh at bodily functions.  That’s just the way it is.  I’m gonna run with it.  No pun intended.

As runners we like to label things – like “the last mile” or “the wall” or “tapering” or “tempo” or “pacing”.  Let’s add some new terms to our runner thesaurus.  How about “crop duster” or “love spreader” or “stinky *astard” or “the rumble in the jungle” or “fart-lek” or “Russian roulette” or “carb bomb”?  I could go on all day.  I just know that virtually any sentence or any joke with the word fart in it makes me chuckle.  So next time you’re crop dusted, just smile and slow down a bit.  You can thank me later.

Running Update:  Back on track.  24 miles this week with a 9 mile trail run in Jackson, GA of all places coming up.  I hurt.  I take a lot of ibuprofen.  And I stretch more than I used to.  But I’m running again so away we go.  Official plan is in place and I am on track to kick my fellow crop duster, N. Moro, in the arse in Savannah.  He’ll be the one slightly behind me as we cross the finish line.  That mental image inspires me.

Still only 23 months and 26.2 miles to go…