Marathon Torture

For the past several years, I have been running half marathons (13.1 miles) almost every month. For me, being in shape to run a half marathon at any given time keeps my belief alive that if a zombie outbreak or any other dystopian situation should occur, I might have a fighting chance. I train by running a set number of miles per week and then go to the gym to work any muscle group that is presently disappointing me.  I am in a constant state of sore.

This routine has become pretty easy, mostly. Sometimes I am more prepared for my monthly half marathon and the run seems fast(ish) and easy. Other months it isn’t, but I know that I can squeak out the miles even when I’m not looking particularly pretty or happy while running it.

Recently, two of my beautiful girlfriends decided to run a full marathon. Peer pressure has been a problem for me since I was a teen. I decided to join even though there was really no pressure or consequence to me personally.  I have only run one marathon in my life and I thought that was enough, but apparently not.  I  guess I just wanted to belong to the small group of self torturers.

Torture is in short the deliberate infliction of pain (psychological or physical) in order to fill some desire. Typically, there is a person or entity doing the inflicting, but in the case of marathon training I am both the dispenser and victim. I could make the leap and say that  as a marathon trainer/runner I might exhibit some of the same traits as those who self-harm.  I tend to work out a bunch of emotional garbage while I’m running, and it is a way to control and allocate the amount of pain being inflicted. The striking difference is there are no sharp objects involved. Running shoes are the chosen weapon.

This past week I ran almost 50 miles in total. And I ran out of all ideas of getting needed nutrition during my runs, so I didn’t. I ran out of water on my 16 miler. Note to self and other runners, don’t bring nuts as nutrition. Especially, don’t  bring nuts when water is in short supply.  On the positive, I have not crapped my pants yet or laid down in an attempt to have passerbys just bury me in a shallow grave.

Parts of my brain have stopped communicating with one another. I am not sure if it’s because of some infighting that I am not being kept in the loop on or if all the running has just over heated a few circuits causing permanent damage. However, when the part of the brain tells me to put on my running shoes, I do. I don’t even argue anymore. My brain is the drill sergeant and my body is the recruit.  However, it is important to note, I don’t believe what is presently being made is a warrior set to fight.

When I hit the road, I only hope that I put on all my running clothes, because I could see myself forgetting my shorts and not caring enough to turn around. I can already imagine the internal argument for not turning back. I will be too hot with them, less friction is better anyways or I’m sure nobody will notice. I have had similar thoughts about forgetting my water. It’s Portland, so it is typically raining anyway. I am sure I can find a semi-clear mud puddle to quietly sip from or I can wring out the collected rainwater and sweat from my running shirt. I’m sure it would be similar to the electrolyte drinks that I consume from time to time.

I’m less than a month away from my marathon. I am hopeful that I stay healthy enough to be at the start line, but I also dread the idea of running all 26.2 miles on this given day. In the back of my mind, I do dread and love the idea of a zombie attack happening during my training. It would be anti-climatic for both me and the zombies. Most likely, I would not have the energy or will to run. Instead, I would just lay down and welcome sweet death.  Perhaps I would just saunter up a one of the soulless and present my neck as a gift. The zombie will most likely be disappointed with the muscle atrophy and lack of salt in my blood and will be looking for some type of condiment to add to make the kill a bit more satisfying.

Acceptable Amount

I cleaned my house today.  I am not the best homemaker. Saying that my house looks like a bachelor lives here is an insult to some of my bachelor friends who are much better decorators and home engineers than myself. I do want to hire a person to clean my home, but I do have an issue hiring someone to do a job that I know that I should be capable of doing.  Hiring someone seems to be a chore in itself,  because I realize that I will have to clean my home from top to bottom, just so my cleaning person doesn’t pre-judge the person that I am. Not that I’m hung up on what people think of me, but for some reason I don’t want a complete stranger to think I’m dirty. Interestingly, I am totally fine with friends and family thinking this of me.

My inability to home make might be related to issues with my attention span for the minutia. My regard for detail is incredibly compromised and down right broken. I might be the opposite of a person with a super power. I believe that I can only rely on one of my senses at a given time. For example, when I am focused on breathing, my sight fogs ever so slightly around the edges. I don’t think glasses will fix this.

Today, when I was cleaning the bottom of my window sill  I noticed that that there was a spot that I have not seen and cleaned for the past 5 years, on 5 panes of glass in my living room. This was a substantial spot I did not see that had collected all that was bad, disgusting, and evil. Anyone else would have spotted this when they entered my home almost immediately. The fact that I was blind to this large spot of window for so long makes much more sense to why my past relationships have ended in failure.

I dedicated my focus and attempted to undue what time and dog hair had done to my window crevice. I worked for a while. And I grew tired. I thought to myself, is there an acceptable amount of crud that is forgivable? I hated that I was having this internal argument with myself, because I knew the answer. No, clean this shit up! But still I debated the question with myself, because my standards might be different since I can just pull the curtain and hid the window, until the next sunny day.

I am also notorious for shoving as much stuff as I can fit in my closets and storage spaces and shutting the doors to give the illusion that my house is organized, please don’t open the closet doors or my cupboards though. I imagine that  neurosurgeons would find the same horrific sight if they opened my skull, they would diligently try to close me back up in an attempt to not have an avalanche of ill fitted bits and pieces of information that I shoved into my brain hurriedly with the intent to come back later and fit it or organize it into a better location, but didn’t. It makes sense that as I attempt to explain simple concepts to others that I often take longer than usual exploring tangents like I do when I open the junk door in my kitchen, asking myself when did I put that in there and why?

Is there acceptable amount? No. But it seems I have a bunch of it and it wants to make friends. I do watch the California Closets info commercials with childlike wonder. Perhaps, some day I will grow up to be like the people in those ads, so perfectly put together. Until then I will spot clean those areas of my home that get away from me, along with my mind. I will keep my closet doors shut for now and hope to eventually find  a person with an eye for detail needed to help clean my home that is in possession of a magic wand and a non-judgmental heart.


I recently got my heart ripped from my chest. I wasn’t aware at first, but then it was glaringly obvious without the incessant thumping.  I understand that it (my heart) is cold, dark, and barely beats anyway. It merely hiccups at the feel or sight of anything remotely emotional in an attempt to distract. So, it seems that I am not missing much. Just a small wound really.

But the individual who has my organ is still at large, most likely this person doesn’t know that he has it. I imagine it is stuck to the bottom of his shoe or it was mistakenly shoved  into his jean’s pocket, collecting lint, and he just doesn’t realize. I’m not sure I even want it back. I think life might be a bit more simple without it.

Being pragmatic, I think that the space left behind could be of more use to me if I put something else in its place. I am extremely disorganized and lose everything, so it might be practical to install a key holder. I cannot tell you how many times I misplace my car keys in any given week. The time that would be saved. Or since I tend to always be looking for “on the go” sources of protein. Instead of grabbing a handful of nuts and shoving them in my pocket, I can just store them in this new found space.  No more hairy pocket nuts. I can pretend to be a squirrel and prepare for the upcoming season. And if people call me “nuts”, I can just shake my head and grab a handful.

I am assuming that my organ is still being held captive, but if I am wrong and if it’s wandering about out there aimlessly, don’t let me know. If you should happen to see it, you might not understand exactly what you’re seeing at first glance. It could be walking with a limp, but the limp is often played off as some kind of swagger. It might be looking a bit more gangster than usual and it is super attracted to disparaging rap music, the kind that makes you want to slap your neighbor for no good reason. It might challenge you if you look directly at it, so treat it like a stray animal.

If you are thinking about trying to capture it, your best chance is if you approach with caution. If you try to take it by force, it will just play dead. It has no will to fight with anyone. It will most likely remain lifeless, until you give up and walk away. If I know my heart, it will most likely accept a good bottle of wine and and good food, its two weaknesses. My advice is to not be a hero and let it amble by.

I am assuming that knowing my heart they way I do,  it will send me cryptic messages on social media. Potentially, it will follow me on Instagram and send me pics of its whereabouts with a written message of “wish you were here”. Perhaps we will be reunited. Until then I will just store nuts and my car keys, I think the space left behind might be big enough for both.