Wednesday, October 29, 2008

St. Georgeous

So for whatever reason "Musings of a Mad Scientist" was not met with much enthusiasm? I personally find it fascinatingly revolting! So to spare all the weak stomached I shall post something else so we no longer have to view the beaker of mucousy gastric juice.

Due to my highly developed slacker skills I have many big things to write about and don't know where to start...

Let us travel back in time to the wee hours of the early morn on Oct 4, 2008. It was a cold and rainy morning down in St. George Utah as I loaded the bus at 5:20 am. I pondered the fact I hadn't trained for this marathon at all! Literally one eight mile run approximately 3 weeks before followed by some avid couch potato-ing down in Lake Powell. Upon my return I did one 15 mile run and then gave myself shin splints 5 days before by running a hasty 6 mile downhill loop. IDIOT! I was not looking forward to the run or post-run muscle soreness.

When we got off the bus we headed straightway for the Port-O-John's, I was pretty certain we would not get through the line before the gun sounded. As we waited in the dark and rainy chaos that ensued at the starting line, we we're informed by the announcer this was only the second time it had ever rained in the history of the St. George Marathon!! Lucky us!

As predicted the gun sounded for the start of the race. When I finally got to use the bathroom I realized the Port-O-Potty was fresh out of toilet paper...panic set-in!!

Let's think this through rationally, here are my options:

1. go searching for toilet paper before I drop my draws...well, seeing as there are like 20 people in line behind me it was unlikely I'd get my spot back...not an option

2. limit myself to going "numero uno" and save the rest for's only 26.2 miles of misery...definitely not an option

That pretty much concluded the rational thinking portion. So I did what I had to do and resorted to using the cardboard toilet paper roll for all it was worth! After that I ran to drop off my sweats before heading to the starting line. Although the gun had already sounded, because of the great multitude of runners, many had not even crossed the starting line yet. I jumped in with the crowd and started the drudgery.

As we left the hustle and bustle of the start area we literally ran into a dark abyss. It is at this time you begin thinking to yourself..."I am certainly off my rocker! Why am I doing this? It's both weird and crazy!" And yet the crowds of mentally insane runners surrounding me, the darkness, the rain, the sounds of heavy breathing, shoes on the wet pavement, and Rihanna's latest hit "Disturbia" playing in my head phones filled me with excitement!

I originally started out with the four hour Cliff Bar pacer thinking, I'll keep up with this crowd until I can't hold on anymore. Yet the adrenaline rush in the first mile had me sprinting ahead and reevaluating my game plan...I'll run a little faster while I'm feeling good and then tag onto the group when I start to burn out.

Mile one passed very quickly as did mile two and three. By this point I could feel my shin splints starting to resurface and my calves felt tight. I knew I'd be okay for the first eight miles but was pretty sure I'd feel ready to throw in the towel by mile 13 and most definitely by mile 16. Mile thirteen came and went surprisingly fast! My split time was 1 hr 54 min. That's an 8:45 min average mile time. I must say I was somewhat frustrated with my time. I mean, I've run probably 8-9 half marathons in my day and my fastest one was only 1:50:00 with an average of around 1:54. So here I am running a 1:54 and I've got 13 more miles to go....obviously I could be running those halves much faster!! Argh.

Anyhow as I continued to run it continued to rain. I had been pretty much soaked to the bone by mile two but actually enjoyed the cool weather as I ran. I was shooting for consistent 9 minute miles by this point in the run. The funny thing was I kept coming in under nine and I daresay pretty close to eight minute miles. Eventually by mile 18 I somehow managed to figure I could finish the race pretty darn close to a 3:40... (For those who are unfamiliar that is the Boston Marathon qualifying time for women my age)...all I would have to do is run my last 6 miles each in 8 min flat!

It just so happened the play list on my ipod ended right after I had a glimpse of the Boston Marathon goal. Because of the rain and cold my ipod froze up, so I was going it alone the last six miles. All I can say is those last 6 miles were tough! Almost as mentally exhausting as they were physically. I knew I'd be cutting it close and there would be nothing worse than to miss the qualification time by 30 seconds!

Well, I know I pushed myself as hard as I could the last two miles. My calves were SO incredibly tight. Literally I felt like my calf muscle might rip out of my skin with every step and the jolt of my feet making contact with the ground sent a searing pain up my shins. I dashed across the finish line and stopped my wrist watch...3:40:07

Seven seconds over!!! Oh the only consolation was that I was done running. Well, the good new is these "Boston Marathon" folk realize that is a harsh reality for they actually give you a 59 second allowance...which in short means...I qualified for the Boston Marathon!!!

Well, it literally took me a week to recover from the race. My friends got a good kick out of watching me try to go up and down stairs...but ultimately it was worth it. And not only did I qualify for the Boston but I ran a negative split running my fastest half marathon ever with a time of 1:46!!

All in all I have concluded I have not pushed myself hard enough in the past. Or perhaps all that salsa dancing has paid off in the cardiovascular department...or road biking :) Either way I've screwed my future running career as I now must beat a 3:40 in my next marathon and a 1:46 in my next half!

Woe is me!


I'd like to give a special thanks to the following individuals for keeping me company the first 18 miles of the marathon:

Chris Brown
David Archuletta
Katy Perry

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Musings of a Mad Scientist

Date: 19 October 2008

Room Temperature: 23 degrees C
Relative Humidity: 24%
Barometric Pressure: 659 mmHg

Today's study is being used to measure the rate at which pickle juice empties from the stomach. Subjects will be suckered and bribed into the following procedures:

Upon entering the laboratory subjects will ingest 5 ml of water/kg body weight to ensure adequate hydration. After routine placement of a venous catheter and voiding of the bladder the real fun begins...

Testing the Gag Reflex:
Subject will begin by testing their gag reflex by inserting a length of plastic NG tubing running through the nose and esophagus and into the stomach. In the event the subject is not man enough to swallow the NG tubing, subject will receive verbal hazing from all laboratory assistants before being dismissed from the study.

Testing the Gag Reflex of Lab Assistants:
When the NG tube has been placed a large syringe will be used to empty the contents of the stomach. All brown floaty gastric juice and foamy mucus is sucked from the stomach and collected in a beaker. This step is not only crucial for obtaining accurate measures of pickle juice concentration later on, but also tests the gag reflex of all lab assistants present.

In Case No One's Thrown Up Yet:
Once the subject's stomach has been emptied they will have 90 seconds to ingest anywhere from 500-700 ml of pickle juice. For those unfamiliar with standard units that's approximately a nice 20 oz. Big Gulp of straight up dill pickle juice!

I believe the look on Brett's face says it all.

However Dan's the one who actually managed to puke pickle juice all over his arm. And yes we had to measure and record the volume of his puke. Yummy!

The Cherry On-Top:
Following the ingestion of pickle juice the gastric contents of the stomach will be mixed by sucking pickle juice in and out of the subject's stomach via their NG tube.

You Really Thought the Fun was Over:
Once the subject is released from the laboratory they will be advised to drink plenty of water immediately to avoid a bad case of the runs...little do they know they will most likely get a bad case of the runs either way.

[ I'll spare you the picture on this one ]

Did I mention we pay $10/hr??

PS- if you haven't had your fill my friend Nate also made a great post on this one...check it out at The Book of Nate.