Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Just when you thought you've done it all

I worked at GE when I first moved to Boston, and they had a pretty sweet boondoggle they took part in. It was a Corporate Track Meet, and they would fly in their employees from all over the country to run relay races against other big corporations. I ran some 200s and 400s for them, and decided to run some track meets on my own.

For one of them, I ran a 400m at full speed (probably about a 53 then). A fast, all-out 400 can wreck you for the rest of the day, and no more than 10 minutes later, I had to run a trial in the 200m. I walked over on wobbly legs, started to get down into the blocks, then had to walk over to the side of the track and throw up. (I ran anyway and didn't qualify.)

Until today, that was the only athletic-related vomiting I'd experienced.

This week's scheduled workout: 2x200, 3x400, 6x200, 2x400, 2x200.
Played corporate on Tuesday, so I ran the workout this morning, a vacation day. (if you're not interested in a luke-type description of my day, skip ahead.) The boy got up a little early today and my wife had to leave for work early, so we hung out for a little bit. Wednesday's breakfast is cereal (also M+F; Tues is pancakes, Thurs is bagel+cc, Sat/Sun are usually pancakes or waffles fresh (Tues' pancakes are reheats)). He likes his cereal, so much that on the non-cereal days, if you try to eat cereal while he's downing a bagel, he'll stop eating the bagel and say "own bowl cereal". So, when feeding him on those days, I make my coffee, empty the dishwasher, pack my snacks, look through my mail, whatever. But today was cereal day, so none of that is important. But I still made my coffee, and finished my second cup along with a banana pretty close to 9 when the nanny started work. I then took off to the nearby Wayland track.

There was some future soccer mom pushing a stroller along with her friend walking laps, some girls field hockey team practicing on an adjacent field, and some tennis camp going on behind the stands, but otherwise I was alone. It's always tougher running alone. This time I did have the benefit of being confident about the distances I was running (although it was skimpily marked; I eventually figured out that what I thought was the 300 m mark was not). Jogged a couple laps, but which time the moms had taken off. Did the "active warmup" thing for 5 minutes, and started off. I told myself to run 33/34 for these 200s, and did. Next up were 3 400s. I paid attention to my 100m splits, and tried to make sure that I got 10 good strides in at the beginning of each 100m segment, a little mental trick that I've found to be helpful in maintaining pace. Uneventful, really, running 76-78-78, way off my peak workout times of 68-70, and even the 71-74 times of recent years, but a steady pace. After a break came the 6 200s, which I ran remarkably consistently, all of them between 34.0 and 35.0. My pulse was generally around 160 about 30 seconds after I finished a rep. I talked myself into keeping on target for the 400, and had a very nice set of splits en route to another 78, although I had to work extra to keep my stride going for that last 100. I panted hands on knees, and a few seconds later the coffee and the banana and the growing heat and the age and the early wakeup and everything made me nauseous, so I stumbled to the side of the track and had a little puke come up into my mouth. If I had already been at the edge of the track I would have puked full-blown, but I held it up out of courtesy and managed to avoid the full puke. Workout done. I've had track workouts in the past where I had worked so hard that it actually hurt me to open my eyes, but I had never thrown up. Sad.

Followed it up with 18 holes of golf. I had a nice seven-hole stretch where I was even par, but hit a lot of truly bad shots (several bladed irons, two sand shots I couldn't put on the green, pitch shots chunked or overshot) and so stumbled to a 90. One of my playing partners took about five mulligans, gave himself 3-6 footers, improved a lie when he really shouldn't have, and may have even shaved a stroke or two off his score. I don't play by the strict Rules of Golf (I'll take practice shots sometimes, I'll take 1 footers occasionally, I'll treat in-bounds lost balls as lateral water hazards, if I nudge my ball during address I won't take a penalty, and if I'm frustrated I'll move my ball out of a fairway divot, but I view all those as practical common-sense non-tournament adjustments), but I didn't like this too much. But otoh, I wasn't playing against this guy, he just happened to be in my foursome, so what do I care? I guess I don't, except he almost "beat" me. I was almost hoping that one of his par-3 mulligans would go into the hole, so he would have squandered his once-in-a-lifetime hole-in-one.

Anyway, wanted to make a too-detailed, rambling post. Next up: an inning-by-inning recap of Monday night's men's modified fast pitch softball C division playoff game.
Summary: For a variety of reasons, I had a minor throw-up that ended today's track workout, but I'm ok.


luke said...

if that's luke-like sign me up.
nothing better than a vomit story.

i also see you share my affinity for flapjacks.

josh said...

not a puker, huh, jim? i puke all the time during ultimate stuff. the first time was senior year of high school. we were at the nmh tournament, on the line, about to start a game against beaver country day, and i say, "hold on," go to the side of the field, puke, come back, and say, "ok, let's go." we won the game.

josh said...

hold up. jim, didn't you puke at a stadium workout last year?

parinella said...

I really don't think so. Let me check my email archives. Well, I'll be. From a June 10 email:

I threw up after doing stadiums last week, the first time I ever threw up as part of a workout. I did throw up at a track meet in 1990, as the schedule had me running a 200 less than half an hour after a 400, and as I was getting into the blocks, I had to excuse myself to go throw up on the side. Last week, I was almost done with the workout, doing number 24 of 27, when I missed a step and couldn't get back on track. I figured I had done enough so I stopped and walked over to another section to rest, then started feeling bad, then puked a little, then puked some more. Oh, the shame of it all, after 12 years of track workouts and stadiums, to lose it.

Mitch said...

First to go is the memory, then the gastrointestinal self-determination.

Dignity, I assume, you never had.

mick said...

The first time I puked after a workout was an athletics training session when I was 12. The coach had us running 200s with 30 sec gaps. I think I puked on the 5th.

I've also puked after 1 km time trials, a swimming session, and any good drinking session with lot of vodka...

Oh, josh's comment reminds me. My Dad was a top-level rugby coach and he said he had a number of players that would regularly get so nervous before a match that they would always puke. Can't say I've ever done that. I'm yet to see this happen at a frisbee game....

Anonymous said...

nice work willy beamen

Alex de Frondeville said...

Jordan Haskell, a long-time regular on Earth and DoG who hung them up a few years ago would often throw up before big games. Granted, he wasn't doing all the healthy things in the first place, but it was unrelated to warmup or hangovers (maybe because he smoked like a chimney). Basically nerves.