Flowers and bees, coffee and dessert, running and vomiting

Though running and vomiting isn’t a strong pairing like flowers and bees, it used to be a problem for me. Maybe some readers have similar experiences.

Have you pushed yourself so hard that it caused you to throw up? It used to happen to me, and it lead to a personal policy I still hold onto – I don’t eat inside of three hours before I run. If I know I’m going to run hard, four or five hours is better.

When I was in high school, I once won our track team’s weekly athlete of the meet award because I qualified in the mile for the district competition at the all-city meet, threw up my school lunch in the upper corner of the grandstand, then qualified in the two-mile an hour later.

One summer while on a fast, early morning eight-miler, a buddy and I were pushing hard over the last half mile when I stopped and doubled over. Though I hadn’t eaten since dinner the day before, I had a serious case of the dry heaves.

It has been a long time since I’ve thrown up. Perhaps my stomach has matured by not showing its displeasure with a little physical distress.

My most regretful vomiting moment happened when I was a high school senior. The morning of the state cross-country championship meet, coach urged everyone to eat breakfast even though the race started at 10 am. I balked, but he told me to have something, suggesting some dry toast and orange juice. I didn’t want anything, but I followed his direction.

After finishing the race, I could tell the food was coming up. I was in the finish chute, right in front of the packed grandstand and couldn’t leave, so I turned away. Standing right there was our school’s cheerleading squad. I blew my cookies right in front of them.


Running dreams

Originally I wanted to title this post, Running Fantasies, but if you read the two previous posts, you know that the word fantasies sidetracked me, and the topic turned into sexual fantasies. I pledge that I’ll stay on track and keep smut off my blog.

There can be two types of running dreams – ones that you have while asleep, or thoughts of great accomplishments while awake.

I don’t have running dreams so much these days, but earlier in my career there was an unpleasant one I had repeatedly. In it, I was trying to run faster in a race, but the harder I tried, the more resistance I encountered. It was like running underwater. I felt very frustrated in the dream, and if I really made an effort to increase my pace, the opposite happened, and I slowed even more, as if the water changed into a fluid that was way thicker. This dream was real enough that in the middle of it, I was trying to discern whether I was dreaming or this was really happening.

Sometimes while on a run, I’ll fantasize that I’m in a race, and I’m at the front of the lead pack, or pulling away to win. I usually do this when I want to push a sustained fast pace or finish a training run hard. It seems to help and I like the small, but noticeable thrill of excitement I get thinking this way.

Here’s another fantasy that might make you chuckle:  When I was in high school, my early, minor successes at running made my head swell to the point that I thought I could accomplish anything. I told my mother that I would win the gold medal in the 800 meters at the Montreal Olympics. Of course, this fantasy didn’t come close to materializing, and fortunately I mentioned it to no one but my mother.

What dreams or fantasies of running have you had?

Running Fantasies (2nd try)

In my previous post, I tried to quell the misconception that the title inferred I’d be delving into sexual fantasies. Running fantasies and sexual fantasies are two completely different things.

However, my attempt to use an example to illustrate why it’d be a bad idea backfired. I got carried away and much of the post dealt with my fantasy about being in a room filled with attractive women who become motivated to remove my clothes.

This writing strategy was a bad move on my part, and I apologize. I hope no reader got bent out of shape by this lurid account.

I’m determined not to repeat this mistake. This post is about running fantasies, and I won’t be delving into sexual abominations and smut.

I’m just glad I didn’t use an even worse example – a fantasy I have about living in an apartment complex and accidentally being caught getting dressed in the morning by a very attractive model, whose apartment has an unique viewing angle into my apartment.

Rather than being disgusted or offended, she seems delighted. And over the next few days, I catch her glancing in with an expression that asks if I’m going to do a repeat performance.

I oblige, and soon it becomes a morning ritual. I pretend she’s not looking, remove my clothes and put on a little performance. She sits in just the right spot at her table, nonchalantly sipping coffee. I appreciate that she seems to enjoy the whole thing, and oh, what a thrill it is for me.

Then one morning a girlfriend of hers arrives just before starting time and the following week two more show up. They squeeze in at the table in order to see, and I can tell that they’re quite giddy. I’m thinking, whoo-hoo, oh boy, this thing is starting to grow. What a way to start the day! Thank-you, neighbor, for encouraging me and showing such divine attention.

Wait….what have I done here? Not another egregious violation of my personal code? Well, at least you have a good example of what shouldn’t be written on this blog.

Running Fantasies

Sexuality has become so linked with the word fantasies, that you probably thought this post was going to delve into sexual things.

Not so. Sexual fantasies are not an appropriate topic for this blog. Though I’m sure runners have sexual fantasies, this is not the place to explore them. It can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and shocking. Besides, I don’t have the skill set to deliver sexually-oriented material in a fun, delightful, and wholesome way.

Another thing – I’d be writing about my sexual fantasies which would be inappropriate, and you probably wouldn’t enjoy it unless you were into something like that. And it would take a long time because of the sheer number and the many important details.

For instance, there’s this one where I’m the only guy in a room full of attractive women. I’m dressed in a sexually appealing way and the women are very interested in seeing more. I behave in a way to encourage them, and next thing you know, they’re removing my clothes. Wait….forget you just read that. This is way off-topic.

Let’s talk about kittens. They’re so cute. I could watch a litter of playful kittens all day long.

Gerry Lindgren’s making me rich

I was in the back seat of a car one day, and I saw a runner on the shoulder of Bigelow Gulch Road just outside Spokane. “Is that Gerry Lindgren?” I asked.

“Yes,” my parents replied. “That’s Gerry Lindgren.”

Gerry Lindgren, in the WSU uniform, leading an indoor race

Gerry Lindgren, in the WSU uniform, leading an indoor race

Though I remember the incident well, I was an elementary school student with no great interest in distance running, and I have no idea how I knew about Gerry Lindgren. Perhaps it’s what he did when he was an 18-year-old high school senior.

The country’s top runners were invited to a meet to decide who’d be on the U.S. National Team. The top two runners in each running event would face Russia in the summer of 1964. Gerry finished ahead of more experienced, accomplished runners and was entered in the 10,000 meters.

In the midst of the Cold War and the on-going communism vs. capitalism rivalry, the annual US-USSR track meet occupied a big stage. It was the most important track and field event for the US other than the Olympics, and in the five previous years of the meet, no American had won the 10,000 meters. Of course, you can guess who won the race, and I imagine the resulting media coverage from that meet, and Gerry running in the Olympics a few months later, reached a young boy who was just learning to read and watched black and white TV.

Gerry Lindgren winning the US vs. USSR 10,000 meters in the Los Angeles Coliseum

Gerry Lindgren winning the US vs. USSR 10,000 meters in the Los Angeles Coliseum

Though I’ve never met Gerry, I went to the same high school, graduating 11 years after him. His coach, Tracy Walters, was still on the faculty at Rogers High School and occasionally told us about the teams from that era and how many miles they ran. At one point Gerry ran 25 to 35 miles a day, seven days a week. I’ve read that he once put in 380 miles in one week.

In my early teens, before I took up running, I occasionally saw Gerry run past my house at the corner of Cincinnati and Central in Spokane. I yelled out, “Hi, Gerry”, because, you know, he was famous. My brother and I talked about how Gerry replied “Good morning” when it was always the afternoon when he ran past. I’ve since figured out why – with all the miles he ran, he likely started his run at the crack of dawn.

Another time when I was in my mid-teens, I was watching the local news and the newscaster announced that a big-name celebrity had appeared at a fund-raiser. It was a local, small-time thing, and I knew there was no way someone from Hollywood had been enticed to come to Spokane. The only person it could be was Gerry Lindgren. Sure enough, it was him, but apparently to cast an aura of mystery, he was wearing a brown paper bag over his head. It didn’t seem odd at the time, but later I thought what a strange thing for the organizers to ask of their benevolent celebrity.

Is this Gerry Lindgren or me trying to recreate a long ago news broadcast?

Is this Gerry Lindgren or me trying to recreate a long ago news broadcast?

When I was in high school, I purchased a Runner’s World booklet about Gerry that has sat in my closet for many years. I decided to re-read it before writing this post.gerry booklet

Inside, I found Gerry’s autograph, and I have no idea how I got it. I’m completely mystified. As I mentioned before, I’ve never met Gerry, though we are Facebook friends.gerry autographI’m not an autograph collector, so I’ve decided to sell it to benefit charity. You’ll find it at That’s a-bay, not eBay, which stands for autograph bay. All the other Gerry Lindgren autographs start in the five figures, but I’ve listed mine for the very attractive opening bid of $3000. Proceeds from the sale will benefit a Spokane runner who is pushing the limits of distance running by wearing capes which I wrote about previously in Run Like a Super Hero.

Thank-you in advance for getting into a bidding war. I look forward to buying some really expensive, high end capes.