Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another Embarrassing Boulder Moment, and My Million $$$ Reality Show Idea

A funny thing happened while I was obsessing over the race results from yesterday's Snowman Stampede. Not content with being stupefied by how fast the top finishers in my own race were, I also looked at the winners of the 5-mile race, which had occurred before the start of the 10-mile one I ran.

And there it was. My doctor's name. Yes--the same doctor who just last Monday probed my calloused right foot, diagnosed it with a neuroma and injected it with cortisone. There was his name: the runner-up in the 5-mile Snowman Stampede. Over the course of his five miles, he averaged 5:37/mile. The guy he lost to was 20 years his junior.

Immediately I flashed back to that exam room with the photo of the Soviet women's cycling team glaring down at me as I sat on the table. I had foolishly worn a skirt and tights to the appointment because I had to go to work right after, and had donned a giant pair of men's basketball shorts so he could see my foot properly. I'm sure I looked like some woman on the doorstop of middle age who had once tried and failed to play basketball in seventh grade--because that's what I am.

But since I was playing it cool and trying to feel like one real runner talking to another, after he asked me about my running and my goals, I asked him (as though I hadn't read his little bio online) if he ran too. He answered that he does run, but, he said (and I remember he was still messing with my foot as he said this and not looking at me), "Not marathons. I stick to shorter things. Half-marathons sometimes."

Aack. Cringe. Five-milers, too, apparently. I can only imagine how he must have been laughing inside. It's the same kind laughter I suppress when, after I've come back from a run, my daughter Ruth informs me that she too ran, and indeed ran 40 miles. "Really?" I say with a half-smile. "Wow, that's far!" The other analogy I draw would be me telling Colin Firth that, "yes, I'm an actor too" because I once played a bit part in a children's production of Robin Hood.

One fellow blogger recently expressed confidence in my ability to qualify for Boston because "everybody in Boulder is bada**." A very kind thing to say, but, alas, NOT COMPLETELY TRUE! :^)

It's a good thing I do live here, though. It keeps my small accomplishments in perspective. Which brings me to something else I've been wanting to share: how about a reality TV show where a bunch of celebrity coaches, people who are used to working with real talent, are given a bunch of average runners and a certain amount of time to get them qualified for Boston? I'd watch it!

I thought of this on the treadmill the other night when the (thankfully silent) TV was tuned to The Biggest Loser. The premise of the show is a good one, I think, even if the execution suffers from the usual afflictions of all reality TV (forced tension, immoral treatment of contestants, stupid take-out interviews). It *is* inspiring to see the success stories.

If anyone in Hollywood is reading this and likes the idea, sign me up! I'll be your first contestant, especially if it means I get to live at a spa-like ranch for several months.


  1. Terzah, I think that you're being a bit hard on yourself! I'm sure your doc was not laughing at you. And if he was, then, well, eff him! Even if he is a bit of a running rock star. If he is a professional then he will take your goals and concerns seriously, as it sounds like he did. Hold your head high, you did great in that race on Saturday!
    Sammy is asleep in my lap but wants me to tell you that he agrees!
    I do like the reality show idea, I admit to a strange obsession with the Biggest Loser and do watch it sometimes. Usually while eating cookies. Heh heh.

  2. Heh, this last weekend I was in boulder to go to the BRC and had some time to kill before the store opened, so I wondered around some various places, and I'll be darned, wherever I was there were people looking like they were fresh off the Olympic Triathalon bandwagon, sporting running clothes, chunky shoes, and a starbucks. EVERYWHERE.

    I miss Boulder, I really do.

  3. Terz, I'm just looking at it from the standpoint of a 60 + and my knees going, going and almost gone. If I were you I'd stick to the 5 milers too but...I never had the kind of ambition you have but I still wrecked my knees. Ma

  4. Penny, Boulder misses you too! Are you planning to do any races up here? Mom, if I can qualify for Boston (and maybe even run it), I will most likely stick to shorter distances after that. But by shorter I mean half-marathons--they are fun!