My friends over at RTR (Run Talk Radio) are currently feuding with Sarah Silverman over the use of the term “to Prefontaine” something. Each is claiming that they were the first to use Prefontaine as a verb. I believe that RTR has documented proof, but Silverman may have them outgunned in the lawyer department. As the battle lines are being drawn, I would like to officially lay claim on my own use of a famous runner’s name as a verb.
But first a little background.
When I first started running back in November ’08 I read Dean Karnazes’ Ultra Marathon Man. I found the book as a whole fascinating. Karnazes’ writing style was easy to read, and despite the occasional “look at me, aren’t I amazing” lines, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The stories of the various ultra marathons he ran were inspiring and hysterical. The things he accomplished by running made me want to run and run far. If you are new to running or are an old pro, I highly recommend it as an entertaining, inspiring book.
It was, however, the opening chapter that astounded me. The book opens with Karnazes running on a California desert highway, in the middle of the night, looking for a signal on his cell phone. Long story short, when he finally found a signal, he called a pizza delivery place called Round Table and convinced the owner to deliver a whole pizza, a whole cheesecake and a large Starbuck’s coffee to him…in the middle of the desert, in the middle of the night.
Karnazes paid his bill, and then continued to run, hot coffee in his water bottle, cheesecake still in the box in one hand and the large (did I mention large) pizza rolled into a cigar in the other. He continued to run while he ate.
How was this man doing that? Pizza? Cheesecake? Really?
I was floored yet intrigued.
Here I am now though, almost a year and a half under my belt (still a novice). I’ve learned a few things and my legs are a little more solid underneath me when I run. Last Saturday I figured maybe it was time to see if my stomach was solid too. My buddy Mike had an 18 miler scheduled for his training for Boston. About a month ago I had run a 17 miler with him through Boston near the end of which we passed a hamburger joint that was cooking up some aromatic delights. At the time I cursed myself for not having stuffed a $20 bill in my shorts before running. This time I wasn’t going to make the same mistake. Learn something on every run, right? I figured this was the perfect opportunity to put my stomach to the test.
All night and morning before the run I kept thinking, “what to put on the pizza? ham and pineapple? do I top off with black olives? maybe I go in a different direction and go for a hamburger?” Right before the run however, Mike pointed out that since we were starting our run at 7:00 AM, the likelihood of a pizza or hamburger shop being open for business during our run was highly unlikely.
Hmmm…what to do.
“There are a couple of Dunkin’ Donuts along the route,” he mentioned. Okay! Back in business…but donuts? Donuts are not test! I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed, but then, Breakfast sandwiches!
At about the 12 mile mark I took off. We had been running along at about a 9:15 clip and we were 2 miles out from Dunkin Donuts. I didn’t want Mike to have to interrupt his run so I needed to buy some time. I flew over the next two miles at a 6:40 pace. I looked at my watch. I had bought myself 5 minutes. I burst through the door at Dunkin Donuts and looked at the menu board.
Even better than breakfast sandwiches – Flatbread sandwiches. Those are kinda like pizzas! Oh! And they have ham & swiss ones!
I ordered 2 of them, and told the woman behind the counter not to wrap them. I would be eating them while running. She looked at me like I was nuts. I looked at my watch as I headed for the door.
4:55, 4:56, 4:57…
As I jogged out, flatbread sandwiches in hand, I saw Mike come running through the parking lot. We fell in step and I started eating.
Initially the sandwiches went down easily. It felt good to be eating something. My body obviously needed something after 14 miles, but after running the last 2 miles at near 10K pace, all my blood had moved to my legs and away from my stomach. The sandwiches sat like a heavy rock in my stomach, but after about a half mile things balanced out again and I felt great. I think that if I had just waited a half mile before wolfing down the food everything would have been fine.
So, it’s with this past Saturday’s experiment that I’d like to lay claim on the following:
To Karnaze – (verb) karnazed, karnazing – to eat something that could qualify as a meal while running long distances.
He karnazed that pizza between miles 20 and 21 of the Boston Marathon.
I’m planning on karnazing a meatball grinder on my next long run.
Hopefully Sarah Silverman doesn’t come after me too. Good luck RTR! I’m rooting for ya.
In the meantime, I’m gonna go figure out what I can karnaze on my next long run.
Have any suggestions?