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Brass Monkeys*

Just ran 18 miles, in 34 degrees, on hills, in Buda. Actually, I ran 18.6 miles but I always feel a bit geeky spelling out the full amount, kind of like a kid saying they?re 11 years and 10 months. It wasn?t just me – there were 1100 other runners trying to get some circulation going in their fingers, fantasizing about coffee and muttering insults at the wind. The latter was probably just me. At mile 15 it finally started warming up so I decided to take off my jacket and tie it around my waist. This took me a full 4 minutes as my fingers apparently forgot how to operate a zip. Or tie a knot. At mile 16.5 the wind came back but as I didn?t have another 4 minutes to spare, I just got colder and grumpier.

Everyone likes to gripe about this race, the Runtex 30K, it?s the last big one before the marathon in February. I heard this race being described as like an older brother that beats you up to make you stronger .. in the end, you thank him. Or shoot him, along with the creator of such a ridiculous analogy. The ‘ha-ha’ part of the race comes at the end, where you turn in and see the finish line but have to run three-quarters of the high school track to get to it. Just as I turned in, Madness? ?House of Fun finished playing on my iPOD and in a fabulous moment, on came Queen ?Under Pressure?. I didn?t exactly tear it up around the track, but I put on my Freddie Mercury face (large moustache and slightly buck teeth) and hauled myself to the finish. This is where the nice part of the race kicks in – the food. Sausage wraps for meat-eaters and extra Krispee Kreme donuts for me. I calculated that if you burn an average of 10 calories a minute when running then I knocked off around 1800-2000 calories in total. I then ate 3 donuts – averaging 4-500 calories each. So, 1500 calories consumed in approx 45 seconds. I will make up the remaining calorie deficit this evening with a large plate of french fries. Slow metabolism be damned. Do you hear me hips and thighs? I DON’T CARE.

Brass Monkeys:
Cold weather, as in “it’s brass monkeys out there”. Comes from the saying ‘cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey’. Some sources say this comes from a old naval device for holding cannon balls (called a ‘brass monkey’), I say that’s just a load of old cobblers.