Saturday, August 11, 2012


As the Olympics nears the end and I reflect on the exciting two weeks, my greatest discovery is that I spent far, far more time than anyone should have to, watching women's beach volleyball and yelling at the TV, "show track NOW, not at 11:00 p.m.!"

I never want to hear the names Misty May-Treanor or Kerry Walsh-Jennings for the rest of my life, nor do I want to see their cute bodacious bikini bods.  Sorry to those two champions, but NBC has forever tainted the sport for me with total annoyance.  They aired it to infinity.  I'm kind of not kidding when I ask, is one of them screwing the NBC Olympics scheduling director?

Also as the Olympics close, I thought you should know these important facts of the craziest running events in Olympic history, that I plucked from Mental Floss (one of my very favorite magazines).  You can read the full text here.

1) 1904 Olympics Marathon, St. Louis 

The1904 marathon was one of the most bizarre Olympic events ever staged. The organizers knew almost nothing about staging a race. It was run in afternoon heat that reached 90 degrees. It was run over dusty roads made dustier by automobiles that were permitted to drive alongside the athletes. To top it off, there was only one usable water station: a well at the 12-mile mark.

No one noticed that American Fred Lorz hitched a ride at mile 12. Not until he was being awarded his medal by Alice Roosevelt did he confess that it was all a practical joke.

Winner Thomas Hicks (pictured) wasn’t entirely legitimate either, as he was given preferential treatment by his handlers who bathed him head to toe in warm water and administered a concoction of eggs, brandy, and strychnine when he insisted on quitting at mile 19.  (what is strychnine? I want some at mile 19 of a marathon)

Perhaps the most colorful participant in the race was a Cuban mail carrier with no race experience. Felix Carvajal de Soto hitchhiked his way up the Mississippi River from his initial port of entry in New Orleans. The race was delayed because his long trousers and street shoes were deemed unsuitable for running. Carvajal stopped regularly to chat with bystanders about the progress of the race and practice his English, raided an apple orchard (which caused him to cramp up and lie on the side of the road for a few minutes) and playfully stole some peaches from race officials.

Amazingly, Carvajal finished fourth.

2) 1900 Olympics Marathon, Paris.

The 1900 marathon involved a confusing, poorly marked course that went straight through the streets of Paris. Many runners took wrong turns and in some place, the course overlapped with the commutes of automobiles, animals, bicycles, pedestrians, and runners joining in for fun.

Amid the course confusion, fifth-place finisher Arthur Newton claimed that he had finished first because he never saw anyone pass him. 

Even worse, the race was run started at 2:30 in the afternoon and was held in July heat that reached 102 degrees. The local favorite, Georges Touquet-Daunis, ducked into a café to escape the heat, had a couple beers, and decided it was too hot to continue.

3) 1924 Olympics Cross-Country, Paris

At the 1924 Paris Olympics, the cross-country course included an unfairly difficult obstacle—an energy plant giving off poisonous fumes. 

The winner, nine-time gold medalist Paavo Nurmi, got by unscathed, but nearly everyone else staggered onto the track dizzy and disoriented. On the roads, the carnage was significantly worse, as runners were vomiting and overcome by sunstroke. The Red Cross took hours searching for all the runners on the side of the road.


Last week, I received 3-4 recommendations that I visit a chiropractor after I wrote about calf pain and my buttcrease (NOT buttercream) issue.  I took that as a sign, and visited a highly recommend chiropractor on Thursday morning.

It was painfully awesome.  I was laughing reading Ali's account of falling in love with her new Dr. Wonderful, because I could relate, on a lesser scale, with that feeling of discovering a doctor who really seems to fit your needs.  I also related to Ali because this chiropractor was rudely young and good looking. 

Sorry doc, but you're the one who already put your face on the internet

Unlike my 4 collective visits to a physical therapist at a sports facility and through Kaiser, I felt like the chiropractor immediately was able to pin down where the pain was coming from, and attack it.  I'm feeling a little bruised in all the areas he attacked, but man oh man the pain felt SO good.  

I can never understand what doctors/PT's are saying because they use scientific words at a very fast pace, but what I think I heard was that my left hip bone is tilted, and is either the cause or effect of a weak/atrophied glute muscle.  Basically my left buttcheek isn't firing up or being recruited when I run, so my hamstrings and buttcrease and surrounding muscles are taking on too much work. 

I think the plan is to untangle the muscles and tendons that have been working too hard, and strengthen that glute, so that it can re-learn how to fire up on its own while running and my hip will tilt back into place?

Hehe. Pubis.

I found this image here, which is actually a helpful article on pelvic tilt.

He also fixed some deep pains in my feet that I never even thought about.  I just figured feet sometimes hurt, the end.  I had no idea chiropractors (at least this one) are really in tune with the function and break down of a runner's body.


I'm running a half-marathon on Sunday.  I'm not in speed shape, it's been 3+ weeks since a good hard workout.  My butt/hips may make it uncomfortable.  So my expectations are low.  This could be Personal Worst, but don't doubt that I will run hard if I feel like I can.

Forecast is 93 degrees, and the race director emailed a caution, but since the race is at 7:00 a.m. and not 3:00 p.m. (duh) I really don't see how this matters.  See the thing is, at least in Northern California, even if it is 99 degrees during the day, it is still a cool 60 degrees when the sun rises.

What was the most memorable, or crazy thing, that you watched this Olympics?  For me, it was whenever women's beach volleyball was NOT airing.  That was crazy wonderful.  And crazy sad = Morgan Uceny. 

Have you ever been to a chiropractor for a running issue?  Was your doctor magic?


  1. My doc is wonderfully magic!! And is he is good looking! We all call him "hot doc" - like "Hey, I am going to see hot doc this week" and the rest of all know who that is!!! He understands what is going on in my body and is fixing things!!

  2. I am SO WITH YOU on beach volley ball. Number one, how did that ever become an Olympic sport? And number two, why am I being forced to watch it every single night? I saw more beach volleyball than any other sport. The coverage was so bad this year. I heard an NPR blurb about that; it implied that the NBC target audience is not sports enthusiasts at all, but women and older people who enjoy the heart-waring story aspect of the Olympics. To that audience, the coverage is just fine, and their ratings aren't suffering despite all the disgruntled athletic types who want to watch their sport live!
    So question for you. Should I go to a chiro? I've been injured forever. Just your recommendation: worth it or stick with doctors?

  3. I knew about the 1904 but the other two holy moly haha. Interesting.

    I have never been to a chiro for running related problems but I wish I would have last summer. Hope your race goes better then expected, I can certainly understand PW's! Though, they just make PR's much better.

  4. The beach volleyball uniform is all very well, but really, why don't the same rules apply to both men and women for the uniform? And yes, bodacious is just one of the words that could be used. But there are many other sports in the Olympics, and (heresy) I want to hear about how the Canadians did, and who, other than the Americans, won their various sports. The whole corporatist aspect and all the dreck you have to wade through to get to the actually performance has turned me off so much I got all my Olympics news through twitter.

    I'm a bit suspicious of chiro, because hearing things go pop like that is very alarming. Massage and physical therapy and ART are more my speed.

    1. ART was "invented" by a chiropractor in Colorado (Leahy)

    2. Yup, the chiropractor I visited basically did ART. Not much cracking or popping.

    3. You totally missed out ;-)

  5. Rat poison as a PED?! WTF. Learn something new every day.

    Maybe I'm biased, but I think the claims of chiro-quackery aren't always fair... I had awful hip dysplasia-induced problems in high school and chiropractic + PT is what dug me out of it.

    PS. I would love to know more about these deep pains in your foot and what he did for them! I have random, weird foot pain a lot, but not enough that it keeps me from running or performing... same attitude that "feet sometimes hurt, the end." Makes me wonder what's going on in there though; Feet take so much abuse.

    Good luck in the race -- who knows, maybe you'll surprise yourself...

  6. I am totally with you about beach volleyball. I have watched so much of that shit in the name of waiting to watch other shit. UGH.

  7. If I could get over someone, I don't know, touching me, I would go see any of the following: chiropractor, masseur, shaman, & even Dr. Oz. So, I'm left with yoga, stretching, & foam rollers to help work out my aches.
    Hope you have a speedy recovery.

  8. I am so glad you found a chiro who worked for you! Good luck tomorrow...wishing you a great run!

  9. Clearly all the young, hot docs are hiding in the US! My GI doc is funny looking.

  10. I'm going to an ART dude whenever I get my lazy, frugal ass to make an appointment. I do love my PT, though. Also young and not bad on the eyes. Hmm, could there be a pattern here?

  11. I'm so happy the chiropractor helped! That's awesome!

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought volleyball was on all. the. time. And how many different types of volleyball are there?? Every time I turned on the tv there was some different type it seemed... Or maybe I just lumped them all together. Whatever. Either way, it was not interesting to me at all. The end.

  12. Runner's World had a similiar Olympic history recap that included the 1904 marathon. Strychnine is a poison. I Googled the hell out of it but could not find any information on how it might have ever been used as a recovery aid or performance enhancer; every source I've read says that it's bad in any amount.

    I totally agree that they showed far too much beach volley ball (although I was digging the chicks from Spain), but in my opinion NBC's coverage pretty much sucked all around. I want to punch Bob Costas in the face, I'm so sick of him.

  13. Mmmmmm. I don't have a hot PT, but I have a delicious ortho. Sometimes I wish I could just break a bone. I had a dream once, he proposed to me. Of COURSE I said yes, don't be ridiculous.

    What was I trying to say? No idea.

  14. I go to an amazing chiropractor. Not only can he pinpoint my issues but he and I have similar personalities so it is a great working relationship. I have muscle spasms in my back/neck fairly often and he is able to calm them right down. So amazing. I'm glad you found someone that can help!


we have a strict no-word-verification policy. Comment away!