Last Flashback, I reviewed my training for this year. It seems only appropriate now to review the performances that training produced. (You can view all my 2008 race reports by clicking the links to the right, under "Latest Stumblings.")
I had three race-related goals for the 10-K, half and full marathon distances, and I entered a challenge related to the 5-K.
I only managed to achieve one of my goals, to break 1:50:00 in the half marathon, which I did at the Buckeye Half Marathon in September.
I was close to breaking 50 minutes in the 10-K, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
I still have some lessons to learn about breaking four hours in the marathon, as I'm still 22:36 away.
Despite failing to achieve two of three goals, I set PRs in every distance. None of those garnered an age group award, however. Fifth place is the best I did (twice). Sadly, I only have six more months before I exit the 25-29 age group.
Results are still pending for how well I did in the Shave Your 5-K Challenge, but I feel pretty good about a 1:17 shave. It's not a PR, but it ranks among my top three finishes.
I ran in 10 races this year, four of them were new to me. None of the new races were so bad that I won't consider racing them again. The Canal Park Home Run Trot is probably the most likely lock for next year, even though it only chip-times the finish.
My favorite race of the year was the Davey Tree/United Way 10-K in Kent, Ohio. Not because of the race itself, but for what happened afterward. I think we can all agree how charming the Puke Threshold is.
Mmm ... what's that I smell cooking? Why, it's Vanilla whipping up a pot of sweaty Red Sox hat stew. Seven miles tonight and seven miles tomorrow morning, and I'll be expecting a recipe review at Half-Fast next week.
Mile Tracker 1,000: 80 miles to go.
Wherein I don't reply to as many comments as I usually do because the one I did reply to required an excessively tl;dr answer.
Molly, whose comment did not include a URL, says all is not well with the absinthe found in the United States: "American absinthe has the thujone removed," and then she quotes a Time magazine article from November 2007.
Answer: First of all, the statement that the thujone has been removed from the absinthe sold in the United States is false. It is restricted.
Thujone is a chemical found in wormwood (also sage, rosemary and thyme, but not parsley). Too much of it is dangerous. The U.S. FDA used to ban thujone altogether, but now requires that levels be less than 10 parts per million (ppm) -- that is, 10 milligrams per liter (mg/l) or 0.001 percent.
Supposedly, pre-1900 absinthe contained 260 ppm (or 260 mg/l) of thujone, as reported in that Time article, a measure of 0.026 percent. However, a more recent study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (May 14, 2008) argues that thujone levels in pre-ban bottles of absinthe -- 1915 or earlier -- are comparable to levels in modern bottles and fall within the current European Union limit of 35 ppm (35 mg/l).
The researchers conclude that "nothing besides ethanol was found in the absinthes that was able to explain the syndrome 'absinthism.'" Absinthe is typically 50 to 75 percent ABV (or 100 to 150 proof). "Consumers seem to feel that absinthe, in view of its fabled and exotic reputation, ought to be dangerous, even in the absence of evidence that it is," the researchers write (emphasis is as published).
Alcohol poisoning is likely more to blame for the mythic power of absinthe, but I don't doubt the combination effect of thujone. Whether or not 10 ppm of thujone is significantly less potent than 35 ppm as allowed by the EU or 100 ppm as Molly says is available in Europe is something I'll let others debate. Regardless, I foresee an independent study in the Team BHI laboratory.
HOLY CRAP I CAN'T BELIEVE I FORGOT THIS UPDATE: In my haste to defend absinthe, I forgot to wish you all a fine weekend (thanks Vanilla). Happy Hour is nearly upon us. Run well and drink well.
[Drunkard's note: Sarah says absinthe tastes like ass. My assumption is that she does not care for the taste of anise -- nor anus, for that matter. If you don't care for anise, dear reader, you probably will not care for absinthe either, nor these other similarly flavored spirits. The Nightmare Before Christmas included a less potent substitute for absinthe.]