Friday, January 15, 2010

Flashback Friday: On the Threshold

I love when seemingly random occurrences form a lattice of coincidences. Like this week, when my YakTrax review on Monday spewed forth a regurgitation of the Puke Threshold.

First, M2Marathon commented in the review that she used the same photo I did on one of her posts from last week that also contained her "Puke Threshold Treadmill Workout," which makes me want to vomit just thinking about running so intensely on such an awful machine. (She claims she didn't know my connection to the Puke Threshold.)

Later in my post's comments, Mike wrote, "I thought YakTrax were what you left behind after crossing the Puke Threshold."

That same day, Nitmos wrote about 2010 being the Year of the Ass Kicker, or YAK for short. YAK made me think of Mike's comment, which led to me writing, "I want to yak all over this post. Curiously, this week has marked the return of the Puke Threshold." Which probably led, in part, to Nitmos's post on Thursday, "Life on the Puke Threshold." In the comments of that post, Chris, whose blog I've never read, wrote, "Had you gone past the puke threshold, Yaktrax on your Asics would have an entirely different meaning." Chris's comment on Nitmos's post is almost identical to Mike's on mine.

All of these coincidences make me wonder where else the Puke Threshold has appeared online. I claim to have invented the term, but did I?

Oddly enough, "puke threshold" appeared yesterday on this forum page for the Savannah Morning News. The comment is in reference to a news piece on "White House openness." However, the Puke Threshold, as we know it, is in regards to running -- or exercise in general -- and drinking alcohol.

My research uncovered this blog post, written in August 2009, where the writer claims to have first used "puke threshold" in relation to running in high school and then later in college in relation to overconsumption of alcohol. However, we have no way to verify if this person's first usage of the term predates my first reference of it in July 2008, though it seems likely.

An online reference to the "puking threshold" that does predate my usage is this forum thread (sixth post down) on, of all things, a Volkwagon enthusiast Web site. The reference is in regards to weight lifting and was posted on June 3, 2008. (Though if the site uses European dating style, it could very well be March 6, 2008.)

Chances are that I wasn't the first to coin the Puke Threshold, but six of the top 10 results of a Google search of the term are all connected to my first reference, which has to count for something. Regardless, I'm always amazed how unconnected people can have the same thoughts in nearly the same time frame. It's like when I thought I invented "dudical."

By the way, if you go all the way back to the first sentence, you will see the phrase "lattice of coincidences." That too is not original, but from the 1984 movie Repo Man.

You see, the lattice of coincidences reveals our cosmic connection. When you reach the Puke Threshold, we all reach the Puke Threshold. So you might want to carry a barf bag the next time you go running, just in case.

One thing about the winter is it has a tendency to lower your Puke Threshold. Unless you are training for race or a professional runner, this season has knack of slowing us down and limiting our activity. Nitmos gave a prime example. I have also noticed that telltale tingling sensation just on my latest four-miler, which was by no means fast, but the added effort of running on hills, in the snow was enough to push me closer to my limits. And I must say, I miss that feeling. Pass the shrimp.

Back Talk
Wherein this already too long post gets even longer.

Xenia questions my integrity about my recent spate of reviews and wonders about my new running partner: "Since you appear to be practicing your Half Fast-esque whoring skills, can we presume there will also be a review of your new furry running partner?"

Answer: Firstly, a whore provides a service in exchange for money, and I got no money (or any sort of payola) in exchange for these reviews. My reviewed items were all purchased, either by me or as a gift to me -- and not by the manufacturer. Unlike that whore, Ian.

Secondly, Dobson has yet to run with me. Aside from getting involved with my stretching, he is still getting used to walking in a straight line when we take him out. My sources tell me I should wait until he's six months old before I start running with him.

Happy Hour is nearly upon us, teammates. Have a finely brewed weekend. Run well and drink well. Cheers!


Jeri said...

This post has the word puke in it too many times for me to doing anything more advanced than skim its contents. On a happier note, I purchased some yaktrax of my very own last night (b/c of your review natch) and will be testing them out this weekend in the tundra. Yaktrax should probably provide you with some compensation or some sweet swag b/c of this. Just an idea I had.

Georgia Snail said...

By included the phrase "puke threshold" 17 times in your post ( now 18 including my comment)you should solidify your "Al Gorian" creation of the phrase Puke Threshold"(19 times)...How can this post not be the number one search result when googling "Puke Threshold" (nice round 20 now)

Funnyrunner said...

Viper, this post is much too intellectual. Thank God I have a margarita in my hand. I recommend you start drinking, too.

Ms. V. said...

i use that phrase ..a lot

Jess said...

Can we at least get pictures of Dobson?

Mike Antonucci said...

Vipe, you have definitely popularized the term, but your mad research skillz fell short. There are many references that pre-date yours, with this one perhaps the most relevant, from May 8, 2007:

Junk Miler said...

I didn't realize you ran in a straight line.

Barbara said...

So you're not hashers?

X-Country2 said...

This oj in my tummy suddenly isn't sitting so well. Thanks for that.

C said...

So writing reviews gratis would then make you a slut. Am I wrong?

vikingchik said...

I found your blog from my web statistics. I'm the chick that blogged relating drinking in college to high school running. I've been using the term "puke threshold" since the '80's, and I thought I was being original. Great minds think alike, and we runners have much to think about when we're putting in the miles day in, day out. Thanks for the reference. It is also refreshing to connect with people who value drinking as a complement to a healthy lifestyle. Now, I have a question for all you runner/imbibers. Has anyone done a 5K called a "beer run"? I think I'm being original here, but wouldn't it be great to do a 5K with a different kind of beer at each aid station?

Nitmos said...

That was a long way to go just to find out that I can stop crediting you with invention of the term. However, worth it!