No Avoiding the Aschlochs

Hey everyone.  It’s been 2 weeks since we last ‘spoke’.  While you were gone, Boston continued to bear down on me.  The clock now reads 3 weeks.

Some signs that I’m not dreaming:

1) The Boston lady whose condo Nathan, Derrick, and I will be renting, emailed us the specifics on the place.  Here are some of the details (Note: The first 2 points are by far the most important):

  • The shower knob is reversed, so red means colder and blue means hotter.
  • You will find toilet paper under the sink.
  • We usually use the bolt lock to close the door when leaving the house. The lower lock is a bit sticky and tricky to unlock, though with a bit of patience it will open.
  • Just a reminder that we live in a quiet residential bldg and ask that you respect our neighbors by keeping noise to a respectful level especially at nights and during the weekends.

2) I got an email from the BAA stating, among other things, “Your official 2012 Boston Marathon Welcome Booklet will arrive in the next couple of weeks. Also in this packet will be your Bib Number Pick-Up card that you will use at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo to pick up you race packet.

3)  I was assigned a bib number:

Dreams don’t have this level of detail, people.  This thing is happening.

And while this dream rapidly becomes reality, I continue to slog through training.  I will spare you all the whining about all the nagging little injuries and the glacially slow training paces that Ralphie May looks at and says, “Hell, I can run that fast.”

Ralphie May's long run pace is faster than mine. (PS - 3 words for Ralphie - Celebrity Biggest Loser. If this doesn't exist already, it should.)

Instead, I’ll just share random bits of my life that occurred since last we met:

Kahn on the Tron

Mike Kahn and I went to a Bobcats game.  3 things of note occurred.

1) Since it was St. Patrick’s night, the announcer called out, “Show us your best Irish dance!”  And of course, interesting people with funny little Irish jigs appeared on the jumbo-tron.  Somehow Mike, turning his ball cap sideways and doing about the least Irish dance I have ever seen, attracted the eye of the cameraman and suddenly found his way onto the big screen.  My only regret of the evening is not whipping out my phone and videotaping this moment for posterity.

2)  The Bobcats won.  Kahn is now 2 – 0 at Bobcats game.  Michael Jordan, if you’re reading this (and I know you are), give Kahn season tickets and turn your team around.

3)  A torrential downpour rolled into Charlotte just as the game finished.  I sprinted for a mile and a half, in the pouring ran, to get to my car (parked at the Dowd).  And yes, I entered that mile and a half into my training log on  I had to – it was my fastest run of the week!

Aschloch Magnet

I am a phenomenon known as an aschloch magnet.  That means that I somehow attract aschlochs wherever I go.

For example, years ago when I went to the NC beach, Emerald Isle, out of season, I approached the beach and found that I was the only person there, for as far as the eye could see.  Ah, such serenity!  I put up my umbrella, laid out my beach towel, set my cooler down, and opened my book in anticipation of a blissful afternoon of reading.  Seconds later, this guy appeared on the beach and while there were  miles and miles of available sand, he proceeded to plant his derriere no more than 3 feet away from mine.  Then he took out his cell phone, and yacked on it, loudly, obnoxiously, and incessantly, for hours.  These are the kinds of things that happen to aschloch magnets.

This is what happened to me recently:  I shot over to the nearby grocery store during halftime of the game to pick up a few items.  If things went according to plan, I’d be home just as halftime concluded, without missing any of the action.  But things did not go according to plan.

Typically, when I go to this grocery store, I pull through a parking space so I will be facing out and thus won’t have to back out.  But on this particular day, with hundreds of available spaces everywhere, an aschloch pulled directly in front of me, thereby blocking my route of escape and forcing me to back out to leave.  Let’s call him aschloch #1.

I rushed into the store, grabbed my items, and rushed back out, and as I did, I noticed that the parking lot was virtually empty, with basically only aschloch1, myself, and a couple of other cars.  Hundreds of available spots everywhere, many of them much closer to the store than where I was.  I attempted to park far away to avoid aschlochs.  Oh well, so much for that strategy.

I quickly glanced behind me, over my right shoulder, before backing out.  I then quickly glanced to my left – the coast looked clear so I backed up.  Crunch.  What the %^&*??

Aschloch #2, that’s what the %^&.  So this lady, in attempting to park directly next to me in a parking lot full of open spaces, had passed my field of vision while I was looking to my right, and nestled herself quite comfortably in my blind spot when I looked to my left.  Lovely.  But since I was the one backing out, guess whose fault it is?  Guess whose insurance premiums go up?  Hint: not aschloch number one, nor aschloch number two.  Yes, feel free to insert aschloch #3 jokes here – maybe it’s some karmic bird-of-a-feather kinda thing.  Here’s the picture from the police report, with a few additions from me:

Feel free to send donations to the ‘Please help suffering aschloch magnets!” fund.  Contact me to find out how.


Okay, I lied, back to talking about running.  Today, I ran my long run for the week.  I decided that I would make this run a little mini-Boston simulation, meaning I’d draw up a course that would simulate the Boston Marathon course.

Senator Royall and David Taylor can fill in for Boston in a pinch.

So here’s what I did.  I ran in the University area and some of the tougher hills there filled in nicely for Hopkington, the Newton Hills, and, of course Heartbreak.

I started from the University Run for Your Life parking lot and ran down to the University trails.  Senator Royall Pl. became the opening downhill out of Hopkington.  After the downhill, I ran on the mostly flat trail to the “bridge to nowhere” (all my University peeps immediately know what I’m talking about while nobody else has any clue).  Then I doubled back and ran the mostly flat trail until I had covered some 10 miles.

With my legs tired, I started the uphill, to simulate hitting the Newton Hills around mile 16.  I ran back up Senator Royall and down, then shot over to David Taylor Dr. and up.  There I passed a gaggle  – (What do you call a bunch of buzzards?  Flock sounds too pretty.) of buzzards feasting on a raccoon – creepy stuff.  Now some might take that as a bad omen, but I chose to take it to mean “this is the point in the race where you will start getting many road kills” (for those of you not in the know, “road kill” is a term often used to refer to runners that you pass in a road race).  The buzzards scattered as I ran by and yes, it seriously creeped me the @#$! out.  You ever see one of those things close up?!?  I guess it could have been worse – I could have been the raccoon.

This is the scene that awaited me on David Taylor Drive. RUN!!

Up and down David Taylor and then I set off back to Senator Royall.  When all was said and done, I had covered 16 miles, with the last 6 traversing some nasty hills, the last trip up Senator Royall meant to emulate Heartbreak Hill.

Finally, a long run that went well!  The entire point is so that when I hit Heartbreak, I can tell myself, “This is nothing.  Senator Royall is ten times tougher and you ran up it.  You’ve got this – piece of cake.”


So those are a few of the things that went down in the last couple of weeks.  I won’t even mention the date where the girl said to me, “You don’t look anything like your pictures.  You’re very photogenic.”  Or how the lady in a meeting at work said to me, “You’ve lost all credibility buddy!  You don’t know your own software!”  Yeah, it’s been a couple of aschloch-laden weeks.

To hell with them.  3 weeks from now while the aschlochs are all driving around looking for my car and trying to park next to it, I’ll be running the Boston marathon.  See all my non-aschloch pals there!


One Response to “No Avoiding the Aschlochs”

  1. Hammer Says:


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