A (running) “tribute” to Winger

For some reason, just because I ran 17 miles this morning, I cannot get that awful Winger song out of my head.

Winger

The band in their glory days

I’ve always been a numbers man

This morning, I ran the longest distance I’ve ever run before, 17.0 miles.  For since I can remember, numbers have always had very specific significance, and most numbers under 100 can trigger a set of memories or songs or sports heroes or other thoughts.

  • 49 or 76 reminds me of a girl I chased in high school because those were the digits in her phone number.
  • Anytime I’m half way anywhere, that damn Bon Jovi song pops into my head at the chorus, WHOOOOAH, we’re half way theeeeeere. While swimming, once I’ve hit half way through a distance swim, Living on a Prayer repeats over and over again until I force a more pleasant image into my head, like being disemboweled or eating a rat sandwich.  I campaigned against that song in my high school, trying to get people to stop playing it – trying to get them to understand how moronic the song is.  And yet, what band survived and is still putting our records?  Sigh.
  • 12 will evoke conflicting thoughts – the number of apostles and Roger Staubach.  33 is Tony Dorsett.
  • 99 – Nina and beer of course.  A lot of numbers we share culturally, and I bet most people who lived through the 80s would have the same responses.
  • Primes.  I don’t know all the primes up to 100 off the top of my head.  But I recognize them when I see them.  And I don’t like them.  There’s something inherently evil about not being divisible.

And for some reason, 17 brings back one of the worst bands of music from my high school era (Winger), and their one hit single, “Seventeen.”  Hearing Casey Casem say “Seventeen” is only slightly less painful than nails on chalkboard pumped through an amp with too much feedback and static.  Not only did these guys epitomize metal hair, no originality, and just general lack of anything compelling (and I am a fan of metal, don’t get me wrong), but the lyrics are beyond brutal.  She’s only seventeen.  I used to imagine backup vocals She’s half my age, alongside this mid 30s metal poser crooning the drudgery of line after line. Her daddy says she’s too young, but she’s old enough for me. Actually the attorney general in a large number of states also thinks she’s too young for you, and classifies your romance as statutory rape.  The whole young girl thing was done so poorly (take the phenom “Stacy’s Mom” – 10,000 times more creative song about the love for old and young).  This is such a big issue (and it should be) that our laws get incredibly detailed about the crime of sex before certain ages.  My own home state of Alaska, which usually has simple laws like “if the dead man presses charges, it’s murder” has a ridiculously complex system of determining what crime to charge a pedophile.  Of course, I was about 16 at the time this song came out, so my reaction may have been territorial: I didn’t want badly permed rocker dudes stealing the cute girls a year older than me.  But I digress.   This song just stinks.  And I hate that I remember it.  I guess you remember what you have extreme feelings about?

Am I a runner yet?

When I talk about my training, I usually throw in “I’m not a runner”.  Now that I’m running 13+ miles at once every week, I still don’t feel like I’m a runner.  That at some point during a loop around town lake, someone is going to jump out and say “that’s him!” and off I’ll go to stand trial for impersonating a runner.   Now, on the trail, I am not lightly flying along the path at 6 minute miles looking like the cover of runners world.  I’m a triathlete, so I look like a giant geek, with my fuel belt, salt tablets, gels, Garmin 310XT, and shuffling stride, and if its dark enough, maybe even the running light on my running hat will blind you as you run by me.  But I don’t get passed except by the fast, so I guess I’m getting better?

I held my average under 10 minute miles this morning, which was a victory – I didn’t think I could do that, and in fact I was ever-so-slightly faster near the end of the run.  Next up will be the big one, 20 miles.   Hysterical that my first marathon will be on the day of my Ironman.  Well, hysterical in the Texas State Lunatic Asylum kind of way.

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