Monday, December 31, 2007

Personal Running Log - December 2007

You’ve heard the expression “falling off the wagon,” this is what it looks like (see running log below). Once my racing season was over I got into a one-run-a-week rut. Nancy asked in the comments of a previous post if I was going to give a final mileage total for the year, but at the beginning of the year I was using the highly advanced, technological method of writing my times on a piece of paper to track them. I no longer have the piece of paper and even if I did I doubt that I’d feel like totaling all those runs up for an annual result. What I can tell you is that since July 1st of this year I have run 416 miles, so if you make the assumption that I ran an equal amount during the first 6 months of the year then I guess I ran 832 miles this year. I have no idea if that’s an accurate assumption, but you know what they say about making assumptions right? When you make ass-u-mptions you make an “ass” out of “u” and “mptions.”

My initial thought when I was calculating my annual mileage was that I should set myself a goal of 1000 miles for 2008, but I really couldn’t care less how many miles I run in ’08. What I’m more concerned with is how much faster I can get in 2008. If that equals more miles, then I’m okay with that. If it equals less miles, then I’m even more okayer with it. I’ll get a post up in January detailing my goals for 2008, it will be more focused on getting faster than it will be on total miles.

Have a safe and happy new year everyone, I’m not posting again until next year. I’ve really enjoyed reading all your comments, many of your blogs and getting to know you all this year. 2008 is going to be a good year, I can feel it.

12/31/20075 Miles Out & BackEasy5 Mi47:459:33
12/29/20077 Miles Out & BackLong7 Mi1:10:3310:05
12/27/2007Home TreadmillEasy4 Mi39:119:48
12/22/2007Misc RouteLong6.87 Mi1:07:079:47
12/16/20073 Mile LoopEasy3 Mi31:0710:23
12/8/2007Misc RouteRace8 Mi1:13:119:09
12/6/2007Misc RouteInterval5.2 Mi49:509:35
12/4/2007Home TreadmillEasy1.5 Mi14:329:42
12/2/2007Misc RouteRace5 km25:568:21
12/1/20076 Mile Loop Short HillEasy5.91 Mi57:299:44
Distance: 50 miles
Total Time: 7:56:41

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Requisite “Year In Review” Post

If you write a blog or a column or are the programming director for a TV station then you know that the easiest way to fill in content at this time of the year when you probably don’t feel like working is to do the “Year In Review” thing. You might call it ‘the best of’ or ‘the worst of’ or the ‘top 10 moments in 2007’ but it’s all the same thing. It’s an easy post/TV show. You talk a little about some significant events, you link to those articles/show old footage, you reminisce, and then you wrap up by talking about the upcoming year. Hey presto! You’ve got yourself a blog post.

This is my “2007: Year in Review” post. The only difference between my review and all the others you will read is that I’m sexier than everyone else that’s doing it, but since I won’t be posting any pictures of myself in this entry I guess that doesn’t really matter.

On April 1st, 2007 I started Half-Fast. I felt that April Fools Day was an appropriate date for what I had in mind for this blog and I stand by that decision. The only bad thing about it is that when Half-Fast turns one on April 1st 2008 I won’t know whether to do a celebratory post or an April Fools Day joke post. Ahhh, who am I kidding? I’m going for the joke post all the way. Half-Fast has turned out pretty much exactly the way I envisioned it and I look forward to bigger and better things in the coming year so be sure to stay tuned.

Over this past year my thoughts on running have changed as dramatically as my goals have. My original profile on this blog stated that I intended to run only the Bolder Boulder 10K every year, as I had done the previous 2 years. Of the 3 years that I’ve been a runner, this has been the year that I’ve taken it more seriously than before. This is the first year I have entered other races, and is the first year that I’ve followed any kind of training plan that included speedwork or tempo runs. I ran my first half marathon this year in under 2 hours, looking back this is probably what I am most proud of as a runner. I’m also proud of the fact that every race this year was a PR, admittedly some by default, but I continue to improve as a runner and hope to continue this trend through 2008.

Also, I never thought I’d run a marathon, but now I can see one on the distant horizon. Yes, just one.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

So what did you get?

Now that Christmas is over we can all stop talking about how it’s better to give than to receive and we can start boasting about all the great gifts we got. Did you get any good running gifts for Christmas? Go ahead, make us all envious. I tell you what, I’ll start.

I got all kinds of running apparel, cold gear, hot gear and gift cards to buy whatever-the-hell-I-want-gear, but the one thing that you’ll all be jealous of is the slap bands that I got in my stocking. Not just any slap bands, but reflective slap bands. They go on my wrists or on my ankles or anywhere I want to be reflective, and perhaps more importantly they make me want to do the Electric Slide. Come let me take you on a party ride. And I’ll teach you, teach you, teach you, I’ll teach you the electric slide.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Suggestions

Just a few quick suggestions for all my loyal readers that have stuck around and are still reading over the holidays.
  1. Enjoy your Christmas! Eat, Drink and be Merry, but remember to be safe, I’d hate to lose a reader as the result of a stupid holiday accident. I prefer to lose readers in the normal manner; boredom, disinterest or just plain offended by what I’ve written.
  2. Take some time to yourself and try to get a run in. I might even try to take a break from all the family stuff and squeeze in a short run on Christmas day. If you do, I highly recommend loading some Christmas music onto your MP3 player and running to that. I’ve been running to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra the last few days and I’ve really enjoyed it.
  3. Spike the Eggnog.
  4. Remember, as of midnight on December 25th you’ve got a whole year to get back on the “nice” list.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Weekend Splits - Holiday Edition

Weekend Splits is my recap of things that I found interesting or humorous over the past week. If you have a submission for the weekend splits e-mail me.

Do the holidays have you all stressed out? Head on over to Pieces Of Me to read how she deals with stress and print out a copy of her handy-dandy stress reduction kit (below).

Paul the Recovering Runner brings us the news that the Beer World Record was recently broken. Jim Finlayson ran a 5:09 mile on a track, stopping after each lap to chug a beer. Perhaps we could arrange some kind of virtual race like this next year, I know that I could get the Booze Hounds Inc. Running Team on board.

Ted’s Running Journal posted a video of a hippo running on a treadmill. More importantly he used the word “treadmilling” as a verb which I was trying to popularize back on this post. I'm not sure if he read that post and is using it in support of my trying to popularize it or if he is just a creative genius like me. After all, they say that great minds think alike and so do mine and Ted’s!

The Science of Sport reports that Oscar Pistorius was banned by the IAAF. This has been a fascinating story to follow, and I find myself siding with Jonathan and Ross over at the Science of Sport which is to say that I agree that he should not be allowed to compete with able-bodied runners. Of course I haven’t really read the other side of the argument but I like to make my decisions without all the pertinent information, it’s why prosecuting attorneys refer to me as “the perfect juror”. Or maybe it has something to do with how my butt looks in my suit, I don’t know.
Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week

Posting will be sporadic at best this week and I know that you don’t care because you’re probably reading this the week after Christmas if at all. I was going to try to post regularly during the week of Christmas but sitemeter tells me that very few of you are still actually visiting Half-Fast. Jerks. Like your families are more interesting than I am?

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2007

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Closing roads for marathons leads to fewer traffic deaths. No. Really. It’s true. I didn’t believe it at first either but then I saw this scientific study last night while I was not running again. Researchers at Canada’s University of Toronto (as opposed to Australia’s University of Toronto, I suppose) led by Dr. Donald Redelmeier have determined through an extensive study that there were 2 fewer traffic fatalities per day in counties where roads were closed for a marathon.

When reached for comment Dr. Redelmeier said “I’ve been wanting to scientifically prove this ever since I bet Dr. Munson that traffic deaths were lower during marathons and he scoffed at the idea.” Here we are, thousands of taxpayer dollars down the road and Dr. Redelmeier has finally won the argument and the respect of his peers. Up next for Dr. Munson is a study to prove that less people fall victim to frostbite in tropical climates, before initiating a probe into how the old “pull my finger” gag works.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Return of the Snow Heels

I once again went running in the snow with my Mizunos. After reading about the problems I had in my 8 on the 8th report you may be wondering why I would do this and the answer is because I thought I had found a solution and I lack the mental capacity to learn from previous mistakes.

A couple of commenters who shall remain nameless *cough Jon and Linda cough* left comments on that post and suggested that I put Vaseline or Pam into the hole because oil and water don’t mix. I tried this and it turns out to be an outright lie. What is this world coming to when you can’t trust the advice of faceless blog commenters on the internet. And when I say faceless I don't just mean anonymous, I heard that Jon really doesn't have a face! Freakshow!

I actually didn’t have any Vaseline or Pam so I ended up spraying WD-40 into the cavity in the sole of the shoes, and it did seem to work for a little while but pretty soon I was having the same old problems again. It starts off looking like this:

After a while though it gets ridiculous. The snow keeps building up and building up and before you know it I’m running in heels, snow heels. By the time I was finished my Mizunos looked like this:

Sure, laugh it up but I’m going to roll an ankle if I try to run in those things. If those heels get any taller people will start calling them... um... you know... “do me” heels... except with “F”. Despite their height I don’t find them at all sexy, although that may have more to do with who was wearing them. Still, I’m not sure what you could wear with those heels, something that was both sporty and dressy at the same time. Perhaps THIS would work?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How Did I Miss This?

Warning: This post contains tasteful pictures of college kids running in their underwear.

Last Wednesday hundreds of San Diego State University students participated in the 3rd Annual Midnight Undie Run, and it was everything that you’re hoping it will be. The students gathered fully clothed and then stripped down to their skivvies and went for a mile long run. The discarded clothes were collected and donated to victims of the October wild fires who, when asked for comment said “... uh thanks, but we’d have rather been there to collect the clothes ourselves.” To be honest with you if I was a victim of the October wild fires, even if I had been wearing the same t-shirt and jeans for months I’m still not certain that I’d want to change into the clothes that some broke college student no longer wanted. I’m just sayin’.

I really feel like a failure for not catching on to this earlier. I mean, it happened a full week ago now, and I’m only just hearing about it? This is the kind of story that is tailor made for Half-Fast. Hot college coeds? Check. Stripping down to their underwear? Check. Posing for pictures that are available online? Check. Check. Some obscure tie-in to running? Check. What more could I ask for?

A little something for everyone.

Below are a few more of my favorite pictures from the event (as always click to enlarge), but if you feel like ignoring work for a while please feel free to peruse the full 87 image gallery at SignOnSanDiego. Come on, you know you want to. Besides it’s December 19th, no one expects you to actually get any work done anyway. You can also read the full article about the event (if you like kidding yourself that you’re here for the articles) or check out Mr. Irrelevant’s take on it, which is where I first heard about it (via With Leather).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Kryptonite

I attended a Holiday Party yesterday afternoon that was thrown for my department by another group in the company. We send a lot of business their way and they always have an afternoon Holiday Party for us in December. It was an opportunity for me to showcase my iron willpower and forgo all the calorie rich foods on display, a time to amaze my coworkers with my tenacious pursuit of healthy eating. There was a token platter of fruit and some bottled water at one end of the spread, it was easy to spot because there was no one circling that end of the table. I would be the Spartan among them.

I grabbed a plate of fruit and a bottle of water, but as I was turning to go mingle I caught a glimpse of the most wonderful looking sugar cookies that you’ve ever seen. You know the kind, with icing on top that is made by mixing powdered sugar, water and heaven. To be honest I don’t even like the cookies that much but it’s apparently impolite to just lick the icing off and toss the cookies, which you undoubtedly do if you only eat the icing. A rainbow of colors burst forth from the little holiday themed shapes of paradise and a beam of sunlight shone down from above to the accompaniment of an angelic chorus of “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

I didn’t even hesitate. I grabbed one and placed it next to the fruit on my plate. I ate it quickly and then licked the crumbs from the plate so that I could regain the appearance that I was only having fruit. It was delicious. DE - LICIOUS! I walked to the trash can, disposed of the fruit and went back for another couple of cookies. Pretty soon the water bottle had been discarded too in favor of a pumpkin spice latte from the barista, because that goes much better with cookies anyway.

My conversations with coworkers grew shorter and shorter, my eyes nervously flitting over to the plate of cookies. Would it be inappropriate to excuse myself from the conversation to go get more cookies? How can I end this conversation and break away? For the love of all things holy will you please stop talking and let me go grab MORE COOKIES!

I lost count of how many cookies I’d eaten somewhere after 7 but my consumption was definitely north of that mark. I didn’t eat anything else because nothing else would have been able to compare. As I was about to head back to my office I grabbed a napkin and placed a couple of extra cookies in it ‘for later’. Except as soon as I got back into my office I closed the door and inhaled both of those too, and you know what? I don’t even feel the least bit guilty. In fact, I wish that I had brought even more cookies back with me so that I could have eaten them all. It is a miracle, a Christmas Miracle that I didn't go back for more cookies later. So I don't know how many cookies I ate yesterday, and I like it better that way. It was a good day!

I was like Cookie Monster, but not the new version of Cookie Monster that claims that cookies are a sometimes food and eats them in moderation after a well balanced meal. No, I remember a Cookie Monster that used to eat as many cookies as he could and then eat the plate too. Yeah, that was me yesterday.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Weekend Splits

Weekend Splits is my recap of things that I found interesting or humorous over the past week. If you have a submission for the weekend splits e-mail me.

The above picture had me in tears laughing. Looking at it now I’m not all that sure why, but perhaps it had something to do with the bottle of wine that I had just consumed before I opened Chuckie V’s blog and found the picture.

Fitness Fixation reviewed the Baywatch Beach Body Workout and was decidedly against it. While I agree with Kelly’s assessment in principle I would like to advise her not to “Hassel the Hoff.” Ladies, no need to thank me for the eye candy to the right. You are welcome.

Congrats to Amy Lawson who ran a new PR in her marathon last weekend! Now comes the good part Amy, rewarding your effort by overindulging and running less. At least I imagine that’s what I would do if I ever ran a marathon.

Frayed Laces also ran a marathon last weekend (race report Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3), but in order to make it more challenging did so with a broken pelvis. Yes, you read that right. Broken. Pelvis! I hurt just thinking about a broken pelvis, let alone attempting to run a marathon with one. In fact if I ever break my pelvis I will just have myself euthanized so I don’t have to deal with the pain. Big ups to Frayed Laces. Get well soon.

Keep your eyes open for Just Your Average Joggler when you’re out driving around this weekend. It turns out he’s a menace to society, jaywalking and who knows what else.

Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week
This weeks video goes out to all those of you who will be travelling over the holidays. Have you ever been on a plane that felt like it swerved a little when it touched down on the runway? My guess is that you were landing in a crosswind. Do you have any idea how airplanes land in crosswind conditions? I didn’t until I saw the video below.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Half-Fast Has Moved!

Half-Fast has moved to a new URL! My new web address is which you can hopefully see in the address bar above. It’s exciting news to say the least and I’m betting that you’ve got a ton of questions which I why I’ve created the following NSFAQ (that’s Not So Frequently Asked Questions).

Q. What will happen to the old address?
A. It will still work for now. It will forward you to the new address until I stop using blogger and switch to a different blog hosting service.

Q. Should I update my links to reflect this new URL?
A. Yes, do it. Do it now.

Q. What if I don’t currently link to Half-Fast?
A. What if I take my boot and shove it up your keister? Go and remedy the error of your ways immediately, and then seek forgiveness while there is still time.

Q. Why did you pick
A. Several reasons, would have been my first choice but that was taken and the joker that runs that lame site wouldn’t respond to any of my e-mails despite the fact that I offered him a very nice half marathon medal, a vanilla Clif Shot and an 8 oz beer to part with his domain name. Whatever. Thanks a lot, jerk! I bet no one even visits his website anyway. My second choice would have been (no hyphen) and that one is actually available... for the bargain price of $2,088. Unfortunately that’s roughly $2,078 more than I was willing to spend, but if you are a wealthy, philanthropic runner who was looking for the perfect gift to give Vanilla over the holiday season I can’t think of anything better.

Q. What would you be willing to do in exchange for the domain name?
A. Pretty much anything. I’ll link to your site, I’ll write a glowing race report for you that you can post as your own, I’ll write about your favorite charity, I’ll write your life biography that details how you were single-handedly responsible for ending the cold war, curing Alzheimer’s, and patching the hole in the ozone. Heck, I’ll even give you one of my children.

Q. Will Santa be able to find you at this new address?
A. If he knows what’s good for him he will.

Q. Will this be a seamless transition to the new URL?
A. No, absolutely not. Knowing blogger there will indubitably be some problems. Please, please, please let me know if you experience any problems like pictures not showing up, links not working, or a strange burning sensation when you pee. (I hate that!) Also, for those of you who read Half-Fast in a reader or via the feed let me know if there are any problems with that.

Q. Have you seen my glasses?
A. You took them off to read the directions on that Tylenol bottle and left them next to the medicine cabinet.

Q. Does the new official looking URL mean that we can expect more or better quality posts?
A. No. Are you even paying attention to what you’re reading? I’m in the middle of a NSFAQ post for crying out loud.

Q. Have you seen Val Kilmer’s shoes lately?
A. No, and neither has he! (Ba Boom Cha!)

Q. Are you now too big to reply to my e-mails?
A. Yes I am, but one of the downsides of being better than everyone else is that people tend to assume that you’re pretentious. In order to avoid that perception I will still respond to all your e-mails.

Q. Is there any truth to the rumor that your name was mentioned yesterday in the Mitchell Report?
A. No comment.

Q. Is it true that you have not run at all this week since deciding to quit the Rudolph’s Revenge 10K?
A. Whoa! Look at that, we’re all out of time here folks. If you have any other allegations questions please feel free to e-mail them to me and I’ll be happy to dodge, deflect, and deny with the poise and indignation of a cheater baseball player.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nobody Likes a Quitter

I’m quitting the Rudolph’s Revenge 10K that I had planned for this Saturday. I don’t think they’ll actually cancel the race when they realize that I won’t be running it, but it will probably feel like they should have. Due to some other things that have come up, (a friend’s kid’s birthday party that I feel like I should attend) I will have to miss this race. To be quite honest I don’t really know that it’s accurate to say that I’m going to ‘miss’ it, but I certainly won’t be in attendance.

I’m a little bummed about it but also a little relieved. This brings my racing season to an end as of last Saturday, which in turn means that I can get off my strict runners diet of low fat cheesecake and baked lays potato chips and get back to the salty greasy full-fat chips that I love so much, hopefully they’ll have some at the birthday party. You know... for the kids.

I am disappointed because I know that at least a couple of you were going to be running the race and I was looking forward to meeting you. I know that you’ll miss me, but you’ll pull through, I’m certain of it. And you know what they say: If life deals you lemons... just add vodka. So instead of running a race at 10am this Saturday, I’ll be at a birthday party, drinking. Wait, what? What do you mean they don’t serve alcohol at kid’s parties? If there’s one kind of party where it should be mandatory to serve alcohol it’s a 3-year-old’s birthday party. Have you ever been to one? Kids running around all hopped up on cake and fruit punch. It’s dreadful. I want to have a drink just thinking about it, and you know what? I think I will. After all, I’m not ‘in training’ any more.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

8 on the 8th

Warning: Half-Fast not responsible for hours lost staring into those steely blue eyes.

I awoke on Saturday ready to run 8 miles only to find it cold and snowy. I almost bagged the whole idea in favor of hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies in front of the fire. I wish I would have. Instead I drove to a 1.4 mile loop that circumnavigates a small lake near my house, strapped on my Garmin and commenced operation crazy.

When I began the first lap at 10am mine were the only footprints to blemish the pristine snow that covered the loop. A fresh start. Here I was being a hardcore runner and there was no one around to witness it, nevertheless I was excited to be alone with my thoughts. Alone with the exception of my digital training partner, whom I’ve decided to name Gustavo. (Thanks to Doug for that suggestion.) I set Gustavo out at an 8:50 pace as I was hoping to complete the run in 1:10:00.

Roughly one tenth of a mile into the run I noticed that my right shoe had a fairly large rock jammed into the cavity in the heel. Just my dumb luck I chuckled to myself and stopped quickly to pry it out. What I discovered was not a rock, but a snowball. As I ran the snow would press up into the cavity in the heel (see Figure 1.1) until it was full, at which point the snow on the ground would stick to the snow packed into the cavity and cause a buildup. It was like trying to run in heels that were getting progressively taller with each step, or at least what I would imagine it’s like to run in heels. Despite the fact that I felt like a saucy minx for wearing “heels” I was convinced that this was not a healthy way to run 8 miles.

Strangely enough, this snowball effect was occurring mostly in my right shoe. I tried everything to stop it, I tried landing more on my forefoot, I tried stopping and scrapping it out with a stick, I tried to ignore it, I tried cursing like a sailor on leave which didn’t abate the problem but it sure made me feel better. In the end the only solution was to thump my heel down hard into the gravel path under the snow and then drag my heel. This seemed to work to clear it out, but I ended up having to do this every 50 yards. For 8 miles. I considered quitting many times, and even now while I write this I do not know why I didn’t. Trust me, it’s totally in my personality to just give up and quit when the going gets tough, but for some reason I hung in there on Saturday.

Figure 1.1

As I began my final lap, I noted that my footprints had been joined by a few others. One jogger, and a couple of walkers who had no doubt puzzled over the man with the epileptic twitch in his stride. The path which had once looked like a fresh white canvas was now forever ruined by the punch marks in its surface, the scars of a frustrated runner etched into it by my spastic heel-dragging routine.

My Garmin beeped signaled that I had completed the 8 miles. My final time was 1:13:11 for a pace of 9:09. Gustavo had long since finished. He was already at home in front of my fireplace, drinking my hot cocoa, eating my cookies.

Thanks to Nancy for putting this together, you can visit her blog to see everyone’s final times. It was fun. Honestly. Also, Mizuno running shoes suck!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Site News - Housekeeping

I’d like to take care of couple of housekeeping items. (My wife is shaking her head in disbelief right now because she didn’t think that word was even in my vocabulary.)

1. Allow me to apologize for the lack of posts around here lately, there’s a very good explanation for it but I don’t feel like talking about it, so back off man! I am getting back to my regular schedule of posting 4-5 times during the week and once on Saturday for the Weekend Splits. This will continue until Christmas when I will post about as often as I do actual housekeeping, and boy won't those be crazy days what with all the flying pigs and hell having frozen over.

2. I’d like to welcome my real-life friends to my blog. Yes I have real live friends, and no, I hadn’t told them that I had a blog. Why? Because very few (if any) of them are as passionate about running as I am and also because I didn’t want them to know how much of a geek I really was. Last week a friend of mine found Half-Fast and soon realized that Vanilla was a guy that he’d known for the last 15 years. I think it was the race pictures that tipped him off. Yes this blog is written by Ian. Yes, THAT Ian - as if you knew any other Ian’s.

3. I will post an 8 on the 8th virtual race report this evening, or maybe tomorrow morning, or whenever I feel like doing so. I was originally planning on posting this on Saturday, but rest assured it will be worth the wait.

4. I am fully aware that I said I was going to take care of “a couple” of housekeeping items and then posted 4 bullet points. I am also fully aware that “a couple” means 2, but perhaps bullet points 3 and 4 are not considered housekeeping items. Did that even occur to you before you jumped to point out my mistake? No. Perhaps it would have been easier to just go back and edit my original sentence to say “4 housekeeping items” but that’s just not my style.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Colder Bolder Race Pictures

Thank you all for your condolences and kind comments on yesterday’s post. I debated taking a week off from posting at Half-Fast given the circumstances, but what better way to honor a writer than to keep writing. Besides, getting back to normal can only help, so here are some race pictures from Sunday’s Colder Bolder 5K. (For those of you who ran it, here is the link to all the Colder Bolder race pictures.)

The first picture here features some guy in a Santa Hat. He was a good 30 - 40 feet ahead of me for most of the race. I decided to run him down at the beginning of the final mile and it took me forever to pass him, but I eventually did. Passing Santa doesn’t automatically relegate you to the naughty list does it? That’s me behind him in the white shirt with gray sleeves, we have less than a half mile to go in that picture. Not pictured: the little kid who blew past me like I was sap oozing down a tree trunk.

You can see in the picture below that I have removed my gloves and shoved them into my pockets. It didn’t occur to me at the time that doing so might make my pants look like standard issue Nazi fatigues. Maybe next time instead of my pockets I’ll just shove my gloves down the front of my pants. BAM! How do you like my race pictures now? Still not pictured: little kid who blew past me. I think he must have cheated and taken a short cut. It’s the only viable explanation as to how I got “kidded” which, for the record is not quite as bad as getting “chicked”.

Finally, just because I got such a positive response the last time I posted a picture of my kids, here is another picture of Cheer Team Vanilla. They are my motivation to run. Not in a I-want-to-be-healthy-to-see-them-grow-up kind of way, but more in a looking-for-any-excuse-to-get-out-of-this-crazy-house-so-I’ll-go-run kind of way.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

In Memory

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. I learned late Sunday night that a friend of mine, Jason Wenger, was shot and killed in Spenard, AK on Sunday morning. Jason was a dear friend and an inspiration to me as a writer. I have tried on several occasions to sit down and write a post for today, but I don’t have it in me to be funny right now. There will be no humor today at Half-Fast, there will be no post today that is “...dripping with thick snazzberry syrup sarcasm” – a phrase that was originally penned by my late friend Jason Wenger.

I will miss Jason dearly. I will miss his goofy smile. I will miss his passion. I will miss trading literary barbs with him in our fantasy football league, mundane as that may sound.

I wish that I could write something that would adequately eulogize Jason in a manner that I feel is appropriate, but I will never be as eloquent as he was. I found the following on the Jason Wenger Memorial Blog, it is the conclusion to a paper that Jason wrote a year ago:

“... it is my responsibility as a lover of fiction to be an active member in my community and world. In the case of many writers, this activity takes shape in politics and action. Here I must again admit my shortcomings. My heart is much more drawn to the individual, rather than the population. I suppose this is again representative of my world view. I believe in individual and personal civil service. I hope to remain humble, and to emulate the example of the servant, Jesus Christ. I do not wish this for myself in order to gain respect, admiration, or a ticket stub that certifies my entrance to heaven. On the contrary, I don’t believe I can earn such grace or mercy. But in striving to live my life as a servant, I pray that God will bless me with the wisdom to suffer the intolerance of my sin, and the ability to strengthen my love for Him and His creation. If in the act of service, I continue to gain ideas, experience conflicts, empathize with characters, benefit my fellow man and take notes, I will consider myself worthy to be called a writer.”
I do not grieve like those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4: 13, 14) for Jason was above all else a God fearing man and I will see my friend again when I arrive in heaven. Until that time, I will remember fondly our fellowship on this earth and look forward to continuing that fellowship in eternity. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with Jason's family who have suffered a greater loss than I.

My friend and brother in Christ, Jason Wenger (Jan. 30, 1980 – Dec. 2, 2007)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Wind, I Hate It

Colder Bolder 5K Race Report

I knew that it was going to be cold on Sunday while I was attempting to PR at the Colder Bolder 5K, but I had no idea that it was going to be so windy. I HATE wind. It was 34 degrees outside and the average wind speed was 13mph with gusts registering speeds upwards of 28mph.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Colder Bolder it consists of 13 separate races. Each of the first 12 races are invitational races where runners are invited to participate based on their Bolder Boulder 10K time from earlier in the year. The 13th race is an open race for runners who didn’t run the Bolder Boulder. I guess that’s how an open race works. I was invited to the 10th race which was for runners who finished the Bolder Boulder between 56:00 and 57:59. The idea is that everyone can be competitive in each of the races, but looking at past results it seemed that there were always a few runners in each race that were somewhat ahead of the curve.

I stood at the line with 65 other runners, none of whom had run the Bolder Boulder any faster than me (56:00) 6 months earlier. I had set myself a goal of running an 8:00 minute mile pace and I felt like I should be able to stay with the front runners. When the air horn sounded it was evident that all 65 runners felt the same way and we all started out faster than Thanksgiving shoppers bursting in to Target at 6am. After a quarter mile I checked my Garmin to reveal that we were running at a 6:24 minute mile pace! To be quite honest I didn’t even think I was capable of running at that speed. I slowed down and watched droves of runners overtake me. At that point I was probably in 40th place and I decided to focus on beating my PR instead of beating all the other speedsters out there.

At the half mile mark we turned a corner and were met head on with a gusting wind and slight hill. All of a sudden we were back to being the slower runners that we were supposed to be. Somewhere in Antarctica Heinz ketchup was flowing out of a bottle at a faster pace than we were moving. We ran into a headwind for most of mile 2 and even though I didn’t feel like I was moving very fast I found myself passing a lot of seemingly winded runners.

I ended up finishing 15th in my race with a time of 25:56 which is a new PR. My splits were reflective of the headwind we faced: 8:11 – 9:02 – 8:11. I was hoping for something a little better, but I’ll take it given the circumstances.

When we got home from the race I got up on the roof and put up our Christmas lights, we’re going with blue this year. (Just like the last 5 years.) Once the lights were up I was starting to feel pretty chilled and I knew that it was time for an ice bath, Half-Fast style.

Cheer Team Vanilla once again braved the cold for the opportunity to ring their cowbells.

Daddy didn’t get to the podium but Cheer Team Vanilla is #1 (and #3).

All you can eat hot pancake breakfast = Why we run.

Personal Running Log - November 2007

My Colder Bolder Race Report is coming shortly.

11/29/2007Misc RouteTempo6 Mi55:509:19
11/24/2007Home TreadmillLong8 Mi1:19:199:55
11/23/2007Misc RouteEasy4 Mi39:129:48
11/19/2007Misc RouteEasy5 Mi48:469:46
11/17/200710 Mile LoopLong10 Mi1:35:589:36
11/14/2007Misc RouteTempo5 Mi45:209:04
11/12/2007Misc RouteEasy5.05 Mi47:379:26
11/10/20078 Miles Out & BackLong8 Mi1:16:149:32
11/8/2007Misc RouteEasy5 Mi47:199:28
11/7/2007Home TreadmillInterval4 Mi35:579:00
11/5/2007Misc RouteEasy5 Mi48:559:47
11/3/2007Misc RouteLong7.78 Mi1:21:3810:30
11/1/2007Home TreadmillTempo3 Mi26:578:59
Distance: 75.8 miles
Total Time: 12:09:02

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Weekend Splits

Weekend Splits is my recap of things that I found interesting or humorous over the past week. If you have a submission for the weekend splits e-mail me.

Picture stolen from Dmitri’s blog “into the trails”.

The picture adequately sums up my feelings on treadmills, they are not for humans. I know that some of you disagree with me on this and for you folks, I recommend you check out the joggler. He suggests 5 mind tricks to make treadmill runs more interesting and I suggest that you take those 5 tricks, and stick’em where the sun don’t shine. The only mind trick that is going to help me get on the treadmill is the Jedi mind trick: “You love to run on the treadmill.” Yes, I love to run on the treadmill.

Tom over at the Runner’s Lounge has been doing a great job of posting gift ideas for the runner in your life. This was something that I was going to post about but he’s done such a great job at compiling gift lists for runners it would seem redundant for me to do it too when I can take the lazy route and just point you to his posts. Thanks for making it easy for me Tom! Books for runners. T-Shirts for runners. Other gifts for Runners. Also, while you’re there check out Amy’s suggestions on how to decorate your blog for the holidays, you know what just read all the posts and then subscribe to the feed. It’s all good.

Kelly at Fitness Fixation had a great post with the top 21 reasons that you should walk away from the table. Perhaps next year we could get this post a week before Thanksgiving instead of a week after?

Finally, Nancy found herself in a competition this past week with a hot young fitness intern chick and retells the tale of her epic battle here. The only disappointing part of the post is the lack of pictures of the hot young intern.

Apparently my blog requires a junior high reading level, which is appropriate because I have about the same maturity level. Like when I saw that, I was like no way? OMG like that is so TOTALLY appropriate. FWIW I soooo LOL'd at that and then I sent it to my BFF and he was like TOTALLY.

Well, that paragraph certainly won’t help. Perhaps it would ameliorate my ranking if I used more words of Brobdignagian proportions instead of such diminutive ones.

Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week
I discovered this video over at A Tale Told by an Idiot.

Authorities are currently looking for the bird in question. Rumor has it that he dyed his feathers a little darker and fled to the Cayman Islands and has gone into hiding. However his love for salty snack chips will be his downfall as he was spotted again at the beach. If you have any information as to the whereabouts of this bird then please contact local authorities immediately. No one's chips are safe until this fiend is locked up.