Monday, April 30, 2007

San Diego? More like Sandy-Lame-O!

Sorry. San Diego’s great, but I just had to title this post with the quote from Madagascar that my two boys have been saying ALL DAY LONG. It was cute, even funny the first couple hundred times. Editor’s note: I think this reference to Madagascar gives me the perfect opportunity to use the “if you have any poo fling it now” tag for the second time which is quite an accomplishment for a running blog that has been in existence for less than a month. Thanks to those of you who left well wishes on my previous entry instructing me to enjoy my vacation. I am.

I found my motivation to run on vacation on Saturday morning. I had a long run of 10 miles Friday morning before we left for the airport so Saturday was my rest day. I was sitting out on the patio admiring the ocean view enjoying a bowl of Reese's Peanut Putter Cup cereal (usually I’m a fruit and oatmeal kind of guy for breakfast, but I’m on vacation so screw that) when I was rudely interrupted. First by my wife laughing at the back of my cereal box which had a list of 18 things to do before you turn 18, eight of which I still have not accomplished. Secondly by what was probably close to 200 runners running up the street outside that separates the house from the ocean. Here I am eating my high-calorie, low-energy, breakfast sitting on my butt and that was my wake up call, my figurative two by four to the cranium. So I managed to get in a 4 mile easy run on Sunday morning.

I also discovered from my June ’06 Runners World magazine that the San Diego Track Club meets on Thursdays at the runners bathroom in Mission Bay. I may head over there and see if I can run with them, so if you’re a member of the SDTC and you are reading this blog (long shot I know), leave me a comment and let me know when and where you run.

Personal Note to our house and dog sitter: I'm sorry I left the alarm clock set to go off at 6 in the morning at a DEFCON 5 alert level. I swear I do this to her every time we go somewhere. If you’re looking for a big screen TV or a nice treadmill she’ll probably give you the pair for $14 just out of spite.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Personal Running Log

A little different schedule this week since I'm on vacation.

Week of 4/22 through 4/28
Wed 4/25 - Speedwork 7 miles total inc 6x800 meters @ 8:00 min/mile pace w/ 400 meter jogs
Fri 4/27 - Long Run 10 miles @ 10 min/mile pace
Sun 4/29 - Easy Run 4 miles @ 11 min/mile pace
Total Miles: 21 miles

My training plan is from the Runners World Smart Coach.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Site News

Just a couple of housekeeping items. First, I've added some additional links on the right side of this blog, it's not comprehensive by any means and I'm sure that I'll be adding more to it in the future as I discover more blogs.

If you'd like me to consider posting a link to your blog then write a more interesting blog.

Second, I will be leaving on vacation tomorrow and posting may be sporadic at best over the next week. Hopefully I'll be able to log in and update you all about what it's like to run in San Diego (which is where I'm headed), but posting to your blog whilst on vacation might just put me into the super-geek category and I'm not sure that I'm ready to go there just yet. Besides, I really can't guarantee the quality of my writing when I'm sitting by a pool sipping an umbrella clad banana daiquiri pounding Guinness and Jager Bombs.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

And Now For Something Different

Every once in a while someone comes along who looks at the way we do things and thinks "Hey, you know what would be an easier/better/cheaper/faster way to do this…” Typically these are the people who end up living in ocean view houses in Newport Beach, but only for the spring because the summer months are too humid and those peasant tourists really overrun the marina during busy season.

A good example of this is the guys who created You Tube. What I'm trying to say is that if you ever discover a new way to do something I hope you have a trusty financial advisor because you're about to run into a truckload of money. Unless of course your new idea is something mundane like a better shoelace knot. Or you decide to give the info away free on your website. Or, as is the case here, both.

Today’s useful link is to a website put together by Ian Fieggen and it contains a number of new and creative ways to tie your shoes. I’m sure that Ian wishes that he’d instead thought of new and creative way to share videos online, but I for one am glad that he has found some better ways to tie your shoelaces. So give some of these a try and let me know which ones you like in the comments. Me, I kind of like “Ian’s Secure Shoelace Knot,” because there’s nothing worse than having your shoe come untied in the middle of a training run, or even worse a race.

Without further ado, here’s the link: Ian’s Shoelace Site

Monday, April 23, 2007

I Completed my First 10 Mile Run

Of course you already knew that if you read my Personal Running Log post below, but I assume that no one else reads those and I post them mostly for my own reference. I’m not sure how that is different than any of the other posts here but there you have it. My training plan called for a 10 mile run and I’ve been doing my long runs at roughly a 10 min/mile pace. I finished this one in 1hr 43min and I was pretty tired at the end of it but it felt good to have run the full 10 miles.

At about mile 8 I was starting to really labor, when some young kid (probably 16 or 17 years old) overtook me. He had his hat on backwards, his shirt off, and probably less total body fat than I have in one leg. He was moving swiftly and gracefully, or I was just plodding along, probably both. It was fantastic.

Just then, the song I was listening to ended and ‘Til I Collapse by Eminem came on. It’s one of my power songs. All of a sudden my legs didn’t feel as tired, my lungs were filled with air, and I started reeling him back in. Now, I’d love to be able to describe how I caught up to this young kid, but my renewed surge lasted all of 15 strides. Cooler heads prevailed, or perhaps it was just fatigue that prevailed. I’d already gone 8 miles and I had to keep telling myself that today’s workout was about endurance, not speed. If I wanted to last for 2 more miles I was going to have to keep a measured pace. (Incidentally, a ‘measured pace’ is just something slow people say).

So I kept putting one foot in front of the other, and I kept on at my ‘measured pace’. About a half a mile down the path I came around a blind corner and there’s young Hasty McFleetfoot standing still with his head over his knees, catching his breath. He’s turned around on the trail and is on his way back. He looks up and sees me, and instantly he’s running again. Vindicated!

If there’s one thing that writing this blog has taught me it’s that apparently I have vanity issues when I’m running. Who knew?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Personal Running Log

Running log for this past week.

Week of 4/15 through 4/21
Mon 4/16 - Easy Run 4 miles @ 10 min/mile pace
Wed 4/18 - Easy Run 3 miles @ 10 min/mile pace
Thu 4/12 - Tempo Run 3 miles @ 9 min/mile pace*

Sun 4/22 - Long Run 10 miles @ 10:10 min/mile pace
Total Miles: 20 miles

*My training plan from the Runners World Smart Coach called for a tempo run of 8 miles including 6 at a 9 min/mile pace. This was my first major failure on the Smart Coach program. I attribute it to a soccer double-header on Tuesday and an emergency evacuation at work causing me to run down 49 flights of stairs. (Yeah, I'm important enough that I work on the 49th floor.) On a positive note this week marks my first ever run of double digit miles with the 10 miler.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Funniest Post Race Report You'll Ever Read

I try to bring the funny here on a daily basis, but today I read something that was funnier and more inspiring than anything that I could possible write. So here's a link to J-Money's post race report:
I Did It: The Half Marathon

J-Money is a comedian who posts over at the semi-sports related website, Ladies... and she actually once posted a comment or two on this humble blog, which makes her one in a million... or maybe one in a hundred million, and makes me dangerously close to becoming an internet stalker.

Here's a quote from the above linked article to entice you to go read it since you're obviously still reading my lame post instead: (Quick programming note- if you could forget the article after you've read it that would be great, because I'll likely plagiarize the hell out of it after my next race.)

Mile 3: The first hill of the race. People in Charlotte have nice lawns. It’s a shame that runner number #4178 is taking a piss in one of them. Good thing their newspaper is wrapped in plastic.

Site News

I've chosen to support "Orange and Maroon Day" here at Half-Fast, which is why you'll notice the orange font in the site header. Half-Fast is always Maroon, so it really wasn't much of a change to add the orange. I've decided to also add the ribbon that you'll see in the top right corner of the site. My prayers and thoughts go out to all the families.

We're all Hokies fans today.

Because I don't usually update the site on weekends, it will probably remain until Monday.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

That Wasn’t Me You Saw Running

No, it wasn’t me, at least not the real me. When you run past me on the trail I see you coming and I prepare myself. I lengthen my stride, I puff up my chest, I suck in my gut, I pick up my pace, I smile, I do everything I can to appear relaxed and in control, because this is easy and I’m fast. And if you're a woman... double that. I'm not even sure what it would mean to double that, but I do it, and you know why? Because I'm fast and this is easy.

How long have you run so far? Seven miles? Pssssht - I've already gone nine miles... oh... you said eleven? I said nineteen and I've got another 10 planned... and then I'll turn around and head back, because I'm fast and this is easy.

Do you see my shoes? They’re expensive, brand name running shoes, you know why? Because I’m not some amateur runner who only recently started running and has to run in his Skechers. No, I’m fast and this is easy.

Do you see my expensive runners sunglasses? You probably think that they’re just for show, but that’s because you’re not as fast as I am. When I run the bugs come at me so fast I have to wear eye protection, it’s astonishing that the State of Colorado hasn’t enacted a mandatory helmet law for me, because I’m fast and this is easy.

Do you see my technical running shirt? It’s designed to control my body temperature. Without it I would probably burst into flames. It’s also designed to wick away sweat and keep me dry, but I don’t sweat, and do you know why? Because I’m fast and this is easy.

Is that you running up ahead of me? Not for long. Now that’s you running behind me, because I’m fast and this is easy.

Riding your bike on the trail? Not me! I’m using my legs, I like the challenge and your bike looks too effortless. Are you even pedaling? Weak! Rollerblading? Weak! Walking or even worse wogging? Weak? Gliding in your Heelys? Weak, and you look beyond ridiculous at your age! None of that stuff is for me, I run. And do you know why? Because I’m fast and this is easy.

When I get back home, I’m all sweaty, I’m literally oozing testosterone from my pores and my ‘sexy’ is at dangerously high levels, my wife wants me. She thinks I’m hot. She usually takes me back to the bedroom and you know why? Because even there, I’m fast and this is easy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Breathin' Easy

My wife, an asthmatic, just recently took up running and will be running her first race in May, the Bolder Boulder 10K. When she began running, she could barely run one mile and would take more hits off her inhaler than Ricky Williams at a Pink Floyd concert. Last week she went for a long run of 8 miles, but the point of this post is not to inspire you to conquer asthma or whatever other ailment you may suffer from, although it should. I am having a T-Shirt made up for her at Running Banana to wear during the race and I need some suggestions.

Thus far the leaders in the clubhouse are:
* Asthma Shmasthma!
* What Asthma?
* Kiss my Asthma
* Blow me, I’ve got Asthma!
(Too Risqué?)
* This is Kicking my Asthma!
* You’re Losing to an Asthmatic!

That’s it, that’s all I got. Vote for your favorite in the comments or better yet, post your own superior suggestions in the comments.

Monday, April 16, 2007

And your winners are...

Robert Cheruiyot (KEN) won the Men’s Boston Marathon in 2:14:13 (the slowest winning time since 1977) and Lidiya Grigoryeva (RUS) took first in the Women’s race with a time of 2:29:18. The top US finishers were Peter Gilmore (8th place at 2:16:41) and Deena Kastor (5th place at 2:35:09). On the Men’s side the top 4 and 7 out of the top 10 finishers all hail from Kenya.

Once again congrats to all the finishers!

Boston Marathon is Today, Demanding

So this wouldn’t be much of a running blog if I didn’t mention that today is the 111th running of the Boston Marathon. As if the Boston Marathon wasn’t difficult enough weather reports from Boston today indicate that the runners began the race in the pouring rain and wind gusts of up to 50mph. Despite this the current leaders are averaging 5 minute miles. I once went 26.2 miles at a 5 minute/mile pace, but I was in my car at the tail end of rush hour.

Here at Half-Fast I’d like to give a big shout out (or mad props, or whatever makes me sound hip and cool) to all the runners who will finish the race today. Congratulations, you are far more dedicated and in far better shape than I am. I have a great deal of respect for all the runners. When they get done today, they will rush home, physically exhausted and wear themselves out intellectually trying to finish their taxes before tonight’s deadline (tomorrow for MA residents) and then they will probably hibernate for the rest of the summer.

For more on today's Boston Marathon including results and pictures please visit or

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Personal Running Log

Running log for this past week, this was scheduled as an "easy week".

Week of 4/8 through 4/14
Mon 4/9 - Easy Run 5 miles @ 10 min/mile pace
Wed 4/11 - Easy Run 5 miles @ 10 min/mile pace
Thu 4/12 - Easy Run 4 miles @ 10 min/mile pace

Sat 4/14 - Easy Run 3.3 miles @ 11:45 min/mile pace*
Total Miles: 17.3 miles

*My training plan from the Runners World Smart Coach called for an easy run of 4 miles Saturday but I ran with my wife and she is still getting over a cold/cough.

Friday, April 13, 2007


I try to post here at least once a day during the week, but I'm sorry to tell you that I'm just going to phone it in today. Hey, what did you expect from a blog named half-fast. I'm feeling pretty half-fast about everything right now, so it's a good thing that today is scheduled as an off-day. Is there any better feeling than checking your training schedule on a dreary Friday and realizing you don't have to run that day? Nope, I’ve checked my ‘feelings chart’ and it says there isn’t. It's like getting a permission slip to be a lazy bum all day. My apologies if I’m bringing any of you down and you were planning to do some speedwork or a long run today. Don’t mind me, I’m just going to be reclining over here with my feet on the desk. "Hey, somebody pass me that bag of pork rinds!"

Just because I would hate to be the reason you didn’t run today here’s an inspirational quote to get you out the door:
"Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win." - Tom Fleming's Boston Marathon training sign on his wall.

Nothing else to see here. I'll post my weekly running log sometime over the weekend, whenever I feel like getting around to it. Thanks to Copacabana Runners which is where my lazy butt stole researched the quote.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Weather Update

I got home from work today and am happy to report that the weather has changed since my last post, the snow has stopped, the ground is dry, and therefore it is with great regret that I must type the following:

Dear Treadmill,
This is the hardest letter that I’ve ever had to write. It just seems like we’ve grown apart, you used to be so much fun. What happened to you? You changed. Don’t take that the wrong way… it’s not you it’s me. I’m just not ready for a commitment.

Before I can be OK with US, I’ve got to be OK with ME. I just want to be friends, besides you deserve better than me. The thing is, there’s someone else. You remember the road, you met her when I brought you home from the store. She’s fun, she get’s me, she’s spontaneous. I’ll always treasure the good times we had.

All that just to say that I didn’t have to run on the treadmill tonight afterall.

Treadmills are for Hamsters

It’s snowing here in Denver today, and that really sucks because it means that I’m going to have to go down to the depths of my unfinished basement and run on the treadmill. If it was just cold outside I’d simply put on my hey-that-guy-looks-like-he’s-about-to-break-into-my-house hoodie and ski-mask and run outside, shrinkage be damned. Alas, I cannot risk slipping on the ice and snow and getting injured.

Fortunately I only have 4 miles scheduled for today, because if it was anything longer I might die of boredom. I meet a lot of runners who love to run on the treadmill, but I don’t know how you do it. I stare at the dull concrete wall, running towards it at a lightning fast pace (it’s my blog - I decide what constitutes a lightning fast pace) not going anywhere, not feeling the breeze in my hair, not smelling the freshly cut grass and the BBQs, not waving at fellow runners on the trail, not enjoying the views and I wonder to myself “how do hamster’s do it?” … I mean, how do hamsters run in a wheel, not literally how do they DO IT… well sometimes I wonder that too, because I’m just THAT bored.

You’re probably thinking, “Hey, it didn’t start snowing until this afternoon, why didn’t he just get up early and run before work?” Yeah, right. That just smacks of dedication and motivation, and if I possessed those two qualities I wouldn’t be posting to my blog in the middle of the work day now would I?

Anyway, thanks for listening to me rant and reading to the end. Your reward? Enjoy this little video that sums up my views on treadmills.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

New Training Technique: Wogging

I'll occasionally surf the web while I'm here at work to find interesting articles about running or new training techniques. (Right, kind of like how it occasionally rains in Seattle).
Anyway, today I found this article, which explains the benefits of wogging:
A wog, Glenn explains, is just like it sounds: a cross between a walk and a jog. Take a little of one, a pinch of the other, and you’ve got a wog... he’s already discovered that moving quickly can be bad for your health. “… running is out of the question, despite my devotion to weight training and carb-watching. I am too lazy, too old and too fat to run.”
He's right about one of those (hint: I bolded it). He goes on to talk about getting your exercise while you work by carrying things and even goes so far as to mention 3 x 5 note cards - those suckers can be heavy!
When I’m feeling especially Olympian, I try to carry everything at once, closing the electric garage door with my nose, the door to the house with my foot. Talk about gymnastics. I combine weight-training and aerobics in one fell swoop.
Yeah, you're a gymnast alright.

Please don't mistake this post as criticizing folks who have to start out jogging and walking, if that's what you need to do to get started then more power to you, but when we start talking about getting exercise by hauling those note cards around it speaks volumes about how languid our society has become.
Also, can I recommend a tougher, more macho sounding name than "wog". I hear the name wog and it just makes me want to go lie down on the couch with a bag of potato chips. Even if we called it a Jolk it would sound better.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My Kingdom for an Elevation Map

I was looking around for an elevation map for the Bolder Boulder Memorial Day 10K race and it is pretty much impossible to find one. In fact, I'd wager good money that I'll discover the Loch Ness monster before you can find a Bolder Boulder elevation map. Now, I’m not particularly looking for the Loch Ness monster but I still think there’s a better chance that he’ll swim all the way to landlocked Colorado and bite me in the butt before you can find an elevation map.

The elevation map that you see pictured above is one that I created using Gmaps Pedometer. I guess that you could say that I have provided a truly unique service to all of my reader. (Nonpluralization intentional). I guess it could really be worth some money. In fact if I was ESPN this would be part of the ‘Insider’ section, and you'd have to pay to view it, except that this might really be useful information.

UPDATE: As I was posting this I received a response back from the kindly folks at the Bolder Boulder with this attached elevation map, which is not published in any of their printed material and is not found anywhere on their website. Which begs the question: Why is the elevation map under such lock and key? Does it have the Colonel’s secret recipe coded onto it? The identity of the second gunman on the grassy knoll? The truth about the Roswell landings? The world may never know, but if I should be “accidentally” killed when my brakes “fail” in the coming weeks I can tell you who your prime suspect should be.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Personal Running Log

I won't be posting much on weekends other than to update my personal running log.

Week of 4/1 through 4/7
Mon 4/2 - Easy Run 3 miles @ 10 min/mile pace
Wed 4/4 - Tempo Run 7 miles total inc 5 miles @ 9 min/mile pace
Thu 4/5 - Easy Run 3 miles @ 10 min/mile pace

Sat 4/7 - Long Run 6.2 miles @ 9:24/mile pace*
Total Miles: 19.2 miles

*My training plan from the Runners World Smart Coach called for a long run of 10 miles today but it's 28 degrees outside and 6.2 was about all I could last for.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Fergie is R-U-N-N-I-N-G

Spelling aficionado F to the E to the R to the G-I-E gives us a great demonstration here of how not to run. She just looks uncomfortable, like she’s had to stop and walk for the sixteenth time to untangle herself. I understand the need for the iPod strapped to your arm and the fuel belt makes sense, and if you’re a celeb you absolutely can’t leave without your Jackie-O sunglasses but at some point these items are hindering more than they are helping. It doesn't even look sunny.

Maybe I’m just not hip to the latest fashions, maybe “oversize” is the new black. Oversize headphones, oversize shades, oversize headphone cord (seriously, Rocky could jump-rope with that thing). And the headphones?!? I know I already said that, but Gary Powers was wearing smaller headphones aboard his U-2 when the Soviets captured him in 1960.

Maybe she’d be better off “up in the gym just working on her fitness”, that way she could have the water bottle in the nice little cup holder they provide on the treadmill and crank up the stereo so she doesn’t have to wear headphones that, in this humble commentator’s opinion look S to the T to the U to the P-I-D.

Picture and story originally found on

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Running Mad

If you’re like me (and you probably are since you’re wasting your time reading my blog) then nothing feels quite as good after a bad day at the office as an angry run. Pushing yourself to the limit because of the additional duties you’re taking on. Boss belittled you in front of your peers? Get Bent. I’m picking up the pace. Got skipped over for that promotion? Shove it. I’m kicking it up a notch. I’m not running on the trail, I’m running on my backstabbing coworker, I’m running on that entitled client, I’m running on my troubles. Pounding them into the ground with each step, leaving them in my wake, pushing them behind me.

Rough day at the office today? You betcha!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Bolder Boulder to use "Smart Chip"

From the Denver Post:
"Runners will wear a "Smart Tag" that contains a pair of antennae and utilizes radio frequency identification. Electronic readers at mile markers and the finish line will detect the tags as they pass, recording each runner's progress.”

“Before they head home on race day, runners will be able to pick up a card at the race expo giving them their official finish time and mile splits.”

Well at first I was extremely disappointed to hear this news, I mean I had a nice little shortcut all planned out, but I think there’s a tiny chance that maybe someone might find it suspicious that I missed mile markers 2, 3, and 4. I don’t know call me a conspiracy theorist or something. I’m going to have to institute “Operation Kick Me”, which is to arrive early and tape my Smart Tag onto the Kenyan in my wave. What’s that? What do you mean there won’t be any Kenyan’s running in the jog/walk wave?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Running With A Son Of A ...

I went running with my dog today. That’s him in the picture on the left, he’s cute right? Yeah, only because you haven’t tried to run with him. He gets to come with me every now and then when I’m running one of my easy runs and when I’m not doing my run on the treadmill, because that was just a disaster when we tried that.

Why is he difficult to run with? First of all we have to stop and pee on every hydrant, fence, shrub, lamppost, bush, and park bench during the first half mile of the run. Yeah I said ‘park bench’, but you ought to be more concerned that I said ‘we’. It’s really difficult to settle in to your pace when you keep taking these breaks every hundred yards, and don’t even get me started on how big a disruption it is when he has stops to take a deucer. Have you ever tried to run while holding a foul smelling bag of dog feces as far from you as possible? Yeah, if you’re laughing you’d better be outside of throwing distance.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Personal Running Log

I won't be posting much on weekends other than to update my personal running log.

Week of 3/25 through 3/31
Mon 3/26 - Easy Run 4 miles @ 10 min/mile pace
Wed 3/28 - Speedwork 6 miles total inc 5x800 meters @ 8:30 min/mile pace w/ 400 meter jogs
Thu 3/29 - Easy Run 3 miles @ 10 min/mile pace
Sat 3/31 - Long Run 9 miles @ 10/mile pace
Total Miles: 22 miles

My training plan is from the Runners World Smart Coach.

How I Became A Runner

I live right outside of that thriving metropolis of hippies and college students that is Boulder, CO. I love Boulder, it’s great, it smells like patchouli and everyone is so environmentally friendly that the majority of their air pollution probably comes from secondhand pot smoke.

Anyway, I had been telling myself for a number of years that it would be good for me to train for a year and then run the Bolder Boulder, a 10K race that is held annually on Memorial Day, but if there’s one thing you should know about me it’s that I procrastinate like a death-row inmate eating his last meal. In 2005, I signed up and paid for an entry in the Bolder Boulder 2 months prior to the race and without any prior training. Turns out that fear is a pretty good motivator. I began running almost daily (which I don’t recommend) and it wasn’t so bad. I’ve been a runner ever since.