Saturday, June 30, 2007
Last weekend was the annual running of the Beer Belly Two in Suamico, Wisconsin. The Beer Belly Two is a two mile race that is littered with refreshment stands serving, you guessed it, BEER! Many competitors bring their own steins to fill up along the way. Frankly I wouldn't expect anything less from our cheese eating friends up north.
You might have thought that running was an environmentally friendly way to travel, and while it is a low emission activity (depending on what you had for dinner the night before) there are probably things you can do to be more green. Check out Complete Running for more on how to 'Run Green'.
Bored at work? Wishing you could be running instead of sitting on that conference call? Just Your Average Joggler has a suggestion on how to train for a marathon during a dull meeting or class.
If you like your treadmill, which I don’t, Aquarium shares how to do your fartlek workout on it. *snicker* "Fartlek!"
I noticed a couple of sites that I enjoy visiting mentioned Half-Fast this past week. Many thanks go out to Running to Detroit and also to the always fantastic Just One More Mile.
You may have noticed that Half-Fast is fatter! Not me, the site. Now when I ramble on and on as I did in these posts it won't look quite so long. I've always felt that the text portion of this site was too skinny, but that has now been remedied. If the page doesn't fit on your screen then it's probably time to upgrade to a bigger monitor with a better resolution, or just scroll so you can read the main content here and ignore all the links and stuff over there --->
Have a great weekend everyone, and happy racing to those of you who are out there doing!
Friday, June 29, 2007
Essentially the story is this; two American women, Lara Vogel and Claire A. Williams have been teaching orphans at the Tumaini Children’s Home in Kenya to run. Ignore for a second the irony of American’s teaching Kenyan’s to run and focus on the good. Hope Runs, a fledgling organization started by the women in March uses running to raise the self-esteem of the children and seeks to create opportunities for volunteers to run with the kids and help with reading and music programs. With the help provided by Williams and Vogel these kids will grow up to become well-adjusted adults.
The Tumaini Children’s Center has a blog set up here, where you can make donations and read posts from the children. I encourage you to go read some of their blog posts, but make sure you've got a box of tissues... you know... in case your allergies start acting up like mine did... I wasn't crying! It was my stupid allergies! You can also visit www.hoperuns.org for more information or visit Clare and Lara’s blog, Tripping On Words.
Up next for Williams and Vogel: Teaching the French to surrender and showing the Japanese how to make wild and crazy game-shows, meanwhile I’ll be traveling to orphanages in Brazil to teach them the game of soccer. In all seriousness, we need more people like this and I wish them the best. Now go check out the links in this post. Go on.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Last night I trained my mental by sitting down on the couch with the latest edition of Runner's World magazine and a wonderful glass of Merlot (may or may not have been more than one glass). It was my easily my longest workout this month as I was engrossed in some very poignant articles and even took time to contemplate some of their delicious sounding, healthy recipes. My legs are not sore today but my head sure hurt this morning when I hit the snooze button, must have been from that tough mental workout I gave it last night.
I still haven't picked out a new training plan/schedule for the Denver Half Marathon on Oct 14th but I will be sure to put some good mental workouts in there when I do pick one out. Perhaps it would be a good idea to give myself a good mental workout the day before the race. No?
With thanks to Ali over at Just One More Mile whose blog inspired me, probably not in the way that she had hoped, but inspired me nonetheless. Incidentally, her tagline is “the secret to success is knowing who to blame for your failures” and if it turns out that these mental workouts are not such a good idea I'll have already found my scapegoat.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I recalled reading somewhere that it is easier to run on a treadmill (no hills, no wind resistance etc.) and that you should set the incline to 1% to simulate running outdoors. I decided to give this a try, but my ego got the best of me and I turned it up to 2%. It didn’t feel like too much of a difference so I kept plugging along. Somewhere around 0.21 miles I heard Graham crying, and not wanting to lose my rhythm or start over I yelled for David to come tell me what had happened. As it turns out "nothing" had happened. I guess he was just screaming bloody murder for the fun of it, I made a quick mental note to discipline him for that after my run.
If you know any 2 or 4 year old boys you know that they're all afterburner and no rudder, so it was only a matter of minutes before there was more yelling and loud banging. Not being someone prone to worry, I quickly came up with a solution. I grabbed the remote control for the iPod speakers and turned up the volume until I could no longer hear said yelling and banging. I enjoyed the remainder of my run in the peace and quiet of my eclectic 'running' playlist consisting of heavy metal, hip-hop and alternative.
Towards the end of my run I began to feel a little discouraged, this was supposed to be an easy run at a 9:30 minute mile pace and I was really struggling. My breathing was harder than usual, my calves were burning more than usual and I was seriously considering slowing down. What on earth was wrong with me? It was during this conundrum that I remembered that I had been running up hill the whole way. I completely forgot that I had set the incline to 2%. What can I say? I'm a genius.
As I was finishing up both of the boys came down to the basement. Both a little sweaty but, no blood and no new bruises. They were exhausted from whatever they had been doing upstairs and quietly sat down at their coloring table. It was at this moment that my wife came home, took one look at our quiet children and me finishing up my run and exclaimed “how did you get them to behave so well?” I merely shrugged. She continued “they NEVER let me run on the treadmill without interruption!” I smiled at her. Some of us are just good parents I guess, and by ‘some of us’ I am of course referring to my wife.
Monday, June 25, 2007
The above picture is being reported as Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel jogging together in the streets of Norway. Fascinating stuff, I know. But given the fact that I am otherwise at a loss for what to post today and the fact that I've long been looking for any kind of excuse to post pictures of Jessica Biel on my blog it will have to do for today. Granted it's not exactly a sexy picture but it's all I got. You see what I did there.
To be honest with you it doesn't look much like running or jogging for the purpose of exercise, Jessica is clutching a purse and appears to be wearing a sweater which is hardly something you'd wear to work out in and Justin... is Justin even in the picture?
I postulate that they were just running to the nearest internet café having heard that Vanilla had recently updated his blog, they're big fans you know. Come on guys post something in the comments so my readers know you're there. More likely they were rushing down to the adoption agency to place an order for some foreign born children, isn't that what celebrity couples do?
Here's my source, and I promise to get back on track with more running related posts soon.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
If you’re not familiar with Weekend Splits then you’re really not paying attention. I explained it in a separate post just minutes ago mostly because I didn’t want to have to give an explanation for it every weekend when I post it.
The Running Blogfather recently gave us 25 Celebrities Who've Run A Marathon. The list includes Will Ferrell, William Baldwin and of course the lovely Ali Landry (pictured), although I doubt her marathon training consisted of Doritos. Speaking of eating Doritos all day long, Rosie O’Donnell is absent from the list. Must be an oversight? No?
Dean Karnazes ran for 24 hours on a treadmill above Times Square which is insane on so many different levels but he was doing it for Athletes for a Cure and to help Accelerade launch a new sports drink. Also see With Leather’s take on it. (More about With Leather momentarily).
Russ at Balancing BBQ and BQ (which is a great name for a blog by the way) gives us the 20 Running Commandments. There are 20? Awww man.
Friday was a big day for Half-Fast as I was mentioned on two other blogs. Many thanks to Matt Ufford, Editor of With Leather for mentioning Half-Fast in a post on Friday. Usually this site sees about 20 visitors a day but set a record on Friday with 542! SiteMeter tells me that roughly 95% of that increase was visitors referred from With Leather.
Thanks also to The science of Sports who gave Half-Fast a great review, even if they did fail to capitalize the 'F' in Fast. Jerks. I'm kidding of course but you'll notice that I did 'lowercase' their 's' - vengeance is mine! Mwaa haa haa haa! Enjoy the weekend everyone.
If you come across any articles, blogs, videos etc. that you would like to see linked in the Weekend Splits please send me an e-mail here. Compiling this on a weekly basis will be made much easier if you the readers do all the legwork, chances are that you’re a runner and can probably handle legwork better than I can anyway.
Friday, June 22, 2007
On a side note I'd like to offer a big thank you to the old, hairy, runner who was ahead of me on the trail last night during my run. It was because I no longer cared for the view that I sped up and turned in a better run than I normally would have. Ironically, I had recently been laughing at KdoubleA and his misfortune dealing with this exact scenario, so maybe it was karma that I would also have to suffer through it. Sure hope not, because I was laughing pretty hard at those idiots on their treadmills too, but I’ll let you know next time I step on mine.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
You'll notice in all of the videos that the camera person just keeps filming and doesn't help the fallen runner at all, except for the last one where the camera person is the fallen runner. I actually think that's a nice twist, because it lets me see from the first person perspective what it would look like to be an idiot myself.
By my count the finally tally here is Idiots 0, Treadmills 4
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I don't know who you are or what your political affiliation is.
I don't know if you run Ultra marathons or if you're training for your first 5K.
I don't know if you're listening to Eminem or Kenny Chesney
I don't know if you're a cat person or a dog person.
I don't know if you're a nice person or if you’re from New York.
I don't know if you floss regularly.
Heck, I don't even know if you're really a woman or if you're just tucked and taped.
All I know is that you're out running today, and that's enough for me. It warms the cockles of my heart and makes me feel like I'm being gently chucked on the chin when you acknowledge me on the trail. It makes me feel like warm cookies and milk, like I'm the only bee in your bonnet, I make a little birdhouse in my soul. It feels like sunbeams and snooze buttons, and if I ever don't give you the head dip, or the eye signal, or the chin nod then it's because I'm too focused or too tired and I know you understand.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Because my longest run to date prior to the Bolder Boulder was 10 miles and a half marathon is only 3 miles longer than that I find myself thinking that it shouldn't be too hard to add 3 more miles. How hard can it be? This is how great champions think. I don't ask why? I ask why not? I don't ask what my country can do for me I ask what I can do for my country. I follow the lead of great men of action who fought on even in the face of many doubters. Men like the great General Custer, men like Peter McNeeley, men like Kevin Federline.
The next step in my quest for 13.1 is to find a training plan. I've considered Hal Higdon's Plan and the FIRST plan as well as just using the Runner's World SmartCoach again, but I haven't settled on one yet. I like to think I'm taking my time to select the best plan for me, but there's a better than average chance that I'm just a procrastinator who doesn't feel much like running. If you've trained for a half marathon let me know what program you liked and if you're a running coach perhaps you'd like to create me a custom plan. I'm ideally looking for one that requires very little training and provides through the roof fitness improvements. Your suggestions in the comments.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I'm staying at the Marriott and they have this wonderful breakfast menu that you fill out and hang outside your door at night. The next morning, your breakfast is brought to you by an over-eager employee who stands around and uncomfortably waits for a tip despite the fact that the menu clearly says that a 20% gratuity will be automatically added to any room service orders. That’s right Johnny-No-Tip, I read the fine print.
As a runner who has been told he has borderline high cholesterol I was pleased see the "Fit" section on the menu where I can order healthy food. Number one item on the list: Steak and eggs with a mushroom bacon hash. I kid you not, you can click the image above to read it for yourself. Let me say that again, steak, eggs and bacon. I can actually feel my arteries tightening up. In what world is that a healthy breakfast? Is this what America has come to? Hotels claiming that steak, eggs and bacon is a 'healthy' breakfast, employees blogging at work? I understand that they were pandering to the low carb diet fad with this menu item, but my doctor just sat bolt upright in bed and started planning a new addition to his home that will be made possible by my triple bypass surgery.
So what did I order? Hey, far be it from me to tell the Marriott what is and isn't healthy. Personal note to Dr. Abrams if you're reading this, I’m free on March 14th 2008 if you want to go ahead and schedule my surgery, mornings work best for me.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I knew it was hot, but it was cloudy too so I left my sunglasses at home. I headed down the street and less than a minute into my run the wind blew the clouds away and the sun re-emerged, it would stay in my eyes for the remainder of the 4 mile loop. I don't know how that's possible but it somehow worked out that way. The wind was not a nice cool breeze mind you, more of an in-your-face warm Chinook wind. I debated turning around to go get my sunglasses but I knew that if I went back home I wasn't leaving again.
As I reached the end of my first mile I forgot to look at my watch to gauge my pace so I had no idea how I was doing until the half way point at 2 miles. 19:31 a full 30 seconds slower than I had hoped. As I plodded along, the wind began to ease a little, at least enough for the bugs to come out and attempt to fly up my nose and in my unprotected eyes. At this point I was wishing I hadn't gone running. My legs were getting tight, my knee was hurting, my mouth was dry and I hadn't brought any water with me. My stomach didn't feel right and I was now suffering through a series of pizza tasting burps. How I didn't see that coming I have no idea. I picked up the pace with hopes of getting back home in under 38 minutes. As I ran up the hill that is my cursed street I noticed a neighbor's sprinklers were on and were blowing out onto the sidewalk. I prepared myself for a refreshingly cool shower but as I neared the sprinkler's they turned off. I angrily pounded up the rest of street and stopped my watch at 40:17. Ugh!
So why was this the best run of my life? As I walked through the back door, my wife glared at me and said "YOUR son…" at which point I knew it was going to be bad, "… had diarrhea that managed to escape his diaper and get all over the place!" And I missed it all because I was struggling through 10 minute miles. It’s all about perspective.
Monday, June 11, 2007
"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or gazelle - when the sun comes up, you'd better be running." – Unknown.I've seen this credited to Maurice Green, Roger Bannister, African Proverb, Anonymous, and Unknown but I don't know which one is correct. Probably none of them.
Today is your lucky day because today's quote comes with a demonstration video. This video has been on youtube for over a month which means that if you're at all connected or part of the 'in' crowd on the internets then you've already seen it somewhere. I would have posted it sooner but it wasn't until today that I found a legitimate way to tie it to a running blog. Enjoy.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Here at Half-Fast I like to be as helpful as possible and with that end in mind I have a few tips and suggestions for the race organizers.
- Hire more experienced “cone placers.”
- New promotion: “Earn $5 off next years entry fee for every extra tenth of a mile you run.”
- Double check the course distance.
- Don’t introduce a new race on the weekend prior to the State’s biggest road race. Only a week prior the Bolder Boulder 10K annually attracts over 50,000 runners. Since it’s a bad idea to run a marathon a week before you race a 10K you’ve just eliminated 50,000 potential entrants who might have otherwise signed up.
- Don’t run a marathon on Colfax. For those of you not familiar with the Denver area Colfax is known as a street where a fellow might acquire female companionship for a price. If you must run a marathon on Colfax, at least name it the Rocky Mountain Marathon or something that cultivates a pleasant image.
- Un-plug the toaster and use the tip of your butter knife to pry the bagel free. Apply a healthy schmear of cream cheese, lox and just a pinch of fresh dill. NOTE: The fresh dill makes all the difference, but if you’re not a fan you can also substitute basil pesto for a wonderful revelry in your mouth. Huzzah!
Executive Race Director Mike Collins could not be reached for comment because the phone number he left had one too few digits. Collins did sit down with the Rocky Mountain News Assistant Editor Bob Findlay, who had suggested he might consider lowering the $90 entry fee but "... he defended it as in line with the fees for other premier marathons." Quick note to Mr. Collins, you are not a premier marathon. When was the last time Boston, New York or Chicago made the runners go an extra half mile? Oh that's right. Never.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
"I cannot run this race today,"
Said Half-Fast, while in bed he lay.
"I pulled my hamstring and my groin,
I have a serious swelling in every loin.
My feet are blistered, my ankle's sprained,
And what if I have over-trained?
My arches have fallen to the floor,
My body feels like it's ninety-four,
I've got shin splints, athlete's foot and stitches,
And now my kneecap really itches.
My heel is burdened by Achilles Tendonitis,
Or it might just be Plantar Fasciitis,
Either way I should stay at home,
And not risk Patellofemoral Syndrome.
My feet are too slow, my legs are too fast,
And what if I keep getting passed?
I once heard that running can cause arthritis,
I'm already developing Hip Bursitis.
My quad's are too loose, my hamstring's too tight,
My left leg's faster than my right.
My calves have turned a dark shade of orange,
I got my toe caught in a door-hinge,
It caused a muscle tear, just partial,
And I know it broke my metatarsal.
I have Iliotibial Band Syndrome, or I.B.S.
And look! My hair is such an awful mess.
I dislocated my funny bone,
I'm sure I suffer from Plica Syndrome,
I have Tennis Elbow, and my belly is -- what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today's the scheduled pre-race rest day?
G'bye, I’m off to carbo-load and eat soufflé."
Inspired by Shel Silverstein's poem 'Sick' which can be found in the book 'Where The Sidewalk Ends'. The orange/door hinge rhyme didn't work so well, but I've always wanted to try to rhyme something with orange and that was the best I could do. Yes, I know that Iliotibial Band Syndrome is technically shortened to 'ITBS' but 'I BS' seemed a much more apt abbreviation for my purposes. What are you a doctor?
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Then I stumbled upon this website which would appear to be a legitimate website where you can purchase the treadmill bike for $2500 Canadian eh. They even have reviews from people who have bought one which leads me to believe that this actually might not be a joke, and that would make me... wrong. (So this is how that feels. How does my wife put up with it?). Or is this website all part of the joke? Is it some kind of giant hoax designed to fool poor innocent bloggers like myself? I am truly baffled. On the one hand common sense dictates that it must be a joke, but on the other hand the website looks genuine. I feel like Vizzini trying to choose which wine to drink in The Princess Bride.
I'll conclude by stating that I believe that the treadmill bike is not just a joke… or it is. I don't know. The one thing that we do know for certain is that the treadmill bike is Canadian. Probably. We'll need to find out how well it plays hockey to be certain. Fortunately I am not a journalist and don't have to check my facts or find corroborating sources because I've already spent more time thinking about the treadmill bike than I care to.
Monday, June 4, 2007
The half marathon is a great race to run because when you tell someone that you ran it you can kind of cough through the “half” part or say it quietly enough that people will think that you’ve just run a marathon. Then when you tell them that you did it in 2 hours and 45 minutes it will be impressive instead of pitiable. (With apologies to anyone who just ran a half in 2:45:00, you’ve already done more than I have.)
You might be remembering that I made fun of the Denver Marathon in this entry, and their marketing strategy of targeting runners after the Bolder Boulder, or you might be wondering why anyone would actually continue to read this blog after having read one of the posts. Either way it turns out that their marketing strategy wasn’t so bad after all.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
2 Weeks: 5/21 through 6/3
Tue 5/22 - Tempo Run 5 miles total inc 3 miles @ 9 min/mile pace
Mon 5/28 - Race (Bolder Boulder) 6.2 miles @ 9 min/mile pace
Thu 5/31 - Easy Run 4 miles @ 10 min/mile pace
Sun 6/3 - Easy Run 3 miles @ 10 min/mile pace
Total Miles: 16.2 miles
Friday, June 1, 2007
Some interesting stats about my time
- I ran in the 'ME' wave with my wife so that we could start together and out of 691
- Based on last year’s time I qualified to run in the 'EC' wave and had I run in that wave I would have finished 124th out of 417 runners, assuming the same time.
- Of the 431 men my age (31) who finished I was 193rd.
- 49 men over the age of 65 beat me including an 80 year old who finished in 51:59. OK, you can get up off the floor and stop laughing now. Actually you can’t. Wait until you read the next one…
- 4 women over the age of 65 beat me (two of them were 70). Ouch! My ego is officially bruised.