Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Baconator

I don't often give nutritional advice on this site but I'm going to today. Don't eat the Baconator. That's it. Pretty simple huh? Now I know that you're probably thinking what could possibly be wrong with two hamburger patties, cheese slices, cheese sauce, mayonnaise, and 6 (count 'em 6) slices of bacon? And the answer is nothing at all, providing you spread that out over 4 meals and 3 days, but I don't think that's quite what Wendy's had in mind. On the other hand bacon sure is tasty so let's say you head in to Wendy's to "do what tastes right" and you order the Baconator. Why yes, I will make that a combo meal. No, I don't want to Biggie size the fries, I'm trying to control my portions! I'd better do a diet coke too. Here's the stats on your lunch: 1250 calories, 71g total fat, 175mg cholesterol, 88g carbs and 3 years... that's 3 years off your life. Whew! Good thing you went with the DIET coke!

Boy was that good, but your sweet tooth is kicking in and you could really use something chocolatey, something like the Brownie Earthquake from Dairy Queen. So you head over to DQ because you want to "DQ something different" and you figure you'll reward yourself for being so good and getting a diet drink with your lunch. Besides, you've already screwed today's calorie count straight to hell so why not? At 740 calories, 28g total fat, 60mg cholesterol and a whopping 149g carbs it can't hurt right? Right? In one meal you're now pushing 2000 calories and almost 100g total fat! You could drink bottled water for the rest of the week and you'd still gain weight. Do you realize that you would have to run for over 18 miles to burn off the calories from that one meal? (Based on an estimate of burning 110 calories/mile). Do you also realize that just by looking at the picture you've probably ingested 200 calories?

Is it any wonder that America continues to get fatter and fatter by the day? It's making me feel fat just to sit and write about this, on the upside I have plenty of motivation to go workout tonight.

Baconator is a registered trademark of Wendy's and is not being used here with their express written permission, which means that by the time you finish reading this Wendy's will likely own my house and my firstborn son.

Saturday, July 28, 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.

Every week I find more great blogs and articles which I try to share with you in the Weekend Splits so that you have some better reading options than Half-Fast. Eventually I'll have shown you enough cool blogs that you won't have to come here and read lame stories about a thirty-something dad who pees on himself and occasionally gets mad at cops. The plan is to eventually phase myself out like the dodo bird.

Get your mind out of the gutter. It's a Banana Guard!

I try to keep the picture for the weekend splits somewhat interesting and I just couldn't pass up the phallic banana guard that was featured on Crunch 'Nanas, which by the way is one of the cool blogs that I was referring to above. Technically it wasn't featured this past week but I'll let it slide based on the sheer awesomeness of it.

Do you have fat friends? Cranky Fitness thinks you should get rid of them before the fatness rubs off on you. OK, that's not what she said but there was a very interesting post about obesity being socially contagious. Cranky Fitness is written by an author named Crabby McSlacker which is an awesome name but really sucks because now I can't use it.

Lost Runner would like to remind you to be sure and register for the race that you're training for.

Über-Fast runner Marcy sent me a link this past week to a running blog called The Lost Hawaiian and more specifically to a non-running related article that she posted about Thongs. Hooray Thongs! At this point I'd like to go on the record and state that I too have never worn a thong.

Thanks to Self Propelled and to Runners Lounge for the Shout Outs, while you're over at Runners Lounge go check out their Weird Running Stories and add your own. I'd add one of my own, but I don't really have any interesting running stories.

Enjoy the weekend everyone, and happy running!

Friday, July 27, 2007

My New Shoes SUCK

I’ve now had 2 runs in my new shoes. They're the Mizuno Wave Alchemy's and I have to tell you, I'm not impressed. They didn't make me any faster, they didn't make me any less tired, they didn't make me sweat less, and that nice new shoe smell? Gone. Just up and vanished like a fart in the wind.

I will say in their defense that I look good in them. I mean, I didn't think that it was possible for me to look any more handsome than I already do, but somehow Mizuno managed to accomplish it. Bravo Mizuno! They look so good that I wore them to work with my suit. I know, I know big fashion faux pas right? Wrong! I totally rock the running shoes with a suit look, as does Justin Timberlake (right).

In all fairness to Mizuno the shoes feel great. I suppose it's possible that the slowness and tiredness is due to operator error, or more likely due to the fact that the FIRST plan has me running high intensity intervals on Wednesday and a pretty fast tempo run on Thursday. Yeah, that's better, let's blame this on the FIRST plan not my ineptitude. Shouldn't I get a rest day or a cross training day in between?

Yesterday when I started my tempo run, my legs were stiffer than Richard Simmons in an NFL locker room, so I ended up just doing an easy run and forgoing the 'tempo' all together. It was so bad that even when I felt like I was really pushing the pace I was actually running at what should be considered a recovery pace. There's nothing more disheartening than feeling like you're going fast and discovering you're not, except maybe seeing that devastatingly handsome runner in the Mizuno Wave Alchemy's and then realizing that it's Vanilla so all you can do is look. Sorry ladies, that 165 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal is happily married.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

France: Running is Undignified

The Washington Post recently published an article titled In France, Jogging is a Running Joke, which is ironic because in America, France is a running joke. The article, which you need to read to believe, states that the French people are outraged by new French president Nicolas Sarkozy running. "Sarkozy's running is an un-French, right-wing conspiracy" suggests Libération, a left wing Parisian newspaper. Charles Bremmer, a Paris correspondent for the Times of London has stated that "Sarkozy has fueled a French suspicion that running is for self-centered individualists like Americans."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy

[Begin French Accent]Mais Oui! But of course! ’Ow do you expect to smoke ze cigarette while you are running? And what of your consumption of le vin et le fromage. You would surely spill your wine! Oh Mon Dieu! [End Accent]

Alain Finkielkraut, a leading French intellectual [oxymoron alert], recently
demanded that Sarkozy give up his "undignified" exercise. Not only did he imply
that exposing the boss's naked knees [sacré bleu! naked knees?] is something
that never would have occurred in the time of Mitterrand, much less Louis XIV,
Finkielkraut [moron alert] claimed strolling is the proper activity of the
thinking person.

Oh sure. They are completely against running until Nazi Germany comes knocking and then you've never seen an army turn tail and run so fast. And since this Finkielkraut knucklehead brought up Louis XIV, do you know what else would have never occurred in the time of Louis XIV? (French Monarch from 1643 – 1715.) Democracy, women's rights, running water, surviving a bout with the common cold, and decent living conditions.

Perhaps the French should focus their outrage on something more needy of their attention, like the apparent lack of women's razors or their penchant for poor hygiene, or even putting an end to doping on the Tour De France. Apparently cycling is still considered a dignified activity even if your blood is teeming with more narcotics than Lindsay Lohan's. Viva La France!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Excuse me, I'm trying to pee here

Uh oh, I think I have to pee. Let's see, I've got about 6 miles left on this run, so I'm not going to make it back home. Are there any port-a-potties on my route? Yes, yes I think there is one at that park a half mile from here. I can make it. Don't think about it just keep running until you get to the park.

Finally, here's the park and right over there is... Wait... Where did the port-a-pot go? I swear that there was one here. Crap! Just keep running I guess. Perhaps I can find a tree or a bush or something. Ooh, there are some good bushes and trees by the stream in a mile and a half. Stream. Running water. Uh oh. I need to find somewhere to take a leak and I mean STAT people! This is not a drill!

Over there! Those bushes aren't really big enough but if I squat down like I'm stretching I think I could make it work. I'm going for it. Wait! There are kids over there playing soccer. Maybe they won't notice? Nope. Too risky, not to mention too hard explain what I was doing with my pants around my ankles in the bushes near the kiddies playing soccer. Good catch. Definitely not worth the risk. Keep going.

Awww man! That would be a great place to relieve myself if those cyclists weren't stopped there. Why are they stopped? Get moving! I could totally pee behind that tree if they weren't there and it's going to be a while before I find another secluded place to go.

OK, I'm in trouble. No one in the history of the world has ever needed to take a piss more than I do right now. I'm going to explode. Seriously, I think this could be dangerous to my health. Just go man, just let it go. No, you can make it.

At last, here come's a big tree up ahead. I can... no! An old couple running towards me from the other direction. It's OK. I'll just take it slowly and after they pass me I'll run down into the ditch and hydrate the tree. Smile and wave. Hello. OK... now... the coast is clear. There you go, just a quick glance to make sure the old couple isn't stopping. Oh no! They're turning around! Abort! Abort! This is their freaking turnaround point?!? I can't catch a break! Quick run back up to the path. And now they're following me, probably wondering what I was doing running down to the ditch. Quick, do it again so they think it's part of your training regimen. There we go. OK, one more time down to the ditch and back up so it just looks like some kind of weird intervals or mini hill sprints or something.

Alright, I think I've lost the old couple. I'm pretty fast so they must be a ways back by now and there's a couple of trees around this bend that will provide adequate shelter for my bathroom break. Here we go. Aaaaaaannnddd go. Commence evacuation. Seriously. Let's go already, you've had to pee for 5 miles and now you're going to get stage fright? PEE ALREADY!

AHHHHHHHHHH. Relief. Well that's just great, how did I manage to splash it on my shoes? And my ankle? Gross! Oh no! I hear the old couple coming. Hurry up. HURRY UP! There we go. Quickly now, back on the trail before they see me. Down into the ditch and back up. Down into the ditch and back up. Nothing to see here folks, just doing my mini hill sprints.

Huh, what do you know. I guess the old saying is true; "You can shake it, you can squeeze it, you can bang it on a wall, but not until it's in your pants does the last drop fall!"

Monday, July 23, 2007

Runner’s Creed

Old Shoes, New Shoes. Dull Shoes, Bright Shoes.

These are my shoes.
There are many like them, but these ones are mine.
My shoes are my best friend. They are my life. I must master them as I must master my life.
My shoes, without me, are useless. Without my shoes, I am useless.*

As you can probably guess from the picture above I bought new shoes over the weekend. My old shoes have served me well, but they now have over 430 miles on them and a little bit of pee. Yes, you read that right, but I'll have more about the pee thing in tomorrow's post. I bet you can't wait can you?

I went to a running store and had them fit me for a new pair of shoes. It was the first time that I've done this and I got to wear several different running shoes on a treadmill that they filmed and then analyzed. The analysis was a little difficult due to my 4 year old figuring out where the camera was and continually poking his smiling mug into the shot and waving, but we found out that I'm pretty average. Imagine that, the guy whose moniker is Vanilla is plain and average. Shocking. Essentially we found several pairs of shoes that would work for my gait including the same pair of Asics that I was retiring but I wanted something that looked a little different.

I ended up buying a pair of the Mizuno Alchemy's. Alchemy, as you probably know is the medieval science of turning baser metals into gold, which is ironic because that's how I intend to pay for the shoes. I have some lead that I can use but just need to get my hands on that formula. If you have access to the formula for this please post it in the comments section.

*Adaptation of the Rifleman's Creed (AKA My Rifle, AKA The Creed of The United States Marine)

Saturday, July 21, 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.

Oscar Pistorius has a first name...

Nike's "I am not a runner..." video has been making the rounds on several of the blogs that I visit, but I first saw it on Learning to Run so he gets the nod here. If you haven't seen it you should go check it out. For all the attention Pearl Izumi and Reebok have generated with their ad campaigns I am always a big fan of Nike's ads.

Mike Antonucci thinks that Murphy was probably a runner, and I think I'd have to agree.

Rumors and Rants is rooting for Oscar Pistorius, but not for the reasons that you might think. Incidentally does anyone else think of Australopithecus when they hear this guy's name? No? Just me then? OK. For a more scientific view and to learn whether Oscar's blades are an unfair advantage, visit The Science of Sport.

A runner was recently arrested and despite my recent reporting of police officers unnecessarily harassing runners this guy probably deserved to be harassed as he was running buck naked. With Leather has more on it.

Shout Outs
This is becoming a regular part of the weekend splits because anytime I run across someone who has mentioned Half-Fast I like to return the favor.

The Lawson's do Dallas! There are very few blogs that I HAVE to read everyday but this is one of them. Most of the blogs I read are about running or sports, The Lawson's do Dallas is never about sports, only occasionally about running, but ALWAYS HILARIOUS and that makes it worth your time. I've missed important meetings at work because I didn't know when else I was going to have a chance to read Amy's blog. A big thank you to my cyber friend Amy for her kind shout out and endorsement of my blog.

I Signed Up For This?!? also name checked me this week while asking for assistance in finding our missing blogger. No further update on that by the way. I'm beginning to fear the worst. : (

Finally, thank you to Runners Lounge who didn't directly mention me by name but they did link back to my training plan. I also loved the following quote in the article:

We can craft masterful training plans that look cool and sound cool, but without
a little bit of "I will" or "I think I can", they might as well be written on
counterfeit one hundred dollar bills because they won't buy you the race you

Enjoy the weekend! Happy running!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Words I Refuse To Use

There are certain words that you will not see on this blog. Ever. With the exception of this post, because how else would I tell you about them. Oh, and another exception would be the comments section because I know that some of my fine commenters use these words on occasion. No other exceptions… until further notice.

I hereby pronounce the following words banned at Half-Fast:

Half Mary: This is often used in running communities as an abbreviation of half marathon. A half marathon is 13.1 long miles. On October 14th this year the Denver Half Marathon will soundly kick my rump and I'd prefer not to have my rump kicker named after a girl thank you very much. I know that there are many runners who've run longer distances in shorter times, but this will be challenging for me and there will be no sissying it up by referring to it as a half mary. Not on this blog. It was bad enough that during my first attempt at skiing, I was humbled by a bunny slope named the Schoolmarm (more like the Widowmaker), I refuse to now also be humbled by something called the half mary. Perhaps I'll coin a new term; the Half Martin. I think that could catch on quite nicely, although I'm not entirely sure how much tougher Martin is than Mary, with apologies to any Martin's out there reading this... what are you going to do? Beat me up? I doubt it!

Fartlek: If there's anyone reading this who's not familiar with this term you can find an excellent definition of it here. I don't mind when other people use this word but to be blatantly honest with you I think I'm a little too immature to use it. I just don't trust myself to write it without resorting to childish, grade school jokes and none of us wants to see that here on Half-Fast. I'll stick to calling it speedwork or interval training and leave the fartleks to the more serious bloggers who can handle the responsibility of using the word appropriately.

Jog: This also includes any variation of the word, jogging, jogger etc. I'm a runner. I run. Even when I'm doing a recovery run I still consider it running. Everyone has their own opinion on this but that's mine. I know that I used the word in my running vs jogging debate, but there was really no way around it.

Onomatopoeia: Because why would I ever need to use this word on my blog?

That's it for now. Just those four words. I'm sure that I'll have more to add in the future.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I'm a Positive Thinker

What are your favorite mantras? What helps you get through that tough interval or climb the hill ahead of you? Most runners have mantras that they tell themselves while they're running and I'd like to hear yours in the comments. A fellow runner just told me that his is "screw it, run through it!"

I find that the mantras I like to use are mostly positive things. Things like "I am a freakin' machine" and "I don't feel no hill!" My wife is a negative thinker. She tells herself things like "get your lazy butt moving" and "hurry up slow poke" and "sure, I guess I'll settle and just marry this guy." Negative thoughts.

My conclusion from this is that men, with our over-inflated egos tend to use positive mantras, "I'm an animal" while women, who are conditioned by society to think they're not skinny enough or not pretty enough tend to use negative mantras. Granted, my scientific research on this matter consists of surveying only 2 people (me and my wife) but so far it's 100% accurate. I'm going to attempt to post a poll below so that you can vote and we can have a bigger sample size. I figure if all my readers vote we could get upwards of 10 votes! Normally I'm not a big advocate of women voting but in the interest of science I'll let it slide today, so you gals don't worry your pretty little heads about it and vote.

After you vote let me know in the comments if you think that I'm right. If you think that I'm wrong, keep it to yourself. No one likes a negative Nancy.

That's all I got for today, I'm off to go get my run on. Oh, and I'm just kidding ladies.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

To the police officer who almost ran me over in the crosswalk

With apologies to my readers because I usually do try to keep this blog pretty clean, but I cannot think of a better way to express how upset I was with the fat-jelly-donut-eating-traffic-cop who almost ran me down the other day.

I'm running on one of the trails near my house and as per usual I come to a crosswalk which is located in a school zone as it always has been. I look to my left and notice that the oncoming traffic has seen me and has agreed to yield, as per my usual agreement with oncoming traffic at crosswalks. The driver of the first car motions for me to go ahead and as I begin to step out onto the road I smile and wave at him 'thank you!' It is at this point that I turn my head to the right just to make sure that per our usual agreement the westbound lane has also stopped to allow me to traverse the crosswalk upon which I am now embarking.

To my surprise the cop car that is barreling down on me in the far lane actually speeds up to beat me to the crosswalk and effectively cuts me off! This is not per my usual agreement with traffic at crosswalks. Perhaps he was in a hurry to ticket another runner running in a bike lane or perhaps traffic cops are above the law.

As if this wasn't enough, the cop gives me a dirty look and shakes his head (and all four chins) disapprovingly as he speeds through the crosswalk. The CROSSWALK in a SCHOOL ZONE! I froze and took a few steps backwards to avoid getting Rodney King'd on the front of his car and then shook my fist and yelled "you'll be sorry when I write about this in my online journal!" OK, that's not what I yelled, I'm really not that much of a geek but I can't actually print what I yelled and hope to keep my cool PG rating. You might think that yelling at a cop is a bad idea, but let me assure you that there's no way that tubby was going to get out of his car and be faster than me (unless we were having a hot-dog eating contest). I was on the tail end of a 5 mile tempo run and he was still sweating more than I was, probably from struggling to reach the box of Krispy Kreme's that had fallen off the passenger seat. Maybe that's why he was so cantankerous, sometimes they mislabel the jelly donuts and you get cream filled instead. I know that always makes me feel like going out and plowing down some pedestrians!

Picture credit to Lieutenant Winslow

Monday, July 16, 2007

Missing Blogger Alert!

On the left side of the Complete Running Network homepage there is a link to a random running blog and I have often suspected that someone actually goes through and picks the 'random' blog to link to. I was recently proved wrong when they linked to a blog ironically named Race to the Finish.

The URL is willifinish.blogspot.com and the author goes only by the name 'Will I Make It?' the answer to both questions would appear to be - NO.

The blog consists of one post that was left back in November of '06 claiming that the author was going to run a marathon and wondering if she could do it. In the single, lonely entry the author asks for YOUR stories, YOUR workouts and YOUR inspirational moments which means that YOU, the running blog readers have failed this poor woman. If in fact she did not achieve her goal then it is YOUR fault dear reader. YOU should be ashamed of yourself!

I wonder whatever happened to this poor young runner? It's like a crossword puzzle that I can't quite figure out, only this time I can't flip to the back and nonchalantly read the upside down answers. I MUST know what happened! If you have any knowledge as to the whereabouts of 'Will I Make it' please post it in the comments. Did she run the marathon? Did she die trying? Did she get up the next day and decide to abandon the blog and the marathon training? Did she enter the witness protection program? Is there something out there that is abducting unsuspecting bloggers? Should I be worried? Will you come back to Half-Fast someday only to find it... abandoned? *shudder*

I would hereby like to officially support Race to the Finish and encourage all my readers to go and leave an encouraging comment on the blog, or even spam the comments with an advertisement as that appears to be OK too.

Saturday, July 14, 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.

How not to pack your supplements and energy drink when you travel to your next race.

Scott over at A Trail Runner’s Blog retells ultra runner Rick Gaston’s story of his attempt to run 100 mile race and then smuggle a several kilos of sports drink through customs in Sheridan, Wyoming. I guess the challenge of running a 100 mile race wasn't exciting enough for Rick (ultra runner-slash-drug-mule for the Colombian cartel) so he decided to spice things up a bit.

The ESPYs will be on TV Sunday night and you should watch them because Dean Karnazes is going to win one. I know this because; 1) I can see the future and 2) It has already been reported on various other blogs. One of those is true. See here and here for more info. I will be surprised if Dean gets much face time on the ESPYs as I'm sure that ESPN will spend most of their time on which criminal/baby-making-machine player will win the NFL Player of the Year, but congrats to Dean anyway. UPDATE: I was right (naturally), ESPN did not even mention Dean in the also-receiving-awards-tonight blurb. Updated 7-16.

Chocolate Runner's Blog gives us an Ode to an anchovy. I don't like anchovies but I do like chocolate. Actually, I've never tried anchovies but I'm still pretty sure I don't like them, I do like the poem though.

Marcy over at I Signed Up For This?!? claims that running is like a bad boyfriend. I'll have to take her word for it because I've never had or been a bad boyfriend, I married the only girl I ever dated and we're in the middle of living happily ever after.

Big thanks to Team Little Guy who mentioned me in their blog a couple of weeks ago. Go and give these guys some support and encouragement because at some point they're going to realize that they've signed up for a 208 mile race and then they will really need your encouragement and maybe also to be talked in from the ledge.

Also thanks to Just One More Mile who linked back to Half-Fast at the tail end of a post, if you’re not reading her blog daily then you’re missing out.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Running or Jogging: The Final Word on a Tired Debate

If you've spent any time around any running blogs or message boards then you've probably heard some version of the debate about the difference between being a runner or a jogger. Today's post will be my opinion on the matter or as I prefer to call it; The Definitive Answer.

The catalyst for this debate within the running community recently has been the Pearl Izumi 'we are not joggers' ad campaign which counter's Reebok's 'run easy' campaign. Chances are that if you're an elite or seasoned runner you were inspired by the 'we are not joggers' ads and if you are a slower or newer runner you were probably offended by it.

The ad paints joggers in a negative light and runners as elitist snobs, neither of which is true. Sure there are some elite runners out there who think themselves better than you and I, and let's be honest they ARE better than you or I, but only when it comes to running. And just because they are better than me at running doesn't give them the right to look down their noses at me. I mean, you don't see me looking down my nose at them because I'm a better blogger than they are. Seriously, have you ever read an elite runner's blog? BO - RING!

So far as I can tell, this dichotomy only occurs in running. The golf pro's at my local course don't try to tell me that I'm not playing golf just because I hit the ball into the wrong fairway every other hole. Sure they have some colorful names reserved for me, and they think I'm a bad golfer but they still concede the fact that I'm playing golf. If I play golf while wearing my iPod or ride in a cart instead of walking, or smoke a cigar while I'm playing it doesn't mean I'm not playing golf. Likewise, just because you are a slow runner doesn't mean that you are not running, as Pearl Izumi would appear to claim. You are still participating in the same sport or activity of running.

I for one am not going to tell someone who is giving everything they've got to crank out a 36:45 minute 5K that they were not running. I don't care how slow you are or that you have to listen to your iPod to get motivated, or that you run on a treadmill, or that you need walk breaks, you're running. You might not be as good as some people or as fast, but it doesn't change the definition of what you're doing.

Of course if I ever get to the point where I'm running sub 6 minute miles in marathons then I will delete all evidence of this post and pompously pronounce my superiority over all of you lame 'joggers'.

Incidentally, the ad campaign was absolutely genius. Had you ever heard of Pearl Izumi before these ads came out? Do you think we'd all be discussing them this much if they had gone with a mellow ad campaign? Sure they upset some people who are swearing that they'll never own their shoes but that will all blow over, and in 6 months a brand new runner will stand in a sporting goods store and look at a pair of Pearl Izumi's and think to himself "hey, these were marketed to elite runners, they must be great shoes" and then he'll buy the shoes and torment them by never letting them be any faster than 10 minute miles.

For the record, I consider myself a runner. A runner who's not as fast as he'd like to be, and a runner who occasionally jogs but a runner nonetheless. Personally I think Dr. George Sheehan said it best when he said that "the difference between a jogger and a runner is an entry blank."

It seems like every idiot with a blog is weighing in on this debate and I'm no different, but here are three that I enjoyed: Beyond Madison Avenue, Adrants and DaneGer Zone.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My 1st FIRST Workout

Intervals. Right off the bat. How is it that little miss runner pants' initial workout on her half marathon training plan was an easy recovery run, and mine is speedwork? I'm beginning to think I picked the wrong plan and I've only been doing it for a day.

To be honest it was actually pretty easy. I warmed up with a couple easy miles and then did 4 x 400 meter intervals in 2:00 minutes each with 2 minute recovery jogs in between and finished with a cool down mile. I felt good. I actually felt like I could have done the intervals a little faster and maybe I will next time if I'm still feeling this good. Oooh, look at me, my workout was too easy. Yes, I realize that I'm sounding like the chipper guy in your office who shows up early with the go-go attitude and wishes all the tired, hungover employees a "HAPPY MONDAY" as they try to down their first cup of coffee. Don't hate me because I'm fast... Because I'm not.

It occurs to me that I didn't actually post my training schedule in my post discussing it, further proving my brilliance, but here it is now:

Monday - Speedwork/Interval Training
Tuesday - Indoor Soccer (I'm counting this as cross training)
Wednesday - Tempo Run
Thursday - Cross Training/Weights
Friday - Off Day (Party Time! P - A - R - T - whY? Because I gotta!)
Saturday - Long Run
Sunday - Off or Cross Training/Weights

For the next three weeks I have a prior commitment on Mondays so speedwork will be moved to Wednesday, tempo runs will be Thursday, and cross training will just have to suffer. Prior commitment, I love to throw that term around. Doesn't it sound like I have something so important that I'm doing, negotiating the cessation of hostilities in the Middle East. I assure you it's nothing that grandiose.

Be sure to check back here tomorrow as I plan on weighing in on the hotly debated, highly controversial runner vs. jogger debate.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up

This isn't directly related to running but it is a great inspirational speech by the late Jim Valvano. If this speech doesn't inspire you then you're probably the worlds only living heart donor. If you have 10 minutes of free time, which you probably do since you're online reading a running blog, then I suggest that you check it out.

This was brought to my attention today while listening to ESPN radio. They are doing their annual auction today for the V Foundation for Cancer Research where you can bid on a number of different items.

I have my first FIRST workout tonight (see previous post), a 4x400 speedwork session and I think I'm going to watch this video again before start, or maybe I'll even do it on the treadmill and loop the video.

Monday, July 9, 2007

My New Training Schedule

I haven't had a training plan since I finished the Bolder Boulder 10K back in May, I thought about it once but apparently it's not the thought that counts, at least not according to this second chin that I seem to have acquired. I decided to go with the half marathon training plan put together by the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST). Something tells me that they didn't just name themselves and then coincidentally notice that their acronym was FIRST. Their original name was probably Furman Athletic Training and Teaching Institute but then someone realized that they'd be known as FATTI.

The FIRST plan is a great plan for me because there are only 3 runs a week which means that there are 4 non-running days a week. Huzzah! This fits in nicely with my hectic schedule of watching TV 4 nights a week and generally being a couch potato, also I play indoor soccer one night a week and softball one night a week so I immediately liked the idea of quality miles over quantity of miles.

The FIRST plan is a 10 week program and since the Denver Half Marathon is in 14 weeks I'm going to start the program and then jump back to the beginning and start over in 4 weeks. Long Runs are at 9:52 minute per mile pace, Tempo Runs are at a 9:07 pace and Speedwork is to be done as follows: 400s in 2:01, 800s in 4:08, and 1600s in 8:37. According to FATTI's calculations this training schedule will get me across the finish line in 2:02:42 so perhaps with a little race day adrenaline I can get down to a sub 2 hour half marathon. You can read more about the FIRST plan here.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Weekend Splits – One Day Early

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.

I've been off work this week, which means that I've been doing more exciting fun things in real life and have spent less time sitting bored in my office to post to my blog or find interesting links for the Weekend Splits. To make it up to you, you're getting the Weekend Splits a day early.

This guy's really fast.

At last someone finds a good use for these signs that tell you how fast you're travelling. Let's face it unless the speedometer in your car is not working those are just there for a second opinion and when you ask for a second opinion it usually costs you more money and isn't any better than the first opinion. Your tax dollars at work folks.

If you're looking for some humorous reading about running you should check out the list of articles that the Running Blogfather compiled from The Onion. My favorite is 6000 Runners Fail to Discover Cure for Breast Cancer.

Finally, Half-Fast has been rated PG. Some material may not be suitable interesting for children. To be honest I'm a little disappointed. I thought I was a little cooler than that, I mean, even Wild Hogs got a PG-13 rating and I thought that it was pretty tame. The rating was based on the appearance of the word 'dead' twice and the appearance of the word 'knife' once. I can't for the life of me remember using those words. Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

If you're reading this blog from somewhere other than the good ol' US of A you may not have cared that today is July 4th but here in the home of the Big Mac and the Whopper we love the fourth of July. You see on the fourth of July we don't have to go to work, we grill burgers on the barbeque and then wash them down with watermelon and apple pie. We shoot explosives up into the night sky and 'oooh' and 'aaah' at them. We sing America The Beautiful, and The Star Spangled Banner, little girls wear red, white and blue ribbons in their pigtails and elderly women who haven't thought about our Sovereign Lord since the depression don t-shirts that are emblazoned with the flag and the slogan "God Bless America." US flags are hung outside of every fourth home in suburbia or every other home if you're in the Deep South, and everything that can be bought under the sun comes in red, white and blue today. Radio stations all over the country will be playing Born In The USA by The Boss, TV show news anchors will wear flag lapel pins and a few of the crazier ones will even wear kooky flag ties. Cable television stations will smother us with patriotic movies and I will genuinely get goosebumps during Independence Day when President Bill Pullman declares "We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!" But most importantly, there is absolutely no running on the fourth of July, except maybe to catch a Frisbee or a football. In fact, I've often heard people say "these colors don't run" usually with a thick southern accent and I think that they're really trying to say no running on the fourth of July.

So, to all my fellow American's out there, have a happy and safe fourth of July. To all my British readers out there: THHHPPPPBBBTT!!! (Blowing Raspberry). No taxation without representation! Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Today's Inspirational Quote

"Workouts are like brushing my teeth; I don't think about them, I just do
them. The decision has already been made." - Patti Sue Plumer, U.S.
If I brushed my teeth at all regularly then this would probably be a great analogy. In order to be more accurate for my purposes I'll just replace 'brushing my teeth' with 'taking my morning leak' because that decision has definitely been made, sometimes I don't even really wake up for it. You too can change the quote to be more appropriate for how you view your workouts.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Runners: A Menace to Society

Ponch and Jon were too busy fighting serious crimes to ticket a jogger.

Christine Valdivieso was surprised last month when a motorcycle cop pulled her over. She was surprised because she was out for a Sunday morning run and despite the fact that she was well within compliance of the posted speed limit, she was running in the bike lane and that is a crime. Valdivieso tried to talk the officer into letting her off with a warning, but he wasn't fooled by the silver-tongued devil and wrote up the ticket anyway. You just can't believe what these criminals will tell you to get out of a ticket.

The truly sad thing about this whole ordeal is that Christine Valdivieso, was allowed to go free after receiving the ticket, while thieves who are probably just trying to feed their families are locked up. No jail time at all for this woman! This thug is out there somewhere roaming the streets and free to terrorize cyclists at will by running in their bike paths! I'll tell you one thing; it scares me the kind of world that my kids will grow up in. Fortunately we have true American heroes like the officer in the story to serve and protect us.

I don't know how cops manage to keep their cool and composure in the face of such devastating crimes against humanity. For crying out loud, what kind of deranged criminal, hopped up on who-knows-what runs in the bike lane? If I was a cop, and I saw a perp running in the bike lane, I'd have immediately radioed for backup and then begun beating the villain into submission. You can't be too careful these days.

For the record I don't personally condone running in the bike lane or any other criminal behavior. Link to my informer.

Personal Running Log - June 2007

6/28/20076 Mile LoopEasy6 Mi57:289:35
6/26/2007Home TreadmillTempo4 Mi38:239:36
6/24/20078 Miles Out & BackLong8 Mi1:23:0010:23
6/21/20076 Mile LoopTempo6 Mi59:539:59
6/16/2007Misc RouteLong4.36 Mi42:489:49
6/13/2007Other TreadmillEasy3.6 Mi33:009:10
6/11/20074 Miles Out & BackEasy4 Mi40:1310:04
6/6/2007Misc RouteEasy6 Mi59:479:58
Distance: 42.0 miles
Total Time: 6:54:32

Personal Running Log for June, 2007. I'd rather be closer to 80 miles than 40, but I've been doing a lot of 'Mental Training' lately.