Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Don’t Inconvenience Me

I found this letter to the editor posted at Tracy Press. It is from a concerned citizen encouraging runners to wear reflective clothing when out at dark, and describes an incident where the concerned citizen almost ran over a runner they didn’t see. According to the letter, the runner was wearing “a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark pants” and it was 6:50am which presumably means that it was dark out.

First of all let me address the main point of the letter. I agree wholeheartedly that if you’re going to be out running in the dark or even at dawn or dusk you should be wearing reflective gear. Most runners I know (myself included) go overboard with this. Before I run in the dark I try and make myself more reflective than a disco ball and just as cool. The thought of getting hit by a car is more than a little unpleasant, which is why I wear reflective shoes, reflective pants, a reflective shirt, reflective gloves and of course the ensemble wouldn’t be complete without my über-cool reflective slap bands. Am I making my point that I agree with the main thrust of the letter; that you should be reflective when you run in the dark? Good. Now onto the part of the letter that rubbed me the wrong way, not at all like a genie in a bottle. The letter ends with the following sentence:

“I would like to be able to get to work without having to call the police because I hit or killed a neighbor.”
Yes, that would be very inconvenient for you to have to be late for work just because of the minor little detail that you killed someone. I thought that being safe was reason enough to run in my reflective underpants, but you’re absolutely right, it hadn’t even occurred to me how inconvenient my death would be for the person that hit me. Why, they might be a good half hour late for work, not to mention the ongoing nuisance of having to beat back those vehicular manslaughter charges.

Oh and in case you’re wondering, the reflective underpants are precautionary so that I can still be seen if my pants fall off somewhere along the way and I don’t notice it. They’re not so much reflective as they are glow-in-the-dark. Can we all please stop picturing me in my underwear now and focus on the issue at hand?

REFLECTIVE UPDATE: Cyclist tasered by cop for not having proper lighting on his bike at night.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Holla at a Runner When You See Him in the Street

Whenever I’m in my car driving to and from work, or driving to and from the donut shop and I see a runner, I always get this tremendous urge to yell something encouraging to them. “Keep going!” “You can do it!” “Great job!” Fortunately for all you Denver based runners out there I usually manage to smother that urge. I realize that the runner won’t know that I’m also a runner, will think I’m mocking them, or won’t hear me over their iPod anyway.

I’ve had people shout things at me occasionally from their cars while I’ve been running, usually things like “go faster,” or “good job,” or “hey, that track’s not open to the public!” More often than not it happens when I run past the high school and it almost always annoys me more than it motivates me. Why then do I feel so compelled to yell at fellow runners when I see them? Perhaps it’s because when I see someone running, I wish that I could be out there running instead of whatever is taking up my time at that moment. Perhaps it’s because I feel a sense of kinship with the runner and want to encourage them to give it their best today, or perhaps I’m just an emotionally stunted jerk who enjoys making others miserable.

Most days when I’m on my way home from work I drive past a lady running up this really steep, long hill. It seems like she’s always out there running, and she always inspires me to get out and run if I haven’t already. A few weeks ago, I arrived home from work early (unless my boss reads this blog in which case it was definitely a Saturday) and I decided to go for a run. I was running down the aforementioned hill (because Momma didn’t raise no dummy) and I passed her coming up. I didn’t realize that it was her until we were already passing each other. We both smiled and nodded politely and I almost wished that I’d stopped her to tell her that she was an inspiration to me, that I always saw her out running this hill. Upon further reflection, I was glad that I didn’t have a chance to say anything. I probably would have fumbled for the right words and then ended up getting a face full of pepper spray when I said “I watch you run everyday and wanted you to know that you arouse me... wait, no... inspire, I meant inspire…”

I guess I’ll just stick to smiling and waving at fellow runners, but if the blond chick with the ponytail who always runs the big hill east of the golf course happens to be reading this, then just know that you arouse me.

Despite the title of this post, Half-Fast does not endorse shouting at runners from your car no matter what your intentions are. Also, please remember that when you see someone running from your car, you’re probably driving on the sidewalk.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

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.

Image found stolen at SJ Tony’s blog.

I didn’t get the splits post up last weekend because I was nestled away at my in-law’s mountain log cabin. It’s a quaint little place up near Grand Lake, CO and if it weren’t for two snow-crazed children and me going into withdrawals from the lack of internet access I’m sure it would have been quite romantic. Anyway this week’s Splits post will contain some links from this past week, and one or two from the previous week.

Kelly over at Fitness Fixation posted about the differences between men and women and how we need vastly different workouts and diets. Except not. Head on over there and check it out and maybe ask her why her blog isn’t pink, you know, since she’s a woman. I dare ya’.

Christine admitted that she has an addiction, and that’s the first step, admitting that you have a problem. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in this post earlier in the week it’s too late for Christine since she already has a running blog. Oh, and when you go over there try not to get too excited about the more recent post titled “I Got Double D’s” it was a good post and all, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t immensely disappointed.

lifestudent had a post that featured a quote from The Onion. I’m a sucker for the Onion, the satirical paper not the nasty vegetable, those things are disgusting. The only way to acceptably prepare an onion for consumption is to make it into a Funyun. Mmmmm delicious, they’re probably not even made with real onions, which is a major plus point for them in my book.

Doug is helping smokers quit one dropped cigarette at a time and I don’t even think the guy thanked him.

Pat posted a link on his blog to Scott Dunlap’s compilation of great race finish videos.

Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week
I’m going to warn you right now that you should mute your speakers before you watch this video. The guys are speaking some foreign language that sounds Eastern European, but right around the 14 second mark the camera operator tries his hand at English and shouts “Mother-f***er!” Probably something he learned watching a movie, that and his actions in the video just confirm my suspicions that we’re exporting stupidity to Eastern Europe now.

I'm having some difficulties getting the video to embed the way I want it to, so until I get it fixed here’s a link.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Think I Can...

I’ve never claimed that Half-Fast is motivational or inspirational or any other kind of -ational. This has been a tough week to get runs in for some reason which is why my mileage for the week is 0, and probably why my other two posts this week have been focused on drinking and quitting. Drinking and quitting sounds really good right about now.

I found this poem in one of my kid’s books that adequately sums up my mood. It’s from Shel Silverstein’s book Where The Sidewalk Ends and is titled The Little Blue Engine.

The little blue engine looked up at the hill.
His light was weak, his whistle was shrill.
He was tired and small, and the hill was tall,
And his face blushed red as he softly said,
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

So he started up with a chug and a strain,
And he puffed and pulled with might and main.
And slowly he climbed, a foot at a time,
And his engine coughed as he whispered soft,
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

With a squeak and a creak and a toot and a sigh,
With an extra hope and an extra try,
He would not stop - now he neared the top -
And strong and proud he cried out loud,
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!”

He was almost there, when - CRASH! SMASH! BASH!
He slid down and mashed into engine hash
On the rocks below... which goes to show
If the track is tough and the hill is rough,
THINKING you can just ain’t enough!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Advice for a New Runner

So you’re a beginning runner looking for some sage advice, you’re searching for some tips or guidelines. It’s hardly surprising that your pursuit has led you to Half-Fast as it is widely considered the definitive runner’s how-to. Bookmark the site now as your source for advice, motivation, and training techniques all spilled forth in an honest forthright manner.

Perhaps taking up running was one of your resolutions and you have some questions about races, or training, or running shoes, or how many miles to run, or how many days to run. But stop right there. You're already getting ahead of yourself, let me first give you one universal piece of advice that should be heeded by all new runners: Quit.

That’s right, just quit. Seriously. Just stop before you get addicted. Leave now while you still can. It’s too late for me, heck it’s too late for most of the regulars who read and comment here at Half-Fast, but it’s not too late for you rookie runner with the brand spankin’ new shoes. Save yourself while you still can. You’ll save yourself hundreds of dollars in race fees, technical running gear, cold weather gear, hot weather gear, reflective gear, rain gear not to mention the amount of money you’ll end up spending replacing your running shoes every 400 - 500 miles.

You’ll feel guilty when you skip a run. Your toenails will turn black and fall off, and what’s even worse is that you’ll be happy about it as though it was some sick rite of passage. Your grocery budget will be consumed by gels and Gatorade. You’ll get so obsessive about your mileage, your pace, and your heart rate that you’ll spend hours pouring over your training log. You’ll need to purchase a Garmin (another couple hundred dollars at least) to keep better track of your training runs and to analyze your running in greater depth. People will look at you like you’re crazy because you ARE crazy for thinking about taking up running.

You’ll start reading running blogs, then you’ll start commenting on running blogs, and before you know it you’ll start your own running blog. Your chief worry will be what you’re going to blog about if you don’t run, and you’re going to have to be consistent with your blogging in order to make “blogging running friends.” These folks will be important to you when you keep blowing off your other friends’ invitations to go out for drinks because you have a run scheduled and you’re abstaining from alcohol until after your next race. Oh yeah, and then there’s that whole abstaining from alcohol prior to a race idiocy. Don’t even get me started on that.

You’re thinking “no, it won’t happen to me. I can quit whenever I want to, I won’t fall that deeply into it.” You fool. It already has happened to you. You’re already past the point of no return. Need further proof? You’re still here reading this post aren’t you? Wouldn’t a sensible person have left long ago, somewhere around the missing toenails and the abstaining from alcohol?

Welcome to the club... sucker. Now go start a blog already.

I’m sure that the regulars here can also provide some additional “advice” for you in the comments.

Monday, January 21, 2008

CLIF Bar® Releases A New Recovery Drink

I was at the liquor store earlier this morning, as I often am on weekdays, preparing to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day when I came across the following:

I took the picture on my camera phone so you’ll have to forgive the image quality (as always you can click to enlarge).

That is a bottle of 2003 vintage kit’s killer cab from the CLIF Bar Family Winery. You can read more about the CLIF Bar family wines at their website Kit’s killer cab is described on the website as “deep red in color with floral aromas of vanilla, dense ripe fruit and spicy nuances of black raspberry. The palate is vibrant and concentrated with flavors of chocolate, mocha and dried cherries that lead to a soft, velvety and lingering finish.”

I don’t know about all that, but then again I’m no sommelier. What I can tell you is that it makes for a fantastic recovery drink. After a quick run this afternoon I was feeling a little soreness in my legs and decided to try out my newly found sports drink, my Cabern-ade Sauvignon. This stuff works great! I was barely done with the bottle when I realized that I had completely forgotten about the pain in my legs. In fact I had completely forgotten about the run, I had even forgotten why I was drinking this delightful recovery elixir in the first place, and why the room was spinning.

At $36.99 a bottle it’s a little bit more pricey than the Gatorades, Powerades, and Accelerades of the world, but I’m still going to give it my full endorsement. The CLIF Bar kit’s killer cab receives the official Half-Fast seal of approval. The only upgrade that I would recommend would be to add some kind of a sport nozzle to the bottle.

In case you’re thinking that I’m an idiot for calling a 2003 vintage a ‘new release’ in my headline, well, you may be right but I couldn’t really care less what you think. I guess that’s one of the other benefits of the CLIF Bar cab.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Video Friday

Today I’m breaking out Video Friday, lots of videos, not much typing. You get all the laughs and enjoyment that you’ve come to expect here at Half-Fast, and I get to write less. It’s a win - win situation. The good news is that I think most of these videos are actually related to running in some shape or form.

The first video was posted a couple of days ago by Frayed Laces.

I think I first saw this next video on Orange Trails.

LOL!!!!! OMG was that Lance? OMG I totally <3 Lance!!!!!!!11!! He’s teh GOAT!!!11!!!!!

Personally, I’m with the customer in that last video. I thought a little light cardio sounded pretty good. Have you ever tried to run on a treadmill after “feeding the warrior 20lbs?” No thank you.

I’ve never ridden for 23 days on a bike nor would I care too, but even I know how nice it is when something is flat. Oh yeah, and by the way if you don’t care for Lance Armstrong that much then you can probably just skip the rest of the videos. I’m not his biggest fan, but he sure is a funny guy.

And finally I leave you with one that is less funny and more motivational. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Back to Asics

Despite the fact that my Mizunos only have 325 miles on them, they are just killing the balls of my feet on longer runs and they have been for quite some time. When I told the guy at the running store this he agreed with me that Mizunos do in fact “suck more than the suckiest suck that ever sucked!” I think that was the technical term that he used. We also agreed that anyone who likes Mizunos is a good for nothing, low-life, under-achieving simpleton. I know from your comments and blogs that many of you just love your Mizunos so I’m sorry that you had to hear that from me. It must be tough to find out the sad truth about yourselves from a blog.

OK, maybe Mr. Running Shoe Guru said something more along the lines of the Mizunos being designed for a heel-striker, and that I would break them down a lot faster as I have become more of a forefoot runner since I bought them. Maybe he said that they were good shoes for some folks but just not for me. I was reading between the lines, I know what he meant.

One thing that I think we can all agree on is that buying new shoes is like runner’s crack. I get high off it and I don’t want to stop at just one pair. I tried on so many different shoes last night that I simply couldn’t make up my mind which ones to buy. I was like the over-sympathetic dog lover picking out a puppy at the pound. “Can’t I just take them all home?”

I finally bonded with a pair of the new Asics 2130 GTs and thought that I was done, but the store carried them in several different colors. Running is not just about being fast it’s also about looking good, so choosing the right color shoe is just as important as choosing the right type of shoe (motion control, stability, cushioning, trail etc.). I settled on the blue and white ones that you see in the picture.

I’m excited to run in my new shoes, I’m excited to be going back to Asics as I have had good success with them in the past, but most of all I’m excited for my balls not to ache after long runs... balls of my feet... the balls of my feet ache after long runs!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Shave Your 5K Amendment

If you haven’t read the initial Shave Your 5K post then you should start there, this is merely an amendment that seems destined to turn into a full blown Bill of Rights.

Several people have mentioned that they are having difficulty finding a 5K during these brutal winter months. If you are one of those people who cannot find a 5K to run before March 31st and you didn’t run one in December ’07 (remember the stubble time window extends back to December ’07) then I will make an exception for you and for Katie Holmes. (Seriously, Katie call me.)

Keep in mind that the longer you wait to run your 5K, the less time you will have to get faster by the end of the year. In that vein, I will give you as long as you need to run your stubble time 5K. I’m going to stick to my original decision that your smooth time 5K must be run in November or December because there tends to be a lot of races during that time of the year.

I like to think that Half-Fast is an EOB (equal opportunity blog) so if any of you SOBs have any other issues with this challenge you can shove them up... e-mail me and I will do what I can to make things easier for you. That’s what I’m here for you know, to make your life easier.

All joking aside, I’d hate for someone to not enter the challenge based on a technicality, so I’m more open to making concessions than a Vegas club owner when Lohan hits the Strip.

That’s all for today, I’m off to buy a new pair of running shoes. Yipee!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Announcing the Shave Your 5K Challenge

I’ve stated previously that my goal is to get faster this year, and I’ve read countless other blogs where many of you have stated the same thing. With that in mind, I’m announcing the Shave Your 5K Challenge. Here’s how it will work: You’ll enter a 5K race sometime before March 31st ‘08 and you’ll e-mail me your official time, this will be your “stubble time” (i.e. un-shaven time). I’ll keep track of everyone’s times and then we’ll all run 5K’s again at the end of the year which will give you your “smooth time” (i.e. freshly shaved time). Whoever shows the greatest difference between their stubble time and their smooth time is the winner. Before you go getting any brilliant ideas let me clarify that to state the greatest difference in a negative direction wins, loopholers.

Everyone who posts a better time at year-end will be subject to my superfluously lavish praise while anyone who posts a worse time at year-end will have to suffer my stinging wit and sarcasm. But best of all, everyone who supplies me with their blog address will get a link when I post the results, and I know you all want a little link love. It’s what we bloggers crave more than air itself.

Qualifying months for running your stubble time will be from December ‘07 through March ‘08, so you may have already run a race that qualifies you for the Shave Your 5K Challenge. Qualifying months for running your smooth time will be November ‘08 through December ‘08 which means that this challenge will last for the entire year, or longer than 70% of Pam Anderson’s marriages.

Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in two categories: Highest Percentage of Time Shaved, and Most Actual Seconds Shaved. If we have a lot of entrants prizes may also be awarded for 2nd and 3rd place. Real prizes like a “Shave Your 5K” technical running shirt or other highly coveted running booty.

All I ask in return is for some help publicizing the event, so if you plan on entering and you have a blog then please mention it - feel free to steal the graphic from this post.

The real beauty of this event is that it should be easier for newer (or slower) runners to shave minutes off their 5K time than for someone who’s running 18 minute 5Ks, while it will be easier for the 18 minute 5K’ers to shear off percentage points. At least I think that makes sense. Also, you were probably already planning on running 5Ks during the qualifying months so you can enter this event without having to run any additional miles. BRILLIANT!

Official Terms and Conditions
Let me know in the comments if you plan on participating so that I can have an idea of the number of participants that we’ll have. I’ll also start a group over at the Runner’s Lounge to clarify any issues and for general discussion (SY5K Runner's Lounge Group). To enter you must e-mail me your name (or online identity), your 5K time, the name and date of the race.

If you run multiple 5Ks between December ‘07 and March ‘08 then you MUST submit your best time for your stubble time. If you run multiple 5Ks between November ‘08 and December ‘08 you may use your best time as your smooth time. If you’ve already run a 5K this month or in December, you can e-mail me your entry today. Just be sure to update me if you run a faster one before the end of March.

Your 5Ks must be completed as part of an official race and you must use the official time that the race issues. If possible you should provide me with proof of your time.

NO CHEATING. You’re only cheating yourself everyone else who participates, so don’t do it. Cheaters will be persecuted, yes persecuted. I will be checking everyone’s race times, and will be comparing them to your posted training times and any other races you run, I reserve the right to disqualify anyone who submits a stubble time that I feel is significantly slower than it should be. I also reserve the right to disqualify anyone who runs their 5K wearing Nebraska red or Yankee pinstripes. You know who you are.

If you need me to make an exception to these rules and you feel that you have a valid reason, then please e-mail me, I’m a reasonable guy. Reasonably handsome that is.

Update: See the Shave Your 5K Ammendment.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

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.

Cold Weather Running Gear?

I’m going to start off the Weekend Splits by pimping an article that I “found” over at CRN. It was a delightful piece about running superstitions written by some handsome devil that goes by the name of Ian. Yes, I realize that I linked to it earlier this week and yes, I realize that I’ve been doing a lot of shameless self-promotion lately but hey, pimpin’ aint easy.

Thanks to Jess at 21 Days for linking to a post at AL-KO-HALL called 7 Minute Muscle. What a great idea! Unfortunately for me I don’t have 7 free minutes a day that I could spend on this program otherwise I’d give it a try for sure.

J-Money went treadmilling at the gym and while that doesn’t sound like it would make for an exciting post I can assure you it is, mostly because she left her brand new puppy alone with her furniture. Be careful if you head on over to her blog, there is seriously dog pee everywhere over there. It’s kinda gross. And if you like those type of stories be sure to check out her new blog (Things I Tell My Dog).

Frayed Laces has an interesting post exposing the seedy dark underworld of running shoe sales. She is doing some fine investigative work over there and keeping the rest of us safe from evil companies like Brooks. OK that might not be fair to Brooks, but since when have I been interested in fairness?

The Joggler has a post about how running alone won’t help you lose weight. You mean I have to run with someone to lose weight? Oh. No, I see. You mean that just running won’t help you lose weight - you need to watch your food intake too. What a crock! I took up running so that I wouldn’t have to do that.

Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week
This week’s video is a clip from Whose Line Is It Anyway guest starring your favorite fitness guru Richard Simmons. If you’ve never seen the show it’s an improv show and in this particular clip two of the comedians have to use two people (one of whom is Richard Simmons) as the props in the scene they are acting out.

Have a great weekend everyone! Happy running!
Be sure to come back on Monday morning because I have a BIG announcement. I’m such a tease.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Katie Holmes not running Boston Marathon

If you’re like me, you probably saw that headline and thought “well of course Katie Holmes isn’t running the Boston Marathon, she didn’t post a good enough time to qualify.” That didn’t stop all kinds of reports from circulating this morning claiming that she had registered for the Boston Marathon.

As you may remember from this post Katie finished the NYC Marathon in 5:29:58 which is within spitting distance of qualifying for the Boston Marathon... if you’re a camel and spitting off the side of the Grand Canyon. However it is not that unusual for exemptions to be made by the Boston Marathon to allow non-qualifiers to run in the race, and if you think for one second that they weren’t going to make an exemption for the hot chick that ran NYC without a bra, then you’re kidding yourself.

Is it fair that someone famous gets an exemption just for being famous while a handsome blogger has to earn his way in? Probably not, but it’s not my place to complain. Some may point out that it isn’t fair that I was blessed with a rapier wit, devastating charm and a beautiful family, to which I respond with “yuh-huh!”

It really doesn’t matter whether it’s fair or not because Katie’s rep came out this morning and stated that she’s not going to run the Boston Marathon because her controlling, super-freak of a husband won’t allow it. (I might have made up that last part but it sounded good, and plausible too.)

How is it that this non-news was worthy of a post here at Half-Fast? Quite simply it was just another excuse to post a picture of Katie Holmes. Perhaps tomorrow I will report that Eva Mendes and Jessica Alba are not running the Boston Marathon just so I can post pictures of them too. You see what I did there?

Source - I feel so ashamed that I just used People magazine for a source.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mixing your Brands

I had a good run last night. My streetlight turned off again, but didn’t attempt any other form of communication with me. That’s OK though because I was moving too fast to pay any attention to it. I decided to make last night’s run a tempo run, and see how fast I could rip off 4 miles. Answer: 34:23

Here are my splits:
Mile 1 - 8:42
Mile 2 - 8:29
Mile 3 - 8:33
Mile 4 - 8:39

I was feeling pretty good about the effort when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. The first thing I noticed (other than my chiseled physique) was that my clothes did not match at all, and I don’t mean color wise. I had completely mismatched my brands. I was wearing a C9 (Target brand) base layer, a Nike technical shirt, Adidas pants, Under Armor gloves, Brooks socks, Mizuno shoes and Calvin Klein underwear uh... just ignore that last one. It’s no wonder that I ran so fast, think of all the slogans that those brands represent: Just Do It (Nike), Impossible Is Nothing (Adidas), Never Never Never Stop* (Brooks), Serious Performance (Mizuno), Protect This House, (Under Armor), and Expect More Pay Less (Target). OK, well maybe not that last one, but the rest of them are inspirational. It’s no wonder that I ran so well last night.

Just think what I could have done if I’d been wearing my Reebok hat too. Reebok: Run Easy ... oh... wait... actually, never mind. In conclusion, I think the key to running faster is mixing up all your brand slogans. Give it a try!

* I really couldn’t find a Brooks slogan anywhere except this link which talks about them using the slogan mentioned above, but the article is dated July 1991.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Complete Running Network

This is all that you’re going to get for a post from me today because I have a new post up over at CRN. Most of you are probably familiar with the Complete Running Network as the largest single collection of running blogs on the planet earth. I’ll be posting over at CRN once or twice a month and on those days I probably won’t write a real post here at Half-Fast because two new posts from Vanilla in one day would be more than you could handle. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing - Yeah, I don’t really understand the logic of that expression either but if I can use it to get out of writing another post then that’s good enough for me.

Head on over to CRN and check out my post about superstitions but before you go allow me to make the following public service announcement from CRN:

Most people around here know about the Running Blog Family Directory (RBF) - the web's most ginormous list of running blogs.

Until yesterday, the RBF was a one trick pony - it was just a big ol' list.

Well, the RBF just went through a huge upgrade. It's now search-able in a big, big way. You can now search for blogs by:

  • Location (city/town/province/state/country)
  • Gender
  • Favorite Distance to Race
  • Ability
  • Tags/Key Words
And, much more!

But, we need your help to realize the RBFs full potential. Why? Because, right now, we have over 1600 links in the RBF that don't contain things like:

  • Location (city/town/province/state/country)
  • Gender
  • Favorite Distance to Race
  • Ability
  • Tags/Key Words
So we're asking every blogger (you!) to submit a new listing for their blog. Don't worry about the old duplicate - we'll remove that.

signing up again, you'll make it easier for people to find you. That's when the RBF will really rock!

So get on the RBF train and
sign up (again!) today!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Close Encounters

I think something HUGE might have happened on my run this morning. About 2 miles into the run I turned onto York Street and as I approached the 3rd streetlight it turned off, blanketing me in darkness. It has done this on a couple of occasions before and I have rarely paid attention to it, in fact, it has almost become a game to see if I can make it past the light before it turns off. So when it turned off this time I didn’t panic like a scared little rabbit as I did the first time it happened as a lesser man might have. I continued on down the street, but as I passed the light something new happened. If flicked back on and then off again and then it flickered at me a few more times before turning back on.

I continued on down the street and suddenly it occurred to me that the light wasn’t just randomly blinking. It was using Morse code! It was trying to communicate with me! I stopped in my tracks and tried to remember the sequence of flashes. I don’t know Morse code and unfortunately I forgot to take my Morse code secret decoder ring with me when I left the house, but I knew if I could remember the sequence of dots and dashes I could look it up online. I know that SOS is ... --- ... but this wasn’t a symmetrical pattern. It was more like ..-. ..- --.--- I turned around and improvised a quick speed session back to the light. I stopped under the light completely out of breath and stared up at it, waiting for it to repeat its message to me. The light did not flash. It remained on, a steady beacon of defiance. I pleaded with it, “can you say that again?” Nothing. “I didn’t understand.” Still nothing.

It occurred to me how stupid I was being trying to talk to a streetlight that had no ears. In a moment of brilliance I held my Garmin up high in the air and flashed the backlight. Of course as I mentioned all I know in Morse code is SOS, so that was the signal I sent but surely it would respond to me now. Surprisingly, still nothing. Perhaps someone else was watching and the streetlight’s message was for my eyes only.

I finished my run in a state of disappointment. I mean, how many times does a streetlight try to communicate with you? And I missed it. I am sure that if I keep running in the wee hours of the morning that the light will try again, and next time I’ll be ready for it.

When I arrived back home and awoke my wife to tell her about my exciting discovery she rolled her eyes at me, rolled over to go back to sleep and then said “the bulb probably just needs replaced.” She thinks she’s soooo smart. The bulb needs something alright, and it was important enough that it was trying to tell me.

I’ll be back my incandescent friend. I’ll be back.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

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.

I found the above picture linked from Kara's blog, Between The Miles, although she originally found it here. Kara also has a post there titled How to Kick-ass, I don't need a lesson on how to do it because I do it all day, every day, the right way, to make you pay, without delay, from here to Bombay. Sorry. That was lame and cliché. Okay, I’ll stop now.

Mike Antonucci has a post up at the Complete Running Network about New Year’s Resolutions. Of course everyone has been posting their New Year’s resolutions lately but I found Mike’s particularly amusing. I mean what’s not to like about a resolution that states “Eat all the bread, pasta and potatoes that non-runners are passing up as part of their New Year’s resolutions.”

katieo at Sister Skinny is endangering running. She's an imposter! A fake, a fraud, a pretender, a threat in our midst. She must be stopped. You are simply NOT ALLOWED TO JOG in Pearl Izumi's. It's people like this that make me sick to my stomach and ashamed to be part of the running community. Nah, I'm just kidding. I think it's great. I posted my thoughts on this ad campaign a while back, but I'm too lazy to go back and find a link to it so you'll have to just trust me on that. Or use the search feature at the top.

Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week
This weeks video is some of the most brazen flops that you will ever see in a soccer match. Growing up in England I used to love watching soccer, but lately I only watch the World Cup and maybe some of the UEFA Cup. The video below is part of the reason why.

The video credits itself to but I originally found it at With Leather.
Have a great weekend everyone. Happy Running!

Friday, January 4, 2008

You Won’t Find It Here

A few months ago I posted some of the interesting Google searches that led people to Half-Fast (Finding Half-Fast). There were some very strange and bizarre searches to be sure and due to morbid curiosity I have continued to track what search terms are bringing people in to my blog. I’m afraid to report that it is even worse than the last time I did this. Over the last few months the phrases below have led people here but I seriously doubt that they found what they were looking for.

The below list has NOT been edited for spelling, grammar or sheer alarmingness - what? It’s a word, if it’s not it should be. (My commentary in parentheses.)
  • treadmill placement
  • stretch my balls (Excuse me?)
  • why do my balls ache (See above.)
  • how to stop urself from peeing your pants
  • pictures of me peeing my pants
  • women who has to pee bad
  • i pee myself wet pants
  • "pee on me" shirt (???)
  • squat pee marathon running (Do I really post about peeing that much?)
  • I've got the poison, I've got the lemonade (Note to self: Don’t drink the lemonade.)
  • do guys like matthew mcconaughey (What’s not to like. He’s dreamy.)
  • what to write to a girl for the first time (Nothing from this list.)
  • "write like a girl"
  • how to sound like a girl (This is troubling in so many different ways.)
  • tear away underwear (Rrrawr!)
  • longest flaccid penis (Why yes, yes it is thankyouverymuch.)
  • jessica simpson stems
  • katie holmes no underwear (Also sounds fun.)
  • slutty wife half bra (Sounds offensive.)
  • running dog treadmill pooping (crazy weirdo searching disturbed)
  • hairy runner
  • world's longest human tongues
  • elite runners blogs (Bwaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha!)
  • john wayne bobbit blogspot
  • just f@%&ing give me an elevation map (Frustrated much? – Note, I did edit this one.)
  • running inspiration

That last one really cracks me up. Inspiration, really? Inspiration is like a shooting star - you won’t find either one here at Half-Fast. Have a great Friday everyone, I can’t believe that it’s already the weekend. These 3 day work weeks are really kicking my butt.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Shameless Self-Promotion

Here we are only three days and two posts into 2008 and I’m going to take a break from writing about running to tell you about a new blog that I have started. Of late I have been writing down some stories about my two boys so that I don’t forget them, the stories not the boys. I want to be sure to have some good material to use at their weddings.

In order to demonstrate why I love my boys and to really capture how I feel about them the site is named Daddy’s Little Tax Credits. I realize that the target demographic for this site is slightly different, and there are many of you here who probably don’t care to read about all the crazy things that my kids do, but I wanted to mention it anyway.

Don’t worry, it will not take time away from my posting here at Half-Fast. My goal is to post something once a week or maybe once every couple of weeks over at Daddy’s Little Tax Credits. I was originally going to keep the site for my family only, but some of the stories needed to be shared with the world. That’s one of the things you get to do as a parent - embarrass your kids.

If you have kids I think you’ll be able to relate, if you don’t it will serve as a deterrent, and if you’re pregnant it will probably make you cry a lot. Head on over and check it out. Daddy’s Little Tax Credits.

By the way, this is the 200th post at Half-Fast. It passes with a lot less fanfare than the 100th post did.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Welcome to 2008

This pretty much mirrors my response to resolutions.

I’m back at work from a long break, which means more regular blog posts and more regular reading of all of your blog posts. I came into my office this morning and was horrified to find both my e-mail and voicemail inboxes overflowing. In the spirit of a new year and a fresh start I just deleted all the new messages and decided to leave the past in the past. Don’t people know that I’ve got a blog to write? I can’t be spending my time here at work answering e-mails and returning calls. How would I ever get anything posted?

As I said in my year in review post, the main goal this year is to get faster. With that in mind I will try to be more consistent about doing speedwork and tempo runs as a regular part of my training. As for what races I plan on running, here they are:

Why so few? To give everyone else a fighting chance, of course. Actually, I always run the Bolder Boulder, and the Denver Half Marathon and Colder Bolder 5K were two of my favorite races last year, so that’s why I’m listing those three. I am planning on running several other races this year but I like to keep my options open. I’m considering running the following races but in typical guy fashion I don’t want to commit to them just yet:

I will also probably run several local 5Ks this year but I like to be spontaneous about those. I like to fly by the seat of my pants, because I’m a wild and crazy guy who can’t be tied down to a restrictive schedule. Or maybe I’m just too lazy to put in all the planning work and find some 5Ks right now, you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Image credit to KissingSuzyKolber who probably stole it from somewhere else anyway.