Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Guess Who’s Getting a Free Bike!

You are! Good news fair readers, after countless hours wasted reading the tripe that I write, it is finally going to pay off to be a reader of this fine blog. The generous folks at Lipton have reached out to me and asked me to help promote the launch of their new Lipton White Teas, made from young White Tea buds. In order to do that they are giving away $25,000 through the “Free Your Y” (your Youth) video contest at and also giving a Lipton branded Fuji Crosstown 2.0 bike (retail value $399) to one of the readers of Half-Fast. Despite my best efforts, they would not be persuaded that it was better to give the bike to me in exchange for a product review.

This bike could be yours!

When I first received the e-mail I was excited because I thought that I was getting the free bike, but then I realized that I had to give it away to one of my readers and I was all upset. I mean why should you guys get a free bike? I do all of the work around here, all you do is sit there staring blankly at your monitor with your fingers on the Alt + Tab keys in case your boss walks by. Then I was excited again because it occurred to me I might get some new readers out of this, but then I was all bummed again when I remembered that I’d really prefer a new bike over a few new readers (besides the last thing we need around here is an influx of helmet-wearing, pedal pushers). So you see, it’s been quite an emotional rollercoaster for me, but in the end I decided to give away the bike to one of you lazy readers. In addition to the Fuji Crosstown 2.0 bike (more details here), the winner will also receive 5 coupons for a free 1.5 Liter Bottle of Lipton White Iced Tea and a $75 check for professional bike assembly.

How To Enter
Here’s what you need to do to enter: Now pay attention you knuckleheads because this is complicated. You must leave a comment on THIS POST stating why YOU think YOU deserve the bike OR what you plan to do with it. Go back and read that last sentence louder if you are still confused. Anyone who leaves such a comment on this post between now and 11:59 PM MDT Thursday, May 8th will have their name placed in a hat and on Friday May 9th I’ll draw a name from the hat and announce the winner. If I deem your comment to be one of the better or funnier responses then I’ll put your name in the hat twice to increase your chances of winning. The contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada. Please e-mail me with questions about the contest.

You might have seen this same contest over at Cranky Fitness because Crabby and Merry also hosted a similar bike giveaway but with less insults hurled at their readers. If you missed out on winning that bike, then consider this your second chance because I’m all about second chances here at Half-Fast. Also, don’t forget to check out the Free Your Y video contest which could land you $25,000. Just think of the things you could buy with all that scratch, I bet you could even afford to buy me a new bike.

Disclaimer The Pepsi/Lipton Partnership will provide a check for $75.00 to be used for professional assembly of all Lipton Fuji bicycles awarded. Neither Pepsi Co. nor Unilever is liable for any injuries, damages or accidents that may result from the receipt, assembly or use of this bicycle.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Me and My Izumis do the Illest Things

You may remember (because you’re totally jealous) that I received a free pair of Pearl Izumi SyncroInfinity running shoes a little over a month ago. At the time I posted about how much I liked the look of the shoes and said that I’d save the performance review for a later date. Today is that later date.

So as to not appear like a complete sell-out I’m going to start with the cons:
  • The laces are a little shorter than I’d like, but they do have the Pearl Izumi logo on the fluglebinder (+6 word score, -15 cool points) which I always think looks awesome.
  • The Pearl Izumi logo on the inside of the shoe has rubbed off on some of my running socks meaning I have to wash them after every run instead of after every 3 or 4.
  • The tread on the bottom of the shoe appears to be wearing out a little quicker than I think it should.

All of those are pretty minor details, especially when you take into account the pros:

  • They might be the most comfortable shoes that I’ve ever run in. Seriously. You’re probably taking this with a grain of salt since you know that I was given the shoes free, but you shouldn’t. I hope that you all know me well enough to know that I would have loved to write a scathing, sarcasm-riddled rant against Pearl Izumi about how crappy their shoes are, but that’s simply not the case.
  • They still look awesome. Did I mention how much I like the way these shoes look?
  • Two words: Seamless Upper. I read somewhere that Pearl Izumi’s “seamless upper delivers a superb, friction-free fit,” and it seamed (get it) like something I should mention. Now I’ve never noticed any friction from seams on other shoes, but there definitely isn’t any with the SyncroInfinity.
  • SKYDEX® Heel Crash Pad and High Rebound SKYDEX® forefoot propulsion pad. Absolutely NO IDEA what those are but don’t they sound comfortable? They are. Plus anything that gives any kind of “propulsion” has to be a good thing, right?
  • No need for iPod. When you lace up a pair of Pearl Izumi SyncroInfinity running shoes the Rocky soundtrack starts playing as if by magic. (OK now I’m totally selling out, and lying too.)

Bonus points awarded in the comments (and street cred revoked) for anyone who can tell me where “fluglebinder” is from. Bonus points forfeited for telling me that it’s actually called an aglet. Just shut up, OK.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Do Not Attempt

Have you ever tried to walk on your hands on a treadmill? This is one of those questions that you never have to ask because the answer is either unequivocally “no” or the person to whom you’re speaking is too far back on the evolutionary chain to respond. It’s kind of like the “can we take the car pool lane” question, if there’s someone there to answer it then you don’t have to ask it.

The guy in the video is taking stupid to new levels that many experts didn’t even think were possible. He’s like the Roger Bannister of stupid, and walking on your hands on a treadmill is the new 4 minute mile.

Wait, did his shirt say “Swim Naked” on it? That dude is totally cool. He’s like my hero or something.

In a mildly related note, last week I posted a couple of the dos and don’ts that ChampionChip had listed on their website. One of them was don’t walk across the timing mat on your hands, and I noted that whoever wrote that had a funny sense of humor. In the comments of that post Frayed Laces, who runs with or without a pelvis, said:
I like to think that instead of the writers having a sense of humor, people actually tried that stuff. Remember, most people are idiots.
Well said Frayed Laces.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pick-Up Lines for Runners

You’re milling around prior to the start of the race or maybe after it’s all over and you’re checking out the other runners because let’s face it, runners are sexy. Maybe not right after a race, but as compared to the general populace I’d venture a guess that the readers of Half-Fast are in better shape (read: sexier) than say the readers of the Cupcake Blog (although I’m quite sure that I just lost several readers with that link - I’m looking at you Kelly). Regardless, you can’t just walk up to another attractive runner and strike up a conversation because you don’t know if you have anything in common with them. I mean, obviously you both have running in common, and training and the race you’ve both entered, but sometimes that’s not enough and you need a good icebreaker.

In order to help all you single runners out I’ve been compiling a list of effective pick up lines that you can try, and because I go the extra mile (figuratively speaking only) I also tested some of the lines out so that I can rate their effectiveness or complete lack thereof. As many of you know I’m married, and because I’d like to stay that way I’ve only been able to test these lines out sporadically on Mrs. Half-Fast. And if you’re lamenting how much she must have to put up with in being married to me then let me just tell you, YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

Pick-up lines are ranked on a scale of one to shagerrific with one being the worst and shagerrific being, well, shagerrific.

Pick-Up Line: So you like speedwork? Because I’m always up for a quickie.
Response: “You’re a dork” accompanied by a rolling of the eyes.
Rating: 2 out of shagerrific.

Pick-Up Line: Let’s kick off these running shoes and I’ll show you MY “motion control.”
Response: She grabbed my butt! W00t! Of course at the time we had both absorbed copious amounts of wine so maybe that had something to do with it.
Rating: A perfect shagerrific out of shagerrific. *boom chika-bow-wow*

Pick-Up Line: There are 2 ways to reach your target heart rate: you can run or I can take off my shirt.
Response: This line proved to be 100 percent effective in getting me a purple nurple, so if you’re into that kind of thing, this is the line for you.
Rating: 1 out of shagerrific.

Pick-Up Line: I’d like to see YOUR Bodyglide.”
Response: “Are you working on a blog post?”
Crap. Busted. The rest of these pick-up lines haven’t been properly tested because my wife is on to me. Use them at your own risk and discretion. (Half-Fast not responsible for the black eye you or your ego are sure to receive while performing these lines.)

Pick-Up Line: Wanna’ play Strip 5K? (Important Note: Only challenge a slower runner to play Strip 5K, otherwise you just end up naked AND a loser.)
Pick-Up Line: I’d like to see your race-y pictures at the finish.
Pick-Up Line: Are your legs sore? Because they’ve been running through my mind all day.
Pick-Up Line: You like fast? I can be fast.
Pick-Up Line: Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I pass you more than once?
Pick-Up Line: So... do you run here often?

You know what? Unless anyone has any better suggestions in the comments, then maybe you’d be better off striking up a conversation about one of the many running topics that you are sure to have in common.

This has been another completely useless post at Half-Fast. There goes 3 minutes of your life that you can’t get back. You’re welcome.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I’m Quiiting Running

It’s time for me to quit running. It’s not that I don’t still love to run because I do, it’s just that I’ve taken up a new pastime that is occupying all my spare time. I am no longer able to make the time to squeeze in any of my training runs and to be honest I don’t miss them at all. Don’t worry, my new hobby is a totally healthy way to replace intervals and long runs, it’s a little something called the Wii:

My brother-in-law gave us a Wii this past weekend. My boys have so much fun playing his Wii that he thought they’d like to have their own. It was a nice idea, but he clearly didn’t realize that they would be unable to wrestle the controls away from their father. After nearly 5 years of parenthood I’m finally starting to reap some benefits from it; the boys have cool toys that I can play with.

So I am sorry to tell you all that I no longer have time to run, what with all the Wii-ing I’ll be doing. I almost missed my long run entirely this past weekend and only managed to squeeze it in on Sunday night when my wife forced me to take a Wii break. But I don’t imagine that I’ll have too many more forced Wii breaks because my wiife is starting to come over to the dark side now too.

Before you know it the dishes will be piled up in the sink, I’ll be a no-show at work and we’ll be ebaying the kids toys to pay for new Wii games and cheap healthcare. We’re fixing to go down hard in our new addiction and Wii don’t even care. Perhaps I’ll take up smoking too while I’m at it, I hear that smoking helps you lose weight.

I’d love to tell you more but it’s my turn at Wii bowling so I gotta’ run, but not in the physical activity sense of the word, more in the screen-gazing, comatose, where-did-the-day-go, forgot-we-had-kids-to-feed sense of the word.

I’ve got a fever and the only prescription for it is more Wii.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Boston Marathon is RIGHT NOW!

Just a quick shout out to everyone running the Boston Marathon this morning especially Nitmos, J-Money and CrankyRunner because they all read my blog.

If you’re interested in tracking any of them visit the Boston Marathon website and enter their bib numbers. Nitmos is 5962, CrankyRunner is 12042, and I don’t think J-Money posted hers so you’ll have to search for her by name if you know it, or follow along below.

Also at the Boston Marathon website you can find a live feed of the action which I’m watching right now. I’m at work because I don’t get today off like all the folks in Massachusetts, but I’m in Massachusetts at heart which is why it’s OK to be watching the marathon from my office. It’s OK for you to watch it too, just tell your boss that Vanilla gave you permission to take it easy this morning.

As of right now:
Cranky Runner finished in 3:32:23 (8:06 pace)
Nitmos finished in 3:59:03 (9:07 pace)
J-Money finished in 3:23:09 (7:45 pace)
Kristina finished in 4:01:22 (9:13 pace)

Let me know in the comments if you know of others who are running the Boston Marathon today, and best of luck to everyone. Update: I added Kristina who I had forgotten was running today.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

48 Steps to your Worst Run

Actually, this post would be more accurately titled 48 Stories to your Worst Run. Yesterday we had our semiannual emergency evacuation which meant that I had to descend 48 stories under my own power. At 22 steps per story (yes, I counted them) that means that I traversed 1,056 steps. Let me tell you, being a runner doesn’t exercise your stair-descending-muscles (that’s the technical term for them) in the same way that running does. It also probably doesn’t help that I live in a ranch style home and never have to use stairs.

Of course, I am nothing if not vain so you wouldn’t have known it by watching me yesterday. I gracefully floated down the fire escape stairs, barely touching each step before moving on to the next one. I was passing my panting coworkers in droves and yelling annoyingly “left... left” each time I came up behind one of them. I actually felt pretty good when I got to the bottom and was mildly amused at the patchwork of gravy sweat-stains that my colleagues were now sporting. I think that my mistake came in sitting at my desk for the remainder of my day and failing to stretch.

My legs felt tired when I got home, and I could already tell that there was going to be some soreness the next day but I wasn’t about to let that knock me off my training schedule. I went out and ran 5 miles in the blowing snow, quite proud of myself that I wasn’t like my unhealthy coworkers who I’d overheard saying things like “well, I guess I got my workout done for the week.” The run was scheduled as a 3 mile tempo run (with a warm up and cool down mile added to make 5 total miles) and as soon as I started my first tempo mile I knew that I was in trouble. By the end of the run my legs had turned into lead weights, dead sexy lead weights, but lead weights nonetheless.

Despite a little residual soreness today, I’m doing great. The talk around the coffee maker this morning was about how sore everyone was from yesterday’s fire drill. When they looked at me for comment I didn’t really lie about being sore, but I did shrug dismissively and say “Eh, I ran 5 miles when I got home last night.” That’s right, I’m that guy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Timing Chips? Again?

I know that it probably feels like I’ve gone on incessantly about the timing chip issue, but this post is different. In my research for the timing chip article on CRN (yes, I occasionally research these things) I came across the website for ChampionChip, and I found something there that I wanted to share. Whoever put together their list of dos and don’ts obviously had a sense of humor and apparently an extra apostrophe that they weren’t sure what to do with. (He said, ending his sentence with a preposition.)

Two of my favorite don’ts from the list are:
  • The chip can be damaged by extreme shocks and by cooking it in a microwave oven.
  • Do not cross the systems by walking on your hands. Your chip will not be read.

I must admit that I am disappointed. Walking on my hands across the start and finish lines is one of my favorite things to do, it ranks right up there with putting my timing chip in my Hot Pocket and then microwaving it. It adds a little something to the flavor.

The other cool thing that I found at their website was a link to TimePoint, which seems to be a permanent timing mat that is located at various parks and tracks. You purchase your own ChampionChip and then when you run at a park that is equipped with TimePoint you can see your splits displayed on a digital board as you cross the mat. You can check out the video below for a better idea of how it works. Perhaps some of the English runners who read Half-Fast could go and check it out for us Yanks, since the nearest TimePoint equipped park is in Newcastle. I would ask my loyal readers in Budapest or The Netherlands to go and check out the parks in their areas but unfortunately I don’t speak Hungarian or Hollandaise. I’m going to wrap this up now because all this talk of Hungary and Hollandaise sauce is making me crave a timing-chip-stuffed Hot Pocket. Mmmmmm delicious!

So you see, the intent of this post was not to beleaguer the timing chip issue into playing Barbaro, despite the fact that the Association of Running Event Directors agreed with my stance on that issue.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

If I Did Run a Race as a Bandit Runner...

On the emphatic and ridiculously expensive advice of legal counsel (seriously, who makes $400/hour) I’m not admitting that I ran a race as a bandit runner, but if I did run a race as a bandit runner here’s how it happened. This story is an autobiographical account of how an anonymous runner (not me) would have run a race as a bandit runner if it ever did happen, which it didn’t, at least as far as you know.

It was August of 2005 (allegedly) and I had been running for a little over 4 months. I was a rookie, a greenhorn, still wet behind the ears in the world of running and I was visiting some friends in the small town of Malmouth, Fassachusetts (the letters have been transposed to protect the innocent me).

As we were making our vacation plans one of these friends informed me (purportedly) that several of them were going to be running the Falmouth Road Race (you probably can’t tell, but I transposed the first letters in “Road Race” too). I agreed to run with them and asked if I should go to the event website to register. “No, no, we’re all taken care of,” they said, which is hearsay and therefore inadmissible in court. It can’t be used against me. High five! So I naively went along with it, imagining that they somehow had a corporate sponsor that covered us all.

Race day came and we made our way to the starting area, without any bibs or timing chips or entry fees. We (allegedly) lined up a good 200 yards past the starting line on School Street (also transposed) with literally hundreds of other bandit runners. (This is where I employ the “everybody’s doing it” defense.) We waited for the starting gun, and then watched as all the bib-wearing, fee-paying suckers passed our street. Every time the last of the official entrants passed a side street, hundreds of bandits came pouring out behind them and we (reportedly) did the same.

I finished (unofficially) in about 1 hour 17 minutes. It was a 7 mile race which put me somewhere around 11 minute miles. It was the worst race of my life by a long shot, I was a lot slower back in ‘05 but I don’t think I was that much slower. It was humid, it was hot and I hated every minute of it. It almost caused me to quit running. And before anyone asks, yes, I took water and Gatorade (allegedly) at the water stops. It didn’t even occur to me that I was (purportedly) stealing it from runners who had bought it with their entry fees. Fortunately, the organizers didn’t run out of water or Gatorade *ahem, I’m looking at you Chicago* so I don’t feel too bad.

I had debated taking this dark little secret with me to the grave, but decided to share it in the hopes that you could all learn from it. I hope that you will take 3 things away from this:
1. If you bandit run a race it will be your worst. Count on it.
2. It wasn’t my fault and everyone was doing it.
3. Placing various spoonerisms (look it up) in your pseudo-confession totally absolves you from any legal actions.

All characters and events portrayed in this story are fictional and any resemblance to my real life is purely coincidental (or so my attorney would have you believe).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekend Splits - Day Late, Dollar Short

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 never got around to posting the Weekend Splits this past weekend and I don’t have a post ready to go this morning so you’re just going to get the Splits post on a Monday instead. Don’t like it? Too bad. I actually feel a little guilty about it because the posts last week were particularly lacking (with the exception of the Emergency Procedures post which was AWESOME) and this post is going to be even more lacking. It’s a good thing I’m too shallow to let it bother me for any length of time. On to the links:

  • First and foremost I’ll be linking to my post over at CRN which created quite a stir in the comments section. If you’ve already read the article then go vote in the accompanying poll. If you’ve already voted in the poll, then clear your cookies and go vote again, because me being right is more important that the integrity of the data.
  • Just Your Average Joggler, who joggled the London Marathon this past weekend, had a post highlighting a study on the benefits of iburpof ibupfore Advil and acetomen acetameno Tylenol and how they can potentially help increase muscle mass.
  • Viper airs his grievances about running. Good stuff.
  • Mike Antonucci has a post over at CRN that will help you to make sure you’re dressing appropriately. You don’t want to be looking like an elite runner if you are not one.

Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week
The runway demands a sacrifice.
UPDATE: YouTube took the video down, so here is the same video on Metacafe. Hopefully it doesn’t get yanked again.

Model Falls Through Runway - The most popular videos are a click away

I like the way the she steps onto that middle section of the runway, pauses as she realizes that she isn’t supposed to walk on it and then continues anyway. Then the runway just decided to swallow her whole, I’m convinced that if the camera had kept running for another 30 seconds we’d have heard the runway burp.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Running on my Off Day

I ran last night when I got home. I wasn’t scheduled to run, but I did anyway. Normally I love those scheduled off days or cross training days as my schedule prefers to call them. I love getting home at night and knowing that I don’t have a run scheduled almost as much as I love Hot Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches, so what made me go run last night? This did:

How could I say no to that face? He just kept looking up at me with those big brown eyes, and then he’d jump up and go run to the back door. He was like Lassie trying to tell me that Timmy was stuck in a well, except he couldn’t have cared less about Timmy, he just wanted to sniff things and pee on them.

He hasn’t been able to run with me for a few weeks now because he can’t handle running further than 3 or 4 miles (he’s 8 years old) and all my training runs of late have been longer than that. He’s an Alaskan Malamute, just like those canines in Snow Dogs or Eight Below, except those movies are full of crap. For example, did you know that an Alaskan Malamute can’t run for more than 30 minutes without starting to drag way behind. I once took him on a 5 mile run with me and thought I was going to have to carry him home, and he weighs 90 lbs. Also, I’m not sure why they are classified as a ‘working breed’ since he’s never worked a day in his life. Of course there’s really not much time for it in between the 18 hours of sleeping, the licking oneself, and the dreaming of licking oneself. It’s a pretty busy schedule he keeps.

Nevertheless we went running last night. We ran 2 easy miles, and he acted like he was exhausted afterwards. He barely had enough energy to stick to his evening agenda, which looks like this:
  • Circle.
  • Lick self.
  • Go outside.
  • Come back inside.
  • Go outside.
  • Come back inside - continue ad infinitum (word score 4 points – take that Nitmos!)
  • Wait until ‘Dad’ starts watching TV, then play with loud squeaky toy.
  • Sleep.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Site News

I’ve added a new feature to Half-Fast and I wanted to draw your attention to it instead of letting you fumble through the site and find it by yourselves. Sometimes you guys can be so slow. Anyway now that I’ve insulted you, let me tell you about the new feature and why I need your help. Hopefully you should see a little green icon at the bottom of all of my posts and the words ‘ShareThis.’ I’m not quite sure what it does, but I see it all over the place and thought I needed one. The ShareThis website assured me that “you’re allowing your army of users to spread your content all over the web,” and also that “you’ll satisfy her for hours with your enormous trouser monster.” Actually I might be mixing that last one up with an e-mail I received. Let’s hope that the ShareThis website is more truthful than those lying emails eh?

The idea here is to make me Half-Fast more popular. Whenever you see something you like, share it. It’s that simple. What’s in it for you? Well, when Half-Fast gets to be a huge internet conglomerate with thousands of comments on each post you can tell everyone that you were a reader before it was popular to be a reader. You’ll be like one of those annoying people who like to tell everyone that they knew about Dave Matthews Band before DMB became famous. Plus, whenever a new commenter comes along and asks a stupid question you can totally roll your eyes and exclaim “rookie,” or “noob!” Sounds like fun, right?

To steal a quote right off the banner image at Hollywood Flakes, “You read my blog. You like it. You tell your friends. They tell theirs. I get famous. I get rich. I give you a million bucks.”

If you were hoping for something running related in today’s post, then you can read my post over at CRN which is about chip timed races. It also has a ShareThis button at the end.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Emergency Procedures: Alien Abductions!

Emergency Procedures is my quest to differentiate Half-Fast from any other running blog out there. It is an ongoing feature at Half-Fast designed to give runners the advice that no one else does, and appears on a random and inconsistent schedule based loosely on its popularity. Today’s topic as you may have already guessed is Alien Abductions!

The list of emergency procedures below should be followed in the event that you are confronted by an alien who wishes to abduct you.

1. Ignore. Try to just ignore the alien standing in your path and run around him as if he doesn’t exist, because he probably doesn’t. Also you’re hallucinating, make a mental note to hydrate better.

2. If step 1 does not work and the alien forces you to stop running, STOP YOUR WATCH! It’s shaping up to be a really bad day, don’t make it worse by screwing up your splits.

3. Point up to the sky behind the alien and yell “Look out behind you!” When the alien looks, run right past him and finish your run with all haste.

4. Try communicating with the alien through speech, hand gestures and telepathy. If this fails, try the Jedi Mind Trick; “I am not the human that you are interested in.”

5. Yell and scream for help like a little girl.

6. Assume that the aliens are simply lost and looking for the nearest trailer park. Give them detailed directions.

7. Draw your water bottle from its holster, point it at the alien and advise him that if he does not retreat, you will be forced to use your “Anti-Matter Gun” against him.

8. If the alien does not comply with your previous request, go ahead and squirt him. This will either cause him to retreat or piss him off greatly. Be ready for the latter. (Remember not to use up all of your water unless you have less than a mile left in your run.)

If none of these measures work and you find yourself being whisked away on an alien craft, then you can try some of the following additional measures:

1. And this is the most important one: Stay the hell away from anything that looks like a probe or turkey baster.

2. Ask if you can use the on-board treadmill to finish up your workout. It can’t hurt to ask right?

3. If you get a few minutes alone with one of their computers, upload a virus by simply typing ‘upload virus’ as shown on many, many Hollywood movies. You might save all mankind and we’ll probably name a national holiday in your honor, at least until all those stupid alien rights groups start complaining.

4. Inquire about Scientology.

5. Return home and start your own Alien Encounters and other Conspiracy Theories blog. Become the laughing stock of your community.

If none of these ideas work, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s been nice knowing you.

Saturday, April 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.

That is the latest New Balance commercial, which I first saw over at The Running Laminator’s blog. I like the commercial, but does anyone else notice that it’s very similar to the Nike Commercial that they made in the movie What Women Want? If you haven’t seen it, here it is.

Because I have been lazy and haven’t done a Weekend Splits post since Lipstick Jungle got cancelled the following links are from the last 3 weeks. What do you mean it hasn’t been cancelled?
  • RazZDoodle bought some new running shoes that he loves, but he’s not telling what kind they are. Head on over there and see if you can guess what they are from the tiny picture that he posted. Hey RazZDoodle, only suckers buy their running shoes.
  • Lance wants to set you up on a blind date with some intervals. Meet at the track, “Intervals” will be the sweaty one with the red rose.
  • Nitmos, whose blog I’ve been enjoying lately, had a post breaking down the marathon in 5 easy steps, or as I prefer to call it 5 more reasons that I won’t be running one anytime soon.
  • Chuckie V had a great post a few weeks ago on the human condition. He encourages you to take care of your body.

That’s really all I’ve got for the Weekend Splits this weekend. I feel like being lazy, sue me. Have a great weekend everyone. Happy running!

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Scourge of the Running Community

There comes a time in your life when you have to take a stand, a time when you get pushed past your breaking point, a time when it’s no longer possible to just sit quietly and take it. This is my time. My time to go to the mattresses, my time to demand my rights, to scream at the top of my lungs “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” and then get up and slam the door on my way out.

It’s time for me to bring down the thunder on that scourge that has plagued the running community for too long now: Chip-timed races that only chip time the finish. I don’t see anyone else stepping up to denounce this practice so it might as well be me. I’m probably the person best suited for a little misplaced rage and overreaction anyway.

It has happened to Viper, it has happened to Dan, it has happened to me, and it has happened to my wife at the alcohol free St. Paddy’s Day 5K which was almost the same as if it happened to me because she just went on and on about it until I finally promised to make an issue of it at Half-Fast. Can we let it go now honey? I’m telling you guys, Hell hath no fury like a runner mistimed.

When you tie that timing chip onto your shoe, you think that you don’t have to be near the front of the pack or weave through traffic like Richie Sambora in order to get out of the gates quickly. You take your time getting to the start, even allowing the woman with the double jogging stroller to cut in front of you and 48 seconds after the gun goes off you’re crossing the starting line. That’s when you notice that there’s no freakin’ timing mat at the starting line, your race is already off to a crappy start because you’re 48 seconds behind your goal pace and while that might be easy to make up over a long distance race, this is a 5K.

What is the point of using timing chips if you’re not going to provide a chip time? You can give everyone a gun time by taking pictures at the finish or by having someone tear off the bar codes as people cross the line. When it comes to chip timing races I subscribe to the Baconator theory: do it right or don’t do it at all. I’m not going to cheat on my diet by having a low fat turkey burger, I’m going to eat a Baconator and then wash it down with a Brownie Earthquake and another Baconator.

The practice of only providing a gun time at races that are “chip-timed” seriously chaps my hide. If you are a race director who is engaged in this practice, then you are cordially invited to kiss my sweaty buttocks at the finish line.
*slams door*

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Personal Running Log - March 2008

Hopefully you all realized that my post yesterday was just an April Fools day joke. I’ll be extremely upset if my site visits drop off dramatically today as a result of people believing that I have quit blogging, but at the same time I’ll have upped the collective IQ of my readership. Kind of an addition by subtraction or a trimming of the fat.

In other April Fools related news; Runners World did a pretty good job with their article, Google introduced Custom Time, YouTube Rick-Rolled millions of users by having all of their ‘Featured Videos’ link to this, Viper announced that he was going dry, and Ovens2Betsy announced that she was giving up running. I’m sure that I’ve missed a few so feel free to link them in the comments if you like.

I’ll have another post later today or early tomorrow morning, whenever I feel like it really.

3/29/20089 Mile LoopLong9 Mi1:22:079:08
3/27/2008Misc RouteCrappy4.62 Mi46:039:59
3/25/2008TrackIntervals6.1 Mi54:128:54
3/22/20088 MileLong8 Mi1:12:419:06
3/20/2008Home TreadmillTempo6 Mi54:009:00
3/18/20085 Miles Out & BackIntervals5 Mi44:338:55
3/15/20087 Miles Out & BackTempo7 Mi1:02:228:55
3/11/2008Home TreadmillIntervals (5 x 800)6 Mi54:009:00
3/8/20087 Miles Out & BackLong7 Mi1:02:549:00
3/6/2008Misc RouteTempo5.63 Mi51:029:04
3/4/2008Misc RouteIntervals (8 x 400)6.01 Mi56:249:24
3/1/200811 Mile LoopLong11 Mi1:48:159:51
Distance: 81.4 miles
Total Time: 12:28:33

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Half-Fast 1 Year Anniversary!

We are gathered here today, as much as you can really “gather” at a website, to honor this monumental occasion that is the one year anniversary of Half-Fast. It was exactly a year ago today that I sat down at my computer and shifted my personality into hyper-geek by clicking on the “create blog” button. I had no idea at the time whether I would be able to find enough worthwhile material to keep me posting 4-5 times a week for a full year. One year and 256 posts later it turns out that no, I didn’t have enough worthwhile material, but I just kept on posting anyway.

I have had a lot of fun with Half-Fast over the past year and feel like I’ve gotten to know many of my faithful readers. I have always maintained that Half-Fast was here to provide humor, that it was not here to provide any technical advice or coaching. I have always stated that my intent was not to provide inspiration or motivation, but writing Half-Fast has both motivated and inspired me at various times, which is why I have been faced with a difficult decision. I have accepted a new position with my current employer that will be taking up a lot more of my time and I was already feeling like I was taking time away from my family to write posts for Half-Fast, you may have noticed that I hadn’t posted the Weekend Splits in the past 2 weeks. As a result of these changes, I am going to be taking some time away from writing this blog. I will try to occasionally post some updates and will perhaps try to talk my wife into writing some more posts for Half-Fast, I had her write a post last week to test the response it received.

This is not something that has been an easy decision for me, and I have been wrestling with it for the past couple of weeks. It does however, seem to have a pleasant symmetry to it since it has been exactly one year since I started writing Half-Fast. I will continue to run the Shave Your 5K Challenge, and will occasionally post updates. As much as is possible I will also continue to read all of your blogs, so you’ll see me commenting from time to time.

UPDATE: If you’re not reading this entry on the date that it was posted then you should go back and check the date, and the tags.