Friday, May 30, 2008

Up Next

I was really hoping to be able to take a little break after the Bolder Boulder, not a break from being awesome, just a break from running. Unfortunately though, I don’t think that’s in the cards, so I’ll be shifting my attention to a couple of half marathons that I have coming up (the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon and the Denver Half Marathon). I knew that the Georgetown race was on August 9th but it didn’t occur to me that August 9th is only 10 weeks away. The FIRST training plan for a Half Marathon is 18 weeks long, which means that I’m already 8 weeks behind. Sigh. I guess I’ll keep running.

Not only am I 8 weeks behind schedule (hey just like at work!) but I’ve also got a trip to Vegas coming up in June. Candis and I will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary because she just keeps sticking around. It’s one of life’s great mysteries; why don’t psychics ever win the lottery, why does the doctor leave while you undress, and why is my ever-supportive wife still here? The world may never know. Needless to say, we will be spending very little time running while we’re in the middle of the frickin’ desert in June, and plenty of time eating and drinking inappropriately. That will probably put a 2-3 minute dent in my Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon (GISHM) time but it will be worth it.

Some of you mentioned in the comments of a previous post that it was time for me to add some new races and change up the routine a little. First of all, bite me. Secondly, the GISHM will be a new race for me this year, so kindly refer back to my first-of-all. This race starts at a breathtaking 8500 feet and gradually makes its way to the finish line at 7500 feet. I like to think of it as the PR-maker. In addition to the two half marathons I’m preparing for (two halves make a whole, no?) I’ll also throw in some 5Ks here and there, just to keep my t-shirt rotation nice and fresh.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Additional Bolder Boulder Thoughts

Congratulations to Ilsa Paulson (pictured right) who won the Bolder Boulder Women’s Citizen’s Race. Eat a sandwich! Something’s not right when you can dramatically shift your center of gravity by nodding your head.

I don’t have any race pictures yet, but I will post them as soon as I get them. I didn’t notice any photographers when I did the Slip ‘n’ Slide so I doubt that there will be any pictures of that forthcoming. Many of you have requested pictures of my pace team (A.K.A. the awesome pantless running chicks) and rest assured that I am using the wealth of my powers for evil and attempting to secure those pictures. I do it all for you guys.

As per usual there were numerous sightings of runners who should have been cited for RWAI, that’s Running While Ability Impaired or running in a ridiculous costume. I’m not talking about the pantless pace team (although they nearly caused me to be RWAI if you know what I mean. Wink, wink), I’m talking about people running dressed up as giant hot dogs or gorillas and such.

At the end of the race we were walking through the line to get our post-race snacks, beer and soda and I couldn’t help but notice that many of the runners had grabbed the first soda available (Pepsi) and then ended up trading them in further down the line once they saw that Diet Pepsi was available. What a pathetic bunch we are, I thought to myself as the girl ahead of me traded down from sugar to aspartame, even after a race we don’t want the empty calories, even now we’re watching what we eat/drink. I rolled my eyes and gave the universal crazy sign behind the girl’s back before asking politely if I too could switch out my soda for a diet. Hey, no one wants to be a Fatty McDimpledButt.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

Bolder Boulder 10K Race Report
Do you guys remember last week when I said that my goal for the Bolder Boulder was to run it in under 52:08? Well, guess what? I totally made it! I finished in 52:07! (8:24 pace.) Mission accomplished! If you don’t remember me setting that goal, then just take my word for it. No need whatsoever to go back and check that post to confirm what my stated goal was.

I was going to have to run an unprecedented race to achieve my pipedream of a 50 minute 10K, and 52:07 is a new PR so I’ve got that going for me. As a point of reference I ran the Bolder Boulder last year in 56:00 and that was a PR at the time. So while I didn’t get down to 50, I’m still happy with my time (I’m just going to keep telling myself this). Sometimes in life you have to lower your expectations, and when you’re me, you have to do it a lot. I’m still planning on breaking the 50 minute mark before the end of this year which means I’ll have to look for another 10K to run, and of course if that doesn’t work I’ll lower my expectations some more and try to break the 50 minute 8K or the 50 minute 5K before the end of the year. By the time all is said and done I’m confident that I’ll achieve all of my goals for the year. I’m a positive Type A personality like that.

The Race
When we arrived at the start it was a cloudy 53 degrees, a perfect day for running, and an even perfecter day for sleeping in and sitting in front of the fireplace with coffee and a donut. Unfortunately we were doing the former. We sorted through the jumble of humanity in search of the mobile lockers. Runners wandered between packet pickup, registration and port-a-potties before being funneled through the starting gate; a scene that must have looked like a sausage being stuffed from the helicopter above. In line for the mobile lockers my friend pointed out two girls preparing to run in tie dye shirts and their underwear, the words “couldn’t find pants” written on their legs. It took a good amount of ogling to determine the message, but it needed to be done so that this race report could be accurate. You. Are. Welcome. When I saw them again in my wave I knew that I had found my pace team.

The gun fired and I immediately ditched my spouse and went off on my own, something she should have done a long time ago. I managed to reign myself in a little over the first mile or two which was one of my goals for this race. Too often I have gone out fast in the first couple of miles and then faded towards the end, but this year I am pleased to report that I went out slow in the first 2 miles... before fading towards the end.

Somewhere around mile 2, I saw the Slip ‘n Slide and I noticed that it ended in a huge muddy puddle at the bottom of the yard. I quickly evaluated the situation and ran right on by, knowing that I would just have to disappoint my dear readers. It was a surprisingly easy decision and one that I did not feel remotely guilty about. Hey, if you’re not used to me disappointing you on a regular basis yet, then you’re not a regular reader.

I ran on, thinking about how I would break the news that I had failed to Slip ‘n Slide. I decided that I was going to title this post DNS and then explain that it stood for Did Not Slip ‘n Slide, it was going to be great. However, half way through mile 3 I came across another Slip ‘n Slide with no mud in sight, I built up a head of steam and dove headlong into sopping misery. I popped up at the far end amidst raucous cheers and high fives from the college students who were already completely Winehouse’d in spite of the fact that it was 8:00 in the morning. My wet clothes clung to me and the shock of the ice cold shirt sapped the air from my lungs. My breath came in short gasps and my heart thumped loudly against my ribcage. I slowed my pace and tried to ring out my shirt as best as I could. On the positive side my legs were so cold that they no longer felt tired.

I tried to push the pace in miles 4 and 5, even waving off the friendly gentleman offering bacon and veggie bacon, before my ritual fade on the hill to the finish in mile 6. Side note: Veggie bacon? Welcome to Boulder. Vegetables can never be bacon, they just can’t and they shouldn’t even try. The stadium finish was fantastic, and I’m really not that upset about missing my goal; one of the benefits of a life spent aiming low, I suspect.

Candis finished in 1:05:12 shattering her previous PR of 1:13:30, but there’ll be more on that later. We didn’t spend much time in the stadium due to the fact that it was still chilly and I was wearing wet clothes and shivering like a paint shaker. For your enjoyment, here are my official splits:

Mile 1 - 8:25
Mile 2 - 8:28
Mile 3 - 8:31
Mile 4 - 8:20
Mile 5 - 8:15
Mile 6 - 8:25
Total: 52:07

Saturday, May 24, 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’ve never witnessed a terrible accident when I’ve been out running, but I’m certain that if I came across the above scene I would feel the same kind of urgency to help out that Tom Cruise does when he sees an accident. They’d find me passed out, Garmin paused, with a satisfied smile on my bloody lips.

With the Bolder Boulder looming on Monday and this being a 3 day weekend I wasn’t going to post the Weekend Splits today. I figured the combination of those two factors was all the excuse I needed, but I changed my mind when I read J-Money’s post about a customer she ‘helped’ just so I could have the privilege of linking to the post. IT’S THAT GOOD. I know that I’m often given to hyperbole, but it was some of the best writing that I’ve read in a long time.
  • Cause You Know It Don’t Matter Anyway. Top billing goes to J-Money this week, how could it not after that intro. You all owe it to yourselves to go read this, even those of you who don’t usually click on the links in the Weekend Splits.
  • Cranky Fitness has a quick quiz that will tell you what type of runner you are. Turns out I’m kind of a sloth. I never would have guessed it.
  • Laura’s boss is one of those non runners. You know the type, “Yeah, I could totally run a marathon, it’s not that hard.” Head on over there and give her some witty comebacks that will doom her to middle management for the rest of her life.
  • Turi e-mailed me a disturbing news article that doesn’t pertain to running at all, but does involve a character named Vanilla. Uh... thanks Turi. I think.

Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week
This week’s video is courtesy of sRod who posted it as a link in the Weekend Splits a few weeks ago. That means you might have already seen it, but ask me if I care. Go ahead ask me, I dare you to.

I will not ever be able to listen to that song again without thinking of this, but hopefully I will not ever have to listen to any Mariah Carey song ever again.

Best of luck to everyone else who’s racing this weekend, I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Just a couple of housekeeping items today. First, I don’t think Candis ever posted her goal time for the Bolder Boulder. What’s up with that? I put myself out there with a 50:00 minute goal and she just tries to slide by with a post about how much tapering sucks? I won’t stand for it. Allow me to tell you what her goal is for the Bolder Boulder 10K on Monday: 1:06:30 (10:40 pace). Of course, I don’t particularly feel like this will be much of a stretch for her. She ran her St. Paddy’s day 5K at a 10:15 pace and has since zipped through a significant amount of speedwork as part of the FIRST training program. Personally, I think that she can get a lot closer to 10 minute miles, a 1:02:00 race time and since that’s so close to the 1 hour mark I’m going to go ahead and announce that as her goal time. 1 hour.

Second, if anyone is going to be at the Bolder Boulder on race day, Candis and I will be running in the FC wave (as in Fail Completely) which means we should finish somewhere around 8:30am. We’re meeting up with some friends and anyone who wants to stop by the stadium afterwards in section 108. I’ll be wearing a white shirt and probably this sweaty Red Sox hat, Candis will also be wearing a Red Sox hat or visor along with her Kiss My Asthma shirt. If you can’t find us, then look for the two most beautiful people in the section, we’ll try to sit right behind them. Or just stand in the middle of section 108 and yell “Yo Vanilla!” at the top of your lungs. I’ll be the one laughing at you, but don’t let that deter you from stopping by to say hi.

Stadium Map (click to enlarge)

Enjoy your 3 day weekend everyone. I’ll have the Weekend Splits post tomorrow, and then a detailed list of excuses race report for you on Tuesday.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tapering Suuuuucks!

[by Candis, because Ian was just going to leave that disgusting post at the top of the page.]

Last week my training schedule called for a decrease in mileage, this week a decrease in mileage again and a decrease in intensity. I have heard other runners complain that they hate tapering because they miss running or because they have this running itch that they just need to scratch. Screw that.

You want to know why tapering sucks? Let me enlighten you...
  • Long John Silvers
  • Cappuccino Heath Blizzard
  • Multiple Cosmopolitan Nights

Now you should know, I don’t normally eat like this (ok other than the cosmos) but now that I’m tapering my eating as well as my running for the upcoming Bolder Boulder 10k, it’s ALL I can think about!

I average 25 miles a week, at an estimated 120 calories per mile this means I get 3,000 calories. I don’t consume them all, but I don’t obsessively watch what I eat- especially after a 10 mile run. I’ve been a runner for 2 years. For those of you who don’t know, I’m also an asthmatic, which is part of the lure to be a kick ass running machine. Needless to say crispy, greasy Long John Silvers is not a normal part of my diet- but I love it (don’t gag, you probably have your own ‘this-will-cost-me-10-seconds’ fat food). Guess what, if I want it, I EAT IT! But this week I will run 8 miles total and that devil scale called me slow this morning!

Non runners often ask why I would want to run so much. My brother’s skinny girlfriend even had the nerve to tell me she’d never even walked 10 miles (bite me). I have come up with lots of reasons, much like the Miss America answers...

  • To kick Asthma’s butt
  • To fight heart disease
  • Because I have 2 boys (running is hours of an abandoned husband)

But my #1 reason that took me 2 years to realize (I’m not a fast learner- don’t mock): refined sugar, white flour, high fat, sodium overload splurges. Our family is on an increasingly healthy wheat, whole grain, high fruit and vegetable diet and this is going to open the gates for widespread temptation. Running for food is as good a reason as any. I think it was Amy Lawson who once said that she ran 40 miles a week because that was easier than saying no to baked goods and I’m totally with her. 40 miles a week huh? Just imagine all the food I could eat at that mileage.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Set Bowels to Liquefy

Well, there’s no other way to put it: I’ve got the squirts. Actually I suppose there might be another way to put it, a more polished way of letting you all know that my excrement flows from my posterior like my prose flows onto the page, but that just wouldn’t be my style. It also begs the question of why I felt the need to let you all know about the fluidity of my bowel movements and the answer is two-fold like my wallet.
  1. It pertains to my upcoming race because I’ve dropped two pounds in the last 24 hours which can only help me accomplish my goal in my upcoming 10K right? Less weight to carry = faster race. If I can stay sick right up until Sunday then I might lose 12-15 lbs. Score!
  2. It makes for a fantastic excuse if I don’t make my 50 minute goal. Pay attention all of you who are rookie runners, you can learn from this. I set my goal in yesterday’s post, and in today’s post I am already preparing my excuses in case I fail. I have upper management written all over me.

Well that’s all for today because I’ve got to go. I mean I really have to go, I feel a fart coming on and that’s far too dangerous an endeavor to attempt unless I’m seated on the throne.

Warning: This post contains some disturbing mental images and probably should not be read during lunchtime.

Note: The above warning should be read before reading the rest of the post.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Blatantly Unattainable Goal

A post in which Vanilla sets a goal for himself that he has no chance of sniffing and talks about himself in the third person. You’d probably be better off just skipping it.

This was going to be just another “dull statement of intention,” but Nitmos really raised the bar on race goals yesterday with his Setting Race Goals post. If you missed his post then you should go check it out because there’s nothing like a good race goal post... and that was nothing like a good race goal post! Ba-Boom Cha! (Thanks, you’ve been a great audience. I’ll be here all week and don’t forget to tip your waitress!)

I mentioned back in February that I wanted to do a 50 minute 10K and I hate to back down from that even though I doubted its attainability when I first wrote it. However I did write that on Leap Day (a day that doesn’t REALLY exist), so it doesn’t REALLY count. This is known as the Leap Day Rule; you can’t be held accountable for things that you say on February 29th in much the same way that people cannot be offended by insults that you preface with the phrase “with all due respect.” Allow me to demonstrate: With all due respect, Nitmos is a blathering, self-absorbed tool. (Zing!) See, no harm done.

Now where was I? Oh yes, a 50 minute 10K. No chance in hell. I want it so bad that I can taste it. It tastes a little like chicken, not delicious fried chicken mind you, but more like a bland, unseasoned chicken that I could picture them serving in England. I ran Nancy’s 10K on the 10th last weekend in 52:43, but that was done as the middle part of an 8 mile training run, without carb loading, and without the additional motivation of knowing it was a race. I think that I’ll be able to run the Bolder Boulder in 51:30 and if I use Nitmos’ patented method of multiplying by 0.975 I come up with 50:13 which is so close to 50:00 that I really should just make that my goal, my Pie-Eyed Optimist goal. It’s OK. I’ve started working on a doozey of an excuse in case I miss that goal, it starts out like a regular excuse but then out of nowhere it turns out that I’m blaming you the reader for my shoddy performance.

Sunday, May 18, 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.

Thanks to Lucho (who’s faster than you are) for posting the above picture for me to steal. Head on over to his blog to check out some additional ads featuring Lance Armstrong.
  • If you somehow missed my Race Shirt Etiquette post at CRN then don’t forget to check it out.
  • If you’re looking for someone to cheer you on at your next race I’d think twice before asking Nitmos.
  • Kara had a post titled Sporty is Sexy, which pretty much guarantees that I’m going to read it.
  • Roman presents the Top 15 Ways to win Friends and Influence Athletes, but somehow managed to miss the best way to win friends, which is to simply emulate Vanilla. Not as easy as it sounds.
  • It’s voting time! The Best of Blogs voting is going on right now and several blogs that I read have been announced as finalists; I’ll Run for Donuts, A Marathon Leap, and SarahJoAustin. I’m not going to tell you who I’m voting for *cough* Donuts! *cough* but you can click here to go vote. While you’re there you can also cast a vote for Daddy’s Little Tax Credits (my other blog) as the Best Daddy Blog.
  • Finally, my oldest son turned 5 years old this past week and my ever-supportive wife blogged about it. It has nothing to do with running at all, but I thought it was the best cake she’s made for a birthday and wanted to share it.

Comment of the Week
Viper on the There’s No I in Team post.
“Yeah, but can she cook?”

Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week
Thank you to those of you who inquired if Roberto ever stepped up to claim his Lipton Bike. He did. In fact he just sent me the following video of his first ride on it, he’s the one in white. Let’s take a look.

What the...? Sonofa...
Happy running everyone! Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 16, 2008

There’s No I in Team

… but there are two in Bonnie Richardson, who has absolutely no use for teammates. Richardson was the only track and field athlete at Rochelle High School to qualify for the State meet, but didn’t let that minor detail get in the way of her winning it all. On Friday Richardson took first in the high jump, second in the long jump and third in the discus, ho-hum. On Saturday she won the 200 meters (25.03 seconds) and took 2nd in the 100 meters earning herself a team score of 42 points which was good enough to win State. It’s an inspirational story, destined to become a Lifetime original movie that I’ll pretend my ever-supportive made me watch.

Bonnie Richardson, pictured above either competing in the long jump or wishing she had read Emergency Procedures: Quicksand.

Richardson is a gifted athlete who also plays tennis and basketball for Rochelle High School (pictured below) while I struggle to tie my laces and wear matching socks. She may have more talent in her big toe than I do in my whole body but I don’t have to convince someone else to buy me beer. Winner? Me.

Source: Chicago Tribune, via WL.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

To Slip ‘n Slide or to not to?

This could be me!

I think I might have mentioned that I’m running the Bolder Boulder 10K on Memorial Day and I’m always tempted by the Slip ‘n Slide that is usually on one of the front lawns along the course. This year I thought that I’d put it up to a vote of my readers to determine whether or not I should do the Slip ‘n Slide in the middle of my 10K.

If everything went according to plan, there is a poll at the bottom of this post that you can use to register your vote but before you do, please consider the following list of pros and cons.

Pros of Slip ‘n Sliding
  • It will be wet, refreshing and will cool me down.
  • The kids trying to recruit people will be happy that I did it, think about the children.
  • If I swallow some water I might be able to forgo the next water station and make up the time the Slip ‘n Slide cost me.
  • It will be fun.

Cons of Slip ‘n Sliding

  • My clothes will be soaking wet, making them heavier, costing me even more time.
  • Chaaaaaaaaaaaaafing!
  • My bib could get torn off.
  • Shoes. Squelchy. Sucks.
  • Cold water = shrinkage
  • It might cost me valuable time.
  • What if my Garmin isn’t waterproof? Are you going to buy me a new Garmin?

That last one reminds me of this shady little watch repair shop located close to my office, where I assume you can buy $30 Rolexes that are hotter than half of Winona Ryder’s wardrobe. There’s a handwritten note taped on the door that says ‘we’ll waterproof test your watch.’ It makes me chuckle because I always picture the robust Greek owner coming out and handing someone their waterlogged watch back and telling them “Sorry, this watch is not waterproof.” But perhaps I should take my Garmin to them, after I make sure that they have a more scientific way of testing it than just deep sixing it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Analyze This

[by Candis]

It’s that time of year again, time to panic. It’s 11 days until the Bolder Boulder. It’s the race that made us runners. For those of you who don’t know (where have you been?) every Memorial Day thousands of runners trek to beautiful downtown Boulder, Colorado. We trek for 30 minutes- some Kenyans trek further (it’s why I never win, not my 10:40 pace). [Ed. Note: This year Deena Kastor and Ryan Hall are also treking to Boulder.]

I’m not panicked about my training. I’ve run year round and followed a strict scientific plan the last 12 weeks (FIRST). I’ve researched tapering so as not to repeat last year. (Did you know that if you taper too much it can be seriously detrimental? Of course you did- shut up.) Plus, it’s only 6.2 miles- almost all of my runs the last 3 months have been longer than that. I’ve dropped 5 lbs, 3% body fat, and shaved over a minute off my pace. It’s minor but it’s a step in the right direction. I should be out of excuses and ready.

Ya, right. Ian probably never lets on, but I’m a little obsessive compulsive [Ed. Note: A little? And Amy Winehouse has a ‘little’ drug problem.] So every year when we hit May- I hit panic. I run the same but my mind runs into overload.
  • Is my tapered schedule right?
  • Should my hair just be in my normal ponytail or would a bun without any movement help. I want all momentum going forward not side to side like a little girls hair- yup I think about it with each swish.
  • Does a visor help enough blocking the sun to compensate for the loss of the cool breeze?
  • Should I run through the sprinkler or dump water on my head if I get really hot? It must cool your body several degrees and add a nice breeze for a block or two, but it will make my face and eyes sting, my glasses slip and add ounces of water to my frame that may cost me valuable seconds (like 3).
  • What shirt should I wear? I feel like I get super hot when I run. Maybe just the Under Armor base gear? Maybe sleeveless? I ran in just my sports bra once but I chafed and I don’t know if that’s really appropriate- unless you’re Katie Holmes. [Ed. Note: This is diametrically (+8 word score) opposed to official Half-Fast policy which is in full support (pun intended) of women running in just a sports bra.]
  • Which clothes weigh the least? Nope, none of my stuff will work. I will have to go buy those $28 Adidas short shorts (Ian will be happy.) They weigh like an ounce less and aren’t black. (Can you say butt on fire?)
  • Should I eat my pre-race Rice Krispie bar 30 minutes or an hour before?
  • When do you pin your bib on your shorts? Before the drive? On the shuttle while you wait? While you’re waiting in the starting wave? What if a big wind comes up and blows my number away?
  • What if I carb load too much? Last year I was so nervous (first 10k) that I didn’t eat hardly anything and the wench of a waitress (that’s right I know who you are) wouldn’t bring me my bottomless breadsticks until I had ordered.

Now I realize you’re saying “she said 10:40 pace not 5:40 right?” Yup- and I still care, these are all important decisions that could affect my time. Now you can feel sorry for Ian, but just this once.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Bolder Boulder Approaches

In 13 days my ever-supportive wife and I will be in Boulder, CO where 50,000 runners instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talking about the Bolder Boulder 10K. Despite the fact that it has always been the most important race of the year to me, I seem to be lacking in the motivation department lately. I have not eagerly bounced out the door to go on my runs, I have had to be coerced and convinced by my ever-supportive wife. Unless my motivation improves, I’ll probably end up taking a week or four off after the Bolder Boulder.

Speaking of my ever-supportive wife, I think that she has a post coming up sometime this week which is good because my lack of motivation is also seeping into my blog writing duties. In the meantime, prepare yourself for a long string of posts about the upcoming Bolder Boulder including one where I set a blatantly unattainable goal for myself. As for today, you can head on over to CRN and check out my article on Race Shirt Etiquette.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

10K on the 10th

Nancy hosted another virtual race this weekend and I ended up taking part as a last minute entrant. That’s the great thing about virtual races, you rarely arrive at the race and find out that they’re at capacity and have closed the registration.

I wasn’t really planning on participating in the 10K on the 10th because it seemed like a no-win situation for me. I am running the Bolder Boulder 10K in 2 weeks and if I posted a crappy time on Saturday it could have served to dishearten me and cause me to think that I wasn’t ready for the Bolder Boulder. On the other hand if I posted a great time in the virtual race and then posted a worse time in Boulder in 2 weeks I was going to be seriously pissed. So on Saturday morning I set out to run my scheduled 8 miles (6 tempo miles with a warm up and cool down mile tagged on each end).I ran the 6 tempo miles so well that I tacked on another 0.2 miles at my tempo pace and decided to use that to enter Nancy’s 10K on the 10th. So I technically entered the race with only 0.2 miles left to run. Thanks for being so lenient Nancy, you’re the best race director I know.

Here’s the splits:

Mile 1 - 8:36
Mile 2 - 8:34
Mile 3 - 8:32
Mile 4 - 8:29
Mile 5 - 8:24
Mile 6 - 8:27
0.2 - 1:41

Total Time: 52:43 (8:31 Pace)
That’s a PR by over 3 minutes. Hopefully I can improve upon that in the Bolder Boulder in 2 weeks.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Winner! Winner!

Sorry about that earlier post, I needed some time to put together the video below announcing the winner. I hope that you can all view the video because I’m not posting the name of the winner, at least not in this post, that would be too easy. If you can’t view the video then I suppose you’d better hope that someone who can is nice enough to tell you who the winner is in the comments.

Without further ado, here’s the official drawing.

Congratulations to the winner. If you’re the lucky one who was announced above as the winner then please e-mail me with your name, address and phone number to claim your new bike!

Have a great weekend everyone, and remember that you have until May 11th to enter the “Free Your Y” video challenge at where you could win up to $25,000.

The Winner of the Bike is...

... going to be announced a little later today! Bwaaa ha ha ha what a jerkish thing to do huh? I’m sorry if that upsets you (blatant lie) but I’m not ready to make the announcement yet, and do you know what you’re going to do about it? You’re going to sit there and take it. I’ll have the actual post up announcing the winner sometime later today (early afternoon). In the meantime have a Coke and a smile and enjoy the short video below of Olympic gymnast (and part time crime fighter) Alicia Sacramone that I recently stumbled upon at With Leather.

I believe the technical term for what just happened there is “pwned.” That guy looked like the prototypical hot shot, the one in high school that used to beg people to punch him in the stomach so that he could show them how tough he was. “Don’t worry, you can’t hurt me,” he’d say as I ran off to the counselor’s office with tears welling up in my eyes. Not so tough now are you Mr. I just got knocked the F out by a female gymnast! The only way that video could be better is if she’d told him that there were “going to be 2 hits, me hitting you and you hitting the floor!”

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Different Kind of Motivation

The following is a transcript of last night’s conversation between me and my ever supportive wife. Candis had just finished up her run, and I was trying to avoid mine. We have an unspoken agreement wherein you are allowed to say almost anything to your spouse to encourage them to go run. Here’s how that played out last night:

Me: I don’t feel like running tonight.
Candis: How come?
Me: I don’t know.
C: You really should go run though.
Me: [Dismissively] Yeah...
C: [Tilting her head a little to the side] Have you gained some weight?
Me: Ha ha, very funny. Actually, I think I’m down a couple pounds, so no I haven’t gained weight thankyouverymuch.

Moments later:
C: Hey I was looking at the running log you posted the other day and I think you may have copied it down wrong.
Me: Really? Why?
C: Well some of the times that you posted looked a little... you know... SLOW!
Me: I know what you’re trying to do, and it’s not going to work. I’m not a child. I can’t just be goaded into going running.
C: Alright, come here.
[She hugs me, I debate trying out a pick up line but before I get the chance...]
C: Are you sure you haven’t gained weight because you feel a little flabbier.
Me: I don’t think that’s a word. (According to Merriam-Webster it is. Great, just one more thing I’m wrong about.) And you smell a little sweaty.
C: That’s because I ran.
Me: Well maybe I don’t want to smell sweaty like you do.
C: Well maybe I didn’t want to be flabby like you are.

Yes, I went and ran. My wife for her part went and showered. Without me. :(

P.S. Today is your last chance to register an entry in the Great Bike Giveaway. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the announcement of the winner. It could be you! Odds are it won’t be, but it could be.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hey, Quit Stealing my Stuff!

I love getting my Runner’s World magazine in the mail (unlike some poor schmucks who have to walk to Walgreens for it). I love knowing that I have whole slew of running articles just waiting for me to read next time I’m on the can. Hey, don’t judge me, I have 2 kids and the only quality reading time I get is when I’m in the throne room.

So there I was, pants around my ankles reading my latest issue of Runner’s World when I came across an article titled Strike a Pose. Hmmmm, where have I heard of that before? Oh yes, I remember, it was RIGHT HERE! It was the title of my article posted over at CRN! Now forget for a moment that the two articles are dealing with completely different subject matter or that the phrase “strike a pose” is the totally obvious title choice for both articles (albeit a little cliché), they totally stole my idea. Obviously they read my article and loved my title so much that they decided to use it for their Yoga article.

No big deal I thought, as I sat there furrowing my brow from the straining of my bowels. I moved on to the rest of the articles, but it only got worse (the magazine not the straining). Up next for my reading pleasure was a whole series of articles called Love on the Run“A look at the fun and playful ways that running and relationships intersect, including dating do’s [sic] and don’ts...” (Ha! A grammatical error right there on page 7! Even my dog knows that that apostrophe doesn’t belong there.) Hmmmm didn’t someone already do a fun look at running and dating? Maybe in the form of Pick Up Lines for Runners? Yeah, I thought so.

As if this wasn’t bad enough a few more pages back I found a review of the Pearl Izumi SyncroInfinity running shoes. Sure it was couched in amongst reviews of lots of different running shoes under the premise of the Summer Shoe Guide but I’m pretty sure I know of someone who just reviewed the Pearl Izumi SyncroInfinity. I did, right here. I suppose Runner’s World expects us to believe that they were always intending to include their Summer Shoe Guide in their June issue. What kind of fools do they take us for?

Oh, and don’t even get me started on how I felt about them talking about running skirts on page 75? Come on! Running skirts is totally MY THING! At this point I was so mad that I just had to get up and wipe.

So if anyone from Runner’s World is reading this, then you guys need to quit stealing my stuff. I’m sick of it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Personal Running Log - April 2008

This is my running log for April. I post this mostly for my reference and to validate the fact that I am actually a runner. I always assume that everyone just ignores these posts because they’re pretty boring, but on the off chance that you are interested I decided to take a moment to explain the table below.

For the most part my long runs are supposed to be at a 9:11 min/mile pace, my tempo runs are at an 8:30 min/mile pace and my intervals vary by the distance I’m running (1600s at 8:06 pace, 800s at 7:51 pace & 400s at 7:41 pace). I run a mile for warm up and cool down at the beginning and end of each interval and tempo run. Those miles are reflected in the distance you see listed and the average pace which is why they might appear slower than they should. I’ve debated leaving those warm up and cool down miles out to improve my average pace but I ran those miles, and I want to be sure to take credit for them.

Don’t forget to register to win the Lipton bike if you haven’t already. The contest ends at Midnight on Thursday May 8th.

4/28/20086 Mile Long HillIntervals (4x1200)6 Mi53:288:55
4/27/20086 Mile Long HillLong6 Mi56:229:24
4/25/20086 Mile Long HillTempo6.01 Mi53:518:58
4/22/20085 Miles Out & BackIntervals (6x800)5.63 Mi50:308:59
4/20/200810 Mile LakeLong10 Mi1:33:349:22
4/16/20085 Miles Out & BackTempo5 Mi45:439:09
4/14/20086 Mile Long HillIntervals (10x400)5.9 Mi54:099:11
4/12/20088 MileLong8 Mi1:13:039:08
4/9/20082 Mile LoopEasy (with Dog)2 Mi19:089:34
4/8/2008Home TreadmillIntervals (misc.)5.25 Mi46:158:49
4/5/200810 Mile LakeLong10 Mi1:31:439:11
4/3/20086 Mile Long HillTempo6 Mi52:568:50
4/1/2008TrackIntervals5.91 Mi51:288:43
Distance: 81.7 miles
Total Time: 12:22:10

Saturday, May 3, 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.


From Track & Field News; “Stanford’s Alicia Follmar took a hard fall on the leadoff leg of the Penn women’s distance medley. While she was on the ground, Follmar took a spike to the head but got up to finish a gutsy 3rd, the same position in which her team ultimately finished behind Michigan and Tennessee.”

  • Leading off the Weekend Splits as always is my article over at CRN about the poses that runners strike for the camera. If you haven’t already read it then please go check it out because you’ll hurt my feelings if you don’t, and I’ve gotta’ warn you... I’m a cryer.
  • Nitmos’ Lance Armstrong post was quite humorous and if anyone does know of an athlete with “speed yielding teats” then I too would love to suckle at them.
  • The Science of Sport started a new series on Fatigue and Exercise and how it can affect your pacing strategy. It’s fascinating stuff that is worth your time even though some of it is above my level of comprehension.
  • Roman over at Everyman Tri has a great article titled Taking Matters into Your own Hands, and if you’re taking that in the worst possible way that it could be taken then you’re on the right track.
  • jkrunning found herself surrounded by armed Marines on her last training run, probably because she was singing along to Xanadu. I’m quite certain that subjecting others to Xanadu is a capital offense, if it’s not, it should be.
  • Saucony Marketing left a comment a couple of weeks ago on an old post (Half-Fast Pronunciation Guide). They said that they’d never heard of anyone mispronouncing Saucony the way that I was, which I believe loosely translates to “you’re an idiot Vanilla!” They also pointed me to their new website, which I in turn am pointing you towards because maybe if they get enough traffic from Half-Fast they’ll send me a free pair of shoes. Who’s the idiot now?

Comments of the Week
Tons of great comments this week, especially on the Great Bike Giveaway post but I’m going to save those for another time. Two of my favorites were:

Frayed Laces on the My Favorite Running Hat post:
Totally my hat. Only I have the red “B” and the whole hat is one big sweat stain. The bonus? If you’re ever low on electrolytes, it’s a portable salt lick!

P.O.M. on the same post:
Like salt through the grungy hat,
so are the days of our lives.

Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week
Xenia at Diggin’ It sent in the following video for consideration as the Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week. As she mentioned in her e-mail it’s quite popular (over 14 million views on YouTube) but I hadn’t seen it before so maybe you haven’t either.

Have a great weekend everyone. Happy running!

Friday, May 2, 2008

My Favorite Running Hat

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.*

The above picture is my favorite running hat. I don’t always wear a hat when I run but when I do, this is the only one I ever wear. It has kept my face from sunburn on hot summer days, and it has kept the raindrops from my eyes at the Denver Half Marathon.

It’s true, the hat has seen better days, but I still remember fondly the day we first met. You were perched on a hat rack at Quincy Mah-ket in downtown Boston. I spotted you looking at me from across the room and I could tell that you wanted to buy me a drink if only you weren’t so shy, or inanimate. I approached you cautiously at first, wary of having my heart broken again by a beautiful hat that wasn’t available in the right size. After a few minutes of playful flirting, I purchased you and watched as the cashier stuffed you carelessly in a plastic gift shop bag. I didn’t take you out and wear you home because I was having a particularly fantastic hair day and you didn’t complain. Not once. It was like you got me right from the start.

And while I have since bought another newer, redder hat that I wear on formal occasions (sweat stains just don't go with my suit and tie) you’re still my go-to hat in running and sweaty situations.

Not only has my hat shielded my delicate features from the elements, but it can also be used in place of a Garmin to determine how far I’ve run. I simply remove the hat and check the sweat stains. Someday perhaps the sweat stains will go all the way to the top, indicating that we’ve completed our first marathon together. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And to think that my wife wanted to throw you away and usher in a new era.

*You might have just witnessed the worst ever use of Ol’ Bill Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Great Bike Giveaway on the post below.
P.P.S. Yes, you can expect to see that previous postscript appended to the end of every post between now and next Thursday.