Friday, June 27, 2008

Running in Salt Lake City

If a post goes up at 4:00pm on a Friday will anyone read it before Monday? Let’s find out...

I liked Salt Lake City. There are a few things that I could do without, like the motion-detecting soap dispenser at the office with the itchy trigger finger. Three times now that thing has ejaculated all over my sleeve because I’m too dim to learn from my mistakes. I’m also not a big fan of the crosswalks chirping at you when it’s your turn to cross the street. Shut up already! The people here seem really nice though, everyone has been very accommodating and this guy even offered to run with me, which would have been cool if we could have worked it out because I’m always looking for someone to carry my water bottle, my phone, and my oversized ego.

I used Google Maps to look for a park close to my hotel and found Liberty Park roughly 2 miles away. I memorized the route (7 blocks south, 5 blocks east), said a fond farewell to the free wine in the lobby and started out. I had a 6oz water bottle in my pocket because no one offered to carry it for me... hmmm... so much for everyone being really nice here.

Liberty Park had some beautiful views, by which I mean that there were hot chicks in sports bras running, playing tennis, and rollerblading. Rollerblading? Holy crap! Have I been transported back in time to the year 1998? In addition to the talent, Liberty Park is quite scenic. There are tennis courts, a lake pond with ducks on it, and plenty of trees to shade your way. There’s even a 1.5 mile wood-chipped loop that’s built for running (pictured below). I ran on it for maybe a minute before going back to the concrete sidewalk with the Rollerbladers, it was too soft, almost like running on a bouncy castle. Thanks, but I’ll be over here tearing my knees up on the concrete.

As I left the park and headed back to the hotel I remembered seeing a plaza on the map and decided to take a short cut. The plaza consumed a couple of city blocks and would allow me to cut a corner, cutting corners is what I do best. I arrived to discover that this plaza was a raised plaza and I was faced with the unpleasant reality of having to climb 23 whole steps!

As I slowed to walk up them the Rocky theme came blaring through my MP3 player and I had visions of Rocky running up the steps. I bounded up the steps as fast as I could, and because it felt so good and stroked my ego, I ran back down them, took that picture and then ran back up them again. 69 steps! I told you I was dedicated.

I was rewarded at the top of the plaza by this:

I took out my ear buds and leaned my head under the cool water. It felt wonderful. Standing there with my head in the water I pronounced this the greatest fountain in the history of fountains, and I just got back from Vegas where we watched the Bellagio fountains. Unfortunately these Salt Lake City fountains will probably have to be taken down to make way for the gaudy monstrosity of a statue that will be erected in my honor. I think that everyone will probably agree that it’s totally worth it though.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Well, well, well. From your comments on my last post it appears that some of you don’t come to Half-Fast for your daily dose of introspection and reflection. I won’t stand for it. When you come to Half-Fast you’ll take what you’re given and you’ll enjoy it. If I want to ignore your predilections for Half-Fast and fill a post with reflection and introspection then I expect your respect-tion and possibly some genuflection. You WILL use the comments not for rejection or insurrection but to show me such a collection of affection pertaining to my perfection that it will blush my complexion and probably even give me an erection.

With that said I would like to suggest a statue in my honor here in Salt Lake City. I will file an official request with the city that they build a magnificent statue in my likeness that will be named Dedication. Let me tell you why.

On Wednesday I arose at 4:00 am in Denver, having logged 4 hours of sleep and caught an early flight to Salt Lake City. After a crazy day in the office, I went to my hotel to check in and crash for the night. It was during check-in that I realized it was still Wednesday, which meant that I had a run scheduled. I unpacked my case and found my running clothes. I did not find my sunglasses, probably because it was dark out when I left my house and I didn’t need them. In Salt Lake City however, it was sun- sun- sunny and 98 degrees (Fahrenheit, not the boy-band). Despite my lack of ocular protection and the stifling heat (you know it was hot because I said ‘sun- sun- sunny’) I was not dissuaded, but then I’m a pretty dedicated runner, and also a pretty, dedicated runner.

I reached into my bathroom bag for my sunblock, which is a stupid name because it doesn’t block the sun it blocks the UV. Alas, there was no UVblock to be found and I’m a pretty fair-skinned guy (also a pretty, fair-skinned guy) but I was not dissuaded because I’m a dedicated runner.

When I went down to the stylish lobby I found a number of stylish people taking part in the hotel’s stylish “Wine Hour.” For those of you who aren’t Mensa candidates this is an hour of free wine, and they really prefer that you not refer to it as “All You Can Drink Happy Hour.” With only 30 minutes left in “Wine Hour” I knew that the wine would cease flowing before my run did, but I was not dissuaded because I’m a dedicated runner.

When I stepped outside the hotel and turned on my Garmin it could not find the satellites, probably because we were 1,000 feet further from the satellites than we usually are. It was as if the Garmin was begging me to go back inside and drink wine, but I was not dissuaded because I’m a dedicated runner.

Dedication is my middle name. (And also the name of my statue as soon as the city approves it, should be any day now.) I’m telling you guys, the things that I overcame to go on a run yesterday make Helen Keller’s struggles look like Paris Hilton’s day at the spa.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Reflections of a Runner

I’ve been running for a little over 3 years now, which is long enough for any self-absorbed, oxygen-usurper like me to feel like a little introspection is in order. As a pre-pubescent teen growing up in England I was given the option of going out for the cross country team, (“Oi, not bloody likely mate!”) or going out for the rugby team (“Right-oh then, where do I sign up for the running?”). I chose cross country, and despite the fact that I only did it for a few years before switching to another sport I’ve always liked running. I suspect that it may also have something to do with the fact that my Dad used to run a lot when I was younger. I always remember eating breakfast with him after he finished one of his runs, and how he’d be all sweaty while we choked down kippers and porridge, or maybe black pudding or toast with marmalade, which is obviously one of the lesser culinary atrocities that the Brits foisted upon us.

As far back as I can remember when the urge to exercise has struck, running has always been the activity that I’ve turned to, but it wasn’t until three years ago that it finally stuck. Three years ago I stopped saying that I was going to run the Bolder Boulder 10K ‘next year’ and I signed up for the race. I arrogantly anticipated that I’d just be able to go out and run 10 minute miles. After a few 4 mile training runs I realized that 10 minute miles were a long shot at best and I began a habit that has proven valuable in my running career to this very day: I lowered my expectations. My new goal was to run the whole distance without walking, and I succeeded to the tune of a 10:42 pace. (1:06:33 finish time.)

I determined that I was going to get faster and I believed that it was possible, not because I’m the kind of guy that can “achieve anything I set my mind to” or because “I believe in myself” mostly just because I have one of those fabulous male egos (seriously ladies, you should look into getting one). I like to think that I’m modestly vain. I don’t tend to be outwardly boastful (in person, anyway) or make claims that I’m the best, but internally I believe the hype. Internally, I don’t wonder “if” I’ll be able to run a 40 minute 10K someday, I wonder “when” that day will be.

Over the last 3 years I have gone from running the Bolder Boulder 10K in 1:06:33 (10:42 pace) to running it in 52:07 (8:24 pace), but it never seems to be good enough. Three years ago a 52 minute 10K sounded like an incredibly fast time, but now that I’ve accomplished it, it sounds less impressive. I’m just never satisfied (that’s what she said) with my race times anymore. If running is a woman then I’m it’s nitpicking mother complaining that “yes he’s a doctor, but it’s not like he’s a heart surgeon or anything!”

I’ve come along way, but I’ve still got a long way to go.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Getting Back on the Wagon

To say that I’ve fallen off the running wagon over the last couple of weeks would be an understatement. In true Half-Fast style, I dove headlong from the wagon with wild abandon and then shoved it over a ravine. I’m cringing at the thought of having to post my June running log because it will expose me as the slacker that I am. I suppose that I could point out how it might be beneficial to take a week or two away from running in order to recharge my legs but if this were an intentional break I would have been doing some sort of cross training to maintain my fitness.

The good news here is that I’m back to running again. I realize that I never really told you that I had stopped running, and in a way I didn’t. I just had other things get in the way like 10 year anniversary celebrations, and sleeping in. I never really “skipped” any runs I just postponed them, I still have 5 or 6 of them from the past two weeks that I’m planning on catching up on. Maybe I’ll do them all at once.

This week is going to be tough as I’m back at work after a week off and I have a lot of e-mails that I’m ignoring right now in order to write this post. I’ll also be traveling to Salt Lake City on business for a couple of days but I’m determined not to miss postpone any more runs so if any of you know any good places to run in SLC then be sure to let me know in the comments. Also, if anyone knows where I can get my hands on some coffee in SLC that would be helpful, because I couldn’t find a Starbucks to save my life last time I was there.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Vegas Baby!

Right now I’m typing this on my blackberry while sitting next to the Planet Hollywood pool in Las Vegas. My ever-supportive wife is swimming laps in an attempt to off-set the all you can eat sea food buffet we ate at the Rio last night and in preparation for the all you can eat breakfast buffet at the Bellagio that we’re planning tomorrow morning. I swam a couple of laps before deciding that doing cannonballs was more fun. I also spent some time at the bottom of the deep end pretending that I was an astronaut in a weightless environment and I have to tell you that peeing in outer space is not as tough as I’d heard.

We’re here in Vegas under the guise of our 10 year anniversary indulging in various debaucheries like eating fried stuff with cheese, and ordering our coffee with whole milk (gasp!), and ingesting dessert after every meal (yes, even breakfast), and also, not running at all. It’s 107 degrees so running is out of the question, unless you are outside your mind. I planned on swimming a little to maintain my current fitness level, and now that that’s out of the way, it’s onto the buffets. Maybe 2 laps isn’t enough to “maintain fitness” but that’s OK. I’ve never been one to back away from a challenge, well except for that one time when that chick wanted to arm wrestle, but that wasn’t so much “backing” away as it was turning and running. I’m telling you I thought she was challenging me to a footrace.

Anyway, my challenge is going to be re-gaining the fitness that I’ve lost during this time in Vegas and getting myself ready for the Georgetown Half Marathon that’s coming up. I like to do things the hard way, which is why I’ve run a total of 10 miles in the last two weeks and jumped on the Chris Farley diet (may he rest in funny peace).

Sorry if this post is kind of short but I’m typing it on a freaking blackberry and it’s been 20 minutes since I ate something bad for me so I need to rectify that immediately. In the meantime, here are some quick observations before I go upload this to my laptop and post it for your reading pleasure. Things that are different in Vegas: The law of escalators does not apply, maybe it evaporated in the heat with the impetus to wear appropriate clothing. Stand to the right, walk on the left, and lady you are way too big to be wearing a dress that short. Seriously, there were butt cheeks hanging down like the classy draperies that adorn our hotel windows.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Future Races?

I really don’t run a lot of races, I figure by giving myself several months between races I have a better chance of continuing my streak of always running a PR at every race. Recently though, two additional races were brought to my attention, one by a reader and one by my own astuteness and I think that they deserve some consideration.

The first race for consideration is the Four on the Fourth 4K, an Independence Day celebration. Huge thanks to Q, the devastatingly fast reader who e-mailed me to tell me about this race. This 4K is sponsored by Avery Brewing Company, and the overall winners will earn their weight in beer as a prize, which brings up an interesting dilemma if you think you’re capable of winning the whole thing. Do you try to gain weight so that you can win more beer or do you cut weight so that you can increase your pace and thus your chances of winning the beer? Fortunately, it’s not a dilemma that I have to worry about. However it is worth noting that each of the age group winners also win a case of beer. If ever there was a time for my first age group win then this is it.

The only reason that I might have to pass on this race (other than snooze-button-overuse) is because I am waiting to find out if I get invited to play in a US vs England soccer match that I played in last year on July 4th.

The next race up for consideration is the Denver Gorilla Run, those of you who voted that I should do the slip ‘n’ slide (90% of you) will like this one because you have to run dressed as a Gorilla. It’s a 5.6K but other than that I don’t know much about it. Apparently the proceeds go to the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund to benefit the Mountain Gorillas, probably by building them new schools and providing them text books or something. Anyway, they give you a Gorilla suit and you get to keep it! I’ve always wanted to own my own gorilla suit so if I participate in this race it will be one more thing that I can cross off my bucket list. Prizes are awarded for Highest Fundraising Gorilla, First to Finish, Furthest Traveled Gorilla and Most Creative Gorilla costume (i.e. what you add to your monkey suit to make it stand out). I’m thinking The Vanilla Gorilla costume is a shoe-in for first place. Shoes! I bet the proceeds go towards new shoes for the gorillas.

The most likely hindrance to me participating in this event is the high entry fee ($150). I guess that’s attributable to the gorilla suits that they give out and the rising cost of gorilla text books. The best thing about both of these races, other than an excuse to keep calling everyone a “damned dirty ape,” is that I have never run a 4K or a 5.6K (who has?) which means that they would both be PRs by default. Anytime you can guarantee yourself a PR just by completing an event, that’s a good thing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fun with Race Pictures

When I was doing some research for this article at CRN I found myself pouring over thousands of race pictures from various events and there were some that just begged to be made fun of. Generally speaking, I don’t like to make fun of other runners because “what goes around, comes around,” and anyone who is running is OK in my book, (“my book” by the way, CAN be judged by its cover and has lots of pictures in it because I don’t really like to read). So, I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but then Topher went and posted something very similar here and here and I thought “Crap, now I can’t do it without looking like I stole the idea from Topher.” But then I thought, “Wait, I’m writing a blog post not an editorial for the Washington Post,” and I realized that I don’t have any journalistic integrity nor do I need any. Life is so much easier when you have no standards.

Without further ado, on to the pictures and the mocking. Hooray mocking! It’s what I do best.

“Hey everyone, look at my 6 pack! Hey! Hey! Do you see it? Do you see that I have a 6 pack? Look! Does everyone see this? Just look at me!”

Well hello there Mr. Banana Grabber. This guy was walking when he spotted the cameras and thought “Quick, do something to make it look like you’re injured.”

You know how I know that this is the real Batman? He’s covering his bib number because he’s concerned about the citizens of Gotham learning his real identity. Nice try Bruce, but you’re not fooling anyone.

Cheater! If you’ve ever wondered what true love looks like I imagine it’s something like this, which is why you’ve never seen race pictures of me carrying my ever-supportive wife during a race. (Must fight urge to make ‘heavy’ joke.)

“Hi Kimmie! Yeah, I’m running this race right now but I just wanted to find out how your date went last night with TJ, he’s so yummy!” “Oh, hey can you hold on a second, I’ve got another call coming in...”

“Hey, you know what would be cute and also totally annoy the piss out of everyone behind us...”

Saturday, June 14, 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.

It’s not often that I feel the need to warn you when something disgusting is about to get posted, I usually just go ahead and post it and then chuckle to myself as I imagine all your reactions. However this warrants a warning. The image below is cropped for your viewing pleasure, clicking on it will show you the gory details. Take a look at the runner’s face, then look at the faces of everyone in the crowd behind him and see if you can’t figure out what he’s doing. I’d give you two guesses to figure out who sent this to me but chances are you’d only need one. THANKS MARCY!!! :p (Emoticon included just for you, LOL.)

  • I usually have a post at CRN on the 2nd and 5th Tuesdays of every month which means that you’ll almost always get a Weekend Splits post on the Saturday after the 2nd and 5th Tuesday so that I can pimp my article. This past week it was Under Armour entering the running shoe market that I driveled on about.
  • Jamoosh thinks that Garmin should put the same technology they use in cars on watches and make the Garmin talk. He’s got some great suggestions for its personality.
  • Tall Girl Running got to meet a real live beauty queen at the gym. When will you people learn that when you tell this kind of story (the kind that potentially involves hot women) you need to have pictures to go along with your post. This is why camera phones were invented.
  • Do you know how fast you have to be running to get covered in bugs like the front end of a cross country Peterbilt? Jess does, and she’s got the pictures to prove it.

Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week
The following video is comedian Jim Gaffigan talking about Bacon. Mmmmm bacon.

Have a great weekend and happy Father’s Day to all the Dads, especially my own. I hope that my kids get me some bacon for Father’s Day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

It DOES Tell the Freakin’ Time

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m sick of having to straighten people out who think the Garmin Forerunner 205 doesn’t tell time. It does. I own 2 of them, I should know. At the start of the Bolder Boulder 10K we overheard someone ask the lady next to us for the time. She pointed to her Forerunner 205 and said “Oh this doesn’t tell time, it does all kinds of other wonderful things but would you believe it doesn’t tell the time?”

I wanted to grab her by the collar and yell “You stupid, stupid, ignorant, vapid harpy,” punctuating each word with a stinging backhand. But I didn’t. Because I’m a nice guy, and also because it occurred to me that maybe she just didn’t want to tell the stranger what the time was. Who among us hasn’t feigned a broken watch to avoid sharing the time with strangers?

Anyway, this wasn’t the first time that I’d heard someone say that the Garmin Forerunner 205 doesn’t tell the time, and I just wanted to set the record straight. I’m really not sure why it bothers me so much (or why I seem to have violent tendencies before a race), but it does. I suppose that some of the confusion comes from Garmin themselves, take a look at this comparison table of the 205, 305 and 405. At the bottom of the page under the Sport Watch category it says “yes” under the 405 and “no” under the other two. I can only assume that this is because the earlier models have a 10 hour battery life which makes using them strictly as a watch more cumbersome than the Zack Morris cell phone. The 405 on the other hand, has a power save mode that allows you to use only the watch feature, at least I think that’s how it works. I won’t know for sure until someone from Garmin steps up and sends me a free one in exchange for a review. Seriously, how many hints do I have to drop? I’ve already got a glowing review written up and ready to go all I need is the watch, is anybody listening to me?

For those of you who are reading this and sheepishly wanting to ask how to get your Garmin to display the time but are worried that you’ll have to endure our collective scorn, allow me to save you the trouble. From the main menu: Settings – General – Data Fields – Main 1, enter the number of data fields you wish to display and then you will be presented with a menu of options. One of those options is Time of Day, and here’s where it’s going to get complicated. Selecting the “Time of Day” option will display... wait for it... the Time of Day! Hey presto! All of a sudden your friends will think you’re a gadgetical wizard when you impress them by telling them what time it is!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Negative Ghost Rider, the Pattern is Full

I was intentionally buzzed by a cyclist during my run on Monday night. Actually, I’m not sure that “cyclist” is the correct term for this particular guy, he was more of a pedestrian who just happened to be riding a bike. A BMX bike, whose frame was dwarfed by that of its rider.

As I rounded a bend on my usual running path I spotted a family up ahead of me, they were stopped on their bikes and completely blocking the path. As I closed in on them from behind, two of them pedaled off ahead of me while the other three remained in the standard military roadblock formation. I veered into the grass and made my way around them. I honestly wasn’t all that annoyed, and was thankful to be through the checkpoint without having to pass a sobriety test or have my trunk checked.

The two that had gone on ahead (a lady and a young kid) were now right in front of me, and traveling at the same speed that I was. Unfortunately this was not due to the fact that I’m fast enough to keep up with “cyclists” but rather due to the fact that the kid was apparently riding without training wheels for the first time. Either that or he just sucked at bike riding. The kid was maybe 6 years old and was wobbling all over the place, I was shocked that he had been allowed to pass through the last sobriety checkpoint because he looked pretty smashed to me.

Meanwhile, the three-man roadblock had started following me down the path right after I had passed them. I now found myself running in the middle of a family of “cyclists” and quite frankly it was a little awkward. My Garmins revealed that I was running at the right pace, pushing myself a little, and I didn’t want to pass the two in front of me because I assumed that they’d eventually speed up. It was at this point that one of the roadblockers yelled from behind “Hey Mary, watch out on your right!” Mary then pulled over to the left and instructed the kid to do likewise, but I didn’t want to pass them, I didn’t want to run faster. So there I was with an open lane and everyone expecting me to speed up and overtake them. It was kind of like when someone holds a door open for you even though you’re still 20 yards away, I felt like I had to speed up. So I did.

As I passed Mary, the kid stopped looking at his pedals long enough glance back over his shoulder. This move caused him to veer even further to the left and as his bike toppled from the path the young foal lost his balance. His head bounced like a bell’s clapper inside his oversized helmet, but I’m sure he was OK. I just kept on trucking, still uncertain if he was new to 2 wheels or if he really did suck at bike riding.

About a half mile further down the path, the incident long forgotten I heard a “cyclist” bearing down on me. It was one of the roadblockers. From the popped collar and sagging shorts I’d guess he was about 15 going on douchebag. He came within an inch of wrecking his stunt-pegs on my ankles and then immediately braked in front of me, his pungent cologne assaulting my nostrils. He looked at me, and then in his best Michael Corleone voice he said “Oh... Excuse me, I didn’t see you there.” He was sending me a message. Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes indeed. It was so comical that I actually laughed. He was stopped on the path, waiting for the rest of The Family and he took umbrage with my joviality as I passed him again. At least he would have if he’d have understood any of the words in that sentence. “What?” He yelled. “What’s so funny, huh?” Still smiling, I looked back at him and shrugged. He yelled some more as I made my way down the path but I was too far away and too indifferent to hear.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Personal Running Log - May 2008

Here we are a third of the way through June and I haven’t yet posted my running log for May. I apologize because I know how much you all love to pore over the numbers, analyzing the data, searching for a chink in the Vanilla armor, but alas there is none to be found. Each month the times in the Pace column inch lower and lower (with one glaring exception below, but I was taking it easy on that run). Each month there are more numbers in the 8s and less in the 9s. Each month my ego swells a little bit more, which makes the increase in speed all the more impressive now that I have this huge head to carry along on my runs. Occasionally though I like to hearken back to those times when I first started running, those times when I couldn’t run my way out of a wet paper bag, those times before I realized that I’m fast and this is easy. Perhaps, in the near future I’ll regale you with such tales of slowness that it will make your head rotate. Perhaps an introspective look back over my running history is in order, in the mean time head on over to CRN and enjoy my post over there today... after you meditate on the following table of course.

5/31/2008Grand Lake 5 MilesEasy5 Mi51:0010:12
5/26/2008Bolder Boulder 10KRace6.2 Mi52:078:24
5/22/2008Home TreadmillEasy5 Mi48:489:46
5/19/20085 Miles Out & BackIntervals (6x400)5 Mi45:299:05
5/17/20087 Miles Out & BackLong7 Mi1:02:418:58
5/15/20085 Miles Out & BackTempo5 Mi42:498:34
5/12/2008Home TreadmillIntervals (3x1600)5 Mi43:218:41
5/10/20088 MileTempo8 Mi1:10:278:49
5/7/20085 Miles Out & BackIntervals (5x1000)5 Mi42:138:27
5/3/200810 Mile LakeLong10 Mi1:30:259:03
5/1/2008Home TreadmillTempo3 Mi25:258:29
Distance: 64.2 miles
Total Time: 9:34:45

Monday, June 9, 2008

Liv Tyler is Running

I love it when I get to post pictures of hot, relevant celebrities out running, but since there haven’t been any lately, I’m going to do a post about Liv Tyler running. Get it? I’m implying that she’s not hot or relevant! Ooooh, I hope she doesn’t read Half-Fast because that one’s going to STING for a little while! That’s Liv Tyler pictured over there on the right, looking sexy and not running because looking sexy while running is a feat that only a few of us can pull off, (see image below for further evidence). Also, looking sexy for Liv Tyler is a relative term because you need to take into consideration that she got a little less than half of her genes from this guy.

The image below is Liv out running in Brentwood, CA with her personal trainer. I seem to remember that she was recently divorced or separated from her husband, and if I wasn’t so lazy did any research for my posts at this site at all I could probably tell you for certain. My point though, is that she’s no longer with her husband and here she is out jogging with some guy who’s a personal trainer (is that what we’re calling them these days?). In Hollywood I’m pretty sure that this means they’re sleeping together so I’ll bet that those are the current rumors making the rounds. If those rumors weren’t already out there, then they probably are now thanks to my irresponsible assumptions.

As always you can click on the images to enlarge the pictures. From what I can tell Liv is running in a cotton shirt that could double as a motorcycle cover for my Harley. I don’t actually have a Harley because they are dangerous and they scare me, but the joke doesn’t work if I take the time to explain all of that to you... oh... right... I see what I did wrong there.

Didn’t her ears used to be more pointy or something?

Friday, June 6, 2008

2 Garmins?

You might have noticed from the race pictures that Candis posted yesterday (without my express written permission I might add) that we were both wearing a Garmin during our recent 10K. It’s true, we’re a 2 Garmin family. Why do we need 2 Garmins? Why can’t we just share one?

We’ve become Garmin-dependent. I can no longer run without my Garmin, how would I know how fast I was going or how far I’d gone? It’s true what they say, “once you go Garmin you never go back.” That is what they say, right? I guess you could argue that the only time that we need 2 Garmins is when we both enter the same race, but the thought of having to run a race without my Garmin is a terrifying nightmare, one that I don’t care to dwell on at length. Plus, what if I like to have my screens set up to view different information than Candis does? What if the battery was dead in one of them when I wanted to go for a run? You don’t seriously expect me to just use a stopwatch do you? What is this, the stone age?

But I confess, the reason for our double Garmin awesomeness goes beyond practical application. It’s also a status symbol. We like to think of ourselves as being like those extravagant families in the 50s who owned 2 TVs. Sure, at the time everyone thought they were spendthrifts, splashing their money around like an out of control fire hose, but it wasn’t long before everyone followed suit.

We like to stand at the start of races both fiddling with our Garmins and talking loudly about what settings we’re going to use so that everyone knows that we’re a 2 Garmin family. The next time I run a race without Candis, I’m going to wear both Garmins on one arm, mostly so that everyone can marvel at me, but also as a backup in case one fails. Also this will allow me to look at 8 different readouts at once. I’ll have no time left for watching the path I’m running on so please try to stay out of my way. The guy with 2 Garmins is coming through!

Let’s be honest, you probably didn’t notice from the pictures that we were both wearing Garmins, and that’s why I felt the need to point it out to you today. How else would you know how cool we are? It’s not like I’m ever going to have an excuse to post pictures of my Country Club Membership, my personal humidor, or my finely tailored suits that I lovingly tuck into my Louis Vuitton garment bag when I’m flying in spacious First Class.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ian's Next Half Marathon in 1:36:30!

[by Candis]

Before I get to my race report let me do a very important projection for you...

Allow me to state Ian’s Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon goal. (Glad you started this?) Based on Ian’s Bolder Boulder 10k time of 52:07, the McMillan Running Calculator claims Ian could run a half marathon in 1:55:58 (an 8:52 pace). The Georgetown Half is ALL downhill... so we’ll subtract a minute off the pace for that (a 7:52 pace). Ten more weeks on the FIRST training plan? We can subtract another half minute from the pace for that (a 7:22 pace) making Ian’s goal time for the Georgetown half 1:36:30! Ha! Now when he blows the doors off his 1:59:52 PR with a 1:50 you won’t be impressed because I told you he could do better! Annoying isn’t it!

Being a seasoned, asthmatic runner of 2 whole years, I am beyond proud of my pace accomplishments. I’m becoming blazing fast! I’ve shaved 1 minute 20 seconds off my 10k pace and 47 seconds off my 5k pace! (My Colder Boulder 5k in December will astound you! You better get busy Shaving Your 5K!)

My Bolder Boulder goal was 1:06 (a 10:40pace). Ian knew I could do it although he claimed a one hour goal for me (sure). My biggest concern was feeling like crap. It’s an odd concern, but that’s how I felt last year when I first ran it. I had trained for 9 months, but I absolutely hated it and cursed the entire way. I finished by sheer will power (which I have little of) and knew I’d hate myself if I didn’t run the entire way. (Even though 1:13:31 feels like I was barely running.)

This time I was determined to kick some serious butt. I adopted the FIRST plan and forced myself off the hamster wheel. It totally worked. If you’re tired of hearing about the FIRST plan, then you’ll have to filter me. The Furman Institute of Running doesn’t pay me but they should. I am done with easy runs and running 5 times a week. 3 hard, to-the-point-of-failing runs a week, yup that’s for me.

My goal pace of 10:40 turned into an impressive 10:30 pace. Even more impressive and telling were my last 2 miles, both 10 minute miles. If I can run two 10 minute miles then in a few months I should easily be able to run 6.2 of them.

I should also mention that I’ve now been duped into running the Denver Half Marathon. Peer pressure I guess, I can’t seem to say no to Ian. [Ed. Note: Giggity, giggity!] He ran a 52 min 10k and I would have done anything he asked- too bad you wasted it on a race :) [Ed. Note: :( ]

Also of note... According to my scientific calculations I’ll be an elite runner in 2012 and we’ll retire on my winnings. Follow me on this, in one year I reduced my pace by 1:20 if I do that every year then I’ll be running a 5:09 pace by 2012. That would give me a 32:02 10K time, which would have easily taken first in the Elite Women’s race this year.

And because Ian didn’t post any of his pictures...

As if you care, here are my official numbers...
Overall place: 21198
Division place: 293 out of 673
Gender place: 8620 out of 26287
Mile 1: 10:49
Mile 2: 10:54
Mile 3: 10:46
Mile 4: 10:43
Mile 5: 10:00
Mile 6: 10:01
Net time: 1:05:11 (Pace: 10:29)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Altitude Training

This past weekend was spent with my family at a cabin just outside of Grand Lake, CO (elev. 8500 feet). It’s my in-laws place and I’m not sure why we call it a cabin because it comes fully equipped with all of life’s luxuries; microwave, cable, coffee and espresso maker, a wide selection of DVDs, Xbox, and even a clubhouse with a pool and spa. The one amenity that is missing? Internet access, but what we lacked in world wide webawareness we made up for in an endless supply of Mythbusters and caffeine. As a result I did not get around to posting the Weekend Splits and just spent the last 15 minutes catching up on (read: deleting) all of the 183 posts in my Google reader.

What was supposed to be a quiet couple of days in the mountains was ruined by two loud, obnoxious kids that were causing a ruckus in the neighborhood, next time we’ll consider leaving them at home or disciplining them better. Ironically, the most peaceful part of the weekend was my run. The sun was shining, the breeze was cool and the oxygen supply was as abundant as modesty following a Manny Ramirez home run.

I took the opportunity to put some of my high altitude training tips to practice, and also stopped to take some pictures on my camera phone. Sure, that was why I was stopped. To take pictures of the scenery, not because I needed a break. This also has the added benefit that I can fill the remainder of this post with pictures and spend less time writing.

These pictures don’t do justice to the view.

I even tried my hand at trail running on this melted snowmobile trail.

Another break from the trail… to take a picture.

Ever the good citizen I was happy to oblige the road signs.

It was a beautiful run, and I recommend that you all take advantage of your in-laws’ cabin whenever you get the chance. What’s that? Your in-laws don’t own a mountain cabin that you can use? Well, maybe you should have taken that into consideration before you decided to fall in love and make life-long commitments. I know it was at the top of my list.