Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I was going to use today’s post to list things that I’m thankful for like friends, family and blog readers, but that’s not funny. It’s not funny at all. Also I’m not about to give thanks for a bunch of readers have taken it upon themselves to place bets in my comments section on what my knee injury is. Jerkfaces! Then I thought that I could make a sarcastic list of things that I was thankful for, but I did that last year so this year I’m just going to remind you that when you post your list of things that you’re thankful for, you had better include Half-Fast on your list. I tirelessly work my fingers to the bone for you people and you never remember to thank me for it! Would it kill you to tell me those 3 little words I’ve been longing to hear? Does it even occur to you that maybe I need to hear you say it every once and a while?

While you’re busy thanking me, don’t forget to also thank Amy, Nitmos, RazZDoodle, and the Runners’ Lounge for putting together a quality podcast for you to listen to over Thanksgiving. Seriously, download it today and then tomorrow when you think you can’t take one more story about how advanced your cousin’s illegitimate 7 month old is, just pop in your headphones and listen to the podcast. It will be 45 minutes of bliss compared to your family get togethers. Actually, I should mention that throughout the call there was this intermittent screeching noise in the background. I thought that Raz would remove it in editing, but it turns out that the annoying screeching noise was actually Nitmos talking. Even taking into account the cacophony that is Nitmos voice, it’s still going to be better than spending time with your family and having to explain to your mother why you just couldn’t make it work with that nice young lawyer even though he was cheating on you with a 17 year old and had no discernable soul.

We had a lot of fun recording the podcast, and I hope that you’ll have just as much fun listening to it. You can read the show notes and download the episode at Runners’ Lounge or at Running Off at the Mind.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

-Oh and by the way, I’m totally kidding about that betting on my injury thing. Get your guess in before Monday and we’ll see who’s the closest.

Download Podcast

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Doctor, doctor, give me the news

I’ve got a bad case of... well... I’m not really sure what it is... it’s not a hamstring... it’s not an ACL or MCL... it’s probably some kind of inflammation that’s caused by... well... I’m not really sure what could be causing it.

There you have it folks. I went to the doctor yesterday and he couldn’t tell me what was wrong with my knee. He listed a whole lot of common runner’s injuries and then proceeded to tell me why it didn’t sound like any of them. After that, just for fun he stretched, pulled, pushed and twisted my knee to see if he could duplicate the pain but he couldn’t, probably because I’m a tough guy. In fact, while he was trying to hyperextend my knee I looked at him squarely in the eyes and said “Doctor, do you expect me to talk?”
To which he replied with a sinister laugh, “No Mr. Vanilla, I expect you to die!” Then he tied me down, set the laser to “obliterate” and left me for dead. If it wasn’t for my laser-deflecting watch I’d have been dispatched for certain, instead I managed to escape through the heating ducts but only after making out with the hot nurse practitioner.

Yeah, so, Candis and I went to see Quantum of Solace this past weekend and somewhere after the phrase ‘hyperextend my knee’ in that last paragraph I transitioned into fiction. Hey, I’m not running much right now, what else do you want me to write about?

The Doctor (Evil?) was somewhat baffled by the way the injury happened and the way it went away in the following days. He thinks it might be some kind of inflammation and he was convinced that a MRI wouldn’t help much. The Doctor (No?) did refer me to an Orthopedic Specialist, which is great news because under my current health care insurance I think anything with that has the word ‘specialist’ in the title is totally and completely free... or maybe I’m reading that backwards. Anyway, the Orthopedic Specialist (cringe) can’t see me until Monday so I’m going to take this week off from running and then see what the specialist tells me to do. If anyone would like to buy a child I have two wonderfully behaved boys (entering the realm of fiction again) that I will gladly sell to get my knee back to its original form.

Check back tomorrow for the Podcast, and in the meantime enjoy another funny video courtesy of Marci’s blog, Ramblings of a Running Addict via Mike’s Carnival of Running at Running is Funny. If you don’t follow the Carnival of Running then you really should, it’s a lot like my Weekend Splits, except it’s actually posted on a regular basis. He even takes pot shots at Viper, just like I do.

No ellipses were harmed during the writing of this post.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Miscellany

Knee Problems Persist It turns out that my knee issue wasn’t just a one time, random occurrence as I had hoped. My long run on Saturday was abruptly ended at 14 miles when the pain in my knee became debilitating. Candis doesn’t think that I should run until the pain reaches the point where I would describe it as ‘debilitating’ but what would she know. On the plus side I made it 9 miles further this week before crashing to the ground in crippling pain. If that trend continues I’ll be able to run 23 miles next weekend before the pain kicks in. On the minus side, the pain was a lot worse this time and lasted a lot longer despite breaking open the Advil Liqui-Gels and mainlining that stuff right into my bloodstream.

I could really use some good advice here, and who better to turn to for advice than a group of pseudonymed commenters who seem to enjoy juvenile humor and sarcasm on a running blog. I’m toying with the idea of taking 2 weeks off from running to try and recover fully and then resuming my training. I have only 7 weeks left before the marathon so that would leave me 3 weeks to get ready for it and 2 weeks to taper. I’m really not ready to give up on it yet, but that won’t matter if my knee doesn’t heal up. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and I’ll let you know tomorrow who was closest to what a real doctor says, since I have an appointment with one this afternoon. Yeah, that’s how bad it is, I actually made an appointment to go see a doctor.

Podcasting You are probably already aware that the Runner’s Lounge has been putting together some really good podcasts lately. What you might not be aware of is that I was involved in one that was recorded last week. Amy Lawson, Nitmos and I joined RazZDoodle to record our first podcast. Well, it was a first for all of us except Raz, but he certainly performed as though it was his first. The podcast will be available on Wednesday and I’ll no doubt provide a link to it when it’s up, but let’s face it, the title Half-Fast doesn’t just apply to my running but also to my expediency in getting posts up at this wonderful little blog. If you’re really desperate to get your hands on the podcast the second it goes live then you’re better off checking Runner’s Lounge or Running Off at the Mind (Raz’s blog). Whatever you do, don’t miss it because we tackled many of the hard hitting issues that runners face, things like llamas, Fergie, and how to best let your coworkers know that you’re a runner. A couple of days after we recorded the podcast I found the following video at EverymanTri which is another funny way to let your coworkers know that you’re a runner, but not quite as funny or as good as our suggestions in the podcast. Enjoy.

“Think like an athlete...”

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shave Your 5K Update

This is just a friendly reminder for those of you who are participating in the Shave Your 5K Challenge that you only have 5½ weeks left to get achieve your Smooth time so you’d better get your butt out there and start running some 5Ks. My dilatory way of processing the results means that many of you didn’t receive an e-mail confirming that you were entered into the challenge, but if you sent me an e-mail with a 5K result then you should see your name on the results page. If you don’t see your name, then you need to send me another e-mail so that I can ignore you again correct my oversight.

All Smooth times must be e-mailed to me before the end of the day, January 1st, 2009. I’ll plan on announcing the winner’s and sending out prizes some time in January and I promise to be somewhat punctual about it.

Finally, here’s a video that is not related to anything I’ve said in this post whatsoever, but it’s Friday and I needed a laugh and you look like you could use one too.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Running Again

I went running yesterday morning, because I couldn’t bear the thought of resting any longer. I have experienced very little pain in my knee since the end of the all the football games on Sunday evening, but I am certain that my FBNH injury recovery system is fully responsible for what appears to be a complete recovery... almost. I had intended to run a very cautious 3 miles at a relaxed pace, but after a painless couple of minutes I found myself running at a heightened velocity. The scenery in my peripheral vision blurred together and disappeared behind me, the crunching of gravel underfoot grew rhythmically faster, my legs danced like a flautist’s* fingers trying to keep up with The Flight of the Bumblebee, the wind rushed fiercely through my ears, in one and out the other, my stride returned to its glorious, pre-injury form, and with it all, my proclivity for longwinded, run on sentences was apparently restored.

You might have deduced that it was a good run from my magniloquent description of it above, but at the very end of my 3 miles I did start to notice a faint pain in the back of my right knee again. Fortunately, I was finishing up my run and was able to kill it with a fun-sized pack of Advil. I’m going to rest up over the next couple of days and then make a second attempt at the 17 mile long run that was cut down in the prime of its life last Saturday. If I am unable to finish what I’ve started this coming weekend then it will be a sure sign that my work life has started to slip into my personal life, and also I’m going to look into having my knee replaced so that I can be ready for the PF Chang’s R‘n’R Marathon in January.

Do you hear me, right knee? If you screw up again you’re getting replaced. I simply won’t tolerate certain body parts quitting on the rest of us.

*Or ‘flutist’ if you prefer to be a little less pretentious, which I don’t.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You’re Hurt Because You’re Weak!

[a post by Candis]

Remember this post? It’s payback time!

As you all know from Ian’s last post he hurt his widdle knee on his long run last weekend.

Ian took his usual hour to prepare for his run Saturday. He mixed potions, calculated gels, went out on the back deck and then put on gloves, went out on the front porch and then took off his gloves, set up his private water station at the street and triumphantly announced he would return in an impressive 2 hours and 40 minutes (while we could also see him at his water stops). He bounded down the street while 2 PJ clad boys screamed “run blazing fast Daddy!” maybe they should have shouted “Don’t bust a knee Daddy!”

Tick, tick, tick... 45 minutes gone and the phone rang. I knew who it was and knew he needed a ride. Let’s just say it’s happened before. It’s a bad habit someone started. “Something’s really wrong. I can’t put weight on my knee... wait, let me try to run some more (genius)... argggg! Can you come get me?”

“Boys! Gotta’ go get Dad.” They jump in the car without so much as a question (normal).

All the way home, Ian showed his calmness and played down the injury. “I missed another run this week because of that dinner and now I owe RazZDoodle a beer and I probably won’t be able to go long next week, my marathon training is ruined!”

All day Saturday and all day Sunday Ian sulked around the house and used his “injury” to get out of being a useful human being. I thought he was really, really injured. “Oh, I wonder when you can get in to the doctor to get that looked at,” I asked worriedly.
“It’s not serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor’s office,” but it was serious enough that he was unable to get up and get a beer. It was serious enough that he couldn’t stand to make chocolate milk for the boys. It affected his ability to think. He couldn’t even remember for himself when he had last taken Advil! “Honey, can I take more Advil yet? Do you remember what time I took it?”

Why is it that men are such babies about getting hurt or injured? I’ve never heard a grown man complain so much about how cold an ice pack was. Ya, it’s ice, it’s supposed to be freezing.

Don’t even get me started on his FBNH recovery system or whatever he called it. It was more like CLAW- Complaining, Loafing, Advil and Whining. (At least mine actually makes a word.)

This is all very suspect. It’s convenient that Ian got injured at the start of the weekend. He had to rest during football- all 7 games that we watched.

Hey, Ian was right -for once- it is fun to mock other people’s pain!

Monday, November 17, 2008

[Expletive Laden Title]

Until Saturday morning I was able to count myself as one of those fortunate runners who had never suffered a running injury. Until Saturday. I really don’t have the words to describe how frustrated I am right now, but that’s only because this is a PG-13 blog and I try to avoid using words like [censored], [redacted], or mother[expletive]!

At the end of my first run of the week I noticed a twinge in the back of my right knee. I skipped my midweek run due to other commitments, although I used the aforementioned twinge to justify skipping the run. Then on a brisk Saturday morning I headed out for a 17 mile run (my longest run to date). Through the first 5 miles things were going swimmingly. I was feeling good and the pain behind my right knee was barely noticeable at all. I stopped at a crosswalk and waited for the traffic to stop. The cars stopped, the walk signal lit up, and I took off at my crosswalk pace, which is a little faster than my usual pace because there are more people watching at crosswalks. I made it two steps before wondering who was stabbing the back of my right knee with a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils. I stumbled, hopped and caught myself from falling before beginning the walk of shame. No, not that walk of shame, the runner’s walk of shame. You know, the one where people see you walking in all your running attire and know that you’re a quitter. Yeah, that was me on Saturday.

I walked for a minute, barely able to put weight on my right leg before deciding to try running again. Yes, you read that right, even though it was difficult to put weight on my right leg I thought I’d give running another try. Needless to say, it did not go well. I actually ended up calling Candis and telling asking her politely to come and pick me up so that I wouldn’t have to do the walk of shame all the way home. It sucked.

Since Saturday morning I’ve just been R.I.C.E.-ing it (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation for those of you who aren’t ‘in the know’). Except, the Ice was really, really cold and I didn’t like that so I replaced icing my knee with drinking beer, and that seems to be just as effective at relieving my pain. And then I also modified ‘resting’ to be ‘watching football’ which is still pretty relaxing even though it often involves me raising my voice at the TV. I don’t have anything to compress my knee with either so I changed ‘compressing’ with ‘nachos’ because nachos go great with football and beer. Elevating my knee worked out OK, but I usually have my feet up when I’m watching football anyway so I changed ‘elevation’ to ‘hot-tubbing.’ Suffice it to say it was a pretty relaxing weekend, even taking into account the intermittent screaming out obscenities at my right knee, and on the plus side I did come up with a new injury recovery system for runners: F.B.N.H. which is short for Football, Beer, Nachos and Hot-tubbing. Sure, it’s not an easy to pronounce acronym like R.I.C.E. but it more than makes up for its difficult pronunciation in its enjoyment factor.

For those of you are wondering (including you Candis), no, I’m not going to see our family physician, those people are nothing more than witch doctors and voodoo specialists with their fancy cars, high priced degrees and white coats. No, I’ve always believed that laughter was the best medicine, which is why we took our kids to the circus instead of the pediatrician when it was time to get their measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination.

As if all this isn’t bad enough, the weather has been absolutely perfect for running these past few days in Colorado. I can’t tell you how many runners I’ve cursed at for having the nerve to be out running while I was injured. Have they no sense of decency? No compassion for a fellow runner? Those selfish rat-[censored] can kiss my [bleep]ing [expletive]!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Best Thing About Pain?

Earlier this year I did a post for CRN (Complete Running Network) about adding inspirational movie quotes to your running playlist. It’s a fun distraction to hear quotes from your favorite movies interspersed with the songs that get you pumped up. The other night I was watching the movie G.I. Jane (don’t judge) starring Demi Moore as a woman trying to make it as a member of the Navy SEALS, when I came across the following quote that is being immediately added into the running playlist rotation:

“Pain is your friend, your ally, it will tell you when you are seriously injured, it will keep you awake and angry, and remind you to finish the job and get the hell home. But you know the best thing about pain? It lets you know you’re not dead yet!”
You can find a link to the mp3 file and the wav sound file at the bottom of this page.

Speaking of CRN, I don’t think I linked to either of my 2 most recent posts over there. (This is October’s and this is November’s.) So, if you haven’t already read them then you should go do that now, and in the future don’t wait for me to link to them you lazy sack of slow twitch muscle fibers. Seriously, do I have to do everything for you? You might be thinking that reading both of them is too much effort in which case you and I are a lot alike, and you should totally just read November’s because I kind of phoned in October’s. (Hey, just like I’m phoning in today’s post!)

I also want to mention the Treadmill Vehicle, as seen on With Leather (video below). I couldn’t think of a clever segue to allow me to just radically change topics like that in the middle of a post, so it’s a good thing that I don’t allow trivial things like flow and style to influence my writing. At any rate, the Treadmill Vehicle is claiming to be the first man powered treadmobile, but if you’ve been a reader of Half-Fast since the beginning (you’re still here?) then you will remember a couple of posts that I wrote about the Treadmill Bike. I think the Treadmill Bike people have grounds to sue the Treadmill Vehicle people and more importantly I think they’re both morons. A bicycle is much more convenient than either of these two options for getting around and if you wanted to run... then why wouldn’t you just run?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Art of the Snot Rocket

It was cold this morning when I left for my run, but running in the cold brings with it the joy of a runny nose. Why is a runny nose a joy? Because of all the snot rockets I get to fire during my run. If I ever get lost on a cold weather run I’m confident that I’ll be able to find my way home by using the Hansel and Gretel approved method of following the trail of Vanilla snot that can be found on various street signs and lampposts. That is, of course, assuming that the creatures of the forest don’t eat my “breadcrumbs”.

The snot rocket (or farmer’s blow) is an essential tool of the cold weather runner and if you don’t yet know how to perform this maneuver then it is high time you learned. Whatever you do, don’t follow Viper’s lead as his trail would apparently lead around his shirt and back to his shoulder.

If you’re an amateur snot-rocketeer (not to be confused with a Mouseketeer) then you’ll want to hone your skills when stopped at a crosswalk because it’s much easier to perform the snot rocket while standing still. Also, there are usually more people to witness your snot rocket at an intersection and that’s a good thing because this is a highly difficult and highly attractive endeavor. I mean, for me it just doesn’t get any sexier than a sweaty runner chick blasting snot rockets on a cold winter’s day.

Those of you who are veteran snot-rocketeers can perform this maneuver on the run. Here’s how you do it. First, you give a quick check over your shoulder to make sure there isn’t a cyclist barreling past you (or if you don’t like cyclists then wait until there is one). Turn to face over your right shoulder and tilt your head back a little. Breathe in through your mouth and plug your left nostril with your left index finger and then... FIRE!! “Bogey 1 is down, I repeat, Bogey 1 is down!”

Next, turn to the other side and acquire your next target. Plug the other nostril, wait until you get missile tone (not to be confused with mistletoe - you should never fire a snot rocket whilst under mistletoe, it would really catch your partner off guard and it’s totally disgusting) and then: Fire 2! Fire 2! “Bingo, that’s a direct hit, Bogey 2 is splashdown! Yehaw! Jester’s dead!”
“This is Mustang to Vanilla, can you get visual confirmation that the target has been destroyed?”
“That’s affirmative Mustang. Zero survivors, zero collateral damage.”

Collateral damage is not just a bad Schwarzenegger movie, it’s what happens when you misfire and get snot all over your pants or shoes, also often referred to as friendly fire. As you practice your snot rocketeering you may find that you get the occasional Stage 5 Clinger and these can be wiped on the bottom of your shirt. Avoid wiping these on the back of your sleeve, especially if you are prone to mopping the sweat off your forehead with the back of your sleeve. That’s a rookie mistake that you’ll only make once. Trust me. Before you know it you’ll become so proficient that you will fire snot rockets into the break room trashcan from the other side of the room. It’s a really neat party trick and a great conversation starter.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Things to Do on Your Long Run When Your Legs Are Dead

You might not be aware of this but I’m in the middle of training for a marathon. In January I’ll be heading out to Arizona to run in the PF Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, an endurance feat that I doubt has ever been accomplished by anyone else in the history of mankind. As part of my training for this daring undertaking I have been increasing my weekly mileage, and more specifically, increasing my long runs on the weekend. I’ve always found long runs to be somewhat boring and monotonous, but that is even more pronounced during marathon training, when your long runs last well beyond their entertainment value, kind of like an SNL skit.

Fortunately for you, I’ve come up with a useful list of things that you can do to help pass the time.

  • Use the time to plot the perfect murder.
  • Ponder the chicken and the egg, which one came first?
  • Use the time to concoct the perfect margarita.
  • See if you can balance your water bottle on your head.
  • See if you can balance your check book in your head.
  • Write your next blog post. If nothing exciting is happening then just make stuff up.
  • Try out some pick-up lines on everyone you see.
  • Listen to your mp3 player and figure out what Weird Al would do to each song. Surely you can do better than Rye or the Kaiser.
  • Call a cab.
  • Curse this cold weather.
  • Think up insanely long and confusing titles for your next blog post based loosely on movies that you haven’t even seen.
  • Pee on things.
  • Count the number of steps you take in a minute.
  • See if you can increase that number.
  • See if you can decrease it, maybe even to zero.
  • Stop somewhere for lunch.
  • Shout obscenities at some random passer-by.
  • Steal candy from a baby.
  • Change the screens on your Garmin to display sunrise, date, calories, and GPS Accuracy because knowing your time, distance and pace is overrated and only makes the run feel longer.
  • A spirited game of Ding, Dong, Ditch is a great way to get in some fartleks. (Did anyone else call this game Knock Down Ginger? That was how I knew it growing up in England but my wife had no idea what I was talking about.)
  • Take your Blackberry and reply to some e-mails.

Before you know it your run will be over and you’ll have a speedy time, because time flies when you’re having fun.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Personal Running Log - October 2008

October was my first ever 100 mile month. I guess the increased mileage is the result of training for the PF Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon. I know it’s been a while since I mentioned I’m running a marathon, so I hope you didn’t forget. You may now continue to be in awe of me. My mileage hasn’t yet topped out, but I’m already looking forward to tapering. How long is the standard taper for a marathon anyway? 5 weeks? 6 weeks? When can I start running less? And, is it a bad sign that in the midst of marathon training I want to run less?

I can safely say however, that I won’t be skipping any of my long runs. Those of you who read RazZDoodle’s blog (both of you) will already have heard about our little wager. Since we’re both running the RNR AZ marathon and his sister is running the half, we’ve decided that for every long run you skip you owe the other participants a beer. We will prove that we’ve completed our long runs by taking a picture of our Garmins and e-mailing them to Raz who will then post them on his blog (see last week’s here). If you are going to be running the RNR AZ marathon and want in on a piece of this action then let me or Raz know, and then head on over to his blog and leave discouraging comments that will cause him to miss his long runs. He’ll be happy to buy you a beer too.

October was also the first time that I received 10,000 plus hits in a single month, I wonder if the two are connected? Do the hits increase as the miles increase? I guess we’ll find out in January when I stop running completely.

Now, without further ado, I’ll get to the part of this post that you’ve all been waiting for; the raw data. If you’re like me, you get a boner just looking at all these running stats. Forget Nicollette Sheridan, give me some more of those sexy, naked numbers!

10/30/20086 Mile Loop Long HillTempo6 Mi52:088:42
10/28/20085 Miles Out & BackIntervals (3 x 1600)5 Mi42:258:29
10/26/20086 Mile Loop (x 2)Long12 Mi1:55:279:38
10/25/2008Denver Gorilla RunRace3.75 Mi36:229:42
10/23/2008TrackTempo 6 Mi51:438:38
10/21/2008TreadmillIntervals (5 x 1000)5 Mi41:298:18
10/19/2008Denver Half MarathonRace 13.1 Mi2:17:1410:29
10/17/20087 Miles Out & BackTempo7 Mi1:01:448:50
10/14/2008TrackIntervals (ladder)5 Mi42:438:33
10/11/20086 Mile Loop (x 2.5)Long15 Mi2:21:569:28
10/9/20087 Miles Out & BackTempo7 Mi1:04:039:09
10/7/2008TrackIntervals (4 x 800)4.5 Mi38:388:36
10/4/2008MiscLong13 Mi2:17:2010:34
10/3/20086 Mile Loop Long HillTempo6 Mi53:478:58
Distance: 108.4 miles
Total Time: 16:56:59


You’ll notice that I’ve changed the Denver Gorilla Run from 3.6 miles to 3.75 miles and that’s because that is what they are reporting it as on their website, and also because it makes my pace look a little more respectable.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Off Track: Idiot in an Elevator

When I returned from lunch today I was riding the elevator up to my office when I had the following conversation:

Unknown stranger: Did you vote?
Me: Yeah. Did you?
Stranger: No... It doesn’t matter, it’s going to be a landslide anyway.
Me: You think Nader’s got this all locked up too, huh?

Keep in mind that I live in Colorado, which is one of the more evenly split states according to recent polls and that we have 9 electoral votes. Now this stranger may be right, this thing may be a landslide and his vote may not have mattered but I find myself hoping that he’s weeping into his loafers as the results come in tonight. The really bizarre part was that he brought up the question of whether I had voted, obviously knowing that I would likely return the question. It was like he was dying to tell me that it didn’t matter whether you voted or not.

I know every other blog is telling you to go vote today and I really wasn’t planning on doing it because I hate to be like every other blog, but please don’t be like the idiot in the elevator. Go vote. It does matter, even if everyone already knows that your state is red or blue. It matters that you vote. It’s your civic duty to vote. If you don’t do it, then I don’t think we can be online friends anymore.

Runners Expose Their Pumpkins, Get Ticketed

The Naked Pumpkin Run took place in Boulder, CO on Halloween night and police were out in full force ticketing people for indecent exposure. As opposed to ticketing them for decent exposure which is what happens when models and beautiful people expose themselves and is only a misdemeanor if there are kids around. You might remember that I had mentioned the event in a previous post, but I just wanted to write a quick follow up today because things got interesting this year.

In this the 10th annual Naked Pumpkin Run through the streets of Boulder police decided to crack down on the naked runners and issued citations to 12 of them. There were upwards of 100 participants this year, so I’m not sure what these 12 people did to warrant indecent exposure citations but I’m sure you can all come up with some creative guesses in the comments. Now pay attention because this is where the story gets really funny, if these charges stick the naked pumpkin runners will have to register themselves as sex offenders. ROFLOL! It’s funny because it’s not happening to me!

I’m no legal expert but I’m fairly certain that being required to register as a sex offender has far reaching implications that could possibly change your life forever. Your neighbors will shun you, no one will let you near their kids, and you could possibly lose your job and find it difficult to get another one. No, stop, you’re killing me! I’m in tears laughing over here! OK, maybe it’s not quite as funny as I’m making it out to be, but next time you decide to expose your pumpkins (unisex euphemism) and go running down the street you might want to think twice. Heck, even thinking once might have helped in this situation.

[Source: Daily Camera]

Monday, November 3, 2008

Do you mind if I run with you?

Such was the question posed to me during a recent tempo run while I was paused at an intersection. As I waited for the walk signal to tell me it was time to run again, I was approached by a guy who was probably still excited that he could now legally buy porn and vote, although probably less so the latter. “Do you mind if I run with you?” he asked. I nodded and pointed out which trail I was intending to follow, and then we both obstructed our hearing with our earbuds, bringing our clumsy attempt at socializing to a screeching halt. As we waited for the walk signal he jogged in place and I tried to distance myself from him so that people wouldn’t think that we were together. I used to be one of those people that jogged in place at intersections, but I haven’t done that since this post.

After a few seconds the traffic light turned red, the little white man started flashing (the crosswalk signal, not me) and I took off across the street. I made it safely to the other side and headed on down the trail, moving to the far right so that Junior could run alongside me, but Junior never did. At first I was worried that he hadn’t made it through the busy intersection, but I didn’t want to look back because if he had been hit by a car I’d feel obligated to stop and assist him. If I just kept on running I could pretend I didn’t know that he’d been run over and avoid unnecessarily interrupting my run. Curiosity got the better of me and I glanced back over my shoulder. Fortunately for me, Junior had made it across the street and was 7 or 8 paces behind me. I stayed to the right, expecting him to pull up next to me at any second but he never did.

I glanced back a couple more times and Junior was always 7 or 8 paces behind me. This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I told him he could run with me. I glanced down at my watch and was shocked to find that I was running a 7:20 pace, a full minute faster than I was attempting to complete the tempo section of this run. I tried backing off the pace a little but there was something about having company on a run that wouldn’t let me slow down. After a quarter of a mile at this blistering pace (for me anyway) I managed to back the pace down a little and shortly thereafter Junior pulled up next to me. He was flush in the face and visibly winded and it took everything I had not to crack a smile at this realization. I backed off the pace a little more and pulled out an earbud when it looked like he was about to speak, “I’m going to turn around and head a different direction,” he said between gasps for air.
“Okay,” I nodded, “I’ll see you around.”
“Yeah, thanks for letting me run with you,”
he said while offering up a fist bump. I tried to return the fist bump, but missed awkwardly as he had already turned to run back the other way and my arms weren’t long enough. I quickly turned the fist into a wave so as not to seem like so much of an idiot - whew, really sidestepped that landmine! I finished the rest of my run grinning from ear to ear. I had run with a younger guy and I had beaten him soundly.

While I’m on the subject of great runs, I had another one on Saturday. It was my first attempt at 16 miles and I chose to run two 6 mile loops and then a 4 mile loop, again attempting to run negative splits. Here’s how it worked out:

1st Loop (6 Miles) - 58:30 (9:45 pace)
2nd Loop (6 Miles) - 56:04 (9:21 pace)
3rd Loop (4 Miles) - 35:56 (8:59 pace)
Total: 16 miles – 2:30:30 (9:25 pace)

My training schedule was calling for me to run this at my intended marathon pace (9:09) + 45 to 60 seconds per mile, but that seems way too slow to be doing my long runs, so again I started at a 9:45 pace and tried to pick it up as I went along. I still felt strong at the end of this run, so it’s possible that I might need to increase the pace a little more on my long runs, but there’s still time for that between now and January.