Thursday, July 31, 2008

Plans for a PR

With my Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon coming up next Saturday, this is probably as good a time as any to set a goal. In the past when it came time to set race goals I’ve set blatantly unattainable ones to push myself, I’ve set easy ones so that I knew I wouldn’t fail, I’ve set round number goals because they sound nice, I’ve even attempted to retroactively change my race goals so it looked like I succeeded. As you can tell, I take this stuff pretty seriously. I calculate and recalculate to make sure I’ve thoroughly thought through my race goals. (Thoroughly thought through? There’s got to be a better way to say that.) However, in setting my goal for this upcoming half marathon I’ve done very little thinking or calculating and it’s not a round number. My goal time is 1:54:48.

If you’re wondering where I got that time from then wonder no more; it’s one second faster than Viper’s PR at the half marathon distance. Up until May of this year, Viper had faster PRs than I did in all of the 4 major race distances. (Note: I consider the 4 major race distances to be 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon, this is my opinion, it is not fact although scientists often consider the two to be one and the same.) However in May I posted a 10K time of 52:07 which is still faster than Viper’s current 10K PR and thus put me 1-up on Viper. And if you follow my logic on how I could be 1-up on someone who has 3 faster PRs than I do, then you’re well on your way to becoming one of my favorite readers. The goal for next Saturday then is to claim another PR from Viper and then to bloviate at length about being 2-up.

Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than it sounds. You see on the same Saturday that I’ll be decimating the 1:54:48 half marathon record, Viper is running a 10K in the hopes of breaking the 50 minute 10K. Truth be told, Viper was on pace to beat my 10K time earlier this month, but instead decided to teach the internets about the Puke Threshold. We are all the wiser for it.

So mark your calendars because next Saturday, August 9th is going to go down in history. Will we both make our stated goals or will one of us fail? *cough Viper cough* Perhaps we’ll both fail which would be really pathetic and anticlimactic, but totally within character, for me at least. Either way, I’m drawing a line in the sand, and then drawing a little winking smiley face so Viper knows that this is all in good fun, and also maybe a cartoon Pluto because I learned to draw him as a kid and can still draw him really well. Then maybe I’ll draw a beautiful beach scene in the sand because, wouldn’t it be ironic if people were gazing at my beach scene drawing and missing the beautiful beach scene that was all around them? Man, some people are idiots.

If you’re really that interested you can see a list of my PRs at the bottom of this page, and can find a list of Viper’s in the sidebar at Booze Hounds Inc.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


[by Candis]

It hurts, it actually hurts. I don’t think I can do this. I have had to do horrible, unimaginable things for 5 whole days now. I don’t want to hear I told you so. I had to... I had to... I had to write my training sessions down on a piece of paper! That aggravation which is Windows Vista has struck again and for two weeks they expect me to be without my computer!

Did you know that runners used to just keep spirals full of pages and pages of their runs. No auto-generated calendars. No motivating graphs. No Google maps. If I want to remember how I did, I have to page back through my high schoolesque trapper keeper and remember.

I have this fantastic running toy that tracks my pace, elevation, and distance but I can’t download it anywhere! Ever heard a Garmin cry? They are made to analyze. Made to tell me every little detail about my run. They comfort, “Oh honey, it was a slow run because it was 93 degrees out.” “Really, who can be expected to run intervals in the wind.” Your Garmin will even stroke your ego, “Wow, you are getting so fast, look at that hill you obliterated!” even “Don’t worry, you own that race!” Now I just stare into it’s gray, listless eyes and it tells me how unfulfilled it is. “Don’t worry, we’ll fight through it. Let’s run anyway.”

For those of you who are wondering how I posted this without a computer... First of all, I’ll thank you all to just mind your own business. And second of all... telegram STOP

Monday, July 28, 2008

Chicked on my Long Run

It’s been a while since anyone overtook me on one of my training runs, it’s been even longer since a chick did it. However, on Saturday morning after my long run I found myself resetting my consecutive-days-without-getting-chicked counter back to zero. It happened early on in my twelve miler, which gave me over an hour to reflect on what a failure I was, and also to think up some good excuses for why it happened.

I was right around the 3 mile mark when I heard footsteps behind me and I knew instantly that I was beaten. The chick’s heels never touched the ground as she pranced past me displaying the air of superiority that I usually like to exude. She looked kind of manish, and should have expected that I’d describe her in such a manner regardless of whether or not it was true. She bounced along ahead of me in a singlet and short running shorts, obviously a seasoned runner from the lack of anything resembling body fat. Seriously ladies, you’d have hated her, but it doesn’t matter because I hated her enough for all of us.

My first excuse thought was that she was running at a faster pace because she was only running a mile or two. However, she was wearing a fuel belt that indicated otherwise. Next it occurred to me that she was doing quarter mile intervals and that I’d witness her stop or slow down shortly, but that never happened. Finally I concluded that there were only three possible explanations for her overtaking me:
  1. Steroids, and lots of them.
  2. She was some type of running cyborg sent here from the future by my future self to motivate me to run faster. I’m clever like that, at least I will be in the future.
  3. Some combination of 1 and 2.

It’s that simple. So if you’re a woman and think that you’re faster than me you might want to get a blood test or an x-ray to make sure that you’re not unwittingly on the juice or actually a robot. If both of those come up negative then I hate to tell you this, but you’re a man.

Other than that little snafu, my long run went really well. I was able to push the pace down under 8:50 miles for the last part of the run which was very encouraging, and I felt pretty good. I’m feeling good about my chances for a PR in the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon in 2 weeks, but I’ll have more on that at a later date.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Video Friday

I got nothing today. Zip, zero, zilch, nada. I find that the best thing to do when you don’t know what to post on your blog is to steal something from someone else’s blog or find a video to post. Video’s are great because the bright, moving images on the screen distract the gormless readers from the fact that you really haven’t written anything of substance, not that I ever write anything of substance. Today I’m stealing a video from another blog which makes me doubly awesome, and doubly lazy too (it’s a double double). I found the following video posted over at, one of Kelly’s readers sent it to her. Man, it would be nice to have cool readers like that. Maybe if I stopped insulting my readers... nah... that can’t be it.

Anyway, the video goes over the basics of proper running attire and I think we can all learn something from it.

The next video was sent to me by Candis (my ever-supportive wife), who has posting privileges here at Half-Fast so I’m not sure why she didn’t just post the video herself. Seriously honey, I thought we already established that I’m the lazy half of this marital union. Candis, you might remember is training for her first sprint triathlon. I think that she’s trying to scare herself looking at videos like this.

Those of you who can’t view the videos because your workplace doesn’t allow them (ahem), are probably wishing that I was as considerate as Xenia. But I’m not. Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Put Down the Mississippi Mud Pie

The results of the fattest state contest have been published and the big winners are... *drumroll*... everyone not residing in Mississippi. That’s right folks, there are as many overweight people as there are introductions involving the words cousin-slash-daughter in the state of Mississippi. (Come on you didn’t think I’d pass up the easy, overdone, cheapshot at the South did you?) As reported by That’s Fit, the state in which I reside (Colorado for those of you not paying attention) was predictably the leanest, no doubt bolstered by my presence here. As a member of the leanest, meanest state, allow me to offer some constructive advice to any fat eyeballs that might be tuning in from Mississippi: Less fried stuff, more running.

You can follow this link to view the full list of states and see how your state stacks up. Incidentally the list is remarkably similar to my hit count by state list. Colorado is generally one of the higher states and Mississippi is generally one of the states that yields fewer hits. You’re probably thinking that it makes sense that fitter states would be more likely to tune in to Half-Fast, and that’s what I originally thought too, until the reality of it set in: Reading Half-Fast directly leads to weight loss. It’s undeniable. Do you know what this means? We have to get the word out, the people have a right to know that the secret to weight loss has been right here all along. Just reading Half-Fast results in you losing weight, probably from the ab workout you get laughing at all my jokes. Spread the word: Half-Fast is better than the Atkins diet, more reliable than Weight Watchers, and has been SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN to be more effective than doing nothing at all.

Disclaimer: Consult your physician before reading Half-Fast. Women who are nursing or pregnant should not sit too close to the keyboard while reading. Consuming alcohol while reading Half-Fast is highly recommended (the jokes seem funnier when you’re soused). Tingling and numbness on the left side of your head is expected and completely normal, but only on the left side. If the right side of your head experiences any tingling or numbness dial 9-1-1 immediately and induce vomiting. In extremely rare instances readers have reported strong urges to go for a run while reading Half-Fast but this can be overcome with copious amounts of alcohol or by slapping yourself in the face while yelling “Get a hold of yourself, man!” (Note, female readers might find it more effective to replace the word man with woman.) If you experience an erection lasting more than 4 hours, you have left Half-Fast and moved on to other areas of the Internet, simply return to Half-Fast to curb arousal. DO NOT call your physician in this circumstance unless your physician is an attractive, single, female who will be duly impressed by your newfound stamina. If you experience swelling or a loss of sensation in your right hand you have probably become tangled up in the mouse cord, simply unwrap it from your wrist and go buy a wireless mouse. Overwhelming feelings of inferiority may result from reading Half-Fast but this is only because you are inferior to me, do not make any attempt to relieve these feelings as that would be discourteous to me. If you become irritated, temperamental or moody while reading Half-Fast then you are probably too uptight to visit this site in a sober state. In the event of an allergic reaction please remember that Half-Fast takes no responsibility in any matters, is never at fault and is always right. Always.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dual Runner Family

There are a number of benefits in having a spouse who also runs, we motivate each other, neither of us has to explain why we’re spending so much money on race fees or Clif SHOT Gels or running attire. We understand the eccentricities that come with running, the time spent analyzing splits, the carb loading, the time spent analyzing how clear one’s urine is. “Hey, honey! Check this out! You wouldn’t even know that I pee’d in here if I didn’t tell you!” I’m such a romantic.

All in all, I love that Candis is a runner. However, this weekend we came across one of those times when it was disadvantageous for us to both be runners. The temperature was going to be in the high 90s/low 100s all weekend and we were both looking to get in a long run. Both of us decided that the ideal time for this was early Saturday morning before it got too hot. Sunday morning was eliminated as we would both be at church, and the evenings really don’t cool down that much and are reserved for other social activities (read: drinking). We can’t both go on Saturday morning because we have these two little people living with us that apparently can’t be left alone at the house. Come to think of it maybe it is not disadvantageous that we are both runners, maybe it is disadvantageous that we are both parents... Anyway, this situation led to the following conversation:

Me: I’m going to get up and run first thing Saturday morning.
Candis: Um, when am I supposed to go run?
Me: I don’t know. Maybe you could run on the treadmill?
Candis: You expect me to run 10 miles on the treadmill?
Me: Sure.
Candis: No way. You wouldn’t run 10 miles on the treadmill. Why do you get to run on Saturday morning?
Me: Because I have a race coming up much sooner than you do.
Candis: Oh, I see… You’re going to play the ‘race card’ huh?

And then we both cracked up laughing. We did find a suitable compromise, I went for my long run (11 miles) on Saturday morning and Candis cut her run down to 6 miles with some intervals and did it on the treadmill. Contrary to what you may have heard, marriage is not all about making compromises, it’s about making your spouse make compromises. In that vein, I will continue to play the ‘race card’ until the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon, after which I’ll need to find a way to discredit the ‘race card’ theory because Candis will surely be looking to use it.

Saturday, July 19, 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.

Does riding this bike constitute a Brick workout?

Michemily posted the link to that image in the comments a while ago and I’m just now getting around to using it. Thanks Michemily!

  • Many of you are taking part in the Hundred Push Ups Challenge. Viper responded this week by announcing his Chin Up Challenge. But it’s a chin up challenge with a twist. Or on the rocks. Or neat. Or however you take it really.
  • If you haven’t been following Xenia’s Wizards of Blogland story featuring many of your favorite running bloggers then you’re really missing out. Missing out on Xenia (Warrior Princess?) skewering and roasting them that is.
  • Frayed Laces is proposing a new formula that indicates runs longer than 16 miles get exponentially longer. It’s a pretty confusing equation for someone like me and the results are terrifying, which is why I don’t do runs longer than 16 miles, or even 13.1 really.
  • Kristina spent 103 minutes on the phone with Garmin customer service, which equates to a pace of roughly 3 curse words/minute. In all honesty the solution to her problem was staring her right in the face the whole time: Don’t sweat in your Garmin 405. Duh!
  • Cranky Fitness is rewriting the fitness dictionary. You may think you know what a marathon is or what a split is, but you’d be surprised. Hey while we’re at it, let’s change fartlek to something less prone to juvenile snickering.

Comment of the Week
As much as I loathe to feed his ego, Nitmos actually made me spit oatmeal out on my keyboard when I read the following on my Elevation Profiling post.
I’ve had pimples bigger than that hill. On my ass.
Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week
This week it’s a little Gangsta Rap courtesy of Bert and Ernie. Snoop D - O - Double-G gots nothin’ on these two.

Have a great weekend everyone! Happy running.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Elevation Profiling

Before every race I run I always like to make sure that I’ve looked at the elevation profile. It allows me to be prepared for the uphill sections that will no doubt slow my pace and shows me the downhill sections where I can make it up. Recently though, it seems that less and less races are putting their elevation maps online. Presumably the reason for this is because they know that I want to see one and they hate me. Either that or there isn’t enough of a demand for this information for them to take the 10 minutes that it would require to make it available. Whatever the case, it means additional work for me and the only thing I hate more than additional work for me is... well... nothing I guess.

I recently made mention of the fact that both halves of the upcoming Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon are downhill. For those of you shackled with the deductive reasoning skills of a Brussels sprout this is accomplished by the fact that the race is a point-to-point course starting in Georgetown (elev. 8500 ft) and finishing in Idaho Springs (elev. 7500 ft). That makes this race pretty much downhill all the way. Pretty much. Below you’ll find the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon elevation map, courtesy of my work ethic.

You’ll notice that the first 2 miles are relatively flat, which is just a brutal way to have to start a race. What kind of sadistic race director starts you out on a flat surface? From there things just go downhill, literally. The plan is to try and conserve some of my energy on the slopes of miles 3 through 5 so that I’ll have the strength to get up that heartbreak of a hill at the 6½ mile mark. If you look really closely at the elevation map you’ll see the hill I’m talking about. *shudder* Obviously I don’t have to tell you guys that this course is not tailor made for setting a PR, but that’s exactly what I’ll be shooting for because I don’t back down from a challenge. I take the challenge by the horns and make it call me Daddy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

OK Fine. I’ll Do It Too.

I have over 150 running blogs in my Google Reader because I like to pretend that I have my fingers on the maxed out pulse of the running blog community, and lately I have been noticing a lot of running blogs talking about the one hundred push ups challenge. It has been like one of those viral memes that occasionally spread through my reader like this wicked, burning rash that I have. Being the egomaniac that I am, I assume that you’re all posting about the one hundred push ups challenge just to give me the hint that I should get on board. I get it. I’m reading you loud and clear and I’ve decided that I’ll join in the fun.

Initially I was going to join the challenge without mentioning it here on Half-Fast because it just seems so unoriginal and copycat to do it now when so many of you are already on the second or third week of the program. Also, I figured if I didn’t mention it then no one would be able to laugh at me or call me a slacker when I wash out in 2 weeks. However, I wasn’t sure what to post today and this seemed like the easy way out.

When I first heard about the one hundred push ups challenge I was pretty excited, but that’s because I thought that it had something to do with the push up bra, or as I prefer to call it the big let down, which is what happens when it comes off, both physically and emotionally. Anyway, I’m still excited about the challenge just not as visibly so as I was before. The first step as you all know is to do the initial test and see how many push ups you can perform before exhaustion. I’m a little unsure about how this works though, because I started this test last night and I’m still going strong. It’s true, I’m actually doing one handed push ups right now and typing with my other hand. I hope it’s not considered cheating to do the push ups one handed.

Finally, if anyone has any good home remedies for an itching, burning rash please post them in the comments. If need be I am happy to provide pictures of the infected area.

UPDATE: My apologies to the ladies for the boobies up there, if you like you can go visit Frayed Laces for a little dose of Matthew McConaughey. SWOON!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Better than a Fuel Belt?

On Saturday I finally got back to some double digit mileage with a sweaty 10 miler, but it isn’t my Herculean efforts that I’m planning on regaling you with in this post. I’ll save that for another time. Instead what I’d like to draw your attention to is a bizarre sight that I saw during my long run. I sped (yes, sped) around a corner and found myself rapidly gaining on a woman walking around the lake with a water bottle on her head, ever alert for new blog fodder I whipped out my camera phone and snapped this picture:

The really strange part was the steadfast demeanor of the water bottle. It didn’t wobble to and fro, it didn’t look like it was in any danger of falling off her head despite the fact that it was a little crooked. It just stood there like a stoic Leaning Tower of Pisa. The woman walked briskly and not at all cautiously as though she knew that the little water bottle would not fall. I never saw her reach up to steady it or catch it, and I never saw her take a drink from it but it did appear to be half empty. Although I suppose you optimists might have claimed that it was half full.

I passed her quickly and I successfully resisted the temptation to knock the water bottle from her dome or trip her to see if it was in fact attached somehow. It occurred to me that it could be a mirage. Thirsty people stranded in the desert often think they see water, and it was hot and I was thirsty. Then I got home and looked at the picture I’d taken and unless my camera was also hot and thirsty and seeing the same mirage I realized that it must be real.

I don’t understand why you would do this, and when I don’t understand something I find that the best response is to make fun of it. Seriously, what’s the point of this? Does it help your balance or posture? And if so, does it help it enough to outweigh the fact that you look weird doing it? I think not. Is it easier to secure your water bottle to your head than to carry it or wear a fuel belt? I’m baffled. Do any of you carry your water bottles like this or know why someone would? I’m all ears if you’ve got answers in the comments.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Weekend Splits

Weekend Splits is my recap of things that I found interesting or humorous over the past week. If you have a submission for the weekend splits e-mail me.

Need an excuse to get rid of your treadmill?

That image was lifted right off J-Money’s blog, The Typing Makes Me Sound Busy, so you’ve probably already seen it... because you already read The Typing Makes Me Sound Busy right? If not then you should remedy that immediately, and if you don’t have room in your life for another blog, then drop Half-Fast and start reading The Typing Makes Me Sound Busy. OK well maybe don’t drop Half-Fast, but drop another blog that’s mediocre and add The Typing Makes Me Sound Busy, which is really entirely too long a title to keep typing out in full. (TTMMSB?)
On to the links:
  • Me, me, me, me, me, me!
  • Also of interest on CRN is Mike Antonucci's post, Running with Viagra, in which he tries out some new slogans for Viagra. It’s a performance enhancing drug you know.
  • Guys, are you wondering what the etiquette is for going shirtless this summer? Lance: the Blog has the answer in his summer shirtless guide, Part 1 and Part 2. Women going shirtless isn’t really addressed because everyone knows it’s always encouraged.
  • Steve in a Speedo?! Gross! is a new blog that I’ve just added to my reader and I thought that you should know about this great blog. If you already knew about it then why didn’t you tell me? This week might have been a bad week to start reading as there has been a lot of talk and pictures of his chest waxing.
  • The iPhone 3G wasn’t the only big thing to be rolled out on Friday. Everyman Tri rolled out a new workout, a Super High Intensity Training program complete with acronym. Don’t you wish that you could tell people that your training program was the S.H.I.T.? Now you can.
Comment of the Week
It was too hard to pick just one out of the awesome comments you all made on the New Balance Post. Click here to go read all the comments, it’s worth your time. Easy way out? You betcha’.

I don’t have a Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week this week because I’m too lazy to find one. Be sure to read the important Site News post below, especially if you need your daily dose of humility to help keep your ego in check. I know I do.

Have a great weekend everyone. Happy running.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Site News: Duplicate Posts

For those of you who read Half-Fast via a reader or some version of the feed please pay attention to this special alert. Some of the content for the tabs on Half-Fast has been hosted on another blog and is being moved over to the main blog this weekend. While this content will not show up on the front page due to the magic of back-dating you will probably receive these items in your feed reader.

For those of you who don’t subscribe to the feed (jerks!) you will not notice anything out of the ordinary except for my angry glare through the computer at you, and my withholding of affection. In fact your time spent reading this Site News post is completely wasted. Leave now and don’t come back until you’re ready to show Half-Fast some commitment by way of subscribing to the feed!

The rest of you subscribers are probably going to come into the office on Monday and find some new posts on your reader that are not showing up on the front page of the blog. At first you’ll be confused but then the light will break through the weekend haze and you’ll remember that you read this Site News post about how this might happen. You’ll read the posts anyway and think that they are astoundingly brilliant and delightful if not a little familiar sounding. Of course if you didn’t get to this Site News post until Monday morning after all the duplicate posts, then your quizzical, head-tilting expression will only now be evaporating from your beautiful faces. You look so cute when you’re confused, which is fortunate because it happens ALL THE TIME.

Fast Food

It is a rare occasion that I see the inside of a fast food restaurant, and not because I prefer the drive through. Nevertheless on Wednesday night my wife and I found ourselves with only minutes to spare before the start of the movie we were going to see and we popped in to one such establishment. I don’t want to name the restaurant for fear of a lawsuit but let’s just say that it rhymes with Pentucky Lied Stickin’ and generally just goes by its initials. So we walked into this PLS and a quick glance around at the size and shape of the patrons confirmed my suspicions: I was better than all these people. You see, when I go into a fast food joint I like to look down my nose at everyone else in there because I eat healthier than these people do, I’m in better shape than these people are and I’m a runner. As fellow runners you have my permission to feel like you are better than the peasants that regularly frequent these locales and to let it be known that they are beneath you.

As we stepped up to the register and began to order, the portly woman who was waiting for her food rudely interrupted, “Excuse me! Are those fries fresh?”
“I’m sorry Ma’am?” replied the incredulous teen behind the counter, eyeing her suspiciously for sneaking the word ‘fresh’ into a PLS.
“Those fries,” she said waving a plump finger in their direction, “they look like they’ve been sitting there for a while.”
“Ohhhhhh, no. No the lamp keeps ‘em hot,” replied the teen before throwing a casual “Hey make sure those fries are hot,” over his shoulder to the “chef” in the back. I’m guessing that they probably made sure that this lady’s fries were hot by hocking a loogie onto them, or maybe worse.

What was amusing to me was that the word ‘fresh’ obviously wasn’t even in this kid’s vocabulary, or if it was it was filed under hot or toasty, but I don’t blame the kid. The word ‘fresh’ is not something that management had taught him, it’s not a word you should be associating with a fast food joint. ‘Fresh’ is a punchline that the ad execs throw around in their meetings, ‘fresh’ is the inside joke that upper management laughs about when they see it slathered all over their newest marketing campaign. If you really want fresh, you don’t go to a place that has heat lamps.

While we were waiting for our food Candis turned and whispered “you want me tell them to make sure it’s fresh?”
“No,” I laughed, “just make sure they don’t give us that lady’s fries.”

We quickly ate our greasy, unfresh chicken and left to go see the movie Get Smart because unlike some people, I haven’t surrendered my huevos to my wife just yet, at least not when it comes to movie choices.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chicks Dig the Long Run

A quick perusal of my always exciting running log tells me that I haven’t run double digit miles in over two months. That’s appalling, especially when you take into consideration that I have the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon approaching quickly. I’m feeling the need to get longer, which is actually very easy according to the forty e-mails a week that I find in my spam folder. Anyway, I’ll be putting in some long runs over the next few weekends and hoping that the last minute cramming technique will serve me as well in my running as it did in my skooling. Hoo boy, I’m screwed!

I may even throw in some double digit runs in the middle of the week which is unheard of for me. I was giving serious thought to putting in a 10 miler this morning but I forgot was too lazy to get up early enough to squeeze it in before work and the forecast calls for temperatures in the low 100s today. My run tonight will depend greatly on the temperature when I get home from work, but I’m hoping to gut out an 8 miler at the very least.

My fear is that I have been too focused on getting faster and have forgotten that I need to maintain a healthy long run. By way of example, my last run was only 4 miles but it did include some 4 x 800s. Hey, everyone else is doing them, I thought I should too.

Interval 1: 3:39 (7:18 pace)
Interval 2: 3:46 (7:32 pace)
Interval 3: 3:41 (7:22 pace)
Interval 4: 3:45 (7:30 pace)

At this rate I will have no problem maintaining my goal pace for my upcoming half marathon... right up until I hit 7 miles, at which point I expect the lungnuts will come loose and the wheels will fall off the wagon. The only saving grace here is that the second half of this course is downhill (as is the first half) which means that I might just be able to tumble all the way to the finish. Let’s call that Plan B. Plan A will be for me to get in some more double digit runs over the next 3 weeks so as to stave off the biggest fade since Kid ‘N Play took the mic.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Balance

The maniacal overlords that provide me with a paycheck in exchange for looking busy and surfing the internet all day are actually making me work on work-related things this week so this will be a short post. I saw this New Balance commercial this morning while I was getting ready for work and I hadn’t seen it before. Either it’s a new commercial, or I somehow missed it when everyone was posting these videos to their blogs a couple of months ago. I even posted one. I hope that it wasn’t this one because that would make me look really stupid.

Yeah, Running has a hot friend called Victory but she’s also got some ugly friends that she insists on bringing on our dates. You may have heard of them: Black Toenail, Body Odor, Skipping Happy Hour and Overuse Injury. They’re a total drag and I don’t know why Running likes them so much. As for Victory, she’s hot and all but she’s totally stuck up. She doesn’t laugh at my jokes and I know that she’s been trying to get running to break up with me for a while now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Running of the Bulls

“Weee-heeeee! What fun!”

Today marked the first day of the traditional Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. You may not know this but Pamplona, Spain is actually where the Fountain of Youth is located, except replace ‘Youth’ with ‘Stupidity.’

According to reports at least 9 people were injured in the festivities, which included being chased by angry bulls over a half mile course before finishing in the bullfighting arena. No word yet on how many bulls were injured during the chase but I wouldn’t worry too much about the bulls. Apparently they have some wonderful veterinarians (or “bullfighters” if you prefer) waiting in the stadium (or slaughterhouse) and if they deem any of the bulls to be too injured (or too bull-like) to live they humanely put them down. This is often a slow process that takes the bull many hours to die but I’m quite sure that they have the bull’s best interests at heart. Often, crowds of sympathetic supporters (or sadistic barbarians) gather to mourn (cheer) the bull’s passing.

I’m laying on the sarcasm pretty thick here, and I’ve never really considered myself an animal rights activist or anything. Mostly because that would require some kind of principles or commitment on my part and that sounds like a lot of work, but something about this 9 day festival just isn’t right. I’ll be the first to admit that I love me a good steak, and I don’t have a problem with the killing of tasty animals for sustenance, but I guess I draw the line at doing it for sport. Does this mean that I do have some principals? Is this what it feels like to take a stand for a cause? It feels kind of tingly with a faint air of superiority. I think I like it. Have I finally found an outlet for my bawdy self-righteousness?

Note: If you turn my comments section into an animal rights flame war I will run over the next cat I see.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

On Weight Loss and Triathletes

Two quick things today.
1. It would appear that the secret to weight loss has finally been unlocked. Johnny Virgil has a post on his blog, 15 Minute Lunch, about an old book that hails from the 1930s and contains guidelines for things like pinching off the fat cells. The premise of the book is hilarious as is Johnny’s commentary on it, and I suggest you go check it out. For those of you who don’t remember, Johnny Virgil is the guy who wrote the 1970’s JC Penney Catalog post that swept through the interwebs like a bad case of venereal disease and had me peeing my pants with laughter.

2. Candis (that’s my wife for those of you who are fashionably late to the party here) has gotten this idea in her pretty little head that she’s going to do a sprint triathlon. Running is somehow no longer enough for her and I can’t help but feel like she’s kind of two-timing, nay three-timing running. I’m happy for her that she’s setting aggressive goals for herself and that she’s working hard to stay in shape because I’d really hate for people to refer to me as “that blogger with the fat wife.” I’d consider joining her in her quest to complete a triathlon if I wasn’t certain that it would end in my bloated corpse being discovered with eight gallons of pool water in my lungs. I have no desire whatsoever to attempt a triathlon.

Yesterday I arrived back at our house after a 6 mile run and began the usual practice of reading off my split times to Candis. This is usually where Candis strokes my ego and tells me how impressive they are and how manly I am. Without this charade my sense of self worth goes right down the crapper. Yesterday was different. “Is that all you’re doing?” Candis asked.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, you’re ONLY running today? Because I ran AND swam today.” And just like that she stripmined my self-worth and left me the cavernous empty shell of a man that sits here typing this entry. Unfortunately I couldn’t think of a good comeback, and that’s where I need your help. I really hate to keep cutting her off in the bedroom, because no one should be forced to go without some Vanilla-love for an extended period of time. That’s just cruel and unusual punishment and to be honest it’s no fun for me either. So I need your suggestions on how I should respond to these new taunts and this new perceived feeling of superiority. Hey, I’m no dummy. I saw Sleeping with the Enemy and I know what happens when wives start taking swimming lessons.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Emergency Procedures: Sudden Uncontrollable Narcolepsy!

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

Narcolepsy is by definition both sudden and uncontrollable (otherwise they would just call it scheduled afternoon naptime) so I will concede that it was a little redundant or repetitive or superfluous to call narcolepsy sudden and uncontrollable. However it sounds so much more frightening and worrisome when you add those two words.

Whatever you call it, Sudden Uncontrollable Narcolepsy while running is not something to be trifled with so I hope that you’ll take this advice seriously. In the event that you have an episode of Sudden Uncontrollable Narcolepsy while running then please follow the emergency procedures outlined below:

1. Wake up.

Since there really isn’t a cure for Narcolepsy and there’s really no way to prepare yourself for a sleep attack other than to maybe run with your pillow, the remainder of these emergency procedures will be focused on what you can do if you come across a narcoleptic runner catching some Z’s on the trail.

1. Stop their watch! Hopefully all our narcoleptic running friends out there will have the auto pause feature enabled, but for those that don’t it is our responsibility to help out.

2. Check their pockets for Clif Shot Gels and water. Feel free to consume any of these items because let’s face it, you don’t need to hydrate or replace electrolytes when you’re napping. Also, are those shoes your size? They look brand new!

3. Wake them up. This can be done by yelling, clapping your hands, or shaking them violently, but the preferred method is to place their hand in water and watch them pee their pants.

4. Once you have successfully woken the narcoleptic up, inform them that they fell asleep and that you just witnessed some teenager on a bike stealing their Shot Gels. Feign indignation.

5. Offer further assistance, but if they ask you for a favor tell them that you have to leave and that you won’t rest until you find the “real killers Shot Gel thieves.” Do not feel bad about this, you’ve already done enough and they are being ungrateful by asking for more. What are you, Mother Teresa?

If you are a narcoleptic runner it’s probably best that you run with a partner, one you can trust. If that’s not an option then perhaps you could run with a dog, just not this one.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Personal Running Log - June 2008

Well here it is, my highly anticipated June running log. I like to push somewhere around 80 miles of pavement a month, and while this certainly isn’t close to 80 it was saved from being completely humiliating by a few late month runs and my dedication to the sport. Looking back on it I was quite proud of the 6 mile tempo run on the 23rd because it was done at an 8:27 pace, but a more in depth look at the MotionBased data from my Garmin divulged that there was in fact a strong tailwind which means that it doesn’t count.

After the reminder that we were all given by Tyson Gay’s wasted efforts I suggest that you all go back and check your various PRs to see if they are actually eligible to count as a record. Those of you living in windy places like Kansas or Chicago are probably in for a rude awakening.

Anyway, here is my June running log in all it’s glory. My intended pace’s have changed since the last time I posted them (see here), but I suppose that’s the downside of running a PR. I usually base my training pace off my most recent race time, so my latest 10K PR has really cranked down the intended paces on my training runs, to the extent that I’m not always hitting my intended pace right now. I guess that’s what makes us faster, right? Right? Again, it’s difficult to judge my pace from the table below because it includes a warm up and cool down mile but my goal pace is as follows: Long runs - 8:55 pace, tempo runs - 8:25 pace, intervals - 1600s @ 7:50 pace, 800s @ 7:35 pace and 400s @ 7:25 pace.

6/30/20085 Miles Out & BackIntervals (3x1600)5 Mi43:528:47
6/29/20086 Mile Loop Long HillLong6 Mi53:308:55
6/25/2008Liberty Park (SLC)Tempo5 Mi44:458:57
6/23/20086 Mile Loop Long HillTempo6 Mi50:418:27
6/21/20087 Miles Out & BackLong (w/Candis)7 Mi1:15:0010:43
6/15/20086 Mile Loop Long HillEasy6 Mi56:289:25
6/9/20085 Miles Out & BackEasy5 Mi45:489:10
6/7/20089 Mile LoopLong9 Mi1:23:549:20
6/2/20084 Miles Out & BackIntervals (4x400)4 Mi36:549:14
Distance: 53.0 miles
Total Time: 8:10:52