Saturday, January 31, 2009

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.

Llamas everywhere rejoice.

Do you guys remember when I used to post the Weekend Splits? If you’re a new reader since October (sometimes I like to pretend I have new readers) then you’ve never had the privilege of reading the Weekend Splits, but I used to post them somewhat regularly last year. Those were simpler times back then, I hadn’t run a marathon, gas was $3.75 a gallon and Nitmos was still blogging. Oh, haven’t you heard? He’s a quitter... which makes him a kindred spirit. Now on to the links.

  • As much as I like to harass Nitmos, I will miss reading his blog and trying to stifle my laughter in my office. I’ll especially miss making fun of him for things such as admitting he has a hoo-ha, or that he loves Sex and the City. Nitmos, I sincerely hope that you return to blogging soon. Perhaps you’ll lose your job and have more time to post again, my fingers are crossed for you.
  • Kristina wonders if there’s a Facebook Rehab, and then concludes that obsessing over another marathon would cure her. Wow, this Facebook thing is a lot more dangerous than I thought, if you find out where the rehab is be sure to post it on my wall so I can join too.
  • Amy Lawson sucks at swimming. I suck too, but it still made me feel good since she’s faster than me, plus her story about it is much funnier than mine.
  • Steve in a Speedo ran a race in the cold, as I’m sure many of us have, but you really need to go see the pictures. He’s certifiable.
  • Finally, if you missed it I announced the 2009 SY5K Challenge in the post below. Don’t miss it.

Random Non-Running Related Video of the Week
This week’s video comes from Cranky Fitness, Crabby and Merry always find the best stuff. For the record I’m against any kind of violence against Cadbury Crème Eggs, well, except for the violence that is me consuming them by the dozen.

What kind of attention span does it take to build that? I got bored just trying to watch the whole thing.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The 2009 Shave Your 5K Challenge

The SY5K Challenge is back for 2009, which means another year of relentless speedwork, searching for local 5Ks and me ignoring your e-mails for months on end. When I first announced the SY5K Challenge last year I got a little too addicted to creating rules, because it made me feel important, but the post ended up being waaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too long, albeit delightfully pretentious.

This year in the interest of making things simpler there will be no limitations on when you have to run your stubble 5K or your smooth 5K. Run them both the same day if you want, see if I care. Furthermore, if you submitted a smooth time race for last year’s challenge then I’m putting that down as your stubble time this year, meaning you only have one 5K left to run. Those of you who ran slow races at the end of last year are sitting pretty, but if you run a fast 5K early in the year and feel compelled by the spirit of good sportsmanship to have me update your 5K stubble time (like Sherry, one of the winners from last year) then you can feel free to do that, and also, you totally lack a killer instinct. Since some of you seem to enjoy running on New Year’s Day (when you should be sleeping in and shaking off the cobwebs of the previous year) the contest will end at midnight on January 1st, 2010.

Depending on the number of entries there will probably be 3 different starting corrals: The Super Fast Corral (sub-20:00? sub-21:00?), The Half-Fast Corral (21:00 to 29:59), and the Awkwardly Named Corral (30:00+) that doesn’t want to call you slow but is totally thinking that it could beat you in a footrace. Shaving will be calculated solely on percentage of time shaved and will include bumbling, mathematical errors which are not to be pointed out or questioned for fear of insulting me.

It shouldn’t need to be said but please participate within the spirit of the competition, which is to see how much faster you can get in 2009, not to set the bar really, really low and see how much you can clear it by. That’s what work is for. If you run a race with a slower friend then don’t submit that as your stubble time, there’s no sandbagging allowed. And of course just to try and cover myself from a legal standpoint, all of the lengthy terms and conditions from last year still apply.

All entries should be submitted via e-mail and should include your time, the name of the race, your blog address (if you have one), and your name or online identity.

So, who’s in?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Battle of the Sexes

The latest Runners’ Lounge podcast has been released featuring yours truly, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that it’s the best one that I’ve been a part of. The podcast features Amy Lawson, Razz, myself, and guest stars Marcy and Xenia joined us this week too. Nitmos was nowhere to be seen heard because he “forgot” that we were recording a podcast that night, but I think we all know that he just couldn’t bear the thought of missing The Hills. We managed just fine without him and while I don’t want to say that he’s completely useless, I will tell you that we’ve all nicknamed him ‘T-Rex Forearms’ behind his back. Many thanks go out to Amy and Tom at Runner’s Lounge for continuing to host the podcast and also to Razz, who has to edit out all of the dead air and then append disclaimers for Amy’s foul language, which is more colorful than Craig Sager’s wardrobe.

As indicated by the title of the post, this week’s Podcast was a Battle of the Sexes quiz in which the ladies asked the guys questions and vice versa. There was a lot of confusion surrounding the scorekeeping *cough - Amy cheats - cough* but I won’t ruin it for you by telling you which side wins. Initially I thought it was going to be a Battle of the Sexiness, but that didn’t make sense since I’d have won that without breaking a sweat. *flexes at monitor*

Anyway, if you’re looking for something motivating that you can listen to while you’re running, well perhaps you should check out Phedippidations, but if you just want to listen to a bunch of immature runners laugh hysterically at grade school level humor then this is the podcast for you! Be sure to leave comments letting us know what you like, what you’d like to see in the future and even what you dislike (leave the dislike comments over at Razz’s blog though, because I don’t like your negative attitude).

Runner’s Loungecast - Show Notes

Download Podcast: Laugh Tracks - Game On!

You can also find the podcast on iTunes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tech4o Running Watch

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone says running watch? For me, I always think “if your watch is running you’d better go catch it,” but that’s just because I’m a comedic genius with a hilarious internal monologue. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that some of you duller folks think of the Garmin Forerunner series when you think of a running watch. Congratulations, your assimilation into the Garmin way of life is now complete, you’ve been brainwashed.

Back in October I had mentioned that I would be reviewing the Tech4o Men’s Accelerator Trail Runner watch and I’m finally getting around to posting my findings. The watch is basically a pedometer and like all pedometers it needs to know the length of your stride to be as accurate as possible. It took a couple of easy laps at the track to determine my length (stride length that is, minds out of the gutter) and I calibrated the watch. The first test was to run a few more easy laps and check the distance; it was pretty exact, reading 0.248 miles after one lap. The next test would be to run some intervals at a faster pace, and unfortunately the watch was not as accurate at the faster pace. Perhaps I’m too fast for my own good. It gave me a single lap reading of 0.20 miles at the faster pace, a miscalculation of almost 20%.

I ran home from the track at an easy pace, and once again the watch easily fell within the 95% accuracy rate that Tech4o claims on their website. Predictably, the watch is very accurate when running at the pace at which you calibrate it, but woefully inaccurate at a faster pace due to the likely change in your stride length. Here’s a few more pros and cons:

- Size matters (a great deal according to my junk mail folder) and this watch is nice and compact.
- It can be used as your everyday watch.
- There are several advantages in it being a pedometer and not a GPS system:
  • It doesn’t take 5 minutes to start up and find a signal.
  • It doesn’t ever lose a signal and can thus be used near tall buildings, under trees or even indoors.
  • It even works on the treadmill. (Not sure why you’d need to use it on a treadmill, but there you go.)

- It doesn’t need to be charged after each use, although presumable the battery will die at some point and I’ll have to replace it.

- Not as accurate as a Garmin.
- Doesn’t track nearly as many stats as a Garmin and doesn’t upload to your computer. This will be a major disappointment for those of you who like to geek out over your splits and elevations and heart rate etc.
- It’s not useful at all if you plan to be running at varying paces.
- It doesn’t display pace, instead it displays your speed in mph so some math is required to convert that to a miles/minute pace (or you could just look up a conversion chart online). However, the speed is listed to 2 decimal places (i.e. 6.24mph) so it can still be an accurate indicator of pace.

While I won’t be doing a whole lot of training runs with this watch I will probably use it when I travel so that I don’t have to worry about bringing the charging dock for my Garmin or worse yet, losing my Garmin. If you’re just looking for a simple watch to give you distance and speed (assuming you’re running at a fairly consistent pace) then the Tech4o line of watches might be right for you. At a list price of $69.99 it’s certainly cheaper than a Garmin.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cheating in Sports Exposed

Since I haven’t run at all since the marathon (did you guys know I ran a marathon?) I thought I’d use this post to give you another peek into the formative years that molded me into the outstanding individual that I am today. I had previously posted an excerpt from some of my grade school writing that talked about my first (perhaps) running experience, and I’ve got another one to show you today.

It says:
June 23 Ian
Yesterday it was Sports day and a ribbon told you if you won or not a red ribbon was first blue was second and green was third and I did not win a ribbon and Tim in blue won the skipping but I saw him cheating and Richard in blue got disqualified because he held it on his head and the second got first and third got second and foreth [sic] got third
Once again I don’t remember much about this, I certainly don’t remember the talking ribbons that told you if you won or not and you would think that one wouldn’t forget something as cool as that. As a point of clarification, Richard was holding a beanbag on his head which was cheating because you were supposed to balance the tiny beanbag on your head while running 100 meters, I don’t think that came through in the story. Also, it appears that this was written sometime before we learned any form of punctuation whatsoever, I’m sorry if you had trouble following it.

I think you can see that even at an early age I was already starting to make excuses for why I didn’t win, obviously I was not winning because everyone else was cheating. Little Timmy and Richard probably thought that they had already suffered enough for their crimes, but they didn’t realize that I was going to re-publish this after all these years, causing them to relive the shame of their youth. To put this in perspective, Tim was my very best friend back in those days, we were as close as brothers and yet I still had no qualms pointing out that he was a cheater. I’m sure that I did it out of love, Jay McGwire and I both know that sometimes a brother needs tough love, especially if you think you can make a fortune by publishing the story. Now where’s my book deal?

Also, skipping? Seriously?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Marathon Race Pictures

A post in which I debut the Wizard of Oz heel-kick finishing move and the post race Double Guns pose.

The space blanket makes it official.

The race pictures are now available from the PF Chang’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Arizona Marathon over at Action Sports. I’ve never actually ordered an official race picture before but I think I might make an exception for this race. Paying for a race picture will make me feel better about all the times I’ve blatantly stolen race pictures from these sites.

I also put together some pictures and video clips below. The quality sucks, but as soon as the video starts playing you should see a small “HQ” logo in the bottom right corner of the video. Click the “HQ” logo to watch the video in High Quality because it really, really sucks otherwise, but in HQ it only kinda sucks. Either way it’s still mostly images of me so you don’t want to expose your eyes to it for too long... it will make everything else you look at today seem dull and boring.

I think I’ve found my trademark finishing move.

I actually managed to find Razz and his sister after the race and he secretly confided in me that he’s a huge CU Buff fan, I even managed to get a picture of him wearing his favorite CU jersey. You might be thinking that Nebraska beat CU this year which is true, but they didn’t cover the spread. At first I felt bad making Razz wear the jersey since his team did actually win the game, but then I realized that this was all the satisfaction that I was going to get out of the game so here he is:

New profile picture, Razz?

Why am I still running in this picture?

On a recovery note, I think I’m healing up quite nicely. I can go up and down stairs with ease and I no longer groan when I get up out of my office chair. I haven’t run since the marathon, but I’m thinking about going for a short run this weekend, or maybe next weekend, I haven’t decided which yet. I thought I heard that you were supposed to take 2 weeks off after a marathon while continuing to carb load, but I could be wrong. I guess I’ll have to find other things to blog about while I’m not running.

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Despite arriving at the starting corrals mere minutes before the starting gun fired, I meandered through the crowds with all the urgency of the Maytag repair man. I was nervous on the inside but I refused to let it show, figuring that my exterior Joe Cool attitude would override my nerves, or at the very least cause my exterior Joe Plumber to hike up his shorts a little. I elbowed my way into the starting corrals and we started walking towards the start. The plan was to run the first 10 miles at a 10 minute pace, run the second 10 miles at a 9:45 pace and finish the final 10K at a 9:30 pace, but I was well aware that I might slow down as the race wore on instead of speeding up.

Five minutes after the gun souned I reached the starting line and started out at a 10 minute pace. The sky was clear, the terrain was flat and I was surprised to find myself enjoying the run. I smiled at the thought that I was running a marathon, I was actually doing it. Over the first 10 miles there wasn’t much to report except a guy running in cargo shorts and a polo shirt, needless to say I passed him but not before I snapped a picture of him (right). I also saw a guy wearing a shirt that said “Since my lame family is not here please yell ‘Go Jeff!’” which made me laugh.

I hit mile 10 feeling good, feeling refreshed and I started to drop my pace down to the 9:45 range. Somewhere around mile 14 I made the transition from working to keep my pace in check to working to maintain my pace. Candis and the boys were waiting for me just past the mile 15 marker, I stopped for a good luck kiss, some gels and quick application of bodyglide to my sweaty undercarriage (applied by me, not Candis. She was supportive, but not that supportive).

The real low point of the race came shortly after my pit stop. Mile 16 was longer than Gone With The Wind. My legs started to get tired, my head wanted to call it quits and I began seriously debating just taking a DNF. I slowed to a walk for this internal struggle. I called Candis and she told me to get going, she read me some of the comments that you were all leaving on her updates and I somehow managed to start running again. I struggled through mile 16 and was struggling through mile 17 when R. Kelly’s I Believe came up on my playlist. It was the boost I needed. I was running again, I was even running a sub 10 minute pace again.

At mile 21 I felt my pace starting to slow, I knew I was going to have to use Nitmos’ war of posts approach to the remaining miles and I cursed him for entering my thoughts during a marathon, and for being right, and for existing. I walked through all the water stops from mile 21 through the end, I stopped occasionally to stretch my quads because they were starting to get really tight, but each time I stopped I managed to start shuffling my feet forwards again.

My kids were at the final turn before the finish line, I gave them both a high five and ran to the finish. I even had enough energy left for a little Wizzard of Oz heel kick as I crossed the finish line (video and pictures to come later). It was over. All I felt was relief. I was relieved that it was over, I was relieved that I didn’t stop at mile 16. My official time is posted as 4:31:06, which is a PR since this is my first marathon. Here’s a quick recap of my race goals as originally posted here, and my splits. I’ll have more about the race and meeting up with Razz, including more pictures and video in the coming days. Thanks to all of you who read this demented little blog for encouraging me and supporting me, especially to those of you who left comments during the race, you all mean more to me than I’ll ever let on. Thanks.

Original Goals
  1. Start the marathon. - CHECK!
  2. Finish the marathon. - CHECK!
  3. Finish the marathon in an upright position. - CHECK!
  4. Finish the marathon with a time under 4 hours 30 minutes. - Close, I’m going to give myself a Semi-Check!
  5. Finish the marathon with a time under 4 hours 15 minutes. - Nope.
  6. Finish the marathon with a smile on my face. - CHECK!
  7. Finish the marathon with a time under 4 hours. - Hahahahahahahah, nope.
  8. Qualify for Boston - requires a time of 3:10:59 (my computer audibly chuckled when I wrote that). - Nope.
  9. Set a new marathon world record - requires a time of 2:03:58 or better. - Nope.
  10. Take it easy and enjoy myself. - Surprisingly, CHECK!

Mile 1 10:11
Mile 2 10:00
Mile 3 10:08
Mile 4 9:56
Mile 5 10:23 (Pee Break)
Mile 6 9:43
Mile 7 9:49
Mile 8 9:50
Mile 9 9:58
Mile 10 9:53
Mile 11 9:43
Mile 12 9:38
Mile 13 9:48
Mile 14 10:07 (Pee Break)
Mile 15 9:46
Mile 16 11:02
Mile 17 10:33
Mile 18 9:58
Mile 19 9:49
Mile 20 9:56
Mile 21 10:54
Mile 22 11:57
Mile 23 10:30
Mile 24 12:00
Mile 25 11:25
Mile 26 11:53

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Beer Time.


4 30

Done happy and upright! 4:30

[UPDATE: Official Time was 4:32:38]

UPDATE AGAIN: New Official Time listed as 4:31:06. That is much closer to my Garmin time than the first update was.


3 53 leg cramp gonna do it :)

22 plus

It's a fight. (Editor note: I'm a wreck)


3 20

Fighting it

18. 3 40


Slow 16. 10 30 picked it up a little 17. I'm reading him your
comments. Send some motivation

Half way half fast

2 10 at half! Enjoying it so far. Who knew? Hope it keeps up. (Editors
note: asked for body glide ???? Where is it for? New :)

10 miles

1:39:59. 1 second under!

5 miles

Positive part of negative splits :). 51 min at 5. Ian said "this s@?!
Is easy. I'll ask again at 20 if it's easy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

America Runs on Dunkin’...

... And so do I. My wife found a Dunkin’ Donuts not far from where we are staying last night, and I found it again this morning. So far it is the best thing about this trip and I don’t see anything on the horizon that will change that.

On the plane to Phoenix I heard a few other runners discussing the upcoming marathon so I made sure to speak about my training loud enough with Candis that they invited me into their conversation, in much the same way that you invite a jury summons in the mail and equally pleasant. It was obvious from the conversation that they did not recognize me as the world renowned Vanilla of Half-Fast. I politely raised my hand, stopping them mid-sentence and said “Sorry to interrupt you, but... I’m kind of a big deal!” I told them all about Half-Fast but they were not impressed. I’m beginning to suspect that they weren’t really runners at all. I suspect they were just flying into town for the NFC Championship game and pretending to be runners to impress people. I mean, really, how could a real runner have not heard about Half-Fast? It’s just not possible.

By the way speaking of the NFC Championship game, the Cardinals are winning that game. I don’t think I’ve ever given any gambling advice on this site, but the current line is Eagles by 3.5 which is just like free money. Personally I think the Cards are winning this game outright, but they sure as hell aren’t losing by more than a field goal. Take the Cards and the points, it’s a sure fire way to double your kid’s college education fund and your retirement account all at the same time.

Finally, I met Razz and his Sister today at the marathon expo and he’s surprisingly nice in person. Best of luck to everyone else that’s running this race; Lisa, Eileen, Kristina, Pat, Mary, Jessica, and anyone else who I’ve forgotten or just outright ignored.
Candis will have updates here tomorrow, and I’ll catch you all on the flip side.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Things I’m Telling Myself

In the face of my somewhat lackadaisical training for Sunday’s marathon (some might even call it Half-Fast training, HiYo!) I’ve found myself having some wild mood swings, the kind I’m sure some of you ladies are prone to. One minute I’m certain that I’m going to have a great time, and the next minute I’m terrified that I won’t even finish. In the interest of fostering a positive mindset for this marathon I’ve asked Candis to keep reminding me of these things that I’m telling myself:

  • I did all my training at altitude (5,300 ft) so running in Phoenix (1,100 ft) will probably make me feel like superman.
  • I ran over 80% of my training runs in windy conditions, it was almost as though I was doing my long runs wearing a wind sprint parachute. As long as it’s not windy in Phoenix then this will also make me feel like superman.
  • A lot of my training runs have incorporated good sized hills, but the marathon course is relatively flat which will make me feel like superman.
  • Just get through this, and then you don’t have to run again for the rest of January.
  • Many of my training runs were in the cold weather and I was forced to bundle up to stay warm. Surely the weight of the winter clothes and the way they restrict my movement caused me to run slower.
  • Even though I didn’t run a 20 miler, I probably put forth the same amount of effort to run an 18 miler at altitude, into the wind (both ways), in the cold, on an uphill course (both ways), right? Right?
  • Finally, I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me... almost as much as they like superman.
Of course, I could always use more thoughts like this (by which I mean over-emphasizations of the truth) so if you can think of anything I’ve left out then I’d love to hear your positive thoughts about this marathon in the comments. If there’s anything that you disagree with or if you have any negative thoughts then please take those over to Feet Meet Street or Viper’s place, I’m quite certain that they deserve it more than I do.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For Those About To Rock...

For those of you who are going to be in Phoenix this weekend running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon or Half Marathon, I suggest you wear sunglasses. Not because it’s going to be sunny, although I hear that is occasionally the case in Arizona, but because I have decided that I will be taking this opportunity to debut my fluorescent, neon, day-glo yellow race shirt. (You might be thinking that all those adjectives were superfluous but you won’t when you see the shirt.) So if you see something that looks like a blinding beacon of light lumbering down the road or passed out somewhere on the course, pull your sunglasses on and yell something encouraging to me. I also plan on hanging out for a while after the race in the family reunion area, chances are I’ll be standing sitting lying on the ground somewhere with Candis and her family close by, so please wander over and say hello. Candis and her family will thank you as I’m sure they don’t want to listen to me go on and on about how awesome I am for running a marathon.

Those of you who are not coming to Phoenix to support me can follow along and track my progress on the PF Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon website ( I’ll be wearing bib number 3780 unless it looks like that bib is not doing so well in which case that was just a typo, that’s not me. You may also be able to track my progress right here at Half-Fast as I’m contemplating live blogging the marathon, or more specifically having Candis live blog the marathon for me. Since my mp3 player is also my phone I will be updating Candis periodically on how I’m feeling or what restaurant I’ve stopped at for lunch and Candis will in turn be updating the blog and filtering any of your comments back to me, emphasis on filtering. I’m not completely sure if it will work or if we’ll actually do this, but it is under consideration. If there are no updates then I might have decided not to live blog the marathon, or maybe there were some technical difficulties like I ‘technically’ decided that a marathon would be too ‘difficult’ and just stayed in bed, this is also under consideration.

There is an eager anticipation that I’ve been feeling about the marathon in the past few days. I’m not real sure how to explain it other than to say that whenever I think about the marathon I get butterflies in my stomach, but not the bad kind. I imagine that perhaps this is how General Custer was feeling prior to the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

I look forward to meeting those of you who will be there, shoot me an e-mail and we can figure out a good place to drink beer together after the finish... or before the start.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shave Your 5K Results!

When I first announced this challenge back on January 14th last year I wanted it to be a competition that anyone could win, from the beginning runner to the seasoned veteran. In that vein I stated that prizes would be awarded for most seconds shaved and highest percentage of time shaved, thinking that this would respectively benefit slower runners and speedier runners. Unfortunately this did not work out as I had planned because the top 3 shavers by actual time were also the top 3 percentage shavers. So, in order to stick to the original intent of the contest every runner was placed into 2 divisions based on their Stubble Time; The Over 30 Minute Division, and The Sub 30 Minute Division.

The winner of the Over 30 Minute Division (and overall winner) improved so much over the course of the year that when he first e-mailed me his Smooth Time I called him a liar, a cheater, a sandbagger and a toe-jam-licking-snot-guzzler. I had no idea about the last one but it seemed likely and I needed something that stung a little bit worse than ‘cheater’. After a few e-mails back and forth and after checking his other race results on Athlinks I decided that he was in fact telling the truth. Give it up for the overall SY5K winner: Shaun.

Name StubbleSmoothDifference

Congrats Shaun, sorry I insulted you and keyed your car... a little turtle wax will get that right out, the insults I mean, those scratches are there to stay.

The Sub 30 Minute Division winner was none other than: Sherry.

Name StubbleSmoothDifference

Sherry entered the SY5K contest with an initial time of 32:03 in February of ’08 and then in a raging bout of honesty asked me to reduce her Stubble time after she ran another 5K in March in 28:19. Sherry then went on to shave an additional 4:21 off her new stubble time when she posted a time of 23:58 in a November 5K, making her the best shaver in the sub 30 minute starting corral. Ironically, had Sherry not told me about her improved Stubble Time she would have remained in the over 30 minute starting corral and would not have won anything. Honesty, you guys should try it sometime.

Both winners will receive a Performance Microfiber T-Shirt complete with the SY5K logo emblazoned above the word “Winner” and a mildly humorous slogan. The rest of you can purchase one of said shirts right here, but without the “Winner” inscription, sorry, you’ll have to get the affirmation you so desperately crave elsewhere. I’ve contacted the winners by e-mail and asked them for their shipping address, which probably creates quite a conundrum for them. On the one hand, you want the free shirt, but on the other you don’t want me to have your home address because I’ll likely sign you up for all kinds of junk mail and maybe even send you a dead cat, or worse, a live one.

Please join me in congratulating Shaun and Sherry on Shaving their 5Ks this year.

Full Results

Over 30 Minute Division
Name StubbleSmoothDifference
})i({ Runnergirl38:4030:148:26
Mrs. Half-Fast31:5429:402:14
lil 1/2 pint34:4135:12+0:31
Non-Runner Nancy31:4032:45+1:05

Sub 30 Minute Division
Name StubbleSmoothDifference
Chad Stevens24:1221:252:47
Reluctant Runner28:0026:121:48
Glaven Q. Heisenberg27:3426:251:09
running private17:0516:320:33
Eric Gervase23:0822:530:15

Friday, January 9, 2009

Regular Posting Will Resume Shortly

This week has been crazy at work and I’m quite certain that you don’t care unless you’re my boss in which case thanks for making me sit on that conference call that did not apply to me in any way, shape or form. *Deep breaths* Anyway, I usually try to post my inane ramblings here 4 times a week, furthermore I’d like to get back into the habit of regularly posting the Weekend Splits and I think things will return to normal next week, or maybe the following week since I’m running a marathon next week. (Side note: AHHHHHHHH!)

So I don’t have much time to post anything of substance today but in the meantime you can read the following e-mail that I sent out to everyone who hasn’t submitted a Smooth Time for the SY5K Challenge. It may even apply to you. If you didn’t get this email, then I got your results or my e-mail went straight to your junk mail folder, I hear they have a tendency to do that when you repeatedly use the word ‘ass.’
Subject: Hey, Remember the Shave Your 5K Challenge?

Hello all,

You are receiving this e-mail because at some point in the last year you thought it would be a good idea to enter the Shave Your 5K Challenge at that oh-so-awesome blog Half-Fast and you have not sent me your Smooth Time. Maybe you posted the result on your blog assuming that I’d see it, but you know what they say about assuming. (It makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘ming,’ and ‘ming’ doesn’t care too much for your insolence.)

I originally set some parameters around when the Smooth Time had to occur but I’ve made so many exceptions that I’m no longer holding people to running their faster 5K in the Nov/Dec window. If you ran a 5K last year at some time after your original Stubble 5K then please feel free to send me that time and I’ll include you in the results which will be posted on Monday January 12th.

Perhaps your attempts at Shaving Your 5K all fell dreadfully short of your original time and so you have not submitted it to me, but I encourage you to reconsider. I already have several people who posted slower times in their later races and the sting of my mocking will be greatly reduced if there are more of you to mock. I’m
kidding of course... it will still sting just as bad.

Since the results will be announced on Monday, I will include any results that I receive before noon on Sunday, January 11th. That’s Mountain Time.
Some of you have already asked whether I’ll be doing this again next year and the answer is: Yes. I plan on making the 2009 SY5K Challenge a little simpler while throwing in a few new wrinkles. “But Vanilla,” you ask, “how can it be simpler and have more wrinkles?” Well I’ll save that for a later post when I’m not busy missing deadlines and ignoring clients.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Taper Gladness

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read about runners suffering from Taper Madness, a case of the crazies resulting from running less during the 2 weeks leading up to a marathon. I guess that’s what makes me different from a lot of other runners because I’m suffering from Taper Gladness. I’m loving all of this running less. I just checked my schedule and discovered that tomorrow’s run is a 3 mile tempo run with a couple of easy miles thrown in for good measure and it warmed the cockles of my oversized heart. Sayonara 8 - 10 mile tempo runs, arrivederci track repeats, hasta la vista 30+ mile weeks, adios laddering intervals, and au revoir long runs. You see, running sucks, ergo running less puts me in a cheery mood, so much so that I am inspired to break out in song as though this post was some kind of musical:

“So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu”

Ahhh yes. I am in a delightful mood this morning. I’m in such a good place right now that I might even flush the toilet in the office bathroom after I use it. I’ll even make some more coffee if I finish the pot in the break room. Yes, life is grand today.

I suppose that this Taper Gladness is a testament to how burned out I’ve been on my long runs of late. It seems as though every long run over the last couple of months has been done in windy conditions. It’s the one thing I didn’t take into consideration when deciding to train for a marathon in the winter months, which was stupid of me because I hate running in the wind with a passion, I hate it the way that Oprah hates the way she looks again. It also occurs to me that this is normally my off-season. Usually as December rolls around I stop running for specific paces and training goals and start going on leisurely jogs, nothing more than a quick calorie purge before the next holiday party binge. I thought that my off-season could wait until mid January this year, but it turns out that I miss it more than I thought I would. You could even say that I miss it like Oprah misses her skinny jeans. What I don’t miss is all that running, I’m glad that it’s taper time and I’m actually looking forward to this marathon again. After all, the end of the marathon marks the beginning of my off-season.

And before anyone asks, no, I’m not bilingual, that was just a phase I went through in college. Wait, no! I’m talking about the French class I took in college, I swear it only happened once and I didn’t even like it, I’ve been strictly heterolingual ever since.

SY5K Update
The Shave Your 5K results are still being tabulated, (read: I haven’t gotten around to it yet) but I am planning on announcing the winners and posting the full results on Monday, January 12th.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Guess I Don’t Look Like a Runner

Contrary to what you might think, I’m really not the boisterous, chest thumping, braggart in real life that I portray so well on this blog, at least not entirely. This means that very few people in my office actually know that I’m a runner and fewer still know that I’m running a marathon in a couple of weeks but that will all change when I wear my medal (assuming I earn one) around the office for the remainder of 2009. However, as meetings are planned and schedules are being made for January it has given rise to the question of why I’m taking a couple of days off surrounding the weekend of January 18th. Here’s what I notice when I tell people that I’m running a marathon; their eyes get a little bigger and then they look me up and down as if to say “Really? You are running a marathon?”

I guess it’s because they can’t see the rippling abs beneath my dress shirt and believe me, my abs do ripple. Just the other day I stood shirtless in front of the mirror and watched the ripples radiate from a hearty gut smack all the way up to my neck and back in concentric circles, so maybe they don’t ripple in the traditional sense but they do ripple. OK so I’m being a little facetious. While I haven’t yet been able to put the finishing touches on my granite six pack, I’m also not afflicted with the ol’ Dunlop belly, which is to say that my belly hasn’t “done lopped over” my pants.

So what is it? Why does everyone feel the need to look me up and down like some piece of meat when they discover I’m running a marathon? Is it just because people have this preconceived notion that all marathon runners look like skinny Kenyans? Is it because I don’t have the sunken-eyed, gaunt look of some other fellow runners? Is it because of my muscular build? Is it because I’m too handsome to be a marathoner? Yes. I like to think it is.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Get a Hold of Yourself Man!

Thanks for all the advice on my last post, particularly to Andrew who gave me the literary bitchslap I needed in reminding me to HDFU. I am still planning on running the full marathon, and I’m planning on beating Haile Gebrselassie’s world record time of 2:03:59, that was his first half split right?

When I originally signed up for the PF Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon I had wanted to run a 4 hour marathon or more specifically a 3:59:59 marathon. I believe that a sub 4 hour time might have been possible had I not been injured and wimped out on some of my training runs, but I find myself coming to grips with the fact that I probably won’t achieve that goal. That’s OK. I’ve always said that in order to achieve all of your lifelong goals sometimes you have to lower your expectations, but that’s just the over-achiever in me coming out. (The under-achiever in me is totally OK with failing to meet goals entirely, at least the over-achiever tries to make it look like I accomplished my goals.)

With that in mind I’m going to establish several levels of goals for this marathon, and hopefully I’ll be able to accomplish one of them. Here they are, ranked from most likely to occur to least likely to occur:

  1. Start the marathon.
  2. Finish the marathon.
  3. Finish the marathon in an upright position.
  4. Finish the marathon with a time under 4 hours 30 minutes.
  5. Finish the marathon with a time under 4 hours 15 minutes.
  6. Finish the marathon with a smile on my face.
  7. Finish the marathon with a time under 4 hours.
  8. Qualify for Boston - requires a time of 3:10:59 (my computer audibly chuckled when I wrote that).
  9. Set a new marathon world record - requires a time of 2:03:58 or better.
  10. Take it easy and enjoy myself.

I think I have a realistic shot at the first 4, maybe even number 5 if I’m having a really good day. If I accomplish number 7, then number 6 will just naturally follow suit, but I doubt that either of those will happen. Numbers 8 through 10 are just there for humor because none of them are going to happen.

Have a great weekend everyone! Stay tuned next week for the announcement of the Shave Your 5K winners.

Update: Oh yeah, and Happy New Year and all that jazz.