Friday, June 26, 2009

What Can You Say?

This is a running blog. Occasionally I get sidetracked with other topics but even then they are usually loosely related to running. With that in mind I started out to write a post about running today, I was going to completely avoid the subject of Michael Jackson because there’s really no way to tie it to running other than to say I have some of his songs on my running playlist. The thing is, it feels wrong to me to just ignore it outright and not say anything about his tragic passing last night. That’s how big Michael Jackson is. That’s how much of an impact he had on this world. There is no reason whatsoever that I should be feeling compelled to talk about Michael Jackson today on a running blog, any yet here I am babbling incoherently about him. Perhaps that’s the biggest compliment I can pay him, he is too big of an icon to ignore.

R.I.P. Michael Jackson, The King of Pop.

Is there any cooler dance move than the moonwalk?

In running related news, Kristina, the marathon mama has finally moved to her new blog that you should totally check out and subscribe to in your reader. The name of her new blog is Marathon Mama, which you might be thinking is the same as the old name but you’re wrong. The old blog was called ‘the marathon mama’ which is significant because if you order your blogroll alphabetically, as I do, it means that she just jumped up a few spots. She’s crafty. Kristina, I will always remember that you started Marathon Mama on the day that Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Could’ve done without that

It’s been a long week. My reader and my inbox consist of a lot more bolded entries than un-bolded ones, something that will be remedied soon by the ‘mark all items as read’ button. What a fantastic invention that was. My work days have been consumed by meetings and presentations to people who lack the capacity to think logically and my nights have been filling up with obligations too. What I’ve been needing is a long, hard run followed by a good night’s sleep. What I’ve had to settle for is short, quick one milers followed by equally short nights, so when the opportunity arose to get in a four mile run I was pretty excited. For the record I don’t consider a four mile run to be a ‘long, hard run’ but it was something other than the worthless one milers that I’d been squeezing in to my hectic schedule (which I pronounce shed-yool because it makes me sound better than you).

Just as I was about to head out the door, a light rain started to fall. I love running in the rain. More specifically, I love being seen running in the rain by my neighbors and motorists because it probably makes them think I’m hardcore... or an idiot, I’m not sure which. Actually, there’s a pretty good chance that they were thinking the latter because I was listening to The Moth Podcast, recommended to me by Amy Lawson, which unlike our podcast is laugh out loud funny. So there I was barreling down the street, in the rain, unable to suppress my laughter. I’m sure I made some motorist’s day. Things were looking up until I came across this:

Walk closed? This cannot be! This is my favorite trail to run on and now it’s closed, just like that. I’m pretty sure I didn’t authorize this! [Edit: Candis tells me I did authorize it because we got to vote on the new public swimming facility/rec center that is being built in the field to the right of the path, which is why the path is closed. Whatever. That vote is more suspect that the Iranian election.] How come no one consulted me before closing the path? That was my happy place! You can’t just go around closing people’s happy places without consulting them!

I was in shock. Judging by the construction going on to the right of the path, my running trail (yes, MY running trail) is going to be closed for quite some time. I just stood there in front of the walk closed sign, completely gob-smacked. I contemplated climbing the fence and going on about my business but decided that the last thing I needed was to rack myself on the top of the fence.

I eventually managed to pick up the broken pieces of my run and move on. I found a way around the construction and picked up the trail further down but this is going to be a major inconvenience and a source of much future whining. I just hope you guys are strong enough to put up with it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Guess Who’s Back

As part of my constant striving to improve the Half-Fast brand and my dedication to bringing my inanity to a wider audience I am pleased to announce that the Podcast is BACK!

... back again,
Podcast’s back, tell a friend,
Guess who’s back guess who’s back
Guess who’s back guess who’s back...

Yes, it went away for a little while and I think there may still be a few bootleg copies of the last podcast floating around the internet but it’s back! Not only is it back but it has its own blog and a new name: Banned on the Run. Head on over and check it out. You can subscribe to the RSS feed, listen to the podcast on the site or download it to iTunes.

The first episode is mostly the 4 of us (Amy, Raz, Nitmos and myself) catching up and discussing our running as of late. We also manage to cover the appropriate way to volunteer for a race, Valerie Bertinelli, and pregnant running since Amy is pregnant (congrats to Amy by the way). Also you get to witness a few mood swings during the podcast but we’ve asked Nitmos to try to avoid that on future episodes.

Please note: The views and opinions expressed within the podcast do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of this blog, even when it sounds like it was me that was expressing them. Any complaints regarding the podcast should be directed at Amy since it was probably her fault, technical questions should be directed to Raz, snubs and shunning should be directed at Nitmos and any praise, adulation, reverence and exaltation should be directed at me.

Streak Update
Now that is how you do it!I’m 22 for 22 as of last night, but I can’t wait for this month to be over. My groin injury has been giving me problems on and off during the month and I really think it could use a day or two off and probably some RCE (that’s R.I.C.E without the I, you keep that ice pack away from my groin). I originally mentioned that I wanted to see how fast I could run a mile and I still do, but thus far I haven’t gone all out on any of my 1 mile days. I’ve taken them pretty easy because they are supposed to be rest days and my legs have been feeling pretty hammered. Remind me again why I’m doing this?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Site News

Those of you that actually visit Half-Fast, as opposed to the lazy ones who just view the feed on their reader (totally how I read most of your blogs by the way), may notice some changes. Or you may not, depending on how observant you are, which I would guesstimate to be somewhere between ‘not very’ and ‘huh?’ based on you returning here seemingly oblivious to my continual insults. Anyway, since you are no doubt confused and your head is spinning from having read multi-clause sentences that included parentheticals, I’ll explain. The banner image is different, which is nice because it no longer features a stolen part of someone else’s copyrighted image. Now I can put it on t-shirts and market it without being fearful of a lawsuit and you can all buy the shirts to show your subservience love of this fine site that occasionally, but lovingly, mocks your total ineptitude and complete lack of anything resembling common sense. Emphasis on the word lovingly.

I’ve also made some other changes around here. I tried to make it a little cleaner, to simplify the look a little so that your raisin-sized brains don’t get so easily confused. There are a whole multitude of little changes that you probably won’t even notice, for example I changed the font, I removed a lot of grey (because it was depressing), I changed some borders, and most notably I’ve stopped hiding my contempt for you saps.

If you notice any glitches or errors then please feel free to let me know about them in the comments, but make sure that it’s actually a glitch and not something that you’re doing wrong because that seems much more likely doesn’t it? I mean, I was already wrong once this month so the odds are against it happening again.

P.S. Please come back again tomorrow.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

There’s No Running in Margaritaville...

... which is why I left work early and got my run in before going to the restaurant last night. Those of you who were hoping for a video of me running falling on the treadmill after imbibing some margaritas! are just going to have to wait because I’m sure it will happen some day. Yes, I had a margarita! with dinner and no, that is not cause for revoking my man card as some of you had hoped. I mean, take a look at this picture and tell me that’s not manly.

I hold it with my pinkie extended because I’m classy!

Incidentally this is not the first time that some of you have clamored for my man card. There have been various attempts at confiscating it here, here, here and here (which is ridiculous since my wife wrote that post!), but I’m happy to report that I am still firmly in possession of it. I keep it right here in my man-bag with my guyliner. You can have my man card when you pry it from my cold, dead, well-manicured hands you heathen barbarians!

Ha! Just when you thought that Nitmos was going to have the unmanliest post of the day all locked up I slap you with this one. Winner: me! Wait... I won right?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Streak Update

ur doin it wrongI thought it would be nice if I used pictures of different streakers each time I gave a streak update and since the last Streakapalooza post featured a man streaking this one features a woman. Quick lesson for all you current and future streakers out there: If you’re going to streak a sporting event then do it right and remove all your clothes. Streaking in your underwear is like sending out those e-mails promising naked Jessica Biel pictures that end up downloading viruses to my computer, at first you’re all excited and filled with hope but then it’s nothing but disappointment. It would be like Googling “naked Jessica Biel pictures” and winding up and some stupid running blog. See how disappointed you are.

So far I’ve run every day in the month of June except today, but fear not I still have plenty of time to get in today’s run. Actually, I’m supposed to meet some folks after work tonight at the Rio for dinner and yes, you guessed it, margaritas! (I think whenever you write margaritas! it should have an exclamation point behind it.) I’m either going to have to leave work a little early to get my run in or try to run on the treadmill tonight after dinner and margaritas! Either way it sounds like a good time.

For the first week or so it was kind of fun to try and run every day but the novelty is definitely starting to wear off. The one thing that it has done is made me more dedicated to finding time to run. For example if the above situation would have occurred last month I would have already postponed today’s run in order to order some margaritas! and spicy Mexican food, instead I find myself figuring out how to run despite the other things that are going on. Don’t worry too much though, in true Half-Fast spirit I’m certain that once we hit July I’ll be back to postponing runs at the drop of a hat, especially if it’s my running hat. Can you imagine running in a hat that had just been dropped on the ground and was all dirty? Ewww, gross! You would have to wash the hat first and let it dry which would put your running on hold for at least a couple of days. Man, I wish July would hurry up and get here, I am just bubbling with good excuses not to run!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Hills

if you like this show you suck I’ve started to focus my runs lately on preparing myself for the torturous Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon in early August which has an elevation profile that resembles your 401K as of late (see here). The scenic route, made all that much more scenic when I am running on it, winds gently down the Clear Creek Valley and drops nearly 1000 feet between the start and finish. According to the race website it is “one of the most pleasurable races in the western US and one of the fastest,” what they don’t tell you is that it will completely shred your quads.

I’ve been getting myself ready for Georgetown by running a lot of the hills in and around our neighborhood. One evening last week whilst running the hills I had an epiphany, or maybe I just sharted, it’s so hard to tell the difference, but all of a sudden I realized why they named that MTV show The Hills: It is just as insufferable and uppity as actually running the hills. Both are equally painful, although I do feel good about myself after running the hills and that definitely cannot be said after watching The Hills.

In the hopes of staving off the quad shredding as long as possible I’m focusing on running down the hills during my training runs, but the crappy thing about running down a hill is that it usually means that at some point you’re going to have to run ‘uppity’ one. I suppose you could say that my training has been up and down, but not figuratively, literally. The other aspect of this race is that it is run at a high altitude which you might think that I would be used to since I’m in Denver but I just like to remind you all every now and then that I run at high altitude and you don’t. Although, even in Denver we’re only at an altitude of 5280 feet, and this race starts at 8500 feet and doesn’t get below 8000 feet until past the half way mark.

In order to better acclimate myself to the higher altitude I’ve been doing all my runs using only one lung. When I told Candis this she looked at me incredulously and said “what do you mean that you’re only using one of your lungs?” so I had to explain to her that there was less oxygen at higher altitudes and she was like “I know that, but how are you only using one of your lungs?” which completely surprised me that she didn’t know how to use only one of her lungs. I mean everyone knows that your right nostril goes to your right lung and your left nostril goes to your left lung. So I told her that I just breath in through one nostril instead of both and she rolled her eyes and called me an idiot, but she was the one that didn’t know how to breath into just one lung. Then, as if that wasn’t enough she tells me that using one nostril sends the air to both lungs and I cracked up laughing because clearly she thinks that people only have two lungs and I was like “well if we only have two lungs, one for each nostril, then where does the air go when I breathe in through my mouth?” She just shook her head and walked off, obviously realizing that she was wrong and couldn’t argue with my superior logic. So yeah, I’ve been practicing breathing with just one lung, that way when I run the race using all three lungs it will feel the same because there’s less oxygen at higher altitudes (because oxygen is afraid of heights).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One More Reason Not to Tri

Those of you who are familiar with Half-Fast will be wondering when I have ever really tried at anything but take another look at the headline you boneheads it says tri, not try.

As if I needed another reason not to do triathlons, news outlets are reporting that 40+ triathletes became sick after participating in the Boathouse International Triathlon in May. Officials believe that the cause of the sickness was the 1.5k swim in the Oklahoma River which tests have since revealed contained parasites, bacteria, flotsam and jetsam and more than double the accepted amount of E. coli for “primary body contact recreation in which there is a chance water could be ingested.” A chance water could be ingested? If I were to ever do a triathlon (which is waaaaaay less likely after this story) there is not a ‘chance’ of ingested water, it’s a certainty. I would swallow so much water that I wouldn’t need to hydrate on the bike, in fact I’d probably need a catheter.

Other reports stated that lab analysis of stool samples from several of the sick triathletes indicated “exposure to water that was contaminated with human or animal waste.” That’s disgusting. It’s no wonder those guys got sick, I’m getting ill just thinking about it.

Since the title of this post claims that this is one more reason that I’m not going to be doing triathlons anytime soon, allow me to tell you what the other reasons are. 1 Swimming. 2 Biking. 3 I don’t want to. 4 Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. (See: symptoms of drinking parasitic, E. coli-laced river water.) 5 I don’t like catheters. Now you may be thinking that the fourth item belongs above swimming and biking but you’d be wrong. Swimming and biking are much worse. Besides I have a little secret that totally cures vomiting and diarrhea, it’s called Pepto-Bismol. If you don’t have any Pepto-Bismol handy then alternately, you can just not drink and swim in a river that has a history of fecal coliform pollution. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices.

[Story Source: USA Today]

On a more pleasant note, Candis completed her triathlon last Friday without any of the aforementioned symptoms. She finished in pretty much the same time as the last one she did in September even though this one had a slightly longer swim course (read: more time to be exposed to human and animal waste). In an effort to provide you with a positive race report I’m going to say that she totally rocked the bike portion and not much else. I will add that she finished 5th in her age group and would have been 3rd had she been able to run at anything close to her normal pace.

I’m 10 for 10 on the running streak and will do run #11 after work today. The novelty is starting to wear off, so get ready for some of those whining posts that you’ve all been looking forward to.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Looking Forward

Some of you are no doubt expecting me to respond to the slanderous lies that were carelessly strewn about Feet Meet Street yesterday but I’m not going to lend credence to them by dignifying them with an answer. I’m taking the high road which actually makes me more like Gandhi, plus look, I spelled his name correctly. Poor Nitmos forgot the first rule of mocking someone on the internet; make sure you don’t misspell anything, it makes you an easy target, and stupid. Almost nothing Nitmos said was actually true, except for the waterboarding pandas thing, I do so love to waterboard me some pandas. The other nice thing about pandas? No one is ever suspicious of the black eyes.

For now, I’m putting all that stupidity aside because I’ve got more pressing issues to deal with. In the wake of my horrendous Bolder Boulder experience, I’ve been pondering if it was just a bad day or if it was indicative of me getting slower. Naturally I like to think that I just had a bad day (cue Daniel Powter) but the only way to really find out for sure is to pose the question in the form of a race. Running another race is the only way to determine if I’m getting slower or if I was just having an off day. Initially, it was a question that I didn’t really want to ask but being a runner is all about putting yourself to the test. We do it every time we run which is every day for me, at least during the month of June. The next race on my calendar is the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon and unless I get impatient and sign up for another race before then, I will have my answer on August 8th. Either that or I’ll be telling you all how it’s weird that I had two consecutive races that just happened to be bad days. In the meantime I’m ramping up the mileage and battening down the paces on my training runs because it’s also possible that I didn’t train appropriately for the Bolder Boulder. That will not be the case come August.

The other disturbing trend that has been consuming my thoughts is the fact that Candis is apparently at that stage of her running career where she is making exponential gains in speed while I continue to see diminishing returns at best. When she first started running we’d occasionally run together and I would have to run at a snail’s pace so that she could keep up. At the time I used to think to myself ‘wouldn’t it be cool if she got to be as fast as me so that we could do more training runs together.’ Surprisingly, I failed to see the unfathomable consequences of Candis being as fast as me; namely that she might actually beat me in a race someday. Now before you all get excited, I still beat her by 5 minutes in the Bolder Boulder and, as we’ve already established, I had a bad race. However, she’s certainly a lot closer to me than she was a year ago, when I soundly defeated her by more than 13 minutes. So now I’m thinking that maybe I don’t care as much about running together, I’d rather be faster than her and have to slow down when we run together. It’s more gentlemanly and less emasculating that way.

Monday, June 8, 2009

He did what?

So recently I put up a post called Rundom Thoughts wherein I posted some random thoughts and I guess some dickwad decided that posting random thoughts was his thing and that I was stealing his bit, even though Rundom Thoughts is a much cooler name than Randumbery and my post was way funnier. Personally, I think a lot of blogs post random thought type of posts and I think that the aforementioned toolbag is way outta’ line here because you can’t call dibs on being the only blogger that gets to post random thoughty type posts, plus I bet someone else was doing it before he was.

Anyway this schmuck then went and commenced nothing less than an ACT OF WAR against this fine upstanding site that uses only completely original ideas and never ever uses ideas from other blogs when he posted a running celebrities post which is totally MY THING! It’s not like some lame Randumbery post that no one really likes anyway, it’s my signature post. Well, do you think that I am going to take this lying down? Hell and No!

But enough about my petty confrontations with other bloggers, I’m sure I’ll take action in due course. Right now though, I’d like to tell you all about how I’ve been coaching my son’s colt’s soccer team. Here’s a picture of me with the team just so you know I’m not making this up.

Fake smiles because they’re not really having fun.

My son colt ended up being the leading scorer with 17 goals in a 7 game season. Unfortunately this wasn’t quite up to my standards and so, this one time... [insert witty, but borderline child abuse story here.]

A group of my friends* decided that all our kids should be on a soccer team together, the league said that there was room for a team but there was no coach so we’d have to provide our own coach. Guess who got the honor of ‘volunteering’ to be coach? The handsome runner who grew up in England playing soccer and charming the young lasses, that’s who.

At the first practice I screamed at the kids until I was red in the face, we** ran suicides, we ran the bleachers, we did up-downs and we didn’t get to touch a soccer ball until we had proved that we were willing to sacrifice for the good of the coach’s win-loss record. If I was going to be miserable then I wasn’t going to be the only one. I even had to publicly humiliate the shy, taciturn (+4 word score) little girl in pigtails because she kept asking to use the potty. Not on my time, sweetie! Many of the parents appreciated what I was doing, I could tell from the aghast looks on their faces that they were as disgusted as I was by the complete lack of ball skills that any of these 5 year olds possessed. What is this the Special Olympics? (Boom goes the Presidential insult!)

At the end of the season I think we all grew a little; I grew a little more cynical and the kids grew a little more fearful, which is a useful emotion for them to possess.

Also, I want to mention that I really hate llamas. Man, are those creatures annoying.

* I use the word ‘friends’ here loosely because real friends wouldn’t pressure you into coaching their talentless, inept kids. Real friends would also buy the coach a parting gift after a 6-1 season. I’m just sayin’.

** When I say ‘we’ I mean that in the sense that I issued the orders and they did the drills. I didn’t do the drills with them because I wasn’t the two-left-footed moron that couldn’t follow simple instructions to bend the ball into the top corner of the goal! Gah! How am I supposed to work with these saps?

Friday, June 5, 2009

500th Post!

Guess what? This is my 500th post and I’m not going to do anything special for it. Whenever I come up on a milestone post, all I can think of is what Jess said on her 1000th post: “Wow, what a colossal waste of time.” (Or maybe it was her husband that said it?)

Five hundred posts with nary an ounce of insight or wisdom. I thought about putting together a list of my favorite posts but hey, newsflash: I’m lazy. Besides if you wanted to read my favorite posts then you’d just click on the Best of Half-Fast tab above, or that link I just provided. Anyway, you’re welcome to congratulate me on my 500 posts in the comments and remind me how awesome and cool and boss and hip I am because my tender ego could use a boost.

Enough about me, Candis is doing another sprint triathlon tonight because she evidently lacks the focus and drive to concentrate on one sport at a time. I’ll be there to take pictures and remind her constantly about how she forgot to put on her bib last time. I probably won’t be at all obnoxious.

Marcy, Marcy, Marcy!
Normally I wouldn’t clutter my epic 500th post with news about someone other than me, but I’ll make an exception for Marcy, she deserves it. Marcy is going into blog retirement, and not only that she’s wiping out her blog completely so you won’t even be able to go back and enjoy the archives. Here’s what I remember most about Marcy: When I was writing the Weekend Splits on a regular basis I would often try to link small running blogs that were new and unique and worth reading so that all my readers could have one more timesuck during their workday. Every time I found one that I thought was brand new, that no one else knew about I’d inevitably go into the comments to say hello and there would be a comment from Marcy asking them how their race went or how their sick turtle was doing. She was ubiquitous and it seemed like she genuinely took an interest in everyone. So fare thee well Marcy! You sure do get around! :p lol.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rundom Thoughts

Often times when I’m out running I get these crazy thoughts that enter my head and they just keep ricocheting around in there probably doing all kinds of permanent damage so I’ve decided to relieve some of the pressure by posting them. I guess you could think of this post as me relieving myself onto the blog. I’ve got precious little brain capacity as it is and I’d like to start using it for something constructive, like figuring out what the Iko Iko lyrics mean. Note: The title of this post is a play on the words run and random since these random thoughts are running related. You see what I did there? It’s lame but catchy (latchey?) and if you don’t like it then you can take a long run off a short pier.
  • Why can’t the Garmin heart rate monitor be incorporated into the watch’s wrist strap? This is just laziness on the part of the Garmin R & D team if you ask me.
  • I don’t know who invented the treadmill, but I like to think that he’s burning in Hell right now.
  • I like to think that even more when I’m actually using a treadmill.
  • When people’s alien encounters are reenacted on TV, why aren’t any of the aliens ever fat? Is it because they all run or have they, in their technologically advanced state, figured out the real ‘one rule’ to eliminating stomach fat?
  • Running every day during the month of June is not nearly as impressive as I’d originally convinced myself it would be, it’s also not as sexy as I’d hoped.
  • I think Runner’s World hates the Bolder Boulder, but I love them both. I’m a lover not a fighter.
  • Here’s a free racing tip for you: Passing is like the Dutchie, you should always do it on the left hand side.
  • The other day I ran past a Jack of Hearts playing card lying on the path and was convinced that it foreshadowed something ominous. I thought that maybe it meant my friend Jack was going to have a heart attack but then I remembered that I don’t have a friend named Jack. Whew! Good thing it wasn’t the Chuck of Hearts.
  • It’s rude for people to honk at me in the crosswalk when the blinking orange hand is clearly signaling for me to ‘come on over here.’
  • Yesterday was National Running Day, if this is the first you’re hearing of it then you missed it and you don’t read enough running blogs.
  • National Running Day = totally pointless.
  • I think if we were being honest we’d all agree that the phrase ‘easy run’ is an oxymoron at best and an outright lie at worst. If it were easy then everyone would do it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Streakapalooza ‘09

I’m happy to report that Streakapalooza ’09 is under way and I’m 3 for 3 so far. I’m not going to attempt to post my runs every day because that would be boring to read and sounds like a lot of extra effort on my part. I’ll update you periodically on my progress and post a detailed recap at the end of the month that you can mock or ignore as you wish.

I’ve already had my first one miler and I’ve come to the conclusion that one mile runs are pretty worthless. I got on the treadmill last night, turned on the TV and was done before the first commercial break. Usually I like to run a mile to warm up so it was weird to be turning off the treadmill after 9(ish) minutes when I would usually be increasing the pace. I had barely even broken a sweat so I decided to do some strength training before settling in to the couch for the night. I suppose I could have done a few more miles, but I wanted to be fresh for the intervals that I had planned for this morning.

I’m going to try to keep the 1 mile runs to a minimum although I know there will be days when that’s all I have in me. Perhaps I’ll try to see how fast I can run a flat out mile on those days when that’s all I’m doing. McMillan says that I should be able to run one mile in 7:28, but that calculator typically underestimates me on the shorter distances. I wonder if I can crack 7 minutes? I have no idea what to expect.

I can only recall one other time when I’ve ended a run after 1 mile. Naturally, I blogged about it here.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Coming to grips with the pain... and then glory!

[by Candis]

I want to be careful with this post not to come off as a poor sport or even worse an emasculating wife, however I think that we all know that Ian would have already devoted several posts to gloating had he won. But he didn’t, so I know that you’ll all join me in saying: Haaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Up until last Monday I didn’t think I’d ever actually catch up to Ian, but the gap between our 10K times went from 13 minutes last year to 5 minutes this year and to be completely honest with you I think he’s lost a step.

Races are won and lost in training and I am totally hooked on the FIRST plan. If you’re not sick of hearing Ian & I talk about it then you haven’t been here very long... just wait, you’ll get there. You only run 3 times a week, omitting easy runs which I hate anyway, they’re as useless as a banker in a financial crisis. (Too harsh?) Each run has a specific purpose and is rarely less than 4 miles. You calculate ambitious paces using complex algorithms and spend 12 weeks mostly missing them. For several years now, it has been quite effective for both of us, although obviously more so for me. I think my edge has come in the addition of other training. I am now training for my second sprint triathlon- which means I bike and swim several times a week whereas Ian only ever bikes to our friends house 2 blocks away and would rather [insert just about anything here] than swim. These disciplines have added muscles I didn’t get from running and have done a good job of removing evil fat. The more muscle you have the more efficient you are- muscles propel- fat just jiggles.

Like cramming for an exam, I ate super healthy for 2 weeks before my race and only consumed 2 glasses of wine over 10 days. This was spurred by this chart on runner’s world. WOW. I dropped 4 lbs like nothing when I removed alcohol, sugar, limited my portions and ate useful foods. Who knew? has some really helpful nutrition articles for those of us who know little about it. Use these articles to get started.

Having given all of this training advice, I am not an expert on any of it, nor do I have any authority to speak on it. It’s never stopped me before, but if it doesn’t work for you then you must have done something wrong.

All that blabbering and now the actual race report. The Bolder Boulder has always been our favorite race. Because this race is such a big deal for us, my adrenaline is always at an all time high on race morning. This year I planned to start at my goal pace and hold it throughout the course instead of speeding up at the end. For most training runs I try to run negative splits when possible, but that would have made my final miles way too fast. So this year my adrenaline rush got me through miles 1 & 2.

Beyond mile 2 took a little more work. My biggest problem in races has been my head. I talk myself out of what I can actually do. Ian’s been telling me for years I’m underachieving. My head says “Aw, it’s too painful.” “You’re breathing too hard.” I recently read that pain is often made up in your brain and not even real. It is amazing the things our brains can control. I have come to grips with the pain of speed and decided to run through it aided by the GI Jane quotes in my playlist. It’s also a matter of how much you want it, the more I want it, the less I care about the pain. I kept telling myself it wouldn’t even hurt 5 minutes after I finished.

The race felt much shorter this year. It was shorter, 6 minutes shorter to be exact. This really helped. Even though I was in more pain, it didn’t last as long. Knowing the course also helped. Surprises in races get in my head, but this year I ran the tangents and was really happy to know what was coming. Hills seem easier if I know how long they’ll last.

I knew I had run as hard as possible because I almost hurled on the metal floor in the stadium stretch- I believe Viper calls this the puke threshold. This happened in the Skirt Chaser 5K last year and was my best time. It is now my standard. No dry heaves = too slow of a race.

The last mile (9:09) was slower than I wanted to finish but I was really happy with my time, 58:52. I love to sprint it out and beat 3 people at the end- like I just won the whole thing. This time it was just an even pace, oh well. I finished. I cried. I tried not to be giddy around Ian. Then I drank a bucket of frozen margaritas.