Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Things I Missed

By now you’ve realized that I only posted once between June 2nd and December 19th and that was to tell you to piss off so I’m not sure that you were all too enamored with that post and I’m not really proud of it either. The really disappointing part though is that you didn’t get to hear my opinions on the many things that happened in the wonderful world of running during those 6 months. Some of you have suggested in the comments on the last post that I should get down on my knees and beg forgiveness or partake in a little groveling but that’s just not my style. What I will do for you is acknowledge that I know how tough it must have been to go through these things without my guiding wisdom and I’ll even go so far as to admit that I missed being able to smother you with my thoughts on these subjects. What follows is a heartily abridged list of things that I would have totally written about had I still been actively posting.
  • The Boston Marathon sold out in 8 hours and then some whackjob from the WSJ generated a bunch of page hits from the running blog community when he wrote an article about how women had it too easy. Incidentally this is the easiest way to get yourself in trouble with a woman. An alternative way to get yourself in trouble with a woman is to ignore them when they start talking over the football game that you were watching when clearly they were in the wrong for interrupting even though it was during a commercial break, but sometimes the commercials are mesmerizing and loud and ... holy crap I think she’s talking to me again I better start paying attent... oh good the game’s back.
  • One of my favorite writers, Kristina, FINALLY managed to BQ (it’s about time) so belated congrats to her.
  • Viper FINALLY managed to break the 4 hour marathon mark (also about time) so begrudging congrats to him.
  • The Denver Half Marathon was .14 miles too long - I missed an opportunity to use my ‘morons’ tag :( so sad.
  • Two words: Sperm Shoes! A few more words: Some company intentionally put a little swimmer on the side of their shoes as the logo! It’s like they were begging me to come out of blogging retirement and write about their shoes. Oh what fun I would have had with those babies. *rimshot* Why did none of you take this on and post about it? Note: I did not read any of your blogs while I was on sabbatical so I have no idea if you posted about it but I just always assume that you let me down, it’s what makes me such a great dad.
  • Several celebrities were spotted running; that’s more sexy pictures that I missed out on posting.
  • I PR’d a half marathon, even after making a casketload of mistakes.
  • I missed a lot of runs, I complained about a lot of things and my family had to bear the brunt of it because I had no other outlet. My family begged me to start blogging again, I ignored them even though I was starting to feel the urge to post again. Then I was contacted by an advertiser who wanted to pay me for a link, but only if I was going to start posting again. Ta da! Posting again! It’s such a heartwarming tale.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Don’t Call It a Comeback

I need to write again and you need something to pass the time at work. I promise if you stick around I’ll try not to title too many more posts using LL Cool J lyrics. The obvious exception to that promise will be when I have an interesting breakfast story to share with you, in which case how could I not title it Milky Cereal? Such a classic!

I’ve been pondering a comeback to blogging for a while now but I wasn’t quite sure how to do it? Do I just start posting again as though nothing happened? Kinda’ hard to do that with that huge breakup letter sitting right beneath this post. Do I apologize? That doesn’t sound like me. Do I go for a big splash, making a bigger deal of it than it really is and extend the tired breaking up analogy? Bingo! Bango! Bongo! Also, I think I’d like to start using the phrase ‘bingo, bango, bongo’ more often, kind of like a signature phrase. I have no idea what it means, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound cool. If someone could tell me what it means that would be great and it would be even greater if it doesn’t have some hidden sexual meaning so I don’t sound like a complete tool when I say it. I checked Urban Dictionary and it says it means intercourse but I don’t believe that for a second. I bet you could pick any random phrase that you might hear in the break room and Urban Dictionary would say that it was some deviant sexual practice. For instance, “I need someone to give me a teabag?” *looks up teabag* Oh Ian, you blowhard!

What I’m trying to say here is that I want you back. I saw how you moved on to other blogs so quickly after we broke up and I’m not going to pretend that it didn’t hurt. The ink wasn’t even dry on my Closure post and already you were off gallivanting around with other blogs. You didn’t even take a day to mourn. Why do you treat me this way? Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?
Do you really want to hurt me?
Do you really want to make me cryyyyyyy?

/Culture Club’d! Ha! Now we’re even.

Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff to get to. I actually had a PR since the last time I posted! That almost brought me back out of blogging retirement right there, but there’s plenty of time to tell that story and then refer to it again and again and again until you start wishing that I’d just go away again. Welcome back!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We need to talk. I don’t think this blogger/reader relationship is going to work out. I mean, I do all of the work. You guys do nothing. NOTHING! I’m sorry to be so blunt with you, but I really think we should take a break. As it’s been two and a half months since I last posted I’m going to assume that most of you saw this coming.

I really wanted to contact ESPN and have them put on a one hour special where I talked about the process that I went through to come to this decision, but then I remembered that even I’m not that arrogant.

I’m writing this post because I feel like I owe you all an explanation as to why I’m quitting blogging going on hiatus. First of all, I DON’T owe you an explanation, but you certainly deserve one. I simply haven’t felt like writing lately. It’s a short explanation but it’s all you’re getting. I knew that it was time to call it quits when I was recently offered a free pair of expensive, custom-made running shoes in exchange for a review and I thought to myself “yeah, but that would mean I would have to sit down and write something.” Wait a second... I should have used the time I spent to write this farewell post to write about the free shoes! I can’t believe I missed out on free shoes just because I felt guilted into writing this stupid post for YOU people! You all owe me a free pair of shoes!

In all seriousness, thank you all for taking the time to read and comment on my sarcasm riddled ramblings, I am humbled and flattered that so many of you have enjoyed reading what I have to say. I received a tremendous amount of enjoyment from entertaining you and I want to express my thanks to every single one of you by sending you a $5 gift certificate for the Garmin online store. I can’t afford to express my thanks that way, but I want to. Anyway, I don’t honestly believe that I’ll be able to permanently quit blogging so there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll be back at it again at some point in the future. Whether that means a couple of months or a couple of years is anybody’s guess.

I’ve received several dozen offers (read: one) to do guest posts at other running blogs so I may show up elsewhere from time to time and if I ever make a triumphal return to full time blogging I’ll be sure to announce it here at Half-Fast (in the event that I start a different blog) so go ahead and keep Half-Fast in your reader if you want to find me again. Or you could pay attention to any CNN breaking news updates as my return to the blogiverse is sure to be headline news. Or you could follow me on twitter @IanAHunter. I don’t tweet much because I can’t seem to condense my thoughts to 140 characters. I’m just so complex, you see.

Many, many, many thanks to all of you for reading, I simply cannot express how appreciative I am. (Inability to express oneself is always a winning formula for a blog!)

Oh, one last thing, I promise to put up a post if Candis ever beats me in a footrace, since I know that many of you have just been eagerly awaiting that day.

Ian Hunter (the artist formerly known as Vanilla)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BB10k Race Report

I was successful on Monday in my continuing quest to get slower and slower, posting a time that was slower even than some of my training runs leading up to the Bolder Boulder. Awesome! Candis meanwhile continues to get faster, although not quite fast enough... yet. I ran a 54:39 and Candis posted a 55:56 (a 3 minute PR).

In typical banker/obsessed runner fashion I decided to use an excel spreadsheet to break down our 10k results over the last 5 years. Then I graphed them to see if there were any interesting trends... I really wish I hadn’t.

I wonder what will happen next year at the Bolder Boulder? I’m sure you’ve all got lots of crazy ideas floating around your heads about what might happen at next years race and you’re welcome to put those in the comments if you want, but I’m only going to make you eat your words when I triumph again next year.

The next potential race on our schedule is the Boulder Half Marathon. We’ve never done it before and have heard some good things about it. This past weekend we also heard a couple of bad things about it, so if any of you have run it or have any input to share we’d certainly appreciate it.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

It was hot at the Bolder Boulder today, some people might refer to that as a "nice day" or "perfect weather" or "beautiful blue skies" but to me it was just hot. Hot and annoying.

Our times were 55:56 and 54:39 or something like that. I'll have a more detailed update tomorrow, but right now we're off to a friends house for some beer, BBQ and then more beer. Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Long Overdue Update

Candis and I are running the Bolder Boulder 10k on Memorial Day. The Bolder Boulder organizers saw fit to place us in the ED wave which is incredibly unfortunate and not at all allegorical. My disco stick is just fine thankyouverymuch, I’ll prove it to you right now! Anyway, if you’re running on Monday stop by section 204 after the race and say hello, if you’re lucky I’ll prove it to you in person. I kid, I kid I’m totally aware of what’s socially acceptable when meeting someone for the first time.

Site News
Is it just me or does it feel like this blog is writhing in its death throes? It’s not that I haven’t been running, hell it’s not even that I don’t have any good material. I’ve got a file full of half written posts and ideas that would last me a couple of months. I just don’t feel like writing anymore. Part of that is because I’ve been busier at work lately (the economy won’t flush itself down the drain you know, it takes hard work to make it happen). It used to be that even when I didn’t feel like writing I would sit down and force myself to put a post up for consistency’s sake. And if I couldn’t find time at work to throw a post up then I’d go home and write a post in the evening so that I could throw it up the next morning like a supermodel after a night out at a seafood buffet. That’s a terrible analogy; I don’t think supermodels eat at buffets do they?

But fear not. I’m not quitting the blog. I’ll soldier on, posting when the urge strikes or when my guilt level rises to an intolerable level or when someone offers me free stuff to review. It pains me to see my blog in this run-down, neglected state and part of me just wants to put it out of its misery but I think I’d miss being a part of the online running community too much, even though I’m an admittedly diminutive part of it at this point. Maybe the inspiration will strike again someday and I’ll get back to writing on a regular basis but for now you’re just going to have to put up with erratic posts, long periods of silence and awkward apologies that would make George Michael Bluth uncomfortable.

I realize that it’s unrealistic to expect people to continue to read a blog that only updates once or twice a month. Eventually you’ll lose interest because there’s just not enough material for you to care about. I think that was one of the things that drew me to posting at CRN. I was only responsible for one or two posts a month, but there were a host of other writers that were also putting posts up so the blog didn’t lack consistency. Minimum input, maximum exposure. I’m all about maximum exposure.

Finally, I’ve turned on comment moderation for posts that are more than five days old because apparently my comments section is a great place to advertise pornographic sites.

I’m going to leave again for a few days, but you kids behave while Daddy’s out of town. I’ll try to get a race report up sometime next week... or whenever. Have a great 3 day weekend!

Friday, May 7, 2010

You want the Proof?

You can’t handle the proof! I guess it was so out of the question that I would win an age group award that some of you wanted proof. Well here is a picture of Candis and I posing with our medals. Candis’ medal is attached to a white ribbon (signifying 3rd place) and mine of course has a blue ribbon because it’s a 1st place medal. Never mind that Candis’ medal is for overall female and mine is an age group award, all that matters is one of them is 1st place (ME!) and one of them is 3rd place. Better yet, the inscription on the back of each medal does not list whether it was an age group or overall award so a few years down the road when we’ve long forgotten about this race the medals will tell a different story.

Question for you readers who have more experience with winning medals: Is it customary to eliminate the top 3 overall winners (male and female) from the age group awards? Candis also took 2nd in her age group and was hoping to take two medals home but was disappointed to find out that she wasn’t eligible as the 3rd overall woman.

Also, if that picture isn’t enough proof for you then you can view the Hawk Hustle 5k results online. Have you ever seen a 5k with such a slow winning time? (21:27 for those of you who, like me, are too lazy to follow the link and see for yourselves.)

Finally, I leave you with a completely random non-running related video. Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Guess which idiot blogger with a penchant for (unnecessary) parentheses and the Caps Lock key just won his age group at a local 5k this weekend? (((THIS GUY!!)))

That’s right folks, I am the proud new owner of a 1st Place medal in the Male 30 - 39 division. Moreover, Candis is the proud new owner of a 3rd Place medal in the Overall Female category. Yes, it was a small race, why do you ask?

Now that I’ve ruined the ending of this story, let me back up and start at the beginning. Late last week we discovered that Horizon High School was hosting the Hawk Hustle 5k to benefit their athletics department and we decided to support them and signed up at the last minute. One of the main selling points of this race was the fact that the high school is located no more than a quarter mile from our house and the race was being run on the paths that Candis and I run on regularly. With the race being so close we were able to sleep in until 8 o’clock on Saturday morning. I think that’s the latest I’ve ever been able to get up on a race morning. Candis went over to the school and brought back our bibs while I brewed us some coffee and took care of my other morning business.

As the Chik-fil-A cow fumbled with the starter’s pistol everyone seemed to shy away from being at the front of the starting crowd so I stepped up and toed the line. The cow finally figured out a way to fire the pistol without breaking character and we were off. I was feeling good and actually ran with the lead pack for about a half a mile, then I looked at my Garmin and noticed that we were at a 6:50 pace and I had to slow down. I ended up finishing 12th out of 103 people and of course, 1st in my age group. And before you ask, no I wasn’t the only person in my age group, there were 8 other guys racing in the 30 - 39 division. Candis finished about a minute and a half behind me as the 3rd overall woman and was 2nd in her age group.

My time was 26:03 which is a lot slower than I would have liked even taking into account that the course was actually 3.25 miles. Normally I’d be disappointed with a time like that since it seems to confirm that I’ve hit a plateau if not a downward trend, but I’m still beaming from finally winning an age group award. It was all that I hoped it would be! What can I say, sometimes the triumphs come when you least expect them.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Alright, fess up! Which one of you is this?

No question in my mind that this is one of my readers so which one of you wants to cop to it.

I have to give props to the people on either side of her for not even giving her a quizzical look. I don’t think a sharp backhand would have been out of order given the circumstances. I mean, I didn’t go to law school or anything but I did take one Intro to Business Law class in college and I’m pretty sure that you can’t be charged with assault if someone’s acting that stupid. They’re basically asking for it.

Also, a quick pointer for all three of those people in the video; you guys know that those things go faster than that, right? Mmmkay, just checking.

Oh, and sorry about that song playing in the background of the video. You should have muted your speakers if you didn’t want that stuck in your head all day, and I should have mentioned this in the paragraph above the video but if I have to suffer, you do too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Product Review: Belkin Sports Armband for iPhone

I know what you’re thinking: “How does a guy who is only averaging six posts a month keep getting free stuff to review?” It’s quite simple really. I may not write a lot but I write good. It’s about quality over quantity. No? Not buying it? Yeah, me either but I really don’t have any other explanation as to why I continue to get free stuff. You don’t question the gravy train, you just keep riding it until you’re plump with so many free products and shoes and assorted schwag that you begin to sweat them from your very pores.

A number of weeks ago I was contacted by a wonderful individual named Natalie who was offering to send me the Belkin DualFit Sports Armband (for iPhone). I could immediately tell from the e-mail that Natalie was a wonderful person when she said that she wanted to give me a product to review. That’s pretty much all it takes for me to think that you’re a wonderful person, which explains why I think so little of so many of you dear readers. Anyway, Natalie sent me the Armband and I tested it out.

Here are my findings:
It works! It holds my iPhone securely on my arm, but not so securely as to be uncomfortable. The plastic screen allows me to use my iPhone without taking the phone out of the Armband, this is important for those times I want to skip a song in my playlist or catch up on some e-mail correspondence during my runs. It even has a hole in the bottom of the armband so that I can charge or sync the phone without taking it out of the armband. I have no idea why I’d want to do that, but it’s good to know that I can. The only downside to the Belkin DualFit Sports Armband that I could find was that it was such a tight fit that I had to take my iPhone out of its protective case to put it in the armband. What if I drop it in between the case and the armband? I would be doomed! Other than that though, the armband was great and I suppose it has to be a tight fit so that the iPhone doesn’t slip out easily while you’re running. In conclusion, (cheesy endorsement coming...) I suggest that you all head on over to MobileFun for all of your iPhone accessories and for whatever else they sell there, I’m sure it’s all good.

Be sure to click on the links in this post so that wonderful Natalie thinks that giving me a free Belkin Armband was worth it, because if she doesn’t then I won’t keep getting free stuff to review and then how will I make you all jealous of me if I don’t have free stuff to review? Answer: With my dashing good looks and devilish charm, that’s how... but I’d still like the free stuff to go along with it.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Long Con

Yesterday I concluded a two part April Fools’ Day joke. After posting an April Fools’ day joke the previous two years I knew that some of you might suspect something and needed a way to throw you off the scent. I came up with the idea of the multi-day fool a couple of years ago when another blog I read (Cynical Dad) pulled it off to perfection with a 3 day story, concluding on April 1st. (You see how I both credited the original source AND took credit for the idea in that last sentence? There’s a fine line between Ian and genius and I just blurred it.) However, three days of foolery sounded like a lot of work so naturally I cut it down to two, that’s the way I roll here at Half-Fast. (It’s still cool to say “that’s how I roll,” right?)

As with any good lie, large portions of the story were true. In fact, everything I wrote in Act 1 was true, and a large part of Act 2 was true. I’ve gone back through yesterday’s post and changed the text color to red on any part that was NOT true, but if you’re too lazy to re-read it I’ll give a quick summation. The kid and most of his antics were real, although I may have over-emphasized how annoying he was. I never actually said anything to the kid but I did roll my eyes and sigh a lot to express my annoyance like the mature adult that I am. After ten minutes in the fitness center the kid left and never came back, and I never met his father and I’ve still never fallen off a treadmill and I NEVER WILL! Also, I have no idea how I will follow this up next year. Perhaps I’ll fool you all by confessing to some heinous thing that I did and telling you on April 1st, but the joke will be that it’s all true and no one will believe me. Gotcha! Or maybe I’ll make up a funny April Fools’ story, but post it on March 1st when no one’s expecting it. Oh, that’s a good one. ZING!!

A lot of people hate April Fools’ Day, not me, I love it. I’m suspicious of everything on April 1st. “Well I have a green light, but maybe this is an elaborate joke and we all have a green light? I should just sit here so I don’t look like a fool.” I cannot be had, do you hear me? OK, occasionally someone gets me and I love it even more when that happens. Well played, good sir.

Yesterday my favorite running related pranks were the Boston Marathon lowering their qualifying times and Gu adding some delicious new flavors recapped here by Steve. Liver ‘n’ Onions anyone? My least favorite one was Xenia’s since it was posted before mine and alerted some of you to what I was doing.

UPDATE: According to Mike at Running Is Funny the Boston Marathon pulled no such prank. Apparently it was a fake site that had everyone up in arms over the new lower qualifying times and the Boston Athletic Association is none to thrilled and looking to take legal action.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Get off my treadmill! Act 2

Where were we? Oh yes, we ended Act1 (read it here if you missed it) with me on the verge of making an ass of myself.

I was a couple of miles into my run when I heard the door to the fitness center open. I quickly grabbed the remote and switched off the Will and Grace re-run that I was watching in favor of ESPN. Grrrrrr sports! In walked my little friend and I could tell that he was ready for another workout because he was still wearing his workout jeans. He spotted me on the treadmill and was visibly disappointed. After standing there watching me for a few seconds he looked at the other exercise equipment in the room, presumably to determine which would be best for some high intensity screwing around.

The elliptical was the winner, or perhaps the loser if you’re looking at it from the elliptical’s point of view. He climbed on and started exercising, constantly leaning over to get a look at how fast I was going and attempting to match my pace. I was smack in the middle of an interval and had the speed set at 8mph (don’t laugh, that’s interval speed for me). I immediately decided that I would keep going at that speed until he stopped and fortunately for me he was tuckered out after about a minute. At this point he turned on the TV in front of the elliptical and cranked the volume up until it was loud enough to drown out my TV.

Next he stood with both of his feet on one of the eliptical’s paddles and began rowing himself up and down like a piston, a chubby piston. At this point I was getting a little agitated. He was no longer watching the TV but still had the volume cranked up so I asked him if he’d mind turning off the TV if he wasn’t watching it. He turned and walked away from me, completely ignoring me as if he was my own child. It was just as annoying when he did it as it is when they do it.

At this point he was just trying to irritate me. He took the dumbbells off the rack and started spinning them around at arm’s length as fast as he could, then left them lying on the floor. He stood behind my treadmill and imitated me running. I know this because as with most fitness centers, this one had a large mirror in front of the treadmill. And that’s when I lost it. I don’t know why that kind of thing gets my blood boiling so quickly but it’s happened before. I hopped off the treadmill, turned to face him and yelled at him. Yelled at him, at a kid. I’m not even going to tell you what I said because I’m pretty ashamed of myself for having said it. It was a stupid thing to do and I’m not proud of it, but the kid left quickly so it was at least effective.

Moments later I was running on the treadmill again when the kid walked back in followed by his father. His big, angry father. You might have deduced this from my race pictures but I’m not exactly a big guy. I’m all of 5’5” soaking wet (and bone dry since being soaking wet doesn’t make you any taller). I was terrified that this guy was going to crush me and in my haste to get off the treadmill and face him I got crossed up and ended up falling like a sack of potatoes onto the moving surface where I was promptly ejected off the back. My right forearm was throbbing like it was broken and I don’t even know what I hit it on (it’s not broken by the way, I’m just a wuss). The kid’s dad moved towards me quickly and with my adrenaline rushing I was sure that he meant to harm me. With my left arm caught awkwardly underneath me and my right arm in pain I did the first thing that I could think of to protect myself; I lifted my foot up to fend off Gigantor, who was now looming over me. He immediately grabbed a hold of my ankle with his enormous paw and started pulling... pulling on my leg... just like I’m pulling yours! April Fool’s suckers! I can’t believe you didn’t see that coming. Or maybe you did, bully for you. Let this be a lesson to you not to believe anything you read today.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Get off my treadmill! Act 1

This is a two part story because it got kind of long when I was writing it and I was incapable of editing it down, a sure sign of a good writer.

As you know from my previous post I was in South Dakota last week for a little R & R but I packed some workout clothes so that I could squeeze in some running. The hotel website promised a fitness center, which if you travel a lot you know can be hit or miss. In this case the fitness center was a standard hotel room which had been filled with as much exercise equipment as they could squeeze in there along with a few TVs. It consisted of a treadmill, an elliptical, a recumbent bike (who uses those things?) a small sit up bench, a rack of dumbbells and a rack of towels. Frankly, I was happy with the set up as I never know what to expect when I’m at a hotel. My only concern with just one treadmill was that someone else would be using it when I was ready to run, it was a concern that proved to be valid.

On Friday morning we were on our way back from breakfast when I decided to stop by the “fitness center” to see if anyone was using the treadmill. If not, I planned to rush back to the room, change into workout clothes and then go claim the treadmill for a few quick miles. (Yes, “quick” should have probably been in quotes too.) As I entered the room I could hear the familiar thud of footsteps on a treadmill. Crap. Sure enough someone was using it, however that someone was a slightly chubby kid who I was sure was just screwing around and not actually working out. My assumption was not based on his weight but on the fact that he was running on the treadmill barefoot and in jeans. Jeans! As I left the fitness center I couldn’t help but notice that the sign on the door said “Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult” and I’m guessing this kid was roughly 8 years shy.

As I was changing back in our room I contemplated what to do if the kid was still on my treadmill when I got back down there. I figured my options were: 1. Anonymous tip to hotel security that a minor was using the fitness center unsupervised. 2. Go and use the elliptical while rolling my eyes and making disapproving faces at the kid until he felt uncomfortable enough to leave. 3. Be mature and say something along the lines of “Hey if you’re not really using the treadmill do you mind if I get in a few miles?” Mature and I don’t often get put in the same sentence like that though so I wasn’t going with option 3 and option 1 was too much of a prick thing to do, even for me so I settled on option number 2.

I walked back down to the fitness center practicing my disapproving stares and disgusted sighs only to find that the kid had already left. I have to admit I was a little disappointed that I was not going to get to use my new battery of expressions, but resolved to use some of my best ones on my family during the remainder of the trip. (I’m such a joy to be around!) My disappointment was short-lived however as the kid soon returned - without adult supervision!!!

I’ll post Act 2 in a little while, wherein the kid returns and makes an ass of himself, I respond by making an ass of myself and in general everyone’s an ass. It was not my finest moment.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I’m Back

What do you mean you didn’t notice that I was gone? You mean to tell me that you don’t hang on my every word? You don’t sit there helplessly staring at the computer screen waiting for a Half-Fast post, completely unable to do anything productive until you’ve heard what I have to say? I am deeply offended.

As you may have guessed from the picture above, my family and I spent most of last week in South Dakota admiring mountain carvings and buying up as much of South Dakota’s supply of polished rocks as my children’s little hands could carry. I tried to talk them out of the polished rocks but they had their own money to spend and when you’re six years old bagfuls of polished rocks sound like a wise investment. I would have told you all that I was going to be gone but I really thought that I was going to find time to post while I was away. Honestly I did have the time to post but just didn’t feel like it, plus I’ve got a really good story to tell you that deserves my full attention and a half-fast post from a hotel room just wouldn’t do it justice. I’ll get to the story tomorrow but for now just know that we had a good trip. We visited Mount Rushmore (very impressive) and Crazy Horse (less impressive, at least for now) and did you know that they carve those mountains with dynamite? I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I was to learn that those are not natural rock formations! We also spent a lot of time at our hotel pool, which the kids loved because it had a waterslide. I totally owned that waterslide. I was like the German luge team at the Olympics. I would get to the top and grab the handle bar above the slide entrance, then I would rock back and forth counting out “eins, zwei, drei” and then I would fling my body down the tube without a thought for my own personal safety. That’s how you have to do it if you want to be the best in the world. The key to riding a waterslide is reducing your friction on the slide so you have to arch up and ride down on your shoulder blades and heels. None of the other kids were achieving the dangerous kind of speeds that I was or creating even one tenth of splash at the bottom that I was. They just could not match my derring-do. Candis and I were both so happy that the hotel had a water slide, you know, for the kids.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Back to the Track, Jack

(Note: I have no idea who Jack is, but I was feeling the whole rhyming post title and it sounded good in my head.)

On Tuesday night Candis and I took advantage of our extra hour of daylight and ventured out to the track for some intervals. You know what I love about the track? - Leaving. That’s right, I love it when the workout is over and I get to go home. Does running intervals at the track make me a better runner? Absolutely. Does it push me to my limits and leave me with a feeling of accomplishment? No question. Do I enjoy running intervals? No. No I do not. There is no better way to make yourself feel like a wheezing, lumbering fatty than to challenge yourself with some intervals.

I was a little slower than I would have liked and Candis was a little faster than I would have liked. I ran 5 x 800s (7:32 pace) and she had the nerve to stick with me for the first three 800s. Wha?!? Yup, she stayed about a step behind me for the first three intervals, probably so that she could admire my legs and butt. What am I a piece of meat? I managed to drop her on the last two intervals but I found little comfort in beating her because she cut them down to 400s so that I wouldn’t have the thrill of standing around at the finish line and waiting for her while repeatedly checking my watch.

There’s no motivation in the world like your wife starting to catch up to you. She’s getting faster and a cursory check of the last time I wrote about hating intervals reveals that I am not (see my pacing at the bottom of that post). I think she’s even starting to get ideas in her head about competing with me in races, which is just preposterous. How am I supposed to keep her in her proper place if she starts beating me in races? By the way, that’s just a rhetorical question because it’s NEVER GONNA’ HAPPEN. You hear me?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Runner Jumps off Cliff

In last Wednesday’s post I discussed all the ways that I envisioned myself escaping from any would be attackers who might be tempted to get up in my business while I was running. (I hope that phrase means what I think it means.) One escape tactic that I had never thought about was to jump off a cliff, but that’s exactly what one runner was forced to do recently in Malibu. From the AP:

MALIBU, Calif. — Authorities say a man tried to sexually assault a Southern California jogger who escaped by jumping off a cliff and sliding about 100 feet down a steep hillside.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Derek Sabatini says the woman was taken to a hospital Friday with cuts and bruises from the fall in Malibu.

She told deputies she had finished a run at about noon at Point Dume State Beach and was standing at the edge of a cliff when she was grabbed from behind. She says she and the man struggled for several minutes before she was able to break away. That’s when the woman ran and jumped off the cliff.

Deputies say the suspect then escaped in the woman’s Toyota Land Cruiser. [Source]
I’m glad that the woman escaped and I hope that they find the prick that did this but sliding down the cliffs at Malibu is so not helping the coastal erosion problem that they’re facing there. Plus, what’s up with the AP referring to her as a jogger? She sounds more like a runner to me; jumping off a cliff is pretty hardcore.

Be safe out there, it’s not like this woman was out running in Compton. She was in Malibu for crying out loud. At noon!

Thanks to my sister/editor for the tip.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Half-Fast Friday: Virtual Race Report

Shouldn’t a virtual race be one that I get to run virtually? You know like on Wii Fit or something? I feel like I was conned when I signed up for this thing. Nevertheless, last night I went out and ran an actual 6.66 miles as part of Razz’s GW,MA!6.66MR. My FIRST training schedule called for a 7 mile run last night (1 easy, 2 tempo, 1 easy, 2 tempo, 1 easy) and I certainly contemplated just running 6.66 miles as fast as I could but ended up sticking to the suggested pacing. Far be it from me to question the authority of FIRST.

Yes, that means that my virtual race had 2.66 miles of easy running sprinkled throughout it but I think that was necessary for the following three reasons: 1. You can’t boast about being faster than me because I was taking it easy. 2. I’m lazy. 3. It was important to show a certain amount of disdain for Razz’s virtual race and what better way to do that than by throwing in a few apathetic miles.

The Results: 6.66 miles in 59:12, that’s an 8:54 pace. Meh.

Because no race report is ever complete without some excuses I feel like I should also mention that I’m still getting over a cold so I didn’t have a lot of energy for this race and it was really windy and it was hilly and it was at altitude. Basically what I’m trying to say is that my race was tougher than your race, but good job on beating me if you did. Bully for you. Try to not let the fact that I was throwing in easy miles tarnish your victory.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Do you ever keep watching a video over and over and you’re not sure why? Yeah, this video is kind of like that. I’m not sure why I like it so much, perhaps it’s the awesome title or the music. Or perhaps it’s the fact that it caters to my short attention span and my need to be entertained without having to invest too much of my valuable time.

On a running note, I plan to complete Razz’s GW,MA!6.66MR tonight so I should have a “race report” (air quotes!) ready to go for tomorrow morning... or tomorrow afternoon... or the next day, or whenever I feel like getting around to it. What are you, my boss? Get off my back already!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Things I Imagine While Running

When I was little I was in Cub Scouts, along with various other youth programs all designed to stop you from becoming the kind of adult that I became anyway. The motto of the Cub Scouts, which they drilled into our heads during my short time there is Be Prepared. You might have already known that. It was a motto that I took to heart and one that I still believe in today. Part of being prepared is imagining all of the worst case scenarios that could come your way and figuring out how you’ll deal with them. I employ this technique when I’m running.

For example, I often find myself out running when it’s dark. This is when there are unsavory characters lurking around every corner to get you so it is especially important to be prepared. Each cyclist that you pass could be a terrorist in disguise, sent to take you captive. That woman walking her dog could be an Al Qaeda operative whose mission is to rub you out. When I run at night I imagine that each pedestrian that I pass is a mortal enemy. I look around for reflective surfaces so that I can keep an eye on them without alerting them to my alertness. After they pass me I know that they are circling back around to attack but my Spidey senses are tingling and I feel the danger coming. As though I have eyes in the back of my head I deftly duck out of the way of their initial blow and then turn my defensive maneuver into a deadly counter attack. I spin around with lightening quickness and take the highly trained, combat-hardened terrorist completely by surprise. I execute a roundhouse kick with Chuck Norris-like perfection that catches my assailant squarely in the jaw. Stunned but not knocked out, the terrorist stumbles backwards and I immediately pounce and pummel them with brutal body blows from my steely fists. I put the terrorist in a choke hold and demand that he tell me who sent him. Seriously guys, I make Jack Bauer look like limp-wristed mama’s boy.

Later I’ll give an interview on TV where you’ll still be able to see my bloodied knuckles and sweat drenched shirt. I’ll describe in the most nonchalant fashion how I captured the most highly sought after man in the US and got critical information out of him that will save countless lives. It’s thoughts like these that keep me at a heightened state of awareness when I run, I mean sure, sometimes I almost run right into other runners because I’m so immersed in my daydreams, but for the most part I’m super aware.

Of course none of this has ever actually happened. It usually turns out that my tingling Spidey sense was just indigestion and if anything like that ever did really happen I’d probably crap my pants and faint. Later that night the local news story would be about a heroic woman who revived a runner that had passed out and soiled himself for no apparent reason.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Half-Fast Friday

One of the routes that I run through my neighborhood goes past the back of some houses that have 6 foot privacy fences lining their yards. Several of the houses have dogs all of whom bark at me and one of them even jumps so high that his head pops up over the top of the fence. Somehow I am always startled by this, even when I know it’s coming and prepare myself for it. Then his head pops up and he barks at me and I can feel myself jolt. I used to wonder if he was really jumping that high or if there was something on his side of the fence that he was standing on like a table or piles of dead runners that he’d somehow managed to grab. Then I saw this video (via WG). I wonder no more.

Let me add a note here to say that I own a dog and I love dogs, but I absolutely can’t stand it when dogs bark at me from their yards. Just leave me alone bitch! (Get it, bitch, because it’s a female dog! These are the jokes you get on Half-Fast Friday.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Virtual Race Unlike Any Other Virtual Race!

Ok, so it’s exactly like any other virtual race but that’s not really very attention grabby now is it? Head on over to ROATM and sign up for Razz’s 6.66 mile virtual race. There are prizes and everything, in fact, one of the prizes is going to be supplied by yours truly and it’s autographed!! Let me say that again: IT’S AUTOGRAPHED!!! Do you have any idea what that’s worth? Roughly $8.57. You might think that I’m overstating it but the item that I’m donating as a prize really, truly was devalued by at least that much when I signed it with indelible ink. You won’t be able to wash that out.

There are certain rules and guidelines to signing up for the race, but you’ll have to go read them at Razz’s blog because I didn’t understand them the first time and I’m not about to put myself through another attempt to make sense of the stilted gibberish he posts over there. (Ooooh, the ref takes away a point for a low blow!) The race can be run anytime between March 5th and March 14th and you do have to sign up in the comments at ROATM.

I think that the idea behind the race is that we’re all giving Ol’ Man Winter the big middle finger, even though I don’t think I should do that since Ol’ Man Winter has been relatively kind to us here in Colorado the last few days. He’s been the friendly old grandpa who doesn’t come around much and always brings you money when he’s in town as opposed to the crusty old codger who finds the worst moments to be incontinent. Razz came up with the name of the race all by himself. It’s the Global Warming, My Ass! 6.66 Mile Run which I find kind of ironic considering all of the complaining that Razz did about lengthy race names. (PFCRNRAZM anyone?) Anyway you should head on over to his blog and sign up for the GW,MA!6.66MR which has an even longer abbreviation than the PF Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon, assuming that you count the punctuation, and I do.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Crazy Drivers!

You know what’s worse than a driver who won’t stop at a crosswalk to let you cross? A driver who stops when there’s no crosswalk. Here’s what happened on my run last night:

I had decided for no apparent reason that I would prefer to run on the other side of the street. Sometimes I do this in the middle of a run just to change things up, it’s the whole ‘sidewalk is always greener over there’ theory or something like that. As there was no cross walk for at least a couple of blocks and I’m extremely impatient I decided to wait for a break in traffic and make a run for the better looking sidewalk. Now, this street is not a busy four lane highway so I’m not talking about having to make a frantic, frogger-esque dash for the other side, but there are a few cars on the street so I stopped on the sidewalk to wait for a nice long break in traffic.

The car that is approaching from my left sees me standing there and begins to slow down to allow me to cross. I hate it when drivers do this because to the cars behind him it makes me look like THAT runner, the one that darts out in front of you and further impedes your commute, in fact if I was in the car behind him I’d probably be on my horn. So I try to wave him on and indicate that he should just keep going. He’s emphatically waving back at me signaling for me to go ahead, but traffic behind him is beginning to catch up and I’m worried that I’ll get smoked by the impatient driver behind him who I can see has four pairs of runners shoes tattooed on his front fender. One more and he’s considered an Ace. My concerns prove to be correct when the driver behind him, who clearly doesn’t see me despite the fact that I was flaunting my pasty white legs (53 degrees yesterday! Suck it East Coasters!), roars past him in the wrong lane yelling and cursing as he went. I give the polite driver a look that says ‘see, I told you’ and he can no longer be referred to as the polite driver as he too is yelling and signaling to me that I’m number one. Yeah, I’m the idiot here for not playing dodge ball with evening commuters.

To sum up, here are the driver’s crimes that landed him a mention on my blog today: 1. He was observant - he saw me standing there and recognized that I wanted to cross. 2. He tried to be polite, perhaps it even occurred to him that I would prefer not to have to stop running. So, my advice to you all when you get behind the steering wheel is to be less observant and less polite, the world could use a few more of these drivers.

Finally, I reserve the right in the future to complain about drivers being impolite and unobservant and not allowing me to cross the street.

Oh, and the sidewalk on the other side of the street was not greener, nor was it any more pleasant to run on.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Back to FIRST

As I prepare for the Bolder Boulder 10k on Memorial Day I am finally getting back on an official training plan. I’m going to be using the FIRST plan and will be doing some of the P90X workouts on my cross training days. You may remember that I had been doing P90X as part of my off season regimen. Or maybe you don’t remember since I notice that none of you have even bothered to ask how it went. Maybe that’s because you can tell how ripped I am just by reading the words that I type onto this blog, you can tell how quick and strong my fingers were when they typed these sentences and realized that obviously P90X had worked and obviously there was no need to ask how it was going because I’m so obviously ripped. Obviously. Or maybe it doesn’t seem like it’s been 90 days yet, but that’s only because the post where I originally mentioned P90X is still on the front page of this blog. Go ahead and look, I’ll wait while you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page (no, I won’t actually wait, that would be silly not to mention a logistical nightmare). Or maybe you haven’t asked because you just don’t care about me like I care about you - by the way I care about you based on your worth to me, which Google AdSense tells me is roughly $0.06 per page view, which is why I haven’t asked YOU how YOUR training has been going.

Regardless of the fact that you haven’t asked I’m going to give you my thoughts on P90X (although you kind of tacitly asked by coming here unsolicited). P90X is a tough and challenging workout and you definitely see results with this program, but I prefer to focus on the negatives (it’s what makes me who I am) so here are some of the problems with the P90X program:

I am a free man.
It doesn’t make you do the workouts. I still have to choose to work out, which is kind of a problem for me because it turns out that I’m not very good at choosing to spend an hour sweating to a home workout DVD. What I really need is for someone to take me captive and actually force me to work out on a daily basis.

I figured out what the 90 means.
I started out doing pretty well. You may remember that I had intended to mix running in with the P90X workouts and initially I was successful with this. If you don’t remember that then you can scroll all the way back down and read the post again while I pretend that I’m waiting for you. So I was adding two runs a week to the six P90X workouts which was a shock to the system for someone who was used to running three or four times a week and doing little else. Eight workouts a week means no rest days even if you subscribe to Paul McCartney math. Anyway, there was no way I was going to survive eight workouts a week for 90 days. 90 days? This program is three full months? What kind of sick masochist came up with this?

I outsmart P90X.
I pretty quickly figured out which workouts were considered ‘strength training’ and which ones were ‘cardio.’ (Note to anyone considering the P90X program: the CardioX DVD is cardio.) This created a situation where I was able to rationalize (because I’m so smart) which workouts could be replaced by running which also happens to be a form of cardio. Pretty soon I had the P90X schedule down to three or four workouts a week because I was also running, only I wasn’t running. You see, I kind of stopped running on account of all the time I was putting in on the six P90X workouts, but I had (cleverly) pared down the P90X schedule to make room for the running which then turned out to be superfluous. I don’t expect you all to understand this because it takes a special kind of circular logic that only I possess, but just trust me when I tell you that it’s brilliant, bordering on genius.

I disagree with the nutrition plan.
A nutrition plan? Are you kidding me? I have to be careful about what I eat too? I thought that this workout was X-treme? If it’s so extreme why do I have to watch what I eat? Why can’t someone come up with a workout so extreme that I don’t have to watch what I eat? If the fire is hot enough anything will burn, even Big Macs.*

For the most part I liked the P90X program, which is why I’m incorporating some of the workouts into my training. Time (i.e. race results) will tell whether it has helped me or not. For a better review of P90X you can visit The Great Fitness Experiment because Charlotte is not smart enough to realize that you don’t have to do all of the workouts every week and so she did them all and in a completely unrelated turn of fortune managed to achieve better results than I did. Plus Charlotte always manages to get fantastic images for her posts and her P90X review is no different, I don’t want to ruin it for you but it does feature MacGyver.

*Quote stolen from that one famous book about a runner.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Half-Fast Friday

Today I’m introducing a new regularly recurring feature here at Half-Fast called updating your blog Half-Fast Friday. Here’s how it’s going to work: Friday’s post will be Half-Fast, phonetically speaking. This will make Friday’s post much easier for me to write and I deserve to take it easy on Friday. You know what? So do you. Some Fridays I’ll probably take it so easy that it will look like there’s no post at all, but don’t be fooled, you’re probably just tired from a long week at work. Take a nap and come back later.

For those of you wondering whether or not my neighbors responded to my open letter on Tuesday, they did. Well, most of them did but there’s always one. Just take a look at the minefield of snow and ice that I had to navigate through in front of this one Jerkwad’s house. It’s a wonder I survived!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Winter Olympics

I love the Winter Olympics. Love it. I watch almost everything. I watch the hockey, I watch the alpine skiing events, I watch the sliding events, I watch the cross country skiing and the biathlon - it’s skiing AND shooting! I watch the speed skating (note to Sven Kramer: “What are you stupid?”). I even watch some of the curling. “The USA has a curling team? Awesome, TiVo it I’ll watch it while I’m running on the treadmill!” (Side note: Why is men’s and women’s curling segregated? Can women curlers not hold their own with the men? Keep it segregated I say, all the more curling events for me to watch). I watch the snowboard cross and the ski cross, I watch the aerials, the moguls, the ski jumping, and the halfpipe. It’s all very good. I do draw the line at the ice dancing though. When the ice dancing comes on that’s when I catch up on the other shows I’ve been neglecting in order to watch the Olympics.

The other night I was watching... I don’t even remember what event I was watching but I had a thought. You know what the Winter Olympics needs? A marathon. The marathon is the pinnacle of the Summer Olympics, you can argue that the 100m is watched by more people or that the swimming gets more coverage, but none of the other events have their medal ceremony incorporated into the closing ceremony. Only the marathon winners get to receive their medals during the closing ceremony of the Olympics. It’s like a tip o’ the hat to the marathon as the original Olympic event, so why not have a Winter Olympic Marathon too?

Now the Winter Olympics likes to have a bit of an X Games feel to it and we’d have to make some changes to the Winter Olympics Marathon course to keep with that theme. The race would be held in and around the host city so it would be a cold weather marathon. Perhaps the race would actually be an ultra marathon, what’s more X-treme than that? The course could traverse deep snow fields and treacherous frozen lakes, maybe it would even have transition areas so the runners could change into snow shoes or spiked shoes for the different sections. The runners could run up one side of a mountain and down the other side, it would make Heartbreak Hill look like a pimple. I think it would be a great event, but unfortunately we will have to wait for the next Winter Olympics to incorporate this idea because the Canadians would have tried to make the down hill portion of the race faster and more dangerous, eh.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Open Letter to My Neighbors

Dear Neighbors,

As you are no doubt aware we’ve had some snow lately and I couldn’t help but notice on my drive to work this morning that some of your driveways and sidewalks are still unshoveled. This is quite disconcerting as you know that I’m scheduled to run tonight. (I trust that you all received my running schedule in the mail along with the rotation of whose turn it is to provide refreshments.) The temperatures today will be in the mid 40s and it’s expected to be sunny all day. This means that tonight when I embark on my run your sidewalks could be completely dry if you just get out there and shovel them so that they can benefit from eight hours of sunshine. I in return will take down my Christmas lights, or at the very least I’ll stop turning them on every night. Also while you’re out there shoveling your sidewalks it really wouldn’t be too much to ask for someone to shovel my walk too, would it? It would? Well then don’t worry about my sidewalk. It’s more important that your sidewalks get shoveled since they occur in the middle of my run. Those of you with north facing driveways whose houses thoughtlessly block the sun might want to think about putting down some salt and I don’t want to insist that you hook up your wife’s hairdryer to the extension cord but I think that basic human decency necessitates it. That snow’s not going to melt itself.

I write this congenial letter to appeal to you on the basic tenets of human decency, I know you don’t want to see me slip on your icy sidewalk and you definitely don’t want to receive a letter from my sue-happy attorney. Trust me, you don’t want to be on the defendant’s end of a lawsuit when a greedy fat-cat banker such as myself, teams up with an ambulance chasing lawyer. See? Basic. Human. Decency. I’m an expert at it. Try to emulate me.


Ian (The guy with the Christmas Lights)

Site News: Please note that I have not posted an apology/excuse for not posting over the last few weeks. That’s not because I’m not sorry, although I’m not sorry, you’re sorry! The reason for the lack of an excuse or apology is because there’s a pretty good chance that posts are going to continue to be sporadic at best and if I have to apologize every time I’m gone for a week or two it’s going to get tiresome for me to type and for you to read, but most importantly for me to type. I think we’ve already established that I don’t care about you people. (Seriously, thanks for coming back and still reading.) Anyway, you’re just going to have to put up with my sporadicity sporadicness sporadicality sporadicism sporadicity as work has been consuming a lot of my time lately (like, easily 30 to 34 hours a week) and I covet the time I get to spend with my family (sometimes I even pause the TV and pay attention to them) so I don’t want to spend that time writing blog posts. Also, I think it’s funny that you would ask me where I’ve been when it’s been quite obvious (I have Google Analytics) that over the past few weeks you yourselves have not been coming here. Where have I been? No, where have YOU been?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Where Have I Been?

You have probably been asking yourself that question and it’s one that I hope to answer with this post. You may also be worrying that I’ve stopped blogging but hopefully this post today is enough to allay those fears.

Q. Where have I been?
A. I have not been posting.

I hope this clears everything up.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hey, I Know Her

As many of you have probably heard by now the renowned Kristina Pinto who blogs over at Marathon Mama had an article featured in Runner’s World magazine. It’s available at newsstands everywhere so go and check it out. It’s on page 48 and it’s a great read, not that you would expect anything less if you follow Kristina’s blog.

It’s kind of cool opening up Runner’s World and seeing an article written by someone you know, and I use the word ‘know’ in the internet/social media/talked once on the phone for a podcast sense of the word not in the biblical sense. Probably not quite as cool as opening up RW and seeing an article written by someone that is yourself, but until RW starts focusing on juvenile humor, sarcasm and lazy writing it will have to do. (Incidentally, I think RW could use a little juvenile humor and sarcasm; it would be a nice change of pace from all the ‘10 weeks to your fastest 10k’ articles that they love.)

That’s all I got for today. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Death Throes of a Treadmill

It was cold last night. Not so cold that I couldn’t wrap up and head out the door for a brisk evening run, but sometimes getting ready to run in the cold is just such a hassle isn’t it? Am I the only one that feels this way? I’ve got to assess exactly how cold it is outside and then determine if I just want to wear one of my UA cold gear shirts or if I’ll need something else over it? Will a vest suffice or do I need a hoodie or a light jacket with sleeves? I just don’t know. Do I want my thin running gloves or my slightly thicker ones? Which hat do I want to wear, the thinner Headsweats hat or the fun one with the tassel on the top that playfully bobs back and forth as I run? These are the important questions that a runner has to ask oneself before heading out in the elements.

It’s just so much easier, albeit more boring, to throw on a pair of shorts and a shirt and hit the treadmill, which is what I decided to do last night. I put a movie on the TV and began to slip into my treadmill coma to help me survive the boredom. But something wasn’t right. The treadmill wasn’t moving and I wasn’t running. I was just standing there watching TV.

“Something’s not right,” I thought. I checked everything again. The dashboard was lit up, the safety key was securely in place, the speed was set just above 6 mph and yet the treadmill was motionless. Blissfully motionless. Standing on the side rails I looked down at the belt and blinked a couple of times before gingerly dipping my toe onto it, half expecting my foot to jerk backwards, but the belt was not moving. Had I finally run my treadmill into submission? Was the cursed piece of machinery finally dead? I hopped off with a little extra bounce in my step, quietly singing to myself “ding dong, the witch is dead.” I was positively giddy. It is flat out wrong how excited I was to go upstairs and inform Candis that the treadmill was dead. I was already thinking about the celebratory bottle of wine I was going to drink and how I’d toast the death of my antagonist. Perhaps I would even mockingly pour some out for my fallen homey.

Then the unthinkable happened; the treadmill beeped at me. It was taunting me, calling out to me for help. I walked back over to it and turned it off and back on again as though it was running on Vista. The dashboard lit up again, just as it had before. I stood on the rails holding my breath and pressed the start button. An eternity passed as I gazed down at the belt but then slowly, almost imperceptibly, the belt began moving monotonously backwards, picking up speed with all the haste of sap oozing down a tree trunk. I let loose a tempest of curse words and I might have even hit or kicked the treadmill a couple of times.

Alas, my treadmill is not dead, and I managed a few lackluster miles on it last night with a few lackluster intervals thrown in for good measure. I suppose that’s good news as it means I don’t have to go through the agony of deciding what cold weather clothes to put on and I can run indoors, but it sure didn’t feel like good news last night when I was on the verge of skipping my run. It’s just one more reason to hate my treadmill, as if I needed any more.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cops: They’re OK I guess

This past weekend during my long run I had another encounter with the po-po, I think that’s what all the cool kids are calling the police nowadays. I guess they “see me rollin’, they hatin’, patrolling they tryin’ to catch me riding dirty.” Now I know how Chamillionaire feels. Those of you that haven’t been following this blog for very long might have missed my previous run-in with the law, if that’s the case you can read about it here.

I was finishing up my 6 mile run (yes that qualifies as a long run these days) and I was pushing the pace a little because there were people around watching me, plus it was a downhill stretch, plus I was feeling guilty about doing 6 miles and calling it a long run. Coincidentally I was running right past the crosswalk where the previous incident occurred (again, read that account here). As I approached on the sidewalk I noticed that a traffic cop was sitting in the school parking lot on the lookout for speeding motorists. It was warm out (50 degrees, which is warm by Colorado standards this time of year) so he had his window down and as I ran by I couldn’t stop myself from pulling out an earbud and yelling at him, “was I speeding?”

He laughed and waved at me before responding with “nah, but I did actually clock you at 8 miles an hour!” I smiled at the thought that he had seen me coming and clocked me. I guess some cops aren’t so bad. Although the fact that my Garmin never had me at anything faster than an 8 minute pace (7½ mph) would indicate that his radar gun was off by a ½ mph in his favor, proving that cops really are just out to get me. Whatever, I just roll on. “My music so loud, I’m swangin’, they hopin’ that they gon’ catch me riding dirty.”

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Glitch in the Matrix

Yesterday morning weird things were afoot. First of all I was out running before dawn which is weird thing number one, but it gets weirder. I was running along the sidewalk when I was passed by a white Volvo and a black BMW. No, that’s not the weird part. I don’t know what made me take notice of them, perhaps the fact that they were side by side travelling the exact same speed, but what made it weird was that they passed me again not 30 seconds later, going in the same direction, same formation and I’m pretty sure there was no possible way for them to loop around behind me that quickly. It made me think of that scene in the Matrix when Neo sees the black cat twice. I’m pretty sure it was a glitch.

Just shortly after they passed me the streetlight that I was approaching went suddenly dark. I hate it when this happens. All of a sudden the street was flooded with darkness and I found myself focusing my attention on the sidewalk because now it was harder to see obstacles or patches of ice that might be in my way. Of course, this left me less time to scan the surrounding bushes and trees for would be muggers or women who might want to attack me and forcibly take advantage of me (because I’m so sexy, see). When you’re running in the dark you have to be alert at all times for women like this, because you don’t want to miss them if they’re out there.

The streetlight thing is something that I’ve written about before and even though I hate it, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m used to it. During almost every run one or two lights will go out as I pass under them and it’s never the same lights. I no longer think that it’s part of some evil genius’s dramatic scheme to kidnap me, but it is weird, right? Do any of you have this affect on streetlights? Do you have any theories on what causes it? Is my Garmin interfering with the lights somehow or is it just the excellence that I radiate from my pores that fool the light into thinking it’s morning?

I also trip the traffic lights coming out of a couple of neighborhoods when I cross the street which probably just means that the traffic sensor is too perceptive and not that I weigh as much as a VW Bug, but I like to think it’s because there’s some paranormal activity going on. Here are some other paranormal things that often occur around me:

  • The light in our fridge turns on when I open the door.
  • If I close the garage door and then walk under it, it starts going back up.
  • Women become nauseous.
  • Sometimes when I’m driving down a long straight stretch of highway I’ll notice that my blinker is on, even though I haven’t used it since I changed lanes six minutes ago!

Weird huh?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Goals, Resolutions and Various Other Lies

I know you’re all thinking “oh great, another post containing goals and resolutions. I just can’t get enough of other people’s goals and resolutions.” First of all, you can keep your sarcasm to yourself because I’m already up to my eyeballs in it. Second of all, if I don’t post my annual goals there would be no opportunity for another FAIL riddled post at the end of the year and I’d really hate to deprive all of you jackals of another chance to engage in the schadenfreude of commenting on my year in review post.

Without further ado, here are my 2010 goals or resolutions or whatever else you want to call them (you might also want to call them laughable, or unattainable):

Post more frequently this year Admittedly two posts in eight days isn’t a great start but I’d like be back around 200 posts for the year. This is a dangerous resolution as it potentially leads to quantity over quality, which is something I’m leery of. If you don’t have time to write something and you can’t think of anything to write about, then you probably shouldn’t put up a post just to comply with some arbitrary goal. Those posts are like junk miles, except without the maintenance benefits that you might get from junk miles, so... really... not at all like junk miles. I guess they’re more like your appendix or the time you spend reading this blog; completely useless. These are the posts that clog up my reader every year when NaBloPoMo comes along, but don’t get me started on that.

Run a sub 50 minute 10k I still want to do this, so let’s carry this one over from last year.

Set a new Tripple 7k PR Another carryover. The half marathon distance is still my favorite distance to race.

Set a new 5k PR Despite my struggles this year I still managed to hover within 20 - 30 seconds of my 5k PR. With some hard work and dedication I think I could set a new 5k mark for myself. (Note: I had to look up how to spell ‘hard work and dedication’ because those words are not a regular part of my vocabulary.)

Run some different races Every year I seem to run the same races because I’ve enjoyed them in the past, but then I exhaust my racing budget and don’t do any new races. This year I want to run at least 3 new races that I’ve never run before. Of course, I’ll still run the Bolder Boulder 10k but I’m not committing to repeating any other races. I have to run the Bolder Boulder because it’s just a big Memorial Day party and many of my ‘non-running’ friends also run the race. Beating all of my non-running friends allows me to hold it over them for yet another year and makes up for them all being smarter and better looking than me. I know you’re probably skeptical that I have friends and especially ones that are better looking than me (Non! C’est pas possible! - Pardon my French.) but it’s true, we are beautiful people, like a real life version of the cast of Friends.

Finally, in honor of the failures chronicled in my last post I leave you with this video of the best fails of 2009 (via WL). Fortunately none of my fails were big enough to make the highlight reel. (Note: There’s some NSFW language at the beginning so crank up the volume if you’re at work.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009: The Year in Review

It’s time for another one of those ‘year in review’ posts that everyone has been doing, but this one is different because it’s long past the time for year in review posts. At this rate I’ll get around to my new year’s resolutions in February and start setting goals for this year in March or April.

The biggest accomplishment of the year was finishing my first marathon back in January. After that the year pretty much went downhill. To be honest with you I didn’t even remember what my goals for this year were until I went back and looked them up moments ago. That probably speaks volumes to why I didn’t accomplish many of them. Let’s break out Viper’s Big Red FAIL Stamp and take a look back at my list of 2009 goals (originally posted here).

  • Get faster. FAIL (Zero new PRs this year.)
  • Don’t get slower. FAIL (Technically the marathon was a PR but only because it was my first.)
  • Run a sub 50 minute 10K. FAIL
  • Win an age group award, and by win I mean take first, second or third, I’m really not that picky. FAIL
  • Shave my 5K. As the host of the SY5K Challenge it would be embarrassing for me to get slower. Check! (My smooth time was faster than my stubble time, though neither were PRs.)
  • Set a new PR at the half marathon distance. FAIL
  • Not sign up for another marathon. Check!

I’ve been running for almost five years now and up until 2009 I was getting faster regardless of how much speedwork or effort I put forth. It was just a given that I was going to set new PRs every year and I think it probably made me a little complacent. It turns out I’m going to have to actually work harder to get faster in the future and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I prefer to have things handed to me with minimal input on my part, it’s one of the things that makes me such a good employee.

2009 will be known as the Year of the Marathon for me. Five years ago when I started running, my only goal was to post a faster time in the annual Bolder Boulder 10K, I never set out to run a marathon. In fact whenever anyone suggested that I should run a marathon I would explicitly tell them that I had no interest in running that far. I still have no interest in running that far, but I’m glad that I did it last year. My biggest accomplishment in 2009 was finishing a marathon and my second biggest accomplishment was not signing up for another one. I’m an inspiration, for sure.