Thursday, January 27, 2011

I need some tear away pants!

If you read Mike at Running is Funny then you already saw this a couple of days ago when he posted about it, but if you don’t then this might look like I’ve had a totally original idea! Mark this day down in history! January, 27th - The day Ian appeared to have an original idea.

Apparently there is a company called Sheddable Shell that sells tear away marathon pants and jackets. They’ll keep you warm when you’re standing in the starting corral on those chilly mornings and make you look hot when you tear them off like a Chippendale dancer. I NEED some of these pants! The question that I have is whether you can put the pants back together again once they’ve been torn away because I’d like to practice tearing them away before race day. I want to get really good at it so that when I do it on race day in front of crowd it’s sure to be a show stopper.

The website says that the jackets can be customized but what about the pants?  I’d like it to say “POW!” or “BAM!” over the crotch to help me get my message across, and maybe have my URL across the butt. That way whoever finds the pants can make their way back to Half-Fast and see pictures of the handsome devil that shed his pants at mile 2 and maybe some video of me shedding the pants set to Marvin Gaye.

I would also like to offer some advice to whoever is in charge of the marketing effort for Sheddable Shell. Why no videos of the tear away pants being torn away? There’s so much potential for viral videos there. You could have videos of hot sculpted runners tearing away their pants to reveal their toned legs or videos of runners tearing away their pants and falling down as they try to do it without stopping running. Then to really summit the mountain of viral marketing you could have a blooper reel of sexy runners ripping their pants off and oops... they forgot to put on anything underneath! We’d tastefully blur that out of course but maybe you could even make a little extra dough on the side selling the un-edited version of the blooper reel. If I’ve learned anything about the internets, and I’d like to think I have, it’s that these are the kind of videos that go viral and get you tons of free publicity. As soon as I get myself a pair of these awesome tear-away pants I plan on making lots and lots of videos. Hmmmm... perhaps I should work on getting rid of this “weighted vest” before I shoot my videos.

Anyway, they probably don’t need to advertise at all now since I’ve mentioned the tear-away pants on Half-Fast and enlightened literally dozens of people to this awesome new product.  Perhaps instead of spending all that money on advertising they could send me a free pair of the pants. Also if they’re reading this I’d like a pair of the pants for my wife too... not for running but for something else I’ve been wanting to try. I’ve said too much haven’t I?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Running: Yeah, I do that

I should probably talk a little bit about how my running is going lately since I’ve talked about everything but that since my return to blogging.  I took an extended break from running due to laziness and life getting in the way. In December I was busy with year end stuff at work and after work parties and family holiday commitments and shopping and a short family vacation and on and on it went. When January finally got here it seemed like a good time to reset my priorities and get back to running regularly except I got sick and felt like crap for 3 weeks.  (Doesn’t that always happen at exactly the wrong time?)  Anyway, all this is to tell you that I’ve been running very little.  This past week I managed 12 total miles and felt good about it because it was more mileage than I had run in any of the previous 7 to 8 weeks.  But I’m finally feeling good enough to run and I’m planning on doing a lot more of it.

The good news in this whole situation is that the running I have been doing I’ve been doing in a weighted vest. Actually it’s not so much a weighted vest as it is an extra layer of fat that I’ve attained from not running.  Nitmos has his “cheeto layer” and I have my “weighted vest.”  Of course I can’t just take off my weighted vest when I’m done running so I end up doing everything in my “weighted vest” during the cold winter months and I mean everything.  Candis is so lucky to have me.  To make up for not running I have been regularly participating in a rigorous core workout, if you’ll accept coughing until my eyeballs pop out and my abs lock up as a rigorous core workout.

I’ve also started logging my runs again.  I quit doing that sometime last year which was probably a bad sign.  I got myself the Runkeeper App which is pretty cool and I’ve been using it to track and analyze all my runs this year.  It seems to be pretty accurate although I swear I’ve heard it snicker when telling me my average pace on at least a couple of occasions.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wham, Bam, Thank you Spam!

I get a lot of spam comments on this blog.  Very few of those comments ever see the light of day thanks to Blogger’s spam detection software and comment moderation on older posts.  Those comments that do get through are sent to my e-mail and I quickly delete anything that looks like spam or has Nitmos listed as the author.  Since I have a smartphone I can even do this on the go. These draconian measures are ├╝ber-effective but sometimes I lament that you don’t get to enjoy all of the spam because the spam is very often entertaining in its own right.  Sometimes they even provide me hours of fun as I try to unravel exactly what was meant by the spam comment.  Obviously the bulk of these spam comments are written in another language and then translated into English, which means they’re probably written by foreigners and that’s unfortunate because it just reinforces my belief that foreigners are not to be trusted.

Spam comments are kind of like that episode of Friends where Joey learns to use a thesaurus.  In the episode he writes a letter changing every word to bigger word with the help of the thesaurus until it doesn’t make any sense, which I guess means he didn’t really learn to use a thesaurus after all, but you get my point.  Joey is trying to explain that his friends have big hearts and he ends up writing that they have ‘full-sized aortic pumps’ which sounds like something Mrs. Bigfoot wears with her little black dress.  (You might have to think about that one.)

Anyway, if you get spam all day, every day like I do here’s a fun little game you can play; try to reverse-engineer the sentence to figure out what the comment originally said before it was run over by a thesaurus or online translator.  If you don’t get any spam then you can play along with the comment below that I received, but before you do I’d like to point out that you’re obviously not as important as I am since you’re not inundated with spam like I am.  I assure you that I did not make up or edit the following comment in any way.  Note: underlined words are the ones that need to be changed.   
I unceasingly dig reading dignity articles by an singular who is simply up to snuff on their chosen subject. I’ll be watching this string with much interest. Conserve up the spacious produce, dream of you next occasionally Singapore escort [link redacted].
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
I always like reading important articles by an individual who is clearly knowledgeable in their field.  I’ll be watching this thread with much interest.  Keep up the great work, imagine yourself alongside a rare Singapore whore. 
OK, I’ll admit that the whore substitution at the end was just for fun,* but that has to be close to what they were going for, right?  I still can’t quite get the last half of that final sentence, but the highlight of it for me is ‘conserve up the spacious produce’ because I can totally picture someone trying to make ‘keep up the great work’ sound smarter and coming up with that phrase.  I think that ‘conserve up the spacious produce’ just jumped up to number two on my list of favorite phrases, right behind bingo bango bongo.

* If I had a nickel for every time I’ve uttered the phrase “the whore substitution at the end was just for fun” then I’d have $22 right now, but only because I have $21.90 in my pocket already. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Goals for 2011

You know what comes naturally after a year in review post?  A Goals for the upcoming year post!  Hooray for easy posts!  You take the goals you missed last year and repost them again, then you take the goals you accomplished and make them a little tougher and bingo bango bongo you’ve got yourself another post!  Some people might think that they should all go in the same post but that’s ludicrous and I’ll tell you why; then you only get one post out of it!  Look at me, I have 2 posts out of this now, and that’s without even counting the next post wherein I tell you HOW I’m going to accomplish all these new recycled goals.  You have to work hard to be as lazy as I am.

This year I’m actually going to try something different in my approach.  I’m not going to have any goals for 2011. (Note: Do not try this line with your boss it goes over about as well as it would if you tried to switch my regular coffee to Folgers - blech!)  However, since I’m the boss on this blog I have the final say, and I say: No goals in 2011.  I’ve never really been motivated by writing down my goals and setting high expectations for myself.   I’m more of a fly by the seat of my pants and see where we end up kind of guy.  This year I’m going to be a free spirit, just blowing wherever the wind takes me. I’ll still run, I’ll still work hard to get faster but I’m not going to beat myself up for failing to reach arbitrary goals that I set while high on the enthusiasm of a fresh start just because I had to switch out my calendar with a new one.  (Note to self: switch out your calendar with a new one.)

2011 is all about low expectations and no failures.  It will be the year of aiming low and surprising myself.  I’ll not be disappointed.  Perhaps my motto this year will be ‘nothing to aim for, nothing to miss.’  Having no goals this year sure made this ‘Goals for 2011’ post much easier to write although it’s going to make writing a year in review post a lot harder at the end of the year. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Goodbye 2010

You know what’s sad?  I spent a good twenty-five minutes sitting in front of a blank screen trying to come up with a really clever title for this year in review post and couldn’t come up with anything better than Goodbye 2010.  Lame. 

It seems like everyone does a year in review post and I hate being the same as everyone else but how can you pass up the old year in review post?  You can’t, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve done a year in review post every single year of this blog’s stinking existence.  Yes, some of those links are duplicitous because this blog has only existed for 3½ years but it seemed more emphatic to link every word.  And just because I disappeared for 6 months of the year is no reason to not review the year, believe it or not I was still running even though I was not here telling you about it.  On top of that the year in review post is an easy one to write.  You simply repost your goals from last year, giving excuses for the ones you missed and patting yourself on the back for the ones you accomplished.  The only thing you really have to work at is an introductory paragraph... well would you look at that... it practically wrote itself.  (If only the title would write itself too, lazy title!)

2010 Goals (as posted here)
Post more frequently this year - I swear I’m not making that one up.  That was the first goal I posted last year and I even talked about writing 200 posts this year.  Obviously 33 posts is not going to be enough to call this a success.  Not off to a good start.
Run a sub 50 minute 10k - Nope.  0 for 2.  I only ran one 10k and I ran it in 54:something.  I don’t even care enough to go look it up or link to the post where I discussed it.  Haven’t I already linked to enough posts?
Set a new Half Marathon PR - YES!  I am awesome!  1 for 3!  No linking to that post either since it is the previous post.
Set a new 5k PR - Nope.  Nuh-Uh.  Didn’t do it.  1 for 4.  This is getting depressing.  Why do people write these posts again?
Run some different races Yes!  2 for 5!  I ran the Crossroads Half-Marathon and a couple new 5ks that I hadn’t run before.

Wait?  That’s it?  Where are all the other goals?  I really only set 5 goals for last year?  What’s truly unbelievable is that in almost every year that I’ve set goals (except for 2010 I guess) I’ve included ‘win an age group award’ as one of the goals.  In 2010 I didn’t include it as a goal and it actually happened.  I took 1st place in my age group at the Hawk Hustle 5k.  Why wasn’t that a goal this year?  What was I thinking?  You know what, I’m going to go ahead and give myself an extra credit point for winning that age group award which puts me at 3 for 5.  And now that I think of it, PRing the half marathon was a HUGE deal to me and really deserves to be worth 2 points instead of 1 which brings me to 4 out of 5.  So there you have it.  I scored 80% on the year for my 2010 goals, that’s a solid B+ (I’m grading on a curve).  Wow!  What an awesome year 2010 was for me.  I really rocked it.  Here’s to 2011.  I’ll call it a success if it can be even half as successful as 2010 was.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

6 Seconds

The Crossroads Half Marathon Race Report
Back in September Candis and I ran the Crossroads Half Marathon in scenic *snicker* Fort Collins and we both set new PRs.  However, since I was not posting back in September I didn’t get to boast regale you with the tale of  my our triumphs.  Here is the most belated race report you will ever skim over before posting a disingenuous “congrats” in the comments. 

Going into the race my long runs had been averaging a 9:30 pace which left me optimistic that I could get under the 2 hour mark (a 9:09 pace).  It had been 2 (two!) years since I broke the 2 hour mark in a half marathon and that was on a race that descended 1,000 feet from start to finish.  Due to my tempo runs being vastly more successful than my long runs my plan was to run the first half at a comfortable pace and then run the second half at a high tempo pace as though it were a training run.

Mistakes aplenty
I forgot to start my watch for the first minute or two of the race.  I then compounded this mistake by running back to Candis so she could tell me how much time I needed to add.  This seemed like a good idea at the time but I realize now that it might not have been my smartest decision.   I forgot my sunglasses.  I forgot my sunblock.  I managed to delete the playlist I was trying to shuffle, though I think I can pin that one on Steve Jobs.  It was not a good start.

I settle down
Due to my early mistakes and my clumsy attempts to calculate my actual time and distance and then my rehashing of my mistakes ad nauseum it took me a while to settle into an easy pace.  I finally managed to get comfortable and I tried to remember everyone that was passing me, telling myself to let them go and catch them later.

Just before the 5 mile mark a cute girl wearing a CamelBak ran up beside me and asked me what our time and distance was.  It was a simple question but I managed to stammer through the answer and I breathlessly tried to explain that I had started my watch late.  I then subtracted from the distance instead of adding to it and ended up telling her that we were at 4 ½ miles.  No sooner had I said that we rounded a corner and passed the 5 mile marker.  “Your watch is way off,” she said, and so was she, leaving me to contemplate my suaveness.

egO face?
I am a passing machine
I hit what I calculated (probably incorrectly) was the halfway point in the race and started to pick up my pace.  The field was pretty spread out and I was moving from one group to the next, passing people with authority.  A few people tried to keep up but I was determined to drop people as I passed them and each time I passed them I think I had a tiny ego orgasm.  Maybe that's overstating it a little bit.  In any case, I was running a lot faster than was necessary to get under 2 hours and considered slowing down to ensure I wouldn't run out of gas in the last few miles but I was having too much fun picking people off to slow down.  "Screw it," I told myself, "I'm going for the PR."  I was terrified I was going to end up walking the final mile and see the clock tick past 2 hrs long before I crossed the finish.  A little voice in my head told me to back off and just take the 2 hour victory but I could not be reasoned with.  I was going for it.

I am invigorated by my own gusto
It was thrilling to be throwing caution to the wind and just running as fast as I could.  It was even more thrilling when I realized that I had the cute CamelBak girl in my sights.  I wondered if I should say anything to her as I passed (“have you slowed down?”) but decided against it.  As I passed her she glanced at me and offered up an approving nod and a high five.  “What’s our time and distance?” she asked again.
“I don’t know,” I replied with a shrug “my watch is way off.”

With a couple of miles left my legs were starting to feel like dead weights but I managed to will myself to my fastest mile of the day (8:11) for the final mile of the course.  I crossed the finish line and forgot to look at the official time though I did remember to stop my watch; a move that was as useless as a BP cleanup crew.  (Are we past the cutoff for BP jokes being funny/current?)  I knew that I was under 2 hours and depending on how much time I added for starting my watch late I knew that a PR was going to be close.  When the official times were posted I had managed a 6 second PR.  1:56:39.

Those of you that have followed this blog for any length of time know that it had been a while since I’d posted a PR at any distance and it felt great, orgasmic even.  Oh, and then Candis went and showed me up by beating her former PR by 8 (eight!) minutes with a 2:09:20.  Of course she didn’t have to overcome the adversity that I did that day.

Full disclosure:  When I was checking the posted results for my official time the cute girl with the CamelBak was there (sans CamelBak) looking for her time and despite crossing the line a minute or so after me she actually posted a faster time than me, by 21 seconds.  Curses!  Chicked again!