Notes from the seedy underbelly of a new runner.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sometimes we just need a break...with really weird friends.

Yesterday I went for an early morning run. As i had said it was my first tempo run ever and it was more mind over matter than physical exertion. I was feeling a little pooped afterward but nothing picks me up like visiting with a good friend: enter Rowan.
     Where can I start, Rowan is...well...she has her own distinct bouquet of sarcasm, acute observation, humor and absurdity. She is also closely related to cousin It...or ZZ Top, but I can't remember which one.

Rowan in one of her more serene moments, having tea and crumpets. How she manages not to get food and drink all over her mane is beyond me.

Before you wonder why I would hang out with someone who has such unusual taxonomy, let's not forget that I am descended from a line of noble Sasquatch (please read race report 2 posts ago).
Rowan is not only my coffee and tea consuming cohort, but she has greatly contributed to my running hobby by encouraging me. She accompanied me to my first half marathon in Cincinnati and put up with my cranky diva-like attitude after the race. So props to her for being such a good friend. (The only thing that sucks is trying to read her facial expressions, her fur makes it hard to pick them out. I never really know what mood she's in).

I sometimes forget how important it is to surround ourselves with peeps that support you and stand behind what you do (even if they can't really see what you're doing, seriously Rowan, shave your face, you'll stop running in to things.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why am I just now starting to tempo? Because I'm an idiot that's why.

So I have heard about this thing called tempo running. It's supposed to help increase your pace. Apparently you run shorter distances at a faster pace than you usually do. Pfft! Pshh! Scoff! I don't need to do this! Then I realized I haven't improved my pace since i actually started running and figured "Meh, I'll give it a shot."
      Conclusion: please observe the First Noble Truth of Buddhism.
It hurt.
I felt let down by my body.
I will now cry in to my pillow.
I don't need to illustrate this pictorially, or photographically. It's too embarrassing. Please don't judge me blogosphere. Please don't.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A much belated run report...I mean like really fucking belated.

So over a month ago I ran in the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon (but I only did the half marathon). I have never run with a partner much less 30,000 other people. It was a surreal experience. I was nervous as hell, but thankfully Rowan and Wes were there to take much of the edge off. I guess the best way to go about the experience is to give you a mile by mile goes.
Mile 1: A slow start
   The first mile was spent finding my place in the crowd. Most of it was spent dodging, starting, and stopping.
Mile 2: Still slow
   Still trying to find my place in the massive throng of runners
Mile 3: Really?
   It's been 3 miles and I am still keeping pace with the speed walkers. WTF! I'm still trying to pass other         runners while observing running etiquette. I did still manage to bump in to people and step on some toes. shame on me.

Mile 4: I think I found my pace!
   The other runners and myself seem to have found our pace and from here on out I am surrounded by the same people who like to run at a moderately slow pace. (We're slow, but remember it's 13 damn miles!). We are a weird pack of misfit runners. We are awesome.

Mile 5: Hey! I know those two!
  Wes and Rowan were stationed at mile 5! I was glad to see them. I was also running really well. I felt great, seeing them made me feel even better (apparently while they were standing there, a streaker caught the attention of the crowd, the other runners...and the cops.) They chose a great place to motivate me, because I didn't know what was looming immediately ahead.

Mile 6: The Hillacious mile
  So I don't remember signing up for hills. Damn. Right after we leave the downtown area there was a hill. It was steep enough, and I was hot and tired. I refrained from walking...barely.

Mile 7: F#*k you Cincinnati! (but just the topography...everything else was fine).
  God mutherfucking dammit! More fucking hills!?!?! and they're worse the mile six!?!?!!?! and they last for another 3.5 miles!!!! OK, my running is now sprinkled with periods of walking. The roadside water/Gatorade vendors have their work cut out for them. The pack of people I am running with look beleaguered and defeated. We all collectively hate life.

Mile 8: Kidding right?
  More of the same except add in hallucinating and fantasizing about sitting and never having to walk/skip/or run anywhere ever again.

Mile 9: This was a bad idea.


Mile 11: Good omen!
  Each mile marker had some form of entertainment. Whether it was the local fire stations band playing music, belly dancers or Elvis impersonators it was all good. At mile 11 there was a man singing a wonderful mantra "it's all downhill from here! Ya almost there! Ya almost there!" And he was right. The road became merciful and sloped gently downward. The wind blew at our backs. And we booked it. I have never seen a group of people kick it in to overdrive like we did. I imagined us as a gaggle of obese corgis attempting to round sharp corners and jump over the errant piles of Gatorade cups haphazardly thrown at the side of the road. It was gloriously clumsy.

Mile 12: Not much further.
  There is still a downhill slope and the group and I are still running our little legs off. Quite close darling. Quite close.

Mile 13.1: I prayed to a god that I don't believe exists that I was able to finish.
  The last 1.1 was awesome, and painful. The last quarter mile was run on a flat stretch of road. When I heard one of the early finishers shout there was only a quarter mile left I picked up my pace. I was determined to shave off a few seconds. The crowd was cheering and supportive then I saw the giant time clock looming in the distance...the finish. It was the longest 100ft I  had ever run. Then, I crossed it. Then, I threw up in my mouth (but swallowed it because there were people watching).

So overall, the experience was exceptional. I would add pictures but there was only one take by Rowan...and it's questionable.

 It's very blurry. And there is little evidence that it's actually me. In fact it very likely isn't. There have been many blurry pictures in the history of blurry pictures that discredit the subject matter...

If you think I'm implying that the half marathon was run by a man in a little girl suit then I'm not being clear enough...the marathon WAS in fact run by a man in a little girl suit. I'm only saying this because it's the only safe conclusion to come to. I can sit here and argue with you...but you prolly still won't believe that it's me...ya jerks.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Keeping up with the seasonal allergies/head colds.

Helloooooo. Just for the record I did run this week...another 12miler on Tuesday. I was able to shave a whole 30 minutes off my time!!!! Almost every long run I have done has been on a day where I either feel like shit or just meh. On this day I felt great and was gonna do a quick three mile tempo run. but as I approached my turn around I thought 'I feel so good it would be ashamed if I didn't take advantage of it'. So I did.
     It's amazing how your mood and a slight increase in your overall health can amount to a 30 minute difference. now my next step is to make this awesome feeling a more regular occurrence. I do believe it has something to do with my diet (duh), which has been less than that was Tuesday. Fast forward to Friday. Head cold and seasonal allergy time! YAY! (except not). I didn't run today. I felt like my head had blown up to the size of a hot air balloon. I just kind of floated through life not really caring for my existence or the existence of others. The world was a pretty mish mosh of sound and color that just blended together. Who needs LSD when pollen and dander are free. I plan on resuming training tomorrow (I also believe plans are made to be broken). But I have aspirations at least    : P

Peace and chicken grease! Or for you mofo's out there trying to bring other people down...May you experience endless war and rancid poultry byproducts that land your ass in the hospital for a very long and expensive time.


Saturday, April 9, 2011


Ran 7.5 miles shorts. The weather was nice and warm and there were plenty of people out and about. There were also many dogs who were piddling around...please keep them leashed if they do not always stay by your side. I know you say "aww he's a lover! He won't hurt you!" but since I don't speak dog I really don't know what his noises and body language mean. And NO! I will not take your word for it. Did I mention that I got to run in shorts today?

Back on track...and shedding the winter wardrobe.

Hello fellow runners and fellow couch potatoes! I've got some good news and some gooder news. The good news is that life is now somewhat back on track. I have recovered from whatever respiratory shenanigans that ailed me, with the added benefit of all my joints magically healing from not doing any running for two and a half weeks. I did ease back in to the swing of things by starting out with some leisurely 3 milers, but with my first half marathon looming in the near future I had to up the anti the last couple of weeks. I did a few 7 mile runs and have worked my way back up to 10-12 mile long runs! Excited I be. We'll see what this weekend brings. I'm still running at a slow pace but right now I am just happy to even complete a long run unscathed.
     Now for the gooder news...SPRING! The snow has melted and the weather has warmed up to the point that I no longer need to spend 30 minutes putting on ten layers of clothes and sliding in to "technical gear" that's supposed to keep me warm while leaving me relatively unencumbered. I suppose it works but I'm not quite sold on the idea. I think Underarmor not only wicks away sweat but also the cash in your bank account...and even your soul. But I really should be focusing on the good! SPRING! It's cool enough that your body won't overheat during a run, but warm enough that you can wear more comfortable clothing (yay for shorts and t-shirts). But be forewarned, there are many a hibernating winter dog turd that irresponsible pet owners have refused to clean up laying in wait on pedestrian sidewalks and trails. I thought I said I was gonna focus on all the good I'll make good on that. One piece of winter clothing I won't miss is my balaklava

Nothing says "I want to mug you while keeping my face warm" like a balaklava. Also known as a 'ski mask'.

     Yay for not looking like a repeat felon! I know running isn't about making a fashion statement, but it hurts your feelings when parents clutch their children close to their sides as you pass them by. OK so it doesn't really hurt my feelings, in fact I consider it a boon. Another good thing about spring is that you get to see a lot more runners out and about, suddenly the world gets less lonely. And finally, the most wonderful thing about spring is the scenery. Green things will be sprouting soon, and the world will get a whole lot prettier.
Well runners and non-runners, I'm gonna go to bed, but remember this...

I'm watching you.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Long time no talk!

Hi there fellow bipeds. Sorry I haven't been on in a while. I live in Wisconsin and if you haven't heard, there are a lot of things going on that affect the lives of many people. Sometimes events that are greater than ourselves happen and not only do you get distracted, but you also see the futility of sharing things about yourself. When large social issues are staring you in the face (especially ones that bifurcate the place we plant our flags and call home) it becomes very hard to justify talking about ourselves and our experiences. Not unless they directly pertain to the oh-so-large-and-looming-social issue. This is after all, a blog about my experiences running. Running seems to be a trivial topic when compared to a governor passing state legislation that leaves a bad taste in the mouths of some and sweet victory on the tender buds of others. 
     Then Japan happened. And I got to see the world join forces to help a nation in need. And around that time the situation in Libya escalated as well. With so much fighting and tear jerking unification going on around me, what was there for me to say? "Yes, I ran last Wednesday...but did you see that village swept in to the ocean?" "Of course I ran on Saturday. But did you see those rebel fighters risking their lives for that often elusive greater cause?"
     You know what kills me about the whole thing though? It wasn't until just now that I realized I had all these epiphanies from the comfort of my own a heated living a quiet, peaceful neighborhood. I only pray that taking things for granted isn't becoming the new pastime.  

Happy trails and for god sake keep running you crazy fools!