Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The TMI Blog Survey - Too much about little old me

Oh 1990s...
Do you remember the late 90s?  I know I do.  I was the one trying to convince everyone that Ace of Base were still REALLY cool and working in the fax machine noise into as many jokes as I could.  The other thing that I was doing? Filling out email surveys.  Man, I loved those things.  Rather, I loved reading them from other people.

As such, when I saw that Blake tagged me I immediately stopped creating another mix tape to listen to and started to fill it out!

1. What are you wearing?
Wouldn’t you love to know, PERV.

2. Ever been in love?
Yes. In fact, I’m loving all 12oz of this beer bottle right now. (Edit: I started this while at home, finishing while eating my lunch at work)

3. Ever had a terrible breakup?
If all breakups aren’t at least a bit terrible either you’re 1) extremely flaky / noncommittal or 2) lying to yourself 3) completely narcissistic

4. How tall are you?
Look, I know what you’re getting at. There have been MANY studies showing how height doesn’t correlate to the size of “that”. But, since I see you’re not going to give it up – it depends on who is asking, but I’m 5’9”.

5. How much do you weigh? 
Anywhere between 145-150. But, it fluxes a LOT. I’ve been known to drop 5-6 pounds after a long run and hold on to an extra 3-4 when I eat too much cheese.  Having weighed 195, I take very drastic action when I get above 155.

6. Any tattoos?
Nope. Not really my thing. Less because I’m opposed (my brother has a lot of very cool ones) and more because I’m not sure what I’d get. Just think to yourself… There was a time when tramp stamps were REALLY popular.

7. Any piercings?
This survey is really getting into my underwear drawer, isn’t it? Lets just say I wouldn’t make it through the metal detector without going to the bathroom to take care of a few things first. I had my ear pierced in high school / college. I regret that you can still see the hole in my ear. People with those BIG holes are likely going to feel the same. :(

8. Favorite song?
This is probably an all time fav.

But I will admit that I love singing this one too:

9. Quality you look for in a partner?
Proximity to my house is a plus, able to run a similar running pace, easy to talk to…. Wait, this meant running partner right? Good heavens I’m glad I know Ryan and Jeff.  Wait, I have two people that I’d like to consider my partner. Does that make me a whore?!  If that makes me a whore than I’m going to buy myself some clear heels and a stripper pole!  KIDDING!!!  I already have both.

10. Favorite quote?

  • If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
  • Home is not a place but who you’re with.
  • (Adam's cliff notes: get out there and get it done. You might fail, but that is fine. Try until you succeed) It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. - Teddy Roosevelt
  • Goals you don't pursue aren't goals, they're dreams, and dreams only make you happy when you're dreaming.

11. Favorite actor?
That one guy in the thing who was all “oh MANNNN” and I was like LOLOLOL and he was like “dude I’m the best” and I’m all, I know!!!!

12. Loud music or soft?
I want to say loud, I REALLY REALLY do… But soft. Unless it has a good beat that I can twerk to.  In that case, crank it to 11!!  (to kids still say crank it to 11?)

13. Where do you go when you’re sad?
I get very quiet and resent people for not realizing I’m sad and cheering me up.  LIKE EVERYONE DOES.

14. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
It seems to be getting longer and longer. Without my son to also get ready, maybe 30 min if I have to. I like to take 45 min which includes a cup of coffee. With my son…. 4 hours?

15. Ever been in a physical fight?
I’m a lover, not a fighter. Unless you want to fight, then I’m a runner.

16. Turn ons?
Paying bills on time, laughing at my jokes, telling crappy jokes that remind me of a better joke that I can then tell which you laugh at (because of my superior joke telling ability)

17. Turn offs?
Swearing, telling me you like to discuss geopolitical issues at length, clutter, not laughing at my obviously hilarious jokes

18. Fears?
Dying alone. (I like to get some serious answers in there to keep you on your toes)

19. Last thing that made you cry?
Meb winning the Boston Marathon and tearing up when he teared up and screamed in excitement….because I’m a little girl.

20. Last time you said you loved someone?
Yesterday to my son.

21. Meaning behind your YouTube name?
Well, I have two… AdamRISU and TheBoringRunner. AdamRISU is my name (Adam) my last name initial (R) and ISU is for my alma mater – Iowa State Univ.  The Boring Runner is a play on how boring our sport really is… At the heart of it, we’re just falling forward one foot at a time… over… and over… and over again…  Hell, even the “exciting” part of our sport (track) is like NASCAR without the advertising.

22. The relationship between you and the last person you texted?
Hmmm, as I type this it is my son’s nanny. I expect that is not what this question was meant to address….  Either way, my son is very sleepy but still doling out the zerberts (putting your mouth on someone’s arm / cheek / neck and blowing thus making a farting noise).

23. Favorite food?
Beer. Is beer a food? Or maybe wine?  Wait, that makes me sound bad.  Uhhhh, steak.  Steak is my favorite food…along with a great red wine…mmmmm wine... wait...shit.

24. Place you want to visit?
The best 26.2 miles of every single state.

25. Do you have a crush?
My new fridge makes crushed ice?  If that ever breaks, I hope that Kara Goucher can deliver me ice.

26. Last time you kissed someone?
Well, I mentioned the zerberts my son gives out…. So, I guess those count.

27. Last time you were insulted?
I’m not sure that grown adults insult each other to their face very often, do they? Either way, I can think of one example and I’m not telling. [insert zerbert noise here]

28. Favorite piece of jewelry?
I have a watch that I bought when I got promoted a few times back about 5 years ago. It is a symbol of a lot of hard work.

Soooo, you’re supposed to tag other people to fill this out when you’re done.  Yeah, I don’t do that.  So, if you want to fill this out, you should.  If you don’t want to, probably best not to.  However, let me know if you do! I’d love to read it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

365 days since Boston

A year is a relatively long period of time. Dynasties have risen to great power and collapsed under their own weight and self-importance in less time. My son has gone from a 30 word vocabulary of mostly sweet and adorable words to a seemingly endless string of random observations and various forms of “no”. Indeed, I have changed too. Like I said in my last post, new job, new  house, new face on the “N Sync Mt Rushmore” tattoo I have on my butt… hooray Joey Fatone!!!, and even a greater perspective on my running.

After the bombings at the Boston marathon 365 days ago (my report here), I might argue that running changed too. Whether clear check bags, actually validating bib numbers on shuttle buses, or tight security on the course, the physical changes at large races are very obvious. Less obvious are the changes in people’s attitudes – both runners and not.  The police “disabled” (read: blew up) a suspicious package at the finish line after a mentally disturbed man claimed he had a bomb in his backpack – an event that made national news for two days.

Change isn’t all bad though, it is just different. The change created visibility to the sport that it didn’t have before – regardless of what we might think in our runner centric bubble. As an example, I met one of my 70+ year old neighbor for the first time last night. Her Boston accent was so strong that I could have sworn I saw chowda coming out of her ears. What was she wearing? A Boston Strong T-Shirt. I can almost guarantee that she couldn’t have told me that the marathon was on April 15th last year… but this year she was telling me all about “that cute little blond girl with the Irish name” (Shalane Flanagan).

The good thing is that life goes on. Just like all tragedies, you never forget, but you don’t let it break you. 18 hours after the bombings, I was Sam Adams brewery 10ish miles away from the bombing site.  There was little I could do at the finish line and I wasn’t going to let anyone stop me from doing what I wanted to do.

In the past year, we’ve seen runners unite under the common cause of supporting each other by doing what they love – what we love. We’ve seen group runs raising money for victims or recovery efforts. We’ve even seen more than a few people grab that old pair of “yard work shoes” from the corner of the garage and see if they could run down to the end of the block without stopping….shortly followed by realizing how accomplished it made them feel.

Monday is the 118th Boston Marathon – 365 days after the last. I won’t be there, but I’ll be watching. Watching the runners, but focusing on the thousands of people who have made the event possible for longer than airplanes existed.  117 years of running thus far. Through the power and spirit of everyone, I’m sure it will go on for that many more.  No matter what happens on Monday.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Moving / Home ownership: The perpetual to-do list

The best laid schemes of mice and men, often go awry.

I had my entire spring laid out.  I was going to hit the running hard, pull back my work responsibilities slightly, solve world hunger, get back into a regular blogging cycle, and even spend some quality time with my son.  BUT..... then I got a new job.... and then I bought a house..... all while raising a 3 year old. It is like the hat trick of time commitments. 

So, in spite of my best efforts, the running was pulled back, I haven't been writing as much as I would like, and I haven't brewed any beer in like 2 months!  (Now THERE is a tragedy.) Gone was the planned consistency of my running and everything else. Instead time was focused on early meetings and proving to my mortgage lender why a $150 deposit to my savings account 4 months ago wasn't a cocaine deal and instead was just a normal deposit....from a cocaine deal.

My slice of the 30 year crippling debt american dream...
...and a crazy 3 year old

So, what have I been up to?  Mostly to-do lists.  Endless to-do lists. Each night I have a to-do list with anywhere between 6-10 things listed on it. This is actually my 3rd house I've owned, so I have the advantage and the curse of knowing exactly what I am getting myself into. 

In my 32 years, I've learned a few things.  Life is too short for bad coffee, bad wine (not to be confused with cheap wine which flows like the straits of gibraltar), and bland colors. As such, I had the house painted (oh, also: life is too short to slave away for weeks painting an entire house on your own) half a dozen different colors. They are shades of colors that I had painted before, but really brighten up the place while at the same time making it feel warm. 

Red in the kitchen

Green in my son's room

Dark brown both in the formal dining as well as the master bedroom

For nearly a week, I did nothing but pack and keep my son alive through regular feedings and reminders of "don't put that in there". The nice thing is that I don't have a lot of "stuff" so I could throw things into boxes somewhat haphazardly and hope for the best.

"Throw shit into boxes" also known as"The Adam Method of Packing"

After a week (which really means like 3 days) of packing and taking individual car loads of fragile stuff (wine, mostly) to the new house, a buddy Jeff and I moved everything else in 4 hours.  Well, I moved everything in 4 hours. Jeff headed out after 2.5 to get his nails done or something.

What followed was the normal ebb and flow of unpacking.  You start out with a bunch of boxes, have a beer or two while you think about where to put the boxes, unpack them into the center of the room, decide that you have wayyyyy too much crap, put that crap away (read: under the bed), and then unload even MORE boxes so that it is messier than it was when you started. 

Okay, so maybe that throw into boxes packing stuff backfired....

Okay, starting to make some progress

Damn it. More clutter. Seriously, WHERE do the boxes keep coming from!?

Welp, looks like unpacking is done!

Unfortunately, when the unpacking is done I had all of the normal “shake out the old people smell” items on my todo list.  I needed to hang the sex swing replace batteries in the EIGHT smoke detectors, refill my “glaucoma prescription” to test the smoke detectors, hang paintings, replace some lights, etc etc etc.  The list really goes on and on.

TWENTY dollars worth of batteries. TWENTY

You can take the boy out of the farm, but can't take the farm out of the boy

Home Depot.  My new home

My little handy helper

New overhead lights

Fortunately though, I do allow myself time to relax now and again.  I finally feel like I have enough stuff done that I can get back to a normal routine. I’m running with regular frequency, I actually watched a TV show last night, and…. Well, I’m writing this blog post, aren’t I?!?

Late, quite nights. Second only to early quiet mornings.

My view as I type this

Friday, March 28, 2014

Glam Runner: 1 SELF Magazine: 0

We live in a pretty up to the second world. When was the last time that your email took more than 5 seconds to load and you just sat there....staring.....wondering why the internet troll was taking so freaking long to find your emails and OH MY GOD maybe if I click a few more times it will hurry up and does this mouse even work maybe if I bang it on the desk a few times it will fix it aaaahhhrrgggrrrhhaha. Finally, email open. All Viagra email.  Thank god!! Lovely.

Since we're all used to everything happening at light speed, when someone screws up word gets around FAST.  Such was the case when SELF magazine made fun of a runner for wearing a tutu...while running a marathon....with brain cancer... and did we mention that the tutus are hand made by her to raise money for Girls on the Run.  Houston, we have a (Public Relations) problem. As you can imagine, the internet troll didn't take his time with that one and essentially flung it through every single internet tube, newspaper stand, and TV station as fast as possible. 

What happened was that Monika Allen (Glam Runner) received an innocent enough request to use a picture of her running the LA Marathon in one of her hand crafted tutus. They then proceeded to run it in a "BS Meter" segment that read as follows:

"A racing tutu epidemic has struck NYC's Central Park, and it's all because people think these froufrou skirts make you run faster.  Now, if you told us they made people run from you faster, maybe we would believe it."

Ouch. First Monika saw it.  And then the San Diego NBC station picked it up. I think I saw it on a dozen people's facebook walls linking to either a Jezebel article,Yahoo.com version, or one of the many dozen articles that very quickly popped up. Oh yes, this one went viral.

Of course, SELF had no clue that she had cancer (although the "die tumor die" on her friend's bib might have been a tip that SOMEONE did).  The magazine did what they could to try to save face.  They first posted an apology on their facebook page that was quickly barraged by 8400+ comments mostly saying that it was too little too late. It felt like they were somewhat saying: "You can be yourSELF as long as: You don't wear funny clothes while running. But, if you do, we'll ask you for rights to your picture without saying why and make fun of you. (Because, why else would a women's fitness magazine want a picture of you running??) Oh, and when we find out you have brain cancer and the backlash is big enough, we'll apologize. Probably."

The day after a blog post interview between the editor and Monika herself was posted. The interview focused on exactly what SELF proclaims that it should focus on: Being the best you can in spite of whatever anyone thinks, be that fitness, fashion, or whatever.  It really was a good spotlight.  You know, something that you would expect from a female betterment magazine.

From my perspective, as long as runners aren't running 12 people wide and starting on the starting line, I could care less if people run naked - let alone in frilly outfits. The fact of the matter is, people wear what they wear for good reasons.  I almost always wear red on race day because it makes me feel fast. Other people make sure they match head to toe. Others wear tutus or sparkle skirts.  And yes.... some people even wear dumb ass hats.

Ugh, I can't believe people dress up when they run. They're not even runners.

Seriously, how can someone even show their face after dressing up

To be clear, I understand making jokes. I would like to think that this blog does it in at least 5% of its posts. And yes, sometimes those jokes are at other people's expense (Britney Spears, I'm looking at you....) In fact, I remember making a comment about how I was lined up behind a guy in a 5K wearing jeans and a gold rolex watch. The comment wasn't about me caring what he wore, it was about me being behind him! Also, I do understand that wearing funny outfits gets you lots of attention... and boy did Glam Runner get some attention! But, I think what really frustrates me is the elitist attitude that the snarky comment portrayed. As if to say you're not a runner if you don't dress the right way or aren't serious enough.

At the end of the day, running is hard enough. We don't need people worrying if they are wearing the right thing too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rest: It does a body good

A recent study showed that people who had been up for 19 hrs straight the same impairment as someone who had 3 beers (.05 BAC). (Proof here, because SCIENCE!)  So yes, file this one under either: “if it rains, things get wet” or “hipsters were into this WAY before you were”.  Obvious, right?  It is funny how people (read: idiots like me) have a tendency to forget about obvious things like that as we continue to muddle through day to day life.  I was recently reminded of this in the middle of one of my worst runs in recent memory.

The slow slide into thoughts of amputating my legs started easy enough – a 6 mi run (7:13 pace) on Sat night followed by a pretty tough 14 miler (7:18 pace) on Sunday morning. Oops, looking back those were way too fast.  I’m an idiot. I used to do back to back runs like that a lot, but then I got a stress fracture because of them and sort of stopped.  Anyway, my legs were TIRED after the 14 miler. It felt a lot less like 14 miles and a lot more like the Iditarod. I swear I think I heard someone telling me to “mush”.

On Monday my legs were still hurting, and a smart man would have taken a rest day, but we all know that I waived bye bye to the “man” category when I watched just a LITTLE too much Bravo TV but my schedule allowed for a run and by god I was going to run. Mile 1 hurt….but I might just not have been getting loosened up.  Mile 2 didn’t improve, so I took a short 5 minute 30 second break to give myself a verbal assault that an NFL coach would be proud of.  I slogged through the last 2 miles, but they were NOT pretty.

It was pretty demoralizing on multiple levels. But, I knew what I had to do.  Follow the advice a friend texted and double down on my meth intake. I needed to get some more sleep, take a few muscle repair supplements, and I needed to take a rest day.  Fortunately, my no booze during the week lent deal is helping me get more sleep and unfortunately taking rest days is getting easier and easier to accommodate.  BUT, I am happy to report that it actually worked!  Today I ran 6 miles with no ill effects.  In fact, it was a great progression from easy run to 10k pace averaging 6:52/mile.

Looking back, the cause of my terrible run is pretty straight forward: I was too tired, likely from running too fast. But, sometimes in the moment, it seems that I have a tendency to forget about the “obvious” and focus too much on the goal. (That is what she said.) Just like there are no 5 point shots in basketball, there is no way to cram 4 weeks of training into a single week. Obvious, yes. But so is the fact that drinking and texting is rarely a good idea…..

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Where have I been!?

Blogging is a lot like peeing in the shower working out. When you get into a habit of it, workouts flow and words come to you like a Pulitzer prize winning author. But when you're not in the habit of it, you waste water by peeing in the toilet every action feels forced and more difficult than it should. 

Unfortunately for me, both have seemed like a bit of a struggle.  Not because of any GOOD reason, just a bunch of little "life" reasons. I had family in town for the last week, I bought a house, and I'm in week 4 of a new job. 

BUT, I ran the last two days (my only two of the week, for a total of 20 miles...oops) and things are starting to fall back into place. Which, is a good thing since I have a marathon in 5 weeks. Crap.

So, since my blog has always focused on a lot of pictures, here is what I've been up to the last two weeks.  You can always catch these on my instagram feed here!!

Phoenix gets 7" of rain a year. Who bought tickets to a baseball game when we got 1"?  Yep, me. (it was canceled)

I had NO idea that giving things up for lent was mostly a catholic thing, but I guess it is. Either way, I gave up most drinking for lent (because we both know that I couldn't go completely dry) which has resulted in a lot more ginger ale and diet coke with 8 cherries in it.... because obviously I'm 12 years old.

A lot of crazy happens at 5:30am at work.  A LOT of crazy.

Of course, my son has kept me VERY busy. He is in that "run around 90mph" stage.....which has basically been going on since he was born. Like the idiot ... masochist ... great father I am, we went to the Disney store to find some new clothes. Terror...sheer...terror....

I"ll post pictures of the house I bought soon enough, but I've been spending time going through model homes getting decorating ideas. This is probably going to happen...somewhere.

Seriously, 90 miles per hour.....

The good thing though is that I am putting my son's energy to good use. If only there was a way for him to make dinner without worrying about setting the house on fire... (Also, obviously this activity is a no pants activtity.....chip off the old block)

A few weeks ago I got my FIRST ever speeding ticket.  Oh, I've had tickets, but never for speeding. This one was a camera that got me going through an intersection. (I may or may not have floored it to beat the red light ensure that I was safely out of the way of oncoming traffic.) In Arizona you can take an online course and avoid the points that go on your record. I swear to you, I laughed for 5 minutes at the terror in the last lady's eyes.

Work has been going okay. I'm finally finding a good groove which should afford more time for everything. (This is a local solar company building w/ hundreds of adjustable solar panels on the side)

Finally, running. After more than a few scheduling issues on my part, I was finally able to meet up with Matt V for a few fast stroller miles. (Side note, Matt just ran a 2:55 marathon. So, yeah.) I SWEAR that I'm not as short as this photo makes me out to be. Nor is Matt 6'6.  At least I don't think either of those are true?