Friday, April 30, 2010

Funny Foto Friday: Appholes

Stay tuned tomorrow for my race report on the Tempe Arbor day 5k!

The other day on his show, John Stewart really laid into Apple for sicking the cops on the blogger guy who stole the new iPhone (to be released in June). I could care less don't know what all went on, but it sure seems that Apple is going a little bonkers over a phone, doesn't it?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rest for my 5K and my sick wife

  • First, if you haven't entered the giveaway for a $50 Road Runner Sports gift card then go enter! Just like they say for Powerball give me your money, suckers! you can't win if you don't play!!
  • My wife is sick. She isn't "I'm sorta tired I'm not going to go to work" sick, she is "I'm planning on sleeping all day and coughing/sneezing all night" sick. So, you know what that means!?! Frosting and ice cream for dinner! (No need for cake, too many healthy ingredients....eggs? flour?
  • I postponed my run that was scheduled for this morning until tomorrow when I am running a 5K. I'll plan on doing a mile warm up, the 3 miles of the race, and then a mile cool down. Then, I may just have to finish it off with some beer curls.
  • The race tomorrow should be interesting. The course has a lot of tight turns and I am planning on running it pretty hard. If that doesn't sound like a broken-ankle-good time I don't know what does. I'll probably go out at around a 6:20ish pace and hold on for as long as I can. I really want to push it hard to test my fitness, but not TOO hard. You know?
  • Finally, even though Arizona residents are a bit crazy with their guns sometimes (e.g. you can bring a non-concealed gun into a bar....IN TO A BAR!!) I have to think that Texas takes the cake. Exhibit A: The governor of Texas trail runs while carrying a loaded 38 special. Not only that, but the other day he shot a coyote that was attacking his dog. (For the record, I would have done the same thing) All I can say is that I hope that his holster was sweat wicking...He sure would chafe if it was just tucked into his gym shorts.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Giveaway: $50 Road Runner Sports Gift Card!

Ok, so here is the deal:

I love you**, you love me***, but honestly doesn't everyone just like shit for free?

I've been thinking about having another giveaway for quite some time and I figured what better way to celebrate my return to running than hosting another one now! (Well, that and I needed a bit of an ego boost since I am getting piss-pounded in Jamoosh's Last Mile Brewing contest) Think of this as me giving back just a little to the running community as a whole. That, and I like to imagine people making it rain, Scroodge McDuck style:

My lame attempt at legaleeze:!!! I never contacted Road Runner Sports and they never contacted me. This is MY allowance that my wife gives me money and I can choose to award it how I want (that is: randomly). Funny side story: I originally tried to get gift card but they were "out of stock" of the $25 and $50 gift cards. Ohhhhhh, but they had lots of $100 gift cards. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Lame. Their loss is Road Runner's gain I suppose.

So, get your entries in! I'm going to pick one name at random on Monday May 3rd out of the entries that I receive.

Here is how you enter. It seems like these are the standard ways, so it shouldn't be anything new here (in fact, I copied these off of another giveaway!) Leave a new comment for each entry. Not only am I boring, but I am lazy:
  • Follow my blog. Let me know if you already do or if you're new! (+1!!)
  • Visit the website and let me know what you are going to buy Since I always just fake it on these ("umm, I am going to buy a shirt.....yeahhhhh....shirt") just let me know what you seem to spend most of your runner dollar on. For me, it is race fees. (+1!!)
  • Link the giveaway on your blog, tweet it, put it on Facebook, whatever you want! (Leave a comment for EACH thing you do...again - I'm lazy) (+1!!)
  • Last, but not least....ask me a question. Any question. Examples include: Why do you run marathons? (I'm dumb) How do you deal with the heat in Arizona? (Complain about it mostly) etc etc (+1!!)

**In the purely platonic "I want to hear about your sucky runs" kind of way
***Why wouldn't you? Duh.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cacti love and Blisters

The good:
I had a GREAT tempo run this morning. 6 miles, 7:04 overall pace with 5 miles at 6:58 pace. (Yeahhhh, so much for that warm up mile***) I feel like I am really starting to get back into running. My legs don't feel like they are going to fall off anymore and I have been able to hit my paces.

So, to strike while the iron is hot, I am going to run the Tempe, AZ Arbor Day 5K! Did you know it was arbor day? Nope, me either. Will that stop me from running this race? Nope. I may even hug a tree when I am done. Although, with my luck I'll probably end up hugging a cacti. Lovely.

I'm going to hit this race hard. No wussy-footing around**** on this one. I'm planning on racing it to set a baseline for the summer - when I plan on focusing on getting faster and running a sub 19:00 5K. I'll run another 5K in the fall to see where I ended up and try to hit the 19:00.

The bad:
Blisters. I have been SUPER lucky so far to not have any troubles with blisters. None. I even wear *gasp* COTTON socks almost exclusively. However, quite ironically, I got a few during my Pat Tillman 4.2 mile walk. The reason I feel I got them is because my wife and I were power walking the entire thing and I was using a strong heel/toe walking stride. I normally am a pretty solid midfoot striker so I don't have a lot of heel pressure and therefore don't have many calluses there.

Just like all things must come to an end (god willing Justin Bieber fits into this) so too does my win streak with blisters. During today's run, I had a few hot spots on my heels near where I had my other blisters and I can feel another lovely coming on. I'm not sure what the reason is for this, but I may just have to switch over to the few tech socks that I have to see if that helps....maybe some body glide too.

The ugly:
I thought that I would go just a little Steve in a Speedo on you and share my woes. Hopefully at least someone out there has a foot fetish and will get a charge out of this. Enjoy!

Closeup of the culprits

If you look closely at the one on the left, based on the shape of the blister you'd think that I was wearing my Sperm Rocket Shoes (click the link - you'll laugh...promise).

Like I said, being a blister 'virgin', I haven't had to deal with these much. Any suggestions?

*** I'm always warm because of the fire in my heart that burns for blogging (hehe)
**** Keeping it PG-13 for the kiddies

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hooray! (Vote for me)

Even though it is Monday, I'm pretty excited. A lot of good things are coming down the pike (what the crap IS a pike anyway? I always thought it was a fish....) for me. Here is a sampling:

  • I had one of my better runs in recent memory on Saturday. I cranked out 12 miles in 1:36 - which is right at a 8:00 pace. Score. I was run/biking with my wife which probably helped a lot. What also helped was the fact that my legs didn't feel like they were going to fall off. You know, which is nice. I have been icing and rolling my legs like crazy - which I think is finally paying some dividends.
  • I am pretty sure I am going to run a little base fitness test 5K on Friday night. This will be my first night time race which will be fun. I'll admit though, I'll have to hold off of the lunch time 6-pack of bud that I normally throw down make sure I stay hydrated throughout the day since I normally don't drink any water for races shorter than 10K.
  • Work is finally getting interesting again. I've been in a bit of a slump, but I've been pulled in a few directions that will keep me engaged at least for a few weeks.
  • Finally, I am in the finals for a Last Mile Brewing technical Tshirt from Jamoosh and Lady J. That ridiculous FAKE half marathon race report that I posted a few days back was my 'entry'. Go over to his post and vote for Adam (me). There are honestly quite a few other funny reports to read through, but in the end, a vote for Adam is like a vote for baby seals. You wouldn't kill a baby seal by not voting for me, would you?

Friday, April 23, 2010

FFF: Hold My Beer

I give you my current facebook profile picture:

Anyone who has shot a shotgun knows, if he was to pull the trigger, that thing would go crashing into his face....which

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The ups and downs of running

My momma said, there'd be days like this.

(Actually, she didn't say that. She was usually all "how many days have you wore those underwear?? did you brush your teeth today?? You smell." Ahhh, family bonding. Those were the good ol days.)

My running this week has been a lot like the road to the left: Glorious cruising speed on the downhills, painful soul crushing struggles on the uphills. So, either way...I'm getting CRUSHED. For some reason my body just hasn't acclimated itself to all of the punishment that running provides. A quick blow by blow:

On Tuesday, I had a kick-ass Tempo run. 6 miles, 4 at tempo pace (7:08/mile). Everything just clicked. It was one of those runs where I wished that I had more time to crank out some more miles. Or, actually it was one of those runs where I really wished that I was running in a race. I certainly could have cleared 42 min or so for a 10k.

But, on Wednesday, things were NOT treating me right. I had 3 miles at normal recovery pace planned and it was a struggle from the start to get them done. When the running gods giveth a awesome tempo run, they certainly also giveth a kick in the nuts. This run felt like a kick in the nuts - only to my shins. It wasn't necessarily full blown shin splints - instead the pain was dull and all through my legs. Blah. I grunted and groaned more than an old man doing yard work and even got a few strange looks as I worked to crank out the miles.

This morning, Thursday, I had another bought with shin pain/aches. Same discomfort this morning. It was sort of a combination of cement legs and the kind of ache you get from lifting a lot of weights. The pain wasn't nearly as bad this time - so I was able to get out a solid 400 and 800 repeat each at 6:22 pace. I had 5 or 6 miles on the schedule so in an effort to 'listen to my body' I only did 4.

As I was standing in the shower this morning (drink in the mental snap shot) contemplating life, Obama's health care plan, Ryan Seacrest's hair, and my runs over the last two days, I realized that: This IS running. Honestly, running wouldn't be as fun if it was all gum drops and lollipops. Nobody likes a yes man and I think nobody (at least not me) would like running if it was always easy. So the saying goes "you can't appreciate the good days without the bad ones".

The fact that bad runs exist serve two very important (self serving) purposes:
  • I have stuff to write about on my blog. You know those YouTubes of the guys getting hit in the nuts with soccer balls? yeah, I love to watch them too. And I love to read about people having crappy runs (I can admit it). I try to take their experiences and learn from them, and give them encouragement that the next run will be better (because it will!!!!), but honestly it is a little bit like rubber-necking at a train wreck. Everyone does it.
  • I get to hear my friends say things like "I don't know how in the hell you run that far, I can't run a mile!". To which I ALWAYS respond - of course you can, it just takes time and motivation to do it. Which, for the record, I 100% believe - but it never gets old hearing.
So, what did I conclude during my 20 minute shower? First, there is no way that I could get my hair to look like Seacrest's. I can't bring myself to even think about a flat iron. Second, I'm going to pull back the intensity a bit, but keep on plugging away. Because that is what runners do. The running gods will stop kicking me in the nuts sooner or later - hopefully during a race. Besides, if not it will sure make for good blog reading.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pat Tillman 4.2 Race Report!

"In our blessed and mostly peaceful society we're not as familiar with courage as we once were. We ascribe the virtue to all manner of endeavors that only really require skill, fortitude and a little daring, the qualities Pat Tillman showed on the football field. Pat's best service to his country was to remind us all what courage really looks like, and that the purpose of all good courage is love."
- Senator John McCain, at Pat Tillman's memorial service, May 3, 2004

Courage is a funny word. It is sort of like hero. They are both generic enough that I can be a hero and courageous to one guy for eating two Chipotle burritos and not shatting myself....while to another I am courageous for laying my life on the line rescuing baby seals out of the mouth of killer whales (yeah, didn't do either of those).

This past weekend, my wife and I walked the Pat Tillman 4.2 memorial run. It is a 4.2 mile race commemorating the life of Pat Tillman who turned down a $3+ million NFL contract to join the Army. He was subsequently killed by friendly fire while serving overseas - which regrettably the govt tried to cover up (but I digress). 4.2 miles represents Pat's 42 Arizona Cardinals jersey number and the race finishes on the 42 yard line of Arizona State's football stadium. Gotta love symbolism.

The race started early - really early. I forgot how easy it is to get out of bed before a big race when you are in a hotel - and how hard it is to get out of bed when you are at home. 4:50am rolled around REALLY early. Here my wife and I are waiting in the corals. I hate it when people say: "Wow Adam, you look tired" What they mean to say is: "Wow Adam, did you just get beat up by a hooker? You look like shit". Well, I'll admit - in this picture I look TIRED.

This race is Arizona's largest race (when you count Rock and Roll half and full separately). This year there were 28,000 who actually participated. You know what this means - long port a pot lines.

For some reason though, I have to think that if I was waiting in line and I REALLY had to go, I would have just "found my own path". I've modified the picture above (using red arrows) labeling all SORTS of alternate watering holes.(This is why I can't have nice things)

In fact, the lines were so long that I just decided to try to hold it. Unfortunately we got a little delayed and I had to hold it about an hour longer than normal. This means that along the course I pee'd behind a dumpster - it was like the weekend all over again!

Lots of people:

While I was waiting for the race to start (which started 30 min late - not including the 20 min that it took us to get to the starting line...grrrr) I noticed that the lady in front of me had a bit of a blowout. I mean, I'm all for ventilation, but this seemed to go a bit far (maybe she just has one REALLY long toe):

The walk itself was really fun. It was the 3rd race that I've done with my wife so it was really fun to drop all sorts of running knowledge bombs on her to share the experience with her. We walked along at a really good clip, averaging ~15:45 min miles - speed walking! I'm actually looking into Olympic level speed walking. Since most of those guys are 80, I'm thinking that I'd rock the 25-29 age group category.

After the race, I had originally planned on meeting up with RunningLaur, Demi, and Jeff however our meeting place (the ice cream tables) didn't exist this year. Bummer. Fortunately, I was able to see RunningLaur about a mile away from the finish (she had finished and was walking to her car):

And got to meet up with Jeff at the end. Jeff waited a FULL 45 minutes for my wife and I to finish - mostly because he rocked the race at 38:XX. Huge PR for him. You're OK Jeff, I don't care WHAT all of those other people say about you.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to meet up with Demi. I've missed out on meeting her for a NUMBER of races (due to scheduling issues) so I am just going to assume that she is a figment of my imagination. That strategy has worked so far for the leprechaun who tells me to burn things! Just kidding - we'll meet up soon Demi! (Even if I have to twitter stalk you and show up at your front door)

Overall, it was a great race and I would do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, next year I may do it twice! Because of all of the participants, the leaders actually finished before my wife and I crossed the start line, so depending on the timing, I may be able to run it AND walk it! Same money, double the fun.

This report got a little long, but I wanted to close with this. I'm not an incredibly patriotic or spiritual guy. Just like my running, I'm pretty middle of the pack in whatever I do. "Don't ruffle the feathers Adam, keep your head down, get shit done." But, I do know one thing - Pat Tillman sure was courageous, and I hope that my $40 went to someone who will be half as courageous as he was.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wow, I really AM boring

Check out the videos I posted a few days ago in my virtual (fake) race report. I got a video camera for Christmas, but because I truly am boring, I haven’t had anything fun to film. Anyone who knows me and my wife has asked (after they watch them) “wow, did your wife actually film you doing that?” The answer of course is not a chance in hell. In fact, when I even mentioned that I was going to do a video I got such a huge eye roll that MY head hurt. I’m surprised she didn’t sprain her neck. Fortunately, I was able to use various rungs on my ladder as a tripod.

Last night I slept pretty crappy. But, on the bright side, I had a dream where I was running a race (probs 5K) and I won! I rarely remember my dreams, but usually when I do remember them they are really benign. For example, the last dream I remember I was driving down the interstate. No, I didn’t pull up on a broken down bus full of cheerleaders, I didn’t drive off a bridge or run into any zombies….I just drove. Does anyone else have THAT boring of dreams?

But, even though I slept crappy I still got my run in this morning. GYAMA. I ran 6 miles, 4 of which were at tempo of 7:08. The funny thing about these longer tempo runs is that they are pretty consistently faster than my 10K PR. I finished the 6 miles in 45:30 - which included 1/2 mile warm up and 1.5 miles cool down. Looks like it is time to find another 10K, ASAP.

Tomorrow I'm finally going to post my Race Report for the Pat Tillman memorial 4.2 run that I walked with my wife. Less of a race, more of an experience. Not too often does a guy turn down $3mil+ to go to the army.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Boston Marathon - Is it possible?

I have the curse of youth. Yeah, you heard me...the curse of youth. (Proceed with hating me.....NOW)

I get carded at bars, clients think that I am 18, people mistake me for Justin Bieber, and according to BAA I must run a 3:10 (7:15 pace) marathon to qualify for Boston. To look at it another way, go to your local track, run around that track in 1 minute 49 seconds, and then repeat 104 more times without slowing down or stopping. (I love the track analogy for a marathon.) Makes me want to crap my pants just thinking about it.

By the time this is posted, people are already boarding buses on the long drive to the starting line of the 114th Boston Marathon. To say that I am jealous would be like saying Count Dracula from Sesame Street hates it when his green cape gets caught in doorways (he hates it...a lot).

As I think of those runners boarding the buses, I can't help but wonder if I will ever qualify and run the Boston Marathon. I posted this very question about a year ago when my current marathon PR was 3:29:29. It is now 4 minutes faster at 3:25:30. So, I am getting closer, but I am still a world away from as speedy of a marathon as is necessary to qualify. 4 minutes faster per year is not going to cut it.

During last year's post, I asked the question: I’ve often wondered to myself if running at the speed required for me to qualify is something that is purely genetic, or if it is something that can be trained. That is, can anyone qualify if they train their ass off?

Honestly, I'd like to think that if I train my ass off, I CAN qualify - it is the commitment to completely lose your ass (because of training it off - duh) that is the tough part. Either way, that is exactly what I am planning on doing. I believe that my long term plan will put me at 3:20 by November and 3:10 sometime next spring. I don't have any spring marathons planned, but I think that I should be able to find one that will be Boston qualifying friendly. (Like one that includes a cycling section.) At least, that is my plan. Of course, the details to get there are still being worked out.

As you ponder my question, I want to leave you with a quote I found that struck me as so true. I'm not sure what it is about that race, but it seems to have a hold on me. "I'd rather be at the start of the Boston Marathon than at the finish of any other marathon." Call me short sighted, call me ignorant of other GREAT races, but don't call me focused - because I am focused on this race.

Finally, I saw a tweet (follow me!) late last week that puts a funny spin on some of the statistics of the Boston Marathon. For example, did you know that if you added the force of all of the foot strikes that each runner makes, it would measure 3.3 on the Richter Scale!? Those crazy MIT nerds and their smelly BO.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Virtual Race Report: Last mile Brewing Virtual Halfathon)

Who was it who said that even the longest journey begins with a single step? Confucius? Mark Twain? Fergie? Unfortunately for me, my Jamoosh-a-Paolosa halfathon (actually named Last mile Brewing Virtual Halfathon.....virtual meaning that it is entirely fake) actually started with a hiccup followed by a little bit of barf coming up into my mouth. But, I am getting ahead of myself:

13.1 Miles, 18:15 pace, 3:59:05 total time, 1/1 overall, 1/1 age group

Like most endurance activities, the race didn’t start when I stood on the starting line. No, it started months and months before when I stupidly selflessly decided to sacrifice one of my valuable training days and focus on getting my first half marathon under my belt. I religiously trained thought about the race each and every day. In fact, I thought about the race so much I gave myself a physiological induced stress fracture. They are as severe as they are rare:

So, I spent the majority of the next 3 months putting on a Cheeto layer that only Chester Cheetah (and Nitmos) would be proud of. My motto was “if I exercised any of my non-running muscles, I’ll get imbalanced”. So, I mostly trained my beer drinking muscles:

I figured if I was wearing a race T-Shirt it would basically be like training

Fortunately for Jamoosh, my sports med doc gave me the thumbs up and a pat on the ass to run just 2 days before the scheduled race. I returned the favor with a sexual harassment lawsuit - should have known that he could only get fresh after buying dinner.

When I woke up the morning of race day, I realized that something was wrong. My head was spinning and I felt like I had spent most of the night licking sand paper. (I would later find out that “carbo loading” was generally achieved by consuming pasta and not red wine. I assumed that since grapes were fruit and fruit had carbs that I would be good… lesson learned ) But, I hurried as fast as my wobbly legs would carry me and was out the door and to the starting line.

While I assumed that nothing would make me feel better, I knew that I needed to get something in my stomach. What better than the hair of the dog?

If you want to win, you gotta fuel like a winner. But, I just want to win a little, so I’m fueling with Winner Light. All of the win, half of the gloating.

With the sound of my wife saying “haven’t you left yet?” I was off.

Miles 0-6: These miles seemed to fly by! I was running along at my normal tempo pace of 7:10 / mile with seemingly little effort. It was only when I laughed out loud at the sight of a dog peeing that I realized: I WAS STILL DRUNK. Awesome. Note to self, if I ever want to crank out a 10k in record time, do it loaded.

Miles 6-10: It is funny, it seems that as soon as you realize that you are drunk and you stop hitting on the coat rack, it stops being fun and starts being annoying. Miles 6-10 were annoying. The cars that were driving by seemed to be extra loud, the sun was frying my eyeballs out, and I felt like I might as well be running on my hands.

I really started to feel the dehydration kicking in. I was still sweating, but I was getting tired. Really tired. It was at approximately 10 miles, that I saw the park bench.

Mile 10.1: Whenever I see bag people 'sleeping' in the park, I always wonder what their 'story' could be. I'll have to add "running a virtual half marathon" to the list of possible scenarios. After seeing the park bench I knew what had to happen. Nappy Time. But, not for long - Oh no. Only for 2 hours tops. I told the guy sleeping on the bench next to me to be sure to wake me up before 10am. He, of course, said that he would and continued to talk to the pigeons.

Miles 10.1-13.1: At 10am on the button, the bag guy woke me up. Turns out, homeless people are very punctual. Who knew!? Having captured a few hours of glorious sleep, I tackled the last 3 miles with renewed vigor that only a dedicated wine-o could.

Once I crossed the finish line, I knew that it was over and that I had won. I could nearly taste the sweet taste of victory - or possibly some of that "Winner Light". I could never be sure.

In the words of Michael Scott from the office: "People always talk about triumphs of the human spirit, well today I had a triumph of the human body. That's why everybody was applauding for me at the end: For my guts and my heart. And while I eventually puked my guts out... I never puked my heart out."

Unfortunately, Michael Scott hit the nail on the head - and I finished the day by barfing all over the flowers. My wife, was proud.

Friday, April 16, 2010

FFF: Vote early, vote often

It is that time of year time to take a shower! time to vote. In my little suburb, there is a ballot proposition to raise taxes to pay for public safety. Simple right? No matter which side of the isle you are on, your position on this one should be pretty clear cut. Honestly, it is actually a pretty heated topic here in town - well, as heated as anything gets in the burbs I suppose. (Oh, those power hungry home owners associations, will they ever stop!?)

Ahh, but then the lobbyists got their fingers in there. This was the result:
(Note that the picture is out in the middle of no where. Even though these two exact signs are within half a mile of our house, we had to drive miles away so no one would see us taking the picture. You'd think that she was embarrassed of me!!??)

So, let me get this straight. Somehow, I'm screwing public safety no matter what I do? Gosh, seems like I should kick a puppy and trip an old man on the way to the voter booth while I am at it.

The best part is that there is a smaller sign off to one side that offers a resource for deciphering the OTHER signs.

I think that I am going to vote the American way and just not vote. I don't want to be to blame for single handedly taking down public safety.

I was talking to a buddy of mine about this and he said he is going to split his vote across each answer - either dangle the chad on both or fill in both boxes half way. Maybe I'll do that too - that way I can complain no matter who wins! Isn't THAT the American way? :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finally...a running update!

Gosh, I am way overdue for a honest to goodness post dedicated to the sport that I love: Foxy Boxing Running! I've clocked a number of very solid workouts over the last few days and had to share some successes:

Saturday: 5 mile bike/run with my wife @ 8:01 pace. Well, this one wasn't a SUPER success but I covered the miles. I had some really dead legs, it was hot out, I wanted to be done, did I mention it was hot out? You know, THOSE types of runs.

Tuesday: 5 mile accidental MP run @ 7:27 pace. I wanted to redeem my craptastic run on Saturday with a medium hard effort on Tuesday. Success!! The kind of success that comes only once every other week.

Wednesday: 3 mile recovery run @ 8:10 pace. Sweet. glorious. recovery.

Isn't this possibly the worst graph ever? Basically (other than the turn around) I averaged somewhere between a sprint and a shuffle. Garmin, FAIL.

While I was really pushing it on Tuesday, I thought about some of the things I really forgot about while biking full time. Things like:
  • Runners gut / runners trots / sour stomach: I don't really get this while riding the bike, but I get it fairly frequently while running.
  • Wind resistance: It isn't nearly as bad while running. (Imma gonna math out on you for a bit) Sure, I'm clipping away at 8 mph while running, but if there is a 25 mph headwind, that means that it 'feels like' 33 mph. Strong, but not bad. However, if I have that same headwind and I am biking 20 mph, the feels like is a nightmarish 45 mph.
  • Creeping out Saying hi to the neighbors: While I am on the bike, it is all that I can do to stay upright. I'll fully admit that I have turned into a snob and don't waive very much at people. However, when I am running I turn into the neighborhood Wal-Mart greeter saying hi to everyone who comes within earshot.
  • Not as much gawking: Because running covers a lot less ground, I don't get to see as much stuff along the way.
Those of you that bike, any other differences you'd like to call out?

Finally, Barefoot Angie Bee is in the running for a contest that actually isn't a random drawing! So, she needs some votes. Go vote! She is the one in the blue shorts who looks like she is wearing a nut cup (I believe that she called it a potato).

And now for the tease.... Make sure you check back on Friday. I've got a VERY funny and slightly confusing Funny Foto Friday post spooled up!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Try it Tues: YurBuds

Recently, I won a pair of YurBuds from Christy over at It Just Looks Like Slow Motion. I say recently, but what I mean is: "I won these about 2 months ago but am just now getting to writing a review." Fail.

But, my tardiness aside, I haven't been running for over a month. So, since this is supposed to be mostly a boring running blog, I figure that I should give them a shot while actually running.

What is a YurBud you ask? If you guessed that it was some sort of slang for talking about pot, then you are close. "Yur Bud is dope, dude! Roll me some more!" Yurbuds are actually custom fit rubber covers that slip over the horrible iPod ear buds that seem to fit no ones ears. In fact, before getting my set shipped to me, I had to take a picture of my ear with a quarter next to it for scale and send it to them.

Here they are attached to my iPod shuffle.

I've used them on a few shorter runs of 5 miles or less and I actually used them on my 70 mile bike ride. They didn't bounce in my ears at all and required no readjustment. Plus, my mom would be excited to hear that I can have the volume down a lot lower because of the snug fit.

In addition to using them on the run, I've actually switched from my noise canceling DJ style headphones in the airplane to these. They don't have near the sound quality, but they do a good job of blocking out the screaming kids and toilet flushes. Unfortunately, I no longer get the head nod of approval from DJs.

Here is (basically) what they look like when I have them on (you're welcome for the nightmares):

  • They stay in! Isn't that all that you really need?
  • They come with a set of headphones that don't get as tangled up as regular iPod headphones do (and they are still white for the image conscious.)
  • Because they are custom fit, sweat seems to stay out of my ears - which is a huge problem with most other headphones.

  • At $30, they are not cheap
  • I never know how to pronounce them. Is it You're-buds? Uhhr-buds?
  • The rubber is a bit soft, so they seem to collect a lot of lint and stuff. But, I wouldn't want them any harder or else they would hurt my ear holes.

That said, these little buds get my Seal of Approval. While they are a little expensive, I didn't buy them and they really allow me to listen to podcasts while on the run.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I love packages

Some people** say that the best things come in small packages. I disagree. They come in big packages - shaped like Ferraris...or possibly flat screen TVs. So, you can imagine my excitement when my wife told me that I had a huge package waiting for me to open when I got home.

So, on Thursday when I got home from the airport, this package ball was waiting for me to open. Of course, I immediately dropped everything that I was carrying and tore into it like Perez Hilton tearing into Lidsay Lohan. Fortunately, my wife was at a safe distance so she wasn't injured in the proceedings. Just like you don't get between a dog and it's food - you don't get between me and a package with my name on it. Christmas is a very dangerous time.

When I opened it, I found a checked race bag! I immediately did a mental full body scan to determine if I had just ran a race and forgot about it. I'm usually a bit strange in the head after I finish so I may have just forgot. But, once I realized that I was still in my work clothes and instead of a layer of sweat salt on my face I instead had a layer of airport travel grime (mostly germs) I knew that it must have been my bag check from RnR Mardi Gras!

When I finished the race, I decided that it wasn't worth the 1/2 mile walk to bag check to pick up my throw away hoodie. Luckily the Competitor group had my back. They actually spent $4 to send me back my bag. Awesome. The Competitor group gets a lot of heat for being a for-profit marathon organizing enterprise, but this certainly got them points in my book.

I certainly didn't expect to ever see my back check again and to be honest I was OK with that. However, the fact that someone not only spent the time to figure out what my address was, but also paid the postage to mail it*** really speaks volumes about how they take care of their runners. Now, if I could just figure out how to get them to follow me around when I lose my keys....

**Like me in the shower
***what is a stamp now? $1.50?

I did 5 miles of run/bike with my wife at a 8:01 pace.....and it felt like I hadn't ran in 5 weeks. I really struggled to keep the pace where I wanted it, but I suppose once I get my running legs back under me I'll do just fine. I'm going to sit down this afternoon and try to hammer out a plan to get me from today to RnR San Diego and RnR Seattle. Hooray!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Funny Foto Friday: Ouch

The caption on this picture was as follows:

"This guy fell backwards onto a cactus after a few drinks. It took paramedics over three hours to remove the cactus before he could get into an ambulance and go to the hospital."

So, I guess if you're having a bad day, it could always be worse!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Back in the Saddle

  • I ran again this morning. 3 miles, 8:00 pace. Before my wife gives me a really hard time about running again, I had every intention of spinning for 30 or 45 minutes but all of the bikes were full. So, I had no choice but to run! I sure as hell wasn't going to try drowning myself again.
  • For the life of me I can't force myself to hop (or is it elip't?) on the elliptical. For some reason I feel like I am hoping on clouds....possibly carrying an Easter basket....wearing a bonnet**.
  • Coming back from injury is interesting. Just like during a taper mode, I find myself hypersensitive to any ache, pain, or itch that I have. While running my mind is normally blank. Now it is racing to focus on my form, body feedback, why Kanye West is such an ass, stride length, and fart output (off the charts!). It is exhausting! I can't wait until I can just zone out again and get to thinking about what guys think about most of the time sex nothing***.
  • Last night I finally was able to connect with a friend who also travels for work and is also working in silicon valley. The best part? She runs! So, as soon as I get back at it we'll plan on going for some runs and enjoying the various office buildings and broken sidewalks that San Jose has to offer.
  • Finally, I'll admit that I am a little scared. I have another marathon in 8 weeks and I am doing back flips about being able to run 3 miles. I was thinking on the drive into work today that all that I have to do is run that 9 times over and I'll have 27 miles. Piece of cake,**** right?

**Singing Mary Poppins songs doesn't seem to help any either
***Actually, mostly sex
****Cake made of fail

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Drowning....and Running!

<-- Who has two thumbs and looks ridiculous in a snorkel while vacationing? *this guy*

I was going to title this post "swimming....and running" but let's be honest - there was no swimming involved when I was flailing around in the pool. But let me back up....

I'm a runner by practice. Thus, I have a certain level of base fitness and coordination to be able to put one foot in front of the other. Shoot, I've even mastered chewing gum and walking! Little did I know that these skills would apply so little while swimming. (should have known, feet never touch the ground) Thus, on Monday night I was served a bucket of fail with a side of humility.

When I got to the pool, I was greeted by a lovely chap in a skimpy banana hammock speedo. I should have stopped right there, turned around, went to the gym and pretended to know what I was doing with those stretchy rubber bands. Instead, I hopped into water so cold that my giblets shrank to a size that only George Costanza could be proud of and tried to warm up.

Once I got over the shock, I plastered the far too large goggles I bought onto my face and started to freestyle swim: Stroke, stroke, blow air out nose, stroke, suck water in nose, cough, stroke, bring head out of water coughing and snorting.....look around to see if anyone saw.


Turns out I SUCK at swimming. Is there a bubblers class for triathletes? One with a hot instructor (girl or guy, doesn't really matter)? The next 200 M were a combination of me snorting water into my nose and struggling to get a rhythm.

With my ego sufficiently crushed, I decided to damn the doctor and go for a quick run - while still in my swim trunks. On Monday night I ran 1.3 miles with no pain. My first pain-free run since RnR MG. SCORE. My ego was partially saved.

In fact, Tuesday night, I did 10 miles on the spin bike in 30 minutes and then ran 2.5 miles in 20 minutes. That, my friends, is far enough to be considered an 'official' brick workout!

I'm going to go out to dinner with friends tonight, but I am going to try to get another swim session in towards the end of this week. Maybe practice breathing ABOVE water. Until then, I'm SUPER busy with work and therefore am crazy behind on blogs. Hope to catch up with everyone soon!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Taking the Plunge

I've finally decided that I am going to do it. Shower more than once a week!! I am going to try swimming for distance. To be clear, this is a big deal. Normally when I swim, I don't swim for distance. I am normally focused on much more important things: Splash size, how many boogs I have hanging out of my nose, lame attempts at cat calling the ladies....and some of the guys ("yeah baby! you look like you could really teach some algebra to students!!"), and probably most importantly trying to flex my gangly slender body at any given opportunity. But, since I am still not running nearly as far as I would like and I have completing a triathlon on my 2010 goals list, I figured I might as well put a condom on my head (that is what those things are, right?) and hop in.

On the surface (get it?? Water? Surface? I'm on a roll!!) there are a lot of things to like about swimming. In fact, it seems a lot like running only wetter. Here are some of the things that I could find that are awesome about swimming:
  • There isn't a lot of 'gear' needed. Since I have am a crazy tight ass, the less I need to buy the better.
  • The star of the sport has somehow managed to smoke pot while being a role model and still retain a six pack.
  • The hotel that I am staying at has a half Olympic sized pool with lanes painted on the bottom of it and I have a 'normal' pool in my back yard.
  • It is socially acceptable to wear a speedo...I hope.
  • I get to scare children with my pasty chest (and my speedo) I really need any more reason than that?

Michael Phelps says dive in! Followed by Rawwwwrrrr

So, tonight I'm going to go to wal-mart (or somewhere) and pick up a pair of goggles. Any advice on other things to get?

If you don't have any advice, what about answering these questions:
  • How long should I go for?
  • What sort of stretches should I do before/after?
  • Will I be OK with just my swim trunks (for now)?
  • Which way should I take off my shirt? (See Below)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My Accidental 70 Mile Bike Ride

I'm not going to lie, I'm not feeling super intelligent right now. And I am feeling a bit of burning when I pee in my legs. This morning I biked 70 miles (well, 69.55 but I am rounding up for effect). A new distance record!

69.55 miles, 14.4 mph (4:48:58 total time)

This weekend, I wanted to do a long bike ride. I had mapped out a route that would take me mostly through the reservation so that I could avoid as many stoplights as possible....and maybe if I was feeling lucky hit the casinos and rub elbows with the old ladies. The great part about this ride was that it was only supposed to be 55 miles. Not a SUPER far ride but far enough that my ass would hurt afterwards. Nothing like a little 'tactile feedback' to tell you that you rode well.

Well, turns out that Google Maps had different plans. In the below planned route, I marked the 'issue' point with a star.

Turns out that what looked like a road was actually a Jeep dirt path. Not so good on the road bike. I actually did ride 2 miles each way on the dirt path to see if it would magically turn into a road, but it didn't - not even when I made dirt bike noises! *Rarrrrrr VVRRoooooommmm*

Below is the actual route that I ended up riding. You can see around mile 35 when I had a short out and back on the dirt road. Where the city ends, reservation begins.

Let me tell you this ride was tough. The most frustrating was that I needed to get back to the hospital and was really trying to push the pace. This of course caused me to crash around mile 60 or so. My Average miles per hour went from 15.0 all the way down to the 14.4 where I ended up overall.

But, I suppose I got the 'tactile feedback' that I was looking for. Not only are my legs still tired and sore, my ass DOES hurt! So, on that scale I suppose it was a good ride.

Friday, April 2, 2010

FFF: Airline Ads

Southwest Airlines and Airtran airlines are in a bit of a pissing match. Since I am always game for a pissing match, I couldn't help but pass this one along. (You don't need sound, but it is better with it) Enjoy!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

No Stress Fracture / WIND

Yesterday I received a call from my sports med doctor who reported that I did NOT have a stress fracture! Score! Turns out the medical imaging place who did my MRI did have someone look at my scans and perform an initial diagnosis. The verdict is probably some severe tendinitis. The bad news is that because of my work schedule, I am not going to be able to get in for a follow up until 4/9. BLAH.

(Note, I wanted to take a picture of myself doing basically the same thing as the guy on the left, but because I am going on a bike ride over the noon hour I haven't showered, I'm still in my PJs, and I'm pretty sure that you could smell the funk from the picture. You're welcome. Besides, he basically looks like me - only with much much bigger eyebrows.)

On Wednesday, I went out for a short 30 minute tempo bike ride. I was basically going to hit the bike as hard and as fast as I could for ~9 miles and see where I ended up. What I forgot was that Phoenix was having a crazy bad wind storm (for here) with winds of 25+ miles per hour. Not horrible for the Midwest, but with nothing but sand to blow around, it got a little annoying here.

My bike ride started out awesome. I was chugging away at 24 miles per hour! My fastest sustained speed ever! How could this be possible!?!?! Then I realized it..... I feel almost NO wind hitting my face. This. is. not. going. to. be. good. Of course, that meant that the wind was nearly directly at my back and was approximately 24 miles per hour. Awesome. When I am running and this happens I can look forward to a 8 mph headwind - not so much when you are biking.... The ride back was a nightmare.

When I realized that I was getting a little hand of god drafting assistance, I immediately decided to turn around at the 12 minute mark instead of 15 minutes as I was certain that I would be slower on the turn around. I was correct. While I averaged 23.5 MPH on the way out, I averaged 13.3 MPH on the way back. It hurt. But not in the 'hurt so good' way, more like in the kick in the junk way. I'm not sure how people in windy climates do it.

Finally, I've been riding the bike mid-day because my father in law was in a pretty serious motorcycle accident Tuesday afternoon. He'll be fine but is pretty beat up***. My wife and I have been spending the evenings at the hospital - well into the night. Unfortunately I've found that being at the hospital until 1am isn't conducive for a 4:30am bike start time. Cest la vie. GYAMA.

***Please, especially as it is starting to warm up, look before you change lanes, a motorcycle can hide in your blind spot very easily.