Friday, September 30, 2011

Funny Foto Friday: MP3 Player Jogging Suit


RunningLaur, who is training for a 100 mile race (and is therefore certifiably insane), recently sent me a Funny Foto Friday that I couldn’t pass up.  For that matter, if anyone else has a funny Foto Friday that they think deserves mention, shoot it my way!  While I can’t promise that I’ll post it, if I do I’ll give you all the credit. I might even call you certifiably insane!

Anyway, turns out that an inventor created a “Jogging suit” that not only includes built in controllers, but is powered by your up and down movement!

Per neatorama.com, Rafael Rozenkranz designed a washable jogging suit that has a MP3 player built into it. A kinetic generator powers the player, which is controlled with large buttons on the chest. Best of all, the skintight suit will look so very attractive on you.

A few things:

  • If I see you wearing this, I don’t care if you are running mile repeats at 4:00/mile pace – you are JOGGING
  • Really?  We needed to make this thing skin tight and look like it was from the movie TRON?  REALLY!?
  • This dude has a beard, but no man bits.  Sort of like an army Ken doll.
  • Quite honestly, if someone were to tell me that it had speakers built into the ass, I think that I just might have to buy it.  But, then again, I already have a speaker built into my ass – and it only plays one horrible horrible note.  Happy Friday!


Rock and Roll Arizona Marathon Course Announcement!


The start of Dr Suess’ book “Oh the places you will go” starts out:

Congratulations! / Today is your day. / You're off to Great Places! / You're off and away!


You have brains in your head. / You have feet in your shoes. / You can steer yourself any direction you choose. / You're on your own. And you know what you know. / And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

I’ve had many experiences in my life – some of the most memorable related to running. I’ve met many great runners, bloggers and friends alike.  Yesterday however was a first. I brushed my teeth before I ran! (Kidding, I never do that) I was invited to the official PF Changs Rock and Roll Marathon Course Announcement.  It was time for me to rub elbows with the likes of Mayors, city council people, and the CEO (I think? Maybe just some dude) of PF Changs.  To say that I was out of my element would be like saying Kim Kardashian would be out of place if she were. . . .at the PF Changs Rock and Roll Marathon Course Announcement.  One might say that we were twins. Ugly duckling twins.  But I digress.

The competitor group decided that the original half marathon and marathon course were getting stale and worn and wanted to shoot a little botox into it.  A course facelift!  No word on butt implants.....


The full marathon course actually follows a very similar path as before with a slight detour away from old town Scottsdale (home of aforementioned butt implants) and instead going through beautiful Papago Park:

The real changes are with the half marathon.  They decided to split the start of the half from the full which both the half and the full marathon participants will enjoy.  No shuttles for the half marathoners, no half marathoners for the full marathoners.  Well, honestly, I'm not sure that the half marathoners even realized that the full marathoners were there.  But, on the full side, the 20,000 half marathoners are a little hard to ignore!

Essentially, the half marathon goes through about every place that I'd want to go through in the Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale area.  Not only do you go through papago park, but you also hit:

Arizona State University in Tempe:
What do cheerleaders have to do with running?  I dunno? Booty Shorts?

Old town Scottsdale:
What do horses have to do with running?  I dunno? Do horses wear booty shorts?

And even hits Tempe Town Lake:

Overall, the updated course looks like a great improvement to the course that I ran in 2010.  I think that it hits a lot of the high points of the city and avoids some of the boring spots where you run  miles and miles through residential streets.  If I wanted to do that - I'd just run at home.

The press conference itself was interesting.  I wasn't sure what to expect as the only ones I'd ever seen were on TV or in movies.  I half expected Kobe Bryant to jump out and start crying about how he "let his family down".  Unfortunately, he was no where to be found.  Instead we were treated to light music beforehand (they were still setting up when I took the picture):

A rather young and blond press corps.  It seemed that the people at the event fit into one of three groups: business types in suits, blond female reporters furiously taking notes, and nerdy bloggers hanging out on the side staring at blond female reporters taking pictures of everyone inconspicuously.


And even the CEO of the competitor group

Finally, probably one of the coolest parts was that I got to meet Olympian Alan Culpepper.  He actually works for the Competitor group (that puts on the Rock and Roll races) as director of operations.  Essentially, he was the man behind the course redesign.  As one of the few runners in the audience, I latched onto him like a running nerd to..... Alan Culpepper ..... and chatted him up about the new course and what Rock 'n' Roll had in store. 

What is up with American runners being so tall!?

Overall, the experience was fun, the course looks improved and was just the catalyst I needed to finally pull the trigger and get the race "officially" (read: paid for) on my race calendar.  Let me know if you are making it to Phoenix to run the full or the half!
 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dolvett, Dings, and Double Runs


Dolvett 
After my post on Monday about the biggest loser, a few things happened:

  • No fewer than FOUR people commented on my snub of Biggest Loser trainer / apparent “cutie-pituty” Dolvett
  • Almost everyone agreed with my take on Anna K
  • Nitmos screamed “SCOREBOARD” and then went on to mention that Anna K was actually a pretty kick-ass doubles tennis star
  • I was contacted by a group about some fun stuff that I’ll share later.....like tomorrow (tease!)


So, Dolvette.  In short, I LOVE the 38 year old new coach from Biggest Loser.  He seems to have the right mix of Jillian and masculinity (who am I kidding? Those two are the same thing) to balance out Bob. Never one to deprive the people from what they want and pass at a chance that I am equal opportunity, if you’re not watching the show, here is what you are missing:



Dings
Now that it is (American) football season, my vocabulary has exploded with all sorts of fun and manly words.  Which, after the picture above was a MUCH needed boost of man-juice.  Wait, that didn’t sound right. . . .  Terms like “spread offense” and “A Gap” are abound in the ‘Boring household.  Another that is often used is the term “ding”.  That is, when someone gets hurt, but not enough to actually stop them from performing at the top of their game.   After running 3 weeks at 65+ miles per week, I’m starting to feel the marathon peak “dings”.

It isn’t anything particularly major, my knees are a bit achy, my calves are tighter than my wallet on payday, my cannonball form is WAY off, and my feet are SORE.  Seriously, who has sore feet?  Fortunately for me, all of these are just “dings” and I’ll be fine once I start taper.  IN THREE WEEKS!  Crap.

Double Runs
Because of my dings and the fact that I’ve been running late to work every day this week, I am going to follow my plan today and actually split up my recovery run.  6 this morning, 4 tonight.  Normally I’d just cram both into a 10 mile run and be done for the day, but I want to give my legs a bit of a rest and give them a chance to heal a bit before tomorrow’s pace work.  I’ve found that running at night does let my legs recover well, but it also has the unfortunate side effect of making me want to yack on the sidewalk.  I’m not sure how the night runners do it, but I’m going to give it a(nother) shot!


Ugg, I couldn’t take the DTrain pictures up top.  So, I leave you a funny foto Friday reject:

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Biggest Loser


Last week in the United States (I’m ignorant enough to not know anything much about TV in other countries other than those Japanese reality shows where everyone gets punched in the crotch) the reality show The Biggest Loser started.  In the show they take 15 morbidly obese contestants, scream at them for 8 hours, have a 10 minute choreographed heart to heart to talk about feelings, have a cheesy 30 second product placement for gum or zip-loc bags, and then scream at them for 4 more hours.  It is reality TV at its FINEST.

A lot of people poo-poo the show as setting a bad example – people losing 25 pounds in a week, Bob Harper not telling anyone if he is gay or not, the level of activity that the people are put through (e.g. running a marathon).  Honestly though, I love the show.  It sets a great example for what can happen to anyone given the right support structure, the right training, and the right focus.  Honestly, this not only applies to weight loss, but also running.  In a previous post, I said that I believed that probably 80% of people could be top 10% runners**.  Honestly, for myself included, this would take some sort of Biggest Loser type intervention.  But, it could happen.

There are, however, a few things that I do not like about the show.  Specifically: Anna Kournikova.  The resident militant female, Jillian left the show and the producers decided to replace her with an easy on the eyes tennis star.  The fact that she hasn’t won any majors notwithstanding, I’ve yet to see anything that is particularly awe inspiring or jaw dropping from what she is able to do with the contestants.  Four pounds lost in the first week by two of the contestants!? Where is the screaming a-la Jillian?  What about the cozy bear hugs a-la Bob?  Granted, she has some big shoes to fill, but either Anna is going to have to start punching people in the face or grow a beard – fast.

Finally, the thing that I am  most excited about is the fact that every single one of the 15 contestants will be running a full marathon at the end of the season, even if they get kicked off before that time.  Some people will piss and moan about how unprepared the contestants are or how dangerous it is.  However, to those people I say, “Pound sand.  No one is fully prepared to run a marathon.  They are prepared to their best abilities and they execute on those abilities.  Maybe seeing someone who is 300 pounds will convince someone that they can run a 5K – and THAT would be a great thing for the sport I love.


**Nerds: I do realize that this is a statistical impossibility.  Go back to your abacus

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Funny Foto Friday: Google Suggest

Orrr, Funny Foto Saturday.  Crap.  (Busy, blah blah, work, blah blah, training, blah excuses, excuses)

On Friday, I ran a 10K time trial.  It replaced a tempo workout of approximately the same 6 mile distance.  So, instead of running 6 miles at 6:45 tempo pace, I was to run 6.2 miles at 6:20ish 10k pace.  How did I do?  I have NO FREAKING IDEA.  When I went to turn on my Garmin watch so it could establish communication with Garmonian, the Greek god of Lactic Acid, I was greeted with this:
Battery Low
Not my picture (runwifeyrun.com)
I only wear bracelets on the OTHER hand
So, I'm not sure how I did.  I have a feeling that I was off pace by a bit and probably ran somewhere around 6:30s for a 41:00 10K (or so).  I feel like I went out a bit too fast and faded during miles 4 and 5.  Annoying.  I have another one scheduled in two weeks where I am going to make sure EVERYTHING is charged up - including my man bits. . . . in case I have to nut-up and run balls out through the last mile.  (Do ladies ever run ovaries out? Hmm)

Finally, my funny foto Friday Saturday - Google Suggest. For those of you who have been living in Siberia and haven't been to the "World Wide Web" lately, when you search on Google, it will suggest popular searches real time.  The results while usually pretty spot on, often times lead to hilarity or downright confusion. I know that I've posted at least one funny foto friday in the past with these, but I ran across a few others that were too hard to pass up. Test them out on google.com.  They all work. Happy Friday Saturday!

Left with a banana? Why is that funny?  Wait, why did I put it first?

Ok, this one really is confusing.  How does one wrestle a bear?


 What do DNA and cross-dressing dads have in common? Only Google knows

Wait, your left nipple bigger than your other....TWO?
 Just another Saturday night at the 'Boring household.....
 For Paris Hilton's sake, I certainly hope so!






Thursday, September 22, 2011

Runnervals!


I was actually a bit surprised at the results of my “Would you rather” question about brushing your teeth/deodorant/perfume before runs.  It turns out that I’m a filthy dirt bag who has no friends, everyone else likes to practice normal personal hygiene, and I have 3% high school readership who wears Axe.  Don’t get confused though, in spite of everyone I’m still not brushing my teeth before I run. . . . but now I’m going to feel guilty about it.  I think I just invented a new emotion:  Runner Guilt.

The other day, a friend at work said “I’m not sure that I could ever be involved with a sport where there is the possibility of pooping your pants”.  Quite honestly, I was speechless.  It was one of those rare moments where I did not have a good, quick witted response, like: I don’t do any activity without the fear of shitting myself, that is why I eat Taco Bell at work all day long.  I have to wonder how many people would have started to take up the sport if they knew that was a possibility?  I still probably would have.  I like to live dangerously.

Speaking of poop, I’m on some sort of Cal Ripkin streak with feeling like I’m going to make a deposit in the bushes.  This week I’m 3 for 4!  My 14 miler Tuesday was broken up around mile 10 for a quick visit to one of the local park bathrooms and yesterday during my 10 miler I had to take a 30 second “walk it off” break.  I have three thoughts about this:
1. I need to get this shit figured out before race day (pun very intended).
2. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for park bathrooms with toilet paper.
3. Somewhere an angel cried because of the things I thought that I was going to have to do behind the swings.

I don’t often (or ever) talk about politics.  I figure that we ALL get 40 times too much of that everywhere else.  However, every so often running crosses over into normal every day life. (Like when the runner, who just happened to be naked, ran through a neighborhood and jumped into a community pool. . . .and just stood there until the cops came)  The editor in chief of Runners World recently speculated that he thinks that Sarah Palin is going to attempt a BQ Marathon in the fall (3:30 was his guess).  Whatever you think about her politics, that is FAST.  Although, since she isn’t Governor and she isn’t running for Prez, I guess she has a lot of free time on her hands to train?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bachelor Weekend Roundup


Whew, just realized that this post got WORDY.  I guess I had lots of time to kill all by myself.  Hunker down with your comfy pants on and dive in.

Like I mentioned in my Funny Foto Friday post, over the last few days, I’ve been a bachelor.  Regrettably, there were not 25 hard body, bikini clad women vying for my attention, love, or receiving a gas station rose.  Rather, my wife and son were out of town visiting relatives Wednesday through Sunday.  When I was traveling full time for work, this wouldn’t be an event for celebration – or even mention.  However, now that I am working in town in full on dad mode, I decided to take advantage of my 3 day bachelorhood.

I was originally in this picture wearing flip flops, shorts, and one of those big straw hats, 
but it seems that I was cropped out.   No worries, sausage party anyway.


Truth be told, I didn’t have any major plans for the time that they were away.  I still worked, and most importantly I still ran.  This was a peak week for me (70 miles!!  ZOMG!!!11!!1!!1!!1) and, even though I would have loved otherwise, nothing would get in the way of laying around in my underwear running.  That meant that I needed to make a GU run.  When you have to eat 2 or more GU 3 or 4 times a week, it starts to add up!

Thursday:
When I got to the running store to pick up my GU, I realized that there was a race that was happening RIGHT THEN!  Two thoughts immediately crossed my mind: 1. Would I get any blisters if I ran it in my work shoes?  2. Booty shorts!  Could I run it barefoot while wearing work clothes? Fortunately smarter heads prevailed, I got some GU, some Nuun, drooled on a few pairs of shoes, and left.  I was able to chat it up with a few other local blogger/runner friends while I was there, but I didn’t get any pictures of them :(

The little race expo – free beer with entry!


A few of the participants.  It looked like they were going to have a few hundred by the time they were done
Booty shorts completely coincidental


After the running store, the car magically drove its way to a local Micro Brewery 
and I bought two 6 packs.  Magic!


Since I knew that Friday was going to be my lightest day of running, I decided to man up and do what almost every married guy does when they are home alone:  I made bad food, drank FAR too much beer, tweeted more tweets per capita than Kim Kardashian, texted hilarious texts back and forth with runner buddies, and watched a manly movie.  Top Gun.


Bad food – burgers and tator tots.  Mmmm, tastes like yellow.


Far too much beer.  Because of the % alcohol, this felt like drinking (approximately) 28 Bud Lights.


Manly movies – back when Tom Cruise was normal and Meg Ryan was cute.  
**Insert your favorite Top Gun Quote here**  (Maverick, you can be my wingman anytime)


Friday:
Friday’s 5 mile recovery run was recovery on many aspects.  I’ve found that hung over runs either help a lot or compound the issue into some sort of head exploding complication. Fortunately, after 5 miles I felt right as rain.  Regrettably, because of my 22 mile run on Saturday, Friday night was lights out at 9pm with the only things being completed after I got to work was my wife’s “list” that I was left to be completed while she was gone.  Unfortunately, I could have not completed the items on the list in a beer fueled, bachelor pad induced rage.  But after being married 7 years, I know MUCH better than that.

Saturday:
My 22 mile run went GREAT!  I kept to my loserville 9pm bedtime, and restrained myself to 2 glasses of wine (I AM human afterall).  It started out a bit slow, but I was able to run negative splits and end up with a final pace around 7:55/mi.  Because Arizona was built on the surface of the sun, I had to circle back to my house and refill my waterbottles.  I find that, when I do this I drink too much to try to empty the load on full bottles (see also Thursday) and get sloshy.  Something to try to avoid in the future.


Once I was cleaned up I headed to do what every single guy does on Saturday: strip club! goto his buddy Iron Chad two year old’s birthday party.  It was actually really fun and I got to hold his brand new-ish little baby.  There was a bouncy house but it’s weight limit was 100 pounds.  Believe me, if he wasn’t borrowing it from a friend, there WOULD be picture of me inside of it.

Sunday:
FINALLY!  A rest day.  No running for today!!  Instead?  More chores.

Since my wife was scheduled to be home by 10:30am, I went around and picked up a bit to try to convince her that I didn’t live in total squalor.  Honestly though I found that she did a pretty damn good job of training me over the years. I'm like one of those little puppies on the animal planet channel that can pee in the toliet and open the fridge. The kitchen was clean:


The toilet seat was always down:


But, by god, the bed never got made a single time.  And you know what?  I still managed to sleep.just.fine.


Honestly though, at the end of the day, I really did miss them both.  Don’t get me wrong, watching what I wanted to on TV (football!!  Boobs!!  Explosions!!) and drinking to excess without fear of having to drive to the ER with an infant was fun.  But, the empty house seemed cold, no one was there to laugh at my jokes, and it just seemed strange for me to yell “That’s what she said!!!” at the TV.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Funny Foto Friday: "Slip and Fall"

A quick update today because I'm a bachelor!  My wife has been out of town for the last two days and will be out of town (with my son) until Sunday.  That means that I will:

  • Not be wearing pants
  • Will be bathing as little as possible
  • Be consuming copious amounts of pay per view movies blog reading
  • Drinking whatever, whenever I want (Does Gin go well with Whiskey? Time will tell!)
  • Annnnnnnd, going to bed at 9pm on a Friday night because I have 22 miles to run on Saturday and I am a huge running tool.  I'll bet I'll have to put on pants for that too!  What a rip off.  They WILL be my shorty shorts that my wife doesn't like me to wear.  Take THAT!

I'm not sure why, but this made me laugh HARD.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Would You Rather: Perfume: Yes/No?


…..a semi-regular post series where I ask everyone what does this rash mean? what they are thinking about a particular running topic….

First, a bit of a follow up post about my “Blahs” and about my week of running.  Like I whined about during my last post, I am finally at the pinnacle of my training cycle.  This week I have 70 miles on the schedule, and I think that I might accidentally run 71 miles because I can’t read my own plan correctly and did one extra.  What that means is that: when I am not running, I’m eating like that little orphan boy Timmy at a Golden Coral buffet. “Why yes sir, I would like some more sliced roast beef”  (Didn’t he also play a cricket in the movie Pinocchio?)

What last weekend and the beginning of this week had in suckiness, my run this morning made up for in pure kick-ass’d-ness.  (I think I just invented a word!) I had 12 miles on the schedule with 7 at tempo pace of 6:45.  I was very nervous beforehand and actually tweeted (at 4:30am):


But, as you can see by my next tweet, I KILLED the run – exactly what I needed.  While I still am feeling a bit “blah”, a solid performance was all it took to brighten that light at the end of the tunnel.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

During my tempo run this morning, I passed by a number of girls and even a few dudes either out peeping in the neighbor’s at 4am running or walking the dog.  As you might imagine, I’m totally “that guy” that waves a full hand wave and with my very last breath says a raspy “hi!!”.  Most would waive “hi” back in a casual “Ok, you’re not a rapist, I’ll acknowledge you” kind of way.



While I was running, I couldn’t help but notice something rather strange about 90% of the people in full workout gear at 4am: they had put on perfume or cologne.

Now, I’m certainly not part K9 nor am I pregnant, but I KNOW that is what I smelled.  That got me thinking  - am I totally stinking up the joint?  Before I run (in the morning), I don’t put on deodorant, I don’t brush my teeth, and I certainly don’t put on cologne.  I remember that when I belonged to a gym, there were all sorts of hard bodies who would almost have pigpen style smell marks radiating from their bodies because of all of the body spray they were putting on.  But, I guess I incorrectly assumed that people who were going to be outside (again, in workout clothes) wouldn’t bother!

So, am I totally the smelly kid in class?  Should I start to froo-froo up with Axe body spray like the high school kids at the bus stop?  Could I pull off smelling like “Dragon’s Blood” or “Ripping Skater Blaster” (or whatever the flavors are)?


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Yep, I'm all about the Axe Body Spray
  • I'll put on some Teen Spirit deodorant, nothing more
  • I love the taste of toothpaste and GU
  • I'm like you - Au natural. No smelly business here

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mid Cycle Blues


I'm no doctor, but I think that is
supposed to be on the outside

This isn’t a post about “becoming a woman”. . . . promise

I’m sure that most everyone has heard the ubiquitous Yogi Berra quote: “Baseball is 90% physical - the other half is mental”.  The mind is capable of very powerful things. (Side note, I think my mind must be busted.  I’ve been trying to move stuff with it all afternoon and all I have now is a headache.  Although, I can still picture people naked! So, it must not be 100% broken.) Particularly in baseball, but also in most other sports if the mind feels like it is going through a slump, the body will follow.  Ask Tiger Woods, he’ll tell you that I’m right.  He’s been ‘slumping ever since he bumped uglies with that Denny’s hostess.

Of course, not only is the noggin used for baseball, the same goes for running.  Most of us are guilty of mind-F’ing ourselves out of a good run.  We say things like “wow, that Coach Boring is a real handsome, witty, modest bastard, there is NO WAY that I can run that fast!” and then going out, sputtering a bit at the beginning, and then self doubt talking your way into giving up, slowing down, and feeling bad about it all day. Fortunately, it goes the other direction with happy thoughts too!  Think you can and your mind will block out the throbbing, tingling, and burning in your privates lungs.

I’m certainly guilty of letting my head get in the way.  Right now, I’m 2/3 of the way through my marathon training cycle and feeling rather BLAH.  I’m far enough in that I’m putting up massive mileage numbers, but not close enough to the end that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Right now, I’m putting in tons of work without line of sight to the reward.  A few weeks is fine, but after a while it gets to be draining.

To be sure, I’ve probably posted about this phenomenon approximately 13 times – one time for EVERY SINGLE marathon training cycle I’ve done.  Like Taco Bell from mouth to toilet, it is predictable in when it arrives as much as it is predictable with when it disappears. It isn’t burn out per say, it is more falling victim to the monotony of the toughest marathon weeks.

For me, the solutions are to make the light at the end of the tunnel as bright as possible:  Remind myself of my goal race, review the course, read some race reports from the previous year – essentially do ANYTHING that tells my head “Hey dummy, you’re working so hard for a reason (look good naked), keep plugging away!”  Fortunately for me, it usually works.  After a few days I’m back on the straight and narrow, running fast and hard and making inappropriate comments the entire time.

How do you snap yourself out of a training cycle rut?