Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Running while being sick SUCKS

I’m sure the title of this post is one of those “duh” type moments, right.  It is sort of like complaining about how you burnt your hand on a hot stove. “I touched a pan that came out of a 450 degree oven and it got burnt! Owwwwww”.  Yeah, tell me something I didn’t expect, dummy.  What’s the next revelation?  I looked into the sun for 30 min and now I’m blind?

On Friday, I went on my first post-sickness run. (Yes, I do realize that I make it sound like I had the plague or that sickness where your arms fall off.  Zombie-itis? Leprosy?)  Let me tell you – these were the hardest 5 miles that I’ve ran in a very long time. My legs were tired, my belly was full, and I could NOT catch my breath. Of course, I didn’t exactly set the run up for success like I should have.  Since my lingering cough is the worst in the morning, I decided to wait until mid-morning to go for a quick run.  Of course, I didn’t plan on eating a hungry-man egg and biscuit breakfast 30 minutes before and certainly shouldn’t have had 3 cups of coffee.  Between super tired legs, a belly of sloshing eggs and coffee, and a head full of snot I was a HURTING unit.  But, 5 miles done and done.  Painful.

Since then, the runs have been better – but certainly not well.  I did 7 miles on Monday and 7 miles this morning.  I had hoped to get a double digit run this morning, but I was up with a dry, hacking cough (the fact that I had taken Day-Quill instead of Ny-Quill before bed probably didn’t help?) tossing and turning until 12:45am and didn’t think that running 15 miles on 3 hours of sleep was a good idea.  But, what do I know. . . .

I’ve found that running with a cold is a lot like drinking and the resulting hangover.  There are many pre, during and post phases:

I love that there is a dude w/ dreads and
a dude in a suit in this picture
Pre-Run: (FINE, I’ll stop watching Law and Order reruns and go out) Getting the motivation to go out running while sick is always hard.  I don’t feel all that well, my nose is plugged, and my lungs feel cruddy.  However, in the back of my head I WANT to go.  I know that it’ll be fun while I’m doing it.

Mid-Run: (Shots? Hell yes I want to do shots!) Actually running while sick is great!  My head clears and usually by the time I run my lungs are clear (or, the running knocks everything loose and I hack it up).  The fresh air and sunlight feels good against my skin and my body temp raises in a controlled manner to help fight the nasties. Usually by the end of a run I'm thinking to myself "I'm cured!!"

Post-Run: (Oh My God. I’m never drinking again) Ah yes, but once I stop running everything comes crashing down.  This cold I get a dry raspy cough, my nose almost immediately stuffs back up, and my arm might actually fall off on account of the zombie-itis or whatever that I am certain I have.  It is rough.

However, just like drinking, I’m certainly not going to stop running while I’m sick.  At least, once a few days of being sick have passed and I have a chance to complain about how sick I am and certainly no one in the history of the world has been as sick as I have been.  That is what guys are supposed to do, right?

What are everyone’s rules on running while sick?  Do you use the above/below the neck rule?  If you can walk you can run?  Never do it?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Funny Foto Friday: Thanksgiving - Kid vs Adult

Uggh.  Forgive me runners for I have sinned.  I've been sicker than a dog (are dogs that sick?) and haven't ran in going on 3 days.    While some people enjoy the time off while sick, I get anxious about training days lost.  (For the record, my next "goal" marathon is in 7 weeks - not that I am counting)  My 800s and 9 miles of running on Tuesday were the last thing that I've been able to do.  Since then, it has been a whole lot of this and not a lot of running:

Who wants a big bowl of Adam this morning!?
Everyone? That is what I thought.

Wednesday I was down for the count with a 102 fever which lingered through Thanksgiving.  That meant no Turkey Trotting for me.  Instead I've been coughing like a smoker and blowing my nose like a coke head.  It is particularly frustrating because I was really looking forward to the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.  I was going to meet up with some coaching buddies, some blogger buddies, and hopefully chat with an elite runner whose last name is Limoncello.  But, even though I said that I wasn't going to make any excuses, that didn't mean that I was going to be stupid.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring some miles.......

But, what I missed in Turkey Trotting and playing football, my brother in law and his/my friend Ned made up for it with hilarity.  Each year everyone gets all turkey'd up, liquored up, and plays a game of "heavy petting" football.   Heavy petting meaning that it isn't quite touch football and usually there are a LOT of people rolling around on the ground in pain.

This year, my brother in law forgot shoes so he went in his boots with his self made "Dr Smooth" T-Shirt.  If years past are any indication, those beers didn't leave their hands the entire game.

Heisman stance? Check.  Tim Tebow prayer? Check. Bud light?  Check. 
Cigarette in one hand? Check.

Here is the picture from last year.  It is like I am at the Olympic trials.....of awesome.

Finally, the artists over at The Oatmeal always have a way of putting to picture the experiences that I have every day of my life.  For Thanksgiving, they didn't disappoint.  The best part though?  Because I helped feed my 1 year old at Thanksgiving I DID get to sit at the kids table.  No fancy silver for me! The best I could come up with was mixing Day-Quil and wine.  It was a liver scarring, hallucinogenic good time! Happy Friday!

Monday, November 21, 2011

No More Excuses - Right after this one...

Today I had a post all written out in my head about how I was no longer going to let myself use excuses for crappy runs.  It was witty and eloquent, it really was.  But Monday I had a crappy run, and now today I think I'm getting a cold.  Check out what I posted on twitter:

For the record, I pushed it.** I wanted to run 6x800 in 5:55 but had to cut it short after 4x800 (in a time that was actually faster than plan at 5:51/mile - but I was DYING)  So, the fact that my run was crap was because I have an excuse. Right? Ugh.  I seriously feel like Lindsay Lohan every time she is in front of a judge.  "Oh no your honor, I won't drink EVER again, I promise."  Sure you won't Lindsay, sure you won't...... we all know how this story ends:

On the bright side, she is at least getting cuter as she gets further down the meth/coke/booze tunnel.
Who would have thought that!? Lolo, you're all grow'ed up!

On Monday, it was because I had ran long the day before, it was humid, and I had to run the last 1.5 miles trying not to 'paint the town brown***. Today it is because I am getting a cold.  What is it going to be tomorrow?  Nuclear meltdown?  Probably.

So, what about tomorrow's run?  The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn't run if you have a chest cold but if you have a head cold you can run.  The division you can see pictorially in a picture of RunningLaur and myself at IronMan AZ this weekend (update on that tomorrow!).  My issue is mostly burning when I pee in my throat / neck / center of my chest****.  So, while I'm not hacking, I don't have a headcold and I've lost my voice.  Honestly?  I'll probably run.  Do as coach Adam says, not as coach Adam does!

The fact is, I told myself yesterday that I would no longer let my marathon in Savannah be an excuse to not push myself to the limit.  I found myself cutting 7 and 8 milers to 5 and telling myself that "It's okay, I'm in recovery".  The race was over 16 days ago - more than enough time to jump back into training full force. And that is what I plan on doing - as long as this bubonic plague (I assume that is what it is) doesn't interfere too much.

What do you use as an excuse to not get outside/to the gym?

**Pushed it, pushed it real good
***I'd see THAT musical on broadway.  It'd be 40 runners on stage doing the "I gotta poop, duckwalk"
****That's what she said


Two things to pimp like I'm holding a glass of 'crunk'
First, go sign up for my Sweat Your Thorns Off Virtual 5K!  There.will.be.PRIZES!!!!! (Said in Oprah voice)

Second, enter my 1,000th post Brooks Shoe giveaway!

1000th post: A look back and a giveaway!

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. - Walter Elliott

Alternate post title: “A Narcissistic Celebration of Me!”

As I press “publish”, this will be my 1000th post on this little blog that I started in October of 2007.  (Well, sort of. It is actually 1,004 but I don’t think that those 4 “tabs” should count)  When I started, I didn’t set out to create a website that has certainly become a part of me.  I like to think of my blog like a tapeworm.  Every so often I have to feed it or else I shrivel up and die.  But, in spite of my intentions - much like the Walter Elliott quote above, I didn’t write 1000 posts at a time.  I wrote each and every innuendo laden, toilet humor, irreverent post one at a time.  And here is a look back.

My blog started out as a collection of random thoughts that I had during my travels as a out of town management consultant.  The blog honestly didn’t have a focus, nor an audience for the first 2.5 years.  In fact, the tagline of the blog was “I am Boring: But if you are reading this, so are you!”.  The old URL (still active) was http://adamrisu.blogspot.com/  It represented my first name: Adam, my last initial: R, and my alma mater: Iowa State University.  I’d post about things I saw in the airport, or things that were going on in my life, and (even back then in those formative years) I’d blog about my running.  For example, here is a post within the first few months of my blog that talks about my training for my second marathon in Olathe, KS:

…..I am in week two of the training. So far it has been going pretty well. The interesting thing is that I am trying to pick up my speed. I ran the previous race with a pace of 9:07 min miles. I would LIKE to pick that up to around 8:00 min miles. We'll see how that goes - I have been able to do it for 6 miles so far, but I was pretty gassed at the end. Ironically, the issue isn't that I don't think that I can't do it, it is just that I am having a hard time getting my internal speedometer set to 8:00. I may just have to get a good treadmill after all.

As my life evolved, so did my blog.  It went from nearly all personal posts to posts that were 50% personal, 50% running.  I’d post HORRIBLY boring posts about each and every run that I did.  Not surprisingly, no one read them. June 17, 2008 a post titled 6/17 Run.  Snooooooze.

Switching to morning runs. They are much cooler while being much more humid (due to the cool moist air). Overall I had an OK run - 8:17 min pace, which is actually a bit faster than I wanted to go. I would have liked to stay a bit slower than that to give myself time to rest up. I'm going to try extra hard to take it easy on the Thursday run - which is another 3 miles. Gosh, I never thought that I would have to keep myself from running TOO fast......still very early I suppose.

Those horribly dry posts morphed into what my blog has now become:

The extra 7% is due to the fact that “candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker”
Bonus points if you know what movie that is from

So, what horribly dry running posts couldn't capture, butterscotch ripple does.  Now I post about whatever is on top of my mind.  Sometimes that is running, other times it is about annoying things that I see around me, and more recently it is about family and how it is forever changing my life.  In short, my blog has morphed into what my life has become. An internal struggle to wear pants as little as possible. That is, it only has a few very selected filters and is a reflection of what I am doing - or rather what I am doing that I want to remember.

With that, I thought that I'd pull out a few favorite posts, Oprah style, answer some of the top questions I get asked, and give away some of my favorite shoes.   They're not even used!  My readers are soooo lucky....

Top 5 favorite posts: (Actually, 6) 
I’m a dad!    The first post after my son was born.  Why didn’t everyone tell me that having a son would change every aspect of my life?  Oh right, they did……. And I didn’t believe them.  Dang.  Next some moron will tell me that the edge of the world isn't on the horizon.  Idiots.

ABC easy as MEME  Most fit-fluential award, mommy top blogger, sugar on top award. . . . There is seriously not an internet meme that I have seen that I haven’t liked.  If you’re looking for someone to tag (and link back) tag me and email me!!

Mcmillian Race Calculator: Boston Marathon edition:  Just when I thought that a 3:10 marathon was within my reach, Boston changes it to 3:05.  Bastards.  Whatever, their race, their rules, my obsession.

Operation GYAMA:  During the Rock and Roll New Orleans marathon, I strained a ligament in my foot which put me out of action for 6 weeks.  This post was ALL about not using my foot as an excuse and getting in whatever workout I could.  Get Your Ass Moving Anyway.  GYAMA.

Bikram Yoga:  Hot, sweaty, sultry, bendy, yoga.  I literally sweat’d enough to wring out my towel – and I have the pictures to prove it.

Fitness Magazine:  If there is one post that I go back to and laugh at, it is this one.  I actually still get Fitness Magazine.

Top 5 questions I’m asked about my blog:
Where do you get the ideas for posts?
Most people THINK that it is on my runs. It isn't though - anything that I think about while running I always forget.  So, I normally try to think about as little as possible while I run.  Most of my really good blog posts come while in the shower.

How long does a post take to write?
Ugh, I swear to god THIS post has taken hours....  Normally a post takes around an hour by the time I steal find all of the random pictures online, etc.  The one thing that most people get wrong is that they think I go back and add all of the strike throughs and "that's what she saids" after the fact. I usually just sit down and start typing and they flow out of my brain like everything else.

Who takes all of those pictures of you on your blog? (and then after finding out it is my wife) HOW do you actually convince her to take them?!
My wife takes 75% of the pictures that are posted of me on my blog.  Just like in our marriage, I've used repetition and bribery to get her to take the pictures that I couldn't figure out how to take with the self timer. "Come on, just take my picture and we can go to your crappy girl movie tonight"

I have a blog/tumbler/twitter/facebook fan page, how do I get more readers?
You want the truth?  The REAL truth!? There are two options here (as I see it).
Option #1: Dive in heads first.  Be that guy/girl that posts 3x a day, updates twitter every 10 minutes, and most importantly comment on other people's blog's / twitter.  How are people going to find you if they don't know who you are?  Honestly, I've seen VERY popular blogs that are VERY uninspiring/boring with huge followings.  The above is the only think that I can think that got them there.  Oh, giveaways don't hurt either (see below!)
Option #2: This may sound horribly simplistic, but write/tweet/post what interests you.  There are at least 12 (maybe 13) people who are on the internet.  Odds are if you are interested in something then someone else is interested in it as well.  Don't try to be all things to all people, focus on a niche and milk it for all it is worth.  (This is the option that I'd like to think that I used. I used the irreverent blogger, but VERY serious runner route.  Yeah, I like to have fun and mock things on my blog, but I also run my tempo runs balls out, ran 70 miles per week twice during my last training cycle, and have ran 14 marathons.  So, there is that.)

Why is it called The Boring Runner?
Simple.  Because running is horribly HORRIBLY boring.  Seriously, think about it from a non-runner's perspective.  It is honestly just falling forwards very quickly  Left, right, left, right... over and over.  Basically, this blog is my attempt at proving (to no one in particular) that you can indeed talk about something that is simple and make it interesting.

A few Injuries:
I was recently chatting with a friend who was amazed at finding out that I was previously a very VERY injury prone runner.  I ran my slow runs too fast and ran through wayy too much pain.  I did a 10 min search on my blog and was able to find just a few examples of the issues I've had.  Honestly, I just didn't want to read through any more of those dull daily run reports - there are LOTS more out there!

As promised, as a thank you for getting this far, I'm going to give away (completely self funded, non-swag, I have no ties to Brooks what so ever) not one but TWO pairs of my favorite brand of shoe ever.  BROOKS!

There are a few running brands that I am loyal to, and Brooks shoes is one of them.  Here is an example of what I mean to the right.  I took this picture of my closet 10 minutes ago.  Right now, I have no fewer than 8 boxes of Brooks shoes.

I know what you're thinking...  "Blah blah blah, how do I win??"  Well, HERE is how!  Multiple ways to win, just post a comment for each way you enter. (What would a giveaway be without some WORK)

  • Follow my blog +1
  • Follow me on twitter +1
  • Post about my 1000th post on your blog, twitter, facebook, etc +however many you want.  If you post it on twitter - make sure to tag me @TheBoringRunner
  • Let me know what your favorite part of ANY running blog. Mine, someone else's, whatever! +1
I'll pick a winner from all entries collected through Sunday Nov 27th.

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race -Calvin Coolidge.  

With that, I’m not sure what my blog has solved, but I’m willing to take the next 1,000 posts to trying to solve something.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Funny Foto Friday: Facebook Funnies

For every day that I think facebook is killing me slowly with updates about buying goats for virtual farms, there is a day that it NEVER gets old.  I'll take the good facebook with the bad.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

VitaBand, Smoke in my mouth, and Ryan Hall

I think that this is the most bullets that I’ve put in a bullet post…..

Vita band review
Recently, I was sent a VitaBand to review.  VITA meaning Vitals, band meaning band.  The concept is very similar to some of the other online-ID bands that have hit the market recently.  You upload your information with as little or as much detail as you need to an online database.  That way, when you get hit by a car the paramedics know to use lambskin instead of latex. The difference with this ID Band?  It was made to have a pre-paid Visa Speed-pass credit card in it!  Get the munchies while on the run? You can swing by 7-11 and get some Cheetos and some RC Cola.  Crap your pants and need new pants?  Swing by Target and pay with your speed-pass.

I’ve taken the VitaBand out on a number of runs over the past few weeks and I really like it.  It is made out of the same material that Livestrong bands are made out of which made it super light and comfortable.  The only downside that I could find was that it wasn’t super adjustable so I had a really hard time putting it on my ankle (and it pulled on my leg hairs when I tried to get it off).   I’ll admit that I didn’t end up getting the Visa pre-paid card to put in it – but it is a nice feature (especially for cyclists) for people who regularly stop at convenience stores to refuel.  Each band is $20 and a year subscription to the online medical records piece is $20.

Back to running
This week has seen me log 6,8,6,11 miles M-Th so I feel like I’m finally back into my groove.  Since I’m still only 11 days post marathon I’m still not running any speedwork, but I’m laying down some pretty decent times.  Nothing feels sore or broken, so next week I’m going to layer on the speed like a thin warm coat of pumpkin pie.  Cozy.

This morning, during my 11 miler, I saw two things that I should NOT have seen.  First of all, I saw smoke coming out of my mouth.  Now, I don’t smoke, so it was rather strange.  It didn’t happen when I breathed in, but when I would exhale, smoke would come out.  Does anyone know what could have been wrong as I went for a brisk morning run in Phoenix?  Were my lungs on fire or something?  Here is what I looked like:

The other thing that I saw that freaked me out were Christmas Decorations!! I know what you are thinking “Jeeze Scrooge McAdam, lighten up!”  I understand if you need to get them up a bit early because you’re going to be out of town, or have such a Clark Griswold inspired display that it takes days to assemble, but there is NO need to have them lit at 5am on a Thursday morning.  If I didn’t have to pee like a college frat boy at a kegger I would have tried to set something up like this:

9 weeks to Rock and Roll Arizona
Actually, closer to 8.  But, fortunately I’m finally getting back into my running groove – therefore not peeing my pants at the thought freaking out too much.  The plan is to have 2 weeks of build, 4 weeks of HARD speedwork, including an increased amount of pace work, followed by a quick 2 week taper.  I’ve already decided that if I run my A goal, I’m going to follow suggestions of Jill and have a “recovery” beer in the shower and drink a VERY nice beer that Jamoosh gave me.  If I crash and burn?  Same plan – but with tears.

That’s some big stepping, Tex
Finally, Ryan Hall.  For those of you who are not familiar with him, Ryan Hall is currently the fastest marathoner in the United States (Meb K has won more races, but Ryan is faster).  Anywhoo, as part of the NYC marathon, Asics built a video screen projecting his actual 4:40/MILE running pace and challenged people to race against him.  Other than the ball-busting speed, the most crazy thing is that his gait (or step size) is 6 feet 10”.  That’s longer than….my whole body!  Enjoy! (no sound needed)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Babies are like inmates

Since I'm still getting back up to speed with my running, I thought I'd venture into "dad life" a bit....

In the States, there is a show on the normally financial geared cable network MSNBC called “Lockup”.  During the show they send (what I imagine is a group of film school interns) a film crew to a prison and capture what it is like to be an inmate.  I’m not sure what prison has to do with the stock market, but I don’t ask questions.  **cough** Ponzi Scheme **cough**  As sure as I am addicted to putting energy gel on pancakes, I am addicted to this show. They tell stories of gangs, toilet brewed wine, and shanks.  Lots and lots of shanks.

You see, inmates have 23 hours a day to think of essentially 3 things:

  • If I was to have sex with the dude who wants everyone to call him Jamie instead of James, would my wife find out?
  • I swear to god, when I get out of here, I’m going to kill the guy that ratted me out.
  • How do I convert this toothbrush/mattress/toilet paper tube into a shank and stab “Jamie” for giving me the herps.

As I was watching my son crawl, walk, and stumble his way to chew on my laptop’s power cord (stopped him before he got it. . . . over and over and over again), I thought to myself: Being a baby must be a LOT like being an inmate.  Every single second is spent towards one purpose: trying to devise a way to stick something in your mouth.

When you think about it, babies DO spend essentially every waking moment either eating, pooping, or devising ways to stick stuff into their mouth.  When he’s not being tossed into the air by me, my son is sucking on whatever is close by.  I’ve been told that “babies explore with their mouths” so this is a totally normal thing to have happening.  All that I know is that if my son tries to put the remote control in his mouth one more time while I’m trying to change the channel away from Judge Judy, all hell is going to break loose.

For that matter, the longer I am a father, the more I’m finding that my responsiblities essentiallly fall into four categories: Roof over head, food in belly, try to teach him something, and make sure he doesn’t kill himself.  It is almost like I am a prison warden.  The little guy screams, I tell him to shush.  My wife and I schedule his meals and get frustrated when he doesn’t eat.  We even have a “lights out” time.  I think that I’m going to have to grow a pot belly and have everyone start calling me “Boss Hog”.

But, at the end of the day I love my son and I wouldn’t trade being his “warden” for anything.  That is until he starts brewing wine in the toliet.  Then all deals are off.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Funny Foto Friday: Toilet Brush & Sex Slave

A few quick updates before the funny….

I about got hit by a car this morning while on my 11 km run for 11.11.11.  I was crossing in a crosswalk while a car was turning right, they were looking left to not get hit by oncoming traffic.  Right when I was crossing in front of the car, they started to go.  I then beat on the hood of their car to get their attention.  I stepped aside and they sped off.  Sooooo, I slammed by hand all the way down the side of their car.  Bastards. I rarely say “real” swear words, but trust me that there were some that were said.  (Don’t worry, I’m fine.)

"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die." -G.K. Chesterton.  In the United States, today is veterans day.  I am often confused for being a veteran (I think it is the cropped haircut and the fit-body type) and that makes me very proud.  But, I am not – and I always correct whomever asks.  Being a veteran is something you EARN.  Something to be celebrated.  Don't just celebrate today, celebrate year 'round.

Finally, funny foto Friday.  I’ve got a few random ones that I couldn’t put much story around.  But, at the end of the day, it is Friday. . . . . and that is all that matters.  Happy Friday!

Maury Povich is getting VERY specific with his new show requests

This hurts just thinking about it. Hilarious!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Post Marathon Runs & Upcoming Race Plans

Now that I’m 5 days post marathon, I’m finally starting to feel human.  Whenever I go balls out during a marathon  I get pretty beat up.  I basically walk like a zombie for the next few days.  I do all of the things you’re supposed to do (Drink 3000 calorie recovery shakes, drink beer, do light active stretching, go on a naked ‘recovery run’ in the finisher zone) but for some reason my legs feel like they’re on fire for days afterwards. I’ve come to accept it as part of the punishment for setting PRs.

Since I’m feeling human, I went for a quick shake-out run this morning.  Regrettably, the only thing that was “shook out” was my colon.  So, 2.5 mile run, 0.5 mile duck walk.  Whatever, I’ll take it.

Sign Up Now, I'll wait
I’ve got a few ideas for races during 2012 but I don’t have many finalized as of yet.  (Of course, other than the best virtual race involving sweating cacti on the PLANET!)  I’m going to do Rock and Roll Arizona, but other than that I’m wide open.  The Rock and Roll group is doing $20 off any race in celebration of 11.11.11, I just might have to get down on one of those.

I've been sent a VITABand to review that will be coming up shortly.  It is a bracelet that is a combination of a medical ID and a speed-pass credit card.  Which, successfully combines my two favorite things: Not dying and not wasting time by being forced to sign or punch in numbers.  Look for the review VERY shortly.

Training Back-up Plan
Finally, I've had more than one question asking how I liked my high mileage marathon training plan.  In short: If anything, I liked that it gave me the mental confidence to continue to push further, faster.  Running a mid week 15 miler really goes to show you that running 26 miles isn't ALL that much further.  So, I'll likely do something very similar for my next "key" race in January.  I'm going to try to get at least one 75 mile week in but am going to do a bit more marathon-pace work.  I didn't like that I only had a few sessions with that in there.  With 9 weeks before the race it'll be a stretch, but I'm willing to do it.  But, if I run my legs clean off, I"m going to try strapping a rocket engine to my ass and seeing if it will propel me to a sub 3:05.  Any word if rocket-ass engines are USATF legal?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

2nd Annual Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K! (Virtual Race)

Many people have asked about it, saying things like: what the hell is a virtual race?? "We're having the FYTO5K race again this year, right?!?!"  Well, who am I to forgo one of my most favorite parts of my blog?

So, it is without further todo or fanfare that I hereby bestow January 28, 2012 as the 2nd annual FREEZE YOUR THORNS OFF 5K VIRTUAL RACE!!!!!!!!!!!  (Works better if you say it in an Oprah voice)

In my head, you're all doing this:
Ok, maybe this is Oprah's fav things.... this is ALMOST that good

It started in the summer of 2010, with the Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K.  The race season had died down, I was tired of paying money to "the wo/man" to race, I wanted an excuse to see fit people in spandex, and I just wanted to get together with some of my running buddies.  The result has morphed into a race that a group of Phoenix runners not only ran in person, but also ran virtually in their own cities.

For those of you who have not raced in a virtual race before, here are some tips/tricks :
  • I pick the day, you pick the time, distance, location, and basically everything else.  Just like in the bedroom always I don't do much of the work
  • If you want to treat it like it's own stand alone 5K - great!  If you want to do it as part of a different race or run - awesome!  If you want to do it naked in the shower by jogging in place for 25 minutes - take pictures!
  • Posting pictures of yourself with frozen snot will get you an automatic shout-out in my results post
  • All that is "required" is that you come back to my blog on January 28th and tell me you ran!  If you have a blog, post a report on there about the race, if you don't just leave a comment.  That's it!

Who: You and 10s of your closest Boring Runner readers (along with Phoenix area runners on a measured 5K course)
What: 3.1 miles
When: Saturday January 28th, 2012 (loads of time for you to prepare and me to figure out prizes)
Where: Wherever the crap you want! Outside, treadmill, in front of the WII, nude in the shower, wherever!
Why: Because basically everyone is doing it

Just like last year, there will be prizes for all that enter an participate.  I still haven't figured out what I'm going to give away, but it'll be GOOD.  One thing that I'm going to do this year that I haven't done in the past is give a few training tips to run your fastest 5K ever.  There are 11 weeks until the race.   PLENTY of time to completely train for a 5K - even if you're not running a step right now.  It can be done!!!

How to Enter:
Just leave a comment on this post saying that you are in!  As long as you are a follower of my blog you're entered for the prizes as well (best to tell me that you follow in the comment).  Easy peasy.  Then, once the 28th rolls around, hop, skip, and naked shower dance your way cross the 5K finish line, write up a quick report, and email me the link - theboringrunner (at) gmail.com.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rock and Roll Savannah Marathon Race Report!

It is a bad plan that admits of no modification. -Publilius Syrus (Maximus)

Time: 3:19:40 (New PR by 4:13!!)
Pace: 7:37/mile
Place: 179/4722 (top 4%!) overall, 35/349 division

With "sort of" getting a new job on Monday and the HELLISH fear that I about missed the entire race, I was so busy that I completely forgot about pooping all week long wasn't able to post my pre-race goals.  Since the race is already ran, I considered sandbagging and saying something like "My one and only goal is to PR and run under 13 hours".  I'd be lying to myself, would get called out in the comments by people I told, and this blog wouldn't be an accurate history of my running.  So, if I were to post the REAL goals, they would have been this:

A Goal: 3:10. (Unicorns/rainbows) Start out slow & be on 3:10 pace by mile 9.
B Goal: 3:15.
C Goal: Sub 3:20

For those new to the blogger-roo, Here are my definitions of A, B, and C goals.  As you might expect, I'm really glad I eeked out those last 20 seconds and got the sub 3:20!

My A goal is if everything works right, unicorns and rainbows collide into an orgasm inducing run. Something like this:

My C goal is the time that, if I don’t beat, I’ll be very disappointed in myself.  Something like this lady:

My B goal is a goal that is somewhere between rainbow orgasms and total failure. Something like this:

Because of the date mixup, my flight wasn't scheduled to get in until 5:30pm the day before the race.  Since I'm normally a planner and the expo closed at 7pm, this cut timelines VERY short. Like, Britney Spears mental breakdown haircut short. That made my stress meter go WAY up.  Add that to a mechanical issue on one of my connections (read: rats chewing on wires, I assume) and I didn't get into town until 6:30.  But, even though we were cutting it close, I pushed the fam to try to get there anyway - until we ran into THIS:

Traffic, loads and loads of traffic.  The expo was on an island in Savannah which meant one road in and one road out.  We waited on the bridge (which freaked out my wife - aided by me saying things like "did you feel that? I wonder if the bridge can hold all of these cars?") for 20 min or so and we were only 1/3 of the way there.  Soooooo, since it was already 7:10pm, I had not ate dinner yet, and I had made arrangements to get my bib on race day I turned around and headed back to the hotel.  This left me with NO expo loot.  Hardly seems worth running.

We got to the hotel, I picked up some Subway (carb load?) and my son proceeded to get freaked out by his "baby cage" (pack and play / portable crib) and scream until 11pm.  Uggggggggg.

On race morning, the alarm came early at 4:00am, but I got to the shuttle, got to the start and got my bib without too much incident. While I know that some people had issues with the shuttles, getting there early and being flexible allowed me little to no additional stress!

Miles 1-6.5: Yayyyyyyy, I'm racing!!! (7:25 pace overall)
Once I got my bib, went to the bathroom, and got settled into the coral everything sort of closed in on me.  I get pretty tunnel visioned during races and this one was no exception.  Because I was putting so much effort into this race, I hadn't raced a ton over the summer - not something that I think I'll do again.  Racing is FUN! As I stood at the start and ran the first few miles with thousands of other people, I was reminded of this over and over again.

If you squint, you can see booty shorts

I stayed nearly on plan throughout these miles.  The only exception being that I was having a hard time getting up to speed around mile 4 and 5.  Running 7:20ish felt good, but running 7:10-7:15 felt HARD.  Lesson #1 when marathon running - if it feels hard during the first half, you're running too fast!  It was at the 6.5 mile mark that I decided that I would be racing for a sub 3:15.  Honestly? I was OK with that.

Miles 6.5-13.1: Did I just barf? Maybe. Should I slow down? Nope. (7:23 pace overall)
The next few miles put us through some of the beautiful neighborhoods of Savannah.  Forever when I think of this race, I will think of mossy trees and old houses that look like something barbie should live in:

The pink Corvette is parked around back

Also, I will think of barfing in my mouth.  Around mile 7 or so, I had one of those burps that fills your mouth 1/3 full of whatever is sloshing around in your stomach.  Just a gentile reminder from my body: "Hey asshole, you might think you're in charge of what we're doing, but just remember, I have the power to make this go very horrible very very fast".  I decided that there wasn't a whole lot I could do, so I just put up with the barf-burps for the next few miles.  No harm, but it was really screwing up my freshly brushed teeth. I tried not to talk to anyone for fear of chunks flying at them.

Miles 13.1-19: Left, right, left, right......... (7:24 pace overall)
After the split, I was 100% on auto-pilot.  The balls of my feet (makes me giggle every time I think of it) were starting to get sore, but other than that it was all systems go!  I saw my wife/son around mile 14 where they took this picture:

I had completely forgotten, but I had put on a custom bib on my back that a friend within the rock and roll org had made me:

Follow me! @TheBoringRunner

I received a few comments on it, and each time I was surprised.  "OH!  Right! Yeah! I forgot I put that on there.

Miles 20-Finish: OMG, this wind SUCKS (7:37 pace overall (8:20 pace for last 10k))
Boooooo Truman Parkway!
It is often said that the marathon is a 20 mile run followed by a 10k race.  On Saturday, my 10K race was WINDY!  Probably my only beef on the day was that a lot of the 2nd half of the marathon was on a 4 lane divided hyway.  I didn't mind the lack of scenery (because everything was starting to look fuzzy), but because of the terrain, it turned it into a wind tunnel!  Winds were easily 20 mph right into my face during the hardest stretch of the race.  So, while I realize that some of this was "bonk", I saw my run times go from 7:20/mile to 8:00/mile to 8:00/mile with 90 seconds of walk break.  What the marathon bonk didn't break, the wind certainly did!  This will sound horrible (but I KNOW I'm not the only one who thinks this way), one of the few things that kept me going was getting passed by a ~65 year old man.  Screw being chicked, I think being geezered is waaaayyyyy worse.

After 3 soul crushing, depressing miles, I realized that I had to run ~7:40 pace for the last 1.5 to get under 3:20.  I had a new goal.  Start running, and don't stop until the finish.  I ran, I ran HARD.  I grunted, people looked at me.  To give you a sense of the type of pain I was in, here is a picture that my wife took at mile 25.5:

Fortunately, I was able to dig through what little my legs had left and get in JUST under the wire.

As I look back, I am really proud of my race.  I have a rule that there is no complaining with any PR races.  If you ran faster than you ever have before, then you did GREAT.  Of course, I think that there are things that I could have done better because I really do feel that I could have ran 3:15 yesterday and 3:10 on a perfect day.  Things not limited to:

  • Not F'ing up the race day 
  • Getting more sleep the night before 
  • Having less stress the day before
  • Attacking the downhills and pacing better during the wind (ie, slowing down vs trying to hold pace & walking)
So, basically just enough went wrong to make me want to continue running!!  I honestly, 100% think that if I have a perfect race, what else is left to race for?   It's only uphill from here!

Marathon watching is hard work :)