Friday, December 30, 2011

Interview with an Elite - Trisha Miller

I thought the suit coat
made me look more professional
Hairbrush mic? Not so much
I rarely "think" when I run.  Normally, in my head there is........nothing.  However, when I do think the thoughts are doozies.  A few weeks back, I thought that it would be fun to interview one of the elite runners who are going to be running the PF Changs Rock and Roll marathon in Phoenix.  I put in a quick email to a friend that I have that works for Competitor and bingo-bamo I was put in contact with Trisha Miller.

Simply put, Trisha is FAST.  2:51 marathon at Rock and Roll Denver mile high altitude fast.  Honestly, and I don't think that Trisha will mind me saying, that wasn't always the case.

Trisha and her Fiance, Andy, after finishing 2nd at RnR Denver
Here is Trisha's story in her own words:
My childhood friend called me up one day after I graduated college in 2002 and asked me what I was doing all summer. I said I was using my Bachelor's degree to it's full extent and delivering pizzas all summer and enjoying my last few months of freedom. She asked me if I wanted to run the Portland Marathon with her in the fall. I said it sounds like fun, but one question... (the ever popular) "How long is a marathon?" So I bought Hal Higdon's book and followed his beginning training program. I ran a 3:35 I think and someone yelled at me when I was finishing "Great BQ!!" I had no idea what that was. I figured it out eventually, went back to Portland the next year and ran a 3:23.

Grizzly Marathon in MT
(I think she is kicking a bear's ass)
In late 2007, I met my now fiancee (also a 2:30 marathoner) and he really helped me train harder and get faster. I also got a Garmin, so i was finally paying attention to pace.  I started training a lot more, got involved with my local running club (Run Wild Missoula - 1,300 members strong! I started going to track workouts and doing tempo runs with others. 
 I continually knocked off 2 minutes until I got down to 3:02 and ran that time twice in 2010.  

I busted my ass that winter. I added a lot more miles to my training, and didn't run a marathon again until Eugene the next spring. Popped a 2:54. This really clicked for me. Then a 2:51 on a tough course at elevation in Denver! 

I'm looking to break 2:50 at Rock and Roll Phoenix and someday get down to a 2:45 so I can go to the 2016 trials.

But wait, where are all of the questions??  

Here is where I need your help! I could have cranked out a bunch of questions that I thought were insightful and interesting - but where is the fun in that?  I'd rather get your input on what we should ask.

So, if you had the chance to ask a wicked fast elite female (and her equally wicked fast fiance) anything you wanted, what would you ask!?  Let me know by Monday, I'll compile, and shoot them over to her!

Funny Foto Friday: Post-Holiday Thoughts

Well, the holiday season is all but wrapped up.  The Christmas trees are put away and, based on what my bathroom scale says, the last 2 weeks were approximately 10,000 more calories than I needed.  Ho, Ho, Ho!!!

My wife always complains that I can't hear.  The truth is, I really can't hear that well sometimes (thanks a bunch 1200 watt car stereo in High School).   During the holiday season, I was put in lots of situations when I couldn't hear what the heck people said....

For Christmas, my son received a bunch of magnets for the fridge to play with.  He LOVES them.  Unfortunately, while stumbling around at 4:30am trying to fill my water bottle to run, I've stepped on them more than once.

Finally, since the birth of my son, my wife and I have had to make a few adjustments in our holiday decorations.  We always start out with the best of intentions to keep everything the same, but inevitably we always have to change something.  Can you tell what we changed in this picture?  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Setting Goals - Specifically Running Goals

Applicable to so many of my posts
It is that time of year - time to crank the "way-back" machine to 11 and pull the dipstick out of the oil can of life to see how the last 12 months treated us.  Was I a well oiled machine?  Or, did I billow blue and black smoke every time that I pushed the pedal?

Goal setting is interesting.  One quick search on Amazon and I am lead to believe that I am 2 maybe 3 goals away from world domination.  If I could only have a plan of action, THE WORLD IS MINE!!!! The reality is that it takes lots of stepping on others hard work and luck to get where you want to be.  Goals should be measureable, and focus on the process.  When you do that, the result will come.

Personally, when I set goals, I shoot HIGH.  My goal lists are a sandbag free zone. (Sandbagging = setting easily achievable goals)  I've just started my look back to 2011 goals post, but let me tell you - it is NOT pretty. I went zero for a billion of my running goals.  But, I don't necessarily call that a failure.  The reason?  Because I 100% believe that setting goals is incredibly mental and not hitting my goal isn't always a failure.

Just say no to sandbagging
(But, say YES!! to awesome Phoenix "winter")

The Boston Marathon recently changed their race criteria for entry.  That means that I no longer have to run a 3:10, I must now run a 3:05.  Before the change, time and time again I'd hear people say how they qualified with 10 seconds to spare.  Not 1 min, 45 seconds.  TEN SECONDS.  For years it always made me wonder - what if their goal was to run 5 minutes faster than the minimum required? Would they get 10 seconds under that?  It is with that in mind that I set my goals HIGH.

But, what about running goals for the non masochistic non Adam people around?  Setting the cloud in the sky goals are not the norm.  I think that is because most people are not "okay" if they don't hit the goal.  Shades of black and white vs the shade of fuschia in which I live my life.

One of my new favorite podcasts, Marathon Talk, broke down setting race goals into 5 great categories.  They put it in context of setting a good race pace, but I think that the same applies to how you train and set long-term goals.  On the podcast they said, and I agree, that setting a good, realistic goal is essential to not only being successful but FEELING successful in your running.  Their categories are as follows:

  • I just want to finish! As long as I move my arse over the miles, mission accomplished!
  • I want to have fun!  If I am sore at the end of this, I'm going to be PISSED!
  • I want to have fun and not do the walk of shame at mile 20, but I want to perform at my best.
  • I want to run as fast as I possibly can - it doesn't matter if I cramp up and run/walk the last 3 miles, if I set a PR, I'm golden!
  • I have a specific time goal - I don't care if I shit myself mid race, if I hit my time it will be a good run!

Knowing which category above you fall into will help you to set not only a realistic goal, but one that you can be happy with at the end.  If you have a goal to just finish, that might mean taking pictures with Disney characters along the way and having 100% no time goal involved.  Conversely, if you want to run as fast as you possibly can, you might set a goal to run even splits, try to run 2-3 minutes faster than you think you can, and accept some slight fade towards the end.

But, most importantly, not setting goals is the #1 way to not achieving any.  So, what are you waiting for?!

What kind of goal setter are you?  Make them soft so that you can fist pump all the way to the finish?  Make them hard so that you have to see a unicorn orgasmic to achieve them?

Monday, December 26, 2011

3 Weeks to RnR Arizona! (And 5 weeks to FYTO5K!)

I'm sure that some of you are wondering..  "What the hell does FYTO5K stand for?" It stands for the Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K!  Which, of course, is the virtual race that I am hosting on January 28th.  I can't think of a better new years resolution than to resolute to run some crazy, likely not real, online guy's "virtual" race.

If you've never ran a virtual race before, here is what you do (and what you get!):

  • Goto the race page here and sign up by leaving a comment.  
  • Then, on the 28th, you either run a stand alone 5K or dedicate 3.1 miles of your "normal" run to the race.  
  • Once you have ran, all you have to do is comment back that you did it (a blog race report is nice too) and you're entered into a drawing for some sweet sweet prizes!
  • Since I'm a pretty flexible guy, you can do it before or slightly after, do it naked in the shower, using the Wii fit, whatever!  I'll always link back to race reports and will include pictures of people that post them!

You can check out previous race summaries here, here, or here.

By the way, if you want to include the picture at the right on your blog, feel free! You can save it and bring it to your favorite tattoo artist post it or save it using the link here!

As I sit here, there are THREE weeks until the Rock and Roll Arizona FULL marathon.  As in, 26 miles.  Ugh.

My training has been.....going. Not good, but not bad. I have to admit that I probably was a bit aggressive on setting another PR goal marathon within just a few short months of my Savannah marathon.  I don't recover all that well after marathons and usually spend most of the week afterwards gimping around like an old lady after a day of K-Mart blue light special shopping.  (I need a hover-round)

During this training cycle I've found that I've skipped a mile here, a mile there which has lead me to believe that I'm not pushing as hard as I should have been.  The reality is that I'm averaging 60+ miles per week and last week I did 67.  So, all told I'm actually in really good shape.  I'm negative splitting all of my runs and my "normal" run pace has been reduced by about 20 seconds a mile.  Based on that, I should be in for a killer marathon PR!

It seems that I've essentially ran about 10 minutes behind a time or two a week which caused me to drop 2 miles or so that I had previously planned on doing.  I'm getting the runs in, just not as long as I should.  (Not that I have excuses - I swore those off long ago.)

So, what I am saying, is that my fitness is where it needs to be, but my noggin is a bit unconvinced.  So, in the 3 weeks that I have left, I'm going to keep plugging away at my fitness and am going to try to get it through my head that I AM faster.  If that doesn't work, I'm just going to try dulling my brain with booze.  Has always worked before!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Funny Foto Friday: Jog-Strap

Running makes you thirsty. We all know that!  Unfortunately, a lot of running shorts do not have pockets for water bottles.  I can only assume that short manufacturers were taking a page from cyclists and decided to save the extra ounce of material to keep shorts as light as possible.

Good thing for us, Jimmy Fallon was watching TV and found the PERFECT solution!  Happy Friday!

I looked and looked online for my own JogStrap, but I mostly was pointed towards men on men "adult" sites and sites that wanted my social security number and bank account information with promises of doubling my money.  Obviously they were sold out everywhere I looked.

So, never one to let supply chain issues stand in my way, I decided to create my own!
(Shirt found online at

Of course, I seem to require a lot of fluids, so I went with my huge 24 oz bottle and a compression sock
Worked like a charm!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

(Brazilian) Secret Santa Revealed!

Recently I threw my name in the hat to be a part of Jill's @ Run with Jill secret Santa runner gift swap.  Being the great runner secret Santa that I am, I of course didn't realize how long it takes to ship stuff to Canada.  So, while I received some great gifts right before Christmas, my secret buddy will likely not get anything until new years.  Ho Ho Ho!!!

Anywhoo, my secret Santa was none other than Mike from Mike's Triathlon Journey!  Mike knew that I loved coffee and love to poo so he got me both! Well, at least a book about poo.

The best part about the gift is that Mike loves me so much that he flew down to Brazil to get me something was actually in Brazil for work when he got the email that I was his secret - so I got 2 pounds of Brazilian coffee!  Cafe Do Ponto. Sounds dirty.  Speaking of dirty, I Google-image searched "Brazilian" to find some pictures to include in this blog.  The result I immediately bookmarked is certainly rated PG-13.  I love Brazil.

This is the most PG picture I could find
The rest of course I saved

Of course, being the delinquent, latch key loving father that I am, I let my son take a spin through the book on poo that I received.  Believe me when I say that he really wanted to play with the coffee but he'll have to wait until he is at LEAST 3 until he can start drinking coffee.  Ok, maybe like 2 and a half if he is good.

 Have you ever seen anyone more excited to LEARN about poo?  Nope.

Studying up on what he was likely working on in his pants

Unfortunately, the coffee packaging was all in Brazilian (Portuguese?  Spanish?  I'm sure Google knows the answer on what language it should be, but I'm too lazy) so I couldn't read it.  So, either I was holding a package of coffee or a brick of sweet Brazilian cocaine.  Either way?  Win/win

Turns out, it was coffee!  So, I brewed up a batch.  It tasted a bit different than the coffee that I was used to.  A taste that I can only describe as.....Brazilian.  But, it was black and delicious and that is all that I could ask for - Thanks Mike!!!

Does anyone else do a secret Santa through blogs, work, annoying relatives, wherever?  Anyone actually get something good like I did?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bad Runs are like Farts.....

.....Everyone has them, but no one likes to admit them.

With 4 weeks left before my next “major” marathon, Rock and Roll Arizona (as if there were “minor” ones), both miles and ego fragility are at all time highs.  Each run is hyper analyzed with great detail.  For a numbers based guy like me, it is all about miles per week, pace per mile, and how hard of an effort it takes to actually hit each of the above.  Unfortunately, with a work schedule that is a little more hectic than one of those wedding dress sales and the holidays that bring lots of “joy”, last week’s running was NOT one that I would like to remember.**

There are really two runs last week that result in the big fat FAIL stamp for the week.

First, there was the day I realized I had gone soft.***
Tuesday is always mid-week sort of long run day.  I was scheduled to run 15 miles.  Nothing fancy, just get out the door and put foot to ass ground.  However, when my alarm went off at 4:15 and I snoozed once or maybe twice I was greeted by this:

Well, not ACTUALLY that, but there was water coming out of the sky!  Something more like this:

As I look at this picture, is it even raining?  God I'm a wuss

You see, it rains in Phoenix less than 10 times per year.  This just happened to be one of those times.  When I lived in Kansas City a short 3 years ago, I would have shrugged off the sprinkles as an annoyance, laughed at all of the pansies running to their treadmills, and went out for my run.  But not last week.  I made the decision that it must have been the running gods way of telling me that I wasn’t supposed to run that day and that I should push back my entire running schedule by a day.  Which of course meant that I had to put up with the reverse walk of shame – my clothes sitting out waiting for me to put them on.

Just like a walk of shame, these clothes just sat there judging me all day long

Which, I did push the run to the next day, but it was shortened to 12 miles because I ran out of time because work is annoying.

Next, there was the 20 miler turned 12 miler turned “code brown”****.
On Sunday, I had 20 miles with 14 miles at marathon pace scheduled.  Make no mistake, this is a TOUGH run.  I always somewhat dread that workout.  You end up putting forth a lot of the effort of a marathon but get none of the rewards (medal, mylar blanket, slipping on used water cups, stale bananas).  But, it is one of the best predictors of marathon fitness that I know.

The run started off slow – far too slow.  My stomach had been a bit off all weekend, but I tried to put it out of my mind.  I slogged through 4 miles at a pace that was around 30 seconds off-pace and when I tried to pick it up to marathon pace my guts hit the eject button. Literally.  After a 10 minute quick bathroom break during which unspeakable acts were performed, I decided that I did not want to get any further from home so I easy-ran a total of 12 miles. FAIL.

The combination of those two sucky runs really had me in a bad place last week.  So, this week I decided to call a mulligan on the entire last week and try again this week.  So far I'm not doing to bad.  I still had bathroom issues today during my 15 miler, however today instead of making me feel worse, dropping the pounds made me feel lighter, faster, and more fit!  I think a mulligan was exactly what I needed - hopefully.  Truth is, I don't have the time before the race to find out!

**Bring on the holiday booze!
***I know, I know…..
****Code brown is sort of like a blue light special at K-Mart.  Well, at least it smells like a K-Mart

Friday, December 16, 2011

Funny Foto Friday: Ho Ho Ho!!!!

Tis the season!  Time to strap on your big boy pants, brave the crowds, and fight the grandma with the hair rollers for the last 75% waffle iron on Black Friday.

Even though I have been busy, that doesn't mean that time doesn't march on - and that new family traditions must be started.  This year, my wife scoured the depths of the internet to find the best holiday light displays in the Phoenix area.  We went with my in laws and my brother in law.  Fortunately for us, one of the houses had a Santa. Unfortunately for my son, he is developing a case of "old man in a fake beard stranger danger" and wasn't a fan.  Unfortunately for Santa, my brother in law and I don't suffer from the same fear as my son.  Happy Friday!

No "stranger danger" here!  Although, Santa did seem a little frightened

In full disclosure, when I started my Funny Foto Friday a few years back, it was an alteration knock-off of Steve in a Speedo's version of the same. (To be fair, when I copied it, I think he had only been doing it for a few weeks) That said, go check out his "real" versions of hilarious run-ins with Santa pictures.  Hilarious!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm Still Here!

Just horribly horribly busy.  Be back soon!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Funny Foto Friday: Food Funny & Video Bonus!

Every time I go to the grocery store, I know people are judging me for what I have in my cart.  They have to be right?  I'm sure as hell judging the other people in the store. "Oh, hot pockets and beer huh? Did your mom give you money or did take it from your Star Wars piggy bank?"  For those of us who don't want to appear like we're stocking up for a frat party, some simple rearrangement can make you look as fit as you feel.

I'm going to include it, but I still can't figure out what is funny about this.  Throw some protein powder in one of these bad boys and they really ARE meals in a bottle!

Cripes!  At 18% alcohol, they might as well call it "black out in a bottle"

Finally a friend of mine, Colin, is a wicked awesome artist.  So wicked awesome he does it for his job!  In his spare time, he not only blogs at Resurrected Runner but he also puts together running based parody songs (think: Werid Al Yankovik with less hair) and videos.  Here are a few of my favorites.  More can be found on his Youtube page

Probably the best video he's put together has been his marathon tips.  Including such gems as:

  • Train in heavy boots (to strengthen your legs)
  • Eat heavy foods the night before the marathon
  • Water consumption = unwanted sweat

Colin thinks that he has solved the minimalist running debate.  Honestly?  I seriously think that he might be on to something.

Colin's alter-ego "Gil" takes a shot at signing Holiday songs:

Finally, I've had this song in my head for the last. . . . 2 months non stopped and I had to share.  My wife said that it is totally a song I would like.  I'm not sure if she said that because of my propensity for pelvic thrusts (on the hour, every hour) or the fact that I like to see guys in thongs.  The world may never know.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

End of year bustle - it all ties back to poop

It is funny because that is the actual time I got up this AM

What is it about the end of the year that makes me wish there were 34 hours in the day?  Don’t get me wrong, if there were an extra 10 hours in the day, I’m assuming I’d walk around in some sort of zombie like state with a cup of coffee in one hand and a roll of toilet paper in the other (coffee makes me poo).  But, with the extra 10 hours, I could get everything done that I wanted to each day and still have time for all of the reality TV that is backing up on my DVR at home.  (I NEED to find out what happened on Sister Wives and must know which Dress she said Yes to!)  Time is a precious commodity during the holiday season.  Time to buckle down and focus on what really matters: Running and whatever my wife tells me matters.

Other than the normal avoiding my family great family get-togethers, stuffing my pie-hole with pie, and fighting with moms over the last Tickle Me Elmo (creepy) the end of the year for me is BUSY.  I’m a consultant and all of my bosses are trying to get one last sale before the end of the year.  What that means is that I spend all day long in meetings where executives say things like “value add” or “synergies” and get real work done at night.

Now, I know what you are thinking "Seriously Adam, WHERE is the running talk!?"  The reason all of that above is important?  Poop.  You see, when I’m busy I get stressed.  When I get stressed, I don’t poop.  It happens when I'm busy at work, when I travel, or when I'm pissed at the chick on Say Yes to the Dress for picking the white dress.  Like she is fooling anyone.  So, to remedy one of those situations, I’m now sacrificing sleep to make sure I get my runs in.  Running makes me happy and it makes me poop.  It is a win/win really.

  • Monday had me running 9 miles with 7x800 at 5:55 pace
  • Tuesday was a 5 mile recovery run
  • Wednesday was off because I got home near midnight from work (and didn’t eat dinner)
  • Today was a 13.1 mile run in 1:39:00.  The first half I did at my normal pace and the second half was at marathon pace

So, I'm busy but I HOPE to get in 65 miles this week.  I'm cutting back a bit on sleep (5.5 or 6 hrs vs the normal 7) but it is worth it in the short term to make sure that I stick to some form of schedule - and to keep me sane.  While risky (increase of injury, increase of illness, increase of crankiness) has anyone else said F-you to Mr sandman and went out running?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mixins: Winner, Online Shoes Giveaway, and Where I've Been

I know what you’re all thinking “Did Adam die?  I’ll bet he is dead – overdosed on too many energy gels or possibly dead in a ditch in some runner vs runner track session lane-crossing road rage”   Fortunately, neither of those things happened!  The reality is that the combination of a relapse in my cold, a travel trip to Dallas for work, and a birthday party to end all birthday parties used up all of my free time.  Oh, and running.  Always there is running.

As always, I had to make the choice between talking to my family running vs blogging.  Running won out for the most part, but that didn’t mean that blog posts didn’t back up like poop at a cheese festival.  So, instead of poetic blog posts throughout last week you get a week’s worth of blog posts all in one!

Giveaway winner
My 1000th blog post was REALLY fun to put together.  I honestly try to keep my blog like a journal – an asinine record of my life, with a heavy focus on drinking running.  Looking back at some of my horribly boring first posts was fun, if not a bit painful to think of where my writing and running has come in a relatively short time.  Anywhoo, there were 266 entries in my Brooks shoe giveaway and the winners were Katie @ Run This Amazing Day  and Heather @ Just a Colorado Gal.  One thing to note is that Heather’s comment was within the top 10 first comments!!  Random number generator seemed to like the low numbers.

I mean, if I"m going to show where I got hurt,
then might as well do it right.
Sick – and I think I pulled something
Like I posted in one of my last posts, I was sick over the United States Thanksgiving holiday.  I was surprised at how many people continue to run through being sick.  According to my wife, much like most humans with an extra dangle appendage (men), I am a huge baby when I’m sick.  So, during the Thanksgiving week I recovered a full 4 days until Sunday – I ran 5 test miles and all systems were go!  So, while on a business trip I ran 7 miles on Monday and another 7 on Tuesday – all at a ‘normal’ pace of 7:40.

After a few great runs on the treadmill (that made me want to poke my eyes out of boredom) I was all set to run some speed on Wednesday.  Right when I started to click the speed up to around 7:10ish per mile I felt a STABBING pain in my back.  Long story short, I pulled a muscle I was alone in a hotel room afterall in my back coughing!  It was one of those muscles between your ribs that hurt worse than a hot poker in your eyeball.  Well, not really, but I couldn’t really run through it.

Online Shoes Giveaway! is having a KILLER 12 days of Christmas giveaway that I had to pass along (and, for the record, am receiving nothing in exchange for mentioning).   Each day, Online Shoes posts a question of the day, all that you have to do is answer and you’re entered!  Today’s giveaway is a Soleus watch – and as I type this there are only 55 entries!  That is really good odds...  They’re going to do them each weekday for the first 12 days of December.  So, if you don’t win today, enter tomorrow!

Texas Sized Blogger Meetup
Like I hinted at earlier, I was in Dallas last week for business and was able to meet up with a few friends (who are also bloggers).  Lesley @ Racing it off and Libby @ The Active Joe and Emily who doesn’t have a blog all got to put up with me for an entire evening.  How lucky are they?!  We talked about training, and running and then switched gears and talked more about training and running. :) I promise that I didn’t have lazer eyes during the whole night – only when the girls started to make fun of me.

Birthday Time!
This really doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but it was my son’s first birthday on Friday and my wife hosted some crazy 40 person party on Saturday.  It was a blast.  However, when I asked my wife if I wanted to know how much she spent on cake and cupcakes, she responded very quickly “no”.  Fair enough.  But honestly, can you really spend TOO much on cupcakes?
It was a hungry caterpillar theme

His first haircut (Taken a few weeks ago)
As you can see, he liked the spray bottle a little TOO much