Friday, February 28, 2014

Labeled as a runner

Labels have been a hot button issue lately. Runners don’t like to be called joggers, people who go to yoga don’t like to be called “people who essentially just stretch”, and triathletes don’t like to be called fancy.  So very fancy.

In a previous post I quipped that I have been running 45-50 miles a week which allows me to still eat what I want an still consider myself a runner.  Much like I never miss an opportunity to watch the Real Housewives train wreck, leave it to someone to never miss the chance to check me for being a runner snob. “You’re still a runner if you run 20 miles/week, agree?”  Asked Steven Baskett.

The short answer: of course you are! The longer answer (because, it is Friday afternoon and I need a blog post) is that my entrance criteria for the runner label is actually much much lower than that.  To be clear, this isn't because that I don't have respect for people who run, but instead because I don't think that we should set limits on who can or can't be a part of the "my exercise makes me poop my pants" club.

In fact, in my book I suppose there are a few things that put you into the “runner” category:

  • 5 miles a week…half running half walking
  • Wearing booty shorts (woman or man...heyyyy)
  • Participating in a race with any sort of frequency. (once a year? Ehhhh, maybe. 4x a year? Yep)
  • Talking about any of the following without laughing: Body Glide (non sexually), fartlek, runners trots, bloody nipples, crotch chaffing (again, non sexually), snot rockets
  • Wearing those terrible guy split side shorts that have everyone waiting in anticipation on when "it" is going to fall out
  • Drinking more than 3 cups of any oddly short named drink in one day (Nuun, GU Brew, EFS, etc)
  • Having previously met any of the above for 6 months, hurt yourself, and soothing your pains in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s
Tastes like recovery

Notice what was missing? Pace.  I don’t care if you are winning a marathon or run/walking to the finish in a sunflower costume, regardless of what Garmin Connect software says, there is no “jogging” speed. Either you are running, walking, or crawling to fridge for the extra pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

Do you have any "rules" for when people can call themselves a runner?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Waffle tacos, life changes, and Olympic Fatigue

This isn't phallic at all! Oh, wait a minute....
In a true moment of “good lord, why didn’t I think of that?” Taco Bell is rolling out a new line of breakfast items. Most notably? An eggo waffle taco with sausage and egg in the middle. Seriously, people have been eating breakfast for 4000 years and we are just now thinking of this!? Granted, we had the pancake & sausage corn dog thing before, but I think that we can all admit that it was just a BIT too phallic for its own good.

The real question? Will the waffle taco clean me out in 30 minutes like a normal Taco Bell taco does?? Time will tell!

I’m currently in week two of a new job! The only catch is that I am working with the same people that I’ve worked with for the last two years and sitting in the same desk that I’ve sat in for the last 6 months. One might say that my new job is a bit anti climatic. But, it is with a great company and great people, so who am I to complain? So, while week one was all about sexual harassment videos, week two is about blog writing and surfing twitter getting work DONE!

I bought a house on Thursday. While not my first but my third, nothing says “oh crap, I’m an adult” like signing yourself up for 30 years worth of bills.  Now starts the agonizing process of determining which says “I’m an adult” better: Guest bedroom ball pit playhouse or master bedroom race car bed.
It is called DECORATING people....

Running hasn’t been going bad, but hasn’t been going good, and instead has simply been going.  I’ve settled into a 45-50 mile per week routine that still keeps me regular allows me to eat what I want and call myself a runner. It isn’t ideal marathon training at all, but is certainly good enough half marathon training which will have to work for now.

Finally, the winter Olympics are over. Being more of a summer Olympics kind of a guy, I can admit that I was getting a bit of Olympic fatigue. Just as skiers likely say “how many events can you have running around in a circle!?” I was starting to start to glaze over with the seemingly endless “super combined” and various “slope styles”. Don’t confuse my fatigue with apathy though. Flying through the air, doing 15 spins, landing (!?!?!), all with sharp 5 foot long sticks strapped to my feet is freaking crazy.  But, alas, there are no booty shorts in the winter Olympics….bring on Rio!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Resolution Check in

What is that you say? Back the blogger truck up…. ADAM YOU HAVE RESOLUTIONS?!  (The blogger truck is one of those hippie vans where all of the healthy living bloggers drive around and collect free samples singing about the evils of refined sugar.)  So yes, I did create a handful of new years resolutions but didn’t get a chance to blog about them.  I’m actually a big fan of using the new year to try to improve or stop/start doing something.  While a lot of people I know either don’t like the arbitrary date or just don’t like the idea, I’m okay with it. So, as long as I’m willing to pretend Thanksgiving is an actual holiday, I’m all in.

Even though I always create resolutions, it seems that every other year or so I either forget to post about them or post about them in February. Maybe I need to create a resolution to post about my resolutions? Ultimately, one might have to ask the question: if you create resolutions and don’t tell anyone about them, do they actually matter?

Anyway, here are the ones that I put together at the beginning of the year….and how I am failing miserably with them. Its been a rough start to the year, but hopefully airing these out will help me get back on the waggon!

Post a pic a day
SUCCESS!!!  I’m posting a crap load of pictures on my instagram account. Thankfully, not many of them have been 1) food 2) my feet while laying on the couch 3) naked selfies. They’re fun to take (the pic a day, not naked selfies) and hopefully will be a good way to catalog my year.

Pool fishing... strange, we didn't catch any?!?!

Token sunset while running

From this weekend while hiking South Mountain in Phoenix

100 Push up challenge
FAIL :(  If you aren’t familiar, the push up challenge is a training app to ultimately get you to 100 push ups in a row. I did it for the first 2-3 weeks, but then….didn’t.  So, I’m going to start that back up again starting tonight.

Bike 2x a week
Bwhahahahahahaha!!! Um, no.

PR in marathon
TBD. I can’t really call this one a fail since I really haven’t tried yet. PLUS since I set a massive 4 min PR in the half marathon, I’m almost tempted to call this one kinda on track.

Read 10 pages / day
FAIL. Okay, fine. I guess step 1 of this one is to actually BUY a book. Step 2 would be to read 10 pages a day in it.  Improving is hard. In the meantime, I'm going to start counting books that I read to my son.  That Cat in the Hat sure is a handful!

Use additional spices in cooking
FINALLY Another success story!  Even when I don’t have any time for sleep, running, or “personal time” (read: any time without pants - mostly pooping) I love to cook.  I never cook anything all that fancy, I very rarely cook totally from scratch, but I like to do it after a busy day. The issue? It is always pretty bland. BUT, that is as easy as throwing some spices in there. So, that is what I have been doing!

Okay, so maybe SOME of my pictures are of food
My house smelled like a dirty fisherman for a week

Does anyone else have any good success stories?  Hopefully I'm not the only one failing!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Where people run

First things first, I had a really solid week of running last week. I clocked in 52 miles which is the first time in a month that I had cracked 50.  I'm going to try to stay above that and continue to push to 60 as I look to the New Jersey Marathon.  (Note to self, sign up for New Jersey Marathon. Also buy tickets to fly to New Jersey. Finally, schedule spray tan appointment to fit in while in New Jersey. Come to think, I'm not very prepared at all....)

I've tried to continue keeping my speed up while building miles. Last week my "main" speed session was a 37 minute 6 mile tempo run averaging 6:15/mile overall.  Not too shabby.


If you are a data geek like me (I think most runners are?) you're going to love the link that my buddy Chad recently sent over.  Somehow the guy tapped into RunKeepers source data and mapped out ALL the runs for a handful of cities. You can check them out here.  The list of cities that he mapped was somewhat random, but I included the picture for New York City below.

A few things surprised me and made me slightly question his data set.

  • First, there isn't much running in central park which is in the upper right hand corner of the pic. That doesn't seem right at all....but maybe people don't like dodging tourists and horse poop while they run?
  • Second, it seems that all of the running is along the greenbelt path in southern Manhattan or in the financial district.  Hmmm....  Nothing says "fun run" than dodging people eyeballs deep in their blackberry!  (Just kidding, people don't use blackberries anymore)
  • Finally, one cool thing is that you can totally see the NYC Marathon course starting from Staten Island in the lower left curve up and around - ultimately landing into central park at the finish line.

Check out the website - do they make sense based on where you run/live?  

New York City's running routes

Monday, February 3, 2014

Buzzword Mashup: Resolutions, running, super boring super bowls, and potty training

Internet friends, I’m not even going to sugar coat it, last week was tough on both the running and blog fronts.  It was my last week on a project at work and things were BUSY.  I was “thinking outside the box” so hard that I sprained my buzzword bone. I’m not proud of the fact that I “took the conversation offline” or that a lot of “low hanging fruit” blog posts were left unpublished. Don’t worry though, the “takeaway” was that I needed to “circle back” on the blog with “all hands on deck”.

Last week I managed to run 16 miles. SIXTEEN.  I’m not proud of this, but I do have all of the buzzwords above to show for it, least that is good?  This week needs to be better as I am 12 weeks out from the NJ marathon.  Time to “pound the pavement” and put in some solid mileage. The one thing that I am doing to try to make up for the lower volume is running faster.  Mid week runs are 15-20 seconds faster than they used to be which not only helps me get done slightly faster but also feeds my fragile runner ego. Of course, I know better with thinking speed is a proxy for miles.  You can fake your way with lower mileage for a half marathon, but mile 20 of the marathon is a cruel mistress who keeps inviting herself to your work holiday party. No matter how much you want to avoid it, if you don’t put in the miles she is going to show up drunk telling your boss that she is actually your wife and that your real wife is your very frumpy sister.

Meanwhile, in Canada... God bless Canada...

You know what? I was going to do a bullet about how the weather here has been cold, but with a high of 60F today, I’m going to just shut my yapper on that one.

One of the hazards with being so busy with work is that I haven’t had a chance to post my new years resolutions yet. The bad news? I have already stopped doing a few. The good news? If I don’t post about them, they can’t make me feel bad, right?  I’d like to think so.  Of course, I’m doing my picture of the day, but I also wanted to ride the bike 2x a week, start back up with 100 pushups, and do core work.  I just don’t “have the bandwidth” to do all of that right now, so I’m going to have to “re-prioritize the variables” to see what is actually important. (Just kidding, the pictures are the most important – highest likelihood of selfies....duh)

I’m going to say what we are all thinking... the super bowl was super boring. (See what I just did there? I used the word super twice to make it funny. Hilarious!! I should do jokes.) During the game I was seriously trying to decide what the NFL could do during the superbowl once the score got out of hand with one team leading by more than 30.  Every idea lead back to a mixture between the puppy bowl and the bud bowl.  Something tells me PETA would have something to say about drunk puppies playing football.....

Finally, in a family update that can only be described as “wow, really? THAT late?” I am in “full court press” potty training mode for my son.  Of course, when I say “potty training” I actually mean “negotiation sessions”.   I’m not sure what the right parenting approach is, but if one M&M makes him try to go poop on the potty?  I’m all in.  If only I could get some sort of reward system set up like that – I think it’d be a “win/win” for everyone.