Archive for July, 2012

because I don’t seem to be making any.

I know I just got done saying how I’ve realized that I don’t much care for doing races anymore. And I am preferring short distance running with no desire to do long distances.

Then I registered for a 5k on this upcoming Friday night.

And now, well, I need someone to talk me out of  this.  Another half-marathon.

You see, I picked up this little card at the Flying Pig expo that had a horse on it, in a pretty pasture with a note about a reduced early registration special on August 1st only. And I spent some time at the booth. And I talked to a friend who’s done it and who told me it was, as billed, “One of the prettiest half-marathons in the country.” She runs them all over the place so she would have an educated opinion.

And this stupid little card, tacked to my ‘inspiration board’, has been tugging at me for the 3 months since.  I got back onto the website again yesterday. I was a bit disappointed that they’d changed the race to be part of the Rock ‘n Roll series – as it wasn’t before and as the press release states – only had 900 runners last year. I thought it being a smaller field of runners would be appealing – but I’ll add that even with the first-year larger field, it’ll still be really small compared to the 25-30k fields I’ve been in.

Oh, and did I mention that the course is WAY SCARIER on the hills than the Pig? Even as someone who prefers rolls and hills – when I saw the elevation chart, I was seriously intimidated. INTIMIDATED!!! Even changing management, there aren’t may ways for them to change the course in that area, so I’m anticipating that even though they pulled it off both websites, the course won’t change much from what I saw prior.  It is up, steep up, steep up, more steep up, steep down, then more steep up again.

I would have to train hills, hills, and more hills like hills are my fucking job for the next 7 months to even begin to do decently on this route.

Seriously people, what am I thinking? I’m not loving races. I’m not loving distance. Is LOVING pretty scenery enough of a reason to train for a half? ‘Cause that’s about the only thing I can think of as to what is compelling me to do this run. I LOVE SOME PRETTY ROUTES – and tend to do better when there’s scenery to enjoy. 

I need some sense talked into me.

You know, aside from all the mushy, connectivity, diversity shtuff…

is that when I decided to follow a link from The Bloggess (all bow)

and found this

(Yes, the link was titled “Horrifically awesome zombie head gum ball machine” and yet I still clicked on it KNOWING about her taxidermy thing and my zombie thing – but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PEOPLE! I didn’t consider those two things could be linked!)

and I yelled HOLY SHIT! at my desk with a bit of a jump

then dove frantically over my screen to keep my co-defendants from seeing what was on my computer screen, as all of a sudden they were very interested in me,  

I could then

click on something like this

and scrub that icky, big meannie, stupid-head dried zombie out of my brain.

I shall spend the rest of the day counting the number of diseases one could contract from eating a zombie brain gumball.

Thank you internet.

The Next One Up

Posted: 07/27/2012 in Uncategorized

After yesterday, I owe it to you to put a sock in it and keep this one short.

August 3rd – the Downtown Dash 5k.  Registered!

I love it when a run has a little block party to go with it:

I know I said I was reconsidering the whole race aspect of running, but but but but…

  • Nash & Maine are already registered
  • The route is VERY similar to the last one I ran with both of them – which I PR’d my 5k on earlier this year
  • We’ll have access to Nash’s yoga studio, which is nearby, to clean up & avoid portalets.
  • AND well, there will be beer and merriment afterward since it’s a Friday night.

A Friday night run & party doesn’t bode well for my Saturday long run the next day, but meh. I’ll figure it out.

So, as I was waiving a white flag at a huge hill on Erie Avenue last night in the sweltering heat, it occurred to me that I had never updated about how the Hyde Park Blast 4 miler went. Erie being the same miserable, uphill S-curve that consensus has is the worst part of the HPB route.  Also, that I was being a lazy fuck about updating this place.  I’ve done two runs since then – so, as a result of my posting laziness lately, you get served a triple-header! Look at all the words!

HYDE PARK BLAST:  Um, HPB went bad? For the most part. And I think part of the reason I haven’t written about HPB is because I’ve been alternating between trying to figure out what the hell happened and trying to create amnesia about it. As a tip – you cannot create amnesia by drinking lots of Gatorade. I guess there’s this pesky thing called rum that you need to put in it and I don’t have any.  Stupid absentee rum. Rummm…I digress…and I’m totally screwing with you ’cause I don’t even like rum. Back to moving my ass –

I’d done the route twice in the weeks before the run, and actually been pretty proud of how those two runs had gone. I’d found an approach to Erie that was working. I felt good about it. Cautiously optimistic even. But then the race started and the Garmin data shows that things just went way wonky.  I sped up where I’d slowed down before, and slowed down where I’d sped up before. It was like it was Opposite of Good Running Day – an utter disaster. And I have no idea why. Okay, a little idea, but it took me awhile to get to it.  The only thing I can think of – which may be the reason why on the whole my training runs go better than my races BY FAR – is that there are other people in races.


So basically, I blame the other runners. What? You didn’t think my crappy run was going to be my fault, did you?

Pi-shaw to your pesky logic.

Hear me out. HPB is a HUGE community race – they cap it at 3000 runners & usually sell out. And there are tons of strollers and dogs participating in the race too. TONS. More than in any other local race I can think of. TONS.  And I was VERY VERY VERY distracted by them.  I distinctly remember this super fluffy white dog as I was going up Erie hill – and instead of thinking to myself  ‘shoulders back, neck long, even breathing, even stride’ – which is what I’d practiced with – I found myself thinking things like  “Holy Fuck Lady! It’s 90-f-ing-degrees and you’re making that dog run with a full coat! Ya know, you CAN shave it short for Summer! That thing looks like it’s going to die!”. So see, distracted. First mile went great. Last mile went great. The middle – meh. Distracted.  I ended with a 1:09 PR for that specific run (which set my best run pace for all of 2011), but not a pace PR for this year. I was 18 seconds/mile over my best pace and not happy about it.

Can you keep a secret? Part of the reason the last mile went great – it was because I saw a girl in my running group pass me who has never passed me before. And instead of thinking good for her, I went to the ‘OH HELL NO!‘ place.  So I played leap frog on the route with her for a tiny bit, then dusted her in the last half-mile.  But that’s not a very nice thing to think, so SHHHHH! K?

In hindsight, I think the dog/stroller/distraction thing is what is making me come to the realization that I don’t enjoy racing all that much. I LOVE running with my group, but strap a chip timer on me and I just flake – and I think a huge part is the distraction. With group – we all know the rules – move right to slow down or walk, pass on left,  make room. But in a race setting, particularly those that draw a lot of walkers, it’s CHAOS.  Getting pinned behind strollers or walkers that are taking up a whole lane with their pack. Swinging wide around leashed dogs and small children. CHAOS. Chaos doesn’t jive with my nature very well. I like calm. Running group is calm. Familiar. So, that’s something for me to think about and decide how much work I want to put into fixing my race approach, or if I just want to forget about racing for awhile. Ponderances.

For the first time this year, we went back for the party afterward – which includes an elite runner 5k and criterium cycling races of different classes – ending with an elite criterium race. WOW WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWWOW!!!!! Those were SO COOL to watch. I will be going back again to see those. I guess there was about a 1-mile course with several 90-degree turns at intersections – which the elites were SLOWING DOWN to 27-mph to make the curves. They were topping 40 mph on the short straightaways and the pace-car was looking stressed trying to stay a good distance in front of them and not careen off into the crowd. AMAZING!! I didn’t think I would ever be interested in watching cycling, but damn! that looks cool!

GREENDALE 5K:  For a small, community run, I have to say, this was a pretty well organized event.  For 3.1 miles, they had 4 water stops and a misting station at the end – perfect for a 90+ degree, sunny run. At the outset, they requested repeatedly that all strollers and walkers stay in the back – and PEOPLE ACTUALLY PAID ATTENTION, though I did hear a small grumble or two from stroller-bearers.  This was my second run in a 12-hour period out in the heat – and the first run I’d run HARD with the training group – so I had NO expectations from myself on this one other than to finish. My boxing studio was one of the sponsors, and I knew one of the girls working with the organizers. I was just there to show support. First mile and a half felt labored, then the heat got to me. I intervaled for a bit, and then just walked until I decided to jog it in at the end. Nothing too noteworthy. Good little race. If I were going to change anything, I’d move the start time to 8am (instead of 9am) to try and cut out some of the July heat – and as it was on July 4th, I would have had someone sing The Star-Spangled Banner at the start.

COLOR ME RAD: LOVED IT! LOVED IT! LOVED IT! Much like the Tap ‘n Run, this is one you do for enjoyment and people watching, not time.  In fact, it’s not even chip-timed. I’d say it’s overpriced if I hadn’t gotten a groupon on my registration to cut the fee to $20.  If you’re thinking of doing one, keep your eyes open on your local groupon or ‘livingsocial’ website. I think I picked mine up 2 months before the run – and I know there was another discount offer about a month before.  So you can probably find a deal on it if that’s important to you. 

My friend Nashville & I went together – and honestly, I think this is the run I have liked best all year so far.  Nashville is WAY faster than I am, but she was sore – so she kept pace with me and we jogged the whole thing together. We haven’t run side-by-side in years, so that was awesome! No dogs. Not too many strollers.  LOTS LOTS LOTS LOTS of walkers – but chatting with Nash kept…well, really anything at all from bothering me with the crowd chaos. There were water stations. It was only 80-ish degrees at the start. I say ONLY 80-ish, because the Midwest has been in a nasty heat snap and we haven’t had many days under 90-degrees in the past few weeks.  There was one guy running in tighty-whities w/a jock strap over it, and a wife-beater on top – and all I could think to myself is “I don’t want to see what happens when his ass crack starts to sweat and all that color starts to run”…because my brain is a little broken sometimes. The people throwing the blue cornstarch were coated with it from head to toe – so there was an entire station of Smurfs. Color bombing at the end was really cool to see and I left coated in all the different colors. Also, I was pretty impressed with how well everything washed off of me.  A little longer shower than normal, but it all went away. Good time.

Today is being one of *those* days, where I could be all huff ‘n kerfuffled.

  • A laptop upgrade at work that should have barely interrupted my day ended up taking 3-1/2 hours of completely non-productive time – unless you count drinking coffee and eating breakfast on your work to-do list.
  • When I got my new laptop, all my files were preserved – and my favorites – but all of my feeds were wiped out. I’d forgotten to create some way to preserve that list. So, roughly half the shit that I waste my time on when I should be working is gone. About 30 decent blogs – deleted.
  •  I landed a jump slightly off in bootcamp this morning – something weird happens when I land backwards – and my upper back blew up. Not so bad as the last time it happened (3 weeks ago), but definitely a problem and a warning shot of pain over the bower telling me that if I dared handle it like I did last time (finishing the workout), there would be consequences. Last time I spent the entire day icing my back and sitting on the couch. Today I can still move pretty well, but it still hurts.
  • My bank called to tell me that they’ve redesigned their checking account types and my account type no longer exists. They need me to come in and discuss my options – and it might not be free anymore but that maybe it still will be, we’ll see. I don’t think I’ve actually walked into a banking center in more than 2 years.

I could stomp and huff and puff and cry to myself about how these things always happen when my chiropractor is closed on Friday, and that corporate greed is about to start charging me for checking again, and damn! some of those blogs were pretty inspiring.

Instead, I reminded myself that I still got in a good workout before the back thing & had a good time at the gym this morning. I was pretty sore before we even started – so my body could probably use the rest. The fact that I can recall off the top of my head only 5 of those 30 or so blogs that I mass ‘unsubscribed’ too probably means I wasn’t gaining much from them anyway. Time to simplify. I have a brand new laptop, instead of a refurbished one. And the downtime from the computer upgrade left me with a shiney, clean Lysol-smelling desk – as well as gave me some valuable time to talk to a colleague about possible career paths.

I’m getting my hair cut later, and with the luck I’m having today, I’ll end up bald. I should probably reschedule. But I’ve printed off some photos of what I want done and if I end up bald, well – there’s a rite of passage in India that involves shaving your head. I’ve always been curious about what that would be like. It’s hair. It usually grows back, and it wouldn’t be the first bad haircut I’ve had in my life.

I can spend time bitching about these petty first-world problems, or I can just accept that life does not adhere to my ways and agendas all the time, every day. It changes and it challenges. It also laughs at plans laid out with precision. I am healthy, and employed, and I have enough money in my pocket to take me to the salon today, then grab onto a bit of date night with the husband. I am a lucky girl.

Today is not Thursday.

That’s what I keep repeating to myself trying to pound it into my brain.

Today is NOT Thursday. Today is NOT Thursday. Today is REALLY. NOT. Thursday.

I don’t know why it is that certain days have a feel to them enough that you can say, today feels like Thursday even though it’s not. I know it’s not because my underwear tells me so. (just-kidding! I haven’t owned days-of-the-week underwear since some time in my late teens when I had hard time explaining why Thursday went missing…story for no other time ever because this is also the part where I just make shit up to entertain myself.)

Humans are weird. Some of them own panties with weekdays scribbled on them.

I digress.

Last Wednesday, with being off for the Fourth of July holiday, I had a 9am run scheduled. A morning run is usually a Saturday thing. Last Wednesday definitely felt like a Saturday. I’m sure the beer and street parades later in the day had something to do with that too. But mainly I blame the Saturday run, which happened on Wednesday this time.

It. started. it all.

Then going back to work on Thursday – Thursday felt like a Monday. Discombobulated? Not nearly enough sleep? Possibly hungover? Dozens of emails expecting coherent responses? Yep, Monday. Except that it was Thursday.

And then Friday just felt all fucked-up. Am I Friday? I’ve got so much shit to do – I JUST DON’T KNOW! Maybe I’m Wednesday… It was having an identity crises as I rushed to get all the Wednesday pile-up done.

I work from home on Tuesdays. So Tuesdays usually have a slightly more relaxed feel to them even though I’m more intensely focused on the work I’m doing. Comfy pants. Good coffee. Bare feet. Throwing the random dog toys that get dropped on my computer keyboard throughout the day. Ya know, Tuesday. Well, a weekend of 100-degree temperatures kept me inside knocking out some photo-editing I needed to finish. At home spending long stretches at the computer also = Tuesday. Saturday & Sunday were both Tuesdays.

Then Monday swept in and kicked everyone into gear. Nothing like a 5:30am Monday bootcamp to hit the reset button on all the fucked-up-ed-ness. It was all I AM MONDAY BEYOTCHES!!! STEP IN LINE!

Weekday holiday = twice the jerk Monday!

Tuesday felt like it’s normal laid back self. FINALLY. A day that is as it should be – normal! Except that last week, I didn’t have to work Wednesday and Tuesday spent all day rocking in the corner and whispering to itself ‘tomorrow is sleep in and beer day! Yay!’. My brain wants last week back with all its beer and greasy food and sparkly things and 3 Tuesdays. Tuesday wants more friends.

And now, even though I spent the morning at bootcamp jumping around like a monkey – which is definitely a Wednesday thing – my brain is all about it being Thursday. Because if there aren’t sparkly things, it must not be Wednesday. My brain is in complete denial of Wednesday and has moved on to Thursday.

But today is NOT Thursday. Today is REALLY NOT Thursday.

Guess who didn’t drop a 60lb MMA grappling bag on her nose this morning?


Apparently, when you drop the 35lb version on your face, it makes an impression that, perhaps, you shouldn’t do that. So much so, that when you get to play with the 60lb bag on a similar session, you damn well make sure you DON’T DROP IT ON YOUR FACE! YAY ME!

This is how I am defining success now – in terms of how much shit I have not dropped on my face to begin the day. It makes you feel accomplished pretty easily.

Shoe? Nope. Still on feet.

Coffee mug? Got close, but nailed the landing into the mouth.

Car? Nope! Not on face! WINNING! I’m a WINNER!

Welcome to Monday. May you leave the treadmarks on the ground and not on your face this week.