Monday, February 22, 2010

Pirate Attack

In honor of the upcomming race for Avast, Redhead Running, the following post includes things likely to be said by pirates at the Gasparilla Marathon:

“I can’t believe Asics doesn’t make a peg-leg shoe!”

“If you pass me, my parrot is trained to gouge out your eyes.”

“I’m just following the dotted line until I find a gigantic X.”

“The booty is only 26.2 miles ahead!”

“Boston has a ‘Tea Party,’ we have rum! We win!”


“I’m not slow, I’m just getting my sea legs back!”

“Pirate marathoners tend to have cramps and crabs.”

“I’m not running a marathon, I’m looking for my ship!”

“How many nautical miles are in a regular mile?”

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Super Bowl 5K—On Ice

I truly enjoy running my local Super Bowl 5K. It’s well organized, a pretty sizeable crowd considering the time of year and wild variance in weather, and I can even run in tights if I wish.

Last year the main issue/problem with the course was the neighborhood. If you don’t recall, the route is mostly along a main street with one mile spent in a ‘hood.’ And last year the hood wasn’t cleared, forcing us to slog through several inches of wet snow. This year the streets were again clear, but the hood provided well matted-down snow; which was basically ice. Perhaps the organizers thought: ‘If Disney and Sesame Street can take anything they do, put it on ice, and still draw a crowd, why cant we?’ No joke, several runners decided it was better to run on the snow covered grass/sidewalks than run on the ice rink.

I, of course prompted by a voice in my head, decided the only ‘true runner’ thing to do would be to run on the course—regardless of the dangerous conditions. And I did, almost falling several times. I even heard a runner bite it behind me (and no I didn’t stop to see if he/she was alright).

After the second mile we returned back to the main street and smooth surface running. By that point, the 22M of hills had caught up, and I slightly wished a car would come along and give me an honorable DNF—plus chicks dig scars.

Instead, I rallied and managed to pass a few runners before the finish, romping in under 19:30. About a minute faster than last year’s race, and not bad considering the mile of ‘escapades on ice.’ I also managed to start my racing year off right with some bling. Despite my improved time, my AG place remained the same. But I’ll take it willing; so long as a beautiful redhead thinks my AG award is better than a massive car-induced scar.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Long Winter, a Long Interval Away

First, I have an absence to explain. Well, my new work has a ‘new’ internet policy. And it’s a little fuzzy whether posting falls under the ‘acceptable internet use’ definition. And of course, our new policy is followed with an ‘observation period.’ So, they were tracking everyone’s internet breadcrumb trail, causing me to go incognito.

Also, with my new job, I’m on the road quite a bit more, while working approximately the same number of hours. The major difference being I’m away from home during the weekdays, quite infrequently having to work on the weekends. While prior I got home about the same time every weekday and put in some hours on the weekend. Why does this matter? Simple, it means that instead of going to workout at 5:30p on weekdays, and having to work a few hours on Sat/Sun (nothing better than working for five hours after a long run), I’m away from home until 8p at night—thereby making consistent weekday workouts very difficult—especially in winter. However, I have an abundance of free time on the weekends, where I only have one run to fit in.

But, alas, the ‘observation period’ has come and gone and I’ll be free to post and comment again. I trust all of you will be magnanimous towards me, and I thank you in advance.

Annnndddd, with all of that perfunctory stuff out of the way, I’ll give you a brief update concerning my training for Boston.

It sucks.

Yep, sucks big time.

Why? I’ve been missing weekday workouts. My long runs are significantly slower than training for Chicago. I’ve borrowed Nitmos’ Cheeto layer, and I can’t seem to give it back. Plus, the weather has been frightful. Clean sidewalks for running—nope. Cold and slippery conditions—yep. Nothing above freezing for a month—yep.

As a for instance. On Saturday I ran 22M. I selected the hilliest route possible for this area, an 11M out and back. The route has several hills and one large slow incline of well over 100 feet. That series of hills is about as close as I can fake it for the “Newton Hills” and its famous peak “Heartbreak Hill.” But it was 21 degrees, and a 15-20mph headwind. So, I had the fight of my life for a 7:54/M average.

But I’ve run long enough is MI to know this: when it comes to January and February, sometimes it is just enough to run the miles hard. When I look back at my training for Bayshore this time last year, my times and speeds are not that different. Everything speed related rests on going hard (but slow) these two months with the hope that speed will bloom in early spring.

Tomorrow I’ll drop my Super Bowl 5K recap, which I ran yesterday.