Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So it began...or begins

I went to law school because I hate numbers. And yet, I obsess about numbers when it comes to running. Perhaps I went to law school because, as my college calculus professor once told me, "Son, there are three types of mathematicians: those who can add and those who cannot. Can you figure out where you belong?"

That said, I should also tell you that I have yet to sit down and plan my marathon training plan for Boston. I know, I'm a slacker. What this means is that, for some reason, I failed to start my marathon training on time. Instead of diligently beginning week one last week, I did my first few runs in about a month last week...and then I realized I was a week behind. When the Redhead shared her fear about this, I double and triple checked my calendar and hung my head in shame.

Therefore, somewhat panicked, I diligently began week two of training on Monday. And that meant that I, unlike last year, did my track workout by going to MSU's Jenison Field House. Hummm....

If you think running on a track sucks. Then just try to imagine how much it sucks to run on a track half as small and in an environment so dry your lungs feel like they are inhaling fire on your warm-up laps. But, after my Boston failure last year, I'm going to stick it out no matter what. And so I did.

The mini-track had about a dozen of the MSU's Men's Track team partaking in an unofficial practice. Yep, shirtless studs with six-packs popping were also laping me around the track. It was great because it was meat-tastic and because it only served to offend my pride to force me to run faster.

Then, last night I decided to sit down and write out my schedule. Which is when, looking at a calendar and not in a panic, I realized that I was actually in my first week of marathon training. Counting sucks.

A few pictures of the mini-track below:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The BQ Divide

Seems that selling out in eight hours alerted the fine people at BAA about a new marketing opportunity. And the folks over at Adidas lost no time in taking advantage of this new opportunity. Last week I noticed Adidas is not only selling Boston Marathon merchandise, including the standard 2011 Boston Marathon gear, but a new version of the Boston line…the Boston Marathon Qualifier.

Yep, if you were one of the unfortunate who were jammed out of an opportunity to run Boston 2011 (and not one of the lucky fall BQers who can try again in 2012 using their fall 2010 time), then you can at least let the world know you are a BQer, even if you didn’t actually run the race.

see: Boston Marathon Qualifier

Now, this brings up a few interesting questions that get at the heart of runner's superstition. The Redhead is a firm believer that a runner should never wear the 'race shirt' before the race. Therefore, any of you who wear the 'race shirt' during the actual race are offensive to the Redhead. Hay, it's her belief system.

So, does this new line run afoul of such running lore? Are the running gods to be offended?

I'll admit I carry some runner superstition. I don't wear the running shirt before I run the race, but I'm fine with wearing a 'race shirt' even if I didn't run it that year. This is proven by my purchase of the 2010 Capital City River Run race shirt. Didn't run it this year, but I loved the new shirt and got it on sale. Score. The Redhead thinks doing so is bad runner mojo.

I'm sure several runners would never dream of buying Boston Marathon apparel if they didn't run the actual race, but those same runners may be willing to wear the BM Qualifier gear. At least, that is what Adidas is banking on.

And, given the prestige of the race, and the likely notion that all future Boston Marathons will be equally difficult to obtain a spot in, this new line will cover the gap of BQers who are too scared to buy actual BM merchandise. Even though this is a clear attempt by Adidas to exploit—for a profit—those runners screwed out of the chance to run the race they worked so hard to qualify for, it keeps those runners from possibly feeling like posers while recognizing their accomplishment.

Publish Post

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jingle Belle 5K Saga

I wouldn't go so far as to say we have a winter wonderland here in Michigan, but the snow is falling. Fortunately, for the Redhead and a few of her friends, the snow waited until after the Jingle Belle 5K.

I had been under the impression that this was my first time spectating the Redhead, but she was kind enough to remind me that I did spectate her at the Boston 5K. True. But that was more just a I-just-happened-to-be-there spectate than an actual I made signs and such spectate. Moreover, after she was kind enough to be my number one superfan whilst she was injured, I wanted to return the favor and spectate right.

Which means, I got to make a few signs. And, because the Redhead was only running this 5K for fun, I knew she would be able to appreciate my signage while out on the course. I selected four spots to cheer her on, and made four signs for support.

Such things as "Sure, invite Belle, but no Elle?!?"* and "Use Those Sexy Getaway Sticks" were there to greet her (check out her post to see the other two signs, including a rather racy one). While on the course I shouted such encouraging things as "Santa loves sweaty runners!" And "This is probably enough to get off of the naughty list, well not you (selecting a random runner and pointing her out)!" And "Hurry up will you, I'm freezing my butt off out here."

After the race, I presented the Redhead and her friends with a victory bag containing a instant hand warmer, a pedicure set, and some Christmas chocolates. I was glad to be out there and support the Redhead like she has done for me so many times before.


What I'd like to do now is address an unsettling situation: the existence of a female only event without the existence of a male counterpart. Therefore, I have decided to organize my own 5K. I've helped on enough local race committees to know how to make this happen. And, I'm thinking the Christmas Blue Balls 5K will be an excellent male only event. Details of this event will be posted as the year progress, but I'm thinking huge. Maybe Old Spice, Car and Driver, and Maxim. I'm also going to have to get Chuck Norris to make a special appearance.**

* Yep, a Christmas pun.

** So, does anyone have an 'in' with Chuck?