Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Running update: Month of 12s

Last Saturday I spent my 12 miles thinking not so much about oh my god I have so much farther to go but rather trying to rationalize not doing any hill training for this race that I know to include hills.

You'll remember my ambitious Month of 11s idea to go run The Dish as training for this hilly race and how I was going to be out there, rainstorm or heatwave, battling it out getting my hamstrings all in shape to cope with the 175' gains of the Seattle RNR.

Yes, well, that idea sounded less and less appealing as the time approached to actually go do the training, but not for the reason you think.

I mean, of course running hills sucks. I'm not going to be one of those people that's like, "Oh, running hills isn't that bad - in fact, I kind of like it because it gives my quads a break." because that is something an asshole who has never run in my legs would say.

A break? Over a 375' gain? Um, no. That is a lie. There are no breaks for anything when you're fighting gravity for 375'.

No, the thing that has kept me from doing this The Dish training is the drive.

That's right - the drive TO The Dish is a much bigger deterrent than actually running The Dish.

See, I'm an exerciser of convenience and efficiency, people. I think the only reason that running has stuck with me as a form of exercise over the last few years is because all I have to do is put on my shoes and trot out the front door.

Similar to my other routine exercise activities, this doesn't require me to have any extra special equipment or travel extended distances for something that will take me less than 30 minutes to complete.

And if you take a look at my race history, you'll notice that all but one race happened within a 20 minute drive from my house. And that So Far Away Race was my first race ever and the race that cemented in my mind how silly it seemed to drive for 90 minutes to run a race for 60 minutes so that I could drive 90 minutes home.

Now, I'm not so hot with numbers, but that seems like a pretty bad return on investment for an activity that's ultimately just going to torture me.

Instead, I prefer races that are close by so that I can limit the amount of torture to the race itself without having to tack on hours of car travel or, say, trying to find parking in San Francisco, which GAH.

And the plan for running The Dish included driving at least 30 minutes and trying to park in an area well known to be a supah pain in the ass.

And so died the plan of running The Dish.

Also, I ran the elevation on my long runs and found that over the course of 12 miles, I gained and lost around 100', which is only 75' short of the gains I'll encounter in Seattle, so meh, I'll probably live. Even if I have to run reallllllllllly slow and potentially hate myself for the few hours I'm out there.

Bubba sealed the deal when he said, "Hey, remember, you hiked up some pretty steep inclines when we were in Yosemite and you were wearing a 40+lb pack at the time. I'm sure you'll be fine."

That man, he always knows just what to say.

So now I'm not running hills at all. Instead, I'm running my 12s for the first few Saturdays of June before I taper off and go for 13.1 in Seattle. Where I hope I haven't horribly misinterpreted the elevation map for the course or, more likely, wildly underestimated my coping abilities when it comes to Pain By Hills.

And just to rebut the comments I'm sure to generate with this declaration of, "I don't travel for routine exercise even though I'm about to fly to another state for a race", I'm tacking on visits to two of the most important people in my life while I'm in Washington, so I'm not so much flying to Seattle for a race, as I am flying there to see my sister and close friend during which time I will also be running around their city trying to not die.

See, it makes sense.

As for other running updates, people have stopped just staring at me like I'm a freak and have instead begun saluting.

Really. True story.

I've been saluted twice now, by different people, during my short tempo runs and I haven't the foggiest as to why anyone would be moved to do such a thing. It's not like I wear a USMC tshirt or carry a flag or run whilst resting my hand just above my brow.

No. I wear my usual tank top and shorts (yay! bare leg running is the best!), carry nothing and am usually lip-syncing along to some foul-mouthed Seether song when this happens, which you can imagine makes me feel a little like a fraud.

Here I am silently mouthing "...you're such a fuckin' hypocrite" and some nice older gentleman in a newsboy hat and scarf is saluting me, in all seriousness, as though I'm doing something salute-worthy, which I'm certainly not.

It's not like the chick I saw out running on Saturday who was getting on at a good clip WHILE PUSHING A DOUBLE STROLLER FULL OF TWO KIDS WHOA. Yeah, that girl got a nice big, "Right on!", from yours truly because HOLY - you're running fast and pushing two kids in a stroller so you are rad.

Meanwhile I, of the no-stroller pushing variety of runners, have contemplated my choice of running music, facial expressions, attire and intentions to find the reason why someone would salute someone who's running while singing swears and not pushing a double stroller until I came to the conclusion that my running top must be too tight and they're impressed that someone can drag out such a jiggly midsection to run around the block.

Good for you, Jiggly! I salute your shunning of form-hiding clothes and am impressed that you have the will to haul that around! Also thanks for not wearing your tights anymore! That was gross!

Which is a fine assumption because it means I can go on listening to my raging swearing WAAAAA music without feeling any guilt.

And in case you are awesome and want to suggest some tunes for my race day playlist (HELP ME), here's some of the stuff I just added so you know what I'm looking for and also what I'm talking about when I say, "raging swearing WAAAAAA music":

Seether, "Fake it"
Bullet for My Valentine, "Tears Don't Fall"
Taking Back Sunday, "New Again"
My Chemical Romance, "To The End"
30 Seconds to Mars, "The Fantasy"
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, "You Better Pray"

And on the lighter side:
Coconut Records, "Microphone"
Franz Ferdinand, "No You Girls"
Spinnerette, "Ghetto Love"
Goldfrapp, "Oh la la"


  1. I cannot recommend any music because I recognize NOTHING in your play list. As much as I love Finny Knits, it's obvious Finny herself does not listen to music that sings to me.
    As for the running and hills and all that, I don't know why you do it, but you'll be fine. Bubba is right.

  2. Finny, you're a monster!

    Let's see, for music I'd suggest songs by Gogol Bordello (they've usually got some good swears- and Start Wearing Purple and Wonderlust King are good peppy songs). And for some truly fabulous swears, I'd suggest Lords of Acid, especially The Most Wonderful Girl. They're pretty hilarious. I used to run to those gals all the time in college and had to work very hard to NOT sing out loud.

    When I go for brisk walks (I know, not the same) I like to listen to Everything is Everything by Lauryn Hill, Little Bird by Annie Lenox and Free Your Mind by En Vogue. They're very "You go, girl!" and I enjoy pretending that I do go.

    But going back over your playlist, I think your taste in music might be a bit more current than mine.

  3. Okay, I realize that I am a TOTAL OLD PERSON because I only knew one band in your first group and one in your second. Oy. So sad for someone who used to be conceived (at least by herself) as "hip."

    Anyhoo, I am on a serious Franz Ferdinand stint lately with my own (lame) running routine. The first album RULES.

  4. I have lots of kick serious ass music in my collection. But none of it's in English. You can pretend they're swearing if it'll help.

  5. I think you really need to add a double stroller to your training regimen. I'm sure there is some frazzled mother in your neighborhood who would be glad to lend you her two small children for an hour or two so you could push them while you run.

  6. I'd salute you! For sure.

    I haven't run in 1 1/2 weeks, since I've been sick. I just don't think running with a fever and body aches is a good thing. But, oh, at my last race (which was also my last run before getting sick), a PREGNANT friend of mine was pushing a double stroller and passed us. She's a marathoner, though.

  7. I am saluting you right now and thanks for sharing that play list. I am in DIRE need for some new workout tunes.

  8. Great playlist! Here are some of my suggestions - I'm not sure that there are a lot of swears, or if they're good to run to, but they're great songs IMHO.

    Weezer - The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (totally great narcissistic song - must listen to very loud)

    Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want to (great stalker song, lol)

    Chris Cornell - Scream (LOVE it, but then love Chris Cornell, Black Hole Sun is perhaps one of the best songs of all times)

    Coconut Records - West Coast

    Against Me - Stop! (swears), Thrash Unreal

    The John Butler Trio - Zebra

    My Chemical Romance - Teenagers (swears)

    The Offspring - You're Gonna go Far Kid (swears)


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.