Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Running update: I now make up special names for my running clothes to legitimize my shopping.

I am about to launch into many months of gardeningblahblahblah so I thought I'd share some parting words about my winter running, the forthcoming spring time running and how I'm worried that not running a single half marathon this year will ruin my life or at least cripple my not-really-a running career to the point where all I'll do during the times when I normally would have been on a 12 mile training run is wander the neighborhood in my running shorts pointing at the race medals strung around my neck going, "Look, fuckers! These mean I don't *have* to run long distances anymore, OK."

Yes, my mind wanders when I run and I have an awesomely creative and inappropriate imagination.

Also, I realize that 13.1 miles is only considered to be "long distance running" to some people so don't get all "Um, loser - you're not running long distances until you're in the 26 mile range, OK?" in the comments because I'll ignore you and also quietly hate you. And, despite my innate crabbiness, I don't want to hate you.

Anyway, mostly I just worry about The Fatness and not being able to hike as fast on our backpacking trips, as I set my sights on the 5 and 10Ks in the ever-present Active.com Upcoming Events in Your Area emails.

I mean, yes, I have been vaguely tempted to sign up for the Seattle Rock N Roll Half Marathon, if only for the chance to maybe possibly see a bald eagle, like, right there along Lake Washington again so that I can be an inappropriate ass, again, and shriek "Holy Shit!" amongst a sea of horrified runners, but I've learned an important lesson about re-running a race:

Don't do it because it's very boring.

Yep - thanks San Jose Rock N Roll, for that life lesson.

OK, so the second time I ran it, it was OK. I was going for time, which I made swiftly and with little added effort, but the third time (last year), the race was terrible. I was bored to the point where I considered just running off the course at the six mile mark *knowing* that I wouldn't care later about ditching out on the run because I was *so over it*.

But, thankfully, the tiny competitor in my mind (and let me be clear when I say, "tiny", because I'm not all that competitive) forced me to stay and finish what I started. So, really, it probably wasn't the tiny competitor in my mind, but more the HUGE A/R accountant in my mind that wouldn't let me flake on a commitment. Or a race entry fee.

OK, the fee part was probably the tiny Jew in my mind, but whatever. Jew, accountant - let's not get buried in semantics.

All in all, the lesson was learned and as I was finishing that dull drag of a race, I decided that I would certainly not run it again. At least for a while. Because HI no one did anything remotely interesting to their front yards in the year's time between the '08 and '09 races and so I had nothing to look at but the same tired landscaping and the ankles of the toads in front of me.


About my winter running, though. Well, I think we're done with that season now, too.

I had, officially, one day that required YakTrax, but as I had not yet purchased the YakTrax, I spent the duration of that run slip-sliding away and very nearly snapping a groin muscle (no injury sustained, though, so YAY).

After that fateful day, however, I did buy the YakTrax and have since used them many times - in Tahoe. Where it snows. And where I like to take the dogs out for leash-free roaming while I drink wine out of a coffee cup.

Like I've said before, I'm a class broad.

I think the arrival of the YakTrax also marked the permanent stowing of the remainder of the winter running gear like the vest, tights, long-sleeves and thick running pants.

Though I may break the tights and long sleeves out for the Mermaid 10K if the weather makes an evil turn on the eve of the race like it did last year.

Fine. I'll manage.

But, in a deliberate attempt to welcome spring and force winter to the back of the closet, I got myself what I'm calling, a Transitional Running Top.

"Transitional" because it has short sleeves rather than long or tank sleeves and will let me transition between the cold ass mornings of the winter and the cool and lovely mornings of spring.

You get it.

Mostly this is because, while I'm ready to wear tanks on my morning runs, I tend to get the hairy eyeball from the freaks all wrapped around their paper coffee cups at the stop lights and sometimes the older gal in her head-to-toe winter running outfit (with matching headband - sharp!) goes out of her way to interrogate me on what exactly is my problem aren't I freezing.

Sure, I can say No and wipe some of my carefully cultivated boob sweat on her forehead to illustrate my point, but it's easier to just wear short sleeves so that my barren shoulders don't attract so much attention.

It's amazing how an extra two inches of fabric extended over the shoulders can mitigate so much unsolicited inquiry into my mental status.

But, surpriseSURPRISE, I actually quite like my Transitional short-sleeve top even though I thought I'd certainly hate it.

It's more form-fitting than the one-size-fits-most free race day technical tees I've been wearing, but not to the point where it rides up my midsection until it's sitting just below my boobs, thus offering up a quivering display of my midsection.

It's a nice, slick, breathey, wicking type of fabric - which is good for the inevitable sweating I do when it's *GASP* 40 degrees during morning intervals, and on top of that, I daresay this top has made me faster.

Oh sure - a top can do that.

And I would know, too, since my last two interval runs, for which I wore my Transitional Top for the first two times, have been in the 23s.

Yep - suck it - Runs in the 24s! 23 is the new 24! And I will now wear this Transitional SUPER FAST Top until such time as it becomes less maniacal to wear a tank top before the 7 o'clock hour.

Which sort of gives you an idea of what my spring time running will be like. Tank tops and shorts, intervaling out my Tuesday and Thursday mornings and long running my Saturday mornings, all with the ill-conceived goal of making time on my races.

In other words, 2010 probably won't be so much about trail running (as I'd previously thought) as it will be about nailing down some specific distance times. Like I've said before, I'm going for a sub-60 10K race time. And, since I managed a sub-30 5K at Thanksgiving last year, I'd like to now make that a sub-29 5K. Which isn't as glamorous as a sub-30, but it's faster than my finish time of 29:14, so you can understand my reasoning, yes?

Yeah, true, it's not as fun to say, "I'm going for a sub-29 5K PR and sub-60 10K PR this year!" as it is to say, "I'm running two half marathons", but when you get down to the bottom of all this, running isn't usually associated with "fun" for most people, so I can be a little less rigid with my standards of declaration.

I'm sure you agree.

And that is about all the running updating I have to do for now. Gird your loins for the forthcoming gardening talk.


  1. I politely read all the running talk, but I really stopped paying attention at the point where you mentioned the wine in the coffee mug. Because that, of course, is my preferred vessel for wine. And we do not have any wine in the house right now. What the fuck is THAT about? Mommy needs wine to feed the insatiable monster permanently attached to her boobs!

    Someone around here is not doing their job in the wine-stocking department. We may have to have a family meeting about this.

  2. Yah. Have you ever considered medication? Just a thought. ;)

    I'm all proud I'm doing a mile and a half of fast fucking walking, sporadic bursts of running. At least I don't feel like I'm going to die at the end anymore. I mean I can do 1.5 in 30 minutes. Good? Bad? Don't tell me. I think I'm the treadmill rockstar slut. But you?? Marathon slut. And that's ok. :)

    (is it odd that the word verification is "brave"?)

  3. OK, one of these days I will have to read back through all of these posts to decide what kind of running crap I need to buy.

    Because, get this, I've actually run a bit this year, and by 'this year' I mean the last two months. Mostly I've just walked (45 miles total in January and 31 in February- but I was doing a massive room redo with lots of squatting and what not in Feb, so the shorter distance doesn't count), but there was some running. And one day there will be more running because I've learned that if I do enough yoga, running doesn't hurt my knees, so my last excuse is out the window.

    Also, I can now take off my pants without unbuttoning them. Which, while it isn't a particularly helpful skill, it does mean that I'm slightly less chubby than I used to be.

  4. Are you sure you don't want to do Seattle? You don't have to run. You could walk super fast with me. I only run on the downhills.

  5. Saw this and thought of you...

  6. Totally ready for all the garden talk!

  7. I'm jealous that you can even consider running with short sleeves. I'm usually bundled up and still get weird looks.

    (Just recently a friend of mine told me that he was at the town's only service station, also a big hangout, when I ran by on a very cold wintry day. Someone questioned him if he knew me and said, "man, she's hard." It makes me laugh because I'm such a weather wimp, but to some I'm "hard.")

  8. i am like a broken record but you are just so damn funny i have to say it again.

    and i totally don't run or care that much about running but what fascinates me is the need people have to comment on total strangers' experiences out in the world. and that it was happening so much that you had to buy a new top! but i'm glad the new top made you faster. even though those numbers mean very little to an ignorant, non-runner. i'll still validate your efforts, though, and read the gardening posts, too, because, as I have mentioned, you're really hilarious. so thanks.

  9. Ha, had to chuckle over your observation that no one did anything interesting to their landscaping in SJO. I think it should be a requirement for homes along the race route to spruce things up to keep things interesting for the runners. I've actually stopped and had a conversation with a homeowner about powdery mildew on roses while I was supposed to be running. Hmm, I guess that tells you where my priorities lie. Oh well, the hubby (fishbikerun.com) agonizes enough over pace, stats, gear and gel intake for the both of us! Bring on that gardening talk :)

  10. Hey class broad, Loins girded. New gear is essential to running enthusiasm. This reminds me that I need to throw away some of my stuff that is ripe from years of sweating in them. Perhaps I need some transitional tops.

  11. Kris - DUDE! You should have a meeting. That is a crisis!

    And, isn't there just something about drinking wine out of a coffee mug that is comforting and subversive at the same time?

    I do love it.

    Plus, I break fewer wine glasses that way.

    Sara - We're all sluts and we're all awesome. Because we're doing *something* - even if that something is *not* barfing on the bed post-workout.

    Wendy - I actually use that as a measure of weight loss.

    When I can pull formerly fine-fitting pants down over my hips.

    It's a delicious feeling.

    Good for you! Crazy yogi runner, you.

    Elizabeth - My neighbor suggested the same thing.

    To which I said, "Um. Yeah. I'm not traveling all the way to Seattle to walk 13 miles. That's silliness."

    Sorry :(

    Galadriel - Wow. I may have to do a whole WTF?! post about that.


    Meanwhile, the last line was awesome: "Meanwhile, the couple said they had reduced their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009."

    So, they reduced their water consumption by 240,000 gallons and the city's pissed because they didn't submit site plans. Fucking morons. Bureaucracy makes me ill.

    Thanks for the link!

    Jeph - Me too, friend. Me too.

    lera - You are so hardcore! And your neighbors know it!

    I felt hardcore, too, when my neighbor passed me in his car, about 3 miles from our house, as I was running through a particularly enthusiastic rainstorm.

    I believe his exact words were, "Wow - that's dedication!"

    We're so hardcore.

    Whether we're wimps on the inside or not.


    Melissa - And YOU are a fabulous commenter! I feel so fancy now. Thank you for that.

    MoonstruckinMontana - Ha!

    I had to give in on a recent Shortish Long Run (7 miles) to pet the most adorable puppy (12 week old Samoyed, I mean COME ON - they're impossibly adorable) and, while I'd held strong to the rule of NO STOPPING for nearly 4 years, I didn't regret it.

    And, really, if I saw someone with a plant issues, I might have to stop, too. If I knew how to fix it, of course. Which, when it comes to roses, no clue. I'll leave that to you. And, thankfully, most people grow tomatoes and other vegetables in their backyards, so I won't be tempted to question them on their growing techniques.

    So, it's finally sunny today for about five minutes, so I might get out to the garden to see what's happening. I can see the peas, kohlrabi, garlic, broccolini and favas from the kitchen window (if I squint hard enough anyway), so I know *something's* happening out there. I may have enough peas to drop a few in some pasta tonight.

    That'd be a miracle.

    Dig - Don't we ALL need transitional tops? I think we do. And I also think that we may all need to clean out our workout clothes drawer because I can't close the fucking thing for all my new Transitional tops.

    I mean, we...whatever. Yes.


[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.