Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Running update: Hopscotch and other ways I'm not training properly

As you know I recently returned from a 2+ week vacation. And during that 2+ weeks, do you want to guess what I only did one single time?

Go on, I'll wait.

Oh - you guessed that one fast: run.

I only ran once. On the last Saturday of vacation before I shuttled my pretzel-swollen ass to the office. And it was a shortish long one. About 6 miles.

I wore my Garmin, though, so I'm calling it at least a semi-real run, even though my pace was so shameful to call into question the actual activity in which I was engaged. Was I running or clipping my toenails? Jogging or tiptoeing through someone's shrubs to catch a glimpse of them in their no-no outfit? Sitting down?

None of the above, thankfully. I was hopscotching.

See, friends, there are some kids (I imagine they're kids, but I suppose it could be an infantile adult out there with the big pink chalk) who haul their big bucket of fat chalk out to the sidewalk along a main drag of my street route (which I take when I'm not actually training for something that requires a route with minimal signals) and routinely redraw and update an elaborate hopscotch court (field?) for what I assume is their own amusement and not to torture me in my huffing and puffing.

Because I've tread on this hopscotch court, in a variety of its incarnations, many many times. And never once have I had the wherewithal to actually hopscotch it. Even though I spend the following half mile regretting it every time.

I mean - it's hopscotch - you HAVE to love it. Right? I mean, I love it. Though, now that I think about it, I have no idea why.

Anyway, that's not important. No, it's important that I DO love hopscotch and last weekend, while I was trying to come to terms with the settling of many liters of beer and many hundreds of pretzels' weight around my midsection by performing the strenuous act of a shortish-long run, I ignored the I'M EXHAUSTED DON'T YOU DARE HOPSCOTCH THAT THING voice in my head (killjoy, that) and hopped half of the scotch before bounding off, all the happier for it.

Methinks that hopscotch is good for the soul. As long as you don't trip and skin your face off. Which is what, I think, was keeping me from doing it before.

That and the fact that I haven't, since recently nailing down my sub-60 10K and completing my first multi-sport race, been training in a meaningful way for a race. And when I train, I can't be running signal-ridden city streets because that is evidently no way to train.. It's a way to hopscotch your face off, but it's no way to train.

And that is the other way I'm not training properly - I'm not training at all. Because I don't have a race on the books right now.

And it's fucking haunting me, man.

I don't like to watch my pace dip into the 10s, which I can now anal-retentively watch thanks to my recent (and very latent) discovery of the Autolap feature on the Garmin, but as soon as I get wound up about OH MY GOD RUN FASTER YOU SLOW BEAST, I just as quickly fight back with, "Well, why - you're not training for anything. What's the point?"

I need a point to running. This much I've learned.

So - I'm considering a few things:
  • A random 9K race suggested by my cousin, which is nearby and of a distance so random that regardless of how slowly I run it, won't ruin any of my current PRs
  • Rerunning the Seattle Rock N Roll Half Marathon next June with the maybe/perhaps/potential intention of going for a 2:TEENS PR
  • Maybe/perhaps/potentially considering the idea of trying my hand at a triathlon next spring
And I'm definitely going to run the Turkey Trot again, though I've not signed up for it yet and am not sure whether I'll do it in costume, go for a PR or just get drunk and drag a turkey leg around to shake at spectators.

You have to admit, the turkey leg thing could be pretty fun. Though I'm not sure it would qualify me for race fries. And you know how I like my race fries.

So yeah, my running is a bit meaningless right now, aside from the fitness aspect and the Filling the Laundry Basket with More Clothes aspect, and I'll thank you to weigh in with any strategies for handling my aimless running life.

Anyone out there running the Title 9K? Have you run the Boulder one in the past? Was getting into triathlons the worst mistake of your life? Are you the hopscotch champion of North America? Do you have a turkey, pumpkin pie or pilgrim costume I can borrow?

Whatever you got.


  1. If I didn't know you live in California, I'd wonder if you were running by my house. Joey is always filling our sidewalk with hopscotch. In fact, the last one she made (I'll have to look for the pictures on her computer) went halfway down our block and numbered well into the hundreds. She also wrote a little note on it saying, "You know you want to do this."

    And, yes, I actually did the Title 9K in Boulder many years ago (7 maybe), but we walked a lot of it. This was long before I'd reconvinced myself that I was a runner, and my only goal was to finish. It was in a pretty-ish area, mostly around the reservoir and pretty flat, but it wasn't an amazing course or anything. I bet it'll be better in California. The cool part was all the men and kids at the end holding up signs about how bad ass their women were. There were a lot of strollers, but I think they stick them at the back, so you shouldn't have to fight your way through them. Also, I still get the Title 9 catalog because I love the mini-bios of all the women. (I have to hide them from Jeff because he finds a women's clothing store called Title 9 to be sexist because he knows that Title 9 was actually about equally funding sports for both sexes. Then I point out how inequitable things still are and he lets me read my catalog in peace.)

    Whatever you have planned next, I can't wait to read about it!

  2. "am not sure whether I'll do it in costume, go for a PR or just get drunk and drag a turkey leg around to shake at spectators."

    hilarious. definitely go with the last option.

    and wendy, that's funny about the title 9 catalogue! glad you found a way to read it in peace still.

  3. I've run 3 times in the last 6 weeks. One of those was a half marathon. My ass, it is getting fat. Again.

    Just yesterday I was telling my boyfriend that I want to do the RnR Seattle race again.


[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.