Monday, May 30, 2011

Going the Distance, Going for Speed

So today was race day. I'd trained for all of 5 days with only 3 runs, only one of which was outdoors in the real world heat and humidity. Guess what?

That was a mistake.

It was 96 degrees Fahrenheit this morning with 51 percent humidity. Do you know what happens with 51 percent humidity? Well, I'll tell you if you don't know. Your body can't cool off. Sweating doesn't help, even though you do lots and lots of sweating. Your flesh is just stifled underneath this soggy layer of steam that prevents any cooling from taking place.

So I was shooting for a not-impressive series of 10-minute miles throughout the race. And I was concerned because I'd had knee problems and calf-cramp problems all week. I needn't have worried because the heat and humidity made my knee and calf problems the least of my concerns.

I ran a 9:30 minute first mile. Yay me. That's not impressive, but it was better than I'd planned. But I could already tell as I finished that mile that I was going to be in trouble for the rest of the race. The heat and humidity was KILLING me.

The second mile, several very attractive young women whom I had passed during the first mile began to pass me right back. I knew I was in a bad way when I glanced at their tanned and very attractive behinds striding past me and did not even consider trying to catch up. I couldn't afford to break my slowing pace or I would never finish. I ran a nearly 12 minute, gasping, steaming, God-its-hot 2nd mile.

Oh Lord, there's still further to go.

The third mile, an old man, hunched with a kind of shuffle, who was wearing ankle weights on both legs, I shit you not, passed me by. I was not happy. To be fair, I had a bit of difficulty passing him during the first mile, so despite his seemingly decrepit gate, he was motoring pretty good. But still, it was insulting. And I couldn't do a damn thing about it. I may not have raced in 2 years, but I know my limitations and I knew I needed to hang on to my ever-slowing pace as best as I could or I would be in serious trouble.

The last stretch of the third mile seemed to go on forever. We went up a hill, then over the top. And far, far down the slope I could see a big banner which appeared to be the finish line.

"Oh God, I feel like I'm going to slow to a walk. I am NOT going to walk on the last mile. I am NOT!" I struggled and ached and squirmed along in the heat, trying to straighten my back up a bit to ease the pain of my lower back and take some pressure off. I had apparently begun to hunch forward in the heat, so I had to force myself to straighten up and raise my head. Looking at the banner across the finish line helped. I tried to ignore the beautiful girls and hunched old ankle-weight-wearing men passing me and just focus on the finish.

Thank God no one pushing a stroller passed me or that would have been too much to bear.

Some runners, seeing the banner, began to sprint, or as close as they could to sprinting. I typically don't sprint until the final 100 yards, so I held on to my dying pace. Finally, I reached the bottom of the long slope. It was a very long, straight stretch to that banner with no shade and my body screaming "STOP! STOP AND WALK BEFORE I DIE!"

I began to feel the distinctive cold shiver of heat stroke hitting me. It was just the beginning. I had endured this before. But considering the terrible shape I was already in, and how close I was to slowing to a walk, it was bad news. I looked for any water stations where I could grab a cup of cold water to throw over my head. There were none.

Meanwhile, more runners sprinted past me towards that banner.

That's when I noticed the other banner beyond the banner I had been looking at. And then I remembered, at the start of the race, the race announcer had told us that the starting line is NOT the finish line. The finish line is PAST the starting line. The banner we had been running towards was the starting line. Oh shit!

If I had tried to sprint when I saw that first banner, thinking it was the finish, I would have ended my race in the back of an ambulance. There was a considerable distance to go beyond the banner for the starting line until you reached the banner marking the finish line, and in this oppressive heat, that was just far enough to kill me.

But I hadn't sprinted when I saw the banner, and it was a good thing. I stumble-ran underneath the banner marking the start, still fighting the urge to either slow to a walk or just fall on my face in the middle of the street and be trampled. I could see the true finish. I just wasn't sure if I could reach it before I collapsed.

Children passed me. Mothers passed me. People who thought the first banner was the finish line and had sprinted stopped to walk in utter exhaustion. But I did not walk. I ran at my horrible pace. I saw the clock marking the time at the finish line. It said 33:56 and I still had several yards left to go.

Then 33:57.

"Oh Lord, I'm not even going to finish in under 34 minutes!"


I tried to speed up. I just couldn't do it.


"Oh son of a ... "


I ran across the finish line, glancing briefly at the clock marking my time, groaning in disgust at the worst 5K time of my entire life, and then warned the runners around me that there was a distinct possibility that I may projectile vomit at any moment.

I immediately found a water station and started trying to cool myself down before any fluids forcibly escaped through my mouth and nostrils in the form of racers puke. I saw a PVC arc someone had constructed, which had a hose attached and cold water showering out of it for runners to walk under and cool off. Cool idea! I made a beeline for it. I walked under it several times, slowly cooling little by little. Then I stood under it like my own personal cold shower.

Teenage girls who had been giggling and playing in the water arc, performing a possibly illegal wet t-shirt contest, stopped giggling and looked at me. I was apparently interfering with their fun even though I was off to one side of the arc and not really in their way. I glared at them. They moved more to the opposite side and continuing playing and giggling. And then I went and sat down in the shade, exhausted, sunburned as hell, and soaking wet.

A 34 minute race! I ran a lousy stinking 34 minute race! Oh, the humanity! Oh the shame!
My only real consolation today is that apparently our racing numbers which we wore contained a computer chip. That chip is how they timed us. Since the start of the race is so crowded, only the front-row runners actually cross the starting line when the gun goes off and the main clock starts timing the race. But our chips alert the computer to the true time we crossed the starting line. Then the difference between the race start and the time we actually crossed the starting line is deducted from our final time to give the actual time we took to run the course. So I had 6 seconds taken off my final time, giving me the worst time I'd ever run a 5K minus 6 seconds. 33:54 - Yay me!

And also, I never puked.

I didn't puke

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Running On Stranger Tides

I went to the gym and ran the treadmill on Friday. It was expected to be my last workout before the race. I took it easy, which turned out to be a good thing because my knee and my calf were hurting pretty badly. I only ran 2 miles. No one was there because it was Friday after work and the start of the Memorial Day weekend. Since that workout, my knee has been bothering me a lot. It's going to be a tough race. I may be hurt before it even starts.

Today I went to the movies. I saw "Pirates of the Caribbean 4 - On Stranger Tides" I won't give the movie away, but I missed the first 5 or 10 minutes and I think I must have missed something important relating to the preacher man and the mermaid. How did they know each other's names? What were they talking about, "you pushed me aside and saved me"?

From the way the movie ended, I'd say there's going to be a "Pirates 5". Four was good enough that I think Five will do well. I'd recommend seeing the movie in 3D. I saw it in regular 2D and got there late, so the place was packed and I had to sit way up front, staring up at the screen while sitting next to 2 hot girls who sat with their feet up on the chairs in front of them. The chairs in front of them were the front row. There was no sitting any closer, that's how close we were.

Victoria's Secret Mermaids won't cry

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blogger is Fucked

It seems that no matter how many times I log in, Blogger still won't let me reply to your comments or leave comments on your blogs. But I can still write new posts. WTF?!

No one else seems to be having this problem, but I know a few people did earlier this week. So apparently shit is falling apart at

You Better Run

I skipped my workout at the gym during lunch today. My left leg calf has been hurting like hell since I ran on Monday, so when a friend emailed to ask if I wanted to eat lunch together, I gladly accepted.

We spent the entire lunch hour talking about the most random crap ever. I'm quite sure that the subject of super beautiful Canadian Laura Vandervoort and her show, "V", as well as sexy Julie Benz and her show, "No Ordinary Family", both came up. I know this because I'm the one who mentioned them. It was then that my friend informed me that BOTH television programs have been cancelled for the next season.

I think I almost cried when I heard the news.

After work, feeling a tad bit guilty about skipping my run and knowing that I have precious little time to prepare for the race on Memorial Day, I went on ahead to the gym for a boring but precisely timed treadmill run.

I hate going to any gym after work because everyone knows that 5-7 is the most crowded 2 hours for any gym on any workday. Today was no different. The place was packed.

I strapped my iPod to my arm, set it to play only 'Electronica', since that type of beat would help motivate me to run faster, whereas a random Pink Floyd song might have the opposite effect. Thus, I wanted to make sure nothing slow or depressing played during my workout. And then I set about trying to figure out this strange new treadmill.

It had all kinds of funky settings and options and crap I didn't know what the hell it was or why anyone might want it. Finally I just hit "Quick Start" and then searched for the "speed up" arrows. Once I'd found them I kept speeding up until I'd reached a pace that would make me run hard enough to hopefully begin working the pain in the may calf out, but not fast enough to cause me to pull anything. I finally found how to set the displays to show me my mile per minute pace ...

Uh oh, tornado sirens are going off. Be right back ...

OK, I'm just gonna blog through the tornado. If I die then you'll know because this post will end suddenly. Yeah, OK, whatever.

I finally found how to set the displays on the treadmill to show me my mile per minute pace, how far I had run, and the total time I had been running. Everything else was irrelevant to me.

Having not run AT ALL in over 2 years, I figured a 10 minute mile pace was a reasonable goal. The last race I ran, 2 years ago, I had a severely bruised foot and was in lousy shape due to the lack of training resulting from the injury. I ran the race anyway and averaged just under 10 minutes per mile, landing a 29:54 5K finish. That's a truly crappy time, not anything a competitive runner would ever admit to, but as I have become less and less competitive over the years and more and more of a 'jogger,' I figured I'd take it and be glad for it. At least I wasn't dead last for my age group.

With 2 more years having passed since the last race, I'm being pretty ambitious trying to duplicate that time. We'll see how it goes.

Anyway, I put in my earbuds, turned on my iPod, and slowly increased the speed of the treadmill until I reached a 10 minute mile pace at the start of mile number 2. Several very good looking girls came upstairs, walking past me to other treadmills and ellipticals out of my line of sight. I tried my best to ignore them and keep my head aimed forward and slight up, to make sure my form and my breathing were correct (Good runners don't swivel their heads around to check out hot girls - a little tip from me to you.) Some woman got on the treadmill in front of me. She wasn't ugly and she wasn't hot, for which I was grateful. She was no distraction at all. There was crap on the TVs overhead. My iPod was thumping with Fluke's "Atom Bomb." And my calf hurt like hell.

I tried and tried to fall into a groove. My lower back started to wimp out on me. It has been a major weak spot in all my workouts lately. I don't know why. It was trying to spasm on me now. I tried to straighten my back and run taller, with my chin up high. My back just bitched more. Then I noticed a workout class going on in the basketball gym directly in front of me. People were running suicides and some funky side-stepping thing that reminded me of football practice. When I saw the sprints I thought to myself, "I should be doing that. Some good sprint work would help me run a faster race." Plus, I could rest in between sprints. I distracted myself for the rest of the 2nd mile with watching those poor bastards running suicides.

By the third mile I was running out of gas. My sinuses and throat were dried out and I wasn't breathing well as a result. I slowed to 11 minute miles, a really crappy pace. I did that for the next half mile before speeding back up to a 10 minute mile pace for the final half mile. After reaching 3 miles, I began to slow the treadmill down until I was walking.

I felt like hell. My total time for the 3 miles was under 35 minutes, but that's still pretty bad and I only have time for 1 more workout before the actual race. I suspect I will not be running a good pace for this race. But we'll see.

Anyway, I stretched A LOT while watching the class downstairs still sprinting and doing some funky one-legged squats. I was pouring sweat like a French midget IMF chief facing a rape trial. I grabbed my stuff out of my locker, threw a towel over my car seats, and drove myself home for a shower and a meal.

And then I watched "Modern Family" cause Sofia Vergera is so super hot. And also the show is funny. And after that, "Cougar Town", because Courtney Cox is hot. And also the show is funny. Then tornado warnings starting slamming my TV and I decided to write an overly long and boring blog post about today's workout. I have no idea why.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Preparing for Race Day

I have a race to run, and once again, I have not trained the least little bit. Last month I was supposed to run a 5K with/against a friend of mine. I didn't go running even one time to prepare for it. I ended up having to go out of town anyway, so in the end it didn't matter. But here I am, one month later, and I have another race to run. Once again, no training has been done.

To be fair, I've been going to the gym and working cardio pretty hard. If the race consisted of doing 100 squats while holding dumbbells in each hand and then whipping out 50 pushups, I could jam on that. Unfortunately for me, though, it doesn't. It just consists of someone shooting a starting pistol and then me running as fast as I can for 3.1 miles. There's an even longer race 2 hours before this one, a 6.2 mile event that I would have signed up for, but didn't due to it's outrageous 7 a.m. start time.

I'm sorry, but if I'm going to bust my ass running in blazing sun and soaking wet humidity, I'm not getting up at the crack of dawn and making sure I'm on the starting line and ready to go at 7 a.m. I just can't be expected to do that. I'm no morning person and running early in the morning has never been my thing.

My event begins at 9, after the longer 10K race has finished. My friend was angry when I told him I'd signed up for the 5K instead of the 10K because he'd hoped I'd run the 10K with him, but truth be told, we would not have been striding along, side-by-side, for much of that race even if we began it together. Especially considering that I haven't run at all in over 2 years.

So today I'm supposed to go to the gym and do my workout. There's a perfectly good classroom waiting for me, with a nice blonde instructor to push me till I puke. Or I can go upstairs and get on a treadmill and see how fast I can run 3.1 miles while going absolutely nowhere. It's boring and I forgot to bring my iPod. And I've never used those treadmills upstairs before, so I don't know how they work. I assume I'll be able to figure them out.

What I can't decide is whether or not I even want to.

UPDATE: I got to the gym and found that I had lost my combination lock. I didn't feel comfortable putting my clothes, wallet and keys in a locker without a lock, even though many others do it, so I went home and ran instead.

It was somewhat hot today and extremely humid. I haven't run in 2 years and it sure showed. I wasn't very fast. My lower back started hurting me before I'd completed the first mile. I tried to concentrate on my form, keeping it correct as best as I could. But I kept catching myself slowing down to a crawl on even the slightest inclines. Then my knee started to bother me. Then my hip joined in.

I was slow and pathetic and had the song "Psycho," by Puddle of Mudd, stuck in my head the entire time for some odd reason. According to a route mapping tool I found, I ran 3.3 miles, which is slightly longer than the race I'm preparing for, so that's a good thing, at least. My running shorts rubbed all the skin off in the inside of my right upper thigh, so there's very little chance of my running again tomorrow. I have basically 2 or 3 more runs left to me before the race, at this rate, and I doubt I'm going to improve much with so little training. I at least want to complete the race with a nearly respectible time considering my 2 years off, and I'd like to be able to enjoy it, which means hopefully I won't be in as much pain as I was today.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I don't want the cookie
I don't know why I took the cookie
I already ate too many cookies

I can feel the sugar jacking my blood pressure
I don't mind the occasional jacked up blood pressure
when it's for the right reasons

but a cookie isn't a good enough reason
not for me

Why did I take this damn cookie?
There it sits on my desk
uneaten, unwanted, leaving a greasy spot

I can't make myself throw the cookie away
But people will be unhappy if I go put it back
Who wants a cookie someone else touched?

I'm stuck with this damn cookie
It's a good cookie, tasty enough
I just don't want any more cookies.

Someone come eat this cookie
and get it off my desk.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Knew It!

To recap yesterday, Sunday night I drove through rain and parked my car in the middle of the driveway, all shiny and dripping wet. The following morning the neighborhood birds took turns dive-bombing my shiny clean car with bird shit.

So last night, after work, I decided to try an experiment just to see if my cynical view of birds and my own life has any merit to it. I parked my now shit-covered car in the grass next to the driveway, directly under the wires leading to the house from the telephone pole, where I know the birds like to sit and shit all morning long the way my coworkers like to gather around the coffee pot in the breakroom and talk before starting their day.

And what do you think happened?

Yeah, exactly what I thought would happen. My already shit covered car was not touched. Not one new drop of bird shit appeared anywhere on my car this morning even though I put it directly in their path.

It seems the birds around here are snobs. They only like to shit on the freshest, finest looking shiny cars. Once your car has been 'tainted' by bird shit, even though it is their own, and is no longer all pristine and pretty, suddenly it isn't good enough for them!

Asshole birds.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Last night I drove through pouring rain for several hours. My car was soaking wet when I left it sitting in the driveway at nearly midnight.

This morning when I went outside to get in my car and drive to work, it had been raped by a flock of birds. It was one giant poo fest. I looked all around, and especially above it, to see how this could have happened. There are no tree branches above my car. There is no wire. It was not parked up against the house. It was out in the open on its own.

And yet, every bird for miles around appears to have stopped by to shit on the car. Several of them appear to have been a dead-drop, meaning the birds were either sitting on the car when they did it, or else they were hovering above it.

Why? Why??


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pippa's Puppies

I read in the news yesterday that there are photos circulating around the internet and through the press of Pippa Middleton topless. After several weeks and months of photos of both Kate and Pippa's faces, and more than a few 'upskirt' shots of Kate, followed by party photos of Pippa dressed in nothing but toilet paper, then dancing in her bra, finally we have this - Pippa out swimming with her sister, Kate, and the 2 royal princes.

I saw the photos. It appears that Pippa was not just running around topless without a care in the world. She seems to have had some sort of problem with her top, sat on the step of the ladder to the boat, and taken the top off just long enough to straighten it out and put it back on.

Ah, but the Papparazzi were already there firing away with their ultra long lenses and captured every moment of it.

The thing of it is, while Kate may now be a public figure by virtue of marrying Prince Andrew, Pippa is not. Simply being the Maid of Honor in the royal wedding does not a public figure make. And so, after the constant stream of old photos the press has dredged up to try to scandalize Pippa, this final shot across the bow has apparently been too much. The Middleton family is suing the newspapers that are publishing them.

I'm all for freedom of the press and all that, but the purpose of that is so the press can keep an eye on government-related wrongdoings without the government being able to shut them down and silence them. This is entirely different. Pippa isn't in the government, isn't a public figure, and wasn't just running around naked and drunk.

I've seen the photos. I could post them here if I wanted to. But I'm not going to. First of all, its just a side-boob shot of her struggling with her top. Second of all, I would say based on the fact that she and her family are suing, they apparently don't want people posting the photos. So I'm not going to.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on that.

Pippa Middleton not topless

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

One-Sided Friendships

Do you ever find yourself trying to be friends with someone who seems less than enthused about being friends with you? I do.

No, I'm not talking about one person in particular. I seem to make a habit of this, time and time again.

When I was little, all the other kids in my neighborhood were a lot older than me, as were my brothers and sisters. When I was 6 years old most of the other kids were around 16. There was only one family with kids my age, and only one was a boy. He was exactly the same age as me. But, where I am a social person, he is a loner through and through. He never cared if I was around or not, while I desperately needed someone to play with. I hated being alone for too long, and my home wasn't exactly a pleasant place to be, so I left every chance I got. The only place I had to go was across the street to his house. And he was frequently less than thrilled to see me, although he would never say so. If he didn't care to see me, he wouldn't ask me to go home. He'd just ignore me.

For as long as I can remember, I have been trying to be friends with people who didn't need to try to be friends with me. I did all the work. Sometimes this came in handy. I could always move relatively easily between cliques in school, never fully fitting in and never being fully outcast. I could hang with anyone. And I did.

But something has changed somewhere along the way. I'm finding myself sick of trying to be nice to people who don't bother making the same effort for me. I've been hanging out with a guy who seems to take pride in showing no interest in anyone, never showing if he's glad to see me or not. And instead of trying to be his pal, I've responded in kind. I just don't care. I don't want to eat alone so I text him for lunch. If he comes, fine. If not, I text someone else. I have a circle of people I invite to lunch and if one rejects me I just move on to the next, not overly concerned about who said 'no' or why. It's not my loss. It's just lunch. Be there or don't. I can always eat alone, although I'd prefer not to.

I've never been this way before. I'm not entirely sure why I am now.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Osama Obama

Hide'n'seek World Champion 2001 - 2011 

I read today that Osama bin Laden was discovered by a team of Navy seals. They promptly read him his rights, gave him one phone call, appointed him a lawyer and then blew him away, as required by President Obama bin Laden.  And then, so we're told, they washed his body (wtf?) and dumped it into the ocean.

Does this seem odd to anybody else besides me? Why dump his body into the ocean before anyone can see it and say "yep, that's him. And he's definitely dead. Yep, no doubt about it, Osama bin Laden is definitely dead."  Isn't that a weird thing to do?

And why wash his dead body before dumping it into the world's largest washing machine - the ocean? That's just freaky.

And what about this rumor that he was discovered when Osama called Dominoes and ordered a pizza, but forgot to use his alias, Eric Holder, when placing the order?

Is this whole "Osama is dead" thing just a ploy to distract from the bigger issue - Obama's birth certificate?

And perhaps even more importantly, why the hell are people in New York City eating cheese made from human breast milk? Don't we have enough cows and goats in this country to make our cheese some other way? WTF?