On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How is this a Thing?

I was trolling fall races the other day, trying to combine a long overdue trip to Nebraska* with finding a fall race that fit my schedule. One of my Nebraska friends recommended the Omaha Marathon, which took me to their website.

There, I saw this:

That's right - barefoot runners get their own award category at the marathon. Pandering to a new demographic, or a sign of things to come?

*You can understand why I've been putting this off, I'm sure. Nebraska.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dear trail/ultra race directors,

Your volunteers are all awesome and amazing, but please tell them to shake the pop before they put it out for runners. The sugar and the caffeine are amazing, but the carbonation is terrible for our stomachs.

And yeah - by pop I mean "carbonated brown coca-cola type beverage." So I talk funny... I'm from the midwest. Please also tell the volunteers this so they don't act like I'm speaking a foreign language when I ask for it!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I don't have anything to say.

I haven't blogged in a while because I don't have anything to say. It's kind of that simple.

Actually, I do have a few things to say, but I haven't had the time. But "soon I'm going to blog about x, y, and z" is the second most annoying thing to read on a blog (the first being, "sorry I haven't blogged in a while").

So maybe after work goes quiet, or maybe after I remember that running can be fun and good and not always a terrible sweaty humid mess that leaves your legs feeling like jello on an easy training run, maybe I'll blog again that day.

In the meantime, here's a 15 minute video about Jenny Barringer Simpson that you should watch. She and I have the same hot pink sports bra (we're basically the same person, therefore).

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On the horizon

Remember last year, when I debated whether or not I should run the Brooklyn Half the day before the Dirty German 25k?

Last year, I decided to do the Dirty German 25k only.

I'm having the same dilemma this year. And I'll probably make the same decision this time. I'm definitely doing the Dirty German - how can I resist running a race with some of my favorite people in the world?

But I have bibs for both.*

These are the things that keep me up at night. My life is so hard (melodramatic sigh).

*In other words, I have a spare bib for the Brooklyn Half. I mean, of course I can't do anything with it, because that would be against the rules. So if you have been looking for a bib, do NOT contact me at the email address in the right side bar because I like to abide by all of the rules.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I was That Guy.

Life rule: no one ever wants to be That Guy. No matter who That Guy is, you don't want to be him.

And I was him on Sunday during the race.

The race was hard. I was struggling. I felt at times like my heart was jackhammering in my chest (I wish I'd worn my heart rate monitor, for once) and the humidity, my allergies, and a host of other physical factors made it feel like I was sucking in wet air through a straw.

So I started making breathing noises. At first it was Darth Vader type breathing, then it was a deep sort of growl, and this evolved into disturbing almost porn-like groaning. I would have hated me - except I was me.

It helped.

Image source
As much as I hated myself, I hated the runners with headphones more. I don't understand anyone who needs music to get them through one of the most beautiful races out in nature. But I really don't understand - and actively don't like - anyone whose music is so loud that they can't hear me say excuse me or ask to pass them on the trail.

Don't be that guy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I haven't got time for the pain

Yesterday, I ran the Bear Mountain half marathon. Again. Well, I sort of ran, sort of walked it. I'm not going to say too much about it - the race was hellishly hard, the weather was humid, I suck at running during the (TMI alert) luteal phase, and I got my shoe sucked off by the mud not once, not twice, but three times.

For several miles of the race, the single track course had me stuck behind another runner (I could have passed her but we were running comparably). I had a good long time to stare at her back and contemplate her. One thing I noticed that was interesting: she was wearing compression socks, cho-pat knee straps on each knee, and KT tape on her IT band.

This really got me thinking about when enough is enough. How much pain should running cause, and how far should we go to avoid any pain?

Meanwhile, during my race...

When I finished, I noticed that these were my legs:

No, that's not me trying to fake like I'm all bad ass and muddy. Instead, it's me showing off a common occurrence: I gently kick the insides of my legs with the opposite foot while I run. Evidently this is what happens when your idea of strength training involves lifting an ice cream spoon (or a beer) to your lips: Running Times tells me that this indicates weak glutes and poor hip extension causing my hips to twist slightly as I push off (sadly the article isn't online, but it was October 2011).

Just to hammer home my obscene love for Running Times, let me leave you with an anecdote. A few weeks ago, Emilie and I were talking to a novice runner who mentioned this same phenomenon. Oh! We both said. She'd read about it in Runner's World and I'd read about it in RT. Runner's World allegedly described it as one of those zany things that runners have in common!

Uh, yeah. Meanwhile, I'll be strengthening my glutes while eating ice cream. As soon as someone tells me how to strengthen my glutes.