Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Save the Condiments!

Psst…not any running in this post, but definitely for the health/socially conscious. A call to action.


As you know, by night, I am a bartender in a full service restaurant, which means we serve food. If you are looking for full service, I might suggest a couple seedier places in town where your twenty bucks will get you more than a couple beers and an appetizer. However, as someone who has to scrape the plates of my patrons before handing them off to our underpaid and under-appreciated dishwasher, I have recently been seeing a disturbing trend.

Allow me to cut to the chase. If you don’t want it on your plate, JUST ASK for it not to be there.

My case in point: Last night a couple in their mid-twenties came in for a late night meal. I did not blink an eye when they both ordered cheeseburgers, because their physiques rivaled the pin-ups on my daughter’s wall. They were, in fact, easy guests because they knew what they wanted and didn’t modify their order at all. Basically, I didn't have to write anything down. I actually have mad skills and can run a table of six without pulling out a pen, but I digress. On my Point-Of-Sale computer, their order took all of about six keystrokes. But here is the rub.

Both proceeded to eat their entire meal which consisted of burgers, fries, and beer. However, both of them discarded the accompanying bun for their grilled cow. I say discarded because they just left them on the plate, completely untouched.

Folks, this is WASTE! Trying hard to not trip on my pedestal, it is asinine to order food that will not be eaten. In the food-service industry, it is my job to accommodate your every request. I hate tomatoes. I like tomato products, and diced tomatoes, but whole slices of tomatoes on my burger is revolting. Same with pickles. Therefore, when I order out, I request for the tomatoes and pickles to be left off. I recently made this request at a local brew pub here in town when the server retorted, “But they are on the side.” My point is this: it is not an issue that those things are on the side, my point is that regardless, I WILL NOT EAT IT! It will be thrown away, hopefully, in a reputable establishment, anyway. Trust me, we don't eat the leftovers off your plate, or recycle your buns, or pickles, or tomatoes, or onions.

With rising food costs and starving people in our country, the amount of waste that is generated in restaurants is appalling. And you wonder why it is getting more and more expensive to dine out. Granted, our cost of two burger buns is less than fifty cents, but it adds up, quickly. And guess who we pass those costs onto. Yep, you, the consumer. Or non-consumer, if you, for some reason, can’t make your wishes known.

Seriously, folks, those of us in the industry would much rather have to push a few more buttons on our computer than to perpetually throw away hundreds of pounds of food every night, just because your diet or tastes restrict you from eating it. Gone are the days of hand written orders, thrown on a wheel for a line cook to decipher. You don’t want the bun; I push a button that says, “No Bun.” You are not a pain in the ass, unless, you are just being a pain in the ass, but otherwise, we are very happy to keep you happy. Our livelihood depends on it. Just don’t push it. I’m not picking the mushrooms out of a mushroom glaze for you. Deal with that and move them to the side. But Save The Condiments!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lets Get This Show on the Road.....

I am going to do this again, however, I will not ever be doing it in San Diego.

As the years and miles roll beneath my blistered feet, my reflections on "the first" will be bittersweet. If I was bucket-listing, I could put a BIG LINE through this accomplishment. Yes, I completed a marathon. However, I did not run a marathon. Hang on, this may be a long post, But since my marathon took me almost five fucking hours, there is a lot of time to cover.

Oh, look, three excited marathoners in the airport terminal. Yep, we are looking good.


And here is Chris, exuberant about our post marathon destination. Much to our dismay, it is really only a steakhouse, no strippers. And we never acutally ate there. Double click the pic to see the name of the joint.


We wandered over to the expo to get pitched from hundreds of vendors about the newest and greatest sports gear retrieve our bibs. After pausing momentarily at the Race-Change $20 table, my future was passing before my eyes. For 20 bucks, I could be a pussy and run the half. Fuck it. I don't have $20 in cash. I have never attended one of these things, but is it usual for there to be a beer vendor on premise? I should clairify, MGD 64 or whatever the hell it is, is not beer. It's slightly beer flavored water. But for a buck, why not? And since I didn't sucumb to the race change table, I could guzzle 15 of these things, and probably not catch even the slightest buzz. She who is thirteen found a booth to create Cheering Signs. That's right, I'm a Go Daddy! Danica Patrick and I will be featured in all future advertising.

RACE DAY
Our hotel about a mile from the start line was filled with both local and out-of-town marathoners. We were sharing residence with some neighbors from as close as Denver, as local as La Jolla, and as far away as Atlanta. The mood in the lobby was focused. For a different occasion, what could have be a raucous crowd on a Saturday night, the air was filled with quiet anticipation. Those of us that were checking in had business to attend to. Bibs were to fastened and chips to be attached. Final, non-sleep deprived, over obessive organization will save the frustration of searching for the Glide while trying to take the first crap of the morning. Everything was it its right place. Now to concentrate on the final two primary tasks for the next 6 hours. Some sleep mixed the clearing of the colon.

Gun time: 6:15am. Wheels up: 5:00am. Alarm 4:00am.
I am going to tribute this portion of my post-marathon blogpost to Beth at Shutupandrun. BBQ'd Chicken and Tri-Tip, accompanied by au gratin potatoes, followed by two brownies, plus a few beers resulted in one fine display of human defication at about 4:30am. Other than my shoes, I was dressed, Looking Good, and ready to go. Two cups of coffee, a bagel and a powerbar and off we go.

As we briskly walked the 1 mile uphill to the starting line, I wondered if it was smart to keep drinking coffee. I had proudly deposited the remanats of yesterdays late afternoon feast 45 minutes ago, but I am known to need a second sit down, particulary when coffee enters the equation. Chris, a disciple of Hal Higdon and all that is running, was drinking a warm Coke that he had allowed to get flat. Yikkes! That would surely result in this:

 
I proceeded to ditch the coffee.

We reached the top of the hill and found ourselves almost overwhemed by the sheer number of people on the streets and neighboring park. Here's myself and She Who Knows Fashion, Looking Good, amist 40,000 runners.



After this momentary pause, we set out to find the bag check. After some wandering, we finally located our designated UPS truck, but not before strolling through several tents handing out water, cytomax, and bagels. Good touch, Rock and Roll. Scorecard goes to plus 1. However, all of this was leading to some of the nastist port-o-pottys within a hundred square miles. The olfactory hues emitting from the row of six crappers She Who Knows Fashion had to utilize was enough to send me retching and promply puckering up my asshole for the next few hours. In all honesty, other than some gasous explosions around mile 19, my bowels held steady, so not much else to say about that. Just for you Beth.

We made our way to our coral, #16 of 40, and began to survey the runners around us. She Who Knows Fashion decided at the last minute to buy a new shirt, so she was sporting pink. I opted for the orange, hopefully making me Look Good easy to spot. Any thought I had to wearing purple was quickly satiated due to the overwhelming number of Team in Training members all wearing the same purple shirts! There were thousands of them. While I am not dismissing the value of their program, fuck that if I am going to look like everyone else, just to represent. In addtion, their "coaches" were all over the course, who seemed to know just about every runner out there in a TIT Shirt, cheering them on by name. My name is Paul, you could offer me some encouragement too. Oh, I see, there is a spot on the shirt to write your name in magic marker. The whole thing got a little annoying by mile 20. Also, it is really not cool to wear the free shirt you got at the expo. Sorry, not my style.

Just for giggles, here's a quick video of the scene

After the gun went off at 6:15, each wave gradually began to move forward in eager anticipation. I strapped on my headphones, kissed She Who Knows Fashion, and pressed ahead, in the front row of our wave. Volunteers, bless their heart, they try hard at their non-paying jobs, but quickly we found the rope being held across the street by two clearly confused and uncordinated inlisted servants on the ground, merging our group with the one ahead. At the same time, their rope had hit the pavement and now we were a massive coral of 3000. This prompted a tongue lashing from the start official to us participants and security physically restraining runners from crossing the line. While necessary, it immediately prompted howls of boos from the now frusterated runners. It really only took about 30 seconds for security to put down their arms and allow us to march on. Rock and Roll scorecard goes back to even.

While Rock and Roll touted "bands at every mile" I could honestly care less. The twenty seconds I would spend troting by a stage with some unknown local band playing a dated cover tune wasn't going to get me through 26 miles. I had a playlist on my iPod. Probably making the most crucial of first marathoners mistakes, I came off the blocks hot. I knew this because the first Phish Jam on my iPod was 22 minutes. I crossed mile 2 at about 18 minutes. Way too fast, but I could not slow down. My left leg felt great and I was cruising! Through mile 8, I was keeping a 9:30 pace. All of this while weaving through more tentative joggers because Rock and Roll chose to coral us by registration order, not time. Minus 1. BTW, I had a woman in front of me wearing a tech-shirt and lacy panties with an ass not designed for her chosen attire. Very distracting, forcing me to run faster in front of her.

Never sucking wind over 8 miles, I was feeling great. The course wound us through a park, along the bay, past PetCo Park, home of the San Diego Padres and over the streets we had explored the day before. Then they put us on the freeway.

Highway 163 in San Diego is a four lane road, winding through the hills separating downtown from the inland community. On paper, this sounded like a great space to hold 40,000 runners.Not so much. According to my Garmin, over the span of three miles, Rock and Roll tortured us with a 400 ft change in elevation on a 13-16% grade, but that wasn't the worst of it. Because the road weaves and curves, it is not remotely flat. In fact, it gave us anywhere from a three to six inch difference in right to left impact. This just killed me. Short striding on my already injured left groin caused my time to begin to significantly fall off. I was able to regroup on the downhill and make up some ground heading into miles 12 and 13. Minus 1. Scorecard Rock and Roll: -2.

As I crossed the 13.1 mile mark, I really felt good. My pace was still intact and my body was responding well. She Who Knows Fashion passed me around this time. Damn! I knew better than to start fast. I made a point to stroll with purpose through the water stations, ensuring I stayed hydrated and the next 7 miles went by pretty easily. But with each passing mile, I could see my pace beginning to steadly slow down. After my average pace got to 10:30, somewhere around mile 20, I knew I was breaking down. My goal became keeping the time under 11:00. But now Rock and Roll put us on an island.

Mission Bay Park is a small patch of land jutting out into the bay. Again, on paper, it looked ideal. It was so lonely out there. Aside from three bands and water stations, there were no crowds cheering and providing encouragement for those last few miles. A strong breeze made trugging on even more difficult. Resigning to my bodys urge to shut down, I formulated a new strategy. Run 1/2 mile, walk 1/4 mile. Here I am, walking, but Looking Good. Surprisingly, I abandon the iPod for this stretch. My music had been blaring for four hours and I had enough. I needed to hear myself think and muster the stength to power on. 

As I crossed the mile 25 marker, a new resolve washed over me. Fuck if I am going to be walking the last 1.2 miles. I was getting off the island and now the crowds of cheering spectators were lining the path leading to the finish. Their energy and exhuberance became mine, feeding my rubbery legs to stride one foot in front of the next. About 100 yards from the finish I heard some my family screaming, "GO PAUL! YOU'RE ALMOST THERE!" Finally, some familier voices. I powered up and cruised over the finish line. The blur of the next 20 minutes is lost in my brain. I got a medal, had my picture taken, and found my family. I didn't feel an overwheming sense of accomplishment, just glad to not be running! Rock and Roll scorecard just earned a point. But it wouldn't last. But here I am Looking Good as I finish.

After searching for our UPS van with our bag, we aimless wandered searching for a shuttle, to take us back to downtown San Diego. We are now in a parking lot with no shade, in a line estimated to be over an hour long.....just to get on a bus which will transfer us to a trolly car. The defination of FUBAR. This was no way to treat thousands of weary marathoner. Rock and Roll loses 5 points. She Who Knows Fashion doesn't do well at the end of these things and was horizontal on a cot in a med tent, throwing back salt packets with fierce determination to restore some equilibrium. This turned out to be a blessing as the medic directed us to the cab depot. Fuck ya, I'm paying the $20 to get our asses back to our hotel directly! Here are the three proud and weary finishers.


Overall, Rock and Rolls scorecard is not good at minus four. The biggest debacle coming at the end. Between stranding us on an abandon island and the transportation catastrophe, Rock and Roll failed most of the participants. Word on the street was that they were scrupulously checking ID's for the post race concert, which was held in a fenced off area of the parking lot we didn't bother to check out, because there was no shade or place to sit.

I have accomplished something not many even attempt. For that I am proud. I know that barring injury, I would have performed better than I did. My chip time clocked in at 4:52:00 at a 11:09 pace. My Garmin says an 11:04 pace covering 26.42 miles. I like the Garmin. Therefore. next on the slate is Rock and Roll Phoenix in January. She Who Knows Fashion and I will run the Denver half and I am never running 5 days a week again. This summer will be spent remembering how to swim and ride a bike. Run Less, Run Faster is my next book to read and absorb. Thanks Hal Higdon, you got me this far. I got myself over the finish line.

Monday, June 7, 2010

It's only Rock and Roll

Hey Blogsphere! A quick note to share my San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon results. I am still on vacation, so I will post the nitty gritty/highs and lows in a few days, but I didn't want to leave you in suspense.

Time:  4:52:00
Place Overall: 5372/10625
Place Sex: 3191/5120 - At least I wasn't the slowest mule out there

Splits:
5k: 30.27
10k: 59.56
1/2: 2:12:43

Things kind of fell apart after that, damn it, I finished! Photos, commentary, analysis and other gory details to follow. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I did!

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's Always Sunny in San Diego

I am here in San Diego, trying to keep my wits and bowels about me as I head in to the home streach of this adventure in marathoning. I am hoping the Chipolte I ate for dinner tonight won't haunt me in 36 hours.
Today went really smoothly. The flight from Denver to SD was on time and we got a free upgrade on the rental car. Our plane had about 40 other marathoners, lots of Team in Training folk, and now suddenly, this became real. We hit the expo and picked up our bibs. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a table marked "Race Change - $20." I paused for a moment, contemplating if I should puss out and just do the half, but I only had $15. Thank goodness I paid for my pre-flight screwdrivers in the airport bar in cash! Part of our day was going to be spent scouting the course, but we quickly realized that was going to be impossible. However Rock and Roll has given us this......



How fucking cool does that course look? The last six miles along the beach! Normally, I abhor anything to do with the ocean. Sand and salt water is not my idea of a good time, but somehow I think come Sunday, I may have a great appreiciation for a cool sea breeze. And I do love my vodka cranberry with a lime!

Well, I'm not sure if I'll blog again before Sunday morning, unless I am up all night Saturday with nervous squirts. See everyone on the other side!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Love Shack

I spend way too much time formulating posts, so for a change,  I am straight off the cuff. Here is the deal..... I have run five times in the last four weeks. BUT, I ran the Bolder Boulder on Monday (10K). And I ran all the whole 10, excpet for walking though the water stations at miles 3, 4, and 5. And the fucking bottle neck getting into Folsom Field. And the fucking five-across-walkers holding hands in the middle of the street. Next year I am running in a wave with runners. I can't be too pissed at the externalities, since I was running hungover. My former co-workers have formed a B-52's cover band.

I know, really, B-52's? Love Shack and Rock Lobster? That's it. Oh no....they killed it! An hour of tight progressive pop. Lobster closed their 60 minute set. Here's a snippit.........BTW, Longmonters, they're playing Rhythm on the River this summer. Check'em out. End of commerical. Yea, It turned into a party night. B-52 shots (Kahula/Baileys/Grand Marnier) to celebrate....ouch.

The nitty gritty: I ran a 10:20 pace. About 90 seconds slower than my normal 10k. My left leg pounded in discomfort from the gun. Today, it ached, but not in the same way. Almost as if some of the strain was worked out. Now I have a delimma...

San Diego Marathon is Sunday. I am resigned to only running the half, but I am VERY tempted to attempt the full. Sea level oxygen, adrelaline, and some determination. So, what do you think? The split-off for the half/full is at mile 6, BUT if I get to mile 14 and can't go on, it is only about a half mile walk to the fiinish where family will be.

I so much want to try for the whole thing.........but I will still be proud to get through the half....what to do?!

Now Playing: Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead or Alive

Friday, May 21, 2010

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

Watching sports on TV probably takes up more of my time than it should. I justify spending several hours at the sports bar with 20 TVs on a Sunday in part that I am also spending time with my community of friends, who also spend too much time drinking beer watching sports. Besides, the golf courses are packed and way more expensive on Sundays. Granted, the day is on the horizon when golf carts come standard with a 13” flat screen that can easily be toggled between the GPS navigation to help every idiot who was watching football, instead of their ball, and the NFL package. I guess if you’re watching The Masters or The British Open, at least you’re multi-tasking. But golfers don’t generally break suffer horrific injuries like they do in football or soccer. Like this….



Now that you’re queasy, let me assure you I’m not hurt that bad. Pro football players have to be some of the toughest fuckers out there. Hell, even the kicker gets turned upside down occasionally. It’s not like boxing where you have months between beatings. These guys pummel the shit out of each other from August to January. Unless, of course, you’re the quarterback. What pussies.

Have you ever heard about an injury and thought, “Seriously, what a wuss. It can’t hurt that bad.”Or “He should just tough it out.” Isn’t that we tell our kids when they are bleeding from the eyes? Unfortunately for runners, our injuries are not glamorous. Tell someone you have a stress fracture and they may offer you a Prozac and an ice pack. Turf Toe? Why the fuck were you running barefoot? Shin Splints? Really, you’re making that up right? Bum Achilles heal? Yea, I can see how that may hurt.

I felt that way about groin injuries. These 300 pound men go down for 12 weeks with a groin pull. It can't be worse than blue balls, can it? Rub one out and call it a day. Wimps, I say! Maybe they should have backed off  the bedroom gymnastics. Leave the pommel horse alone and stick to a mattress.

About three years ago, I suffered a groin pull, and unfortunately, it did not occur while riding a bedroom pommel horse. For a couple years, when I pretty much hated everyone, I took a job delivering milk. For a while, it was great fun. Driving around in the middle of the night, nothing but me, my iPod and clear streets, only having to stop about 200 times a night to deposit some cow lactate to slumbering households. Most runners who are forced to occasionally run through snow and ice will sing the praises of Yak-Trax. Essentially, these contraptions are mini-slinky’s which strap to the bottom of your shoes which in turn are supposed to provide traction. They work pretty well, on ice. However, they don’t do so well on rubber mats. You see, our milk trucks are like UPS vans, minus the ugly brown paint. In addition to spilt milk, the floors of the trucks also collected the water from the melting ice which keeps our load cold. There is nothing like having a cold load, wouldn’t you say Beth? Therefore, we have mats on the floor of the truck.Rubber mats are great as a slip resistance surface, but not so great when your slinkys get stuck as one attempts to leap out of a truck. On a cold January night, as I was exiting my vehicle, arms full of breast nectar, one foot decided to stay in place while I attempted my best Shawn Johnson.


The sound it made resonated over the music that was blasting through my iPod. I probably didn’t actually hear the tendon rip, but it makes for a better story that I did. After that, my gait resembled that of a post-prom-night virgin for about 6 months. Again, I am humbled.

The bottom line is that I have suffered an aggravated groin pull (a recurring injury) and a left quad strain. My PT compared my left side flexibility to that of a sensible national health care plan: non-existent. I have run 3 times in 21 days and all hopes for 26.2 miles are gone. Now that I can finally walk without looking like a drunk who is trying real hard to keep it together, my new plan is to bicycle and elliptical at the gym for the next two weeks. While this meager attempt to regain some fitness will hopefully propel me to feel physically confidant to run the half marathon, it doesn’t replace shoe to pavement. Or will it?

Now that I have droned on for too long, I do have a couple quick things to say.

1. I’ve been slacking on posts. I know, and I’m sorry. Between the depression from the injury and finals at school, my motivation was all but sucked up into the constant ache in my left leg. But I’m back now….hide your children.
2. Heads up: While this blog will still contain a lot of running shit, I’m going to start injecting a fair amount of social commentary. You can tell me to shut the fuck up, but only if you’re nice about it.
3. I over-trained and I am now paying the price. More on that in the next couple days
4. Raise your hand if you are doing the Bolder Boulder. See you out there!
5. Why didn’t I sign up for Warrior Dash earlier? Procrastination blows.
6. It feels good to write again.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Back in the Saddle

I am not going to lie. As I was gimping the quarter mile walk from the parking lot at CSU to my first class; I was ready to call it quits. Fuck this shit. My body hurts and I am tired of it. My left quad is wound up tighter than I was on prom night. FML! San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon, thank you very much, but PhishyPaul, as you know him, will not be running. Could you point me in the direction of a good bib exchange? Hal Higdon, I tried, really. Maybe in a few months, I will consider the Denver Marathon. I could do 10k’s over the summer. I will mix up my training and do other things than run five fucking days a week. She Who Knows Fashion, I am so sorry. Crossing that finish line together would have been amazing. That was a week ago.


Running though pain and discomfort has been the norm for me these past few months. Because, frankly, any cardio exercise I have gotten in 20 years involved minimal physical abuse. I have always been soft in the middle and like so many of us, I would only care for about month, usually right after the holidays if you get my drift. Regular exercise would occur in fits and bursts. So why should I be surprised my body is wondering what the hell I was thinking? My left foot hurts after mile 2. My lower back flares up after mile 6. But I charge on, because I am a man. I am tough. Bitching and moaning does nothing. Shut Up and Run. Mind over matter, right Beth? Damn straight, after I take a week off. Because when I got home from school that day, I had one of these on my doorstep.


Actually, mine wasn’t nearly as pretty, but nearly as powerful. A package which held magical powers. The ugly grey plastic bag on my stoop contained this:


Yea, baby! My$35 San Diego Marathon 2010 tech shirt. It is Damn Good Looking, taboot. Tom Hanks would liked to have a shirt on his island. Thank goodness it didn't resemble my Ugly White Shirt. The cosmos knew I needed a boost and this was it. The marathon is real, not just something to talk about. C’mon PhishyPaul, turn that frown upside-down! Is it taboo to wear the shirt before the race? Or is it better luck to leave it sweat free for six weeks?

From the outset, my goals for this marathon have been, in order:
• Finish
• Set a PR (actually, I can check that off when I finish, first marathon and all)
• Run a sub 10:00 pace
• Then, if the breeze in San Diego is blowing the right way, I haven’t shit my shorts, or chucked up my GU and Cytomax, push for a sub 4:00hr
• Get through 18 weeks of training injury free

I’m moving the last one to the top because again, I am humbled. I have taken the entire week off and healed my body. I will be running another day. Training is set to resume tomorrow and that is exciting. I'll check in after my first 20 miler this Sunday. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can. I know I can. I know I can.

Now Playing: The Boxer - Simon and Garfunkel

Monday, April 12, 2010

GIrony

I know my body. Things happen at regimented time of day.

I am regular. 7am is when I must provide an offering to the porcelain god. Why did I think that my long run on Sunday was going to be any different? Given I am attempting to formulate a race day strategy, I am now humbled.

Despite everything I had scoffed, mocked, misunderstood, silently appreciated about fellow bloggers and She Who Knows Fashion's GI tract challenges, In 5 months of serious pavement pounding, I had yet to truly experience even a hint of explosive discomfort. That all changed yesterday.

In real life, I am a fairly vulgar guy. I could talk of secretions, bodily fluids, and shit with nary a blink. I will be naked and play gay chicken with enough enticement. But when it comes down to my own personal toilet adventures, I tend to be rather private. I can’t stand dumping in public restrooms; so much so that I will squeeze my sphincter so tight I will break a sweat, just to avoid a squat. Even the sight of “someone else’s” poo, human, animal, or otherwise, sends my gag reflex into overdrive. This is a primary reason I don’t own a pet. Trail runs are rough because every now and then, a steamer is on the path.

My back has been giving me some issues this week, so I tried “pre-medicating” before Sundays run with a few Advil. I try not to take Advil. I prefer alcohol. Post-facto, three shots of vodka at 4:30am before the run may have been a better solution. Somewhere around mile 6, the conversation turned to how my back was feeling, which was pretty damn good considering what a nuisance it had been all week. I lamented that I had taken a small handful of ibuprofen and boasted about my iron stomach. God must have heard me, because not minutes later, a cramp the size of Texas was upon me. With a grimace, I lied to my partners that everything was ok, knowing a bathroom was within a mile. I gritted my teeth and puckered up my asshole in an attempt to remain calm. The next half mile was spent trying to dicern if the next burst of anal propeltion would be accompanied by debris. 6:45 am. Right on schedule. I am sure my running partners were wondering why I needed to strip off my water belt as I bolted into the restroom. "Just have to take a leak." I cleverly lied. I just hate it when people know I am taking a shit. A big shout out to whomever was there before me and thankfully left 8 squares of paper, otherwise, the remains of the blow out from my gut would have traveled another 10 miles with me. After that, all was right in the world, except maybe a cramp or two.

Oddly, at our second water stop, She Who Knows Fashion told our partner, Chris, that she was using the “powder” that he had given her and she was not having any GI issues. Guess what that may have been?…yep, Heed! We’re heading to Boulder Running Company this week to stock our shelves.

On a side note, we were dedicated to piloting this long run a full minute slower than normal, which we did. That is, until I left the group at mile 12. Seriously, without even thinking about it, my solo pace took over and I ran the last 5 miles of my 17 at my “normal” pace. And I still had gas in the tank, until I saw the car. Mind over matter. You know you have to run 17 miles, you will. And it may be easier than the 9 miles you did two days before, because you told your body exactly what was expected.

Finally, I went to the Colorado Rockies game yesterday and I did exactly what I said previously. I spent four innings in my seat on a gorgeous spring day in Denver. I then proceeded to spend five innings in the lounge, cheering on Phil Mickelson. It was an amazing day. This is a view from our seats.

Here are She Who Knows Fashion and myself, post-game on Blake Street. Looking Good! I’m not wasted, just tired.















Hump Song of the Long Run. It came on around mile 14.


The Black Crowes - My Morning Song

Yesterdays Run: 16.26 Miles - 10:21 pace  - Yes, I know, its not 17, but the trail was closed, I saw the car and called it a day. Besides, I had to get home to shit in private, again! Also the last 4 miles were run at a 9:10 pace. We like negative splits. Oh yeah, I had a couple beers yesterday. C'mon, I was at a frickin ball game. Finally, I would like to give a shout out to Beth for giving me the courage to write such a post.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Running, Baseball, and Golf

Just a quick shot of Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hal Hidgon says run 17 miles (I am going to LOVE every mile of it!)

Bus to Colorado Rockies game departs at 11am. (Go SF Giants!)

Final Group of the Masters tees off at 12:40pm MST (Really, this isn't exciting?)

After my 5am gun to bask in the glory of my first sunrise long run, then catching the 11am bus, I will be watching the Masters in the lounge at the ballpark. Are icepacks allowed at Coors Field? I just paid $50 to watch a sporting event at a different sporting event. This is like going to the horses to watch the cars! How f*%ked up is that?

Feelin kinda Sunday Funday..........got big plans for today?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We'll Make It, I Swear.

Yes my bloggy friends, we are halfway there (in time..not miles). As the weather along the Front Range is desperately trying transition from winter to spring, my training schedule has frantically mutated into a full blown lifestyle commitment. 9 weeks down, 9 to go. Who I am as a runner could be defined over the next 14 days (yes, I know it’s already Wednesday. I really wanted to write this on Monday, get over it). 14 days = 85 miles. And it will probably be a few more than that, because I've got some miles to make up.

I learned a valuable lesson this past week. Too much wine and vodka Emergen-C and Vita-Water on Friday (does 5am on Saturday morning still count as Friday night?) can ruin any chance to do a long run on Sunday. Granted, I set myself up for failure a schedule adjustment. Like my golf round last week, if I had stopped at 9 holes, the card would have been respectable. If I had stopped when the wine Emergen-C ran out (2am), I would have run 11 miles on Sunday. Fortunately, I am great at rationalizing. Here am I, Looking Good in my new gun-metal gray Nike shirt ($!5 bucks on clearance!), attempting to look mad that I am going for a run on Monday, because I could not drag my ass out of bed Sunday morning. It is hard to look mad with that double chin.

I actually had a three day mini-running vacation, since I didn’t run Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Oh well, its water under the effin bridge and I have some new resolve for the next two weeks of HELL challenges.

Speaking of challenges, I hinted that I had made a big decision. Time to share…..

Without too much back-story, I am in my third year of college. I never knew what I wanted to be when I eventually grew up, and I still don’t. But I know that it has little to do with marginal costs, deadweight loss, or first derivatives to calculate economic prosperity. I have spent two years focusing on business, because that is really all I have known. But now it is time to do what I really love, which is to write. I am changing my major to Journalism and Technical Communication. I know you care, really.

I have had some incredible growth this past semester, although the hit my GPA may take won’t agree. Essentially, General Education did its job. I know what I don’t want to do and have a much better idea about how I do want to be spending my time. In some unknown capacity, I want to communicate thru written stories, ideas, and opinions. The good news is that my business credits are not going to be wasted, can I am one class away from a Business Minor. Yea Me! If you need to sit down and soak this all in, feel free. This is Earth-shattering blog fodder. My guess is that now you are wondering how this affects your life and that is an important question.

I’ve got about 4 more weeks of this semester to navigate and it is Time to buckle down. I will still be here, but only a couple times a week until the middle of May. Trust me though, like sex when it’s been a while, it will be sweeter and more rewarding when I am here. Instead of shitty, half thoughtful posts, just to get myself off on a daily basis, I will use this space for my unadulterated development, bringing to you cohesiveness and clarity. It is going dirty and funny, so stay with me.

Finally, a few quick shots:

• It’s baseball time and the San Francisco Giants are 3-0….Hummmm Baby!
• Tiger looks pretty happy. Check out the new Nike commercial. This is genius.



• Crystal is still my favorite to win Idol, but Casey threw his hat back in the competition with Jealous Guy.

• Hurt Locker – Fair / Up in the Air – Great / Inglorious Bastards – Awesome
• There is a shit ton of good music coming to Colorado this summer. Treat yourself and go see live music….it is good for the soul. Especially if you get up and dance instead of paying $60 to sit on your ass

• I know nothing about college basketball, but somehow I came in third on a bracket I filled out = $34 for a $5 investment. Plus $40 on a side bet. Profitable 1st week of April. Thanks Duke.

• If you are into gambling/free shit like I am, check out this giveaway. Sorry Beth, I didn't buy you that cup of coffee, but I will push your site. My followers will be flocking to you!

• The San Diego Marathon SOLD OUT! My bib is going to read PhishyPaul......I am a dork.

Yesterdays run : 4.01 treadmill miles - 8:57 pace
Todays Run: 9.21 miles - 9:42 pace

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Everything in It's Right Place

How does someone know when they are having one of those days?
Actually, it was two days. Almost perfect days....

Tuesday: The weather forecast called for 70 plus degree temperatures, so what is a boy to do? Hell yea, he is skipping the scheduled 4 mile run and cross-training playing golf! While I won’t go into the gory details of my loop around the course, just know, on this particular day, the joy I got from being with my friends on the links far outweighed the benefits of pounding four miles of pavement. Here is a view from the driving range, Looking Good!

Oh yea, that is my ball, surrounded by goose shit. 


But damn, I was sore!
My 48 hours of bliss started Monday night with a 90 minute massage. I have a new best friend who will help me fight through and relieve the pains by body is experiencing. A big shout out to Mrs. C. Cooper for the referral!

The almost teenage/7th grader is on Spring Break this week. Lucky her! Her break feels like spring, where mine felt like we were still on the Dark Side of the Moon. But the sunshine has brought a new vibrancy to the CSU campus. An awakening. In the spirit of Take Your Daughter to Work Day, I invited Sydney to join me for a day of college classes. I thought it could be some postive stimulus for her. To my surprise, she accepted my offer and my conditions (which really only amounted to No Complaining about Being Bored and dressing approriately). What seventh grader goes to school when they don't have to?

Our day started together with my morning Starbucks Drive-Thru ritual (Don't give me any shit, Beth). Venti Americano for me; hot chocolate, no whip for her. With more enthusiasm than I ever mustered for class, we charged on to the CSU campus. She took notes thru Economics(better than my own), played on the computer during Management Science, sat mildly bewildered thru the discussion of Sexual Motivation in Psychology (yea, we talked of Orgasms and Refractory Periods), and seemed fairly interested during the lecture on the roots of Public Relations in my Media in Society class. I introduced her to my only three friends on campus. I think she loved the experience, except she was stared at most of the day by the visibly confused 18 - 20 year olds, clearly wondering why a young teen was trolling their campus. Maybe they were really starting at me, wondering why a 39 year old was trolling their campus. I advised her to keep her head up and eyes forward. Make them think she is an uber-genius, keep them guessing. Here she is, Looking Good and soaking in the life of a college student. Can you say, free ICEE POPS?


See, genius at work. Never pass up something for free.
I admit it. During my last lecture, I was setting a very bad example for my empressionable daughter, but it was lottery day. My own Powerball. I could not resist checking my email. I had bid for tickets to see Phish at the Greek Theater in Berkeley August 5, 6, 7,  2010. The Greek is a sacred concert venue. Here is a look.


While not quite the caliber of Red Rocks

Or the Gorge in Washington


As far as venues are concerned, it is arguably in the top 10 – mid size (8500 seats) – outdoor places to see live music. I could ramble on about the hoops one must go thru in order to get these tickets, so let me put it another way. Phish at the Greek for three nights - Face Value $150. In the land of Stub Hub…..add a zero to the face value and you are in the ball park. Myself, my  younger brother, and my surragate older bro are all in for face. Whoo Hoo! 

Finally, because I took three days off, I ran 9.19 miles today. It felt really good. I also made a big decision. But more on that later.........

Due to getting tickets today, most of my run was about Phish. Here is a good jam for your listening and viewing pleasure.

Todays Run - 9.19 miles - 9:34 pace
Now Playing - American Idol Elimination Show

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tribal Disco Noise

Happy Tuesday!

Not too much to ramble on about today, so how about a few quick hits…..drum roll, please…..

• The long weekend run. The 15 miles went really well. With forced determination and steely masochism, I did my run after work Saturday evening. She Who Knows Fashion was a trooper, agreeing to tackle the beast with me after working all day herself. It was our first sunset run. The romance was accentuated by sub thirty degree temperatures and a chilly breeze. I wore shorts. I ran that last mile like Meatloaf’s wet dream.

Saturday’s Long Run – 15.00 miles – 10:13 Pace

• 8 Days – No Beer – 8 Minutes – No Wine

• Did you know that Presidential Elections coincide with Leap Years? Did you know Tom Cruise was in Young Guns?

• I am not sure if it is a total marketing ploy or not, but apparently, the Rock and Roll Marathon, San Diego (my marathon) is close to selling out. At least that is what the fan page on Facebook told me. And if it’s on Facebook, it has to be true. So we (Myself and SWKF) registered. I was trying to wait until April 13th, because I would have saved almost $30 bucks, but oh well. They baited me. And I spent an additional $36 for a tech shirt. I am such a sucker. Hopefully it will be better than the Ugly White Shirt. I will already be groveling for Phish tickets this summer; can you imagine me, pacing the streets of San Diego, one finger in the air, begging for a Miracle Bib?

• Some friends from my former life came back together and played a show a couple weeks ago. 15 years later, they can still rock it. You Tube “Tribal Disco Noise” to see some old school mayhem. Lots of memories and good times, indeed. A couple of their tunes are on my “running playlist.” Check it out!


• I like two days of rest. I don’t like running 5 days in a row. 51 miles in 6 days.

Johnny Depp gives me the creeps.

• Opening Day is less than a week away!

4-5-4-7-11 sounds just right this week.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pray for Whirled Peas

Have you ever wondered how marathon trainees spend their Friday nights?




Actually, this is preventative medicine. Chris and I both worked tonight. On our feet, no less. My bar was busy and her restaurant was full. But Fridays pay the bills, so no complaints. But when we get home, all we want to do is to get intimate, and reconnect, with our ice-packs.

I may delve deeper into the merits of Frozen Peas in another post, but for now just know that I am not the only one who finds a use for frosty vegetables. Check these out…….

"Here honey, I know you want to wrap my balls over my head right now, but look what I found in the freezer. Part of the dinner I was going to cook for you, because I love you so much."

This one is awesome, because essentially Lance has you making an ice pack and a cocktail. I especially like the food coloring touch in step two. As to not get your ice pack confused with your bottle of vodka.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Party Time

STOP! SCROLL DOWN TO THE VIDEO. PRESS PLAY. Now, continue reading.....

Today's Run - 3.71 miles - 8:33 pace!!!!!!!!!

Ha! Nine minute mile....I laugh at you now! I had done a single, sub-nine mile before, but never consecutively. I like the negative splits, as well.


It went:
1. 8:48
2. 8:46
3. 8:22
.71. 8:11


I had this this to get me started:



Phish - Party Time - Indio, CA 10/30/09

I guess sitting in class all morning/afternoon got me ansy. Time to go to work. 15 miler either tomorrow or Sunday, depending on the weather. See ya next week!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sidewalks and Rubber Belts

What an absolute wuss I was this morning. Mother dropped another 6 inches of snow in Longmont last night. SNOW DAY! As I was surveying the landscape this morning from my patio, the shovelers had yet to get to my front door; certainly the sidewalks around town were still slushy and messy. Just trying to find 7 miles was going to be a chore, so off to the gym I went. If only I had waited another hour. The sun came out, city workers were feverishly plowing, and again, it was just a delightful day to be outside. Damn you, Leigh and Mark! Here I am, Looking Good in my car, procrastinating motivating myself to Dreadmill.



Even the YMCA can be pretty when it’s covered in snow.

But you know what, the treadmill got pretty damn fun.

Thru a couple miles of warming up, my mind was trying to focus on the task at hand, and paying the bills, and taking the car for an oil change, and blogging, and my psychology paper, and Sydney’s 13th birthday, and how pissed I am relieved I am that the storm knocked out my DirecTV, so I missed 10 train-wrecks and 1 amazing performance on Idol. I heart Crystal. And I digress. However, I remembered a few things I had read.
1. For most people, your body has to learn how to run fast.
2. Take advantage of treadmills by running intervals. They are easier to do with the jet propulsion of a  rubber belt under your feet.
3. Don’t forget to breathe. Remember this?

So here is how I attacked the last five miles..I mixed in intervals every quarter mile until my last mile, which I gradually increased the speed. Each quarter mile got increasingly quicker, until I was doing a sub 7 minute to the end. By making a game of it, I had a blast. More importantly, what I learned was not to panic with my breathing. Just like Ed Harris, once your body and lungs accept their task and adjust to a new sensation, it gets easier. Practice, practice, practice.

Finally, since I was at the gym and could get on a real scale, I thought I share what it said.
That 194lbs. Down from 206lbs on Feb. 21st. YEA ME! No, I not entirely naked whilst taking this photo. Keep dreamin!

I'll go back in a few weeks and see how I’m doing, since I am now without hoppy goodness.

Today’s Run – 7.02 miles – 9:05 pace (treadmill and intervals)
Now Playing – Santana with Rob Thomas - Smooth

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

5lbs, 6lbs, 7lbs

It sure as hell did not feel like 14 miles because it really was a perfect day to be running. The storm that blew through on Friday rid our thin air of any crap, which created one of the most pristine mornings of this entire winter. The snow-blanketed mountains provided an amazing backdrop for the task of the day, to run further than I had ever before and cross another milestone, 13.1 miles, otherwise known as The Half Marathon.

With Chris and Chris providing conversation in one ear and my iPod in another, miles just slid by. From a technical standpoint, we did well. Somehow, we managed negative splits from mile 2 thru 6. Climbing the hill and slapping the grey steel gate to mark the halfway point jolted my spirit with confidence. I know I can do this. A quick stretch and a mantra; You gave the hill energy; the hill will give it back. Back down the hill and set the cruise control. Conserve and coast. Then, when the end is in sight, if I can, turn it up, and I did. My last mile was the quickest. Yea Me!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this past week was, in a way, a test. Last week featured 10 additional miles from the previous and the long Sunday run being over a 13.1 miles. Physically and mentally, I had a very good week; it helped being on Spring Break. While I did not GO anywhere, I pretended I was here:


                                                                 Or here:



Anyway, a post in the future will detail my ascent to borderline obesity and perpetual struggles with weight and maintaining a positive body image. Tony Robbins, watch out! But something interesting has happened over the last few weeks and months.

I have a bathroom scale, but I do not really trust it. Its home in the bathroom is also the home of she who knows fashion my wife’s sweaty running clothes she peels off before jumping in the shower. Out of sight, out of mind. Besides, its how you feel, right? With so much to do, why, oh why, weigh, on a sunny day. Anyway, I digress.

Part of why I started seriously running was to combat any weight gain after I quit smoking. What I was not going to do was to get OCD and weigh myself all the effin time, particularly because I do not trust my scale. The good thing about being forced to the gym is the access to a quality doctor’s scale. Between October and February, I had gained 11 pounds; however, I think some of that was muscle. However, since in the last month, I have lost 8 pounds. Yea Me!

I have decided that it is time to give up beer. Kind of like my Running Lent. I know if I do so, I will continue to shed the pounds and be even more prepared for San Diego. 11 weeks without my hops and barley will be interesting, given I love my Sunday afternoon beer after long runs.
Here I am, Looking Good and taking out the last of the beer recycling. Yep, the next beer I have will be on June 6th. Too bad it it going to be that Mich 64 or whatever the hell it is called

Now to find cheap wine!

Sunday's Long Run: 14.02 miles - 10:10 pace

Todays Run: 4.54 miles - 9:05 pace

Now Playing - Radiohead - Kid A


Finally, not really a Hump Song today, but just a fun sing-along around mile 2 today. Enjoy!

The Cat Empire - The Car Song

Friday, March 19, 2010

Gonna Fly Now

Oh how we love March in Colorado. Just 48 hours ago, Mother Nature blessed us with clear skies and 65 degree sunshine. Today brought a not so subtle reminder that it is still winter on the Front Range. 7-8 inches of snow, moderate to high winds, and a chill that is only made worse by the warm glow we felt not 2 days ago. And this is why God created Dreadmills.

I really did used to love the treadmill. When I first started regularly running over a year ago, I insisted on the treadmill. Why run outside when a piece of modern equipment will provide you with detailed information regarding distance, pace, incline, heart-rate, and I could watch Sportscenter on a big screen TV. Plus, it propels you, taboot. But, Garmin came into my life and since then, I have treated my gym membership like the ex-girlfriend with whom I call only when I need something. Why is there comfort in dolling out a chunk of money every month for a product rarely used? As long as you pay, it will be there, waiting.

But today, when I was forced to see that ‘ex’, I saw how she was spending my alimony.


It may be difficult to get a sense of what is going on from the pictures. Allow me to explain. It’s not enough to have TVs mounted to the wall, but now almost every piece of equipment has their own personal 13 inch flatscreen. In addition, mounted to each piece is a remote, just in case you need to channel surf while exercising. And, they have run an earphone jack to the console. My own television wonderland! I tried the TV with sound, but No Country for Old Men is not exactly motivational running viewing. I gave up after about 5 minutes, plugged in the iPod, changed the channel to Sportscenter and silently watched March Madness highlights.

What the gym really needs is their own dedicated channel. And on this channel will be a motivational running video, so whenever your body wants to quit, you can change the channel and get some coaching, or at the very least we can think we can look this cool while running.



Or they could run this on a countinous loop



Hump Song of the Day


Dave Matthews Band - Tripping Billies

Today's Run - 7.01 miles - 9:12 Pace (Dreadmill)
Now Playing - Counting Crowes - Mrs. Potter's Lulaby

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm gonna change my clothes, my hair.......

My Face! Here I am, Looking Good and Clean Shavin!


Since I was about 23 years old, I have been sportin’ some kind of scruff on my face. Yea, every couple years I would shave it all off, just to remember why I grew it out in the first place, but now I think I am going to keep it clean until the marathon. My chubby baby face might just get a little sunshine. In case you’ve already forgotten, here I am with the Chris and the scruff. Both of us Looking Good!

Yesterday was the warmest day Colorado has seen in 5 months and I actually broke a real sweat over my 7 miles. And what I noticed was that beads of moisture would collect in my ‘stash and beard, which would then begin to itch. Yuck! This had happened before, but yesterday it was such a distraction I felt that if I found a razorblade on the trail I would shave it all off right then and there. This is also a testament to how much regular exercise I had been getting over the last 15 years.

Nothing too eventful regarding running today. Just a quick 4 miles in shorts before tomorrow brings 8 inches of snow. Boo Hiss. Looks like it may be a Dreadmill day. However, I did rediscover a nice out and back that features a mostly dirt road, a lake side view, and a calf-burning hill at the turnaround. I hadn’t run out there in over a year, back when I smoked and was utterly defeated by the aforementioned hill. Today, I made it up without so much a FML.


Today’s Run – 4.01 miles – 9:33 pace
Now Playing – Whatever PGA golf tournament is on The Golf Channel

My Guilty Pleasure(s)

I'lll make this quick:
George Michael
George Clooney
Frozen Peanut Butter M&M's
Diet Coke instead of coffee in the morning

American Idol !!!!!!!!



Michael Slezak writes a A.I. blog for http://www.ew.com/ and also films these vLogs (see link below).
This is for die-hards only, casual viewers need not waste their precious time.

'American Idol' Top 12 results night: Did the right person go home?

Anyway, if you are an AI junkie, I highly recommend making his reviews part of your mid-week brain freeze, distraction, social awareness, and/or cultural understanding.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging........

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Can I Wear Them at Night?

Welcome to the start of Week 7 of the 18 week training program. Whoo Hoo! I am 1/3 of the way there! Somwhow, I have gotten caught up in the numbers of running. In the six weeks, I have run 27.5% of the total miles on this schedule. But what does that really mean? The miles are going to start ramping up and the next five weeks will be the test in resolve.


But I am going to be looking pretty damn good doin it, though, because my wife hates my sunglasses!


Are you familiar with Crocs? Of course you are. Not only does Crocs make rubber shoes, but they have dabbled in accessories. Crocs headquarters is located in the neighboring town to Longmont. I know a couple who work there and was gifted a pair of Crocs sunglasses about a year ago. They weren’t really my style, but who passes up free sunglasses? But over the last few months, I grew to appreciate them, like cheap beer in the summertime. I loved them running; they are not too heavy; they stay in place; they wrap-around; they keep the wind out. But I guess, according to She Who Knows Fashion my wife, they just weren’t up to standards. Guess who gave me a Gift Certificate to Sunglass Hut for my birthday?

So I stood at the counter of our local SGH, which is really a kiosk in our mall and the same woman has been working there for as long as I can remember, surveying my options. The saleswomen, of course asked if I need help, to which I replied. “My wife hates my sunglasses and I have a gift certificate.” She cocks her head and thinks for a moment and then asks, “Runner/Golfer?” I nod. "Let me show you the Oakley’s and the Maui Jims." I settled on the Maui Jims. Everything I need in glasses: Polarized, Light-weight, Rubber Nose Piece to prevent bounce, Wrap-Around, and I Look Good!


I got them yesterday, but today I really put them through the paces. It is a stunning day to be in NoCo, so I played nine holes of golf this morning. Here I am Looking Good, getting ready to swing the clubs for the first time since October, in a shirt that you know who got me!



Then, I came home and went for a 4+mile run. Looking Good! All thanks to She Who Knows Fashion.
Sorry, no Hump Song today. I did the Pandora thing again on Korn Radio, and frankly, I have no idea about what I was listening to, however this did get played. All I know there was a lot of yelling singing. And Metallica - One is not a good 8 minute running song.



Disturbed - Shout (Tears for Fears Cover.....hahaha!)

Todays Run - 4.73 Miles - 9:09 pace
Now Playing - The Shower, which I need to get into before I go to work