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


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 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