Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lil' Kim's Impact on Bingo (What I've been doing lately)

I've been running lately.  A lot.  More than I ever have and harder than I ever have.  I'm wavering between thinking this is terrible and being excited about the potential to break PRs like it ain't no thang.  That would be cool, although unlikely.   You can follow my training here.  The best thing that's happened running-wise is that I went on a 17 mile run that wasn't slow and actually felt ok.   That's never happened before. Here's what else I've doing:

1) Went to Lake Tahoe.  Had hardest slow three mile run ever.  

My college friends, Anthony, and some other people decided to get a house over President's weekend in South Lake Tahoe.  I'd never been before, and it's just a tiny bit beautiful.  Even though I'd run two hard workouts back to back the day before and boozed up a storm that night, I wanted to run.  I probably have an exercise addiction problem and I couldn't deal with not trying to run in such a pretty place.
yes, I am using that word ironically.  
I went out and ran a few minutes.  And then I ran a couple more minutes...and then a couple more...until I had slowed to what I imagine was a 14 minute / mile pace.   I couldn't believe how hard it was.  It was as though I dipped my feet in tar and became 8 months pregnant all at once.  And then I got lost coming back to the house which is when I took this picture.

Let's just say I have a new-found respect for those of you running and living above sea level.  And those of you who drink a lot of vodka.

2) The best cover of Time Magazine I've ever seen:

I never thought Time Magazine had it in them to compare a tiny rapper from the 90s to a new leader of one of the most wacko governments in the world, but they went there.  With hilarious results.

A couple more of these zingers, and I'm a subscriber.

3) I spent my Saturday Night playing Bingo with Heather, Sarah, and Pam.

I expected the year to be about 2050 before I was spending my weekend nights at Bingo.  But the night defied all of my expectations and was shockingly fun.  Pam invited us to come to a Bingo Fundraiser at her daughter's high school.   And people there don't play around.  The gym was packed!  And the people were serious players!   Look at their intense stares!

Sadly, none of us won. But don't worry, Pam, Heather, and Sarah were still able to muster a smile and we were able to stop ourselves from grabbing the winning bingo sheet from an old lady.

I wasn't able to keep it together though...

We'll be back for you, Bingo, and next time with a vengeance....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Marathoners...(my take on the meme)

Have y'all seen this meme graphic floating on facebook?  Well I took a crack at it, marathon style =).

....(once again, thanks to all the sources I didn't cite)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Racing must haves.

Last week, This girl, This girl, This girl,and This girl, I went to an event put on by Ram Racing.  The executives of the company wanted to connect with people in the Southern California community and generate buzz for the Hot Chocolate 15k series.  It was cool to go because simply learning about the management side of racing is so interesting to me.   They were nice to host us, and I think connecting with the community is a great step on their part.  (No, I didn't confront them about the DC disaster, but rest assured that the rest of the girls did multiple times.)

One thing they talked about was who the race series is marketed to: 
Just like any product, there's a target audience to any race series.   In the case of the Hot Chocolate race series, the executives said it's targeted towards first time runners, women, and people wanting a cool experience.  This is probably a really good idea, because that's the fastest growing segment of the running population and a good way to make lots of $$.

If you talk to any runner that's been running since the 90s, they will give you this "back in the day, stuff was cheap, people but their heads down and raced, and races didn't fill up in a day" spiel .  I'm more of a 90s runner, but things have changed, and the growing population of runners has a growing number of needs and wants.  Which made me think my own race "must haves":

Stuff I Gotta Have:

Aid Stations: People who carry water when racing deserve a medal because that sounds really hard and annoying.  When I race, I want water and a sports drink that is not coconut water (yes, that happened once, thank you Malibu Marathon).

Accurate Mile Markers:  Measure the mile, put a marker.  'Nuf said.

Accurately Measured Course:  I have yet to race a course that is short, but this would be a heart breaker.  What the heck was drinking all that water and going to bed early the night before for if I couldn't even race the distance?

Good Logistics:  This means corrals if appropriate, enough parking, quick packet pickup, and an on-time start.  Gear check is nice too, although seldom works as planned. Basic, yet surprisingly hard to achieve.

Ample places to pee:  With toilet paper and short lines, please.  Woods are an acceptable alternative.

Would be nice: 

Chip Timing:  I've run a couple non-chipped 5ks.  This is fine if the race is small.  A race without chip timing should be cheap.

Entertainment on Course:  This one is kind of a dumb one, but I can distinctly remember running around mile 17 of the Chicago marathon in 2009 and hearing one of my favorite songs at the time.  It was magical.

Race Day Packet Pickup:  Come on y'all, you're gonna make me drive to your race TWICE?  Unless you're expecting 20,000, just let me get my stuff on race day.  I'm more sensitive to this because I live in the boonies for Southern California and everything is a drive.

Tech Tee:  Only if it fits.  I'll pay more for something fitted and non-ugly.  Of course, those things are in the eye of the beholder.

Pretty Course:  Great scenery or crowds help me get through a long race.


Don't Care

Cool after race "party":  The last thing I want to do after a race is party.  An after race free ride home would be even cooler.  Unless there is beer.  Then it's nice to have.

Medals and Schwag:  I get that some people like medals.  I just don't care.  I have enough junk in my house.

Money Prizes:  This opinion could change about cash prizes if I can knock off about a minute per mile off my current races.   I expect that to be not hard to do at all.  NBD, y'all.

Age Group Prizes:  This may require a separate post, but I don't get age group awards.  Unless you're under 15 or over 45, we're all in the same age group:  The "Healthy Adult" age group.


What are your race must haves?  What do you not care about as much?  

Any race horror stories (or awesome stories) to share?

Friday, February 3, 2012


Remember high school when everyone voted for which classmates were "most likely to succeed" and "best dressed" ?  
Well this post is kind of like that, only it's the superlatives from my past week.  

Most Likely To Be Delicious:  Girl Scout Cookies

There's just something special about the Girl Scout Cookie.  Special enough that I walked away with eight boxes this week to be distributed between my roommate, Anthony, and me.  Let's just say it's been a delicious week.  I remember when I was a Girl Scout back in the dark ages, I would get all excited when people would order something other than Thin Mints and Samoas.  "Get Some Originality, people!"  my nine year old self thought.  But let's be honest...Thin Mints and Samoas are probably the best - those people knew what they were doing.  

Which brings me to my next question:  Why has some giant cookie company not replicated the Samoa so that they can be purchased throughout the year at the grocery store.  Maybe it's patented as a trade secret?  Those Girl Scouts must have an awesome legal team.  

Most Likely To Steal My Heart:  The Soda Stream

I am pretty open about my love for the carbonated drinks.  I've managed to limit myself to two Diet Cokes a day this year, and let's just say that's an improvement over 2011's consumption.  So when I saw the Soda Stream being demoed at Macy's, I was pumped to get one of my own.  

Yes, it is as cool as it looks.  And the extra cool part is that, ironically, I think it's going to help me cut back on (flavored) soda, because I love the straight carbonated water I can make.   

Soda Stream is $100 retail, but if you use one of those 20% off Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, it's down to $80.  Go buy it because it's fabulous and will be a fun coffee table conversation.  No, of course this is not a sponsored post.  This baby sells itself.  

Most Likely To Be Difficult:  Eugene Marathon 

I'm running the Eugene Marathon at the end of April.  And I want to give it some real effort.  Finishing on Hayward Field deserves that from me.  It's time to get training.  When trying to see what to aim for, like any time obsessed runner, I went to McMillan to see what he thought.  Most of my times point to around a 3:20 marathon, give or take a couple minutes.  I get this is a lofty goal, given that I ran a 3:35 in Boston.  And guess what, my $10 buck training plan agrees:  

This training plan is no joke.  (See below workouts for week 17!)  Especially because I'm going to start around week 8 of the 20 week program.  Who trains for 20 weeks?  That sounds terrible.  

The funny thing is, I feel this time goal is doable.  I am pretty good at tolerating moderate discomfort for a long period of time, and I've never really trained for a marathon properly.  I think the greatest challenge will be having the discipline to properly train.  I'll be adding a "training tab" for Eugene to keep me honest and to share my misery.  Highest mileage weeks of my life, here I come!

Have ya tried the Soda Stream?  
Bought any Girl Scout Cookies?  
Have a marathon training plan quite possibly created in hell? 
Commiserate with me =).