Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Best and Worst of Running 2013

You guys.  The most beautiful shoe in the world has arrived.

I just got the new Mizuno Elixir 8 in the mail (Thank you Miz I am so grateful).  I haven't been more excited about a shoe since I bought super skanky high heeled boots back in 2006.  (Whatever those things were awesome.).  

The Elixir is my favorite shoe model (it's a lightweight trainer) so I'm excited to run a lot in the update.  I'll let you know what I think.  But let's forget about the functionality and gush over the completely over the top design for a minute.

Pink racing flag design?  Yes please. 

I am not ashamed.

Ok I'll stop. 

For now.

Main Post

Running has changed a lot in the last couple decades.

I decided to make a list of my favorite and least favorite progressions.  

The Best of Running:

1)  Online Posting of Race Results:  This is awesome for many reasons, and not just for stalking random people to know if you are faster than them. 

Running a race but can't stick around for the results?  That's cool, just look online.  

Did a friend run a race and you don't know whether to call them up to congratulate them on a massive PR or leave them alone because they probably don't want to talk about it?  Look online. 

Think a Vice-Presidential candidate is lying about his race results?  Look online?....Yeah.  You get the idea! 

2) Energy Gels:  I am not the hugest advocate of eating while running (especially short distances), but it's hard for me to know how people ran marathons before these little packets of joy.  Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches?  Powerbars?  Just run without eating?  I guess but that all sounds painful.

I tried running with a bag of sour patch kids once and instantly regretted it.  I know that's worked for some people though.

As someone who easily gets sick to my stomach and likes a little sugar during long distances, I am infinitely thankful for the Orange Flavored Gu.


3) Sport Wash:  I must be disgusting because this is the only way I can keep my shirts from smelling like a rat died 2 months ago in them.  It is the laundry detergent of the gods.

4) Timing Chip:  Because of the invention of the timing chip, we can have our race times measured from when we cross the start line.

This is awesome because now no one will crowd the start line or line up outside of their corral.  Oh wait....

Shamelessly stolen from SkinnyRunner

The Worst Of Running:

1) Garmin- Distance:  So the Garmin shows us how far we went.  But during a race, even if the course WAS long, what are you gonna do about it?  Chip time is chip time.  Frankly, I just rather not know.  It's also not completely accurate.  It's like running with a stopwatch that has an accuracy of recording your time within +/- 2%.  

2) The "processing fee" on   Oh Active:  You are the ticketmaster of road races.
I'm not sure what the other features of are.  But I know one looks like this:
Ah yes, an extra ~8% tacked on to have the privilege to run a $50 dollar 5k at 2PM where people throw stuff at you.  Granted, I have no idea how this processing fee plays into Active's finances or those of the race.  Maybe they are really necessary?  But they are also freaking annoying.   

3)  Social Media Sites: If someone goes on a run and doesn't tell facebook, did the run really happen? 

In addition to the constant feed of people posting that they killed their 30 minute ellipitcal sessions, I have noticed a disturbing trend.  I was cruising Yelp last night and I came across a number of entries describing their workouts as an intro to a brunch review.  

Too far, Yelpers, too far.  

5) The association of Dessert and Running:  When people say that they just run to eat more cookies or something, it just feels awkward to me.  I mean sure, running as a great weight control tool but it's silly to think of it as only a calorie purge thing.  Also, in what other sport does this happen? 

"I love to play football because I really want to eat Oreos at night" - NFL linebacker.

Sounds silly, no?  


Alright, enough complaining.

What are your favorite / least favorite random things in running?


  1. I love online posting of results. Yes I like to stalk :P I get really annoyed when new runners act like the fact that they are running is the most novel thing. The worst is when they did no sort of sport or physical activity earlier in life. A lot of it is so insufferable I just want to unfollow people. I also cannot stand the selling out and when my twitter feed reads like a magazine with only ads. Sponsorship can be ok. I get why people do it but keep it classy and at a certain percentage of your new material. /rant :)

    1. Just remember... that to those who weren't active earlier in their lives-- it is a really big deal to be active and stay active now. Some need all the encouragement they can get from friends and family-- whether it is on FB or elsewhere. Taking those first steps can be very daunting indeed.

  2. Tech fabrics. I did start running distance about a decade ago when there were still a fair number of cotton t-shirts at marathon starting lines. But then a tidal shift happened for the better.

  3. Isnt there a Manning Oreo commercial? I was pretty sure that is why they play ;). I love the bright shoe trend. I hope it lasts forever. My fav thing is when money goes to charity from races/events.

  4. It is the difference between running, training and racing. I run to burn calories. I train to get faster/go longer. I race for results and time.

    The Kidless Kronicles

  5. I need those Mizunos now. They are beautiful.

  6. Seriously these race fees are getting out of control! Why must I pay so much to run. I do love your new running shoes. I love all the fancy apps and websites you can track your workouts on. Specifically Training Peaks. (But don't worry I don't have it automatically post to facebook whenever I workout.)

  7. Agree on all fronts. I admit to being an avid race results stalker -- both my own and others (don't want to tell me your time? That's okay...I'll find out myself muahaha). And one of my biggest pet peeves with runners is when they complain that the course was long because of their almighty error-proof Garmin said so... "which means I totally got a PR!" Sorry, but if the course is certified, than it doesn't matter what your Garmin says.

    Those shoes look awesome!

  8. That shoe is pretty.

    I stalk everybody I know (and people I don't even know).

    Garmin distance whiners are lame.

    Active fees are DUMB.

    I've been using candy lately, and it's worked GREAT for me. I'm so glad I don't get pukey, gummy bears are so much cheaper than all the GU.

    You like Orange GU?? I have a couple, they freak me out. I'll give them to you next time I see you!

  9. Ridiculously high race entry fees for crap "swag". Give me a number and an accurate finishing time and I'm a happy girl.

  10. I think race shirts are unnecessary. For BIG races (marathons/halves) then okay, thanks. But for a 10k? Or a 5k? I'd rather save the money. I DO want a medal though - even though they are useless and shirts are useful!

  11. I just bought my first pair of Mizuno Elixirs and I love them! Much better than the shoes I had before. And they look fun!

  12. I won't be doing much (any?) racing this year. Still, I can hate on some trends, particularly the mud runs and color runs. I don't get the point of the latter (you want me to ruin clothes and shoes?!). If you want to do a fun run with friends, why not join a local 5K or 10K that goes to support a local organization or charity? The mud runs bug me because they seem to attract a lot of people who think they're really badass but are not runners nor fitness buffs. It just seems like they want to create a fun team/costume and have photos for social media. Also, any race that charges people to spectate/cheer is lame.

  13. Those mizunos are VERY pretty! I don't blame you for being in love.
    I have to agree with your #5. I don't get running and associating it with desserts either. Even daily mile tells you how many donuts you burned. I just don't understand.

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  15. I LOVE your NFL linebacker pretend quote. I've never thought of it that way and it's GENIUS.
    One of my least favorite things about running is lululemon -- or more accurately, what it represents to me. It irritates the sh*t out of me when people drop a buttload of cash on a bunch of apparel and suddenly think they're legit runners. Runner=someone who runs. (Me=jerk) By the way, I know there ARE legit runners out there who wear lulu but I have this weird thing against it.

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  17. Yeah, I'm pretty sick of social media and running (except for some favorite blogs of course). All it does is up the anxiety factor for me. I figure it's enough of a habit for me that I don't need motivation from Facebook, and it can also look like showing off. Showing off wasn't cool in the 1980s and it's not cool now, even though many many people do it.

  18. I laughed at the Yelp story. "Must. Sneak in. Workout Bragging!" That's so sad it's just a little bit awesome.

    Also, re: Garmins/Race Clocks...I work for a Race Management company. Those clocks and timing mats? All based on software...which was programmed by a human. Not always what folks might label as "accurate", either. Not that Garmin is Timing God, but when I use the same timer for training AND racing? My instinct is to rely on what I know to be accurate, for *me*. That having been said, I do keep track of race results based on clock time. Makes me feel more fair/honest.

    Babbling done. Great post!!

  19. SO many Amens and Mmhmmms. I feel like I'm at a Baptist Gospel event.

    -Elixirs: love those shoes. If I were freaked out about them being too lightweight for long runs, it would be the only shoes I use. Some people hate the new colors though. They're crazy.
    -Chip-timing: can't think of a better racing improvement than this one in the last 20 years. But apparently, this guy ( figured out how to cheat with it (even at Boston). Pretty crazy read.
    -Active fees: don't get me started.
    -Desert racing: no. Just no. I don't even get the Hot Chocolate uber popularity.

  20. #1: Meeting new people through training groups and at races.

    #2: Finding my physical and mental limits... and then pushing them!

  21. What about Zombie Runs - What's up with that?

  22. I'm new to running and so went to check out some running find cupcakes on every single one of them. I mean I'm running to lose a bit of jiggle so cupcakes are off the table for awhile, but it seems a bit strange that the two main topics on runnings blogs are 1. running (thankfully), but at 2. and not far behind, baked goods.

  23. Love the post. I'm totally guilty of annoying my friends on FB last year training for my first marathon. I was just so thrilled at every milestone. Now I've knocked it off. Thank god. ;) When I see others post about their fitness stuff I always encourage them . I'd rather hear them brag about a workout than some of the other annoying Facebook posts