Friday, April 30, 2010

5 Jokes Friday

2 cows were talking in the field. One cow says, "Hey, have you heard of that Mad Cow disease that's goin' around?" The other cow replies, "Yeah. Makes you kinda glad you're a penguin, doesn't it?"

There were 3 cows. A Red Cow, A Blue Cow, and a Yellow Cow, all of them on one side of an eighteen lane superhighway. One day, they were busy grazing along, when they realized they were out of grass... So they were thinking to themselves if they could just get to the OTHER side of the superhighway, they could eat the grass over there. So the Blue Cow was thinking to himself, and he comes up with an idea. He walks up to the telephone pole, climbs up it, walks across the line to the other side, climbs down the other side, and starts eating the grass on the other side. So the The Red Cow starts thinking to himself if the Blue Cow can do it, so could he. He comes up with an idea, and backs up away from the highway, runs, jumps, leaps over ALL 18 lanes, lands on the other side, and starts eating the grass. So the Yellow Cow, left all alone, is thinking to himself if the Blue Cow could do it, and the Red Cow could do it, then so could he. He comes up with an idea, and he walks out in to traffic. He gets run over by an 18 wheeler and dies. The Red Cow turns to the Blue Cow and says, "Moooooooooo".

CAPITALISM AMERICAN STYLE- You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull, and start a herd of cow.

BEURACRACY, AMERICAN STYLE- You have two cows. The government takes the milk and pays you for it and then pours the milk down the drain.

DEMOCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE -You have two cows. The government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow, which was a gift from your government.

DEMOCRAT -You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. REPUBLICAN -You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So?

SOCIALIST -You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor. You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

COMMUNIST -You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides you with milk. You wait in line for hours to get it. It is expensive and sour.

FLORIDA CORPORATION -You have a black cow and a brown cow. Everyone votes for the best looking one. Some of the people who like the brown one best, vote for the black one. Some people vote for both. Some people vote for neither. Some people can't figure out how to vote at all. Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which is the best looking cow.

AMERICAN CORPORATION -You have two cows. You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one. You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have down sized and are reducing expenses. Your stock goes up.

FRENCH CORPORATION -You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows. You go to lunch and drink wine. Life is good.

ITALIAN CORPORATION -You have two cows but you don't know where they are. While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman. You break for lunch. Life is good.

GERMAN CORPORATION -You have two cows. You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour. Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

POLISH CORPORATION -You have two bulls. Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

JAPANESE CORPORATION -You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.

RUSSIAN CORPORATION - You have two cows. You have some vodka. You count them and learn you have five cows. You have some more vodka. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

Knock knock.
Who's there?

Impatient Cow.

Impatient cow, wh MOO!

Theres 2 cows in a field, One cow looks at the other cow and says "moo." The other cow looks back and says "I was just going to say that."

Happy Friday, everyone!
* Me thinks the Mad Cows wrote this one.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Enoree Passage Ultra Trail 40M Preview

I will run my very first Ultra on May 9th. The Enoree Passage 40mile is one of 4 races in 2010 that constitutes the "South Carolina Ultras on Trails" series. The race is hosted by Terri Hayes. A link to her awesome site is here.

From the race website:

"Course is an out-and-back on the Enoree Passage of the Palmetto Trail in Sumter National Forest, starting and finishing at the Day Use Parking Area near Brickhouse Campground.

Runners will find much diversity and great scenery on the course. As you travel the shaded trail, you will pass by lakes, beaver ponds, swamps, cross over dams and rivers, including the Enoree River. There are bridges and wooden walkways over the rivers and swamps. You will find hills, some rocks and roots, some road crossings, some short stretches on paved and gravel roads, but the course is about 98% trail, overall, very runnable.

From the start, the course goes north on the Palmetto Trail for 20 miles to a turn-around/aid station at John's Creek Lake, then returning to the finish. Additional aid stations will be located at approximately miles 5/35, 10/30, and 15/25. All aid stations will be well-stocked with a wide variety of food and drinks, plus food at the finish. Mandatory to carry at least one water bottle. There are no cut-off times and each finisher will receive a unique award.

The course is marked with yellow blazes painted on trees, plus orange ribbons and orange flags."

Here are some pictures I found from a Mountain Biking site. They provide a pretty good feel for what the Enoree Trail should be like, with the exception of it being Spring, so I hope to seemore foliage.

I confirmed this as my first Ultra attempt after receiving this email from Jason Sullivan. I was very impressed he took the time to provide some feedback I was looking for. If you have a moment you really should check out his blog, Running the Carolinas. You'll find lots of good race recaps, information about fueling, and gear, etc.

Hey Psyche...

I think the Enoree Passage would be an excellent race to do for a first ultra. I assume that this will be your first ultra? If so, then I would say go for it! Terri Hayes puts on very laid back and relaxed ultra runs and they are perfect for your first. Her aid stations are awesome and she will have one setup every five miles. Oh, and the big draw - No Cutoff times! You can find your pace and adjust it as need be. I love that about her races.

I have run this section four times and it is one of my favorite trails in the Upstate.
There are a few small climbs, but the trail is flat and runnable for the most part. It is very diverse. You will run over three dams, cross 2-4 rivers (via bridge), and pass through several swamps while running on walkways. On the other hand you will run through some thick forest areas and even go through the edge of someone's backyard. I forget that I'm in South Carolina every time I run it.

You will find a lot of first time ultra runners at Enoree if you decide to do it. If you do, be sure to introduce youself if you have time.

Take care & hope to see you on the 9th!


I also received an email from the RD herself, Terri Hayes, who said she didn't think Enoree would be too difficult for a first ultra, especially coming down from Asheville. She said the course does have some rolling hills, a few rocks and roots, but is quite runnable. She says that for a first ultra, she always tells runners to just do it to finish, not to try to run any set time and most important, have fun. I like her already.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

And So It Starts

Ultra Running, that is.

And it started with, "Hey, Leopold! Wanna go camping? There's this 40 Mile Ultra Trail Run in 2 weeks that I heard about..."

To Be Continued...

Post Race Thoughts

Leopold and I are fairly recovered from the next-day marathon soreness, which simply amazes me. Leopold's post-race status went from "my-girl-scream-reflex-is-broken" to "normal" in less than 48 hours. That is just wrong. He really should be made to suffer longer for putting his body through that ordeal... After my first marathon, I recall not being able to sit, walk down stairs, or do many other things normally that one takes for granted on an every day basis for at least a week.

Still DNF Free?
I suppose I really did not DNF this race after all. Originally, it was my intention to DNF at mile 10, and jog it in to the Half finish with Leopold. Since the knee issue completely stopped when I did, and it did not resume with the walk/ running, I continued on. So really, I just gave up my "race", because not only did I finish the marathon (distance), but when I was done, my Garmin said 29.02 miles. An extra 2 point something when I turned around to start up with the boys, plus nearly an extra mile was added just from the effort of continuing to find the highest, flattest spot on the Trail to run on. I should get an award for the worst tangent running ever!

Thanks, Race Director!
When Leopold finished, he was concerned he may have been disqualified for coming in with my number but his chip. It was clear the RD knew what went down, though. Leopold's Half Marathon time was not posted at all, and his name was attached to my chip time. Also, both Ty and Leopold were included in the Age Group Finishers. Well, done RD! You will be receiving a nice e-mail from me.

Good-Bye, Garmin
I am saying good-bye to Garmin for a while. From now on, I plan to train based on time rather than miles, and perceived effort instead of pace (with few exceptions). I've been meaning to take time vs. miles per week approach for a while. Now seems like a good time to actually implement it.

Next: Longer or Shorter?
I can't decide if I want to cycle back to the 5K yet or, given the 29 miler I ran, find a 50K to cap things off with. How does one even decide on 2 such very different things? Hmmm.. Any thoughts?

[ORN: Obligatory Running Note]: Easy, gentle 35 minutes this morning. I have no soreness at all, but that isn't to say I feel "fresh", either. I'm just relieved the knee issue never turned into anything substantial. I feel like I dodged a bullet on that one. I was already aware of the tight/ sore left hip flexor even before the race. It will come around in time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

RACE REPORT: Earth Day Challenge Marathon

I could not have guessed in a million years how this race was going to end up. But first, a little bit of a set up.

The course consisted of 3 sections, with the Half Marathoners and Marathoners all starting out together on the Track.

The first section wound around Kenyon College, and put you on to the Kokosing Trail (to the right) for an out-and-back section. On the way back, the Half Marathoners would turn left to the college to finish on the Track, while the Marathoners continue straight on the Trail for another 7 miles or so before turning around and heading back to finish.

Nancy, Ty (her son) and Leopold (my son) were set to run the Half. Nancy's sister, Christy, was going to cheer them on as they left the collegel, so she'd be seeing them twice. Then, after they finished, they would all go to a point further down on the trail to cheer me on (again, I should see them twice as this was another out-and-back section).

So, we're off and running. It was supposed to be rainy, but it was sunny and warm. The first section of about 4-5 miles was very hilly. As we left the Track for the first hill, I was reminded of H.S. Cross Country, as the courses are usually at a school. And usually head out to a very big hill. What I'm trying to say here is that the first hill was THAT big.

It was pretty crowded once we hit the little walking path that intersected the college, and it seemed that no one knew how to run single file. I encountered group after group of 4-5 side by side runners. It was a little frustrating, but didn't last too long. This whole first section was just nerve wracking in that I could not establish any kind of groove. My pace was all over the place.

Finally, we left the hills, and I said good-bye to 10:35's followed by 8:40's kind of pacing. We made our way to the nice flat, Kokosing Trail. We took a right onto the Trail for the first out-and-back portion. It was warm and humid, and I had already adjusted to my 'B" goal of 4:05, but was leaving room to adjust it back to sub-4 if I could. At the intersection of 229 and the Trail, I did not see Christy as I expected to.

About a mile further down, I began noticing my left hip was getting a nagging sore feeling. Half a mile later, my right knee began emitting a sharp pain directly in the center of my knee cap. It panicked me a little, because I have never had knee pain in my life. I was wondering if this was just one of those weird "phantom pains" you sometimes get in a race, and I was hoping it would disappear as suddenly as it came on. I was not so lucky.

My First DNF
This right-knee/ left-hip pain continued to worsen steadily, to the point I knew I was dealing with a serious issue. The Trail seemed to have a slant to it, which must have been causing these pains to set in. However, with runners on both directions of the trail, I could not run on the other side where I could get off the slope. Long story short, I made the decision to DNF at mile 10, as the knee pain seemed like an injury in the making. Oddly enough, I felt fine with this decision. I was looking forward to seeing Nancy, Ty and Leopold, and cheering them on.

I met up with them at their Mile 8 (my Mile 10, as the turn around was at Mile 9) and told them the story. The crowds were much thinner now, so I could find the even surface on the Trail, and the knee pain immediately went away. The boys were doing 3 minutes of running followed by 1 minutes of walking, so I stayed with them and was having a really fun time. Nancy told us to go ahead, as she thought maybe the boys were staying with her and could do better.

A New Plan
At around Mile 12, Ty took off and I think he ran the rest of the way in without stopping. At this point, Leopold said he wanted to keep going and finish the whole thing*. After much discussion, I was assured he could do it, and thought he should be given the chance. I agreed to go with him, and I suggested he scale down to a 2:1 run/walk ratio. We passed the turn off for the Half at about 2:35, and switched race numbers.

Mile 13-16
Leopold was really enjoying things, and was basking in the recognition and cheers he was getting from the oncoming runners. We weren't talking much but he seemed to be in good spirits. As for myself, I was beginning to be aware that you use different muscles when alternating running and walking, and my legs were feeling thrashed. The hip was noticably present, but no knee pain at all.

Miles 17-18
I noticed the first change in Leopold starting in to Mile 17. Whereas he had remained relatively silent for the previous miles, now, when I shouted encouragement to other runners, he began to say things like, "Stop doing that. You should tell them they're doing BAD. Tell them to just drop out." Aha! My little cherub has hit the grumpiness stage (labor's equivalent of "transition"). How cute! I flagged down an aid on a bike, got an extra couple of Gels and a granola bar. (Thank you "Michelle who works at Kenyon College"!!).

It was also around this time that I was pretty sure I saw AZ, which put him at about Mile 20-21. AZ is much taller than I thought! He looked strong at this point- he was not loving it, but definitely getting it done. (Later, when we were at Mile 21, I'd think of him again. The flat, monotonous trail really, really gets to you).

Mile 19 - The final turn around
We finally hit the last turn around at Mile 19. Leopold seemed to be fine, but he later told me this was the hardest part for him. He realized he had to make it all the way back at this point, and he was really discouraged. We slowed quite a bit, and it began to be harder and harder to start running again each time the watched beeped at us.

Mile 20 -21
The monotony really set in here. The Trail was so flat, we began to both have weird halucinations. If you looked at the trail just right, it would seem to move in a really weird way. Sometimes elongating, sometimes appearing to move closer. I have to say, I was a little concerned, and suggested we stop trying to see the road "move". It was hot, and we had just hit a patch of wind. Now, suddenly, the road was moving, there was thunder, and I swore I saw lightning. We had just had several episodes of furious rain that lasted mere seconds before suddenly stopping. Famine and locusts could not be too far off.

Soon, more aids on bicycles came by and told us there was going to be a cart coming by to pick us up as it was now RED conditions for the course due to lightning. They told us that if we had any metal in our pockets, etc. we should dump it and come back for it later. I think Leopold laughed, as he said, "Dude. You know you're on a metal bike, right?" The (metal) cart that eventually came by didn't even bother stopping as the bicyclists surely warned them Leopold may be armed and dangerous. Mentally incapacitated at the very least.

Miles 22-23
It was getting pretty hard to keep going. (That's one of those statements that non-marathoners read and it means nothing to them. Well, I'm not talking to those people. You guys know how hard these miles were). We were running 1 minute, walking 1 minute, and it was torture. Leopold had descended into a 'marathon shuffle'. He said nothing hurt, except his feet. They felt as if they were being pounded to death. He was past insults. He was pleading for a quick death.
A plane went by overhead. It looked like a military something or other. He looked up into the sky and begged, "Kill me! Please!!"

Miles 24_ 26.2
I honestly don't remember getting to Mile 26. It was just suddenly there. The college was on our right and you could see the Track. We were nervous,because we had never seen Christy, and had no idea if they were waiting, or what had happened. It was coming up to 6 hours that Leopold had been at it. We were both exhausted. Yet, Leopold hit the Track and ran the whole way in.

Final time: 6:23. (A 5:05 age-equivalent adjusted marathon).

* Leopold ran his first Half Marathon at age 8. The Earth Day Challenge was to be his 4th. Ever since his first one, he's told me that someday he'll just decide to keep going, and that is how he'll do his first Full.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

20 Deer , 1 Skunk, and an Earth Day Challenge

Well, I arrived in the Buckeye State in the wee hours of Friday. 9 hours and 2 movies later, it was just me, Nancy and Leopold who were still awake.

Yesterday, I ran an easy 3-miler on the beautiful Kokosing Trail with Nancy, Ty and Leopold. Considering how my runs have been going lately, I was slightly trepidatious as we set out. However, I immediately knew that I felt GREAT. My legs felt fresh and springy. Amazing! It sent a chill up my spine.

That was yesterday. Today is very low key. Just a lot of relaxing, eating and stayin' off the feet as much as possible. Ssnarfing up the carbs like a rabid Ms. Pac Man.

Also, yesterday: we saw 20 deer and a skunk. Yep. There are so many deer here, we started keeping count. As we gathered around our awesome bonfire last night, roasting marshmallows, we heard a branch snap nearby. We thought we were about to witness our 21st sighting of deer, but lo and behold, the flash light revealed a... SKUNK. Visions of winning my race by default immediately flashed in my brain. Just so ya know, those are not the first thoughts of a normal person when they see a skunk. Hey, I don't care how I win, I thought...

Yes, I am given to flights of fancy. I dreamt I won the 100-meter final in the Olympics, too. Let me be. It's all I have.

So, now we're (and when I say we're I mean Nancy) making dinner, and preparing our race gear for the morning. I'm beginning to get excited. I'm getting some serious good good vibes about tomorrow. I'm strangely relaxed. I'm sure if Nancy had a blog, she's be busy typing away right now, about how she's been feeding me valium in my snacks..

Before I go, a shout out to everyone for their great comments and solid support. All my blogger friends mean so much to me. I feel stupid saying that, but it's true. Earlier, I was thinking about The Sean and LawMonkey, who raced today. Guys, if you felt a sudden jolt of adrenalin, you can thank me later:).

I hope I get to meet the awesome AZ tomorrow. Considering there's 500 people in the race, there's a pretty good chance (because he probably has nothing better to do than to wait a full 45 minutes for me to finish).

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


File this under, "How To Wreck Your Race Confidence in 3 Easy Steps".

When you begin to taper...

1) Run less and less mileage in between key workouts. Eventually, you'll begin to wonder if you're even in shape any more.

2) Place extra, extra importance on the few "key workouts" that are left. Make sure to approach each key workout with the mindset that IF you run it well, THEN and only THEN will you be afforded the " proof" of fitness. Because nothing says FAIL like pressure.

3) Sit back and notice how each progressive workout leaves you more and more stressed and less and less confident. Make sure to congratulate yourself on a job well done.

OK, so I have not done a bang-up job of peaking. Again. It seems that peaking at the right time for a marathon is my personal cross to bear. (Ooooh...nice tie in with the Polar Bears. Did you notice that? Totally accidental).

Looking back on the last month, I really came into my own with MP Intervals on the week of April 5th. I followed up a great mid-week Interval workout with a really great 18-mile Progression Run that turned into a Last-5-Miles-As-Fast-As-You-Can-Run run.

Every week after that week has brought nothing but feelings of being stale, and a growing doubt about being able to sustain goal race pace. This is where I began having anxiety about my key workouts. I've had no good key workouts since that 18 miler on 4/10. It's a toal mystery to me as to the reason for this. Perhaps it's mental. After that great week, I felt as if I couldn't run any better than I was running. Then I made it come true. And THIS is what has sapped my confidence.

Heading into Sunday's race, I know "rationally" that I'm in shape for a good effor. What's missing is the confidence those last key workouts should provide, but haven't.

Yet, you never know.

Perhaps this mindset will serve me well. It might just keep me from making the same pacing errors (over-confident pace) I've made in the past. So, basically, I don't know what to think.

I guess I'll just show up and run.

Perhaps this should be filed under, "I Am In A Weird, Weird Place"?


Reading Adam's post about his boring dreams made me remember this:

I dreamt last night that I was in the Olympic 100 Meters final. (Like I had to preface THAT with, "I dreamt")! I was nervous. My nervous tick of tying and re-tying my shoes to get them to feel "just riiight" was kicking in bigtime, and I was holding up the entire race. Finally, some coach came over and asked me what the HELL I was doing- just line up already, he says. So I line up in some goofy way (come to think of it, I didn't see any blocks...). The coach comes over and physically adjusts how I'm standing, looks at me like I'm a moron, gives me final instructions on what to do, and the gun goes off. I run the race of my life and WIN.


Friday, April 16, 2010

5 Jokes Friday

On Wednesday I was scheduled to run 15 miles, with the last 8 miles at marathon pace. That run just did.not.happen. From the moment I began, it felt like failure draped in despairI was working too hard to maintain my base pace.

At 4 miles, I was fairly sure this run was going down as a FAIL. There are days when you know you have it, days when you hope you have it, and days when you know you absolutely do not have it. Unfortunately, my day was hiding behind door number 3.

6 miles in, I decided to kill myself shorten the overall length of the run and begin the marathon pace part of the run. No deal. Ugh- I was just working way too hard to maintain pace. My legs didn't feel dead, exactly, but there was certainly no spring in my step. I was really concerned at the effort it took to reach marathon pace, and how bad I felt at the thought of maintaining it (and not "good" bad like, "You know I'm bad. I'm bad. You know it. Shum-on").

So I followed the standard back up plan for these situations, which is: Throw a tantrum and curse the running gods If I feel terrible on a run, I'll switch to a shorter, faster workout. If the shorter, faster workout feels terrible but I'm hitting my times, I stay with it. If it feels terrible and I'm not hitting my times, then I switch to a recovery run.

Here's how that strategy worked out for me:
I switched to 3 x 2 miles at Tempo pace. About 300 yards later, I knew there was no way I was up for that workout. I was done for the day. D.O.N.E. No recovery run. Just stop the eff running done.
My next plan of action: figure out why I feel this way, and put it behind me.
All I really came up with was that I was not recovered from Saturday's extra-hard workout. Perhaps the super-fast finish took way more out of me than a "regular" fast finish. (I think I need to stop saying 'fast finish'. I'm creeping myself out).

If I really think about it, what I felt like was...not recovered. I guess that's OK. Most likely, if Brad Hudson were advising me he'd say, "Psyche, my plan was written with the 28 year-old male in mind. You are old, and you need more days of recovery." And I'd be just fine with that. So, that's what I'm gonna pretend happened.

Oh, in case you're thinking, "Psyche, these are some pretty crappy jokes you have there on this fine Friday..."

Here's your 5 Jokes!

Joke #1: What dou you call a fish with no eyes?

Joke #2: Chinese Sick Day
Hung Chow calls into work and says, "Hey, I no come work today, I really sick. Got headache, stomach ache and legs hurt, I no come work."
The boss says, "You know something, Hung Chow, I really need you today. When I feel like this, I go to my wife and tell her I want sex. That makes everything better and I go to work. You try that."
Two hours later Hung Chow calls again. "I do what you say and I feel great. I be at work soon... You got nice house."

Joke #3: Need A Bad Day To Get Into Heaven
It got crowded in heaven so, for one day and one day only, it was decided to only accept people who had really bad day on the day they died.

St. Peter was standing at the pearly gates and said to the first man, "Tell me about the day you died." The man said, "Oh, it was awful. I was sure my wife was having an affair, so I came home early to catch her with him. I searched all over the apartment but couldn't find him anywhere. So I went out onto the balcony, we live on the 25th floor, and found this man hanging over the edge by his fingertips. I went inside, got a hammer, and started hitting his hands. He fell, but landed in some bushes. So, I got the refrigerator and pushed it over the balcony and it crushed him. The strain of the act gave me a heart attack, of which I died from."

St. Peter couldn't deny that this was a pretty bad day, and since it was a crime of passion, he let the man in. He then asked the next man in line about the day he died. "Well, sir, it was awful," said the second man. "I was doing aerobics on the balcony of my 26th floor apartment when I twisted my ankle and slipped over the edge. I managed to grab the balcony of the apartment below, but some maniac came out and started pounding on my fingers with a hammer. Luckily I landed in some bushes. But, then the guy dropped a refrigerator on me!"

St. Peter chuckled, let him into heaven and decided he could really start to enjoy this job. "Tell me about the day you died?” he said to the third man in line. "OK, picture this; I'm naked, hiding inside a refrigerator...."

Joke #4: Two Fish In A Tank
Two fish in a tank – one says to the other, “How do you drive this thing?”…

Joke #5: Best Dog
A doctor, an architect, and lawmonkey an attorney were dining at the country club one day, and the conversation turned to the subject of their respective dogs, which were apparently quite extraordinary. A wager was placed on who had the most intelligent dog.

The physician offered to show his dog first, and called to the parking lot, "Hippocrates, come!" Hippocrates ran in, and was told by the doctor to do his stuff. Hippocrates ran to the golf course and dug for a while, producing a number of bones. He dragged the bones into the country club, and assembled them into a complete, fully articulated human skeleton. The physician patted Hippocrates on the head, and gave him a cookie for his efforts.

The architect was only marginally impressed, and called for his dog, "Sliderule, come!" Sliderule ran in, and was told to do his stuff. The dog immediately chewed the skeleton to rubble, but reassembled the fragments into a scale model of the Taj Mahal. The architect patted his dog and gave him a cookie.

LawnomkeyThe attorney watched the other two dogs, and called "Bullshit, come!" Bullshit entered and was told to do his stuff. Bullshit immediately screwed the other two dogs, stole their cookies, auctioned the Taj Mahal replica to the other club members for his fee, and went outside
to play golf.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Commence Countdown

I've begun thinking of my race in terms of how many key workouts I have left.

That number is 3.

As in, 3, 2, 1... commence marathon.

1. Today -15 miles with the last 8-10 miles at marathon pace.

2. Saturday- 3 x 2 miles at Tempo Pace with a 1/2 mile steady recovery in between.

3. Wednesday- 8 miles, with the last 3 at marathon pace.

Sunday, April 25th is the Marathon.

...Good thing I'm not thinking of the marathon in terms of how cool Chuck Norris is.


Chuck Norris is so cool he can choke you with a cordless phone.

Chuck Norris Counted to infinity... Twice.

When Chuck Norris does push-ups he pushes the earth down.

Chuck Norris can split the atom. With his bare hands.

Chuck Norris almost got struck by lightning, but then it got scared and swerved.

Chuck Norris doesn't bowl strikes, he knocks 1 pin down and the other 9 faint.

When God said "let their be light," Chuck Norris said "say 'please'".

Put "Chuck Norris" for every answer on your SAT's. You'll score double 800's.

Happy hump day, everyone!

Monday, April 12, 2010

22 Chuck Norris Facts

Warning: This post has nothing to do with running.

My running is going so well, I'm afraid to jinx it by writing about it. Or thinking about it. Or even doing it. (That explains why I left my shoes at home today when I planned to run after work).

So, today is all about Chuckie. Everything you always wanted to know about Chuck Norris* but were afraid to ask.


22 Chuck Norris Facts

1. Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.
2. Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
3. Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.
4. The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.
5. Chuck Norris defines love as the reluctance to murder. If you’re still alive, it’s because Chuck Norris loves you.
6. Chuck Norris isn’t hung like a horse. Horses are hung like Chuck Norris.
7. If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can’t see Chuck Norris you may be only seconds away from death.
8. Rather than being birthed like a normal child, Chuck Norris instead decided to punch his way out of his mother’s womb.
9. There are no disabled people. Only people who have met Chuck Norris.
10. Chuck Norris can win a game of Monopoly without owning any property.
11. There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris allows to live.
12. In fine print on the last page of the Guinness Book of World Records it notes that all world records are held by Chuck Norris, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone has ever gotten.
13. Chuck Norris invented cancer because he was tired of killing people.
14. In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Chuck Norris could use to kill you, including the room itself.
15. Chuck Norris is the only man to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.
16. Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.
17. When Chuck Norris goes to donate blood, he declines the syringe, and instead requests a hand gun and a bucket.
18. Chuck Norris has two speeds: walk and kill.
19.When Chuck Norris jumps into a body of water, he doesn’t get wet. The water gets Chuck Norris instead.
20. Chuck Norris can divide by zero.
21. Chuck Norris can set ants on fire with a magnifying glass. At night.
22. When Chuck Norris runs with scissors, other people get hurt.

* Go ahead. Insert your name here. You know you want to.
** That means you, lawmonkey.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

That's More Like It

Well, it's about frikkin' time. I FINALLY ran a Progression Run I'm happy with:

First, I ran 13 miles in 2:09 (about 10:07 avg. pace). I then ran 5 more progressively faster miles.

Here are the splits:

8:07 -that's right!

I ran those last 5 miles in 46 minutes flat. (Avg. pace 9:11). I've heard (McMillan?) that on a fast-finish run like this, the average pace you can maintain in the fast-finish part is probably the marathon pace you'll be able to sustain in your race. I like this. I felt as if I could have run one more mile in the 7:50's.

It is so good to be feeling strong a couple of weeks out from the race.

I just checked up on Matt Patten, who's running the Zumbro 100, and according to Helen he's doing fine at 37 miles. Average pace 9:50ish. Hang in there, Matt!

That's it for now! Happy Saturday.

Friday, April 9, 2010

5 Jokes Friday

It's a crazy busy day today. However, I want to make sure to wish everyone who's racing this weekend the best of luck - and speed!

I'd also like to send a shout-out to John at Hella Sound. Thanks for the coupon, man. I am downloading as I type! Just so ya know, I have not listened to "regular" music while running since discovering Hella Sound. Awesome!

...And now here are your five jokes:

Joke #1 - Lipstick
According to a news report, a certain private school in Sydney was recently faced with a unique problem . A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. After they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.Every night the maintenance man would remove them and the next day the girls would put them back.
Finally the principal decided that something had to be done . She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night - ( you can just imagine the yawns from the little princesses). To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror ..

Joke #2 - Short Quiz

The following short quiz consists of 4 questions and will tell you whether you are qualified to be a professional. The questions are NOT that difficult.

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator? Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?Wrong Answer. Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend.... except one. Which animal does not attend? Correct Answer: The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there. This tests your memory.

Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it? Correct Answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

Joke #3 - Blonde Car Accident

Oe day, while a blonde was out driving her car, she ran into a truck.The truck's driver made her pull over into a parking lot and get out of the car. He took a piece of chalk and drew a circle on the pavement. He told her to stand in the middle and not leave the circle.Furious, he went over to her car and slashed the tires. The blonde started laughing. This made the man angrier so he smashed her windshield. This time the blonde laughed even harder. Livid, the man broke all her windows and keyed her car. The blonde is now laughing hysterically, so the truck driver asks her what's so funny. The blonde giggles and replies, "When you weren't looking, I stepped out of the circle three times!"

Joke #4 - Dead Rabbit

This guy comes home from work one day to find his dog with the neighbor's pet rabbit in his mouth. The rabbit is very dead and the guy panics. He thinks the neighbors are going to hate him forever, so he takes the dirty, chewed-up rabbit into the house, gives it a bath, blow-dries its fur, and puts the rabbit back into the cage at the neighbor's house, hoping that they will think it died of natural causes. A few days later, the neighbor is outside and asks the guy, "Did you hear that Fluffy died?" The guy stumbles around and says, "Um.. no.. um.. what happened?" The neighbor replies, "We just found him dead in his cage one day, but the weird thing is that the day after we buried him we went outside and someone had dug him up, gave him a bath and put him back into the cage. There must be some real sick people out there!"

Joke #5 - Blood Test

Two children were sitting outside a clinic. One of them was crying very loudly.

2nd Child: Why are you crying?

1st Child: I came here for a blood test.

2nd Child: So? Are you afraid?

1st Child: No. For the blood test, they cut my finger.

At this, the second one started crying profusely. The first one was astonished.

1st Child: Why are you crying now?

2nd Child: I came for a urine test !

Have a great weekend, all!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Race Car In The Red

To avoid the heat today, I choose to come into work late and run my key workout at 8:00 a.m. It was pretty warm, even at that hour. The workout: 2 x 4 miles @ MP w/ a steady 1/2 mile in between.

I was curious to see how I was going to feel. Up until recently, MP intervals have been hard for me. They've just started to feel "right" in the last workout or two. As I started out, I noticed I did feel good. Yay! I found a really nice groove at about 3 miles. I love it when that happens. I think that's when I relaxed. I was thinking about this documentary I watched with Leopold last night (DogTown and Z-Boys) about the 70's pioneering Zephyr skate team. Their whole thing was to just "feel it", to always be in the moment, not planning your moves but just letting them happen. Skating for them was an extension of surfing, and to be great you had to be relaxed and fearless. It was some pretty amazing skate boarding, for sure. Also some nice carry over to running.

Here's a very young (and very talented) Jay Adams:

So, back to my intervals. I'm into the 2nd interval, still feeling mighty fine, when people begin to appear at the park. Up until now, it had been just me. I began to notice that every time I approached people walking on the path, I would speed up tremendously. It was like, "Oh!Oh! Guy and a dog. Twelve O'clock!" Bam! 7:35 pace. Without fail, everytime I encountered another living soul, I became a race car in the red. I took this as a good sign, and prayed for tons of people to be on my true race course, cheering me on. I ended the workout feeling like I was so ready to race. Isn't that cool?

Also cool- The Asheville Citizens Times is going to run a Boston Marathon Preview article, and they want photos of Aaron Saft for the article. Aaron will be at our elementary school tomorrow, helping fit our kids with running shoes. Long story short, it looks like Aaron will be running with our Blackhawk Boys for the photos. Nice!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Running On Lightning Bolts

You saw it here first. I just approved the art design for our Blackhawk Boys Spring Season 2010 t-shirt. I submitted the winning design from our T-Shirt Design Contest to the printer who then "translated" the art work it into our shirt.

Drum roll, please...

Another awesome shirt! Can't wait until Thursday to show it to them. Hope everyone is having a great day, enjoying this hot weather!

Freud Is My Home Boy

It seems a bit early for race anxiety to set in, but set in it has. This time, I'm determined to keep it in perspective - to see it for what it is: Anxiety is a good sign. It's an early warning mechanism to produce fight or flight. It makes people prepare and perform at their highest level.

I actually thought I might get over these pre-race jitters as I became more experienced with the marathon. Ha! I was reminded by reading Matt's post this morning that pre-race anxiety will never end- nor do I want it to. (Thanks, Matt). It's an invaluable part of the process of learning to master our doubts and fears- to face our innermost selves.

When the gun goes off, no matter how many times you've raced, you take a step into the unknown. All you are expected to do is your best, and that is exactly why it is so intimidating. The pain of doing your honest best is intimidating - you will have to push yourself to your very utmost limit. Facing the possibility that your honest best on race day may not be what you hoped for, after all the work, is intimidating as well.

We all have anxiety and fear, hope and faith that what we have done is enough. That we are, in fact, strong enough to face our inner most selves.

To be continued...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Epic Fail?

I could not decide how to run my 22-miler, which is the first bad sign. Why would I not run it the way it says to run it my plan? I'm supposed to run at base pace for about 18 miles, then do 4 segments of 10 minutes each where you run progressively faster, ending at race pace (9:10).

I have a hard time with Progression runs. I never get the initial pace right, so I'm too fatigued to run faster at the end. Or, I take it too easy and finish the workout feeling like I cheated.

So, that got me thinking I should run a thirds progression run- which would mimic how I'm planning to race.

What actually ended up happening is that I overestimated my capabilities. I planned to run 10:09 pace for 18 miles, then to run faster. But at 18 I had nothing left. I finished the 22 miles at 10:09 pace (1 minute below race pace). It was hard. I wanted to stop. You know the drill...fa-tigue.

Now I don't know how to evaluate it- is 22 miles run at 1 minute below race pace even a good workout? Did I totally fail by changing things around? This is not good for confidence, people.

Your comments are needed, welcomed and appreciated. You guys never let me down.

Friday, April 2, 2010

FRIDAY: 5 Jokes and Movie

What better combo is there than to laugh and be inspired? In that spirit, I bring you 5 jokes and a little peek into the life of one very inspirational coach, Joe Newton.

First, the jokes:

A dog went to a telegram office, took out a blank form and wrote: "Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof." The clerk examined the paper and politely told the dog, "There are only nine words here. You could send another 'Woof' for the same price." The dog replied, "But that would make no sense at all!"

What's the worst thing about roller blading?
Having to tell your parents you're gay.

A man urgently needed a few days off work, but knew the Boss would not allow him to take a leave. He thought perhaps if he acted "CRAZY" then the boss would tell him to take a few days off. So he hung upside down on the ceiling and made funny noises. His co-worker (who's blonde) asked him what he was doing. He said, "I'm pretending to be a light bulb so that the Boss will think I'm "CRAZY" and give me a few days off."

A few minutes later the Boss came into the office and asked, "What are you doing?" The guy told him he was a light bulb. The boss says, "You are clearly stressed out. Go home and recuperate for a couple of days." The guys jumps down and walks out of the office. When his co-worker (the blonde) followed him, the Boss asked her, "And where do you think you're going?" She said, "I'm going home too, I can't work in the dark!"

A guy asks a lawyer what his fee is. "I charge $50 for three questions," the lawyer says. "That’s awfully steep, isn’t it?" the guy asks. "Yes," the lawyer replies, "Now what’s your final question?"

How do you make a blonde laugh on a Saturday?
Tell her a joke on a Wednesday.

Hope you laughed at at least one of them!

Now, the movie:

I watched The Long Green Line last night, the inspiring story of York Duke’s 2005 Cross Country season as they seek their record 25th state title in 50 years. The York team has 221 athletes participating in Cross Country- although 214 boys know they will have no influence on the season’s scores, they are moved to participate just to be in the presence of Coach Newton.

Coach Newton's goal of molding young boys into men is a life lesson for us all. He sets the example for these high school runners while instilling dedication, integrity and hard work. These life lessons are what will carry these boys through the challenges that we all face. His "tough love" approach obviously has worked for more than 50 years at York High School. I found my self wishing that I had run for him, although I was fortunate to have a great high school cross country coach.

I really liked his "thought for the day" that he provided to those eager, young minds. I recommend this film to all of my running friends.....

In fact, you can watch the entire movie on hulu here.

I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend!

Enjoy the weather, the running, and the racing!

Make sure to wish Georgia Snail good luck in his first ultra tomorrow!