QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The secret to a good run

I finally had a kick-butt run yesterday, and, as one does when one has a good workout, I tried to figure out why I was feeling so much more energetic. I just kept running faster and faster. 5 miles: first mile: 9:03. 2nd: 8:37. 3rd: 8:05. 4th: 7:47. 5th: 7:36. or something like that. chah.

Here are the components to my awesome run:

- evening. I always seem to run well in the evening. mornings suck (on so many levels).
- perfect weather. drizzle and 60 degrees. Doesn't get better than that!
- my running buddy Sophie along with me.... NOT. Sophie had to be coaxed along with me running away from the house. At times I felt like I was dragging her... "pretend you're chasing a squirrel, Soph," I kept telling her. On the way home she practically sprinted ahead of me. sandbagging German Shepherd.
- rest day yesterday. Rest is good.
- Finally.. my world famous chocolate chip cookies, which the 11-year-old and I made that afternoon, both provided incentive (I had, um... enough dough to equal about 4 cookies, I'd estimate, plus 2 cooked cookies) and sugar energy!

I'd just like to mention, for the record, that my cookies are superior to mama-face's cookies. ;)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Strange encounters of the animal kind

I went for a lunchtime run today. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

When I arrived at the trail, I could barely pull into the parking space straight because of the sight which confronted me when I turned into the parking lot. A bull. with horns. In the grass. On the side of the parking lot at the public running/biking/walking trail. big horns. I said bull, right?

I quickly went to take a picture of it, but of course didn't have my camera with me. Murphy's law very clearly states, in section 102a, "if one were to see a huge bull with prodigious horns standing on the side of a public parking lot, happily grazing on the tall grass without concern, one will not have one's camera with one."

Here's kind of what he looked like (thanks, google images):

WTF, I thought.... and proceeded to begin my workout without having taken a picture, my fellow trail users all around me, more prepared and immune to Murphy's Law, snapping photos of the big fella left and right.

Just not something one sees in the trail parking lot every day. At least not in suburban Baltimore.

I then began my workout, pumped up by something I had just read from an article about a world class triathlete who was quoted as saying: "Always reach beyond what you think you can achieve." I had been in the mood to run all morning. Nothing was going to get in my way of hitting my paces for my 1K repeats....

I did my warm up and was in my first 1K interval, running faster than normal, when all of a sudden I see, up ahead, a LOOOONNNNGG slithery black snake just starting to make his way across the path. Well, so... nothing was going to get in my way of hitting my paces... except maybe a ridiculously long and thick and scary black snake about to cross my path.

You all know how I suck at drawing, especially with a computer mouse, but here goes my rendition:

I promptly jammed on the breaks.... (screech...)

And the big fella kept coming.... but my time was really good so far. I told myself if I stopped for the length of time it took for the scary black snake to sun himself slowly all the way across the trail, I may as well not be out here doing speedwork. I muscled up the courage to slide by him, thinking that if my sons were here they would chastise me for my wimpiness.

As I ran by him, he bit my ankle...
just kidding!!
He was probably more afraid of me than I was of him (nope. uh uh.)
Anyway, perhaps all of my energy was sapped by my encounters with my fellow earth creatures, because I hit the pace for my next 1K but conked after that.
My run sucked. It was hot (the effing temperature went up 15 degrees during my run, for crying out loud) and I'm getting old. And my back hurts, dammit.
I think instead of reaching beyond what I think I can achieve, I'm going to reach for a margarita.
The end.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I just had a horrifying thought...

A couple of days ago I had a horrifying thought, most disconcerting.
In a little over 2 weeks I'll be swimming, cycling and running in my first triathlon.
I've run enough races - 5Ks, half marathons, marathons, 10-milers - to know that the one thing a participant needs to do before the start of the race is PEE. A combination of nerves and caffeine-providing coffee makes every runner have to pee multiple times before the start of the race.
The paucity of portapots combined with an overabundance of runners needing to pee before the race lends itself to a situation in which many runners pee wherever any cover whatsoever may be found, and folks get creative.
So here's my horrifying thought. In a triathlon, I assume everyone will have to pee before the start of the race as well.... but.... the first leg of a triathlon is the SWIM.
Are you with me? Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
It SUCKS to be a slow swimmer...
oh, well. I suppose it will warm up the water.