Family Friday

Not much to report. Hope that those in the US had a good Thanksgiving. I have been walking with a little running thrown in to see if I can push past my most recent injury spat.  So far (or short as the case may be) so good, but I won’t really know until I start cranking up the miles or speed to see if I am really OK (to the degree that ever is true).

I have been spending the week with my parents (no, they haven’t moved and not told me where (well yet, though there was the time I had to bribe the movers to tell me where they were going, but that is a story for another day)).

I got REALLY REALLY lucky with my parents.  They are loving, encouraging, helpful and are even willing to be seen with me in public (which I even struggle with that and I don’t have much of choice in the matter). I listen to people complain about their parents and how they loathe to see them at the holidays.  I don’t.  I like visiting my parents and enjoy spending time with them at the holidays. I’m fortunate, and it is one of the areas of my life that I realize just how fortunate I am.

So with that I wish everyone a fine Black Friday and a Pigtastic weekend!  Here is your flowers for Friday.

Flowers for Friday. From a restaurant I ate at before the holiday

Flowers for Friday. It’s from a restaurant I ate at before the holiday. I am sure those details make the picture just that much better.



If Runners Were In Charge Of Thanksgiving

OK, nobody is going to read this post because all my readers are with family and friends (or at least for my American readers I hope so (well I hope it for all of you actually).  But since I had some time on my hands I thought I would postulate on how Thanksgiving would be different if runners were the ones running the show (pun intended).

Postulate Time!! (like Hammer time, except not).

1. Instead of a table you would get your food at an aid station.

2. Turkey trots would be mandatory (why do they name it that?  Who wants a turkey with the trots?)

3. Salted Carmel GU for dessert. Oh, wait, that’s the same as today.

4. Over the river and through the woods would be a course description, not the way to grandmother’s house.

5. Football players would watch runners on TV.

6. Only running stores would be open on Thanksgiving.

7. No kids tables, only kids races.

8. Pumpkin Pie and Sweet Potato Casserole Flavored Gels.

9. Wednesday would be the feast of carb loading for the Thursday race.

10. Friday would be a holiday to aid in race recovery.

For my US readers I hope you and yours have the happiest of Thanksgivings.  For everyone else, I won’t post again until Friday, so you REALLY have something to be thankful for.



Yet another example of why my family does not admit to my existence

Yet another example of why my family does not admit to my existence (and yes, I agree it is one of my better selfies).

Fourteen Friday

Why fourteen?  I thought that was  the mileage that will keep me out of dead last in my 8 hour race, the Piedmont 8-hour race.  I had to chalk up my 5th DNS for the year because of a groin pull (and before you make any comments I feel obligated to remind you this is the time of year that Santa is watching CLOSELY).

This injury has been nagging for a while, but seemed to get worse in the last few days.  I talked to my chiro/PT guy and he said it might be OK, but it was more likely to become a problem after an hour or so (or the way he put it: 8 hours is a LONG time). It is the right thing to bail, and unless it gets really better, really fast, I suspect my 12 race in three weeks is toast.  Once again, 12 hours is a LONG time.  At least some e-stim and graston helped.

I am trying to be philosophical about these races and take the long view.  I caught this before any major damage, I can still run short distances (like to the freezer to get ice for my margaritas).  I know in the grand scheme of the universe it is not that big of a deal and my running (or not) is not the end of the world (which I think we all can agree is a good thing that the fate of world has nothing to do with my running capabilities).

On a cheerier note, here is your Flowers for Friday

Flowers for Friday, odd arrangement edition

Flowers for Friday, odd arrangement edition

Everyone have a Pigtastic weekend!




Running Heaven or Running Hell

You even wonder what it takes to be sent to running hell or enter running heaven?  Just me??? Well, I’m going to blog about it anyway.

Here are some of my thought about what may send you to into the eternal fiery pit of injuries or into the land of harp filled PRs.

  1. Winning an age group medal using someone else’s bib-HELL
  2. Helping an injured runner during a race-Heaven
  3. Helping up a runner who was tripped during a race-Heaven
  4. Unless you were the one who tripped them in the first place-Purgatory
  5. Taking 10 bananas at the finish line-HELL
  6. Tying your owner’s shoes together right before he starts his run
Just because he has wings, does not make him an angel

Just because he has wings, does not make him an angel

7. Sharing the last bagel with someone who finished after you-Heaven

8. Cutting the course-HELL

9. Yelling “You’re almost there” at mile 2 of 100K–Straight to Hell

10. People who give newbie running good advice–Heaven

11. Authoring this blog–TBD

So, what do you think merits either running heaven or hell?



Worry About Worrying

You sign up for a race, and if you are unlucky enough to be me, the first thing that goes though my mind is “Am I going to run this race as well as I want to?” (OK, it’s the 2nd thought, the first is “I’m glad the Pig didn’t exceed my credit card limit” and my credit card wasn’t rejected).  If only this was the end of the worry.


If you are going to worry, training is a great place to start. And by start, I mean have you started you training too late, or too early (or if you are you are me too just right). Then you can worry about each individual workout.  Is cutting an 1/4 mile going to doom you to failure, will running an extra 1/4 mile cause injury which will wipe you out?

Then of course there is fear of injury itself.  Every run, every little minor tweak can be a cause to panic and spend more time on foam roller than you spend with your family.  Then there are the actual injuries.  You know every time your cursed running when the weather was molten or during the polar vortex?  You are begging the running deity of your choice that you didn’t mean any of those unkind word and please let everything go back to the way it was so you run again.

I worry that this picture doesn't fit with the rest of.the blog. OK, that's a lie, I totally don't care.

I worry that this picture doesn’t fit with the rest of.the blog. OK, that’s a lie, I totally don’t care.

The Race Itself

Did you under hydrate, over hydrate and did you remember your gels this time?  Then the race starts and you worry that you went out too fast (stop looking at me) or did you actually not go out fast enough?

In the end it all works itself out and your race is going to turn out just fine.

Until you see the race photos–now THAT is something to worry about



Friendly Fire Friday

“One seed of doubt can ruin a harvest of effort”

There was no need to put it in quotes, I just made it up.

I’m not the most optimistic person in the world and I am currently struggling with a series of minor injuries (plantar fascitis being the most recent).

I worry about my race next week but I am trying to keep the bigger picture in mind.  For one thing I can run.  A lot of people can’t so that is something worth remembering when I look at the bigger picture.  I may not be where I want from a training perspective, but I am a lot further along than I was three months ago.

Now if I can just keep the seed from germinating.

Flowers for Friday

Flowers for Friday

Everyone have a Pigtastic weekend!



What The…

Runners are a fairly intelligent log (this blog withstanding).  However, there is one subject that causes a 50 point IQ drop in runners—-unfortunately it’s running.  Here are a few example of how running makes us dumber that the gravel stuck in our shoes seem less intelligent.

On-Line Shopping

If a picture of your running shirt collection looks something like this:

Of course you would never risk putting a running related shirt in a garbage bag

Of course you would never risk putting a running related shirt in a garbage bag.  Looks like body parts to me.  Maybe I shouldn’t piss off my neighbors. 

This is a sign that you may not need to buy 6 more running tops.  The other thing is even if I had 366 shirts (next year is leap year so best be prepared), I end up alternating between like two shirts all the time.


It will be OK, I can push through this.  It’s not that swollen. I didn’t need that limb anyway.  It is good that running is generally a healthy activity, because otherwise we would kill ourselves doing it.

The Big Finish

Why do people come to a complete halt 1 mm beyond the finish line?  I understand giving your all, but it’s not like you wouldn’t expect that there is anyone behind you, I have wondered why people do this, but it probably because they are trying to figure out what closet they are going to put that new finishers shirt.



Holiday Gift Giving Guide

It’s the time of year where bloggers will start churning out Holiday Gift Guides like Starbucks cranks out Gingerbread Lattes (but with less whipped cream). Most of these guides are intended to help you find running related gifts that you will mostly turn around and buy for yourself.

Not this gift guide

This is a guide to what gifts you can give me.  Last year, without such a guide, most of you just sent cash (and I am still trying to figure out why there are so many one dollar bills with hearts on them (OK, it’s probably for the Pig).  This year, I thought I would take the guess-work out picking the perfect gift for me.

You can tell he has been doing his squats. Not wonder he makes it rain.

You can tell he has been doing his squats. No wonder he makes it rain.

Race Entries

What better gift than the gift of racing?  I will take race entries to just about any race that fits my schedule (and I’m stupid enough to do lots of back of back racing).  I even won’t take it personally when you sign me up for either the Canadian Death Race or Georgia Death Race (hey, nothing like practically climbing Mt. Everest in a day).

Running Clothes

It’s a good bet that I almost always need running clothes.  OK, need is a relative term, but I think we can all agree that I should wear clothes, so why not running clothes?  I’m a big fan of Smartwool compression socks.  Despite that fact they make me look like a sausage casing, a pair of CW-X tights would be appreciated. However, whomever sent the Pig a pair of boxers decorated hearts and a note saying “I would like to get in these” let it be known that such innuendo causes the Pig to blush.


Tailwind, GU gels, Vespa, Skratch Lab chomps are great for fueling and my dentist appreciates the extra money he earns by my ruining my teeth.


I will note that sponsoring opportunities for Javelina Jundred are still available (if you could see me typing this, you would see me giggling at this point (it’s not a pretty sight)).


Given my race results, I spend a lot of time drowning my sorrows, so the gift of beer or other alcohol would never go unused.  The Pig is always willing to help me drink, so think of it as two for one gift.

Yup, he drained it. I need to do a better job monitoring him.

Yup, he drained it. I need to do a better job monitoring him.



Flatline Friday

One of the items on my to-do list is figure out my racing schedule for next year.  I have a ton of races I would like to run, but unlike stacking up 10 milers one after another, I can’t just crank out a 50 miler and run a 100K a week later (or at least I don’t think I can; I haven’t tried to be honest, but I know after 85 miles, I was barely walking for a few days, so I think my assumption is good).

I know I am running Umstead 50 miler.  This will be my goal race for the Spring. I plan on running Javelina Jundred in the fall and the rest of my schedule is a blank canvas.  Races I am thinking about are (and yes I am spending too much time on the crack that is

Eugene Bruckert 50K – The main reason I would want to run this race is Eugene himself, who, at 80 at 199 results in That is ultra cool (pun intended).  The main problems with running this one is it is in late Jan and Icy-8 is in February.


Icy-8 – This race would help me start to build trail experience but the timed format allows me to to worry about when the hell the race it will over (answer: 8 hours after the start).

Cowtown 50-K – This would be in a warmer race that VA is in late Feb and is a road 50K, but there is airfare involved and it is only three weeks after Icy-8

Thomas Jefferson 100k – I’d like to run this, but I worry about my recovery for Umstead three weeks later.  Also this is only a couple of weeks after Cowtown, so there are some constraints on both ends.

The Running Dead Ultra-Has mostly the same problems as TJ100K and is further away,

Don’t Mind the Ducks 12 Hour Race– This is in NY and is in good spot between Umstead and Endless Summer.  It would prevent me from doing any shorter races (since it takes a bit to recover from a 12 hour race), but I have to admit I love the name of this one.

Endless Summer 6 hour race (and Endless Winter if they actually do that)- I like this race so I will do it again if all goes to plan.

Viaduct Trail Ultramarathon– 25 mile out, 25 miles back and you get a railroad spike for finishing.  It is in July (so recovery could impact running Endless Summer, but the cost is right–free.

Javelina Jangover – This is on the same course as Javelina Jundred so despite being in August in Phoenix, it would be good for me to run the course given that my desert trail running experience can be counted on two hands with a finger left over to flip someone off (oh, like you would have picked a different finger). The trick here will be picking between the 50K and the 75K.  The 75k provides more experience on the course, but I am more likely to be eaten by coyotes, bitten by snacks, or miss out on the post race beer (not in that order of priority).

Labor Pains 12 Hour Race–  If I don’t run (or they don’t hold) the Jangover, then this would be a good build up race for a 100 miler.

Then I am also looking at throwing in a smattering of shorter races depending on my inclination and need for training (Ottawa Race weekend anyone?).  After Javelina, I am thinking about the 48 hour race at Across the Years, but I have plenty of time to think about that one.

Well, plenty of time to whine and blog think about it.

Here is your Flowers for Friday.

A picture of white roses

Flowers for Friday. Roses, because you are worth it.

Hope everyone has a Pigtastic weekend!




Turning Tuesday

Sometimes I will stare at a blank screen and hope inspiration will come and I will be able to write something funny.  The blog is a creative outlet for me and it surprises me how often the blank screen will pop with some idea and away I go (dragging you along the way)

That didn’t happen this time

So, I will talk about something only tangentially running related.  I was thinking about my piece of art that the National Gallery of Canada accepted last year for an on-line exhibition.  (since there are new readers to the blog the details can be found at: Running Lonely In Black and White)

I reminded me how, at its best at least, the running community can cause a person to push themselves not only in running, but in life in general.  Last year I hadn’t done artwork in years, yet ended up with a piece in a real museum (oddly enough for the 2nd time in my life but that’s a story for another time).

However, after my piece was accepted I haven’t done jack from an artistic perspective (even the Pig knows this blog doesn’t count).

Art is Not Just Some Guy’s Name

I have feeling blue recently.  My training hasn’t really come along as I want.  I haven’t bounced back from pneumonia the way I had hoped and the Pig finished the last six-pack in the house.

However, one thing I try to do when life has me down is to pay more attention to the details around me.  Life can be beautiful when you are paying sufficient attention.  I was walking home from the train station and had just huffed and puffed my way up the hill near my place and was going to lament how walking a hill was tiring me out when I took closed my eyes, took a deep breath to try to clear the negative voices in my head.  That’s what I saw it.

It's one of those sidewalk lights. Who knew?

Just let the art wash over you.  I bet you are feeling more cultured (and not in a yogurt way)

Not spectacular art in the grand scheme of things, but a good reminder to look around and appreciate that which is all around you.