Yes, I am talking about him.

How to sing like a soprano (Compression Shorts Review)

I own an extraordinary large number of compression shorts.  For something that two years ago, I didn’t own I single pair of, I would be embarrassed by the number I have except that I save that embarrassment for compression socks which I have even more of.  The good news is that my wasteful spending puts me in a unique position to discuss the different brands of compression shorts out there.  The bad news is this is me, so you aren’t likely to learn anything useful anyway.  The really bad news is what this did to my budget.  Thank goodness the Pig brings in a steady income.

Before I talk specifics, I will share a few general thoughts.  One, the science of compression shorts is somewhat iffy, but for me compression shorts make my legs feel better during and after runs (my nice way of saying “suck it science”).  The brands I am reviewing aren’t cheap (50 bucks and up) so you have to decide if “the juice is worth the squeeze”.

This isn’t some ad, and I didn’t get discounts or free stuff or the promise of a three week vacation in Maine for this review.  Let’s be honest, most of these companies would prefer I not wear their stuff because it might make them look bad. So companies, feel free to contact me for and maybe we can arrange for your product to disappear from this list. I hear Maine is nice this of year.

Skins A-200

There is nothing overly complex about the Skins A-200 compression shorts.  They are straightforward solid compression.  I used these for the 2nd half of my 24 hour race, so they can definitely go the distance (even if I can’t).  Another advantage to these shorts is that they are cheaper than most of the shorts on this list.

CW-X Stabilyx Ventilator Short

Although better known for their tights (which rock), the Ventilator shorts are a nice summer compression short (my timing as a blogger is impeccable) since part of the front panel is vented.  There is a pocket in the back and overall these compression shorts have lasted well.  I used them in the first half of my 24-hour race and they are still going strong.

Bioskin Compression Shorts

If you LOVE compression (or like singing like a soprano) then Bioskin is where to go.  This is the company that makes my monster knee brace (which I am a big fan of) but the compression was more than I liked.  However if you are looking for maximum compression, this is where I would start.  Bioskin runs 10-20 % off sales from time to time, so check their Twitter account.

2XU Compression Shorts

Another solid pair of compression shorts.  This one has a pocket in the front (which I prefer).  The compression is probably tighter around the lower half than the Skins, but lighter on the upper half.  I have used them both in warmer and cooler weather and have been happy with them.

Opedix Core-Tec Shorts

These were my first pair of compression shorts, and I have the 1.0 version(which is no longer made).  These shorts have multiple zones of compression and panels to optimize movement while providing compression.  My main complaint with these shorts is that they are too heavy for summer wear (although I did wear them for Endless Summer 6 hour race last year).  The 2.0 look like on the website to have lighter material so that problem may have been solved.  These are the most expensive shorts on this list (145.00 retail).

Compressport Trail Shorts

These shorts have silicone printing so you can put your hands on your thighs without slipping when running up very steep trails.  Although I think it is easier to avoid routes like that than buy a pair of shorts designed for them, it is good to know if I ever end up in a situation I am good to go.  One interesting differentiation is that these short come over the stomach to provide some core/back support.  I suspect this works better for skinny people who don’t have a beer/vodka/pizza/chip gut but that part of the short can be folded down if needed.  The compression of these shorts is greater toward the knee which I happen to like.

CEP Dynamic Base Compression Shorts

I just bought these (OK, I MIGHT have a problem (OK, problems…))  recently so I haven’t been able to test these completely.  I have done a couple of 4-7 mile walk/runs.  These have a pocket in the back for a gel which is nice.  They also have tighter compression on the lower part of the thigh.  If you are Quadzilla, this might not work so great for you.  Overall I would give these decent marks, though I prefer Compressport for shorts that have more compression in the lower half.  These are cheaper than Compressport though.

So what is the final verdict?  I use the CW-X and Skins more often than the others, but maybe I should buy one more of each, just in case.




Franconia Friday

The train I take home, the last stop is Franconia-Springfield  and since I am writing this on the way to work (typo alert), Franconia is the goal for the end of day.

It’s been raining in the DC area (good luck Ragnar teams) and I actually managed to get a blister on on of my fingers from holding water bottle during a 6 miler (or that’s my story and I’m sticking too it). Looks like more rain for the weekend, but if you would race in it, you should train in it. Hmm, maybe I should race in Hawaii?

Nothing new on the job front. The one job as gone radio silent (maybe I shouldn’t have given the Pig as a reference). Looks like it is back to the drawing board (#oldguyreference)

So here is your flowers for Friday. Have a Pigtastic weekend everyone!




Not what you think

I look at running products to see if I can find that edge to go from really, really, really slow to really, really slow.  In my search I have found a lot of products that I thought would help, but turned out not to be what I thought they would be.  Here are a few examples:

Trail Toes

What I hoped it would be: Something to prevent the pain of tripping over rocks and roots.

What it is: Blister prevention.

Ultimate Direction

What I hoped it would be: A short cut to the finish.

What it is: A brand of water bottles and hydration packs.


What I hoped it would be: Something that would cause me to accelerate.

What it is: A drink mix.


What I hoped it would be: No clue, but that has never stopped me from buying a product before.

What it is: A pair of hightop Hokas.


What I hoped it would be: Don’t ask.

What it is: A brand of sock.


What I hoped it would be: A cane to help me walk after ultras.

What is it: A trigger point torture device or odd sex toy.  I can’t really make up my mind.

The Theracane. Almost as strange as this blog.

The Theracane. Almost as strange as this blog.



Why don’t these running products exist?

Back when I started running in the caveman days, running was a pair of shoes, tube socks, and a cotton shirt (oops, forgot my cotton shorts again, sorry about that).  Today there are compression socks that are specific to left and right feet, more nutrition options than there are runners, and even sticks to improve your running selfies.  With all these running related products, here are a few items that aren’t yet on the market but should be.
Win by a nose
Why can’t there be a product that neutralizes smells that the guy who bathes in cologne, the person who hasn’t washed their clothes since the first Bush administration, or for the time I was crushing a 10K only to be hit with the smoke of a BBQ cook-off in the last half mile.
Photo Finish
You can take pictures with everything but your coffee cup, but they haven’t come up with a way to take race photos that doesn’t make you look like your ex’s revenge fantasy.
Surely instead of having to buy 100 different pairs of shoes to find the right one for you, why isn’t there a set-up which allows you to scan your foot and have a 3-D printer print you out the perfect pair of shoes. Feel free to steal this idea and make a fortune. I just ask for free shoes for life in return (which given my advanced age may only mean a couple of pairs).
Another way of dealing with guys who wear too much cologne

Another way of dealing with guys who wear too much cologne

Staggered Start

All the computer power that exists in the world and there isn’t a way to have people line up for a race in order of how fast they are?

Idiot Canceling Headphones

I want a pair of idiot canceling headphones so I will never have to “You are almost there” at mile 2 of a marathon.  As a bonus I could use them for silence at work.

Of course I will know the day these headphones are a reality because it will be the day that no one will be able to hear audio of this site ever again.



Funky Friday

Unfortunately funky not referring to my non-existent dance moves, but rather the odd odor that emanates from the running shoe area of my closet.  Well, at least it is the weekend and with the cooler weather I can open some windows.

Last weekend was a frustrating from a running perspective.  My energy level and breathing ability both dropped off big time during my long run and it carried over to my Sunday run which I had to cut short.  I started to get down about it, but remembered than even before the plague my runs were a crap shoot on how well they went, so I need to be patient (stop laughing).  At least with the cooler weather it will be easier to ramp up the mileage but I will need to remind myself not to go overboard (still, please stop laughing).

The runs this week have been fairly good and I am slowly getting faster (OK, you can laugh this time).  I still won’t completely be ready for my 8 hour or 12 hour races, but I should be in decent enough shape not to come in last.  I looked at one of my runs prior to the Army Run 1/2 and a similar one this week was about 20 seconds slower than last year.  Not optimal, but it means I am coming back into form (even if that form is somewhat jello like).

I look at my blog stats more often than I should but with Worst Running Songs II it was interesting to see the number of people who would check out other posts or look at the “About me if you care” tab (turn out most people don’t).  It is always nice to see that people are thought something was funny enough that it was worth checking out other of my posts (though oddly enough the older posts tab is the least popular of my tabs (told you I look at my stats too much).

Oh, and in the drama that is my work life my current employer is randomly offering me a temporary promotion.  Obviously someone in my inner circle blabbed to management about my interviewing elsewhere.  The promotion doesn’t change my thinking about taking the other job, but if I stay, the extra money would buy a few pairs of running shoes (and some beer for the Pig).  Stay turned.

Flowers for Friday. The center looks like an upside down supervillain. I'm messed up aren't I.

Flowers for Friday. The center looks like an upside down supervillain. Only I would see the world that way.

Hope everyone has a Pigtastic weekend!




Worst Running Song 2

Early on in the history of this blog, I changed the emphasis from running to humor.  One of my earlier attempts at humor (other than my race reports) was Worst Running Songs. Although only a handful of people read it at the time, the post is now is #4 on the all-time list of number of reads for this blog.  This is because, for some reason I don’t get, people search for Worst Running Songs and every month I get a few hits on that post.

So, I guess you can’t have too much of a bad thing, so for those about to not rock, we salute you as well.  Here is Worst Running Song II:

Waiting for a Girl Like You – Foreigner

This song has a sleepy, dream like quality which will put you in a daze.  Maybe not what you are looking for at mile 12 of your next half.  Here is a video of the live version which, well, it just as sleep inducing assuming you aren’t laughing at the whole 80s look or the tube sock the lead singer has in his pants.

Send in The Clowns-Judy Collins

In my original Worst Running Songs I couldn’t bring myself to find a video of this.  Since I finally caved to doing selfies, here is the video for a song which is so soft, it makes cotton candy look like concrete. I think this blog post may be good ultra training because my stomach is starting to churn.

 Steely Dan – Deacon Blues

There is nothing about this song that says 5K PR and everything that says down a glass of cheap wine.  Thanks Christina for reminding me of the full throttle nuclear brain damage that is Steely Dan.

King of Pain- The Police

Yeah, just what I want to be reminded of during a race is how bad things hurt.  On top of it, the first part of the song has a screaming cadence of about 60 BPM (that is sarcasm for those new to the blog). You can see a shirtless Sting in the video which may increase or decrease your pain depending on your point of view and opinions on 80s chest hair.  Then there is the goat in the video.  Moving right along…

Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks

Great song to drink to, not so great song to run since the cadence weaves around like a drunken frat boy.  Feel free to add it to your post race song list (or am I the only person with one of those).  Garth didn’t make a video for song, and frankly it is probably just as well.

Kenny G

Still sucks.  Happy running.



Love on the Run

There are tons of blog posts out there on why runners are the perfect choice for a potential soul mate.   You know who writes these blogs? You guessed it—runners, who, no surprise, feel they make great mate material.  Although runners do have a lot of great qualities (8 mile run to get your favorite bagel–no problem (well as long as they don’t get hungry on the return trip) but there is a flip side to this coin.


Runners, when they are training, use every second of free time stretching, strength training, running, foam rollering, and reading poorly written running blogs.  Secondly, runners are ALWAYS training.  All of this time doesn’t include 6 hours a week spent on shopping for running gear.  Speaking of which…


If you want to retire early, don’t marry a runner.  Race entries, shoes, hydration packs, gels, compression socks, travel to races, and other assorted running expenses will drive you to near bankruptcy and all you will have to show for it is more safety pins than any one human needs.


You thought it was cute that your significant other was trying to run a half marathon in all 50 states until that summer in Idaho.

I leave my wallet unattended for one minutes...

I leave my wallet unattended for one minute…


Dating a runner requires you get used to that lovely smell that is a curious cocktail of sunscreen and dumpster.  And don’t even think about being downwind of a well-worn pair of shoes.  Which brings us to…


Get used to not being the most important relationship in your runner’s life.  That is reserved for running shoes.  Let’s be honest, a runner spends more time with their shoes than with you.  So, don’t try to come between a runner and their shoes. Not unless you have a gas mask.

Maybe all of this explains why so many runners end up with other runners.



Five 0 Friday (non-Hawaii Version)

Last week I turned 50 and if wisdom comes with age, I am certainly not proof of it.  50 is a crappy age from a running perspective because it puts you in an insanely competitive age group.  I can only guess that people who are still running at my age must be pretty decent or they have given up on the sport by now (The Pig says “Unlike some people I know”).

Age may be a number, but rather than focusing on the fire hazard that was my birthday cake, I prefer to look at the flames as an alternative source of energy (The Pig has nothing to say on this one because I don’t think he got the joke).

Flowers for Friday because this blog post is going nowhere fast (The Pig makes the obvious comment about my running speed but I am not going to repeat it because I made it too easy for him).

Flowers for Friday because this blog post is going nowhere fast (The Pig makes the obvious comment about my running speed but I am not going to repeat it because I made it too easy for him).

I have to admit that I struggled more than I expected the day I turned 50.  I don’t really celebrate my birthday, but it wasn’t like I didn’t know it was coming.  Even I can add 49 + 1 and get 50 (The Pig says “With the help of a calculator”).  OK, maybe it was the decision to get the Roman numeral for 50 tattooed on my forehead that was getting me down (L for those who don’t keep up with such things).

Yes, I made a Roman Numeral Joke

But instead of wallowing in self-pity (The Pig says “Mud is more fun to wallow in” (I really shouldn’t let him near when I am blogging)) I will focus on what I can control which is…well not much of anything really, but maybe the point is realizing it.

Looks like I am going to get the job offer from the interview I had.  Thinking about whether to take the offer will give me something to think about during my long run on Saturday (which I originally typed “long urn” which I am going to pretend was not a subconscious slip).

Hope everyone has a Pigtastic weekend (the Pig agrees wholeheartedly).

Hey, at least I don’t have to worry about acting my age.

More Flowers for Friday

More Flowers for Friday




To Serve As Warning To Others

On the back of my door to my office, I have this poster from

Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others.

Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others.  You can now learn from the master.

So if I serve as a warning to others, at least I can do is get the word out.  So here are a few running “warnings” you might learn from instead of crashing against the rocks and sinking.

Butt No

It took a long time for me to learn not to follow the person with the cutest butt.  On the surface such a strategy sounds like a winner, but in reality it has one fatal flaw.  If their butt is that cute they probably trained hard to get it that way which means they are WAY faster than you are.  Just admire it from a distance unless you want to blow up in the first mile.

Well Hello Five

Doing a high-five with spectators–good  High-five with volunteers at the water stop is a mistake you make only once.

Just Gel (really)

If you have a chocolate gel tucked in the back of your shorts, don’t sit down on it.  Nobody will believe it is just a gel. A corollary to this is don’t open your mouth within 30 seconds of drinking beet juice.  I will just say that I am glad that cell phones with cameras didn’t exist in the stone ages when I was young.

You have the right to remain silent (really)

If you have a few too many post race drinks, don’t try to use your race medal to impersonate an officer of the law.  Don’t try it, even if you are a super awesome pig.  Bail for pigs is the same as for humans.  Now you know how I know that.

Yes, I am talking about him.

Yes, I am talking about him.

So hopefully these tidbits will make your running career less “mistake” prone and will keep your backside cleaner in case someone is following you in your next race.



From Here to There (and maybe back again)

On some fundamental level, running is about getting from here to there (and sometime back). I am looking from getting from here (walk/run of 11 miles) to there (I would like to get at least 50 miles in for my 12 hour race, The Nutcracker).

As usual I am leaping over that whole “training” thing and will be taking some leaps of faith to reach my goal (wonder how many calories leaps of faith burn?).

First up is trying to run more miles in a row.  I am about up to three miles in a row and need to build that up each week between now and December. I will start using my Saturday long run for distance and my Sunday run to work on the run/walk intervals.  At Across the Years I used a 5/1 run/walk for the first 6-7 hours and then it went something closer to 4/1.  I think for The Nutcracker I will target starting at 6/1 and drop it to 5/1 2-3 hours into the race and then finish up with 4/1.  If I can come close with this I think 50 miles is possible and although it would be around 1:15:00 off my PR, given my summer, I’d be happy with it.  I am still the only person not from North Carolina signed up for the Nutcracker 12-hour race, so Running Lonely vs. North Carolina is still on (Vegas does not have a betting line on that yet).

To test my race plan I have signed up for The Piedmont 8 Hour Race where I might manage to come in last place.  There are currently 11 others signed up and I am guess some of them have actually trained and don’t stop for cough breaks.  On the other hand, since this is the first year of the race, I could, when everything is said and run, have a top 10 all time distance for the race.

Oh, yeah, this is a trail race, so the humor factor should be just that much greater.

Oh, yeah, this is a trail race, so the humor factor should be just that much greater.

Piedmont 8-hour will be a good race to see where I am at physically and still turn around a few weeks later for a 12-hour race.  Why are you looking at your screen like I am a total nutcase? Oh, because I am, never mind.  The trail experience may help me down the road if nothing else.  I don’t have any specific goal in mind for the race (other than not breaking my neck tripping over a twig).  This means I will make up some goal when I walk up to the start line.  I have pretty good luck with that strategy, so we will see how it works this time.

The Pig tries to steal my coffee. More crazy proof for those looking for it.

The Pig tries to steal my coffee. More crazy proof for those looking for it (OK, no one needed that).

I might throw in another race along the way if I can find one that I think will help my training without causing damage (read no hard-core trail races).  Either way, I have a plan–now all I need to do is get there.