DNS

Until this year, the last time I had a DNS (did not start) in a race was Jan 1997 (and there was a girl involved in that one so it was TOTALLY worth it).  And yes, they had races back in 1997, you can even Google a few of them.  This year I DNSed Endless Summer 6 Hour race and will DNS a couple of more races this fall with my slow recovery from pneumonia.

The Pig relaxing while waiting for dinner.  So much for him picking up the food.  FYI he has never had a DNS.

But instead of looking at DNS as a failure, I am trying to look at it as the start of something else.  Although I won’t be able to run a fall marathon, maybe by concentrating on run walk it will help me next year when I try my hand at trail running ultras (or at least be some use when I face plant and have to pick myself up (repeatedly)).  I won’t know for a year, if this is just me being fanciful (which FYI beats being fanciempty) or actually will turn out with me completing a 100 miler before the dreaded time cutoff.

I realize that in many ways I am lucky.  My situation could have turned out to be much worse and it is improving.  There are worse things in life than having to walk a bit of every mile and if that is my worst problem I should feel lucky.

Next weekend is Labor Day and I will try my 3 day in a row running routine that I typically do with 3 day weekends.  A long run on Sat, a recovery run on Sun, and a longish run on Mon.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.  If nothing else, it will be a start.

Later,

Marsden

 

 

 

Fracking Friday

Why Fracking? Because today on the blog we are going deep (and injecting a lot of hot gas).

This week has been a bear at work (and a bear in the stock markets in the US).  I’ve been up to my eyeballs on a project that will likely fail, but I keep throwing myself at it– working late and getting in early as if spitting in the ocean will somehow change the tide.

I try not to get that way about running.  Although my efforts may not make a big change, at least running provides an outlet of sorts.   Running provides me something more than progress I can measure (or not depending on if I remember my Garmin on my run/walks).

Flowers for Friday. I'm rambling so I thought a distraction was in order.

Flowers for Friday. I’m rambling so I thought a distraction was in order.

I decided to do earthathon this time around and I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea.  I’m not the most social of people (I know, long time readers are gasping in surprise) and don’t really like posting my mileage. Additionally I feel like an idiot saying, “Wohoo! I just ran 3 miles in the time it takes most of you to run a 10K and somehow I think this will get me ready for a 12-Hour race in Dec!” (OK, I haven’t tweeted that YET).  Yet despite my reservations, I have enjoyed being a very small part of RunderfulRunners.

The nice thing about earthathon is how you end up interacting with people who you otherwise would have never met (as for the reverse I won’t comment on that  (for those new to the blog I do these nested asides (WAY too often)).   You see the struggles, triumphs and everything in between with other people’s running.  Even for those like me who almost never run with someone else, it reminds me that I am part of a larger running community, even if I never meet but a few of you.

Hmm, that was a little too deep for this blog.  I think we need a picture of the Pig to lighten things up.

Somebody finished their peanuts and wants some of mine.

Somebody finished their peanuts and wants some of mine.

Have a Pigtastic weekend everyone!

Later,

Marsden

Shoely It’s Love

Some relationships are meant to last, but the runner/shoe relationship is doomed from the start.  No matter how wonderful the relationship starts, it ends with a tragic breakup.  You should have known that true love can’t be found in the clearance section.

But like all torrid romances there are phases to the runner/shoe love affair.

Love at First Feel (that’s sounds dirty)

You take a deep breath and slip your feet into you new shoes.  You have been burned before and you don’t want to pour your heart into another failed relationship.  You release your breath and smile once you get your feet in.  These shoes feel SOOOO good.

The Honeymoon Phase (that sounds dirty too)

If life were a Romcom, this would be the montage sequence when the runs are fun and everything seems good (if not, then you ditch this pair of shoes until you find the right partner “It’s not you it’s me” style).  The first few runs in a new pair of shoes practically transform your running.  The cushioning is better, the grip is good, and everything feels good.  Maybe if you are lucky you have a race and set a PR.  You start to think that this will last forever.  Spoiler Alert: It won’t.

Same Ole, Same Ole (less dirty sounding)

At some point the cushioning isn’t in all the right places.  It’s not like there is anything wrong with the shoe, it just…there.  You go out and run, but everything is boring and bland.  You would go cheat on these shoes, but you have heard of hackers going after RoadRunner Sports and you don’t want your shoe purchases being plastered all over the internet.  Let’s be honest; no matter how discrete you are, 30 pairs of running shoes in a couple of years is a lot.  So you keep going with the relationship even though there is no spark.  You would tell yourself it for the kids, but that makes no sense so you just resign yourself to average, boring runs.

I PRed a half marathon and did my first 24 HR race in these shoes.  *sigh*

I PRed a half marathon and did my first 24 HR race in these shoes. *sigh*.  Just be happy the internet doesn’t come with a smell function

The Break-Up (no dirt required)

Sometimes the break-ups are nasty, like when your shoes throws a tread, and sometimes the shoes just start collecting dust and you have to clean out the closet.  There is always a moment of pause when you get rid of a pair of running shoes.  You remember the good times and wonder if there isn’t a run or two left in them.  Then you know what you have to do and part ways with the shoes.  Not all relationships are meant to last you sagely say and then realize you heard it on this blog and look around furtively to make sure no one noticed.

New Shoe Ordering

Then the cycle starts again.  Hopefully before hackers share you dirty little secret.

Later,

Marsden

Not much running progress but walking improved

OK, I didn’t sprain any brain cells coming up with that blog title.

I haven’t checked in for a while with a running update. My running progress has been slow post plague.  I get tired easily so I use walk run intervals to try to maximize my distance on each run.  This Saturday I went to my nemesis running location, Hains Point to do 2-3 laps on a pancake flat course.

Sun off the Potomac in the AM

Pretty place even if it sucks the life out of my running.

The run started well enough.  I was able to run the first mile faster than any post plague miles.  I pulled back my pace some after the first mile and it felt good being out in the slightly less humid DC air (one of the few times you will hear anyone say anything nice about the DC air).  Then at mile 2 I had to stop for a coughing fit and my feel good mood evaporated.  I turned on the walk run and walked ran for 4 more miles.  It is frustrating not being able to run the way I like, but for now I will be patient.  For now I will be patient.  For now I will…

I did a unicorn selfie later on, but if you want to see that you will have to go to my Instagram account.

I did a unicorn selfie later on with the Washington Monument, but if you want to see that you will have to go to my Instagram account.

Although my running may not have won any awards, my walking did improve.  I did a couple of walking only miles after the run, and finally my walking speed seems to be coming around.  I had problems getting below 15 min/miles walking and Saturday I was able to have two miles under 14 min/miles with one of them being 12:55.  Honestly that isn’t far away from my walk/run pace which comes in around 11:30-12:00.  The walking piece will be important for my 12 hour race in December since I likely won’t be in the running shape I want to be (are any of us really?).  My hips have been really tight recently and I think putting in some additional time stretching has paid off.

Funny how in my last post I talked about not prattling on my life then promptly go and do that.  Well my running life anyway.

The game plan is 4 runs a week; one bike cross train session and one swim cross train.  I have been slacking on my swimming so I need to get back in the pool.  The lifeguards will be less than thrilled, but hey, they are getting paid.  Two weekday runs will be 10 miler race pace with Saturday being my long run and Sunday being a little shorter than Saturday to try to get more used to running on tired legs.

I’ll be increasing mileage slowly.   I know I won’t be really ready for my 12 HR race, but I hope to be close enough that I can do 50 miles.  If all goes well it will set me up for starting my Javelina Jundred training early next year.  Side note, why do I end up running races with odds spellings? (Oddyssey is another example).

Hope everyone has a great week!

<this is where normal bloggers put some question to the readers in order to get more comments.  I don’t do this because then the Pig answers the comments and there is badness all the way around>

Later,

Marsden

200th Post (or The 200, 1/3 less badass than The 300)

So, this is my 200th blog post.  Don’t worry, I am as surprised as you are.

What started over a year and half ago has turned out completely different that I thought it would.  I figured I would write about running to a nameless unknown audience and prattle on about my running.

OK, I do that some, but I keep that mostly contained.  Puns, jokes (intentional and otherwise) and the most unusual blog post tags out there have not been so contained.

And we haven’t talked about the Pig

The Pig does like his watermelon.  NOW, rectified the error and talked about the Pig.

The Pig does like his watermelon. NOW, I rectified the error and talked about the Pig.

But even more than the way the blog turned out on my end was the reaction I got from my readers.  Heck even the fact that it is readers plural and not reader singular is a mild surprise.  Beyond the having actual readers is that fact I have an audience that reads and enjoys the blog (though more so when I am funny than when I am waxing poetic (and I have the blog stats to back it up (I do not have the blog statistics to say what happens when I nest 15 asides in a row (just as well)))).

OK, we both forgot what I was talking about

Oh, yes, how wonderful you are. Blogging isn’t easy.  It is time-consuming and unless you talk about your life, it is hard to come up with topics 2-3 times a week and not devolve into a parody of yourself. But what makes it easier for me is knowing that someone out there is someone who will likely smile at my blog post.  Or maybe it is just an ego boost for all of you knowing that no matter how bad it is, at least you aren’t me.  I think I’ll stick to smiling theory if you don’t mind.

The current top 9 list (still having the bot "not set" issue for number 1).  It is interesting to see how it changes over time.

The current top 9 list (still having the bot “not set” issue for number 1). It is interesting to see how the list changes over time.

So where does it go from here?  My current thought is the trials and tribulations of me going after a trail 100 miler next year (having zero trail running experience and not much more ultra experience).  The Pig will be along for the ride (or will be driving the car depending).  I will run races (hopefully) and write my unique brand of race reports.  There will be porta potty jokes and if you are lucky, some of them may actually be funny.  No matter what, it won’t be your standard running blog.

I want to thank you, the reader.  I have gotten more out of this than I have put into it.  I have tried to be a good blogger to all and friend to some.  Probably had more success in the former than the later, but I know if it wasn’t for all of you out there, there wouldn’t be a blog and I would have missed out on some of the best experiences of my life.

So, here’s to the next 100 in more ways than one.

Later,

Marsden

 P.S. Have a Pigtastic weekend?

Flowers for Friday.  One for each blog post. Count 'em if you want to double check.

Flowers for Friday. One for each blog post. Count ’em if you want to double-check.

 

Why Oh Why??

In the summer does it always seem to get that extra warmer just in time for your long run?  Although statistically unlikely, there are some events that seem universal for runners.

Shoe Laces

Your shoes will stay perfectly tied until mile 1 of a race.

Water Stop

You will manage to find the one volunteer that can’t hand out a cup of water without dropping it first.

Not an Upgrade

Just when you find the perfect shoe, the next version will have a major redesign and you are back again searching for the perfect shoe.

You can guess how the Pig feels about free samples at the farmer's market.

You can guess how the Pig feels about free samples at the farmer’s market.

Water Stop Part 2

You will find the one stray volunteer holding a sports drink and you won’t find out until your dump it on your head.

It only rains

 You know the cartoon where a rain cloud seems to hover over one character?  Yeah, this seems to happen to me (and is really odd when running indoors).  However the “it only rains when I run” principle only works in cooler weather when you don’t want it to rain.  In the summer there will not be a cloud in the sky.

Lines

You will be stuck in the bathroom line behind the people you swear are playing hide and seek.

Memory Runner (since everyone haters the term jogger)

It is amazing how the start gun will cause you to remember you forgot your gels, or body glide, or like the running shoes you had wanted to use for the race.  Look on the bright side, if you had worn them, they would have just gotten soaked in the rain.

Later,

Marsden

Shakespeare in Run

“Bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible.” – Shakespeare from Julius Caesar

 The Bard has been dead for centuries, but his works still provide lessons for runners.  Here are a few that I have found:

Hamlet

“To be or not to be?”  The lesson is don’t sit on your butt asking questions—> get out there and run.

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo fakes his death; Juliet kills herself thinking he is dead; Romeo wakes up sees Juliet dead and kills himself. Moral of the story—> rest days kill.

Titus Andronicus

I could make up just anything here because outside a few English majors (and dorks such as myself) nobody has read this play  (and honestly the plot makes GOT look like Captain Kangaroo #olddudereference). Lesson from this play?  There is always someone out there doing weird shit, it doesn’t mean you have to do the same (a running lesson from someone who has seen his fair share of trends).

I'm sure Shakespeare would have written about monkey blankets if he had the chance.  We were long overdue for a monkey blanket pic.

I’m sure Shakespeare would have written about monkey blankets if he had the chance. We were long overdue for a monkey blanket pic.

Mid Summers Night’s Dream

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Go to any ultra and you will see tons of proof of this quote (or anytime I go out for a run).

Twelfth Night

“Some are born great…and some have greatness thrust upon them.” As for the rest of us, we have to train to be great, so get out there and run!

Later,

Marsden

Side note, if you participate in the Run to Climax,  is the goal really to finish first?

 

Flowers For Friday Pt 200

When I did the first flowers for Friday I had no idea that it would become a common feature on the blog.  Despite the fact Mom is a garden writer (in the garden writing hall of fame no less)  it isn’t like I have flowers in the house all the time or have a particularly green thumb.

I will say though it makes me more aware of flowers I run across either in the outside or in my weekly trips to Whole Foods.  Given my work schedule (and work in general), my life can use all the beauty it can get.

As you probably have guessed, I don’t have much to say this week (and I am still holding out against letting the Pig have a day a week on the blog).  My progress health wise seems to have stalled, but my running is getting a little better anyway.  Up to two miles at a time, so that is two miles better that a few weeks back.

So I won’t waste any more of your time other than to provide your Flowers for Friday.

I guess Flower for Friday is more appropriate

I guess Flower for Friday is more appropriate

Hope everyone has a Pigtastic weekend!

Later,

Marsden

Fool-Proof Guide To Race Day Prep

If you race, one area that is often overlooked in race day success is your race day prep.  If done right, your race day schedule can get you to the starting line ready to rumble (if done wrong in line for the porta potty ready to rumble).  In my never-ending quest to help my blog readers, here is my fool-proof race day schedule.

And by “fool-proof”, I mean, I am a fool, here’s my proof:

Up All Night

I would recommend against staying up all night in an attempt to make sure you don’t oversleep.  I only say this because what will happen is that you will fall asleep one minute before you actually need to get out of bed.  The exception to this rule is if you are staying in a hotel because the room next to you will be throwing a party that would shame the  Guns and Roses (for my audience under the age of 30, google them).

The Alarms

My routine is to set a I-Phone alarm, 1 obnoxious clock alarm, 1 call from the front desk (if you are a hotel and they aren’t too busy dealing with Guns and Roses), a rooster, and a rocket ship alarm. Two words of caution. 1. don’t be close to the rocket ship right before it lifts off (surprisingly good advice in general). 2. Don’t let your spouse/significant other or anyone/thing that could turn off an alarm be close to your alarms.  Because if they can turn it off, they WILL turn it off but it is WAY to early for normal humans to be awake.

Random running picture, but it has the Pig, so it's all good.  Hmm, is the Pig mooning me?

Random running picture, but it has the Pig, so it’s all good. Hmm, is the Pig mooning me?

You can’t spell Nutrition without Nut

 Nailing your pre-race hydration and fueling needs is a lot like a fine tuning a sledge hammer, it never works the same way twice (just like my using analogies in my blog).  Try eating something and drinking something before the race start.  How early?  Well that feeds into my next topic (and at this point you are happy you don’t have to live with me and hear these puns all the time).

Process of Elimination

Let’s just say “Go, Go, Go” is not limited to running and leave it at that.

So now that you have perfectly dealt with all the pre-race needs you know what happens next?

The Weather is going to Suck

Later,

Marsden

Running Word Jumble

Being dyslexic, I often swap words when reading a sentence or misread words  or sometime even see words that aren’t actually there.  You combine that with my humor (or as a reader of the blog once asked me “how do you make that crap up??” and I just have a different view of the world.

Here are a few examples of how I look at the world of running gear.

Impression Socks

This refers both to the indentation that compression socks leave when you take them off, and that non-runners think I look like a total dufus when I wear compression socks when I go to Trader Joe’s.

Impression indeed.  Also shows off my ACL scar nicely.

Impression indeed. Also shows off my ACL scar nicely.

GPS Watch

Gotta Pee Soon.  It’s like clockwork that when the race gun goes off, I find I need to pee.

Depression Tights

You know how great you feel when you look at yourself in the mirror in your compression tights?  Let me know how it feels, because I close my eyes and leave the room (and yes I feel dumb when I run into the door frame).

I suspect the Pig is wondering why I blog at this point.

I suspect the Pig is wondering why I blog at this point.

Running Brah

Courtesy of Hawaii-Five-O, even I know that “Brah” is another way of saying “bro”. As a guy, people look at you funny when you mention how tight you are with your running brah. Or worse, you may mention wanting to grab someone else’s running brah. Fair warning might lead to getting kicked in your depression tights.

 Later,

Marsden