Monday, August 17, 2009

Bits, Pieces and Observations

  • Sheep, both the word and the animal, are inherently humorous.
  • The "Mahna Mahna" song might be the biggest ear-worm song ever. We saw the Jim Henson exhibit at EMP last Thursday and for days after I couldn't stop Mahna Mahna-ing.
  • I am out of hiking shape. Kevin and I went to Cougar Mountain and did about seven miles with a few hilly spots and I sucked on the hills. Just like running my hiking mantra will be "more hills".
  • When hiking, the sports bra is almost as important as in running if you want to avoid unpleasant underboob chafing. You know, as opposed to the pleasant kind of underboob chafing. Ouch.
  • I miss hiking and vow to go more often.
  • I am far too interested in the digestive system.
  • The Eastside has a greater proportion of douchebag drivers than anywhere else in this region. I can't count how many times already I have had the alpha-male wannabes almost drive up my ass on the roads around here. Look guys, stop compensating for being hung like a brine shrimp and being as flaccid as month-old celery. You are not impressing anyone with your BMW and your overly aggressive driving. went really fast and passed one whole car. You will now arrive at your destination mere seconds before anyone else. I can't imagine how it feels to be so important. Asshats.
  • There are few things better than summer fruits.
  • Nectarines, already a fabulous fruit, are even better when basted with honey, roasted on the grill and filled with whipped cream. Mmmmm...happy.
  • Why is running six miles one day so easy and then you can barely eke out three the next?
  • Saturday was my 20 year high-school reunion. I didn't go, but for some reason I almost felt like I should. Like somehow there was this shared cultural moment that I would miss out on and my life would forever have this tiny void in it. Sunday came and just as I void. High school wasn't a horrible experience; in fact it really wasn't bad. It just seemed silly to make idle chit-chat with people I haven't seen in 20 years and wouldn't see for at least another 10. The idea of it all seemed phony and forced. Besides, we had such a huge graduation class that when I looked at the list of classmates I, honest to God, didn't recognize over half the names and some of the ones I did were merely names I know I had heard but couldn't put a face or any memory too. We went to a friend's chili cook-off and casino night instead and had a good time.
  • I am desperately trying to stay out of the cellar in my fantasy baseball league. To think I won this thing two years ago.
  • Kermit the Frog makes everyone happy.

Monday, August 10, 2009


For those of you who don't know yet, I moved on August 1 to the dreaded Eastside. While I am excited about the next phase of my relationship with Kevin I am not so excited about not living in Seattle or the commute that blossomed from five blocks to 30 miles.

Determined to enjoy the new neighborhood I took a break from unpacking and overwhelming chaos on Monday to go for a run and find some routes. Having a regular route will help me feel more at home. There is a nice little pond nearby with a mile and 1/4 trail around it that I ran around. It is woodsy and smelled amazing on a sunny day. Not Green Lake but it will be a nice local run at least until the trail turns into mud. Kevin and I also went to a concert in the park series on Thursday at a local park he didn't even know existed. Afterwards we went to the local Mexican restaurant that I used to go to all the time for lunch when I worked nearby and we were serenaded by mariachi music. I LOVE mariachi music even though I couldn't begin to tell you the name of any song so the band played something sad per my request. Sad music is the best. Friday night was dinner and drinks with friends in Bellevue. Overall, the first week of adapting to the Eastside went well.

Overall, the move has been good so far. The cats are enjoying their new space and two big pink people around to feed and pet them instead of just one. They were quite freaked out at first and there was much hiding behind toilets and under beds but by about the third day everyone was back to normal. The boxes are mostly unpacked but there are still some challenges to squeezing in two households worth of stuff into one place. Slowly but surely we are coming along with it.

Even with all the moving chaos I managed to squeeze in 17 miles and a yoga class last week. That is my highest mileage week in a long time. Maybe the avoiding the commute thing will end up being beneficial to my fitness.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Torchlight Run Race Report

I've discovered the secret to a good race: lower your expectations. I did just that and ended up being pleased with my Torchlight Run this year.

I love the heat but hate to run in it. I overheat quickly and every run feels like a slow slog through sludge when it is hot out. With these conditions in the weeks leading up to Torchlight I was concerned about how I would do come race night. I was worried I couldn't maintain a strong pace and would wilt in the heat of race day. Turns out all that worry was for naught; I did better than I expected. It was actually a personal worst for that course and distance but I was still pleased with my time.

Race day was hot and muggy; about 84 degrees at race time. Todd, Matt, Mike and Amber were running too which made it more fun knowing there were friends out there suffering along with me. The sun was hidden behind clouds so it didn't feel quite as hot as when it is blazing down on you. I fully expected to have to take walk breaks on this race but I felt strong throughout and only walked briefly at the water stations to make sure I drank properly. One cup of water in me and one on me was my game plan that night. The water over my head worked wonders too. Once again, the smell of the Hostess bakery made me sick to my stomach. Funny how something that normally would smell so yummy can make you want to puke when you are running.

Here are the splits:

Mile 1 10:26
Mile 2 10:53
Mile 3 9:47
The tunnel had to have messed with my mile 3 pace. There was no way I was holding that pace during that mile.
Mile 4 11:43 (WTF happened here?)
Mile 5 9:52 There was a nice downhill section here coupled with the fact I knew I was getting close to the finish line and would make it just fine this year probably lead to a faster time.

And, *sigh*, I actually ran an extra .26 miles at a 9:27 pace which, had the race been a 5.26 mile race would have lowered my overall pace to 10:29. Sadly, the course is only a 5 mile course which means my overall official pace was 11:02. Drat! I purposely tried to run the race mindful of not adding extra distance but I am quite clearly incapable of doing this. It happens every time out. I would blame my Garmin but when my brother borrowed it for a race last year it measured the exact distance so I know it is all me.

They changed the end of the course a little bit this year so it was hard to know when to kick. You turned around a corner and then the finish line was right on top of you. Other than that and the grand total of 18 port-a-potties at the start line the race was great as usual. It is such a kick to run down 4th Avenue with 100,000 people lining the street watching the race. OK, they are waiting for the parade to start so they are a bored and captive audience but it is still a great experience.

A good time was had by all even if not everybody was happy with their times. Hats off to Mike for running almost two miles more than he has ever done before and finishing the race looking strong. Not sure it is usually advisable to almost double the longest distance you have trained at for the first time on race day but it was gutsy and it worked for him. Yay Mike! After cleaning the stink of five miles off of us, the five of us headed out to the glorious 74th St. Ale House for tasty grub.