Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Run and tell the angels that everything's alright

So I did beat the month mark in getting up an update. Exciting for me since I am sure most of the 8two1 readership did not transfer over to this site once they realized it wasn't as interesting as hearing me rant about how, no matter which Presidential candidate wins, it doesn't matter what their platform is because there is no money for the shit any of them want to do.

But, like I said, this isn't where I rant about this topic. Instead, it's where I actually do update (though be rarely) about my training. In fact, tonight you are in luck because, while I never really planned on updating, I took a nap earlier and this led to a late dinner so I am waiting another 20 minutes for my stomach to settle before I hit the asphalt trails tonight. So, for this update, I offer you a little good news and little bad news. I'll alternate in hopes of making my business seem in balance.
Good: I still haven't quit. Making it through an entire semester is a pretty big accomplishment. Granted, my runs are still hovering around the 30 minute mark but that's something.
Bad: I did miss quite a few runs the last couple weeks. I am currently in the midst of finals season (my last exam is Thursday afternoon) and things have just been hectic. Also, the project I am on at work is about rapping up so I find myself leaving for work at 5:30 some mornings -- and the dys I don't go to the site, I might en up getting 5:45 am phone calls from foremen asking me if we were getting concrete that morning. My reply is usually that I am young so their best bet would be to check their email because I emailed them the day before about these kinds of issues.
Good: I've started doing more (because ANY>Zero) cross-training. I didn't used to do any but I went to my first drill a few weeks ago and realized that my new unit is just foaming to give me a fitness test. I guess it's reasonable to expect drill sergeants to do like 40 pushups in two-minutes without rest. I think my old record was like 49 back when I was in basic training. Kinda sad, I know, but I always ace out the run and sit-ups. Besides this, it looks like I am going to have to go to a two-week course this summer which would also require me to pass a fitness test.
Bad: I think I am still a fat ass. I don't have a scale but I sure don't feel any less fat. I guess this could go either way because chicks really claim to "like my personality the most." Regardless, my current push-up count is a struggling 31.
Good: Schedule -- I feel good about opening up and getting in more miles this summer. I have gone against past training-by-fire principles and instead chosen to play a conservative build-up this time. While I can't compete in shit right now, I feel healthy and am not concerned about upping the mileage/dropping the pace/laying the pipe.
Bad: As I mentioned above, work starts at 6 so fitting in a daily run as the temperatures soar is going to become a little more difficult. I'd say my work schedule is what killed my running last summer and I am looking to keep that from happening again.
Good: After this project wraps up in the next few weeks, I've received word that I may not be moved to the Silverbell project. This suggests that I might get a cush office position working in the bid room. I am optimistic that I may get this gig as it could lead to a 7am start time, an A/C office that is less than 10 minutes from home, and access to a treadmill (we have a gay little 'gym' at the office).
So, that gives you a little update of what is going. I still have no races planned but in many sense I kinda feel like Arizona Phil -- mons expecting to ever get a social security check.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


When I look to leave her, I always stagger back again

That title is probably a bit much. As you would recall when we left-off in March (maybe early April? -- I'm too lazy to go back and fact check against my own blog), I was a little roughed up from our final rugby match of the season against Scottsdale. And though I took a couple weeks off (and subsequently missed out on a chance to race the Run for Your Life 5K), this actually doesn't count as one of my bouts with quitting.

In order for me to quit, I like to think there are a couple of criteria. First, I need to be running consistently. I think when I got hurt I wasn't even up to 30 miles a week on more than 5 days per week of running. Second, I need to be showing improvement. Granted, I was showing improvement -- pulling my average morning pace from a staggering 8:45 pace down to a mind-boggling 8:29 for my 3 milers. But normally I like to aim to be quitting more around the tangent of a decaying exponential curve begins to approach zero.

Allow me to illustrate with some graph I found on Google images.

Hmmm....ok. It's like this. If you consider the number of days I have been actually 'training' is the X-axis, and then my progress (on a scale of 0 to 100 here) is the Y-axis, I'd say I am most likely to quit around the (90,85) point. Obviously this scale is a little off because I never do get as good as Y=85 on this chart, but I'd say the slope at this point is about right for when I quit.

That being said, I am currently sitting at about (12,25) -- so yeah, plenty of time to get the hopes up before just stopping.

Maybe I'll come back and reference this graph in the future. I like that idea.

BTW does anyone else think Eddie Vedder looks like The Dude from Big Lebowski these days?

Anyways, this morning was my return. I did 3.9 miles around the housal area here around the 8 minute pace. It was probably so fast just because I am still fresh. My shoulder is still pretty tight and it does still hurt to sneeze or shift in my chair, but maybe I just knew I had to get out there this morning after being motivated by this article about Paula Morrison.

Not really. The Star is a rag and if anyone else carried this article I wouldn't link it to the Star. Still -- good for Paula.

Oh -- I also saw Ben Eid last night at Zinburger (I secret shop under a different name sometimes). He had a candle in his shake and I thought it was his birthday. It turns out he made law review here as he finished his first year at UA Law School. Good for Ben.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Come join in the last hurrah with open sores and open jaw

I've tried to make it pretty clear in the past that it is ingrained in my person to have problems in executing a sensible running program (or even the most insensible ones). I've also tried to make it clear that more often than not, I have no one to blame for my shortcomings than myself. Once again, this may be the case -- but I would at least like to think of myself as only conspiratorially responsible -- rather than straight-up responsible. So with that said, allow me to explain why I suspect I will not be hitting the Run for your life 5k this April.

Long-story made short (and that will have to be the case because my shoulder gets tired if I leave my arm in the bent, typing position for too long) my leftal shoulderal backal upper-armal.lower-neckal region is pretty tight and sore from our season finale match against Scottsdale. To put it simply, these guys are a bunch of pricks and I have no qualms publicly pointing out that, not only are they second-to-last in our league, they severely lack sportsmanship and common maturity. If I do end up moving to the Valley of the Sun after I graduate this December and even if I lived in Scottsdale town hall there is no way I would ever demean myself to a point where I would wear a Scottsdale rugby jersey.

See -- I could have lived with my aches, scratches, bloody nose, and huge bruise on my hip came from activities during the match -- but after about the 6th late/cheap shot from some dude who has 70 pounds on me, the shit gets a little old. So yeah, if you take anything from this post, it is that Scottsdale's rugby team is a bunch of bitches. I'm glad I scored on their asses and I am glad we beat them. I hope they die in a team-wide drowning.

As for me, with rugby over, my plans to start honing in on a more solid schedule once rugby is over has now been pushed back, probably, a multitude of weeks as I likely have bruised cartilage in rib cage. I am surprisingly upset about my lame jogging schedule being thrown off more than I am that it hurts like the dickens for me to cough, sneeze, or roll over in my sleep since Saturday. But I am trying to not let it get me down too much. Train had this same issue some months ago and he made it through. I will as well.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Don't let it be wrong, don't let it be right

It's funny how things turn out. You see, I might not have done a very good job of it but last time I was trying to point out the difficulty of beginning a structured running (jogging?) program. I feel I have distinct advantage & disadvantage that comes from being a runner multiple times and on far different levels (personal, not so much competitive).

On the plus side, there is experience. Notably, enough comebacks under this size 42 belt to know that things won't stay as bad as they seem the first few days. Likewise, I understand just what a bitch pain in the ass I have ahead of me just to get to the 18-flat mark.

Plus, my experience makes me anxious to get back to a level at which I am not completely embarrassed to be seen running.

So while I do not know much about what is 'right' in terms of training -- especially coming down to specifics like workouts and goal times etc -- I generally know what is considered wrong. I know you shouldn't do three workouts, back-to-back-to-back each week. I know you shouldn't brush off the long run. I know of the 15% rule (which Train says is the 10% rule but I don't have that kind of time). I know about shoes, surfaces, and basic effort levels. And all that I do not know, I can look up in any running book from the 1970's and comprehend what the author is saying.

But still, I guess you could call cramming for races my vice. I know I shouldn't do it. I know it's probably not exactly productive -- but it's just something I try to do to make up for my habit of getting hurt/slacking off as races come near.

I crammed for the Turkey Trot a couple years ago. It didn't help.

Shoot -- now that I look back on my history of running, I think my first ever sub-2:00 800m (it was in a relay but I am confident it was legit) came after skipping the last day of practice because I was trying to flirt it up with the dark lady.

But I've never been one to listen to reason. After all, some things may seem moronic but are absolutely correct. This is why, as I know I should be running for consistency and time right now (and I have been) -- I plan on cramming for an April 5,000m run & walk that is coming here in a couple weeks. Now, I will make it clear right now that I don't plan on winning this race. Heck, I don't even know if I can get under 21. But it seems like a good time so I'm going to give it the ol' college try.

But this will all start Monday as our final rugby match of the season (2 pm at Chapparal Park against Scottsdale, if you are in the area) is Saturday, Renfair on Sunday, and then it's on to my hybrid "base-building con 5k taper" phase.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Long Road to Ruin

Things weren't going too shabby for me running-wise. You see, I have sorta gone with a plan of running 30 mins a day for a week, then kicking it up to 35 the following week, and so on. Starting a plan from scratch, I have found (numerous times), is probably the hardest part. Obviously I'm not going to follow one of those programs in Runner's World or the inside of my Nike Free shoe box. But I am really nowhere near good enough shape to act like I am in much better shape than any old fatty who just decides to take up running for the first time.

Actually, I am probably in no better shape -- I just have experience to understand (even if I don't listen to myself) how training doesn't have to start and stay at 6 minute pace everyday -- starting from day one.

When I was in the army we had to do a 2 mile run as part of our fitness test. 13 minutes would gather the maximum points for my (and any) age group. I had a buddy, Barker, who was kinda one of those guys who was always shooting to excel at things that he really should have just been happy to be decent at. He was in a different age group than me and so he only needed to run a 13:30 or something to max his score. Barker was one of those dudes who was kinda overweight and entered the military being pretty into weightlifting but not at all into running. Still, by the time I knew him, he had been to something like 9 weeks of basic training and maybe 7 weeks of training in Ft Huachuca and he was in the 13:15 range.

Every year (must be in the late fall or early winter) there is some sort of 10K race that the MI battalion puts on down at the base. There are various competitions and our 1SG was dead set on beating those bastards from Delta Company so he volunteered the best runners in the company for the team and then told anyone else that they could join if they wanted. I was fine about being volunteered because it meant that, for about three weeks I could run six days a week instead of three -- and skip those three days of the push-ups and sit-ups workouts (which I wasn't as good at).

Barker volunteered for the team and, in all honesty, it was basically a classic Blax pre-race cram session. One morning we would go run some steep-ass hill. The next would be some rolling hills. The next would be the course. And every run ended with the final mile or so being "all out". Obviously it was sort of retarded to be training everyone to run a 2 mile time trial all the time and then expect them to field up a 10k team -- but this is the army we are talking about.

"We're bogged down in the middle of an urban/guerrilla war? Hey -- I know a good thing! How about we get new uniforms that make us harder to see in the desert but easier to see in the jungle."


So anyways, I was the fastest guy on our team and that's when Barker came to me and asked for advice on getting under 13:00 for his two-mile, I told him that he should simply not take the approach that running is juts prolonged sprinting. Every fitness test, we would start the two-mile and Barker would go out with all the other scrubs who figured that going out and hard and hanging on was the best strategy (this was before the army started using strategery as a form of preparation). I told him that if he'd just not be a punk and go through a mile in 6-flat, he'd be fine.

Long story made short, the day of our final fitness test he went out next to me and said he was just going to try to hang with me for as long as he could. It wasn't probably more than half a mile and he ran almost 14 minutes. I called him a punk. Barker ended up going crazy somehow and got a discharge because he was all stressed-out or something.

But yeah, as this relates to my current training regimen, I got back from my fishing trip on Friday, played a rugby match on Saturday, and plan on getting back to the old running train this week.

I think this week will be 35 minuters. I am feeling a little tight/sore today but I am confident I will be alright as the week goes by.

Happy Easter.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Back in the lab

If you’ve been reading Mike’s ChampionsEverywhere blog, then you have likely seen my comments there. And what you read is true. Not only do I golf the less expensive executive-style courses in the winter months, but also I am back to jogging. Call it a return. Call it a phase. Call it pathetic. Whatever you do, call it healthy.

Yessir – I’m 176 right now. I don’t expect that to change much, but I do want to be able to make the empty argument that, “oh no, it’s all fat that has been converted to muscle.”

Just so not even how it works…

So I thought I would throw out that tidbit because, currently, zero people read this and I am going fishing in Mexico for like 5 days next week (Spring Break, WOOOOO!!!!) so that will give me a nice bout of not running.

I look forward to it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007



* So, I bought a new pair of Supernova Classics the other day because my old pair were hella worn down, but when I ran this morning I put on the WRONG PAIR. Wowzers!!!

* Although it's not running-related, I don't yet have my own blog to prop stuff that I think is cool (mostly because Mike's wife told me she thinks all bloggers are losers), and just when I was starting to think that everyone, everywhere, should stop writing about sports, this guy comes through with perhaps the greates thing I've ever read about sports. Top to bottom, it's my jam.

* Plans now are to pull the greatest DNF in the history of the Mud Run. Although I'm totally down with running again thanks to the Uplift Mofo Mud Run Training Plan, Blax recently informed me that the event is indeed a 10K, not an 8K, which puts it at nearly twice my standard "long run." I'm not hitting on all teleological cylinders right now. "Right now," of course, refers to 2005-???. I'm going to DNF so hard it might somehow nullify everyone else's finish.

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