Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Words for Wednesday

Some seek the comfort of their therapist's office, other head to the corner pub and dive into a pint, but I chose running as my therapy.
~Dean Karnazes

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Black Jack & Jokers

Black Jack is a game of Chance AND Strategy.  Some days running feels like that too.  You get the cards you get.  If you choose a "hit", well, sometimes that means you bust, and sometimes it means you win.

I made a plan to run my long run, 13 miles, on Thursday of this week.  Poor "strategery" lead to rescheduling for Saturday.  The catch?  MTT was only scheduled to run 9.

NBD, True?  I'll just tack on an early 4 miles to the run.  People do it all the time.  I threw a post out into the msg board, looking for company, for 4 miles, 9-9:30 pace and waited patiently for the replies to come pouring in....

(crickets chirping)

So.  Um.  Yeah.


I did eventually get a reply.  It was from an unexpected source.... and this is when things got interesting.

The BLACK Team Coach invited me to join them.  "What, WHAT?"
(an actual quote, I never pretended that I'm articulate).

He was cool though, and said I could join, even though the pace was "different".






I’m pretty sure that he didn’t know he was inviting SOCK GIRL to his run.  I'm pretty sure he still has no idea I'm "The Social Elite".  I'm pretty sure he didn't know me from Joe, and yet, he still invited me. 





At MTT some people acquire nick-names.  "Safety Nazi"... "Pants Guy".... "Sock Girl"....  Truly I think my 'name' could be much worse.  (as far as I KNOW I’m NOT known as Head-lights Girl or High-Beam Runner, but….)

I shot him a reply:  "Yup, sounds like a great plan."

I felt Okay about the whole thing.

Nope.  That is such a HUGE freaking LIE.

I was really wicked nervous when I showed up. 

Like, “babble about nothing for five or six minutes” nervous. 

Like, seriously, I... forgot Robert Downey Jr’s name NERVOUS. 

Like, …what self respecting female could do THAT?  seriously, I know!  mortified.

Like.  NERVOUS.

So nervous, in fact, that I made a total "joke FAIL".  

"I'm not going to try to keep UP with you people...."

YOU PEOPLE!  ~they were mock outraged~

Oh the hilarity that ensued was... hilarious.  A 5 minute story getting to "you People"...  Another Joke on You People.  Now they're referencing themselves as "you people" and I'm standing there trying to decide if I laugh, or die of embarrassment, or ... both...  

And you know how sometimes a Joke Fail isn't really a fail at all?  

Well, I guess it's all in how you choose to play the cards you're dealt, True?

We took off on the run with the intention that they would leave me, or I would drop off once we got under the over pass.  They didn’t choose to leave me, and fear is a strong motivator, so I hung in there for a solid 2 miles.  When they pulled away, a nice guy named Bill hung back with me.  He kindly pointed out that Those People were only about 100 yards ahead of us at the finish….  And basically, what I’m saying here is:  I didn’t suck.  And neither did they.

Back at the stadium I went and joined the Red Team.  I figured it didn’t matter what group Mustang Sally, T, & I ran with, we just needed a sign in sheet. We would run in our comfort zone regardless of "who" we ran with, right?  Well, as we went through the 9 miles, the Black Team was running "into us" on the same route. 

“HEY! There's PINK!" I heard.  "Doin' OK?”

“It’s THOSE PEOPLE!!!”

"...YOU PEOPLE!"

All smiles and laughing.  It was fun.  One of the runners with me commented on it.  “Black team doesn’t usually say anything.”

“I ran with them this morning… it was a, uh, student exchange…”

I ended up having an EPIC run.  I finished with gas in the tank, a smile on my face, and I totally crushed my last mile.

I ran into Coach Black as he was waiting for Mrs. Black to finish her run.  He was a good sport about a photo for the blog, a good sport about my interest in striking up a conversation, and generally a nice guy who knows a lot about running.  


I'm giggling here because he offered to take off his shirt for the photo so he could be "Clear", which, of course killed me.  Freaking KILLED ME.  I swear, if I hadn't been trying to be cool while being stupid and asking for a photo, I might have died laughing on the spot.  

I've concluded that the black team members are just runners.  They speak the same language I speak.  It’s just a faster dialect.  

Mr. Black is a good running coach, but he's not MY coach.  He didn’t say “Well Done” as one of my coaches does when I don’t suck.  He didn’t say, “Good Job G!!!” as sweet Coach El says when I finish strong.   

Instead, he offered me something else...   As he was walking away at the end of the day,  he turned back to me and said, “Anytime you want - 6:15, at the Stadium, on Saturdays with The Black Team…. Anytime.”

I am invited back.  Anytime

Not that I’m going to make a habit of it.... people who run outside of their pace zones all the time are just asking to get hurt.
~savor the run~

Friday, June 24, 2011

Food for (good) footing

*Disclaimer: I am a cook/chef who enjoy running and being active. My take on food is skewed towards the delicious and nourishing nature of all things edible, not so much about the micro nutrients on the cellular level. I cook and eat wholesome, real food, but I do have a layman understanding of food chemistry that sometimes will make me sound smarter and more scientific than I actually am. Please don't be fooled.*

Peanut Butter...
Some people swear it should be its own food group, some drool uncontrollably at the mention of the very words, yet some develop rash and gasp for air (where's the epi-pen? stat!)

I believe PB and J is universal. Growing in Java, Indonesia, my Mom used to make PB&J for afternoon snack. Not breakfast, mind you, because in Indonesia we eat rice three times a day, by golly - you eat PB&J for snack!

In College, I survived many months on ramen and PB&J. Working in commercial kitchens, surrounded by luscious foods, there were times I crave for the simple spread of PB and strawberry jam after I churned out plates and plates of steaks, chicken, duck, pork, and pastas all night long.

As a runner, PB is a perfect pre and post run food. Yes, it is calorie dense, but it's delicious, satisfying, inexpensive, and - while full of fat - it contains loads of protein for muscle recovery and fiber that keep you feel full longer, so you actually consuming less. And the fats in PB are the heart-healthy kinds: mono- and poly-unsaturared oils.

I'm not saying you should eat a jar a day, a la Biscuit below.


But do add it to your pantry. I recommend the 'natural PB', or at least read the nutritional label for yourself; most of commercial PB have significant amount of high fructose corn syrup or sugar, to me it's a moot point given the natural sweetness of peanuts. Natural PB will separate in storage, so when you dip a spoon in to make PB&J, give it a few stirs to mix in the oil. For unopened jar, simply turn it upside down every few weeks so the oil seeps back into the PB.

Jams are not the fast friend of PB. PB gets along great with apples, banana, chocolate (who knows, right?), crackers (saltine anyone?), celery, raisins, blended into a shake and (take it from my Indonesian upbringing) made into a peanut sauce for pasta/noodles/raw salads.

Speaking of which, lunch time is here. I'm craving for a salad with peanut sauce now.

Mad Libs

Sometimes my MTT training journal could read like a “mad libs”.

Went for a  (insert number) mile (sport) at (insert number here) a.m.

The weather was humid and sticky.  The ride was epic and the company was hilarious and fun.  The conversation skirted the line of appropriate and that made it awesome

On any given day though, that could have read:

The  9 mile run was sucktastic and the company was distracted by 'lickable' abs and made me laugh.
… or
The 2000m swim was a near miss on drowning and the company was wearing a too-small see through speedo and 70 years old.

And sometimes the sentence makes no sense at all…

holy freaking athletic apparel!” the Yellow Snow exclaimed.  “Look at his scungilli shorts from 1979!”

I guess adjectives, adverbs and scungilli aside, what I'm saying here is that it seems like I’ve been doing the same things day in and day out for the last _____ weeks of my _____ life.

Oh.

Wait.

That’s because I’m training for the San Francisco Half Marathon in July and the Richmond Marathon in November… so… I AM doing the same thing day in and day out.

Has it really only been 4 weeks since MTT started?  This is taking forEVER.

Has it really already been 4 weeks since MTT started?  The time is FLYING.

Don consistently preaches consistency with this whole “training” thing.

I guess it’s a good thing I’m a creature of habit.

~savor the run~

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rule the World


Rule the World:  It's a RUNNERS WORLD!

I am a fan of Run Like A Mother: The Book.

There are a few reasons for that, but I think one of the main ones is that I’m a longtime admirer of one of the authors, Sarah Bowen Shea.  She's totally GBA (galactically bada**)

Now, if SBS’s name rings a bell, that’s because she also writes for this little running publication called Runners World.  maybe you've heard of it?

So when SBS mentioned me by name on her & Dim’s blog as a “fashionista she admires”, I was beyond flattered.  (<--- understatement of century there).  Imagine my surprise when she contacted me for an interview for the feature article she was writing on running fashion for Runners World!

True. Story.

Seriously.

I'm a skirt a holic.

I love my socks.  The taller the better.  Compression or not, I run in LOUD socks.

I consider myself a *SOCK runner.

I love how the socks are functional and "slightly naughty".





photo courtesy of Deb Harper.
And yeah, it's "slightly naughty", true? 

So.

I’m being quoted in the August edition of Runners World!

In the cover story.  


Written by an author I admire.  


Is this really my life?  


Oh yes, I think it is…  


And my bestie, T, of Racing with Babes & a fellow member of Sports Backers MTT YELLOW SNOW?

Well of course she’s modeling the look that I talk about.  Because really, if I’m going to be featured in Runners World Magazine, T’s going to be right there with me.  Together as always, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

*SOCK runner – Stylish and Obviously Completely Kicka$$ Runner

Monday, June 20, 2011

Why do you keep hitting yourself in the head with that hammer?

Because it feels so good when I stop hahaha!! That's sort of like running for me. Let me preface my post with, I hate running, I do it because it's part of a triathlon and I moderately like those and participate in those. I will be doing the granddaddy (well almost because Kona is THE granddaddy IMHO) of all triathlons by doing my first (and quite possibly only) Ironman in November.

Well maybe hate is a strong word, and maybe I don't hate running as much as I say I do. Why else would I have run two marathons already if I hated them so much right? It brings to mind the punchline above, because it feels so good when I stop!!

So I am invited to blog during my training with the MTT, which is helping me get conditioned for the marathon at the end of the IM. I know I will have fun along the way, I have some awesome running buddies, plus Ginny and I have similar love for vampire smut which will help me forget how much running hurts and make for lively conversation.

Looking forward to posting here and seeing everyone else's point of view during this training and running with the coolest group on the MTT. After all "Urine good company with Yellow Snow"! See everyone on Sunday!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Letter for Meredith

Dear Meredith,

On Sunday you're running a marathon.

I think you're ready to hear the following...

"Nothing can stop the (wo)man with the right mental attitude from achieving h(er) goal, nothing on earth can help the (wo)man with the wrong mental attitude" ~ Thomas Jefferson.   (ok ok, I had to edit Tom a little, it's cool, we go way back)


It's time to SELL OUT.

Yes, you heard me.

That's what I call the strategy of racing as close to the edge as you possibly can without crashing.  It's risky.  But when I see you say on your blog that you want TANK EMPTY at the end of the race, well, that's what I think.

My personal strategy for SELL OUT is to take the first 4 - 6 miles at a moderate pace.  Warm up, find your groove and settle in until around the half.  And then each time you get to one of those "check points" in the race after that, bring a little more.  And then a little more.  And go and CRUSH THIS MARATHON.

So Toe The LINE with CONFIDENCE.

KNOW that you ARE THE NEXT LEVEL.

DO NOT DOUBT IN YOUR GREATNESS BECAUSE I SURE DON'T.

'nuff said.

At mile 20, when you see the mile marker, you know that I am there reminding you that you are Galactically Bada**.  And it's time to empty the tank.    T's quote is waiting for you at mile 24.  "You did not train for 4 months not to bring it for the last 2 miles on Race Day".

And when a spectator is holding a cow bell, maybe you "NEED MORE COW BELL!"?

And when a spectator yells out, "just keep going!", maybe the appropriate response is "That's what I told him!"?

And when you see a hill, maybe you need to make that hill your b*tch?

And if you get tired and don't want to run any more, maybe you need to look ahead, find a red shirt, hunt him down and chic him ~ because that's how we roll. (and it will change your focus to an external point).

Run Like Snot.

Try Not to SUCK.

There is no such thing as the wall.

That sound you hear?  That's your victory calling.  Answer the call.

THIS is your moment.

savor the run.

Regards,
GBA gf.

(this is published here for a friend who's a marathoner across the country.  It's not MTT, marathon training related, or anything.  But the message is solid and due to an issue with blogger I published it here.  maybe I'll move it where it belongs, but maybe I'll leave it.  After all, we could all use a little reminder every now and then to "run like snot".  ~savor the run~.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Words for Wednesday

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.
~George E. Woodberry