Author: Carter Schimpff

Husband. Marketer. Fort Worth runner. TCU alum. Rugger. CrossFit enthusiast. Running enthusiast. Blogger. Aspiring Ironman. Occasionally offensive. Unintentionally (un)funny.
13Nov

Thursday Morning Recap – Week 6 Training

Tuesday – 4 (Freezing) Miles, Check!

After today’s run, I will never, ever, ever be warm again. Ever.

There were many very good reasons for me not to take my run today, namely:

1. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep at my desk twice. Luckily my desk faces away from my office door, so any passers-by probably (hopefully?) thought I was just really in to the analytics report I was sleeping on working on.

2. Yesterday at SHAGFitness/CrossFit L3 we tested our one-rep-maxes for Squat, Deadlift, and Shoulder Press. I actually posted some impressive numbers – 355# squat, 395# deadlift, and 165# shoulder press. The tradeoff? I absolutely could not walk this morning because my legs were so sore.

3. It’s cold outside. So cold. So very cold.

I’m gonna let y’all in on a little secret:

I was born and raised in the desert San Antonio. We have four seasons there, just like everywhere else, but unlike everywhere else our four seasons are as follows:

  • Hotter (Spring)
  • Hottest (Summer)
  • Still Hot (Fall)
  • Deer Season (Winter)

Simply put, despite all my extra layers of “insulation”, I thrive running in the heat, and I absolutely consider anything below 50 degrees to be “parka weather”.

Tuesday was 100% “parka weather”.

My puppy Ellie and I had a little conversation before I left to be frozen in carbonite go for my chilly run.

I’ll have you know that despite all of my bitching, the run itself was actually not bad. There was some serious complaining from my calves after yesterday’s Herculean lifts, but that’s nothing a little BDSM with my foam roller can’t fix.

However, I will still never be warm again. For serious, guys.

 

Wednesday – 2 Miles, Check!

Well… it did not get warmer.

In fact, it got colder. More cold? Colder? I don’t know. It’s too early.

My reaction when the weather man said it’s only going to continue to get colder.

On the bright side, Wednesday marked my second-ever run with my six-month-old black Lab, Ellie. (Sorry, no puppy selfies this time. There are only so many times they can take away my man card before I don’t get it back again.)

Maddeningly, because of her Lab roots, Ellie THRIVES in the cold weather. I’ve been worrying about how she’d deal with the cold, being outside all day, but then I had a flashback to wintertime duck hunting with my dad and remembered watching the Lab bird dogs GLEEFULLY bounding through 25-degree lakes while we were bundled up like the Michelin Man.

Ellie’s reaction to all my worrying.

To say that Ellie was excited for our run is a bit of an understatement. She ran with me PERFECTLY – left heel position the whole time, no darting or anything like that. But, God bless her, that dog has unlimited energy.

I should really contact the government – I’m convinced that my dog is a source of unlimited renewable energy.

Ellie’s reaction when we got back from our frosty 2-miler.

My reaction when she had the energy to bounce off the walls like that IMMEDIATELY after we walked through the front door.

I digress.

Aside from the fact that I think I might be sterile now after that run (sorry, boys), it was a great time. Ellie had fun, I had fun, and in the grand scheme of things, two miles is pretty darn short and easy these days. I was outside for all of 18 minutes.

Now, Thursday’s run on the other hand… 4 miles in 28-degree-wind-chill-weather after the sun has gone down? What fresh hell will that be.

And I wouldn’t miss it for a moment.

10Nov

Monday Run Report – Week 5 Training

Thursday – 4 Miles, Check!

The good news is that by mile 3.75, I was really good and warmed up.

I may or may not have had thoughts of quitting during the first two miles…

But negative thoughts be damned! I finished, and that’s the important part.

I’m 100% certain that the difficulty of Thursday’s run had absolutely nothing to do with the two scotches I had to unwind after Wednesday’s workday.

Guys, you can totally drink scotch AND train for a half marathon. I’m living proof. 80 proof, that is.

Take it from me, kids: the magic only lasts so long. I haven’t been drunk in I don’t know how long, and I rarely even get tipsy anymore (I’m an old man, so I usually poop my pants and fall asleep before the needle hits “tipsy”), but I’ve learned that even ONE drink can make the next day’s run absolutely miserable.

Can you still do it? Sure.

Will it be pleasant? Hell no.

Saturday – 6 Miles, Check!

For my “long run” on Saturday, I decided it would be fun to revisit the campus of my alma mater – TCU.

The campus and surrounding areas (specifically the Colonial Country Club area) are really fantastically beautiful. Tree-covered streets, stately houses with manicured lawns and, on this particular Saturday, throngs of TCU fans tailgating for the game against Kansas. (Kansas? Kansas State? I can never remember. COME UP WITH A DIFFERENT NAME FOR YOUR SCHOOL!)

How did the run go? I’ll answer you in gif form (appropriately, a gif from Saturday’s football game):

Yeah, it went well.

The course I chose was great for training, too, because it incorporated TONS of elevation changes, including a HUGE steep hill around mile 3 running up Rogers Ave back towards campus from Colonial Drive.

I’m told that running hills and valleys is great training for a marathon/half marathon. Don’t ask me why. But smart people told me so.

I DID get heckled by one group of Kansas fans around mile 5, but that’s okay because they’re toothless farm folk and their team got beat SUCK IT KANSAS.

That one’s gonna come back to bite me in the ass, I’m sure of it… but whatever. In the wise words of my sister’s boyfriend: that’s Future Carter’s problem!

7Nov

Thursday Morning Recap – Week 5 Training

Tuesday – 4 Miles, Check!

I just want to say that I slept very poorly on Monday night and you should all feel very sorry for me. I have an extra-small violin if you’d like to borrow it.

Tuesday’s afternoon festivities began with doing my patriotic duty – huddling together with the unwashed masses to cast my vote in the midterm elections.

IMG_0781

I’m very proud of my sticker. Whether or not I’m proud of the people for whom I voted… well, for the most part it seemed like a “lesser of two evils” choice, so we’ll see.

Shortly thereafter, Ye Ole Lazy Internal Monologue showed up to plague me.

“But Carter, you’re, like, suuuuuper exhausted. And it’s COLD outside. AND RAINING. You should definitely not run.”

“In fact, I recommend you do the opposite – go flop down on the couch and try not moving for a few hours. Glass of scotch encouraged.”

But did I listen? No. No, I didn’t listen.

Instead, I ran.

I ran 4 exhausted, cold, rainy miles through the darkness of my neighborhood.

And it was miserable.

And I tripped over two different dogs left out by their owners because apparently I’m the only dog owner in the neighborhood who thinks that maybe my dog shouldn’t run rampant through the streets.

I was doing so well, too, and then SUDDEN GREAT DANE.

And I’m so glad that I did it.

(And the shower afterwards was pretty much the best thing since ever.)

 

Wednesday – 2 Miles, Check!

To say my pace was a bit off for these two miles is probably a bit of an understatement.

My splits were 7:14 and 9:28.

Whoops.

Either way, it was a nice easy run, very brief in the grand scheme of things (if I could go back in time and tell six-months-ago Carter that I’d be describing a two mile run as ‘easy’ and ‘brief’, old me would probably have slapped future me.)

In thinking about why I ran my first split so fast (and, as a consequence, the entire two miles pretty damn fast), I can’t help but think that my attire had something to do with it.

I was wearing the exact same clothing – all the same clothing … yes, all – from Tuesday’s run. I’m like 98% sure that the overwhelming desire to get back out of those clothes had something a lot to do with how fast I ran.

Why was I wearing the same clothes again, you ask? (You didn’t really ask this. In fact, I’m certain you don’t want to know, but I’m going to tell you anyway.)

Because I’m a manchild and can’t keep track of my own laundry.

Gather round children, and let me tell you a story about me and laundry.

You see, there was a time, long, long ago, when bachelor Carter lived by himself and did his own laundry. Those were heady days indeed.

How Carter survived these times remains a mystery to this day.

Then, along came Sarah – like a beacon shining down from heaven above, she swept in and, suddenly, clean and folded clothes magically began appearing in my dresser.

For the longest time, I was convinced that there was a friendly poltergeist living in our house. Then it dawned on me that Sarah was doing my laundry.

And not out of love. No.

Out of pity. And self-preservation.

I was so bad at the actual process of doing laundry that she took pity on me. And I did laundry so infrequently that, really, she had no choice but to take it upon herself, lest she live surrounded by piles of smelly rugby clothes.

Poor, poor Sarah.

Anyway, Sarah’s been a bit busy these past few days, you know, not being a domestic slave, and I haven’t had to do my own laundry in so long that it just didn’t occur to me that at some point the magical clothes fairy would no longer restock my dresser with clean, neatly-folded running clothes.

Sarah’s reaction when she found all of this out.

And that brings us to Wednesday’s game of Russian laundry roulette… run in foul used running clothes, or don’t run at all.

Suffice it to say, I chose the gross option.

Sorry, Sarah.

4Nov

Monday Run Report… on Tuesday – Week 4 Training

If it weren’t for the fact that nobody reads this, I’d feel a little guilty about not posting this yesterday. On the other hand, spontaneity is the spice of life, and so we’ll just go ahead and call my posting this today instead of yesterday “spontaneous”.

Are we all agreed y’all? Good. Glad that’s settled.

Thursday – 3.5 Miles, CHECK

Guys, Thursday’s run was seriously awesome. I’d had a suuuuuper stressful day at work, and I figured a change of scenery would help clear my mind. Boy was I right.

Have any of y’all heard of the Art Cowsen Memorial Trailhead over near Lake Benbrook? I hadn’t. It’s apparently a part of the Trinity Trails system, but it can’t be more than a mile away from Lake Benbrook. Didn’t know it went down that far! In fact, I only stumbled upon it while screwing around in Google Earth looking for somewhere – anywhere – more interesting to run than my neighborhood.

It. Was. GORGEOUS.

High five for me finding this place? Why thank you, self, don’t mind if I do.

I honestly think it’s the closest you can come to running through a forest – a real honest-to-God forest – here in Fort Worth. The nature was just breathtaking.

AND, perhaps because of mother nature’s inspiration, I posted my personal best average pace AND my personal best mile time – both 8:02/mi.

I think we can all agree to call this one a success.

Saturday – Surprise 5k! CHECK

Okay, not really a surprise for me – I’ve known that this was coming up for over two months. But it’s not a part of my official training plan, so it’s a surprise to you, dear imaginary reader.

Around dusk on Saturday night, Sarah and I linked up with a few of our friends (Heather, Britsi, John, President Squeak, and First Lady Squeak) and ran the Blacklight 5k.

Being with our friends was fantastic. The run was easy. Pretty much everything else was absolutely HORRIBLE. I’ve decided to outline the atrocities using bullet points, because I’m organized and shit:

  • Sadly, packet pickup had soured me on this race before it even started. Inside the packet? A thick white 100% cotton t-shirt. So I’ll never be wearing that running, ever. Would it have killed y’all to do a tech shirt or at LEAST one of those nice soft cotton/poly-blends? Really? 100% thick cotton? Seriously?
  • When we arrived at LaGrave Field (the start point for the 5k), we were immediately accosted for $10 cash to park in the LaGrave parking lots. Um, excuse me? I’ve only run a million 5ks and 10ks at LaGrave, and never once have I been told to pay for parking. WTF?
  • RUN ON THE LEFT, WALK ON THE RIGHT. IT’S NOT THAT HARD. That’s all I have to say about that. If you’ve ever run a 5k, you know what I’m talking about. I’m actually proud to say that I clipped a few people who disobeyed this directive.
  • No trail lighting? Dude, I understand that it’s a “black light” 5k and the whole point is glowing in the dark or whatever, but seriously, having hundreds of people running Trinity Trails in the pitch black was a HORRIBLE idea. I can’t even count the number of people I saw go down with ankle/knee injuries from rolling over an unseen rock or root. So dangerous.
  • And finally, the piece de resistance – the parking again. Trying to leave LaGrave after the run was an ABSOLUTE CLUSTERFUCK. Hundreds of people at once hopping into their cars and driving any which way they please, with no rhyme or reason. The parking lot quickly turned from an eerily accurate recreation of the “D-Day” scene from Saving Private Ryan to 100% gridlock.It took us an HOUR to get the 100 meters from where we parked on to an actual street. An HOUR. That’s twice as long as it took us to run the damn race.AND, all this AFTER they had the balls to charge everyone $10 for parking. There really aren’t enough rage GIFs to fill this section.

So basically, the Blacklight 5k is literally Hitler and you should avoid it at all cost. The race organizers don’t give a shit about runner experience or runner safety… all they want is your money.

Sunday – 5 Miles, CHECK

There isn’t much to say about Sunday’s run except that I was a little apprehensive about doing (what for me) is a fairly long-distance run after having done a 5k the night before.

Turns out, it was absolutely no problem at all.

I’d add more, but I think I’ve exhausted myself by ranting about that 5k.

Your reaction to reading this post.

30Oct

Thursday Morning Recap – Week 4 Training

Tuesday – 3.5 Miles, Check!

After Saturday’s amazing 5 mile run through my old hometown, I basically couldn’t wait to lace up my shoes and take this run. I was pumped.

And I was right to be.

This. Run. Was. Awesome.

The weather was PERFECT – crisp, clear, and slightly breezy – and GUYS, get this. Wait for it.

I got catcalled.

Seriously. Me. Catcalled. By a car full of 20-something chicks.

Call that a “first”.

After this run, I’ve basically given up on using the MapMyRun app to track my runs. It just… lives it its own little world, completely outside the realm of normal spacetime. I mean, when you set out on a route that you know by heart, and 1/4 of a mile in the app tells you that you just ran a mile in 4:12, there’s… there’s just really nowhere else to go after that. I even contacted MapMyRun to see if they could help – no response.

Whatevs. For the time being, I’ll just go back to the age old, time-tested method: set a stopwatch when you start, and then math.

 

Wednesday – 2 Miles, Check!

Wednesday was a day of firsts, starting with my first run with my puppy Ellie! She’s about 5 1/2 months now and FULL of energy – I figured (wrongly) that a nice two mile run might rid her of some of that over-enthusiasm.

I was wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, she did GREAT – she kept pace with me the entire time, LOVED it, and ran in a perfect heel position on my left. No tugging, no darting, and no sudden stops.

Ellie is a wonderful dog.

Wednesday also marked the momentous occasion of my first ever “selfie”. I’m generally opposed to “selfies” on moral grounds (also because I hate the word), but I couldn’t let my first run with Ellie go by without a post-run pic, and nobody else was there to take the photo!

Man Law council, forgive me.

DAD. Dad. That was so awesome! Omgomgomg so awesome. #puppyfreakout

DAD. Dad. That was so awesome! Omgomgomg so awesome. #puppyfreakout

28Oct

3.1 Thoughts I Have During a Bad Run, and How I Deal With Them

Alright, alright, I can hear the angry horde with pitchforks and torches now, so I’ll get this out of the way:

There is no such thing as a “bad” run.

Any time I can put one foot in front of the other, I’m thankful. I really am. I can walk, I can run, and so many people can’t.

Even so, there are just some runs that make you think…

Here are 3.1 (get it? running themed! … oh come on. It’s dark o’clock and I haven’t had my coffee yet) of those thoughts that I have on a regular basis, and how I deal with them.

1. I’m Not Enjoying This. I’d Rather be ____________. (fill in the blank)

This might possibly be the most infuriating thought I have during a bad run, because in a sense it negates the whole point of, you know… running.

The Thought:

“Man, I’ve been so busy lately… and this run is easily going to take me another hour. I could be hanging out on the couch binging on those three DVRed episodes of Madam Secretary that I’ve missed…”

How I Deal:

It’s times like these that I have to remind myself: every run, good or bad, contributes positively to my training. I’d argue that the bad ones might even contribute more than the good ones.

You see, a good run can fill you with an almost foolish optimism – “Hey! This is easy! Why the hell am I only doing a Half? I should do a Full!”

Whereas a bad run helps train you to fight through the inevitable mental demons that’ll greet you in the later stages of a race. And as I’ve been told so many times, half of the race is training… the other half is mental fortitude.

2. I Feel Like I’m Going Incredibly Slow

Have you ever had one of those runs where, inexplicably, even though you know you’re running, you feel like you’re moving slower than you do when you’re walking? I know I have.

The Thought:

“Why am I even bothering to run? Walking would be much easier, and… oh Jesus, did that power-walker just pass me?”

How I Deal:

It’s counter to all logic, but most of the time when I feel like I’m actually moving in reverse during a run, I end up posting some of my best splits. I have no idea what this phenomenon is, but hey, it’s better than actually moving in reverse.

Plus, even if I am running slowly, it’s better than walking, and far better than sitting on the couch. Every step I take, fast or slow, is one more shoe print that has to be filled before I can achieve my goal.

Skip the shoe print? Fail to achieve your goal. That’s some simple math that always puts my head right.

3. Everything Hurts

Sometimes (rarely) I have an actual injury. It’s important to pay attention to what your body’s telling you, and if you actually have an injury, to treat it appropriately. But let’s be honest…

Most of the time I’m just being bitchy.

The Thought:

“My knees hurt. My quads hurt. My hamstrings hurt. My back hurts. I should consider testosterone therapy. My back hurts.”

Followed by…

“I should just wave the white flag of defeat and quit.”

How I Deal:

Plain and simple, I get mad! I’m not injured. I don’t have shin splints. I don’t have shooting pain in my thighs. I don’t have a broken back.

Quit your bitching, suck it up, and run. After the first mile, I guarantee you’ll have forgotten that “everything hurts”.

(Unless, you know, you actually are injured, in which case please stop, because I’m not a doctor and so my insurance company doesn’t cover malpractice lawsuits. Cheapskates.)

3.1. My Training Plan Says 3.5 Miles, But 3.1 Will Work Just Fine, Right?

Guys, I don’t know if I’m the only one who does this, but there are training days where tenths of a mile just seem to disappear into a haze of irrelevance.

The Thought:

“According to my training plan, I’m supposed to run 3.5 miles today… but I’m tired, and the house is right there, and I’ve already run 3.1. What difference could 0.4 of a mile really make, anyway? That’s basically just a few extra steps.”

How I Deal:

This one is a little more personal for me, but at times like this I remind myself of just how awful that last 0.2 of a mile was at the Joe’s Run 10k I did earlier this year.

I hit mile 6 and thought, “hey, man, you’re home free!”

Not so much. That last 0.2 of a mile took all of the will power I had. My legs were lead, I got passed by a mom pushing a stroller, and I’m like 90% sure I had a hallucination involving Conan O’Brien riding a unicorn.

Why did this happen? Because I skipped those tenths of a mile during training.

Sometimes the little things matter the most.

27Oct

Monday Runday Recap – Week 3 Training

Thursday – 3.5 Miles, Check!

I began Thursday with my typical 5AM morning ritual: five minutes of confused stumbling around a dark house in sleep-haze, trying to figure out where I am and what I’m doing.

An uneventful hour commute later, I was in my office – a full hour and a half before the sun finally gave in and woke up. #IBeatTheSun

It wasn’t long before the first crisis of the day presented itself:

Thankfully, this was quickly remedied.

AND they actually weren’t bad. No sucrose, fructose, or other -oses on the label, which is good because smart people told me so.

I was honestly pretty nervous for my run today. After Wednesday’s death march, my own confidence in my ability to keep pace was AWOL – plus I had this lovely WOD to look forward to after the run.

Abandon hope all ye who WOD here

Abandon hope all ye who WOD here

Why do I typically do training runs, strength training, AND CrossFit on the same day? Because I’m into self-torture, OBVIOUSLY. God. GOD. WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?!

As it turns out, I was in for a rougher time than I had imagined. Let’s talk frankly.

I brought along my pal Slater to help me with the REAL TALK

I brought along my pal Slater to help me with the REAL TALK

I started out great. Perfect 9 minute pace, fresh air in my face, birds chirping… you know, all of that Disney shit. And then, at about mile two, I just plain bonked.

And then… well… guys, you might want to sit down for this one. I’m going to have to use the “W” word.

I walked.

Yup.

I walked a good 100 meters and then started up again with a slow trundle to finish the rest of my miles. My form was horribly off (imagine, if you will, a rolling cube), and those shitass Disney birds were nowhere to be found.

I finished my miles and made it home (I sure as shit wasn’t going to slap a “DNF” on today’s run. I’ll die first. I SWEAR I’LL DO IT, MAN) then texted Sarah to let her know that I would be staying home to commit seppuku not be attending that day’s WOD at SHAGFitness.

What was the cause of all of this? Really, it could have been a lot of things, but I think the most likely culprit is not enough rest.

With my 10:30 bedtime (asleep by 11) and a 5AM wakeup call, I’m getting about 6 hours of sleep every night – and I think today taught me that this is simply not enough sleep if I intend to keep training at this intensity.

In the wise words of Shawna Gibson, master endurance trainer at SHAG:

There is no such thing as “overtraining”. There is only “under-resting”.

Wise words, Shawna.

Thursday evening followed the same general pattern as most of our evenings – a night of domestic terror for Sarah: Much to her dismay, she typically finds me half-alive in the shower

(thank God for the little shelf thing that you can sit on… whoever invented that deserves a firm handshake and a wink and some bacon.)

After which I chase her through the house.

I guess my legs DID have something left to give. Hey man, you can’t blame me. She’s a hot tamale.

Saturday – 5 Miles, CHECK!

WOW, was Saturday’s run amazing.

I was in San Antonio for a family birthday party, and I have to say – I was actually pretty excited for an opportunity to take a nice run through my old home town.

Admittedly, I was a little nervous. For me, five miles is still a “long” run (10k being my farthest distance so far), so after Thursday’s disaster of a run and all of the scotch I consumed Friday night with my family, my stomach was roiling with nervousness when I laced up my shoes on Saturday morning.

All of that disappeared the second my shoes hit the pavement. (And no, “Waiter! Bring Me Water!” was NOT on the playlist this time!)

The run was perfect. It was the perfect run. Everything about it was perfect.

Y’all… did I mention it was perfect?

The weather was beautiful, the course was hilly but stunning, and I saw so many old sights and old memories along my route, including a couple of old Highschool classmates who were also out for a run. I’m pretty sure they didn’t notice me awkwardly doing the “is that…?” “no, can’t be…” “wait, I think it is!” triple-take.

Of course, as usual, my iPhone was being a dick and was basically useless for the entire run. Not only did it start playing Frank Sinatra at around mile 3, but according to the MapMyRun app, I ran 16 miles with 3:14 splits. Sure.

I really need to get a Garmin GPS watch. And a new phone.

The best part of the run, by far, was how relaxed I felt – and that came down to one thing: I didn’t track my pace while I was running. I set out that morning with an attitude of “just enjoy it”, instead of obsessively worrying about rigidly sticking to a 9:00 pace goal. As a consequence, the run was incredibly enjoyable, AND when I got back to the house, guess what my average pace was? 9:03. BOOM.

I’ll stop annoying you now, but seriously that was the perfect run. And I did awesome.

What a great comeback from Thursday’s disaster!

24Oct

5 Things I Hate About Running – From a Guy’s Perspective

I was inspired by Nat’s post over at neverseriousblog.com, and I’m going to shamelessly steal her idea – but put a twist on it.

Like Nat, I love running – I really do, even on the days where it makes me want to fall down in a heap on the sidewalk and roll around in the fetal position until someone comes to rescue me.

She covered a lot of running cons that I think we’ve all experienced at one point or another, but it got me thinking: what are some running gripes that might be more specific to the unfairer sex?

1. The Look

Ladies, don’t even.

Every single woman I’ve seen at the end of a race looks like she just walked straight out of a Kohl’s catalog (fitness section, obviously) – especially Sarah, who manages to finish races looking for all the world as though she’s ready to take tea with the Queen.

Sarah’s majesty knows no bounds.

Every man I’ve seen at the end of a race looks like he just walked straight out of the jungles of Vietnam.

HOW DO YOU DO IT? How does this work? Are y’all actually human, or are you some sort of advanced extraterrestrial species? Do you have some secret “wet wipes and perfume” dispenser hidden on your person that you use at strategic points in the race while nobody is looking?

Did you hide behind a tree and reapply your makeup while I wasn’t looking?

What the hell is this black magic of yours?! It’s absolutely mind-blowing.

2. The Inferences

Quick: you’re a young mom unloading small children from your minivan in the driveway, and you see a 225 pound, filthy, smelly man racing down the street towards you. What’s your first thought?

Based on my experience, your first reaction is to quickly shovel your kids into the garage, lest the runaway train coming down the street veers into your driveway to scoop them up.

This is a daily experience.

Lady, I’m on mile 5 and can barely keep myself going. You think I’m going to be able to put a kid under each arm and run away? Just pretend like I’m not here, and I’ll do the same, okay?

Of course, add to that the fact that I’m not actually a child predator.

3. The Expectations

It’s not fair, and it’s not correct, but let’s face it – society’s gender norms expect men to be rough-and-tumble. Think “Clint Eastwood just took a bullet to the shoulder but can still use that arm to fire his .44 magnum”.

There are plenty of days where I want to come home after a particularly bad run and dissolve into a puddle of self-pity. WHY GOD, WHY?

Ladies, by and large, can get away with this.

Guys, on the other hand, are far more likely to get some variation of “suck it up, buttercup” or “man up!”

This isn’t always a bad thing – it makes me push myself harder, for sure. But damnit, there are just some days where I want to collapse on the couch a la Scarlett O’Hara and not feel like I have to turn in my “man card”.

4. The Port-o-Potties

Okay, I get it. All port-o-potties are foul, and at most races they’re unisex. But ladies, have you ever made it inside an all-male port-o-potty at a race?

To paraphrase Star Wars, you’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

I have no idea why, but male-only port-o-potties seem to exist in their own universe, completely outside the laws of basic human decency and probably physics too.

Ever seen poop smeared on the ceiling of a port-o-potty? I have. And the things written in permanent marker on the wall (or, barring that, scratched into it with what I can only assume were demon claws) will haunt my dreams forever.

This is approximately my thought process every time I see gender-segregated loos at a race:

5. The Smell

Okay ladies, I get it. You get smelly when you run, too. But not like this.

I’ve played rugby with guys. I’ve played rugby with ladies. I’ve run with guys. I’ve run with ladies. I’ve done CrossFit with guys. I’ve done CrossFit with ladies.

Ladies, the results are in – you do not win the smell contest.

I don’t know what it is about my gender that turns us into walking petulance factories, but there it is, plain as day. I’m certain that after a long run, people can smell me coming all the way up in Denton.

I live in Crowley.

You know it’s bad when even your dog doesn’t want to be around you. She enthusiastically rolls around in her own excrement, and even SHE’s thinking “hey man… just… please go somewhere else.”

 

23Oct

Thursday Morning Recap – Week 3 Training

Tuesday – 3.5 Miles, Check!

The weather for the run was fantastic, although I’m told by others that it was hot. Whatever, I was born and raised in San Antonio. If my shoes aren’t melting to the pavement, it’s not even warm.

To help keep my target 9:00/mile pace, I put together a 160bpm playlist of songs that I found via an awesome (free) website called jog.fm. I’m not ashamed to say that I listened to “Waiter! Bring Me Water!” by Shania Twain several times. I’ve never heard of the song before, and I’m not a big 90s Pop Country fan, but hey man, it’s catchy. Honeybadger don’t give a shit.

Also did a hell of a CrossFit WOD over at SHAGFitness (Talon, be sure to say hello to Satan when you get together for your next WOD-planning session). AND, for the first time in three months (due to a knee injury), back squats! Shout out to Eloy for being my squat partner. #SkiesOutThighsOut #DatAssDontQuit

This is what it looked like when we decided to squat together.

Still waiting for the combination of 10 hour work days, Half Marathon training, and CrossFit 4x per week to catch up to me. So far, icing, mobility work, hydration, and eating (clean) with reckless abandon has kept me running. We’ll see if that continues.

Oh, and did I mention that Sarah totally won a whole shitload of wife points by bringing me this?

Guys. Guys. Guys. It's scotch. It's Islay scotch. ITS LIKE SHE KNOWS ME SO WELL.

Guys. Guys. Guys. It’s scotch. It’s Islay scotch. ITS LIKE SHE KNOWS ME SO WELL.

So of course I had a glass. Or two. Possibly more than two. I know that abstaining from drinking would be better, but seriously guys, it’s Islay Scotch from my sweet, adorable wife. That’s like grandma putting home-made queso in front of a South Texan. You just don’t say no.

Scotch, you say?

Wednesday – 2 Miles, Check!

Wednesday started off about as well as the Bay of Pigs ended.

My typical routine of a 5AM wakeup call, shower, breakfast, and out the door by 5:30 turned a decidedly green shade of sour when I woke up to Sarah’s 6:15 alarm. I’m not going to lie – the extra hour of sleep was amazing. On the other hand, going from asleep to out the door in 10 minutes was (insert foul word here).

Actual footage of me removing my sleep clothes.

I’m never good at figuring out what, of all the possible reasons, causes a particular run to be hard. Did I not drink enough water? Too much coffee? Not enough food? Not the right food? Were Mars and Venus misaligned? Who knows, and at this point, it’s largely irrelevant: these two little miles kicked my ass.

How did I go from running an easy breezy 3.5 miles yesterday to barely keeping my pace for 2 little miles today?

Either way, I did it. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it. And yes, “Waiter! Bring Me Water!” was yet again on repeat. I’m obsessed and unashamed.

Whatever, Wednesday. Bring it.

I followed the run with another great (but challenging) WOD at SHAGFitness. I can tell you this – after 10 minutes of yoga/pilates-style stretching followed by 7 minutes of heavy kettlebell swings and deadlifts, my hamstrings were calling me names that are too foul to have even been invented yet.

My hamstrings when I got home today.

HOWEVER, at least Modern Family had a new episode tonight, and according to Sarah I’m officially allowed to look at Sofia Vergara. So I’ve got that going for me.

Vergaraaaaaaaaa. Is not in this photo. F.

Vergaraaaaaaaaa. Is not in this photo. F.

22Oct

The Plan

It sounds sinister. It’s probably evil. It’s also a fantastic way to de-stress after a challenging day at the office, clear my head, and energize my mood. It’s… The Plan.

For this first Half Marathon (the Cowtown), I’m following a pretty standard plan that ramps miles up conservatively, with three shorter runs each week and then a longer run on the weekends, followed by a taper the week before the race.

In reality, I’m actually going to be doing two Half Marathons: an unofficial one on December 27th to serve as a barometer, and then the official Cowtown Half Marathon in 2015.

“Wait!” You say, confused. “You’re running your own Half Marathon before you do your first Half Marathon?”

You’re damn right, imaginary person. I don’t do anything half-assed, and I don’t like nasty surprises… which is exactly why I’m going to run a Half Marathon before I run my first Half Marathon.

The Plan

Week of October 5th
Tuesday: 3 Miles
Wednesday: 2 Miles
Thursday: 3 Miles
Saturday: 4 Miles
MPW: 12

Week of October 12th
Tuesday: 3 Miles
Wednesday: 2 Miles
Thursday: 3 Miles
Saturday: 4 Miles
MPW: 12

Week of October 19th
Tuesday: 3.5 Miles
Wednesday: 2 Miles
Thursday: 3.5 Miles
Saturday: 5 Miles
MPW: 14

Week of October 26th
Tuesday: 3.5 Miles
Wednesday: 2 Miles
Thursday: 3.5 Miles
Saturday: 5 Miles
MPW: 14

Week of November 2nd
Tuesday: 4 Miles
Wednesday: 2 Miles
Thursday: 4 Miles
Saturday: “Black Light” 5k
Sunday: 6 Miles
MPW: 19.1

Week of November 9th
Tuesday: 4 Miles
Wednesday: 2 Miles
Thursday: 4 Miles
Saturday: 5k for time (to check pace)
MPW: 13.1

Week of November 16th
Tuesday: 4.5 Miles
Wednesday: 3 Miles
Thursday: 4.5 Miles
Saturday: 7 Miles
MPW: 19

Week of November 23rd
Tuesday: 4.5 Miles
Wednesday: 3 Miles
Thursday: Lots of turkey… and then 4.5 Miles
Saturday: 8 Miles
MPW: 20

Week of November 30th
Tuesday: 5 Miles
Wednesday: 3 Miles
Thursday: 5 Miles
Saturday: 10k for time (to check pace)
MPW: 19.2

Week of December 7th
Tuesday: 5 Miles
Wednesday: 3 Miles
Thursday: 5 Miles
Saturday: 9 Miles
MPW: 22

Week of December 14th
Tuesday: 5 Miles
Wednesday: 3 Miles
Thursday: 5 Miles
Saturday: 10 Miles
MPW: 23

Week of December 21st
Tuesday: 4 Miles
Wednesday: 3 Miles
Thursday: 2 Miles
Saturday: 13.1 Miles
MPW: 22.1

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