Archive for August, 2004

New haircut

Saturday, August 28th, 2004

I cut my hair this morning; it’s now above my shoulders and angled slightly from back to front. This means, of course, that I need to redo my default icon. :-)

You might be a runner if…

Saturday, August 28th, 2004

Modified and reposted from in the community

These are very funny to me, and I suspect that reveals more about my sick obsession than it should. :-)
You might be a runner

… if you write the buy date on your shoes so you know when to get a new pair.

Are you kidding? I don’t rely on a date: that would be too imprecise. I track the mileage for  each pair of shoes in my running log.

… if you plan your weekend social calendar around your long runs – “Oh, I can’t visit Aunt Sally that day, I have a 20-miler.”

I can top that, actually: I plan my workdays around my long runs. They’re blocked off on my calendar so nobody will schedule meetings over them.

… if you read nutrition labels on packages and look for HIGH carbohydrate content.

and its corollary:

… if you look at anything labeled “Low Carb” and snicker.

… if you immediately check the internet to see what races will be run near where you are vacationing.

If I ever go on vacation, I may give that a try. :-)

… if you have a special category in your budget called “Running Shoes” or “Race Fees.”

As a matter of fact, yes, I have both categories in Quicken.

… if you have enough race t-shirts to clothe a small country.

No, but I have almost as many running clothes as work clothes.

… if you have a top-3 ranking of Gatorade flavors or GU flavors.

Definitely: Mango (which I’ve only found once, but had the foresight to buy lots of), Watermelon, and Lime.

… if you obsess on the proper amount of time to cook your Friday night pasta.

I don’t obsess over it; I eat pasta often enough to do it by instinct. :-)

… if you have burned a CD or loaded your MP3 player with one of the following songs… “Rocky’s Theme,” “Born to Run,” or “Chariots of Fire”

Not exactly, but I have special playlists for running.

… if you can remember your finishing time of your first marathon but can’t remember your mother’s birthday.

I haven’t finished a marathon yet and I know my mom’s birthday, but I can recite my personal best finishing times for every distance from from 1 to 10 miles.

… if you have prepaid your Runner’s World subscription for the next 5 years.

Only two years!

… if you have bought a small refrigerator to hold your Gatorades.

Nah. I just drink it at room temperature.

… if you have safety pins lying around the house and in your car.

In my purse, my gym bag, my desk at work….

… if you can quickly convert kilometers to miles even though you can’t balance your checkbook.

Well, I can balance my checkbook, but I can also convert km to mi and vice versa. When someone from the US can do that, the chances are pretty good they’re a runner. :-)

… if you can look someone in the eye and use the word “fartlek” in a sentence without giggling.

That’s nothing. The ability to speak German has given me lots of practice at saying funny-sounding words with a straight face.

Contribute to a worthy cause!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

I just signed up for the HCA team for the Nashville AIDS Walk, and I’m hoping to raise a bunch of money. If you’re able, I’d love it if you can contribute anything — $50, $20, even $1 or $5 — to the cause. Thank you in advance!

In which I am tedious about running again

Monday, August 23rd, 2004

Ran the full Scenic 10 course again this morning, and finished in 1:44:18 (I finished in 1:41:45 last time), which is a little disappointing but I was definitely feeling like I’m in a slump, so it’s pretty good for a slump.

I also used gel shots before and during the run to see if those would help my performance. I think they really did help me keep going — it’s conceivable that I would have been even slower or not finished 10 miles at all if I’d not eaten (? not “drank,” surely — maybe just “sucked down”) the gel shots. My energy level sagged quite a bit at several points, but within 10 minutes of taking that second shot, I was starting to feel peppier. Amazing what 100 calories of carbohydrate can do for you, even as you’re burning off 1200+ calories. :-)

So I’ll use those in the race, I think.

Figured out yesterday that my tensor fascia lata muscle (it’s right in the middle of the hip) is more of a problem than my iliotibial band is now, so I focused on warming that up and stretching it out beforehand, which seemed to make a big difference. My hip’s not hurting nearly as much as I was worried it would.

This is getting exciting! The race is only two weeks away, and I have about eight more runs to do before then. I’m not expecting to make much progress between now and the race, especially since I plan to taper in the last few days. So basically I’m at the training level I’ll be at for the race. And that’s a little scary as I don’t feel comfortable running 10 miles, but I guess feeling comfortable would be kind of a luxury.

I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…

Tuesday, August 17th, 2004

but this is ridiculous.

Blockbuster’s new online rental program not only mimics Netflix’s business model, but they’ve chosen to use the same terminology (”queue”), UI elements (the interactive 5-star rating device), and more.

I’m surprised they’re being this aggressive about copying Netflix. I’d guess Netflix has grounds for a decent infringement suit, but IA certainly NAL.


Monday, August 16th, 2004

Running is supposed to be good for you, right?

Just checking. Because in the past two months, I’ve injured my knee, my hip, and both my second toenails. I have blisters on the tops of those second toes (cleverly hidden by Band-Aids so that I can continue to wear open-toed heels at work without grossing out my colleagues).

I actually had to cut my right second toenail back this weekend almost all the way. It had been slowly separating from the toe for two months or so, and it was finally so separated that it was starting to catch on things and that was hurting like hell.

I’ve got ice packs on both my right knee and my right hip, just as I have every day for the past several months.

But I’m like an addict. All I can think about is when I’m going to get my next fix.

I’m such a weirdo.


Sunday, August 15th, 2004

Something told me to try playing along on my guitar with “Jessie” by Joshua Kadison, and it’s utterly perfect for me. Perfect range for my voice and very easy to play.

Now if I could just master my own songs. ;-)

Woo hoo!

Thursday, August 12th, 2004

The Scenic 10 web site has the race route online, so yesterday I printed it out and this morning I ran the entire 10-mile course, simulated, of course, on the treadmill.

It seems like a fun course! And since this is my home town, I do actually know the places being described, so that helps me envision it as I pretend to run it on a treadmill 700 miles away. :-) The parts where it mentions rolling hills were fun to simulate: I would increase the incline a bit and let it even out, then decrease it to 0 and let that even out, then increase it again, and so on for the entire distance indicated. Whee!

So. I actually finished it in 1:41:45. Which is absolutely fantastic, because my goal was 1:50:00. I was pushing a little, but not nearly as hard as I could. If I really work on my intervals in the next few weeks, I might just break 1:40:00 in the actual race.

I’m icing both my knee and my hip right now, but it’s more preventative than reactive: I don’t feel any unusual discomfort.

This bodes well! I’m excited!

One of the many differences between elite runners and me

Wednesday, August 11th, 2004

Another interesting article:

Researchers say elite distance runners share several inborn physiological traits, including large hearts, an efficient way of moving and an ability to keep running when they are exerting so much effort that they are panting for breath, that make them faster than most recreational runners.

I’ve done some reading about VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake, and I have a suspicion that I fall woefully short there as a runner. Breathing is where I really struggle. I think it’s the years of cigarette smoking, even though I quit more than seven years ago. But it’s just as likely that I’m just not genetically gifted as a runner.

Oh well. Off I go to struggle on the treadmill. ;-)

Athlete diets

Wednesday, August 11th, 2004

“If a swimmer like Michael Phelps or a bike rider like Lance Armstrong tried to focus on primarily eating proteins and fats, there’s no way they could ever perform the way they do.”

I also enjoyed the following quote from the article:

After athletes compete, they tend to bypass more healthful entrees in favour of sweets and junk food. They are especially susceptible to all things chocolate.

Training for the race

Friday, August 6th, 2004

Now that I’ve sent in my registration for the Scenic 10, I’m feeling the pressure to get trained and ready. I’m definitely being careful not to re-injure myself, but I need a bigger daily mileage base. I did 4 miles this morning, and while that’s OK, it only brings me to 10 overall for the week, and that’s not good. My original plan had me doing more than twice that.

On the plus side, I seem to be able to regain my speed more easily than I expected to. I “budgeted” for 12:00/miles all the way through the race and psyched myself up for that to be OK even though it’s really slow for me under non-injured conditions. But the 4 miles I ran today came out to 40:29, and that was with a few breaks to stretch. I kept up between an 8:30/mile and a 9:00/mile pace for a large portion of the run. And I feel fine now — no twinge-iness or anything.

I may struggle to finish the full 10 miles on Labor Day, but I’ll probably be able to do the first 5 or 6 at an easy 10:00/mile pace, which will leave me plenty of time to come in under 2:00:00 even if I need several walk breaks in the last half of the race.

Good. Now that I think it through like that, I’m feeling better about doing this. Of course, I still hope I can make it in under 1:50:00, but that seems like a lot to wish for right now. :-)

Last day!

Sunday, August 1st, 2004

I’m thinking brunch at the Pineapple Room, followed by perusal of the contemporary art galleries, followed by a walk through the sculpture trail.

Followed by sobbing that I have to go back to work tomorrow.

Irony #4,583

Sunday, August 1st, 2004

If one were to want to buy used country CDs for, oh, let’s say songwriting research, Nashville would be the worst place to do it because the used CD stores rarely buy back any country CDs.

Birthday wishes…

Sunday, August 1st, 2004

Happy birthday, !

Vacation, day #9

Sunday, August 1st, 2004

Karsten and I were just about to go out for dinner when my coworker K called. He said they had two extra tickets to see Carole King tonight at the Ryman Auditorium, if we were interested. Now, I’m not a huge fan of Carole King, although I appreciate the level of success she’s attained as a songwriter, but the key to my enthusiastic acceptance was going to the Ryman. I’d never been to the Ryman, and I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to go for free.

So. Not only did we go tonight to see Carole King at the Ryman, we also got to go backstage thanks to a friend of a friend of my coworkers’ having catered backstage. The view from our seats was already pretty good, but from the cafeteria on the top floor of the backstage area, you could look down on the stage and see her playing the piano. We wandered around a bit more and saw various dressing rooms. And I took special delight in the view of the Gaylord Entertainment Center through one of the church-like windows of the Ryman.

And finally we found the stage entrance itself, and could see Carole from the wings (her head is just barely visible in the center above the piano). Also on stage with her is someone whose name escapes me on the left, and Gary Burr is on the right, sitting on the sofa.

As for the show itself, it was OK. I was kind of marveling at how cheeseball a lot of her stuff has been. Karsten summed it up by leaning across to my coworker and saying “I’m kind of disappointed because I thought the Muppets were going to be here.”

Still, it was free (sort of — I bought a round of drinks for everyone that came to $71, I kid you not. But that still doesn’t compare to the value of the two $85 tickets we were given for nothing) and it was a blast to go backstage.