Sunday, December 25, 2011

Kitties for Christmas

Merry Christmas! I'm in a mood for some snuggly kitties, so here are a few candidates. Vote for your favorite!

1 - Please sir, can I have some more?

2 - Zzzzzzzzz

3 - Kate and Ashley

4 - You wouldn't regift me would you?

5 - Kitty Burrito!

6 - Star eyes

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Distance: 15k

Don't go out fast. Don't go out fast. Don't go out fast.

That's what I had told A___ before the race, and here I was doing exactly that. The crowd was surging, and I felt myself surging with it.

Run your own race, I tell myself. Pay no attention that guy in blue surging past you. You can look for him at mile 5.

That's always been my race strategy: ease into the race at the beginning, establish a moderate tempo by halfway through, and then start bearing down around the two-thirds mark. I'd rather let people pass me at the beginning and catch them at the end than attempt to stay ahead throughout the entire race. A better hound than a hare, I suppose.

I should clarify that the aforementioned strategy is my preferred race strategy; however, it does not work for distances like 5k and 10k. In those races, you are balls-to-the-wall from the outset—any dilly-dallying will result in a slower race no matter how hard you push the finish. Consequently, they aren't my preferred races, either. My favorite distance to race is the half marathon: a nice 13.1-mile run that is neither too long, nor too short.

Fifteen kilometers, or about 9 miles, seemed as though it would be similar to the half marathon: a relatively leisurely race that I could start easily and finish fast. However, no race is leisurely if you combine lack of training with a competitive spirit. I had not run adequate mileage prior to this race, and it was about to show . . . especially if I took it out fast.

Ease up! I tried to tell myself as a woman a pink jumpsuit zoomed past me. You don’t want to make this race miserable. Be smart.

I almost managed to take my own advice until the tall guy in gray came up on my left about one-third of the way through the race. For the next two miles, we traded positions: on the uphill climbs, he would move ahead, but as soon as we came to a downhill, I flew past him. That’s another one of my strategies: keep an even tempo on the uphills, lengthen and loosen the stride on the downhills. Basically, fight gravity as little as possible.

We had reached the halfway point in the race, and I wasn’t sure I could keep up with him for the rest of the race, no matter how many downhills remained. Fortunately, that’s the moment he chose to stop at a water station. See ya, sucker!

Results for this race:

Race Length Finishing Time Average Pace Overall Place Gender Place (All Women) Age Group Place (F25-29)
9.3 miles (15k) 1:08:05 7:20/mile 438/4,287 69/2,247 21/611

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Notes from Snow Denver: a Poem

Pools that are short (by three whole yards)

Breath that is shallow, like sucking in shards

Crisp and clean and thin, dry air

Perfectly straight and frizz-free hair

Freezing degrees, an absence of trees

And a delicious meal at the oh-so-Ritzy

Elway's Steakhouse

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Unreliables

You think you know someone, and then suddenly, they do that one little thing that you can’t stand, and you find yourself reevaluating what sort of person they really are. For me, that "one little thing" is unreliability. When someone proves themselves to be unreliable, they become one of the three main classifications of The Unreliables. I will now describe these three main types using an identical scenario which they all treat in a different way.

The Scene

It’s simple: there’s a movie out that you want to see—maybe your favorite actor stars in it, or it’s been getting five-star reviews, or it just looks cool—so you make plans for the weekend to go and see it with a friend

Unreliable #1: Forgetful Frank

This Unreliable is the one you forgive over and over and over again, because you truly believe his memory is somehow faultier than the average human being. As a result, you never ask him to do anything or be anywhere when it’s crucial, but you do keep inviting him because you really do enjoy his company.

In this case, you invite Frank to see the movie just like you always do, but you make sure you have at least one other “definite” friend going with you, because he only makes it to these things about half the time. To increase his odds of coming, you send him reminder texts on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and three times throughout the day on Friday, so that he’ll hopefully manage to remember.

Unreliable #2: Can’t Commit Claudia

This Unreliable is the most frustrating, because she will string you along every time. She doesn’t say yes, because that might prohibit her from doing something cooler that comes along, but she doesn’t say no, because if nothing better does come along, she may as well do whatever you invited her to do. When she does say no at the absolute last minute, however, you aren’t allowed to get angry because she isn’t technically canceling on you.

In this case, you may or may not invite Claudia to see the movie; it depends if you can bear the strain of having to wait until the previews are playing for her to decide if she’ll come. Your decision also depends heavily on how recently she has waited until the last minute to give a lame “I just don’t feel like going out tonight” excuse.

Unreliable #3: Debbie Ditcher

This type of Unreliable is the worst of all. She seems to be perfectly reliable until one day, wham! You’re left stranded somewhere all alone, unable to decide whether what you feel is rage or disappointment.

In this case, you definitely do invite Debbie, because it's so easy to convince yourself, “Oh, that one time was a fluke.” You tell yourself things like, “Her phone merely died—that happens to everyone,” or, “It is awfully noisy in those bars, so maybe she really didn’t hear it ringing all six times I called,” or, “Everyone’s entitled to get a headache at the very moment they’re supposed to meet me somewhere. It happens.” Never mind that her phone dies every single day around 2pm, so she should have planned for that; or that since she knew you were going to call, she could have put her phone in her pocket so she would feel it vibrate against her leg; or that there is a handy little headache-fixer called Aspirin that is sold in drugstores around the world and carried by 90% of women in their purses. Instead, you try to forget how hurt you felt when you were left stranded on that street corner, holding your phone in your hand, knowing that your fun plans had just been ruined. Because it couldn't possibly happen again!