Saturday, April 2, 2011

I guest my wife's blog and some dichotomic rumination

Running makes me feel better.  Compared to my wife and her run team, I run at quite a bit more of a snail-ish pace.  For example, here I am crossing the finish line at my first ½ marathon last weekend...


My chip time was 3:11:04.  Angie's chip time was nearly an hour ahead of mine at 2:16:05.  I started in corral 13 and she was a few corrals in front of me (9).  Since they started before our corral, the ladies (by gun time) waited well over an hour for me to finish.

Before the race, Angie kept asking me about my goals for this ½ and I just thought to myself, "Goals ?!?!  Good lord, I hope to cross the finish line!".  Well since it was my first ½, and the longest distance I have ever run thus far in my life, a new PR was set (nyuk nyuk nyuk).  I can honestly say, that seeing that finish line was one of the happiest moments I will probably have this year.

Angie, on the other hand, looks "unhappy" or maybe "pained" when she runs sometimes...


Here is Angie crossing the finish line. She came in with a crowd so she is a little hard to find in these two vids.  Look to the right and try to pick out her dayglo compression socks.  She is at the very end of the first video and the very beginning of the second.



So that Rock and Roll ½ was really pretty fun (he said masochistically) and I have almost completely recovered from the run.  On that note, I wanted to talk about a few things I have learned from Angie and on my own with respect to running. These are personal observations.  The first thing is that, to reiterate my first sentence in this post, running makes me feel better. 

This is not news to people who run,  but not only do you seem to breathe better and benefit from more better endurance (yeah, I said "more better" on purpose) and countless other health bumps, you also literally "feel" better.  I should say I feel better.  Stress seems to melt away each mile passed underfoot.  It is great alone time for me.  This differs from Angie and her "running pack mentality".  I think she and her friends prefer to run as a group and I know they get a chance to embrace their inner bitchiness while running and gossiping their brains out.  I have not run in a group since formation running while in the Marine Corps.  Our longest run that I can recollect was 10 miles, and that was in boot camp.

I have noticed that there is a magical mile marker for me that requires special pre-run considerations.  To explain, anytime I set out to run more than 10K, I have to consider extra preparation.  Some of these things may seem obvious, but some of these things I learned last year trying to close in on the ladies (times).  

For a short while last year, I was running more miles than Randee and Angie, and secretly, I was attempting to close in on their pace times.  I got close, but I also sustained some injuries in this pursuit which set me back.  I am going about things a little differently now.  
Here are some of the considerations I am now keen to observe.  

If you plan on running long distances, you must train.  You must also give your body time to recover.  I have learned, at the stage I am at now, I am better off running one day, and taking the next day off.  By observing this routine, I have been pretty much injury free.  Unlike last year, I would run 4 or 5 days consecutively sometimes.  This lead to some quick weight loss and improved run times, but also led to me ignoring nagging injuries and then ultimately being set back by the same injuries.

This problem seems peculiar to males as my buddy Javier, who inspired this  heading, can also attest.  There is this magical substance called body glide, and I must use it if I plan to go greater than 10K distances.  The inner thigh area (one of my favorite locales on the Angie-bot) seems a very obvious place to swipe the glide, but for men, it was not at all intuitive to me to swipe body glide on my nips.  At 5K to 10K this is not an issue, but going over this distance makes friction burns on my nipples.  Images exist of men bleeding from this area (Angie googled them thinking I needed to see them).  I never bled from there, but dammit it hurts.  It felt like someone had just got done holding a pair of flames from Zippo lighters to my nip-tips after that 10 mile run last year.  I did a 7 mile run a couple of Fridays ago and was quickly reminded after that run that I had forgotten to swipe the glide on the nips.  What blows my mind is that this is not an issue with the lady nips.  Evidentally, the female nipple is far superior and tougher.  If the lady nipple had a FaceBook page, I would "Like" it (a lot - real hard).

I have also learned not to let your socks get tight on you and that you may lose toenails going long distances.  Again, this seems to come into play only when I am surpassing the 10K mark on a run.  Make sure your socks fit well and not tight around the toe area.  I don't know how else to explain this other than that on a run where I had put on my shoes and in the course of sliding my left show over the length of my sock, the shoe seemed to tighten the bottom sock fabric on the front toe area.  I foolishly ignored this and ran anyway.  During the run, my toes on my left foot seem to get even tighter in that dang sock and sure enough, I lost the toenail on my longest toe (which is next to my big toe).  That was last year.  The corresponding toe nail on my right foot appears to be the next victim due to the ½ marathon run.  That little piggy is now black and will soon peel off in a few days.  Yuk.

Since I like to run alone, my company is my Garmin and my SANSA clip (MP3 player).  I have had to delay running waiting for stuff to charge.  There are times I should just leave that stuff on the charger like Angie-bot does so I can just grab it and go.  I must get better about this.

OMG OMG OMG!  I could not even be thinking about doing any of this without patellar bands.  I was running around the block last year. One single bad foot strike going down a hill shot a lightning bolt of pain through my right knee up to my glutes.  I was able to run through it, but for a few strides, I was really afraid I had jacked up my knee for good.  I thought that I should go get something like one of these...

... but Angie told me about these... 

... and I was very skeptical about them at first.  These things work for me!  I wear one on each knee.  Angie made the mistake of wearing only one last weekend for the ½ last weekend and guess what... the knee she wore it on was fine, but the knee she didn't have one on started getting pretty uncomfortable on her.  In short, these things are pure genius and they provide the structural integrity my knees need to maintain these longer runs.  I use them on short or long runs and my knees have remained relatively pain free this year.  I would not have made the ½ without them.
The Mueller patellar band pictured is what I use and I can't be more happy with them.

I could go on but I'll cut this short instead.

These are pretty general observations and I am sure the veteran runners are aware of these things.  However, I am getting caught up in this running craze via my wife and this is a good thing.  Do I mind that right now, I am getting my ass kicked by a bunch of women?  No (yes), not at all!  I hope soon, that I can at least keep up (kick their ass's) and then I can be as cool (but not as bitchy) as them!  

Hell, I am try'n!

I am actually very proud of Angie and the many accomplishments and achievements she has tucked under her running belt.  I say "actually" because sometimes she is borderline obsessive, but I know I can be the the same way with my passions.  My bitchy runner is my main passion.

I love me some bitchy runners!

DOUGIE (not-so-bitchy-runner)


  1. Fantastic post Doug! Love the punches.

  2. Good post honey. Now I'll need to change my password so you can't get back on here! Proud of you and your insane, hallucinatory finish. I'll keep running and you keep chasing me!

  3. Great writing! I want you to follow up to this topic!?!

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