Tag Archives: Running

My pre-run whine session

Manicmumbling.com, running

Back when I thought this was fun. And my clothes fit better. Photo: Gary Green.

I admit I’m not feeling much into the running thing lately.

And here I just signed up for another half marathon. This one’s in April, and I have to tell you if the registration wasn’t almost as arduous as the actual event, I might not have.

That makes more sense the better you know me.

This particular run is a big deal around here. It sells out in a few minutes. And since I’m competitive about stupid stuff, I get kind of wound up around this time every year.

First thing that morning, I was online, watching the countdown clock and yelling at my family to stop streaming stuff so I wouldn’t have fight for bandwidth at noon when registration opened.

I’d signed up and forked over my money before I even thought about what I was doing. And then I thought “well crap. I should probably train now.” (more…)

The half marathon taper and how I’m probably doing it wrong

Photo by Ryan McGuire at http://www.gratisography.com/Tomorrow, I’ll be running a half marathon, which means today is the last day of that period we call the taper.

If you’re not familiar with the taper, it’s the result of a whole bunch of running science that says it’s good to reduce your miles and intensity a few days before a big event. The length of taper can be as much as three weeks for a full marathon, two weeks for a half, and so on.

I’ve been running 6 to 8 half marathons annually for the past four years or so. Having an event on the calendar keeps me on a regular schedule. Otherwise, I really might just stop all together. BUT, if I’m doing what science says I should, I’m tapering about two weeks before every half marathon, which on my schedule, gives me a solid 14 to 16 weeks every year of taking it easy.

Yay science. (more…)

Running tip #378: Know how to cope with event photos

fit_one race photo manicmumbling

The one, halfway decent race photo ever.

I saw a post recently in a fitness-oriented social media group: a woman running, wearing a race bib. The photo was taken from a low angle, the watermark of an official race photographer in one corner.

I expected a “yay me!” message underneath instead of the anguish this woman poured out. She’d been proud of finishing her first 5k – until she opened the results email with the event photos. She hadn’t realized her thighs were that big. She didn’t remember feeling as awful as she looked. Heck, she appeared to barely be moving.

Rookie move, that: expecting too much from race pics. They’re bound to disappoint. I don’t know the woman, but I’m familiar with the feeling.

I always eagerly open the post race results email hoping to finally find a picture to commemorate all my hard work actually making it across the finish line. A memento. Particularly one that fits my running self-image: something of a cross between Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Cheetara from Thundercats. (more…)

My sophisticated, super secret, pre-run procrastination ritual, revealed

run4luvAmong people who run, there are a few regular topics of conversation.

Like “so, what’s your next event?”

This isn’t usually meant to be a loaded question. But depending on the timing, it can certainly inspire a panicked mental comparison of the mileage runs you’ve yet to do with the weeks left before your next event.

Remember? That event you registered for months ago when the combination of an early bird rate and the time remaining to build back up to running 13 miles in one afternoon in the middle of winter made this whole idea sound a lot more reasonable?

My next event is in days. And yes, there’s a Valentines theme. It’d be cuter if Mike and I were running together, like last year. And when I say “together,” I mean in same event, starting at roughly the same time, with one of us (Mike) finishing first and left to hang out out afterward, shivering in sweaty clothes, waiting for the other (me) to finish.

Last year, in honor of the theme, and just to see what kind of face I’d make, Mike suggested running the whole thing holding hands.

I punched him in the sternum. (more…)

A Dog Day Run

penny_anxietyIt starts like this:
She’s back in there. Where the shoes are.
The sunscreen.
That hat.
That hat that’s for running.
Oh that hat. And the shoes.

And so I wait.
I whine very small to remind her I’m here.
I yawn.
And stretch.
And groan.
Why doesn’t the door open?

Finally, she’s in the shoes, the watch, the shirt.
Reaching for
I leap and leap at her and THELEASH
This helps I think. Helps her be faster. (more…)

2 Vans, 12 Runners, 30-Some Hours. A Grand Teton Relay Recap


Mike and I with Sasquatch … all the pictures I’ve seen of him have been so blurry, I never knew he had a ‘stash.

When the starting gun sounded on Friday, I was still messing with my Garmin. Everybody else took off like they were shot from a cannon.

It’s possible our venerable leader made a mistake assigning the first leg of our rely event to a chronic procrastinator. I had the honor of putting our whole team behind, first thing. (more…)

Super for-real helpful motivation for summer running

Run4LuvI just found out National Running Day is June 3. I didn’t even know that was a thing.

It’s timely, given how much my enthusiasm for running wanes with the beginning of the season I am most likely to want to do nothing more exciting than melt into the couch.


Summer is great for warm evenings on a patio with an adult beverage, concerts in the park with an adult beverage, sitting by a campfire late into the night with an adult beverage … Do you see a pattern here? Well, running isn’t really related to any of that.

To compensate, I just scheduled at least one running event a month until November. I need that kind of looming threat. Back in the day, people had things like cave bears and velociraptors as motivation to keep from developing back fat. Now, we’re lured off our tushes by paper bibs, ill-fitting shirts and participation medals. Mike and I are kicking off this wretched running season with a half marathon next week named after our state tuber. (more…)

Running is Stupid and Other True Things

stupid_runningThe email came today, the one with the link to the race photos I will not be buying.

Instead I’ll take the image I have in my head of me running. Thank you. There I am, all svelte and speedy, with my toned arms, and shorts that wouldn’t even think about bunching up in my crotch.

In reality, there could be a race photographer every 100 feet of the course, and I could be paced by a team of my own, personal make-up and hair artists, and someone who Photoshops like a boss, and still no one will ever capture the me on film that’s the same as the me in my head. (more…)

Musings and Mind Games: A Runner’s Race Day Countdown

skullTomorrow is the Race to Robie Creek, the self-proclaimed toughest race in the northwest.

It’s not so bad. We’ve done it. It’s actually quite a pleasant ascent through a rocky canyon, up a dirt road and over a mountain and back down to a little valley where nudists and tree-huggers and hillbillies live in harmony.

True, the rocks of that little canyon direct heat like a suntan reflector cone right down on that dusty road and the hoards of people ascending more than two thousand feet over 8 miles to the summit. That’s not so pleasant.

Then there’s wildlife. Not the gentle, hoofed kind, either. The kind that coil behind a rock or stalk you from a cliff face. My strategy for avoiding wildlife is that slow thing I do. Think about it. One of little known dangers of being a faster runner is the higher likelihood of getting picked off by carnivores. Because, you know, you’re first.

It does too make sense. (more…)

I clearly have shirt issues


Not an example of a run with a “unisex” shirt. I just like the goofball selfie attempt.

As awesome as a well-organized run event can be, there’s one little thing that bums me out almost every time. I’ll give you one guess.

No I won’t. It’s the damn t-shirt.

A couple weeks ago, Mike and I ran in an event that was new to the area. We steeled ourselves to be patient. By which I mean we did our normal bitching and moaning getting up and ready, and then sank into silence on the ride to the park, lost in our respective head games until we got to the starting line.

Usually, new events take a couple of years to shake out the kinks. Kinks come with the territory, considering the complexity of organizing a 13.1-mile event that sprawls over congested city streets and public pathways where clever adolescents like to rearrange mile markers and directional signs. (more…)