Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Goats, Running, Drinking, Politics, & Religion...

This past weekend was the Houska Houska. It was a space theme this year. This event always brings out creative and eclectic.

Most of the costumes were Star Wars, My Favorite Martian, and other space-like stuff from the 60s-80s. I bet a lot of readers don't even remember My Favorite Martian except that they made a movie about it a few years back. Plus they had the petting zoo (hence goats) and face painting for the kids.

It was a record turnout, which is great for the Bone Marrow Donor Program and the Cancer Center. It was perfect weather, nice and cool, running conditions we haven't had lately. It wasn't too cool because I wasn't freezing. I wore one of my Walmart tank tops.

At the Houska Houska, you find all sorts of odd things. For example, the coneheads who were working the parking lot. A few years ago there was a Saturday Night Live theme, I think it was the Blues Brothers. I don't even try figuring out a costume. Walmart fashion is enough.
Princess Leia was helping with registration.

I ran hard but kept in mind that I wasn't going to run all out, because I was doing a tempo run Tuesday. I ran hard enough that it would have been difficult to hold a conversation, but I was never so uncomfortable that I couldn't pick it up. Finished in 23:20, which is about 7 1/2 minute pace. Who knows if the course is accurate. I think that's my fastest time there yet, but who cares?

I had my root beer float and Dennis had some bloody marys and we hung out and caught up with all the people we usually never see except for each year at the Houska Houska. All runners we used to hang out with more when we were all younger, now everyone is busy with their lives and their kids, and we meet up once a year. It's always a fun day.

After the run we went home, hung out with the girls in the yard, didn't do too much, just enjoyed the cool sunshine and drank some margaritas.

I did make a big salad for lunch. Iris was sitting there in front of me, drooling. I don't know why. There was no meat in the salad. Lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, avocado. That was it.

So that brings me to the things that have twisted my brain over the past 24 hours.

1. What's this thing I keep seeing about a Runner's World-initiated running streak? My question is, why would Runner's World want to encourage this? I suppose if someone was having a hard time getting motivated, this sort of thing might possibly help them break through a mental block. But if someone is just getting started, it's not such a great idea to have them run every day. I hope walking counts too?

First of all, I don't do things that everyone does. Usually, if everyone's doing it, that's a good enough reason for me to NOT do it. And even if it's only a mile a day, for 38 days, there are days when running a mile for the sake of running a mile can actually impair healing. For example, with the workouts and runs I do, especially those that cause swelling in my feet or other places, running or even walking a mile is not such a good idea on those days. Elevating my feet and sitting on my butt seems like a better streak during those times. (Add a good Fort Collins microbrew or a frozen margarita with salt and I'm happy!)

I realize there are lots of runners out there who have personal running streaks. That's their business. I don't think it's a good idea for most people. So, thanks, but no thanks. And I suppose RW might imagine otherwise, but I'm not a sheep. Baaaa.

2. I was in the grocery store today doing my rare but obligatory big box supermarket visit to get the things that I can only get at the big stores. No, it wasn't Walmart, either. I went to King Soopers (or King Stoopids, as they call it here). I was walking down the aisle with the paper towels and toilet paper, and noticed a little sticky note on a package of toilet paper. It was white, so it was hard to see, but I read it. Damn, I also took it with me but now I can't find it! I was going to post it here on the blog. It was a little square white sticky note that had one of those smart phone scanner codes in the corner, but in a font that looks like handwriting, it said "Groceries or Gas? Thanks Obama!"

Well, I had to find out the source, and I had left my cell phone at home. When I got home I googled on it and came up with a group calling itself the Longmont Tea Party. Funny, Longmont is just down the road. I looked on their website and found a couple of links that I clicked on, one link led to another sticky note that they were putting on gas pumps. That one said something about how gas cost $1.78 a gallon in 2008 before Obama was elected, and blaming Obama for high gas prices.

That's funny. I seem to remember paying well over $4 a gallon in the summer of 2008. I remember that because I ran Badwater that summer and gas prices were at record highs. But it seems like someone else was President at the time. How can that be, when it's all Obama's fault, he singlehandedly destroyed the economy. Oh, I know- Obama was secretly undermining the economy because he's related those A-Rabs, ya know, his middle name is Hussein. He's actually related to Osama bin Laden, and Saddam Hussein. Both! He wasn't born here, either. You know, if we elect Obama, we'll all be speaking Arabic. And he'll take away our guns.

3. I said religion in the post title, right? I guess I don't really have anything to say about that this time. I was worshipping the Black Hills topographic map series I received in the mail this weekend. I love maps. Dennis says I love maps like Imelda Marcos loves shoes. Maybe I should update that- isn't it that Kardashian chick who loves shoes? Imelda Marcos is so 80s.

That's about the closest thing to religion I got all weekend. I have a more secular explanation for my behavior. I'm a map nerd.

This morning I did my tempo run because Shannon had a schedule conflict for our usual evening run tonight. I got a good 8.3 miles at an average pace of 8:08. Not bad. After that I went to the sauna and was lucky- I had it to myself!!!

Training-wise right now, I am maintaining without adding additional fatigue to my legs. I haven't trained this spring to do multiple long days but I know that mentally I can do it. If I try doing anything long now it will take away more than I will gain, the five days off last week was perfect.

All I will do for now is keep my mileage in the mid-50s, continue with speedwork and strides, and spend time in the sauna. It's only another 2 1/2 weeks until the Double Mick!


giraffy said...

I find running streaks SUPER weird. No thanks.

Alene Gone Bad said...

I like days off myself.

mike_hinterberg said...

I think streaks tie into your previous post/question about runners with a scowl (or non-smile) on their face when running: for too many people, exercise is an unenjoyable, necessary evil.
Which is too bad.
I imagine the concepts of "Compulsion" and "Mindfulness" would be diametrically opposed on a spectrum (that I just made up). Much more rewarding to be a mindful runner that runs each and every time by choice!

So count me in as pro-choice.
And, why would one drive from Longmont to a King Sooper's in FtC?

And, you really got me with the maps! I have a bin full of various maps. The thrill of a new map is only exceeded by using the same map again.
Ken Jennings "Maphead" is a worthwhile read (actually, convenient audiobook listen) -- you must have read it?
So, as to religion: while I didn't get into the whole Jeopardy run, I am unabashedly a Ken Jennings fan. While I've been friends and coworkers with some good LDS folks while maintaining a large degree of skepticism and concern about the history, dogma, and current politics, Ken Jennings is, without a doubt, My Favourite Mormon.

Alene Gone Bad said...

Mike, I learned so much from your comment. And laughed a lot too.

I had never heard the term map nerd before I wrote this post, I just figured the two go together as I have many other nerd-like qualities. But there it is...and I had never heard of Ken Jennings before, but now I know about him and map nerds from his website.

I missed the TV stuff, Jeopardy, etc. because I have lived without a TV almost entirely from 1980 through now, with the exception of a couple of years 1994-1996 while living in Gunnison. My TV exposure consists mostly of The Mod Squad, The Six Million Dollar Man, plus old Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers and whatever else was on in the early 70s. Pathetic, I know.

So now I can seek out Maphead to add to my reading list.

I wish I could figure out why someone would drive from Longmont to Fort Collins to go to a King Soopers but I am sure there is an alternative explanation for how the sticky note got there.

On the Mindfulness vs. Compulsion spectrum, I'm going to have to give that some thought but I do see them as opposing concepts.

And as far as religion goes, I don't have a leg to stand on. But I am pro-choice too. I'd rather decide when I want to run instead of listening to the voices.

And I can tell you for sure that my favorite Mormon is definitely NOT Mitt Romney.

Feisty Cat said...

Ugh. I am not a fan of running every day. It is a sure recipe for injuries and fatigue.

Whatever happened to paying attention to your body (and not the latest fad)? Last week, my youngest daughter decided she wanted to learn how to run a mile. She had tried before, using a program and stopwatch, and wasn't successful. I convinced her to run a mile by using her own judgment and self-monitoring, gauging how far she needed to go and when to walk/run.

I stopped running with a watch a long time ago. And I don't pay much attention to my mileage unless I am training for a race. It takes the fun out of running and makes it seem like a chore. If I need inspiration, I sign up for a 5k, 10k, etc.

Congrats on your time. Keep on being feisty!

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks Feisty Cat. The feistier, the better.