I Hate 5ks

Jul 25

I Hate 5ks

After threatening to sign up for three or four different marathons since last fall, I finally pulled the trigger and plunked down the registration fee for the Tunnel Lite Marathon September 15th. It’s a point-to-point with a net elevation loss, so pretty easy-peasy as far as marathon courses go. My running volume lately has thus increased as Coach T has started prepping me to haul my chubby ass 26.2 miles. Fitness-wise (and weight-wise) I’m still not where I was last season, but at least now I have a race to train for. My return to a regular training schedule got my coach’s seamless, sweat-wicking undies in a twist and she excitedly instructed me to find two 10ks to run as part of my marathon training. July has been a hectic month for me — Jason and I traveled to a wedding in Philadelphia earlier this month, plus he’s racing his first 50 mile ultramarathon this weekend — so I only had a couple weekends free to find a potential race. After informing Teresa of my dilemma, she said I could find a 5k to run this month and a 10k in August. Crap. 5ks suck for one reason: they hurt. If you’re intent on doing a 5k as a fun run, that’s fine, 3.1 miles is a fine distance for a walk or a jog or a combination of the two. But if your coach wants you to “race” the 5k, you’re essentially tasked with sprinting the entire distance and are a half-burp away from horking up one or both lungs at any given moment. There’s nothing “aerobic” about a 5k. From the moment you take off to the moment you cross the finish line, you feel like you’re going to die. Another reason I don’t like 5ks is because my SALS (Stumpy Asian Leg Syndrome) don’t make me much of a sprinter. I always tell people that I’m built for duration. I’m not terribly fast, but when you stretch out the distance long enough, my sheer stubbornness pushes me to maintain a somewhat decent pace until I manage to finish. For short distances, however, I’m no Usain Bolt. Whenever we do sprint work at track, teammates who I’m...

Read More

The Dog Days of Summer

Jun 12

The Dog Days of Summer

The gap in my blogging can be attributed to the fact that I got a new job that is making me roughly 1,000% happier than my last one. I’ve been a bit busy getting settled into the new gig but it’s been a rewarding, exciting experience thus far. My coworkers are fun, my bosses provide great guidance, and I’ve been given a lot more responsibility. The job has a couple of notable perks, too: The CEO has completed several Ironman races (dude has an endless pool in his garage for training. for crissakes) and thus understands my dumb-ass hobby. The executive team is very encouraging of fitness, meaning I can come in a bit later if I’ve worked out in the morning, take a mid-afternoon break to run, or leave early if I’m meeting my team for a workout. This is great news for Moobecca as I am currently trying to get back on the training bandwagon, having signed up for a mid-September marathon in hopes of posting a respectable run time as well as shedding some of this flab that has suctioned itself onto my ass.  THE OFFICE IS DOG-FRIENDLY OMG YESSSSSSSSSSS I love dogs to the point of rescuing a milky-eyed derp dog during a hill repeat workout. Every time one of the office dogs strolls by, I am incapable of resisting the urge to scratch behind their ears and pet them for about four straight minutes. Since my grinch boyfriend won’t let me get a dog of my own, I’ve resorted to living vicariously through Skipper and Madison, the two pooches who come to work on a regular basis. Speaking of Skipper, this is him: He’s the CEO’s dog. Oftentimes Skipper looks very forlorn and sad, as if he just spent 10 hours listening to “Cat’s in the Cradle” on repeat. I always try to give him some good scratches to coax a smile out of him, but he is like an emo goth teenager trapped in a dog’s body. My boss, Brendan, casually mentioned one day that he took Skipper for a run around Lake Union. I perked up and said, “So he’s a running dog?” and Brendan said, “Oh yeah, he loves to run....

Read More

Training Episode VI: Return of the Bec-i

May 04

Training Episode VI: Return of the Bec-i

I’m writing this post from hot, humid, and sunny (well, not right now — it’s pouring rain) St. Croix, nursing a mild sunburn and a round belly (don’t worry, it’s just the food baby) on the eve of Ironman St. Croix 70.3. I had grand plans to run a marathon before kicking off my triathlon season by tackling the Beast, but the marathon never happened and neither will the race tomorrow (for me, anyway). Truthfully, the months after Ironman Canada have been tough for me mentally as well as physically. After my crashtacular finish, I took some extra time to recover and focus on work. Unfortunately, that focus made me realize how unhappy I was at my new job, and that realization caused a lot of stress and headaches through fall and winter. I’ve noticed this in past seasons: my happiness levels in my personal life greatly affect my success in training and races. Whenever there’s a big imbalance, my motivation suffers and my training swiftly circles down the shitter. So this past fall and winter have been somewhat difficult for me as I struggled to keep it together professionally and drove Jason crazy with typical Quarter Life Crisis freak out laments: Me: “All of our friends our age have ‘grown up’ but us! We should be grownups!” Jason: “What the hell does that mean?” Me: “I don’t know, we should travel more! Or buy a house! We should get married soon! When should we have kids?!” Jason: “So, to be clear, you think we should buy a house but still travel the world, but we should get married first and crap out a few kids? Before the house and travel stuff or after?” Me: “I DON’T KNOWWWW HOW DO GROWN UPS DO THIS?! I need a better job! One that makes me happy! Should I open a Roth-IRA? What the hell is a Roth-IRA? I need to train for a marathon! Everyone on our team is getting faster and having an awesome season and I’m getting fatter and slower by the day! Can we get a dog? I really want a dog! I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M SAYINNNGGGGGG!!!!” I was depressed. I isolated myself from my friends and...

Read More

Not Afraid to Run

Apr 17

Not Afraid to Run

I was at work on Monday sneak-watching a live feed of the Boston Marathon as the men’s leaders, a trio of Africans, battled against each other to be the first to cross the finish line and claim victory. For so long, qualifying for the Boston Marathon has felt like a pipe dream, a milestone I would be thrilled to hit but has always felt so far out of reach. When I first started running with Jason along the Burke-Gilman Trail, I would trot along at a 12:00/mile pace while he kept doubling back to me with a barely-concealed look of annoyance on his face. My first marathon was a 4:35, and my second marathon wasn’t much better (in fact, my off-the-bike marathons at both Ironmans I’ve raced have been close to my standalone marathon times). And then my BFG, who has always been a strong runner despite his height and his size, told me he was going to train for the Portland Marathon and try to qualify for Boston. He had run a handful of marathons, each time improving from the last, but for his age group he’d have to qualify with a 3:05 or faster. Jason, who’s always been a more dedicated and more focused athlete than me, hit all his workouts, dropped some weight, and showed up to the start line on a cool, sunny Portland morning looking slim and fit and ready to run his ass off for 26.2 miles. He crossed the finish line in 2:57, earning not only his spot at Boston but a much-admired place in the “Sub-3 Hour Marathon” club. I was inspired. Jason had just shed 22 minutes off his previous best marathon time. He encouraged me to try to qualify too, that I could get there with a little bit of dedication and perseverance. He even promised to not register for the 2013 Boston Marathon and wait until the 2014 signup opened up so we could register together if I were to qualify. So I made my 2013 season goal to run a marathon and hopefully be fast enough and in great enough shape to stamp my ticket to Boston. My training, however, has been frustratingly intermittent. I’ve been depressed....

Read More

How I Got Kicked Out of Von Trapp’s for Being Clumsy

Mar 14

How I Got Kicked Out of Von Trapp’s for Being Clumsy

You know what’s more embarrassing than being kicked out of a bar for being fall-down drunk? Being kicked out of a bar for being sober but clumsy as shit. Last night I pratfalled my way to infamy at Von Trapp’s, a new German bar that recently opened in my neighborhood. I would have actually preferred to be as sloppily drunk as the staff thought I was — at least then I would have at best a fuzzy recollection of what happened. Unfortunately, I was stone cold sober and therefore will carry this facepalmy memory with me for roughly the next seven decades. After work, I met some industry colleagues at a bar in Pioneer Square for a happy hour beer (one pint of Blue Moon at about 5:30 or 6:00 pm). From there we headed over to Capitol Hill for our dinner reservation at Barrio, a trendy Mexican restaurant. I arrived at 7:30 and nursed a somewhat unpleasant-tasting margarita, throwing in the towel about 3/4th of the way in because somehow the drink managed to become both cloyingly sweet and butt-puckeringly bitter. Content to stick with water, I then focused on unhinging my jaw and inhaling a tostata appetizer, queso fundido, superhuman quantities of guacamole and salsa, and a shredded pork taco platter. The rest of the table at this point was at a ratio of at least four drinks to my 1.75, but since everything had been spread out over the course of four hours, nobody was wasted or hammered, least of all me. When dinner concluded, the group wanted to head to Von Trapp’s down the street and meet some of their coworkers there for a couple beers. Since my food baby felt stronger and healthier than ever, I had no desire whatsoever to add another drink to the Mexican fiesta cha cha-ing in my belly, but I was curious to check out the new bar since I’d read and heard a lot of hype about the place. I tagged along, figuring I’d sneak a quick peek before calling it a night and going home. The first thing I noticed about Von Trapp’s is that it is friggin’ huge. Like supermarket huge. It was also packed to the...

Read More

To the Stranger Who High-Fived Me During My Run

Mar 12

To the Stranger Who High-Fived Me During My Run

In an effort to get rid of my food baby, I went for a run “with” Jason last week (“with” meaning we left the house at the same time, then I promptly waved goodbye at his back as he shoomed away). I’m heavier and slower than my lean-yet-nightmarishly-tanned version from last summer, but I tried to stay positive as I set out to conquer the hilly 6.5 mile loop. My pace was slow but steady, and I settled into a decent groove, enjoying the crisp air that was warm enough to warrant running in a t-shirt, yet chilly enough so I wouldn’t overheat. I quickly zoned out into my “zen mode,” where I let the stresses of the day dissolve and let my thoughts wander to and from any number of topics. I used to run with my old iPod “Classic,” but after I left that bad boy on a plane, I got used to running without music and just let my inner monologue keep me company. I trudged on, totally zonked out, and soon approached the Pagliacci on 10th and Miller. I was staring straight ahead down the sidewalk and wiping some sweat off my nose when I noticed someone standing off to the side. I’m not sure if he was waiting for a bus or getting ready to cross the street, but when he saw me his face lit up and he shot his hand up in the air. Confused, I focused on him and my brain, thinking this guy knew me, searched its reserves for a name. Who is this dude? Is he a TN Multisports teammate? Have I worked with him? Brain: “Scanning for recognition…scanning…scanning…scanning…” Me: “…well? Do I know him?” Brain: “…scanning…” Me: “Ugh, brain, you are the worst.” Brain: “Don’t rush me! You’ve got a lot of useless shit in here. Do you really need to know the theme song to The Golden Girls?” Me: “I don’t need your judgment. And I will not thank you for being a friend right now because you’re seriously letting me down here. How the hell we got through college is beyond me.” Brain: “Whatever…anyway, yeahhhh, we don’t know this guy.” After finally establishing I did not...

Read More

The Reason for My Recent Weight Gain…

Feb 22

The Reason for My Recent Weight Gain…

I’ve mentioned my post-Ironman weight gain with much exasperation, but I haven’t been entirely honest with you. There’s a reason why I’ve been packing on the pounds lately, but I didn’t want to say anything just yet. Now that a few months have passed, however, it’s safe enough to finally let the cat out of the bag. First, let me preface my announcement by saying this isn’t something I expected to happen so quickly after Ironman Canada, but when you’re suddenly faced with a lot of free time, you’ve got to fill it somehow, amirite? Nonetheless, I wouldn’t call the situation an “oops,” more like a surprising side effect of too much “recovery” time after a long, grueling season of training and racing. Even though this has been completely unexpected, Jason’s been incredibly supportive throughout this period. He’s a good guy. Totes love him. Anyway, without dragging it out any further, I’m just going to come right out and say it: I’m having a food baby. Like I said, this wasn’t really planned at all, but when you spend September through January gorging on various delectable treats with insufficient exercise to balance things out, you end up incubating a little food fetus. It’s hard to say exactly what makes up this little miracle, but if I had to guess I’d wager it’s comprised of pizza, pad thai, ice cream, nachos, Moscow Mules, burgers, and an irresponsible amount of poutine. I’m already starting to show and none of my pants fit. This little guy is growing so fast! My resting heart rate has gotten higher and I’m easily winded during simple workouts, which goes to show how much bigger my food paunch is getting each day. Jason has been such a rockstar, bringing home carryout whenever I have cravings. He’s doing his part to make sure this burrito baby is being taken care of. The pregnancy hasn’t felt that long, but looking back I realize it’s been almost six months since Ironman Canada. Time sure does fly when you’re eating like a fat-ass, doesn’t it? But as proud as I am of my growing bundle of bulge, I’m not sure I can continue incubating it much longer. In fact, I...

Read More