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...

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Sorry, That’s Not Real Food

Nov 29

Sorry, That’s Not Real Food

I love me some food. I know triathletes and endurance athletes often boast about how much they eat, but I’ve read the SlowTwitch “shame eating” threads and they’re pretty weaksauce. Admitting you ate two huge bowls of cereal or a Krispy Kreme donut pales in comparison to the splendid displays of fat-assery Jason and I have embarked on time and time again. One time we went to Claim Jumper and each ordered fried mozzarella sticks as an appetizer before polishing off fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, extra biscuits with honey butter, and dessert. (Okay, I lied…we’ve done that more than once.) So you’ve got the faux-pig triathletes who are all “Tee hee, I ate so much yesterday” and then you found out it was something bullshit like an extra helping of quinoa or farro or some other dumb grain that sounds made up. And on the opposite end of the spectrum you’ve got lean, stringy-looking endurance athletes who you know are fast just by glancing your fat eyeballs upon their striated, beef jerky-esque frame, and those folks are so uninterested in food that sometimes they “forget to eat” and only do it because their bodies need sustenance. Forget to eat?! Who does that??? When I’m eating, I think about other food I want to eat, and when I’m not eating, I think about all the food I can’t wait to eat. I love food so much. Soooooo much. I consider myself an equal-opportunity food lover, meaning I’m just as willing to drop a few hundred bucks at a Michelin star restaurant as I am to gorge myself at the sketchy cash-only taco truck parked behind a Home Depot. Despite being a mega-huge carnivore, I’ll also be a good sport and hit up vegetarian or vegan places with my friends. (Though the last time I did that, I promptly came home, picked Jason up, and drove to get meat-filled deep dish pizza. Deep dish pizza is muy tasty.) I’m willing to try pretty much anything, whether it’s foo-foo holistic or offal-tastic. However, some of the stuff my teammates insist on passing off as real food has me unconvinced. Some examples: 1. Kale Chips Everyone seems to be on this...

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This is Why I Hate Swimming

Aug 20

This is Why I Hate Swimming

Earlier this summer I wrote about the day I finally liked swimming. It was a magical morning in A Bay on the big island in Hawaii, and I saw tons of dolphins frolicking in the ocean all around me while I treaded water for 45 minutes and marveled at how I would have missed out on such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if I hated swimming and refused to swim out that far. My swim on Friday couldn’t have been any further from that moment in my life; in fact, had I seen a pod of dolphins during the Friday Night Swim race (which would have been peculiar considering the race was in a murky lake in Kent, Washington), I would have kicked them all in the face with my non-cramping leg while screaming about how much I hate swimming. Let’s back up a smidge. I was scheduled to do the Swim for Life swim across Lake Washington on a decidedly inconvenient day of the week (Wednesday) at a decidedly inconvenient time (7:30 am). The last time I participated in the swim was two years ago. It was the last big swim before Ironman Canada, and it was mostly a disaster due to how gloriously awful the swim conditions were (wind, heavy chop, strong waves). This year I wanted a better pre-Canada last hurrah swim and hoped to tackle the distance in under 1:30, which would give me a nice little confidence boost going into IMC. Unfortunately, I had to be at work early that day for meetings so I wouldn’t be able to do the charity swim. I told Teresa I was bailing and begrudgingly said I could probably do the Friday Night Swim race later that week instead. This “Plan B” swim option was a bad idea for the following reasons: It was an actual swim race, meaning I’d have a finisher’s time and would be pitted against people who actually enjoy swimming to the point that they sign up for standalone swim races, instead of folks like me who hate it but understand it’s a necessary evil if you want to keep doing these silly triathlons. It was at 6:00 pm on a Friday… …in Kent. So I...

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I’m the Benjamin Button of Swimming

Jan 29

I’m the Benjamin Button of Swimming

I swear, I must be the only person alive who seems to be getting worse the more she tries to swim. I’m like the Benjamin Button of swimming — the more time I spend in the water, the crappier I seem to get. My good swims are at about a 25-33%, meaning one out of every three or four swims actually feels decent. On the rare chance I”ll have what I think is a “good” swim workout (meaning I was just tragically slow instead of abysmally slow), the next 2-3 swims will be freaking awful and I’ll beat myself up over how hopeless I am until my body throws me a bone with a semi-decent swim again. Take today’s workout for example. Teresa persuaded me to do the “postal swim,” which is an hour-long time trial. The rule is simple: see how far you can swim in 60 minutes. She pestered me via email and asked if I was going to sign up, and I sighed and responded with, “I don’t really want to do it, but I will if you think it’ll be good for me.” By the time I stopped dragging my feet and committed to doing the workout, there were only a couple slots left. Teresa cheerfully jammed me into the first of three waves. Wave #1 started at 7 am. On a Sunday. FML. As if getting up at the ass crack of dawn on a Sunday morning for a bullshit swim workout wasn’t bad enough, I scanned the list of folks who were swimming in Wave #1 and realized that I was woefully outpaced among my fellow teammates. All of the fast assholes on my team were swimming at 7 am. I needed to be in Wave #3, which started at 9:30…or Teresa needed to make a separate “slowest of the slow” wave that started at noon and consisted of me and a no armed, one legged drifter named Hobo Joe. Also making the swim worse was the fact that I was out of town this past week for work, so my weekend workouts were especially heavy duty to make up for my travel time. I spent the weekdays in Denver before flying home...

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The Most Expensive Dose of Benadryl Ever

Nov 11

The Most Expensive Dose of Benadryl Ever

I suffer from allergies and receive regular allergy shots to build up my tolerance against various atrocities that assault my immune system. It’s nothing deadly like licking a shrimp will cause me to balloon up and die, or being within three square miles of a bumblebee will result in a development of cankles and neck fat which will consequently cause me to balloon up and die. Nonetheless, my allergies have made me uncomfortable enough since childhood that my allergist determined weekly injections were the best course of action. While I have no food allergies, I’m allergic to a ton of pollens and mildews and grasses and some pet dander (cat being the worst). I get two shots, one for cat dander and one that’s a cocktail of trees, grasses, dust mites and mildew. Right now I’m in “maintenance” mode for the cat shot, meaning I only get that shot once a month. I’m still building up the other shot though so I receive that once a week. Yesterday I went to the medical center to receive my weekly injection. The nurse was someone I hadn’t seen before and I was less than impressed with her needlework. After a more-uncomfortable-than-usual shot, I texted Jas: Stupid new nurse pulled the needle out at an angle. Blood ensued. Come on, junkies take more care than this. Whenever I get a shot I have to wait around for 30 minutes afterwards to make sure I don’t have a systemic reaction from the allergens that were injected, so I wiped the blood from my arm and waited until my time was up, not knowing that the botched shot would serve as ominous foreshadowing to how the rest of my day would go. As I was driving home, I started to feel a pain in the middle of my chest. Not like a heart attack-type pain, but like a really bad bout of acid reflux or like there was a wad of something stuck in my esophagus. By the time I got home the pain would sharply flare up every few minutes and course from the middle of my chest up to my throat. I told Jas about my discomfort and he gave me a...

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