Archive | November, 2011

So You See a Road Runner

25 Nov

So I realize that joggers/runners are generally hated by the rest of the population. I can understand this. We’re up in your face with our fitness and sometimes our junk. Sometimes we have fit dogs that run next to us and look like maybe they think darting onto the road would be awesome. You have to slow down/ swerve to avoid us and who wants to do that, am I right?

What a douche. Hit him.


To quote a couple people:

“I don’t think jogging is healthy, especially morning jogging. If morning joggers knew how tempting they looked to morning motorists, they would stay home and do sit-ups.” – Rita Rudner

“It’s unnatural for people to run around the city streets unless they are thieves or victims. It makes people nervous to see someone running. I know that when I see someone running on my street, my instincts tell me to let the dog go after him.” – Mike Royko


So some people don’t like runners. That’s okay. I don’t like people who like Twilight. That’s just me.

But guys, that doesn’t mean I will run you down in my car if I see you reading Twilight.

I will, however, mock you mercilessly.


Okay? Is that alright with everyone? Do I sound like a normal person when I say that?

If not running people over because I don’t like what they’re doing is normal, there seem to be a lot of abnormal people out there.

So I almost got run over yesterday. Maybe you got that already. It wasn’t dark out, I was running against traffic so I knew the car was coming and they knew I was there.  There were no other cars coming the other way so swerving was an option. But instead this dude/dudette thought nearly clipping me in the shoulder with their side-mirror seemed like a better option. The mirror was literally so close to my arm I think I might have a wind burn.

You guys, I almost died. Before The Hobbit came out. It was a near-tragedy.

"No! We can't let this happen! To the wagon!"

Funny thing is, I didn’t really think about it until after my run. I just kept trucking. But I was sitting at home, knocking back a protein shake, when it occurred to me that I was nearly slaughtered by someone who either hates runners, hates me in particular, or is just straight-up a terrible, terrible driver.

So I thought it was my duty (as in, hopefully I’ll educate the masses so no one murders me) to give some tips on encountering runners in your car. So here goes:

  1. Just give them some space

THAT IS THE ONLY TIP. It should be common sense. Do not see how close you can get without killing them. That’s a horrible idea. If you can’t swerve around them for whatever reason, just slow down a smidgen.

Admittedly, there are some runners out there with bad road sense. I try to get off the road as far as possible when I see a car coming, to be considerate to the driver and to, you know, increase my chances of not dying. I run against traffic, unless I’m rounding a blind curve, when I go to the side with the best visibility. I wear lights and reflective gear at twilight and night. I listen to my music low enough to hear cars coming from a ways away. That is our responsibility as runners.

But some morons flail about in the middle of the road. I understand wanting to hit them. Probably they deserve it. Just don’t.

Finally, there is a bit of a note I wanted to add. Don’t slow down too much. It creeps me out. I don’t care if you’re being considerate, it makes me feel like you’re going to stop to offer me free candy to get into your windowless van. Moderate pace reduction is the key.

Who needs parents when there's a Hannah Montana-mobile?


Also, you guys! I was nominated for another reward which I appreciate so much! This time it’s the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you to the inspirational Jenny over at The Running Thriver! Check out her story and the other blogs she nominated; all are excellent.

Here are the rules of this award:

Rules of the Versatile Blogger Award:

1.  Thank the person(s) who shared the award with you by linking back to them in your post.

2.  Pass this award to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know that you included them in your blog post.

3.  List 7 things about yourself.


Please check back soon for my list of recently discovered blogs! I have to take some time to pick my favourites.

Happy trails everyone, and have a great weekend!


21 Nov

So shy. And adorable natch.

Well shucks guys, I was nominated for an award, very kindly by Nel over at Directionally Impaired. What a surprise! I very much appreciate it. So here are the terms of the Liebster Award:

Liebster is a German word meaning “dearest”, and the award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. The stipulations of this award are as follows:

  • Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
  • Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Copy and paste the award on your blog.
  • Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favourite bloggers and keep it going!

However, I’m a horrible internet person and I can’t think of 5  up-and-coming bloggers! I only follow a few extremely well-established running blogs. Any help here? Are you a new blogger or do you know someone who is that deserves an award for their work? Let me know in the comments section!

In the meantime, thank you Nel, and happy training everyone!

Winter. Barf.

20 Nov

Nuff said.

So it’s getting cold here. I don’t know why but I’m always so surprised by the first cold days of winter. Especially because I’m usually sick. It’s like a double kick in the pants, and Mother Nature, I do not appreciate it.

I had to officially pack away my running shorts and I’m not happy. My ears feel cold when I go outside. After runs I can’t move my fingers. My dog doesn’t want to come with me because she’s too cold (and a big wuss).

My feet get so cold I start to lose feeling in my toes. I painted my toenails blue and you can barely notice the difference. Waking up to darkness, cold in bed, and knowing it’s going to be worse outside… it’s like a little mental world war III just to get up.

I have to wear pants. I hate pants. Then I put on a long-sleeved shirt and jacket and sometimes a rain shell, then my gloves and a headband and a hat and usually a headlamp and Jesus it’s like a workout just getting out of the house.

Every day of my life.

But the biggest problem I have is when I get home from the run. My arms are so stiff I spill my protein shake all over the kitchen. I’m so cold that putting a bathrobe and sweatpants on doesn’t help at all. It takes a 45 minute shower to warm me up and even then I need to put on a lot of layers.

I’m fine on the run, in fact often a little too warm, but when I get home I start to absolutely freeze. As far as I can tell, from my limited research, is that my body was trying to cool itself down for the entirety of my run, and that mechanism takes a while to switch off, leaving me shaking next to the heater.

So, my question for you guys, is if this bone-chilling cold happens to you when you get in from a run and what you do to lessen its impact. Because I’m literally dying here. So any advice?

Energizer Night Race

13 Nov

Okay so it’s been a while since I posted but I was up to all sorts of cool kid stuff so I won’t apologize.

One of the cool kid things I was doing was the Energizer Night Race, which, hello, was mega-awesome. You can tell by the name. This race was held last night after sundown in Stanley Park (a giganto park next to downtown Vancouver) and was sponsored by Energizer batteries. Not only did we get these stylish neon shirts:

I've always found neon green to be flattering.

But they also gave us headlamps! To wear! It was mandatory to wear the headlamp, which I didn’t mind because as we know, I’m already quite fond of them. Here’s the headlamp:

No unicorns were harmed in the making of this headlamp.

Please notice that it bears no resemblance to a unicorn horn. This I’m both pleased and slightly disappointed by.

Also, here’s me with the Energizer bunny:

There is a man inside that bunny.

That smile is a tad forced. I had an epiphany one day when I realized that there are actual people inside mascot uniforms… and now they just creep me right out. Also:

Stranger Danger!

You’re welcome.

So I organized a group of kids from my Commerce club at school to run the race with me, although… I didn’t really stick with them. But it was nice to get there and back together.

Now for the race. It was just a 5k; I’d wanted to sign up for the 10k but it was full. The route followed the seawall, starting at Second Beach and heading towards Denman and on, then doubling back on itself.

The race went well, although very quickly. I’m used to longer distances where you sort of settle into your pace and join a group that roughly matches you. I had a feeling that many of my fellow runners were first-timers, given that I was passing everyone (unusual, see title of this blog) and that NO ONE would stick to the right hand side. I spent the entire race dodging around people who were going too slowly. Which meant landing in about eighty thousand puddles.

Oh wait I didn’t mention the rain? IT WAS POURING. Like full-on Vancouver downpour. I’m pretty sure I saw some drowned woodland animals but I didn’t look too closely. Now I don’t mind the rain one bit. I don’t even mind puddles. But when I’m forced to slosh through one after the other… I get a little angry.

Of course, the race planners cannot be blamed for the weather. However, I do wish that they had made an effort to make sure everyone understood basic race etiquette. But the headlamp kind of makes up for it.

I checked the results this morning and I beat my PR by 1:15, bringing me below the 30-minute mark to 29:33. Although not very fast, it did land me in the top 100 of 600 racers and 19th (of 86) in my divison, so, uhhhh… suck it.

Cool kids always do thumbs up right?

The only other running-related cool kid thing I’ve been up to? Only starting my marathon pre-training this morning with a nice 7k! HOLY BATMAN. I’m nervous but so excited! It has begun!

Happy trails everybody!

A Buttload of Inspirational Photos

8 Nov

Time for your daily dose of bad-assery. Or at least, that’s how these photos make me feel. Some make me think. I thought I’d share in the hopes that you’d like them too!


So I Hate Treadmills

4 Nov

I didn't even have to make this myself guys.

This rant has been brewing for a while. I’ll start reading someone’s blog post about their run or something, they’ll be talking about their heart rate or breathing or anything, and then BLAM they’ll say something like “and then I put it up to level 5!” And I’m left confused (what? What is level 5? Compared to what? Gah!) until I remember that some people like to run in one spot as a carpet rolls underneath them.

You people are crazy.  Treadmills are my archenemies.

Okay so I know I’ve already claimed that deer, dogs, and slow-walking people are my archenemies, but no one ever said you can’t have a lot. Maybe I have too much hate inside of me? Who knows. Either way, I don’t like treadmills. Let me detail the reasons why:

1. Treadmills are inside (Summer)

This poses a number of issues for me. First, there are no trees or birds or even spots of grass or wildflowers inside. At least, not at my gym. How can I admire the flora and fauna when there isn’t any? Also, it’s warm inside. I like that when I’m not running around, sweating it up, and wanting to cool down. But when you run on a treadmill, you don’t get to cool off until you stop running. How can you keep going, knowing this?

Wait, wait. Is this a thing? Can I do this?

2. Treadmills are inside (Winter)

Hey, screw you, people at the gym who get to run without three pairs of gloves, a scarf, and an emergency flare in case of collapse! I resent you! It’s cold out here but I hate treadmills and I can’t run on them and gosh you’re all jerks.

3. There’s nothing to look at.

At some point, looking at your treadmill’s dashboard has to get boring. How many times can you read the recommended heart rate chart before you want to take a blowtorch to it? Even if your machine faces a window, only so much will change outside. Even if there’s a lot of people to look at or something, it’s generally frowned upon to stare at people with your angry, running, grunt-scrunch messing up your face. It’s weird. You look weird.

Kids will run screaming from your face.

4. Most of the time, there’s a treadmill beside you.

And the douche on it is ALWAYS better at running than you. No matter how good you are, there’s someone better out there, and they make sure to run next to you whenever you hit the gym. You’re sweating and gasping and trying not to seem like a pervert while you watch the kids outside play tag, and he’s there just skipping along like it ain’t no thing.

The epitome of the running douche. And he'll be right beside you. Probably talking about his abs.

5. Flat runs… what does that even mean?

If you want to run on a flat surface forever and you don’t have a track nearby, you hit a treadmill. You can run a marathon at a constant elevation if you want to. And I resent you for this. I can’t seem to get my 5k personal best below 28 minutes because all these damn hills slow me down. I could run on a treadmill… but I don’t want to and YOU’RE ALSO A JERK.

For reasons #1, #3, and #4 above, running on a treadmill seems to take about eighteen thousand times longer than the same distance outside. For the rest of the reasons… I’m just jealous. But the warmth and the boredom and that annoying dude just outweigh anything good about treadmills. So I hate them.

What about you? Do you regularly run on treadmills? If so, have you submitted to any psychological testing? Because I really recommend it.

Naming Hills

1 Nov

My face whenever I see a hill.

Maybe you’ve heard about Heartbreak Hill, which is a rise of some elevation that is part of the last legs of the Boston Marathon. Maybe you’ve also heard that the Boston Marathon is KIND OF A BIG DEAL and also that HILLS SUCK. This particular hill is located between mile 20 and 21, which is also where most people hit the wall. It rises 27 feet over 600m. The name actually originated in 1936, when an elite runner gave a consolatory pat on the back to his main competitor after the hill, which proved to bolster the dude, who went on to win, breaking the runner’s heart. However, because it SUCKS to run up a hill at the end of a marathon, the name stuck around. You can imagine how it feels to be running the most important race of your life, pushing yourself harder than you’ve ever pushed yourself, only to find you’re at the bottom of a big ol’ hill and you know you might die trying to get to the top of it. Understandably, Heartbreak Hill has stuck around as a nickname.

I have my own Heartbreak Hill. My Heartbreak laughs in the face of Boston’s because mine rises an eff-ton more than a measly 27-feet, and lasts twice as long as Boston’s 600m. Most people call it Seven Hills, as the rise takes place over a series of seven ever-steepening hills. I really wish I knew the exact elevation but I do know that the last hill is the steepest, steep enough to need a warning sign for trucks. I call it Heartbreak Hill because if I start my run from my house towards the rest of my town, no matter what, I’m going to have to first speed down that hill and then, on the second-to-last kilometer, run up it. And it sucks.

But my repertoire of hills doesn’t end there. I’ve also named twin hills Mount Doom and Cruel and Unusual Punishment. These flow into Idaho (a bunch of little rolling hills that remind me of potatoes), Bitter Mother-In-Law, and Step-sister’s Revenge. And those are just on a 10k route that has me heading away from Heartbreak Hill instead of towards it.

No relation to Mordor's Mount Doom. You doesn't simply walk into Mordor, nevermind run.

It goes on. There’s Serial Killer School Kid (a huge hill that has me running past an elementary school and many parents in parked cars), Daunting Dorman (sometimes known as Deadly, depending on what kilometer I’m on), and Haunted Haven (spits me out on a haunted trail, long story). Then there’s The Bell, which is a long, slow hill on the other side of the school and reminds me of the trek back inside after recess. There’s Wayward Willy’s Wanderings, and Vimy Ridge, which is also home to the local Legion branch.

The hill's still scarier than you, ginger.

Finally, there’s the worst hill in my area, which I decided not to honour with its own nickname because it sucks SO HARD. It’s Bluewater Hill, for any locals reading. It’s 3 km long. There’s curves that trick you into hoping it’s almost over only to smack you down when you round the bend and see the next part. I steadfastly avoid this one, and strongly resent having to do so because there are very nice roads and trails beyond it. I run it once a year, on a memorial 10k that starts in that neighbourhood and ends in our ‘downtown’ area. If the run wasn’t important to me I wouldn’t even touch that hill with a ten-foot pole.

If I was forced to name it, I’d call it something really derogatory. Like Buttface. Dogbreath. Your mom.

Or Low-Fibre Diet (nothing’s going nowhere fast). OKAY SO I JUST NAMED IT.


I guess the point here is that

a)      I have a lot of spare brain space, and

b)      I like to name things.


I think the reason I do this (aside from having not much else to think about when running around for a couple hours) is because it feels good to acknowledge the challenge, and then destroy it. I didn’t just run up a hill, I just dominated Vimy Ridge, yo! Suck it, Haunted Haven, you ain’t gonna ghost me today! Who’s the mountain now, Mt. Doom?!

What, I talk to deer. You're really surprised that I insult geographical features?

… Eat some bran, Low-Fibre Diet, if you want to keep up with me!

So gross, and so effective. Now I just want to go out and run LFD.

There’s also that whole thing about hills being good for my training. Whaaaaaatever.