Songs To Run To

I need some suggestions for sings for my ipod. I almost always listen to music when I run - unless I'm running with others of course. I thought I'd post what's currently on my shuffle. You will see it's a pretty eclectic list. Please comment with suggestions... I'm always interested in a new tune, or being reminded of something I haven't heard for awhile.

Here are the songs I am running to right now:
A-Punk - Vampire Weekend
Anything, Anything - Dramarama
Borderline - Madonna
Debaser - Pixies
DLZ - TV On The Radio
Goodbye Hooray - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Happiness Loves Company - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Hey Ladies - Beastie Boys
Houdini - Foster the People
La La Love You - Pixies
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Monarchy of Roses - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Need You Tonight - INXS
Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People
Purple River - Aunt Betsy
Push It - Salt N Pepa
Say You Love Me - Fleetwood Mac
Sprawl II - Arcade Fire
Suburban War - Arcade Fire
Time To Pretend - MGMT
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - Michael Jackson
Zingy - Ak'sent

Often I grab things randomly from my music library and don't even know what I've got until I'm listening. If you have any ideas of what should be on my shuffle - please let me know!

Resetting The Clock

I am not a morning person. I am not a night-owl either... but man, am I solid mid-day! Find me at noon and I am so ready for anything. I know it's common for triathletes to wake up at 5 a.m. or even earlier... but that's just not me and I don't see that happening unless something major changes in my life. I love to sleep!

Trouble is, I really wish I could get up early and do a workout before work. I can do it every now and then, when I really have to, but just can't seem to get up early on a regular basis. It doesn't look like the school I work at is going to change their schedule anytime soon (the first bell goes at 7:55 a.m., meaning I'm there earlier than that), so I guess it's up to me to reset my own internal clock.

My plan is to sync my internal time change with the end of Daylight Saving Time. I love DST and am always a little bit sad to see it go, as I like having the light after work rather than the morning. When we change the clocks back, I am going to set my alarm for an hour earlier. Theoretically, my body won't even notice and voila - an extra hour in the morning to go for a run, a swim, or something.

I'm a tad worried that my love of sleep will win out, and I'll reclaim that hour by hitting snooze on mornings I don't feel like getting up. Hopefully I'll stick to it - I'll let you know how it goes!

Things I Wish I Got A Picture Of In Kona

Sometimes things go by simply too fast to whip out the camera. Other times I don't have the camera with me. Other times, well, I just forget to take a picture for whatever reason. Here are some things Jason and I saw in Kona that I really wish I got a picture of.

- A girl riding a beach cruiser down Ali'i Drive, wearing an aero helmet several sizes too big.

- A guy swimming at the pier, with his dog (in a yellow lifejacket) swimming happily beside him.

- A pod of dolphins surrounding some swimmers in front of our condo one morning, leaping and spinning all around them. Rather than a picture, I would have given anything to be one of those swimmers!

- Jason in his underpants run get-up. No pictures were allowed. Dang.

- How hard it rained at the welcome dinner.

- The two guys from Montana we sat with at the awards dinner - they have been coming to Kona for the last 15 years to set the swim course for the race. What a cool holiday!

- Kirsty, Tim and I in our "Go Jason" special shirts.

Homework Assignment

My goal this winter is to seriously improve my running. To get started, Coach Kiki gave me some homework: I need to figure out what I like about running, and what I don’t like about running, because I’ve never really liked running and I need to change that. I started running as an adult, and am not a natural runner. The first step to becoming a better runner is to like running.

Since she gave me this assignment, I have been thinking. I figured I should start with what I don’t like. Hmmm. I couldn’t think of anything. I could almost hear those crickets chirping away in my brain. OK no problem, maybe I need some mental warming up, so let me think about what I like about running.

I love the feeling after I’ve finished a run. I love it when I run better than I think I can. I like cute running outfits. I love running with Humu. I love the peacefulness of running, being alone with my thoughts and the almost meditative state.

I love all the wildlife I see on my runs – so far the list includes too many birds to count, otters, seals, minks, various rodents, an elk, bears (best from a distance of course), a cougar (OK – don’t like that one). I love the energy I get after running. I love running when I’m in a new place, and exploring that place and seeing it from the view of my running shoes.

I like the sound of my breathing when I run. I like the sound of my running shoes hitting the ground. I like the uninterrupted time to listen to music through my iPod. I like staying in the moment when I run, and think about running.

I like it when I’m given a run with varying pace, so I have something to concentrate on. I like when I do an easy run and can just cruise along. I like running in the sunshine, feeling the warmth on my shoulders – I even like getting all sweaty. I like running in the rain, nice and cool even when I’m working hard. I like running after dark, how distractions are all gone and all I’m left with is my running.

I like running in the morning, even though my body doesn’t – it prefers to be warmed up. I like running after work, to work out the stress of the day and return home refreshed. I like how even a short run can be a good workout.

I’m confusing myself… so what is it I don’t like about running anyway? I tried thinking about it some more, and , there are those crickets again. Think harder! Well, I don’t like how my knees feel after long runs. But elevation, ice and compression are good friends of mine. Sometimes I’m tired and don’t feel like running, but if I don’t give in, I am always happy I went for a run. I don’t like that I think I have three different speeds (fast, medium, slow) but deep down inside I know they’re really “light jog”, “slow jog”, and “barely perceptible movement”. I don’t like how quickly I get out of running shape, and how much it hurts to get back into shape.

But honestly, I can’t think of a true reason I don’t like running. I think I’ve just convinced myself I don’t like it, when actually I do. On almost every run I look around and think how lucky I am to live the life I do, and how much I like running. I have been lying to myself for years… I’ve never considered myself a “runner”, but through this homework assignment I’ve realized that I really do love to run!

Kona Swims

It's no secret that my favourite place in Hawaii is in the water. Here are some more pictures from various swims during Ironman week.

Most of the time we swam from the Kailua-Kona
pier, but sometimes we just jumped
off the rocks in front of our condo.

Our condo was near the swim course turn-around,
you can see the orange buoy (sort of)
in the distance. Kirsty and I would swim out
to the course and then to town.

Out at the turn around buoy there was nothing but blue water...

One Day Later...

After yesterday's "pumpkin eater" post, a couple of people suggested I post to Slowtwitch. So I did... and at this point that thread has over 11,980 views and 171 replies. That is one crazy keen community! I also received a lot of private messages asking for his name or bib number, which I didn't think was necessary to give out.

I also got a message from a friend of the guy, who said he realized exactly who I was talking about and confronted him. He admitted the cheating to his friend, and has since posted an apology on Slowtwitch as well. I have to say that took some character on his part. I don't know that I would have the courage to admit publicly that I cut the Kona Ironman course, so props to him. Of course, I don't know he would have admitted to anything without being busted first... but nonetheless the end result is that he's mailing his finisher shirt and medal back to WTC.

Tough lesson to learn. I truly believe that finishing Kona in 16:59 (or not even making the cutoff but still finishing) deserves as much respect as any sub-10 or whatever time the clock says. I hope Mike goes back to Kona someday (after sitting out at least a year, if WTC doesn't make that decision for him) and finishes the whole course with his head held high.

Finish. The. Whole. Course. Enjoy the day and experience everything thrown at you - even if you aren't posting the splits you hoped for. That is living like you mean it.

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater

I have lots to post about Kona: Jason's race, more swim pictures, etc... but first I have to tell you a story.

I love spectating Ironmans, especially when Jason's racing of course. I have been doing it for a really long time, since 1994! One thing about Kona is that you get to know some of the other athletes staying in the same place as you, so I end up keeping an eye out for them on race day to cheer for them too. Which leads to my story. I'm not going to give names of those involved, or identifying information, other than to say the person (who I will refer to as RX - Racer X) is not in Jason's age group, and not from Canada.

Jason had a good race, and afterwards he said "hey you know RX from the condo - he must have had a really good day as I passed him at mile 22 on the run". I said he couldn't have passed him, as he was almost an hour behind Jason pretty much the whole day. Jason said he definitely did, and I said he definitely didn't. It was one of those conversations where each person knows the other is wrong, and you are right.

Later we found out RX had a finish time of 10:11, but "lost his chip during the run" so had to go to the officials to get an official time registered. He was really bragging about his 3:10 marathon split, and how he was running faster than almost all the pros during the second half of the marathon. I thought it was surprising for someone who qualified with a 3:49 marathon, and Jason and I started talking to each other about what we were thinking - he must have cut the course and not gone into the energy lab.

Heading out of town at the hot corner (Alii Dr. and Hualalai), RX was 50 minutes (almost exactly to the second) behind Jason. I checked athlete tracker and RX had a timing chip up until the 10.2 mile mark, where he was averaging 8:15 miles. Here's where things get weird. How then, did Jason end up passing RX at mile 22, when RX was so far behind him? And even more weird, Jason crossed the finish line almost 20 minutes ahead (his time was 9:52, and RX 10:11). Jason's pace for the last four miles was 8:02, so if he put 20 minutes on RX in that interval that means RX was running 13 minute miles for those last four.

For RX to finish in 10:11, based on the first 10.2 mile pace and his last 4 mile pace, that meant the middle 12 miles (which coincidentally there is no time split for since he "lost" his timing chip so the mats in the energy lab didn't register him) he would have had to run 4:30 miles. 4:30 MILES FOR 12 MILES? In the middle of IM Hawaii? That's world record OPEN half marathon pace, and I'm 100% sure there's no single pro in the world that can run that in any Ironman! Even if Jason hadn't seen him, so we didn't know how slow RX's final 4 miles were, according to the last official time he had, he would have run the last 16 miles in 6:30 pace. Yeah right. Who starts the first third of an Ironman at 8:15 pace, and then the last two-thirds at 6:30 pace? Nobody. That's one hell of a negative split! But RX was sure bragging at the pool the next day to anyone who was in earshot.

I couldn't take this kid bragging anymore, so asked RX "hey what did you think of the energy lab?" He stared at me for a few seconds and didn't say anything, and then said a weak "pardon?" I repeated my question, and his answer was "oh yeah all the solar panels were cool". Well, the solar panels are next to the highway, not in the energy lab, so I asked him what he saw and thought of the actual energy lab. He said he thought it was cool. Hmm. I really wanted to shout "CHEATER" for everyone at the pool, but I didn't. I kept my mouth pretty much shut (for once), but said enough so he knows we know. If you know what I mean.

Jason and I talked about what to do for awhile, and decided we should go talk to the refs. They agreed that he couldn't have run that, and DQ'd him. (Incidentally he is listed as DNF on the results, not DQ). But here's the thing - he crossed the finish line and has a finisher medal and a finisher shirt.

I am totally disgusted with RX and feel like he's disrespecting an incredible event. I have seen people work their asses off to qualify for Kona, do almost anything in their physical power to experience that hallowed ground and finish honorably. Now here's this twit who cut the course and his bragging to everyone about how he outsplit the pros. I want him to give his finisher stuff back, the bastard!

What do you think?

Kona Schwag

I went for a run this afternoon down Alii Drive to Keahou. 43 minutes and probably at least $43 worth of nutritional products handed to me from various roadside stands along the way. I only had a small pocket in my running skirt so I had to stuff my bra. One advantage of having lots of room in there!

When Jason saw what I collected, he went out for his own haul. I guess he wins the Alii Dr Schwag contest!

And another picture from various schwag collected all over town the last couple of days. I think we need an extra suitcase coming home. Some of this will be handed out to my peeps when I get back!

Sweat Contest

Jason and I are strangely competitive with each other around weird things. We stay away from areas with obvious winners, i.e athletics (him) and academics (me). We are always competing with each other in bizarre categories, such as "seatbelt unfastening" and "pumpkin carving", and settle disputes with wicked rounds of rock-paper-scissors.

Yesterday we decided to have a "running sweat" competition. The premise was simple, we'd go for a half-hour run and see who was the sweatiest. Yeah, I never said we were normal. I knew he'd have an edge over me with intensity, so I wore black to try to up my game. Half an hour later we met in a Keahou park overlooking the ocean and documented our sweat production.

I think I have to concede the victory. My black outfit masqueraded a lot of sweat, and he looks like he peed himself although he claims that's all sweat.

Swimming at the Pier

One of my favourite things about Kona is swimming at the pier. As soon as Jason qualified, I started looking forward to those early morning swims, and that topic has certainly dominated email conversations between Kiki and I lately! Here are some pictures from this morning.