Black Friday Blog

As much as I hate the whole Black Friday shopping thing – I’ve never actually done it… – I’m going to post this here. Links to reviews of some quality products from Orange Mud and SKORA Running. Both companies are having some sweet Black Friday deals and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your desk chair. Check it out:

Orange Mud is giving away free LED lights and 25% off with the code BKFRIDAY14

HydraQuiver Review
Vest Pack Review
Handheld Review
While I haven’t reviewed their wraps, I have had one for a while, and I’ll tell you it’s more handy than you’d think.

SKORA Running is also offering 25% off sitewide. No code needed. I haven’t written a review for the FORM, but I tell you, it’s better than all the others. True story.

PHASE
CORE
FIT

And finally, over at Dead Skunk Racing, we’re having a sale on coaching! We’ll cut all our prices in half if you sign up with us by December 1st. Great deal for two coaches.

A Turtled Stroller and the Jelly Shoe Girl

The other day, in one of the facebook groups I’m a part of, the question was posed “What is your most awkward running related moment?” Awkward was qualified as having to be seen by or noticed by another individual, immediately there went a handful of good stories. (Most poop stories, like the time the tree I was leaning against gave way, were inadmissible.) I stareted to do some thinking and realized that I had a couple. I won’t recant the strange awkward runs from high school or college as pretty much everything I did at that age is now awkward and embarassing.

Turtling Strollers

In the week following the VT100, my feet were too swollen to fit into my standard running shoes. While it didn’t deter me from running, I was taking things incredibly easy and so chose to ‘run’ with the double jogging stroller to the local pond for my son’s swim lessons. The pond is about a mile away, and right on the road, but in order to get to the beach I had to run an extra tenth of a mile up the road to the driveway and then double back. Or, I could just hop the curb, hold onto the stroller down the embankment, push it across a little bridge and arrive safely to the beach. I hate walking so I decided on the latter option.

Previously, I had taken the single jogging stroller down the steep embankment to the beach, so the double wasn’t too big of a stretch. As I approached the downhill, I did as I did with the single – I let go. The tether was still attached to my arm and I would have better control of my body weight leaning backwards than trying to control the stroller as my weight leaned down the slope – physics. Of course, what I failed to realize was the slope has a pitch to it and my 40 pound son was on the low side, also the same side as the tether.

In a sort of slow-motion train wreck, one of the back wheels of the stroller started lifting off the ground. As I reached out to grab the handle of the stroller, it rolled further down the hill and the wheel got higher off the ground. Suddenly, the balance of the weight in the stroller tipped and the wheel went from hovering off the ground to flipping over. Luckily, the kids were strapped in so no one “fell” out of the stroller, but they were pinned underneath the stroller, upside down. My son and daughter screamed mid-flip which caused all the other parents at the beach to witness the flipping. All the while I was in my home-made huaraches, still hobbling from the VT100. Parent of the year right there.

The Jelly Shoe Girl

When we lived in Georgia, I did a good number of my runs late at night. Sometimes I wouldn’t leave the house until 11:30 at night. The problem was that while the city was still alive and well, none of the businesses were open. More than once I ran into the issue of having to use the facilities but having no facilities available, but too many street lights and too many people to find some place discreet.

On this particular evening, I had gone for my run and was on my way home when it hit. I needed a bathroom bad. The house was only 3/4 of a mile away, but that 3/4 of a mile wasn’t happening. There was really no place I could go, so I stopped by the local track knowing that there would at least be a trash can and while it would be lit up, the chance of anyone being there was slim.

As things work, the Jelly Shoe Girl was there. I never talked to her, but I did bump into her a few times at the track. She would run a handful of laps, walk a bit, then run some more. She was a runner, but wore jelly shoes, and jean shorts. She didn’t look the part at all. We made eye contact a few times, but she had an edge of wariness to her.

I approached the track and saw her running her laps. There was nothing I could do: if I turned around, there would be a mess on the road, at least here it would be contained. As I shuffled towards the trashcan I noticed a t-shirt that had been there the night before. I gingerly squatted as little as possible to pick it up and continued my shuffle to the trashcan. I tied the arms together to make a kind of bag, the type you might see on a horse in the city. I tried to pull the trashcan into the shadows, but there is no doubt she saw what happened. There’s also no doubt the security cameras at the track (it was a private school in a rough area)didn’t see what happened.

Indoor Laps

I’m kind of in the ‘planning-for-2015’ mode, but haven’t gone all out yet. I have some key races in mind, but a lot depends on the Achilles and how it’s recovering. Of course it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped running. I still train lightly and have been perusing the race listings.

One of the problems with New England is that the winter has next to zero races. There’s a few frozen 5ks here or there but for the most part it’s a snow shoe race or a XC ski race. Not my thing. (There’s also the Winter Wild Series, which I think I’ll try out this winter.) The other day, I was turned onto the Arena Attack event happening down in Hartford, CT. There’s a handful of events happening at the Arena Attack, including a half-marathon, a marathon relay and a marathon.

Unfortunately, I was too late for the marathon, and all that’s left are slots in the half-marathon race. I emailed the RD and have had my name put on the wait list – #7 – not too bad, but as I perused the open slots, I noticed that the 11:15 half-marathon had a three hour time limit (the earlier one was a 2:10 time limit). Of course my wheels start turning, and I asked the RD if I could use the entire three hour time limit to run a marathon. He replied and told me I could, and that he’d feel hard up making me stop at 3:00 if I only had a little bit to go, but he can’t give me too much extra time because vendors will start charging. How awesome is that!?! I have no plan of taking anymore than three hours. If I hit the marathon in three, awesome, if not, it’s no big deal. The plan is to use this as my first real long run and sort of a test run (to see how a 3:00 marathon feels) once I’m back from the off-season. 130 laps, here I come!