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jay are sea – lots of miles & 10 sided die

Beer Mile

Jan 13th, 2014, 5:20pm
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Way back on January 2nd, I ran my first race of 2014, versus four other guys. We ran a beer mile. Aside from one guy in attendance, it was everyone’s first beer mile. It was Chris’ second beer mile. The wily veteran was forced to dish out advice and warnings to us noobs.

A few hours beforehand, I bought a case of Budweiser. I was embarrassed standing in line at QFC. People do this regularly enough though. Buy Budweiser, I mean. The brand moves a lot of product. Or at least that’s what I’m told. Why should I be embarrassed? Hmm. Should I also buy a pack of gum? Would that make me appear more or less alcoholic? Then the bagger asked me if I wanted a bag for my beer-and-nothing-else and I just wanted to die. “I have a girlfriend!” I exclaimed while hurrying out of the store as fast as I could.

That wonderful girlfriend of mine, Claire, acted as the official timekeeper. Terry’s wife Amélie was also there. Patrick’s wife Katie arrived just in time with their baby daughter Elizabeth. It was 5:15pm and mostly dark when we began. The track did not have its lights on, but the boundary of the oval was visible enough by the surrounding ambient light. It was drizzling, and we were alone, thank christ. We went over some last-second rules about the start/end points to ensure we ran a true 1609 meter mile.Beer Mile Start
After Claire started us, as expected, Evan was first to start running (pictured above…sorta). He has one of those throats that opens up like a Florida sinkhole. On top of that, he can run a 5 minute mile. I thought it conceivable, before I knew first-hand what a beer mile felt like, that he could break 6:00.

Chris was next to start moving, and, as expected, I was last, though I started surprisingly near my brother and Patrick. Soon enough I was in front of those two and gaining on Chris. But then I had to drink a second beer, and the extreme discomfort began. I’d never done anything like this. The liquid didn’t seem to be going down to my stomach. It just kinda sat up high in my chest. Then I started running my 2nd lap and things quickly got worse. Coming into the back stretch…..only FIVE HUNDRED AND NINE METERS into this thing and I was starting to think of DNFing and realized I was feeling those pleasant pangs of “I’m gonna barf” rising. Without really breaking stride, I then threw up. My second thought, immediately after fearing Claire had heard me, was “Wow I feel much better!” I resumed running at about the clip I ran the first lap. Maybe ~80 seconds or so/lap pace. Unfortunately I had a third beer waiting for me (pictured below, sorta).
Beer Mile Mid
It was around here I realized just how poorly the Creighton Boys were performing. Terry’s not a runner, but he’s about 75 lbs heavier than me and in my mind that meant he should definitely be putting these beers away faster than me. I thought we’d be leap-frogging each other during the race. But he wasn’t putting them down fast. He was slower than me, despite my looking like I was sipping a high-end whiskey the way I nursed that 3rd and 4th beer. As I sipped, Evan fucking finished (6:28). I extended a high-five that gave me a :02 excuse to not drink more Budweiser. I also got to watch an inspiring showdown between Patrick and Chris, with Chris ultimately prevailing because he’s Asian and can sprint fast. Eventually I started running, although the chest I’d relieved 300m ago was once again full of beer, so it was more I waddled that 3rd lap, I’m guessing at about an 8ish mile pace. And there was a fucking fourth beer waiting for me. I winced at that thought.

It hurt to drink. My goal now was merely to not throw up right there in front of everyone. Claire would surely dump me if that happened. I succeeded and started moving. On the backstretch, I noticed Evan was cooling down a few lanes over and slightly behind me. I was going to warn him but decided “fuck it” and just let it rip, mid-stride, right next to him. This was a good one too…about twice the volume of the first spew. And once again I felt like a free man. I picked the pace back up, and tried to spy Terry’s location. I’d known for awhile now that I had an extra penalty lap to run; could I still beat him? I hit the home stretch and scanned the opposite side of the track; no sign of him. Then I looked ahead. He was STILL DRINKING. Knowing I had not-last-place wrapped up, I crossed the 1609 mark in 10:58 and then ran a 78 second penalty lap to finish in 12:16. In less than no hurry, Terry eventually finished.

Beer Mile EndBeer Mile End

We all reconvened 1/4 mile away at my house and had pizza. A couple brave souls killed the Bud aftertaste with bourbon or rye. I spent 30 minutes nursing a 5th Bud and wrote/deleted about 15 tweets to the Seattle PD.

That was awful I will not do another Beer Mile for a long time so help me god and jesus up high almighty amen and good fucking night.

RESULTS

Shoeless Joe, and family, meet Jodee Adams-Moore

Apr 9th, 2013, 1:23pm
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Me & Jodee

Recently my brother and I drove up to Bellingham to take photos with trail-runner/artist extraordinaire Jodee Adams-Moore, to illustrate an interview I’d had with her over the past couple months. The scheduling part had been a little grueling, but as with many things, once we were heading back down I-5 S to Seattle with a camera full of images (and a Round Table pizza), I felt the trip was worth it. For readers, I would imagine these interviews are almost intolerable without the visual stimuli, and I was in no way going to publish anything without them. And my brother is too good a photographer, and myself too terrible, for me to do this on my own. The difference in quality would be far too jarring. So my schedule has to match my interview subject’s AND his.

Luckily Jodee was all up for being silly and flexible, so we moved around a lot, shooting in a variety of locales (a departure from all past interviews). Terry and I mindlessly followed her into the wooded (& muddy) trails behind her house. We sat at her wheel as she still had to finish throwing some clay (while I heroically abstained from the Ghost jokes). We tap-danced to David Bowie outside her studio. Then we left.

I don’t get anything for these interviews other than the fact that they now exist*. Terry gets even less. He only agrees to do them cause he’s nice. Which reminds me I should at least go and credit him on those images.

Interview with Jodee Adams-Moore


*Edited to add: Ok that’s not completely true. In a few cases I’ve used this shady “interview” enterprise to simply meet people I’d until then only been able to admire from afar.

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Gorge Waterfalls 50k

Apr 8th, 2013, 9:09am
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Gorge Waterfalls 50k
Photo: Glenn Tachiyama

A little over a week ago I ran my first ultra in over a year. I don’t remember why I signed up for the Gorge Waterfalls 50k, but it was likely sometime late last year. Most likely one of those “oh shit this race is going to fill up in 20 minutes, do I wanna run it or not?” rash decisions we ultra runners see ourselves facing more and more as the sport grows. As the race title suggests, it’s a picturesque course full of waterfalls, and Glenn Tachiyama’s race photos from last year only backed that up. Eh, so why not? The family packed up in the Honda Fit and made a weekend out of it.

Weather was looking great so I felt confident I could live with just my short shorts and a kinda-cotton t-shirt that I personally find quite comfortable and forces people to be impressed by thinking I’m actually sponsored by Asics. Unfortunately I forgot my water bottle, so I was also going to have to live with a brittle plastic bottle from a nearby convenience store. Claire got the parking pass race morning while I got my bib, and later remarked having seen “a really really great ass” in a pair of Lulu Lemon pants. That’s sadly the end of that story; I never saw it myself. But if you were wearing LLL that morning and you’re reading this blog for some reason, it *might* have been you!

I knew I was slightly under trained (esp in regards to trail vs. road), so I was probably the only person on the start line happy to hear that a) the course was likely a little short and b) there was a 2.3 mile stretch of road we’d traverse twice on the out & back. We started and I fell into a comfortable pace. I wanted to emulate my colleague Brett Walton’s strategy of starting easy and then bombing the 2nd half (made particularly simple, logistically, on an out & back course). So I watched Hal Koerner’s et al’s cute little buns run away from me in the first mile. I cruised the first climb, never pressing but also never walking, and soon enough we were descending as I quickly learned this course was much more rocky than I was anticipating. Mile-long stretches of staring at the ground with laser-like focus to make sure I didn’t roll an ankle grew tiring, but I still felt good. Hit the first aid in 1:01 and heard I was 8 minutes back of the leader. Alone now, the course rolled me along. I felt pretty decent on the short climbs and just tried to keep it easy on the flats while remaining upright on the downs. Soon enough I caught up to Phil Kochik and soon we were on the 2+ mile road, discussing LLL pants among other things. I hit the turnaround seconds in front of him (1:56…hmm, despite how “easy” I tried to take it, I was not anticipating breaking 4 hrs), and soon we were back on the 2+ mile road, this time the wind on our back. It was here I think I got a little greedy. I wanted to hammer the 2nd half and that 1:56 had me with visions of ~3:50 or so, which in hindsight was absurd. I was probably in low-mid 6:00 mile pace on this stretch and right before hitting the trail, I caught a 16 year old, who promptly passed me back on the dirt.

And…then I died. The first couple miles off the road are winding narrow single track and it became mentally and physically frustrating to negotiate the non-width of the trail with all the runners still on the “out” portion of the course. We were all polite and civil but I was noticeably tiring now and this was only exacerbating things. The 16 year-old was long gone and the rocky course was now punishing my until-then pampered feet. I hit the aid station in 2:54, still within arm’s reach of breaking 4 hrs, but unlikely seeing how I was feeling. Sure enough, once the return climb started for real on the paved switchbacks, my legs said “enough” and I power-hiked most everything else until we were finally cresting towards the final long downhill to the finish.

Breathing problems and the ensuing side stitches marked that downhill in my memory, but gravity was also helpful and for everyone that caught & passed me, I seemed to catch & pass someone hurting even more. With no chance at four hours, I simply cruised it in and finished in 4:12. Considering how I *wanted* to run that course (even splits), the 1:56/2:16 split looks pretty horrific. Like I said though, it’d been over a year so I suppose I was a little under-estimating (over-estimating?) what “easy” *should* feel like in a trail 50k. When in doubt, slow down even more.

It was a good return though, I suppose. I’d like to run White River again this year, so it was prudent I do at least a tuneup race beyond 26 miles in length, and preferably on trails. Later that day Claire and I walked around a bit and then took a mini daytrip to Portland the following day before driving back north. Recovery has been pretty good; ~35 easy miles and I feel back to normal now. I’m not in any hurry to run any other ultra races before then, but we’ll see if anything looks enticing. I do know I’ll probably be spending a few mornings on Mt Si before WR’s late-July race date, learning again how to climb and descend with a modicum of ability.

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Spaghettios Haiku

Mar 14th, 2013, 3:56pm
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sweet saucy noodles
your accommodating mush
comfort in a can

Spaghettios

Old Hoss 100

Feb 18th, 2013, 11:53am
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Received this beautiful set in the mail Saturday, a collaboration between one of the best twitter accounts around and an industrious young graphic designer. To sum it up: ESPN released their top 100 baseball players of all time a few months back (as well as 25 “honorable mentions”). The genius behind Old Hoss’ twitter account, whoever he is, decided to run through each name with his own 140 character reviews. The results were spectacular. Travis Peterson, whoever he is, took them all and turned it into a beautiful old-school pack of tobacco cards. Then sold them to the first 84 people who wanted them. All for only $18.84 apiece. The size of the cards are on par with those old smaller tobacco card sizes, not your modern day sizes, which was a surprise at first but of course makes perfect sense.

Each of the 84 sets (mine #47) come with five “rarities”. For posterity, the ones in my pack:

Old Hoss Quotables
Miguel Cabrera – “I do not know what a ‘triple crown’ is, but in my day we did not give awards due to a player’s traitorous loyalty to some fetid monarch.” (#4 of 5)
Mike Trout – “In my day M. Trout would be guaranteed the MVP because we only let white fellows play.” (#3 of 5)
The Scribes – “Speaking as a drunken whoremongerer, I hope you scribes do the right thing and keep those PED users out of my pristine Hall of Fame.” (#1 of 5)

The Not Quite Top 100
Tim Keefe – #115 “‘Smiling Tim’ looked rather grim when I drubbed him 3-0 in the World’s Series. I then had relations with his mother.” (#7 of 10)
James “Pud” Galvin – #111 “Illustrious member of the 300 club: 300 losses. Nicknamed ‘Pud’ because he looked like a burlap-clad sack of pudding.” (#8 of 10)

I’m not sure what I want to do with these. The possibilities are endless, even if the care and presentation almost makes me want to just purchase a safe deposit box.

Old Hoss 100Old Hoss 100

Old Hoss 100 #47Old Hoss 100 Side

Old Hoss 100 KoufaxOld Hoss 100 Sandy

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New Year’s Resolutions Progress Check

Jan 8th, 2013, 3:21pm
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Making and soon thereafter breaking New Year’s resolutions is a time-honored tradition on this side of the country. People have been doing it since the 1940s. As God’s children though we are born in sin and suggestible to marketing, and coupled with our oftentimes absurd goals (“lose weight,” “make more sex,” lol), we usually make self-deprecating light of our resolutions, knowing we’ll eventually fall off the wagon but maybe not for a whole week and hey it’s all ok because so will everyone else and at the end of the year we’ll address all our weaknesses again and make another half-hearted go at it.

I am no exception. Ok that’s a lie, I usually am. But this year I went all in with goals. Thousands of goals. I know I wouldn’t be able to hold all hundreds of them, but maybe if I set 50 14 goals, I’d still be holding on to a couple by the end of the year. “Self-betterment” is my theme for 2013. It’s been a week, so let’s get a progress report:

FAILURE

  • Make a “2013=Self Betterment” banner to hang on the ceiling of our bedroom.
  • Speak more Mandarin. Wow Mandarin is hard!
  • Stop unconsciously spitting on people’s fences during neighborhood runs.
  • Listen to more Sum 41, or at least follow them on Twitter.
  • Stop getting called “Hippo” by kids in the High Point neighborhood during my runs :( I have to restrain myself to not stop and remind these kids what they must have forgotten during recess: adult male hippos can be quite aggressive, especially towards humans, and especially especially towards little ratty kids who don’t yet read wikipedia.
  • Drink less Monster and Rockstar; consume way more 5 Hour Energy.
  • Get fewer whiteheads on my chest, or get better at popping them.
  • Smile more often.
  • Quit Facebook.

SUCCESS

  • Listen to more Fabulous Thunderbirds.
  • Smell like a guy who likes watching other guys, preferably without shirts, fight. (pictured below; thanks Terry!)
  • Throw away all my leftover Extenze pills.
  • Not give up on the idea of getting last place in running an XC race this fall for SRC.
  • Become Ok with quitting Facebook.

Pretty rough ratio up there, considering it’s only January 8th. Not all those failures are set in stone though (nor are the successes). It’s an ongoing test. A battle, if you will. A war. I can still quit Facebook. I can still make that banner. I can still move further away from that High Point neighborhood with the kids who think I’m fat.

I’m probably not gonna make that Mandarin goal though.

Shoeless Joe Meets Some Other People

Jan 8th, 2013, 2:39pm
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I don’t right much hear anymore but I still try to conduct interviews with my favorite runners who live no further east of Boulder, Colorado! And then I post them on another sight that doesn’t pay me very well.

SAGE CANADAY

SARAH ROBINSON

Shoeless Joe Meets Greg Crowther

Aug 8th, 2012, 5:22pm
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Oh yeah, I mostly forgot to mention that I did another interview over at SRC! That’s me on the right, after saying something amusing.

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