Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Beat the Blerch 2015 -- let them eat birthday cake!!!

Last year, amidst the frenzied registration morning, Wil and I secured entries to the inaugural Beat the Blerch Half Marathon. All 2500 spaces sold out in about 30 minutes, and a waiting list was started. Cue much consternation, anger, sadness -- all the stages of grief, really. Then a second day was added. It also quickly sold out -- I think just to people on the waiting list. There were calls to stage the race elsewhere -- somewhere back east, or down in California, or something… because it WASN'T FAIR to keep all the Blerchiness here in the PNW.

The race was fun, I ate cake, ate a Nutella sandwich, cuddled with a Blerch, and sat on a couch. It was heaven. But even then, I decided I wouldn't need to jump through hoops again to sign up. That's nothing against the race -- it's just a matter of priorities.

Here's the thing -- I didn't even hear that the registration had opened up… Someone from work posted on our intranet that they had just signed up, and I saw the note a couple of days later. So I assumed it would be sold out. I was a little surprised that I hadn't heard the registration opened … especially as a part participant … but I haven't been particularly active on the FBooks, so it early could have passed me by.

I went over to the Beat The Blerch web site, and was happy to see that new races in new locations had been added: two races in New Jersey, and a race in Sacramento. But then I was (and remain) surprised that they didn't sell out. In fact, as of today, only the first Seattle race has sold out. (Then again, the Avengers Half hasn't sold out yet. People love an inaugural!) If you can't make any of the races, there's even a virtual race kit available with some super cute swag. Who doesn't love a squeezy Blerch!

2015 Beat the Blerch Race Schedule

So, not to get in the habit of pushing races we're not running, but c'mon Oatmeal lovers! This is a fun race! And for the record, the only reason we're not running it in 2015 is that we're heading out to run the Center of the Nation series, and hope to be halfway to Montana when the half marathon starts on the Saturday.

You know you want this action:

2014 Beat the Blerch Half Marathon medal

You can read our 2014 Beat the Blerch Half Marathon race report

Visit the Beat the Blerch website

Or, just sit on the couch and eat Nutella sandwiches. I'm not gonna judge.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Boston Marathon 2015, or why I love my job

Des Linden running the Boston Marathon in 2014, photo courtesy of Brooks.
Today was Marathon Monday -- so we had a viewing party in our Beastro. The Boston Marathon on the big screen, boxes of donuts, and 60 cheering Brooksies watching every step of the way. We were there, of course, to cheer on our athletes, including Amy (Hastings) Cragg and Des (Davila) Linden.

One of my previous favorite Brooks memories was my first Boston working there, when the race wasn't televised or streamed for free, but I paid for the stream and live tweeted the action on behalf of Brooks. I remember a little pod of people gathered around my monitor as we chanted GO DES! GO DES! GOOOOOOOO!

(I also remember an announcer saying that the lead pack stopped at a "refreshment stand" … which made me laugh and tweet about it … what were they picking up, hot dogs and cotton candy?)

This year Desi ran an amazing race, leading for a huge chunk of it, while both Shalane and Amy also running in the lead pack for a long time. The Brooksies gasped when the Ethiopians surged, dropping the rest of the pack. Shalane and Amy never closed the gap, but Des did, showing her toughness. (Which isn't to say that those ladies lack toughness!!!!) Amy ended up dropping out at mile 22, but Shalane ran on alone, and Des ran with the pack. But with a mile or so to go, the Ethiopians surged again, and dropped Des for good. Still, she was there in the back of the frame, running smoothly and looking like a total boss. She ended up with a strong 4th place finish, a time of 2:25 (gulp), and was the first American by far. So yay Des!

It was thrilling to be in a group of people all cheering on marathoners -- and I was thrilled that Rotich (Kenya) ended up winning the women's race. But of course the biggest cheer for was for Des, and they way she waved and smiled while she crossed the finish.

In other news, the awesome Tatyana Mcfadden won her third straight Boston Marathon in the women's push-rim wheelchair division. Again, she wore "Martin Richard" and 8 on her kit. I was gushing to Heather about Tatyana's achievements and how badass she is, and Heather said, "Oh my god, she's your girl crush." Fair. Totally fair.

How great is it to be able to watch the Boston Marathon at work? Seriously, great.

I'm already excited about watching the replay of London next weekend -- watching Paula run her final London Marathon, watching sweet Emma Stepto run at home, and watching the most amazing men's elite field ever. (Really, I need to run London at some point. Possibly the last full marathon I ever run.)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sage Rat Run 2015 -- holy cats, have you seen these medals???

We ran the Sage Rat Run last year -- both the half marathon on the Saturday and the 10K option of the Dirty Rat Run on the Sunday. Both events were fantastic -- really thoughtfully planned, organized, and run. And, of course, AMAZING MEDALS:

 The courses are lovely, the towns are lovely, the people are lovely -- seriously, this was one of my favorite events of 2014, possibly ever. Oh, as a reminder, they have a MASCOT:

Team Wil-Sun with Dusty the Sage Rat

I wanted to run the races again this year, but schedules just aren't working out. But, seriously, you should think seriously about this event. Because … holy cats, have you seen these medals???

This year the medals are pirate themed. Or as they say, piRATe themed. Here's the 6-inch beauty you can earn for completing the half marathon:

2015 Sage Rat Run Half Marathon medal

IT'S GOT A WHALE SKELETON ON IT! IT'S GOT AN OCTOPUS ON IT!!! IT'S GOT A SAGE RAT ON IT!!!! And did I mention it's 6 inches wide??? Awesome. 

Run any distance of the trail run the next day -- 10K, 15K, half marathon -- and you can get this honking Dirty Rat Run medal:

2015 Dirty Rat Run medal

And, of course, if you run both, you get this additional medal:

2015 Sage Rat Run "Rat Deux" medal

I can testify that these are quality medals -- clanky, heavy, brightly colored, and HUGE medals. 

But maybe, you're like us, and you can't attend the Sage Rat Run this year. (Though you should, because it's awesome.)

But for those of us who can't be there in person, we can be there virtually, with their Sage Rat Virtual Run … and earn this gorgeous bling:

2015 Sage Rat Virtual Run medal

The whale spins. Did you hear me? THE WHALE SPINS. SPINS, I SAY!!!! I'm not a big proponent of virtual runs, but I *might* have to run this, because, holy cats, this medal is a beauty.

Okay, hopefully I have you all fired up over the bling. Amusing aside: while writing this post Wil came by and I mentioned the Virtual Run medal. He said, "Virtual run? With a medal? What does it look like?" I showed him, said, "the whale spins" and he said, "Oh, yeah. We're doing that. We're totally doing that."

Bling is a strong force for good, is it not?

Read all about the 2015 Sage Rat Run >

Read about the 2015 Sage Rat Virtual Run >

Register for the 2015 Sage Rat Run >

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My feelings about yoga...

Here follows a transcript from today that pretty much sums up my feelings about yoga.

okay, it's 3:40
I am going to gather up my things and head home
because -- and here's what I am finally being honest with myself about -- I DON'T LIKE HOT YOGA.
I feel as if I am supposed to like yoga.


Like I'm not.. I dunno, cool or fit or committed or whatever, if I don't like yoga.




Oh, Gwynnie.

I feel fine about never doing yoga 

 have less dislike for her than I do for yoga.

Next time I go to Rancho La Puerta, I will do yoga again 

Yes, that's right, I ACTIVELY DISLIKE YOGA.

But that's the only place I have to do it 

I want to like it.
I keep trying to like it.

The hell with it 

And I don't think it's something like, I dunno, beets that one gets a taste for later in life.
(Also true: I did not like beets until I went to grad school.)

I didn't eat olives until around age 30 

I wouldn't eat olives -- except as a pizza topping with lots of other things -- until I married Wil.

Some day you might even come around to raisins and coconut 

right after I learn to love yoga

All at once 
If you come up here, we can drink champagne 
Just sayin'


And then I went round and drank champagne. I should quickly point out that R is devotee of pilates who also runs and rides her bike all over town.

Now, I know people LOVE yoga. I have friends who are yoga instructors. I have friends who do yoga regularly and love it. I don't dislike it because I am inflexible and feel like I'm bad at it, though those things are true. I don't dislike it because once a (former) co-worker turned to me after an at-work yoga class and said -- I'm not kidding here -- "You were really struggling." Her tone was not, "Wow, you persevered" so much as "Man, you suck at that. How embarrassing for you."

I spend my time in a yoga class just dreading the next pose, and wondering how soon before it will be over. That's not normal, right? I want to have done and loved yoga. But I don't even feel particularly pleased with myself for going... I just feel... relieved that it's over.

Hate is a strong word. I don't hate yoga. But I just don't like it. And I feel like it's a moral failing that I don't like it. So periodically I try it again, testing it. Do I like it now? Nope. How about now? Nope. Now? Huh-uh.

Maybe now is the time to say, actually, no, thank you. Yoga isn't my thing. I respect that others love it. Like how others love black licorice or NASCAR or perfume or modern jazz.