A Snowy Run

Alarm off. Running pants, long sleeve NYC shirt, a second sleeveless running shirt, hooded sweatshirt, running gloves, ear warmers and a beanie on top of it. And finally, snow shoes. Wait, I don't own snow shoes. Anyone have tennis rackets and some duct tape? No? Ok, my trusty Asics will have to do. Grab my water belt, Garmin and I'm ready to go.

I don't know if that is over-dressed or under prepared and there is only one way to find out. I almost slip on the way out the door and consider that this may be a nightmare waiting to happen. But, I know I just have to get to the road where snow won't be a problem. A hundred or so feet more and I hope I am now in the clear.

I run in the Bay Area (in California) where snow isn't an issue. Im used to 50 degrees being cold, requiring gloves and 5 mins of complaining about how cold it is before our group run. Once I get out to the street it takes me a few steps to get the blood flowing. I wind a few curves and climb some rolling hills, which comes with the territory on a side mountain road and start to breathe heavier than normal. I can see altitude will be an issue today, but it makes me a stronger runner, right? Now I can race with the elites after some training at altitude. (insert sarcasm) After awhwile, I check my watch to see how far I've gone and all of a sudden, .4 miles doesnt seem right. Can the satellites not find me? I decide to run based on time, rather than distance since my Garmin seems to be "on vacation."

I left the iPod at home since I need to be able to hear cars coming down the two lane road. Traffic is really light to begin with and everyone still seems to be asleep on a snowy holiday morning. But to play it safe, no earbuds for me. The dogs are awake and several come and greet me as I run by their yards. I wonder what they are saying: "Hey, how far are you going today?" I wonder if they are mocking my out-of-sync Garmin.

I hit 45 mins and see that I am estimated to have traveled 3 miles. That doesnt seem right, but it was hilly and I did enjoy a couple walk breaks. I decide to turn around and conclude that a 90 min run sounds pretty good. Besides, it's warm inside and the TV probably misses me. As I head back the same way I came, the miles seem to fly by. But that is always the case. I climb up what was downhills on the way in and see the same dogs who greet me with the same demeanor. "Hey, have you figured out how far you've gone yet?" Nope, still not working. Beep. Now my Garmin AND the dogs are mocking me. I snap a few photos on the way back since it isnt very often I get to run near snow.

As I reach the house, my Garmin reads almost 7 miles which makes complete sense on an out and back where I turned around at mile 3. Dogs 1, Me 0. I stayed pretty warm the whole way, legs felt strong. I would have liked to have logged more miles and got in more time on the road, but getting up and out on a snowy morning was half the battle... so half the distance seemed appropriate.


Runner Cards

I heard on the radio that moms are starting to (or have been for some time) carrying "Mom Cards." Essentially it is a business card that has all vital information pertaining to their child that a mom might want to hand out. For example one might say: Kara Goucher, Colt's Mom. It would have information such as Kara's phone, cell, e-mail address or any contact information she might want to share with another person. It can be useful if you want to arrange a play-date or meet another mom at the park that you would like to see again.

Mom's can also take it a step further by including information about allergies or emergency contacts. The radio hosts were making the case that this can be handy if you happen to run into another mother and are in a rush and don't have time to exchange information on the spot. Boom! Here is my Mom card, let's hang out. Also could be used for sleep-overs, birthday parties, car pool, etc.

Soooo, being the runner that I am, I started to think: "Could this be useful for us, as a running community?" Many times when I'm out running, I see other runners and think, maybe we are running the same distance. Looks like we are running the same pace, in the same location, why not run together? I've chatted with other runners at stop lights or intersections and had pleasant conversations. Boom! Here's my runner card.

Haha. Ok, no one would want to carry a business card for miles. First, it would get all sweaty and often times the pockets are being used for keys, gu, etc. But, it could be pretty fun. It could have extremely important information such as: pace, location preference (trails, parks, roads), iPod, no iPod, desired running times (a.m. vs. p.m.), favorite Gatorade flavor, potty intervals... who knows? We are a picky bunch, we might have to use both sides.

Note: it could come in handy when you run by an attractive runner. I know I'm not the only one that corrects their form and picks up the pace when a cutie runs by. And I run in a group, so I've seen it happen whether it be male or female.


Ode to the Hare

With today being the celebration of Chinese New Year and the beginning of the year of the Hare, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of our famous furry friends.
The Hare
From Aesop's Fables, the hare is critical of a slow-moving tortoise who then challenges him to a race. With the hare being well ahead in the race and confident of his soon-to-be-victory, he decides to take a nap. The tortoise moving slow and steady, takes the lead and wins the race. Possibly the most famous hare in history, we give kudos to his impressive first split... not so much on the second.

Roger Rabbit
My favorite and the one I grew up watching a million times on VHS. Roger, a toon star, exists in a world where toons and humans live side-by-side. P.I. Eddie Valiant is hired to investigate Roger's wife, Jessica, playing patty-cake with gag king Marvin Acme. When Marvin shows up dead, Roger is the lead suspect. Hilarity ensues. I love this movie. From Baby Herman, to Christopher Lloyd as Judge Doom, it is a great film.

Bugs Bunny
Rabbit Season, Duck Season, Rabbit season, Duck Season, Duck Season. An iconic Looney Tunes (and Merrie Melodies) character with his catchphrase "Eh... what's up doc?" has been a part of American culture for over 50 years. And just an FYI, if you are ever lost, you probably "shoulda taken that left turn at Albuqueque."

Energizer Bunny
Keeps going, and going, and going. I don't know why he is always playing that drum, but pink has never looked so fashionable paired with sunglasses. As endurance runners, we are thankful for his oh so catchy mantra.

One of the more famous side characters from Disney's animated film Bambi, he is known for thumping his left hind foot. From calling Bambi "kinda wobbly" to his all important lesson "if you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all," Thumper will always put a smile on our faces, even in a very sad film such as Bambi. 

Honorable mentions
the Easter Bunny, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland's the White Rabbit and the silver rabbit from Donnie Darko.

Kung hei fat choy.