Things I Hate: Episode 2

You know what I really kind of hate?

Fake eyelashes.

I mean, they’re great if you are in theater and need an auditorium of several hundred or more to better see facial features.  They’re also really good if you are a drag queen and are just deliberately over-the-top about everything.  They’re also suitable for if you have abnormally short, or missing eyelashes due to some medical condition or treatment (radiation/chemo?).

They’re not great for your Friday night dinner.  They’re not great for your wedding photos.  They’re not great for your teenage daughter.  They’re not great because you “want to feel pretty”.  They’re not great for “highlighting your eyes”.

They’re not. You’re wrong.  They look stupid and are honestly embarrassing because… well…

You look like a cheap whore.

If that’s the look you WANT, more power to you, but you could also just go with ripped fishnets, hooker heels, and verbally announce that you give $10 rough wristies and the rabbit hole is $50.

You know what else I hate?

Progress bars.

There was a time when these things ACTUALLY INDICATED PROGRESS, whether it be on a download, a program installation, or a website loading.  As far as I can tell, though, at this point all they represent are the 45 seconds it took a programmer to put those 6 lines of code into an operating system.

In the last 3 or 4 years I don’t believe I have seen even ONE progress bar that corresponded to actual progress on the task at hand.  I regularly see my netflix progress bar go to 99% and then wait for 10 seconds or… maybe a minute… or three, before anything more actually happens.  I frequently visit websites and watch as the progress bar indicates that the page is nearly fully loaded, meanwhile, I see nothing actually ON the page.  Recently, IT reinstalled Adobe on my computer, and after the automated installer indicated installation was “100%”, the IT lady and I were able to have an extended conversation about a dog she rescued, I was able to go to the bathroom, stop by another co-worker’s desk for a quick chat, and sort my 76 unread emails, all before the installation was ACTUALLY finished.

What the actual fuck is the point of a progress bar that is in no way related to reality?

In conclusion, progress bars are utterly fucking pointless, and unless you want to look like you’re an aspiring stripper, ditch the fake eyelid furs.

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Du (by RunningDoctor)

I wasn’t the only one that found the excitement again this weekend….

I completed my first duathlon today.  I mean, it’s not official because I haven’t ordered a bumper sticker or anything yet.  But, let’s do a round of high fives and shots before we get too far into this. *takes a moment for high fives and liquor of choice/liquor on hand*

Run bike run.  That was today’s mission.  Sprint style.

The run was slower than I wanted but about a mile for me was on grass.  My knees and I didn’t anticipate that and I’m sure it slowed me some.  I had to laugh at some inside cosmic joke about how I was running on grass.  But, that’s another story.

 My knee aches from the uneven surface.  I’m icing it, lidocaine-ing and telling it to (wo)man up.  I have no time for this sissy-itis. I have lots of reasons/excuses for not doing better.  1).  GI distress. 2). Being below mediocre at cycling. 3). No sleep (due to a sick dog).  4). A buffet of booze the day before. 5). Genetically crap knees.  6).  Fatigue from stacking up races. 7). A shit attitude from having to wake up corn-picking early after a buffet of booze. 8). Mild high ankle sprain from picking up a soccer game on Friday. 9). No headphones/music.

But, truth be told, I’m ESTATIC with my time.  I was 8 minutes faster than I thought I would be.  I came off the run TWICE as top female (okay it was a small field, but still).  My run times elevated my below mediocre cycle times which was the plan all along. Sometimes I try my best in races and it isn’t enough (like getting beat by 12 seconds by a girl who shit her pants last week). Sometimes, I lay it all out there and it IS ENOUGH.  Like today. SUICIDE PACE. 

That is what I thought about halfway through the bike route, knowing I had drank too much yesterday, knowing that I sucked at cycling, knowing that I was redlining even if it was slower than everyone else.  Any given race day. The competition was faster this year and thanks to fast transitions, a good first run and an okay second run I was able to snag first in my division.  And I’m proud. Even if I would have beaten Betsy who shit her pants last week, I didn’t run well and I wouldn’t have been near as pleased with myself.  These are the moments I live for.  That all that hard work pays off. All that weight lifting that I hate.  All the crap training runs I slog through.  All the self-doubt.  All the sub-par cycle equipment. I was 2 minutes from second place female overall.  That’s bad ass.  I’m a badass.  Right now anyway.  Ask my boss tomorrow.

It isn’t exactly a runner’s high anymore.  A race high?  Maybe.  I’m not ready to swim yet.  (They kicked me off the rec swim team when I was a kid.  Insert trauma here).  But, I’m not ruling out another duathlon.  I’m not ruling out cycling more so that maybe next time I’m less mediocre.  I didn’t start out running well.  I’m not going to start out cycling well.  But, in this moment, I’m willing to put in additional time and see where this journey takes me.  And maybe if I can get better at cycling I’ll give swimming another chance. Maybe.

I’ve met some amazing people through running.  I met a guy today that is doing the same road race I am in Montana in July.  It’s a small world. I’m sure if I start sucking less at cycling I’ll meet some interesting people there too.  And that’s the bottom line.  I don’t do this for the age group awards or the overall placement (although it makes me feel great and I was mildly bummed about Betsy and her poopy pants all last week).  I ultimately do this for the people I meet and the stories. The stories for a life time. SUICIDE PACE.  You gotta live or you gotta fail trying. But, most importantly you gotta make friends for a life time along the way.

I raced well today.  That won’t last.  (Okay, maybe it will because the internet is forever.  But, is anyone going to care?) Friendships will last.  And we are only as good as the company we keep. So, here is to the stories and here is to the people who give a shit.

I found the excitement again.

I raced this past weekend. I did the HFP olympic at Deer Creek.  It was my redemption race.  It’s where I found the excitement again.

Two weeks ago I crashed hard, early in the bike leg of my return to the Little Smokies 70.3 course.  It took the wind out of my sails.  I was fit and ready for this race, but the crash cracked my mental armor.  Sure, physically it knocked some of my strength… but I was strong enough to take it.  It was the mental knock that sank me.

I still finished Little Smokies, but it wasn’t pretty.  I’m not really “proud” of it…  Yeah, I toughed it out, but in toughing it out, I should have been stronger, less rattled by the crash, more committed to myself afterwards.  It was A finish, but not the finish I wanted. It left me feeling empty.  I needed a redemption race. I needed to cross a finish line and be able to pump my fist. I needed Deer Creek.

Redemption Race Stats: PR for the swim. 30:12  Borderline VERY well on the bike. 1:15:36 @ 19.7mph.  While I ran a little slower than I hoped for (1:05:31), my 10k was nothing to be ashamed of.  In the end, I crossed that line (2:57:25) 4 minutes faster than my last Olympic, I got under 3 hours, and I got the Little Smokies monkey off my back.  More importantly, though, I tasted achievement; I found the excitement again.


Today, a friend asked if I was doing the Columbus Marathon (I’m doing either the full or half, but haven’t decided).  She wants to.  It would be her first marathon, and her friend is doing it, so she thinks it might be do-able since she’d have a buddy.  I could tell she was on the fence, and I, still lifted by Sunday’s quaff from the chalice of achievement, couldn’t help but try and sway her:

Do you believe, that you can do something that seems impossible?

Is your heart made full by the thought of the accomplishment?

Do you think that somewhere, deep inside you, is a marathoner, and you’re ready and willing to do the hard work of digging the pieces and parts of Marathon RED out from deep within? You’re ready to then forge those pieces and parts, on these city sidewalks, using the fires of sweat, commitment, and grit, into the incredible and inspiring athlete you never knew you were capable of being?

It’s not going to be easy…. There will be times when you won’t want to. There will be times when it will hurt. You will doubt yourself. You will question your choices. You will cry. You will bleed. You will sweat more than you ever have….

Are you ready to say “I refuse to accept weakness. I refuse to accept limits. I refuse to allow anything to stop me!”

Are you ready to push WAY past the outer limits of what you thought was possible?

Do you have it?

Do you want it? Can you see it?

The finish line….. ?

Are you ready, not to try… not to give it your best shot… not to hope it goes well…. are you ready to go out and rip that finish line out of the ground and take it home with you because it’s YOUR finish line! And this is YOUR race! THIS IS YOUR TIME AND NOTHING CAN STOP YOU!

Are you ready to grab yourself by the scruff of the neck and wring some greatness out of that body?

Sir Edmund Hillary didn’t climb Mt. Everest because he thought “maybe I can”.

Diana Nyad didn’t swim from Cuba to Key West, at the age of 60, by telling herself she “might be able to”.

Jesse Owens didn’t shatter Hitler’s myth of aryan supremacy in the 1936 Olympics by “giving it a shot“.

They showed up on the appointed day, just like you are going to, and didn’t ask, but rather MADE those achievements yield to them. They came with one goal and no doubts in mind. They bent the rigid shape of “possible” into their own design.

And when they left, they each walked away with two words.  Two words that no one can ever take away:

“I did”
Will you?

This bike.

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This is a bike for fun.

It’s a bike for dirt roads and gravel paths. It’s a bike to add racks to and go on cross country bike camping trips. It’s a bike for towing a trailer full of kids or dogs to the park. It’s a bike to strap a cooler and a boom box to, and hang out with friends. It’s a bike for getting to and from work or the bar or your friend’s place. A bike for rides filled with antics and hijinks. But also a bike for rides filled with beautiful scenery and reflection.

It’s not a bike for racing. It’s not a bike for speeding through singletrack hiking trails. It’s not a bike for going as fast as I possibly can. It’s not a bike for nostalgia.

It’s a bike for when it’s snowing just a bit. It’s a bike for getting groceries. A bike for rainy days. It’s a bike for getting dirty and having a smile on your face. A bike for riding a little… or a lot longer than you planned. It’s a bike for getting a taste of the childhood days when you didn’t have routes or a training plan, you just rode bikes.

This bike is a bike for unplanned expeditions. This is a bike for adventures out in our big beautiful world.

This is a bike for fun.

This bike is now my bike.

Things I hate: Episode 1

These will not be in order, but they WILL be things I hate.

I hate:

The word “bougie”.  If you write this word, in this way, you’re an idiot.  THERE’S A FUCKING “R” IN THE WORD!  Bourgeoisie.  Yes, it’s harder to spell than the average word. But if a word is too hard to spell, maybe you shouldn’t use it?  Furthermore, there’s already a shortened version of the word that you can use.  Bourgeois… it’s been around for quite some time. GET IT TOGETHER, ASS-BANANAS!

When people start at the front of the corral or in one of the first corrals, and walk.  There’s a reason they have corrals, and it’s not for you and your stroller to hold up the thousands of people behind you that came to run. I don’t have a problem with people walking… I have a problem with people walking at the FRONT of a RACE… where people are there to RACE, since that’s why people go to races, jackoff.

When I ask for no pickle and there’s still a pickle next to or on my sandwich.  First off… do your damn job.  It’s not like I asked for a potato with Mt. Rushmore carved into it or for a double-caff-half-almond/half-skim-latte-with-two-shots-of-caramel-on-ice-and… no… It was TWO WORDS.  No Pickles.  I asked for you to NOT put a damn pickle on my damn sandwich.  Next…. when I’d like a new sandwich, without pickles, the way I ordered, don’t take the sandwich in the back, pull the pickles off and bring it back out.  Those fries are cold now, and I can still taste and smell that nasty-ass pickle juice on my food.  If it was a pickle spear next to my sandwich, DEFINITELY don’t go in the back, ditch the pickle spear, and bring me the same sandwich with a pickle juice soaked bun, you ass-clown.  I’m no genius, but I worked in a restaurant for 5 years and I know that it ain’t hard to put “no pickles” on an order ticket, and then check the food before you take it to the table.

I also hate the word “sitch”.  If you’re writing, tell me, what are you going to do with the 1.5 extra seconds you saved by not writing “situation” out?  I hope it is fucking brilliant, because you sound like you’re trying to be a trendy teenage drama queen.  Shutup.

While we’re on stupid abbreviations, spell out your damn words, people… Acronyms, formal abbreviations, and shortened titles (St., Ave., Ct., Mr./Mrs., Dr., etc.) are acceptable, but U, UR, n, Y, Ne1, RU, and the rest of the idiot abbreviations just make you seem like an illiterate, slack jawed fuckhead.

What am I racing?

I haven’t been writing much of anything lately.

I’m still working on what I want to write about my first marathon.  I have unfinished pieces from 6 months ago that I want to finish.  I need to document some things about my life that I don’t want to lose, but I just haven’t been doing it.

I haven’t had as much time, but mostly I just haven’t had  inspiration.

Part of my lack of inspiration comes from realizing that working really hard to change myself wasn’t an effective way to change myself.  Then of course there is the follow-on that massive changes can happen in an instant, and come from sources you wouldn’t expect, or want. There’s also that the last 12 months in particular have shown me that “fairness” is the biggest illusion ever conceived of… It doesn’t matter how good of a person you are.  Other people will still be shitty, and bad things will still happen.

Another significant portion of my apathy comes from just not seeing the point in communication anymore.  People don’t listen.  People don’t try to understand viewpoints different from their own.  People are just reactionary.  As soon as they hear something that doesn’t exactly agree with their own views, they immediately disconnect from, distort, and dismiss it.   I mean, seriously… Half of what I say or write to people just pisses them off because they don’t listen long enough to get the whole message.  They just decide for themselves what I’m trying to say, and respond to that, regardless of the reality of my statements.  When it seems like the majority of people in the world just want to yell that everyone else is wrong, why bother with writing?

I don’t really have an answer for that.

My case in point is gender equality. Just expressing the notion that a man might have a general experience of women treating him poorly seems to qualify me as a misogynist. Stating that jobs should go to the most qualified person, even if it’s a man, makes me part of the good-old-boys-club. The idea that a woman sexually assaulted me and it doesn’t feel good that it’s irrelevant because I’m not famous or a minor…?  That’s just me whining that my privilege has been taken away.  And pointing out that if the genders were reversed, it would be an open-and-shut case in court?  Well I might as well be saying we should repeal the 19th amendment and women should get back in the kitchen where they belong.

Could you all spend some time looking up the word “equality”? Nothing I have ever said has discredited the plight of women and minorities. I have never tried to claim that institutionalized sexism and racism aren’t brutally oppressive and pervasive.  I have never even tried to claim that I have it worse than any other group of people (outside of saying it’s worse in the dating world for a guy with herpes than for a girl with herpes, and I wouldn’t even try to go 12 rounds on that).

Stop acting like I do. And don’t be shitty when you look like an idiot because with every statement, my entire argument has been that ALL PEOPLE should be treated equally and given equal respect.

I mean, seriously… not that I really think people read this or that I’m somehow going to influence opinions en masse… I have no grand illusions. But I do like to express my thoughts and feelings.  I just don’t know if it makes sense to do so anymore.  I mean, if I’m just going to be treated like I’m an asshole regardless of what I say, then why bother to be anything other than an asshole?

So that’s why I haven’t been writing.

And I also just don’t know what I’m racing.  I’m doing a 70.3 but what am I racing? dreams? goals? myself? other people? fears? hopes? I’m not sure why I’m doing this race, other than as some kind of preparation for a later race and to maybe sort of do better than last time. I’m still not good.  I’m still not fast.  It’s not a course that suits me.  I haven’t made travel plans.  I don’t know where I’m staying. I don’t know how I’m getting home. I don’t even really care what my results are.  I don’t know why I’m racing, other than that I paid my registration fee.

I’m not sure what I’m doing in general.  I am bad at planning. My head is turning circles because of the most unlikely person imaginable.  Yes, despite having basically accepted that dating was over, there’s someone who likes me… and she lives far away, is relatively quiet, and has no relationship experience…. But of course I have no idea what to do because I have shifted out of that mode, I don’t even remember what it’s like for someone to actually like me, and… well, really I feel like I’m disgusting and shameful. Then there is my yo-yoing weight as my stress and anxiety rise and fall. There is no real plan for fixing that, either. My side project is up and down. There have been some pest and disease issues that are having major impacts and I don’t really have time to manage that.

I’m not faster because of YOUR reasons

Lately, a few of my friends in my running club have made either envious or annoyed comments about my improvements with running, especially after having performed so well during my first full marathon (post on that to come). The predominant complaint is that they don’t understand why I am getting to be faster than them when they have been running for a year or two or five longer than me.

In some way’s it’s sort of flattery.  And I’ll take that. I’m proud of what I have accomplished.  But it’s also clear that there are some actual hurt feelings about the state of my abilities, and it’s not just idle chat or backhanded praise.

Since I get to write whatever I want on here, I’m going to write what was going through my head last night during my training brick:

“Why am I getting faster and you aren’t?  Because your commitment to your goals exemplifies what everyone hates about millennials… You think your entitled to being faster.  You think you’re entitled to the gains.  You think it’s a matter of just showing up at least some of the time.

It’s not, and you aren’t entitled to shit.

You’re not getting faster because you’re either just not committed to the process, or you’re lazy. Either way, you need to accept that and quit bitching.  It’s fine to be satisfied with what you have accomplished and where you are, but don’t be butthurt because you think it’s unfair that I’m making it further.

Why am I faster?

I’m faster because, right now, I’m on my bike doing hill repeats, in the pouring rain, and afterwards, I’m going to run, still in the rain.  I’m faster because tomorrow I’m going to get up and run in the morning, again.  I’m faster because I’m not making excuses.  I’m faster because I don’t just train when I want to, I train as much as I NEED to to BE faster. I’m faster because I’m doing the things I don’t want to do.  I’m faster because I put in the work.

I’m faster because when there are opportunities for cross training, I take them, and you don’t.  I’m faster because when I’m able, I push myself harder, and you say ‘I don’t want to’.  I’m faster because when I get home from a hard day at work, I don’t say ‘Today was a hard day, I’ll take it easy tonight,’ I’m saying “Today was a hard day, and it’s not over.”  I’m faster because I don’t have 100 reasons why I don’t do the core workouts and the extra miles, and the extra intervals, and the extra work.

You want to know why I’m faster?  I’m faster because right now, something is oozing out of my foot, my back hurts and I kinda feel like I’m going to puke, but I’m not stopping.  I’m faster because while you’re laying in bed “soo tired”, I’m rubbing the sleep out of my eyes and lacing up my shoes and setting my playlist.  I’m faster because when you go to the gym, you do the exercises you enjoy, rather than the ones that will help you get faster, because you don’t like those.  I’m faster because while you were at a basketball game, I was pounding out miles.  I’m faster because when you were waffling over paint colors for the 4th time in a room you won’t even use, I was crushing hills.  I’m faster because when you were going on your 3rd different date of the week, I was out riding, pushing my limits, and then stretching, rolling, and preparing for my next workout.  I’m faster because when you say “no one cares” about doing an easy yoga class on Sunday morning, I go.  I’m faster because while you were having one more, and one more, and one more, till you were hugging the toilet, I went home and took some vitamins, drank a bunch of water, and got ready for tomorrow.  I’m faster because when you turned around, I ran the extra miles.  I’m faster because when you were too hung over, I sweated it out.

  • I’m not faster because you “have so much going on in your life”.  I’m faster because despite everything I have going on in my life, I put in the work.
  • I’m not faster because you “just have a different body type than me”.  I’m faster because despite being a short white dude with a repaired knee and history of other injuries, I put in the work.
  • I’m not faster because ‘it was just so hot today’.  I’m faster because even though I’m carrying 20 extra pounds of insulating fat and I sweat more than anyone I have ever met, I can manage and tolerate the heat because I put in the work.
  • I’m not faster because you have kids and a spouse.  I’m faster because although I have no help with cooking, cleaning, errands or other chores, I take my bike or run to the store, rather than drive. I do lunges from one room to the next while cleaning. I do 50 crunches in the 2 minutes before I shower. I put in the work.
  • I’m not faster because you have to take your kids to soccer and help them with homework. I’m faster because after I’m done helping my 69 year old parents get where THEY need to go, cut down trees, repair termite damage and generally maintain their 120 year old house, I stop by the pool to make sure my muscles stay limber and put in 45 minutes of the work.
  • No, I’m not faster because I don’t have responsibilities, I’m faster because I DON’T use my responsibilities as EXCUSES to NOT go put in the work.
  • I’m not faster because your “job is so stressful”.  I’m faster because despite being sued by 3 government entities, not really knowing how to do anything in my new roll, and being in charge of $6 million in projects which were 2 years behind schedule when I got them, I go before work and at lunch and after I finish at the office to put in the work.
  • I’m not faster because “your knees just can’t take it”.  I’m faster because when my knees couldn’t take it, I made them stronger by putting in the work.
  • I’m not faster because you have a sprained ankle. I’m faster because when I sprained my ankle, I taped it up really well, wore a brace and kept doing work.
  • I’m not faster because I’m a “natural runner”.  I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.
I’m not faster because of all YOUR reasons… I’m faster because of all MY reasons.

You want to know why I’m faster?  I’m faster because you don’t care enough to work to be faster.  I’m not faster because I’m better.  I’m faster because I didn’t JUST show up MOST of the time… I showed up on my OWN time.  I’m faster because of ME.

You wanna be fast? Either put up, like me, or shut up.  I don’t have time to be slow and I definitely don’t have time for excuses.”