Monday, December 30, 2013

My sister, the self-proclaimed adult

This isn't a real post, I just thought it was funny. 

Holiday season = relaxing family time.
By that I mean, the parentals peace out to the beach leaving me in charge of the 14-yr-old sister.

I am not going for a sitter of the year award here, I really am trying to just keep her alive and functioning. 

Mama texted me asking about Chloe. 

Mama:  How's Midge* 
(Midge is little 5' nothing Chloe's nickname)

Me: She's eating ice cream for breakfast at 11:29 a.m. She can do that now, she is a self- proclaimed adult. 

Mama: Oh! That's my ice cream too! 

Me: She giggled and said, "too late."

Me: She also said you can have hers. Well, she didn't say that verbatim, she something more like, "If mama buys me some ice cream, I'll share. I'm nice like that. Sharing is caring." 

Mama: Isn't that sweet? 

Mama: Have any packages come? How's the cat? Is everything ok? 

Me: I'll call in an hour so I can reassure you about the packages, door locked-ness , cat, and Chloe. 

Mama: You know I worry. 

Mama: In fact, I'd feel better if we went over it 5 or 6 more times.

Friday, December 27, 2013

(almost) Endearing talents of profesh runners

To counterbalance the "why professional runners can't date" I have amassed a list of qualities and talents most professional runners have!

TALENTS USEFUL FOR THE PRELIMINARY DATING GAME (You know, the things that make us attractive)

We are very up to date on the current TV series. Excellent dating conversation fillers. Uncomfortable silence is easily transformed into a who-really-deserves-the-throne Game of Thrones hour long analysis.

Also related, we can marathon a tv series like nobody's biz. Being highly competitive cannot be turned off, and this competitive drive gets translated into marathon watching a TV series with the sole purpose to finish said TV series. FYI Battlestar Galactica will suck in your soul with a minimum 3 week time commitment. Need water cooler cliff notes on the latest cool series? You're welcome.

We can binge drink like college sophomores. Our racing schedule primes us for a binge and fast environment. Couple that with a competitive drive, and that handle of whiskey is downed and metabolized before you can say "Naked wind-sprints in the front yard!" Self preservation is completely eradicated. Want to party hard? Find a group of runners the last week of September. Slow and steady may win the race, but sporadic consumption of large amounts of alcohol wins the fun.

We have at least 5 karaoke performances ready to be put to use. As professional runners, we are essentially performers, and nothing makes us happier than a good performance. If for some reason Bonnie Tyler's vocal chords failed mid concert, and she said, "Quick! I need someone to carry on the show! You, Phoebe, can you do it?" I am 100% confident I could turn around and dramatically rock out to "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

We are card sharks. In Europe, you think we'd be out site-seeing, but that cobblestone hours before race time is treated as lava. Thus leaving plenty of time to play cards.

We have an excellent physique. How do I get this body you ask? Easy! I work out 30 hours a week, 50 weeks a year. Anyone can do it. 

TALENTS USEFUL FOR COMMITMENT (You know, the things that make us useful to keep around)

We are excellent travel buddies.

We are gurus in domestic airports. We know where to get a decently healthy meal in all international airports.

We know never to fly through O'Hare. No one makes it out of there alive.

Time management.

Runners can tell how much time has passed. In The Hobbit and want to know if you have time to eat another box of Sour Patch Kids? We can give you an estimated time frame.

Our circadian rhythms are like a fine tuned NASA space watch. We know what time it is at all times, every time. You no longer have to carry a pocket watch. PHEW. Go ahead, lose track of that time, baby, because I surely won't!

We know where everything is in relation to everything else within a 10-mile radius. This can be easily converted from distance to time.

Financial perks

Most professional runners are poor. Which sounds bad. But most of us know how to make a $15k salary stretch for a year. Budgeting is a natural, necessary thing. Plus, in the words of not Kanye West, I'm sayin' I ain't a golddigger.

The low financial income makes us non materialistic! No need for that diamond ring, baby! I'd be as happy with a blender!

We can cook!

We spend hours a day thinking about our next meal. The financial and dietary restrictions have made going out to eat reserved for special times, thus making us resourceful, excellent cooks.


We can watch someone walk and tell them what shoe and model would be best for their gait. Not the most useful of skills, but maybe, just maybe, I can prevent one boyfriend from suffering plantar fasciitis.

We have a working knowledge in nutrition, weight lifting, genetics, exercise physiology, motivational psychology, group psychology, biomechanics, massage, and anatomy.

Now who wouldn't want to date a talent like that.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sweet Sweet Revenge.

This is my analysis of people who read the last post:

1. Party animals: These people now are under the impression that runners are lamer than they even imagined. I sometimes fit into this category.

2. Runners: These people found the post more relatable than I originally intended. I'm glad I am not the only one married to training! 

3. Non runners who relate: Those whose job is their life. This would include coaches, doctors, and other overworked people. Or people whose job is some type of manual labor. 

4. People who now want to date a runner: This indicates a couple of alarming things. 1. Their life is very tame. And by "tame" I mean boring. 2. They are really really into running. More than profesh runners are. I call them Super Runners (or Trail runners--your choice). 

5.  Runners who were offended and/or don't understand: these jokers have no sense of humor

6. Friends and family: The only people in this category are the people I read the post outloud to . I would like to point out: My mom has not read one blog post!!

Everyone writes a post with the security that "at least I will have one reader, my mom" 

Nope.  Not Lucy Wright. And as punishment , I am going to post a diary excerpt  from my mom: 

 "10 obscure facts about myself--by Lucy Wright: 
1. when I was a born, my dad was in law school in Cincinnati. My mom worked at Goodwill. I needed a sitter so they left me with Ms. Jean, a 70 year old beer drinking, chain smoking gambler. She had one of these portable slot machines that she carried around
and she would take me from one apartment to the next so she could gamble, drink and smoke. My first word was "blackjack'. She used to let me have sips of her beer.

2. When I was 6, Tara Boone and I stole candy from the Handy Andy in Fairyland. When we got caught, I was so nervous that I peed on the Snickers I had hidden in my panties. The clerk told us to put it all back, and I did.

3. When I was in the 10th grade at GPS, we had a male teacher named Mr. Forde. He always sat on the corner of his desk. One day, I put on lipstick and kissed the corner where he sat. He came in and sat right on it and then stood to write on the chalkboard. He had a big lipstick kiss on the butt of his khakis. I denied it.

4. My boyfriend was a Baylor School border in the 10th grade. He moved back to Alabama for the 11th grade and I was heartbroken. The summer after 10th grade, I hopped a bus to Hunstville to go
see him and hitchhiked from the bus station to his house. When I got there I got picked up by a little man named Shorty and we drank beer and sang Ebony and Ivory together when it came on the radio. He dropped me off at my boyfriend's house and I passed out in the bushes until they found me and called my parents. I was in major trouble.

5. I went braless once to school as a senior and the principal made the school secretary take off her bra and give it to me so I could wear it.

6. I once got stuck in an elevator in NYC with Little Richard. He asked me how he looked and I told him he looked like crap.

7. I once represented this guy who got divorced in 1996, and married his ex wife's sister. He divorced her a few years later, and used me again as his lawyer. He then married his ex wives' mother and later divorced her, and chose me again as his lawyer. He had children with all 3 of them. I can diagram the family tree if you really want.
8. I have a phobia about firing people. I had a paralegal once named Fran from about 1999 to 2006, and I should have fired her about 3 days after she started. People used to stop me on the street and beg me to fire her.

9. I sometimes have these dreams that I call "paralyzed" dreams where I dream that I cannot move and I try to scream out for someone to move me. It feels like it lasts about an hour, and to this day I still do not know if I am actually awake and am paralyzed or asleep and dreaming the whole thing. This has happened for as long as I can remember, although it only happens a few times a year. It is horrible.

10. I could be the worst singer that ever lived, and I know it but I don't care. People sometimes think that I think I can actually sing. I like to act like I think I'm good at it."

sweet. sweet. revenge. 

I've got a post for those runner nerds to be posted tomorrow. Consider this a fluffer post. ;)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hello, my name is Phoebe, meet my boyfriend, Track.

Why it is impossible to date as a professional distance runner

Initial stages of relationship...

Guy: Can I buy you a drink?
Me: Yes! I would like a club soda with lemon.

Guy: Want to go out for drinks?
Me: Yes! Except I don’t really drink. And I have to get in bed by 10 or so for a workout in the morning—so maybe something else instead?

Guy: What about coffee then?
Me: Yes! Except I can’t really get hopped on caffeine with a 10pm bedtime.

Guy: Want to go out to dinner?
Me: Of course! Except my metabolism went missing when I turned 25, so I now have to kind of be careful as to what I eat. Sucky, I know. How do you feel about sticking to my DIEt? Did you know beets help your VO2 Max AND taste like dirt?

Guy: Want to go out dancing?
Me: I looooove dancing! But my Achilles has been on the fritz lately, is there anyway to dance without moving my legs?

Guy: You said you like hiking?
Me: I love hiking and outdoors. Mostly from September- November. The other part of the year I can run on trails outside, but I don’t like to do a whole lot of physical activity outside of my scheduled physical activity (practice).

Guy: Need a cigarette?
Me: Oh, you smoke. You're cool and all, but this is not going to work, sorry. 

If by some miracle, I manage to actually make it past the first date….

Me: Want to meet my friends? They are very cool. They don’t drink or go out, but they do enjoy board games. Oh and they will probably want to be home by 9 or so. Catan from 7-9pm. Oh, and our conversations will probably be based entirely around numbers, times, biomechanical issues and other runners.

            Typical runner conversation: My glutes were so tight, but I managed to run 8
 4s in 66 with 2 min recovery. Katie killed it though! She averaged 63s even after 2 weeks of cross training. 

Me: Hey hun. I know we were watching Breaking Bad together, but I accidently finished season 2 today while you were at work. I’m so sorry. I couldn’t help it, and I thought I could lie about watching it without you.

Me: Hey babe. My calves and feet are so tight. Can you give me a massage? I’ll critique you while you do it! You’ll be great. Even if you aren’t great, I will probably insist that you give my legs a massage multiple times a week. Isn’t that wonderful!?

Me: Hey cutie pie, you want to watch a movie tonight. I have trouble not falling asleep though. I’ll probably just watch 15 minutes of the movie, and you can finish it and fill me in! I want to pick the movie!

The long term problems…

Me: Hey baby. I have to go to Europe for 3 months for my job. I won’t be able to call you a lot, and the time change will make it virtually impossible to actually interact with you except via twitter. I will be surrounded by fit 23-30 year olds who all have the same interests and lifestyle as myself. But no need to worry! I’ll see you in September!

Me: Hey sugar. So I need to move next month because a really great training group is forming 2000 miles away. I like you, so if you want to uproot your life plan and follow me, that’d be great!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Professional Running 101

Regular people have no clue what running professionally is.

1.     You can make money running?

Yes. You asked me what I did for a living, not for a hobby. It’s tricky. I know. But if I didn’t make money doing this job, I’d have another job to elaborate. 

A lot of people play the guitar, but only a very few can make money playing a guitar. It’s quite similar.

2.     So. How did you get into that?

This one is a bit harder and would involve a 20 minute Cinderella story of how I went from walk on to National champ and whatnot. I try to avoid this one as it turns into a motivational speech. The whole thing kind of makes me uncomfortable. Who really wants to rattle off accolades? Especially to a stranger who knows nothing of the sport. It just feels a little fake all around.

So here’s what I usually manage to muster up. I hate small talk. Did I mention that?

I turned out to be pretty good at track as a collegiate. I was national champion my senior year of college. Shoe companies approached me to see if I would want to continue to run as a career.  I am borderline retarded at business dealings, so I hired an agent to take care of all the negotiations. I signed a contract with Nike, and now Nike gives me everything I need to train while I try to run really fast in their kicks.

3.     Are you going to the Olympics?!

This one may be the hardest to answer, as I missed the Olympic bid by an arm’s length.
Yes. The Olympic Trials are held a month or two before the games. Top 3 in the US go. I was an arm’s length away last Olympic cycle.

The sport also exists in those 3 years of no Olympics. My main season is from May to September. I race in the US in May and June, and then really gear up for the European season during July and August. The primo races pay well. There is prize money for every race.

4.     What’s your marathon time?
I run the half-mile.

5.     What’s your best?

I’m not sure why this is asked. I could fabricate any time and I’d get the same response. This is where the person works on their “look impressed” acting skills. But I’m never quick enough to come up with anything other than the truth, so I say 1.58.22

6.     You can break a 4 minute mile then?!
Ummm. No it doesn’t work like that. But I’ll keep working!

7.     You train all year?
Pretty much. It is a 24/7 type job. I have some down time, but I am conscious of everything that would affect my body.

8.     Do you watch what you eat?
Not like you would think. I make sure I shop on the perimeter of the grocery store.  I eat a lot of fruits, veggies, and protein. I don’t count calories.

9.     You train here?
I train here in Seattle. I have a training group that meets everyday.

10. You train with people you race against?
This one I actually really like. I could elaborate for days on team dynamics.

Yes. It rocks. Iron sharpens iron. Plus it is way more fun with compadres! And honestly, I wouldn’t talk to many people throughout the day without this organized meeting. Beating each other is not an issue because we care about each other. And in running you can’t stay on top. There are ups and downs, so if you are patient and persistent enough, you’ll have your “up.” Synergy is a powerful tool.

Plus. My success in life is not dictated by a clock.

I wish I had this handout to give to people when they ask what I do for a living. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

What a Beer Can Teach Us About Training

The 7 off season lessons applicable to on season training.

1. You can go hard sparingly, or you can go moderately often. Do both and you are flirting with disaster.
2.   Just because you feel this good now, does not necessarily mean you will feel double as good later.

3. Hydrate.

4. More is not necessarily better.

5. If you are feeling woozy, eat something.

6. Pace yourself

7. It’s more fun with good company. 

My advice: Don't learn the hard way!