Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Give and Receive

If you've followed my posts this month, you'd know that this is my favorite time of the year (other than April which is Boston Marathon month.)  This holiday season has been one to remember.  Here's my recap of the best gift I gave and the treasure trove of run and tri gear I received this Christmas.

Giving

Aside from the pair of Tory Burch shoes that were under the tree for my esposa, the most rewarding gift started out as a pair of $45 canvas Toms for my daughter who's a senior in high school.  Toms seem to be "all the rage" at her school and Toms knows how to take full advantage by pimping out and bedazzling the simple shoe into all types "blinged out" footware.  No doubt, there will be a fashion show the first day back to school and  the girls will be comparing which flavor of the popular shoe they each got.

With the idea prompted from my wife, I hand painted the pair of white canvas shoes with a Disney "Little Mermaid" theme.  My daughter visited the "Magic Kingdom" several times while growing up, and say what you will about Disney princesses, she is one in daddy's eyes.

Hard to say what was more enjoyable...painting them, or seeing her expression when she opened them.


Canvas Toms: $45
Paint supplies: $18
Labor: $1,700 (took forever and I'm not cheap)
Satisfaction for dad and daughter: Priceless

Receiving

In terms of my run world, this holiday season has been equally rewarding.  I started out last week hearing that I'd been nominated by #runchat as the "Funniest Blog of the Year."  Honored, humbled, and a sense of reward just to be nominated.  A great early Christmas gift.  If you didn't vote, you can still vote HERE.

In terms of what was under the tree?

For the second year in the row, I got the Runner's World calendar from the in-laws.  As if I didn't already have "running on the brain," this is a great calendar with run locales, run tips, and notable races marked each month.

From Foxfit, I got a new foam roller.  My current (famous) foam roller is sitting in the corner of the family room looking worn out and a bit jealous with the new high-tech tool taking its place.  This one has a higher density of foam, and is shorter than my other so it will be fit to travel!  Also included in my stocking from Foxfit were two of their over-training cremes. #sweet!

For my tri persona, I got a new pair of Speedos and someone must have read my holiday gift guide, as I got a new pair of Balega running socks.  Lastly, I bought myself a new pair of ASICs GT2000's for my upcoming training schedule.  The GT2000 is re-engineered and replaces the 2170 that's slightly lighter yet provides stability for the bulk of the training miles.

As they say, it's better to give than receive, but this year it was rewarding to do both!  Happy holidays to you all..what run or triathlon gifts were your favorites?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Funny Runner: #RunChat Blog Nominations Are Out


"Oh, he was a little guy... Kinda funny lookin'." (Fargo 1996)

I have been called funny looking before, but this morning I woke up to find I am considered by some also to be funny.  A funny runner if you will.

#RunChat 2012 Blog Nominations are out and yours truly has been nominated for funniest running blog.  Did I tell you the joke about the blonde, the redhead, and the runner?

I feel fortunate to have been nominated two years in a row for this honor, and I thought my Mom and her friends were the only ones that read this stuff.  To get nominated last year, I had to throw on a (photoshop) ballerina tutu and write such blog classics (in my mind) as "Why Triathlons Are Like Frat Houses" (#2 At times, you are taking your clothes off as fast as you can, but you're not very good at it...or
#12 you pissed yourself were two of my favorites.)

This year, I dressed up as a woman, stripped in Vegas, and contributed a few self deprecating humorous blogs along the way to earn a nomination.  Vote here or catch a few highlights from this year's comedic run journey;

"Fifty Shades of Marathon Grey;" or Why Marathon Running is like Fifty Shades of Grey. (#3 "sore nipples was the most obvious comparison.)  Best blog comment of the year was from Erica; "I just find it amusing that even as you read 'mommy porn', you couldn't keep running out of your head."

"I can See the Gym From My House;" My faux interview with Sarah Palin on her upcoming fitness book.  Way too much material to pick from. Asked about "Yassos" and "Fartleks," Sarah replied, "Well yahoo to you too there skinny fella! Ya know after a couple of kiddo's it's kinda tough not to let out a little air once in a while when you're out there exerting yourself and all.  What was the question?"

"I'm Not the Ridiculously Photogenic Running Guy."  Also the most obvious statement of the year. "Most of my race pictures all look the same.  Not photogenic guy, but more like Cosmo Kramer when his face went numb in "The Jimmy" episode. "

"Rocky Road; Chicago Nascar Night" A tough yet comical night on the road trying to fit in my training where my hotel neighbors had a different kind of workout. #ahem

"Paul Ryan's  Little White Lie"  An election year and a VP candidate who lied about his marathon time.  Imagine that...a politician that lies?

and

"Love is in the Air, Ten Things to Love About Running," (#4 Chasing women in tights. Women in tights chasing me.)

Thanks to #runchat for the nomination and for all my Mom's friends who read my blog and nominated me.  Vote for SBM as the funniest blog of the year HERE.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Happy P(l)ace

Technically, this violates "Wordless Wednesday" twice as the photo has words and I just wrote a caption.  You get the point.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Orange Thursday: Generations of Raider Haters

A non running post, but appropriate on Orange Thursday.

Growing up in Denver, the Broncos were an integral part of the Godwin family.  I started going to games in the third grade and still have chunks of the old Mile High South Stands in my garage...one of many things I pack rat away that I'm sure perplexes my wife.  Today is a "circle the calendar" day with the the Broncos playing their old AFL rival, the Oakland (moved to L.A., then back to Oakland) Raiders.  My fondest Broncos vs. Raiders moments;

Guards vs. Prisoners

As an adult, I had clients that we took to a Monday night game at the Oakland Coliseum.  We had a limo stocked with beers that delivered us to "Armageddon" prior to the game.  Given that it was a Monday night game, the stakes were higher and the fans had an extra five hours of drinking in the parking lot.  The best way I can describe a Raiders game is the guards playing the prisoners and the rest of the prisoners are in the stands.  We "fake cheered" for the Raiders fearing for our safety and around the third quarter, the guy in front of us turned around and said, "you're not Raiders fans, are you?"  #gulp

Rod Smith caught the winning touchdown late in the game and we quietly moved our way to the meeting point for our driver.  Only problem was that he took off for another fare and left us to watch how Raiders fans react to a loss.   There were bloody fights, bonfires, and helicopters hovering the broken glass sprinkled asphalt parking lot.  We finally got out of there a couple hours after the game grateful to have survived the experience.  The driver got an "earful" and a crappy tip.

The Snake

The ("Snake") Kenny Stabler lead Raiders always seemed to have our number and our cousins in the Bay Area (Pleasanton) would always rub it in as kids.  When the Broncos finally notched a win, we sent a "crying towel" to our cousins in Pleasanton that was literally an old sheet.  We
Run Run Jones
wrote all kinds of "in your face" comments about how we dominated them.  This set off years of back-and-forth taunting.

Heckling Al Davis

After Al Davis pushed Mike Shanahan out of Denver after his brief stint as head coach, big Al in all his Elvis white polyester suit glory showed up for a match-up in Denver.  After hanging the Shannon Sharpe Hulk banner in the South Stands, we stood over the rusty pipe railing that overlooked the locker room door that spilled out onto the field.  This was probably two hours before the game and the field was quiet and the stands were just beginning to fill.  Al walked onto the field and I yelled out, "Hey Al, great move getting rid of Shanahan!"  Al heard me, turned slightly and gave me a scowl.  I think he wanted Ted Hendricks to clothesline me.

Run Run Jones


If you watched Raiders games over the decades you will recognize the iconic Raiders image of Run Run Jones.  George showed up in 1963 as the Silver and Black's equipment manager and I remember him as the guy who always had an ample supply of white towels and regardless of the weather he always wore sweatpant shorts.  Another company I worked for in the Bay Area had box seats at the coliseum which provided a tranquil haven overlooking the mayhem in the stands.  It must have been 1999 when we witnessed Elways Broncos beat the Raiders and again with one of my customers (Joe,) we headed to the Alameda Hilton hotel (long time hotel for the players) for post game beverages.  We got to chat with Run Run and even posed for a couple pictures with his Super Bowl rings.  Another year I saw a young new head coach named John Gruden dining in the hotel bar right after he was hired away from Philadelphia.  Another not so smart move by Al Davis.

Next Generation of Raider Haters

Having Broncos orange run through my veins, I have done a good job as a parent to teach my kids between right and wrong and to hate the Raiders.  A few years ago on a family vacation, I took my kids to visit Raiders stadium in the "off season" during the day with noone around but a single security guard.  I posed (again) as a Raiders fan and told him that I wanted to show my kids the stadium since they'd never been there before.  The classic moment is captured (on the left) as my boys made their mark on Raider nation.

Tonight, I am once again in the Bay Area, but work once again invades my personal life so I will have to settle for finding a dinner location with the game on in the bar so I can sneak away for highlights of what will hopefully be another drubbing of the pirates.  I must have trained my kids well as I got this text from one of my boys anticipating tonight's game;

"What does a Raiders fan do when they win?  They turn off the Xbox."



Hulk Banner at Shannon Sharpe Day at "new" Mile High

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dear Running Santa: My Run and TRI Wish List

Ahhh...my favorite time of year.  In theory, work has slowed down (it hasn't for me quite yet,) and you're wrapping up your last minute shopping, relaxing (before turning up the training for a Spring marathon,) and enjoying the holidays.  If you haven't bought your runner or triathlete their healthy Santa (Kwanzaa or Hanukkah) gifts, here's the holiday wish list from SBM.  Some I have, some I want, and some are more like visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.


Balega Running Socks

As a kid you hated getting clothes for Christmas, but as a marathon runner you have a high appreciation for the "right" running sock.  I've written about socks here before (Fox in Sox, Socks that Rock,) but this is my newest love in the sock world; Balega running socks.  I prefer something with a bit more weight; translation = cushion.  The other obvious variable is the sock's content; cotton = bad, and wool and synthetics will have your little piggies thanking you for not adding too many blisters along the training path. $9.50 and up. (US.)

R8 Massage Roller

My love for my foam roller is well documented as it travels with me to all my marathons and even made Runner's World Facebook infamy.  As a runner far from my 20's, I have had my share of injuries and "aches and pains."  Run over 500 miles in four months training for a marathon and you will be sore.  I don't have an in-house masseuse or chiropractor so having something you can use every day will help smooth out the tight IT band, sore quads, hammies, etc.  The newest "kid on the block" is the Roll Recovery system from runner and cyclist Jeremy Nelson out of Boulder, Colorado.  Tired of "The Stick" and other products that are sometimes more painful than the pain itself, Jeremy consulted with his elite marathon wife and the result was the R8 massage roller.  Elite marathoner engineered...(running mecca) Boulder-based company...nuff said. $99 (US.)

iPod Nano

While I have personally shifted back and forth between Apple and Android for my mobile phone, my everyday running music belongs to Apple.  All my music is in iTunes and Apple continues to dominate the digital music space.  I have worn out many an iPod and tend to lean towards iPods vs. iPhones for my solo training runs.  My previous iPhone was just too plain big and heavy without pulling down my run shorts and the iPod shuffle doesn't give me the playlists that help get me through my runs.  The new Nano is damn sexy...about the size of a credit card and barely over an ounce it packs all the features I need and adds a color touch screen and bluetooth capabilities.  My faith in Santa would be restored if this showed up in my stocking. $149 (US.)
Radar Love

As long as we're building a dream list of gifts, you have to have a good pair of Oakleys for all those training hours in the sun and looking good for your race pics when you log your next PR.  Last year was an expensive year for me as I had to replace a pair lost on a training run in Philadelphia (doh!...I'm hoping I paid it forward and someone deserving is sporting my pair of Oakley Flak Jackets.)  I replaced them with the same exact pair which includes a dark lense for sunny days and a lighter one for cloudy days.  The later helps keep the wind out of  your eyes (which would imply that I encounter a lot of natural wind or run fast enough to create it.)  In the same year, I was fortunate enough to have one a raffle prize from my local triathlon store, Kompetive Edge which added a pair of polarized Radarlocks to my arsenal.  You can't go wrong with either, but the Radarlocks are the top-of-the-line.  They have a much easier system for swapping out between the two lenses (also comes with two shades,) boasts a larger lense, and their polarized High Definition Optics (HDO.)  I use both, but tend to use the Radarlocks for triathlons and my Flaks for everyday use and shorter races.  Flak Jackets; (starting at) $150 (US.) Radarlocks (shown below;) $300 (US.)
Bling is the Thing

I am not a girl, but I have been told that I run like one (not true as far as I know,) and I did dress up in drag for Halloween this year.  In other words, I have no qualifications nor do I know anything about women's fashion when it comes to the run world. What I do know is my virtual run world digs the stuff from Erica Sara Designs.  Using the same logic as the R8 roller development, Erica is a runner trained in fashion, lives in New York, and designs jewelry; so you can't go wrong here.  Aside from her main line, she has the perfect "stocking stuffer" for the female runner in your life with marathon-specific necklaces (Chicago, Philly, MCM, etc) and bracelets.  Based on my twitter, DailyMile and Instagram female run peeps, they all seem to rave about her goods.  She's added cufflinks to her site for the guys out there, but I'm hoping she expands to add some more manly stuff---perhaps "skull and crossbones" with  "I killed it" etched on dogtags. $98 (as shown) (US.)

Zen Living

As I mentioned above, and often complain about here, I have all sorts of aches and pains from training and during a race.  I have raced in Skins (in fact my first BQ I wore a pair,) and tried a variety of compression products.  I am not a Dr. (but I do play one on T.V.,) but I can personally attest to the benefits of wearing compression for runners.  Compression increases circulation and aids in recovery.  In fact, I'm wearing a knee length pair as I write this from my desk.  While there are many to pick from including Balega (above,) my current favorite is from Zensah.  I am currently dealing with some lower left leg stuff so I've been sporting either leg sleeves or the full calf sock for before, during, and after races. (as shown below) $49 (US.)
Sporting Radarlocks and Zensahs at the Denver Rock and Roll Marathon in 2012
Freak of Nature

Okay, so this one is a "little over the top" but magazine wish lists always have something that's a stretch for anyone's budget.  For my triathlete homies out there, here's the one I've really been lusting over; the Tyr Freak of Nature wetsuit.  I've only had three open water swims in my short triathlon career and I've rented or borrowed for each one.  I have to admit, I was green with envy when I spotted some fellow athletes at the Denver Triathlon sporting these bad boys.  You have to put in the training to excel on race day,  but there's something about having the right gear to give you a mental boost of confidence at the starting line.  From what I've read, it's one of the best suits on the market with amazing flexibility and buoyancy while looking just plain bad ass.  Video review from Triathlete.com below. $1,199 (US) (I better only order two at that price.)
Have you been naughty or nice this year?  Are any of these on your list or what should I add to the list?

About Me

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Average guy w/ an above average appetite for marathon racing and triathlons. Ran my 5th Boston in '15. 3:21, 1:29, 19:21 PR;full/half/5K Opinions & wit are mine