Winter is also truly upon us, but we've been fortunate enough to not get any snow here yet. My main running path is only seasonally maintained so I'm hoping any accumulation stays away for awhile, but this is Michigan, so I better start devising some alternative routes fast! I tried to hold out yesterday and wear a lighter jacket on my run, and while I didn't feel cold while running, my core was extremely cold to the touch until after I took a hot shower. I'm no doctor, but that's probably a bit not good.
Since this talk of snow is getting me a bit down, let's talk about some warmer places first!
1. The female winner of the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon was DQ'ed following an investigation that proved her splits were physically impossible.
I like to think I'm actually okay with numbers, and a 47-ish half marathon doesn't add up for me. (I ran it through my adding machine and everything.) It's important to note the men's half record is 58:23, held by Zersenay Tadese. The women's half record is a much "slower" 65:12, run by Florence Kiplagat. (Side note - I had no idea women had yet to break the hour mark in the half!)
It's obvious from the preponderance of evidence that the woman is lying through her teeth, so I think it's hilarious that she's sticking to such a ridiculous cover story (six minute PR my ass). I also greatly appreciate that Runner's World used Athlinks to find her old race results, as this is my favorite of verifying what people tell me about their PRs. I always chuckle when I find a fibber.
2. I set an unofficial half PR this weekend on my long run.
Speaking of half marathons, I ran a PR at the half distance on my 15 mile training run on Saturday. (Other than on my Garmin, I don't count this as an actual PR.) I accomplished this with the very strategic technique of only having ever run two halfs - my first, which was in very hilly and icy conditions, and my second, which was on technical trails and had killer bees.
But I think this "PR" is really important to note because it shows how far I've come in less than two years of distance running. Sometimes when I'm sitting around having a pity party because I'm so slow, this kind of thing helps put it in perspective. When I ran a 2:24 in February 2013, I really gave the race everything, and even turned in some excellent negative splits. I didn't collapse at the finish or anything dramatic like that, but I was pretty spent.
This past Saturday I ran a 2:23 - and then ran two more miles at the same pace. I was ready for a shower and a nap afterwards, but I wasn't destroyed. In fact, I probably would've felt quite comfortable if I had stopped at just 13 miles. My progress might be slow, but it's still progress!
3. Rita Jeptoo was caught doping.
I suppose if my progress is still too slow for my liking, I can take the Rita Jeptoo route and dope. (Just kidding - that is stupid.)
She has requested her B-sample be tested, but let's be real here. Still not a doctor, but I find it hard to believe that a blood sample could accidentally test positive for EPO. It's not like you pick that stuff up in the street. Runner's World predicts no major marathons will want her either way, which I think is good. There shouldn't be any room for cheaters in our sport.
4. Runners raced a SEPTA bus and won.
The first point that needs to be made is SEPTA is a horrible acronym and just makes me think of the word septic. But knowing what I know about public transportation, maybe this is a fairly accurate association. Either way, SEPTA operates in Philly and was taken on by a group of 50 runners.
Unfortunately the coverage does not indicate how much the runners beat the bus by, but I highly appreciate that the person live-tweeting from the bus dubbed himself Team Bus. Can I call myself Team Bus on days I feel like I've been hit by one? This is a serious question.
5. Brady Hoke likes to clap.
I didn't have any Tolkien things to share this week, so I will instead badger you with Big Ten football. Whatever your feelings on UM football or Brady Hoke, we can all agree the man claps excessively and inappropriately. If you need a boost to make it to the weekend, I advise you to check out this fantastic website. Do it for the lolz.
Do you ever look back on your improvement as a runner?
Who is your favorite hilarious sports figure?