Friday, February 26, 2010

Humility and Respect

Running has taught me a lot of things, but some of the best lessons aren't the obvious "how to overcome"  typetests but rather learning humility, respect and compassion.
I began running to lose weight and get in shape , both of which are pretty typical goals. At my first 5k, I was an excited guy giving it 100% and feeling awesome about myself and my goals. As a Couch To 5k 'graduate' my goal then was simply to  to run 3.1 miles as fast and hard as I could, with maybe having fun as a backup plan.
So there's me in 2008, wearing cotton shorts, an analog watch, a cotton t shirt, and a windbreaker.
Chafe city for anything other than a 5k, but I was a n00b and just starting out. Worse, I was a n00b and even though I pride myself on being an open-minded guy, I passed judgment on people based on ridiculous criteria like appearances. I remember thinking as I lined up "Oh I can beat him, oh she's a bit heavy, I can totally beat her!" "She's got a stroller, get out of my way later lady" etc etc etc.
Along with my well deserved feeling of accomplishment of that first race, I also had a spoonful of prideful ignorance. It took my next race or two for me to really open my eyes.

I remember training for a race and feeling really good about myself. I think by this time I had also progressed to wearing wicking shirts and in that short time felt a bit more snobbery. Tragic. If only I knew!The first mile I was huffing and puffing and giving it my all when I hear a woman cheerily cry out "on your left!" (Apparently I was weaving) I gave her a half hearted wave and was dismayed to see her fly by with a huge smile on her face, and a sleeping child in a stroller! "You are doing great!" she exclaimed as she rocketed past me, adding insult to injury to me in my foolish state of mind. Next up, I saw a man in (at least) his 60s surging past on my right and shook my head "was this really happening?" It was and it would continue! For some reason up till this point all my running had been tunnel vision, and now I was looking around and seeing what's really happening. People from all different walks of life coming together to go for it.
When I got to mile 3 and had a chubby guy pass me by I was a changed man.
I knew then that appearances didn't matter and that I needed to pay more attention to Yoda.
"Size matters not" 

I learned humility and respect for my fellow runners of all sizes and shapes and learned to not underestimate runners because bottom line, they are a tough bunch!
I've seen people of all kinds put themselves through hell and back in order to attain goals and seek self improvement. Regular people who don't have a chance in the world to win a race but who give 110% on race day, and I salute them all now as a still foolish but slightly wiser man.
It is easy to get caught up in the trappings of one-upmanship, after all self improvement does stir up feelings of competition and the events ARE called races for a reason. I like to say I never give advice, only share what works for me, but let me share a lesson I learned about people.
Never underestimate a runner on a mission. You might just be eating their dust later!
There's another chapter to this saga and that involves the humility of being injured, but that's going to have to wait. Thanks for reading and may your long runs be awesome this weekend!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Zpizza w/ Daiya Cheese Review

Adventures in eating! Here is my review of Zpizza in Roseville, CA after a run. I've had Daiya cheese previously and as far as vegan 'cheese' goes, it's the best stuff out there. It melts, it has a nice flavor to it, and it doesn't make me feel sluggish and awful afterward. The only disadvantage is that a home oven can't get the temperatures that a pizza oven can.When my wife found out that Zpizza offered vegan pies, I jumped at the chance to gobble one down.
We ate there on Valentine's Day so when I got there I asked the girl "have you been busy?" she replied "not at all! It's been very slow" yet when I went to get a fountain drink I realized they were all out of the "lemonade".
I asked the girl behind the counter and she sorta shrugged "Yeah, we're out" Not "oh sorry! We'll fix that!" or anything. I got the same attitude when I told her that the lightbulb was out "Yeah,the bulb is broken"Oh really?

Anyways - /vent - the pizza pie was actually delicious! I'm a fan of thicker crusts, and don't like New York Style pizzas. Goofy floppy pizza with soggy centers? BARF. Give me a nice thick crust!
You want a great crust? Check out La Trattoria in Sacramento A+++ crust - the only one better is here in West Sacramento where I live (because my wife is an amazing cook) but I digress!
The pizza we ordered had pineapples and 'burger crumbles' . The burger crumbles were very sparse. I'm not sure if this is because they ran low on them or if this amount is standard. They had a decent amount of pineapples. With the coupon we found online, the pie was a decent price, otherwise it would be a bit pricey.
The sauce was delicious, very fresh! They also claim it's organic so that's a plus also. I just wanted more and it seemed as though the pizza needed more, again not sure if this is just my taste or not. I liked it so much I asked the morose girl behind the counter to get me a side of sauce and she obliged. If you are like me and love sauce, this stuff is worth drinking on it's own. Yum yum!
The Daiya cheese was nice and melty, and the large is actually large. I couldn't finish it all even though I tried. I recommend this place for the vegan who needs a break from cooking at home and wants a reasonably priced meal out.
Zpizza, please open a location closer to downtown Sacramento- thanks!
Otherwise I have to drive out to the land of gigantic trucks covered in famous stars and straps stickers and calvin peeing on stuff stickers.
Here's my ratings:
Pizza 4.5 Stars!
Service 3 stars!
Price 3-4 stars depending on if you have a coupon.
Location? 1 star - I don't like driving too far!

Eat lots! You need the fuel.
PS If you aren't local to Sacramento and want to eat 100% vegan Daiya make sure to ASK them first.
They don't use Daiya at all the locations! I'm sorta lazy on the vegan scale but for you next level herbivores, I don't want you to be led astray. Ask first ! :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Top 10 Signs I'm Obsessed with Running

Top 10 ways to prove you are obsessed with running, here are mine!

- You've watched and re-watched "The Spirit of the Marathon" multiple times, yet still root for Deena and Lori near the end.

- Your netflix queue has multiple running movies on it.

- You are on Dailymile, Facebook and Twitter and STILL find new ways to talk to runners about - running.

- You have enough tech shirts to outfit the Duggar family, yet you still check them out each time you are in that sporting goods store.

- When you see the words IT you don't think Information Technology,you think 'band'

- You've gone beyond mapping routes around your neighborhood and town because you can now calculate mileage in your head.

- If you don't run for a good length of time, you get cranky, irritable, and become downright mean!

- You have a drawer dedicated to race shirts.

- You've experimented with every "goo" product out there.

and my final sign for me, and a personal Happy Valentines Day shout out to my coach, running partner and team captain - my wife :)

- Your valentine plans consist of going to fleet feet to get fitted, followed by a romantic carb filled brunch afterward (yes, I am excited about this weekend!)

Happy <3 Day Everyone!