Monday, September 27, 2021

Weekly Roundup: The Slowest Half


A weekly roundup: the slowest half, movies, and a podcast.

The Slowest Half

As predicted, I made it to the finish line of my 7th half marathon this weekend.  And as predicted, there isn't much more to say about it.  I don't want to say that it was a bad race, but just that if I'd known that it was going to be my slowest half, I sure would have skipped all those scorching hot long runs this summer.

Pros: The weather was perfect and it was great to be back.  The course is a bit different every year, so it was a nice mix of the familiar and unfamiliar.  I achieved my A goal, which was not looking at my Garmin the entire time.

Cons: exactly what I said before, running is a hot mess right now.  My body lost interest in running sometime in the 5th mile, so I had some epically long walking stretches in there.  I saw some people that I knew at the finish and told them that this was going to be my last half.  Instead of closing in on a sub 2:30 I'm getting closer to the 3 hour mark.  Yes there's a lot more than finish time to a race, but for me personally, there aren't many things that I can do for 3 hours straight and call them fun.

I was very surprised this morning when I was ready to run again.  The least time off that I've ever taken off after a half is 2 full rest days, and here I was ready to jump back into it.  Because my work schedule is changing and I don't run in the dark, my top priority right now is readjusting to the treadmill.  My goal was a mile but I talked myself into a mile and a half.  After that I ran two miles outside and felt pretty good.  Tomorrow the goal is two treadmill miles/one or more outside miles, and on Thursday we're looking at 3 treadmill miles which will be my weekday standard for a while until I feel like running longer.

The decision that I have from here is what to do about next month's half - my options are to run it as planned, drop to the 10k, or just skip the whole thing.  Yes in 48 hours I've gone from "with God as my witness I will never do another half" to "wait and see how things pan out".  There's no shame in skipping, and I can do a 10k at the drop of a hat.  With the half we're looking at: (1) will I have more endurance going in to it, (2) if I don't feel any stronger than I do today am I good with another "just finish" effort, and (3) is it going to mess with me/hurt me to have another bad half?  I'll keep you posted.


We saw two movies this weekend: one was his and one was hers.

His: Slacker and yes the trailer is a perfect representation of the movie.


Hers: First a Girl, which is a strange title for the story that we know as Victor/Victoria.  The one about the girl who pretends to be a boy who pretends to be a girl and the man who gets very confused.  It's a silly good time.  There's no trailer so here's one of the dance numbers in its place:

Listening To

As a follow up to my AFI 100 post, I am going to be busy for quite a long time with the Unspooled podcast.  They recap each of the movies in the AFI 100 list, and since they don't do the movies in order, it's a nice random mix.  So far I've heard:

  • Citizen Kane - I liked the episode but have no interest in seeing the movie again
  • Ben Hur - they suggested that the 1925 version should go on the list in its place, and I'm definitely behind that.
  • The Wizard of Oz - ok, ok, I might be interested in watching this someday.
  • Swing Time - they asked the same question that I asked, which is out of all of the Astaire/Rogers movies, why is this the one that always gets chosen to represent?  Yes it has ah-mazing dance scenes, but so do the rest of their movies, the story is really dopey, and yeah the whole blackface thing.  Their theory is that the people who are doing the choosing haven't seen the Astaire/Rogers canon so they just picked one at random.  They also called out that surely there needs to be a Busby Berkeley musical on the list, and again, I totally agree.
  • The French Connection
  • Titanic - they are big fans and their theory is that a lot of people have poor memories of this movie because several critics trashed it and "My Heart Will Go On" was overplayed.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey==>this is one of the movies that I haven't seen but want to and I really want to now after hearing them talk about it.

Each episode is a bit longer than an hour so the fact that I've heard seven episodes in one week says a lot about how much I like this show.


  1. Well done, Birchie, for finishing the half even if you didn't feel like it. That's not easy!
    You can absolutely reach that sub-2:30 target. Maybe a September race isn't ideal because it means training in the relentless heat and humidity.
    It's a good sign that you felt ready for a another run on Monday morning. Your body isn't exhausted and is ready for more.

    I'm excited to see what you will decide to do with your October race! Whatever you decide, we're right behind you.

  2. I have to echo what Catrina said...fall races are tough due to the weather we have to endure to get to the start line. We all have different comfort zones with the weather & the heat is a definite game/changer for many. I’m glad to hear your zest for running is still strong :-)

  3. Congratulations on getting it done! I have to laugh- your A goal was to not look at your Garmin the whole time. Well, that's actually hard! I'm hoping that you start enjoying running again as the weather cools down. I'm glad you have the option of dropping to a 10k for the next one- but you never know. Maybe you'll have a burning desire to run the half again and see what happens!

  4. Congratulations on finishing, even if it wasn't what you wanted. I have no idea what my Half is going to look like. I'm in denial about the altitude profile o:)

  5. Hey, for what it'worth, you finished another half marathon and not many people can say that. So kudos for sticking with the plan! And don't we all say with God as my witness I will never do another half" to "wait and see how things pan out" after every single race? LOL