Friday, September 25, 2009

Green Days

I actually accomplished some enviro friendly things at work. But man, what a pain in the ass it is. Seriously. Management jumps on the bandwagon because it makes the organization (or more importantly themselves) look good. But they sure as heck don't want to lift a finger to do anything, and most of the time they are more of a hindrance than anything. This is how a typical conversation goes:

Me: "Hey Mr. Manager, can I do such and such that will save: 1) a bunch of money 2) a bunch of time 3) reduce waste 4) make things reusable, etc."

Mr. Manager replies without every bothering to stop and look at me, "Sure, go for it."

I should ask them if I can have the next 4 months off of work w/ pay to train for a 100 mile running race to see if they are paying attention. I understand they are busy, I am in a meeting with them every morning so I know what the work load is. I'm not asking them to physically do anything though. I'm just asking them to support me 100% as I make process improvements that are in line with the board of director's itinerary. Maybe mention once in a while to their employees that the so called green movement is not really a movement but something everyone from the CEO (who talks of it frequently in the press…greenwash or not) on down should be interested in. The company has all these goals they want to accomplish by 2012. It will be here before we know it and then when time passes and the goal is not met…do we make up a new timeline like other more media intense endeavors? All of this is for the good of the company, the community, and the individual. It's a win win situation for everyone. Stop being so apathetic and help out, do your part, every little bit is welcome.

I know Auden Schedler (Getting Green Done) frequently mentions how hard it is tomake headway in this fight. And I can relate to the fact that more grunts are needed - which is what I am and am comfortable being, but I wish I could just get a couple more people actively involved. Yes, the job we are paid to do is what we need to be focused on because if we do not sell our product we do not have jobs. But there has to be some way that you can become engaged and still do your job well. I don't really spend too much time working on the "green team" stuff, but I feel like I'm making a difference. And I am very thankful for the one person at work that has been so helpful.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

80 bucks DOR? WTF?

80 bucks DOR. Are you kidding me? It's not like I've been living a completely sedate lifestyle the past 4 years. I've just been racing bicycles. Pretty much every bike race is 20 bucks. You may see 25 bucks every now and again. And a lot of my races were 75 - 80 miles. Which last a little more than 3 hours. And bike racing does not get the numbers that running does. Stage races, with 4 stages and about 230 miles of racing over 3 days, with support cars, neutral feed zones, etc, and those were 80 bucks. That makes more sense to me.

I know I've been doing this stuff for a long time, and from the prices I remember paying it may seem like it's been a lifetime. I think the first marathon I ran in Virginia Beach in 1993 was 20 bucks. Now I realize I only made about 6 bucks per hour back then, so I had work over 3 hours to pay for entry. Nowadays the 80 dollar entry is earned in a lot less time. However, 80 bucks is still 80 bucks. Early entry does save money and from the price increase I would assume it is highly encouraged. But please…80 bucks is a little steep. And there are races that are plenty more expensive out there. Which is why I run so few races. I don't want to run with 20,000 people, and I prefer to do it off pavement if possible - I assume a lot of people run for the socialization of the event, which is fine, the more active people the better- it's just not my preference. Anyhoo, the 80 bucks thing is a rip. I wonder if I went to the race director 5 minutes before the start and said, "Here's 50 bucks! Can I run?" It's 50 more dollars in his pocket or to a charity or whatever. It's better than running as a bandit which I probably could get away with, but wouldn't feel comfortable doing. I don't want any awards, I don't want a shirt, I just want to make a training run a bit more enjoyable. Is this contradictory to everything else I said? Maybe.

I think I got soured on the whole entry fee inflation a few years back while doing triathlons. I put a comment on one of the checks I wrote to the Kirkland triathlon stating that I thought their race was way overpriced. The promoter, I think her name was Carolyn or something from AA Sports called me and told me to stay home. We then had a pretty lengthy conversation about everything involved, which didn't really shed any light on anything I didn't already know. The one comment she made that pissed me off though was, "I'm sure in whatever your job is you want to make as much money as possible." Well, not if I have to sacrifice my integrity to exploit a chunk of the population for the money, that's just not my style. I haven't been to an AA Sports race in 6 + years, and don't plan on ever going back. They can time the race, just not promote it. I'll never have a problem with paying a large sum of money to race if the entry actually goes to a charity. Earlier in the year I ran a 5K that cost 30 bucks, which is a lot of money for something that won't even take me that long to run. But 100% of the proceeds went to a great cause, so think that is a great thing. When the race benefits the chamber of commerce or the promoter, that's when I draw the line. I understand they need to make money if that is their only job, but for the same reasons I won't go to a Mariners game I won't do an AA sports race, those people are not getting my money.

I was thinking of running the _________ _________marathon as a training run this coming weekend. But after seeing the $80.00 price tag I decided I would be better off doing a solo run on the Centenniel Trail in Snohomish and pocketing the money. I will just carry some Gus, a powerbar, and some water bottles and be ready. I can also spend a lot of the time running on a dirt surface, lost in my thoughts as I plod along for 3 1/2 hours at 8:00 pace. I also don't have to worry about getting caught up in the race as I know I'm in pretty good shape right now. But this is not my goal race.

Friday, September 4, 2009

70 miles running last week. I didn't even realize I ran that much. And then on Wednesday (9/2) I was ran12 miles, it was about80 degrees and sunny, and I just felt like I had no turnover. Usually on an easy day I can run 7:15-7:30's no problem, but on this day I was cruising at 7:45-8:00's and my HR was in the mid 130's. I was starting to try and figure out what the deal was, so I looked at ye olde training log and noticed I did 70 miles in the past 7 days. That will do it as I'm used to running closer to 45 miles per week.
Plus I don't get enough sleep. I read about how Deena Kastor gets about 12 hours of sleep per day. That has to be the biggest benefit of running for a living. I'm lucky to get 6 hours per night. What kind of recovery am I getting? I'm trying to eat better though and my weight has dropped to about 165 pounds, which isn't too bad. But it's really hard to get enough rest with waking up for work everyday at 0430 and getting to bed at 2200.
Last night was an easy 5 miler for recovery - legs felt pretty good. Today I may just inline skate for 30 minutes and then tomorrow morning run 16 or 17 and with the last 1/2 dozen miles at 6:40 pace. The pace will be adjusted depending on HR and how I feel. The last thing I want to do is run myself into the ground.
Next weekend I need to run a 25 miler. I love the long runs. They are nice and peaceful and relaxing. And I try to run them slow enough, around 8:00 pace, so they don't leave me too wasted.
3 day weekend too. Woohoo!