Monday, October 4, 2010

Join the Club

1st official taper day. I ran. Fast. But, only 5.5 miles.

I’m starting that stupid thing I do where I look at everyone else’s training and decide I haven’t done enough. This is all part of my taper madness. You’ve got Marathon Maiden spitting out 80 mile weeks. Aron is over there doing almost 60 mile weeks at only week 7.

I topped out at 50 miles per week. One time. It’s a comparison fest over here and it’s not pretty. Why do we insist on comparing ourselves to others? it just makes us feel like crap. And it’s not just about running. It’s about jobs and kids and houses and cars and Halloween costumes for god’s sake. This is probably why I give out the full size candy bars. To be the best for once. Did you know that men who give out full size candy bars are compensating for something? I just made that up, but I think it’s true.

Here’s what I tell myself about comparing {source}.

1. Just realize that you can’t win.

Just consciously realizing this can be helpful. No matter what you do you can pretty much always find someone else in the world that has more than you or are better than you at something. Yes, you may feel good for a while when you get a nicer car than your neighbor. But a week or two later you’ll see someone from the next block with an even finer car than yours.

2. Compare yourself to yourself.

Instead of comparing yourself to other people create the habit of comparing yourself to yourself. See how much you have grown, what you have achieved and what progress you have made towards your goals.

This habit has the benefit of creating gratitude, appreciation and kindness towards yourself as you observe how far you have come, the obstacles you have overcome and the good stuff you have done. You feel good about yourself without having to think less of other people.

Good advice, huh? I love #2 especially.

To cope with tapering and comparing, I’m making the best brownies in the world for the second time this week. Featured in the October ‘10 issue of Cooking Light, these babies are to die for.  The tip is adding extra chopped dark chocolate (I added at least 2 oz extra, chopped not melted). Cooking Light did not advocate for that, but I DID.  Also, don’t overcook! I plan on eating many of these and probably hiding them from my kids. Because I made them and they should only be mine and my period started today mid-run and the dog will not stop licking himself. Plus, I have five pounds to make up.

Click on the picture for the recipe and join the “tapering with brownies” club. All the cool kids are doing it.


This weekend was a blur of running, taxiing kids around, and trying to pretend I know how to make in iPod Touch costume (my daughter’s choice). Good news is she only fell over in it once. I had already cut out the arms out of the box, but for some reason she didn’t use her hands to catch herself and just fell flat. Then she couldn't get out of the box. I wanted so badly to make sure she was okay before laughing hysterically, but it was not easy. I wish you could have heard her hit the ground. And yes, she was fine. In other good news, if  I’m going to be a taxi driver at least I’m not this guy (and it’s for real):


Don’t kill the messenger. I just find these things and post them.  I don’t make them up.

After my 18 miler on Saturday, we headed to Denver at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday for the Race for the Cure. You may remember that I was running with my friend Kathy who was doing her first race EVER! I wanted to get her a little gift for the race, so I had a charm engraved for her with the race date and name on it. Problem was, it came in the mail and was so small, I was almost embarrassed to give it to her. Actual size:


I’m not kidding. So little it’s almost a joke. If you order through Inspired Endurance, check charm dimensions first (1/4” x 3/8”).

My family spent a lot of time harassing me about the gift. “Oh, maybe she can give it to her Barbie or Polly Pocket to wear,” etc. They are so funny. Well, Kathy loved it and even cried a bit when I gave it to her. Of course she probably cried because it was so small, but whatever.

At the start (freaking cold). I always have to stand with my friend, Porta Potty. I am also embracing my homeless look with the blanket from our couch at home:


The socks:  


Getting ready to head out (like my new arm warmers?):


Finish line (I’m not sure what that guy is doing beside Kathy, but if he was throwing up, I’m glad I was looking straight ahead):


Kathy did really well. She ran the 5K in 32 minutes!! My first trainee didn’t die!

One last tidbit since this post is already a vomitorium of weird stuff like brownies and Kok and tatas socks.

Have you ever heard of It’s actually pretty cool. You register your Garmin (or any type of device). Every time you run, bike or whatever you get points. Once you reach a certain number of points, you get free stuff.  You don’t have to go to the website every time you run. Anytime you load  a workout through Garmin Connect (which I do anyway) and give it a name, it gives you credit on the site. I mean, free stuff for something I do anyway. I’ll take it. Rewards include gift cards, Element Bars and lots of other good stuff. I’m almost up to 300 points and it’s only been a week.

And remember:

“Winners compare their achievements with their goals, while losers compare their achievements with those of other people” -Nido Qubein

I’m a winner, dammit.


  1. Yes, you are... and gosh darn, people like you! I'm going to try those brownies (with the extra chocolate) and I'm heading to earndit right now. Thanks for the great post!!

  2. I'd need my own address in Loserville if I constantly compared (Ok, so maybe I do it a little, but it's my dark little secret).

    I'm not tapering, but I'll still join the brownie club!

  3. I'm a loser. I admit it.
    I'm joining the brownie club, but will only eat them vicariously through you. I found your 5 lbs, btw, and I need to give that back to you!
    You're gonna do GREAT in Denver.

  4. Did I tell you I BQed on 30 miles/week? Yup! But then I pushed the mileage up, I ran 45 for my second, 55 for my 3rd, and for this one I peaked at 65 (for 2 weeks). You are running your second marathon, you are already ahead of where I was. How's that for comparison?

  5. I agree with #2 too! I know that when I compare myself it causes much more harm than good. We can only do our best, which I'm sure you will do come race day. You're going to do great!

  6. First off - I laughed out loud multiple times during this post. Thank you for that. I love the thought of your daughter collapsing in her Halloween costume. I can picture that & I can see myself doing the same thing...

    I also like #2. I can not compare myself to other runners because if I did, I would be uber depressed because I run slower and I run fewer miles than a lot of people out there... But I can compare this training cycle to my training cyle in 2006 and I feel good about what I've accomplished. And my pace has improved over the last 18 weeks. And I am goign to run 26.2 gd miles on Sunday and no amount of comparison to others can take away that sense of accomplishment!

    Congrats to your friend on finishing her first 5k! That was very sweet of you to get that charm for her, even if it did come out a little smaller than you thought...

    And lastly, you give out full size candy bars? Wow! The kids in your area must love you.

  7. I'm a winner too and even though I'm not tapering, I'm going to have brownies!

  8. That's an awesome quote. Keeping that one.

    I need to take taxi's more often.

  9. Thank you so much for this post. As a newbie runner (I've only been running since May), the only people who I can compare myself to in order to feel good are people who don't run! I kick their ASSES. (But not by much.) I love your blog! Its been very inspiring to me, especially lately as my first half marathon is in 3 weeks. I need all the inspiration I can get!

  10. wooooooooooot taper. and you're right about comparing being major suckage. you are a tremendous winner :D

  11. You are a winner and I love those socks!

  12. I bought the ingredients for those, today! I will totally copy you and add the extra choco!
    You're right, it's hard NOT to compare, especially when you're bombarded by peoples weekly recaps on blogs. But you have done awesome this training cycle and I know it will pay off! BTW, taper blows!
    Nice work on getting your girl to the finish line with a great time!!!

  13. thanks for sharing the earnedt site =)

    love the arm warmers!

  14. tapering with brownies is MY kind of club...
    where'd you get the socks??

  15. I'm queen of compare to others. Hard to change that. Brownies look fabulous and I love the sleeves and socks.

  16. A friend recently said to me that being good is all relative. No matter how good you are, there is someone out there who can run further, longer, faster, more hard core ... you get the drift. We should all be proud of ourvels and yes, compare yourself to yourself is great words to live by.

  17. Great post and something that is often hard for me - but I keep the attitude of a wannabe and it helps with a lot of the person-to-person competitive stuff.

    So great of you to run with Kathy! You are so cool for that!

    No comment on the taxi driver!

  18. I would never consider sharing brownies with kids. They eat too many sweets anyway and we need to teach them good habits. There.
    After certain age you do not want to compare yourself with yourself, it just goes downhill. Trust me on that one. Of course I must have been planning ahead and took care of that problem. Not that long ago I could not run even quarter of a mile. I won't have to do much to be better than that even when I am 70+.

  19. Thanks for the reminder about not comparing - I've been taking it very slowly since I started running a yr. ago. I'm 47 and am more active now than in my 30's and early 40's, for the most part - so can only compare myself to myself.
    My friend worked with a guy called Hung Long.
    I'm sure you'll get the costume right:)

  20. i used to be very bad at comparing myself to others... it's no fun. life is much better when you only 'compete' with yourself, well, to an extent right? i'm such a sell-out for freebies...

  21. Love number 2 :) Enjoy the taper madness!

  22. God I love it when I click through other blogrolls and find people like you. My husband and I started running together May 09. We credit it to not only me losing 70 pounds (he lost about 20) but reconnecting us. I love running and when I turned 40 in February, knew that I was in the best shape of my life. And it's free freaking therapy.

    Anyway, I am going to learn a lot from you and your friends. We average about 30 miles a week but lack the scientific stuff. We just run. I am trying to talk him into a 1/2 because I know we could do it.

  23. You are a winner! I need to tattoo that quote on my left arm by my garmin. ;)

  24. Yeah, that guy was totally barfing. Good thing you didn't look.

  25. mmmmmmmmm...tata kok brownies.

  26. i had two brownies today. i just kept reminding myself i was carbo loading for two weeks from now.

    that said, you are skinny as *&^%# you should eat the whole pan. how do you stay so damn skinny? i'm jealous.

  27. You make me laugh all over my face. I love it. BUT, I have to say, I *LOVE* the Inspired Endurance race tags. I bought one after Marathon #1 and ordered one yesterday right after I finished the Lewis & Clark Marathon. They are understated and classy. People ask about it all the time! I seriously love it.

  28. Glad your first trainee didn't die....always a sign of a good coach.

    Like your post about not comparing. What I find is that we (especially women) have a tendency of taking all the good qualities we like about others and putting them all into one person (who doesn't exist) and then we compare ourself to that person. I like to tell myself. God already has a EMZ, he already has a SU&R, already has a Q, and a Andrew, already has a (insert any name here) so he needs a Adrienne and I've got to be the best Adrienne I can and that's all I can do and all he needs.
    As far as the mileage goes.... I'm more for quality than quantity! If you can accomplish what you like with less miles than you are just more efficient than those that run more. :)

  29. I love to make chocolate chip cookies on long run day the only problem is I totally loose my appetite after said long run. They are still good motivators. Brownies might be better :)

  30. after all these years I was resigned to believe that houses that gave away full size bars were nothing but an urban myth. I'd heard rumors of such houses but NEVER found these neighborhoods when I was a kid.

    I'm still not sure it's true. You might see me at your door this year just to see for myself. ;)

  31. I'm totally joining the taper brownie club! Yum, yum, yum!
    Yay for your first trainee doing the 5k! I don't know how you even ran with 50,000 other people! I used to do the race, but it's just gotten too big!

  32. Those brownies look de-lish! Enjoy the taper!

  33. If we're sharing silly names I'd like to share one I've heard a lot from the Commonwealth Games. Sheila Dikshit! She's the go-to lady in India and I love her name.

  34. How 'bout the Korean pole vaulter that competed in the 2004 Olympics - Kim Yoo Suk - my kids loved that one!

  35. Ok so here goes my very first comment ;-) Just became a follower of your bloga few days ago... even though I confess I have been stalking I mean reading it for months now! Thanks for advice #2 SO needed that today and loved the quote so much I posted it on my fb status :D Enjoy those yummy brownies!!

  36. sometimes less is more!! it's hard not to compare ourselves to others but it's OUR training. do what's best for you.

  37. I baked brownies on Friday, and they were a great treat this weekend! Sounds like you had a fun and very pink 5K :)

  38. Aahahaha, I "LOL'ed" hard when I read about your daughter and the box and falling over. I'm very very glad she's not hurt, but seriously, tripping/falling/wiping out is hilarious, no? (which I do pretty much every day) And then the "kok" thing... HAHA, my coworkers just shot me weird looks. You're hilarious. Thank you for improving the quality of my day :P

  39. if we learned anything from the blogger community in the last 2 days its that we should not compare ourselves to others. we need to do what is best for US and no one else. that goes with training too :) i know its so hard not to, i do it too, but you have done the work and are going to have an amazing race!!

  40. As much as I hate it, comparing myself to others helps me reach for goals I wouldn't otherwise go after. If we can keep our perspective, comparisons can be a positive thing.

    Beth: Just a word of thanks. Since I discovered your blog, I have run races that I would have never run before due to fears or inhibitions. Somehow, I got a lot of confidence from your words. In fact, I just ran my FIRST MARATHON on Sunday AND achieved my goal of 3:46 chip time. YAY! It was such a great experience. You're one of the people that I credit to making that possible. :) Best of luck this weekend.

  41. There are two groups of people who finish a marathon, the first 3 or 4 people who are racing to win and everyone else. After the first handful of people come in, there is a continuous stream of thousands of people that come in over the next 3-4 hours which everyone is a part of, excepting the first few. What matters is not whether your time is 3 hrs or 5 hrs but that you are out there doing it. All you need to focus on is doing your best, the rest will take care of itself.

    There are no good or bad experiences, just experiences.


  42. Congratulations to Kathy! And to you for not killing your first trainee.

    Love the socks! Please,please, please post pictures of iPod costume. Too funny!

    Love quote #2. As a beginner I'm so inspired and motivated by you and other runner bloggers who have fast times or run long distances. But in the back of my mind that little voice creeps in that says I'll never be that good. I constantly have to remind myself how far I've come and to only worry about how to make my next run better.

    You and ol' Chew Kok enjoy those brownies!

  43. Great advice! I hate when i compare myself to others. I'll try and remember your rules. :)
    Also, I took a look at Earndit and I think it's a great idea! I joined immediately.

  44. Thanks for the post. Hey! I'm a winner too!

  45. Don't let those taper demons get in your head! You have kicked butt in your training and you're going to kick butt in your race. When it gets tough, just remember how hardcore you are - you jumped out of a freaking plane!!!

    Count me in for taper BROWNIE madness.

  46. OMG I died when I read Chew Kok!!! haha Those brownies look delicious!!!! yummmmmmmmm

    I will check that website out...seems like an easy way to get some free stuff :)

  47. 3 things . . .

    "Ride In Comfort" with "Chew Kok" are two mutually exclusive statements.

    Wanna compare your training with someone that'll make YOU feel good? C'mon over to my blog!

    Earndit sounds freaking awesome!

  48. Great reminder not to compare. I am guilty of that too often. And thanks for the free stuff tip. Enjoy the brownies and the taper!

  49. Go, winner!

    It's so hard not to compare. I've been comparing myself to Kara Goucher this whole pregnancy and for some reason I keep coming up short. Hmm...