super cool september

Miles Run/Walked –  171.26

Miles Biked –  0

Races Run –  1

Miles Raced – 3.1

PRs at said races –  0

Medals earned –  0

Age group awards –  0

New thing done –  long runs with friends!

Blog posts written –  35

Non-race report blogs written –  33

New beers I tried –  14

Books I read –  12

Biggest achievement –  Running 16 miles after having the flu all week.  I felt fantastic.  My runner’s high seemingly lasted forever.  (Well, until the following weekend when both of my runs sucked.)

Biggest disappointment –  Not finding a cool half marathon to do.  Nothing interested me.  (Sad face.)

Things (races) to look forward to in October – Rosehill Cemetery Crypt 5K, Chicago Marathon

How’s the streak? – 856 days and counting…

anatomy of a streak

I get asked about my run streak a lot.  Namely, “why are you such an idiot for doing a stupid thing like that” and the like.  I’m here to defend my streak, while answering the 25 worst questions you can ask a runner.  (Bottom line – I love my run streak.  Don’t read if you only have rude things to say.  Haters hate.)

Q 25.  Are you fast?

A:  No.  Right now, my training program calls for 5 days of hard running and 2 rest days.  Since I don’t do rest days, and haven’t for nearly 900 days, I use my extra 2 days as streak keepers.  They happen on Monday and Wednesday – Monday [day after long run] I go as slow as I want to, lately it’s been around 8:50 average pace.  Wednesday I speed up if I’m not too beat up – been averaging about 8:27-8:34 for the last few weeks.  Again, it depends on how my body feels.  I don’t push it.

Q 24.  Would you rather sleep in?

A:  You read this blog.  You know I don’t run before work.  It’s dark and cold and scary outside.

Q 23.  Don’t you get tired?

A:  Not as much as you’d think.  I actually crave the streak keeper days – the slow running helps speed my recovery and gets all of the junk out.  Call it a warm-up for the harder workouts to come later in the week.

Q 22.  You run outside?

A:  Yes.  Always.

Q 21.  Isn’t it too hot?

A:  It ain’t the heat, it’s the humidity… spoken like a true Chicagoan, amiright?!

Q 20.  Isn’t it too cold?

A:  I know Pete and Kim agree with me here – but BRING IT ON, WINTER!  Like my mother always said, you can always put more layers on, but you can only take so many off before it’s indecent.

Q 19.  Isn’t it too windy?

A:  Sometimes, yes.  In the winter, my face is permanently red and chapped.  Small price to pay, IMO.

Q 18.  You run in the rain?

A:  Yep.  It’s my favorite.

Q 17.  Do you really need more shoes?

A:  At the time of this writing, I have retired 4 pairs of shoes in 2014, and will retire pair 5 on Wednesday.  Yes, I hoard shoes in my laundry room.  But I actually NEED them.

Q 16.  Why would you need so many running shoes?

A:  I wear the Brooks Pure Flows.  I find that my kinetic chain gets out of whack after about 300 miles per pair.  I’ve run 1300 miles this year.  You do the math.

Q 15.  Running is fun?

A:  It sure is!

Q 14.  Don’t you get lost?

A:  I live in suburbia, not Siberia.  So no.  But if I were to admit that I have gotten lost in my own neighborhood, you might want to have me checked for Alzheimer’s, because I RULE at maps and directions.

Q 13.  Do you need a ride?

A:  If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me that, I would have about a dollar.  Which I would spend on a tall boy at the liquor store.

Q 12.  What are you doing?

A:  It’s not weird.  I swear.  Plenty of people do run streaks.

Q 11.  Is running safe at your age?

A:  I should hope so.  I’m only 31.

Q 10.  Isn’t it unhealthy to run so much?

A:  NO!  Especially not if you 1) know what you’re doing, 2) don’t run at race pace or a hard effort every single time.  I’ve been running since I was 15 years old, as in, more than half my life.  I made an informed decision.  But if you need convincing, here’s some science.

Q 9.  What about your knees?

A:  Aside from scraping the crap out of them 10 days ago, they are fine.*

*Still bruised, scraped, and oozing… but fine.  Just fine.

Q 8.  So your knees do hurt?

A:  Okay, maybe a little bit.  But only when I try to cross my legs under my desk at work.  If I flash my chotch Britney style, there’s no problem.

Q 7.  How do you hurt yourself running?

A:  Tripping over things.  I’m the clumsiest person ever.  At this point, Jakre is used to random days when I come home covered in blood, mud, or both.  We have a first aid kit in the kitchen for a reason.

Q 6.  What is cross training?

A:  Fuck if I know.  12 oz curls?  I just run.  And pretend to do yoga, aka fall asleep on the mat in child’s pose.

Q 5.  How far is your marathon?

A:  26.2 miles… thank you, British monarchy.

Q 4.  Do you get bored?

A:  Sometimes.  Then I sing songs in my head.  Lately my go-tos have been Shake It Off by Taylor Swift and Black by Pearl Jam.  I love Pearl Jam, their Sirius channel is one of my presets, but I have no idea why this particular song ALWAYS gets stuck in my head.

Q 3.  Did you win?

A:  Life?  Yes.  Most certainly.

Q 2.  Why pay so much to run a race?

A:  Good question, and one that I’m currently investigating further – meaning, I’m not signing up for anything in 2015 in this time.  It’s possible that a hiatus is in order.  I’m really enjoying running every day, running with friends, and marathon training.  I promise I have not been abducted by aliens.

Q 1.  Why do you run?

A:  There are so many reasons for running, and mine is simple – I love it.  Running is a daily part of my life.  I promised myself from the beginning that as long as my body can tolerate it, I will keep the streak going.  Do I have days where I feel like crap and want to quit?  Yeah, of course I do.  Everyone does.  The difference between me and most other people is that I can convince myself that I’ll feel better after I run… and I’m usually right about that!

I’ve said this before, but this has been a really tough year.  I’ve needed a friend.  When the majority of my other “friends” have flown the coop, running has been there for me.  It might not be the best conversationalist, but it’s helped.  When things became too tough to handle, I just threw on some shorts and a pair of shoes and headed out the door.  I sang, I laughed to myself, I cried, I thought, I wrote in my head.

My point is this – we all have our reasons for doing things.  My run streak is my run streak.  It’s not yours.  Yes, it’s public.  Yes, I put it on the internet.  But you don’t get to judge me for my decision to embark on one… not until you run a mile in my shoes, at least ;)

Q & A with @OrtonPants


Hi guys!  Have you missed me?  I know, it’s been awhile.  Mo is over here freaking out about fantasy football and recovering from her long run yesterday, so you are stuck with ME today.  (I know.  You win.)

I’m back to answer your burning questions!  If you have some for next time, ask away in the comments or tweet me using #AskOrtonPants.

Q:  So is Orton Pants going to have a role in the wedding? Man of Honor? Ring Bearer? Officiant?  – (question submitted by Maggie)

A:  Well, Mo DID promise me a tuxedo t-shirt.  Since Jakre’s friends think she is weird and childish for bringing me everywhere, I don’t think I will have an “official” role.  But I will be there, for sure.  My friend Anne promised to be my plus-1.

Q:  How many hours a day does he sleep? – (question submitted by Susie)

A:  Not as many as you’d think.  It’s not easy being a mogul.

Q:  What is his beer preference? – (question submitted by Susie)

A:  I’m an equal opportunity beer lover… that means I try to drink them all, muahahahahaha.

Q:  How old is he (because he had such good work done, it is hard to tell)?  – (question submitted by Susie)

A:  I’m glad you asked this question!  I am 6 years old, but almost 7.  Mark your calendars, my birthday is October 13th.  It’s the day after the marathon!  It’s a Monday!  And I will be 7!

Q:  Does he get sunburned? – (question submitted by Susie)

A:  No, I do not.  The only vulnerable part is my tummy, and I keep that covered with my super cool Detroit Lions fleece.  Safety first!

Q:  Who do you like in tonight’s game? – (question submitted by Jakre)

A:  New England.  BOOK IT.

Well, that’s all I have for now!  Be sure to submit your questions for next time, and DON’T FORGET MY BIRTHDAY!  Bye!

training sept 22-28 [11]

Training Stuff:

Monday:  1.12 miles (10 min, avg pace 8:56) + 0.40 miles walking (6:36 min, avg pace 16:32) = 1.52 miles
Tuesday:  4 miles w/ Anne, Eric, & Pete (45:17 min, avg pace 11:19)
Wednesday:  1.12 miles (10 min, avg pace 8:56) + 0.47 miles walking (7:54 min, avg pace 16:50) = 1.59 miles
Thursday:  8 miles (1:15:00, avg pace 9:23) + 0.97 miles walking (15:26 min, avg pace 15:56) = 8.97 miles
Friday:  4 miles w/ Jakre (38:43 min, avg pace 9:41) + 0.16 miles walking (2:50 min, avg pace 17:46) = 4.16 miles
Saturday:  8 miles (1:15:07, avg pace 9:24) + 1.04 miles walking (16:41 min, avg pace 16:03) = 9.04 miles
Sunday:  17 miles (2:39:53, avg pace 9:24) + 0.24 miles walking (4:48 min, avg pace 16:34) = 17.24 miles

Total Mileage:  46.52
Total Mileage (month):  164.08
Total Mileage (year):  1285.57

Total Time:  7:48:15
Total Time (month):  26:50:36
Total Time (year):  217:39:07

Fun Stuff:

Something Interesting:
Both of my runs this weekend sucked the big one.  Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the humidity, I’m not quite sure.  All I know is that I have never been so grateful for my watch to beep THE END.  Ugh.

Books I Read:
Timebound (Rysa Walker)
Candide (Voltaire)

New Beers I Tried:
Levee (Ale Syndicate)
Lava Lake Wit (Crazy Mountain)
Citra Clencher (BuckleDown)
Heliostat (Metropolitan)
Easy Jack (Firestone Walker)


fall challenge

I was thinking the other day about goals.  Namely, the ones I set for myself at the beginning of last year.

I am going to fail on sooooo many of them.

That’s so depressing, right?  I know that we set goals to challenge ourselves and to get out of our comfort zone.  I’m usually pretty good at figuring out what I want to do a year or more in advance.  But life kept getting in the way this year, and completely changed my outlook on a number of things.

So what to do when your goals become unrealistic and you hide from the tab that proclaims them to the world?  Set new goals.

I prefer to think of this as more of a challenge.  A fall challenge, if you will.  Some are running-related, some are not.  If life keeps butting in, why not allow it to play along, right?  Basically, if I complete everything on this list by December 15th, I will treat myself to a prize.  I don’t know what the prize will be (most likely the jacket I covet from Lululemon, but you never know).  As always, completion of said challenges will be documented and linked to a new page at the top… because I am nothing if not terribly organized.

2014 Fall Challenge

1.  Finish the 2 marathons I’m signed up for.  – No time goals on this one, just get to the finish line.  Two new blings, you shall be mine.

2.  Clean out my running closet and get rid of 25 items. – Whether I sell them, donate them, or trash them, some things have GOT to go.  My closet is exploding, probably due to my Lululemon problem.

3.  Successfully cook pork chops for dinner.  – They’re in my freezer, time to get busy.

4.  Try at least one new restaurant in Las Vegas.  – We tend to always go to the same places.  I have several on the list to try, and I hope that we get the opportunity.

5.  Read 5 more books in the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge.  – Targeting Middlesex, Living History, Valley of the Dolls, Dr Jeykll & Mr Hyde, and Me Talk Pretty One Day (because I have them lying around my house).

6.  Host a blog giveaway.  – I have a quirky one in the works… like you’d expect anything less from me.

7.  Get a haircut.  – I cleaned out the drain in the shower the other day and almost barfed.  The last time I got my hair did was August 2013, so it’s time.

8.  Run from my house to my dad’s house on the DPRT.  – Good challenge for my 2nd 20 miler at the end of October.  If I don’t get murdered, I’ll consider it a HUGE win.

9.  Finish writing Rory & Maddie.  – This is a story that I started writing in April for Camp NaNoWriMo.  I tried (but failed) to finish it in July, and haven’t really done too much with it since.  I have an outline, it’s just a matter of putting the pieces together.

10.  Reach 1000 beers on Untappd.  – Currently, I’m at 902.  I can totally do this.  I might need to visit Goose Island a couple of times for beer flights!

11.  Set a wedding date.  – For obvious reasons, unfinished things like this bother the HELL out of me.

12.  Fill my Ragnar FLK team.  – 7 people down, 5 to go.  I can do this!  (If YOU want to do this, send me an email to, and I’ll provide you with some more information!)

13.  Throw out old socks.  – I can’t close the drawer any longer, which is super annoying.

14.  Participate in NaNoWriMo again. – I have an idea.  I’m excited.  Is it November 1st yet?!

15.  Reach 900 days in my run streak.

There you have it – my fall challenge.  I cannot WAIT to cross stuff off the list!


do you buy in?

Before the football season began, I heard an interview with Matthew Stafford on the radio.  Stafford, in case you don’t know, is the quarterback of Jakre’s beloved Detroit Lions.  Detroit has a new coach this season, who is pretty much the polar opposite of their old coach.  The interviewer (Mike Greenberg of ESPN’s Mike & Mike) was asking about their new team philosophy, and what he wanted to know most from Stafford was do you buy in?

I got to thinking about how much this applies to running, and my current running situation in general.  I am training for my marathon in a completely different way than I ever have before.  I used to just run my miles, especially my long runs, as quickly as possible, in order to get them done and over with.  That left me SO TIRED.  For like, 16 weeks.  The kind of tired where I just wanted to lay in bed forever and ever… er, although maybe that was just called winter.

This time around, I made a conscious effort to actually look at the McMillan calculator and figure out what my training pace should be.  It was a HUGE adjustment, getting used to running what I considered sooooo slow.  Once I got used to it, I got to see the benefits.  More time on my feet means that if I run into trouble during a marathon (a la Cleveland), I won’t panic.  I do my long runs super early on Sunday mornings, and I don’t require a 3-hour nap afterwards.  In fact, I am actually MORE energized and productive.

Simply put, I buy in.  HARD.  I’m less than 8 weeks away from my goal race, and I just KNOW that I’m going to rock it.  This running slow thing is working.  (So are those hard pace runs…)

How about you?  Do you buy in to your own training, or do you think it’s a big steaming pile of crap?  (It’s okay if you think it’s crap, really.  I won’t judge.)