chalk. chatter.

July 9, 2010


Le Tour. It’s French for The Tour. I’m totally multilingual, ya’ll.

Back for its second year, we’re not talking about retirement-spurned Lancelot, but the Nike Chalkbot! Graffiti the French countryside with a message that will forever last in history be around til it rains.

The only thing more exciting would be if a fight broke out and a cyclist used a wheel as a weapon. Wait..

Make your own Chalkbot message here.

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wintry. wardrobe.

January 5, 2010

Why do I run? For the shoes, obviously.

While my life coach/personal stylist, Miss S, might be the expert in all things fashion, I can claim the master of all things athletic apparel related. The connoisseur of swoosh, if you will. While I’m quasi-retired/on indefinite hiatus from running, I still like to talk about shoes and all the goodies.

From time to time I get questions about said running equipment, clothing and accessories. One such inquiry came recently from the hambeefjustinsteak lover, ms. leenmcdermott.

1. Recommended training programs for a 5K/10K/marathon/etc.?
I’ve very loosely followed training programs because 1) I hate doing speedwork and 2) I’m generally lazy and never follow instructions and 3) just try to run everyday/regularly and usually that will suffice to run/race fast (for me at least). But structure is always good. I have Nike+, so you can record and view your runs with a plug of a USB port, which is always good for a number crunching MBA type like yours truly. While it’s not as precise as a GPS running watch, for $60 and a much cooler look, it does just fine.

There are a number of training programs out there, as a quick internet search would suggest. Runners World, Jeff Galloway and Cool Running are well known race training resources. Most importantly, find a schedule that accommodates your life and schedule — fitness level, rest days, duration (# of weeks before slated race day), etc. Also, remember that you can change the days of the training program — so if you don’t want your rest day to be Monday, just adjust the schedule to match up with the days of the week that work for you, but generally try to keep the order (you don’t want two rest days in a row). And if the duration is slightly off, say you have an extra week or two before the actual race day, I would repeat the second to last week on the schedule — usually the final week involves some tapering.

And all this is subjective — if you feel good, you can up the mileage/intensity. If you’re not feeling good, you can take it easy for a workout — there’s no shame in walking for a segment (sometimes I’ll get a cramp and just take a small break and then start up again). It’s more important that you’re getting out regularly and building general fitness than meeting a specific pace.

The most helpful thing for a beginner or advanced runner is to find a running partner or group. For beginners, it makes you accountable not to skip the workouts, for advanced runners, it’s a good way to make sure you’re getting your speedwork and drills in. The one time that I regularly did speedwork was for the NYC Half Marathon, with the Nike Run Club, and it turned out pretty well in the end.

2. Clothing
Most important winter clothing: gloves and dri-fit base layers. Layers are good cause you really warm up and you don’t want to sweat — that will make you cold. I always try to dress so that I’m slightly uncomfortable when I start out running — by a mile in, you’ll be warm but not overheating. Here‘s a clothing calculator of sorts that you might try. Generally, here’s how I gauge temps and outfits:
60 degrees + = tshirt or tank, shorts
upper 40s-60 degrees = base layer tshirt, long sleeve shirt, shorts
30-mid 40s = base layer tshirt, long sleeve shirt, long running tights – I always wear long pants once the temps get down to the 40’s, not so much for the overall warmth, but just to protect my knees from the cold. Knee injuries are forever.
Below 30 = base layer tshirt, fleece lined long sleeve shirt and/or wind jacket, fleece lined running tights
Below 20 = treadmill. Hey, I’m a southern belle at heart, especially when it comes to cold weather.

Other FAQ’s:

Favorite shoe: Nike Zoom Miler, circa 2004-2006. I’ve had several instances of this shoe, including multiple pairs that got busted airpockets. Sadly, they only exist now as cross country spikes. I do have one last pair of Zoom Milers still untainted in their original shoebox which I found on ebay that I have been holding onto for the right moment/race. I believe this pair makes six total. Currently running with the Zoom Victory, which was based on the Zoom Miler and launched for the 2008 Olympics.

Favorite shorts: Nike Tempo Shorts. Nike keeps releasing the same short in various colors for the last 5 years now, so I oblige by picking up the entire spectrum — from blue to burnt orange to pepto pink to white hot. If it ain’t broke, buy the whole line.

Why Nike?: Capitalism got me young. Just before I turned two years old, barely talking, for Christmas I asked for ‘Nike shoe’. My mom didn’t know how I even knew what Nike was. In my more hardcore running years though, I simply like the way they fit — I have narrow, flat and skinny feet. And generally, I like their stuff — the fit, style and variety. Just cause I’m athletic doesn’t mean that I don’t care about fashion.

I could write a novel on running stuff, so I’ll continue in future posts..

“as your running email was so nice and comprehensive, i would now like one about google wave. GO.” -KMM


fraudulent. findings.

November 15, 2009


So my friends at Chase Visa gave me a call last week, to inform me that they were shutting down my card, as they feared it had been compromised. It was a little odd, since they called to tell me they were giving me the kabosh, rather than asking if I wanted it to be shut down. But I digress, that’s not the point of the story.

After the rep said that they were putting the card on hold, he wanted to go through some recent transactions to make sure that they were legit. Sure, no problem. But I had no idea that going over one’s purchasing habits with a total stranger would be so…. revealing.

Rep: Niketown in San Francisco on 11/5?
DP: okay, so it wasn’t purely a business trip. At least I didn’t put it on the corp AMEX?

Rep: Walgreens on 11/9?
DP: Hmm.. oh yes, that was the dog Snuggie.

Rep: International Bicycle for [let’s just say a lot of money]?
DP: I obviously needed a new cyclocross bike. Don’t judge.

Rep: Educational Consulting Services for $1.50?
DP: That one definitely sounds suspicious.

I hope being credit card-less will be an acceptable excuse not to buy anyone xmas presents this year. Right?


desert. dp.

July 7, 2009

Egypt! The days have been packed with sand, pyramids, camels named Lufthansa, and some hard time at the pool. Oh, and there’s a NikeWomen store in the building next door. Who knew that Africa in July would be such a success? My only complaint: no bacon. Yeah yeah, Muslim country.. they don’t know what they’re missing.


twin. terrors.

June 19, 2009

The Twins go to DC! Well, technically little J already lives there. The real reason for the trip was to try on bridesmaid dresses for the upcoming nuptials of Big Brother. Turns out, a bridal store like David’s Bridal was everything I dreamt it to be and more:

Average bridal customer

Average bridal customer

The worst part? We had to register our information since the bride didn’t have an account (got her dress elsewhere). Which means we inevitably are on 39473865 wedding mailing lists now, great! But on the bright side, the dresses were cute (& inexpensive), the wedding will be in Puerto Rico, and The Twin bought me a burrito afterward.

After the suburban scare known as Springfield, VA.. we headed off to Georgetown, where I was able to acquire my much-lusted after whale hat from Vineyard Vines!

For professional preps only

For professional preps only

First seen at the Head of the Charles last year, I had been on a mission to get one of my own. The VV store in Copley was giving them away to children last November (I was too mortified to ask for one), but finally I was able to procure one in Georgetown!

Afterwards, we headed back to The Twin’s abode in Columbia Heights, where there were presents for yours truly waiting:

Yes, that’s a WALL-E toothbrush, al paca figurine from Peru, and CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON!!

Next day: Nat’s game. Sorry to say to my beloved Bravos, Nationals Field is pretty much the nicest ballpark I’ve been to (although have not made it to the new Yankee Stadium). Even the recycling containers were awesome.

The Twin demonstrates how to recycle at Nats Field

The Twin demonstrates how to recycle at Nat's Field

The best part? The Presidents race, of course. Like sausages except our fearless leaders and not in Milwaukee.

Abe takes a huge lead

Abe takes a huge lead

But then stops to tear up a Mets sign

But then stops to tear up a Mets sign

George, Tommy J and Teddy all take advantage

George, Tommy J and Teddy all take advantage

But Abe doesnt seem to care

But Abe doesn't seem to care

After the game, the Presidents were out and about in the stadium. I got to say hello to GW.

George really liked my new Dooney

George really liked my new Dooney

And of course, the best president of them all..

Tommy J!

Tommy J!

And this is totally unrelated, but I really like this shirt:

Prey Twin weekend = success.


marathon. monday.

April 23, 2009

How to race a crit. Or, not.

it’s always better breaking at inappropriate times so that the rest of the field considers you slightly insane.” -A-dub

This weekend was a double dose of everything — double the races (cycling and running), double the P rey’s (D ana and J enny). Yes, The Twin was in Boston for the marathon to cheer on CB.

First things first: The marathon expo. Like a kid in a candy shop, it was complete sensory overload. The initial stop was at Nike, of course.

Yes, the LunaRacer are the same shoes that yours truly wore in the NYC Half Marathon last summer. They are light as a feather and look like a spaceship. Kara Goucher wore them in the NYC Marathon in the fall too. Oh, and she’s a 10K runner turned successful marathoner.. should I be taking the hint too?

Adidas = official apparel sponsor = 21 years of marathon jackets on display. Another shot. Pretty impressive.

Marathon Monday: We're ready.

After dropping CB off at the shuttle buses at an ungodly hour Monday morning, The Twin and I went back to bed. After our early morning nap, we took our breakfast provisions to Heartbreak Hill and proceeded to wait for the elites and CB to come tearing down the course.

First came the women:

Kara’s race strategy? “Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait SPRINT!” Apparently the race pace was a little slow (if you can call a sub 6-min marathon pace slow), and Kara took third. Not bad considering it’s her 2nd marathon ever. Ryan Hall took 3rd for the elite men. Go America.

And Chris destroyed the elusive 3-hour milestone by more than 5 min. It should be noted that Chris’ marathon success can only be attributed to the forced watching of The Ewok Adventure the night before (i.e. Prey Twin favorite movie of all time).

YUB YUB

YUB YUB

We didn’t have time to watch the highly anticipated sequel, The Battle for Endor, but we’re sure that it’s being cued up on Chris’ Netflix as we speak.

My cycling race plan for this weekend? “Maybe we can have a makeup marathon party before the MIT crit and then throw drunken attacks that weave and go slowly and fade rapidly.” Yes, I think we have a winner.

Now, wrapping up life as a graduate student and trying to figure out what to do with my future. I am open to your suggestions..


snowpacalypse in seattle

December 20, 2008

Christmas break in Seattle!

Obligatory Niketown shot. I stop in probably twice a week. Hey, it’s right across the street from my bus stop! Totally valid excuse.

Pre! Technically more of an Oregon thing, but I’ll take it. Also upcoming: roadtrip to Portland for another swooshtastic day with my favorite Tarheel. Actually, technically he might be second, after Tyler Hansbrough.

Busy at work.. Celebrity Salvation Army bell ringing. Basketball legend Sheryl Swoopes and Storm mascot Doppler ring it in. Check out Swoopes’ kicks!

Dusting off 8 years of basketball rust and playing on the Sonics/Storm practice courts.

Who said anything about rain and overcast weather? Snowpacalypse in Seattle! Seattle-ites are worse than Atlantans!

Oh, and Sue Bird has one sweet ride.