Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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The Long and the Short of It

OK, this was from a while ago, but I found it amusing, so I took screenshots with the intent to blog about them and then got too busy to blog anything for months. To put this in perspective, back in October, the World Health Organization (WHO) caused a stir when they published a monograph linking processed and red meat to cancer. The media, as they often do, oversimplified what the report actually said and people went into a frenzy saying things like “meat is as bad as smoking” and then other people tried to explain what the evidence actually meant (which definitely is not that meat is as bad as smoking when it comes to cancer). If you are interested in reading a long and detailed description of all of this, check out this posting on Neurologica. But for a short (and even shorter version), check out these two postings which appeared back-to-back in my Facebook feed. The first one is in two screen shots, because it was pretty long (for a Facebook posting):

From Facebook

From Facebook

Which was then followed immediately by this one, which made me laugh:

From Facebook

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Race Medal Pinterest Board

OK, one last thing about race medals. A blog reader who knows of my love of race medals directed me to this Pinterest page of awesome race medals! If you love race medals, you should check it out!

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Race Medal Inflation

As you know, I’m rather addicted to race medals. And since I started racing in 2007, there’s been a considerable amount of what I’m calling race medal inflation. Race medal inflation has occurred both in the number of medals being offered and in the size of medals.

Medals have gotten considerably bigger over the years. Case in point: The medal on the left is from the 2007 BMO Vancouver half marathon and the one on the right is form the 2015 version of the same race:

Vancouver BMO half marathon mdeals - 2007 and 2015

Here they are shown with the 2009 BMO Vancouver medal in the middle – you can see that the progression has been a gradual increase over the years:

Three different years of BMO Vancouver half marathon

The other way that race medal inflation is occurring is in terms of the number of things you can get medals for.  When I first started racing, you usually needed to run at least a half marathon to get a medal – the BMO Vancouver Marathon was notably in that it gave a medal for the 8 km race, which was virtually unheard of in those days. But these days most 5 km and 10 km races offer a finisher medal.

Plus, races are also offering bonus medals for running multiple races – the Rock’n’Roll series of races does this a lot. If you run two RnR events in a calendar year that are at least a half marathon, you get the bonus “Double Beat” medal. If you run 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. RnR events that are at least a half marathon, there are bonus medals for that too. Plus there are themed bonus medals – like getting the Cascadia medal for running the half or full-marathons in each of Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland. And my personal favourite was that someone I know was given the “World Rocker” medal for running two RnR events that were at least a half marathon or longer in two different countries – because he ran the marathon in Montreal and the half marathon in Vancouver, BC. That’s right folks – apparently RnR thinks that Montreal is not in Canada.

And finally, you can also now get race medals for running non-existent races. The Hollywood Florida Virtual Half Marathon was like this – you just had to send a link to show that you’d run a half marathon distance worth of running during an allotted timeframe (e.g., from an app like Runkeeper or from your GPS watch) and pay US$20 and you got the medal. I did that one, but it didn’t feel nearly as fulfilling as running a real race. Which is actually what kept me from going for the RnR “Bonus Track Virtual Run” – which only requires that you run *any* distance you want at some point between Dec 17 and Dec 31 and then pay them US$26, which, with the current US exchange rate, is about eleventy billion dollars.

I mean, it’s a super cool medal because the guitar pick slides up and down (!), but the fact that you could just go out and run 0.1 km for all they care, means you are really just buying yourself a medal. That’s no fun.

Anyway, all this talk about race medals is getting me excited about running actual races. I really should decide what ones I want to do this year!

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I published an article!

Item #92 on my 101 thing to do in 1001 days was “Get a journal article published”.

And it turns out that my latest article, which I found out was accepted for publication a while ago, was just published in the Fall 2015 issue of the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation on Dec 22!

Called “Challenges in Evaluating a Prototype Project in a Large Health Authority: Lessons Learned“, I wrote this article, along with two of my colleagues, based on a project that I did at my previous job. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to read the full article unless you are a member of the Canadian Evaluation Society, until sometime in 2017, as the three most recent issues are restricted to members only.

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This May Be The Only Way I’ll Participate in a Full Marathon

And speaking of races that I’m going to run in 2016, thanks to my friend Julie, who you may recall from the PNE Donut Dash and the longest game of hockey, I’m already registered for one:

BMO marathon relay tweet

The marathon relay involves four people teaming up to complete the 42.2 km of the full marathon as a team. For some reason, the legs aren’t an even distance – I’m guessing it has something to do with where on the route there are convenient places for relay team members to trade off the timing chip, which serves as the relay baton. The legs are approximately:

  • 12 km
  • 12 km
  • 5 km
  • 13 km

My team, which Julie has put together, is going to be meeting up in the new year to figure out who is going to run which leg and other such important details.

I figure that running in this race, which is on May 1, can probably be incorporated into my training for, say, the Scotiabank half marathon in late June, as I intend to make 2016 the year that I finally break that elusive sub-2 hour half marathon goal!

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834.7 km

And speaking of my 2015 goals, another one was to run 800 km. Mission accomplished!

834.7 kmI actually hit the 800 km mark back in Oct shortly before running the Rock’n’Roll 10 km race. And then after it got cold and rainy and dark and I had no other races to train for, and it became very easy to not go out running. In fact, after the 10 km race, I only went on three more short runs for the entire rest of the year1! I decided that rather than make myself go running in the cold and the dark and the wet while I had no race for motivation and take the fun out of running, I’d take a bit of a break from running until the new year. And now that the days are getting longer and I’m starting to think about the races to do in the new year, I think I’ll really be ready to get back into running when I return from my holiday.

  1. When I packed for my trip to Toronto, I didn’t pack any running gear, which was kind of strange, as I haven’t travelled anywhere in a long time where I didn’t bring my running gear. []

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My 2015 race medals

One of my 2015 goals was to add 5 new race medals to my collection. Mission accomplished!

My 2015 race medals

My first medal of the year didn’t come until May, when I ran the BMO Vancouver half marathon:

BMO Vancouver half marathon 2015 medal

Then came the Florida virtual half marathon:

Florida virtual half marathon 2015 medal

The PNE Donut Dash 5 km wins the prize for the cutest medal in my collection:

PNE Donut Dash 2015 medal

Then there was my first ever demi-marathon at the Montreal Rock’n’Roll marathon:

Montreal demi-marathon medal 2015

And finally, there was the Rock’n’Roll 10 km race:

Vancouver Rock'n'Roll 10 km medal 2015I originally thought I’d get a bonus medal called the “Double Beat” medal for having done two Rock’n’Roll events, but I learned too late that you had to do at least a half marathon distance at each event to qualify for that, so no bonus medal for me! Good thing I’d done the Donut Dash so I already had five1!

  1. Of course, there were several small races even after the Rock’n’Roll Vancouver 10 km that I could have run to get a medal if I’d needed to. []

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93 down, 22 to go!

With just 4.5 days left to go in 2015, I have 22 blog postings left to go1 to reach my goal of 115 postings, so I’m going to see how many blog postings I can power through this afternoon. Apologies in advance for flooding your Twitter stream/Facebook feed/RSS feed!

  1. Once I post this one. []