Thursday, March 5, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Awkward High School

Running update: There is no running update. Leg still hurts.  Although, I’m trying to hit the bike as much as I can while not regressing.  (Except for today, due to scheduling conflicts. GRR.) 

Swans have that gray furball stage before they become a swan.  Butterflies are ugly caterpillars for most of their lives. Me? I had years 5-33 that seem to have been quite awkward. I’ll grow into my skin eventually.

This weekend I met up with a friend that I went to High School with and she was ever so gracious enough to bring a few pictures of me during my.....shall we say, "awkward" stage.  I don't have many pictures of me looking like this (in spite of having glasses and braces for years and years). These should make EVERYONE feel better about themselves.  Enjoy!

STAND BACK LADIES, the man of your dreams is coming through
If I can’t fix your heart, at least I can fix your computer

Thankfully though, once I shed my Sally Jessy Raphael glasses and braces, I turned into the stud muffin that you all know and love – as long as you can look past the big teeth, big nose, small head, annoying personality…..

Pittsburgh, baby. PITTSBURGH. (I think I've posted this before)
(I have never been to Pittsburgh.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits: Phoenix Marathon Weekend!

Stupid Leg is Stupid
For the last 2 weeks I have done what you’re supposed to do:  More stretching than Saturday night in the bedroom a Russian ballerina, lots of biking with a very gradual buildup of running miles 3,4,5 over the last week. I was getting enough sleep (for me at least), drinking the appropriate amount of injury beer (copious amounts), and was essentially being a good little injured runner.  So, to say that I was anything but excited for my “long” run on Saturday would be an understatement. I was planning to go 12 miles.  My hamstring was super tight the first mile or so, but it loosened up and I was off and running. (And then I pooped on the side of the trail at mile 8, but I digress.)  90 minutes later I was done, no worse for the wear (except for the poop part).  Nope. WRONG.

Beer fixes everything
(Up to and including how attractive people think I am - THANK GOD)

While I was cheering on the Phoenix Marathon course, it got tighter and tighter like a Russian ballerina to the point that on Sunday I was limping pretty hard – not the fun pimp walk limp but more the gimpy runner type.  I am SOOO frustrated that I had a pretty major regression and am essentially back to where I was a month ago.  I’ve taken the last 2 days off from all exercise mostly to mope around but also to hopefully regain pain free walking. I honestly don’t know where to go from here, but I can already see the spring marathon season slipping through my fingers which makes me equal parts sad and frustrated. Maybe I need to switch to injury wine to help heal?

Switched to wine.  Worth a shot to fix the leg?

I’ll Try Anything Once
“What is the worst that could happen?” is a common phrase uttered around these parts – second only to “Look, I’m sorry but it really itches and you’re going to have to get tested too” “hold my beer and watch this”. There are few things that I won’t try at least once. Wearing makeup is one of those things. More to come on this later, but to tide you over, here is a pic that I took that very well could be my new twitter profile pic:

If you want to win, you have to dress like a winner

Marathon is as Marathon does
The 2nd biggest marathon in Phoenix was this weekend. There were TONS of out of towners in to run the race – including Hollie @ FueledByLOLZ who stayed with me. Of course, I only got ONE picture with her that didn’t turn out great :(

Spectating.... like a bull.

The course starts in the mountains and rolls through not scenic Mesa neighborhoods to finish with a net downhill and an overall fast course. The great thing is that it is only 8-10 miles from my house so I was able to go to mile 17 and cheer everyone along as well as at the finish line. The race seems to be pretty well organized, but I heard of a few growing pains that hopefully will be fixed soon. I'll let Hollie and others give you the play by play of the race, but it seemed like most had a good-enough race in spite of the strong breeze and warmer than normal temps.

Best thing about the future is that it is never ending

Wait, Kimmy Gibbler?  Yes. Kimmy Gibbler.
So I met Kimmy Gibbler from Full House this weekend (aka: Andrea Barber). Let me just pause a moment to let that sink in……..  She is friends with PavementRunner and RunEMZ who were hosting a blogger meetup.  The best part?  She is a real live runner!!  Check her Instagram feed – it is essentially all running stuff.  I think I might be in love with Gibbler.

Old marathon buddies!
Finally, as you might imagine, I’m a busy guy. I have Buzzfeed to read, Netflix to watch, my calendar is pretty full. The unfortunate side effect of this is that I don’t see long time runner friends NEARLY often enough. Leave it to a marathon meetup with a bunch of out of towners to get us locals together.

Back when blogging was less about top 10 training tips and more about family weekends, Demi, Lauren, EMZ, and Jeff (not present because he is a loser) got together frequently for group runs. Lives got busy so we don’t do it anymore, but it was still really fun to seemingly pick up where we left off.
Demi, me, RunEMZ, Laren, and Hollie
The band is back together!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Funny Foto Friday: Twitter and Instagram Updates

I know, I know. Social media is hard. If I'm not replying to Google+ requests or riding the Google Wave, I'm hunting down the ladies on Friendster. IT IS SO BUSY. So, for today's funny foto Friday, I've taken it upon myself to collect a few bits of my online comings and goings and provide a bit of  color commentary.  Happy Friday!


Balancing everything to get in equal parts trashy reality TV, time with my son, and running is tough.  Like I've said before many times, I run at the rather nice gym at work to save a bit of time. It is super convenient, but it is a big adjustment knowing that I've seen more of my coworkers naked than I would ever care to see. It is like middle school gym class all over again.

If she doesn't find you classy, she should at least find you clumsy! 
(These were running shorts. Read: no underwear)

How YOU doing!!??!?!

I'm not sure I could get past the smelly cat song....

A show about nothing indeed

I really like to cook.  It is equal parts engineering, art, drinking wine, and singing at the top of my lungs.  The unfortunate part? My son doesn't quite take to my signing as much as I do. So, while I'm doing a great job of teaching him life skills, I am obviously falling VERY short teaching him "culture".

Oh-sa son, why-sa you-sa so un-ah-happy?! Mama Mia!!!

Fortunately, he likes this MUCH more

Thank goodness my son doesn't read my blog, yet.

BONUS PIC!!  This just has terrible terrible idea written all over it.

Rip it to shreds.  Hang ten

Finally, as usual, I would be remiss if I didn't include a few pictures of my son. Happy Friday!

Pajama Day + cowboy boots from Uncle Barry = Pictures to be shown at his wedding

Tired little boy even BEFORE a pizza playdate

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Price of Fame – One way ticket to Mars

What price would you pay to be famous? To be clear, I’m not talking about front page Reddit kind of fame, nut-shot viral video fame, or even Kardashian style “fame” (whatever the hell that means).  I’m talking about the “little kids want to be you when they grow up” kind of fame. Would you give up privacy? Sure, that seems to be pretty standard for famous people. What about control of your life? The President seems to have VERY little control, so…okay.  But, what about your ACTUAL life? All of your friendships, family connections, and possibly ever touching another human being again before you ultimately pass on (hopefully, riding a unicorn to have dinner with Jesus, Lincoln, and Chris Farley)?  Uhhhhhhh…..  200,000 people said YES to that exact question. They said yes to go on a ONE WAY trip to Mars.

Mars One is a private group trying to whittle that list of 200,000 to a small handful that (they say) will ultimately train and be blasted off on a one way trip to Mars – never to be seen again. The reason for the one way trip is that getting people back to Earth nearly (but not totally) doubles the cost of the trip. There is lots of chatter back and forth on if it is real or a PR stunt, but for the purposes of my fake blog, we’re all going to assume this is happening.

As I put on my “pretend time hat” that I wear whenever I buy a lottery ticket or tweet at a celebrity and expect a response, I can’t help but be REALLY surprised at how many people are willing to do this.  A Washington Post article profiled a few of them and, to my surprise, they weren’t all felons, hermits, or space nerds. Most of them seemed to be adventurous, have a bit of wanderlust, or frankly…. just wanted to be famous.

Personally, that seems like an awfully large price to pay to have a bunch of elementary and middle schools named after you. If even that! I know the first person on the moon, but I have no clue who the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound was.  For that matter, when you’re on Mars, it isn’t like you get to enjoy all of your notoriety.  You know, because of the little detail of BEING ON MARS.

Bye bye little dude!
I really like the life that I’ve carved out on Earth and would be really hard pressed to jump into something like this. I assume that you’d be able to email back and forth with people back home, but other than that, I’d guess it would get really lonely REALLY fast. I suppose you could also assume that eventually someone would build a ship big enough to take you home, but that is an awfully big “maybe” that would probably drive me space-insane (likelyleading me to believe that I was having dinner with Jesus, Lincoln, and Chris Farley).  But, I’m risk averse by nature and my kid is REALLY cute, so maybe I’m in the minority.

Using the ubiquitous blog question construct: Am I alone here or would anyone out there on the interwebs actually sign up for this??  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sticking myself out there: Finally hiking Camelback Mountain

Unless you’re a golfer or are looking for a “Botox vacation”, Phoenix isn’t exactly a tourist destination. Sure, Arizona has the Grand Canyon and the petrified forest, but those are 3 hours away.  So, whenever anyone visits and asks me what to do for fun in the city, I always look at them with a bit of a dumbfounded look (wait, actually, that is just my face).  Of course, there is the normal big city stuff, but nothing that is all that particularly awe inspiring.  (That is unless you think urban sprawl and Buffalo Wild Wings are amazorbs and in that case get your boneless wings on.)

Two snaps for urban sprawl!!  Heyyyyy!!

The one exception? Hiking. There are lots of amazing desert hiking trails in and around the Phoenix area.  Camelback Mountain is one of the more famous ones rising 1300 feet (for a total elevation of 2700) above the most fancy part of the city. I’ve suggested it as a fun hike for old and young to help pass the time between stops to strip malls or luxury med spas. The only catch? In spite of living here for nearly 7 years I’ve never hiked it myself. Oops.  This weekend I decided that streak needed to end.

One of my never published new years resolutions was to break out of my normal routine and stick myself out there a bit more.  That goal is of course terrible as it is neither measurable or necessarily accountable, but I’m trying my best to make it a reality.

None of the pictures I took were as good as ones I could steal off the internet!
Photo credit: The Internet

So, after dropping off my son, I hopped on the motorcycle and drove to where the fancy people lived (Scottsdale / Paradise Valley) to start on my hike. A storm front had blew in which meant that it was cloudy, 5 degrees cooler than normal, and a bit breezy. (Hopefully the sarcasm comes through on that.) It was perfect hiking weather!

I decided to take the “easy but long” trail to the top.  At just under 2 miles to the top, it was obviously a man who tagged it with the “long” moniker. But, what it lacks in length it makes up for in variety and scenery (something many boring runner “companions” have heard all too often).  It starts out somewhat runnable, but then slows to a (literal) crawl as it gets increasingly technical for the last 1/2 mile. Honestly, it is probably technical enough that some of the people who I recommended it to I probably shouldn’t’ have.

Sand and and trees and stucco as far as the eye can see

I ran when I could and scrambled around people as politely as I thought I could get away with and 40 minutes later I was a the top. With 360 degree views of the city, it was really a sight to be seen.  The “mountain” itself is visible from all parts of the valley and thus even in spite of the clouds and haze you could see for miles and miles in either direction.

After a few obligatory social media style selfies, I started on the scamper down. Like on the way up, I tried to go essentially as fast as I could to show off to all of the fancy Scottsdale ladies more to see if I could than anything else. It was really fun to slip and slide all the way down with careless abandon.  Of course, I was ever conscious of my sore knee and tried to baby it as much as I could.

Teeth and Sweat: A memoir by Adam

Before I knew it, I was down. 75 minutes / 4 miles / 1300ish feet of elevation. The shocking thing? My busted up knee felt AMAZING. As in, better than it had all week. So, I’m not sure if the stress I put it under knocked it back into alignment or if maybe my pain is some sort of psychosomatic thing. Either way, I’ll take it as a win.  Of course, since I'm now obviously an expert mountain climber and trail runner, I'll go ahead and start on my EPIC trail beard.

Overall, I really really liked hiking this mountain.  It was a busy trial, but I can see why.  There were great views and enough of a technical challenge to keep things interesting both up and down. Score one for the sticking it out there goal.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Running update and Funny Foto Friday

Men are interesting creatures. Behind all of the body hair and massive amounts of sweat we're honestly quite simple to figure out.  That is, until we're not.

You see, up until 2 weeks ago, I self identified as a dad first, a "nice/funny" guy second, and then somewhere down the list blow cheese connoisseur and pasta aficionado, I considered myself a runner. Oh, how did that change. After nearly 2 weeks of not running, I realized that I most certainly self identify as a runner which means that when I can't, I lose myself a bit.

This happens every time that I'm hurt and can't run.  I take being able to be active for granted and completely forget that I've woven it into the fabric of who I am. If I'm not a runner, who am I? Do I even exist as the Adam we know and love? It is sort of like how after day 3 of having a head cold, I completely forget what it is like to be able to taste food or not have snot running down my face.

So, to say that I was getting a bit antsy and frustrated mid this week would be the understatement of the year. After a very sore glut / hamstring / knee, I pulled the plug on running and essentially moped around for a week. The reason for the drastic action was that I was limping while NOT running throughout the day - usually my normal canary in the coalmine. But, once the pain and tightness subsided a week or so after stopping running, I hoped on the bike to try to gain some sort of sanity. And, it worked.... kind of.

So, this past week I put in nearly 80 miles on the bike and ran twice. Once on Friday as a test run and once today (Sunday) in an up tempo 8 mile run @ 7:07 pace.  Both runs felt fine, but they were harder than they should have been and I had some tightness after I finished.  I can't describe how frustrating it is to have this nagging injury and I have to admit that I really don't know what I should do from here.

Should I take more time off? I started doing yoga for runners which seemed to help - should I incorporate weight lifting again? The fortunate thing is that I don't have any races on the schedule, so I guess I can take all of the time I need. That is, as long as I can figure out something else to self identify with.  I wonder how well a cheese blog would go over...


Finally the funny foto friday (even though it is Sunday - oops). The weather everywhere (except here) is pretty terrible so when I saw this pic shared I couldn't help but smile.  I have to admit, the nice weather here has gone from "fun to make fun of others about" to "jeeze, I just feel sorry for you".  Happy Friday!

Cold weather is cold