Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Outta Be Makin' Breakfast

Coworker/friend reminded me of how funny this was last night....


7/30 Run

7 miles, 7:55 pace. Today’s run was good. It started out a bit hard but I fell into a groove shortly after mile 2.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Traveling Companion

As I believe I have said in the past, my wife is a teacher. As such, she is off for the entire summer. Overall, she has done a very good job of keeping herself busy this summer with one project or the other.

Since I travel for work, usually one week a summer she’ll travel with me to whatever exotic location that I may be traveling to and spend the week with me. This week happens to be one of those weeks! It is very exciting. I, like most guys I feel, identify strongly with their work. (Whenever I meet anyone new I almost certainly ask them what they “do” for a living etc) Additionally, since I am very bad about keeping in touch with people from HS, I create very close friendships with the people that I work with. So, when Tiffany is able to travel with me, she gets to meet all of my coworkers/friends and gain better perspective on how difficult it is to balance going out with working with working out etc.

This week my friends on the team have an entire week’s worth of fun activities planned for us to do. We’ve already been out for Sushi at our ‘regular’ sushi place, we’re going to go bowling, and we’re going to go to a jazz club to listen to some fun music.

So, I am very excited for this week and have probably been talking about it way too much. Hopefully it lives up to my expectations. But, if it doesn’t, there is always next summer!

7/29 Run

4 miles today. Not sure exactly of the pace. It was probably around 7:45 or 7:50. I ran 2 miles at 8, 1 at 7 and 1 at 7:30. So, *shrugs*

It was good to get back running because I was still a bit tight from the run this past weekend. *whew* Hopefully this weekend's run will go much better. I'm still going to try to get ahead of the training and do 16 miles this weekend at approximately 8:00 for the entire run.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

7/26 Run

14 miles, 8:46 pace. Hot, hot HOT. I got spanked during this run this morning. I actually wanted to do 15 to try to get ahead of my schedule, but I didn't have it in me. I heard on the radio while I was running that it was 77 - but it was 95 to 100% humidity at the time (read: fog). So, it seemed a LOT hotter than it actually was.

Additionally, because my brother in law needed to catch a flight, I started at 5:00am. So, in order to increase my visibility while it was still very dark, I wore a bright white running shirt. However, this also increased the heat effect because of the trapped moisture.

However, I did finish the miles, even though it did involve a bit of walking through crosswalks. Hopefully I'll continue to increase in speed and will be able to knock mileage out like this with ease in the coming months.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sicko

Disclaimer: I’m voting democrat in November. However, I am not voting socialist…. :)

My brother in law is in town this week, and as is usually the case, he came with propaganda. Last night, we watched the Michael Moore movie, Sicko. Overall, it wasn’t bad – but there were a few things that bugged me. First, a lot of the movie talks about European healthcare. During which, Michael Moore always uses the term “free”. Free healthcare, free meds, free surgery! FREE FREE FREE. The truth is - it is not free. It costs money. It has to come from somewhere. That somewhere is usually taxes. The other thing that bothered me was the way that Moore never gives the other side a rebuttal. It was pretty much 100% all him. And, I suppose, it is his movie…..

So, I agree with the fact that our healthcare could probably use some government help. However, don’t try to feed me bull that people in Europe don’t have 50% taxes.

Yay Church

Waiter: Did you get laid on vacation?
Busgirl: It was church camp.
Waiter: So "yes" then?
Busgirl (quietly): Yes.

New girl: Why is the door to the file room always locked?
Veteran: Because someone might steal something.
New girl: Who all has a key?
Veteran: Everybody.

Employee: I don't want anymore customers to come in.
Manager: I know, me either. [As old lady with walker approaches door] Dammit... I hope she dies before she gets to the door.

7/24 Run

4 miles, 8:15 pace. This run was a bit harder than the previous day's run because my legs were pretty tired. However, I did push through and get the miles in.

Also, I received an iPod for my birthday that I have been running with, however I am going to have to get different headphones. The little ear buds to NOT stay in my ears for much longer than a few minutes at a time. That makes the runs much longer than they should be.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fly Clear

A teammate of mine recently sent out an email about http://www.flyclear.com/. It is a club whose membership enables you to go to the express security lane. Of course, there is a catch. The catch is that you have to submit to a background check prior to gaining access. And it costs $130.

A different teammate subsequently sent an follow up email that he "thought that it was ridiculous - not in a good way". I can honestly see both sides of the argument. I assume that he was commenting on the background check, keep govt out of your business, down with the man, etc. For the most part, I agree with him. However, on the other hand, I would go to some pretty extraordinary lengths to be able to speed up the security process.

For now, however, I am likely going to hold off. Not because the background check would bother me - the $130 bothers me. I have never had THAT much issue with security and therefore I don't see that paying extra money to get into a shorter line would be a good use of my already limited resources.

7/23 Run

7 miles, 7:50 pace. 7 miles......on a Wednesday... blah. :) In all seriousness, running the longer distances is nice because it enables me to get past what I call 'the hump', but what is sometimes referred to as getting to 'the runners high'. Generally speaking, I feel like crap from miles 2-4, but feel great from miles 4.5-10.

Either way, for this run, I made a pretty conscious effort to not stop to catch my breath in the slightest. I only did once, at the half way point, and even then only for 20 seconds.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wedding Mayhem

My wife got a call a few days back that a wedding that we were attending that was originally planned on 08/08/08 is now off. Not going to happen - ever. Per the phone chain, the groom said that he found someone else and therefore doesn’t want to get married. Fine. Good riddance. To be blunt, I wasn’t a huge fan of him (although, I didn’t know him very well).

The interesting thing is that this is not the first wedding that we were invited to (or for that matter, the first that my wife was going to be heavily involved in) that was called off. I think that the common phrase that I have been hearing holds true: “Better to find out now than to get married, have kids, and then break it off”. How true is that? Fortunately, people are now coming to realize that if things aren’t going good straight away, a few years isn’t probably going to make a difference. Besides, we only get ~75 years here… why would you spend any % of them being miserable?

So, what does this mean to me? Not much really. I guess we’re going to have a birthday party on the aforementioned 08/08/08 date for my wife’s grandpa. (To not ‘waste’ the rental fee on the golf course…. *rolls eyes*) I still need to talk to her about how long we’re actually going to travel out of town. Always a battle to be sure. It is always about where we are staying, how long we are staying there, who we are having dinner with. I can only imagine if all of our family was back in Iowa. If that were the case, we’d have to balance twice as many visits in the same amount of time. I suppose both fortunately and unfortunately our family is spread from Iowa to Colorado to Arizona and everywhere in between. We get to visit them all and are able to dedicate that time to them.

7/22 Run

4 miles, 7:32 pace. This is the first run of a pretty long week. I have to run 4 / 7 / 4 during the week and 15 on Saturday. Additionally, the runs this week are supposed to be 'pace runs'. So, I really have to kick it up a notch. BAM!

Monday, July 21, 2008

They're BACK!

I haven't updated this post in a while, so when I received another contribution to my unprofessional email signature stash, I was pretty excited. While I have admittedly been picking on one or two select people, I am happy to report that this entry comes from an entirely different location! As you can see "Dave" really likes him some comics. So, why not share them with all of his coworkers!?


I think that the ONLY argument that he may have is that the client currently has an ad campaign with super heros. However, I wonder if the CEO of Kraft has a picture of the Wienermobile in his signature? Wait, better not answer that...

7/19 Run

9 miles, 8:04 pace. Birthday run! It was good and a bit familiar to get out and go running in some of my usual spots. I was rather comforted to see a number of people running who were, in my opinion, running more than to just stay fit. Additionally, I was a bit excited to see a group of bikers - approximately 30 strong - riding along calling out various commands.

Friday, July 18, 2008

7/17 Run

3 miles at a 8;25 pace. Because I was out all last week, this week has been a bit hectic so no time for details!

If I could print coffee I would

Patron using computer: I want to print this. (points to screen)
Librarian, looking over patron's shoulder: You want to print that YouTube video?

Public Library
Atlanta, Georgia

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Vacation Wrap Up

As I sit on the plane heading back home, I have a bit of time to reflect on the week that was San Diego. In a word: awesometown. It was a blast to spend an entire week with Nick and Amy, it was fun to spend time at the beach, and it was really cool to eat Time Bandit Alaskan crab at the Crab Catcher.

Here is a link to some of the pictures from my San Diego vacation. I think that I am going to take the more passive approach to sharing these and only send them to people who directly ask for them. I may print a few of them off for my family to see who rarely check email etc – but I don’t want to seem boastful for being able to have such a fun vacation!

Did you know.....

Got this in an email from my old college advisor. I always love these......

  • Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.
  • Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
  • Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

7/16 Run

6 miles today, 8:05 pace. HOT HOT HOT. I ran again on the treadmill in a very hot work out facility at my hotel. Come to think of it, I need to call them on that. I don't want to come up there at 5:15 to an old lady dead of heat stroke.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

7/15 run

3 miles, 7:33 pace. I did this run on the treadmill. Another set of 5x 400 sprints. Weeee

I am ALIVE


I generally have to try the odd and bizarre flavors that cola companies come out with. So, when I saw Aquafina and their "Alive" water in the cooler at work, I pounced. It also helps that Aquafina is a Pepsi product - I need that stock to go up as much as possible. It is supposed to be "Berry Pomegranate" flavor with extra free radical busting vitamin C. Overall it wasn't that bad. It is sweetened with Splenda so it basically tastes like kool-aid.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm Confused Too

If Facebook is confused, then maybe I should be confused too? I've come to rely on computers far too much....

Irony is..

Going on a week long beach vacation without getting a bit red and getting a bit sun burnt mowing the lawn the Sunday after you get back.

FYI - Vacation summary to follow once I can get caught up at work.

120th post / 350th visitor

I recently reached a major milestone in my blog’s life. I now have over 100 posts and have had over 350 visitors. While I believe (assume?) that 90% of my readers are friends and family, I have noticed a number of very interesting domains have visited my site. Specifically, it seems that my book reviews garner the most bizarre visits to the site. Some of the visits include:

  • I’ve had a number of Random House visits checking out every single one of my book reviews
  • Over 5 people have searched for a book review on “You’re so Money”
  • My knee in pain picture elicits probably 1 visit per week of someone searching for “knee picture” on google images
  • I had someone get to my blog by searching google for “Tim Russert controversy”
  • All sorts of IPs from various countries visit my blog including Switzerland, Turkey, Romania, and Japan – among others
  • All kinds of google bots from various countries

7/12 Run

12 miles, 8:31 pace. The pace was actually a bit slower than I would have liked. I was shooting for a 8:15 pace – which is actually a bit slower than my marathon goal pace of around 8:00. (Maybe I need to reevaluate my marathon goals….) The good part about this run was that I was able to squeeze it in on Saturday morning while still in California. I was afraid that I would have it looming over me for an already busy Sunday. Of course, ‘squeezing it in’ meant that I had to get up at 5:00 am and hammer out the miles prior to finishing up packing.

I think that the run was slower than expected because I was just a bit tired from my vacation to San Diego. Lots of swimming and boogie boarding took its toll on my legs.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

4 years and counting

Today is my four year anniversary. My wife and I agreed not to buy each other gifts (bonus) and I think that we have finally gotten to the point in our relationship where we can actually say this and not feel obligated to still get each other something. That said, we did splurge a bit on a few items that will be named at a later date - so we're well covered in the gift buying department.

However, the traditional four year anniversary gift is flowers, so she should expect to receive some gift in alignment with that tradition in the near future - hehe.

It is honestly funny how quickly the time has gone by. I am sure that at dinner tonight we'll do some reminiscing about our wedding day - a lot of which will be a nice 'refresher' for me. A lot of it I don't remember due to the excitement of the day! :)

Need a good book

Unfortunately I don't currently have any good books to read. I do have a few PMI books that I 'ahem' SHOULD be reading - but to be honest those are not the type of leisure reading that I have come to expect. So, I am on a hunt to find some sort of non-fiction book that would be entertaining as well as enlightening.

I am not sure if I would like some sort of history book, but that would seem like the most logical choice. So, if anyone has any recommendations - let me know! I'd be all ears.

7/10

3 miles at 8:22 pace. This run was by far the 'hardest' run of the San Diego trip. I had a bit of shin splint pain as well as some upper foot pain that slowed me down a bit.

But, overall I got the mileage in and was able to log all 12 miles in this week. This weekend, according to my plan I have to run a full 12 miles - I am going to try to hit around 8:15 pace overall which should be a good test of my endurance as well as my speed.

7/9 Run

6 miles at 7:54 pace. I was able to run with Nick this time (yay). We both did a few intervals again which is why the pace was so swift. If I remember right, we did 7 x 400 throughout the 6 miles. The run was good and the sites were very scenic.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

7/8 Run

3 miles today, 7:33 pace. I did another set of intervals which is why my pace was so fast. I did some 4 x 400 with 800 warm up and cool down. Tomorrow will be the real test because I am going to do 8x 400 intervals over the 6 miles.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

San Diego Agenda

Here is what we have planned so far on our vacation with Nick and his wife in San Diego:
  • Eat at El Indio which was featured on Diners Drive Ins and Dives
  • Boogie Board
  • Sit on the beach
  • Visit the Temecula wine region
  • Visit the gas lamp district
  • Possibly visit Coronado Island
  • Possibly tour the USS Midway

Should be a good time!

7/6 Run

11 miles, 8:02 pace. Yay San Diego!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Book Review: The Billionaire’s Vinegar

Something that I haven’t written a lot about is my fondness for wine. Now that I think about it, I need to write a post or two about how I really enjoy a good bottle of Meritage. Either way, over the past few weeks, (like most of my book reviews, I actually finished the book about a month ago) I have been reading another advanced copy: The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine by Benjamin Wallace. This book is part history novel, part mystery novel, and part wine nerd manual. I have to admit, this book was one of the best ones that I have read in a while.

It starts off in France where a German wine broker, Hardy Rodenstock, claims that he found a cache of 200 year old bottles of first growth Bordeaux wine that were owned by Thomas Jefferson. (Yes, THAT Thomas Jefferson). Needless to say, there is quite a response to his claim. Ultimately one of the first bottles sells at auction for an unheard of $200,000+ to Malcolm Forbes.

As more bottles are sold (nearly 30 in total) and consumed, the murmurs that they are too good to be true grow to a roar. Christie’s auction house supported Hardy’s claim that they were genuine – but of course Sotheby's claimed that they were not from the 1700’s and worked to prove their counterfeit history.

(Spoiler alert) While the book is slightly ambiguous in the end, ultimately I think that it concluded that the wine was faked. Through carbon dating among other methods, they determined that the wine was likely spiked with wine from the late 1800’s. Old wine to be sure, but not 1700’s wine.

Overall, I really liked this book and gave it 5/5 Shakespeare heads. The reason that this book received such a high rating was mostly due to the wine nerd factor. I honestly think that someone who wasn’t as involved in wine wouldn’t like it nearly as much as I did due to its deep dive into the various chateau’s of Bordeaux. However, if you are in for a history lesson and like a good mystery novel, The Billionaire’s Vinegar is a can’t miss.


7/3 Run

3 miles - 8:05 pace. Not much to say about this one. *shrugs* Just grinding out the miles at this point!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

7/2 Run

6 miles today, 8:15 pace. Since this is the same mileage as this past weekend, it is becoming apparent that this next step up in my training plan means business!

Today's run was good. I actually thought that I ran a bit faster than 8:15, but I think that I may have had to stop at one too many stoplights. I calculated up that if you have to wait 60 seconds at a light, it lowers a 6 mile run by 10 seconds / mile. It sure doesn't seem like it would be that much - but it certainly is.

Come to think of it, I'll bet that is why I didn't run nearly as fast as I thought that I did during my last marathon. I walked through most of the aid stations as to not choke while drinking which probably slowed me down a bit.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Olympics Are Nearly Here!

I am not sure if it is my relatively new (less than 3 years) exposure to running, but I am really excited for the Olympics this year. I recently very quickly browsed the pictures that Runners World posted from the trials that were this weekend - and it really got me jazzed for them to start.

I actually watched most of day 1 and day 2 of the trials. I got to see the men's 5,000 and women's 5,000 and 10,000. I came away with a few thoughts:

  • I am slow
  • The women look almost more fit than the men (it seemed like they all had 6 packs)
  • I am slow
  • The men are quite a bit faster than the women, but the men looked like they are exerting themselves tons more
  • I am slow

Here is hoping that the US does well in the Olympics!

7/1 Run

A new month, a new run. I ran my 3 miles at a 7:50 pace. Based on the law of averages, this is about right. This morning, I ran some 7:00/m sprints for one of the first times this training period. I believe the geek runner term of what I did was: 4 x 2:00. So, what I mean by that is that I did 4 sprints of 2:00 min each with 2:00 of recovery at 8:00/m between each one. (with a 4:00 warm up / cool down at 8:00 min/miles) It felt good, but I think that the 6 miles tomorrow using the same strategy will be the real test!