Thursday, January 29, 2009

Week of 1/26 Running

1/27 (Tues) - 3 miles, 7:34 pace
1/28 (Weds) - 6 miles, 7:32 pace overall with 6x800 intervals at 6:53 pace
1/29 (Thurs) - 3 miles, 7:55 pace

Tuesday run: 3 miles at a targeted pace of 8:00. Oppsies, a little fast out of the gate there. I guess the stepback week did a body good. Or, I was afraid that my face was going to freeze and get stuck in the position that it is while I run – somewhere between a grimace and a dumbfounded stare…. So, I guess my normal face then? This run went really well in spite of the 10 degree cold.

Wednesday run: 6 miles of speed work on the treadmill. I upped the mph by 0.1 to give me a pickup pace of 6:53. I’m not sure if it was the faster day on Tuesday or the faster speed, but I was gassed by the time the run was over. However, I did get the run in even if I had to slow down a bit during the 400m recovery periods. I normally try to run them at around 8:00 pace, but I was forced to throttle it back to somewhere between 8:15 and 8:25. I’m really not sure if these speed drills are making me any faster, but they sure do feel like they are. If anything, they are just resetting my brain’s mph gauge to what a ‘comfortable’ pace is supposed to be.

Thursday run: 3 miles at a targeted pace of 8:20. Crap, fast again. I’m thinking that the relatively flat to almost downhill course that I run may be giving me a bit of extra speed that I don’t normally have. On my 3 mile days, I have been running to the gym which is nearly exactly 3 miles. But, since it is a one way, any down hills that I have don’t turn into up hills on the way back. Although, another reason for my speed may have been that I had a bit of runners gut this morning and just wanted to get the run over with. Nothing like the fear of crapping yourself to run a 5k 1.5 minutes faster than you wanted to! Oh wait, TMI? Probably not for the runners who read this!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Where everyone knows MY name

Today's run sort of kicked my butt. Or rather chewed it off and left it on the treadmill. Detailed report to follow tomorrow.

Today I'm in the office again. It honestly isn't too bad, although I do feel a bit guilty when I am typing blogs here vs at home.

We have a rather small office with ~50 people regularly physically seated in the office. However, since we often travel, our total office population is around 250. I used to coordinate our quarterly all office meetings which meant that I'd be up front MC'ing them for the entire day. Me directing 200 or so people's attention... mwahahahahaha!!!! As a result, EVERYONE knows my name. The unfortunate part? I know almost no ones name! So, about every other day, someone will stop me in the hall and have a normal conversation with me like we are old knitting buddies just finishing a cross stitch - of course, addressing me by name! For example, today I had the following conversation with a very nice lady in the hall:

???: Hey Adam, how have you been?
Adam: Hey there! I've been well. Still unstaffed. Can you believe how cold it has been?!
???: Yeah, blah blah blah weather talk, work talk, weekend talk.
Adam: Well, I'd better get back to it - talk to you later!

Yeah, no clue who she is. I like to talk though, so I honestly dont' really mind. What should I have done though? Should I have just owned up and asked? I'm really bad at doing that. It is almost admitting defeat in some sort of way. Waving the white flag of social awkwardness. (Not to be confused with the pink flag of homosexuality which I wave to creep my wife out whenever my brother in law is in town).

I'm thinking that I may scout around the office and see if I can tell via the namevtags that are on the outside of people's offices. Before I leave, I may have to do some research on pop culture topics to bone up on small talk in case she catches me poking my head in her office..... "Can you believe that they voted off the orange team on biggest loser!? Those two kids needed the help more than anyone......" Yup, that should do it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Good Job Work

I'm in the office today (instead of at home) and when I went to grab a glass of water, the plastic cup that my company had waiting for me said the following:


That is a horrible picture, but it says: "Plastic made from corn". I'm certainly not a tree hugger, but I hate the use of fossil fuels and I love anything that promotes corn. (Since my father is a farmer, everything that I had from the age of 0-18 was paid for with corn monies!) Of course, the unfortunate reality is that the cup probably cost $7 or something, but it wasn't made from oil! But, if you see me walking around in a hemp shirt or Birkenstock shoes, feel free to smack me up side the head and force me to buy a Hummer.
Unfortunately not much else to report on the blog front. I ran 3 miles this morning, crappy ran / sleet / snow / blah weather, work is normal, etc! Speed work tomorrow, 6 miles with 6x800 pickups! Oyy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Green light.…RED LIGHT!

I used to love to play stoplight when I was younger. The basic point of the game was to get as close to the leader as possible when their back was turned. But, if they saw you moving when they turned around, you were out of the game. Last week, the Kansas City metro area put its own spin on this super fun game. They put up their first red light camera to catch people who decide that a red light really does mean FLOOR IT.

Now, I know what you are thinking. “Wow Adam, my town has had those for 5 years! Shoot, we’ve only had running water for 10!” Yes, they are a bit behind on this. In Phoenix where my in-laws live (and in 5 short months where I will live), not only do they have cameras at nearly every major intersection, they also have cameras on the highways that automatically catch you speeding! I think the ticket for either is around $200. Ouch.

I think that these are a great idea. As a runner who runs through a lot of pretty major intersections, I appreciate any and all efforts to get people to abide by the rules. I have nearly been hit multiple times (twice with my hands on the hood of the car as they came screeching to a halt) so if we could get people to start stopping at those that would be just greaaaat. My knees would thank you.

The ridiculous thing is that not only were people against these cameras, but the city is making the first month’s worth of tickets “warnings”! WTF? Now, I am no Ricky Rule Breaker, but even I was yelling at the TV at the stupidity of the people who wouldn’t want those. I mean, you are breaking the law! They are just putting up cameras to catch you!? I understand why you wouldn’t want it personally, but what could these people’s argument have been?

Ricky Rule Breaker: I don’t want the red light cameras!
City: Why?
Ricky Rule Breaker: Because! Duh! Waaaaaaaaaaaa!!! I have things to do! Waaaaaaa!!!
City: What if we made the first month's tickets warnings. Even though we know that you are breaking the law and we have photo proof.
Ricky Rule Breaker: Waaaaaaaaaa, deal.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

1/24 Run - Yay, step down week

8 miles, 8:12 pace, 182 average heart rate (Oh, and 8 degrees)

Today's run was a much needed step back from the ever increasing weekly mileage. This week I ran a total of 20 miles which seems like a lot even though it was a step back week. I chose a rather hilly route which was downhill into the wind and uphill with the wind at my back. I really need to run that route more when that is the case! I didn't have any pain in any of my normal spots such as shins knees or the balls of me feet. I really am hoping that the increase in cross training is starting to help out.

The run overall was good, if not a bit (a lot) cold. My water bottles froze up AGAIN, this time so bad that I could never get them open. So, that means that they froze up within 25 minutes. This isn't TOO big of a deal since I wasn't sweating a ton while running - but if I knew that I wasn't going to be able to drink it, I sure as hell wouldn't have carried it! After all, I'm not a Sherpa. Now that I say that, having my own personal running assistant / fanny pack would be sort of fun. They could carry my water bottles, maybe some Gu, towels, strap a radio with speakers to their back... Send me an email if you would like to apply. The pay isn't good, but the working conditions are great (time with me!). I mean, if Kathy Griffin can have three personal assistants, I should be able to have one running assistant right? lol

Anyway, heart rate was a bit up from the previous long run. Probably because of the increased speed. I really need to get that under control!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Photo Friday

I believe that I saw that it is usually Photo Friday on one of the blogs that I read. While I haven't seen any pictures today, I ran across a few funny clips a la Jay Leno that are worth sharing.




After seeing this one below, I honestly know why the banks are in so much trouble. If it isn't $87,000 rugs for their personal offices it is sharing pearls of wisdom like this. And he was a SVP!?


Believe me when I say I've had days like this. I normally refer to them as "Monday".



Finally, with eBay, Overstock.com, and Froogle, you knew something like this was going to happen. What I can't figure out is... Did the guy just not die? How do you NOT need a tombstone? Did he put it on his Christmas list and got two and couldn't return one of them?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Can I help you?

On Monday, because it was MLK Jr Day, I took the day off. I bummed around and the gym for a while, rented a movie, and ended up at the local running store that I normally shop at. Garry Gribble's running. If you are ever in the Kansas City area, check them out. (Side note, the movie was Righteous Kill. It was OK and had a lot of fun plot twists.)

Now, I love Wal-Mart as much as about anyone (sorry Caroline) but there IS something cool about local stores. They always give you personal service and are always very willing to answer any questions that you had. Believe me, I’m like a 3 year old on a Mt Dew high – I always ask a LOT of questions.

However, when I went on Monday, there was no one in the store and about 5 sales people roaming around. I think I got asked two or three times from each of them if I needed any help! It was fine for the first few, but after a while it was almost comical at some of their questions:

“Can I help you? No? Ok let me know if I can.”
5 min later…. “Are you looking for something specific? No? Ok, well just give a shout”
10 min later…. “Did you see that our thermal wear is on sale?”

Too funny. Again, not complaining because I would MUCH rather beat them off with a stick (like I have to do with the old ladies at the library) than not be able to find anyone. But, come on Garry Gribble. Give your sales people a rest on the holiday! You probably only needed 2 in there at 1:00pm on a Monday...... The thermal gear WAS a good deal though.

Week of 1/19 Running

1/20: 3 miles, 8:00 pace.
1/21: 6 miles, 7.32 pace with 6 x 800 repeats at 6:58 pace.
1/22: 3 miles, 7.54 pace.

1/20: I had planned on running from my house around the neighborhood a bit and eventually to the gym where I can get my lift on. *flexes* My wife always CLAIMS that I am a forgetful person – but I usually don’t see it. She may just have something on this morning. I realized about half way through the run that I forgot my access card to the gym! So, instead of playing 20 questions with the gym staff, I turned around back home, got the card, and logged my miles that way. It was a crappy way to start the day for sure.

1/21: Speed day. Blah. Speed days are sort of like going to the dentist. One time it is fine, but the next time the dentist catches his wife in bed with the mailman and decides to go to town on one of your molars like the mailman did with his wife. This was the first time in a really long time that I did 6 repeats instead of the usual 4. The good news is that the increase in repeats lowered the overall pace time. The bad news is that I was a bit sore afterwards.

1/22: Today was supposed to be a slow day to rest up for the long run this weekend. Honestly, I meant to run it a lot slower than I did (target pace – 8:15). My legs felt heavy so I tried to compensate by running harder. Hear me now – if I get hurt later and start complaining on the blog about my pain, you can tie it to this 5k.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I like popsicles too!

Today, my coffee grinder is in the dishwasher. I've grown to love it so much that I've stopped buying ground coffee. This has never been an issue up until this morning. NO ground coffee! We forgot to run the dishwasher so it was still 'dirty'. After the cold sweats stopped and I regained some composure (as much as I ever have), I started to think about what I could do. Being the man that I am, I considered saying screw it and using it dirty but I thought better. No sense spending the next week on the toilet because some raw chicken got splashed on it.
I've been known to drink water that has been sitting out for days and will rewear running pants that were soaking wet days before - but even I have my limits. I will not turn my underwear inside out and I will not use something that can possibly cause me and the toilet more than 1 day of bonding time (hellooo vodka).
The solution? Hot Cocoa!

Gosh, I forgot how good this stuff is. It has something like 250 calories per cup, all of which are sugar, but I don't care. It was warm, frothy, and I think that all of that sugar makes up for the lack of caffeine. Although, I will admit that I considered dipping a tea bag in there a few times or dropping in a few whole coffee beans to give it some sort of kick. Next time I suppose.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change is a comin’

No matter what you think about our next president (or our current president depending on when you read this), change is a coming.

Change can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. For example, Lindsey Lohan used to be straight, now she is bi – or gay. This is bad because now millions of 13 year old guys will have to find some other ‘material’ to rub one out…. Although, maybe not I guess…. (although, hopefully her next girlfriend will be cuter). This is GOOD because now the male population will be spared from whatever STD she is carrying at the time. My money is on the herps.

Anyway, back to the monumental day. The thing that I find most interesting / exciting is that it truly is a rags to riches story. I know that his race is getting a lot of airtime – and it should. However, I honestly thought that going forward you’d have to be part of some political machine to become president. Barack Obama has shown us that as long as you are an intelligent person anything is possible.

My wife’s new superintendent said, when being told that my wife was ‘golden’, “great, now actually do everything that you said that you could and you’ll be platinum”. That really applies here as well. I think everyone can get as giddy as Paris Hilton during a Fendi clearance sale, but it will be up to Obama to actually follow through. I hope he does. And hey, if he doesn’t, at least I’ll get to complain to my brother in law about “his” president. “Andy Bernard doesn't lose contests, he wins them or he quits because they're unfair.”

Monday, January 19, 2009

1/19 Run - 11 miles in Iowa

11 miles, 8:36 pace. 176 average heart rate. 16 degrees. Burrrrrr.

This weekend's long run was, as advertised, in Iowa where my dad lives. I was able to get all 11 miles in without freezing off my giblets - but it was touch and go for a few other parts of my body. I wore my heart rate monitor again for a good 'baseline' of fitness. Here is where I ended up:




Like I said in my summary above, my heart rate averaged out at 176. I'm not sure if that is good or bad, but it is what it is. Hopefully some of the speed work that I am doing will help to bring that down.

The run was a bit slower than I wanted to run because of a number of factors (I wanted to target 8:20ish). First, it was cold. Cold cold. Now, I am pretty much a wuss and don't like to run in temperatures that cold - so I probably let it affect me more than I should have. You'll note the dips in speed / heart rate at 2.5 miles and 9.5 miles.... 2.5 miles was to fix my sleeves as my wrists were starting to go numb. Believe me when I say that having your wrists numb is not something that I recommend. The 9.5 mile slow down was to eat some sport beans that I had in my pocket. Silly me, I thought that my body heat would keep them from freezing. Nope, by that point they were hard as a rock. So, instead of holding them in my mouth for what seemed like forever, I just swallowed them like pills. Probably not the best idea - but I didn't choke so it couldn't be all that bad!

Finally, the last annoying thing about the run was that my water bottles froze up!! I was wearing a water belt with two of the four bottles filled up. The slow down at mile 6.5 was my vain attempt at trying to get some water out of them. No dice! The water in the bottles had started to freeze up and as a result the rubber mouth piece had frozen down.

What did I learn? The only thing that I can think of is making sure to wear an extra set of shorts when it is that cold. No sense in repeating THIS awesome adventure again! I don't want to have to explain to my wife why I am jumping around naked with nothing hiding my rocket but my cupped hand in some sort of odd vain attempt to warm it up.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ouch

I often quip that it is great to be a guy. To be honest, it is! I usually like to denote numbers to my reasons. "Reason # 1234 it is awesome to be a guy is that you don't have to worry about what other guys are thinking. Usually it is just not much". But, I think I found a reason on why it is awesome to be a GIRL.

I wasn't sure if I was going to post this, but I figured in light of the SUPER cold temps, it has probably happened to a lot of guys:




Yeah, check paragraph two. Ouch. Believe me, it sucks.
On that note, this weekend I'm headed to northern Iowa where I will try to stay warm. It will be radio silence until then!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lots of Unstaffed Peeps

Since I am unstaffed and can pretty much take vacation at will, I decided to take a few hours and go to the gym with my wife at 10:00am today. I was able to get in my three miles as well as some weight lifting.

What amazed me was that the gym was busier than ever! Isn’t it funny when we are out and about during work hours and it is busy you automatically think:

“Why don’t these people have jobs!?” When they are probably saying the exact same thing about you.

I could only assume that there either must be a LOT of unstaffed people living in my area as well – or there are a lot of stay at home moms who like to go to the gym in the late morning. I have to say that I am a little envious of being able to carve out some time during the middle of the day to knock out a workout. Not only did I get to sleep in, but I will have all night tonight to watch my stories! SCORE! When my wife stays home she will hopefully appreciate that.

The thing that I totally forgot about 10am TV is The Price is Right! I forgot how much of a guilty pleasure that show is for me. You get to try to guess the price of stuff, and if you are close enough you win! What could be more awesome than that? I also forgot how much I like Drew Carey. I see a little bit of myself in my buddy Drew. He is just a bit nerdy, but he is so likable that it makes up for it. That is me, right? Hmmm, maybe. :)

Speaking of Drew, during his sitcom days, his character brewed a coffee beer called “buzz beer’. I’m sure someone else makes it now, but at the time he was way ahead of the beer curve.

Week of 1/12 Running

1/13: 3 miles, 8:00 pace. 1.0 incline setting on the treadmill. (Does anyone know what the crap these mean??)
1/14: 5 miles, 7:48 pace with 4x 800 intervals at 6:58 pace.
1/15: 3 miles, 8:17 pace. 1.0 incline setting on the treadmill.

1/13: I completely wussed out and decided to run on the treadmill - too cold. In fact, all of my runs this week were on the treadmill because of the artic cold that hit the area. A family friend in Fargo, ND (where I am running the marathon) was quick to remind me that the 8 degrees that I had on the 13th was down right balmy compared to her -40 with the wind. Ouch.

1/14: Like I said in my last post about my weekly mileage, it could have been 50 and sunny and I would have still ran this one inside. I can't hold a constant interval pace outdoors. The interval training was much easier to manage (meaning maintain - not actually run) while on the treadmill. It still kicked my butt. Like I said earlier, I would be afraid to wear the heart rate monitor for these runs as I know that it would hover around 190 during the fast times.

1/15: A relatively easy run, but much like most of my Thursday runs, my legs felt heavy. I'm sure that most of that is in my head, but for some reasons these runs seem harder than the others. I'm sure that putting in the ~20 miles per week for the last three or so weeks is a change that my body is still getting used to again and in time I'll be able to knock these Thursday runs out of the park.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Would you rather… Have 3 eyes or webbed feet?

I’m a sucker for "would you rather" type questions. These are questions that pose two options to choose - each of which would be difficult to accommodate. A friend of mine, Tera, actually has a book called ‘bar-guments’ that is full of random questions to stump your slightly inebriated friends. So, since I have loads of free time, I randomly ran across a few good ones that I’d like to answer for my blog following!

Would you rather.... Have 3 eyes or webbed feet?
I’m assuming with this one that you can place your newly acquired eye wherever you want. As a result, I would choose the eye and would have it in the back of my head. That way, not only could I see what was going on back there, but I could grow my hair out long and hide it if I ever wanted it to go away.

Would you rather.... Be able to hear any conversation or take back anything you say?
This was a GOOD one and really got me thinking. At first I wanted to be able to hear any conversation. However, the more I thought about it, the more I thought that I appreciate a certain level of naiveté. Therefore, I would choose to take back anything that I said. Think about it…. Do you have any major decision coming up? Try out making the first decision and if you don’t like the way it plays out you’ll always have the second option to fall back on! Of course, I think that there was a Simpsons episode where Homer was able to time travel (because of a messed up toaster) and screwed everything up because of the changes he made, but I guess that is a risk I am willing to take.



And, since LOST is starting next week, Would you rather.... Be stranded on an island alone or with someone you hate?
This one didn’t take much thought at all. I’m a pretty forgiving guy, so if I truly hated someone, there is no way that I could be with them for any period of time. I’d take alone hands down. I’m pretty content with being lost in my own lack of thoughts (see also “why I run” post).

Let me know what you think!

Exploding heart

Yesterday while knocking out my first 3 miles for the week I decided to break out my heart monitor that came with my garmin 305.

Like I said earlier, I joined a gym. As part of the paid gym membership, my wife and I both got health assessments. During the health assessment, they measured all sorts of things like body fat %, level of flexibility, and *gasp* VO2 max!! Well, my VO2 was actually a bit lower than I thought that it might be. It was somewhere around 45 +/-. Either way, after running for the last few years, (quite arrogantly) I thought mine would be higher! Ha - silly me. Better go eat some donunts, that'll make me feel better.

So, back to the heart monitor.... As you'll find out tomorrow, I cranked out 3 miles at 8:00 pace while on 1.0 incline - whatever in the hell THAT incline means.... My heart rate during this rather normal run? 180!!! Shoot, it was 190 when I cranked it up to 7:30 for the last 400. I'm lucky that my heart didn't pop out of my chest and slap me upside the face. I was quite surprised because I wasn't tired at all, I wasn't too out of breath, and it jumped back down to 120 within about 2 minutes of running.

So, fortunately today was speed work which I hope will help bring that down. I didn't wear the monitor because I couldn't bear watch it climb to infinity.

During my long run this weekend I'm going to try to wear the heart rate monitor and post the results here. I THINK that my heart settles down around 4 miles. No better way to test it out than to just wear it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Talking and Driving

I saw on the news last night that the National Safety Council did a study that found that driving while talking on a cell phone, regardless of a hands free device, was just like driving drunk. That is, you have a 4 times greater chance of getting into an accident while talking on the phone while driving.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/01/12/cell.phone.driving/

This finding is quite interesting. I can’t help but be reminded of the first time that windshield wipers were used. People thought that the distraction would almost certainly result in automatic crashes. Same goes for when they put radios in cars. Sure death would result. Now, don’t be confused… I am NOT in favor of drinking and driving. It is very careless and is very preventable. However, I think that we have SOME sort of public perception issue. If it is that bad, talking on a cell phone needs to have the same stigma as drinking and driving.

Disclaimer, this is a joke… I’m also reminded of the joke about drinking a driving that I heard a while back…
“Now, I am not for drinking and driving, but if I’ve had two or three beers and am driving home my hands are at 10 and 2, I drive the speed limit, use my turn signals, and never tailgate. When I haven’t had anything to drink, I’m swerving all over the place, speeding, talking on my phone, while having one hand on the wheel. I mean I’m not saying that we should all get drunk and drive…. But I’m just saying.”

Sunday, January 11, 2009

1/11 Long Run

10 miles, 8:15 pace. (8:20 goal pace)

Today's run was the first run of my marathon training plan. It went really well. I was able to hold pace (for the most part) and ultimately hit at about the pace that I wanted. I'm going to really try to follow the mantra of 30 seconds or so slower than MP on these long runs. The overall goal is to avoid injury which I think is the reason they have you run a bit slower here.

This run was another oneway run where I ran from my house in a huge loop to the gym where my wife was swimming some laps. About half way through the run I realized that I was going to have to make my loop way bigger to get the 10 miles in - oops. I did develop a blister on my foot.... don't worry, no pictures - unless it gets worse and cool.

When I got to the gym I stretched out a bit, did one lap of running in the colder lap pool and then sat in the spa for 20 or so minutes. Good stuff - hopefully I can do it after a lot of my long runs. (Note, I of course did all of this after showering off a bit first.)

Friends

Scott Adams never ceases to amaze me with his thoughts, his humor, and his wittiness. Most recently was a blog post of his about friendship.


Since I know not many of you will go to the post (you should though - it is very well written), he basically breaks the definition of a true friend as someone who meets the following two criteria:

1. Someone you have told a secret.
2. Someone who has accepted a favor from you.

Very simple, yet very powerful at the same time. He goes on in the post to note that his two criteria are something that you give - not something that you receive. How true is that??
As I posted in my 100 things, I only have a handful of very close friends. This isn't because I'm not a particularly friendly guy - I have lots of casual acquaintances that I am close enough to go to dinner with or share drinks with. But, for one reason or another, the people that I would tell a secret to can be counted on two hands.
While I really like Scott's definition of a true friend, I think that I would modify it slightly. I think that I would still include his two definitions while adding a few of my own:

3. Someone who can complain to you and not worry about repercussions.
4. Someone who knows how you take your coffee.

How would you define a true friend? Is it something that you can even put words to or is it something that, much like love, is just something you know?

And, since I am talking about Dilbert, here is a very funny strip:


Friday, January 9, 2009

Good Parenting?

Today I got an email from my brother in law who is a comercial pilot. Unfortunately, it never surprises me how stupid careless some people are with their children. He was jump seating from his home to his home base and witnessed the following.

I first told him that he needed to have a blog, but for some reason he doesn't want to (I don't get it either). So, instead I asked if I could post it on mine! He agreed, so here it goes:


I thought you all would enjoy my story from this morning, and I'm bored waiting for my trip to start so here you go! ha ha.

I notice a commotion on my flight from PHX-IAH in the seat in front of me. Apparently a woman holding a baby fell asleep and the child was about to fall off of her lap. The flight attendants took the baby and gave her to some people sitting nearby while they tried to wake the woman up. I guess they were not very successful as I saw one of the flight attendants taking her pulse (this is when my earphones came off and I quit reading my book). They got her 1/2 way awake and tried to talk to her but apparently she was really out of it. They paged for a doctor over the PA and one came and spoke with her for a few minutes. The flight attendants then took care of her and the baby for the rest of the flight pulling the curtain in front of the way back bathroom so that she could get herself together and I think change the baby's diaper.

Apparently this woman thought it would be fun to take some benadryl with her anti-depressants and passed out. The FA's coordinated for paramedics to meet her at the gate (liability reasons), and I am sure at this very moment are filling out a ream of paperwork. (God forbid that the Lawyers miss out on their pay, even if no one sues).

This incident brought 2 things to mind.
1. You should have to take a test before you are allowed to breed. (Not exactly "free-market" society, but I am an un-apologetic liberal so oh well).
2. Airline tickets should cost a minimum of $500 because the flight attendants did all of that on a salary that just barely keeps them from being eligible for food stamps.

Then when transferring to our terminal in Houston, I see 5 cop cars, 2 airport operations cars, a mechanic van, and our assistant chief pilot all parked next to this airplane (some passengers had gotten into a fight).

What the hell?!

I agree, what the crap!?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Scrubs!

Well, I will admit, I was more than a bit sad when I heard that NBC was canceling one of my most favorite TV shows scrubs. I had seen the writing on the walls for quite some time so I wasn't overly surprised when they did it. They had been moving the show around a lot, starting the new episodes at odd times, and, if I remember right, it was put up against some pretty tough competition.

It was only by chance that I learned that ABC had picked it up - what a great decision. No wonder why NBC is having so much trouble... The Office can only take them so far!! The new Scrubs episodes basically picked up right where NBC left off. The Chief of Medicine is now Cortney Cox (yay!! and I didn't even watch friends) and the same hilarity that made me love it is, of course, still there.

Aside from how funny it is, I love how most of the shows have a moral message. One of the new episodes spoke about how even doctors are afraid of death / dying but they can't show it because they have to keep a strong face in front of terminal patients. Other great messages have included how friends (should) always have your back, not everything in life is 'fun', and yes even dysfunctional families love each other.

I'm not sure if I'll post about it again, but I do know that I'll be watching it each time that it is on. So much for thining out my TV watching! I guess there is always next season to thin the herd.... maybe.

Week of 1/5 Runs!

1/6: 3 miles, 7:58 pace
1/7: 5 miles, 7:47 pace with 4 x 800 at 7:00 pace.
1/8: 3 miles, 7:57 pace


This is officially the start of my marathon training for Fargo! (Side note, I really need to get on Runners world forums and see if there is anything out there about that race).

The first day was just fine - I was able to knock out the run without much effort. It was actually my first one way training run. I ran to the gym where my wife was in a spin class. I then lifted some weights and was driven back - score!

The second day was an interval day. Honestly my first try at intervals with any sort of conviction. I found out that I am not good at keeping a constant speed and likely will do these on the treadmill next time. The issue that I had was that it was so dark that I couldn't watch my Garmin. So, my intervals were a mix of 6:30 pace and 7:15 pace based on my laptop's download. Not good training and not really the point of intervals.... So, treadmill is what I'll do.

The third day (today) was killer. My legs felt heavy and I had a hard time keeping the pace that I wanted to. This is hopefully just because it was my first time running this kind of mileage in a week for a month or better and I need to get some fitness back. *fingers crossed!*

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Well Played Steve Jobs

Digital Rights Management - DRM. Also known as "pain in the ass iTunes copy protection". This is the thing that Apple hacked into all of the stuff that they sell on iTunes that doesn't let you play them on anything but an iPod. In their defense, (I'm about to nerd out on some folks... you can skip to the witty quip at the bottom if you want), they really had to do it because of the record companies. Most of the big ones would not agree to sell single songs without some sort of copy protection. Per the iPod book that Tera let me borrow, there was a back and forth between Apple and the recording industry and DRM is where it all landed.

Well, this week is the MacWorld expo. This is where Apple announces all of their big changes to the world. Well, this year, other than a new laptop, the big change was that DRM would no longer go on songs. I'm 100% for this. While I don't buy a lot of songs on iTunes to begin with, I do think that if you buy something you should be able to do whatever you want with it. I think this change will make even more people use iTunes and will ultimately make everyone more money.

However, I can only assume that this is yet ANOTHER ploy from Steve Jobs to get more people to like him. Not so fast Steve Jobs, you haven't won me over so easily.

Beer me

Yesterday I went to lunch with a coworker who is a diabetic. When I got back to my desk, I got to thinking about drinking beer / wine / etc while you have diabetes. Doesn't everyone think of that when you meet someone!? "I wonder how much beer he drinks....." Anyway, I went to Google and, based on Tera's recommendation, looked up what the effects of drinking were. (Good news, just like everything else you have to be careful).



Well, when I was typing in my request, Google came back with the following via the auto complete:

(Click to enlarge)

From I am Boring


I was astounded that google finds that so many people search for "drinking beer for the first time"! And, almost a million results!? I realize that a lot of 18 year old kids are curious about drinking beer, but I find it really hard to believe that they would consult Google first vs dad's fridge.



I'm not even going to TRY doing anything else for the first time. I'm afraid of what would turn up!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Merry Christmas to ME!

For Christmas, my wife gave me a gift card to the local sporting goods store. I think that she was originally planning on some warm weather gear, but since I am moving to Phoenix in 6 months, I would only get a few months of use out of it. So, instead I bought some Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8! I had over 500 miles on my old Brooks, so I was due. I'm a pretty practical guy, so this present was the best.

Other Christmas loot included some sweet smelling cologne, a cool kaleidoscope, a few cool books (reviews coming soon), and other miscellaneous things.

Honestly though, and this sounds cliche, I really like giving presents better! Hopefully everyone likes receiving all of the crap that I handed out this year!

Monday, January 5, 2009

I've got no where else to GO!

I am a consultant (as stated in my "5 things") and as I result, I bounce around from project to project. Well, after a period of 3.5 years, my project has come to a close. It is a good thing in that it will let me experience some new things and meet some new people. It is annoying because I am now "unstaffed".

Being unstaffed is a double edged sword. On the one hand, I am getting paid (for now) for doing not much. It is the time to work on training, take some vacation, find a new project, as well as work on selling MORE work. On the other hand, more often than not, it means tyring really hard to kill 8 hours a day. Not as easy as it sounds.

So, today I've done the following:
  1. I'm likely going to charge a few hours of vacation.
  2. I knocked out some ethics training and learned that it is NOT ok to obtain insider stock trading information. (Dang, there went my retirement strategy.)
  3. Looked for new roles in a massively large spreadsheet.
  4. Responded to a few questions about my experience.
  5. Wrote a new blog post (opps! How'd that slip in there?)
  6. Scheduled another blog post (Crap, ANOTHER post snuck in!?)
I'm really hopeful that I find something soon - otherwise my blog posts will go from daily to hourly - and nobody wants that.

1/4 Run

10 miles, 8:21 pace. The run felt good - although, I did develop a small blister on the bottom of my foot. Nothing bad enough to slow me down.

This run will be my last run before the training program 'officially' starts. I've decided to still use Hal Higdon's schedule, but modify it a bit. I'm going to use the Intermediate II schedule with speedwork on the Wednesday runs and I'm not going to run the Saturday pace runs (for now). This schedule will enable me to keep up with my weight training as well as get a few days of rest in there to avoid injury.

I'm also going to really work on not going too fast on my long runs. I'm going to target 8:20 - 8:30 pace and really work to keep it constant. Previously, I've tried to hold a 8:00 pace (MP) which I haven't head much luck with. I'll keep everyone posted!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ruminations

I haven't posted any funny ruminations lately, so here are a few to tide you over!

I hate when someone says that a word "isn't real" or is "made up." All words are "made up" you jackass. We didn't discover the dictionary.
I just saw a commercial for the Bowflex where a guy said "I gave all my fat clothes to my fat friends." Apparently, the Bowflex doesn't shape up your personality.

How has no one invented a "cancel floor" button for elevators?

Shitty economy causes company to cut spending; company decides to take away texting on all issued blackberries; I am left without this crucial booty call tool. I just got cock-blocked by the economy.

I hate it when you're in the car with someone and they get a phone call and turn down the radio all the way leaving you in silence with nothing else to do but eavesdrop on their side of the conversation

Cold, with a chance of ooze...

When I checked my google homepage yesterday for the weather this weekend, this is what I saw:


On Saturday, there is a chance of what can only be described as tree ooze. Grrr, annoying. It is actually a chance of ice - AGAIN. After Christmas, on the trip home from Colorado, we hit a pretty bad stretch of ice. We were forced to slow down from 75 to 35 and saw lots of cars going in the ditch. That is, they were on the road one minute and in the ditch the next. It was a little stressful for a while, but honestly I got used to the slower icy driving.

Luckily we did make it home without going in the ditch as well. Unfortunately, these guys weren't as lucky!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Lifetime Fitness

My wife and I recently joined a ‘full featured’ gym. This isn’t the bare bones type with some treadmills and free weights. Oh no. This is the real deal with basketball, a pool, and rock climbing walls. Of course, it has the monthly membership dues to match the bells and whistles – but hopefully it will be worth it.

The reasons for joining the gym are honestly as varied as the stuff that they’ve crammed into it. For me, it is mostly about cross training and other non-running activities. Since I used to travel I could bum off of hotel workout facilities. Generally they weren’t the best, but they were good enough for me. However, since I will not be traveling for the foreseeable future, I decided that it would be money well spent to lock down a place here in Kansas City.

My wife has her own goals for joining as well, so we have a daily regimen of going to the gym and either lifting, going to spin class, or swimming. The first week has been a blast and I hope that we keep it up. The downside of course is now that my running has picked up and I’m going to the gym is that I am eating like a HORSE. I’m pretty much always hungry again. Normally this doesn’t happen until I start to run over 30 miles per week, but I guess the weight lifting has really added more than I thought it has.

So, if you see me walking down the street, offer me a sandwich. Subway is best.

Week of 12/28 Runs

12/30 - 3 miles, 8:20 pace
12/31 - 3 miles, 7:35 pace with 2 x 800 at 7:00 pace.
1/1 - 3 miles, 7:55 pace

This was the last week before I 'officially' start my training schedule for the Fargo marathon. The runs went well, although I didn't want to get up and run a few of the days! The good news is that I haven't had any pain in my legs or foot from the Chicago marathon injury. I've just had a slight case of shin splints that I assume will go away once I get back into a regular routine.

Book Review: Running With Buffalos

My final book from the library was Chris Lear's Running with The Buffalos. This book followed the 1998 University of Colorado Cross Country team throughout their season - ultimately ending with the NCAA championships in Lawrence, KS. (Spoiler alert - if you are going to read the book, skip down to the last paragraph)

While the book profiles the entire XC team, the book primarily follows Adam Goucher and his quest to finally win the NCAA championship 10k race. At that time he was a 4:20 miler which was nearly 30 seconds faster than any other members of the team. It follows Mark Wetmore's rigorous training program and the trials and tribulations of training at a very high level. Injuries, pains, and even death are all part of the story. Fortunately, Adam does win the NCAA title and (as we all know) goes on to a very successful professional running career.

There were a lot of things that I didn't like about the book. It was VERY methodical. I honestly think that it was written more for a XC coach than a casual reader. It was a day by day description of each workout, the duration / times / distances. Additionally, it did not go much into the runners personal lives. It talked a lot about WHAT the runners did, but not much about
HOW they did it. That is, nutrition, sleep, how they balanced their school / running etc.

Unfortunately, I didn't like this book as much as I wanted to like this book. I gave it two Shakespeare heads because it was a bit too methodical for my tastes. I think that for someone to like this book, they would really have to like reading biographies in a diary format that spare no detail. If you like that - check it out for sure!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

One year in 40 seconds

I normally don't post a lot of videos on my blog. They slow down the blog, generally don't ADD a whole lot (not about running, me, etc), and take up valuable blog space.

However, for my first post in 2009, I thought that I would share the following video. I wanted to post it because it reminded me of the area that I grew in (northwest Iowa) and also reminded me of running throughout the year in the midwest. I really enjoy watching the seasons change as I run and this little clip is a really good representation of that.

It reminded me of the video that showed a pregnancy in about a minute - with one picture per day. Since I don't want to post ANOTHER video, you can find it here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU6ojtBW0Qo


2009 Goals / Resolutions

Tis the season for reflection on 2008 and goal setting for 2009. I have given a lot of thought to my list, and here is what I came up with:

Running

  • Run 1,000 miles. I ran nearly 900 this past year, so 100 more is a realistic goal (I believe)

  • Run the following Races:

  • Fayetteville, AR Marathon
  • Fargo, ND Marathon

  • Spring 5k

  • Fall TBD marathon ??

  • Winter TBD marathon ??


Non Running



  • Eat two fruits and two vegetables each day

  • Call my family more (every other week at least)

  • Start to send postcards. Everyone loves postcards!