Monday, March 30, 2009

White Chocolate Wonderful Review

I’m not a generally lucky person. However, I love the saying “even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while”. Well, about two weeks ago, I was that squirrel! Michelle selected me as the winner of a jar of “White Chocolate Wonderful” peanut by Peanut Butter and Co. Check her blog out here. She is just getting back into running after breaking her toe. Go Michelle!!

Peanut Butter and Co is a sandwich shop in Grenwich Village who obviously also makes peanut butter. The first time that I had the peanut butter, I was immediately overwhelmed by how creamy it was. Normally, it seems that organic peanut butter is a bit gritty, but the white chocolate that was included in this one really smoothed it out. Even though a lot of people won’t find this a particularly good thing, I loved that when I ate it before one of my long runs, it had a few extra calories than normal PB. I don’t have the jar in front of me, but I feel like it had around 200 vs the normal ~160. Always a good thing, right?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

3/29 Weekend Run

3/29 - 13.1 miles, 8:22 pace, 1:49:44 total time

Compared to runs past, today’s run went really well. My knee had very minimal discomfort which only started around mile 11. I am not sure if it was because I ran in the afternoon, but I found it interesting that my knee didn’t hurt at all at the beginning. During my midweek runs, it seems to hurt a bit more towards the beginning of the run and then settles in after 10 minutes or so. That is probably due to being stiff from a full night’s sleep.

I think that I must have been a bit out of it while running though. I had decided to do an out and back. But at the turn around, I looked at my watch and saw that I was running a LOT slower than I thought that I was. My ¼ marathon split was something like 1:04. I had been pushing the pace a bit and couldn’t figure out how I was running only a 9:15 pace or so. Well, a few minutes later, I realized what had happened. My out and back was on pace to be 15 miles, not 13! Crap. Since I am running the most miles that I ever have next week, I figured that I had better not push it, so I found a way to shorten the run up a bit but still had to walk about a mile after I was done.

Another thing that was a little annoying was that I got soaked during the run. We had received 4” of snow the day before which was now all melting. So, there were tons of puddles and small streams that I ultimately had to run through. My socks and legs ended up being a gross shade of brown that made my legs look really tan!

The 13 miles this weekend puts me at 29 miles for the week. It was great to have a step down week because next week will be a doozy capped off by the Hogeye marathon. With the marathon, 46 miles will be the most that I have ever done in a week!

Unfortunately, the Olathe Marathon 5K that I had planned for this weekend was postponed because of the snow. I’ll be running it next weekend the day before the marathon…. But will post more about that tomorrow!

It's Time!

If you have HBO and you like dry humor, I really suggest that you check out Flight of the Concords. They are a folk rock comedy band (think Tenacious D) that sing about all sorts of things..... Like business time!

"Two minutes in heaven is better then one minute in heaven...."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Freaking Fargo Flooding

I am signed up to run the 2009 Fargo Marathon. I’ve bought flights, will rent a car, and have been booked for quite some time. In fact, it is my primary spring race. It is supposed to be a very well supported race that is relatively flat and should hopefully be prime pickens for a PR. However, if you have been watching the news, you’ll know that Fargo is currently in a major flood.

Let me be clear, I hope very much that everyone is OK and that the loss of life is zero and the damage to property is minimal. I’ve seen puppies being rescued by bayou style air boats so I have to assume that help is getting to the people who need it. (On a side note, why the hell do people in ND have those bayou style boats!? Last time I checked the ‘gater problem in ND was actually quite small.) However, I can’t help but wonder how this will affect the marathon course. Today I did what I have been avoiding and I looked up the race route:

Just as I expected, that light blue squiggle amongst the marathon course is the Red River….. The very river that is threatening the city. Bummerrrr

I am sure that we’ll have some sort of race, but I just wonder where it will be and what it will be like. A friend of mine suggested that if all else fails, the organizers could just have us run around a block 100 times. Awesome.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Week of 3/23 Runs

3/24: 5 miles 8:36 pace
3/25: 6 miles 8:14 pace
3/26: 5 miles 8:22 pace

Tuesday: Tuesday’s run was dark and cold. The night before I went to the gym to try to spin off some of the acid in my legs from the 20 miles this past weekend. Overall I think it worked and I was able to run this right where I wanted to. My knee was still bothering me a bit, but nothing that wasn’t more than a 2 or a 3 on the 1-10 suck-o-meter scale. As I was running I couldn’t help but think to myself how much I hope that the lessening pain was a good sign. Afterwards I iced down a ton which made it feel right as rain. The other thing that I am really trying to make a conscious effort of is to get a ton of sleep. While traveling I seem to not to be able to get to sleep, so I watch 30 to 60 minutes of TV in the bed. NO MORE. I’m going to try to get 8 hours of sleep a night if it kills me.

Wednesday: Wednesday’s run, I think, was the turning point in my knee’s recovery. I was able to click off all 6 miles with little to no pain. The run actually started out about like all the others with some pain along the inside of my left knee. However, much to my enjoyment, the pain totally went away after about a mile so I decided to kick it up a notch. (Channeling my inner Emerald Lagasse - BAM) Yeah, probably shouldn’t have speed up, but I get antsy if I’m not able to knock out some quickish miles. The speed felt really good and the only reason it wasn’t at a 8:00 pace or so is because I had to stop a few times for really long stoplights.

Thursday: Today’s run was very similar to Wednesday’s run which is just fine with me. I feel like I am on the mend with only minor pain for the first mile or so. The only difference today is that I didn’t take any Advil and everything seems to be without pain. I was honestly afraid that the storms that are blowing through the southeast were going to force me to run on the crappy hotel treadmill. But, they held back and I was able to get my miles in.

This weekend Nick, his wife, myself, and my wife are all running the Olathe 5K. (That is pronounced Oh-Lay-Th-Uhh…. I don’t get it either!) The forecast is supposed to be pretty crap-tastic with some combo of rain or snow – a fact that my lovely wife continuously reminds me. It should make for some interesting pictures!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fit Point Test

The gym I belong to (Lifetime Fitness) performs “Fit Point Tests” that test everything from bicep strength to VO2 Max. When my wife and I first joined, we both had one done and I think that we were both a little surprised with the results. I believe that I posted about how I thought that my VO2 would have been a little higher based on my level of physical fitness. Of course, I don’t know WHAT “high” would be other than the neat little bar graph that says that mine is “fair to moderate”.

Well, what a difference 3 months makes! I was able to make some modest gains in quite a few of the categories. Of course, all of these numbers are completely arbitrary to me, but the little bar graphs when down when they were supposed to and went up when they were supposed to! Score one for statistical irrelevance!

BMI: 22.9 to 21.7
VO2: 43.5 to 46.9
Fat %: 12.3 to 9.8

There were a bunch of other random categories as well like bicep strength etc. Lets just say that I won’t be arm wrestling Arnold Schwarzenegger any time soon. The odd thing is that even though I was a bit better in nearly all of the categories, my “overall fitness” stayed the same. How can that happen? Annoying.

Either way, it did shed a light on the fact that I need to do a better job of replacing calories burned while running. Of course, the test did track weight which went down to a level that I would like to see a bit higher. I only lost a few lbs, but on my small frame that is substantial. Isn’t that the irony of it all? Bald men have hairy backs, people who want to loose weight have the hardest time dropping the lbs and people who just want to maintain have a hard time doing just that.

If you can get hold of a fancy treadmill, I encourage you to see if it has a VO2 test built in. A lot of the gym quality ones seem to have it and, for us Garmin wearing number nerds, it is a good indicator of where you are at!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sorry Mother Earth, I like ‘em big…

….Trucks that is. What were you thinking?

The last two weeks I’ve had big SUVs for rental cars. Two weeks ago I had a Nissan Pathfinder and this week I have a Ford Explorer. As much as I hate to admit it, I really like being in a big SUV - able to run over any small wildlife, pets, or small children that may happen to get in my way (not to mention fire hydrants and small cars! Weeee). I guess the 14 mpg that I am getting is just an annoying side effect.

Seriously though, even I’m shocked at how empowered being in a big truck makes me feel. I am a pretty eco-conscious guy. In fact, I was looking at solar panels last night for my as yet to be bought house in Phoenix. (I found a 2.0 kWh array for $10k…) I don’t take it to the extreme as some, but I am aware that the frequent trips to the gas pump can’t be horribly good on the environment. But, as my brother in law is undoubtedly thinking, driving a big SUV does make my man berries bigger - which is pretty much the reason that I do everything.

Am I alone here? Or, should I stock up on steel toed boots and start to kick puppies on a regular occasion to make my transition to bastard child of Mother Earth complete?

Monday, March 23, 2009

3/21 Weekend Run

20 miles, 9:21 pace, (3:07:18 total time)

It is funny, this weekend’s run was basically the same pace as last weekend’s run (9:22 vs 9:21) but it was two completely different runs. I had decided ahead of time that, since I am planning on doing 3 20+ mile runs prior to my race in Fargo, I would actually listen to the ‘experts’ on this run. That is, I’d run it a solid 45-60 seconds/mile slower than MP. That put my goal pace for this run around 8:45. For the most part while running I hit that pace. I also allowed myself to walk when I needed to and take a quick bathroom break where I also refilled my water bottles.

The run started out really well. My knee wasn’t hurting at all and I was holding a really good pace at ~8:30. I ran this pace for the first 6 or so miles. One thing I noticed when I got out of the neighborhoods and alongside of a major road is that the wind was really blowing against my back WHILE I was running. Anyone who has run any significant distance knows this is a bad sign. Since I am running at about 7.5 mph, in order to feel the wind at my back, it means that the wind has to be at least 14 mph+. Suck. I probably should have picked up the pace a little bit in anticipation of the wind on the return, but I wanted to be “good” and run my slower long run pace.

The first 10 miles passed without incident. I was feeling really good, my knee was feeling good, all was right with the world. However, when I turned around and had to run into the wind, I ran into a brick wall. I decided not to wear my heart rate monitor – and I am glad that I didn’t. I think that I would have been around 200 bpm for the last 10 miles! I was able to tough it out for the first 4 miles or so, but after a while I couldn’t keep the pace and needed to rest. My knee started to ache a bit so I took a few breaks here and there to try to give it a break from the onslaught of the wind.

I also found that I am not used to running in relative heat (65 degrees) because I burned through all of my water after 14 or so miles. So, like I said before, I stopped to refill my bottles and pee which seemed to take a lot more time than it should have – 4 or 5 minutes.

So, all in all this was a pretty good long run. Not a ‘quality’ run since it was so much slower than I would have liked it to be, but still good to get my legs moving for a solid 20 miles.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cue “The OC” Theme Song

I had the theme song to The OC in my head for three days straight while I was in California. It was such a good time. I have said to my wife (and I think to Nick as well) that San Diego is probably my most favorite spot in the Continental 48 states. It has the right amount of beaches (tons), fun nightlife, and tons of suburbia to hit the sweet spot in my mundane life. Mix all of that with lots of green foliage and this farm boy is in heaven.

While I didn’t get to see much of either LA or San Diego, I was able to get out for a few good runs and was able to eat some really good food… and take some fun pictures!

Here is the view from my hotel. I had a great view of the bay that the USS Midway sits on/in.

On Tuesday night I got to go to a neat Italian restaurant, Il Fornaio, on Coronado Island. The food was good but the views were great. During the 3 or so hours I was there, I saw a cargo ship pushed by tug boats, some sort of touristy pirate ship, and a navy seal boat! I can’t help but feel one or two notches wussier whenever I think of those guys.

I took my camera on my 10 mile quest to find some “Real” housewives. I didn’t find any housewives, but I did find that my camera is a BITCH to carry for that long while running. The pictures below are of the first ½ mile (I think?? Still really fuzzy due to lack of sleep…) and some of the really cool palms and mountains which are my new desktop background.

Finally, I’ll admit that when I think of California or LA specifically, I can’t help but think of movie stars, silicone, and maybe some Beverly Hillbillies (with a cement pond). However, I am always pleasantly surprised when I find that I am completely wrong. I rarely see movie stars, there is no more silicone than in any other city, and I almost never meet up with the hillbillies. However, I did have to laugh, stop, and take a picture when I saw this pimped out AM/PM convenience store. I wonder if their bottled water is $15. Hey, still cheaper than the airport!

Wait, was that the Laguna Beach theme song that was stuck in my head? I think it may have been..... I still can’t believe Rocky and Breanna keep fighting!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Living Remotely

I know…. I know…, I’ve been away the last two weeks. How did you survive!? If my hits go down I’ll know it is because there was a rash of sudden suicides within the blogosphere I did my best to shoot out as many blog posts as possible, but I will admit that it was hard to get them out when I wanted. In fact, I had to spend one evening of blog posting time just getting caught up with my bloggy peeps. I believe the kids would say FAIL. Since I am old, I’ll stick to saying LAME. Both fit.

Over the past two weeks I can’t help but notice how much more cumbersome it is to live your life remotely. Now, just to be clear, I was spending time in some of the best places in the lower 48. Pictures will certainly follow. But, that does not mean that life doesn’t keep clicking by in Kansas City. The good thing is that I think that I am on backend of the bell curve and things are starting to calm down. The house stuff is finally starting to throttle back a bit and I’m finding a really good groove at work. Now, if I could just get my running under control, I’d be set.

Of course, as I sit on an airplane on my way from LA to KC with a layover in Vegas I also can’t help but notice the irony about typing this post… I even have to blog remotely!

Week of 3/16 Runs

3/17: Off
3/18: 5 miles 8:21 pace
3/19: 10 miles 8;40 pace
3/20: Off – for now.

Tuesday: I decided to take today off to let my knee rest just one more day. I am having a hard time judging when is an OK time to get back out there because I almost never have any pain when I am walking. It is only when I have 400m or 800m distance under my legs that I can tell that something is up.

Wednesday: 5 miles in the super dense San Diego fog. The run started out quite well right along the bay. I felt only minor tweaks in my knee and was able to keep a pretty good pace. In fact, as I go back and fill in my pace for this run above, I may have started out a bit TOO fast. First mile was 8:07. Oppsies. I think that it may have been a response to the two day break, the cool damp air, and the fact that I was just super excited to get out there.

Thursday: 10 miles in LA. My goal was to run to Coto de Caza and take pictures of all of the Real Housewives’ houses. No such luck. I wasn’t able to run far enough. I think that if this run would have been a 14 miler instead of a 10 miler I would have been able to make it. However, I did get some really good pictures that I am going to post on Saturday. The run was OK. It started out a little fuzzy due to lack of sleep because I was starting at 5:45. In fact, when I headed back, I didn’t recognize ANYTHING from miles 8-10 (which would have been the first two). I guess I was either in ‘the zone’ or was in a half conscious for the first 15 minutes. I’m voting for half conscious. Unfortunately no one took advantage of me while I was sporting my running shorts and a paint splattered shirt. I wonder why!? On the run the knee pain came and went. It would be good for a while but then would flare up to a 4 out of 10 on the pain-o-meter. I honestly can’t tell if it is getting better or if it is getting worse – and THAT is really frustrating me.

Friday: Today I haven’t ran yet, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t. I’m trying to balance letting my knee heal while still keeping some level of fitness. Just maybe I’ll goto the gym and ride the bike for a while.

PS: This weekend is my first 20 miler putting my weekly mileage at 40 and my monthly mileage at XX. My training has officially peaked for the Fargo Marathon. Now, I bounce between 13 and 20 miles until the taper!

PSS: The hotel room on Thursday didn’t have a hair dryer, so I had to put my gross shoes in my suitcase. Now, they have a smell that is somewhere between a high school boy’s locker and a skunk in a dirty diaper. As Ron Burgundy would say: “It has a very pungent aroma…. It stings the nostrils”

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Real housewives here I come!

Today I am spending the day in San Diego and then driving up with some clients to the very south LA area. If I said that I was going to Coto De Caza, I think that at least some of your ears would perk up and realize that I am going to the home of none other than my buddies the Real Housewives of Orange County! I am just fine with giving up as many man cards as required to admit that I watch this show on a regular basis. Just because I like to watch some good old fashion trash TV that doesn’t make me a bad person, right? Maybe I like to look good…and feel pretty…..and have everything all organized in a man-purse….. oh dear, too much bravo TV.

My client has an office that is within half a mile of the gated entrance to this neighborhood of excess. So, since I am pushing back all of my runs by a day to give my leg a rest, I am going to try to run my 10 miles in and around this little area. Wish me luck! I’ll have my camera with and will be snapping pictures as I go! I'm sure I'll see someone famous - no sense not having my camera, right??

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bits of Wisdom

Since I am wrapping up my Arizona trip and letting my knee heal (more), I thought that I would leave you all with some very funny bits of wisdom:

  • I've reached the age where I can no longer rationalize my selfworth by looking at a professional athlete's age and think to myself: "I’ve still got time."
  • I want to bury about 1,000 pennies on the beach and lay back with a corona, watching the crazy guy with the metal detector get excited...disappointed...excited!...disappointed...
  • The other night I was talking to this girl who seemed really into me, until she asked me what I wanted to do after college and I responded "become rich enough to swim around in a huge underground vault filled with coins like Scrooge Mcduck." Apparently she wasn't a Ducktales fan.
  • No wonder kids these days are so whiney. They're growing up with High School Musical. We had the Mighty Ducks, The Sandlot & Little Giants.
  • After how many hours does a nap just become sleep?
  • I have no problem telling you that I'm hungry, tired, bored, cranky, frisky, whatever. But I will never admit that I'm drunk. Not even when I'm sitting indian style on my floor at 3am, eating cold, leftover pizza that's been sitting out since 9pm. Nope - not drunk

Sunday, March 15, 2009

3/14 Weekend Run

19 miles, 9:22 pace (!!!), 174 average heart rate. This run was a doozy.

This weekend I’m in very sunny Arizona checking out storage units and dorking around in some open houses. I didn’t run on Saturday because my knee was still a little sore from tweaking it while lifting weights. I decided to still push forward with my long run this weekend because I didn’t have any pain on Sunday morning while I was putzing around my in-law’s house.

The run started just fine. It was about 55 or 60 degrees when I started out and clicked off miles 1-7 in 8:15, 8:16, 8:16, 8:57 (stupid stoplight), 8:11, 8:14, 8:19. Consistent!!?? I felt a little bit of pain in my left knee, but it wasn’t anything that changed my stride and wasn’t anything major enough to even slow me down. I’d say a 2 out of 10 on the pain-o-meter.

Something happened on mile 8, but I can’t remember what it was. I ran that mile in 9:37 but then ran mile 9 in 8:25. I took my shirt off to get some sun and then something happened… My stomach had been rumbling throughout most of the run but it really picked up some steam at the half way point. I knew that this was going to be bad. So, I started to be on the lookout for a place to stop. It was come and go (figuratively, not literally thank GOD) for the next few miles which passed by in 9:11, 8:26, and 9:45 (another LONG stoplight). I FINALLY found a McDonalds right at the half marathon point.

When I finished in McD’s and started to run again, I felt sharp pains in my left knee. It seemed that my knee had swelled up when I was in McDonalds and was super painful to run on. It was at that point that I realized that my run was not going to be fun from this point on. I briefly considered calling it a day, but without any way to call my wife, and being exactly 6 miles away from home (ran a stuipd big loop), I didn’t have a choice but to hammer out the miles. I walked on it for a while, which helped a lot, but ultimately I had to start to run on it again. I basically followed a “walk a few minutes and then trudge out the rest of the mile” strategy all the way back to my in-laws house. It was a pretty tough run, but I finished.

The last 7 miles I finished in: 11:25, 9:42, 8:32, 11:22, 11:23, 12:43, 8:46. There were some pretty slow miles in there. Blah. The really annoying part is that I wasn’t all that tired it was the knee pain that slowed me down. I’m going to rest my knee a lot this next week and hope that a few extra days off will help.

On the bright side (literally!) I did get some color while I was out here. Maybe a little too much color – crap!

Channeling my inner Steve in a Speedo with a red forehead and cheeks

I am pretty sure that I am more red than this picture portrays. I wanted to take another picture while flexing but my wife wouldn't take it!

The tale of two runs. First half good, second half suck-city.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Censoring Facebook

Tera recently posted on her blog about censoring her Facebook account because she added clients and coworkers as friends. Obviously there are certain things that you wouldn’t post on there if you knew that people you work with read it. You wouldn’t want to complain about work a WHOLE lot!

It got me thinking about if I sensor what I post on my blog. I finally decided that in general I don’t. What you read is pretty much a direct feed to my head. (See also nipple post) That sometimes means that I have rambly posts that go on and on forever and also have some very disjointed posts that end up in bullets.

However, after a while I got to thinking that I do indeed censor it a bit. For example, I have never posted my wife’s name (although, if you are a super sluth, you can find it). I have never posted specifically where I work or certainly have never posted who my clients are. And, I guess there haven’t ever been any noodie pictures of me on here, so I censor it in that regard too. Which of course is your loss.

The old saying probably applies: “Don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t want your mom finding out.” Although, my mom reads my blog! For that matter, last week I added her on Facebook as well.

Do you censor your blogs or facebook accounts? I think we probably all do a bit, but do you ever have an entire post written and just delete the entire thing? Anything completely off limits? Let me know!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Week of 3/9 Running

3/10: 4 Miles 7:57 pace
3/11: 6.5 Miles, 7:34 pace with 4x800 at 6:48 pace
3/12: 4 miles, 8:32 pace

Tuesday: Nothing seems to stick out in this run as particularly interesting. I think that I’ve finally hit a groove with the training at this point. I’m really hitting my stride and hitting the times that I would like to hit. I will say that daylight savings time has really kicked me in the junk with regard to my morning runs. I was just getting used to the sun being out for the very last part of my short morning runs but now I am plunged back into darkness.

Wednesday: Speed day – Owwwww. I sort of spoiled this run with my previous post about my nipple pain. However, I will retell the story because I am a bit narcissistic. I was extremely tired as I woke up on Wednesday and since I am staying in Atlanta through Friday, I had the option of running this and Thursday’s run in the afternoon. So, I decided at 5:30am to do my speed work in the afternoon. I am not sure if ANYONE should be allowed to make decisions at 5:30am – no matter how insignificant. So, that morning I packed my bag not even realizing that I forgot to pack my usual band-aids. I ALWAYS run with band-aids on my nipples to prevent chaffing. When I got to the gym and realized it, I didn’t want to go get any, so I thought that I would try it out without them – big mistake. I was fine through the first four or so miles, and really all of my speed work, but after that, the pain started to get the best of me. I am not sure if it was because I was on a treadmill or because I have an SUPER low tolerance for nipple pain, but I could not take much more after 6.5 miles. I had originally wanted to do 9 miles and would have liked to do 2 more intervals, but I didn’t have it in me.

Thursday: Today was supposed to be the day that I caught up on mileage. However, for some reason I felt a slight tweak in on of my quad muscles. I am nearly positive that it was still sore from lifting weights on Monday which is honestly a little annoying since I lifted on MONDAY. Either way, I decided that I would give it a mile or so to see if it worked itself out. It mostly did, but I didn’t want to try to hammer out the full 6 miles so I just did a quick 4 to try to burn out some of the acid. It worked quite well and I think that I am on the mend. I iced everything down really well which made all of the difference. The funny thing is that my split times were faster and faster as I burned more and more acid: 9:05, 8:43, 8:11, 8:15. Most of that is due to traffic that I hit at the beginning, but some of it is due to how sore my quad was. Stay tuned for a very long 19 mile run this weekend!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nipple OWW

Another bulleted post this morning…

  • I did my speed workout yesterday with mixed results. On the one hand I got in 4x800 @ 6.48 pace and really didn't have any running issues… On the other hand, I had to stop 2.5 miles early (6.5 out of 9) because my nipples were about to rub off. Yeeeeooowww
  • My facebook status is something about my nipples. (Add me if you want!) I had a cousin in law who recently had a baby comment "Try breast feeding and then come talk to me!!" Wow, I'll admit - you win Nichole, you TOTALLY win. :)
  • After work today I am going to buy band aids ASAP… But am still going to try to recapture the lost 2 miles (I’m rounding up)
  • The weather this week has been amazing, I am really hoping that next week in California (San Diego and LA) it will be just as nice.

  • This weekend I am going to do my 19 miles in sunny Phoenix, AZ. I’m hoping that I can go without a shirt on and avoid the entire nipple issue all together. If not, look for me in the south Tempe area – I’ll be the one wincing in pain holding my shirt away from my chest.

  • Michael Phelps is on the today show tomorrow trying to explain his bong. I honestly hope he shows up stoned…. Matt Lauer would tear him a new one and YouTube would have a field day with it!

  • I’m toying more and more with getting a tri-bike when I move to AZ. Anyone have any thoughts? Types of bikes? What to look for? Can I buy a used one? More on this to be sure.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lifting with my butt

Today is a speed day but unfortunately I didn’t get in any miles. When I woke up, the weightlifting that I did with my legs on Monday really started to set in. I think that it was a combination of a few things… I had taken my leg day off for a few weeks because of some ankle issues, I have been sitting in meetings a lot all week long, and I didn’t stretch like I should have after lifting. I think that is the perfect trifecta for ass pain. When the alarm went off at 5:30 and I tried to get out of bed, my hamstrings and ass muscles (glutes I suppose) screamed that I could squeeze it in after work.

In spite of the pain, I am still going to get out there tonight and get in my 9 miles. I am going back and forth on doing the usual 800m repeats or mixing it up with 4x800 repeats and some 400m repeats. Right now I’m leaning towards the mixed route. Ulyana has got me thinking with her track workouts that maybe I need to mix it up a bit. (Basically, my training plan is loosely based on a Hal Higdon schedule mixed in with random bloggy bits that I find along the way) I’ll let everyone know tomorrow how it went! For now, I am off to go stretch against a wall.

Husband Manual 101: Chapter 5 – You look just like

Helping men navigate the mousetrap that is the female brain since 2008!
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

It seems like a good idea at the time. Everyone thinks Angelina Jolie is hot, or that Julia Roberts is cute, right? So, you think that you’ll earn some much needed brownie points the next time that you are forced to watch Access Hollywood by saying something like this:

You (to wife): “Did you see Julia Roberts in that low cut dress? She looked good. Have I ever told you that you look a little bit like her?”
Wife (confused): “What? Are you serious?”
You (starting to back peddle): “Well, I was just thinking that you both have a nice smile and are pretty fit”
Wife (annoyed): “You seriously think I look like her? She is soooo ugly, it is like her mouth goes from one ear to the other! How many teeth does she have anyway? 300?”
You: “I… Well….. never mind. Can’t we watch football or something else?”

This all could have been avoided had the husband known to never associate the women in his life with other women, ever. I don’t care if she has huge full lips and long dark hair like the octo-mom and Angelina Jolie both do, you do NOT tell her that she looks like either. Women receive an onslaught of conflicting information each and every day about what looks are in, out, or soooo last season. As a result, you can never be sure if the celebrity you are comparing your dearest to was recently on the best dressed list or if she recently wore some sort of “swan dress” Bjork style.

Whenever possible, try to keep compliments very abstract and confusing. That is, comparing her eyes to the stars, her smile to the sun, or her hair to silk – the more confusing the better. Be creative! For example, try mixing bizarre accent pieces with your favorite animals: “Wow! Your earrings are like eagles for your head!” She’ll be so surprised that you recognized her new purchase that you won’t even have to explain yourself!

Thanks Nick for the inspiration on this one! It has been a long time since my last post in this series, I hope that all of the guys out there haven’t stuck BOTH feet in their mouths during the interim. Lord knows I have.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The TSA is my new Bush

No matter what your political affiliation, I think that we can all agree that Prez Bush was a lot of people’s whipping boy. He eventually became the fall guy for about everything that went wrong in the world. Shoot, some may argue that he still is! That said, I wanted to propose a new whipping boy: The TSA.

Never has an organization been more dysfunctional, disorganized, and incompetent. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, they hire the kind of people that think that it would be a good idea to stand in front of a huge X Ray machine for 8 hours a day. Even doctors know that you need to wear those little X Ray sensor deals on your belt to make sure you don’t get cooked from the inside out. I think the straw that broke this camels back was this post by a friend of mine, Tera. I realize that they are following some stupid policy or procedure, but enough is enough! Until they shape up, they will be MY new whipping boy!

I have been looking for this vid FOREVER and finally found it!!
Edit, I think the TSA is on to me and is blocking the video from showing... Here is the original URL:

Get Games and Fun Videos at MyPartyPost.Com

On a side note, since this posting is sort of political (even though that wasn’t the intent), I thought that it was worth mentioning that yesterday Obama passed the ONE piece of legislation that won my vote. He reversed the ban on federal funding for stem cell research. I am a so called “single issue voter” and that was my issue. Good job Obama. Step #2, fix the economy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A week in the life

I often get asked what my job is like. Or rather, not what my job is like so much as what all of the travel is like. Each week I jump on at least one plane to go to places far far away. Normally these places are not very exotic, but they are always interesting in their own right. By that I mean that there is usually some crazy person in the airport yelling at the ticket agent because they missed their flight. Thankfully the ticket agent is usually good not to mention if they would have stopped at either Starbucks OR McDonalds in the airport food court they probably would have made it. Keep it up crazies, you are what make the travel bearable.

So, to try to shed some light on what it is like, (and hopefully dispel some of the thoughts that it is super glamorous) I carried my camera along during my last 5 day, two location week. I spent M-W in Cleveland, OH and Th-F in Atlanta, GA. Here is what I saw!

Since I knew that it wouldn’t be a good idea to snap a bunch of pictures while my wife was sleeping, trust me when I say that I got up at 4:00am. I have started to shower the night before, so I am out the door at 4:20. Yes, it takes me 20 minutes to get ready. I like to look pretty. This gets me to the airport at 5:10am for a 5:45am flight. I am a pro at going through security, so on Monday mornings I cut it very close to maximize my sleeping time.

Usually when I fly Midwest I get to fly in their “all first class” airplanes, but I think that the “all first class” was downgraded because of the economy. Bummer.

After a long day of meetings and glad handing, I crash in the hotel room. This hotel room was really nice. Flat screen TV AND a couch – although, I normally only use the couch to throw my dirty clothes on – or to make a small fort.

Consultant perk time… I went to a very nice steakhouse on the Cleveland airport called Bombers. Normally, I would pay, but the client grabbed the check before I could. Double score. I had a huge steak, a few Makers Mark’s and coke, and a decaf coffee to top it all off. All the while, we were able to watch planes take off and land. Fun stuff. I tried to take a picture of the “planes on a stick” that were outside….from the car….with my client director in the car with me….while driving…..but they didn’t turn out as well as I would like. The client director got a kick out of the effort though!

After my speed running day on Wednesday, I had to do something with my sweaty shoes and shirt before I packed up. If I put them in my suitcase they not only get to smelling really bad themselves, but they also make everything else smell really bad. The solution? Dry them out with the hair dryer! I had always struggled with what to do, but this worked like a CHAMP. I was careful to not turn it on too hot so I didn’t break down the soles, but after 10 minutes or so they were bone dry and toasty warm. The things I do in hotels probably need a blog of their own!

Airport #2, Cleveland Rocks!

While back in Atlanta, my home away from home, I almost got blown away by a tornado as soon as I landed on my way to the gym. Not sure if these are just clouds or if they are storm clouds. You would think that being from Kansas would automatically make me an expert.

Hotel #2, free cookies = post workout “fuel”. HUGE Fosters and sushi = Adam’s lonely man dinner. :) lol

Airport #3, Atlanta – headed back home. Fortunately, the flight was on time which meant that I walked in my door around 9pm on Friday. My wife was sleeping – just like I left her on Monday morning. It is like I never left!

So, overall traveling is fun if not a bit exhausting. It is funny the things that you notice when being away. For me, it is the way Kansas City smells. I love the smell of a summer evening when I get home after a long day.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

3/7 Weekend Runs

3/7: 5 mile walk. 18:00 pace
3/8: 13.1 miles, 1:50:36 total time / 8:26 pace, 181 average heart rate

Saturday: I didn't do the scheduled MP run mostly because I just didn't want to. :) The wind was howling out of the south blowing in VERY warm weather. However, the other reason was that I had a chance to walk / run to the gym with my wife and I would much rather do that. So, we walked / ran the 2.5 miles there and 2.5 miles back. While there, I focused on my chest, arms, and back to try to catch up from weight lifting lost during the week before. The ghetto hotel didn't have very good weights. Like I am pretty sure I've said before, I'm really trying to not to let my training get in the way of 'life'. In fact, I've been able to sleep in and just run when it is convenient thus far. My wife has loved this. And you know what they always say... If moma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!

Sunday: Long run on a glorious stepback week. After my snow run last week, I needed a shorter run. But, instead of running the scheduled 12 miles, I decided to just do a half marathon. I'll probably do this going forward when I have step back weeks. My long runs will now go 19, 20, 12 and then alternate between 20 and 12 until the race. I think that I get in three 20 mile distances during this training cycle. This is the most that I will ever do! Hopefully my body holds up.

The run itself didn't go too bad. The wind was still a bit strong, which slowed me down through miles 6 and 7. If you look at the graph below, you can tell that my speed got a lot choppier during that time. Also during that time, I ate some GU. This is one of the first times I've ate it as I normally eat powerbar gels. It wasn't too bad. The flavor was much better than powerbar, but it was a LOT thicker. A trade off I suppose but one that is well worth it. I'll keep everyone posted on how it goes during my 19 next week! I plan on eating at least 3 during that run.... probably at 6, 12, and 18.
Mileage this week: 30 miles

Friday, March 6, 2009

Giggity Giggity

In the "sprit" of photo friday via NikeMom, I decided to post some videos.

This is about as un-politically correct as it comes, but I've gotten into the habit over the last two weeks of quoting Quagmire from the cartoon "Family Guy". He is a perverted pilot bachelor who always has sex on his mind. What could be better!?

Here are a couple of his best lines. :)

Happy Friday all!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Week of 3/2 Runs

3/3: 4 miles, 8:01 pace
3/4: 9 miles, 7:42 overall pace with 4x800 at 6:48 pace
3/5:4 miles, 8:20 pace

Tuesday: 4 miles at my normal faster running pace. I had to run on a very old treadmill in the hotel because it was far too cold to run outside. I was honestly very nervous to run because I still had a small amount of discomfort in my foot. That is, on a scale of 1 to 10, it would only be a 1. Basically the same amount physical discomfort as a tight pair of shoes. So, basically the way any female foot feels like in dress shoes! I mean, I assume… Not that I would put them on….. Or discuss the advantages of slingbacks vs sandals…..ever. Anyway, the run went great! The pain sort of worked itself out and by the end of the run I didn’t have much pain at all. I think that I am on the way to recovery!

Wednesday: Speed day! On a treadmill that I am pretty sure Abe Lincoln used to stay fit – blah. I went back and forth on if I should do any speed work vs just knock out the miles. But, since my run on Tuesday went so well I decided to do a few short, if not a click faster, intervals. I kicked it up another 0.1 to 8.8 mph which gave me the quicker overall pace. If I remember right, it increased it from 6:52 to 6:48 I’m not sure if it was because of the lower number of them, but the faster speed didn’t seem to be much harder than 8.7 mph. Hopefully that means that some of this speed work is starting to take hold.

Thursday: It finally warmed up enough today to go for a run outside. The great thing about working on the east coast is that most people don’t start work until 9am which means that I can get my runs in while it is light out. While I am sure that the beach area of Virginia beach was beautiful, I will admit that the industrial park that I ran around wasn’t too bad either.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Quick Post - Bullet style!

Bulleted post today since I have a lot of little things to say but not much time to say them:

  • I finally unsubscribed to the “Runner's World Magazine Daily News” feed. I usually try to read every blog post that comes across my reader every day (~50 or so among my ~65 or so feeds… Although, I am horribly behind as I type this) but they were spaming WAY too much. I think that I’ve seen the “healthy recipes” post about 30 times. I keep commenting that I like everything I eat covered in either gravy or karo syrup. I guess they didn’t get the hint.
  • I was in Virginia Beach where it was surprisingly cold. The crappy thing is that I did not get to go to the beach or see any of the city. I did however get to see the inside of a Panera Bread. I NEVER get to see those! Orrrr, maybe I eat there like once a week. :) That reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “If a guy isn’t predictable, you are thinking too hard”
  • I had to laugh at the maid staff at the hotel where I stayed. After my 9 mile run on Wednesday, I did the hotel version of an ice bath which involved me sitting on the edge of the tub with the shower head spraying on my foot/knee. Well, since I was just sitting there for 10 minutes or so, I decided to read the paper which got super soaked by the splashing of the shower. I forgot to throw away a section of the wet newspaper when I was finished, so the maid staff kindly put it on the back of the toilet for me. Now, as much as I appreciate the effort, I don’t think that I need a completely soaked sports section the next time I spend some 1 on 1 time w/ the toilet.
  • I am SOO glad that my foot troubles seem to be behind me. I was really nervous that I was going to have to take off a significant amount of time, I’d get depressed, and I’d change from following running blogs to following Clay Aiken blogs. Whew, dodged the bullet for now.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Like a HORSE!

There are two truths about running a lot:

  • You drink a lot of water, there by making you either sweat a lot or pee a lot.

  • You eat like a HORSE!

I was talking to a friend of mine late last week about this and she said “do horses eat a lot?” To be honest, I’m not sure if they do. I know that they poop a lot, so I would assume that one would follow the other. Mostly I just think that I have TONS of Dr Phil type sayings all stored up in my head and I have to let at least one out a day to equalize the pressure in my head.

I’m running ~35 miles per week and I can’t seem to eat enough. Does this happen to anyone else when they ramp up their mileage? I have to assume that since I am a smaller guy, I don’t have much ‘buffer’ for these types of things so I may be affected more than others.

How does everyone else deal with the constant hunger? Or, am I some sort of half man half horse (the ass part) that requires a lot more food than the normal person!?

Monday, March 2, 2009

House not sold once, twice, but THREE times

A buddy of mine was moving to Phoenix from Minneapolis, selling two houses, getting married, and buying a new house in Phoenix - all within about 2 months. He said that it was the most stressful time in his life. I believe him! Lord do I believe him. My stress level hit a new high on Sunday after having to deal with all of the house crap that has been going on. I am trying to find the words to explain it, but the only thing that I can relate it to is getting your shoelace getting caught in a bike chain and being slammed down crotch first on the support bar. Only then do you fall over in pain and skin your knees.

Overall, I think that things have worked out for the best. I have received three separate offers on the house. The first one fell through due to cold feet on the buyers, the second and third were received within enough proximity of each other that I was able to accept the higher priced third. I know that there are still a few hurdles to jump through, but I think that we are nearing the home stretch. (I think that if I can work in one more sports reference, I may have to start paying royalties to someone.)

So, I know that you are asking yourself, why the long post on just selling a house? I suppose a lot of that is because Paris Hilton hasn’t been her trashy self lately. OR, because I am killing time in the airport. Either way, I'm low on material. But, I feel that it has been dominating my life over the last few weeks. My days have been a 24 hr repeat of the following: Wake up, run, work, eat, eat, eat, lift weights, eat, eat, deal with house shit, sleep. I really wish I could be Jack Bauer sometimes - much more interesting period of 24 hrs. HOWEVER, I will admit that having a lot of activity is MUCH better than having not enough. I suppose that is very similar to “dating” girls while you are in high school. Girls are SOOO expensive and a pain to deal with, but you certainly don’t want to be the guy that has NO girls. That would be bad.

To give you an idea of what I have been dealing with over the last 4-5 days, here is a step by step of all of the offers. This is a bit long and a lot detailed, so feel free to skip to the bottom where I have posted some pictures of the house in sell ready condition!!

2/11: House listed on the market
…..: Over the past three weeks we’ve had over 25 showings were scheduled not including 1 open house
2/25: Offer of 93% of asking is submitted with myself paying $2500 in closing.
2/25: I submit a counter offer of 96% of asking is submitted with myself paying no closing.
2/25: Buyer’s realtor’s mother passes away.
2/26: Buyer counter offer of 93% of asking is resubmitted with myself paying no closing.
2/27: No word from the buyers
2/28: Received word from the 1st buyer that they are no longer interested (cold feet)

2/28: 2nd offer received for 95% of asking with myself paying $3000 in closing. Price includes theatre room
2/28: I submit a counter offer of 96% of asking is submitted with myself paying no closing. Price includes projector and screen, does not include speakers.
3/1: Adam’s stress level hits an all time high!
3/1: Buyer submits a counter offer of 95% of asking with myself paying $2000 (maybe, they are starting to blend together).
3/1: Buyer decides that they DO want the speakers afterall, same offer as above, only including all of the theatre room.

3/1: Open house in which we had two very serious buyers come through – one of which was a second showing.
3/1: 3rd offer received for 100% of asking with myself paying $5000 in closing. Price includes the theatre room.
3/1: Counter offer submitted of full price with myself paying $4000 in closing. Price includes the theatre room.
3/1: Counter offer accepted! Third time is a charm. Now, on to inspections....