Monday, August 31, 2009

7 Traits

Ok, ok. I’m a bit late on this. Ulyana tagged me right at about a month ago and I am just now putting the finishing touches on this post. Honestly, I’ve thought a lot about it while running – so here is where I ended up!

Happy
I like to smile. Thank goodness I have some beaver sized teeth to fill up my face.

Hard Working
When I put my mind to it, I get shit done. (Well, other than this post? Fail) See also my posts about running 57 miles in a week, moving and unpacking in approximately 48 hours, and the post about hanging garage cabinets – by myself. I think that this trait was instilled by my father through his weekend slave labor “chores” on the farm. Looking back, I’m very grateful for all of the snow that I moved, all of the hay that I bailed, and all of the corn stalks that I chopped. If nothing else, I can tell everyone the proper way to v-rip a field (at a slight angle) and how high corn should be by early July (knee high by the 4th of July).

Funny
A priest, a rabbi, and Abe Lincoln walk into a bar….. Actually my humor is more sarcastic and observational. I think some of that comes across in the blog but probably not all. Most of it is timing which is good since I played percussion for 8 years. (I can still play a bit if given the right motivation.)

Humble
Almost to a fault, I am extremely humble. I KNOW this doesn’t come across in the blog – which is by design. I honestly don’t think that my humility is a good thing, especially in the uber type A business/technology consulting space. If I am not around type A women trying to “show up the man”, I’m around type A men trying to nuzzle up to executives. For the most part, I let my grandpa do the bragging for me. He is always much better spoken than I am. Of course, the only exception to my humility is when talking about two things: The size of my junk and how awesome my yard is. Sometimes I’ll do both! “So, I was standing outside naked looking at my yard….”

Curious
I have the gift of gab. This is likely driven primarily by my inquisitive nature. I can have a 15 minute conversation with about anyone. If you don’t believe me, let me know and I’ll give you a call.

Stubborn/Dedicated
I think that anyone who participates in long distance running has to be a bit stubborn and a lot dedicated… or possibly a masochist. Who else would participate in a sport that requires nearly constant training for a handful of primary marathon races at peak performance? Of course, my wife is nearly as stubborn as I am, which makes arguments particularly “fun”.

A Husband
I honestly believe that being a husband is a trait – much like being a parent. You’ve seen the people who don’t have the husband trait. They are the ones who, after getting married, are still in college frat boy mode. They walk around with their collars popped yelling “I shower in that shit”.

Since I am so late on finishing this post out, I figured that everyone who has seen one of these has already been tagged. However, if you haven’t – consider yourself on the hook for 7 traits!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

In a Fight

Running and I are in a fight. You know the kind of fight. It is the type where running only gets one word answers and I only call running by various expletives.

Running: Hey Adam, what do you want to do today?
Adam: Whatever. Ass.

You see, today I didn't do very well during my 2nd 20 miler of this training cycle. I'm a bit frustrated that I can't seem to be able to put together the right set of circumstances for a successful run.

I am nearly positive that my junky runs are due to the heat. It was 93 when I finished today (on the way to 114). However, I don't think that is the only thing that I can blame it on full reason. I'd bet that a lot of it is mental. I need to get it through my head that a 20 run is doable at the pace that I want to do it in. I've got one more chance to do it before Minneapolis!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hello Weekend!

Thank Goodness Its Friday

Like I said earlier in my Consultant approved bullets, I've been working harder than an umbrella salesmen during a hurricane. Meaning: I'm working hard and I have the right idea, but it may not make sense for the current situation.

I'm really going to enjoy the few days of the weekend with a little pool time, a birthday party, a lot of beer time, and maybe a little landscaping work as well. Oh, and did I mention the little 20 mile run that I am doing?

I am doing my second 20 miler of the training cycle this weekend. That means I'll be cranking out a little less than 3 hours of pretty solid running. The great thing is that I am doing the run with the East Valley Runners group. They are helping with a mock half marathon training run with full on aid stations and I would presume a finish line. So, I'll get up at 4:00 am (eek) and get in 7 quick miles and run a slow half marathon.

I'm hoping the run goes well. I actually didn't run my scheduled 10 mile pace run because I was a bit stiff and sore. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

1 Mile Race

I recently posted that I would like to run a 1 mile race. What you should have read was that for the next race, I only want to put in a solid 6 minutes of work. Less if possible.

As you can see by my bar to the right, I do not have a mile PR. Why? I've never ran a mile! Well, I guess I've ran miles before. But never ONLY a mile - and never balls out as fast as I could.

I suppose that I could just go out to the track and run 4 laps. But, I'd need to recruit some people to cheer - and I would probably need my wife there, ready with 1/2 filled cups of water to splash on myself as I went wizzing by. Most importantly, I would need some sort of T-Shirt or medal that would say "I worked for 6 minutes and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt".

So, I stumbled (I had been drinking beer in the hotel) over to the Arizona Road Racers website and found what I thought to be a good race. Pat, who also lives in the area saw my post and happened to look up last year's race results. Here they are:

(Thanks to Ulyana for showing me how to do this!!)

So, like Pat said, I am SURE that I could give Kid #1 and Kid #2 a run for their lunch money.

Thank god he looked up the race results. I never would have thought of doing that. I would have paid the money and laid the smack down on some 7 year olds. Even if there was a fast 10 year old Kenyan there that day, I probably still would have thrown enough elbows to get an age group award.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Work, Running, Home...

It seems that bulleted updates are the thing to do. Here goes!

  • Things at work and at home have been surprisingly busy. Therefore, I am crazy behind on reading blogs. (Like, 70 posts behind) A few of the other contractors are leaving this week so I feel that I am going to have to take on their additional work. The only silver lining is that I will soon be going to San Diego to close out some things there. SD is my favorite place within the continental 48 so I will for SURE be bringing my wife along.
  • Running 10 miles mid week takes a LOT of time. Hal Higdon suggests that you take the day off of work. Really? Who the hell can do that? “Yeah, boss… I need to take the day off so that I can get a training run in” Sorry Hal, believe it or not, but I am not Ryan Hall – I do have to hold down a 9-5’er no matter what my training dictates.
  • The Twin Cities Marathon is in 6 weeks. I feel that I am ready for a fun race and am looking forward to meeting up with / running with one of my best friends. Both of our wives are REALLY going to be sick of the phrase “That’s what she said!” after the first hour or two we are together.
  • My wife isn’t going to like this when she reads it, but I calculated up last night that I’m going to need new shoes before the Twin Cities Race. Bummer. All of these miles that I’m putting on are really helping my running but are really hard on my shoes. That is probably going to cost me a pedicure or something. Turns out, marriage isn’t about compromise so much as it is about getting even.
  • I totally killed my back this weekend working in the yard and putting together a grill. I even took an Alieve (which I rarely do) on Monday which helped. I would post pictures of the yard, but it is basically just rocks right now. It went from dead plants and sticks to all rocks. Beautiful. Installing plants is step #2. Well, getting money for plants is step #2, actually planting the plants is step #3. So, instead here are a few pictures of my new countertops.

Before - plywood counters and no sink:



After - granite:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pretty much famous now

Recently, I entered a contest that RunnerDude had on his blog. The ask was to write up a blurb stating how running changed your life. Now, don’t ask me how writing about two of my favorite topics (running and me) ALSO makes me eligible for awesome prizes, but that is the kind of guy that RunnerDude is. It was actually pretty interesting putting to words how running has changed my life. I don’t want to recycle the post here, but let it suffice to say that I can eat a LOT more. Between that and all of the free T-Shirts, I’m not sure why I didn’t starting running earlier.

Check out his blog here. More importantly, check out how running changed my life. RunnerDude has lots of great posts on nutrition, training for races, and GREAT contests. I didn’t win this contest, but I know that he has one if not two contests going on right now!

-----------

I ended my glorious step back week with a 6 mile marathon pace run and a 12 13.1 mile group run with the East Valley Runners. My paces were right on target – if not a bit faster than expected at 7:26 and 8:17 respectively.

My second group run was just as fun as the first. The East Valley Runners (EVR) have what is called “Run and Swim”. Now, before all of the triathletes get into a brick induced frenzy, Run and Swim involves running and then taking a dip in someone’s pool afterwards. No laps, no times, just normal relax the muscles soak.

I will say that running in a group has been interesting. I seem to be in some sort of pace limbo. That is, I am slower than a few of the marathon runners and a lot of the half marathon runners, but I am faster than some of the other marathon runners. I feel that no one is running around the same pace as I would like. This past weekend during my long run, I decided to split the difference and start out with the slower runners and then speed up and run with the fast guys for a while. It was fun, but it made for interesting splits. My first few miles were right around 9 min miles where as my last miles hovered in the 7:50 range. How does everyone else accommodate this?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Foto Friday - Flight Delays


That picture makes me laugh every time.


I suppose I was “due” for a bit of a flight delay. Boy, did I get one. In addition to my four hour flight, I was five hours delayed, rode two different planes in Atlanta, and sat one hour on the tarmac. But, tomorrow is another day!

(Although, as I wrote that here sitting on the plane, I looked down and noticed that it is 12:06am in Atlanta. So, today is another day?)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

HOTlanta

During this step back week, I've had a few good runs and a couple of hard teeth gritting "crank out the miles" runs. Unfortunately, my legs are feeling a bit heavy and a bit sore. I'm going to take the time this weekend to make sure that I'm fully stretched out and fully iced down to try to cure what ails me. I may try to putz around in my yard a bit repairing some of the damage which will hopefully keep me loose.

Tuesday: 6 miles, 7:53 pace
Tuesday's run was one of the good ones. The miles seemed to fly by - mostly aided by a few podcasts. I primarily listened to the "Discovery News Friday News Feedbag". Those guys are a RIOT. In fact, I found myself laughing out loud a few times that totally threw off my rhythm and made me almost choke because I couldn't breath in. The other podcast that helped pass the time was "Ashland Dave's Running in the Center of the Universe". Good stuff - two of my favorite podcasts at the moment.

Wednesday: 6 miles, 8:45 pace with 4x800 at 6:02 average pace
Speed day. Crap day. I was able to get off work at a fairy normal time (6:30pm) and therefore was able to hit the road around 7:00pm. Unfortunately, this meant that it was still VERY hot and VERY humid out. Not very conducive weather for a solid interval run. In fact, not only was I scheduled for 7 intervals but was only able to get 4, but my times are very deceiving. Instead of jogging at a 8:30 pace in-between I walked....and rested....and made grimacing faces at cars that drove by. However, I did get some solid mileage in which I suppose is the important thing.

I may try to mix up my speed work a bit and get in some different length intervals. Maybe some 400s and some 1200s just for funzies. In fact, I may try to find a 1 mile race this fall and shoot for 5:30ish. Anyone know of any good ones in the Arizona area?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How fast is fast?

During my last 5K, I couldn’t help but notice the number of people jumping nimbly about in their racing flats and/or trainers. It honestly made me feel a little underdressed. Sort of like going to a black dress cocktail hour that you thought was a costume party. Suddenly your pregnant hobo costume is not as much fun when people are laughing AT you rather than WITH you. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t lacing up any Converse All Stars or anything. In fact, I even wore a wicking shirt! Although, I still had cotton basketball shorts on – fail. It got me thinking about the possibility of getting a pair of racing flats or trainers.

Racing flats or trainers are shoes that have been stripped of padding that would normally be used for longer distances. As a result, these shoes are lighter and a bit less supportive to run in. Since I’m a numbers guy, I tried to find out exactly how much I would be gaining from spending the $100 for a racing only pair of shoes. Of course, I found a lot of “it depends”, but one source said that you gain 1 second per mile per ounce. So, my shoes weigh 15oz and the trainers that I am looking at weigh 10 oz. During a 5K, that’d be a savings of around 16 seconds. 30 seconds saved on a 10k. Hmm.

The problem is that it seems really wasteful to spend $100 on shoes that I can only wear a few times a month / year. I suppose that I could wear them during fast training, but since they are far less supportive, I’d hate to get hurt during training.

I don’t consider myself a fast runner. I’m faster than some, but certainly not fast enough to necessitate all sorts of expensive “gear”. So, the real question is – how fast is fast enough (to justify buying racing shoes)? For the runners out there – what are your thoughts? Do you wear racing flats or trainers? (Especially if you have mild pronation.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Making it rain.... with cocaine!

Sorry, whenever I think of money and drugs, I think of guys in strip clubs "making it rain" with money. Of course, I have neither "made it rain" nor been to a strip club....but I digress.

I stumbled across this article proving that nearly all money is covered in cocaine. By covered, I of course mean that there was at least 0.006 microns of white gold on each bill. About enough to get a fruit fly high. The CNN article that I read said that this is likely due to people shorting lines of drugs through $100 bills (among others) and cross contamination from those bills touching other money. Do you know what went through my head? Ewww, someone's nose, a druggie no less, was touching my money!

I mean, who cares about the cocaine. Snot money? Gr-oss.

That said, I couldn't help but think of where else my money has been. In fact, there is actually an entire cult like following to answer that specific question. Although, I'd imagine that the people who go to "Where's george.com" don't enter things like "up my (enter orifice here) so it is of little use to me. I'd still like to think that my money has all been sanitized by some other germaphobe just prior to making it to me. of course, the reality is that it has probably been sitting in the ass pocket of a sweaty 400 pound guy. Score.

I am not sure if there are many solutions to this. I remember hearing that part of the problem is that most money is actually less like paper and more like cloth - and therefore very porous. Not very conducive to proper cleaning unless I want to run everything through the washing machine before use. I suppose in the meantime I could get some sort of be-jeweled rubber gloves MJ style and wear those when handling the little green strips of cocaine. That, or I guess I could just sack up and realize that it hasn't killed me yet.


-----------------

Got in a solid 4 mile recovery run at a pace of 8:08. The run was quite uneventful with the exception that it was sprinkling the entire time.

This week's mileage won't even crack 40 miles. I feel like I have soo much free time!

57 miles - and no worse for the wear!

This week had me setting a new weekly mileage PR. I ran 57 miles in 7 hours, 54 minutes total time with a 8:18 average pace. Add that to the warm up, cool down that is required….and I ran a LOT this week.

My trio of longer runs was very interesting. Like I said before, I started out with 8 miles, 6 at a tempo pace of 7:08 on Friday.

10 miles, 8:08 pace
My Saturday run was 10 miles at a comfortable pace. For me this week, that meant a run around 8:08 pace. I would have normally run with the East Valley Runners, however they were running part of the IM AZ route which was ~ 20 minutes away. After a bit of under breath cursing and some out loud complaining to my wife, I decided that there is no way that I was going to drive 20 minutes each way to go for a run at 5:00am. Getting up at 4:00am didn’t seem like something that I would have a good time doing. However, I had a great run and was back home by 6:30.

20 miles, 8:43 pace
My Sunday long run, and my first 20 miler, wasn’t good. I ran the 20 miles with a 8:43 pace, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. I started out VERY reluctantly at 5:00am. In fact, I remember crawling back in bed at one point in nearly full running dress. Unfortunately, I was only 1.25 miles in when nature called. I knew this wasn’t one that I could just run through, so I immediately turned around and headed back to the house. After I had taken care of some ‘business’, I got back to running. However, by this time it was already 6:00am and I was a bit stiff from the 15 minute delay. The run proceeded to get worse from there. The middle 14 miles are sort of a blur, but the last 6 miles or so were a bit of a struggle with a bit of walking about every other mile. I’m fairly certain that the issues with the run were just the culmination of all of the miles in the last 3 days. I ran 38 miles in three days – I think that would tire out most people.

Next week is a step down week. I’m doing a bit of reorganizing in my schedule so I can sleep in on Sunday morning and have an off day while traveling on Thursday. I’ll only run ~39 or so miles which will seem like a break after the last two weeks!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Funny Foto Friday

I think this pretty much speaks for itself. Personally, I think that I fall into the “Milan, New York, and Japan” category...Possibly "This Graph".





------------------

Today’s tempo run went really well. I did 8 miles with 6 miles at tempo pace. Overall pace was 7:31 (which means 8 miles in 1:00:17!!).

My average tempo pace was 7:08. My target was 7:10, so score one for me!! Here are my splits: 7:14, 7:10, 7:06, 7:10, 7:13, 6:57. Not too bad at all. After running in the heat and hills of Atlanta, running in cool flat Phoenix seemed almost like cheating!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Billy, Billy, Billy

Ok, let's be honest. Who was actually surprised when you heard that Billy Mays had cocaine in his system when he passed away during his sleep? Exactly - no one. I think that most of us did what I did when they heard that the Oxy Clean guy had a bit of a different white powder running through him: "Yup, that makes sense".

This guy spoke so loud and so fast that if he wasn't on coke, I'd assume that he was actually snorting Oxy Clean instead. There had to be some sort of pharmacological explanation for his unending energy.

That said, I actually got into his new reality show on Discovery. It seemed to be the only thing worth watching on Wednesday night while I was icing down my legs from one athletic adventure or the other. Billy seemed to be one of those people that could "sell a ketchup Popsicle to a women in white gloves", and I loved seeing the creative process.

Somewhere in heaven, I feel like there are a lot of people who have fixed their halos with Mighty Putty - and don't even get me started on how sparkly white their robes are now.


------------

Had a great 5 mile 'recovery' run on Wednesday at 7:55. What? You say that recovery runs aren't supposed to be at MP+15? Dang. Well, I think that I must have had some pent up energy from my crap run on Tuesday.

The unfortunate part is that I talked myself out of my Tempo run on Thursday morning because 2.5 more hours of sleep sounded so much better than punishing myself with a tempo run. I was due for some sleep anyway. Unfortunately, this means that my Friday, Saturday, Sunday is:
9 miles with 6 @ 7:10 pace
10 miles @ 8:05 pace
20 miles @ 8:15 pace

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One of those runs

....that you just know isn't going to be good.

10 miles, 8:24 pace

Last night I had my first midweek 10 mile run of this training cycle. I didn't think too much about it during the day as I was busier than a dog with two peckers. (I love that saying. Note to self, start to use two pecker dog saying more in casual conversation.) However, when I left work and went to the sporting goods store for more body glide the stiffness in my legs told me that the first miles were going to be a struggle.

I'm sure that most of my issues were in my noggin. I've been told that men think about sex every 8 seconds. Surely during the first three miles of this run that was the least thing from my mind. Mostly I was thinking how my legs were stiff and how I had a full hour left to run. Not good. Over the course of my run, I go by a number of banks with the time / temp displayed. 86 degrees and near 100% humidity because of rain were constantly displayed each mile, taunting me.

However, around mile 3.3 (1/3 of the way done) I took a far too long walk break of 90 seconds or so and ate some energy chews I had bought at Target. They actually hit the spot and I was off and running. I had streaks of greatness, but overall I plodded along at a mediocre pace. I continued to eat the chews every 3 miles or so and each time I had to remind myself to keep going - there was a storm approaching. Ultimately, the first three miles averaged about 8:45 minute pace, the next two were around 8:30, and the last 5 were somewhere near 8:00.

Lightning and the threat of very heavy rain is a pretty good motivator. It got so bad and so close that at one time I could hear the thunder over my iPod. However, it never did rain. It only got about 10 degrees cooler and got a bit windy.


I've always been a believer of "you have to struggle through the tough times to remind you of how good the best times actually were". This is one of those times to remind me what great running I am actually capable of. Hopefully over these 57-58 miles this week I'll actually execute to my full potential. Yesterday, I did not.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I have a problem

It is that time of year. When I can no longer control my urges. Heroin? Meth? Oh no, far too expensive. I am way too cheap for any of those. You see, every time I am in Target this time of year I get the shakes.

My name is Adam and I have a problem with office/school supplies.

I am not sure what it is, but I LOVE checking out the office supplies section. I've been known to go to OfficeMax while my wife shops in a nearby store and just 'take it all in'. I love the way they look, with promises of organizational efficiency, but probably most importantly I love the way they smell. They even SMELL like I could get some major collating done.

This time of year all of the major department stores have isles and isles filled with school supplies. Normally, little school kids are running about (undoubtedly with sticky hands and runny noses) trying to get the biggest / best trapper-keeper that they can get their sticky little mitts on. All that I can do is stare at them in jealousy - ever conscious of becoming the creepy old guy who likes to look at little school kids in Target.

Of course, I often times have to balance my feelings for office supplies with my ever increasing fear of fatherhood. Lest I spend too much time hanging out with a bunch of little kids and "get the urge" to have a few of my own.

So, as much as it takes all of my willpower, I shuffle along. Not able to get my own sticky mitts on any of the unicorn or Power Ranger folders. But, trust me when I say, as soon as those kids are back in school I'll be there snapping up 50% off packages of rainbow pencils.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Weekend of Firsts

I certainly had a weekend of firsts. On the house front, I parked both cars in the garage for the first time. Score. Since we have no kids (and my wife throws away most 'clutter') getting both cars in was the #1 goal for this weekend - and we had no excuse for not being able to do it. Although, I was so tired after we were done, I fell asleep at 8:00.

On the running front I had a couple of really good runs. My Saturday run was my first ever group run. It was funny, I was honestly a bit nervous! I set everything out the night before like the first day of school. Unfortunately, because I was a little nervous, I forgot my Garmin! So, two of the members graciously offered to pace me. Unfortunately, that meant that I had to run 1 mile more than expected - no big deal. I'm sure I looked like a newbie runner tool. Either way, it was a blast. I am for sure going to join. They do runs about every day it seems, but of course only the Friday and Saturday runs fit into my schedule.

If you are ever in the eastern part of Phoenix, check out the East Valley Runners.

Total weekly mileage: 51 miles!! A new personal record. I was scheduled to only do 49, but I ran one extra mile on Thursday and one extra on Saturday.

10 miles, ~8:05 pace
My first ever group run. I got to meet a lot of really neat people - only two of whose name I remember. Fail. However, I got to chit chat with some cool guys and not feel guilty about talking about running all the time. Score.

19 miles, 8:10 pace
Phoenix has been experiencing a "cool snap" with highs around 104. This means that at 6:00am, it is still in the upper 70s. This feels GREAT compared to ~90 at the same time. Mostly due to the cool weather, this run went as well as I could have ever expected. I took gels every 5 miles and only stopped to walk during my last gel. Well, that and when I hit the wall at 18.5 miles. I only had 4 minutes of running left, but for some reason I couldn't squeeze out any more miles.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New TV, Cabinets, and Noodie Movies

First the most important part. Nudity. I have been on a kick lately of renting movies on iTunes for the 4 hour plane ride back to Arizona (from Atlanta). It has been great and I have seen a few really good movies while successfully killing 2/3 of the flight. Last week however, something bad happened. I rented Watchmen. It is a comic book movie, lots of violence, and oh by the way - quite a bit of nudity. Not only girl - but also guy. Blah.

What is the problem? I was sitting in an isle seat on the plane. Oyy. I didn't want to be THAT guy watching two people get it on while sitting on the plane - all the while pumping my fists in the air screaming "go go go go". So, I did the grown up thing and skipped ahead past the steamy parts. It made it hardly worth the rental.




Second, I got a new TV late last week to replace the old 27" one that I got in college. My brother in law thinks that guys with big TV's must be compensating for small *ahem* "packages". Well my friends, I am officially hung like a little choir boy.


I had bet my wife that the TV box would be as tall as our old TV AND the stand. Guess who won? :)

Bring on football! (or CSI, either way)

Finally, I spent most of last weekend hanging cabinets in the garage. I nearly killed myself off because I did them by myself for the most part. I only asked for help from my wife to help me wedge the wooden tool that I had built to keep them up where I wanted them. The interesting thing came at about 4:00pm on Sunday when I realized that, even though I was drinking a TON of water, I had not peed since 6:00am that morning. Oppsies. Time to take a break and DOWN more water. It probably didn't help that I ran 12 miles that morning. In fact, I ended up so dehydrated that I felt a bit hung over on Monday. Ugg. Either way, they ended up pretty damn awesome if I do say so myself. I think I deserve a few Tim the tool man Taylor man grunts. Urrrg urrg urrg.


Before I started - very daunting.

Lower cabinets in. The easy part was done!

Got them all in - next step, filling the bastards up. Oh, and drinking some beer.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Prize

My little brother is a motorcycle guy. Specifically a Harley guy. (For that matter my dad is too.) Over the 4th of July, my little brother went on a motorcycle ride along with ~50 other people in northwest Iowa. In doing so, he was drawn out of a hat to have a 1 in 150 chance of winning a $20,000 new bike given by a radio station. This past weekend, they had the final drawing to see who would win. Unfortunately, he didn’t win the bike, but he did get one of the other “smaller” prizes. What did he win?




Oh yes, he will be getting shit for this for QUITE some time. I was honestly pulling for him to win it all, but, I guess a bear is just as good - right?

-----------------------------------
Cranked out 9 miles last night @ 8:03 pace. I did not want to get out there and do them, but I got them done. Nothing like working for 11 hours to suck the motivation right out of you. I’m marching towards a 49 mile week – a new weekly mileage PR for me. Some people say “I’m doing great and my legs feel fine!”. Not me. My legs feel like I am marching towards a 49 mile week. Not that anything is really painful, everything is just sore. Tonight I’m headed to the gym, so I am going to take advantage of some of their new fangled stretching equipment and see if I can’t knock some of the cobwebs out of my joints.

Last night I’m nearly positive that I would have taken a break here or there during my run if it weren’t for the lightning that was approaching from the north. The further I ran, the closer all of the lightning seemed to get. So, no stopping for me. 9 miles, no breaks! In fact, I even ate some soft energy chews while on the run. I only wanted to eat about half the package, but while I was running and stuffing them in, they all hopped right into my mouth. My stomach was not feeling it after that run!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Lever

Throughout my travels I’ve had all kinds of rental cars. I’ve had big ones (Crown Vic) normal ones (Pontiac G6), and even tiny baby ones (Mazda Maida). However, last week my rental car had something that I have never had before. No, not crabs or the clap. It had this little diddity:

Can you tell what it is? It is a gas/brake lever for paraplegics. Push it forward for brake, pull it down for gas – and push it forward and down for tire smoking power breaking. You know what? It was sort of fun to play around with while I was driving. Was it safe? Probably not. In fact, there were huge stickers all over it saying “if you have not been trained, don’t use this… blah blah blah”. That huge sticker was sure hard to read as I was flying down the highway. Not being trained for something has never stopped me before! Of course, it is a very utilitarian tool for people who have unfortunately lost the use of their legs. Hundreds of thousands of people in the US suffer with lifeless or not existent limbs each and every day – and it is certainly not “fun” for them. However, I think that everyone reading this has played around with crutches when they were a kid or has raced wheelchairs in the hospital while waiting for someone to get better. In fact, some of us do those things when we are NOT kids (guilty as charged).

As I was driving around suburban Atlanta, I would periodically let my hands do the talking. It did cramp my gansta lean driving style, but a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do. I found out a few interesting things while driving with my hands. Most importantly, I incorrectly assumed that my hands were far superior in the fine motor skills department. Not so when it comes to driving. I had a super hard time controlling the rate of stopping and starting. I can’t count the number of tire screeching stops that I made. Also, I found out that driving with the lever took a lot of my concentration. I would get side tracked looking at something and let my arm slip off of the handle. Before I knew it, I was going 10-15 mph slower than the speed limit. Finally, I found that it is very hard to do a number of things. I couldn’t drink coffee, change the radio, etc etc with one hand on the lever and one hand on the wheel. I needed to sprout a THRID hand.

So, while I had lots of fun with the lever, I can honestly say that I really hope that I never HAVE to use one. But if I do, I will be all practiced up. That, and if I get a lever in my car, I am for sure sticking my feet up on the dash while driving. Why? Because I can.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Where did I go!?

I can’t remember the last time that I’ve been so busy to completely unplug and fall off of the radar. I haven’t even looked at Facebook in 4 days!? I spent most of Friday afternoon and the entire weekend finishing up things on the house and running. Here is what I have been up to:

  • I ‘supervised’ Geek Squad during their installation of my new TV (pictures to follow). Football season, here.I.COME!!!!!!
  • I was able to hang all of the old kitchen cabinets in my garage (pictures to follow). I earned so many man cards this weekend, I think that I will hand them out for Halloween. “Oh Billy, you dressed up as Tinkerbelle again? Instead of candy, this year you get a man card. Use it wisely son.”
  • My pool is finally up and running. My brother in law and I last night spent 30 minutes or so messing around with all of the various levers controlling everything. It was complicated! I don’t know how all of those wine-o pool boys do it. Not to mention all of the sun they get to their head.
  • I got in a very solid interval run on Friday. 6x800 @ 5:58, 5:31 (!!), 5:57, 5:51, 5:49, 5:51 paces for each of the 800s. Goal pace was around 5:50, so good job there, sort of. I started out at 5:00am PDT on a surprisingly cool day. I believe that it was ~80 degrees. I was talking to one of my best friends afterwards about “how” you are supposed to do these. I jogged between each interval for 400 and honestly walked to recover two times in-between them all – but never longer than 400 and never for all that long. Am I supposed to do it this way?
  • On Saturday, I hit a 9 mile MP run @ 7:41 pace. The good news is that my split times were only +/- 10 seconds. In fact, I had a negative split with my last 4 miles clocking in sub 7:33.
  • Sunday, 12 miles, 8:25 recovery pace. Sweet, glorious, recovery pace.
  • I found out that my neighbor two doors down is a triathlete. In fact, he is currently sporting a full carbon frame Trek and is planning on doing IM AZ. (He also mentioned something about a wife and two daughters – I wasn’t paying any attention) He is now my favorite neighbor.

I have a few ideas rummaging around my head for other posts. Stay tuned! Weekly scheduled mileage this week – 49. Next week? 58.