Friday, January 29, 2010

Intervals, fotos, and dead iPods

  • I had a killer intervals session this morning. (Does that make me a surfer dude for calling something ‘killer’?) I haven’t done them in MONTHS (since my stress fracture) and getting out there really felt good.
  • Intervals are probably my favorite workout – I’m kind of a masochist like that. It is just too fun to see the fast times in my log. I did 4x800 @ 6:21 pace with 800 of recovery in-between around 9:00/pace. I’m going to work back up to a solid 8x800 by early April. That will put me in a good position to hit RnR SD hard and fast.
  • Much like Tiger Woods’ chance at husband of the year, my iPod shuffle is circling the toilet. For that matter, my headphones are too. A picture to describe what I mean:


  • It started to act funny when I poured a glass of water on my head during RnR AZ. FAIL. Because I am a complete tight wad, I’m going to keep using it until it doesn’t work at all. I do have an iTouch but since (even in the winter) I sweat more than Danny Devito in a sauna there is no way that I would take it on the run.
  • Consulting is funny. I eluded to it before, but my project funding was canceled about a week ago and today is my last day on my current project. I’ll end up with something starting up next week (no worries for me), but until then I have NO idea where I’ll be on Monday and what I’ll be doing. It is like Christmas morning, only far far suckier.
  • Good luck to RunningLaur who is running the Desert Classic half marathon on Saturday. It is her first race on her quest to join half-marathon maniacs! I know she’ll do great.
  • Finally, since this IS Friday, that means only one thing: beer at lunch! funny foto Friday! Hahaha "shhhhhh, daddy's working!!"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Marathon Training Plan: 6 weeks M-2-M

This week's runs have been interesting.

Tuesday was a pretty nightmarish 5 mile run with 3 miles at Tempo pace of 7:13. It was hot, I was on the treadmill, and my headphones were broken.

Wednesday, I did 10 miles outside at 8:13 pace with relative ease. I hit my stride around mile 3 and never looked back. Not even when I ran out of sidewalk and had to run in the bike lane...in the dark...because I laugh at danger I'm not very smart. That is, I didn't look back until I smelled ANOTHER skunk. What is it with California and those things?

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After my stress fracture, I didn't really have a training plan. In the words of Forrest Gump: "If I was hungry....I ate. If I was tired.....I slept. And if I had to...you know...I went!" So, when I felt good, I ran. When I didn't feel good, I didn't run. I worked to increase my weekly long run by 2 miles each week - up to 18. It got me to a 3:44 finish, but I blew up around mile 22. I think that I blew up mostly because of the lack of long run miles. So, for my New Orleans race in 4.5 weeks, I plan to fix that with a formalized plan.

Like I've said before, I'm pretty busy right now with work. I'm trying to wrap up one gig while starting up another one. Annoying. But, my pain is your visual gain. Because I am so busy, my head is pretty much always in the gutter thinking of numbers.

I want to get back into speed work and get back into lifting weights. So, I need to add those to the schedule. I also want to get back into 20 mile weekends, so I'll want to put some of those in there too. But, I'm trying to follow the 10% rule as much as possible, so I don't want to go TOO crazy. Put that all together, and this is what you get for my Marathon 2 Marathon 6 week training plan:



For some reason, my job as of late has been about Power Point. I don't mind power point, but it takes a LOT of time for someone like me who likes everything to look just right. That said, for all of you executive types (I'm including the CEO of the household here), the executive wanna-bes, and even the folks who are just the master of their domain, I've included a bit of a one pager summary of my approach. Feel free to print it out and stick it to your fridge. You know, to tide you over between your blog visits.

Let me know what you think of the plan. Too much too soon? Not enough miles? Not enough beer? I thought about a line item for post recovery beer, but I was afraid that would get a little too repetitive with "yes yes yes yes" across each day.

If one of those formats doesn't sell you that I know what I'm talking about, well then I just may have to bring out Vince the Slap chop / sham wow guy - because something is totally wrong.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Try it Tuesday: POM

Try it Tuesday is going to be a semi-regular series (as in…every Tuesday) where I try new things and see how they affect my training. These will usually be things that I’ve bought, but sometimes they will be things that I’ve stolen things that have been given to me. Tips or suggestions? Shoot me a comment!

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Just before Christmas, I received an email from Andrea on behalf of the POM Pomegranate Juice Company. She wanted to send me a sample of POM to try. No strings or ask to write a review. Score. Here it is in my fridge MTV cribs style. *cue the slow-mo walk down the hallway to see the ‘whips’* "Now, let's go see where 'the magic happens"


Since my Midwestern farm boy roots make me feel guilty about taking something for free, I thought that I would make POM my first official review. POM is a 100% pure pomegranate juice drink that comes in the fun double bubble bottle. (Just like Murphy Lee, if you like your drinks like a capital letter B, then POM just may be for you.)


Since pomegranate is a great antioxidant and is pretty sugary, I decided to use it primarily as an after run recovery drink. I drank it straight up in place of Gatorade. I wanted to do a post Superbowl win cold POM splash on my wife, but she wasn't having it. (I settled for a fist bump) Overall, it was really refreshing and seemed to hit the spot. It may have been in my head, but I didn't seem to crave a ton of sugar like I sometimes do after finishing a run with the POM. Here are my thoughts overall.


Pros:
  • It tastes good. It has quite a tart taste (like my personality) that I like.
  • It is calorie and carb dense. This may be a con for some people, but for me personally getting some healthy carbs quickly is a definite win. I mean, if I wanted to get just carbs, I’d down a hand full of Skittles. POM gives me some of the good stuff along with the sweet glorious sugar.

Cons:
  • The stuff is STRONG. I can see why it is used as a mixer because even vodka would be a welcome addition to water this down a bit. After drinking the first two, I started to mix it 50/50 with OJ.
  • It is a bit expensive. The double bubble bottle is surprisingly large at 16 oz, but even then at ~$4 it is a bit steep.

Overall, it gets a thumbs up from me. Even though I received these for free, the ploy worked and I’ll probably have some in the fridge going forward. Psychology 101, fail….or would that be a win?

Monday, January 25, 2010

10 things

I’ve seen the 10 things that make you happy posts circling the blogosphere. I honestly can’t think of a better idea after such a dreary week. Valley of the Sun my ass.

I had starting thinking of my own list when I saw that Razz’s matched so many of what I would think my top 10 would be. Thankfully The Readhead Running tagged me and saved me from the shame cycle of posting it unprompted. Thanks!

(All pictures were taken by me / of me - I didn't even steal any!)

1. My wife and family: Between my traveling, my strange humor, and my many hours on the road, my wife puts up with a lot. Oh, did I mention I spend lots of time in front of the TV? What about that my clothes sometimes don't make it to the hamper? Gosh, I really need to zip it and thank my lucky stars that I have her!

2. Home: When I was sort of bummed about moving to Phoenix from Kansas City, my brother in law told me something that really rang true: "Turns out not where but who you're with that really matters, that really matters". As it were, it was a Dave Matthews Band Lyric - but that doesn't make it any less true.

3. Running: It seems that running has taken an increasingly larger part of my life as of late. The reason? I love it. I was asked by a very close friend a few days ago “what is it about running itself and/or running marathons specifically that you like so much?” I got busy and didn’t answer the question, but I think that the answer is probably something about how it makes me feel alive. I run, because I CAN.

4. A cool crisp fall day: (Stolen from Razz) The days that SMELL crisp. You can feel the air enter your lungs and somehow it energizes you. You can smell the leaves and see the yellows, reds, and browns of the trees. Fall is probably the #1 thing I miss about not being in Kansas City.

5. Blogs: Didn’t I just post about this? I love reading blogs, writing blogs, and I love finding new blogs. Leave a comment, I promise I’ll stop by.
6. A good wine: I don't talk much about my love for a good glass bottle of wine on this blog. But I probably spend more of my disposable income on wine than I do anything else (including running shoes!!)

7. Traveling I don’t think I could do the job I do if I didn’t like traveling. Now Thursday night having two flights canceled and a third delayed for 5 hours I could have done without, but overall I like seeing new places. After staying in hotels for 130+ nights last year, I’m glad this one made the list.

8. Instant Messenger: Unfortunately, the reality is that if I have you on IM, I stay in MUCH better contact with you than if I don't have you on IM. lol, brb, and omg are all part of my normal vocab. *sigh*
9. A good movie with friends: Preferably where something explodes, someone gets kicked in the junk, or a girls shows her boobs.

10. A good laugh: I laugh a lot. Sometimes at inappropriate times. "You just got kicked in the face? Could have been in the nuts too! har har har har".

Being a little late to the game, I'm sure that most have seen these. If you haven't been tagged, consider yourself tagged and crank out 10 happy moments of your own!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

12 Mile Bike Run

No, I am not getting ready for my sprint triathlon. This morning, my wife and I went out for what I call a "bike run". Where my wife bikes and I run. It is a blast to actually have someone else to talk to and share my astoundingly witty observations. My wife is SOOO lucky.

We got a late start, around 11am, because I was up late watching the movie District 9. (It was just "OK") The weather was great, it was FINALLY sunny, so I decided to take my camera along and take a few pictures of the storm damage from last week.

I wanted to run this one at my new long run pace of 8:20. I'm going to have to hit that if I am going to hit the marathon pace of 7:38 for my 3:20 marathon. At least that is what the pace leprechaun on my shoulder tells me - Run 40 seconds slower pace and to burn things. Silly leprechaun.

It didn't take long to see some of the flooding. This water has been standing for 3 or 4 days. Arizona is NOT supposed to have standing water.

The run progressed and around 3 miles we saw our first downed tree (of about 20 or so for the run). It was over the sidewalk! So, my wife got a chance to practice her sweet bike ramping skills and I got a chance to practice my steeple chasing skills.


The run progressed and the miles went by. I was able to hold the 8:20 pace for the most part, only getting slowed down a few times by stoplights. They really messed with my flow at first, but I was able to find a good groove around mile 5 or so. Fortunately, the city of Chandler, AZ was nice enough to put some speed signs up to let me know if I was on pace. I mean, I was running close to like 7.4 MPH, but whatever...I guess.

Towards the end of the run, I decided to crank out 5 or so miles of MP at 7:45 to 7:50. They weren't as easy as they should be, but I didn't die - so, mission accomplished. As I turned by my house, I saw even more standing water. Crazy

Ok, back to watching football! Colts better step it up, they are down 17 - 13!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Funny Foto Friday: Video Edition

Since I am eyeballs and assholes deep (is that even possible?) in work I'm going to make this one quick. If you are reading this at work why aren't you working make sure you turn on your speakers or put on some headphones.

I hope everyone is doing well, there are a TON of storms in Arizona - it isn't supposed to storm here!?

This guy was a councilman! Your government at work. Stupid vampires.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Post Marathon Recovery

I’m currently 4 days post-marathon and I’m feeling really really well. I mean, I’m not well enough to chase down a cougar – even if she IS wearing high heels, but I’m still feeling pretty chipper. That means that goal #1 was achieved: DON’T GET HURT.

During my 6 mile run today with 2 miles at tempo of 7:15 pace and 2 miles at MP+15 at 8:00, I was thinking about what enabled me to recover this quickly. I’ve certainly ran marathons where afterwards I was down for a solid two weeks. The Chicago Marathon comes to mind. It is my PW marathon where I was in full death shuffle mode for the majority of the last 8 miles. I can’t remember anything specific that I did post race to try to recover which probably lead to an extended period of burning pain in my legs…not the burning when I pee that I have grown accustomed to.

This time, however was much different. Here are the things that I feel helped me along this time:
  • Immediately post race I drank 40 oz of liquids (20 cytomax and 20 water). Sounds like a lot – and it is. Think of it as your own personal Edward 40 hands challenge. DO IT. (Picture above)
  • Shortly after I gained some level of consciousness, I tried to eat something. It was hard, but I managed to down half of a Powerbar.
  • Then the stretching. I laid out my tin foil blanket deal and went to town. Probably a solid 20 min of stretching.
  • During the afternoon of the race, I took a nap. I don’t take naps normally, but I was wiped and it really helped.
  • But, probably one of the most important things was a post race massage. I didn’t do it the day of the race, I did it the day AFTER the race. I’ve read that if you do a massage too soon, you’ll actually damage already inflamed muscles. That meant that Monday was a nightmare, but come Monday night, I had some one on one time with Bruce, my masseuse. (Seriously, that was his name… hehe) So, I had Bruce rub / roll me down as deep as I could handle it**. It was super painful at the time, but the next day I was right as rain. Good job Bruce.

I’m going to try to continue this pattern to see if I can continue to recover quickly from long races. If it doesn’t work next time, I can always break out my secret weapon: powdered turtle testicles recovery drink. Specifically sea turtles – only the good stuff. Until then, duck tape a few bottles of Gatoraid to your hands and take 'er easy.


**Can a guy get a “that’s what she said”?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I *heart* Blogs

OMG…. LOL…. U R GR8!! I figured after an opening like that, a picture of Justin Beiber was the only thing that was appropriate. His eyes are so dreamy…it is like he has lived twice his age of what – 11?

I was asked by Jeff the other day (whose blog you should really check out) where my blog list was. I’m assuming he meant one of those little blog rolls on the right side that lists out the blogs that I follow. Yeahhh, I guess I don’t have one of those. The reason? I’m too lazy to update it. It certainly isn’t because each of the blogs that I read aren’t worth putting up there.

Honestly, I just really like to stalk other people read what everyone else has going on in their lives. In fact, at last count, I read far too many blogs for me to ever admit to my wife. And, isn’t that the real measure of obsession? It is JUST bad enough that I hide it from a few of my friends. Don’t judge me (while I drink alone in the hotel room catching up on the latest goings on of my runner friends).

I think that it is probably worth noting that I actually DO read each of the blogs all the way through. I really try to avoid doing what I normally do when I read books – just look at the pictures. I figure that if someone put the time to put something together, then it is probably worth my time to read it. Besides, just like every time I read a Curious George book, I may even learn something. Is there anything that little monkey WON’T do!!??

It got me thinking about what makes a good blog. Pictures? Funny stories? Relevant / topical? The answer is probably one thing. ME. Having me in it makes it a good blog. A interesting author that tells a good story. So, thanks to all the authors of the various blogs that I read. You guys keep me going.

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Did a solid 4 miles on the treadmill this morning at a nice easy recovery pace of 9:15. Because of the F’ing monsoon here in California, the treadmills at the hotel were all way full so I had to wait nearly 10 minutes to get on one. The run felt good and I only have some slight stiffness near my ITB.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

PF Changs Rock and Roll AZ - Race Report

What a race. If you are like me, you just scroll to the bottom to see how people did - so here are my results first!

Time: 3:44:34
Average Pace: 8:33
Average Heart Rate: 190
Place: 1177/5695

Now that the specifics are out of the way, let me throw 40 pictures at you instead of thinking of stuff to type take you back to Friday night. I had my first blogger meet up! Lisa, Jeff, and RunningLaur (along with RunningLaur's fiance and my wife) all got together at PF Changs. While I didn't chug any NyQuil or shotgun any beers (so, can the night really be considered a success?), it was a really fun time to put a 'real' face with a blog. Here we all are looking QUITE dapper if I do say so myself.

With that it was off to bed and to the expo on Saturday. The expo was similar to other very large expos in the past. I did finally buy a pair of recovery socks. I'm actually wearing them now - along with pajama pants with Homer Simpson all over them. Don't hate me because you are jealous of my fashion skills. A few things to note about the expo:

Miller 64 was one of the key sponsors. To answer your question, I did NOT have any free samples. I really tried to avoid the free samples this time. But, that didn't mean that I didn't take the time to cat call take pictures of the Miller Girls.

Ryan Hall, the current American record-holder in the half marathon, was one of the elites who ran the RnR AZ half marathon. He spoke for a few minutes and signed some autographs.

I got Ryan to sign my bib and provide some key words of encouragement. They were, in order of importance, "don't stop running" and "run fast". Kidding kidding. Ryan was super cool and very gracious after sitting and signing his name for nearly an hour. I took my picture with him and when I showed it to my mother in law she said that we could be brothers! I'd like to think that I'd be the brother giving Ryan wedgies and making fun of him for being tall. You be the judge:

Here are all of the free goodies that I picked up. I know what you are thinking..... "Jesus, - did you save any Lara bars for anyone else?" First, shut it jerk. Second, the Lara bar gal must have been tired of being there because she told me to take one of each kind (and my wife grabbed a bunch too). Third, I had to wait really far in line. Bite me.

On race day, we got up earlier than no man or woman should have to get up. My wife put on her yellow shirt and grabbed her previously made "Adam Heads" to help with her cheering. Who wouldn't want to wake up next to all of this awesome?? You are welcome for the nightmares.

The run:
Since this post is starting to get really long, I'll summarize the highlights of what actually happened during what this post is SUPPOSED to be about (free stuff?).

Here I am around mile 13 putting the swim move on a guy whose quads are HUGE!
  • Mile 0: I was in coral 1 because I had picked a finish time of 3:20. Stupid stress fracture... I lined up near the back and got passed by a million people.
  • Miles 1-8: Saw my wife and her fam cheering at mile 3, and saw practically NO ONE ELSE. It was pretty annoying / disappointing that there weren't many people cheering. I assume that most were watching the half marathon people.
  • Miles 8-10: I realized that this race wasn't going to be my best effort. If it was a 20 mile training run, I would have said that it was just "ok". I just felt...off.
  • Miles 10-20: I was holding a 3:40 pace (~8:17 miles) through mile 20. Honestly, I knew that I wasn't going to be able to hold it for the entire race, but I thought that I would try.
  • Mile 20: Wall.
  • Miles 20.5: My iPod stopped working.
  • Mile 21: Walked for the first time to refill my water bottles.
  • Mile 22-25: Slowed down to about 8:50 pace while running, but let myself walk for 20-30 seconds a mile.
  • Mile 26: Realized that I would hit A, B, and C goals
  • Mile 26.2: Finished and chugged a Miller 64


Tasted like 64 calories of victory.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rock and Roll Arizona Marathon - Preview

This is it. The first marathon weekend in my “year of whoring myself out to the competitor group” “year of rock and roll marathons”!! It seems like just yesterday I was limping around in San Diego, CA talking to my wife about how I just tried to run half a mile and failed. Hello stress fracture. It was a low point of 2009 for sure.

This week at work has been so busy, but yet gone by so slow, that none of the normal pre race logistics have been completed. I don’t know where the expo is, I have no clue how I am getting to the start, what I am wearing, and I don’t know where my wife is going to stop and cheer for me. BUT – I do have my meals planed for tonight and tomorrow night. Priorities. A few of us (bloggers) are going to meet up at PF Changs tonight - pictures to follow.

Even though I haven’t had time to think much about the race logistics, I have thought about how long I would like to be running on Sunday. Like usual, I’ve created three levels of goals (because I am a big tool). In order of most important:

Goal A: Don’t get hurt. I’ve got another one of these marathons in 6 weeks.
Goal B: Don’t get a personal worst. Currently my PW is 4:05
Goal C: Run a 3:45

I’m planning on lining up with the 3:45 pace group and running with them for a while. I run 8:30 during long run training so this should hopefully be no problem. Famous last words. Honestly, if I could hit goal A and B I'll be super happy. If I'm still with 3:45 at 20 miles, I may kick it up to 3:30 pace and see if I can't take off a few minutes.

Finally, something that I am VERY excited about. We had T-Shirts made up for my “cheering squad”. Gone are the leather mini skirts and pink tube tops that I force my "posse" to normally wear.

Since my wife has a crap-ton of family that live here, I think that we’ll have a pretty good group of people who come out to cheer. Here I am modeling one of the T-Shirts:


The design was by my wife and the actual artistic creation (drawing) was done by yours truly. We had 12 of them made up so that we would have enough sizes for people to wear them at ALL of the Rock and Roll races that I do this year. Let me know if you want to come cheer me on - we've got S through 2XL. Cowbell not included.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Throwback Pepsi, Running, and bodybuilding

Things here on the home front, and by that I of course mean the hotel, have been very busy. Therefore, you get bullets!

  • Has anyone else seen these throwback Pepsi commercials? They are making a big deal out of the fact that it is “made with real sugar”….. What the F*ck is it made with normally!? My guess is either bits of ground up leprechauns or the sweat from a pregnant bison. “Secret formula” my ass.
  • Even though I’ve been sick, I’m back into the swing of running. T,W,Th I’ve knocked out 7,4,4 miles. My own little mini marathon taper. Speed has been good, but my legs are more tired than Eyore from Whinny the poo on sedatives. Not a good thing during a marathon week.
  • The main reason why my legs have been tired is because I’m trying TRYING to get back into lifting weights. I thought that I was easing in by only doing body weight resistance via lunges, sit squats, crunches, and some yoga poses. As a result I’ve been sore. Really sore. Sore in parts of your body that should not be sore for best "non-running performance" – if you catch my drift.
  • I’m going home for the first time in two weeks today. I couldn’t be more excited. Since I was chugging NyQuil in Chicago last weekend, the bills have piled up and I’m sure the lawn is so long that small children could get lost….but it will totally be worth it to hang out at “home”.

Stay tuned for a marathon preview post tomorrow. Bullets are so much fun I just may do them again!! Until then, I’ll be savoring the sweet sweet taste of real sugar – or leprechauns.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Early Morning 7 Milers

This morning I decided to test out my phlegm filled lungs and go for a fast-ish 7 miler. Since this is a marathon week, I had previously planned to only go 5 or 6, but since I wasn’t able to do my long run this weekend because I am hacking like the Marlboro Man, I decided to make it a bit longer.

7.5 miles, 8:00 pace

When I woke up this morning I heard raindrops on my hotel window and immediately thought: “*expletive* 7 miles on the treadmill is going to SUCK”. Not a good way to start the day (still better than getting sprayed by a skunk). When I got down to the hotel gym, the THRONGS of new years resolutioners were in full force and there was actually a line formed to get on any of the 10 or so treadmills. If there is one thing that everyone needs to know about me, it is that I am impatient. Chest cold be damned, rain or shine I was running outside.

Someone above must have liked me that morning because no sooner than I got outside it had stopped raining. SCORE. The run went really well and I didn’t slow down much because of my cold. I really think taking a few extra days off helped me get better faster. In fact, I didn’t cough or wheeze at all while running! While on the run, I didn’t see any skunks mostly because the trail that I would run on was flooded. Blah. However, I did see Yahoo, Cisco, Citrix, AMD, Intel, and a few other high tech companies that are not coming to mind right now. Silicon valley is nerdy – but fun.

Of course, one NOT fun thing about Silicon Valley is that it is very easy to make wrong turns. So, instead of running 7 miles, I accidentally ran 7.5. I miscalculated my turnaround and tacked on a few extra minutes. Not the end of the world since I hadn’t ran in 4 days, but still frustrating when I am in a rush to get to work.

T-5 days to rock and roll AZ!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Public Service Announcement - NyQuil

First, an update on my running. I haven’t ran since Wednesday because I came down with a nasty chest cold that turned into a head cold. The best thing about having a head cold is that when you fly and the cabin depressurizes when you land, it feels like your HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE. Yup, I had that happened on Thursday and again on Sunday.

I'm also CRAZY behind on blogs. I'll get caught up on those tonight!

In an effort to stay on top of my illness, I have been heavily self medicated. It is okay though, the minute clinic lady wouldn’t give me any antibiotics, so this is the only option that I have. Furthermore, I was in Chicago this past weekend hanging out with Nick, a buddy of mine, on a trip that has been planned for nearly 4 months. I wasn’t about to let a little cold get me down. That, of course, meant more medicine.

Did I mention I LOVE wine? When my buddy and I get together, we drink wine – a lot of wine. Neither of us are huge partiers, but we really like to have fun together. I think we all know where this is going:


I am now the founding member of the “Don’t drink and Nyquil Club”. DDNC for short. I am looking into McGruff as our spokesperson.

While the story that follows is very embarrassing, my wife and my two friends insist that I post it. On Saturday night, Nick and I were having a great time. We had some drinks before dinner, had a very nice steak dinner and then were plenty served from a bottle or two of wine back home. (Of course, cabs were used etc etc) Everything was right with the world. In my Malbec induced haze, I decided that to help me sleep without a stuffy nose, I would take two Nyquil gelcaps – the recommended dosage.

I, of course, immediately went to bed, however needed to get up and go to the bathroom about 2 hours into the night. I remember getting up to go to the bathroom and the next thing I know I’m falling ass first into my buddy’s Jacuzzi tub. Did I mention it is pitch black? What about the fact that I was only wearing my underwear? Well, I guess that I made quite a ruckus. So, in between my wife’s VERY loud laughter I hear Nick yell “you OK in there?”. To which I of course respond.. “nooooooooo”. The best that the four of us can recreate the scene, is that I fell into the bathtub while trying to shut the door which caused me to hit my head on a bottle of shave cream and slice it open on the back. I’m DAMN lucky nothing else happened (hit my head on the water faucet, knocked myself unconscious…). The plastic top of the shaving cream bottle was completely crushed, I have a gash on the back of my head, my back is a bit sore from where it hit the side of the tub, but nothing is more bruised than my ego.

So, there you have it. Proof that, not only will I post a kick-ass marathon PR, I’ll also post probably the most embarrassing story of my life to date. The part that makes me the most frustrated is that without the stupid NYQuil none of this would have happened. I didn’t even wake up with a headache (from the booze)!! The huge goose egg / cut on my head sure does hurt when I touch it though.

So please, be careful out there. PLEASE don't do what I do - completely read the warning labels on all medicine you take. And if you are going to drink, don’t NyQuil.
Adam – DDNC Chairman

Friday, January 8, 2010

Earthquake!!

Nearly every time that I am in California, and even on my blog WHILE in California, I've said that I wanted to feel an earthquake. Ask and ye 'shall receive I suppose. (Next up, asking to win the lottery)

On Wednesday, I felt the first yellow box to the left near Fremont, CA - a 4.2 tremor centered between Fremont and San Jose, CA. It was INTERESTING! I was in a 3 story building and I totally felt the building creek and sway both during as well as 10 seconds or so after the earthquake stopped.

I was on the phone and literally stopped mid sentence and said "oh shit, we're having an earthquake!" The two ladies that I was with in the small conference room seemed to be very worried and said a couple of times "should we get in the doorways?"

Being from the midwest, the whole experience seemed very surreal. "Very Californian." My wife asked if I would ever want to be in a bigger one. My response: "If you're asking if I want to have a 3 story building collapse on my head....the answer is no."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Is that a cat....or a beaver?

Note, even my non-running friends/family will get a kick out of reading this one all the way through.

Even though Silicon Valley is boring, that doesn't mean that I can't get my run in. In fact, there is a pretty awesome running path right by my hotel that goes along a ravine - The San Thomas Aquino/Saratoga Creek Trail. It is a really nice paved trail that even has forks in the trail every time that it would cross a road so that you don't have to stop for traffic. (See to the left - the fork on the left goes under the road, on the right goes over it.)

On Wednesday at about 5:30am, I was out for a slow 4 miler and was going underneath one of the roads when all of a sudden I could have SWORE I saw a big fat black cat lumbering along the middle of the running path. As I get closer, I could tell that there was certainly something there. It almost looked like a wet beaver glistening in the moonlight because it was wet from the stream that was down in the ravine!

Remember, I'm basically chasing this thing down the path trying to get it to go back into the ravine..... So, I get to within maybe 10 feet of the thing and either a streetlight from the road or the moonlight showed a BIG WHITE STRIPE DOWN ITS BACK. It wasn't wet or glistening it had white stripes! Yeah, I was chasing a F*ing SKUNK.

So, I immediately let out a yelp, turned around and headed back towards the OTHER fork in the road - the one that had me dodging traffic instead of skunks. As I was headed back, I could even smell a faint wiff of skunk due to the different wind direction. He didn't try to spray me, but I swear I could smell him.

So, needless to say, I had a little bit of a "spring in my step" for about a half mile. The shittiest thing? Now I don't know if I can use that trail on a regular basis or not. Am I always going to need to be on the lookout for skunks?! Like my buddy Nick said when I told him "getting sprayed by one of those is a bad way to start a day"

Silicon Valley

This week I have been staying and working in the HEART of Silicon Valley. I can’t throw a rock without hitting Yahoo’s or Intel’s main campus (McAfee software is around the corner, and it seems like half of the buildings have .com on the side of them). That said, I have to admit that it is a lot different than I thought that it would be. It is basically….. a huge office park. I mean, for miles and miles there are office building and not.much.else. Oh, there are trees, and some stuff that you’d expect for northern California, but behind the trees…office buildings. Not even a gas station or a McDonalds!

Now I’m just a country boy but I really did assume that Silicon Valley would somehow be different. I am not sure if I expected there to be bean bag chairs instead of park benches and Segways on every street corner waiting to wisk you away, but I think that I expected it to be more “fun”. I drove around a bit last night and it just seemed very boring. Turns out, nerdy .com guys don’t need to have bars or restaurants to hang out in. They need to get back home to program their UNIX servers to interface with their whole home security systems. Either that or become a level 15 warlord in World of Warcraft.

But, if all goes well, I’ll be here for the next 6 to 10 months, so I guess I’ll have some time to find all of the fun places. If nothing else I guess I could build myself a sweet UNIX machine to store in the hotel. I bet I would kick some serious World of Warcraft ass with that thing.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Group Runs

The beginning of a new year brings a number of new and renewed things: People make all sorts of new year’s resolutions, Dick Clark REFUSING to hang it up for the new years eve ball drop, and (whether I need it or not) I take my monthly shower and get my yearly bikini wax. The new year also brings a new year of running club membership – and there in lies my dilemma.

Now that I am back running great guns (36 miles last week), I finally feel comfortable enough to start running with a group again. Before, I didn’t want to let everyone see me limping around, tears streaming down my face in agony. I didn't want to seem like an amateur whose body rejected the sport that we all know and love. But now....now I am back to my normal spry self! Any running group would be VERY lucky to have me within their ranks. Right?

But, even though I have been running rather consistently for a few weeks, I still haven't joined my running group for any long runs. In fact, I knocked out a very solid 18 miler at 8:39 pace just this past weekend all by myself. I've found that, while running with a group is fun and provides a much needed "running outlet", running by myself allows me to set my own schedule, pace, and course. Three things that a control freak loves to have control.

While running and over the past weekend, I hemmed and hawed over rejoining the group. I did ultimately decide to renew my membership. The dues weren't that much and I would like to have the OPTION to run with them if I wanted to. That and, since my unit of measurement is always beer, I figured that the $15 yearly dues is the same as two 6 packs.

What is everyone else's thoughts on running groups?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 Race Schedule and Goals

Well, this is it: The tentative race schedule for 2010. I’m sure that I won’t do all of these races, but these are the races where I’d love to toe the (port a potty) line. Please let me know if you have any of these races on your agenda and we can certainly stalk each other in person get together!

1/17: PF Changs Rock and Roll Marathon (C Race)
2/28: RnR New Orleans Marathon (B Race)
3/??: Random half marathon?? (A Race?)
4/17: Pat Tillman 4.2 Memorial Run (C Race)
6/6: RnR San Diego Marathon (A Race)
6/26: RnR Seattle Marathon (C Race)
7/??: Arizona Road Racers 5K (A Race)
8-9??/?? Sprint triathlon!!
11/??: RnR San Antonio Marathon (A Race)
11/??: Mi Amigo Turkey Trot (C Race) – This one will be based on where I am for Thanksgiving
12/??: RnR Vegas Marathon (B Race)

A Races I’ll be racing for a PR
B Races I’ll be running 20-30 seconds slower than my PR pace
C Races I’ll be treating as long training runs / fun runs

2010 Goals:

  • DON’T GET HURT
  • Sub 3:20 marathon (I believe they call these "big fat hairy audacious" goals)
  • Race any half marathon
  • Sub 19:00 5K (Another bigger fatter goal - probably harder than the 3:20)
  • Run a timed and accurately measured mile (Sanctioned race preferably)
  • Complete a sprint triathlon!!!

Up until this point, I’ve only held to a select few of my non running fitness goals (yeah, no one got postcards like I said I would send). I haven’t been lifting weights or doing core work but I have been stretching like a Russian gymnast. So, I’m going to work to do weights AND core 3x per week. If I am going to hit my 5K goal, core strength is going to be key.

Yes, you read that last one right. I’d love to compete in a sprint triathlon at some point this year. It will likely need to be late in the year, so I have a lot of time to answer all of the questions that I have AND get good at swimming. I doubt that I will be able to cannonball my way through the swim portion of the race!