Friday, March 30, 2012

Funny Foto Friday: How I roll & the best job response ever

This weekend, the ‘Boring household is going new (possibly used?) car shopping.  Some people hate the car shopping “game” but I actually love it.  I don’t take car-salesmen’s crap personally and realize that they’re doing a job and (in spite of their douchbaggery) we’d likey go out for a beer if not in the high pressure sales environment.  Of course, during that beer, the salesman would probably try to convince me to rust protect my belt buckle for the low price of $10/month for the next 8 years.

This week’s Funny Foto Friday is (again) a bit of a mashup of various photos I’ve ran across over the past week or so. No theme, only hilarity.  Happy Friday!

First, Lesley over at Racing it Off sent me a link to a T-Shirt with this on it. 
Needless to say, pictures of me wearing it will soon follow.

I actually love my job, but yeah.....this.

Who HASN’T done this if they’ve been running/riding and seen one??
(This picture has been making the rounds, but never gets old)

Finally, while a long read, this has to be one of the cockiest, most arrogant, hilarious job responses I’ve ever seen.  I’m sure it is fake, but that doesn’t make me want to put boot to very bronzed, gym hardened face any less.
Customer support and shit? MEGA CHECK!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring colors, water bottles, and motorcycles..and RUNNING!

Blog bullet point post! Where I have more words to say than twitter allows and not enough time to bullshit my way through an entire post......

First, I ran 10 miles today and things felt....better.  My leg still ached for the first 4 miles or so, but at the 5 mile mark I took a 2 min break and made sure that I wasn’t drunk on endorphins and it felt no worse than it had when I started.  In fact, it sort of worked itself out by 7 miles.  This leads me to believe that either pulling back the throttle worked and I’m on the mend OR I’m a big wuss and just need to suck it up.

New Beginnings!
In the desert, there are a few weeks in the spring where everything is in bloom. Now is that time. Flowers seem to sprout from plants that you didn’t realize were still alive and the pollen in the air is so thick that it makes your eyes water if you just look outside.  But, even though there have been a lot of non-traditional plants planted, it is hard to argue with simple signs of new beginning.

One of my two "Dad Zones"!
Through some fortunate stroke of luck or promises that shall not be mentioned, I convinced my wife to dedicate an entire drawer in our kitchen to water bottles.  Much like all areas that are considered a “dad zone” (Exhaustive list of “dad zones” include: this drawer, the garage....ummmm....yup, that’s pretty much it I guess), nothing is organized and everything just sort of gets thrown in there.  Unfortunately for me, now that I have a 16 month old this drawer essentially looks like one of those germ filled ball-pits at McDonalds. Every so often I’ll step in the garage door and will see various parts of water bottles trailing all the way to the kitchen Hansel and Gretel style.

I've got the fever!
Finally, now that my dad has left and the weather is getting warmer and warmer, I have a pretty good case of motorcycle fever.  It didn’t help that my dad is a bit of a Harley nut but I can’t help but see them on the roads everywhere I go.  I have to think that it is very similar to being injured and not being able to run. You drive to the grocery store: Runners. When you are walking to get the mail: Runners. When you are stealing your neighbors Sunday paper: Runners.  They’re everywhere!  Even my son (with mommy’s styled “spiked messy hair”) thinks I should get one!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

90% Trained or 50% Hurt?

Every so often, I’ll watch a movie with plot holes the size of Texas egos.  The girl will answer the door, the pizza man will give her a wink, the pizza man’s pants fall certainly doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what comes next.  (Cue the electric jazz.)  My running over the last 3 days has been very much like one of the “Debbie Does Dallas” movies (where egos aren’t the only thing that are Texas sized).  At the end of the day, someone gets screwed.  I think I might be teetering on the injury knife edge.

In spite of their chicken appendage appearance, I’ve always had issues with my calves.  Quite simply, they’re wound TIGHT. In the past, they’ve pulled on my shins, pulled on my knees and even pulled all the way down to my feet.  Stupid calves.  I’ve found that a steady diet of calf stretches before and after running, more foam rolling than humanly possible, and ice kept them under control.  However, over the past few weeks I’ve felt them getting tighter and tighter.  Call it a fun side effect of multiple 65+ mile weeks. (Another side effect? Ironically, pants that fall off.)  I’ve tried to stretch them to keep them lose but honestly I haven’t been doing a good enough job.

Monday’s run went well, but Tuesday’s run was one of the worst in distant memory.  I had pain in my calves, aches in my knees, and an ass that wouldn’t quit and a hamstring that was twitchy – all things that point to something not going well.  It was even bad enough that I had a slight limp as I walked up my driveway.  Houston, we have a Texas Sized Ego problem.  I’ll admit, I said a swear word.

Last night I rolled, iced and this morning I took a very easy day.  Which, means that I ran 5 miles.  It was better than the day before, but something was still very “off”.  Frankly, normally I’d run through it.  It isn’t enough to slow me down so why should I stop?  Fortunately, I’ve been running long enough to learn that 4.5 weeks before your major spring race is not the time to (hard) run through injuries.  So, I’m going to build back up with lots of easy miles to ensure that I’m on the mend before I ratchet down the speed again.

Essentially, I’ve had to ask myself an important question: PR in training or PR during a race? No one cares if you push too hard in training and kill a run....if you then go on to limp through a race.  One of my favorite sayings is that: “I’d rather be 90% trained than 50% hurt every day of the week”

Hopefully I’ve make the right choice.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Melted faces, chafing, and pain: Must be 20 miles!

This time of year, there are a few posts that you’ll see popping up on blogs:

  • OMG, the weather is sooooo amazing!! I finally got to run without any snot-cicles!
  • My coach/training plan is evil, no human should ever have to run this much. I’m going to punch running in the face.
  • Hooray! Race Report! Free watered down gatoraide!
  • Oh my god, that run was so hot I think my face melted off. Why am I chaffing there!?

Saturday, I was scheduled for 20 miles that would cap off a 67 mile week.  For the record, I hate 20 milers.  Hate them like Charlie Sheen hates rehab.  I do them because they are a necessary evil for marathon training and they make my friends and family ohh and ahh about how far I ran: “You ran TWENTY miles this morning?! It takes me half an hour to drive that far!”  Why yes, I did run 20 miles, now out of the way while I eat this entire pizza.

Unfortunately, the 20 miler this weekend was one of my more miserable runs in recent memory.  I had decided to sleep in a bit and play with my son before heading out onto the pavement.  This gave the parched Arizona desert some time to heat up like the surface of the sun (Read: like 70 degrees) and the traffic time to get just thick enough that I had to stop at every single stoplight.

As I was getting ready, sitting on the toilet contemplating the Greek debt crisis and world hunger, I also thought about how I was dreading the run.  There is something about running 20 miles that makes the pain of a marathon seem “real”.  Gone are the ‘easy’ 15 and 16 mile runs.  20 miles means you’re close to the race.  20 miles makes it REAL.

Don't Busey your run
You know what happens when you start off dreading a run?  You have a shitty run!! I totally let my brain talk myself out of a good training run.  The mind is as a powerful muscle in its own right and sometimes training it is just as important as training your legs.  So, all week long I’m going to work to focus on giving every run the best chance for success possible.  After all, this weekend I’m not running 20 miles, I’m running 22!

So, looking back, I suppose this post falls into the “oh my god, my face is melting off” category.  For that matter, I did chafe in some strange places. Stupid 20 milers.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Funny Foto Friday: Stretching Instructions

I'm back!  This week has been a bit  hectic while my dad has been visiting.  Unfortunately, I've been working off and on while trying to balance hanging out with him.  Fortunately, I love hanging out and it's been a lot of fun.

I'll admit, when I don't blog I feel guilty.  Ask ANY blogger and they'll agree that you shouldn't feel guilty, you shouldn't force posts, blogging should be fun, blah blah blah. But, just like when I dip my hand in the candy jar at work and come out with a fist full of Jolly Ranchers, when I don't blog I feel guilty.

One of the things we all did as a family while my dad was here was go to a spring training baseball game.  March in Phoenix means a few things: The old snow birds start their slow migration towards the light to colder climates, pollen balls the size of grapes, and Spring Training Baseball.  Apparently, when March rolls around, THIS happens.  If you gawt it, flaunt it.

Nope, that was NOT a fart during my run this morning.

My right calf has been tight for the last week or so. I've still had some really good runs (11 miles yesterday with 8 at marathon pace-10 seconds or about 6:50 pace) but my calf aches during the runs.  The reason?  I need to stretch more.  I REALLY get on the people I coach about it (with limited results) but stretching after running really does solve a lot of these issues.  Must.Make.Time.

Finally, (before the funny foto) I think my son might have unlocked the key to a happy life.  His train was stuck in the corner behind the couch and he couldn't figure out how to get it out.  So, he figured out a rather creative way to get what he wanted.  The Lesson?  Sometimes, when you feel like the train of life is barreling down on you..... you hop on that son of a bitch and ride it backwards to the end of the week! Happy Friday!

Other than having a hilarious website name, the folks at Pleated Jeans always come up with some hilarious step by step photos.  Frankly, these actually ARE all really good exercises, but who could argue with just a little "drop it like it's hot" to cure the 3pm blahs?  Happy Friday!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Appointment with the Cardiologist

Remember that time that I was running, had crazy chest pains, and my heart rate jumped to 230?  Yeah, that was awesome.  I posted it on here and everyone told me “hey jerkface, go to the doctor or else we’re going to punch you in the kidney so you have a real reason to go“  Of course, I didn’t go at first. But then, they happened again – and actually happened a second time.  I think the straw that broke my back was when my wife continued to ask about my life insurance, started measuring me for a suit, and we started to get beach home catalogs in the mail.  Appointments were made and before I knew it I was at the Cardiologist.  Swell.

Honestly, there were a lot of reasons why I was hesitant to schedule the appointment.  Frankly, none of them were all that good:  I didn’t want to go through the hassle of all of the appointments and I knew that it would cost money better spent on beer.  But the real reason?  FEAR.  Honest to goodness fear.  I had lots of worst case scenarios running through my head.  In my mind the doctor would tell me things like:

  • “If you keep running you’ll die.”
  • “Actually scratch that, you’re going to die in 2 weeks.”
  • “Just kidding!!!  Do you want an oak or a walnut casket? Did your wife get the life insurance beach home brochures I sent?” 

The truth is that we all live our lives not knowing how long our fuse is.  Frankly, I like it that way. Call it 30 year old superman syndrome.  I thought that I was invincible and was scared to death that the doctor was going to tell me otherwise. I’m just fine not knowing that I’m going to pass while having sex in the year 2075.

But, I went.  On Monday I went to the cardiologist to get my heart checked out.  Unfortunately, the doctor had emergency surgery that morning was running two hours late. Lovely.  No bother though, I spent the morning watching the game show network with the other 80 year olds  in the waiting room.  I swear, I lowered the average age of the place by half.  Eventually I did get to see a nurse, they hooked me up to a 10 electrode EKG (I tried to take a picture, they wouldn’t let me), and I got to speak with a Cardiologist who was as rushed as you’d expect someone to be if they were running 2.5 hours late.

But, as rushed as he was, he still answered all of my questions and reassured me that I probably wasn’t going to drop dead during a hard tempo run.  Like I said before, everything essentially checked out fine with my EKG.  It showed that my heart was thickened.  Bad for someone w/ high blood pressure (heart is working too hard to squirt your 90 p.s.i. blood) but that is normal for an endurance athlete (your heart works hard to kick age group ass).  Even though that was all fine and good, he still wanted me to get a sonogram on my heart and wear a heart monitor for 30 days.  So, on Friday I was fitted with this little ditty:

Can’t see it? (That's what she said)
Tucked away in my pocket

Probably can see it better now (Also, That's what she said)

The good news is that I have a million little pad dealies that I can swap out every day and I CAN take the machine off during various activities.  (Showering, other “activities”, etc)  Any time I’m feeling heart palpitations I press a button on the machine, it records my bonkers heart, and then uploads automatically to the mother ship.  Conversely, it is always monitoring me so if it feels like I’m dying (literally), it’ll start recording and I’ll be contacted to make sure that I’m OK.  Of course, I’m not sure how much help a courtesy call will be if I’m flopping around on the ground.

The bad news is that now that I am all jacked into the Matrix, I’m not sure what is real.  Also, an oracle told me I was Jesus. Oh, and I know kung fu.  Actually, maybe the matrix isn’t all that bad.......

Of course, I’ll keep everyone posted on the results of any developments.  But until then, I’ll just be pretending I’m a robot and cracking Matrix jokes.  “Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth. There is no spoon.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Funny Foto Friday: More Children Facebook Funnies

Throughout my years of running, I’m always amazed at a few things:

  • I have been able to survive on a diet that consists mostly of processed sugar in colorful breakfast cereal form
  • MTV hasn’t renamed itself.  Seriously, MUSIC??  If that station is about music then my poop should be considered Picasso  
  • Running is incredibly fickle.  Nothing can seem to go right one day but then someone filps a switch and you’re hurdling over piles of dog poop at a 6:00/pace

Two weeks ago, I wasn’t feeling well, I hadn’t hit any “good” speed sessions and my mileage was about 20 miles per week lower than I wanted.  But, after the race on Saturday it seems that I’ve been blessed with a series of good runs that would rival an Olympian. I had a pretty good marathon pace run on Tuesday and on Thursday ran 10 miles of track work that averaged a 6:52 pace (details at the bottom if you care) – nearly at my half marathon PR pace. (For that matter, one of the 400s was at a 5:06 pace).  So, even though I have a stupid heart rate monitor taped to my chest (note to self, shave portions of chest...) at this moment things are looking pretty damn good.


This week's funny foto friday is a compilation of hilarious facebook postings. (I don't think I have posted any of these before, but I might have)  I can only imagine what would have happened if facebook would have existed when I was growing up, but I have to think that about half of these could very well have been seen in my facebook feed.  Happy Friday!

I can not WAIT to do this to my kids.  CAN NOT WAIT

Ok, I'll admit, I had to look up DTF.  Down to [have sexual relations] :)
Ladder track workout was as follows:
400 / 800 / 1200 / 1600 / 1200 / 800 / 400.  400 recovery between. 
Both 400s at 5k-15, 800 @ 5k, 1200 @ 5K+10, 1600@5k+20. 
Actual paces were: 5:32, 5:39, 6:02, 6:06, 5:58, 5:46, 5:07. Ran that last 400 nearly all out. Man, I wanted that in the 4s......

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Zensah thin sock review, final race thoughts, troubles of the heart

First, thanks for all of your congratulations on my race report! I always feel a bit guilty when I post about a race that goes so well because it seems like it is almost asking for praise. “Look what I did!!  You should say I’m awesome! Look, there is even a comment box for which to enter your praise!”  The only thing that makes me think that it is OK is the fact that the ratio to shit my pants, walk in the last 5 miles bad races to good races is about 2 to 1.

Two things that I forgot to mention in my race report.  First, I constantly assumed that the Nuns were going to break out in Sister Act style song.  I wish I were joking.  In fact, in my head I might have tried to guess which one was the choir leader in the witness protection program. (Actually, joking a little bit on that last one.)

Second, for the race I wore some sweet new Zensah Thin running socks. Since I knew that I was going to be pushing my limits I wanted a sock that was going to be thin and cool but still provide enough padding so that my feet didn’t get beat up in my racing shoes. Fortunately for me, Zensah had sent over a pair of thin running socks to try out!  Not only did they wick away the sweat that undoubtedly came but also had great compression around the arch (which I LOVE).  I’m a big fan of the Zensah compression and these socks didn’t disappoint either.  Frankly, I think I’m starting to get spoiled with socks that have a left and right foot.  My conclusion? If you wear Zensah thin running socks you will win the race. (Causation? Correlation? Who can tell)

On a related note, if you’re on Zensah’s mailing list, you might have seen a quote from a certain blogger in their most recent mailer:

Yes, my name is Adam and not Andrew, but frankly as long as they keep sending me sweet compression gear they could call me Big Bird and I’d still love it!


Totally a picture of me
I went to the cardiologist on Monday to check on my heart palpitations.  I’ll do a full post on it but suffice it to say that everything checked out BASICALLY normal but I’m going to have some additional tests done so that the doctor can make another beach house payment.  The most intrusive “test”?  I have to wear a heart rate monitor with leads, wires, and a data recorder FOR A MONTH.  My immediate thought?  This thing is really going to cramp my......ahem......”style”. And then I thought about how awesome the blog posts are going to be. There will certainly be lots of “Matrix” jokes.

That’s how my mind works.  Sex first, then blog, then a joke, and then everything else.


Finally, over the last few days, I’ve been working through a bit of a sore calf.  After the race on Saturday, I had a sore glute, hamstring, and calf – basically the business end of my lower body.  The glute and hamstring aren’t sore anymore but the calf seems to be rather persistent. It’s sort of like those Cash For Gold commercials. Just when you think that everyone on earth had melted down grandma’s rings when BAM – still sore.  But, I think it is finally on the mend. Tomorrow will be the test!  Going to try a ladder track session. Bring the pain.
My son says, the cow says "Mmmmmmm"

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nun Run 5K Race Report! (First Place!)

Based on experience, here is the perfect recipe to get a PR at your next race:

Time: 17:59
Place: 1/455 (1/36 Age Group)
Pace: 5:47
Heart Rate: 207 average, 218 max

In my head, I'm not a fast runner. In my head I'm still the slightly overweight runner cranking out 10 minute miles on my trusty 3.0 mile loop. In fact, I can easily name half a dozen bloggers or friends who could beat me on any day at any distance.  But, fortunately for me, I'm a very good 5K runner. Statistically, I've got much more top end speed than I do endurance.  Well, and frankly none of those other faster runners showed up to the race I ran on Saturday! The result was the second win of my running career - and a 50 second 5K PR.

I seem to get a lot of random emails advertising races.  But, a few weeks back one caught my eye as being can't miss.  "The Nun Run" was a 5k and 10k put on by a Catholic charity that was near my inlaws house and actually fit into my busy running schedule.  Best of all?  They promised there would be real live Nuns there (is Nun a proper noun?) RUNNING THE RACE!!  Well, I don't see how I could miss something like that.

The morning of the race I was a bit nervous. (My Heart Rate at the starting line was 135) I hadn't ran an all out 5K in quite some time ad wasn't quite sure what to expect.  I knew that I was in the best shape of my life, but I hadn't done a ton of speedwork in the past few weeks and my Nun robe was still out at the dry cleaners.  Step number 1 for running a good race: you've got to look the part.  I knew that I could hold 6 min miles for the race, but I really wanted to get one of my new years resolutions and run in the 17:00s. 5:45 pace was the goal - and it was going to hurt.

Praying? Calling in divine favors? 
Talking about tripping this "so called 'Boring Runner' wiener and taking 1st place?

See the Nun.  See the Nun run. Run Nun, run!

Mile 1: Oh god... that was WAYYY too fast. (5:39 / mile)
The race was chip timed, but only at the finish so the crowd around the starting line was pretty thick.  The race started on grass, so there wasn't a defined starting "line" so a bunch of kids and more inexperienced runners were well into the actual course.  Since I wanted it to be as official as possible, that meant that I started a few rows back. Not ideal for the start, but I knew that I could make it up in short order.  I'll admit that I had looked at the race results from last year and knew that I was going to be near the front if I could run my goal - so I just tried to run my own race.

You can just BARELY see me behind the two kids in blue shirts & the girl in the green
I figured it wouldn't be good to tell them "back of the line, shorty" at a Catholic race

As expected, when the starting gun went off (shot by a Nun, who else?) the little kids bolted off like.....Justin Beiber was waiting at the finish.  The first 100m or so were on grass where we eventually transitioned onto sidewalk.  I was running in about 10th at the 1/3 mile point when I realized that the crowd wasn't running sub 6 min miles like I wanted. So, what was I to do?  I  put on the afterburners and passed them all.  I took the lead at the 0.5 mile mark, pulled up right on the lead bike, and never looked back.  (Actually, I did look back - at every opportunity I had)

2/3 of the way through this mile we ran on another patch of grass and had to hop a curb onto another sidewalk.  One thing that eventually got VERY frustrating about this race were the constant changes in footing.  Grass, sidewalk, up, down, etc etc.  Basically lots of times where I needed to slow down and pay attention to not falling on my face vs running.

Mile 2: Yep, it was too fast.  UGHHH, this suuuuucks (6:06 / mile)
Honestly, I don't remember a ton of this mile.  I do remember that it was rough.  I started to feel burning in my lungs because of the too fast mile before and probably because of the bronchitis. Either that, or my chest was about to explode.  If you would have stopped me at the time I'm sure I would have guessed the latter.

The second mile didn't have as many transitions from sidewalk to grass but it did have quite a few ups and downs.  They weren't all that long but they were very steep. Because of the pace that I was running (Read: balls out) I wasn't able to gain anything on the downs but slowed down considerably on the ups.  Also, I found out that while running 5:45 pace, it is nearly impossible for me to grab a cup of water without getting it all over myself AND the volunteer.  In fact, I even managed a raspy "sorry!" as I ran by leaving a mist of water in my wake.

By this point my vision was starting to get a bit fuzzy.  I couldn't see any of the other runners behind me when I would look, but with the various people around, I constantly ran like I was being chased.  My 5K was essentially like a zombie movie.

Mile 3 & Extra: Breath in....breath out....Breath in...Breath out.... (6:13 total time - 5:39 / mile pace)
At this point, I was pushing with essentially everything I had. The 10K runners who had started 10 minutes before the 5K were starting to get really thick so having the lead bike REALLY helped out. He would clear a path and I would follow - my own personal snow plow.  I would guess that he probably saved me 10 seconds pretty easily because I didn't have to alter my speed at all to get around the traffic.

This is probably my most favorite picture of me running. (into the finisher chute)
Two thumbs up for good form!

As I finished, I did the obligatory post-5K stumble.  I always say that if you have enough energy at the end of a race that short to hoop and holler then you didn't run fast enough! In fact, I might have accidentally told the volunteers to "hurry up" getting off my timing chip - to which I immediately felt horrible and gave them a big sweaty Adam-hug as an apology.

As I was stumbling around, some guy came up to me and said he was actually the first person to finish!  It took a moment to register, but turns out he cut the course "accidentally" and ran about a half mile shorter course than the rest of us.  Thankfully that didn't cause any headaches with the results.

One thing that I found when you win a race is that LOTS of people love to talk to you.  It's awesome because I honestly rarely get to talk about running.  My wife can only tolerate a few minutes of hard core running before she goes bonkers and gives me the blank stare of apathy and I rarely get the chance to run with others.  So, when given the opportunity to talk running, I strap on my scuba suit and dive in head first.

She resisted my swagger, but given more time she might have cracked
(seriously, is this not what you expected a Nun to look like?)

Dave - first time EVER racer! Finished in 20:45. 

 Dean a buddy on twitter & Daily Mile came and found me

After I had chatted with all sorts of people, there was still time left to kill.  So, what else is there to do while killing time?  Take stupid pictures.

Eventually, the results were sorted out and I got my picture taken with the 2nd and 3rd place finishers.

Overall, the race was an amazing experience.  It is certainly a different experience leading a race than not.  In some respects it is awesome. Whenever anyone finds out that you ran a race and inevitably asks in a smart assed tone "did you win?" you can respond with a curt, "actually, I did win, jackass".  Plus, I love to talk running and having lots of people come up to me and want to talk running was awesome.  But, honestly there are some downsides.  You're running on your own and essentially setting your own pace.  It was basically like a 3.1 mile all-out run by myself.  Fun to watch, mentally painful to execute.

Be different
If you always do what you've always done
Then you'll always get what you've always got
So, what did I learn? Certainly there had to be some things gleaned from a race winning performance, right? Nuns are hard to trip First, I think that the changes that I made to my training are finally paying off.  A bit more volume and a touch more speed (basically MORE of everything) have added nearly 50% additional time on my feet.  In short, doing something DIFFERENT seems to have broken the cycle of small gains.

Frankly, the thing that I learned the most was that with a lot of hard work, the 10 min/pace runner can be faster than he ever dreamed possible. Indeed faster than he still believes possible.  That is certainly something worth 17:59 minutes of suffering for.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Funny Foto Friday: Randomness

It seems like this Friday I have a lot of random funny pictures with no rhyme or reason, so I thought that I would start out with a few random things I’ve been thinking about lately:

I sort of got “outted” at work yesterday about how many pairs of running shoes I have.  Seven in active rotation.  SEVEN.  In fact, that is almost twice as many “other” shoes.

It bothers me when people say “she should eat a cheeseburger” with regard to female athletes.  Odds are, she does eat cheeseburgers. In fact, probably eats way more than you.

I don’t know what it is about babies being messy that is cute, but it is. See?

I’m running a 5K tomorrow.  There will be Nuns running in full habit garb (it’s a Catholic charity run). I swear, if I get beat by a nun in a flowing black robe, I’m going to have to go to church twice for the obscenities I scream. Although, I’m hoping to come in around 18:20ish. So if someone in full on nun garb can do that, maybe they ARE a deity.

For that matter, I’m actually a little worried about saying swear words as I grunt towards the finish. I RARELY swear with any real swear words (Read: F word) but by god when I cross the finish line after an all out 5K, and someone asks how it went, I’m bound to say “That f*cking hurt

Sometimes when I look at pictures of myself I think: “Ugh, I should eat a cheeseburger”.   Happy Friday!

It seems like this kind of dad would name their kid "Moosie"

I don't have a pet problem, I just love animals!

I'm the free fall which means I'm FUN!  Seems to make sense.  
Does it make sense for everyone else??

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Garmin 910xt Review!

I try to be a gadget guy, I really do. For example, I know that Apple released a new iPad today that has twice as many jingles and does four times as many whatcha-doodles than the old one.  The problem is that I'm also incredibly cheap.  So, what inevitably happens is that whenever I need something I get the newest and coolest that is available......and then proceed not to get anything else for 5 years.  This is exactly what happened with my running GPS.

I had the old trusty red Garmin 305. I'd link up to the mothership and beam down more data than I could ever consume. The only problem was that more and more frequently, the Garmin would lose signal.  Fine when I'm talking to someone on the phone and I drop signal, but NOT fine when I'm cranking out 800 repeats.

So, true to form, when my old Garmin started to die, I bought the $400 version that came out only 3 weeks before. The Garmin 910XT.  State of the art!

The 910XT is a triathlon watch. In fact, it's essentially an upgrade to the clunky Garmin 310XT (and the 305 before that) It not only can track every single data point imaginable while running, but it can also do the same thing while biking and while underwater. The triple threat!  It boasts a 20 hour battery life that will put you through any Ironman training session that you can imagine.  It'll track and display pace/elevation/mileage/ pedal cadence/swim stroke/laps/etc etc etc. If you can think it, it does it.  And, when you're done doing it, you can upload it online to Garmin Connect or download it to the shitty Garmin desktop software.  I prefer the shitty software:

The thing that I really liked about the 910XT, and really the reason I bought it, was that it had a big screen AND it vibrates.  I didn't want to be squinting at one of the smaller more watch sized screens when I was plodding along.  Besides, I honestly think that there is a bit of a coolness factor with wearing a watch with some "girth". Lets all other runners know that you're serious.  But, even though it still has the same size screen as my old Garmin 305, it itself is actually quite a bit smaller and thinner.  So, still big enough to see when my oxygen deprived brain

It is thinner too!

Of course, the more I thought about the features of the watch, the more I decided that I wasn't using all of them to their maximum capacity!  I'm a runner, sure, and I ride my bike, but I'm not a Triathlete.  This was a problem.  So, I did some research and found that there are a few distinct things that set Triathlete's apart.  First, they shave lots of body parts that I don't.  Now, everyone manscapes, but these guys (gals?) take it to another level.  So, I decided to dive head chest first:

Yeah, that wouldn't work

Ok, not so good.  So the other thing that Triathletes do is lots of swimming.  Since I have a pool in my back yard, I figured this would be easy! Just take a nice cool early march swim with my new Garmin buddy.

Turns out, my water was like 50 degrees.  NO THANK YOU.
So, I just threw the watch in there to show you it is water proof. See? Waterproof.

So with my Triathlon career fading fast, I figured that I needed to pair my Garmin 910xt running with at least TWO MORE activities that would justify the higher cost.  Since I wanted to be able to do some pretty quick transitions, I tried to focus on things that I did around the same time that I ran (in the morning).  What better than to shorten up my morning routine with a little Garmin measured speed work?

First, I tried eating for speed. AKA: Speeting.  Don't get me wrong, I was good at it, but I had a lot of trouble with the breathing

Cinnamon Toast Crunch in 30 seconds? Yes!

Of course, the next step would be drinking for speed. AKA: Dreeking.  Now THIS is something that the skills could be easily transferable to something worthwhile. Second sport found!

The key is to relax your throat

Next up, brushing for speed.  Honestly, this was just messy.  Messy for the Garmin, for me, actually don't try this one at home.

My gums sure did get a workout trying to get this done fast. Look at the focus on my face!

Finally....well I think the picture speaks for itself.

I found my 3rd sport!

Overall, I really like the watch.  I'm glad that I got a new one before my old one died in a race and really screwed something up important.  Honestly, if I'm missing out on some training run data, no big deal, but if I go out too fast during a race and blow up, I'd be furious.


  • Vibration on the mile markers so I know when they are even if I have my headphones in
  • Super bright, large display
  • Features that I'm used to with my 305


  • Freaking $400
  • I really wish that I didn't have to keep track of a charger and a USB sync device.  Couldn't they combine these?