Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Adaptation: Come on body, get with the program

Adaptation is an interesting thing.  Give a species a few million years and all sorts of fun things can happen. Think of an elephant. At some point in history, being able to scratch your butt with your nose provided some sort of benefit...and don’t even get me started on being able to flap your ears to be able to cool yourself off. I keep trying to “adapt” too, but I think that removing a few ribs Ozzy Osborne style might be easier (if you “got” that joke, we can be friends).

The humidity in Phoenix the last few weeks has been out of control. To be clear, I can hear you snickering “Ohhhh, what has it been, Adam? 20%?”  Most of last week and the week before my runs were ~85F and 80%+ humidity. The dew point would regularly reach 70+.  After each run, I’d take my shorts off on the patio and wring them out.  Mostly because I’m gross and wanted to see how much ass-sweat was in them, but partly to provide some sort of satisfaction to getting in the run.

Typical. Sauna sausage party. GANGNAM STYLE
I do realize that this is how it always is in Florida, but I’m used to 20% humidity!  I just flat out haven’t adapted to the humidity. I struggled.  I would have adapted to a certain extent after a while, but THANKFULLY the humidity died down for a bit and I logged 18 great miles in two runs over the last 12 hours. Of course, now I’m limping around all stiff and sore, but I’m sure I’ll adapt to that soon enough.

Adaption takes time, but it can be done.  People regularly train in oxygen deprivation tents or saunas to try to gain an edge.  Most studies have shown that “most” of the adaptation kicks in after 2-3 weeks.  So, as you’re slogging through the doldrums of summer remember: keep trying and your ears and nose will get HUGE! Slog it out and you WILL start to see benefits.  Or, at least you’ll eventually get used to the misery. Either way, you'll be faster than an elephant when it finally does cool down.

Is it winter yet so I can complain about the cold?  Just kidding, it never gets cold here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Funny Foto Friday: My first trip to the gym in a year

I'm not a "gym guy".  be it good or bad I rarely work on my "lats".  I don't like to "feel the pump". Hell, I probably only flex in the mirror before / after my shower for 10 min - AT MOST.

So, I don’t have a gym membership.  I haven’t for a while.  But, yesterday I hadn’t ran for 2 days because of scheduling issues and I was going bonkers. I wasn’t able to in the morning and I had a late work dinner. Solution? Run between work and the dinner!!  The issue? I sweat.  A LOT.  I would need to shower before dinner and home was 20 miles one way. NEW SOLUTION: buy a day pass at a gym and run/shower there.

I soon found a gym that was between here and there, brought workout clothes with to work and was set.

Day passes for gyms are not cheap.  I ran 8 miles and it cost $15. Mile for mile, that is nearly the cost of a cheap marathon.  But, I was desperate like a sailor on shore leave so I ponied up the money (also like a sailor on shore leave) and got to sweating (like a sailor on... you know what, you get the idea).  What follows is a comedy of errors that shows how little of a gym guy I really am:

First error: No lock for the locker.  Not a HUGE deal, I just had to make 3 trips back and forth from the car to hide stuff in the trunk.  No harm, no foul.

Second error: Sweat. Since it is so miserable in Phoenix, I sweat... a LOT...  Well, by the first mile or two I was fine, but by mile 5 I was a hot mess.  Sweat was flying, I was panting like a dog in heat, and worst of all I couldn’t drink a ton, because....

Third error: I forgot a squeezable water bottle. I was able to buy a $3 bottle of poweraid from the gym, (total cost thus far: $18) but I didn’t trust myself to drink on the run and get sweat AND poweraid on others.  So, I had to hop off to chug.

Fourth error: No towel.  About mile 5, I realized..... “Wait, no one has any towels here”. The one and only reason I’m at the gym is to shower.  THIS IS A PROBLEM. The next 3 miles has my mind racing to figure out how I am going to shower.  Paper towels... Air dry... Try with workout clothes??  Eventually I finished (8 miles in 56 min – giggity) and begged the front desk if they had anything.  As I stood there dripping, they said that they sold towels for $4. Hand towels. (total cost: $22)

So, that is the story about how I got my 8 miles done in spite of the world and like 15 guys saw me stark ass naked as I walked to/from the shower.  Because, i'm not about to cover my bits with a freaking handtowel like I'm Adam and Eve.  I have to admit though, somewhere between puberty and 32 years old I stopped caring about nudity. So, I guess now I’m one of those old guys who brushes his teeth naked at the sink in the gym. Wiggle wiggle.


So, after my gym adventures, I finally got to the work event where I got to see a really good friend again who recently switched to another project.  We had Moscow Mules. They were delicious.

Moscow Mules come in copper mugs because Moscow Mules. (????)

Mmmm, tastes like delicious (no, I don't drink out of a straw)

OK FINE.  Enough gym time with Adam.  Here is your funny friday picture(s).

Seriously, this looks amazing AND like an ER trip waiting to happen. WIN/WIN

This makes me laugh so hard... But only because I wished I hadn't done it

Finally, something very strange happened the other day when I was shopping for groceries with my son. An elderly lady on a mobility scooter saw my son and exclaimed, "OHHHHHH SUCH A PRETTY BOY!!! I want to give him a dollar to buy chocolate".  Of course, I was thinking damn right, lady... he is made from ME afterall!? said "no no no, thank you very much, but it's okay". But, she insisted and, because I'm a bastard parent, I didn't let him get chocolate but let him keep the dollar.  I think this means he is a paid model now?  Happy Friday!

"So, do I color on this paper or what?"

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Time – what is it worth?

  • Hurry up, we’re going to be late.
  • Can you believe the doctor is late? This rash REALLY itches
  • I can’t do that, I really don’t have the time. Let’s just do it already so I can get back to watching baseball.
  • You’re late!? Did you see one pink line or two? TWO!? Oh god.
  • That run was horrible, I can’t believe that I averaged 9:00/mile!
  • That run was amazing, I can’t believe that I averaged 9:00/mile!

The old cliché is that time is in unlimited supply but has infinite value. Day after day, minute after minute, more time is “created”. But eventually, through fate or misfortune, events transpire that show us how precious this unlimited resource truly is. Call it my mid life crisis, but over the past few months I’ve more and more realized that “stuff” isn’t important so much as time spent with those who make us who we are.

Oh, but I can hear you thinking to yourself! “I’m wasting time reading your crap, how valuable can my time be!?”   Well, how much would you pay to spend a few hours with a parent who had passed away?  What about a friend that moved across the country or that you’ve had a falling out with?  How much would you pay to spend a day with Jesus or Martin Luther King Jr?  Stuff is nice, but time is priceless.

As athletes (you are an athlete), we experience our careers/hobbies through the ever ticking of a stopwatch.  In running, time is an equalizer. There are caveats for weather, for course difficulty, but at the end of the day, if you run a marathon 10 min faster than you ever have in your life, that is 600 seconds of time gained.

I’ve ran a 3:04 marathon. I would love to run a 2:59. I like to joke that I would do horrible horrible things to be able to drop my marathon pace by 30 seconds/mile.  But, the more I train, the more I ponder what I would be willing to do for those 240 seconds. What pain would I put myself through for 9 seconds a mile? What personal or social sacrifices would I make for less time than I normally poop in a day?

As I continue to get older, I find myself thinking “how much is running time worth?”  What am I willing to do to continue to get faster? Thankfully, the answer thus far has always been “whatever it takes”.  But, that isn’t always going to be the answer.

Soon I’ll decide that “maintaining” is the order of the day.  No longer will I chase PRs, but instead will try to not slow down and keep my current level of fitness.

Do you think you’ll ever reach the point of not wanting to get any faster?  Maybe you’re already there – how do you reconcile that the stopwatch is always going to tick more than before?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Funny Foto Friday: Careful Where You Poop

Running has been going really well, but I'm not going to post about it because I don't want to jinx it. Seriously. So, if it continues to go well, I'll post about it on Monday. Deal?


We've all done it. Hopped a fence to poop in a construction zone port o potty.... ducked behind some bushes or maybe some really closely parked cars.... When you're running, stuff happens. ("Stuff" in this context of course means shit.)

Well, runner be warned. If you poo on someone's house every week (for months!?!?!) someone is eventually going to set up a hidden camera and put you on the news.  If you watch one YouTube video this weekend.  Make sure it this this one from Albuquerque.


Somewhat related, I found this picture a while back and it made me laugh pretty hard:


Finally, it was my birthday sometime within the last 364 days, so I took my son to an arcade similar to Dave and Busters, out to eat, and then to IHOP for pancakes the next day.  I have to admit, the video games were a bit.....much..... so we both needed a bit of a drink after we were done. Happy Friday!

One for you, one for me.....

We were the youngest people in 30 years

Monday, July 15, 2013

2013 Missoula Marathon Race Report!

Nearly life sized at 5"! TWSS
Loved this race so much. In fact, I kind of want to have little Missoula babies with it. They'd have steel blue eyes, huge white teeth, and be basically flat and fast.

Time: 3:19:07
Pace: 7:36/mile
Place: 13 / 77 M30-34 - Top 17%
Age Group Place: 59/536 - Top 11%

This past weekend I cast off the shackles of adulthood. I put on my out of office reply for my work email and set out a big bowl of food and a big bowl of water for my son and made arrangements for my son so that I could take a quick weekend trip north to Montana. I was taking a solo trip to run a marathon!

I honestly had no idea what to expect from Montana. I knew that it was a big state, and everyone knows that bigger is better, so I had high hopes.  I really hoped that it would offer the mind clearing, soul cleansing, and colon evacuating that only 3 days alone can provide.

As my flight landed I immediately noticed the 40 degree cooler air from the blistering heat of Phoenix. It was heavenly. Also of note was none other than Trisha Drobeck meeting me at the security checkpoint! (Check out my elite runner page for a pic) She is not only a 2:49 marathoner, but is super cool and nice, on the Run Wild Missoula board, and from what I can tell, Mrs. Missoula.  We chit chatted, made some plans, and I was sent on my way with lots of fun things to do.

Oh, but there would be no naked song singing around a roaring fire to "find one's self" on this solo-man vacation (dang). No, there was a marathon to run! So, I immediately stocked up on all of the bare essentials that a runner needs: Water, gatorade, wine, and energy bars. Either I was going to run a marathon or make the shittiest sangria you had ever tasted.

Could easily be a stock photo of my basket EVERY time

Having been busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest over the past year week, I didn't get a chance to do a TON of research on what to do in Missoula prior to the race. Thankfully between Trisha and a few other friends, I found a firepit, guitar, and tube sock more than enough things to keep me busy.  First up, climb Mt Sentiel to the big "M".  There are a bunch of letters on mountains in Missoula. I assume this is to remember where you parked your car around town like in the mall parking lot. Fortunately, there are fun trails heading to them and beyond.  I imagine that one of the bucket list things for kids to do is to get drunk and have sex on the M, right?

M is for Achilles busting incline

Anyway, after having been in Missoula for less than 2 hours, I stripped down and climbed up. It wasn't high at 700 feet, but at just under a mile, it was really steep in places. Since I knew that I was just running the Missoula Marathon as a training run, I didn't see TOO much issue with wasting my legs on something that would provide such great views of the city.

Let that be a lesson, ladies. It isn't how long it is that matters. What matters is that in the end it was fun.

Step 1: Get naked. Step 2: Who cares, you're naked!

I really hate how you can't tell how steep this is, but it was!!

Montana is known as Big Sky country. I'm really surprised Texas hasn't declared war on Montana to try to steal this designation.  Anyway, I found that the label holds true and really amazing views were everywhere to be seen.

Hopefully clicking this will make it bigger. If not, just google it.

Ok, enough "vacation with Adam", on to the running part. I ran a beer run with the locals on Friday night and will post a "race / run" report very soon. I met so many great people!!  It was really fun to get to know some of the local Missoula runners.  Later Saturday morning I headed down to the Expo to pick up my bib and see what all could be seen.

The Loose Caboose. I'm going to let you make your own Middle School maturity level joke about that one. Too Easy

Jeff Galloway and I! Took this pic after running 10 seconds, walking 3 seconds, and running 10 seconds to grab him

The expo was good and about what you would expect for a race this size (1500 marathoners, 3500 half marathoners). Jeff Galloway was all over the place giving all sorts of keynote speeches, running at the beer run, etc.  I ran into more than a few of the people that I met at the beer run and spoke more about beer and running.  In the morning, there was actually a farmers market going on which was really fun to walk through.

Other than Trisha, I honestly couldn't find a ton of people that I knew who were running the race. (Of course, I soon met a bunch of people...Tim, Carol, etc) It is a huge 50 stater and a marathon maniac race, but it seemed like a ton of locals were also running.  I did have one person reach out to me - and I saw her at the expo!  Becca was trying to BQ at the race. I need to look up her results to see if she did but I won't because I'm too lazy, so I'll just assume yes since I'm a positive guy.  Congrats Becca!

Me, Becca, Becca's BQ Friend

The night before the race I had dinner with my friend Trisha, her husband Andy, and a blog fan/crazy fast Missoula runner Tim and his very nice wife.  There really seems to be something in the water in Missoula. Not only is everyone super fast, but everyone is really fit! I'm not sure I could move there - I'd really need to set up my game.  Anyway, the food was awesome, the cats were friendly, and the ice cream was delicious.

Super fast (nearly-pro) triathlete Andy Drobeck and I. In keeping with all other people from Missoula, really cool/nice.  They must make people who move there take a test to make sure they're not an ass

The morning of the race was fairly standard. Get up at some crazy ass hour, lube all my pointy bits, coffee, poop, shuttle bus, poop again, race. The only issue? NO POOP! I'm not sure what was off with my game (beer? no veggies? who knows) but the coffee wasn't helping. However, since it was a training run I wasn't TOO worried about it (and I didn't want to blow out an O-Ring) so I shrugged it off and got to the start line. If I lost a few minutes squatting in someone's front yard, so be it.

Miles 1-5: Burrrrrrrrrrr
The plan for this race from even before when I signed up was to run it as a training run with Trisha who was pacing 3:20.  That is 7:37/mile and my long run pace is around 7:30.  Easy! I could basically treat it like a training run and tack on the extra 6 miles "for fun".  So, that is exactly what I did.

The first group of miles went by okay, but I had a hard time finding a good groove. I honestly think that it was because the temps were 35-40 degrees cooler than I was used to. The effort felt a lot harder than it should have - like was running 20 sec/mile faster. I'll admit that I got a BIT concerned at how my legs felt heavy, but tried not to panic. We picked up a few seconds a mile each time in prep for the one and only hill later to come and were averaging around 7:30s each and every mile.

Miles 6-13: Finally warmed up, finally found a groove!
Once the sun came up, I warmed up a bit and became a bit more chatty (Read: this is my long run pace, so I'm going to be annoying). I met a runner from Huston that I stuck with through mile 22 who was also running his first MT marathon. Another runner had lost 80 (!!) pounds and had just started running 2 years back. Yes, he was running a 3:20 marathon and had only been running for 2 years. Jerk. Amazing.

The course is super scenic. You run through what seemed like a valley with mountains on either side. Since it is the middle of summer, everything was green and lush.  There weren't too many spectators, but that is just fine by me as I had plenty of people to talk to as we were running along.

By this time the pace group had somewhat figured itself out and was 12 or so runners strong. Just enough to tell that it was a pace group but not enough to be annoying at water stops. We stopped banking time at this point and held 7:33-7:35/mile.

Miles 14-20: Whoa, a hill!!  No really, the only hill! Oh shit, this is steep!
The Missoula marathon is essentially flat with one exception - a hill at mile 13. It isn't a long hill at all, honestly it wasn't even all that high up, but it was JUST steep enough to force you to pull your pace back 45-60 sec/mile and take note.  We made it up the hill and only used 45 seconds of our banked time. Right where we wanted to be. Some runners I think struggled up the hill a bit and fell off the pace, but for the most part we were still 10 or so runners strong.

I still felt pretty good during this time. Although, I was starting to feel the fatigue in my legs. Even at training pace, 18+ miles is still a really long run.  Unfortunately, we had started to drop some runners and were down to 6 or so in our "core" group.  To be honest, I feel off at one point around mile 19 as I was refilling my handheld water bottle all the way up. Fortunately, I still had the power in my legs to catch up in short order. Pace during these miles was around 7:45.

Miles 20-26.2: So, which would slow me down more, shitting my pants or barfing? Is this what that Loose Caboose vendor at the expo was talking about!?
At mile 20, it seemed as if my body decided "welp, this is all I go during training runs, time to stop! Wait, we're not stopping?  OH YES WE ARE!!" The lack of pre-race poo I think was probably playing a bit of a mental trick on me. My stomach slowly started to feel more and more sour. I got a bit sloshy and thought that I might throw up at one point.

So, right around mile 20 or 21, I decided to put in my headphones.  They really helped me take my mind off of the gurgling and continue to put one foot in front of the other. I'm glad I decided to carry them with.

I actually walked through the aid stations as 22 and 23 to see if that would help settle things down and it honestly did to a certain extent. That really makes me wonder how much of it was real vs all in my head.  Either way, I had plenty of legs (but was certainly breathing hard) so I was able to keep on pace in spite of the walking and actually caught up to the pace group again by mile 24.

These miles are when pace groups are key. We had peeled off all runners but 3-4 of us so the pace leader, Trisha, could encourage us one on one. It was really nice.  Of course, I was rocking out to One Direction, but I assumed that when she looked over at me and said something while smiling it was very nice. (Kidding, I could totally hear her)

Anyway, I continued to plug away and crossed within a minute of my goal and really close to training run pace.  I'll take it!

Post race, icing my legs, drinking a beer (and worrying a stranger would drop my phone into the river). Does it get any better than that?

I don't always drink beer at 9:30 in the morning. But when I do, I always take a picture

Took a picture of my feet to make sure they were still there. NUMB! Either that or this was totally a screwed up crotch shot

In closing, I really loved my trip to Missoula as well as the race.  I hadn't ran a race on my own for fun in far too long.  My focus had been too much on Boston that I had always put extreme pressure on myself to go all out.  The nice thing about doing a race for fun is that you can do things that you wouldn't normally do before a key race (another beer? SURE! Ice cream?! YES!). But, alas, play time is over and my focus is now laser pointed at the NYC Marathon. As I sit here with a slightly sore Achilles and an extra 5 pounds, the 16 weeks before the race doesn't seem like long enough!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Funny Foto Friday: Scooter Couch

As I type this I’m sitting on a plane on my way to Missoula, MT for the Missoula marathon.  Like I’ve said before, I’m excited for the solo trip away to refresh, recharge and get caught up on a few things that I have been putting off.  Read: Old episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, brainstorming puns for my blog, and pooping without a toddler barging in sleep. Sweet glorious sleep.  (Update, I landed just pooped in a Target bathroom and can you guess who barged in???  A freaking dad with two toddlers. I CAN’T ESCAPE!)

Over the last month I’ve been very busy and have essentially been getting by on caffeine and sugar. Of course, being that I am separated from the bathroom by a sea of sleeping humanity, the massive coffee and Fiber granola bar this morning probably weren’t the best choice.  So, with nothing to comfort me but the feeling of a small toddler sitting on my colon, here is today’s funny foto Friday!

When diabetes finally gets the best of my feet from all of the Poptarts, I am going to SO get a scooter couch

All that this equation needs is running!

Finally, like I said earlier, last week I was in Iowa visiting my dad, little brother, and little sister in Iowa.  My dad recently bought and remodeled a cabin on a lake and this was my first time visiting.

Going “home” is always fun.  There is a lyric in a song that I like that says “turns out, its not where you’re from but who you’re with that really matters”.  So, while I no longer live in the Midwest, the sights and sounds (and smells?) of Iowa will always be considered “home”.

Here is the last batch of a few pics that I took while visiting.  Happy Friday!

There is really something relaxing about swinging. Thank god he didn't let go and go launching into the lake

My son and my dad.  Both were having fun, in spite of their faces....I hope

My grandfather collects antique tractors (both toy and “full size”). Explaining to a 2 year old that they are just to look at proved to be rather difficult

“Playing” with my dad’s backhoe. The older the boy, the more expensive the toy.....

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hump Day, 25mph treadmill, and Boston Marathon Aftermath

A few things that have been rumbling around my head and on the interwebs....

Today is Wednesday. I’m not sure if it is called this everywhere, but here it is called humpday. The week is half over! Over the hump!  Anyway, there is a hilarious commercial with a camel going around that is so so so very dumb that it is funny. I get the feeling that most people hate this, but I love it!  WHOOP WHOOP.


While on my run this morning (LOTS better than yesterday. A quick 6 miles in a billion % humidity) I came across a completely burnt out house!  It still smelled like smoke (a lot) so it had to have happened within the last few days.  Over the last few months I’ve learned more and more than it isn’t “stuff” that matters, it is time with people.  I can only imagine that as everyone got out safely, the owners of this house agreed.


I recently ran across a video of a NFL rookie running 25 mph on a treadmill.  TWENTY FIVE!  If you watch only one video today, watch this one.  From the comments in the post I found it on.... “Usain Bolt runs 23.5mph for 2 football field lengths, with a top end speed of 27.62 mph. THAT is impressive!”  The guy runs a nearly 4 second 40m so it would make sense that he would be able to run as fast as the worlds fastest for very short bursts.  I’m not sure which is more amazing, the fact that he can run that fast or that he found a treadmill that goes up that high!


The Boston Marathon bombings were 3 months ago.  By this point, both the literal and figurative dust has settled.  Be it good or bad, while people haven’t forgotten, most don’t think about it every day. That is, unless you were affected. Not like “oh my, I bought a “Boston Strong shirt and had a few moments of silence” affected, I’m talking “oh shit, I got my leg blown off” affected.  They truly will NEVER forget.

The New York Times did an EXCELLENT story on Jeff Bauman – the victim that you might remember being saved by the dude in the cowboy hat.  The story includes multiple pictures and a video that might have brought on a few man tears (definition: Drinking beer too fast that it splashes on your face and looks like tears....but are most certainly NOT real tears.)  The story is not about the day of the bombings, it is about days 2 through 89.  Struggles, additional surgeries, but also triumphs and celebrations.

I can’t imbed the video, but go to the article here and spend the 10 minutes read the article and watch the story. I often joke on my blog, but if you followed my Boston Marathon journey (report here), do yourself a favor and see what true sacrifice looks like.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lake Vacation and Missoula Marathon is awesome!

Last week was Independence Day in the United States.  Now, there is a saying that goes something like: I might have been born at night, but it wasn’t turnip truck!  Or something. I don’t know. I’m not good at words.

Point is, I realize that this blog is read by at least 3 dozen Russian porn blog-comment robots and I can only assume that they don’t know much about the 4th of July.  (After hours of painstaking research, I can tell you that what the Russian porn robots DO know about is dirty. Very dirty.)  Anyway, the day is spent doing things that are just about as American as you can imagine. Grilling meat with fire, drinking beer, wearing cowboy hats, and blowing shit up.

I was visiting my family in the Midwest while staying at my dad’s lake cabin.  It was a blast.  Well, it was pretty tiring to chase after my son all week on my own and I got pretty sick half way through, but other than that, totally fun!

This was basically the only time he wasn't running around 90mph

 Oh yes, family bonding time... Can you feel the love?
Seriously though, they're both going to kill me for posting this. Not flattering for either.

What to do while everyone is on their phones? Duckface double chin selfies. Duh.

On the boat going to 4th of July fireworks

Yeah, he lasted about 3 minutes after this picture was taken and was out like a light.


I know I haven’t spoken much about it, but I'm running a marathon this weekend!!  The Missoula Marathon!! It is just going to be a training run for me because I’m still (horribly) out of shape, but I’m still super looking forward to it. Let me count the awesome things about it:

  • Big Sky Brewing (Moose Drool brown) is one of the main sponsors.  Let me repeat: a micro brewery is one of the sponsors. 
  • Related, there is a beer run on Friday night before. Let’s just hope that I only leave my dignity at the door and not my pants as well.
  • The race photos are FREE to download. Suck it MarathonPhoto and your $70 to pay for pictures of me looking constipated! I get constipated pictures for FREE!!
  • Jeff Galloway is going to be there to add to my list of meeting elite runners. Do you think he likes beer?
  • I’m traveling alone, which is sometimes bad, but I’m looking forward to the time to run around naked think.
  • The race website "warns" about 5 min lines for the port a pots at the start. They were seriously apologizing ahead of time that it might be that long.  Oh Missoula, I already want to kiss you on the mouth
  • Did I mention the beer part?

So, I’ll do a race preview after the beer run, but it should be a blast!