Friday, February 27, 2015

Funny Foto Friday: Twitter and Instagram Updates

I know, I know. Social media is hard. If I'm not replying to Google+ requests or riding the Google Wave, I'm hunting down the ladies on Friendster. IT IS SO BUSY. So, for today's funny foto Friday, I've taken it upon myself to collect a few bits of my online comings and goings and provide a bit of  color commentary.  Happy Friday!

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Balancing everything to get in equal parts trashy reality TV, time with my son, and running is tough.  Like I've said before many times, I run at the rather nice gym at work to save a bit of time. It is super convenient, but it is a big adjustment knowing that I've seen more of my coworkers naked than I would ever care to see. It is like middle school gym class all over again.

If she doesn't find you classy, she should at least find you clumsy! 
(These were running shorts. Read: no underwear)

How YOU doing!!??!?!

I'm not sure I could get past the smelly cat song....

A show about nothing indeed

I really like to cook.  It is equal parts engineering, art, drinking wine, and singing at the top of my lungs.  The unfortunate part? My son doesn't quite take to my signing as much as I do. So, while I'm doing a great job of teaching him life skills, I am obviously falling VERY short teaching him "culture".

Oh-sa son, why-sa you-sa so un-ah-happy?! Mama Mia!!!

Fortunately, he likes this MUCH more

Thank goodness my son doesn't read my blog, yet.

BONUS PIC!!  This just has terrible terrible idea written all over it.

Rip it to shreds.  Hang ten

Finally, as usual, I would be remiss if I didn't include a few pictures of my son. Happy Friday!

Pajama Day + cowboy boots from Uncle Barry = Pictures to be shown at his wedding


Tired little boy even BEFORE a pizza playdate



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Price of Fame – One way ticket to Mars

What price would you pay to be famous? To be clear, I’m not talking about front page Reddit kind of fame, nut-shot viral video fame, or even Kardashian style “fame” (whatever the hell that means).  I’m talking about the “little kids want to be you when they grow up” kind of fame. Would you give up privacy? Sure, that seems to be pretty standard for famous people. What about control of your life? The President seems to have VERY little control, so…okay.  But, what about your ACTUAL life? All of your friendships, family connections, and possibly ever touching another human being again before you ultimately pass on (hopefully, riding a unicorn to have dinner with Jesus, Lincoln, and Chris Farley)?  Uhhhhhhh…..  200,000 people said YES to that exact question. They said yes to go on a ONE WAY trip to Mars.

Mars One is a private group trying to whittle that list of 200,000 to a small handful that (they say) will ultimately train and be blasted off on a one way trip to Mars – never to be seen again. The reason for the one way trip is that getting people back to Earth nearly (but not totally) doubles the cost of the trip. There is lots of chatter back and forth on if it is real or a PR stunt, but for the purposes of my fake blog, we’re all going to assume this is happening.

As I put on my “pretend time hat” that I wear whenever I buy a lottery ticket or tweet at a celebrity and expect a response, I can’t help but be REALLY surprised at how many people are willing to do this.  A Washington Post article profiled a few of them and, to my surprise, they weren’t all felons, hermits, or space nerds. Most of them seemed to be adventurous, have a bit of wanderlust, or frankly…. just wanted to be famous.

Personally, that seems like an awfully large price to pay to have a bunch of elementary and middle schools named after you. If even that! I know the first person on the moon, but I have no clue who the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound was.  For that matter, when you’re on Mars, it isn’t like you get to enjoy all of your notoriety.  You know, because of the little detail of BEING ON MARS.

Bye bye little dude!
I really like the life that I’ve carved out on Earth and would be really hard pressed to jump into something like this. I assume that you’d be able to email back and forth with people back home, but other than that, I’d guess it would get really lonely REALLY fast. I suppose you could also assume that eventually someone would build a ship big enough to take you home, but that is an awfully big “maybe” that would probably drive me space-insane (likelyleading me to believe that I was having dinner with Jesus, Lincoln, and Chris Farley).  But, I’m risk averse by nature and my kid is REALLY cute, so maybe I’m in the minority.

Using the ubiquitous blog question construct: Am I alone here or would anyone out there on the interwebs actually sign up for this??  



Monday, February 23, 2015

Sticking myself out there: Finally hiking Camelback Mountain

Unless you’re a golfer or are looking for a “Botox vacation”, Phoenix isn’t exactly a tourist destination. Sure, Arizona has the Grand Canyon and the petrified forest, but those are 3 hours away.  So, whenever anyone visits and asks me what to do for fun in the city, I always look at them with a bit of a dumbfounded look (wait, actually, that is just my face).  Of course, there is the normal big city stuff, but nothing that is all that particularly awe inspiring.  (That is unless you think urban sprawl and Buffalo Wild Wings are amazorbs and in that case get your boneless wings on.)

Two snaps for urban sprawl!!  Heyyyyy!!


The one exception? Hiking. There are lots of amazing desert hiking trails in and around the Phoenix area.  Camelback Mountain is one of the more famous ones rising 1300 feet (for a total elevation of 2700) above the most fancy part of the city. I’ve suggested it as a fun hike for old and young to help pass the time between stops to strip malls or luxury med spas. The only catch? In spite of living here for nearly 7 years I’ve never hiked it myself. Oops.  This weekend I decided that streak needed to end.

One of my never published new years resolutions was to break out of my normal routine and stick myself out there a bit more.  That goal is of course terrible as it is neither measurable or necessarily accountable, but I’m trying my best to make it a reality.

None of the pictures I took were as good as ones I could steal off the internet!
Photo credit: The Internet


So, after dropping off my son, I hopped on the motorcycle and drove to where the fancy people lived (Scottsdale / Paradise Valley) to start on my hike. A storm front had blew in which meant that it was cloudy, 5 degrees cooler than normal, and a bit breezy. (Hopefully the sarcasm comes through on that.) It was perfect hiking weather!




I decided to take the “easy but long” trail to the top.  At just under 2 miles to the top, it was obviously a man who tagged it with the “long” moniker. But, what it lacks in length it makes up for in variety and scenery (something many boring runner “companions” have heard all too often).  It starts out somewhat runnable, but then slows to a (literal) crawl as it gets increasingly technical for the last 1/2 mile. Honestly, it is probably technical enough that some of the people who I recommended it to I probably shouldn’t’ have.

Sand and and trees and stucco as far as the eye can see


I ran when I could and scrambled around people as politely as I thought I could get away with and 40 minutes later I was a the top. With 360 degree views of the city, it was really a sight to be seen.  The “mountain” itself is visible from all parts of the valley and thus even in spite of the clouds and haze you could see for miles and miles in either direction.

After a few obligatory social media style selfies, I started on the scamper down. Like on the way up, I tried to go essentially as fast as I could to show off to all of the fancy Scottsdale ladies more to see if I could than anything else. It was really fun to slip and slide all the way down with careless abandon.  Of course, I was ever conscious of my sore knee and tried to baby it as much as I could.

Teeth and Sweat: A memoir by Adam



Before I knew it, I was down. 75 minutes / 4 miles / 1300ish feet of elevation. The shocking thing? My busted up knee felt AMAZING. As in, better than it had all week. So, I’m not sure if the stress I put it under knocked it back into alignment or if maybe my pain is some sort of psychosomatic thing. Either way, I’ll take it as a win.  Of course, since I'm now obviously an expert mountain climber and trail runner, I'll go ahead and start on my EPIC trail beard.

Overall, I really really liked hiking this mountain.  It was a busy trial, but I can see why.  There were great views and enough of a technical challenge to keep things interesting both up and down. Score one for the sticking it out there goal.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Running update and Funny Foto Friday

Men are interesting creatures. Behind all of the body hair and massive amounts of sweat we're honestly quite simple to figure out.  That is, until we're not.

You see, up until 2 weeks ago, I self identified as a dad first, a "nice/funny" guy second, and then somewhere down the list blow cheese connoisseur and pasta aficionado, I considered myself a runner. Oh, how did that change. After nearly 2 weeks of not running, I realized that I most certainly self identify as a runner which means that when I can't, I lose myself a bit.

This happens every time that I'm hurt and can't run.  I take being able to be active for granted and completely forget that I've woven it into the fabric of who I am. If I'm not a runner, who am I? Do I even exist as the Adam we know and love? It is sort of like how after day 3 of having a head cold, I completely forget what it is like to be able to taste food or not have snot running down my face.

So, to say that I was getting a bit antsy and frustrated mid this week would be the understatement of the year. After a very sore glut / hamstring / knee, I pulled the plug on running and essentially moped around for a week. The reason for the drastic action was that I was limping while NOT running throughout the day - usually my normal canary in the coalmine. But, once the pain and tightness subsided a week or so after stopping running, I hoped on the bike to try to gain some sort of sanity. And, it worked.... kind of.

So, this past week I put in nearly 80 miles on the bike and ran twice. Once on Friday as a test run and once today (Sunday) in an up tempo 8 mile run @ 7:07 pace.  Both runs felt fine, but they were harder than they should have been and I had some tightness after I finished.  I can't describe how frustrating it is to have this nagging injury and I have to admit that I really don't know what I should do from here.

Should I take more time off? I started doing yoga for runners which seemed to help - should I incorporate weight lifting again? The fortunate thing is that I don't have any races on the schedule, so I guess I can take all of the time I need. That is, as long as I can figure out something else to self identify with.  I wonder how well a cheese blog would go over...


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Finally the funny foto friday (even though it is Sunday - oops). The weather everywhere (except here) is pretty terrible so when I saw this pic shared I couldn't help but smile.  I have to admit, the nice weather here has gone from "fun to make fun of others about" to "jeeze, I just feel sorry for you".  Happy Friday!

Cold weather is cold





Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Perfect Weekend Rx: Running, Beer, Friends

Earlier today I was sitting in my office (read: pooping) noting how most of my close personal friendships originated online in some form or fashion. To be clear, certainly I have work friends, family friends, etc. Because I'm fun... generally not annoying.... I have a car and can buy beer because all of my friends are 18 and stop judging me.

But because of various reasons, as my social circle ebbed and flowed, I grew closer to people that I could keep in touch with easily throughout the day. Such is the case with Laura @ 50by25.  We started chatting 7 or 8 years ago when we were both running, blogging, and management consultinging and have continued to become closer and closer to the point that she is one of my very best friends. Did I mention that I’ve only seen her in person on two occasions like….ever? Yeah.  One of those times was this weekend – and it was amazing.

Laura was in town for two things: Beer and running a marathon.  Fortunately for me, those are two of my favorite things! Before I go any further, go read her summary of the weekend here. It has hilarious pictures of me (which let’s be honest is why you’re here in the first place) and is better written than anything I could write.

Fortunately Laura didn't get in until Saturday morning which enabled me to do a deep clean of the house. Obviously I didn't actually do that because I had Real Housewives DVRd and there were at least like 12 Jimmy Fallon youtubes that I needed to watch. Before I knew it she had landed 20 minutes early and I was still in my PJs. Oops.

A quick mad dash later and we were showered and doing brunch white girl style.  Now, I generally admit to doing basically anything a 23 year old girl would do: Taylor Swift music: haters gotta hate at my love for it. Lattes: Nom nom. Gimme.  Emoji: OMG YES. :) :) :) However, I draw the line at Ugg boots and brunch. For some reason I can never wait to eat after 10am and my feet sweat in boots. How do people do that on a regular basis?! Like, eat normal breakfast, brunch and then lunch? Psh. No.

In spite of that, we went to my favorite breakfast place and brunched it up. I won an impromptu instagram social media smackdown of "who has the better breakfast". I'm not even going to bother putting Laura's breakfast in just a link, I'll just let you bask in the awesomeness of my bananas foster french toast:

Like, OMG!  Nom nom nom nom. (Or, other brunch sayings)
I think I have a food baby

Once we were sufficiently caffeinated and sugared, it was time to focus our energies toward the real task at hand: Beerfest. Last week was AZ beer week which involved a number of activities across the state - the flagship being a huge beerfest with over 70 breweries. Your ticket entitles you to 40 (tiny 2 oz) tastings of any of those beer. FORTY.

I'm just going to let that 40 beer number soak in a while because 2 oz seemed to turn into overflowing 4-5 oz cups of "strong" 8%+ beer.  It was just as ridiculous as you would imagine.

The only food allowed inside was food in necklace form.  I like this rule and am going to start incorporating it into my day to day life by bringing my lunch to work around my neck.  So, once Laura and I had our beerfest snack necklaces created we called a cab and were off.

I don't always put food around my neck caveman style. 
But when I do, I always do it with every single kind of food I can think of.

Stupid hat? Check. 2 kinds of pretzels, a box of goldfish, lollipops and fruit by the foot? Also Check.


"First beer" pic!!!!  
There was no last beer pic.

Laura's pink elephant hat was from the Delirium brewery in Belgium. I can't even describe the amount of beer cred she received after some creepy drunk guy beerfest participant asked her where her hat was from. "Wait, you mean you WENT to Belgium?"  Hilarious.

Who would have thought that the guy without an elephant on his head would be the odd man out?

As the afternoon went on and the "free waterbottles" nowhere in sight, good times were had by all. The beer was amazing, I connected with a few local friends, and generally had a blast.  Like I mentioned above, the whole "tickets" system sort of went out the window which seemed to contribute to a number of fun photo ops:

Strange, I've been told my face causes birth defects too!

Probably one of the more random things that I saw (which, I feel like I have to point out is saying a lot at this beerfest?) was some random guy on stilts. As if that wasn't strange enough, he had pants that would make MC hammer jealous, a scary chicken head and wings, and enough sequins on his crotch to put any Scottsdale socialite to shame.  Let me count the ways this picture is bizarre:

1) His crotch was at my eye level
2) Sequins on his crotch
3) White spandex.  Why is white spandex a thing like...ever?
4) I can't stress enough that his crotch was RIGHT at my eye level. I felt like I was Shaq's girlfriend
5) Was the spandex really necessary?

Hmmm, yeah, totally not probably completely sober here

Anywhoo, the beerfest was a blast but lets be honest - running needed to be done. Because that is what you do after drinking 40 small beers.  You run.  A lot.

The Lost Dutchman marathon is consistently rated as one of the "most scenic" which I think we can all be honest usually means "kind of hilly, so we had better put it in a gorgeous spot". It starts out in the mountains and gently rolls down into the far far east Phoenix suburbs.

By this point, I hadn't ran in over 10 days, so I was (very) eager to get out and give it a test. I get stabby and bitchy (like a white girl at brunch!) if I don't run.  My stomach was MORE than cranky after having one or two beers the day before, but after some quality time in a gas station bathroom and a long pep talk in the car where by I convinced myself I wouldn't crap my pants, I was off!  I ran 8 miles in a little under an hour and basically felt like I could walk on water. I love running.

Unfortunately, my knee stiffened up as the day went on and I've been back on the bike.  BUT, I can see improved process and I think by week end I'll be back sweating like a skinny white guy full of brunch and drinking 2oz beers.

Red morn, sailors be warned

Laura was signed up for the full marathon but didn't quite have the day she was hoping. Or, maybe better stated, she had a freaking amazing day given that we were at a beerfest before. I won't steal her thunder and will let you wait for her race report. See what I did there? That was a tease.

See how far the course goes in a straight line from where I was at? 
Want to guess how long I was jumping around like an idiot when I realized Laura was coming? :)


Last weekend was one of my most fun / most favorite weekends in recent/far memory.  I think the moral of this story is even if you live 1000 miles from your best friend, making the time to visit them is never money or time wasted. As such, I have a feeling I'll be going to visit very soon. Hopefully there will be beer and running involved.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Funny Foto Friday: Shirts on, lights off

I like Valentine’s Day.  For some reason, in this duckface selfie age, I feel like this is similar to saying “I like Budweiser” or “I like Olive Garden”. Even though every Tuesday afternoon we all enjoy shotgunning Bud Lights and eating our weight in delicious breadsticks. (You all do that too, right?)  Every year, single and hitched unite together to generally chastise the ‘hallmark holiday’.

To that end, I’m not sure what better reason to bring back my Funny Foto Friday than to celebrate the holiday that so many love to hate. A few years back, I copied Funny Foto Friday from Steve in a Speedo who is still cranking out 3-4 of these things a week as a fun way to post all of the randomness that we run across throughout the week.

I've done all of these. :( I'm not good husband material I guess :(:(:(:(


My sister sent me this. BECAUSE SHE LOVES ME


Never has a sign cut me so deep to the core.
WHY DO YOU HATE ME SIGN!?!?!


Mmmmmm, shirts on, lights off.


Finally, it should probably come as no surprise that I like a bit of humor in a relationship. Rarely does someone receive a mushy card and laughter abounds more than Bud Light and breadsticks on a Tuesday.  To that end, I have to think that this last picture would pretty much be the best Valentines present ever.  Happy Friday!

Happy Valentines day!
Zero to "done pooping" in 0.5 seconds!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I’ll try anything once: Yogi

Yesterday I tried something new. Before I started, my palms were sweaty and my heart was beating a bit faster than normal. I was certainly afraid that I was going to do it wrong – afraid that I might do something that would make it hurt. Shirt on? Off? Do I dim the lights and light some candles? After some anxious moments, I got on all fours and started. Yesterday I did “yoga for runners” for the first time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally changing who I am. I’m no Yogi (a word that I just learned, that I can only assume either involves wheat grass juice and some sort of Bio Fuel Ford Fiesta or a picnic basket loving bear who plays baseball).  I’m still the fall over while putting on my underwear taco eating guy that you’ve all come to know and love. But, it became very obvious that I needed to tend to various parts of my body that had been neglected for far too long…..and maybe start neglecting other special areas that have received WAY too much attention. You see, after an otherwise lovely uptempo run late last week, my knee HURT.  Not just my knee, but my hamstring and glute too. My whole right side was a mess.

My knee had been giving me trouble off and on for months, but this was different.  Not only was it sore immediately after a run, but it was actually quite sore while I was just walking around. Any time that I put pressure on it while kneeling down it would hurt a lot. Bothering me during a run is one thing, but screwing up my white man swagger walk was something totally different.  Action needed to be taken!

Doing the single dad thing, I’ll often run and then immediately jump in my car for an hour on my way to work or run at lunch and then park my butt at my desk for 4 hours.  I had gotten out of the habit of foam rolling after each run and my muscles were paying the price. While I can’t change my schedule, I could certainly do the right things in the evening to set me up to be a bit more limber and flexible.  So, when I think of limber and flexible I think of yoga pants. And when I think of yoga pants I usually think of yoga, eventually.

The first session went.....okayish


So, here I am. Still sweaty after my 20 minute yoga session (youtube here). It honestly reminded me a lot of the Bikram yoga that I’ve done before, only MUCH more focused on my hamstrings and calves – certainly runner focused.  It was really nice to be able to have someone telling me exactly what to do vs trying to figure out what stretches to do on my own.  That I liked a lot. The yoga instructor really seemed like she knew what she was doing and spoke to the specific reasons for most of the stretches (to be honest though, I'm still not totally sold on the more touchy feely parts like "hands by your heart" or whatever).

Will it help cure me?  Time will tell. But, if it means that I’ll be running again soon, I really AM willing to try anything once, or maybe even twice.  Maybe even three times if there are yoga pants involved.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Mixins - Superbowl, Fog, and Group Runs

I wanted to do a three things Thursday.  But, I was too busy that day so I then was hoping to do a five things Friday. Well, now today is Sunday and there is no way in hell I'm coming up with seven things, but here goes.....

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Sports!!  In spite of it's recent off field issues, the NFL is by far my favorite sport. Since it is Super Bowl Sunday, today has been mostly spent sitting on the couch trying to find the right time to tell all of my Seahawks friends (there are a LOT) that I am going to cheer for the Patriots and trying to figure out when to pee as I don't want to miss any of the commercials or pregame stuff. I can't lie that the thought of digging through my son's closet for some of his baby diapers crossed my mind. 

The other thought was the fact that these guys (kids?) are most often below the age of 28. I can't imagine the pressure to be 25 years old, be making millions of dollars and be watched by hundreds of millions of people. I mean, I go a little power hungry when I think that 3 people are reading my blog on a regular basis.  (Thanks mom for reading!)

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Speaking of getting older, will I EVER get to the age where I no longer get any zits? I try to take care of my body.....not purposely do bad things to my body..... generally speaking stay away from the hardest of illegal drugs most of the time-ish, but for some reason every so often my face explodes into a "hey, want to go through puberty again?" orgie of red dots. I've been told more times than I would like to admit that I am immature, but does my face have to be that way too!?

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For the first time in way too many months, I finally ran over 50 miles last week.  Granted, it took a weekend of 28 miles to do it (20 and 8 miles) but I got them in.

Everything feels okayish, but the middle of the week was a SLOG. I'm not sure if it was the rain or the lack of sleep (spoiler: it was both) but I really struggled to get the miles in. My legs feel fine now but my knee is cranky.  It is always cranky.  I honestly wish that it would drink a tall glass of shut the F up and just get with the program.  It is probably because running is so bad on my knees...../sarcasm.

The highlight of the week was going for a run w/ the RunEatTweetAZ group. Not a training group per-say, more of a running social club where the leaders do the schlepping to get lots of free junk to giveaway.  We did 7 easy miles in and around the South Mountain area - roads instead of trails because of rain.  No way was I going to slog through the mud - I'm dainty.  My legs were certainly glad to see the slower paces of the group as my training partner Ryan and I had just finished running 13 hilly miles immediately before.

I promised to everyone that I would be a hot mess before the run and I did not disappoint.

Finally ran with people who aren't 6" taller than me! 
(I'm the one in the white and blue shirt in the corner, obviously **flexes**)


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With the Superbowl in town, I took advantage of all of the pomp and circumstance one afternoon (the one nonrainy one!) to check it all out.

SuperBowl Forty...errr, Seventy.....uhhh.... Roman numerals are dumb
Thankfully next year will just be "L"

All of the major buildings were wrapped like a pest exterminator's Toyota Tacoma

Honestly, I'm just glad I didn't swallow a bug with this
I think I was just shocked that beer was "only" $6

Live TV! NBC Sports doing a live feed. My 15 minutes of fame, wasted

Pepsi! For when they don't sell Coke

Finally a pic that I stole from NBC's facebook page. They're good.


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Finally, it seems that mother nature didn't get the memo that the Phoenix area was hosting the biggest sporting event in the USA.... This week has been rainy, cold, and this morning - FOGGY!  I can't tell you how rare it is to have fog in Phoenix, but at 6am when I started my run, there it was.

Running 8 miles through the fog was similar to breathing deeply into a humidifier's air. Thick and damp, my hair and clothes were soaked within a few miles and by the end my hair was dripping with condensation. It was certainly eerie not knowing what was 300m in front of me, made worse by only seeing one other runner the entire time.  I assume that they were nursing slight hangovers like me?

Thoughts about what is next and where to go with such a short view of the road ahead.