Saturday, May 30, 2009

Head Games

It was an absolutely beautiful day for a run, and I got a good one in.  Here are the thoughts going through my head today, I'm sure you've had runs like this:

Pre-Run
I think I'll run 6-8 miles
Well, maybe I'll scale it back to 2-3
Shoot, what am I thinking, let's get in a good 10 miles.
Well, maybe I'll just see how I feel once I'm out there.

During Run
Man, I am not feeling this run today, definitely going to be a short one, maybe just 2.
(mile 1) I should just turn around now, and do a run later, or tomorrow.
Nah, I can do 3-4 at least.
(mile 2) well, I'm feeling a little better, I think I'll stretch it to 5-6.
I don't need any music today (I take headphones off)
(mile 4) it's beautiful out here, good thing I don't have to go to the bathroom (as I pass the fast food restaurant that I sometimes "frequent"
I think I could hit 7-8 miles today
(mile 5) great, now I have to go to the bathroom...I'm just going to run home, it's just a mile and a half and that will give me 6, that will be good
(mile 6) weird, now I don't have to go anymore...well, heck, let's get in some more miles then, I bet I could get in another 2-3 and that would put me at 8-9
I may even try to get in 10 today, that would be a stretch, but I'm feeling pretty good
You know, if I hit 10, I may just keep going and shoot for 12-13, I haven't run that far in a month...
Yea, that would be great, and I'm feeling comfortable today, plus it's perfect running weather, who knows when we'll have this again.
(mile 7.5) super, now I have to REALLY go to the bathroom....I'm only 1/2 mile from home, I'll just run home and call it good at 8 miles

Total=8 miles in 1:21, about a 10:10 pace

And I BARELY made it to the toilet (I know you wanted to know that)

I have said it before and I really believe it, that the mental aspect of running is probably more important than the physical.  (not that the physical doesn't come into play, especially on 90 degree days)  I think being prepared mentally for how far you are going to run and having the mental confidence and toughness goes a long way towards having a good run.   

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, May 29, 2009

TGIF Foto Friday


Here is my contribution to Nikemom's Foto Friday.   Summer is here, and baseball season is upon us!  My son had his first machine-pitch game this week, he had a great hit for a double and the game ended in a tie.     
Also, the K-State Wildcats baseball team, ranked most of the season, play today in the Houston Regional to try to earn a trip to the College World Series.  Go Cats!

Running Update
Ran 3 miles yesterday after work, it was hot and I was parched by the end of the run.  I am trying to decide on whether to do a new local 5K tomorrow or not....leaning towards not, so I can get in a good 6-8 miler....

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Defense of Mornings

I know many people are NOT morning people (my wife included), but I really love being a morning person.   And here's why.  You are awake when the day is so quiet and peaceful, before the noise and busyness takes over.  You get to enjoy seeing the sun come up and splash color across the world.  You get to enjoy the smell of morning dew.  

Today, Memorial Day, when my entire city slept in, I got up early and I:

-ran 6 miles
-ate breakfast
-read the newspaper online
-blogged
-cuddled with my son/fed him too
-mowed the lawn
-took a shower

all before 9:00am!

I am not saying morning people are better at all...shoot, I crash early in the evening many times...I even fell asleep at the Drive in the other night....but, I am saying I love the feeling of accomplishing so much early in the day.   Sleeping in has it's place, and there are times indeed when your body needs that extra rest, but for me I really think I am starting to enjoy getting up early (and by early, I am only talking like 6AM here, nothing too crazy......)  Maybe that means I am getting old....


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Busy Weekend So Far

My kids are done with school, and I took Friday off to hang with them and do whatever they wanted.  It started with a breakfast of Slushies and Slim-Jims.  Oh to be a kid again.  

Later in the day we went down to the skateboard park up the street, but the metal ramps were too hot.  So we played on the bike trails that are behind the skateboard park.   Here are some pics of my son running the bike trails:






We also went to the Drive -In theater to see Night at the Museum 2 and it was so much fun.  It was a perfect night for the drive in, and every stall was packed.  The movie was great too, but I recommend going to the drive in, if you've never done it.  They really are fun.

Yesterday was another packed day that included baseball practice, a birthday party for my nephew, swimming at the local pool (it was their first day open and a free day),  taking my son to an end of school year party, and going to the an indoor football game for our team the Wichita Wild.  (they won 61-42, and no that's not a basketball score) 

Oh, and I got in a nice 8 mile run early before it heated up.   Felt good and carried a water bottle again, but I don't think it's a very good bottle, it was leaking water onto my hand as I carried it.   I ran the same path as a week ago and improved my time by one whole minute (hey, I'll take it).



Finale Thoughts:
American Idol
Glad that Kris won.  Adam is very talented, but I don't think I'd buy his album.  Might buy Kris's.   I was amazed at how many music artists they had on the finale.  Seriously, I don't think they've ever had that many. I think they were trying to make up for a dull/boring season.   I thought the best performances were Keith Urban/Kris and then the one with Jason Mraz.   The Kiss performance was just strange.    

24
Thought the finale was great.  There were several twists that I didn't see coming.  Agent Walker could be the next Jack Bauer. The president's daughter is in some hot water.  I really thought the president might try to cover up her involvement in the murder.  Tony playing both sides of the fence, and you're not sure whose side he is really on.   Good stuff.  

The Office
I wasn't sure that the finale was actually the finale, since it wasn't any longer than a regular episode, and the DVR didn't say "finale" in the notes or anything. But evidently it was.  Anyway, loved the skit scene with Michael and Holly --"Slumdunder Mifflinaire." Hillarious.   And the ending part with Pam and Jim was cute.    At the volleyball game I kept waiting for Jim or someone to spike it on the old boss from corporate, but it never happened.   

---------------------------------------
One more running video of my son.....this was towards the end of his 1/4 mile run, his side was hurting him...

video

Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Weekend!   (btw, we haven't seen our baby birds in the last couple days...I am hoping they learned to fly and are doing well)


Friday, May 22, 2009

TGIF Foto Friday--For the Birds!



There has been a nest in the front yard of our tree for a couple months now. We've watched the mother bird sit on her eggs through several violent storms.  About a week ago, the eggs hatched and we saw there were some baby birds in the nest.

Two days ago, my wife discovered these birds in our garage.  They were hopping around in the corner.  So, she put them in a box to keep them safe and to figure out what to do. (our boys loved this by the way--they wanted to keep the birds as pets)

After consulting friends and looking online, everything seemed to say to leave them alone where they were, so the mother could take care of them.  So that night we put the box underneath the tree in the front yard, and thought they would hop out during the night.  In the morning when I got up they were still in the box, so I tipped the box over and encouraged them to hop out.   Within minutes the mother bird was flying around the tree trying to figure out what to do.  They hopped away into the neighbors yard, and we haven't seen them since.  Hope a stray cat didn't get to them....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

wolframalpha!

Thought I'd share a cool new website I discovered, wolframalpha.com, that is kind of like a cross between wikipedia and google....you can enter any date, place, equation, etc, and it will spit out all kinds of cool information....unlike wikipedia, it actually can compute....

I had fun exploring around on the site (my computer geek side coming out), and think that it has the potential to be as big as wikipedia if it catches on....

One section I really liked was the Health and Fitness section located here

In that section, you can:
  •  estimate your calories burned during a run
  • compute your body mass index
  • see what your  risk of heart disease is
  • see if you're too drunk to drive
  • compare mortality rates between countries
  • estimate conception or due dates for a pregnancy
  • and so much more....
Very cool stuff.  Enjoy!

Running Update
I ran 4 miles yesterday in the late afternoon heat of the day.  I was dumb and didn't take any water.  After 2 miles I was parched and I spent the last two miles looking for any sprinklers or hoses that might be on (never found any).   I also got chased by a pit bull.  I hate it when people don't keep their dogs fenced or tied up.

Today I was up before 6:00 and ran 3 miles in the cool air of the early morning. It felt great and was perfect running weather.   I carried a full water bottle in my hand, not because I thought I'd need water, but more as an experiment, to see how I liked hand carrying as opposed to using a fuel belt.  The conclusion was that although it wasn't too bothersome, it will take some getting used to if I'm going to do it regularly.

Other stuff

For all you American Idol fans, yay Kris!  I was glad he won.  He will have a broader appeal, and I like his humble spirit.

Today is the last day of school for my two boys.  I can't believe it. Where has the school year gone?   I am going to take tomorrow off from work to spend the first day of summer with them doing something fun.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tag, You're It!

A while back I was tagged by Fair Weather Runner, and true to my procrastinator nature I am just now getting around to responding....

I've never done one of these but apparently The Rules Are:


Fill it out
Change One Question with one of your own
Add an additional question
Tag Other People


So here it goes:

1. What are your current obsessions?
Running, blogging, keeping my kids in line (well, that isn’t so much an obsession as it is a requirement)

2. Which item from your closet are you wearing most often?
Work Wear: Most of the time khakis with a long sleeve button down shirt and some brown comfy shoes (I think it’s important to wear comfortable shoes at work to let my feet recover nicely from my runs)
Running: The Easter Bunny got me some great running shorts, which I’m just starting to be able to use now that the weather is warming up….I have two favorite long sleeve tech shirts for cool morning runs, one purple and one white, and I have a couple of favorite short sleeve tech shirts, one green and one white….
Comfy: Mostly shorts and t-shirts now that it’s warming up…when it’s cooler, my Levi Slim Straight Jeans and any comfortable top, with sneakers…

3. Last thing you bought for yourself?
A large Sonic Cherry Limeade (during Happy Hour)

4. What’s for dinner? Most of the time I'm not sure, my wife usually surprises me….if she makes it, I’m sure it will be yummy…. tonight we have skybox event for our local semi-pro baseball team that will have ball game type food (wings, nachos, hot dogs, etc)

5. Say something to the person who tagged you:
I had fun meeting Fair Weather Runner at the race in OKC, along with her hundred million fans/friends/family members…..love reading her blog, she is very funny…plus she loves to run and is from Kansas……

6. What is one item you could not live without? probably my iPod, although my wife would say my Blackberry….



7. Vacation spots you must visit before you die? HAWAII, California, and Cancun….anywhere warm really….

. 8. Three things to do before you die: Write a book of some kind (not sure what it will be about, and no one will probably read it, but that’s okay) Run a marathon (we’ll see how my next 2 or 3 half marathons go first) See the Grand Canyon

9. What are you reading right now? Not much of anything actually, too busy with work and kid's stuff.…usually just Runners World magazine, online news web sites and blogs…….

10. What is the last movie you saw and enjoyed?
Slumdog Millionaire….it was awesome, I thought……maybe I’m just saying that because it’s the first “non-kids” movie we’ve seen in quite awhile……..

11. What’s your guilty pleasure?
anything chocolate

12. What’s your favorite smell? newly cut grass, fresh air in the morning

13. If cost wasn't an issue and you could run any race in the world what would it be?
I am not sure…having run for less than a year, I am still learning about what races are even out there….New York City sounds fun though….oh, and if there is a good one in Hawaii I could do that and also check that off my list of places to vacation…..

14. Do you have a goal that you are trying accomplish before 2009 is over? Already accomplished my first goal of running my first half marathon….I think my next goal is to run another half marathon before the year is over…..

15. Describe one of your happiest moments. When my children were born. Nothing can describe how awesome it is to have a new life that is totally dependant upon you for everything. As a new parent, it was scary and exciting at the same time, but children bring so much joy to your life. I highly recommend them (within the context of marriage of course).

16. What is your favorite sports team, if you have one?
Anything K-State sports





17. What do you have an addiction to? yeah, probably my Blackberry…..

18. What do you do that you would be embarrassed for others to know about? play my sonsNintendo DS Lite as much as he does.....hey, I like Mario Kart...

19. What is one totally irrational fear you have? that when I’m driving down the road, the person coming from the other way will cross the center line and hit me head on….I like to drive in the right lane whenever possible...it's safer, albeit slower….

20. Do you have a favorite training tip? I'm not the one to ask for training advice, I'm still learning so much myself....but I do think stretching is key….and so is consistency with running.

21. What's your most embarrassing moment? It's hard to pick just one, but one time I was the announcer at a high school girls basketball game (with a microphone and lots of people in the stands) and there was a play where the ball went out of bounds, but it totally looked like a foul, so I called it over the speakers “foul on #45 (or whatever the number was)”…the only problem was that the ref didn’t call a foul….he came over and said “let me call the game, son” ....yeah, I felt small….(but in my opinion he did blow the call)

22. What is a little known fact about you? My first son was born on 01/01/01…..yeah, he’s #1 all right. Also on that day my beloved K-State Wildcats beat Tennessee in the Cotton Bowl. We watched the game, then drove straight to the hospital to have a baby. It was great. One of the best days of my life.


23. (my question) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? U.S. for sure...probably Florida or Arizona...somewhere warm but not too crowded...


I'm tagging anyone that would like to do this!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hope the Garmin is Water Proof....

This morning I ran an easy 8 miles before church.  It felt great.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue, there was little to no wind, and it was the perfect temperature.  It was a beautiful day for a run.  It was one of those runs where you feel like you could run forever.

So I came home, stretched, grabbed a banana, and then hit the shower.  It wasn't until I was almost done with my shower that I realized my Garmin watch was still on my arm.  Yikes!  I've only had this thing a month, I don't even know if it's waterproof.  It looked okay, the display was still reading, but it was plenty wet.  I dried it off quick and put it on the charger.  Hopefully it will be okay.

My Garmin, post-shower

But that incident wasn't the dumbest thing I've done in the last 24 hours.  Let me tell you what I did last night.  We were going as a family down to the river watch the fireworks, the finale celebration for our River Festival.  It always is a great show and 75,000-100,000 people always crowd around the river to watch.   Well it was pretty cool, so rather than drive all the way back home, we stopped off at my parents to pick up a few blankets to stay warm.  

We went in their house and talked with them for awhile.  My son, Bryden, brought his new aluminum baseball bat into the house.  He had just had his first baseball practice earlier in the day and wanted to show it off to grandma and grandpa.  While we were talking, my son started getting careless with the bat, dropping it on the floor, hitting tables, etc.  So, I took it away from him, and we kept talking.  About 2 minutes later, and I'm not sure how it happened, I was talking with bat in hand and somehow I hit myself in the mouth with the aluminum bat.  Instantly I knew that I cracked my front tooth.  Yep, smooth move.  I had the small chipped piece in my hand.  I was so mad at myself.  I seriously don't know how I did that.  I was just talking and then wham! cracked tooth.   So, a week after visiting the doctor for an expensive root canal, it looks like I'll be making another expensive visit.   I am such a dork.

The evil bat.                                                    The chipped tooth.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

One Day, Two Runs: The Experiment

My running friend Isaac (who needs to start his own blog, hint, hint) was telling me that he's been doing 2-a-days, two runs in one day.  He runs in the morning and then runs the same distance in the evening and tries to beat his time from earlier in the day.

So, today I decided to experiment and give it a try.  My schedule and the weather actually worked to allow me to get two runs in.  Here's how it went:
      Before work:  3 miles in 27:15
      After work: exact same 3 miles in 26:29

So I beat my morning time by exactly 46 seconds.  (Maybe I should start running in the evenings.)

6 miles total, and although my legs felt slightly heavier in the evening run, my body was much looser and I felt faster.   For the morning run it took my the entire first mile to wake up and feel loose.    I don't know what time of day is the best to run or train, and frankly I don't think it makes a great deal of difference (although I do think there is some wisdom in doing your training runs around the same time that your actual race will occur, usually mornings).   I don't plan to regularly do 2-a-days (mostly because of scheduling), but I kind of liked having a time to try to beat from earlier in the day, and I would like to do this type of running at least once a month.  

It's great now that the weather is getting warmer, I'm seeing a lot more people outside now, even other runners sometimes.  Where were they all winter??


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Biggest Loser and other Reality Show Finales



(spoiler alert---if you haven't seen some of these finales yet, you might want to skip)

Okay, so my wife and I watch reality shows.  We DVR them and watch them after the kids are in bed.  It's kind of our time to unwind and laugh at some of the crazy stuff that people do on these shows.   So here's my take on some of the finales:

The Biggest Loser
When Mike came out at the beginning of the show, I thought for sure he would win.  He looked amazing.   I still can't believe that he didn't win!   What an amazing transformation.  Some of the other contestants still looked pretty big, especially David, who lost the least amount of weight (10%).  I knew that Joelle and Aubrey would be towards the bottom as well, they struggled losing weight even while on campus.  Everyone else lost at least 30% of their body weight, which is awesome, and the top three all lost more than 50%!  Can you imagine losing half your weight?They all looked fabulous.  But I have to say that next to Mike, I thought Jerry really looked the most transformed.  He looked incredible, and he was fun to watch because he was so excited and had lots of energy.  He deserved to win the 100K prize.  As for the top prize, I really thought that either Mike or Tara would win, but Helen proved me wrong and really did great losing all that weight.  What an inspiring show.  (yeah I had to put my bowl of ice cream down while watching due to all the guilt)

The Amazing Race
Of the three remaining teams, I was rooting for Tammy and Victor, so I was glad they won.  They raced hard and played well.  Still, I felt bad for Margie and Luke when Luke couldn't get the final piece of the puzzle in the last challenge.   They were way ahead and would have certainly won.  (where did they get all those surfboards anyway, wow)  Tammy and Victor did probably have an unfair advantage during the China leg since they spoke Chinese, but that leg was so far into the race, there was no certainty that they'd even last that long.  They almost got the boot in the 3rd leg.    Props to them for winning the $1 million prize.

The Celebrity Apprentice
In my opinion, from what was presented on TV (which I know isn't always accurate thanks to editors), Joan Rivers did not deserve to win.   Joan displayed herself in a very negative light, very bitter and angry, spewing venom at her opponent.  Annie Duke remained calm and in control.   I've lost all respect for Joan.  Annie Duke raised more money, won more challenges, and really displayed herself as the stronger leader throughout the competition.   If Donald was really hiring one of the two of them, there is no way he would hire Joan over Annie.   The fact that Annie raised 3 times as much money as Joan in the final challenge ($450K to $150K, something like that) should have been factored in.    Annie got robbed, but I'm sure Donald picked Joan for ratings and/or his own ego.   Annie was the real winner, in my opinion.

American Idol
Okay, so the finale isn't until next week, but here are my thoughts anyway.      First off, what does everyone see in Adam Lambert?  I mean, he'd be great doing music theater, but all that screaming is really getting on my nerves.  And he needs to keep his tongue in his mouth, seriously.   And the judges go on and one about how great he is?  Are they even hearing the same thing I'm hearing?   I would love to see either Danny or Kris become the winner, I like them both.   Kris will get the girl-teenie-bopper vote, so he would probably win if it came down to it, but I've really like Danny all season, he has been consistently solid.  He is a safe choice for America I think.   But, we'll see who gets into the finals tonight......more to come....

Other finales I'm looking forward to watching over the next week or two:  American Idol, 24, The Office, and Chuck (yes it's DVR'd)

Running Update
Just so you don't think all I've been doing is watching TV lately, here's a running update---ran 4 miles yesterday at a nice easy pace....was planning to do 4 more today, but only got in 2 because mother nature called and I had to turn around to go to the bathroom....also, I tried an experiment, wearing two watches during a run--my normal everyday watch and then my Garmin watch further up the arm---let me just say that it failed, felt too clunky and the Garmin kept pushing my other watch into my wrist bone....the thought was to save time and keep from having to take my everyday watch on and off all the time, but looks like I'm a one watch kind of guy....

Saturday, May 9, 2009

River Run Race Report-my first 10K

One of the great things about being a fairly new runner is that I get to set a lot of PR's since I haven't run races of a lot of distances before.  So 3 weeks ago I got to set a PR for the half marathon (albeit a slow one) and today I got to set a PR for my first 10K.   

My main goal for the day was to beat my 10K split time from my half, which was 1:00:14.   Basically I just wanted to break an hour, and I figured that was doable.

Sorry, but I didn't get any race pictures because the camera I grabbed on the way out the door had dead batteries.  The race I was running is probably our biggest local race, called the River Run.  It is part of our annual River Festival here,  which is a weeklong festival with tons of fun stuff, music (the band Kansas played last night, and Loverboy plays tonight--woo hoo for you 80's fans), and food....the festival mostly takes place downtown, around our river, the Arkansas River, which by the way if you are from Kansas it is pronounced the Ar-KANSAS River, not the ArkanSAW River.....that's how we roll around here.....

I saw Becca, the Fair Weathered Runner before the race, and ran into Kristen the Running Lawyer's mom, although I never did see her...I also saw a buddy of mine from high school who is a running stud...he took 15th overall (out of over 2000 runners) with a 36:49 time....I talked to him a little bit before the race, he almost always places in his age group in our local races....

Anyway, I felt very well rested, very well hydrated (I've been drinking Nuun water all week) and mentally very prepared for the race.....it was a fairly cool morning, so I threw on a K-State long sleeve techno shirt at the last minute.....

The race was very crowded for about the first mile, then it thinned out.....I ran a very consistent race pace-wise, felt good, took no drink/walk/potty breaks, didn't listen to my ipod like I usually do, and ended up with  a 54:46 (that's my Garmin time....gun time was 55:19, they weren't using chips)  I felt very good about the time, considering it was my first 10K, and that my main goal was to break an hour.....now I have a time to beat for my next one....


Friday, May 8, 2009

TGIF Foto Friday--Mr Goalie!


Here is my contribution to this week's Foto Friday. This is my 6 year old son (almost 7), who absolutely loves soccer....he is in his 3rd year of playing already. He is super fast too. He won the Speedy Feet award at his end of year team party, and he was fastest in his class at his field day at school yesterday. I wish his speed would rub off on me. Anyway, tomorrow he has his end of the year tournament, and will be playing 3 games in one day, and is very excited. He wanted to play soccer this summer but we couldn't find any leagues/teams to join, so we'll take the summer off.

I had a root canal yesterday (uck), and am planning on running our local 10K tomorrow, before enjoying a day of watching/coaching my son in soccer....


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Electrolytes--it's what's for dinner!

So apparently electrolytes are important to being an effective and efficient runner.  So is sodium, and potassium. Oh, and water.  All these things supposedly help you from bonking/cramping/fainting/getting sick/dying, etc.   I learned this after my half marathon last weekend.  

Thank you, by the way, to all the great advice/suggestions/tips on how to fuel pre-race and how to stay fueled and get electrolytes into your system.  I am still confused as to what combination of drinks/gus/tablets/foods works the best (apparently some counteract each other?), so I decided that I would just have to experiment.  With our hot summers just around the corner, I wanted to make sure I was prepared.

So I went to our local running specialty store, First Gear, and asked if they had S-tabs or E-caps or electrolyte stuff or whatever it's called.  The guy behind the counter looked confused, but just then another guy came out from the back and said, "oh yeah, you can get that at Bicycle Exchange" (the local bike specialty store).   It was only a couple miles away, but as I walked to my car I was confused as to why the running store would not carry these items.
I went to the bike store and picked up some Nuun (not even sure how that's pronounced) and some Salt Sticks.  They didn't have Succeed Caps, and the Salt Sticks looked pretty much like the same thing.  

I am going to start this week putting the Nuun tablets in my water, and will use the Salt Sticks for right before long runs or running on very hot days.  Hopefully they don't make me sick or anything.   For the Nuun, I got Lemon-Lime and Orange.   Not sure what flavor is the best.  Anyway, that's the update, we'll see how it goes.  Oh, I did run 4 miles this morning and I have a toothache.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Best Three Minutes of Your Day....

Watch the whole thing, trust me...




Running Update
Not much to update here...I ran twice since last week's half marathon, mostly just to shake the cobwebs out, but have taken several days off so that I can let a blister on my foot heal properly. I am most likely doing our local 10K this coming weekend, the River Run, so I will try to run at least a couple times this week to see how the foot feels. Congrats to everyone who ran races over the weekend!

Friday, May 1, 2009

TGIF Foto Friday


Here is my contribution to Nikemom's Foto Friday. My son Bryden likes to make faces for the camera. I thought I'd share some of them with you all. He is very photogenic, just like his mother. The camera loves him, and obviously he loves the camera too....


Edited to add Smoothie King Giveaway--check it here...