Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Slow Happy Run

Yesterday was the official day my doctor said I could start running again, but I couldn't pull myself out of bed yesterday morning. But today, I won the mental battle and got out the door and went for a nice 5K run!

It was my first real run in about 3 months (not counting the times I tried to run through pain and failed) and the foot felt really good, no real pain from the plantars fasciitis. But, I could definitely tell that I am out of running shape. I took it nice and slow, I didn't want push it, but it felt really good to be out there running.

Also, I finally pulled out the Asics Gel Kayano 15's that I had won from Happy Runner months ago but hadn't been able to use, and they were nice except for some slight shoe slipping on my right foot. I am hoping that issue will resolve itself as I wear them more, because over a long run that could create a blister or two.

Anyway, it's a day for me to celebrate running again, but the real test could be how my foot feels tomorrow morning.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Fun, Fantastic, Fabulous, Full Weekend!

Let me just say that I watched exactly ZERO football over the weekend, which is unusual. But that's okay because I had plenty of other things that start with the letter F to fill up my time:

FALL FESTIVAL FUN-- It was the Valley Center Fall Festival, and we had absolutely perfect weather for it all weekend (except for Friday night when it rained). It was sunny and beautiful Saturday and Sunday. We immersed ourselves deeper into the Fest than we ever had, spending 12 hours Saturday and about 6 hours Sunday doing Festival related activities. We were worn out at the end of both days.
FIRST RUN --My 7 year old and I ran in the kids fun run together. It was his first race. He was so excited. Let me tell you that my son is fast. And I'm not just saying that because he's my son. He is a speedster. So right out of the shoot he zipped into the lead. He was blazing. We were in the lead for the first half of the race...then, he got gassed. "Daddy, can you carry me now?" We slowed down, walked a bit, then finished with a jog. We had a good heart to heart talk about pacing and going out too fast, which all racers struggle with. He probably finished 7th or 8th, there weren't any official race results. I was proud of him for finishing and he got himself his first race T Shirt and a nice medal.
FUN PARADE -- We walked together in the parade for my son's soccer team, and it was great parade weather. We had a huge bag of candy to give out but it only lasted for about the first half of the parade. I felt bad for the people watching towards the end of the parade, they always get the short end of the stick on candy.
FOUNTAINS -- Yes, it was nice enough this weekend for my kids to play in the fountains. I think the temperature was in the 80's.
FRISBEE -- On a whim, my buddy Isaac and I entered the Disc Golf tournament. We didn't realize that we'd be playing against semi-professional disc golfers. Seriously. These guys were serious. And they were good. They had little bags with 30 discs in them and carried little chairs to sit in between holes. My buddy and I only had 1 disc each, and we didn't throw them that well. We finished 3rd out of 5 teams, but we had a lot of fun in the process.
FINALS -- My son entered the youth basketball shooting contest and made the finals. The winner got a $50 gift card. He was one out of seven kids that made it to the finals. But....he didn't win. He got beat out by a sharp-shooting 6 year old girl. He did get a consolation prize of a glow-in-the-dark necklace and two tickets to the Moonbounce, so he thought that was fun.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS -- The best part of the weekend was spending time with my family. We had a lot of fun together. And, we had a picnic in the park with our good friends and got some good hang out time with them as well.

-- My boys entered the fishing derby that took place at a little pond in the park. They supplied all the bait and fishing rods, and stocked the pond. My youngest caught 5 fish, including 4 nice sized catfish (his longest was 16 inches). My oldest caught 4 fish and his best was 14 inches. Neither of them won for biggest or smallest fish, but my youngest did win a fishing pole for catching the most inches worth of fish in his age group. I think he caught close to 70 inches of fish. He was excited to win the new rod and reel, and both my boys got ribbons for doing a great job.

FREE FOOD -- Well, free with a festival button. Our small town grocery store catered in a nice pulled pork dinner at the park Sunday night. It was not a bad little meal. There was also a free magic show, clowns, face painting, and concert.
FIREWORKS -- This was the first year that this small town had a fireworks show to close out the festival, and surprisingly, it was a pretty good show. It was a perfect way to end a great weekend of fun together, enjoying the evening with a fireworks show.

These pictures don't even begin to show what a great time we had this weekend. We were too busy having fun to take pics. Hope everyone else had a fun weekend too!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Runner's Lounge Open Mic Friday....

I was a last minute selection to be the featured runner on the Runner's Lounge this week, you can check out my interview here.

On tap for this weekend--hanging out with the family at the Valley Center Fall Festival! Ride-O-Rama tonight, BYOK run in the morning, followed by walking in the parade with my son's soccer team, and then I'm actually playing in a disc golf tournament in the afternoon with my buddy Isaac. That should be interesting and fun.

I am most excited about running tomorrow. Even though the distance is not that far, it is a transition marker for me to return to running after dealing with plantar's fasciitis these last three months. And, I get to run with my 7 year old as well. That will make it extra special.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

A Couple of Giveaways

Team Giles - Zensah

Fair Weather Runner - Race Training Kit

Training for a race?
Win with Fairweather Runner
Handheld awesomeness

Thursday, September 24, 2009

BYOK (Bring Your Own Kid)

There are a lot of fall festivals in smaller towns in the area this time of year....this weekend is the Valley Center Fall Festival, where my kids go to 7 year old brought home a flyer from school about a fun run that is happening this year, and said he wanted to do is a BYOK (Bring Your Own Kid) Parade Run to kick off the parade, and adults and kids run as a team and cross the finish line together. I think the distance is less than a mile, not really sure, but I was excited that he wanted to do it so I am planning on doing it with him, and it will hopefully be my kick start to begin running regularly again.

I can't believe how much better my foot feels, only a week after getting the steroid injection in my heel. I am glad I finally broke down and went to the doctor, and am hopeful that the injection did the trick. Officially, per doctor's orders, I'm not supposed to start running again until next Tuesday, but I don't think doing a fun run 3 days early will hurt. As I ease back into running I want to be very aware of my foot pain, so I don't re-injur myself. I'm just looking forward to getting back out there, this is great running weather.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I've Got a Feeling...

I think this is one of the most annoying but catchy songs....but, if you haven't seen it yet, this video is amazing....apparently Oprah had no idea they were doing this as part of her 24th season kickoff party....I talked to someone that lives in Chicago who said they blocked off major parts of downtown Chicago and they were rehearsing this all day....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Nation Fills Up On Bread

For me it would be "Nation Fills Up on Chips and Salsa"....what do you fill up on?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Biggest Loser Season 8 Premiere thoughts...

I love watching the Biggest Loser, and last night was the season 8 premiere. Here are some of my thoughts:

--I can't believe the one gal was still in the hospital a week later from collapsing after walking one mile...they never did say what her health issue was, but I hope she is okay..

--It was very eye opening to see how hard it was for the contestants to even make it one mile...and, I think the show took a risk by having them do that challenge right off the bat, having two of them end up in the hospital on the first day had to be scary for the producers

--I knew Dan would win the one mile challenge, and it was probably a little unfair to have him in that challenge...he's been through the show before and has been consistently working out, so of course he can win a one mile race against the rest of the group who has not been doing any exercise...

--the story about the woman who lost her entire family in a car accident was heart breaking...I can't imagine what she must have gone through....I'm really pulling for her

--There are some BIG people this year, including the biggest person they said, it really is a statement about the direction of our society

--I know Bob and Gillian are effective, but I am sorry, Gillian is just mean the way she yells and gets in your face...I am glad Shay didn't quit, she really needs to be there..

--I thought the wrong person went home...Julio didn't lose as much weight percentage-wise, and Alexandra really had the fire to want to be there...also, America's choice Amanda was very lucky her team was not in the bottom, she would have been gone...she only lost 6 pounds when others around her lost 13, 18, 28 pounds, etc...

I finally broke down and went to my doctor yesterday for my plantar fasciitis....he said he's had it twice in his life, and gave me a steroid injection in the heel of my foot....if it works, hopefully, I can return to running in two looking online, that treatment is not guaranteed, but my doctor said it worked for him....going on 3 months now of dealing with this pain, it is getting old....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Indoor Cyclying

These cyclists are amazing. Period.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And the winner is....

I used Random. org to pick the number and congrats to Erin, who won my little birthday/labor day giveaway.! Send your address to and I'll send the gifts your way.
I am ready for the fall TV season to kick off. Biggest Loser starts this next Tuesday, and rumor has it that one of the contestants is medevaced off of the show after the first workout. I love this show, it is very inspiring, and I've already got my DVR set. The Office is starting next Thursday too, and apparently it will be following Pam's pregnancy throughout the season leading up to her delivery probably at the end of the season. This is my favorite sitcom, and I've even got a Dwight Schrute bobblehead doll on my desk at work.
I love going to high school football games this time of year and supporting our local team. Last night we went and our team was down 50-7 at halftime. Yes, they are not good this year. Actually, they haven't been good for about the last 5 years. But, they do have a very nice stadium with a brand new artificial turf (our tax dollars hard at work). So even if they don't play good, it's a nice place to play. I was really hoping to see the other team hit 100 points last night, but they let up in the second half and the final score was only 57-7. The game became uninteresting to watch after awhile. Good thing we had lots of friends to talk with sitting around us.

My son's soccer team name is the same as the local football team name -the Hornets. Here's hoping they don't get killed in their first game today like the football team did.

Friday, September 11, 2009

TGIF Foto Friday

It was a perfectly sunny and warm day. My 7 year old decided to put on winter clothes and go outside with an umbrella. Oh the fun life of a 7 year old.

Soccer starts back up this weekend, looking forward to it. Also, today is the last day to enter to win my little giveaway here. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Run Pee

I was watching Hard Knocks last week and Bengals backup quarterback Jordan Palmer (Carson's brother) started talking about a web site/iphone app that he developed called Run Pee.

At first I thought it had something to do with running, but it actually is a site/app that tells you when the best place in a particular movie is to run to the bathroom (okay, maybe it is kind of about running). It also fills you in on what you missed during the 3 or 4 minutes you were gone, so you can run to the bathroom and come back without having missed anything. What a great idea/invention. The site's tag line is "helping your bladder enjoy going to the movies as much as you do."

Next time you go to the movies, and don't want to miss something because of a bathroom break, check out Run Pee. Seriously, I wish I would have thought of it.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I had a great day. I went golfing with my buddy, and played horribly despite the beautiful weather, and then went bowling with my family and bowled my first 200 game ever (210 to be exact). The alley even gave me a Budweiser hat as a prize. In all, it was a nice to be able to hang out with my wife and the boys since they were out of school due to Labor day. Still a few more days to enter my birthday/labor day giveaway.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's My Birthday, But You Get the Presents (a Giveaway)

Hey ya'll, Happy Labor Day and Happy Birthday to me (and to my twin brother--funny how we have the same birthday) and Happy Anniversary to my mom and dad. Yes, my twin brother and I were born on my parent's anniversary. I've always thought that was pretty cool. What a great anniversary gift we must have been.

In honor of all of this, I want pass on a few things to the blogosphere. I'm calling it a "kind of giveaway" because I really wanted my first giveaway to be something huge or special, like a million dollars, so this doesn't count for my first giveaway. But it's still a giveaway, in honor of Labor Day. Here are a few things that I want to let one of my bloggie friends enjoy:

#1--a coupon for free POMx tea. Janny from POM Wonderful sent me a few varieties of this product to try, and I really like it. It is not as tart as the the straight pomegranate juice, and it tastes really great. There are 8 different flavors, all anti-oxidant super teas. My favorite is the Peach Passion. It is made with hand-picked, whole-leaf tea, is low in caffeine, and is packed with POMx (a blend of anti-oxidants made from pomegranates). This coupon is good for a free bottle of POM Tea, any flavor.

#2--a poken. Yes, a poken. What is a poken, do you ask? It is basically a digital business card. It's a USB social networking device. You enter your information--email, facebook, twitter, etc--and then if you're out and about and meet someone that interests you, you can touch your poken to theirs, and you exchange information. You can find out more about them here. They are really big in Europe, but haven't caught on in the states yet.

#3--a book--an autographed copy of "The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life." This book is signed by Amby Burfoot, one of the editor's of Runner's World magazine and winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon. Nice little read, as Amby reflects on 35 years of running.

#4--a couple of sample of Anti-Monkey Butt Powder, that I mentioned in my last post. You can try it out for yourself.

So there you have it. A few items for one lucky winner.

To enter, leave me a comment below. For an extra entry, follow my blog and mention in your comment that you do so. And for another entry, link back to this post.

Enter by September 11th, I will announce the winner sometime next weekend.

Have a great labor day everyone!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Habanero Death Chips

So we were driving through Illinois a few weeks back for my wife's high school reunion and stopped for gas at a truck stop, and I saw these---Blair's Death Rain Habanero Potato Chips. I love spicy food so I had to get them. Besides, the bag said "Feel Alive," and "America's #1 Potato Chip." These chips were so dangerous that when I paid for them the cashier even said "you know those chips are very hot right?" Duh. That's why I'm buying them. You should see this company's web site, they have tons of other super hot foods, and they are apparently in the Guiness Book for hottest product ever created. Anyway, I waited until we got home to try them, and when I did, I could barely even eat one. They were that hot. You know how most chips you can snack on while watching the ball game. Not these. You eat one and it takes you 10 minutes of recovery and drinking water before you can have another. So, I tempted my kids and wife to try some (they wouldn't, the chickens), and then I took them to work and dared all my co-workers to try them. It was a hit, and I ended up giving them all away.

Speaking of giveaways, here are my Wrightsocks that I am sure many of you also recieved through the Runners Lounge giveaway. I tried them out this week, and I really like them. I love that on the package it says "anti-blister system." I've never heard of socks that can totally prevent blisters, but that would be great if these did.

The folks at Anti-Monkey Butt Powder contacted me about trying their product. While mostly used to prevent chaffing for bikers, they are expanding their market to runners. It helps absorb excess sweat and reduce frictional skin irritation. The first question I asked the company was if this could be a replacement for something like Body Glide, and they said "yes, it works to prevent and cure chafing anywhere--you can powder your shoes and running shorts before putting them on, and it works great for the inner thigh or feet."

The funny thing is that this product has shown up in our white elephant gift exchange for the last 4 years, but I don't think anyone has ever tried it. It just has a funny name. While there is something that seems strange about putting powder on your clothes/skin for chaffing (almost like powdering a baby's butt), I do want to give this a try, and I am waiting until my foot injury heals and I can get back on the road to running to see if this can truly replace Body Glide.

Our team (the Dream Team) at work had our best mileage week yet, and surged into the lead for our Walking to Cooperstown challenge. If we keep up the pace, we could complete our goal in 2-3 weeks, well ahead of schedule.