Thursday, December 31, 2009

Why some organizations succeed and others...

You want to maximize response? You have to minimize options. Will a picture help? Lucky for you, I just happen to have one here:

Running Update
I have been to a physical therapist twice in the last week for ultrasound and cold fusion treatment of my foot..btw, has anyone ever had ultrasound treatments? are they legit? they are supposed to promote blood flow and speed healing....I thought originally it was my plantars fasciitis acting up again, but now I think it's just a strained foot muscle, so I'm taking a few weeks off...Frosty 5K on New Years day won't happen for me this year....I'm trying to be smarter so I can keep from being injured all the time....hoping to begin training in Feb for a spring half marathon...

Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Flat Ariston

My son, Ariston, read a book in his 3rd grade class called Flat Stanley. In the book, Stanley is flattened by a billboard. But, he soon finds out that being flat isn't so bad after all, because he can be mailed all over to visit many places.

His project was to make his own Flat Ariston and send it to someone living in another community, have them write about the place they live, and take a few pictures too. My son sent his to his grandma that lives in Lincoln, IL, and here are a few pics of the adventures of Flat Ariston while there:
the town is named for Abraham Lincoln
where Ariston's mom went to grade school
the largest covered wagon, apparently
abraham lincoln christened the town by spitting a watermelon seed
the courthouse where lincoln practiced law
the place where lincoln spit the watermelon seed

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas!

Hope everyone has a great CHRISTmas! Much love from the land of OZ....

Monday, December 21, 2009

How Running is Like Golf

In Golf, you will not get better overnight. It takes lots of hours and years for people to learn to hit it long and straight. Same with Running. Getting faster and improving endurance takes time.

In Golf, having a good set of clubs is important, but even more important is having a good swing. Same with Running. A good pair of shoes are important, but equally or more important is having good form while running.

In Golf, when you swing too hard, usually you end up shanking the ball into the trees or over-hooking it into the water. In Running, when you try to run too fast or too far, too soon, you generally end up getting injured.

In golf, when you slow down and think about the shots and use strategy, the score is better. In Running, when you slow down and use your runs wisely and think about strategy for getting the most out of your body, your times will improve.

One of the great things about Golf is that when you are having a crappy round and you can't hit the ball straight to save your life, and you are on the verge of dumping your clubs into the lake, you hit that one sweet shot that keeps you coming back again and again. In running, too, despite all the pain and frustration and "bad runs," all it takes is having that one great run to get you back out the door running again.

Running Update
I had planned to run 6 miles Saturday but at mile 3 I felt a twinge of pain in my plantar fascia tendon, so I slowed to a walk the rest of the way....very frustrating
I have a call in to a local physical therapist to see if I can get some advice on this nagging injury....
Here is a link to a video my mom told me about, Dr Oz talking about "how to find the perfect shoe" ---

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is This Man Overweight?

Danny Cahill won Biggest Loser Season 8 recently.

He lost an amazing 239 pounds, going from a starting weight of 430 lbs to a finale weight of 191 lbs.

His BMI (Body Mass Index) incredibly went from 60.0 to 26.6

However, according to BMI (body mass index), he is still overweight. See the chart below:

Normal (18.5 - 24.9 BMI)
Overweight (25 - 29.9 BMI)
Obese Class I (30 - 34.9 BMI)
Obese Class II (35 - 39.9 BMI)
Obese Class III (greater than 40 BMI)

Danny is 5' 11". BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

In my opinion, Danny is not overweight. What do you think?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Accidental Rainbow

How many times have you represented one of God’s promises and not even known it?
Just goes to show that no matter where we are in life…we might just be somebody else's rainbow.....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Bridge is Out!

Obviously, my 8 year old gets his artistic talent from his father.

Today I ran 5.5 miles. Above is an attempt of a visual of the last mile of my run including my house.

As I was nearing the end of my run, less than a 1/2 mile from my house, I was coming up to a bridge. Now, I knew that the bridge was under repair, but I thought that I could still get across. Wrong.
I really didn't want to back track about a mile, just to cross a 10 foot creek so that I could get to my house that was 200 yards away. (The bridge and stream are in a park with lots of trees, and is kind of a woodsy area.)
So, I went up and down the bank of the stream trying to find a place to cross. The water was a little higher than normal since the ice has been melting, so I really couldn't find a good spot. It wasn't deep, but it was too wide to cross. Some of the ice was frozen too. So I ended up having to toss in a few logs and rocks so that I could cross over onto an island. My shoes only got slightly wet. Then, I had to climb up a steep hill, down another part of the hill, across another section of stream, and then up another hill. All of this probably took my 20 minutes.

Seriously, I could have just back tracked and ran the extra mile by that time.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Tentative Runner

Having both plantars fasciitis and a strained calf in the last 6 months has caused me to ease up on the running a bit.

I run more tentatively, listen to my body more (especially calves, ankles, and feet), and take more rest days. I don't want to get injured again, so I'm running slower, shorter runs until I can build up some confidence and strength. Speaking of strength, I am also trying to incorporate strength and flexibility work into my training. I stress trying.

So, for my last few runs, I've run without my ipod, so I can "listen" to my lower body and pay attention to any possible pain. And, I kind of like it. My whole focus is on my run and how I'm feeling, aside from the mind wandering that happens naturally during runs.

This morning I had a nice, chilly 3 miler, felt pretty good, and I hope to get in another 4 or 5 tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Homemade Sports Drinks

To all the budget-conscious runners out there, here are 3 recipes for homemade sports drinks, that my aunt gave me recently. I have tried the first two, and I like the first one better. The 2nd one tasts kind of like salty kool-aid.

Homemade Sports Drink Recipe #1

1/2 cup orange juice
9 tbs. Sugar
3/8 tsp Salt
Water to 2 liters

Nutrition info:
14.4 grams carb (6/1%)
104 mg sodium
28.4 mg Potassium

(Gatorade 8 oz. serving gives: 14 grams carbs, 110 mg sodium, 30 mg potassium)

Homemade Sports Drink Recipe #2

10 tbs sugar (5/8 cups)
.75 tsp sea salt or Morton's lite
1 package of unsweetened Koolaid mix
Water to make 2 liters

Nutrition info:
14.2 grams carbs
103 mg sodium
121 mg potassium
53 calories

(if you wanted to reduce the potassium, another option would be to use 1/2 tsp each of regular sea salt and the Morton lite salt. This would change it to: 104 mg sodium, 40 mg potassium)

Homemade Sports Drink Recipe #3

1 caffeine free lemon tea bag
2 tbs sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tbs orange juice

Bring 16 ounces of water to boil. Steep lemon tea bag. Dissolve sugar and salt into tea and let cool. Combine the tea and orange juice and chill.

Nutrition info:
15 grams carbs
130 mg sodium
60 calories

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Biggest Loser Thoughts

Next week is the Biggest Loser finale. I can't wait, the "reveal" is always very inspiring. Due to travelling we were behind on our episodes, but now we're caught up. So here are some of my thoughts.

Spoiler alert if you haven't seen this past week's episode.

First, I loved the "Where are they now" episode. Very inspiring. I might even have to leave that on the DVR for a little while. I especially loved the 2 former contestants that completed Ironmans. How amazing is that? The big guy that came in at 17 hours and 3 minutes, that barely missed the cut off? Swimming for an hour and a half, biking 100 miles, and then running 26.2? Incredible. When I saw how wobbly his legs were after he got off the bike, I thought there would be no way he was going to finish, but he did. Great show. Oh, and I really couldn't believe the former winner that has gained almost all of his weight back. How in the heck does that happen?

On to this season. I was very impressed with Rudy's victory in the marathon, that was a respectable time. But I was even more impressed with Danny losing 59 pounds while at home for 60 days. Both of those guys deserve to be in the final. As for America's vote, I'm leaning towards Amanda. Nothing against Liz, just seem to like Amanda better, and Liz seems too clingy towards Danny. Something strange about their relationship.

And how eye opening was it during the home visits? This competition really puts the stress and strain on the family. I could feel for Rudy. He goes home and has to work 12 hour days, with an hour drive to work, spend time with his kids, connect with his wife, etc...and still find time to get a 2 hour workout in. It is the real world, instead of the Biggest Loser campus where everything revolves around eating right and the next workout. I also couldn't believe that Liz's mailbox is one mile from her house, and how her training consisted of running to the mailbox and back. How boring would that get?

For the finale, I am predicting that Danny will win. He lost double digit numbers for 7 weeks straight, and seems to be in the zone and want it more. I wouldn't mind if Rudy won though, he seems like a good guy. I am pulling for Allen to win the second chance prize.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sculpture Park Run

While in St Louis this past week (actually a suburb, called Kirkwood), I was able to get a couple of runs in around the hotel.

The first day, I just started running, and I wasn't sure where I was going to go. Our hotel was right next to the highway with tons of shopping and office buildings everywhere, so I was wanting to just find a residential area and get a few miles in.

What I found, though, was priceless.

Hidden behind a bunch of office buildings and a shopping center, about a half mile from our hotel, I discovered the Laumeier Sculpture Park. Their website describes it as "105 acres of art and nature," and that is basically what it was. Tons of cement paths great for running as well as at least a mile or more of paths that ran into the woods. All of these paths are surrounded by various sculptures, so it made for a very interesting run. There were probably over 100 sculptures in the park.
Sugabus--the three-headed dog sculpture

The first day I was so intrigued that I found myself having to stop every now and then and look at some of the sculptures closer, and read about them. Some of them were amazing. The next day, I focussed on the trail portion of the park, and got in a couple miles of trail running, followed by another mile or so of path running, and some stair work too.

This park made for some really great running. I took my family there the day we left to show them where I'd been spending my running time.
Redwood II--the largest contemporary wood sculpture, according to the note at the base.

the appropriately named Eye kids loved this one the best