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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Cyber Monday, and Post #200!

Hello to the Blogosphere and all my Run-Blogger friends. I have been traveling to Illinois and Missouri for the last week and am way behind on my blogging. I have a lot of catching up to do.

This post is my 200th post since I started blogging almost exactly one year ago. Nothing fancy or fun about this post, but it is a milestone anyway.

This past week, first we spent a few days in Illinois, celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with family, and had a really good time. We had decent weather (well, at least it didn't snow), spent quality time with family, and ate a lot of great food, including a Thanksgiving dinner that included both Turkey and Prime Rib. Good thing that the day before I ran 3.5 miles and worked out at the local college's fitness center with my wife and aunt. I think I gained 10 pounds.
the kids decorating the tree

We opened some early Christmas presents, and my son got a fun Yoda hat, among other things.
my son and his cousin on Thanksgiving/Christmas

We traditionally all go to the movie theater on Thanksgiving day, but this year they were not showing any "kid-friendly" movies, so we rented some DVDs, grabbed another piece of pie, and watched a couple of movies together--Monsters vs. Aliens, and Imagine That. Both were pretty good, but I think I liked Imagine That better. I had never heard of it (it is with Eddie Murphy), but it was funny. (By the way, I watched "Up" in the car during the 10 hour drive, and while I thought it was good, it kind of had a sad underlying theme to it. I won't say more than that, in case you haven't seen it yet.)

We left the day after Thanksgiving and headed to St Louis. We were going to take the kids to the St Louis Childrens Museum, called The Magic House.

Let me just say that for anyone within driving distance of St Louis, with kids between the ages of 4 and 12, you need to go to this place. It was amazing. We got there when they opened and spent 7 1/2 hours there and were never bored. It is huge, and my kids thought they were in heaven. It truly was incredible. We took a gazillion pictures while there. Here are just a few:

the oval office

changing a tire in the service center

Curious George was there too

working in the grocery store

ahoy matey!

delivering pizza in the restaurant

working in the bank
building a house

One funny thing happened while we were there, too. We ran into our neighbors who live across the street from us. 8 hours away, and we happened to be in the same place at the same time. What are the odds.

It was an amazing day, and we topped it off with a trip to the St Louis Zoo, where they had over 500,000 lights for their "Wild Lights" event, with a great holiday light display. It was excellent weather, a great time, and a perfect end to the day.

By the way, I did get some running in also, and I have another post I want to share about a couple of really cool runs I had while on vacation.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, too, and didn't eat too much turkey.

I'll leave you with a poem that we created at the Poet-Tree space in the Childrens Museum too--

Friday, November 20, 2009

Test Run=Success

Last night I went for a test run to see if my calf was healed up. It had been feeling pretty good, and I just wanted to go out for a nice, easy, slow run.

As I was getting dressed and putting my shoes on, my 7-year old said he wanted to come with me, so I told him, "great, let's go."

So we both bundled up and went out for a run in the dark. It was fun running with him, we talked the whole time, and he did really good. We went at a nice easy jog pace, like 11 min/mile, and went a total of 2 miles. The calf didn't give me any problems, so I think I can start running again. Hope to get my son out there with me on some more runs in the future.

Happy Friday everyone.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beginning Running Again

I haven't run for about 2 1/2 weeks, it's driving me crazy. But, I am giving my calf a few more days before I start running again. I actually feel ready, and feel strong enough, but when talking to a running buddy of mine he said calf strains take 3 weeks to heal, so I am heeding that advice.

My mother in law got me a great Barnes and Nobles gift card for my birthday, and I was really torn between three or four books on running. In the end, I settled on "Runner's World Complete Book of Beginning Running." My wife said, "why are you getting a book on beginning running?" Well, truthfully, I'm still a beginner. I've only been running for a little over a year, and I have TONs to learn. This book is full of great information on running, from Diet and Nutrition, to Training, to Injury Prevention. Some of the things in the book I already knew, some I didn't. Some, I just needed reminded. It will be a great resource to have around, and I've already read a couple chapters. If you're looking for a good resource about running, check this book out.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yoga? Seriously?

Okay, so I'm taking this week off from running to rest my calf. I'll try running again this weekend.

In the meantime, I decided to try Yoga. Yes, I know, it's not generally a "guy" thing to do, but I had heard that it is really good for building strength and flexibility, two things that I am very lacking in (probably why I keep getting injured).

Through our cable provider, we have "On Demand" Exercise and Fitness TV, with tons of guided workouts, including Yoga. Yesterday I picked a random one called "Yoga Fitness Fusion" or something like that. It was a 45-minute workout. I only lasted 15 minutes. It was hard. I struggled, and I am sore today from that little 15 minute workout. I can really see the benefits of doing it though, and I am going to try it some more. I did another 10 minute Yoga session today. I think I may need to try a beginner's class, the workout I picked is kicking my tail. Hepefully I can get a stronger core and increase my strength and flexibility, which will only make my running better.


Tri the Dream

The Daily Cadence

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Test Run=Fail

I hadn't run for 5 days, I was giving my calf some healing time. It was feeling pretty strong and felt good enough to go for a run yesterday.

But, after about 1/2 mile I felt a twinge in my calf again that brought me to a halt, and I walked back home rather than risk further injury. I am not sure what I did to my calf, but it obviously needs more recovery time. I've thought about getting a deep muscle massage, I've heard that those can help.

So, I went back home and since it was so beautiful out, I put up the Christmas lights. Yes, I know it's early November, and I think the neighbors thought I was crazy. But it was beautiful here yesterday, I couldn't resist.

Also yesterday, sandwiched between my son's last soccer game of the season and 2 kids' birthday parties, I got to watch K-State win the Sunflower State showdown football game with KU. One more win and we're bowl eligible baby. Never would have believed it at the beginning of the season. Go Cats!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Auto-Tune the News

Yeah, everything sounds better auto-tuned.

You're welcome.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

4-mile Black Lab Run

No, the "Black Lab Run" isn't a race that I ran in this weekend. It's what happened to me today.

I set out for my run this morning and after about a quarter mile, a stray black lab started running along with me. I didn't really mind, and it was good company. He would run up into people's yards and then come back to join me every so often. I kept thinking that he would stop and go home, or get bored and wander off....but, he stayed with me for the entire 4 miles.

When we got home, I got him some fresh water to drink and gave him some food. He was very friendly. The first thing my son said was "Can we keep him?" I said "No, he probably belongs to somebody." So we got out the phone book to call the local Animal Control to come get him, and by time I went back outside, he was gone. Probably off on another run with another passerby. Anyway, it made for an enjoyable run, to have a running partner.

I tweaked my right calf at about the 3 mile mark, enough that I walked most of the last mile....I am not sure what happened, I was running along fine, feeling strong, and then I felt a twinge of pain in my calf that brought me to a halt. It's not a cramp, maybe a strained muscle or something. So, I'm going to give it a good 3 days rest and see how it feels.

I leave you with a picture of my boys' Halloween costumes, a boxer and a tourist.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Wave From California

New Places
First off, I have been traveling this past week and have had zero time to blog or read anyone elses blogs, so hopefully I can catch up over the weekend. Thanks to Tall Mom for letting me know I won a giveaway on her blog. Woo-hoo. Some hand warmers just in time for winter.

Prior to this week, I have never been west of Colorado. But a business trip to California changed all of that, and I got to spend 4 days in San Diego.

I loved seeing all the palm trees, but I could have done without the crazy traffic.

view from my hotel was too cold to swim. for me anyway

While there, I had a nice 5.5 mile run my first morning there, and another 4 mile run the next day. There was a great path to run near the hotel. It was a bike path between the sidewalk and the street and was wide enough for a golf cart. There was a curb that was 6 inches high and 18 inches wide that separated the bike path from the motorist traffic. That helped give a sense of security having that extra curb there.

the bike path i ran was nice and wide, with curbs on both sides...

California people didn’t seem as friendly as I’d imagined. I mean, the people around the hotel were nice enough, but that’s their job. And my co-workers from California are all nice. But during my runs, I usually try to wave to people I pass, and during both of my runs I barely got a wave in return.

The first day I passed a walker, a biker, and another runner, and none of them waved or said hello back to me. Even when I found a YMCA membership card on the ground and ran it inside to the front desk of the YMCA, the worker there didn’t even say thank you. Not the best impression from an outsider, but I’m from the Midwest where everyone is friendly. The second day wasn’t much better, I passed 7 walkers and a biker, none of them waved back, and I passed 3 runners, and two of them waved. At least a couple of the runners were nice enough to wave. Maybe everyone was still half asleep. These were some early morning runs in the near-dark.

New Shoes

About a week ago I received some Brooks Glycerin 8’s in the mail to test out. This business trip was my chance to take them out for a spin. They are great shoes, and are set to hit the market early in 2010 I think. They have Brooks’ new DNA technology that allows the sole of the shoe to mold to the specific weight and impact of the person wearing them and change to provide the right amount of support.

They were very comfortable right out of the box and had a super ride and feel. These might be replacing my Asics Kayano’s as my regular running shoes.

The Worlds Largest Running Store

So we’re driving to the place in San Diego for my work meetings and literally a block from the office, we pass a sign that says “The World’s Largest Running Store.” So of course I had to check it out. It was a Road Runner Sports clearance store, and it was pretty cool.

I had them fit me for shoes, even though I don't really need any. The process was really cool, very high tech. They had a glass floor hooked up to a computer that when you walked over it told you what part of the foot was having pressure put on it, and they video taped my feet on a treadmill to determine pronation. Turns out I have a high arch with a slight under pronation and need a motion control shoe. It was fun. I picked up some shoe inserts and some Chafe Free gel.

I didn't get to enjoy California as I had hoped. Didn't get to the beach, or go to In and Out Burger, or the San Diego Zoo, etc. We stayed way too busy with work. So, now I need to plan a family vacation so we can do all the fun stuff next time. We had a 3 hour delay in Denver on the way home (I guess they got 18 inches of snow the day before), and I was relieved to get home in time to go trick or treating with the kids. Happy Halloween everyone.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mid Afternoon Distraction

If you only have a minute, skip to 3:46 in the video. You're welcome.

I think some of these shots look like me at the end of a race....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Willie the Wildcat

It was Harley Day at the K-State/Texas A&M game last Saturday. We took the boys up, along with my dad, for a fun day in the Promised Land (I mean, Manhattan, Kansas). It was a great day. We went up a little early for some site seeing which included going up to Manhattan Hill, which overlooks the city. It was a bit chilly, but the sun was shining. We had a parking pass which meant we could park fairly close to the stadium, which was nice, and then we also had tickets to the VIP tent in Cat Town, with BBQ, drinks, and live Blues music before the game. It was great. We then went at checked out all the Harleys outside the stadium (which later would circle the track inside the stadium just before kickoff). There were probably 150-200 Harleys, it was awesome Willie the Wildcat was there, in full motorcycle leather gear. He lead the motorcyle parade inside the stadium. Willie the Wildcat is K-State's mascot, and he does push-ups every time KSU scores, one push up for every point. Well, he got a workout Saturday night, as KSU won 62-14. (by my estimation, he had to do 346 push ups) They demolished Texas A&M, it was awesome. (Sorry, Aggie fans).

Running Update
Ran 3 miles yesterday and today. Feeling some slight soreness in my lower legs so I'm going to take a couple days off. Considering doing the Turkey Trot 10 miler in about a month.

Giveaway --a giveaway to help you stay warm this winter

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Step in the Right Direction

I kept telling myself that even though I couldn't run for about 3 months due to plantars fasciitis, I could make the best of an injury situation and use that down time from running to do some strength training and/or try to lose that extra 15-20 pounds I've been carrying around.

Did I? No. Instead, I pretty much turned to comfort food and gained about 5 pounds while doing ZERO strength training. I guess it's kind of hard to do strength training when we don't have any weights to lift or a gym membership. (if any of you do strength training without weights, tell me how please)

Anyway, all that is said to say that I am still trying to get my running legs back, and today was a nice step forward in that direction.

I got up way too early (like 330am--crazy I know, couldn't go back to sleep), and went running around 600am, a distance of 7.5 miles, the farthest I've ran in probably 6 months or so. I felt great the whole way and took it at a nice, easy pace (like 10:30/mile). I even got to see the sun come up. It was an awesome run.

Tomorrow is our hometown marathon and I thought about volunteering, but we have too much other stuff going on tomorrow, so for anyone running the Wichita Marathon tomorrow, have a great race! The weather should be perfect. Best of luck to everyone running races this weekend.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rut or Routine?

So for about the last 4-5 months, I've had pretty much the same thing for breakfast. Every day. Two frozen waffles, topped with low-fat peanut butter and a banana.

I like it because it tastes good, is quick to make, and is convenient. There have been a few days when I've had something different, but really 99% of the time, this is what I eat. Probably not the most nutritious breakfast, but not the worst either.
What's on your breakfast table in the morning?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

(Semi) Wordless Wednesday

Happy October everyone. We have a great pumpkin patch here called Walter's Pumpkin Patch, and we went last weekend. Had a blast.

Ran 4 miles Monday and 4 Tuesday....I'm getting tired of this yucky overcast, rainy, cold weather....I hear it is supposed to warm up tomorrow--yay.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Zen Run 10K

It was cold and dark when I got up early to go out for my run this morning. I was half awake until that chilly breeze hit my face.

I threw on layers of clothes, gloves, a knit hat, and my ipod. I wasn't sure how far I would go, I knew I wanted to do at least 6 miles, maybe 8. Either way, it would be the longest run I've done in awhile due to dealing with my running injury.

So I'm running along and listening to one of my running podcasts ( I think it was Run Run Live) and they start talking about the World Wide Festival of Races (which is a bunch of virtual races) and I'm thinking, "hey, I think I signed up for that a while back. And then they mentioned that it was THIS weekend. I couldn't remember which race I signed up for, either the half marathon or the 10K, but I decided that at this point a half is out of the question, so I ran the Zen Run 10K virtual race this morning, on the spur of the moment, mostly as a recovery run from my injury, not so much as a race. Ran it in 1:02:44.

Hope everyone is having great races/runs this weekend!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Are You Serious?

The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon women's winner was recently disqualified for taking a water bottle from a friend outside of the official water station. So, the second place finisher moved up to first. Then, that finisher was also disqualified when it was discovered she used an iPod. Now, it looks like the third place finisher will get moved up to first and get the $500 prize.

I can't believe either of the first two were even disqualified. Neither infraction seems serious enough to me to be DQ'd. Someone that knows more about running/racing and rules please explain this logic to me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Caught in the Rain

Today's 3 miler turned into a 1.25 miler when it started pouring mid-run.

Yeah, I got soaked. I guess the flashes of lightning in the sky should have been a clue.

Looks like soccer practice will be cancelled tonight.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Biggest Loser-Sayonara Julio

I watched the Biggest Loser last night, and Julio went home. I think he will do well on his own, he seems motivated to make a healthy lifestyle change. I am still not sure what the medical issue is with Crazy Eyes Tracey, er I mean Tracey. The doctor just said that she had a damaged muscle and couldn't exercise. Did she have a stroke? What muscle was damaged? They've never gotten into specifics, but it must be frustrating for her to not be allowed to do ANY type of exercise on a program designed for exercise and weight loss. Got to give her props for losing 4 pounds anyway. I can't believe Daniel didn't lose any weight. Good thing he had immunity.

The challenge where they had to guess the healthiest chicken dinner seemed easy (go with the skinless grilled chicken) but only 3 teams guessed right. I thought Daniel and Shay should have won the calorie guess game since there guess was closest, even though they went over. Shay could have used that prize of free groceries for a year. I'm rooting for Daniel, Coach Mo and Allen, but I have a feeling a girl could sneak in and win it this year.

Running Update
Ran 4 miles yesterday and another 4 today. Had to wear the knit cap and gloves this morning, it's getting chilly. I experimented with a new stride today that want to keep toying with. Basically turning the legs over quicker with a shorter stride, and kind of pulling through the pavement with my foot. My pace was about 30 sec/mile faster than normal and I didn't feel like I was expending any more energy. I'm going to keep trying it out.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Getting the Running Legs Back

I started running again last Wednesday, and have run 14 miles since then. I am definitely out of running shape and am feeling it in my legs. They are achey and tight for a day after a run. Still, it is so great to run without pain in my foot.

October is here which means cold weather running has pretty much arrived. I have been running in long sleeves and/or a running jacket. I haven't quite had to put on the gloves, knit hat, or long pants yet. But, it won't be long.

As much as I missed running during some warmer months, I kind of like running in colder weather. Call me crazy. Are you a hot or cold weather runner?

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!