Monday, August 31, 2009

Not Quite Ready

I'm still dealing with my plantars foot, but it has been feeling a little better lately. The pain seemed to diminish in the foot a little. And, we have had absolutely gorgeous running weather these last couple of weeks. So, Saturday I went for my first run in about 3 weeks. It was just a short 3 miler, and I felt great. The foot actually felt pretty good. I got home from the run, iced my foot, massaged it, stretched it, and rolled it on a golf ball.

However, the next morning the pain was back. With a vengence. Yep, I don't think my foot is ready just yet to start running regularly yet. So, it's back to the elliptical and walking. And stretching, and icing, and wearing that crazy elf sock. Which means I am probably not going to race in September, which stinks because there were a couple of races I was looking forward to. I am sooo ready to have my foot healed up where I can run (or even walk) pain free again.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

TGIF Fotos: 7 Year Old Snake Charmer

yes, that's my son....and yes, that is a real snake around his neck....

Essential Health/Nutrition Tips for Avid Runners

Hey everyone, check out this web site - Suzanne passed it along (thanks!) and I think it's great--- it lists 100 Essential Health and Nutrition Tips for Avid Runners. It not only gives the tip, but links to the web article elsewhere if you want more information.

There is a lot of great information on there --best stretches, best warmups, best breakfast, best footwear, best tips, etc, etc...

check it out!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Introducing: The Shells

My cousin lives in New York and has been trying to break into the music business for a few years now. She may have caught a break. Her band, The Shells, has made it to the finals of the MTV Video Music Awards Best Breakout Artist NYC contest. 190 bands entered, and they are in the top three. It is a huge opportunity. They had a video shoot with MTV a couple days ago, and the winner will be announced at a pre-show the night of the VMA's on 9/11. Because I am proud of her and to help spread the buzz about her band, here is the contest page, where you can listen to her band, if you want -Ourstage .

They have a pretty good sound, very acoustic/folky with lots of harmonies, kind of pop/country like the Dixie Chicks or Wilson Phillips. There are three girls that front the group, and they have been together for awhile I think. My cousin is the blond one. I am very proud of her, and I wish her all the best with this contest and her music career.

Also, thanks for all the anniversary wishes yesterday. We had a simple, but great, dinner date.

Monday, August 24, 2009

happy anniversary sweetie

yes, this is the girl of my dreams...she is an amazing woman....13 years ago she said "i do" to a dork like me....happy anniversary babe.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Picture Perfect Weather

Me in my new white k-state tech tee and my buddy Isaac

Today we had absolutely amazing weather. Low 80's, sunny all day, and not windy at all, which is unusual for Kansas. It was the perfect day for golf!

I played in my church's Fathers Day golf scramble. Yes, I know Fathers Day is in June, but we got rained out that day. As it turns out, I am glad we picked today as the make up day because not only was it phenomenal weather, my buddy Isaac was able to play.

My friend Isaac is an incredible golfer. He won longest drive and hit numerous 300-yard bombs today. He is seriously the reason that our team took 2nd place in the tournament. The rest of us weren't much help. It is fun to play with someone who really knows how to play golf well, and we had a great time today.

A funny thing happened on one of the holes. Another guy in our group was taking a practice swing and his club slipped out of his hands and flew 50 yards into a small pond. He took his shoes and socks off and waded out into the middle of the pond to retrieve his club. It was hilarious.

Our 2nd place prize was a $10 gift certificate to Burger King. Yes, my next meal will be with the King. After golf, I had soccer coaches and parents meeting all afternoon, and my son is getting excited about playing soccer again. Games start in about a month.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

updated to add Gu Giveaway by Chasing the Kenyans!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Purple Tech Tee!

I have been wanting a purple tech tee for awhile, but haven't been able to find one in any store. I don't know why stores don't stock purple, they should know it's the best color. Anyway, there were some purple tech tees online, but I was going to wait until my birthday in September and have my wife get me that for my birthday.

However, today I was in the the promised land, I mean Manhattan, Ks (the Little Apple), home of my K-State Wildcats, and stopped by the K-State Super Store and found that I could get one cheaper in the store (they were 25% off) than I could if I waited and got it online, so I got one. Call it an early birthday present to myself I guess. On top of that, I got an identical white K-State tech tee that happened to be in the clearance rack and was even cheaper. Double score! And just in time for college football season!

I am going to try out the white one this weekend in a golf tournament I'm playing in Saturday. Both of these shirts will get plenty of wear time from me, both on runs and as casual wear, so I am super excited to add them to my wardrobe.

Giveaway -- Run Like a Girl is having a giveaway, ends tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

40% Of The Way There

I'm in the middle of my work's "Walking to Cooperstown" challenge, and currently my team of 10 people has traveled 580 miles in three weeks, which is about 40% of the way there. We are in 2nd place by only 4 or 5 miles. Our team name is Dream Team, and we have several runners on our team, including one who was a division one track athlete and triathlete.

The second week of the contest, our strongest team member (the triathlete) had a major bike accident while on a training ride on the highway. He had a huge gash on his head, a black eye, and broke something in his lower back. A motorist passing by saw him flip over his handle bars, stopped to help and called the ambulance. So, his mileage contribution to the team for our 2nd week was only 4 miles. Amazingly enough, a week later he was out running again. This is a guy that is really fit. He placed first in his age group at a mini triathlon a couple months ago, and was 8th overall.

The contest goal was to encourage each team member to hit 10 miles a week. My personal goal is 20 miles, which isn't much but since I'm in recovery/maintenance mode it is enough. I ran the first couple weeks, but because I want to aid my foot in healing, last week I decided to log all my miles by either walking or doing the elliptical. So far, so good, and I have been able to hit the 20 mile mark (22 last week).

I am still continuing with sticking my foot in an ice bath a couple times a day, rolling my heel on a golf ball, and wearing the night sock. The night sock by the way, looks like this:

The sock looks really crazy and it feels kind of weird to wear that thing in bed, but I've gotten used to it. My wife calls it an "elf sock." The idea is that it keeps your foot in a flexed position while you sleep, and gently stretches the plantar fascia tissue. It definitely has reduced the pain that I feel in the morning, and I am hoping that it will speed up recovery time as well. I'm still doubtful that I'll be healed in time for the local half marathon in September that I was eyeing, but there is another local one in October that I potentially could be ready for, but I don't want to push it either.

By the way, I'm really liking these New Balance shoes I've been testing. Check out the laces on them. They are bubbled. Kind of cool. I've never seen laces like these, but can only assume that they help the laces to keep from coming untied. Or maybe it's just for fashion.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Amazing Shots

Yeah, I know football season is upon us, but these basketball shots are awesome....enjoy...

Friday, August 14, 2009

TGIF Foto Friday

My wife is from Lincoln, Illinois. That is where we were for her HS reunion last weekend. Above is a picture of supposedly the biggest statue of Abraham Lincoln on a wagon in the world. We pass it every time we visit her hometime, and finally took the time to stop and take a picture. If you're wondering what he's reading, it says "LAW" on it, so probably some legal documents or something.

Running Update
I got some a plantar fasciitis night sock to help stretch my foot at night. Last night was the first night I wore it. It looks weird and it will take some getting used to. This morning, though, the pain was almost nothing when I put my foot on the floor getting out of bed, so it must be working. I'm icing more often too, that is something I've been neglecting. And I also am backing down to just walking and elliptical for awhile, until the heel feels better. Hopefully within a month I'll be back on the road again.

My blogger reader/dashboard is working again, so I have tons of catching up to do....

Giveaways---Run to Finish has a birthday giveaway, so go win some stuff and tell her happy birthday!
Tall Mom on the Run is giving away some Nuun (yes, love this stuff)!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Demolition Derby Baby!

We had a great time at my wife's 20 yr high school reunion in Illinois over the weekend. I love 80's music, but I think I am up to my ears in it....that's all they had playing all weekend at the get togethers...I would post some pics of the 80's night, but only a handful of people got into the spirit of it and dressed up in 80's clothes (my wife included--hottest 80's chick by far)....I was totally bored most of the time because my wife was catching up with old friends and I knew none of the people there.....the first night we were in a bowling alley (oddly enough, nobody bowled) and I found another bored spouse so we shot pool and hung out together all night. That was pretty fun. Oh, and I also regained the title of Ms Pac Man Champ of the family by beating my wife. (I also beat her in Donkey Kong and Galaga, but who's keeping track?)

The next night was a dinner and dance, which was fun for about the first two hours, then I was bored again. The music was so loud that you couldn't even have a conversation, so we left and went to the 24 hour Steak and Shake with another couple and hung out for about 2 hours. They have killer homemade ice cream shakes, by the way.

For Sunday morning, we were asked to lead the song time at the memorial service/church service during the reunion. It is something we've done for years and we enjoyed making some music together. My wife and I are both musical. I play guitar/piano and she has a killer voice, she even got her degree in vocal music. She was also in all the musicals during high school and stuff too (she is responsible for getting me interested in musicals), so her classmates were used to seeing her up on stage. We led a few worship songs and performance songs as classmates that had passed away in the last 20 years were remembered. It was a nice service.

Lisa and I singing for the HS Reunion

By far the highlight of the weekend had to be the Demolition Derby. My kids absolutely loved it too. After the first 5 minutes, my 7 year old said "I want to be in a demolition derby!" The fair was in town and my mother in law had gotten tickets for us to all go together. (unfortunately, she became ill and was unable to attend with us) We had 3rd row seats, with a great view of the action.

Here are a few pics:

Getting ready for the Demolition Derby to start

Amazing that with today's economy, people would still buy a car just to crash it.

After each heat, they have to pull the wrecked/stalled cars off the track. Look close and you can see the driver is still in the car.

And here is a short video of the action. If you have never been to a Demolition Derby before, they are a lot of fun.

We rode a few rides after the Derby. Here is a pic of the fairgrounds from the top of the Ferris Wheel. The weather was perfect and it was a perfect evening for a small town county fair.
We also ate all the fair food--corn dogs, nachos, sweet potato fries, lemon shake-ups, etc. Truly a fun way to end our reunion weekend.

btw, anyone else have issues with your blogger reader/dashboard?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Frustrating Runs

First off, I hate blogging about my injured foot, because I feel like I'm whining or complaining. Really I'm not. It's just what I've been dealing with lately, and it affects my running a great deal.
So, it usually ends up in my blog.
I have been running through my plantars fasciitis, and it is creating a lot of frustration. The plantars is going on 3 months now. Two weeks ago I got in 25 miles and last week I got in 21 miles. I ran 5 miles this morning in Illinois (oh yes, we are traveling again. my wife has her 20 yr high school reunion, and tonight is "dress up in 80's clothes and go bowling" night)
The runs are slow and usually end up with some walking/stretching in them. I am starting to wonder if I should stop running altogether. And I'm considering actually going to a doctor. The pain is excrutiating at times. And other times, it feels fine. Today after about mile 3, the pain was very diminished, and it felt almost like I got a second wind.
The "Walk to Cooperstown" challenge at work is making it difficult for me to stop running altogether. I want to do my part for the team. (we are in first place by the way--woo-hoo) I have also stopped taking ibuprofen, and while that would probably help if I took a couple prior to my runs, I would prefer to run medicine free. Do any of you take iboprofen during your runs?

The county fair is going on here in Illinois while we're here for the reunion, and we're going to go to the Demolition Derby on Sunday night. Should be a lot of fun. We've got 3rd row seats and have been told we might want to where trash bags to protect from all the mud that will be slung everywhere. I can't remember going to a Demolition Derby, but I might have when I was little. My kids are super excited to go to one, and I'll try to get some pics.

Also, we get back from our trip Monday night, and school starts Tuesday.....crazy that summer is over already.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Taco Bell's New Green Menu

The Climb

I don't know why, but the lyrics to Miley Cyrus's "The Climb" have been resonating with me lately....good song with a good message....

The Climb

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying"You'll never reach it"
Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breakingI may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeahJust gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain

I'm always gonna wanna make it move

Always gonna be a uphill battle

Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there

Ain't about what's waiting on the other side

It's the climb, yeah!

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing

Keep the faith, baby

It's all about, it's all about the climb

Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What Plantar Fasciitis Has Taught Me

First of all, I would not wish plantar fasciitis on my worst enemy. It is the pits. My foot has been hurting off and on going on 3 months now. The pain comes and goes, and I think it is getting better. (at least I like to think so) I am running through the pain, and got in 12 miles this weekend, and my foot did okay through about 75% of the mileage.

I do think injuries can teach us things. Here are a few things I've learned from having plantars fasciitis:
1. Stretching is ultra important. Yes, I knew this before, but didn't really take the time to do it, at least do it very well. I stretch throughout the day now and spend at least 10-15 minutes before and after each run stretching. My primary focus is on my lower legs, calves and feet, but I try to stretch all over. I know some runners stretch 30-40 minutes at a time, and maybe I need to work up to that much time, but I'm just too impatient.

2. Listening to your body is crucial. Again, something I already knew, but I am still learning to listen to my body. Sometimes I don't hear what it is trying to tell me. Sometimes I do. But, the little tweaks and pains and aches are your body's way of telling you something. Make sure you are listening. Even during a training run. If you feel pain, listen. Walk a bit, or slow down, or take time to stretch. It will be okay.

3. Strategize your runs. Don't just go out and try to run farther and faster all the time. Be intentional and strategic about your running. And, make sure your strategy is in tune with what your body is telling you. Don't over do it. Get in long runs AND recovery runs. Take it slow, and don't rush progress. Let it happen naturally. Having plantars has caused me to really slow down with my runs and think more about each run that I take. I

Here is what I've been doing lately to treat my foot: I have started rolling my foot over a tennis ball about five times a day. There is a place where my plantar tendon meets the ball of my foot (where the pain is) that I focus on when rolling the ball. There is a crunching or clicking noise in my foot that for awhile I was very tentative about, and didn't want to roll the ball over, but now I have changed my focus and roll the ball back and forth very slowly across those crunches and clicks, like I'm trying to work out the knots in my heel. I keep balls throughout the house and at work, to roll my foot when I have any free time.

I also have done some icing, though I probably need to do more. Rather than using an ice bucket, I have a frozen bottle of water that I roll my foot over. I really need to do some ice buckets, as I am not sure the frozen bottle is doing the trick.

Stretching religiously pre and post run, and sometimes during run. Also stretching throughout the day. Pulling the toes back towards myself in bed before I put my foot on the floot first thing in the morning has helped too. Still debating getting a foot boot to wear at night.

A couple giveaways: I Have Run and Learn, Run, Eat, Repeat are both giving away some stuff. Check them out.