Monday, August 28, 2006

The Running Plan That Isn't

Seem to remember a post last week about my training for the half-marathon (HM) and how it was going. Well this past week went even worse.

Tuesday and Wednesday were ok, but Thursday was too tired from getting home later than expected (overtime soccer game) so I pushed it back to Friday. Friday didn't feel like getting up. Friday night drank too many Twilight Ales. Saturday went to a party with T thrown by the department head. Too many Blue Moon Ales (Holy Crap! Just found out it's made by Coors! Good beer though, for mass produced). No long run on Sunday.

Classes started for T today, so I've got to get in the habit of getting up with her and getting my run done before I go to work. That and the habit of being in bed before 11:30 or so.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's Just a Little Rain

More proof that people in Michigan aren't exactly right in the head:

Leaving work tonight. It's raining. First time in a loooong time I've had the windshield wipers off of intermittent. I'm driving home on I-196. Speed limit is 70 MPH (this is a road very similar to I-105 for those reading this in Eugene) which on dry pavement seems a bit extreme, but you learn to live with it. Visibilty is fine. The road is wet, but no one is hydroplaning. I get stuck behind all of the people that are driving 45-50 MPH. I get looked at like I'm the crazy one when I start passing people.

I've driven down I-5 between Portland and Salem at 11 PM on an October night when it is raining SIDEWAYS and felt more at ease on the road than I did tonight.

Crazy Michigan drivers.

Ok, ok, I'm trying to tone down the Michigan-bashing. It looks like we might be here awhile.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Half Marathon Training - Week 1.5

1.5? Planned on using a training plan from Nike, but due to distractions (cross country move, new city to learn, new job, new microbrews to drink, etc) I had to modify said plan. Plan was supposed to start 8/ a few runs in, but didn't stick to schedule. Last week same thing - all though I did get my long run in on Sunday. So I'm really at the beginning of week #3, but still adjusting the mileage down.

Speaking of my long run Sunday. Went almost 7.5 miles (7.36 according to the Garmin). Longest run since my 10 miler back in June. Felt really good. Had my Camelbak with me. And of course was wearing my RoadID. This is a must running on the side of the road like I am here. Went with the wrist version this time.

Counting down until October 29.

Yes, I'm planning on kicking ass (if you consider a goal of 2 hours ass kicking and I do) and then I'm planning on the 2007 Flying Pig Marathon in Cincy. Want to see if I can do 26.2, and I want to do it in front of the family (ok - in front of the family, but mostly in front of my overweight brother that I don't get along with)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

DMV - No, Secretary of State

Wow, that week went sloooow. Long days. Many practices, but good news: first game is Wednesday.

To catch up: T and I were given two tickets to Michigan's Adventure Amusement Park by some people in Oregon as a going away present. We made our way to the coast the weekend before practices started. Road some roller coasters - they have three, Cedar Point or King's Island it is not - and overall had a good time. Probably the best was the people watching.

So it is official. T and I are now residents of Michigan. Went and got our Michigan driver's licenses and plates for the cars. Here it's not the Dept of Motor Vehicles, you go to the Secretary of States office. And if you're new you have to have 4 different forms of an ID and proof of residence. At one point, I really thought we were going to undergo DNA testing to make sure we were humans. Filled out the paperwork (Thanks Sarah for taking the time to help us and be VERY friendly) and took the photos. Was expecting to turn in my Oregon license and be handed a Michigan one...nope. Mailed to you. Will be here in 4-6 weeks. So we have little print-out temporary ones.

Decided to go the this plate instead of the standard blue one. Extra $5. Here the fee for the plate is based on the purchase price of your vehicle. No standard fee. All together: two drivers licenses, two car titles, and plates for both cars: $307. Now just need to figure out something to put in the front license plate holders - only one plate here in Michigan.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

More Michigan Strangeness

Week #1 of preseason practice out of the way. Not a lot of time to rest before Week #2 starts. Earlier morning practices. Later afternoon practices. At least I'll have more time to run during the day. Only two days of multiple practices left though.

Due to a conversation with someone at work, I have decided that the state of Michigan may be the most messed up when it comes to high school girls athletics. Everywhere I've worked girls soccer and volleyball are fall sports, girls hoops a winter sport, girls tennis a spring sport. Not here in Michigan. Here is where it gets confusing (or it was at least for me) so I will put the Michigan season in RED and the rest of the country as I know it in black. Girls Hoops - Fall (Winter). Girls Volleyball - Winter (Fall). Girls Tennis - Fall (Spring). Girls Soccer - Spring (Fall).

So that means that the female high school athletes in Michigan are gearing up for hoops practice. IN AUGUST. Just another example that everyone in Ohio might be on to something. Things are different up here in Michigan.

Also, played golf for the first time in approximately 10 years today. Scramble to support the Aquinas College athletic department. Final Total: 2 houses hit, 1 moving car almost hit, 2 the number of my shots the foursome used. 1 the number of putts I made.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hard at Work

Here it is Wednesday the first week of "Fall Camp" and I'm back at work. Interesting term: Fall Camp. When I was in high school (counted it up today, I graduated 15 years ago. I'm. Old. It's official.) we had two-a-days. When I was in college and working football it was two-a-days. When did we start calling it fall camp? The NFL has training camp. Not fall camp, so maybe it's not trickling down from there. Guess it was when I was at MTSU that I might have heard preseason practice called "Fall Camp". The last time I looked at my calendar (just openend Outlook to double check) it's August 8. Fall starts 9/23/2006. It's not fall. And I don't think it counts as camp. That's supposed to be fun. Where you make friendship bracelets and go swimming, and make really bad clay ashtrays to give to your parents.

Gotta love the hours, but in all honesty - I am loving every minute of it! For the first time in 4 years I'm not covering EVERY sport at the institution I'm working at. I have one sport for the season. I have to help out with some others, but still. There are athletic training students, that ask good questions and answer questions you ask them. They are there to help treat athletes.
It's nice to be part of a staff again.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Good Read

Just finished Kenny Moore's Bowerman and the Men of Oregon. Excellent biography of the man, and great insight into the track program during his tenure. Including Pre.

It made me regret not having taken the time during the spring or summer and visited Pre's rock one last time, gone for a run on Pre's trail, done a few laps at Hayward Field, or gone to one of the all-comers meets there.

If you are a track and field fan, a sports fan, or want an insight into the man who helped the behemoth Nike get off the ground. I highly recommend it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Photo's Part Deux

Nice sunset. Taken at the KOA in West Yellowstone, MT. Photo taken by T.

T just outside the entrance to Mt. Rushmore. Just up the way all of the states' and territories' flags are on display. And yes, we found Ohio, Texas, Oregon, and Michigan.

Morning of Day 6...Michigan. Muskegon KOA. Private lake, relatively early in the morning. Love the fog.

T sitting by the campfire our last night on the the road. We signed the lease the next day so our 5 days of being homeless came to an end.

Trip Photos

Ok, here order that they were taken:T and I standing on top of the Dee Wright Observatory at McKenzie Pass. Self-taken. Day 1. We'd been on the road about an hour and a half.

The tent, and T still asleep, at the start of Day 2. Mountain Home, ID.

We missed Old Faithful by about 10 minutes and didn't feel like sitting around for 90 for it to go again, so here is a photo to "prove" I was there. Good souvenirs. Pint glasses.

Pulled over to the side of the road as we were driving out of Yellowstone National Park. Mostly because I think 8391 feet of elevation is the highest I've been and my feet still on the ground.

Me at Mt. Rushmore. Very cool place. I was like a kid on Christmas morning and I'm not sure why. If you have never been, and you get the chance go. Only wish we could have made it to Devil's Tower, but we were a bit behind schedule.

Morning of Day 5. KOA in Jackson, MN. The people next to us were from Detroit.

More to come.

What Have I Gotten Myself Into

Weather finally broke here yesterday, big T-storm came through and when I got out of bed this morning it was 59 F outside. Lazed about the house for awhile before going for my run so it was just a bit warmer, but nothing scorching.

I'm not sure how many people I've told, and of the ones I've told how many remember, but I have signed up for the Grand Rapids Half Marathon on October 29, 2006. I've been at this running stuff for a little of 2.5 years. I've done 4 10 K races (that's 6.2 miles for you metrically challenged out there) and 5 5 K races (3.1 for the metrically and math challenged) and enjoy the training runs and races. So I decided to move up to the Half Marathon, with the goal to try the Flying Pig Marathon in 2007 if everything goes well. I know, I know...crazy. I've heard it. I'm just not choosing to listen.

Eugene is such a runner friendly place though that I'm afraid I've been spoiled the last 3 years. I'm struggling to find places to run that are safe from the autobahn like streets here and it's taking me a bit to get used to the weather. That and I didn't run for 3 weeks while we packed, drove across the country, an unpacked/settled in here.

Will be putting up some trip picks today or this weekend.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Things you can't do anything about...Part 2

This came up in conversation with coworkers today and it reminded me of Sunday...

T and I were out and about exploring and she offered to buy me lunch (she's paying for a LOT of things now that she is making the big bucks in the family) so we go to a mexican chain restaurant. It's been hot here in Michigan so I thought to myself a nice cold draft beer would be good, however they only had like Bud and Bud Light listed as on tap in the menu. So, I ask our waitress what else they have on tap. She looked at me like I had grown a second head and proceeded to tell me that I can't sell you a beer (or any alcohol) because it's Sunday and that was the law in the city we were in (a suburb of Grand Rapids). And here I thought I'd left the bible belt about four years back.

The truly comical part of the exchange was that she, and the entire staff, were wearing t-shirts promoting "Build Your Own Margarita" and there was the accompanying table tent on each table in addition to the large banner hanging over the entrance.

Oh, and for the first time in four years I had to answer the following question: "Smoking or Non?" Duh! Not only do I want to be in the NON section, but I would like the seat that is the furthest from the smoking! Like the title says.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Things you can't do anything about...

2002: I remember as we were getting ready to move to Oregon (the first cross-country trip the eager-student-now-wife took me on) I was prepared for an increase in the cost of living. I mean after all, it's the west coast! Things are pricey. Economy was in the crapper. Etc. Managed to make it work, due to Costco, WinCo - buying in bulk and what we couldn't purchase that way was pretty dirt cheap.

2006: We get to Michigan, and I say to myself, "Self, of course there is sales tax here, but not on food. It's the midwest, it is centrally located to pretty much everything the nation has to offer. Cost of living and prices should be better than the ritzy west coast!" Now, I don't envision myself as a miser (hell, I spent $200+ on a GPS/heart rate monitor to run with) and I didn't just crawl out of a bomb shelter after 60 years but holy freakin' cow was I shocked by prices in the grocery store! Everything costs more. Doesn't matter what it is.

For example:
Oregon Michigan
Milk $1.98 $2.99
Bread $0.99 $1.50
Can of peas $0.45 $0.60
Frozen Pizza $4.98 $5.99

Thank god Little Cesar's Hot-n-Ready is still $5!

Also, evidently here in the suburbs of Grand Rapids people still subscribe to the "Let's throw everything away" school of thought and haven't heard of the new capability to take packaging/paper/plastic and reuse it. It's called RECYCLING.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I'm Melting

Yet another hot one today. Out of the house by 7:15 for my run. Didn't help. Hotter. More humid. Weather is supposed to break Wed night/Thursday morning. Which will probably mean another phenomenon we missed out on in Eugene: the thunderstorm.

Today I quite possibly read the worst newspaper I've ever laid my eyes on. The Grand Rapids Press. 50 cents. Something like 5 sections. The front page, which is where one normally finds world news or pressing issues of the community was 6 pages. One of which was a full page ad for some motivational speaker coming to town or a car dealership. Don't remember which exactly. Only saving grace of the "Press" - color comics EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK! Didn't see that coming.

Needless to say the habit of starting each day with cup of coffee and the newspaper has come to an abrupt halt. It's not even worth the $2.00 a week for the Sat/Sun delivery. Going to try the Detroit Free Press (I think that is the title) on Sunday. Gotta have a paper on Sunday. T gets very grumpy without her comics.