Friday, March 30, 2007


I get home last night, dusty, tired, and windblown after a less then spectacular baseball game to find a box from UPS on the porch. Let's see, the stuff I ordered from REI came Monday, T's FR 205 came Monday...I haven't ordered anything, and I don't think she I look at the box. From a friend in Oregon. I bring it inside. To my surprise I find a six back of Deschutes Mirror Pond!!!!! There was a nice note.

Honestly, I was completely floored. It's gestures like this that show me that I really do have friends in this world...not just co-workers.

I left a message for T (she was teaching) and basically said the same thing - don't ever let me say that I don't have friends in this world.

So, Trevor, without further delay: Thank you. It was an unbelievably nice thing to do. Much appreciated.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

75 and Counting....

75th post today...not sure what the gift is for that anniversary. Hard to believe that I've been at this since July. Oh, how time flies.

On to real business...been about a week and a half since I've checked in. Running is going...ok. I've been out the last two mornings with good results, despite the Hand of God wind this morning. I'm just trying to get used to running again. You know, actually getting up out of bed and getting out the door. Trying to ease back into slowly so I don't end up injured again. I'm trying something new over on the right hand side for posting training info. Right now it's set for the last 4 runs. Feedback would be appreciated on how it looks, etc.

The other challenge now is trying to work my running into my professional life since baseball season has started. Like this last weekend, I was at the park Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so the real challenge is either trying to get my runs in before I have to be at the training room (typically 3 hours prior to game time - so this Sat/Sun games start at noon. You do the math) or having enough energy to go for a run when I get home.

I'm taking it easy...only goal right now is to try and rebuild some of the aerobic base I had back in Dec/Jan.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Race Day!

I’ve bored both of you who read this with the details of my right calf/leg issues lately and thought I should share some good news on that front:

The cool thing about my shirt is that on the back is a map of Pre's Trail in Alton Baker Park. Unfortunately forgot to get a picture of that.

I ran in my first race since Thanksgiving (didn’t really race that one) today, the Spectrum-Health Irish Jig 5k. Wasn’t shooting for a PR or anything…in fact my goals were to:

1) Run fairly even spits (8:57, 9:10, 8:54, 0:58 for 27:59:20 according to my chip, I had 28:00 on my FR 305 – mile two had some rolling hills and I had some people issues)

B) Make it through the race without my leg hurting = check! It is a little sore-ish now, but nothing that is going hang around long term.

So overall it was a good morning. Unfortunately for T, we left the house at 7:50 a.m. and it was probably 25F and she isn’t a big fan of early Saturday mornings and cold weather. But, she was there for me, and she even looked somewhat happy.

Start Rant:
Those of you who are reading this and run, or think you might start keep this in mind. When you sign up for a race, unless you plan on your finishing time being under 20 mins DO NOT START AT THE FRONT OF THE RACE. Even more so, if you are planning on walking the event START IN THE BACK. I am really self-conscious about being slow in races and as a result maybe I start too far back, but there is no way I should be passing people walking between 0.75-1.0 miles of a 5k when I’m running a 9:00 pace. You were too far forward. Move to the back.
End Rant.

So those were my people issues.

I can honestly say that I feel like I lifted a huge weight off myself when I decided to drop to the HM at the Pig. Leg has felt better, I’ve gotten some good runs in, and I’m generally feeling pretty good. Now I just need to stick with it as life gets busier again with baseball starting to play home games this week.

I’ve found a website that I’m going to start linking to for the two of you reading to see my training log. It will be easier for me to put the info there and link to it than to try and cut/paste it here.

Off to drink beer – it is St. Patrick’s Day afterall!

Friday, March 16, 2007


Early morning at work, so I'm home this afternoon...too bad I had to drop the car of to have the rear shocks/struts replaced.

Good week of running so far...did 11 miles Sunday (ok, that was technically last week since I go Monday to Sunday for my "running week" but still!) then 5 Tuesday and 6 Thursday. I'm only running every other day for awhile to see how my improving leg problem holds far so good.

Running in a 5K tomorrow, the Spectrum Health Irish Jig. Yup, there will be green everywhere. There is a prize of $100 for the best dressed leprechaun! Not going for the prize, but I will be wearing green. There should be pics posted tomorrow after the race.

Keep your fingers crossed that things will go well tomorrow, and then I've got 10-12 on the schedule for Sunday.

Monday, March 12, 2007


After much deliberation I have made a decision concerning the Flying Pig Marathon:

I'm not doing it.

My leg is feeling much improved, however, I feel I am too far behind in my training now to make it safely through the full 26.2 miles. As a result, I notified the organization that I would like to switch to the half-marathon and was notified this afternoon that the change has been made. So, I'm still running that day - wouldn't dream of missing out on meeting so many of the people from - but I will not be making my marathon debut.

While it was a difficult decision, I do feel that it was the right decision. Now my goal is beat my time from the half-marathon I did back in Oct.

My goal is still for the Flying Pig to be my first marathon, just 2008.

On a much more excited note:
T is in training!

Of her own accord she decided to sign up for the 5K of the 5/3 River Bank Run here in Grand Rapids on May 12. There will be pictures.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring Break 2006

We came up with the idea to spend 2-3 days in Chicago over spring break once I knew for sure that I wouldn’t have to work that week. I mean, what better way to spend the middle of the week than going to Chicago? I’ve been before, but this was going to be T’s first trip there so we had to do some touristy things.

The trip started with our train ride from Holland, MI to Chicago – even though I’ve been to Chicago, all of my previous trips there were either in a car or on a charter bus full of drunken college kids (ah, those were the times!) so to save a bit on gas/parking/and having to navigate the streets of downtown Chicago we decided to let Amtrak do the driving for us! We did, however encounter some “mechanical issues” (something with the automatic switches at crossings) so we ended up arriving in Chicago about 2 hours late. To say the Mrs. Patience didn’t do to well at the end when we were at a standstill about 30 minutes outside of the city would be an understatement. That and she was suffering from a wicked head cold and was not feeling 100% as we left. The one bright spot of the train ride was the excellent coffee they had available – Green Mountain – if only we could buy it in Grand Rapids!

We arrived in Chicago and made it to the hotel – Millenium Knickerbocker right off the Magnificent Mile – to check in and figure out what to do with ourselves. We headed over to the Water Tower Place for a quick bite to eat and we were off for a little shopping on the Mile. Didn’t buy anything of real substance – but we were both amazed at the number of women wearing fur! Guess it’s a downtown Chicago thing.

For dinner we decided to head over to Rush St and see what we could find – both of us were in the mood for Italian and we happened upon this small restaurant that turned out to be quite possibly the best Italian dinner I’ve ever had! Papa Milano (951 N State St, Chicago IL 60610) evidently is a local landmark…small, nice atmosphere, and the food was unbelievable! I had the lasagna and T had the chicken marsala (she made some comment about wanting to swim in the sauce and I came close to licking my plate the red sauce was so good), and desert was on the house! Highly recommend at stop there the next time anyone is in Chicago.

This was our big “tourist” day as we went to the Museum of Science & Industry to see the Bodyworlds 2 exhibit. Since there was no photography allowed in the exhibit we don’t have any pics to share (unless I scan the postcards we bought) but you can appreciate it visually by poking around the website.

The exhibit was awesome – all of the hyperbole in the world won’t come close to doing it justice – and educational. We were both in that little kid “wow” mode for the two hours that it took us to make it through the exhibit. Some things that stood out:

The individual body parts that compared normal, healthy tissue to the diseased version, such as the knee arthritis, cirrhotic liver, lung tumors, the joint replacements, there was a comparison of a normal person to an obese person (cross section lengthwise) that was jaw dropping.

The whole body specimens were breathtaking – it was often hard to believe that they were real human bodies and not artificial, that’s how real they look following the preservation process. The ones on display in this exhibit that I/we liked the best: baseball swing, exploded man, ballerina, and the figure skaters.

Bottom line – if you get a chance to see it, it is WELL worth the money (and for all you Oregon people according the website it will be in Portland June 7 – Oct 7, 2007 – GO)

After Bodyworlds we made our way through the rest of the Museum and spent a good bit of time in the U-505 exhibit (a real, restored German U-boat from WWII), even taking the on-board tour.

With this being our last night in Chicago I knew I had to take T to get some authentic Chicago style pizza, so off to Gino’s East (on Superior) we went. Great food, great beer (for me at least T still wasn’t 100%) – Goose Island Honkers Ale, which might be the best ale I’ve had since Mirror Pond– and T signed her name on the wall. Ok, so did I, even put “Miami Evans Scholars” under my name…what can I say I was feeling nostalgic!

Last day in the Windy City…T was quite the trooper. Despite how she was feeling she said she was up for the walk from the hotel to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Spent a couple of hours taking in all of the great works… “Nighthawks”, “American Gothic”, “Paris Street, Rainy Day”, “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte”, and many of the works of Georgia O’Keefe jumped out at us. We had a leisurely walk back to the hotel – with a stop at Chipotle for lunch, even took some with us for later! – and then made our way to Union Station for the train home.

Both of us in front of the Art Institute - ok, I didn't really trust the homeless guy to take one of both of us. He did, however point out to T the sign showing the start of Route 66:

Over all, great time - most of that may have been the company, because even though the cold had almost beaten her into submission, there is no one else I'd rather hang out with than T, in Chicago, Grand Rapids, or anywhere else!!

Now just need to try and enjoy the last days of spring break while trying to accomplish things around the house, and getting my pig training back on track.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Return from Vacation!

Back from the windy city...had an excellent time. The full trip report will take a few days, but I promise to have it up by Sunday.

Just back in from a run...a pain-free run! Didn't feel the leg at all over the 5 miles. I'm still really, really, really, really far behind in my training but today was a good day. Need to remember my running mantra "Just follow the schedule for today." It's from a friend on Cool Runnings (see the link to the right and find the 30's thread in the newbie discussion thread).
Stats on today's run:
5.10 miles 55:44 10:56 pace 159 avg HR

Not great, but not horrible considering the amount of down-time I've had!

Also, keep fingers crossed as I have officially applied for a new job - hope to know something in the next month or so...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

62 Days?

According to there are 62 days, 12 hours, 19 mins, and some seconds left until the marathon as I write this...ok, that actually scares me!

I'm so far off the reservation as far as training is concerned, due to lack of motivation, injury, illness, and crappy weather that I've really got my work cut out for me. With that said...

I just got back from quite possibly the best run (and shortest - 2.5 miles) I've had since sometime in early January. The leg felt awesome - even on the areas of the streets that weren't clear of snow. The limiting factor was the hacking cough that nearly doubled me over twice...the cough, the latest in the hurdles that have been thrown in front of me!

I'm blaming Bob's Sports Bar and my boss for this week ago Friday he wanted to have a "staff meeting" and get a few beers after work. Not being one to turn down beers I went. Much to my dismay I haven't spent much time in bars lately and wasn't quite prepared to be one of the 4-5 people out of 30-35 in the place that wasn't smoking. To say I "smoked" about a carton of cigarettes would be an understatement! I smelled so bad when I got home that I stripped down, took a shower, and had T carry my clothes to the basement! Since then my throat has been scratchy/irritated and I've been coughing...not to say I may not have had a cold, but I'm blaming the smoke filled bar! Yet another reason to miss Oregon.

So I'm trying my best to get back on the training wagon - and the events of the last few days; the massage, increasing my stretching/rehab, and today's run give me hope that I'll actually be able to get in some quality runs over the next few days.

Speaking of the next few days - T and I are headed to Chicago on Tuesday for a mid-week, three day weekend. She's never been. We're staying downtown - and in case any Evans Alumni are reading, yes, we're staying at the Knickerbocker (rates were actually pretty reasonable for a downtown hotel). Bodyworlds is in town and since we're both nerds, we're pretty excited about that!

There probably won't be another post until we get back - and the trip will be photo documented thoroughly.