Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Path...

This post was first put to paper back in the first days of July when T and I were in Taiwan. Had plenty of time to think…almost 27 hours total on an airplane and 5 days in a foreign city can provide ample time for things to come and go in your mind.

The idea for this artwork just hit me out of the blue before we left on our trip. T and I were watching something on PBS, a program about Sting and lute music – don’t ask. The musician performing with him had a lute that had a labyrinth on it…it stuck with me. The idea of a labyrinth resonated with me as a statement on our journey through life…so I googled it. Came up with some images. Decided on one as a tattoo. My statement. But we were leaving for Taiwan in less than 4-5 days. T wouldn’t let me get it done before we left. So we traveled to Taiwan…

My posts “Standards” and “Friends” were frequently bouncing in/out of my thoughts then and “Friends Part 2” I actually sat down and wrote while we were there as a result. I’ve rewritten/revised the following many times. I hope it makes sense:

We travel through life as if we are on a path. We can’t really see where it is leading and we can only really look back where we’ve been.

We can choose some of the companions with us on our path.

Some companions choose us.

Friends may be on a similar path for awhile…our paths may converge or they may eventually diverge and leave us to our path.

Paths of friends and family may overlap, but no two paths are the same.

I am fortunate to share my path with a wonderful person. I’ve been fortunate to be guided along my path by wise people when choices of direction were required. Without their guidance who knows where I’d be. I hope to repay their kindness by guiding others when needed on their path.

From my path I can see certain friends…some friends have drifted further and further away with each passing year. And with each passing year new friends’ paths seem to draw nearer to mine.

So to honor my path, I’ve placed a symbol of it on me…a symbol that resonates with me. Not a map. Who has a map for their life’s journey? No, not a map…but a representation of the twists, turns, dead ends, and the open reward. My path.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

What a Difference a Year Makes

Things are going pretty well all things considered. First week of classes under my belt, fall sports in full swing, and my training for the Grand Rapids Half Marathon is going better than I could ever expect.

This time last year I was getting used to a new state, new job, and trying to train for my first half marathon. Looking back at the amount, and quality, of miles I put in leading up to the event I probably was overreaching a bit in even attempting that distance. Probably lucky I didn't injure myself.

May - 75 miles
June - 57 miles
July - 14 miles (ok, so there was the move across the country which should be factored in but still)
August - 45 miles

Not exactly the best mileage base.

Segue to this year. Since the Flying Pig in May I've been doing soooo much better. Starting in May I've really been consistent.

May - 100 miles
June - 97 miles
July - 103 miles
August - 121 miles (with 5 days left in the month and 27 miles on my schedule for those 5 days)

In all of 2006 I ran 679 miles. In 2007, through today 8/26 I've run 697 miles.

Four out of the last seven weeks I've been over 30 miles per week. Those other three I ran 24, 27, and 18. I've been running at faster paces with an easier effort (not only my perception but at a lower heart rate - gotta love gadgets).

Today I completed a workout that last year might have killed me: 2 miles of warm up then 100 minutes at marathon pace - between 9:45 and 10:00 min/mile. I ran 10.7 miles in 100 minutes and my average heart rate for that time was 159 beats per minute. Not too shabby.

Consistency has paid off. Now I just need to keep it up for the next 9 weeks.

Feeling much better, more confident about October 28th.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Back to the Grindstone

Classes start today. Which means in addition to all the stuff that has been going on the last two weeks, all hell will break loose. All the winter and spring sports will want to start "workouts" this week, which means we have to scramble and get some of the administrative things done so that can happen (paperwork, newbie physicals, etc), plus our soccer field is undergoing a major renovation: installing turf and due to some snafus it has been delayed being completed. So we add another degree of difficulty to things by the soccer teams practicing off-site and playing their first home game Wednesday somewhere else in town. Yeah.

Managed to get up and get my run in this morning...not too bad except for the monsoon that is currently parked over us. Got some great looks from people today.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The End...

Of preseason practices that is!

Classes start tomorrow. I've agreed to teach three classes this fall - two of them in the athletic training education program, and one class titled "Exercise, Nutrition, and Stress". Probably best described as your basic wellness class for college kids.

I'm sort of torn though. Yes, it means extra $$, but it's also the extra time prepping, etc. Not much I can do now though. I'm locked in. Yeah, the fall will be busy but not even close the level of hectic that is the spring. That's probably my one iron-clad rule - I'm not willing to teach classes in the spring because of baseball, etc, and the constant state of flux schedules are in because of the weather.

Since I've been seriously slacking on the blog...In other news:
T and I have made a the next few months we're starting the process to look for a permanent residence here in Michigan. Yes, that means what you think it means. We're looking to buy a house, and not anywhere near where we live now. Looking to move closer to, or in, Grand Rapids proper. No, neither one of as any clue how to go about doing this. Should be fun.

T's mom came for visit...had a great time. Her and T spent some quality time together. All three of us had a great brunch on Sunday (before I had to go to work - LOVE my job) and we spent one day in Kalamazoo walking around and had lunch/beers (ok T and I had beers, her mom had wine) at the Bell's Brewery.

**aside on Bell's: slowly starting to miss Oregon a little less as time goes on, and the fact that I've found one of the ales Bell's makes that rivals Mirror Pond by Deschutes doesn't hurt. Even though Kalamazoo is 45 mins or so south of GR, pretty much can count on T and I spending some time there. Especially if people come to visit - hint. hint.

Completely ontrack for my half marathon in October. Mileage is up, effort level is easier, running is good. It's given me a chance to work through some and personal. If things continue like they have I'm looking forward to a great day on 10/28.

Tattoo...not trying to sound pissy here, but when you leave a comment leave your name. Yes, I can with hold the design until I'm ready. It's my body and artwork that I'm adding to my body. The process starts on Aug 29, at 6 p.m. There is a good chance that a pic of what is done that night will be posted shortly after.

All I can think of now...need to figure out if the rain is going to let up enough for me to get my long run in today or if I need to readjust my schedule (and no it's not an Oregon/PNW is coming down out there!)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

August Already?

Wow, the summer sort of just up and vanished! Seems just like yesterday I was complaining what to do with all my free time this summer, and as of yesterday it was back to work. Yep. Classes start August 20th, and fall sports get cranking this weekend. Ahhhhh, love those early mornings and long days of preseason!

This year though just looking at the schedule it seems a bit easier – only one week of men’s soccer (not denigrating the women’s program, they just aren’t my day-to-day responsibility) before school starts and the volleyball team is only practice two times a day and will be done by 3:30 p.m.!

Where it gets interesting is that I’ve taken on two classes to teach this fall – so I have just over two weeks to get at leas the first week of those classes planned/prepped. Plus I have to shoe horn my running plans into all of this craziness.

In regards to the running plan – I’ve got T keeping me honest this year, and I’m suspecting she may be a bit of a drill sergeant and stay on my ass about getting my runs in, so I’m going to have to be diligent.

Oh, and I’ve figured out something to add to my existing tattoo, and I’m just waiting to hear back from the artist before I start on my second. Yes, they are addictive.

As previously noted on this blog the last week of June and the first week of July were a bit busy, you might say. So I’m only one month behind updating how my running is going for 2007 compared to 2006. Without further delay here it is:

# of Runs 2006 # of Runs 2007 Miles 2006 Miles 2007
April 15 15 76 62
May 17 22 75 100
June 12 21 57 97
Total 44 58 208 259

I am running the Grand Rapids Half Marathon (again) this October so I’m way ahead of where I was last year at this time, even factoring in the Anaheim (ran twice) and Taiwan (ran twice) trips. To further add to difficulty to my training I came down with a cold – two Julys in a row! – it limited what I was able to do for a few days, I just didn’t feel like running. I ran my highest amount of miles in July (103) and I’m now back on pace to make my mileage goal for 2007: 1000 miles.

All in all I think I’m doing ok. The miles I’ve run this year, equal about ½ of all the miles I ran in 2004, 2005, and 2006 put together.