Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The tattoo on my leg is almost finished. Just small details to fill in two weeks from now.

After it heals a bit and the colors look like they are supposed to, sometime this weekend, I will post a picture.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Review, What's Ahead

Last week completed all scheduled runs on my training schedule. Only caveat is that Saturday's run instead of being 5 miles was only 3.6 miles because T and I ran on the trails in a local park that pretty much wore us out.

Week Ahead:
Monday 4 miles easy
Tuesday OFF
Wednesday 4 miles easy
Thursday 8 miles (one hour easy + 3x5 min tempo + 15 min easy) *may switch Wed/Thurs since I finish my tattoo on Wed
Friday OFF
Saturday 5 miles (most likely with T)
Sunday 15 miles (2 miles E + 2x5 min tempo + 10 min easy + 2x5 mint tempo + 2 miles easy - good thing I can program that into my garmin)

I'm still feeling pretty good about how my training is going this time around, just hope things continue to go well.

Typical Sunday

Alarm goes off at 7 a.m.

Out the door at 7:57 a.m. for your 14 mile long run - which by the way felt incredible. Great morning for a run, temp was still in the 40s when I started. Never seemed to struggle like I have in the past trying to go that type of distance.

This afternoon: grading, visiting Open Houses - yep, we're starting that process and it has me scared shitless.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Good Stuff...Good Stuff

Tonight’s run might have been the best run I’ve had in months. Felt completely effortless. At one point I looked down at my garmin and saw I was running at a 9:55/mile pace. Did a double take because that number surprised me so much! Last week I was struggling to maintain 10:30/minle pace. Heart rate was right where it is supposed to be. Effortless, that’s the only way I can describe it.

It wasn’t only great in that aspect but whether it was the time of day, or I had a better day at work, or what, but it was just one of those runs that felt good mentally.

A few weeks back we did a CD exchange amongst the 30s on Kickrunners. One of the group took it upon herself to organize a blind exchange. I spent quite a bit of time working on the CD I sent, and received a very positive response from the person I sent it to. I listened to it tonight as a playlist on my iPod. The songs have specific meaning to me and as I was listening to them random good thoughts kept popping in/out of my mind such as:

I’m glad Beaker enjoyed the CD.
I wonder what song she liked the most.
I wonder what song she didn’t like.
This song reminds me of T and our wedding - matron of honor quoted the lyrics in her toast.
Ooooh, this song brings back junior year of college.
Listened to this CD on the way to New Orleans in grad school.
Is that a dead animal on the sidewalk? Yes it is, and not freshly dead.
I see a white mailbox and it reminds me of something McTortle posted.
Little kids playing in the yard – remember what that was like.
Beautiful sunset.

The five miles went by in a blink. I almost went an extra mile just because it felt that good to be out there doing tonight. Tonight was one of those runs that reminds me why I do this…I’m sure that will be beaten out of me tomorrow with the tempo workout.

Monday, September 17, 2007

You’re not going to start chanting are you?

One of my favorite movies is "Point Break". I saw it in the theater at least 2-3 times when it came out (I was still in high school), watched it countless times in college thanks to one of my fellow Evans Scholars also enjoying the movie as much as I do. I know it’s cheesy as hell, but get a few beers in ya…

There is a scene where Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) the surf-guru-zen-master-bank-robber is discussing surfing with the impressionable young FBI agent Utah (Keanu Reeves) after a fight on the beach that Bodhi intervened on Utah’s behalf. In this scene the two are discussing the group the altercation was with and surfing:

What's their program?

Brains are wired wrong, they're into bad shit.

Like what? Illegal shit?

Maybe, I don't know. That's not what I'm talking about. They only live to get radical. They don't understand the sea, so they'll never get the spiritual side of it.

You're not gonna start chanting or anything, are ya?!

(laughs) I might!

This is me.

So, uh, you still haven't figured out what riding waves is all about, have you? It's a state of mind. It's that place where you lose yourself and find yourself. You don't know it yet, but you've got it.

That’s what running is for me, that place where I lose myself and I find myself.

I’ve tried to break myself of the habit of always taking my iPod with me on runs to give myself some time to think and I’ve actually enjoyed that time to myself. It’s given me time to think of things to post here on this blog, time to mull over problems/issues in my life, and time to just zone out as if my run was a meditative exercise.

Do I expect everyone to feel this way? No. I know that some people will never feel that way about running. To some it will always be a dreaded activity that they must do in order to maintain weight, to some it will always be about beating the person next to them in the race, and to some it will be an activity to be avoided at all costs.

From “Without Limits” one of the movies about the life of Steve Prefontaine, part of a speech Bill Bowerman gives the track team:

Running, one might basically an absurd pastime upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning in the kind of running you have to do to stay on this team chances are you can find meaning in another absurd pastime: Life.

So maybe I’m just trying to find meaning in this absurd pastime…and maybe I’m hoping someone else will as well. It is nice when someone does share the viewpoint I do on this absurd pastime. You know who you are.

And yeah, I just might start chanting.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Week Ahead

Wow, am I glad this past week is gone. Worst week of running I've had in months. All week I just felt unmotivated, tired, and struggled to get myself out the door to get my runs in. Only ran 21 miles last week.

Thing is I think I know what the issues are:
not getting consistent good sleep
not eating properly and hydrating well throughout the day

Go back a month ago when I was cruising through workouts I was taking care of both of those, last week not so much.

So here it is, the upcoming week's training schedule. I'm hoping that by posting it here all three of you who read this will help keep me honest if you don't see that days run shown over in the right hand column.

Monday - 5 miles easy
Tuesday - off
Wednesday - 5 miles easy
Thursday - 9 miles quality workout: 2x(10 min easy + 15 min tempo pace)+ 2 miles easy
Friday - off
Saturday - 5 miles easy, most likely with T
Sunday - 2.5 hour long run which will be about 14 miles or so

I'm starting the last six weeks of my training plan, the amount of miles per week is decreasing and I'm cutting some of the workouts down to keep myself in line with the amount of miles I'm supposed to be running (note: I'm using a marathon schedule so I'm decreasing the quality workouts in this last six week phase).

Now I just need to eat better and actually drink some water throughout the day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Can You Tell Me How To Get...

T had this on her blog...did the "test" about 3 weeks ago or so and I'm just now getting around to posting it. It lets you know what Sesame Street character you are:

You scored 89% Organization, 53% abstract, and 76% extroverted!

This test measured 3 variables.

First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.

Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.

You are very organized, both concrete and abstract, and more extroverted.

Here is why are you Big Bird.

You are both very organized. You almost always know where your belongings are and you prefer things neat. You may even enjoy cleaning and find it therapeutic. Big Bird is never sloppy and always under control... pretty good for a 6 year old bird living without a family.

You both are sometimes concrete and sometimes abstract thinkers. Big Bird can be quite dreamy at times and has no problem using his imagination. At the same time he is also practical and can be methodical in his search for answers to questions. You have a good balance in your life. You know when to be logical at times, but you also aren't afraid to explore your dreams and desires... within limits of course.

You are both extroverts. Big Bird gets along with everyone. He makes friends easily and always has a positive attitude. You definitely enjoy the company of others, and you don't have problems meeting new people... in fact you probably look forward to it. You are willing to take charge when necessary or work as part of a team.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Interesting Question...

T and I were walking out of Costco today on our normal Sunday grocery run when I noticed a disply for cabinets, carpet, tires, and caskets. Yes, you read that right, caskets.

My only question is this: do you have to buy caskets in packs of 4 or 5 like everything else in the store?

Saturday, September 08, 2007


They come in all shapes and sizes. They happen at work and in our personal life. They can be something as simple as being told "nice dinner" after fixing a meal for a loved one, or as major as a promotion at work (and the accompanying raise).

I think the ones that matter most are the accomplishments that are personal in nature - dropping that clothing size, starting an exercise program, finishing that race you signed up for, completing that project around the house.

I've had some in my life recently...some were mine, some were T's, some were friends'.

Just wanted to say a hearty "Well Done" to all of them.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Mug Club

No, it's not some sort of Harry Potter fan club.

T and I spent Saturday doing some shopping in Holland, MI. Some time at the outlet mall and then in downtown Holland before setting up shop at the New Holland Brewing Company.

Enjoyed a nice IPA, one of the ones that is brewed on-site and in small batches. Very tasty.

New Holland has a Mug Club. $40 per person to join, one year membership. Get some great discounts on beer, some great discounts on growlers, discounted admission to some of their events, and they have events that are for the Mug Club members only. We inquired about joining. Bartender tells us there is a waiting list of 34 people and memberships expire at the end of the month and if they aren't renewed then the membership is available and that most likely we're looking at a 3-4 month wait and would we want to go ahead and get on the waiting list. We tell him yes...a guy next to us at the bar (Mug Club member himself) says, "you can always say no later!"

Bartender disappears...comes back about 1 minute later and tells us that if we want to join/pay today there are availalbe slots. Hell Yeah! Sign us up!

T is member #304
I'm member #310

We get our own personalized mug.

September 2nd

Important date for T and I. September 2, 2000, was our first date. It was a Saturday night, I was in Nashville with a friend to see Miami beat Vanderbilt.

Met T for drinks in downtown Nashville afterwards.

Rest is history.

August Recap

Here are the numbers:

For each week of August (including the two partial weeks) the number of miles I ran -

For the month I ran 148 miles. New record. Old record was July 2007 when I ran 103 miles.

Consistency is paying off.