Monday, June 30, 2008

Bigger version of the photo that is on my profile now. T took this Sunday during our walk along the lakewalk in Duluth.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Coming Clean

I have an announcement to make:

I am a nerd. (Big shock to some of you reading this, I'm sure.)

I collected comic books, and not for any future monetary value, until I graduated high school. I quote Star Wars at the drop of the hat - and you'd be amazed at how philosophical it can be. I watch a lot of educational television.

So why the revelation? Because I'm about to use The Incredible Hulk as a jumping off point for a blog post.

T and I went to see it on Friday. Good movie I thought (much better than The Hulk a few years ago), Ed Norton was good, and believable, and the character development was nice. Character development...that's what I wanted to talk about, and hopefully to do so without spoiling the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

Everyone probably knows the premise of the character Bruce Banner/The Hulk, if from nothing else our generation grew up watching it on CBS on Friday nights. Banner is doing everything he can to rid himself of his alter ego, and this holds true in the current movie.

He's trying to rid himself of his inner demon that is fueled by anger/rage...sounds like quite a few people I know in real life, including me.

Due to circumstances that happen during the film, Banner undergoes a fundamental change in his philosophy of how to deal with the creature by the end of the movie...instead of trying to rid himself of that part of him he attempts to control it.

We all have aspects of our personality that we aren't necessarily proud of (I know I do) and maybe instead of trying to bury them or ignore them in hopes they won't ever surface we should confront them and try to control them. Acknowledge they exist, that we all aren't perfect, and then work on controlling those parts that tend to get us in trouble.

So yeah...I'm a nerd.

Oh, and I did something for the first time in 7+ years this weekend. Needed a clean start, a do-over, if you will after dealing with some things in the last month or I shaved. Clean. Goatee is gone (it's coming quick as it will grow). No, I'm not posting a picture, so don't ask.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Incredible Really

Christmas 2006 I gave T a Nike Imara watch. She really liked it.

June 2007 the band on it broke - and like all Nike watches if that happens it needs to be repaired by Nike. Find the service center to mail it to, send the receipt showing we'd had it less than six months, etc, and then put it in the mail.

June 23, 2008 we arrive back from Duluth, MN. There is a box waiting for us between the doors. I open it...much to my surprise it's T's watch.

On the invoice showing it was a warranty issue it says:
Turnaround Time: 366 days.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Grandma's Marathon 2008 - Report From a First-timer

Just want to start out by saying a blanket "Thank You" to everyone who PMed, emailed, texted, posted good luck wishes in the days leading up to Saturday. It meant a lot to me before I got the starting line and it really made a difference around mile 22.

Words of Caution:
1) Try not to travel around the country in the 10 days preceding your first marathon. Being in Seattle and St. Louis right before may not have been the best move on my part.

2) No matter if you charged it the night before, check your garmin before you leave the hotel room (especially if you're leaving the key there) to make sure it some how didn't get turned on during the night and drained the battery.

Had an interesting time getting to the airport in St. Louis - still pissed at the shuttle company that despite two phone calls as we were waiting still didn't show up. $35 cab ride.

BigGahoona was waiting for us at the airport and we made it to Pizza Luce for lunch with PacerChris, Brandy, Runnin-from-the-law (and her two kids), JenRuns (and MrJenRuns), and baggio16.

Quick stop by the expo, light dinner and we were asleep early (somehow I managed to screw up the alarm clock - it went off as scheduled but it the time got set an hour ahead, so we were all up an hour early rookie mistake)

Race Day:
Waiting on the shuttle I realize that some how my garmin batter is low. I left the key in the room since I wasn't checking a bag (Tonya had all of our stuff since she would be waiting for me at the finish) so I was screwed. I hoped it would have enough to at least make it part of the day with the gps turned off.

Make it to the start, meet up with Pacer and Baggs. The look of panic on Baggs' face when I tell him about my garmin was priceless...think he said something like "that would freak me out". Flick a little grief towards Pacer's guy Linus who is shivering under a blanket (he was pacing the 4:00 group so he would at least be easy to find before the start) and then make my way to the line.

Cool flyover by the F-16s.

Turn on my garmin, turn off the gps and keep my fingers crossed. Damn thing is dead before the race even starts. Within 30 seconds of crossing the line Linus and the 4:00 group are gone. No idea how fast I was going, but as we crossed the first mile marker someone said "wow, that's a fast first mile for the 4:00 group - 8:37". I tried to run easy but easier said then done when I had no feedback as to how fast I was going. I did manage to notice that as I crossed the mat I was about 3:00 behind the actual start.

First clock is at 5 miles. I looked at the pace band and was about 3 minutes ahead of the goal pace. Time to slow down a bit. Except I slowed down too much.

Crossed the half in 2:03. Not to bad Felt okay...for another 3-4 miles or so.

About then is when it really got hot/humid. I didn't drink ultima (more on that later) soon enough and could feel myself starting to slow down.

Walked about .3 or so of mile 17.

Made our way back towards town. About mile 20 or so is when Cranegirl joined me running (she stayed on the sidewalk) and holy shite was that a pick-me-up. Saw Sage right before I started up Lemon Drop Hill.

Made it up Lemon Drop Hill, but my quads were cramping. Had to stop and stretch a few times. Walked a bit. Made it to mile 25 and it took every ounce of will I had left in me, but there was no f*cking way I was walking from that point in. Ran every single step of the way that last 1.2 miles.

Crossed the line - had no idea that all of the 30s were screaming for me from the bleachers as I crossed the line, that's how focused I was to just make it across the line.

I learned a lot about myself Saturday...still processing some of it.

Was my goal too ambitious? Maybe, but I'd decided Saturday morning that I was going to hang with the 4:00 group as long as I could, but realized that 4:15 was probably where I should have been.

Was I prepared? Yeah, but I still neglected some things: I'm never going into a race like this with an unknown...this one was ultima...that stuff sucks. I'll take my own Gatorade with me next time (think this is a big reason why I started cramping)

I'm going to make sure I have some way of timing myself.

All in all I couldn't be happier about Saturday...I'm not making excuses, but with everything that day held I did the best I could do.

Thanks to all of the 30s, whether you ran or not Saturday, for being there (on the course or in spirit) for me.

On to Chicago.

Saturday, June 21, 2008



Not what I hoped for, but with everything that was today I'll take it. More later.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Moment Has Arrived

Less than 24 hours to go...

Interesting trip getting here today - just a little pissed at the shuttle company in St. Louis - but everything is ready to go for tomorrow.

Hopefully I'll have a chance to post how I did at some point tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Off to St. Louis today.

Get to see some friends (some who we haven't seen since our wedding) and hopefully learn a few things...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Not Much Time

Trip to Seattle - check.

Had a great time, and honestly it is probably a good thing that T and I were only able to be there for four days. Being back in that region of the country just pulled on my soul (or what's left of it) and made me want to move back. On Saturday T and I were dispatched to get beer for her Mom's party. On the 15 minute drive to the store we were both caught up in how much we'd been able to put out of our minds while living in Michigan: drive thru coffee/espresso, great diversity in restaurants, mountains, etc, etc.

We started talking about it, and truthfully we are where we are for at least the next 4-5 years minimum. But that didn't stop us from agreeing that when a change of location happens we want that location to be westward.

Now I need to get my ass in gear and get ready for the trip to St. Louis.

Four days and counting.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008



Strength - moral power, firmness, or courage
Courage - the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear*; bravery

*to me, maybe it should read despite fear

I think we all strive for in life and all that it holds for us, especially those times that make us scratch our heads and say "Why the fuck is this happening to me..."

I've always been hesistant to go into details about other people on here, but I even if she never reads this I owe her enough to put this out there.

I've always had a wonderful example of those two definitions in my life and as she battles a horrible disease for the second time I need to let everyone know that she personifies strength and courage to me.

In May 2004 the Livestrong Foundation's "Livestrong" bracelet made it's debut. I bought one and put it on the week they came out (nice thing about having a Nike store in Eugene) in honor of her battle with cancer. I still have it on today.

I've run a Race For The Cure with a sign on my back in her honor.

I've donated to a friend who completed the Three Day Walk.

I've donated to a friend raising money for Team in Training.

Here lately as life has thrown me a few curveballs I've been thinking about her struggle more and more and I just want to say thank you Mom, for inspiring me. You will be with me every step of the way on June 21.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

To answers Nettie's question in her comment to my last post...hell yeah I'm nervous!

Especially considering the upcoming 11 days:
Thursday T and I leave for Seattle.
Friday we get to have dinner with two friends from Kickrunners - looking forward to meeting Dave and seeing Maureen again.
Saturday we help T's Mom celebrate her new Master's degree.
Sunday we fly home.
- yeah, that's right...a weekend in Seattle.
Monday we reorganize/repack.
Tuesday I leave for St. Louis to attend the NATA's Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium (that's a continuing education event and a chance to see some friends that we haven't seen in awhile)
Wednesday T joins me (she has to give a final on Tuesday) in St. Louis.
Thursday is more of St. Louis and edumacating ourselves.
Friday we fly to Duluth.
Saturday I run the race (and T runs her 2nd HM!!!!)

So if you add it up - out of the next 11 days I will sleep in my own bed exactly four nights. Lucky me.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Last summer a friend gave me an idea to help keep myself (and T) motivated to run. T and I started an exercise reward program. We each have our own criteria (number of runs per month, or number of speed workouts, etc) as to what we need to do for the reward, and usually we pick our own reward. Been doing this almost a full year...and it's a nice feeling to go to the store and by that month's reward knowing that you've earned it.

For May, T turned the tables on me a bit. She knew I had a big month of running planned as it was the last 6-7 weeks before the marathon so she decided to give me a bigger carrot to encourage me. With my run Saturday I met the criteria to get these:

Thanks for the encouragement love.