Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What's Old Is New Again

At the beginning of this decade I was someone who utilized a Franklin (now Franklin Covey) planner to stay organized. I was working outside of Nashville, TN, and trying to keep all the responsibilities that went into my job; including but not limited to football, men's basketball, men's/women's tennis, supervising graduate assistants, and teaching class, so I used the planner.

Then technology took over. I've gone from a PDA, to a smartphone, to an iPhone now. Love it. I was able to shed the bulky paper planner and streamline everything into one place. Or two if you count the iMac at home.

But after much contemplation too many things were still falling through the cracks - I've felt I was behind the eight ball for most of 2009 and always felt like I was playing catch up - I'm going back to organizing at least work stuff (still a large number of sports and teaching responsibilities) with a new, thinner, less bulky version of the Franklin planner. I'll let you know how it pans out...

But, the to me the thing that hits home the most? It's a decade later and I still haven't managed to get organized.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Damn you snow!!!!

Yeah, I'm shaking my fist at the snow/ice on the ground like an old crazy man. It's done it to me again this year. Ever since my run outside last Thursday my right ankle has been sore and after my run on the TM yesterday it was even more swollen and pissed off so I have officially put myself on the three day disabled list. Which means I'm done running for 2009. I'm actually going to follow the advice/treatment regimen I would give one of my athletes suffering from the same condition. So there ya have it. Great way to end 2009. At least I hit my mileage goal before I had to pull the plug.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

That's A Wrap

Second week of my spring race training schedule in the books. I didn't do as well this week as I did the first, but then I was derailed a bit by the winter storm that hit the 24th into the 25th. Even I'm not crazy enough to run when there is between .1-.2" of ice on the ground, plus it's been snowing constantly since about 7 pm yesterday so the majority of my miles were inside.

Still managed to hit 27 miles for the week, and more importantly I hit my goal mileage for 2009 this week. So I've got that going for me.

One week left in 2009, here's hoping it will be a good one!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What Makes A Runner?

That's a question I've mulled and pondered for a while now, and a question that T and I have debated on many a run together and finally I think I've come up with a answer that I'm comfortable with...well, maybe I'm taking too much credit. Follow the link below and then come back:

I think that essay says it succinctly and elegantly.

Being a runner isn't about how many miles you run, PRs, or if you've run a marathon or not (or how long it took you). It's not about how many days a week you run, or how many days in a row - you just have to run, and I'm not criticizing the people those things are important to because being a runner is about making running a healthy part of your life. Yeah, we all have goals: some want to BQ, some want to break 20:00 for a 5k, some want to run a sub 4 hour marathon, some want to run ultras, and some just want to escape into their head on their daily 6 miler and may never sign up for a race. All of those are runners because running is part of who they are.

So you can argue jogger vs runner, real runner vs someone who Gallowalks, but I'm not going to participate in those anymore. I've found my answer: if you've made running a part of you then you're one of us. Welcome to the club and the more the merrier.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spring 2010 Goal Race

After much contemplation and double and triple checking spring sports schedules a spring goal race has been determined:

The Bayshore Half Marathon in Traverse City, MI.

This will kill multiple birds with one stone: spring goal race for both T, me, and it will give us the excuse to spend the weekend and explore northern Michigan (something we have yet to do in 3+ years of living here).

Race day is Saturday, May 29, which means there are 24 weeks to train starting yesterday. Let the fun begin!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Hometown Fan

I'm a big fan of the city of Cincinnati. Well, not a big enough fan of it to live there but that's another blog post in and of itself, but it's where I grew up. I've been a Bengals fan ever since the summer that I worked training camp (1992 for those keeping track of how old I am), cheer on the Reds, love Skyline Chili, etc, etc, etc.

But that's where it stops. I am not a fan of the University of Cincinnati, or Xavier University (okay, I can tolerate Xavier doing well) for one reason and one reason only...and here it is for all those people who look at me with that incredulous look when I tell 'em I'm not a fan:

I went to Miami. Miami and sUCks participate in the oldest football rivalry west of the Allegheny mountains and play every year for the Victory Bell. No, Miami hasn't done well in the rivalry recently but we hold the edge 59-48-7 in the series. In my four years on campus we were 2-1-1 in the rivalry and I got to see the bell up close in the football locker room.

I'm a Redskin (not a RedHawk). I would no more cheer on sUCks than I would cheer on that school from Tuscaloosa - War Eagle!!! - or a Red Sox fan would like to see the Yankees do well in a year when the Sox had pitching issues so stop asking if I'm happy that sUCks is in the BCS. As much as it pains me to say this...I hope Florida wins the game.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Another Recommended Read

An Honorable Run by Matt McCue

If you've read Lear's Running With the Buffaloes you need to read this book.

If you've ever had someone take an interest in you're well being and growth as a person, you need to read this book.

You don't have to be a runner, or an athlete at all, to appreciate this book.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Three Is A Magic Number

I can vividly remember spending Saturday mornings watching cartoons, especially the cartoons on ABC because they had The Superfriends (the others escape me in my old age). I can also remember in between programs they would show School House Rock.

You know, "I'm Just A Bill", "Conjunction Junction", "Unpack Your Adjectives", and one of my personal favorites, "Three Is A Magic Number" [an aside: if you're a fan of these then I highly suggest buying this album if for no other reason than the version of Conjunction Junction by Better Than Ezra and Blind Melon's Three Is A Magic Number]

So why the title and all this talk about educational cartoons from 30 years ago? Well, because three is a magic number. It takes three weeks to form a new habit, or to bring back a habit that you've been missing like an old friend from college you haven't spoken to in months (or maybe years). Three weeks to run consistently so that you can see improvements in fitness. THREE weeks of not missing a single run.

That's right, you read that right: for the last THREE weeks I've completed every training run on my schedule. I had to get up early some days to do it. I had to run on the treadmill some days after coming home from work to do it. I had really long days because of a crazy work schedule combined with my running, but I did it. For THREE weeks in a row.

For the last three weeks I've been kind to running, and now running is starting to be kind to me again. Welcome back old friend.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Two Good Weeks

The last two weeks, well actually the entire month of November, have been pretty damn good.

I finally sat down and planned out a training cycle for the upcoming months and some potential spring races (one definite, other options - more on those later). However, planning is the easy part. Executing the plan is where things tend to go askew.

Not this time though. I've completed every scheduled run and completed it within the parameters/goal for each run. Two weeks down, one to go, because it takes 21 days to make a new habit and I'm almost back into my one-run-a-day habit.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Band From San Francisco

Finally got my chance to see Metallica last night. I've been a fan, oh, since I was about 15 (and still have all of their early stuff on cassette) but this was the first time I've actually been able to see 'em live.

Was. Not. Disappointed.

Here is the setlist:

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Marking the Occassion

A friend in Eugene, OR, did this back in July when our friend Joe passed away. Today would have been his 38th birthday.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


If North Carolina, where tobacco was king, can pass an indoor smoking ban (including bars and restaurants) then any state can do the same.

Uh, Michigan?

Why, you ask, am I blogging about this?

Well, Friday night I went out to a small (about as big as our living room), quaint neighborhood bar to help a friend celebrate their birthday. To say it was smoke filled would be an understatement of epic proportions. It was so bad that when I got home I took my clothes to the basement and T requested that I shower.

Woke up Saturday morning with a cough. A cough that is lingering and now I'm feeling less than 100% - no, it's not the flu, or even a cold really, just a cough.

Fucking smokers.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Week #3 Update

Did so-so this last week. Logged 58% of my miles (didn't run Saturday or Sunday - work and not feeling 100%) so that's a big thumbs down, however I did a much better job of doing my core/general strength stuff so I'll give myself a thumbs up on that part.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend and the end of Daylight Savings, finally. It's not the easiest thing to get my runs in the morning when it's not safe enough (read light enough) to run until well past 8:00. I know, I know, I could get a reflective vest, and I have a headlamp, but still too much traffic (in my opinion) to risk it and I'm not ready to log that many of my miles on the TM just yet.

Just need to beat back this "off" feeling and I'll be okay. I mean I'm only 4.3 miles off pace to reach my year mileage goal.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And the Grand Total Is


Read 11 books this summer. Not bad, but that really wouldn't have put me a top the leader board at the public library when I was a kid.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The End of Summer Reading

I know it's October and summer has officially been over for a bit, but I'm just now getting to this post to wrap up the books I finished this summer.

Columbine - Dave Cullen

The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown

and I'm currently about 1/2-way through the new Jon Krakauer book on Pat Tillman and I'm slowly but surely making progress through Turning the Mind Into an Ally by Sakyon Mipham.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Much Better

I completed 108% of my scheduled mileage this week.

Plan called for 28 miles and I ran an extra 2 miles so that I would hit 30 miles for the week (I may have mentioned it earlier on here and I'm too lazy to look through the archives, so I'll risk repeating myself in a future post but at least for me nice things happen when I'm consistently over 30 miles/week).

So week #2 of my base building phase went much better than the first.

Detailed race report from yesterday coming later.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Results Are In

2:10:02 for today's race. That works out to a 9:56 pace.

I am very pleased.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Twas The Night Before....

A 13.1 mile "race".

I put the " " around the word race simply because I am drastically under prepared for the Grand Rapids Half Marathon tomorrow.

I ran an easy 6 miles this morning. I checked my log: today's run was the longest I've run since Sept. 6. That day I only did 9.8 miles. For my last run in double digits I have to go back to Aug 23. If you look at a calendar, that's 8 weeks ago.

Can I run 13.1 miles tomorrow? Yes.

Can I race 13.1 miles tomorrow? Probably.

Can I have a time that is comparable to my best efforts in a half marathon? Most likely not.

So what is my goal for tomorrow?

I would like to finish with a time under 2:15:00. Why? Because besides the aborted Glass City Marathon in April (a DNF at the halfway point with a time of 2:22:18) my first attempt at a half marathon here in 2006 was 2:15:06 (a 10:19 pace). I think I can do better than that tomorrow and I'll find out in about 12-13 hours from now.

Monday, October 12, 2009


53%. That's a failing grade on 100% of all grading scales (or if it isn't, dear god how hard is the class that there's that big of a curve?!).

53%. That's the how much of my plan I completed last week - no excuses here, things got in the way but I didn't do a good job of prioritizing my runs.

Schedule called for 28 miles and I ran 14.9. Must do better this week.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A Plan Is In Place

So, while I was watching the Bengals try and lose to the Browns today (thank god they finally made a field goal as the overtime was ending :rolleyes:) I mapped out the weeks until I need to be on an official training plan for a spring race - I have a couple of options I'm exploring and not sure which one will win out, hell maybe I'll run both who knows! - and created a base building schedule (or a return to regular running for KP schedule) for the next 11 weeks. Incorporated some principles from Dr. Daniels and Hudson:

Even put together a core/general strength plan, but only planned that out for the next 3 weeks (21 day training cycle, will write out the progression for the next 3 week cycle when I see how well I complete this one)!

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, October 02, 2009


I'm a big fan of the person who is probably the most famous cancer survivor on the planet.

I've supported the foundation he created to mobilize the fight against the disease that recently took a family member and has another loved one fighting as hard as she can.

I've worn yellow every day for the last 5 years.

So, today is for all the people out there suffering from this terrible fucking disease.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Hello? Hello? Is This Thing On?

Just to set the record straight, no I have not fallen off the face of the earth.


Without going into the gory details, I will just say that the last two weeks of September have not been smooth, easy sailing. Everything, including running, was put on the back burner. But, things seem to be settling down a bit and it feels like I'm starting to get a better grip on things now.

It's the start of a new month. And it's hard to believe that there are only three months left in 2009 (but I gotta admit, after this summer/fall I'm really looking forward to 2010)! My goal this month, and beyond, is to blog more, get my running mojo/consistency back, and be firing on all cylinders as 2010 gets here.

I will admit one thing now: the HM in 17 days? Most likely will not be a race effort/shooting for a PR. See the above statement about not running for two weeks and you'll understand. I'm still running, but I've thrown 99% of the goals for that day out and I'm just going for bettering my time the first time I ran GR in 2006: 2:15.

So here is to a good fall, taking control of things, and a good end to 2009.

Friday, September 11, 2009


This editorial.

No matter what your political affiliation and you stance on the health care debate the opinion in the link really ties together two of the major issues facing our country.


Friday, September 04, 2009

Need An Opinion

All runners who read this, I have a question:

If I was looking to start a consecutive days running streak, what would the minimum amount of miles be I would need to run each day for that day to count towards the streak?




Thursday, September 03, 2009

The End Is In Sight...

July 12, 2009

Not feeling my best (thank you summer a state where it is damn near impossible to buy real sudafed) and the most of the gang feeling the effects of the wineries the day before it was a slow morning. A good friend of ours (T and I) drove down from Portland to spend the day with us and to get to spend some time on the Oregon coast. It was the perfect day for a trip to the coast too - cool, cloudy with some rain thrown in! Breakfast was here, then we made our way west.

Destination? The Sea Lion Caves. Not often you get to say you've been to the world's largest sea cave, and get to see whales! That's right, you heard me right...whales. Besides Gail (friend from PDX) it was everyone's first time there...again, you heard me right: T and I drove by there countless times on the way to other things (hikes, camping, wine festivals) on the coast and never stopped!

Then we stopped at a beach so people who needed to reconnect with the ocean could get their fix. It's T's thing. The water, even in July was freakin' cold.

After that we made our way back to Eugene for a lovely dinner here with an influential person from T's academic career at the U of O. Great food, great wine and even better company.

July 13, 2009

Time to say good-bye to Oregon, after a quick stop at Pre's Rock, and head back to Seattle. Well, with one small detour that is...Mt. St. Helen's.

Beautiful, awe-inspiring scenery. Right up to the point where the mountain was socked in by clouds so you really couldn't see it. T and I had been there previously on a gorgeous day but didn't have a camera. This time we're prepared for photographs and what's left of the mountain wouldn't co-operate! Bastards!

Photos (some nice ones of the clouds)

July 14, 2009

Last day. A bit more site seeing, including the Boeing factory in Everett, WA. I'd love to be able to show you some pictures but you'd think that they were protecting secret technology there or something! We did get to see the DreamLifter land though.

One last phenomenal meal - sushi that was awesome - before the arduous task of stuffing 10 pounds of shit into a 5 pound bag, or packing, began. I may have not mentioned earlier, but on the winery tour day some of the travelers procured 12 bottles of wine to take home. That's not a typo, 12. One case. Anyone who has traveled in the last 8 years or so knows that you can't carry that shit on anymore! Not to mention a 50 pound limit per suitcase. Hilarity would ensue later. Took one last chance to catch a beautiful sunset over the pacific...gotta savor it 'cause you never know when you'll be back in shangri-la, I mean the PNW.

July 15, 2009

At the airport finally. Never mind the near death experience when the cabby almost ran the mini-van off the road (nice driving T!) and I'm not going to mention almost having to spend the night in the Chicago airport but I'm going to direct your attention to check-in. Remember the wine?

While we're waiting in line D, who is with us but bought his ticket later so he's traveling on his own, comes by and says his suitcase was under the limit and he's good. He then disappeared into the security line.

V, his companion in the wine buying, plopped her suitcase up on the scale and it weighed in a whopping 75 pounds. OVER THE 50 POUND LIMIT. I nearly pissed myself trying not to laugh at the expression on the face of the person checking us in that day. The wonderful person behind the counter pointed out that if she split up the bag into two, there would only be a $50 charge for the second bag as opposed to the $125 extra-weight fee. No dice, no extra bag. Cha-ching for the airline. The woman did do V a solid though...she only charged her the over-weight fee, not the fee for just checking a bag.

Things were fairly uneventful the rest of the day, right up until we evidently lost an engine as we approached GR. Even got a warning from the flight deck not to be alarmed by the fire trucks/etc on the ground when we landed.

So there you have it - 2009 PNW Summer Tour. All in all it was a great trip. We got to spend some much needed time back home and we got to show that home off to friends. It was just what I needed after the last three years and the years to come until we end up back there.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Thank god classes start tomorrow. It means that yet another preseason is behind me. It doesn't mean things will be less hectic/crazy overall, just that I won't be spending 12+ hours at work and I'll get to see the lovely Mrs. much more. At least until she starts back to school on the 31st.

Oh, and the end of August? Yeah, that means only 9 more months until schools out!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back To It...

July 9, 2009

Lovely day spent in the minivan driving to Eugene. Some of the travelers got to spend some quality time (and quality money - I'm sure the state of Oregon appreciated their efforts in stimulating the local economy) at the Woodburn Outlet Stores while T and I made a slight detour for reasons that will not be revealed here.

We had a great dinner that night at a new local brewpub Hop Valley Brewing with a great friend. It was nice getting caught up on all the gossip from the last three years. Thanks Haas!

July 10....

What an experience. T and I got to spend our third day at a local institution while the folks with us got to experience not only Oregon Country Fair, but the 40th edition. Much fun was had people watching. Surprisingly we managed to see about 4-5 people that we knew line was from one of them when they recognized us - "You don't live here!"

I saw some things there that I had a hard time forgetting...not sure if there is a picture below, but the old dude painted up like a fairy (completely painted save for his g-string pouch holding his junk) was a show stopper. Oh, and there's a video in the gallery of the drum circle.

Then we had a great night of more local friends and local beers.

July 11

The area around Eugene is known as the Willamette Valley, and is home to some great local vineyards (the climate is perfect for growing Pinot Noir grapes...if you can find an Oregon Pinot you won't be disappointed) so we as a group decided to hit a few of the tasting rooms in the valley. But first we had a stop or two to make....first for what I think is the best coffee in the city. Full City Coffee. Hit the small stand for the best white chocolate mocha and then made our way across the street to stop #2: Saturday Market. Walked the shops - T was looking for a souvenir for a friend and we were looking for something we weren't able to get before we left: a hand made cutting board in the shape of the state of Oregon. Okay, we're weirdos. Live with it.

Then after a quick lunch (we continued with the local only eating) we headed out to the first of three wineries. Now, I'm driving because I'd started to come down with a cold and wasn't feeling quite 100% so that freed up everyone else to imbibe freely...and imbibe they did! Between the tastings (uhm, folks? when you taste 7-8 different wines at each place that adds up) and the full glasses of wine at each place you might say that I was chauffeuring around a bunch of drunks! Much wine was consumed, and much wine was purchased - more about that in the next installment - and some tired, and drunk, people called it a night

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Know, I Know

I suck. I know.

I'm still planning on the rest of the vacation recap, but now that I'm back in the middle of soccer and cross country preseason I'm having trouble finding time to get it done while spending 12 hours each day at work.

It's coming. I promise.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Difficulty Finding Words

Just found out I lost a friend. A truly wonderful person who enjoyed life no matter what was thrown at him.

You will be sorely missed Voo.

Friday, July 24, 2009

We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Program

June 7, 2009. Travel Day. Need I say more?

Ok, how about this - flying from the middle of nowhere, I mean GR to Seattle requires at least two different airplanes and many hours. Fortunate for us, our 6:40 a.m. departure time would allow for plenty time left in the day once we arrived in Seattle. Nothing extraordinary happened, no funny stories, just an ungodly wake-up time that morning. Well, technically it was morning but most people would still consider that the middle of the night.

Arrived in Seattle, nice scenic ride from the airport. In heavy traffic on 405. With someone who suffers from motion sickness. Nope, they didn't reverse gears, but they were happy to get out of the car.

The most exciting thing from that day was dinner. Interesting little pub in Mukilteo we went to that added an interesting twist to dinner. We're on vacation! So I order a steak, everyone else sort of splurges as well. Mine is the first to come out. Raw. On a 750F stone. For me to cook. In front of me. Was advised twice not to touch the stone that hit 750F on the thermometer. Wasn't bad food actually, just wasn't prepared to cook it myself.

June 8. Seattle Touristy Day.

I've failed to mention that three friends joined us in this adventure. One British citizen and two native mitten-ites. While T and I had been to Seattle quite a few times, the Brit had just been in Seattle at the end of May for a professional conference and the other two had never been to the Pacific Northwest (no, having a layover in the Seattle airport does not count as having been there) so we set out to do touristy things: walked through the sculpture park along the water, Pike Place Market to see the dudes throwing fish, and the Seattle Center (where the Space Needle is along with the weird looking building that houses the Experience Music Project (EMP)).

The EMP was addition to the history of music in Seattle and in general the building also houses the Science Fiction Museum. Ten-year-old nerd me was heaven. And the best? The special Jim Henson exhibit. Yep. That's right. Got to see the history of The Muppets.

We had dinner with a friend who lives there in Seattle, so it was great food (horrible service from the chick at the BluWater Bistro in Lake Union) and great conversation with someone T and I only get to see whenever we're in Seattle.

So there you go...the first two days of the trip. Since it spanned 8 days I'm trying to break 'em up into manageable chunks so it's easier for me and easier on your eyes.

Oh, and here's some photos.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We Interrupt Regularly Scheduled Programming

I know the next update on here was supposed to be about the glorious vacation we had in WA and OR but I wanted to get this out there instead.

Anyone who reads this blog that is a runner (I know at least maybe 5 that check in regularly, but there might be more that I don't know about) you must stop what you are doing and either proceed to your local bookstore (the best option), the closest Barnes & Noble, or click on Amazon and get the following book:

It will make you think about running in ways you've never imagined. It's sparked the desire to see if I can change things in my own running form and those changes have so far been weird feeling, but very fruitful.

Read it. Please.

I promise a vacation update by the end of the week.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Once again in GR.

The trip was phenomenal. Details and pictures to follow, right now we're off to see the new Harry Potter movie!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Summer Reading Update

For the month of June:

The End of Over Eating - David Kessler, MD

In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan

A slow month, but things will pick up on Tuesday since I'll be spending some time on an airplane!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Okay, I gotta ask - whoever it is that is frequently visiting the ol' blog from Harrison Township, MI, leave a comment so I might know who it is! Please!

The State of the Runner

Since it's the start of the second half of 2009, and I'm starting another cycle of training I thought it would be the perfect time to sit down and look at the last two years and see if it would tell me anything.

So I'm looking at July through June 2007-2008 compared with the same time frame for 2008-2009. Why? Well that time period of 2007-2008 I was on top of my running game. I ran two half marathons in 2007 (2:14:57 in Cincy at the Flying Pig and 1:57:08 in Grand Rapids - still my current PR) and cut 17:49 off my PR. Then in May of 2008 I ran a 50:35 10k and ran my first marathon (Grandma's) in 4:39:41. Not too shabby of a year.

Now, turn and look at the same period in 2008-2009 and it's a whole different story. I got sick last summer then proceeded to deal with injury after setback after injury. Attempted to run two more marathons that resulted in a horrible performance in Chicago and the DNF in Toledo and that is a pretty good statement on that year.

Now to look at some numbers comparing the training for those time periods.

First up is a graph showing my monthly totals.

Big differences there over the time frame. December and January I did okay, but everything looks like I fell off a cliff.

Big drop off there no? That's a 318 mile difference from one year to the next (1433 to 1115) and going back to the graph above where did that take place? October-December and January to now.

Now if you look at my monthly and weekly averages:

A drop off of 26.5 miles from 2007-2008 to 2008-2009 or as the next graph illustrates

just where the difference is - miles per week. That's a difference there of just about 5 miles per week. It doesn't sound like much, but it adds up.

So what's the purpose of all this? To illustrate that consistency is king. In order to get myself back to where I was in 2007-2008 with my running (and fitness wise and other physical components like weight, and mentally, and etc, etc) I need to do one thing and one thing only:


The thing is I'm doing a better job of that recently. Out of 30 days, and 26 scheduled runs I ran 22 times in June. Two of those four extra off days were at my physician's orders so I really only skipped two runs. If I can keep that up along with just completing the mileage on my training plan each day and week I'll be back to that 2007-2008 version of me before I know it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Yet Again

I am officially back in training. I think I've finally gotten all that ailed me under control as I've been logging miles pretty damn consistently in June (in fact this month has been my best month running in the last year - more on that in a post in a few days).

So, what is it I'm training for? The Grand Rapids Half Marathon, Oct 18. I've had great success with this race in the past, and it can't be beat sleeping in your own bed the night before a race. Word has it they are changing the course this year as well, so I'm pretty excited. Plus it fits nicely into the work schedule and the grand running plan (also more on that in a few days).

This time around I'm following this plan from Brad Hudson's book:

I've got my fingers crossed that this summer is going to be a good one as far as running and everything else goes.

The Green Monster

Doesn't that just look yummy? What is it you ask? It's a green smoothie, aka a green monster.

What's in it? Standard smoothie fare: fruit such as pineapple, banana, strawberry, and/or blueberries. Soy milk (or regular moo-milk if you like), maybe some peanut or almond butter, and some sugar.

What makes it green? Spinach. Or Kale, or chard, but spinach is the best.

I know, I know you're probably thinking: WTF? You drink that? We do, and in fact they've become a morning staple. They don't taste any different than a regular smoothie, provide just about your daily recommendation of fruits and veggies and seem to stick with ya in a good way. Just another way to eat a little cleaner and put all the yummy greens from our CSA to a good use.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Addition

On Friday, June 5, 2009, I bid farewell to a constant in my life. I mentioned here that I gave my Saturn to my niece as a graduation gift and with that gift I gave her the only car I've ever owned - bought it right after I finished grad school and it's been with me the last 12 years. Those 12 years included a cross country move (me, Tonya, our cat, and enough stuff to make it a few months) that provided good memories and some really good stories. It had license plates from Tennessee, Oregon, and Michigan and now it's probably in the hands of it's last driver - I'm thinking she'll get at least 5-6 more good years out of it.

So that left us with the dilemma of what to replace it with....'cause as much as we'd like to, us being a one car family isn't quite as easy as it sounds on paper.

Drum roll it is:

yep, a 2009 Ford Escape, so I guess that officially makes us a Ford family considering we already have the Explorer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Not That Long Left

21 days until the PNW...and yes, the excitement is starting to build!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weekend Recap

1. I forgot how much it sucks to spend 5.5 hours in a car driving to Ohio by yourself.

2. I forgot just how cramped my Saturn was.

3. I got to make my niece very, very, very happy.

4. Spent some time with my parents - always a plus.

5. I got to see some people from high school that I haven't seen in a long time. Fun time.

6. T and I are a one car family for awhile.

There ya go, that was the weekend in a nutshell. Bottom line is this: we sold my Saturn to my sister and then proceeded to give it to my niece, who is starting college in the fall - man, do I feel old now. The look of surprise/joy/freedom on her face Friday when she opened the box with the keys in it was phenomenal and worth every minute of the boring, uncomfortable drive on Thursday afternoon.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Road Trip!!!!

Heading to Cincinnati in about an hour.  Get to see all the family while helping my niece celebrate her high school graduation.

Then we get to hang out with some people from high school (most of which I haven't seen in oh, 8-18 years) which could go either way.  No, it will be a fun time.

Okay...the road is calling.  Check back in on Monday or Tuesday.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Not All Fun and Games

Erin - just so you don't feel bad, I'm also currently making my way through these:

The Association of Scapular Kinematics and Glenohumeral Joint Pathologies, JOSPT

Current Concepts in the Scientific and Clinical Rationale Behind Exercises for the Glenohumeral and Scapulothoracic Musculature, JOSPT

Acute Management of the Cervical Spine-Injured Athlete, JAT (the newly updated NATA position statement)

Clinical Examination of the Hip Joint in Athletes, Journal of Sport Rehab

Hip-Muscle Activation During the Lunge, Single-Leg Squat, and Step-Up-and-Over Exercises, Journal of Sport Rehab

Ballistic Abdominal Exercises:  Muscle Activation Patterns During Three Activities Along the Stability/Mobility Continuum, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer Reading

I can remember when I was kid (probably age 10-14 or so) the public library sponsoring a summer reading program.  You know what I'm talking about - you would keep track of the books you read over the summer and not that it was a competition, but you'd see who would read the most during your summer vacation.

Yes, first and foremost I must admit that I was one of those kids who actively read during summer vacation.

Well, I'm doing it on my own this summer.  I'm going to keep track of all the books I read (or re-read) this summer and keep a running total here on my blog.

So far this summer I've read (and this is really just the month of May):

Once A Runner - John L. Parker

Okay, yeah there's a theme there, but that's four and counting.

Three more are in the queue, but I'm trying to save one of those for the trip out west.  Not sure if it will happen.

And I'd love to see what, and how much, those 2-3 people who check in here are reading.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Finished Product

Here it is...finished. Finally.

A close-up that hopefully shows off the fine details he added on the face/hands at the end.

Hopefully the scale of her comes through in this photo. The most frequent comment I've gotten from people who have only seen pictures is that the scale is hard to pick up on in photos.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I ran 4 miles on Saturday with Tonya.  Felt great.  My hip is about 90% now, so all the pain of ART was worth it.

Those 4 miles were pretty important though for another reason.

I started taking running seriously in the summer of 2004, July to be exact, after I ran the Butte To Butte 10k in Eugene.  I also started logging miles run then and just under 4 years later I hit 4000 miles on Saturday.  I'm still way behind my mileage goal for this year, but that's what injury and setback after setback will do to you.

Then I ran 6 miles yesterday.  First time I've run back-to-back days in since March.  So that's milestone #2.  Just hoping the string continues today when I head out in a few minutes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Uh, I May Have a Problem

I've been told I'm not allowed to criticize/poke fun at/mention T ever having a lot shoes anymore.

Why?  Because of this photo...
These are my current running shoes.
From the left I have:
Nike Air Pegasus 25 - 447 miles (purchased July 2008)
Nike LunarTrainer - 374 miles (purchased July 2008)
Nike LunarTrainer - 106 miles (purchased Feb 2009)
Nike Air Pegasus 25 - 5 miles (purchased April 2009)

Not pictured are all of the dead running shoes that in the garage for cutting the grass, etc.

Like I said, I may have a problem.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Two Months

Two months.

61 days.

Just a blink of an eye until we get the chance to feel at home.

Miracles of Medicine?

I had a grueling ART session on my right hip's a really good thing that treatment technique works because good lord it hurts.  The hip does feel better - not a 100% yet but definitely improved.

However, I think I finally figured out what the underlying cause of my hip problem is last night.  My right foot.  I think I've mentioned it before on here but it's been bothering me pretty consistently since about February.  I talked to my live-in-health-care-provider last night and she and I agreed that my cuboid might be displaced.  So she mobilized it.  I think it was the second attempt that I felt a nice little "click-pop" as it went back to where it was supposed to be.  Since then, no pain/discomfort/locking feeling/anything in my foot.

4.17 miles this morning in 44:08 (10:36 avg/mile, 148 avg HR, 163 peak HR).  I ran the flat as a pancake 4 mile route.  Again I plan on using this week to just see where I'm at fitness wise, but today's run was really enjoyable.  No discomfort/pain in my foot and significantly less in my hip.

Is that the on-ramp for the road to recovery I see ahead?

Monday, May 04, 2009


4.15 miles today on the normal hilly route, 43:50, 156 avg HR, 174 peak HR, 10:34 pace.  I used today as a baseline run - no pushing the pace at all, just running easy - so that I can use the data as a way to gauge my progress over the next few weeks.  I also used today's run as a chance to get elevation data on said hills so I can choose the appropriate one for the hill sprints that I'll be incorporating this next training cycle (thanks to the Hudson book).

Then I came home and finished the workout with about 15 minutes of core/general strength and some stretching.  Oh, and I did a nice 10 minute warm-up before I headed out for my run.  Same stuff I've got some of my injured-nicked-athletes doing.

Now I'm off to work the last baseball game of the year.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

ctl-alt-del...Vulcan Death Grip...Reboot

Today was a fresh start.  I ran 4 wonderful miles with T this morning.  Okay, wonderful psychologically, the hip was a bit achy, but I'm working on that, more later, but the weather was perfect, I was running with my favorite person in the world and we were out in the world before the world really started it's day.

No more worrying about the last race or how far I'm behind my mileage goal for the year (okay I'm still thinking about that a little) I'm looking forward.  I've plotted out a running/race schedule for the summer/fall and I'm addressing some supplemental things like core, general strength, flexibility as I get everything healthy and ready to go to start that training plan.

So, I'm hoping to be posting a bit more regularly on here just how my runs/workouts pan out.

Today's stats:  4.14 miles in 46:55 (11:21 avg pace).

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Better Late Than Never

Glass City Marathon...the marathon that wasn't.

Short Version - DNF.  Did.  Not.  Finish.

Longer Version:

In October I made a commitment to this marathon because a friend was planning on running her second marathon.  Just happens that she lives 3 blocks from mile 21-ish of the course for the Glass City Marathon.  It would be perfect for her (she has some real life things to deal with that complicates undertaking such an endeavor) and since she's someone I like running with I told her that I'd run with her - she could pick the distance, half or full.

T and I spent the weekend with her, the rest of her family, and a host of friends.  Best pre-race dinner I've ever had (thanks again Kath and Brian!!!!) at her house the night before.  It was nice not to have to rush and get ready to only stand around for 45-60 minutes at the start line.

T, and another friend were running the half so they were dropped off at the start of that race (at the 13.1 point of the full course) and Kath and I made our way downtown, parked and started towards the start line...okay, so we were running a few minutes late but still I wasn't expecting what happened next.

We arrived at the hotel (the starting line was directly outside of it) to meet some friends...went up to their room and she wasn't there...went back to the front desk and retrieved the key she left.  Dropped off some stuff for after the race, used the bathroom one last time.  Arrived in the lobby, hooked back up with Kath, dropped the key off at the front desk and headed out to the start.  Neglected to notice that the door I tried to exit through wasn't a door, but a window.  Loud thump as the window stopped my progress.  I saw some heads turn, and heard some laughs, but hell I deserved it.

Made it outside only to discover that we missed the start.  Head to what we thought was the start only to find out it was behind us.  Turned around and headed to the start.  By the time we "started" the race we were 9 minutes behind everyone.

Hit the starting line on the street, started my garmin and we were on our way.  Only we had to make it through the people that were running the 5k.  Up on the sidewalk, past the motorcycle escort and continued on our way.  We got some interesting looks from the police holding traffic back, yeah we knew we were behind everyone.  About 5-6 minutes later all the 5k people started passing us.  Finally made it to the point were we turned and left the 5k folks behind.  We think the police (or someone) radioed ahead to let the people know there were two more marathoners coming because as soon as we got to the high level bridge in town and turned on it, the sag wagon fell in behind us and they opened the bridge to traffic.  Great photo of this below.

It was on the bridge that we finally saw some other marathoners.  Made it over the bridge and as we turned onto the road by the Maumee River it felt like someone turned the fan blowing hot air on in our faces.  Did I mention that the time of day was 8:45 a.m. and the temp was 80F?  Yeah.  Fun.

Passed our first runner around mile 7 (he was running the relay) and we were finally able to ditch the sag wagon.  It was about this point that I started to think "I'm not having a lot of fun right now" and started to slow down.  Kath moved ahead of me sometime around mile 9 but I managed to catch up with her at the 2nd relay zone - she was talking to a couple friends of ours - and we set off again.

Did I mention it was really hot?  I had some stomach issues between mile 10-12, nothing too serious but I felt like I was gonna throw up (which has never happened on run/race).  We stopped right around mile 12 because Kath's sister was waiting for us with some water and food for Kath.  I think it was at this point that we both started thinking "today ain't our day".  I noticed Kath seemed a bit "off" but didn't say anything.  Hell I probably seemed "off" too.  Had my second bout of I'm-gonna-throw-up right after stopping.  But we kept going.

Hit a water stop right before the halfway point and I knew things weren't good when Kath went to thank the young man for the water and some gibberishy words came out.  We both sort of looked at each other and knew the day was done.  So we stepped off the course and walked about 1.5 miles up on the course where her husband was waiting for us and went home.

And I don't regret it at all.

Now, keep in mind what my profession is (for those of you who know):  I'm convinced had we kept going there was a trip to the med tent and possibly the hospital for one or both of us.

We did the smart thing.  Thing is, a friend of ours was also running the full.  She stepped off the course at mile 15.5 for the same reasons.

So that's how it became the marathon that wasn't.

On the bright side of things:  T ran a 2:25:something HM, which was only about 1-2 minutes off her PR.  On a really hot, shitty day she ran well, and I'm proud of her.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I've been purchasing random music from the iTunes store lately.  Some upbeat, some slow, some in between but they all hit me in a unique and different way.

Here's some of the most recent to move me:

Watchmen Soundtrack - loved the movie, and the mix of songs...especially The Times They Are A-Changin'

River of Deceit - Layne Staley's voice is incredible and unmistakeable.  Another creative force lost.

Lullaby - Shawn Mullins...another voice that just hits ya between the eyes.

Hallelujah - previously had the Leonard Cohen version and got it a second time with Watchmen, but today purchased probably the best version I've ever heard of it, by Jeff Buckley.  Haunting.

So why post this?  Things like this upcoming weekend get me thinking a little more, how should I put it?  I'm compiling the soundtrack for my life.  One song, one artist at a time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Hay's In The Barn

Big day coming up on Sunday.  Running marathon #3.  Of the three that I've trained for, this one is by far the one that I feel the most under-prepared for going in to it.  But, like the title of this post says, not much I can do about that now.  Just gotta learn from this experience and hope I don't do damage to myself along the way.

The problems this time around have been varied:  lack of motivation, poor weather conditions to run in, lingering, nagging injuries (that I think I finally have beaten into submission), an inability to stop shoveling food into my gob, and work stress just to mention a few.

No matter what though Sunday will be a learning experience.  I just hope it doesn't hurt too much while it is imparting that knowledge to me.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Not quite done yet - still some fine details around her face to finish, but all of her has been colored.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Here are some things that were bouncing around my head on my run this morning, in no particular order of appearance or importance:
  • The citizens of Grand Rapids are lazy arses. We have choices as to what garbage pick-up service we use, private companies or the city. T and I use the city. What we don't have to pay for is recycling. All you have to do is go by the sanitation department and pick up the recycling bins. Free 'o charge recycling service. I ran by a house today that used a company besides the city for their trash. 80%+ of the stuff at the curb was easily recyclable. I don't care what your political affiliation is, get off your lazy ass and recycle.
  • Why is there such a dislike (almost used the word hatred but thought better of it) of Nike in the running community? See this thread on's forum. Talk about snark-central. Maybe I'm biased the other way (I wear nikes. They feet my feet really well because they're built on a low volume last and my foot is low volume.) but it seems to me that you're not a real runner unless you wear asics, or mizuno, or something else. I think it's a personal preference and we're all free to choose, but stop running down a company for trying to be innovative. And stop bashing a company that helped introduce running to the general population. If you know the history of the company you know that it was through Blue Ribbon Sports that asics got their foot in the door of the running shoe market.
  • It was beautiful out today. No wind. Why can't it be like that when I have a baseball game to work.
  • I'm feeling under prepared for the marathon.

The most important thing about today's run? I almost didn't run. I was sitting on the couch watching old episodes of "The West Wing" on bravo and came very close to not running. But I got up, got dressed and headed out the door. About .25 of a mile into my run I realized that I wanted to run today. I wanted to run not because I felt obligated due to a goal race quickly approaching or because I'm beholden to a training plan. I wanted to run because I wanted to be outside and I wanted to run. It was that feeling that made today's run great, the fact that the run felt good and the weather was nice was just icing on the cake.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bogged Down

Work is just sucking the energy right out of me these days. Seven hours on your feet at a baseball doubleheader is draining (and we're playing at the 2-3 days a week at home) plus with only a month left in all the spring sport seasons anxiety/tension is high for all the injured kids and coaches. And it's taking a toll on me unlike it has the last 2 years and the area that is suffering?

My running. I'm having trouble mustering up the energy to run in the morning because it seems like no matter how many hours of sleep I get I wake up tired. I'm having trouble finding the motivation and energy to run when I get home from work (around 6 pm on a good day).

I'm hoping to make some progress this week though. I'm not focusing on when I get my miles in, and to some extent during the week not worrying about how many miles each day since I have my last 20 miler on Sunday, I'm just focusing on running.

I'm going back to a philosophy/mantra that worked for me in the past, and I'm not sure why I abandoned it, that came from a simple phrase a friend said to me: run your plan. So this week my plan is to run 4-5 days and get my 20 miler in on Sunday. I'm not gonna be concerned about paces, number of miles, what days I run during the week, my only focus is 4-5 (probably 4 at this point) days of running, run 20 on Sunday. The statistics will be what they will be because I'm bogged down right now and I need to do what ever it takes to find some traction.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Well That's Not Gonna Happen

Considering that I just got up and moving about an hour ago, 17 miles ain't happening today since I have to be somewhere at 1:30 pm today.

I'll get some miles in and depending on what the weather does (forecast calls for 1-3" of snow overnight tonight and in to tomorrow probably preventing the baseball games from being played) might be able to get my long run in tomorrow.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Really Living Life

Here's my spectacular Friday night plans:

Fix appropriate pre-long run dinner - check
Struggle to stay awake to watch the basketball games - check
Get everything ready for long run (17 miles) tomorrow - check

Fun times, eh?

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I dropped T off at the airport early this morning. She is traveling to speak at a conference. The Northwest Athletic Trainers' Association meeting.

In Seaside, OR.

Damn baseball home games preventing me from going.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I'm happy to report that I was able to watch the sun peek over the rooftops of the houses on my run this morning. That means that I was out the door on my run around 8:00-8:15 this morning. I've always enjoyed running in the morning. It's too easy for me to come up with excuses to not run at the end of my day, so my goal this week is to get all of my runs done before I have to be at work.

So one day down.

Now, keep in mind that today I don't have to be at work until noon, so getting up and being out there at 8 is pretty good. Not as early as Maria, but still an accomplishment.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Time Flies

Didn't realize it had been almost two weeks since I posted anything on here, but now that spring sports are in full swing (even if the weather is very un-spring sport-like, an aside: the baseball team (my primary responsibility in the spring) played a game on Thursday and the thermometer never got above 38F. Those are great conditions to spend 4.5 hours outside.) my free time is a bit less free and greatly reduced.

The only thing I really have to report is that my spring marathon is now only 5 weeks away. The good news is that my 21.28, and just ask someone else who has run more than 20 miles just how much that 0.28 matters, went great. Yes I had to take a couple of walk breaks, but I'll probably do that in the race itself, but I felt pretty good in the last couple of miles - no drop off in pace - and with 5 weeks left I can still make some much needed gains in fitness. The not so good news is that my schedule is all jacked up from here on to race day with games, etc - I'm keeping my fingers that dry weather prevails over the coming weeks so the schedule will stay what it is and not be completely rearranged - so my training schedule will need to be in pencil, not ink.

Oh, and Saturday is a big day. Adding the color to the latest addition.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Who Watches...

Disclaimer: First and foremost, I am an avowed comic book nerd/geek/aficionado so please keep that in mind as you read this post. I make this disclosure to make you aware of any bias you might infer.

T and I did something unusual for us last night. We went to the movies. On a week night. After the matinee prices expired. Oh, and we paid full price to see the movie in IMAX. I'm glad we did. We saw, what I consider one of the best films I've seen in a long time and that has nothing to do with its subject matter or source material.

What did we see? Watchmen.

Now, go back and read the disclaimer again just for shits and giggles before you proceed.

I've never read the comic series/graphic novel (but I will shortly!) so my opinion isn't based on how well the story mirrored the comic, but I've been looking forward to this movie ever since we saw the trailer with The Dark Knight, and I wasn't disappointed. It is about much, much more than fact I think it's a stinging commentary on humanity in general. The characters are a real as they can be - yeah, they dress up in costumes to fight villains but when was the last time you saw a superhero unable to get it up unless they were in costume? - and have problems and inner demons and agendas to deal with. Yes, there are some very gory, graphic scenes that at times can be disturbing but it also peels back the veneer of the characters to show us those psychological scars that result from their time in costume and what the world has done to them.

It's a dark movie, but at the same time it draws you in and doesn't let you go. It keeps you riveted to your seat wondering what will happen next and at no point do you feel like "come on pick up the pace, get to the end".

The only bad thing about this movie? The chances of it seeing the award recognition that it deserves (I truly think it would deserve consideration for things like best picture, best director, best adapted screen play) is nil.

Bottom line if you're hesitating seeing this movie because you've had your fill of campy-men-in-costume-superhero-films put that notion out of your head. This movie is not that. It's more of traditional film noir, than it is a superhero movie.

Put it this way - over dinner last night after the movie, I looked at T and our friend who went with us and said "I'd pay to see that on the big screen again," and seriously is there a bigger endorsement than that?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Since my post "Maybe..." I've had a discussion or two about places we want to live with people, and I've had a few questions concerning why I consider Oregon home, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to explain.

I have been a gypsy, for the most part, my entire adult life. Even if you factor in the four years in Oxford, Ohio, for undergrad the most time I've ever spent in one location is four years. That's right, since the age of 18 (that's 18 years if you do the math) I've lived in Ohio (4 years), Alabama (2 years), Tennessee (5 years - but 2 years in Pulaski and 3 years in Murfreesboro), Oregon (4 years), and now Michigan (3/4 of the way through year 3) and I've held 5 jobs not counting undergrad and grad school. I truly am a product of where I grew up. T gives me shit on a regular basis about the blue-collar-work-ethic that prevents me from calling in sick and taking mental health days from work, and she's right. It's a product of where I grew up and the example of going to work every day to provide for your family that I saw that instilled that in me. Mea culpa.

But, of all those places I've lived the only place I've felt like I've belonged has been Oregon. Way back in July of 2001 T and I took our only vacation to date. That summer we went to see her mother in Seattle, rented a car and travelled to Eugene. The week we spent there was amazing. I can still, to this day, remember at one point her mother looking at me - she probably noticed the goofy grin on my face - and saying "Kevin, you're a Pacific Northwesterner at just weren't born here." Two years later we moved there and my life really hasn't been the same since. Last summer when we were in Seattle for a quick visit it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders the minute we stepped off the airplane.

Friends came easier there...the things T and I enjoy doing in our free time flourish there...there are remote mountains, urban city life, an ocean and everything between in the borders of that state. There's really, really good beer. Professionally I hit my stride.

Those of you reading this in Michigan (or anywhere else for that matter) please don't think I'm disparaging your beloved mitten. I'm not. It too is a beautiful place with its own unique appeal. To you it is home, but for me it's just another place I've lived. A place that at some point I'll leave, hopefully to head back home.

Yep, you heard me. We've (okay I'm the one who suggested putting a timeline on it) got a 9 year plan. That amount of time will put me at 45 years old and I'm going on the record here and now: by age 45 our goal is to be living back in the pacific northwest, and ideally Oregon.

A guy has to have dreams, right?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Today has been a good day.  Hell, this week has been a good week!
  • Had a friend, V over for dinner last night.  Good company, good conversation, great food.  She brought her chocolate lab with her.  Everyone, including the pooch had a fabulous time.
  • T and I have decided to take a vacation.  An actual vacation where we go somewhere and do something fun.  No continuing education meeting.  No races to run.  Idea for this was planted Friday night at dinner with a bigger group of friends.
  • Looks like we'll have company on said vacation.  V, at least, is joining us.
  • I had a great run today.  More on that later.
So, this vacation (as you can see the counter over on the right) has gotten T and I really excited.  It truly has become the light at the end of the tunnel for me since we decided to do it Monday night.  Where might we be going you ask?


Yep, you heard me correctly, home.  We're going back to the PNW for just over a week.  Enough time to see T's Mom in Seattle for a few days and to spend some time back in Oregon.

Today's run was just what I've been needing.  As each mile ticked off it seemed as if a little bit more of the emotional baggage life has added to me lately just started falling by the wayside and it became easier and easier to run.  Maybe, just maybe, my running mojo (which just so happens to be a huge source for all of my mojo) might be returning.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

For The Record

I hate Wednesdays in January and February. Loathe them.


Well, I'm not a fan of 12 hour days. Wednesdays in January and February mean 8:30 a.m. - noon baseball practice, followed by the middle distance runners workout (usually around 2 p.m.), followed by track practice at 3:15 p.m. The really fun part is Wednesday happens to be basketball game day as well.

Now I only have to be here for the home games, but it seems like every Wednesday we've played at home. I cover the women's games that start at 6 p.m. if there is a double header or 7:30 p.m. if it's just them. Usually takes about 1:45-2 hours to play the game.

Makes for long days. But, at least basketball season is almost finished. Just need to make it to spring break in 3 weeks.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Could It Be That Simple?

First of all, to answer your question Cindi:

I'm still using Pfitzinger's 55 mile per week, 18 week plan (from the first edition of Advanced Marathoning) with some modifications.  My previous post showed how I'm switching the days of the week around and I've also switched some of the quality works based on this article.  I've taken the lactate threshold work and moved it into the last phase/mesocyle and moved the VO2 max-interval work into this phase/mesocycle.  Keep checking here for how it is going.

So how is it going you're probably asking?  Great.  Today's run was supposed to be 10 miles with 5x1000m at 5k pace with 2 minutes recovery.  I only managed 7.5 miles and the 5x1000m.  I was running on the indoor track at school.  1 mile = 9 laps.  Yep, I ran 68 laps around that damn thing today.  Hit my time on every one of those 1000m segments and got all 5 of 'em in a total time of 24:35.  Which just happens to be 48 seconds faster than my 5k PR time (long story:  my 5k PR is soft.)

But the question I really want to answer is the one in the title to this post:

I got to work early to get my run done.  I had to take stuff to shower and clothes for the day.  I didn't have time to take a lunch so I had to make a trip during the day.  I had the normal number of athletes needing to see me (with some new ones thrown in for good measure).  Work has been stressful here lately.  But today?  Not so much.  Mood was better.  Attitude was better.  Why?  My conclusion?

Because I ran.  Could it be that simple?  I think it might just be.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Change of Schedule

After much contemplation (or wasting time) I've decided to change up my running plan/schedule.  I know, I know, I'm 6 weeks into the training plan for Toledo and only have 12 weeks until race day but I'm not having a lot of success with the current schedule because it conflicts mightily with my work schedule.  It's too late (and too much food and beer yesterday) to make the change this week so I sat down and plotted out the next four weeks.  It now looks like this:

Monday - easy/recovery run
Tuesday - quality workout (intervals/tempo run)
Wednesday - OFF
Thursday - easy
Friday - OFF
Saturday - easy
Sunday - long run

Wednesday and Friday were the problems because I have to be at work earlier on those days - 8 am on Wednesday and 10:30 am on Friday so it leaves me less time to get my run in.  Wednesday it was damn near impossible and I always felt rushed on Friday (no comments from you people with regular jobs okay?  'cause this time of the year my Wednesday goes from 8 am until around 9 pm).

With these changes, and the fact that the weather is actually supposed to warm up this week I think I'll stand a better chance of success.  I'd better be successful because 12 weeks ain't that long.

Not As Bad As I Thought

I was pleasantly surprised to see my mileage numbers for January.  116.  While I was slogging through the month I felt very much like Sisyphus.  Missed a few runs (okay, more than a few) but at the end of the month things started to come together.  I had a great run outside on Wednesday, yes outside, and the sun was even shining.  Then being the geek at heart that I am, I looked at January 2008's total.  122.  Only six fewer miles.  Not too long as the boulder doesn't kill me the next time it rolls down hill.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obstacles and Excuses

I just want to state for the record:  I f*cking hate snow.  Snow is wonderful in the mountains where you can ski, snowboard, or snowshoe.  Snow is beautiful if the amount of snow pack determines how much water, and maybe even electricity your co-op can produce in the spring/summer when it melts.  It's perfect for getting kids out of school occasionally for that wonderful experience of sledding if you have a hill big enough.  I love that kind of snow.

The kind that currently blankets the area, that's the kind I hate.  We've had snow on the ground since the first part of December.  Luckily it hasn't snowed in the last 10-14 days substantially, however the daytime high temp hasn't even approached the thawing point so none of the snow on the ground has melted.  Running outside in the cold I can handle, slipping and falling on my ass not so much.

I'm tired of running on the TM.  Really, really freakin' tired of running on the TM.  I even enjoyed the run I did last week on the indoor track (9 laps = 1 mile and I ran a total of 5 miles) going around in circles more than I have running on the TM lately.

Combine all of the above I-hate-the-current-conditions-funk with real life getting in my way it would be an understatement of epic proportions to say I've had a craptastic week of running.

What do I mean by real life getting in the way?
  • crappy days at work, be it you or your spouse or your friends that require company to commiserate with and beers
  • said beers leading to horrible nights of sleep - or if you want to be technical you might be able to call it passing out
  • having to work all day after the aforementioned crappy night of sleep, and being hungover
  • deciding to consume approximately three days worth of crappy food in one day
Some of those were bad decisions on my part and some were things beyond my control, but they all converged to throw a giant monkey-wrench into my plans.

I just need to learn to make better decisions at certain times and to stop sabotaging myself.  'Cause Toledo is only 13 weeks away.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


It's that time of year again folks. Every 24 Hour Fitness, Gold's Gym, and YMCA is filled to the brim with people chasing after that elusive creature that appears when the calendar flips over from December to January. You know what I'm talking about, New Year's Resolutions.

What does that have to do with inspiration you ask? Here's what...

People resolve to change their habits or lives and they choose January 1, as the day to start. Be it dire warnings from a health care provider or and example set by someone close to them that they want to emulate, that is inspiration and it comes in many, many forms.

Now, I'd like to state for the record that I'm not a fan of the whole resolution thing, but I do start each year with goals: run 1500 miles this year, get my weight down before the marathon in April, exercise better fiscal responsibility, etc, but I don't view those as resolutions.

However, I am taking some inspiration from some people. The last few months of 2008 I felt like I had no control over my schedule. I felt a day late and a dollar short all the time. I struggled to get my runs in, and in general felt over-freakin'-whelmed a lot of the time. So to take a quote from T, I'm taking action steps dammit!

I'm not making excuses anymore about not being able to get my runs in, 'cause we have a treadmill in the basement and if some friends of mine can do it, so can I. What is it (yeah, sometimes I ramble, but then I'm composing this at work and I keep getting interrupted) you ask?

I'm taking some of my inspiration from this friend. See the first line of the fourth paragraph about getting up at 4:30 a.m.? I'm not getting up that early, but a goal this year is to get all of my runs done before I go to work, even if I have to get up at 5:30, like today, in order to accomplish it. If she can do it, I can to...

So the whole point of this is that inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. It could be the friend who gives up a successful career as an athletic trainer to go back to school because they feel that's where they can make the most difference. It could be the family member battling against that fucking disease cancer and trying to make the most of the life they have left. It could be the school teacher trying to reach the kids in their classroom. Hell, as far as I know I might even be the inspiration for someone.

The key thing though? It's not recognizing that inspiration is there, it's acting on it. So I am. Up early. Trying to learn new things that will allow me to make a bigger impact at work. Trying to just be a better version of me.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


To:  All of the people who gave me crazy looks on my run today
From:  KP

I know, I know...I was a huge inconvenience to you by running in the street next to the curb in all of the space that is reserved for parked cars.  I know, if somehow you'd lost control of your car while you were a) lighting a cigarette, 2) talking on your cell phone, or III) eating and swerved 15 feet to the right you would have hit me.  Maybe.

I would love to run on the sidewalk, however until all of the goddamn lazy citizens of this fair West Michigan city see fit to clear the 3"+ of snow we got in the last 18 hours off their walks I'm going to take my chances with the cars that are 15 feet to my right and that I can see in order to avoid the ice that is lurking under the snow.

So there.  All I need now is the smiley giving the finger.

Friday, January 02, 2009

2008 Recap

Time for a little looking back on the year 2008 in running.  I know, I know exciting stuff.

For the year I ran 1344 miles which means I almost ran the equivalent of Grand Rapids to Salt Lake City, UT.  I was  just 10 miles short.

I averaged 25.7 miles per week.

My lightest week was 4 miles (Oct 27-Nov 4).
My highest week was 52 miles (April 28-May 4).

I averaged 112 miles per month.

My lightest month was 42 miles, November.
My highest month was 173 miles, April.

I increased my mileage by 19.7% over 2007 (you can see how my monthly totals look over the last few years in the chart up top) and I still managed to miss my goal of 1500 miles.  October and November killed me.

I ran the following races:
one 5k
one 10k - set a whopping new PR
one 8k
one 4 miler
one half marathon
and two marathons

...all in all a pretty damn good year running-wise.