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.