Random update

No running since last week, but I did get in an 8 miler on the dreadmill today, before attending the "Marathon Running Group" meeting I mentioned earlier. I'll blog more later, but I need some food.


Running, but not blogging

I know, I know - it's been days since my last update. Am I still running? Are the skunks still there? What about Naomi?

(The last one is only funny is you remember The Electric Company. If you don't, well. . . I feel sorry for you. Honest. )

I did run on Tuesday. I ran on the dreadmill, 5 miles, at 1.1, and I missed my semi-speedwork goal of 39 minutes. I was on track to make it, but T. showed up and I got to talking. Note to self - when doing speedwork, talking is a Bad Thing (tm). I missed the goal, but only by half a minute of so, so I don't feel to bad about it.

Afterwards, Kevin and I went to a playgroup that T. had mentioned. I must admit that I spent more time with the kids than the adults - partially because Kevin was the youngest one there; partly because he does get a little nervous when Daddy leaves him in a strange place, and partly because I am not, by nature, the most gregarious of souls, and being around one kid (mine) has not done anything positive for my social skills. I did talk to adults though, which was nice, even though I did get suckered into reading a book for some of the kids.

No running on Wednesday. I'll get to that reason in a minute.

I did go running on Thursday. Nothing long, just a quick jaunt around the neighborhood, about 3.8 miles in 30 minutes, give or take, the distance is via Gmaps Pedometer, and I deliberately did not carry my watch - I was already tired, and not concerned about time.

Why was I tired? you ask. Because, dear reader(s), for the past few days, I have been spending a couple of hours each evening removing mulch, really old weedcloth and weeds from large portions of our landscaping, and preparing the area for rock. Lots of rock. 10 cubic yards of rock.

Now, 10 cubic yards doesn't sound like much. I mean, 10? That's a small number, right? Wrong. For example, the interior of a Dodge Caravan is a whopping 140.3 cubic feet. That's pretty much every cubic inch of the interior, so the space between or under the seats, the footrests, the cargo area, etc. Now, imagine that much space twice.

The rock was delivered today, and no, I did no running. Instead, I spent several hours levelling one area, staking out the new weedcloth (a good 10 year warranty, too - next time, Kevin will be old enough to help!), and, last but not least, loading my trusty wheelbarrow time and time again. The area I did tonight is a mere 110 sqaure feet, which, according to the little chart I got at the landscape supply place, might have used somewhere between one (1!) and one-and-a-half (1.5!) cubic yards.

Only 8.5 to 9 left to go. I think I'll go running before I start moving rock tomorrow.


The arrival of Pepé Le Pew

That's right - our favorite mammal, the skunk, has chosen to grace my domicile. And not just one, oh heavens no! A small family has decided that the area beneath our patio is the perfect nesting site. I discovered them today, and, unless there is some other animal which is black and white, has a bunch of tails,and that same peculiar, nose-searing odor, I think it is safe to say that we have a small family of skunks.

Unfortunately, I discovered them too late in the day to contact any sort of animal control, though I was fortunate enough to discover them without getting sprayed. Just a lucky glance out the window, otherwise I probably would have been gotten when I mowed past that area tonight.

On the running front, today was (ostensibly) an easy 4 miles (7.2 mph, 1.1 degrees, 32:16 or so), though I did ramp it up considerably at the mile 3 mark. I just wanted to be done - the Y was packed today, with almost every dreadmill in operation when I started, and it got so danged hot that I am planning some runs in the middle of the day to cool off.

On my way out, I noticed a flyer - apparently, there will be a meeting next Monday night, where people can join a group that is training for the Detriot Marathon. Chicago is the week before, but I could probably do at least some of the long runs with people. At the very least, it wouldn't cost me anything more than time to check it out.


Happy father's day

Today is Father's Day, and I just want to say two things:

First, happy Father's Day to all the other dads out there.

Second, my dad has been a phenomenal influence on my life. He worked hard, often at jobs he hated, to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. He sheltered us from the worst of the world, and loved us enough to let us make our own mistakes. He knew when to give advice, and knew when we just wouldn't listen to anything and had to find things out ourselves. He wasn't perfect, but I swear, if I can be half the father that he has been, I'm going to be happy. It's a high bar, but Dad, thanks to you, I am going to give it a try.


Either I am more fit than I thought. . . .

Or the heart rate monitor on the dreadmill is a lieing POS.

ORN: 7.6-something miles, 60 minutes, 1.1 degree. It was either 7.61 or 7.62, but I didn't take stock until I was actually done running, and already doing the cooldown, I missed exactly how far I went. 1/100th of a mile doesn't both me - I did a reasonable workout, and am not going to beat myself up over not catching the little details.

I am, however, a little disappointed that I could not maintain my speed. See, I was hoping to spend most of the hour at a 7.8 mph pace. Unfortunately, this did not happen, because I was trying to hold an erratic conversation with another runner on the dreadmill beside me.

T. is a runner that I have seen in the Y from time to time, and I know that his daughter is often in the Y child watch program (as is my son). So, we're talked a bit when signing our kids in or out, greetings in the locker room, friendly empty phrases in the gym. Anyway, today we wound up having more of a real conversation - he was going slower than I was, but he was doing a 10 mile run, so he was working just as hard.

The reason, by the way, that I say the monitor on the 'mill is lieing to me is because I hopped off for a second and took a reading. (I took several readings later, but someone nearby was wearing a monitor which intereferes; though not all do, some will cause nearby 'mills to show those readings, instead of reading true. Anyway, back to the anecdote.) According to the 'mill, my heart rate was 197. T. looks over at me, cause I start laughing, and he says "You don't look like someone with a HR of 197." I figure, since he's a doc, he's know if I look like I am going to keel over, and besides, I have been talking and running easily up to this point. So, either I am fit enough to run at almost 100% of my max HR (by the 220 - age/2 formula) for something like 30 minutes, or it lies. I'd love option 1, but Occam's Razor indicates option 2.

So, right now, I can't maintain 7.8, for most of an hour, while trying to talk. I could hold it fairly easily at 7.5, which is an improvement over earlier this year. It's about time to start training in earnest for my next marathon in the fall, as well as the half- and full marathons which also occur during the fall running season. No more slacking for me. . . .


The real reason I didn't sign up for Goofy's challenge

As I said in a previous post, I had been contemplating signing up for the 2007 Goofy's Challenge, but it's full. I said that I wasn't sure if I could get down there for it - which is true. I just didn't say what the reason was:

Sure, I could leave my wife behind and go gallivanting down to Florida. It would be several months before the due date (probably - we'll know more in six weeks or so, when she has her first appointment), but really, what kind of a husband would I be if I left behind a wife, in her third trimester, with an active (almost) 3-year old?

So, it'll be another year or two. No biggie. I missed the inaugural, so the second, fifth or eighth year is all going to be essentially the same thing.

Edit - originally, it was just going to a pic of a positive pregnancy result, but I went ahead and added a link.


This looks like trouble

I don't normally blog about my son (for the same reason that I do not blog about the grass being green or oxygen being necessary - it's an unstated fact of my life, and no words of mine can do it justice.

I took this pic a few days ago, and while he hasn't figured out what buttons to push to get water, it's really only a matter of time.

Actually, he knows precisely what buttons to push - he looks at me and says "Dada drink peese".

I feel the need. . . the need for speed

ORN: Half mile intervals, 1.1 degrees, 9.0 mph - 5 reps

I'm thinking that my intervals aren't fast enough. I did 5, and might have managed 6, if I had bothered to eat breakfast before getting in the car. I might have done even more, but I wasn't doing "normal" interval training.

See, normally, if it takes you (for example) 3:20 to run that half-mile, then you go along at an easy pace for another 3:20. Instead of resting for a full 3:20 after each half, however, I rested for about 2:20, since that completed another quarter mile. So, I was shorting myself some rest, and I still knocked out 5 of them, with a very strong finish on the last one.

Next week, I'll go for 6 or 7, but I am hoping to be increasing that speed to 9.5 or so soon. I'm not planning on making any race a BQ this year, but it would be nice to get faster than I am now.

(Random note - the last couple of runs, today and Tuesday, I have gotten compliments from other runners. Apparently, the fact that the 'mills actually go up to 12 mph is some sort of well-kept secret, and no one ever actually goes that fast. Except me, for my final short sprint at the end. That final kick is getting easier - I am finding myself bumping up against the front of the 'mill, and so I might have to make it a longer kick, since I can't make it any faster.)



Well, looks like it's not going to happen next year - I saw that the Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge has reached capacity and is now closed. I wasn't sure that I would be able to get down there anyway, but I didn't expect it to close up quite so soon. Oh well - perhaps I can start making plans now for 2008.


Grrrr. . . .

Today was not a good day. Last Thursday night, I was taking out the trash. It was one of those "Leave out almost anything, and we'll take it" weeks, so I had the chance to remove all of the debris that was taking up room in the garage, including some detritus from the bathroom renovation. Everything was going moderately well, until I was taking out one of the cabinets. (I think it was a base cabinet, from under the sink, but I could be wrong.) Long story made short, it came apart on me, and I tore a fair-sized chunk of skin off one of my toes.

Nothing too serious - lots of initial bleeding, of course, but once I got it cleaned up and the flaps of loose skin removed, it looked like I had just torn open a nickle-sized blister on my foot. You know, all red and raw and incredibly tender. And a bit bloody.

So, I slathered it with disinfectant, taped it up, and took out the rest of the garbage. But, I couldn't run on it until today.

So, I get back on the treadmill. And, a mere 2.45 miles into my run, I hit that stupid "Stop" cord, and the whole thing shudders to a stop. I hate it - I can handle a stop on a trail run, on a road run, or on a race, but not on the dreadmill. I never seem to find my stride again, and I call it good after a mere 3.5 miles or so. I do pennance with 15 minutes on the bike, which would amount to another 2 miles of running - at least, timewise.

I need to start a training program again. This summer is going to be my best chance to really improve my speed for the next couple of years, I think.


Update on running

ORN: 4 miles, 1 degree (3 degrees for the last, .1 mile sprint), 30-odd minutes.

I haven't been fired up about running lately. I don't know why - I've just been kind of down in the dumps and not really fired up about it. It will pass, but until it does, my running is going to suffer somewhat. Hopefully, I'll get out and going tomorrow, and I plan on hitting a trail on Saturday, to see if that helps recharge the mental batteries a little bit.

I could still go and do a 10k race on Saturday, but, to be honest, I'm really nowhere close to the mindset that I pretty much need to be in for a race. I could do the distance, but I wouldn't be happy with the time, no matter what. And, unlike other runs where I haven't been happy with the results, a bad time in a race Saturday wouldn't compell me to greater efforts.


Blatant plug on D-Day (please read!)

Today, June 6, is the 62nd anniversary of D-Day. So, first, take a minute and remember all those who lost their lives on that day.

Second, I wanted to make a blatant plug for this:

Each year, Walter Reed Army Medical Center personnel do a fund raising drive for Army Emergency Relief, which is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to helping soldiers and their families with financial problems. This year, to help the fund raising, a local store has agreed to host the First Annual Flames of War Charity Tournament - we thought it would be appropriate, since AER was incorporated by the Secretary of Defense in 1942.I would appreciate it if y'all would help spread the word to stores in the region, or let me know who is around so I can contact them. You can click here for the tourney flyer for details, but in a nutshell:

48 player slots
Over $1500 in prizes
Free Lunch

Hope to see you in June, but if you cannot make it, you can always sponsor a player - PM me for details.-Dylan

Now, I don't care what anyone thinks about the current war in Iraq - that's not the point. The point is that, even if you can't go, even if you don't play the game, you can still donate. It's a darned good cause, and I'm hoping that my regular reader(s) can pass the word along.

(And for the record - yes, I play the game; no, I cannot be there for the event; and yes, I did sponsor a player.)

Edit: If you make a donation, or pass word along, please leave a comment. I'd like to know whom to thank.


Bad blogger!

Okay, so I have been bad. I'll write some long-winded post later on, but I have been running. My two most recent runs were something like this:

Run #1: 5 miles, dreadmill, 41:40 (or some such). An insanely annoying, disappointing run. Not because of the time; because I accidentally pulled out the "Emergency Stop" gizmo halfway through the run. And, more aggravating, while it says "Replace Emergency Stop to continue," what it really means is "Replace Emergency Stop to get the workout totals, because no matter how fast you slam that piece back into place, this workout is over!"

Run #2: 5 miles, dreadmill, 39:11. Much better time, no annoying "Emergency Stop" releases, but good heavens! The Y gets so $%$)(*&'ing hot during the day. I swear - when summer hits, I'll be running out in the 90 degree weather because it is cooler outside than in the YMCA! I know that I am exaggerating somewhat, but there is absolutely no air flow, and so it feels so much warmer than it actually is. I do much better on outdoor runs, because I don't feel so over-heated.