Saturday, January 28, 2012

Freeze Your Thorns Off Virtual 5k

It was a perfect 32 degrees for Adam's Freeze Your Thorns Off Virtual 5k.    Met up with 100+ Patrick, SuperKate and the tri club to run some single track at 7:30 this morning.  Saturday is my day to sleep in, but I thought I would give the group run thing a try.  It was actually pretty fun.

Cool time lapse video Patrick made can be seen here. At 3:38 you can see SuperKate and me crawl across a frozen plank to cross a ditch.

We started off running over to the trail we built last weekend (that I never got around to blogging about).  Last weekend it was nice to help the good folks from GORC who build and maintain all the local single track.

Last weekend building a trail

SuperKate and 100+ Patrick last weekend enjoying the free lunch we received

After hitting up the new trail, we ran on some trails that I use to ride about 10 years ago before they closed them.  They are some of my favorite trails and now I'm itching to hit them on the mountain bike.  Lots of trail sections are very close to a ravine making it challenging.

There were a few slick spots including a wooden bridge we had some trouble with.

We resorted to crawling up this.

SuperKate going up the crossing

Maybe I can pass standing up and become SuperMike

Wade, me and Patick (showing his better side) after the "race"

We ran a total of eight miles in about an an hour and a half.  Slightly longer than 5k and I'll blame SuperKate for that.  She has trouble with directions and finding her way :-).

Thanks for letting us play along from Southern Illinois Adam!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tagged Again

I was tagged by Karen over at Working it out....  I have to admit, I kind of like this random fact stuff.   If you want to read the rules for this tagging event, you can read them at the beginning of my last post or Karen's post.

Lets see if I can think of 11 more random things. Being an engineer and all, I am pretty boring :-).

1. I like the challenge of thinking of 11 random things about me and reading the random things about others.
2. I'm usually pretty quiet and keep to myself, so this blogging thing has been a stretch for me.
3. I'm reasonably good at foosball thanks to having a table on our dorm floor in college. The table did meet it's demise when after a few drinks we poured rubbing alcohol on it and played flaming foosball :-).
4. I don't have a Facebook account.
5. I would stay up really late and sleep really late like a teenager if I could get away with it (and sometimes do on the weekend).
6. I recently downloaded words with friends for my phone. Yet another fun time waster :-). My username is my twitter name if you want to play.  My playing time is limited and sporadic due to work, training, and life.
7. I resisted getting a gas fire place for years because I like real fires.  Now I love the gas fireplace and probably use it the most in our family.
8. I make or receive two regular phone calls every week.  One is to my parents every Sunday and the other is to my best friend from college.
9. I have a couple of clothes racks in our spare bedroom with all my active workout clothes in various states of smelliness.  I wear most of them until I can't stand the smell (or I would need 16 of everything, see later answer).  I don't think any of it smells like bad deli meat :-).

10.My computer crashed this summer and I can't find my cd with the backup of my Turbo Tax data for the last couple years.  Crap!
11. My procrastination is often caused by my perfectionism.  If I can't do a project perfect, I would rather not start it.

Now to answer Karen's questions:
1. What was your favorite vacation of all time?
I have so many it's hard to choose.  Some of my kids favorites are taking the train to Colorado to ski so I'll pick that one (or two).

2. Snacks: Sweet or Salty?
Both but lean toward sweet.  At work, my current snacks are craisins, pitted dates, almonds, and atomic fireballs :-). At home, they are those valentines hearts with sayings on them this time of year, love the marshmellow chicks for Easter, Necco wafers and licorice are right up there.  Sometimes salty and sweet is good too, like candy corn and peanuts or trail mix.

on my desk in my office for guests, just got a new container

3. What were you doing around this time ten years ago?
Working crazy hours (70+) at a start up company looking to be the next .com , missing important things with my children, trying to hold it all together. Whenever I worked past 2 am or so, I would just spend the night on the couch and have the first guy in wake me up. At least we had a shower (and a couch) there. Oh, we had a foosball table too, I think I won the company tournament but I was sleep deprived so maybe I dreamed it.  I know I made it to the finals.

4. Hit play on your Ipod. What is the first song to come up?
Bullet With Butterfly Wings - Smashing Pumpkins.  The world is a vampire.

5. What is your favorite memory of 2011?
Crossing the finish line at New Orleans 70.3 (which became a 69.1).  That was my first HIM and I obsessed over the training.

6. Google "(Your first name) needs". What comes up?
A job.

7. Favorite running or triathlon product?
I would say my Balega socks.  On a semi-related note, I did a Balega sock experiment when I first started buying them.  How many pairs do I need to have a clean pair for every run and ride (without doing laundry myself)?  The answer is 16 pair!

8. If you could only do one race, which one would it be?

9. Do you prefer to train alone or in groups?
I've never trained in a group, but should try it some time.

10. What is one race you wouldn't mind doing over and over again?
New Orleans 70.3 if they move the finish back to the French Quarter.  Great food in New Orleans and running through the French Quarter to Jackson Square is really cool.

11. What accomplishment makes you the most proud?
That I didn't give up on swimming on my second attempt at becoming a triathlete.  I tried swimming for the first time about five years ago and after two or three swims, gave up on my tri dream.  I tried again three years ago and persevered through it. It was embarrassing and humiliating, kind of like wearing spandex around fit people and doing this extreme fitness class at the Y I'm in now but I didn't give up.

That's it for this session of Mike sharing :-).

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tagged - 11 random things

Ha, so I was tagged by Marcia at The Studly Runner . Here are the rules.

1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

I'm not gonna tag anyone officially, but if all my usual commenters (which is less than 11 anyway) want to play along, please do.  I will post 11 questions at the end in case someone is bored enough to follow along wants to play. 

11 random things about me
1. I love music, specially live music.
2. My daily driving commute sucks.
3. I love to cook on the grill
4. I love to shop for groceries 
5. Football is my favorite sport
6. I've always been a Steelers fan
7. I'm an engineer so by default I'm a geek (but I can make things work) :-)
8. I was born in Annapolis Maryland
9. I'm a procrastinator
10. I'm procrastinating my run right now.
11. Triathlons make me very anxious on race day (and a couple days before)

Now here are my answers to Marcia's questions:
1. Do you have any pets?
No, but my wife has four cats and two dogs :-).

2. Most embarrassing moment?

The most recent one was when we were having a business meeting with people from the country my car is from.  I had a transmission failure failure at 85k miles and expressed my displeasure by calling my car a POS in a side conversation with a colleague.  Our visitors didn't hear it, but my colleagues get a good laugh out of it every time I drive to lunch.   

3. Favorite brand of running gear?

New Balance for shoes, Balega for socks.

4. Dream vacation?

One that doesn't end.......... somewhere like this

5. Dream race?

My first IM, which is currently TBD.

6. Favorite GU flavor?


7. Snow ski or water ski?

Snow, heading to Breckenridge in early April.

8. Do you get a flu shot?
Yes if it is convenient.

9. Gold, sterling silver or platinum?
None, how about a tri bike?

10. What grade in school did you enjoy most? Least?

Most was any college year.  Least was early grade school.

11. How often do you get a haircut?
Every 4 weeks.

My questions to you:
1. Why do you blog?
2. What is your favorite meal?
3. What accomplishment are you the most proud of?
4. What was your favorite subject in school?
5. What is your favorite sport?
6. What is your favorite team?
7. What is your favorite snack to eat while cheering for your favorite team? 
8. How old were you when you got married?
9. Do you grill with charcoal or gas?
10. What is your favorite month?
11. What is your least favorite month?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy Run -> Sad Run

I started today's run happy for several reasons.  I was happy I didn't procrastinate too long to get my run started. so I had plenty of time to get an hour and a half run in.  I was happy it was warm enough to run and happy it was sunny out.  I was happy the bike path wasn't too slippery even though it had a little snow on it.  I was also happy it was Saturday.  I love sleeping in then having a couple cups of coffee while catching up on emails, blogs and twitter.
It wasn't nearly as slippery as it looked

It was a little chilly running in to the wind.

With all the things I had to be happy about, I kept drifting back to a post I read this morning here.  I had read about the disappearance of a runner in Sidney Montana a couple days ago and searched for an update this morning, hoping she had made it home.  After reading that post and the posts from the preceding days, this really bothered me.  I can't fathom how people can do such terrible things to other people and their families and friends.  I really can't.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Single Track Weekend

The weather this weekend was amazing for January and I was able to take advantage of it.  Saturday was mid-forties, sunny and not too windy.  I managed a nice nine plus mile run with about six of it being on single track.  Sunday was a little cooler and a little overcast so I broke out the mountain bike for a two hour ride with most of it being single track.  There are many small obstacles in the woods and I often wimp out so as not to risk falling over.  On this ride I decided to stop being a puss.  Several times I found myself starting to wimp out so I said "stop being a puss", walked my bike back far enough to get a little momentum and cleared everything easily except for one stack of logs that I was going to try, until there were people there (puss).

Anyway, here are some pics.  The woods are such a different place in the dead of winter with no foliage.

I took a break to eat a Clif Bar and saw something through the trees

an old decaying bike

single speed

salt caked jacket - good workout

Started taking the Extreme Fitness class at the Y last week.  My first two workouts looked like this:

3 x 50 yards in the pool on 1:00
Hop out then do as many pushups as you can do in a minute (ummm, I don’t need a whole minute to do as many as I can J)
Rest 1 minute
do as many pushups as you can do in a minute
Rest 1 minute
Back in the pool
Repeat the sequence except with jumping squats
Repeat the sequence except with burpees
Repeat the sequence except with throwing a medicine ball as high as you can against the wall

You basically in zone 4 sucking air the entire time.  Of course it was humiliating too since I’m the oldest one there and the weakest J.  Oh well, week 2 starts tonight.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 goals

Last year I never posted my goals but decided to do it this year.  I like to keep the list small to increase the chance of hitting them by focusing (or increasing the chance of crashing and burning and missing them all :-)).   So here they are along with my plan.

Goal #1 -  Go sub-6 at Door County Half Iron July 22nd.  
How? - Follow my plan.  I used Gale Bernhardt plan last year and it seemed to work well.  I cut back on the swimming to prevent shoulder injury and didn't do the strength training because I don't like to do it because I'm weak.  Kind of sad, I don't like doing strength training because I'm weak yet I'm weak because I don't do strength training.  I do have a plan to help with the strength training though, I joined an extreme fitness class at the Y that starts tonight. The description is "triathlon and marathon training program focusing on endurance and functional strength using different elements of land and water" Yikes! I can barely do 2 sets of 10 push ups and haven't done sit ups for years (practically never). This is going to hurt!

I put the Gale Bernhardt plan in a Google spreadsheet so I can access it anywhere.  You can check it out here. Let me know if I missed some code descriptions.

Goal #2 - Go sub 1:45 at the RnR half marathon St. Louis October 21st.
This one is a real stretch considering my PR is 1:55 and some change.
How? - Get my mileage up to 30 miles per week and add in some speed/tempo work.  It's likely I'll have to cut back my biking after the HIM and bump up the mileage further in August and September.

Goal #3 - Lose 10 pounds by May 20th (Carlyle Oly)
I'm carrying around an extra 15 pounds (maybe 20) and losing some weight will help with goal #1 and #2.
How? - I've never counted calories and I don't plan to start.  I'm going to cut out some of the empty calories I'm taking in.  To do this, I need to go to bed earlier (which should help me resume my morning person quest) to avoid that evening drink which often leads to some evening chips or ice cream.  I'm not cutting that stuff out all together, I do have to live a little after all, I'm just cutting back.  I'm also going to cut back on going out to lunch.  The lunch portions at restaurants are enough for two people and I eat way more than half.  I plan to have a salad for lunch at least two days a week.  I'll be tracking my weight for the first time ever here.

Whenever I think of weight loss, I think of this funny Peyton Manning commercial.  Enjoy......