30 March 2007

in the city lights.

did a hill workout last night. warmed up for 2.5, did 2 sets of 3x1 min hills (1:45 rest). it was hard but good. there is a loop in elver park that is perfect for this workout, a loop i will be utilizing a lot this spring.

i woke up this morning with a sore throat. i've been sneezing a lot the past few days, i think the allergies are kicking in. the sore throat is probably a result of some post nasal drip. hopefully it's not a cold...

our favorite east side pizza place is opening a store in middleton. at least that is what they keep telling us. thing is, every time we go there (after we hear they are open) they are still not open.

no word from fleet feet yet. i'm really trying to stay patient. maybe i'll email them today.

happy friday.

29 March 2007

raw.

7 miles last night in the raw rain and wind. i loved every minute of it. this is by far my favorite weather to run in. weather i dreaded when i was training to race on two wheels. i also dreaded wind. and darkness. pretty much any weather we had bred a little dissappointment...

my outlook on life has greatly changed over the past 6 months. last summer i felt like i had become bitter little man, someone that nobody really wanted to be around. i knew something had to change. so i took up a different hobby. i started to read more. i've reduced my tv hours. i got into graduate school. i'm working towards a promotion at work.

i think the problem was that i became really complacent and non-pro-active (beware the elusive double hyphen).

and now i feel smarter. i feel more 'with it.' i feel...good.

so, i mentioned i have reduced my television time? well, that may go out the window now that baseball is starting. although we may be getting rid of cable so that would help...

the other night fox sports was televising game 4 of the 1982 world series. man that team was good...yount, molitor, cooper, thomas, ganter, simmons, money...the list goes on. and to see the manager go out to the mound to make a pitching change with a prosthetic limb-limp had to put a little fear in opposing players. maybe ned yost should start limping a little? here is to the current pitching rotation staying healthy...

happy thursday.

28 March 2007

winds of change.

the weather is a little more realistic for this time of year, and i had a great run in it last night. starting out it occurred to me that the trails at elver park were probably dry, so i ran there and loved every minute of it. 7.5 ish and i really wanted to do more. that is a good feeling.

our dog is going through another hormone surge the past few days. he is like dr. jekyl and mr. hyde. one minute, sleepy and sweet. then the next minute he is angry, exuberant, aggressive...for no apparent reason. i'd say i felt sorry for the guy but i hate him right now so i don't. you know, like fake hate or something.

i went to menards last night and some guy (with his young son watching) was having a meltdown because he couldn't find a product to eliminate his crab grass. granted, menards sucks in that you really can't tell what fertilizers are for what there (unless you buy the menards product which doesn't work that well--i was there for the same reason). so, after listening to him sound like an idiot (he was really angry about such a silly thing) i came to my senses and went to verona and got what i needed at the local hardware store. i should have gone there first but menards is on my way home. the fact that i feel the need to fertilize my lawn in march worries me a little...but whatever.

menards is really a pain in the ass. home depot is even worse. here's to the little guy (which is still big guy affiliated to ace or true value or something like that).

happy wednesday.

27 March 2007

diversion

no run yesterday, i forced myself to sit one out.

instead, i trained my stomach by eating too much bread with dinner. well, that and the steak. we went to delaney's to celebrate robin acing the board recertification exam. my maple roasted bacon wrapped filet sure tasted good. robin should take more of these tests (she will cringe at the thought) so i can eat steak more often.

1 week out from when my racing shoes were supposed to ship. i've got no races on the horizon but i need them right now. well, not really. but i would like to know that i wasn't forgotten about (again).

that is all i have this morning. i've got to get to work. the guy i'm working for lately is out all week so i'm in charge of this project which means i'm busy and stuff.

worky, work. busy bee.

happy tuesday.

26 March 2007

recollection

so far in 2007 i've run 334 miles. this seems low for just under a quarter of a year but the past 4 weeks i've hit 168 miles. what this means? i'm sticking to my plan well and slowly building my mileage. my high week so far this calendar year is 44.5 which was this past week (on 5 days of running). i'd like to have a few 50's before the monona 20km for confidence sake. i'm babbling.

yesterday was a great day. robin rode along with me on my run which was very pleasent. it's going to be tough when temperatures go back to normal (i could get used to 77 degrees and sunny in march). there is a new bike shop going in the hawks landing area...we window peaked and it's going to be super high end (imagine that). i saw bmc, titus, merkx, and colnago (i think). not to mention the deep rimmed carbon wheels hanging on the wall (i saw zipp and hed wheels in stock...there were others). they will totally clean up on the doctors that think they need a new bike. and the triathletes. triathletes like to throw money at their sport.

oh man, this post sucks.

happy monday.

25 March 2007

another good day.

yesterday's weather was perfect. filtered sun, a little humidity and 66 degrees. from the start i knew i'd be running faster than i thought i should. i managed 1:26 for 20km (6:55/mile) which is a step forward for me. the best part? there were only 2 instances where i felt like i was pushing the pace...both times through mile 3 of the 10km loop. and there were many instances where i needed to scold myself to slow down a little. my legs were tired at the end, but cardiovascularly i felt like i could have held that pace all day.

anyway, i'm hoping for a sub 1:20 at the monona 20km in may so i think i'm on my way towards that.

24 March 2007

cruise control.

i've run 8 milers for 3 consecutive days, and each one has felt better
in the legs than the one before. a good sign, me thinks. in a few
minutesi'm heading to do 20km-2 loops at the arb. it'll get old someday but i really like having the mile markers to monitor my pace. i'm pretty sure my body can handle the load, especially now with the slip and slide factor gone. i worry about injury more than anyone, so you can beti'm monitoring my signals closely as i'm crossing off runs at this volume. if all goes well, i'll try for another 8 miles tomorrow and then maybe take monday off. that will put me at 44 miles in 5 days which is good at this stage.

one of pat's main competitors is interviewed here.

we did a major spring cleaning on the main level of our house today. for a dog that doesn't shed much, we sure pick up a lot of dog hair. he's due for a trim, and that was reinforced today.

last night was my fantasy draft and i blew it off. the computer did a pretty good job, i'm thin at starting pitching but i got a-rod, piazza, delgado, carlos lee, jermaine dye, and matt holiday. should be a great offense. baseball season is around the corner...play ball!

happy saturday.

23 March 2007

oh yea...

madison doesn't mess around with it's endurance event hosting. screw easter, the week will be about one thing only: the 100km national championships.

i've even got friday off because of it...

the first cut.

it looks like flying to europe may get cheaper in the next few years

the timing is perfect on a personal front. not that it will help us anytime soon but because we finally ponied up and bought our tickets for our next european adventure in may. the details are far from finalized, and we don't know if we actually got the tickets just yet, but it's a step in the right direction.

i ran a rural 8 miles last night. it's amazing how different 8 miles can feel from day to day. tuesday's run was on the sidewalks and streets of the west side of madison. yesterday was on country roads away from the city. now, i know what your thinking. the west side of madison hardly constitutes a 'city.' well, it's all point of reference, smart ass.

i'm glad it's friday.

happy friday!

22 March 2007

SHAM-rock shuffle.

so, two guys went out with the 10km start. they delayed the results and were announced as dq's. now they are listed in the official results ahead of me. if this race (or any i do) really mattered, i would almost think about complaining to the race director.

but instead, i'll post a picture. with the background it is very 'blue collar' (a buzz word in running circles these days it seems), sans the dri-fit and oakleys of course.

all blues

8 miles and a good night's sleep followed...imagine that.

we watched a documentary on deaf people last night. the most interesting fact (to me) was that alexander bell was instrumental in how deaf people were educated. he decided that sign language wasn't a language at all and pretty much outlawed it. people were supposed to read lips and speak. can you imagine reading lips? i cannot. anyway, most deaf people hate him now. to make it worse, he invented one of the most important devices ever...if you can hear. i'm probably missing details because i fell asleep about halfway through.

anyway, not much else.

happy thursday.

21 March 2007

operation: morning run.

after yesterday's excuse laden zero in the running log, it may be time to initiate operation morning run. it's too easy to opt out at night, especially when you encounter problems you have no control over. but i can always control the time i have before work (mostly).

other perks:
- sense of accomplishment before i ever get to my greatest sense of non-accomplishment: work.

- ability to add on a run in the afternoon as i progress in my training.

- frees up my afternoons which will be important once school starts.

- working 10 hour days will be more bearable knowing i don't have to lace them up as soon as i get in the door.

hmm, how long should i procrastinate starting this? double hmmmm.

lived in bars.

yesterday was one of those days. i got home late from work. went to put the running clothes on and they never got started in the dryer. waiting for them to dry, went to the grocery store with robin. 8:15 when we got home, hungry and tired. two days off in a row is what i'm saying. i didn't sleep well again because of it. why do weekend warriors obsess so? i'm disappointed, i gleaned a lot of confidence from this past weekend and now i'm back to where i was before (mentally that is).

i'm currently doing work for a tiny chinese Ph.D. who insists on using the tall urinal (too much info?). anyway, he is constantly sending me emails at all times of day, continually changing the scope of my work. anyway, besides that he is a really nice guy, and i've grown to appreciate his intent (very hard worker). i spoke with him at length last week about his struggles to get a green card. he has been in the u.s.a. for 11 years, the past 5 or 6 he has been on a work visa. he pays taxes. he works hard. he has a u.s. Ph.D. he is married with children (children born here). his application for a green card was 'passed over' because there is another applicant with his name, and rather than make a few calls they just put his application aside and it sits in limbo (it's been since 2002). in the mean time, he cannot travel to china to visit his aging parents (he is worried that he'll never see them again in person). and, he has to go to milwaukee every year and half to get finger printed because, apparently, his finger prints expire every 18 months. anyway, if an english speaking Ph.D. and his pharmacist wife have this much trouble with the immigration department, i can't imagine how it goes for an uneducated mexican laborer who is trying to do the right thing. i don't have a point really, just an observation.

wednesday already. holy moly.

happy wednesday.

20 March 2007

limit of quantitation

yesterday my hamstrings progressively got more and more sore, to the point that i could barely walk. no running for me last night. it's these little hiccups along the way that get a little frustrating. good training weekend, confident because of my race result, ready for another good week of training and now i've missed a day.

oh well, it's not the battle but the war (or something). the problem is, they feel just as sore this morning so far.

also this morning, i'm having a hard time living by my new standard (which is that you cannot control other people so why let them control your happiness). i know, sounds like self help mumbo jumbo. my only question is: why do people have to talk so loud at 6:50am about stupid nonesense?

happy tuesday.

19 March 2007

bong hits for jesus.

busy day at work today. robin takes her board recertification exam this morning...she has been studying like mad over the past 3 weeks.

i did a 9.5 mile run yesterday, nice and easy. felt good...not too sore from saturday's effort although this morning my hamstrings are a bit tight. so far, after every race i've gotten sore hamstrings...but each time it is in a slightly different place. a good sign in my book, i'm all for recruiting my hamstrings after letting them slowly atrophy through cycling the past 6 years...

last night on 60 minutes there was an interview with simon from american idol. i don't watch the show, it has always seemed really mean spirited to me. he proved that last night by saying the bad people they show really think they are good (they don't show the people they suspect of faking). then they showed a few people crying...and they all looked syndromic. has our culture lost it's fucking mind? at one point he told a guy that was obviously syndromic that he looked like some animal in the jungle. and that probably got 20 million chuckles. anyone who watches that show should be ashamed of themselves.

alright, i'll get off my high horse. mostly because horses scare me.

happy monday.

18 March 2007

badgers and the shamrock shuffle.

first off, yesterday's race was another feather in my cap, so to speak. it was an out and back course (relatively flat with a few false flats that hurt coming back) and the 5km race went out a few minutes after the 10km race. i went out with one thing in mind...run the first mile within myself. i was able to cross the mile in 5:39 feeling relaxed (a month ago i was running that pace at mile 1 and felt blown). i wanted to hold steady to the turn and then start to push coming home. i hit a lot of traffic and almost got hit by a car on two seperate occasions. i didn't get a 2 mile split but hit the 3 mile at 17 flat and finished in a 35 (ick). but, mission accomplished. new pr and an indication that my hard, patient work is paying off.

now, the badgers. i'm not making excuses...but (famous last words, right?). to me, it looked like the last month or so the two most important players on the team were worn down and tired (tucker and flowers). tucker was getting his points but he didn't have the lift that he had in mid season. and flowers was a half step slower since the last regular season game against osu, he was fouling a lot out of sloppiness (not what you want from your lock down defensive gaurd). anyway, a loss is a loss. they fought hard but couldn't pull it out. here's to next year!

they lose tucker but are stronger at every other position next year. hughes is going to be just as good as flowers defensively next year, which means they can platoon and be fresh for the stretch run. bohananen is less of an explosive player than taylor but is a lot more consistent. and the bigs will have one more year of experience.

the most dissapointing thing in my mind is that lon kreuger didn't wear the sportcoat/turtleneck combo that i remember him wearing at illinois. that's classic.

congrats to pat for winning the human race 8km race in st. paul today. that's some fast running.

16 March 2007

my favorite things.

last night was a rest night. the preplanned ones are the best because the yield no guilt. i played a little playstation, watched some ncaa action and all in all had a good evening.

duke got beat in the first round which is almost as good as the yankees getting beat in 3 in the division series of baseball. almost. i don't know why i dislike duke. actually, check that. it all started with christian latner i think.

i'm cutting out early today to watch the badger game in hd. then a little run to shake things out and then the shamrock shuffle tomorrow.

so far my bracket is 12/16. not bad for what i typically produce.

happy friday.

15 March 2007

oh yea.

happy 'pi' day (a day late). not as good as mole day but...

it's gone.

last night's run was carried out as the front came through. the wind blown ice pellets pelted me pretty good, so i pretty much ran with my eyes closed in one direction. there is a loop around my neighborhood that takes around 10 minutes (recovery pace) so i did four laps and then finished with some drills. off day today, easy tomorrow, race on saturday, longer on sunday.

quiet night otherwise. the posse comitatus (sp?) was in the news today. how can anyone think that the county sheriff should be the highest authority in government?

anyway, free coffee at starbucks today from 10-12. check it out.

happy thursday.

14 March 2007

learning how to dream big dreams.

hills yesterday, a few more than last week and it felt better to push. i guess that is how it works. the weather was sublime, near 70 degree temps had me in short sleeves for the first time in months.

i complain a lot about winter, about the snow and the ice and the cold and the darkness. but really, we are lucky to have it. it is an analogy for the rough patches in life. and this glimpse of the warmth and sun that usually comes with the summer months serves as a reminder that no matter how dark and cold it may seem, better days are always on the horizon.

of course it's easier to remember this when it's 68 degrees and sunny with a light south wind. but remember it i must try, because i get so immersed in the moment sometimes that i forget about the good times that are coming, untold adventures and moments of happiness that happen without much prior notice.

happy wednesday.

13 March 2007

another try.

after i posted yesterday i decided i shouldn't give up on fleet feet that easy. so i emailed the store and they promptly got back to me. even though they don't carry the shoe i want in store, they are ordering it in for me so i can try it on. everyone has a bad day i guess. they have redeemed themselves.

nice 10km run yesterday in SHORTS. i always feel like a dork the first couple runs in shorts, and i don't know why. i mean, 57 degrees in may and i would wear shorts, why should it be any different in march? for some reason, in my mind, it is. anyway, the legs felt heavy but i pushed the last couple of miles home and finished the run off with a set of high knees, butt kicks, bounds and strides. almost sounds like i have a membership at gymboree. except i like to think i have more coordination than a 3 year old (barely).

i'm running the shamrock shuffle this weekend. i'm going to be doing the 5k, and i'd like to run a pr (well, a pr since my return to running).

happy tuesday.

12 March 2007

local running store.

we went to fleet feet yesterday to look into some racing flats for me. not that i NEED racing flats but i have a little birthday money to spend and i'd like a pair of race day shoes for the shorter races and later this summer for some speed work. anyway, we went into fleet feet and the place was packed...good for them we thought. i looked through the selection and didn't see any mizuno flats (i love how my new mizunos fit) so i was going to ask a question about availability. 1 simple question (i tried on the brooks, asics and addidas ones they had on display while waiting). well, apparently high schoolers (and their parents) don't like waiting in line so after a half an hour i didn't get to ask a question. hmmm. what bothers me is that we've been in there many times before, they recognized us and kind of ignored us being there (they kept saying 'thanks for waiting' even though they kept helping people coming in after us)....i guess i'll have to consider holabird sports instead-the prices are much better even with shipping. i do value running stores in the community but it can't be a painful AND a more expensive experience.

what a great weekend weather-wise. warm and sunny. warmer today. warmest tomorrow (we've got a shot at 60!!). nicey nice.

11 March 2007

20 km

the goal yesterday was to run 20km. that was it, no pace in mind. actually, i wanted to run comfortably and not pay attention to splits. i did two full laps of the arboretum loop, and i averaged 7:10's. i'm really happy with that. i'm a touch sore today but not enough to miss out on a run in the 50 degree sunshine.

09 March 2007

catch me now.

last night oliver hurt himself and made our evening very interesting. when robin came home he showed his typical exhuberance and excitment that his mom was home. he was a naughty dog and jumped up. he lost his balance, hit one of his hind paws on the heater vent (right on the lever that opens and closes the vent). he let out two horrible screams (i've never heard him make a sound like that) and then, after a few seconds...the blood came. turns out he cracked a paw-nail pretty close to the base which caused him to bleed like no other. we superglued it and threw him outside...it held for a while but resumed bleeding. we tried to superglue it again and when we were trying to usher him outside...he got away and ran around the house tracking blood everywhere. finally we fashioned a sock (several socks) and held it in place over his foot. which, if you know oliver, is a form of torture because his favorite thing on this earth is to eat socks. anyway, that was our drama for the night. it seems to not be actively bleeding this morning but hopefully a day in his crate will solidify the clotting.

before that i managed to run some hills. i did a 2.5 mi warm up and then ran 3 sets of 3x150ish meters uphill with about a minute rest between reps and enough rest to breath normal between sets. it wasn't very scientific but it was my first try at it. i forgot the sensations of 'quality' work (if you can call it that). the burn during and the feeling of contentment on the cool down. it was a good workout and my legs feel better this morning than they normally do after my nightly slog. easy 6 tonight and 12 tomorrow in the sunny 45 degree temps.

it's been a rough week and the much needed weekend is almost here.

what's with the badgers playing michigan st. 3 times in 3 weeks?

08 March 2007

i'm trying...but it's trying.

i decided to take last night off from running. i got home from a pretty disappointing day at work and my moral was low. my legs were sore from the 30 miles in the past 4 days (a lot for me) and i decided to act on the cautious side. i'm looking to put another nice 4 day block in starting today, with a long run (10-12 miles) on saturday and maybe some hill repeats tonight. the latter has me nervous, i haven't done 'quality' work in what seems a coon's age, but it has been recommended to me by a trusted source for a while now and, well, i've put it off long enough.

right now i'm in a low point of the oscillation that is my work satisfaction. we had a department wide meeting yesterday and the division manager pretty much said stop complaining, we have no control, it's all corperate mandated (salaries, promotions, bonuses, etc)....but your managers are doing everything they can to improve your situation. ie, we try but are bound by corperate. bullshit. i hate the 'sit back and wait for corperate' line that this place spews more and more often. what makes it most disheartening is that we are all supposed to start 'thinking outside the box' (i HATE that phrase btw) but i guess we are not supposed to hold management to that same credo.

i really wish the 'real world' was different. but, when given lemons you can make lemonaide or you the chuck them back in the face of the people who gave you the crappy lot. i'm still deciding which path to follow (i know which one i'd prefer).

07 March 2007

disappointing.

you know, i'm the first one to admit that i don't necessarily like my job. it's a means to the end so to speak. however, i don't let this ever effect my performance, the quality of the work i produce. i'm working on a project here involving a person who has checked out and doesn't care who he drags down with him...someone i consider a friend. he is my level in title but he is doing work that an entry level scientist would be reprimanded for...yet for some reason he gets the benefit of the doubt. again, i am powerless to produce change so i just have to try to learn from this. the lesson... don't let fuck ups get you down.

another day, another run. the ice is wearing me down mentally but the legs feel good. it looks like a warm up is on the way...i even saw mid fifties by next week which is twice as warm as it is getting these days. add that with 'spring ahead' on sunday and we're solid. must...make it....to....the........weekend.

happy wednesday.

06 March 2007

put up a parking lot.

robin got me a pretty sweet gift...a krups espresso maker. the best part is that you can manually load the espresso or use the pod system that has been out for a year or two. here's to being jittery all of the time!

wilco gave me a gift as well. a free download of a track off the new album 'sky blue sky.' click on the wilco link to the right if you are interested...it's sort of dylan-esque with instrumentation conjuring the previous effort am (with the slide guitar).

i ran on the capital city trail yesterday. it's a net downhill out and a net up back, and i managed negative splits so that is cool. the best part was that i wasn't really trying to push.

other than that it was a nice relaxed evening with some mexican food for dinner. yum.

happy tuesday.

05 March 2007

3 decades of me.

today i am officially in a new age group.

saturday i ran 10 miles in the arboretum at around 7min pace. i followed that up yesterday with another 7. i was a little sore yesterday but not too bad. a good sign.

after much deliberation, i've pretty much decided to run the milwaukee lake front marathon instead of twin cities or chicago. two reasons, timing and financial. it's going to be a lot easier to drive over to milwaukee after class then it would be to drive to minneapolis or downtown chicago. not exactly the scope of race i had in mind but a challenge no less.

every birthday for the last 3 i've been amazed at how fast the time has gone. taking a quick assessment of my life where it stands at this moment in time, i feel happy and lucky. i've got a GREAT wife. my job...i don't hate. i've taken the steps i feel are necessary to make my job be something i love. i'm still following the voices that tell me to push myself physically, and i really feel like i've re-discovered the proper outlet that best matches my personality (running).

anyway, monday and i've got quite a bit of work to do.

02 March 2007

springtime yawning high in the haze? please?

"it was described as tasting like satan's urine after a heavy diet of asparagus."

my favorite line from 30rock last night. the show is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. 'hey tina, you going to my after, after, after, after party?'

yesterday i decided to take the day off from running. i was feeling a little rough from all the ice/snow running and i'm still (that's right, still) trying to get my running legs back. sometimes it feels good but it is mostly a struggle so far. even though i want my mileage to be at a certain level i really need to take it easy to prevent setbacks. so when the dogs say they are tired, i'll rest them.

it was so windy this morning. how windy was it? oliver didn't even want to eat the dead rabbit in our backyard after he took care of his doggie business. it was that windy.

i'm glad it's friday, but i've got a lot of work to get through before i really get to reap the rewards. and, robin comes home tonight. joy.

happy friday.

01 March 2007

snow/rain/snow/rain/snow

right now it is supposed to be raining. the weather guy (just 20 minutes ago) said it was raining. a quick glance out of the window tells me this is not true. trueview, stormcast, terror tracker radars are nice and all, but whatever happened to looking out the window for current observations?

hit 8 miles last night while deep in thought about some work bs going on the past couple of days. whenever my thoughts are monopolized by work during my workout i feel a little short changed. interesting, the thoughts stemmed from being short changed (literally) at work. it's just another 'people trained in science don't make good managers' theme, which is recurrent at my workplace.

i can't wait for robin to come back to her boys. they miss her.