30 April 2007

all the stars may shine a bright.

i knew this weekend would be a tough one training wise (hence the 16 miler on a thursday)and it played out as i suspected. friday i was able to get out for a 6 mile jaunt before piling in the car for the trip to eau claire.

i had a nice visit with my dad, then we met my mom out for a drink before heading home to feed the dog. we got to bed late, and oliver didn't sleep well which meant i was destined for a poor night's sleep as well. took the 'goose egg' in the log on saturday but had a great day catching up with mark and lisa and getting to be in my favorite my favorite metro area, msp. another late night but with better sleep on saturday night.

sunday, we awoke to beautiful weather and i just had to get out. i did my favorite ec loop consisting of the road around carson park, along the river to campus and then through putnam park. what a great 8ish miles. a quick visit to a baby (they are everywhere these days) and we were off to madison...we got back just in time to mow the lawn (me) and weed the beds (robin). good weekend in a whirlwind sort of way.

anyway, last 7 days: 47 miles (with two zero days)--i'm happy.

the past 6 months or so have been about conditioning, base and getting used to running again. mission accomplished. if everything worked out, i was hoping i'd be able to run a really good 20k or half on the fitness i've developed...and that is tbd this weekend. i start true marathon training after our trip to denmark, time to really get to work.

happy monday.

27 April 2007

into the ether

16 miles last night on the military trail. the wind, rain and chilly temps made for a comfortable run once i got warmed up. run time was 1:51 (around 6:56/mile), average heartrate was 153 with a max of 160 (probably when tokyo police club came on my ipod). this is the longest i've run in over 10 years.
last 7 days: 56 miles

other than that, i was pretty wasted last night opting to lay around and watch tv. the dog can usually tell when i'm pretty tired and that usually makes him kick the naughtiness up a notch.

we're heading north this weekend. a trip to the twin cities is in store with lay overs in eau claire. should be fun. and the weather is supposed to be really, really nice.

happy spring.

26 April 2007

tomorrow on the runway.

8 miles last night on the dog loop. but i reconfigured it to avoid all dogs. it was a grey, gloomy, cool night...perfect for running.
last 7 days: 47 miles.

tonight i'm going to try to squeeze my long run in after work since we are busy this weekend. i was hoping for 16 miles...we'll see. then i start a mini-taper to the lake monona 20km. my vdot says i can run 1:16 but i'd be happy running a 1:18. i'll probably try to run 6:10's for 10km and then reassess.

not much else going on.

happy thursday.

25 April 2007

navey bean

miles davis to start the day. it's purpose? to drown out the incessant chatter that my coworkers insist on all day, starting before i get in a 6:30-6:45. who talks at this hour? and why all the superlatives? i'm sick of hearing the word phenomenal.

9 miles last night--the day off did me some wonders. i felt like i could run again, the legs felt responsive, my breathing was good and the miles ticked away like a metronome. adding to my enjoyment was the steady spring rain falling throughout the run. this is what i thought about when i was out in blowing snow, eyes squinted tight to avoid the snow hitting the eye ball. this is what i thought about sitting in the hot shower after a run in sub zero weather on an icey road.
last 7 days: 45 miles.

brewers win again. i'm trying to not get used to it, but man it's fun.

happy wednesday.

24 April 2007

opt out

last night i decided to 'rack it' for the night and take a night off. it's one of those things...i never really schedule days off with the idea that i will take them when i need them. then, when it seems like i maybe need one i feel guilty taking one. hmmm. anyway, i came home exhausted and heavy and unmotivated so i took a true zero in the log for the first time since april 6th.
last 7 days: 45.5 miles

it looks like we may be switching to dsl for our internet and dropping our cable provider for internet and television. i'm a little melancholy considering i will not be able to watch baseball anymore, but i guess the radio is free, right? but the cable company is raking us over the coals, as our indian customer service person explained to us over web chat last night.

happy tuesday.

23 April 2007

lesson learned.

yesterday's run was really, really rough. i don't know if it was the yarkwork, the heat, dehydration, lack of sleep or what but yesterday's 14 miler was the hardest run i've done since i've rededicated myself to running.

robin came with me on the bike, and that kept me from stopping short or (gasp) walking. i felt that bad. i knew from the start that i was hurting, but i got through it and i somehow managed to run 14 miles in a respectable 1:40.30. during the cold months i guess i've taken my hydration/nutrition for granted, but the heat reaper came calling this weekend and i took one in the chops. live and learn.
last 7 days: 52.5 miles.

we did a lot of stuff over the weekend house wise. robin painted our bathroom off the kitchen, i managed to dig up a bunch of plants that were starting to overtake our side raised bed. i changed the blade on the lawnmower and it didn't even come flying off.

i can't believe it's monday. yikes.

21 April 2007

not feeling...it.

man, today was just one of those days you feel like the nail. tired from staying up past my bed time. the good thing is all the people we saw last night that we haven't seen a whole lot of lately. i think that will be the hardest part about not racing bikes...not seeing the crew as often.

i tried to clean up the back yard today, and it doesn't really look any different. my 7 mile run was a struggle, and right now i feel like i could fall asleep on the keyboard. but if i lay down to take a nap, nothing happens.

i'm putting the post out of its misery.

happy saturday.

20 April 2007

before and after.

in the morning:



in the evening:



(admitantly, the bandana is annoying)

under an azure sky.

7 miles last night in my mizuno revolvers. i thought i should get some road miles in the new shoes prior to any racing, so that is what i did. the run had an inauspitious start but got better as it progressed. it was a beautiful spring evening and once i remembered just how good life is the run improved dramatically. past 7 days: 50.5 miles.

tonight will most likely be a zero in the log book (which is fine--i haven't had a rest day since april 6th) so we can make it to ben's reception in time. but the weekend is supposed to be grand and i'm hoping to get a 14 miler in the log on sat or sun.

while i was finishing my run up in my neighborhood, i was running up our street towards the house and i saw a kid wearing really big pants. he started yelling at me to look, then he started running right at me down the middle of the street. he stopped and yelled 'hey!' and stood in the middle of the road with a weird expression in his eyes (with hands in pockets). a few years ago i'd probably laugh this 11 year old off and not put another thought towards it. but my first emotion was fear...and that really makes me mad. living in fear is no way to live. has anyone seen the new dodge advertisements showing unruly kids in school settings being satiated by a dvd player screen pulled out from the ceiling of a bus or a classroom? what did people do before they could tune their kids out? and what is this new way of parenting doing to our children?

all this from a weird 11 year old thinking it's cool to wear his dad's painting pants.

happy friday.

19 April 2007

official.

i did it. i am registered for the lakefront marathon. i figured it was time now that chicago has filled in record time. not that milwaukee will fill anytime soon...but you never know.

a comet appears.

last night i warmed up for 15 minutes or so, and did 5 sets of 2min hard, 1min easy in elver park with 20 minutes cool down. i was going to do hill repeats but it was cool, misty, dark...perfect cross country weather so i opted for a twist on the workout. it was hard, so i guess that was good. and within the context of the workout i got plenty of long, soft, grassy turfed-hill running. last 7 days: 51.5 miles.

i'm going to try to start logging the last 7 days on the blog, mostly for myself. it is an interesting statistic and i think a telling one at that. my training is set up in monday through sunday increments, but the constant load i'm putting on the body is the meat and potatoes of the training plan.

the shins just came on my ipod, australia. my favorite shins song:

dare to be one of us, girl! faced with the android's conundrum i felt i like should just cry. but nothing happens every time i take one on the chin. your humor and your code you don't know how long i've been, watching the latern dim, starved of oxygen, just give me you hand and lets jump out this window.

if you haven't heard the song, you should. there is a dichotomy with the lyrics and the 'bubbly' nature of the tune. musically brilliant.

speaking of musically brilliant, t-minus 26 days until 'sky blue sky' comes out from wilco.

18 April 2007

casino queen.

ran right from work last night through the pheasant branch conservancy. ended up a bit longer than i had anticipated, 9.5 miles but it felt really good. lately, my left calf has been feeling tight/strained so i spent a lot of time with the foam roller, stretching and later 'the stick' to try to loosen it up. still feels weird this morning so i'll have to monitor it. i should probably ice it tonight.
last 7 days: 50.5 miles.

tomorrow oliver gets his hair cut. gone will be the doggy afro he's been sporting. hippy.

last night i got to watch the brewer game which was a dissappointment. greg aquino came in and blew it in a big way. both times i've seen this guy pitch he has gotten sporadic with his control when there have been runners on base. walking a pitcher (he did it in the first outing i saw him) and walking in runs is unacceptable on a winning ballclub. but then again, i'm no gm.

happy wednesday.

17 April 2007

ponzi's revenge.

7 miles last night in shorts/short sleeves. spring in wisconsin i guess, snow and cold one day and then 65 and sunny a few days later. afterwards i decided to take advantage of the nice afternoon and do some cleaning in the garage with the brewer game on the radio. oliver helped by barking at pedestrians and trying to eat the mulch.

the boston marathon was yesterday and the conditions were less than optimal. the thing is with running conditions...everyone has to race in the them so it really isn't that big of a deal place wise. however, if your objective was to earn a qual time for the olympic trials you would be a little depressed i'd imagine. good thing i don't have to worry about that...

on my runs lately i've been thinking a lot about potential, ie, just how fast could i be in the marathon? i figure i've missed out on realizing my total potential just by not running consistantly over the past 10 years. but what if i am able to train for the next 3,4, 5 or more years...how fast could i go? it is a moot point because i don't even know if i can run sub 3, and i've only run 1 marathon in my days. just something to think about i guess.

at what point did life become so bad that people feel the need to shoot up other human beings? robin mirrored my sentiment last night when she said that things like this make her feel less like having children. this seems like a generational phenomenon to me. not that people haven't done this type of thing before columbine, but since 1999 it seems a lot more common. and the fact that a guy on student visa from another country did it means that it isn't just an american thing...it's cross cultural and that really scares me. could it be related to our dependance on cell phones, internet, television, etc? i never put much merit in that but maybe having communication be so easy and available can deepen the feelings of isolation if you don't have friends texting you every 20 seconds...

but what do i know?

happy tuesday.

16 April 2007

sofa king...

btw...did anyone catch saturday night live this weekend? if not, you need to go to you tube and watch the 'sofa king' commercial.

how low are our prices?

sofa king low!

all the leaves will burn.

last night i headed to the military ridge trail after we got back from eau claire feeling uninspired, sore and kind of sick. i eased into the run thinking i was running slow, and i ran the first half of 10 miles in 7:05's. so, i decided that i would push a little on the return trip and ran a 26 minute 4 mile segment and i wasn't really out of breath. it's amazing how a 70 minute run can turn your day around, and last night it helped. afterward i stretched and then just sat for a minute or two taking in the sunset.

on my way home, i was listening to wilco and the song 'sunken treasure' came on. the opening lyrics of the opening verse reminded me of the winter slog we are finishing up, where any run after work is in the dark and it's cold.

"rows and rows of houses, with windows painted blue. the light, from the tv, running parrallel to you....i am so out of tune, with you."

and during those runs, i often looked for signs of the 'light at the end of the tunnel.' well, there is no need to search for that anymore because springtime is here. there still could be snow, there still could be cold. but that grass is staying green until november and the trees will have leaves in no time. and that is great news.

the wedding in eau claire was a blast from the past. lance and grant were there and it was great to catch up with them. it has been years since i've last spoken to that group, it's good to know that the more things change the more they stay the same.

happy monday.

13 April 2007

blogging in hindi.

8 miles last night with 4 x 3min hard, 2min easy in the middle. it felt good to run fast, the last rep was faster than i intended but i was avoiding more dogs. 3 sets of 2 dogs and also the husky that almost got me earlier this week. that's 7 dogs if you are counting.

robin was at a party last night which meant i got to eat rocky's for dinner. i have no point other than rocky's rules.

busy day today and then we're off for a wedding reception in eau claire this weekend. we're going to be seeing a lot of blasts from the past, it's matt hick's wedding so we'll see the whole ec gang for sure. a group of people that i haven't seen in like 3 and a half years (not coincidentally, we've been married for 3.5 years or so...).

12 April 2007

so it goes.

i wimped out last night. i decided i'd give my new racing flats a trial run on the treadmill at work. thing is, i haven't been on a treadmill in years. so it wasn't much of a surprise when i fell off the back of it as i was changing tracks on my ipod. good thing nobody else uses the workout room at work.

i was hoping for 8 miles but i ended it with 5. the treadmill is a different beast, one i could get used to but maybe would rather not...at least until next winter. to rationalize it, i did a few circuits of upper body weights (curls, bench press, dips). i'm feeling it today but not as much as i would have thought.

maybe i'm not quite the wimp i thought i was.

we ended up with around 6 inches of heavy snow. the roads never really got that bad because the temps were pretty moderate. hopefully the warming trend holds and we get rid of it all by early next week.

happy thursday.

11 April 2007

this blizzy is off the hizzy.

you wake up, you watch the weather. they say 3-6 inches. you go to work. you come home. they say 7-9 inches.

yesterday was practice for my eventual shift to 4 10 hour workdays. i just hope i'm not this busy when i finally make the change. i was exhausted when i got home, it was all i could do to force myself out the door for my scheduled run. once i got out for a mile or two i felt strong, and i finished off the 8 miler knowing that tonight's run wouldn't be as pleasant.

on my way back to the house, a husky type dog that i see a lot was sitting at the end of its driveway. as a ran past i noticed it was coming out across the street going very slowly. it stopped in the road, so i stopped to try to make it go home. instead, it came up to me slowly (not showing aggressive posture or anything). so i approached it with a very slow and non-aggressive movement. my watch beeped and then the dog gave me the full on snarl and started chasing me. lucky for me its an old dog, and i'm not as slow as i used to be. the neighbors probably took exception to my shouting obsenities. that is the closest i've come to a dog bite in a while...and it always seems to be that type of dog.

i least i did my stride outs today.

man this weather sucks.

happy wednesday.

10 April 2007

only in dreams.

my 8 mile run last night was a bit of a struggle. i was definitely feeling the wine from sunday's dinner and that had me feeling pretty crappy all day. it's weird though, after about 5 minutes the rest of the run is usually my best part of the day when i feel like this.

i guess you could say i have an alcohol sensitivity. it's weird, i could have one sip of wine too late in the day and the next day i feel like crap. not normal hang over symptoms, but achy, fevery, heart palpatationy and flushed in the face (how is that for some new adjectives). it's uncomfortable and unpleasant. the really weird thing? i get the same sensations when i eat garlic at night. so...anyone have any suggestions? i know the obvious one...avoid alcohol and garlic. but i like garlic and i like an occasional glass of wine with dinner. if only there was some sort of magic antidote...

the weather forcast for tonight/tomorrow...3-6 inches of snow. that gets a giant wtf? in my book. what a shitty april it's been so far.

anyway, another busy day at work.

happy tuesday.

09 April 2007

link.

pat interview/

back at it.

yesterday's easter dinner was highlighted by some old friends and some new friends. and 1 crazy dog. i had a lot of fun....hopefully our guests did as well.

anyway, i'm feeling groggy this morning. the kind of groggy one gets after a 3 day weekend. and extra day and i always seem to forget just how early 5:20 really is. it's not like i really slept in at all, it's just different waking up knowing your main task for the next couple of hours is drinking coffee.

this week will be a sort of rest week for me running wise (relative to the long run). i'm going to hold my weekly volume but spread it out differently. longest run: 10 miles, the rest will be 8's.

happy monday.

08 April 2007

100km of hell.

the weather took its toll on many from yesterday's race. the breaking point for the elites seemed to be around 60km, where several had to withdraw from the race due to varying reasons. pat wasn't immune, we tweaked a hamstring on a downhill at 55 km. something you might be able to run through for 10km...but not 45. he was in second place when it happened, and it was a lot of fun watching the race unfold. but damn it was cold...i know of at least one instance of hypothermia (but i wouldn't rule out more).

my run on friday was a good one, although it pales in comparison to what these people were running. i logged 14 miles in 1:38, with a stiff cross wind the entire way (same course as sunday). that put me at 62 miles in 7 days which is a high point for me since i was training for twin cities 10 years ago. yesterday i took off in light of that...but i rode 30 or 40km around the course on my bike watching the race.

today we host a little easter dinner. afterwards i will run to burn off the food/libations.

happy sunday.

05 April 2007

the brewer game...

as promised...some pictures from the game.

the television truck.



here i am, standing in right field...i mean, ON the field.



here we are, in the fucking dugout (i can't even believe it happened).



we sat right next to the pro scouts....



anyway, walking on the field and sitting in the dugout was a childhood dream come true (sort of--i figured i'd be playing when i was dreaming as a child). every time i go to a major league game i am transported to my first game ever...

My first major league baseball game at county stadium is still one of my favorite memories. I wasn’t very old, 5 or 6? It was the only time I remember going on an extended trip with my dad. As we drove up, I remember being floored at the sight
of the grand stadium, a giant in relation to the surrounding parking lots…it sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it. The smells of hotdogs and grass, the sounds of the bat cracking during batting practice and the stadium organ…everytime I go to a game I re-live the initial sensations I had that day. The good guys won that day too, robin yount hit a ground rule double to plate paul molitor (I distinctly remember molitor slipping as he rounded third pace…he tripped on the base watching the ball bounce over the right field wall). The crowd roared in satisfaction…and there was a little boy in his replica jersey that was very happy that day.

I cling to that day in my history for many reasons. It was the moment in time that i developed my love for the game of baseball, an experience that forged a passion to play that I held until those sour days in high school when I justwasn’t good enough to make the team (even though I had consistently made all city teams in babe ruth) and a passion to follow the game that I still have today. It is a highpoint in the relationship with my father that I haven’t gotten many of in my life. There have been many disappointments in that regard that I’ve tried to hide in my mind’s eye, but this one moment on that warm summer’s day long ago is a fond memory I hope I never forget.

Anyway, this has morphed into something I wasn’t expecting. the game was a great experience. when i was 10 years old i was sure i was going to be a major league baseball player.tuesday was the closest i'll ever come to that, but that is ok. dreams aren't supposed to come true...they are fantasy. goals based on ability is what one should really hang their hat on.

this is what i've learned in life so far, although it took me almost 30 years to figure it out...

that doesn't mean i'll stop dreaming, not for a second.

race preview.

http://www.runningusa.org/media/wire2007/Wire2007-26.html#story1

in the middle of a cloud.

last night i ventured into the wind and chill for some hill repeats in elver park. it was a very fun route i picked, uphill for 4/5's and then a slight downhill to give me the feeling that i'm actually running fast. i did 2 sets of 4x1 min hills, concentrating on getting a little faster through the workout and keeping my arms down. it worked and i felt really good after all was said and done.

other than that we were lazy trying to recover from our lack of sleep from the game the night before. i'll try to get those pictures up today sometime.

the brewers lost. i'll take 2 out of every 3. suppan looked good. the offense almost sctratched their way back. good times.

happy thursday.

04 April 2007

the good guys won.

last night's game was really fun. we sat directly behind home plate, 16 rows up. this was after getting a tour of the tv trucks and walking on the field during the dodgers batting practice. we have pictures to prove is but i was too tired this morning to upload them. it's good to have connections...

the game itself was a good one for a weeknight. capuano pitched ok, the bullpen did a good job and some timely hitting got the win (mench stopped whining and hit a 2r hr, along with a solo shot from fielder). the best part about sitting behind homeplate? watching the action those guys get on their pitches.

my run yesterday was good as well. i took full advantage of the last nice weather day in a while (if you don't mind misty haze). 8 miles and i wanted to do more.

happy wednesday. i hope you are not as tired as i am right now...

03 April 2007

nature of the experiment.

no work today, and i feel fine. a day off to sleep, drink coffee, run a little perhaps and then head to milwaukee for the brewers game. nice day.

last night i ran 6 miles, and i felt a little creaky. a few laps around elver did the trick and i feel pretty good today. when i finished up i noticed this during my stretch on the porch:



i like this landscaper's work. i mean, i would have never thought to put litter in my bushes...thanks. i now consider our property enhanced.

happy tuesday.

02 April 2007

weekend end.

i got out in the windy rain for 14 miles yesterday. i ran the military ridge trail and saw 4 other people in an hour and 38 minutes. i went out in 49:15 for 7 ish and turned around and kept it steady. when i finished i felt like i could keep going so i guess that is good.

that puts me at 5 weeks in a row at 40 miles or above. i'm slowly climbing through the 40s though (48 last week) and should be at 50 or above in the next few weeks. i'm sticking to my plan of cautiousness with regard to building volume, especially now that i've added some weekly hill work.

we did some decorating in our living room yesterday, we've been in our house for over a year and a half and are just now getting things up on the walls...and it makes a huge difference. i'm really happy with how it looks...it almost looks like adults live there or something.

i emailed fleet feet about my racing flats...she promptly wrote back saying that they were expected to ship on april first (although i doubt anything ships on a sunday). originally, she told me march 20th. now i know she has no control of this since it is factory back order, but an update on the new ship date would have been cool. ff is doing me a favor by ordering in shoes they don't carry, so i shouldn't complain. i think that i will use fleet feet when i want to try something new...but maybe i'll order from a cheaper outlet when i need to replace something like my every day trainers. a happy medium between supporting local shops and preserving our bank account.

if our ticket connection comes through, we'll be sitting in miller park tomorrow evening for the home opening night game against the dodgers. and that will be the earliest i've seen a brewer game live. i went to a twins home opener once, but that was like a week and a half into the season.

happy monday. (oxy-moron?)

01 April 2007

put your records on.

boy is it windy today. not ideal for 14 miles but some would argue it is never ideal to run 14 miles. then again, there are people who are just getting warmed up at mile 14...i hope to be one of the latter some day in the future.

i got out for 6.5 easy last night. i thought i had a window of opportunity but it rained on me the last 15 minutes or so. my legs feel a lot better this morning than they have the past couple days, which i am happy about.

yesterday was domestically productive, we cleaned a little, i made a brief stint at work, we cleaned out the aquarium (yuck), put up our new metal sculpture in the living room (i now have done my upper body work for the week) and walked around the mini-art fair at hilldale (we were dissappointed with the 'art').

happy sunday.