Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Blog has Moved

I've moved the blog to my .mac account. Apple recently upgraded their iWeb program and their .mac service so now it really works well for my needs. Instead of directing people to numerous different places I've decided to consolodate. I'll leave the old posts up wanted you to know that I'm not done blogging, just redirecting my efforts.

Check out the new site.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's Been a Busy Week

Sorry for not having an update on here in about a week. I've been terribly busy with work and it's affected my free time and my training. Suffice it to say this weekend doesn't look very promising. I've got lots of work to do because I've been put on special projects; however, this is exactly what I asked for so I'm not complaining about that. Personally, day-to-day underwriting sucks. But the research projects are quite fun and I enjoy every minute of it. Too bad I still have to do the day-to-day stuff along side it.

Here's a short run down of what happened this week. The courses stayed the same as previous weeks so there's really no reason for updated maps.

Monday was cross training and to that end I biked and weight lifted a bit. My swimming's been taking a hit but that's the price you pay sometimes.

Tuesday was unique. I did my first yoga course. It was a fitnes yoga course so it required a bit of physical conditioning above and beyond a "standard" yoga course. It was fun and for the first time in a long time...I was sore. It made me really happy to feel that. Any more I have to exercise like mad man just to feel I did something. And here one yoga course did me in. Can't wait for next Tuesday.

Wednesday I did my typical 6 mile run at 4:00 a.m. CST followed by cycle 60. Nothing special there.

Thursday I did a bit of hill work but only made it up the hill 4 times before throwing in the towel. Something felt odd with my stomach and I physically couldn't do any more. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was above 90 degrees Farenheit and dry. Who knows. But sometimes you have to sacrafice a workout when the body tells you it's done.

Today is a scheduled day off so there's nothing to report.

That's about it in a nutshell. I've got to head back to work so keep it real.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Hennepin Lake Classic

Today was one of those days where I woke up and didn't want to do anything. I had a 20 mile run scheduled but stayed up till about 1:00 am this morning talking with friends. To top that off, I ate a bunch of potato chips (not on my standard diet but they sure did taste wonderful). So, when 6:00 rolled around I was less than enthused to do 20 miles much less any running of any sorts. And to top that off I had a race scheduled: the Hennepin Lake Classic Doubleheader - a 10K followed by a 5K.

I planned on skipping the race and the 20 mile run altogether because of a complete lack of motivation. Thankfully my senses got the better of me and I went to the race. While waiting for the race I did some warm up jogging and felt just horrible. I was stiff, didn't feel like being there, and really wanted to nap. But I stayed the course and decided to run the races.

All through the race, I didn't look at my Forerunner at all to see the pace. In the past that used to be useful but it's become a crutch. Mentally, I would collapse if I was going too fast or too slow. Instead, I just kept it there and focused on the moment. I focused on each step I took, taking in the excitement of the people around me and the beautiful scenery. That focus really paid off as I set a PR in at least the 10K and I think also in the 5K. I've still got to check the records on that one but I'm sure I did.

To top that off, I met and got re-acquainted with a number of top quality people I've seen at some other races. To me, that's most of the excitement of the races. Never in my normal day do I get to meet such wonderful people. We all have common goals and they're all such a blast to hang around with and talk to. I love races. They are really a great way to meet the people I want to meet. No where else have I found this to be true. And to think...if I were to skip the races today I would have not had all the wonderful opportunities I had today. I'm double the man that I was when I woke up today because of it. Even on days where you don't want to wake up and are actively convincing yourself to not do a run or a race, you really need to search deep down for the energy and love of the sport to get yourself out there. There's no telling who you'll meet and how you'll do. Who knows? It might be one of those runs that changes your life like today was for me. And to think I almost missed it because I was feeling lazy.

I haven't felt so happy and alive in a long time. I can't wait for the next one. There's nothing on the calendar yet until 9-September: City of Lakes 25K.

Here are today's maps:

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Tour de Tonka - the real thing

Today's ride wasn't what I thought it'd be. In fact, putting it into words isn't a simple thing. "Bad" is an understatement but "horrible" is too strong. It simply wasn't good at all.

I was signed up for the 65 mile ride and was completely stoked about it. I woke up early, had some oatmeal, got everything together and headed to the Deephaven Education Center (DEC) to drop off my bike and participate in the pre-ride festivities. All was well at this point. The people really set up a good show at the beginning and they were a joy to talk to. I even met up with a fellow I met running around Lake Calhoun: Teeto. It was good to see him again and we talked about our running experiences and upcoming goals.

As the start time drew near I met some other cool people. One of them was a pastor at a church just down the road. He seemed like a quality guy and it was a treat to hear from him about his church and congregation. Maybe one of these Sundays I'll make it out to the church for a service to see what it's really all about.

With one minute before the ride, it all went down hill. The weather turned on us and it got cold and rainy. None of you probably know this but a little known fact about me is that I break out in hives when I get cold. It's nothing serious. Mostly it's just not a pleasant thing to look at. But it's really annoying. Plus, one thing I do think most people know about me is I have a deep dislike for being cold. So my mood went immediately from "This is going to be great" to "screw this." At 17 miles into the ride, I have hives all over my torso and arms, couldn't see from all the water dripping on my lenses from my helmet, and my feet were impossibly drenched. All this, compounded with my complete lack of motivation by this point, made me drop out of the 65 mile ride and do the 33 mile ride. I'm not proud of it but the only valid rationale I have is it was a decision to avoid getting sick. I've put in too much time to be out of commission from the rest of my training.

After pulling in to the finish area and going back to my car I did meet a very nice woman. She invited me to do rides and other events with the Twin Cites Tri Club. It'd be nice to see her at one of these events. She seems like a very decent woman to get to know.

So, in short, my first group bike ride turned out to be borderline nightmareish. I guess there's always a next time.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Wednesday 6 Mile Easy Run

Today's run was really hot. I didn't get a measured dew point or temperature but trust me when I say it was hot and humid. A friend of mine met me in uptown and biked along with me running so I had some nice company. After the ru we biked to Old Chicago for a bite to eat and saw the horrible news about the 35W bridge in Minneapolis. Strangely enough, this happened less than a hand full of miles away from where I was running.

My most sincere heartfelt sympathies go to those familes who lost a loved one in the tragedy.