Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Daddy Brick Workout

Pre-Plan Preparation: Share DNA with someone else, and shelter  the resulting infant/toddler in your same domicile. "Experiment" with parenting strategies. Know that it is NOT ok to revise any strategies in the middle of the night, but that you inevitably will --all to the merriment of your child and the bulging database of your local CPS department. Begin a health-conscious exercise plan such as an 18 week marathon plan. Ready?? Here we go!

In this workout, Brick refers to the feeling in your head as you contemplate hitting the road for a morning run following the nighttime sleep patterns of a 2.5 year old.

The workout is presented in Steps hereforward so that you may monitor your progress vs. the sub-tasks required to get to your terminal goal.

Step One: Throw half a bagel in the trash and begin to put your exhausted toddler to bed at ____pm. Repeat 29 times between 8pm and 9:15pm and believe me it will be a progressive part of the workout as you deplete all of your verbal reasoning skills over the 90 minutes. '29' attempts is a good starting point. Many more experienced fathers can get up to 50 --start slow. Gu and water at the 'end' of this stage.

Step Two: Sneak into bed with your spouse. In this stage we have some important DO NOTS:


  • Flush the toilet
  • Pee directly into the water
  • make any noise while brushing teeth
  • rustle the sheets
  • turn on any lights within one mile of the house
  • have 'relations' with spouse. Silly!! You stopped doing that long ago and besides, it's what got you into this in the first place
DO have a little water. But do it quietly. Sleep quietly.

Step Three: Wake up at 1am. Your child is done sleeping for the night but wants you to come sleep with him in his bed, or go watch tv, or sleep in the living room, or make pancakes. He will be very pursuasive. Don't do it under any circumstances. Talk him into going back to sleep. Failure at step 3 is actually a success. It's 1 am and technically the next day. Congratulations, you have made it through a Daddy Brick workout. Get ready to build a house.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Jamoosh, a shameless Houstonian late night fast-running beer connoisseur, tagged me to respond to a list of survey questions. I'm doing it now, because you don't want to be on this guy's bad side:

1. What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2010?
This was fun to think about, unlike item #5. The honorable mention is that my parents bought HJG a tricycle for his birthday and he would have nothing to do with it. Mrs. and I helped him learn to ride and now he loves it. So, helping him learn to ride his trike. The most proud accomplishment this year also features my 3 YO. More often than not on our walks these days, he breaks into an 11 minute mile stride and calls over his shoulder, "I'm running daddy! I'm running!" Yes toddler yes, but 35 yards does not a marathon make. Nevertheless, this is clear evidence that we are raising him in a healthy environment of physical fitness. Now in 2011, my inner Santini says, we need to work on his slight pronation problem, get in some speed work (ladders?), and get the nutrition plan nailed down once and for all.
2. What are your running goals for 2011?
Healthy regular non-competitive running for enjoyment and exercise. Some of my regular races. Running with a partner/group(s), some trail running. Lose 10 more lbs.
3. What is your favorite race?
The Moon Valley Grasshopper Bridge 5K. My first race ever and I've been progressively faster 3 years in a row. About 2,000 people line up for this and many are fast, most are mid-pack. Beautiful weather, great organization, easy in and out (twss).
4. What is your favorite holiday guilty pleasure?
For food: Trader Joes chile Thai Lime Cashews. Hell, any cashews! Otherwise, staying up late with wifey and watching classic movies.
5. What was your most embarrassing running moment?
Took wrong turn in SYTO 5K 2010 and ended up running almost 4 miles extra before finding the course again. It was a group of friends so I didn't say anything. Will definitely redeem myself at the FYTO 5K 2011.

Tagging..... Suzanne, Andrew, and Feet Meet Street (Nitmos?!! You read this far??).

Thanks LML.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2010 Fiesta Bowl 1/2 Marathon Report

2:20:35 chip time
2:20:18 on the Garmin (and 13.28 miles on the Garmin -boo!)
Missed first overall by 1:06 and change.

Missed the PR by 11 seconds and averaged about 10:34 per mile which is what was planned. Also planned to finish strong and healthy. Success!

299?? Yep, I'm crazy!!
This was designed by Lauren and I to be a training run/Gallowalk with average miles in the 10:30 range. We kept it there and sort of gradually got faster as the miles ticked off. Each time we noticed the Garmin starting to swell (is that what she said?) we backed off to our planned speed.

Back home now and started to feel worse health-wise, so I headed over to the local urgent care and got a car full of meds. Hard to believe I could run a 1/2 marathon in the morning and have upper respiratory problems in the afternoon. My 3YO has been sick to his stomach and napping all day, so Mrs. G has had a really challenging day.

Ahhhh Runners World is here. What BS do you have for me this month? Can't wait to read your food guide you simps!!

The event was hosted by Runners Den, a local Phoenix running store, and RacePlace events did the timing and bib stuff. It was well organized and because its so small (1061 total 1/2 mary runners), getting there and around was a cinch. We congregated near the start, waited for the Star Spangled Banner --which I don't think they did??!? and we were off right on time. 5 minutes later, the 5K started but I never saw any of them. Water stations were staffed with plenty of friendly volunteers and gave out H2O and Gu drink and Gu Gingerbread at one point. Most of the race was spent in the same group and we only noticed the pace sets break up in the last mile or so. As for hills, what do we in Phoenix know about hills? There really aren't any to speak of, some gentle rises, but flat as a pancake mostly.

I will likely do this again next year. I really like the distance, the small field size, the organization, and the local feel of this race.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pre-Race Report Fiesta Bowl 1/2 Marathon

Image blurred to protect identity??

This will be (notice the font change? I knew you would!!) the second running of this event for me. I showed up last year with high hopes of coming in first place overall, but 2:22 is just not fast enough no matter how you slice and dice it. I limped through the last couple of miles with a hammy cramp and an asthmatic wheeze that would make Darth Vader retire.

It's a low-key 1/2 marathon, a simple route, I ran it with Runlaur,and for all that I vowed to run it again this year. And it has snuck up on me. But I've been training for the January Marathon, so I feel like I'm as ready as I can be. I've had a head full of cold for the past week or so and have not felt good, but I'm on Bactrin, tea, and medical marijuana -thanks Arizona voters! Runlaur and I have promised to keep it slow and steady as a training run. I don't know why, but it seems that whenever we run, we push each other into faster paces than planned. so tomorrow, we will likely set course records. Weather is supposed to be perfect and  I'm bib number 299 for whatever that's worth. And I got my new shoes today. Very springy and new.

This past Thursday marked the first time in the plan, and the first time in my wretched running life, I have attempted Yasso 800's. The Yasso 800 is an interval plan that calls for a warm up, followed by sets of 800 meter Tempo runs and 400 meter cool down runs. The theory is that the time used to complete the tempo 800 can be used determine marathon finishing time. Thus, 4 minutes 27 seconds to run 800 meters should equal 4 hour 27 minute marathon. We did 4 sets of these, and the target pace for the tempo was 4:27. Nailed it, but it was not easy. I have my doubts Bart!
 look at those nursing home cool downs!

I did get the news while running that the stork finally came for Adam and Tiffany! So cool and I'm proud to be a friend. Hayden is cute, Adam is funny, Tiffany is the most patient spouse on the planet --we all know that. Now can we please get the center of attention back to me??!? Congrats to the Ricklef's!! :)

I've enjoyed reading your blogs lately. You really are a creative bunch and I appreciate your style and humor. I do have a running partner who could use a few followers and maybe some fellowship. If nothing else, she needs support for choosing me as a running partner. Her name is Suzanne, but I call her Johnson. Join her at

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Purchasing Power

I love registering for a race. And this marks the first time it has been free which is really nice for something that costs $130.
The promo code is a one time deal Adam!
This RnR marathing has gotten out of control. $130??!? I got a perk for Principaling at one of the schools that participates in Kids Rock. This fun kids event is sponsored by Phoenix Children's Hospital and each year, thousands of kids pull groin muscles, shoot snot rockets at 5:30am and wear compression lederhosen run a mile or three each week until they get 25 miles. Then they get to go on Saturday of RnR weekend and run the final mile of the course and get their picture taken with Ryan Hall, Meb, Darth Vader, and all the other elites out there. The kids get a big kick out of it and are inspired to exercise. I usually go with them which means getting out of bed at 4:30 the day before the race and riding a yellow bus down to Tempe with 75 nervous 4th graders. We have a code: "You get lost, you better stay lost!! everyone stay together and follow our sign." This year, I plan to show off a bit and let my kids know that I'm running the next day and trying to come in first place break 5:00. Hopefully they will be impressed. In any case, this counts as volunteering and its a heck of a good time!

Sorry about the negativity in the last post. I found out today that I may have a sinus infection. I'm not convinced. I went to one of those minute clinics and the nurse was a royal beeotch. And after waiting over 1 hour for the one patient ahead of me who I am sure was having a Whipple surgery. Anyway, she wrote a scrip for some antibiotics and I may fill it tomorrow. She told me to stop taking the over the counter stuff so what now??? My head is stuffed and snuffly and I have been snoring so bad my 3 year old swatted me in the face. I need relief. I tried a netty pot and nearly drowned. I just can't get the hang of that damn thing. Who has ideas for clearing my sinusy head?

I have a four miler scheduled tomorrow with 4 strides. And on Thursday, I have 6 miles of Yasso 800's (4:27'ers). Going to Scottsdale Community College to do those with Johnson and maybe Runlaur. Hopefully, they are able to come over for dinner afterwards. This weekend is supposed to be 18 miles, but I'm running in the Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon and it is damn sure going to count as an 18 miler. I also am going to buy new sneaks Friday. I'll probably go with the same Nimbus 12's but a size longer to see if my toes heal.
Happy hump day!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Second Thoughts Part Deux

'Second Thoughts' would be a good blog title for a speed runner. For me today, it's how I'm feeling about the whole 'run 26.2 miles' thing. Had a rough morning and quit the run. 10 completed out of 16 and then called my spouse to pick me up in a car and drive me home.

Drove 3.5 hours to my parents house and ate a lot of food, then drove 3.5 hours home last night.
Then puppy piddled on the bed for no good reason so we slept with no blankie, and the 3 year old woke us up at 4.
Got him back to sleep and the puppy woke me up at 4:45. Ate some toast before the run at 8am, but didn't Gu on the run.

Today (anything prior to 5am is NOT today).....
Got the 'fuck this fuckering fucker fuckle of a canal!!' blues
Got tired of my ipod
I've been on allergy medicine for the last three weeks (hey!! another 3!!!!) which has had a negative impact on my cardio and has brought a drastic increase in my snot-rocket production.
My running partner is now 'injured' (I think it's fake and a juvenile call for sympathy) and couldn't join me
The weather is PERFECT right now in Phoenix (for balance--I'm not ALL bitch you know).

So, I crapped out on a long run. Not the end of the world, but most authorities would say that the long run is THE run to not miss.

So I have a 4 mile run scheduled this weekend to 'recover' from the long run. I'm always wary of junk miles, so I know adding another 6 mile run doesn't get me a 16 miler. A 16 is a 16 and may not be sliced, diced, or otherwise subdivided. Move on.

Thinking back to the reasons I started running ---- I want to be one of those guys who goes through the front door at 7:15 am on a 60 degree day and cracks off 5 miles. Big smile and an easy shower then oatmeal and my vitamins. And repeat about 3 or 4 times per week and get skinny and get tired of all the money....  Not the guy who checks his Garmin like a twitching spastic, has lost all left foot toenails, has to do laundry mid-week for all the stanky tech-fabric, lives by a training plan that sends me out the door at 5am in the cold, reads Runners World (actually, I mostly just read the celebrity junket on the back page and complain to my poor wife about the inconsistent advice from issue to issue), talks about running to anyone who will listen, ad nauseum.

I want my 44 year old bag of fatty bones to be in shape to enjoy my three year old, yet I find myself soaking in an ice bath, drinking a coconut water, and pleading for a half hour of rest. So maybe I'm admitting that long distance isn't for me. Maybe organized races aren't for me. Maybe I'm some kind of 10-12 mile a week guy. SUAR says to sleep on it. Betcha I wouldn't need to quit on 16 hours of sleep right now.

The Old Sucky Three's

Maybe its the three post I started a week ago that took my mojo......

Triathlon Ironman AZ weekend and I'm not in it.... AGAIN!
Puppy is shitting about 3 times per day in the yard
3 day work week --nice unless you are the Principal
HJG turned 3, that's a good thing, BUT.....
3 cupcakes yesterday
3 pieces of pizza
3 b-day cinnamon rolls
1 kids juice (yeah that's one but have you ever had one?? It's a three)
3 cups of coffee
3 big handfuls of potato chips...

A pattern, albeit a touch contrived, is emerging. My 12 mile (12/4 =3 --SEE!!???!!!)  run this morning was sucky and my 14 miler last weekend was sucky. The time this morning wasn't so bad, but I never got into a rhythm and never felt good about the run. I'm blaming my intake from yesterday. Bad goes in, bad goes out. The 12 miler 3 weeks ago was done in about the same time as this morning's run, but felt so much stronger.

Second Thoughts

I've had a plan (since June) to run the AZ RNR marathon in January 2011. I have a free entry and have been training in a Runners World "break 4:30" plan. The plan calls for 4 runs per week including a long run on the weekend. The past three long runs have not been fun at all.
To make matters worse, I had 16 scheduled today and quit at the 10 mile mark. I had no mojo and no desire. The run itself wasn't horrible, just not fun; not enjoyable. So around mile 7, I started thinking about quitting and calling my wife to pick me up (this eventually happened), and I fought the shame and guilt for three more miles and then threw in the towel. Fuck.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Futuro Recovery Compression Socks

I have heard about these from more than a few runners. Legs that go over 10 miles or so usually need extra care the rest of that day and sometimes the next. It's called that 'recovery', and proper care will help prevent injury and get us out on the road for the next run.

But I've always blanched at the prices of these socks. recently, someone wrote about the diabetic anti-embolism socks sold at the local drugstores. It was Viper in one form or another, the huaracha wearing cheapskate --but he puts in serious miles and so should know about recovery. I don't know about your town, but here in Maricopa county, you can't swing an immigrant hater without hitting a Walgreens or CVS, or one under construction. We received a $5 coupon via email to CVS and off I went yesterday after a 15 mile run.

I spent 30-45 minutes sitting in the aisle trying to figure out what to buy. They have hip high, but I knew from past court appearances that wouldn't be a good idea.

They had 'up to the knee and these seemed like the ones I had seen at marathon expos. Usually for $60. The $35 price tag on the ones in the store beat that, but my mind began to wander over to the $8 ace bandages.

What is the purpose of the socks and how do they aid in recovery? Simple mild compression of the lower legs creates additional pressure in the cells, veins, and arteries which facilitates faster oxygen delivery and waste (lactic acid) removal. The research suggests that this is especially good for recovery post-run but is also useful during the run as it delays soreness and fatigue. And they look so damn spiffy! But I want function, then form. What about those Ace bandages?

I looked at the 6" Ace bandages. These could be quickly wrapped around the calf area without going through all the pelvic gyrations, grunting, and hopping around on one foot the compression socks require to put on (hey, just like constipation!). The degree of compression can be controlled by the user -just wrap tighter or looser, and they can be used in a variety of other McGuiver household applications. The best part is that they cost $8.00. I flunked economics a few times during college and couldn't shake the "I've got a coupon" idea, and so spent $15 extra to get the socks. Besides, I wanted to try them first, and then possibly do a comparison against the Ace wraps. I ended up choosing the calf length Futuro brand. With these, I'd be way ahead of the technology!

Then there was the awkward few minutes of measurement to determine my size -just between medium and large of course, so I went medium which seemed to be right. This is a bit gross I know, but I also tried on the pair in the torn package to be sure. They had obviously been tried by more than a few embolism sufferers but I had to be sure. I also saw a peg full of "moderate" compression but there was no indication that moderate meant MORE or LESS compression. Leaders of Futuro take note and please provide clarification.

Ohhhh, sexy!
I got them home and worked them on to my achy legs and waited for the miracle. Hmmmm, feels just like pantyhose     feels just like I would imagine pantyhose feel    once my leg brushed up against a hot woman's pantyhose-clad leg while we were having energetic sex, and I recalled that feeling     my wife said they had the same material texture as old-lady pantyhose.
Receptacle End

Heck, I don't know. I wore them for a few hours, much to the amusement of my spouse. I didn't notice any extra oxygen delivery or lactic acid removal. And today, I feel pretty much like I ran 15 miles yesterday. I'll use them post long runs for a while because it sure didn't hurt anything, and I may try them during a run because I'm almost shameless in fashion. And I really do want to try Ace bandages to see if the focused compression makes a difference.

RTP Rating:

Cupcake = pretty good product, take it for what it is worth, leaves me wanting MORE

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sport Beans Yeccchhhh!

I got a pack of these in some shwag bag recently and they sat on my dresser top for a while until the other day. I took them to eat on the way to a hill repeat workout with Runlaur. Sport Beans are manufactured by Jelly Belly, a dubious name in sports at best, and this endorsement by Kevin Bacon does little to improve the rep. Really?? Mr. Bacon? (Really it's Brad Seng, an amazing Ironman athlete, 9:12 at Kona in 2006, I seriously doubt he has ever ingested one of these)
Kevin Bacon??
The purple package contained about 8 or 10 grape flavored jelly beans and I could definitely feel the grainy crunch of sugar crystals in each bite and also the ersatz grape 'berry' flavor. Grapes are technically berries along with melons and tomatoes but there all resemblance stops.

The website includes a link to published research, a foray sure to be more amusing than a trip through the Comedy Channel lineup. Example: "In addition, the athletes completed the time trials with the highest average "power outputs" with Sport Beans Energizing Jelly Beans."
I can live with that

Power Outputs from beans should only be used as material in The Boring Runner Blog and SUAR's blog, but here it is in this Sweet Home Alabama of a blog.

Hey, no more time wasted on these disgusting sugary little rabbit turds. I'll never buy them.

RTP Product Rating:

Cow pie = not on your life, but it's sometimes fun to watch others interact with this

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Running Dream

I got your 'blunt' right here!

I think running dreams are God good for me. They are always positive: I'm fast, in the lead, no-effort cardio, and Adam is waiting, ineffectively-clenched, in a porta-potty line a couple of miles back. No threat from that speedy rabbit!

I had one the other night where I was running through the streets where I grew up in Vagina Virginia. I slipped off of the hilly roads and onto some of the paths and forest trails I was familiar with, and just kept going. In the dream I was thinking that I could keep running forever but it would soon be dad dark.

Hey all you Sigmund Freuds out there, pick on your own sub-conscience!

There were some other runners out there, but none as strong and in good form. There are three basic steps to interpreting dreams:
  • First, try to recall the details and scope and sequence of the dream
  • Second, listen very closely to the initial impression/meaning you take from the recall
  • Third, share with someone else for feedback
  • Fourth, get your butt to Houston for xmas
The second step is most revealing and is usually the correct analysis no matter how silly it seems at the time. My step two revealed that I like running but I'm trying to 'capture' running for automaticity. I want to be able to call myself a runner, and be viewed as a runner, but not really put in the effort or risk the injuries and 768/788 Age Group place markings. In other words, I'm a real runner acting like a poser. Or more accurately, trying to avoid becoming a poser.
please wake me before I go any further

I do like running but can't stand it for the 5 minutes or so just before my feet meet the street. Once I get going, I'm good and turn into the runner that I am. A bit on the slow side to be sure, but improving and staying within my means. And also injury free for the past year or so which I attribute to improved form and better shoes. Thanks Lauren -when are you coming home??

I've said it before, and I don't mean to sound like a sad sack, but I am not supposed to be able to go out the door and run for 5 miles. It's just not me. I think about military personnel overseas in battle, about people with terminal illness, people with injuries, my aging body, my blogging friends, etc., and in the end, it's just the 'I can be healthy' mantra that makes me go out the door. Running never occurs like it does in the dream, but sometime after miles 1 and two, I get into a rhythm, look down at the Garmin, and think, "I've just run 2 miles how fast? And three or 10 more shouldn't be a problem today" Now that's a dream come true.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Running With Norman/Johnson

I marked "Finding a Running Partner" in my 2010 list of New Years Resolutions, and scored big this week with a human version who runs just about my pace and a future canine version who runs four minute miles in circles while peeing, barking, and self-fellating.
Norman prefers Asics
Norman has a while before he is road-ready. We are working on leash skills and basic commands, and it is best to start a dog slowly in running. The good news is that he is willing and of the correct breed for partner running. I can't wait!

Meanwhile, I made contact with an old friend who has been running for a few years and is experienced in the 1/2 Marathon distance. We ran hills this past week and 12 miles this morning. Johnson has a great sense of humor and we work in the same industry so we have lots to complain talk about. Johnson has read my blog but is not really interested (love it!). Johnson is already registered for the PF Chang 1/2 in January but is slowly being influenced by my wheedling to run the full.

Running with a partner makes a big difference for me. The 12 miles this morning were a lot more fun with someone to talk to, and it wasn't a problem when I went ahead for the last 3 miles. We still met up for coffee after and also met up with Artman Chris who went 40 minutes today.

I do love my solitude, and its necessary for certain training segments, but I also really like running in a pack. I have 27 miles on tap this week with 15 next Saturday. Form has been good and my paces are a little faster than the plan calls for, but it feels natural so I am going with it. Have a great rest of your weekend, and good running!

Special vibes out to Adam who is going for a PR in San Antonio this coming weekend and SUAR who is trying to heal a stress-fractured hip in time to break all the public-defecation laws in Massachusetts on April 18.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

10 Boring Miles

I got up early and drove out to Gilbert, a Phx suburb to the East. Who decides the names for all the suburb communities? They all sound like Shakespeare wrote them while under the influence: Stratford Fountains, Buggering Coven, Our Boxes are Bigger. I finally found Ashland Village and parked in front of Adam, The Boring Runner's house.

We were running together, not on the same path, but with the same finishing time and agreed to meet up at his house afterwards for coffee, pool time, and Parcheesi. We both rounded the corners onto his street at the same time and ran it in together. Adam claims his run was "shitty" but mine was good even though I did goof my math at one turnaround which resulted in a total run distance of just under ten miles.

I ran out of his subdivision and south along the canal. The scenery was typical South East Phoenix: bedroom communities, shopping malls, and Pima cotton fields. It really is beautiful out there. New development mixed with established agriculture and rural life. I passed a couple of blue tick hounds guarding a farm equipment yard and they were hoarse from barking (presumably) since Tuesday. On the way back, their barks were strong again. I can only assume they had received their weekly food and water rations.

I will also say that the canals out there are much nicer to run on than the canals in central Phoenix. The canal path was paved for about the first two miles then transitioned onto smooth dirt with very little canting. Almost no other runners out there, and I can't decide if that's good or bad. It depends o the day I suppose and yesterday there were just the right number of other people. If Sartre was right, and hell is other people, then yesterday was a bit of heaven. The weather was a cool 65 degrees and I felt strong all the way.

I've been concentrating on good form including a 180 cadence. I'm not wearing a metronome, but I do think about turnover and not slouching into a slow rhythm. After my run this past Sunday, I was extra cautious about my lean and did not have the back problems again. My scheduled pace was 11:08, but I ran at just over 10. Slower than I have been going lately, (I just can't make myself run in the 11's). I need to keep my LSR's at a slower pace, especially as I increase mileage. I have my first 20 miler from this plan in 5 weeks. Adam and I agreed that running too slow can cause gait issues and other related problems, so that's my justification.

We stood around in the pool for a while icing our feet, and Adam sloshed his Sony mp3 player around in the pool and and showed how it still worked (he was a little pushy but I didn't buy one), and then I made my way back home. It was nice to see some different land, spend some time with a neat running friend, and I hope to do it again sometime soon.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night Repast

East meets West this evening in the G's household. 5 pee em saw the smiling exit of Mrs. which left RTP Jr. and I to fend for ourselves in the culinary world. 

After a digging episode in the garden which can only be described as 'brown', we cleaned up and began the inventory of available edibles in the kitchen. Foregoing matronal advice to 'please eat some of the leftovers', we narrowed our choices down to three: leftovers, re-grilled leftovers, and carb loading for tomorrow's 9 miler. It's a sure bet whenever taters are involved and from there we set forth.

The food network dot commies suggest baking in the oven for almost two hours at a temperature that would cause the sun to flinch. Out of the question! Smiling like a mongoloid, I vaguely remembered a time or two during my undergrad days when we would prepare potatoes in our dorm room coffee pot, and once or twice in the RA's microwave oven. Hell, we have a microwave oven right there, and it even has a potato button. Jackpot! "Say you're once..... twice...... three tiiiiiiiiiiimes a potato, and I loooooooove you!" If one spud is good, three will be better. So, fork poke all three and into the microparticulator. Potato button once --not done. Two times --not done. Three times..... tasty fish!!

Now to split, top, and present. And here is where I honestly made an effort to use leftovers, but not the stew she had in mind. What goes good on a nightshade tuber? About anything it turns out. A whack of butter each, a generous pinch of sodium chloride each, and what have we here? Prepared horseradish... hmmmm sounds spicy, so take it easy with amounts---oops. Now here is something interesting hiding behind the ketchup bottles! Mango chutney. Looks like jelly with stuff in it and not a lot left in the jar. Damn the torpedos --all of it!!!! I'm eating leftovers!!! A little dancing in the kitchen with my boy. What kind of funky monkey cocaine is this here in the spice rack?? Garam Marsala?? WTF???!??? WTF indeed.. on it goes, and it comes out of the jar faster than I thought it would. Now a little knife smearing and a blog photo op. And the moment you have been waiting for...

It was .... different. Not bad, a little harsh on the tummy here about 15 minutes later which may also be caused by the forced switch of TV programming. HJG just has to watch that little bald-headed Canadian ef'er named Caillou. Watch yourselves parents to be. This program will make you want to claw your eyes out and stuff them into your earholes. 

The sweetness in the chutney harmonized well with the horseradish bite, and was together a nice counterpoint to the Indian spice. The underlying creamy butter made a valiant attempt to pacify the battlefield, but, severely out-gunned, surrendered before the meal was halfway consumed. My developing gastro-distress brings to mind the punchline to an apropos old joke: "C'mon ice cream!!"

Actually, I think it's time now for a little Father Brioschi. Then some ice cream. Vanilla in a bowl with a spoon. Nighty night!

Gooder Form Running

Completely stripped then realized it was just shoes and socks time. Embarrassing!
I was at Runners Den last night for a class called Good Form Running. The idea for this class originated out of a running store in Michigan, and one of the founding philosophers, Nathan, is now working here in Phoenix. Nate is a decent guy and a really fast runner and is teaching this 4 step plan for free to whoever signs up for the class. I knew it would be a serious class when I saw that Nathan was wearing his Vibrams. Sadly, I am short on photos because it was difficult to remain inconspicuous about the camera. I got a glare or two from the other ten participants and decided that it would have to be described in text and through Google images.
Most shots look like this: bank surveillance system quality.
Because I obsessively read about and discuss running, I was at least aware of all four tenets of the program, but it was nice to hear rationale behind each. Anyone can go to the website and get most of the information, but there are in-class examples and explanations that make it comprehensible of there is any doubt.
I knew Jamoosh was in this somehow! Barefoot!!
We introduced ourselves one at a time, our running history, sexual orientation, and any running injury information. Kiiiinnnnda like an AA meeting without the coffee and warts.
New to running and a bit sassy. I got her number.

As said, there were 11 of us, including one middle school kid with her mom who was trying to improve her form to compete in cross country. We went outside and Nathan video-filmed each of us running a short ten yard stretch once in shoes, and once barefoot. He explained that barefoot running  naturally puts most people into a near-perfect form.

He was not advocating barefoot running except as a spot-check once in a while. Nathan took us through the four points that would help our overall running experience.
Good posture head to feet (as in Kenyan style), cadence --180 foot strikes per minute, lean -gravity is our friend, and mid-foot strike -keeps the doctor away. Model and explanation for each, a bit of guided practice, and an invitation to join RD for the Saturday 6:30am group runs and/or the Wednesday 6pm group runs to run with Nathan and practice the form.

I like these kinds of gatherings and learning more about running injury-free. If you read my post from this past weekend, you know that when I tried the form, I was suddenly conversational in my seventh mile and maintaining a sub-10 pace. That has never happened. Looking forward to running with my team this weekend and trying these techniques again. Take care!!

Off topic, I bought a 3 hour maid service for Mrs. for mother's day, and we are finally using it today. God bless the woman who has to clean my shower.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Slight Change in Plan

Looks flat, it's not.

I'm running on a pirated version of the Runner's World 'Break 4:30' marathon training plan. Thanks to a local area fellow runner and blogger not named Adam or Lauren. The plans I have used in the past have really only included changes in distance as the M date approaches. This plan ups the distance but also incorporates hill work, Yassos, and a variety of speeds --all in a 4 run per week 16 week program that will spit me out on the starting line of the PF Chang's Rock n Roll AZ on Jan 16, 2011. I have my doubts about a sub 4:30, but dumber stranger things have happened. So far, the training is going well.

I'm in week #4 and I had 4 miles of hills scheduled this morning. Got 'er done. The plan asks me to find the hilliest course possible and try to maintain even pace on the ups as well as the downs. Not so even on the paces. I kept a fairly even sub 10 on the ups, and was much faster on the downs, and slowed as the miles progressed.

When I stopped at the crest of the final hill to photo journal for this blog, I tripped the stop button on my 305 and ended up not recording the final .21 of my route. I hate when that happens. Trust me, I finished the run and am not still up there.

The course of choice is the famous Curry Hills section of town over by ASU. Lauren, Adam, and I trampled this earth a few months back and the memories were fresh. The distance is nearly perfect for hill repeats and there is a park with water and bathrooms at one end of the route. And plenty of other runners and Ironman trainees out there for inspiration.

The hill rises from 1160 to almost 1275 feet in about a 1/4 mile, and back down again in a short .78 miles total. Then the idea is to turn around at the stop light and go back over. I did this twice for a three mile run, took a little walk break and then went up a bit past the top and back to the beginning for four total. This is a good workout and awakened a cardio-vascular me that I wasn't sure existed. Nearly barfed. Much different than the flat canals and neighborhood routes that have been my norm.

Looking South toward Tempe

I have hills once per week for the next 6 weeks then I start doing Yasso 800's instead of hills. This plan is cool and the variety is motivating.

Tonight I go to the Runners Den for a Good Form running class. They will video me twice and offer suggestions for improving my stride, cadence, and overall running form. Look for a blog post in the next couple of days.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Got a nice LSR of seven miles in this morning. I've been meeting up with locals at the Runners Den running store. They form up on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. And as it is really starting to cool off here in Phoenix, my times are improving. I've run seven miles each Saturday for the past 4 weeks, and have gotten faster each time. According to plan, I'm supposed to be at 11:18, but I'm just a little over 10 and comfortable.

Nathan from Runners Den leads the group, and runs back and forth about 50 miles each Saturday checking on his runners. We range in speed from super fast to beginner slow, but he somehow finds time to spend with each of us. We start at the store and run out East on the canal system for about 1 hour to 1.5 hours. It's nice that we can leave keys and stuff locked in the store and come back to ice water, bathrooms, and talk about our runs with others. Afterwards today, a few of us went out to a local coffee shop and overpaid for java and eggs. Adam and his lovely expecting wife were there, along with Lauren and her secret sweetie, and Chris who recently has gotten back into running and has a new pair of Landreth Asics and a nifty water belt. We ate, drank, laughed and cried, and embraced as lovers do for about two hours. I love Saturday mornings after a run!

Nathan was telling me this morning about a free class offered by Runners Den that analyzes gait, posture, turnover, etc. and includes two videos of both shoed and barefoot running to get a better idea of how to improve. I'm going to attend the next possible class to get better perspective ---Adam has been coaching me to skip/run while singing NKon the B:
3..2...1...... POUT!

Girls, where would boys be without girls to love
You know that I’d be with you girls,
Where would boys be without girls to love - sweet love

I'm no 'advanced' runner, but I have my doubts about this strategy and probably will stop the practice here in a few weeks if I don't see significant improvement. It sure is embarrassing and would be really rough I think if he weren't having me wear a bicycle helmet which prevents people from stoning my head directly but doesn't protect my bare mid-drift.

I've been enjoying my plan so far --thanks Demi. Looking forward to a 1/2 in December and full M's in Jan and Feb next year.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

10 Random Things...

I was tagged by Adrienne at The Non Race Runner to write a list of ten random things about me. I think this string is pretty much spent, but here goes....

1. I love doing my own yard work. (Not yours)
2. I like to hunt for deer and elk and was actually successful last year in the archery Bull elk hunt.
3. I'm a little under 200 pounds now, but wrestled in the 112 weight class in high school my sophomore year.
4. I grew up living near a lake in Virginia and spent about three summers swimming 1 mile each night.
5. I want to backpack through Southeast Asia before I die.
6. I would rather eat breakfast out than any other meal. Earlier the better.
7. I often fantasize about winning a 250 million dollar lottery. I NEVER play.
8. I really can't stand Facebook.
9. I'm a Principal in a K-8 school.
10. I have a healthy fear of sharks, and watch every shark show available on TV. Shark week on Discovery is my porn.

Not sure who else could be tagged. If you are interested (we sure are), then consider yourself tagged.

Happy week!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Moon Valley Grasshopper Bridge 5K Race Report

Goal: Fun and Healthy and Sub-30.

Garmin: 28:22
Official Chip: 28:19 PR!!

Just edged out this slowpoke in light blue
Made my goals, and had to work pretty hard to get there. The air was hotter than I expected and the sun was Arizona all the way, so that sapped my energy quite a bit. Got up early and we made our way down to the start area. Got all set up with bib and chip and then off to porta-potty. The line stretched down to Tucson and the sides of the 4 porta-potties were actually bulging with waste-product. I made my way into the desert to contribute to the water table and then ran my 1/4 mile warm up. Not sure if it warmed me up, but my HR was up and I felt good. Had a few sips of H2O and a Tri-berry GU. A little more water, the preliminary announcements and Star Spangled Banner, and we were off. I had lined up very near the front to be away from the walkers, and

Spit your Skoal juice in here boy!
found myself swept into a speed that was not in my plan.
First mile: 8:41 and I was feeling it. A bit too fast.
Second mile felt groovy. My cardio was up for sure, but form and output were fine, so I was going with it. Got to the 2 mile marker, had a sip of water, began to choke a bit and walked for 20 yards or so while the crowd sang Aqualung.
Mile Two: 8:46 fading a little??
My daddy is a fast runner
Got into mile 3 and was starting to do the embarrassing heavy breathing.

Got to the grass section at 2.5 and had to walk again. ugghhh. But I was going tunnel vision and was thinking that it would be tough for the EMT's to resuscitate me, so I saved you taxpayers a little extra today. Got back into my glide and finished strong with nothing left in the tank.
Mile 3: 9:37, last .16 8:06. Coulda-woulda-shoulda. What if I just slowed down instead of walking in mile 3? What if it were a bit cooler? What if I didn't take water? What if I didn't spend my early 20's sitting on a couch eating Pizza Hut, watching Hong Kong Fooey and doing bong hits?

Ahhhhh, now some nice coffee and a weekend to relax, 'cept for my seven miler tomorrow. September has been good for running. I wonder if I could go sub 26??????

Friday, September 24, 2010

Grasshopper Bridge 5K Pre-Race Report

This will be my third running of The Moon Valley Grasshopper Bridge 5K. It was the first organized race I ever ran in and was a big part of what hooked me into running.

First year, I ran 36:25 pushing the little almost one year old. Last year, I ran 30 even (my current PR for 5K) pushing the almost 2 year old. This year he won't have much to do with his stroller so he will get to spectate along with his mommy. My goal is to have fun and come in under 30 minutes. I plan to run a 1/2 to 3/4 mile warm up about 30 minutes before the start time with some strides as recommended by coach Adam. No Nathan belt, no hat, no GU one GU, maybe one water grab at mile 2 maybe not, and try to hold 9 as long as I can and speed up if at all possible in the last mile. My mantra for the race? Glide.
Helen aka Pat
I am also going to line up closer to the front to try to be ahead of the militant walkers. You know the types: "lets get seven friends and intertwine our arms in solidarity of Helen. Helen couldn't be here today, and we are walking in her shoes for her. Helen can't even leave her house today because..... (dramatic music crescendo) Helen can't dump!!! Helen ate cheese all week and bound herself up, then tried laxatives. But she hates ersatz flavored lax, so she substituted M&M's which further impacted her colon. Then she tried a more serious approach, the tried and true 'sit on the pot until it happens'. And she has been there since Thursday. And we love Helen, and fuck you runners who think you need to pass us because you should know that Helen is sitting there right now on the throne red-faced with sweat pouring down her forehead grunting and squirming (ass cheeks completely numb) and possibly causing internal micro-tears from the pressure. WE WALK FOR HELEN!!

This 5K usually has about 1,000 entrants and is a fun family race with lots of different abilities from slow walkers to 15 minute jackrabbits. Straight, gay, tranny, and Adam.

Standard pre-race equipment check, but notice the sparity this time. No Nathan belt, no hat, medium shirt instead of large. Regular shorts --chickened out on the compression shorts (plenty of time girls, plenty of time), Black, yes BLACK, socks. This fat cat is set on sub 30.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Bling for 39.3

Heavy Metal!
Maybe not much to some of you, but an amazing feat for me. I didn't even know there was such a thing and here it was in the mail like a negative vortex alternative universe ashtray.

Yeah, I rocked the 1/2 marathon in Phoenix in January, then rocked my first full marathon in San Diego in June. I have enjoyed these events overall but still feel like I'm trying to make up for the last 25 years of couch 'tatering, pizza eating, tv watching, I'll do it tomorrow behavior. Now I have to drag my butt out the door to run in the morning and its not as easy as it might have been when I was younger. That said, I'm glad to be doing it now and my body is getting stronger and skinnier too.

This is post #101 for RTP. RTP now has 46 followers and my email is starting to become more active with real people. As opposed to scam artists from other continents and sexy porn.

The other great thing about this choice in lifestyle is that my 2.5 almost three year old son is growing up in a household of healthy behavior. To be honest, this is the main reason I got into running. I can't stand the idea of not being able to play with him and run around in the park or make it up the stairs to the nosebleed section of the stadium. And how cool would it be for him to tell friends at school that he spent his weekend at a race with his parents!

Want a chance to win some socks/beer glass/Nuun tabs? Go over to