Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hale Freezes Over 10K

Today was the Hale Center Theater 10K. This is only their second year doing the race so the crowds weren't overwhelming, but still competitive. In finished in 47:25 which put me in 5th 4th in the age division and 11th 10th overall. The reason that the results changed is because a person in my age division actually missed the 10k turn and ran the 5k course. My friend Supecords ran this also and finished in 44:43 which put him in 3rd for his age and 9th overall. Here's my breakdown.
  • Organization: Top Notch. They had plenty of volunteers on hand for the packet pick-up, race guides, police presence, etc. I had my unofficial printed out time before I exited the finish corral. 
  • Course: Tough. I looked up the course online last night and saw that there were some really big hills. I readjusted my finish expectations knowing that I haven't put a lot of time in hill training. 
  • Shirt: Nice. I like the shirt for this 10K better than my marathon one. It's a much better quality shirt also.
  • Prizes: Since I finished 5th in my age division there was no way I would get a prize. They only went two deep in the prizes (bummer for my friend), but the quality of prizes was great. The overall first to third place finishers received great prizes, including season passes to the theater, in addition to a sweet looking medal.
  • Post race food: Typical fair of water, apples, oranges, hot chocolate/cider...but they had a local pizza place supply fresh hot pizza. It was fabulous pizza.
  • Post race raffle: They went above and beyond what I have experienced. Most prizes had a $25+ value. I won a pair of hockey tickets.
I'll definitely mark this down on my list of races for 2011. They also offer a Halloween costume race that sounds like a lot of fun.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

4 miles and a new trail

There is a trail that runs all along the wasatch front here in Utah. Currently the trail is not all connected. I guess each county is responsible for connecting their part and they slowly buy up land when they can. Recently they have expanded the trail a mile from my home. In order to avoid the temporal rift that caught me off guard last week, I took a left instead of a right. I came upon the new trail (which is paved) and decided to test it out. LOVE IT! It's paved, there are no cars and it's just me and the road.
I got in 4 miles in a much better time (28 minutes) versus my sucktastic 3 miles last time.
This Saturday I start my race season with the Hale Freezes over 10K. With my P90X training, it has been tough to get in the miles, but I am pretty confident I can get 6 in. The P90X training has been incredible. It's definitely a high intensity program. I'm on week 4 which is supposedly the "recovery" week. I'm not sure who decided on that name because in many ways it is harder than the previous 3 weeks. I'm looking forward to next week so I can recover from my "recovery week".

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Today's Run....26.2 miles of Grueling Running All Wrapped up in 3 Miles

I got up this morning dreading  eagerly anticipating the start to my marathon training. I have put it off long enough. It's time to hit the road, get off my butt and train for this season. This morning, the weather was calm and slightly warmer than usual so I opted for an outside run.
It the midst of my warm-up 1/4 mile I was suddenly caught up in a temporal vortex which slowed time down. My Garmin was affected by it also. When I finished my run, I had clearly run 26.2 miles. My body felt it, my head was sure it was 26.2. My feet definitely were telling me it was 26.2 miles. Because of the temporal distortion, my Garmin only showed 3.76 miles.
I'm going to have to be more careful the next time I run that route.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

5 miles, a smoothie and $85 later

We've had a wave of inversion lately that has been awful. It's not often that our area is ranked the worst air in the U.S. We've pulled it off for the past two weeks. Next week is the shift in the weather we've been waiting for and it will finally be clear...and snowing.
I didn't even make it out of bed this morning before my "to do" list was rattling around in my head. There was the car inspection, trip to Home Depot for various items, running, installing a few electrical items around the house, etc...
The running this week has sucked. I haven't been out since last Saturday. This morning, the weather was still gloomy and slightly foggy, but I was determined to get my run in. I considered the local Rec Center, but there is a health fair today and a 5K there and I knew parking and the treadmills would be at a premium. I decided I would drop the van off to get the inspection done and then run from the shop then finish up with a trip to Home Depot.
I was able to put in 5 miles. At 4.75 I was at the car shop, but there was no way I was going to end at less than 5. I ran through the parking lot of the local Smoothie King until I hit the 5 mile mark and then I went and rewarded myself with a smoothie.
The van was ready, but several lights were out and the wipers were dying also. I could have spent the rest of today working on getting everything replaced myself or pay the extra $45 to have them do it. Done and done...$85 later the van is ready to re-register for the year and I am moving on to my other to do list items.
My wife started the P90X yesterday and then this morning asked if I was sore from the workouts. I casually told her that I am in a perpetual state of soreness that rotates among my major muscle groups and includes some areas that I didn't know existed. Two weeks are done with only 11 more to go.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Upcoming Clearance Sale on Insulated Wine Cooler

I have a deal that will be a deal shortly from Kohl's. If you are a deal fanatic, a person obsessed with only buying items on clearance then I have a deal for you.

Kohl's has released it's latest branded Insulated Wine Cooler. In addition, it is branded with a Top 20 college team. This is the perfect companion item for any true fan to bring with them to the game. You'll be the star among all your other tailgating friends when you pull out your cooler just before the brats are done cooking. "Pass me another cold one..." you'll say to your friend. Watch as he reaches into his sporty new insulated wine cooler and pulls out a frosty bottle of 2% Milk. that's refreshment.

Unfortunately, someone in Kohl's college branding department was looking at the wrong list of target markets for this item. If I were a University of Florida fan, this would be a no-brainer...gotta have it. Brigham Young University on the other hand is not high on the list of wine bibbing universities. In fact, they are at the bottom. For the past twelve years, BYU has been ranked as the #1 Stone Cold Sober University.

While I am no psychic, I foresee that this particular item will be on their clearance rack for a long time.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Maybe all Chinese eBay People Aren't Crooks

Remember the comment I made in a previous post about my ebay purchase that turned out to be a chinese account in disguise? I opened a complaint with paypal hoping that maybe I could recover my $68. I received a tracking number that looked bogus. I received and email from ebay saying they had taken the user off and that the purchase was probably a fraud. Everything pointed to me contributing $68 to some chinese person who was sitting at his computer saying something like "stupid capalist dog American...take that!"

I was working yesterday when the doorbell rang. During the day, the only people that come by when I'm not expecting either the FedEx guy or the Publisher's Clearing House Prize Committee are the door to door sales people and the Jehovah's Witnesses.

 The Jehovah's Witnesses are nice people and they have definitely changed their door approach from years ago when they would expect me to let them in, give me a 2 hour presentation, and leave me a couple magazines.

Salespeople are hit and miss. If they are selling meat, then chances are they've got me hooked. If they are a person from the inner-city of somewhere and selling magazines they are out of luck. I always tell them that I'll buy from them if they have the magazine Classical Singer. This is probably a rude strategy because they are one of my clients and I also know that it is such a niche magazine that those companies would never sell it. Works every time...

When I answered the door, it was our mail carrier. I was hoping that maybe it would be my business checks finally coming. He asked me to sign for the package and left. I looked at the package and immediately started laughing. The label was all in Chinese.

Sure enough. My order had come through. I can with confidence say that there is one Chinese seller on ebay that is honest. The dvds and booklets are intact and aren't copies as far as I can tell. I now am the proud owner of two copies of P90X. I did sell it to a friend so it is all good.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Fabulous Run on a Bright Day

Knowing that I am going to start running on Saturdays with the local group is a powerful motivation. I enjoy the company especially on long runs and also the fact that I am not the one in charge of planning the run. This Saturday, they have scheduled a short 5 miles. The longest I have run since my injury is 4, so it was time to get out and see what I could do. I threw on my cold weather tights and headed out. The weather was great. A storm came through on Wednesday and cleared out the valley. I kept things slow and easy. The last thing I want to do is pull something again and miss all the spring races.

I got in 5 miles and it felt great. By the end of the run, I was toasty warm and excited for the run on Saturday. Last night I did the Yoga portion of my cross-training program to once again show me how uncoordinated I am. I'm glad I opted to do this in my home vs going somewhere. If I had been in an actual yoga class, I would have toppled over someone.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Too Sore to Run

I started my new cross-training regimen on Monday. I am so glad I went with my gut on this one and kept my sweat at home. The kids think I am incredibly uncoordinated and seem to feel that as the sweat is dripping down my chin is the perfect time to come and ask for assistance with Math or Spelling. Can't they see that if I stop I may never start again.
I am officially sore in the top half of my body. I am holding myself back to only running 2-3 days a week instead of working back up to 5 or 6. As of right now though, I'm doing good to be able to pick up the shampoo bottle.

My marathon choice for 2010 is full. No Ogden marathon for me this year. If I do the Salt Lake Marathon instead of the half that will fulfill my goal of a marathon in the spring. One of the big downsides to Salt Lake vs Ogden marathons is that my experience with Salt Lake is that they are a little more selfish when it comes to the on-the-road energy supplements. Since I have no way of placing in any of the marathons I need to come up with an alternate way of rewarding myself. I know, you're thinking "Isn't the medal enough?" No. It's not. I'm thinking I should start collecting Clif Bars, Gel packs and anything that is wrapped as a supplement to my current stash. Ogden would be like the Chuck-O-Rama of marathon goodies whereas Salt Lake is more like Lean Cuisine. Who wants Lean Cuisine after running 26.2 miles? I deserve better.....

Friday, January 1, 2010

"Tis the Season to buy Exercise Equipment

For years, I have scoffed at all those people who rush out to buy exercise equipment only to find them at the goodwill store 3 months later. I have successfully become one of those people to buy exercise equipment, but I will not send it to goodwill in 3 months. Even if I never use it, it will remain in my basement slowly gathering dust so that someday when my home is unearthed in an archeology dig, they will see the ancient torture devices used by our "primitive" culture.

I've been looking for a good core builder program. I could have bought Wii fit or Jillian Michaels shred program or some other such program, but I just couldn't part with my hard earned income. I seriously considered Jillian Michaels program, but after the bad experience I had earlier in the year with her program I couldn't do it.  Here were my conditions:

1. It can't be a lifelong commitment-If it's going to work, I expect to see some results soon.
2. It can't require purchasing a meal plan that comes to my door every week and I have to take out a loan to afford.
3. It can't be something I have to go somewhere to attend. I'm not going to the gym. If I'm going to screw myself up, twist myself into a pretzel or totally screw up my back I'm going to do it in the privacy or my own home. I can blackmail the kids into giving me fake sympathy by taking away their wii privileges. My wife won't fall for blackmail, but if I screw up and injure myself when she isn't around at least I could come up with a good story to go with it. 

With those conditions set, I checked out the ultimate gym/fitness source on the internet–ebay. Of course I'm not going to fall for the infomercials and pay 3 monthly payments of $44.95 when I can go on ebay and buy it for half that.

After being outbid on various items, I found a great "buy now" offer. No worrying about being outbid and it also included free shipping–done. After I received my e-mail confirmation, I realized that maybe my great deal wasn't so great a deal...the original e-bay seller was arthur3456 or something like that. The confirmation e-mail was from a Xieng Chi and then the shipping confirmation showed a tracking number with a whole bunch of chinese characters. I'm going to say that my chances of getting it are rather slim.

Plan B: I still refuse to do the three easy payments, so I am going to trusty source number 2....craigslist. I typed in my keyword and pulled up a host of offers. I found one that had a good price, contacted the seller and picked it up the next day. I wonder what connections this guy had because he had a whole case of these programs and at $60 a piece that's a pretty good business.

In the end, I paid only $128 vs the three easy payments of $34.99...I successfully went around the system...yes!