Sunday, December 30, 2012

Breathing School

Well, I don't know much about you
Not more than a smile or two can say
And everything I've learned about you
I've learned through the pit of my stomach anyway
-The Lowest of the Low
I ran a little over 5 miles today.  It was OK.  I've been reading "Drop Dead Healthy" by A.J. Jacobs, which is both funny and interesting.  I just read the chapter on the lungs and breathing correctly.  He talks about how stomach breathing (pushing out your stomach to inhale) made a big difference for him while he ran.  I tried.  I think I need more practice.  I had some moments when I was reversed and pushing my stomach out to exhale and vice versa.  I'm pretty sure that in the long run, I would be better served to stop running and spend my time learning how to breathe correctly.  But since this isn't a breathing blog and since it is my motivation for doing anything other than watching goofy TV shows and eating grilled cheese sandwiches - I'll keep running.

This is probably my last run of the year because tomorrow will be a pretty busy day at work, so I will do a quick year in review.  I ran way more than I ever have - my long lapses of not running were measured in days instead of months.  This despite an international move and weather extremes from Canadian cold to Houston hot.  Blogging is good for you.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

How Many Laps To Go?

And if you're leaving well come
Give me reason why I let you down
Before you turn around now, now
Before you turn around
-Matt Costa
I've done a little research and it looks like the course map for the R&B 1/2 marathon involves running the same loop 3 times.  Which is a little lame.  But also scary.  Because I really don't want to be passed by a 12-year-old girl on her way to the finish line while I still have another loop to go.  But no matter - I will prepare to deal with that issue.  I will carry some Taylor Swift paraphernalia that I can toss in the other direction to slow her down. 

Or I could try to run faster.  Which is not what I did today.  I ran 3 miles but felt very sluggish.  Perhaps it was the Texas chips I ate before my run.  And Texas chips is not a euphemism for cow poo or anything like that.  These are chips that look like Texas.  And not like "that one looks like California" and "that one looks like Mike Tyson".  They are all designed in the shape of the country state of Texas.

But we can count something productive from the run.  We add "Astair" by Matt Costa to the playlist.  This song is very mellow and it is the first song on the playlist.  The idea is that it prevents me from going out in a sprint with the fast people (and by that I mean the small children).  Enjoy.

Holly jolly

Bf and I did a quick mountain run on Christmas Day before preparing the festivus feast of honey baked ham and all the fixins. Probably 2.5 miles. Then on Wed I took fat dog out and did our 3.5 mile route. We walked the last mile. Since then I've been resting, but probably time to get off my hontis.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Man, I dig those rhythm and blues
-Don McLean

I ran a little under 4 miles today - or I guess I should say tonight.  The darkness didn't help anything and neither did my confusion about the weather.  I wore my "it's cold, but not under 40 degrees" outfit of shorts, long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirt, green hat, and gloves.  But while it was about 55 degrees, it was also really humid (or raining a little - in Houston sometimes it is hard to tell if it is sprinkling or just nasty).  So I was somehow both hot and cold while I was running.

But I did decide that my next event will be the Rhythm and Blues Half Marathon in Houston on February 10th.  Everyone is invited.  Here is the link

This event reminds me of something - I`m sure it will come to me soon.  All of a sudden, I`m reminded of the time that I went to a Dairy Country and had an ice cream treat with Oreos mixed in that they called a Wizard.  It was a little bit like a Blizzard, but totally different (according to them).  They also said that the Dairy Queen people didn`t mind their existence (we asked).  Anyway - this is a brilliant idea to combine a type of music and running, I`m surprised someone didn`t think of it sooner.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to all!

Fat dog and I went in our Christmas Eve run around the hood, 3 miles. Sadly we weren't able to whip her into shape to fit into her Santa outfit, but I think she pulled it off, don't you? Then I went to my Christmas Eve movie. I saw the Central Park Five and it was awesome (if not horribly sad, a great CE pick) and I highly recommend it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

And the loss of your innocence wasn't enough, I guess
The cost of what you're holding in wasn't everything
But all the people say we won't forget that day
Cause what you lived to see takes our breath away
And the flowers on your grave
And the flowers on your grave
- Airborne Toxic Event, Neda

I went up to inspiration point today which is a 5.6 mile round trip. I probably ran half of it. I usually go there to make out but my potsy is in Tucson (Happy Days anyone?). This song came on my way back down and it just seemed like a fitting tribute to those poor babies that were killed last week and the ones who survived but will never be the same. And I thought about how many broken Christmases there will be this year. So much sadness it's incomprehensible.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A strange thing happened

On my way out the door tonight. I forgot my iPod. I actually muttered the words "I forgot my walkman" after I started jogging. Am I the only one that occasionally slips up with that 80's term? I had one of them fancy yellow plastic Sony sport Walkmans. I was a badass. Anyhoo, I just kept going because I was in a hurry to get home and make dinner for my little ones. There comes a point on life where instead of your kids hounding you to make dinner, you are hounding them to come home for dinner. Monday is a required dinner night in my house and I had to get home to make the tuna casserole. I did a decent 3 miles and walked the last half home. It was damn cold and unlike my sister, who runs come hail, sleet, snow, fire or high water, I am a fair weather runner. I didn't go all weekend mostly because it was raining and also because I was a little sad. But I'm leaving for Denver tomorrow and then Salt Lake City and am not sure if I will be able to run the rest of the week. My shoes are packed with good intentions.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Another Sunday Run

Forgive me father, why should you bother?
Try honesty, Try honesty
-Billy Talent

I ran about 5.25 today.  In the rain.  It was raining a little when I started and I decided based on my thorough anaylsis of weather patterns nothing but hope that it was going to let up.  Turns out I was wrong.  It rained pretty hard, but there is something great about running in the rain.

On my run I encountered on of those street signs with "your speed here".  No one else was on the street with me and it registered an 8 and then a 12.  I'm going to assume that the 12 mph was accurate and that I was running at a 5:00 mile pace.  But more concerning is that this sign mistook my body for a car.  And this is Texas - these things aren't calibrated to pick up Smart cars or Mini Coopers (or baseballs - despite what Dennis Quaid movies depict), they are set for the endless parade of F150s and Yukons.  I'm going to assume it was the extra 50 pounds of rain that I captured in my clothes that put me over the threshold.

Friday, December 14, 2012


On Tuesday I took a lovely run outside at lunch time since I was working from home. I should say the weather was lovely, the run was not. I was fatigued, had lung burn and my legs weighed 100 lbs each, but i struggled along for 3 miles. Maybe this was because I hadn't had the requisite 24 hour recovery time. So last night I tried again and felt much better. I did 3.5, the first 2.5 at a good pace and I walked the last mile. Today I'm just sad, and I'm resting. Twenty sets of parents just lost their joy, the week before Christmas. Brothers and sisters may never recover. Kids lost their parents, mothers their daughters. It's an awful thing.

Too Tired

You can't breathe until you choke
You gotta laugh when you're the joke
-Sixx A.M.

A difficult 3 mile run today.  Two main problems - lungs and phone.  My lungs hurt right from the start - and I felt really tired.  Tired enough that I spent the first part of the run trying to remember which of the former U of A guards suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome.  And then I thought about a story that my recently married rocket scientist friend told me about linebacker Brian Cushing.  He (Cushing) ran afoul of the NFL's drug policy and he blamed his test on overtrained athlete syndrome, which might be a real thing, but didn't ring true as an excuse.  So the local sports radio station sarcasticly suggested having a walk to raise awareness for overtrained athlete syndrome - but then realized they should make sure it was a short walk - so as not to further contribute to the problem.  I tried to diagnose myself with either of these diseases, but I think I just need to go to bed earlier.

Even worse than feeling tired and having my lungs hurt was that my phone didn't work correctly.  Before my run I took a call while it was syncing and I unplugged and screwed it up.  It would only play one song at a time and it was 2 songs behind whatever song I picked.  It was really weird.  I had to erase all the music off my phone and resync to make it work.  Also exhausting. 

And yes - the above quoted song is on the playlist.  I'm not proud of it, but it is.  Here it is.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Comin down the Phoenix sun on your face
Turns it reds by the afternoon
- Better Than Ezra, Coyote

I have a playlist made of 3 albums by these guys and sometimes I just put it on shuffle, and there's always a good song on next. I wish they were still making music. I ran 3 in the good at a great pace this evening as the sun was setting and it was chilly. I was reminiscing about the first time bf and I kissed (there's an ongoing debate over who kissed who). He actually invited me back to his room to show me his music collection, LOL. Not an original move but I guess it worked.

Monday, December 10, 2012


So as sure as the sun will shine
I'm gonna get my share now of what's mine
And then the harder they come the harder they'll fall, one and all
-Jimmy Cliff

I ran 5 miles today on the treadmill.  Forty-one minutes.  Felt a lot better than my last run.

And now I'm enjoying a holiday classic.  Die Hard.  It is way better than watching the Texans demonstrate why they won't win the Super Bowl.  Or beat any team with a good offense.  But it is not good.  Not sure if it is because action movies don't hold up well over time, or if it is just that I've seen enough Bruce Willis to last me a lifetime, or if we can blame the dad from Erkel, or maybe all of the above.  I totallly wish they were showing the animated version of The Grinch instead.  That would be good for me.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

8 mile

Snap back to reality
Oh! There goes gravity
- eminem

Ok it was only seven miles but still. I went hiking today. I couldn't seem to want to run, so I just took a long walk up to Bell Pass, which is about a 1200 foot elevation climb I think, and 7 miles round trip. It was a great climb, although I struggled a bit the last half mile up, which is really steep. It was a beautiful day to be outside.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Absolutely Anytime

Time was that you would understand
No matter what you would believe in
That was years ago and
time's a thief you know
-The Watchmen

I ran 3.25 through the neighborhood today.  But it was a little bit awful.  I felt like I was carrying a refrigerator on my back.  Or maybe just a backpack full of bricks.  Perhaps it only takes two weeks to become completely deconditioned.  Good to know. 

Luckily I had my security blanket with me.  "Absolutely Anytime" by The Watchmen.  I don't think I can create a running playlist without this song.  And yes, we are still adding to the playlist.  Since I'm not going to wait a full year before running another one of these things, we are still working on the same list.  I really wanted to see this band and I really wanted to see a show at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, but when they played there, I was too old.  The show started at 11.  Who can do that?  Anyway - here's the only version of this song I could find on youtube.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

No Excuses, Except That ...

But then some day we could take our time
To brush the leaves aside so you can reach us

This probably has some deep meaning that I'm not getting, but I've always thought of it as the solution to the worst excuse ever.  "I'd really like to reach you, but there are leaves in the way and I don't want to take the time to brush them aside".  So in that spirit I'm going to offer up some lame excuses for why I haven't been running

My foot hurt
My wife went to a conference and I had additional child care responsibilities
Work was demanding
I went to Vegas, but not to run
Too hungry
No free gym at the the hotel

I decided to overcome the last one and pay the $16 for a daily pass.  The real reason this upsets me is that the only criteria I use for booking a hotel is if there is a fitness center (or centre if I was booking North of the border).  But I paid, ran 1.5 miles on the treadmill, took a phone call, did intervals on the indoor track with lifting mixed in, and then ran another mile on the treadmill.  I'm going to call this 3 miles.  And I'm back.  Thinking about running the other Galveston 1/2 in February. 

Instead of running I ate fried chicken and pie

I did, however, wear my running shoes to dinner. So.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jet plane

Ok so I ran the mountain again on Sunday, great workout and 4.5 miles. I missed my 6am wake up call yesterday so missed the gym. But miracle of miracles, I got out last nigt when I got home from work. It was pitch dark at 6pm and its always harder after working all day, but fat dog and I made a go of it. We ran 3.5 in the hood at a strong pace. It actually felt great! Maybe all my trail running is paying off. I just landed in Atlanta for work, so today will be a well deserved rest day. Tomorrow I hope to get to the gym.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I thought about it long and hard today
I realized I'm standing in our way
- Steve Moakler, Hesitate

Well as you can see, the whole 6am thing didn't really work out this week. It will be much more challenging now to get my workouts in since I'm back on the hamster wheel work life. But today I made a decent go of it on the mountain, 4.5 miles. Gorgeous sunny day in the desert. Now picking up some well earne pizza.