Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring is Here

We finally have spring weather! We were above 60 degrees today. So needless to say, my run was outside. I had to stop by the library (which is about 1/3 of a mile from my house) to drop off some material. So I ran there and then just started running the neighborhood. I definitely took a path that I haven't run before. It seemed like almost the whole thing was up hill. I had a half-mile, downhill stretch right after I left the library, then a short and steep downhill about three-quarters of a mile later. Everything else was up hill. I thought I did pretty well with it. I hit the biggest uphill just past the two mile point and all I could think about was Jeff from the Snowy Tundra and his Good Duck/Bad Duck routine -- The Devil on one shoulder telling me how bad that hill was going to be, and The Angel on the other shoulder telling me I was almost home and I just needed to push through it. I ended up with 2.45 miles. I forgot to check the time, but I know it was slower than normal.

Kristin ran a timed 5k at the indoor track today. She ran it in 31:45. That is a solid minute improvement over the one 5k that we ran last year (unlike my one minute increase). Great job!

I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday to check out my leg. It is slowly getting better, but still off and on pain through the day. If I don't go this week then I won't have a chance for the next two weeks as I will be out of the country next week and out of the state the following week.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Weekend Update

Just a quick update...

I ran 5k on the indoor track today with a time of 27:03. I was hoping for under 26 minutes, but not quite there. Part of this goes back to my earlier comments about the runs being more difficult mentally when you watch the mileage on the treadmill. The track feels more natural physically than the treadmill, but you have to count your laps which is equivalent to watching the mileage on the treadmill. So not quite where I want to be, but 27 minutes is a decent time for me.

I apparently overstepped my bounds a bit by committing Kristin to a timed 5k today. She said she will do it on Monday. She did, however, run a mile with me.

I'm off to practice piano. My first recital is tomorrow.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wimps

So Kristin and I are big wimps. The weather calls for 26 degree temperatures at race time. Neither of us are cold weather people, and....well, no real excuse. We just didn't want to run in sub-freezing weather. We have decided to forgo this weekend's race and look for the next couple events to come around. There are races every weekend in April. We have crazy schedules to deal with considering she works nights and I have a lot of travel for work. But we should be able to get one in during that month. I just hope that we start getting temperatures near average rather than this cold spell we've had.

Our plan is to hit the rec center on Saturday and run a timed 3.1 miles on the indoor track. We will post the results here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

No Dancing!


For your safety, no dancing on the rides. Seems like Disney isn't too happy about dad doing the YMCA. At least that's what it looks like from the pictures. Unless they really are just concerned about this gentleman's poor form. We all know that during YMCA, you should be standing with your arms each at a 45 degree angle above your head. This guy is leaning over and has his arms bent at the elbows. And what's up with the kid? He's doing a backwards K. There's no K in YMCA!

Running went OK for me last night. I ran two miles in 20 minutes. Actually less than 20. My friends that live a couple blocks over were outside, so I stopped and chatted with them for a few minutes. It was 20 minutes from the time I started running until I finished the two miles.

It was about 45 degrees out (temperature...not YMCA dancing). It seemed I was having a bit of trouble breathing the cool air. I was fairly fatigued after just a mile. Just like Monday, the leg was stiff through the first mile then loosened up. It was hurting a bit last night, but not too bad today. Things have stayed the same, or maybe gotten a touch better, since I started running again following my week off. I do plan to run the race Saturday. And I will probably go to the doctor next week unless the pain is almost completely gone.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

West Virginia!


First and foremost, Happy Birthday Kristin!

We've finally crossed the Ohio River and we are in to West Virginia. Sounds like a big accomplishment. But it is definitely a reminder of how far we have to go.

My run Monday went pretty well. I had some stiffness and a bit of pain during the first mile, but I felt fine through the end of my 5k run. But as soon as I went from run to walk, I was hit with throbbing pain in my leg. I stopped at the pharmacy on the way home and picked up an ice pack and some Aleve (Why I wasn't using this stuff during my week of rest is a question I don't have the answer to). The leg was back to hurting on Tuesday. Not as bad as last week, but definitely more than Monday. It is in the same condition today.

I plan to run tonight. Tomorrow will be the deciding factor of whether or not I run the race on Saturday. Kristin said she will run whether I do or not. It is looking like I am going to end up at the doctor regardless of what happens...so I will probably run on Saturday unless the leg condition gets noticeably worse. I guess this is good timing for something like this to happen. I have to travel for work three weeks in April. So if I'm forced into rest by a doctor, that is the month to do it. Trying to get free time during work trips is a hard thing to do.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Today's the Day

I've been resting my leg for a week now, and it is definitely not where I want it to be. Still a bit of pain and discomfort, even when I'm just sitting around. We plan to run a 5k this coming Saturday, so I need to get back in the saddle. We will be running tonight. I hope to get two good runs in before Saturday. Given my very busy schedule this week, it looks like it will be Monday and Wednesday for me. I'm not sure what Kristin's schedule looks like.

Hopefully things go well. This week will be very telling. If the pain flares back to where it was last week, then I am going to have to pay a visit to the doctor. I will give a status update tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm Back


I can't believe it has been almost a week since I last posted. I don't know what I've been doing.

Last week I put up a Where in the World post with African Safari stickers. Those are located in the Hollywood Studios park on some luggage near the DVC kiosk on Sunset Boulevard. They are on the back side of the big brown suitcase in the picture above.

Running has not gone well for either of us in the past week. Kristin has not been feeling well, so her mileage has not been as high as usual. I have something going on with my left leg. I had had a bit of stiffness in the knee since we started running. I think it was there just a bit last summer when we were running, but not much. It has been there since we started back up in January. After running on Sunday, my leg was hurting above and below the knee. It is not constant pain, nor terrible, but it is noticeable and a change from the norm. I've decided to not run until next Monday, to give some time to rest. I am still going to the gym though to do weights.

We are both planning to run the 5k on March 29. I am very much looking forward to it and hoping that we have decent weather (cold or rain, but please not both!). I plan to run Monday and Wednesday next week in preparation for the race. Hopefully my leg is better by then.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Great Outdoors

It turns out Kristin took some pictures of the Snow on Saturday. This picture was taken less than 24 hours after the storm started. The precipitation had slowed down and I was out snow blowing. At this point there was almost a foot on the ground.

It was rather warm today. I think it was in the mid-40s. You can see the grass now in spots. I think the rest of the snow will be largely melted by the end of the weekend.

Kristin went to the gym today and ran two miles. I took advantage of the relative warmth and ran outside this evening. I ran 2.3 miles in about 19 mintes. So pace was about 7.25 mph. This is faster than I run on the treadmill, which doesn't surprise me. I am never comfortable on it and it makes the time just drag on. It felt great being outside. It is so much better than the machine. At this point I don't notice any extra strain on my body, which a lot of people report when they switch from the treadmill to the road. I guess we'll see how I feel tomorrow.

I actually thought I had run about three miles today when I stopped (if I had checked the time right away, I would have known better). We mapped out a nice three mile course through the neighborhood last summer. Two one-third-mile legs of it are on a busy road, and when I got to that leg today, it turned out no one had shoveled the sidewalks. They were still rather snowy, and I didn't feel like being on the street with lots of cars. So I altered the path. After I got home and realized that I hadn't gone as far as I had hoped it suddenly hit me that our three mile course was really a two-mile course followed by a one-mile course. It was the two-mile course that I had set out on today. I guess I'll remember for next time.

Check out the site http://www.mapmyrun.com/. It is great for mapping distances on outdoor runs. You draw your path on a Google map and it gives you the mileage. There are all sorts of other training tools on the site.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Where in the World - African Safari


Where in the World (Disney World) can these Disney Vacation Club stickers be found? Post your guesses in the comments.

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Kristin and I went to the gym last night. It's my first run after five days off (ugh). My muscles were very tight before the run. The time off was definitely a setback. I ran 3 miles, mostly at 6.3 mph but stopped running twice for about a one minute walk break. Kristin ran 2.7 miles, but she also did some walking in the middle.

I need to get back in the groove. I've made the executive decision to no longer go to the gym on Monday's. It was working well at first, but it just makes the day too busy. Straight from work, to piano lesson, home to eat, off to the gym, shower, bed. It is a bit too much. I need at least a little bit of down time in the day. I will still put in my planned three days a week, but I need to figure out what that schedule is going to look like.

Good news on the fundraising front -- we got another five cent per mile pledge! Looks like we will be breaking the $500 mark. Thanks to all who have pledged so far.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Buried

I wish I had taken a picture of the snow. We had over a foot fall on us in about 30 hours. This is a major, major storm for our area. It happens only once every few years. The snow started a bit before noon on Friday and didn't slow down until Saturday evening.

Smucker's closed their offices at 2:00 on Friday and luckily Kristin didn't have to work that night. But she did Saturday night and got stuck in the snow on the way (sadly hospitals don't close for weather...so unlike us IT guys, nurses have to work no matter what mother nature brings). I went out to try to get the car free, but couldn't.

So I drove her to work then went home and called a towing company. I grabbed my buddy Steve who lives a couple blocks over -- almost getting stuck myself on the way to get him -- and we went back out to the stuck car. The tow guy pulled the car out and we drove the cars back to my house. But then I got stuck taking Steve back home. The two of us couldn't push the car out, but luckily someone driving by stopped to help. So we drove back to my house instead of Steve's, then walked to Steve's house to hang out.

I must say that this weekend totally reaffirms that I LOVE LOVE LOVE my street. There is an elementary school two blocks away, so they keep my street clean...even on the weekends and other days when there is no school. As of this afternoon, it still appeared that the other roads in the neighborhood had not been plowed once.

The weather has hampered the running. I went Wednesday evening and ran 5k at 6.8 mph without taking a walk break. Kristin went Thursday and Friday mornings, running three miles each time. Shortly after she left on Friday, the University closed and remained closed through today. So we have been unable to get to the treadmill...and the roads are in no condition to run on. We plan to go to the gym tomorrow night.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Must be a Gulch

Saturday night, we saw one of our favorite musicals, Wicked. The show is based on the book by Gregory Maguire that tells the stories of the witches from The Wizard of Oz before the events of the movie unfold.

The story opens and closes with Glinda telling the citizens of the death of the Wicked Witch of the West, known here as Elphaba (a play on the initials of the original Oz author, L. Frank Baum). The main action of the musical unfolds as a flashback.

Elphaba and Glinda attend school together. Glinda is the popular girl with the sterotypical cheerleader personality. Elphaba is there to care of her wheelchair-bound sister, Nessarose. But, it is quickly discovered that Elphaba has a knack for magic, so she is recruited in a special seminar to enhance her skills. Though this class is just a setup by the teacher to teach Elphaba magic so that she can help the Wizard of Oz in his quest to further control the citizens of Oz.

Glinda and Elphaba begin as rivals, but soon become close friends. Their paths diverge, however, as Elphaba constantly struggles to do what's right while Glinda is interested in being in the spotlight.

The action of the story reveals how the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow all come in to being. You learn where the witches of the North, West, and East all got their names. You also learn that the Wicked Witch really isn't Wicked, she is just misunderstood. By the end of the show, you have much compassion for her character.

The musical does not stay very true to the book. Most of the characters are largely drawn from the book as are some major plot themes. I was really surprised going through the book how different it was. It had a much darker tone and many major plot and character differences. But it is neat to see how Maguire took an existing world and added further depth to it.

Given that this is a Disney-related blog, I must point out that in the touring company, Nessarose (pictured here) is played by DeeDee Magno Hall, a former member of The All New Mickey Mouse Club.

I highly recommend this show. It is Kristin's favorite and definitely near the top of my list.

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Since my last post, Kristin has made two trips to the gym, and I have made one. She put in 3.25 miles, and I have run 3.1. I was going to back tonight, but we have some pretty bad freezing rain, so I didn't want to risk the drive. Tuesdays have been very bad weather lately. The good news is that our offices were closed about an hour early because of it.