Thursday, June 16, 2011


I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find it really easy to quit most exercise endeavors. All I need is the flimsiest of excuses and I am right back where I started. Well maybe a little worse of because I am now older.

My goal for this week is to get out for at least 10 miles a day which takes me approximately 2.5 hours to do. I am mainly walking (about 90% of it) and do not officially time anything. I just want to get time on my feet so when the day comes that I can start moving a little faster I will be ready.

Last night everyone had something going on except JT, who is too young to stay at home by himself. So we waited around doing this and that for the first reasonably old enough person to turn up. Well that turned out to be Lisa at 9:15 pm; and did I mention it was raining again (but no lightning)? And my headlamp was missing? I was so tempted to just call it a day and go to bed. Missing one day wouldn’t hurt would it?

But that is how it starts, and only on the third day. So I got up and out door and began a repeat of yesterday’s trek since it was 10 miles exactly. I must say the library reflecting off the Mill pond at night is quite a pretty sight. I just wish I had a nicer camera to capture it. The only excitement was a text from Gunnar a little before 11pm.

Gunnar: Are you home?
Me: No, out walking
G: I left for J’s and locked the door*, do I need to come back?
*(this means I am locked out and everyone else is asleep)
Me: No. It’s on my route. I will pick up the key in an hour.

I now had visions of me banging on J’s door at almost midnight to get the key. This is funny because I am a regular worker ant in a rather large Fortune500 company and J’s dad is the CEO*. That would have been good. But I had the good sense to text Gunnar when I was close and the whole transaction was handled silently. Of course I told Lisa otherwise and she was quite horrified – got to enjoy myself somehow.

*I often joke that if I count all the soda that he has provided to my son over the years as part of my compensation package, I am probably one of the highest paid employee’s in the company.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How far away is it?

I set off for my nightly walk using my cities trail system. My initial plan was to make it out the Nature Center to touch the big rock and back for about 11 miles total. Unfortunately the day had been overcast and about a mile out the rain started; then lightning in the distance. Now I am all for walking in the rain, mainly due to an old Bob Kennedy Nike ad in which he stated "Somewhere there's a sunny warm place where all the second place guys train". The problem with going to the Nature Center is you are exposed out in the country (fields) for over half the trip.

So I got off the trail at the Mill pond and began traipsing across the city, picking up bits and pieces of other running routes. The rain got very heavy for a while but the lightning seemed to stay off in the distance. I kept telling myself the old canard that 3 seconds between flash and thunder meant it was 3 miles away. At the beginning it was at 3 seconds but eventually made it to 16 seconds, so definitely moving away. I have since looked it up on Wikipedia and have learned it is actually closer to 1 KM for every 3 seconds. In hindsight that feels more accurate, especially in the beginning.

Early on before the weather a young girl from the office booked past me on the trail and disappeared around the bend. But then the lightning struck and she was immediately coming back down the trail and heading home. To bad for her because not a mile down the trail I found these babies right there on the side of the trail.

I think that makes me a professional walker, just with incredibly low wages.

In the end I got in 10 miles total, at least according to Google Maps. A little shorter than I wanted but a good result all the same. My goal is 75 miles for the week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where I'm At

It always seems like tomorrow is a good day to get back into shape, but as the saying goes tomorrow never comes. So after a few years of starts and stops I finally reached a decision point. If I want to do these ultra’s I actually have to train for them. And if I want to train for them I actually need to get away from the TV and go outside.

Well the stumbling block for me has always been weight, which has been hovering around 260 pounds (but I am 6’4” so it isn’t as bad as it sounds). My exercise of choice has always been running but the extra weight causes a lot of stress on my lower legs which leads to injury. SO I would get started on a “new” exercise program only to stop again. After a not so good visit from my Doctor (Hypertension and the usual extremely bad lipid levels) and a weekend with my family of origin (for all my problems I am in the best shape – i.e. my medical future doesn’t look good unless I actively try to change course) I realized that tomorrow has finally arrived. As hard as it is today, tomorrow will only be harder.

So I have learned even though I may not be able to run at the moment, at least not more than a quarter mile at a time, I can surely walk. So with that in mind I have been walk/jogging over 50 miles a week for the last 5 weeks (90% walking) and I have been noticing some changes. First of all I am doing some long walks of 10-12 miles and my weight has been coming down. For the year I am down 20 pounds (at 242) which means I am only overweight now instead of obese (247 is the BMI obese weight for my height). Another 20 and I should be able to start running a bit more consistently.

But I am a goal orientated person and I think I have a pretty good one to keep me going. In August I turn 42 years old and just down the road we have an excellent trail that is 42 miles long. So tentatively on Saturday August 13th I am going to walk my years in miles on the Root River Trail (Houston to Fountain). It is a doable goal and on the positive side it will get that first ultra mystery out of the way. A lot of hesitation of doing a 100 miler is facing the great unknown of going beyond the marathon. Especially traveling a fair distance and paying money for an event you don’t even know you are capable of. I think doing this 42 miler will go a long way to alleviating a lot of my fears.

Plus it will pave the way for my first real ultra which will be a 24 hour race. That is where you do a loop course for 24 hours; and you can go as fast or slow as you want with all the breaks you want. I think then I will be ready for a 100 mile trail race next year sometime.

Anyways, if any of you will be in the area and would want to walk a few miles let me know. I can use all the company I can get (but I am not sure if any of you are as crazy as I am). I plan to walk the first 30 or so miles exclusively and then see how I feel for some jogging at the end. That could very well mean all walking.

Also I think I will start posting more about my walking here as a means to keep myself motivated. Maybe not as interesting but better than nothing, maybe?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Conversations with JT

ON the way to get a haircut for JT and Qatar we have the following conversation.

Qatar: Next year when Gunnar is gone (college) I will get to move downstairs to his room.
Me: We might get a foreign Exchange Student.
Qatar: (Excitedly) A Girl
Me: Why would that matter?
(Now you have to imagine this in the Style of Tom Haverford, because I swear to God that that character is based on JT)
JT: It has to be a HOT girl (wait three beats) so we can all enjoy her.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Misheard Lyric

I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore by REO SPeedwagon

Actual Lyric:

"A candle in the window on a cold dark winter's night"

What I always though it was:

"A candle in the window and a corndogger in the night"

I always thought "corndogger" was insider band slang for doin it. I still say my way is better.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Zero to 100 in 250 days

Phase one of training for the 100 is done.

I have stop eating grains (make me quite sick quickly) and the refined sugars (makes me sick in the long term – triglycerides). I made it through the entire Halloween season without any candy, even with my kids dragging home 5 pounds a piece.

Then I got myself off the carbonated drinks and caffeine. It really screws up my sleep schedule and I start drinking more than healthy. I quickly work up to 2 litres a day. Some people can manage a little and be fine, but I am not that guy. On the plus side when I am at mile 60 at 2am in the morning, that first Mountain Dew in 8 months is going to kick me awake pretty strongly.

Phase 2 is jogging with a little consistency. This first month will about 30 miles per week. I am just getting my legs used to running everyday, the increased milage will come later. I still need to add milage on my bike and some basic calesthenics and weght exercises. My exercises are goblet squats, single leg deads, push-ups, pull-ups, and some core work. Shoulder pain over time is a weakness of mine while running, hence the bodyweight pulls and pushes.