Monday, December 31, 2012

Learning from the past, looking ahead at the future

Every year I read many posts about people doing new years resolutions.   Every year I come up with something, but then usually drop it with in the first couple of months, just like everyone else.  Last year was a little different, my goal was to be more in shape*, and I must say "I think it was a success, but I want more."

I started off by buying a folding bike, which was great when I could commute to work (2.5 miles each way).  I since moved to a new city where I could commute via bike, but it is too far for a everyday kind of activity (14.5 miles).  I also joined a gym for the first time in my life.  It was a small community center gym that had enough equipment to be satisfactory for the price.  I worked out 5 times a week for a while.  Later it dropped to 3 times a week, but I did more intense workouts.  I even ran a 5k, something I haven't done since high school x-country.

After moving to another state in May things changed slightly.  I was in a new environment and didn't know anywhere I wanted to go biking, and didn't have a good gym.  The bike quickly started picking up dust.  I tried doing workouts at the apartment complex gym, but the equipment selection is quite... lacking.  My wife and I started searching for good gym, we came across Princeton Club.  It sounds la-de-fucking-da, it kind of is.  For $30 per month (special pricing that they have all the time) you get a membership.  We jumped on it and I must say that I am happy with it.  They have a bunch of equipment, good FREE classes, and racquetball (something I loved doing in college).  I haven't partaken in any classes yet, but I plan to try out spinning next year.

After a month of dust collecting I thought I should start trying to utilize my bike on the weekends for casual rides.  I quickly found that the city I moved to is one of the top ten in the nation for bike trails.  I mapped out a course and set off one Saturday morning.  It was awesome.  I've never scene so many bikers out together.  There is so many people with a lot of money put in there bikes.  Kind of crazy.

One of many great things about the city is the lakes surrounding it.  There are many parks along the water that you can just go sit.  During my rides I like to find a 1/2 way point where you can just sit and rest for a while and enjoy the day.  Its pretty nice.

I have also been working out about 3 times per week which has really helped in the winter months.

This next year I have decided I want to "step it up".

I want to run a 1/2 marathon.  Most likely sometime in the summer, probably around June (searching in progress).

I have already kind of started training for it.  I will succeed where I failed before.  I have tried multiple times to do this, and always ended up injured during training.  The one problem I had was I didn't workout, I just ran.  This time I am going to have a plan where I workout most of the time, and slowly ramp up my running.  This way my body will be ready for the running part.

Think I can do it?  Want to join?

For now I'm going to do workouts 3 times per week, and try to do 2 runs per week.  We will see how it goes, I'll try to keep you posted but as always, no promises.  I'm going to use to keep track of my workouts, and to keep track of my running, and a new "workout" google calendar to keep a reminder in my calendar on what to do today.

What are your new years goals?

Last but not least I want to say goodbye to my Grandpa who passed during this holiday.  He was a Veteren of the military, a husband, a father, a grand father, and a great grand father.  He had a long life and he is no longer suffering from his illness.  God bless, and rest in peace.

* My initial goal was to run 5 5k's for charity events.  I only got to one, but 1/2 way through the year I realized it wasn't going to happen to I adjusted it to just be "be more in shape."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Formula One is great, but could it be better?

If you know me even a little bit you know I love a good motorsports race.  The sounds of the engines roaring past as people cheer on there favorite driver; its pure awesomeness.  There has been a lot of excitement in the past couple races and it struck an idea.

Photo Courtesy of Formula 1 Google+ page

On Friday night races at the local track I noticed qualifying first meant you started last.  An interesting concept that I think Formula 1 should adopt.  Think about it, give the driver some points for qualifying in the top 5, 5 for pole, 4 for second, etc...  Then on race day line them up in reverse order.  This way it would make qualifying another great way for teams to score points, and would spice up Sunday outings.  I had this idea as I was watching Mr. Vettel run from 24th up to 3rd.  I have had multiple people say how awesome that was to watch.  Why not make every race that exciting?  What about people that just drive slowly during qualifying so they get pole on race day you may ask?  Well, they have the 107% rule, if they fall behind it then they would have to start in the back regardless for "safety" reasons.

Another thought I had was heat races.  The best part of F1 races are the first 5 laps, then there may be a couple more close moments or good battles if you will.  Most races end with massive gaps between the cars.  What if each Sunday was 2 race events (kind of like GP2) where they were 1/2 the time with still the required 1 pit stop requirement (per event)?  What it would do is create more tense moments for the race fans.  Right about the time a normal race would be time to take a snooze, the first race would be over and they would line up again (after refueling and tire changes of course).

The way things are right now are great, but they could be better.  What are your thoughts?  Keep them the same (Bernie would like that) or change to something new?  Does anyone else have any other ideas about this?

On another note I'm totally geeked for Formula E, are you?

Finally, congrats to Tesla for getting the car of the year award, well deserved.  I would totally get one if I could afford it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How I Stay Motivated

Now that I'm back into the staying fit game I thought I would document how I'm staying motivated.  It is compressed of four different things that I'm doing.

Nike+ GPS Watch
My beautiful wife just got me the Nike+ GPS watch which I think will boost my confidence and consistency.   In the past I have been using my phone, but I really had a lot of weird software issues with it.  I really wanted an independent device that was easily accessible during my run and this watch got really good reviews.  It was a hard decision between Nike and Garmin, but since the Nike has a non-GPS feature (running indoor or on treadmill) it wins :-), especially since both sync with Endomondo (more on that later).
There website is great so far.  There are a lot of negative reviews about it but those are most about the flash site that has recently been replaced by HTML5.   I have found it very easy to navigate so far and uploads are a breeze.
I have been using endomondo for about 2 years now.  There phone application used to be great, however since 8.0 there has been so many issues with my phone and the GPS.  Even with the application woohs I still really liked there website.  Mostly for the social feature as a lot of people at work are using it.  Also they just started syncing with Nike+, so I can still use it with the watch to stay social.
Earned It is an interesting website.  You sync your workout website (both endomondo and nike+ are supported) and it gives you points for working out.  After you build up points you can cash them in for giftcards to workout type places.  There are restrictions on what will give you points.  For example: manual inputed runs in endomondo don't count, however if you have a GPS based workout it does count. For Nike+ it looks like both GPS based and foot sensor based get points.  I just hit 300 points and got $20 off a purchase at endomondo's online store.  Got a cool running shirt.  It really didn't take much time to get up to 300.  You can also use your points to help out people in need, which is what I'll be striving for next.  During my runs I'll be thinking, "for the children in Kenya", ha.

Some people use websites, others use a friend's encouragement.  When it comes down to it, only you can get up off the sofa and go for a run.  These things help, but you are the one steering the boat.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Minor Setbacks and Looking Forward


This past spring I had a knee injury on a treadmill that prevented me from running as much as I would like.  Its really easy to fall off (training, not the treadmill) when these types of things happen.  I found that using a knee brace worked well.  I used it while training, and never felt better.  My confidence would be high and I would remove the brace, then it would hurt, and I would have to stop due to pain.  Getting frustrated, I think, "well you just have to run with a brace".  So then I would start with the brace again, and all would be well.  I continued on this cycle expecting different results, each time realizing that its not going to work.  I think Einstein would think I was crazy ;)

A New Path

So I decided to take advantage of my awesome healthcare (thanks to my awesome wife) and go get it checked out.  Scared that I was going to have to have surgery or they would simply say "well, your getting old".  So I went in, got a look over and got some handouts on knee related injuries and stretches.  I, of course, didn't do the stretching and went back to my old routine.  A couple weeks later I was stuck on the IR list again.

A New Path : Attempt Two

So I made an appointment with a PT doctor to try and get good stretches to do before/after my runs.  I think they will help a lot (trying to be positive).  I also got some good advice with something that I've been doing wrong.  So my whole running career (that sounds fancier than it should) I stretched first, ran, then I was done.  My PT doc threw the red flag on that one.  Turns out you should stretch before, run, then long static stretch after to help your muscles stretch back out after working them.  In theory it makes sense, now to practice that.

My goal is still to make it to a 26.2 mile race (full marathon) and finish.  Hopefully this is a start of something good and new.  The key to success for me is saying I can.

Wish me luck, I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Alternative Ways to Watch Sports

I've got into a lot of conversations with people about going cable-less lately and the same topic always comes up, what do you do about watching live sports?  I'm an avid spectator of auto racing including: NASCAR, IndyCar, F1, Global RallyCross, and La Mans.  I also have been known to watch a football game (go Green) from time to time.  You may be asking yourself, but how does one watch all these events without the benefit of the SPEED channel or five different ESPNs or TNT for NASCAR in the summer?

As you may know we (the USofA) are in somewhat of a lul in the money market, and motorsports are hurting.  Sponsorship drives motorsports, so if the sponsors are hurting, the league is hurting.  If the league is hurting, its trying to get as many fans to fill the seats and watch there races as possible.  Some are successful, some are trying, and some, well you don't hear about them :)  Leagues are realizing that they need to start posting feeds on the web to stay afloat.

If you post full races on youtube, for example, more people are going to watch it because no one else does that.  That's exactly what IndyCar did with all of there races so far this year (link).  I must say, brilliant move on there part.  IndyCar has been slowly dieing in the heart of america.  However, this year seems to be a step in the right direction and has them grasping the new generation of tech-savvy people.  Being able to watch any race is really great (are you listening Bernie Ecclestone?!?!) and is bringing more fans to watch the races when they come to a neighborhood near you.

Another great step forward is ESPN.  Having no cable and watching ESPN can now happen with  Here they post a lot of replays for the not so popular sports including: Global Rally Cross (a new up-and-coming rally sport), ALMS, college football, and much more.  The best part is, if you have internet (which most people reading this post do) then your provider probably did a deal to get you this.  If not then you should storm the gates demanding action (just kidding, no riots because timtim said it was okay).

NASCAR has taken a similar approach for the races that are not on over-the-air stations (fox).  They added free "race buddy" which gives you 6 onboard cameras (with radio for that team) or a couple battle scenes.  This really helps for the races that are normally on TNT or ESPN.  Just head over to and look for "Race Buddy".

Formula 1 is really a disappointment for american fans.  Sure they have the race recap, usually showing up a week or two after a race, but other than that you have to find online streams of replays.  Don't get me wrong, those race recaps on are steller, but I want more.  F1 is supposed to be the most advanced motorsport in the world, but yet there coverage is spotty at best.  I do enjoy watching the BBC/Sky coverage more than the guys on Speed, but maybe its because they don't have commercials every 2 seconds.   On another note, is starting to show practice sessions, which is nice, but it could be better.

I'm hoping with the 1 US GP this year, and two next year that F1 will get more Fox time, and less Speed time.  If it was on OTA that would be best, I mean, there are only 19 races per year, it shouldn't be that tough.  Also I wouldn't even mind them showing it at the live time, that's what DVRs are for.  Not a DVR from the cable company of course, but a computer that is also a DVR, but that is another post.

Another random find is WRC.  WRC is only avaliable in the US via SPEED which you need cable for.  But there is luck, someone seems to have started uploading them on youtube a couple hours after there showing which is great.  You just need to search the correct criteria, like "WRC 2012 Finland part 1/2", and you should find it.

Overall I believe that sports people have a chance in watching there favorite sport online without cable. There will be times of frustration, and other times where you will be completely satisfied.  The point is that its possible with todays push toward an online market.  The goal is simple, spend less and get more.

Be frugal my friends.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Its so Darn Hot

Milk was a bad choice...

Sorry, I couldn't resist, but seriously this heat wave we are having in the midwest is a killer.  I went running last week only twice, which is really low for me.  I am going to try to get 4 runs in this week but we will see with the heat index being around 100 all week with humidity.

That brings me to my next point, how does one cope with running is given conditions?  Does one flee to the pool/Air conditioning or what?

I got a good suggestion from my sister who lives in FL (where it is always hot ).  Grab a rag, wrap some ice cubes in it, then put that around your neck.  I'm going to try this today, so I'll let you know how that goes.  Also she suggested bringing water.  I don't normally like running with things in my hand but in such extreme conditions its really a good idea.

Does anyone else have any good tips for keeping cool while running through the heat?

PS: The headphones still rock, no problems at all.

Friday, June 29, 2012

People Running with Gadgets Part 2: My Decision

Running is a great way to relieve stress.  It frees endorphines and can make you feel good about yourself.  I like to run with music, and I also like to keep track of how I do.  For about the past year or so I have been using Endomondo along with there free android app on my Droid X.  This has been great until recently.  Lately every time my headphone jack would move my music would pause and then I would be forced to run in silence.  Or even better it would continuously pause/play/pause/play until I rebooted my phone.  To put this lightly, it became really annoying.  A couple posts back I spoke about running with Gadgets and I put a lot of thought into if I need a new device or not (my wife will be so proud).

I finally decided that I don't really need a new device as my device does everything I want it to, just the headphone jack is being stupid, why punish the whole thing.  So after looking at countless reviews I decided on the Moto HD Bluetooth headphones.  They are really zazzy, errr, umm, I mean nice, and here is my pro/con list after a couple uses:

- Lite weight
- Stay charged for a long time
- The buttons to change songs, pause, answer calls, etc.. work really well. Being able to change your song while on the run, awesome.  For you smartphone going folk that use a arm band, you know what I mean.
- The microphone works well for calls.  The two people I asked said they couldn't tell a difference (this is a good thing)
- $50, originally 80 somethin', thanks amazon.

Somewhere Between a pro and a con
- Long term comfort is okay.  After about 3 hours of wearing them the side of my head felt the pressure but they were fine while I was actually running for about 30 minutes.
- At first they feel like they are going to fall off but they don't.  Just takes getting used to them.

- Randomly turned off while I was on the phone the other day, hmf, but turned it back on and it was fine.  Weird
- One size fits all, no adjustments.  I have a fairly regular shaped head (I think) and they fit well but not all people are created equal

Being able to change songs in a middle of a run by a click of a button is awesome.  However, unless you have a moto sized head (see what I did there ;) ) they might not fit correctly.  I would recommend them, but maybe try them out in a store first to make sure they fit.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Life on the Road

I recently moved my whole life from Michigan to Wisconsin.  During this transition we drove back and forth about 4 times for job interviews, apartment showings, etc.  While travelling back and forth we found a couple things necessary for survival.

1) If you see the Oasis (a rest stop for all you Michiganders), STOP!  Driving on the tollway there was only 2 rest stops (where you didn't have to pay to get off then pay to get back on).  If you even remotely have to relieve yourself, I suggest you stop here.

2) Start looking for Gas stations when you only have 1/4th of a tank left.  That way you don't find yourself grabbing gas in a shady town (like Gary, IN).

3) If the exit says there is a gas station, but you can't see it, keep on truckin', there will be one at the next exit.  I found this one out the hard way.  I travelled 20 minutes out of my way (twice) in search for said gas station.  Never again!

4) Avoid driving through downtown Chicago unless you are going to Chicago

5) Google Navigation is great unless you don't want to take the exact route it suggests.  If you do research on your route using Google maps before you go, you can save the map route for later, but you can't access it via your phone so you might have to print it out.  If you wanna be really slick print the directions to PDF and upload it to Google Drive.  When your done with the trip, throw it out.

6) Be skeptical of the moving company estimates.  Moving companies are all cut throat (I won't name names, but they are out there).  They will all try to under bid each other and try to convince you the other companies are ran by the devil.  Be very careful about shuttle trucks.  Some companies include them in the estimate, some don't, but if you need one because the haller can't get in your apartment you will be paying about 600 more dollars on each side of the journey.  When you want your stuff might be important.  The hallers might have other people's stuff with yours.  If that is the case, you might have to wait a couple days in order for your things to arrive.  We went with Two Men and a Truck, they were awesome.  They didn't have a haller, just 2 guys, and a truck.  They didn't share the truck with another client, and it was still cheaper than the others.  Mostly due to no shuttle because it wasn't a semi.

7) Just because Google Navigation says that you can take the ferry whenever you want doesn't mean there will be a boat waiting for you at the dock. (more about this later)

8) Verify your GPS route before you start driving (otherwise #7 may happen).  This almost happened to my wife.  She typed in the coordinates and set off with our cats (that were both drugged up and in carriers).  About 20 minutes into her drive she realized she was headed to Muskegon to catch a ferry, she was all like "WTF mate".  She quickly found a better route, but if it was her first time driving there she would have had #7 happen to her.

9) If you are redirected in Google Navigation, your major route might have changed.  This seems like a bug in the software to me.  If i'm set on going a specific way, but I get off the road to grab a hot dog with chilli, onions, and stuff (mmm, that sounds sooo good) should my route change?  I wouldn't think so but I've seen it happen.  Steps to recreate: go somewhere that has alternate route, take the alternate route but before you get to the part where it is different make a pit stop somewhere.  The nav will redirect you to get back on the highway (like it should), but then when you continue on you are set back to the normal route and not the alternative like you requested.  Are you listening Google???

Overall, moving is stressful.  New jobs, house, state, etc...  Coordinating it could not have been done alone.  A big thanks goes out to my wife who helped me though it.  Couldn't have done it without ya :)

Fitness note:
Wisconsin has a shit load of hills!  Its crazy!  Running/biking is a lot harder here.  If you need some tips on running hills, here is my post on that.  I'm trying to bike more so I can work up to biking to/from work (which is 11.1 miles each way).  Wish me luck!

Does anyone have any good tips when travelling by car/plane/boat/superman?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gadget People Go Running Too

Gadgets are EVERYWHERE!  There is a gadget and/or an app for just about everything you can imagine.   The old days of running are gone.  Majority of people you see running today have the ear buds in connected to some type of fancy device.  There are so many choices to what that device could be.  You have: your smart phone, ipod, GPS device, other MP3 player, etc...  So which to choose, I leave it up to you...

Smart Phone:
The great things about using your smart phone is: 
1) You should have a lot of music on there, or Pandora is always available.
2) You can use awesome applications like Zombie walk and Endomondo to help keep track of your progress
3) Built in GPS so you can track where you go
4) One device to rule them all, no additional hardware so no additional cost (assuming you have a smartphone)

The lame things about using your smart phone: 
1) If you sweat a lot the smart phone gets wet, that isn't covered under most phone insurance,
2) the GPS on most phones suck the life out of your battery.  Once your battery is drained you are stuck by a wall charging said smart phone OR you go without your amazing device.  (the latter makes me sad and stuff).
3) To bulky for an arm band.  I found smart phones are turning more and more into Zach Morris style phones when it comes to size.

iPod Nano:

The great things:
Small, Nike+, Genius feature, price tag, watch, itunes

The lame things:
1) NO GPS,
2) no one knows if you need the tab for your shoe or not (not even the apple geeks),
3) Not sure if sweat resistant.
4) itunes (notice it is a great and lame thing)


The great things:
1) It has the display like the kindle,
2) it integrates with your phone wonderfully (iphone/android/crackberry),
3) Open SDK so nerds can create apps

The not so great things:
1) You still have to lug around your smartphone (I think its hilarious that we think that carrying around a little smart phone is a pain).
2) You have to have a smartphone and a pebble
3) price, 150 for an accessory of your phone?....


The great:
1) All in one device: music, GPS, watch, timer
2) has wifi for auto upload to the intertubes (assuming you have wifi)
3) has bluetooth, everything is better with bluetooth,
4) Sweat resistant
5) Neat accessory list: watch, arm band, bluetooth headphones (with heart monitor?), heart monitor
6) Its a watch too

The not so great:
1) Its the first model that moto has come out with, might wait for version 2.
2) It runs on Android, so if they keep developing on it then it will be awesome, but if it fails then not so much.  Kind of a gamble in that aspect
3) Price, 250 for just the base model, then you have to get the arm band or watch accessory which runs another 20 or so.

Garmin Device

1) Top of the line GPS
2) durable

Not so great:
1) No watch


j/k, just making sure you were still paying attention :)  Can you imagine though, someone running with an ipad, bhahahaha.  Actually though, I've seen people running with them on a treadmill, or a stationary bike.

The End Result:

It depends on what you will use it for and how often you drop things.  The great thing about so many different types of devices is the selection.  If you don't like what you have then do you didn't do enough research before purchasing your device for running, or you fell victim to false advertisement.

So what do you guys/gals run with?  If you were to pick out a new device what would you pick?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Running - Hills

I read this in another blog and thought I would share it.  It is an interesting idea and it makes a lot of sense.  Anyway, enjoy:
Hills are an interesting challenge.  We know we have the strength and the experience to get through the climb, so it isn't a physical thing as much as it is mental.  Looking at something hard looming ahead is a daunting exercise in any arena, running or not.  I have friends and acquaintances right now who are looking at hills: a move with their family, a cancer diagnosis, an ADD diagnosis, a child with an incurable disease, a job change, a divorce, adjusting to a new baby, longing for a new baby and not having one, and many others.  The incline ahead is steep and unyielding.  So how do we prepare?  Running hills gives us some clues.  First, we relax - which is hard to do but essential.  We cannot make any assessments in a state of panic.  Then we remin ourselves and each other that we have strength for climbing.  Then we breathe; ideally, we breath deeply.  Then we begin.  We lift our legs and pump our arms and go at our own pace.  This is incredibly important.  It's so easy to lose heart on a hill when we compare ourselves to those around us.  We waste energy by taking our focus off the goal, which is of course going through the finish, not to it.  Some people attack a hill; others run steady.  Some have a mantra; others need a clear head.  It's good to know what kind of climber you are-the middle of a hill is not a good time to mess with definitions or change tactics.  When we practice enough by running hills, we develop our own rhythms and strategies.  The same with life's hills: The smaller ones make us fit for the biggies, and we can maintain our same rhythm.  The more we practice, the fitter we become and the less we fear. ~ Kristin Armstrong
Hills are always an interesting challenge, I agree.  I was always told to lift your legs higher, and do a sprint up the hill to maintain momentum after you hit the crest.  It seems to work well in my past experiences.  Most of the time (not always!) after a upward hill, there is a down hill slope.  During which you can open up your stride and not use as much energy. I do plan on trying the mental plan that Armstrong above wrote.  It seems like it would do nothing but help with other parts of your life.

Anyone else have ideas, motivation, cool stories, etc... about running hills?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

5k - Race for the Place

Hi, its me again.  In my last post I talked a little bit about my race that I ran.  From reader feedback (that's you!) it was suggested that I cover a play-by-play for it.  So here goes nothin`...

Race for the place is a 5K race for a domestic violence shelter that is on MSU's campus.  The race also takes place on campus.  If you have ever been to MSU, you will know the campus is huge and it has the Red Ceder river running through it.

Preparation Meal
The night before I had a big ass thing of pasta, it was amazing.  The morning of I had oatmeal, toast, and scrambled egg whites.

They had a nice setup in the Jenison Field house, a bunch of people with signup information, maps, and someone with a microphone that should never have a microphone (isn't that always the case?).  Anyway, they had group stretching before, and the promise of food after, mmmm, food.  About 15 minutes before we made our way to the start where I ran into a fellow coworker.  We chatted it up for a bit, but then we got the 5 minute warning.  Game face, ON!

The Start
Starting line behind people.  Are the slower, faster, no one knows...
I felt the start could have been better.  The announcer was okay, but he did say, "if you run a 6 minute mile come to the front, otherwise go to the back".  Really?!?  Normally they have signs that say "6 minute mile", "7 minute mile" etc...  Even though our timer didn't start until we crossed the line, I still felt I was running over people for the first 1/2 mile.  Part of me also liked this approach as I felt like a Formula one drive cutting through 5 o'clock traffic.

First Mile
The first mile consisted of ducking through traffic and trying not to trample the walkers.  After about the first 1/2 mile things slowed, but lots of overtake maneuvers continued.  We ran out to Grand River, then started up, what I thought, was a never ending incline.  The first mile ended along the Red Ceder.  After the first mile (which I ran in 8 minutes, 35 seconds) I felt I was going to fast, but the timer tricked me.  The timer on the board clocked when they fired the gun, not when we actually started, so I felt I was going really slow, and I was tired.  This was frustrating at the time, but looking back on it, it helped me in the end.  I trucked on, wanting to start walking, but continuing in full stride.

Mile Number Two
The second mile was a long stint along the Red Ceder river, very beautiful time of year for it as well.  We went from where ever we were to Hagadorn (all the way across campus).  Finally I hit the 2 mile mark where such promised water from the announcer was presented. There was a nice group of old ladies at the 2 mile mark that were handing out water cups.  I ran straight at them and said, "oh god thank you". The lady was trying not to giggle at me, and said, "keep it up, 1.1 more to go."  1/2 the cup was in my mouth, the other on my face.  Felt amazing.  I really thought I was a goner, but that little bit of water made all the difference.  Amazing!  So, if you do ever setup a water station, best advice, setup a couple trash cans a couple 100 meters away.  People were just throwing the cups down after they were done.  I did the nice thing and put the paper cup in my pocket, but it is something that could totally be avoided.

The Last One plus point one
Coming up on mile #3 I got really excited.  I could hear the people cheering in the background, and I though, I'm close.  I kicked it up a couple notches, thinking I should only have .1 miles left.  I was ... wrong. The finish line was in site, but what I didn't realize is that I had to run around Munn Ice Arena and then hit the finish line on my way back.  I was like, what wait, why?  I carried on, slowed a little, almost walked, but continued to run.  Once I saw the finish line in my path, I stepped it up a notch or 2.  Passed a couple more people and finished.  While walking through the finish line I was greeted with 2 choices: Chocolate Milk or water.  I looked at the milk guy and thought "milk is a bad choice", and went for the water.  The time was 25:27!!  Not bad for not running a 5k in 10 years!.

I sat and cheered on my wife as she finished.  We went inside to find a great assortment of food.  I finished 10th in my age group, which isn't to bad for little old me :) (i know i'm not old, but i feel it sometimes).

After Effects
I decided to take 1 week off of working out since I felt my knee was still having issues.  I think I just have runners knee, but its annoying.  It seemed to just flare up recently.  I'm hoping eventually it will go away.

Overall it was a great experience and I am looking forward to the 3 other ones that I'm doing this year.  Lastly I leave you with this:

My wife showed me this, I lol'd.  ENJOY!

Monday, April 23, 2012

TV vs. Alternatives.....GO!

There are people that live/eat/breath there whole lives around TV.  That is crazy people!  I do love a good episode of Supernatural, X-Files, Family Guy just like the rest but you have to find a balance.  This goes double for you computer folk (myself included) that stare at a computer screen all day.  We have to learn to enjoy the other things like: a nice bike ride, running, playing with your children (where applicable), volunteering at your local animal shelter, joining a social group, yoga, meditation, church, bowling, fishing, driving (fast on the tracks), having coffee w/ friends, etc....  There are so many other things to do (even in the cold northern winters) than watch TV.  Go do them before you can't get up because you are to old.  Anyway, sorry for the rant, but I see too many people with major health issues that don't take care of themselves and it gets to me sometimes.  I want to help them, but wise man/woman once said; "you can't control people, places, or things".  What you can do is write in your blog about it, so that's what I'm doing.  Anyway, enough about that, on with the show...

I have been on a Netflix documentary kick lately and I stumbled upon a couple good ones that made me do a double take on my life habits.

First up, Food Inc.  

I must warn you, if you have a weak stomach, or you love McDonalds, I would hesitate on watching this.  It shows how horrible the meat industry is and how bad it is for you.  It is a very well done documentary and is very pro-vegetarian.  They target a couple key corporations that really only care about money and not the common wealth.  No wonder American's are so fat :)  After watching it I question why anyone would ever want to eat at these places.  I eat there as a last resort.  Overall I give it a 4 out of 5.

And now, Forks over Knives.

This documentary is great.  They don't only bash on the meat industry like the above one, but they also demonstrate how the alternative is SOOOO much better for you.  These people are definitively extremists but they have a lot of great advice.  I'm not saying everyone should move to be a vegetarian, what I am saying is being a vegetarian is better for you, and this is the scientific proof that says so.   This show is really good because they focus more on the positives than the negatives that are obvious.  Overall I give this one a 5 out of 5.

So.... what is next?

I would first like to document that if I were a pizza, I would be a meat lovers.  I love meat, bacon, chicken, pulled beef sammiches. You name it, I like it.  For a couple reasons (not only these documentaries) I want to be more healthy, and these shows kind of gave me the fuel I have been looking for.

I have decided to try to avoid red meat, not remove it from my diet, just avoid it when possible.  I have been doing this for about a month or so and I must say that I feel healthier.  My workouts that I do last longer, I have more energy throughout the day, and I don't have as many... stomach issues.  I've also tried to eat less dairy products, and make better choices when I go out to dinner.  Going out to dinner it tough sometimes but the benefits are so worth the sacrifice.  Working out has really helped out a lot as well.  I go to the gym or go running/biking at least 3 times per week which is big for me.   I'll let you know how this goes, but so far, so good.

Once upon a time I was a runner, a pretty good runner at that.  This past new years eve I decided that my goal this year is to run 4 5k's.  Last weekend I ran the first one.  It felt good to actually get out and enjoy the day, and I helped a cause.  I felt good to be part of the community.

Anyone with/against me on this?

I'm curious about your thoughts on the topic, please post comments!

Blog update

If you haven't noticed I have exhausted all things anti-cable so I'm going to be expanding the scope of this blog to include alternatives to TV in general.