Twitter Updates

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Which is most ironic?

Eating Chinese food (take-out) while watching "Top Chef"?

Eating steak and venison sticks while browsing vegan recipes online?

Shooting up heroin while watching "Intervention"?

I enjoy the ironic. The third example I don't have personal experience with, but the story was relayed to me by another person (also not the heroin user). I laughed, because I'm sure they didn't notice their own irony.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Weekly Running Update (11/4 -11/10/09)

Weekly running mileage: 46 miles (planned 66 miles)

Wednesday: 6 miles at 5.5mph (planned 6 miles). Still chugging away at the first season of "Lost". Very motivating and entertaining.

Thursday: 8 miles at 6.7mph + 8x0.06mi at 10mph (planned 8+ miles). Finished up "Lost". Onward to season 2. I'm not going to talk about the possible signs of over training I might be showing, or the slight calf pain.

Friday: 12 miles (planned 12 miles). Slept like crap the night last night, and for that matter, the night previous to that. After the run, is that MORE calf pain? Does my HEEL hurt?

Saturday: 6 miles at 5.5mph (planned 6 miles). At about 4 miles in I should have stopped. Probably should have just skipped it because I hurt most of the run.

Sunday: 11 miles (planned 11 miles). Wasn't sure whether to do it or not, but did. Felt fine the entire time and afterwards. You know what I think part of the problem is? I think my shorter runs are WAY too slow, because those short and slow runs are the worst. I feel fine with longer and faster runs.

Monday: 0 miles (planned 6 miles). Had dinner with a few friends after work and didn't get home until 11:30p. Probably doesn't hurt to take a day off.

Tuesday: 3 miles (planned 17 miles). I had to really convince myself to even start this run, as I just didn't feel like doing it. I really think I could have done this run, but after 3 miles I decided to stop. I kind of regret that decision now (at 10:30p), but it just is the way it is.

The main reason I felt like I was possibly over-training was because I slept like crap all week: tossing, turning, crazy dreams, never waking feeling rested. Felt like I was getting a cold, kind of, but not really. The weird calf-pain is probably mileage induced (too much over too short of time).

Plan for next week will be to step back on miles, run the shorter recovery runs faster to see if that helps.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Weekly Running Update (10/28 -11/3/09)

Weekly running mileage: 50 miles (planned 50 miles)

Wednesday: 6 miles at 5.5mph (planned 0 miles)

Thursday: 9 miles at 6.7 mph (planned 6 miles)

Friday: 0 miles (planned 9 miles). Worked all day before taking the camper on a journey up to the Two Harbor's hunting land. I was not going to get up at 4:30 to do this run before leaving.

Saturday: 6 miles at 5.5mph (planned 6 miles). I give myself a "C+" for camper parking. This involved backing the camper down a narrow rough little logging road, attempting to keep it "level", jacking up and removing the two tires to keep it from running off. Well, I backed it in without breaking anything It's really not level, although could be, if I'd been able to successfully jack it up all the way. Only got one tire removed. I doubt anyone will steal it before RR can fix it location next Saturday and get the other tire off.

Sunday: 10+ miles 6.7mph (planned 10+ miles). Still watching the first season of "Lost". I though I'd already seen it all, but I guess I must have previously only watched the first two DVD's.

Monday: 6 miles at 5.5mph (planned 6 miles)

Tuesday: 13 miles at average of 6.09mph (planned 13 miles). Took about an hour break after 1.19 miles to receive some freshly processed mule deer venison, fresh from RR and V's hunting trip.

My runs this week were a little re-arranged from what was originally planned, but I successfully finished the week without having to be up early.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Weekly Running Update (10/21 -10/27/09)

Weekly running mileage: 52 miles (planned 48 miles)

Wednesday: 4 miles at 5.5mph (planned 0 miles). Remember last Monday when I started my planned run very late because I'd had dinner with a friend? And I then let a phone call interrupt and ultimately end my run 4 miles early? Well this was payback. Enjoyable payback, however, as I watched a very entertaining episode of "Top Chef".

Thursday: 6 miles at 5.5mph (planned 6 miles). I didn't have much selection at Blockbuster. I would have liked to immediately continue with season 3 of "The L Word" but the didn't have it. I decided I'd watch "Lost" instead. I'd watched the first season years ago on the treadmill, but thought it'd be best if I started over again now.

Friday: 9 miles at 6.7mph (planned 9 miles). Did this run while doing some major multi-tasking... baking chicken while running.

Saturday: miles (planned 6 miles). Was up north at Sure Game Resort, northwest of Grand Rapids. Instead of doing my planned run (which I was never really planning on doing) we did about 8 miles of hiking at Scenic State Park and around the Lost 40. I call this at least the equivalent of the planned/unplanned slow 6 miles.

Sunday: 9 miles at 6.7mph + 8x0.6mi repeats at 9mph (planned 9+ miles). This run felt great. I was starting to think that I couldn't/shouldn't expect myself to run comfortable at a 9min/mi pace until I got my running chops back, but this run went very well.

Monday: 6 miles at 5.5mph (planned 6 miles). I may have to pick up my "slow" pace because it's starting to feel painfully slow.

Tuesday: 12 miles at an average of 6.13mph while moving (planned 12 miles). This run kinda sucked as I was having stomach problems. I blame this on either a) new Omega-3 supplement sample I received and started yesterday, b) "fat burner" supplements I re-started today (had taken w/o problem in the past), or c) 6 rather-small chocolate chip cookies I received from my Grandma (after Boston Market for lunch). I finished the miles, but had to stop too often, dragging the run longer than planned.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I know I'm a real woman because...

... we had a flat tire on my truck up north on Sunday, luckily while still at the resort at which we were staying and not while on the drive home. Until we enlisted the help of the resort owner, I was definitely in charge of the tire-changing process, and I actually felt pretty confident in making it happen. But at no point did it ever occur to me to actually lie down on the wet, cold, pine-needled ground and scootch under the truck. Yes, I did kneel down while detaching the spare, but I put a towel down so I wasn't kneeling on the ground. However EVERY single man who is now helped with the tire immediately was down on the ground. Heck, at the gas station today the tire-man laid himself down on the parking lot asphalt.

(Aside: All this lying down didn't really seem to be necessary or accomplish much more than I could do while squatting. I wasn't going to argue with anyone's technique, however, as I don't need to do any more "man stuff" than I already do.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weekly Running Update (10/14 -10/20/09)

Weekly running mileage: 32 miles (planned 36 miles)

Wednesday: 6 miles at 5.5mph (planned 0 miles). Already skipping my rest days. Actually I just preemptively switched my planned Wednesday and Thursday runs as I was giving blood after work on Thursday and didn't want to commit to running after that. I have a history of fainting as I stand and eat my post-donation snack. And also a history of this.

Thursday: 0 miles (planned 6 miles). Successfully shared some of my O+ with the world. No fainting. Forced myself to sit at the recovery table for 10 minutes eating pretzels. My blood pressure prior to giving was 88/58. Does that seem awfully low?

Friday: 6 miles at 5.5mph (planned 6 miles)

Saturday: 0 miles (planned 0 miles). I scored some free tickets to the Home Improvement Expo at the Mpls Convention Center, so Eforce and I headed down there. I bought a book called "Whiteout" by a local author. I think the author is local; the publisher is.

Sunday: 8 miles at 6.7mph (planned 8+ miles). Also did a little speed work: 0.06mi x4 at 9mph (That's for you, Steve... I know you like to see me write in treadmill lingo). I planned on doing x8, but I noticed that although I'd feel fine running the fast speed I would feel pretty crappy for the time between repeats (0.06mi at 5mph... I'm not going to spend the time to convert that to minutes). My heart would feel like it was pounding out of my chest even the I could tell my pulse was racing. And then I started feeling a little faint. After the 4th repeat my world started swimming around me and I decided I really didn't want to risk passing out and flying off the back end of the treadmill. We were supposed to go golfing at Bunker Hills Golf Course in the afternoon. For X-mas about 2 years ago I gave RR a gift certificate for a round of golf that we keep putting off. And we did yet again. Maybe 2010?

Monday: 2 miles at 5.5mph (planned 6 miles). Got together with a friend for dinner (Potbelly's with a chocolate malt) and didn't get home until late.

Tuesday: 10 miles at 6.7mph (planned 10 miles). Finished the second season of "The L Word." Now I need to decide what I'm going to watch next; do I immediately jump to season 3 (which will involve renting it from Blockbuster) or do I watch "The World At War" (which I already have at my house)?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Weekly Running Update (10/11-10/13/09)

Weekly running mileage: 15 miles

Sunday: Watched a "Numb3rs" marathon on TNT and then the Twins. No running.

Monday: 5 miles, rather slow.

Tuesday: 10 miles

Yes, this was quite the short "week" if you count the number of days, but I ran more miles than last week. I'm still plugging away at "The L Word" and I continue to have the same opinion: some of the story lines are SO contrived, but I really do enjoy it. I also have "The World at War" to watch next. My other television watching goals include "Lost". And maybe the last 4 seasons of "Curb Your Enthusiasm". I also think I'm behind on "The Shield" and "24". I had better get running.

Why would I do a mid-week report like this? Well, I'm starting a training plan tomorrow and it will just be more organized if I mirror my reporting week to a training week. Makes sense, right?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Weekly Running Update (10/4-10/10/09)

Weekly running mileage: 10 miles

Sunday: 5 hours spent setting up deer stands up near Two Harbors.

Monday: 5 miles. And no, I didn't watch the Vikings as I ran.

Tuesday: Wild home opener with my dad! No time to run today.

Wednesday: Work meeting after work. Long day.

Thursday: Nope.

Friday: Dinner with a friend after work.

Saturday: Nope.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekly Running Update (9/27-10/3/09)

Weekly running mileage: 20 miles

Sunday: 10 miles. Finished in time to tune into the last 5 minutes of the Vikings game.

Monday: Didn't run.

Tuesday: Didn't run.

Wednesday: 5 miles

Thursday: 5 miles

Friday: Packing the camper to leave for the weekend. Meant to run on my afternoon off, but was called in to work.

Saturday: About 4 miles of hiking at Jay Cooke State Park. A little rainy most of the day and evening, but still had a good time. As we were multi-tasking this trip by bringing the camper loaded down with RR and V's deer stands we did not bring our bikes.

I blame my low weekly mileage directly on Ken Burns and his documentary on the National Parks. Or perhaps on PBS, who thought it would be a good idea to run the 6 part mini-series 6 days in a row. I felt tied to my t.v. for 4 days in a row before I finally had to say "enough" and resolve to watch the last 2 parts on DVD. A very good show, but I can't handle 2 hours of it every night all week. And why didn't I just run WHILE watching the show? Because it's "talk-heavy" and it's sometimes too hard to catch all the words while running. And I just didn't feel like it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekly Running Update (9/20-9/26/09)

Weekly running mileage: 38+ miles

Sunday: The world's SLOWEST bike ride with my friend and her 4 and 6 year old children. I got to practice my balancing skills as I tried to not dismount the barely moving bike.

Monday: 5 miles.

Tuesday: 8 miles

Wednesday: Church group and Top Chef. Didn't feel like running while watching Top Chef. Mainly because watching Top Chef involved eating Pizza Hut.

Thursday: 5 miles

Friday: 10 miles

Saturday: 10 miles

I've been watching the Showtime series "The L Word" while running this last week. I borrowed the first 2 seasons from a friend at her recommendation. I'll admit that with her that night I watched the last 20 minutes of the last episode of the last season (season 6), so I know how it ALL ends. It actually hasn't taken away from me watching the early episodes, however. Basically this show is a drama about lesbians, and although I've found the plot lines to be somewhat predictable and contrived, I've actually really enjoyed it thus far. Each episode is approximately 5 miles long, and as I only allow myself to watch while running, it makes it quite easy to pop out 10 mile runs.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Weekly Running Update (9/13-9/19/09)

Wow, these updates are getting shorter and shorter... Last week I didn't do much running at all, mainly because I just had "stuff" going on many of the nights and didn't feel like it.

Weekly running mileage: 7 miles

Sunday: 1 puny mile. Decided I didn't feel like running.

Monday: Not feeling well.

Tuesday: Work continuing ed "webinar" online.

Wednesday: At my parents visit with family.

Thursday: Out with a friend for dinner.

Friday: Nope, nothing.

Saturday: I did do 6 miles, smooshed between finishing up my backyard landscaping and going to church.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekly Running Update (9/6-9/12/09)

Running mileage was down this week secondary to the holiday weekend spent at Scenic State Park and a 100 mile bike ride I did yesterday.

Weekly running mileage: 27 miles

Sunday: Scenic State Park. Did some biking and hiking and a small bit of canoeing.

Monday: Scenic State Park. About 3 hours of canoeing. Whew.

Tuesday: 11 miles

Wednesday: 6 miles

Thursday: 10 miles

Friday: Skipped running (planned 6 miles). Again, like last Friday, I don't think I wimped out, but I justified not running since I was doing a 100 mile bike ride the next day. I also planned on doing a long run on Saturday after the bike ride.

Saturday: Did the Jesse James Bike Tour 100 mile bike ride (actual length: 106.5 miles). Finished it in 6h50min, so an average speed of 15.6 miles per hour (including all stops). It was a gorgeous day. A beautiful ride. I got more of a workout than I expected as i couldn't get my bike to shift to the lowest gears for the uphills. Got home and decided not to run (planned 16). I'm not too sore (except my butt from sitting on the bike seat) and probably could have run, but decided not to get too crazy about it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Weekly Running Update (8/30 - 9/5/09)

Well, I broke the rules again and increased my mileage by more than the recommended no-more-than-10% a week. I went from 15 miles during the first 2 weeks of August, to 22 miles the weekend of Ragnar Relay, to, oh, a 300% increase to 62 miles for last week. Feeling fine, however, especially after taking 2 days off over the holiday weekend. We hauled the camper up to Scenic State Park (north east of Grand Rapids) for an absolutely gorgeous weekend, much better than the complete rain-out we experienced in our tents 3 weeks ago. Did about 3 hours of canoeing on Monday, about 5-6 miles of biking, and a couple miles of hiking.

All this week (M-F) I worked on my landscaping for a few hours after work (in running clothes) before jumping on the treadmill. I found it to be as close to train running on a treadmill as I could come, as by the time I'd start running I'd be covered in dirt.

Sunday: 6 miles and then off to the State Fair.

Monday: 8 miles

Tuesday: 11 miles

Wednesday: 5 miles

Thursday: 10 miles

Friday: Skipped running (planned 6 miles). I don't think I wimped out, but I justified not running since I knew that by the time I finished my landscaping it'd be awfully late and that my Saturday run would be important.

Saturday: Was not sure I'd have enough time to sneak in a quick 15 mile run, but due to the combination of setting my alarm for reasonably early on a Saturday (7:45a) and the fact that we didn't end up even being close to leaving for up north until noon, I had more than enough time to run, shower, and pack. Watched some movie on Labor Day about a couple who helped catch a man selling babies under the guise of adoption.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ragnar Relay update

So, last weekend I did the Ragnar Relay, the 12 person relay from Winona to Minneapolis. The team was mainly co-workers... 7 of us from my company, my friend Vanessa, a sister of a co-worker, and then 3 other friends. I ended up having a lot of fun. I was not really looking forward to it, although I knew that once I was doing it I'd have a great time. That did turn out to be the case.

As I had not been doing too much running all last winter, spring, and early summer (any running I did was sporadic, nothing consistant), when I had to "declare" my pace for the relay I decided I'd do 10 minute miles. I figured that this would be something I could most likely do without much problem over most terrain (hills, etc; stuff I don't find on the treadmill), and that I could probably still average that pace without training.

I was runner number 5 which overall was the toughest, having all 3 legs be fairly long and hilly.

My first leg was 6.6 miles and started in Alma, WI at about 10:45a on Friday morning. I told my van-mates that I'd stick to 10 minute miles although I could maybe go faster. They advised me that I should go as fast as I felt comfortable going, as we might have other team members go slower than their predicted pace. "Okay," said I. My first leg was not too hilly... very lightly rolling, and I averaged 8.5 minute miles without much problem.

My 2nd leg was 6.8 miles and started at about 11p on Friday night. It started with a LONG hill that I slowly plod-jogged up. The middle section was fairly flat/rolling, and then I got to go down the big hill I'd come up. I FLEW! And this is where trail running comes in handy, because I'm pretty comfortable and keeping up a high speed and watching my feet as I somewhat-recklessly-looking careen down hills. I kid you not that I was averaging down the hill about 6-6.5 minute miles. I passed a few people cautiously braking down the hill. My leg ended with a half mile hill that I had to take a couple walk breaks on, but overall I averaged 9 minute miles.

My 3rd leg started at about 8a on Saturday morning around Afton. The sun was up and it was starting to get hot. This was my longest leg (about 7.5 miles) and was very hilly. This was a little more of a struggle for me with the combination of hills, sun, and fatigue (no real sleep the night before and more miles than I'd run in months and months). But I plugged away and finished it, averaging 9.5 minute miles.

Overall I was happy with my performance and had a great time. It was a renewing experience, because I was able to do this without training and still have some respectable-for-me times over the miles. Makes me feel like I could train and get some speed back again.

So I bought a treadmill Wednesday night. Got a killer deal on it as a Sears closeout. It's a Nordic Track Elite zi. (I got it for $750). I have it set up in my garage/workout area again. Lifetime Fitness, of which I was a member until next month, is only 1/2 mile away from me, but it's so much easier for me to have the treadmill right at my house with my t.v. right there.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vacation is official!

Well, we got off to a rough start, but we are now officially in relaxation mode!

When we bought the camper it came to us in a mish-mash of tires: 2 were ST175/75R13 and 2 were ST175/75D13. The "R"'s are radial tires and the"D"'s are bias tires. The radials are better for the load we're pulling, but really there was no excuse to have 2 of each.

When the first one blew last summer we assumed it was a fluke... maybe we just drove over something. Then the other night when we got the 1st of this trip we started thinking something was wrong. We made sure leaving Rapid City that we had 4 radial tires on.

Of course the 2nd flat of our trip made us realize that something was screwes up. The salt in the wound of these flats isn't only the painin the butt and the cost of the new tire, but every time we lose a tire it does hundreds of dollars of damage that we are lucky yo have RR to fix for us.

Did some internet research and found that now days all campers of our size (21ft and loaded weight of about 5000lbs if not more) have ST205/75R14.  Found out that the "ST" means it's a trailer tire so it has greater ply but thinner sidewalls. The "14" is the size of the wheel/rim. The "205" is the width of the tire in mm's, and the "75" is size of the sidewall, represented as a % of the width of the tire.

We started blaming the RV people who sold us the camper, thinking they must have thrown on any old tires they had laying around, all which were too small. This was our belief until I found the manufacturer's sticker that said that yes, the ST175/75R13 was what was supposed to be on it.

We thought about just buying the new bigger tires and wheels, but not only would that be expensive ($800), but it didn't look like there would be enough clearance in the wheel well.

We compromised by buying 4 brand new tires that are ST185/75R13, so a little wider, able to withstand heat a little better, and with a higher load rating. Overall we've gained an extra 500lbs of load carrying ability. Hopefully this is enough to precaution to get us home comfortably.

Vacation started officially last night has RR and I carted the mountain bikes 20 miles out of town and then blasted down the mountain highway. V and E clocked us at about 55 mph down some of the steeper hills!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What happened when we got the 2nd flat tire

Well, the title of the post gives it away: 10 miles before arriving in Buffalo we got our 2nd flat tire on the camper (rear passenger's side, for those who made side bets involving which tire would be next to go).  This flat caused so much vibration that it bounced the fridge out of the wall, actually breaking the cheap camper interior wall. Also a casualty were all the drawers on that side of the camper... all the pieces of wood that separate the drawers fell off.

To compound the mess were the 2 dozen bottles of protein drink (boost and EAS) that suffered a 75% casualty rate, being smooshed and oozing all over the camper floor.

Oh, and the container of powdered protein also exploded.  Our camper reeks of protein.

So day 3 of the trip has been spent running around for camper pieces. Luckily RR is completely capable to fix it all... it just sucks that we have to do this on vacation.

Tomorrow I will enlighten everyone with a post on tires... stay tuned!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wyoming reports

Day 1... got on the road a little later than planned... 4:55pm. 35W detours slowed us down as well as general construction further south of the cities. Even further slowed down when a camper tire blew, right in the middle of the Enforcer and I watching "Point Break." We successfully changed the tire in record time on a deserted South Dakotan road outside Mitchell. Pulled into Al's Oasis Inn at about 1:30a for a good 8hrs of sleep.

Day 2 has been fairly uneventful. Although we were in a tornado watch zone east of Rapid City, we were not picked up and blown to Oz. In fact we were far enough south of the storms to be able to enjoy watching the dark and billowing clouds.

We got a new tire at a RV place in Rapid City and we are now on the road again, blasting west towards the WY border. We'll be parked in Buffalo tonight.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Random thoughts:

I just finished Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers". I LOVE all his books and highly recommend them.

I bought a 2005 Chevy Tahoe on Monday on my lunchbreak. It has 70K miles on it and is fully loaded with all sorts of upgrades, most of which I will enjoy. I will for sure love the heated leather seats come this winter (and the 4WD). We're planning on taking the Tahoe to Wyoming with us in July to pull the camper to "home base" in Buffalo, and then using the 4WD to get us closer to mountain trailheads. The Tahoe has a DVD player for the 2nd row seating and we've already told the Enforcer he needs to watch "Point Break" at least once on the trip to remember to act like a "dude".

I hiked about 4.5 miles in a 20lb weight vest this evening up at Sherburne Wildlife Refuge. I would say that I enjoyed the sounds of nature--I was the only vehicle at the parking lot--but actually I listened to "This American Life" on my ipod.

My treadmill is still not put together. I could attempt it myself, but from the reviews online I've been warned that it really is a 2 hour project for 2 people and since it may involve schlepping around 100+lb parts, I don't think the math holds out that it would take 1 person (being me) 4 hours.

I think I used the word "schlepping" because the podcast I was listening to had a segment with two Jewish people talking. Or because there's a chapter in "Outliers" talking about Jewish lawyers.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Planning Day

We spent a lot of time today planning our trip to Wyoming, and I think we have it almost figured out.

We also made it out to Greenhaven golf course to do 9 holes. It's only my 2nd time out this year and I golfed a 63. I have 3 years worth of old score cards to pull out to make a comparison, but I didn't take the time. I'd have to say that's about average for me on this course.

We had some jerk tee off almost right into us... we had teed off but then couldn't take an approach shot as the people ahead of us were still on the green. For some reason the guys behind us didn't pay any attention and almost conked us.

Beautiful day, and we finished before the light sprinkles came through.

I bought a new incline treadmill and I'd LOVE to have it set up right now. It's a 2 person project that will probably take a couple hours (or I can have RR do it by himself in 1 hour). I'm debating going out to take a look at it.

This treadmill does not have roots and rocks on the belt, but as it goes up to a 40% incline, I am debating trying to train for a mountainous 100 miler only using the treadmill. Hmmmm...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Well, for about the last 3 years we've had big plans to go mountain biking in Chequamegon National Forest. Every year like clockwork we make plans to go for Memorial Day weekend, change our minds a few days before, re-plan the trip for Labor Day, and then decide to put the trip off until the next year. 2009 was no exception.

The Friday of Memorial Day weekend we decided, at about 10pm, that we'd go check out the mountain biking at Camden State Park instead of Chequamegon (and we'd do that trip Labor Day...). We loaded up the truck and hit the road at about 3:30p on Saturday afternoon (nope, no holiday traffic worries for us...). Set up camp at about 8:30p and heard a train coming through. Yes, there are train tracks that run THROUGH the campground, rumbling and blowing their whistles. After hearing the train every hour, we finally decided at about 1am to grab our overnight bags and go find a hotel in Marshall.

Sunday we did about 8 miles of hiking through Camden before packing up and moving on to Blue Mounds State Park.

The Enforcer (my tent-mate, or more accurately, my ex-tent-mate) decided to stay up by the fire until 3:30am. He went wild with the zippers of the tent and completely woke me up, just as the birds were starting to sing and the sky was lighting up. I never did fall back asleep, so I was up at 6:30a doing a 7 mile hike wearing a 20lb weight vest. Wow, did I feel that in my legs even later that night! The group of us did about 7 miles of mountain biking through the park that afternoon, arriving back home about 11pm (again, no holiday traffic).

I brought my new Amazon Kindle (an e-book), which I love. I read "The Daughters of Juarez" which was recommended to me by my realtor about 2 years ago. Also read "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. I highly recommend any of his books. I listened to and loved "Blink" when I listed to it on audiobook last winter.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Very quick running analysis

This is going to be a very short perfunctory analysis of where my running is at this point. I'd go more in depth, but I must start packing the truck to go camping because if I'm not packing the truck, it doesn't get done, or worse, it gets done, poorly and unsuccessfully meaning I must then unpack and repack. I kid you not... I had to do that once in Wyoming last summer when I got all uppity and decided, "why should I have to be the one who packs the trunk all the time." Well, V and E tried but ended up not being able to fit everything in, which obviously wouldn't work as we were leaving a hotel. I unpacked and repacked with extra room to spare.


I used to have at least a little bit of running speed. I qualified for Boston in May 2006 (3h38m) and I could run a 5k in about 21 minutes. Then I started focusing more on ultras and running very slowly for long periods of time. Then over the last year I was so busy with house stuff and other stuff that I hardly ran at all... not fast, not slow, just sporadic distances in little fits and starts.

That leaves me now today with no speed and really no endurance, meaning I pretty much need to start training from scratch. A little disappointing, but such is life. The sun is out and the weather is beautiful. The appraisal of Party Central (my Anoka house) came in well and the Enforcer is buying it, closing next week. I work 5 miles from home, a max of 40h/wk. I'll only own 1 house. All is good.

I'm committed to doing the Ragnar Relay with a pile of co-workers this August. For this run I'll have to run 3 legs of something like 3-7 miles over two days. For training I decided to follow a 10k training plan that has low mileage but I can start building some speed back up. I also plan on increasing the "long run" of 6-9 miles to something more like 6-16 miles.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tada! Front Exterior Pictures!

I'll post more pictures from my realtor tomorrow, but will quick get these up tonight. I'll probably re-post, as my "after" shot was done without the best lighting.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Oops, I left ya'll hangin'...

I seem to remember posting a cryptic message about some "house stuff" being in the works, but I never did follow up on that.

I'm selling my house in Coon Rapids to the Enforcer (assuming all goes well with the appraisal on Thursday) and I'm moving into my house in Anoka (the one where he was renting from me). The exterior paint and roof project is ALMOST finished; in fact I can probably take the "after" photos tomorrow.

Actually, that last paragraph isn't totally complete, because the master plan is NOT for me to live for long in Anoka. I now plan to try to sell my Anoka house and make a little money on it to buy a different foreclosed house to fix up. In 2 months I could conceivably be without a house at all.

Anyone know anyone looking for a very cute looking house in Anoka, close to freeways, shopping, and downtown Anoka? I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Houses and more houses

Currently on the never-ending house agenda is the new roof and exterior painting at Party Central, a.k.a. my house in Anoka, a.k.a. the Enforcer's house.

Here's a picture of the "Before" exterior:

Okay, the pictures won't post for me tonight and I refuse to fight with blogger about it.

There's been a little bit of upheaval in my housing situation... On the 31st of March I gave one of my renters, the old guy, his 30 day notice to move out. He seems to live in a fantasy world watching old music videos from the 60's and 70's, so I hope he understands that he really does have to move out. So I've been advertising and looking for another renter for the house. Meanwhile my brain has been ticking along looking at other options, some of which are in the works right now... (ooooh... mysterious...)

V is looking to buy a foreclosed house, too. She and RR have been running around town looking at houses. She's made a few offers, but the foreclosed house market is super hot right now and she's been outbid every time. Hopefully something will fall together for her soon.

Meanwhile I'm the Force's financial advisor, helping him get out of debt and stay organized with his finances. He comes over every 2 weeks on pay day and we sit down and make sure all his bills are paid.

And right now I'm working on a friend's taxes, trying to get them done right before the final buzzer. I could have been a good accountant.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Zumbro Recap

So I had just finished my 6 mile treadmill run on Friday morning and was walking my cool down period when I thought, "hey... the 100k doesn't start until midnight tonight, so I could help with the roofing of my house all day, go to church, and STILL go and do the run!"

Of course I wasn't really prepared. I had not really been running as of late; by this I mean my monthly mileage from March to the present was about 25 miles TOTAL. And I had not replaced the miles I was not running with anything else other than television watching and some very casual weight lifting. I was REALLY not prepared.

But I made the drive and gave it a go.

Starting at the finish, I stopped at 27.7 miles, which is approximately 44.7% of the 100k. 27.7 miles is what happens when one does a complete loop, plan on stopping, but then feel like one may as well do the easy first section to not look completely foolish. I think it was about 7:20a when I reached the start/finish aid station and dropped, but quite frankly I wasn't wearing a watch so it might have been 7:40a.

I felt pretty darn good when I stopped. My knees and hips were definitely sore at the time, and I hadn't cut my toenails so my toes were hurting a bit from jamming the front of my shoes.

So why did I stop?

1). I was woefully unprepared and felt that an untrained 27.7 miles from which I would hopefully recover quickly was better than pushing it too much and risking injury or too much extra time off recovering.

2). I knew I could still finish it or at least go quite a bit further just walking/minimal running, but quite honestly, didn't really feel like spending all day to finish.

I'm happy with my decision to go down and do the run and happy with my decision to stop when I did. 2 days later and I have no soreness. I was able to spend all day Saturday after the run and a 45 minute nap roofing the house and did about 5 miles of mountain biking last night.

I enjoyed the course and would definitely consider doing it again. It was a tough one. Anyone ever notice there aren't very many courses out there that DON'T include long tough ups and downs? Why isn't there a nice one with lots of rolling hills?

Friday, April 10, 2009


Last minute decision to drive down to do the 100k tonight. I'll spend the afternoon roofing the house- busted by the bldging inspector, so I'm blogging remotely from the City of Anoka office. Good Friday service and then I'll head down. Gmail me at dcfarmer if anyone down there needs me to pick up anything!

Monday, April 6, 2009

And the answer is...

Wow, good guesses by everyone, and I bet Home Depot noticed an increase in customer traffic this weekend as everyone attempted to find out what the heck the WDGRPR9"RLCG was.

I'm very glad that I did not include the UPC# as part of the clue, as I think that would have made it much easier.

Honestly I thought that I was probably going to have to buy everyone a 9" roller cover, as that answer seemed right on.

Unfortunately we were all close, but all wrong, and remember, "close" only matters in slow dancing and hand grenades.

The answer was: 9 In. 5 Wire Frame Paint Roller Handle.

Thanks everyone for your guesses! That was fun!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Here's a contest for all my loyal followers

I don't really know if I have many loyal followers, although by definition, anyone who still casually follows along must have some sense of loyalty as I've been very bad about blogging.

I'm going over 2 years of receipts trying to get and stay organized for future tax filings. I've already (rather hastily) filed my 2008 taxes, but have realized there's quite a bit in I've forgotten to claim that could get me more of a refund back. Being that to claim it I'd have to do an amended return, I figure I better really have my ducks in a row in case the friendly IRS person wants more info. (I plan on drowning the forementioned IRS person in paperwork... imagine copies of 2 months worth of renovation receipts).

So anyways, I'm going through old receipts, categorizing what was purchased on each receipt (in general) and what bigger project that purchase might belong to. For example, on 3/13/08 I spent $174.56 at Home Depot on painting supplies for "Interior painting--office". (Have I posted office pictures before? I don't think I have, but will... RR's paint job, an artistic ragged glaze effect, always gets rave reviews).

Home Depot receipts are HORRIBLE for trying to determine what an item might be. Lowes often is okay... I can translate most items based on the purchase date, what project was going forward at the time, or the other items on the receipt.

Now here's the contest:

What on earth is this item (based on receipt description): WDGRPR9"RLCG < a > (cost $5.97 plus tax)??!?

Anyone who is able to tell me WHAT item this is will win said item. No, I don't have any clue what the item is, although as it only cost $5.97 in 3/2008, I feel comfortable volunteering to purchase it as a prize. If it ends up being a 10ft long item, I might have to drive it to you as opposed to mailing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My house... before and after pictures

Before Pictures:

Old Dining room window
Old living room windows (with the casing torn off!)
Living room pre-crown molding
Dining room pre-crown molding

Okay, here are a bunch of pictures of my house in Coon Rapids "before" the latest updates of this winter. Like I mentioned yesterday, I had declared a moratorium on further house improvements until I had more of my previous improvements paid off. I changed my mind, however, because with the economy the way it is I found that I can get a good deal on material and labor for most everything I wanted done.

I started the winter with finishing off the garage, a project that had been planned since last spring. The original intention was to finish it off so i could comfortably run on the treadmill, but alas, I have no treadmill. Instead finishing off the garage meant that RR had a very comfortable workshop to use to finish all the indoor work. I have no pictures of the garage, but he finished insulating and sheetrocking the remaining 1.5 walls that weren't finished and re-painted the whole garage. It now holds heat very well with just one little heater going when necessary.

The windows in the front of my house were replaced last winter and I decided to finish off the back windows as well before Lowes discontinued the model leaving me with no choice but to have mis-matched windows. I had toyed with the idea of adding a deck off of my dining room, an upgrade I'd seen in similar floor plans, and I figured why replace the old window with a new window only to tear it out in a year or two for a patio door? The door required a lot of work; RR had to basically tear open the wall, reframe, move electric lines, etc. But it looks great.

I also decided to add crown molding throughout my living and dining rooms, and my upstairs hall. I already have crown in my bedroom and office, but we jazzed up the living room crown by adding the corner blocks.

I finished off the look by adding a silk plant/tree thing (I never imagined I'd spend $80 on a silk tree) and a dining room table. No, I did not have a table before this.
New living room windows.

New patio door.

Complete living room- crown and curtains
Complete dining room view
Complete sans curtains, but with compressor.

Oops, I seem to have forgotten to blog

Actually, it's not so much that I forgot as much as I was unmotivated to do so. What follows are some random stream of consciousness tidbits and a promise to be more diligent in updating this blog:

I ran about .75miles at the gym today and had to stop because my ipod ran out of battery life while listening to Lil' Wayne.

I've been meaning to update my blog for about 2 weeks because I have some awesome pictures of the house stuff I've done in the last two months. I really meant to take this winter, nay, year off from spending money on the house, yet a couple of thousand dollars later I have new windows in the back of the house (front of the house was done last winter), a new patio door to replace my old dining room window (yes, that means I'll need a deck at some point). Also a new patio door to replace my renter's patio door that became so warped as to not close. I splurged and had RR (who did all this work for me) also put in crown molding throughout my main floor living and dining rooms. I then REALLY splurged and bought a $80 silk plant (tree) and a cheap-but-good-looking dining room table.

I've been craving fattening foods lately, especially pizza and ranch dressing. And Chinese food.

My Valentine's Day plan, being single, was to get a facial, eat either pizza or Chinese food, and watch t.v. Instead I went up to Two Harbors with the Fab Four and stayed at a hotel that is made out of rail cars. I watched the Enforcer play beer pong with a bunch of 20-somethings and failed the booze barometer while sober.

I am the Force's new financial advisor. I've taken complete control of his finances and am helping him stay organized and get out of debt. I figure I can control all the balls of my debt, I may as well help him out.

We've finalized our dates for our trip to WY this summer: July 11th-26th, for about 12 days or so. We'll climb Francs Peak (no apostrophe, really, even though it was named for Otto Franc) and see George Strait in concert at Cheyenne Days. We may have 3 extra people joining the Fab Four.

I really did more at the gym than just a .75 mile run. I did 45 minutes on the stair machine listening to Dave Ramsey.

I quit the part time job a couple weeks ago, although the time frame for exactly when I quit is vague. I felt I needed a break so I called in sick for a week. Then I still needed some time so I just didn't go in for a week. My manager called to ask if I was okay and if I wanted to reduce my hours. I told her I'd think about it. I still didn't go in. She called again and asked if I was resigning and I said I guessed I was. She told me to call them back if interested in a position in the future. Huh.

I got a pile of money back from taxes because of Party Central. I changed my withholding to get it back in my paychecks instead of at year end. Also got a bit of a raise with my new position, spend a lot less in gas now, and am reimbursed time and mileage when I have to drive to a different location for work.

A co-worker and I might do the Fargo marathon. Not sure yet. They also want to do the Ragnar relay in August and I might tell them I will. I hate to commit however.

I haven't blogged yet because I want to post house pictures. I am using my USB drive to charge my ipod, however, so can't upload the pictures yet.

I have ranch dressing, but no pizza. I gave my leftovers to RR earlier this evening so I wouldn't eat all the leftovers, but now I am regretting that decision.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Good job-news

I think I'd mentioned in a comment a few weeks ago that my life and work hours might be getting a little easier:

I've been working for the last almost 4 years with a local Eye MD group, as clinical assistant for one of the surgeons. Due to reasons that would be more appropriately discussed with you all in a non-internet venue, I decided in December to step out of that position and become a ophthalmic technician for the same practice. This is a good move for me. First of all, instead of living in Coon Rapids and working between our Bloomington and Maplewood offices (about 1-1.5h of commute time a day), I'll be working the majority of the time (80-85%) at our Coon Rapids office (5 miles away). Instead of working every hour my doctor is in clinic (often 45-50hr/wk), I will be expected to avoid overtime. Instead of being at the top of my position's payscale, I'll keep my current pay, maybe get a raise at my April review, and have room to grow. I have one more week of training my replacement before I start on my own training.

I lived in Washington D.C. for 9 months in 2004-5, having started a 2 year program to be an Ophthalmic Technician. The program was a waste of my time, I dropped out of school (always wanted to say I've done that), and I studied on my own and earned the same level of certification while working on the job. My new position will basically entail what I had planned on doing to begin with.

Also, at my part time job I was hired on by the company as opposed to being a temp employee. I did get a small raise, and I've changed my hours to start at 8p on work nights instead of 6p.

Pretty darn soon I'll be able to reasonable get a work-out in in the a.m., in the evening, or between jobs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Other potential goals I haven't done

So what happened to me?

The last Sunday that I ran, the first few steps were definitely painful, but each step got better. Within a few miles there was NO pain at all and I ran the full 10 miles. To be safe I went home and iced the previously painful area.

I woke up Monday with DEFINITE pain. It hurt to walk on my left left. My left ankle felt "creaky" when I'd point it. Obviously I would be done running until it felt better. I still don't know what it was, although it reminds me of what I self-diagnosed as a stress fracture back in the fall of 2004. Same area and same sort of pain (but again, self-diagnosed). Although it has improved, I still occasionally get tweaks of pain, especially going down stairs or right away in the morning.

Another goal I've had that I've never done is to eat nothing but Peeps for a month, or maybe during all of Lent.

Also, yesterday at work I got to talking with a couple of co-workers about White Castle Crave cases (100 hamburgers) and I thought an interesting challenge would be to attempt to eat the entire case and then run/walk the number of miles needed to burn them off. At 140 calories apiece, that's maybe 140 miles? Then our marketing manager suggested that I didn't have to eat them all before the miles; maybe I could use them as sustenance DURING the run. I'm not sure; would that degrade the challenge? I do like the idea of running for 48 hours on a treadmill at Lifetime with a Crave Case.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Go Wild

1/4/09 (Day 9): 10 miles (10min/mi). 4:30pm-6:30pm, listening to a couple of episodes of "Car Talk", which is not the best running show. Slept a solid 10.5 hours last night and then dozed for another hour. The leg definitely was bothersome at the beginning of the run, but gets BETTER as I run on it. It was fine all last night, but a little bothersome this morning when I first got up. I'm losing my voice and have a bit of a cough, but not feeling too poorly.

I'd like to say that I was now going to go watch the Wild game, but I think I am actually going to watch the last episode of Season 2 of "The Wire". I still have season 3 from my brother, but I need to start thinking how I'm going to watch seasons 4-5.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Leg pain

1/2/09 (Day 7): 10 miles (10min/mi x 8, 9min/mi x 2). 5pm-7pm, listening to solid music on the ipod. Slept 5 hours the previous night both keeping RR company during mudding and also watch an episode or 2 of "The Wire". I had planned to get up and run before work (starting about 4am, but the alarm went off and I decided I'd go into work (part time job) late instead, running between jobs. Some continued left calf pain that lingered well into the night while walking around.

1/3/09 (Day 8): 10 miles (10min/mi). 7:30pm-9:30pm. I'd planned on testing out my new ipod tuning gadget that allows me to listen to radio stations through the ipod, so I specifically waited until this evening to run so I could watch the Wild game with sound on the Lifetime t.v.s. Unfortunately the game was not on Fox Sports so not on the LT t.v. I watch Suze Orman instead. The gadget works slick. Slept an interrupted 6 hours or so, dozing between 5a-7a.

Today was the first day where self-preservation almost kept me from running. First of all, the left leg. I'm not sure what's going on with it. I don't think it's JUST muscle soreness, but I don't think it's something serious either--it's just not that quality of pain. It was as bad as it had ever been today, and was noticeable on Wednesday (but almost non-existent during Thurs/Friday runs). And by 6 miles in to the run today, it was essentially gone. It's lower left leg, more in the back, but sometimes feels as if it is wrapping around the inner calf. Stretching doesn't do much. I notice it walking down the stairs--sometimes. Any ideas?

Also, I got a sore throat. At 9:30p last night (see... I'm in tune with my body). I was at work, felt fine, and coughed, realizing that, oh, my throat hurts! And I have a cough!

I got out of the part time job at 3:10am last night and had a voicemail (two actually) from RR saying, "Dr. Diane: Diamond Dave is stuck on Hwy 10 and needs gas. He needs your help." My part time job has no cell phone service at all, so I didn't get the message until I left the building and had no record of when the message was left (although I knew it was after my 11:15p break). I called RR--no answer. I called DD--out of service. I called E-force and Big Scotty to try to attempt to get a current cell# for DD--no answer. But along Hwy 10, 1/2 mile before my exit, I saw RR and DD on the side of the road, so I did a u-turn, helping them get more gas in the truck. Ended up going to bed WAY late and letting DD sleep on my couch.

And MORE snow? Really?!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day

12/31/08 (Day 5): 10 miles (10min/mi). 2pm-4pm. Listened to 2 episodes of "This American Life" podcast, which is equally dangerous as I'm just as likely to fall off the treadmill crying as I am laughing. Slept 4 hours last night as I kept RR company while he mudded my new garage walls, but I did take a 3.5 hour nap late afternoon/early evening before that.

1/1/09 (Day 6): 10 miles (10min/mi). 2pm-4pm. For some reason my ipod battery was dead--maybe I'd left it unlocked in my purse and a button turned it on so it played all night. I don't know. I ALMOST went home to charge it up and come back later, but as I have to run early tomorrow before work(s), I didn't want to do an evening run. I did something I rarely do: a run without outside entertainment, only my thoughts to amuse me. Not too bad. Slept a broken 8 hours or so, dozing between 5a-7a and up for half an hour or so between 10a-11a.

I'm having a twinge of left calf pain, but only slightly. Remember I went from 0 miles per week to 20 miles in a week, to 70 miles per week, slightly more than the recommended mileage increase levels. I've done it before successfully, but again, I might be nuts, but I'm not crazy. If I am injured I'll stop.

New Year's Eve last night had a pack of us out for dinner at Timberlodge Steakhouse and then to Rapids Bar and Grill to ring in the New Year. Had a great time.