Saturday, January 29, 2011

And even if you were in some prison, the walls of which let none of the sounds of the world come to your senses - would you not then still have your childhood, that precious, kingly possession, that treasure-house of memories? ~Rainer Maria Rilke

I am currently watching the 24 hours of Daytona and making all kinds of parallel connections to my marathon training and this marathon driving race. Preparation, preparation, preparation, training, looking at the long term "GOAL"....

I have to keep reminding myself that the goal is volume, not speed when training. I am by no means a fast runner but for me to slow down to the recommended paces of "The Plan", it is hard. I imagine it will be easier as the miles add up and the fatigue sets in.

So I figured I'd just use the Garmin Virtual Partner and keep 200 feet ahead of "HER" so I don't get chicked during training. Not that it hasn't happened before..and I know it will happen again...but not during training!!

Had a solid 6 today at recommended pace, look forward to an 8 tomorrow plus some more core workout stuff.

Was also thinking today about some memories while out on the run (while looking at the Virtual "She" to make sure my slush and snow pace was smokin') and the memory box my folks made for each of my brothers, sister and I when they moved from my childhood home to their retirement villa(s).

For years in our house, there was a tickle trunk (I will follow up on that later Canadian Mr. Dressup Fans) under the stairs in the storage room. It had pictures and memories from school, my cub scout uniform, baby shoes and other great memories that my Mom had saved just like most parents do. It also had some hilarious 8mm films of my Dad attempting to golf with a smoke hanging out of his mouth...kinda a Charlie Chaplin thing in fast forward speed...and he still denies that he ever played golf. Ha!

So my memory trunk is a Tomato Box (If I ever get the 110 things about me you never knew question stuff, I hate the texture of raw tomato's, stewed tomatoes, chopped tomato's and will not eat them to save my soul...but I like tomato sauce and ketchup) full of pictures, baby boots, hockey and baseball cards and newspaper clippings, in a vessel which I think is a shot from my Mom & Dad as we did have some epic battles over eating the afore mentioned tomato's.

So I found these pictures of me in there all virginal wide eyed (I hope so, I was about  4-5) and innocent.

I kinda think I look like Elvis's brother in the one that spaced out "duhhhhh" look down pat...or maybe its a future Homer Simpson wannabe?

Either way, man I was innocent then, just like all of us.

In retrospect, it is so cool that my Mom (and Dad got the box) took the time to give me all these great memories anytime I feel the urge to take a look. Thanx folks...

Owwww..gotta go Juan Paulo Montoya is in the garage...just like I am, fueling up for tomorrow.

PS...did the Daily Mile widget is new cause I'm just to lazy to keep inputting miles is pretty  cool though..way to leap into the 90's Shawn!!!

CIAO people

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Friday Rant - Jan 28 ver

Sorry no rant...gotta PLAN - see post below.

Funny story though....our eldest, son "B" went to bed the other night and left the fridge door open. Luckily I got up to have a glass of water and followed his wanton path of destruction (lights on, doors unlocked, etc...) and closed the fridge door.

Then I had one of those shock type moments and thought about something that happened many years ago as a kid. When I was about 4-5 (had a few concussions so things are a bit fuzzy), I went to our neighbors house and let myself in. Remember when you never locked your door?

I was rooting around in their fridge when the Mom asked me if she could help me? I replied" Yes, where is the cheese?" as if I owned the place.

I do not know why that popped back into my head but I now "shake" my head at some of the stuff I have done in my life.

So I think I am done with the Friday rant and will start a regular post about how lucky I am to get past 40!

Have a great weekend....and watch your cheese

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Patience is the ability to count down before you blast off. ~Author Unknown

In a previous post, I had mentioned that I was doing up a game plan for my first Marathon.

It is done. I am using the Hanson Brothers 18 week schedule (I started this past Monday, link points out full story) I found in a runners magazine which proclaims:


Instead of doing some big mileage runs for training, the longest long run is 16 miles……but the total number of miles a week is high between speed & strength training, marathon pace runs, long runs and recovery runs.

The idea is that the total mileage will be taxing for awhile but then the body will adapt and gain stamina…much like the analogy of building up of a callus on a hand from shovelling over and over and over again. It hurts for awhile and then you gradually get used to it…and it becomes the norm. I am also working in a daily 10 minute workout(s) from Tony Horton’s video series involving total body, abs, lower body, cardio and yoga.

A tall order for me because even though I already do a lot of mileage, I usually just run at whatever pace I feel like. Every run now is structured to maintain a certain pace to promote the best overall gain from each type of run. This will be the hard part for me. When I feel like letting it rip, it may be a recovery day and I will have to realize I may be harming myself in the “BIG PICTURE”.

The 10 minute workouts are also new as I realize that I HAVE TO build more core strength. I also know that less weight = more speed therefore the 192 lbs I carry now will be pared down to about 180 if things go right and I monitor better what I eat.

So, I will need to be patient and follow the plan.

It would put me at a 8:33 mins/mile pace for a 3:44 Marathon.

**NOTE** - Pace calculated using the McMillan Pace Calculator at a 1:46:13 Half Marathon time.

Are you a patient plan follower????

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." ~Robert Byrne

Good Afternoon Blog World,

My morning started rather "cool" this morning. The
"BOSS" came home from a 12 hour shift complaining that
she has to get a remote car starter. I somewhat heard this
from the bed where I was doing my best imitation of
sleeping that I could possibly do. Needless to say that
illusion disappeared quickly as my new job became "BOSS"
warmer upper. She was like one big ice cube and I was told
not to leave the bed till she, "MY QUEEN" was warm. Talk
about a frosty reception!!!! So after 20 minutes of being
the heater, I went and ran 11 miles in this:

That was not too bad but the wind was up and it actually
felt like -28°C, so I ended up the run looking like this:

And the inside of my jacket looked like this (yes..that is

And it was even frozen between the outer shirt and the wicking shirt I was wearing
(everybody all at once..."OOOOOEEEEWWWWW   GROSS!!!!!):

And being the sick little puppy I am, I loved this run.
I scared some ducks:

I seen some crazy people (the guy on the snowmobile
around open water and look at the folks in the boat in
the back):

So I don’t really think I’m nuts…but they are. I also seen
tracks of other runners, so I know they were out there.
I am thinking it is about time for a photo contest on who
can get the frostiest.

Lee, Andrew, Laura and Neil run in some nasty conditions
 too and should be able to post some pics of their runs…..
to give those warm weather slackers a little
motivation. Maybe make them stop complaining about how
hot it is...ooooohh, I feel so bad!

I think the best frostiest picture around here will be the
frosty head on my beer as I can sit and watch football
today “guilt free”.

Still takin Da Pack and Da Steelers.

Stay warm my friends, stay warm....

What’s the most extreme weather you have run in…hot or

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Friday Rant - Jan 21st Edition

Ooh, ooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell?
Ooh, ooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you.

"Lynyrd Skynyrd" 

Have you ever run down food road? You know, where all the fast food joints are...Mickey D's, BK, Wendy's, KFC, Tim Horton's...and sometimes the little slower than fast food places like Applebees, Kelseys, Boston Pizza, etc...

I think somebody should take the food industry to task for emission control from their kitchens.

I mean, think about it for a moment. We check emissions for cars to make sure they aren't putting out too much pollution. We check smelters and mills to make sure their emissions are within government standards.

Should we not be checking the fast food industry too? I mean, it's getting dangerous out there to run. That savory aroma of fat fast food must be pumped out of the ductwork using massive jet engine powered fans to ensure that anyone within a mile or two of the joint who has less than superhuman willpower gets ensnared into sneaking a quick burger just to keep the tumtum happy.

And of course, they are all within a block or 2 of schools so we can start the young ens early into mainlining those aroma's into their base memory. I mean really, Mickey D's has been accused of much worse like giving out "free" toys with meals to help them cause parents everywhere to deal with screaming little terrorists having tantrums sell their happy meals. 

So are there any solutions to police these emissions? Should we be checking the horsepower on those exhaust fans? Should they have to prove they are really cooking and not just releasing canisters of burger/chicken/french fry smells on an unsuspecting public to lure in customers?

All I know is that this has to stop. We have to rise up and fight back. I know what my solution is to this travesty of emission justice....

  • Stuff gauze up my nose before the run to ensure I can't smell the food
  • No money in my pockets when I run so I can't buy fast food
  • No phone in my I can't call someone to get me money for fast food
and finally, my best solution...... 

Change my route so....

Looking forward to a long run this weekend and a little playoff football with a few of these (and I have that glass too)...very tasty:

The predictions after going 2/4 last weekend

Pittsburgh over Da Jets
Green Bay over Da Bears

Enjoy the weekend all...Superbowl is Coming Soon

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

nir•va•na : An ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy.

We have had some very weird weather patterns here lately. We hit a low the other night of -27 °C and the predicted high a day later is supposed to be  0 °C with a chance of freezing rain and 5-10 cm’s of snow. It is pretty wacky sometimes trying to figure out what to wear (or not to wear) depending on what time the run is starting.

Here is a pic of me last night as I got in 12 kms at -17 °C in 1:05:00. As you can see, it was a bit frosty. I was just happy to start the run at 4:15ish and get done an hour later. It started off with the sun still out but ended in the dusk.

As I was running, I could hear my shoes squeaking (or scrunching if you prefer) and it kinda made a cool rhythm. As I don’t run with music anymore (seems to throw my tempo off from song to song and I really only used it before so I couldn’t hear my knees scream at me), I started making up song lyrics/military marching cadences in my head to amuse myself ....too bad I can’t remember any of them.

But what I did remember was when I was about 12-15 years old. I grew up in Northern Manitoba were winter really was winter. It was not unusual to see  -40 °C in the morning. Cars had to be plugged in at night or there was no chance they were going to start. And I could not get enough of playing hockey outside for hours and hours until my feet were frozen and my hands were too. And I LOVED IT!!!!!!

We used to have winter carnivals to break the monotony of winter and they would have kid events (Little Trappers stuff) and it would be fire building competitions (yes, they gave us axe’s and matches!), wolf calling, raven calling, trap setting...and snowshoe racing. Now we are not talking little racing we ran in full-size clunkers. There was always 1 guy I could never beat...that kid was a running machine. And the best part was that these were money events. I used to walk out with anywhere from $70-$100 in my pocket at the end of the competitions. That’s some pretty big bucks for a kid in the 70’s. 2nd in the snowshoe race paid pretty well. And I LOVED IT!!!!

As adults, we sometimes forget the pure joy of being a kid. We start to make excuses as to why we cannot do thing’s instead of looking at the challenge we are being given. Winter running is a challenge.....and I must admit at the beginning of winter, I really wondered if I could force myself to go out in the cold on a regular basis. I think I have answered my own question because I ran last night and it was an exceptional run. No great shakes on the time, no record pace. But there was no wind, crisp clean air, plowed sidewalks and cool noises, and I LOVED IT!!!! I felt like I was 12-13 years old again in the big snow shoe race....and I had a huge flood of great memories to fuel my run.

And that is as close to “Nirvana” as I think I can get with my running shoes on.

What do you think about when you run? Have you ever had a Nirvana moment while running when you hear that musical note and all is well in your world?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

R U Ready for some Football??????

As I sit here watching football, I felt the urge to comment on todays run. I kinda slept in with the "BOSS" and then hummed and hawed about going for a run. After a relaxing breakfast of 1/2 a cantaloupe, 2 cappuccino's, toast and peanut well as a read of the morning papers...the decision was made to get the run in before shopping. Looking at the -12 deg C temp was a bit of a deterrent but  I said what the hell and away I went.

A beautiful run...a bit o snot here and there but what do you expect for -12? A 5.11 mins/km pace (8:20 mins/mile) for 11 1/2 klicks (7+miles) and my day was complete by 10:30ish. What more could you ask for on a Saturday morning? Add into the fact that it started snowing shortly after the run and has not stopped yet, made the decision that much better.

What also made it better was the dynamic stretching at the end of the run. I feel aches or pains, tightness or soreness...and the cool down was done on the way home..all of 5 minutes to go through the routines...gotta love it!!!

So now I sit guilt free watching Balt vs Pitt on a full tum of spaghetti and meatsauce (homemade) and I think Pitt is going to come back and make my prophecy come true.

I am looking at my 1st full Marathon in April so I think on Monday, the game plan will have to start...I will get to that after tomorrows football.

cheers y'all you do...... "oh my God...Pitt interception!!!!" ...... a cool down routine after your runs?

ps...TIE GAME>>>PITT TD with 1:21 left in the 3rd....gotta go...hope it stays this way for my picks!!!!

pps...I am Raiders fan but my Asics are black/gold and white!!!!! Go Pitt Go

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Rant, VER 2.0

Rant as defined by Wikipedia:

A rant is a speech or text that does not present a calm argument; rather, it is typically an enthusiastic speech or talk or lecture on an idea, a person or an institution. Compare with a dialectic.
Rants can be based on partial fact or may be entirely factual but written in a comedic/satirical form.
Rants can also be used in the defense of an individual, idea or organization. Rants of this type generally occur after the subject has been attacked by another individual or group.

Subject of Today’s rant....Runner VS Vehicle.

Many years ago, I used to ride my bike to work (about 3 miles) each way. The law in the province I was riding in stated that (my interpretation), I had every right to be on the road (not the shoulder) and I was considered to be a vehicle. Now being the self-righteous dude that I was at that time, I figured everyone should cut me some slack and follow the rules of the road and give me my space. Why should I ride on the shoulder when I am ALLOWED on the road? Needless to say, the first few times I attempted to exert my right, I near became part of the pavement via big Gravel Trucks as most of my ride was on the highway. I soon learned you can be as right as you want but it won't mean much when you’re dead.

I have found exactly the same thing with running and vehicles. I admit that I don't have a flashing light for running at night...but I do have some reflective clothes and my jacket is high visibility lime green.....but the problem is most drivers do not looks for runners...even during the day. Drivers continually creep through stop signs, run lights, don’t use turn signals or do all other sorts of things that are a distraction to driving. And we live in a society that says (when we try to enforce the RULES) why spend time on little things like traffic violations when banks are being robbed, terrorists are everywhere and people are being murdered?

It is my take that if you don't enforce the little things, how can you possibly control the big things?

Take the example that you have a small stone in your shoe. If you don't deal with that "LITTLE" problem, it will for sure, soon, very soon, be a big problem.

So as far as I see it:

"Society as a whole is allowing the little things to slip...with no regard for the effect of its actions"

"Rules are made for people who cannot see the future effect of their actions"

or if I make a leap,

"Rules/Laws are made for people who have not learned a lesson from their past mistakes and therefore have no regard or regret for their future actions"

I make mistakes. I have made driving mistakes. Yes I have participated in speeding (but I will pay the fine, no argument from me).....But I try to learn from my mistakes and try not to do it again. Unfortunately, many drivers get away with something once and all of a sudden it becomes the norm. 

Now on last nights run, a guy in a truck waited for me just like the law says…he followed the rules……Perhaps this was a sign…don’t do the rant.

Then I went through all the things on this blog that are questionable…things that I have done wrong, and maybe I should look in the mirror instead of pointing fingers:

·        I’ve snagged pics off the internet that may or may not be copyrighted,
·        borrowed quotes (but no plagiarism),
·        snuck race photo’s,
·        blah,
·        blah,
·        blah.

And I thought..Maybe I shouldn’t write this post.

And then it all went for a crap. Got to a light and watched a guy honk his horn at the car ahead of him for not going fast enough…course the guy in front was running a red light and the guy behind was bound and determined to follow him…and he wanted to get er done…like NOW. If I would have crossed the road…can you say road kill X 2!!! Then I hit some really residential areas and got scared when a car came around the icy corner at way better than the speed limit not to mention the road conditions and did a skid right by me (and yes, I was on the sidewalk)….I mean man, RANT was back on!!!

So…don’t trust cars/trucks/buses…you name it. Grow 4 sets of eyes when your running anywhere that vehicles may be…as Chris K commented to me one day on a post…”Never trust a car”…I concur!!!

In other news, I put in some good miles this week.

Had my big run on Saturday of about 25k , took a few days off and ran Tues/Wed/Thurs.

Killed Tuesday as I felt the need for SPEED. I was just doing time on Wed and last night got in a solid effort. Numbers looked like this:

Tues -13.25 km (8.24m)            1:05:34 4:56 mins/km (7:57 mins/m)

Wed -10.20 km (6.34m)            58:03   5:41 mins/km (9:09 mins/m)

Thur -10.25 km (6.37m)            57:39   5:37 mins/km (9:03 mins/m)

I also worked on dynamic stretching for cool downs as opposed to static stretching for cool downs. It was mentioned to me that static stretching should be used by hurdlers or gymnasts....but wait a minute.....hmmm...have I not been using those skills to dodge traffic during my runs???...maybe I should rethink that????

Have a great weekend all

Predictions are:

Green Bay
New England
And the Upset…Seattle

Have a great weekend and keep dodgin’ them wheels

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Running on - running on empty, Running on - running blind, Running on - running into the sun, But I'm running behind. Jackson Browne

I went for a run this morning with maybe just a bit of a
plan to stretch it out. I want to try some different stuff
and basically push myself to the limit with little or no
extras in my run.

IE – No extra water (I hydrate well before leaving), no
Clif Shots or GU Chomps or Sharkies.

I want to see what I can really take during a run. What is
my limit is when I’m “Running on Empty”.

Here’s how it went:

Me: Hey, I feel good today, extra rice with supper last
night, nice carb breakfast with some fruit, 2 cups o java,
all other issues took care of themselves…lets go runnin!!!

Alter Ego (AE): Ah shit….I hates it when you’re happy!

Me: Hey, I mentioned in an earlier post that we were going
to shake things up a bit and run for the end, not the

AE: I wanted to go back TO BED!!!! How many Saturdays
do I really get to do NOTHING IDIOT!!!!

Me: Exactly, let’s get some stuff done before the Football
starts today and then we can watch with nothing on the

AE: I have no conscience so this is no value to me!  Why
do I always get sucked into this stuff?

Me: Because we are a package deal man….a team. Frick &
Frack, Martin & Lewis, Cheech & Chong…you know.

AE: More like Dumb & Dumber….

Me: We have beer at home…

AE: Ahhh Kimosabe, you know me too well….I will do my
best to sabotage, nag, be positive on the run…but no

Me: Okay…and I have the final say when we stop…right?

AE: Wait a minute, what kinda beer?

Me: Well we have a Trafalger Bock that we might start off

Me: Then maybe this Innes & Gunn Limited Edition IPA
(only 68000 bottles done) but we may save that for Super

Me: But will definitely have a few Steam

….and maybe I give you the day off tomorrow....
How’s that?

AE: You got a deal…let’s shake it out man!!! (a few hours
later…I love YOP)

So here were the splits from the Garmin. I never really
tanked until I got to the last 4 kms. And I did know I was
toast…happy, but toast (ed).

Time     Distance    Split time    Split distance    Split pace

0:27:41   5.00         27:41         5.00            5:32

0:55:43   10.00       28:01          5.00            5:36

1:24:23   15.00       28:40          5.00            5:44

1:53:30    20.00      29:06          5.00            5:49

2:21:05    24.42      27:34          4.42            6:14

So now its time to go have a few frosties at the bar. I do love football and made this as a side project one year. It’s 8 feet long and 3 feet wide at the center. We have had quite a few tilts & sips at this place on the 4 accompanying Captains chairs.

So today’s predictions are:
Seattle over NO
Indy over Da Jets
Balt over KC
And finally
GB over Philly
Game is just starting…gotta run and help be the 12th Man

cheers all


Friday, January 7, 2011

The Friday Rant

Here is the headline on the website:

Attention:  Who Else Wants To lose 12-28lbs per month using North America's most rapid and effective weight loss program or your money back?

This is advertising from a weight loss company around here. It makes me cringe when I see those types of numbers being tossed around. These advertisements are usually accompanied by before and after pictures of customers. We always see the success stories...but where are the people who are not succesful and what percentage are they of clients?

Now, have I researched this company, checked it out, gone through the front door?


Do I plan to?


I guess the rant is NOT this:

This is not about people who are overweight. No self respecting runner, cyclist, tri-athlete, walker, etc... would ever give someone a hard time about their weight when they see them out exercising or making an effort to have a healthier lifestyle. I would like to think that the majority of us are very supportive and some of us have been there before.

I guess the rant (or questions looking for answers) is this:

How much does society as a whole pay for these weight loss “quick fix’s”?

How can you possibly lose 12-28 lbs per month and still be healthy?

How long do people stay on the wagon after they hit their goal doing it this way?

If you have weight issues, why not go to your Dr. first and figure out what you have to do to lose lbs in a healthy way? Is it is embarrassment? The fear of being told you have a lot of work ahead of you? Or is it the fact that you know in your heart you have an issue and now someone you hopefully trust is going to confirm your worst fear....and then you will have to address it?

In this day and age of Internet and information availability, why would you not research using the key words “healthy” & “weight loss”?

I think it’s because we want a quick fix......just like most everything else these days.

We don’t want to have to work at it, or wait for it, or sacrifice for it. And it’s not just’s  in everything we do from fast banking to fast food.

Am I perfect? Close....ahhh but sadly no. I like the odd quick greasy burger too.

Am I ranting to the converted?

Probably for the most part yes.

But there are those lurkers out there (I am was one too!) who are looking for answers of how people can continue to run, bike or walk mile after mile with that grimace of pain on their faces and then afterwards tell everybody how great it was. The funny thing is, it really is great after....even after a shitty run (no pun intended for those with shit issue’s), you still feel better for doing it.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

On another note, how many folks out there wear blinkers when they run at night and do they help you avoid being road fodder (another close call last night)?

I near got tagged at a lit intersection by a car turning right when I had the pedestrian cross lit. Lucky for me I act like that gopher from Caddyshack when he pops his head out of the hole for a’s always on a swivel going back and forth..scanning!

Enjoy the weekend....shawn

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's the Little Things that Count.....

I would like to pass along a life lesson today.

I had a crappy end to the holiday season. Luckily I got my 900 miles in (DEC 30th) cause Mr. Murphy would have won had I not got that last run in. I picked up a "nasty ass"= BAD sinus/throat thing that made my life miserable for New Years. In fact, I spent New Years morning with ice packs on my sinus's cause they were just killing me!

I did not get out for a run until yesterday and man did it feel good. Still have the sinus's buggered but also got in a 11+ k run in today that gave me faith that all would be wonderful again soon.

But, back to todays life lesson. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I make bread over the holidays (and if you follow the link, you will know why) and this year was no exception as I made 18 loaves for distribution (the most ever). Now, you have to be very good to get does not come freebies around here.

Last night I was having one of my low cal snacks...popcorn and beer...and I lost a filling. Luckily there was zero pain and after I got to work this morning, I called the dentists office and left a message that I needed to get in...soon. I got a call back about 1/2 hr later asking me if 3pm worked. No problemo I said, I will be there. I was in the seat at 3pm, out and gone by 3:45. But what was surprising was 2 things;
  • The waiting room was packed and I got in.... 
  • and the Dentist remarked how much she liked the bread I had dropped off at the office over the holidays (along with all the staff) and how much she enjoyed it for as long as it lasted...which apparently wasn't long!!
Life is full of the little things you do. I make bread and pass it out because it makes me feel good. I enjoy seeing the pleasure people have when they take that first bite....or if they have gotten the bread before, knowing how much they anticipate that first bite.

Somebody helped me with my BITE today as a direct result of my unselfeshness (if that's a word?). And that made me feel very good about myself .....just a little thing but sometimes those little things mean so much. Sometimes it takes so little of ourselves to make a difference in someones day.

I truly believe that you get as good as you give. 

What have you done for nothing lately? 

Or do you give freely all the time?