Site remodel

Just like the McDonalds down the street, we’re remodeling! And like them, we’re open during construction.

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Day with the boys, April 2015

A week or so ago, while Dianna headed out the door, she said “be sure to send me status updates on how it’s going.”  That whole evening, we had a good time, and every once in a while, Isaac (almost 6 now) or Max (just turned 4) would say to send mommy a new update. Using the fancy speech to text engine on my phone, we’d send a status text. Since the translation wasn’t always perfect, it provided us of hours of fun for the night.

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Geekspace Gwinnett-A space for making

What would you build if you had access to a shop and tools?  I have my list:

  • Do some wood work
  • Try screen printing
  • Make something that spins and moves.
  • Do some electronics something or another
  • Melt metal and do some blacksmithing
  • Maybe make a tesla coil or some other cool thing for Halloween

This list goes on.  I can dream up things all night long. Heck, I often do.  Usually it involves software and computers, because that’s what I have access to, but for years I’ve dreamed of having access to more. It’s been a good dream, except every morning I woke up to my Leatherman, a Dremel and a garage filled with things that weren’t making cool things.

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Donuts Every Month? That's Awesome!

Ah, fond childhood memories… My brother and I used to stay at our grandparents during the summer. Regularly, we’d walk down to the donut shop on the corner to buy our treat for the day. I always loved the big foot, that looked like a footprint.  I’d bite the toes off with great delight, much how other people like decapitating gingerbread men.

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Dreaming of Running

Isaac and hip bones 201306-10A few weeks ago, when we woke Isaac up for school, we asked “what did you dream about?”  He had a moment of deep thought, crunching up his little face in concentration, then responded, “I dreamed of the day when I can run and jump.”

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Argh, a treasure hunt in the backyard

One day, not long ago, the mighty pirate Cap’n William invited all his mates over to go searching for his long hidden treasure. Not ones to miss an adventure, the brothers donned their pirate gear and headed over for a good ol’ treasure hunt.

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Randy's Donuts in Los Angeles

Randy's Donuts - California 2013 (2)We recently took a trip to LA, and since we were flying into LAX instead of Burbank, we decided to make a quick stop for a donut. Knowing that you, my loyal readers, all appreciate that I appreciate a good donut, I feel obliged to share a couple of pictures.

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Chinchero-Inca trail and ruins, a market and some really big hills

Chinchero is a village located a little ways outside of Cusco, Besides the weavers, a number of other things in this village are worth seeing, such as:

  • The ancient Inca trail from Cusco to Machu Picchu runs through town.
  • A cathedral is build on top of some Inca ruins. You can see some of the ruins that have been excavated, as well as play soccer or have a grand picnic on some terraces.
  • The Chinchero market is a thriving farmers market, serving the needs of both tourists and locals alike.

Here are some pictures from our stop there.

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Cusco, A View Of The Ancient Inca Capital Through My Lense

There are many interesting places to visit in Peru, and while we didn’t make it to all of them (not even close), we did spend three days in Cusco. There are so many awe-inspiring cultural and archaeological sites to visit in the Cusco region that we would have needed a lot more than 3 days to see them all. Some day, we will make it back and spend at least a week, if not more.

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The 2013 Backyard Garden

Near the beginning of April, 2013, we planted our garden for the summer, hoping that all the frost had passed.  We had some close calls, with temperatures getting into the upper thirties, but everything seems to have survived and is growing well.

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Genesis-Add new fonts to your theme using Google Fonts

I wandered by the computer, and my wife had left a blog up that I started to read.  I loved the font used when writing a comment, but when I went to enter my comment, I saw that it was saved in a different font.  Ugh!  That was disappointing…Heck, I even left a second comment mentioning I could probably help fix it.

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Archive

Below is a list of all posts by category, for easy navigation.

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A trip to the bean factory

We recently returned from a family vacation to the Wyndham Great Smokies Lodge in Sevierville, TN. It was fun, and I could happily write paragraph after paragraph about the three days we spent going down water slides, playing in the wave pools, and getting lost in the arcade - but instead, let’s talk about something else that’s near and dear to my heart: Beans.

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Run Road Atlanta 2013

Engraved bamboo coaster as trophyI ran Road Atlanta this morning, both the 5K and 10K races. I like the race last year, and this year didn’t disappoint. It’s a tough course with almost nothing flat on it, but it’s on a race track! (Which just got bought out by Nascar, so I heard.)

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XML/HL7 - extract segments for review

A situation I run into regularly is needing to parse a bunch (10 to 10,000 or more) HL7 records to review a particular segment for trends.  For example, review all of the messages received on a particular day to see how many different patient types (PV1.18) we received.)

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No-cook vegan brownie recipe

I’ll admit it…I really like brownies. They are almost as good as cookies, even if there isn’t a muppet called Brownie Monster. I don’t have them very often because, well, just because I don’t.  But, to give an idea of how much I like them, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to have with at least one meal a day.

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Review of Eat and Run

I’ve know who Scott Jurek is for a number a years, and I’ll assume every reading this probably has too. When I saw that he had a book coming out, I was eager to read it.

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Simple date filter in Mirth Connect

[Note: I moved this post over from my other blog, since this is a more appropriate place for it. It was originally written in 9/2010, and I do things a little differently now. I copied this verbatim, so the information is the same. I’ll follow up with more information here instead of at the other blog.]

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Getting to know Mirth

[Copied from my other blog, GoneSomewhere.com, since this is more relevant place to put it. I copied verbatim, so some of the information is a little old. I do things a little differently now, which I’ll write about sometime. This was originally written 8/2010.]

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About

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”240”]Dianna and Rahn on top of Machu Pichu Rahn and Dianna visiting Machu Picchu, Peru 2013[/caption]

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My vegetable garden 2012

For some reason, people are fascinated with other people’s gardens. “Hey, what are you growing over there?  Wow, look at the size of that pepper!” and things like that. I know I am, and one neighbor really has a pepper that’s the size of my head.

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My Green Onion Garden

For years, I’ve been a horrible gardener. Most springs, I plant a few things, and then sit back to wait for them to dry up and die, hoping I’ll savage a little bit of fruit before it happens. So, when I saw “How to grow green onions” off some clip on Pinterest.com, I had to try. (The original article is here.)

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North Georgia Canopy Tours - A zipline adventure

Way back in January, my friend Andy mentioned getting a good deal on a zip line trip, and we planned on going as soon as it warmed up. We should have done it immediately, since February and March were beautiful, but hey…waiting until a week before the deal expired is surely better.

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Atlanta Code Camp 2012

I had a good time attending Atlanta Code Camp 2012. It’s a one day event put on by and for the .Net developer community. Having never been to one of these before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was hoping to learn some things I could use right away, along with seeing what’s happening with Visual Studio 11, so I can look forward to things.  I was quite happy with the day, and have lots of things to go work on now.

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A Trip to Nashville

Right after last month’s Georgia Marathon, I had to go to Nashville for a couple days of training. In the whole month leading up to it, when I was trying to watch my meat intake, I did have a plan to eat lots of BBQ during a road trip. My co-worker and I had joked around about stopping at every hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint we saw on the trip.  After all, you can’t go to Nashville without planning on eating some BBQ.

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Flexitarian - 3 week update-So far, so good

My original plan was to post updates weekly about how this month of being mostly a vegetarian was working out, but between playing with the kids, work and some running, it’s been busy.  If you missed my last post about my change in eating habits, you can find it here.

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Run injury free with Jeff Galloway - Google Talk

The Galloway method—people either love it or hate it. Me, I’m all for it.  When I started training for my first marathon nearly 10 years ago, my partner mentioned it. All I heard was “it’s okay to walk”, and I was sold.  Since then, I’ve continued to run and put walking in as I need it, and I’ve been real happy with the results.

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Now a Flexiterian - a month of eating healthy

For the last couple years, my wife and I have been talking about changing our diet; Eat less meat, drink less soda, get rid of most processed food.  The problem is it’s been mostly talk.  We’ve made some minor changes, and probably like a lot of people, make a radical change here and there, only to bounce back from it because it wasn’t practical for one reason or another.

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Run the Reagan half marathon 2012

The Run the Reagan race in Snellville, GA, has been on my to-do list for a few years, ever since I first heard about it. It’s an out and back course on the Ronald Reagan parkway, and is normally limited access. This year, I finally made it.

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A post to my children

I love my children. They’re fun, and full of energy and an absolute blast to be around. I was thinking about that this morning when I was running, because while I was staring outside hoping it would warm up, I ran across an article over here, talking about a scene at Costo.

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Run Road Atlanta 2012

My plan for January 21 for the last 6 months or so has been to run the Hogpen Hill Climb. When I finally went to register for it at the end of December, looking around Active.com, we saw that my friends were timing a race that was not only closer, but the venue sounded unique, the Run Road Atlanta 5K, 10K and Fun Run.

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One Unbeleafable Day race and festival

On Saturday, 9/24/2011, the Gwinnett Parks Foundation has a fundraiser for a new playground at Little Mulberry Park. Being as this is one of my favorite local stomping grounds, I’ve been wanting to do a race there for years, and it was a good cause, I signed up for the 10K race they had planned.

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Being supportive at Bike Sebring 12/24 hr race 2011

Back in January, my brother (Dana, from BentUpCycles) asked if I wanted to join him down in Florida for a bike race as a crew member. After checking the calendar, I happy decided to go, since crewing is usually a pretty good time.  I figured crewing bikers couldn’t be that much different than for runners, and seeing the different bikes would be cool.  If you want to see the pictures, they’re here.

Bike Sebring 2011

So instead of giving a play-by-play, heres some of the highlights of the weekend:

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A code duel

Yesterday, I was looking around Channel 9 for something, and as usually, started following links that sounded interesting.  Before I knew it, I found myself at Pex4Fun.

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Happy new year, 2011

Last Sunday, I got a bug in my lung somewhere, so I spent a couple days coughing and hacking.  It wasn’t pleasant for anyone, and of course, I was bummed out because I was hoping to get some good mileage to help prepare for some upcoming races.

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Happy Holidays

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Life has been very busy.  Hope you all have a happy holiday season.

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And the odometer rolls over…

At the end of September, my wife and I were walking along one day chatting. I was feeling a bit down, because by some freak timing thing, she was getting more miles in than me.  (What’s up with that? Sheesh.) By the end of the walk, we decided the goal for October would be 80 miles.  That should

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2010 Blue Ridge Relay

Another year, and Team Runners Fit has meandered 208 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, finishing it’s third Blue Ridge Relay.  For the second time, I went along as a driver and had a great time.

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Yum, good stuff

You won’t belive what happened the other day.  I went running, and  I took it easy… and slowed to a nice 10 minute pace!  Yes, you read that right, I actually slowed down to just over 10 minutes per mile.  Considering that until the very recent past, that was a extreme speed up, this was quite a nice change.

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Something I haven’t done in a long, long time…Dennis McCormick 5K 2010

I was thinking this morning that I think the last time I ran a 5K was probably 1993 or 1994.  It was “Run of the Mill”, in Mill Creek, WA. Besides being almost all downhill, the only other thing I remember was that the shirt was nice quality, but a pretty ugly pea green color. My friend Dwight who ran it with me remarked about how ugly it was, and for some reason, that’s stuck in my brain all these years later.

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I'm too skinny for this shirt. Too skinny for this...

It's official. The 2 month weight loss challenge at work ended yesterday.

Today, the winner was announced.  It was close between the top three...but I pulled the lead with a loss of 14 pounds for the win!  WooHoo.

My co-worker and I have decided to continue the challenge through the rest of the year. Of course, after losing weight, a huge challenge is keeping it off, and that's what we really want to do.  Ah, this should be fun (even though there won't be a winners purse for this challenge.)

Today, someone asked how I did it. Well, that is, what was the work involved besides bringing in cake, cookies, scones, and brownies for everyone else. :)

The answer is pretty simple.  I increased the intensity of my workouts. (Instead of running 11-12 minute miles, I bumped it up to 9 minutes.  Sure, I couldn't keep it up for more than a couple miles, but it did great for my heart.) And I reduced how much I ate most the time.  (Not all the time, just most of the time.)  And we switched to eating a lot more fruits and vegetables.

Pretty simple.

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Running for my birthday

Having just had a birthday, I decided to head out to try to run a really long ways…the plan was for either 8 hours or 41 miles, whichever came first.

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Mission Complete, finally

Whew.  For those of you who don’t remember, way back when, I started running the stairs in my building every Tuesday.  The goal was to get to a sub 4 minute time.

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Test ‘em 2010

Yesterday, I made it out to the group at Runners Fit.  Matt, the sales rep from New Balance was there to let us demo some new models.  He had the 760 and 1268 (if I remember correctly).  I chose the neutral shoe.

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What you see when it rains...

Well, I was looking forward to some wet, muddy trail action today, but it didn’t quite work out. Oh well… I did head out the door for a trip around the neighborhood, and picking up the paper, what do I see? A “cute” little guy…

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New year, new challenges

Last week, on the spur of the moment (and goading by coworkers), I joined the office weight loss challenge.

5 dollars to enter, 2 months.  Winner gets a gift certificate to a restaurant in the amount equal to the pot.

Now, a restaurant doesn't make sense to me...because if I win, I'm gonna say give me a $100 in Krispy-Kreme dollars.  Definitely not good after trying to lose weight, so I've suggested that it would be better to give out the cash. I know a couple other people are thinking the same thing.

This should be fun.  And speaking of fun, here's my humorous story to go along with this;

Last Tuesday, a coworker came and asked if I'm doing ING. She wants to be motivated. So of course, I say "Yup. You gonna do it?". Yeah, she's thinking of the 1/2. That's cool...I'm doing the full. "Oh, did you start training?".  Uh, yeah...two days ago.  How far did you go?  23.5 mile, guess I'm about ready.  hehehe...cracked me up.

So, hopefully this challenge will help my training. Normally marathon training isn't good for weight loss, since I tend to eat everything in sight since I'm doing a lot of miles. I'd like to get a little speed in too. Breaking 5 hrs would be good.

I'm starting off pretty good.  Lot of lunges and squats while I play with the baby. Plus getting started with a bit more core work than I've been doing.   I know all of that will help the speed.

Oh, I may be offline for a day or two later this week.  Moving the domain to a new host, and sometimes it takes a day or two to refresh. (I doubt I'll post anything until after the move. I'd been trying to avoid it, but since it's takng longer to get going than I expected, decided to throw this up.)

 

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3/4 of an ass!

Today, I headed out to the 2010 GUTS Fat Ass 50K.  It’s a 4 loop course (each around 7.5 miles), plus the first lap has a bonus mile added to it to get to the right distance.  I completed 3 of the 4 laps.

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Weather to cook

Yup, fall is here. It’s cold and rainy. There’s some bite in the air.  Yup, just about perfect out for a jaunt in the woods.  If only I weren’t nursing my ankle.

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November, again...

Ah, remember old times?  As you’ll recall, last year I was sidelined for a month (around October/November) due to a hip issue. Then, soon as I started going again, I hurt my ankle. That gets better, then my toe went.  All in all, it was probably a month and a half off.  It wasn’t all bad, I got some physical therapy in, and learned some good stretches and exercises in the process.

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Another day on the trails, taking pictures

Saturday (Oct 31) was the annual Pumpkin Butt 50K fun run at Kennesaw Mountain. Since I didn’t have all day to be out there, I went to take pictures and get a few casual miles in. (Probably 7-10 miles.)

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Slow, decrepit, etc.

Y’all know how I’ve been hitting the stairs once a week for the last couple months.  Yeah, good stuff there.  I figured if I got down to 4 minutes, I’d be flying.  My coworker who does this with me agreed.  4 minutes would be awesome.

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Ahhh, mid week

Gee, I wasn’t going to write anything tonight. Earlier this week, I said to myself “Self, you should do a mid-week post about the coming weekend.”  But then, I got lazy and forgot about it.

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Born to...

Unfortunately, a couple nights ago, I missed the opportunity to go for a run with Chris McDougall, the author of Born To Run.  (He was in town for something, and took an evening for go out for a run with GUTS.)

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A sweet surprise?

I was looking at the AJC online the other day, and an add popped up for a Sweet Surprise. Thinking it had something to do with cookies, I clicked on the link. Lo and behold, it’s a site put up arguing the case for high fructose corn syrup.

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Arrgh

Ahoy mateys, sit while I tell ye a yarn. And blimey, ev’ry word the truth.

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Sunday Morning

The Sunday morning run was Harbins Park. A good crowd showed up: Dustin, Ryan, Mark, Joe, Roman, and Brad.

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Up, Up, not away

I have a new workout on Tuesdays.  After last weeks stairs kicking my butt, figured it was time for some revenge. So, every Tuesday now, for the forseeable future, figure I’ll do stairs.  There are 11 stairs per flight, 2 flights per floor, and if I counted correctly in my oxygen deprived brain, 31 flights from the basement to the 15th floor where I have to stop.

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Hot 2 Trot - non-race report

This morning was the 2009 Hot 2 Trot 8 hour run, in Decatur, GA. It’s put on by the good folk at GUTS. (Along with a number of sponsors.)  As the name implies, it’s generally hot and humid out, as is usual during a Georgia summer.

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Good times again

Ah, everyone was right. (Not that there was much doubt they would be.)  After a week, the legs are getting back into shape, and I can do a casual 3 miles with only whining about the Georgia summer heat. (Well, that comes with running during lunch.)

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Mid-July, what's going on?

Wow, my last post was June 4th. My how time flies.  Let me update you with what’s going on. But first, I’ll warn you, there isn’t a happy ending.

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Scenic City Marathon

[Guest Post]

“This course is relatively flat,” pause for effect, “for Eastern Tennessee.”  That’s how Randy Whorton described the course during his opening comments Saturday morning.  Never running in any part of Tennessee, I just laughed with the rest of the crowd.  The race, from the website, described the course as “fast and forgiving.”  Now I know race directors are pretty full of it and are generally just trying to pump up attendance, but what the heck is that supposed to mean?  At least it was creative.

 The race was run on a single track mountain bike course on Raccoon Mountain in Chattanooga.  Words like, Vasque Project, The Boonies, SORBA and TVA were thrown around more than a few times when describing the course.  Like any good trail run, you cut under or by several power lines and had more than a few hills, switchbacks, exposed roots and big ol’ rocks.  The one thing lacking was no mud or water crossings.  Race started at 8 am and it was about 70 degrees outside with about 340% humidity.  Threat of rain existed for the entire race, but unfortunately, we never got any rain.  The full and half marathoners started together.  I overheard someone saying we had almost 400 total runners and almost 100 marathoners. 

 We started out in the parking lot and ran as crowd for about the first ½ mile.  We ducked into the woods for the first of 2 laps (half marathoners did 1 lap).  First loop was a breeze.  Every hill seemed manageable and it was plenty easy to get around people to pass.  The race crew did a great job setting up photographers along the course and I found myself showing off while leaping from some rocks.  We had 3 well stocked aid stations (water, hammer gels, pretzels, Heed and candy) on the course and they were spaced out at 3, 8 and about 11 miles.  Course was marked very well except in one spot were a few of us took a wrong turn.  I, along with a few others, ran a few hundred feet in one direction before we realized that this might not be the correct way.  We doubled back and started to follow the course in the opposite direction.  After about a mile, we saw some course markings and were relieved that we made the right choice.  Note, on the second loop, that same spot had now been properly marked.  The race crew did a great job of getting out there and fixing the problem.

 I was clicking off the miles and doing fairly well, passing people on regular basis and was just under a 4 hour pace after the first loop.  Then I got overconfident.  I broke one of my “rules of marathoning.”  I had read somewhere that you shouldn’t pour cold water or use a cold compress on yourself on long runs.  The reasoning was that the cold water causes your pours to close and you can’t properly sweat and wind up overheating.  I don’t know if this is true or not, but trying it during a warm and humid marathon, probably wasn’t the brightest idea I’ve ever had.

 At the first aid station on lap 2 (about mile 15), I took an ice cold compress and wiped off my face, neck, chest and back.  I’ll admit, it felt great, but after about 3 miles, I felt like my body was on fire.  I became nauseous, started to cramp and became exhausted.  During miles 18-24, my pace changed from a 4-hour finish, to a sub 5-hour finish.

 Aid station workers kept telling me I looked good and that there was a ton of other runners still on the course.  I knew they meant well, but I didn’t believe their lies.  I kept trudging along, running the flats and the downhills while slowly walking the uphills.  Somewhere around mile 20 I lost all of my appetite and felt water logged.  My intake of fluids almost completely stopped.  I was able to eat a few pretzels, but otherwise my food and fluid consumption grinded to a halt.  Looking back, with the combination of the humidity and lack of fluids, I’m surprised that I crossed the finish line at 4 hours and 45 minutes.

 Overall the course was fantastic, not too difficult and very scenic.  Race was organized well and support and aid stations were fantastic.  All the runners were extremely cordial and very friendly.  Photographers took excellent shots and post race spread was top notch.  This race can be chalked up to definitely worth doing again or suggesting to others. 

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My "green" day

This weekend, I had every intention of going up to Harbins Park to see the new trails. This is a new park in the Gwinnett park system, and it looks like it has at least 20 miles of various trails to explore. (They are multi-use, with some for biking, horseback riding, and then just plain hiking.)  I was even more excited after reading Davids report of what’s out there.

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The watch is dead. Long live the watch.

Let’s step back in time a little bit:  Summer, 1988, a good two or three weeks into Army basic training, Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Thinking ahead (which for a teenager is impressive in itself), I bought a watch to take when I left for the Army. It was a pretty Timex, with both analog and digital. Looked good and told me the time. However, as I found out once I got there, it wasn’t built for “combat training.” Within two weeks, the face had shattered, leaving me without a watch. So, on our first opportunity to get to the PX, I perused the selection, and seeing the Casio G-Shock, decided it looked rugged and claimed to be indestructible, so I got it.

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Taking it easy

Waaaahhh…my ankle is bugging me. Not horribly bad, but enough to be annoying and tell me to take it easy for a little while. Given that these days there is nearly perfect running weather, it really is annoying.  I guess I’ll get plenty of time to strengthen and stretch now.

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The Woo and the Hoo!

Sunday, I ran the 3rd annual ING Georgia marathon. My goal, sub-6 and a good time, which i suceeded with.  Here are some of my thoughts and highlights.

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Ft. Yargo Mud Bath 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009 brought the running of the third annual Thrill in the Hills half marathon, at Ft. Yargo park in Winder.

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Reliving the glory

Since I know everyone loved reading and hearing about the Black Warrior 50K last weekend, you’d want to know that I posted various photos over on the photo site.  Most of these were taken by the gang as they waited for me. (And I must say, I was extremely impressed with their self-control of the camera. There were no embarrassing shots waiting as a surprise when I got home.)

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Train 'n 'Em - New Balance demo

This morning, Runners Fit had their New Balance reps (Matt and Karen(?)) in the store for a “Train in Them” session. This is an opportunity to try on some of the new models and shoes, and take them out for a test run. Most of the rest of this post will be a review of the shoes. If this doesn’t interest you, I won’t take it personally. However, if you’re dying to know what I think about when I’m trying shoes (and who wouldn’t be), then this is for you.

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Tough plodders

I recently signed up on the ultra list-server, hearing that there was good advice to be found there. Well, within about 15 minutes of getting approved, I had about 20 messages in the inbox talking about all sorts of stuff: There was a race going on in Hawaii, a couple of people asking advice about some different injuries and surgeries, discussion about someone setting a new 50K record, and plenty else.

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Who let the dogs out?

Next weekend is the Hogpen 17K, which I’m tenatively planning on doing. Being mostly uphill, I anticipate it will be a bit on the long side.  Since this is my last weekend for preparation, yesterday I did a brisk 8 miles of powerwalking with Todd (and the second 4 with Jenny too). And, as the back-to-back training that I like so much, today I did a another 12 miles and some change.

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Braselton Run for Reading 8K and 2K

Today was the second annual Run for Reading 8K in Braselton, GA, put on by our good friends at Runners Fit. Still having a couple days left of recovery (and hence, no real running), I volunteered. I got 2 high pressure jobs:
- I was the course marshal for the turn-around point on the 2K. I had to make sure no one short-changed themselves, and ran all the way to the turn-around point.
- And I got to manage the 1 mile clock on the 8K course. This was a high pressure job, having to flip the switch on the clock when the horn went off. Then I had to stand with the clock and keep it company. (Okay, really I stood there and took pictures.)

Last years run was a big hit, with about 250 people showing up. This year, there were about 150 registered, so a pretty good showing. I'm guessing the fact that it was 27 degrees out this morning kept a few people bundled up in bed instead of running. (Go ahead, make the "wus" comments...They weren't around to hear them.)

Sarah, the race director, had the good idea to get Christmas ornaments as prizes for the different categories. They looked pretty good. I know this, because one of my friends told me:
F: Wow, the ornaments are a good idea.
R: Yeah
F: They look really good. I'd be happy to take one home and put put on my tree.
R: (smile and nod)
F: They look so good, I can't imagine who wouldn't want one.
R: Uh, any of the Jewish runners.
F: Doh!

(Now, you'll notice I didn't say who my friend was. She was quite embarrassed about possible showing up here, so I told her I'd be discrete. You have no idea who she is. See Helen, I can do pretty good sometimes.)

Okay, in reality, it was pretty dang funny. And anyone who is going to get upset about getting one of these as a prize really needs to lighten up. I wasn't offended. Really.

For food and refreshments this year, they were prepared with coffee from Starbucks and chicken soup (from Papa Joes or something. I can't remember the name, and I'll fix this soon as I remember who they are.)

A group trying to raise awareness for Alzheimer disease was present. They are trying to get congress to give more funds for support and research. Feel free to check them out, or write your local representative.

Our usual bunch made a good showing. Ryan R. missed his goal of getting under 40 minuted by a mere 2 seconds. I guess we can still call him a wus, because he got beat by his brother. Richard took home the masters 1st place, surprising no one. Joe was noticeably absent, probably making some excuse about resting for his 50 miler next weekend. Too bad, we could have used him to push Dr. Alsobrook. (He's the Dr. I saw a couple weeks ago, from Advantage Sports Medicine, who also helped sponsor the race. He came in 2nd place overall.)

I had a blast, hanging out with my friends and helping out. Hi to everyone to came over and said hi to me, even if I didn't know who you are or recognize you. (Yeah, makes me feel almost famous. :)

Photos are at photos.gonesomewhere.com, under the Races link.

See y’all next time.

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Non-medically approved approach to running, part II

In the last segment, I gave a brief run down of my running history and how I approach my training. Great, you say...maybe there was some useful advice in there, maybe not.

Now, lets take a look at the typical advice we see:
Don't increase your mileage by more than 10% per week.

I've always taken this to mean that the length of a specific run should never increase more than 10% of your previous long run, and you shouldn't do this increase more than once a week.
So, if my current long run is 10 miles, next week I can do a long run of 11 miles. The week after that, 12.1 miles.

Looking around on the web, I must admit, I think I've been interpreting this wrong for years. :O

Seeing an article on Best Running Tips, and on About.com, I see than in reality, they are saying don't increase your total mileage for the week more than 10% at a time. Hence, if I'm running 20 miles a week, next week I should be able to safely run 22 miles. Okay, this seems a bit reasonable, but still, it should be taken with a grain of salt and a person should use their own perceived effort as a guide.

However, the About article led me to another path. There was a study done in the Netherlands to determine whether the 10% rule was valid, and it showed that it wasn't. The original article is here, but I couldn't get to it through my research library. You can read the summary I saw here. (I'll keep looking for a copy of this.)

One article I was able to get to was "A prospective study of running injuries: the Vancouver Sun Run "In Training" clinics, from the British Journal of Sports Medicine. (1) Now this didn't address the 10% rule exactly, it was looking for injury rates in a training program preparing for a 10K. However, it did have a couple key things in it:
- Age is a key as you get older
- Older shoes may make you more at risk for injury
- BMI plays a role in preventing injury.
- And, what I found interesting:

We found that incorporating cross training into the In Training regimen did not influence the injury rate. However, it has been suggested that cross training can decrease the risk of injury in two ways18: (a) by correcting strength imbalances by conditioning key muscles not affected by running; (i) a non-weight bearing activity such as swimming or cycling can replace some of the weekly running mileage, eliminating some of the impact forces that contribute to injury.

Now, does this help my decide on how much to increase running on a regular basis? No, but it was interesting to read.

From scanning various other articles online, it looks like the collective wisdom is:
- Novice runners should increase their mileage slowly.
- Experienced runners may increase mileage more rapidly, assuming they have the experience to recognize what their bodies are saying to them.

Now, if you're here looking for advice, here is what I recommend at thi point.
For any "short" race, a marathon or less, if this is your first time running this distance, follow a plan. You may want to follow a plan the second time too. From there, you should be getting familiar with the training and can adopt as needed.

For "long" races, you should have plenty of experience with your body, and you should proceed as you feel fit.

Next time, hopefully I'll have more time to look into this, and have advice that may not be so generic.

References:
(1) A prospective study of running injuries: the Vancouver Sun Run "In Training" clinics
J E Taunton, M B Ryan, D B Clement, D C McKenzie, et al. British Journal of Sports Medicine. London: Jun 2003. Vol. 37, Iss. 3; pg. 239

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Crewing for Joe - Pinhoti 100

Last weekend, Roman and myself headed out to Alabama with The Goat to support him during his effort to run the Pinoti 100 mile endurance run. Later in the evening, we were joined by Coach K and the mysterious lean and mean Clay.

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The party's over, I'll be in the corner crying

As y’all my know, I’ve been having some hip problems lately. So this morning I headed off to the local sports medicine doctor for an opinion.  A bunch of x-rays later, we had some conversations.  The good news is there doesn’t appear to be any fractures or other injuries that could be really bad. Since that’s what I was worried about, I was happy to hear that.

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3 Months done

Today marks the beginning of the 4th month of my running streak.  For those of you who didn’t quite catch it, that means I’ve run at least 1 mile everyday for the last 3 months.  Holy cow.

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Where in the world is...

Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote anything. (Well, not that long, but enough to make me feel guilty that my loyal readers may be seriously deprived of…well…of me. :)  So here I am, in all my radiant, typing glory.

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Fall is in the air

It’s cooling down, the leaves are starting to change color and the air has a sharp snap in it. Yes, another autumn is here, in all it’s colorful splendor. Can’t you just feel it?

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Today, I am strong

[Note: Submitted as Octobers newletter article.]

 

As I’ve been preparing for my race this weekend, my first 50K, I’ve been thinking more and more about what running means to me. I’ve put my thoughts on paper – words to motivate me and keep me going.  This month, I would like to share these thoughts with all of you.

 

I’ve put in my miles.

Some on the trail, and some on the road.

 

There’ve  been days off, and months without a break.

I’ve tripped on roots, and been hit by cars.

But I’ve kept pounding the ground.

 

I’ve run up some hills, and walked down others.

Either way, I always end up further along on my journey.

 

There’ve been good days and bad.

Cramps, strains, and aches are no strangers to me.

Ibuprofen, ice packs and Bodyglide are my good friends.

                And the feelings of accomplishment, elation, and pride are right alongside them.

 

Through brisk fall days, mid-summer heat, and winter’s biting cold,

Through pollen, smog, rain, and snow,

 I’ve been out running.

 

All time well spent, putting one foot in front of the other.

 

The greatest runners in history and me.

We’ve all been through the same things.

The same conditions, the same results, another mile done.

 

As I head out the door, I know today is a good day.

Today, I am strong.

 

(And note to my Blue Ridge Relay mates, this is the motivational speech I should have given. Next year...)

 

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Dang, being strong doesn't give you a chance to rest.

Lately, thoughts have been running through my head while running about how I feel. And strangely, many of them have been along the lines of feeling good. I guess my body is finally coming around, much to my surprise, things haven’t been bad at all.

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A casual Saturday morning run

Ah, the weather was perfect. Cool and misty, probably around 60. I headed out to Little Mulberry Park (Dacula, GA) with the intent of getting around 20 miles in. I was going to meet up with David, but he had something else come up at the last minute, so is running tomorrow instead.

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Coming up with a strategy

Whew! What a weekend. Being 3 weeks until my next race, figured it was time to get some distance training in on trails. Being the lazy person I am, and not wanting to drive much, on Saturday I headed over to our local park, Little Mulberry. Two times around the horse loop, with 3 out-and-backs on the the connector over the ridge, came out to just under 15 miles. It’s a nice trail, almost all hills, although I imagine it’s nothing compared to whats going to be in the race.

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Hill Repeats - but this time they were fun

The other day, I was thinking about my training for my upcoming race, and knowing the people putting it on, I figure I haven’t done nearly enough hill training. Heck, I haven’t done nearly enough traing at all, but especially hills. (The other thing hurting me is all my miles lately have been road. Whole different ballgame once you hit trails.)

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6 Weeks

Today is the end of my 6th week of running everyday. (“The Streak.”) Thought I’d give a quick progress update:

Still going strong.

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Friday - The start

After leaving our cabin, and noticing the road down was almost scarier in the daylight, we made it to Grayson State park in no time.  Heading up the main road, we saw a couple runners coming down, and that was encouraging. Stopping at the gate, we asked the lady if we only have 20 minutes in the park, what can’t we miss?  She was confused until I pointed out that was how long it would take for our guy to finish the leg, so we didn’t have time.  She suggested the visitor center, where there was a movie and museum.

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Blue Ridge Relay (BRR) - Part 1

[Note: You can also read this on Coach K’s site. He was the team captain - I was the team driver / photographer / journalist / assistant time keeper / primary food eater / etc…Part II is over here. ]

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Should be catching up soon!

For those of you who don’t know, I was out for the last 4 days crewing a team for the Blue Ridge Relay. We had a blast, and I’ll have several posts over the next week talking about it. There will be plenty of pictures too.

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Weekend day trip

To my wife and I, Labor Day weekend means exploring. Over Labor Day weekend eight years ago, we got engaged on a roadtrip to Chilliwack, BC (we picked that destination simply because the name made us laugh).

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On the early mornin' run

On the early morning run, with my ipod in my hand. With an aching in my legs, and a shoeful of sand... I'm a long way from home, and only a couple more miles to go.

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Another day, another mile or so

Well, it’s that time of year again. The bowling league started up again, and now I have plans every Tuesday night for the next 35 weeks. (36 week season.)  Woohoo.  The exciting thing last night was I got an award I earned last year.  The guy who dropped it off proceeded to give me a hard time, because it’s still a pretty low scoring award. (I think he said something about how “only seniors get this kind of award” or something like that.)  Oh well, I’m still happy with it. 

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I'm pedestrianating

A couple days ago (Saturday), I was sitting around talk to the wife after dinner. Originally, I wasn’t planning on running, but as I was talking to hey, I mentioned that I’ve done 5 days in a row. Maybe I should just see how long I can keep it going. 

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Volunteer time

Took a Saturday off from running this morning, as Runners Fit was doing the timing for a local 5K at Flowery Branch High School. A few of the gang were running in, and a few more of us volunteered to help out.

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Another strange thing I saw

Everyone who’s spent time running knows that you will sometimes see strange things. There’s a lot of blog posts about this. Well, today I got to see something new.

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GUTS Training run - July 2008

I got a note earlier this week saying GUTS would be having a group training run at the Jones Bridge park along the Chattahoochee. Being within a reasonable driving distance, I felt I had to go. Plus, the park is where I first started trailing running a couple years ago when we moved to Atlanta, so it’s special.

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Wii so fit!

Wow, we had a record turnout for the Runners Fit group run this morning. 19 people braved the heat and humidity to join us.  We had a number of new people, and a lot of the regulars, and a good time was had. Ryan got beat by the “kids” and one of the “old guys”. (Note terms are relative.) 

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Summer nights in Georgia

One thing that really shocked me when I first moved to Georgia was the evening thunderstorms. Wow, what a light show they give you. I thought I’d take a little space here to share with y’all what these are like.

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Damn chain letter!

So there I was…Lunchtime yesterday. Heading out for my run, and at the last second, decided to do loops around our complex instead of my usual route. It’s a nice 1.2 mile loop that has some flat sections, so I could work on my walking form.

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I could be out running. Or sleeping.

Ah, last night started with good intentions. Headed to bed early, planned to sleep in a little bit, then head out for a run. Come 4:30 though, I was awake. But it’s not as bad as it seems, since I was woken up by a big thunderstorm. I was awake enough to decide to grab my camera and see what I get lucky with.

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Tag-I've been ITed.

Oh, I’ve been tagged by David Ray. Guess that makes me it. For those of you who don’t spend their lives in front of their computer reading running blogs, this is blog-chain letter. Whoever is tagged answers 5 questions (related to running), then passes this on to 5 others. I don’t know the origins, so the rumors about untold wealth and success if the chain is continues (or a miserable death on a lonely road if it’s broken) could be completely true. Who knows.

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Heading to Baton Rouge-Part 1

This last weekend, we took a drive to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a wedding. (A bit over 600 miles from home.) This details the first part of the journey.

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Got Guts? No, but we're happy.

This morning, as a rare treat, GUTS (Georgia Ultrarunning and Trailrunning Society) had a monthly training run on our side of town. So, being the card carrying member that I am, and having never gone to one of their runs, I figured it sounded good. They were going to the Suwanee Greenway to run. It’s about a 9 mile, multi-surfaced trail that has a lot of trails branching off it.

I met up with Brad to carpool down. Now, neither one of us actually had a copy of the email giving directions, but I had looked up the directions on how to get there. Off we go, and get there in. We see a small parking lot, which the absent email said was there, along with a large complex with plenty of parking behind it. Being that the lot was empty, we drove into the park and checked things out.

In the next parking lot, we saw a number of people hanging out. We quickly realized that they weren’t who we were looking for. They had a big banner out that said “Happy Runners – Asian Running Club”, with a bit of Korean on it. After circling through the parking lot a few times, asking people if they were with guts, we headed back up to the first lot. By this time, the Happy Runners group had grown to about 50 people, and they were all circled in a tennis court doing some group stretching. (Hmmm…how novel.)

Well, we parked and headed out on our own. The park has a nice trail with some rolling hills headed down to the greenway path. We crossed some wooden boardwalks, which was kind of neat. We passed a number of the Asian runners (and a couple probably passed us), and were having a good time.

About a mile into it, a decent sized group headed towards us. Looking at them, a number of them had their GUTS shirts on, so we paused to chat for a minute. Turns out, they parked off a different road than us. (We had figured as much.) So they continued on their way, and we decided to go down to where they were parked just so we knew where it was.

The trip down and back was pretty uneventful. Nice and flat, mostly in shade. One of the happy runners kept leapfrogging with us, and since he had a camera, we’ll now be famous somewhere in the annals of their club. (And we’ll probably stand out, being the only two Gringo’s.) The scenery was nice, everyone was friendly, and in the shade, it wasn’t too hot.

Coming back, we separated for a bit, since Brad wanted to stretch his legs. He took off ahead, and a while later, the GUTS group was heading back towards me with Brad in tow. We decided not to run back down to their parking area with them, but instead headed back to the car. Once we got there and cooled off a bit, we drove down and met up with them.

They had ice cold drinks, bagels, muffins, donuts and were hanging out socializing. I felt welcome as we hung out for a while and mainly talked to Debbie. (The organizer of the run, and someone I met a couple weeks ago down at Peachtree City.) With this kind of food, I may have to make it to more of their runs. (And I was impressed that some of them thought ahead and brought chairs. Good idea.)

That’s about it. We’ll definitely hit these trails again, and try to add them into our weekly rotation. Even with all the pavement, I think it was worthwhile.

And for those following the saga of LK, today I wore a knee brace. It was one of the smaller ones that go just below the knee. I was a skeptic and didn’t think it would make much difference. Boy, I was wrong. I had some occasional pangs, but overall felt my knee was good for must the run. I was hurting from taking two weeks off, but that’s different.

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Where ideas come from

As you know, last weekend I had some serious knee problems. Getting up on Tuesday, my knee was still throbbing enough that I decided to take the week off. (I did some stretching, but no running or walking.)

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My first DNF

This morning, I attempted to run the Darkside Running Clubs 3M marathon. This is a small (~15 people) race in Peachtree city. The 3M stands for Monday Morning Marathon, and they have one on Memorial day and another on Labor Day. It’s billed as race where you show up, they give you a course.

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Walking on...

Bet y’all thought I’d have nothing to say about walking? Well, there is plenty to say, but I’ve been a bit busy.

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Accidents Happen

(Note: This is the article for this months RunnersFit newsletter.)

They say that most accidents happen within five miles of home – but usually the victim knows what caused the accident. That was not the case for my dear friend Left Knee (LK for short). The accident happened about three weeks ago while on a casual run down the street, but the details are a bit sketchy.

About three miles into an eight mile run, LK started to complain a bit. By the end of the eight miles, LK was feeling pretty stiff. After a few days rest, LK tried a short run, but, was sadly still sore.

It has now been a couple of weeks, and after fighting through a cold, LK is still having some serious issues. So, after consulting with the rest of the ‘family’ (Right Knee, Feet, & Head), LK has decided to try walking instead of running for a while.

Now, y’all don’t need to feel sad. The whole ‘family’ is actually quite used to walking, and we usually enjoy it. As a matter of fact, a few years ago, we walked the NYC marathon. All 26.2 miles were spent with at least one foot on the ground at all times.

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Not a SweetH2O race report

Last weekend, I didn’t run the SweetH20 race. Not the 50K, not the 1/2 marathon. However, looking at the history of visitors, a number of people fould me because they were looking for that, and I mentioned it in my post about the ChickEkiden.

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ChickEkiden 2008

Last year, I heard about a run that sounded like a lot of fun, but for various reasons, I couldn’t do it. However, this year I was determined to make it onto a team and do it. Today was this day! The 2008 ChickEkiden, part of the Gainesville chicken festival. It’s a marathon length (26.2 miles) relay with a team of 6 people. The best part? The relay baton is a rubber chicken.

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Ice cream run

Watching the weather report yesterday, it was supposed to be raining all morning today. This left me with a delemia, do I get up and meet the group or sleep in and go running whenever I get up?

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After Action Review-Marathon

Way back when I was in the army, after field exercises and training, we used to have an AAR, After Action Review. This was a time to review what went right and what went wrong and basically, how can we learn from our mistakes. Back then, I didn’t appreciate them too much, I think mainly because at my rank, I was very unaware of the bigger picture.

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2008 ING Georgia Marathon – Expo

This morning I headed down to the expo for the 2008 ING Georgia marathon at the Georgia Dome. (The location was changed last week after a tornado hit the original venue.) Getting there by train is no problem, and probably a lot easier than driving.I headed down relatively early, since there were some speakers at 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM I wanted to see. The expo in the Georgia Dome Packet pickup was near empty when I got there, which made it pretty quick. One interesting they did was have shirt pickup on the opposite side of the expo. I don’t know if this was a move by the marketing department or just an arrangement of coincidence due to the last minute changes. I almost ended up with the wrong shirt since I didn’t see the section for the full until the guy was handing me a shirt for the half. We got it all straightened out. The logo is pretty cool…it’s a bunch of runners legs, but the outline is building in the Atlanta skyline. Rahn and Kathrine Switzer

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Nice calves…

A funny thing happened in the gym the other day. I just got back from my lunch run, and I was stretching. A gal with whom I work with was down there working out as she often is. (We see each other most days down there.)

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Missed the group

Rolling out of bed this morning, all I heard was thunder and rain. So I did what came natural; got up, threw my clothes and grabbed my camera to go storm chasing.

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29 Cubed – the first half

The day started well enough. I slept in a bit, then hit Starbucks and ran an errand. The goal was to start at noon, do eight miles, then meet Roman at 5 to do another 8. After checking my email and the status of everyone else running the challenge, I was eager to get started. The folks across the Atlantic were up into the 20 mile range already, so after running my errands, I decided to start a bit earlier, about 10:30. My first miles were going to be at Little Mulberry, here it’s a pretty flat 2.2 mile loop.  I strapped on my new racing flats, and away I went.

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Race Week Buildup

It never fails. Every time a big event comes up, one starts to notice every little thing that will impact it. So far, my week has been something like so:

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Spirit of the Marathon

Last night, some or our jolly gang ventured to the movies to see the encore presentation of The Spirit Of The Marathon. Back in January when this movie was shown as a one time presentation, it got great reviews and was sold out across the country, so naturally, they did an encore presentation. It’s a look at 6 people getting ready to run the Chicago marathon, from first timer’s to world class elite runners.

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I lost game!

Tonights bowling was pretty bad. This entry is nothing but me whining. I threw a 100, 98, and 116. At least the last game was over my average.

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A post for the week

A cold weeks roundup. Saturday started with a cold (around 34 degrees) run in Braselton. We had a large turn-out, 14 people I think it was, which may be the most we’ve had. We ran the Chateau Elan route. I did 6 miles, and had company for a good portion of it.

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The wee adventure of running

I recently ran across this article on CompleteRunning.com that made me laugh. Its about the need to pee during long (and not so long) distance runs. The reason I laugh is because, well, because it’s funny. It’s a natural thing we all have to deal with. (And yes, I’m older than 13. At that age, I probably would have just been embarrassed.) So, I thought I’d share my peeing stories.

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A Slow Week

I’ve struggled this week to come up with stuff to write about. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, but I have plenty of choices.

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The pleasure of good company

(This months newsletter column) Running, by nature, tends to be a solitary activity. Even if there are others around, we’re generally wrapped up in ourselves. “Oh, I’m getting tired” may be a common thought, but “he looks tired” isn’t so common. Even if we did think it, we couldn’t do anything about it, so we’d go back to our own thoughts and carry on.

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Weekend Roundup and pictures

Saturday, the Runners Fit group heading back out to the Elachee Nature Center for our run before going to Sweet Escapes for their Runners Special breakfast. Overall, the run was good…we started with a really big (in my opinion) hill that took my breath away along the West Lake Trail. I didn’t really get it back for about 2 miles, right before getting to the suspension bridge. I wanted to do the back half this time, but wasn’t sure what direction the rest of the group took, so I actually didn’t cross over, and headed up the Dunlap trail (clockwise). When it split off back to just the West Lake, I headed up that way. Here, I ran into Gordon, who split off from the main group to meet up with them later. He had never been here before, but wasn’t too lost.

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Group run in the wood

This morning the Runners Fit group headed off to Elachee/Chicopee Woods for a group run in the woods. 13 of us braved the cold (31 degrees) for this grand adventure.

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Newfound Fame, almost

After my last post about running at the end of the year, I passed it on to Ryan while trying to find some email addresses. He read it, and was impressed and suggested I do a article for his monthly newsletter.

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It’s raining? So?

After last Saturday’s group run, someone suggested a Sunday morning run, which sounded good. That the forecast called for rain didn’t seem to be an issue, since we were going to run trails at Little Mulberry park, and as we all know, the muddier the better.Three of us showed up at the Hog Mountain entrance, undaunted by the inch of water that came down overnight. After poking fun at each others clothing (Roman in a cotton shirt, me in a full rain suit and Brad bundled like he’s headed to Alaska), we took off. After crossing the dam, R&B headed off to the horse connector trail to run across the ridge, while I continued around with the plan on meeting them somewhere along the back stretch. (They both run considerably faster, so the extra mileage is no problem.)

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I Won!

Saturday (12/1/2007), I ran in the Braselton 8K Race for Reading. Having been looking forward to this for a number of months, it was all as expected:

  • The course was as expected. (Having run it once before, there were no surprises.)
  • The timing was exceptional,. It was done by the Tennessee River Athletic Club, who came out from Alabama for this. Ryan knows these guys and wanted them to show the locals how a race should be run.
  • The food supply was plentiful. There was a snafu with the pizza, so it didn't arrive until almost everyone was gone, but that's okay. (Papa Johns was one of the sponsors, so they provided for us.)
  • The weather was perfect. Started off really cold, but it was fine once we started moving.

I started the morning hanging out with friends, both other runners and some of the volunteers. Once we started, I lost everyone, which was no surprise since they’re fast people. Then almost a mile in, I spotted the back of someones head who looked familiar. I caught up, and ended up running with Ryan and his friend Eleanor for the majority of the race. We had a good time joking around.

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