2005 year in review / Shameless Cribbing off of Jon

I’ll be honest – Like most of my good writing ideas, this is straight from Jon. Were I making any money on this space, I’d send it his way in fealty.

But, let’s look at 2005 Reloaded:

So, for planning purposes, I am doing Mystic.Done.

I’m going to be using the training plan from the New York Road Runners, specifically, the 18 week schedule starting from a 20 mile/week base. Done. I think I can still consider myself at the 20 mile base, BTW. More on that later.

My secondary goal is to avoid overtraining while still reaching achievable goals. Not sure that I really accomplished this one. I think that my tendency to blow off long runs contributed to my tightness in the calves which really really showed up in a mental toll. But, I established a new well to which I can go mentally, so in all, I’ll rate this goal a push.

(I have no clue what that previous paragraph means, but have few doubts that I’ll repeat it in a meeting in the next two weeks, with work-related buzzwords replacing the running-related words)

Hopefully I can find some time in the next week to dig into the HTML of the site and add a bar with the races I’m planning on doing over the year. – heh. No comment.

Weight – Mixed bag here. Yes, I’m down overall (won’t actually check on the Christmas damage until, say, mid-January, BTW) for the year, but closer to the start at 180 than the goal of 152. I did mark an entire year under 185, which is great.

Need to review prospective goals and get to work now…

A holly jolly Christmas

A story in three parts:

I. Chasing Sunlight
II. Wheels
III. 8,000 steps of true love

I. Chasing Sunlight

Friday evening. Day before Christmas Vacation. Not so many folks at the office, but a ton of stuff to finish before the New Year. Finished 2 out of three major tasks for the week, and decided to take the last one home to finish over the weekend (yeah, yeah – taking a couple hours after everyone else was worn out and asleep on Christmas sounded like a better choice than being late for another supper). 3:50 and I was on my way from the lab to the office to do time cards, etc. 20 minutes of paperwork and frustration later and I was on my way home.

I almost didn’t stop – it was on the ragged edge of being able to have enough time to get in a run, stop at the Arcadia Y in Wyoming for a shower, and make it to the traditional Christmas Eve Eve dinner at Mystic Pizza. But, venting the other day seems to have done me a world of good – I was itching to run. So, run I did.

The day was beautiful as I got off the Newport Bridge. Watched the sun sink below the horizon as I drove towards Beavertail. Pulled off at the beach parking for the 3 mile run to the point and back. Cool but nowhere near cold, not much wind at all.

Did the “hide behind the car door” quick change, fired up Wilco’s “Kicking Television” (another flashback – 11 Jan 2005 I was all over “A Ghost is Born” … this isn’t bad at all if I can kick the funk and avoid the end-of-season collapse in Aught Six) and ran toward land’s end. The sun had been down for about 10 minutes by the time I started running. Mini-goal was to be back before twilight gave way to darkness.

I can’t say enough about how beautiful it is running on Beavertail. It’s all elevated above the water, long views of the grey, grey North Atlantic, and the Rhode Island shoreline which is a lot less developed than one might think – it’s all cottages and homes instead of condos and resort hotels. Rounded the corner at the light, and looked over at the shrinking spot of red dotting the western sky. Looked back to the east, and saw it was still slightly rosy – good sign for running down the darkness.

The slope away from the lighthouse opened onto a field/parking lot. The beacon from the light kept sweeping across the field, a white wiper across a darkening windshield. Passed folks walking back to their cars, and a guy setting up a telescope to take advantage of unseasonable warmth and beautiful clear skies.

Made it back to the car before dark. Felt great to get into the front seat and turn on the motor with it still blowing heat. Beautiful view of the last bit of color as I crossed the causeway between the north island and south island. Tasty pizza an hour later…

II. Wheels

Saturday – probably 50 degrees. I was pretty much bound to go for a bike ride, as was the rest of the Southeastern Connecticut cycling community. Great ride from the house to Stonington. Nothing spectacular was accomplished, other than actually catching and talking to another cyclist for a couple of hundred yards, until she headed down US 1 towards Mystic and I kept going to the Borough.

The bike was sweet – finally broke down and bought some high-tech chain lube (White Lightning if anyone cares). Silenced everything. Still need to adjust my front deraileur – I get chain rub if I’m in the big ring and anything other than the 4 tiniest cogs. Not an awful thing, but I’d like to get another two in the big ring just ’cause it looks cool.

Nothing earthshaking here; just a darn fine ride at an unexpected time of year.

II. 8,000 steps of True Love

Christmas Morning was as it should be – children jumping out of bed early but not too early, presents from Santa, good breakfast, more presents from people we love. Played Lego. Played Duplo. Played cars and planes and trains and everything else.

About 1, Nate goes down for his nap, Jake snuggles down with his Grandmother for some stories, and Melissa and I headed out for a run.

Have I mentioned I’m completely in love?

In any case, it was absolutely amazing – 4 miles to River Road and back, beautiful weather in the 40’s or so, and absolutely perfect pacing. I stayed half a step behind Missy to make sure I could slide behind when cars came. She’s gotten quick, she’s gotten confident, and I was in fine fettle chasing along. We laughed, we cried (no, not really), we bought the soundtrack. “Merry Christmas”es were exchanged with the walkers on the road.

10 years married, 15 years together. The absolute best Christmas gift I got this year was 8,000 steps of undivided attention.

Have I mentioned I’m a lucky guy?


Yesterday – another non-starter. This makes 8 days without significant physical activity. Mercifully, scale was still at 171 today – holding firm to that net gain of 4 lbs since NYC. Holding flab, I guess. The wife? Starting to show actual abs. <humor>Only a matter of time now until she leaves me for someone else who’s fit.</humor>

But I’ve been doing some thinking; spurred on by one of those stunning convergences that happen way too often to be completely the result of random chance: First, there was Jon’s rant yesterday and Blaine’s reply. I’ve also gone back and started re-reading my archives. As the final piece of the puzzle, I picked up a new tri book yesterday on my way home.
Continue reading Focus

Millions of Americans Need to Join the RBF

So says the Washington Post

Treadmill tests on a representative sample of more than 5,300 Americans ages 12 to 49 found that about one out of every five had poor cardiovascular fitness, including about one-third of teenagers and 14 percent of young adults. Based on the findings, an estimated 7.5 million adolescents and at least 8.5 million adults are out of condition, the researchers found.

So, following one of Brogan’s mantras – “Turn bad news into opportunity” (and if it’s not, it should be) – When was the last time you invited another non-runner to lace up the sneaks with you? Offered the guest pass to the gym to a co-worker thinking about getting back in shape? Put platform pedals on the “B” bike and asked the neighbor if she wanted to spin down to the Quickie Mart?

Continue reading Millions of Americans Need to Join the RBF


Wednesdays have been my nemesis the last two weeks. Got off to great starts both times, then got waylaid on humpday.

Not this week. (Or so I say on Sunday…)

Took the boys to Bluff Point today. Nate rode on my shoulders, Jake rode his bike (no training wheels!) It was great, if a bit brisk. In hindsight, I should have taken the jogging stroller and put in a quick two miles. But, it was Jake’s first trip on the trails, and I wasn’t sure how well he’d do.

He did fine.

That’s about it. Missy’s mom gets in right after work on Tuesday. May have to take her to Legal Seafood near the Providence Airport to kick things off right. Well, if her flight’s delayed at all – if it’s on time, we should be able to make supper back home. Last Christmas, she and my sister-in-law spent Christmas Eve in Cleveland, tied up in a snowstorm. THis year, she’s all about preventing that – hence arriving a week ahead of time.


Howdy y’all –

Been trying to keep busy with work and real life, and haven’t had much time to keep up with everyone. Will likely be touch and go for the rest of the month – good things are afoot at the Circle K. Huge congrats to Deene and the rest of the RBF Marathoners in Vegas, though.

Decided to give in to the flu shot last week and was a slug Wed-Sunday. But, lots of sleep later I feel great. Plus, I managed to get the garage cleaned and organized, and the wife’s car now has a warm home for the winter.

This week has been great so far regarding sticking to fitness. Weigh-in Monday was 170, weigh in today was 169, which means that 171 may have been a post-Thanksgiving, post-marathon plateau, and I might be getting my weight headed in the right direction. Jack’s eating my lunch, weight-wise. Well, I wish he were eating my lunch – maybe then I’d be 7 down instead of 2 up. But, I can’t really complain – I’m headed back in the right direction, and managed ot check the slide I usually take after a big fitness milestone. It’s all about making it a lifestyle instead of an accomplishment.

Today was 30 minutes on the stationary bike at the base gym over lunch, and a set of 30 sit-ups and 20 push-ups. Did the heart rate program, 30 minutes at 150. Nothing fancy, ‘cept the sauna that I was hoping to try turned out not to be a sauna.

Monday was probably the most enjoyable run I’ve had in a long while. Lunchtime again, from the base gym, out for the 3.4 mile loop. HRM, trying to stay under 150 again, and doing a much better job of it this time.

The weather was insanely beautiful. Blue skies, unlimited visibility, gentle breeze, temps pushing 40. Great day to be out for a run. Came to the steep part of the course at the same time as a woman running in shorts and a t-shirt, and sprinted up the hill. Pegged my heart rate somewhere around 180 for 45 seconds, and completely loved the burning in my throat, the pounding in my chest, and the feeling of my lungs being pulled into my bloodstream as the red blood cells tried to unload CO2 and suck in O2 as they flew by the alveoli.

The woman caught me again coming up to the bridge to cross back over to the gym, and it was all I could do to bite my pride and let her pass so I could keep my heart rate near zone. Every fibre of my body wanted to kick it up and finish strong back to the gym. But, I would have looked like a complete jerk for passing her twice. So, I kept plodding along, heart rate in zone, and ended up at the corner at exactly 30 minutes. 30 seconds slower since the last time I ran this route (Kind of can’t believe that that was over 2 weeks ago…). But overall, I felt better.

Pushups and situps before and after the run.

Quickly, now

Monday – 30 minutes on the rollers in the basement while I watched “Arrested Development” and the beginning of “Kitchen Confidential”. Did the KC show mostly ’cause my roller-fu doesn’t include taking the hands off the bars to grab the remote (yet). 8.3 miles. Heh. The rollers were kind of fun that way – how far, exactly, can I go in 30 minutes? Kind of a free-form expression, yet framed. Beauty.

Tuesday – I started to get cocky, since I hadn’t felt any ill effects from Saturday’s flu shot. Which was odd, since usually flu shots put me out of commission for nigh unto two days. The day after’s usually the worst. Anyway, Tuesday, and I’m feeling goooood, and I’m starting to assume that I’m not going to feel like a horse’s rump.

Yeah, I was wrong. Went to the Y to swim after the boys were asleep. Managed to get out 750 yards, none of it particularly good before I had to get out of the pool. Just felt wasted.

Wed – felt just kind of blah all day, and it was cold and windy, so I didn’t run. Could have, but just didn’t want to bother.

I’m feeling better today, but don’t want to push it. Might go swim tonite if I feel at all decent. The good news? I’m watching the kids this afternoon, so it’s only a half day at work. Plus, it’s the afternoon, so I get a nap with Nate. Yippie!

(Other goal today? Catch up on everyone else’s blogs. Sorry).

More snow tomorrow!

I (heart) Running again

So, it finally happened. Running and I are officially “on” again.

Drill Weekend again, and most of the guys in the unit were amazed at the whole marathon thing. I’ve got to note again that I’m a Navy reservist, where there’s still a decent component who believe that 3 miles a year is a completely sufficient amount to run. Not many, but a few.

Kind of a chilly day – sunny, mid 30’s and windy most of the day. But, somehow I was itching to run. Probably left over endorphins from Friday. Whatever. I was itchin’ to run, and couldn’t wait till the end of the day and the hour of mandatory PT. The other marathon guy wasn’t drilling, so I asked around to see if there were any other takers for a quick trip around the perimeter. No dice. Ah, well, their loss.

What can I say? The run was amazing. The birds sang, the breeze blew (breeze, not wind), and the sun beat down on my ears. Or, would have beat down on my ears if I’d forgotten my cheapo fleece headband from Old Navy, which purposely isn’t the same color as my cheapo fleece gloves from Old Navy. ‘Cause that’d be gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that..

“Shuffle” on the Nano worked wonders again. The Charlie Brown Christmas Album got a couple of songs played while I was on the perimeter path. Nothing quite like the Vince Guiraldi Trio playing while running through the woods on a brisk day. I half expected to see Snoopy and Woodstock playing hockey in a frozen puddle. Light heart, light feet.

Finished the perimeter loop (which, depressingly, Gmaps tells me is only about 3.5 miles) with a little bit too much time left in the PT period to head straight to the showers (for which I likely would have gotten a pass, since the assumption would have been I was heading off somewhere to watch Army/Navy), so I decided to challenge “Hospital Hill” again.

Hospital Hill won. Or, to keep the positive spin, I decided to continue in my “easy” vibe, and walk/ran up the hill about 50/50. On the way down, though, light feet struck again – Felt good, finished strong. Yippie.

Great time at work. Interesting possibilities opening up there at my part-time job. Good times with the family after work, and quality time with the wife after the boys were in bed. Light hearts.

Oh, and I got the flu shot this morning. I’m sure I’m going to feel like crap on Sunday morning. But, I’ve got peace that there’s at least one disease that my beautiful little vectors can’t pass on to me now.

Good will towards man, y’all.