Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ten Things and a Cheese Head Medal

The weather still sucks in Chicago and I feel like a wimp for retreating to the treadmill after reading Marcia's blog today. She toughed it out and ran outside this morning. Anyway I will continue my first week of training tonight on the treadmill and head outside, rain or shine on Saturday for my 6 miler.

The Blue Moon is in and I'm still working the Wisconsin 1/2 Marathon angle with my wife. Heather told me I should because they have a cool cheese medal for finishing. I agree with her.

I have been tagged by Julie to list ten (10) things that make me happy.

Ten (10) things that make me happy!

  1. The most obvious is running. I am happy for what running has done for me, what is has made me and the feeling of health it provides me.

  1. Having Poker night on Thursday’s in my garage and the chance to BS with my buds makes me happy.

  1. The sweet nectar that New Glarus Brewing Company creates makes me very happy and sometimes buzzed!

  1. My wife and son always sometimes make me happy.

  1. Spending 3 day weekends in Wisconsin during the summer make very happy and relaxed. I am grateful to have a getaway for my family and me to spend our summers at.

  1. I am happy to have a steady job and to be employed. Some of my friends haven’t been as blessed as I have in that regard. It’s something I try not to take for granted.

  1. Friends make me happy. Both the ones I see physically and the Blog friends I communicate with in cyberspace.

  1. Building things make me happy. Back when I was going to college, I worked for custom furniture company and developed many valuable skills. I currently have a nice workshop and have built many pieces in my home and endless home improvement projects.

  1. Being able to run with friends make my day. I don’t often get running partners so when I do, it’s appreciated.

  1. Going to Wrigley field makes me happy. Nothing beats a cold beer and a ball park hot dog. Go Cubbies!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Training Day 1

Today officially starts the 1st run of my 18 week marathon training program. The weather is kinda crappy so I will be kicking it off on the treadmill in the basement. I, like many others, have a love hate relationship with the treadmill. It’s nice to be able to run in the comfort of your home but I sure miss Mother Nature. I guess I need to suck it up, deal with it and be thankful I have an option.

I have been looking at my planned long weekend runs and found that there is the Wisconsin ½ marathon on May 1st which is the same day as I have a 13 miler scheduled. My wife doesn’t want to run it, but I think it would a great way to train. It would be nice to have the crowds and water stations along the way. I am not sure if she is opposed to this race because of the $$$ or just because the preparation of getting there and logistics. I have a friend who is planning on running this (his first one) and it would be nice to be there, but I don’t want to cause animosity and leave my wife behind. I think this may be one of those damned if I do and damned if I don’t scenarios.

Since my doctor advised me to cut back eliminate alcohol for my upcoming blood test, I have graciously allowed my wife to choose the next keg for the kegarator. I am sorry to say that New Glarus will have to wait a while longer before I can return. She picked Blue Moon and it is supposed to come in today. I will go pick it up, pour her a glass and then try to persuade her to run Kenosha with me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

To Race or not to Race?

With the weather being in the positive digits, I have been able to run outside a few times since my last post. I was off yesterday for the Martin Luther King Holiday, so I was able to head out for a morning weekday run, which is never possible with work.

My official training plan starts next week, and I am a little nervous. The first few weeks are actually less running than I am doing now, but I keep peeking ahead in the schedule and see that 20 miler. I know I need to take one step at a time, but 20 miles is a long run.

I have a dilemma and need advice. There are a few upcoming races that I normally like to participate in such as the Shamrock Shuffle 8k and our local Lake in the Hills, Run thru the Hills 5k or 10k. The problem I have is they are both on days for training that indicate cross train and after runs of 13 and 16 miles. Should I run these for fun or skip all together and cross train? The Run thru the Hills is a race in my town and my son wants to participate in the 5k. He ran the 5k last year and I did the 10k and I have a few other buddies running in as well. I’m just not sure what to do.

I did my part yesterday to spur the economy. We purchased new appliances for the kitchen. We have been talking about this for a year or so and finally decided to do it. We are upgrading to all stainless steel from our current white. The current fridge will move to the garage and the rest we will donate to charity. They are in working order we are just looking for a more updated look.

I know I was going to post some photos of my garage I finished but have not. Here a re a few. Oh well, better late than never. This is a continual work in progress, as long as my wife doesn't kill me.

Happy running!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On the Wagon

I know I have disappeared for a while, but I’m back. My knee healed up after a week taking it easy and I was back to my normal routine in no time. Thanks for all the comments and support.

The Holidays were relaxing and I was able to have a few weeks at home to spend with my son while my wife worked. Along with the relaxing holidays came a few unwanted pounds from a few too many beverages and unnecessary grazing. Now I need to get rid of about 8 pounds to get back to my summer weight.

I have researched a few training programs for my upcoming Marathon and decided upon Hal Higdon’s 18 week plan. I have about 2 weeks until I start my program, but I am excited to begin this journey.

I have been having cholesterol & triglyceride issues for some time and have been working with my doctor over the years to get the right balance of medicines that don’t tax my liver but are getting my numbers down. Unfortunately, my last blood test was not good enough and my doctor has referred me to a cardiologist. I think this is in part due to liability issue on his part, but nonetheless I went last night. I was told that the cardiologist thinks my numbers may not be as bad as they are showing on the testing. He feels that a false reading may be occurring and wants me to start new medicine and go for another blood test in 6 weeks. On top of the new test, he wants me to give up all caffeine, alcohol and limit sugars so we can see if the test is accurate. This is going to be tough as I start each morning with a cup of coffee and on occasion have been known to enjoy a nice cold beer or two. It will be tough, but I will give it my best to adhere to the Doctors orders. The only saving grace of it is that I start my training program in a week or two, so I can shift my focus to that.

Once I have cleared my body of sugar, alcohol and caffeine I am supposed to get retested and hopefully this will divulge the real numbers at a much lower level. I hope this is the answer, because after years of watching my diet, exercising and taking medications I am starting to get a little frustrated.

Last weekend my wife, Terri and I went to our local running store (Dick Pond) for a first of the year fun run. We have never done this before and thought it would be a nice way to start the year as well as try and meet others with similar interests in our own area. We were the first two at the store on Saturday morning at 8:00 and the temperature of 0 degrees out. For a second, I thought no one else was going to show. It turned out that five others strolled in and all first time to the fun run as well. It was a nice eclectic mix of ages and running skills and we only went for a short 3-4 mile run. Afterwards they made pancakes on a griddle right in the store and had pastries and coffee from Caribou. They even had four raffle prizes. Terri won a pair of gloves. When we were leaving, after Terri picked up some additional running stuff on clearance, they gave us a bunch of food to take home. My son was pleasantly surprised that we brought him breakfast. Aren't we thoughtful?

Good news is the weather here in Chicago is starting to warm up. We will be in the upper 30’s this week and hopefully for the weekend. Running in 0 degree weather sucks!

Happy running and hope to post again soon.