Monday, March 27, 2006

How old do you act?

You Are 22 Years OldYou Are 22 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.
What Age Do You Act?

Apparently I've got some growing up to do!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Great training week and weekend!

Got in some good recovery for the ailing achilles last week while still getting good workouts in at the gym. Did the necessary base mileage without pushing it too hard and made some good progress in the strengthening department. After running on Monday and Tues night, I decided to hit the trails on the bike for Thurs nite's workout and it was a good decision. Rested Friday after being in the gym Sunday through Thursday in addition to the runs and rides. Saturday morning, I felt really good and met the trail nerds out at Kill Creek Park for a morning run on some new trails. These are a bit different from our normal hangouts, but they were a lot of fun and fairly technical in sections. There's a few water crossings if you choose to take those trails (which of course we did) and these trails allow you to get as little or as much of a workout as you want. I can definitely see us coming back here more often. We ran for a little over 2 hours so I figure we did about 12-14 miles. Rested the remainder of that day and even went to Jardine's to get serenaded by Ms. Ida McBeth. Hearing her sing jazz is always a treat! It's so much fun watching and listening to her in person. Probably had too many vodka tonics for the run I was doing the next day, but I didn't know I'd have to work as hard as I did.
Brew to Brew:
Allison and I agreed to do the Brew to Brew with a new friend introduced to us by Allison's aerobics instructor. The guy we agreed to do this run with was the team captain and he told me via voicemail that we had a full team. He and I have played phone tag for the past 6 weeks and we've never had the chance to train together, but he's in good shape and since he was recommended by our personal trainer friend, we figured his judgements for teammates would be sound. I'll not drag this out too much, but the bottom line is that I RE-learned that I have to have the correct expectations when I go into something. We never planned to be competitive, but we DID plan to do our part to contribute to the team. It was just supposed to be a fun run (which it was) but it turned out to be more work than any of us expected. With one of the team members suffering from Plantar Fasciitis the other five of us that showed up knew we had our work cut out for us. Allison agreed to take a leg that was a little over 5 miles and she did great. she even did better than I expected so she surprised me and herself too I think. The girlfriend of one of the guys did a leg and two of the other guys agreed to do two legs each which left 3 remaining legs to be done in the 10 stage race. I agreed to do the other three, but I didn't really relish the idea. Overall, I did about 28-30 tough miles this weekend and am only mildly sore, but not too tired. Thankfully, the weather held out. We only had a sprinkling of rain and ice for a few minutes early on and the rest of the time the clouds threatened, but never dumped on us. The temp stayed around 40-43 degrees the whole time. This was a very well run race and was surprisingly well organized for the size and logisitcal complexity of it. I highly recommend running it if you ever get the chance.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Science Embracing Monotheism?

I was just reading this article and of course my previous post came to mind. It must be a little more common than I thought, but in general, my dealings with archaeologists, astronomers, mathematicians, and others associated with higher level sciences has left me with the impression that they're a humanistic, godless bunch. As much as I respect highly educated people, this doesn't affect my own beliefs, (as they are firmly rooted in personal experience) but I do find it interesting that there's so much variation in the opinions of God's existence. This reflects the variation in individuals' personalities, experiences, and further proves to me that there's a big difference between knowledge and wisdom.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Achilles problems

No, not that Achilles, the other one! -->
The first Achilles is for my sister's benefit!
My achilles tendon started bothering me during our scary run on Sunday when we were caught out in the storm. We weren't running very hard, but it just started out with a dull aching and then changed to a pulling type of feeling which led to pain eventually before we were finished. There were several hills that aggravated whatever it was making it hurt and I should've walked them instead of trying to push through it. I iced it twice on Sunday and it felt better on Monday so against common sense, I ran with the KC Track club on our Monday night 10k on the roads. This certainly didn't help any, but the pain was only moderate so I suffered through it because I need to keep up a base in the training before I start speed work. This week's training is just base mileage maintenance while I'm in the gym working on strength for the legs and upper body. After icing the right achilles Mon night, it felt better all day Tuesday. SO, last night, (Tues) I ran with the trail nerds out at SMP but only did one lap. I felt pretty good with only a slight pulling sensation during the run. This time, I let common sense prevail and only did one loop of the rocky rooty trails. Today, it's a little tight, and only a little sore, so I think I'll just hit the gym tonight instead of running and maybe I'll be ready for the hills of Wyco on Thursday evening.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Good but dangerous weekend!

My lovely wife volunteered to do a duathlon series with me and Saturday was the first one in this series. We did fairly well, (2nd in the co-ed relay) but I feel I did really well on the biking part which gave me a much needed boost in the confidence department. I only got passed by one person who is a phenomenal biker that normally races in the elite division so I didn't feel too bad about him passing me. I also was able to pass about 50-60 others in the trails and even lapped a few. For this race, we helped set up before hand and breakdown afterwards.
Sunday morning, we decided to hit the trails early. Instead of running with the trail nerds like I normally do, Allison (my wife) and I decided to run on our own at Shawnee Mission Park. We had checked the weather ahead of time and knew that some storms were moving in the area so we had to get the run in early to beat them. We got started about 7:45 and were halfway into the run (still 4 miles from the car) when we heard the tornado sirens sounding off! This really scared us and Allison started shaking and got chills she was so petrified. I reassured her that it was just a warning and might have even been a test (knowing better myself) because it really didn't look like tornado weather to me. At the time, it was mostly cloudy and we could see the REALLY nasty stuff moving in quickly so I told her that we could cut the run short and head back to the car so we wouldn't get wet. We got caught in a little shower anyway and a LOT of wind and even though it was a little scary, it was nothing compared to what my fellow trail nerds encountered during their run out in Lawrence! They were just a few miles from the tornado that ripped through the town of Lawrence damaging the school (University of Kansas) to the point that they had to cancel classes today. The guys were in the trails when they got hailed on, and blown around fiercely. Everyone managed to dodge the flying debris safely, but had a hard time getting back home because of all the trees and other debris in the roads. Pretty scary stuff!
Later that afternoon, I went over to Bad Ben's Nanobrewery to watch the magic in progress and to watch some redneck theater! The tornado sirens came on again two more times that afternoon and we just sat by watching the clouds blow by with some awesome Belgian brews in hand.
All in all it was a good training weekend and I'm feeling the motivation return so hopefully, I can crank it up again!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Thoughts on Science vs Faith?

I'm WAY behind in my reading, but in an effort to catch up, I'm resolving myself to actually FINISH books that I start now. There's about 4 that I've read over half of and never finished and those are top on the list.
Recently, I finished reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. This and the Da Vinci Code have been somewhat controversial books because of their themes and some things that Dan Brown states as "fact" in these books. I won't give away any spoilers, but I would like to post an excerpt from Angels and Demons that I found interesting.
The setup is the Pope has been assassinated and his understudy is addressing the world in a news conference.
“Science may have alleviated the miseries of disease and drudgery and provided and array of gadgetry for our entertainment and convenience, but it has left us in a world without wonder. Our sunsets have been reduced to wavelengths and frequencies. The complexities of the universe have been shredded into mathematical equations. Even our self-worth as human beings has been destroyed. Science proclaims that Planet Earth and its inhabitants are a meaningless speck in the grand scheme. A cosmic accident.” He paused. “Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone. We are bombarded with violence, division, fracture, and betrayal. Skepticism has become a virtue. Cynicism and demand for proof has become enlightened thought. Is it any wonder that humans now feel more depressed and defeated than they have at any point in history? Does science hold anything sacred? Science looks for answers by probing our unborn fetuses. Science even presumes to rearrange our own DNA. It shatters God’s world into smaller and smaller pieces in quest of meaning… and all it finds is more questions.”

Overall, I liked the book but was a little disappointed in it for a few reasons which I will not state here. I'd recommend it as an interesting read though.
If anyone wants to respond, I'm curious to hear what your thoughts are on the following questions.
Often, (as stated above) the answers that science gives us aren't always conclusively definitive and continue to lead to more questions. Is there a place for faith in today's world? Why or why not?

Monday, March 06, 2006

and yet another reminder

Saturday was crappy. Chilly and rainy and having just come back from the ski trip, I wasn't in the mood to run in those conditions. Plus, I had a lot of laundry to catch up on! Sunday, I decided last minute (I'm bad about planning ahead for some races) to do a local mountain bike race. Normally, I'm a multisport athlete, but I like to do the runs and bike races every once in a while to see how strong I am compared to those who do JUST that event. I'll probably never be very good at any one thing unless I can learn to focus on training for that type of event. That being said, the bike race went well and I should'nt be too disappointed with my performance. The general fitness was ok, but my leg strength still wasn't where it should be. I got passed mostly on the uphills, but was able to make up ground on the downhills and on the really technical sections. Even though I didn't win or come in dead last, I still expected to do better. In a multi-sport event like adventure races or duathlons, I'm much stronger and my performance reflects such. Still, as I get older, I need these frequent wake up calls to keep me focused on how hard I need to work on everything.
After the race yesterday, I started taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin and am also supplementing the diet with Udo's Choice Oil Blend to help ensure the right proportions of Omega 3 and 6. Being in Kansas now, we don't get to eat much fish anymore. :-(

Friday, March 03, 2006

Playing in the Garden of Eden, UT

Just got back from skiing out in Utah. Went to see an old friend and made some new ones. Utah is a beautiful state and it always makes me wish I lived there or in CO. Being such an outdoorsy person, I need to live somewhere that the land invites and promotes the kind of things I like to do and UT and CO are just that type of place.
This was a guys trip and it was Brian's first time in snow. He caught onto skiing right away and we all had a great time. We were able to hit Snow Basin, Brighton for two days, and finished up at Powder Mountain which was absolutely amazing! Powder Mountain is probably the best kept secret in the skiing world. Still relatively cheap lift tickets and has the largest land area for skiing in the United States. Yes, even bigger than Vail according to one of the mountain hosts.
Pics will follow soon!
Even though the legs got a decent workout while skiing, the rest of me went to mush. I drank WAYYY too much and ate all the wrong things so I'll have to work really hard to get it back into shape to resume my quest to get back into competitive form. Hopefully it won't take too long.