Friday, April 30, 2010

3 Things Thursday

hmmmm, i have my sister joining in on this fun, too, and every TTT she sends me a text with her 3. good times!
Even though ttt has passed, and I am late, here are my 3 for the week:
1) a son who prefers NUUN over gatorade. tie this one in with another who prefers G-2 over soda, and yet another who would rather drink FUZE over anything else. sure, they indulge in the rare cola beverage, but most of the time it is berry-juice, milk, water, or the above mentioned drinks. WIN! (kudos to Tracey here, too. her bevie of choice is coffee with Vanilla Nut creamer.)
2)  good feeling when i realize that one of my opinions is validated by people in the know. recently i did a blog post about milk. i think i received more comments on that one (including the ones on FB) than any other posting so far. nice! conversationsn prompted me to be reading...uummmm......DAMMIT, what is the name of that book.....OH! "food revolution" by John Robbins. totally validated. WIN!
3) my lofty running goals. 2 half marathons this summer, a full marathon this fall, and a few others sprinkled in between. in the spirit of 'right place, right time', i am participating in a fun race with some folks from England. a while back i won a giveaway from ncrunnerdude for audio products from AudioFuel which i reviewed here. To save you the time, I really like their product. I like house/techno music, and i like to run to music, so WIN/WIN! ANYWAY........i was on the Devil's Playground Facebook a few days back, and AF announced that they were looking at having a race to see who could run the farthest while listening to the same 25 minute sound track. A dozen or so of us jumped on board, and today (yesterday) I downloaded my track.  should be a great time!

so there you have them, my TTT for this week. cheers!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fun Foto Friday!!!

with all the talk amoung runners regarding their bowels, I wanted to post this one so that we can feel better that other athletes have this 'problem', too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Virtual Half Marathon Race Report

Will the Real Gene Soboleski please stand up?
I hadn't really been planning a race for this early in the season (lie) so I wasn't really at a good point in my training cycle, but since Jamoosh tossed it out there, I decided that I would revamp my training plan so that I would peak for the Virtual Half Marathon.
What? Is this some kind of joke? I needed details, man. Details.
Q:When is the race? A: report had to be submitted by 4-23. check.
Q:What is the entry fee? A: my soul. count me in.
Q:What is the prize? A: Last Mile Brewery Shirt. HEEEELLLLLLLL YEA. "Dude, I am so in!"
A quick glance at the rules indicated that some guy named Gene Soboleski was to be given a 3 point head start. Huh? Another glance down at my ID badge revealed that MY NAME is Gene Soboleski. COULD THIS BE TRUE???? A: yes.
As my buddy Carman says, "kickaaas." Which is what I did. Please allow me the indulgence of
my race report......
Race day for me fell on a beatutiful fall saturday here in New England. I decided to warm up by doing a quick run to the top of the ridge behind my childhood home. The route follows a logging road that was there when we moved in, but had been further beaten down by our antique tractor, my dad's motorcycle, and my feet. A well worn path to just about the top; as familiar to me as the scars on my feet from countless blisters. (I really should invest in some socks from injinji). The crunch of the leaves underfoot, the sounds of the geese flying south overhead, and the sweet smell of maple logs in the wood stove were almost enough to make me just run around the woods and call it a race. But as our local bard once said, "But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep". (That would be Robert Frost).
At the airport I did some quick stretches and hydrated well with water and NUUN (see, even though they haven't come through on the sponsor deal yet, I am still not afraid to name drop. That's how I roll.) before I jumped a plane to Washington state for the first leg of my run. There is a blogger out west who has been a great inspiration to me and several other runners, and I just couldn't wait to do a few miles with her. She is a tall one, though, and my short stature would mean that my turnover would have to be insanely fast just to keep up with her. But keep up I did. She took me along some of her fave routes and gave me some really good pointers. I especially liked her advice about trying out a running skirt. hmmmmm.....But time was marching on, and I had only done 3 miles! Off I went, into the wild blue yonder....
To run in Alaska. Sounds silly, I know, but I also get some pretty good inspiration and vibes from this young-in up there named Jill. She is mostly a distance cyclist who loves
spending time cruising the snowy roads and trails on her bike Pugsly.  She attempted to ride the Iditabike Race on her bike (twice), and her heartbreaking story can be found in her blog archive. She does well out on her own, and I sometimes think of her tribulations when I am running. Miles 4-6 passed relatively uneventfully, except for the occasional bald eagle, mynx, and lost vagabond in a school bus....the air was clear, cold, and crisp. Reminded me of a nicely chilled pint glass waiting to be filled with some beer from the Last Mile Brewery. But I digress. I tend to do that after the first part of a race.

On my way back east I stopped in the lovely state of  Colorado to run a few miles with Beth. Her sense of humor and propensity to write about bodily functions made running with her something I just couldn't pass up. I had asked if she could pace me a few miles, as I wanted to do better in this race than in my last race. If you recall, in the last race I ran for an online event, I came in 10th in the world. I know, I know. I was surprised, too.  Beth, of course, was more than up to the challenge, as long as the route was secluded enough that should nature call......I agreed, and came well prepared with TP. Turns out we didn't need it, as her blistering 5:20 pace didn't leave enough time for our bowels to revolt before we finished at Starbuck's where I said, "I'll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon." And NOOOOObody got it. Losers. Jeeze.

Leaving the altitudes of AK and CO, running in North Carolina was a break I was looking forward to. Little did I know that my pacer for this leg, Thad  had something else in store for me. Seems there's a little race near the coast called the "Killer Dunes 2-Mile Footrace". Last year my family was on vacation there, and I missed the race dates by a month. Thad was more than happy to run me along the sand dunes. Have you ever tried to run in a pile of talcum powder? (Aside: if talcum powder comes from talc, where does baby powder come from?) Well, running in the dunes is probably a LOT like running in talcum powder. If I had decided to do my entire race there, it could very well have been called the "Half Marathon de Sables" (my apologies and utmost respect to those who have run in the REAL Marathon des Sables A quick dip in the waters of the OBX and I was ready for the final two legs of my race!

Since I was headed north and back to home, and since it was (now, anyway) the week after the Boston Marathon, I decided to swing into Bean Town and hang with Ryan and Meb. Here are their pictures, in case you don't recognize the names. 

Oh, and their idea of HANG was to do fartleks up and down Heartbreak Hill. Let me tell you, I felt like I was in the final scenes of Heartbreak Ridge. The boys were decent enough to share their masseuse with me, and I managed to hobble my way back to my car, ready and eager to get this race over with.
As with all good things, this race must come to an end (thank GOD). But this one wasn't going down without me running through the finish tape with my family. My wife, Tracey, our 3 boys, my sister, her husband, and their son all downed some good hydration, chomped on some shotbloks (or just Scooby Doo gummies?) and headed off on the final leg. We picked one with a gentle downward slope with a strong tail wind. we traded our shoes for slippers made of kool-whip, so as not to damage the surface of the course. To our specifications, the last 1.1 miles of the course were to be covered with Ben and Jerry's ice cream. It was the most glorious thing I have seen in a long time. We stopped every now and again to eat, often
forgetting that we were in a race. The family was so happy to be together, all sharing something that they liked. My wife sprinted ahead, but ducked under the tape so that I could be the one to break it. I busted through and fell into her arms. My legs were jello, my arms were covered in Chubby Hubby ice cream, and my heart was full of joy.

My only comment about the race organizer is this:
Jamoosh executed his Race Director duties brilliantly.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This is NOT the BM review you have been looking for....

yet. but i do have pictures. I will be posting later tonight, so try back tomorrow. If I haven't done it yet, keep in mind that I am working nights starting tomorrow, and will most likely be able to catch up then.
until that is a little teaser......

Friday, April 16, 2010

Funny Photo Friday

As we head into this most Sacred of Weekends (I'll just sit here and wait for the lightening bolt), I leave you with this photo.

demotivational poster
see more

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Three Things Thursday

With apologies to Weeb, I am renaming Thursdays, if only for the blogosphere!

1) speaking sister (Weeb) and I have names for the days of the week. Typically it is a daily race to see who can send a text first to wish a Happy Two-fer Tuesday or a Thirsty Thursday, etc. I look forward to those messages probably more than she knows.

2) I am eternally grateful to my wife, Tracey. For more 'schmoopy-ness' go here. (credit for 'schmoopy' belongs to Red.)

3) I am also grateful to M and Z. I don't tell them things like this often enough, and I blame my 'wiring' for this. Shoulda named me 'Bob'. Might have been easier for M and Z. My apologies, boys, and my Love.

ok, i dunno what possessed me to have my first ever 3 things thursday be so sappy, but there you have it. i will be back, soon, with my usual sarcasm, opinions, and tales of running. i hope.

Have a great Thirsty Thursday! (today, it is NUUN for me. Lemon-Lime).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Milk is good for you,

IF you are a baby cow."
Alright. Quitcher-bitchen. If any of you readers are dairy farmers or pay your bills thanks to the consumers of dairy products, I apologize for this posting. But if you put can put your $$ based bias aside, please read this and enter a comment below. In a way, I AM trying to stir up debate, and in another, I am not. I just need to get this off my chest.
(Why do men have nipples?) No, that isn't it. But it is related. Kinda. Whatevs.
If you live in America, you have NO DOUBT seen ads in print and on TV like this one:

(As an aside, except for the obligatory cleavage shot (milk?), she kinda looks like a dude in a wig in this shot, doesn't she??)
Anyway, point is, these ads are everywhere. Why? (hang on here while i do some research and MATH).
Because in 2004 (these were the most recent, complete stats i could find), the sale of milk (not milk PRODUCTS, just liquid milk) was nearly $67.38 BILLION. yep. $67,382,000,000. WOW. I suppose that if I were in an industry that raked in that kind of dough, I would be peddling it like snake oil, too. I mean, seriously. According to the cartel's  Got Milk website, milk "Milk provides 9 essential nutrients your whole family needs, including calcium and vitamin D for strong bones, high-quality protein for lean muscles." Also from the site, "The recommended 3 glasses of lowfat or fat free milk each day helps supply calcium, vitamin D and a host of other essential nutrients -- including many of the nutrients that Americans frequently lack like potassium, magnesium and vitamin A." Note how it specifically says AMERICANS, as opposed to PEOPLE. Probably because people from other countries (where the dairy cartel  industry isn't as influential important) get their 9 essential nutrients from other sources.
Here is a brief exerpt from an article published online by the Harvard School of Public Health. Yes. Harvard. As in "I pahked my cah in Hahvid Yahd." Where was I? oh, the exerpt. Please forgive me. I started writing this at 2am.
To quote: "Calcium-rich non-dairy foods include leafy green vegetables and broccoli, both of which are also great sources of vitamin K, another key nutrient for bone health. Beans and tofu can also supply calcium."
And another thing. Milk is often (always? I dunno) fortified with Vitamin A. Too much of it is not a good thing. "Be careful about getting too much retinol (vitamin A). Don’t go overboard on fortified milk, energy bars, and breakfast cereals, all of which can be high in bone-weakening vitamin A. Many multivitamin makers have removed much or all retinol and replaced it with beta-carotene, which does not harm bones."
Hmmm...."Drink our milk to get strong bones, to which we've added Vitamin A." Do you see the set up for a perpetual 'need' cycle, or do i have to map it out? No? whew........thank you.
And the Vitamin D? I'll get mine for FREE, thank you very much, from the SUN. Perhaps you've heard of it? For those of you living in Ohio, here is a reminder of what it looks like (har har har):

Yes, just 15 minutes a day, 3 days a week, provides MOST people with the required amount of Vit. D. Give it a try. Go for a walk. Do some gardening. Lounge. Bask. Soak up some FREE Vitamin D.
I guess that my biggest complaint is that the consumption of milk is being crammed down our throats by the industry. The other complaint is that we are lead to believe that it is ESSENTIAL to consume diary products. HA. It is, I am willing to bet, essential, if you are a baby COW. Huh? Yep. I said it again.
Humans are the only species on the PLANET, to my knowledge, that make a point to consume the product of mammary glands from a COMPLETELY UNRELATED SPECIES, (and call it essential). What the heck is THAT all about?
And then, because we can, we label people who can't handle the impact of this unrelated specie's milk on our digestive systems as lactose intolerant. And this is a BAD thing? Ummm...seems like it is biologically ACCURATE and appropriate. Unless you are in the drug industry.
To wit, there are many, many products available for purchase that will allow you to purchase and enjoy dairy. Keep those dollars coming from both faucets! Nice.
In short, if it isn't too late, our wallets are the real things being milked. I encourage you to find alternatives to milk for your "9 essential nutrients". Try the produce department. And the backyard. Just sayin'.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

On your marks, get set......

Virtual Race. Jamoosh, in his Infinite Wisdom, has outdone himself again. As quite possibly the BEST Race Director on the Planet (koozbane), Jamoosh has come up with a fab-tabulous idea for a race.
Head on over to his Virtual Home Away From Home to check it all out. For a direct link to the race information and rules click here.
As you can see from his rules, I have been given a 3 point head start. For this, I am EXTREMELY greatful. And fearful. I kinda feel like this:

So while all of the other competitors are racking their noggins for a good story to tell, I will be dodging their literary missiles. Maybe I'll be able to come up with some of my own. Now please forgive me while I go read up on some other race reports to help get me in the spirit. I am sure to have some Running Porn Runner's World or Running Times kicking around somewhere (all over the hope chest next to our bed!!!). I swear I only look at them for the articles.