Saturday, July 31, 2010

Finding Inspiration

Do you have difficulty with this, too? I mean, aside from the whole:
It's good for me.
Running might be bad for my knees, but NOT running is bad for ALL of me.
I want to be fit and healthy.
It gives me some "me" time.
It gives my family a break.
A family that plays together, stays together.
Bucket List.
Ad infinitum....
Do you struggle? I do. Sure, I can (and have) signed up for races (both virtual and real) to motivate me. That works for me, usually. But then, if there aren't any races going on, or ones that have kinda soured, what do you do? For me, it takes something special, something i can sink my teeth into to get me outta the comfy bed in the morning.
Exhibit A: RNR Las Vegas. I mean, if you are able to run this, in this town, wouldn't THAT get you outta bed? Me, too. But alas, it isn't as simple as that for me.
Exhibit B:
OPSEC prevents me from going into any details, but someone close to me has someone far away from us. That, in itself, sucks. Given that this person is in a less-than-friendly-place sucks even more (and I don't mean South Central LA (HOLLA!)). Said person has signed up to run RNRLV with said person's father. The hope here is that said person (let's just name this person, shall we? How about SuperFly? Done.) The hope here is that SuperFly will be home in time for this.
I am travelling to LV, NV in about a week for a week's worth of conferences for my new job. Now, I am NOT a stick-in-the-mud (honest!), but being in LVNV without my wife just doesn't seem to be much fun. I will admit to being a bit (just a bit...) of a wallflower in regular social situations, so I don't really see myself as mingling well with others on the conference. So what am I to do? I figured that I would run early every day so that I would be tired at night (and try to keep to an East Coast sleep/wake schedule). Sounds reasonable. And BO-RING. Then SuperFly had a great idea: PRE-RUN the course for him. WHAT? yep. I tell ya, SuperFly is clearly and out-of-the-box thinker.
When I went to the race's website last week, they still hadn't posted the course map. What, is it some sort of National Secret? I mean, why NOT post the route? So I sent them an email, lightly detailing (?) why I wanted to know the course, or could some one FROM rnrlv be available to run it with me?
No. They cannot. again...WHAT?
Their suggestion was that I join them on FB and see if anyone wanted to run with me while I was there. Sorry, but I don't need someone just to keep me company for 2 hours. I need a GUIDE to run with me for 2 hours.
Today, though, @mizfitonline sent out a tweet about the race. So i replied, asking if she knew anyone out there who could help. I mean, how cool is THAT? (very). I am also asking here. If you or someone who you know is willing to meet me in Vegas some early morning (like 0400) to go for a run along either the new course (if it is available) or an OLD course that you already know, please comment here or tweet me (@boutdrz) and let me know. I will be in LV from the 9th-13th.
Muchos grassy-ass.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

TTT, evening edition

instead of Three, it will just be Thankful Thing Thursday...

Our house didn't burn down today.

Unfortunately, one of our 'daycare families' wasn't so fortunate. No one was home when fire consumed the "two stories plus a full attic" home in the Hartford/West Hartford/Norwich area. According to the Dad, "the tallest part of the house now is a portion of a wall from the first floor. We lost everything, and I mean everything."


My wife, upon hearing the news, immediately sprang to action, lining up people to help gather clothing and such for the kids. Everyone has been wonderful in their support. She'll be organizing a 'drive' of sorts soon, I am sure, once the family is able to wrap their heads around needs and such.

Have any of you ever faced such a tragedy? If so, what did you find to be the biggest 'help'?

A plug, and how you can 'sponsor' me

Were you GLUED to your TV over the past weeks, watching Le Tour? My wife and I were, to be sure. If so, you no doubt saw the countless RoadID adverts. I think that they were nicely done and informative. I have had mine for almost 2 years. I keep it attached to my back pack when I am not wearing it, and have finally gotten pretty good about wearing it every time I go out for a run.
You should, too.
Don't have one yet? What are you waiting for? Let me give you Ten Reasons to get one NOW, as provided by the RoadID web site:
1. If you can’t speak for yourself, Road ID will speak for you.
2. Road ID enables First Responders to immediately contact family members and friends.
3. Road ID enables family members to provide additional details about your health or give consent for potentially life saving procedures.
4. Road ID enables hospital staff to locate vital medical records.
5. Road ID can communicate medical conditions or allergy information to medical staff.
6. Road ID can prevent serious delays in treatment by saving crucial time during the “golden hour” of medical treatment.
7. It’s far better to have Road ID and not need it than to need Road ID and not have it. It’s not just a piece of gear, it’s peace of mind.
8. Accidents happen far more than you think they do. Each year approximately 450,000 of us are taken to hospitals unconscious and without identification.
9. Road ID looks good on and makes a statement about your athletic lifestyle – not to mention that studies would probably prove that people that wear Road ID are considerably smarter than those that don’t.
10. Road ID can save your Life. Period.

As many of you know, I am an RN, with previous experience working as an EMT along the North Shore, near Boston, MA. In my career, I have been involved in far too many cases where we as medical professionals were at disadvantage while trying to treat injured athletes.

Please don't be one of 'them'.

Here's reason # Eleven to get your RoadID now: I recently ordered a hat, and they were gracious enough to pass along a coupon for me to pass along to you. When you place your order, use this code ThanksGene814305 to save $1 off of your order. ONE DOLLAR. Big deal, you say? well, considering that their shipping cost to US and Canada is ONLY $1.49, this means that you can get your product shipped directly to you for only FORTY-NINE CENTS.

How cool is that? (very. and with the weather we've been having, we could ALL use a little cool.) So click on the link on the right side of my blog and start giving you and your loved ones some peace of mind.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Virtual Reality

And I don't mean the kind from Tron, but I am not far off...
I want to take a moment here to give a shout out (HOLLA!) to my Virtual Friends online. For the record, you almost outnumber my real friends. Just sayin'.
At any rate, these past few days have really stunk for me, as you know. One of my new buddies, Jeff, jumped in and 'challenged' me to go for a run Tuesday morning, with the promise that he would do the same. And we did. I was just coming off of a night shift, and that meant that when i started the run just after 8, I had been awake for 27 hours. Lemme tell you, the legs were heavy this morning! That, coupled with my traditional GI (gastrointestinal) issues when i get stressed, made for a good run. Jeff challenged me to 20-30 minutes, and I did well to get in 2.8 miles in 24:29. Good times. Thank you, Jeff, for giving me the kick in the ass that I need.
Jeff has pretty neat "virtual" contest going on at his blog. Check it out here.

Another "virtual" pal is Neil. He hails from the Great White North (Beauty, eh?), and has recently dabbled in the art of 'being there', which for him manifests as snapping photos of police take-downs or strange weather occurances. Good back and forth chat with Neil. He's on a mission to become a barefoot runner, and has started a running group that has become more of a success than the one that he used to belong to before things got ugly. A real "lemonade from lemons" story.

I'd go on and on, but basically check out the peeps listed over there to the right. Besides my wife T, I have them to thank for not letting me turn into one of these:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

what a difference

a day makes. as you can see from my last post, i have not been in a good spot mentally nor emotionally for a few days. this happens to me in cycles, and happens more often than it should. i.will.get.better.
enough about me. oh, wait. my blog. it is ALL about me. so here we go....
I am at work now, sitting beside my patient, watching (listening to) rerun of last night's Red Sox v. Angel's game. All is as well as it is going to get with him, unfortunately. I have been doing this long enough to not be jaded; i still count my 'blessings' when i take care of patients in the ICU.
I was still in a 'funk' when i got home tonight, and really, really wanted to go for a run when T got back from her chiro appointment. I had my water lined up, knew right where my sneakers were, etc. etc.
While T was gone, i watched the kiddos play in the back yard, in the 'park' that T and I created for their enjoyment. And they were enjoying it. Even at the end of (for them) a very long day (keep in mind that the oldest is our 4 year old), they were still enthusiastically riding up and down the 'paver path', going up and down the slide, running up and down the hill to the club house/shed/scary place with spiders. Over and over. and they were LAUGHING.
so that was interesting. i couldn't sit there every DAY like my wife does and watch it, but it was interesting for the half hour i did it.
and then my beautiful bride came home. her head is full of all kindsa Important Things, and she is very Concerned about This and That lately. I don't know how she keeps it all together. and she still LAUGHS.
then T asked if I had gotten a text message from M, which I hadn't. Seems as though he had forgotten his wallet at home, and was in need of 'rescue'. I must admit that my first reaction was, "sorry, man. been there, done that, it soooo sucks. oh well." but then Reason and Wisdom kicked in (who invited them?), and i rummaged through his room to find the wallet (which was conspicuously located in plain sight near his pillow). I jumped in LC (our Explorer Sportrak, who I call LC for Lewis and Clark (also explorers)) and headed to Hanover. I still wanted to run. BADLY. I was 'this close' to going back inside to get my gear but didn't. I am not sure why. Probably some feeling of me not 'deserving' to go on a run (yeah. i have issues with things like that), and so i just jumped in, plugged into my mp3 player, and sped off calmly drove out of the neighborhood.
When i got to the "Nug", i half expected M to be less than thankful. To my wonderful surprise, he was very happy and thankful to see me. I nearly fell over. We chit-chatted a bit, he thanked me again, and off i went.

On the way home i realized that i didn't feel the 'need' to go running anymore. what i DID feel was 'needed'. Oddly, that little interaction with M made me feel necessary. Does that make sense? I am not sure. I mean, there are bunches of other times where i am needed. opening jars, reaching things on top shelves, moving dirt, etc., but this one kinda clicked.

when i got home, B was, well, to be honest, just being a 4 year old, but i was tired, and knew that i had to go to work in a few hours, and just didn't have the patience/tolerance/energy that he 'needed'. in fairness, i wasn't all that fair to him. i mean, we played around for a bit, the way Dads and little boys do, but when i was done, he was still revved up and ready to go. bed time was a near disaster again. gotta figure out some routine. anyway.....

so i feel better today (mind you, i have been awake for nearly 22 hours), and i feel better ABOUT today. so let's see. a commenter for my last post challenged me to get out for a run Tuesday morning, so I brought my stuff to work (am actually wearing my running shorts under my scrubs!), and will be headed out right after shift change.

life will be good. i can feel it.

thank you for reading to the end, and i will have a better, more up beat posting later in the day. be well.

Monday, July 26, 2010

new banner picture

***warning. not much about running here***

The last one, of me actually RUNNING, was taken at the finish line of a hill climb race about a year ago.
Today, I posted the picture of the brick wall. NOT because I am doing brick workouts, and NOT because I feel like I run until I hit the wall.
Rather, I post the picture to represent the wall that I am eternally (internally?) banging my head against. I read once (and then reread many times) that the definition of insanity can be put like this, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results", or something along those lines. My apologies if I botched it up really bad, but I am sure that the message is still there.
I am a pro at this head banging thing. If only I could figure out a better way.

Today, while at work, I overheard some other nurses talking, and this word "ANHEDONIA" popped out, as if to say, "Hey! Gene! Look me up!" So I did. On webmd, next to the definition of the word, was a picture of me. (If you go there now to verify, you will be disappointed. I have since had my people contact their people, and after threatening them with copyright infringment, they removed the picture. Now I think they have a picture of a slug or something, but the caption still reads "Gene, a textbook example." I kid. It doesn't really say that. But it could.
Here is an open apology to my family for the way I am behaving lately. You don't deserve it. You deserve a husband/father/step father who is vibrant, full of energy, forgiveness, good ideas, and positive vibes. Instead, you have me.
For this, I am deeply sorry.
I write this at the risk of losing my 'followers', but I can assure you that I will be back to writing about running soon. Maybe as early as tonight. I am back to work tonight, and for two more nights after that.
Thank you for tolerating my mood today.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fun Photo(s) Friday

Today's version of FFF is going to be a bit different. I am not going to post pictures from odd sites (well...lemme reconsider that. read on, and you might understand) around the web, but rather I am going to post pictures of people who I know stalk  follow who make me laugh, as well as one of someone who I actually KNOW who makes me laugh and/or shake my fist head on a daily basis. You decide who is who....
I offer:
Adam over at The Boring Runner. He's very funny, very personable, and soon to be a Dad. Congrats, Adam. May your little one NOT walk in on you like this someday (foreshadowing...this WILL happen, regularly....) btw, click on the picture to see his reading material. to see a review, head over to his blog. he cracks me up.

Along the same lines, is this guy. Steve is a photographer by trade, wed to a pharmacist (better living through pharmacology, i always say!), a triathlete, and all around goof ball seemingly good guy. He's done some yard work at home, like me, and seems to have a bit of a flair for the dramatic, especially where his bike is concerned. Turquoise? (he claims "sea foam", but.......) I present to you  "Goldielocks". Must be quite a bike, as he has her fenced in and all that.
Here he is, pre race. Or not. Could just be a shot from any day of the week. I wouldn't put it past him to just pop into a random blue house and take a picture. (Hey, that might be a good idea for a photo essay...hmmm.) Ok, for reals, he 'must' be at a race (note markings on his arm).

Beth. What can I say about Beth? How about "holy crap!" Don't take offense.....just go see her blog, read a bit, and you'll understand. Seems though there is a wave of YOGA going around. I have been vaccinated, so I am sure that I am pretty safe.
And lastly, but certainly not leastly, is this guy. I warn you, his mood, manner, and mayhem are infectious. Love you, B-man.
(disclaimer: all photos (except the last one) were pulled from their respective blogger's sites. If you (the blogger) would like me to remove the pictures, please let me know. no offense was intended. also, no animals were harmed in the making of this blog post.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am at work, so I'll just cut to the chase here...
I am thankful for:
1) my wife. not just being a sap here, but i really am. she runs the show very nicely at home, and i often struggle to keep up with her. somedays i can, some days, well, i just try like the dickens. i am thankful that she puts up with me.
2) sod. for the better part of a year, our backyard has looked like this:(minus the apartment building and other industrial looking stuff). I have been struggling (and my wife suffering) to make it look better, both for our family and for the daycare kiddos. lots of sweat, swearing, and some blood went into it, and now it looks (almost) like this:

 tonight, after work, I am going to pick up 70 rolls of 2' x 5' sod. once they are all home, and the rugrats cherubs have returned to their homes, T and I will be unrolling them around the yard, with the idea that it will look like this before we go to bed tonight:

 3) i am thankful that tomorrow is Friday. I am off this weekend, and it will be nice to hang out at home, in our new park. A limited number of tickets are still available for the super slide and airplane teeter-totter, so leave a comment if you are interested!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


as runners, we all know (big assumption here, but...) what it means to be chicked, right?
well, it just happened to me,  and i wasn't even running. go see a much better review of AudioFuel's Pyramid 180 Max session over at jogblog. Heck, even if it wasn't a review, it would make a nice short story.
I have been chicked.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trail Run today!

This afternoon i grabbed a buncha water, a liter of NUUN, and my trail shoes and headed out to Hanover, NH, to run along the Appalachian Trail. I usually run on the Vermont side, but today I wanted to shake things up a bit.

I readily found the trail head, nicely tucked behind the soccer practice fields
for Dartmouth College.
(why did blogger mess up my formating???) anyway.....
looking at the woods from the road, the hill is nothing to get excited about. soon as the trail ducked into the treeline, it went up. i mean UP. and then up some more. a met two middle aged women on their way down, and they kinda gave me a crazy look (i have that effect on most people). i stopped to catch my breath and debate with myself about heading back down and just doing laps around the soccer field, but i trudged on. the trail mostly looked like this.....i was trying to keep up the old addage "run when you can, walk if you need to, crawl if you have to, but never, never stop". well..... i did stop, and not just to take pictures. i was getting my butt kicked on the ups. downs were find, flats were good, but the ups were mad! one of them has a ROPE with knots tied to a tree so that you can lug yer sorry carcass up. no joke. here's the picture. when i first looked at the picture, it looks FLAT. isn't. on the way back, i had to use it to get down. honest.
anyway, i kept running, thinking that i was making pretty good progress. i checked  in with Teri (Garmin), only to find out that she was on a smoke break not tracking.  anything. she was still back....i dunno where, but NOT with me. when i look at the map she produced, it is if i was teleported along the trail. i HATE IT when this happens. i made sure that she was doing her damned job working properly, and ran along. things were going great, i was drinking at fairly regular intervals, and was able to take in the sights. i never knew that there were so many rocky cliffs 'back there.' if i was still into bouldering, it would be a fantastic place to spend a day. the trail started to level out, and my knees were happy. through the trees i could see a large open area, but couldn't see it very well. the trail turned toward it, and BAM! suddenly there was a wooden walkway going through a marsh. Cat-tails and such were about 8 feet tall. i trusted the bridge, and walked to the other side. once there, i looked at the time, and realized that i really needed to turn around and head back. i hadn't reached my goal, which was the road crossing, but my time hack was up, and i turned around. before i walked back across the walkway, I shot this picture.

All in all a great run. Using the accurate data from the return trip, it was a 6 mile out and back. next time i will leave earlier in the day, and be ready for dem dar hills!

another run, another lesson

they say a smart man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
well.....did i mention that i went to public school? in rural Vermont? (graduated with 27 others. be in the "top 10%", you had to be either Valedictorian or Salutatorian. yea. not me. (but i DID finish in the top 10!). but i am already digressing.....
Monday morning (yesterday) found me out and running again, before work. was considering a familiar loop that goes DOWN hill from the house, flat, up a short, steep hill, flat, then long gradual hill (the kind that isn't a hill in a car, but IS when you run. first time i ran it, i was like, what? who put this hill here?), then short, steep up, then short, steep down. about 4 miles.
but instead i went UP to begin, then a series of short, steep up and downs for 2 miles, longish slight downhill for almost a mile, then steep up up, flat, down, long steep up, short steep down, then home. (those of you raised Catholic may feel the urge to make the Sign of the Cross now. feel free. i have basically described your actions during Mass. (sorry, Mom, no offense!) Amen.)
so, it turned into a 4.8 mile slug-fest with a side of hills. i also experimented with water. or rather, withOUT water. i didn't drink anything before i went out, nor did i eat. i didn't take a bottle with me. when i got home, i showered and got ready for work. popped a Clif Shot Blok, dropped some NUUN into a water bottle, and went to work. about an hour later i was still exothermic. big time. so i drank more. then some coffee. then some more water.
cue the massive headache. throbbing. from temple to temple. can't shake it. banana. nope. cranberry juice (whoops! diabetic variety, "be back in a minute!") still no relief. it was nearly 2 pm before i could shake it. and i was still pouring off heat like a mad person.
so tomorrow (today) when I run, i will pre-hydrate. and take water and NUUN on the run. and have some in the truck for when i get back. and a banana.

 (thank you, Lisa, for embedding this in my pea brain forever.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Back in the saddle, + another AudioFuel review

Yesterday morning i dragged myself out of bed and went for a nice run. Actually, a very nice run. just warm and muggy enough for me to start sweating about a mile into it, but also breezy enough to be refreshing.
I decided to take AudioFuel's Pyramid 180max track out for a test. I think that the last time i tried it, it kinda kicked my butt. Yesterday, i ran for a mile as a warm up, then turned on the tunes.
Surprisingly, given the undulating (mostly UP) terrain, I managed to get all the way through the sprints, and didn't walk any of the in between spots. the pace was a bit slow, especially on the up hills, but the effort was there for sure. the intervals go like this:
5 minute warm up
30 seconds at around 170 BPM
recovery interval (30 seconds?)
45 seconds around 172/175
recovery to match
60 seconds 175/178
75 seconds at 180 bpm....i think. i THINK it peaks at 75 seconds, but not sure if that is where the 180 max comes it.
then it goes back down the pyramid, finishing with a nice 5 minute cool down. voice overs give you plenty of time to psyche yourself up for the sprints, and encourages you along during the sprints.
If you are looking for some good 'guidance' for an interval workout (this one lasts about 20 minutes or so) and don't run with some one, I highly recommend this track from AudioFuel. I am not sure if it on their site yet, but feel free to drop them a line. Tell them Gene sent you!
(disclaimer: i don't get ANY kickbacks from AudioFuel. i just really like the product, the company, and the folks who 'run' the show over there.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fun Photo Friday

Ever have one of these days???
I hope that today isn't one of them.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Faux pas

as I am not overly observant (really? are you surprised?), i managed to miss another blogger who lists Accountability on his blog roll. A few weeks ago I blogged (new verb. see how i try to include things like that? i try very hard, though, NOT to use 'text' as a verb. or 'quote' as a noun) that I had 'arrived' because another blogger has me listed on his blog roll.
tonight i noticed another one. i don't know when Neil put me up, but there I am.....tucked in nicely on the right side of his blog. Interestingly, he most recent post (as of this post) includes a list of sponsors that he would like to..well....sponsor him. (ok, fine. my 'command' of English isn't as great as I would like to think. That, or I am just suffering from some sleep dep. It is 0125.) I seem to recall having done something like that a while back, too.....(cue wavy lines a la Scooby-Do and Wayne's World), after I finished well in a 'race'. I like Neil's list more, though, as it is very detailed. I can't seem to post a comment from work, but if i could, I would ask him to contact me via email (hint)....I may have some of the items on his list. Who knows, I may even get my name tattooed somewhere on his body......ahahahahahaaah.......if i can't HAVE a tattoo, mebbe i can BE a tattoo. "da Plaaaaane. da Plaaaaane."
so if you are so inclined (and i KNOW you are) to read some fun entries about running and other people's lives, check him out. Neil is a good egg. His wife shares a name with my wife, but since they spell it differently, they can both use it at the same time. oh, and if you like what you see, egg him on (what is it with my sudden obsession with ova?) and he might tell us how he got kicked out of the Running Room. (I don't know exactly what that is. Maybe some Canadian version of the Last Mile Lounge. But i doubt it.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

yes, i have been on vacation.

and a lot has happened. but let's brush all of that aside for now. I need some feedback. I entered a contest (giveaway) on a blog (sorry, ain't gonna tell you which will only decrease my chances of winning! duh), and you have to plead your case as to why you should win the SWAG. not schwag. SWAG (for those of you not in the know, SWAG is Stuff We All Get). is what I wrote. do I sound worthy, at all, or just desperate? lemme know. I can take it.....

when i graduated from HS in 1986, i soon headed for a year in northcentral Japan as an exchange student. it was there that i discovered Pocari Sweat. While I was there, I listened to "friends" instead of my heart, and broke the Heart of the Love of my Life. FFWD 10 years, I am back in Japan, hanging with old buddies, mountain biking around temples and rivers and such, once again enjoying PS for 3 months. Back in the Dad was selected as one of the rifle coaches for the US Biathlon team for the Nagano Olympics. He asked what I wanted as an 'omiage". Simple. Pocari Sweat (see, we live in Vermont, and can't get it here). BAM! he brought back a coupla bags and a small can. YUM!. FFWD (again) to 2003, and after 18 years, my old Flame and I are reunited (thank you, Classmatesdotcom!). in 2005 we wed. best thing i ever did. in 2008 i started running again, but can't stomach "Hatorade". switched to NUUN, PINING for Pocari Sweat. This year, I found your blog.
And you have Pocari Sweat up for grabs. Helllloooooooo FATE! Runner's pack, please~!
ok, FINE. now that you've (thankfully) read through that, here is a picture of the swag....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010