Friday, August 19, 2011

Random Facts Friday (BAM!)

in keeping with my buddy Red, I am stealing Katie's meme and doing a Random Friday Facts...BUT, as Red pointed out, it should be Random Facts Friday, as not all of the facts are about Friday.....
So here you go:

1. the human head weighs 8 pounds. (well, not actually)
2. i often carry my back pack from home to work and back again without ever opening it. this could go on for days. the only thing i 'really' need it for is a standardized place to put my ID badge.
3. i recently discovered Edith Piaf on Pandora. i find her music pleasant to work by.
4. this halloween will be 4 years since i have had candy. and NO, chocolate chips in ice cream don't count.
5. the Chinese character that the Japanese use for Friday is the same one they use for Gold. and friday is usually pay day.
6. i love maps. i could have a room wall-papered with them and get lost for hours. days. i also have an incredibly keen sense of direction and rarely get lost, even in strange cities at night (trip home from OBX?)
7. RAN is one of my favourite movies ever.
8. i keep a picture of my Dziadziu (grandfather) on the wall near my desk. He's looking at the camera over his glasses. That picture has helped me get through some ridiculous times and sour moods. I miss him dearly (he's been gone 10+ years).
9. i don't understand why you can't buy glass front fridges for home use.
10. +1, me

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Nooner (not what you think!) #DoBCx !!

A few months back i was introduced to some extreme boot camp exercises that had been created by Bonnie and Steve Pfiester from Longevity Max Fitness Club. They are gym owners in south Florida and really nice folks. I met them during a twitter chat called #Fitstudio. They are very personable, answer questions from us little people, and listen to what we have to say. All that having been said, one thing still remains true:
They love to kick your azz. And I mean that in the best way possible. They’ve developed an Extreme Boot Camp program (you’ll see me tweet with the #DoBCx hashtag) that, for the most part, uses only your body weight against you. Sound easy? Here is a sample of PART of Week One, Day One of BCX Boot Camp over at Sears FitStudio:
Step 2: The Bomb
  1. 20 Alternating Forward Lunges
  2. 20 Squats
  3. 10 Burpees
  4. 1-minute Jump Rope
  5. 20 Alternating Forward Lunges (Reverse in direction)
  6. 20 Jumping Jacks
  7. 10 Burpees
  8. 1-minute Wall-Sit
Complete 3 sets and record your time at the end!
Go ahead, try it. I’ll wait. But just like Towlie says, “don’t forget to bring a towel".
I went through several days of the program, but because I have a tough time sticking to any schedule, I didn’t stay with it the whole time. I should have. At any rate, I am still a big fan of the workouts (especially since they require NO equipment!). Every so often I’ll toss one in there for a cross training day.
So when I saw a tweet last week (?) suggesting that some people give a new program a try, I printed it out and got ready to do just that. It is called “the Nooner'” because it can be done during your lunch hour, or more accurately, during your lunch half hour. Trust me, you’ll need the second half to shower. Holy. Sweat-fest. It is broken out into 3 sections: Thrash it (5 rounds), Hurry Up (1 round), and Happy Ending (5 rounds). The last one is not named accurately, IMHO. It should be called Happy that-it-is-finally Ending. Curious? Here’s the other kicker: all rounds/exercises/happymarchesthroughPurgatory are done for TIME. Yep. Against the clock. Which is kinda cool, actually. You do the workout for the first time and establish a baseline. Then you come back to it a few weeks later to see how much you’ve improved. Pretty cool, and the number comparisons are right up my alley. Alright. Here’s a peek at one of the sections. I’m not going to tell you which one it is….
100 butt kiks 25 sit ups 25 pushups 25 burpees 25 high knees
Go ahead, try it. I’ll wait. Lemme say that the whole thing kicked me to the curb. And except for the FLIPPIN BURPEES (Satan’s Revenge), I loved it. I was dripping with sweat by the middle. How long did it take me? 20:20. Yep. Here’s the link.The Nooner. Enjoy. Let me know how you do!!!!! Seriously. Give it a try. The only thing you have to lose is sweat. If you live in the Vero Beach, FL area, stop by MaxFitness and say hello to Bonnie or Steve. Tell ‘em Gene sent you!
Thanks for stopping by. #nomorebs #noexcuses
Be Well,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hartford's Inaugural 5k, part the second

The Monday before the event the class and I ran what I intended to be the course for the event. Math told me that the start and finish of the out and back would line right up, and so would the 1k/4k marks. TOPOGRAPHY, however, made it so that they didn't. The road is twisty...whoops.
So the day of the event I hopped in the vehicle with my Mom and we re-measured the course, hoping desperately that the place i wanted to start and place i wanted to finish would be a good 'fit' with the place i wanted to turn around. (ya still with me?)
I think it did, within maybe 30 meters? but hey! free event, right? Next year's course will be measured MUCH more accurately. I swear. I had gotten to the parking lot without my chalk, so I called and Mom brought it down. Little did she know, she brought the same colors that are used by another little known race held annualy in Boston....

As people were milling around the registration tent, we took the opportunity to snap this picture of our "team". Here are 6 of the 9 members of the class. One had to leave early for personal reasons, one left early because of an injury (not sustained during the classes), and one was on a scheduled vacation. Why am I not standing up straight? I dunno. I am very happy to say that all of them crossed the finish line with big smiles! I'd post the pictures, but haven't gotten their permission this is all you get for now.
(Back to race day) After the safety brief we all walked up to the start line as a group. There was a young boy talking with his mom, saying that he wasn't sure if he could do it. I said to him, "Man, you've GOT this. 5k is nothing for you! OWN IT." (he did. he ran his little legs off and finished in great form!) We all milled around the start line, making sure traffic was clear, and people were still running up from the registration table, having arrived a bit late...
During the safety brief I told everyone that there wouldn't be a starting gun, just my big mouth yelling "GO". I made sure they were all paying attention and yelled...."GO". They went. Of course, not everyone was paying attention. As you can see, several people started to run on the WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD. We yelled out to them and they promptly moved over. See my Mom in the mauve-ish tank top on the left? The person carrying the pack is my sister, carting around her 2 year old and 2L of water. She's training for an upcoming Army event where she'll have to carry a 35lb ruck sack over some un-Godly distance in heat that would make Mephostopheles ask for an extra serving of swee'tea.  They acted as sweepers on the course, keeping in communication with my Dad at the turn around and me at the finish line. Worked out GREAT!

The first finisher crossed the line in 23:47, the second in 24:13. The second place person was a young woman, and she was upset that she had come in second. I said, "No, you came in first." With a smile she replied, "yea, i LIKE that...."
My sweepers crossed in 51:53. What does this mean? It means that EVERYONE finished in under an hour. I was super psyched! From a personal POV, the ladies who i coached through the summer, the same ones who at the beginning of the summer struggled with 3 consecutive laps of a football field, FINISHED a 5k in less than an hour. I am very happy for these ladies!!!!

In a few posts, I'll write about the whole organization process, lessons learned, and aspirations for next year's event. I already have an inkling that next year's is gonna be much bigger!

Thanks for stopping by again!
Be Well,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hartford, VT Inaugural 5K Fun Run/Walk Event (part ONE)

This past Saturday a vision I had that turned into a dream that turned into action came to fruition as Hartford, VT's Inaugural 5k Fun Run/Walk. Seen here is our registration station, staffed by volunteers from the Friends of Hartford Track organization. What luck it was to have them show up to pitch in!
Before I get into the nitty gritty, I want to take a few lines to thank people who made it possble.
First up, of course, is my wife. I couldn't have done this without her support and putting up with me and my zany ideas, last minute schedule changes, and time spent lost in my head while she keeps the ship afloat. I just wish that she could have been in town for the event. Next year, perhaps!
My parents, sister, and nephew pitched in to help, too. Thanks, guys!
The ladies at Up&Running Online were great with helping me get the class together, and this race was the culmination of a hot summer at the track! Way to go! The class was the first of its kind sponsored by the Hartford Parks and Recreation Department, and was also the first time I had done anything like this. All in all, it was a success!
The generous people at RoadID (see link at right) donated race bibs, fliers, and coupons for participants. It was great to have real race bibs for first timers; added to the legitimacy of what they were doing!
GuEnergy supplied the students with sample packs, and this lead to good discussions about eating, timing, bodily functions, and good laughs. Oh, and of course we enjoyed the products!!!
Don from RSD Companies let us use one of their parking lots for registration and, ummm...parking!
I would also like to thank members of  the online community who offered words of encouragement and tips along the way. #nomorebs #ownit
Ok...the nitty gritty....

Going in to last week, only THREE people had signed up for the event, not including the 6 members of the class who said that they could make it. I gotta tell you, I was very discouraged with these numbers. Still, I was determined to make this the best FREE event that they had ever signed up for, as well as make it memorable for the students. Mid week I met with the Rec Director and others to finalize our list of items and firmed up that I would be picking up some things from them on Friday evening.
Friday I picked up caution signs for the road, cones for one of the bad corners, the PA system (circa 1970), a tent, and some banners. I also learned that nearly 20 people had signed up at the Rec office! My parents and I went to HomeDepot in search of grade stakes for signs, but came up empty. Thankfully I have a tough time throwing away wood scraps, and was able to reuse some that were under our deck. We managed to grab some oranges, and headed home, after a brief stop for an ice cream cone...
Once home, I set my Dad to work filling out the registration lists and my Mom to work getting the bib/registration packets ready while I wandered around the house trying to make sure that I had everything that I needed. (note: this would have been a great time for me to have had a physical LIST....)
After a mostly sleepless night, I set out around 7 to meet up with the Parks/Rec Director to place road signs, the water station at the turn around, and the tent. Sheila and Chris, from the aforementioned Friends of Hartford Track were there to help out as well. They are both runners, so I tasked them with the registration area (which also allowed them to drum up interest for their organization!) My Mom and I went out to remeasure the course and to plant signs at the 1,2,3,4k points. My Dad agreed to man the water station at the turn around, which also meant that he was in charge of traffic control at that end of the course. Lemme tell you, if you want traffic controlled with runner's safety at the top of the requirements, put an Army Command Sergeant Major (Ret.) in charge. No one gets through.....
Mom helped get the admin stuff ready as people started to show up, and she acted as my reassurance that everything was going to work out fine. I kept texting Tracey and sending her pictures, and she expressed happiness for me and wished that she could have been there, too. (+1, me!)
My sister and nephew showed up, having driven 2.5 hours to get there, and we were just about ready to go.
I gathered the participants near the tent and gave a safety brief as well as thanked our supporters and volunteers. (ALWAYS important to thank your volunteers. Always.) A funny thing happened during the briefing that bears mentioning.
Have you ever been to a race where you take off (always too fast!), only to have some dolt drop to his/her knees about 50 yards in, having just realized that their shoe wasn't tied tightly enough? BAM! you stumble, others stumble. yea. I didn't want that to happen, so I encouraged everyone to double check their shoes and their knots. AND THEY DID. It was like they all were jenuflecting in front of me! I almost laughed aloud, but managed not to. Oh, also....remember to put your phone on silent. Yea....right in the middle of it all....>RING RING RING....good times.
Alright...that's enough for now. Tomorrow, the RACE! and some pictures......

Thanks for sticking around.
Be Well,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Back to the woods.

Most of my family is in Baltimore until Sunday. This leaves me plenty of time to do chores to (hopefully) impress my wife, as well as get some running in. As I type, I have a load of laundry in the dryer AND one in the washer. I still have dishes to do, but I will get to them after this.

Tonight, after work, I went for a trail run. The Appalachian Trail comes fairly close to our house, and I’ve been running a section of it for a few years now (not constantly….), and have really come to enjoy this little section of the Trail. I run south, toward Georgia. Typically I turn around at the Happy Hill Shelter and make a nice 10k out of it. Click this link to go to a google map that, if I did it right, will show a mark in the middle of the woods.

During the run out, I snapped a few pics:

IMAG0573IMAG0574the trail goes down and to the left, just beyond those trees. I took this one looking back, having just come up.

This next picture is looking along the direction of travel. Gets flat for a little while at the top, but is never really ‘flat’. Running the ‘out’ portion, there are spots where you think that you are running flat, but when you are on the ‘back’ portion, it is clear that you are running down a dream hill.


IMAG0575At the trail junction, there are several signs. I just came from Elm Street. What a nightmare! I have never run the whole section out and back, but I have run it from w. hartford to norwich. in the snow. it was great! this has got to be one of my favourite places to run.

Back at the trailhead, my efforts are shown on my shirt: I was soaked. shirt, shorts, visor. yep. drenched.IMAG0577now if I could just get rid of that extra skin on my neck.

thanks for hanging with me this evening. mebbe I’ll have more tomorrow. I have been trialing a SPIBELT, so I’d like to share my thoughts…

Be Well,