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June 29, 2007

Photos from Maggie's birthday party now online

070620_Maggie_Bday 064

The Princess Pool Party was a terrific success, and the photos are now online. My favorite was the "Bob for Snow White's poison apples". Really freaked the kids out!

@#$%! Comcast

Internet connectivity has been spotty today. I have been looking at an ASP model point-of-sale solution for my parent's dry cleaners. There is no local caching of data, every time you need info you have to hit their servers. I told them I didn't like that idea for reasons just like today.

Comcast is usually pretty good, but it would take one busy day with limited connectivity like today for a really bad situation.

10 years

Yesterday Karen and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. I am a lucky guy, and I remind myself every day.

June 28, 2007

Drip, drip, drip

By the end of today's track workout John, Mike and I looked like Frosty the Snowman when Professor Hinkle locked him in the greenhouse. After the cooldown when we were standing in the parking lot, it was funny to watch the puddles around our feet grow.

Here's the comparison:.






















The numbers are off again, but as I look back at my logs, at this point last year I had run 77 more miles. The other wildcard is how poor my speed sessions have been the first half of this year as I battled the hip issues. The key is to consistently do the speed sessions.

June 27, 2007

The Fairness Doctrine

So, talk radio skews too far to the Right?

House Republican lawmakers are preparing to fight anticipated Democratic efforts to regulate talk radio by reviving rules requiring stations to balance conservative hosts such as Rush Limbaugh with liberals such as Al Franken.

Hmm. NPR admittedly has a leftward slant, and is partially funded by the federal government. I haven't heard folks on the left complaining about the need to guarantee the diversity of views on NPR. This news is also interesting after reading a recently released report that shows in a survey of 143 journalists, 91% have contributed to a liberal cause.

June 25, 2007

Summer goal

The goal for this summer is to train hard (and not over train!) and break 2:30:00 in the Hammerhead Olympic Triathlon. My Oly tri PR was set at St. Anthony's last year with a time of 2:32:28

Here are the finishing times for past HOTs:
2004 -- 2:50:51
2005 -- 2:49:39
2006 -- 2:37:59

Here are the HOT splits from last year:
Swim -- 34:50
T1 -- 1:31
Bike -- 1:08:37
T2 -- 0:54
Run -- 52:09

The HOT is not the ideal race to target for a PR. The swim is notoriously always long. The bike is pretty flat. In the past, the run included an annoying hill around the 4-mile mark. This year, they have made the run an out and back, and eliminated the first spur. That will put the hill around the 2-mile mark.

As long as the swim isn't crazy long, I think I can break 30:00 this year. Assuming the transitions are the same, that means I need to find a little over 3 mniutes in the bike and the run. Improving the bike average from 21.8 mph to 22.5 mph will save me 2 minutes. All that's left for me to hit the goal is a 51 minute 10k.

So, I need to maintain my bike fitness, start doing intervals in the pool to sharpen the speed now that endurance isn't an issue, and build the running fitness back up now that the hip issues are gone.

It's good to have goals.

June 21, 2007

Tipping take-out

Karen and I were talking about this the other night. How much do you tip the folks that handle the pick-up door of places like Chili's or Outback? According to Waiter Rant:

Like I said, you don’t need to tip 20% or even 15% on take out. A good rule of thumb is between 7% and 10% percent. For example:
$20 takeout order? $2 tip.
$50 takeout order? $4 or $5 dollar tip.
$100 takeout order? C’mon, leave the guy ten bucks.


Somebody has to take the order, pack it up carefully, and make sure it gets to the right customer.

I guess that makes sense. Before you leave a fast food place you always have to check to make sure the order is right.

Another track comparison

Here is another comparison of track work-outs. We ran in a light mist this morning, and it was very humid. John and I were discussing how it always seems like we have a headwind on the back straightaway, but never a tailwind on the front straightaway.





























The difference in running fitness from last year to this year are even more obvious in today's workout. The good news is, it seems like most of the hip pain is now gone, so I'll be able to slowly ramp up the running mileage. Then again, 11.5 miles on Tuesday wasn't exactly a slow progression.

Next week we do 4400 again with a little more emphasis on the long stuff, and then some short stuff. The plan is 1600, 1200, and then 4x400. I only have last year's data for next week's track session.

June 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Maggie

It's hard to believe our little booger is 4. She is also quick to remind everyone that she is the birthday girl.

June 19, 2007

11.5 mile run this morning

Ran to downtown, across the bridges and back. James joined me at St. Vincent's. Very humid. I lost about 5.5 pounds. Maintainedan 8:00/mile pace, but the HR crept up toward the end. Went without fluids, so it was probably dehydration.

Arlington is not a place for cycling

For the second week in a row I have ridden my bike to Arlington to visit family. Last week I rode to Hope and Jesse's house off of Atlantic. This past Sunday I rode to Karen's parent's house off of Kernan. The first trip I went straight up Atlantic, and through the Regency. The area around Regency Mall is not the place to be on a bike. This past trip, instead of going all the way down Atlantic, I turned left on University, went down to Ft. Caroline, and came in the back way. University had nice shoulders to ride on after you cross the Arlington Expressway, and Ft. Caroline has a bike path that goes for a couple of miles. However, once off the bike path on Ft. Caroline, there is no shoulder. Once Ft. Caroline merges with Merrill, there is nasty construction and no where to hide. The same goes for McCormick and Kernan. I'll keep looking for safe roads in Arlington.
Training - Oleander to Sites 6-10-2007       Training - Oleander to Lazy Meadow 6-17-2007

June 18, 2007

Funny coincidence

070617_owl 019In an effort to catch up with the rest of the world, and in anticipation of last volume in the series being published next month, I read the first Harry Potter book over the weekend. No more than 30 minutes after finishing the book, I had to go to the garage to get the garbage cans out for pick-up. When I opened the door, I saw a bird fly through the rafters. At first I thought it was a miserable sky rat or a dove. And then I saw 2 large eyes staring back at me. Not sure I have ever seen an owl that close, and certainly not in my own yard. It was really funny seeing him so soon after reading a book full of message-transporting owls. And no, he didn't have a message for me.

The girls really got a kick out of seeing him. I think he (she?) is an Eastern Screech Owl. Now I need to find out how to keep him happy so he stays around and takes care of the rodents that sometimes frequent the creek behind our house. I would much rather have an owl lurking around minimizing the rat population than snakes.

I wonder if he knows Hedwig?

June 15, 2007

The Summer Beaches Run is

The Summer Beaches Run is one of the few local classics that I've never raced. Looks like this year will be no exception. I'll be in Gainesville. . .

June 14, 2007

Dad's home

Came home late yesterday afternoon. They poked, prodded, and scanned him Tuesday while they had him in the hospital. Everything can back looking good. Not sure if he is going to have to go back in. I think the doctor will have to present some strong evidence for him to go back. He looks and acts like he feels much better, and he is even behaving and taking it easy. He spent most of today sitting in a chair at the cleaners. This is going to be a terrific Father's Day!

Comparing track work-out benchmarks

I've done the same track work-out in the middle of June for the last three years. Last year I was in great running shape and had set a series of PRs. Looking at today's work-out, I don't think I'm too far off, which is encouraging since I haven't done much speed work the last couple of months. If I can put in some quality speed sessions throughout the summer, I might do well in some of the late summer races.

























June 12, 2007


First nasty, steamy, hot run of the year. Haven't had a run like this since last year. Went out for an hour, and it was a struggle. I don't think I was dehydrated, but maintaining a pace faster than 8:00/mile seemed impossible. Hopefully the body will acclimate soon.

June 11, 2007

Dad in the hospital

Dad went in this morning to have the other 2 stints placed in his arteries. Nothing went well.

To start, they could not find a suitable vein for an IV. Apparently, they had to do the procedure with only a local anesthetic and Dad was able to feel everything. Then, when inserting the first stint, a hole formed and they had to repair it. Because of this, they could only do the one stint and will have to do the another in a couple of weeks. Dad will spend the night at the hospital.

Mom is pretty upset and Dad is frustrated. He was very nervous and anxious going into today's activities, and now he will have to do it again. Thanks to everyone who has kept him in their thoughts and prayers. It means a bunch!

June 9, 2007

Team MetaMarshall!

Go team! Great race today for the relay team.

James and I left the neighborhood at 0600. Got checked in and body marked. Saw Freddy (the registrar) and confirmed I was doing the whole race as a relay. Yep.

Great swim, although it seemed like every time I got into a rhythmn I was banging into someone. Swim was 7:23 and T1 was 2:08. T1 seemed to take longer than in the past but I think they moved the timing mats. I don't remember timing mats on the beach before the sand path in the past.

The bike was pretty good, and I passed a ton of people. Since I was a relay team, I had to start in the next to last wave with the Clydesdales, Athenas, Physically Challenged and all of the other relays. The only group to start after my wave were the novices. No one passed me on the bike. There were some pretty good groups of congestion, and several instances of folks riding 2 abreast. Coming into T2, I was taking my feet out of my shoes when one of the shoes came unclipped, after I had taken my foot out. Grrrr. I had to circle back towards the shoe and a volunteer picked it up and tossed it to me. I had to run the last 30 yards before the dismount line pushing my bike. The bike section took 27:31. T2 was a snappy 42 seconds, only because I was ticked about losing time at the end of the bike.

The run felt comfortable, maybe too comfortable. I think I should have pushed a little harder. I passed a bunch of people on the run, and was only passed by a couple of guys I had already passed a quarter of a mile before the finish. The run was a pedestrian 22:55. Definitely could've done better.

The goal was to break an hour, and I came in at 1:00:38. It was a close call, and the shoe mishap would've made it even closer.

This was also the first time I have raced with the Tri-Gator uniform. It's a lot of fun to hear folks yell "Go Gators" as you go by. This includes spectators and other racers.

Karen, Molly and all of the girls showed up shortly after I finished. Did a little socializing with Chris Neri, Richard Fannin, Greg Umberger, Lyndon Box, Doug Skiles and Lori McLamb. I went to check the results and immediately started laughing. I had won the men's relay division. During the awards ceremony, one of the volunteers gave me a little guff when I went to pick up my award. Not my fault, my runner cancelled.

I laugh when I think about Freddy telling me to keep it quiet that he was letting me do the entire race. Oops.

UPDATE: Here are the full results.

June 8, 2007

Emily has submitted her list of demands

Things she wants to do this summer, that is. Here is the list. Hopefully, we will be able to mark all of them off. I might add a few as well.

  1. Library
  2. Putt Putt
  3. Water Park (Disney)
  4. Play date with friends
  5. Beach
  6. Boone Park
  7. Sleepover with grandparents
  8. Summer reading log
  9. Castle park
  10. Zoo
  11. Vacation Bible School
  12. Plant flowers
  13. Sprinkler park
  14. Swim practice

I think we'll fire up a Google map to track our adventures.

2007 BFAST #2 tomorrow

Last week, I wasn't sure if I was going to do the race. Then I was recruited to do the swim and bike leg for one of the corporate sponsors. Today at packet pick-up, I was asked if I wanted to do the entire race because they still needed a runner for one of the relays. So tomorrow morning, I will be doing the entire race as a relay team for free. Sweet!

Last month, a 1:01:44 won the relay division. Granted, there was no swim and it started with a 1-mile run. I wonder if I can break an hour tomorrow. The swim is 400 yards. The bike is 10.5 miles, a mile shorter than past years. The run is a long 5k.

Let's see:
Swim -- 9:00
T1 -- 1:30
Bike -- 27:00
T2 -- 1:00
Run -- 21:30

I guess it's possible, but that bike split is going to have to be a little faster for me to have a chance.

June 6, 2007

Tasty breakfast

Tasty breakfast

And killer peanut butter!

June 4, 2007

Dinner at "King and I" Thai restaurant

Dinner at "King and I" Thai restaurant

June 3, 2007

First day in Minneapolis

Here is a Google Map detailing my adventures in Minneapolis.

Training - Minneapolis 6-3-2007Went for a 10.5 mile run this morning using the Kenwood Parkway and down around the Chain of Lakes (KML file in Google Maps). What a great trail system! Ran for a little while with some folks who were out doing 15 miles today. She is tapering for a marathon in a couple of weeks, he is getting ready for a 50k trail run. The first couple of miles were kind of slow while I was trying to figure out where I was going, but in the middle I was able to pick up the pace as I went from the Lake of the Isles and over to Lake Calhoun. There are some really beautiful homes lining these lakes and the paths were top notch. Every mile or so there are potties and the paths have trash cans and benches everywhere. And to think I barely scratched the surface of the trails.

Photo_060307_001.jpgAfter my run, I met up with a friend and we had brunch at a local Irish Pub. Right now, I am catching up on e-mail at Dunn Brothers coffee and watching them prepare a batch of beans to roast.

This afternoon I'm heading to a couple of receptions where I'll be able to catch up with some clients. So far, I am having a good trip, but I sure do miss my girls!

June 2, 2007

Where to run in Minneapolis

From what I hear, there is a terrific trail system in Minneapolis. Here is a map of some of the trails with distances marked. I also found a website for the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway.

There are quite a few activities on the MotionBased website.

Lots of options!

When it rains, it pours

Heading to Minneapolis

Looking forward to seeing (and enjoying) first hand the outdoor activites available in Minneapolis.

Here are the recent headlines in Jacksonville regarding parks:
Inaction on city parks is typical of mayor's style
Parks director falls victim to cost-cutting

Here is the Wikipedia entry regarding the Minneapolis parks system.
Key points:

  • The Minneapolis park system has been called the best-designed, best-financed and best-maintained in America. Foresight, donations and effort by community leaders enabled Horace Cleveland to create some of his best landscape architecture, preserving geographical landmarks and linking them with boulevards and parkways. The city's Chain of Lakes is connected by bike, running, and walking paths and used for swimming, fishing, picnics, boating, and ice skating. A parkway for cars, a bikeway for riders, and a walkway for pedestrians run parallel paths along the 52 mile (83 km) route of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.

  • Runner's World ranks Minneapolis America's 6th best city for runners.

  • Ten thousand cyclists use the bike lanes in the city each day, and many ride in the winter. The Public Works Department expanded the bicycle trail system from the Grand Rounds to 56 miles (90 km) of off-street commuter trails including the Midtown Greenway, the Light Rail Trail, Kenilworth Trail, Cedar Lake Trail and the West River Parkway Trail along the Mississippi. Minneapolis also has 34 miles (54 km) of dedicated bike lanes on city streets. (That cop in Baldwin on Monday would wet his pants if he saw 10,000 cyclists on the road)

I don't like being down on my hometown, and I know with the property tax furor going on in Tallahassee there are more important things to be concerned about, primarily public safety. At the same time, would it be too much to ask for drivers to demonstrate greater awareness for folks that are running, walking or cycling on the roads?

June 1, 2007

Florida 70.3 photos

Photos from the race have now been uploaded by ASI.