Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
- Jimmy Carter was President of the United States
- Walter Mondale was Vice President of the United States
- Median Household Income was $17,710.00
- The cost of a first class stamp was $0.15
- Cost for a gallon of regular gas was $1.25
- Ted Turner had just started a television network called CNN
- The Dow Jones had a high of 1000 and a low of 759 that year
- John Lennon was coming out with his 'Double Fantasy' album
- Genuine Risk wins the Kentucky Derby that year
- The Empire Strikes Back is the top grossing film
- U.S. viewers get caught up in the "Who Shot J.R.?" cliff hanger on the soap opera series, Dallas
- Christina Ricci, Chelsea Clinton, Venus Williams, Jessica Simpson, Macaulay Culkin, and Jake Gyllenhaal are born
- And, I was a senior at Boston University sitting in the living room of a house that I shared with five guys in Brighton, MA.
That was the last time the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series. The time before that? Well, there was no time before that. That was the first time they had won the World Series. And, last night, they won it again.
Back in 1980, I was very excited but I was out of town when it happened. It was like someone describing a great party they attended with all your friends but you couldn't make it because you had to work. Not this year. Even my wife, who doesn't know a curveball from a changeup, was getting into it and high-fiving me when Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske at the end. Fireworks going off in the neighborhood. Cars honking their horns. Everyone at work happy this morning.
I hope to go to part of the parade tomorrow. I plan on taking some pictures and I will post afterwards. Why? Because the Philadelphia Phillies are the champions of baseball today!!!!!
Monday, October 27, 2008
In June, when I ran with Frayed Laces in Hawaii, I mentioned my idea to see if she what she thought. She loved the idea and wrote about it in her September 24th blog entry. I also mention it in the Phedippidations Discussion Board Forum Thing over the summer. Everyone who wrote in seemed to think it was a great idea. But, how to manage it?
I immediately went into project management mode think. We set up a separate area in the forum and people can post there if they want to exchange a shirt. If you have a taker, find out what shirt size the person wants, exchange e-mail (and mail addresses). The person who sends out is responsible for postage. On and on and on.
But, from the September 24th blog entry of Frayed Laces, someone stepped forward and said, 'I'll exchange a race shirt with you'. I want to report that the idea I had back in the spring has come to fruition. Big from, Big's Running Blog, sent me a great technical T from the Capital City River Run Half marathon and 5k. And, just this past week, I sent Big my shirt I received in the 'Run for Your Neighbor' 5k I recently did in Harleysville, PA. I want to thank Big for this great shirt.
Of course, as usually happens in my life, my timing isn't the greatest. Because here I would say, 'and if anyone else wants to exchange shirts, please let me know.' Which I would like to do. Except I only have one more race this year. The Harrisburg marathon. And, no one is touching that one. (If you really want a shirt from there, I will purchase one on your behalf and can send to you. Send me the money after you've received the shirt.) So, when the spring comes, I will re-visit this idea and see if there are any takers then. In the meantime, don't let me stop you from finding others to swap with you. Use SteveRunner's forum if you would like to find someone to swap a shirt with you.
My 20 miler. In my line of work, we have things called 'pilots' before we send things into production. Pilots are tests meant to see what could go wrong with an idea before you start producing it for real. Well, my 20 miler that I run before a marathon is my pilot. To me, it simulates my marathon and I use it to test things out first. I have to say, it is a good thing I do this. Because my 20 miler yesterday didn't go exactly as planned.
First, in looking at my marathon schedule, I should have done my 20 miler LAST week. (I was wondering why Kelly and Melissa weren't running theirs this week). Normally, I dread the 20 miler. But, this year, I had the mindset of just going out there and doing it. I had packed the Friday before. Charge the garmin. Gels. Powerbars. Drinks. Change of shirts. Race wear. Everything set.
I get to the lake around 9a. (The Phillies game was rain delayed and I stayed up until midnight though the game ended around 2a). I see Melissa, and we exchange hellos, as she is finishing up her 12 miler.
So, I start. And, my left ankle hurts. With every step. OK. I just need to warm up. And, now my Achilles is hurting. It feels like it needs to be stretched a bit. So, I stretch. Nothing. I run a half mile and the pain is not going away. At this point, I'm at one of those crossroads moments in life, 'do I stop and rest it or do the 20 miler and risk injury?' I HAVE to do this 20 miles. So, I press on.
The 'run a mile, walk a bit' thing isn't working out right. I have to stop more often because of my ankle. And, I forgot to put on body glide. And, I'm feeling the affects of that decision. I wished there was someone to take a video. I want to show the world how NOT to train for a marathon. I can only imagine what I looked like adjusting my shorts and favoring my right leg as I run.
I made it a point to wear my race-ready shorts. With the pockets. For my gels. You know, the gels I left in my car.
I do manage to finish the 20 miler. Chafing. Ankle swollen. Hungry. Thirsty. Yep, I'm ready for that ol' marathon in two weeks. There is going to be approximately 800 runners in this marathon. Usually, I like to be in the top 50% of the finishers in any race. I'll take top 90% for this race.
A little late with this joke--Back in August, I posted a blog entry talking about a race I ran against Police chief White. As I was running this weekend, I realized the Clash did a song in which the lyrics would have been perfect for that entry. As mentioned previously, my timing could use a little work. Anyway, here are the lyrics:
Monday, October 20, 2008
On October 13, 2008, I was tagged. Tagged by Karen, of the fantastic blog, Mom on the Run (http://momrun.blogspot.com/. Hey, how come I was only number 3? :-) By the way, Karen, congratulations on finishing the Grand Rapids marathon this past weekend. Can't wait to read the full report.)
So, I'm suppose to write six facts about myself. I was tagged previously and thought I had to answer specific questions. (Are there 'tag' rules out there in cyberspace?) I can't say I'm the most interesting person out there (ok, that doesn't count as a fact. Merely an opinion of myself.) Here goes:
1. I have a slight allergy to dogs and cats. I have four dogs and 1 cat. As far as I know, I don't have any allergies to kids. I don't have any of those. My four dogs' names are Einstein, Dillon, Emmett, and Ellie Mae. My cat's name is Fiona. Einstein is a bichon frise whom we got from the local SPCA. Dillon is our Hurricane Katrina rescue. There were groups that went down to the animal shelters in Louisiana after the hurricane to take as many dogs as possible off their hands. We picked Dillon up in West Virginia from one of these groups. When we took him home, he didn't wimper. Didn't make a noise. We thought there was something wrong with him. Turns out, that's his personality. The most laid-back dog you will ever see. Emmett and Ellie Mae are Havanese and are our show dogs. Emmett is a retired champion (even has the little potbelly going to 'prove' he's retired.) Ellie Mae is our up-and-comer. Fiona is a Snowshoe whom we had since 1993. Since we are not parents, we try to focus our attention to animal rescue groups and donate our hearts and time to those causes.
2. I had dinner with Larry Bird. I can't remember what year it was (1986?), I was the backup radio engineer for Boston Celtics broadcasts when Steve (Runner) and I worked in radio. I did this in case anything happened to the regular engineer and he couldn't make it. So, I was sent on the road to Washington, DC. (There is a separate story, that I will tell someday, about what happened during the game and the 'life lesson' I learned). After the game and back at the hotel, I was invited by Coach K.C. Jones to have dinner with the entire Celtics team. I couldn't believe it! The team was already there as I walked into the room. They sat me down right across from Larry Bird! Larry was there with a friend of his who was a WWF wrestler (whose name I can't recall). Larry did talk to me occassionally but I was speechless. I didn't know what to say to him. Unfortunately, my backup engineer gig didn't last long and I never had that opportunity again. (There is also a Danny Ainge story here as well that I will have to tell later.)
3. I can't point my toes. Doctors are always surprised when I point (pardon the pun) this out. As near as anyone can tell, I am missing something in my ankles that allows people to point their toes. The best way to describe how I run is, imagine someone running with flippers on. That's the extent of my flexibility. Considering I have size 12 shoes, it is not a far off comparison.
4. I am a shy person. Some may dispute this, but, I consider myself a shy person. I like to fade in the background in gatherings. I don't like to speak in front of groups even though my job requires it. When I go on business trips, I have no problems eating alone. I don't take compliments well and am very embarrassed when someone does compliment me. I grew up where 'good-natured ribbing' was how we communicated.
5. I LOVE to laugh. I sometimes come across as not a serious-minded person. That's because I try to find laughter in most situations. I have been described as having a 'dry' sense of humor. I had a boss from the UK who once told me he was impressed that I was able to make British people laugh. He said it wasn't always easy for Americans to do that. I am the wise-guy in the room with the quip. It's how I try to break up the tension in the room sometimes. But, I have to be REALLY comfortable in order for people to see that side of me.
6. I went through 'Checkpoint Charlie.' After I graduated college, I saved up enough money to take a bus tour through Europe. I went to many of the capitals in Western Europe including Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Berlin. Back then, it was West Berlin and East Berlin. Part of the tour was going into East Berlin. We stopped at a park to see a Russian monument dedicated to those who lost their lives in World War II. When we got back to the bus, our bus driver was screaming and yelling as someone had just pointed a rifle at the bus drivers lined up in the park while we were gone. From everywhere, the Eastern German secret police (Stasi) showed up. They detained us for about an hour. We had no idea what was going on at the time and were thankful that we got back through 'Checkpoint Charlie' without any further incidents.
OK, except for the 'pointing of toes' one, that had little to do with running. Oh, well.
(Notes: THE PHILLIES ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!! YAHOO!!!!!! I am scheduled to do a 20 miler this weekend in preparation for the Harrisburg marathon. I ran a 10 miler this past weekend and felt great. It was suppose to be a long slow run but wound up doing a 9:30/mile pace, which is flying for me. Must have been the weather. Congratulations to Steve (Runner) for his efforts in the Bay State marathon this weekend. I know he was hurting a bit. (from the marathon and I guess from the Sox loss). Rest up a bit, Steve.
I'm adding this article I read that was posted on sfgate.com. This past weekend, San Francisco hosted the Nike Women's marathon. The 'elite' runners had a 20 minute headstart. But, a woman from the 'non-elite' pack had the fastest time for the race. And, didn't win. Because she didn't think she was an 'elite' runner. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/21/BAUC13L3GQ.DTL
I always wondered what would happen if someone had a faster chip time than the first person who crossed the finish line. Answer: Tough luck.
October 22, 2008 Update from story mentioned above: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/22/BACI13MAIT.DTL&tsp=1
It's an interesting debate on whether we need to start recognizing chip time as the official time or at least have separate awards for gun and chip times )
Monday, October 13, 2008
I want to thank those that have sent me suggestions on what to do about woodpeckers. As you can see by the picture on the right, I am under attack. I have lived in this house for over two years and this is the second year in a row that I have problems with woodpeckers. I have since found out that woodpeckers are migratory birds and, apparently, my house is nice and tasty. Sort of like a Shoney's Big Boy. For woodpeckers.
Monday, October 6, 2008
I don't travel for business that often. When I do, it usually comes in clusters like it did last week. I also had two personal functions (one in Long Island, NY and the other in Boston, MA) bookending my business travel to North Carolina.
Actually, I don't mind travelling for business once in awhile. It gives me a chance to get 'out of the office' for a time. See new things. See different people. And, in a lot of cases, face-to-face meetings are more effective than teleconference calls. Believe me, there have been times that we were able to accomplish in two days something we couldn't in two months because we were all in the same room.
The other nice thing is getting out and running some place different. Doesn't always happen like the beginning of last week when I had my first trip to North Carolina. But, my schedule was a little more flexible the second trip down, so had a chance to get some miles in. I have given up the thought of doing a scheduled training run for marathon prep. I get in what I can and just have fun(?) running the race.
Below is a breakdown of my week on the road:
Sunday--Scheduled to fly down to Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina at 5:30p. Because of stormy weather, actually didn't take off until 8p. Landed around 9:15p and got to the hotel around 9:45p. I was suppose meet up with my boss to get something to eat when I got there. But, instead, ate at Philadelphia airport before getting on the plane. I paid for the dinner with my business credit card. Waitress gave me the card back with the top corner (where the metal strip is) torn. Great. All transactions, for the trip, will need to be entered manually.
Monday--Early morning rise with meeting after meeting. Went out, that night, with people from work. Probably the most normal day of the week.
Tuesday--Busy all day with meetings once again. Scheduled to fly home on the 6p flight to Philadelphia. My boss is to fly back to Philadelphia on a different airline but we meet up in the same terminal. I get there around 4p and check my flight. There is a 4:30p flight to Philadelphia boarding. Wow!! I ask the person behind the ticket counter if there are any more seats available for the flight. She said, 'yes, would I like to change my flight?.' I promptly do so and run back to my boss to say good-bye. After telling him the news about my luck, he asks, 'what about your luggage?' Oh. I didn't think of that. I go back to the ticket counter and ask will my luggage follow? No. Damn. Ok, can you change me back to the 6p? Which she does. I have dinner with my boss and we part ways. I get off my flight and wait for my bags at the luggage carousel. And wait. And wait. No bags. Frustrated and tired, I go to the luggage counter and am ready to lay into them when, I see my bag. Just sitting there. Off to the side. Seems my luggage made the 4:30p afterall.
Wednesday--First time I had a chance to run since PDR. I have to go to pick up some meds for one of my dogs so decided, instead of Lake Galena, I would do the 7 mile loop up on the Delaware River. When I get there, it starts to rain. Usually, I don't like running in the rain but I didn't care. I HAD to get out there because I don't think my legs know how to run anymore. I had a lot of energy so probably pushed harder than I should have. No matter. It felt great and the rain held off through most of the run.
Thursday--Back to Raleigh/Durham, NC again. Got a 3:50p flight and everything was on time. I got to the hotel around 6p and ran in Research Triangle Park. I've been told that RTP is a town in North Carolina. Many businesses have campuses there. And, they have a nice jogging trail throughout the area. It's close to the hotel so I venture out there. I park off Cornwallis Road and do most of the run on Alexander Parkway. Running this path was like running on solid waves. There were no hills just constantly 'bumps' on the path that you can feel in the legs after awhile. I was planning on doing 5 miles but, got back to where I parked my car and decided to do one more. So, totaled six for the run.
Friday--Rather than going back to Philadelphia, I decided to stay an extra day in North Carolina and fly up to New England for a reunion with people from a radio station I worked at (about 20 years ago) that was being held on Saturday. Work was done so went out to find another place to run. I went back to the hotel and they suggested 'Al Buehler Cross Country Trail' on the Duke University campus in Duke Forest. (see plaque below)
After the run, I had a chance to walk around the campus of Duke University. I went to the athletic fields and found one of the meccas of college basketball, Cameron Indoor Stadium. (pictured below is an outside shot of the arena and an indoor shot). I snuck in and found that the stadium was set up for a women's volleyball game between North Carolina and Duke. I stuck around for awhile to watch them practice and to just drink in the setting of where I was. This is one of the places you want to visit if you are fan of college basketball.
I went outside of the arena and walked around the Duke University stadium where they hold their football games and track meets. (see below)
I am glad I went to school in Boston but, if I ever had a second life, Duke would be a place to consider. Just a beautiful campus.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Since PDR, I have not run one day. Nothing. Maybe a brisk walk to the car in the driveway. But, that's about it. You see, my boss at work doesn't work in the same location as me. As a matter of fact, isn't even in the same country as me. Last week, he was in town. And, we had to catch up on projects that I am doing. When that happens, my schedule gets thrown out the window.
So, you are saying, that was last week. Your excuse this week?
Here is my schedule since last Saturday:
Saturday--started in PA, went to Long Island, NY all day, back to PA by 12:30a
Sunday--started in PA, flew (with 2 hour delay) to NC
Monday--all day in North Carolina
Tuesday--started in NC, flew back to PA
Wednesday (today)--all day in PA
Thursday--starting in PA, flying to NC
Friday--all day in NC
Saturday--starting in NC, flying to Massachusetts (Providence, RI to be exact)
Sunday--starting in MA, flying to PA
(And, I'm not even in sales!)
Somewhere, somewhere, I need to get some running in. Afterall, I have a marathon in, oh, 1 MONTH!!!!!!
Here is my plan this week (I'm not saying it's a good one, it's just a plan). I'll be running today and then the next two days in North Carolina. That's it. The whole plan. If we invaded Iraq with that plan, we might be stuck there for a few years (Wait a minute? Aren't we stuck...?).
I'm hoping to get back to a better work/life balance by next week. I have as much chance of doing that as the Dow falling 700 points in a single day. (Wait a minute? Didn't the Dow fall...?)