Thursday, December 27, 2012

Paging Dr. Remoray

Welcome back.  Have a good Christmas? Mine wasn't half bad.

My four day weekend started Saturday morning with a nice snowy/icy run with Vanilla Bryce.  It was my first snowy run ever.  The first winter after I started running I was pretty lazy.  I tried a few tricks from the magazines about getting yourself to run in the winter.  Bought some yak trax that I never used and I also signed up for a race to keep myself motivated.  I signed up for my one and only 10k and ran maybe two or three times in the month leading up to it.  My rationale for not running was A. I just completed a half marathon in October.  What's 6 miles?  B. it was cold.  This race taught me how fast the body loses conditioning.  It was a hilly, cold, exhausting mess but hey they gave away a medal to all finishers.  Silver lining!!

Silver, blue, and black lining to be specific


My laziness got the best of me, again, when I wouldn't search for my running socks on Saturday.  I grabbed the first pair I could find and they just so happened to have holes in them around the heel.  Off we go!

Started off OK until we reached the end of the street near the club house.  My entire complex is on a hill so this took some maneuverability and grace to go down.  Mission accomplished (we survived)!  Fast forward to the last mile of the three mile run.  Cue the foot pain.  Turns out the hole in my sock traveled up the back of my foot and my shoe wanted to scrape against my bare foot.  So it did.  Finished another half mile or so and limped my way back to my place.  Weep womp.  Also, throughout the three(ish) miles I learned that my newts don't have the best tread.  I think I may actually use those yak trax!!

After the run I noticed something unsettling.  Before I show you what I'm talking about I have a confession to make.  I have flat feet and I'm slightly overweight.  Because of these two things I require a stability shoe.  What this means is my ankles bend inward when I run so the extra cushioning in a stability shoe helps prevent injury.  This is called over pronating (you can't say you never learned anything from me!).   Now to the pictures:

old pair #1 New Balance
old pair #2 Nike

Current pair.  You can barely see it but it's there!

It's only on my right shoe but now I'm afraid to run on my new shoes.  I'd like to fix the issue before it gets any worse.  My plan is to get a runner evaluation from a local physical therapy place.  I've heard good things about it and you also get a discount for a local specialty running store.  Score!

Now that we have all this running talk out of the way I also went to a wedding on Saturday with my beautiful wife.  Good times had by all and a lot of inside jokes coming out of it.  Side note: between the wedding ceremony and reception we hit up the local big named grocery chain and they had the Christmas story on DVD.  I mention this because I had just been talking about it with the misses over the weekend and there it was.  Didn't think twice.  Had to get it.

Sunday I was left alone all day.  I'm not a home body.  I felt like I was going crazy.  Because I'm a glutton for punishment I turned on the Browns game.  I thought it would offer me an escape from my boredom.  A couple minutes into the game I crashed back to reality and started channel surfing (which is more like channel wake boarding when you're like me and don't have cable) until I found a replay of the Ironman world championship.  I was sucked in!  I'm far away from completing an Ironman but it's going to happen (November 2015).  Watching the special motivated me like no other.  Starting Christmas eve I was going to start doing some cross training!  Yeah!  Motivation!

I didn't do it.... I was really tired.  My youngest, Addison, wasn't down with the whole "sleep" thing the night before and I was plum tuckered out from pouting about not getting any sleep myself.  Plus excuses excuses, excuses excuses (excuses).

Monday was Christmas eve and for the first time since I was in middle school I had trouble falling asleep.  Another first was that it wasn't because I was excited to get gifts.  This was the first Christmas my oldest, Savannah, had an idea of what was going on.  A couple weeks back she started talking about Santa out-of-the-blue.  We hadn't planned on doing the Santa thing but she's just so gosh darn cute we couldn't leave her hangin'!  She wrote a letter to him and he even wrote one back!  When she get's old enough we'll still do Santa but tell her more of the back story behind it.

Back to Christmas eve!  Finally fell asleep and the next morning I woke everyone up at 8 (I had been up since 6 and I just couldn't wait any longer).  Savannah walked down the stairs and said "PRESENTS!".  The look on her face was priceless.  Some wrapping paper here, some toys here, clothes over there, and we were done.  My lovely wife bought me a Nike running hoodie and other stuff that really doesn't have any bearing on a running blog.  Unless you want to tie running along with the Walking Dead and avoiding being eaten by zombies.  That's your prerogative.  Ultimate compliment I received from my bride was her asking me "who helped you pick out the jewelry?".  I did it all by myself.  Looked through the choices, saw stuff I thought she would like, and wouldn't you know it?  She liked it!  I even bought her a dress that she wore that day!!  And she says I have no sense of style.  Pfft!

Thanks for reading everybody.  If I don't post again before 2013 I hope you all have a joyous, and safe, new year!

P.S.  If any doctors out there read this (pause for laughter) leave a comment telling me what I can do about my shoe problem.

Thanks again!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tidings of Great Joy

Lights please?

And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were so afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Welcome back all you Charlies and Charlettes(?)!

Christmas time is here!

Up until the last few days it really didn't feel too Christmasy.  Not because of the commercialism, lack of snow, or 5 cent psychiatric sessions.  I was ignoring it, and not on purpose.  It was the stuff.  The stuff I think is important.  Like many people, my priorities shifted on Friday.

I'm not going to go into it too much because we all have heard every angle from every side of the arguments.  If you are one of the few who don't know what I'm talking about sign up for a Facebook or Twitter account.  When I saw the tragedy in CT on Friday I, and many others, were in a state of shock.  I went home and hugged my girls and wife and thanked God that He is who He is.    

Couple those events with spending a lot of time with my family and Aimee's family over the weekend and a spirit driven service on Sunday and things were put into perspective.

Last night the only Christmas special worth mentioning came on.  Aimee was out at the movies with friends and the girls were in bed.  While watching I felt like I understood it more than I ever had.  To the point where I was almost in tears (not almost) towards the end.  It's almost like God used the Charlie Brown Christmas special to speak to me personally.

(Side-note: I've been sharing about how this special has effected me a lot over the past 12 hours and everyone thought I was crazy for saying it was the only good special.  Citing A Christmas Story and the Christmas Carol.  I meant the only TV special worth mentioning.)

I don't really know where I'm going with all this.  Merry Christmas! 

I guess I could talk about running now.  Since this is a blog about running.

The day after my last post I stopped the running streak.  Nothing in my mind justified running everyday and my body wasn't too happy with me.  Live and learn.  Through this sorta-streak I did get to break in my new shoes.  Woo!  Hooray silver linings!  I've run a couple times since last Wednesday and I've felt really good.

Another goal I've had for the 2013 year is to complete my first triathlon and the first one has been selected.  I'll be participating in one on St. Pattys day with Jam Master Bryce-T.  The biking and running doesn't bother me too much.  16 miles on the bike and 3 miles running.  Swimming is another story.  I'm not much of a swimmer.  Aside from the occasional shower I don't interact with water too much, although I have made strides.  Within a couple weeks of swimming this past summer I was told I no longer look like I'm drowning.  Yes!!  If anyone in the greater Canton area can let me know of an inexpensive place to swim (indoors) please let me know!  My bathtub is not a suitable option.

Starting in January I'm going to start ramping up my recruiting for the first team Active:Water event at the Akron Marathon.  The plan is to get a good presentation together and start going out and sharing it.  This will involve some good ole fashion public speaking.  Luckily at work there is a speakers club that meets with the purpose of helping people build up their presentation skills.  I've thrown around the idea of attending the past four years I've been working there but I've never taken that step.  Time to jump right in.

Also, my grades came were posted and I finished the semester with a B+ and B-.  Two semesters down, fourteen to go!

On a final note, a few days back Aimee's great uncle Herb passed away.  I had the honor of meeting him and spending some time with him.  While I didn't know him all that well, or get see him all the time, the way his family spoke of him gave me quite the impression of the good man he was.

Thanks for reading everybody.  Again, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Change of Plans

Hello everybody.  Welcome back!

After completing my first marathon back in October I took a look at the race calendar and planned out the big races I wanted to do in 2013.  I had a few prerequisites:

1. Pick the race for Team Active:Water.  When I became a team captain for AW I chose the Canton Marathon races for my first team captaining adventure.  Well, over the last few months some things have come to the surface and I wasn't too sure that they would be having a race next year.  Also because of these issues I wasn't very confident in the amount of people the race would attract, if they do have one.  I'm not entirely sure, but putting me on the cover of the paper may or may not be one of the reasons they're having troubles...

On the cover of the Canton Repository.  It looks like my jaw is in the process of breaking off...

2. It has to be close!  As much as I loved the city of Chicago and as much as I'd love to visit every city and run it's streets it's just not in the cards.  After Christmas we're stepping the Dave Ramsey system into overdrive.  We took the classes last winter, and were doing really good, but fell off the horse.  If at first you don't succeed try and try again (and sometimes try some more after that).  Any race selected had to be within driving distance.  No hotels.  No turnpikes.  No gasoline stops.

3. No Sunday races!  Simple enough.  I don't want to miss service at the Mill because of an extra curricular activity.

With these prereqs in mind two races were chosen.  Cap City Half Marathon in May and the Akron Marathon (Team AW event) in September.  Both close-ish (Cap City is two hours away in Columbus but it doesn't involve a hotel visit since my sister lives outside the city) and both on a Saturday.  Success!  That was simple enough....


A couple months back I received an email from the Cleveland Marathon people asking runners to sign up to be a blogger for their race.  If selected I would receive free race entry and a good platform to talk about AW, running as a ministry in general, and all the other junk I talk about.  I thought about running the Cleveland full but it was the day before Aimee's birthday and since I ran the Chicago Marathon on Savannah's 3rd birthday, with her in Ohio, I was on a strict "no running on birthdays" orders.  With very little pleading Aimee gave me the thumbs up for applying.  What a great woman she is! The application said that they'd announce the blog winners on December 10th so in the months following I didn't think too much about it.  School, work, and family afforded me the luxury of forgetfulness. 

On December 10th I finished up my semester with a couple exams.  The rigors of academia were lifted off my shoulders.  Ahhhhh...  Breathing is nice!  I get home and what do I find?  Cleveland's Facebook page posts!  Can this be it?  Has all of my not-very-hard work paid off?  No.

"due to an overwhelming number of outstanding applicants, we are adding a second category to our blogger program for 2013"

Crap.  This doesn't bode well for me...

December 11th.  I wait.  I wait.  I wait some more.  Time for the announcement.....

I didn't get it...

Don't frown.  I ended up getting a guest blogging spot.  Instead of posting for the race every two weeks, I'm going to get one of my posts sponsored by the race between the months of January and May.  Hey, I'll take it!  Unfortunately I don't get a free race entry but I'm excited for the chance to share and expand my audience (I went from 1 to 2 followers) and get some good recruiting for team AW.  On top of that the race is early enough for me to get home for service.  Score!  So now I'm doing the Cleveland half marathon.  I love the city of Cleveland.  Bring it on.   

Running streak update!

It's still going.  Everyday I get a different temporary pain but it's nothing too big and it disappears within a few minutes.  I am pretty sore though.  Good thing is I feel like I'm running the strongest I have in quite a while.  Times are decreasing and I'm able to put more and more miles on my new tennie boppers.  I'm also getting to know the neighborhood a little more.  Yesterday I even saw some deer (and it terrified me). 

Christmas update!

I'm an idiot.  Turns out you have to put YOUR address on the shipping information so you get the presents you ordered for your wife, who knew?  I know the season isn't about all the gifts but I like getting stuff for her.  She's too good to me.  I've felt convicted to improve my faith walk and it's the best season to do it.  Keep me accountable please.  All the races, fund-raising, and running (actually everything I say or do) is useless if I'm doing it for myself.

Thanks for reading everybody.

It's been real.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What Do You Love?

Happy December to one and all!

My month has had a very jolly start.  I ran a 5k this morning in the very small town of Minerva.  The race benefited the Minerva Area Christian Schools (MACS).  It's the smallest race I've done and it's one of my favorites.  It's the same course I ran back in June at the Jolly Jaunt (also benefiting MACS) but this was their first time doing a race in December.  To jolly things up a bit they gave everyone bells and gave out shirts with a running snowman on them (I may or may not be wearing the shirt right now)  OK here's a picture of it:

Long sleeved!  Bonus!

The race was a blast.  Even the runners were really nice to each other.  Bryce and I struck up conversations with a few people and everyone seemed joyful.  The crowd was about 40-50 deep (in June there was about 20-30 less).  Almost everyone put the bells on their shoes which made it something the locals couldn't ignore.  A few families even came outside of their homes to watch us runners.  I didn't necessarily run the race well.  I started off a bit too fast.  At mile one the time keeper told us what we were at and I even told him I was running too fast (because I'm sure he really cared).  The last mile it thinned out a bit and there wasn't anyone in jingle distance behind or in front of me.  If it weren't for the volunteers at every turn I may still be in Minerva right now.  I made the last turn and Bryce came back to finish off the race with me.  Good times had by all.

So why is this race one of my favorites?  It's not the course, lack of crowds, the fact that it's less than 20 bucks (a rarity in race entries) or the SWAG.  I love the race because the people organizing it really care about the school.  I've run a few races and you can tell when the people really care.  As long as they keep organizing races I'll be going there.  It really motivated me to start getting this AW 5k off the ground.

After the race ended, and my stink faded, the wife, kids and I headed to constitution town to be a part of a friends photo shoot.

The theme of the photo shoot is "What do you love?"  We had a lot of fun.  Aimee took a picture of her holding the girls.  Savannah held up the bell I gave her from the race and a barbie for another picture.  Addison took some pictures playing with Aimee's old phone and drinking her bottle.  What did I bring?  Shoes.

Before I go into why I chose shoes I feel obligated to let everyone know how guilty I feel about it.  Just because I didn't pick my wife and girls, or my bible, or something else more important than running doesn't mean I don't love them all.  If anything running has enhanced my love for all of those things.

To me, running has been a blessing.  It's made me healthier.  I could easily be fifty pounds heavier if I kept up the exercise routine I had a few years ago (poke food with fork, lift fork, put food in mouth, repeat).  Friendships have grown stronger because of it.  Real friends are the ones who will wake up and run with you at 5 in the morning, and also not get mad at you if you sleep through your alarm... (sorry guys).  God has even used it as a ministry in my life.  If you haven't read my past posts ministry was the reason I started running.  Being on team Active:Water is amazing.  Also, early morning runs by myself have been some of the times I've felt closest with God.

Is running tough? At times.  Do I feel some pains from it?  My knees get mad at me for just putting on my shoes.  All things considered, I wouldn't be the same without it.  I don't want to know life without it.

The holiday streak is going swimmingly.  Haven't missed a day yet and I've been breaking in my newts.  I felt a very minor shin splint taking out the trash a few hours ago and my lower body has been pretty sore but through the struggles joy comes in the morning.  This streak has even motivated me to do a set of sit ups.  Watch out Channing Tatum!

You can see the fear in his eyes
So what is it that you love?  Running?  Knitting?  Channing Tatum?

Thanks for reading.  Go get your Christmas shopping done!