Monday, December 6, 2010

Nittany Valley 1/2 Marathon

27th annual this past Sunday and last year was the first I heard about this race, I even went to school at PSU and never heard of it. It's a very low key race with entry fees of $18 that included chip timing and a long sleeve tee shirt. Not too shabby.

Weather that day called for a high of 38 degrees but it was going to be a lot colder in Happy Valley. The nice thing about this race is the 10am start time. I'm sure a lot of the 600 entries don't live in the immediate area. Taking about 1 1/2 hours to drive up there, my buddy Keith and I left about 6:45. We were one of the first people there. I was third in line to grab my goodie bag which consisted of a reusable shopping bag (although it was an advertisement for Schick Razors). The car read 25 degrees with some snow flurries so we immediately went back to the car and sat there trying to keep warm for about an hour. 9:35 rolls around and we get out and do a warm up lap. Just bitter cold, and windy.

We lined up around 9:50 and 10:05 everyone started running. Not really a 'go' or even a bull horn siren. I ran the race last year so I was familiar with the course. My game plan was to run 7:45 - 8 minute miles the first half and pick it up a little bit the second half. My buddy Keith agreed with this plan. Mile one was 7:36. A little fast but aren't all first miles fast? Second mile was 7:06 and I could tell Keith wanted to pick it up even more. I let him go. I found out he averaged about a 7 minute mile. Dick.

The course is one giant loop out to the State College airport and back around it. The first half of the course is pretty flat but as soon as you pass the airport, the hills start. Mile 7-8.5 is all downhill. Fast. I tried to hold myself back as to not blow out my quads. I hit mile 8 right at 1 hour. I think that's a 7:30 pace.

After the long downhill, we ran along a creek for about a mile then the uphills started. I struggled up the steepest one just barely plotting along. I came to the top of the hill and tried to pick it up again. A slight downhill and we were at mile 10. I came to a makeshift water stop and saw a sign that said "Water, PBR, Lager" I opted for the PBR. The carbonation tasted great and I could have probably had more than the 3-4 oz that were in the cup but regretted it about 1/2 mile down the road. Luckily the pain went away quickly and it was just one more long uphill to go. As I said, there were about 600 ppl entered but going up that last hill there was a guy about 30 seconds in front of me and one 30 seconds behind me with one volunteer 1/2 way up clapping. Plus, the wind was right in my face. I did notice the sweat drops freezing on the brim of my hat. That's how cold it was.

The finish was about 3/4 mile from the top of the hill and I could sense the person gaining on me. I picked it up and finished strong running past JoePa's statue and thru the finish line with a new PR of 1:40.27. Last year my time was 1:51.

Having only paid $18 entry fee, I knew there were no ammenties at the finish. I grabbed two bottles of water and Keith and I went back to his car. We went to the PSU Creamery. Best ice cream ever. I purchased 3 - 1/2 gallons and a cone of ice cream for my post run snack. (one 1/2 gallon was for my sister) After devouring the ice cream we went downtown to do some PSU clothing shopping. Driving thru campus it amazed me how many new buildings there were. Huge, modern looking buildings that just towered over the smaller ones that are 100+ years old. Kinda made me sad.

I had some blister problems around mile 12 but the pressure didn't hit me till last night. Look what I found!

That got popped real quick!

And two more pictures... The new family photo shoot...

Had to put two good ones in here after that blister shot!

Monday, November 29, 2010

2nd Annual Sticks and Biscuits 5k

Wednesday night I check the weather forecast and it says "ran/snow mix" for Thursday. It's only a 5k, how could could it be?

Thursday morning the alarm went off at 6:15am. Get up, make some coffee, put some clothes on and I'm out the door to Palmyra, PA (next to Hershey) to run the 2nd annual Sticks and Biscuits 5k. I have no idea why it's named this except for the fact that it's a fundraiser for a youth hockey league. It was raining/sleeting at my house when I left around 7am but stopped as I drove east. Since our weather goes from west to easy, I knew it was only a matter of time before it would catch up.

I arrive around 7:30am, check in and get my tee shirt and timing chip. I opted to not have a glazed doughnut they were giving out but instead finished my coffee. About 20 minutes before race start the weather moved in.

The race started at 8:15am and was basically an out and back course through a neighborhood. Of course when the gun went off there were no mats so everyone's chip started at the same time. And... I forgot to start my GPS till about a minute in. I was wearing shorts and a tee shirt with my running gloves. There were an estimated 600 people so it wasn't a small race. I went out fast. It felt good considering I lifted weights the day before.

I couldn't even tell you my splits because my GPS was a little off. I probably hit the first mile in about 6:30. They didn't have another split on the course till mile 2.5 which the kid yelled out 15:42 I think. There were so many turns on the course I tried to run as many tangents as I could but with the out and back style, I was dodging other people after the turn around. I kicked it into the finish beating the two people I was jockeying with the entire race and saw 19:19 as I crossed the finish line. A new PR (although everyone I talked to after the race said it was short). I hung around for the awards and it was kinda unorganized. I waited about 45 minutes from the time I finished till some lady came into the ice rink and shouted out names and numbers for the age groups... not even finishing times. With a time of 19:19, I thought I had a podium. Nope. The winners got pie anyway. I already had some with my name on it at my Aunt's house.

I just checked the results on line and I was 10th in my age group with an official time of 19:21 (6:15/mile). I guess the good news is there were 75 people in my age group. An interesting side note... the guy that won the race was disqualified. He seemed like a ringer. The real winner had a time of 15:34. Crazy fast.

On other news, the new boy Orion is doing fantastic. My mother in law left us Thanksgiving morning to go back to her family in Pittsburgh. My wife is doing an amazing job as a new mom. He's only peed on me twice where I had to change shirts. Stupid Huggies diapers are GOING BACK TO TARGET! My mother in law is already planning on making the 4 hour drive this weekend to see him again. I knew she couldn't stay away long.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Orion is finally here!

Sunday morning (well, last Sunday), we were at Target getting a few things and my wife has these stomach pains. Goes to the bathroom and tells me she thinks her mucus plug just came out. Oh shit. She's having contractions throughout the day, very inconstant. 15 minutes apart, 20 minutes, then 8 minutes. Around midnight she calls the doctor and he basically says tough it out as long as you can and come in when you are ready. 3am rolls around and she cannot sleep anymore so we go into the hospital. They check her out, 3cm 80% effaced. They make us walk the halls of the L&D floor for about an hour and a half and check her again. Still the same. They gave her two options: Go home or take some drugs so she can sleep. She took the drugs.

10am rolls around and they check her. 5cm. Woo Hoo, making progress. We finally get admitted, our own room, then the pain begins. She went a solid 12 hours with no pain meds until she was 9cm dilated and she just couldn't take it anymore. They gave her an epidural, and an hour later it was time to push. 11:09pm he finally popped out! I saw the whole thing! (I was also watching the Eagles MNF destroy the Redskins!) Before she started pushing I told her "Honey, I know your in a lot of pain, but you would mind if I put the game on mute just so I can stay updated?" Kinda dick? Not really. I didn't leave her side for almost 24 hours! Even while she was soaking in the tub at the hospital, I was next to her (reading a magazine)

So with out further adu. Orion Peter Fogelman 8lbs 11oz 21" long

Friday, November 12, 2010

No baby yet

Everything is in a frozen state as the official due date has come and gone and no baby yet. I'm just going to post some pictures of some of the sock monkeys my mother in law and sister in law made for Baby Foges. These are basically stuffed socks with buttons, stitching, and imagination.

the gang, just hanging out

someone said this will look like me in 10 yrs

pretty sweet lion!

monkey hanging out


We have about 20 of these for the baby. I think they are pretty sweet. My inlaws are so freakin' creative. I hope Baby Foges gets some of that!

Oh and by the way, if you don't follow DC Rainmaker, do it. He has some great posts and also gives away free stuff!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Tomorrow is the big 3-0. I really thought I would be dead or in jail by this point, but in a surprising twist, I actually grew up. Homeowner, reliable job, baby due in 6 days. Things have changed a lot from college where it was drinking, smoking and doing drugs (not the bad kind, just weed) on a daily basis.

Moving back to PA changed my life in a good way. I realized that I was overweight and saw all the other people around me were overweight and did not want to end up like that. I really buckled down, counted my calories, ate only whole, healthy foods and lost the 65 pounds that was weighing me down. Who knew that diet and exercise actually worked!

Living in CO, I never realized I was overweight. Everyone is so active there. I was extremely active as well, but still ate like crap. I drove to the mountains almost every weekend to ski, rode my bike around Denver's beautiful paved trails and even tried to climb Mt Evans one time. I only made it 1/4 of the way up.

I can pretty much say with certainty that I am in the best shape of my life these days. Completed my first marathon about a month ago with several more on the horizon for next year. Olympic Tris this summer moving up to 70.3 distance next summer. Maybe even an Ultra Marathon 50k trail run thrown in.

I had an internal interview this morning for a different department as well. It is a lateral move but the ladder goes much higher than where I currently am. I'm in a pretty good mood!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm an uncle!

My twin sister gave birth Monday morning at 1:40am to a 9.5lb 21.5" baby boy named Jed. They are doing awesome. Sister is coming home from the hosptial today. She really wanted a halloween baby but 11/1/10 is pretty cool also. We turn 30 in 4 days and only 9 more days till I'm a proud papa.

Because she gave birth at PSU Hershey Medical Center, I had to get a pic of me with the Lion Shrine! WE ARE PENN STATE!

Friday, October 29, 2010

T minus 12 days and counting...

Till my life gets turned upside down. Huh? As my title goes... 3 out of 4 things completed. Ran my first Marathon HERE, raced several triathlons, and I'm obviously a pretty cool dude in every post but one goal gets met in +/- 12 days.
Baby Boy arrives. Life is going to change. Hopefully for the better. We have been taking classes offered by the hospital for about two months now but I honestly don't think anything is going to compare to actually holding the little guy.

The last and final class this past Tuesday was all about what to do when the baby is at home. The instructors set up stations that we would rotate through to learn different things. How to wash a baby, change a diaper, put on a onesie, and other junk. One thing we forgot about is baby-proofing. Obviously that's still several months away but it hit me that there is SO MUCH stuff that they can't teach us in class. I'm just hoping for a healthy baby and we'll cross each obstacle when it gets here.

As I was leaving work last night, a coworker asked me to help her carry something out from one of the training rooms. I follow her and SURPRISE!!! they throw me a baby shower. (yes my wife was there too) Totally unexpected!
All I could think about was "how long is this going to take? the sun is going down and I need to get 7 miles in before the trick or treaters come" Obviously that wasn't going to happen since it gets dark about 6:30 these days. It was extremely nice of them and a total surprise to me. My first baby shower. We got a gift card for Target from everyone. I told them "I think this is enough money to buy a Wii and the new Big Buck Hunter game, or diapers... we'll see"

Did you guys see the new Big Buck Hunter game for Wii? That's my favorite game to play at the bars (when we used to go to the bars all the time) I'm tempted to buy it just to play that game, the same way I bought a PS2 for Guitar Hero. I'm more responsible now (because The Wife already said no).

So anyway, we got home around 6:45, turn the light on and wait for the trick or treaters. It was unseasonably warm so we sat outside and waited for them. We had a good night!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I think I found my HIM race!

I had this crazy goal this year of progressing through triathlon distances one year at a time. Even thought I spend 3 years doing sprint distances, this year was my first Olympic, no wait, that was a duathalon... This Olympic was an 'official' Olympic, next year I want to do another Olympic in the spring then a Half Ironman in the fall and eventually a full Ironman in 2012. Well, you know how it goes. You go to all these races and people start talking about other races. Ultra Marathon Trail runs? Sure they sound like a good idea except why are they always on the weekends you have other races?

I have been looking around a great website just putzing around looking for different races. I would love to do the new Pocono 70.3 Half Ironman but $275 entry fee? Really? That's too rich for my blood. So back on beginner triathlete and I found Cannonman Triathlon and as of this post, there are only 2 poeple entered. EASY AWARD ALERT!!!!!
The entry fee is reasonable at $130. The site is about 2 hours from me which isn't too bad but the only lodging listed on the website is a campground. I love camping just as much as the next guy but camping is reserved for staying up late, drinking beer, and having a good time. Not waking up early to torture your body.

But I'm really pumped about it and I think I can fit it into my race schedule. The only other 'A' races on my calander are a triathlon with Team in Training (not announced yet, but probably a sprint or Oly in early summer) and a Marathon with my sister. (her first)

So if you are interested in racing a cheap, low key HIM next fall, let me know (please note: not accepting M30-35 unless you are slower than me) SO WHO'S WITH ME FOR THE CANNONMAN 70.3 2011?

p.s. I also changed my profile picture to an actuap picture of me! This is me at my very first triathlon 3 years ago. I was also 60lbs heavier. I'm skinny(ier) now!

A special thanks to Sam for reminding me I can use hyperlinks in my posts! She's also here!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Compression Socks

With all the talk lately about compression socks, I really wanted to get a pair. But I really didn't want to pay $35 for them. I also thought about just wraping my legs with ACE bandages after a hard run as well, but luckly a friend of a friend is a rep for a sports clothing company and was able to score me a free pair! I got them in the mail yesterday and my wife forgets to tell me. This morning, as I'm finishing my coffee, she tells me I got a package last night. Of course it's like christmas whenever I get a package. I tear that shit open and put on a sock. It took me several minutes though, because they are pretty tight (obviously). I was going to wear them to work today but my wife thought otherwise. I can't wait to use them this weekend!

Here is a pic my wife took this morning (with the dog eating breakfast next to me)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Steamtown Marathon Part Deux

I’ve had some time to reflect on the events from this past Sunday and wanted to produce a list of pros and cons from my first Steamtown Marathon Experience.

 Pre-race notifications were great, although I had to find them first(find the asst race director’s twitter page and click on the link to the newsletter.
 Website tracked weekly entries until the race was sold out.
 Lots of options for hotels and restaurants in the area that were not $200/night
 Held a pre-race meeting at the expo talking about the course
 Race morning there were tons of busses ready to heard everyone 45 min to the start line
 Forrest City Middle School was well organized. We had a guy with a sign saying “Follow me”, cheerleaders screaming cheers and handing out water.
 There were plenty of volunteers and water stops along the way, even random water stops
 At almost every water stop there were 2-3 port-o-pots (I’m a guy, I pee in the woods)
 They had plenty of photographers along the course and even after the finish line
 They gave us a plastic bag to put our food in.
 They had showers for us at a local college

 Stupid Mother Nature made it 30 degrees at the start.
 The expo was lacking in merchandise to sell.
 The goodie bag included one crappy pair of really small orange sunglasses from an eye doctor, and lots of junk paper.
 The start line wasn’t spaced out enough, took almost a minute to cross the start.
 I didn’t know your ‘official time’ is clock time, not chip time.
 There were no energy gels on the course, just apples and oranges (and gummy bears that I only noticed after I passed them) Good thing I bought some gels at the expo
 I found my new best friend/running partner Tim’s name but could not find him on Facebook to thank him.

I found some pictures also!

My legs have been pretty beat up these last few days but I went out last night and did a real easy 3 miles. The first mile was slow, and downhill. I felt like my dad running. (limping mostly) Then the road flattened out and went slightly uphill and I could pick up the pace and work out some of that lactic acid and I actually felt pretty good at the end.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Steamtown Marathon Race Report

The weather report for Scranton, PA was 40 degrees at 8am rising to 65 by noon. Perfect day for a run. The drive from Harrisburg to Scranton took about two hours but just flew by because of all the fall foliage on I-81. The leaves are not changing as dramatic in Harrisburg as they are just a few miles north.

We arrived at the Expo around 2:15pm. Scranton HS is this amazingly modern high school with crazy colors and curvy lines. Parking was a disaster. There was a pee-wee football game going on and I heard students were also taking SATs Saturday. We drove around the entire school before finding a parking spot around back that probably wasn’t really a parking spot. Entered the Expo and went to pick up my packet. Number 665. Got my tee shirt and poster and went to walk around.

Reading different blogs and hearing people speak about compression socks I wanted to pick up a pair for myself. Apparently everyone else heard about them also because there was only one pair left and they were $35! For socks? Really? Oh well. I bought some Gu packets and a pair of cheap running gloves. They had a sign up that said it would be 30 degrees at the start! Thanks to Steamtown for not charging more than $2 for a pair of gloves.

We left the expo and went to the hotel to check in. The Super 8 was maybe 15 minutes from downtown Scranton. What a dump! But for only $55 a night, I didn’t complain (much). They said they were going through renovations. The hallways smelled like shit and the bathroom was so dirty!

We went to Arby’s next door because it was around 3pm and we haven’t eaten since breakfast. Having a 36 week prego with me, she has to eat every couple hours. Couple things off the dollar menu felt kinda good. I waited an hour and went on a light 3 mile run around the area.

The race committee hosts a pasta dinner the night before but we didn’t feel like driving back to Scranton just to eat some pasta. We ended up going to Ruby Tuesdays one exit down at the base of Montage Mountain (ski ‘resort’). We wanted to go there mainly because of their delicious salad bar. Apparently everyone else decided to go there also. I think we waited longer for an table then it actually took to order and eat!

Race morning started at 5am when my alarm went off. I heard lots of doors opening and closing and knew it was time to get up. I dress and we jump in the car for the 15 min drive to the finish line. Being a point to point race, we all loaded in school busses for the 45 minute drive to the start line 26.2 miles away. They did a great job with cheerleaders there cheering, handing out water bottles and just wishing us well.

We all sat around in the gym for about an hour till it was time to start. It was an extremely brisk morning but I still felt comfortable wearing shorts, a tee shirt and my newly purchased running gloves.

There is a huge downhill within the first mile and everyone does the ‘Steamtown Shuffle’ down it. “Don’t go out too fast” and Don’t try and bank time” was the theme from everyone this weekend. Everyone was passing me the first few miles but I was on my pace and knew I would be fine. I’m not going to go into detail here about every mile and what happened, because I really don’t remember. I kind of just zone out and try to keep my breathing in check. There were some bands and lots of people cheering so that made time fly by also.

I noticed around mile 12-13 that this guy and girl were waiting at a port-o-pot and she just jumped in front of him. He stood there for a few seconds and just started running again. I said to him “that’s pretty cold, leaving here there like that.” He said “I’m not with her, she just cut me off.” So we continued on, talked about race goals and whatnot and he was shooting for the same time as me. So I asked him “do you want to run together and we can work together?” Thankfully he said yes and it was a combined effort. He is also a math teacher so I let him do all the math for our calculated finish.

The miles just seemed to fly by. I remember hitting the ½ way mark in about 1:49 which put me right on track for my 3:40 finish. I didn’t know until waiting in the gym that no water stops would have any Gu. I only brought two with me. I took one at the 13.1 mark.

We hit the 20 mile mark and I took my second Gu. We kept asking each other how we felt and honestly, I felt amazing. A slight pain as I could feel a small blister forming on my right foot but that’s it.

Those of you that have run a marathon before always talk about ‘hitting the wall’ and honestly it didn’t even occur to me that I was going to hit one until about mile 22.5. I started feeling it in my quads and him flexors from running downhill for 20 miles. There was also a huge hill around this time that thankfully was filled with people but that was my worst mile split at 8:55 (besides the first mile where we were so backed in and I had to keep dodging people).

Another 3 block hill in downtown Scranton at mile 25.5. Just cruel. Tim, my new running buddy told me that I was 15 seconds back from hitting my goal of 3:40 so I told him I’m going to push it and I’ll see him at the finish. I powered up that stupid hill only to notice that the finish line was still at least ½ mile out. My legs were trashed. My HR was through the roof and I had to wait till that came down to make my final push. I hit the finish line in 3:40.45. I was happy. Start the cramping.

Tim finished about a minute behind me and we got are pictures taken together at the finish line (coming soon). Hips, quads, calves, hamstrings, all throbbing in pain. I had one of two options, 1) sit on some chairs to the right or 2) stand in line and get some food. My total calories consumed were a mere 200 so of course I opted to wait in line and eat something. I knew if I sat down I would never be able to get up anyway. They were handing out shopping bags and I asked Tim “what the hell is this for? A puke bag?” Nope, just for food. Good. I had nothing to throw up anyway. Loaded up on food and found my wife. I sat down in the grass for a good 30 minutes, just trying to stretch and eat something. When we finally decided to leave, she tells me she parked 4 blocks away. Oh what an awful walk that was. Luckily she parked next to the place we could take showers at. Of course the showers were up 3 flights of stairs. Just mean!

Showered and dressed I hobbled my way down the stairs, got in the car and found the nearest McDonalds to chow down! I deserved it!

It was a great race and a very positive experience for my first (of many) marathons! My sister already signed up for Pittsburg on May 15th so I guess that’s my next one!

Final stats: Chip time 3:40.45 8:25 avg pace. 45 of 85 M 25-29

If I were an old man or a woman, I would have qualified for Boston!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Marathon this Sunday! TnT is dyno-mite!

Steamtown is this weekend! I'm pretty confident that I'm going to succeed and hit my goal time. My training is going excellent thanks to the last few long runs done with Team in Training. Although I already completed my race with TnT, they still encourage alumni to come out and continue to train. My friend told me to find a guy named "Steve" and run with him because he can keep up with me. I met up with Steve, and after introducing everyone we were off. 18 miles was on the agenda.

Steve is one heavy breather! When we hit the first water stop, around mile 3, he turned to me and said "can you believe I used to be 318 pounds!" He just started walking then running and now he's about 200lbs maybe 6'1".

Around mile 9 we started hitting some hills and he slowed down. I left him. I continued on my way, stopping at the water stops and having some water and Gu. Nutrition was perfect with no stomach or ankle problems! I had to get home ASAP and finish our fence with the inlaws.

Monday morning I was off to Irvine, CA for a few days for business. It was beautiful and I took a few pics with my camera phone on the beach.

Not too bad for a camera phone!

This past Saturday was my last "long" run before the race. I ran with a woman who called herself Cindy from TnT. She qualified for Boston. What she didn't tell me is her qualifying time was 4 hours. Regardless, she made a great running partner. We chatted the entire time and ended our 14.58 miles at an 8:35 pace. That really gave me a boost of confidence for this weekend.

Another TnT alumni training for IM FL on Nov 6th returned a book to her called UltraMarathon Man by Dean Karnazes. If you have not read this book, read it. It's amazing. Don't ruin it for me. I still have a few more chapters to go. I basically read it all weekend. He's a great story teller. Makes me want to run an ultra! (in fact, i think i am going to run a 50k trail run next year)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I'm studying for a test Friday afternoon so not much time to write a blog. But I did remember to take pictures.

Yesterday in the mail we got our baby jogger thing. This is my wife practicing at 7:30 this morning.

Monday I put the baby crib together. Not as hard as I thought it would be. Now it's full of baby stuff because the in laws are coming this weekend.

Last night we rented a Lowes truck to drop off some lumber. In laws are coming in this weekend to help me put up a split rail fence. I unloaded all this lumber right after my 10 mile tempo run. Still had my sweaty shirt on. Oh yeah, we got a hot tub too (in front of the shed) My parents didn't want it anymore so I took it off their hands. Needs water.

It may not look like a lot but those rails are 11' long and HEAVY.

That's it for now. Here is the book I'm reading (for my test) BOO!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You spin me right round baby, right round

All this marathon training has really taken it's toll on me. It's tough to put together two consecutive days of hard running. My legs just feel gassed, lead-like almost. I have done one 20 miler a few weeks ago so I know I can finish the marathon, maybe not at my goal time of 3:40, but finish nonetheless.

The past 3 long runs I have done I start to get a little pain on the inside portion of my left ankle. Maybe it's due to the curve or the road or the way I'm landing, but it hurts and it's upsetting when I hit mile 15 of a scheduled 20 miler and I have to stop and limp home. So luckily I started my taper and there are no more 20 milers in my future. I think, since the pain starts around mile 13-15, I'm going to throw in a few tempo runs at race pace and also some 'long' runs about 30 sec slower than race pace no longer than 15 miles.

Anyway, back to the title. (thanks Emz) Since my legs have been so beat I decided to go back to my winter training routine, at least for last night. The spin class. I told myself (and the instructor, who is also my Realtor) that I wouldn't be back till it gets too cold outside to ride. Well it was a beautiful sunny 80 degree day yesterday but I packed my gym bag with my cycling shoes, bike shorts, and a towel and off I went.

I really did miss it. I even remembered the setting on my bike (height N, seat 2, handlebars 4). Plus it's always fun to look at the cute girls in spin class. You just don't see that on the back roads where I ride. Just larger women in the drive-thru of McDonald's or 7-11 getting Krispy Kremes. Back to the class. I have never had this instructor before for spin. I have had her once or twice for yoga as she filled in for the regular. Her voice for yoga was so soft and nice but unfortunately that doesn't work for spin class with the music blaring. I could barley hear her sometimes so I just did what I wanted. She did keep saying "where's your breathing", and I thought to myself "in my lungs dumb ass". Then she started asking everyone what their resting HR was and we had 'homework' to check it first thing in the morning. Just sitting at my desk my HR is well below 60 so I'm fine.

After spin class the girl next to me said "it looks like you sweat enough to fill a baby pool". What am I supposed to say to that? Do I smell too? (i think i kinda did). But all I could think of was "thanks, I had a lot of water today."

Who else spins? Do you feel stooopid spinning inside when it's so beautiful outside?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Baby Shower and Phillies Game in pics

Since I wasn't invited to the baby shower and HAD to play golf instead, I didn't get any good pictures from the shower, so this is a pic of my wife 'playing with her toys' at her parents house. Nesting I think they call it.
My mother in law also made this nice bandanna for our dog, since she's going to be a big sister soon!
This pic was taken before we went to the baby shower, but I wanted to add it anyway because our cat found a new sleeping spot. Last night my dad and I went to the Phillies game. They played the Marlins and they won 10-6. We got to the stadium around 6pm for a 7pm game. There was a sign that said "no tailgating" We obviously didn't listen! Tailgating view of the stadium. They are first place in the NL East by 1/2 a game over Atlanta. Here is a view from our seats.
See our seats?

weekend recap (shit, it's thursday already)

for lack of time, here is my weekend in terrible english.

Friday i got off work at 3pm and we drove to Pittsburgh for our first baby shower. Got there around 8pm and just hung out for a little bit. I went to bed early so I could get up at 5:30am and do my long run. I was out the door around 6am and finished 8 miles before the sun came up. I ran two 8 mile loops stopping at a gas station at mile 4 and 12 to drink some gatorade I bought on the first loop and stashed in a bush for the 2nd loop (i came back to get my empty bottle) I managed to squeak out 17 at an 8:40 pace after some stomach problems (and a stop at the gas station mile 12). I showered and we were off to the golf course.

It was extremly windy on the course and the ball flight was affected by the wind. I ended up shooting a 92, but should have been around an 85 because of the wind. After we finished up, and finished a beer at the bar, we went to help clean up the baby shower. I guess I was kinda drunk or because these woman didn't have anything to drink but it just felt kind of awkward when I was in there. Too much estrogen. I helped them clean up and we went home to hang out with whom was left. I hung out for an hour or so but I had to take a nap. I fell asleep for 1-2 hours on the couch watching football but felt a lot better when I woke up. Some friends came over and we hung out by the camp fire till it was time for bed.

Sunday we woke up and decided to go to Target to return 3 baby swings we got. Funny story, we got 4 swings, for some reason they wern't coming off our registry so people kept buying them. I got a sweatshirt with the return $ because i thought it was still summer and didn't pack any pants or long sleeve shirts. Sunday was also the free Rusted Root concert. They put on a free show annually and all the donations go to some charity. They are from Pittsburgh. 7 of us packed in a van along with 5 other cars full of our friends all went in at the same time. We got there around 3pm and the show didn't start till 7:30. We played football, cornhole, frisbee, and grilled tons of food. The show started and we made our way down to the stage and had a blast. The show was in a park and we were in the first row of cars, so we could actucally see the stage from our car, but we walked down the side and ended up 6 rows back. Damn hippies! (apparently i can hulu-hoop!)

Monday we chilled around the inlaws place till it was time to pack up. We stopped at a friend's house who was having a bbq and ate some more food. We made the 4 hour drive back in record time and unpacked all our baby shit so emily can start 'nesting' (i just met her for lunch and she's going to babies r us to take some clothes back)

short week! alright!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

in a funk

So a coworker came up to me this morning and sat down next to me and said "Jason, what's wrong" you seem to be down these last couple days/weeks" To be honest, I feel kind of in a funk. I'm tired at work and although I do interact socially with my coworkers, I'm just not my jovial self.

This might be due the fact that I have been sleeping in a tent on the weekends the past two. Last weekend we had an air mattress but it rained and our tent leaked a little, so I was sleeping on a wet air mattress. This past weekend I didn't have my air mattress so I was sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag. I kept waking up to roll over and my hips were hurting.

More stress because of this baby that's coming in a few short months. Like 2.5 months. And even more reason to be tired is because I'm putting in so many miles running to train for this marathon, it's really taking it's toll.

Our weekends have been so busy and there aren’t going to be many free weekends until the end of September. We are trying to plan a house warming party also so that weekend we now have free might be filled up.

On some good news my training is going really well. I'm up to 20 miles on my long runs (well, I only did one 20 miler but felt good after it). I can complete my 10 mile tempo runs at race pace and last night I did an 'easy' 8 miles at 8:39 pace in the 90+ heat. I'm really hoping for some cooler days so I can just not worry about carrying a ton of water with me or doing mini loops back to my house to grab a drink. It fucks with my mind when I have to do 3 5mile loops. I would rather just do one big 20 mile loop with some water stops along the way.

This weekend we are going to my in-laws in Pittsburg for our baby shower. Rusted Root is also putting on a free concert at a park. $20 donation per car on Monday afternoon. We went last year and it was a ton of fun. I think I'm going to limit my alcohol consumption this weekend though. The last two weekends I drank way too much beer and ate way too much food. I assume we are playing golf this weekend also while the ladies do the baby shower stuff. I also need to get in a long run, hopefully at least 16 miles. Two stupid laps, again.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2 tempo runs

Monday night I did a 7 mile tempo run at race pace, well, probably a little quicker than race pace (around 8:06 i think) then when I look at my training calender, I realized I was supposed to do 9. Last night I decided to do a 10 mile tempo run. I was playing with my GPS and remembered I have a virtual partner to help pace me. My GPS does beep every mile to tell me what I ran the previous mile in, but with virtual partner it gives me how far ahead (or behind) i am and updates in real time. I'm happy to say I stayed .10-.15 ahead of my 'partner' the entire time, even with some pretty decent size hills. My average pace was 8:14 and I finished in 1:22. I also weighed myself before and after and I dropped 7lbs (water weight). Don't worry, I drank a gallon of water when I got back and ate 3 slices of home made pizza for dinner! (with a piece of cake for dessert).

Tonight is a track workout with Keith

how are your tempo runs coming along?

Monday, August 23, 2010

First 20 miler!

I took off work Friday (called in sick actually) because we went to Indiana, PA for the weekend. Took off Thursday night, about a 3 hour drive. Got there around 10:30pm. I had to wake up early (to call in sick) and also get to the golf course! We teed off around 9:30am. Cracked the first beer about 30 min before that. I played terrible the front nine, 14 shots over par! On an interesting side note, the 8th hole my golf ball went through the front windshield of a truck coming down the road! He's trying to make me pay for it (the owner of the trucking company actually came to the course to try and get money from me!) "So I priced it out and it comes to $250. I take cash or credit cards" Scew you buddy! I'm not paying your shit till I talk to my insurance agent! Don't you think the golf course is responsible for it anyway? I mean the road goes right through the course. They have to have insurance for that!

I stopped drinking after the round because I had to hydrate for my long run Saturday morning. I went on because I had no idea where I was going. I usually like to make loops because I don't like running the same road out and back. The elevation was deceiving on the website. There were so many hills. I made it 20.39 miles in (eek) 3:15. My wife's cousin, who is 16, was nice enough to ride with me to carry my water and food. He was riding right behind me for the first 2 miles or so until we came up to the first hill. He had to walk. He would pass me on the downhills and I would pass him back on the ups. Well, he only made it 14 miles when his dad came driving by and he's like, "I'm hungry, I'm quitting!" Seriously? I need you to carry my water! So I chugged a lot of water and carried 1/2 a bottle with me. The last 6 miles was super slow. The last 3 were up one big hill that was so sloped it was hurting my ankles. It turns out that when I got back, we found out that his back brakes were locked up the entire time! He probably could have made it if he noticed. (he doesn't have much common sense!)

Then the party started. It was my wife's uncle's 60th surprise party. We drank, ate, and partied. I burned 3,200 calories on that run so I easily ate 5,000 calories Sunday (including beer). I took some great videos on my phone of my 'uncle' doing his little dance routine to the Village People (it's almost an annual treat now) but I cannot upload it here(he didn't know they were gay until about 3 years ago). It started raining around 10pm and we started playing poker. These guys live for poker. That's all they talk about. I flopped this, he beat me on the river that... I started with $20 and walked away at 2:30am (when the game ended) with $120. I think after I talk to my insurance agent this morning, if it's my fault, I'll offer the truck driver $125 and say "that's the cost of driving through a golf course!"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Long and Wet

That's what she said!

My weekend started with happy hour Friday after work. After a company picnic filled with BBQ and desserts, I was not in the mood for dinner. We went to a placed called The Firehouse for dinner and drinks. Everyone else ordered dinner while I stuck to Guinnes. We walked around downtown for awhile untill we finally stopped at an ourdoor bar for a few more drinks. I was in bed by 10am. I loved it.

Saturday morning I met some coworkers to go mountain biking on some sweet trails about 30 min from where I live. Not as much mud and stream crossings as I would like, but enough to make me clean my mountain bike.

I then had to rush home and get to my grandparents's house to celebrate my dad's 57th birthday. My grandmother said lunch would either be hot dogs or flank steak. We had hot dogs. I didn't want to stuff myself because I still had to do my 16 miler that evening. I only had one piece of cake and a brownie! I gave myself 3 hours before I set out for my run.

When I am at my parents house, I always run on the Union Canal. It's crushed gravel, flat, and shaded. .

The part that I usually run on is about a 7 mile stretch, with water stops along the way. I planned my route (without my GPS, I couldn't find it) to hit about 16 miles with my dad's imput on how far different places were on the trail. "If you go all the way to then end, turn around, go all the way to the other end, then go 1/2 way the other way, then home, that should be about 16" he said. It really didn't seem that far in my head, but once I got out there around 5:30pm and the sun started going down, it got pretty dark, and late. I still had enough energy to take a shower and go to the bar for some beer and wings though!

Sunday morning I was up early again getting ready to go play golf. 8:50am tee time and it started pouring as we were loading the bags on our cart. Luckly it stopped before we teed off so off we went. Cracked a beer on the first hole and never looked back. I seem to play a lot better when I'm drinking. I was a horrible 10 over the front nine but only 4 over the back. Around hole 16, after I watered every tee box tree from all the liquids I was consuming, it started to rain. Then pour. Three guys in the group behind us continued to play so we pulled off the path and let them play through. We were sitting in the car for about 10 minutes when I finally said "screw it, lets keep playing". We finished the hole and finished the round. I was drenched, but I was drunk so it didn't really matter. I look at my watch and it's only 1:30pm. Woops. Probably shouldn't have had 8 beers. Oh well. At least I got my long run in, and felt good about it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Johnny Cash Day and my 14 miler

I'm rocking the Johnny Cash look today. Black shirt and black pants. I hear it's slimming!

Last night was my long run and I made the 14 miles. Although it was slow, it got done. I tried to carry a water bottle with me but even though I only had it 1/2 full, I felt my shoulder tensing up because I didn't want to keep sloshing the liquid around. I made it about 1.5 miles with the bottle before I stashed it on the side of the road to pick up on the second loop.

The loop I ran was exactly 7 miles, so after the first loop, I stopped at home to changed my shirt and hat because they were both soaked through and dripping wet. I also had some Gatorade-like drink that I had waiting in the fridge for me and a handful of pretzels. Off I went for the second lap.

It was a lot slower the second time around. I finished the first lap in 1:05 but felt like I was running a lot faster than I actually was. I blame the fact that it was 95 degrees on both laps and I completed an Olympic Tri on Sunday. I picked up my water bottle at the 8.5 mile mark, chugged the rest of the drink mix and stashed the bottle in my waistband on my shorts (in the back). I was starting to get a headache and was slowing down even more. With an empty water bottle, 95 degrees and the sun starting to set, I had to do something. I stopped at a gas station and filled up my water bottle and chugged it.

I finished up my 14 miles in around 2:13 or so which was about a 9:30 mile. Slow, I know, but I really felt like I was running at a 8:45. Just get the miles in... track workouts and tempo runs are for speed!

I also weighed myself this morning and I was down 4 lbs from yesterday! Probably due to the fact that I didn't eat dinner last night after my run. I had chocolate milk, some pretzels, and a yogurt. Carbs and protein to recover!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fort Richie Olympic Triathlon

Sunday morning, my alarm goes off at 3am. I force down a bowl of Cheerios and my friend picks me up at 3:30am to head down to MD for the Tri. We stop at Sheetz to grab a cup of coffee and there are about six drunken people ordering their 4th mean. Bastards.

My eyes hurt so bad I had to keep them closed the 1:15 it took us to get to Cascade, MD. We parked, went inside to get our numbers and get body marked. My eyes were starting to feel a little better. I was set up in transition before the sun even came up. It was cold outside. I took about a mile warm-up run and finished setting up my transition.

The swim, a 1500m (.9 miles) was a two loop course in a small lake. In the pre-race meeting the race director told us there was some undergrowth but as long as you didn't freak out and continue swimming you would be fine. That was a joke. There was so much undergrowth I felt like I could have put my feet down and it would have held me up, or pulled me down. It was in my mouth, around my goggles, arms, legs, and it kind of freaked me out once or twice. I managed to start passing people though, and finally got into a rhythm and finished in 32:25 (58/156).

The bike course was just stupid. We came out of the complex and started climbing, then it got really steep and climbed some more, for about the first two miles. Then we hit the downhill. That was a lot of fun. I was going 40mph without even pedaling. It's too bad I don't have that extra 60+lbs on me because this dude FLEW by me doing at least 45mph. At least I know his fat-ass would have a hell of a time going back UP that hill. (on a side note, so did I) 1:23:56 avg 17.0mph (62/156)

They told us the run was flat in the pre-race meeting. BULLSHIT! We basically snaked around the old army base twice. The hills were not long by any means, but there were 3 of them. Times 2 laps equals one every mile! My friend that I went with passed me at mile 3. I tried to keep up for as long as I could but he's a runner. So am I, but he's a faster runner! He averaged 1 min per mile faster than me. 52:57 8:32/mile (41/156)

My final time was 2:52:56. Not too bad considering the lake monster trying to eat me and all the hills on the course. Needless to say we will NOT be going back to this race next year. Two girl finished in front of me. Not TOO bad.

On a totally unrelated subject, I built a set of corn hole boards on Saturday and sewed the bags and filled them with corn yesterday. That was my arts and craft project for the weekend! I also finally hung my flat screen on the wall last night! Living room is DONE!

I finally remember to take pictures!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Prep for Olympic Tri this weekend

Since I got jipped out of a full Olympic distance tri this summer, I had to find another one to enter. That one turned out to be the Ft Richie Olympic Tri.

A two lap, 1.5k swim, followed by a 40k out and back bike ride, and finishing with a 10k. I received an email from the race director Sunday evening with the event details. The first thing I noticed is there is no race day registration. My training buddy who is doing this even with me was going to register the day of because his wife is due in about 2 weeks. I let him know and thankfully there was still time to register online so he did so. The second thing I noticed is we have to leave at 3:30am because it's about 1.5 hours away and packet pickup closes at 6am with the transition area closing at 6:30am. The third thing I noticed was the weather. It's going to be about 90 on Sunday.

Luckily the race starts at 7am with my wave starting at 7:21 so hopefully I will be done before the majority of the heat comes. They said the water temp last week was 77 degrees so I don't plan on wearing a wetsuit but if we are allowed to, I probably will. I am not a fan of wetsuits because I feel restricted when I swim.

I'm a little worried about my road bike though. I have been breaking spokes more often this year than any other year before. I'm up to 3 broken spokes so far. I dropped my bike off yesterday at my LBS and he suggested I replace them all with heavy duty spokes, not those zinc plated POS that are currently on my bike. I tried to blame it on these powerful legs but it's probably a flaw in the rim.

I have increased my running over the past two months trying to incorporate marathon training with tri training but my pool/lake time and bike time have suffered. My goal this week is to get a good swim/bike in Wednesday, a short bike/long run in Thursday (hopefully at least 14 miles), and maybe putz around Friday and Saturday as my 'taper'. Since this isn't my main race this year, I'm not going to taper like I should because I'm going to PR anyway. This race is just a stepping stone to my half iron man next summer and a full iron man in 2012, that is, if my wife lets me.