Thursday, March 29, 2007

Car Lovers

Are you one of those people who is always looking for a really neat car that's not popular? I've heard so many people talk about wanting a car that's awesome that nobody else has. I've often pointed out that if a car is that awesome then everyone will want it. Instead though, you can now buy a neat new hybrid in England. Something that would set you apart. Ok, not sure if it would go over in America, but you can read about it at Green Car Congress.

This got me thinking about car companies. I don't know why it is, but there are no new little car companies like this in America. The new car companies all come from overseas. I don't believe that American ingenuity is just that lacking. I like to think that we are at least on par with the other smart countries. Instead I think it's more that government oversight causes a problem. There are so many steps to deal with when making a car in America that it's not worth it. Even if an American did have a great idea for a new car or a new car company, it would either be sold to an existing car company, or taken overseas to start. The government shouldn't get in the way. The x-prize proved that private companies can do what until now has required the government for, let it be done in other industries as well. X-Prize for hybrids, x-prize for Green energy and batteries, and whatever else. It may even be cheaper to put an x-prize out there than to have the government pay for the research. Plus there will be competing methods of getting to the same final goal making the end product cheaper in the long run.

Marathonarific

I'm not sure it's a word, but what a feeling. I've been wanting do run a marathon for 15 years. 3 and 4 years ago I tried training for one, but kept getting completely burnt out about 13 mile distances and would give up. My body would just shut down and I'd have to take a week off after a 13 mile run. But that didn't help me keep my endurance up and I could never get past 14 miles.

With the support of my wife, I'm going to run a marathon this year. I have since found the training program from Jeff Galloway, and it is a lot lighter on miles and times than anything I've ever seen before. I would love to run a certain time, but my goal is solely to finish. That makes the Galloway program perfect for me, and more than 10,000 others that have used it in the past.

I used to want to run a little marathon, but this year, I felt a lot more like getting lost in the crowd, so I wanted a big one. Chicago would have been perfect, but my sweet cousin turns 18 that day. I searched and searched, and finally found Columbus Ohio that is one week later. It's the biggest one that's within a decent distance after Chicago. I needed that. The training program for Galloway is 26 weeks, which means I officially need to start the first week of April, but I've gotten a bit of a head start last week and this week to be able to jump right into the swing of things.

I have already gone from a long run of 2 miles last year, to a long run of 5.5 miles this year. Sure on my long run I took walk breaks, but I still ran an 11 minute mile pace, which is was my goal.

There's a lot of strange things surrounding my marathon excitement. I had wanted a tattoo for years and kept telling myself when I run a marathon I will get it. I got my tattoo in February. I have been trying to wake up early to run before work for months, but I was always too tired. Since deciding last week that I was going to do the marathon, I have been up early every day. I kept using the potential of the marathon as a motivator, but it wasn't working, it wasn't until I specifically sat down and said, "that one, that day", that the rest of my habits were able to change, overnight.

Is Boston in my future? Who knows, maybe, but not for a long time. I expect my first marathon time to be between 5 and 5.5 hours, way below the qualifying time of 3 hours and 10 minutes. That's an average pace of 7:15 per mile. My fastest mile is only 7 minutes. So there's a lot of improvement I need before Boston is an option, at the very least with everything going really well, it's 2 years away.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Yearly Bests

I'm a geek, there's no denying it. Every year I track a lot of things about myself; weight, running, baseball stats, my predictions.... Yes I track all that crap. Most people would probably not even consider, but me, I also like to analyze data.

Until a few years ago I would compare everything that I had and only considered something an improvement if it was better than a previous best. For some things though I'll never beat what I did when I was younger, in those days I was younger. Some physical feats may never be surpassed again. However, I may be able to improve a little each year, and I can continue to work on improving throughout the year. Therefore, now with almost everything, I only rate myself on the yearly bests. What is my best running time this year for 5K? What is my best time for 1 mile? What is my longest distance? Last year I may have done better in every category than what I am right now, but after a winter layoff it's like starting almost all of my personal records over and continuing to best them throughout the year. It's a very uplifting way to live.

My goal is always constant improvement. I want to better myself in every aspect of my life all the time. What I don't want to do is beat myself up because I'm not doing something as well right now as I did at my best 3 years ago.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ding dong

What? It's after 9 at night and the house is totally dark. I'm sitting in my bedroom preparing for bed, quickly checking my email (because I'm addicted) before turning out the last light, who could possibly be ringing the doorbell?

I answer, hello?
"Are you keeping that mattress in your trash by your garage?"
Uh, no, it's in the trash.
"Is anything wrong with it?"
Not that I know of. I bought it at an auction for 3$, it was really clean then, but it's been in my garage for weeks and I don't need it.
"Can we take it?"
That's fine by me, it's in the garbage.
"You sure you don't mind?"
No it's in the garbage.

Ok instead of back to getting ready for bed it's time to post. I can't believe I had to keep saying "No it's in the garbage."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I would use a cell phone as an MP3 player

I've been thinking about it, and I would use a cell phone as an MP3 player. I listen to music on my runs with my MP3 player, but I don't take a phone with me. I don't want to carry both a phone and an MP3 player. I like my MP3 player strapped to my arm so I don't have to carry it and I don't have to have it in my pocket. It is more comfortable that way.

So why would I use a cell phone?
They make arm bands for cell phones now.
I would have a phone with me that would let me call for help in case of a problem.
Cell phones are still getting smaller and lighter.
If my cell phone takes care of it, then there's one less gadget in my life.

Running can be dangerous. If you run long enough sooner or later you will fall. I had a nasty spill when I was in college running a 2 mile loop through the woods. One night after a storm I was running and there was a branch down that I couldn't see in the dark. I tripped at about the farthest out point. When I got up I felt around and saw that there was a huge branch on the ground that I hadn't seen. My leg hurt a lot and when I got back to the dorm my sock was soaked in blood. I had a pretty bad gash on my leg. I didn't go to the doctor for stitches even though I probably should have.

If I had a cell phone, I could have called for some help. It sure would have been nice to walk back knowing I wasn't going to trip over something else. Whenever my cell phone plan is ready to give me a discount on a new cell phone, I'll definitely look into one that can play MP3s.

Presidential election

I have some early thoughts on the next Presidential election. The democrats are going to win.

There are no good republican choices. I don't like any of the Republicans that I've read about running for President. And I don't think that Bush has done a great job.
I'm not happy about how things have gone in Iraq.

So who will I vote for? Most likely a democrat, but I'm not sure which one. Probably anyone other than Hillary. I wasn't a Bill Clinton fan and I don't think that his wife will have many different policies than he did. For now, I think my support will go with Barak Obama, but I will continue to follow the candidates stances before making my decision.

Where are your early votes going?

Walk America 4-29-2007

I will be walking with a group of family and friends on April 29th to raise money for March of Dimes at their annual Walk America campaign. I have been a March of Dimes supporter for years and have walked for each of the past 12 years. In college I was one of 7 members who started our own chapter of March of Dimes at the university. This is a cause that I fully support, and have for a long time.

Almost 2 years ago my cousin gave brith while only 23 weeks pregnant. There had been complications in the pregnancy and she spent the last few weeks of it on bed rest in the hospital. Bryan was born on September 1st, and didn't leave the hospital until January. When he got sent home it was a happy time, even though it brought more stress and complications. Bryan had undergone surgery several times while in the hospital, he had a feeding tube in his stomach and was on oxygen full time.

Now Bryan is tube free, and finally crawling. Our early fears of him being deaf seem to have been erased. He may be hard of hearing, but he does respond to noise. We continue to pray and thank God for the blessings he gave us with Bryan, and pray for Bryan and his parents who have so much to go through.

I will continue to support March of Dimes and I am walking for Bryan again. Please support March of Dimes through me by donating at http://www.walkamerica.org/bone86.

Thank you.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The power of being positive

I was talking to my 5 year old on the phone yesterday and he told me about having to get his immunization shots last week. He started with a bit of a tremble in his voice and said, "at the docter I had to get two shots". Immediately I wanted to say, "were you scared?" but that wasn't the message I wanted to convey, I wanted him to be strong and brave and grown up about it, so instead I asked, "Were you brave?" I felt that it changed the whole direction of the conversation, instead of him telling me about how afraid he was and how it hurt, he told me he was brave for the first shot, but "not brave" for the next one. It's strange to see how a small change in the choice of words can have an affect on how someone thinks about and looks at a situation. There are so many phrases that mean the same thing, yet could be rephrased to be more positive.

Were you afraid? Were you brave?
What place did you finish? Did you try your hardest?
At the moment nothing else is coming to my mind, but there are lots that I have thought of. Maybe I need to start writing them down when I have these kinds of thoughts.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Jonas starting school

Trish just called me and let me know that Jonas is registered for Kindergarten in the fall.

Not only that, but he will also be starting pre-school through her church on Monday, and will go for 2 hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

He's been out of daycare for a long time since he broke his leg. I think getting back into a social setting will be good for him.