Friday, January 30, 2009

Taking it to the masses

My distain for the Goatee Saver has been taken to the masses.   Check it here!  (Scroll down to "I Hate To Do This But...")

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's like a car wreck for your face

Flipping through a men's magazine at the grocery store (no, not Maxxim or FHM! It was Men's Journal) I came across this "gem" of a product advertised not once, but three times.  And like a car wreck, I can't turn away from it in all its moronic idiocy (that is some good English talking, I know.)  

Two questions come immediately to mind: 1) who in their right mind still has a goatee?  2) who in their right mind would buy this thing for $19.95?  

It reeks of the '80's "Miami Device" beard trimmer for that Sonny Crockett stubble look. You also kind of look like one of these characters from Star Wars when you use it (watch the video.)
And why would you do that to yourself?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Kind of Like It

Since this unemployment "issue" is taking a little longer to resolve, I am determined to take as much off A's plate as possible.  I do the laundry and dishes and try to keep the house picked up and now I have started cooking dinner.  OK, some might not think any of this is earth shattering or that it doesn't deserve some sort of "congratulation", and that is absolutely true.  But I digress, I am really enjoying making dinner.  I am not a particularly good cook, but I can follow a recipe and I have been able to try out some new ones that have turned out pretty good.  It feels good to make good use of my time.  Tonight's dinner was a wonderful little combination of steak on a bed of fennel with olives and jalapeno.  Yummy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy New Year!

Chinese New Year that is.  As if the freezing weather wasn't depressing enough.  My "friend" MS sent me some information on this, the year of the Ox.

My sign is Monkey, here is what I have in store.  

Being a monkey, I will continue to do what monkey's do - play with myself and throw poop - literally and figuratively.  I will also now have to start wearing a helmet all the time since stuff is likely to fall from the sky onto me.  

My wife's sign is Rooster.  

We are going to have a peaceful family life so, we have that going for us.  And Rooster girl should have a job all year.

MS responded to my disappointment with the following sentiment:
"Take this zodiac and shove it!  You're not Chinese anyway."

(MS is a Dog.  She claimed she can smell her own butt. Lovely.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Now I Don't Know What To Think

I am conflicted about my race yesterday. Here are the details:

It was cold but sunny.  They made it a reported 10K but my Garmin said 6.45 miles.  
From Anderson Race Management:
Place: 122, Time: 46:38, Pace: 7:32

From my watch:
Distance: 6.45 miles, Time: 47:03, Pace: 7:17
Mile 1: 7:30 
Mile 2: 7:20 
Mile 3: 7:20 
Mile 4: 7:13 
Mile 5: 6:58 
Miles 6: 7:08 
Fraction: 3:32 

I guess that is pretty good considering the conditions, but I don't know, I wanted to go faster, I guess. I did bike for a hard 45 minutes and lift weights (including four big leg sets) the day before so, should I really complain? I went on the Runner's World website and they have a tool that allows you to extrapolate one race distance time from another. Here is what they came up with when I put in the information from yesterday's race:

Notice the marathon time. That is damn near exactly the time I ran Twin Cities Marathon in. So, if I am to believe that, I am in the same shape I was at the end of last season - that is pretty good. Especially considering I am about ten pounds heavier right now. Let's hope that this is fairly accurate and I am starting where I left off, because, hey, could you ask for a better place to start? Let's also remember that this is my second season. It's not like I have been doing this for years. I should probably give myself a huge break and just get back to work and build from where I am. It is a long time until the snow melts and an even longer time until I am swimming in Cedar Lake. I have to remind myself to do what I can now and be patient and the rest will come.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Truly Frozen "Quarter" Marathon

Initially I was very disappointed that they shortened the race from a half marathon to a "quarter marathon" (which turned out to be more of a 10K), but when I crossed that starting line I was glad the misery would be short lived.  If you have read my blog recently, I have been all about running even when it is miserably cold out, so I should have been prepared to run in these conditions, right?  Not this morning.  Granted, it was a crystal clear, sunny day, but it was -15 with about a -30 windchill (if anyone from Hawaii or San Diego reads this that is a good 100 degrees colder than what you are experiencing today.)  

Overall, the race was fine.  46:38 was my final time, not bad considering my level of fitness right now and the fact that I have been increasing my training load with bike trainer time and weight sessions.  I am also not a huge fan of the 10K distance but that is probably due to my lack of experience running it.  My mile splits were very consistent.  By the end I was hot enough that I had to pull my face mask down to breath and take my mittens off to cool down.  I grabbed my souvenir mug and free bag of chips and headed home.  Less than two and half hours and my first race of the year was over.  Now the really training starts. 


Eating breakfast at the Zumbro Cafe with the family and F is playing with a G.I. Joe action figure.  

F: "G.I. Joe is doing an arabesque. On ice."

(I can guarantee when I was his age G.I. Joe never did an arabesque on ice or anywhere else.  Hell, I didn't even know what an arabesque was at that age.  Who is raising this kid?  Oh yeah, I am. Damn it.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Aww, Cripes! My Plea Has Been Heard

Well, they didn't cancel the race for tomorrow, but they shortened it.  This year the race will be known as the Securian Winter Carnival Frozen Quarter Marathon (does not have the same ring at all).  Too bad, it's not really about the runners, it's about the volunteers, so I can't really blame them.  Standing and getting water splashed on you in those temps would suck.  6.5 miles - now it's a race.  (Before it was to benchmark my pre-season fitness.)  I will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Please, Please, Please Don't Cancel

I am running the Securian Winter Carnival Frozen Half Marathon on Saturday.  I received a reminder email with this little tidbit:
It is supposed to be cold.  This cold:

(The race starts at 9am.)

I really want to run this race even if it is bone chilling cold.  It is called the "Frozen" Half Marathon after all.

The Funniest Show Ever

30 Rock - 'nough said.  (Especially tonight's episode:  "Retreat to Move Forward".)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


E:  "I have to wear my hat with the bill to the side!"
Me:  "That's fashion."
F:  "Fashion hurts."

Damn It!

Any dream I have of a tropical trip to a foreign island is dead, dead, dead.  Aside from the lack of funds and time - my passport has expired.  Put "renew passport" as the top of my list.  I really don't want to be in this position the next time I get the urge to go somewhere warm, sandy and not American.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Greatest Idea EVER

I am watching The Biggest Loser and was IMing with MS, from the running group.  I told her I would love to work out with those trainers like they are working out those fatties (mean, I know, but I said it.)

Her reply was, "Why don't you get fat and try out?"

My God! That is the best idea EVER! 


Then Again Maybe I Can Stand It A Little Longer

My buddy Ray sent me an email today.  

Ray:  "Hey, you want to try this sometime?"

Me:  "Sure!" (Wait, what did I just say?  "Does that mean I have to get all this gear?  I AM IN!")

Stay Tuned

Monday, January 19, 2009


I am SOOO tired of snow, shoveling snow, blowing snow, walking in snow, running on snow, not to mention the cold.  And the gray skies.  And the snow.  I need to get out of here, but there are no plans and no funds (at least until March and by that time we are through the worst.)  I really just want three full days to dive in Cayman, so I can see stuff like this:

and this:

and, finally, this:

I have to stop reading other people's blogs who are training in Hawaii or racing in South America.  All those pictures of sun and sand and palm trees are killing me.  I guess I will just snuggle back into bed until I have to run in the cold and dark tomorrow morning.  I hope it doesn't start snowing. DAMN!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Celebrate with Cake

A's mom insists on celebrating all Catholic high holidays with cake.

Here is the lamb cake served every Easter.

Here is the "Happy Birthday, Jesus" cake served every Christmas.


I love the holidays and I love cake.  

Kind of like waterboarding yourself

Combine -20 degrees with a -40 degree wind chill, throw in self-induced waterboarding caused by a wet face mask that has iced over making it impossible to breathe, add a brisk run and you have the torture I imposed on myself this morning at 5:15 for about 45 minutes.  Whee!

Dear Spring:
Where the hell are you?

Now that is tough

Even though two days ago I couldn't get myself to run in the cold morning, today I did it.  Or I should say "we" because MS and JH (aka "Dirty Skirt) and I ran on the coldest day of the year at the coldest time of the day because, "Hey, Fuck You Mother Nature and your arctic winds!"

When I left the house the temp said -19 degrees with a -38 degree wind chill.  When I got home the temp had dropped (yes, dropped) to -23 with a -40 wind chill.  Good times.

We layered up a lot and it actually wasn't too bad.  Even going so far as to Vaseline the very little exposed skin and eyelashes.  (Except for Dirty Skirt, she used Chap Stick.)  We didn't go far but, we did run and that is what counts.  

Unfortunately, I found out that the 405's operating temperature range does not extend down to -20.  It thaws out right quick though.

So I guess we are all tougher than we look.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Speaking like I am on The Biggest Loser

A and I have decided to talk to each other like we are on "The Biggest Loser".  As a form of compliment we are going to start telling each other "you are the biggest loser".  And we no longer have a bathroom.  It's now known as "the elimination room."

I am personally going to start talking like Trainer Bob in this excerpt:

Not as tough as I think I am

So I do have a limit on running in the cold.  In a previous post I claimed that I would run in any weather at any temperature, but yesterday I couldn't make it happen, at least not in the morning when it was the coldest.  I got up and started getting dressed to run and then saw that the rest of the group had bailed and I checked the weather and it was dark and my bed was warm so I put the pjs back on and went back to bed.  I did go to yoga at 9:30 and then did go for a run at about 3:00.  It was still -6 with a -12 windchill, but at least it was daylight.  And it was fast.  9.77 miles at 8:29/mile average.  I am not sure where that came from but it felt great.  I did have a dehydration headache for a couple of hours afterward, but I am all better now.

Here is what I looked like when I got home.  Look closely and notice the jagged ice stalagmites threatening my eyes.  A was unimpressed.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Amazing 405

About a month ago I posted my excitement over my new Garmin Forerunner 405.  After a good month training with it, I love it even more.  A few days ago I finally set up the Ant stick that comes with the watch to transfer info wirelessly to the computer and to the online service Garmin Connect.  The setup for the Ant was a little clunky, but that might have been the computer I was working on since the software for my Mac isn't available yet.  My favorite part of the whole package is the automatic mapping.  After you upload your activity it maps your route on Google maps.  So cool.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nuts are hilarious

This is funny.  The best parts are at :55 and 1:23.

Be sure to stick around for the Graty.

Did I just turn the corner?

As this concerns riding my bike on the trainer I did not really turn a corner - it's a figure of speech.  So, I road my bike for 50 minutes today.  I probably could have gone for the full hour but the kids were going to get off the bus soon and I needed to take a shower.  How did I do it?  I watched the IronMan Kona 2007 video.  So now I am going to have to watch that video every time I get on the bike?  I guess.  I should have the whole thing memorized by the end of January.  Good times!  

I am happy to report that my new seat is very comfortable.  I had some numbness, but who uses those areas anymore anyway, right?  Hopefully, I can get on some sort of schedule and do this on a regular basis.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I knew it!

A headline on got me really excited. 

"World's oldest person credits bacon"  

 I knew it!  Bacon is a magical food from God!  Eat bacon, live long and prosper.

(Dude! Turn around! The fountain of youth is right behind you!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Buck Ninety-Nine

Right after the holidays I stepped on the scale and this is what I weighed - 199 pounds.  Wow!  What the hell did I do to myself?  What I did to myself was eat massive quantities of everything put in front of me, hidden in the cupboards or left in the refrigerator.  Starting with Thanksgiving and on through New Year's we ate massive meals.  It was all so good, but the time has come to regain my self-control.  I absolutely refuse to touch 200 pounds again.  I was there before, never to return.  

I am pleased to report that I am already back down to 194.5.  I have stopped the face stuffing and adopted the following strategy:

Drink lots of water - I mean lots.  When I am hungry I drink half a bottle of water before I start to eat.  
Start with a good breakfast.
If I want something sweet I eat apples or oranges or a fat free yogurt. Salty, I eat a few cashews.  
For dessert I allow myself three Oreos, not the twelve I was eating in one sitting.  
I have also been trying to eat about half of what is on my plate.  
And I have stopped finishing the kids' food.  If they don't eat it, it doesn't get eaten.

So far, so good.  We'll have to see what I weigh in a couple of weeks to see how successful this new plan is.

Thanks for your support.

(Those freakish feet are not mine - I pulled that pic off the web.)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Post-holiday Eliseism

E - "Ugh, it broke!"
Me - "What's wrong, honey?  What broke?"
E - "I am trying to make an R2-D2 dreidel and it just broke!"
A gives me a quizzical look.  
(We are not Jewish and Hanukkah is over.)

Droidel, droidel, droidel

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Revised 2009 Race Schedule (Rev. #1)

Happy New Year!  2009 has finally arrived and there are revisions to the race schedule I posted months ago.  Changes are in italics.

January 24, 2009 - Securian Winter Carnival Frozen Half Marathon - Goal time: @1:45 - This will be a fun race with not much serious training.  I may be running this alone as training for the rest of the group has not been up to their expectations.

May 2, 2009 - Wells Fargo Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon - Goal time: 1:35 - This is the warm up for The Minneapolis Marathon and would like to be running about ten minutes faster than last year at this point.

May 31, 2009 - Inaugural Minneapolis Marathon - Goal time 3:45 (I will be pacing the ladies to a Boston qualifying time.)  This replaces Grandma's Marathon and will be easier to get to and train for as it is in town.

June 20, 2009 - Lake Minnetonka Triathlon - Goal time 1:00 - 1:05 - We will have to see since this is my first time for this race.

July 11, 2009 - Lifetime Fitness Triathlon - Goal time 2:20:00 - Great news!  I was thinking that this race was on July 19th.  Turns out it is the 11th, the week before Door County.

July 19, 2009 - Door County HIM Triathlon - Goal time: 5:00 - Shooting for a faster swim, much faster bike and another good run.  

July 25, 2009 - Chisago Lakes HIM Triathlon - Goal time: 5:15 - This will be my first time doing this race and my second HIM in a week and three races in a week. A daunting task to be sure, but I am a glutton for punishment. (I did DCT a week after Lifetime in 2008.) Figure I will tack on 15 minutes to account for tiredness from DCT and unfamiliar course.  This one may not happen as I would have to get home from Door County much earlier than usual.

September 6, 2009 - City of Lakes 25K - Goal time: @1:45 - Another warm-up race. This one for TCM.

October 2009 - Twin Cities Marathon - Goal time: 3:25 (maybe 3:20) - This race could also be the Chicago Marathon or even New York (if I am gainfully employed.)

CS and I will be trying to road trip to IM Wisconsin (September 13th) to both see part of the race and register for the race in 2010.  I also have one big "maybe" hanging out there.  With some birthday money I threw my name into the lottery for a slot at the IM World Championships in Kona - October 2009.  Names are announced April 15th, but I am not getting my hopes up.  It is a VERY long shot to get a slot.  If that happens - TCM will be out as Kona is the following weekend.  Right now, I fully expect to be running the Twin Cities Marathon.

(All races and times subject to change based on financial constraints, training, health, etc.)