This is my life. Sometimes shown through the eye of my camera phone, and sometimes not. I'll talk running, gadgets, music, and whatever else I stumble on to

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm In Love

One good thing about old stuff failing on you is that you can now buy the new stuff at the same price or less than when you originally priced your old stuff. Make sense?

I'm in love with my new 22 inch wide screen LCD computer monitor at the office.

This thing is a monster, but oh so nice.

Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone

Monday, February 25, 2008

Marching Ahead

I'm writing this on the eve of yet another predicted snow storm that is to hit our area tonight into Tuesday morning. I've just about had enough of this winter, and am ready for nicer weather. I sure hope this is the last storm of the season.

My Rockford half-marathon training is moving along. I only put in 10 of my scheduled 12 miles last week due to some traveling I had to do. This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to get a break in the weather and do four miles at Independence Grove forest preserve. All of the trails are still snow covered, so I was stuck running the main road, which is just over a mile long.

This week I'm due for 17 miles, but I'm afraid the oncoming storm may either set me back a few miles, or force me to run on the dreadmill at the gym. In either case, I'm looking forward to the extra mileage because I've been feeling great as of late.

Here is what my training schedule looks like this week:

Mon: Weights lower body/2 miles easy
Tue: Rest/cross train
Wed: 6 miles hard @ 8:57 min. pace
Thur: 2 miles easy
Fri: Rest/cross train
Sat: 7 miles @ 9:45 min. pace
Sun: Rest

Happy running!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Traveling... almost

We'll... I'm still officially within the state, but it still counts for being out of town.

I'm in Countryside, IL for a couple of days laying out the groundwork for what will become our new Windows server environment.

Because of my company's recent acquisitions, we've had to beef up our computer hardware requirements, which means lots of new toys for me to play with.

I found out last week that our employee base has trippled since our 2nd acquisition, which means I'll be responsible for making sure all of our systems play nice spread across nine states nationwide and into Canada.

I'm ready for the challenge!

Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Should I stay in quarantine?

Nearly half of my department at the office is out sick, so I've been trying my best to keep from catching something that would put me out of commission for a while. I have friends that are also sick, or have been in the past few days.

I think it's been over five years or more that I've gotten really ill- not even a cold. If I do catch something, it's usually really mild and doesn't last for more than a couple of days. I attribute this to a daily vitamin I started taking a little over five years ago. It's just a multivitamin that you can get at a local drug store- nothing too special.

My last serious illness was a bad cold that I let get out of control, and I ended up with a rather bad case of bronchitis, and some serious ear aches. I think I was out of work for three or four days. It was my doctor who actually recommended I take a daily multivitamin to help boost my immune system. I was getting sick at least three to four times a year, which wasn't fun at all.

I've taken this vitamin every day since then, and have remained exceptionally healthy. Cranking up my exercise regiment as I have been doing the past few months also helps, I'm sure.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

My Little Milestone

So I wanted to log this for history sake...

I was at the gym this past Wednesday to do five miles on the dreadmill. Now, I try to avoid that god forsaken thing as much as possible, but since lovely mother nature keeps finding ways to derail my running schedule, I have to make due to get my miles in.

Flash back to six months ago, I would normally get on that thing and go no faster than 5.5 miles an hour for close to fifteen minutes before tiring and running out of breath. Fifteen minutes at that speed works out to about 1.5 total miles. I've probably been on that thing no more than three times since then, preferring to run outdoors.

This past Wednesday, I was able to run just over three miles cranking that thing up to 6.7 mph for a straight 25 minutes without stopping. That doesn't include the 2 miles I did on each end of that, which were slightly slower. This equals out to an average 8:43 minutes-per-mile pace through three miles. This is fast, for me anyway!

I felt zero pain, my breathing was incredibly stable the entire time, I really enjoyed myself, and I wasn't sore afterwards! I guess doing the run on the dreadmill, with all of those numbers clicking by, kind of amplified the experience.

It just goes to show that my hard work is paying off. I still have a long road ahead before Chicago, but at least I know (or hope) I'm on the right track with my conditioning.

This Saturday I plan on doing seven miles on the Chicago lakefront path- my 2nd seven miler to date.

Wish me luck!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Interesting facts for you

I received an email from a friend listing a few interesting facts you probably didn't know about:

-- The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred
and Wilma Flintstone.

-- Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.

-- It is impossible to lick your elbow.

-- The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000

-- Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:

Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs - Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

-- 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

-- Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?

A. All were invented by women.

Interesting, huh?


Monday, February 11, 2008

Chicago Distance Classic: Call me wacko

I couldn't resist.

This is the Chicago running event that inspired me to start running again- The Chicago Distance Classic half-marathon (13.1 miles). I remember the excitement, the crowds, Grant Park, the craziness.

I registered and am running it. This will be my 2nd half-marathon this year.

For me it's just another training run for the 26.2 miles of the Oct. 12 Chicago Marathon. That's how I justify it anyway! Both Rockford and Chicago fit smuggly in between my training schedule, so if I'm careful enough, they'll serve me well.

So here's how it's looking for my major races this year:

March 30: Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K (5 miles)
April 27: Stepping Up to Wellness 10K at Independence Grove, Libertyville (6.25 miles)
May 18: Rockford half-marathon (13.1 miles)
Aug. 10: Chicago Distance Classic (13.1 miles)
Oct. 12: Chicago Marathon (26.2 miles)

That's it. No more, unless it's a small 5K which are always a hoot to run.

Well, off I go!

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

I can dream, can't I?


This is what I came home to this past Wednesday- nearly 12 inches of snow near my home.

At last, I'm finally getting back to some sort of normalcy this week after dealing with the darn weather, busy days at the office, and general craziness. Not to mention, because of the darn weather, it's been a struggle to keep my training for the half-marathon on track.

I was able to squeeze in two miles on the dreadmill last Monday, and six miles outside today. That's a total of eight, and I should be at thirteen for the week. Blegh. All is not lost, as my down time was spent strength training on those snow days.

I'm really not a winter person. If it wasn't for my training, I would go absolutely nuts. Every day I wake up, I plan as much as I can for the day to make it go by faster.

I live for warmer weather- the camping, running outside, fishing, driving to remote places, roller coasters, barbecues, outdoor concerts, festivals, driving with the windows down, t-shirts and shorts, beaches, the sand, sunburns....

I can dream, can't I?

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

500,000 sq. ft. Monster Awaits

A shot of the inside of my company's new monster of a warehouse that will be the home of our recent acquisitions.

We'll be wiring it up with the very latest in networking technology over the next month which means hella fun for me- and lots of work!

Time to dust off my roller skates.

Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone

Monday, February 04, 2008

Rockford half-marathon: Training day 1

So here we go.

I haven't run much for the past two weeks to prepare me for what's ahead...

For the next fifteen weeks, I will officially begin training for the 13.1 miles of the Rockford half-marathon. Up to today, the most I've run in a single jaunt will be 7 miles. The most I've run in a week is 16.

At the end of week 14 my longest individual run will be 11 miles (there are two) and my weekly total will peak near 21 miles. Ouch. Let's not even mention my training for the 26.2 miles of the Chicago marathon in October, which will be near double that. That begins in June.

Here's a break down on what I'll expect each day:

-Monday: Usually an easy 2 to 4 miles to recover from my longer run on Saturdays.
-Tuesday: Rest or cross training (weights, walking, etc).
-Wednesday: A "tempo run" or "speedwork". These workouts are of a faster pace- much faster to increase my overall speed and improve my heart rate.
-Thursday: Rest.
-Friday: Rest / cross training.
-Saturday: Long run. These are for endurance and will vary from 6 through 11 miles each.
-Sunday: Rest.

This schedule will change a bit the closer I get to week 15.

As of right now, I have no injuries except for a little soreness along the inside of my right knee that doesn't show itself until after a longer run. It has improved dramatically during my two week rest, though.

So for all of my regular visitors, I hope you will join me on my journey. I promise I won't write ALL about my training, in the hopes of not boring you to death :) It will continue on as always.

Have a wonderful day!

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Friday, February 01, 2008

My Week In Photos: Day 5 Friday

Chicago Marathon Registration
Week: Jan. 28, 2008


So I'm starting to write this close to 11:45 p.m. on Thursday night. Fifteen minutes from now, registration opens for the Oct. 12, 2008 Chicago Marathon. I wasn't really planning on staying up until midnight considering I have to wake up early to dig my house out of the snow that is falling right now. But I figured, what the hell?

The registration site claimed to be "down for maintenance," but after a few tries, I was able to get in and sign up! The cap is 45,000 runners- 45,000! Crap! This is going to be huge!

So now it's set in stone. I've spent a lot of time mapping out my training through October. I'll run a few races here and there, and besides the Rockford half-marathon on May 18, I may run one more half-marathon in August, god willing, before Chicago.

I'm excited, and nervous at the same time, but I know in my heart I can do this!

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