Sunday, April 27, 2008

I'm a Clydesdale!

I have joked recently that if there was an age/weight division in a 5k road race, then I could win the 250 lb / 43 year old division due to lack of competition. So as I was signing up for the Highcroft Hurricanes 5k next weekend, I noticed they actually have a division for "larger" runners! It's called the Clydesdale and Athena divisions and is for men over 200 lbs and women over 150 lbs. So I'm going for it! Two hundred pounds is not that big for a man, so I'm sure there will be plenty of guys in that bracket faster than me. But it's fun to know there's a division based on weight. Apparently this is not uncommon, as I found many references to Clydesdale / Athena on the web.

The diet is going well. I finally crossed into the 240's this past week, so I'm 30 pounds down to 249-ish. Two more months to make the final 10 pounds and meet the "40 by the 4th" goal. I need to lose some more quick. I have very few clothes that fit me now, but if I can lose another 1/2" I have several more pairs of jeans that will fit me. If I can get down to 38, I have a TON of jeans, most of which are 12+ years old!

As for exercise, I've cut back on elliptical use in favor of running. I'm trying to get to where I can run on consecutive days. Waiting 2-4 days in between, whether by choice or by schedule, is not working, as I am having a hard time recovering when I start each time. Last week was very hard to run at night as I had so much work to do, and so little sleep. So yesterday (Saturday) I ran 2.7 miles, and then today, about 1.5. Felt pretty good except that my ankle was having some pain yesterday, along with the sun warming up and beating on me some. Today was just fine, however. The endorphins are kicking in.

I dread the summer. I just cannot run in hot humidity. I remember back in college I would come home from my co-op job and go running around 5pm in the heat of summer. I was living at Avery Close on Avent Ferry Road in Raleigh. It is a wonder I didn't die of heat stroke. Of course, then I was pushing a svelte 220 lbs.... Still a Clydesdale, however.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Until now, none of our kids have shown much interest in soccer. I remember entering Seth in a league at age 4, and he just stood on the field and looked around or cried. Caleb cried on the way to the first practice, after we had signed him up to play. At least he got a shirt out of it. Luke, on the other hand, has been through several soccer camps at age 4, and now at age 5 is on his first team, The Raptors. Each "game," they practice for about 20 minutes, then they play a 40-minute scrimmage game with the team on the other side of the field. There is no goalie in this league, so as to allow as much soccer self esteem to build as possible.

We are in soccer mecca for the U.S., where the Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) rules the schedules of many families. We also have the SAS Soccer Park, where the last several men's or women's NCAA Final Four championship games have been hosted. Other than hockey, soccer is probably the other main sport I've never really played, or enjoyed, though I do enjoy watching hockey.

In this particular game, Luke got to show off his offensive skills, scoring at least 4 goals. I think I missed 1-2 additional goals on the video footage I gathered this past Saturday. Others on his team scored about 4-5 combined goals. Though they don't "keep score" at this age, the other team scored one goal, I think. I don't think they had many shots on goal either. It was tough getting past The Raptor defensive wall.

In prior games, where the opponent has had more shots on goal, Luke typically does well to play defense and guard the goal by anticipating shots and sweeping around to block the shots, usually with a diving slide, much like in baseball. This day, he was all offense, though he was playing with a skinned knee from the day before. You will see that he injures the knee further on a slide into the goal, and then limps off towards the camera. He sat out a rotation while I bandaged him up, then he was back in the game, and did well.

I edited the video together, but then had fun adding in some audio clips from various international soccer matches. There are some audio problems at the 3 minute mark, and that goal was the one with the announcer saying "GOOOOOAAAAALLLL".... but I'll have to work on that problem another day. It's quite funny! Enjoy!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I Made It in 31:45!

I made it. It wasn't really a "fun" run. Next time, I will enter the competitive race instead of the "recreational" one. Subtracting out the 30 seconds or so it took to get to the starting line, I crossed the finish line with a time of about 31 minutes 45 seconds.

After Thursday night's butt injury, I was pretty sure I would be able to, at best, walk this event. But I prepared as well as I could this morning. I was already taking a daily anti-inflammatory pill due to an injury from last summer that is still plaguing me. I added a hydrocodone (aka Vicodin) to that. I stretched for about an hour before the shotgun start, and ran a few slow sprints to test out the pain endurance. I prayed God would carry me where I wasn't able to.

I did feel a dull sense of pain throughout the race, especially going up the huge hill that dominated the first mile. However, I took it slow (as evidenced by the 10+ minute miles I "ran") and the pain was not too bad. In fact, by the time I was done, I felt well enough to come home and mow the lawn!

It was a great feeling to stand in the pack, waiting for the start with hundreds of others, most younger, smaller, and more fit than I am now. The sights and sounds of a simple local 5k road race brought back a lot of memories. The occasional cheers from observers. The erratic running of some people weaving in and out, jockeying for position. The water cups being offered near each mile marker, and resultant litter being run over by the pack or blown away by the wind. The undesired head winds and blazing sun. Even in a 72 degree morning, the direct sun was warm. Trying to coordinate the key, the ID, the music, and the stuff you pick up from the vendors, such as pamphlets for future races. The souvenir race shirt which more often than not does not fit well or has crappy artwork. It's all good, and I'm pleased that it's over... and I made it. Now... to schedule the next race...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pain in the Glute!

Dolt!! Well tonight I did something probably stupid. I'm 2 days away from the big race, and it was kinda late for a long run so I figured I would do a shorter, more fast-paced run. So I stretched a bit and decided I would run hard to the end of Carpenter Towne Lane (0.7 miles) and then rest and stretch again, and then do the same back.

Well within 1/10 mile of starting I starting having a pain in my right buttimus maximus. So I kept going until the 7/10 was up, and by then I was in enough pain such that I had to walk back.

I need to figure out how to stretch that and hope it doesn't hold me back from victory lane on Saturday.

On a positive note, I am down about 28.5 pounds. That is about what that change jar weighed! That's a LOT of weight. I keep thinking about that when I'm running. Thank God I'm not carrying around $307 in coins stuck to my body. It makes me all the more keen to lose another 30 pounds.

First things first... I've gotta get my butt back in gear! Hopefully, tomorrow it will be fine.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Great Coin Jar Experiment

Not sure when we last counted the coins in the family coin jar... but it was time this week. The jar was full, nearly to the top, and was at risk of injuring someone or being tampered with. So I made it into a mini-experiment for Seth.

First of all, everyone in the family guessed. Dad: $285, Mom: $375, Seth: $217, Luke: $240, and Caleb (future contestant on The Price is Right): $242. Hopefully, by using a scientific method, we could made an educated guess and get closer than any of our wild guesses.

The approach was to weigh a sample of coins, count the amount of the sample, calculate the $ per pound, weigh all the coins, and multiply. So we scooped out a cup of coins and weighed it to be roughly 1.75 pounds. Subtracting out the weight of the scoop, we were left with 1.65 pounds. Then Seth counted those coins and it contained $18.97. That worked out to about $11.50 per pound. We dumped those coins back in the big jar.

Next was the weighing of the big jar of coins on the family scale. It was a whopping 30.2 pounds. We dumped the coins into 2 pillow cases, then we weighed and subtracted out the empty jar, leaving a net of 27.7 pounds of coins. That's a lot of coins!

So with 27.7 pounds of coins at $11.50 per pound, we have a mathematical guess of $318.47.

The next day, off to the bank the family went. They have a machine that counted all the coins, which amounted to $307.37! So the winners were:

1. Math: ($11.10 difference)
2. Dad: ($22.37)
3. Caleb: ($65.37)
4. Luke: ($67.37)
5. Mom: ($67.63)
6. Seth: ($90.37)