Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thoughts of High School

My daughter is graduating this week, and it's just gotten me to thinking about when I was in High School.  It was a fine time for me... Lazer Tag in the hallways (I know, Kids today would go to jail), Dungeons & Dragons, the Hat Game (Don't ask), The Gray Monkey (Really... Don't Ask), TP-ing girls houses because we were to nerdy and closed up to actually ask them out... Yep, it's a shame we all have to get old.
So... here's one of my favorite songs from my High School days.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Temple Run

Those of you who have read my Blog for a while know that I’m a member of the LDS church, a Mormon… for lack of a better term.

I’m also a bit of a runner, and I’ve been training for the Ragnar Wasatch Back. This year, I don’t know what it is, I’m nervous. I ran Ragnar Las Vegas in 2009, and was terribly under trained. Then, in 2010, I ran the Wasatch Back and was trained enough for the legs that I was running (I was runner number 7, one of the easier positions). This year, I’m running position 6, which is quite a bit more challenging, and I’ve been training my guts out because I’m running with a group of people I don’t really know well, and I’m terrified that I’m just going to embarrass myself out there.

So the last few weeks I’ve been packing on the miles… relative to how I usually run… and driving my poor wife crazy… thus, I have not been running happy, which is one of the reasons I like to run in the first place.

So, today, I wanted to do a long run, and run to a place that makes me happy. The Oquirrh Mountain Temple makes me happy. It’s my refuge, my life refueling stop. No matter what’s going on in my life, I can go to the temple to de-stress and to recharge my mind and spirit. So, I decided that I was going to run to it, not to attend or anything like that, just to be on the grounds.

Since it is something like 7 miles from my home, and I’m nowhere near ready for a 16 mile run, I had arranged with my wife, that when I got to the Temple, I would call her. Then she would begin driving toward me as I was running back. I figured that way I could clear about 9 miles total.

I started out with a 10 minute walk to warm up. I figured that I’d walk up to the top of our street and then down a very steep hill before starting the timer and really getting to it. At the top of the hill I looked to the south and could see the temple way off in the distance. A small granite box in the morning haze.

When I got to the bottom of the hill, I totally lost sight of it because of the suburban sprawl between it and me. At 45 minutes a was just crossing the half way mark and feeling pretty good if not a bit winded, so I stopped, sucked down a GU Gel and a big swig of water before hitting it hard again.

The last 3 miles are on a constant up hill slope, and I found that I was getting winded much faster than normal, I was also aware that I was sucking water a lot more often as well and I was almost out. With about a mile and a half to go, I stopped into a 7-11 and filled my water bottle from the tap on the side of their soda machine, endured an icy stare from the worker behind the counter and headed on up the hill.

At this point, I could just make out the Angel Moroni on the steeple over the trees. This gave me a little more oomph to get to the top of the hill on which the temple rests, or maybe it was the fresh, cold water… who knows.

When I reached the top, I stopped my watch for just a second, called my wife and took a look around. From the Temple’s hill you can see almost all of the Salt Lake Valley, as well as the Jordan River & Draper Temples.

I had a goal of crossing through the intersection at Skye Drive, which would give me a total of 9 miles for the run, before my wife caught up with me in the van. So, I started my watch again, and started down the hill. I’m happy to say that I had just crossed Skye Drive when I spied my lovely wife in her mini van, for a total distance of 9.05 miles and a time of 1:45:28 which gave me a pace of just about 11.5. I was ok with that, and it was a happy run.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Own Personal Gel Test

A few weeks ago, I was finding that I was running out of energy during my longer training runs, and so, I began lurking around some on line running forums, and found people discussing these high carb energy gels.  So, one Saturday my daughter and I stopped by our local Sports Chalet to pick some up.  We found a little free standing display with so many different brands, that frankly I was a bit overwhelmed.  So, I decided that I would limit myself to a couple of brands that I had heard of: GU and Powerbar.  Also, fearing that I could just end up barfing them up half way through my run, I decided that I would just get two different flavors from each brand.

In the end I got GU Vanilla Bean and Jet Blackberry, and the Powerbar Vanilla and Banana Strawberry.  I had my daughter pick the Powerbar flavors, and she had picked up a Banana Strawberry that had the Caffeine boost in it… more on that later.

In terms of texture, I found the GU a bit more agreeable.  It tends to have a more pudding like consistency while the Powerbar gel was more liquidy. (Is that even a word?)  I can see that the Powerbar gel would probably go down easier on the run, but I just didn’t like the texture.

The vanilla flavors in both gels were my favorite.  The Banana Strawberry had a strong aftertaste that I was able to wash out with a few swigs of water but the Jet Blackberry was just… gross, and it didn’t wash out until I brushed my teeth.

The Caffeine boost in the Powerbar was… too much.  I’m not sensitive to caffeine in any way, I mean; I can drink a Coke before bed time and still sleep like a baby.  But when I sucked down the Powerbar with Caffeine, I did my run and afterword was still jittery for about another hour afterword, and not in a good way.

As far as performance, they both worked well.  The training runs I used them on were good and I had the energy required to complete them.  And most importantly, I didn’t barf up either one of them.  Score that a win.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why I Run

There are some things I really love about being a runner. It's not the adrenalin, it's not buying new shoes every three to four-hundred miles, it's really not the leg cramps when I'm low on magnesium, it's not even the time that I started up the Timpanogos Cave Trail 45 minutes behind the rest of our group, and still hit the cave mouth before everyone else... that was a good day, but still pales in comparison behind my favorite part of being a runner.
Tec-Shirts, Bling, and Motivational Posters.
No Lie.  I love the shirts, I love the finisher's metals, and I love the little motivationals that people post on their blogs and on facebook.

This one just makes me giggle... I'll think of just before my final leg of the Wasatch Back... because it's so true!
Speaking of journey's that are to arduous, I have a goal of running a half marathon this year, but I'm a little frightened.  You might be thinking, "What?"  You're running your third Ragnar, a half marathon should be cake.  Ya, I can do 13.1 miles... I'm pretty sure I can, even though I've never run more that about 7.5 miles... ever.  This year's Wasatch Back I'll run a total of about 18 miles, which is alot for me.  So, sometimes I have doubts about running a half...
Maybe I just need a motivational poster...

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Kick a... What!?!

I have just become aware of something that… well, when I realized that it was real, I just could not believe it, and then I got angry.

“Kick a Ginger Day”

I’m a red-head (I don’t know when we became “Ginger” but… whatever… I’m a red-head) by birth, certainly not by choice.  I carry the mutated MC1R protein in my genetic makeup, which I have most certainly passed on to my children, but thank mighty Odin, I married someone who does not carry that same mutation and so, my children have wonderfully non-descript brown hair.

Now, you may be thinking that I’m a self-loathing red-head.  That’s not true.  I’ve come to terms with the fact that I have red hair, that I have freckles, and that I sunburn at the mere thought of the summer sun.  I’m in my 40’s, I’ve had time to come to terms with long sleeves and wide brimmed hats.  I’ve gotten to the age where the knuckle-draggers of the world don’t call me a “Carrot Top,” “Freckle Face,” “Flame,” or some other vile slur, and with age, my hair is beginning to turn a wonderfully snowy white.

I just did not want my children to have to go through the same kind of hell that I did while in school.  Luck was on the side of my kids, not a red-head among them.

So, when my nephew (a red-head) said on Facebook that he hated “Kick a Ginger Day” I thought… What!?!  Sure enough… there’s a day; created by the scum behind Southpark.  There’s even where they state that Gingers don’t have souls so it’s good to kick them.

In Canada, there have been cases where gangs of Neanderthals have viciously attacked red-heads on this, most vile of days.  And yet, no one does anything about it, no one puts a stop to it.

What would happen if someone organized (and I am not for this idea in any way, shape, or form... it's just an example) “Kick a N_ Day,” or something like that.  There would be outrage in the streets.  Cities would burn.  But Kick a Ginger Day, and people kind of laugh and go on with life.  Disgusting!

Well… There is one red-head myth out there that is, in fact, true.  Red-heads earn a freckle for every soul they steal.  Don’t believe it?  Go ahead… Kick Me!  *Insert evil laugh here*

And on another note... Would you kick her?  You couldn't run away fast enough.
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