a month overdue

I can’t believe its been over a month since I posted.  Lots to say but not a lot of time tonight.  So its bullets.  Here’s what’s happened in the past month:

  • have not run
  • gotten fatter
  • become addicted to another online role-playing game
  • am sleep deprived – very seriously
  • fell out of love with country music
  • gotten hooked on freaky dance music
  • got a new bike from Lara!
  • work is killing me
  • need to go to bed now

I am slowly recovering again after falling off the running/gaming wagon again.  I was on for only 30 minutes tonight, and i’m going to bed right now.

I’ll be back!

oh how the mighty have fallen

It was only a few short months ago that I ran a marathon.  Not a very pretty one, but I ran it.

Yesterday, I ran three miles at my marathon pace, and almost died.  Today it hurts to walk and sit down.

What the heck?

I’ve put on so much weight and lost so much fitness that I am right back where I started from.  Sucks.

I am not running today.  Its cold and windy and I hurt from yesterday.

This morning I made laundry detergent.  Did I talk about this before?  I make my own.  It cost like $2 for a 5 gallon bucket, and it works as well as the over priced crap at the store.  And its a chemist thing.  We like to mix up potions.  :)

Part of the process involves grating a bar of Fels-Naptha soap and dissolving it into a small pot of water.  I usually do this outside because when you cook a bar of that soap in your house, all you can smell is soap for a week.  So, I use the side burner on my grill.  However, today the propane tank was empty.

Being an ingenious person (and a scouter as well), I pulled out my Jet-Boil Helios stove and proceeded to cook my soap on that.

Have you seen these things?  For hikers who cook on stoves, they are the cat’s pajamas.  We took this on the last campout and it totally rocked.  It can boil water in that pot in about 2 minutes.  The thing sounds like a blowtorch, just roaring.  I love it.  Here’s a pic of two fashion models pretending to cook on a Helios while camping:

(Nobody’s hair looks like that when they are camping)

On the far right you can see the clear plastic windscreen below the pan sitting on the burner.  This really helps when there’s a breeze in the air.  For backpacking stoves, just a little breeze can really slow down cooking time.  When I first bought this stove, one of the snaps broke off.  I took it back and the store (LL Bean) gave me a new one without question.

So anyway, the point I was making was that I had to cook on the Helios.  Not thinking about how fast this stove will heat up a pan, I just let it sit.  Well, I saw it was starting to boil, I pulled it off the stove.  But the pan had gotten so hot, that the water kept boiling.  Unfortunately, when soapy water boils, it foams like crazy, and it foamed right over the top of the pan and all over the porch and my Helios stove.   At least my stove it now very very clean.


I was going through past race results, trying to make a list of where my current PR’s stand.  I ended up putting it into an Excel spreadsheet and came up with two very interesting graphs.

They actually both contain the same data, just one shows pace and the other shows time (in minutes) for each race distance.

I was fascinated by the fact that, with two exceptions, my fastest races follow a very distinct path.  The two exceptions include 1) the Boilermaker 15K where I tore my calf muscle, and 2) the 2010 New Haven Road Race (20K).  Other than these two, everything else falls on the lines.

If I did not have my recent marathon PR time, I could have predicted it within a few minutes of the actual time I ran.

Even more interesting is that these race did not all occur this year, so that my race paces should have been consistent.  They happened over a couple years:

5K    Apr-09
10K    Nov-08
15K    Jul-09
20K    Nov-10
1/2 M    Apr-09
30K    Mar-06
M    Nov-10

The real kicker was that 30K (18.6 miles) in 2006.  My time was right on the curve for that one.

Looking at this graph, I have to wonder if this means that my maximum speed, for any given distance, is really no better than it was 4 years ago.

So what does this mean?  I think, I am seeing the maximum that I am capable of for a given race.  One would expect that over time, I would eventually hit my max.  I could run several races (say 5K’s), different times of the year, different conditions, and whatever.   After enough of them, I will have gone just about as fast as my body would ever be able to go.   If I were not at that point, I think the noise in that line would be quite large.  Later dates would show much faster times, and the trend line would not be there.

So what happens when I plot, say, all my 5K times I can find?

I think in general it might be showing a downward trend, but its a little hard to see.  It might be a stretch.  Looking at it more objectively, it looks like noise.

It makes me wonder if I really am improving, or if there just isn’t enough data (i.e. races) to give me a large enough sampling of race times to show my maximum speed.

It could be I am looking at this all wrong and I don’t understand really how statistics work.

and one more thing

Farcebook is beginning to annoy the crap out of me.

Yes, the horrendous abuse of information that you entrust them with (and to be honest, every piece of information I give them is carefully manipulated and controlled so that they have nothing real about me), is an awful and annoying thing, but its not the problem.

The problem is that most of the people in my high school treated me like crap. Despite being incredibly intelligent, dashingly handsome and charming enough to talk a bear out of his salmon dinner (cough), people dumped on me relentlessly. Mentally, verbally, and of course, physically. The jocks tormented me, the stoneys beat me up, even the geeks rejected me. The computer club members tricked me into thinking the club picture had been canceled so I couldn’t be in the shot. Nice.

So there I am on farcebook, with several people I know (who ARE my friends), but a lot of their farcebook friends are people who treated me like shit. Its not that I live 30 years in the past (yes, I am damn old), but seeing their smiling little faces pop up in comments every day just brings back the bad memories.

I want to post hateful things and comment about how all those people were total suckholes and I hope their lives are crap. But farcebook is about happy thoughts and gleeful things. Posting negative vibes is frowned upon.

So I post bad thoughts here as my outlet for negative energy.

Dear people who treated me like shit 30 years ago:

You all suck. I’m sorry if your lives turned out well. I’m sorry if you don’t remember how rotten you were to me. I remember. Especially when I have to see you smile and hug your families in you stupid pictures, like you never did a bad thing in your lives. I wish evil, pain, misery, suffering, death, disease, sadness and pestilence to plague you and your descendants until the end of time. I hope you die alone, in pain, frightened and begging for mercy.

Have a nice day.

Uh, no, have a miserable day.

From the guy who you tortured for fun

I feel so much better. :) I’m going to go and block every person I didn’t like in high school.

They stole my idea!

Remember back in November when I said that most video posts start out with “hey guys”?

Well, somebody just made a video about it.

I was so right and they are just thieves.

Houston, we’ve had a problem

Ok, everyone is gone except me.  And now?  The spooky noises are starting.

I was watching “Bones” on Hulu (and this is actually a very cool show when there aren’t commercials) with headphones on, but I could hear my wife’s keys on her keychain as she walked in the front door.

Only she had not come home.  No keys.  No people.

Turn off computer.  Go hide upstairs.

Then I go to brush my teeth (because for some reason its comforting) (and by the way, I bought two tubes of the wrong toothpaste tonight).  But while I am brushing my teeth (with the wrong toothpaste), I can hear people walking in the hall.

Only there was nobody in the hall.

Run to office.  With baseball bat.  Type in blog entry as Last Will and Testament before being killed by demons.

And while the crappy office computer is booting up?  I hear the light switch in the bedroom flick on.

Only the light in the bedroom did not turn on.


OK.  Calm.  Breathe.  Calm.


This is not working.

I need to go to bed because I have to get up in the morning for a hair appointment.  Unless I’ve been eaten by zombies.   In which case, I will drive to my appointment, and eat the stylist’s brains.

Then I’m going running with my RP, unless I eat her brains too.   Dear RP, if I show up covered with blood, you should consider it to be a race pace run.

growing up

As I was sitting in church the other day, I noticed a kid in another section of the church, staring at me.  Usually people look away when you notice them staring but she didn’t.  I looked away for a moment and then checked again, and she was still looking at me.  She was sitting with some friends and I think a parent, and she looked to be about 13 or 14.

After a while I looked again, just glancing from the corner of my eye.  She was still staring.  At this point, I am mentally doing the checklist: stuff hanging out of nose, fly is down, hair is screwed up, shirt has a giant chocolate stain, etc.  Everything seemed to be ok.  Yet, she was staring.  Freaking me out.

Then as I watched her I realized she was not staring at me.

She was staring at my soon-to-be 13 year old son, sitting next to me.

And so it begins.  :)

Happy Easter!

We went to the Easter vigil mass, so technically its Easter at our house already.  For those who didn’t, you have to wait until tomorrow.  For those who don’t celebrate Easter, jelly beans are on clearance starting Monday.

I’ve been running this week.  I did hill repeats at the park with my RP.   4×400.  And, you know, Hal Higdon said to do them the same as when you do them at the track.  You know what, doing intervals on a hill is NOT the same as on a track.  Its not gonna happen.  I was dying.

I did 6 miles on the running path yesterday in the blazing 80F heat.  In April, can you believe it?  I stopped sweating by mile 3 and was getting chills.   I walked for little bits, but just had to slog on through it to the end.  I guess I misjudged the heat and my hydration.  It seemed too early in the season to worry about such things.  Oh well.  I drank until I sloshed when I got home.

Speaking of the running path, in the paper there was an article about a guy who committed suicide just off the path about a year and a half ago.  They just found his remains this past week.  He was there all the time and we just ran on by without ever knowing.   Nobody ever filed a missing persons report.  Sad really.  I saw some yellow caution tape still stuck on a tree near one section, but I think it was from something else.  I was hoping anyway.

Today I had six miles at the park with my RP.  Just an easy six miles.  It was warm again today, so it was nice to run in shorts and short sleeves once again.  I know we often get snow in April, but I’m hoping we can skip this year and have a real summer.

I had a 5K last weekend (the weekend before?).  It was just horrendous.  I was a minute slower than this time last year (similar course), and it was painful from mile one.  I am so out of shape and so much flabbier.  I’m ashamed to go get my physical this year because the doc will see that I fell off the fitness wagon.  My RP did fabulous at the race.  She PR’d her 5K and was only 4 seconds behind the 3rd place female in her age group.

My modem/router got toasted this week.  I had a Netgear DGN2000, which is a router/modem combo.  It was a marvelous buy when I first bought it, but after 14 months, it began to have issues.  I first noticed that it had gotten very hot.  Then some of the ethernet ports stopped working.  It would also have spotty performance.  Finally, I’m down to only one ethernet port functioning.  The wireless works, but again, the signal is spotty.  Looking on the internets, I found that dozens of other people had the same issues with that modem.

So, I bought a Cisco Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router.  Its very cool.  There is no antenna.  It looks like a spaceship.  I shutdown the wireless on the older router/modem, and set it up as just the modem, then plugged the Cisco router into that.  Things seems to be working ok.  Just waiting for the last port on the old modem to fail.  Then I either need to convince Verizon to send me a new modem (just the modem!) or buy one myself.

I’m looking at running the Hartford marathon this year.  I have a 50% chance of making it to the starting line, based on past history, so I’m not entirely sure this is a worthwhile venture.  Its a big time commitment, and it takes time away from y family.  For that reason, its even more disappointing when I have to drop out of training because something broke.

I’m not at all pleased with putting on weight again.  I was hoping to have thinned it down somewhat by now, but its not happening.  My motivation is lacking severely.  I really think that the small weights workout in the morning it key, along with not eating myself into a carbohydrate frenzy at night.  I just need to keep myself busy.  I eat so little on Saturdays because I am busy doing things.  But if I sit at the computer or watch a movie, I end up just stuffing my face.

You know whats really gross?  I sat and ate saltines by dipping them in Promise spread like it was bean dip.  So very very gross.  It was worse than the spaghetti sauce thing.  Remember that?  I craved jarred spaghetti sauce and would eat it with a spoon.  Once I just drank it straight from the jar.  I am so gross.

I think that’s all I have for right now.  Actually, there’s more but I’m going to wait to talk about it because maybe I shouldn’t be saying so much to the entire world.  I need time to talk myself out of it.

I ran today!

Yeah, I actually got out the door and ran (all by myself) on a Saturday.  4 miles, 8:29 pace.  Its a bit sluggish still since the race.  But at least I was moving.

It was very sunny and warm.  I was wishing I had worn short sleeves, but at least I wore shorts.  Everybody and her brother was on the path today.  One of the drain pipes was plugged and a stream, that normally passes under the path, was going over the path.

And a word about my mustache.

For those who have never seen me, I have a mustache.  Always have, except for a week one December when I foolishly shaved it off.  Wife’s comment “I don’t like your mustache, but you look strange without it.”.  Yeah.

Anyway, I was in the shower thinking about my mustache, when it occurred to me that I don’t intentionally wash my mustache.  I mean, I wash the hair on my head, but not the mustache.  I just assumed it was washed by default with the rest of my face.  Not that I have some special face washing method.  Its just the normal (guy) method like you are wiping off a counter.  Soapy hands, quick scrub, done.

So I decided to make a point to wash it.  And let me tell you, it felt weird.  So weird, in fact, that I wonder if I was ever really washing it, because I certainly would have noticed the strange mustache-washing feeling before.  I’m thinking I’ve been walking around with a dirty mustache for decades, and nobody has bothered to tell.  Probably talking about me behind my back.

No more.  My mustache is clean.   And now?  Everything smells like soap.

moments of stupid

I had a stupid feeling tonight.  This morning between 7:30 am and about 11:00 am I felt very very smart.  Almost genius smart.  No evidence to support this, but I had the genius “feeling” just the same.

That’s the feeling you have inside when  when everything in your mind suddenly clicks together and it all makes sense.  All at once.   Think of it like being in a room where there are 10,000 superballs flying about, in the air, and bouncing and thumping loudly off every wall, the ceiling, the floor, in your face, in every possible direction and its complete and utter chaos, and the air seems to be alive with flying superballs everywhere.  Then suddenly there is a loud thump and, for an instant, they all just happen to be just hitting a surface at the same exact time and none of the balls are in the air.  The room feels completely empty and you can see all the balls at once, laid out in spectacular pattern on every surface in the room.  The feeling you have inside, is the peace from having just acquired the knowledge or how it all works.

And like a flash, the instant is gone and total chaos returns.

It was the “feeling” like that, without the knowledge.  Maybe that’s blissful ignorance.   Too stupid to know I don’t know what’s going on, not smart enough to know that its a problem.  :)

But it does feel good.  And sometimes, I feel like people’s thoughts are moving very very slowly, and then I wonder if maybe I’m just thinking very slowly and not getting the information I need.  Then I slow down to think about it, and can’t catch up again.

Crazy(ier) story time.

I took German in college.  I was in an exam, trying to remember a word in German.  I knew the English word.  As I sat thinking about it, I started daydreaming and saw my textbook in my head.  I opened the book and flipped to the dictionary in the back.  Ran my finger down the page to the word, and just as I reach it, I said in my mind “No, that’s cheating!” and the book slammed shut.  I couldn’t get back to it again.  Got the question wrong.  The annoying thing was, that it wasn’t cheating because it was in my (fool) head.  It would be almost five years before I did frighteningly smart things again.

Oh yes, the stupid feeling.  Tonight I had the stupid feeling.  Sitting watching a movie about someone really smart.  It made me realize I was never that smart.  I’m not that smart now.  Not even close.  I think some people think I’m smart, but I’m really not.  Some people think I’m very stupid and they may be right.  Did you see the movie “Being There”?  It feel kinda like that.  Sometimes I’m just standing in the right place and stuff falls into my lap.  If I nod and look thoughtful at just the right moment, people nod in agreement.  Its crazy.  I feel like I just waved my hand and said “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

I need to get some sleep.  I’m writing crazy talk.