Sunday, September 26, 2010

Random Pic of the Week

Sign on the trail to the lower falls at Hills Creek.
(The bad weather over the winter tore up the trail
and it's closed until further notice.)
August 1, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Few Friday Facts

1. I love to ride my bike for fun. (example - the Critical Mass ride I went on through the streets of Charleston this evening was awesome!)

2. I hate to ride my bike to train/workout. Way too much work. Running is work too, but it's different somehow.

3. It is now the 2nd day of fall and it feels as hot as a night in July. Yuck.

4. I got more mosquito bites tonight than I did all summer long. The itching is driving me nuts!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Running Rules of Thumb

Found these today and thought they were either (a) fitting or (b) kind of funny.

Running Rules of Thumb
1. If you see a porta potty with no line, use it. Even if you don't need to.
2. If you have to ask yourself, Does this driver see me? The answer is no.
3. If you have to ask yourself, Are these shorts too short? The answer is yes.
4. 1 glazed doughnut = 2 miles
5. You rarely regret the runs you do; you almost always regret the runs you skip.
6. Not everyone who looks fast really is, and not everyone who looks slow really is.
7. Nobody has ever watched Chariots of Fire from beginning to end. Not even the people who made it.
8. You can never have too many safety pins on your gym bag.
9. Running any given route in the rain makes you feel 50 percent more hard-core than covering the same route on a sunny day.
10. If you care even a little about being called a jogger versus a runner, you're a runner.

Where they came from:

Monday, September 20, 2010

First day of fall (a totally random thought)

If this coming Wednesday (9/22) is supposed to be the first day of fall, then why is the forecast for temperatures to be in the 90's? Fall is supposed to be cool & crisp. Not hot & sweaty...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Random Pic of the Week

Crossing the finish line in my first 5k
(i came in last, but i finished)
Nut Run 2009
Black Walnut Festival
Spencer, WV

Friday, September 17, 2010

This week's runs

I had a very slow month in August when it came to running. Lots of out of town trips; lots of days with over 90 degree temperatures with 900% humidity; given enough time, I'm sure I could come up with more excuses. But this week I decided to change it and get back into my "training". Not that I'm training for anything in particular. (Although there is an awesome trail run at the end of October that I want to do. Walked the 4.5 mile walk last year - want to run the 8 mile run this year (or maybe I should go for the 13.... Lately I've got it in my head that I want to do a half marathon...) Anyway.... I digress)

So last Sunday evening I was going back over my runs on the Nike+ running website, and I noticed that I started slacking off after July 29, when I met my goal to do 30 miles in a week. I figured that since I'd conquered 30 miles in a week, I deserved a break and could take it easy. I neglected to set another goal, which resulted in the next few weeks being really short on miles. I went days without going out and doing anything... (For comparison's sake - in July I did 25 runs/walks, for a total of 93.99 miles; in August I did 16 runs/walks, for a total of 59.53 miles; not terrible, but not great either). It dawned on me Sunday that I really need a goal to work toward, or I just kind of play around aimlessly.

Who would've thunk that a simple setting on a computer would keep me on track and inspire me to push myself to work harder and stronger? If I failed to live up to the goal, nobody would know but me. And I think that's the main reason it works so well. I don't want to let myself down. I keep the goals realistic so I can meet them; hard enough that I have to work for it, but not so difficult that I stress out and push myself harder than I can handle.

So on Sunday, I set a goal for myself to run/walk 25 miles this week. After several weeks of only running 2 or 3 times with an average mileage of about 10 miles, I have to admit I was a little intimidated by it. The first long run on Monday and short run on Tuesday went ok. But on Wednesday, when it was time for a long run again, I was ready to give up. I was tired; i wasn't feeling too great; it was just blah. I did the miles, but that's the only good thing I can say about it.

I was so not into running after Wednesday's outing that I was ready to skip Thursday's run all together. But as the day went on on Thursday, I changed my mind. I wanted to go out and give it another shot. The schedule called for a short, one lap circuit of the neighborhood (about 1.15 miles, give or take a couple 0.01s.) If it was tough and crappy at least it wouldn't last very long. Bad attitude to have at the start of a run. But the running gods were smiling on me. It was fairly cool and it felt like my feet had wings. The uphill part was tough (as usual) but it didn't seem to slow me down much. My husband, who rides his skateboard with me on the short runs, had trouble keeping up with me (which hardly ever happens). I get home and check the ipod. Fastest. Mile. Ever!!! 10 minute mile, baby. Woo hoo! I glowed over my accomplishment for quite a while.

Today was another long run day. After a long day at work (which marked the end of a long, busy week), I didn't know how well I do on the run. I set off a little slow to pace myself because I knew I had 5 miles to finish. But as I went on, I realized I was feeling great. Again, I felt like my feet had wings and I was flying. My walk breaks were shorter; my running sections were faster and longer. It was awesome. Got home and stopped the ipod, heard the run details, and jumped for joy. 5.25 miles in less than an hour! 11:07/mile pace. Fastest.Long run.Ever!!!!

So my week started out just ok, went all the way down to awful, and then went way back up to spectacular! If wasn't for that pesky goal I had set for myself, I probably would've given up on the week after Wednesday's bad day. And just think of what I would have missed if I'd done that! So next week, I'll definitely be setting another a goal. And I'm totally hoping that I can keep those wings on my feet and keep up the pace.

Here's the week's mileage:
Monday - 6.52 mile run (11:37/mile) + 1.75 mile walk = 8.26 miles
Tuesday - 1.17 mile run (10:09/mile) + 1.12 mile walk = 2.29 miles
Wednesday - 6.02 mile run (11:51/mile) + no walk = 6.02 miles
Thursday - 1.14 mile run (10:00/mile) + 2.3 mile walk = 3.44 miles
Friday - 5.26 mile run (11:07/mile) + 1.16 mile walk = 6.42 miles
Total miles = 26.43

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Random Pic of the Week

Jamie Bestwick rolls in.
Vert Ramp Demo
2010 East Coast Surfing Championships
Virgina Beach, VA

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thought for a Monday

I'm sitting on my couch after 10 days of vacation - 10 days of relaxation and fun. After five days at Virginia Beach, we were chased away by Hurricane Earl, but those five days were spent enjoying the best beach weather I've ever seen. We came home early, but the vacation fun didn't end. We spent one day traveling to a beautiful park and going on an awesome trail run. We spent another day at the local skatepark. And yet another day at another beautiful park taking the dog for a hike and then Bree & I relaxed while Marc went for a mountain bike ride.

Life is supposed to be fun. And Marc and I try our best to make the most out of life and have fun at every opportunity. This year's vacation and all the awesome stuff we managed to do in the last 10 days bring to mind the sermon my brother gave at our wedding. Here is what he said:

"You do realize what you've done? There was a time, not so long ago, that I was weird one in this family. Unicycles, flower dogs, skateboards? You're providing me quite a challenge when my own wedding day rolls around. Somehow, I'm going to have to top all this.

"Of course, this stuff is part of what makes today so special. You two have taken an already special occasion and made it truly your own. I think I said this a few

times when we were putting all this together, but I am so immensely proud of both of you. Not just as a brother smiling upon his kid sister taking this huge and wondrous step in life, or as a man about to receive a wonderful man as a brother, but also as a pastor.

"You see, we pastors get up in pulpits and in front of congregations every Sunday and we
preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ every Sunday and the next week we do it again and so forth. Yet despite that, only occasionally does anything seem to change in the people we preach to.

"But I know today I am preaching to at least two people (and hopefully more) who do get it.
Marc, Missa, you understand. The proof is here in front of us. It's in the skateboards, the unicycles, the mutt dogs, the high top sneakers, and in the spirit of this day.

"Alright, has Allen really gone bonkers? It doesn't talk about skateboards and fun hogs in the
Bible, so what on earth is he getting at? No, it doesn't mention these modern things, but what it does talk about, quite frequently, is life.

"You see what you have done in crafting together this wedding celebration is create a celebration of life in all its aspects. Jesus, I think, would approve. After all, this is the man who once told his
followers that his purpose in coming was that we would 'have life and have it abundantly.'

"You see the problem we've had with those words of Jesus is that we've always presumed Jesus was talking about some heavenly here-after and that our abundant life would begin when we get there. And everything we do up until then is just dull and boring drudgery. No fun. Got to be serious all the time. Heaven forbid we actually enjoy ourselves. God forbid we have fun.

"NO! That's not what he meant at all. He meant for us to look upon our lives and see the gift therein. He wants us to enjoy our lives here and now. He wants us to ride skateboards, or play
video games, or go fishing, or whatever your hobbies and interests may be. He wants us to
have fun here and now in this life.

"Don't believe me? Well, there is a story from Jesus life that shows this truth quite clearly. And it takes place, interestingly enough, at a wedding in the town of Cana. Jesus and his disciples have been invited to a wedding and they're all there having a good time and enjoying themselves. But suddenly, there's a problem. They've run out of wine.

"Now to remedy this problem, Jesus commands the house servants to fill the home's jars of purification with water. And poof, Jesus does his miracle thing and the water in those jars becomes wine.

"Now how is this a sign that Jesus wants us to have fun in life? Well, let me tell you. First off, let's remember they're at a wedding. They're celebrating. They're having fun. It's a party.

"Secondly, we need to remember that Jesus NEVER uses his miraculous powers for frivolous reasons. He heals the sick. He casts out demons. He calms the storm to protect his disciples. He feeds the multitudes. All big important stuff. Yet when itis suggested that he calm his grumbling stomach in the desert by turning stones to bread, he refuses. Too frivolous a use of his divine power. He won't do it.

"And yet, here he turns water into wine. Why? Well, wine is the drink of celebration, in their culture as well as ours. It's the party drink. When you run out, the party's over. When there's more wine to be had, the party can continue.

"Now bearing that in mind, let's remember how much wine Jesus has just created. These jars stand about yay tall and are about this big around and as the Bible tells us, they hold about 30
gallons. There are six of them that the servants fill. Do the math. Six times thirty is 180 gallons of wine.

"Now presuming two things, one that the wedding guests are indeed human and not some manner of space alien immune to the intoxicating effects of alcohol, and two that these good people will not overindulge and drink themselves into quick oblivion, how long will this party last? Long time. They will celebrate days upon days upon days. The party will go on.

"'I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.'

"Marc and Missa understand that teaching, and now on this day, they are joining their lives together. They are giving that gift of life to one another. If past experience, and this day itself,
is any indication, their life together will be one heck of a party. And you know something, we're
partying along with you, your friends, your family. we're here for you in the joys and also the

"And so too is Jesus. He'll cry with you. He'll laugh with you. He'll, dare I say it, party with you. In fact, he's probably sitting back there, unseen by our eyes, telling me to wrap this up. 'Come
on, Allen, we're missing good celebratin' time.'


So there you have it. Life is supposed to be fun. So get out, have fun, and live your life to fullest.

(Sermon given by the Rev. Allen Schwarz, (pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church, Davis, WV), at the wedding of Marc & Melissa Fuentes, April 29, 2006)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friday Facts (on Saturday)

1. When I'm on vacation, I tend to lose track of time (which is why you're getting Friday's Facts on a Saturday). At least I think it's Saturday....

2. I have now been chased away from the beach by a Hurricane 3 times. In 1996 by Bertha, in 2008 by Hanna, and in 2010 by Earl. Boo hiss to hurricanes. Not only because they screw up vacations, but because they can cause devasting losses to life and property.

3. Why is it that I can drive for hours and not get too tired, but if I'm the passenger, I'm asleep after 45 minutes?

4. The East Coast Surfing Championships were going on when we got to Virginia Beach. We didn't catch any of the surfing, but the skateboard and bmx demo at the vert ramp was awesome:

5. I like to read. I like to read on the beach. Marc took this pic of me from our hotel room balcony. I'm in my own little world: