Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!


My dearest Dee Dee,

I hope you have an absolutely wonderful 40th birthday. You get more and more beautiful every day. Rowwwrrrrr :-) And know that on this your special day, you are always on my mind, a gift that I do not take for granted. Since I am a man of few words (Shut up, Neese), I will leave you with a song and all the love in my heart:

Still they ride, on wheels of fire
They rule the night
Still they ride,
the strong will survive

Love,

Wes

Monday, October 30, 2006

Say My Name


Here she is! Dee Dee and I finally managed to make it over to the Free Flite bicycle shop in Marietta, Georgia. I spent about an hour talking and testing out various bikes until I finally settled on this one. This is a hybrid. It's a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. You sit up straight(er) like a mountain bike, but this beauty only weights 25 lbs, has road tires, and probably lots of other features I probably don't know anything about :-)

Now we have to come up with a name. It's tradition you know. I was thinking about calling her "Darrell" (I know, I know), so that when I get my tri-bike late next year, I could call it the "udder brudder Darrell", but then I thought, nah! This bike is different and has a personality all of its own. Besides, it IS a girl bike. If you want to toss in a suggestion, that's fine. A story behind the suggestion would be even cooler.

I'm going to start out with about a 15-25 minute bike ride today to get acquainted. I will research cross training with bikes heavily, but if any of my friends want to toss in suggestions to help short circuit that, feel free to do so. I am psyched people!!!

Finish strong!

Wes

BTW: I've turned Ms. Dee Dee on to the idea of blogging, but she's dealing with a lot of crap right now, so I'm not pressing her. She also said she wants to run my half with me in March! Is that cool or what?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I am a 10Ker



It would seem I actually started 5:38 seconds after the half marathon :-) What I really liked about this picture was the muscles in my legs. I actually have some!!

Wes

Friday, October 27, 2006

Moving On (Or who's on First?)

Post-10K. I almost feel like I graduated or something. I've passed muster on the basic runner's course and now I am RunnerWes. I've been resisting the urge to change my nick. So far, I've been successful, but momentum is building. I want to see the progression of who I am as an endurance athlete: CouchPotatoWes, RunnerWes, TriWes, IronWes. All good things in time...

After taking four days off from running, I was feelin pretty spiffy last night. Now that it is getting darker early, I had no problem getting out the door around 9 PM. Last night I had ribs and potatoes by the way :-) Unfortunately, I only had 45 minutes to rest between dinner and running, so I was feeling a little full as I stepped out the door. My youngest son, Matthew decided to join me. How special was that? I had wanted to take my three mile route down to the front of the main subdivision. When Matthew joined me, I decided to make an adjustment and do as many of the loops as he could handle: a stroke of brilliance if you ask me. There is nothing quite like getting half way through a run and having the little one ready to quit! Matthew managed one loop with me and we did the mile in around 13 minutes. I tucked Matthew safely back in the house then headed out on my route anyways. When I run that slow, even if it is a mile, I don't feel like I've done anything. At the end of the day, my three mile "get back to it" day had turned into a 4.75 mile tempo run :-)

What's next on the agenda for me, you ask? Well, my race schedule calls for a 5K Thanksgiving Run, which I will definitely do. This is something of a quiet period for me. I'm ready to do a 5K today. After the Thanksgiving run, my half marathon training starts the next week and fits PERFECTLY into the schedule. I guess we will call the next four weeks "fun time!" or something similar.

I do have a few goals that I would like to accomplish over the next four weeks. First, I'm going to get my bike this weekend. I have the boss' permission. I will be inserting riding into my training schedule. Second, I want to start some core exercises to build my core and help with my upper body strength. Unfortunately, over the years, the strength of my arms and shoulders has deteriorated, and I'm afraid I may have rotator cuff problems. If I am to achieve my goals, its important to get this straightened out now.

If I can accomplish these seemingly simple goals, and have a good time at the race on Thanksgiving, then in my opinion, things will be moving merrily along.

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 4.75 miles, 53 minutes, 11:15 miles, tempo run, R5/W1

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Dee Dee Question

Dee Dee left the following comment on my last post. I moved it out here so everyone could actually FIND it :-)

Im a such a tard. You guys cant be interested in my 16 plus hour a day activity. It is 90 percent restaurant drama and 10 percent family drama. Ps. What do you think Wes should dress up as for the Halloween party we are going to Sat. night? Any suggestions? Dee Dee

Alright Dee Dee. What's a tard? Everyone talks about their training and their race experiences. You can throw in as little or as much other stuff as you want. That's the beauty of blogging. I'm off right now to create you a login. You can post on my blog for a while if you want.

Wes

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

All in Favor

All in favor of Dee Dee starting her on blog, say "Aye!". Here is what her current excuses are:

1. I don't have time.
2. I'm not articulate enough.

FYI

Wes

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

TMI Tuesday #54

Dee Dee would like to thank everyone for the nice comments. She said you guys R-O-C-K. I already knew that :-)

1. How long have you known your closest current friend? (The one you see or talk to the most not necessarily your bestest goodest friend from grade school.)

My closest friend, Matt, is a contractor, single, and currently traveling all over the country doing interesting work. I have also developed a real good friendship with some of my customers. This is a good thing for me, as I have always been able to count my really close friends on just one hand.

2. My Heritage has a cool little toy that tells you which celebrity you most resemble. With or without the help of My Heritage, who do you most resemble?

Everybody used to say I looked like Howdy Doody. I personally think they were just being mean. How about Ron Howard? Maybe when I lose more weight, tee hee.

3. Name 5 things an unplanned (or planned) visitor would find in your bedroom?

Four dog cages. A pile of clothes in the rocker. A stack of hats on top of my dresser. A book on refing and my running log on my night stand. A box of old photos under the bed.

4. What is your favorite TV or movie sex scene?

The one that comes to mind is the foggy car in the movie Titanic. Unfortunately, the movie depresses me and I am out of commission for a couple of days after that. Dee Dee hates it.

5. If your life was a movie what would be your most memorable sex scene? (And your first time doesn't count unless that was as good as it has ever been.)

I've been married 18 years. I've seen fireworks so many times I could write a freakin encyclopedia. You want me to pick one? Brwahahahahaha!

Bonus (as in optional): Share something that very few people know about you.

I see dead people...

Alrighty then, now that that is over. I'm suprised they put out one I was a little more comfortable with. Can I have a drum roll please... I am actually taking the day OFF! No running for me until Thursday!

Keep it real! Finish strong!

Wes

Monday, October 23, 2006

Awesome Alpharetta 10K

It was a dark and stormy night. No, wait a minute. That's someone else's story.

The alarm on my watch went off at 4:30 AM. On important days, I really have this fear of not hearing the alarm. I try to set two, just to make sure, but my alarm clock has never failed me before. I shut off the watch, killed the alarm clock, and rested my head back on the pillow. I heard the pattering of rain and I groaned as Dee Dee jumped out of bed and into the shower. I secretly hoped that the noise I heard was just the fan, and it was actually clear and cool outside. After Dee Dee got out of the shower, I dragged my sorry carcass out of the bed and to the window. Yup. It's raining. Just as predicted. Imagine that. The weatherman got it right. Crap. I threw on my clothes that I had laid out next to the bed. Running shorts. Socks. Long sleeve technial shirt. The twin wonders. All set and ready to go. Dee Dee and I grabbed some breakfast, Frosty Flakes!, pinned our bibs on our shirt, and took off for the race.

Dee Dee and I waved to the police officer as we passed through Woodstock. I guess he didn't have anything better to do than sit in the middle of the road at 5:30 in the morning. We arrived at the race plenty early, around 5:50 AM I believe. The rain was light to moderate, and we both kept wishing for a break before our race. The race site in Alpharetta was lit up like a Christmas Tree. We parked the car in public parking and walked over to the tent to get our chips. Everyone else was wrapping theirs around their ankle. I put mine around my wrist. Now that I think about it, that might not have been a good idea, but it worked for me. After getting our chips, we headed for cover under the awnings of one of the stores. We weren't there for 10 minutes and it hit me. I better visit the port'o'potty. I always have to go before reffing or running, and I knew better to leave the house first. We walked across main street and asked one of the security guys where the bathrooms were. He pointed me to a location that was setup for festivities, but vacant, with three port'o'potties all to myself. Dee Dee and I then spent the next 10 minutes standing under the awning, trying to keep warm and watching it rain.

Shortly there after, Mr. Announcer Guy declared that the Half Marathon was going to start in five minutes. Dee Dee and I left our sanctuary and found a new spot under an awning on main street. We watched the 800 plus runners line up for the half. Right before they kicked off, we crossed the street and got under a tree. Some dude with a big tatoo on his back was running without his shirt top. More power to him. Mr. Announcer Guy did his countdown. The half marathon was started, and Dee Dee and I moved to a tree near the start of the 10K. At this point, the rain is still comming down pretty steady, and it is 45 degrees. Dee Dee and I joked about starting the race from under the tree, but within about two minutes of our start, we moved into the back of the pack with the other 150+ 10Kers. The announcer started his countdown. I gave Dee Dee a kiss, and we were off. Our race started five minutes after the half.

The first mile of the race was pretty level and much of it was down hill. I was pretty much soaked by the time I went for the first half mile. Once I warmed up however, I thought to myself. This isn't half bad! I remembered Michelle's post on how much she loved running in the rain. She would have been right at home. As I passed the first mile marker, I checked my time. I completed the first mile in 9:08. I was pretty pleased with myself, although I doubted I'd be able to turn in any negative splits. Around mile two, I walked through my first water station. I gave myself the luxury of walking for around 15 seconds. I then took off again and found my "groove". I lost all sense of time and distance. By the time I realized, I had already blown past miles 2 and 3, and traversed a long half to three quarters of a mile up hill. My watch read 27+ minutes. The route than made a right into an office park where the downhills and uphills got steeper. This was kind of the turn around point, and Dee Dee yelled and waved at me as I was on my way back out and she was on her way in. I finally discovered the marker at mile 4 and noted the time on my watch. It was 37 minutes and some change. It was about that time that I began to believe I could do this in sub-60.

Mile 4 was pretty tough, which was a suprise for me. In my training runs, it is usually mile 4 where I am my strongest. There was another long up hill, and I had to take my second walk break of the day. I ended up walking four times, but never more than 30 seconds, and twice for around 15 seconds. It was on this mile that I passed two people I had been tailing for a while, and nobody had passed me since about mile two. When I saw the mile marker at 5, I realized the race was almost over, and I had 12 minutes to beat the sub-60. I turned it up a notch, giving it everything I had. I passed two more people. The police officer, who was directing the runners into the mall parking lot came into sight at mile 6, and I ran out of gas. I had to walk another 15 seconds or so. Only two-tenths of a mile left. I needed to finish strong. I took off at a sprint. Passed another gentlemen. Then I saw the finish line. I ran with as much strength as I could muster. The onlookers were cheering! Yea! That was so cool. As I neared the finish line, some folks held up the victory ribbon and I thought, "That for me?" This is really cool. Right as I neared the finish line, they lowered it to the ground as I ran over the top. I had finished. As I sat there and gasped for air, the winner of the half marathon came in behind, broke the tape, and claimed his prize. "Hey, wait a minute! I'm important too!", I thought. LOL. I high fived the winner of the half and joked about not letting him beat me. Put that in your bag and stuff it! Yea! I beat the half marathon winner by four seconds!!

I grabbed my medal and a bottle of water and headed up to the concession tents to wait for Dee Dee. I expected her to come in around 1:30, but I was pleasantly suprised when she arrived early, at 1:26 and some change. She did awesome. While I was waiting, freezing, in the cold morning, I found out we could have put a bag on a truck instead of leaving all of our warm clothes in the car! Oh, well. Live and learn.

I don't usually get all emotional over the things I accomplish. The last time I completed something and came to the point of tears was a 14+ mile hike I made in basic training. When I crossed the finish line and saw the time on my watch, 1:00:23, I was just amazed. I had missed my kick-ass time by a mere 23 seconds. 30 seconds on the official time.

Dee Dee and I went home and went back to bed for two hours. I then got up and went off to my ref duties. I can say that running a 10K and doing two matches isn't nearly as hard as doing four soccer matches in a day. As I thought back about the race, the rain, the cold, the experience, I can sum the whole thing up in a single word: unbelievable.

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 6.2 miles, 1:00:30, race pace, 9:45 miles, walk as needed

Friday, October 20, 2006

Alpharetta 10K - Pre-race Report

Well, here we go. I've got another busy weekend scheduled ahead. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say I picked up some soccer matches in addition to my race for this weekend. It's entirely up to me to make sure that I don't kill myself tomorrow so my race performance suffers, and that is exactly what I intend to do. After the race on Sunday, I have two matches, then I'm taking the night off from the adult league to have a wonderful dinner with my family.

Dee Dee is going to pick up the packets for the race on Saturday. It just so happens that Mr. Matthew is playing soccer over in that part of town. She is going to swing by on the way back and make our pick up.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend, especially those doing Chicago! I'll think about you while I am doing less than 25% of your race this Sunday :-)

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 3.5 miles, 40:34, normal pace, 11:30 miles, R5/W1

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

How to Save a Life

I've been singing this song all morning. It came on the radio last night when Jimmy (#1 has a name now) and I were riding home in the car. He has a beautiful post-adolescent singing voice, and I don't think he knows how good he sounds.

My mind is on overdrive this morning. I must have gotten a good 6 hours of sleep last night cause I'm not tired yet. LOL. I guess I shouldn't really be tired at 8:40 AM in the morning, but that's just how my day goes most of the time. So I'm sitting here pondering the appropriate title for today's post and it hit me. Voila! How appropriate. The little victories are such a personal joy.

My friend, Denise, over at MNFirefly's Running is training for the P.F. Chang Rock N Roll Marathon in Arizona. She is a member of Team in Training, raising money for the Leukemia Society of America. If you follow Denise's blog, you would know that she has been training diligently. She is committed to doing this, for herself, for people suffering from this horrible disease. Denise has a problem. She needs to have half of her donations committed by November 1. That's about two weeks away. She is approximately $533.00 dollars away from her goal, and she needs your help. If you go by her blog, and click on the Team In Training URL on the right side, you can donate to help her cause. NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL. Every little bit helps. Let's help Denise reach her goal so she can focus on what we all luv to do, running.

This disease touches so many peoples lives, both directly and indirectly. Recently Jodi talked about her friend, Steve, who is now fighting this disease himself. Nothing motivates you quite like a friend or family member in need. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jodi and Steve.

Soccer practices were rained out last night. I hate to say it but Yea!! I got a night off. I ended up taking Jimmy out after dinner to get his project bound. I was very happy when we got back home and it was only 8:30 PM. That gave me thirty more minutes of family time to digest my dinner of, you guessed it, Mexican! At 9 PM I was out the door running. I felt like when I left today that I wanted to do an easy three miles. I did not want to do the mindless loop, so I headed out the front entrance down to the main entrance of our subdivision.

The night air was humid. I was back in shorts and a simple T. The rain had since moved out, but the warm front that had pushed it through made everything muggy. Little droplets of water hung in the air like a fine mist. You almost would have thought it was raining if you hadn't known better. I started out my run at my endurance pace. I skipped the normal warm up cycle and went straight for R8/W1. This got me all the way on the other side of Mount Doom before I took my walk break on the down slope. I felt really good during my run. On my way back, I noticed something I had felt before. There is this groove that I get into, where I am running about a 9 minute mile pace, and everything just seems to be clicking. My breathing is good. My legs feel good. It's just a pleasant groove to run in. I want to find that groove Sunday. I want to sustain it.

Spent three minutes walking up the long side of Mount Doom. That's the only hill in my neighborhood I have yet to conquer. The gauntlet has been thrown. I dogged out Ass-Kicker (yet again) and then picked it up for my downhill run back to the house, finishing tired, sweaty, and out of breath. I was pretty happy with the pace and distance.

After chewing on this for a while, I've firmly decided that 11 minute miles for my 10K this weekend is a worthy goal. I don't really want to kill myself. I want to enjoy it. However, if along the way, I find that groove I mentioned, well, anything could happen. We will see!

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 3.4 miles, 36:11, normal pace, 10:45 miles, R8/W1

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Art of Banditry

Go check out this article over at the Chicago Tribune. The article itself is only mildly interesting. Check out the comments though. The people who just don't "get it" are amazing.

FYI: What's in a Ref

I thought it might be interesting for you to know a little bit more about what the different levels of referees are here in Georgia. I'll make it quick:

Grade 9 - This is recreational. It is the blue patch. I got to skip this step because they instituted it a year after I got my black patch. Blue patches can only center recreational games up to their age minus one. The can line any game.

Grade 8 - This is the entry level referee. You can center any game as long as the players are one year younger than you. You can line any game.

Grade 7 - This is the pre-state grade. It indicates that you wish to be a state referee and are preparing yourself for that role. This is the grade I am currently at, and have been for the past year. The assessment I got this weekend was a maintenance assessment. They just needed to make sure I am on track and doing well.

Grade 6 - This is the State Referee grade.

Grade 5 - This is the State Referee grade that indicates you want to be a national referee.

Grade 4 - National Referee

Grade 3 - National Referee, FIFA (International Candidate)

Grade 2 - FIFA Assistant Referee

Grade 1 - FIFA Referee

Most likely, I will stop at Grade 6, and once Matthew gets into high school and #1 son moves on to college, I will take up coaching. Dee Dee luvs soccer too, so maybe she will help.

It's raining here today. It's supposed to be gone by this afternoon, so I should get my easy three miles in. Sunday calls for rain too, so Dee Dee and I are wondering if we should get any rain gear. We haven't decided yet, so any advice is appreciated.

Finish strong!

Wes

BTW: If you came looking for my TMI Tuesday, I deleted it. I'm not really digging it today. If you want to look at the questions, go over the their website.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Series of Unfortunate Events

What a weekend. The original plan was for me to take off from the restaurant Saturday and spend the day with Dee Dee and the boyz in Fayetteville. Matthew had a game at noon, and #1 was supposed to play at 5 PM. No point in driving home between games. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. Dee Dee and I discussed it, and I took Matthew to his game by myself so Dee Dee and #1 could sleep in and get him ready for his homecomming dance after his match. Matthew won his match. #1 lost his. The dance was a big success. Dee Dee and I ended up at the restaurant on suspicion that they would be busy, and they were. The Florida vs. Auburn game was on and it was a big deal. By the time we were through, it was time to pick up #1. Total time spent with Dee Dee for the day: 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Woke up early Sunday to head out for my 9AM assessment match. I had found my ref's bag in the dark garage (all the lights were burnt out). I arrived at the field early. At my grade, if you don't show up for your match 30 minutes ahead of time, you automatically failed. I'm sitting there waiting for my ARs to show up. Nobody. I take my walk around the field to make sure it is marked properly, get back to my bag and chair and still no ARs. Twenty minutes before game time I begin to get my uniform ready. Where was my case? Oh, damn. My case and my long sleeve yellow shirt had fallen out somewhere. I had no patch, no whistle, no cards, and no long sleeve shirt. I take off across the field to see if I could get a patch from the two referees on the far field. No luck. By the time I got back, it was 10 minutes before game time. I get back to my chair to see one AR getting ready, and the other one out there checking in the teams by himself. Just damn. The assessor walks over to let me know he is there and asks me why I am so late. I laughed and told him I had been there since 8:15 AM. I called the AR over and explained to him we were being assessed and we needed to do everything as a team. I scrounged up a whistle, a pen, a set of cards, then I asked one of the ARs to give me his patch. He did, and immediately located and wore an older patch from his bag. Holy crap!! Could anything else go wrong?

The match itself went well. I passed. The grade 8 AR passed. The assessor failed the state referee for showing up fifteen minutes before the match. He set a bad example. It was just one of those days where everything that could go wrong did. Right up to match time, and then I was in control.

All in all, I refereed four 90 minute matches Sunday. I was really tired by the time I made it home for the last time. I realized this morning that a couple of years ago, I wouldn't have been able to even walk after a schedule like that. I'm enjoying the health of my body and legs.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Finish strong!

Wes

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Litmus Test

Every once in a while, especially before a race, I like to push the envelope a little bit and see exactly where I am at. Given that my 10K is next weekend, I thought that last night was a perfect time to "give it a go" and see exactly where I stood.

The boyz and I got home from Soccer around 8:30 PM. We made a quick side trip to Walmart to pick up some pool cues and a new inner tube for #1's bike. I was extremely pleased when the kids opted for chilli dogs for dinner rather than Mexican. A penny saved is indeed a penny earned. While I waited for my food to digest, I played Matthew in pool. For an 11 year old, he's got game. I'm gonna have to keep an eye on that boy.

Around 10 PM, as I was getting ready to step out the door, I came across Duane's video over at raceAthlete.com. It took me another fifteen minutes to digest the emotions behind that story. Got ya right here, Duane! Finally, at 10:15 PM, I hit the pavement. I know alot of you think I'm driven. In a large way, I am, but I also never shrink from doing what I have to do. At this stage in my life, running at 10 PM at night is what I have to do.

The night was clear, cool, and beautiful. There is alot to be said for running at night. There are definitely some cons. Like having two chilli dogs, sweet pickles, and chips in your belly. I started out a little too fast as usual. There are specific spots on my one mile loop where I walk, so I didn't have to really time anything. My first loop was a sub-10 minute mile. My legs felt really strong, but my lungs where having a little trouble keeping up with my desire.

On my second loop, my shin on my left leg started to hurt a bit, and the calf was tight. I took special care to run with good form and make sure I wasn't putting too much pressure on the shin muscles. I have learned, since I have been running, that I can will almost every muscle in my body to relax, except my shin muscles. They seem to have a mind of their own. Second loop was completed in 10 plus minutes (boo!).

Finally, on my third lap, I was just plain tired, but I gave it all I had. I fought off my gag reflex like four times and completed the third loop in a sub-10 mile, better than my first loop. I believe it was 9:47. I was happy with that.

I want to improve my speed. I know it is too early, but the desire is there. Right now, I need to stay focused on distance, let speed take care of itself, then next year I can start speed work when my body is ready for it. Plus it will help to get some more of this weight off first.

BTW: I found my bike. It's a Walmart Special!! LOL. Just needs to last me till next summer when I can get a tri bike (I hope!).

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 3 miles, 29:57, 5K pace, walk as needed

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I Made a Funny

I got excited when I saw that Iron Wil is selling her bike. I'm in the market for a bike! Her Apollo sure does look pretty. I did a little research on eBay, and those puppies are going easily for $1500.00 a pop. That's pretty pricey, even for me. However, don't let that stop me!! Who says only your computer toys can cost fifteen hundred? I sent her an email and this is the response I got:

You seem taller than me for some reason... the 50 cm frame would be ok?

I'm like..Ummmmmm. Does that matter? I told her I was 5'11' and fairly new at this, so I probably didn't know what I was doing. This is the response I got:

Oh my goodness no.... lol :) You need a much bigger frame than a 50 cm. I'm 5'5 1/2 and this frame is a teeny bit too small for me !! :)

I'm sure I made her day!

In regards to my last post... No Neese, I didn't do anything this time :-) The purpose of the post was two fold. First, I wanted to stay on the theme of following my own advice. Second, I wanted to add a little depth to my blogger personality. I don't want to just be superficial here, and sometimes I worry about stupid stuff. As you can see from my conversation with Wil, I don't mind looking or acting stupid, as long as I get the answers I need. It's the result I am after that matters.

Nothing left but 3 milers until my 10K. That should keep me in the proper frame of mind. I've got my first center in the R3PL division of youth soccer this weekend. I'm excited. It is a BIG DEAL. I've also turned this game in for assessment. Hopefully the state assessor will show up and tell me how I'm doing so I can move up to the next level.

Three miles on tap tonight, after carbo loading with mexican and beer :-)

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: TBD

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Eating You Own Dog Food

There is a saying we have here, maybe a universal truth. Don't dish it out if you can't take it. We are taught this as children. We (try to) practice it as adults. It's one of those common sense paradigms, much like "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

I, personally, have over 50 blogs that I follow. Most of them deal with running or tri-athletes. A few branch out into entirely personal blogs or other subject matter. When I read the posts of my friends, as many of you know, I have zero problem chiming in with my two cents worth. As my euphoria over having this media outlet has waxed into contentment, I try real real hard to only offer advice about facts that I know and avoid speculation or conjecture. Sometimes my comments are just bullshit, and hopefully this is transparent to most of you :-) As I like to mimic a local talk show host, don't believe anything I have to say unless you personally know it to be true or have other corroborating evidence.

On the other side of that, I have enjoyed immensely the comments left for me by my friends, and the advice has been stupendous and most helpful.

As I left on my run last night, it became apparent, quite early, that running 8 miles just wasn't going to happen. I refereed few games this weekend, however all of them were upper age games, thus longer, more competitive, and harder on the ole body. Let's face it. My muscles were just plain sore. Within a half mile I had decided to make an adjustment to my route. Given the flexibility of my neighborhood, I decided to do the five mile route, which brings me back to my house. From that point, I could do the one mile loop as many times as I felt like, within the time frame I had before my 9:30 PM meeting. I did, of course, get the route mixed up AGAIN and did the 5.5 mile route, and I had enough energy to do one loop, for a total of 6.5 miles. I could not have gone another step. I believe I have discovered the Marathon Shuffle!!! Funny thing is, despite the R6/W2 pace, I did the whole thing with about a 12 minute per mile average. I didn't really mean to run that fast, but that is what I get for leaving my heart rate monitor at home.

I try to live my life based on good solid core principles. I am a firm believer in the win-win or walk away principle. I focus on the positive and allow the negatives, especially the little ones, to die a horrible silent death. Focus on what matters! That's me. What you see here, in this blog, is probably the zone 5 of who I am as a person. Make no mistake about it. It is a joy for me to be here, but trust me. There is more to me than meets the eye, good and bad.

In the Army, we had a much more eloquent way of saying "Take your own advice". We called it: Eat your own dog food.

Lesson learned.

I thought it might be a little ambiguous. The lesson is not to push yourself if it doesn't feel right. At best you won't enjoy it. At worst, you will end up injured. -- Thanks Rookie!

As a double aside, I have also learned, through Google, that this means a company should be using its own products. Pretty close to the same thing, I think...

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 6.5 miles, 1:16:00, 12 minute miles, normal pace, R6/W2

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

TMI Tuesday #52

Number 52??? Somebody has way too much time on their hands :-)

1. You can flip a switch that will wipe any band or musical artist out of existence. Which one will it be?

There is lotsa music I don't like, but I don't think that means I have even the remotest inclination to "wipe them out". If I could erase a genre, then punk would be the first to go.

2. You seem to be having an excellent day because you just came across a hundred-dollar bill on the sidewalk. Holy crap, a hundred bucks! How are you gonna spend it?

Oooh. This one is easy. I would put it in a shoe box and save it for my new bike.

3. Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anytime in the PAST. What time are you traveling to and what are you going to do when you get there?

I would take Matthew on a tour of the Roman and Greek empires.

4. What is your favorite curse word?

I don't have a favorite. I am an equal opportunity curser, and I am fairly rare one at that.

5. You have the opportunity to sleep with the movie celebrity of your choice. We are talking no-strings-attached sex and it can only happen once. Who is the lucky celebrity of your choice?

I'm passing on this one. Dee Dee is the only woman for me, so this question doesn't have any meaning for me what so ever. Mark that one on your calendar.


My long run is in trouble. Late morning. Bad traffic. Late leaving work. Got to pick the boys up at soccer. Meeting at 9:30 PM at night. Sux for me. Hey! There's my favorite :-) I'm sure I can squeeze an hour and a half out of there somewhere. If not, I'm running in the morning. Case closed.

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: TBD

Monday, October 09, 2006

What Love Is

Love is comming home from work and finding stuff done for you that you didn't have time to do for yourself.

Love is comming back at half time at the soccer match to find a cool drink stuck in the cup holder of your lawn chair.

Love is listening to your wife as she tells you how she told her friends about the race you've done, the races you are going to do, and the fact that an Ironman is in your sights for the year 2008.

*************************

Truth is I haven't even talked to Dee Dee about wanting to do an Ironman in 2008. I'm not sure if I want to do an Ironman in 2008. I have already decided that we will go to Florida in November of 2007, and I will volunteer my time to the competition. It is at that point that I will make my decision. My family and I have so much to talk about before that decision becomes final. The time. The committment. The sheer amount of effort involved. The expense. It can't just be about me.

With all my friends racking up such impressive runs this weekend, I'm really looking forward to my 8 miles tomorrow. Darrel ran in the St. George's Marathon. Denise just racked up her second, yes, second 12 mile run, and Neese continues to kick bootay on those ten milers as she gets ready for her half at the end of this month.

After this long run, its a week worth of quiet time as my 10K looms on the horizon. Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: Rest

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ding Dong the Bike is Dead

Ding, dong, the bike is dead, the bike is dead. Ding, dong, the pretty bike is dead!

Finally made it to the bike shop. Seems Matthew managed to do a number on her. The damage done was greater than the value of the bike. I smiled when I received this report from the repair man, and promptly donated what was left to the local charity. Now the quandry. I have no bike. I want to ride. I have no bike. I have no bike. *sigh*

Really tired tonight. I did two U-17 games, one was Classic II, and one was R3PL, the best division in youth soccer in Georgia. I ran my arse off today, and I am just plain worn out. I think I'll go to bed now. Good night, my friends.

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: Lotsa soccer.
BTW: Put my dehydrated self on the scale. 206. That's fifteen pounds :-)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Whacked! But not Beaten

Last night was my WORST RUN since I started this journey, and probably my WORST RUN E-V-E-R. It's getting darker here in Atlanta earlier now, which means that #1's soccer practice is getting over with sooner rather than later. After picking him up from practice, we head over to the mexican restaurant for our traditional carbo loading before the Thursday run. This time, however, I decided to be adventurous and threw a couple of jalapenos and a Corona into the mix. Jalapenos have the capomiacin (sic?) stuff in it. Bear with me.

We get home around 8:30 PM. Everything is cool. The beer starts to hit me and I am being extremely lazy on the couch. At 9:40 PM, I realize, "Dude! If you are gonna run, you better get your butt off the couch and go!" I knew that once I got out there and got going, I would perk up and be fine. Sure enough did! For the first half of my run, everything went fine. About half way through the run, my nose started running. I mean, come on folks! If snot was a natural energy resource, I would be the Saudia Arabia of snot producing countries. I COULD NOT RUN. I had to stop like 4 times. It was miserable. On top of that, I had decided to add an extra mile into the mix because I had a beer with dinner and an extra bagel for breakfast!! Oh, the humanity!!

Well, I survived. Obviously. I was just real disappointed with the 12:45 a mile average, cause I was kicking butt on the first half of my run, which is all downhill, but y'all don't need to know that.

Another valuable lesson learned, which I will be sure and take with me to my upcomming 10K. No beer and jalapenos for breakfast.

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 4.15 miles, 51:48, 12:45ish miles, normal pace, R6/W1 (for half)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ain't Scairt: Part Two

I went and dun it. I've been procrastinating. Not out of fear, mind you. In truth, I'm not really sure why. Maybe its the 6:30 AM start. Maybe its the Sunday. Maybe its the 6.2 miles. K. Decided just now that I don't really care. Dee Dee and I are officially registered for the Awesome Alpharetta 10K. Jump off is 6:30 AM on Sunday, October 22, 2006. I'm looking forward to it as this one should be a l'il bit bigger than the last one I did. I want to feel the excitement of lotsa runners in the same place at the same time.

My mind has been swirling alot lately around what should be realistic goals for this 10K. Oh, there is no doubt in my mind that I will set a PR. I've never done a 10K before, so there ya go! Guaruanteed PR :-) But I want to set myself up for a challenge. There's absolutely no chance of me being disappointed, so it's a no-lose situation.

Given that I did my 5K in 29:34, and my practice runs for six miles are comming in around 1:10:00 to 1:15:00, I think these are reasonable goals:
  1. Kick Buttocks on the First Try - Sub-60
  2. The Real Deal - Sub - 66
  3. I'll be happy - Sub-70
I think I can live with that, although, again, there is NO way I'm gonna be disappointed, no matter what the time. The bad news is that I have an assessment match for my recertification the same day! But ya gotta do what ya gotta do, and I will give both my best effort.

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 3-4 miles on tap today

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sunlight, Sweeeeet!

Poor Matthew had to go to the doctors yesterday. It seems he's been scrubbing his craddle cap so hard he has sores on his head. The sores are starting to get infected and this has made the gland behind his ear swell up. Big. Like the size of gumball. Now, I never would of guessed that could happen, but I'm not a doctor. Poor kid.

Dee Dee calls me around 4 PM and tells me that Matthew is not going to soccer practice. So I swing by the high school and pick up #1 from football practice and we get to go home. Drum roll please! I walked through the door at 6:15 PM. It was still daylight outside. I asked Dee Dee if she was starving, cause I really really really wanted to run in the daylight. She gave me her OK, so I got dressed quickly and headed out the door.

I started out with my usual Run 1/Walk 1 X 2, R2/W 1, then I settled into a Run 4/Walk 2 cycle. My god, people! I'm wondering whose legs are they? They feel so strong, and let me tell ya, when you are tired and you need to do more than 5 miles, R4/W2 just freakin rocks. I ran through a new/old neighborhood, one I hadn't been through yet. I'm pleased to report that the hills are horrible in that neighborhood as well. Anywho. I finished my 7 miles. I had a little cramping in the right glute, but nothing serious, and I was definitely tired when I got home, but I made it one piece. Nothing was injured, and it was a good tired.

And for the record, waking up in the morning and being able to walk down the stairs like a normal person just R-O-C-K-S.

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 7 miles, 1:24:51, R4/W2, normal pace, 12 minute miles +/-
BTW: That's 1132 calories for me, minus a little for the walking. Awesome!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

TMI Tuesday - Yay!

Hurrah! It's TMI Tuesday. The folks over at TMI Tuesday have some more interesting questions for me to answer this week. I find this humurous. Most of their questions focus on sex, probably because they are young, and also because I guess those are the easiest questions to find slightly embarrassing.

OK, kiddos. Here we go! Annette, cover your eyes :-)

1. Have you used put anything edible on your partner's body, and then eaten it?

Hmmmm. I'm trying to think real hard on this one. I'm sure at some point I've licked something interesting off of somebody's breasteses, but it obviously wasn't a fireworks type of event, cause I can barely dredge up the memory.

2. Have you ever had an AIDS test due to reasonable suspicion or hyperactive imagination?

I got an AIDS test before I married Dee Dee. There was no way I was going to marry her if I had in anyway been exposed to AIDS. I love her too much for that.

3. Have you ever fantasized about someone else other than your partner while you were engaged in sex, oral sex, or mutual masturbation?

Yes, but only in cases of dire emergency, such as #5, see below.

4. Have you ever engaged in sex, oral sex, or mutual masturbation while in a moving car? A car being driven by someone not engaged in the sex, oral sex, or mutual masturbation?

Have you ever gone to a fast food restaurant when you are really really hungry. You want to wait until you get home to eat, but the fries smell so good that you just can't help having a few or the whole box before you get home. Nuff said.

I've already answered this one. I will NEVER engage in sexual activity in front of a third party, even if I look like the Kahuna. The gauntlet has been tossed...into the trash.

5. Have you ever had sex so many times or for so long that one or both people involved runs dry?

Oh, this happens to me all the time, LOL. And when I'm done, I pound my chest and roar like Bull Gorilla. Ask Dee Dee. It's true.

What's on the agenda for today? I'm wanting to run seven miles, but I don't think my body is in any kind of shape to get'er done. Usually what happens is I start out on my run, then after my body gets loosened up, everything clicks together just fine. So, based on that, I'm going to go out on my long route with seven in mind, but the ability to do as little as three and a half.

Finish strong!

Wes

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Sweet(water) 420!

Hmmmmmm. I must be craving beer :-)

It was definitely not a good weekend to be an obnoxious parent, coach or player in one of my soccer matches. It all started with a really crappy call from my property manager at one of my restaurants Friday morning. It seems that they were a bit upset with my sending them a certified letter in the mail, and they were really "hurt" by my actions. Poor babies! People are so good until you hold them accountable for their actions and promises. This was followed by a two hour commute home from work. Atlanta is a great place to live, but the traffic is just miserable.

I wake up Saturday morning for my first game at 9 AM. I'm still in a foul mood, but off to the fields I go. The first game I centered was a U-13 Athena game. The parents of the visiting team were horrible. Just to let ya know, homecooking by home referees is always a concern, and I try real hard to avoid this, but sometimes you gotta call the game the way you see, no matter what it looks like on the other end. I had to tell a mom that if she opened her mouth at me again, I was going to have to eject her coach from the game and the next one too! I felt really bad afterwords. It wasn't entirely her fault I was in a piss poor mood, but my BS recepticle was full and it wouldn't hold any more!

Fast forward to Sunday. I had a 1 PM between two Athena teams, U-15, that were in the same division but were both from my club. Normally these games are competitive, or not, but they are well behaved. The kids, coaches, and parents all know each other. After the start of the second half, I had to tell the coach of the higher ranked team to stop commenting to me and the ARs or he was going to get ejected. I really don't enjoy these things.

We wrapped up a long weekend with an adult Division 3 soccer game at 8 PM at night. Doing the adults is always fun, but boy do they complain. So I started my weekend with bitching and complaining and ended it on the same note. At this point, I'm just telling myself I love to do this. That's why I'm here.

The point of this long rant is that I had a total of 420 minutes of soccer/running this weekend. That's 3 centers and 2 lines. That's a lot of running, and I held up well. I don't think I could have done this last year, and when I woke up this morning, I'm not nearly as sore as I used to be after a heavy weekend.

On a brighter note, I broke through the 10 lb. barrier this weekend. My body weight is below 210 now. The next major hurdle is 200 lbs. The best I ever got my weight to on the treadmill was 204. Just a rockin and a rollin...

Finish strong!

Wes