Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Novocaine for the toe...

I managed to do my toe in yesterday with a small accident involving a drum.

We'll see how screwed I am.  It doesn't seem to be broken, not that it matters, because they'll really do nothing for a broken toe anyway.  I'm still walking, so that's a plus.  It feels a lot better today than yesterday, but it still doesn't feel very good, I'll tell you that.  Just think, before I was complaining about shoes that forced my feet too hard to the outside of my foot, and now that's going to be just fine. 

I'm supposed to run today, but it's not gonna happen.  Ugh.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sustenance vs. Sustenance

Since the start of the year, things have been going well, I must say.  I'm losing some of the honeymoon/holiday weight I gained.  I've managed to sucker myself into a small strength training regimen twice a week.  I'm still running outside here and there despite the snow, ice, and creepy footprints in the snow that look just like mine only going exactly the opposite way.  Either I'm sleep running my route backwards or I have a shoe doppleganger (or just a regular doppleganger).  All I know is that if I see him in a mirror, I'm not going to any theatre shows for a while.

Anyway, none of this has any connection to where I thought I was going with this entry.  My point is that I've been really damn good.  So good that I can't remember the last time I pulled into a Taco Bell, and whenever I think about doing so I have some sort of internal dialogue about it.  It usually goes something like this:

Fat Brent:  OOOOOHHH!  Taco Bell!
Fit Brent:  I know you love it, but it's not good for you and it will never love you back.  You know I'm right.
Fat Brent:  I know...
Fit Brent:  Besides, if Taco Bell really loved you, it would have never taken away it's Black Jack Taco in the first place.

Instead, I've been mostly making a lunch.  The few times I have stepped out and grabbed something, it's mostly been that Chipotle Chicken and Cheese on Flatbread over at Subway.  I swear a few years back I never went there, but since NBC's "Chuck" began brainwashing me with their shameless product placement that has changed.  Only two episodes left, so you guys better send something that will be permanently lodged in my brain and have a subliminal trigger that sends me to Subway every once in a while.

Again, not my point, not my point at all that I can get some toasted onions and green pepper with pepper jack cheese on it and then I'll load it up with some lettuce, tomato, olives, banana and jalapeno peppers, and just a dash of hot sauce in addition to the chipotle southwest sauce.  It's also most definitely not my point that it is somehow an orgasm for my brain.

"I eat 3 a day to help keep me strong"
Luckily that's not something that is too horrible for me food-wise, but you see where this is going, though.  The amount of chemical reward I can get from food is crazy sometimes.  So crazy it makes me wonder how long I can sit with my finger in the dam like it is now.  Can I really sustain a long-term healthy year?  That's the million dollar question for me right now.

I'm having some weird food-related thoughts that I would equate to the type of thoughts drug users have when they try to get clean.  I've caught myself fantasizing about mainlining all the remaining eggnog at Meijer.  If it's not that, in my head I'm building a fort of empty White Castle sleeves from a crave case and leading an army of fries through a moat made of chocolate shake to storm the castle.  I've even thought about a calzone the size of a sleeping bag that I could crawl into and eat my way out, or just be born in it like an egg or a pod as it provided the nutrients I needed to grow within it and emerge ready for the outside world.  I'm sorry, but that's just messed up.

When it's not bad foods it's just the sad truth that it's nearly impossible for me to not still be hungry, even when I'm eating things that are good for me and are allegedly filling.  I have some light speed digestion going on, nothing sticks for long, and if it's possible to eat celery to the point where you could actually gain weight, I think I could manage to do it (but won't because my wife finds celery to be kind of disgusting).  However I do think I could round up enough if I save the frozen celery I pick out of frozen stir fry veggies for her.  Sorry celery, sorry you're dying for nothing.

I guess I just know getting down to a weight where I feel I can also handle that 26.2 is going to be hard for me.  I know it's still possible getting there where I'm at weight-wise, but I don't want to do that.  I want to make it easier on me, my legs, and my heart, and who can blame me?  It's not like I want to go out running with two heavy dumbbells strapped to me, and knowing how much extra baggage you're carrying is really eye-opening.  How hard it is doesn't change the fact it needs to be done.  I realize it's not going to be easy for me, and there's a lot of rewiring I need to do with my brain and body before I can be successful.  

One wire at a time, though.  I just have to make sure I pull the right wires or this Bavarian Creme bomb will go off, and then the only thing I can do to save the city is smother it with my open mouth...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Frozen Blueberry

Before the race, there was a fire about a block from the start.  Apparently the wood stove in the garage started the fire and it got out of hand and burned down the garage.  Nobody was hurt and last I saw it looked like they controlled it from getting into the house too much and taking that with it.  The garage went up pretty quick, though, and you could hear containers exploding here and there.  Still a shame for the people involved.  Hopefully they're well-insured.  Anyway, for anyone reading this, make sure all your smoke detectors work, have fire extinguishers in areas most likely to have fires, and keep flammables away from ignition sources (if possible).

The roads, as you can see were pretty snow-covered and slow, but it wasn't brutally cold.

Only two people from my age group showed (including me), so I got prized up by default.

It's spinny!
I guess it's true what they say, "Half of life is just showing up"

Glad they brought this race back after a year hiatus.  There are not a lot of races to do in the winter, and running around here and not seeing the racing crowd can get kind of dull (especially in Jan/Feb).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Twenty Eleven YIR and Twenty Twelve Tunnel Vision

I said I'd do a year in review of last year revisiting the goals I had.  Here are the over/under results for 2011:

1) Continue to do a race a month. - I could shoot to go for more, but all I would accomplish is paying more money and having more shirts I need to get rid of.  Over  I still overdid it.  I think the final tally for 2011 was around 35 races.
2) Can I Get a Half-Marathon? - I can do this. After the Crim we felt like running the 5K, and would have if Pat showed. Now it's just a matter of where to do it.  Over  how about 4 (Martian, DxA2, Panda, Brooksie) and 1 trail half (The Legend)? Also the 20K Volksläufe was pretty close to that distance. You could say I nailed it down with authority.
3) Try to Run a Race out-of-State - I'd really like to do this if the opportunity arises. We'll see what this year and the finances hold.  Under  Somebody else's scheduling conflicts in September on my honeymoon got in the way of the one I was planning on.  I could have planned better to get this in, but I thought I had it locked up (Note to self:  Have a backup plan).  After the wedding and the honeymoon, I couldn't justify a trip just to accomplish this goal in 2011.  However, I ran a 5K in Chicago on 1/1/12, so I only missed it by a day.
4) Register earlier - I could deal with saving some money on these races. I need to make a game plan and pick what races I'm doing this year, and sign up early.  Even  Registered early a lot, and also opted out of shirts when possible a few times.
5) Make lifestyle changes that actually affect my weight - I've done everything else. For my size, I am a powerhouse of energy and endurance. Imagine what I could do if I slim down. I could be unstoppable.  Even  For 3/4 of the year, I did awesome. I was down below a weight I hadn't been down to in 5 years in September. I let things get away a bit at the end of the year, though. Still, I will tentatively call it a success as long as I jump back on track this year.
6) Do "The Legend," the "Warrior Dash," or "The Martian" (or all three) - I haven't decided yet, but two are races I missed last year, and the other looks like a blast (though I am actually somewhat in fear of it).  Over  Done, Done, and Done. The Legend was the hardest running-related thing I've ever done. The Warrior was a blast, and the Martian was where I did my first half.

There was also some nonsense goal I added late in the game about running a double loop of the Crim course, but that never happened either.  Still, I said it, and it didn't happen.  All in all 2011 was a major success for me though.  It was such a success, in fact, that I'm worried about being able to top it.  That will be what I want to do this year, though.

So here we go.

2012 Running Goals

1)  A Marathon.

...and that's it.  Done.  Anything else I do this year will be gravy, or be done in the name and vein of getting the 26.2.  Every pound taken off, every mile I log, every race I run, and many many other things will be what I do will be to get there.  Don't believe it?  I haven't eaten poorly since New Year's Day.  Don't believe that because I took a picture with the Big Boy on the 2nd?  I did salad bar!

I've already had to reel myself back in a bit because I was overdoing it and my weight was dropping like a stone the past week.  It's probably not healthy going that fast.  It's not that I was starving myself or anything, but probably the worst thing I ate was a vegetarian stuffed pepper.

I got all crazy yesterday and a had a bagel and a root beer, and today I actually had some mashed potatoes.  Still though, even with that, I'm maintaining a very controlled calorie altitude.  Needless to say the fat Friday call-out blogs may be fragged.  Besides, I'm guessing there was some sort of subconscious motivation for me to screw up big and have something to write about.  I'll still call myself out, but there won't be anymore laughing at myself about failures.  There are plenty of other things about me to laugh at.  Besides, this is a running blog, not Brent vs. Food.

I also have a few goals outside of running that I don't mind sharing.

The Twelves of Twelve (Resolutions)

1)  Pick 12 things of social importance that I've had limited exposure to, but decided I didn't like and immerse myself in each of them for 1 month.  The idea is to reopen my mind to a few things I've dismissed too quickly.  I'm not planning on doing my version of Fear Factor and tackling major fears or eating foods I think are disgusting, but all else is fair game.  I've turned to my wife and friends for help, and I'm hoping I come up with twelve things large enough in scope, especially things that are potentially life-enriching.  Upon telling my wife this, she shrieked "Harry Potter" immediately.  It is a phenomenon, and there are enough books and movies to keep me tied up for at least a month.  It fits the bill.  I don't have 12 yet, and I haven't received as many suggestions as I anticipated.  Apparently I'm not as rigid as I judge myself to be.

2)  Learn 12 new recipes (1/month).  We both can cook.  There's plenty of meal variety in this house, but every time I add another meal, it gives us another option that we might just be in the mood for.

3)  Do 12 home improvements (1/month).  Whether I do it, pay for it, or just add something to the place to make it better I want to do one thing a month on average.  It doesn't need to be anything major, just something.

4)  Try 12 new restaurants (1/month).  There are not a lot of really good restaurants around here I have not eaten at.  This may be a slight challenge, especially if I'm trying to eat halfway decent.

I have a few other resolutions, but they're mostly the boring things you see everywhere like:  do better at work, get more sleep, finally beat Metroid Prime 2.  You know, stuff everyone has on their list, and will forget about.  As far as the other ones.  There they are.  They're public knowledge now (ok, maybe just a small sliver of the public).  The marathon is scary to me.  The furthest I think I've run is about 15-16 miles, and setting it up as the singular goal is setting up an entire year to be a pass/fail venture.  I need to do it now, though; not because Maya Angelou's poetry calendar is supposed to kill us all in December, but because it's time and life's only going to get more complicated.

I know there are those of you out there running in the morning before you wake up your kids, running through health issues, and overcoming all kinds of odds to find time to get out there and do it.  Knowing you are out there and reading your blogs is massively inspirational to me, but I'm not you (at least not yet) and I'm pretty sure I can't hack that.  I'm just not that awesome.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pictureless Chicago

Believe it or not, I managed to go to Chicago and come home without taking a single picture.  I have to be the worst human being in the world when it comes to documenting things with photos.  Here are some things that you will not see...

-Jeff, Samir, my wife and I drinking lots of beers with pizza and cheesy tots at Haymarket Pub
-All of us again at Goose Island (despite it now being owned by the enemy).
-The four rounds of Guinness Jeff and I did at Yak-Zies while leaving my wife back at the hotel, and us being slowly crowded by idiots trying to take over our table.  They made us stay longer.

-My obscenely large burger that I ate at Bennigan's with sweet potato fries
-My wife learning that Navy Pier is lame (like I said), but us being even lamer and sitting on the USS Chicago anchor like horrible tourists anyway (though there may be an iPhone photoshop of it happening eventually).
-My Chicago/Local H friends on New Year's Eve at the Bottom Lounge avoiding the opening band
-Local H coming out in spacesuits, and them covering Rush with the 2112 logo flashing behind them.
-Me, my wife, and several other friends (and strangers) doing shots directly from a Buffalo Trace bottle (perhaps another reason I could be sick, but alcohol kills everything right?)
-Dan's fiance throwing elbows at guys twice her size coming at her out of a mini mosh pit
-My wife and I having a New Year's kiss
-My friend "Jeffing" (as he calls it) several photos
-One of the few nights of the year my wife and I have a PBR tall boy in hand

-Me all decked out to run a 5K in Chicago on New Year's Day
-The other 1,500 or so people
-Lake Michigan in the morning from Lincoln Park just south of the zoo
-My shirt and bib from my first out-of-state race ever (still possible)
-The friend I made on the way back on the bus
-The Hackneys onion loaf that we all split
-Old St. Patrick's Church (inside and out)
-Pizza at Gino's with my good Local H friends.
-The "pointy kitty" at the Red Line stop on the way back to the hotel
-Our hotel

-The snowstorm on the way back
-Me with Big Boy again when we stopped to eat
-Me doing a powerslide in my driveway on snow and ice upon arriving back home and hearing that Georgia missed the first FG in the 1st OT of the Outback Bowl.

Wait, no, I have evidence of the last two...

MSU won, so it's bowl tradition now
Powerslide Evidence

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sickness w/ Bonus Juice Rant (edited from Wednesday)

No need to remind me that I haven't written anything in a while.  I know.  I haven't reviewed my 2011 yet, or given any hint at what I'm going to be aiming for this year.  I'll get to it (maybe).  Just put it on my "Honeydo "Strangerdo list™."  Instead, you'll get a short rant (Happy New Year to you too).

I'm running into I've run into a stupid cold again, and trying to kill it off  I tried to kill it before it does did any harm to the jump start I'm planning on having in the new year.  It probably didn't help going out to the store after my last run in a soaked sweatshirt when it was 30 degrees out (or sharing that bottle of Buffalo Trace with half the concert hall NYE).  Anyway, I didn't feel great today Wednesday, so I stopped to get a few vitamins and things to get a jump on it at lunch time. 

I also wanted to grab a good juice to wash them down that also had some good things in it.  I've been well aware that the majority of juice these days seems to be Karo syrup, flavoring, and dye for a while now, so I always scan for the 100% juice label first.  Well this time, I screwed up.  I saw the 100% on an apple and went sideways with the same brand when I saw a cranberry-grape.  I made a bad assumption thinking same brand = same % of juice in each bottle, and that got me 75% less real juice.  Now, I would never preach that mental abuse toward a woman is okay, but if I ever meet this "Minute Maid," I intend on making her feel like (75%) less of person.

This has bothered me for a few years now.  I hate it when there's this rare occasion I get duped by a container masquerading as a juice.  Anything that isn't in the realm of 100% juice, in my humble non-store-owning opinion should be relegated to the soda aisle.  It would really cut down on the potential confusion, but hey I understand that's not what the industry would want, especially those that are owned by a soda company. 

Anyway that's enough of that.  I hope your New Year is going well.  Mine will be as soon as I kick this thing, and when I actually solidify my resolutions (both on and off the road).  It's really infuriating that I've been sick twice within a few weeks here.  This doesn't usually happen to me, because I'm way too tough for germs.  I'm coming out of it today, and actually made it to work, though, obviously, I'm not overexerting myself.
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