Month: January 2013

South Mountain

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Wrote this 2 weeks ago but forgot to post. I really need an assistant or something.

South Mountain is the largest city park in the United States. That is rather awesome. We ran 10m miles on it yesterday. It was fun. This is an activity I want to do every month for cross-training. I feel great after this workout. My only soreness is my back. (I think from carrying Louis the whole time)
Here is a tree someone felt needed to be dressed up for the holidays.


I also took a few pictures of the city. Seems that the haze of pollution over the city affects the camera more than looking at the actual city.




It was a great run/workout. I had a fun and got a good cardio session in yesterday. Next week is PF Chang’s but it is only a step along the path I am walking. This year holds many more steps on roads, mountains, and even in water. I am looking forward to each and every one.

New Blog – First Entry

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*This was my first blog entry written in July 2010 but never got posted because I was still thinking too much before acting back then. Things have changed a little but the direction of my blog remains the same. I will be going through the P90X system as my next step of fitness.*

Another person spouting his ideas and thought all over the Internet. I will be focusing on series of blogs on activities in my personal life. One will be a daily blog of my journey through the P90x system as I attempt to get myself back into shape for running marathons. The second will be cooking my way around the world and exploring culinary techniques of different cultures. There will be more but I will leave those ideas and plans for another time (not being aloof about this, I just cannot remember what they are at this time).

I lead a very hectic life right now with 2 children under the age of 3 so I am looking for a medium to express myself and perhaps maintain a little sanity. The name of my blog reflects my generation as I am a member of Generation X or the 13 Generation (I like this one. 13th generation from the founding of America, according to Nick Howe) as we have also been referred to. Really, ours is sandwiched in between the Boomers and the Millenial generations. Two rather selfish generations who seem to demand and get a good majority of what they want. I was raised on the ideals of the Boomers and still espouse a lot of their beliefs but us 13ers had to be more realistic in implementing them. We are a group of do-it-yourself people and a whole lot of optimism who are expected to pick up a lot of the pieces left by the Boomers and their parents (The Greatest Generation). A lot of prevailing opinion is that we need to set things up for the Millenials because their overmaterialistic nature combined with attention spans shorter than the average text message is not the ideal recipe for succes should some of the world problems be left to them to fix.

Post Half Marathon

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Ran the race yesterday. PF Chang’s is always an experience. I met my friends at the parking lot (I actually ended up getting there right after them and parked right next to them) and we walked to the start together. I had put in a time that allowed us to go to the second corral so we did not have to wait very long once we got there. Starting temp was 42 degrees. Perfect for running. Final temp was 60, not perfect but much better than it could have been. When we started, it was still a bit dark so we did not have to run into the sun. We did not have to run into the sun nearly all day and by the time we ran facing the sun, we only had 3 miles left and the sun was high enough to not be in our eyes. These were nearly perfect conditions for running. 10 degrees cooler and it would have been perfect for full marathon running.

The plan was for Louis and I to run our race and because Lonnie was running his first race, he would meet us at the car later. Lonnie stayed with us the whole race. I am proud of him for that. There were other firsts in this race as well. Louis and I ran the full race without stopping to walk. I had only run 8 miles continuously, once. Louis had run 6 miles. We have both gone way farther in distance (Louis does triathlons) but not without stopping to walk. Apart from (Louis) stopping to pee 3 times and 10 second walks through a few early water stations, we ran the whole thing. Last weekend proved to me that I could do this. I feel confident in a qualifying time in the 2014 PF Chang’s.

I went into a meditative space during this race. Shortly before half way mark I began to meditate while I was running. I started to get lost in the experience. I was aware of my surroundings and compensating for the hills and road but I was not putting my attention on anything else like I have done in the past. When I run with Louis, we chat but I never really find that focus. I found it yesterday like I found it last weekend. I enjoy the company of my friends. I do not feel the need to converse anymore though. I feel less fatigue while running when in the flow/zone. I feel connected while there too. I still feel the presence of my friends but my world is narrowed to the running yet it is expanded to all that is around me.

It was fun. I finished in 2:17:42, a 10:31 pace. I finished 538 out of 856 men in my age group, 3302 out of 5500 men. 6260 out of 13344 total people. The winner finished in 1:05:25. Awesome. I want to be there. I need to train at another level to get to that point. Fast plus distance is a completely different race from what I have been doing the last 6 years. I. Want. That.

Vitamin B update

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I tried the B Complex during the day and it seems to not have the same effect. In fact, I tried taking it between 2 and 3 pm and it did not kick in until after the kids went to bed again. Something perhaps about the time of day that the B vitamins effects on my system? I do not know. I need more research. Still, I am heartened that the effect remains.

Viitamin B

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I felt that it was time to move to a new level so I started looking at vitamins again. As I have stated in previous posts, I have studied nutrition quite a lot in my life. So taking vitamins is nothing new to me. The thing is, every time I go back to taking them, I learn something new. In fact, I often have to relearn about many of them because research has revealed new information about their effects on the body and fitness. This time, I was at the store and they had vitamins of a specific brand at half price. I got a B-Complex. On a whim, I took 2 of them when I got home. WHAT WAS I THINKING? Well, I have only gotten my Bs from food and a multi I have been taking. I have had low energy lately and I think it might have helped. Looking at the nutrition info panel revealed that the contents ranged from 100%-170% of the various B vitamins in a single pill. I was fine for a couple hours then suddenly, it was like I got an espresso x10. I had a ton of energy. I normally just go to bed after the kids go to sleep late. At about 10:30 pm I decided to cook off the naan dough I had started proofing earlier that night. I went nuts, I was up until 12:30. I do not like to do this because the kids get up at all hours (my daughter woke up an hour after I lay down). I thought this reaction was to the salad I ate (no carbs) or to the fact that this was an interesting recipe I wanted to try. I tried it again the next night. same thing. I woke up after they went to sleep rather than being worn out. I could feel some physical fatigue but I was mentally aware. These can be fun times when I am interacting with people. Fortunately I was not. I became creative and driven to produce. I hope this was not an artifact of low B vitamin levels in my body. If this was real, I am happy to find something to use instead of caffeine.

Half Marathon

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This weekend marks almost 7 years of running. I mark this because I am not sure when I started training for my first marathon (I think it was March). I started very slow and continued to be slow because I gave myself a lot of lame excuses (which seemed logical to me at the time) like: I do not want to injure myself, I do not want to push too hard and overtrain, I do not want to train too much or I might burn out, it is too hot, it is too cold, I do not want to run in the rain, I only have (insert amount of time here), and many more logical excuses that my vast reading on the subject allowed me to logically view as ‘reasons’ no to run. As a result, I ran 2-3 times a week and did not do any other training. It is too bad because I would have actually felt better about the whole experience and I might have been able to bring myself to start again sooner. The accumulation of these excuses led to the last few years of excuses to not train. This led to excuses to not do much else in my life. The house was cleaned only when we were having company; my car was often not cleaned even when a guest was riding; the yard is let go (that continues to be a challenge); I missed several bulk pick up days; the house is so cluttered in some rooms that you might have a case for Hoarders to pay us a visit; the garage looks like the contents of 10 yard sales crammed into the space for a small apartment; blaming my environment for not being able to accomplish what I want. Changing behaviors has been slow but it is happening. I started with my self. That allowed me to shape my body. Now, I move to the next stage of shaping my body to a level beyond where I was before my son was born. I also am ready to begin changing my environment. I am ready to clear out the rest of the clutter. I am ready to bring more of my self to the present. Our goal for the race is set at 1:40 but more likely we will be around 2:10-2:20. I am optimistic after running 10 miles in the mountains in 2:30 last weekend and nearly sprinting the final half mile or so. I love you all. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.


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Sitting at the mall with kiddos again. I wanted to go to the playground, they did not want that so much, at first.

They wanted to play on the electronic rides. You know, the ones that are sitting in the front of the grocery stores. The ones that look really cool but provide less excitement than helping my wife pick yarn (Do you like beige, tan, eggshell, or khaki? Like is a rather strong word in this circumstance.). We do not usually waste the money spend anything on them. They are usually content to just play on the machines.

Today, they did not want to go to the playground. I like going to the playground because I get good Internet access and they have a lot more fun there. I started getting frustrated from having my expectations unmet. Fortunately, my frustration did not last and I let this go and allowed them their choices. I was also able to turn the whole thing into a lesson because when we finally reached the playground, the woman was there cleaning it and we had to wait. Had we gone straight to the playground, she would have waited for a time when no none was there to clean like it seems she did during winter break (no one bothered us all the mornings we were here). I think they understood.

I think I understood my lesson too. Expectations can ruin an experience. I love being with my family. No matter what we do or where we are. No expectation of our activity is worth tarnishing that.

So, while I was finishing up the above post, my eldest grabbed the hood of another child’s jacket and threw him to the ground. I did not get this part of the story when he first came over with downcast eyes and a sad face. He told me he pushed a kid because that child was going up the slide when people were going down it. I have stressed to my children the importance of being considerate of others and he has apparently taken this concept to a Batmanesque vigilantism. My son is not normally violent but he was defending some ideal I have been implanting in his psyche for a couple years now. The other child’s mother came over and informed me of my child’s actions (an interaction I thoroughly enjoy either giving or receiving, much like a root canal without anesthetic or a dentist) and I was very shocked at what she told me. I was not as shocked because he had already informed me of some of the transgression but the violent part was a little disconcerting. We talked, he did a little think time after I provided him a little perspective of possible consequences for his actions. I hope he understands. I still would rather do this than not. Another teaching moment. Life is good.
I love them. I love you. Thank you for being you.

Fitness 2013

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New year, new goals. Actually, they are the same goals but they are being updated. I have maintained my weight. I am now stable in a weekly routine. I do not do the same thing each day (Mondays- run; Tuesdays- weights, etc.) but I do run 3-4 times each week with tempo worked into them. I do lift weights with cardio built in. I do have workouts 5 times a week that focus on core strength. I also work in flexibility each day. My personal schedule is overall stable but each night can vary depending on the family’s needs. Each week can vary as well which may delay or cause cancellation of an entire week worth of workouts. I can usually still manage to work in something late at night once everyone is in bed.
A week and a half until PF Chang’s half. Louis wants to do 100 minutes. I have been averaging 10 minute miles so far, but we will see.
Diet is stable. I am minimizing sugar to 30g per day. I am mostly staying away from wheat and dairy. I have 1-2 salads daily as the only component of a meal. I do not eat much at work anymore. I drink some coffee in the morning with no sugar and nondairy creamer in it. I finish the coffee by the time I arrive at work. I balance out the dehydrating effects with 2 liters of water by noon. I have no other caffeine once I get to work. I also brush my teeth once there because I know it can discolor them. I take calcium supplements to enhance recovery from weights and the pounding of the running. I also take the calcium because coffee can contribute to decreased bone density. The main reason for the coffee is that I lose so much energy in the afternoon that I will sometimes eat thinking that my blood sugar is low. This is a difficult cycle to have considering that I need high energy while working with little ones.
Looks like this will be a great year all the way around! Looking forward to the changes!


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I went back to work yesterday after 2 weeks off. I got to play with my children, clean the house a bit, organize the garage a bit, and actually feel productive through all of it. I think a great accomplishment was blogging as much as I did. I like to create but, in recent years, I have not done much creation apart from my beautiful children and other little creations that did not really add up to much. Blogging feels good because I am able to just bring parts of my self together. I find that I bring my self into now when I blog. This form of expression is liberating. I have always been one to write but I never found that I could do it when life took me in too many directions at once. When I was in college, I found that I read a lot more books and wrote a lot more than was related to school itself, even when I was in grad school. I enjoy being busy but I find that time for developing my spirit dissipates quickly when I work 40-50 hours each week. I can still manage to meditate here and there but not as much nor as properly as I think is effective. I am saddened by returning to work because I feel that I have really started to get into a groove with this. I know I am still exploring and trying to find a style but, that is the fun part. I do not mind the feeling that I should post and entry because I know some people are expecting an entry. Normally, that would actually turn me off from wanting to post. I welcome it even though I do not post for the benefit of others. I do not write because I need to know what other people think. I post because it enriches my experience here in “Earth School” as Caroline Myss puts it. I do it for me. I am appreciative when people like and comment on what I write. I welcome their comments. But I do not need the comments to continue. I will continue to write even if I am the only one who reads these (I don’t even read them after they are written to be honest). All that being said….
Thank you all for reading what I write. I appreciate you and I am grateful for your comments. I love you and look forward to more comments (if this post did not piss you off enough to unlike this blog. If it did, I wish you happiness in all you do and a healthy life).


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I found a wonderful app called Snapguide. In a term, this app can turn a person into Martha Stewart. This app details how to do things. Everything from crafts, to food, to how to entertain yourself on a road trip (for/from kids in the back seat) Since I am generally focused on food, I naturally went to the area for food preparation. Watching shows like The next Food Network Star have taught me how little I actually know about cooking. I remember the first day of each season thinking “I could go on this show. I know how to cook.” Then I remember watching Morimoto, the Iron Chef, rip the newcomers to shreds because their knife skills were equivalent to Edward Scissorhands with arthritis and dystonia (a neuromuscular disorder). Ok, they were not that bad, but by a gourmet chef’s standards, they were pretty green. I realized that I knew nothing about cooking, well, cooking techniques. I was pretty good at desserts but, savory foods, not so much. This brings me back to the app of conversation, Snapguide. This is a visual tour of the steps do perform tasks including: Making Bubble Pizza from biscuits and hamburger, a simple Sugared Apple, a simple pasta technique and I have been wanting to try the salt crusted fish ever since watching the original Iron Chef show where they made one nearly every week.. These are not complicated recipes or techniques but I am no longer able to spend a lot of time researching and testing techniques like I did pre-children or pre-marriage. Having the Food Network available is ok but there are problems with commercials, remembering to record the shows that demonstrate the useful techniques, and just trying to cook while watching TV are all far more difficult than having the iPad or my laptop right next to me. There are a wide variety of topics and projects demonstrated in Snapguide that go beyond food. You can learn how to make a rug out of rags, cork planters, and the ever popular making fake poop.
Not all the tutorials are all that informative but the vast majority I have seen are. The food ones and the creative craft ones are as well. I look forward to playing with this app. There are tons of tutorials I have yet to explore.