Randomness

Standard

It has been an insane week for me thus far, but I decided to take a break from my office duties to allow my faithful readers to indulge in some randomness.  I could probably write longer entries on the majority of what will be included in this post, but I honestly do not have time to do so right now.  So enjoy this ADHD blog post!

Meet Molly

Meet Molly

1. Meet Molly.  On Wednesday, Susan and I drove to Hayden, AL to rescue the newest member of our family, Molly.  She was at a pet rescue there and had previously been rescued from a kill shelter.  When she was rescued from the kill shelter, her hair was matted to the point that it had to be cut off by scissors because the shears would not work.  Susan and I cannot fathom anyone ever surrendering a dog to a kill shelter, but especially not a dog as comfortable around people and playful as Molly.  She took to us immediately and once we got home, Beau and her acted like they had been brother and sister for years.   We are not 100% of her breed or age, but we know that she is at least part doodle, which is great for me and my terrible allergies, and estimate that she is between one and two years old.  She was found in the same area in which we got Beau, so I feel that there is a high probability that they both came from the same breeder and that her original owner came upon some hard luck that led to the less than ideal situation for Molly.  Susan and I are happy that we found out about her and were capable of rescuing her.

Side view of my apple after starting with the top.

Side view of my apple after starting with the top.

2. Thanks to a Facebook post, I have discovered a new way to eat an apple. So yesterday I saw a post on Facebook about how we have been eating apples wrong for years.  Today, I happened to have an apple in my lunch, so I thought that I would try this fancy new way of enjoying my apple.  And to my surprise, the new way worked!  I feel like Charlie Kelly discovering fruit for the first time in the “The Gang Hits the Road” episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  You can read the whole article here.

Infographic on the financing for the new Braves Stadium

Infographic on the financing for the new Braves Stadium

3. The Atlanta Braves are moving to Cobb County.  On Monday, the Braves dropped a bombshell on their fans by announcing the intention to move the Atlanta Braves from their current downtown ballpark, Turner Field, to the suburbs in Cobb County.  The new stadium would still have an Atlanta address, but the local fans have been freaking out a little bit.  My take is that this is great for the team because the construction of Turner Field was done with very little imagination or planning, and the place is just OK.  Theoretically, the new stadium will provide a new revenue stream for the team (which hopefully will be applied directly to the roster) and should help with the gameday experience.  Traffic is terrible everywhere in Atlanta, but currently, the Braves do not have a real interstate exit for Turner Field that can be accessed before and after games.  Also, there is one bar or restaurant within walking distance of the stadium and crime kinda sucks there too.  For a Braves fan from Tennessee, I say “Bring on Cobb County!”

Memphis

Memphis

4. Advice for travelers to Memphis.  I have come across a couple of articles today about food in Memphis.  I have eaten at the majority if the places mentioned in both, and I can vouch for most of the content in both of these articles.  My one exception is that locals go to Charlies Vergos’ Rendezvous for dry rubbed ribs.  This is false.  Locals do not eat at Rendezvous.  It is a tourist trap these days.  You can find better ribs at Blues City Cafe and Central BBQ.  You can read the articles for yourself here and here.  Also, Susan, maybe we should try Restaurant Iris for the first time for my birthday next month…

5. I saw Thor: The Dark World this week.  It was better than the first Thor movie, but not as good as The Avenger’s or Iron Man.  They did a fantastic job of establishing the characters and it is a fun movie.

Grit 'N Grind, a staple of the Grizz

Grit ‘N Grind, a staple of the Grizz

6. Maybe Lionel Hollins was a great coach.  After the first eight games of the season, most people here in Memphis have given up all hope on the Memphis Grizzlies.  The Grizzlies are 3-5 and not playing good defense, which was a staple of their success over the past few seasons.  But, it is November and there is a new coach, so I will wait a little while longer before passing judgment.  Also, I think fans need to start a petition to stop The Commercial Appeal from abbreviating the name to Griz.  It is Grizz.  Griz looks stupid and is not how the team shortens their name on social media.  The Commercial Appeal argues that the mascot’s name is Grizz, and when you are referring to the team, the spelling should be different.  It should not.

7. My running is back to normal.  After a horrendous run on Sunday, I have been able to hit the reset button and had a couple of good runs this week.

8. One more race?! Unbelievably, I only have one race left this year.  My goal for the year was to run in at least one race per month in 2013, and I have blown that goal out of the water thus far with 27 races so far.  The St. Jude Half Marathon on December 7 is my last scheduled race for the year.  This definitely feels a little weird.

Last Week’s Recap

Standard

This post might be a little late, but it is finally here.  Last week was officially my first taper week, and honestly, I did not know how to juggle my taper long run and the Breakaway Bardog 5K.  All and all though, I had a good week of training, and hopefully this will translate well for my race.

Monday: It was a rest day since I had just completed thirteen plus miles the day prior.  I was active around the house doing chores, but that was it.

Tuesday: I ran just under five miles, but they were slightly split about.  The first half a mile was a dead sprint with Beau, up and down our street.  Running with Beau can be a little treacherous since he likes to go side to side and explore everything that comes along the path.  His ADD has caused me multiple tumbles over the past few months!  After dropping him off at the house, I hit the street again to complete my run, even if the lack of a pace dog had an adverse effect on my time.  Since last week was a bit cooler than the norm for August, I was able to do this run post work, allowing me to sleep in a bit in the morning.

Wednesday: I ran four and a half miles after dinner, which is something I do not do often.  I do not like the feeling of running on a full stomach, but I wanted to make sure to get in some miles.  I also deviated from my running norm by working in a few exercises during my route.  After mile one and a half, I did ten burpees and fifteen pushups at a local elementary school on the route.  After mile three, I stopped at a park to attempt some pullups.  While I was unable to do one (no surprise), I did get some  good core work in during my attempts by hanging on the bar and pulling my knees up.  I finished the run with ten more burpees and twenty more pushups.

Thursday: I only ran three and a half miles because I was having some complications with my asthma.  This has been a recurring theme over the past week or so.

Friday: No run, but I did a TRX routine focusing on my upper body and core.  I wanted to give my legs a little bit of a rest.  After the workout, I went to my sister-in-law’s birthday dinner at Paulette’s, a local favorite that I had never visited before in Harbor Town.  The best thing anyone ordered was the peach crepe made with fresh, local peaches from Jones Orchard that Susan ordered for dessert.  Even though all of the food was good, she definitely won the food ordering battle with that selection.

Saturday: The day started with a return trip to the Memphis Farmers Market, which led to some fresh okra, grouper, squash, zucchini, purple hull peas, and Susan getting reprimanded.  Apparently bringing your dog to the outdoor market is frowned upon.  This was news to Susan since the previous two weeks there were dogs everywhere.  You live and you learn, I suppose.  That afternoon, before grilling up some grouper tacos, I did a full body TRX routine.  My TRX home kit is a lifesaver.  I do, however, need to start going to the gym more often to justify my membership fees.

Sunday: The day started with the Breakaway Bardog 5K, which you can read about here.  After the race, we took Beau to my in-laws for a play date with their dogs.  That evening, my trivia team vied for the the title of Memphis Champions, but we fell short of that goal.  Due to a lack of sci-fi knowledge and some Van Halen hubris, we fell out of contention, and this round of trivia finals has now concluded for us.

Road Trip: Arlington, TX

Standard

This past weekend, Susan and I traveled to Arlington, TX for Susan’s graduate school graduation.  Susan had been taking master’s degree classes online through the University of Texas at Arlington with her best friend and a few of their coworkers.  So, when it came time to graduate, Susan and her best friend decided that they wanted to walk in the ceremony at graduation, especially since this would probably be the last degree that they earn.  So, on Friday, Susan, her parents, sister, grandmother, best friend, best friend’s boyfriend and family, and I took a caravan from Memphis to Arlington.   This is a seven to eight hour trip, and for whatever reason, I-40 in Arkansas always seems to be under construction, so we wanted to leave early on Friday morning to maximize our trip.  The only downsides to the trip were that we had to take Beau to a kennel since Susan’s parents were going on the trip and I would be missing Mother’s Day with my mom.

On Friday, the road trip started about like I expected, thirty minutes late with a decent amount of traffic and quite a bit of road construction.  Interstate 40 is probably has the most amount of road work with the least amount of road work completion in America, especially the 120 or so miles between Memphis and Little Rock.  Luckily, we did not get delayed too much by any of the construction, and really had an uneventful trip to Little Rock.  Once in Little Rock, we had our first setback of the day.  My in-laws ended up taking the wrong exit and detoured several miles before returning to the correct route.  Susan tried to call them about this to no avail.  Once they got back onto the beaten path, there was just several hours of driving, avoiding state troopers, and the guessing of the proper pronunciation of small towns in Arkansas and Texas.  This was at least an easier feat than trying to pronounce names in rural Mississippi, which becomes futile after a few miles.  We made it all the way to Rockwall, TX before we had another issue.  My father-in-law hit a chunk of wood on the interstate going well over 80 MPH and needless to say, his tire was not happy.  He busted the rim and had to hobble into a local gas station to change it out.  At least he had a full size spare, even if there was no air in it.  After a jack malfunction, some air pump manoeuvrings, and shifting of luggage, we finally started our final descent to Arlington.  As Memphians, we love to complain about our traffic, but after seeing what residents of the Metroplex endure everyday, I will try to cut back on my gripes.  Once we got to our hotel, my first thought was that our room was bigger than my first apartment in college.  We had a king six=zed bed, couch, recliner, mini fridge, microwave, and huge bathroom.  I can get used to traveling with free hotel rooms!  We went to dinner at the Mexican place next door and called it a night.

Father-in-law changing the flat

Father-in-law changing the flat

Saturday began with a blueberry waffle shaped like the state of Texas, because, why not.  After breakfast, we headed to campus of UT Arlington for Susan’s first, and last trip to a school that she is an alumnae.  My first impression of the campus was of utter shock.  I was expecting rundown buildings and an abandon all hope decor.  I was completely wrong.  The campus was great, with several new buildings, and was much larger than I anticipated.  Graduation was held in their on campus basketball arena, which was just built in 2010.  And since the arena is a little on the small side, and the graduating class was gigantic, UT Arlington spits their graduation up by colleges.  This is genius and saved us several hours of sitting.  After the graduation, we decided to try Chop House Burgers, a local restaurant that has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, one of my go to shows when eating in new cities and claims to have the best burger in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  I ordered the Mushroom Swiss Burger, Susan ordered the Blacken Bleu Burger, and her father ordered the Cheeseburger, which uses two grilled cheeses as the bun!  Susan’s burger was the best (of what we ordered) and the blackened seasoning had a nice kick to it.  Susan and I shared some fresh cut fries and I sampled some of her parents’ onion rings as well.  The onion rings may have been the best thing that I ate there.  They were double seasoned and deep fried to golden perfection.  I really enjoyed my lunch, but it would not crack my top five, or possibly my top ten list of favorite burgers.

Don't Mess With Texas. Waffle.

Don’t Mess With Texas. Waffle.

After lunch we were supposed to go to Six Flags, but we had discovered that Kenny Chesney was playing Cowboys Stadium that evening.  I went to a Cowboys game there a few years ago, and no one else had ever been, so going to the concert just to see the place was enough for some of our crew.  After some investigation, we discovered that tickets were still available and Susan decided that she would rather go to the concert than Six Flags.  Her grandmother agreed, and even said she would buy our concert tickets, so the concert became an easy choice.  The concert stated at five, and would have four total performers, Kacey Musgraves, Eli Young Band, Eric Church, and Kenny Chesney.  For $50, and that lineup, this concert was a bargain, especially since it lasted a little over six hours!  The only downside is since it was in Cowboys Stadium or Jerry’s World, the acoustics were terrible.  If you didn’t know a song, you had trouble understanding any of the lyrics and forget trying to listen to any of the performers speak.  And the Eli Young Band, who are great live performers usually, were completely inaudible for their entire set.  It was a little disappointing.  How Eric Church and Kenny Chesney have so much energy throughout their sets is phenomenal, especially Chesney.  Eric Church sang all of his hits plus a cover of A Country Boy Can Survive, which is fitting since he is copying Hank Williams, Jr.’s look (sunglasses, beard, drinking whiskey on stage).  Honestly, his hour on stage would have been worth the $50 alone.  They opened the roof when Chesney came on stage since it was such a nice night and he performed twenty-four of his hits!  The most impressive part, at least to Susan and I was that he barely paused between songs, and just kept coming with his high energy performance.  Towards the end of the show, we moved down a couple of levels (we were up rather high) to the standing room only section, and the acoustics were much improved.  I will have to say, however, that the stadium was much better suited for its intended purpose, hosting football games.  Parking was a nightmare around the stadium (as always) but since our hotel was close, I parked on a street going away from the traffic, and we moved to the standing room only section, we were able to make it back to our hotel in under ten minutes.  Some other concert goers that were at our hotel told us the next morning that it took them over two hours to make the same, two mile trip.

Us in front of Jerry's World

Us in front of Jerry’s World

Also at the concert, our group saw something quite funny.  At Cowboys Stadium, there are huge walls of glass that extend from the floor to the ceiling several feet above.  As you approach one of these walls, it is easy to confuse them for doors.  Or at least my group did, along with a few others.  Well, we noticed within ten feet or so of the wall and turned around to find the actual door.  Well, this poor guy behind us was not so fortunate.  He approached the wall in full stride, and never slowed down until he crashed face first into the wall!  He hit it so hard that people on both sides of the wall stopped and watched the man stagger away from reverberating wall.  The man was too stunned from the hit to be outwardly embarrassed, and we had to clear the area to keep from laughing directly in his face.  We did notice, however, as we passed the wall that the man left a grease spot on the wall from his forehead, nose, and mustache!  I lost it when I saw that, but did refrain from snapping a picture.  My only question is did the man think that the wall was a door or that there was no wall at all?  I mean, if he thought it was a door, leading with your face seems like an odd way to open it.

Sunday only had the following three things on its itinerary: drive home, visit the Grand Prairie Premium Outlet Mall, and eat at In-N-Out Burger.  The outlet mall had many premium brands, including several athletic outfitters.  Susan wanted a purse, I was interested in grabbing some new running gear.  I succeeded in my goal, Susan did not.  I ended up getting a new running shirt and two pairs of shorts from Under Armour and a pair of Saucony shoes to use as my everyday sneaker for around $100.  In Memphis, this would have been over $150 easy.  On our way out of town, we stopped at the In-N-Out burger in Rockwall (a nice bookend for our trip) to have some of burger heaven.  I had only had In-N-Out Burger once in my life when I visited Anaheim a couple of summers ago, and I have been craving it ever since.  I am very thankful for their eastern expansion to Texas back in 2011 since it makes my acquisition of a burger slightly easier.  Maybe one day Memphis and Tennessee can have a franchise as well!  This was Susan’s first time to have In-N-Out, and she was definitely impressed with the bun.  With 100% fresh ingredients, including the bun, it is hard to argue with the quality.  I did not try “animal style” a variation of their burger on their “Not So Secret Menu” simply because I find mustard to be the single most disgusting food item on the planet.  Just the thought of it makes my stomach turn, so I avoid it at all costs, even telling some servers that I am allergic to it.  Nothing can ruin a burger like mustard.  Sadly, on this trip at least, the fires were very lackluster and grossly under seasoned.  I guess we will have to make a return trip so they can redeem themselves to Susan!  Our drive home was uneventful and the only real issue was getting caught up in some traffic fives miles from home on I-240 due to some night paving.  But since this happened in Memphis, we knew enough back roads to navigate a detoured route home.

Double Double goodness

Double Double goodness

I have written a rather extension post about our trip and I have not mentioned anything about running.  The reason for this, despite my intentions, I completely ignored my running during this mini vacation.  Yep, I went four days between runs.  And when you take in account that I had three burger joints (Chop House, In-N-Out, and Whataburger), it is plain to see that I was not as dedicated to my health as I should have been.  So my punishment is taking the stairs at work.  I work on the eighth floor in my building, and travel to the basement frequently.  I decided last week that once a week, I was going to take the stairs all day once a week.  As my punishment, I was going to double that.  Yesterday, that meant that I took 1,360 stairs!  Of course, as I am writing this, that doesn’t seem like enough of a punishment, so I am going to take the stairs for the rest of the week.  Maybe I will make this my daily habit, or maybe I won’t skip anymore runs!

Sunday Funday

Standard

It has been a couple of weeks since I have been able to go for a long run so today was very important for my training even though I’m firmly in my taper phase.  And of course, being sick all week was not ideal leading into my ten mile run today.  At least our run of thirty degree days has subsided and I was able to start my run with sunny skies and a temperature around forty-five degrees.  My first couple of miles went well, and were in the range of 9:45 per mile, but then I hit a wall and the last eight miles were a struggle.  My fastest mile was my first and the slowest was the ninth mile.  I did at least cut twenty-four seconds off of my pace for the last mile, so I was able to finish strong.  I could tell that I hadn’t run a long distance in awhile and I hope that doesn’t come back to haunt me in two weeks during the Germantown Half Marathon.  I finished today’s run of 10.02 at a slightly disappointing 10:17 pace.  This pace is a little slower than my last month plus of training, but would be a personal record by a few seconds if I could maintain it for an entire half marathon.  Of course, being sick and somewhat static for the week, my time should be somewhat encouraging.  Also, my right calf was tight and sore by the end, but I think it should be nothing major.

In other news, our trivia team was not able to finish in the money last night.  We were within striking distance for awhile but our lack of knowledge of short lived 1970’s sitcoms, Fleetwood Mac, European bodies of water, the Amazing Randy, and Roman catapults cost us last night.  The final question was put the following four items in order, from largest to smallest:

  • Fleetwood Mac Top 40 Hits
  • Number of States That Signed the Original Warsaw Pact in 1955
  • Mike Schmidt’s Number With the Phillies
  • Number of Neck Vertebrae in a Giraffe

So, I knew that Schmidt’s number was 20, but we were uncertain on the other three.  I fought hard to put the Giraffe vertebrae as the smallest simply because it seemed kind of like a trick answer.  We estimated that Fleetwood Mac had ten top forty hits and sixteen states signed the original Warsaw Pact because there was lots of possible states to sign it.  We got these two wrong.  The final answer was as follows:

  • #20 for Mike Schmidt
  • 18 Top 40 Hits by Fleetwood Mac (Seriously?)
  • 8 States Signed the Original Warsaw Pact
  • 7 Neck Vertebrae in a Giraffe

Oh well, we now have some more useless trivia committed to memory for the future I suppose.

Today, after my run, Susan and I decided to take Beau back to the dog park.  Beau had a great time, even though there were several aggressive dogs there today.  Sadly, the wolf dog was not there again today, but there were a couple of other doodle mixes there that Beau immediately ran to.  I’m glad that he steered clear of most of the aggressive dogs today, especially the two dogs that got into three fights within the first fifteen minutes we were there.

For any people out there that is not a hockey fan, the Chicago Blackhawks versus the Detroit Red Wings game this afternoon would have been the best chance for the sport to convert you.  Coming into the game, the Blackhawks had scored at least one point in twenty-one straight games to open the season and have yet to lose during regulation.  The game was scoreless into late in the third period when the Red Wings scored a goal and the streak looked to be in jeopardy.  Of course, the Blackhawks tied up the game with about two minutes to go and the game went to overtime.  The game ended up in a shootout and the Blackhawks scored the only goal during the shootout and their point streak is now at twenty-two games.  The NHL might as well given them the Stanley Cup now, sadly.

 

Two Posts In One!

Standard

I meant to write the first half of this entry yesterday, but I got busy and never got to my computer to do so.  I made Sunday a rest day since I enjoyed my friend Will’s last weekend of bachelorhood a little too much the previous night.  Since it was going to be an easy day, Susan and I decided to take Beau to Overton Bark, the newest dog park in Memphis.  This was the first time that we had taken Beau to a park, so we had some apprehension.  He does great with parents’ golden doodles, but numerous stranger dogs was a little worrisome.  But, I am happy to report that our worries about Beau at the park were unfounded.  Beau loved running with the other dogs and had a grand ole time.  I brought a tennis ball for him to fetch, but he was more concerned with keeping up with the other dogs in the park.  However, no matter how much running he did, if he lost sight of Susan and I, he would sprint back to the last place he saw us to make sure we were still around.  We stayed at the park for about forty-five minutes and when we got back in the car, Beau was quite tired.  After the dog park, we took Beau to Hollywood Feed, a local pet store near the house.  We got him a couple of new chew toys and a Kong toy that gives him treats as he plays with it.  It may be his favorite toy of all time!

First trip to the dog park

First trip to the dog park

After the dog park and pet store, we headed home where Susan and I finally decided to arrange our collage wall.  She finds numerous ideas on Pinterest and decides we need to do them at our house.  I will admit, she has found some good ideas, but they are not always the easiest things to complete.  The collage wall was not physically demanding, but lining up all of the frames and maintaining proper boarders was quite tedious.  It took me a little longer than I had hoped, but we were very pleased with the end results.  We are repainting over her spring break, so I wanted to get the wall done so any mishaps would be concealed in the near future.

An afternoon of hard work

An afternoon of hard work

Today, I got back to my workout routine.  It was a cold and rainy evening in Memphis, so I headed to the gym after work.  I was drained from a long day at the office, but I knew I had to get back to my routine.  I ran 3.26 miles on the treadmill at a 9:51 pace.  A little slower than my recent runs, but I felt good.  After the run, I did another Warrior Dash circuit.  I did my usual :30/:30 split for two circuits with a minute rest time between the two circuits.  Today’s circuit consisted of the following exercises:

  • Body Weight Squat
  • DB Incline Bench
  • DB Upright Row
  • Glute Bridges
  • Wipers
  • Reverse Lunges
  • Pushups
  • Supermans
  • Bicep Curl
  • Reverse Crunch/Knee to Chest

Today’s workout went well and I am confident that I will be properly prepared for my upcoming races.

Great Run Today

Standard

I originally was going to run bright and early this morning, but decided instead to make a run to Gibson’s Donuts to pick up some breakfast for the wife and me.  I grabbed a couple of standard chocolate glazed donuts, a cinnamon bun, and a maple bacon doughnut.  That’s right, a maple bacon doughnut!  And it was outstanding!  It is a glazed doughnut with maple icing and bacon crumbled on top.  It is a perfect blend of sweet, salty, and traditional breakfast flavors.  Now, I know most people think this sounds disgusting, but trust me, just be adventurous this one time.  It is worth it.  Maybe my adulation for this doughnut is my love affair with breakfast and my rules revolving around breakfast.   Rules?  It is quite simple, when you have french toast, you must have bacon, and hence, the marriage of bacon and maple on this doughnut.  Susan looks at my like a freak every time I tell her this rule (and maybe I am), but that is how I’m wired.  And after my not so runner friendly breakfast, I decided to delay my run until the early afternoon.

Image

Since I ate mine before taking a pic, I found this one via the ilovememphis blog

Today was another phenomenal day for a run.  55 degrees when I stepped outside and not a cloud in sight.  I knew it was going to be a great run.  After last week’s debacle, I have been eager to get back out there for a long run to redeem myself of sorts.  I strapped on my CamelBak and hit the street.  I ran virtually the same route as last week with a couple of subtle changes to add the extra mile, including adding the biggest hill in the neighborhood to get a little practice for the Germantown and 4 Bridges Half Marathons.  My first three and a half miles were right in line with my expected pace, and then I hit the hill.  My pace dipped, but not too bad.  The biggest issue was the mile or so post hill.  That is when I saw my slowest time split of the afternoon, 10:01, so at mile 5.1, I decided to take my GU and I saw an almost immediate boost.  Mile six became my fastest at a pace of 9:07 and whereas last week this was the point I was fantasizing about jumping into traffic to end my misery, today I was feeling great.  I’m sure having water readily available with my CamelBak, as well as the much better weather were contributing factors to today’s satisfying success.  I ended with a pace of 9:45 for 8.02 miles and recorded my fastest 10K time of all time, completing the distance in 1:00:39.  Now if I can keep these times moving forward, especially in a race or two, I will be considerably pleased.

I also finally decided to invest in some moisture wicking socks.  I didn’t notice an earth-shattering difference while I was running from normal socks I guess, but it wasn’t too warm or humid, so we will see in the upcoming weeks.  I will say that my feet were dry and comfortable when I got home, so they must of done something for me today.

Now that I have finished my post run stretches and refueling, I’m on the couch, hydrating, and watching the Falcons vs 49er’s game.  I am not a fan of either team, but I am a devoted Atlanta Braves fan, so I decided to pull for the Falcons.  Susan, being an Ole Miss girl, and staunch Patrick Willis fan, does not agree with this choice.  Our dog Beau is lying next to me, completely indifferent to the game, but happy to have someone home today to relax with him.

A couple of quick notes about the game.  It seems odd that Fox has Troy Aikman calling the game even though he is obviously sick.  Erin Andrews could not of found a tighter pair of pants to wear today.  Zac Brown Band killed it on the National Anthem.  The Georgia Dome is insanely loud today.  The Falcons are starting just like last week, but hopefully they don’t doze off like they did in the second half against the Seahawks.  The 49er’s look completely lost right now.  The terrible Tennessee Lottery commercial from last night has migrated to big Fox.  With the amount of ads and cast of The Following, unless it gets American Idol ratings, it will probably be considered a bust.  I have been seeing promos for this show for what feels like years at this point.  I wonder if the Falcons win the Super Bowl if the city of Atlanta caves and builds them a new, yet unnecessary stadium.

Saturday = Long Distance Day

Standard

With my current training plan, Saturdays are my designated long run days, even though I should probably move it to Sundays since my longer races are on Sunday mornings, but oh well.  I am operating on an abbreviated running schedule compared to what I have run the past two falls, but it still will sufficiently stretch me out for the Germantown Half Marathon in March.  I will be adding a mile a week to each long run, and change up my mid-week runs a little bit as well.  Last week I ran six miles, so this week I was slated for seven, and it was not an ideal day for that.  It has been unseasonably warm here in Memphis and it has rained heavily the past three days.  The rain on Thursday led to me only doing a TRX workout for about 40 minutes and made my runs on Friday and Saturday slightly different than I had planned.

Friday, I did a mile sprint with Beau, and it wasn’t too bad.  We checked in at an 8:47 pace on our sprint.  We both felt good after the run, even if it was slightly slower than Tuesday evening.  Once back at the house, I did some pushups and crunches while waiting on Susan to get home from work.  Once Susan did return home, I went back out for a few more miles.  I ended up running 4.23 more miles at a 9:58 pace.  The roads and sidewalks were very wet and muddy, so my normal road run was more like a trail run.  By the time I headed back out for the additional miles, it was dark outside, so lots of these mud puddles came as a surprise as I would slosh through them!  All and all, it was still good to get back out there for a scheduled run.

Today, the weather was a much more brutal than is the norm for January.  It rained all morning, so when I finally got out there, water was standing everywhere.  I didn’t let it deter me and I headed out to the pavement.  Not sure if it was the 90% humidity or the temperatures in the low 70’s, but from the first step, I could tell that this was not going to be a fun run.  Mile 1 went well, but by mile 2, my socks were waterlogged and the sweat was pouring.  Avoiding the puddles and mud compromised my stability, so I just started blasting right through them.  At mile 4, I was strongly considering cutting my losses and head back home, but I squashed those thoughts and kept at at it.  Mile 5 ended up being my slowest of the day, but I rebounded nicely on miles 6 & 7 to bring my pace back to 10:15,  As I made my last stride home, I was completely dead.  I actually felt like I had run ten or eleven miles.  I did my stretches, re-hydrated, and celebrated that my run was over!  We all have those days I suppose, and I was actually pleased with my pace.  If I kept that pace for an enter half marathon, it would result in a personal record, so that is a positive to take from today.