Sunday, February 27, 2005

Home Alone

When a married man and father ends up alone for a weekend, there is bound to be speculation about just what he did. Here's the list, in no particular order.

Rode Bike trainer for 1 1/2 hours.
Watched "Kill Bill Vol. 2" (it was as "slow", as the first was action packed)
Painted Kitchen
Ate meatloaf and potatoes (prepared by Leanna before her departure)
Watched "Escape from Atlantis" (this is perhaps the worst movie ever made)
Watched "Iron Eagles III" (it gives "Atlantis" a run, but in the end fails to be as terrible)
Rode bike for 1 1/2 hours outside. First road ride of the year.
More meatloaf and potatoes
More painting
Mounted new Kitchen Light
Watched "Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers" (despite being about the 10th time of seen it, this was the best movie experience of the far)
More painting
Watched "Octopussy" (I've always loved Bond movies. In truth, this like most of the movies listed were just background noise while I painted.)
Ran for 2 1/4 hours (this was a big test, and I passed!)
Ate the rest of the meatloaf and potatoes
Fixed Mailbox
Watched NASCAR
Cleaned Kitchen

I think you get the idea. A married man, father of one, doesn't go out partying. He just chills. Add in plenty of coffee, and 1/2 dozen calls to Leanna, and that's my weekend. Final thought: Good god football season can't get here soon enough!

(PS: Speaking of movies, I just saw "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" is showing on the "Mystery" channel. Isn't mystery a bit strong when referring to a Steve Martin movie?)

Saturday, February 26, 2005

I've become one of them...

You know, that guy at work with the pictures of his kids on his desk, pictures of his kids on his computer, drawings pinned up on the bulletin board.

The transformation has surprised me. I have no regrets.

It hit me last night. I was at a restaurant waiting for my friend Austin to show. I picked up the menu and saw the "kids menu." It depicted a little plate of spaghetti. It made me smile. I started thinking of my favorite childhood book: "Bread and Jam for Frances."

I'm very happy being a dad, and truly realize that part of being a dad is being able to laugh at myself. Everybody else does, why should I be left out! Here are two of my more ridiculous "new parent" thoughts:

1) Friends told Leanna and I that they would puree fresh bananas for their daughter to eat. I remember thinking "is it okay to do that?" Can an infant eat real food?
2) One night I gave Alexandra a bottle just before putting her to bed. She was falling asleep in my arms and I couldn't get her to burp. I was up all night worried that she would be harmed because she hadn't burped.

Racing will be interesting this year, I'm not sure if I will be fast or slow, competitive or passive. I do know that once I'm across the finish line I'll be able to put the race, good or bad, behind me very quickly.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Talk to the Hand! Posted by Hello

I love Bear, and Bear loves me. Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Training update

I've finally put a number of quality training days together. Three runs in four days, two of those with a new training partner, John. John is faster than I am now, but not faster than I feel I should be. He and I first went out on a 7 mile run together. Towards the end he commented on how his coach told him it was very important to make these easy days enjoyable to avoid burnout. Did he just say "easy”? I took a peak at my heart rate monitor, 160 beats per minute (bpm). Yeah, I was afraid of that. My maximum heart rate is 183 bpm, making my current rate 87% of max. I wasn't about to die, but that definitely does not qualify as "easy" .

The next day he and I went to do 1 kilometer repeats at the indoor track at the University of Rhode Island. This time the monitor was regularly hitting 171 bpm, and John was beating me by 40 - 90 meters each time. Afterwards I asked him how his splits were (I didn't time mine, afraid of what I'd see). He was running about 3:25 per kilometer. That's a pace for a 5:30 mile. Once again, this is simply not beyond my capabilities. I'm just not very fit yet.

As if I needed any more verification of my lack of foot speed, I went out by myself today and ran my tried and true 10.7 mile training loop. The final time was 1:15:09. Last year on March 10 I ran the loop in 1:08:09. 7 minutes is a lot of time. I'll be faster in March, but let's be real here, 1:08 is not happening.

Okay that's the 1/2 empty glass. Now it’s time to look at the 1/2 full bit. First, I ran 3 out of 4 days and am feeling pretty good, with only minor soreness in my ankle (no pain). Second, that 1:15:09 is 3 minutes faster than I ran that loop a month ago. Third, my running peaked in April last year and tailed off the rest of the year. Hopefully by having a slower build up, I can keep form until the end of July (Ironman USA).

If nothing else this reinforces the concept that what I choose to do for "recreation" is far more demanding and less forgiving than what I do for a paycheck. Your body always asks "what have you done for me lately?"

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Spam, wonderful spam!

I guess most people are still generally annoyed by spam e-mails. I'm starting to change my opinion, however. I'm starting to appreciate the entertainment value of the latest generation of spam, those designed to get past filter software. This change of heart started with an e-mail whose subject line read, "Honourable Winner / Urgent Reply!" The last time I was an honourable winner was at the #1 Buffet (now closed, something about missing cats).

Then it hits me, "That's it! The fortune cookie people are behind the latest spam campaign!" Sound far fetched? Did you see Barry Gordie's (Motown, pre-Mariah "homewrecker" Carey) "The Last Dragon"? Bruce Leroy goes looking for "the Master," the wiseman behind the sayings in the fortune cookies. What he discovers is that the Master is a machine....a computer? Hmmm, I don't sound so crazy now, do I?!

By the way, did you know Dr. Scholl's now makes vibrators? It's true.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

What's more important the what or the why?

I'm planning on "blogging" tonight. I'm not exactly sure what to write about. Perhaps I should write a letter to my 10 month old daughter Alexandra, a letter which tells her about her dad. It would go something like this:

"Dear Alexandra,
I'm writing this letter so that in the future you can look at it and know how deeply you've changed my life. I feel more whole, more complete. I have a purpose now. You are so small and yet so much bigger than when your mommy and I brought you home. The two most special moments in every day are when I first enter your room in the morning, and you smile at me while holding your bear to your face, and when I enter the house after work and you see me and get all excited because Daddy's home. I love you."

Of course I could always write about my trip to the massage therapist. "I met my massage therapist, Meredith, for the first time today. She has really strong hands."

Work sucks (otherwise they wouldn't call it work, now would they), so I won't write about that.

Really I could write about most anything. It's not important. Hell, nobody reads these posts anyway. They're by me for me, and if you blog it's probably the same. So I guess I'm answering my own question. Why we blog is far more important than what we blog. We all know we're far more complex individuals than anyone could ever derive by observing us at work, or during our daily rituals. Our blogs help us to explore these lesser known parts of ourselves. Huh, come to think of it, that sounds like a pretty good topic, maybe I'll write about that.