Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Most Popular Loneliest Half-Marathon

 

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I just finished the first Xperiathon race logging 13.1 miles with my iPhone.  Participants in this race start at the same time all over the world.  It was a pleasant run here in Missouri. 

world-map

Even though I was alone, waking up at 5am on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I had a good time.  I took a few pictures and even a couple video clips.

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For some of the pictures I set my phone down, set a timer, ran up a little bit, then ran back for the phone.  Being a self-supported race I had to carry all my hydration and nutrition, I was the race photographer, race planner and race official.  I even cheered myself on when I needed some motivation.  A long run like this always includes long prayer time.  Me and God, lots to talk about.

About 8 miles into it, I thought it would be cool to capture a thought or two.

Since I was race director, the route went by a few landmarks, Waffle House and my friends Michael and Rhonda’s house.

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At about mile 11, I had a hankering to record another video clip.  This time, I can tell the glucose levels are getting low…

Santa met me at mile 12…

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I enjoyed the last few ounces of water at my virtual finish line.  No one was there.  Made it home before everyone woke up.  A morning of solitude, prayer and running.

Awesome.

 

[Most of the readers can stop reading here.  If you want to see depths of running nerd-dom, read on…nerd]

Nerd Level Data Crunching

One or two of you may be interested in the tech behind the scenes…here we go.

I had 2 GPS units going.  A Garmin Forerunner 305 watch and an iPhone 4 running Mapmyrun.

The iPhone was for posting purposes for the race.  The watch maprunwas for lap time management.  I would periodically walk to tweak the pace.  This prevented me from going into the red zone (90% MHR) too soon.  I found this technique to work great when I’m not fully trained for a race.

I mapped the route the night before using mapmyrun.com

You needed to start the race with 30 minutes, before or after, 12:00 CET (Central European Time).  I started with 3 minutes to spare.

The route elevation profile was generated from GPS data from the Garmin.  I was lucky that the route ended on a down slope.  Worked out well.

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My favorite part of doing a run like is is watching the heart rate data.  I wear a Garmin monitor while running (and have since the early 90’s).  Below you can see my pace and heart rate during each mile of the run.  I did well pacing at the mid to upper 11’s but somewhere in mile 11 the physiology was not there.  I notice at mile 5 my average heart rate goes up and stays there.  I take this as my anabolic threshold, happening at about 44 minutes.  The other ceiling I call my training ceiling happened this a drop in output (or an increase in pace).  This occurs at mile 11.

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The problem with data is you can go on and on.  This feels like a good place to stop. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

An Example of the Danger of Socialism

“Working Class must use violent means….

A Great Look Into Occupy Wall Street “protest”


Click the play button located in the upper left.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How to Keep a Boston Terrier Cool in Van on Hot Day

This Summer we travelled with our Boston Terrier.  We needed to keep her cool while we went shopping.  It was about 92 degrees.  Here’s how I did it.

  1. Place BT in Cage
  2. Put block of ice next to cage
  3. Use battery operated fan to blow a cool breeze over BT
  4. Check every 30 minute to dump water over BT.
  5. Repeat as needed.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Taco-Bell that will Live in Infamy

 

We were just looking for a bite to eat. Instead we stepped into a 10 minute experience that none of would ever forget.

It all began six years ago while my my parents were visiting us here in St Louis. We did the perfunctory tour of St Louis. After our drive around the new Busch Stadium we were getting hungry so we began looking for a quick place to eat. We found that place, we also found ourselves stepping into the pages of family folklore.

The classic Taco Bell logo used from 1985 to 1...My dad and I were in line at Taco Bell. I don't remember what we ordered but I do remember it was wall-to-wall people. The rest of the family found a seat in the far corner of the "restaurant". It was a long wait so I sat down with the rest of the family.  My dad stayed at the counter waiting for our order.

The place was packed. The line was out the door. The tables were full. The cluster of people waiting for their order was building. Just a normal busy day at Taco Bell.  Then I heard…

"Pack it up Craig"

It was my dads voice over the din of the crowd. But that's impossible, he was at the complete opposite corner with what seemed to be hundreds of people jammed shoulder-to-shoulder.

"They lost our order".

I look up and my dad was signaling to me with his outstretched arm, index finger in the air making a circular motion. The universal sign to round everyone up, we're moving out.  I gave him a look like I didn't understand. Maybe it was disbelief, maybe I didn't want to understand.

Instead of asking the overwhelmed employee to remake the order, he chose to blast the news over the mass of hungry people. He didn't think I heard him, so he repeats, "lets get out of here, they lost our order, pack it up."  I noticed 10-20 heads turning our way to see our response.

My dad finds his way back to the table and we "packed it up". Our hungry crew got back into the van and drove an hour or more to the next eatery. I don't remember where we went but I'm sure the got our order right.

You may think the story ends here, not quite.

IMG_1008Yesterday we returned to the restaurant my kids now call "Grandpas Taco Bell" on our way to a Cardinals game. We went thorough the drive-thru.  The fact that I didn’t go inside wasn't a conscious decision, maybe the 6 year deep scar influenced me.

A voice from the back of the van yells, "There’s lettuce on my taco!"

They got the order wrong! After all these years, how could they be so heartless.  We all got out of the van to return to the scene, to “right-the-wrong”. We ordered a soft taco with no lettuce, so they gave us a soft taco WITH lettuce.  How unthinkable, how detestable.  Don't they know my kids would die if they ate lettuce?

This time the restaurant was empty. My son asked for a redo of the taco, they were happy to correct the mistake.  They even let us keep the lettuce filled taco. Turned out just fine. 

So what did we learn from all this? Nothing much. Except that you never know when a seemingly normal day will go down in history.

Love you dad!

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Spring Camporee 2011

Great times in Missouri with the Boy Scouts.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Really Old Book

Came across this interesting video of a book from Gutenberg.  It’s ever 500 years old.

Monday, April 25, 2011

St. Louis’ Good Friday Storm Report

It started about 7pm on Good Friday.  We were doing our normal pizza movie night when the tornado sirens went off.  I did my normal – I’m the dad, everyone stay calm, I will check the radar and see if the alarm is legit thing. It was.

stormtrack

As you can see on this map above, the little triangle is the first tornado to touch down, about 10 minutes from our house.  Fortunately for us (not so fortunate for others) the storm stayed south. 

It took a toll on the airport…

They say it was St. Louis’ worst storm in 40 years with winds up to 200 mph.  Tonight we have a 50/50 chance for a second dose.  Happy Spring in the Midwest.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Diet Soda, Weight Gain and pH Balance

A constant theme in my office is weight management.  Most people with weight problems often choose to drink Diet soda, bad move.  This video does a fantastic job explaining this seemingly contradictory fact.

Spring Planting

We dropped some veggies, flowers and a tree in the ground today.  A little early for the veggies but I have a special blanket to keep them warm during our cold night…and one more snow storm…

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Unions of Wisconsin, Did you see this?

Wisconsin Population Density Map

Image via Wikipedia

 

The “people” are united behind you Governor.  Here’s a poll you should read…

Yours Truly,

Craigmar

--

1) Do you support Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to reduce the power of public employee unions in his state?

Yes, I support him: 74 percent
No, I don’t support him: 25 percent

2) Do you believe public employee unions have become too powerful?
Yes, too powerful: 75 percent
No, not too powerful: 24 percent

3) Do you believe public employee union members should be paid less, the same or more than employees with similar jobs in the private sector?
Pay them the same: 83 percent
Pay them less: 11 percent
Pay them more: 4 percent

4) Do you believe President Obama was right when he came out against Gov. Walker?
Obama was right: 24 percent
Obama was wrong: 75 percent

5) Do you plan on voting to re-elect President Obama in 2012?
Yes, re-elect: 18 percent
No, for another candidate: 74 percent
Not sure right now: 6 percent

You still can vote in the Newsmax poll — Click Here Now.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Computer Named “Watson” Plays Jeopardy Against Human Champions

IBM has created a computer that plays Jeopardy.  Starts today Feb 14th…see www.jeopardy.com/

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Unknown Artist Goes By Name “Jay-Z” Wins Some Award Called “Grammy”

LAS VEGAS - JULY 03:  Rapper Jay-Z performs at...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

 

A middle aged man won an award from an music organization today for exceptional music making.  This award is called a “Grammy”.  He denies any connection to his grandmother, who he incidentally calls “grammy”.

Mr. Jay-Z has been singing for a few year and recently has become know to this author as a rapper.  See my full article from July 2010.

Friday, February 11, 2011

U.S. House: Thanks For Not Spending So Much of My Kids Future

100 Billion dollars has been cut from the US budget as proposed by the US House of Representatives.  This cut came from:

  • Transportation and Housing cut 23%
  • Interior and Environment cut 14%
  • Eliminate PBS and AmeriCorps
  • Cuts to the United Nations
  • Deep cuts into WIC (Women Infants Children)

This is a bold move that our country needs.  It’s going to hurt but not as bad as our country becoming bankrupt.  Hopefully this will be a time the Church can step up and fill the void left by the government (which it never should have been involved with in the first place) getting out of benevolence work.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Donald Trump for President?

 

Just heard that The Donald may have an eye on the presidency.  I’m not ready to endorse Donald for President.  It dose make for an interesting scenario.  I think the world could use an American president who is a little unstable and unpredictable.  Personally I’m sick of the pansy approach to foreign policy.

In his latest interview he calls China our enemy.  "I see them as the enemy. They want to take over this country economically. They are not really out-competing. They are cheating. And we have people who don't know what to do, because we have the wrong people in office."

We will see.  It will be fun to watch if he actually announces.

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