Sunday, May 29, 2011

Trip to The Library

What? How can I possibly make a post about a trip to the local library? As many know my quest for health is threefold, Physical, Mental, and Spiritual and on this trip to the library I tried to get a little something for each of those aspects. It just seemed like it may be worth sharing.

So what am i reading?

Mere Christianity is a theological book by C. S. Lewis adapted from a series of BBC radio talks made between 1941 and 1944, while Lewis was at Oxford during World War II. It is Considered a classic of Christian Apologetics. I have been wanting to read this book for quite some time Lewis doesn't get too deep into the dogma or the divisions f the denominations but lays out a great case for Christianity. I am excited about digging into this.

This was not the triathlon book I was looking for, but it is very through and looks like it will be a great resource for me for the coming months. I will not delve into this book with fervor and try to devour it cover to cover, instead I will utilize it as a tool for my training & nutrition. I am very excited about having this resource on hand as well.

Vince Flynn has quickly become one of my favorite authors. His main character Mitch Rapp is essentially a CIA super agent trying to save the world. Yes, you could say it is mindless reading as it does not truly challenge the reader intellectually; however it is captivating and I will likely devour it very quickly. I personally feel novels can be just as useful for a person as nonfiction as they relate societal norms and have a different style and cadence about them that can help a person's reading comprehension. Besides... I will enjoy it and isn't that the purpose?

One more fun fact... did you know that you can check out up to 50 books at one time at the local library... who could possibly read 50 books in 3 weeks?

As always thanks for following along, and don't stop moving, unless you are sitting down for a good read...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

C25K A Special Interview

During races, I like to find someone who seems to be keeping about the same pace I am and try to stick with them. This gives me a little extra motivation and hopefully pushes the other person as well. During the 1699 Race to Discovery last month I found a young woman running beside me keeping a nice brisk pace. We exchange a few words along the way. After about 1.25 miles I had to pull back my pace a little while she increased hers. I did not see her again until after I crossed the finish line (which she had crossed a minute or so before me).

After the race this young lady introduced herself as Lisa McCombs and gave me her card. Turns out she is the Marketing Director for a local running specialty store and she thought I may not have the proper shoe. Being the skeptic and the "thrifty" person that I am I did not take much stock in what she had to say, after all, "she just wanted me to buy some of her overpriced shoes, right?" Don't get me wrong, she was friendly enough, but surely her concern was a sales pitch.

The next time I saw Lisa, I changed my perspective. When I showed up for the Nutri-Hut 5k last weekend Lisa was not only assisting in organizing the event she was also leading and inspiring a group of people who were running their first 5k. She not only motivated them before the race, but was waiting for them at the finish line cheering as if they were her own children.

I stole only a few moments with Lisa that day, but it was long enough to decide this story needed to be told. I am doing something I have never done before on this blog and I am actually publishing part of an interview I conducted with Lisa McCombs; Marketing Director for Run-N-Tri Company

E- Lisa thanks for taking a few minutes to talk with me, It was nice racing with you; I was inspired by you, Run-N-Tri, and especially the Couch to 5K group that you were leading. I think my readers will appreciate the program and maybe some of them can benefit from what you are doing.
Lisa- Well, It is my dream to get the entire world off the couch and running one by one!!!!
E- Great goal, can you start out by telling us a little bit about Run-N-Tri?
Lisa- Run-N-Tri is a small locally owned walking, running, and triathlon shoes, gear, and apparel store.We also host different events like 5k’s, 10k’s, and triathlons, fitness and product seminars, and a variety of training assistance.
E- In the store you also offer free Gait analysis, tell me more about that?
Lisa- It’s a very personalized process that we pride ourselves in. During our free gait analysis, we evaluate pressure, arch, and width and length of feet and analyze stride with high tech video recording and treadmill equipment. This helps us understand what shoes are appropriate for your individual stride.

E- I made my first visit for my gait analysis today; but we can get into that later; for now, can you tell us about the From Couch to 5k program?

Lisa- The From Couch to 5k program is something we started back in December 2009 to get the Gulf Coast off the couch and running. The program is 8 weeks long, designed specifically for those who have never ran before, and there is an official 5k race at the end.

It is amazing, participants who never thought they could run are now running 5k's. "I can't do it" is a phrase no longer heard by the end of the program.

E- What is included as part of the program?
 Lisa- The program is super affordable and consists of the program iself (developed by one of our owners Dean, who is a USAT certified coach), weekly motivational emails, tips, and nutrition advice, two weekly group runs (and one homework run), a technical t-shirt, race registration (which also includes a t-shirt), and the best, a new healthy lifestyle with “runner” status!!
E- So, the group I saw in D'Iberville was completing the program?
Lisa- Yes, that was the end of our second successful group.
E- Tell me more about this group?

C25k group.jpg
C25k Group 2
Lisa-I started the program with 33 people. 2 had to drop out early due to some previous medical issues. While a few couldn't make it to the 5k, we had 24 who did and finished their 5k. Many of them have since signed up for another 5k (this weekend) and/or are planning to sign up for Group 3.
E- Some have signed up to go through the program again?
Lisa- Yes, even though they are ahead of the program, they use the group as motivation to continue to run. We can advance the program for intermediate runners and/or work on building strength and speed. Some of our members from Group 1 did the same and some increased their 5k time by over 5 minutes!!
E- WOW! That's Impressive, it sounds like the program is successful.
Lisa- Eric, this program has changed people’s lives!! It has turned couch potatoes into runners. Several people have lost weight not only from the running, but from the lifestyle it has created for them.
One member was 65 years old, hasn't ran since high school and is now WINNING 5k's in her age group. Every member has a story like this.
E- You seem very passionate about the program?
Lisa- I love hosting the C25k program. It is so rewarding seeing the progress you make from week to week. It is so inspiring watching these folks push themselves like they never have before!! When they cross that finish line, I get goose bumps. What an amazing sense of accomplishment!!

I know some of my readers are skeptics like me and will immediately think "of course she make the program sound good... that's her job." For those who are thinking that I wanted to provide a few quotes from the participants of the program:
“This is just what I was looking for. The program is really well done, not too stressful, and as long as you believe in yourself and keep up with the runs, you CAN do it.”

“I never thought I would consider myself a runner but thanks to Lisa and the couch to 5k program I can proudly call myself a runner. The program is such a great pace to get into running and it's a lot of fun. Lisa was by everyone's side cheering them on with encouraging words of running wisdom and positive feedback. I would recommend the couch to 5k program for men and women of all ages.”

 “The C25K training has been one of my most rewarding personal accomplishments. It has been my goal for over 15 years to run a 5K. Having the planned, structured runs and the constant positive coaching from our leader, Lisa, helped me reach my goal.”

For me it was amazing to see these 24 people all lined up with their Couch 2 5k t-shirts on, knowing what they were about to embark on. I know from my own experience what a boost of confidence and self esteem it is to set a goal and achieve it. Even more awe inspiring than watching them all line up was watching them cross the finish line one by one and knowing how proud they had made themselves and everyone around them.

The Next group of C25k will will meet on June 1st for program details and sign up and will start running June 13, 2011. To sign up simply go to Run-N-Tri 9138 Carl Legett Road directly off of Lorraine/Cowen Road (2 miles south of I-10 the cost of the program is only $65.

In the second part of this post I will discuss my experience in my first visit to Run-N-Tri as well as with the gait analysis. As always thanks to anyone who may be following along.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quantity or Quality?

"... I received the usual lecture about slowing up, losing weight, limiting the cholesterol intake. It happens to men, and I think doctors have memorized the litany. It had happened to so many of my friends. The lecture ends, “Slow Down. You’re not as young as you once were.”  And I have seen so many begin to pack their lives in cotton wool, smother their impulses, hood their passions, and gradually retire from their manhood into a kind of spiritual and physical semi-individualism. In this they are encouraged by wives and relatives, and it such a sweet trap.

Who doesn’t like to be the center of concern? A kind of second childhood falls on so many men. They trade their violence for the promise of a small increase of life span. In effect, the head of the house becomes the youngest child. And I have searched for myself this possibility with a kind of horror. For I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard or too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not a punishment. I did not want to surrender my fierceness for a small gain in yardage My wife married a man; and I saw now reason why she should inherit a baby... And in my own life I am not willing to trade quality for quantity...I see too many men delay their exits with a sickly, slow reluctance to leave the stage. It's bad theater as well as bad living. I am very fortunate in having a wife who likes being a woman which means that she likes men, not elderly babies." John Steinbeck Travels with Charley(pg 20)

Why am I posting this excerpt from Steinbeck? As I read this; I imagine an older stubborn, proud, man who was about to embark on a long arduous journey who refused to become a burden on his family and friends and who refused to stop living just because  of his age or his physical condition. I admire his vigor and his resilience.

The main reason I am posting this is because I see a lot of similarities to the feelings Stienbeck is expressing and the way I feel sometimes. If I can add from my own journey; I would like to add a few comments to the rant above.

  • I have lost weight and gotten active so I can live life and enjoy myself not to prolong life and postpone death. Life is not about how many years you can sneak by death but about being healthy enough to enjoy every year we are blessed with.
  • I am not interested in hearing about all the things I can't or shouldn't do. If I want to have a big juicy burger or a cold beer that doesn't mean I am going to get fat again. It simply means I wanted to eat a burger and drink a beer.
  • I don't care about having the biggest biceps or lifting the most weight. I want to be strong enough to do whatever I chose to do. I exercise so that I can live; I do not live so that I can exercise
  • We are meant to live our lives to the maximum, we are meant to have a lot of fun and help a lot of people and bring a lot of glory to God; and I, like John Steinbeck resent the notion that I should forgo the quality of life just to add to the quantity.

Not that any person or event has prompted this blog... just felt the need to say it aloud... Now... time to get moving I have to get up early in the morning and go running. I hope to have my Bike and a Kayak this weekend... I am pumped

Thanks as always to anyone who may be following along-

Which do you chose Quality or Quantity?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Nutri-Hut Run in the Sun 5k

What a crazy morning it was! First as I may have mentioned I have been struggling with allergies/ sinus issues for the entire last week. The inability to breathe through my nose has limited my training and essentially just had me not feeling all that well. I had held the internal debate about whether I wanted to compete in the mornings race at all. I finally decided to give it a go. I was up and prepared to go until...

We had a bit of a freak accident and my beautiful wife wound up falling out of her chair onto our ceramic tile floor leading to what we believe is a mild concussion. There was no way I could leave her alone...

I guess the race was off... but after much encouragement from my concussed yet still beautiful wife and the kindness of my mother-in-law I finally left the house 30 minutes before the opening gun. As Murphy's Law would dictate I got stuck behind the longest train I have ever seen and then caught every red light between my house and Nutri-Hut. I finally squealed into the parking lot with two wheels off the ground at 8:48.. the race started at 9:00am (glad it was close to home).

My warm up consisted of my sprinting to the registration table to get my bib, shirt and registration packet and then racing to the starting line.

On a side note my bib number for this race was 316 which happened to remind me of the guitar solo Eddie Van Halen wrote for his son Wolfgang before he was born... thought I would share it... a little music as you read?

Fortunately I was now lined up and ready to go with at least 3 minutes to spare...

The race itself went very well. it was a little warm, but not overly humid so weather was really not a factor. The course was open but thanks to a great job by the race organizers and the D'Iberville Police Department everything was more than safe. It was a challenging out and back course with some very good inclines. This was not the most scenic course I have ran but it was not unpleasant either. The course was well marked and well designed with adequate water stations and a clearly marked turn around. If the turn around wasn't clear enough there was a nearly 6 ft tall banana offering encouragement and making sure you knew where to go. I of course had to take the opportunity as I passed the giant banana to announce "This race is bananas YO!" a little homage to my boy Shaun T and Insanity.

 The crowd was certainly not as large as the Azalea Trail run or some of the other runs I have participated in, but for a first time event there was an excellent crowd. The official results show there were 87 racers... not too bad.
Your Humble Author receiving his first ever gold medal!

Those same official results show that the author of this blog finished the race at 26:25 that was good for 26th place overall and I am proud to say 1st place in my age group (35-39). I felt good while running, but I still feel I have room for improvement. I hope to get below 25:00 in my next race... more on that later.

I wanted to take a few minutes to offer some kudos to a few people. First of all I wanted to congratulate Amy Longmire and all the great people at Nutri-Hut for putting on a great event. Amy runs a great shop that offers a lot of amazing healthy diet and nutrition solutions.  Not to mention the "nutritious" smoothies are absolutely yummy! Amy's hard work really showed on Saturday as a great time was had by all.

I know Amy got a lot of help from another local business that deserves a major shout out. Run-N-Tri Company was an integral part of the event and did a wonderful job. This is my 1st experience with an event this company helped facilitate and I must say I am very impressed. This is a local running specialty store that also offers free gait analysis, a service I can't wait to take advantage of.

Another thing I think Run-N Tri deserves serious props for is their Couch to 5k Support program. Through this program Run-N Tri and it's wonderful staff are helping people take control of their lives. They are helping some wonderful women and men not only get healthy physically but also gain confidence and self esteem. The wonderful feeling these new runners had to feel as they heard the cheers and crossed the finish line completing eight very tough weeks had to be exhilarating.  Thanks Lisa and everyone at Run-N-Tri for helping to change people's lives forever. I want to have an interview with more information about this company and this program very soon.

By the way no one from either of the above companies have compensated me in any way for the positive feedback I have offered (they are welcome to... but they have not). As always I just want to be honest with anyone who may be reading.

The next race I plan to run will be June 11 in Pascagoula... More info later..

As always thank you to anyone who may be following along. I have decided to resume weekly updates now that we have settled in, however I will now be posting them each Monday.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My first medal

How cool is this. I checked my mail and received an envelope marked ATR. I get inside and apparently a month later I am receiving a medal for finishing 10th in my age group at the Azalea Trail Run. Even though it is for 10th place and it is over a month later I am still thrilled to get my first medal, and it was only my second race
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Mississippi, Crystal Meth, and My Headache!

Last night as I began to prepare for bed I had gotten a little bit of a runny nose and that I had sneezed a few times. Certainly not a huge deal, it is spring there are things blooming.. Unfortunately when I woke up this morning i felt like death. My head felt 2 sizes too small to contain all the stuffiness and my allergies were running haywire.

I was afraid of this, the allergies took the time while I was asleep to launch a full scale assault and bombard my sinus cavities with congestion. Sine we had just moved, I couldn't find any of my favorite allergy medicine or any thing for a sinus headache. I did take 2 Benadryl and hoped that knocking out the allergies would make me feel better, and too an extent it did. I was still left with a brutal sinus headache. Nothing Knocks out a sinus headache quite like Tylenol Sinus!

Sounds like a pretty easy fix... right? Not so much...

After finishing my morning walk/run with Copper, more on that in a later post, I made a quick trip to the closest grocery store to pick up a few things. I walked down the Aisle with all the medicine and no matter how hard I looked I did not see Tylenol Sinus or any other suitable alternative. I thought to my self " well that's odd" I wasn't too concerned though because there was a Rite Aid just across the street and surely they will have my old friend on their shelf.

After an exhaustive search i finally gave in and asked the pharmacist " Excuse me sir, I have a raging sinus headache and I can't seem to find any medicine, can you help me out?"

Imagine my surprise when the pharmacist told me "Mississippi has passed a law declaring all the good sinus medicine to be class 3 drugs that can no longer be purchased without a perscription."


The Mississippi House has approved a bill to require a doctor's prescription to purchase cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the illegal drug methamphetamine.
The measure was passed 105-15 after lengthy debate that included some lawmakers discussing how the escalating meth problem had impacted their families.
Under the bill, consumers would need a doctor's prescription to buy Sudafed and other medicine containing pseudoephedrine, a decongestant.
Supporters say the measure will curtail meth production by limiting accessibility to the main ingredient.
Opponents have said the change would be burdensome. They also contend that meth addicts will simply travel across state lines to buy the cold medicine.

This is from an article that ran in January. Apparently Mississippi along with Oregon have decided  that to keep idiots from making Crystal Meth they are going to punish the rest of us by not allowing us to purchase the products that will give us the relief we so desperately need.

I have now been suffering for several hours with one of the worst sinus headaches I have ever had, I am miserable and everyone around me is miserable all because a bunch of idiots want to mix a bunch of poison together in their bathtubs. The true meth heads are usually quite easy to identify from their pocked marked faces their jittery behavior,and their swollen eyes to the look in their face that just says I" I have given up" can't we please do something with these people when we see them and allow those of us who just need a little relief to by some Tylenol!

I do understand Meth is a problem in many parts of Mississippi, especially the more rural parts. I also understand that when a similar measure [passed in Oregon that the seizures of meth labs went down 96%. The things I have a problem with is, for me to get the decongestant that I truly need I have to schedule a doctor appointment ($25 through insurance) obtain a prescription ($15 or more through insurance) all for a $4 box of Tylenol. Plus I have to suffer through till I can go see a doctor... or go to the Emergency room with a headache...

There must be a better way!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Relaxing Evening

Came home to an empty house and a dog who was going " stir crazy. No problem, I had a solution for both problems. A quick change out of my work clothes and Copper and I were off to explore.

Our new house is just a few yards away from the rear entrance to Davis Bayou, part of the Gulf Island National Sea Shore.

We walked through the camping area and the picnic area, we saw the other people playing basketball, we ran down path that led to the gator pond, gratefully did not see the gator. We explored miles of wooded trails and at one point thought we were lost.

We even took time to chase a squirrel.

Now we are back at home siting on the back porch watching the sunset while I enjoy a cold Heiner Brau.

Life is good
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

1699 Race to Discovery

Amidst all the moving and the stress of packing and unpacking my fitness goals have taken a back seat. For the last couple of weeks I have not exercised like I want to and I have eaten more than I should. With all that said I took a few minutes aways from moving this Saturday morning to participate in the 1699 Race to Discovery in Ocean Springs. This was my the 3rd time I had run a 5k and this was one I had been looking forward to. This is this first race I have competed in that took place along the beach and on the Ocean Springs Biloxi Bridge. It was also the first race that  my 8 year old Molly has been able to participate in (there was a one mile fun run for the children).

We registered before we knew we were moving and I spent a lot of time training Molly. She was way too excited for us to cancel. I also thought we could use a little bit of a stress relief from moving. Although adding the race to the lifting and moving meant I would be extra tired that evening.

Starting Strong
It was a beautiful morning for a race; a little windy, but otherwise beautiful. This is the first time that I have gotten to a race and known several of the participants before hand. My Uncle and cousin raced as did a group from our church. This made things even more fun. After getting there early and hanging out with our friends and family we were  led in stretching exercises and then led to the starting area for the race.

Struggling to the Finish Line
I did not get a chance to start RunKeeper or Pandora on my phone as the gun fired a little more abruptly than I expected and I was off. I felt great for the first mile or so, I was even cracking jokes with the young lady I was running next to and keeping pace with. A little past the one mile mark we hit the bridge and the steep part of the bridge at that. my pace slowed dramatically, but I kept going. Finally we completed the part of the race that involved the bridge and we were running in front of the beach and I was having to pull from all my reserves to keep going. Fortunately another runner came behind me as I was struggling; and I don't know if she was trying to motivate me or herself, but I start hearing her saying " come on we are almost there" "Just keep running" and that is what I did.

As I crossed the finish line the timer showed a new personal record for me at 24:47. Now there was some discussion as to whether or not the distance on this course was accurate as many people seemed to be setting new personal bests. Regardless I was proud of my time and my persevering.

Go Molly Go!
I was even prouder of Molly who said her only goal was to "not finish last". Not only did she not finish last she  finished her mile in 7:50. A remarkable time for an 8 year old running her first race. Even more importantly she had a great time and said she wanted to do it again.

 After the race we enjoyed some excellent BBQ and some Gatorade. I passed on the adult beverage since I had a long day ahead of me.

Congratulations to Greg, Gavin and the entire Cross Family for taking home medals... I am proud of you all. Next time I will get one too...

Glad I took the time out from moving to run this race it was a great time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Life in Boxes

some say moving is one of life's most stressful events. In addition to the physical toll of the loading and unloading, there is the added stress of making sure all the utilities are turned off at the old place and turned pin at the new. Financially the move itself can be overwhelming. That is not to even mention the stress of unpacking and finding the things you need

The good news is we are in the new place and starting to make some progress on all those boxes. Even better the computer is unpacked and the new dsl is installing.

We will be blogging again soon
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