Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Covenant Health Marathon

3 marathons in 4 months. Who would have thought? I had thought after completing the Sunburst Marathon in May of last year, I would be done for awhile. Matt had other ideas for me. My brother seemed to need someone to come along to his races, and I seemed to be the most willing. After you do one, anything after is pretty easy. That seemed to be the basis for each of his sales pitches to get me to come along. That was fairly accurate. My first one I trained all 18 weeks. I probably only missed 3 or 4 training runs. With 4 runs a week in that schedule, I thought I was doing pretty good. For this last marathon, I ran probably 4 times in the month leading up to the race. I went in with pretty low expectations. I would say, with my lack of training, I was pretty proud of the result of the race, although the course and weather had plans to bring me and everyone else down.
We ran this marathon in Knoxville, Tennessee. The finish was at the 50 yard line inside Neyland Stadium. It was pretty nice. It was cold, windy, and hilly. All things that make running 26.2 miles not be so fun. The hills were brutal. I went in there knowing that Eastern Tennessee was pretty hilly, but it seemed to me that there were very few flat parts of the entire course. The temperature was cold. The three days leading up to the race had the temperature up in the 70s. Race day was 46ยบ. It only got colder as the race went on. Lastly, the wind was the worst! I think that I went 8 straight miles having the wind in my face. No matter which way I turned, it seemed to hit me straight on.
I was happy with the result and can say that I am done with marathons for awhile. I told Matt that if there were any races in the future, I would either do the half (13.1 miles) or a 5K (3.1 miles). I'm waiting awhile until I hit marathon distance again. I need a break.
As I have now done a marathon beyond my two races, I am using my wild card to knock out a goal I no longer want to do. That goal is 94. Join a district committee at work. At the time when I wrote my goals, I thought it would be a good career move. I no longer want to do it at all. I'm just not up for any more meetings than I already have. Another goal down!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Wild Card

I am going to take on a page out of my brother's book and take on a Wild Card for my goals. The main idea is to cancel out goals that I originally put on, but no longer want to do, I don't think it is attainable, or feel that it can't be attained within the time frame. To get I wild card, I will need to do one of two things. Run a marathon, or run a half - marathon. The one catch is that it will need to be in addition to goal #10. I will need to have two races completed before being able to use the wild card. If the first two races I run are marathons, they don't count for a wild card, but all others after that count. Easy enough. I'm not planning on doing like Matt is and having one wild card a month, but it is a nice way to productively eliminate goals without feeling guilty about not completing them. It should be interesting to see how this is going to work.

23. Go to 4 new restaurants

I did it! Four restaurants done. Mom, I did it, I went to White Castle!

Matt took me to White Castle yesterday. I had no idea what to expect when I went there. I told Matt, I was nervous going in there because I have heard so many things about the food being so bad. I've never been there. I have been around them for my whole life, but my mom said it was disgusting, so I have stayed away. $.61 for a burger. Not too bad at all. You do need to eat a few of them to have a sense of being full, but it did the job. I was not blown away by the food. I can see how people like the food, but overall, it wasn't that great. I can now feel confident eating the food if expected, but I will not be seeking it out in the future.
Four restaurants visited, another goal down!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Another goal down

I don't know which one(s) it/they will be, but I have a feeling I will have another goal done before the weekend is over. Also, look for some adjustments to my goals starting Monday. I think I am going to modify a few of them to make them a little more attainable before the last month of the goal period. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Amadeus = 160 minutes

It was short, but I had to watch it in two sittings. The first sitting was side one of the DVD. I couldn't get the second side to play so I had to return it. I later found out that our DVD player died in the time it took me to turn the disk over. Two weeks later, I re-checked it out from the library and watched the other side on our basement television.
This film was alright. After doing some reading about the movie, I found out that it really is a very loose portrayal of Mozart's life. Before watching the movie, I had hoped to learn more about what his life was like. Unfortunately, I found out that most of the things that it talked about in the movie were very fictitious. Oh well. Another movie down!

Friday, March 20, 2009

27. Write a letter to an editor that makes it into the publication

This goal has come up recently when talking with people around me. I am currently, and have been for awhile, trying to get this goal accomplished. Each week when I get my TIME magazine, I read it cover to cover. Throughout my time reading, I think about what things I could write that could possibly make it into the magazine. I find that it helps my level of reading to improve greatly as I go through each page. It makes me focus and analyze each article. I have really found it much more interesting to read, also, I have found that my comprehension of each story has improved greatly as well while doing it. It is amazing how reading with a purpose does that.

I know, shooting for TIME magazine exclusively is like training to only qualify for the Olympics and passing other opportunities that could be much more easily attained. I get that, but I already read TIME magazine each week. I could read the Beacon News (Aurora's local paper) write in a few letters, and have it published and be done, but honestly, I don't want to do that. I would have to start getting the paper daily, read it closely, then keep looking at each paper to see if my writing made it in. The next possibility would be the Chicago Tribune, because I subscribe to it already. I see a letter to them as being at the same level as TIME though, so I don't see any real incentive to be writing to both on a weekly basis. Plus, I put enough in to one letter, I don't need another one to think about.

Overall, I see this goal as a big one. Probably harder than the free throws or learning spanish. But it is one that I really want and am really pushing for. If I don't make it, I won't feel like a failure, but I will keep trying each week to see if my insite or analysis was enough to catch the editor's eye. That is the prize, and I'm gonna keep trying for it!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

19. Find 1 food to make well

Melissa and I have decided that this goal can be crossed off. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about reading a book on grilling. I have taken that knowledge and have put it to good use. I have probably made 5 meals on the grill in the last few weeks. The main thing I have made (4 out of 5 of those meals) has been hamburgers. Aside from the one day I cooked in the pitch dark night, they have turned out great. I actually like grilling. I am getting a good hang for it and feel like I know what I am doing, or going to do, when I fire up the grill. If there is anyone out there who is interested in eating a burger when you come over, just give me the heads-up and I will have it all together. I may even grill up a side dish or two to go along with it!
I will state that I have a propane grill and have no clue how to start up a charcoal grill. That wasn't my goal, nor is it one I think I need to master. As long as Matt is around when I need to start a fire, I'm in good shape!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Free Throws

Yep, it's that time of year again. The P.E. classes at our school are back to being outside and I can shoot hoops during my free period. My session of shooting today did not start off good. I missed the first three and was beginning to grow nervous. I made 3 or 4 in a row and then missed one, that was pretty much the trend for awhile. I went on one streak and made 9, missed one, then made another 6. That was the best streak I had. I shot for about 10 minutes. It felt good to be back in the gym moving around during the day. While this goal might not be attained so easily, I like it because I get to be active during the day and get my blood flowing. I'm going to keep trying. If anything big happens, I will keep you all posted.
Matt, I know you think this goal is a crazy one and won't be attained. I think about you while I shoot and get motivated by you to get myself into the gym and keep trying. You don't need to comment about my inability to put a substantial streak of made shots together and how I won't get this goal. You also don't need to comment "White Castle" anymore. I think Mom and I are going to go there tonight to give it a try. I'll keep you posted on how that goes as well.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

39. Weber's Big Book of Grilling

I finished up another book just for fun. It is a mix of a cookbook and a how-to book. I have always wanted to be able to grill well. Melissa told me in the past that I was good at grilling stuff, but honestly, I just set it on the grill waited awhile and when I thought it was done, Itook it off. I wasn't doing anything special. I wanted to get a feel for why things happened on the grill rather than hoping that I was doing things right. The book Weber's Big Book of Grilling did just that for me. It walked me through different things you can do on the grill. It talked about different techniques you can use while having things on the grill. It went through each type of meat or produce specifically and told of things to look for when purchasing the product, to how to know when it was done. This book was not the typical read, but it gave me knowledge that I have enjoyed getting to know and use over the past month.
While the book did give practical advice and education about things to do with/on the grill, it was also filled with different recipes to try out. I've only tried a few, but so far, things have gone well. The thing right now that I'm looking forward to most is having it be light out again when it is time for dinner. This grilling in the dark is getting old!
Through all this knowledge, I have learned that I will never again just buy ground beef, form it into a patty and throw it on the grill. There are so many things you can add to it to give it flavor and texture. I'm glad I picked this one up and look forward to what things I will do in the future on the grill.

Monday, March 2, 2009

70 and 81

I gave blood this weekend. Nothing exciting happened. That's pretty much what you hope for when you go there. Excitement means something went wrong. Everything was smooth and as always I finished up my donation with some Cheez-its, a brownie and a Coca-Cola. That's the part I look forward to most when I go. I don't know what it is, but Cheeze-its just taste better there.

I watched Braveheart yesterday. 2 hours and 50 minutes! As stated multiple times before, to win best picture, I guess it has to be long. This was not the first time watching this movie and I was actually looking forward to watching it for my own enjoyment, so I consider it a Sunday afternoon well spent. I am not saying I don't enjoy watching many of these, it's just that for many of the movies, I don't what they are about or anything about them, so it brings in a different level of suspense.

That's all I've got for now.