Monday, November 10, 2008

First Ten Mile Run

Last Friday, November 7, 2008, I ran 10 miles for the first time. I know, people have run that and longer distances routinely for years. 10 miles doesn’t seem like much to someone who has been wise enough to stay fit and avoid bad habits. But to a guy who recently weighed 267 pounds and had a $1,500/year cigarette habit, running 10 miles feels like finding the Holy Grail. I didn’t have ambitions of running a marathon or a 50 kilometer trail race. I just wanted to lead a more active, longer life. Now I feel so much better, maybe there is a marathon or a 50k in my future. After all, I just ran 10 miles. I can do anything!

Homage to Oatmeal

I love oatmeal. I love oatmeal with cinnamon sugar and raisins. I love oatmeal with bananas and milk. But mostly, I love oatmeal with savory things. Eggs, beans, beef, chicken, turkey, paprika, hot peppers, anything is good in oatmeal. Oatmeal with a spoonful of whatever you had for dinner last night is finer than breakfast at the Waldorf! I’ve had breakfast at the Waldorf. Take my word for it. Oatmeal with pork chile and pinto beans is probably the ultimate culinary experience. Do yourself a favor. Don’t limit your oatmeal consumption to the sweet side. Discover savory oatmeal!

Tips for making good oatmeal:
  • Avoid instant and quick. It only takes 4 minutes to make real “Old Fashioned” oatmeal. If you have more time, try steel cut or Irish oats.
  • Mix the water and oatmeal together cold and you will have creamier oatmeal. Starting with hot water makes for chewy oatmeal.
  • Add salt toward the end of the cooking process instead of the beginning. A smoother product will result.
  • Don’t forget the salt! You don’t have to go crazy but oatmeal without salt is a little too close to library paste. Has anyone ever tried salted library paste?
  • Add the amendments toward the end of the cooking process or right before eating. Use cooked meats, eggs, beans, etc. and they will be warmed through by the hot oatmeal. They don’t need more cooking.
  • Use your imagination and the world is your oatmeal!

For more about oatmeal, start with Wikipedia:

P.S. Oatmeal is very good for you!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

Happy Birthday Dad! (shown with my sister Bethany) My father introduced me to Kenneth Cooper's "Aerobics" and Jim Fixx's "The Complete Book of Running" when I was a teenager. It's a shame it took 30+ years to really stick. My dad is 82 today and while he doesn't run anymore, he still does a daily workout involving calisthenics, weights, and an exercise bike from the Eisenhower era. Go Dad!

I ran my very first road race on October 11th! The Jared Coones Memorial 5k Pumpkin Run. While it was just a 5k, it was 5k farther than I've raced. I now have a personal best in the 5k of 31:05. I could have knocked 25 seconds off that time by starting closer to the front. That is the sort of thing one learns with experience. The weather was beautiful and the atmosphere was festive. There were 2,930 entrants in the race and I finished 32nd out of 82 in my age group.

Since my last update, my oldest son turned 21 years of age. It is hard for me to believe that it has been 21 years since he came home with us. Now there is just one kid left in the family and he's just a year and a half behind his brother. Who am I kidding? They're both adults and have been for a while. I'm proud of them both.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How sweet it is!

I can't believe how good I felt during my run today! 4.75 miles in 48:35.

My first road race (a 5k) is coming up in 10 days and I am going to try to finish in less than 30 minutes. Physically, I am certain that I can do it but I don't know what race conditions will be like. A lot of people enter this race and I am terrified that I may run over someone (I'm not very graceful). I'll just play it by ear and be happy to have passed this milestone. After all, last year at this time, I was 6 gallons larger and smoking like a chimney.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Race is On!

I registered for my first road race last night. I will be running the Jared Coones Memorial Pumpkin Run/Walk on Oct. 11 with a friend. It will be fun to do something new and different that I could not have done the previous 20 or so years. If you're in the Kansas City area, take a look.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thunder and Lightning

I woke this morning to the sound of thunder. Good ol' Kansas! I got a 4 miler in this afternoon. It took an hour to stop sweating after the run was over. It occurs to me that maybe I would develop better speed if I ran in the thunderstorm. Kansas could promote itself as the "Speed Training State."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What a difference a day makes.

Monday's run finished on a high note with the rise of the full moon and a lovely crisp evening. Today (Wednesday) I had to walk shortly after passing the 3 mile mark. I attribute this to still being sore from Monday and not getting a very good night's rest. Oh well. It was still good exercise and the next one will be better.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shine on harvest moon.

At the end of my run yesterday evening, the harvest moon was sitting at the end of the road like a window into another world. It was a beautiful sight to see welcoming me home on a cool clear night. A harvest moon and a light in the kitchen. All is well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Farther than ever.

A seven mile run today. It seems that once or twice a week I'm running farther than I ever have before. Why am I running seven miles? Because if I don't, I can't.