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Nov 10 14

Where accomplished & discouraged intersect

by John

Saturday, I mostly rested. Saturday night, I prepared my breakfast as I made dinner, went to bed early, & mostly slept well. For the day before a marathon, I was far-better prepared than I’ve ever been, previously.

I got to City Island, got my bib, prepared myself.

The horn went off, and I started running.

I wish I could tell you tales of accomplishment & how I “kicked asphalt” all along the way. But I can’t.

It was cold, but not too cold right at the start. I felt extraordinarily good. I was light on my feet.

I found myself, from miles 1-4, hanging out with the 3:45 crowd. I was hoping to break 4-hours1, but, again, I felt good, and never thought about slowing down.

I knew I had been neglecting my long runs . . . it was intentional: my plan was to make my body stronger, make myself leaner, not burn myself out running on the road. I had hoped to be strong through mile 18, when things started to get hilly. I planned to be running at mile 20, when things got flat once again. From there, I planned to ignore the pain and “just run a 10k”.

I got more discouraged than I had anticipated when I saw the faster runners working their way back from the HACC campus to Wildwood Park.

I knew I’d slow down over the hills – it was all in my plan. And I did slow down on the hills. But, speeding back up didn’t happen.

When I exited Wildwood Park, I sipped some Gatorade. Both of my hamstrings were twitching. I tried to move faster. I thought I was moving faster . . . but looking back on my splits, I was not.

The Gatorade sat, fitfully, in my stomach. I started spitting more than usual2.

But I continued running.

I started thinking about punching any spectator who was telling me that I was “almost to the end.” But chose against it because punching someone would have taken a lot of effort, and I didn’t trust myself to start running again, if I allowed myself to stop.

I accidentally unplugged my headphones, so I took them out.

My shirt started to hurt against my skin, so I took it off.

I started running along the river for the last time.

And then I knew I had an issue — something was going to come up & out of my stomach, whether I wanted it to, or not. Stopping held little interest. Again, I didn’t trust myself to get started, if I stopped. But trusting that I’d be clear of a runner if I puked while running? Well, I can ensure that I don’t spit or blow a snot-rocket on someone . . . but I wasn’t sure what might happen here.

I puked into the Susquehanna

My hamstrings, upon being allowed to break, rejoiced.

I started to try to run. It didn’t happen.

All told, I think I walked for about two, maybe three-tenths of a mile, before I urged my legs into a trot, once again.

I climbed the hill to the bridge, and gave everything I had for the last two-tenths of a mile.

I finished.

My time was 6 minutes, 11 seconds more than my target time.

I’m proud of myself . . . I went out & ran a marathon. I bested my best time, at the distance, by over 40-seconds-per-mile. I bested my best time for this event by over a minute-per-mile. I didn’t allow getting sick to stop me.

But I wanted to break that 4 hour barrier, and I didn’t.

I’m signed up for a marathon in the spring — life got in the way of my plans3, this year . . . I had hoped to win the “Road Apple” award between the Garden Spot Village Marathon & Bird-In-Hand Half-Marathon4, but didn’t run the latter . . . so, I’m trying for the same, again, in 2015, but I was giving serious consideration to retiring my attempts at the full-marathon distance. I’m so far away from qualifying for Boston that I can, honestly, call such a goal little more than a pipe dream5. I can “pull a half-marathon out of my ass,” to this day, but the full — well, yesterday told me that I’m still far away from considering a marathon “just another run.”

Last night was a rough, rough night. I believe my “this shirt is bothering the fuck out of me” and stomach issues were a direct result of dehydration. I started consuming fluids, as quickly as possible, after the run . . . and I’m wondering if I may have over-hydrated (while I didn’t have a LOT of wine, I’m sure the wine that I did have didn’t help). Last night, I put myself to bed far too early, waking up almost every hour, on the hour, to pee and/or retch. Regulating my body temperature was…difficult, to say the least. All in all, I was in bad shape (I’m feeling far better today . . . my knees aren’t exactly fans of taking the stairs, sitting down, or standing from a sitting position; I have chafe marks & blisters on some of my more sensitive areas, but all of that, I anticipate, will be remedied by tomorrow).

Despite the suck, though, I’m not done. I’ll be back on the course. Next year, I’m breaking 4 hours.


1 15 minutes, over a 26.2 mile race, might not seem like a huge time differential, but, trust me, it is.
2 Yeah, I spit as I run, especially during long distances. I’ve been known to blow a snot rocket or two. And fart. Don’t you want to run with me?
3 A close family friend got married . . . so I went to the wedding, rather than run the race. Because family always wins.
4 Both of these runs head through Amish country, meaning that there are a good number of horses on the road, and with horses on the road, there is horse poop on the road, so runners are best served avoiding these “road apples.” If you run both races, in the same year? You get the “Road Apple” plaque, which is a plaque with petrified horse poop shellacked onto it.
5 I say that, yet I have improved my marathon time by over three-minutes-per-mile from my first marathon (though it’s hardly been a linear progression), when I hit 40, the times for Boston Qualifying start to turn to my favor . . . so I can say that qualifying for Boston isn’t a goal of mine, and it isn’t . . . but the damn idea is in my head.
Nov 7 14

Where I think to Sunday’s Marathon

by John

This Sunday, I’m running.

At the end of a marathon, it’s going to hurt whether you’re speeding up or slowing down. You may as well push.

– Summer Sanders

I’m running 26.2 miles.

Marathon running, like golf, is a game for players, not winners. That is why Callaway sells golf clubs and Nike sells running shoes. But running is unique in that the world’s best racers are on the same course, at the same time, as amateurs, who have as much chance of winning as your average weekend warrior would scoring a touchdown in the NFL.

– Hunter Thompson

In some ways, I’m better prepared than I’ve ever been, for a run. I’m stronger and leaner than I’ve ever been in my life. I know the course well. I’ve set-out, and, in my mind, have conquered the trickiest portion of the route.

When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time.

– Haile Gebrselassie

There is less of me to drag around the course. And the me that remains is better-suited to do it. I stand in good shape.

The marathon can humble you.

– Bill Rodgers

But the fact that I have been running far less than I ever have, since I started getting into running, has me a bit worried.

I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible.

– Bill Hanc

And that I’m getting over a cold has me doubly worried.

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

– Lance Armstrong

Still, I plan to finish strong.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

– Steve Prefontaine

The race will start on a closed road, with high hopes, anxious energy, and loud music.

Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.

– Doug Larson

I’ll run through the streets of downtown Harrisburg, keeping in mind that this is my race, and I will try my damndest to keep from spending too much energy trying to run past slower runners, or being bothered by anyone passing me.

Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.

– Tim Noakes

The spectators will grow sparse and the roads will turn lonely. I’ll get my first glimpse of those runners who run far faster than me. I’ll keep my head held high.

The feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.

– Sarah Condor

The crowds will return, street bands will play, I’ll keep myself from getting too excited.

The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals

– Hal Highdon

Again, the crowds will leave as I run along the river. I will find solace in the beauty.

The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.

– Jacqueline Gareau

I’ll weave my way through residential housing, waving to those, warm, enjoying a cup of coffee from their porch, watching those of us who are out there, willing ourselves further.

Few things in life match the thrill of a marathon.

– Fred Lebow

The crowds will return, I’ll refrain from getting too excited, keeping my stride in tow.

Marathoning is just another form of insanity.

– John J. Kelly

I’ll catch another glimpse of those who will be finishing before me. Those who will be in comfortable clothing, and comfortable shoes, and off their feet. I’ll refrain from trying to sneak across the path to skip a portion of the race.

No doubt a brain and some shoes are essential for marathon success, although if it comes down to a choice, pick the shoes. More people finish marathons with no brains than with no shoes.

– Don Kardong

The hills will hit. I’ve run them before. I’ll plow through.

In the first half of the race, don’t be an idiot. In the second half, don’t be a wimp!

– Scott Douglass

I’ll be able to taste the finish. I’ll will my legs to keep going. Back through residences, back to the river.

That’s the beauty and the horror of the marathon, that it has that sense of, ‘Am I going too fast? Could I blow up? Am I gonna hit the wall?’ And there’s something about overcoming that.

– Ryan Lamppa

I’ll appreciate the beauty of the river, and I’ll use the solitude to focus on the cheering crowds at the end.

Finish: Even if you run a slower than expected time, you succeed in any marathon when you finish

– Hal Highdon

The hill to the last bridge will not destroy me.

Do, or do not. There is no try.

– Yoda

I will pull out my earbuds (possibly having to remove my earmuffs, first, though something tells me I’ll be throwing those in my pocket well before the end, if they even make it to the start) and sprint my way through the bridge.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

– T.S. Eliot

I will cross the finish line with my head held high, a smile on my face, ignoring the pain in my body.

Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn in 26.2 miles.

– Lori Culnane

Nov 5 14

Where I vlog about getting into running

by John

Nov 4 14

Where I think of the number five

by John
daddy cuddles

Five.

My son is five years old today.

Heck, I still have issues coming to terms with the fact that I’m a parent (yeah, yeah, I know, you’re at “Daddy Runs a Lot,” you expect the dude creating content to be a parent, but, well, being a parent means that I’m supposed to be responsible & shit, and I feel anything but responsible, often), nevermind the parent to a Five Year Old. But, that’s what today brings.

Five fingers, five golden rings, Johnny Number 5 is alive1, Johnny Bench & Joe DiMaggio, Abraham Lincoln’s face, James Monroe, V.

It really seems like it’s been an impossibly long time . . . but, then again, it seems like just yesterday that we got “the call”. They always talk about tragic events in bringing about the mundane details of any given day . . . but I think I can list what happened on November 4, 2009 better than I can recall the moments of September 11, 2003. The phone calls of “it might be today,” to the phone calls to “it’s time.” Leaving the office. My secretary calling, asking if she should put anything in my out-of-office message, my leaving the tailgate of my truck open & my “it might take awhile for paperwork to clear” suitcase falling out (and the kind fellow who flashed his high beams, made me pull-over, and delivered what I surely would have missed), seemingly countless phone calls from the social worker as we drove through the rural roads of Delaware, feeling more nervous than I ever have prior to a date or performance as we walked up to the hospital room, entering and hearing “there are your parents,” giving him his first bottle (he was SO VERY TINY), wondering what color his eyes might be (he didn’t really open his eyes for weeks after being born), counting his fingers and toes, holding him as I watched the final outs of the 2009 World Series (a Yankee win over the Phillies), a late night trip to Friendly’s, because that was the only place would could find that was open and serving food. I can recall all of that, as if it happened this morning.

Heck, I can recall all of that better than I can recall events of this actual morning.

To my video-game-playing, ninja-class-taking, silly, goofy, star-wars-loving, ice-cream-addicted son, I love you. Happy Birthday.

batman

Clink Clink

color run

crumbface

daddy cuddles

ghostbuster

Hershey Park

ice cream

Legos!

matching shirts

motorcycle

ninja punch

sibling cuddles

silly

snuggling Hobbes

Super CJ

tattoo

war games


1 Note to self, introduce Short Circuit to the regular movie watching. Little dude is going to love it.
Oct 30 14

Where I run for chocolate (despite despising the stuff)

by John

I seldom travel for races. I can count, on one hand, the number of times that I’ve slept in a bed, other than my own, the night before any given race. It’s not that I don’t like to travel — it’s just that a run becomes a priority, so it takes a considerable amount of time away from visiting a given place. Disney? Was great, but I ended up going to bed at, like 8:00 the night before the run, and spent race day in a sore fog, walking all about the park.

So, without traveling much, I know the local races about me quite well. The inaugural year of the Hershey Half Marathon was the first year that I got into running, but the race sold out before I had a chance to register. The next year, I signed up as soon as registration opened, and I have run the race every year since.

So, while I don’t generally travel for races, I love playing host . . . and, this year, I convinced a friend to travel from Canada to stay with me for the running of the Hershey Half Marathon. This meant spending the day before a half-marathon, again, at Hershey Park. Which, again, might not be the smartest idea — but it sure was fun.

Race day meant waking brutally early1 to walk Benji, before dressing and heading out to the start, where it was cold.

Really.

Fucking.

Cold.

When I was a bit…fluffier than I am these days, I was seldom cold. I mean, I’d be able to go most anywhere in shorts & a t-shirt, and, if I wasn’t wet (and therefore had water freezing against me), I’d be fine. These days, that is no longer the case.

Hershey Half Marathon, Pre-Race

The temperature was actually dropping from the relative warm that I met with the dog walk. That dog walk convinced me to wear shorts . . . fortunately, I packed pajama pants and a sweatshirt in my truck, just in case . . . I put them on.

I was still cold.

Eventually, the race started. I went my best wishes to the friends around me and took off.

And here is where I start thinking really good things about the Harrisburg Marathon (10 days from the day I’m pressing publish on this post). See, well, I don’t remember a whole lot about this race.

I accidentally pulled my headphones out of my iPhone, so I had to manually restart my music at one point. I ended up being surprised by the start (I was expecting a few extra minutes to move into a faster corral), so I had to deal with more crowds than I would have liked, right from the start. But, I hit my pace right after mile marker one.

I can, honestly, say that I didn’t even notice most of the mile marker signs.

I was able to say “thank you” to most any volunteer that I saw.

High-fives to any child/student along the course who would stick out their hand were delivered.

The hills, or lack-thereof, didn’t bother me.

The cold, once I started going, was of no consequence.

I did manage to see a friend running the other way during a small portion where runners approaching the 8 mile marker, and those just leaving the 9 mile marker, run past one another on the same road.

In short, I hit the “runner’s high” around mile 1, and it continued until the end.

Crossing the Finish

I finished just shy of 1:50 . . . slower than the ultra-flat Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half-Marathon, but a good 30-seconds-per mile faster than I’ve previously run this race.

This was a warm-up for the Harrisburg Marathon. I have to say, for a warm-up run, it felt really damn good.

Posing with my medal


1 My friend was up earlier because of an alarm issue2.

2 I consider myself far my knowledgeable about Canada than most of my fellow citizens, but this particular friend was from Nova Scotia, which is in the Atlantic time zone, which is a time-zone that I thought avoided land, in the northern hemisphere.
Oct 23 14

Where I write about things that have bothered me this week.

by John

The other day, I came upon this article: Science Says You Should Start Your Workouts With Cardio at the My Fitness Pal blog. Now, I <3 My Fitness Pal -- if there is a tool that I can credit for why I believe I'm healthier, now, than I've ever been in my life, My Fitness Pal is that tool. But, there is so much about this article that pisses me off. First, it's a blog1, and, much like the haters in the whole #GamerGate sucktitude, because you have the ability to post means you have a voice — and that sucks sometimes.

First, the premise for the “best” workout seems to be what “increases your heartrate the least.” Now, if you’re a newbie to working out, this isn’t horrible advice, because you don’t know how hard to push your body – so, in theory, you can push yourself too hard, to the point of injury. And that would be horrible, especially for the fact that early injury might mean that you stop working out, altogether. But, well, I’m a believer that the more your heart rate elevates, the harder you’re pushing yourself, the more calories you’re burning doing the exercise, and the more calories you’ll burn while recovering from the exercise. Basically, as long as you don’t injure yourself, you should aim for the greatest increase in average heart rate during a workout.

Next is an item of actual safety. Lifting heavy is beneficial — it’s how you make yourself stronger, the fastest. Every time I lift2, I’m keenly aware of what I achieved the last time I worked out. If I my best set was a 275 pound squat for 5 reps, I’ll be thinking about that through my warm-ups, up until my heaviest set. Let’s assume, for the sake of simplicity, that you have a finite amount of strength in each muscle — well, if you do cardio first, you use up some of that strength — so, it’s entirely possible that I’m D-O-N-E after 4 sets at 275, just because of a run at the beginning of the workout. But, in the back of my head, I’m thinking “I did five the other day,” so I’ll try for one more . . . and introduce the possibility of injury by pushing myself too hard. I like to think that I know my body well-enough to avoid this, but, well, I can be stubborn when I’m asking of my own body.

So, in short, be cautious as to the source of an article — here, I simply don’t know what My Fitness Pal was trying to get across, unless they think everyone should be pushing themselves as little as possible, which seems beyond backward.


So, away from the My Fitness Pal blog & onto the application. The other day, I ended up in a lunch meeting. At the start of the meeting, I opened the app & logged everything that I was about to eat. This gathered some odd looks & a “why would you do that?”. Well, I do this to ensure that I’m keeping my eating in track. If I don’t consciously stop & think about what I think I’ll be eating, I’m likely to allow my eating to get out of control. While I think I’m disciplined enough to follow my body, I really don’t want to test the hypothesis. I log what I eat, every bite. Where possible, I log every bite before I eat it.

“What if you’re going to go over your calories?”

Well, at that point, I log, end up over my caloric budget for the day, and move on. I don’t stress over it. And then I showed the person a day where, despite “earning” 2000+ calories from exercise, I still went over my 3000 calorie budget, by an additional 2000 calories. In short, I ate like a pig for a day. The person, simply, didn’t understand why I’d log if I was going over.

My only answer was “if I don’t log when I’m going over, what’s the point of logging in the first place?”

Oh well, I’ll admit that logging is a pain in the ass, at times, but, well, I need something that keeps my eating in check. And this is what works for me.


Lastly, there seems to be a small, but vocal, minority of people who see their diet choices are superior to others. I don’t get this . . . everyone is on their own plan, with their own goals & methods. A snarky facebook post about the amount of sugar in a Pumpkin Spice Latte or the ilk — well, I don’t get it. I’ll fully admit that, since I’ve reduced the amount of refined sugars/flours in my diet, I seem to be making progress toward the body that I want, but, if anything, I feel stupid for this. The act of making dinner requires way more thought than the act of making food should require. I have to bring in my lunch, every day. I miss snacking. Choosing to eat one way or the other doesn’t make you superior to anyone. Now, if you bring in your lunches and then donate the money you’re saving to a food shelter? Well, maybe then, you actually do stand on a moral high ground. But, chicken breast & broccoli, while delicious, does not a good person make.


1 Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, this is a blog, too . . . but, I would be bothered to find anyone coming here for honest-to-goodness fitness advice. I write about what I have tried in my “quest for fit.” I write about what has worked for me. I write about what I plan to do. I write thinly-veiled dick jokes. But I don’t say “you should do this…” and this blog article, well, it seems to be saying “you should do this,” without backing up any of it.
2 I may do, primarily, bodyweight exercises right now, so “lifting” usually involves me getting my chin up & over a bar so many times.
Oct 20 14

Where I catch my breath from a busy weekend with a large bucket of random

by John

This weekend, I:

  • Hosted out-of-town-guests
  • Wrapped up the run of Jesus Christ, Superstar at the Carlisle Theatre Company, which included shows on Friday & Saturday nights before a Sunday matinee
  • Went to Hershey Park with the family & bunches of other friends
  • Ran a half marathon (more about this in the next day or two)
  • Introduced the game Munchkin to a group of tween/teen boys

I’m tired – I think I’m just coherent enough to write so that everything makes sense, but not quite with-it enough to actually care about anything making sense.

  • I’m tempted to eat lunches of roasted beets & asparagus, and only roasted beets & asparagus, every day. The reason? If I were to end up in a bad accident and I ended up unconscious in a hospital bed, the head-scratching that severely discolored, foul-smelling urine collected from a catheter would be amusing. Except that, well, that might lead to tests that are completely unnecessary.
  • I commonly think truly morbid thoughts like the previous entry. There may be something wrong with me.
  • Well, yeah, there’s PLENTY wrong with me. So I don’t even really know why I’m writing this.
  • I’m wickedly excited for Thanksgiving. Yeah, I know we have Halloween to get through, and Thanksgiving is just a lead-in to the over-blown Christmas-extravaganza-season, but I like the the concept of “lots of food, lots of family.”
  • The relatively mild summer combined with, seemingly, exceptionally low temperatures for early fall has me truly concerned about what this winter might bring, temperature & precipitation-wise.
  • For someone who really tries to “eat clean,” in spend an exorbitant amount of time fantasizing about all-you-can-eat buffets1.
  • Over the crazy weekend, I never had time to shave my head, meaning the hair on my head has moved from “prickly” to “soft & fuzzy”.
  • I have most of my Christmas shopping done.
  • Benjie, the new dog, does not understand why squirrels do not want to play with him.
  • Pip, the cat, has essentially become an outdoor cat since Benjie’s arrival.
  • I drink a lot of green tea while at work.
  • I’m kind of excited about the prospect of the Royals winning the world series.
  • I’ve been thinking about what I want for dinner as I’ve written this entire post.

  • 1 If you were to open a breakfast buffet, available at dinner time, with fresh fruit, vegetables, and an omelette station, within easy driving distance to Harrisburg, offering a quiet atmosphere, I’d be there every single Monday night.
Oct 14 14

Where I miss television

by John

I continue to come to grips with the term “busy.” I am busy. I know this, but I do not always accept this. My struggles with acceptance, though, sing louder more at this time of year, than any other.

I love fall . . . the air just feels cleaner as the nights start to get colder, but there’s still some warmth in the air. Honeycrisp apples are tasty and abundant. The network sitcoms all debut. And football is in full swing as the best baseball of the year is on.

But, alas, everything seems to be passing me by.

This road to where I am was gradual & inevitable. It started with the original, first generation TiVo, because I was too damn lazy to actually work my VCR for recording. So I started recording the shows that I wanted to watch (catching sports live, always). A general dislike of commercials meant that, even if I happened to be home, I’d watch something else rather than a show as it was broadcast.

Rainy days were spent simply catching up on the TiVo.

The TiVo died as the newfangled cable boxes started to include hard-drives.

Then kids came.

Then Netflix started streaming.

Where it used to be that a night home alone would mean that I’d fall asleep to a west-coast baseball game, a TV turned off is far more effective than anything else in getting my spawn children to sleep (and, well, getting my kids to bed, more often than not, leads to me falling asleep, myself).

I will always say that being busy is better than being bored . . . but, last Sunday, I’ll admit a great deal of jealousy to the Walking Dead crowd. I have gotten rid of cable, but I do try to keep up with shows as I can.

Back, when my workout strategy was “cardio, and then more cardio,” this time of year would also denote the time that I’d start giving up on running outside, and I’d watch an episode of a show, each weekday, from my spinning bike in my basement. There may have been a day or two, at particularly pivotal portions of my following Walter White’s saga that I’d find myself “not feeling so hot” and then catching 8 episodes of Breaking Bad at a time.

But, as my life exists now, I just can’t get into things as I once did. And I honestly miss the draw of a television cliffhanger, where I’d spend the day after a particularly good episode of a show I enjoy wondering what might happen next.

And we won’t talk of beer-fueled nights willing a long-hit ball to hit a foul-pole.

Don’t get me wrong . . . I wouldn’t change what I have now, with televisions that play Justin Time more than the Yankees, for the world. But, I miss getting sucked into the boob tube like I once did.

Oct 9 14

Where I get older

by John
  • I shave my head. I do this not because it’s the “cool thing to do1,” but because I chose a preemptive strike against male pattern baldness. Also, I suffered from horrible scalpne and “letting my scalp breathe” appears to have fixed things.
  • My beard is speckled with white. Lots and lots and lots of white. When I trim my beard, those white hairs stick straight out – this means that, if the light hits me the right way, my beard always looks wet, with droplets of water sparkling in the light.
  • If I have a cold, I feel hungover.
  • If I have an actual hangover, I feel like death.
  • I do not need to drink to the point of “drunk” to achieve a hangover the next day.
  • If I do drink to the point where I get “drunk,” the hangover last for days. And since this is a real hangover, I feel like death for days.
  • I actually lift with my knees because I live in constant danger of throwing my back out.
  • Sometimes, when I sneeze, I feel like, had the exhale been the slightest-bit more explosive, my back would crumble to bits.
  • I always keep a tube of chap stick on me.
  • If I dream at night, I dream that I’m napping. Apparently, my subconscious knows that naps are not for me.
  • I can tell you all about the various types of life insurance, and why I have two distinct life-insurance plans for myself.
  • My body does not allow me to sleep past 6am. If my children sleep past 6am, and I don’t need to be up, I won’t get out of bed, but I’ll be wide awake, sitting in bed, wishing I could sleep.
  • I’ve chosen to sleep over having sex.
  • Sugary cereals & pop-tarts hold, absolutely, zero appeal to me.
  • I want to eat my broccoli.
  • I find whatever excuses I can make to include “reading more” in my life.
  • I actively add to the list of shit that I need to get done around the house.
  • Often, I chose to listen to classical music. I do not have any take on the pulse of the modern music scene. I used to watch the Grammys, just to listen to the most acclaimed music of the past year, but even that confuses me.
  • I can’t tell you the last time I’ve seen a movie that was nominated for the “Best Picture” Oscar.
  • I can no longer just “go out and run” or “play a pickup game of basketball” or anything like that — the task must be scheduled, and I need to plan the rest of my day, accordingly, to ensure that I don’t crash before my kids that night2
  • I stretch after I exercise. If I don’t, I’m sorry the next day, and, commonly, for days.
  • I actually care about to what uses my tax dollars are put.
  • I’ll choose to watch the news over a sitcom or cartoon3

  • 1 Little about me is cool, unless I’m walking Benjie and it’s between 45 and 60 degrees, when all of me is cool.
    2 I will still crash before my kids fall asleep.
    3&Nbsp;Mind you, I prefer to have my news delivered by Jon Stewart
Oct 3 14

Where I bring the random on a Friday

by John
  • The lead guitarist for my rock band up & quit on us . . . not knowing if we’ll continue blows.
  • I’ve been taking karate lessons with CJ, and we’re both really enjoying it. Next week, however, is testing week and his four-year-old self doesn’t have the form required for the next belt down yet. Both his instructor & I believe he’ll be better served waiting until the next belt test before testing for the first time, but I’m not sure how he’ll do when he sees several of his white-belt friends displaying yellow belts.
  • Taking karate has me feeling a bit like Kramer from Seinfeld, in that I’m taking beginner lessons and am with a bunch of kids. The concepts & moves? They’re quite easy for me . . . though I’m finding that I’m as limber as freshly cut timber. Seriously, I couldn’t do a split to save my life.
  • I need to fit more yoga into my life.
  • Leila continues tap & ballet dance, but I’ve yet to catch a practice of hers . . . to say that I’m eager to watch her recital is an understatement.
  • With Halloween around the corner, CJ has expressed interest in being Dr. Venkman . . . which means that I need to figure out either a Marshmallow Man or a Slimer costume for myself. The La is leaning toward Ariel, despite being a mermaid last year.
  • This weekend, if the weather is crappy, before I head out for days full of musical mayhem, I may be demolishing some furniture that was built into my basement and, therefore, cannot easily be removed. Yay, sledgehammers and axes!
  • If I clean up my basement as I want it (though I still have plans to install a wet bar at some point . . . that’s a ways off), I am giving serious though to getting RockSmith for the XBox 360 that resides downstairs . . . as it stands, right now, I can fake my way as a guitarist (I’m a serviceable bassist & keyboardist), but I’d really like to get to the point where I don’t have to think about how to form a chord, and then place my fingers just right, and then go . . . and I just don’t have the patience to actually sit down to do it — but a video game might be able to fix that. We’ll see. In either case, a less cluttered basement may mean that I make more use of my mancave.
  • There may be changes coming to my job situation, in the near future . . . changes that I’m excited about but, at the same time, scare me.
  • That said, the draw to say “fuck it” with the computer stuff & dive in, making myself a personal trainer is growing. Of course, to do that, I’d need paying clients, and I’m a bit shy on those, but I am actually talking myself into the fact that I might be able to make things work — maybe as a side business?
  • But then I’m about to enter a truly busy period of my life — I’m not looking forward to the schedule I’m looking at for the forseeable future:
    • 5:00am: Walk the dog1 
    • 5:30am: Bodyweight strength training circuit
    • 6:00am: Dress the kids while attempting to let them sleep.
    • 6:30am: Make coffee, shower, dress
    • 7:00am: Out the door for work
    • noon: Workout
    • 4:00pm: Leave work, scavenge something to eat
    • 6:30pm: Rehearsal
    • 11:00pm: bed
  • BenjieOh yeah, there’s a new dog at casa de Batzer. Benjie is a mutt — some shar pei . . . and a bunch of other stuff. He’s super sweet. But very active. Very active. And loves his morning walk . . . so much so, that, whenever he determines that it’s just about time to go, he’s in my face. Normally, this is right around 5am, as my alarm goes off. Sometimes? It’s just after midnight.
  • “Clean eating,” however one might define it, is great. But leaves one wanting to smack their coworkers for eating Doritos (that said, I don’t miss bread nearly as much as I thought I might).

1 I may have two dogs, but one of them steadfastly refuses to get out of bed to walk. He’s kind of my hero.