Thursday, September 30, 2010

THREE THINGS THURSDAY

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF SOME GREAT BLOGGERS, THIS IS MY FIRST EDITION OF THREE THINGS THURSDAY. NO PROMISES AS TO THIS BEING A WEEKLY EVENT. LIKE WITH A NEW CAR, GOTTA TEST IT OUT AND MAYBE KICK THE TIRES.

1. Some news is out this morning on Alberto Contador testing positive for a banned substance. Hmmm.... don't I remember a little incident last summer of someone not stopping and waiting for a fellow competitor. Hmmm..... unwritten tour sportsmanship practices? Stopping for downed cyclists or mechanicals? Theres just nothing better for breakfast than a good cup of hot carma.

2. Woke up early this morning. Came downstairs to hop on the computer. Posted a reply on Patrick's blog at The Road. The west coast post time? A very impressive 3:11 a.m. Now the official purpose of comment number two.... THREE DAYS OUT FROM THE RACE..... BODYWEIGHT.....186 POUNDS!! Finally!! Another step down. Remember, last Christmas I was at 214.

3. I'm at a crossroads again. We are nearing the end of our Girls Softball Season and I have to decide if I want to continue as Coach P's right hand man, trusty side kick, or Boy Friday. (Take your pick.) It has been a difficult season. We are sitting at 5-14. If we play well, we have a shot at winning Monday and Tuesday to close out the regular season. We also have a good shot at a Wednesday win to open district play. This would put us at 8-14 playing in the semifinals of districts. This is my third season back and has been VERY difficult for various reasons. I am feeling A LOT of pressure to make the correct decision regarding my return. The time requirement is always an issue. More importantly--on several occasions this fall, I've been running very high stress, and haven't been a very good husband, dad, friend, teacher, or boy friday. (Again, take your pick.) Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

264 Hours and Counting......

264 Hours and counting until the Lewis and Clark Half-Marathon in St. Charles, MO. (Give or take a little.) Week 3 running went well with 19 miles. I backed things off a little bit running my 12 miler early in the week due to scheduling conflicts. I ran two 3.5 mile runs and pretty much had to pack it in for the week. Softball and school commitments have been unreal. Every single day since last Friday has been daylight to dark and then some.


I feel pretty good. This week has been crazy but the mileage is on pace. I am going to do one more ten miler Friday afternoon to wrap up the double digit running and taper next week with the big event coming up on Sunday, October 3rd. I'm very excited but extremely nervous which is cool.

I think I had lost some of the fun of actually being nervous for the "big events" as weird as that sounds. I had gotten my fitness to the point of coasting through a half marathon with honestly very little concern. My goal is very hard to establish for this event. Ultimately, I want to finish and improve on my 2009 disaster at the Country Music Marathon. I had leg problems and really struggled to finish. I now know the feelings of dealing with an injury that you can't just ice, stretch, take a few Ibuprofen, and fix.

I have really kind of looked at this event as somewhat starting over. Reading Kenley's blog at The Essence of Running has really helped. He just recently finished his FIRST half marathon and his excitement and enthusiasm has helped to kind of push me along a little. I haven't posted much on his blog due to a very busy schedule-----so, Kenley gets his own paragraph and a special THANK YOU for his fantastic race report. You can tell from his race report that the dude was PUMPED to successfully complete the event that he had trained diligently for. Eleven days man, eleven days.....

As for the goals. One, finish and be healthy. This race is my first back from injury (PF) which I will officially quit mentioning after successfully completing this event. It is also the site of MY FIRST EVER HALF. I ran this event (be it a different course) in 2002 with a time of 2:14:28. So----I will officially place this as a goal time. I want to match or beat this time. I ran it again in 2003 with a time of 2:06:44. So---this is my secondary goal time. If I am feeling well and the body is working, who knows. These are my TWO time goals.

Thanks for the occasional feedback and support. All comments, regardless of how brief are fantastic. Once softball is done, I get to be human again so you will get actually get some feedback from me. After I complete L & C, I will let you know about another little fee, or should I say ENTRY FEE that has already been paid for November. Oh yeah!

Every day is a good day, some are just better.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

OUTWIT, OUTLAST, OUTPLAY

Ok--Life is good again, SURVIVOR is back. Many of you may not or may not like the show and we have went some seasons without watching it as well but tonight its on again and we are thrilled.
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It has become a THING at our house. The last two seasons I think my children (Little Bit 18, and The Chief 13) have been a little worried about myself and their stepmom.

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We don't take phone calls during Survivor. I mean--Hey, I try not to call their house during Grey's Anatomy.


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Its a night of festivity.


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Yelling and Screaming IS permitted.

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Cursing at the T.V.--ok, not appropriate but sometimes permitted.

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I had NO troubles deciding who should be worthy of blog pictures for this post.

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The past two seasons have been awesome. I will miss Parvati, Russell, and Rupert. Yes, even Russell. He has been very easy to dislike but I can EASILY state that he is one of the best players ever. PLAYER--period. He could certainly manipulate the game. Last season, he darn near single handedly dismantled things from time to time. He had little chance to win the overall due to simply ticking eveyone off but the dude played the game. Rupert, I will miss simply because he sported the tye-dye, hated Russell and again--you may or may not like the dude, his personality, or his rugged "good looks," but he really spices things up when he's on the show.
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It will be awesome to watch Jimmy Johnson play the game. It will be cool to see a major celebrity on this type of show. I hope he gets to stick around a while. It will be weird to see his hair messed up though!
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Hey--Quick post here, gotta run!! Show comes on in 12 minutes. Time to make popcorn. The half-marathon is two and a half weeks off. Body feels great and the weight is 187.
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Every day is a GOOD day, some are just better. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ugh, Ugh, Ugh, Ugh

Lewis and Clark, Week 4 went extremely well. After a quiet, but busy week last week, I got back to business. I kicked out 11.4 miles on Monday, followed by 3 miles on Wednesday, 3.5 miles on Thursday and came back with a cool 5 yesterday. The week total rounded out to be a very comfortable 22.9 miles.



Saturday's five miler included a trip to Chester, IL for the 31st Annual Popeye 5-K run. This is easily one of the best runs in the area with approximately 300 runners pre-registered. After a few select photographs, the warm up process began. I felt great and decided to check the engines on mile one and see what I had in the tank. I couldn't have asked for better. The course consists of an out and back in both directions. You start out going north, circle the high school and head back south through the start finish area (where they announce your name). You then proceed south before turning around in front of the court house to once again head back to the finish. You are for the most part either going slightly uphill or slightly downhill the entire way.

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I kicked out Mile One in 7:38. I pushed through Mile Two in 8:19. This put me at the two mile mark in 15:57. I was pretty pleased. On Mile Three, I faded a little back to 8:47 (most likely due to the uphill stretch after turning around at the court house) followed by the 46 second finish on the final tenth of a mile. Over all--25:31. Good for my best 5-K of the year. Not bad considering I hadn't pre-registered and didn't decide to go until 9:45 p.m. Friday night.

Now for the trip home. We stopped to eat at one of my favorites. Al's Place in McBride, MO. Hole in the wall doesn't describe it. I first discovered this fine establishment in the summer of 1991 when I worked for Pepsi Cola. This place is GREAT. They even catered our Family Christmas meal one year. It was amazing.

The left side of the building also doubles as the community Post Office. The sign fell down a few years back and is propped up near the left corner of the building.

You quickly grasp the concept of atmosphere when you walk in the front door and just to the right are the bathrooms. It often confuses occasional city folk who stumble into the place unknowingly.


I looked over the Menu and carefully studied the Specials........

Before deciding on the Open Face Roast Beef Plate. Simply stated, It is as good as it looks. Maybe even better. I have not been eating much meat or very much in the line of animal products on many meals. So..... this was awesome. I actually have a picture of the cleaned plate but thought you'd get more of a kick out of the bathroom and post office sign. Our girl's cross country team stops at this place to eat every year when they go to Chester for their first meet of the year. The freshmen girls who haven't been there before are fun to watch.
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The body is phenomenal. My weight last week was around 187-188 pounds most of the week. Monday's 11 miles were great. The added rest has really worked well and the diet has been amazing. I haven't been totally vegan or totally vegetarian but have just avoided a lot of the fast food we normally consume. On several occasions, I have sat down to a plate of veggies with a bagel or piece of bread and maybe some fruit. I've eaten my weight in Red, Yellow, Orange, and Green Peppers. Two cantaloupes in one week? Yep.
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Three weeks from today, the race is on. Lewis and Clark. I'm getting excited. (And a little nervous.) Mostly excited. I'm really close to being ready to go. I have a couple more 10 milers planned and then its go time. I'm working on polishing up the form, a little core work, some climbing..... all the little prep stuff to hopefully make this event work.
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Hey guys, gotta run. Going to go upstairs and fix a Roast. Oh yeah, no meat though. New Red Potatoes, some Cabbage, some Onions, and Baby Carrots all thrown in the roasting bag with the seasoning mix. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Every day is a good day, some are just better. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

School Days, School Days....

Week five is in the books and to be totally honest, I have very little to write about in the field of running. I had a monstrous week of softball with five total games and I also worked the concession stand for Friday night's home football game. Running took a backseat and much needed rest was taken.
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For the week, Mr. Kotter (me) ran a measly total of only 12.5 miles. I know, I know, I'm kind of upset about it myself but, what can a guy do? Actually, I'm not upset about it and have already jump started this week with a week opening run of 11.4 miles. What did you do with your labor day? Huh? Rest?
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I have to admit to having very little time to blog read or comment. When I am sitting in front of a computer, I am generally checking my e-mail or putting grades into the computer or putting lesson plans online. Whoops! Forgot to do that one today! Guess I'll get on that one tomorrow. Hope the little tikes were listening today or at least reading the board when their work was assigned. There are just soooo many things that go into the average teacher's day that it is just amazing. Sometimes the actual process of teaching in the classroom is the easy part. Notice the lesson on Mr. Feeny's blackboard is on inventions. Ha! Science and Technology, I'm just that good!
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It does feel good to be staring year 23 in the face though. I do have to admit. I realize that it kind of makes me somewhat OLD but what the heck. It does a body good to know that in five more years, I can retire at the ripe old age of 52. (I can go in two more but the retirement at 25 years just isn't that great.) Yeah, you pretty much have me pegged. When the Breakfast Club came out, I was the Jock, or the Geek..... now I'm the detention guy. Go figure.
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I've already promised the wife (a much younger and way prettier teacher than I) that after I retire, I will check in daily if I'm not in the area. She knows that if the money is available and the health is good, I may occasionally ramble across the countryside in search of a marathon or even the occasional 5-K. As any of my devoted readers know, I love a good 5-K. I may not be fast but I can hammer out the events! I wouldn't mind to be a 50 states runner but I want the events to be at my discretion. Not just marathons.
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I hope everyone's training is going well. I promise to sit down and catch up with my blog reading and at least try to touch base as soon as possible. I do want to welcome two new followers, Nicolle and Forward Foot Strides to my blog. I know I don't always welcome new followers and I hope no one feels slighted. I do love to watch the number of followers slowly grow and enjoy reading about other people's lives and training. Keep the new followers coming!
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Every day is a good day, some are just better. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mid-Week Milestone--Mr. 7000

After finishing my middle of the week six miler this morning, I got a very nice treat. I was walking in the door and thought wow, its September.... I have to flip the calendar. As I was adding up August, I thought to check the career mileage since I started back running in 2000-2001. I received a very pleasant surprise. After yesterday's 5 a.m. three miler, my running mileage was setting at an EVEN 7000 miles.
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I started back running and working out simply to get back into shape. I had raced bicycles in the late 80's and early 90's when I started teaching. After ending the bike racing career, I very slowly got up to almost 240 pounds. I'm hovering now around 190 pounds and run best in the low 180's. I do however feel so much better than I did at 230 plus pounds. My hope is that this continues for many years to come. I really don't care to be that person that you READ about in Runners World as long as I live the life. I do want to be that old man in about 30 years who is still kicking out events and hanging medals rather than sitting on my front porch in a rocking chair wondering where my life went.
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People start running, lifting weights, swimming, or biking for many reasons. Each individual has their own story. I hope that this post serves as motivation for new runners as well as any veteran runners who are struggling with injury or fitness. Whether you are trying to qualify for Boston or meet some sort of personal goal, remember why you started. Keep things in the proper perspective and enjoy your sport. Train and prepare for each event to the best of your ability. On race day, bring your best. Good or bad, its most likely not your first race and it probably won't be your last.
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Every day is a good day, some are just better. Thanks for reading.