Monday, February 3, 2014

M-Cubed for 2.3.2014

M-Cubed (Monday Morning Musings) for February Third, Two Thousand Fourteen...a random smattering of thoughts that end up here on Monday morning.

- Watch the SuperBowl? I'd say it was on but the volume was turned up for the commercials and I paid attention. Among my favorites:
I also loved the teaser for the next Transformers movie that comes out this summer and the Heinz commercial was pretty good. Big fail? Maserati. The car advertised STARTS at about $70,000...seriously?! That's like selling a Rolex at a Wal-Mart...with all due respect! It makes no sense. Going back to my undergrad in Economics 101: Rule #1: know your customer. Total waste of 4 million dollars. Epic fail.

- Like running quotes? I found a great Facebook page (Gibson's Daily Running Quotes) that posts one per day and they are really, really good. Surprisingly, only 2 of my Facebook friends have found them. I've shared yesterday's below but here they are if you want to start following them. For those who know me well, you know how perfect this one is:

"George Sheehan was able to say that running, for him, was like a monastery. It is 'a place to commune with God and yourself, a place for psychological renewal.' This is a basic principle of the spirituality of running. Running is a place. It is a place you can go to be alone—even when there are other people around. It is a place to think. Running helps you concentrate because it takes you out of the often mind-numbing cycle of the everyday routine of going to work, going home, going to bed, getting up, and going to work. Most important, running is a place that you can go to regardless of where you are. Whether you are on a business trip, on vacation, or visiting family, you can still go for a run. The scenery might change, but when you go for a run, that is your special place. Your run can be your own sanctuary." -Warren A. Kay, Running - The Sacred Art: Preparing to Practice

- So, the West Virginia Trilogy opened registration yesterday. Of course, it peaked my curiosity and I exchanged some dialogue with friends online. As you know, I DNF'd on Day 2 of the Trilogy back in October at mile 33.6 of the 50 miler. It humbled the heck out of me. Honestly, I love to go back to a race swearing redemption but for this one, I don't know what I'd do differently in preparing for it. I still don't have regrets from it. I gave it EVERYTHING I had. I don't have the kind of climbs to train on like exist on that course...meaning climbs several miles long...or that high. So unless I can come up with a plan to do something different, I won't be heading back. I just can't go back with a "wish" to complete it but without a plan of attack. So October thru December remain wide open...

- This is one of the funniest pictures I saw online last night. I really couldn't care less who won the game...but this was funny! (see right)

- Are you a fan of the hit drama "24"? Did you catch the super-sneaky 5 second snippets last night during the game? What keyed me in was their trademark tick-tock clock sound that only lasted a few seconds. If you didn't know, 24 is returning on el Cinco de Mayo...or May 5th...dubbed "Live Another Day." Oh yea! Here is the commercial they finally played in the 4th quarter. #JackIsBack !!!

- So the groundhog saw his shadow yesterday, eh?! Where exactly did he find the sun?! Sheesh. All I know is that with every passing day, we're one day closer to Spring. Period. Coldest winter of my life so far!

- Beware of Breaking Bad. We don't have cable and we've never had HBO...but I remember all the hoopla when Breaking Bad ended their series last year after their 5th season. Enter Netflix: So, we watched the first episode...the pilot from season 1. 7 episodes later, we finished season 1 and we're hooked. Everyone says it just gets better and better with each season...we shall see. All 5 seasons are on Netflix.

- This photo below brings back the memories. This is aboard the USS Harry S Truman, a nuclear aircraft carrier just like the two I used to be on. They are operating in the Gulf of Oman right now and this photo is most likely in the Chief's Mess...or the area where only senior enlisted dine. Seat covers and wood on the walls give it away! Any of you who has been enlisted in the Navy know what I'm talking about! I remember watching the SuperBowl once on a big screen in the hangar bay some 15 years ago while out to sea. It's a big deal no matter what service you're in or where you are. It's a slice of America when you are so far from home.

- Speaking of America, I was really impressed with the National Anthem last night. Totally first class performance before the game. The reading of the Declaration of Independence just prior to that was really well done, too. Here is the National Anthem if you missed it. A 4-time Grammy opera singer sang it...and nailed it. The 101st Airborne Apache and Blackhawk helicopter flyover didn't hurt either at the end.

Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Broken Together

Human. You are. I am. We are. No matter your background, your beliefs, your gender, or anything...somehow, you will be able to relate to this. We ALL have a past of some kind and at some point, we're going to find "the one" who we will call to join us on life's journey together. They also will have a past, secrets, "baggage," and stuff that'll just get in the way. The song and lyric video below is by Casting Crowns. Their new album was released on Tuesday and I listened to Marc Hall speak on the radio a few days ago about the inspiration for this song. Paraphrasing, he said that often, people will pray for marriages/relationships in trouble and the "bad and ugly" out there. He went on to say that it's not just them, but ALL marriages and relationships need prayed for. Like I said, no matter who you are, you have "stuff" and this song will really speak to you. I love how the chorus speaks of how the only way we'll make it to forever is to be "Broken Together." Lay down your arms, pause, humble yourselves...and let the words soak in.

21+ years, folks...that's how long I've been with my bride. I looked at her yesterday after listening to this song and said: "Babe, that's us. The only way we'll make it is "Broken Together." I wouldn't want it any other way or with any other person.

Have a great SuperBowl Sunday, friends.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January 2014 WrapUp

Skidding across home plate with 206 miles. Some interesting stats concerning that. Out of 31 days available, 9 days were zero miles. Highest mileage day was 31.2 miles at the Frozen Sasquatch 50K on the 4th and the lowest mileage day was today with only 5 miles. The most common mileage run was 10 miles with 7 of 22 days being 10 mile days. So January is a wrap and thank goodness it is. We had the coldest weather I'd ever seen in my life and just a few days ago, we got our highest electric a longshot. With every passing day is a step closer to Spring showers and Spring flowers. I will say that I greatly appreciated the balmy 30F five miler yesterday morning.

Looking ahead, February is a maintain and grow month. No races until March 15th which will be a 100K...of 62.4 miles of trail. That'll mark the longest distance traveled since my 100 miles back five years ago. I'd like to get a few 50K+ training runs in and work on some of my nutrition and pacing plans...if nothing more than for confidence boosters. I've got some trial packs from Hammer Nutrition I'd like to try out so we'll see. Speaking of Hammer, I'm one month in to my sponsorship with them and wow...they are an active online community! Both my Brooks and Hammer groups have private online communities on Facebook and the Hammer crowd is much more focused on nutrition, training, and the type of "running" and "endurance sports" that fascinate me. It's also a much smaller community which I appreciate. I think I'm really going to enjoy being a part of their Hammer family.

January was also a month where our family (mostly, my wife) continued the purge of material from our home. She has gotten rid of/donated so much. I've never seen so few pairs of shoes in our closet in 21+ years of marriage...or clothes, for that matter. She is certainly the one leading from the front on living with less and shifting the focus more on what matters...e.g. living life, creating memories, reaching out to others. Her leadership continues to spill on our kids as well. Occasionally, we'll spot them carrying a plastic grocery bag from their bedroom full of clothes to be taken downstairs to the garage sale pile after examining in their own way what they really need/want vs. what they actually use. I really look forward to the day when we move and we have so much less "stuff" to pack up.

So today was supposed to be a morning on the trails of the Buzzard Trail 100K with others. As the day approached, I was looking forward to it but then the appeal of simply sleeping in and hanging out at home with my wife sans kids all morning won out...and so glad it did. No running, just rest, and just us. From preparing food for friends coming over tonight to laughing like crazy at other times, it was a perfect morning. We did watch a bunch of 2014 Super Bowl commercials, too. I gotta say...the annual Budweiser clydesdale commercial nailed it...extremely good. Know what the going rate is for this year? $4 MILLION dollars for 30 seconds...or said another way, $4,000,000 / 30 seconds.  Dang.

There will be another Budweiser commercial played tomorrow that doesn't mention beer or drinking one time. The short commercial version is about an Army 1st Lieutenant who returns home to Winter Park, FL. It's really great BUT you've gotta watch the story behind it. It's 5 minutes long and worth every second. I was especially touched by the many Vietnam vets who were given the opportunity to speak...those guys were hated when they got home. It secures in my mind my reason again for always reaching out a hand to them when I come across them and simply saying "Welcome Home." PLEASE watch this and share it with all whom you know.