Monday, December 15, 2014

M-Cubed for 12.15.2014

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

- Skipped a week but just a few thoughts to kick off this 15th of December. After all, my arms are still a little wobbly from this morning's CrossFit workout. Sheesh. Shaving = a challenge.

- As the year winds down, my eyes and keyboard strokes turn to the few "sponsorships" I have. Honestly, I don't know if that word is's not like I'm an elite but I do get good discounts in exchange for wearing the brands and being active in the blogosphere and in social media. The two on deck again are Brooks Running and Hammer Nutrition.
  • Brooks Running: Hmmm. I've been with them since 2010 and originally, it was under the banner of Brooks ID...aka: "Inspire Daily." That was an incredible program and I loved it. A year ago this month, most ID athletes were shown the door unless they were elite or a coach. (hundreds exited) We were all welcomed into the Brooks Fanatics program. Still a discount, just a lesser one plus zero free product like the ID program provided. Also with ID, we had a great connection with Brooks HQ and frequent communication. In Fanatics? Nada. Well, just this past week all Fanatics were notified that Brooks is disbanding it...totally. They eluded that a new program was coming in 2015 but my confidence isn't very good in that. So am I disappointed? I sure am as many are. On the private Facebook group, anyone who posts respectful but disappointed thoughts are getting censored and deleted. Then there is the writing on the wall from a few years ago. I had noticed that they hired a new head of marketing and her main goal was to grow annual revenue in a BIG way and grow globally. The shift right there turned the ship from the community-driven "Run Happy" mantra and shifted to a big company wanting to simply get bigger and leave the "people factor" in the dust. So while I am disappointed in the company, I'll continue to wear their Pure Flow shoes as they are the best for me but I'm wide open to trying new products.

  • Hammer Nutrition: I should find out soon if year #2 is in my future. I'm hopeful that I'll be selected again and hope to represent them well in my few chosen ultras in 2015. Being connected with them is totally different. Much smaller, tight knit group and connection to Hammer HQ is very easy and encouraged. I have really enjoyed being a part of their team in 2014. While I'm still in, please click on the banner at the top right and save 15% if you want to place a first time order.
- So I'm on a run this past Saturday. I left home at 5:30am and knew I wanted to go long but wasn't sure how long. All I knew is that I wanted to end up at the CrossFit gym a town over. I hadn't run in 6 days but with the Frozen Sasquatch 50K only 3 weeks out, it was time to reprogram my brain into thinking "long run" again and make sure I'm ready. As the morning wore in with temps in the upper 20s and a light breeze, I was feeling pretty dang good so I decided to push it up towards the marathon distance. Somewhere in the 15 mile-ish area, I ran down a sidewalk and must have stomped the ground pretty hard because my bright-n-shiny new iPhone 6 popped out of the back of my waist pack and did a faceplant on the concrete beside the Cuyahoga River in Kent. Since I had a bumper on it, I hoped for the best. Nope, the worst...completely shattered glass screen. The next few moments are a blur so I can't quite recall them. :) Anyway, I kept on running but did insert a few walking sections as I spoke to Apple Care and the local Apple Store to determine my options. By the end of the run, I did end up running the full marathon distance of 26.2 miles and ended up at the "box". Since it seems most dislike running greatly there, I thought I'd snap a pic to capture the moment. I'm guessing no such pic has ever been taken. (hehe) The end of the smashed iPhone story concluded last night at the Apple Store. $109 and it looks brand new.

- Speaking of spending money, aren't buying new hot water heaters awesome? I knew you'd agree. $700 later and #3 is being installed today...and our house is only about 11 years old. This time, I paid a little more and got the 12 year warrantied Whirlpool. It was most certainly an expensive weekend!

- Reese Witherspoon's "Wild" came out a week ago and due to the rapid success and demand, they rolled it out to many more theaters than originally planned. We found it playing at the Cedar Lee Theater in Cleveland Heights last night and saw it. It's the screen version of Cheryl Strayed's book of the same name. The short story for how it came to be was that Reese read her book, loved it, found the author, and told her she wanted to produce it and star in it. Then boom...we have a movie. From my wife's feedback, she says it stuck to the book quite well. Overall, it was pretty good but dang, that girl has led quite a life...not one that I'd imagine one would want to write about. Sure, it centers around her 1,000 mile trek of the Pacific Crest Trail on the west coast but it's really about her life before this trek. Well made movie and Oscar worthy? I'd say yes. Life to live up to, admire, or be inspired by? Not at all. Actually, it's more of a "don't do life this way" kind of movie. Glad I saw it...sorta. Click here for the trailer. Oh yea, do NOT take your kids to see this movie. It earned every part of that "R" rating.

- Week 6 wrapped up today with CrossFit. Today's workout was one that called on my mostly weak upper body. Prior to the workout, it was a back squat Monday as expected and I PR'd my lift by another 20 pounds. Next week, I should finally hit my body weight in that lift. That is easily my favorite lift. Why? No upper body! HA! Shocking, eh?! So all in all, a good morning but another reminder to not compare myself to others and remember who I am there for. That dang trap door of comparison lurks around every corner. The pic to the right here is me doing band-assisted pull-ups. Up until last week, I did ring rows when the workout called for pull-ups. Now, I'm using this green band to assist in the pull-up. I'll lessen the band (thinner = weaker band) over time with the ultimate goal to be able to do a unassisted pull-up. Baby steps...

- Recitals, recitals! Friday and Saturday brought three different performances by our girls. From piano to voice to guitar and those were preceded by school concerts for band and choir earlier in the week. All went well!

- We live not too far from Amish Country. Saturday night, we went to the fairly new Amish Country Theater in Walnut Creek, OH. From a blue grass family band (the oldest being 19 and youngest being 6!) to a ventriloquist to a singer who clearly loves Johnny Cash, it was a great family night. Great laughs, too.

- Today's quote...a good one. I added a little of my own 2 cents in there. :)

"Before you decide you're too old to run across mountains, rock-climb in canyons, (start CrossFit- my add!) or take up scuba diving, remember: It's never too late—muscles never lose the ability to improve, no matter how old you are. We are raised with the idea that when you hit fifty, you should relax and take it easy. I think this is a mistake. The more energy you expend, the more you get back. I get more tired sitting all day than when I run fifty miles."

-Helen Klein, holder of approximately 75 World and American running records. Klein's running career began with no previous experience in 1978 at age 55.

Have a GREAT week!

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