Monday, May 4, 2015

M-Cubed for 5.4.2015

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

- Let me be the first to tell you: "May the 4th be with you!" Oh's Star Wars Day! (insert eye roll from some of you.) Go celebrate by watching a trailer for the upcoming Episode 7 this Christmas or even better, watch one of the first 6 episodes. :)

- Ahhh, the sweet aroma of pear trees. They are in full bloom in our neighborhood and we have two in our front yard. With the breezes this weekend, they smelled so good...especially in the morning as the sun was rising. Soon, those white blooms will be gone and the green will prevail.

- I saw three movies over the past week. The first was on Thursday when I took some time off with my bride and enjoyed lunch at Aladdin's Eatery and saw the new "The Age of Adaline." Really, really good date movie, no doubt. It's rated PG-13 but I have no idea why. In my opinion, it was barely PG. It's best you check out the trailer to get an idea about it but if you're looking for a date movie, this is a great choice. 3 1/2 stars. The second movie was a matinee showing of Avengers: Age of Ultron on Saturday. Critics are on both ends of the spectrum on this one. For me, I liked it as did my family who went with me. It's got a LOT of stuff going on in that movie and the business student in me chuckled at all the product placements like Under Armour, Pepsi, Beats headphones, Samsung and Audi...lots of Audi. The one objection I have (without ruining it for you) is a line that a new character says near the end..."I am...I am." Basically, this is right out of the Bible and something Jesus said. Flat out sacrilegious and unnecessary given the story line. No need to imply that character is God incarnate. It felt more like a jab from the writer/producer rather than fit in the movie. Other than that, we loved it. Bonus: if you're a fan of The Blacklist and James Spader, you'll really enjoy the voice of Ultron and his mannerisms...almost like Raymond Reddington! 3 stars. The last movie was a date nite at home Saturday night and we watched the Golden Globe Picture of the Year..."Boyhood." This is the movie that was literally filmed over 10 years as the actors, most namely the boy and his sister, aged. It's a great story to show life of a kid over 10 years in a volatile environment but overall, I'd give it a "meh." Not Oscar or Golden Globes worthy, in my opinion. There were a lot of great movies in the running this year for the prize that beat this out. Dang long at 2hrs, 41min as well. 2 stars.

- This past week has been a great recovery week after last Sunday's Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon. I didn't miss any CrossFit all week and don't regret that at all. It was a GREAT week at CrossFit that ended perfect with a WOD made for me...or at least it seemed. I've been working hard on pull-ups and this one had 40 of them on Friday. It also had more running than any other WOD I've seen in my 6 months there. The burner was the 40 overhead walking lunges with a 45lb bumper plate locked out over my head...holy quads! (The WOD is at right) Before that, we went heavy on back squats, of my favorite lifts. I took it up to 210lbs for that. GREAT workout. All week was great with some tough days in there but this workout was my favorite. Today marks the last day of Week 26, too. 6 months! We began on November 4, 2014. WOO HOO! "Pass the Kool-Aid..." Oh yea, 3 weeks until Murph...

- I have owned a foam roller for years...and rarely used it. Now I use it multiple times a day. If you're unfamiliar with what one is, it's pretty basic. It's a cylinder of foam...hard to the touch but when rolled across your body parts, has some give to it as it rolls out your muscles and the kinks inside them. There is one common roll I do the majority of the time and more than any other and when I read this article, I had to share it. The first role is precisely what I do. I never did the 2nd roll before but am now. The very simple foam roller is an incredible tool to own and use. Highly recommend! Amazon is a great place to pick one up or at Vertical Runner in Hudson, Brecksville, or Wooster.

- On Saturday, there was a 5K race happening two miles from my house and since I've been wanting to test myself and see what I could do in a very short distance, I signed up. It was dubbed the Future Military Physicians 5K and held at NEOMED (Northeast Ohio Medical University), completely within the confines of campus. My only concern was the hill out back that I've run down many times. Well, they chose to go up that hill...twice. I entered the race with my primary goal to shoot for the 20min barrier...a healthy 6:24 pace. I had no idea if I could even get close. My "B" goal was 21min that equates to a 6:45 pace. I knew the field would be small and would be comprised of mostly young mid-20s, medical students. I was correct. It had 71 runners registered and I was easily one of the oldest runners there. At the 1 mile point, I crossed it in 6:23. "Oh boy," I thought. "I'm dead on a 20min finish pace and I don't know if I can hold this." As I passed by the start and waved to my wife who caught this photo, the front pack of 6 runners thinned to a few of us. I wasn't leading but I was in the top 3. As I passed mile 2 just as I started the hill for the 2nd time, I passed it at a flat 13min...meaning I lost 4 seconds in the 2nd mile. The 20min finish is in my reach but can I hold? Up the hill I went and the runner leading cramped up in front of me which put me in a solid 2nd place. I gave it all I had and tried to keep up with the leader but he just kept putting seconds on me. As I neared the finish and my wife cheered me on, the finishing clock came into was ticking slowly towards 20:00....19:50, 19:51, 19:52....I was running with all I had!!! The 20:00 clicked over as I lunged for the finish. Final Time: 20:01! Good grief! Well, while that's just plain comical, I was thrilled with that finish. That's a 6:26 average pace and the fastest I've run since 2007...and with no speed work for this kind of race. Plus, I'm 42 and racing against 20-somethings! Dang, this CrossFit is really hurting me, isn't it?! hehe....thrilled to finish 2nd overall! Hardware for me! Cherry on top = the race was raising money for the Wounded Warrior organization and it met it's goal! Way to go!

- It was a glorious day yesterday...upper 70s and sun. Perfect day to mow the yard sans shirt and take my time. Afterwards, the inevitable me laying on my back in the driveway cleaning the bottom of my John Deere while it's up on ramps. While down there, I heard the thumping of a chinook helicopter from the nearby arsenal where Army soldiers drill over the weekend...a very recognizable sound. I looked up to find the helicopter in the sky and saw this...Old Glory gently blowing in the breeze under beautiful, sunny skies. As I like to say, those chinooks are the "sound of freedom" flying overhead. Well, it was just one of those moments as I thought that and saw this over me. I am always flooded with emotion when I gaze upon Old means so much to me. That's a great coffee shop conversation for another day. This photo is totally untouched and unfiltered, by the way...just beautiful.

Have a great week, everyone...and be nice to people! Seriously...all this rage in Baltimore is sick...just be...HUMAN! :)

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