Because sometimes 140 characters just aren't enough.
I’m back. The last time I crossed the finish line of any race was the Walt Disney World half marathon in January of 2005. I’ve wanted to run. Really. It was all the rage last year in the Ruby community. Yet I resisted, or persisted in my laziness until I read about fellow Cincinnati Coworks members who were preparing for the Heart 5K.
I was a big fan of Jeff Galloway’s training programs since they helped me work my way up from my first 5K in many years to the Disney half marathon. I highly recommend that runners follow Jeff on Twitter especially if you’re struggling to overcome pain while running and his fitness classes on RunKeeper are worth every penny. However it had been well over five years since I’d lifted a sneaker and I’m not getting any younger. Undaunted I loaded up Jeff’s least ambitious “To Finish” 5K training schedule and I set off.
Things were going very well, by my standards, and I was looking forward to running the Heart 5K until a colleague mentioned the Run for the Green 5K. My preparations for the Heart 5K were a couple weeks ahead of the plan laid out by Jeff and I hadn’t completed a trail run since my days in the Marine Corps. So I decided that I’d ante up. As the race day approached I kept my eyes on the forecast. The temperature looked fine but would the rain hold off?
Race day followed several days of heavy rain but the skies were clear and the temperature was in the low 40′s although it was a bit breezy. I was feeling well rested despite only getting about 5 hours of sleep the night before. I had tried to load up on carbohydrates the night before with curry shrimp on a bed of steamed rice since it was Lent and I was not able to enjoy my favorite, beef lasagna. I also woke at 4:30am on race day and drank a protein shake to ensure I was topped off for the 9am start. I was surprised to bump into a friend, Karen Murphy, as I was dropping the race swag off in my truck. I took this as a good omen. Karen has been running for years and we chatted a bit before the colleagues I expected to see arrived.
At the starting line in Landen-Deerfield Park I had on a running jacket over long and short sleeved shirts with running pants over running shorts, and a running cap and gloves. In no time, we were off. As we made our way across the rain soaked field at the start/finish area I started GPS tracking via Runkeeper on my iPhone. However as soon as I under got underway and tucked my iPhone into my running jacket liner I heard the voice prompt in my ear “activity completed.” Apparently, I had touched the “Stop” button just as I locked the screen. So I had to slow my pace, dig my iPhone from my jacket pocket, delete the stopped activity, and start again being careful to lock the screen properly this time. I decided before the race to place my iPhone in a ziplock bag in case I took a tumble on the rain soaked course. This only added to the difficulty of resetting the GPS. When I returned my focus to the run my colleagues were nowhere in site and I would not see them again until the finish line.
I had decide prior to the race since my best pace during training was while running 2.5:1 intervals (2.5 minutes running followed by 1 minute walking) that I would use that interval during the run. I felt very comfortable with the pace despite my already soggy feet when the first walk interval arrived although I disliked runners passing me as I walked. During the third run interval I hit the first hill and I powered through it with little difficulty but by the fifth run interval my pace had become much more irregular and was dictated mostly by the course terrain. Shortly thereafter I made the first creek crossing and I was surprised how good it made my feet feel. The cool water had a rejuvenating effect on my feet as I powered on toward the largest hill climb on the course. The next mile and a half was nothing but muddy switchbacks and short hill climbs and descents in the wooded area behind Landen-Deerfield Park. I totally abandoned intervals and took short walk breaks as I started to feel nauseated. At the 2.7 mile marker I finally broke out of the woods back onto the field and decided to sprint it out, if you could call what I had left in the tank a sprint. There was only one runner ahead of me at this stage and she was too far to catch in the remaining 4/10 mile but I closed the gap as much as my legs allowed.
My pre-race goals was to finish in under 50 minutes. My official time was 51:53. My post-race goal was to finish in under 60 minutes. So I totally crushed that. All in all I found trail running to be challenging but a lot of fun. I can appreciate how different it is from street running and can imagine how it would improve my street runs if I ran trails more often. In the end I resolved to try to complete the 2011 Dirt Days Trail Series. Next up is the Ault Park Switchback. See you there?
Ten things I love about pumpkin pie:
OK, so…, not a stellar start. Since May 2009 here is what I have AND haven’t been able to accomplish:
Short Term Goals
Long Term Goals
I think I’ll reconsider some of my previous goals. The long term goals remain the same and my new short term goals (due by June 2010) are:
Clearly I’m off to a poor start but you can help… The next time you see me, give me a rough time for my poor performance!
I understand that the local NBC affiliate WLWT had no choice in the matter but this must be the third time in four years that the NHL play-offs broadcast was interrupted by severe weather. From the 11:17 mark of the first period until 8:37 to go in the third, WLWT showed the game in a split screen with the local weathermen John Bateman and Derek Beasley tag-teaming “all the latest developments”. There was no audio from the game and the frame containing the game feed was so small that I could not read the score as I fast-forwarded through my TiVo-ed recording of it.
Frankly, I blame the NHL. The league has done such a poor job marketing professional hockey, that the best contract they could ink for its championship series places the first two games on a media dinosaur like NBC. No wonder hockey is a fourth class citizen of the professional sports community in the United States.
A Couple Thoughts
With things as bad as they appear for local affiliates of the “big” three networks, with infomercials comprising an increasing percentage of their scheduling, I have got to believe that WLWT management can come up with a better way to leverage an opportunity to air unique content like the Stanley Cup Play-offs rather than waste it by presenting the exact same coverage that the other two local affiliates are airing but I suppose their hands are tied by FCC regulations and their responsibility to protect their community such as they can. This of course only underscores the argument that network TV is the last place you would want to air such programming.
If the league had a clue, it would broadcast all the games of the Finals on Versus and then immediately make them available on Hulu. Yes, I know NBC is a part owner of Hulu. Ironic, isn’t it? I can’t think of a better way to attract traditional fans and new ones who are already riding the “on demand content” wave while providing NBC with a much needed shot in the, eh…, arm.
A Parting Shot
Local network affiliates will continue to wither on the vine, remnants of a by-gone era, much like newspapers. Kudos for their efforts to seek new means of interacting with their viewers but this incident is only the most recent example of the state of things to go.
Update – Sunday, May 31, 2009
Apparently, local viewers really let WLWT have it over this whole sad affair. During the 6 o’clock news WLWT’s sports reporter, George Vogel reported on (in order) the Red’s being swept by the Brewers this weekend, the Cleveland Indians’ 9th inning win against the Yankees, Xavier University’s baseball team’s elimination for the NCAA tournament, the results of NASCAR’s Autism Speaks 400 race, and the Cleveland Cavalier’s elimination from the NBA championship before turning to last night’s game between the Penguins and Red Wings, showing replays never before seen by local viewers unless you had a magnifying glass handy last night.
Vogel wrapped up the “coverage” asking WLWT’s weatherman, John Bateman, who was off camera and apparently not mic-ed or with his mic turned off, “No storms tonight, right? Mr. Bateman, no storms? So we’ll have full screen hockey tonight.” After a quick mention of the Elder versus Moeller clash for the Division 1 state high school volleyball championship and Rafael Nadal’s exit from the French Open the camera returned to a smirking news anchor Courtis Fuller sitting next to Vogel upon which the following exchange occurred:
FULLER: “I’m glad you mentioned about the… NHL.”
FULLER: “I… I… I’m certain Mr. Dy…” (Presumably WLWT’s General Manager, Richard Dyer)
VOGEL: “You want some more phone calls tonight?”
FULLER: “No, I don’t! I… I… I bet you the inbox is… is full…”
(Unintelligible chuckling and muttering)
VOGEL: “You know it will be.”
FULLER: “Well, eh… you’ll see it all tonight.”
After the final commercial break of the broadcast, Bateman added this remark, “Well, and it is going to be a nice evening. So full screen hockey tonight as you were saying.” Finally, Fuller ended the broadcast with a joking, “And by the way, John’s number is… Nah, no I won’t say it. We’ll see you after the hockey game tonight.”
I doubt it.
Thus it begins.
I consider it a beginning of sorts because I have never really set or tracked goals but really it is just a continuation of an ordinary, average existence. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that but inside I feel like I’m settling for that.
I have always been moved by exceptional people. Some have hidden in the shadows for years only to burst upon on the public stage to serve as a wake up call. Others are true heroes who never sought the stage and were eager to return to the wings as soon as their celebrity wore off. Most though are just ordinary people doing exceptional things on a daily basis because they’re passionate about what they do (check) and are laser focused on the tasks before them (unchecked at the moment).
I do not expect to become the next Susan Boyle or Lenny Skutnik. My desire is a simple one you’ve heard a thousand times before but which so few of us ultimately seem to achieve. I want to look back on life one day and know that I left my corner of the world a better place than I found it. Cliché, right?
None of the goals listed below are aimed at helping others, at least directly. I must first clean up my own mess. With that said, here are my first, unremarkable goals.
Short Term Goals
These 3-6 month goals which should lead to one of the long term goals below.
Long Term Goals
These are 2-5 year goals toward which the short term goals should be aimed.
One cool benefit of this whole goal setting thing is that it gives me something to blog about on a fairly consistent basis. Hmmmm, I’m seeing benefits from this already!
It’s funny how life’s bumps and bruises have a way of focusing your attention on all those things you promised yourself you would get around to doing “as soon as you found the time.” Well, nothing says, “Now’s the time!” like job loss.
It seemed destined to happen sooner or later but kudos to my former employer for offering a very generous severance package. That bought me time to focus on tasks which, while they might not generate income, may improve my future prospects without having to worry about whether it is time to begin practicing the phrase, “Would you like to Biggie size that for $0.59 more?!”
Thank goodness for my old 13″ MacBook, MobileMe account, and my iPhone. Now, the closer I get to crunch time, if I haven’t found (1) full-time work or (2) a steady stream of consulting gigs then the iPhone and its very cumbersome data plan will be the first things to go. Since MobileMe was renewed recently I can still enjoy all the calendar and contact synchronizing goodness for a while more but who knows what the future holds in this economy. They’ll have to pry the MacBook from my cold dead hands though.
By the way, the only reason I have the MacBook at all is because of the generosity of the folks at Amphora Research for whom I worked briefly but most enjoyably as a customer advocate. If you’re searching for an electronic lab notebook (ELN) solution you would be a fool not to give PatentSafe a good hard look.
The MacBook is the perfect laptop computer allowing me via VMware Fusion to run just about any operating system a software developer might need. The iPhone allows me to make do if I’m ever too far from my MacBook, with access to personal and business calendars, contacts, email and to do lists, and even command line access to all of my Web servers via TouchTerm which I highly recommend.
While I’m handing out shout outs, thanks are also in order for the folks at EdgeCase for their assistance during my professional intermission, as well as “Super” Chris Nelson and Ed Sumerfield for sharing their available bandwidth in a time of economic hardship. I hope that I can in the future somehow reward your kindness.
Welcome to the vanity site of Bill Barnett. There may not be much of interest to you here unless you’re interested in me, or at least curious. If you have no idea who I am, you might gain some insight about a day in the life of your typical middle aged, software developing, small family fathering, hockey playing, Disney loving, good food and drink enjoying, caucasian male.