Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Collegeville / Valley Forge

Yesterday I took another walk around Valley Forge. What a great park that is.

This morning I ran on the Perkiomen Trail again - this time for 7 miles. Sure is nice running here.

I guess the ole leg is almost 100%. Now I just have to lose all this extra "travelling" weight and get back into shape. Can I do this in 2 1/2 weeks?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

today's run 2006-09-26

The leg is almost 100% better! Very nice running in Pennsylvania. Most of last 10 on beautiful Perkiomen Trail. about 22 in 3:03.

Yesterday I explored beautiful Valley Forge N.P.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-09-23

That muscle cramp/pull from last Sunday started to really hurt last night after the long plane ride. I now think there's something wrong with this right knee. This caused a lousy run today - it hurt the whole way. I did manage 16 on the towpath with Dave and Amy. Don't know what to do now about my near future running plans. Columbus is in three weeks - I should be peaking now and then beginning my taper in a few days.

Running in Portugal

I didn’t run in Spain at all – I only had one full day there, and I didn’t want to travel at the end of it with sweaty-wet running clothes. It didn’t look like there were any good places to run in that part of Madrid anyway.

I did run outside once in Portugal, and then once inside. The outside run was only about 5 miles, was very slow, and was spent mostly being lost on cobblestone sidewalks. So although interesting, it was less than optimal.

The mill run was much better. I decided that I had better do something of substance, so I did something I hadn’t done in a while: 13 miles at MP. What made it tough was the warmth in the health club causing me to produce buckets of sweat. But I did it. With the warmup and cooldown (on the elliptical), I’m calling it 15 in 1:45. One problem though: my right knee/hamstring/calf are very tender now.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dan in Iberia

It was the very second after they closed the door and announced that cell phones were to be shut off that I had my panic attack. It was Sunday night and I would arrive in Madrid on Monday morning. Yet I had made the hotel reservation for Sunday night, checking out on Tuesday. I really had only needed one night (Monday), and I was worried that they would cancel my whole reservation when I failed to show up on Sunday. I snuck my phone out and clandestinely called Debbie, leaving her a message to contact the hotel. She did, and all was ok there on Monday morning. Very very modern hotel with thin tv, fancy lighting, computer and spray-all-over shower.

The second panic attack occurred while I was unpacking. I forgot my electrical adapter! This could be very bad - I only have a couple hours of battery life in my laptop and would need far more than that. I asked at the hotel lobby where I could get one, and they suggested a long walk to a Best Buy type store. No luck. The store guy suggested this shopping mall. More long walking, still no luck. Finally, back at the hotel, they arranged for a cab to get me to a large kmart type store (Hipercor), where I finally did get my adapter. There is tons of construction in this new part of Madrid.

Now that most of the day was gone, I had little time for sightseeing. I learned to take a bus and two subway trains to get to the city center. It was pretty neat down there with lots of shopping and restaurants. I didn't really get to see much that was historic or cultural however; just typical European city life. Unlike other parts of Europe, relatively few Spaniards speak English. This provides many cultural experiences in and of itself.

There were no major problems with work, and I made it from Madrid to Lisbon with no major mishaps. Except of course for the problem of using ATMs. I tried 5 different machines in Madrid before they put me on the fraud list and called Debbie to tell on me. They were not allowing the transactions in the first place because Spain is a fraud nightmare for them. Debbie straightened them out. There were also some connectivity problems that kept me up on Tuesday night.

I spent the day on Wednesday doing a full day tour of Lisbon and the surrounding area. Portugal is really beautiful, and there is certainly more to see. Today I saw recreations of: the Golden Gate Bridge (the Portuguese version is called the “Bridge 25th of April”), the Rio De Janeiro statue of Christ, and the palace of Versailles. All were actually pretty impressive, generally built by the same folks who built the originals. There was lots more as well.

· The famous Tower of Belem: a castle on the river to guard the city. It’s sort of symbolic of Portugal.
· The modern monument dedicated to Portuguese maritime discoveries. The name says it all.
· Mosteiro dos Jeronimos: a famous old monastery and cathedral in Belem, and an excellent example of Manueline architecture. I’m not sure I can describe this style, but I may know it now when I see it. Of course it only exists on Portugal.
· The Coach Museum. The Portuguese are justifiably proud to have the finest coach museum in the world. Don’t ever settle for one of those lesser coach museums; this one is truly the best. By the way, it’s coach as in a buggy pulled by horses, not a sports team chief.
· Port wine tasting (a tablespoon) and a taste of Belem pastry – pudding in a puff pastry shell. Yum.
· A walk through the Alfama barrio. It’s a neighborhood that’s famous for its narrow streets and alleys.
After a very long walk to the hotel and back again during lunch, I continued on, and saw:
· The palace of Queluz. It’s the Versailles of Portugal. I kept wondering if they call the building in the Paris area the “Queluz of France”. This one really was very impressive as well, though. Even the gardens reminded me of the real thing.
· The town of Sintra. It’s a medieval town in the hills. It’s very picturesque, but I didn’t do so well with my photos there. I couldn’t even find the palace on the hill. But it was a neat place anyway.
· A couple stops along the Atlantic coast, one to see the ocean battering some rocks and the other to the town of Estoril, where there is some tourist activity and a casino.

That’s about it. Did I mention that it was a “full” day?

My day of work in Lisbon was busy, but I made it through. The client office is in a set of ultra-modern buildings in a different part of Lisbon. More to see if I ever come back.

Here’s hoping that I do.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

today's run - 2006-09-17

Another 20 after yesterday's 21, and it was a good one. 2 baths and some ibu yesterday helped in the recovery.

After 4 in the hood and 4 to get there, I found myself at the track. Could I manage the last 12 at MP? I did 8 there, and then one more on the way home at MP, but then a leg cramp caused me to stop and stretch. I slowed way down for the last 3. 9 at MP is still very good.

Weight down from 163 to 158, but a long way to go. Good running though.

Now it's off to Europe again.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

test, conference and recent running

I passed!

The rest of the conference was pretty dull. Except for the last meeting when we raised some ire by trying to hold the rules change. THAT was fun. We also had our all day meeting and I ate way too much of the wrong foods at the wrong times.

Wednesday I did 12 on the mill with 8 x 1200 all at 4:30, but at 0% elevation. Just HAD to get faster. On Thursday I did manage to run a 3-miler on the mill all at 6mpm. First time for that in a long long time. Today I ran about 21 on the towpath with Dave and Amy in 3 hours.

Tomorrow it's off to Spain and Portugal.

Monday, September 11, 2006

lots going on - no time to write

Well, not much, anyway.

Saturday I ran the Potato Stomp 9-mile in 57:50. One of my best runs of the year. It was warm, and the hills made it tough. But I ran really well, powering by some folks in the latter miles, but passed twice in the final mile (which was my best anyway). Just about 40 minute 10K and 60 minute 15K pace - 6:25 per mile. 1st in AG too.

Then I flew to San Diego. Sunday morning I got up early and did about 19 extremely slow, tired miles around Mission Bay. Most of it was nice and scenic, though still fairly dark with a nice sunrise. Don't like the concrete paths though. I followed that up with the CSMS exam prep class by Pam and then dinner with the QP group.

Today I ran about 18 around Mission Bay, but also along Mission Beach as well. More interesting running, more slowness, more concrete. Then came the exam. It was tough. I managed to finish just in time. Don't know how I did - will find out tomorrow, I think. I also drove up to La Jolla and took a brief walk up there. Nice shoreline - maybe someplace to come back to.

The next three days are scheduled for Vodafone counts and a few IFPUG and QP functions.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-09-07

I woke up extremely tired today, so I stayed on the mill. Not a great 8 miles there - too much holding on. At least the weight's back to 154.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Europe and Today's Run

Looks like I'm going to Europe again soon - last 2 weeks in Sept - 2 weeks from now.

Today's run was slower than some, but I was happy to get something of substance in after yesterday's 20 and Monday's race. I did 4 x 800 in 2:56 and 4 x 200 in 36. I'll take it. Hope I can get faster though. Gonna hafta really watch meself with all this upcoming travel.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Another long run

It happened once again. I awoke at 2:30, tried to get back asleep, but when it didn't happen by 3, out of bed I came, and over to Dave's for an extra 10. I was uncertain how I'd get my mileage in in the next couple weeks anyway with my work schedule the way it is.

It wasn't a bad run, considering yesterday's race: 2:43 and change. It did feel faster though. And I gained 3 pounds. Very important that I work on that!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Alliance Rotary Castle 10K

Today's race was a bit of a disappointment because I had high expectations, and they weren't met. I managed to break 40 minutes (always a good thing), but only by 4 seconds. Was 2nd in AG by 3 seconds. I've got to get to the point where I'm improving here.

Took a gu at 3.5. I felt lousy, but did pick it up at that point.

Wedding and Other Stuff

Went to Nicholas and Alice Rericha's wedding. Had a really wonderful time mixing with all the cousins. Lots of fun. Upon returning with Dave and Carol yesterday, we went to the Hungarian Soout Festival. Mostly to eat, but we had a bit of fun there too - saw my parents' old friends Bill and Nancy Gelliart.

Debbie worked out some stuff for Valerie's wedding with Val today. Heading over to Kathy and Mike's now.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Today's Run

Dave and Carol are here and we're about to head to Dayton for the wedding.

Great long run today - listen to these 10-mile splits: 84, 68. Last 10 were all at MP!

Hinckley is Back

Okay, okay. Hinckley never really left. But a lot of us did; we hadn't been meeting there for our Sunday morning runs for quite some tim...