Monday, May 13, 2019

The goal is easier if you do the homework


A month ago I wrote about the unofficial goal of running 365 miles this year, or a MPD (mile a day).  After that post, I didn't run consistently for the rest of April.  The start of May wasn't runtastic either, but I have started to right the ship.


  • Jan Feb  59
  • March    25
  • April    18



as of May 13, 2019, I'm at 116 miles including today's 2-mile treadmill run.  For the MPD goal, I would be at 133 so I have a 17-mile deficit.  With 18 days left in May, that means I need 18 + 17 = 25 miles to get back on target.  That is in addition to the 14 I have already run this month.

There was a time when that would have been five 5-milers or three 5-milers and a 10 mile LR that I could have completed in a week.  Those days are gone and I really should have made more of an effort to get a few more runs in since that last post.

My body isn't gonna handle running every day, even if it's just 2 on the treadmill and I prefer outdoor running especially now that the nice weather seems to have arrived.

If I take tomorrow off, then run 3 outdoors, that covers me until May 17.  I could even take Thursday off and then run Friday, assume 3 miles and that covers me to Monday.  If I get another LR in on Saturday, that would cover me for that upcoming week. 

Update:  after drafting this, I did a 4-miler on the 15th but then was not able to get out for a run since.  I did a 3 mile run today (5/20).  That gives me 21 miles for May and I'm still in decent shape goalwise but it would be better if I built up some miles before taking another long break.  My plan is to get the 31 miles for May and 6 more to cover the March Deficit.  June will be about chipping away at the April deficit.

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Green, green grass

On the Saturday before Palm Sunday, I put down some sod on the mud hole in our backyard.  As this was my first effort doing something like this, I wasn't trying to do a spectacular professional job.  I just wanted to cover the mud so my kids would stop playing in it.  Of course, it snowed the next day.  The rest of the week was warm and I watered the sod as needed.


I had bought just enough sod to cover the whole with nothing to spare and it wasn't a perfect fit.  I also didn't remove enough dirt and only used one bag of fertilized dirt when I really should have used two.




The following week we were in Mississipi but it rained a lot here.  In fact, it rained so much in April that I hardly ever had to water the sod myself.

So after the better part of 4 weeks, I'd say the grass looks good.  Yes you can still tell where the sod ends and the old grass begins but I fathom that will dimish in another month or so. 






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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Running Goals and a little math

For this year's unofficial running goal, I decided I wanted to log 365 miles, or essentially a mile a day.  While I cannot run every day because of my knees and my schedule, I can manage every other day.  I can also get in one mile on the dreadmill if I really want to make a game of it.

With DailyMile gone, it's a bit more effort to track.  I'm using STRAVA right now which torments its free users by making things harder than they have to be.  Example: you can manually enter an activity, but if you make a mistake on the date, time or distance, you have to delete and start over.

Update:  Apparently, this isn't just with the free version either.  There are various threads in the support community about this exact issue and how Strava refuses to address it.



At the end of February, I had run 59 miles so I was right on target.  I missed some time in March because of sickness but still managed 25 miles and with three 3-mile runs under my belt so far in April, I'm on track.

So by my math, as of April 10, 2019, I'm at 93 miles for the year, including today's 3-mile run.  If I actually ran a mile a day, I'd be at 100 miles so I'm only off by 7 miles.  I'm hoping I'll get some running in when we go down to Olive Branch MS for Easter.  But even if I don't, it shouldn't be too hard to make up the missing miles.  And again, this is just an unofficial goal.  Some days I just don't feel like running and after a decade of being a slave to a training schedule, I kinda feel like I deserve to not run if I don't feel like it.


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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

2019 Shamrock Shuffle recap

2016: didn't take a picture this year
I've run the Shamrock Shuffle every year since 1997 except for 2007. I've run this race in lousy weather, hung over and even once after an 18-mile training run the previous day. I've always enjoyed it because I use to run it fast, set new personal bests and knew lots of people at the event. There was often a lot of post-race partying as well. I'm starting to think it is time to let go of the tradition. Surprisingly, it's not the race fee that is driving this. And it isn't quite my ego...I know I will never duplicate my PR of 31:03 (April 2, 2006). But I am feeling my age, as the elders like me say. Physically, when I run more than 3 miles, my bones start to rattle. No, what is really driving this is the event is no longer my playground. Yesterday morning after I checked in my gear, I didn't see anyone I knew until about just before they closed the corral. In years past, I would have seen so many familiar faces.
To be clear, I'm not rushing into anything. I do have a couple of friends that still run it and we meet up afterward to have our token beer and then some coffee, and if time permits, brunch. But if we move, I don't see myself driving in from Barrington or flying in from Memphis to run this thing.

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Spring is arriving

A week or two ago, I said to Nightingale that Spring is coming.  I elaborated that yeah we would probably get one or two light snow powderings (we did) and it wasn't shorts and sunscreen weather but we could safely downgrade our winter coats from parka to jacket.

So I haven't done my usual beginning of the year project post yet.  I've actually completed a few so far.  I installed a new toilet in the first-floor powder room. This project was more complicated than it had a right to be.



First off, I was willing to pay a plumber to simply fix the running water by simply replacing some old parts within the toilet.  I know that isn't worth their time so I tried to sweeten the deal but agreeing to replace the basement toilet.  I got some takers but they were so expensive it just wasn't worth it. 

One company wanted to charge me approximately $1K a toilet with a service plan.  Colossal waste of my time.  I have to remember from now on when I use Yelp to find vendors, ignore the phone calls.  The point is so that I can look at offers, not get phone calls from people trying to talk to me over the phone like I'm a teenager from the 80s.

I ended up buying a toilet from Costco and doing it myself.  I had actually asked my cleaning lady if she had a recommendation and she sent me a picture of one while she happened to be at Costco.  It was on sale for $180 and included everything you need, although I sprang for a non-wax ring and I have to admit, my in-laws were right about that.

And luckily I bought two because the tank connector leaked water after being connected to the water supply.  Had I only bought one toilet, I would have had to take it back, but instead, I swapped out the good tank and brought back the second toilet.  The basement toilet, which works fine but has some cosmetic cracks, will have to wait.

I also hired a plumber to fix the leak in the upstairs bathtub faucet.  This was worth the $230 ($40 per cartridge and $150 service call) because I would not have been able to do it as quickly and efficiently, or really at all, as a professional.  This is the exact reason I try to do the things I can so that I can shift my limited money to pay for situations when I have to outsource the work.


In the basement, we got rid of the wood burning fireplace.  While I had that crew in, I also splurged and had them work on the leaky shower.  It isn't perfect but it is better than it was.  Total cost for that project was approximately $1600. 




I really hope that is it for now.  However, I know there are some more coming.  I need to finish those quarter rounds on the porch and maybe touch up some of the paint.  Next, I need to power wash the stone pavers and the house.  I will do this in two jobs.  I also need the gutters cleaned and re-balanced. 

I want to get the area under the deck landscaped so it looks pretty when we try to sell and also so that it is less maintenance. 

Finally, we had to address the crown railing on the top of the front porch. 


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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Sometimes we are heard

I wrote a post the other day and didn't really do the usual promote it on social media thing.  Yet somehow, one of my favorite writers and fellow CN bloggers noticed.  

I enjoyed your latest post on social exclusion. It's very relatable but I'm sorry you experience that. I'm in a constant group chat with a group of 5 girls I went to high school with and I feel that "otherness" all the time and it's unfortunate. Keep up the thoughtful work :)

She wrote to me on Twitter  Direct Message which isn't the best way to get ahold of me, but it is her preferred method of contact and it does work.  Honestly, I wish she would have put the comment on the post since that helps the post gain internet currency.  Being a fellow writer and blogger, I would have thought she would understand that.  On the other hand, I suppose a DM is more permanent than a comment that a user can come back and delete.


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Thursday, January 31, 2019

DailyMile is going the way of the DoDo

I've been using the DailyMile website to track my running since December 2011.  It served its purpose but I can tell that the site is sorely in need of code updating, which it will likely never see because whoever is/was behind it, couldn't figure out how to monetize it.

DailyMile came too late to the game.  This would have been a wonderful thing in the early 2000s when not ever runner had a Garmen or other GPS watch device and would have loved a simple tool to keep track of their mileage.

In lieu of the expensive GPS watches, a lot of us runners used a poor person's tool at USATF.   This clumsy website was just good enough to let you map out a route and share with others, although most runners, I suspect, just used it to figure out how many miles they just ran.

Had it partnered with USATF, perhaps it could have found its niche.  Instead, when DailyMile came on the scene, it tried to be like if Facebook if Facebook were a Running App.

I'll keep using DailyMile as long as it is free and available but I suspect it will be sunset in the next few years.  There are other apps I could use and will likely do so since my Garmen is about to die.

UPDATE:  Not too long after I published this, I logged into DailyMile to post that day's run and saw this message




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