The Plan 
Week two is in the bag: I'm following Hal Higdon's 15-K training plan for the 10 mile run I am doing in May. I've followed the schedule almost to the letter except that I have switched days for certain things just because of my schedule. But I have done everything on the list and nothing more and nothing less.

I bought a new pair of running shoes to coincide with this training, too; Asics Gel Foundation 8. The ITBand pain has all but disappeared. I did a few weeks of physical therapy and have some exercises I do to stretch that thing out. I was wearing a Cho-Pat knee strap too but my past few runs have been sans Cho-Pat and I haven't had a problem. Granted, the training regimen, at this point, calls for less miles than I was running before, but I want to do this right and not just complete the 10 miler, but do it in a respectable time and without injury.

Back to the shoes: it's too early to say if I have found the right running shoe for me but I really dig these Asics. I've tried Saucony and Brooks but I wasn't totally convinced either of their motion-control shoes were best for me. Once I put about 100 miles or so on the Asics, I'll know if I've found what's right for me. Since I need wide shoes, my choices are limited because only a few makes offer wides.

So far, so good. The weather seems to be getting better and running season is in full bloom.

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President's Day 


Happy 278th George!

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201 


Happy Birthday Abe!

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Teleprompter Overdependency 
Bush may have said "is our children learning" which, of course, sounds foolish (but at least he didn't say it again within 30 seconds), but this BHO misspeak insults a lot of people.



One can defend Bush's example above. Bush may have really said "is...are children learning?" - having changed from the singular to the plural to agree with children. But, our current TOTUS cannot be defended other that to admit his addiction to the teleprompter. Smartest president ever, riiiight.

Everyone makes errors when speaking but the difference is that when it's the president, everyone usually notices. But with His Excellency in office, the solecisms are ignored. If Bush had said "corpseman" twice while over 100,000 men and women are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the press would have ripped him apart. But, Barry? Nope. He's got unlimited 'get out of jail free' cards.

Maybe I'm being too hard on him. Perhaps he never knew how the pronounce "corpsman" in the first place?

And you can be darn sure that John McCain can pronounce 'corpsman' properly.

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Portent 
Considering that Washington DC just set a December snowfall record and now was at ground zero of a monster storm that dumped 32.4" at Dulles and up to 40 inches in the Maryland suburbs, I wonder if someone is trying to tell Washington something? Another storm is forming out west and may hit the region by midweek. If this happens, surely something is amiss.

Maybe some entity is reminding us that we have little effect on weather and climate.

Maybe these storms are symbolic of how Washington is burying us in debt. Bush & Co. were amateurs at this compared to the current crop of buffoons.

Or, maybe it's just luck of the draw. Sometimes you get 65F days in February in Washington and sometimes you get a record-setting blizzard. The rebranding of "global warming" to "climate change" functions as good CYA for these kinds of things.

***

By the way, my Super Bowl XLIV prediction:

Saints 34
Colts 31

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Miss Me Yet? 


Maybe not a great, nor even good president, but the Bush years were pretty good. Sure, the media was pretty upset about the 2000 election and even moreso at the 2004 election, but Bush never wavered and, unlike our current prez, never declared war on those who disagreed with him or his policies.

Frankly, I still think it's more than a coincidence that the "economic meltdown" started shortly after McCain's announcement of Palin as a running mate and the bump that put him even with Obama in the polls. Someone **cough** **cough** Soros **cough** **cough** panicked and pulled a lot of strings. I think time will tell that what happened in September 2008 was an October surprise that got well out of hand.

Dubya, things were good during your tenure. With all the crap you took and all the things you did wrong, we did pretty well overall. Even with the inept congress that took office in 2006, the ship held together quite well - until it was sabotaged.

Am I conspiracy nut? Maybe, but no worse than those who blame <insert world problem here> on Bush.

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New Toy: Yaesu VX-6R 


I bought a Yaesu VX-6R handheld transceiver this week. I like it. Broadly, the features include: tribander with TX on 144, 220, and 440 ham bands, wideband RX, lithium-ion battery, submersible to 3 ft. (something I will not test intentionally), it's lighter and smaller than my VX-150, and many more features it will take time for me to familiarize myself with.

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Feelin' Groovy 
I did a three mile run on the treadmill at the gym last night. I wore a Cho-Pat knee strap that the doctor gave me and I still had some pain and running more than three might have been tough, but the strap worked. After the run and in addition to my usual IT-band stretches, I did some hip adductor exercises on one of the leg machines and that almost completely got rid of the pain. The pain came back a little after I left the gym but it wasn't as bad as it was from some other runs so I did another set of stretches about an hour before bedtime. This morning, the knee feels good.

The doctor referred me to a physical therapist and did not proscribe me from running. I will take it easy and cap my runs at three, unless the PT recommends otherwise, but I am feeling much better already and looking forward being able to do my first five and six mile runs of the year and eventually the 10 in May.

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Iliotibial Band  
I haven't been running due to injuring my IT band. The pain is in the knee but the band runs along the leg from the hip to the knee. In doing research on the causes of it, I have discovered that I am a prime candidate for this injury. I overpronate. I run up and down hills. Most streets are arced and since I run against traffic, that explains why it's only affecting my left knee. The bike paths arc in many spots, too.

So, I have done a few runs since the pain began but nothing more than two miles as that is when it flares up. I've been doing some stretches that concentrate on the band and just doing some walks to keep the body moving, albeit a little bit.

I don' think the shoes are failing but I may need insoles and I purchased an IT band compression wrap that is supposed to support the knee while running.

It's been too cold and snowy to bike too. Biking may be less demanding on the IT band but the weather has not been cooperative. I think I can layer up enough to bike once the temperature hits about 40F or so but those days have been quite rare of late.

I will continue to rest and do stretches and try a run in a few days. I still plan on running a 10 miler in May and a half-marathon in the fall.

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CBS Ad from 1966 


Awesome!

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LED Traffic Lights 
From the "oops" department:

Energy-Efficient Traffic Lights Can't Melt Snow

After seeing this story, I have adopted a new saying that I will utilize often in conversation:

"Eco-friendly doesn't mean people-friendly."

But, hey, maybe this is what BHO means by creating green jobs - hiring extra people to blow snow off the traffic lights. One day, his teleprompter may tell him to say:

"You see, the traffic light has the color green in it, and anyone who adds more green to the earth, is working in a green job."

When things that aren't broken get fixed, often one ends up with something that really is broken and, in this case, dangerous.


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10+ km 
I ran 10km this morning (10.3km, 6.4mi. actual) and what a confidence boost! I will shoot for a seven miler within the next week and try for an eight before year's end. My time wasn't very good but another runner told me that the first thing you do is run the distance (even if you have to walk for parts of it) to prove to yourself you can do it and worry about improving your time later. That, of course, makes sense since I cannot improve on a 10K time without ever running a 10K.

Six months out from the Broad Street Run and I feel confident that I'll be about to crank out those ten miles (16km). A half-marathon is a major step from where I am but my target of a fall half-marathon seems realistic at this point.

One budding problem: my right foot. For the past few runs I've been feeling some discomfort on the inner part of the foot. I could be breaking down my shoes already but I can't be sure. I padded my right foot this morning with a second sock and felt no discomfort on this run. I am not sure if this will be a permanent fix or not but I'll have to monitor it. A visit to a podiatrist is not out of the question yet but, it's just minor discomfort and not something I would call pain - maybe a "2" on one of those 1-10 pain charts with the grimacing cartoon faces.

I'll plan on a few more runs this week. Maybe I can get that weekly total up from a current 10-12 miles a week to 15-16.

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