Saturday, July 16, 2011

2nd Quarter books

Only read a few interesting books since April; some were repeats, some were gambles that didn't pay off, and some were just out of a sense of ennui.

Still, it's nice to have stories going through my head. Strangely enough, it seems to help keep life in perspective.

The name of the wind- P Rothfuss
Wise Man's Fear

A Hymn before Battle- J Ringo
Gust Front
When the Devil Dances
Hell's Faire

Dreadnaught- J Campbell
Fuzzy Nation- John Scalzi
Moon Called- P Briggs
Borders of Infinity- LM Bujold
Elantris- B Sanderson
Moon is a Harsh Mistress- R Heinlein
Overkill- Robert Buettner

The first two by Patrick Rothfuss are my favorites. There is an interesting back story, the character is smart and quick, but has flaws which tie well into his strengths. I did have the discomfort of continually thinking: "When's the other shoe going to drop? When are things really going to get bad?"

Occasionally it was difficult to listen to for that reason. But there were some moments of genuine awesome storytelling.

The stuff by John Ringo was plot driven military silliness, but entertaining. Fuzzy Nation was legal driven fun; decent number of laugh out load moments.

Cetaganda- LM Bujold
Brothers in Arms
Mirror Dance
A Civil Campaign
Winterfair Gifts

Listening through the VorKosigan novels again. I'm amazed that they have the staying power to keep me entertained enough to listen through all of them for the past three or four years; occasionally multiple times per year.

I hope Sanderson will get the next book in the Stormlight Archive done soon. He's fairly prolific, so it shouldn't be more than a year or two. And I'm looking forward to Butcher's Ghost Story. That should be coming out in the next few days.

Pity that Patrick Rothfuss took years between his two novels. Still, I'd rather a good book that ooh a while rather than a half assed effort once a year. Of course, the worst of both worlds occasionally happens, too. Hope it doesn't in his case.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Ophilia Bonner 8K

The race was maybe five miles away from where I go to school, and about two hours after my last class on Thursday. So it just sort of made sense to me.

I very nearly forgot about it, though; habit nearly had me driving back home after class. But I remembered in time, plotted my course to the race, and showed up to pick up my bib and do my warm up.

I figured a four mile warm up would have me up to nine for the day, and I wanted to get a feel for the terrain. It was very much like the Crim, except not as hilly. Really quite flat, now that I think about it.

Race started, and I settled into a comfortably hard pace; I passed a few, and was passed by a few. The 5K and 8K folks started at the same time, so you weren't quite sure if someone was a competitor or just along for the ride for the first mile and a half.

I found myself following a lady who had a very even pace; I was fairly happy to have someone to set my sights on for the majority of the race. I followed her for about four miles, when we joined up with the 5K race folk and started passing people.

Like, a lot of people.

I'm not why I react this way, but it seems to give me a boost to reel people in. I ran harder, and my mile pace dropped about 45 seconds. The last half mile was pretty rough, but I just kept at it.

I finished in 35:26 2nd AG, 13 OA (out of 90 or so). I even got a trophy. No idea what I'll do with it. Seems a silly bauble, really. But as a mid packer, I should enjoy the little things, I guess...

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Location:Flint, MI

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fun with dumbbells

Ever since Bayshore, I've had some problems with my left hamstring. I have about 15-20° less extension in my knee with full hip flexion, and a muscle knot that feels about the size of a marble at it's proximal attachment.

What that means in english is that it's a real pain in my ass. Enough that after a hard run it's kinda painful to sit. I've tried regular stretching, foam roller, tennis ball, and (OTC) drugs to try to calm it down, with no avail.

So I've gone something a little more desperate. Picture in your mind the stereotypical "touch your toes" hamstring stretch, except have a 30# dumbbell in one of your hands. As gravity does it's work, stand on a step for a better stretch.

Work on doing an anterior pelvic tilt to move ischial tuberosity (the attachment point for hamstrings) further away from it's origin. Finally, flex right knee so that the left is the only one getting the stretch.

While your imagining this, try *not* to imagine the "pop" sound which means something very, very bad has happened. :P

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Hungry Duck Half

Second of nine or races in my quest to have a season of fun, rather than of focus on an "A" race.

I need to start waking up at five am more often. The sunrise this morning was beautiful, even if I was so tired that every time I made a turn on the way to the race, I had a brief moment of panic thinking that I was going the wrong way.

I also didn't realize till I got the race that I forgot my Garmin. I've been running Garmin free quite a bit lately, but this is the first time in six years of running I've been without something to time myself. It was particularly odd when I crossed the finish line. I found myself pushing on my wrist where the Garmin "stop" button would be. No joke.

So I have no idea of my time; I'm pretty sure it was about what I was shooting: maybe a 1:39-1:40. I ran most of the race with a friend nicknamed A-train; he still had a lot of gas at mile 11 so I told him to go on ahead. He dropped to sub-7 pace while I think I maintained a decent 7:35-7:40.

Not only was I sans garmin, I was also shirtless. I don't have quite the physique to run shirtless as comfortably as other of my friends, but I do overheat quickly, and I've been going shirtless almost as much as garminless these days. I only felt self conscious when I wasn't running.

After the race I popped into a recently opened running store in Brighton called Elite Feet. Very nice place; wide open, video analysis on a treadmill, exceptionally knowledgeable staff. I must've hung out in there for a good 45 minutes analyzing gait patterns in different shoes and chatting about form, shoes, and things like that.

Fun times!

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