Monday, March 31, 2008

Baseball and Stained Glass

I know, baseball season has already started....there was a game last night and one in Japan a few days ago....but today is the real start. The Royals open in Detroit at 12:05 and for the first time since....oh about 1994 (the strike derailed a solid team that year, I believe), the Royals seem to be making the right decisions and heading in the right direction. We may not see many October games again this year, but hopefully we will at least see some meaningful September games.....I would be happy with meaningful August or July games and hopefully having the season highlight NOT being who we get at the annual trade deadline sell off. We will see....I have almost forgotten now what it was like to expect something other than "I hope we don't lose 100 this year" or "maybe we can get to .500." Kim and I will be out at the home opener next week....hopefully by then there will be some excitement built up.
I finish my first stained glass window project tonight. It is virtually done now. I have to smooth out some of the lead lines and put a zinc frame around it and then mount it in the window. It is a octagon shaped window in the bathroom and I held it up there to see what it looked like....I am going to love it. There is another octagon window above the garage and I have already started on a stained glass window for it.....have the pattern designed....this one will be more pieces and tougher, but it is worth all the work. I will try to post a picture of it once it is in place.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Olathe Marathon Race Report

What a day.....It started at 3:45 am. Kim drove me to the start area so I could start setting things up there. I jumped out of the car at Gardner Edgerton High School and realized it was MUCH colder there than at home. The wind was howling there out of the east. Kim had to take the car back to the finish but stopped off at our house to grab me some old sweats to put on. She parked the car at the finish and took the first transport bus back out to the start. We had 5 volunteers for the start turned out to be woefully inadequate. Last year it worked but we had fewer runners and it was warmer....all the volunteers were tied down taking check in bags for clothes that runners wanted transported to the finish. The chip guy that does the race timing showed up less than 30 minutes before the race and the cannon guy showed up just as a local boy was starting the national anthem. It was extremely hectic and I was being pulled in every direction. I had never done this before so I was grossly unprepared as it turned out. I learned a lot about it though and I know what I need to do next time (assuming they want me back!). It felt extremely chaotic, but I spoke with 10 - 15 runners and they thought it seemed fine, so hopefully a lot of it was just the all the running ragged for that last 30 minutes. I got the race off on time and then jumped in and ran.
My plan was to get to the 18 mile mark by 2:50. The wind was going to be a factor. I knew I had to bank some time early on because miles 14 - 18 were into the teeth of that nasty wind. My first 14 miles were almost effortless. I crossed the 1/2 marathon mark at 2:02 and cruised right on to the 14 mile marker. That is where we turned east and things changed. The wind was brutal and it drained you to run against it.....all that effortlessness just disappeared and it became a labor. I ended up hitting the 16 mile mark at about 2:32 or so, but the next 2 miles were tough and at times I could walk just as fast as I could run and I hit 18 miles at about 2:57. We turned out of the wind at 18 and I ended up being a little over 18.25 miles at 3:00. I did a walk-run in from there and finished at 4:42:37. I was pretty disappointed about not hitting my 2:50 goal. I really just underestimated that wind and how it would zap my energy. I needed to have banked far more time earlier on when the conditions were more favorable. Kim came in at 5:28:01 and seemed happy with we waited on the people we knew to finish up to cheer in and headed to eat.....there is a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant and we decided that it sounded good. I devoured two of their burritos, a ton of chips and salsa and a maragarita.....I was stuffed and happy and went home and did what I know I am not supposed to do....crawled in bed and watched "No Country for Old Men" and slept away the evening. I did get up in time to turn on all my porch lights for earth hour though.....

Friday, March 28, 2008

My Fundraising Wine Is Ready!

I like to brew my own wines. I have done it for years but until a couple of months ago, I had never thought of using it as a way to raise money for TNT. I brewed a batch of white zinfandel, a nice sweet wine that has a general appeal. I bottled it last week and finished the labelling this week. I even self-tested a bottle out a couple of nights ago. It tasted great and did not cause any illness(I always do this for each batch and I have not had any "setbacks" yet)......I ended up with 30 bottles (29 after the test bottle) so hopefully I can get the 20.00 minimum donation for each of those. I have already farmed out 2 for donations before I have officially announced that the wine is available. I hope they go because I have started a second batch of a drier white wine already. I guess if I can't sell it, I will just have to drink it......

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Olathe Marathon

The Olathe Marathon is less than 48 hours away. I am in charge of the start and once the race starts, I am going to run it. My target race is the Colorado Marathon in Fort Collins in May. I am scheduled to do 18 miles this weekend, so I will do the marathon. It is so much easier to run a race under race conditions than do just a training run. My strategy is to do the 18 or so miles at my training pace and then limp it in from there. Right now, I am running well (for me anyway). I ran my 16 mile training run last week in about 2:30 and it was pretty it has my hopes up that I have a chance to have a nice race in Colorado. My marathon PR is 4:17, which is a 9:49 pace and was set about 3.5 years ago at Phoenix. The Colorado marathon is slightly down hill (I think it averages about a -0.6% grade) and is known for its high number of Boston I am shooting for a 4:15 or better. I will learn a lot after this Saturday to see if I can continue to repeat the pace I have been running at for 18+ miles. If I am at the 18 mile mark by 2:50 and feeling okay, I think I am in pretty good shape to PR in Colorado. We will see in about 48 hours......