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The Paul Ryan Selection

I see parallels between the Ryan pick and Palin four years ago.

1) It feels like a hail mary selection by a candidate who knows he is polling badly. A candidate in the lead would have made a safer pick like Pawlenty.
2) It’s a pick made to placate the base, instead of a pick to win independents or pick up demographics/groups that aren’t amenable to Romney. I think Christie or Rubio would have been
better picks for widening Romney’s potential vote pool. Palin may have been selected to ostensibly help McCain with women, so this might be a shaky comparison, but I think she was mostly red meat for hard line conservatives.
3) Both conservatives and liberals think it’s a selection that will help their candidate win.

Ryan is more intelligent than Palin (she sets the bar so low), but I can’t see a candidate who wants to end Medicare as being anything but a liability.

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Last Chance For Boston Half Marathon Race Report

Winter’s finally headed out thankfully, and when it comes to my running it couldn’t have come any sooner. I spent more time outdoors this winter running than I did in the last five winters combined probably, but it finally got to me in February when an ice storm dumped all over Columbus and didn’t melt for almost two weeks. My mileage in February was pretty pathetic because I couldn’t force myself to do much on the treadmill, and so I felt like I needed a kickstart heading into spring. My sister in law decided to run the Last Chance for Boston 5k in Dublin on Sunday, and let me know the day before. I decided on the spur of the moment to run the half marathon, despite not really having trained sufficiently.

Apart from weight and aesthetic goals, my main fitness goal of late has been to be in good enough shape at all times to run a half marathon at any time, so this was a good test to see if I was there yet.

Last Chance for Boston has kind of an odd course. It was originally created to give people one last chance to qualify for Boston, but they kept it going when Boston changed the way they register people. It’s designed to be a quick course since the goal was to get people in under their Boston qualifying times, and to do this the course is just a flat one mile loop in an office park. Doesn’t make for a scenic course, and I have no idea how the marathoners do 26 laps, but it surprisingly wasn’t too bad for a half. Repetitive for sure, but a mile is long enough to where it didn’t feel like going around a track, which I kind of feared.

Probably the biggest drawback to a course like Last Chance for Boston’s is that I felt like I was getting passed continuously from start to finish. From people lapping me to people starting late in the relays, it always felt like someone was blowing by me, which can get a little demoralizing after awhile. But it was also a good lesson in running my own race and keeping things internally focused.

You’d think it’d be easy to run even splits on such a flat looped course, but I was all over the place on this one, probably starting a little too fast (I thought my Garmin wasn’t working right the first two miles, because I didn’t feel like I was going as fast as it was reading) and borderline crashing the last few miles. It also didn’t help that I had no goals, so I was running by feel entirely, which I think leads to going out too quick.

After five miles I started thinking I might have a shot at PR’ing, and through eight I was on pace for 2:02 (my PR from Columbus last fall was 2:12). After that though my legs got pretty heavy, and the impact started getting to me. I slowed down quite a bit by the end, but managed to hold on to finish in 2:09:59. A small PR, but coming off of a bad month of training and winter in general I can’t be anything but happy with the result.

I had signed up for the Flying Pig marathon, but I’m thinking at this point I’m going to run the Cap City Half instead, as I’m just not ready to do a full yet. I think I could probably stumble across the finish in five hours, but I want to lose some more weight and get more mileage under me before giving that a shot. So right now the plan is to do some 5ks in March and April, run Cap City in May, and then do shorter races over the summer while trying to decide if I want to run the full Columbus Marathon this fall or just do the half again.

1: 10:13
2: 9:04 19:16
3: 9:17 28:32
4: 9:19 37:51
5: 9:29 47:19
6: 9:23 56:41
7: 9:35 1:06:15
8: 9:36 1:15:51
9: 10:04 1:25:55
10: 10:27 1:36:21
11: 10:51 1:47:12
12: 11:09 1:58:20
13: 11:39 2:09:59
125/196 and 17/20 20-29 AG

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Thanksgiving

Dad, me, Faith, Max, and Carter

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Due Date (2010)

Kind of forgettable and a little mediocre, but funny at times. Redeemed mostly by Danny McBride’s short scene.

2.5/5

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Westerville Game Day 5k Race Report

My running goals for the rest of 2010 have been kind of hazy since the half marathon, but I did want to do some more racing before winter really set in. Since I haven’t raced for the most part since high school I want to establish some benchmark times going into 2011 that I can work on improving. With that in mind I decided to run the Westerville Game Day 5k on November 20th, a race that benefits the Westerville Central cross country team. It’s the kind of fund raiser I can really get behind since I spent a couple of years coaching cross country and know how tough money can be with that sort of thing.

Saturday morning was a little cold, but not too bad. The real surprise was the fog. It was so dense that driving to the race was a little nerve wracking because traffic lights didn’t appear until I was seemingly on top of them. Once I got there though I found out my fears of being late had been unfounded, because the race had been pushed back 15 minutes.

The highlight of the day for me was the kid’s race. Carter took part in his first one ever, and even though he was easily two years younger than the youngest kids in the race he finished the half mile like a champ. I was very proud, and I’m looking forward to he and (eventually) Max doing lots of these kids fun runs. They seem like a great, low pressure way to get them interested in running. Carter enjoyed it so much he started pulling Alli along the course wanting to do it again while I was out running! He also received a small plastic football for finishing, which as anyone who knows Carter would attest, could not
have been a more fitting prize.

I was pretty happy with my race for the most part. I’m not worrying too much about goals in these 2010 races, still mostly just trying to set baselines for 2011 improvement as I continue to lose weight. I was a little bummed knowing I was likely to post a personal worst, so I decided to shoot for a soft time goal in the 26′s which would just avoid that. Early on in the race with the help of my Garmin I identified a few runners who seemed to be running in the 8-8:30 range I was looking to sit at, and stuck with one gentleman who was wearing an Air Force Marathon t-shirt. We ran almost the entire race side by side which was a tremendous help in pacing. We talked a little bit after the race (his name was Jamie Burrier, so hi Jamie if you’re ever Googling yourself and come across this) and found that we had similar stories, running to lose weight, and really coming to enjoy it, etc.

The main thing I took away from this race was how good it felt running fairly even splits. In high school I ran every race as stupidly as possible, basically going out as fast as I could and then slowing down over the course of the race. I’m enjoying racing like this quite a bit better, still feels like a good effort but without the horrible pain I remember from high school. It’s possible that pain will come back as I get faster, but we’ll see.

Mile Splits:

1: 8:16
2: 8:32
3: 8:39
.1: 0.44 – 7:47 pace
26:38 171/433 and 8/11 AG

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The Orphanage (2007)

Really impressive that a movie with almost zero gore or blood could be so tense. I have nothing against slasher films, but I wish there more scary movies were made with this much care and attention to story.

4/5

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Columbus Half Marathon 2010 Race Report

The Columbus Half Marathon this year was the first time I’ve raced in nine years (and that was just a random 5k not taken seriously … I haven’t really raced since high school). The last decade has seen me run only sporadically, and in that time I’ve put on a good bit of weight. This past spring I resolved, not for the first time, to slim down and get back into running. For some reason the change seems to have stuck this time, and it wasn’t long before I was wanting a running goal to work towards. Every year I’ve lived in Columbus I’ve seen the Marathon date roll around and think that next year I should give it a go, and so this year I decided to give the half marathon a shot.

Training over the summer went pretty well. I took things very conservatively since I’m carrying extra weight, making sure to take rest days anytime I felt overly tired or hurt. I took a full week off on two separate occasions because of pain, and I think it’s because I was so cautious that I made it to the start line feeling reasonably healthy. I learned quite a bit over the summer, including just how logistically difficult runs can be once you get over the 8-9 mile range when it comes to hydration. The summer here in Columbus was especially hot which made things even more difficult, but I was lucky to have Alli totally on board and willing to deliver water during some of my longer runs. Over training I ran the full half marathon distance just once; most of my long runs were in the 9-12 mile range.

I didn’t have much in the way of expectations when it came to time. I was pretty sure finishing would be doable since I had covered the distance in training (and on a much hotter day, on a hillier course), but I was kind of apprehensive about time since my training run of 13.1 had taken me about 2:41. I figured there’d be some improvement because of cooler temps if nothing else, and so I decided I’d shoot for under 2:30, with a dream goal of under 2:20. Pretty big range there, but when you’re on the slower end I think you tend to work with a bigger window.

Race morning was pretty freaking cold, and I was overhydrated so I spent the time between 7:00 and 7:20 waiting to use the port-a-john and shivering, then walking to just about the back of the last starting corral and almost immediately having to pee again. This led to me having to stop and use the bathroom at the very first opportunity (after one mile!) but you gotta do what you gotta do

I’m new to racing anything bigger than a high school cross country race and some random post high school 5ks, but I was really impressed with how well organized everything was at the Columbus Marathon. There was live music every mile, plenty of water and gatorade, and the entire thing was worry free on the organizational end. I think the thing that blew my mind about the race more than anything (and I think this’ll sound silly to veteran racers I imagine) was just how packed the course was with runners, from step one all the way to the finish line. Like I said earlier the only frame of reference I have is high school cross country, where races generally consisted of 100-200 kids, and I’d spend stretches of races with only a few kids in my immediate vicinity. In the Columbus Marathon it was a solid wall of people, which I thought was very cool.

The crowd of runners helped quite a bit with pacing, as there was immediate feedback when I slowed down. Slow down and start getting passed by dozens of people, speed up and pass dozens, it was easy to pick runners out and run “with” them so as to stay around the same pace. My only thought with pacing was a vague idea that I’d like to come through ten miles in about 1:45 and then see what happened, because I’d run a ten mile training run a couple of weeks previous in that time. However, I kept it around and under 10:00 a mile for quite a while and was feeling really good (race day adrenaline and atmosphere, combined with great weather did wonders) so I came through ten miles in around 1:40. This gave me a great feeling, knowing I’d be well under 2:20 unless something pretty bad happened, and it gave me a nice second wind. I did slow down a bit the last few miles, but came through the finish in 2:12:06, a time I felt absolutely great about. I’ve still got probably another 30-40 pounds I’d like to lose, so to be able to run a half at 10:00-ish a mile I think is a great achievement at my current fitness level.

Next up I think is some sort of 5k in November and the 5 mile Turkey Trot in Columbus on Thanksgiving Day. At some point over the winter I want to really lock in my running goals for 2011 (I have a hazy idea right now), but I’m hoping to do a full marathon at some point soon.

My 2010 Columbus Half Marathon Splits:

1 00:09:59
2 00:10:35 – (Bathroom stop!)
3 00:09:07 – (Not really sure what happened here … I think the song “Sabotage” came on my iPod … I’m kind of predictable sometimes)
4 00:10:11
5 00:09:44
6 00:09:31
7 00:10:04
8 00:10:16
9 00:09:53
10 00:09:57
11 00:10:16
12 00:10:07
13 00:10:22
14 00:02:01 0.21 09:43

(Yes, I apparently ran an extra .11 … I need to work on running tangents!)

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Tell No One (2006)

French thriller that was very well written with a great twisty plot and well developed characters. Chase scene in the middle was bananas.

4.5/5

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Bending The Rules

I went most of my life knowing about Dempsey’s 63 yard field goal but not realizing he was missing all of the toes on his kicking foot. Amazing.

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