Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Kinks Worked Out

Ok, so I increased my running time interval AND increased my mileage. It didn't feel too bad, but I'm planning on doing this same workout tomorrow just to get used to it a bit more before increasing anything.

I may change my plan to increase my run time two or three times a week and add mileage once a week, say on Monday.

Also, I'm including my warm up walk in the time because I'm including the mileage for it, so you may notice some revisionist history in regards to my Friday run. <.< ..... >.>

Friday, August 27, 2010

Working out the kinks

Here is a break down of my run this morning. I ended up adding .2 miles to my total. The watch worked out great; I could hear the interval timers clearly. Overall, the switch from distance to time was very easy with the audible timer.

I was curious as to how far I would actually jog in two minutes, and it turned out to be three of my segments (~.3 miles.) The walking portion turned out to be approximately 1/2 of a segment. So all in all, I increased my pace from a 3:1 ratio to a 6:1 ratio; that wasn't my intention, but I'm OK with it.

I think the main reason for the unintended jump in pace is that the timer is a harsh and unforgiving task master, and when it chimed, I switched pace immediately. So, while the time was a 4:1 ratio, the mileage turned up to a 6:1. I'll be bumping the time up to a 5:1 ratio (2.5 minutes jogging : 30 sec walking), so we'll see how that affects the mileage. Although, I'm not really concerned with the distance ratio as I am with the time.

1. Run 3 miles in one session
2. Average 10 minute miles (6 MPH) for any given session
3. Complete a 5K (3.1 mile) run under 30 minutes.

October 16th is just seven weeks away.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

B Plan

Ok, it looks like I really need to switch from a mileage based walk/jog to a time based one, as in jog for 90 seconds, walk for 15 seconds. I'll try to write more about it, as well as other routes that I can take to get me to my goal.

A Plan

I mentioned recently that I'm running in the mornings on Mon, Wed, and Fri, and today, I started a systematic program to increase the amount of jogging (verses walking) and to subsequently increment my mileage up to three miles.

The A is my house and I always walk to and from the first green dot as a warm up/cool down from my exercise. My normal route follows the numbers and is .7 miles (add in the mileage from/to A and it totals about .9 miles.)

As you can see, I can cut up the route into 11 segments that are roughly equal in length, so I've made up a chart to help me keep on track as to the schedule. This morning, for example, I ran three segments and walked the fourth. I repeated the pattern throughout the run.

Friday, I'm planning on running four segments and walking the fifth. In the following chart, yellow boxes mean run, white boxes indicate walk.

On Sept. 6th, I will hopefully be up to running the entire course. With the warm up/cool down parts, the total mileage will only be 1.6 miles, hardly what I'm looking to achieve, but I suppose it's a start.

Maybe once I stop walking, I can branch out to the other side of the neighborhood for a change of scenery. I'm glad I actually wrote this down, because I really need to take a look at upping my mileage at a quicker rate. brb...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What occupies my time?

Since kicking WoW to the curb, I've had an extraordinary amount of time on my hands; I know, weird, right?

I've spent most of it with my beautiful wife and with Denali. As I write this, I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't made a concerted effort to connect with either of my sons. Note to self - uh, change that!

I've also been spending a fair amount of time on the piano. I mentioned a while back that I was working on Chopin's Prelude in Db Major aka the "Raindrop Prelude." I tend to view the piece in three sections which correspond to a page each in the book that I have.

I have the most work to do on the first section. I've got the major theme down, but in the middle of the page there are different variations that I just have to play through repeatedly in order to get them down.

I've got the second section down pat. If you listened to the link above, it's the part where the low chords start building along with the constant plunking of the G#, culminating in the crashing chords. This sequence is repeated.

The first half of the third section is a transition back to the main theme, which resumes in the second half of the third section. I've been working a lot on this transition which is a mini theme that is repeated with variations. While I don't have it down pat, I can play through it slowly while looking at the music. The last part of the piece is back to the main theme with an ending attached to it; I pretty much have this down.

My goal is to be able to play this piece, as with all the pieces I play, without music, from memory. This allows me the freedom to interpret the piece how I think it should be and add the feeling and drama to make it come alive. If I'm constantly looking at the sheet music, I find it hard to focus on the feel of the piece as I'm worried about losing my place.

Perhaps, when I get it polished enough, I'll record it and post it here for your listening enjoyment. Perhaps...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Exercise. I duz it

Did I mention I picked up running? Oh yeah, I guess I did.

Well, I have settled into a routine, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I get up at 4 am, grab the dog, and set out on my little walk/jog.

On Wed this week, I upped my mileage from one mile to two. I'm still walking/jogging at the same sort of intervals (heck if I know the distances, though.) I usually start off walking and then jog for a bit, walk for a bit, repeat until I'm back home.

I can tell that my endurance is getting a bit better as I'm not winded at the end of a jog interval. Yay! I'm trying to extend my jogging mileage and decreasing my walk time as one of my goals is to jog the whole thing.

Eventually, I'd like to jog/run (and then run) the route, but I'm not sure if I want to up my mileage to 3 miles before switching to jogging (and then jog/run) or switch to jogging for the two miles and up the mileage after I'm comfortable with that.

As time is somewhat constraining, I'm thinking that I'll switch to jogging from walk/jog for the two mile route and then up my mileage as I get in better condition.

Of course, I need a goal, so...Here's one. The 5k, of course...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

GENCON Baby!! (The report)

I ended up going to GENCON on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, as I had planned. On Thursday, I got to see Jay and Robin!!! Woot! We all gabbed as Jay and I played Magic: The Gathering (I played his green deck - this will feature prominently in the narrative later on.)

So, the big news for the entire CON was how I made money by playing Magic: The Gathering (shortened to Magic from here on out.)

See, on Friday, I decided to participate in a couple of draft games. In a draft, eight players get three booster packs of 14 cards each for a total of 42 cards (and unlimited land cards) with which to make a minimum 40 card deck.

The idea is that the first booster pack is opened, and each player selects the card they want the most from the pack, then everyone passes the remaining cards to the player on their left. The process continues that way until there are no more cards to pick. The second pack is then opened and the draft continues in the opposite direction (for this example, pass right), and finally, the third pack is opened and passed in the original direction.

So, since I knew sort of how to play a green deck, I picked green cards for my drafts. I put together an all green deck with all green lands.

Once everyone has their deck together, then the tournament is a simple 8 person bracket with winners playing winners until only one remains. Usually, the last two winners reported a split so each received 5 booster packs.

Well, that first match, I lost. Each match is the best 2 out of three, and I actually won the second game. I was very fortunate in drawing a very forgiving opponent who was happy to teach me more about the game and how the cards worked.

Fast forward to the next draft (each draft cost $14 to play, but we kept our decks except for the lands), once again, I'm pulling greens when upon opening the second pack, I find a card I've never seen before...and it's a foil version.

8/16/10: Dang, I've been working on this blog post for too long. Long story short, I made $100 from getting two super rare cards drafting; I had a great time at GenCon; and I can't wait to go next year. Geez, was that so hard to write? /sigh.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Yes, three years ago, on this day, the world was cursed with another random idiot sharing his pithy thoughts.

Happy Blogiversary to me!

(GENCON news to follow)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nerdgasm Time

Only two more days until the Best 4 Days in Gaming!!

GenCon, Baby!!

This year, I bought the 4 day pass (as opposed to the one day pass on previous years), so, I'm really looking forward to settling in to some serious gaming!

There is a group of guys from my church that go every year, and I'm going to horn in on some of their gaming. Not sure if I'll get involved with an Axis and Allies game, but if I do, at least I'll have the time to see it through instead of like the last time when I only got one turn!

I'm also planning on sitting down and trying a lot of games. I think I only got to try two games last year, so since I should have a lot more time, I should be able to try a lot more games.

Also, Jay and Robin will be in town (squee!!!), and I'm hoping to spend some time with them as well. It'd be great to see them in action in a Magic: The Gathering tournament - Pwn, Pwn, Pwn, Pew, Pew, Pew, lazorz!!

I can't forget about my youngest son either! I bought him a 4 day pass, and I need to make sure we take advantage of our time together.

So, there you have it. Aug 5-7 (I'll skip Sunday), I'll be geeking out with all the rest of the geeks, nerds, and wastiods. It's gonna be a blast!