Friday, December 30, 2011

Last run of 2011


Nice splits, if I do say so myself. I set the pace alarm for slower than 12:00 and turned the too fast alarm off. Then...I ran. I hit a little rain in the first quarter mile, but after that, it was just overcast, a little windy, and cool - 48 degrees F or so.

So! I'll do the yearly wrap up while I'm at it.
Total miles for the year: 520.34

Race Personal Records
Fastest 5K: 26:42
Fastest 5 miles: 49:53
Fastest 10K: 57:24
Fastest 1/2 marathon: 2:20:21

I ran five 5k's (3 of them on the same day) and one of each of the other distances. All of my fastest times for the races were set this year, and before my 4 month sabbatical, I was once again improving my speed.

Unfortunately, I had to take time off this year for a groin strain that I suffered last December. I tried to take a couple of weeks off in March to heal, but it wasn't enough. Finally, I decided to take August off hoping to get back into training in September, but, as most of you are well aware, it didn't fully heal until this month.

My goals for the coming year include a couple of half marathons and, the big kahuna, a marathon! Of course, I'll be tuning up with 5k's and 10k's as well as other distances.

May the Lord bless you and keep you this coming year. See you on the streets!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nothing Like It

A sunny, 34 degree F afternoon run. Ahhhh, nothing like a brisk run to make you feel alive! And nothing like running two miles after hitting the "Legs!" in last night's gym routine. And nothing like reading nothing like over and over again! Nothing like it!

Nothing.

Like.

Oh, set the pace alarm to keep me between 11:00 and 12:00 minute miles; I kinda ignored it the second mile. Could you tell? I knew that you could!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Coach approved schedule

This schedule assumes that I will be running pain free (as related to my former injury.) Also it assumes that I won't encounter any issues with other body parts as I ramp up my mileage.

So, if I'm able to keep this schedule, I suppose that means I need to look for a race in February; oh, and also, I'm pretty sure I could be ready for a half marathon by May or so. And definitely a marathon by this fall.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mom's Birthday run

Yes, today is my mom's birthday; next year she hits a number evenly divisible by 10, but this year, it's 29...again.

This is my first run outside since July; there's something different about the temperature - can't quite put my finger on it...anyways, it felt pretty good to get out there and put in a little mile.

I'm planning on running three times next week with runs of one, two, and one miles. Of course, this past week, I planned on running three one mile runs, and we all can see how that worked out.

As far as the injury report, I am not feeling any soreness in the affected area, so I'm pretty encouraged about being fully healed. I'll continue to add mileage slowly so I hopefully won't encounter a setback.

Monday, December 19, 2011

2nd Verse, same as the first!


This was a warm up for kettle bells. I'm glad I did it before, 'cause I surely couldn't have done it after!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Back to running

Yes it's only a mile and yes, I'm taking it easy.

Oh, and yes, I gained back almost all that weight I dropped over the last year and a half. I've got some work to do...8-)

CLEAR!!!

ca-CHUNK!

"I think I might be getting a faint pulse!"

"Start an IV with D5W. Stat!"

"Blog, can you hear me? You gave us quite a scare there; we thought you were a gonner there for a bit."

"Should you really say that? I mean, it's not out of the woods yet; it could relapse any minute if we don't stabilize it soon."

"Meh, it's a tough old blog. It'll be fine. Rub some dirt on it."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Some musings

After talking with Kyle, Destroyer of Worlds last night, I remembered a time in my past that I haven't shared with you all.

During my time as an industrial sewage inspector in Glenrock, WY, I stumbled upon a curious group of people who owned, and rode, racing pythons. Now these are not the draft snakes you might see in the rail yard pulling boxcars into place, nor are they the feather boas that many men and women use to accessorize.

No, these are racing pythons. What made this group so fascinating is that they actually rode their mounts in the race rather than simply racing the animals like other animal racing leagues such as greyhounds, warthogs, or the wildly popular rattlesnake racing circuit.

Most of the boa jockeys used some sort of slinky like saddle to allow for the slither aspect as well as provide more stability in the corners for the pythons. As an aside, from 1982-1983, snow boots were briefly allowed in competition, but after the horrific tangling coming out of turn 3 in the penultimate race of the season, no foot wear has been allowed except for the traditional bunny slippers.

What reminded me of this volatile time in my life was the way that Kyle, Destroyer of Worlds coughed. He could have been a professional starter (and may very well have been) in the python racing league. Of course, one can't feed a family on just snake meat, so I'm sure he would have had to find something else (say fire fighting and collecting all those smoke damaged cans of SPAM) to supplement receiving the losing boas as payment for his officiating services.

Anyways, if you're ever in Glenrock, WY on a Thursday morning, about 2:14 AM, head for the sewers and enjoy some good old fashioned snake racin'! It'll do ya good!

First time in OK

I'm posting this from Broken Arrow, OK. My wife and I are visiting her aunt and uncle (and cousins) that live here.

On our way here, we stopped by and visited our friends in Joplin, MO that we knew in Alaska - the Howards. If you watch Extreme Home Makeover, you might be familiar with their 7 houses in 7 days event in Joplin; our friends were one of the families that were blessed with one of their houses!

Kyle, Destroyer of Worlds, is a fireman in Joplin, and we really enjoyed spending time with him, his wife and their four kids (two of which we also knew in Alaska.) Yes, we got to see the house, but more importantly, we got to hear how God protected them during the tornado. I'm not sure if the EHM show will detail their story, but hopefully it does as it is amazing!

Oh, and I know what you're thinking: "With a title like 'Destroyer of Worlds', did Kyle cause the tornado?" Well, I'm 15% sure that he didn't purposely set it in motion - maybe even 15.5% sure. Now, if a butterfly's wings can spawn a hurricane, I'm sure that an errant sneeze or cough from a Destroyer of Worlds can wreak some damage.

I'm not sayin'...

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Personal Best

Last night, our workout was Legs! Our trainer, Mark, said that he was going to challenge us to hit personal bests in the various exercises.

The first exercise up was the seated leg press. This machine has one sitting with their legs placed on a platform at a 45 degree angle. It's kind of like a seated squat, but because of the angle, it takes roughly twice as much weight to equal a regular squat.

That said, I was able to top out (after 5 sets of increasing weight and decreasing reps) at 500 pounds!! For 4 reps. Woot! I was pretty psyched!

My wife and I did indeed hit personal bests for all of the leg exercises that we did last night. We need to take a look back at Jan/Feb of this year so we can see just how far we've come. I'm betting that it's quite a bit.

but...500 lbs! /fist pump!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I live on!

World of Warcraft update:
4 level 85 toons.
Status: Cancelled.

Yeah, pretty much had the fun sucked out of the game with the morons that populated the Looking For Group Heroic queues. I just couldn't get into the Firelands grind, and leveling yet another alt to hit the Heroic wall seemed pointless. Done for now.

Running update:
I hit up the elliptical trainer on Monday for about 10 minutes. My strain doesn't feel too bad today, so I'll hit it up again tonight for 10 minutes. If I think that I can run without re-injuring myself, I will go for a mile run on Monday, Lord willin'.

Work update:
The main reason for not blogging lately has been lack of activity in the above two categories, however, the third reason is that work has been very busy as of late. One of my co-workers retired with just a week's notice; I have picked up the majority of his work, and he still had stuff left over from August!

I'm trying to just put my head down and grind it out without complaining. November isn't any better, busy-wise as I have about 2.5 weeks to get a whole lot of preventative maintenance done in addition to repairs because...I have another school to go to! (oh and a stay-cation the week of Thanksgiving.)

That's about all I can write for now; work calls.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I'm still alive

I'm just not posting. I'll try to whip up something soon, but work has been pretty busy as of late.

Short and sweet:
Priest and DK at lvl 85
Alliance hunters at 84, 83, and 82.
Still playing Alliance, Kael'thas

After two months off, still not running. My groin is feeling MUCH better, but I am in for a penny, in for a pound with the non-running. I want this thing healed before I start up again.

Went to Cali for a week of training on the 840 ventilator. Carlsbad is nice, and the hotel I stayed at was just off the beach.

Youngest son T comes home this weekend for fall break; can't wait to see him!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Random Thoughts are Random

I decided to cobble together a healing set for my lowby pally (44) which consisted of the heirloom leather shoulders, mail chest, trinkets(two), and healing mace, among other things. Even with some Str gear still equipped (but Holy spec'd), I was able to heal two level appropriate instances very easily.

It turns out that I've learned how to play a Holy Pally! And...it's fun! At least at this level. On one of the runs, the tank commented that he loved my healing.

I also picked up the Justice Point tanking sword for soloing. Yeah, I know Daxie needs gear, but...sigh, I think I hit the wall with end game for at least one day.

So, I burned off the rested XP for Daxynn and then picked up Daxen the Rogue and started getting her Leatherworking on track. My one complaint about the Worgen starting area is the dearth of skinnable mobs. I had to go grind some lowbie mobs. On the plus side, it did give me a chance to remember how to play a Rogue.

After getting my skinning and LW up to a respectable level, I went ahead and burned off a little rested XP. I dinged 15, so tonight, I believe I'll queue up for a random and burn off the remaining rested XP fairly quickly.

Gripe: Why is it that Leatherworking has so many useless items that you have to make until you can finally get a recipe that you can make to wear? I'm making Light Leather armor kits just for the skill up, and I plan on using them at least until I can make Medium Leather armor kits. But still, almost all of the beginning leather armor set is worse than what one gets through questing.

I need to get Daxie up to Honored with The Ebon School in order to buy Heirloom helms and capes. Oh, and have the cash to pick them up. Currently, I'm just shy of halfway through Friendly.

Since dual specs only cost 10 gold (10 GOLD!!), I might add a second spec to my Shaman for soloing. Any suggestions? I have Hunter Heirlooms as well as caster gear so both Elemental and Enhancement are viable.

Still planning on replacing two hunters on KT. I'm thinking of a Mage and a Warrior. I have to wait, though, as I have to delete one hunter to make room for another toon. Note to Blizz: I can haz moar slots?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ding!

Friday: 82
Saturday: 83 & 84
Monday: 85

Daxie, the Shadow Priest, hit the cap Monday morning, bought some PvP gear off the AH, got a generous donation of some JP boots from a guildy, and jumped into running random Heroics.

After one run, I had enough JP to upgrade my trousers; it wasn't until the 4th or so run that something finally dropped that I could use.

One of the unsung perks of being in a guild is knowledge. Almost immediately upon hitting 85, I had a guildy advise me on how to gear up for Heroics rather quickly. For instance, I didn't know there was a quest to save Thrall that rewarded an epic cape, and it was fairly easy to obtain.

Another aspect of guild knowledge is being able to go into a Heroic instance and have a guildy explain the nuances of various boss fights. Reading the strat is all well and good, but having someone break it down for you is much easier.

Now I did know there were Firelands dailies, but I didn't know that upon opening up the questing area, I'd be able to buy an epic neck piece right off the bat. I can see a clear path for all of my alts...

Speaking of which, I have settled on the Miner/Engineer Hunter Dwarfvader as my next leveling project. DV brings Mining to the table as I will need ore for Daxie to prospect and level her JC. I will not be leveling him at a break neck speed as I did for Daxie due to dailies and randoms that I need to do on her.

I also plan on regularly burning off the rest XP of my lowbie alts, which currently consist of a lvl 28 shaman, a lvl 44 pally, and a lvl 14 rogue. An aside, why is it that there is no crafted plate healing gear until the Brilliant set in Wrath? Where do leveling healing pallies get their gear? Apart from snagging mail, leather, or cloth items, I mean...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Holy Leveling Speed, Batman!

In about two hours worth of playing yesterday, Daxie the Shadow Priest went from 80 to 81. As part of The Ebon School, a level 25 guild, I enjoyed all the associated perks including the Fast Track XP boosts.

My first priority yesterday was to start selling junk on the Auction House. I had less than 150 gold across all my toons, and I really wanted to get Oldlands flying for Daxie. So, I scanned the AH, emptied a lot of my alts' bags, and dumped it all on the AH.

The next priority was to make sure I had all of my equipment slots filled. I ended up ninjaing my Heirloom staff from my alt because I had no weapon to equip. Also, I didn't have a neck or wand equipped. Close enough 'cause I had some business with some druids over on Kalimdor.

I had completed the first couple of quests at the Hyjal starting point when my random dungeon popped. I finished about a half of a BWD before the group fell apart, and I had to start on dinner. The important part is that I could finally afford Oldlands flying!

After dinner and our workout, I hopped back on the computer, queued for another dungeon, and continued questing. I got in a full run of BWD and saved the wolf aspect of Hyjal, and ding! 81, after about 2 hours of playtime.

So, in the next hour or so, I worked my way through the Lightning shelf and first Firelands portal areas. I'm just shy of halfway through the level and should hit 82 and maybe 83 tonight.

Some random thoughts:
This is really the first clothie that I've taken through Hyjal, and I must say that there is a distinct lack of cloth quest rewards. So, it's not just BWD.

I decided to train soon after hitting 81, and I'm glad I did for Mind Spike. I am in looooove with this spell! Per my usual MO, I didn't bother to read the description, I just started using it. And then I noticed that if I cast a Mind Blast after a Mind Spike, the cast time was shorter.

Then, without meaning to, I cast a MB after casting two MS's in a row. Result: a nearly insta-cast MB! Whoa. Then I bothered to read just a little bit and saw that, indeed, MS affects MB. Oh, cool. Then I started paying attention. Yes, three MS's in a row do produce an insta-cast MB.

I still need to read and process the description because I think there's more going on than just that. It probably has something to do with a new talent point that I picked up - Evangelism. Once again, I scanned the talent description, but couldn't be bothered to really think about it.

So, for most mobs my level, two MS's + a MB = dead. Sometimes I have to finish them off with a SW:Death, but most times not.

I have killed the elite fire elemental in that first Firelands portal 3 or 4 times on different toons and have never killed it the "right" way. I guess there's some sort of floor mechanism that helps kill the dude; once again, I can't be bothered to read the quest info. He dies quick enough if I just smack him around a bit.

I now know the pain of taking epic gear that I spent literally months attaining and replacing it with some quest reward green. That has better stats than my ICC Sindragosa kill??? Oh...kay.

I really like being back riding a dragon around. I missed it. I also like having a title with my name, although, I have ditched Kingslayer for the more generic Jenkins. I don't want to be pretentious...

I have way too many hunters on this server (4). I have plans on ditching at least two of them. Don't tell Rysteranch and Smoochie. k?

That's about it. I'm looking forward to seeing how far I can get tonight and this weekend. I might even be able to hit 85 by next Tuesday!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Failin' and Bailin'

Last night, I decided to venture into another Heroic on my Holy Pally. After three pulls, I realized that I was in over my head, apologized to the group, and bailed.

Here's what I've come up: I have fun healing normal instances; I get stressed out trying to heal Heroics. Normals have enough challenge to keep things interesting; Heroics present a challenge that I just don't want to deal with. At this point, raiding at any level might just be right out.

Now, after four months of essentially playing WoW as a single player game (ala Dragon Age), I also have started missing the interaction with others in the game. I sure wouldn't categorize LFG with any part of social interaction, unless it involves bullying or shunning.

So, after being frustrated at having any fun in a Heroic, I pm'd one of my son's buddies who plays on Kael'thas and asked to join his guild with one of my lowbies on KT. Daxen the Rogue (12) is now a part of Apathetic, and I'm leaning toward starting the Empire back up on the Alliance side of things.

Oh, and I logged onto Daxie and said "hello" to everyone at The Ebon School. After spending a little bit running around and figuring out where the heck everything is now with the Cata changes and catching up on guild news (they're a 10 man raiding guild now), I think I'm going to spend some time on KT for the foreseeable future.

I emptied all my Hordies mailboxes; I didn't cancel any auctions as I'll just check my bank toon on Friday to finish up the transition to storage.

Alliance side, I have a mess to deal with on my toons as I essentially gave the account to Teurion to strip of all useful items/money when I quit last year. I've got a long ways to go to get to the level of comfort that I currently enjoy on my Suramar toons.

I got no money.
I got no 85's.
I got no Cata greens.
I got no OLDLANDS FLYING!!! /weep

On the plus side,
I do have all the trade skills at 450, so I'm over all the Wrath choke points.
I do have epic flying on 5? 6? toons.
I do have awesome mounts (dragons!!) for the majority of my toons.
I do have people to interact with in The Ebon School.

Now I just have to decide which toon to start leveling. I'm tempted to grab Dwarfvader, the Hunter miner/engineer, as he can start the ore/cloth production for both Daxea, the Hunter blacksmith/enchanter and Daxie, the Priest jewelcrafter/tailor.

Vanco, the Death Knight miner/herbalist is also a viable candidate as he could gather up ore, cloth, and herbs. Daxxy, the Druid alchemist/herbalist is probably not going to be my first choice due to the lack of usable gathering skills.

There is another appealing side to cranking things up on KT: I have never (nor do I ever want to) put an account back together after a hacking, which is what I allowed (and encouraged) Teurion to do with my toons. I like the challenge of getting the pieces put back together.

Oh, and I have a little Pally (44) that I can level! I've already spec'd her for Holy and Ret, so I'll be able to practice a lot of healing while leveling and hopefully get much better at it. Hopefully...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More healing

Monday night, I ventured into my first lvl 85 Heroic with my Holy Pally. Now, as soon as I zoned in, I made the group aware of their dire situation: "This is my first heroic that I've healed; prepare to die!"

And die we did.

We had three wipes, one on the first boss when I didn't realize a different mechanic (move out of the way of the water spouts coming from the boss), one on the gobliny things on the way to the mind control boss (they hit HARD!), and the last on the last boss when I got hung up on the environment and couldn't save the tank.

Oh, and there were plenty of deaths in between; one of which was an 80% wipe with only me left standing (it was the gauntlet before the last boss.) I give my fellow puggers a lot of credit for sticking it out with me and not complaining.

I learned quite a bit, but most of all I learned that...I am not ready for Heroics! So, yesterday, I queued up for more random normals so I could practice and gain some Justice Points (JP).

Fast forward to the end of the evening, and I'm standing in front of the JP dealer trying to decide between the boots and the belt. I only have enough JP for one, and both of them are significant upgrades to my i316 gear.

Then I have an epiphany: JP = Justice Points.../2 Trade: "wts jp boot less than ah" = "Want to Sell Justice Point boots for less than you can find on the Auction House"...Those boots are BoE!

So, I shuffled on over to the AH, and lo and behold, the healing boots are only 850 gold. Youza! I snapped them up (they were usually priced around 1850 gold) and grabbed a set of the dps ones as well for 1k gold. Can you say, "Hey big spender!"

Then, I flew back to the JP vendor and bought the healing belt. Yay, I have both upgrades!

I spend the remaining little time I had getting gems cut and enchanting some scrolls, so I haven't had a chance to try them out. I am looking forward to seeing some improvement tonight! I don't think I'll try a heroic just yet, but I might this weekend.

In other news, I hit up BRC, or whatever the Blackrock lvl 80 instance is called, on my priest. I didn't have many issues with healing, although it was more challenging than the lvl 80 Wrath instances; I did, however, have issues with my fellow puggers.

D/C's, misspulls, standing in the first boss's AoE "kills everything", hunter pet collecting up a bunch of mobs after the hunter jumps down for the second boss. Yeah, we had it all. Miraculously, we didn't have any wipes, although I think we ended the instance with 8 or 9 people on Recount.

Oh, and a gripe: Kill the last boss quest rewards: Leather, mail, and plate. Srsly? Not even a dps cloth? Rly??? Just under 1/3 of all classes wear cloth, and there is no usable reward for them. That's just suckzorz.

Monday, August 29, 2011

On Healing

For those of you who are looking for running updates, you'll have to wait until Wed or later; my personal healing is not going as well as I had hoped. I fear my ab workouts have not allowed my groin to heal like I would have liked.

I now have enough healing experience in World of Warcraft on three different classes to write my impressions of each, but first, let me tell you about how I like to heal.

I'm a preferred passive/reactive healer; I like Heal over Time (HoT) spells and instant heals. I would rather heal a person up than try to anticipate incoming damage. I prefer passive mana regen as opposed to actively doing something to gain mana.

That pretty much covers it, so here are my impressions of the Pally, Druid, and Priest classes as healers. Oh, also, I use Healbot.

Paladin
I have healed the most the last week or so on my Pally. I am still trying to get used to the play style as it is radically different than any other healer that I've played. As far as my preferred play style, it only meets the reactive part.

I feel like I'm always casting when healing with the Pally. There are no HoTs to fire and forget; I have to actively heal up all the group's damage. Thankfully, I have a number of instant casts that I can use to get people healed up (and that on the move too!), but usually, if you're getting a heal from me, I'm standing still.

Because I'm casting so much, I have little time to stand around and regen mana, which from what I've experienced, is the design. I have to actively do things to trigger mana regen, and the easiest thing that I've found is to judge Insight every time it's on cooldown. Well, easiest, if
a) I remember to do it and
b) I'm not frantically smashing buttons to heal everyone up.

Judgment has some quirks of its own; I like the fact that I will automatically acquire a target if I don't have one. I don't like the fact that I sometimes acquire a target (and judge it and pull it...) that is not currently in combat. Talk about your huntards...

If I remember to judge throughout the fight, I usually end the fight with plenty of mana, if not all my mana. If I don't remember to judge or don't have time, I find I go OOM fairly quickly. I can see why Spirit on plate armor is laughable.

Another observation is about Beacon of Light. I put BoL on the tank so that all of my heals do something for them. I do not like the fact that I have to recast the stupid thing through the instance as it falls off after 5? minutes. That seems pretty lame, and I have no idea what the developers are trying to prevent with such a short duration.

I don't believe BoL has a cool down, so I just thought (as I'm writing this) of moving my Beacon around to heal up the group if the tank doesn't need the heals. I'll have to investigate this idea further.

And finally, group heals are teh suckzors in my opinion. One requires the group to be close to me to get effective heals and the other requires them to be either grouped up or in a cone in front of me. Yuck yuck and yuck.

Druid
This is pretty much the opposite of the Pally and meets all of my preferences as to healing and mana regen.

HoTs? Yuppers, in spades. At 64, I'll get Lifebloom which will make 4? HoTs that I can use. The druid is the king (queen) of HoTs and can be sitting around scratching their behind (if they're a Tauren) for most of the instance. I like that.

Group heals are very nice with Wild Growth, Tranquility, and the proc that puts the circle thingy on the ground. Rapid fire Rejuvs are also a nice alternate form of group healing.

The one lack that I've seen so far is no good big heal. Now, I know I get something in the 70's, but until then, I prefer to throw a Regrowth instead of a Nourish because it's just as good, and it's faster. Oh, and it leaves a nice HoT to boot!

Mana regen is fairly passive with good Spirit gear, and I have Innervate to help out. Not much more to say other than I get a lot of standing around time in.

Priest (Holy)
I still think that this is my favorite, especially with the Cata changes. As far as sheer variability of spells, priests have it all covered. We have a HoT, a number of instants, a couple of group heals, an instant group heal, a big heal, a fast heal, a damage preventer, AND teh frisbee!!!

As a priest, I can have several heals going on all at once: Renews on whoever needs it, the frisbee (Prayer of Mending) dinging around, and whoever I'm actively healing at the time (and myself if I'm casting Binding Heal!) That's a lot of throughput!

My favorite combo for overzealous DPSers is PW:Shield + Renew; if they need more than that, they need to trigger their aggro dump! I don't really like using it on certain classes as they tend to get the invincible rogue syndrome...

The Cata change that I alluded to is the Chakra mechanism. I always trigger the...uh, Serenity(?) option so that I get another instant heal...that also refreshes the Renew on the target. I love that. Most of the time I use it for the secondary reason rather than the instant heal.

As far as mana regen, the Shadowfiend is ok, although using it on trash is next to useless, and Hymn of Hope is ok; I just wish I could fire and forget it rather than stand still to channel it. Most of my regen is gained through high quantities of Spirit on my gear and...standing around.

My little Hordie priest just hit 80 and has snagged some gear to qualify to heal the new Cata instances, so hopefully tonight I'll get a chance to see how well my play style meshes with the Cata damage. I'm thinking that it should go pretty well.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Empty nest is...empty

Last Wednesday, we dropped our youngest son off at USI in Evansville. We are now officially part time empty nesters.

And let me tell you...the house really does feel empty. You see, our youngest son is very quiet...some would say abnormally quiet, and I thought that there wouldn't be much of a change in the house with him off at college.

Boy was I wrong! It turns out that while he doesn't talk much, he does make noise- tapping at the keyboard, playing his video games, thumping down the stairs.

Then there's our noise directed at him: "Can you take out the trash?"; "DINNER!!"; (In response to what's for dinner, which he asked every day) "We're having X for dinner." And all the other little items that need communicating among household members concerning various chores.

For all of our time as a family (20+ years, 18 for T), we have always eaten dinner together as a family. None of this grab and go back to the video games, or snag and dash for the bedroom! We made dinner together a priority. Now, of course, there's a big empty chair where T used to sit.

I miss him. We both miss him, but I really do miss him more than I thought I would. And that's a good thing!

Parent weekend is Sept 24-25; I need to leave for a school in California on the 25th, but if we go down on the 23rd and leave by a decent time on the 24th, I should be all right. I think we'll be doing that.

How the blog decays

No real reason to post, well, there is, and I'll make a separate post about that, but things in this corner of the world are pretty much the same.

Well, except for a huge familial change, which is what that other post is going to be about.

You know what? I should just go write that other post first. brb.

Ok, you've probably already read the post that I'm talking about, now I can talk about more mundane things like...Warcrack!

Since the 12th, I have gotten some time in on the olde toons:

Daxynn the Pally is 84, picked up dual specs (FOR 10 GOLD!), and is leveling BS. Oh, and healing instances. Yes, I finally made the switch and picked up a Holy spec and am learning how to heal on a Pally at 84. Tanking was just too stressful.

I've had a couple of deaths, some wipes, and a number of OOM situations. I think I've settled down on a decent healing plan (Holy Shock, Holy Shock, Holy Shock, dump the holy power spell, Flash of Light as needed and Judge Insight every time I can.) By the third or fourth instance, I actually got complimented on my great healing. Yeah, I should have screenshotted it for proof.

Daxea the Priest is 78, finally got to 410 Tailoring to make Frostweave bags, and has equipped a number of Cata greens. I can now heal instances and occasionally out DPS some of the dedicated DPSers. That's fun!

My hunters both dinged 83 and have been working on their respective crafts. I burned off the rest XP for Daxeo the mage (24), Daxone the warrior (18), Daxxy the rogue (42 EDIT: actually 43...), and Daxenos the druid (58). The only alt that didn't get played was Vancomyacin the DK.

My immediate plans for my Pally are to gather up enough Volatile Earth to make the polearm for my two hunters, gather up enough metal to start buying BS recipes, and make the necessary armor for both my healing and tanking (solo) specs. I already have the Cata starter healing crafted set as well as everything but the chest piece for my tank spec. I'm pretty sure I won't complete all the quests in Deepholm before I hit 85.

My priest's tailoring stands at 413, and I would really like to get to Cata levels (425) by making Frostweave bags, but that takes a lot of cloth, so we'll see if I can collect enough Frostweave cloth to make that happen.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Warcrack update

Since I'm not running, I have had more time to spend in Azeroth, and looking back, I see that my last Warcrack update was over a month ago. Well, for those of you not interested in my gaming, this would be an excellent place to check up on another blog. 8~)

Alrighty, from the top:

Daxynn, my pally, is 83, tearing up Deepholm, and has both BS and mining at Cata levels. I actually just picked her back up last night as I've taken a couple of weeks to work on my other toons.

Daxea, my priest, is 75, healing instances, working on the Wrathgate questline, and has her Tailoring and Enchanting above 400. I've got 5 levels to gather up Frostweave, and I find it difficult to resist buying up the mats. My main push is to get to 415 Tailoring so I can make Frostweave bags; I believe I'm currently at 404.

(In an effort to move things along, I took Daxynn through UK solo and only gathered up 22 pieces. Really? In the whole instance? That ain't right!)

Daxen, my hunter, is 81, questing in Hyjal, and has both JC and Mining to Cata levels. I've been splitting my time between her and the troll lately as I've finally gotten comfortable with the Hunter changes. I still don't like them, but I can deal with them. I did get into 1.25 Cata instance runs last night; the first, I got pulled in on the last boss of Throne of the Tides - I died in a swirl of black stuff on the ground. Oops.

The second, with almost the same group, I made a better showing in Blackrock Caverns(?). I topped the damage meter over all, got two or three upgrades, and only screwed up a couple of times with no wipes. I even saved the day when the tank died and my puppy tanked! /rawr!

Rysteranch, #1 hunter, is 81, getting gear in Hyjal, and has both LW and Skinning to Cata levels. What's the deal with Vashj'ir??? I mean, I can appreciate the whole "on a boat to the middle of nowhere/shipwrecked/save everyone from drowning" bit, but to not provide hardly any equipment as quest rewards in the first 6 or 7 quests to help gear up for the area?? That seems a bit...off. So, I headed out to Hyjal 'cause I hear the Druids are willing to help a brutha out.

Daxxy, the PvP rogue, is 41, lounging in TB, and occasionally does a Cooking/Fishing daily. She went from 39 to 41 by questing in Duskwallow marsh.

Daxenos, the healing Druid, is 55, sitting around in UC, and occasionally does a Cooking/Fishing daily. I can't remember what he was last month and still can't motivate myself to play him. Poor Dax.

Everyone else has been sittin'. I keep meaning to burn off the rest XP on at least my low level toons because it burns off so fast, but I don't.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Four years of nonsense

Well, well, well, what do we have here??

Another blogiversary. Turns out I've been boring the Interwebs for four years now; how time flies! This link right here sums up my journey thus far.

Anyways, you may have noticed that I haven't blogged for two weeks, which means I haven't been running. I have decided to take 4-5 weeks off to finally let this groin strain heal.

Of course, decisions have consequences, and one of the casualties of my time off is my goal of running a marathon this year. I'm just fine with that; I would rather run a 5K in Oct/Nov without pain than run a marathon with pain.

I'm kinda funny that way...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

THAT'S 8 miles!

One quick break at 4 miles to reset the machine, grab some more water, and change towels. I'm very happy with this run as I was able to manage the heat a little better than I have been lately on the treadmill. I think starting out at 12 min miles really helped.

Monday, July 25, 2011

That's not 8 miles...

This run doesn't fit any of my schedule. The summer heat is really playing havoc with my average laid plans; I might have to step up my planning to better than average. Not best, let's not get crazy here.

Day 2 & 4: Not

I strained my groin again on Wed with that sub-9 minute mile; I think. Anyways, it was really sore Fri and Sat, so I decided to skip the rest of the running last week and pick it up again today.

I think my problem last Wed was that I was really tired at the start of my last mile and didn't keep my feet pointed straight. With my toes pointed slightly outward, I use more inside leg muscles than the proper ones, aaaaand, groin strain.

I may have to decide here soon between speed and distance. I'd like to do both, but I'm afraid that this latest setback will force the choice. I'm leaning toward distance as I'd really like to run a marathon in Oct or Nov, and I'm not concerned with how fast I am for it. Sub 8 hour marathon is fine with me...8~P

I think my coach is out on some island camping, so I'll talk with him when he gets back. In the mean time, I'm planning on 8-10 tonight.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 3: Out of order

I stopped at mile 3 for about 20 minutes to cool off inside and chug some Gatorade. Supposedly, it's 91 outside right now and "feels like" 101. Yes, Fahrenheit. Although, I thought it "felt like" Celsius.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The average laid plans...

Hey, we're always talking about the "best laid plans," I just figured the average ones needed some lovin'. So, my average laid plans didn't work out. I didn't get up at 5 AM and run. Big surprise after Legs!

I did have the day off so while my youngest son was getting his braces taken off (Yay T!!), I went to the gym and attempted to put in 8 miles. As you can see I only made six, and that with stops at 1 mile, 4 miles, and 5.5 miles.

I knew that I was going to run with Nick this evening, so that was another mile (the slow one), and as soon as we got back to his house, I turned around and ran one more.

Whew. Day 1 is done...finally. Tomorrow may be Day 3 as I'm not sure if the heat and my tired legs will allow me to do the fartleks.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Switcharoo!

We switched things up this week; I will run Day 1 tomorrow morning. Tonight, we did our workout: Legs! and abs. But we always do abs, so, Legs!

Tomorrow's run should be really fun with two concrete Legs! Thud, thud, thud. I'll do eight or nine depending on my...Legs!

In other news, I am lining up my next couple of races:
Aug 6th: 15K trail run
Sep 3rd: 1/2 Marathon
Oct 1st: Greenwood 5K
Oct 15th: Either the 1/2 Marathon or the full Marathon
Nov 5th: If I did the half on Oct 15th, then the full Marathon

As always, things are subject to change, and the reason for the ambiguity on the last two races is that my coach will be in town for the Oct 15th race. He is not sure if his calf muscle will allow him to train for the full marathon, so if he doesn't run the full that day, he will run the half. And I'll run it with him.

Well, I'll run the race and be with him in spirit. He'll be long gone before I even cross the Start line. BUT, he'll be waiting for me at the end!

That's all for now. I'll hopefully get my run in early tomorrow morning, 5 AM or so, and beat the heat. It's supposed to get up into the 90's...again. Ick.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Meltdown!


First 5K at 8 AM. Second 5K at 9 AM. Third 5K at 10 AM. Collapse at 10:29.19 AM. Ok, no collapsing.

I can't be bothered to look at my last couple of posts to see what kind of goals I told you all about, so I'll just put them down here.
1. Finish the first race under 27:09, which would be a PR.
CHECK!
2. Finish all three races under 30 minutes.
CHECK!
3. Manage my body temp so as to not get heat exhaustion.
CHECK! I thank the Lord for a somewhat cooler day than we've been having lately + cloud cover.

So, I got a good 30 minutes of rest between each race, which I used to hydrate, GU, towel off, and change socks, shirt, and hat. Yes, I brought three sets of running gear so that I wouldn't have to deal with the heavy, sweaty gear from the previous race.

There was a nice, gentle breeze, so I didn't have to climb in my Murano and blast myself with the A/C. I was just fine sitting in the back area with the hatch open. (and my shirt off. shhhhh, don't tell anyone!)

I was kind of surprised that I felt the worst on my first race. Of course, I was pushing the pace, but I did do about a mile or so warmup. It might have been nerves or something.

The next two races were much better, as far as how I felt. I just kind of ran; no lollygagging! I pushed it as much as I felt I could and ended each race with a nice fartlek.

Overall, I must say I am extremely pleased with my results. I bettered my last 5K time by 1:20 and my PR by :26.

Next up: A 15K trail run in three weeks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 2: Changed due to race!

So, no fartleks. And no run on Friday. And three 5K's on Saturday: one at 8 AM, one at 9 AM, and one at 10 AM.

The first 5K will show me what kind of speed I've been able to train; I'm hoping to break 27 minutes. The last 5K will show me what kind of condition I'm in; I'm hoping to keep it (and the 2nd one) under 30 minutes.

I'll be drinking plenty of fluids. I'll GU between races. And I think I'll sit in my car with the A/C on between races - depends on how hot it is. In any event, I'll probably bring a cooler full of ice with water and Gatorade.

A little note on Monday's run: it appears that I may have over done it in regards to the heat and humidity and suffered a mild form of heat exhaustion. I had to take yesterday off due to being wiped out.

I made sure to take it really easy today with that in mind; I think being outside also helped in that I had a constant breeze to cool me off. That little fan on the treadmill just can't do the job...I'll probably have to bring in my own 50' swamp cooler and figure out some way to hook it into the treadmill electronics.

Oh, yeah, and do that without raising the suspicion of any of the staff....<.<....>.>....

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 1: failure

Even though this was inside, it was still too warm...and I started too fast. It is way too hot here for anything. Ok, way too hot for this boy to do anything.

I was hoping it would cool off this evening and my friend Nick and I could squeeze in the last two miles, but he begged off with a back ache. And to tell the truth I just wasn't feelin' it either. I think I'm going to bed early.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 4: 9-11 miles easy to moderate pace

*I stopped at 5 miles to switch machines as there is a 1 hour limit hard coded into the machine. I took the opportunity to fill up my water bottle, switch sweat towels, and stretch a bit.

**I quit at 9.25 miles; made it half way down stairs before remembering to wipe down my machine. I went back up stairs, grabbed the paper towels and cleaner, and walked back to my machine. I then psyched myself up to run .75 miles at the previous pace. Yay, 10 miles...

Ok, so, it's hot here in Indiana...again. And, I have a commitment tonight. And the NASCAR race is on tonight. So, run in the morning or run at the gym...hmmmm. Well, I decided to treadmill it as you can see.

Looking back at my long runs, as of late, this qualifies as my fastest. I'd feel a lot better about it if I hadn't quit early and then gotten back on the horse. Of course, the schedule calls for 9-11, so I could have justified 9.25, but being me, I just couldn't leave well enough alone...

29 miles for the week! Next week will be a short week; I'll do 9 on Monday, an easy 5 on Wednesday, and then three 5K's on Saturday. I'm hoping to break 27 minutes for my first one and keep the rest of them under 30 minutes.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 3: 5 miles moderate to fast (last mile sub 9 min)


I decided to do this run as I was supposed to do it. Moderate to fast. I'm not saying that my previous Day 3's were lollygag affairs, because I have lots of excuses as to why I ran so slow. The dog ate my speed, I forgot, I really wanted to but something came up. Hey, take your pick!

Anyways, here is a nice moderate to fast 5 miler with a sub 9 min last mile. And looky there, only 2 seconds off my race time of a month ago. Now, this was a very flat course, so it's not all that of a big deal.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thoughts on Stuff

I haven't mentioned World of Warcrack lately; I'm still playing, but I've found that it takes a back seat to pretty much everything nowadays. That's a great thing.

That said, the time I have found to spend in Azeroth has been used to do fishing and cooking dailies...on 2 to 7 toons. It really depends on how much time I have. I try to get Daxynn's (76 Pally) and Daxea's (70 Priest) city dailies done and as of late, the BC dailies. I also try to get my Inscriptionist's Minor research done every day.

Other than that, my two Hunters, Rysteranch 75 and Daxen 71, usually get the call to do their city fishing/cooking dailies, and after that, Daxenos (54 Druid), Daxeo (21 Mage), and Daxone (15 Warrior) all have the same chance to do their dailies.

So, dailies and Auction House scanning make up the lion's share of my play time; I have found time to level my warrior a bit with Jay (Hackadax 15 Warror), run a random or two on Daxea and Daxen, and tank The Old Kingdom on Daxynn (last night!)

I'm not sure what I'll be doing next. I'd like to level each of my toon's professions to at least 425, which should be the Cata starting level. I'll probably start with Blacksmithing, which can provide materials for (dis)Enchanting and a couple of items for Daxynn. I need to get my Jewelcrafter, Daxen, going so I can put gems in the new gear sockets. I also need to get Frostweave cloth so I can level Daxea's tailoring to where she can at least make Frostweave bags; I'm starting to feel the pinch of not enough space on some of my toons.

Then there's my poor little Druid, my Alchemist/Herbalist. I am severely disappointed with the Druid healing changes, and I'm not even thinking about the Tree of Life issue (my feelings on this are that Druids, as shapeshifters, should be able to do their primary job in their shapeshifted form. Cats DPS, Bears Tank, Moonkin DPS, Trees Heal. 'Nuff said.)

Anyways, when I pick a Regrowth over a Nourish for emergency big healing, something is wrong. In my defense, Nourish is slooooooow and only give a small increase over Regrowth, so I hit the Regrowth and even will overwrite an existing Regrowth if Swiftmend is on c/d. I find I'm really missing a fast, medium Heal, and I don't have the HoTs to cover the gap in an emergency.

Of course, I try my best to avoid getting into an emergency in the first place, but I have gotten an undergeared/underleveled tank before, and it can be quite a challenge keeping him/her alive. Oh Lifebloom, level 64 cannot get here fast enough!

And, speaking of Lifebloom, what's all the nonsense about it only affecting ONE target now??? Really? REALLY???? /sigh. I loved that part of Druid healing - keeping the Lifebloom going on all the party when they're taking damage. I liked the proactive component to it rather than the priest/pally reactive response. Oh well, at least I have Wild Growth to deal with it...

Yeah, so I'm not really feelin' the Druid healing, so poor Daxenos just sits or does dailies. The same can be said for my Hunters. I just don't like the playstyle any more for Hunters. There used to be a rhythm to it; now it seems to be just clickyclickyclicky. I suppose I could do some research on how I'm supposed to be playing...sigh.

Now before you think that I'm all negative, I do really like the Pally tank changes! I love soloing as a Pally tank, and while I still find tanking stressful, I can do a decent job at it. Of course, I know all the instances that I've tanked; once I get to the Cata dungeons, I probably get my Priest or Hunter to them so I can learn them as a healer or DPS.

As slow as I'm leveling, though, I wonder if I'll even get to level cap (85) before the next XPac; it's no biggie if I don't; it's just kinda weird.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 2: 5 miles with 10 X 1 minute hard


Well, I messed up the 2 mile warm up, but it all worked out in the end. For posterity's sake, I stopped after #4 fartlek which was the 2 mile mark (and my house) to cool off and get a drink.

I asked my coach for clarification on the 1 minute hard part as I knew I couldn't go all out for one minute without bursting something. Bursting....is....baaaaad.

Anyways, he said that he gets up to race (5K I assume) pace for the first 40 seconds and then goes all out for the last 20 seconds. At least that's what I heard, so that's what I did. Once again, it felt pretty good to cruise along at race pace (about 8:30 for me), the last 20 seconds, not so good...8-P

That's my hardest workout of the week! Day 3 and 4 are cake, right? Yeah, sure...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Celebrating the 4th of July

This is the usual method of celebrating the 4th of July, but not everyone celebrates this way. Take for example, my puppy, Denali. Here is her way of celebrating.
Awwwwww....isn't she cute!! Poor puppy...