Sunday, April 29, 2007

Post Marathon Report

Two nights in a row with about 4 hours of sleep each and a marathon in between has left me little time to post my post-marathon update. But here I am. I've stolen a couple of pics from Jessica to show you. Hopefully I'll have a few more to come soon.

So my big news is that I trained for a 3:40 marathon and my official time was 3:40:01!! Pretty crazy. The day couldn't have been more perfect. It was cool, no rain, partly overcast but also partly sunny. The course was great. For being in middle Tennessee it wasn't nearly as hilly as it could have been and the organization was awesome!! The organizers of that marathon did an excellent job. I felt catered too all day which is saying a lot for a rock star!

About my run . . . I was actually able to maintain a 7:50/mile pace for quite a long time which was even surprising me. My goal was to run hard enough that I would be hurting at the end though so I went for it. I've trained with walk breaks every 9 minutes but decided to skip every other one early in hopes that I could have a faster time. In the end I did a total of 13 walk breaks instead of the 21 or so I would have done. I also had to make two toilet stops due to some of my ongoing digestive issues. So if my health was all good I could have shaved another four minutes off my time.

I was getting excited while I was running because I knew that an 8:00/mile average would give me a 3:30 marathon. I checked my watch at 19 miles and I was still averaging 7:53 or something like that. So I thought, all I need to do is run my normal 7 mile run in under an hour like I always do and I'll have a 3:30!! That had me pumped. But there is a real mental battle that happens in those last 4-6 miles for me and once again it kicked my butt. I don't get it. I was frustrated but I didn't want to miss my 3:40 so I at least pushed through to make that. I could have easily been totally beaten and missed that too.

So now I know I can run a 3:30. Weird. I think the trick is to lengthen my distance threshold. I've never run more than 26.2 miles. Maybe if I ran 30 miles at some point those last few miles of a marathon wouldn't be so difficult. Even a Boston marathon qualifying time of 3:10 is in my realm of
possibilities now. Also weird. I never thought I'd even think that. I'm not yet sure if I want to give it a shot. Anyway, I'm going to try and keep my running pretty low key for the next couple of weeks. Then regroup and plan my training for between now and Disney.

As far as the pain goes . . . Yesterday I felt pretty good. Better than I wanted to actually. I've felt pretty good most of the day today too but going up and down stairs the last few hours has been a little tough. All in all I think my body could have handled a little more abuse which would have resulted in a faster time!!! It's all in the mind.

The whole gang.
Heather Jessica and my sister Tracy volunteered at one of the water stations and everyone else ran either the full or the half marathon.
L-R: Jeremy and Erin Thiessen, Jason and Heather Germain, Jessica and Dave Lewis, Glenn, Krista and Tracy Lavender

The band guys.
L-R: Jeremy Thiessen, Jason Germain, Me, Dave Lewis


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pre Marathon Report

Well today I did my final run before the Nashville Marathon. It's actually called the Country Music Marathon but I can't allow myself to call it that. I'm hoping all the country music along the route will only make me run faster so that I can get away from it!

Well I think it's time I set out some of my goals here that I have been working towards. I ran the Toronto Marathon back in October in 4:25 I think. And my very first marathon, the Disney Marathon, I ran in 4:30. So my plan for this run is to complete the marathon in 3:40 which is a good 40-50 minutes faster than my other two. Actually my primary goal is to finish, secondary to finish under 4 hours and lastly to finish in 3:40. If I pull it off I'll be pretty darn proud. I'll likely never be able to knock that much time off of a race ever again.

My training run that covered the full marathon distance was covered in 3:53 so I know I can do a sub four hour run and I know I am in shape for this. Likely the best shape of my life. In fact, after that 3:53 training run I felt pretty good so I'm convinced I could have run harder. So that's what I plan on doing on Saturday. One of my favorite Dean Karnazes - Ultra Marathon Man quotes is "Pain eliminates weakness." I plan on trying to eliminate some weakness this weekend. I'll let you know how it turns out.



Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In the News

Well I made it into my hometown paper. That's always fun. They did a decent job although they used an old photo. Oh well. Thanks for giving us a small front page slot Cambridge Times!!

Here's the link.


Canadian Idol

As promised, here is a picture of me with Canadian Idol judge Zack Werner.

I had the privilege of sitting next to him at the Juno Awards. Only problem was that I didn't know who he was since I've never seen the show. The camera guy was on him for a while and they seemed to know each other so I thought I'd ask who he was. He was good about it. I guess he's really pretty well known here if you're a Canadian Idol watcher. Maybe I will be this year.



Monday, April 09, 2007

Sedentary to Active - Another Convert!!

My brother in law is embarking on a great adventure as of this past Saturday. He is going from the sedentary life to an active one. Here’s what he says in his “about me.”

“Out of shape guy working in the Information Technology field who's trying to change things up. Typical day consists of sitting in a car for 2.5 hours while commuting. Sits in front of a computer at work for about 7.5 hours. Also sits in front of a computer at home in the evening for about 4 hours. Yep, think it's time to get off his butt.”

So he’s going from that to running the Disney Half Marathon in January!! Woo hoo! You can follow his progress on his blog.

Go Mark!!



Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Global Warming - What Are You Doing?

Those of you living in Canada who sponsor children through World Vision likely get a publication called Child View. Take a look at the Spring 2007 issue. (or download it free here.)There is a great article on how we can help others in developing countries by changing some of our ways at home. I‘ll share a few of those ways below.

Shortly after reading that article I finally watched Al Gore’s, An Inconvenient Truth. If you haven’t seen it, please go out and rent it and watch it this week. The statistics are staggering. We may be headed for serious Revelation type events if we don’t change our current course of action.

Then while in an airport yesterday I noticed the cover of Time Magazine, “The Global Warming Survival Guide” is the headline. They have a list of 51 things you can do to make a difference. I’ll share a few of the ones I think are most effective.

Then this morning I went to my usual to see what’s going on in the news in the homeland and noticed a link to a whole section on going green. Once there the headline story was about a small town in Manitoba called Leaf Rapids. This town is the first one in Canada to ban plastic bags. It sounds like San Francisco (the city I am writing in right now) is next in line to make that same change.

As you can see there seems to finally be a pretty serious shift here, at least in the media, to the fact that climate change is real. So now it’s our turn to do our part. Hopefully all of you are already doing things to help out but here are more ideas to keep, or get, you on track.

From World Vision Canada’s Child View magazine:

Make The Connection
- A warmer world is going to affect the people in the hottest places more than anywhere else. And that’s exactly where the world’s poorest people live. By becoming more green we have the potential to offer a better life to those people.
Buy Less, Buy Locally
- Buy less and you have less waste. Easy concept. Buy items of high quality that will last longer. Look for items with minimal packaging. The transport of goods that are shipped to us is a major contributor of greenhouse gases. Support your neighbours and reduce nasty truck emissions. Note: An idea I read in the Toronto Sun was that grocery stores be mandated to put signs on their produce that indicate how far it traveled to get there.

From Time Magazine’s April 9th issue: There were 51 "things you can do", I’ve chosen 9. I picked the ones with the highest impact and that were easiest for people like you and I to accomplish today.

Open A Window
- Open a window instead of running the AC. Adjust the thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter.
Skip The Steak
- The meat industry generates more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation!!!! Eat your vegetables!
Just Say No to Plastic Bags
- A high impact easy solution
Support Your Local Farmer
- I already mentioned this one under World Vision but it’s worth mentioning again. Hit the local Farmer’s Market, help keep your neighbours and your community in business.
Remove The Tie
- Japan cut an estimated 79,000 tons of CO2 during the summer of 2005 by keeping its office temperatures at 82.4F throughout the summer. Loosen those collars and relax boys!
Shut Off Your Computer
- If you’re reading this then I know your computer is on. Save yourself some money and shut’er down when you’re not using it. That means off not sleep. While you’re at it make sure all of your other electronics and lights are in the off position too.
Rake In The Fall Colours
- Put that blower away and give your health a boost too. Use a rake, use a shovel, use your muscles, everybody wins!
Change Your Lightbulbs
- Fluorescent and LED lights use as much as 25% of the energy as standard lights. Save yourself some money and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.

And last, this one is a bit of a dream but I think it’s a cool idea.

Get a Carbon Budget
- Here’s the idea. We all have a certain allowance of carbon emissions. Whether we choose to live above that allowance or below it is up to us. Live below and gain credits, live above and pay for more credits. So let’s say you bike or walk to work and gain some carbon credits. You can then sell those credits to Mr. Hummer driver since, if he wants to drive his Hummer, which is way above the allowance, he needs more credits. This way we keep a balance of carbon emissions and let the market work out the details. I’m sure there are a million things wrong with this theory but it sounds like a cool idea to me.



A short story from the Junos.

Our seats were as front row as you could get. Any closer and we would be on the floor with all the “seat filler” type volunteers. These are people who are in their late teens/early twenties and dressed up in their best; guys with their funkiest rockstar clothes and girls in their sexiest outfits. It didn’t feel like we were in Saskatchewan anymore. It felt more like a video shoot in LA or New York. Back in our front row seats I sat next to a guy from the Toronto area for a little while. He was friends with one of the Canadian Idol judges which is how he got into everything I guess. He was nice and seemed to be enjoying the weekend, especially the parties. He asked me how I was enjoying the parties. You know, the staying up until 5am type of Juno weekend parties. Not being the real partying type I just tried to avoid the question. Nelly Furtado’s band was getting set up. This guy leans over and says to me, “Wow, now there’s a great looking girl! Do you see her? Over there, what do you think?”

What do I think? I think I want to avoid this whole question! I feel like I’m in high school again trying to answer this one. I don’t like sizing up people. It’s unfair. And me sizing up a woman is unfair to my wife. So, what to do? How do I answer this one?

I decide I’ll look, hopefully that will buy me some time to come up with a response. I really just do not want to answer the question.

I look in the direction he indicated. It looks like it’s one of the seat fillers he’s referring to. Likely 10 years younger than me, maybe 20 years younger than him! I then notice that just behind this girl Nelly’s band is almost ready and Nelly has a backup singer on a platform with a short skirt on. Not being totally sure whom he was referring to I just pretend he means the woman on stage, that way I have a response.
“Oh her?” I asked. He nodded.
“Your eyes were just reeled in by that short skirt.” I say. He laughed and kept nodding his head. That seemed to satisfy him. Mini-crisis averted.

However, this is a good reminder that I live in somewhat of a Christian bubble. Playing in a Christian band mostly in churches, living with a Christian family, and knowing almost only Christians makes it easy to forget how most people on this continent live. Now, what to do with this reminder. . .



Monday, April 02, 2007

Juno Awards and A Birthday Idea

I think most of the people I know who read this will already know that we won a Juno for Contemporary Christian / Gospel Album Of The Year. We are very excited as this is the biggest award you can get in music in Canada. We were able to spend the weekend in Saskatoon and take in all the festivities.

We were treated to quite an evening on the night our award was given out. We all found it rather humorous that only 24 hours previous to us accepting our Juno we were sitting in a parking lot with a wheel broken off of our trailer. Now, we are walking around getting great tasting hors d’oeuvres, sipping our drinking and rubbing shoulders with the who’s who in the Canadian music industry. Then, we had dirty hands and sweaty shirts and had to try and trouble shoot a way to make it to the gig on time. Irony seems to be the way with us.

The big show, the one that is televised, was great. They really did a great job. I’m not a fan of Nelly Furtado really but I think they did the right thing when planning for her to host. Like Jeremy said, they really played up her ditzy side. And I think that was a good plan. We couldn’t believe how many awards she won. I think it turned into the Nelly Furtado show.

We didn’t know many of the artists that played but I did get to sit next to a Canadian Idol judge. I’ll post that picture when I get it off my phone. And speaking of phones . . . onto my birthday.

Yes it’s a few months away but I couldn’t resist letting you know about this. Apparently Steve jobs wanted to give all my friends the perfect opportunity to give me a great birthday gift. Rumor has it (here and here)that the iPhone will be released on June 11th which is, of course, my birthday. So thank you Steve and I look forward to opening the box when I get it from all of my loyal Blog readers. Thank you in advance!




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