Thursday, June 28, 2012

Second 5K of Year and Third Race of the Year Coming Up in a Week

I am looking at about one week until my second 5K and third race of the year. The second 5K will be in hot and humid conditions for the Fiest 5K. This will be the 79 years for the Fiesta Festival in Topeka, KS. It will be my second time running in the 5K race. I am looking forward to it. Truthfully, even though it will be hot and humid, it will not be too bad because we run early in the morning.

If you follow my updates (Month Six Update on Life Change) you know the the past few weeks I have been alcohol free. Yes, no beer, wine, or anything else that even resembles those items. I did not give it up as long as I did a year ago when I went for a few months without anything. This was primarily to see if it would help to drop any pounds. Just three or four weeks is not enough to notice anything when giving up drinks. Still, it was tough when grilling not to have a beer. Not to mention when going to my parents for pizza and not having a glass of wine. That was tough! Other than those instances, it was not bad at all.

Now, I am ready to go back to drinking beer. It is not as though I am going to go crazy, but I do look forward to enjoying a beer now and then. Before long we will be into football season and tailgating and I am not sure I could go through that without any beers.

I mentioned last time that I have my account on MyFitnessPal set to lose 1 & 1/2 pounds a week. I do plan on trying to keep that plan and not going over my calorie count. This might prove a little difficult to do if I am including beers into my diet. The weekends are always tough for food in general and that has been the case the past few weeks without alcohol too. Now, introduce alcohol and it will make it extremly difficult.

Following the Fiest 5K race, I will post picture updates. I do not see any changes when I look at myself, but I have had others say they can tell I have lost weight. No pictures have been posted for a few months, so I am interested to compare them side by side.

My friend Javier has been taking the magazine Runners World for a while now. He gives me issues to read and I have enjoyed the articles. This past week I received a email from Zinio electronic magazines with a $10 off code for any magazine. I decided to go ahead and buy it. I purchased it on Tuesday and I am almost done with the magazine. I have been reading it on our iPad and it is great! Getting tips and techniques from other runners and inspiration on doing more. I am excited to get the next episode too.

Until next time, happy runnings and stay cool!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Washburn in Wild Cat Territory

As I was driving back from a Washburn Alumni event in Manhattan, KS, I decided I would try something new this year. After all, I am the new incoming president as of July 1, so I thought I would try to post a brief update following each Washburn event I attend as a board member. One thing this does is add additional content to my blog and helps me to post on a regular basis.

With a little background and what I hope to accomplish over the course of the next two years, here is a summary of what happened at the June 14, 2012 event in Manhattan, KS. I plan to do something similar for meetings, sporting events, After Hours, etc.

The first alumni event ever held in Manhattan, KS was at the Colbert Hills Golf Course. For the first event, we had a nice group show up from the Manhattan area. There were about twenty signed up to attend and although I did not count, I would say just about everyone showed up.

The room we were in for the event was perfect (The Founders Room). It was the perfect size for our get together. We actually pushed the two tables in the room together to make one large table so everyone could sit together. We had wonderful appetizers to eat as we visited with Washburn alumni from the area. President and Mrs. Farley were in attendance too.

After visiting and snacking, President Farley spoke to the group about various happenings at Washburn. He said how happy he was to have a alumni gathering in Manhattan, KS and that he hopes it continues into the future. He shared various news with the group and answered questions they had too. Following the get together I spoke to Susie who told me that they expect to do one alumni gathering in Manhattan each year. We hope the word continues to spread through the community and we keep getting more and more people.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Month Six Update on Life Change

Loving Beer in Colorado a Few Years Ago
This is month six on my life change style. Since returning from Colorado (see Trip to Colorado Good Times), I have decided to give up any type of alcohol. Primarily this is because of the calories that alcohol has in it. Secondly, because when I drink beers, I want to eat afterwards or at least at some point after having a few beers. No, this is not a permnant life change as I LOVE beer. I am basically only giving up beers until the end of June. It is a experiment for myself to see if I can drop any more weight. I have been right around the same weight for the past 60 days. Goes up and down, but right around the same weight.

You might have noticed that I have not taken pictures (front or side) as I was doing initially. The main reason for no pictures is that I have been lazy about posting this on, or around, the 5 of each month. The other reason is that I have not noticed any changes in my physical appearance the past few times I did post pictures. So, part of the experiment is to see if giving up alcohol for a few weeks does anything drastic in terms of weight loss.

I have also been sticking to a strict diet. Staying under 1,860 calories a day. The weekends are typically the hardest time to try and stick to that calorie count. If I remember correctly, I have that calorie count set to try and lose two pounds per week. Well, after two months of sticking right around the same weight, I need something to change to kick it into the next gear with weight loss.

Until next time on my life change update, have a good June! Next month I will run in the Fiesta 5K which I am looking forward to. I hope to be able to post some pictures from that race.


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Trip to Colorado Good Times!

Colorado Mountains of Estes Park

We had a wonderful time in Colorado. The weather was beautiful and we ate at so many good spots. Lots of pictures of where we ate or what we ate.

We had beautiful weather the whole time we were there. The first day it was so cloudy a d smoggy that we could barely see the mountains. In fact, we could not see them at all except for the outline of the peaks of snow capped portions. We later found out the bad visibility was caused from fires in New Mexico and how the winds were carrying the smoke. After that first day, we had clear views the rest of the trip.

We were out in the Boulder, CO area during the annual BolderBoulder 10K race. A few of us plan on being out there again next year to take part in that race. Over 50,000 people show up for that race and they had wonderful weather for the event. We booked our trip not knowing it was the same time as this annual event, so we ended up getting hotel rooms in Louisville, CO which is only 15-20 minutes from Boulder.

Stream through Boulder

Streams through Colorado always bring back memories. Memories of being a kid with my parents and family traveling through Colorado Springs and on into Green Mountain Falls. We would go there just about every summer. I remember wading out as a kid into the middle of the stream with the water so cold, but yet I never wanted to get out of the stream; it felt so cool and it looked so cool seeing the occasional trout swim by. Good memories... This trip will bring back good memories too.

We did so much in the five days we were in Colorado. We started every day early and went until late in the evening. Javier and I did workout while we were there with running and biking. There were beautiful trails that went through the neighborhood we were in and eventually through ended up in a golf course.

Estes Park

Estes Park was amazing. We stopped by to take a tour of the Stanley Hotel. While it took longer than expected which cut into touring of the Rocky National Forest, I am glad that we went through the tour. It was interesting to hear the history of the hotel and how they came to be in Estes Park. Hearing how the rooms were haunted was also very interesting. No, we did not have any occurrences while we were touring. When they were talking about the kids tugging on fingers or uniting shoestrings, I found myself watching the others hoping to see their shoestrings untie.

In front of Stanley Hotel
Stanley Hotel

A few pictures of the food and drink we had while we were in Colorado.

Pancakes at Snooze. Best place for breakfast! These were so good!
Pancakes at Snooze

Drinks... Some of many

There was a festival taking place when we were there in Boulder which was a lot of fun too. We went down one evening to look around and there was a Neil Diamond singer there too that we had to stick around to watch.

Neil Diamond Singer

Drank some local beers while we watched and listened to the Neil Diamond band. He was good and sounded just like the "real" Neil Diamond. Carrie took the following video while we were there.

On the Beer Bus

We had a fun time on the party bus. The party bus started off at a tavern and then went to three breweries. It was funny that when the bus ride first started, groups on the bus were staying primarily within their own groups and not talking to the other groups. That all changed by the end of the evening after three different beer stops and various amounts of beers were consumed. We took a taxi from our hotel to the tavern and then back home, which was a good thing as we all had a good time.

The beer tour bus was a excellent experience. We had so much fun on the bus and we were able to experience three extremely different local breweries. From the beginning brewery that was all natural all the way up to a brewery that we can get here in Kansas.

Beer Tour Bus
To the left is the beer bus that we set out in for our evening of adventure. As we were driving down the highway, there were people taking pictures from their cars as they passed us. You cannot make it out from the picture, but there is wood on the side of the bus and the windows were completely open. That might be part of the reason why when we first started that no one on the bus was talking as we were just hoping we would make it to our destination. If you are in the Boulder area, I recommend taking part in the beer bus tour. Note that it is only available on Sunday evening.

To see more pictures from our trip, visit my Flickr page. I look forward to being out in Colorado again next year to take part in the 10K race. Our next vacation will be on the Washburn Alumni cruise in November.

One Year in June we Remember Sidney our Family Cat

Sidney reflection
It is hard to believe that one year ago on June 7 we put down our kitty Sidney. It seems like just yesterday that I met him for the first time (2001). The first time that I figured out exactly how cool cats can be. By the time I met Sidney, he was already an adult cat. Set in his ways and use to his owner Carrie.

We became good friends and I enjoyed seeing him each day once Carrie and I were married. Shortly after we put Sidney down, I wrote a post about my memories.... Sidney put to rest...

It is hard to beleive that a year has passed and we celebrate our cats existence in our family. What a great part of the family he was in our lives.

We were so miserable for so long after we down Sidney that I was not sure we would ever get over not having him in our family. Both Carrie and I would start crying at the slightest memory of him. There was no way I thought we could get past not having him in our lives let alone ever having another pet. We knew there was no way Sidney could ever be replaced and did not want to try and replace him. We figured we would not get another pet for a while.

We put Sidney down on Tuesday, June 7... Little did we know that two days prior on June 5, 2012 a Japanese Chin had been born that would become a part of our family.