Archive for the ‘Team AllEars’ Category

As the major winter holidays approach, a few things come to mind. But before I get into those, I want to take a few minutes to thank all those who donated to my Avon Walk page. So, a huge thank you to Mike & Katherine, Mike & Mary, Mark, Mindy & Chris, April & Janet, Charlie & Joan, Candi, Jed & Maureen, Becky, Janet, Mary, Melissa & Nimesh, Rodger & Karen, Jim & Elena, Fred & Renee, Ann, Donna & Jim, and most importantly, my mom and sister, as well as Supportive Partner Woman (culinary creative genius!). I never thought I’d get to my original goal, much less triple that. It’s very humbling knowing that folks out there are willing to support me and believe in what I’ve accomplished.

And to think, in a little over two weeks, I’ll have that first 5K under my belt. Then all bets are off.

In the meantime, I’m focused on rehabbing Wayne. I saw the foot doctor on Thursday and Wayne is healing, just not as rapidly as I would like. That’s primarily due to the blister’s location on the bottom of my toe. Of course, when I first saw the doc about this toe, he was concerned about infection and prescribed a liquid amoxicillin. Now, I’ve had amoxicillin before and never had any issues, but the liquid stuff gave me a nasty drug rash that itched so badly I had to pay a visit to the Urgent Care. Thankfully it’s started to heal up already, because while Benadryl keeps the itching down, it puts me down as well.

Mmmm... chocolate caramel shortbread.

Mmmm… chocolate caramel shortbread.

So, we’re rapidly closing on the Christmas holiday. Once again, with everything going on, we are woefully behind. We don’t even have a tree set up. Maybe this weekend. We have managed to do some baking, however, and that’s gone rather swimmingly. I made my semi-famous chocolate chip cookies, as well as lepp cookies. SPW chimed in with spritz cookies, chocolate cookies, something that looks like a flying saucer with a Hershey Kiss in side, and her ever-evolving chocolate caramel shortbread. This year she baked the shortbread into a cup, made her own caramel and topped it with melted chocolate. A nice, bite-size portion. They are actually kind of cute, as well as yummy. I’ll try to pry a recipe out of her to post on here.

Other than that, I’m looking forward to the holidays and having a day off to spend with family.

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and I can’t wait to tell you all about my 5K experience.

The US holiday of Thanksgiving is almost upon us. For many folks, this is a chance to gorge oneself on turkjey and stuffing, loosen your pants, sit on the couch and sleep though a game featuring my favorite team (which would be whoever is playing Dallas), then hit up the fridge for leftovers.

It’s an American tradition.

Not for this guy. For me, Thanksgiving will be giving thanks that I changed my life around.

Thanks for another year with family and loved ones

Thanks for vacation starting next week.

Thanks for the friends I’ve made through the Disney community and my teammates.

And thanks that we still have a few freedoms left.

ThanksgivingLet me first start by thanking my totally awesome big sister for her very generous donation toward my Avon goal. Only $119 to go! I might add that thanks to the generous support I’ve received, I’m closing in on tripling my original goal. So, thanks to you as well.

Had the opportunity Monday to have lunch with an old elementary school friend who I’ve not seen in around 25 years. He was back in Pennsylvania from California and we had a nice time. It’s funny… you start out kind of stiff, then you realized why you liked each other and it’s like old times sake. It was great to see him and I hope it’s not another 25 years until we see each other again.

Also, Supportive Partner Woman (devoted Whovian!) and I managed to see the Fathom Events simulcast of Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor. It was so awesome to see it in HD on a theater screen and even more awesome to see David Tennant back in the role, alongside Matt Smith. The theater was loaded with nerds, which isn’t a bad thing, and the audience was quite appreciative.

That’s something else I need to give thanks for. SPW truly is the perfect match for me. We can do nerdy stuff and have a blast. We can also agree to disagree. She thinks I’m too good for her, but truth be told, she deserves much better than me. Do we agree on everything? No. But that’s OK.

So, if you have your own SPW (os SPM), give thanks for them and to them. They make it all worthwhile.

Happy thanksgiving, everyone!

Song of the Day: Be Good to Yourself – Journey
Currently Reading: Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

 

So, today there was an announcement from Nerd Herd Running on the final results from the 2013 Trilogy. They set their first goal, annihilated it, set a second goal, went medieval on that one, and for good measure, obliterated the third goal as well.

Together, we managed to raise over $17,000 for Stupid Cancer.

$17 large.

Damn.

Happy!

Happy!

You can read the nuts and bolts here, but I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about what an amazing group of people this is. These are people who embrace their nerddom and aren’t afraid to show it. Words fail me when I need to come up with superlatives to describe their efforts. For such a small group of people to achieve so much totally blows my mind. I’m proud to say they are amongst my inspirations. I look forward to finally meeting most of them in January. So, thanks again Sara, Julie, Jamison, Mike, Joelle, Christina, Brad, Erinn, Dan, Jeff, Christine and April. You guys set a high standard and I’m super proud to be associated with you.

This is not to take away from my own fundraising efforts for Team AllEars. So many of you have contributed and allowed me to raise my goal yet again. Help me get there by clicking here to donate a couple dollars. The link will take you to the Avon site and allow for secure donations. I would dearly love to hit $1,500. There’s still time and it is fully tax deductible.

Postings will be sparse the next few weeks. Between the upcoming holiday and the usual workload, Supportive Partner Woman (survivor of the MRI tube) and I are going to catch the 3-D theater presentation of Day of the Doctor and we also have a much-needed vacation on the books. I will check in while I can, but I wanted to wish you all a happy and joyous Thanksgiving, Chanukkah, or whatever other holidays you celebrate. Remember to stay active and love your families.

 

I figured I should warn y’all that this post will have a picture of a foot. So, if you’re foot-averse, be warned.

So, it’s Monday. That usually means the weekend is done and it’s time to get back to work. Sadly, it’s the beginning of November, and for the big cheeses at the soulless corporation I work for, this means a chance to compel us lowly worker bees to work overtime.

I have a love/hate relationship with overtime.

The paychecks are nice. VERY nice. But you wonder if the headaches are worth it. Being ordered around by people who like to THINK they are supervisors is always a drag, as is actually starting at paperwork for extra hours. The seem to think it’s life or death, but the fact of the matter is that what we do doesn’t really have a huge impact on the safety and well-being of the majority of people in the US.

Enough about that, though.

The Boo to Cancer 5K medal

The Boo to Cancer 5K medal

I signed up for and completed another virtual 5K this past week. A friend and teammate had put together the Boo to Cancer Virtual 5K to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. I did things a little differently, opting to cover the distance on the elliptical, since it was my second day out of the boot and I didn’t know how the foot would behave with full-length toes for the first time in years. I managed to get the 3.1 miles done in 21:16, which was pretty cool for me.

Chickie's Rock anticline

Chickie’s Rock anticline

I also managed to get up to the Chickie’s Rock Overlook again last week. I was hoping for more of a foliage change, but I think I beat that by a few days. I did manage to get a slightly different view, as it was pretty deserted and a lot of the leaves had fallen. One of the highlights was looking at the exposed rock face. I’m not sure what the exact geological composition of the rock is, but it’s enough to make you contemplate just how insignificant humanity’s time on the Earth has been. Knowing that this anticline has been eroded through over millennia by flowing water, and that erosion will continue for millennia after we’re gone. Really puts things in perspective.

The freshly straightened toes (with Stubby to the left)

The freshly straightened toes (with Stubby to the left)

Speaking of the foot, I’m attaching a picture where the toes are not all bandaged up. The toes are nice and straight and it was really weird, actually feeling the texture of a sock with the bottom of my toes. They had been curled for so long, I didn’t really remember the sensation.

So, that’s pretty much what’s happening here in cow country. I would like to give a shoutout to my friend Brad who not only completed the NYC marathon on Sunday, but did it while enjoying himself AND followed up by getting interviewed on GMA. Way to go, Brad!

One other note. I’ve been talking about my Team AllEars fundraising. I’m pleased to announce that due to an unusually generous corporate match, my fundraising total has eclipsed $1,000. This is more than double my original goal. I have to give thanks to everyone who has contributed, and if you haven’t, there’s still time. Feel free to donate here… any amount $5.00 or greater is most appreciated.

I’d also like to take a moment to offer belated birthday wishes to the lovely and gracious Supportive Partner Woman. She had a birthday on Halloween and we’ve now entered the four months of the year when I can get away with busting on her for being older than me. I should also mention that the day prior to her birthday we celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary, which, I think, is the Styrofoam anniversary. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve made it this long and the good days far outnumber the bad days. Some days that’s all you can ask for. I will note that I love her more today than I did on our wedding day.

That’s really saying something.

I’m proud to report that I completed the Nerd Herd Racing Series by finishing a virtual half marathon this week.

Yes, Captain Fattie did 13.1 (actually 14.17) in 3:39:26.

That’s not a typo.

I actually feel pretty proud of myself… I accomplished something I never thought I would do. Granted, it took me three days, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. There’s obviously some room for improvement, including actually pounding the pavement for 13 miles, or maybe doing it in the same day, but I’m on the road.

So, Supportive Partner Woman and I visited a new rail trail today. The Enola  Low Grade Rail Trail runs for 5.25 miles through southern Lancaster County. It parallels the Susquehanna River and also the existing Norfolk Southern rail line. It’s a very scenic trail, with a wonderful panorama of the broad Susquehanna and the wooded bluffs on the York County side of the river.

We didn’t see too much in the way of wildlife… there were raptors soaring over the updrafts and plenty of grasshoppers. The scenery, though was top notch. The township has placed numerous viewing platforms along the trail which allow you to see over the fence.

View of the Susquehanna Valley south of Columbia

View of the Susquehanna Valley south of Columbia

One of the wind turbines

One of the wind turbines

One of the other sights along the trail is at the northern trailhead. The local electric co-op has installed two large wind turbines. They are actually the tallest structures in Lancaster County. The power goes pretty much exclusively into the Turkey Hill Dairy and they provide a good part of the facility’s power needs.

1948 PRR caboose

1948 PRR caboose

One of the other nice touches that the township has provided is a large piece of railroad nostalgia. This 1948 Pennsylvania Railroad caboose was restored to its period appearance and is joined by some historical data concerning its history and its restoration.

waterfall

Waterfall

The final highlight are the rocky streams and waterfalls. They pass under the trail, then through a small aqueduct that carries the water over the Norfolk Southern line and falls into the river. It’s just an extra nice touch on a trail that has a lot of them.

The sole issue that we found is that there’s not a lot of shade, which would make a long walk in the dead of summer somewhat toasty. The saving grace is that the mile-wide river valley seems to funnel air through it, creating a steady, cool breeze. If you are folically-challenged, like myself, I would recommend a hat and some sunscreen, otherwise your melon might get a little crispy.

As an editorial note, I’m really thrilled with how well the rail trail program has taken hold in this area. There are three nice trails in the general vicinity and there are plans to connect them to a wider network of trails. It makes sense in Pennsylvania, seeing the sheer number of unused rail lines. It’s also nice to see the cross-section of people using the trails, whether it be for running, walking, or biking. I look forward to getting to the southern end of the trail so I can check out the dam.

Soon.

I’ve been neglecting my inspiration segment here of late. With that being said, today I’d like to give a shoutout to Joe. Joe is a reformed big guy who’s also a part of Team AllEars, I met him at the Harrisburg Half Marathon a few weeks ago and was really taken by how open and genuine he is, not only about his running, but where he’s been. It really inspired me to commit to the Disney races in 2015, so it’s really his fault.

Thanks, Joe. Looking forward to catching up at Hershey next month.

Hit a major point in my burgeoning career as a wogger.

I accomplished the week marathon.

Basically, I covered 26.2 miles in seven days.

For a reformed fattie like myself, this is a pretty huge deal. For me to drag my tubby butt out of the house and either hit the gym or the trail is something that would’ve been laughable eight or nine months ago. Back then I was struggling to do a mile at a time on the dreadmill. That wasn’t every day, either. That was twice a week.

My average per day now? 3.78 miles.

It’s pretty cool. As one of my Team AllEars teammates has told me, there’s a lot of the population that isn’t hoofing it that far in a week and I should be proud of myself.

It’s just that I can’t take the credit.

The credit goes to the people that encourage me… my family, my teammates, my coworkers. They deserve the credit, because without their encouragement, I’d probably still be sitting on the couch getting fatter. Thanks to the support and encouragement I have been given, well, I spend less time on the couch and more time being constructive.

Spectators lined the course

Spectators lined the course

The highlight of today’s travels was the fact that I managed to jog around 1/4 mile of the 4.28 that I logged. It was a good day on the trail… perfect weather, spectators (of the four-legged variety), and not too many horse mines to dodge. It seemed like some of the spectators were hanging out just to watch the folks on the trail, and maybe offer a whinny of encouragement. All in all a good day.

So,going forward, I have another week until the Banned Book Half kicks off. I’d love it if some of you folks could see fit to help the cause by donating to my Avon Walk fundraising page. Every little bit helps, even if it’s only $5.00. I would be grateful, as would those the foundation helps.

Have a great week, everyone!

P.S. I found myself sitting in the Nerd Lair at 4 AM watching The Jazz Singer on one of the Encore channels.

Song of the Day: Short Skirt/Long Jacket – Cake

Currently reading: Atlantis Found – Clive Cussler

The pedometer screen

The pedometer screen

That’s right, campers… yours truly completed a 10K yesterday. It wasn’t the fastest on record, but for me, it’s a pretty big deal. I did it on the rail trail, so it was nice and shady, there was a breeze going, and it felt pretty good.

Until the last half mile.

That’s when the ankles started barking, and everything hurt, but the only way I’m getting back to the car is by finishing the walk. One of the good reasons to do this stuff on the trail.

My Harry Potter bib

My Harry Potter bib

The little 10K jaunt also marked the completion of the second part of the Nerd Herd virtual racing series. This one was Harry Potter themed, and I’m glad I managed to get it done. Next up is that banned book half, but I’m sure I’ll be doing that over two or three days.

I spent this morning at the Harrisburg Half Marathon cheering on two of my Team All Ears teammates. It was TAE teammate Joe’s first real half, and he was running it with his mentor, Brad, a good friend of mine. They both finished the course in under 2:30, which really puts into perspective how slow I am, and how far I have to go. Then there are the really fast people, doing it in under 90 minutes. To put into persepctive, they did 13.1 miles in less time than it took me to go 6.2.

Yes, how far I have to go.

See, I’m looking at 2015 to run the Disney World half AND the Disneyland half. If I’m going to do it, I want the coast to coast bling,

There. It’s in print.

That’s my goal.

I have no idea how I’m going to accomplish this, just that I have to do it somehow. I think it was in the back of my mind when I first thought of doing the 5K. Either that or Melanie planted that seed somewhere on a ship in the Caribbean way back in 2010.

In other news, Supportive Partner Woman and I were able to join TAE teammates Matt, Brad and Joe, along with their families, for a lunch at TJ Rockwell’s in Elizabethtown. Special thanks to Matt who drove the farthest, and it was especially great to see him, as it’s been around four years. Wasn’t even too bad a food day. We all shared a huge appetizer platter (sliders, onion rings, boneless wings, pretzel logs and the rhino fries. I managed half a pretzel, half a slider (left the bun), two onion rings and three fries. For a main course, I ordered a crab cake sandwich, of which I could only eat half.

So, folks… there you have it. I’ve set a pretty big goal for myself.

Now to make it happen.

I’ll keep you posted.

Song of the Day: Without Me – Eminem

Currently Reading: Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football – John U. Bacon