Week 5 of 6 Training for a Half Marathon

Sorry I haven’t kept up better with blogging about my training. Due to being out of town and getting sick I have missed a few trainings. Most of the time I tried to make them up or just do a cut down version. In general over the past 5 weeks I have knocked my goal down a little bit for the event.

Week 5 Training Progress

The Indianapolis Marathon is coming up quickly. To date I am weighing in at 213lbs which is a bit heavier than week 2 but there are a lot of things that can go into that, but the important part is that my body fat is still showing about 27%. So far the farthest we have run without stopping is 4.2 miles and we kept about a 10 minute mile pace. This might not sound like much for having to run 13.1 miles here in a couple of weeks but I am not worried about it. We are starting to think that we might do the race like such:

  • Run 4.1 miles – 9 left
  • Walk .5 miles – 8.5 left
  • Run 3 miles – 5.5 left
  • Walk .5 miles – 5 left
  • Run 2.5 miles – 2.5 left
  • Walk .5 miles – 2 left
  • Run the last 2 miles

Hopefully, taking the half mile walking breaks keeps us from getting worn out without racking up too much time. With this we are hoping to finish probably around 2:30 to 2:45. I know 15 minutes is a bit of a range but I am really not sure how fast ‘running’ will be on those last couple of intervals.

I would say that overall the schedule that I came up with for training is pretty good, but a little bit too ambitious. We haven’t done the full training plan but we have stuck pretty close to the 4 workouts a week, just smaller distances than scheduled. In short, I think it is looking pretty good to be able to train for a half marathon in 6 weeks.

Disc Drivin’ Quick Sand – Don’t Anger The DD Gods

Disc Drivin’ Phantom Floor

You win some, you lose some. And sometimes Disc Drivin decides to give your opponents a leg up at your expense. This isn’t the first time I have seen this happen and I am sure it won’t be the last. Not sure yet the rhyme or reason of this ‘bug’ but it only seems to happen if you are landing and have used your speed boost.

Setting Up For Failure

Little does he know, that this swipe will not get him the edge on the competition. Instead it will drop him through the floor.

Setting Up For Failure

Boost And Jump – Looking Good

The turn is still looking good here for mister 1st place, however the DD gods are not happy with him.

Zoom Zoom Jump Shortcut

Coming In For The Landing

Still looks like a perfectly fine turn but there is a certain evil lurking.

Coming in For a Landing on Zoom Zoom

Wait What? Quicksand‽

Where’d he go?

Quicksand on Disc Drivin'

Remember to never anger the DD gods or you might just fall through the floor.

Disc Drivin’s Dreaded Bumper Beware Winning Jump

In case you didn’t know, Disc Drivin’ is the best iOS game around. It is the main reason one might own an iDevice actually. This will likely be one of a series of Disc Drivin related posts as this blog is about things I am interested in. DD as it is commonly referred to at work, is an integral part of our team. It gives us a nice couple of minute break, some competition, and some common ground on which we can all relate.

Bumper Beware – A Deadly Course

Bumper Beware is by far one of my most favorite courses in DD. The fairly simple jump that takes a bit of planning can make for a fun comeback or just a way to lap people and laugh. In case you do not know what I am referring to there will be some screenshots below.

Step 1 – Placement

Like most shortcuts in Disc Drivin’ placement before the jump is key here. Also: Don’t Try this without prior power up.
Bumper Beware Jump Step 1 - Placement

Setp 2 – Timing of The Jump

Along with this step it is worth noting that your speed is important and for this jump you should be able to go close to full speed.
Step 2 Timing of The Jump

Winning!

This is less of a step and more of an outcome of careful preparation and flawless execution. Well Done!
Winning

American Heart Association Indianapolis Heart Walk and 5k Run

2 Weeks of Training For A Half Marathon

Tomorrow will mark 2 weeks of training for my upcoming half marathon at the 17th Annual Indianapolis Marathon in October. I decided it would be a good idea to get at least one competitive run under my belt before jumping into a half marathon. This past Saturday there was a timed 5k for a good cause that Community Health Network (where I work) was a big part of. So, I signed my girlfriend and I up and waited excitedly for Saturday morning to roll around.

Community Health Network at The 2012 Indianapolis Heart Walk

Week 2 Stats – Half Marathon Training

I weighed in 6 pounds lighter this morning than when I started running 2 weeks ago with my body fat down a total of about 3%. For those that aren’t keeping track that would be 212lbs and about 27% body fat.

Morning Of My First 5K

We woke up early Saturday morning to make sure that we were ready for the race, starting off with some oatmeal, milk, and a little bit of coffee to get us going. To prepare our bodies we did a bit of stretching and for a warm up (and to get there) we biked about 3 miles. Arriving about 30 minutes before the race we had plenty of time to claim our bibs, visit a few booths for some free stuff, and get some water and healthy snacks that were provided. Up until this point I had never run in any sort of race and had never run quite that far before. In my training I ran 3 miles in about 31 minutes almost a week prior but I was hoping to finish the 3.1 miles in under 30 minutes.

Start of the Heart Walk 5k

The race started off crowded and slow as I assume many do. Less than half a mile in I was already not feeling great about the race. I started to wonder if I would be able to run the full 5k without walking and doubt started to set in. I was also having some pain in my shins, possible shin splints but I tried to get my mind back on the side of positive. At the first half mile there was a convenient hydration station that my girlfriend and I missed because we were on the wrong side of the sidewalk and the race was still pretty compact and crowded at this point. Getting closer to the first mile mark the crowd started to thin out and I was feeling as if the mile marker was coming too slowly. Not sure if it was the anxiety, anticipation, excitement, or what that was causing the doubt and the feeling that I was moving to slow. Or maybe the woman that just passed me while pushing a huge stroller, but 1 mile I was still not feeling great about the race.

Mid 5k – Getting in Pace

It was about 1.5 miles in when I started to turn my negative thoughts around and really started to feel good about the race. We were about half way done and I had my breathing down well, my shins didn’t hurt or I didn’t notice at least, and we had a comfortable pace going. Around mile 2 we really started to regret missing the first hydration station but other than that we were doing great.

Indianapolis Heart Walk Timed 5k Bibs
365 and 364: My girlfriend and I

Approaching That 5th K

At the 2.5 mile mark we found the second hydration station and with the crowd being very sparse now it was easy to get to. We walked a few steps while drinking but I was anxious to get back in stride. At this point I was feeling great and just trying to decide when I could start picking up speed without burning myself out before the finish line. In probably the last 4 tenths of a mile or so I picked the pace up by probably about 1 mile per hour and started to pass quite a few people.

Finishing My First 5k

Coming across the bridge I can start to see the finish line. At this point, I am a bit short of breath and really pushing myself. I passed one last person and then started to sprint. As soon as I picked up my pace the person I had just passed does the same. This, I think was a good thing, as it felt like I had to finish before her now so I ran even faster. At this point I could see the time as well and realized that I was going to be able to beat my goal of 30 minutes and every second started to matter as, for the first time, I really wanted a good time. As I passed over the sensors and heard the beeping I felt great. I was breathing heavy by now but felt that I could have run 3 more miles if needed. I grabbed some cold chocolate milk that they were offering and walked around a bit to cool down. Now I can’t wait to try to find other 5k or 10k races to prepare for the half marathon.

Couch Potato To Half Marathon in 6 Weeks – Can I Do It

Been trying a challenge that is a bit out of my norm lately. I am training for a half marathon. The 17th annual Indianapolis Marathon is coming up in October, and I decided it might be a good idea to do the half marathon. I have never been a runner but I have biked many 20-40 mile rides in the past. Though lately I have been a little out of shape, so why not try a new challenge.

HALF MARATHON

Just for some perspective I am 5′ 11″ 218lbs with about 29% body fat according to my scale (hope that isn’t very accurate). I have always been built pretty well from growing up in construction work and working out but college ruined that and blessed me with a beer gut.

6 Weeks to Train For a Half Marathon

Going from somewhat of a couch potato to a half marathon in 6 weeks is likely crazy. Most of what I found online said that it can’t be done or at least shouldn’t be done. I however, really want to do it and so I looked over a bunch of different training plans for 10-12+ week half marathon routines, and ended up coming up with my own. I am aware that I can hurt myself so I am attempting to use caution. And I by no means plan to be first, I just want to do it.

I am starting this blog a little behind as I am already one week down and at the end of my first week I ran my first 5k(ish) in 31 minutes. To stay in the half marathon I will have to be able to do 13.1 miles with a 17:00min/mile pace. Which is pretty slow moving but for someone that isn’t in great shape it is still a lot of moving. To give you some basics for now I started out small and I am trying to work up slowly to be able to run 10 miles without stopping or with very little walking. I figure if I can do 10, then I can do 13.1 even if I have to walk the last 3. In one week I am down about 4lbs 2.4% body fat and can already tell a big difference from the first mile that I ran to the 3 miles that I ran 2 days ago.

Easily Remove Unwanted Spam Emails or Newsletters You are Tired of With Outlook.com

Outlook.com just taught me a neat new trick that it has with the ‘Sweep’ drop down at the top. I opened one of my alias inboxes to see only a couple of spam-like emails that I would never want to see. Outlook.com was nice enough to have a little tool-tip that tells me I can easily get rid of unwanted emails with it’s sweep function.

Outlook.com Sweep Function To Keep Inbox Clean
A quick easy way to keep your inbox clean.

Outlook.com Sweep To Clean Out Your Inbox

When you are looking at an email from a sender that you don’t really care to be getting emails from anymore you can click on the ‘Sweep’ link at the top of outlook.com. When you select Sweep you will have 5 options which are, ‘Move all from…’, ‘Delete all from…’, ‘Unsubscribe’, ‘Schedule cleanup’, and ‘Manage rules’. This appears to be the typical ‘Move to’ and ‘Spam/Junk’ options that we typically see and of course the manage rules link. While I don’t think that there is any really new innovative ideas here, I do like how they have it packaged.

Move all from…

I can easily move everything from that sender to a new folder and have the option to send any new content from that sender to the same folder.

Delete all from…

I can delete all of the messages from this sender and also block any more from coming in from this sender.

Unsubscribe

Self explanatory but an easy way to unsubscribe from emails from that sender.

Schedule cleanup

Schedule cleanup is one that I do not think we see quite as common or at least not as front facing. When we click on Schedule cleanup we get a few options.

Outlook.com Sweep Schedule Cleanup
Help to automatically keep your inbox clean
  • We can keep only the latest message
  • We can delete all messages older than X number of days
  • We can move all messages older than X number of days in Y folder

This schedule cleanup function under the Sweep tab seems like a very useful tool to keep out inboxes clean and with an easy and intuitive way to do so. With this we can easily just auto archive messages from some senders that we might not want to delete per se, and we can have others that we just delete. I know all of this isn’t really new as we have been able to create rules for ages now. But I am impressed with the presentation and ease of use for those not so familiar with setting rules.

Manage rules

Lastly you can go and look at the rules that you already have set and set more as you please.

IPhone 5 Screen Resolution Not HD

Obviously the iPhone 5 announcements are going on right now. And while a lot of the things I have seen are very welcome updates; mostly better maps and a bigger screen. However, why the funky screen resolution? 1136 x 640. Sure it has the high pixel density that we are coming to be used to in phones and even laptops (eventually televisions and monitors), but it is just under 16:9 aspect ratio and is a bit away from 720P.

Apple Markets to Non-tech

One of the reasons I see that Apple doesn’t bother with relating anything to standards is that they advertise to people that do not understand the specs anyway and like buzz words more. But still, I mean why not make a 720P screen when many of the competitors are up to that and some even more.

Apple doesn’t need to compete in specs or performance as much as any other company does. Apple is this generations starlet of a company and as long as they use the words ‘Most Amazing Yet’ in any product they push it will sell well. Not saying they don’t make great products, because they do. They always have solid hardware and flashy design. But, they do deserve much of the ridicule that they receive because marketing is their strongest point and to the people that understand standards, specs, etc. see exactly how they manipulate people into wanting what they offer instead of offering what a user wants. Many people that have never used another smartphone are not willing to even try because they just think that the iPhone is the best.

Oh ranting. Fun sometimes, yet futile. Either way, enjoy your iPhone 5, but open your mind to other things once in a while. Brand loyalty can really make you miss out on great products. Just think of the people that were brand loyal to MS and got Vista, or just that were not educated enough to know that there were other options.

Custom Website Tiles For Windows Phone

Want to customize the web tiles on your Windows Phone?

I have been working on a small application to allow users to add some customization to tiles of websites that they choose to pin to their home screen. With this small web app you will be able to set some main text, sub text, font size, and color to the website tile that is on your homescreen. With this you will be able to easily make a pinned website tile match your theme or make it a color that stands out.

Future Features

I would eventually like to add more features to this web app like; font selectors, image upload, and more colors to choose from. For now you can use this tool at Custom Tiles. This has mostly just been tested on my HTC Titan and recently the CSS file was erased somehow so I had to redo it without as much testing. Please submit any bugs or requests in the comments below.

Xbox Live Update Public Beta Program

Looking to get the latest Xbox updates before everyone else?

Well you can sign up for the Xbox LIVE update public beta program right here. I just signed up but haven’t gotten the update yet. If anyone else has signed up for it I would like to hear about your results below.

I saw the link on a Facebook feed and went through the form to sign up. When I put in my gamertag I used lowercase, not thinking about how my gamertag is all upper, so I am not sure if that has an effect on why I haven’t gottne the Xbox update or not.

Internet Explorer on your Xbox 360

The two biggest things that I understand from the update are the addition of IE on the Xbox. So now you can browse whatever, whenever you want on your Xbox. Along with IE on the Xbox you will also get the ability to customize your home screen or dashboard. Which personally is one thing I have wanted to do for a long time. I don’t know any details about the release of the update but I am excited to hopefully get the Beta update soon. I will keep you all posted here.

Continue reading “Xbox Live Update Public Beta Program”

Getting Started With SASS on Windows

If you have yet to start using a CSS preprocessor then now might be the time to take a look. CSS preprocessors are a great way to add a little bit of logic and code reusability to CSS. CSS preprocessors, like SASS and LESS, will give you things like variables, mixins, and operations. These are all things that are common in most programming languanges but have not been implemented into CSS. As the name suggests a CSS preprocessor will process your code before hand, turning it into valid, usable, and often compressed CSS files.

SASS Installation For Windows

1. First, you will need to go here to get the Ruby installer. Continue reading “Getting Started With SASS on Windows”