Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The 12 Days of Fishing - Available Now on Amazon

The 12 Days of Fishing is for sale on Amazon in eBook and Paperback. A perfect gift for youngsters and oldsters alike who love fishing, singing, and Christmas.


Monday, November 20, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #16

I am making good progress in November. The snow has melted. The ground is rock hard. My left groin tendon almost came off yesterday, so I am dialing back my running speed and just trying to finish out the year with both legs still attached.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 231
Distance: 945.90 miles
Total Time: 139h 14m 32s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.09 miles
Total Calories: 129,944
Avg Speed: 6.8 mph
Avg Pace: 8:50 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 41
Miles Left in Year: 54.10 miles
Daily Average Needed: 1.32 miles

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #15

The cold wind isn't fun. The muddy gravel and sloppy snow make me sad. Only 70 miles to go, but I'm already wishing for spring and warmer days. Winter hasn't even started yet. Old Wisconsin, you've worn me down. You win. I want better running weather, please. I'll take a dry day, if you can manage it.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 227
Distance: 929.31 miles
Total Time: 136h 30m 20s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.09 miles
Total Calories: 127,711
Avg Speed: 6.8 mph
Avg Pace: 8:49 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 46
Miles Left in Year: 70.69 miles
Daily Average Needed: 1.54 miles

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mostly Death: A Short Story Collection - now on Amazon

Fascination with death and the afterlife is as old as mankind. Each of the stories in Mostly Death deals with men and women in compromising and unfair situations at the end of their lives. Do they go quietly into the night?

You can purchase on Amazon in eBook and Paperback.

This short story collection includes:

  • Carlos
  • Getting Home
  • Henry Sloan
  • Incubators
  • Just Listen to Me
  • Open Season 
  • The Lighthouse Ghost
  • You Know Me

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #14

Well, I'm below 90 miles at this point. I ran 5 miles today, because the ground was dry and the weather was cool and crisp. The forecast for the next few days is snow, ice, and cold. So, all I can do is take advantage of the good days. I don't think there will be many good running days left, but I still think I can get to my goal of 1,000 miles by December 31st.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 222
Distance: 910.24 miles
Total Time: 133h 14m 26s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.10 miles
Total Calories: 125,126
Avg Speed: 6.8 mph
Avg Pace: 8:47 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 53
Miles Left in Year: 89.76 miles
Daily Average Needed: 1.70 miles

Granny Gruesome: Nursery Rhymes to Terrify Children - now on Amazon

Everyone remembers the fabulous rhyming stories of old Mother Goose from their childhood, but did you know that she's kept a dark, haunting secret for many long years?

Mother Goose is not all she seems to be.

Oh, sure, during the daylight hours when the birds are singing and children are laughing, Mother Goose is friendly and wonderful and proper. But when the darkness falls and the coyote calls, that old goose turns into something much less lovable…much more sinister…forever known to the world as Granny Gruesome!

You can get a paperback copy or eBook on Amazon.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

150 Story Ideas for Kids Who Love to Write - New Book Available on Amazon

Every story starts with a single idea, a spark that sets your imagination on fire. Sometimes you might yearn to tell a story but can't find that initial spark. Maybe you just need one fresh idea to coax that wimpy flicker into a roaring, magical blaze?

To that end, I’ve created a list of silly, funny, interesting, and crazy prompts that you can use to get your imagination burning. All you need to do is take one prompt (or throw a dozen together) and write down your notes and ideas in the space provided. I hope you have a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to read your stories!

150 Story Ideas for Kids Who Love to Write is available on Amazon in Paperback and eBook.

And if you need any more reasons, here's a very important fake review that I made up:

5-Star Review from Mrs. Ima N. Otreel from Anytown, USA: "Wow! Never before have so many great story ideas (there might possibly be 150 total, but I'm not sure and can't count that high) in one place for purchase. I'm inspired to start writing immediately. Or perhaps I will take a nap. That's the beauty of this wonderful book. It can help you do so many things."


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #13

Well, it is pretty when the snow is coming down for the first time this season, but it sure is a big bummer for me. No running tonight. And rain was so bad a few nights ago, I couldn't run that day either. So, I didn't make as much progress as I wanted to. I'm afraid I'm going to have to do most of my running damage on the weekends or holiday breaks. With the morning completely dark and only about 1 hour of light after work and other family obligations, my window of running opportunity is low. I'll have to take each day as it comes, and we'll see how it goes.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 216
Distance: 887.82 miles
Total Time: 129h 40m 44s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.11 miles
Total Calories: 122,068
Avg Speed: 6.8 mph
Avg Pace: 8:46 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 60
Miles Left in Year: 112.18 miles
Daily Average Needed: 1.87 miles

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Four Scary Stories for Kids - Buy for Halloween

Psst...hey kid...do you want to read some scary stories? You do? Well, that's just great, because I happen to have four beautifully wicked stories for you to check out late at night under your blankets when your parents have gone to sleep. Grab your flashlight and prepare yourself for a ghoulish treat.

Includes these scary stories:
  1. Beware the Blue Hubbard
  2. Camp Chin-up
  3. Here, Boy!
  4. Night at the Nursing Home



Thursday, October 26, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #12

Here comes the cold weather. And the rain. And the snow. I'm getting closer to my goal, though. Only 66 days left, and I have to stay focused on the prize. I can feel my determination slipping some days, like I want to be done with this. Like maybe I cannot make it 66 days more. But then I buck up, saddle up, pony up, and decide to just do it. It'll be over so soon anyway. And so it goes.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 213
Distance: 876.15 miles
Total Time: 127h 53m 51s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.11 miles
Total Calories: 120,456
Avg Speed: 6.9 mph
Avg Pace: 8:46 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 66
Miles Left in Year: 123.85 miles
Daily Average Needed: 1.88 miles

Friday, October 20, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #11

Wow, the weather in the afternoon today was perfect for running. It felt like an early summer morning. Summer seems so long ago. Many, many miles ago. But Mother Nature has been nice the last few days. All sunny days, all temperatures in the middle to upper 60s. Not bad, not bad. I see that I just passed 125 hours of running for the year. That's equal to 5.2 days of straight running. And I have 72 days left in the year to run about 140 miles. I know I can do this. I'm going to keep pounding out the miles while the temperatures are doable, and hopefully have enough in the tank to finish mile number one thousand in ice cold winter.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 207
Distance: 860.43 miles
Total Time: 125h 39m 30s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.16 miles
Total Calories: 118,277
Avg Speed: 6.8 mph
Avg Pace: 8:46 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 72
Miles Left in Year: 139.57 miles
Daily Average Needed: 1.94 miles

Sunday, October 15, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #10

Not much to say. I'm trying to keep my motivation strong and run at least 2 miles every day. Slow and steady wins the race. I'm still on pace. Only 77 more days, no time to waste.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 202
Distance: 844.75 miles
Total Time: 123h 19m 00s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.18 miles
Total Calories: 116,111
Avg Speed: 6.9 mph
Avg Pace: 8:46 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 77
Miles Left in Year: 155.25 miles
Daily Average Needed: 2.02 miles

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #9

Wow, great run today. I felt mostly pain-free and fast. I ran a 5K in 24:18, which made me feel good, because the last few days I have felt tired and sluggish. Also, it was cold, cold, cold the last few runs, but today was nice and warm with little wind. I hope there are more days like this before the end of the year. I'm really not looking forward to running in the icy cold winds of winter.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 198
Distance: 834.32 miles
Total Time: 121h 53m 46s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.21 miles
Total Calories: 114,665
Avg Speed: 6.8 mph
Avg Pace: 8:46 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 81
Miles Left in Year: 165.68 miles
Daily Average Needed: 2.05 miles

Thursday, October 5, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #8

The first five days of October have been mostly cloudy, wet, and chilly, although one day was surprisingly warm. My left hip tendon is hurting again, and my right foot bottom seems to be getting tender. I don't think either injury is too terrible, but they've both been kinda nagging me for months now. As long as both of my feet are facing forward, I'm going to keep running. Only 87 more days.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 193
Distance: 817.94 miles
Total Time: 119h 35m 17s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.24 miles
Total Calories: 110,877
Avg Speed: 6.8 mph
Avg Pace: 8:46 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 87
Miles Left in Year: 182.06 miles
Daily Average Needed: 2.09 miles

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Four Scary Stories for Kids - A New Book Available on Kindle and Paperback

Psst...hey kid...want to read some scary stories? You do? Well, that's just great, because I happen to have four beautifully wicked stories for you to check out late at night under your blankets when your parents have gone to sleep. Get your flashlight and prepare yourself for a ghoulish treat.

Four Scary Stories for Kids is available on Amazon in eBook and Paperback.



Saturday, September 30, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #7

Well, I made sure that the last day of September would not be forgotten. I ran and ran and ran. I ended up with my longest distance run and my longest time run. 15 miles in 2 hours 29 minutes. My previous best distance was 13.2 miles, so I improved that by 1.8 miles.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 188
Distance: 806.92 miles
Total Time: 117h 55m 51s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.29 miles
Total Calories: 110,877
Avg Speed: 6.8 mph
Avg Pace: 8:46 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 92
Miles Left in Year: 193.08 miles
Daily Average Needed: 2.10 miles

Sunday, September 24, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #6

Only 98 days left in 2017. The weather was humid and sunny this weekend, but I still got some good running in both days. My left hip bothered me some, but nothing too awful. I was able to run in the morning before temperatures and humidity reached danger levels. I weighed myself yesterday and today, and both times I was just below 160 pounds, which is the lowest I have been in many years. I'm going to keep at it. Getting closer to my 1,000 mile goal. 98 days is nothing...as long as the weather holds out.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 184
Distance: 781.20 miles
Total Time: 113h 58m 22s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.25 miles
Total Calories: 107,317
Avg Speed: 6.9 mph
Avg Pace: 8:45 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 98
Miles Left in Year: 218.80 miles
Daily Average Needed: 2.23 miles

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #5

Running has been hard for me the last few days. I have to run in the afternoon, since the days are shorter and it is too dark to run in the morning before work. So, usually, with belly full of whatsit, I drag myself outside and try to run something while keeping all foodstuffs in my body cavities. At least I am under 250 miles to go. I'm over three-fourths of the way to 1,000 miles. I hope I can keep this old body together.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 180
Distance: 760.22 miles
Total Time: 110h 48m 08s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.22 miles
Total Calories: 104,428
Avg Speed: 6.9 mph
Avg Pace: 8:45 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 102
Miles Left in Year: 239.78 miles
Daily Average Needed: 2.35 miles

Friday, September 15, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #4

It has been unseasonably hot and humid the last few days. So, that has led to some uncomfortable and sweaty afternoon runs. Oh well, at least I have some more miles under my belt. Tough to believe this month is half over. Time is flying.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 175
Distance: 742.71 miles
Total Time: 108h 06m 19s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.24 miles
Total Calories: 102,004
Avg Speed: 6.9 mph
Avg Pace: 8:44 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 107
Miles Left in Year: 257.29 miles
Daily Average Needed: 2.41 miles

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Orville - Meh Review

So, we watched the series premier of The Orville on Sunday. The only appropriate response is "meh." I wasn't blown away by any means. The show apparently cannot decide whether it wants to be a funny space romp (you can't really be called a comedy when you only have a joke every five minutes and the actual jokes are not funny) or a campy space homage to Star Trek: The Original Series and Next Generation.

I'm still going to give the show a chance. This was only the pilot. But, I am confused why the producers of The Orville did not go all-out for the series premier. In this day and age of social media, where viewers can give immediate feedback and lambaste a show within seconds of it ending on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, you would think The Orville would bring its A-game with the first show. You can't leave your best jokes and best story lines for later in the year, because you might be cancelled next week.

If that pilot was their A-game, then this show is lost and that's too bad. The only two characters so far that show promise are Bortus (basically Worf) and Isaac (basically Spock). The others are all standard cookie cutter fare that could be swapped out with plants and you wouldn't know the difference.

I sincerely hope episode two is better. We'll see.

Monday, September 11, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #3

It was surprisingly hot today in the afternoon, which is when I ran. Lots of sweat. Not very fast, though. But every step I can take today is one less step I need to take tomorrow.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 172
Distance: 733.07 miles
Total Time: 106h 32m 15s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.26 miles
Total Calories: 100,703
Avg Speed: 6.9 mph
Avg Pace: 8:43 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 111
Miles Left in Year: 266.93 miles
Daily Average Needed: 2.40 miles

Sunday, September 10, 2017

11 Seconds Faster, New Half-Marathon PR

Yesterday was a beautiful day. The sun was out. The temperate was slightly cool. A nice wind. I knew it was a great day to be outside and run a longer race. I wanted to get some more mileage for my 1,000 mile goal in 2017. So, I decided to run 10 miles. But when I started to run, I felt pretty good overall and thought I should keep running as much as I could. The miles were piling up, and I was starting to think that this pace was just like my previous half-marathon PR. Now, since I can barely remember anything these days, I couldn't remember what my half-marathon PR time was. I knew it was something around 1 hr and 50 min, but I could remember my PR pace. I knew it was 8:27 min/mile. So, I figured if I could keep each mile under that or close to it, I would have a shot at a new half-marathon PR.

This ended up being a hard race. At 6.55 miles (halfway point), I was just under 55 minutes, so I knew I was on pace to get near 1 hr and 50 min. I tried to keep running hard, but I could feel my strength ebbing. It was all I could do to keep my legs moving and try to ignore the pain. My left hip and left groin were on fire the entire last seven or eight miles. The bottom of my right foot was sore and raw. My right ankle was tender. I knew it was going to be close. I just had nothing left to give at the end. I wish I could have finished the race stronger. But, amazingly, I still got my PR. And even more amazingly, in a nearly 2 hour race, I only beat it by 11 seconds. I put the stats in the chart below so you can see how close my two half-marathons were to each other. Almost mirror images. It looks like miles 7, 8, 9, and 10 were what saved me. I was able to build up a time buffer just big enough to survive my body's fade at the end.


July 31
July 31
Sept 9
Sept 9

Splits
Time
Total
Time
Total
Distance
1
8:08.0
08:08
8:09.2
08:09
1.00
2
7:59.1
16:07
7:58.6
16:08
1.00
3
8:07.0
24:14
8:14.1
24:22
1.00
4
8:14.6
32:29
8:11.6
32:34
1.00
5
8:23.5
40:52
8:21.7
40:55
1.00
6
8:33.6
49:26
8:32.1
49:27
1.00
7
8:41.3
58:07
8:38.0
58:05
1.00
8
8:39.2
1:06:46
8:30.4
1:06:36
1.00
9
8:47.1
1:15:33
8:33.0
1:15:09
1.00
10
8:52.9
1:24:26
8:34.1
1:23:43
1.00
11
8:46.0
1:33:12
8:42.1
1:32:25
1.00
12
8:47.6
1:42:00
8:52.9
1:41:18
1.00
13
8:07.9
1:50:08
8:36.6
1:49:54
1.00
14
0:37.3
1:50:45
0:39.7
1:50:34
0.10
Total
1:50:45
1:50:45
1:50:34
1:50:34
13.10 mi

Avg. Pace: 8:27/mile
Avg. Pace: 8:26/mile

Friday, September 8, 2017

Running My Loop - A New Book Available on Amazon.com

I have a new running book available on Amazon.com in Kindle and Paperback.

Running My Loop: 31 Days of Unfiltered Thoughts and Observations While Pushing Myself for a Half-Marathon PR

Running My Loop


Follow along with Manley as he runs every single day in July 2017 on a quest to beat his half-marathon PR on the last day of the month. Each day presents something new or unexpected as he navigates mental and physical challenges running around his gravel loop while avoiding steaming piles of bear poop and flocks of turkeys in rural Wisconsin.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #2

Yesterday was a hard, hard run. Why? Well, it was in the afternoon, after work, and I had just eaten a big meal. So, I thought to myself, I better get out there and get some more miles. Well, I went out there all right, and it hurt like heck. I was so uncomfortable. Each step was an effort not to barf. But I'll tell you, I would have welcomed the barfing if it would have alleviated my queasiness. My stomach hurt, my lungs hurt, and my whole body just felt out of whack until I stopped. So, of course, today I did a similar thing. I ate a decently big meal in afternoon, but then I got smart. I actually waited an hour before heading outside to run. And, you know what? That was much better.

Current yearly stats:

Runs: 168
Distance: 710.66 miles
Total Time: 103h 13m 39s
Avg Distance Per Run: 4.23 miles
Total Calories: 97,627
Avg Speed: 6.9 mph
Avg Pace: 8:43 min/mile

Days Left in Year: 116
Miles Left in Year: 289.34 miles
Daily Average Needed: 2.49 miles

Sunday, September 3, 2017

1,000 Miles in 2017 - Goal Update #1

I ran a 7 miler today in beautiful weather. The run started out kinda rough, though, and I wasn't sure how it was going to go. My left foot was hurting with each step and my left hamstring started to twinge off and on. But, I stuck with it, and somewhere around mile 4, my legs started to feel all better and refreshed. By the time 7 miles rolled around, I was still feeling good, but had to stop running due to other obligations. So, three days down. With 119 days left until the end of 2017, I have 302.04 miles remaining to get to my 1,000 mile goal. Still right on target.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

One More Goal - Going for 1,000 Miles in 2017

Okay, well, with my running streak over, I've decided to concentrate on hitting another milestone. I currently have 687.58 miles in 2017. I have decided to set a new goal and try for 1,000 miles total this year.

So, with 312.42 miles to go and exactly 4 months left (starting tomorrow, Sept 1st), I need to average 78.11 miles per month to get to 1,000.

In other words, I have 122 days left. I need to average 2.56 miles per day. On the surface, this seems pretty simple and straightforward. However, this is rural Wisconsin. This is fall and winter time. This is not ideal. Unless we have an abundance of abnormally warm days and little snow, I will be forced to get my mileage by running in the frozen tundra. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

88 Days - Final Running Stats

Here are my totals for the 88 days in a row that I went outside and ran in northwestern Wisconsin between May 30 and August 25. I'm sad but relieved that my streak is over. I am also proud of what I accomplished. It was only a matter of time for it to end, though. We are already in late August, and the days are shorter, colder, and wetter. I will take this opportunity to let my hips, knees, and feet heal up. I still have some yearly running goals that I want to go get yet.

Final Running Streak Stats:

Runs: 88
Distance: 414.77 mi
Total Time: 59h 33m 23s
Avg Distance: 4.71 miles
Total Calories: 56,986
Avg Speed: 7.0 mph
Avg Pace: 8:37 min/mile

Saturday, August 26, 2017

88 Days and the Streak is Done

Mother Nature won out. After 24 hours of straight rain, my running loop is a mud hole. It is cold and windy and I cried Uncle. My running streak is over at 88 days in a row. Started back on May 30th. Officially done on August 25th. One of my favorite movies is Back to the Future and the number 88 plays an integral role:

Marty McFly: Hey, Doc, we better back up. We don't have enough road to get up to 88.
Dr. Emmett Brown: Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads.

But, unfortunately, I do need roads to run. I needed a runnable road today to get to 89. It didn't happen. So, 88 it shall be.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

83 Days and Counting

I ran a 10K this morning. It is my 83rd day in a row of running some kind of distance. My streak started on May 30th, and I've accumulated 397.21 miles, averaging 4.79 miles per day, since then. I am shooting for at least 100 days in a row. This year will be my biggest running year ever, by far. I feel like I've been making good positive progress as these days pile up, although recently I've been injured more than I care to think about. And the parts that are injured are the parts I need to run. If it was a paper cut on my finger or eyelash stuck in my eye or mosquito bite on my nose, I could probably deal with the annoyance easier. But, alas, it is random, sharp pain in my hamstrings and groin tendon area and hip joints that usually settles into a perpetual dull ache in the respective region. Nevertheless, I plan to keep running daily as long as I can. Only 17 more days to 100.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Body Held Together with Duct Tape

I've been running a lot this year. Most of the mileage is from his summer, since I need to make hay while the sun shines. Since January 1st, I've went outside and ran 150 times for a current total of 640.93 miles. Over 92.5 hours and 88,000 calories used up. I'm on a current streak of 79 days in a row. My body is used and abused and needs to take a long snooze. Parts of my body cry out in pain when I move around, but everything mostly still works. I've gotten used to the feeling of sore groin tendons and unhappy hamstrings. I don't like them. I wish they were all healed up, but it is too tough to just stop running and break my streak. I think I'll try to do some slower, easier recovery runs for a few days. That reminds me, I need to go out today and run to keep the streak alive. See ya!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Have a Happy "Happy Day"

When you see a family member, give them a hug and tell them you love them. When you see a stranger, smile and say hello. Give a little happy today and get some happy in return. Spread the happiness. Spread the love. Life is too short for anything but.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

New 5K PR

Hmm, well, that did not take long. One day later. One run later. New 5K PR. I wasn't trying to do anything other than just run fast for the first third of the first mile. I looked at my watch and unbelievably my mile pace was 6:47, so I figured this might be a good chance to set a new PR. I kept my arms pumping and kept breathing in and out the best I could. However, I slowed down as the miles dragged on. My breathing got all jumbled up, and I probably sounded like a hundred year old chain smoker at the end of the run. These tribulations were inevitable, though, and at points during the second and third mile, I was really, really wishing it was all over. I really wanted to be done. But I was mentally prepared for those doubts. I was prepared to keep going even though running at that pace was uncomfortable and hard. I was able to hang on, and I'm happy to shout out that I destroyed my old record. Just crushed it by 53 seconds. That feels good.

New 5K PR set on August 10, 2017:

Total Distance: 3.10 miles
Total Time: 21m 44s
Avg Pace: 7:01 min/mile
1st mile: 6:54.3
2nd mile: 7:00.1
3rd mile: 7:08.9
Last .10: 0:40.5

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Trying for 5K PR in August 2017

This month is almost a third done already, but I've decided to try to beat my 5K PR. I don't have a specific date in mind. I'm just going to run for 30 minutes every day, and if I start out good and feel lucky, I'm going to go for it. The 5K run is challenging. And setting a new PR is difficult and exhausting, because every part of the race needs to be just about perfect. I can't mess up the first mile and hope to bring it back to good, because there just isn't enough mileage to make up for mistakes. In a longer run, I can make a mistake and have a slow mile, and probably make it up somewhere later. But in the 5K, I need to burst out of the gate from the get-go. We'll see how this goes. I'm still nursing my on-going left groin tendon injury and my new left torso soreness, so most of my runs so far this month have been slower to aid in recovery.

Current 5K PR set on August 31, 2016:

Total Distance: 3.10 miles
Total Time: 22m 37s
Avg Pace: 7:18 min/mile
1st mile: 7:09.1
2nd mile: 7:21.4
3rd mile: 7:28.2
Last .10: 0:38.6

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Do You Like Instant Running Injuries?

Have you ever had an instant injury in the middle of your back just from running? You haven't? Well, what are you waiting for? I got one! It is exciting. And fun. It really makes you smile. It happened two days ago. I was running around my loop, and at exactly 1.92 miles, the left side of my middle back exploded in agony. Every step I took sent lightning strikes up and down my left side. I immediately stopped and walked for a bit. Walking is okay, but I could not shake off the injury. Sitting down is fine, but any kind of trunk rotation to the left or right brings the pain. Now, a few days later, the soreness and pain is still there. I either tweaked a band of back muscle around my left ribs or one of those invisible Loop Trolls hit me with its +6 pain hammer. You know, standard fantasy character stuff. Well, whatever, I'm hobbled for a bit. Have I stopped running? Um, no. The very next day I was able to run 4.72 miles without aggravating my back any worse, but I had to walk the last .28 to get 5 miles. I haven't gone out yet today, but we'll see. But I should, right? Maybe one of those invisible Loop Elf Clerics will hit me a +27 pain reducer spell today.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Max Mallory, I Will Run for You

I have never met Max Mallory. I found out today that I never will. He died from cancer at 22 in 2016. His father Chuck has written some beautiful memories here (Hired Before Graduation) and here (Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams). These memories of complete strangers made me cry. That is the raw power of words. The awesome power of the human condition. As I sat with my head in my hands and tears dripping down my forearms at 6:00 AM, I could feel this father's grief to my core. I could do nothing to ease his pain, but I could easily empathize with him. I could easily imagine Chuck's emotional turmoil oscillate between disbelief, anger, pain, strength, and finally, acceptance of his son's unfair death. I cannot do anything to bring Max back. But, Max, I will run for you today. I will run for you because you cannot. Hop on my back. I will carry you forward. You are remembered.

Completed: 30 Minutes, 3.5 miles, 8:34 pace

Monday, July 31, 2017

New Half-Marathon PR

I did it, I did it, I did it. After this long month of 50 minute runs every single day, I ran my half-marathon today and knocked off 5m 16s from my previous PR. I ended up with a 8:27/mile pace, which torched my previous 8:51/mile pace. I felt good the whole race. My lungs did not hurt. My feet did not hurt. My left hip has been bothering me off and on the last few weeks, but it held together today. It hurt sometimes, and other times I didn't even notice it. The last few miles, my hip felt like a rusty hinge, but again any pain was manageable. Thanks to my wife and children for all the encouragement and helping with race stuff. You guys are awesome!

My new Half-Marathon PR is 1hr 50m 45s (8:27/mile pace).

I guess this puts a nice bow on my July 2017 Goal. Mission Accomplished.

Final monthly stats:

Runs: 31
Distance: 190.31 miles
Total Time: 26h 51m 15s
Avg Distance (50 minute runs): 5.91 miles
Best Distance (50 minute runs): 6.47 miles (Day 16)
Worst Distance (50 minute runs): 5.65 (Day 1 and Day 11)
Total Calories: 26,165
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph
Avg Pace: 8:28 min/mile

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 2017 Goal - Day 30 Update

Well, it all comes down to this. 30 days done. 30 complete days of running 50 minutes each day.  Only one day left. All that stands between me and the end of July is a half-marathon. I'm gunning for a new a PR, anything faster than 1hr 56m 01s. In the immortal words of Izzy Mandelbaum, "It's go time."

Current monthly stats:

Runs: 30
Distance: 177.21 miles
Total Time: 25h 00m 30s
Avg Distance: 5.91 miles
Best Distance: 6.47 miles (Day 16)
Worst Distance: 5.65 (Day 1 and Day 11)
Total Calories: 24,367
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph
Avg Pace: 8:28 min/mile

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 2017 Goal - Day 25 Update

Well, here we go. Only 6 days left. I faltered for a bit over this last week, trying to find my running mojo. The last two days, though, I just went back to running the way I used to in the beginning of the month. My left hip pain has mellowed out and feels like it is getting better every day. I might have just enough gas in the tank to finish this month healthy and get my half-marathon PR on July 31st. We'll know soon enough.

Current monthly stats:

Runs: 25
Distance: 148.02 miles
Total Time: 20h 50m 24s
Avg Distance: 5.92 miles
Best Distance: 6.47 miles (Day 16)
Worst Distance: 5.65 (Day 1 and Day 11)
Total Calories: 20,359
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph
Avg Pace: 8:27 min/mile

Friday, July 21, 2017

July 2017 Goal - Day 20 Update

I don't know how to run anymore. I changed up my running form twice in the last five days, since nothing feels right and parts of my legs hurt. I've gone from bad to worse. My left hip and/or left groin tendon and/or calf muscles and/or foot blisters hurt depending on how I run. At this point, I just need to keep myself together with duct tape if need be. Now that I think about it, I think my current downward spiral happened right after my July 16 run where I got my new 10K PR. All I know is this: I cannot get injured any worse or this month's goal will be in serious jeopardy.

Current monthly stats:

Runs: 20
Distance: 118.81 miles
Total Time: 16h 40m 19s
Avg Distance: 5.94 miles
Best Distance: 6.47 miles (Day 16)
Worst Distance: 5.65 (Day 1 and Day 11)
Total Calories: 16,350
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph
Avg Pace: 8:25 min/mile

Sunday, July 16, 2017

New 10K PR #2

I can't explain this one very well. I basically started the run with the mindset of not caring. I didn't care how my body felt or if I was hurt or if I was running the right way or if I was going too fast or too slow. I just ran. I kept telling myself to run easy and smooth, smooth and easy. Let your free wheeling mind determine the correct combination of the million different body variables. I did not consciously try for this 10K PR, but I guess all that smooth and easy action added up to shaving 26 seconds off my PR.

My new 10K PR is 47m 53s (7:44/mile pace).

Saturday, July 15, 2017

July 2017 Goal - Day 15 Update

15 days down, 16 days to go. This is starting to suck. I have good days where the runs feel fine and easy, or at least doable, and other days where I don't want to start, can't wait for it to end, and sometimes feel like I cannot finish. Is this the life of a middle-aged man who wants to run? Who thinks he can run? I'm at the halfway point here for this month, but if I add up my previous months, today was my 47th day in a row of running. Maybe I'm just getting worn down. Running is mentally and physically taxing. I am fighting a two front war.

Current monthly stats:

Runs: 15
Distance: 88.77 miles
Total Time: 12h 30m 14s
Avg Distance: 5.92 miles
Best Distance: 6.42 miles (Day 7)
Worst Distance: 5.65 (Day 1 and Day 11)
Total Calories: 12,214
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph
Avg Pace: 8:29 min/mile

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 2017 Goal - Day 10 Update

10 days down, 21 to go. I am finishing my 50 minute run every single day, but I can tell my body is starting to struggle. There are chinks in my armor. Some days my legs hurt, others my knees. Some days I can run without much effort, and others are mentally and physically tough to finish. However, the bright spot for these last five days was Day 7, where I broke my 10K PR from last year. I plan to concentrate on staying healthy enough to keep finishing these runs and hopefully break my half-marathon record on July 31st.

Current monthly stats:

Runs: 10
Distance: 59.30 miles
Total Time: 8h 20m 9s
Avg Distance: 5.93 miles
Best Distance: 6.42 miles (Day 7)
Total Calories: 8,167
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph
Avg Pace: 8:22 min/mile

Friday, July 7, 2017

New 10K PR

Well, I did not plan on trying for a new 10K PR today, but after running the first three miles and being pleasantly surprised with my pace, I decided to go for it over the last 3 miles. It was grueling. I wanted to quit many times. My lungs hurt, my mind was strained from intense concentration, and my legs were starting to give up, but somehow I persevered. I hung on to the finish. My old 10K PR from last year was 49m 04s. I beat that by 45 seconds today.

My new 10K PR is 48m 19s (7:48/mile pace).

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 2017 Goal - Day 5 Update

Well, five days have come and gone already. My plan is to run for 50 minutes every single day this month with no slower than a 9:00/mile pace. My current pace after five runs is 8:38. So, in my humble opinion, I have started tackling this goal with tenacity and anger and hubris. Also, there might be some running involved, but I refuse to verify that.

Current monthly stats:

Runs: 5
Distance: 28.94 miles
Total Time: 4h 10m 5s
Avg Distance: 5.79 miles
Best Distance: 5.99 miles (Day 5)
Total Calories: 3,973
Avg Speed: 6.9 mph
Avg Pace: 8:38 min/mile

Monday, July 3, 2017

July 2017 Goal Revealed

Oops, this month kinda snuck up on me. I forgot to write an update on my running goal for July 2017. I plan to run 50 minutes every single day, averaging a 9 minute per mile pace or faster and end with an attempt at a half-marathon PR on July 31st. My current half-marathon PR is 1h 56m 01s (8:51/mile) which I did back in August 2016. I feel confident after this month of training, I can beat that. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 30, 2017

June 2017 Goal - Day 30 Update - Goal Completed

Mission accomplished. My June 2017 goal is complete and in the books. I ran every single day, 30 days in a row. 26 days were 4 Milers. 4 days were 10Ks. Some days felt easy. Some days were a real slog. Some days I didn't want to run. Other days, I wanted to run but the weather was so bad that it was a chore to just go outside. In the end, as that last mile was completed, I felt like Clark Griswold in the last scene of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. He summed up that feeling of accomplishment with three little words: "I did it."

Final stats:

Runs: 30
Distance: 128.97 miles
Total Time: 18h 3m 35s
Avg Distance: 4.30 miles
Total Calories: 17,759
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Trashed - Graphic Novel by Derf Backderf

I finished a great graphic novel yesterday. It is really unique (just like the author's name). Trashed, written by Derf Backderf is both amazing and depressing at the same time. The author/illustrator tells a great fictional story, partially based upon his time working as a garbageman, and throws in lot of exceptional facts and diagrams about real-life garbage in our world. The artwork is very detailed and magnificently laid out. The blunt truth and current state of our entire garbage collection system really made me think about the multitude of garbage, abysmal recycling record, and the throw away culture we live in. Change starts with a single person. Thank you, Derf. I absolutely recommend this book.

June 2017 Goal - Day 25 Update

25 days down, 5 days to go in June. I can sense the end is near. Time to keep powering through. Over the last 5 days, I set a new 1 Mile PR and ran my third fastest 10K ever.

Current status of monthly goal:

Runs: 25
Distance: 108.94 miles
Total Time: 15h 18m 38s
Avg Distance: 4.36 miles

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

New Mile PR

I tried to run a fast first mile of my four mile run today with the intention of trying to break my one mile PR. My record was 6m 34s. And I was successful. My new one mile PR is 6m 31s.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 2017 Goal - Day 20 Update

I'm still making good progress on my June goal of averaging a 4 Miler every single day. 20 days down, 10 days to go. I am 6.71 miles ahead of my total miles due to a few 10K runs randomly thrown in, so that is a good buffer. I also plan to try for my 1 Mile PR in a few days, if the weather holds up. My current 1 Mile PR is 6m 34s.

Current status of goal:

Runs: 20
Distance: 86.71 miles
Total Time: 12h 14m 22s
Avg Distance: 4.34 miles

Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 2017 Goal - Day 15 Update

The halfway point is upon me. And I haven't missed a day yet. I owe that to good luck, early morning running, and being flexible. Out of the 15 days, I have run two 10Ks, which accounts for the extra 4 miles.

Current status of goal:

Runs: 15
Distance: 64.48 miles
Total Time: 9h 5m 3s
Avg Distance: 4.30 miles

Saturday, June 10, 2017

June 2017 Goal - Day 10 Update

The last two days have felt good. I did those runs in the morning when the wind was blowing and the temperature was in the middle 60s. That made them much easier than running in the afternoon with sun beating down and temperatures in the 80s.

Current status of goal:

Runs: 10
Distance: 42.25 miles
Total Time: 5h 56m 38s
Avg Distance: 4.22 miles

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 2017 Goal - Day 5 Update

Okay, the weather has been nice. I've had time to run. And for five out of five days, I have completed at least a four mile run. On one day, I did a 10K, but all the others have just been straight four milers. So, as of June 5th, I am on track to meet my goal. That makes me feel good.

Runs: 5
Distance: 22.23 miles
Total Time: 3h 6m 3s
Avg Distance: 4.45 miles

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Goal Success - Average 5K per Day in May

Okay, I successfully finished up my May 2017 goal today. Here are my final monthly stats:

Runs: 30
Distance: 100.61 miles
Total Time: 14h 19m 57s
Avg Distance per Run: 3.35 miles (100.61 miles / 30 runs)
Avg Distance per Day: 3.24 miles (100.61 miles / 31 days)

Now, my next goal is to average 4 miles per day in June 2017. I will start that tomorrow (weather permitting).

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May 2017 - Goal Update - Still on Pace

My goal for May is to average a 5K per day. That is 3.1 miles/day multiplied by 31 days. So, this is day 24. I have 7 to go. I am definitely on pace to meet this goal, but I still need to finish the month strong. Here is my progress so far:

Runs: 24
Distance: 78.71 miles
Total Time: 11h 10m 39s
Avg Distance: 3.28 miles

Friday, May 19, 2017

Yeah, I Totally Spaced It!

Boss: "How come your report isn't on my desk yet?"
You: "Yeah, I totally spaced it."

Farmer: "Wow, you planted perfect rows of crops in that field."
You: "Yeah, I totally spaced it."

Coach: "Holy cow, you knocked that baseball out of the park."
You: "Yeah, I totally spaced it."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Running is Not Glamorous

Whoo, it was hot and humid yesterday. I ended up running four miles, but it was mentally and physically hard. The temperature was near 80 and the humidity was near 100%. That is pretty wild for mid-May in northern Wisconsin. I sweated through all my clothes after the first mile or so, which left me to deal with my own stink for the next three. Seriously, no matter how fast you run or what you do, you cannot outrun or out maneuver your own smell. On top of that, the sunscreen applied to my face continually mixed with my sweat and dripped into my eyes. The constant ocular stinging and partial vision just added to the fun. Oh, and the bugs were out in bigger numbers than before. So, little black things with wings stuck on all my exposed skin as I ran around the countryside. Finally, my nose kept clogging and unclogging over and over, so I had to use my sweaty shirt to unceremoniously wipe it about a dozen times in between moments of not being able to breathe. Have you ever tried to wipe away slimy snot with a wet rag? It doesn't work very well. Still, with all these downsides and trials to deal with, I still enjoy being outdoors and exercising and conquering goals. I just need to remember to take it one stinky, sweaty, disgusting step at a time. And, if I'm being honest, it still beats running on cold winter days.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

5K per Day in May

I am trying to average a 5K (3.1 miles) every single day in the month of May. This is day 11 and I have 32.42 miles total, which gives me 2.95 miles average per day. So, I am behind my goal right now. However, this is including one missed day (May 1st) due to tiredness. I had run a total of 28 miles over the prior 3 days to reach a different goal in April.

So, overall I am happy with my current May progress. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get this done, and most likely my daily average will be comfortably over the 5K mark.

Assuming I can accomplish this current goal, my next goal will be to average a 4 Mile Run every single day in June. And assuming I get that done, I would like to average a 10K (6.2 miles) every single day in July. (Edit on 5/28/2017: I changed my mind. Instead of the 10K per day in July, I will plan to run 45 minutes/day at no more than a 9:00 minute mile pace to get 5 miles per day. My goal will to run for 24 total hours in July and accumulate 155 miles.)

We will see how it goes.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Impossible Fortress - Book Review

I really enjoyed The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak. The story is based around the same time that I grew up, so I appreciated and recognized lots of the historical details and setting in the story. Plus, I like technology and games and programming, so the story was fun to read and unique. If there is a negative part, I would say it is the swearing in the dialogue. I realize this is probably pretty accurate for some teenagers, but I know I didn't talk like this. So, at times, it was awkward to imagine young kids saying some pretty disgusting things. But, again, overall, I really liked the story. I hope to read more about Billy and Mary. Finally, it is pretty cool that the author worked with a team to create a real version of the game talked about in the story.

You can play it here:  http://jasonrekulak.com/game/

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Nice Review for Bloated Goat

Just tooting my own horn here. Bloated Goat received a nice 5-star review on Amazon from a reader. Tanya says, "This guy has talent! Holy cow, I was laughing so hard I cried & my tummy was aching. I loved every page of this book. Interesting story and great laughs! Only took about an hour or so to read."

So if you haven't read Bloated Goat yet, give it a go. It is available in Kindle and Paperback versions on Amazon.com.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Time Traveling with a Hamster

Time Traveling with a Hamster is a good book. I just finished reading it. I enjoyed the character development and plot. It had an interesting take on time travel and kept things moving along at a good clip. Its one of those weird books that is over 400 pages long, but when I was done, I thought that it was way shorter. So, the pages fly by and the chapters are short, if that appeals to you. I would recommend giving this book a chance.