PMRUNNER's SparkPeople Blog PMRUNNER's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike As earworms (i.e. songs that get stuck in your head) go, "I want to ride my bicycle" (or most of the Queen greatest hits for that matter) is a lot better than the soundtrack to Frozen (after hearing it 6 times on a road trip to PA, it was hard to shake "Let it go" and some of the other songs out of my head...) <BR> <BR> I have been increasing my running a bit in the last 2-3 weeks. I wanted to work out today but needed an off day from running, so I hopped on the road bike for a lunch time r... Wed, 9 Jul 2014 13:14:02 EST Annual Fitness (Job Performance) Reports Well, it is that time of year again. Time for the annual officer evaluation report, or OER (since everything needs to have a neat acronym). Our OER's tend to be fairly straightforward. Apparently, the British Army uses a bit more wit in their fitness reports. These phrases have allegedly appeared on British Army reports, hopefully they don't appear on mine! <BR> <BR> (Taken from: <link><BR>r/a/britoer.htm </link> ) <BR> <BR> 1. His men would foll... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:21:29 EST 7 Amazing tricks to lose belly fat! <link><BR>ricks-to-lose-belly-fat </link> <BR> <BR> This ended up on my FB feed, thought I would share the good news! Got in just over 8 today, making May my best month this year (though not at the same mileage as last year.). Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend! Fri, 23 May 2014 19:40:32 EST Storm King Run A good friend of mine lives in Brooklyn. We don't get to see each other often but keep in touch. He started a masters program in project management. Most of it is online, but once a semester, he has to go up to Poughkeepsie, which isn't far from us. He stays with us when on the weekends he has training and we try to get a run or two in. Last time I took him on the Sea to Summit route, which he enjoyed (see previous blog for S2S description). <BR> <BR> This time we did a 4-miler on Satu... Mon, 19 May 2014 09:43:03 EST Ski Bench Project My DW wanted to make (i.e. Wanted me to make) a bench from old skis. Kind of a hybrid between this bench: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> (from <link> </link> ) and this coffee table: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> (from this <link><BR>ee_table.jpg </link> ) <BR> <BR> We had some old skis, plus she picked up a few more, and then we b... Mon, 19 May 2014 09:31:58 EST Sea to Summit, run to remember, spring version Twice a year, during final exam week, the cadets, staff and faculty from the civil and mechanical engineering department tackle the sea to summit run. We start in front of the engineering building, run down to the Hudson River, then run up through campus to the top of the ski hill (about 950 ft gain over 2.5 to 3.5 miles depending on the route you go). At the summit, we pause and remember our graduates who have fallen during Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. We read the na... Fri, 16 May 2014 15:00:08 EST Semi-Annual Physical Training Test Well, it is that time of year again, time for the semi annual APFT (everything needs its own acronym, this one means Army Physical Fitness Test. I have not been training as hard as I was before the fall test, and the results show. <BR> <BR> It starts with 2 min of push ups, as many as you can do. I did 68, enough to get maximum points. Then 2 min of sit ups, again as many as you can do. I did 74, enough to get max points. I don't usually have trouble with the first two events. Then com... Wed, 7 May 2014 17:26:24 EST North Face Challenge I was a team member on the North Face Endurance Challenge marathon relay this past weekend. We had a 4 person relay team. Here we are, at the beginning of the race, with Brody, me, Becky and Will. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Becky, Brody and I teach together, Will teaches in physics. The races were at the Bear Mountain State Park, about 10 min south of West Point. In addition to the marathon relay, other races included mara... Mon, 5 May 2014 09:08:47 EST Easter Sunday and a few other things A busy weekend and a busy day today. Things are mostly winding down, glad to finally get a chance to sit and relax. The kids were up early and very excited about Easter and their Easter baskets. We had small baskets with books, puzzles, some knit hats from grandma, and some candy (of course). In the morning, I finished up prepping for our Easter dinner and my DW tried to finish cleaning up the house. (with the kids amped up, it was a bit like trying to brush your teeth while eating oreos... Sun, 20 Apr 2014 20:06:52 EST Reflection? Who has time for that? Assessment and reflection are two key components of any successful program. They help us set realistic and challenging goals, and then help evaluate our successes and shortcomings. While turning the calendar page often offers us a cue to assess progress and set new goals, it is incumbent upon us to take the time to reflect and capture those thoughts. The end of 2013 was a blur, going from finishing the fall semester to a fun but packed family ski vacation, to the start of the next semester... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 06:01:00 EST Sea to Summit - Run to Remember Every semester, at the start of finals week, our department holds the "Sea to Summit" run at West Point, NY. It starts at our department (Civil and Mechanical Engineering), drops down to the Hudson River (elevation about 28 ft), then runs up through the Academy to the top of the ski hill (elevation just under 1,000 ft). The total route is just over 3 miles, gaining over 900 ft along the way. Here is a snap shot of the route going up: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 16 Dec 2013 16:40:53 EST Are we ready to move next week? I know, we just moved here this summer, but we have to move again. At least it is just down the street, within the same neighborhood. <BR> <BR> We are on West Point, which has family housing run by a private contractor. When we picked the house we are in, we knew that it was scheduled for renovation before we are scheduled leave. We selected it planning that we may be able to upgrade. They originally told us that when our house went into renovation that they would move us into a house bu... Thu, 12 Dec 2013 19:37:29 EST November and year to date review Another month down, one more to go in the calendar year. <BR> <BR> I am continuing to maintain in the 180-185 range. I was at the high end of the range after my birthday celebration weekend and after Thanksgiving weekend. After the new year, I would like to refocus on losing and get down to and maintain in the 170-175 range. <BR> <BR> My fitness focus was on running (and bike commuting). I managed to run 89.4 miles in the month, bringing my year to date total to 951.6 miles. Less th... Mon, 2 Dec 2013 10:03:22 EST Race report from Andover, MA turkey trot Early on a chilly thanksgiving morning, we joined about 10,000 walkers, joggers, and runners to participate in the Feaster Five race in Andover, MA. <BR> <BR> It was the third year we have ran in it, and this year my two big kids (7 and 5) we're big enough to do the kids race. The 5 and 6 year olds had a 200 m dash and the 7 and 8 year olds did a 300 m dash. My kids were pretty chilly and not that fired up about it, but they ran anyway and got a nice Feaster Five medal. My DW was taki... Fri, 29 Nov 2013 21:17:20 EST Race report from West Point Turkey Trot Well, turkey trots are usually fairly low key, more about the fun and exercise than anything. The West Point TT was low key, even for a TT. There were probably about 150 runners with adults, teens, kids, dogs, and little kids bundled up in baby joggers. It was a $5 entry fee (free for cadets, who were fairly well represented). <BR> <BR> The start was a short walk from my house, so I bundled Elizbeth and Henry into their layers and into the buggy and warmed up a bit on the walk down to t... Mon, 18 Nov 2013 06:37:29 EST Go ahead and put that sticker on your car, part 3 BOILHAM had a blog entry about adorning ones car with race distance stickers, small ovals with 13.1, 26.2, 70.3 or 140.6. I followed up with a blog in Sep after seeing a car with a "0.0" sticker. <BR> <BR> Then I read this article: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>t-over-it-column-translated?cm_mmc=Fac<BR>ebook-_-RunnersWorld-_-Content-Blog-_-<BR>WSJRemyResponse </link> <BR> <BR> A great response to a column that appeared recently in the WSJ. The column, while ... Fri, 15 Nov 2013 11:45:05 EST On behalf of a grateful nation... The full citation reads: <BR> On behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Army, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a token of appreciation for yor father's faithful and honorable service. <BR> <BR> I had the opportunity to say that today at the graveside memorial for his father, a WWII veteran. Unlike today's all-volunteer army, the soldiers who served during WWII were drafted "until the cessation of hostilities". <BR> <BR> Many blessings to the vet... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 19:44:08 EST Semi-annual fitness test Today was the day for my semi-annual army physical fitness test (APFT, since everything in the army needs an acronym). The test consists of 4 events: 2 min of push ups, 2 min of sit ups, a 2 mi run and a weigh in. The three physical events are graded on a scale from 0 to 100 with 60 points per event passing. The scale is based on gender and on age. <BR> <BR> This past May, at the end of grad school, I aced the test, with my best score and run time in years. I was kind of curious where I ... Tue, 5 Nov 2013 13:16:53 EST October review and November goals I had a busy but great October and am looking forward to finishing the year strong. <BR> <BR> Here is a recap of the highlights from the month: <BR> <BR> 1) Maintenance: I am still maintaining in the 180-185 range. I had 4 days this month with a morning weigh in less than 180, which was nice. I will plan to continue to maintain through the holidays. <BR> <BR> 2) Eating and snacking: These could be better, and are main reason when I start to head towards the top of my range. Not a big c... Mon, 4 Nov 2013 09:39:13 EST Discouraging, but not discouraged Last week was a long week. <BR> <BR> I have had some travel this month, 4 days in NC and a day trip up to MA, which has put me at a deficit at work and at home. I have been working on getting caught up at work and still make it home in time to help DW with dinner time and the kids. <BR> <BR> At work, we gave our 2nd midterm early in the week. We split out grading between the instructors and I graded the design problems, which ended up being about 15-20 hours of grading. <BR> <BR> Ad... Tue, 29 Oct 2013 16:02:08 EST The culprit I figured out what caused my Achilles issue in may. <BR> <BR> I have decided it was a new pair of shoes. I decided to try some new shoes and had a discount, so I bought a pair. I eased into them, taking them on a few shorter and slower runs. I added them into the mix, alternating runs with the new shoes and old shoes. After the injury/Achilles irrirtation, I stopped wearing them and recovered in my old shoes. I have been able to build back up in my old shoes, largely pain/irritation fre... Mon, 14 Oct 2013 20:30:01 EST Two fun bike videos Here are two of my favorite bike videos. My kids are getting into biking and love them too. The first is a rider called Danny McCaskill. What he can do with a trial bike is pretty cool. He has a bunch of videos but this is my favorite: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> The second is by Martyn Ashton. I though Danny was pretty cool on a trial bike, what Martyn can do on a road bike is kind of amazing! <BR> <BR> <link> Wed, 2 Oct 2013 21:27:47 EST Kids Adventure Race and Octoberfest I have seen a lot of blogs lately about color runs, tough mudders, zombie runs and other big people adventure races, but I don't see many adventure races aimed at kids. One of the civilian professors in my department organized a kid-parent adventure run in Sleepy Hollow, NY. The race was last Saturday, a beautiful early fall day in the Hudson Valley. <BR> <BR> The kids were in 3 age group categories based on grade: K and 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and 4th and 5th. The small kids did 3/4 mile wit... Wed, 2 Oct 2013 21:14:23 EST September recap Another month in the books! Another busy month, and it doesn't look like it is about to slow down either. I am finding/making more white space on my calendar at work and starting to get back into writing. If I can get a couple blocks of writing time in per week, I think I can make some headway. <BR> <BR> A recap of the short and long term goals for the year. <BR> <BR> 1) long term weight goal - I am still maintaining in the 180-185 range most days, with the occasional foray higher or l... Tue, 1 Oct 2013 20:14:15 EST Off to the races, attempt 2 Ok, one of my gripes about the iPad is that it dumped the blog I was in the middle of. Oops. <BR> <BR> Anyway, yesterday I ran a 8.4 miler with my little Henry in the buggy. It included a 750 ft climb, which was a bit of a smoker. So, I was planning on taking it easy today and do a 4-5 miler at a slowish pace. That was the plan at least... <BR> <BR> As I was waiting for the Garmin to find enough satellites, two of my colleagues popped out, getting ready to run. I run alone most of t... Mon, 23 Sep 2013 22:15:40 EST Go ahead and put that sticker on your car, part 2 BOILHAM had a blog entry about adorning your car with 13.1, 26.2, 70.3, 140.6 and other such race stickers. The general consensus was, if you did the race, go ahead and slap the sticker on your car if you want to. <BR> <BR> Then, yesterday, I was driving to Paramus, NJ and passed a car with an oval sticker with a big "0.0" then a little "I don't run". On one hand, it was funny enough to warrant a chuckle. On the other hand, it was kind of a sad commentary on the drivers views towards hea... Sat, 21 Sep 2013 10:45:22 EST Some runs are great, but not today's... This week is a busy week and I knew I would not have many run opportunities. At lunch today was one of those few opportunities and I took it. I had been inside all morning and did not realize how hot it had gotten. <BR> <BR> I took off shortly after noon and my first thought was that it felt like the inside of a convection oven. It wasn't that hot, it was only like 85 to 90 deg (OK, my friends from any where south of here will say that sounds pleasant, but to me that is almost too hot to r... Wed, 11 Sep 2013 20:15:07 EST August Recap I cannot believe that it is already September. Time flies when you are busy! August was a good month, I feel like I am swamped at work but a lot of things are coming together. <BR> <BR> As a quick recap of progress over the month and for the year so far: <BR> <BR> 1) Long term weight goal - I am continuing to maintain in the 180-185 lbs range, generally. I weigh in daily and had a few days over and a few days under that range. After classes started and I was on my feet a lot more, I not... Thu, 5 Sep 2013 21:09:41 EST 10k race report This morning we did the storm king 10 k race in West Point, NY. It was a hilly out and back run on rte 218, a very scenic route along the Hudson River. <BR> <BR> It started with the one mile kids fun run. Heidi and Paul ran with Heidi, 7, coming in 5th overall and 2nd girl. Paul, 5, came in 12th overall. Both had a lot of fun. I think Heidi has a lot of potential as a runner. Paul will try hard, but I think he will be solid middle of the pack, kind of like me. We will see, it is fun to... Sun, 25 Aug 2013 21:29:06 EST First full day back in the class room - a long day! Today was my first day back teaching and it was a long day. I teach 3 sections every other day, two sections in the morning and one in the afternoon. 7 times during the semester, including today, the classes are 2 hours (double periods for labs and problem solving periods), otherwise they are 1 hour each. <BR> <BR> So, today's schedule was: <BR> 5:30 wake up, breakfast <BR> 6:30 bike in to work, get changed, final prep <BR> 7:30-9:35 first class <BR> 9:50-11:55 second class <BR> 12:15-1:00... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 19:24:29 EST NSV and compliments I returned to West Point this summer after being away for 6 years. I have had a number of the long term faculty and staff compliment me for looking fit/trim and losing weight. <BR> <BR> I was only about 10-20 pounds heavier when I was here from 2003 - 2007. I was not obese and I was in good physical shape, but I could have done with a few less pounds to carry around. Over the past 10 years or so, my weight has been up to a high of 215 lbs to a low of 175 lbs. It is good to be back near... Wed, 7 Aug 2013 12:27:05 EST I finally found my road bike It has been about 5 years since I rode my road bike (at least with any consistency). I rode a lot when I was at West Point last time and want to get out on the bike again more. I tuned it up over the weekend and was happy to see it was in decent shape despite a few years of neglect. I have a cannondale R600 with shimano 105 components. It was a decent road bike 12 years ago when I bought it and it has aged reasonably well. <BR> <BR> My office is large enough that I can bring my bike in a... Fri, 2 Aug 2013 13:23:22 EST July Recap July has been a bit of a roller coaster. A lot was in flux for most of the month, but things are now getting settled and I feel I am able to get back into a more normal and sustainable rhythm. Here is a recap of how July went and how I am doing towards my goals for the year: <BR> <BR> 1) Weight - I started July at 188 lbs and managed to get up over 190 for a few days towards the end of vacation. Between the move and vacation, I was having a hard time eating well, but I figured that would ... Thu, 1 Aug 2013 12:37:26 EST Date night It has been a while since we my DW and I have been out together sans kids, so it was nice to have the opportunity. <BR> <BR> We are at the end of a 2 week vacation at my DW's parents house on Lake Erie, just west of Cleveland. They have an old house tha requires a lot of upkeep, so Jill asked her dad if there was anything I could work on to help out. I did a few smaller jobs, like fixing the leaking kitchen sink, then my FIL said maybe I could fix the drainage pipe. <BR> <BR> Their next... Sat, 13 Jul 2013 22:42:01 EST Bay Days Race Today - 5 miler for me, 1 miler for the kiddos My wife's hometown has a nice 5 miler every 4th of July. The town is Bay Village, OH, just west of Cleveland, and the event is part of a week long celebration called Bay Days. This is the 3rd time I have run it, it is a really pleasant race. There are a ton of younger runners with a lot of HS cross country teams that use it to gage where they are going into the fall season as well as a lot of, well more seasoned runners, we will say. <BR> <BR> After they start the 5 miler, they corral u... Thu, 4 Jul 2013 23:42:48 EST June Recap Well, June is over and we are on to July already. It has been a challenging month to keep SP goals with moving and travel and all that comes with it. Here is a recap of my June: <BR> <BR> 1) Weight - I started July at 188, up 4 lbs since 1 June and up 7 lbs since 1 Jan. I really don't want to get back up into the 190's so will have to do a bit better through this transition. My range in May was 181-186, my range in June was 184-188. Slowly creeping the wrong direction. <BR> <BR> 2) Fit... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 07:38:30 EST moving Our kids are all dealing with moving in their own way. They will eventually adapt and come to love their new home as much as their old one. In the mean time, some ups and downs. <BR> <BR> Our oldest daughter had a rough time saying goodbye to her friends from church, school and gymnastics. We stayed a few days extra to go to her end of gymnastics season show and awards ceremony. She is level one and is doing really well. She was selected as MVP from her level one team (out of 8 little g... Sat, 22 Jun 2013 20:56:14 EST the joys of raising small children... My 14 month old has become a climber. Just like his big sister was. He is into everything and so much trouble these days! For a while we had to baby proof what he could reach from the floor, now he can climb up onto chairs, the couch, the counter, the table, stairs, his brother's bed, me, mom's head while she is sleeping. The list goes on. Some kids come along and obstacle in their path and go around it or through it. Henry is one of those who go over it. Here he is on his little rocki... Sat, 15 Jun 2013 07:07:08 EST Proud of my DD and moving update My oldest, who turns 7 at the end of the month, has been the most anxious about the upcoming move of all the kids. The two littles are just too small and my 5 year old son just isn't the sentimental type. We took a trip to West Point in April to look at housing and then I went back yesterday to pick our house. There is such a high personnel turnover at West Point every summer, that the housing office makes a list of all the houses on post that are coming available and a list of all the inb... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 05:37:56 EST May recap May is over, now is a chance for the month in review and the year so far. It is months like these that I need to remember to focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative. May was not a great month for my SP goals, but despite a few set backs, things are still OK. Here is the review: <BR> <BR> 1) weight: Weighed in at 184 today, up 1 lb since last month, up 3 lbs since 1 Jan. I weigh daily and my range for the month was 181-186, making this the first month that I did not spend a fr... Sat, 1 Jun 2013 06:06:25 EST Slow recovery and other randomness I am trying to take things slow in my Achilles rehab/recovery. I ran last Thursday and took the rest of the week off (off running at least, a lot of walking plus some gardening and biking). I ran again this morning. It felt better, I made it further before I started to feel it. I ended up doing 5k (27 min, 8:45 pace) and it felt OK during most of it. I probably should stick to 2 mi or less for a bit longer though. By the end I could feel it starting to feel warm (like a hot spot, not wa... Thu, 30 May 2013 11:05:19 EST Memorial Day Parade and Picnic with pictures On Monday we attended the Easthampton, MA Memorial Day parade and ceremony. Our church had a float in the parade and then held a nice picnic afterwards. Easthamption is a small city/big town in western Mass that really knows what the holiday is about. The parade was small, but well represented by the community veteran's groups, school bands, little league teams, rod and gun club, police, fire and emergency services. Following the parade, there is a nice ceremony in the town center at a mo... Tue, 28 May 2013 11:38:46 EST Memorial Day <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Please take a moment this Memorial Day weekend to remember the Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, Marines, and their families who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. <BR> Thu, 23 May 2013 16:08:12 EST SSR - testing out the Achilles/ankle It has been about a week and a half since I came up lame with a sore ankle/Achilles after a 12 mile run. I have been stretching, rollering, and walking in the mean time. I injured myself shortly after signing up for a 10k this weekend (25 May) and have not been sure if I will be able to run by the race or not. <BR> <BR> This morning I tested it out on a 5k loop through campus. It was definitely a short slow run (SSR) for me. 29 min, 9:15 pace. It started to feel tender/sore again by the... Thu, 23 May 2013 09:59:49 EST Injury or soreness after my LSR I had a heavier than normal run week last week (35 miles when I have normally been doing 25-30 miles). Then yesterday, during my LSR, my left ankle was sore and I took it easy on the pace. I probably should have dialed back on the distance too, because the rest of the day and into today, my Achilles has been very sore. I have been stretching it and should probably be icing it too (but have not so far). I am taking a rest day today (and perhaps walking and stretching tomorrow) before tryin... Tue, 14 May 2013 13:50:12 EST UMass Graduation (with photos) I wanted to add some pictures from graduation on Friday. Here I am after the ceremony: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> With my mom (she was so proud!) (I saw a saying that went: I went to grad school for an education for me and a diploma for my mom!) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My DW is not a big ceremony person to begin with and did not relish being at a 2 hour ceremony with a 1 y.... Sat, 11 May 2013 19:43:19 EST Highlights from this week's runs A few miscellaneous highlights from the past week's workouts. The only unifying theme is that they are all running related. <BR> <BR> So last week, on 1 May, I wanted to kick May off with a LSR. I was getting ready to head out in the afternoon, taking a long detour on my way home. My friend, Joe, saw me getting ready to go and got the gleam in his eye and asked if I could wait a few minutes and if he could run with me. Sure, no problem, though I had to reroute my long run route from one... Mon, 6 May 2013 11:34:38 EST Good bye April, Hello May Wow, 4 months of 2013 down already? A quick recap of April and 2013 goals and results. <BR> <BR> 1) weight: No change over the month, up 2 lbs since 1 Jan. Started at 183 lbs, ended at 183 lbs. Would like to see some improvement here in May, would like to get so I am consistently under 180. <BR> <BR> 2) exercise: 102.4 running miles, 0 swimming this month. 412.3 running miles and 35 swimming miles for the year so far. On track to crush my year goal. Plus had some good hikes, bikes and... Wed, 1 May 2013 05:46:33 EST Saying good bye to two old friends is hard to do! As we are getting ready to move in June, we have been trying to lighten the load. We have had a lot of trips to Salvation Army to donate goods we don't need any more and lots of bags of baby/kids clothes to families with smaller kids than ours who needed them. While most of what we have parted with has been easy to say good bye to, two things that have been with us for a long time have been harder let go of: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR>... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:45:17 EST Mt Monadnock Hike I have been talking with a friend form church about getting the kids out on a hike. Finally, with the spring weather finally here and us having limited weekends left in MA, we set a date for 27 Apr and planned our hike to the top of Mt Monadnock just over the border in NH. Last year, we hiked Mt Greylock, the high point in MA. While Monadnock is far from the high point in NH, it is a very pleasant hike. I took my two oldest (Heidi 6 and Paul 4) and he took his oldest (Logan 4). I picked ... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 07:03:02 EST