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December 29, 2007

The new era

Technology is the reality of the times today. There are techno gadgets for just about everything we do. Techno toys are far beyond the imaginations of the makers of pong. The youth of today are going to be the techno generation.

Now that I have used my new Techno gadget, Garmin Forerunner 305, I can tell you technology is awesome. The things that this little watch sized gadget can tell you is great. For each run I can review a variety of graphs, see how many calories I burned, the distance I ran, what my heart rate was and much more. A wealth of information right at my finger tips.

I am especially amazed at the graphs. There is a graph that will show you your pace and heart rate. You click anywhere on the graph and it shows you what it was at that point. So for example if I see my pace spiked up along with my HR I can click on the HR line and see what my bpm was at that moment. I can see a graph of my pace along with the graph of the elevation changes. I can also compare the heart rate with the elevation changes. As numbers guy I really like graphs.

The Forerunner also lets me set up what is called virtual runs. I can run against myself on courses that I set up. After I run a route I can save it as a course. Than I can set up a virtual run that will compare a current run with the run I set as the course. The Forerunner shows a split screen indicating where I am compared to where I was when I ran before. It does this by showing you these little animated running guys on the split screen. Now thatís cool.

This device will be quite beneficial as I train for my running of Grandmas Marathon. You can bet that I will be using the virtual runner mode quite often. It will be fun to have someone to run with. I am going to have to come up with a name for that little guy in the window. Maybe Speedy. Or how about the G man? Whatever it is I hope I can keep up with him. You can count on updates.

Now get out there and run.

December 26, 2007

Not another newsletter

I am not a fan of holiday newsletters to be honest. Deb generally gives me the highlights because I very rarely read them. Oh I guess if I have trouble sleeping I might check a few of them.

Donít get me wrong itís not that I donít care about the loved ones, itís I really donít like to read more than anything else. Reading takes time away from other fun things. For example I could be out running or fishing rather than reading. I could be enjoying a fine bottle of wine or better yet a fine nap. You see there are finer things in life than reading.

By the way if you are checking the Erickson Family Website and ventured into my ramblings because of the dear wifeís newsletter, I thank-you for stopping by. I did read that one.

If you want to help Deb out, give her a plug and attach a little comment to this little ditty. I will be more than happy to let her know you read her newsletter and are not illiterate like me.

I wish you the very best for the upcoming new year. God Bless.

Let it snow Let it NOT!

For many years now a lot of us Minnesotans have been whining about lack of snow. Comments like ďsure isnít like the days when we youngĒ or ďwinter isnít winter unless we get snowĒ were heard all around. Hope everyone is happy now that we have over 16 inches of the stuff now.

Seems like itís been snowing for over week straight. I decide the heck with going to work today because I wasnít going to drive in the miserable stuff another day. I drove through it on Saturday, Sunday, didnít go nowhere on Monday and than drove through it on Tuesday. Enough already I have had my fill.

Oh sure you say itís so pretty. Try shoveling the stuff numerous times in a day and see how pretty it is. As far as I am concerned at the moment is it might be pretty in one of those shake up souvenir dust collecting thingies other than that itís a pain.

Shoveling the doggone stuff isnít the worst part of the deal. The worst is that it has the lakes all messed up. Due to the heavy snow there are many inches of slush lurking under that so called pretty snow. That yucky slush makes it a royal pain in the Ö to try and ice fish. You canít walk in it. The 4 wheeler barely got me out to the spot I wanted to fish. I didnít bother trying it on the second day due to fear of getting stuck in the slush. Itís not fair to us ice fishing fanatics and itís a bad deal.

Oh sure the kids like it. Then kids like everything because to them itís more like a play thing. But what do they know they liked school in the beginning too.

I suppose it could be worse. It really could be as bad as when I was young and the snow banks were over 6 feet high. Sure I thought that was fun but I was young and not a cranky old fart like I am now.

Enjoy winter Ö bah humbug.

December 21, 2007

Have you been naughty or nice?

We had our little family Christmas dinner and present opening tonight. I think Santa may have been confused or maybe his standards have gone down just a bit. Iím not saying I was naughty but I sure got a gift that was beyond what an average nice boy would get.

I got a Garmin 305! Yes thatís right a Garmin 305. That beats anything else out there in the market. Nothing but the very best and up to date techno gadget made for runners.

There is overwhelming joy and overwhelming anxiety about this gift. The joy comes from knowing the data one can track. It will provide more details than one can imagine. The anxiety from reading the label on the CD that comes with it. A CD title that says training center comes with it. Training Center? You know the adage you canít teach an old dog new tricks. Well letís hope thatís not the case. I am looking forward to using it once the holidays are over and I have some time to spend in the training center.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

December 18, 2007

Run Run Run run away

Not too long ago I turned 50. I as well as others see that birthday as a turning point in their life. I think most see it as a turn that goes downhill. I see it as a turn to make life better. I certainly am not going to make 50 the start of my sedentary years thatís for sure. The way I see it fifty is going to be nifty.

I have neglected something for quite sometime. I call it a hobby others call it work and then others call it crazy. Or some refer to it as exercise while I refer to it as meditation. I am referring to running outdoors on a regular basis.

A few nights ago I took the first step in getting back to running on a regular basis. The goal of course was to build up my running to allow me to run another marathon. I made a schedule that details my runs starting this week all the way to June 21st, the date of Grandmas Marathon in Duluth MN.

Tonight was the first run per the schedule. Since I have not run for quite sometime my first run was rather short and quite easy. I ran a very flat 2 miles. It sure didnít take long for me to enjoy being out running again.

To get ready for an 18 week marathon training a person has to have a good foundation to build upon. During the 18 weeks of training I will average about 38 miles a week. I will be preparing for the start of my training by averaging 25 miles a week for the next 9 weeks. I am quite confident that will give me what I need to roll right into marathon training.

For the most part preparing for and completing the training is an enjoyable time. I will tell you that the some what long runs (over 12) are not always that enjoyable. Then there are the 20 miles plus runs that once you get past 18 to 20 are for sure not all that enjoyable. However those everyday runs that from 4 to 12 miles can be quite enjoyable.

There is more to training than just running mile after mile. I will be doing hill work outs, speed workouts and something called fartleks. The hill workouts are quite simple run up and down a hill 6 to 10 times during a daily workout. Pretty much the same for speed work out only you run on a flat track for about a 440 and than after a brief rest you sprint again. Doing a fartlek is where you alternate a fast pace and a slow pace during your run for that given day. In addition to all the above there will be just the simple pace runs and those are when the meditation takes place.

Iíll keep you posted on my little hobby. Until then get off that chair and go do something for peteís sake or joeís sake or better yet your sake. I do care.

See ya

December 07, 2007

Winter Wonderland once again

Finally after so many brown decembers this year we are looking like the winter wonderland that Minnesota is known for. This month we have had 3 measurable snow events. The weather people call them events now. I think you would be hard pressed to find a December in the past 5 years or so where there has been more than 1 event. Certainly wonít have to sing I am dreaming of a white Christmas.

The temps have been way down there on a couple of occasions to. In fact it has not been above freezing since the 26th of November. Ah yes life is good in Minnesocold.

The plan for the weekend is to get out there and fish. The forecasted temperature for the morning tomorrow is -9 and calm winds. Just a little on the cool side. My thinking is that the ice should be about 4 inches thick. Should be able to use a chisel to make an opening to fish. With shelter in tow it should be a good time.

I should be able to get back to my running program now that things have cooled off. There is no need for me to worry so much about heat exhaustion. I will be able to stay hydrated by sucking on the icicles from my mustache or I could grab a chunk of snow, of course I'll be sure it's not yellow. As long as one dresses in layers winter running is rather enjoyable. The key is to take care of business prior to getting dressed.

Have a great winter my friends.

December 04, 2007

Why bother

The question for today is am I a bad person? Am I wrong for getting all up in a dither for people being downright idiots? If someone does stupid things why should others risk their lives to help the idiots?

Over the last two weeks two people have fallen through thin ice on a lake near the Twin Cities. For the life of me I cannot think what thee two idiots were thinking. Pretty obvious I guess they werenít. You got to wonder if they are capable of it. It has to be pretty doggone cold for several days before the ice is safe enough to ride a snowmobile onto it or even walk on it.

The reason I asked if I am a bad person is because when I talk to people about it, I comment on that itís too bad they were rescued. Fortunately no one was injured or lost their life going in after the two idiots. In my opinion each individual should be punished somehow. My thought on the first guy, who was going to out fish, should lose his license to fish forever. The second who was out snowmobiling should lose the snowmobile. Of course I am being facetious with my comment on the rescue but it makes me mad.

It worries me that these people might procreate.

Have a nice day and please be smart.

December 02, 2007

Charlie Brown Tree

Today was a little bit on the sad side for me. I did something that I vowed will never happen. I remember so many times telling my children it would never happen in my house. A person should never use the word never. Donít worry though I will be just fine.

Today I purchased an artificial Christmas tree. Just takes your breath away doesnít it. I hate to admit it but it does look kind of real. It should for what the doggone thing cost. If it lasts for 3 years it will be a breakeven if I had purchased 3 real trees. We will make the most of it.

I have to admit I got a bit choked up when I loaded it into my truck. There was no walking through the tree farm looking for that perfect tree. There was no freezing of the hands cutting it down. The feet never got a chill. The cheeks were not rosy when I was done. No dripping from the cold nose. No icicles on the mustache or the eyelids. You guessed it not a whole lot of fun.

We are going to miss that fresh pine scent. Oh it was suggested that you can buy stuff that smells like pine. However as far as I am concerned the tree is all the fake I can handle.

There is a reason of course as to why I had to endure this pain. You see itís all for this cute little girl in my wifeís daycare. Although we are not sure we suspect she had a few health problems because of our real tree last year. I certainly do not want to take a chance on that this year. So I did what was best and went fake.

There is a bright side to the story. It will be a tax deduction for the day care expense. That should save me about 10 bucks I think. Always have to look for the bright side.

Merry Christmas everyone.