Friday, February 26, 2010

Rest Day? Maybe Next Week!

Normally Friday is my rest day and most of the time I am really looking forward to it. No packing breakfast, gym bag, work clothes etc the night before…. No hassle on Thursday night and then sleep in Friday - until 6am that is. So much for the plan.

Last night I had the tri clinic at the Eastside Y and planned on doing my scheduled run afterward. Before heading into the Y, I talked to Terry on the phone.

K: What are you up to?
T: I am draining the water out of the hot water heater, so I can take the water heater out of the laundry room and tile the floor.
K: Sounds like fun. Ummm… How am I going to shower tomorrow morning?
T: Aren't you working out tomorrow morning?
K: Well, I guess I am now!

Honestly, I didn't feel like running last night anyways and I really don't like to blow off the run completely, but getting up this morning (packing my work clothes etc) really sucked.

After getting up, I started layering in the running gear that I laid out the night before, since I was planning to run outside somewhere around the Caine Halter Y. After getting dressed and sticking out my nose into the wind, I returned to my trusty gear closet and retrieved some shorts and a t-shirt… No way, I would be running outside this morning. Yes, I don't care for the dreadmill, but I am sick and tired of being cold. Turned out that it was in the twenties this morning and in the teens with windchill. Thanks, but no thanks.

Anyways, the dreadmill run felt crappy, my left hamstring and knee felt crappy and the feeling didn't improve after the warm-up and the first two intervals (a total of 17 minutes)… So I called it a day… At least on the treadmill and moved over to the cross ramp. On the ramp I found myself an incline and resistance that didn't aggravate my hamstring and knee and got another 30 minutes of cardio in before stretching for a while. Well, after having several really good runs in the last couple of days, I guess I was just due for one of those again. Maybe it was also my attitude towards treadmill that made it so crappy. That thing just seems to suck all life out of me.

So for the weekend, they forecast highs in the 50s for Saturday and Sunday and I am looking forward to the training duathlon organized by the Upstate Tri Club and then a nice bike ride with a friend on Sunday.

On other news: I am back at my goal weight of 125lbs! YAY! That is one 2010 goal completed! Double YAY! ;-)

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Do Not Freeze

(Click on picture to enlarge!)

This is printed on the back of a shower gel container that I recently bought... It really makes me wonder, what incident prompted the producers to do this? Do you know of a lawsuit that involved frozen shower gel?

I might adapt this line for a tattoo... This morning it was 27 degrees! Twenty-Seven! It is end of February and we are in South Carolina... It has been way too cold for way too long... IT'S ENOUGH!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Computrainer Or How To Toast A Pair Of Legs

Last week I got an e-mail from the Upstate Tri president that there are two spots available for a Computrainer Ride at the Greenville Cycling Center on Saturday afternoon and that it is free for members. I had no clue what a computrainer ride is, but it was free, so what the heck. By the way how hard can it be and anyways who cares that I had a 10-mile race planned for Saturday morning.

To prove, how clueless I was, let me briefly describe the short e-mail conversation I had after I have been told that I got one of the spots. For whatever reason, I had the picture in mind that we would be using something like spin bikes and therefore I asked, if I needed regular running shoes or if I would be able to use my SPD clipless shoes. The response was: "You will use your own bike, so whatever your set-up is, is what you'll use." I am glad I asked, because I would have shown up to the class without my bike.

We were using the MultiRider function and here is a brief description from the GCC webpage:
"CompuTrainer MultiRider systems provide a new, exciting and technically superior method of indoor GROUP bike training and racing. It's a great way to motivate people to stick with an athletic or exercise program. A basement, garage, bike shop or health club can double as an indoor cycling center for up to 8 riders at a time connected to one PC through a USB Hub."

The cycling center has eight computrainer spots, but we were only six people that day... It was a beautiful day outside, so I can understand anyone who went on the road instead of doing this.

Once we were all set-up (I was dead last, b/c I was late... I hate to be late, but I just couldn't find the place!), Coach Jim picked a route for the session. We ended up with a profile of a 24 mile ride that was basically uphill for the most part. Steepest incline I think was 9.9... To say so much for the moment, I never made it to that part. The trainers adjust resistance depending on where you are on the profile.

As soon as the simulation started, we started pedaling and tried to get into the groove. Things started off easy with a 1.7 incline to warm up some. Of course this WASN'T a race, but stick six triathletes in a room and put a screen in front of them with a ranking PLUS the distance in feet to catch the person ahead of them.... But of course it wasn't a RACE!

Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but the "non-race" was ON for me. Especially since cycling was my best discipline last year and I lost my cycling legs somewhat over the winter, I really wanted to push myself. And pushing yourself is definitely easier in this kind of environment. Maybe half an hour into the ride I felt my strenght dwindeling and I asked the coach to get my Shot Bloks out of my bag and I downed within minutes the leftovers from the race in the morning. That was four pieces (~130 calories) after running a ten mile race and not having a proper lunch because I was busy running around and also because my stomach wasn't so happy. Can you spell BONK? I was pedaling my little heart out from then on. Getting a glimpse of myself in the mirror was kind of funny (looking back now)... So that's how your face looks when you are suffering. Sweet! I made little deals with myself: Just another 10 minutes, just do another 5 minutes, just hang in there until you did an hour.... And that's what I did... I quit... One hour into the program I let it be... My legs were TOAST!

While Coach Jim got my bike off the trainer, we talked a little. He said that this was one of the hardest profiles he has, but since it was a promo class, he didn't want to make it too easy, so that people get an idea of what the computrainer is about. And that was fine... I really feel like I would like to try this again on a fresh set of legs. Actually, I already hinted Terry those classes as a possible birthday present (I know, I am hinting very early), so I would be able to do them over the winter. I kinda doubt that I would like to do them now, because the weather is finally getting somewhere that we are able to take the bikes out on the road again... Besides, on the road you can cruise every now and then.... No such thing on the computrainer! ;-)

So long!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Das Ist Kein Kindergeburtstag!

I know, you expected to find an account about my computrainer from last Saturday for today's post. But that will have to wait for another day, since I wanted to share a handful of revelations that I had this morning (before 8AM) and I am all about sharing in a timely manner, if feasible.

Today is Tuesday and Tuesday is 6am swim class day (so is Thursday). Being in the pool somewhere around 6am means that the alarms goes off that 5am. I always pack my bag and food for those days the night before, so I basically just have to get out of bed, throw on some clothes and head out.

I slept really bad Monday night and last night was not much better. So when the alarm went off, I felt like I got hit by a wall of bricks. I was soooooooo close to just skip the class. I already reset my alarm to 6am, then tried to go back to sleep only to find myself obsessing about where to squeeze in this swim later on. At 5.15am I got up since I was wide awake by then.

By 6.10am I was at the pool. Not in the pool, but sitting at the pool. The water was COLD! The coach walked by and said "Du musst rein springen! Das ist kein Kindergeburtstag!" (You have to jump in! This is not a child's birthday!"). I am always surprised when she talks German and it always takes me a minute to even register in my head that she did. We joked around a little about the phrase about the "child's birthday" and how this one doesn't make any sense in English whatsoever. The basic meaning is: we are not here for fun, there is no playing around. And heck, I was playing around a lot sitting on the side of the pool. It was time to get in there.

The centerpiece of today's workout was a 10x100 draft practice. For that we were put in groups of 2 to 3 people and alternated easy and hard sets while I was leading the easy efforts and the boys the hard efforts. Yes, I was thrown into a lane with the big boys again in order to push my limits which eventually should make me faster, even if it hurts a little sometimes. All in all this was a very productive workout that I would have never been able to do on my own since you need somebody else to practice drafting with. What still takes me some getting used to when drafting, is the touching of the feet and getting touched at the feet by other people. But in order to get the most benefit of drafting, this is just as close as you need to get.

So what were the early morning revelations?
  • You will never regret the workouts you did! Heck yes, it was hard to get out of bed, but I was very happy that I did afterwards.
  • Sometimes you do a workout and really feel like you accomplished something.... Without sounding too dramatic, but it's like a breakthrough at times.
  • Pushing the limits of your abilities makes you better.
  • Sometimes I need somebody that pushes me to push my limits! (Thanks Coach!)
  • After drafting off for the last two sets of 100's, the water feels so much harder to swim through when it's your turn to lead again.

But now for real... Tomorrow the report about my first computrainer experience!

So long! ;-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Race Report: Green Valley Road Race 10-Miler

Results based on Guntime:
1:36:55 - 9:43 min per mile average

Overall 219/282

There were no results per gender and age group published, so I did my own with some Excel magic.
Female 77/111
Age Group 18/26

I have mapped out my race strategy here in tidbit 86 through 90 and am very happy to report that I was dead on when it comes to the race average. YIPPIE!!

Saturday was according to the weather forecast a perfect running day. The race didn't start until 8.45am and that was almost like sleeping in for me. I peeled out of bed around 7am, grabbed a pita bread with jello and went right back to bed for some more relaxation. My original plan was to race in shorts, but it was just way too cold for my taste. It was supposed to be a high in the mid 50s that day, but in the morning it was chilly.

Terry decided last minute that he is going to race too, so we headed out a little early since he had to register. As soon as we were at Furman, we were running into familiar faces from our Palmetto200 team, running group buddies, Malone Coaching athletes and people from Wednesday night GTC track practice.

By the time we walked over to the start line, my hands and feet were numb and I just wanted the race to take off so bad... Later I realized, that this was my first race EVER that I wasn't a complete nervous wreck at the start line and that happens after I haven't raced in close to three months. YAY.... Terry was happy about that one too, because I supposedly get very "intense" when I am nervous about a race and I am pretty much nervous about ANY race.

Off we went. I tried to not get pulled into the frenzy of the race start and focused on finding my rhythm and ignored all the people that were passing me. Keep in mind that I was shooting for a 9:45 minute mile throughout the race and only would try to pick it up in the final three miles. So the first two mile splits with 9:41 and 9:51 were right on track. NICE! Mile 3 was my fastest mile with 9:21 and I was just hoping that this is going to help if I would get tired later on. Around 3.5 miles I saw the first aid station coming up. Around mile 3 I popped two Shot Bloks and my stomach was funny, I had water with me, but I used the aid station to grab a cup and walk while I was drinking the cup in hopes that would settle my stomach a little and it worked.

For the next three miles I would go back and forth with two other ladies over the rolling hills of the course. Splits were 9:38, 9:51 and 9:44... Still on track! At an uphill shortly before mile six, I was finally able to drop them and then started to run with an older gentleman for the next mile until we reached the second aid station at around mile 6.5. Once again, I grabbed a cup of water and walked until I had finished the cup and then started back up again. The guy that I was running with kept on going through the water station and I wasn't able to catch up with him anymore.

Shortly after that, I passed mile marker 7 (10:14) and my original plan was to pick it up from there if I had anything left in the tank. Well, I didn't feel like I had anything left and was just hanging on for dear life from then on. There were three hills still to go and a lot of people around me hiked up the hills while I wanted to make a point and run, only to be passed back on the downhills again (there is still some room for strategy improvement for me). The last three miles had the splits 9:44, 9:45 and 9:16.

The last 0.25 miles of the course is flat and I tried to speed up once again, only to be passed by a girl with a jog stroller (thank you very much, but I admire that) and then being passed by a girl that I just passed on the last hill (CRAP)... Very frustrating... But then I heard footsteps coming from the back and thought... I just got passed by someone with a jog stroller and a girl that walked the hills and I will draw a line and if it makes me throw up and I picked up my feet. At least I didn't get passed by them anymore.

At the finish line I met up with Terry... We took a couple of pictures with friends and then proceeded to the Paladin Stadium for some food. The first couple of minutes after the finish line, I felt like my lungs are going to implode, but after a little while I felt better and I was proud of having accomplished my goal for that race.

Once again there were no t-shirts in the goody bag, but a pair of gloves and a beanie. This way, you can complete your runner's wardrobe one race at the time. This year, they had a photographer at the finish line and the pics are available at the GTC webpage from everyone that crossed the finish line. Cool stuff! Also very nice, was the special price they had if you signed up for the XTERRA 15K or the Sunrise 8K right away, you just paid 10 bucks per race. I signed up for 15K since I was planning on doing that race anyways. SWEET!

Since running a 10-miler isn't enough of a workout for me for one day, I did a computrainer session in the afternoon, but this is going to be the topic of my next post! So long! ;-)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Second Brick Of The Season

"Second brick?" You ask? Well, I actually did the first brick of the season yesterday with a 10-mile road race in the morning and a compu trainer session in the afternoon. Those two events will take a little longer to write up especially since our Internet connection is a little unreliable today.

After church and some serious house cleaning, I got into gear and headed out for a bike ride.

I did the Green Valley Loop, which is a back country road from Furman to Travelers Rest and back with rolling hills and nice scenery.

The loop is not quite as "green" yet, but at least the geese are already back.

The roads are not busy

All of the above, makes a happy cyclist.

Well, the happy cyclist dropped her chain a little down the road and was not so happy after that one, but all was good again within minutes... Hands got a little dirty though.

I had 30 miles on the plan, but ended up short with 23 miles and change. I still had that trainer ride from yesterday in my muscles.

At home, I switched shorts and shoes and headed out for a little two mile run with the dog.

Tomorrow I'll be back with the race report for the Green Valley Road Race 10 miler... Only so much for now... I nailed my goal time and am VERY happy about that.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Used Audio Books Review

Back in November, I went to a used book sale here in Greenville and scored five audio books for cheap. Since I went on the second day of the book sale, things have been picked through already and there was honestly not a whole lot of choice... I was just hoping, that I got myself some good stuff. Now, a couple of months later, I am through all of these books and can share my opinion for what it's worth.

Bushworld by Maureen Dowd :
This was the first book that I listened to and I actually already wrote a short review here. The only thing that I will add to that, that I started to read the author's column in the New York Times and can only recommend it. Also, I gave the audio book to a co-worker and he liked it too, but also shared my opinion that this book is a little bit of a tough subject for entertainment on your commute, because you can't zone out or you'll not get it anymore.

A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand :
This was the second book out of the bunch that I listened too and as the title already suggests, it's a much lighter read. I didn't like it. Firstly, I didn't like the story (I won't bore you with the details) and I found most of the characters pretty annoying, especially the main character "Claire". I was thinking about giving up on this book more than once and I even switched back to radio several times, because I couldn't take the storyline and the drama anymore. Secondly, this book would have been better off to be worked into a radio play, because the writing is very based on dialogues. After endless chapters going like this: "blah blah blah" Claire said. "boo boo boo" Lock said. "shimmy shimmy shimmy" said Claire.... I was ready to smack my CD player! The ultimate sign that this book isn't worth my time is when I can't think of one single person that I want to lend it to.

The Burma Road by Donovan Webster :
Here is a brief story description.
I like learning something when I read or listen to a book and in this respect this book is great. I finally have an idea about what the Burma Road is. As mentioned in the description above, there are tons of information in, but what definitely stuck in my brain most are the quotes out of Vinegar Joe's diary and in general the personal stories that are intertwined with the Burma Road. The audio book is read by the author himself and this was a little bit of a downside for me, since I had a hard time understanding him a lot of the time. Other than that: Thumbs up!

The Hornet's Nest by Jimmy Carter:
Another historic novel, this time it is about the American Revolutionary War. Once again, I felt that I really was able to learn something while listening to this book, especially since the American Revolutionary War is not a topic covered in German history classes. By putting it in a format of a novel, following loosely a handful of characters through the story, it made the historic facts of the story more accessible than just looking at a time table. The described characters also shed a light on the living conditions, traditions, religion and general cultural background they had during that time.

Executive Power by Vince Flynn:
This is another easy read and actually a book out of the "Mitch Rapp" series. If you want to learn more about the plot, here is a summary. Yes, the topic in itself might not be easy, but I would compare it maybe to the Alex Cross series from James Patterson. It's good entertainment, has a good story and it makes you believe in the "Good always wins over the Evil (eventually)" again. Now that I know, that this is part of a series, I might even hunt down the other books. But just listening to this one and it's the 5th book out of a series, you won't think you missed anything by not knowing the processors! There are some references to the history of the character, but it all got explained in the book.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
This was the last book out of the bunch that I listened to and I have to say, that I saved the best for last. The plot follows the lives of two Afghan women between the 1960s until 2003. Here is the complete plot (spoiler alert, don't read the wikipedia article if you want to read the book) and I will just additionally mention what impressed me most with this book. Once again it's a book with which you learn a lot about the history of Afghanistan, but not out of the eyes of the people that made history and politics, but through the eyes of two women who had to live with the circumstances that they got presented with due to the men that made history and politics. It also shows a story of two strong women that lived relatively free one time and then got imprisoned in burkas due to political and religious shifts in their environment. It was an excellent read and I can only recommend it. The first novel of this author was "The Kite Runner" and I am definitely interested in reading/ listening to that book as well.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

100 Tidbits For The 100th

  1. This is my 100th post and I will try to come up with 100 tidbits. 100 tidbits is a lot of stuff, so bear with me in the case it is getting a little ridiculous at one point.
  2. I started this blog on August 27th 2009 with this post.
  3. You might have noticed, that I didn't post in the last two days. I just couldn't make up my mind if I even wanted to do something "special" for number 100.
  4. Last night I attended my first workout with the Greenville Track Club. I did group track workouts before, but never with a group of that size.
  5. The guy who organizes the track workouts is German AND he comes from the same county I come from... The world is a village!
  6. We did 1x400, 5x800s and 1x400 and I am happy with the fairly even splits I ran... All of them where around a 8:30min/mile pace. The 400 were even a little faster.
  7. I am not so happy about being one of the slowest runners of the group, but I have to keep in perspective where I am coming from (weight loss and only two years of running) and how far I already got.
  8. Even though the workout was high intensity, I was very cold when I got back in the car and I had a hard time warming up. That was weird.
  9. When I got home last night, I found a letter from my best friend from high school. It was an invitation for her wedding in July. Chances are pretty slim that I will be able to be there. SUCKS!
  10. Most likely, she won't be able to be at my wedding! SUCKS!!!
  11. I live in the US for almost five years by now and in moments like this, it feels like my life is never going to be whole again since half of it will be always missing no matter where I am from here on out.
  12. Speaking of weddings: We finally decided where we going to celebrate our big day and it was about time to do so.... Just two months left to get everything done.
  13. The other week, I picked up one of those free wedding magazines. There was a time table in it. It stated something like "18 months before wedding: announce engagement". Yeah right... I guess I am way behind on that schedule.
  14. I think I need a "not-so-frilly girl's guide to organize a wedding in two months", but I kinda doubt there is something like this out there. When it's done and if we survived the big day, I might write up my experience just for you! ;-)
  15. One more wedding thing and I'll move on: I don't want to have a wedding gown, but I saw some gorgeous dresses in some runway show footages... What do you think are my chances of finding a knock-off of these dresses at a good department store?
  16. The Olympic Games are fun! I just LOVE big international sporting events.
  17. That reminds me of back in the day (2002) when I did an internship in England and the soccer world championship was on. I don't think that I have to mention how soccer crazy the English are and how soccer crazy the Germans are. So I was at a German company in England (and it's getting better) while sharing a desk cluster with a girl from Ireland and a girl from Spain. Germany made it into the final against Brazil. ;-)
  18. Back to the Olympics: Even though I love them, I have hardly seen any events so far. I started to watch a little men's figure skating on Tuesday night, but the commercial breaks every five minutes were driving me nuts, so I just gave up.
  19. I think I will follow the events on this handy iGoogle Vancouver 2010 app... No commercial breaks there.
  20. My mom calls me every Sunday. So last Sunday we talked and after a while she was cutting me off, because she wanted to watch the Biathlon event at the Olympics. This woman has her priorities straight! ;-)
  21. I think the most talked about events at the winter Olympics are curling and men's figure skating... At least it seems that way sometimes.
  22. The weather forecast for the weekend finally looks a little better which is good because:
  23. Terry is planning on installing new windows at the house on Saturday and that would just suck in the cold and rain.
  24. It increases my chances of getting out on the bike exponentially.
  25. Speaking of installing new windows. Terry does TONS of remodelling projects at the house right now. Downstairs and upstairs bathroom have been just recently completed. Now the windows and then the kitchen. Those are the big projects and then there are other smaller ones to take care of. So proud of him, to get all of this done.
  26. I am just realizing that this is going to be a very long post and you might want to grab a little snack now.
  27. This morning we did a 1,000 yard time trial at swim class. I did my TT in 18min 22sec and I am happy about that.
  28. Coach Katie threatened right away, that I have to swim with the boys next week. I know, it's for my own good and it'll make me faster, but those guys are much faster than me and they normally drop my like a hot potato.
  29. Sometimes, the Y's swim team has practice while we have our class and on those days the locker room is a loony bin.
  30. You ask why? Can you remember when you were a teenager and you were talking to your teenage girlfriends.... "it's like so weird, because he said like something and I said like... WHATEVER".... remember?
  31. On top of the talk, the locker room looks like a tornado went through once they leave.
  32. One more locker room rant point... At the Y that I am swimming at, the locker rooms seem to be the coldest rooms in the whole facility.
  33. And while we are at it... a couple of benches would be really NICE. Because if you don't get lucky and get one of the three little cabins, the only place to put your crap is on the ground. I heard the guys have benches.
  34. Lately, I finally seem to be able to get a grip on my nutrition again and it starts to pay off.
  35. My 125 lbs goal by the end of February seems to get done this time.
  36. I honestly can't believe how long it takes me this time to get back in check. Two months to get back to my pre holiday weight. This is ridiculous.
  37. In my defense I just want to mention, that I have been sick twice during that time and I really don't watch my intake when I am sick. Then there was useless carbo loading for a half marathon that didn't happen... You see... Valid points.
  38. One of my co-worker made a comment the other day, about how I could get sick especially since I am living such a healthy lifestyle. Well... Endurance athletes tend to struggle with that at times, because after long workouts your immune system takes a dive for a couple of hours and if you get exposed to stuff in that window, you are basically screwed.
  39. Speaking of health: My butt pain is getting worse and worse... Walking, after I sat for a little while, looks really funny. I stretch and foam roll my little heart out but nothing seems to work.
  40. Of course I noticed the butt pain this morning already and I still chose to wear heels to work... Not such a great idea... At all.
  41. I am so looking forward to my chiropractor appointment tomorrow to hopefully get some relieve in that matter. I might want to look into getting a massage as well.
  42. Audio books are expensive! At least the selection I found at Barnes and Nobles.
  43. After listening to the audio books that I got from the book sales last November (I will write a review of those soon!) and then worked through all my Christmas present audio books, I ran out of them end of last week.
  44. Today we had lunch at Cracker Barrel and I noticed once again that they "rent out" audio books. I say "rent out" because basically you buy the book and when you are done you return and get a refund of the purchase price minus a weekly fee. That would be a great option and they have tons of books, but not necessarily anything that I am interested in.
  45. That also brings me back to finally get a library card, but with that it's going to be tough for me to make their hours.
  46. Currently I am listening to "The Blind Side - The Evolution of the Game" and even though I am not a football fan, I really enjoy this book.
  47. There was one statement early on about at a certain level, it's all about the will to win and not about using the game as a profession to pay your bill or maintain a certain life style. When two players have the same athletic abilities, that the person that has the will/ desire to win will succeed over the other player.
  48. This statement really struck a cord with me. Of course I am not a professional athlete and I doubt that I will ever be a contender for winning my age group, but I still feel that this applies to any age grouper.
  49. Everyone talks about goals and if it's just to give an answer in case somebody ask you for the time that you will be shooting for at any given race. But is this time really your goal and you work hard for it and you fight for it and you suffer for it or are you just going through the motions?
  50. I think I still have a long way to go and I feel I have to push my comfort zone more and more.
  51. There was also an article about this topic in last month's Triathlete magazine. Basically the psychology behind all of those failed new year's resolutions.
  52. To reach your goals you have to do things differently than you did them before, otherwise you would have already reached them.
  53. Speaking of magazines: I am WAY BEHIND on my reading!
  54. I have a Runner's World and a Triathlete subscription, but the magazines that I brought back from Germany after the holidays messed my reading schedule up big time!
  55. On top of several audio books, I also got several "real" books for Christmas and that brings me even more behind.
  56. Last year I did the St. Francis Mud Run in Greenville SC with Terry and two of our friends. It was a 4 mile run with around 30 obstacles.
  57. When we tip toed around the starting line back then, I was apologizing to my team mates to have gotten them in this mess.
  58. When we reached the finish line, 3/4 out of the group said that we are going to be there in 2010 again... The 1/4 of the team agreed to join a day later! ;-)
  59. Well now it's 2010 and I looked up the date today and I had to find out that this year's Mud Run is going to be on May 1st!
  60. Well, on May 1st the D.N.R. All Stars will be somewhere between Columbia and Folly Beach and finish up the Palmetto 200.
  61. I hate that we are going to miss the Mud Run.... But there is normally another one in the fall in Columbia SC so I guess I have to start recruiting people once more!
  62. Speaking of the Palmetto 200: I used to be listed as runner #3, but then they did a course update and I would have ended up with over 17 miles total mileage for the relay. I asked runner #6 to trade legs with me and he agreed, so I am back at the around 15 miles portion that I was going for in the first place.
  63. Currently, the team is also looking into options of renting two full size vans for the race, just to be a little more comfortable and maybe even able to sleep. The Explorer and the Suburban that we used for the BRR was alright, but bigger really is better in that case.
  64. Honestly, I am always surprised on how much crap one needs for a running trip. I noticed this last year preparing for the BRR and now again for our trip down to Myrtle Beach.
  65. Basically, one has to pack for every possible weather... for relays, it's three fresh sets of clothes... At least two pairs of running shoes and a comfy shoe for when you are not running etc etc etc...
  66. Oh yes and whoever started that rumor that running is a cheap sport... forget it... Yes, I might go over the top a little when it comes to cute outfits and stuff, but I take complete responsibility for that one... But aside of that you also have registration fees, travel cost, night run/ safety gear, all types of different weather to deal with.... you get my point.
  67. I think swimming might be the cheapest out of the tri sports. But even then... I got myself my own toys (get your mind out of the gutter, I am referring to paddles, fins and pull buoys) last year and a lap counter.
  68. Needless to say that there are several bathing suits... Not only because I like cute outfits (see point 66) but also because a bathing suits is going to disintegrate sooner or later in the chlorine water... They fabric is getting thinner and baggy and those are things you don't want in a bathing suit.
  69. Ha! Number 69.... I have a funny story for that one. Way back when I did the mentioned internship in England, we went on TONS of road trips. We had lunch in a pub in their beer garden. You ordered and paid in the pub and got a number and a server would walk to the beer garden yelling out the number with your food when it was ready. My food order number was 69 and the server was a 14 year old kid (estimation here!). He was so embarrassed and turned red having to yell out the number and the whole beer garden was laughing. Poor kid!
  70. Funny enough, I think sweat and laundry detergent has the same effect on sports bras than chlorine has on bathing suits. I have to get myself some new sports bras because several of the ones I have don't really give a lot of support anymore.
  71. I got some great deals last year at the Adidas tent sale at the Gaffney outlets. I got tops for around 4 bucks and tights (long and capris) for around 8 bucks. You can't beat that and I wear those items all the time because they are so comfortable. Unfortunately, we stopped by on the way to the airport and were really pressed for time. Hopefully, they are going to have one of those this year again.
  72. It's not rocket science that biking is the most expensive sport out of the three.
  73. I really have to start doing bike maintenance myself. There is a free class sometime in March at the Great Escape in Spartanburg... I think I should go there.
  74. I changed out a tube before. I did it once and I carry all the necessary tools with me and a spare tube. Nevertheless, if I had a flat on the road by myself, it would be pitiful sight.
  75. Last week the stem broke and I asked Terry not to change the tube out until I can watch him. Well the tube is changed and I wasn't present when it was done. I think I need a refresher in tube changing soon!
  76. To show you how deep this concern runs, I have one example. Last year, the night before my first (and so far only) triathlon, I had nightmares of getting a flat on the bike course.
  77. On the other hand, I don't sleep good before races anyways. There is this reoccurring dream about being to late at the start line, but I understand that I am not the only person having that dream.
  78. Did you know that I am a pretty good foosball player? You better believe it, even though my wrist may be a little rusty these days.
  79. For whatever reason, I have a feeling that I am using all my potential blog material in this post... That is going to get me in trouble sooner or later!
  80. By the way.... How was your little snack?
  81. I find the infomercials for programs like "P90X" and "Insanity" very interesting... Those abs after child birth.... I don't have any experience with child birth, but I lost 60 lbs, that should make for an even ground right there.
  82. The downside I see with those programs is, that it's basically the only workout that you are going to do for 90 or 60 days and I think I would really miss my tri sports. Doing the program as supplement for the regular workout might doesn't give the same results. But results vary anyways right? I read somewhere that a lot of those exercises are available on YouTube... Maybe something worth looking into.
  83. When was the last time you had a Cherry Coke? In my case that is probably 15 years ago. Enough time to forget almost anything. So last weekend while strolling through the soda aisle, I saw Cherry Coke Zero and actually bought it. It seemed to be a good idea at the time and now I have 10 cans sitting here, waiting to be consumed... Oh boy.
  84. My current chap stick consumption is out of this world. Not because I use them up so fast, but because I loose those things ALL THE TIME!
  85. Safety Bingo at work is letting me down once again. The card started out great and got worse and worse from there.
  86. I am really looking forward to race on the weekend. My last race was in November and it's about time for me to get out there again.
  87. There will also be tons of familiar faces and that makes races FUN!
  88. It's going to be hilly, but hills make you stronger.
  89. My goal for the race.... I am hoping for an 9:45 min/mile average... that would make a 1h 37mins goal time.
  90. The strategy: Take it easy on the uphills and rock the downhills (I have gotten so much better running downhill)... Shoot for 9:45 pace for the whole thing, but try to pick it up at mile 8 depending on how I feel.
  91. I can't wait for daylight saving time to come finally! Just another couple of weeks!
  92. There are tons of evening rides around the area where I work. So as soon as DST is here, I really want to join one of these rides at least once a week.
  93. For the last 268 days, Marc Beaumont has pedalled 13,080 miles from Anchorage, Alaska to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. He arrived today. What an accomplishment. While doing this, he also climbed two major peaks (Aconcagua and Mount McKinley). CONGRATS!!
  94. I think I mentioned it before, but a bike travel tour is definitely on my bucket list.
  95. Being out of town for the weekend, really made me want to do another hiking trip soon. I might try to pitch the idea to Terry once the house renovation has gotten to a stage where it is okay to take a weekend off.
  96. Maybe I don't even have to pitch the idea, since he actually reads this blog every now and then. :-)
  97. On the other hand, he wants to be done by the time my parents are coming to visit and that is just six weeks out.
  98. That probably means we have to do a little hiking honeymoon right after the wedding since we are not going to go on our "real" honeymoon until June.
  99. I am so glad to be able to "sleep in" tomorrow, since I don't have a morning workout scheduled. By the way... Sleeping in in that context means 6am.
  100. I am not going to do "200 Tidbits for the 200th".... One hundred was hard enough already! :-) You are dismissed now! ;-)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Closing Comments and Where To Go From Here

At the post race party we actually got our finisher medals. Of course this is silly... Getting a medal without doing the race and in my case not even doing the distance that day. But they already had the medals and the date was engraved on the back, so they were not able to use it for next year... Probably cheaper for them to hand them out than having to scrap them.

Here it is. The little silver one for half and the bigger golden one for the full... They are pretty, but I much rather would have liked to earn it.

The regional running blog community is buzzing and there seems to be an agreement, that the city of Myrtle Beach (they pulled the plug, not the race organization) overreacted with their decision to call off the race. A simple delay to an 8am or 9am start would have been plenty of action. Still no word about possible partial refunds or a discounted entry for next year's race. I know they state a no refund policy, but I read online on Saturday that there are talks about those options.

I felt disappointed and I still feel a little disappointed. The first thing I did after assessing the conditions on the streets from our hotel room on Saturday morning was looking up the next half close to home and actually, there is one in Columbia on the 27th. For a brief moment, I thought about doing it, since I already put in the training. But in the end, I am not willing to spend that kind of money so soon again. Especially since there is a local duathlon (5k run, 15 mile bike, 5k run) put on by the Upstate Tri Club that is free for members. Spending money on registration fees and have to drive 2 hours to the race or spend nothing on registration fees and drive for 15 minutes. Yeah, in the end the decision was pretty simple. Also, the tri season is here soon enough and I need to start getting in some quality time on the bike OUTSIDE and not on the trainer.

And since I already put in the miles, I might go ahead and do the Green Valley 10-miler. That distance as a race would be a first for me too... PR time! ;-)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saying Good-Bye To The Beach - For Now!

I really enjoy the beach and large bodies of water... be it an ocean, a lake or a nice big river.

On our family vacations to the beach, my brother and I always played a game to call out whoever sees the ocean first. Up to this day on my way to beach, I am always on the look-out for this first glimpse of ocean.

And when I leave, I say good-bye until we meet again... to the ocean.

Oh... It's nice.

But it was a little cold.

Like a lot cold and windy.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Relax, It Was Just A Drill

The race is off. Here is the press release.

Last night we went to bed early early as planned. At 10.30pm we got a call from Brian and later a text message from Kerrie both saying that the race was off. I slept horrible the whole night and now I am already awake... wide awake.... And guess what, the streets look pretty free at least from the hotel room. The beach is covered with snow.

Right now, I don't know what I am feeling about this. It's the time spend for the preparation and no other big goal in sight for next couple of months... hmmmm.... In the meantime, I'll wait for Terry to finally wake up, get some breakfast and enjoy the weekend in MB. As I understand, the after race party is still ON! :-)

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Big Question Mark

We made it. We are here in Myrtle Beach in our warm hotel room. The snow is here too!

As of right now, the race has been delayed for 30 minutes. But there are also rumors of a possible cancellation due to the weather.

In the meantime, we relax in our pretty hotel room and watch Seinfeld.

The snow is melting on the streets and nothing sticks yet, hopefully that is not going to be a layer of ice in the morning.

I wanted to snap a picture of the ocean from our balcony, but the only thing to see is snow flurries.

We already have our race packages and I have to say the goody bag is NICE. The obligatory t-shirt (pretty big/long for a small), a cap and a metal bottle. SWEET!

We already had dinner. Actually twice... Well, we started out at one place and the pasta was horrible and they said they were not able to do it any better, so we left. The second place was really really tasty. All is left now is weather monitoring and constantly checking the race's web page for updates. We expect a final statement by 10pm. Also some relaxing is in order and I will keep on foam rolling.

I still haven't decided on a race outfit, but the shorts are off the table. It's going to be my thick tights at the bottom and probably even foot warmer. Up top there will most likely be some layering. I brought all kinds of gear to have every option tomorrow morning.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Swim Class and Mini Competition

Sometimes people look at me funny, when I tell them that I am "having swim class" twice a week. This is what it's called! It's not called "Masters" (even so I doubt that anybody that doesn't swim knows what that is), but a swim class. Sometimes it doesn't stop at the funny looks and they ask: "So you don't know how to swim?" Yes, I know how to swim, I am actually a decent swimmer. Okay, let me rephrase that... I used to be a decent swimmer and then I started taking classes (three months early last year and from January through April this year) and it made me a much better swimmer and faster too.

I read something a couple of weeks ago that I think is very true when it comes to triathlon training. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I read it, so I can't link it, but it's definitely worth sharing!

If you want to cycle faster - cycle more!
If you want to run faster - run more!
If you want to swim faster - take lessons!

I believe this to be true, since swimming faster depends way more on proper technique than muscle strength and aerobic capacity. Of course technique is also to watch while cycling or running, but the possibility of poor technique in your swim stroke is by far greater than in the pedal stroke or running stride. Also, if you want to teach yourself better technique, you can read up on all three sports, but putting it into practice seems to be so much harder when it comes to swimming.

On top of getting feedback from the coach, the swim class also provides camaraderie and a structured approach to swim training by having different workouts every time, increasing in distance and difficulty depending how far along we already are in our training. This is already my second year with this group and there are tons of familiar faces and tons of new faces. Triathletes of all abilities and experience levels.

Sometimes the swim class also provides a healthy dose of competition. Like one time last year when we did a kick board race or the multiple times we simulated races with pool swims. This morning we were eight people in the class - 4 guys and 4 girls. We were grouped in teams of two (one guy/ one girl) and then raced the other teams. The team members alternated to swim every lap (50 yards) until the team completed 1,000 yards. Me and my team mate were done in 14 minutes and WON! YAY! Going back after this little race to complete my remaining 900 yards of drills felt really crappy... My arms felt like lead.. But I got it done!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Check List Item: Garbage Bag

These days, when I am not working or working out (easy, it's taper week), I try to figure out the small stuff. Like the name of the hotel that we made a reservation, what and where to eat, when to leave here, carry a water bottle or not, where to put my Blok Shots if I am not taking my handheld water bottle, take a phone with me or not and most importantly out of all these questions is WHAT TO WEAR! OMG!!!! The half is just three (!!!) days away and I haven't figured it out yet... Well, not completely anyways, since everything is still up in the air with the weather man and such.

Right now the forecast calls for partly cloudy high of 50 degrees. The race start is at 6:30AM and with that is, as far as I remember, the earliest I ever had to be at the starting line... And daylight saving time hasn't even begun yet.

Keeping all these points in mind, my clothing choices right now are: black Malone Coaching T-Shirt, white arm warmer with argyle pattern, yellow running short (for some color) and most likely the Brooks Adrenaline. In my bag for Myrtle Beach will also be some capris and my Adidas trail shoes in case I have a change of heart coming race morning.

Today, I added another item on my race check list and that would be a garbage bag.

Just that we have the same understanding about what kind of garbage bag I am talking about.

It's this (no name, ca. 0.1 USD):

Not this (Louis Vuitton, ca. 2,000 USD):

The difference: One is disposable and one looks disposable! Don't think I am cheap or whatever, but I suspect the first garbage bag is going to keep me a little warmer while waiting in my corral! ;-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits Vol. 2

  1. Sometimes, I catch myself having the urge to put on a seat belt while riding my bicycle.

  2. What is the story about LOST? I have never seen one episode and now I hear people are going crazy over the last season. It might be too late to catch up now... I think I'll survive.

  3. Is anyone else experiencing that taking Tylenol PM makes for some weird dreams?

  4. As a creature of habit, I have a routine in the morning that I run down EVERY morning, even if I get ready in the gym or at home. Weird enough, if I mess up one thing... It screws up my whole pattern. I know... There are worse things that can happen to you.

  5. Not much time left for my first half marathon attempt. Weirdly enough, I am not freaking out... I am confident that I will go the distance and I am not going crazy over goal times.

  6. So far I am following through my plan of plenty of sleep and good nutrition. Yay me... I just have to keep going this way for the rest of the week!

  7. Like I mentioned last week, I needed a new computer. It's past tense, since I got myself one over the weekend. It's a pain to change over computers and it reminds me why I stuck to my old one for eight years even though it was getting slower and slower. The time I spent over the weekend on transferring data and resetting our home network... HOURS! But I am happy now.

  8. Trying to pull a wedding together in four months is NO JOKE! But actually two out of the four months have passed by and we still don't have a location. It's not like were are sitting on our hands... But nothing seems to fit... Either it's too expensive, too small, already booked or whatever else. That is probably why I don't freak out over the half at the moment, because all my 'freak-out-energy" goes towards the wedding planning.

  9. I should cook more often. It's healthier and cheaper.

  10. Yesterday, I did my trainer ride on the hybrid because my road bike has a flat and I was lazy. Forgot how comfortable the hybrid is and I am thinking about taking it out on some trials... I never mountain biked, but I think it's something worth looking into! ;-)

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Pain In the Butt And It's Nemesis

As soon as I am back to logging some serious mileage, my pain in the butt is back... Piriformis Syndrome. I mentioned yesterday already that I continuously had to stretch out my hamstrings after the run, because the muscle was tight, tight and more tight. Even though I tagged this post with "injury", I don't really consider this as such but more a side effect when I run. It really doesn't hinder me working out because the pain goes away once the muscles warm up again and really, I don't think I would feel it as much, if I wouldn't be sitting 90% during the day at work. My co-workers are so used to me stretching out at my desk that they don't even have to ask anymore what I am doing. Seriously, at times it gets so painful sitting there.... My last worry is how funny I might look.

Besides stretching, the foam roller does miracles for me to reduce the discomfort. Our dog enjoys me using the foam roller as well because it brings me on the floor and on her eye level... Last night, while I was rolling, she walked all over me and also just sat down on my hip... I don't know how a 45 lbs dog thinks that she could be a lap dog. But the added weight actually felt good on the foam roller, but her pointy bones are just way to uncomfortable.

I asked Terry to snap a couple of pictures of tonight's stretching struggle.

Just sitting on the foam roller, already makes it feel better.

Leaning back and rolling back and forth works even better.

Stretched out my calves for good measure since my chiropractor said they are so tight, that my toes are pointed when I lay down on her table. And no, I am not angry or anything, just forgot to smile! ;-)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

10 Miles For Confidence

Today was my last 10 miler in preparation for the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon this coming Saturday. My training plan called for 15 miles last Sunday and 10 miles the week before that. I didn't to any of these runs due to getting sick again.

I think, I mentioned previously that my pre-race jitters are out of this world sometimes and the only thing that helps to reduce those are racing on a regular basis and have a solid preparation. Well, I didn't race in two months and I lost several long runs due to this cold. Awesome premises, isn't it? But on the other hand, I am determined not to go crazy over it.... I can't do this to myself and the people around me... specifically Terry who calls me "intense" on race mornings were I feel well prepared. So right now, I am reminding myself, that ALL of my long runs, that I actually was able to do, did go pretty well. That is great news and I am planning on reminding myself of this fact whenever doubt tries to creep in.

So today's 10 miles were done in perfect running weather. Temps in the high 40s, scattered clouds and only little wind. I did the run from that train wagon at the Swamp Rabbit Trail up to the entrance of the Travelers Rest YMCA and then did a loop around Furman lake on my way back. The plan was to split the run in three even sections. First section as an easy warm-up (did a 10:25 pace), the next section at half marathon pace (did a 9:52 pace) and then finished up with half marathon pace plus 15 seconds (did a 10:05 pace). That gave me an average pace of 10:06 minute/ miles for the whole run and a total time of 1:41h and change. I am pretty happy with that. In the second half, I was struggling with a little bit of stomach stuff, but not too bad. All in all, this run made me more confident for this Saturday and this is what I was hoping for.

Now, the only thing left is, to get my race outfit together and study the course map a little. Here it is in case you are interested!

(Click to enlarge)

As I type this, the Superbowl is on TV. Until bedtime anyways, since I will make sure that I get as much sleep this week as possible... Superbowl or no Superbowl. Also, my left hamstring is tightening up like crazy and I have to get up now, to stretch it out again.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Think, I Need An Ark SOON!

Remember my last post when I was gushing about how great we have it around here and how beautiful the weather was and that I was wearing shorts in January... Yeah, I wrote "Shorts in January" even though it's already February. But still.... Running in shorts in February is just as GREAT.

Well, the honeymoon is over and was fairly short anyways. Since Thursday the rain is coming down in buckets. We have a creek flowing at the corner of the property and right now it looks more like a pond.

When I left from work yesterday, I made this picture on my commute... Normally, this area is covered in grass... There is no water, not even creek at this spot.

I am so having this rain and wonder, if we might have to start building an ark or something.

Speaking of arks... Finally somebody figured out what really happened to the dinosaurs! ;-)

Happy weekend everyone!

PS: This week my posting was a little weak, but I have a couple of post topics in the back of my head, but time was a little sparse this week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shorts In January

The first run after the second cold (or whatever it was) in one month is in the books. It was slow, but it felt good. I took it very easy and set the Garmin on heart rate alert at 167 bpm to make sure that I keep it easy. Under 167 bpm HR translates for me into an 11 something min/ mile pace.

For the first time in months, I took the puppy out on a run with me. I was kind of unsure, how she will be able to keep up and I was shooting for five miles (and ended up with 5.33). Well, Karma-girl did a great job and hardly was trouble. I am sure that once she is getting used to running with me again, it will be even easier to take her along.

Besides of being out running again and spent some quality puppy time, the best thing about this run was the weather outside. These days, we have a daily change between ice, rain and whatever else comes along. Today was PERFECT! It was in the 50s, sunny and no wind. I wore a long sleeve and SHORTS!!!! Shorts in January! This winter doesn't resemble anything that I experienced so far in South Carolina, but today was a glimpse of our regular winter... With an hour fresh air and sunshine today, I think I will be able to survive the forecast of crappy weather over the next couple of days without falling into a depression.

Can't wait for spring to come. I miss the color GREEN!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

  1. I don't want see this crappy weather anymore, but it doesn't look like it's going to get better anytime soon... More ice on Friday... Oh joy!
  2. After feeling drained for over a week, I start to feel human again... And my feet start itching (no... I am not talking about athlete's foot) and want to RUN... Tomorrow, I will do an easy run! YAY!
  3. Not working out for the last couple of days, but already feeling better, made it possible to have social commitments two nights in a row... I have a dim memory of a time where I had a social commitment every night of the week. It was fun, but for the long run, I prefer my new fitness lifestyle.
  4. The D.N.R. All-Stars are officially registered for the Palmetto 200 relay! Today's e-mail trail back and forth makes me look forward to this race already. Currently, I am up as runner #3 with a total mileage of 14.1 over three legs (3.4 - easy, 3.1 - easy and 7.6 - hard), but we are still early in the game!
  5. I try not to freak out about the Myrtle Beach Half... Que sera sera. Whatever will be, will be.
  6. I used to be a complete music snob... Stressing "USED" here... At the Grammy awards last Sunday, I didn't know half the people being honored and maybe 2/3 of the people that tried to make an impression with a skimpy outfit on the red carpet.
  7. Planning a wedding is tough... Planning it on a tight schedule is tougher... Just sayin'.
  8. I think it's time for a new laptop... The laptop I am currently using goes into it's 8th year... All the time my point was that as long as it still works, why replace it. Over the last couple of days I changed my opinion on this a little... I think in favor of my sanity, it's time for an upgrade... Like wireless... Crazy - right? ;-)
  9. Speaking of crazy... Last weekend while grocery shopping, I felt a little crazy (yeah right!) and got me some Greek yogurt after every health blog out there is gushing about it... It's yummie... I can only recommend it.
  10. There are a couple of possible additions to my tentative race schedule for 2010: 3-6 Reedy River 10K, 5-29 XTERRA 15K and 8-14 XTERRA 7K.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Picking My Battles

Have I mentioned recently what an awesome fiance I have (Oh yes, in case you didn't know yet, we got engaged a couple of weeks ago!)? Well, in case I haven't, I just wanted to let you know that he is AWESOME... Taking care of me a lot.

This morning for example while I was in the bathroom, he took my assorted crap (purse, snacks, external hard drive that a co-worker lent me) that I haul to the office on a regular basis, started the engine and worked on getting the ice of my windshields. AWESOME, RIGHT? YES! And since I know he does this with the best intentions, I didn't start up our age old discussion about letting the engine run while the car is just sitting there. You know, sometimes you just have to pick your battles in a relationship and this one wasn't worth discussing one more time because there are just some basic cultural differences that creep to the surface sometimes and we both won't waiver from our position.

Even though I think of myself as mostly aware of these intercultural differences, sometimes stuff just slips out way too harsh (... in my Germany military tone ;-). But I don't seem to be the only one overreaching in this matter. I think it was in the February 2010 issue of Runner's World were Bernard Lagat described an incident while at the training camp in Germany. He returned from a trail run and started his car and let it warm up while stretching. According to his description a German was yelling at him and because of the language barrier he didn't know what happened until he told the story to some Germans that explained it to him. A co-worker on a business trip in Germany once told me a similar story.

You see... It's actually against the law to do that in Germany out of noise pollution and environmental considerations. So if you get up in the morning and your windows are covered with ice, you scratch the ice of your windshields and then you start the car. If you have to wait at a railroad track for longer than 30 seconds, you are required to cut off your engine.

Did you know, that letting the car run on neutral for 5 minutes uses up as much gas as if you had driven for one mile? Just sayin'.

Well, people here are complaining about gas prices night and day, but let me tell you something... you'll never hear me complaining about gas prices in SC - EVER!!! Why?? According to this web page the lowest gas price in the Spartanburg of the last 72 hours has been 2.37 USD/gallon for regular gas. If I compare the gas price around my parent's house to that with 1.379 EUR/ liter ( 7.86 USD/ gallon with a 1.5 exchange rate) you might see why I am pretty relaxed about gas prices in SC. Besides, I don't think it's a basic human right to drive an V8 and if you hear yourself complaining to much about gas prices, you might wanna think about getting a more fuel efficient car.

This aside, there are just some things ingrained in our brains, based on where we grew up and how we have been brought up that won't ever change. For my (awesome) Terry, it is convenient to warm up a car and he thinks it's better for the engine to do so especially in cold temps. For me, it's just a whole lot of waste of gas and money plus it harms the environment.

People have a lot of opinions all the time and for that you must not even have grown up on different continents. Some things will always remain a hot topic and other things we just have to agree to be different... Not better or worse, just different.