Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hump Day Humor II: The Return of the Tebow: The Empire (State) Strikes Back

After last week's Tebow-centric humor post left you begging for more (yes, I know nobody really read the first one... shut up), the Internet provided again... this time at the expense of Mark "the Shanchize" Sanchez.  But first:

The Motherf*$king Pterodactyl Song (from The Oatmeal)

(More Funny After the Jump)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lincoln Half Marathon Training - Week 12

Another really good week of workouts.  I've been hitting all my paces, and had a really good long (LONG) run.  I think I'm setting myself up well for a PR, but I don't want to get ahead of myself.

(Check out the workouts after the jump) 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Get Lucky 7K Race Recap

I'm the guy in green - (Source: Team Ortho Get Lucky Facebook Page)
When you think of St. Patrick's Day, I'm guessing you're like me... you think of people pretending to be Irish and drinking (don't act like you don't).  Well, if you add "Running" to that equation, you get the Get Lucky races here in Minneapolis. (Let me check my math:  Fake Irish + Booze + Running = Get Lucky.  Yep, the math checks out).

(Read more after the jump)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hump Day Humor - The Tebow Eddition

I'm starting a new "feature" today called "Hump Day Humor."  It will be a collection of things that I found funny or interesting on the internet during the previous week (when I remember to do it).

This week, the dominant funny-ness on the internet (for me) had to do with the Denver Broncos acquisition of Peyton Manning, and the "drama" this created in Tebow-land (if you don't know what a "Denver Bronco" a "Peyton Manning" or a "Tim Tebow" is, than I don't have time to explain it).  The two best Tebow-related humor that I saw were:

Tebow's Imagined Response to the Manning News (Buzzfeed)
Here are the best three:
(More Humor After the Jump)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lincoln Half Marathon Training - Week 11

Last week was a good week.  It was my second consecutive week with a "good" long run (e.g., hitting, and even exceeding, my pace goal).  I felt strong in all my runs, and I did my cross training (although one of them is going to be a substitute for this week's missed Monday workout) 

Mon. Mar. 12 - Rest - There was a work event on Sunday night that went very late, so I could not get myself out of bed early to hit the gym.  But, since I had swam yesterday (Sunday from the week before), I don't feel too bad about missing this one.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What State Is This Anyway?!

Holy moly, we have had some GORGEOUS weather this week here in Minnesota.  It's been in the 60s or 70s every day this week.  Even early in the morning, it has been pretty nice (upper 40s... which is the usual high for the middle of the day at this time of year).  It has been ReDONK.  Check out the forecast for tomorrow's Get Lucky 7K Race:
Maybe the Mayans were on to something
I ran this same event two years ago, and it was in the low to mid 30s!  I might actually have to be a bit worried about dehydration/heat issues because my body is used to running in the 30s.  Plus, I totally had an awesome Kelly green running shirt that I was going to wear (since it's St. Patty's day), but it's long sleeved, so I can't wear it (luckily I have a back up short sleeve that is more of a lime green that will have to do).

Monday, March 12, 2012

"Get to Know Me!" Monday Part IV - "So, you do what, exactly?"

It's been more than a month since I wrote up one of these posts that helps you get to know me, your humble and dynamic blogger.  So far, most of these ice-breaker posts have had to do with my pop-culture preferences... but know I'm going to actually describe my profession.  Take a shot of espresso right now to remain awake.

As I mentioned when I started this blog, and then again when I took up blogging again late last year, I'm a patent attorney.  "What's that?" you ask?  Well, as some of you may or may not know... the United States is one of the many, many countries that awards patents for technological innovations that are sufficiently new, and give the inventor (or, more likely, the inventor's employee), the right to exclude others from making or using the invention for a period of about 17 years (give or take a year or two depending on how long the patent application was pending).

Wow, that's a lot of words, and I didn't really tell you anything... now did I?  Basically, anything that is useful, new, and "non-obvious" (a fancy patent law term for "not just a minor, inconsequential change") can be patented.  There has actually been a lot of press in the last few years about patents, and most of it has been negative (if you've heard the term "patent troll," then you've heard some of that negative press).  Despite all the bad press, I firmly believe that a good, strong patent system is crucial for the future financial success of the United States, and I'll happily debate any of you in the comments if you'd like to argue otherwise.

But anyway, that's not really what I wanted to talk about now.  Basically, I wanted to show you a few of the patent applications that I've actually worked on that I think are kind of cool, and that cover actual products that you can go to the store and buy (or that you can buy online).  None of these patents are particularly earth shattering, and none of them will cure cancer or anything like that.  They are just kind of interesting little inventions that have actually been put into practice (you'd be surprised... but the ideas behind most patents don't end up in a product at all).  So, here we go, a small sampling of products that I wrote the patent application for (or at least one of the patent applications):

1. The Trick Percursion "Throw Off"

A "throw off," also referred to as a strainer or snare strainer, is the little contraption on the side of a snare drum that lets you move the snares (wires) from the "off" position (where they are not touching the drum and are not vibrated when the drum is struck) and the "on" position (where the snares are touching the bottom of the drum, or are very close to the drum, and are vibrated when the drum is struck).  Prior to the Trick invention, the throw off could generally only be "on" or "off."  There was no in between.  The Trick throw off allows for a drummer to select where the snares are set so that they could be somewhere between fully off or fully on.  As it was described to me, it allowed the drummer to select a kind of "washy" intermediate sound that was different from either the previous "off" or "on" sounds.  I have no idea if this product has been commercially successful, but I still think it is pretty cool.

Lincoln Half Marathon Training - Week 10

After a week filled with some lows (three skipped workouts) and some highs (FINALLY a good long run), I am ready to KICK ASS this week.  I also decided to shift my weekly schedule by one day.  The new schedule until Lincoln will be:

Mon - Cross Training; Tues - Speed Workout, Wed - Cross Training, Thurs - Tempo Run, Fri - Rest, Sat - Long Run, Sun - Rest (or Cross Training if feeling good) 

Mon. Mar. 5 -Cross Train - 35 min stationary bike (10.94 miles) - My first cross-training in awhile, but I want to make sure I get in at least 7 cross-training workouts this month (per my March goal).  One down, six to go.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Product Review: Orbana Energy Mix

I'm not really much of a "sports drink" guy.  I generally prefer water for my hydration, and for the most part I prefer either gels, sports beans, or chews for my in-run nutrition.  But, awhile ago, I saw this review (from the Running and Rambling blog) for Orbana "Healthy Energy", so I decided to try it.  And, since I've tried it, I figured I might as well write up a review of my experience.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lincoln Half Marathon Training - Week 9

Now that Week 9 is done, I am past the halfway point of my training for Lincoln.  That means I really only have a 6 weeks or so to build endurance before tapering.  Uh oh.  I hope my long run woes turn around soon. 

Mon. Feb. 27 - Rest Day
Tues. Feb. 28 - Rest  - Another skipped cross-training workout.  I really need to quit doing this.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February 2012 - A month I'd rather forget

February 2012 is finally done and it was kind of a terrible running month for me.  (It wasn't the greatest month at work either, but I'm going to keep my professional life out of this blog... because I don't want to bore you with the exciting life of a patent attorney).

I started the month injured with a soleus strain.  Technically, I got injured in January, but the rest and recovery for it basically shot the first two weeks of February.  Then, because of the injury and other issues, my endurance has taken a real hit and I've been unable to hit my target paces (by a LOT) during my training runs, particularly on my long runs.  Unless this weekends long run is better, I'm probably going to pull back my target paces again (and since it's probably only 50/50 that I'll even be able to run outside, I'm thinking I won't hit this weekend's target either).

I know these "problems" are pretty minor compared to a lot of people's lives... Heck, I know these "problems" are minor compared to some people's running problems (my injury was relatively minor, nothing like a stress fracture or some lingering, 6-month long knee injury), and really all this means is I probably won't PR in the Half Marathon in May.  Oh well.  But, this Half in May was really my only chance to PR in the Half for awhile, since I'll be focusing on a Full Marathon for this fall, then (hopefully) on gearing up for the Goofy Challenge next January.

After that, I'm going to have to scale back training immensely because my wife and I plan on adding a 3rd little runner sometime in 2013, and the long training for Halfs and full marathons is not really conducive to taking care of two toddlers and a pregnant wife, and then taking care of two toddlers and a newborn.  I may be able to do a more toned-down training program and run a Half here and there, but I won't be able to put in the time for a "serious" training program.  Instead, I'll probably focus on 5Ks and 10Ks.

OK, I'm thinking about this way too much, and I just need to calm down and focus on my next run (a 2x2 mi. tempo run).  Enjoy March, because February is finally over (thank God).