Saturday, March 28, 2009

Opps..toda is march 28

I go tmy wrong [ost wrong...oppsie.

ps - this is just liek drunk dialing...good times!

March 29: Jennoe Birthda\

Jennie mjust tunered 31 53 minutes ago and we have ben celbating all nigh (can you tell?1!_

Mu cousin is arribing tomorrow and here is an emali I just sent him...time for bed I think!

"Jennie and I have just finished 3 bottles of wine celevrating her birthday! I do not know if you will get this berfore you leave, but we are really excited to have a few extra bodies to help dilute the wine a little!!! Looking at all the spelling mistakes I can tall that I am a little drunk! I will see you in 10 hours!"



Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 22: SAG Wagon

Today I was really keen to get out on my bike

whereas Jennie was really keen to go for a run.

(Jennie running beside Jardin d'Acclimitation).

So I decided I would bike along with her today while she ran and be her 'prevent a stitch bitch'. This is what Jennie and I call the support crew that carries your water, first aid, etc. Your general lacky for the day...pretty fitting term don't you think?

Windmill beside the Hippodrome.

Jennie finishing her loop around the Hippodrome.

The Etang des Reservoirs. This is also along my normal running route. The yellow flowered bushes are very vibrant.
Spring is definitely in the air.
Jennie excited to be finished.
What a great way to spend the afternoon!
All 'n all, other great weekend in Paris!

March 21: Picnicing

Saturday was such a beautiful day that Jennie and I rode our bikes to the park (after our runs) and had a picnic lunch. We camped out right along my normal running route and watched the people go by. At this point of the day I was very happy to be on the other side of the path relaxed and watching versus actually running.

Me chillin'. I love the trees in the background. It is one of my favorite 'forests' to run by.

Jennie diggin' in.

We got home just in time to jump back on our bikes to ride up to Montemarte to meet some friends for wine and cheese on the grass infront of Sacre Ceour. The slope was a little steep, but the view and the people were fantasitic!

It is a pretty popular thing to do. A lot of people like to hang out on the steps of Sacre Ceour (especially when the weather is so nice!)

All 'n all, a great Saturday!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

March 21: Confidence Builder

As a runner the best way to build confidence is one step, one mile, and one run at a time. So today I decided to build 20 miles of confidence.

7:18, 7:15, 7:12, 7:18, 7:17, 7:08, 7:17, 7:15, 7:12, 7:13, 7:16, 7:04, 7:10, 7:08, 6:59, 6:47, 6:38, 6:15, 7:21, 7:15 min/mile

My goal was to run 18-20 miles but if you know me and my running 'style' (I would not call it style, but perhaps 'running method' is better) you know that means 18 OR 20 miles. Because if I run far enough past 18 (i.e. far enough of a fraction that it is worth posting on here - an additional 0.5 miles for example) then you know that I will keep running until I hit 19 miles. And there is NO way that I am going to run 19 miles and NOT run 20...that would just be absurd!

Such a beautiful day today means that we are off to get publically intoxicated at the base of the Sacre Ceour Cathedral. (Doesn't that sentence just sound wrong?! "So what did you do today?"..."Got drunk outside a church"..."sweet".) Truthfully, we are have some wine, fruit and cheese packed up to go meet some friends and enjoy being outside at Montemarte together...should be fun!


Friday, March 20, 2009


Why is it that after everytime I talk to someone from the UK I am always so inspired to used phrases such as "That's lovely" or "Brilliant"? Then I try using them and realize that it is definitely lost in translation.


March 20: It's a Starbucks Day

Ok, for those of you who knew me in Houston and were well aware of my self-imposed Starbucks ban (that lasted for well over a year I might add), you may not want to read the rest of this post because you will just shake your head and say, "Boy has he changed."

Since moving to Paris I have been frequenting Starbucks quite a bit. "Sacre bleu!" you say, "Of all the places to avoid Starbucks, Paris should be it!" Well, at first I would agree with that. But then I challenge you, my reader(s...if I should be so lucky) to find a LARGE cup of hot liquid that you can enjoy for a solid 30-45 minutes anywhere inside the Paris city limits. If you are the type of person who can make an espresso last this long because you take 2o minute breaks between sips, well then kudos to you, you are a Parisien at heart. I am not that type of person - if I have a drink in my hand, I will sip it on average (I am guessing here) at least once every 2 I have not drunk coffee in quite some time now but I do enjoy a nice cup of tea.

Also, knowing the location of the nearest Starbucks also means that, by default, you also know where the next clean (questionable at times) bathroom is while you are out and about. Sure, most cafe's have one but sometimes I do not want to devote an hour and half of sitting in some cafe just so I can use the bathroom.

Today I found myself in Starbucks after lunch waiting in line to get my afternoon tea and I was amusing myself with my usual game of " 'tourist?' or 'not a tourist?' " I can usually tell the tourist or the fresh fish (if you will) because they are the one standing in line looking very intent, overly concerned, and a little too full of nervous anticipation for a such a 'simple' task of ordering a coffee. Today I thought I saw a 'tourist' but then I looked over his shoulder and I saw a notepad full of french writing. "Hmmm...bad guess today," I thought. Then I looked closer and I saw the french phrases were:

"Je ne parle pas francais" (I do not speak french)
" Vous-etes american?" (Are you American)

Clearly this guy had just come from french class and he must have just arrived if those were his notes for the day. So I introduced myself. Turns out he has just been here for 2 weeks, will be here "indefinitely, and has already been mapping road bike routes in and around Paris (Have I mentioned that I just finishing getting my road bike assembled this past week for that very same reason?! Good timing!). Anyhow - seemed like a really nice guy...We plan on going for a bike ride soon. So, if you are keeping track, it has only taken me a year to meet a new friend outside of work and work

Later this afternoon I returned to Starbucks for another tea (shhhh, shhhh, shhhh...I don't want to hear it!) and while standing in line I see a good friend of mine's wife of whom will be meeting tomorrow night! What are the odds?! I know nobody in a city of 10 million people, yet Starbucks has become my social hub!

So today was definitely a Starbucks day. Perhaps on Monday I will go three times...imagine how popular I will be then?!!

In other news - Jennie and I went to see Marley and Me tonight. Cute movie. One that I could have easily waited to watch on the plane during some future flight, but cute none-the-less.

You stay classy Paris.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 18: Happy Anniversary!

1 year ago Jennie and I boarded a plane with 4 suitcases loaded to the brim to begin an irreversible, life-changing experience. I remember the check-in lady telling me that one of my suitcases was overweight and that I had to get rid of something. So I asked her what she wanted. She looked confused and told me that I could just send somethings back home. "Listen ma'am, in the last month I have sold my house, 2 cars, all my furniture, paid countless cancelation fees, and you are currently baggage claiming my world as I know it today. So, unless you want something in that bag I would like to ask if you just go ahead and put on a 'lift with legs' sticker and look past the 3 pounds that I am overweight here..."

And this was just the first of many challenges to come. What a year! I could go on and on, but that is what that blog archive on the right is for.


Monday, March 16, 2009

March 16: Weekend Rehash

After rudely telling my readers on Friday night that I had better things to do than "talk to them" on a Friday night, I went ahead and had a great weekend! The weather was great, which allowed Jennie and I to stroll the streets of Paris on Saturday afternoon where we eventually found ourselves relaxing in the Jardin de Touleries infront of the Louvre (JD - very close to where we hung out the one day) like so,

(the corner of the Louvre is in the background)

and like so..

(Note that I am wearing my running socks in anticipation of my run that would soon follow...I hate getting two pairs of socks dirty if I do not have too, so if I know I am going to run, then I just wear my running socks out and about prior to the run). Speaking of my run, I ran 8 miles as follows:

7:09, 7:18, 7:18, 7:07, 7:07, 7:02, 6:58, 6:45, 6:40 min/mile

On Sunday I got up, worked on our bikes all morning (they are now ready to go...I cannot wait!), went for a picnic in the park, then headed out for a 15 miler. As it turns out I have a marathon on my schedule in 3 weeks, so I figured I better "get serious" about this whole thing! The run went as follows:

7:18, 7:04, 7:08, 7:10, 7:11, 7:05, 7:05, 7:08, 7:13, 7:05, 6:49, 6:55, 6:30, 6:41, 7:11 min/mile

Now, I was happily running along, trying to maintain 7:15 (ish) pace until mile 11. I must have been dragging my feet and building some serious static electricity during the previous mile because I attracted what Jennie calls a "clinger". This is the person on the trail that you easily pass as you are just running and doing your own thing, but in doing so you just ruined this poor guy's run. In a desperate attempt to salvage his day he does everything he can to not only catch back up to you, but to pass you (but just by a few feet before settling back into your exact pace) just to prove that he could take you whenever he chooses to.

Well, about 2 minutes after I passed some random guy I start to hearing loud, labored breathing OVER my Ipod (and seeing that I practically deaf, this means that this guy is working very hard to maintain his dignity over there!) Out of the corner of my eye I see this guy sprinting like ESPN is broadcasting this moment live around the globe - all the eyes of the world were upon the most heroic runner ever about to take down some unsuspecting prey who had the audacity to pass him just several moments earlier.

Naturally the following thoughts crossed my mind:

"What the Hell?"
"You have got to be kidding me."

And that cumulated in a slightly faster mile 11. Truth was, after 200m I did not see him again, but that was all I needed to break up the monotony of the run. After that, I just felt "good" and let my legs finish anyway they decided they wanted to.

I took today off, tinkered on the bikes somemore, and finished watching season 1 of 24. I figure I should be caught up to the current season in about a week!


Friday, March 13, 2009

March 13: Don't take this the wrong way...

...but it is Friday night and I got better things to do than burn-out on the computer rehashing stats of tonight's run (which was awesome by the way...great weather, relaxed paced, and cleared the mind of a long week). I ran 8 miles at an average pace of around 7:10 min/mile.

The weekend has now started and I have looked at computer screens for way too much time already this week to spend one more second on this one. So have a grea

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 11: I need something to train for

For those of you who know "Training for Berlin David" you have probably noticed a lack of intensity in most of my running posts since then. The "Training for Berlin David" saw every city he visited/lived as just another city to pound the miles with only one goal in mind - Berlin. My dedication to this ideology was, infact, ingrained in the title of this blog.

The "I have achieved my goal, I am have been training consistently hard for the past 2 years, I am going to take some time off David" soon followed and has made himself quite comfortable since October. During this time my blog could (should?) have been titled something like "Running from running" or "Pudgy butt and beer gut". Ok, it really is not that bad - I am just making the point that running has really turned into a very recreational event for me vs. a very strict, regimented, pre-planned (24 weeks in advance), sometimes my day (and EVERY weekend) will revolve entirely around my run(s) kind of activity.

Sure, I am signed up for 2 marathons in the near future. But those are just for fun.

In the past couple of weeks my body (and mind) have started to give me signs that it is getting restless and needs something to keep it honest. Every run that I go on my body just keeps accelerating - it has done nothing the day before to really stress it to cause it to slow down. My mind will not tell it to do otherwise because it knows that there is nothing coming the day ahead to prepare for. So I end up doing bursts here and there, sprinting for ridiculous goals such as a walk sign that just turned to red and I am still 100m out (and actually making it!), seeing if I can beat a car during the final mile stretch to my house (and thanking the last red light just before the traffic circle that stops him one last time to see me cruise by), seeing how big of a puddle I can jump without breaking stride (and realizing that I will never be a Carl Lewis), among many other things that "Training for Berlin David" never had the patience (or the energy) to do.

So, what should I do to keep honest and give my running some structure again? Absolutely nothing. I have not had this much fun running (solo*) in very, very long time. I look forward to my runs every day again and feel so revitalized after I am done (this is done a feeling you get when deep in the heart of a Jack Daniels binge session). It feels great running.

That being said, I ran 7.25 miles today as follows:
7:34, 7:05, 7:13, 6:57, 6:14, 6:34, 6:10 min/mile


* I would gladly trade any of my solo running fun for some sweet, sweet intervals with "The Beast", trade trash talk with the Suga Land Boyz, pace the Koza to sub 20 minute 5 km, or to give bones to whoever is the parking lot after the run.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 10: Pin Cushion

The last couple of days I have been spending a little time down in the company infirmery getting poked and prodded to get up to date with all my vaccinations and what not before my stint in Nigeria. I feel a little like a pin cushion. Everyday for my morning break I walk down there, roll up both my sleeves and let them poke away. I do not even know if they are injecting fluids or taking fluids anymore...hmmmm, maybe I should be paying more attention?! (If I see an improvement in my running I will suspect that someone gave me "the clear").

Speaking of Nigeria, I was actually supposed to be there this week for some meetings. However, I was told by my company that they were waiting on the Nigerian Embassy for my visa. After some further investigation, it turns out that the people in charge of this sort of thing (in my company) never even sent my application to the embassy to begin with! Apparently my request did not have "avec urgence" written on it, so they decided to not do anything at all. Now, I could let something like this ruin my day but it WILL happen again in the future on something much more important so I, instead, went for a nice 7.5 mile run as follows:

7:30, 7:21, 7:20, 7:08, 7:14, 7:09, 7:06, 6:52 (last 1/2 mile) min/mile


Sunday, March 8, 2009

March 8: Great Weekend!

This weekend took a little time to build momentum (and I generally do not have a lot of time for a weekend to get firing on all cylinders since I really only have 48 hours to work with), but once it did it settled into another enjoyable weekend with hints of spring all around. In fact, I made a promise to myself that I would take note of the very first bud I saw on a tree this year so that I would not find myself saying (like I do almost everytime the season changes), "Man, I cannot believe all the leafs are already on the trees! When did this happen?!" Saturday, March 7, I can proclaim that spring officially started for Paris as I witnessed several blooming buds along my run! I ran a little over 10 miles on my "first day of spring run" as follows:

7:12, 7:09, 6:33, 6:31, 7:02, 6:58, 6:24, 6:14, 7:08, 6:42 min/mile

Miles 3 and 4 can be explained because I just ate a baguette, a tartlette aux pommes, and a grand bouteille d'eau as I was changing into my running clothes prior to my run. I was cramping up pretty badly in the first two miles as my food was still getting acquainted with my stomach. So I decided a couple 400m bursts should smartin' things up and get my system refocused on the task at hand. Miles 7 and 8 on the other hand were just letting my legs go...they just kept accelerating and I just strapped in and hung on for the ride! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I think I had a little extra energy as I was cooped up at work for most of the day and I was just delighted to get out before the sun set!

After the run Jennie and I headed over to a friends for games night! We played Ticket to Ride: Europe and had a blast! I love this game! If you are into games and you want to break out of the Monopoly genre of games, I definitely recommend this one for a very enjoyable night! (If you are looking for a 2 player game - buy this and get the Swiss Map expansion, which is ideal for 2-3 players).

Today I capitalized on a 3 hour sunny break and ran 13.25 miles as follows:

7:21, 7:21, 7:04, 7:03, 7:04, 7:13, 7:05, 7:03, 7:02, 6:57, 6:50, 6:53, 7:15 min/mile

It was pouring rain this morning and is raining again now. But the window inbetween allowed me to enjoy the sun (this is definitely a luxury in Paris during this time of year) and stomp through mud puddles. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! And for my cousin that is reading, I do not have any new numbers to add to your chalkboard at home...still too early for that kind of action! (Or maybe because today is the sabbath they were taking a day of rest!)

If I rewind back to beginning of the weekend it was also my sister's birthday. Bon Anniversaire B!


ps - Jon - saw your video - Classic! (I hope you do not wash your hand for a week!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March 4: Nerd Night

So how can you make a group of 3 guys consisting of 2 geophysicists and 1 IT guy sound even nerdier? Put a Risk board between the 3 of them on a Tuesday night and let them battle each other for global domination into the wee hours of the morning! I have not played Risk in 7 years (I used to play it all the time in grad school and the wife does not have the 'motivation' to learn!), so I was really amped yesterday to have a loooooong overdue boyz night. (If you are intersted, I won!).

My late night festivities meant that I had to run in the morning. I did just that as I ran 7 miles to the Opera, along the Champs Alysee, past the arc de triomphe, then back home. I averaged a 7:05 min/mile pace.

Tonight I ran another 7.25 miles as follows:
7:09, 7:08, 6:26, 6:48 (deliberate back-off), 5:48 (deliberate acceleration), 6:49, 6:43 min/mile

Tonight's run felt great. I played with pace a little and pushed during mile 5 for the sole purpose of feeling lactic acid coarse through my has been a long time since I have felt that, and like any junkie I need my fix!

Oh yeah, I did 10.1 miles on Sunday.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 1: Great Weekend!

It seems lately that I have just been so busy that I suddenly realize that I have not blogged for a week and people must think that I am not doing anything! (But if I am going to abandon my blog for a week, I am glad that it was Cher who manned my blog as the latest post!). On the contrary! Last week I did some more easy runs (8 miles here, 6 miles there), worked with my man-trainer for my usual hour of dude sweat, got better from being sick, and (most importantly) welcomed my dad at the Paris Airport on Friday night! En route to London for work he was able to swing into Paris for the weekend! (I just love how 'tiny' the world seems these days...don't you?!)

Saturday was a gorgeous day (+14 degrees C) in Paris. We biked to Starbucks where we could enjoy a large cup of coffee,

Jennie and I at Starbucks

then we decided to take a walking tour of the Opera Garnier. I have always admired the beauty of the Opera House from the outside and it was certainly a treat to admire its inner beauty as well.

Dad and I in the main concert hall.

Dad and I by the grand staircase.

Jennie and I in the Lobby.

What I found ironic about the Opera House is that it was commissioned by Napeoloen III in 1858 (construction was from 1861-1875) with many special features built just for the emperor. There is a special entrance, a gaurd's room, and a special box on stage left that would allow people to view him at the theatre. However, by the time the Opera House was built he had been exiled and had already died. All these things that were specially built for him were never once used by him.
For those of you in love with the Phantom of the Opera (and I know that one of my very close readers is), you may be interested to know that the underground lake (where I believe the Phantom sings Angel of Music) and the falling chandelier in the Phantom of the Opera were inspired by this Opera House.
We finished the day by going to see Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. I had no idea what to expect from this movie, other than Clint Eastwood would probably spend much of the movie looking like he would be grimacing in pain and looking directly into the sun the whole time. That was definitely true! However, great movie! The acting (other than Clint Eastwood) was terrible, but a great story line and clever writing can make up for actor shortcomings in a movie quite easily. I would recommend it.
Another great weekend is winding down. :(
I think I will head out for an easy run (8-10 miles) here shortly. Maybe it is time I start running some double digit runs if I am going to run marathon in a!

Dad, me, and Jennie outside our apartment.