Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking forward to the CLE Marathon!

I'm so looking forward to running in the Cleveland Marathon in May.  In anticipation, I wore my favorite CLE Marathon shirt today on my long run.  :)

It was a pretty warm run out there, but glad to have those 15 miles in the books.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Stained Concrete – The Process

Photo0403Sorry for the total lack of before photos.  I really didn’t know how much that I was going to document this process.  Here’s a picture of my lovely bride with the carpeting in place.

There are a bunch of videos below showing the process.  They’re all about a minute each so they shouldn’t be too boring.  :)  If you just want to see the finished look, you can go to the last 2 videos.

Since I had several days off for Christmas vacation, I decided to tackle the job of putting down Stained Concrete in the Family Room & Kitchen.  Ursula has been wanting this to be done for a long time.

I’ve been researching this project over the last couple of months.  I watched several YouTube videos, read a lot of blogs, and checked a lot of products.  I settled on the QuikRete product line.  The steps seemed simple and I really liked how their topcoat is white when you apply it. 

I blogged about the Spyder Scraper blades in a previous post.  Here’s a continuation of the progress after using the blades.  In retrospect, the blades are great in during a small area.  They’re also great if you only want to get the linoleum up and then get the glue up by other means.  The reciprocating saw had a tendency to kick back on me when I had a bad angle or something.  I had a nice bloody knuckle to show for it.  You can see it in the videos.

Finally got the linoleum up off the floor.  We were hoping to put the stain down on Christmas night before going over to the sister-in-law’s for dinner.  Unfortunately, the stainer that I had was broken and we’d have to wait for the next morning when Lowe’s would be open.  BONUS video: check out Briana at the end of the video showing off her Christmas gift from her boyfriend.

Below is the video of when we just applied the QuikRete Etching Stain.  I’m nervous of how it’s going to turn out.

Applying the top coat…

Pretty cool to see the different stages of applying the top coat: before, during, & a little after.

The above video is the finished look filmed at night.

Day view of the finished look.  We’re so glad to finally be moving back in.  It wasn’t really that bad being without TV.  Ursula and I went OLD school on Hulu watching 21 Jump Street.  It was fun watching Johnny Depp in his early days and all of the hairstyles and clothes. :)

I will post another blog soon with some tips and tricks that I learned along the way.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Racing & Blogging in Cleveland Marathon

I cannot wait for May!  I’m going home to see family… I’m going home to see Cleveland… I’m going home to the Cleveland Marathon…  I’m going home to my Marathon PR!

A bit excited is an understatement!  I have so many fond memories of my Marathon race in Cleveland in 2010 that I cannot wait to get back there.  There’s something great about running a large race where you’re familiar with the city and you have family to cheer you on.  Hopefully I can talk my sisters, mom, dad & stepmom to come out.  It was so awesome seeing them all during and at the end of the race.

2012 Official Blogger Badge (2)This year I was actually asked to blog about my experiences in training for and running in the Cleveland Marathon.  I’m very honored to be asked to blog about my Cleveland Experience!  It’s so cool to do this as I’ll be one of the few bloggers probably to be training without much snow.  :)  I actually enjoy running in snow, however, we only get a couple of days of snow in the Dallas, TX area.

I’ve got my price alerts set for airfare from Dallas to Cleveland.  I’ll be staying at my running sister’s house… that is if she’ll let me.  :)  I think I better ask before May gets here.

Again, it’s so crazy about all of the awesome memories in my head about this race.  Out of the 6 marathons that I’ve completed this is the one that I felt that I ran very well.  I want that feeling again.  I’m confident that I can repeat and ultimately hit that Sub 4 hour goal!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Spring Race Schedule

I’ve nailed down the bigger races that I’ll be racing in the Spring.  With Cairo running, it’s a different challenge now, since the price of racing is doubled. 

I’ve decided that I want to run 2 full marathons in the Spring like I did last year.

I’ll be running the usual DRC monthly races as we can.  I love getting to see all of my friends at those races.  Also, since Cairo is a member, the race experience is free!

  • February 18th – Stonebridge Ranch Half Marathon.  I had to sign Cairo & I up for this race since it was 40% through a Schwaggle.  I could pass a Half Marathon for $30 especially when paying for 2 races.
  • March 3rd – Road trip to The Woodlands Marathon.  I’ll be running the full.  I wanted to do another marathon that wasn’t too far off in the future so I can try to hit that Sub 4 hour mark sooner than later.  I’ve heard too many horror stories about the Big D Marathon and wasn’t crazy about running a similar route as White Rock.  This race looks very doable.  It’s a 13.1 mile loop.  The family and I are looking forward to a road trip marathon.
  • March 25th – Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon.  This is such a fun Half Marathon.  So far, it’s been my favorite.  I love the bands, but most of all… I love the start.  I like how they hold the corrals to truly start in waves.  You get the same exciting anticipation as the front runners.
  • May 6th – Pacing for the Heels & Hills Half Marathon.  This is such a rewarding opportunity.  I love getting to see people achieving their goals.
  • May 20th – Going back home to the Cleveland Marathon.  I’m super excited for this race.  I’ve completed 6 marathons and this is the home of my PR race where I ran it in 2010.  I’m looking forward to seeing my family there and enjoying the Cleveland Experience!

Nothing too crazy on the list.  Looking forward to everyone of these races for so many different reasons.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I’m a Dad Who Runs!

When people find out that I’m a marathon runner, they think that I probably don’t see my family much.  When I got into running I always wanted to make sure that there was still a balance in all of my life.  A balance between God, Family, Work, and other stuff, such as running.  When my daughter was in soccer, my long runs were scheduled around her soccer games.  As well, I usually run my weekday runs early in the morning before anyone gets up.

12-21-2011 10-05-32 AMAll that to say… that yes, I’m a Marathon Runner, but better yet, I’m a Dad who Runs!  I follow a lot of inspiring runners and active people.  One of them that I follow is Dan over at Cubicle Dad Runs.  He has been profiling dads that run for quite awhile.  I got to share my story of being a Dad Who Runs on his blog.  Check it out!  Also, if you’re on Twitter, follow him.  He’ll be in the Lone Star state in February for the Austin Marathon.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DIY: Removing Linoleum Tile

Ursula and I have been wanting Stained Concrete floors in the house for quite a long time.  I’ve been researching the process for a good while.  It looks pretty straight forward, but the prep of the concrete is the most time intensive.

The hardest part of the prep work is removing the linoleum tile.  It’s a total pain, but I’m getting into a rhythm and figuring out easier ways to do it.

Here’s a link to the scraper that I mentioned in the video:   http://www.spyderproducts.com/spyder-scraper/.  Make sure to get the 2” and not the others.  I made the mistake of getting the 3 pack which had the 2”, 4”, & 6” scrapers.  The 6” scraper is useless on removing the tile.  In this case, bigger is not better.

I’ll post pictures and videos as I make progress.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A video that I shared with my daughter’s boyfriend

I not only shared this video with my daughter’s boyfriend, but had both of my teenagers watch it.  There are so many messages in this short video that can change a young person’s life for the better if they just listen.

Here’s the email that I sent to my daughter’s boyfriend.

There are certain things that I wish that I heard at a younger age.  As well, I might've heard it, but I wasn't listening.  Today it's so much easier to check out these type of messages and negative messages.  I'm not sending this to you because I don't think you've heard this type of message before, but am sending it to you because I wish someone would have sent it to me.  Be open to the message and what it means.  Watch and listen to it a couple of times.

My daughter probably won’t be happy that I’m blogging about this, but the message of this video is too powerful and impactful that I HAVE to share it!

This is one of my favorite comments on the video…

I wish I understood Christ's love when I was that young. I'm an old man now, but it's taken all these years to understand the message.

Monday, December 5, 2011

It was a dark & stormy marathon!

Despite the rain, wind, & cold, I enjoyed this marathon.  What made it so great was all of my family being there along with so many friends!  Thanks to Ursula and Briana for supporting both Cairo and I.  This race was special as well since Cairo was out there running his second half marathon. 

Before the Race

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Posing with work friends from work.  Super proud of Brandon as he ran his first marathon.  Chris PR’ed his 5th half marathon!  Cairo knocked out his 2nd half.

We got to the race super early with Chris. We decided with the rain and 25,000 runners, we’d rather sit in the parking lot than on the highway.  It was cool to not be rushed before the race.  We were able to find the short bathroom line and then made our trash bag rain gear.

Thanks to Felix for starting the race with Cairo. Felix was running the half so he and Cairo started off together.

I was very excited for this race.  I trained hard and earnestly stayed on track to be able to hit Sub 4 hours.  Yes, the weather looked to be crappy, but I still had my sights on getting there in less than 4 hours.

During the Race

390118_2753136867579_1232398426_33125280_2107835063_nThe truly best part of the race was seeing running friends along the course.  It’s always so cool to hear your name yelled.  Whenever, I see someone I know, I run over to them a give them a hug or a high five.  It’s just too cool to see them.  A huge thanks to my biggest cheerleader: Corina.  She was my first running Twitter friend.  I didn’t see her at first, but heard her yell for me after I past her.  I ran back to her and hugged it out.  I was feeling good at that point with it only be at mile 8.

To the left is a picture of me when I saw her.  I’m pretty darn drenched, but in great spirits at this point.

 

splitsIt was great to see Ursula & Briana before the Marathon/Half Marathon split.  We agreed to only meet there since Cairo would be finishing the Half and it would be a pain to get back out on the course.

The rain was hit & miss for awhile.  It was pretty tolerable until I hit White Rock Lake.  At that point the wind really kicked up.  I really love the White Rock Marathon since I know the route so well.  I know what’s coming and I know when it’s going to be rough.

It was great to see Corina again at mile 21 with the Dollies!  One of my running friends is actually a Dollie.  I had some fun with them and got back going.

I felt really good until I got to mile 22.  I just kept telling myself to get past mile 22 and then it’s downhill from there.  It just seemed that it was getting colder & colder and my legs were feeling incredibly shot.  They felt jarring with every running step.

I tried repeating my mantra over and over of “Push Through”, but it just wasn’t happening.  At that point, I was at the point of run/walking to the end.

As I got to about mile 25, I saw an angel running toward me.  The angel was Susan from my running group of the Frisco Running Club.  After running the Half Marathon she was out there encouraging others on their finish.

She was so encouraging and understanding.  She encouraged me to run some and told me that we weren’t too few away from the finish.  Once she got me close to the finish, she sent me off on my own.  I cannot thank her enough!  Below is a picture of her running me in.

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The Finish

Above is my exhausted self after running the marathon.  It was super cool to see my boss, Scott there at the finish.  He has come to see me run the White Rock Marathon for the last 3 years.

The cold weather really got to me after I met up with my family and Frisco Running Club friends.  I was shaking uncontrollably.  I got out of my wet clothes and was aided by some Baylor medical peeps.

I’m learning that it’s not all about the numbers, but I still learn a lot from them. I finished in 4:19:57. I missed my big goal of Sub 4 hours and barely missed my PR by a minute. I did set a course PR by 20 minutes.  I know that I’m capable of a Sub 4 hour marathon and cannot wait to go for it again.