Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Y5K #7

  • Well... I did bring my running stuff to Disney World. So I guess I AM one of those people now. :) Went for a run Wednesday afternoon in Orlando's 90 degree weather. Did my first 2.5/2.5 walking/jogging split and did 2.9 miles along some paths, boardwalks, and sidewalks leading from our hotel to various Disney parks and shopping districts. Saw "Disney Hollywood Studios", whatever that is, then went back the other way and did a loop around the "Boardwalk" shopping area that's apparently quite near to the entrance of Epcot center, which I didn't actually see.  So 2.9 miles in just over 40 minutes, I think.

  • In the midst of a 10 hour (each way) road trip (more to come on that later), I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning in La Grande, OR (in large part due to the sun shining through the window directly into my eyes) and decided it was fate telling me to go for a jog. Fortunately for fate I had thrown my running gear in to my suitcase (an extra pair of shoes really is a commitment when trying to pack lightly). So, yes, I guess I really am committed to this project.  In contrast to Wednesday's sweaty run in 90 degree Orlando, this jog started with my being able to see my breath.  I jogged down a hill, past a drive-in theater and on to a main street for a bit, and then back again. Another 2.5/2.5 even split of walking/jogging (not counting my warm-up/cool-down time) 2.9 miles in 38 minutes.

  • After catching up on some sleep Memorial Day morning, I headed out for 3.0 miles in 39 minutes. First 2/3 walking/jogging split.  I'm still doing 5 minutes of warm-up walking at the beginning and 5 minutes of cool-down at the end, so I'm still overall doing more walking than jogging, but the jogging segments are starting to be long enough that I can take my mind off checking my watch for a while which actually helps me not think as much about the jogging. Don't get me wrong, it's still taking some mental fortitude in the last few jogging segments once the cement boots show up to not check the time.  But it's nice to see some progress.  And the 5 minute cool down is really more of a cool-down now than it used to be. Definitely ready for some rest at the end...
Anyway, in summary, I went from Florida to Washington (state) last week and somehow still managed to keep up with my training schedule, so score one for me. :)  My foot pain that I was originally concerned about, continues to be more of a bother than a real problem, and now I have other weird complaints to compete with it. I've been feeling a tingling in one spot in the middle of my other foot, maybe a muscle spasm or something.  And my knees are starting to be a little more prone to soreness in the day following a run.  I remember hearing a guy I knew (member of a bishopric in one of my old wards) who ran those crazy hundred mile races talk once about race training, and saying that training is about a lot more than just cardiovascular fitness, but also that training gives the other parts of your body (joints, tendons, bones, etc) a chance to build up their own fitness, so that you are less likely to hurt yourself.  So hopefully taking these weeks and sticking to my program are helping with that.  This week I'll have to step up again to doing 1.5 minutes of walking for each 3.5 minutes of jogging. Maybe I need to start stretching a bit before I run. :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Big Digital's Journey to the Magic Kingdom (but only to the gates) and His Less-than-Magical Return Trip

This week I went to Orlando for the very first time, but somehow managed to avoid ending up in any theme and/or amusement parks.  I was actually there for work to present my work with death certificates at a public health informatics meeting that was held in the Walt Disney World Swan hotel.

I got into Orlando late Tuesday after a relatively painless one-stop flight on US Airways. (Brief layover in Phoenix).  Talk about bare-bones, though.  Not even a peanut on a 4 hour flight from Phoenix to Orlando.  And they've even sold the tops of their trays to advertisers (Verizon).  Oddly enough, at the Orlando airport, they've sold advertising space on the inside of the security bins where you put all your belonging to go through the x-ray machine. (zappos.com).

Anyway, US Airways got me there before too late at night, and I shared a van from the airport over to the massive Disney complex with about 9 other people, some of whom were British 20-somethings coming to work summer jobs at Disney World. That might be fun, right?  Probably the highlight of the trip was one of the Brits, getting excited over what she thought was the big ball thing at Epcot, but actually turned out to be a water tower many miles away from Epcot. :)

That night, as I met with the other person I was presenting with, I discovered that staying at a Disney hotel means that there's no such thing as a Wendy's anywhere nearby.  I was pretty much stuck, food-wise, with the restaurants in my hotel, the restaurants in the neighboring Dolphin hotel, or the restaurants on Disney's "Boardwalk" area.  And the one that my co-presenter suggested was probably the cheapest actually charged me $14 for a burger with fries. Ouch. Thank goodness for travel reimbursement, amirite? :) Thankfully, once the conference started Wednesday morning, a lot of food was provided by the conference and a couple of the sponsors.

Orlando May 2011 015
Looking across at the Dolphin hotel from my room

Orlando May 2011 017
I could also see the Tower of Terror or whatever they call it at Disney World.

I gave my presentation Wednesday afternoon, and it went well, I think. Not a huge crowd by any means, maybe 12 to 15 people in attendance, but the last time I presented something at a conference, it was as part of an 8 person panel where there were a total of 9 people in the room (including the panel members).  After we presented our slides, we got a good number of valid and interesting questions, so that made me feel like the people who were there at least had paid attention and were interested in the topic.  Oh, and originally we were supposed to present Thursday, but at the last minute were switched to Wednesday (which actually was really nice given my tight travel schedule the next day) with the promise that the switch would be well advertised in the opening session. Then in the opening session they mentioned the switch, but got it backwards. :) I at least spoke up to say that it was the opposite of what the lady announcing it was, but that may have confused a few people who might have otherwise been in attendance.

The rest of Wednesday, with my presentation out of the way, I had a little time to relax and enjoy our surroundings. I went for a quick and sweaty jog (more in this weeks Y5K post), that included sights like the entrance to "Disney Hollywood Studios" (whatever that is) and then nearly all the way over to Epcot from there. I, sadly, did not realize how close I was, and didn't get to see it's trademark ball-thingy.  But I DID see a turtle by the side of the waterway, so that was cool. :)   After my jog and a quick shower, I hit the pool and hot tub with some fellow Utah informaticists, and finally a few of us took a Disney shuttle to "Downtown Disney", an outdoor mall of sorts with shops and restaurants and a smidge of entertainment here and there. They have a hot air balloon ride there, that I thought might be worth checking out, but it was running by the time we made it over there.  So we wandered around and eventually got some dinner at the House of Blues.

Orlando May 2011 006
The balloon ride

Thursday, I woke up bright and early (waking up on Eastern time always kills me) and headed down to the keynote/continental breakfast.  As I was waiting for things to get going, I checked my email and found, to my delight , that my direct flight home from Orlando to Salt Lake had been canceled for undisclosed reasons. I assume it was underbooked or something.  Anyway, I'd been booked, instead on to a one-stop flight that left Orlando about an hour later and arrived in Salt Lake 3.5 hours later than my original flight would have landed. Bit of a bummer there.  Instead of getting in at 8:18, I was now scheduled to get in at 11:51.  The friend who was going to give me a ride I know goes to bed early because she gets up early to teach school, so I told her the bad news and said I'd try to find someone else.  One facebook wallpost later and I was able to find a friend who didn't work on Friday who was willing to stay up and come get me. Little did she know what she'd be in for. More on that later....

I attended most of the conference for that day, leaving around 2:30 so I could go catch my van to the airport. The return trip was supposed to be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance and I'd made my plans before learning my flight was canceled/pushed back another hour, so I was kind of stuck with my time.  We made it to the airport around 3:30, quite early (even for Tripp standards) given my 6:30 departure time, and as I was checking in, the kiosk informed me that there might be earlier flight available.  All the ones it showed me were standby only, so I was hesitant to make a switch there at kiosk, wondering if it might somehow lose my reserved seat on the later flight.

After getting through security, I called Delta from a Delta "self-help" area and they added me to the standby list for an earlier set of flights that might get me to Salt Lake an hour earlier than expected.    Sadly...that was far from the ultimate outcome.  I hung around the gate for the earlier flight to see what my chances of making it standby were, and it soon became apparent that not only were there not going to be extra seats available, but also that this flight was going to be leaving around the same time as the flight I was already confirmed on. Atlanta was experiencing some rough weather and they pretty much shut down all incoming flights for a couple hours.  So we were all stuck there in Orlando waiting for the all clear.  At one point there were at least 3 planes sitting at the gates all scheduled to go to Atlanta. I started to get nervous that I'd have trouble making my connecting flight from Atlanta home to Salt Lake, but I (rightly, it turned out) suspected that everything at Atlanta would be delayed a bit by the weather trouble.

Eventually (about 90 minutes later than originally scheduled) we got to leave Orlando and head to Atlanta. Our scheduled arrival time was pretty much exactly the same time as the departure time for the Salt Lake flight, so I figured if it wasn't delayed I was pretty much stuck.  I'd been informed that my Salt Lake flight was the last one of the day, so if I didn't make that one, I'd be spending a night in Georgia.  Upon landing, and getting cell phone clearance, I texted Google for flight info and found that my flight had, thankfully, been pushed back about 40 minutes which would give me enough time to get to my gate without having to rush like a mad man through the terminal. Which was nice because, seriously, some people are slow. Just meandering around through the terminal with their bags and children and who knows what else.  As I hustled to my gate, I happened to notice Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks also headed somewhere. Cool. Moving on... got to my gate, and waited in the line to make sure I was booked on the flight. I was. Yes! Oh, but then the gate agent got on the intercom to inform us that the plane we were supposed to fly home on was "broke" and that she'd give us more info once she knew more.

I took advantage of the waiting time to take a potty break, get some dinner (at this point it was about 10:30 eastern time and I hadn't eaten in Orlando since everything was so up in the air the whole time), and keep my ride home up to date on the situation.  I even caught the last minute of the Bulls-Heat playoff game. I was clued in that it was going to be an exciting finish by a cheering crowd of spectators sitting at another gate. I was surprised that they seemed to be such fans of the Heat (since they're kind of the bad guys this year), until I found out they were all waiting for a flight to Miami. :)

Anyway, they eventually found us a plane to fly home on, and I settled into my seat, slept a few hours and before I knew was back in the friendly confines of Salt Lake International. Only 6 hours later than originally scheduled. :)  My friend Melissa gets mad props for coming to fetch me at 2:30 in the morning and being so kind and chipper about the whole thing.  It's nice to be back home.

Oh, and I'm leaving in 15 minutes to head up to eastern Washington for a wedding.  Yeah. It's been that kind of week. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

All Grown Up!

Sessions Cabin

So yesterday was Ben's mission farewell (or whatever we're supposed to call those things now).  And he did a great job speaking. In a few weeks he'll be headed out to Hawaii for the next couple years.  I'm excited for all the experiences he'll have there serving the Lord.

Ben On Rocks

Additionally, Natalie mentioned that she might possibly have a job offer coming that would have her moving out of state in a month or so. (I can't remember if I mentioned or not, but she's just wrapping up her final intern hours for her broadcast degree).  And even if she doesn't end up with that job, the odds of her moving out of the state are pretty high.  Which is probably going to lead to some quiet and lonely holidays around the Tripp house for the next while. Maybe we'll need to start traveling to Hawaii for all major holidays. :)

Natalie at Seal Rock

For a long time they were always "the kids" of the family. So it's neat to see them growing up and doing great things, but a little sad to think they probably won't be around so much in the near future.  Good luck guys!


Y5K #6

After feeling reasonably well for a few days, I finally packed up my gym bag on Wednesday to get back on the treadmill at work (seeing as how it was a constant downpour for most of the week).  Unfortunately when I got into the locker room to change I discovered I'd forgotten to pack shorts. :(

So Thursday, I packed more carefully and after work I hit the treadmill and decided to go with a 3/1 walk/jog split since that was kind of the last "easy" stage in my training schedule. :) And it went fine. I did 2.5 miles in 35 minutes.

Saturday, it was a joy to be back outside with a nice sunny day to get my training in. I stepped up to the 3/2 walk/jog split and was surprised that it didn't kill me too badly to do it.  I went just over 3 miles in 40 minutes. My feet were a little sore afterward, but it was exciting to be so close to 5 kilometers in my training session. As I start jogging more I guess I'll be going over 5K in a training session. Don't know if I realized that beforehand.  Anyway, with taking a week and a half off and going back a few days in my training I don't expect to be ready to run an entire 5K come June 11th, so I might have to just take that as a training day.  Oh, and also next week I'll be going to Orlando for work and then to eastern Washington for a wedding, so I'm nervous about finding time to jog in the midst of all that. Do I take my running shoes with me to Orlando and find a treadmill in the hotel? Am I really one of those people now? :) Anyway, could be another so-so week...

It's Monday now, and despite a beautiful morning, there is supposed to be more rain on the way, so I packed my gym bag (hopefully completely) and brought it along to work so I can run here at the end of the day. Probably another 3/2 walk/jog split. And I'm considering packing my running stuff to take to Florida. We'll see. Depends on how much space there is in my suitcase.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Old Book, New Book #34: Bearers of the Black Staff -> Brain Rules

Bearers of the Black Staff

For a Terry Brooks book that was only 350 pages long, this one felt like it took me a long time to finish. Especially when I look back at the limited amount of plot that actually took place in those pages. Or maybe that explains why it took me so long to finish it.  Definitely not my favorite. Maybe my least favorite Shannara book.  Granted, I'll probably still read the sequel when it comes out, but I'm definitely not running out to purchase my own copy of this one.  Just felt like maybe Brooks isn't trying as hard as he used to.  It seemed like there was a lot of philosophizing and whining in this book, and not nearly enough plot.  Anyway...

Up next... well I have a stack of books on my bedside bookshelf, but I'm leaning toward a stroll into nonfiction with something called "Brain Rules" that was recommended by a friend last time I asked for suggestions on Facebook.  Not much of an idea of what it's about, other than some understanding of how the brain works and tips on how to leverage that for personal gain.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Y5K #5

So...umm...yeah...about last week... the thing is that I felt pretty crappy on Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. And pretty much every day until Saturday.  So I didn't exercise at all this last week.

But! This doesn't mean I've given up on my dream of running a whole 5K this year.  It might mean I might not be up to running a whole one in June. But I can still run part of that one while I continue to train and prepare.

Anyway, I'm not sure where to start as I recover from being sick. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to just pick up right where I left off, maybe I should do the last week I did over again?  I don't know. Given how crappy I felt all last week, I almost want to just get out for a good walk before I attempt to push myself too hard yet.

Any suggestions from more experienced runners?

Monday, May 09, 2011

Y5K #4

  • Last Monday after work I came home, stopped at GreatClips for a quick trim and the hit the streets for my walk/jog.  So nice to be able to run outside instead of on the treadmill. I really tried to push myself on the jogging sections.  Got a nice 2.4 miles in.  Interested to see how I feel after a rest day tomorrow. Wednesday, I'm stepping up to a 3/2 walk/jog split.

  • Wednesday was another great day weather-wise, so I was happy to do my training outside. And yes, I did step up to the 3 minutes walking/2 minutes jogging level. And let me tell you, I finally feel like I'm really training for something. Something about jogging for 2 minutes straight was definitely pushing myself. And as I was doing my cooldown walk, I thought, "man I might need to start stretching out before these now."  And that was just with 40% (not counting 5 minutes of walking at the beginning and end) jogging time.  Anyway, hopefully I can stick the schedule and continue to make progress.  The increased amount of jogging definitely increased my distance. In about 38 minutes, I went 2.9 miles. So an extra half mile in just 4 extra minutes total.

  • Thursday was another great day outside, and it was a rest/cross train day so I took the dogs for a stroll over to Wheeler Farm and did a little loop around there.  I also ended up playing an hour or so of volleyball after hitting some Cinco de Mayo parties.

  • Friday, I hustled home from work and did another 3/2 walk/jog set.  And I do feel like maybe it was a tiny bit easier than Wednesday.  I was a little more tired overall though and probably didn't go quite as fast. I mapped it when I got home and found that I'd done 2.8 miles in 37 minutes. So I tiny bit shorter than Wednesday.

  • Saturday I was supposed to walk or jog for 30 minutes, and I was just so busy doing laundry and being lazy and going to a BBQ, a wedding reception, and the drive-in (Thor) that I didn't find time. Oh well.

  • Today I'm supposed to step up again to 2.5/2.5 walking/jogging, but I don't know if it's going to happen.  Yesterday was kind of a crazy day. I ended up staying up too late on Saturday when I had to get up at 7 on Sunday morning, and I felt like crud most of the day.  I took a 2 hour nap after church before driving home for Mother's Day and when I came back to Salt Lake around 8, I went straight to bed.  Unfortunately, I only managed to stay asleep until 11:30 or so.  And then I struggled with getting back to sleep. Probably finally feel asleep for good around 1:30 or 2.  And I had to get up at 6:20 because I was taking my car to the shop to get the A/C looked and to get some maintenance done.  Anyway, I didn't bring my exercise clothes to work, because I'm going to have to go back out to the dealership in Murray whenever my car is done.  Also, it's pouring rain outside, so it might be hard to jog outdoors today, even if I didn't feel like I got hit by a truck.  So...I may be taking today off.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Head and The Heart @ Kilby Court

After living in Salt Lake for over a decade now (Crazy tangential thought: I only lived in Grantsville for about 16 years, and now I've lived in Salt lake for close to 11... weird to think about, that's all), I finally made it to a concert at Kilby Court, a place I've heard about and seen photos from for quite a while now.  I knew it was an "intimate" aka "small" venue but I didn't realize it was tucked away on a dead end side street downtown.  Kind of a cool place.

My friend Emily works for a local radio station (KRCL) and invited me and our mutual friend Erin to come with her to check out a band called "The Head and The Heart" who she really likes.  There were also a couple local bands opening that she wanted to see, so we headed down in time to catch most of the first act (Deseret Noises) and all of the 2nd act (The Devil Whale).  Both were great. Desert Noises was a couple of high school-looking dudes with good voices and simple music. Devil Whale was a little more uptempo folk-rocking crew.

Given the pictures that I'd seen, I jokingly asked Emily if I needed to invest in a V-neck and some skinny jeans in order to fit in. And I definitely would have fit in with those. Oh, and some scruffy and/or overgrown facial hair. :) I texted my buddy Phil to see if he was there because it definitely felt like his scene. He wasn't but had been there before.  I also thought, I bet Spencer comes here. And wouldn't you know it, after the show I found out he was there. :)

The Devil Whale
The Devil Whale - the guy in the purple shirt is named Jake. Just like me! Also his jeans weren't so tight.

The Devil Whale
The Devil Whale - The guy on the left for some reason just made me laugh. He always looked so intense, like he was super focused on playing his guitar and every thing he did was super critical. Just looked nervous or like he was going to cry a lot.

Anyway, on to the main attraction, The Head and The Heart. A six-person (5 guys, 1 girl) ensemble who had a lot of energy and emotion and did a great job.  The closing number, "Rivers and Roads" was especially fantastic and totally closed the night on a super high note.

The Head and The Heart
The Head and the Heart - Sound check

The Head and The Heart
The Head and The Heart - After sound check they asked for the spotlights to be turned off which made it harder to get decent pictures on my cellphone camera.

The Head and The Heart
More of The Head and The Heart

Anyway, here's their video for "Rivers and Roads":

The live version was rocking a little bit more than the video version, but it's still worth checking out.

And if you are interested, you can go to their website and sign up for their free mailing list and get two free songs off their (so far) only album.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Y5K #3

Well my new running shoes definitely got a workout this past week.

  • I followed up Monday's 4 minutes walking/90 minutes jogging with another set of that on Wednesday (again on the treadmill at work, what with the weather being what it was).

  • Thursday, my training guidelines called for rest or cross-training, so I did 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer at work.

  • Friday, I stepped up another small step to 3 minutes walking/1 minute jogging, and 6 sets rather than 4.  So the same amount of total running time, but with less rest in between. 

  • Saturday, after the snow started melting I headed out for a 40 minute walk (~2.7 miles).

  • Today, it was so nice and sunny out that I got Julie to come over and take the dogs for a walk over to Wheeler farm.  

So overall, a pretty good week for staying active, even with cold and crummy weather. I've got one more set of 3 minutes walking/1 minute jogging to do today, possibly outside if the weather holds, and then the next step up this week is to 3 walking/2 jogging.  I'm still having some minor foot pain, but mostly just in the aftermath of jogging. It doesn't bother me too much while I'm jogging which is nice, and it tends to go away in a day or so.  Especially if I can get around to icing it afterward.