Thursday, January 29, 2009

This is a test

I'm trying to enable podcasts on blogger.  Here's my first attempt.  It's one of my Marathon Minutes from September.  It's about my life list.  Click on the title above to listen!

I was kinda hoping for a little "player" icon or something, but it seems to work like this.  I haven't stopped experimenting yet though.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Things

I wrote this on Facebook yesterday.  It was a fun little exercise.  25 Things.

1. My nickname is Marathon Don. I got it around 1998, after I had run marathons for 19 months in a row.
2. I've run marathons on all seven continents three times.
3. I'm 52 and I still have a grandmother. And grandchildren. One time I took my grandmother and granddaughter to the Ionia Fair and got a picture of both of them together on the merry-go-round.
4. Granddaddy (Claud Washington Fults, my great grandfather) is my favorite ancestor. He used to raise fighting cocks. He also invested in some cemetery plots in Indiana, which we still own but are pretty much worthless.
5. I had asthma when I was a kid.
6. I was on the high school debate team. We went to the state finals once, where we really got our clocks cleaned.
7. I hate living with cats. Or dogs. Or most any other animal. I don't think one animal should own another one. 
8. I hope our new president does a good job.
9. I can't find a religion I like, that's why I'm a Third Reformed Antagonist. It's really hard to be a hypocrite when you make up your beliefs as you go along.
10. I have a list of over 100 things that I'm going to do in my lifetime. I keep checking things off and adding more.
11. Don't worry, your sister isn't on the list. No. Wait.
12. I have my own website, Every once in a while someone writes to me and complains that they just wasted half the morning reading my stuff. It makes me feel good.
13. I hang out at the YMCA in downtown Grand Rapids.
14. I like beer. I'm collecting a glass from a brewery in every state. 
15. I don't drink a lot, but I do drink frequently. I figure that if I pace myself I can keep drinking my whole life.
16. With the help of a lot of other people, I put on the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon. This year it's on October 18th.
17. My favorite movie quote is, "If you had a face like mine, you'd punch me right in the nose. And I'm just the person who can do it." It's from an old Laurel and Hardy movie.
18. I have about six people who I refer to as my best friend. Depends on the context, I suppose.
19. I drink yuppie coffee. I live in a yuppie area. I like it.
20. My coffee maker grinds the beans automatically. Pretty freakin' cool.
21. I'm heterosexual. Actually, I come from a long line of heterosexuals. 
22. In high school, I played chess every day. My junior year I kept track of every game I played. I still have the tally sheets. I beat one guy in study hall 104 straight games. He wasn't very good.
23. The last game of chess I played was in Antarctica in December 2007. I lost.
24. I run with a bunch of really cool people. I think the average IQ of the group is around 130.
25. I saw at least three eagles yesterday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up

My old friend Dan Houts called me today and told me about a Bible study he went to lately.  The discussion started with "What did you want to be when you grew up?"  

It was a pretty inspirational story that Dan told me after that.  I told him that he needed to write it down and send it to me.  Knowing that he reads my blog, I figured maybe he'd write it and publish it a comment at the end of this entry.  How 'bout it, Dan???

Stay tuned to be inspired everybody....

2008 In Review

Every year I have only one New Year's Resolution -- to have at least as much fun this year as I had last year.  2008 proved to be the year that ended a very long streak.

Now, it wasn't because it was a bad year.  It just wasn't as fun as 2007, when I ran marathons on seven continents TWICE.  (I'm the only person who's ever done that twice in a year).

It was a great year though.  In January I started off with a trip to Florida with the lovely Francine for the Goofy Challenge--running a half-marathon on Saturday and a marathon on Sunday at Disney World.  We also threw in the 5K on Friday with Carly.  My biggest running weekend of the year, it turned out.

Somewhere around the end of that month, I must have twisted my left knee on some slippery roads and I tore my meniscus.  

Running was painful in February.  In fact, it was my lowest mileage month in several years.  I still managed a marathon that month, but it was pretty slow.

Sometime in March, I found a house for sale--a great deal on a 5 bedroom house in Forest Hills.  I knew it was right when I saw it, and the end of April we closed the deal.  So now I'm living in a cool house in a great neighborhood with a beautiful woman.  Life is good.

I managed to keep up my marathon-a-month streak, but after running the Bayshore Marathon in May and doing some hills a few days later, my left knee--which I thought was on the mend--returned to painfulness every time I ran.  After our climbing Mt. Marcy and running a marathon in Lake Placid in June, I decided it was time to have my good friends at Metro Health get involved.  A little physical therapy, an xray and an MRI, and they referred me to Dr Theut for a little arthroscopic surgery in July.  

My marathon streak was at 64 consecutive months at the time.  July would be 66.  I told the Doc that I was going to try and keep the streak alive.  I was willing to drop out if I needed to.  But 17 days after the knee surgery, I ran the Carrollton Marathon the last weekend of July.  SLOW.  But FINISHED!

On the way up some stairs to do hill repeats one lunch hour, Francine slipped and broke a bone in the back of her hand.  She had a plate and screws put in it, then the next day we flew to Montana for a vacation in August.  We did a very hot, slow, and hilly marathon (They even gave us a pin at mile 19 when we got to the top of a particularly difficult hill!) .  Francine got lots of attention for being all taped up from the surgery--but she finished with flying colors anyway.  We also took Carly to Glacier National Park.  

The Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon (my biggest project of the year) was fantastic.  Over 3000 runners, plus a kids marathon that involved nearly 1000 kids.  It was great.  

Two days later, on October 21, I had my right knee done as well--just to clean out a bunch of the stuff that was floating around in there.  What the heck, I had met my deductible for the year anyway.  

Mike Schwartz, my old college buddy, wanted to get away for an adventure.  So, in November, we drove about 3000 miles, climbed to the highest point in 6 different states, visited about 8 microbreweries, and spent one night at my friend Brent's house in Cheyenne Wyoming.    (read November blog entries for the whole story)  

Then, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I did the Flying Monkey Marathon in Nashville and kept my streak alive for another month.  Month #69.

My beautiful granddaughters spent two nights with us at Thanksgiving.  Aunt Carly had a great time, and Thanksgiving night I went upstairs to find Carly, Ashley, and Amber in their bathing suits in the shower.  The shower curtain as outside the bathtub, of course, so there was water everywhere.  Oh well.  Still, I have LOTS to be thankful for.

Also, Mom, Dad, Grandma, Aunt Mary, both my kids and Katie's three girls came for Thanksgiving dinner at our new house.  We took five generation pictures.  We ate turkey.  

After totally missing the Christmas season in 2007, I got through the whole thing this year feeling like I still wanted more.  I suppose that's good.  And on 28 December, the lovely Francine and I ran a marathon in Springfield, Missouri.  Two more months and I'll have 6 years in a row of at least one-a-month marathons.  And Francine will have two years of a marathon every month.

14 Marathons.  Seven new state high points.  Only one night spent outside the US (when we didn't get back to Montreal in time for our flight and spent the night there).  A new house.  A successful GR Marathon.  Not a bad year.  

What's ahead for 2009?  Who knows?  I'm starting a new streak though--to have more fun this year than I had last year.  

and the adventure continues....

The New President

Tuesday I got ahold of Dan Manning and invited him over to watch the inauguration.  It was fun having someone there to discuss things with as they happened.  We drank a couple beers, ate some munchies, and watched the first Black guy get sworn in as President of the United States.  

This won't solve all the racism in the world, but it certainly won't hurt.  We've cleared another big hurdle.  

Now, I hope he can be effective, help pull us out of our economic problems, end as many wars as need to be ended, and whatever else he needs to do to be successful. 

So, we watched the whole thing.  We stood up when they sang the National Anthem.  And we're hoping for the best.

Windows and stuff

About a year ago, I bought a new notebook computer.  It works good, but a few small issues.  For example, the screen saver never worked.  The screen just stayed on all the time.  Also, every time I'd go to a client site, I'd have to put in a password to get to their systems, even though I had checked the box to say "Save the password" the next time you sign in.  They were only minor inconveniences, so I said the heck with it.

Then about a week ago, my screen saver just started working.  And today, when I signed in at Michigan Chief Sales, it didn't make me enter a password.  I don't understand it.  Usually Windows gets worse over time.  This time it got better.  I'm kinda happy about that.