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Puppy, Home Brewing, and Whats on tap

I haven’t blogged about it here, but I started home brewing beer last summer. I’ve brewed about 8 batches now, and really enjoy it. The hobby involves a lot of skills that I enjoy – there is cooking, some chemistry, and opportunity for gadgets. And at the end of the day, there’s beer. 😉

I’ll make a category for my brewing news, and provide updates on my home brew.

We also got a new puppy last weekend. Zoey is a Labradoodle that is about 3 months old. Quite a cutie, and we are getting used to having her in the house.

I’ll post more updates on Zoey’s progress as well.

My techie mind is considering a wordpress applet that would show what’s on tap. Much like my band page (www.morecowbellband.com) which scans for upcoming gigs and posts in a calendar notice applet, I think there must be some type of app that would monitor what’s on tap and show what’s in kegs, in bottles, and in fermentation stages. I’ll look around and try to update this as well.

Seems like a large to-do list, but I’ll get cracking!

Cheers,

ET and Zoey

Past blog at CCFA Fundraising Site – Cross posted here

It’s been a while since I updated this blog. A call from my hosting provider alerted me to my negligence as it had been hacked and infected with Malware! Apologies to anybody who may have visited. I hope you didn’t pick up anything malicious, although I’m not sure what that would look like.

I recently spent time blogging at my fundraising site for Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and I was proud to have accomplished:

  • Raising over $6,000 for R&D to find a cure for Crohn’s Disease
  • Following a fitness regimen to be able to complete a half-marathon
  • Walking/Running said half-marathon on the very cool streets of New Orleans on Feb 5 2017

Since the fundraising site will be taken down soon, I thought I’d memorialize my blog entries here. Interesting reading if you wish. It shows my mindset and gradual success through the program. It wasn’t an easy path – I’ll return later to offer more details on the issues I ran into – from bad knees to freezing weather to emergency surgery.

Cheers,

ET

 

 

Mission Accomplished!

I did it! I completed the Rock and Roll New Orleans Half Marathon! It was a blend of running and walking -well to be clear, walking and running – but it went well. My stats were nothing to write home about but it is in the books, the box is checked, and the objective is complete.

What a rush. It was a great day that started early in the morning. we met at 6pm CT in the hotel lobby for pictures. The 10K group took off to start their race at 7am, and the Half-Marathon crew went to queue up in the starting line.

The race had about 20,000 participants, of which 12,000 were running the half-marathon. Here is the pic of the half-marathon runners near the starting line. CCFA took the picture, and this is still on the web site there showing the popularity of this race! (I’m by the green light)

Here’s the half-marathon crew from Team Ohio where we queued up for the start. With so many runners, we are grouped by our expected pace and finish time. we were in corral #12.

  

It took us 40 minutes of timed starts (each with an excited announcer on the PA counting down from 10!) before we crossed the physical start line.

Quick shot of the starting line banner as I ran beneath it!

    Miles one through eight were an out-and-back loop. We turned around at Loyola University. You can see it was a beautiful day. Not too hot, plenty of sun, and pleasant temps.

   Around mile 9 was a KISS cover band. Stopped to take a pic and hear some of Detroit Rock City!

  Just after the KISS Cover Band was this big rock and roller. Had to run through the legs. Too funny!

  Around mile 11 I ran past Cafe DuMonde – look at the line! Out the door, and down the street to get some Beignets. mmmm.

 The Finish Line!!!

   Awesome spot to relax after finishing the race.

   The medal is significant. A bronze-like Jambox, on wide green ribbon. It is clearly made of some serious metal – it’s quite heavy!

  That night I rewarded myself with some authentic New Orleans cuisine – Gumbo and Blackened Redfish, and some Abita Amber.

Awesome day! what a great event, and for a great cause.

 

 

 

Week 8 – Home Stretch!

It’s now about a week and half before race day, and it’s all downhill from here. Smooth sailing, easy ride, pick your favorite idiom.

I’m generally feeling pretty good. The running is easier, although my right knee still acts up from time to time. The longer I rest it, the more miles I get without irritation. After the race I’m planning a visit to the friendly Orthopedic Doc. They’re friendly, right? LOL

Looking forward the the weekend in NOLA. Hoping for good moderate weather. The half-marathon starts at 7:30am on Sunday, which is also Superbowl Sunday. So while you are starting to prep your tailgate, shopping for snacks, and chilling the beer, throw a thought my way as I work my way through the streets of New Orleans for 13.1 miles.

The route is pretty cool. It starts on Poydras street which just sounds like a cool name of the street. I think I’ve been there before on business events, but then we never paid attention to the streets. We wind through French Quarter, and finish at the big park by Lake Pontchartrain. Judging by pictures from last year, it looks like a great location to cool off, shake off the race, and enjoy a beer and some snacks. Yes they hand you a beer at the finish line, and yes it will be about 10:15am according to my pace calculations. I’m looking forward to it!

I know people who have run Rock and Roll half-marathons like this, and feedback is great. Very well organized, and entertaining – because of the live music on the course.

Last weekend I ran 8 miles on Saturday, and 3 miles on Sunday. Then Monday morning I hit the Elliptical, and will head down the fitness room in my hotel this evening to clock a few more miles on a cardio machine. Another trip to the exercise room Thursday night, and I’ll be ready for this weekend’s long(er) run.

I must admit, having done the long 10 and 11-milers, the shorter 8mi last weekend and 6mi this upcoming weekend are not so daunting!

I still see these graceful joggers when I am out. I don’t think I look like that – Ha! However, I’ll get there, with plans post-NOLA, to get better times and hit more races to stay in shape.

For those of you tracking the blog, thank you for reading, and as always, feel free to send feedback, advice, or encouragement!

And once again, THANK YOU for your support and commitment to CCFA. It’s humbling to have heard from all of you, and I’m grateful for your contributions. We are making an impact, and approximately 1.6 million patients will benefit from you and me.

Join me as the energy level rises though next week. I’ll post again next weekend, and then will update you on the race itself.

Cheers!
ET

Originally posted at CCFA site by Eric Thorsen on Tue, Jan 24, 2017 @ 8:22 PM
Cross posted here after successful completion of the race

 

Week 7 – NYC long run, beginning taper!

As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, I originally saw the training schedule and wondered if I could do the long runs. I have to shout out to Sharon Hoffman, Traci Osborne, and Jim Mossman for the leadership and mentoring through this process.

Today is the peak of the training – a 11mile run. From here on out, the runs are all less distance, starting the taper to lead into the half-marathon on Feb 5.

I was hoping for a pleasant sunny day in NYC when I landed this morning. The sun was out, but it was about mid 30’s temperature. No worries, I got this, with some layers, some cotton gloves, and a good solid windbreaker shell.

The overall run was pleasant. I’m staying in midtown on 42nd street, so I was able to run over to the Javits Center (where my event is this week), and catch the Highline for the first section of the run.

The highline is pretty cool! It’s an old train trestle that has been reworked to be a trail and park. It would be awesome in the spring, summer, fall, basically any season but winter. It was fairly crowded with walkers, but made for a nice jog without having to deal with street traffic. I’d like to come back and run that again during more pleasant weather. There were many people stopping for pictures of views and scenery that I wasn’t able to appreciate. However, the route was great, and took mew a few miles south of midtown, to around 15th street.
From there I cut west to the Hudson, which was less than half a block from the end of the Highline. This is a great park! there is greenspace all the way up and down the west side of NYC, with separate bike paths, walking/running trails, and car access. I ran from near the financial district up to 90th street along this path, passing piers, sightseeing helipads, and many cool looking bars, restaurants, gyms, and activities.

It started getting a little colder and windy at this stage, but the run was still pretty pleasant.

There was a nice gradual incline around 85th street to take me up to street level (Riverside Ave) with awesome homes, and a huge structure to commemorate war heros. I ran through the upper west side, dodging doormen, dog-walkers, and passersby on the city streets. I started to miss the Hudson River Trail!

Made it to Central park and entered at 90th street. This is when the flurries started. Made for a pretty view, you couldn’t really see the city, and there were many active walkers, runners, and families in the park. Very cool to have such an awesome place in the middle of the city. I was at mile 8.5 here, and knew I just needed to head back towards midtown, but suspected I’d need to exit the park to finish.

I hit mile 10 as I got to Columbus Circle. This is at the Southwest corner of Central park, and has a traffic circle about 500 miles wide. Of course I exaggerate but not much. I think everybody in NYC decided to go to Columbus Circle to cross the street around the time I got there. I dodged traffic, pedestrians, pedicabs, and dogs to get across the street, and decided to cut over a block to avoid running south through times square.

The snow was getting heavier, and the wind was picking up. While I had been doing 4min runs followed by 1min walks, at this stage, I just kept running to get this part over with more quickly!

I ran south on Columbus and hit 11 miles around 45th street. 5 more blocks to go, then cut over for a few blocks to get back to my hotel.

I rewarded myself with a gyro and fries from a street truck. AWESOME! and I can justify it with the caloric burn of 11miles over a 2.5 hour run.

So I cap off my peak of training with a great experience in the big apple. I found some cool places to run, saw some cool parts of NYC I never would have walked to, and I feel really good about this upcoming race.

Thank you for reading, and THANK YOU for your support! It’s all downhill from here, until I get to the Big Easy for the full 13.1 miles on Feb 5.

Cheers,
ET

Originally posted at CCFA site by Eric Thorsen on Sat, Jan 14, 2017 @ 10:38 PM
Cross posted here after successful completion of the race

 

Week 6: 4 and 1, Woot!, and a shout-out

A series of updates to share, best done in form of bullets…

  • Must confess when I originally saw there were 10-mile runs and 11-mile runs during this training regimen, I shuddered a bit. But that was in November, and I just did one! Woot!
  • I’m very fortunate to miss the frigid weather in Ohio this weekend. I ran 5 miles up the marina coast of San Diego, and returned to the Marriott feeling pretty good. It doesn’t hurt that the swimming pool and hot tub are conveniently located on the path from the running route to the hotel entrance. Great run, and nice cool-down 😉
  • Thanks to your support, I’m nearly to the $4800 mark which qualifies me for Chapter VIP. This means some recognition and a bit of relief on flights through a travel voucher. Please consider a donation to get me over the top! I have some checks to submit, but even with those I am about $120 away now.
  • My son Andrew’s fraternity brother’s sister (pause to map that relationship) also has Crohn’s. Very sorry to hear that she was scheduled for the race, but is unable to run due to her health. Please consider donating to the cause with her fundraising page as well. I can’t post the link in this blog, but email me and I’ll send you the link! Her nae is Catie, and she is part of the New England team.
  • I’ll be running for both Andrew and Catie in the NOLA race
  • Recently I mailed a large number of fundraising forms to friends and family. I wanted to acknowledge that when I went to the FedexKinkos (do they still call it that?) to have the fundraising forms printed out – they donated half the cost to my cause! Quite nice of them, and shout-out to the fantastic staff there!!
  • My run today continued with the 4-min run and 1-min walk cadence. As with past runs, wasn’t easy but didn’t suck. Actually it was starting to get much more easy than past runs. To keep me from lapsing after this race, I plan to run the Cincinnati Heart Mini-marathon (15K) in March and something in the Flying Pig during the marathon weekend in Cincinnati in May. I also signed up for the Lake Powell half-marathon in October. That requires I bring a tent and camp out the night before the race, which sounds extremely cool. And the race finishes in the National Park, with awesome views of the Colorado River and Lake Powell!
  • While I was frustrated with lack of weight loss in December it feels like it is starting to fall off a bit. It could have been building running muscle? It certainly couldn’t have been my consumption of holiday snacks, cookies, great meals, and wine, right?

Next week I’ll be in NYC, and will clock an 11-mile run, hopefully in Central Park. The idea of a 3-hour treadmill session is not appealing, ha!

Make it a great week, and check in next week for another update! THANK YOU for your support, and if you haven’t donated, please consider a donation to have an impact on this horrible disease.

Cheers,
ET

Originally posted at CCFA site by Eric Thorsen on Sat, Jan 07, 2017 @ 11:43 PM
Cross posted here after successful completion of the race

 

Week 5 – kicked off the new year with an 8-mile run!

It’s been just over a month in training and I’m feeling good. Wrapped up with an 8-mile run today using the new intervals – 4min run, 1min walk. It is getting easier to run, mostly because of NEW SHOES. I traded in my old shoes and was properly fitted last Thursday. I joked about saving the old pair of shoes for lawnmowing, and the person helping me just shook her head. “Those are dead.” Ha! they are now out of their misery, and I am out of mine. The right knee pain I’ve been struggling with is not as bad after this long run, and I credit the shoes.

THANK YOU for all the support! When I turn in my two additional hand-written checks, I will have raised $3,996, just $4 shy of my goal. As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, the CCFA is a very efficient charity and the money is going to good use. The genomics research seems pretty significant and could identify a cure soon!

Regarding my running pattern, I’ve dropped the use of headphones. It was frustrating to have them keep falling out due to the jostling of the run, and I am starting to run out of Napster playlists to audition. I don’t expect to use headphones on race day, so I’m listening to the natural sounds of the run, and it’s working out pretty well. Hate to get too philosophical but it almost becomes a zen-like “be one with yourself” process by listening to your body. What do you think?

Next week I’ll be traveling for work, and will have a long run (10m) in San Diego. This should be similar to weather on race day. And it’s San Diego. How can it be bad!? The following week I’ll be in NYC and will do the long run (11m) in Central Park! Hope the weather works out.

I think this blog works with feedback and comments so if you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to send them my way.

Happy New Year – let’s make it a GREAT year!

Cheers,
ET

Originally posted at CCFA site by Eric Thorsen on Sun, Jan 01, 2017 @ 1:51 PM
Cross posted here after successful completion of the race

Week 4 – Training continues in all weather conditions!

I capped off last week with a 7 mile run. Still working the 3min Run / 2min Walk intervals. Didn’t feel horrible, and wasn’t so bad. I’m not saying it was easy. 😉
But a good run, in a strange weather pattern. We had avg 20 degree days in Cincinnati, while I was on a trip in California. Great runs there, and didn’t look forward to running in such cold weather. Then it zoomed up to 55 degrees in Cincinnati, just in time for my long run. Awesome! but the next day it dropped back to sub-freezing temps, with water on the ground. Back to the YMCA for some machine cardio…
This week I’m in Florida, clocking 5m runs with 3m easy runs in between. While I’m loving the 70 degrees, the locals complain about it being chilly. Ha. It’s all perspective right? I ramped up my intervals and am now running 4mins with a 1min walk. Again, doesn’t hurt, but not the easiest. I’ll take it!
Spoke to my TeamChallenge coach last week, and she’s optimistic about my pace, and planning for the race. Therefore so am I. I got this, and it all goes to a good cause.
THANK YOU for your support! I’m looking forward to rocking this race, hearing some good music on the course, and enjoying the after party.
I’ve gotten a chance to reconnect with many people who responded to my email Really appreciate the support and encouragement from such good friends.
Cheers to you all and Merry Christmas!
Best,
ET

Originally posted at CCFA site by Eric Thorsen on Thu, Dec 22, 2016 @ 5:40 PM
 Cross posted here after successful completion of the race

 

Week 3 – LONG run and Weekend with Andrew!

Wrapped up my third week of training and things are going great! Ran every day, following the intervals I mentioned last week – 3 min run, 2 min walk. When I’m running I’m probably at a 12:30 pace, and when walks are combined, total pace is about 14:30.
Due to work travel, I ran two days in Providence, RI. Great routes without much traffic, and cool view of Federal Hill, just as the sun set. This time of year, the sun sets around 4:30! Makes it feel much later, and locals just deal with it…
Kelly and I spent the weekend with Andrew at URI campus where he is studying Marine Affairs. He continues to do well physically, and is knocking it out of the park at school. Marine Affairs is the business side of Marine Biology. There is still a lot of science, but it’s common to take this major and study maritime law and apply the legal side to it. There is also an opportunity to focus on Fisheries as a business. I never realized it, but due to overfishing and climate change, Fisheries may be our next farming future. Controlled delivery of seafood is a big part of this field. Fascinating.
We took the picture above at Naragansett Beach, wearing some of the TeamChallenge gear, and holding the TeamChallenge banner – Thanks to Traci Osborne for the gear! Beautiful day in RI, but cold… 😉


Today was the LONG run – I clocked one hour and 28 mins for 6.14 miles. I’m in a hotel right next to Staples HQ in Framingham, Mass, and believe it or not, you definitely can carve out a 6 mile run with the parking lots of Staples and the neighboring businesses! The map run is pretty funny as you can see where I traced the edges of the parking lot. Also entertaining to see the elevation gradually change as I ran the entire parking structure. There were some wooded trails for Staples workers to walk which was a nice distraction from the pavement but they only added up to about half a mile.
It’s just over 60 days before race day, and with the published TeamChallenge training regimen, I feel pretty good about my progress. Check back in next week to see how things go. I expect daily workouts and another long run next weekend. I’ll have a trip to California this week so I’m looking forward to some warmer weather!
Cheers!
Eric

Originally posted at CCFA site by Eric Thorsen on Sun, Dec 11, 2016 @ 5:14 PM
Cross posted here after successful completion of the race