Friday, December 31, 2010

1 mile in 11 minutes, 2 in 20

This time last year I weighed approx. 210 lbs with 25% body fat. Now I weigh 180 lbs (my High School weight), with approx. 20% body fat (which is definitely not my High School BF% ;)

When I found out my son was running a mile on Fridays in Gym at school, and was finishing it in around 14 minutes, I was not happy with him. That's 4 miles per hour and I practically walk that fast, so there's no way my 10-year old son was running a 14-minute mile unless he was walking most of it, too.

My local park has a walking track around it, and using Google Maps I measured it to be approx. 1/3 mile around, so I headed out and ran three laps, finishing in approx. 9 minutes. The next night I went out with the boy and together we ran the mile in a little over 10 minutes.

"I never knew I could run that fast!" he exclaimed, excitedly.

That Friday while running his mile he slipped over rounding the baseball diamond and skinned his knee on the gravel. Apparently he finished his mile in 10:30 with blood running down his leg. I was pretty proud of him when I heard this, although he was mad at himself because recovering from the spill slowed him down so he didn't break 10 minutes (his goal). Hearing that made me even more proud of him :)

Over this Christmas break the boy has been taking it easy but when I discovered the track at my local High School is open to the public after 6pm I took him out to run an accurate mile. Not having had much exercise in 2 weeks other than a class or two of Tae Kwon Do I practically had to drag him across the line. Time? A shade under 11 minutes.

Knowing I could run it faster, and having jumped at the chance to take part in a 10K Mud Run with 4 coworkers this June, with the boy spending this New Year's Eve with his grandparents I headed out to see what I could do without a 10-year old anchor holding me back.

Bravely (or foolishly, depending on your point of view) I decided to see if I had it in me to run TWO miles.

I did.

Mile 1 = 2:15 + 2:26 + 2:28 + 2:29 = 9:38
Discounting that first faster lap I was surprised to see how consistently I ran the 2nd, 3rd & 4th laps. But then Mile 2 happened.
Mile 2 = 2:29 + 2:29 + 2:29 = WOW!

And yes, I know I'm missing a 4th (or 8th) Lap there. Unfortunately I was using my cell phone's Stopwatch App to time myself, and I hit "Stop" when I finished rather than "Lap", which resulted in my final Lap time not being recorded. And when I hit Stop all I saw was that the first couple of digits was a 1 and a 9, i.e., 19 minutes-something, and as I was pretty happy to run two miles in less than 20 minutes (my goal) I never looked at the seconds.

I am pretty sure I ran that final lap a little faster than 2:29 though. I definitely stepped up my pace during the last 100 meters. Not quite to a full sprint but definitely faster than the 6mph jog I'd been maintaining for the past 20 minutes. I might have done that final lap in 2:25 ;)

All up I was pretty happy with myself. But if I'm going to do a 10K Mud Run in 6 months time I need to be able to run more than 2 miles. I need to be able to run 7 miles in less than 2 hours, but that's 7 miles of running through mud, climbing over walls, crossing streams, & crawling through tunnels. In other words, I need to step my shit up, fo'shizzle!

Or something like that :P

Friday, December 10, 2010

More Plumbing woes

The hot water tap in the master bathroom would sometimes not turn off completely, like it did (or...didn't do???) Tuesday morning.

After trying for 5 minutes to get it to stop running I attempted to turn the water off beneath the sink. I say "attempted" because not only did that not work but turning the tap beneath beneath the sink resulted in it starting to drip. I turned it back and I thought this new leak stopped dripping, although the water from the top faucet continued to run(dribble, really) so still not having had breakfast and now looking like being late for work I closed the bathroom door (so the running water wouldn't disturb Liz) and finished getting ready.

Midway through the morning I got a call from Liz. A rather frantic call. Apparently there was water coming out from beneath the master bathroom sink. It would appear that the leak from beneath the sink had not stopped when I'd turned the tap back on. Oops. I could tell she had me on Speaker and figured she was heading outside to turn the water off at the Main and sure enough, after giving her instructions on what to do, I heard the explosion of water gushing from the tap immediately above the Main, followed by Liz freaking out that there was all this water!

"Quite normal," I reassured her, "that's just the water draining from the pipes in the house. It will stop shortly," and it did. "I'll be home within an hour," I added, and I was.

And that's when I discovered that the shorter two hoses I still had - left over from my previous plumbing repair jobs - had a 3/4" fitting on one end and a 7/16" fitting on the other,. And the one remaining faucet I had in my work cupboard? It had a 7/16" fitting, too! I actually had the parts I needed to fix the leak without going to Home Depot! Amazing!

*Note* I needed two faucets to finish the Sink installation, and that hose with the 7/16" fitting was too short for that job anyway, but for an under-the-bathroom-sink repair it was just right.

After a generous bead of Plumber's Putty was applied to the flange on the copper pipe, and strips of Teflon tape had been wrapped around every thread, I had everything back together and it was time to test my handiwork. After opening the bedroom window so Liz and I could communicate without yelling (too loudly) I crawled under the sink and sent Liz outside to turn on the water Main.

I heard the water entering the pipes a second before Liz called out that she'd turned it on. No leak. Excellent. But, just to be on the safe side, I decided to stay under the sink for a few minutes. And it's a good thing I did. After a minute or two I caught the movement of a drop of water falling down.

"Where did you come from?" I asked the now, non-existent drip.

A minute or two later I identified its source, but Being Prepared (like a good Boy Scout), and suspecting that this particular joint was the weaker joint (Goodbye!) I also had the correct sized spanner handy and I tightened the nut a tad. Then I waited.












You know, I can probably come out now.

But just to be on the safe side I slipped a plastic container under the hoses, which checked an hour or so later. But there was no water in the tub, not even a splash mark or two.


When I was growing up my Dad used to do all sorts of repairs around the house like this, and regardless of what I was doing at the time Dad always made sure I was there helping him, whether I wanted to or not.

Thank you, Dad.