Running Advice: 5 Race Day Tips

You have spent $25 – $100+ entering your race…be it a 5K or marathon. You have put in the miles of training to build your foundation. You feel ready. These 5 simple tips will help you on race day:

  1. Research the course – Does the course have crazy hills or is it flat? I did not research a marathon course once. This was a rookie mistake as it was my third marathon. It was the Cincinnati Flying Pig. The Flying Pig has a 450 ft ascent (40+ floor building) from miles 3 – 8 1/2. I had not trained on hills. None. My wife notified me the night before the race that I was running up Mt. Adams. I did not sleep well that night. Plan. Review the course map from the event website. Train accordingly. Or, you will have an interesting day.
  2. Plan Plan and Plan: Transportation, weather, starting line and start time – Know the weather conditions and dress accordingly. If you wear too much, be prepared to toss it along the route. Know what time the race starts. Nothing is worse than being stuck in traffic and missing the race you have trained weeks or months to finish. Find the actual starting line before race day. Have a parking plan or drop-off plan. Know there will be route/traffic changes by the police the morning of the run. Take public transportation or a shuttle, if possible…and follow the flow of runners. Or, have someone take you and have a designated meeting place afterward. Arrive early. I typically arrive 90 minutes early to stretch, make sure I am in the right spot, to people watch, and to try to settle my nerves a bit. Know that for most of the larger marathons, you will be corralled for a half mile to a mile beyond the finish line and will not be able to immediately see your loved ones. They do this so there is not a large log-jam at the finish. Most of us are going to be very tired and sore after the race. I did not have an escape plan after the Marine Corps Washington DC Marathon. Public transportation was a nightmare getting out and I traveled alone. There were lines around the block to get into the subway and it was impossible to grab a taxi. I probably walked 3-5 miles after running a marathon to try to figure out how to get back to my hotel. I did not want to do this. Have a plan.
  3. Nutrition – Do not try a new breakfast combo the morning of the race. You may have an unpleasant outcome…not good on the race course. Try different food choices as you train and try eating 2-3 hours before your run. My personal choice is a bagel and peanut butter. Also practice carb loading the night before a long run during training…beware of carb loading the night before a race if you have not done this while training. Again, you do not want surprises the day of your race. Practice taking in nutrition (such as “Gu”, etc.) while training. Consuming a paste-like substance while running at pace takes practice.
  4. Be consistent – Know when the race time starts. If it starts early morning, make sure you train at least some (if not often) with early morning runs. Your body reacts differently to time of day. Do not try new electronics, gear, belts, shoes, insoles, socks, compression gear, or a new outfit the morning of the race. Run your race in what you have trained in to avoid blisters, chaffing, etc. Race day is not the day to try new things. Try new things while training.
  5. Have fun! – People sometimes take running way too seriously. If you are not an elite runner, you are not going to win the race in all probability. Try not to be last either. Enjoy the experience, signs, camaraderie, spirit of the race, etc…Try talking to new people…everyone has a story. Try helping someone you see struggling along the way. Do not lose focus of your goal and do not be discouraged if you are passed by someone you think should not be passing you. Set a realistic goal and go for it…if you feel really good, try to crush your PR.
Posted in Fitness, Marathon Training, Running, Running Advice, Running Tips, Ty Carver, TyCarver | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dad Versus…Christmas Lights (Part I)

Wake up…To a slap in the face. Not an easy slap either. Hard. Try to remember if I am in a dream from my misguided college youth. Look over expecting to see someone from misguided youth. See The Mop instead. Smiling. Shake head. Look at Little Human and Mop. Ask Little Human why the “F” did she slap me? Hard. Except, did not use the “F” word. Little Human advises I am laying on top of her. Which, I am. Fair enough. Am in charge of keeping Little Human alive for half the day while The Machine is working. On a Saturday. Feed Little Human. Get Little Human dressed. Decide to actually take on The Mop today. The Machine bought new de-tangler. I finally have new weaponry in my Mop arsenal. Reach for de-tangler. Mop screams. Start spraying. The Mop dodges and weaves quite effectively. De-tangler everywhere. Sink. Mirror. Floor. Walls. Ceiling. Me. Little Human. Some of it makes it onto The Mop. Good enough. Brush The Mop. De-tangler is no match for The Mop’s magic force field. Brush Mop. Put in clip-things. Put on headband. The Mop semi-cooperates. Success. For once. Me: 1 – Mop: 786.

Called number from one of the signs on the off-ramp from the expressway advertising to hang exterior Christmas lights. Decide this is a great idea. I do not want to hang Christmas lights myself. Guy will be here at 9am. Sharp. Guy arrives. 9am sharp. Shocked.  Contractor dude explains he is from Georgia. Contractor dude must have just fallen off the peach truck from Georgia. Like, on the way here. Georgia’s accent makes Kentucky sound like Boston. For real. Try to comprehend what Georgia is saying. Georgia measures house. Georgia does some figurin’. Georgia quotes $380. Without lights, extension cords, clips, etc. All that would be “extrey.” Look at Georgia. Wolverine is standing next to me for a quote also. Explain to Georgia I wanted this figure to be closer to $100. Or less. Try to explain to Georgia the economics of this negotiation. Try to explain to Georgia I could put out the “Bat Signal” for our cool neighborhood and probably get him 10-30 additional customers if his prices were not absolutely ri-f’ing-diculous. Georgia quotes Wolverine $400. Bye Georgia.

Take Little Human to Sam’s to Christmas light shop. Call The Machine to make sure I purchase what The Machine wants. It has taken five-years of taking stuff back to learn to consult with The Machine first. Purchase 168 feet of LED icicle light pure power brilliance. Purchase extension cords. Purchase adaptors. Purchase shingle clips. Purchase a glowing lit-up Rudolph thing Little Human wants. Purchase half of Sam’s Club. $400+ later, I’m good. Renting a “cherry picker” lift thingamajob tomorrow with some of the neighborhood guys for installation. This should be interesting…

Watch college football rivalry Saturday. Watch my UK Wildcats lose to the dreaded UL Cardinals. The Machine is a UL alumni scholarship athlete and all-conference in pole vaulting. The Machine was a beast. The Machine looked like Helga from the East Ukraine in her heyday. Crazy ripped. The Machine does not even rub-in the loss this time. Four in a row. Why bother? Nice. Run 13.5 miles to take out frustration from loss. 70 degrees. Perfect weather. 101 miles so far for November. The thought of the 50K I have already signed-up for in January makes me want to vomit.

More to come…

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Dad Versus…Black Friday

Wake up. Black Friday. Day after Thanksgiving. Stomach still full. Ran eight miles yesterday at good pace. Legs sore, but a good sore. Bike ride afterward followed by flag football in our neighborhood. Our neighborhood is awesome. Had two Thanksgiving dinners with multiple groups of great friends. Would of eaten leftover Halloween candy for Thanksgiving otherwise the way The Machine (aka the wife) is working right now.

Consider going shopping on Black Friday. Consider poking an ink pen in my eye. It is my responsibility to keep Little Human alive today while The Machine works. Little Human wakes up. Feed Little Human. Get Little Human dressed. Little Human looks like a psychedelic homeless kid. Put ball cap on The Mop. Perfection. Take Little Human to zoo. It is cold in Florida. 52 degrees. Ride carousel with Little Human. Twice. Ride roller coaster. Ride train. See every single living organism in zoo. About three-quarters through zoo, Houston…we have a problem. Someone has to use the restroom. Very badly. And it is not Little Human. In a serious dilemma. Has a Finch-like aversion to public restrooms. Multiply aversion times ten when I have Little Human. I mean, really? Am I supposed to have her stand inside the stall and traumatize it for life? Or, leave her outside the stall to see whatever? Stumped. What to do? Somehow make it home after stopping twice on the side of the expressway wondering what was about to happen. Hazard lights on. Little Human asleep in the backseat in booster chair. Wondering what I would say if a police officer pulled over to at this moment to check on me. Would I use the former firefighter excuse or the fact I am about to use the restroom on the side of Interstate 75 in broad daylight? Or, I am just hanging out on the side of 75 enjoying the warm Florida sunshine? Watched cars fly by at eighty plus MPH. Wishing I was going eighty plus MPH at that moment. Geesh.

Nap with Little Human. Take Little Human to a “big girl” movie. Penguins. Madagascar. Dumb, but Little Human likes it. When not scared. Keep telling Little Human it is a kid film and everything is about to work itself out. Little Human does not believe me. Everything works itself out. Little Human crisis avoided. Eat $7 small popcorn. Want to debate/negotiate popcorn price. This is $.30 worth of popcorn. Consider asking for a manager. I am in that mood. Decide against it. Go to car after movie. A jerkoff leaves me 3 inches on my side to get in door. Consider setting fire to jerkoff’s car. Former twenty-year volunteer firefighter equals former trained arsonist. Decide against this. Besides, Little Human is with me. Somehow wedge myself into car. The Machine comes home after fourteen-hour day. Leftovers with neighbors. Games with neighbors. Not a bad neighborhood.

More to come…

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Dad Versus…Thanksgiving

Wake up. Thanksgiving morning. Alone in bed. The Machine (aka the wife) left long ago for work. Evidently, people need packages delivered on Thanksgiving. Secretly loathe Black Friday now. Must. Have. Coffee. Coffee makes everything better. Read paper on iPad. Still receive Louisville Courier Journal for some reason. Missing my Louisville teen daughter today. Miss her like crazy all the time. Thankful I helped raise such an amazing young lady.

But, thankful to have my Little Human with me all the time. Most of the time, that is. Maybe not for a minute or two yesterday. Came home from working from Starbucks for a bit. Hired a sitter to watch Little Human. Four hours. Evidently, Little Human gave sitter a run for her money. Walk in. Immediately almost slip and fall on beads. Tiny beads you make bracelets and necklaces with. Not just a few beads. Hundreds. Maybe thousands. Every color. Every size. Every shape. Over entire first floor. Entire first floor is white tile. Kitchen. Family room. Office. Bathroom. Butler’s pantry. Beads. Everywhere. Paper everywhere. Full pieces of paper. Tiny cut pieces of paper. Play-Doh. Everywhere. Kitchen island. Floor. Couch. Coffee table. Toys. Everywhere. My mind tries to process/comprehend complete chaos before me. Look at sitter. Sitter looks at me. Then her eyes hit the floor. Little Human running around like a crazy banshee. Ask obvious question to sitter. “What happened?” Sitter states the obvious. “She is not listening.” Look at Little Human. Little Human looks back. Nicely ask Little Human to begin clean-up activities. Little Human responds/screams “no!!!” Sitter smiles, while still looking at floor. Sitter is pretty much just rocking back and forth in a corner at this time almost sucking her thumb. Quickly pay sitter. Sitter literally runs out door. Will probably never see this sitter again. Close door. Summon Little Human to stand in front of me. Ask/demand Little Human again to clean-up maniacal mess. Little Human again responds “no!!!” Tell Little Human I will immediately box every toy it owns and give them to needy kids. Little Human screams for me not to give her toys to “Needian Kids!!!” Little Human is so upset she has to clean up her own mess or lose toys to Needian Kids that she pukes. Evidently, sitter gave Little Human marshmellows. Evidently, Little Human did not chew marshmellows when swallowing them whole. Have brownish puke, whole marshmellows mixed-in with beads all over Little Human and floor. Almost puke myself. Water/saliva jets shooting into mouth. Pick up Little Human. Put Little Human in bath. Walk outside to breathe fresh air. Clean puke/beads/paper/marshmellow blend off white tile floor. Get Little Human out of bath. Clean chaos for 1.5 hours straight. Good times. Life.

Thanksgiving. Thankful for a healthy family. Thankful for 2 beautiful, very different daughters. Thankful for the fiery ball of fire that is my 4 year old. Love her spirit. Thankful for a selfless wife who is the hardest worker and best mother I know. Thankful for great careers. Thankful for where life has taken us. Beautiful home. Amazing neighborhood. Amazing neighbors. Fun neighbors. New friends. Great friends. Near the ocean. Beautiful weather. Wishing oldest daughter was here but keeping everything in perspective. Missing family back in Kentucky. Thankful at age 4…err…29…can still run distance. Speaking of which…going for 6-10 miler now. 70 degrees. Sunny. Thanksgiving. Football. Dinner with friends later. More to come…

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Dad Versus…November 25, 2014

Wake up…to the sound of thunder. How far off I sat and wondered. Started humming a song from 1962. But wait, I digress with Bob Seger. Sit up. My shoulder feels like it is about to fall off and onto the floor. My last-second bowling adventure with liver-intolerant neighborhood friends last night was interesting. Had not bowled in 15+ years. Tin Cup and Wolverine call me to see if I can be there in 10 minutes. To bowl. Immediately. Arrive in 10 minutes. Put ridiculous bowling shoes on. Find crappy lime green lane ball. No warm-ups. These are serious bowlers. By serious, I mean they are all good, have the proper equipment, their balls make incredible curves/hooks/etc. And they are all sitting there waiting for me. Watching. Gawking. Smiling. Judging. Am the only person wearing jeans in entire joint. Pretty sure I look like Woody Harrelson from White Men Can’t Jump (or bowl). I bid serious bowling crew a hearty hello. Laugh. Advise them to keep their eyes up…my balls will be incoming shortly. Fairly sure they want to punch me in the jaw. Need a beer. Badly. Step right up like I own the place and have to bowl 3 consecutive frames to play catch-up to serious bowlers. Serious bowlers do not appear amused. Screw it, I got this. Step up on the lane. Try to remember the last time I bowled 15 years ago and a semblance of where to throw the ball on the marks. Fairly certain I am about to slip and fall and slide down the lane with or without my crappy lime green lane ball. Decide to just launch it as hard as I possibly can and hope for chaos. Launch ball. Forget to actually roll it. Ball lands about 40 feet down the lane with a loud boom and goes straight in the gutter. Surprised it did not jump lanes…or multiple lanes. Watch in amazement. That. Was. Awesome. Fairly certain my 4-year old daughter could have just knocked down more pins.  Turn around to face the music with serious bowlers. Serious bowlers are laughing. Success. My Woody Harrelson bowling impersonation has them right where I want them. Ball returns. Go to the exact opposite spot from the previous throw and launch it again. Further. Harder. Straighter. Knock down 9 of the little bastards this time. Semi-success. Turn around with a smug look. This game is easy. Especially once I start guzzling beer. Guzzle beer. Bowl 123 first game. Wonder what my 4-year old could bowl. Probably more than 123. Wolverine bowls nearly a perfect game…268. More than doubled my score. Nice. Keep chucking crappy lime green lane ball for game 2. 133. Serious bowlers are now advising me to keep “throwing off” so my White Men Can’t Bowl character may have a larger handicap. Screw this up also by somehow throwing a 170 game 3. Beer makes everything better.

Get up. Must. Have Coffee. Without coffee, I am basically a 2-year old toddler until I get my fix. I am in charge of keeping Little Human alive all day today while working. Pre-K is closed. Gulp. Devise a plan. Setup Little Human playroom with everything Little Human could possibly need. Feed Little Human. Explain to Little Human our adventure together today. Daddy must work. Daddy must talk to an insane amount of people on the phone from the office. Little Human must not run into said office screaming while talking to insane amount of people today. Little Human shakes her head in agreement. The Mop flies around uncontrollably, daring me to touch it today. After yesterday, want no part of The Mop. Put hat on The Mop. Problem solved.

Start work. Call one. Houston, I have a talker. Literally listen to candidate ramble non-stop for 17 minutes. Could have jogged over 2 miles during answer to my first interview question. Wonder if talker is breathing. Picture what talker is wearing and where talker is located. Listen to Little Human pretty much slam dancing in play room upstairs. Shake. My. Head. Wait for Little Human to come screaming into office. Little Human cooperates for the most part. Play Barbie and dress-up with Little Human between calls. Finish work and manage to keep Little Human alive. Success. Feed Little Human dinner. Little Human wants breakfast for dinner. Yes! Easy. Feed Little Human breakfast for dinner. Eat Cheerios myself. Bathe Little Human. Manage to rip Little Human’s earring out while washing hair. Or, she pulled it out. Or something. After a great day, The Machine (aka wife) arrives home to screaming Little Human. Chaos. Fail. Damn.

Wait for my liver-intolerant neighborhood to reach out for tonight’s Tuesday night shenanigans. Liver-intolerant neighborhood does not disappoint. Hi-Def (HD) wants me to come to open mic night and drink. Hi-Def is a cool dude and neighbor. I want to keep Hi-Def happy. Can mentally picture an entire house disappearing with no remains to be found if anyone ever truly upset Hi-Def. Hi-Def knows people. Hi-Def knows things. My liver declines for once and give Hi-Def a rain-check. Will watch UK stomp their latest victim instead and chill.

More to come…

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Running Advice: 5 Beginner Tips

I run. Millions of people run. When I first decided to enter a weight-loss challenge 6 years ago and started running, I had zero clue what I was doing. None. Just strap on the shoes…any shoes…and take off. What happened to me most likely happens to many who just choose to run. You get hurt. Injured. Beat-up. Sore. Some quit. Some keep going despite the pain. And injure themselves worse in the process. I was the latter…I tried to run through the pain until I could barely walk. I eventually had to stop, get physical therapy, and regroup. Although I did manage to lose over 80 lbs. and have completed several marathons, there are 5 things I wish I would have known when jumping into a running program. Here they are:

1. Purchase good RUNNING shoes – Seems simple, right? Go to a local sporting goods store and buy a pair of shoes. Wrong. I highly recommend you go to a specialty running shoe store to receive proper fitting and a shoe that will match your specific running style. The expert will most likely have you run on a treadmill or outside so they can tell if you have a neutral, over-pronation, or supination running style. The proper fit/shoe/cushioning/arch support, socks/etc. are VERY IMPORTANT when starting out. Try on several pairs. Communicate to the salesperson. Be picky. No really, like crazy picky. If you are not getting proper service by the first store you visit, try another store. Do not settle. AND. DO. NOT. SKIMP. HERE…PERIOD. You may pay a bit more, but you will thank me one day.

2. Learn to stretch! – I failed here right off the bat. Miserably. By failing to learn to stretch when I first embarked on my running adventure, I caused myself considerable pain and setbacks…including IT Band and plantar problems. If you know a PT (physical therapist), befriend them. Hug them. Get advice. If not, do research on YouTube, etc. Your local expert running store can and will give you advice as well and often offer free clinics.

3. Set goals and schedule – Begin with the end in mind. Do you want to complete your first 5K? Half marathon? Full marathon one day? Or, just want to get in better shape and drop some lbs.? Set goals and make running a lifestyle choice. Be consistent. Choose to run at least 3-4 days a week and cross-train 1-2 additional days if possible (swimming, biking, tennis, etc.). Decide if you are going to run in the early morning, lunchtime or after work/evening. Develop a plan/schedule and do not deviate. There are apps available on your smartphone to assist with setting a running and cross-training schedule. I personally use the app 26point2. Choose to be healthy and be consistent with your schedule. Once you skip one session, it becomes much easier to stop completely.

4. Start slow and listen to your body – What does this mean? Do not try to jump-in day one and run 10 miles. Depending on your conditioning, health, current situation…you may want to begin with a walk/jog mentality to build endurance. Start with a half mile or mile day one. Walk at a brisk pace and intermittently jog slowly. Learn to breathe with the cadence of your pace. Think of your adventure as building a house…you must build the foundation first. Once you feel comfortable walk/jogging for a certain amount of time or distance, start slowly challenging yourself to do more…time and distance. As you build your endurance/foundation, try to run a mile without stopping. Then two. Three. Etc. Listen to your body. Running is as much a mental game as a physical one. By nature, your body will scream at you to stop. The “wall” marathon runners experience at mile 18-20 is real. Listen to your body, do not hurt yourself, walk for a bit if needed, but try to build your foundation. And most importantly, a bad run is still a run. You are still doing more than a large portion of the population. You are not going to win a race, but try to not be last. Finish.

5. Technology versus just running – Running should be simple. You put on shoes and the proper attire for weather conditions and just go. Right? There is also a ton of technology out there today to help you build upon your foundation. Running apps (Nike, which is my personal favorite, MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, etc.) will track and record your distance, pace, time, etc. You can effectively use this data while building your foundation and becoming a competitive runner…if this is your goal. You can also challenge friends and have them hold you accountable to goals. There are smart watches/GPS watches, heart rate monitors, headphones, etc. which will assist you. As you “gear up”, do not forget the basics either. It is sometimes very beneficial to leave everything behind and just run…no electronics, music, GPS, anything. Listen to your breathing, concentrate on running form without heel-strikes, and just get back to basics. It is refreshing at times. If you are running a race, try this also and just talk to people. It is amazing the people you can meet and the stories out on the course!

Follow these simple steps and your running adventure will be off to a much nicer start than mine. Learn from my mistakes…And, enjoy!

Posted in Fitness, Marathon Training, Running, Running Advice, Running Tips, Ty Carver, TyCarver | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dad Versus…November 24th, 2014

Wake up…Or, at least think I do at some ungodly hour. The Machine (aka the wife) is rustling around getting ready for work. It may be 2am…it may be 5:30am. Who knows? Look over. Somehow my Little Human has snuck into bed again, ninja style. Or, maybe she was there when I got in last night from another neighborhood escapade…this time with “Dallas.” Dallas called and wanted to “get a beer”…again, code word for “game on” for our neighborhood. Dallas only wanted to stay for the 1st half of the Dallas/NYG SNF game. I know better. Interesting how you meet someone with very similar life-experiences. Everyone has a story. Had Odell Beckham Jr. in fantasy football. Actually had a good fantasy football week. We were about to help the establishment owner stack chairs after watching the entire game. Nice.

Let the Little Human sleep as long as possible. Hoping Little Human will be in a good mood this morning. Decide to test the waters. Tickle Little Human a bit to try to wake it. Little Human lands a surprisingly quick and effective roundhouse punch to my jaw. Mental note, Little Human is getting much quicker. Stop tickling Little Human. Try shaking the bed a bit to wake it. Little Human throws her teddy bear at my head. Nice shot. Finally get Little Human awake. Nicely ask Little Human to go potty, brush her teeth, and get dressed. Little Human immediately screams “NO WATER ON MY HAIR!!”…I know the upcoming battle I face. Shake my head and tell Little Human we will discuss when I try to fix her mop. The Mop laughs. Somehow, The Machine is able to tame The Mop without water, de-tangler, nuclear medicine, etc. The Mop will do anything The Machine wants. The Mop hates me. Little Human is dressed and ready for our daily battle over The Mop. Little Human grabs the water spray bottle and refuses to hand it over. Consider taking her outside to the water hose. Consider letting Little Human attend pre-K looking homeless. Have actually sent her to school looking worse. Consider putting a hat on The Mop. Consider shaving The Mop. Ask Little Human nicely for spray bottle. Little Human refuses. Little Human is already starting to cry. Ask Little Human to take a deep breath and to please work with me here. The Mop laughs. Calmly explain to Little Human the fact that I am the dad and lack the skillset to effectively fix/maintain 4-year old girl curly wild hair. Calmly explain to Little Human the fact the water will dry from her face, shirt, skirt, hair/mop, etc. IT IS ONLY WATER! Little Human cries harder. The Mop laughs harder. Extract water spray bottle from the death-grip of my Little Human’s hands. Start spraying. Little Human screams. The Mop screams. Chaos. The Mop looks like a drowned poodle. I laugh on the inside. The Mop is now effectively wetted-down and dripping. Success. Little Human begins to shake her head back and forth like a poodle trying to dry itself. The Mop is actually becoming more tangled. Did not think this would be possible. Try to calm my Little Human. Start brushing. Brush proceeds approximately 3 inches before becoming hopelessly entangled in this Brillo-Pad of mop. Try to extract brush. Consider calling 911 for jaws of life. Twenty minutes later, somehow have pony tail on mop and everything laying down. For now.

Feed Little Human. Take Little Human to school. Kiss Little Human goodbye. Go back home to go to work. Look at my schedule. Monday. Of a short holiday week. And I schedule back-to-back interviews from 9am to 5pm. Nice. Since I ate and drank my body weight this past weekend, must run first. Running should be simple. I have somehow made it difficult. Must have phone, earphones, phone belt holder, sunglasses, water bottle, gum, etc. etc. Go for run. Take 5 steps. Houston, we have a problem. Have run nearly 80 miles in 3 weeks preparing for an ultra-marathon. My knees are sore. My feet/plantar are sore. I tried new shoes and it is not good. Go back to old shoes. It feels as if I am running in quicksand. Set out for a 6 mile run. Complete 2.6. 2 . 6 ?! Not good. Decide to mercy kill this bad run and try again tomorrow. A bad run is still a run.

Conduct 8 interviews. The day lasted about 10 minutes it seems. Pick-up Little Human from school. Little Human wants a smoothie from the community center. Do not want to hear Little Human scream if I tell it “no.” Get smoothie. Little Human plays with toys at community center. Receive a call from a buddy…”Tin Cup”…to come “have a beer” to watch bowling. Again, “having a beer” in our neighborhood means “game on.”. Next call is to substitute for this bowling team. Haven’t bowled in 15 years. This should be interesting…

More to come…

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Dad Versus…November 23rd, 2014

Wake up…to the wife (aka The Machine) going to work before dawn again. On a Sunday. Evidently peak season demands HR expertise over the weekends as well. Try to shake the fog out of my head that remains from the previous night/this morning. Went out with a neighborhood buddy for a beer. Except “a beer” in my neighborhood means “game on.” This buddy is from Chicago. Evidently, Chicagoans know how to drink. This buddy does not play around when it comes to partaking in beer. “Ditka” can drink. I can hold my own with 99.8 of the US population. Ditka put me in the junior varsity ranks. By almost 2-1. Amazing.

The Machine makes sure to wake up Little Human at 6am on a Sunday morning as well. Because, of course. I did not get in until 1:30am with Ditka. I beg Little Human to put her head back down and sleep. Little Human will have no part of it. Little Human is ready for a 4-year old girl party. Try bribing Little Human. No. Try manipulating Little Human. She owns me. So, no. Try putting cartoons on for Little Human so I can go back to sleep. No. Little Human wants breakfast. 5 minutes ago. Give in. Feed Little Human. Feed myself. My diet cannot be blown today much worse than it was from last night’s Bud Light race.

Play with Little Human. Dress up. Tea party. Dolls. Ask her if I can brush her hair…aka The Mop. Little Human screams “no.” The Mop laughs. I put a hat on The Mop. Problem solved. Work for a bit. Because, when you work from home…It Is Always There. Recruiting never stops.

The Machine gets home and announces we are getting Little Human a puppy for Christmas. I shake my head no. The Machine overrules. I evidently have no say in my household. I ask The Machine what kind of dog she is considering. I have always been a big dog guy. Labs. German Shepherds. Etc. No. She wants a little yappy hypoallergenic fur-ball of a puppy. A dog for which I will undoubtedly become the 98.5% caretaker of while working from home. Take a deep breath. Consider my objections. Visualize the PowerPoint presentation of reasons I could formulate as to not having a puppy at this stage in our lives. Poo. Pee. Chewing. Etc. And then realize this is going to happen. I ask The Machine to come up with a top 3 dog suggestion list so I may have some fabricated semblance of input into this decision.

Consider running. Will watch 9+hours of NFL and the disappointing disaster my fantasy football team has become instead.

More to come…

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Dad Versus…November 22nd, 2014

Wake up…with a 4 year old daughter literally laying on top of me. How can my Little Human take up so much of a super-king sized bed? She was up most of the night with an earache anyway so not much sleep. The wife (aka The Machine) left for work before dawn. The Machine works more hours than I believe possible. Something about “peak season.” Peak season is no fun. Get up. Hungry. I somehow ended up in a neighborhood weight loss challenge and have not really eaten in 2 days. Think about eating. Grab a coffee instead. Work for a bit. Everyone thinks working from home would be great thing…except, you work. At home.

It. Is. Always. There.

Drink coffee. Daydream it is a stack of pancakes smothered in butter and syrup with 5 pounds of bacon on top. Little Human sleeps until almost Noon…unheard of. She wakes up a whiny, snotty, earache mess of a sick 4 year old ball of fire. Her hair (aka “The Mop”) defies gravity and physics. The Mop looks at me and bids me a “good morning”…and, dares me to try to tame it. I want nothing of The Mop this morning. It is the weekend. The Mop can go jungle today.

Little Human looks at me and demands breakfast. And by demands, I mean she screams at me for breakfast. I calmly ask her to try asking me again. Nicely. Or starve. Like I am. Little Human tries again…by asking please. The Mop laughs. I secretly want to shave The Mop and sell it to the Smithsonian. It has to be worth something. Feed Little Human pancakes. With butter. And sprinkles. My stomach is doing flips. I drink more coffee. Coffee makes everything better.

I work some more. Little Human watches cartoons. Think about running when The Machine gets home. I have a love/hate relationship with running. I love it. My feet hate it. I have ran almost 80 miles this month…while trying to prepare for my first ultra-marathon I recently registered for. Why? 50K. Just a stroll in the park, right? Slam a piece of pizza before running. Run with a neighborhood friend…who is a beast. Beast has ran 50 miles before. Beast is seriously insane…not just partially insane by running a 50K. Start running with Beast…wanting a 9:30-10 minute pace…no fuel in the tank. Beast wants to do 13 miles today. Beast is running under 9 minute pace. Peel off from the beast about mile 7. Have fun with that bro…I need to eat something or pass out.

Get home. Pick-up a free recliner a buddy in our neighborhood is giving away. We’ll call him Dallas. Dallas is a cool dude. Dallas can party like no other. But, my whole neighborhood can party. Convinced I could have by now fully furnished our new house with nice furniture given away by our neighborhood peeps. Almost pass-out carrying free recliner upstairs. No seriously, see little spots. Fun…whee.

The Machine and Little Human are out shopping.  I can almost hear the bank account crying. Watch Notre Dame v. Louisville and do more work while it is quiet.

It. Is. Always. There.

More to come…

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