Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Speed work

I did my 2nd speed work run tonight. It wasn't too bad. I did 8 220's at a pace below 9:00 minute miles. The start of the 220 was around 9 and then went lower to under 8, around 7:45. The last couple I got it down to 6:20 range. I again surprised myself that I was able to get to and maintain that pace. Before doing the speedwork, I struggled through one mile. I don't know why it was a struggle, but luckily it didn't carry over to the speed work part. In total I got 3 miles in. Not sure when the next run will be, maybe Friday morning or might just do my long run on Saturday.

We did finally get Thomas' results from his sleep study and everything is good. He has no sleep issues or sleep apnea. He is still waking up between 3-5 and coming down stairs and getting in bed with us. I am thinking it could be potty issues going on here.

We also had our meeting with Thomas' team at school. It was a very good meeting. A lot of good things were discussed and kicked around. There will be some follow up and a few things will be changing somewhat. I am so glad that we have not had any real conflicts in Thomas' education so far.

Well, I am feeling kind of tired so will probably be turning in. I missed the Rep Pres debate tonight so I might try to catch a couple minutes of the re-run before calling it a night.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A trip to the dentist

I am behind on getting my checkups done with my dentist, but today it wasn't for me, it was for my son Thomas. Thomas had a small cavity that needed filling. Thomas is 6 and has Down Syndrome, so a trip to the dentist is usually not very much fun. He does not like anyone messing with his teeth. Brushing his teeth can usually be done with some fuss, but flossing is almost aways a wrestling match. Checkups with the dentist is also usually a wrestling match. I was a little worried how today would go with getting his cavity taken care of.

They had this neat device, it was a back board with large velcro strapes where they could strap in his whole body from neck down. While Thomas struggled with this and certainly didn't like it, I thought it was great especially since the alternative was probably me holding/wrestling him. They administered the gas on him and that did calm him down somewhat. Since it was a small cavity they did not use novacaine. This was another thing I was kind of worried about, I didn't want Thomas biting his tougue and maybe really hurting it while he couldn't feel what he was doing. Once it was over Thomas was very happy and told the dentist and the nurses & assistants thank you. They scheduled this at a time when Thomas would be the only patient in the office, I don't think they wanted his screaming scareing off any kids.

His recovery was great, almost instant once he was out off the strapping device. He got to pick out a toy from a special box of toys, he got the colorful spider type thing that sticks to walls and the middle lights up. He when right back to school afterward and had a good day even.

Tomorrow we are meeting with Thomas' teachers and therapists to find out in a little more detail exactly how Thomas is doing in school. We know that he is having more discipline/listening problems than last year. We also seem to be a little more out of the loop as far as some of the progress he is making. We had parent teacher night about a month ago and got some info but after talking to another parent who child is close to the same age as Thomas, we realized we probably needed more information. I don't know how this meeting will go and what exactly will be accomplished or should be accomplished even. I just hope that we will be more reassured about how he is doing and that real progess is being achieved.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Quick Post

Mizz really had a good game and held on to win against Kansas tonight. Mizz I don't think had a turnover, only real negative was a very large number of penalites. Mizz is setup with a revenge game against Oklahoma, they shouldn't be looking past a team that has beaten them once already.

I was able to get 6.2 miles in today also. Pretty happy with my pace, something like 11:20, 11:20, 10:57, 11:42, 11:49 and 12:05--dk pace on last .2. Did my normal 5 mile route and added another mile in a park. It was getting cold out, had 2 shirts(1 short sleeved & 1 long sleeved), which was fine for the start of the run and through most of it. The last couple of miles though noticed the cold, a 3rd shirt would probably have been needed/helped if I was going for longer mileage.

Also, as I kind of figured Callahan was fired at UNL. I haven't had a chance yet to read up about possible replacements or direction program is even looking yet. This will be a real important hire for the future of the program. I really have no names in mind about who it should be either. The next few weeks should be very interesting.

Creighton beat UNL basketball tonight also. Wasn't on TV around here, but I did read a couple of writeups on it. Sounds like CU took it to them early and kept them back in the 2nd half, even though CU didn't play well in the 2nd half. Good win for CU & the MVC.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Hope anyone who stumbles across this had a good Thanksgiving. It was all good here in St Louis.

Growing up in NE, you had to follow/cheer for NE football. Well today was a tough day for UNL fans. The first half against Colorado at CU was alright, not spectacular but the offense looked good and we had the lead. I was the beginning of the 3rd qtr, and it just kind of made you sick. Giving up the 10 pt lead and some. I stopped watching in that 3rd qtr and only saw the end score, 60 something to 50 something--that is just not UNL football. I have not been a Callahan fan for a couple of years now and haven't been a fan of the offense they have been running since Callahan was hired. I don't know if it is even possible to return to a run first type offense in the college game anymore, I know if can't be done in the NFL. I expect Callahan to be fired tomorrow or early next week. It is not an easy decision either way and I hope/trust Dr. Tom to make the decision for what would be best for the program.

Tomorrow is the UNL vs Creighton basketball game at the Quest Center in Omaha. I am a Creighton fan, but I also like to see UNL do well in all games but this one. I haven't gotten to see any of Creighton's games yet and won't get to see this one either. I mostly just read the writeups and check the message boards for my info. Creighton has a lot of new players, but it sounds like there is a lot of talent among them. I know Maric will be a tough matchup for Creighton, but I would expect Dana Altman has this gameplanned.

I am supposed to be going over to my brother-in-laws to watch the Mizz vs Kansas football game. No real thoughts on this, other than I will be cheering for Mizz to win. Since being in St Louis you kind of have to follow Mizz football somewhat and after their struggles for so many years it would be nice to see them win the North Championship.

I did get a run in this afternoon at Creve Coeur Park. I did a shorter route than normal and only put in 4 miles. I was happy with my pace with all 4 miles being under 12 minutes(something like 10:50, 11:05, 11:24 & 11:50). It was cold and flat, so I kind of credit that with my decent for me times--I just wanted to get it done. My plan is to get 6 or so miles in tomorrow also so I didn't want to push the mileage too much today. I also did a few pushups & situps today, something that I want to start doing at least a couple of times a week--kind of my crosstraining things. I also need to rake some leaves, another thing that is decent crosstraining, at least in my mind.

Well it is time for me to get a few pages read. Still just the 2 books. Good news on my book front though. My used book store just reopened within the last month of Page Ave in Overland. It had been closed for 6 months or so. While I don't purchase lots of books from the store, it is a nice outlet to check on some older & cheap books. Actually come to think of it, I have gotten quite a few books from that store over the years, so it is a very good thing that it has reopened.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I blew it

I just found out today by looking at other bloggers that there was a 31 for 21 campaign for Down Sydrome Awareness. That is what I get for not exploring around on different blogs. The last couple of days I have tried to skip around and see what else is going on. A lot of very interesting blogs, I just don't know where I would get the time to actually try to follow any of these.

I do want to go back to some of the DS blogs and read what was written back in October. I am not sure what I would have written about for 31 days in a row. It is sad, but I can't really remember if I went through and devoted an entry for each of my kids and one for my wife either. I know I introduced them a some point though, I guess.

What to say about Thomas. Whenever I am asked how he is doing by my parents in NE or friends at work, I am always kind of caught at not really knowing how or what to say. It is tough to sometimes put into words what Thomas is all about. There are plenty of moments where he will simply drive you crazy and these moments usually occur each and every day. He most times has to be carried into the bathroom to do #1 and #2 only happens in his pullup or worse his underwear. He has a real problem with sharing his toys with his sisters. He can be stubborn and loud. BUT those are just the not so good things. It is funny in the mornings to have him and Angie(2 & 1/2years old) sitting at our table eating breakfast. They will talk back and forth at each other like an old married couple--one will say something and the other will respond but it won't really be about what the other said and eventually one will get loud and the other will say "not so loud". It cracks me up still that Angie calls Thomas "Pap". We don't know why and she probably doesn't know either, but Thomas does respond to her when she calls him this. Thomas loves dancing and watching TV and doing both is great. He loves to laugh and loves to make people laugh also. All of his teachers and helpers say how they just love Thomas because he is funny and great to work with, even though I am sure they see plenty of his bad days as well. Thomas just brings joy to most everyone he is around and I think it is from his generally happy attitude. He loves me reading to him every night and I love how no matter how many books I read as soon as I start reading to him for The Lives of the Saints he falls asleep. Thomas is just a really interesting child, he certainly sees things in a different light than most people as well. He is also very perceptive if people are having bad days and will usually ask you what's the matter. He is also very good at asking questions and changing the subject when he is in trouble--the little stinker. He also likes to push me & mom together so we hug with him in the middle and also starts group hugs as well. I am also kind of stuck with the fact that a lot of how I feel about Thomas is just that a wonderful feeling and I have a hard time expressing that in words. I think part of it is that the little things about Thomas really do matter and how to you explain that to people in general. Little things like the funny way he dances or the goofy voices he will make or the little quirks about the foods he likes or the funny(at least to me & him) games & noises we make at stores and many many other things like this.

I know some of the blogs I read today were questioning if there were any parents out there that are not having a good time parenting a child with DS and/or questioning why they were given their child with DS. I think most parents ask these same types of questions, how can they not. There is a lot of stress in raising a special needs child. Thomas is 6 and I already am worried about what his future is going to be like through school and then after high school and beyond. Just thinking about those things kind of scare me. I also am just waiting for potty training to make some more progress. He has started wearing underwear to school and rarely has an accident there, at home not the same at all. I know of other local parents with a child with DS that are now divorced, I don't know if the stress got to their marriage or if it was something else. I don't see myself and my wife ever getting a divorce, but I would guess there are plenty of other couples that thought the same thing that ended there. One thought that has kind of remained with me since Thomas was born, is that how lucky both we are and he was that we live in the US. I think of us having Thomas as citizens of another country where we/he would not have even close to the same opportunities, the same medical care, the same education and so on. I also think about other countries where if found out prenatally abortion would be that much more likely, China always comes to mind for me, but I actually don't know if this would be the case or not.

I kind of wish I had known about that 31 for 21 campaign but then again I struggle to find time to just type something every week or so here. One of the many things kind of floating around in my mind is that I should try to be more active at this whole blogging thing. Both in doing it daily or every other day as well as actually finding and reading some of those interesting blogs that are out there. Right now it is just a thought, it will probably be a few weeks(months?) before I actually start doing it--that is usually the way it works for me it seems.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Quick Update

Finished reading The Red Pony by Steinbeck. I really enjoyed it, easy to read and characters were interesting. It has made me want to read more Steinbeck, don't know how quick I will get around to it though. I think I have a copy of the Grapes of Wrath someone among all of my books. Right now I am just sticking with the 2 books, Hemingway & Jake and The Biography of Ancient Israel. I have complained enough about the Ancient Israel book so far, but I really do want to just force myself to get through it.

I wasn't able to run like I normally do on Monday night. The kids had Mass instead of class for PSR. Thomas fell asleep about 15 minutes in and was out until Mass was over. This saved my normal either wrestling match with him or continuously asking him to not talk so loud.

Since I didn't run Monday, I ran tonight. I went to the high school track which still has some lights on so I am not running in complete darkness. I ran there once last week and have kind of figured it will be my normal running spot for after work. Tonight I did some speed work. I have never really tried to do speed work before so I just kind of winged it. I probably need to tighten up my distances and speed so I can actually follow a little better about what I want to accomplish. Overall I did 3.3 miles, the 1st and 3rd miles are where I did my speed work. On the first mile I did 4 speed parts of around 300 meters but not very fast. I used the whole 2nd mile to basically recover with a very slow jog pace and walking. The third mile I did 200 meter speed parts with recovery of 100 to 200 meters. I at first wanted to keep my pace below 10:30, but actually kept it below 9:30 most of the time and even got it below 8:00 for a time or two, I think 7:44 was the fastest time I saw. I am very happy about this. For me it could mean that I do have some more speed in me and that I just need to work on this during training to bring out some of this speed. Of course this was only once, I will have to start doing this at least once a week to see results.

Well I am tired, I think it is from the running. It is time to call it a day, well maybe a page or two in one of my books first.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Stuff update

Not much time and since I have been slacking on this blog, I am just going to throw a little out there tonight.

--I finished The Bronx Zoo. It was not even as close to as much fun as it was back in jr high/high school. I think Lyle pretty much comes off as a whiny player. I agree it probably wasn't fun after coming off his best season and earning a Cy Young Award, the Yankees bring in another closer so Lyle has to split time and also paying an injured starter about 100k more. I had to keep reminding myself that free agency in baseball was still very new and some contracts and pay scales just hadn't hit their level yet. I also thought it was interesting reading about George Steinbrinner early on as the Yankee owner, while in real life he was stepping away from it & handing it over to his 2 sons. I did enjoy going to Baseball-Reference and looking up the stats on the players mentioned in the book, I just love that website.

--Now reading 3 books. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck, Hemingway and Jake by Vernon(Jake) Klimo and The Biography of Ancient Israel. The Ancient Israel book is definately last in order of excitment as well. It is not very long and I am still trying to tell myself to stick with it and just get through, so far I just don't enjoy reading it very much. I also don't really buy into the whole concept of a birth of a nation. I enjoy reading and learning about the history, geography and life of Israel so I was looking forward to this book, but so far it is just not there for me.

--I am kicking around the idea of a marathon this Spring again. I am not sure yet if it will be the St Louis marathon or maybe one that would be driving distance away. I am trying to ramp up my miles and running overall right now. I have about a week or so before the training plans will be starting. I ran 3 miles tonight on the track--it was cold and kind of boring, but at least there was some light there. With 3 & 1/2 from Monday, I now need to get in somewhere around 5-6 mile run this weekend. I am off work tomorrow so I might try to do a short 2-3 mile run then also.

--I have started watching The Office & it is funny and I like the characters. I have seen about 5 or 6 old episodes on TBS in the last couple of weeks and just sat through a new episode tonight. There are a lot of things I am missing as far as storylines but a good show. I will try to keep catching shows of this. The other repeats I have been trying to catch are Two & a Half Men and According to Jim--I like the kind of mindless comedies. My wife is definately a reality TV show person though. We really need a new/new to us TV, the color is going out and the picture quality is just not good. We have an 11 yr old Zenith 27". We might be getting a 26" flat screen from a friend of a friend who will be upgrading in the next month or so. I don't know if I can wait a month or so though. I should probably be checking Craigslist now instead of typing this. I really don't want to purchase anything new or expensive given our kids still fingerprint the TV up and also mess with putting movies/DVDs in. Our electronics have really taken a beating the last few years and I think we probably still have a couple more years to go before we can get nicer stuff.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Running and stuff

I didn't run Friday or Saturday. Finally got a run in late Sunday afternoon. It was 4 miles at around 11:20 average. This was probably my best run that I had in over a month. I hope to get another run in somewhere these next couple of days.

I am also still kind of shocked and very saddened by the news of Ryan Shay's death while running the Olympic Marathon Qualifier race on Saturday. I am interested to know the cause of death, it sounds like it could be heart related. I have a heart murmur, a VSD, and after hearing about Shay's death, I will probably follow up and have it checked out again by my regular doctor and specialist--if insurance will let me.

Rose's VB team won their game today, actually all 3 sets. Rose did pretty good in getting a couple of serves over and a return also. She needs to practice more, there is a lot of room for development for her, but best of all she really seems to like the sport.

Thomas was playing in the front yard of Debbie's brother's house with me and some others. He had been playing for around 10 minutes or so with me basically shadowing and playing along a kind of football game/play. Well one of the other kids found a really old wiffle ball and threw it on the field, a piece cracked off and Thomas picked it up and handed it to me. I then went to pickup the rest of the ball, about 10 feet away. In the 30 seconds or so I was doing this, Thomas sprinted into the street and stopped right in front of a motorcyle. I am not sure if Thomas stopped first or the rider, but either way much too close for comfort. He got the stern talking to and had to sit out for a while, but I am still not sure he realizes what really happened.

Angie is sick tonight, no temperature just spitting/throwing up. I am guessing she ate something that didn't agree with her, but it could also be a stomach virus I guess too. We will keep her in bed with us tonight to make sure we are there if the throws up some more.

Rose is in a talent show tomorrow night. We didn't know it was on a Monday when we first let her sign up for it so she will be missing PSR. We will also be taking Thomas to watch so he will miss also. With Angie being sick not sure if we are getting a babysitter for her or not yet.

Also coming up this week, we are having a sleep study done with Thomas at Children's Hospital. The Down Syndrome Conference in April, one of the speakers mentioned this, that their suggestion was every child with DS should have a sleep study done. Sleep apnea is very common because of their generally smaller mouth. Thomas has sinus issues in that he is kind of like me and always kind of stuffed up or just junk in the nose. Not sure about sleep apnea because he doesn't really snore too much unless his sinus issues are really acting up. I am interested to know the results though. Tests are sometimes nice because Thomas can't really tell us what is going on with him, hopefully the test will be conclusive one way or the other and give us some piece of mind on the sleep apnea thing at least. The study is Wed night and I went ahead and took off work for both Thursday and Friday. I am figuring I will probably be awake most of the night Wednesday and will need a recovery day and with that no real reason to hurry back to work so I just took Friday off as well.

I am leading my matchup in Fantasy Football this weekend, I think by 14 points. The other team still has one WR to play yet. In our league for him to get past me he will really need 2 TDs. While this doesn't really seem likely, I know I have lost weeks in the past from unlikely occurances on Monday night games. Before this weekend I was just out of the playoffs, not sure if I win where it puts me yet, but maybe a step closer, at least can't hurt.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

First Nov Post

I think I am just going to do a quick bullet point thing again.

--Reading now: The Bronx Zoo, Sparky Lyle & Peter Golenbock. I read this book back in high school or maybe jr high & figure it is probably as good as time as any to re-read. Still a funny and interesting read so far, just trying to figure out how much I missed/didn't understand first time through. Also plodding away still at Ancient Israel book.

--Halloween was good & bad. Kids generally had fun. Rose got to go with some of cousins for some extended trick or treating--good for her. Thomas had a really tough time. He wanted to go inside each house we went to and would scream & fight then when we didn't. He was fine just playing at Grandma's. Thomas & Angie liked helping mom hand out candy when we got back home. I don't know how Angie really was doing trick or treating since I was mostly wrestling Thomas at that time.

--I don't know if I have mentioned this earlier or not, but I am a member of our local parish's Holy Name Society and also the secretary of the Archdiocesan Union of the Holy Name Society or AUHNS. As an organization, it is old style and old membership in general. The national president is from St Louis and also part of the AUHNS. At our last meeting it sounds as though a real change in how things are going to be done at the top is happening. It is a good organization, but it really needs a shot in the arm to be able to be reintroduced throughout the US.

--I ran 4 miles last Sat & 3 on Monday. Nothing since, although the plan is to run after work tomorrow. The 4 on Saturday were all under 12:00 minute miles, probably my best run in the last month or so. Hopefully, I will get in the Friday run and a Sat or Sunday run also. No races or anything in the horizon, need to put more miles in before I can really think about that.

--Some alumni from my fraternity at SLU are talking about getting together the first weekend of Dec. Some emails going back and forth. I will probably try to get to at least one event so I can say I was there, but really not too excited about it overall. Probably because most of the guys are from 2 or 3 or more years after I joined. I know them but they were really not who I was hanging out with in college.