function: intransitive verb
inflected forms: arose; arisen; arising;
to come into being; originate

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
-John Bingham

I’m a dad…

Filed Under (General Fitness) by Matt on 08-05-2012

So my amazing wife and I were blessed with our son a little over a month ago.  Words cannot describe how happy we are to have him in our lives.  I would be lying if I said I haven’t already imagined him growing up a bit into a little man that runs with his father.  In fact, my wife, who within a couple of weeks looked like she never had a kid (and has received plenty of “joking” comments of “I hate you” from women she knows), has gotten more into running since our son was born.  Maybe we will become a running family…

First, though, I have to get back into running again.  Over the course of my wife’s pregnancy, I got lazy and put on about 20 lbs.  After seeing her lose every single lb she put on within 2-3 weeks after giving birth, I have managed to drop 8 lbs by running a little and trying to watch what I eat.  If I can keep it up, add in at least one more run a week along with hitting the gym at least three times a week, I should have no problem reaching my goal weight. I guess I will give it a month and see how it goes before I pat myself on the back.  Wish me luck!

Signed up for the Polar Bear 5K on January 22

Filed Under (Races, Road Running) by Matt on 07-12-2010

After a long hiatus from running any races, I’ve decided to register for the Polar Bear 5K to be held on January 22, 2011 in Marietta, GA.  I’ve been forced indoors by my schedule and the cold weather, so I needed some new motivation to keep pushing myself with my running.  Now that I’ve spent money, hopefully I’ll stick to my training plan.  We’ll see if $20 is enough to keep me from blowing it off…

Inaugural 13.1 Boston – June 27, 2010

Filed Under (CCFA Team Challenge Boston, Races) by Matt on 01-07-2010

Well, it all led up to this.  16 weeks of training, sometimes religiously, sometimes slacking.  This was THE day I, along with the rest of the CCFA Team Challenge Team Georgia, had been training for.

The weather was amazing.  The scenery was amazing.  The course was safe, smoothly paved.  The only problem was that it was NOT Boston.  It was in Canton, MA.  Close, but no cigar.

The course was quite challenging with tall and long, drawn out hills; and although they ran out of water (mostly just the cups) along the way, I was prepared with my own water bottle and had trained frequently on hills.

That’s my mini review.  All in all, a GREAT weekend.  Everyone I encountered on the course was friendly and Team Challenge camaraderie was out in full force.

Now, to the facts.

Goal: 2 hr 30 min
Distance: 13.1 mi (claimed), 13.3 mi (actual)
Chip Time: 2 hr 17 min 4 sec (PR!)
Avg Page: 10:18/mi

2010 Big Peach 5K

Filed Under (CCFA Team Challenge Boston, Races, Training Log) by Matt on 02-05-2010

I ran the 2010 Big Peach 5K race in Atlanta with other members of Team Challenge.  It was nice to talk to some people pre-race and get motivated to run, plus I was able to get a last burst of motivation thanks to one of our coaches who was cheering by the finish.  Big Peach Running Co put on an excellent race.

Time: 26:55 (NEW PR!)

Learn more about CCFA Team Challange Boston or donate now!

New Shoes: New Balance MR1012

Filed Under (Products, Road Running) by Matt on 22-03-2010

It has been a year since purchasing my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 9 and my foot was starting to hurt New Balance MR1012while running, so I went to the New Balance store in Alpharetta/Norcross this Saturday and got refitted for shoes (similar to Big Peach Running Co “Fit Process”).

After trying on several shoes and going for quick jogs around the store and along the sidewalk outside, I ended up with the New Balance MR1012 Running Shoe.  It is a model on the higher end of motion control.  I am also going to try some Aetrex inserts to better help my lack of arches.

We’ll see how it goes tomorrow when I go for a run for them the first time.

iPhone RunKeeper Free: No more route editing?

Filed Under (Products) by Matt on 16-03-2010

It appears that RunKeeper Free users no longer get to edit their routes on the RunKeeper website when the app decides to flip out and not realize you’ve turned on an out-and-back section of your run.  There used to be (and it is still referenced in the FAQ) a “EDIT ROUTE” button on the map where you could adjust it.

Well, in Firefox I ran Firebug, found the button’s code which was set to “display:hidden”, changed it to “display:block” and clicked it.  The feature is still fully there, functional, and allowed me to save my edits.  I am wondering if this is just a mixup on their end as they are debugging something, or if they are truly taking this option away from users.

It was present this past Thursday, as I used it then.  It did not appear as an option on that run’s map now though, so they either were working on their site, or they have attempted to disable it for their Free users.

Hopefully this is just a glitch and it will return to normal by my next run.  Otherwise, I’ll look at other free apps or be forced to consider purchasing the Pro version.

2010 O’Highlands “5K” Race

Filed Under (Races, Road Running, Training Log) by Matt on 13-03-2010

Well, this morning I got up at 5:00 AM to make it down to Atlanta for this year’s O’Highlands Jig & Jog 5K in Virginia Highlands.  My 5K PR is from this course last year.

I was not hoping to set a new PR, just push myself again to run through it the entire time.  Well, they made it easy for us because the course was short.

I crossed the finish line in 24:57.  I hit the 2 mile marker slightly past 18:00, so there is no way I went from a 9 min mile age down to under 7.  I also recalled a painful hill last year.  Well, in talking with a friend who ran, a group of girls came up, having overheard us, and we discussed it being a short race.  The group consensus was .25-.5 miles too short.

When they announced the winners, the director said something about not being able to drive the motorcycle, implying that the lead bike misdirected the path of the runners.  A Google search found another blogger posting it as 2.67 based on his GPS.  I just pulled up, found the missing hill, and it comes in at 0.43 distance skipped, so that matches a 2.67 mile course.

So, although it was not a 5K, it was a race on a relatively hilly course.  I guess we’ll chalk the cost up to the t-shirt, since no one can honestly mark their times down as a new PR (although I am sure some might).

2.67 miles – 24:57

Thank you Team Challenge donors!

Filed Under (CCFA Team Challenge Boston) by Matt on 10-03-2010

I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank those who have donated to Team Challenge thus far, as well as the many more I have spoken with this week that have pledged donations in the coming days and weeks.  Your donations go to a great cause that 1.4 million Americans appreciate!

Learn more about CCFA Team Challange Boston or donate now!

Going to give Vibram Five Fingers a shot

Filed Under (General Fitness, Products, Road Running) by Matt on 28-02-2010

I’ve read a lot of interesting articles on barefoot running over the past six months.  Some have been better than others, actually seeking out opinions from both sides of actual doctors and educated researchers.  Others have simply been rants and raves.

The gist of it is that we are built to run barefoot, but shoe companies have kept up from doing so for decades as they continue to come up with “better” shoes to “correct” the problems that we have with our strides.  Some people will benefit from running barefoot, but there are dangers to doing so.  Namely, there are things on the road (sharp rocks, glass, etc) that our shoes can help protect our feet, protection that barefoot running simply cannot provide.  The other danger is that we can injure our feet by thinking we can simply take our current shoe-wearing miles and switch right over to going barefoot for the same distances.  In reality, we need to adjust, as muscles we do not fully use in shoes are utilized when running barefoot.

It would seem that Vibram Five Fingers (VFFs) are a nice “happy medium.”  They provide you with as close to a “barefoot” experience as you can get while still providing you mild protection from road debris and from stubbing your toes.  At less than $100 for most pairs, they are also less than many running shoes offered today.

I just ordered a pair of VFFs online.  Once they arrive, I am not sure that I will be hitting the pavement in them right away (or possibly ever).  Instead, I am going to use them for weight training, as I think they will provide me with an opportunity to strengthen the stabilizing muscles in my feet for any exercise where I am standing, from the obvious squats and deadlifts all the way to bicep curls or tricep rope pulldowns.  I may also wear them around the office (if work doesn’t mind).

We’ll see how I like them.  Who knows, maybe I’ll end up running in them after all?

Alternative Cardio Workout: Heavy Bag Training

Filed Under (General Fitness) by Matt on 23-06-2009

Anyone that has ever done any sparring or training on a heavy bag knows that boxing is as much a sport of endurance as it is of strength.  It works your core, your upper body, and provides an excellent cardio workout, often in less time than other training programs can offer.

Men’s Health offers up three intense boxing workouts to get you started.  For more in depth plans, check out’s “Intensifying the Heavy Bag”.

My heavy bag stand was purchased used at a great price, but the bag itself was exposed to the elements and along with signs of extreme wear, has developed mold all over it.  Time to toss it out and order a great replacement from, which happens to have free shipping on it right now (a plus, as 80 lbs is not cheap to ship): Everlast 4008 Traditional Heavy Bag (80 lb.)