Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Race That Was a Little Too Long

So I've actually been procrastinating blogging about yesterday's race - my first-ever-5K. Once you read about what happened you will understand why. I'll save the juicy story for the end of the post. Read Traci's post here. Based on feedback from many of you, here are few things I've found I need to clarify for my friends out there:

- 5K means 5 kilometers, which is like 3.1 miles. It does not mean 5 miles, and it's certainly not a marathon (26+ miles)
- I'm not in horrific shape or anything. I can play basketball for a three hours at a time and I can keep up with my kids running around outside if I tie their feet together.
- Traci, the Mrs. HTF, is NOT the greatest female athlete ever, but she's in the top 25
- I ran track a little growing up, but only distances 200 meters or less (sprints), mostly because my legs are about the length of your arms, and I figured anything farther than that and I'd get lost or something

I was blown away by all the well-wishes I received from you all and others on Friday. Thanks for that. I'm not convinced you didn't walk away snickering, but I'll take what I can get. On Thursday, Traci and I ran the whole course together. Towards the end I felt like I "had a little left in the tank" so I "sprinted" the last couple blocks leaving her in the dust (rolling her eyes). This part of my story becomes important later.

On the morning of the race I got up, ate a cereal bar or something and we jumped in the Honda. Traci had been up for a while already - she was actually anxious/nervous. (I chuckle) It was warm in our car, but not so much when we got out. I was laughing at all the guys in black spandex until I got out of the car and felt the wind chill on my uncovered legs. I never wanted tights so badly. It was below freezing with the wind chill during our entire race. Awesome . . .

We mulled around a bit and sorta stretched/jogged while we waited for the race to start. It was kinda surreal standing there in a huddled mass of people shivering and hoping that our suffering would hurry up and start cuz we were freaking cold! Although we were standing together when the race started, within literally 5 seconds my lovely wife was 20 yards in front of me. And we stayed that distance apart for the first mile or so. I guess she just didn't want to be seen with me. The first quarter mile was terrifying. I couldn't believe how bad I felt. I later learned that stretching and warming up are good things before a race. Who knew . . . ?!

One thing that I couldn't get over during the race were the "drink stations." I'd seen these on TV and never though twice about 'em. But I'm jogging along and some kind volunteer hands me a dixie cup of Gatorade. Nice, right? Well, I challenge you to run and drink Gatorade out of a cup at the same time. Not possible! I tried and tried - it really got frustrating. In the end I had purple liquid all over my shirt and I was still thirsty. (I'm serious, try it)

Now the part that will live in infamy . . . I had debated whether this was shareable with my little blog audience, but TV cameras caught it, so what the hey. There's a thin line between dignity, pride and confidence. I've chosen to eschew all three of those in sharing this. So remember my little "sprint" at the end of our Thursday run? Well, towards the end of the actual race I decided to do it again. Coach always said to "leave it all on the field" and "give it all you got" and other highly motivational things like that. So I went as hard as I could. The finish line and the throngs of people, cameras, and water bottles were there waiting for me and within sight. But as I pushed hard through the final 30 feet - it hit me. I was . . . done. The knot in my stomach decided it was time to unkink itself and it wasn't gonna wait a moment longer. My legs quit, and as Traci motioned frantically towards the finish line I veered away from the middle of the road towards her standing on the sidewalk (she'd long since finished the race) and there on the side of the road I "revealed to the crowd the contents of my breakfast." I then turned and meekly "ran" the six steps to finish the race - trying to avoid eye contact with anyone.

You may recall that my goal was 30 minutes and I finished in 28:12 and got 10th in my age group. Click here for full results. I was fairly proud of that, but it was nicely tarnished by my little show at the end in front of all the onlookers. Traci did amazing (2nd in her group and a full minute better than a year ago). Will I race again? Yeah. But I definitely learned my lesson. I'll sign up for the 4.95K next time.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Counting Crows and counting years too . . .

This week the Counting Crows released their first record in six years. This is one of the few bands who, when they put out a record, I buy it without having heard a single note. They got big my freshman year of college, and well, that was a few years ago now and I’m still a big fan. My brother and I are going to see ‘em next month, which will be the first time I’ve seen them play live. Can you believe Adam Duritz is 43?! Wow, that makes me feel ancient. Anyway, the new record is marvelous. Tons of variety. Here’s the video to their first single that I haven’t been able to stop listening to. I dig the way all that stuff just hangs in the air until last parts of the song.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who Built These Streets?!

So my fitness-freak wife signed me up for my first ever 5K which happens on Saturday. If you know me, you know I’m built more for the shorter distance stuff like the walk out to the mailbox. To many of you 3.1 miles is a short distance . . . you’re the ones I don’t like. I’ve been “training” for a few months now. (Please note the air quotes) I’ve done this by logging in lots of miles on the treadmill and trying to eat green things.

As the race day is approaching I’ve been telling myself for weeks that I should probably start running outside, cuz they probably won’t let me use a treadmill in the race. Finally last night I walked out the front door for my little run. Here’s a newsflash for you – running on streets and sidewalks is different than running on a treadmill. First, there are no TVs. This wasn’t the biggest shock ever, but I realized how reliant I am on my dear friends on CNN, ESPN, MSNBC, CNBC and ABCDE to distract me from the burning in my legs. The next thing I noticed was a little loneliness. The big guy with the back hair who walks on the machine next me at the gym was nowhere to be found. And the 70 pound girl who wears out treadmills in a week that I use to push myself was also MIA. It was just me. I could walk, sprint, stop or visit the Dairy Queen around the corner and no one would know. The last realization kicked in about halfway through my run. Whoever put these streets/sidewalks in forgot to build in some type of cushioning/spring technology like my precious treadmill has.

But I finished my run and felt alright when I got home. I’m pretty worried about Saturday. I’ll state publicly (to both of you who read my blog) that my goal is to finish in less than 30 min. I’ll report back and all the results will be online for the world to see (Oh good). I’m guessing that Traci will finish the race and then start over to join me for the last half of my run. (this is the girl who got third and won a freaking medal last year in her first ever 5K) I’ve long since lost my pride about the whole thing, but I never thought I’d say that I miss my treadmill.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Welcome Invasion of the Cousins

Over the weekend we had Traci's sister and her family of 7 at our house. Our humble abode isn't exactly a massive palace, so we were . . . cozy. I was pretty impressed with how everyone got along though and it was great to have them here. We had great football games, ping-pong, park time, soccer, easter egg hunts, X-Box, chaotic meals, time at the gym, and even a couple of real-live conversations. There are still those moments where people's buttons get pushed, especially people under 4 feet tall - they seem to have even more sensitive buttons for some reason. And most of our temporary village of 13 were under 4 feet tall. And in case I had forgotten, I was reminded that the smaller the person, the more powerful the vocal cords.

Also, people tend to travel with, well, stuff. And we have no shortage of "stuff" here already, so in addition to the humanity, we had a shoe closet that looked like a Payless Shoe Source after an earthquake. And with everyone's coats hanging on hooks in the hallway it quickly became impassable - you literally had to lean as you walked by or crawl under the coats. One of my favorite scenes was everyone packed into a single pew at church. It looked like it could've been 3 or 4 families, and to think all those people were sleeping in our house. Also, there's nothing magical about church meetings that keeps those shorter people with the lungs from getting on each other's nerves, so the adults were constantly shuffling in and out of the chapel with vocal children.

Despite all of that, we were genuinely sad to see them leave yesterday. I was surprised at how tired we all were. After they walked out we kinda sat there, numb. Two of my kids PUT THEMSELVES TO BED AT 4:30 IN THE AFTERNOON. That's unprecedented. I found out later that my oldest, macho man, had cried himself to sleep because he missed his cousins. We hope they all come back soon. We'll be all rested up!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Backdoors and Adrenaline

I woke up this morning around 4 AM kinda thirsty, so I waddled my way downstairs to the kitchen sink. (there we no cups in our bathroom upstairs) I noticed quickly that it was pretty cold. But after being in bed you never know if it's actual cold, or just the shock of not being under the covers. What jumped out at me though was that the wood floor was like standing on an ice rink. It got colder as I walked towards the family room. Then I found it. Our back door was WIDE OPEN. The wind was blowing leaves in and it was freezing. I quickly closed it, and then the adrenaline rush hit - WHO WAS IN OUR HOUSE?! I ran upstairs to check on everyone. I woke up Traci and she was rightfully wigged out too. We searched the whole house wondering if the kids had left it open or if we really had an unwelcome guest. You should've seen me creeping around turning on lights and peeking around corners. Let's just say I wasn't fully-dressed for extreme combat if I would've found some guy. After the thorough search I went back to bed, but getting back to sleep was a challenge. Happily our kids let us know later that morning that they had been messing with the door and it was probably one of them who left it open. Gotta love those unnecessary freak-outs in life. Oh well . . .

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Battle of the DVR . . . and how I lost it

So last night I played ball at the church - a bit longer than my body would've liked. As I limped (naturally) from my car to the front door around 11 PM I had the warm & fuzzy realization that the DVR had recorded the latest episode of LOST. Something about that put a bit more energy in the legs. I pictured a late night snack and an hour of quality time with my troubled friends on the Island before I went to bed. After a quick shower I plopped down on the big blue couch with the remote in hand. I turned on the DVR and started searching for the recording. I quickly found it, BUT IT ONLY HAD ONE MINUTE RECORDED!!

This has happened before. I wish it was a technical glitch, but it isn't. The blame rests squarely on the tiny shoulders of one of my four little Nickelodeon/Disney Channel addicts. One or more of them was contently watching something when to their huge disappointment, the DVR flipped the channel over to ABC to start my recording. I'm surprised it was even able to record a minute before my savvy kids changed the channel. So when I realized all this I started to get mad . . . but then I remembered . . . full-episodes on

My kids are lucky for that! I may have been forced to deleted a few Doras, i-Carlies, Avatars, or even SpongeBobs as retribution. This morning I identified Braeden as the guilty party - and he quickly fessed up. I smiled and thought about my little man a bit as I watched the episode online at my desk over lunch.

I'm quite certain that I overestimate how much control I have over what goes on at my house.

(Traci nods, and the kids laugh.)

I can't even control the DVR. Oh well - if that's the price of having this wonderful family, I'm good with that. Just tell me where to send the check.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

HTF The Podcast - Episode 2

Scott chats about the Presidential Race, his first American Idol experience, and most importantly the coming Madness of March!!

Please leave some feedback!

MP3 File

Sunday, March 09, 2008

What shade is your yard?

I think the cliche "the grass is always greener" gets overused pretty good. Well, this last week we had to make one of those decisions of whether or not to check out the grass in someone else's yard. Tough call . . . There are compelling reasons to leave our comfort zone here in KC, and the job offer was good. But in the end we decided to stay. I'll spare you all the details. I've lived in the same Kansas City suburb now for 23 of my 32 years. I can't complain at all. Sometimes though I wonder what it'd be like to plant our tree somewhere else. I don't see that happening any time soon though unless we're kinda forced to. But we came pretty close recently. Guess I'll just keep working on the grass here to make it a bit greener.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

HTF The Podcast - Episode 1

In his first ever podcast, Scott talks about where the name for his blog came from.
Comments welcome!

MP3 File

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Finally Getting Lost

On very few things would the Marketing folks call me an "early adopter." Most things I kinda stumble across once they're getting pretty popular. That's probably why it's been at least a decade since anyone could reasonably call me "cool" for any reason. (I'm sure there are other reasons for my uncoolness) Anyway, when the TV show LOST came out I paid a little attention, but didn't watch at all. My dad loaned me the DVDs of the first couple season and over time I watched them, but they kept weirding me out and confusing me so badly that I let big chunks of time go by between episodes. I sorta caught a few last year and finally watch the finale. Well I've seen every episode this season and I am FULL-ON HOOKED. Best show on TV right now. I've also started listening to a great podcast about the show by Jay and Jack. For you LOST fans out there I highly recommend that you give it a shot. The last episode of the show just blew my mind. I couldn't even sleep cuz my mind was racing. I'm not a huge TV guy, but a little escape from reality (and this show is a big-time escape from reality) is kinda fun. Anyway - shout out to all you LOST fans and I really want to know who's in the coffin and how Kate ended up with Claire's baby.

Monday, March 03, 2008

What it feels like to be "Tagged"

Apparently I've been "tagged" by my esteemed friend Alese. I had to go learn what this meant. I soon learned that it's something bloggers to do each other to extract odd information. Not sure how I feel about that, but if it's like that chain letter curse thing, I'd better play along. So here are some things you probably didn't care to know about me:

10 years ago I was a senior in college and a couple months away from getting married. My life consisted of a few minutes of class most days, some homework (mostly writing papers about terrorism and international politics), basketball, and most importantly, maximizing time with my fiancee! There were lots of BYU sporting events, hilarious roommates, and pasta-roni or pizza for dinner.

things on my to do list today
#1 Make sure I have the speakers lined up for sacrament meeting
#2 Hold a conference call explaining to HR folks how to teach Finance
#3 Facilitate a webcast about feedback and professional development
#4 Sweat a little at the gym
#5 Hug and kiss the kiddos/Traci
#6 Watch KU whoop up on Texas Tech

what I would do if I were suddenly made a billionaire
Move to a house where I don't have to fix stuff. Ours is not bad at all, but I'm terrible at the home repair things. This would be a house with an indoor basketball court. I'd also finally get one of those little HDTVs that most of my friends seem to have. I'd definitely walk away from the job, but I'd fund a business to hire all of my friends - we may or may not make any money. Oh yeah, and with a billion bucks, I might be able to pay for the kid's college in a few years, but that's questionable!

3 of my bad habits
1. I even procrastinate procrastinating stuff
2. I like the music just a bit too loud
3. Playing wildly with the kids when it's time for bed

3 places I have lived
1. Provo, UT
2. Maracaibo, Venezuela
3. Olathe, KS

5 jobs I have had
1. Pizza delivery guy
2. Purchasing agent for a chain of LDS Bookstores
3. EXPERT bathroom cleaner at the BYU Library
4. UPS truck unloader
5. House Painter/Ditch Digger

5 things people don't know about me
1. I would love to teach high school
2. I was arrested twice in Venezuela
3. In high school I was way into rap music, especially Public Enemy
4. I have to count to 16 before I can turn off the shower and get out
5. I once had a coffee table dropped on my head from two stories up . . . explains plenty

So that's the end of my little response. Sounds like it's now up to me to "tag" people. So my nominees are Becki, Krista (start your own blog!), Traci, Ethan, & Sarah.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Who knew?! Not me.

I've had reason to do a little self-reflection lately. Nothing dramatic or anything. But I've learned a couple of things about myself, both of which really surprised me. Sounds kinda odd to be surprised about yourself, I know. But nonetheless, here I am, . . . with myself . . . surprised. The first thing that I learned, to my disappointment, is that too much of my self-worth is tied to how much money I make (or don't make). I won't bore you with the story, but this became loud and clear recently. When I first realized it I fought through the denial phase pretty quickly, and now I'm just trying to deal . . . and change. Money's just a means to an end. Traci has never put any pressure on me to feel this way, it's all from me, and that's what's made it so disappointing. I can work on this one though.

The other thing I realized was how much I like to make people laugh or at least entertain. Now for those of you that know me, you know that I'm really bad at both of these things. I try, but usually fail. I'm pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of times I've made the Mrs. HTF really belly laugh. Still, I've had some chances recently to do this lately, or at least try, and it's seriously something that gets me going. Again, I totally get that I'm not a funny guy, but for some reason I still really feel like trying. So I'll keep trying, and those of you around me will just have to do the polite chuckle or at least tolerate for a few minutes.

Anyway, nothing too interesting in this post . . . unless you're, you know, me.

Who knew I needed to get to know myself better?! And I thought "we" were pretty tight all this time.

Peace Out!

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