Posts tagged ‘training’

my film guy

Hello my bloggerbuddies!

I hope y’all are having a nice weekend.  I am home with my boys and Sydnee Pee.  It has been a long week of working, driving, cooking (that would be Peyton), working, driving…..and my son – the recent graduate and new member of the working force. This was also his first full week of employment – media technician (one of only two) for Six Flags Amusement Park.

Due to his work schedule and mine, I finally had the opportunity to sit down and watch his video assignments from school.  I must say – yes, I am biased – that he is very talented.  He has an eye and a way of seeing things, matching things – editing.  He had the opportunity this year to take a film editing class at school and was able to work with incredible equipment and editing programs.  It was a really awesome experience and one that I believe will serve him well when he goes away to school in the fall.  {A little background – double majoring in business and movie production – wants to make movies when he is ‘grown up’}.

A few months ago I posted his movie trailer assignment – to make an anti-genre movie trailer.  Take a movie and change the genre of the movie  – such as drama to comedy.


Today I am introducing my son’s music video.  A few items – he began this project back in January and finished it just as school was ending a few weeks ago.  (A little Terrence Malick going on, maybe….).  He has his own film production company intro (recognize the music and the name of his company?).  Also, he recommends watching this in wide-screen.

Without further adieu –


Curtains rise….

Please see the URL below – I am unable to get this link to work  (my techhie inability).  You can copy and paste the below URL:

June 15, 2013 at 9:43 pm 27 comments

you and the water

up early before the sun rises

standing over the body of water,


tension running thru her body, soon to be erased

tension running thru her body, soon to be power

as she enters the body of energy

feeling one with mind, body & soul

all cares are forgotten, troubles are gone

reborn in the maker’s fountain

held once again.

Ironman Wisconsin 2006

Ironman Wisconsin 2006

April 3, 2013 at 1:39 am 9 comments

Perfection & Greatness

When the incredibly talented Van Cliburn died last week, I was deeply saddened.  One of his signature pieces, is also one of my most favorite pieces of music – of all genres – Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1.  Every time I hear the first few minutes of the opening movement, I am brought to tears.  There are no other words to describe this piece – it is simply stunning.

The first time I heard this symphony was on an album in which Van Cliburn performed.  It was breathtaking.  Now, as I watch the YouTube videos and listen to the digitally re-mastered versions, I still tear up and my heart skips a beat.  The interesting thing is his performance was beyond anything that digital re-mastering could tweak.  In other words, he was perfect ‘as is’.  Which brings me to the purpose of this post…………………….

Back in the mid-90’s, I lived in Toledo, Ohio for a few years.  In those days, we did not have the internet and I used to read the Toledo Blade – a newspaper.  I came across a letter to the editor which knocked me off of my chair.  It was about Van Cliburn and his performance with The Toledo Symphony.  First of all, I was upset that I was not in attendance to witness this event.  Second of all, I was struck by the beauty of this letter.

I do not have the original review (it was reviewed twice) – cannot recall reading it, but apparently Mr. Cliburn’s performance was incredible, passionate – phenomenal.  However, there was mention of the fact that Mr. Cliburn played a few wrong notes during his encore’s.  The letter to the editor was written by Andrew Massey who was, at the time, the Musical Director for The Toledo Symphony.  He made an extraordinary comment –

“There is a special intensity and complexity to every phrase when Van Cliburn plays, which I found riveting throughout the weekend.  True, he played a few wrong notes, but to concentrate on that is to confuse perfection with greatness.  Perfection is about the absence of mistakes.  Greatness is about taking risks and storming the heights.”

Mr. Massey continues on – discussing what makes great live music something of a different order from an edited recording.  It involves danger and daring.”

I kept this review – it is a yellowed piece of newsprint with the green ink used to make note of the perfection vs greatness quote.  I keep it in a special book, given to me by my mom, with bits and pieces of knowledge I have acquired through the years.  Inspirational sayings, poems, doodles – things that have special meaning to me.

This particular piece meant the most and on many levels, after many years, still does.  Striving for perfection takes a great deal of risk and many times we have to go to places we do not want to go, but we have to try, if perfection is what we want. Whether we find it or acquire it – may or may not happen.  The only way we can find out is if we try – take the risk, take a flying leap, do the best we can.  If it happens great.  If not, well, there is always tomorrow.  We take what we learned and try again.  As my first dancer teacher used to say you must try again, then again, then again……”

Mr. Van Cliburn  – May You Rest In Peace.


March 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm 3 comments

I just discovered this site yesterday – it is absolutely lovely. I do so wish there was such a thing as the internet when I was a 16-year-old ballet dancer. This blog would have been ideal!

My days of dancing may be far from over but the dancer in me will always remain……   I cannot wait to see what ‘The Beauty of Ballet’ will post next:)

The Beauty of Ballet

Welcome fellow dancers! My name is Sophie Aker, I’m a 16 year old former ballet dancer with a great passion for dance, currently living in Norway. I have made the decision of creating and developing this blog as a part of the personal project for my last year in the MYP at Skagerak International School. The IB program is an international curriculum with emphasis on language and multicultural awareness, and each year, the Middle Year program 5 are handed the task of developing any product or project of their interest.

This blog will be my effort to try to help intermediate dancers such as myself achieve success in the art of dance. I will be posting entries that have to do with tips, tricks and other useful advice that will be helpful. I advise you to stay tuned for more exciting and useful information on ballet, as I assure you…

View original post 14 more words

January 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm 2 comments

Finally –

 – a good training run and I am so relieved!!  As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I just recently purchased new running shoes and to add insult to injury (pardon the injury reference) I changed brands.  I really did not want to, but I had no other choice.  I have worn these shoes for approximately 3 weeks and I like them but it wasn’t until today’s run in which they felt like an extension of my appendages.  In other words, they felt like they were truly a part of my foot.  With this said, everything else about my run was perfect.  My rhythm, breathing, heart rate and leg muscles – they all felt as if they were singing a song in perfect pitch and unison.

I was so excited to run this evening.  The weather looked ‘iffy’ and since I had to cancel my run the day before because of storms, I really did not want to have to do it again.  I started to panic a little because I did not want to stray too far from my program.  It is one of those ‘exercise type A’ personality things that makes you feel guilty if you do not do what you are supposed to do, but on the other hand, you know that there are some things that you have no control over and you just have to accept the situation for what it is and deal with it.  In the grand scheme of things, the ‘stressing over’ the state of affairs such as running is so silly.  Why does one do it?

When I was three and a half years old, my mother took me to my first ballet class.  My teacher was this rather large, robust woman who immigrated from Germany during World War 2.  She carried a wooden dowel that she would tap on the ground for rhythm, slap our derrieres and press into our spines to correct posture and slap our fingers so that we did not grasp the dance barre too tight.  She spoke with a very thick German accent and she was strict.  There was a softness to her nature, but one would only experience this briefly when she was content with our execution of technique.  What else can I say, but that she was a disciplinarian who demanded the best we could accomplish and if she felt that it was not, made it clear that we had to work harder and that nothing less but perfect was acceptable.  Yes, I was barely four years old – yes, I was afraid – yes, I did what I was told –  yes, I loved to dance.  By the time I was six, I was taking ballet classes everyday except Sundays. (At 8, I was dancing everyday.)

You know, it is funny that these memories are flooding back right now because I just realized the anniversary date of my first ballet class – September 15th, 1968 – 42 years ago.  I loved going to my dance studio.  For me it was heaven, a refuge from home which was not the most desirable place to be.  I loved the music and the movement and I could transport my mind into another world where everything was beautiful and free and calm.  It was not difficult for me to adhere to a strict dance class schedule.  We were taught that ‘practice makes perfect’ and that dance class is a dancer’s lifeline – one must take class everyday without fail.  If you were sick, you danced.  If you were injured, you danced (within reason, of course).  If you had a ton of homework, you danced.  If you had conflicting functions, dance overruled and you danced.  AHA!  Makes sense does it not?  Now it is easy to see how someone can stress over a deviation in a training program.

I am laughing right now because of the absurdity of it all.  When I was a kid I never thought my life would be without a dance barre, point shoes and the stage.  To me, a disciplined, structured life was normal.  As I got older, things changed – obviously.  I danced for 20 years, then stopped.  Life changes came bouncing out from all corners of my existence, and now at the age of 45 I find myself still thinking that ‘practice makes perfect’ – except I am training for a half marathon – not for the perfect triple pirouette (of which, by the way, I can still execute quite nicely:)

The phrase ‘old baggage’ came up in some correspondence recently and now I am thinking that reminiscing about the past is like dragging old baggage out of the attic.  Yes, I suppose it is, but for some reason, my first dance teacher popped into my head.  Anneliese left quite an impression on a little girl many years ago and I have to say that I am grateful.  Will I drag the old baggage back into the attic?  I will certainly try, but, you know, practice does make us close to perfect – because there is no such thing as perfection.  If I have learned anything from my post-ballet life, perfection does not exist.  Striving to be perfect may make us stronger, but it can make us a bit loony in the process.  Being loony is not all that bad – if anything it makes us human, which is perfect!

Began Wednesday 9/22

Completed Thursday 9/23

September 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm 2 comments

Week 6

Today is Wednesday August 25, and as one can see, I have been a bit negligent in the writing department.  In my defense, let me say that I have been busy – getting out of work late, then getting home late, then workouts run later and now, the sun is resting earlier in the evening.  In other words, I have not been able to get my butt in front of the computer to type.  Here is a synopsis of the last three days:

On Monday I rowed for 20 minutes.  This is all the time I had due to the fact I got out of work late and had to teach a class.  I could have gotten an extra 10 minutes of rowing or lifting in, but I was interrupted by a couple of members at my fitness facility.  This is a common hazard of working out in one’s fitness club of employment:(  Its okay, though, I enjoy talking to members, especially those I have known for years.

Tuesday was the first run of the week.  It was a beautiful evening – no humidity, no bugs, a little breeze, sunshine – perfect.  I ran 40 minutes and it was a good 40 minutes.  I must say, though, that my legs were tired.  I believe this fatigue to be a result of Saturday’s 10 mile run (and the bike ride the next day, that should have not be taken – there is a reason why one should take a day off after a hard workout:)  Here are the stats:

HR monitor – 40:05, 313 calories, average 150 bpm, max 160 bpm, recovery heart rate 30 beats

GPS – 40:18, 3.84 miles, 10:26 min/mile pace, 340 calories

This evening I rode my hybrid on the trail – 56:37 to be exact.  According to the HR monitor I burned 320 calories with an average heart rate of 124 and a max of 148.  I did, however, take two breaks during my ride – to take a picture of a great blue heron and 3 sleeping white swans.  Sounds silly I know, but it was an unusual sight to behold.  The great blue heron allowed me to get very close, which is something I have never been able to do.  I took several pictures and I even had a conversation with this majestic bird (no, the bird did not respond).

The weather was perfect – again.  No humidity, a stronger breeze than yesterday and a huge, full moon.  So, on this note, I am going to end this entry.  I have some reading to do and a porch swing that has my name on it.  Till tomorrow………..

August 25th

August 26, 2010 at 2:07 am Leave a comment

Week 5 – the long run

As the title states, today was the long run of the week – 10 miles. Let me just say first and foremost, this was the longest run that I have completed since Ironman in the fall of 2006. It was, without a doubt, a doozy.

Before I go into detail about the what, where and how, I must first say that is was one hell of a humid day, temperature was in the 80’s and it was overcast. The sun poked out a few times and there was an occasional breeze, but the humidity was so thick, you could cut it with a knife. Believe it or not, I chose to run out-of-town again – same place as last week and the weather here was better than the weather back home. If I stayed in my neck of the woods, it would have been raining. So, I traded in the rain for gloppy, thick humidity!!! Seriously, though, I also got some hills thrown into the bargain – which is a good thing.

I parked in the exact location as last week and I had all of my usual gear, except this time I added one more flask, a total of three.  I, also, included diluted Gatorade to one of the flasks, due to the humidity. I figured with the amount of sweating that was inevitably going to occur, my body could use the added sugar and electrolytes.  (My foresight was a perfect bullseye!).  My run began exactly at 10:30am. There was the usual stream of cyclists, walkers, runners, a skate boarder and a baby turtle – no wild turkeys this time:)

Here are the stats:

HR monitor:  2:00:15, 932 calories, avg. bpm 149, max bpm 159 (I just discovered how to get the average bpm info on monitor!)

GPS:  2:00:00, 10 miles, 12.01 min/mile pace, 675 calories (GPS does not take into account heart rate info for caloric expenditure)

Humidity was in the high 80% range

I am very pleased with this run.  It was a challenge, especially the last mile, or 10-15 minutes.  In retrospect, I have noticed that the last mile of each long run has been a real push – last week it was mile 8, this week was mile 9.  I must be nudging the envelope with each long run, because my tolerance is increasing.  The mental faculty is certainly present.  What I am finding distracting is the physical ouches (I do not want to use the word pain).  Quite plainly, my knees get sore.

Because of the humidity, I started the 10:1 run/walk ratio at the 40 minute mark.  By the time I reached the first 30 minutes, I was dripping sweat and feeling a little queasy. This is when I took my first hydration break, in which the water/Gatorade totally hit the spot.  My heart rate managed to stay low – except on the hills.  I found this to be a bit surprising due to the humidity, but this must have been a testament to the fact that I made myself run at a slower pace. When I finished the loop, at 1:12:30, I stopped at my car and replenished my flasks.  This took a little longer than a minute – 2:30 to be exact, but it was okay:)

When my 10 miles was complete, I walked back to my car – about 1/10th of a mile.  I was soaking wet.  My shorts were dripping, my shoes were sloshing, and my skin was stinging from the heat and salt of my sweat.  I toweled off and drove to a friend’s house, who decided that he wanted to go for a run!  Normally I would have jumped at the opportunity to run with him, but instead I opted for walking.  This was a good idea, because the movement flushed a lot of the lactic acid out of my muscles and loosened up the legs quite a bit.  This bonus walk also kept my legs from twitching and aching in the middle of the night.  (This is what happened last week:(  )

Sunday was an off day, but I did ride my bike!  I took it easy, laid off the hills and enjoyed the scenery.  My legs were tired, but they were NOT incapacitated!  It was a beautiful day – no humidity, lots of sunshine – and I really wanted to take advantage of one of the last days of summer & this is exactly what I did:)

began writing – 8/21

finished – 8/23

August 22, 2010 at 1:05 am Leave a comment

Running Update – week 5

Today is Wednesday – a cross training day.  I am not sure what I will be doing later – biking or rowing – but I will make a determination as soon as later rolls around.  For now, however, I will get caught up on the events from the past few days.

Monday was a cross training day and with it came a relaxing bike ride with my two boys.  Relaxing in the fact that I was not looking to kick butt on wheels.  I left all of the gear at home – there was no need to check heart rates, time or mileage, even though I already knew the distance to be approximately 10 miles.  The weather was beautiful.  The humidity disappeared, the sun was shining and there was a cool breeze.  Jordan commented that it felt like an autumn evening and I must say that it did, indeed.  Peyton saw a deer and was followed by several voracious mosquitos.  Jordan was a bit whiny, due to the fact that he was (and still is) experiencing back to school blues.  Jordan’s whining made Peyton whine and me – I tuned out the whining and enjoyed my ride:)  Oops, I almost forgot -the boys located a geochache!

Yesterday was my first run of the week.  On the menu – a 40 minute run.  Here are the stats:

GPS stats:  time was 40:37, 3.85 miles, 10:26 min/mile pace, 343 calories

HR monitor stats:  time was 40:35, 295 calories, RHR was 30 beats per minute

peak bpm was 148!  Most of the run saw a 138 to 144-147 bpm heart rate

So, as one can gather by perusing the stats above, this run was pretty good.   The weather was a carbon copy of Monday night, except it was overcast with a cooler breeze and a teensy bit more humid.  The bugs were out in gargantuan numbers and leaves were falling from the trees.  It really was a beautiful night and believe it or not, I was practically by myself on the trail.  I saw, maybe, a total of two cyclists, one other runner, and several hawks flying high above the prairie section.

I felt physically strong, but I noticed that my perceived exertion was different from what my heart rate monitor was revealing.  Normally, I feel less stressed with a higher heart rate, but last night was the opposite.  My breathing was labored, yet my heart rate was barely in the high 130’s!  I am thinking that my allergies/asthma had something to do with this.  My trail contains a cesspool of mold spores and other ‘things’ that my body frowns upon when experiencing the great outdoors towards the beginning of autumn.  I took a squirt of my inhaler and this remedied the situation.

I really do not have much else to say, except I am enjoying my training program immensely!

Logged:  Wednesday, August 18th

August 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm Leave a comment

Week 4 – Long Run

Today is a Saturday and I finished the fourth week of my half marathon program with a nine mile run. It was quite a splendid experience and I have much to say, so here I go…

First off, I chose to go out-of-town for this workout. The weather back home had been pretty crappy – poor air quality, abnormally high humidity, ‘more than the typical number of mosquitos’ at this time of year and, well, it has been plain gross. I could have run back home, but rain was forecasted all day and I just needed a little change of scenery. Plus, I had a few items to pick up for my boys, which I was able to do in my out-of-town destination. I have run this course before, back in week one. It was the 6 mile course that looped around a lake. It is actually quite a beautiful course and it is 6.2 miles to be exact. The course also moves along through an Arboretum and alongside a zoo! The running surface is, for the most part, asphalt, but there are several dirt sections which have been carved out by previous runners. And, yes, there are a couple of slabs of concrete to pound on 😦 Concrete and asphalt pose a challenge, but I grit my teeth and pommel myself through it. I figure I have to run at least a few miles on these surfaces because the race itself will take place mostly on these materials. What is nice about this course, however, is that you get quite a bit of relief along the dirt sections. Oh, one other note of importance – this course has hills!!

I did my shopping early and then drove to the Arboretum, where I parked ialong the main route in one of the side lots. I prepped all of my gear, including a new running belt, which by the way took a little getting used to, but I managed during the first 5 minutes of my run. This belt is different in the fact that instead of one 16 ounce water bottle, it has 4 removable flasks, each capable of holding 4 ounces a piece. It also has a comfy cushioned pouch which hugged my I-phone/GPS quite nicely. When I ran this course a few weeks ago, I did not notice many water sources. They do exist, but you would have to run off the path a few yards to a boathouse, or picnic shelter. In other words, it is not convenient. I figured since I was running a loop, I would fill up a few flasks when I arrived to the lot with my car. It seems that I did not have to, because someone was nice enough to set up big water coolers with cups along the course! (Let me take a moment to say that this particular city is extremely active. It seems that just about everyone is out and about walking, running, biking – anything that gets them outdoors. There is also an incredible appreciation for nature and for one another. To see water coolers set up with cups, trash bags and a note that says “water to drink”, does not truly surprise me. However, here at home, it would be shocking, because this area seems to be motivated by ‘everyone for themselves’!)

As I said, I had all the gear – heart rate monitor, watch, I-Pod, I-Phone/GPS, hat, bug spray and Runner’s ID anklet ready to rock and roll and RUN.  By the way, I chose to run in the late morning/early afternoon, which to be honest, I prefer.  I was hydrated, had some food in the gut and was wide awake.  The weather was overcast and humid, but not the icky, sticky, severe stuff of late.  There were a lot of runners out and about.  It seems I was not the only person enduring a long run.  I saw quiet a few people, quiet a few times!  There were nods, waves, and smiles and three wild turkeys!  Yes, I saw three wild turkeys walk across the drive while in the Arboretum.

My entire run went well.  I ran non-stop for the first 60 minutes.  Then I began the walk 1 minute/ run 10 minute ratio.  Legs, feet, everything felt good till about the last mile and a half.  At this point the ouches began, and it seemed like time and the GPS just stood still.  It almost felt like something out of a science fiction movie – like a tunnel going nowhere.  Fortunately,  9.00 miles popped into view on my phone screen and I was done.  I felt tired, elated, a wee bit sore and thirsty:)  I check all of my gear, which, by the way worked.  Here are the stats:

GPS:  9 miles, 1:47:58

11:59 min/mile

HR monitor:  1:47:49

825 calories

148 bpm for most of run, 151 at the 1:15 mark and 159 on the hills.

resting heart rate – 30 bpm

IM watch:  1:48:02

I was completely thrilled with my running heart rate.  I was also surprised to see my pace, because I really should be running about a 12:10 to 12:20 min/mile.  With this revelation, it seems I am getting stronger and faster, with less cardiovascular stress!!  Plus, it helped that the sky was overcast and it was a little cooler than previous days.   Also, I took a day off on Friday.  I contemplated biking, but the humidity was so severe and the air quality affected my lungs – I have asthma.  With a day off before a long run, I had fresh legs.  (Note to anal self:  Days off are repair days for the physical self – maybe not the psychological self, but for the joints and muscles.  I know this, but taking days off gives me a bad case of the guilt’s.  grrrrrr……)

I spent the rest of my day relaxing.   The only issue that I found difficult to remedy was nausea.  I drank some diluted Gatorade, but I could not eat till later in the evening – around 6pm, in which I had several slices of pizza:)  Fortunately, I enjoyed the pizza only once (if you catch my drift!!).  I am still trying to figure out the nausea conundrum, because I have been experiencing quite a bit lately, especially after running.  It could be the heat/humidity, lack of sleep, my veggie diet – God only knows, but I am able to get through my run workouts without incident.

Yesterday – Sunday – was a day off and a travel day back home.

Began writing:  Saturday 8/14,  Completed writing:  Monday 8/16

August 14, 2010 at 9:36 pm Leave a comment

Part 2 of second run of the week and other thoughts

Hello again. In part one, I discussed ‘other thoughts’. Now, I will discuss my run. (Note: This will be a short blog.)

First and foremost, let me just say that today’s workout just sucked. It was not a long run, by any means – it consisted of 5 x 800 meters – with about a 400 meter walk/rest between intervals. There was also a 5 minute warm-up and 5 minute cool down. In case you are not certain what 800 meters is in miles, it is .497, or just under a hair of a half mile. You can also round it up and say it is a half mile. By the way, this particular protocol emphasizes speed with a specific time goal that is meant to be maintained throughout each interval. My goal was 4:28 to 4:30.

I mapped out my half mile with a 5 minute warm-up (and the GPS). I stretched a little, got all of the gear in place and began. Again, like the other day, somewhere in the first few minutes of the run, my GPS turned off. So, the first interval was done, but I was clueless as to my time. Also, in the midst of fidgeting with the GPS, I forgot to turn on my heart rate monitor.

My second interval registered, but I could not save the program. During my supposed 400 meter walk, I was trying to figure out why the phone kept saying network error. I figured I would log out of the ap and login again. Somehow this managed to take care of the problem. I did notice that my running time was 4:30 and that my heart rate climbed to about 157 bpm.

The third interval did register and my time was 4:25. Heart rate spiked to 163 bpm. The fourth interval registered, but I began to run out of energy. I took the fifth interval easy.

A few items to note: It was another day of very high humidity and the air quality was bad. My breathing was labored – even during the 5 minute warm-up which to be honest, felt good and I should have probably kept running at that pace. Secondly, the GPS /running ap was a bit frustrating. For some strange reason, the phone screen kept blacking out, which made for quite a bit of difficulty when it came time to press stop at the half mile mark. I am not sure why it was doing this (it did not before) and I really did not want to spend ‘my running time’ playing with gadgets. In hind site, I should have used the GPS to map the course, then walked to the car, put it away and just stick with my faithful heart rate monitor and Ironman watch.

I have a few more weeks before another interval run is planned. Hopefully, by then I will have a clue as to what to do with my gadget of technical wizardry. If not, it will stay in the car.

The end:)

August 13, 2010 at 1:08 am Leave a comment

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