Monday, August 19, 2013

I Live in Iowa: Week 119

Another very blessed week! Seriously, I have so much to be thankful for, cell phones, carpet, a well working vehicle, a motorcycle, three bicycles, my health, my wealth, my job and career, my two other jobs, good coffee, and of course, my family and friends.

Work was good. I am working on a relatively small project, well, it's a big project for a few people, myself included. We have done over fifty iterations of design and FEA in the last few weeks. What we have now, it is good. The difference between where we started and where we are now is significant, all without building a single physical prototype. I do not know exactly how much time my structural analysis has saved, or money of physical build and test cycles, but it is certainly more than one month. Finite element structural analysis is a significantly useful tool in virtual analysis of structures. Quite honestly, I don't know how any company over 30 people that build structural things in today's world can survive without it.

Running went very well. Ran a total of 94 miles for the week including a 12 mile tempo at 5:55 pace, the best tempo I have had in two years! That workout, plus two runs totaling 11.6 miles on Wednesday and a 37 mile bicycle ride (for 3.5 hours of exercise in one day) effectively killed any quality (fast running) for the rest of the week. Although I did get out and do 10 miles with a new guy in town, and while finding appropriate training partners can be difficult, this will probably be good for the both of us.  In short, really good week.

No coaching or wine work this week, which was fortunate because I seemed to have been busy with my other activities.

Saturday many of us that went to Rwanda did have a debriefing about our experience, and the tone was mostly positive. There was a feeling, not necessarily specific to Rwanda, that the needs are great, but where to start? We know there is more we (the seven of us that met Saturday) can do to alleviate poverty in Africa, but what?

In running new, Stephen Kiprotich, who won the Olympic Marathon Gold last year out of relatively nowhere, won the World Championships this year! I seriously thought we would never hear from him again, but we might just have a super celebrity runner on our hands! Watch the video. This means more to me now that I have seen the kind of conditions that these guys grow up in. Lest I only focus on those that grew up in poverty, Nick Symmonds, a former NCAA Division 3 running, like myself, just won second in the world in the 800!! I watched him run to second at USATFs in Des Moines in June and while I never raced him in college, he did only get around 70th to 80th in cross country in college, at the D3 level. Third, one of the few profession runners I have seen training (summer 2008 around the Res in Boulder on a Sunday morning long run, like myself that day) Jenny Simpson won the silver in the 1500 after winning the gold two years ago. To be quite honest, neither Nick or Jenny particularly look like our definition of a runner. Or I should say, yes they both look athletic, and likely that involves some running, but neither is a scrawny person with long legs. Maybe we should redefine who looks like a runner. Many of of the greatest runners throughout history were not what we want to stereotype runners into. For example, Emil Zatopek, Prefontaine, Yiannis Kouros, seem to sit in the same boat as Jenny and Nick.

Hillside Near Byumba, Rwanda
What great scenery right? What a nice place to run as well, maybe this is similar to the place Kiprotich grew up.

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