Monday, October 26, 2009

Good Bye Radio Shack

Update: Friday - November 6, 2009
My blog was read by someone and it got back to the employees working that day. This is good. I honestly looked for a place to provide feedback on their site, but couldn't find the location. The power of blogging came through in this case, and I'm grateful.

Around 4:30 pm today, I received a call today from the Manager of the store who was working that day. She deeply apologized for the service I received, and was extremely sincere. It was a great welcome to such a bad experience. She admitted that she put her trust in the Assistant Manager to be polite and treat the customer (c'est moi) with due respect. She was busy at the time and didn't notice how I was being treated. I don't fault her. Thank you for the call!

The Rant:
Some days I just want to scream and let the world know that it's heading down the wrong path. Why is society so rude anymore. I don't know if it's because I live out in the sticks now and don't deal with people as much, or if the world is really getting ruder each day. I'm leaning more towards the latter...

I took my little girl, Daizi, with me to town this evening and needed to visited our local Radio Shack inside the Indian Mound Mall in Heath, Ohio. An Assistant Manager really fired me up, and I've may never step foot back in this particular store again. I'm still very upset about the whole ordeal, and instead of letting it fester inside of me all night, I decided it was best to just vent my frustrations here on my blog. If you're in the mood for a good rant, keep reading. If you're not, then look away and wait for my next post. I'm sure it will be a happier post and have a meaningless subject (like most of my other posts).

Ok, so let me first start by saying that Diazi saved the day and let me keep my dignity in this unbelievable situation. Let us pause for a moment of country girl cuteness. :)

Thanks for your help today, Daizi!

Now onto my rant... Before heading to Radio Shack, I looked online for the number and I'd read that it was a rude location, but I decided to try it with an open mind. Once I'm done with this entry, I may write my own review in hopes that somebody else reads it and avoids public ridicule and rude service like I received today. I was extremely insulted, but left with a fake smile and very red face. If Daizi wasn't there to keep me cooled down, I really think I would have yelled at the guy and stormed out of there. I say this because at one point, I truly considered snatching my equipment from the guys hands, telling him off, and walking out with my opinion being well known. However, I decided to cool down and just focus on how cute and well behaved Daizi (my 3 year old) was being the whole time.

Here's a quick overview of what happened (mostly for me): I walked in to the store with a mission to ship my laptop back to the manufacturer for repair. As I walked in, 3 employees were standing around laughing about something. Nobody else was in the store, and I had clearly broken up their fun time. The moment I walked in the store with my laptop and my little cow girl, the faces all turned somber and serious. The one girl said "Hello, how can I help you?" and I greeted her back and began to tell her what I was there for...

Immediately the Assistant Manager took over my request because he's trained in this sort of thing (or something). However, he did so in a manner that proved to me that I was being a nuisance and wasting his time. As soon as I explained my case, he said "Well, I'm going to need your tracking number...", and I said "Absolutely." as I began to open up my planner to read it to him. He was surprised that I had it with me because he sighed and began punching keys on his computer while he literally ignored me for the next 2 minutes. Everything I said from this point on seemed like a rant to this guy. He treated me like I was being an unreasonable customer. I wasn't!

The thing that burns me the most is that I was actually in a very good mood up to this point and was cooperating with everything he was asking me to do as politely as possible. After standing there for almost 3 full minutes, he interrupted his extended silence stating that he couldn't send my power supply back to the manufacturer. I very politely corrected him saying "Actually, the support tech said that I would need to send everything back in order for it to be serviced...". The guy LITERALLY lifted his eye brows and said "Okaaaaay" as he turned around to get something. I almost spoke up and yelled at him and his boss. Amazingly, his boss, (ie. the manager of the store), did nothing! She just kept on about her business and ignored the fact that this guy was treating me like crap. I almost asked for my power strip back and bid them both a good day. However, I just stood there in shock and let him ignore me for the next 5 minutes while he navigated his computer system some more.

The entire time I was there, I never got a smile, a thank you, or anything else. I left there feeling like I had just done something wrong. From Radio Shack, I took Daizi down to the bathroom and on our way back I looked in the store. The 3 employees were all standing around smiling again... with no customers... again. I'm sure they were talking about something funny. (?) They will soon be out of a job at this rate. I know that not all employees of Radio Shack are this way, but this guy ruined it for me today.

Thank you for letting me rant. I do feel better now. See - :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

2009 Columbus Marathon

This race could also be known as the 2009 Dan Brown Marathon. I ran this race with an old buddy from high school... you guessed it, Dan Brown. It was his first marathon and I told him I'd run it with him. He offered me his basement to stay in the night before so that I didn't have to drive to the starting line from all the way out here the next morning. Awesome!

The night before the race, Dan and I hung out at BW3's and had a drink with his brother and a few of his close friends. We were celebrating Dan's journey to get to where he was today; he trained hard for this race and overcame a lot of other things during his training for this marathon. It was great to hang out and catch up with him and meet his family. From the bar, we went back to Dan's and crashed. We had an early morning to wake up and head to the starting line.

The alarm went off at 6am and I was ready by the time Dan yelled down to wake me up. We made a quick stop at McDonalds and got ourselves some McGriddle sandwiches and coffee. The traffic near the starting line wasn't as bad as I remembered it from last year or even the year before. However, the foot traffic was INSANE. It was just a sea of people everywhere you looked. Turning into the parking garage was quite an adventure; I basically had to inch my way through a crowd of people ignoring the traffic signals. We parked the car and headed to the starting line.

We got to the staring line around 7 am and stood around trying to stay warm and stretching out our legs until the gun went off. The race started at exactly 7:30 am, but we didn't start moving until about 5 minutes later due to the mass amounts of runners in front of us. We crossed the starting line at 7:38 am and were off and running.

Miles 1 - 5
The first 5 miles were very easy. We were doing 11 minute miles and keeping the pace pretty steady through here. It was very cold this morning and neither of us had gloves. We were just chugging along and laughing hysterically at times along this stretch. At one point I realized that all this laughing was going to catch up to us as the day went on, but we couldn't help it. Everything was funny. :)

Miles 5 - 10
Around mile 5 or 6 our hands were freezing. This section of the race actually ran us through the same section that we already ran through, so there were a lot of clothes laying on the ground from runners shedding layers the first few miles. I actually found a pair of gloves on the ground and put them on. Instant relief!

Dan on the other hand found a pretty pair of pink gloves. :) However, his gloves actually had some heat packets in them and they were warm. He totally lucked out on that find. Each of his gloves had one of these heat bags in them, so he gave me one and he kept one. I couldn't believe how good it felt to let my hands thaw out with real (hand held) warmth. I would switch hands every so many miles and it was an amazing change to the race. Warm hands made all the difference.

Miles 10 - 15
We were still rocking through here. We were laughing a lot and I could actually feel my stomach muscles getting sore by this point from all of the laughing we'd been doing the last 2 hours. Around mile 12, the 1/2 marathoners split from the full marathoners and it was a welcome change of pace because it really thinned out the crowd. It was also nice through here because the spectators were everywhere and they really boost you up. Dan even admitted that he considered walking at one point, but someone said some words of encouragement and he kept up his pace. This shows the power of crowd support. It was here that we ran up on Nick and his buddy Bret too. I heard "LUC!" and looked around to see Nick standing there with a camera in his face snapping a picture of us. I knew Nick was going to be out on the course, but wasn't sure where. We traded some high fives and kept on moving. Good luck in Javalina, man!!

Miles 15 - 20
Through here, we were still kicking butt. We had been running the entire time and hadn't walked at all up to this point. At mile 18, Dan pointed out that this was his longest run ever. He had done an 18 mile long run 3X in his training for this race, and every step from the 18 mile marker was his longest distance. We had 8 more miles to go to finish this race, and it was obvious that we were gonna do it with flying colors.

Miles 20 - 25
We were still kicking butt through here. Dan was really feeling the pain through here, and I was feeling the stomach muscles burning. Yes, we were still laughing even after all these miles. The entertainment along the course needs a mentioned at this point. There were still bands every so many miles, and it was great to hear the different varieties of music. We heard "She talks to Angels" by the Black Crowes a few times on the course, not sure why this particular song, but we did. We also heard Hang On Sloopy a few times, the OSU fight song and many other songs. It never got old and as a musician, I totally appreciate the effort that went in to bringing out the amps, generators, setting up, and actually playing through the cold. This is a great race, and the volunteers, musicians, and spectators have so much to do with it.

Miles 25 - 26.2
This last mile and a quarter was very tough for Dan. He had been kicking royal butt through this whole race, much better than I did at my race. Our pace went from consecutive 11 minute miles down to 13 minute miles. The beauty of this was that we were STILL RUNNING! His kids came out and pumped him up a bit and I could tell that it helped big time. He was hitting the wall, but took it very well. My job at this point was to just keep him moving and our motto was "Don't walk when you want to, but when you have to". I had honestly never heard it before, but when I said it to him earlier, he remembered it and recited it to me, so it was our "motivation" now. :)

I had called Jennifer and coordinated with her what time we were going to be crossing, as she had brought the girls out to the race. I couldn't wait to see them all! Jennifer came last year with the girls, but they weren't able to see me cross the finish line. This year, they had gotten there in plenty of time and were anxiously awaiting our arrival. As we inched toward the finish line, I saw them along the side and ran over to slap some high fives and told them all how happy I was to see them. I then jumped back into the race so that I could finish and go give them all big hugs.

Dan and I pushed hard through the finish line and crossed it with arms raised high in the sky

Purchase your picture at :)

Our times were as follows:
  • Dan - 5:27:25
  • Luc - 5:27:26
After the race, Jennifer and I took the girls to the Spaghetti Warehouse for some carbo loading. The girls were all there with metals from my previous races. I loved it!! When I finished, we all had our metals on and actually wore them into the restaurant like a bunch of marathon runners.

What an amazing day this was. Before I started this race, I considered it being my last Columbus Marathon, but after todays experience with Dan, I remembered all the great things about it and may just be back next year if my health permits it.

Thanks for a great time Dan and congratulations man!! You're a marathoner, now let's get training for the Bobcat Trail Marathon... in 2 weeks!! Yer an animal man!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Ten Things That May Surprise You About Trail Running

I found this on in the Trail Running section and thought it was worth sharing.

Ten things that may surprise you about trail running.

  • 1) Not all trail runs are ultra adventures. Trail runs can be short in both time and distance.
  • 2) It's OK to walk. Not every step has to be at "race pace."
  • 3) Trails look different if you run them in the opposite direction. Honestly. You enjoy different vistas, notice rocks in different places, forget that hills that were downhill one way are uphill from the other direction.
  • 4) Trails look different with the change of season. A bare dust-strewn trail can look very different under a fresh coat of snow, or covered in piles of freshly fallen leaves.
  • 5) If you take your eyes off the trail, you often find yourself on the ground. Stay focused on the trail underfoot unless you stop to take in the vistas.
  • 6) Trails aren't all uphill. Sure, there can be some ups and downs, but there are some relatively flat, gentle trails. Especially prevalent along rivers, or canals.
  • 7) Uphill running can be challenging. Who says going out for a 30 minute explosive, uphill, gut-busting trail run isn't fun...after you're done gasping for air! Throw in some hill runs or repeats during the winter months to mix up your training.
  • 8) A good pair of trail shoes enhances your experience on the trails. Road shoes are primarily built for sustained foot plants not for the constant pace changes on the trails - there's variation in footing, in gradient, in obstacles encountered.
  • 9) Apparel is important too. Run in clothing appropriate for the conditions - what they are and what they may become. Winter temps can be fickle!
  • 10) Softer surfaces have much less stress on your joints.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Jazzy Kay

Everytime I run across this picture I laugh out loud. She made this mask when we were camping a few months ago. She just put it on without saying anything while we were all sitting around the fire. She does these types of things all the time just to make us laugh. If you knew Jazzy, you would realize that this is just "everyday Jazz".
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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Back at Mohican

Reality set in this week when I was getting back into my daily routines around the farm. I realized that the Columbus Marathon is in 2 weeks and I'm not trained at all. It's cram time.

Luca, Bret, Me, Nick

Today I met up with some friends @ Mohican for my first real long run in a long time. At 8:30 am, I met up with Nick and his buddy Bret, who will be pacing him at the Javalina Jundred in a few weeks. We waited around for a while and eventually another runner by the name of Luca showed up and was going to be joining us. Luca ran the inaugural Mohican Forget the PR 50k earlier this year. We all took off around 8:45 and we were going to be doing a modified version of the Red / Green loop. I was here for an 18 mile run today.

We started very slowly up the red loop and did mostly walking through here because it was all uphill. From there, it was just smooth running all day. No problems at all, all day. I felt very strong out there today. It was great to be back at Mohican. I hadn't been there since June, when I DNF'ed at the 50 miler. I forgot how great it was to run real trails; not Blackhand Gorge trails, or Dillon Trails, but Mohican Trails. There's just something about Mohican... When running Mohican, you don't didn't count miles or hours, you just put one foot in front of the other. We all just jogged and talked all morning. Great times!

Around mile 10 I realized that I ate my last gel pack and I was officially out of fuel. I showed up today wanting to get in 18 miles, and I was pretty sure that I could do the remaining 8 miles with just my water bottle. Around mile 14, I realized that I was back on empty though and I was running on empty for the last 3 miles out there today. Bret was battling some old knee pains, and I must say that my knees were a little sore as well because I was really letting gravity pull me down the downhills as fast as possible. It felt great, but my knees were paying the price. The last mile was pretty slow going. I was out of fuel and Bret was in some pretty bad pain, so we just walked the last few hundred yards very slowly since it was mostly downhill anyway.

Nothing too exciting happened today actually. We had a few river crossings and they were pretty cold. We ran past a couple of horseback trail riders, and we even helped an old couple find their way back to the covered bridge. Other than that, it was just a fun run at Mohican.

Nicks friend, Bret did a great job out there today. He does most of his running on the treadmill and he kept right up with us the whole time. A few times, I would forget that it was his first trail run here at Mohican. I could so see him joining us in the future. It was fun playing word games with Nick and him out there today. For example: Je was juffing and puffing up those jills. We jad a jell of a good time jelping jim prepare for Javalina Jundred. Jilarious! :) Good luck Nick and Bret!

Luca was a funny, funny dude too. He moved here from Italy a few years ago and he's very new to running, like me. He started in late 2007, a few months after I started running, and he's running marathons now too. We had a lot in common and not just the name. :) He's actually running Columbus in 2 weeks as well, and I hope to see him there. He's pretty tall so I should have no problem finding him.

We all ended around 1 pm with a nice 17 Mohican miles in the bag. I'm already looking forward to next weekend. I plan to be bringing an old friend with me and introduce him to trail running on the Orange loop. ;)