the forty-four day challenge FINALE

it's done, friends! it's in the bag! that's all she freakin' wrote. you want one biscuit i'll give you two. you'd think i was from the show me state...cause i showed you i could do it? that was awful!'s done and done. i officially ran 200 hundred miles in 44 days!! feels good. which brings me to my next point...
I RAN 1000 MILES IN 2011!!!!!!!!!!!

accomplishing goals is the BEST feeling ever! errvvverrr!!

now to come up with my list of goals for 2012.........any ideas!?!


happy birthday to my dad (again)'s happened again. my dad has gotten one year older today. good for him for being completely boss and awesome at doing things like rocking at life and not appearing to be one year older. trust me...i'm taking notes. by the case you're wondering what to get a mid-fifty year old dude: a good book and a r/c helicopter is apparently the way to go.

call me unoriginal but i really liked my birthday post i did for him last feel free to read that by clicking the link below:

happy birthday dad.


he wants to be a paperback writer

before i even get into this post you gotta listen/watch this:

for years now i have wanted to write a book. it feels silly to admit. i have no idea why. out of all three people i have told this to, not one has said i can't do it or that it's a dumb idea. the only one who has said these things? me. i'm my worst critic.

i have a few ideas to write about, but no idea which one to start with. to be honest with you...i don't even know HOW to start. do i use my computer? do i use a pen and a notebook? do i find an old typewriter and head for the mountains? do i hire someone to write down my thoughts?

what do i do!?!


the longest blog post in the history of blog posts...and also my longest title to any of my blog posts ever.

Sucky Scenario 1:

young kid: what do you do for a living?
me: oh, i'm a musician.
young kid: no way! are you on the radio?
me: no, but i have a cd.
young kid: no way! is it at wal-mart?
me: *long melodramatic sigh*

how long have i been saying i need to start playing more shows again? oh, right...a long time now. not to sound like a total conceited jerkface...but i'm just really tired of hearing music lately and thinking, "my music is way better...why am i not doing what i want with my music!?!" same reason you're not doing what you want to be doing (assuming you're like most people). it's freakin' difficult to do what you really want to do in life. why?

Sucky Scenario 2:

random person: what do you do for a living?
me: oh, i'm a manager at a lawncare company.
random person: that's cool. do you like it?
me: umm...yeah. it looks great on a resume. it's not ideally what i want to be doing though.
random person: well...what do you want to be doing?
me: *long melodramatic sigh*

how many times will i continue to set myself up for people to ask me what i want to do with my life? the only consistent answer i give when asked this question: "i don't really know yet...all i know is i want to help people out" (way to keep it super general, tony.)

here's the deal:
someone needs to tell me what to do with my life!

in all honesty and realness...i know i'm currently doing what God is calling me to do; however, i also know that He is calling me to do more. a lot more. that's all i got. that's the only little insight/direction He's hooking me up with so far. tricky, huh!? so, now combine that with a wife who is pretty much going through the same thing and what do you have...actually, probably a pretty typical Jesus-following married couple. sometimes it feels like i should just know everything i want to know. you know? i know. it's like this in my head: "hmmm....i don't know the answer to this question i'm asking myself...well...i think i should know the answer", so when i don't i get upset. am i completely insane or just partially?

i'm understanding (will never completely understand) how God works and it's hard sometimes to be okay with His process of doing things. ya know...'doing things' meaning: saving the WORLD! anyway...i'm good at letting myself get in the way and slow that process down sometimes. most often it's me demanding some sort of answer and/or direction in my life.

Sucky Scenario 3:

emily: we have way too much.
me: yeah, i know. we suck.
emily: seriously, we have way too much. why?
me: don't know. i want to give it all away and do more.
emily: well where's the balance? how can we live happy, but not feel like we have too much?
me: *long melodramatic sigh*

i'm going to be real honest here by letting you know a little something about me. i'm sort of an emotional dude. i'm very connected with my inner-feelings. i cry and i'm proud of it. i cry every now and then and a lot of times it's annoying. the other day i was reading an email that was forwarded on to me from someone from my Church. it included some pictures and updates on the recent devastation that happened in the Mitumba slums in Kenya. before then i was refusing to look at the pictures knowing how i'd take it. was worse than expected. i had just sat down to eat my dinner before rushing out the door for whatever. first picture...bawling. tears were literally falling into my dinner. thoughts started racing through my head. "why would something like this happen?!" "why should this happen to them!?" "why did this not happen to me!?" and worse yet, "why do i feel so safe in saying that something like this won't happen to me!?" it made me sick.

typical american way of thinking: i have questions and i demand them to be answered now.

i really don't want to make this a classic 'life sucks, but..." post where i complain about life being hard and then wrap it up with a, "...but it's all good...i still have my health! winky face" it's just tough not having all of the big picture God is trying to show me. i know there's a big picture. i can see the frame and i can make out a few of the colors. other than that i just feel like a little kid standing in front of a candy store. no idea exactly where to look, but i know it all looks good and i want it all. now.

p.s. congratulations on reading (or skimming all the way to the bottom) through the entire post! you're now a record holder in my book for reading my longest post ever! i promise that my next post will be short and sweetly sweet!

p.p.s. seriously...thanks for reading.


the forty-four day challenge UPDATE

wee-hoo...i'm almost half way done with the infamous self-declared 'forty-four day challenge' and i feel pretty good. i have officially logged 887 miles so far in 2011 with only 113 left to go between tomorrow (when i run yet another five miler) and december 31. my body is holding up well with the increase in miles. i was struggling to hit 20 in a week, so bumping it up closer to 30 was a bit of an increase. especially since they say to increase mileage "smart" it should be no more than 10% each week. my knees are just a little achy...mainly in a "dude...why are you doing this to us" sorta way, but other than that i feel grrrrrrrrrreeaatt!

so, if you're ever in the peoria area and want to go out and run a five miler with me...chances are i'm out somewhere so let me know and we can run together! routes are getting boring.
click on the photo below (or else) and you can check out my training log. trust's the most interesting/exciting thing you will ever see. ever.

welp...see ya later.


the forty-four day challenge

i made this goal last year in 2010 to run 1,000 miles. i failed (it's cool, i'm okay with that. side note: not really). i had an injury that really set me back and to be honest...i just wasn't that great of a runner (am i now?). so as you can imagine it made my list of goals for 2011. about a week before thanksgiving i realized that i had logged exactly 800 miles with only 44 days left in 2011. i did the math (which i'm not that great at) and it came out to roughly 4.5 miles PER DAY until the New Year. my initial thoughts weren't the best/most optimistic. then i started thinking about it more and more. i started realizing that it might be a fun cool challenge to present myself. so...i took it on.

i "officially" started the "forty-four day challenge" (brilliant name, i know) on friday november 18th with 800 miles logged. i took a random poll on my facebook page to see what people would say/recommend and it was cool to see the responses i got. it seemed pretty split but of course my eyes were only worried about the ones that read, "GO FOR IT" or "YOU CAN DO IT" and that pretty much sealed the deal.

it's going to be great tomorrow when i can get a sweet thirty-one day countdown going. as of today i have 854 miles logged. i've been doing 5 milers most days to give myself a few days off between now and the New Year. i can't imagine how awesome the run will feel on New Year's Eve! i'm just praying i don't injure myself or have anything else happen that can keep me from hitting my goal.

i'll keep you posted because i am 100% surely positive you are going to want to know that i am running daily!

because no runner has heard, "run forrest run!" is my inspiration to run everyday:


and now what you've all been waiting for

one time this was just an idea in the works. well, i'm proud to announce the official grand opening non-black friday release party for the official unofficial official best ever hottest super power couple's blog:

Tony and Emily: Making Moves

this blog includes my amazing wife Emily and her input on a lot of things. mainly...our lives and what we're doing. take a look and let us know what you think. basically, we'll be updating it occasionally with things that we're doing or something we're thinking about. i'm really excited for you (assuming that you'll want to read it along with this blog) because Emily is a bright young lass that has some cool things to say...most of the time. ;)

enjoy. or don't. whatever. seriously though enjoy it, please. do it. thanks.


messing with a vegetarian

the title was inspired by my sister-in-law Cara. i think i'm going to write a book called Messing With a Vegetarian. if it exists already don't tell me you will crush my dreams. entirely. crush.

it may or may not include ripped off cartoons like these:

in all honesty though...i think it'd be super cool to write a book. i got a really really really complimentary comment on a previous blog post (probably from one of my old teacher's who wants me to succeed in life) and it really gave me a boost of motivation in my writing. clearly this post shows that motivation.

previous book ideas/titles i have had and could potentially (but probably not) write:
-Swimming With No Water (a book about having a fear of water and not knowing why)
-Batman vs. Me (a book about how we should all feel/act like super heroes)
-No, Paul...You Can Call Me Al (a book about my childhood - i think maybe my parents had a paul simon cassette i'd listen to a lot)
-Putting the 'I' in Music (a book about music snobs and how it's only cool if you admit it and are actually a cool person)
-Messing With a Vegetarian (maybe the only book I'd come close to writing at this point - an autobiography that would include more pictures/cartoons than words)


seriously serious

i've been watching/listening to a lot of steven furtick sermons lately and i'm not gonna lie...they're really good. do me a favor here, okay? if you normally close out my blog now once you see i'm posting about something religious or whatever...don't! do me one favor and read on. cool? cool!

i'll be real honest here...i have been having a terrible week. now, when i say "terrible" i don't mean bad things are happening or anything. i mean things just stink! i've been making dumb choices that make life harder than it should be. i haven't been trusting that God really knows what He's talking about. i've been staying up too late. i haven't been praying enough or reading my Bible enough. basically...i haven't been doing a good job at being the Godly person i want to be. guess what? i'm human. this happens to me all the time. for some reason i'm reacting a little differently this week than normal. i'm putting more pressure on myself to be a "game-changer" (meaning: world changer) and i think that is what's making my week bad. so, my week being bad is basically because i'm not doing enough for the Kingdom. are my weeks every really good?

one good thing this week? scripture!! passages like Psalm 37:23-24 say, "The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fail for the Lord holds them by the hand." scripture like this keeps me motivated even after a bad day where i completely suck! question: why do i not get into the Word more? answer: because i am a stubborn human who thinks he can do life himself...but can't! it's not like it's rocket science! i can't have a good day by myself! James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

my point: although scripture tells us that "every good and perfict gift is from above," we're not guaranteed a good life, ya know? while the good days i have (which are many) are gifts from's a possibility that my life might not ever be good ever again! ultimately, i'm not guaranteed a "good" life. what am i guaranteed, you ask? nothing. my only goal in life is to glorify God. sounds simple, right? does. easy? not really.


...and exhale

i'm easily gratified. little things in life can make me smile and/or laugh. i think that's a good thing? when it comes to stressing out...well that's another thing i let myself do way too easy.

i've really been focusing on "de-stressing" lately after realizing that i'm way overstressed and it is was actually becoming noticeable in my day to day life. i'm not zen or chi, but i have been meditating. don't picture me with my index finger touching my thumb chanting, "hummmm......hummmm," cause that's ridiculous (in my opinion). it's more just about being somewhere comfortable and quiet and just "being" you. ya dig? another de-stresser i've been practicing lately (and has been really effective) is deep breathing. six seconds in, hold for four seconds, exhale for eight seconds. i do this four times and it's great...except the time i almost fainted (i tried exhaling too long). another odd practice (to me) that has been effective is guided imagery. you can do this along with deep breathing and make it a form of meditation. the basic goal of guided imagery is to focus on one thing/word and let your brain get lost focusing on this one thing/word. for me, i use the word 'peace' and it's worked great. yoga is awesome stuff, too. i'll admit it...i do yoga (it's to help my running!) some natural (and legal) herbs can really help, too. rhodiola rosea extract is good and is known to be mood enhancing. it helps maintain healthy cardiovascular function, can enhance memory and helps maintain healthy brain function. research also claims that it can be useful in improving work performance, improving sleep, appetite, reduce irritability, reduce occasional headaches and fatigue. umm....yes, please.

ok....there's plenty other things we can all do to de-stress, but what it comes down to is finding what works for you. one thing is for sure: stress in life is a given, but handling it properly can change your daily life.



the blues

listening to the blues is something i love to do. it's interesting that majority of the songs are sad (wonder how they got the name 'blues') but somehow it makes me feel so good. it could be the guitar parts, the amazing vocals, or even the beat of the drums. for some reason...the blues make me feel great!

speaking of the blues...i've been in this crazy running slump for the past few weeks. it's been really hard to go out and run. i know what you're thinking, "well tony...running is hard." although i agree...running has always been something i love to do and have fun almost the whole time doing it (almost = key word). so, for the past few weeks it's been freaking brutal to lace up my shoes and head out the door. it started with my job getting way more stressful/busier last month, so it involved me working longer hours and a lot of saturdays. a lot of my volunteer projects were/are in full swing and that takes up evenings. it's getting darker earlier now so any free evening i do have it's too dark to run by the time i get home. some sunday mornings i can make it out unless we have meetings early at Church and then i don't have time. i also complain a lot and that takes up time when i could be running. hmmm....

this running slump is exactly like listening to the blues. while i listen to one of my favorite blues songs, wednesday evening blues by john lee hooker, i hear him sing about his woman leaving him and a foot tap in the background and i can easily compare it to my running slump. bare with me here...i'm tying this together any second now. step inside my mind for a minute ('s crazy in here) and go for a run with me. if you listen to that song by john lee hooker it starts with a high note played several times and  goes into a sweet blues lick. that'd be the time when i'm trying to force myself to lace up my shoes and head out the door. he sings the first line, "you know she left me one wednesday evening..." and now i'm out the door running and it hurts. you can hear his foot tapping in the background so slow and it feels like my feet are hitting the ground at the same time as his. slow. he uses a real basic and simple guitar lick throughout the song. running is real basic and simple. the pain in his voice is like my breathing...i just can't get into a good rhythm like normal. the song is coming to a close and i am approaching the end of my run. nothing has really changed...his woman still left him and i'm still running. the only difference at the end is he got his stress out by playing that blues song and i got it out by making it through my run.

the point i'm trying to make is this (finally): although the blues are mostly sad and right now running is hard for me...i have to keep in mind how the blues (and running) make me feel afterward (which is awesome, remember). i think it was dean karnazes that said, "i've never gone out for a run and felt worse when i finished." this has been the case for me 100% of the time i run. i'm not a genius when it comes to statistics, but i think there's a good chance that next time i go out for a run...i'm gonna feel great when i finish. now where are my running shoes...


forever & always

today is emily's 26th birthday. at this point in time i don't think she'll be upset with me for making her age known. i mean, come on...she looks hot these days and i'm pretty confident in saying she always will.

emily and i have been married over four years now and it's been amazing. she's my best friend in the world and i literally want to be with her every second of my life. for all the readers who don't know, emily and i actually met in jr. high when our youth groups hung out. i actually remember the first time i asked my best friend at the time, kyle, who that pretty girl was. he said, "dude, that's emily. why do you like her?" and i did. we were able to hang out off and on a couple times back then in groups, but it wasn't until college years when we actually started dating seriously. so december 28th in 2004 i remember asking emily, " wanna be my girlfriend?"

i remember times of talking on the phone with her for three hours and hanging up and it felt like three minutes.

i remember going to the mall when we were first dating and sitting on a bench to watch people and holding hands.

i remember going to play mini-golf and her kicking my butt...and i was actually trying!

i remember staying up so late before i'd have to make a long drive home watching ridiculous music videos on the television.

i remember our first kiss outside my sister's apartment and what she was wearing.

i remember our wedding day and seeing her in her wedding dress for the first time. yes, i cried.

i remember being upset with her after she fell on the ice right after i told her to be careful.

i remember proposing to her when we were carving pumpkins being SO nervous!

i remember cruising around town listening to music and taking random photo's of things.

i remember going to shows and walking in Chicago.

i remember yesterday when she randomly said, "tony...i love you. i love talking to you." and how it meant to much to me.

i remember today how much i love emily lynn gould and love growing old with her!



911 for love

i remember most of the day. some parts are a little fuzzy...others i remember like they were yesterday. i remember sitting in my classes at school with a tv set to a news stations, watching and listening. it was silent all day as we all walked to our classes. in and out of rooms with a tv on various news stations. i got home from school that day and i remember going straight into the living room where the windows were open and the wind was blowing the curtains around. the weather that day was gorgeous. sunny blue skies in my personal world. i turned on cnn and cried. it breaks my heart to think about the people who were more personally impacted by all that happened that day. the people who lost family, friends, loved ones. to relive it year after year i am sure doesn't get any easier. i pray for everyone impacted in whatever way.

it's hard to talk about forgiveness in situations like what happened on september 11th ten years ago. i recently heard a sermon by james macdonald on the radio on forgiveness and it was really convicting. he referred to Ephesians 4 and how it talks about being kind and compassionate to others, and forgiving them just like God forgives us. in Proverbs it talks about how we're not to pay back someone for the wrong they have done to us and in Leviticus it says for us to forgive, do not hold grudges, and to love your neighbor as yourself. i remember being a kid and thinking that the term 'neighbor' was literal. "oh, all i have to do is love my neighbor as myself? that's easy...i love mr. and mrs. ringger...they're like my grandparents!" then i got older and learned...."oh,, everyone in the world? well that's harder..."

first and foremost, i do not want to sound like i'm taking sides with anyone ever (especially in a situation where people have lost loved ones). all i want is to share the conviction i have been feeling lately...and it is to forgive, even though forgiveness is hard. like, really hard! i'd like to say i could forgive anyone for anything. could i? i pray i can.

when emily and i lived down by st. louis we lived about ten miles from a church where the pastor was gunned down during a service. i remember about a week after that tragedy hearing the amazing story of forgiveness when the pastor's wife was talking about praying for the gunman and forgiving him. i saw on the news a couple months ago a lady who's son was shot and how she ended up helping the gunman get out of jail and now lives next door to her...and she is like a mom to him. these are a couple of stories that i can think of off the top of my head. of course there are a ton more like this.

the fact that these are people like you and me is encouraging, right? the fact that it takes normal people doing radical things to get my attention is sad. why can't loving others and forgiving others be normal? more always comes back to love. love for everyone. loving everyone like you love yourself. treating others (everyone on the planet) like you treat yourself. what if the world looked like this? can you imagine? i can. i want it to be that way. all cheesy quotes and sayings about changing the world's not impossible to love other people!

the following is an excerpt from shane claiborne's book Irresistible Revolution. i found this book really interesting, his words are something i am still processing. you may also find it interesting...or it might anger you. either intentions are not to upset anyone. i just want to share with you my conviction to forgive even when i am irreversibly wronged and my desire to love even though it seems hard.

"I saw a banner hanging next to city hall in downtown Philadelphia that read, "Kill them all, and let God sort them out." A bumper sticker read, "God will judge evildoers; we just have to get them to him." I saw a T-shirt on a soldier that said, "US Air Force... we don't die; we just go to hell to regroup." Others were less dramatic- red, white, and blue billboards saying, "God bless our troops." "God Bless America" became a marketing strategy. One store hung an ad in their window that said, "God bless America--$1 burgers." Patriotism was everywhere, including in our altars and church buildings. In the aftermath of September 11th, most Christian bookstores had a section with books on the event, calendars, devotionals, buttons, all decorated in the colors of America, draped in stars and stripes, and sprinkled with golden eagles.
This burst of nationalism reveals the deep longing we all have for community, a natural thirst for intimacy... September 11th shattered the self-sufficient, autonomous individual, and we saw a country of broken fragile people who longed for community- for people to cry with, be angry with, to suffer with. People did not want to be alone in their sorrow, rage, and fear.

...The tragedy of the church's reaction to September 11th is not that we rallied around the families in New York and D.C. but that our love simply reflected the borders and allegiances of the world. We mourned the deaths of each soldier, as we should, but we did not feel the same anger and pain for each Iraqi death, or for the folks abused in the Abu Ghraib prison incident. We got farther and farther from Jesus' vision, which extends beyond our rational love and the boundaries we have established. There is no doubt that we must mourn those lives on September 11th. We must mourn the lives of the soldiers. But with the same passion and outrage, we must mourn the lives of every Iraqi who is lost. They are just as precious, no more, no less. In our rebirth, every life lost in Iraq is just as tragic as a life lost in New York or D.C. And the lives of the thirty thousand children who die of starvation each day is like six September 11ths every single day, a silent tsunami that happens every week."

- Shane Claiborne Irresistible Revolution


fruit that is shaped like a star? yes, please!

first off...i love stars. i know, i know...what an emo kid, right? maybe back in the day i'd admit to that, but now...not so much. i mean, my old AIM login was checkoutthestars. how much more emo can you get than that?

august's new food of the month was star fruit. they're really crazy looking with a not-so-crazy taste. don't get me wrong...i liked it. it just wasn't that tasty. i was hoping/expecting a much sweeter taste. they had good crunch and a lot of water content, but the taste was subpar.

 star fruit:
-would i recommend it? yeah, why not?
-easy to prepare? sorta. rinse and cut, but then there are tiny seeds to pick out. probably not a must before eating, but to make it more pleasurable.
-availability? most grocery stores with a decent produce section will have these
-health benefits? it helps lower cholesterol, it's also known to cure headaches, hangovers, and apparently good for nursing mothers because it can help stimulate the flow of milk?


freedom ARTS project

most people around the peoria area have hopefully had the chance to hear about the dream center. in a nutshell, this place has a huge impact on families in the surrounding area by doing awesome stuff for the youth. anything from athletic programs, setting up community service projects for kids, after school programs, donations to help kids out, and something they just started within the past couple of months called the freedom ARTS project.

this program is an awesome way to change the community by teaching youth lessons in the arts, and it takes place in a weekly class setting. i had the privilege of helping out by teaching guitar lessons this past summer, and it truly was an awesome experience. the program is getting ready to start it's second session in the next few weeks and i can't wait to teach another group of kids how to play guitar. although, it's hard to teach rookie guitarists how to play like jimi hendrix by the end of an 8-week course (A. because i can't even play like jimi, and B. because guitar is stinkin' hard to just pick up and play well). still it's so cool to be building relationships and having the opportunity to show Jesus' love through this program. in some cases we may never know what we mean to someone just by building a friendship with them. how cool is that? extremely! and sure it's tough not always knowing if you've had a huge affect on someone, but that's not what it's really about.

here's a cool idea. if you live in the peoria area (or you're up for a commute) and you play an instrument, paint, do photography, sing, write, make stuff out of clay, draw really well, record music, do videography, or if you're into anything else in the arts and you want to should sign up to help! why? because it's only one day a week for 8 weeks? nah. because they pay really well? no. because when we help others we help ourselves? nope, that's not it. hmmm...oh, that's right...because serving others is serving the Lord. now if that doesn't make you excited, i'll fall back on my "it's a scientific fact that helping people makes you physically feel better" card. and that, my friend, is a card that wins them all.


ready to give it a tri

i think i'm ready? i am not ready. YET!

you know by now that i have this "baby step goal" program going on, right? it all started with a little weight loss and a 5k later the goals were in place. i'd start out by conquering a 5k race, then move onto a 10k race, then onto a half-marathon and then a full marathon and then...wherever my baby steps take me.

originally, my plan was/is to do a triathlon next. it's the next step! it's either that or an ultramarathon and i think i'd rather do that later in life. it'll be the next step after the triathlon. so for now my focus is completing my first triathlon. my brother-in-law, josh, is big into cycling and has recently started running and he's agreed to do a tri with me (sucker) so that definitely helps ease the nerves a little. not really, but that's what i'm going to say for now.

here's the deal: i'm freaking out! i do NOT like water. i don't mean "i don't like water" like some people say "i don't like vegetables." i'm saying "i don't like water" like most people would say "i don't like murder." the bright side/good news is that just last weekend emily and i went on a little getaway to michigan with our small group from Church and we all went to the beach a couple times and guess what? both times we were there i got in the water. we're talking lake freakin' michigan, people!  i even got some tips/advice on how to float and swim properly from a couple of pro's. ;) combine that with my new found love for cycling and i'm on my way to training for a steppin' style (i'm trademarking that phrase).

so like the cheesy/cliche title to this post states...i'm ready to give it a tri. (raises glass) here's to the training to come and the many days that i'll be asking myself what the crap i am doing and to the aches and pains but most's to me going after another goal!



"nori seaweed rice crackers are like corn pops that have soaked in sea water..." that's what i said after eating a seaweed cracker for the first time. this new food of the month was something else. i guess the point of emily and i trying a new food every month is to make it something we've never had or might not ever try...but this one was weird. they are all natural though so that's good, right?

they're also cholesterol free, msg free, fat free, and even gluten free! they're also kinda taste free. i don't mean that in a completely bad just seems like they were a little bland is all. 30 grams gets you 110 calories so it's pretty comparable to similar rice cakes and/or light chips. the sodium count is a bit high coming in at 280mg per serving, but the protein is a surprising 2g per serving.

seaweed crackers:-would i recommend it? i probably wouldn't pay more than a couple bucks for a bag
-easy to prepare? if you can snack on a bag of can easily prepare this
-availability? probably not at your local grocer. maybe somewhere like fresh market or an organic shop
-health benefits? fat free/cholesterol free food with a hint of protein



radical as a noun is defined as this:  "a person who holds or follows strong convictions or extreme principles; extremist."

welp, i want to be a radical extremist if you will. i want to be an extremist for love. now, before you shut me out and call me a hippy please hear me out...well, read me out? whatever. i'll be honest...i don't like the rolling stones or the song "american pie" and i am not a fan of the dallas cowboys, but i am still an american, right? more importantly...i'm a child of GOD! oh, did i mention we are ALL children of GOD? so, that doesn't really say much for me. i guess that's a good thing...because i am nothing. i don't want to come across as depressed or anything like that. i assure you i am a mostly happy person (is anyone truly one hundred percent happy) in the world we live in. i say i'm nothing because i am. honestly, everyone is nothing. there's not one person i know that is a true somebody...because there's only ONE of those, ya know?

are you picking up what i'm putting down? maybe i'm being a little vague here i guess. call me a coward or one who wants to encourage you to think. either way...i'm calling you out (including myself).

we are called to do things. i'm not talking chores when you were a kid or lame stuff your boss is demanding  requesting at work. i'm talking "Things" in quotes with a capital 'T' and maybe even bold and underlined and in a larger font! i honestly wish it were as simple as "dude, i'm just gonna love everyone like a brother or sister and be really "nice" to everyone in between and i'll "make it"..." but it DOES NOT work that way. sorry, chuck...but it doesn't (if your name is chuck this is not directed at you...i don't know anyone named chuck).

i'm just tired of reading books and listening to people speak about what we gotta do, ya know!? am i the only one who gets tired of hearing what you SHOULD be doing, or what you COULD be doing better!? i doubt it! so let's step up and start changing the way we live! guess what it'll do...besides change the world? i'll give you one other'll change your life! seriously...who is ready for a little change!!?!? count me in, friend!


"i'm not slow, i'm just enjoying the course"

listen up, friends...a super cool thing is coming up and you ALL will be interested in one way or another. on july thirtieth of this year there will be a 5k race at tipton park in bloomington, il and you are personally invited! it only costs twenty bucks (kid and family discounts available) and you get a sweet shirt to wear for years and years. ready for the cool-cool news?!

all the proceeds are going to Dorie's Promise, which is an orphanage in Guatemala. more specifically, the money raised will build a playground for the kids at the orphanage. i don't know about you, but that pumps me up! i just picture all of the kids seeing the playground for the first time and just going crazy!

i'm going to challenge all of you to participate. yes, all of you. in fact i'm going to break it down so that it will apply to each and every person reading this (obviously impossible, but i will try know, like what a politician does).

"newbie, but stoked to run" runner: if you're this person chances are you've thought about running a 5k before, but never pulled the trigger. you run on occasion either outside or inside, but normally hold steady to about a mile or two at a time.

"been there done that, but will do it again and again" runner: you've run a 5k. in fact, you probably ran one last weekend and have already lost your free shirt. you're down for whatevs, man.

"no freakin' way" runner: (my favorite type of person) you don't run unless being chased, right? when i talk about running you shake your head and think i'm crazy. right now as you read this you are saying, "i am not running this 5k no matter what he says." well, that's can volunteer then. we need the extra hands! just let me know! BUT, if you want to step out on a limb and do something crazy that you'll never forget...sign up to run!!

"this is part of my marathon training" runner: this person is a Runner...yeah dude, capital 'R' kinda runner. hardcore. black toenails. thirty pairs of running shoes. talk about splits in their sleep, fartleks, what kind of food they're using for fuel, and probably how they qualified for boston once or twice. who cares (i do kinda, and it's cool if this is you), but sign up and rock the 5k! oh, and bring a few of those extra running shoes with you to the race..the 5k for Orphans has partnered with soles 4 souls to collect shoes for those in need.

"i'm going to win, because i race" runner: ok...bring it on! and don't even brag about your two percent body fat and five minute miles.

"aw crap you got me" runner: if this is can do it! basically what has happened is you were probably hanging out minding your own business not running and someone came up and asked you to run in the 5k for Orphans. you froze because you heard the word orphans and felt bad so immediately said yes without even knowing what you were saying yes to. (haha, you know who you are). good luck!

dang, i didn't realize how many types there were going to be. oh, i almost forgot my fail-safe type of person...the "can i just walk and still show my support" walker. and the answer is yes! we'll be having a one mile walk, too! so anyway, by now you get what i'm saying. anyone and everyone can do this. you will see every type of person there and that's what makes it great! if you're on the fence...allow me to gently push you to the side where you will find yourself helping orphans and raising awareness for the orphan crisis we have in this world. with almost 150 million orphans worldwide...i think forking over twenty bucks, sweating for less than an hour and possibly embarrassing yourself is worth it, right? i even have an awesome site you can go to start training for a 5k that literally starts from the couch! trust me folks...this helped me get started running. although you don't really have the nine weeks it suggests you take to can at least start it and walk/run the race!

see you on race day!! (i'll be at the finish line cheering you on...and not because i beat you, but because that's where i'm helping).

so...what kind of runner are you?


yes, ugli fruit is ugly

i'm a little late posting about the new food of the month for may, but hey...better late than never? i don't think i like that saying. oh well.

this month (may) emily and i tried ugli fruit. yes, it is spelled hipply with an 'i' and not a 'y' at the end. and yes, i might have just invented the word 'hipply' which means to do something while trying to act hip and cool. back on track...ugli fruit is unbelievably ugly. we weren't really sure what our new food was going to be until we were walking through the store and came across it. we didn't even know how to pick one. they all looked old and moldy and gross and disgusting and nasty and run on sentence like. after at least three minutes we were finally able to pick the best looking ugli fruit they had. friends, don't worry, they put a sticker it that screams 'ugli' so you won't confuse it with your grapefruit at home.

the texture of this thing was a little weird to say the least. it was soft and squishy (think old, moldy orange) and even had weird dark spots here and there. emily did a little research (google) and figured out the best way to prepare it. she went with the old school cut it in half and eat it approach...which i feel was the best decision. it looked a lot like a grapefruit combined with an orange, but with a thicker rind. seriously...the rind was almost a half inch thick. i was a little let down by the taste of the ugli fruit. i was expecting it to be packed with flavor, but it was basically like eating an orange and grapefruit at the same time. yeah, lame! don't get me wrong, it was good...just not awesome.

ugli fruit:
-would i recommend it? sure...for ugli people (see what i did there?)
-easy to prepare? umm...yes. eat it like an orange.
-availability? we found it at hyvee (which is just fun to say)
-health benefits? it's fruit, dude. tons of vitamin c.


the big picture

making moves. it's something that i've been saying for a while now. i think i originally heard it in a song by the rocket summer, but i've taken stole it and made it my own (that's how art works, folks). i've been making a lot of moves within the past year or so. oh, i guess i should clarify...'making moves' meaning changing something in your life. speaking of making moves...i was able to sleep in (7:30am) today and it was amazing. i ate some cereal (three freakin' bowls), watched some informational television educating us on the difference between monkeys and apes. did you know male monkeys can't see the color red? so, here i sit blogging away with american football playing lightly in the background so my gorgeous wife can continue to rest before we go get lost in the woods trail running.

you ever wonder what the big picture looks like? i do...all of the time. as big as it is though, i lose sight of it all too quickly. it's probably more that i am distracted and looking the other way really. i'll admit it...i am a selfish human that cares about what i'm going through way too much. i turn twenty-six today and i'm having the exact same feelings that i did when i turned twenty-five..."what have i done?" i'm not talking about college degrees, careers, getting married, reaching goals, vacations or anything like that. i'm talking stuff that's helping. what have i done that's helped make a difference? so take a look at the big picture with me. from far away it looks great and has amazing detail with colors you've never seen. as we bring it closer we start seeing the poverty, crime, murder, homelessness, pollution, war, racism, sexism and all other hatred/bad things you can think of. the good: tons of ordinary people are making moves to get rid of things like those listed above. the bad: not enough people are stepping up willing to make those moves. some of us are being lazy and not pulling our weight. so now that i'm a wise twenty-six year old i'm stepping up my game. i'm gonna make freakin' moves like a u-haul (pretty sure i'm making that into a t-shirt). we need to take our blinders off and look more closely at the big picture and pick a spot that needs help (everywhere) and focus on it. we're all artists and we can touch up any part of the big picture as long as we try (wow...i knew that was bad while even writing it). if we don't do anything then guess what guessed it!

I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love. 
-Mother Teresa

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. 

-Anne Frank

Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does. 

-William James

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. 

-Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all. 
-Leo Rosten

Live simply that others might simply live. 

-Elizabeth Ann Seton

We can do no great things, only small things with great love. 
-Mother Teresa

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not. 

-Dr. Seuss

It seems to me that any full grown, mature adult would have a desire to be responsible, to help where he can in a world that needs so very much, that threatens us so very much. 
-Norman Lear

Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful. 

-Author Unknown

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world. 

-Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojarhiu)

I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. 

-Edward Everett Hale

The willingness to share does not make one charitable; it makes one free. 

-Robert Brault

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can. 
-Sydney Smith

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. 

-Edmund Burke

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one. 

-Mother Teresa

Never worry about numbers.  Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you. 

-Mother Teresa

Wherever a man turns he can find someone who needs him. 

-Albert Schweitzer

He who gives when he is asked has waited too long. 

-Sunshine Magazine

This is the true joy in life - being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. 

-George Bernard Shaw

Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. 

-Author Unknown

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. 

-Nelson Henderson

While earning your daily bread, be sure you share a slice with those less fortunate. 

-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist. 

-Laurence Leamer, King of the Night

No man stands so straight as when he stoops to help a boy. 

-Knights of Pythagoras 

Charity sees the need, not the cause. 
-German Proverb

In about the same degree as you are helpful, you will be happy. 
-Karl Reiland

How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
-William Shakespeare

If we could all hear one another's prayers, God might be relieved of some of his burdens. 
-Ashleigh Brilliant

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. 
-Norman B. Rice

I expect to pass through life but once.  If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again. 
-William Penn

Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee, and do not try to make the universe a blind alley. 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own. 
-Benjamin Disraeli


here's some news for ya's

a lot of what i blog about (100% so far) is from my perspective. it's from the life of tony gould. well, a major part of tony gould is emily gould (she literally is the better half). ok, now that i'm done speaking in the third person we'll move on. i've tried to get emily to blog on here about cool things we've done together but she's too chicken. ok, that's not entirely true. so here's what we're gonna do (said like a high school coach with a new trick play) we're going to create a new blog that we can both blog on. now, i know what you're thinking. "another blog? really?" the answer is yes and if you don't like it then don't read it (smiley winky face). oh, and don't case you like me more than emily you'll still have this blog to read. the 'emily and tony' blog will be up shortly and i'll let all you anxious readers know when it's live.

1. good idea?____
2. bad idea?_____
3. does anyone care?_____

answer sheet:
yes = 1
no = 0
must get 2/3 to be considered awesome
question 2 does not count.


i'm reading a new book and this was in it...

"Two guys are talking to each other, and one of them says he has a question for God. He wants to ask why God allows all of this poverty and war and suffering to exist in the world. And his friend says, "Well, why don't you ask?" The fellow shakes his head and says he is scared. When his friend asks why, he mutters, "I'm scared God will ask me the same question."
-The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne

most of you have heard that today is the rapture. well friends...sorry to say it isn't. i just want to point out Matthew 24 to some folks. in verse 36 it says, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." of all the "debatable" topics in the Bible...i am pretty sure this isn't one. of course, that's just my opinion.

what has all of the hype done for me? it's reiterated the urgency we (Christ followers) have to show God's love to this world. everyone. the entire world. every human in it. 100% of all mankind. no one left out. no one not good enough.

we are the body.
we are the hands.
we are the feet.
we are the church.

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
-Matthew 28:16-20


first marathon week is almost what?

i'm sure you're all wondering how the week after (zero week) the marathon has been for me. to be honest with wasn't as bad as i heard it could be. i did notice the slight disappointment of being done with training and working towards the goal of completing a marathon. also my immune system crashed and i got a nice two day cold, but other than that...i think i'm okay. as far as physical pain goes...sunday through tuesday was pretty rough, but by wednesday i was finally walking normal (and not freaking emily out by walking downstairs backward).

i didn't run until yesterday when i went out for an easy three. of course that easy three turned in to trying to run it faster than i ever have. funny how that worked. it was nice though to go out just to get back into the swing of things. i realized today that i really need to figure out how to get back into the gym (meaning: find the time). i got out of the habit half-way through my training and i think it really had an affect on my marathon results.

...but who cares about all that crap, right? so, i ask myself, "well...what's next, man?!" i answer, "anything i freakin' want!" i'm not gonna lie...originally i wanted to set out for a triathlon, but my fear of water might delay that a bit. i also don't have a bike, so for now i'll use that as my excuse. i do also see a fifty-miler in my future...somewhere down the road. for now though, i'm thinking i'm going to get into trail running and maybe going to work toward another full-marathon. maybe fall of this year? maybe chicago? maybe indy? maybe stl? maybe a different country? what?

i thought it'd be fun to do just a little recap of some memorable quotes from race weekend with emily...

emily (sarcastically): "i think that race could've used more cowbell."

emily: "you're walking funny."
tony: "'s my swagger."

tony (from the top of the stairs): "hey, walk downstairs doesn't hurt at all!"
emily: "no way, you look like a zombie or something."

emily: "hey, let's go on a walk this week, just because we can!"

sign at race: "gas is $4.13/gallon...keep's cheaper!"

sign at race: "if it was easy i'd be doing it"

drunk frat boy at mile one: "KEEP GOING...YOU'RE ALMOST THERE!!"

tony: "i literally ran the distance between the college hills starbucks in bloomington to my parents in gridley!"
         "emily, you ran from lake bloomington to gridley!"
         "there's something wrong with both of those statements."

there are many more i could share...but i think you get the general theme here! it was a long, tiring weekend...but we did it and it was awesome!


marathon training (week eighteen) race week!


...and i made it. after eighteen weeks of successful training with just very minor injuries and aches and pains and what was the result? i went and ran 26.2 miles yesterday and now i can't walk normal. i have to walk downstairs backward. if i squat there's a high likelihood that i will not be getting back up. last night my muscles were spasming, so that was freaky to watch. oh, and sometimes when i'm randomly sitting trying to enjoy dinner...i'll get a leg cramp that stands me straight up in .2 seconds. other than that though...i'm doing AWESOME!

the race started great. it was 51, overcast, and the wind was a little gusty. by mile 5 i realized i was doing what i had just done times 5, so i started to think things over. once i came up on miles 8-9 is when the first place half-marathoner passed us (not defeating at all!) btw...awesome job goes out to Emily for crushing her first half-marathon time by almost ten minutes!! she ran the half in 02:19:45! (and no one knows this...but she was struggling with some knee pain for the past couple weeks in her training...she's a machine!)

onto the half-way point...sucked. the realization that i had to do everything i had just done started to sink in. at mile 14 or 15 (memory is a little fuzzy at this point) i had to take a pee break. i'll admit it was a bit awkward hopping into a portapotty and swaying all around trying to go to the bathroom. at mile 16 or 17 i had officially hit the wall. most of you probably know what this is. it's when you say to yourself, "you. are. insane. why are you doing this to yourself? you'll never ever finish and your body is not going to work right ever again! stop running!!"

i was using GU (gel packs) to refuel throughout the race since i trained with them, but i had never had the chocolate flavor. right around mile 18 (i think) i grabbed a chocolate flavor GU from a volunteer by mistake but really needed it so i took it anyway. a half mile later at the next water stop i took water and a little didn't mix well in my stomach. i got a little nauseous and didn't take on any calories the rest of the race. so, the combination of hitting the wall and no fuel for the last 6.2 miles made it a little difficult. i ended up walking through water stops to finish out the race with a finish time of 04:46:52. a little longer than what i had hoped for...but honestly, i ran 26.2 miles so i'm not being too hard on myself. oh, and it was pretty awesome to be negative calories until 7:00 yesterday, too.

thanks to everyone who's been following my training, leaving me comments of encouragement, and letting me know that i can do anything i put my mind to. trust me...those were some of the things that helped me cross the finish line.

one thing i learned/re-learned this week in regards to running: running a full marathon is freakin' hard...but possible. now go try it for yourself!

week eighteen numbers:

starting weight: 184

monday - rest
tuesday - 4 miles / 34:13 (8:34)
wednesday - rest
thursday - 3 miles / 27:30 (9:10)
friday - rest
saturday - 26.2 / 04:46:52 (10:57)
sunday - just a little rest

total mileage for the week: 33.2 miles

ending weight: 182

total weight loss/gain: -2


how do you pronounce this?

this month we wanted to find something a little out there. well...i think we managed to do just that (at least i thought so). walking by this particular food we saw a sign that read "jicama" and immediately we had to start trying to pronounce it. after emily and i both realized we both knew it should be our next new food we try. come to find out it's also known as a Mexican turnip (a little useless fact for ya).

the inside of it is white almost like a potato. speaking of potatoes...the texture of this thing is a lot like a potato combined with a pear (at least when it's uncooked). i think i definitely want to try this again, but maybe cooked in something or for dipping in a hummus maybe?

want to know something cool about jicama? (why yes tony...we do of course) we eat the root like you see in the picture below, but the rest of the plant is actually very poisonous. seriously...who was the lucky one that figured that out?

-would i recommend it? yeah i think so. it'd probably work best cutting into wedges for dips or throwing it in a salad.
-easy to prepare? cut it up. we ate it raw, but you can cook it.
-availability? we found it at hyvee (we've seen them at wal-mart)
-health benefits? low in calories and an excellent source of fiber (six grams per cup!), potassium, iron, calcium, and vitamins C and E


marathon training (week seventeen)

remember when i was training for that marathon and was a week away and freaking out? me too.

let the countdown begin friends. five days to go...

btw...i just want to go on record and say that i am super duper proud of emily lynn gould for training for her second half-marathon and everyone should wish her awesome-good luck!

one thing i learned/re-learned this week in regards to running: there is always a bigger issue in this world for me to worry about than some small little problem i am having. too many times (way too many times) i stress over something or freak out about something in my life and i completely forget about everyone else in this world. trust can probably be a lot worse! i realized this on a run...

week seventeen numbers:

starting weight: 183

monday - rest
tuesday - rest
wednesday - 4 miles / 33:59 (8:30)
thursday - 3 miles / 25:44 (8:35)
friday - rest
saturday - rest
sunday - 6 miles / 55:00 (9:10)

total mileage for the week: 13 miles

ending weight: 184

total weight loss/gain: +1

"running is one of those things that can go straight to your head...and it gets there quick."
-tony freaking robert gould


marathon training (week sixteen)

there isn't really much to report this week for my training. i taper this week and next, so it should be a nice couple of weeks. honestly, according to my training plan, i tapered a little too much this week but next week i hope to stay on track. i actually had a little funny feeling in my right knee mid-week, so i decided to play it safe and just take it easy. so i did.

i got to run a three miler with emily earlier this week and i got to go out this morning (Sunday) and run a nice four miler with my dad so that's always fun. i think next week to top off my training my dad and i are going out to lake bloomington and running the outer loop (seven and a half miles i think).

can you believe that when i blog next week i'll be ONE WEEK OUT from the marathon!?! i'm freakin' out, maaan!

one thing i learned/re-learned this week in regards to running: tapering is the best part of training for a marathon.

week sixteen numbers:

starting weight: 183

monday - rest
tuesday - 3 miles / 22:02 (7:21)
wednesday - rest
thursday - 3 miles / 28:06 (9:22)
friday - rest
saturday - rest
sunday - 4 miles / 34:25 (8:37)

total mileage for the week: 10 miles

ending weight: 183

total weight loss/gain: 0


a helping hand

i am determined to help every single person i can in this world. that pretty much sums it up. some might say it's impossible. some might cheer me on. others might even choose to help out with this life goal. ultimately, it's something i am determined to do and you know what they say about me when i'm determined to do something, right? i'm gonna freakin' do it!

here's what i need from you guys. spread the word that i'm out looking for ways to help people. nothing is too small and nothing is too big. if you know someone who needs some help with something let them know to contact me. if you think they won't contact me then get me their contact information and i will hunt them down. i know this sounds cheesy, but i really think this will be a cool deal.

i know my blog does haven't a ton of readers (probably not even twenty), but i know what it takes to get a message out. if each of you awesome people post this blog post on your facebook wall or tweet it or spread it one way or's bound to find the eyes of someone who either needs some help or reach someone who knows of someone in need of some help.

besides the "anyway possible" answer to the question "how will i help" i figured i'd try to make a quick list of ways i could help you or someone you may know.
-cutting down trees
-picking out a new car
-yard work
-honest criticism
-answering questions about
    -life (cause i got it figured out of course)
-singing a duet
-dog sitting
-taking out the garbage
-fixing a flat tire
-finishing a bottle of wine so you don't drink too much
-giving you a ride somewhere
-writing a song
-going to the movies so you don't have to go solo

as you can see...i can be quite helpful. there is no limit to what i will do to help someone. did that come out wrong? hope not. you get what i'm saying, right? i'm just looking for ways to help people out and i figured this was/is a great first place to start. i'm kinda pondering (can you 'kinda ponder'?) the idea of posting an ad on craig's list or ebay explaining what i want to do. i can see it now..."twenty five year old dude who loves Jesus and loves you wants to help you with _________________________! and he's not crazy." the only thing that's actually holding me back from doing that is the fact that i could get murdered by some wackadoo out there (no offense if you are a wackadoo).

is this lame? maybe.
is this pointless? nope.
is this possible? i think so.
is this worth a shot? yes!

email me or have people email me here:  and i'll do everything i can to help out!!


marathon training (week fifteen)

ever since decided i wanted to complete a full marathon i knew it was going to be tough. it's one of those things that you can't really prepare for. i mean, of course i'm training and all, but i'm talking about full on pre-to-the-pare. i've read a few articles about 'week fifteen' and how it can make or break you. there are all sorts of horror stories. at the got me fired up. now, in week fifteen...i'm crazy nervous.

my weekday runs went okay this week. i started strong, but ended feeling pretty fatigued on thursday after my four miler. on thursday, it was nice getting a run in early in the morning before work. that's always a great way to start a day.

one awesome run this week was my three miler on tuesday with emily. since it was one day without shoes we of course wanted to run we did. we ran part of our four mile loop then broke off around the two mile mark to head onto the golf course where we kicked off our shoes and socks. it was only my second time running barefoot and emily's first. it was a total blast to run with her all over the course barefoot like a couple of little kids laughing the entire time.

...and then came the twenty miler. twenty miles! just say it out loud with me, "twenty miles!" one more time and let's yell it, "TWENTY MILES!!" anyway, the weather was perfect; mid-sixties and hardly any wind. it did get warm toward the end when the sun came out full force, but it didn't really matter because i couldn't feel anything at that point. unfortunately, i didn't even think i would need sunscreen, and as a result i got a wicked sunburn. so we're all on the same page here, it's not the type of sunburn where the next day people are like, "dang got some nice color!" it's more like, "tony...what the crap were you doing yesterday that gave you such awkward sunburn lines?" you can literally tell that i had my arms up in a running position for over three hours and just happen to be wearing taller ankle socks. whatever though...when i was finally done (it took me about twenty minutes longer than i was hoping for) i could barely walk. i've never felt anything like it, folks. it was gnarly to say the least.

one thing i learned/re-learned this week in regards to running: the infamous week fifteen during marathon training does suck!

week fifteen numbers:

starting weight: 184

monday - 4 miles / 32:52 (8:13)
tuesday - 3 miles / 28:04 (9:22)
wednesday - rest
thursday - 4 miles / 35:55 (8:59)
friday - rest
saturday - 20 miles / 03:24:09 (10:13)
sunday - rest

total mileage for the week: 31 miles

ending weight: 183

total weight loss/gain: -1


one day without shoes

if you weren't aware, today is ONE DAY WITHOUT SHOES that TOMS promotes. it's pretty much one of the coolest things ever. if you don't have the time to check out the link above i'll fill you in a little on what exactly it means to go a day without shoes. for's every day life. for others (probably like you and me) it's for comfort. i have the luxury of coming home from a hard day's work and kicking off my shoes and relax. meanwhile, there are people who go to work barefoot, work hard in rocky terrain, and then go home without shoes. it's simple, but hopefully extremely effective. TOMS set out to simply make people aware.

unfortunately, emily and i both work in jobs where going barefoot was not an option today. how did you go one day without shoes then? we ran barefoot, duh!

although some of you might have missed the chance to go a full day without shoes, do yourself a favor and kick off your shoes and socks and walk around outside for a while. all i thought about while running barefoot today was why change happens in the first place. it's people doing things like this and this just to promote a day when we all go barefoot.

here's a couple of cool ways you can learn how to help with providing people with something for their feet!
-Here you can learn how to donate old running shoes
-Here you can buy one pair of shoes and they'll give one pair of shoes
-Here you can donate ONE DOLLAR and provide someone in need with shoes

it's one thing to bring awareness to a situation...but it's so much more to actually do something to make a change in that situation!


marathon training (week fourteen)

it was a decent week this week. i put a lot of pressure on myself to get all of my runs in and i'm happy with the way this week turned out. obviously, i didn't get the long run in that i wanted to (fourteen miler) but the ~seven i did this morning was phenomenal!

first off...the wind today is brutal! thirty mph winds with over forty mph gusts from the SSE is not a good wind to have when you do most of your running in the open/flat/boring country of illinois. the beginning of my route was great since i was running north. i sorta felt like i was running on the moon. the wind was actually pushing me, so it felt like i was barely doing anything. then i turned and headed east...bad. then i turned and headed south...impossible to breath! i realized i wasn't going to pull off fourteen without feeling miserable, so i broke off from my route and turned in toward town. i came up on a new golf course and all of a sudden i was off-roading it and heading toward the cart paths. it was a great feeling to not worry about my training, or that i wasn't going to be getting fourteen in this morning. i felt free. i felt happy. i felt like i was running just because i loved it. what made it even more awesome was what happened next. (and i'm not going to tell you...just kidding read on to the next paragraph!)

i got up toward the clubhouse and the next thing i knew i was kicking off my shoes and socks. at this point i had only ran about four miles, but once i was barefoot and started running on the course i felt like i had never run before. it felt so awesome and free and every other cliche word i can think of to say that running is some awesome natural relationship between the runner and the earth.

bottom line: i'm hooked. i know i probably went a little too far barefoot, but come on...when you're feeling it you're feeling it. once the marathon is done and out of the way (26 days 21 hours 37 minutes 30 seconds) i'm definitely doing more barefoot running!

one thing i learned/re-learned this week in regards to running: barefoot running is awesome!

week fourteen numbers:

starting weight: 188

monday - rest
tuesday - 5 miles / 42:21 (8:29)
wednesday - 4 miles / 34:07 (8:32)
thursday - rest
friday - 9 miles / 01:20:42 (8:58)
saturday - rest
sunday - 7 miles / 01:00:47 (8:41)

total mileage for the week: 25  miles

ending weight: 184

total weight loss/gain: -4