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


free april

emily had an AWESOME idea for the month of april. first off...let me tell you all a little bit about my wife, emily. she's great at thinking of awesome ideas. as much as dudes might want to get inside the brain of a woman....after being married to emily almost four years....i do not. don't get me wrong....i'm sure her brain is very awesome, but all of the thinking she does...whew! you know what they say about people who think all of the time, right? they freakin' rock! it's true's those kinds of people who are changing this world! and i'm convinced she will...

so anyway let's get back on track. emily's idea was that during the entire month of april...we pay for nothing! now, i know you're thinking that that is impossible. well it is. we're still going to have to buy things like food, gas, and pay a couple bills here and there...but we're not going to spend money on anything else. we're talking mostly our "fun/entertainment/stay sane/probably shouldn't have bought that" category of spending here.

at first i was a little hesitant. Q: why? A: because i like to go out to eat on the weekends. i like to go buy a pair of pants if i want. i like to swing into the gas station after i fuel up and get a thirty-two ounce diet coke for seventy-five cents! you know...things like that are very very very important to me. luckily sarcasm is free, right?

that's it. we're going to find nothing but FREE things to do for fun. she already has a list going which includes things like going to see a movie at nine o'clock on a saturday morning where it will mostly consist of families with young children...and us. one night we might be able to go to a possibly sketchy winery for a free wine tasting (i'll let you know). just yesterday she went to the store to get me almondmilk (which i needed) and she somehow made it out of there with a free bag of sunchips. this is my wife...she is brilliant!

throughout this month i'll be posting about all of the free awesomeness we decide to venture into so get ready! also...if you have any suggestions of some free fun things to do in the peoria/bloomington-normal area please feel free to shoot them my way.

i know the drawing is terrible terribly awesome, but this is what i first though of when she told me about the 'free apil' idea. see what goes on in my head? she has all of these awesome ideas and this is what i took from it..."we HAVE to set april free!!"