Monday, October 20, 2014

Weekend at Boerne's

We survived our trip to San Antonio with flying colors I think. It was a whirlwind weekend but I think everyone had fun, nobody got hurt, and we all got back to normal fairly quickly. Prepare yourself for lots of words and lots of pictures.

We got up at the butt-ass-crack-o-fucking-dawn. I know I usually exaggerate a bit when I say that but 4am is super early. Well, we got up at about 2:30am so yeah, it was too damn early. I nearly stayed up all night but decided a few hours of sleep was better than none.

We got everyone in the car, drove to Richmond, parked, and walked into the airport. The kids were still a bit sleepy but were alert enough to be excited. We checked our bags at the counter, got our tickets, and headed to security. We took our shoes off but found out on the other side that we didn't need to do that. We went through the standard metal detector as a family so that was good. Once we got dressed on the other side, we found our gate and sat down. The kids and I walked around a bit, bought some gum, and generally just chilled out.

Our flight left on time and the sun was up just enough so the kids could look out the window to see what it was like to fly. There were no panic attacks just lots of ear popping. We had drinks, read, colored, played, etc. We landed in DFW, went to the bathroom, grabbed snacks, and boarded out next flight. William was lucky enough to see the first cockpit so of course Elizabeth wanted a turn so she got to see the second one. Even got to push the throttle forward (don't worry, we didn't move).

Stormy takes flight!

Second flight was much shorter. We got in the air, they served drinks, they collected drinks, and we landed. Once on the ground in DFW, we grabbed our suitcases, took the shuttle to our car, and then drove out of town. We grabbed some lunch and chilled a bit to get our land legs back before heading to my sister-in-law's house. We got to visit with family there, ate dinner, then went to our hotel in Boerne. Which by the way is pronounced "Bernie." So it quickly became our "Weekend at Boerne's."

Friday we got up and hit the Riverwalk in San Antonio. The Alamo was unimpressive for everyone but we had a great time on the Riverwalk and on the boat tour.

The Alamo was ... meh.

The Riverwalk was awesome!

After that, we headed back to the hotel for naps then to the rehearsal outside of Boerne to the rehearsal dinner in San Antonio.

Saturday brought rain and cooler temperatures. We visited a local cave/cavern, saw bats (eek!), and then did some chilling out before the wedding. The wedding was great, had no issues, and we all went to the hotel tired from the adventure.

The dinosaur at the cave.

Some RANDOM letters we saw on the trip.

Sunday we went the newlywed's house and had brunch, more time with the family, and then we went shopping. It was generally just an easy day of doing nothing and getting ready for the slugfest that would be coming.

Monday was indeed a slugfest. We got up at a more normal hour, checked out of the hotel, dropped off the car, and checked into the airport. Saw a neat sculpture,went through security, and waited at the gate. The kids had a great time watching all the ground traffic with tow cars, baggage cars, planes landing, and more. We also got one more chance to see my brother-in-law and his new baby.

After a good three hour delay, we finally left San Antonio, endured a bumpy ride to DFW, and got off the plane well after our connecting flight. Which meant we had to wait for a new flight which was about 5 hours later. So we checked out the terminal, I entertained the kids with two trips (one in each direction) around the airport on the train, and then dinner. After dinner I took each kid on a walk around the terminal before we moved to another gate for departure. While we hoped for a decent departure time, we had another 3 hour delay leaving DFW so thankfully we had plenty of time to do all the goofy things you need to do to entertain two extremely bored kids and one bored adult. I'm just glad I didn't buy a bottle of booze in the "doodie free" shops.

We finally left DFW and arrived in Richmond on Tuesday.

It's made out of suitcases.

William's artwork from dinner.

This is how you entertain yourself (and your kids) in DFW.

Once we arrived, we got our bags, found our car, and headed home. Everyone was snoozing away but I managed to grab some coffee on the flight so I was good to go. We eventually crashed around 3am. Yvonne got up for work at her usual time but we let the kids (and myself) sleep in. They slept in a little but I fed them and sent them off to school anyway because I figured half a day of school was better than none.

Finally, this is what everyone looked like on the last flight home. Pooped.

Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 12 Hour ATR Race Report

This has been quite a year. I've toughed it out through an 8 hour race, a 24 hour race, and a few shorter races. I moved a few months ago, I'm in the middle of dealing with a flooded basement, and I still have a trip halfway across the country to plan for. So no, things haven't been quite lately. So to say that my training has suffered from all the stress life has thrown at me is quite an understatement. But I'm okay with that. Part of running is dealing with adversity, adapting to it, and either pushing through it or finding a way around it.

Last weekend I spent a few hours in the emergency room with back spasms. It was sudden, painful, and still on the mend. I knew the day after that I was going to be healthy enough to at least start the 12 hour race. But I also had to temper my plans and just chill out and not do anything stupid. I wanted to live to run again another day.

And that's exactly what I did. I played it safe, dealt with things as they arose, and pushed through the pain to meet my original goal from earlier in the year. In some of my other races I felt the need to run for other people. Friends or family that either died or were sick. People that were important to me in some form or fashion and I felt the need to honor them by running in their name. A lot of people do it for a lot of different reasons. I generally didn't advertise it but it was still something I felt like I needed to do. Well, for this race, I did it all for me. And I didn't feel one bit guilty about it either. In fact, I frequently found myself doing something I very rarely do when I run a race, I smiled. A lot. And if felt damn good.

My day started at 0345 when I woke up 15 minutes before my alarm. Instead of trying to get another few minutes of sleep, I just got up, showered, and headed out the door. I got lucky and had dinner with fellow runners the night before who agreed to carpool my stinky butt to the race. So by 0430, I was loaded into their car and headed to pick up Moises, the other runner they were picking up. Mike and Tracy, and their son Mikey, were very gracious to make the offer to drive me and it made for a much easier day.

Once we unloaded our gear, we prepped, I saw a few other runners I knew and before we knew it, it was time to start. The first loop was mostly in the dark and I took things slow. I ran here and there but wasn't in a big rush. On my second loop, I ditched the lights and long sleeves and picked up my hydration pack. It didn't hurt my back but it made me feel it more than just the handheld. So when I came back through for my third loop, I ditched the hydration pack and stuck with the single bottle. For loops four and five, I did run out of water at the end of the loop but I was never more than mile from the finish so it wasn't that big of a deal.

While I could have pushed things hard on my fifth loop just to make an attempt at six, I knew by the halfway point of loop four that it would have been stupid. I was lucky to hook up with Moises on my last lap. We walked nice and easy and played it safe. Near the end, fellow local runner Rob caught up to us so he helped us push the pace a little bit at the end.

In the end, I'm happy with how things went. Sure I could have done better with so many things but to be able to do so many miles without too much effort felt great. So I'll take it as a win and move on to my next goal.

The cemetery in the woods.

One of many gravel roads.

One of a few spots where I stopped long enough to bask in the sun.

Enjoying my donut (off camera) with my feet up at the end of the race.

Temps were about 55F to 60F at the start but warmed to about 75F to 80F. Sky was clear. Winds were light. Humidity was low.

Fluids and Fuel:
Had coffee, banana, and GenUCAN for breakfast. During the race I had GenUCAN electrolyte mix, plain water, and a bottle of GenUCAN. And a couple of coffees. I also ate some pierogis, half a grilled cheese, and some chips. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite, a donut, and Burger King on the way home. Although extremely tempting, I only had a sip of soda.

Aches and Pains:
Back was still tender but no pain. Feet hurt on the last two laps. Ended up with one blister on my right heel but it was too deep to lance. And I did have some mild monkey butt on the last lap but nothing bad enough to hurt in the shower. Outside of that, everything felt fine.

No new gear or special gear but I did get plenty of questions and comments on my JWalking Designs running kilt.

I normally track my time in the aid stations but each time through, even when going to the bathroom, I was there maybe 3 minutes at most so I didn't bother to track it.
Loop 1 - 1:52:12
Loop 2 - 1:52:28
Loop 3 - 2:00:01
Loop 4 - 2:19:21
Loop 5 - 2:24:30
Finish - 10:29:30