Friday, December 28, 2012

2013 Race Sponsorship

A while back, I pretty much begged Saucony and my local running store to sponsor me as a runner. In looking back at my action I realize now they were pretty lame. Last year I applied with INOV-8 and was turned down. That's the polite way of saying I was rejected. Like my previous attempts, I wasn't surprised that I didn't get in.

I have heard that Brooks has two different levels of sponsorship, one for elite athletes and one for the more everyday runners out there. While this sounds tempting, I'm not really a big fan of Brooks. Sure, they make some nice gear but I've become quite picky in what I wear. So even though I do have some Brooks clothing in my running rotation, I don't feel comfortable enough making the attempt.

I have applied with Altra Zero Drop to be one of their Ambassadors and I feel very comfortable doing so. I love their shoes and will continue to wear them even if I don't get accepted. I don't know what to say about their clothes as I don't have any but I'm sure it's pretty normal stuff.

I feel uncomfortable trying to work out a sponsorship deal with T-Star Running since the owner/creator is a friend and I'm not sure I want to mix business with friendship. It just seems like it would have too much opportunity to add stress to our group runs. Despite this, I will continue to buy her shorts and will continue to love them. Even if she does sew a shiny silver star on the ass of my next pair.

So why am I rambling on about all these big and small companies and sponsorships? Because I want somebody out there to pay my way to a race this year. I'd even settle for next year if the timing doesn't work out. You see, at some point I can't remember, I signed up for email alerts from the Sandhills Marathon. When I got the first one a few days ago, I thought it was in South Dakota. I love South Dakota so I figured that was why I signed up for the emails. Then I started reading more closely and realized it was a race in the Sandhills of Nebraska. Very close to South Dakota but not quite. The best part about the race is that finishers get a silver spur. How awesome is that?!

I know, I have so many first-world problems and here I am asking for somebody to send me to Nebraska for a long weekend. But I want to go. And I can't afford it. So, if there are any rich folks out there that want to send me, let me know. Oh, and if you're super-rich, I'd also like to buy the family farm in Nebraska too. It'll only cost a million or two. Not asking for much am I!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top 5 Under Appreciated Christmas Movies

I thought I'd take a turn for the bizarre here today and talk about a few Christmas movies that are seriously under appreciated. That's right, those movies that people have only vaguely heard of but have only seen once or twice or maybe even never. Oh, and yes, I know it's the day AFTER Christmas. This just means you have plenty of time to either go shopping at the sales this weekend or to get an early start on next year's list. So here goes.

5 - Die Hard
Seriously, this is a Christmas movie for me. At least #1 and #2 are. I'll continue to argue this point until everyone agrees with me so forget about trying to change my mind.

4 - Unaccompanied Minors
Yet another classic that comes across as campy and cheesy but still deserves more appreciation.Lewis Black and Tyler James Williams are stellar in this show. And while Wilmer Valderramma does a good job acting, all I hear is Handy Manny. On top of this, we have Brett Kelly, the pickle kid from Bad Santa. Hilarious! And of course, it's very much like Home Alone, just set in an airport with five kids instead of one.

3 - I'll Be Home For Christmas
Another classic that doesn't get the airtime it deserves. Sure, it's campy and sure it's cheesy. But there's a 5k race with people running dressed as Santa, classic! And for those 7th Heaven fans out there, you get to see Adam LaVorgna (Robbie) and Jessica Biel (Mary) before they got together on the show!

2 - Scrooged
Many fans of Bill Murray are well aware of this 80's classic but it still exists on the fringes of the mainstream media. Besides, it has Mary Lou Retton, Jamie Farr, a very young Wendie Malick, Buddy Hackett, and Bobcat Goldthwait. It is a bit scarier than I remember but those are just the scenes with the Ghost of Christmas Future. It's like Caddyshack for Christmas.

1 - The Man Who Came To Dinner
This is by far, the most under appreciated Christmas movie out there. I'd even venture to say that this is the most under appreciated movie of all time. The comedic writing, timing, and acting are by far the best you will find anywhere. If you want to write, act, do stand-up, or even spend two hours laughing, then you need to watch this movie. I've watched it every Christmas for a few years now and it gets better every time.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chatty Cathy aka Tammy Massie

We are all human and we all make mistakes. It is now time to ask forgiveness for one of my mistakes. I spoke poorly of a fellow runner before I knew more about her.

As crew/pacer for a friend, I ran across Tammy during a race earlier this year. The biggest thing I noticed about her was her choice in clothing. Her costume. Her outfit. Lots of pinks and purples and a lei as a crown of sorts. And she talked. A lot. So she was dubbed Chatty Cathy in our crude humor and we did our best to avoid her. I think we just couldn't deal with the talking.

Over the past few months I've seen her here and there and I always made it a point to do my best to avoid her. I just couldn't deal with the conversation and the constant talking. My luck ran out when I ran the recent Seashore Nature Trail 50k. As I lined up for the start I saw her and cringed a little on the inside. While she had never really bothered me too much (a few minutes on the trail isn't really all that long when you think about it), I did my best to avoid her.

A few miles down the trail, I ended up running with her. And talking with her. And it turns out, she wasn't as bad as I thought. Yes, she still talked a lot. To everyone. But you know, I learned a lot too. Turns out she's quite the accomplished ultra runner. And willing enough to share some of her knowledge with me.

So over the next 20 miles or so, we would cross paths for a bit here and there. When possible, we'd run together and chit chat. Otherwise we'd just acknowledge each other and keep moving. She was always friendly and always took the time to introduce everyone in the gaggle of runners around her.

But in the end, it was always the talking. She'd always be talking to somebody. And for awhile, that was great. I liked having that distraction while running and I loved learning more about ultras. But after awhile, I just needed the silence of me, myself, and I in the woods gutting it out on the course. So although I didn't plan it that way, that's what ended up happening.

So, Tammy, if you happen to read this, I'm sorry if I said unkind things about you in the past. You still talk a lot but I think I can handle that now. At least until I need a break. Good luck in your next adventure.

Monday, December 17, 2012

2012 Seashore Nature Trail 50k Race Report

Oh gee where to start? Um, how about with the usual warning about this being a long report. Big surprise, I know. Okay, my race weekend started with a trip to the car dealer to get an oil change and tire rotation. Nothing too exciting there except that the customer service has been getting exponentially better there. Kind of odd but in my line of work I'm hyper-sensative to it. From there I headed down to Virginia Beach.

The Start.

I drove past the hotel where packet pick-up would be and went to the park, First Landing State Park, to scope out the trails. I walked down to the beach and was pretty confused about how we'd be able to run 30+ miles on sand dunes. I went into the office to get a map and the lady working the desk was nice enough to explain to me that the race would be on the other side of the street where the trails were. So I drove over there, got an idea of where to park and where we'd be running, saw a few other runners doing the same thing, then headed to packet pickup. At packet pickup I noticed a DRHT 50k shirt, lots of runners, and nobody I knew. So I headed to my hotel to check in and find dinner.

Some fellow DailyMile members out on the course and at aid stations.

I got checked in, ditched my bag, and ate some grub before turning in and getting a decent night's sleep. Race morning came soon enough and I was up and out the door in plenty of time to drive to the nearby Panera for breakfast. I knew I had made a mistake with my dinner the night before so I figured what the hell, a larger breakfast can't make things worse. Turns out, I was right. My dinner choice wasn't so good and that's what I paid for. Chips, salad, and a creamy lobster and shrimp mac & cheese wasn't a great idea. Way too much dairy. My breakfast, a egg and cheese sandwich and bagel, was pretty normal and I didn't pay for that.

Spanish moss and great views of the sun and swamps.

Anyway, I parked at the park, got out, walked around, went to the bathroom, saw Danny W. , Michael N. , and Steve S. before the start. We all chatted a bit here and there, I got my timing chip, and went to the bathroom. Nothing too abnormal other than I should have worn my kilt since there was another guy there wearing his. Damn. Oh, and I saw Tammy, aka Chatty Cathy, aka Tab's best friend. We call her Chatty Cathy because she talks. A lot.

Yet another view along the course.

The race started at the parking lots, went about 3/4's of a mile up the road, then headed onto the Cape Henry Trail. The route was a funny double out and back. The funny part was the first section on the road was only repeated twice; once at the start and once at the finish. Everything else you got to see four times. From the Cape Henry Trail, we headed south-east with a detour onto the Kingfisher Trail and White Hill Lake Trail. Cape Henry is flat and wide. It's very much like a fire road but instead of gravel, it's dirt and pine needles. Kingfisher and White Hill Lake were both single track with some small hills and plenty of roots. This would be the theme of the day. Flat, roots, and dirt. The Cape Henry Trail heads to 64th Street where we got our first aid station (unless you count the one we passed right as we started). From here Cape Henry becomes more single track and much more twisty. Nothing too major and a nice change of pace. We ran along the water line, through a short section of sand, turned around, and repeated everything (including the detour on the side trails).

This tree was labeled as the Giving Tree.

Once we got back to the area where we left the road and got onto the Cape Henry Trail, we took another detour onto some side trails. These were like the others, but had much more roots and boardwalks to cross over. They also had a few more rolling hills but again, nothing too major. The Bald Cyprus Trail was pretty short and easy to navigate but the Osmanthus Trail sucked. Lots of roots, lots of boardwalks, and lots of rollers. It makes a loop and on the return side of it things got bad mentally. It felt like you were running the same section of trail over and over again. I've only had this happen to me once (at Oil Creek) and I hated it. It was like I was on a treadmill and couldn't get off. Once I saw the little sign on the trail, I knew I was close to the end. From there it was a short section of the Bald Cyprus Trail again then back to the Cape Henry Trail. From here, we repeated everything all over again for a second time. At the end of the second time through, we headed back to the road to the finish line.

Some punk running in a race.

A couple of things to know about the race. First, there are no hills. Any hill you run over is going to be shorter than 50 feet. And of those hills, there aren't many of them, maybe just a handful. There is elevation change along the entire route, but again, not very much to speak of. There's just enough elevation to give you a chance to walk or use different muscles but overall, it's a flat course. The weather for the race was great so the trail conditions were great. This meant that it was dry and fast. It also meant you had plenty of chances to trip on tree roots. And there were plenty of them. Plenty. No rocks to speak of and only a short section of sand along the water's edge. On the second loop the tide shifted so there was a water crossing. If you could call it that. The water was maybe 2 inches deep and you could jump across it. The finish is also not exactly where the start was. Pretty close though and it's well marked so you won't get lost. However, the rest of the course isn't marked as well as I expected so there was a chance that you'd get lost. But in all honesty, that chance was pretty damn slim. They had a person at every turn you make on the trail and they were pretty vocal about where you needed to go. And after you run the route the first time, it's easy enough to remember the second time around. The aid stations were great and even though there were two of them, you passed them many, many times. Very strategically placed for the runners and volunteers for easy access.

The same punk running on one of the many boardwalks.

At the finish, the volunteers were all great. Congratulations and help with anything you needed. You get a sweatshirt for registering and a long sleeve tech tee when you finish. All in all, a great deal for a great race. I'd certainly recommend it for first-timers and old hats. It's also a great race for those coming with family as there's plenty of places to see runners go by many, many times.

Temps started out around 40F to 45F or so and warmed to 50F or 55F. There was a breeze in some of the sections as you neared the water or the trees thinned out. The sun came out once or twice but was generally blocked out by the haze and clouds.

Fluids and Fuel:
So, my dinner the night before would eventually catch up to me. But breakfast before the race was a power sandwich and bagel with an iced latte. During the race I had three magic bottles for fuel (one scoop of Hammer Perpeteum and two Hammer Gels mixed with water). I spaced these out to about one every 5 to 8 miles. I wanted to use them every 10 miles but couldn't quite stretch them that far. I also had a bottle of Hammer Fizz about every 5 to 8 miles. Again, I tried to stretch this to every 10 miles but again, it didn't work. I did have a bottle of plain water that I used as well but I only refilled that two or three times. For the last 10 miles or so I had to survive on Mountain Dew and Gatorade. More on this in a bit. Recovery was hot chocolate, two donuts, water, then some Hammer Recoverite when I got back to my hotel.

Aches and Pains:
I tripped once early on and stubbed my toe on a root. I managed to not fall but still felt awkward for a half mile or so. Around Mile 10 or so I fell. And it was quite the spectacular fall. Just ask the two guys that got to see it. I tripped, tucked, rolled onto my back, and then laid there like a damn turtle on my back. My bottles in my pack dug into my back but beyond that, nothing hurt too bad. After a few miles though my left elbow and left calf began to hurt a bit. I only ended up with a bit of road rash on my left calf so it all worked out okay. My right heel was also hurting int he final 10 miles or so but not bad enough to stop. Same with the ball of my left foot. It hurt even more after my fall but I was able to block it out and keep running. The worst of my pain was my gut (and this is where things get a bit graphic). Around Mile 8 I started to feel some cramping in my gut. Things got better and worse in cycles and I even tried to purge my system a few times with no luck. It was during these false alarms that I noticed my urine output wasn't what it should have been and was much darker than normal. Around Mile 15 I started to push fluids and my legs stopped feeling tight. But my gut still annoyed the hell out of me. Then around Mile 20 I was finally able to exercise the demon in my gut at the aid station. This left me feeling so much better for the last ten miles. Not only did I feel like I lost 10 pounds but I also had no more stomach distress to deal with.

I started in my thermal top but stripped that off around Mile 12 or so. I also stripped off my winter hat around Mile 2. Wore my orange T-Star Running shorts, calf sleeves, gaiters, 3 Non Joggers t-shirt, headband, and my hydration pack. I also tested out a new piece of equipment, my quarterback gauntlet. Well, technically, it was more like a vambrace, but only the fantasy nerds out there would know the difference. It helped me know the exact distances at each aid station, how far to the next one, and gave me a map of where I needed to go. I loved it but it was a bit uncomfortable to wear after Mile 20. I got compliments on this as well as my shorts. I also got some comments on my color choice (blaze orange) and my DailyMile headband. Turns out this is also a great race for DMers to meet their peers. A few even knew me although I didn't know them.

Codename - Racing Stripes
When I was a kid, I never could get the hang of wiping my ass just right so my mom would always comment on the racing stripes in my underwear. This race wasn't that different except I didn't have racing stripes. I sure felt like I was going to earn them the way my gut felt but I was able to gamble safely and not lose. And thankfully I didn't need to use a sock.

My splits are by aid station so I'll give the mileage to give some perspective.
Time to cross Start - 00:37
64th Street Aid Station - Loop 1 Outbound (Mile 5.17) - 01:00:39
64th Street Aid Station - Loop 1 Inbound (Mile 8.34) - 39:45
Time spent at 64th Street Aid Station - 1:56
Cape Henry Aid Station - Loop 1 Inbound (Mile 12.05) - 52:35
Cape Henry Aid Station - Loop 2 Outbound (Mile 15.75) - 42:32
64th Street Aid Station - Loop 2 Outbound (Mile 19.95) - 59:40
64th Street Aid Station - Loop 2 Inbound (Mile 23.12) - 50:00
Cape Henry Aid Station - Loop 2 Inbound (Mile 27.44) - 1:03:47
To the Finish - 58:49
Finish - 7:09:43 (13:50 per mile average pace)

Forgot to mention that this is a new PR by 27:55.

Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 Blue & Gray Half Marathon Race Report

I signed up for the half at the last minute. Things were a bit unstable with my calendar so it wasn't until Friday night that I was able to nail things down enough to plan for the race. I signed up Saturday and ran Sunday. Two years ago that would have been unthinkable. I can still remember my first 5 mile run down the road and I can still remember how much of an adventure it was for me. I'm surprised I didn't pack a tent and sleeping bag because I felt like I was going to be gone for a week. Sunday's race was wildly different. I still over-packed but my mind and body were able to handle 13.1 miles without too much thought or planning. Or training for that matter. I'm still way behind on my weekly mileage and it's catching up to me.

The race itself seems to be cursed with foul weather. The first year I ran this event I did the 5k and nearly froze in the rain and cold. Every year since things have been just about as lousy. This year was no exception but thankfully the rain held off until I had a beer in my hand. Temps were even nice enough to be able tosport a singlet rather than a thermal shirt.

There are so many highlights, I'm not sure I'll be able to remember them all so I'll bore everyone to death as usual by going step by step through the day. My morning started with an iced latte and a donut as I drove into town. I used the bathroom at Wal Mart and mildly panicked as I couldn't remember what time the race started. Thankfully I had 35 minutes to park and get my shit together instead of the 5 minutes I feared. Once I got my timing chip, I went back to my car to gear up. I swapped out my thermal shirt for arm sleeves since things felt warm enough, ditched my MP3 player since the battery was dead, and donned my Oil Creek 100 singlet.

You know those rules about wearing race shirts? Well, I broke one. And it was worth it. I was the asshole runner that wears his 100k shirt to a half marathon. Why? Because I fucking felt like it. I earned that damn shirt and I'm proud of the suffering I endured to get it. So I wore it. But I wasn't the only one. More on that later.

I camped out at the back of the start line and waited. I had my hydration pack filled and was ready to go. The race started and I just waited. I knew I'd pass people late in the race so I just took my time crossing the starting mat. The first two miles of this race are mostly downhill and mostly fast. Which means my fat ass had plenty of momentum going down to the canal trail. Once on the trail, I had the opportunity to cross paths with Prianka (hope I spelled that right, at least I remembered it!). She rolled up next to me and asked if she could ask me a question. Just as I was dropping crap out of my pocket. I stopped, grabbed my stuff, and caught back up. Turns out, she stalked me (in a friendly way) online and read my amateur analysis of Hospital Hill. We chatted for about the next mile or so and periodically saw each other during the race. She ended up with a new PR about 4 minutes ahead of me. Congrats!

Here's the start.

Moments before meeting Prianka.

Off the canal trail and onto the Washington Heights loop we go up and down a little hill. I say little now because my other running exploits have taught me that anything under 1,000 feet it little. This was when I saw the two guys carrying full rucksacks while running. And walking. And running. And damn, did that look impressive. And crazy. Then it's a giant zig-zag through the streets of town and onto Sunken Road. I missed the reenactments of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg so I had my own little battle with the ever-so-gentle slope of that road. As I neared the ball fields of UMW, I passed the water table and was shocked to see a cute lady smiling at me. Well, I assume it was me she smiled at. Could have been the lady behind me.

These dudes had some sack.

Hugh Mercer statue.

Little girl cheering us on from atop the van.

Around the gravel loop around the ball fields I pulled over for a pit stop. Back on my way I was able to gather some more speed as that ever-so-gentle slope of Sunken Road worked for me now. I zig-zagged back the way I came and used every downhill as much as I could. I continued to use my run a mile then walk a minute pattern and gradually began to pick people off. I'd pass somebody, they'd pass me, then I'd pass them for good. The girl with black hair was a prime example. We yo-yo'd a bit until I dropped her around Mile 9 (somewhere after the giraffe).

The giraffe.

Once I got to Mile 10, I began to do the math. Usually this is a bad idea for me since I do math a bit different than everyone else and tend to lose my mathematical acuity when I run. Somehow I figured that if I could pull sub-12 miles, I'd have a great finish time. That part was correct but I goofed when I thought I'd be scoring a new PR. I'd end up about 4 minutes off my PR time but still a pretty darn good pace. Each mile would click by and I'd re-figure my pace.

As I got to the bottom of Hospital Hill, I literally put my head down and ran. Part A went great. Part B went great. Part C I had to walk a bit more than I wanted to but still ran the majority of it. Part D went great. I got back onto Cowan and saw a local runner from the YMCA ahead of me pacing somebody. I passed them at the bottom of the last hill on Cowan and ran most of that one too. Coming into the final stretch I felt winded but new I'd finish with a decent time. I ditched my hydration pack at my car and ran the last bit strong. Not crazy strong like I usually do but strong enough to pass two guys in front of me.

At the finish I got my coin, declined the foil cape, and caught my breath. As I stood there a lady came up to me and shock of all shock, she was sporting an Oil Creek 100 shirt! I about passed out! We had a great laugh, exchanged stories, took a photo, then went on our merry way. By far the best part of my race. I just wish I could remember her name. I'm so horrible with names. I stretched a bit, grabbed a beer, ate a slice of pizza, and chilled out. The rain started so I headed back to my car to get warm and head home. Turns out Prianka had parked right behind me so we said hello again and congratulated each other. Still not used to people knowing me when I'm out in public. Had two ladies do that on the last hill on Cowan and I could only smile and say thanks.

With my fellow Oil Creek finisher!

With my beer!

In the end I ran into a fellow OC runner, a blog reader, fellow DMer Ralph, a cute lady that smiled at me, two ladies that knew my name, a fellow DRHT volunteer, and had a great time. Oh, and let's not forget the compliments on my T-Star Running shorts. Had lots of those too. My ego was totally on fire. I hopped over to Panera for some food and had a couple ask me about the race.

As with the Force, so is life. For my running high, I had a low when I got home. Dishes, laundry, scrubbing the bathroom, and more. At least I had a happy helper willing to keep me humble while I scrubbed on my hands and knees with my ass in the air.

On your knees boy.

Temps were about 50F at the start and about 55F at the finish. Sky was overcast and foggy. Light sprinkle here and there but it was mostly the fog that you felt. Light breeze every now and then but nothing major.

Fluids and Fuel:
Donut and iced latte for breakfast. During the run I had plain water in my hydration pack. Ditched about a third of it. Had a bottle of Hammer Fizz that I finished and refilled once or twice with plain water. Had a Hammer Gel at Mile 5 and Mile 10. I loved the Espresso one but hated the Montana Huckleberry. Always makes me want to gag. Thankfully it was the last one. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite, frozen mocha, spinach and artichoke souffle, and a breakfast power sandwich.

Aches and Pains:
Not really anything hurt during the run. The last few miles I could feel the rocks in my shoe from the gravel loop and a toe on my left foot was getting caught on my sock a bit. Outside of that, I felt pretty good.

Wore my hydration pack but didn't drink much of the water in it. Seriously thinking about ditching the bladder next weekend and just using it to carry the gear I need. Also took my GoPro along for the ride. Really starting to enjoy that little camera. Wore a singlet with wool arm sleeves. Gloves came off for a few miles then went back on. Neck gaiter came off and stayed off. Wore sunglasses so my fans wouldn't recognize me. Wore a pair of Ruez under my T-Star Running shorts and got a bit chafed. Won't be wearing the Ruez under them anymore. Just not worth it.

Codename - Get in there nice and deep like
Wasn't thinking about this Dodgeball scene when I was scrubbing but it certainly is fitting.

Time to cross Start line - 1:15
Mile 1 - 9:59
Mile 2 - 10:27
Mile 3 - 11:14
Mile 4 - 10:59
Mile 5 - 10:56
Mile 6 - 11:34 (includes a bathroom break)
Mile 7 - 11:34
Mile 8 - 9:54
Mile 9 - 10:25
Mile 10 - 11:25
Mile 11 - 11:06
Mile 12 - 11:45
Mile 13 - 11:03
Finish - 2:23:18

Podcast - Mile 49 - The End

This will be the end of the podcast.

For this year.

I hope to keep things going into next year but we'll see. I need to step back, evaluate where I am and where I want to go, then move forward from there.

And as usual, I go and blabber on about a bunch of crap that doesn't really matter. In this episode, it's about races I'm planning for 2013. We'll see how that pans out.

Oh, and I fight a spider in the bathroom. He wins.

Oh, and also as usual, I attempt to put some deep thought into my episode titles. Which means, yet again, my title has a double entendre. See if you can figure it out.

Wipe this episode from your memory directly on Podbean or flush it directly from here.

Friday, December 07, 2012


I'll try to keep this as Pollyanna as I can. First, I actually got my rear in gear and made it out for a run. My first run since Sunday. Second, the weather was cold and damp but at least it wasn't raining. And third, my MP3 player's battery died just as I finished my run.

Headed into the woods.

I have no idea what this thing was. Looks like a plastic tarp that was ripped or abandoned. Never saw it until today. Kind of looked like a greenish ghost at first glance.

This is the Swamp of Isengard. There used to be a dead tree that looked just like the Tower of Isengard but it fell down last year or early this year. Now the swamp has no water except for a small creek. And there's a new duck blind too.

A Lumberjack heads into the forest for a run. He finds a rake but no hoe. Damn.

Temps were about 40F. Air was damp from some earlier showers. Sky was overcast. No wind.

Fluids and Fuel:
Wore my hydration pack but hardly drank from it. Finished my bottle of Hammer Fizz. No fuel before the run. Recovery was a breakfast burrito and an iced latte.

Aches and Pains:
Nothing really hurt on my run but my back has been killing me all week.

Wore my hydration pack, shorts, pants, thermal shirt, and t-shirt. Also wore gloves and a neck gaiter as a hat. Took my GoPro to take pics.

Codename - Pollyanna
That damn bitch had to go and get paralyzed at the end dammit. What a way to ruin a great movie.

Mile 1 - 11:47
Mile 2 - 14:38 (includes a pee break)
Mile 3 - 13:48
Mile 4 - 12:02
Mile 5 - 11:25
Finish - 1:03:43 (first half split was 33:34; second half split was 30:09)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Garden and Compost Update

Thought I'd share a couple of updates; one for the garden, one on the composting.

The Garden
So far, it's slow progress. But that's okay. That's what I'm planning for. My only timetable is to have my spinach planted sometime in March. So like you said, I'm planning on slow at the moment. As we get closer to planting, then my timetable will pickup.

So, the other day I divided my planter box into sections. Some sources I looked at used wooden slats but I wanted something that could be easily removed if necessary yet still be there as a visual reference. So I nailed a few nails into the edges and attached some strings.

Oh, and that orange thing? That's a fiberglass marker used in snowy areas to mark curbs, fire hydrants, and such. Well, I'm using it so my wife and I don't run over the planter when we drive back to our shed.

The Composting
Next up we have the compost heap. Again, I'm moving slowly on this and I'm not in a rush. This week I dumped out the trash can I'm using for a composter for the second time. I mixed up the compost heap then dumped the composter on top. I then covered the heap with more leaves and added some water. This was the first time I saw steam and smelled something rotten when I dumped the composter. I'm hoping that's a good thing. And while i don't stir or mix the heap that often, I'll try to get out there a bit more to stir the pot.

Here's the heap as it stands now. It's kind of hard to see so I tried pointing to it (look for my shadow). Behind the heap is my pile of leaves that I use in the compost.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


Went out for a nice jaunt with Tab on Sunday (I'm writing this on Monday, thus the clarification). Generally speaking, the run was boring. Not. Let's see, Tab and I talked about everything from naked mole rats to future races. We passed two sets of people. I fell down. And I took some pictures. Not boring at all.

We started at our usual parking spot and even though she said she was going to be late, she showed up just in time to catch me watering a tree. Damn. It was pretty foggy at the start but cleared up just a bit by the end. Still, it was a bit creepy passing cows in the fog as they moo. Made me think zombies were chasing me. We slowly crept down to the turnaround point and headed back. That's when all the fun began. Passed on set of runners and Tab decided she needed to show them who was boss by going a bit too fast for me. Once I slowed her down again, I promptly fell while I was thinking about naked mole rats. Not a good thing. I caught myself well enough but gave my left knee and left calf a good bang. My hands were saved by my gloves so they were fine. After my fall, we carried on and passed a couple of walkers. At least Tab went slower this time. And then in the last mile, she left me in the dust. Partly because she just wanted to finish and partly because I stopped to fish a rock the size of Plymouth out of my shoe and snap a few more photos.

Overall, things were just dandy. A bit chilly and damp but decent enough. As usual, it was great to run with Tab. She provides a plethora of talking points and is always nice enough to hear me out. Running with somebody is so much easier and better than running alone.

The parking lot was foggy.

Tab running through the fog to catch up to me.

Running in step with each other.

Things cleared up but it was still foggy.

Damn beavers.

Temps were 35F at the start and 45F by the end. There was heavy fog at the start and while it cleared a bit by the end it was still foggy. I didn't see the sun until I got back home and ate lunch. The fog meant it was damp as well.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was a burrito, apple turnover, yogurt, and iced coffee. During the run I had a bottle of Hammer Fizz and plain water in my hydration pack. I finished both by the end but was clearly dragging over the last 2 to 4 miles due to a lack of fuel.

Aches and Pains:
My chest was a bit tight thanks to the lingering cold. My left knee, left calf, left forearm, and both hands hurt from the fall but only the calf and knee hurt now. Beyond the fall, nothing else really hurt.

Used my hydration pack and toted my GoPro camera as well. Nothing too exciting beyond that. Wore shorts under pants, hat, gloves, and a t-shirt with arm sleeves under a long sleeve.

Codename - Falling
If a Lumberjack falls in the forest, does his running partner hear him? Apparently not.

Mile 1 - 12:34
Mile 2 - 11:16
Mile 3 - 13:08
Mile 4 - 12:38
Mile 5 - 12:51
Mile 6 - 13:47
Mile 7 - 14:01
Mile 8 - 13:31
Mile 9 - 11:42
Mile 10 - 12:23
Mile 11 - 13:37
Mile 12 - 12:20
Finish - 2:33:52

Monday, December 03, 2012

Podcast - Mile 48 - Erie Endurance Classic

This episode is a long one but considering I recorded it only a week after my first every 100k, I'm pretty happy that I could clear a sub 18 mile. So that explains why this particular episode is so long.

Why is it so boring? That's an easy one to answer too. My mind was a bit addled from my 100k and I was out on the course and had no idea what the hell to talk about. So I talked about the course. And the race. And everything else under the sun. So much so, it bored me. While I was recording it. So let that sink in a bit before you think about listening.

If you're still sure you want to listen, then I guess you're crazy enough to handle the pain and suffering.

Get your fill of pain directly from Podbean or download your suffering here.