Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Another Reverse Brick

Just a nice easy run that went better than expected. I wasn't planning on going so fast but that's just how it worked out. My main goal was to just go out and get a mile or two done on my feet. And that's pretty much all I did.

Some pretty blooms on a tree I passed.

And a crazy horse rolling around on his back in the field.

Temps were about 75F, sun was out, light wind, and almost no humidity.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was yogurt, waffles, and iced coffee. During the run I had a bottle of plain water. No recovery since I went off on my bike shortly after.

Aches and Pains:
A few moments of soreness, but nothing major.

Nothing special.

Took my new phone and small pepper spray. Both fit fine in the Sniper short's pockets.

Didn't take any.
Finish - 26:22

Nothing too exciting on the ride. Somehow managed to eat my veggie wrap on the way back. Got one and then forgot I didn't have a pocket large enough to carry it back so I had to eat it on the road.

Temps were about 75F, sun was out, light wind, and almost no humidity.

Fluids and Fuel:
Drank a bottle of Hammer Fizz on the ride. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite, iced latte, and leftovers.

Aches and Pains:

Nothing special.

Took my new phone and small pepper spray. Both fit fine in the Sniper short's pockets. Also took my knife which also fit well.

Transition - 5:45
Outbound - 17:59
Aid Station - 7:24
Inbound - 15:37
Finish - 33:37 (41:01 total time)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Up your nose with a rubber hose

Not the exact time but close enough for now. Went for a short ride to get a latte which is already a habit (the getting a latte part). But it now appears that riding to the local Sheetz has become a habit as well. I barely broke a sweat on the way there and it wasn't until the last big climb on the way back that I felt winded. Maybe I'm finally starting to get used to this riding a bike thing.

I'm always attracted to this sign. Why? Because it has a damn vine growing through the metal post (it's hollow inside) and it comes out the top.

Tried to take a picture of the back of the sign but it turned into a selfie of my nose hairs.

Since some nimrod decided to litter in my yard, I decided to play a joke on him (or her). So if you're missing your fresh-out-of-the-wrapper-coconut-scented-tree-freshener, it's hanging under my ass.

Temps were about 83F. Humidity was moderate. Sun was out but it was partly cloudy and a bit hazy. Slight breeze.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was a burrito, yogurt, and iced coffee. During the ride I had a bottle of plain water and a little bit of an iced latte. Recovery was the rest of my iced latte and leftover broccoli, meatloaf, and pork chops. I had one mini-brownie for dessert.

Aches and Pains:
I could really feel the muscles in my knees/thighs kicking in. Not sure why but I felt them a lot today. No pain though.

No special gear.

New phone stayed in the cycle jersey just fine, even when coming out of the saddle. Knife worked well holding my cards.

Screw the splits.
Finish - 45:00

Monday, July 22, 2013

Off the Wagon

Time is approximate but pretty close. I didn't go out to set any records, just wanted to actually get back on my feet. I seem to have fallen off the "running wagon" and have become drunk with sleeping. That's the best way I can explain it. Almost like a deep depression where you can't get out of bed but without feeling sad.

The run was fairly simple and short. I wasn't really out to set any records but I did feel pretty good about it on the way back. Almost felt like my stride and body movements were coming to me naturally. Maybe it was because I wasn't thinking about it.


Saw some horses along the way.

And a giant caterpillar.

Temps were about 80F. Humidity was moderate. Sun was out in full. Slight breeze.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was blueberry muffins and iced coffee. During the run I had a bottle of plain water. No recovery since I went straight to the bike.

Aches and Pains:
Nothing really hurt, just lots of little aches and a general stiffness.

No special gear but I did remember to use my Mission Skincare sunblock!

Took my new phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) out and put it in my cycle jersey pocket. Turns out it doesn't stay there. Thankfully I have it safely encased in an Otter Box case and it survived the fall to the pavement. Since it wouldn't stay in my shirt, I stuffed it in the back of my shorts. It stayed there pretty well until the return trip when it started to creep down my ass cheek.

I'm not gonna bother with them.
Finish - 29:00

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Not So Chill

Yay for heat! Said no body ever.

I survived a longish ride to get some coffee. Sometimes I wonder if I'm sick when it comes to my desire for a cold coffee. But then I usually get distracted and drink some coffee. The heat was pretty wicked, especially late in the afternoon. I could feel it radiate off the pavement and cook me from underneath. But I survived.

I took the longer route today just to get some extra time in the saddle. Next time I need to remember to take the side streets to get it over 10 miles. Nothing terribly exciting on the ride, thankfully that means that I didn't get run over.

This is a mark on the newly paved road portion of my route. I have no idea what it means. Anyone?

Temps were 95F with high humidity. Sun was out in full with barely any wind.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was way too many waffles and iced coffee. Lunch was some Belvita biscuits. During the ride I had some Hammer Fizz. Recovery was iced latte with ZICO and Hammer Recoverite.

Aches and Pains:
Feet fell asleep a few times but that's it.

No special gear.

Took my knife but wished I had a pepper spray with me since a dog chased me on one of the side streets. If I can remember, I'll take the large pepper spray next time just in case.

Outbound - 30:26
Aid Station - 7:33
Inbound - 15:11
Finish - 45:37 ride time (53:11 total time)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2013 DRHT 50k Race Preview

If you've ever run the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail (DRHT) 50k in the past, this year's race will be slightly different. While still being held in early August with the tangible heat and humidity, the course itself will be different in 2013. What follows is a lengthy, detailed description of the course itself. If you're looking to nerd-out over course details, this is the place. Otherwise you  may fall asleep.

First, you can read about my past races with the following race reports. My first ultra ever was in 2010 where I suffered a lot. In 2011 I did much better. Last year's race in 2012 was not great but still good enough for me.

Next, the course. The big rule of thumb for running this race is that it runs on an old railroad bed. That means that you need to "think like a train" when you run this course. There are two detours on the trail, one around a gun range and another around a cemetery, but the rest of the trail is flat and straight. Remember, a train can't make a 90-degree turn onto that road so don't do it. It's usually pretty hard to get lost on this trail but it is possible if you're unfamiliar with it.

The trail surface is almost entirely gravel, specifically railroad ballast. This means that some rocks are larger than "average" gravel while other rocks are smaller. There are a few sections that are rougher than others, but these are usually pretty short. One section has some very large rocks but again, it's a short section. There are a few sections with pine needles or dirt or even some very small gravel. There are no railroad ties to hop over except for the switch. This is also the only section of trail where you'll see rails. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

This year's course is going to be entirely on the trail. No more Start/Finish at Caledon State Park, no more narrow roads. It all starts at Mile 0. Quick word of explanation of the Mile markers. I use them as a way to locate yourself on the trail. The trail has mile markers every half mile from Mile 0 to Mile 14.5. That means you'll have half-mile marks for nearly your entire race. So, Mile 0 is the Start/Finish this year. Mile 0 (aka Bloomsbury Road, aka The Caboose, aka Route 605) sees you running along some well maintained trail that's nice and wide. You'll see some existing rails and a switch for the first half mile or so. You'll also see some primitive camping sites on your right. From Mile 0 to Mile 4 is pretty well maintained since it's probably the most used portion of the trail. You'll cross over one road (Lambs Creek Church Road, Route 694) and see a few benches on the side of the trail. Around Mile 2.5 is Warren's Hole (named after a trail volunteer got his truck stuck). This is where you'll see the largest rocks on the trail. Thankfully it's a very short section with large rocks.

Mile 4 (aka Comorn Road) is your first aid station. If you're attentive enough, you'll see the trail camera snapping your picture as you go by. From Mile 4 to Mile 6.5 is maintained but not used as much. You'll have a few dips in this section but they aren't hills. Just small indentations where the trail has sunk for various reasons. The dip at Mile 6 is called The Slump and appears to be caused by a combination of beavers and a leaky drainage pipe. Shortly after Mile 6.5 is the first major bypass on the trail.

The gun range bypass should be in use during the race. If it isn't, then just ignore this paragraph. The bypass starts just past Mile 6.5 where the trail passes next to a new pistol range. At the end of the pistol range the trail spits you out on a gravel road. The signs are pretty clear to head up the hill on the gravel road. Don't worry if you hear gunfire, it's safe. I've never had any issues getting shot over the years. After a short uphill section on the gravel road, signs will point you into the trees for the single-track portion of the bypass. It's pretty much all downhill to the small creek crossing then flattens out. After a short section of single-track, you're back on the old rail bed at Mile 7. The distance between the markers is half a mile but the bypass itself is about 0.75 miles.

From Mile 7 to Mile 8+ is a little rough and rocky. Not many people use this portion of the trail and it shows. You'll come out between two large swamps at Mile 8 and cross the road (Indiantown Road) to your next aid station. Shortly after the aid station you'll pass Mile 8.5 and then a campground. If you look closely, you'll see an old metal box around Mile 9. You'll also see a large post that was used as a railroad marker around Mile 10. From Mile 8+ to Mile 11 is in decent shape even though it's rarely used.

Mile 11 is the 218 bridge crossing. You'll go under the bridge and start to get into the worst section of the trail. From Mile 11 to Mile 15.5+ it's pretty gnarly. Between Mile 11 and Mile 13, it's usually windier than the other portions of the trail due to the proximity to the Potomac River and the open pastures on either side of the trail. Mile 11 to Mile 12.5 is a bit sandier than the other sections but has compacted nicely over the past two years.

Mile 12.5+ brings you to the next aid station (Panorama) where the trail is in some serious need of maintenance. We do our best but it's very rare that anybody uses this section (that's why I created a water cache out here). Around Mile 13 there's a short but open field to run across. It's one of the only sections of trail that's fully exposed to the sun. Other than Mile 0 and Mile 8, the rest of the trail has pretty dense tree cover (except for road crossings, power lines, etc.). From Mile 13 to Mile 14.5 you'll be running parallel to a road (Edwards) before delving back into the trees behind some houses.

Mile 14.5 brings us to the second major bypass and one that will absolutely be in use for this year's race. You can search for news articles on the history of the DRHT trail, the Little Ark Baptist Church (LABC)church, and everyone involved, but suffice it to say, the trail is making a permanent detour here that will be used for the first time this year. I'll be focusing on this since it's new to everyone running the race (including me). The trail will make a sharp left turn off the old railroad bed and into the trees. We've used an existing crossover to avoid the ditch. The LABC bypass will head north of the trail before making a sweeping right turn back to the east where it parallels the old railroad bed.

In this picture, you can see the old railroad bed on the left and just off-screen to the right is the new bypass. The black pipe you see at the bottom of the frame is across the trail. You'll come from the left side of shot towards the pipe and make a left turn into the bypass.

This is what you'll see on the right side of the picture above, the first few steps of the new LABC bypass. There are still some stumps there now and we hope to have it all nice and pretty by race time. But until the final trail is built, use caution.

This is the sweeping right turn mentioned above. I'm standing in the trail with the railroad bed behind me. You'll see some tall stumps that have yet to be removed marked with red tape. These will eventually be removed to make the trail wide enough for a gravel truck. Until then, just follow the trail off to the right.

Well, "parallel" probably isn't the best word. The bypass is an L shape that "bumps out" from the northern side of the railroad bed. What we're doing is going around the LABC cemetery that the railroad used to bisect. So keep the cemetery on your right as you run and you'll be fine. Once you make that sweeping right turn and run "quasi-parallel" to the railroad bed, you'll make some minor zig-zags to avoid trees before cresting a hill. This is the second hill on the course and the second time you need to ignore the "think like a train" rule from earlier (the first being the gun range bypass). At the top of the hill, you'll run down and look for the railroad bed in a small depression in the field where you'll once again enter into the trees. Don't run past the church or down the gravel road.

After the sweeping turn mentioned earlier, you'll see this view. Just run straight. You may see some orange streamers on your left marking the property line, just ignore them.

This shot shows the zip-zag. The guys on the right of the shot are on the trail as are the kids on the left side. It makes a little jog just to avoid the cemetery.

This is a shot looking backwards from the top of the hill. It's how you'd see it when you make the return trip.

The same view as above but with a surveyor's flag and headstones to give it some perspective. The trail is on the right of the shot, the orange flag marks the boundary of the bypass, and the headstones are in the LABC cemetery.

Once again looking back towards the east (towards the turn-around point/Mile 15.7ish), you can see the church, cemetery, and gravel road. This is the top of the "hill" that you need to run down. If you hit the gravel road or dirt tracks in the middle of this shot, you went too far. Just to the left of the gravel road is where you'll eventually end up once you get to the bottom of this hill.

This is what you'll see at the bottom of the hill. It's pretty overgrown but should be mowed by race day. The gravel road, dirt road, church, and cemetery are on your right. Open fields are on your left. This is a bit of a wide "ditch" that is actually the old rail bed.

This is a reverse view, what you'd see going back towards the Finish. You run up the hill to your right where you see the cars. The old railroad bed is the overgrown grass at the bottom of the hill on the left. Don't go that way. Keep the graves on your left as you go back up the hill and you'll see the trail at the top.

Once back in the woods and back on the original rail bed, you'll be in a section of trail that's hardly been touched. I've been active on the trail for a few years now and I've been on this portion once. I've walked the whole thing and it's in surprisingly good shape. We've cleared trees and branches and hope to have it mowed but overall, it's pretty nice. You'll cross another road (Owens) around Mile 15ish (remember, there are no mile markers after Mile 14.5). Around Mile 15.5ish you'll see an existing marker. Take a picture if you brought your camera this far. I've never seen one like it. Around Mile 15.7ish you'll see the black hole, a rather large portion of the trail that has had the ballast removed leaving nothing more than a tiny single track portion down the man-made hill left behind. This should be the turn-around point. The race may continue beyond this point but I doubt it. There is an aid station that should be at the end at Wal Mart (which is very near this part of the trail) but I'm not sure how that will work.

This is what the trail looks like after the LABC bypass. Nothing fancy but remember that it rarely gets any traffic.

And this is the black hole at the turnaround. The skinny single-track trail is on the far left of the picture.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Garden and Gun

If you came looking for the Garden and Gun magazine, you came to the wrong place. No, instead I'll be talking about my garden and a giant gun the kids played on this past weekend.

First, my garden is actually producing some tomatoes. I'm shocked by my good fortune but I'm rolling with it. I was too late to put a cage around the rather fast growing plants on one side so I put it around the slower grower on the other side.

As you can see in these pictures, they're both growing fast. Much faster than expected.

And the tomatoes are just sitting there, waiting to turn red. I'm not a huge tomato fan, but damn I can't wait to put these on the grill with some onions. Or potatoes. Or something.

I also had to transplant my peppers. They were just completely stunted in their growth. Between the tomatoes and the marigolds, they looked like weeds down there. So I moved them to where I had my radishes and spinach (which I pulled out in a short moment of rage over them not growing to my expectations - through no fault of their own mind you, I was the dumbass that didn't know how to plant them).

And then we come to the gun portion of the post. Yes, I let my kids play with a gun this weekend. Yes, I even ignored them while they pretended to do all sorts of things with said gun. And before you go off half-cocked, maybe you should look at the gun?

You see, the whole family volunteered at a local triathlon on Sunday (not only our wedding anniversary but also Bastille Day!) and we got to see a ton of super-athletes run by us. I was amazed at how fast yet slow they were. It was a 10k course but I was thinking they'd be flying through it, especially the leaders, but it seemed to take forever. Maybe it was just because I was baking in the sun, working on my sunburn lines. Anyway, it was fun to watch them and to help them out as they made their way by us. I know I'd never make it in a triathlon so even though I really wanted to shout something like "I'm so happy to see a fat guy running, good luck!" I opted to play it safe and simply say "good job." Thankfully for me, I stuck with that nearly the whole time. Nearly. When I did manage to open my fat ass mouth and say something I thought would be motivating, I ended up getting the stink eye of all stink eye looks and humbly went back to standing in the road looking like pretty in my orange vest waving around my flag like I forgot my baton at home.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Podcast - Mile 62.2 - 100k Special

Careful before you open this bad boy up, it's a long one. Over 45 minutes long. Yeah, I had a lot to say. I nearly started this out as just Mile 63 but decided on the fly to turn it into a much longer Mile 62.2/100k special episode. In other words, I just felt like doing a longer show.

The first half of the show is mostly television, movie, and book reviews. The second half of the show is about, careful now, poop. And motivation. Mostly motivation. So, if you feel like skipping to the second half, don't feel bad about it.

You can wipe this episode sitting down on Podbean or wipe it standing up directly here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Slick Rick is Slick as Snot

Being the slacker that I am, I briefly felt guilty about going back to sleep after getting up at 0550. Didn't feel guilty at all ten minutes later when my alarm went off. Felt a lot more guilty around 0700 when I finally woke up to go to the bathroom. I almost went back to bed after that but then it dawned on me there was a reason I got my clothes out last night. Today was the best day to have some flexibility for a morning trail run. So I finally got dressed and got out the door.

Turns out, the weather was pretty wet. Had rain the entire time but thankfully the tree canopy kept the worst of it at bay. During the last mile I even had thunder which put a little pep in my step. Didn't see any storm cells that bad on the radar before I left! Anyway, the main goal was to install a new trail camera, specifically one that was actually on the trail instead of one that was monitoring a parking lot. I hate trying to catch people do bad stuff but unfortunately it's a fact that there are some wrong-doers out there.

Once installed, I hoofed it back to my car. Nothing too exciting along the way other than the freaking horse flies did not take cover during the rain. In fact I swear they enjoyed the rain more than I did. Had a ton of spider webs too. Eventually had to carry a stick to knock them down so I didn't have to wear them.

My new shoes felt super-tight and super-cramped. It wasn't until well past the halfway point that I realized I forgot to take out the insoles. Oh well. I've named this pair SLICK because their brother-pair is called BOOGER. And while I seriously considered calling my new pair today SNOT, I opted for SLICK since I slipped going over a log on the trail. I stepped on it, slid, and proceeded to go over the log. So the shoes became SLICK as snot. I was also tempted to call them SLICK RICK but that was just too much to say.


Proof that the Deer Fly Paper works in the rain:

It was a little wet out there:

Temps were about 85F. Humidity was 100% since it was raining. Overcast skies. No wind. Had thunder during the last mile.

Fluids and Fuel:
No breakfast. Had one bottle of plain water that ran out with one mile left to run. Recovery was an iced latte, yogurt, and Belvita cookie/cracker things.

Aches and Pains:
Nipples hurt a bit but I think it was a combination of a wet shirt and hydration pack. Outside of that, everything was fine.

Stuffed the trail camera in the hydration pack (after I took out the bladder). Had some Deer Fly Paper on my hat and caught three of the little fuckers (that shit works, even in the rain). Wore gaiters and a new pair of shoes that have been dubbed Slick.

Took my knife since it was easy and weather-ready. Fit nicely in the pocket and gave me no issues.

Mile 1 - 13:34
Mile 2 - 17:45 (includes dropping a log)
Mile 3 - 20:43 (includes installation of the camera)
Mile 4 - 11:37
Finish - 1:03:41

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What do you do when your child is afraid?

Last night was a bit of an epic night for us as a family. Or maybe just me as a parent. Or maybe it wasn't really as epic as I thought and it was just a regular night that parents have encountered countless times before. It's hard to know if it really was as important as I think it was. Is. What ever.

So, what happened? Well, Elizabeth came out as I was popping some popcorn and said she was afraid and couldn't go to sleep. She'd been in bed all of maybe ten minutes so I was prepared to just brush it off as the usual "I'm afraid of the dark" kind of stuff she and her brother have done in the past. Even I remember doing it as a kid. Anything to get a few extra minutes of awake time. Anything to push back that bed time.

So as she was saying she was afraid, I was gearing myself up for a brush-off answer to get her back to bed. Then I saw the look on her face and she continued with her story saying she was afraid of "bad guys." I could tell by the look in her eyes that this wasn't just a fib to stay awake. This was some serious stuff weighing on her. So I had her explain. She said something along the lines of being afraid of bad guys because she accidentally saw a scary show during vacation. She's been afraid of bad guys since then and apparently it just became too much for her and she needed help dealing with it. I'll get into that in a minute.

So I left the now popped pocorn in the microwave, left the now open beer on the counter, and started her on a short, but hopefully helpful, journey to not being so afraid. I took her by the hand and walked her to the back door to show her it was locked. Then I did the same thing with the front door. Then the same thing with the window in her room. And showed her there was no bad guy under her bed or in her closet. It felt a little silly in the moment and by the end I think she kind of picked up on that. She had a bit of a smirk when she looked at me like "geeze dad, you're such a goober" kind of smirk. But that's fine. It wasn't my goal but I went with it. I wanted to physically show her the house was secure and I lightened the mood while I was at it, great.

We then sat down for a bit of a talk. While my popcorn was getting cold and my beer was getting warm, I did my best to give her some coping mechanisms, some sort of tool, to help her deal with the anxiety of being afraid. I gave her the usual diatribe on "I'm your dad and it's my job to keep you safe." but I also tried to keep things real. It was a fine line between scaring her with too much information and leaving her ignorant of how the world works. So I walked that fine line as best as I could. I said there were bad people out there that did bad things. I told her I had seen bad things happen, both real and make believe, and when I thought about them too much I had nightmares. I tried to make her feel okay with being afraid of something and tried to make it not really a big deal. Again, a fine line between "everybody feels this way" and "you don't need to feel this way."

I also tried to explain that the show she accidentally saw was probably make-believe or fiction but that some shows were real. We talked about the news and how sometimes they seem to only report the bad things that happen in the world. She said that while the show is what started it, the news she saw sometimes didn't help. And while I do try to shield the kids from the really crappy news, sometimes I don't pay attention and something slips past. But I don't feel too bad because they usually don't pay attention and it's true so they do need to know what the world can be like.

Anyway, once I made it clear that television can show fictional bad stuff and that it can happen in the real world, I then tried to give her some tools to cope with those scary thoughts. She said when she was afraid of fires last year, the "fire alarms would creep her out" when she saw them. This made me immediately think of anxiety issues so I started there and said something along the lines of "well, if I saw a fire alarm, I'd tell it 'thank you for keeping me safe' because I'd know that when it went off, it meant there was a fire." She seemed to bite at the bait of that tool so I went with it and tried to apply it to her fear of bad guys. I told her the next time she thought of some scary bad guys, she should think of a paint can hitting their face. Or a spider crawling on them. Or an iron hitting them in the head. All those funny scenes from Home Alone that she laughs at, she should use to make the scary bad guy not so scary anymore.

It seems to have worked because she loved the idea. She started rattling off other funny and silly stuff that happened to Harry and Marv in Home Alone and was smiling and laughing. Now, I don't know if it actually worked or not, but to me, if she understood the concept well enough to add her own ideas, then it must have made sense to her. Which means she should be able to use it. I tried to tell her it may not help right away and she would need to practice it. I told her I used to have bad thoughts about scary things and that over time I had learned to stop thinking about them and making them happy thoughts instead. She didn't quite get this but I didn't tell her all the details about my bad thoughts. No sense giving her imagination more material to work with.

So in the end, I tucked her in, reminded her to think of those silly things from Home Alone, and went back to my popcorn and beer. I have yet to talk to her today about how things went but I'm hoping she survived the night and used her mental tools to fight off the bad thoughts. I'm also hoping this doesn't develop into some sort of full-blown anxiety issue with her. But that's just my own paranoia and anxiety kicking in. And being a protective parent. And just being a human.

Oh, and here's a little video to refresh your memory of Harry and Marv in Home Alone:

PS - I had to think long and hard about sharing this story. I didn't want to over-share as I'm often prone to do but I also wanted to share in case other parents have a similar scenario. I'm also becoming an advocate for speaking openly about mental health and removing the stigma that it often carries. I do go to therapy and I'm not afraid to say it. It's not something I advertise because I do fear that people will look at me like a freak but I will also talk about it because I want others to understand that it doesn't make me (or anybody else) a freak just because I get help. Along with all this, I struggled with the whole doctor/patient privilege theory about certain things remaining confidential. And while I'm no doctor and my daughter isn't a patient, I didn't want to violate that trusted bond. In the end I opted to share the meat of the story so that others may learn from it and to, maybe, drive some discussion about it. In the end I don't think I violated her trust in me by talking about it and I don't think I made her feel bad about being afraid.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Podcast - Mile 62 - Introversion Insanity

Ever have somebody you've never met talk about you? Well, Ashland Dave was nice enough to do that the other day in his podcast and I just had to chuckle. Saying I'm a man of few words is, well, a bit of an understatement. At least when you meet me in person. You see, I'm totally introverted. Shy. Stoic. Quiet. Weird. Whatever you want to call it. I just don't talk to strangers that much. I will if I need to or if I happen to be in the mood.

On the flip side though, I'm a bit more extroverted when I'm online. So as long as I don't have to talk to you in person, I'll be more than happy to talk your ear off. I've been this way for years and while I've made great improvements in being more vocal in person, I still don't do it that often. In fact, the other day I went to a group run at the local running store and worked up the courage to talk to a stranger or two. And yet I couldn't bring myself to go up and say hello to somebody I've already met and even run with. Yeah, crazy.

So there you have it. Another installation of my rambling madness. I think my next episode will be a book review or two. You can listen to this episode on Podbean or download it directly here.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Yeti on a Bike

Since my bed sucked me back in this morning after my alarm and I had bizarre dreams about drifting on a kid's bike down the sand covered mountain roads of the American South West, I decided to go for a bike ride during lunch. Oh, and hearing a downpour of rain right as I woke up was also a bit discouraging. Such a pansy sometimes. Anyway, I rode to Sheetz, snagged a latte, rode back. It was cool out there today but I still worked up a sweat.


Temps were about 75F. Humidity was low to moderate. Sun was out in full. Had a bit of a head wind going out.

Aches and Pains:

Fluids and Fuel:
Half a bottle of water on the way out, nothing on the way back. Recovery was my iced latte and a salad.

No special gear.

Took my knife since it works great at keeping my credit cards in place.

Outbound - 17:42
Aid Station - 8:41
Inbound - Oops. Forgot to hit Stop.
Finish - Unknown but likely around 35 minutes of ride time.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Podcast - Mile 61 - New Shoes

My intent was to drop this episode about two weeks ago. Needless to say, it didn't happen. Instead I frolicked and meandered along until I got tired of seeing it on my To Do List and finally pushed it out there. I know, my motivation levels are just so low it's hard to measure them.

Anyway, my new shoes. Altra Zero Drop "The Ones." You'll hear me encounter a fawn early on in my run and that's how I came up with the name for my new shoes. Yes, I name my shoes. Yes, I know that's crazy. So sue me.

From there I go on to discuss shoes. Something I don't think I've ever done at length before, at least not on tape. So as I throw around technical terms like heel-toe drop and stack height, try not to fall asleep. And no, I'm not sponsored by Altra. But I'd sure love it if I was. Instead I need to buy my shoes from a friend (he's pretty much my shoe pimp).

You can wiggle your toes in this episode on Podbean or lace it up directly here.