"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strongman stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."- Theodore Roosevelt, Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Weekend.

Ever notice that as soon as the weather gets nice we try to cram more into the weekends?   This past weekend had great weather, and it made the kids soccer and everything else much more enjoyable.   I managed to get out for a a quick 10k of single track in the VFF's KSO treks.  Man, I love the kangaroo leather.   The trail system was nice and soft from all the recent rain so it was easy going.  The weather went from sunny to overcast and drizzle within 30 minutes of me starting out.  I could hear the rain coming from off in the distance as I hurried to finish up before it arrived.  In the mean time there was thunder rolling in, and the winds were picking up....I love this time of year.  It was at that moment I crested a hill to arrive at small pool of water that collected in a low laying area.  Standing in the middle of the pool was a whitetailed deer who had stopped for drink.  It is times like these I wish I had a camera with me all the time.   Running in near silence with the Vff's the deer only paused momentairly to glance up at me but then continued drinking.   I ran with in 30ft of the deer and it did not spook; which I thought it was very kewl.   Over the years of me doing this I have seen some of the coolest animals while out trail running.  Great horned owls, deer, coyotes, and fox to name a few.  Each time I've encountered them it brings back all the years of seeing wildlife while out on a run; and makes each memory that much more sweeter.

Since writing this a few weeks ago I have been running off and on...not as much as I would like; but as much as time allows without negelecting my wife or kids.    Also, I have been trying to figure out what race to run this fall.  I would really like to try to run either the Palo Duro Canyon 50, or the Catus Rose 50.  Both are Texas based events, and perhaps I am more intrigued by running in Texas than any other place right now. 
I would like to run a fall 50 miler in hopes that I can use a successful 50 miler as a training run for a future attempt at a 100 mile event.  In truth, I've always wanted to run a 100 but have never stepped off into the unknown.  Perhaps fear of failure has prevented me until now.  Who knows...The training will continue until then.  Yesterday was a Crossfit Football style workout over the lunch hour; 135 lbs and 50 backsquats as fast as possible.  My legs are killing me this morning and its a good thing.  During lunch today I will be doing an interval run.   All this crosstraining, and interval runs fall along the lines of the CFE protocol ( http://www.crossfitendurance.com/ ) where endurance athletes forgo the grinding miles week in and week out for high insensity runs with a heavy dose of weight lifting.  Its worked well for me in the past, and I hope it will work for me in the future.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NO. This blog isnt dead....

SO I have not posted anything of value since December 8th, 2010.  Wow....what have I been doing since then you ask?   Good question.   Since the last post I've managed to build a floating arm trebuchet with my kids in the back yard.  Hey its always good fun to fling stuff!  
       In other build type projects I lucked into a AK-47 parts kits from a friend.  I never built a battle rifle before and the premise seemed to be a interesting proposition.  After doing some basic research online I decided to skip the traditional rivet construction ( high tech for 1920's ) and weld the parts together.  I know, traditional AK lovers hate to here this; but I am much more of a competent welder than I am a riveter.   Besides, welds when done correctly should be stronger anyway.   I then painted the rifle with high temp BBQ paint for the short term.  I am moving toward sanding it all back down and painting it with DURA-Coat.  A much better solution.   What does a $150.00 AK-47 look like?   Better than one would think, but I'll let you guys be the judge.  
The big thing that has taken up a majority of my time this late winter and early spring has been the Potato Creek Trail runs.  Its has not been since 1993 that a trail race has taken place out at Potato Creek State Park.   My wife and I decided last September that we felt as though we had to put this race on.  We wanted to donate the proceeds of this race to the scholarship fund at the kids school.   I can say now in hindsight it is much easier to run the race than it is the manage it.   It was a great experience for me and I learned so much about how to manage a race, deal with difficult people, and work crazy hours for no pay.  A real character builder.   :-)   For those of you who want more info on the race surf on over to the blog.  Potato Creek Trail Runs.
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to run the Dances with Dirt relay with my brother-in-law and his friends down in Gnaw Bone, Indiana.   This is the funnest ( is that a word?) run I do all year.  Imagine people in costume covering 5k-10k distance thru some of the worst ilk possible.  Its great!   This run has also helped me get back on track with consistent run mileage.   I hope to take the training leading up to this and funnel it into more training for a fall 50 miler.  It all depends on what kind of time I can chisel out.   I am looking at a few 50 milers  right now and have not committed to anything yet.  Once I am able to nail down more of a schedule I can then move forward with getting ready and training.   I'll keep up on the posts as well; and get some photos up of the t-bucket as time permits.   I have to get that thing on the road.  Right now I am shooting for July. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone!

“Joy cannot be pursued. It comes from within. It is a state of being.  It does not depend on circumstances,but triumphs over circumstances. It produces a gentleness of spirit and a magnetic personality.”

Billy Graham
An excellent quote from someone who was  much smarter than I.    During this holiday season please remember happiness can not be derived from the latest LCD TV.  The secret is happiness comes from with in and not from material things of this world.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A little video content...

This past weekend I took advantage of the unseasonably warm  weather and shot some video for the upcoming trail races that will be at potato creek state park next April 30th.  This video shows the first half of the course on the mountain bike trail and how it loops back around to where you entered the trail system.  It took me a hour and half plus to run/walk/hike/shoot video  I condensed the vid portion to about 2 minutes.  I edited out blurbs of video where it appeared that I was having some sort of seizure; I was talking to myself,  and just general "I have no idea what I am looking at"  type stuff.  I hope to get out over the extended Thanksgiving day weekend to get some video of the hills section or the "back half" as I am calling it.  This will showcase some of the larger hills that the runners will have to negotiate while out on the course.  My hope is to get this stuff shot before the snow flies.  *crosses fingers*.  In the meantime enjoy this short video of the front half of the race course. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

So much living, so little time

This past extended weekend for me was packed with good stuff.  Overflowing in fact...yes, to wax poetic; my cup overfloweth.   I took a vacation day from the day job on Friday and I  went to the gym at 5:30 AM running numerous 400m runs with Amy V ( a die hard cross fitter, and awesome mom ) in the early morning darkness.  Later in the day I found myself in the middle of nowhere running a trail system amidst a freakishly early snow storm. It was one of those rain, sleet, and then snow kind of storms where the temps continued to drop throughout the day.  I manged to borrow a Garmin ( THANK YOU BRANDON!) to track the run at Potato Creek state park in order to see total mileage for the upcoming trail running event that I am trying to put on.  According to the Garmin GPS  its a bit short so I'll have to figure out how to add in another 3 miles.     It has been a while since I have done more than one hour solo out in a snow storm, so to tell you that I was miserable after the first hour would be a huge understatement.  Evidence of my dying enthusiasm can be carefully tracked in my pace on the Garmin info listed above under "Details".  Despite mother nature conspiring against me and making me earn the 9 miles, I did managed to have a awesome time.  While out and on the trail I was privileged to see a flock of wild turkeys and a sizable white tailed deer that had at least a 10 point rack.   Very Nice.
  I finished up the day working;  as I sometimes do, in the garage.  I am trying to put together a 1922 Ford  T -bucket ( replica body model T ) for my loving wife who just happens to love old cars as much as I do.   I've been working on this car for about a year and half now and I think I have finally turned the corner on getting it finished in time for her birthday in April.  Here is a pic of me working on mocking up the front end grill (still in primer ) that I made out of a 1952 International FarmAll grill.   Yes folks...it is a grill from a old tractor.  The problem is it did not fit the radiator that I had scrounged out of a fork lift (per the radiator guy who rebuilt it) , and it was cheaper for me to try to widen the grill vs make the radiator smaller.  Ahhh.  Its only more work.  What you see now in primer is about a month's worth of cutting, fabricating, crying and welding.  It appears that its going to work out just fine and really up's the kewl factor on the car itself. 

More to come on the race, and the car in future posts.   I'll try to keep them short, interesting and well illustrated to keep the people with ADD entertained. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Learning about Pride

While coaching from time to time I hear people  lamenting about how out of shape they are.   I recently was told, " I am really outta shape"  as a new gym member was struggling with pull ups.  My response was, "Hey we all have to start somewhere."  I then went on to try to explain; in my sometimes off color way,  that there will always be someone who is stronger, faster, and he shouldn't worry about it.  What was most important for him was that he recognized it and he is starting to do something about it.  I bring this up today because this morning  I was crushed by Nick U.  The WOD was 15 power cleans, and 15 burpees 3 times through for time.  Nick was slinging more weight than me for the entire work out.  His weight was at 135 while I was only at 115.  Also, Nick was wearing a 20 pound tanker vest from Iraq, thus  making the burpees that much more enjoyable for him I am sure.   My goal for this WOD - do not let Nick beat me.  I was able to hang with him through round 1, but by round two I could no longer straight set them.  It was all down hill from there.  Not only did he beat me, but he did so by almost 2 full minutes.  Nice job Nick.   http://nickurankar.blogspot.com/
Man...am I outta shape.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I laugh every time I say the name, " 24 hour race". This was my first venture into a timed race greater than 6 hours and I underestimated how difficult it was going to be running a course that didn't have a true finish line. It was harder for me mentally to deal with that simple fact than anything else that happened to me that day. Here is quick break down of my day by the numbers.

-Miles 1-18 Frosty start, bright sun, and running in my new Vibram Five Fingers (KSO Treks image here). The day was new and fresh and my attitude was good

-Miles 18-30 I spent the next few hours working on trying to repair the damage to my feet that the VFF's inflicted on them. My feet hurt so bad I am reduced to walking early on. I am lapped by everyone including a ultra running grandma.

-Miles 30-36 I got a boost from Leslee and the kids coming out to see me. ( one of the benefits of the course being 10 minutes from the house) I am finally into some comfy shoes, and I feel I can run for the first time in a while. Bad news -I messed up on the electrolytes somewhere and I began barfing while walking with Leslee. The barf-o-ramma continued for about two hours. -

Miles 36- 48- After a brief stint spent in my hammock with my feet up contemplating where I went wrong; I was bullied into walking loops ( now in total darkness ) with the former race leader. Tony had ruled the race for 12 hours, but now that the sun had set he was running into issues and he himself was being lapped by the new leaders. " Hey man...you wanna walk some loops with me?" As he stood at a distance but within earshot of where my pity party was taking place. " Sure" was my feeble response...I stood up to put my shoes back on and promptly threw up again. Nice. I walked with Tony for almost five hours straight. Around 11pm I am greeted by a family friend who dressed up in costume, and as he described it, " am ready to run all night" . After I finish laughing at his crazy get up ( blond-greenish afro, racing splits shorts, a shirt that could have fit a 5 year old, and knee high socks with orange horizontal stripes ) I calmly explained I haven't been running in hours. "Cool, lets go." was his reply.

The end- I wouldn't say this is a DNF because this is a timed event; but its as close as one can get with out having the DNF tag hung on your race number and name in the results. Around midnight Tony, Austin dressed in his rodeo clown type outfit, and myself walked through the checkpoint for what would be my final time. I was frustrated. My legs felt good, and I had not thrown up since putting my shoes back on hours ago. My feet; however, were swollen, huge and blistered on the ball of each foot. I informed Tony I would not be going back out, and he seemed relieved. " Good, this isn't what I signed up for anyway. Now I can get some sleep." and with that he turned around and headed off. I thanked Austin for coming out and hanging with me on the trail. His efforts made the final loop much easier and something I could tolerate. I would like to thank my wife Leslee and my kids for supporting me during this stupid experiment. Especially Leslee who took it upon herself to run/walk with me even through the barfing stage. Thanks also to the birthday girl Amy V who came out to say "Hi" and to see how I was doing. It is much appreciated. In the end I am disappointed with the total number of miles; tho I have to admit I am not sure how far I actually went. It was right around 47-51 miles ( maybe?). By comparison, I've run other races that are 50 miles in length in much less time. I blame myself for the stupid decision to wear the VFF's and the destruction of my feet. Tough lessons learned are lessons soon to not be forgotten.http://www.stpats24hour.com/