Friday, July 31, 2009

Fluky Friday Flash

<>I recently read in Men's Health Magazine about the benefits of eating brown rice. Always striving to convert to a healthier diet, I decided to give it a whirl. Rice is cheap and in these tough economic times it could be a great way to save some money and get some health benefits. I saw a coupon for some Minute Ready to Serve whole grain brown rice. This stuff comes in a bowl and all you have to do is pop in the microwave for 1 minute and waaaalaaa, ready to eat! Sounds to good to be true and with my luck it always is....
This is what happens when I open it up upon getting home from the grocery store:

I think I'll stick with the traditional "boil in water" rice from now on...

<>I received an award from my friend Redhead Running in her blog post yesterday. Thanks Morgan! It's a little fluffy for a guy, but I'm always stoked to get an award! Ha! Now the rules are I'm supposed to pass it on to 15 other bloggers. Well, I'm not one to follow rules. Never have been, never will. So due to this fact, and also that I don't really have 15 blogger friends that would read this and pass it on, I'm going to modify the rules and pass it on to only one blogger friend, whom just happens to need a little push to get off her butt and update her newly formed blog!

...And the award goes to: J-Schmo at Diaries of a New RN

<> Text message of the week: "I just passed a guy in the hall at work rapping about getting high on the bone and blacking out from good head," came from my friend "J-Ho" who happens to work in a level three NICU at a hospital. Yup, premature babies and this is what she hears in the hallway. Classic!

<> Random Picture of the week:This guy was surfing at the inlet last weekend. It looks like he's getting shot by a sniper in this dramatic, but dull, wipeout!

And that ladies and gentlemen concludes this week's Fluky Friday Flash of Randomness!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alcoholics with a Running Problem

So my friend Redhead Running sent out an email today with the awesome news that she and her running buddy (both fellow bloggers) are starting a new adventure into journalism with the possibility of getting paid for their ramblings on this site called Creative Loafing (check it out). I went to check out their first story and was totally stoked to learn they both will be deviling into the world of Hashing soon!

In honor of their upcoming soon to be crazy night of hashing and perhaps a new addiction for both of them I've decided to post a blog I wrote from my old Myspace blogging days last year about my experience in the world of the Daytona Beach Hash House Harriers!

Have fun hashing girls and be careful! You're about to be sucked into a world of running like you've never experienced before! :-) On On!

(Originally Posted on Myspace Blog, June 12, 2008)

It's been a long-drawn out day and I'm in a strange mood. My friend calls me up and asks if I want to go to the Daytona Beach Hash House Harriers event tonight because it is happening in New Smyrna Beach. I've only gone once before and it was nearly two years ago. She asks me to go all the time, but I usually come up with an excuse. This time is different. I need to hang out with some new people. I need something different; something to take my mind off things for a few hours.

"Sure," I say, "Why not?"

Since the hash starting point is about 6 miles from our houses we decide to ride our bikes there, do the hash and ride back. Erin (Rolling Hooters) is training for a triathlon and this will be good practice. The ride over is fine. It's hot as hell and we are both covered in sweat when we arrive, but that's okay because we're greeted with two cold beers. The starting point is at Semen Hole's house on 17th Avenue and although Rolling Hooters and I are 20 minutes early there's already 10 people sitting in the front yard dressed in Catholic school girl uniforms all drinking beer out of a party ball of Bud Light. The theme tonight is Catholic school girls. Rolling Hooters has on a short pleated skirt that she has rolled up to make shorter because it was "not proper hash dress" to begin with. Her outfit is complete with a white "wife beater" tank top that is super tight, some knee high socks, pony tails and bright yellow tinted glasses. Being last minute and not having a skirt on-hand I opted for a school boy look with dark blue trousers and a light blue dress shirt.

A couple of the hashers actually remember me from two years ago. Fecal Fucker remembers me and so does Semen Hole. I recognize a few of them, but their names are what stick out in my head the most. I mean really? How crazy is it that they give themselves these super vulgar names and for the most part I don't even know their real names?

More beer is passed around and more hashers arrive. Got Crabs shows up with his wife Dildo. One woman introduces herself to me as Cums a lot and then I immediately meet another woman named Cums on Time. An older gentleman named Gilligan parks right in the middle of the front yard. Semen Hole stands up and yells about how hard he works to keep the yard nice at Gilligan. The yard is deader than Death Valley. At the party ball I'm filling my beer and a young kid asks me my name. My name is Sylvan since I haven't gone to enough hash events to be "named" yet. The kid says he is Blake and this is his first time. For the rest of the night they call him Virgin Blake. A few others arrive, including one named Porcelain Pussy.

"Harriers away!" Semen Hole screams.

Cums on Time and another girl take off running down the street in their catholic school girl uniforms, one of them carrying a bag of flower and the other carrying a small dog.

The drinking continues for about 10 minutes and Semen Hole screams "Walkers away!"

Rolling Hooters and I agree that walking is easier than running after drinking enough beer to get properly buzzed so we join in with the majority of the hashers, about 20 or so.

We follow white piles of flower on the ground every 50 feet or so until coming to a double arrow drawn with flower at the corner of Saxon and 17th. This means the trail could go either way and we have to figure it out. Scout hashers go each way until one finds a new trail. A whistle is blown and the words, "On On" are heard from a distance. We follow the sound of the new trail. This continues for about ¾ mile until we end up at another hasher's house. As we walk by she hands us another drink. It's some kind of raspberry flavored wine cooler. Rolling Hooters and I share it and soon we are walking south on the beach. I look back and it's a truly strange sight. Thirty or 40 people, mostly drunk, walking down the beach with open containers and glass, both illegal, all wearing Catholic school girl outfits!

Another mile goes by and we end up at Dildo and Got Crabs house for the halfway point. More beer is to be had by all along with many bags of cheese puffs and tortilla chips, just what is needed for a good workout.

After a fare share of beer is consumed the same process is repeated with the harriers taking off ahead of the walkers and runners. This time we end up on a nature trail and it's getting dark. Soon we're off the trail and pretty much in the woods with no trail. I've got a good buzz going and my height seems to be perfect for collecting spider webs on my face.

We stumble out into a clearing. It's a place that in all my years in New Smyrna Beach I never knew existed. There is marsh grass that is about knee high and mangroves off in the distance. Blotches of toilet paper mark the trail. The ground is soggy and has a squashy feel. As we walk further and further, the ground gets softer and mud soon begins to stick to my tennis shoes. I start to notice that my calves are covered in beach sand and now they are collecting a nice layer of mud over the beach sand. We come to a tidal creek that is dry, or so it appears to be in our drunken state. A man named NASA jumps across and tries to help Porcelin Pussy across, but she slips and soon has mud on both her Catholic school girl knees. Rolling Hooters decides she can make it, but one foot lands just short of the bank and sinks so deep in mud that her shoe comes off deep in the hole. NASA reaches in and grabs the shoe. Soon there is a bottle neck of Hashers all trying to get across the mud hole. Everyone is falling, slipping, sliding in the mud. There are all kinds of cursing, laughing, screaming, you name it. I walk about 30 feet down and find a log that has been placed across the mud creek. Walking a straight line is hard enough while drunk, let along balancing a log. I make it across and look back as very large guy is approaching. He's about as tall as me, but probably has 150 pounds on me. He doesn't have a name yet, but everyone has been calling him Douchebag so I assume that's his name. He totally slips across the log and falls into the mud sinking up to his waste. Just then, Fecal Fucker runs by laughing and yelling, "fat man stuck in the mud!" He pulls himself out of the mud and we continue through the salt marsh.

Finally, we end in a clearing where two collapsed tents are on the ground. There's a fire pit and lots of empty beer bottles, broken flash lights and other camping gear either used by teenagers or homeless people.

Of course there is more beer ready for the drinking.

The hashers waste no time filling their cups. A circle is formed. Remembering my experience two years ago, I know the drill: Don't have more beer in your cup then you can slam or you have to dump it on your head. Soon, individual hashers are called out to the center of the circle for various reasons such as falling in the mud, or not coming for two years, or being a virgin, or being a harrier or whatever drunken reason they can come up with to get the person in the center. The hasher in the center must slam their beer and if they take a breath or remove it from their lips they much turn it upside down on top of their head. To encourage the drinking everyone sings vulgar songs such as this one:

Zip-a-dee-do-dah, zip-a-dee-day,
My oh my oh, what a miserable lay.

Haring is great but,
Beerings the best,
Time for your down-down,
Put ice on the chest.

Slap your ass cheeks 'round that ice hole,
It's a fact,
It's irrefutable,
It's cold right on your pubicals.
Zip-a-dee-do-dah, zip-a-dee-day,
Down-downs are better than your miserable lay.

Mr. Blue Balls formed an icicle
He's all cold,
And furry too,
Better find something to screw.
Oh, zip-a-dee-do-dah, zip-a-dee-day,
Hope you like ice,
'Cause that's where you'll stay.
Drinking down, down, down, down,
Down, down, down, down,
Down, down, down, down . . .

For about 30 minutes this continues along with the binge drinking. There are probably a dozen songs known by all and screamed by all. The hashers decide to name two people tonight. Once you've been to four or five hashes you get named. Basically everyone yells out any dirt they have on you until a vulgar hash name is selected and voted upon by a bunch of screaming fools!

The guy they have been calling douchebag is about to be named Geriatric Douche Nozzle. Just the thought of this name makes me laugh, but at the last minute someone says he should be named Nurse Scratch It because he is a nurse and he likes to scratch his balls and sniff his hands. Nurse Scratch it sticks. The next guy is a rugby player originally from England and he gets named Bloody Fecal Cum or something close to that, it's hard to tell with all the drunken screaming and yelling and singing.

Finally we head back to Semen Hole's house where a water fight is started with a hose as people try to wash the mud off. Rolling Hooters and Toe Sucker strip down to their underwear and walk across A1A to the beach to wash off. Rolling Hooters comes back soaking wet and not worried at all that she's dressed in a white tank top and white underwear! They are all going to Flagler Tavern to eat and drink more. I decide it's probably best if I ride my bike home, in the dark, drunk instead of making myself completely sorry the next day at work with a horrible hangover. We say farewell and I head home. It was an interesting ride home. The night air is hot and muggy and I sweat the alcohol off. What a night! Completely random and different. Just want I needed!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mr. T is chasing me with Snickers bars! Oh my 7-miles!

Surfing is going to be my downfall.

... and I don't care.

Since I started running (seriously) about a month ago I knew that my training schedule would encounter some serious deviations due to Mother Nature. When there is a swell in the water I have to surf it. I guess ever runner has their nemesis and for me it is going surfing instead of running. I mean running is great and I enjoy it immensely, BUT if there is a chance to ride amazing waves in good conditions you better believe I'll be out there paddling around and my running shoes will be left in my closet.

Last Wednesday marked the beginning of what I call a small summer swell. Some storm out beyond the Bahamas created it. So our surf went from being nearly flat to head high conditions with offshore winds almost overnight. My friends and I surfed five days through Sunday. I managed to get a 3-mile run in on Friday, but that was it. No scheduled long run on Sunday; just surfing. Good thing surfing is a form of exercise that probably rivals running. I'm sure many runners have their nemesis to deal with and if mine is an exercise equatable with running then I don't feel so bad.

However, let's get down to business!

6 a.m. this morning. My alarm goes off. I crashed last night before 10 p.m. so I'm piping with energy (I haven't had 8-hours of sleep in days). My normal routine is to get up, go to the bathroom, get dressed and run. But that's for short 3-mile runs...

Today calls for experimentation. My self inflicted "flexible" marathon training schedule calls for a 7-mile run. I have not run 7 miles in years. Last winter I ran a 10k (6.2 miles) with no training and it almost killed me. So, I get up, go to the bathroom, get dressed and eat. Yes, eat food before running (amazing concept). Not much food, but enough to hopefully keep me from hitting a wall and "running" out of energy. I also chomp down a Cliff Shot Blok with water.

I set out by 6:30 a.m. and head toward the beach. It's a fun route along riverside drive where I watch the sunrise and head down the North Causeway, over the bridge (hill!), down Flagler Avenue and up the beach.

I encounter lots of walkers, bicyclist and dog walkers, but only one other runner. She's older than me and comes out of nowhere and passes me just before the bridge. Endurance wise I'm great, but I'm starting to feel some pain in my left knee. This is only the 3 mile mark. Not good. I banged and twisted this knee pretty hard while trying to tuck into a barreling wave that closed out on me a few days prior. I resist the urge to pace this woman and let her fly on up the bridge.

I never would have guessed it, but running up the incline of the bridge actually makes my knee feel better. By the time I'm on the other side I'm back to feeling fine. The beach is scenic. It's low tide and as wide as two football fields. The ocean is flat again. I feel good knowing I'm not missing any wave action at the inlet. I reach the halfway mark, turn around and head back. Vicarious, by Tool, starts on my iPod. I zone out for all 7-minutes of the song. I'm finally at that point. The point where you are just running to run; completely warmed up and in that zone where there's not much pain and you feel like you can go indefinitely with the knowledge that it WILL hurt when you stop. But for now, I run.

I stop at mile 5.5 because there are water fountains near some boat ramps. I don't feel like I need water so I make myself drink. I also experiment by taking a Power Bar Gel pack and downing it with some more water. The little 3 minute break pays off and I finish off the remaining 2-miles with a little added speed.

Final time 1:03:39.
Total Distance 7.05 miles.

During the final mile the knee pain returned, but it was not severe so I didn't stop. Endurance wise, I was still full of energy at the finish. This is great news because after that 10k last winter I felt like I was going to die at the finish line. Today, I was almost the same pace (perhaps a little slower) than then and I felt like I could run another few miles at the end. The only major problem is going to be my leg and knee strength. Can they hold out for 26+ miles? Time and many.... many short runs should tell.

On a funny side note:
Other than the water/gel stop, I ran the entire 7-miles this morning. Stopping and walking crossed my mind several times. Each time I thought of this hilarious commercial that my surfer friend Joanna and I found this past weekend on the Internet. It might just be my wacky sense of humor, but I've watched it about 30 times and I still laugh my ass off each time! So when I was about to stop this morning I just kept thinking of Mr. T shooting Snickers bars at me! Enjoy:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fluky Friday Flash

<> I'm a slacker. I have tons to write, but somehow have created a schedule of total madness for myself (mostly exercise related training mix with social outings) that has prohibited the updating of my blog. Time to get in gear and back on track!

<> Super Thanks goes out to Redhead Running for hooking me up with some awesome running advice. I'm super stoked about this website at and feel like I've only yet to discover all the possibilities on it. Not only is it amazing for runners and bikers, but I can actually keep track of my surfing sessions as well as yoga, softball and a variety of other sports. It tracks my use of equipment (such as miles on my shoes) and how many caleries I'm burning as well as numerous other stuff. There's even an application for my future iPhone on it! All this for just asking if there's a website that I can map out running routes and distances without having to drive them in my truck! Cheers to you Redhead Running!

<> I've spent the past few days getting to catch up with Jenn (Diaries of a New RN) as she's visiting her old stomping grounds here in New Smyrna Beach. Her 2-year-old son is quite the character and has said some pretty memorable things. For example: Running around the living room and kitchen during dinner yelling "I'm hungry, I'm hungry," although he can't pronounce "hungry" yet. Hungry all of a sudden sounds like "horny." Yeah, I almost spit my food out I was laughing so hard! Another great one stretching his T-shirt over his knees and bouncing across the floor while singing "boobies, boobies, boobies!" Welcome back to New Smyrna Beach J-Schmo!

<> My body needs a rest. I have surfed, run, done Bikram yoga (again) and even played softball (I got recruited onto a team)... all multiple times in the past 5 days. There's an amazing swell in the ocean, which is causing me to slack off on the running, but this morning my arms/shoulders needed rest after surfing 10 of the past 24 hours so I ran 3 miles instead. There's still left overs in the water so we're hitting it again tomorrow morning for a weekend jam packed of surfing! I guess all this soreness is just weakness leaving my body....

And that folks is my first ever Fluky Friday Flash! I assure you future fluky Fridays will be even more random with some add humor, no doubt!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The sun crashes through the horizon
The morning sky is blue and cloudless
Shoes are double knotted, iPod is on
and I stretch; stretch for success!

Start/Stop on the watch is GO!
Feet pound the pavement as I am strong.
I settle in, get in the zone, find my flow.
I stay in shadows. They are cool and long.

A saying from my past comes to mind:
There are no shortcuts
There are no secrets
You just have to run.

So I run the open road as you will find
I will not quit
I will not fall
But run I will,

For me, myself and I
For freedom
For health
I am running to run!


I kind of suck at poems, but that's what came to mind this morning as I completed my first "long" run in training for a marathon. It was only 5 miles. I've done much longer. I'm in the third week of training and up until this weekend I've postponed going long because of other events (travel, wedding, etc.). So let it begin. The mileage will increase one mile each week up until I'm doing some seriously ridiculous distances. Then it pulls back into cross training and resting and going even further to stupid distances. Time will tell from here whether my knees, legs, kidneys can take it. I'm convinced going slow with it will work and I should be fine.

So it is now with a smile on my face, I'm off to the beach to work on my footwork on the longboard!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bikram Yoga Cherry Popped!

Last night was my first experience with Bikram Yoga. My friend Erin tried it a few weeks ago for the first time and has now talked her boyfriend, Joey, and myself into giving it a whirl. To be honest, I've been curious about it for a long time. I've done yoga before in the past, but never in the heated room that Bikram requires. A while back I read an article about several of the best professional surfers in the world doing "hot" yoga and how it can benefit the muscles used to surf in addition to all the other health benefits. So when I got a text message from Erin yesterday at 4:30 in the afternoon asking if I wanted to give it a try at the 6 p.m. class I was not going to let the opportunity pass.

For my first time I wanted to go when Joey was going simply so I wouldn't be the only guy in a class full of women. This worked well with Joey going. Then I was amazed that there were three other guys in the class besides us! And even more surprising; a local bartender that I also graduated high school with was the instructor! Talk about feeling instantly comfortable with your surroundings.... except for, well, the HEAT!

The yoga room is 100 degrees plus or minus a few. There are four space heaters along the back wall all glowing orange, almost as if they are a gateway to hell! The instructor said to sit near the back wall, which Joey and I did, but I found myself directly in front of one of the space heaters to hell. Sitting on my towel and mat and doing nothing I started to sweat immensely. In my imagination it was Satan's space heater's fault! It feels like an oven set to broil with the door open right behind my back. Erin turns around and tells me it won't matter once we get started, but she can see the concern on my face and decides to switch places with me. Now I'm up near the front of class.

We start off and for the first hour everything is fine. I'm actually doing good at this and the instructor gives me the "good job" shout out several times. It is all stand up and balance positions that work your legs mostly and accelerate your heartbeat. I'm guessing I can thank surfing and balance/core training for this stroke of good luck. The positions are somewhat similar, but also different than regular yoga. I watch the two girls next to me and quickly figure out the positions I do not know.

Before I know it, I'm drenched. I mean DRENCHED like when you're at Sea World and Shamu splashes you, but instead of water it's sweat. Sweat like I've never experienced, but there is no breeze, no wind, no cool air to evaporate it off your skin. The sweat is dripping off of me everywhere. Parts of my body I didn't know were capable of sweating are fully saturated. I look down at my towel on the floor and it looks like a thunderstorm just rained all over it!

Earlier when I had explained to the instructor that I had two bottles of water, one with me and one in my truck she told me to get both of them. Good thing because halfway through and I have already killed the first bottle. The class is 90 minutes long. The first 75 minutes seem to fly by, but it is the last 15 that kill me.

First mistake - I start looking at the clock every minute. This makes time stand still.

Second mistake - Trying too hard and not resting soon enough. I think Joey and I are both guilty of this. It got to the point that I felt like I was going to pass out if I stood up. Reluctantly I laid down in the resting position for the last set of whatever it was called position. The last five minutes were hell. First, I thought that if I didn't leave the room I would pass out. Then I was afraid that if I did stand up I would pass out. I was determined to make it to the end of the class even if I was just lying there like a helpless infant on the floor. I really had to trust the instructor that I would be all right in the end. I stare at the ceiling and concentrate on breathing. I try to remember the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke from my days as a CPR/First Aid instructor with the Red Cross. That was 10 years ago and I can't think straight because all I can do is concentrate of breathing. The instructor informs us that we are now done except for a breathing exercise. I think to myself, "breathing exercise? That's all I've been doing for the past five minutes lady!" I pull myself together, sit up and participate in this breathing exercise that actually helps my heat induced nausea subside. She shuts off the Satan's space heaters from hell and opens the doors. We all lay back down and I feel a breeze. Yes, a breeze! Oh thank Heaven for a breeze! Erin gets up before Joey and I and tells us both to make sure our heart rates are down before we get up and leave the room. I take my pulse. It's 64 bpm. I've always had a low pulse. Whatever, I get up and walk out at the pace of a 95-year-old with a walker. Outside the studio I wring out my towel and my shirt. At least several cups of sweat pour out. It's as if I just took them out of a bucket of water. I suddenly start to feel better. Then I feel really great! After all that I thought I'd be sick for the entire night and now I feel great!

I did however, feel the need to drink water for the rest of the night. I think I lost count at 9 glasses of water before I went to bed. Bikram Yoga was definitely a test. I can honestly say it would be easier for me to go run 10 miles than do 90 minutes of Bikram. I'm sure it gets easier as you do it more often. They gave me a free pass to come back so we'll see if I can make it through a second time in a few days....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dancing With The Groom

There are no waves in Minnesota.

However the mid-north-west is chalk full of super friendly people. Most of the people I know that are from Minnesota, Wisconsin or Michigan have always been super nice and I was not let down on my recent trip to a friend's wedding just outside Minneapolis. While running through cornfields and country side I noticed that EVERY SINGLE person that passed me in a car waved. I waved back and smiled. This is actually a "Southern" element that I've grown accustom to where my family lives in Northern Florida and North Carolina... or maybe it's just a small town thing. Anyways, I wish people would take time to be a little more friendly in the "Yankee" part of Florida.I know I said this in my last post, but I didn't have a picture to show just how excited I was about cornfields! I honestly don't know why? Most people probably think they are boring, but I wasn't alone as pretty much all my Florida gang that eventually came up for the weekend were excited about them too!

Minnesota was a hoot! I had more fun than I've had in a long time. I also drank more than I've drank probably all year. This probably set me back a little bit in my running, but my friend is only going to get married once so we partied both Florida and Minnesota style!

The wedding weekend went something like this:

Friday Night:
- Rehearsal dinner at bride and groom's house. Actually rehearsal in backyard on top of septic mound.
- Dinner in garage (hamburgers, hot dogs and LOTS of beer and wine).
- Backyard games, activities, bonfire and fireworks launched from cornfield ensues...
- Rehearsal dinner ends. Groom, groomsmen and their friends decide it's probably a good idea to go into town to a local bar.
- Best man buys a round of shots. Jeagerbombs for guys, blowjobs for girls.
- Best man buys 3 or 4 or maybe 6 more rounds of shots. At one point there is a round of Jack Daniels.
- Somehow (it's a bit fuzzy) we get back to hotel and everyone passes out. Not falls asleep. Passes out.

- Everyone.... and I mean EVERYONE is hung over. I'm talking feeling like a bucket of fuck!
- 11 a.m.... we head to a subway (attempt to eat) and buy more alcohol.
- 1 p.m.... Charter bus (Magic Bus) arrives at hotel and takes wedding party and friends to Lake Minnetonka.
- 1:05 p.m.... I give up and resort to drinking more to cure my hangover. Several others follow suit.
- 2 p.m.... Arrive at lake. Several hours of picture taking before the wedding ceremony.
- 4 p.m.... Wedding ceremony. Everything is beautiful (weather, bride, music, etc.).
- 5 p.mish... Wedding party loads back aboard bus for the 25 mile ride to reception hall.
- 5:10 p.m.ish... Magic Bus makes a pit stop at a bar on the lake for drinks. Bride and Groom have their first drinks as a married couple.
5:45 p.m. Load back up on the Magic Bus and continue drinking.
6:30 p.m. Arrive at the Blue Note a little smashed where the reception is under way. Get introduced and proceed to the head table.
7:45 p.m. Dinner ends... tables are moved back... dancing and drinking continues until 1 a.m.
10 p.m.ish... Dollar dance. Sylvan decides to dance with the groom. Yes, the groom. Girlfriends from Florida take pictures like the paparazzi, but I'll save those from this post!
2 a.m. ... arrive back at hotel and pass out YET AGAIN!

Wake up with another hangover and proceed to the airport for the long day of flying home.
11:45 p.m.... arrive home and promptly fall asleep.

6:30 a.m.... Wake up and run a very difficult and painful 3 miles followed by an hour surf session at the inlet. Yes! A small swell came through while I was gone and I was able to snag some leftovers on the longboard before it completely faded away.

I am happy to say that the constant leg soreness seems to have disappeared or my body has finally adapted to running 4 or 5 days a week. I missed my scheduled long run that was suppose to occur on Sunday. If TSA would have allowed me to run laps around the Dallas terminal I totally would have done it. I'm not exactly sure how to make it up, but I'm sure I'll come up with something.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lost in corn fields

Hello from MinneSOTA!

I arrived last night without any major drama from the airlines. THANK YOU American Airlines for NOT screwing me over for a change!

Two things:

1.) I read an entire book between my two flights yesterday. It's called Soul Surfer and I picked it up used for $5 in a bookstore in Portland a few weeks back, but just got around to reading it. It's basically written by Bethany Hamilton, who is 14 years old at the time, and tells the story of her arm being completely bitten off by a tiger shark in Hawaii while surfing. It's a super easy read and she obviously had help writing it, but I highly recommend it to everyone. She is deeply religious. I am not so much, but her story is an inspiration to me.
2.) I went for a 4 mile run this morning... Minnesota style. I'm apparently really out in the sticks! All I saw were cornfields, barns (usually white or red), cows, horses and ummm... more cornfields. I'm sure this is boring to your average local around here, but it was super exciting to this Florida boy. The temperature was about 65 degrees and I was full of energy! I took along my camera and I'll post some pictures when I have more time. Oh yeah, and there were HILLS!

Ok, I'm off to do "wedding things." Until the next post!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane (again)

The Ocean is still FLAT!

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go... the dawn is breaking, it's early morn... .

Ok, enough of the singing I'm out of here for a few days. I'm off to Minnesota for an old friend's wedding. I'm one of his groomsmen so I get to stand next to him and do nothing with a few other guys.

Usually when I leave town we get some epic swell conditions back here in New Smyrna Beach. For the sake of my fellow surfers I hope that holds true, but it doesn't look like anything is on the radar for the next few days.

Meanwhile, I've been running according to my little training schedule, short 3 milers both Monday morning and this morning. My legs are in a constant state of soreness it seems. The 5k race apparently kicked my ass because on Monday I finished my 3 miles nearly 4 minutes slower than the 5k race finish time on Saturrday, which was 1/10 of a mile longer! Today I knocked off 2 minutes from the Monday time, but still.... SERIOUSLY? What the hell? Time to kick in some extra yoga sessions.

Ok, I'm leaving on a jet plane! Expect the next post to be full of old school shenanigans as myself and four other New Smyrans from across the country converge upon the land of 10,000 lakes to party like the old days (except for a couple morning jogs I plan to complete)!

I'll leave you with a picture I found on a website of me finishing the 5k race last Saturday. This was when I felt like my ribcage was going to explode out of my face! I was cramping up so bad!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July 5k, surfing dogs and firework shananigans!

The surf is STILL flat.

According to my "marathon training schedule" Saturday is my rest day and Sundays are to be
my "long" run days. In an ideal world I'll usually be surfing on Saturday mornings. Mother Nature is NOT being nice as of lately and the offshore wind has blessed us with hot days for so long that the swell actually is starting at the beach and going out to sea. Knowing this and looking for something to expel my ridiculous amount of energy on I discovered Friday night that there is a 5k race at 7 a.m. Saturday.

The 4th of July Southeast Volusia YMCA Family Fun 5k Walk/Run to be more precise.

On a whim I got up early and drove my butt down to the park and registered (pre-race sunrise pictured above). Here's a brief recap of how it went.

6:45 a.m. -- Registered and ready to go. I hear my name and turn around to see a friend I graduated high school with that now lives in Tampa. He runs marathons and competes in triathlons. There goes my chance at winning my age division.
7 a.m. -- Wish Tampa Buddy "good luck" and race begins.

7:02 a.m. -- Decide that pacing Tampa Buddy is an extremely BAD idea and look for a better suitable runner to pace.
7:05 a.m. -- Tall skinny girl slowly passes me and I decide to try and stay with her, besides the scenery is quite nice. LOL.
7:11 a.m. -- Almost to the halfway (turn around) point. Tall skinny girl pulls away.
This makes me angry. "All Down Hill from Here," by New Found Glory begins on my iPod.
7:14 a.m. -- By my count before passing the halfway point I am in 18th place. The runners ahead of me are so far ahead that at times I can't see any of them. I feel alone. There is another large pack of runners a minute or two behind me. Why do I have to have the strange pace with everyone either way ahead or far behind.
7:18 a.m. -- I notice two runners behind me not far back.
7:19 a.m. -- Cramps begin under my right side rib cage.

7:20 a.m. -- I slow down ever so slightly and it is now apparent the two runners behind are pacing ME! This makes me more angry. Cramp continues.
7:22 a.m. -- Forced to slow down more due to cramp.

7:23 a.m. -- Two pacing runners pass me as the finish line is in sight and I am unable to lay chase due to annoying cramp.
7:24:35 a.m. -- I cross the finish line feeling like my rib cage is about to explode. Immediately drink water and eat banana.

7:24:50 a.m. -- Tampa Buddy tells me that there was a stealth runner our age that beat us both, but he took 2nd in our age division with a time just under 21 minutes.

I finished 20th overall and took 3rd in my age division. They gave me a goofy looking medal. It was the first 5k race I've run in six months. It was also the first time I ever stuck around for awards although there have been other times I've won my age division. Much faster times. My personal best time in a race was the IOA Corporate 5k in Orlando 3 years ago. I finished in 21:15. All I remember was being very motivated NOT to let a fat girl pass me. I was also in very good shape from rehabbing myself after a kidney surgery operation. It appears that I have some work to do if I'll ever reach that speed again. Getting old sucks sometimes! This was only the 5th race of my life so I'm satisfied... for now.

After the race I checked the surf only to be let down by the inevitable. Still flat. To cool down I threw my 9'6" Ron Jon longboard on top of the Jeep and leashed up my dog, Tucker, for a little experiment. I call this longboard the "Log" because it's 3.5 inches thick and basically a beater board that's fun on small days or for beginners. It's banged up so bad that I don't mind abusing it a little. We went straight to the dog beach and I felt like I was in Cuba. I don't think we heard any English spoken the entire time. This is a sharp contrast from the way it normally is down there. So much for meeting some new people or a girl. My Spanish sucks (need to start working on it if I'm going to Puerto Rico).

My plan was to get Tucker on the front of the board, me on the back and be able to paddle down the river with Tucker as my passenger. This plan started well, but we only accomplished Tucker sitting on the board by himself, me sitting on the board with him, me getting on my knees and attempted to paddle and both of us capsizing into the water. This was quite the entertainment for the Spanish-speaking people on the beach. We didn't surf any waves, but I'm writing it off as a success. Tucker is a bit clumsy, but seriously, who isn't their first time on a surfboard??? Maybe next time we'll be a little more mobile!

To finish off the holiday I gathered with the Cooper Street gang. There was a block party going on and we eventually ended up at a Tavern down the street listening to a 80s cover band called The A Team that absolutely rocked the house. I'll close with this video of our friend Greg showing the reason why you should NOT light fireworks while intoxicated! To Greg's credit he did an excellent job providing firework entertainment a little later at the block party!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wakeboarding update and SO IT BEGINS!

A few weeks ago I experienced wake boarding for the first time. It was not what I expected. Rather than ripping huge sprays and launching mad airs across the wake I was belittled to dredging saltwater with my body in multiple failed attempts to be pulled out of the water from the start. This resulted in actually injuring my forearms or the muscles used to grip the rope as I'm pretty stubborn and pushed it a little to hard. NOTE: I did get up once and was too tired to last very long so after falling due to believing I had more "fin" than what was there I was too tired to try again.
Now that I'm all healed up it is time for round two and that's what we set out for on Sunday. The first attempt was exactly like the last time. Slowly dredge through the water.... inhale saltwater through the nostrils... feel the ski rope stretching out before you.... the unwanted reflex of letting go rather than rip a muscle. Something has got to be wrong I tell myself! I've been pulled behind boats longer than I've been surfing and never experienced such trouble!
I get back in the boat, take the controls and show my friend exactly how I want him to pull me out of the water. "Fast and smooth like so," I say, as I hammer down the throttle on a dry run. Back in the water and it's "go time!" He hammers down. I feel the tension in the rope, the resistance of my board against the water and I instinctively twist my left side forward. Then it happens! My entire body shoots out of the water with little or no effort at all. SUPER EASY! Now that I'm up I know what to do and it's just a matter of getting used to using the rails to turn and stabilize instead of having the added benefit of large fins and rails like a surfboard. Then I realize all this time it wasn't me with the problems. It was the damn boat driver! He was going to slow from the start to pull me out of the water! I laugh at myself for doubting myself and make several small jumps, cutbacks and even finish with my signature last run beer drinking!

No, not wake boarding. Well, yes wake boarding is now officially on for the summer, but what I really mean is the next little adventure in my life: Running!

More specifically: Running a freaking marathon!

It's always been on my long and crazy list of things to do before I die and recently several factors have influenced me to play around with the decision of actually training for and doing it. It all started one night over at the hang out on Cooper Street while drinking one too many beers. A married couple, who are two of my best friends, started going on and on about how they are training to run the Disney Marathon. This blew my drunk ass mind away as these two are NOT exactly the health freaks, but what a great idea of using a marathon training schedule to get in shape. Intrigued and drunk I declared that I, Sylvan, shall run this marathon with them!
The next morning I found myself saying, "Did I really say that last night? I wonder if they were serious? Oh well, what the hell!" The other factor was discovering an old friend of mine, Redhead Running, has become absolutely, insanely, out-of-her mind obsessed with running kind of like I am with surfing. Reading her blog has inspired me a little and she's a lot further ahead of me in her training for her marathon so it's fun to follow her progress.

Now I'm what I call a free runner. I'm not knew to the sport of running. I've been running since I was in high school, but not what would be defined as a serious runner. Hell, I don't even wear a watch when I run. I've always run for me and kept it simple. Run until I get tired. Distance doesn't matter. Time doesn't matter. Running for me is a way to collect my thoughts, release some of my "can't sit still for long" energy that lingers in me from childhood and a way to stay healthy. Oh yeah and I almost forgot; something to do when it's flat!

I managed to get up at dawn the past two days and knock off 4-milers, despite being a little sore from my wake boarding epiphany. Last night I actually sat down with a calendar while debating the true meaning of the Foo Fighters song, Everlong, with my roommate and planned out my battle strategy for the next 28 weeks (the time I have before the Disney Marathon). It's done now. It's written in red ink on a calendar in my room and I'm writing about it in this blog. So I have to do it, right? This morning I got up at dawn, strapped on my Asics GT2140s, put on my Timex iControl, started my "5k Playlist" on my iPod and promptly ran 3 miles according to the training schedule.

It was easy. Too easy. I ran it in ____? As I start to write down my time on my calendar I realize I totally forgot to use my Timex that felt so strange on my wrist the entire time. I'm so used to NOT timing myself that I can't even remember to start my chronograph! What a funny start to my training? On the calendar I simple write "YES, it begins ???"

We'll see how it goes. There are several factors playing against me.
1.) My passion for surfing and travel. If there is an epic swell in the water it's going to be difficult to manage both running and surfing. Running might have to take a backseat to surfing since I prefer to surf at dawn rather than run. The schedule I've picked has a lot of cross training in it and hopefully surfing can count as cross training. I guess it's more up to Mother Nature.
2.) Puerto Rico. If all goes well I intend to move to Rincon, Puerto Rico for the winter (Mid-October to the end of April). It's a long shot, but it could happen and if does it doesn't mean I won't run the marathon with my Cooper Street friends, but I'll have to take my training down there and then fly back here for both the Disney and also the Daytona Half Marathon that I plan to run in November. Thank God for cheap direct Jet Blue flights from MCO to BQN.
3.) My health. I don't see this as being a problem as I'm in better shape than just about ALL of my friends my own age, but you never know. I'm not exactly 18 and bulletproof anymore.

Time will tell....