Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sunrise to Sunset Relay (A Driver's Perspective)

I remember the first time I heard of ultra distance races. It was a crazy race held in Morocco called the Marathon des Sables that is a 6-day 156 mile race. I read about it about a decade ago in National Geographic Adventure magazine and remember thinking, "whoa, those runners are really off their rockers!" Recently, since learning to be a "runner" I seem to be hearing more and more about ultra distance (anything further than a marathon) races and last weekend I got to take part as a driver for an all female relay team in a 180 mile race across Southern Florida called Sunset to Sunrise Relay. Here's my "driver's perspective" recap!

First, a little bit about the team: Team Hot Legs. It's their second year in the race, although the first year they had more members, or so I'm told. This year it was nine members including my girlfriend Jenny and her running friends Katie (team captain), Michelle, Rochelle, Jessica, Sandra, Tammi, Tracy and Corinne. I have to say they are an amazing group of runners and each one pulled their share of running over the weekend. Age ranges were from mid 20s to early 40s, but I couldn't tell any age difference in looks or running ability. The team was split into two vehicles, one of which I was driving and the other driven by Katie's husband. The only other support was by our friend Justin (an ultra marathon runner himself) who managed to stay upright on a mountain bike from about 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. as he paced the runners through the night braving semi-truck after semi-truck of oncoming highway traffic.


Gainesville 6:15 a.m.
Jenny and I got up (neither one of us were sleeping and I think Jenny didn't sleep at all) and started getting ready to meet the team for the caravan to the Ft. Meyers starting line. We leave the house, stop at Starbucks for coffee and I realize I've forgotten my phone so we head back and get it. "It's that's the worst thing to happen then we're doing good," I remember thinking.

9 a.m.
The team converges upon a pre-determined rendezvous point. A Ford Van and a Ford Expedition are excitedly loaded with tons of supplies. Case upon case of Cliff sport drinks, gels, water bottles and most importantly 144 Rockstar shots for each vehicle were donated by one of the runner's relatives. These things are about the size of a 5-Hour Energy shot, but have all the punch of a full size Rockstar energy drink. More on them later.

Somewhere between Tamp and Ft. Meyers we hit heavy traffic on the interstate with still an hour to drive. Check in is 2 p.m. for our 3 p.m. start and the lead vehicle will be the first team to start (each vehicle flip flops each other while the runners hand off to each other allowing the vehicle not currently running to shoot ahead and rest or scope out the course). Our team captain is getting a little freaked about being delayed so we take a detour off the interstate and get back on further south. Amazingly the same cars we left are there to meet us as we merge back onto the highway.

2 p.m.
We arrive at the start line. It's not very exciting. A few race officials. A race banner haphazardly hung above a picnic pavilion in a park. A few other teams staging in the parking lot. That's about it. The girls decorate the vehicles with signs and paint. I chomp down some food.

3 p.m.
The start times are staggered over two days based on predicted finish times so only two other teams are starting at the same time as Team Hot Legs. There's a hand full of spectators, but the official start is rather insignificant to an outsider. Three runners take off down the sidewalk and disappear around a pond. Since my vehicle is taking up the relay after all the runners in the other vehicle complete their legs we have a few hours to waste. We use the GPS to find the nearest Starbucks and head there. Near the Starbucks is a Moe's Southwestern Grill. We end up eating food and drinking coffee and chilling out on an outside patio for the first hour or so.... the most exciting race start ever!

6 p.m.
About 30 miles from the start line we find the first exchange point for our team. It's at a gas station in the middle of now where surrounded by cow pastures. Some of the people in the gas station seem like they should be out in the pastures with the cows. Jessica's parents (who live in South Florida) show up with about 8 pizzas and 2 boxes of doughnuts and several cases of Gatorade. This is an awesome surprise and super nice of them to do that so we split them up and add them to our already stocked full vehicles. I decide to drink my first Rockstar drink and instantly feel a jolt. Then we see Jessica on the horizon turning a bend around a cow pasture. When she reaches us she hands off to Tammi and now it's our turn. For the next few hours the race is in our hands. I tried to keep the van within a mile or two of the runner pulling off the road where I can and waiting for her to pass. It's a busy job and it almost reminds me of being a pilot again as there are multiple tasks to be handled at the same time. Navigating is everything. We have a GPS, but also a race book with coordinates of the exchange points. We're also keeping time of the individual leg times to figure paces. Each girl usually has a request of how often or which mile to provide support whether it's water or gel. Tammi, Corinne, Tracy and Jenny all have excellent first runs that take us into the sunset as we head east on back roads with nothing but cow pastures and orange groves (the smell of the orange blossoms is almost overwhelming at some points). Justin hopes on the bike armed with a reflective vest and MANY L.E.D. red and white lights right in the middle of Jenny's run. Jenny is our anchor and always finishes her run by handing off to the other vehicle. At the exchange we meet a group of guys that are on an ultra team (only 6 members). They are super cool and from Destin, Florida. After we hand off to the other half of our team we realize we've lost one of the slap bracelets that runners use as hand offs so we re-trace our route searching the places we parked. This eats up some rest time. Our search is unsuccessful. Then we shoot ahead 40 miles or so to the next exchange. On they way I pass a number of runners with no bike support/pacers, which I think is rather alarming because it's SO much more difficult to spot a runner on dark roads than a runner and biker. We get to the exchange, but nobody really is tired yet and ready to sleep. I think some of the girls may have slept, but I couldn't.

11 p.m. ish
Jessica hands off to Tammi and we're on it again! Right in the middle of Corinne's leg we come to a divided 4-lane highway. I pull the van off before that and scope out the road with another team's driver. There's several feet of shoulder, but that it and while there's not much traffic there are mostly semi-trucks using the road. The speed limit is 55 mph, but most of them are going at least 70 mph. I run back and meet up with Corinne and Justin to warn them about what's coming up ahead. My stress level reaches a new high at this point. I drive the van ahead anywhere between a half mile and a mile always keeping them in site. Most semi-truck driver see them and change to the outside lane well before getting to them, but the normal cars don't change lanes. It's Friday night and amateur drunk driving happy hour. Justin rides ahead every time a vehicle approaches and waves his hand over his headlamp and bike lamp to create a flashing effect. When we pick up Corinne and Tracy takes off on her run I do the math and her pace is super fast. She is unbelieving of the time because she feels fine and is not that winded or fatigued for that pace. Adrenaline is an amazing drug when you're scared. We finish our vehicles leg and all of our runners almost run a PR pace times probably because they are scared out of their minds. It's dark, the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere and each time a semi-truck comes barreling your way at 70 mph you wonder if you're going to become a bug on the windshield.

2 a.m.
Just as we almost arrive at our next exchange point 35 mile ahead of the other half of our team I get a call from Katie. Due to some construction on the highway the race director has changed the course at the last minute and created a gap between exchanges. The problem, that we did not plan for, is we only have one bike rack that is on our van. When one of their runners finish the new rules state they are to drive 6 or 7 miles down the road and drop off the next runner on the other side of the construction. This would have been fine, except they don't have any place for Justin's bicycle. This means we have to turn around and drive 10 miles backwards to meet up with them and carry Justin's bike to the next exchange. This happens twice during their legs. I did not know this was going to happen and in my head I had mentally prepared to catch a nap at this time. This upsets me and frustrates me. I know that I can go all night without sleep, but I'm concerned about the entire next day. It's been a few years since I've gone longer than 24 hours without sleep and I have no idea how my body will react. I don't want to let the team down and I'm feeling an increased responsibility for these girls. We meet up and I see Chad, the other driver, and can tell he is tired as well. This is definitely the low point of the entire race for me. I'm constantly concerned about where I'm parking and visibility of our vehicle. In my mind I suspect that every approaching car that is not another relay team is a drunk driver. Needless to say I give us a big FAIL on sleeping. By the time we get to our exchange point at a MRI center there's only about 30 minutes before the other team shows up. I can't get comfortable in the van enough to sleep. I'm too freaking tall. I grab my sleeping bag and stretch out on the concrete entry way to the MRI center and lay there, unable to sleep, thinking "this must be what it's like to be homeless," except for an endless supply of pizza, doughnuts and Rockstar shots at my disposal!

5 a.m.
The city we are in is called Belle Glade. I will not be going back there if i don't have to... ever. There is a McDonald's one block away. I hate McDonald's and unless I'm in a third world country craving some western civilization I make it a point to not eat there... ever. Seconds ago Tammi took off starting our segment that will take us into the sunrise. The girls want coffee. McDonald's opens at 5 a.m. In my mind Tammi has 5 miles to run and that should give us plenty of time to go to McDonald's and make it to the exchange. Earlier in the night Tammi ran a sub-7 minute pace on a scary section of road. I do the math in my head and figure the amount of time we have to get coffee. The girls want to go inside because, well, at this point they're having GI issues and want to use or try to use the bathroom. The "exceptional" employee staff at McDonald's is having some problems so they haven't unlocked the doors and opened yet. It seems that some of the employees are late. Eventually, they open up just to let us go to the bathroom. I will say kudos to them for that, unlike the "PURE" gas station near exchange 17 that locked their doors and told our runners that their bathrooms were "closed." We should have peed on the side of their building. Anyways, after bathroom break, we're told we have to go back outside and through the drive thru to get coffee, which we do, but it seems like they have to brew it because it takes forever. When we finally get on the road I check the time and realize that if Tammi is having a good run then we don't have long to get to the exchange. My worst fear at this point is her arriving at the exchange and having nobody to hand off to and what if nobody is there at all and it's dark or sketchy? At least Justin is with her. I basically haul ass down the road flying through Belle Glade and relying on the GPS to get me to the exchange. The girls hang on for dear life trying not to spill the coffees and Corinne gets ready to run. The last couple miles is a 2-lane road with no intersecting roads and we don't see Tammi or Justin anywhere. We see a few runners that should either be behind us or ahead of us. We get to the exchange and they aren't there. The other teams haven't seen them and they've been there 20 minutes. For some sleep deprived reason I decide that perhaps they got there, didn't see us and continued on down the course so I drive us down the road about a mile. We see red flashing light, but it turns out to be runway-threshold lights at a small airport. We turn around and go back to the exchange and ponder our options. I call Justin's cell phone only to discover he has forgotten it in the van. They are out there somewhere in the dark with no phone. We're in a bind. I refuse to leave Corinne at the exchange by herself or any of the girls, but I feel like if we go searching for them and they show up we won't be at the exchange and the other teams have left. In my mind there are only three scenarios playing out.

1.) They missed a turn and got lost.
2.) Tammi is injured and walking or sitting some place.
3.) Something far worse has happened and I'm not allowing myself to think about it.

The girls point out that Tammi's leg is 5.8 miles and not 5 miles as I thought, but still enough time has passed that a fat monkey could have run the route and made it by now. I decide that we will ALL go looking for them and back track the route. We head back into Belle Glade and the girls go over the race book with the route as I drive. We discover that the GPS took us a different route than what she was running so it's possible that we missed them. The plan is to go back to the start and re-trace it following the signs of the real route looking for them. We call Chad and the other van and leave them on stand-by for help. As we re-trace the route we see absolutely NO signs saying to turn at the intending turn. Further down the road is another road called Hooker Road. We remember Tammi joking about running down this road so we decide to go at least to that road and then cut back over to the road leading to the exchange out by the airport. Then my phone rings. The conversation is something like this:

Me: Hello
Tammi: Sylvan?
Tammi: I don't know!
Me: What do you see around you?Tammi: It's dark and there's a school nearby.
Me: Did you ever turn off the main road?
Tammi: No we were following another runner and thought they knew where they were going. After about an hour they turned around and then we realized we were lost. We flagged down a guy and he's letting us use his phone to call you. Thank God your contact info is on your vest that Justin is wearing. Please hurry and get hear! If Justin wasn't with me I'd be curled up in a ditch crying!
Me: We were hoping Justin would call his phone.
Tammi: Damnit, why didn't we think of that?Me: I think I see a school... oh no wait that's a prison.
Me: Hold tight I'm already busting the speed limit trying to get there!
Tammi: Go 90... I know that van will go 90!!!!!

Needless to say, this was the most stressful event of the entire race for me and I'm sure the rest of the girls in my van. We rescued Tammi from some super sketchy area of the next town over called Pahokee. We figured that Tammi ran about 10-11 miles instead of 5.8 miles. I will not be going back to Pahokee.... ever!

7 a.m.
We got Tammi and Justin back on course and are now at a church. Some high school kids are serving breakfast. The sun is rising over a sugar cane field. Corinne hands off to Tracy. I realize we've made it through the night without any real damage other than having our race time knocked back about an hour. Justin gets off his bike after 12-hours of riding and consuming pizza, doughnuts, cliff bars and endless Rockstar Shots. I swear that guy took about 8 of them in the course of the night and there's actually a warning on the side saying not to take more than 2 per day! The biggest thing is I'm relieved that we all made sound decisions through the night and despite having a decent amount of sleep deprivation I'm still making good decisions and maintaining good situational awareness. I keep thinking of fighter pilots that fly 30+ hour missions and am completely amazed because I wouldn't fly with myself at this point as pilot in command. The morning drags on. Each time we stop there are new sounds and smells in the air. Roosters crowing, farmland crops blossoming, etc. etc. At one point I drive up to Lake Okeechobee to get a view of a lake I've only seen from the air. It's huge. I can't see the other side and it looks like an ocean.

11 a.m.
After handing off to the other team and driving to the final exchange point, also at a church, we finally get some time to rest. We lay out a tarp under an oak tree and the last thing I remember is eating some broccoli and humus and being amazed at how good it tastes. Then I pass out face down in broad daylight for an hour. I wake up and everyone else except Tammi and Tracy are also sleeping next to me. Justin is also passed out face down.

12:30 p.m.
The temperature has risen significantly to the high 70s. This is deceiving because the sun is out and the humidity level is much higher than Gainesville. These girls are not used to this much heat while running yet. Tammi takes the hand off and bolts down the road. We are now in the heavy HEAVY traffic of Stuart. We try to provide water every mile. Tammi, who has refused water every other leg, takes it during this one, drinks half a bottle and dumps the rest of it on her head. Soon it's Corinne's turn to run. She dumps the water on her head and back as well and is very "hot" after finishing and glad it's over. We reach the Atlantic Ocean with Tracy running. She is also struggling with the heat and very relieved upon reaching the last exchange point, number 35, where Jenny takes off as our anchor to bring it home to the finish line. She has to run over a bridge back to the mainland and then a couple of miles south to a park. It's late in the day and there is heavy beach traffic leaving the island. We're able to provide water before a large bridge and after, but due to the heavy traffic we have to abandon her the last 2 miles in order to make it to the finish line (otherwise she would probably make better time running and beat us there). One of the other all female teams, Team No Nuts, is 3 or 4 minutes ahead of us at the last exchange. This won't be a photo finish because they started at 11 a.m. the previous day and we started at 3 p.m. We've already got them beat, but you can't help but get excited about crossing an ultra distance race at or near the same time as another runner. There's a male team about a minute behind us. Their runner looks fresh and fast. He's even wearing yellow shoes. He passes Jenny on the bridge, but the amazing thing is Jenny is making ground on the Team No Nuts runner. Just after the bridge Jenny "chicks" the No Nuts runner and leaves her behind. We're all cheering her on inside the van, although she can't hear us. She passes and takes water for the last time. She's the most fatigued looking I've ever seen her. I'm super torn because I don't want to leave her, but I've got to get the rest of the team to the finish line as teams usually all cross the finish line together. Later Jenny tells me she almost stopped and went into a business to ask for water the last mile. I felt terrible. However, she did make it despite a little confusion getting into the park and Team Hot Legs including two drivers and a bicyclist all crossed the finish line amidst a large cheering crowd.

The final time was around 25 hours and the team took 1st place in their all-female division and 6th place overall out of 36 relay teams. That's freaking awesome in my opinion especially when you consider they are all female up against a lot of male runners and the stand team is 12 members and they are 9 members.

We stay for awards, food and drink, but soon hit the road for the long trip back to Gainesville. I'm intend on driving the entire way despite several offers from the girls to drive. I figure that they have got to be more fatigued than me and I'm feeling really good. I drink another Rockstar and stay the course all the way back. Everyone in the car passes out pretty quickly. Jenny is exhausted and manages to stay up the last hour talking to me because she doesn't want me to be totally alone. We make it back to Gainesville some time after 10 p.m. and Jenny and I get to bed around midnight after taking some MUCH NEEDED showers. All in all I figured that in an approximately 40-hour span I slept 1-hour.

We slept like bricks for 10 hours straight that night and the next day I ran 10 miles with Jenny pacing me on the bicycle, but that's another story.


If you'd like to see our track for the entire adventure on Google Maps, check it out at this link:
I used a program on my cell phone to track us from the time we left Gainesville on Friday morning until our return Saturday night and then uploaded it to Google Maps. It's in segments so you have to scroll down on the left side of the screen and click next every so often.

I hate the 50s

Anything between 50 and 59-degrees is not my cup of tea. This is the worst possible temperature range for running with me. If it's in the 40s or 30s I know exactly what to wear and how to prepare. If it's in the 60s, 70s, 80, 90s, or 100s I know exactly what to wear. But the 50s? Ugggg.... it always seems like I'm either too cold or too hot. This morning I waited for it to warm up out of the 50s, but could wait no longer and had to do a 5-miler in 56 degree weather. Come on summer time! I'm pulling for you!

That is all....

But don't worry, more exciting babble to follow. I've just been slammed with work ever since getting back from the Sunset to Sunrise Relay race and making money is of course top priority. . .

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Thursday Stoke!

I'm totally stoked about two things this Thursday!

First, as you can probably guess from prior postings, the stoke is maxed out for the Sunset to Sunrise Relay starting tomorrow and "running" through Saturday. This race starts on the west coast of South Florida and ends on the east coast of South Florida. It's like 180 miles and there are all kinds of relay teams participating. I've been recruited to be a driver for an all girls team; a.k.a. Team Hot Legs. There are nine runners, two drivers, two vehicles and one bicycle rider/pacer. I'm learning it's quite the production and I'm sure I'm in for a real adventure! We'll see if I have enough energy for my 10-mile long run on Sunday. Regardless, expect a recap sometime next week!

Secondly, I can't even describe how stoked I am about all these donations being made to American Heart Association for Jenny and my Seattle RnR Marathon fund-raising event honoring heart disease victims such as my father. Jenny and I tweaked the website this week with her story in addition to mine so check it out here. Honestly, I've only mentioned it on this blog and to my mother and Jenny and we're already at $340 or 43 percent of our goal! This support is mind boggling and humbling all at once to me. Thank you so much! In the coming weeks, I'll try and write a few stories about my father and the awesome childhood he provided for me.

And one final stoke... as I'm writing this Harrison just called and told me the results from that 5k I ran last week during our little 'double pump' race day. It was the second race of the day for me and I totally blew it off as a fun run by "pre-gaming" with some Gatorade/Red Bull/Vodka mixture beforehand. Turns out I got second place in my age group! Go figure! Ha!

What are you stoked about?!?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Double Pump Weekend Recap!

First off, let me just say how thankful I am for all the support we've received from my last post and the donations that have been made already to our fund raising race benefiting American Heart Association. Now for the blog post! This weekend was a blast. Since it's both surfing and running I'm going to break it up into two parts.


On Thursday and Friday New Smyrna Beach actually had warm air temperatures, swell in the water and light offshore winds. I was able to hit it Thursday evening after work with Norton, Blythe and Jeremy. I'm super excited that the water seems to be warming up. It's still cold and I still doubled up on wetsuits, but the end is in sight for this coldest winter of my memory!
Since we all had been watching the forecast all week and waiting for it to actually hold true, there was a lot of excitement upon arriving at the beach and actually finding good surf. The paddle out was a sprint and a good way to warm up. The waves were coming in long period sets of 5 to 6 and they were a comfortable chest to head high size range. I recently watched a surf video on Holly Beck's blog here, that got me super pumped up to surf and decided to bring my Go Pro Surf Hero camera along with the intend on getting some barrels, but the waves just weren't pitching out enough. I did get some good video and maybe I'll find the time to edit up a little video sometime in the future, but what really is worth mentioning is the final 15 minutes of the session.
The sets were rolling in pretty consistently and we were having a blast. After about a half hour I looked out on the horizon and saw a huge set coming. "Outside," someone yelled and we all started paddling out. Brian and I made it over the first wave, but Blythe was sitting a little inside and had to take the wave on the head. An even larger wave followed. Norton took the fourth wave and rode it through the impact zone and into the slew. I continued paddling out trying to decide which of the last few waves of the set to take. I could hear a few choice curse words behind me as Blythe continued to take bigger and bigger waves on the head. I dropped in on the 6th or 7th wave and cutback to the right. It was at least a foot or two over my head and I could see it setting up for a huge section (probably a closeout) about 30 feet in front of me. I generated a LOT of speed and totally launched myself and 9'0" Walden Magic off the lip. I got so much air that I kicked away from the board and back flopped behind the wave. It actually hurt!
The next event was the event of the session. Remember Norton took a way all the way to the slew? Well, at the point Blythe had given up trying to get back on her longboard and was treading water and swimming under each massive wave with the leash keeping the board within 10 feet or so behind her. Norton spots something floating in the water next to him and turns out it's the front half of Blythe's board, which is actually Norton's longboard, also a Walden Magic. He collects the broken board and yells Blythe's name. When she finally hears him she turns around to see him holding up the board half and saying "look at this!" Then she realizes her board is broken. That's about the time I hear her calling my name instead of the curse words. By now I'm taking wave after wave on the head too, but I'm in position to turtle roll a few waves and be in the clear. I look back and see Blythe saying, "look at this," and holding up the bottom half of her board! She turns and rides what's left of the board in body board style. I see Brian inside and decide she's OK and head back out. The freak thing is after that the waves calmed down and went back to how they were. Freak set came, broke board and left! Here's a picture from my Go Pro after the session...


This weekend was my first experience running two races in one day. It worked out perfectly because the morning race was a 10k trail race (6.2 miles) and the afternoon race was a 5k (3.1 miles) or 10k. I opted for the 5k making my entire mileage for the day 9.3 miles, which fit into my Seattle RnR Marathon training schedule perfectly! Both races were up in Gainesville and so much fun!I had everything for two races laid out the night before!

The morning race was the Trail of Payne 10k put on by Lloyd Clark Sports (a killer running store) that included admission into Payne's Prairie State Park (see photo from the My Tracks app on my phone). We were told it would be muddy so we came prepared with old running shoes and ready to get dirty. It was a little colder than expected (49-degrees) at the start and I couldn't make up my mind to keep the long sleeve shirt on or take it off. Finally, about a minute before the race start Jenny and I both took off our long sleeve shirts and hid them in the woods. Overall, the race was well organized, featured a sweet tech race t-shirt and had us running a grab bag of trail, road and pathways (even a short boardwalk bridge). We ran around lakes, through pine forest and oak forest, up and down small hills and out onto the Payne's Prairie where Bison (yes, Bison in Florida) actually roam wild. I started in the middle of the pack near Jenny and several of her friends. Soon Jenny was a few feet ahead of me and I could see her for at least the first half of the race. I took it slow to begin with and let a lot of people pass me. I haven't run a 10k since winter of 2008 so I'm still learning how to pace myself. The two sections of mud were not too bad. I was able to avoid complete shoe submersion by running the edge of the trail (I was told later runners had no choice but to plow through the middle as the trail got tromped more and more). Around Mile 4 I was feeling pretty confident so I increased my pace. It also took me a long time to warm up (I hate cold!). The last two miles of the race I was able to pass about a dozen runners and nobody passed me. That's always the best feeling! I crossed the finish line at 50:33 for an 8:09 average pace. This beat my only other 10k race and PR by more than 4 minutes (54:50 - Ed Root 10k 2008). Although I really REALLY want to finish a 10k under 50 minutes, I was stoked about this time! It felt really good and I'm sure if it was on a flat road course I would have killed and totally owned 50 minutes! Next time!

The afternoon race was the Run for Haven 5k/10k at the Tioga Town Center out to the northwest of Gainesville. It didn't start until 4:30 so Jenny and I consumed a large brunch, took an hour nap and waited for Harrison to show up. It was Harrison's first 5k race so we wanted to show him a great time. This was a big social event and many of Jenny's friends were out to race and support the event. I have to admit I was a little intimidated by running two races in one day. Thinking back, it was an irrational intimidation as I've done many things in one day that burns just as many calories, for example, surfing 5 or 6 hours in one day. Nevertheless, in good spirit, or should I say spirits, I decided to amp myself up it was a good idea to drink a good mixture of Gatorade, Red Bull and vodka about 15 minutes before the gun. This left me buzzed as a spring breaker and again I found myself in the middle of the pack when the race started. I looked around for Harrison, but we had managed to lose him so I ran with Jenny and one of her friends for probably the first mile (the one thumbs down I have for this race was no mile markers on the course) until the course split. The 10k continued on through some woods and that made me envious because the 5k looped back through residential neighborhood and nothing but pavement. I waved good by to Jenny and cranked the Rise Against in my iPod. This, combined with a drunken buzz, some 'get-there-idis' and boredom, caused me only to run faster. At some point I saw some dude in front of me a ways that looked like Harrison. As I got closer I realized it was Harrison! He had started closer to the start line and was ahead of me. No wonder I couldn't spot him behind me! We chatted a bit, but as we approached an aid station I opted to not drink (I merely splashed the water in my face) and blasted through and next thing I know he's behind me. I figured he doesn't want me distracting him so I continue on increasing my pace. It would have been nice to have mile markers because I remember worrying about running out of gas at my current pace, which I really have no idea of what I'm doing.... but I'm feeling good so I keep going and end up passing people again just like the morning race. This is a new experience for me (usually, I'm the one getting passed) and I have to say I like it! Soon I see the finish line and in all my buzzed/drunken self I sprint it out until reaching the chute. My time is 23:47 for an average 7:40 pace. Can you say HOLY CRAP! Yeah, that's what I said when I logged it into the computer. It's not a PR, but it's a lot faster than I thought I was going. A volunteer hands me a t-shirt and I walk back to the end of the course to see Harrison finish not far behind. I wave the t-shirt in the air and tell him to kick it out! Again everyone finishes unscathed and a few of the friends win their age group or place overall. The after party makes the lackluster course totally worth it as there's plenty of beer and food to go around.

Two races in one day?


I'll leave you all with this picture I took of the road way going through the state park. Who wouldn't want to run down this road?!?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why we're running the Seattle RNR Marathon!

Today I attended a funeral of a man I only met once on the beach.

I feel that funerals aren't really for the poor soul resting in the coffin or urn, but more as support for the family and friends and that's the reason for my attendance.* When my father passed away there was standing room only at the service and the procession was more than a mile long. That alone meant everything to me.
Today's service was for my good friend, Bob's, father who succumbed to a long battle with heart disease last Friday. This has prompted me to start something I've been planning to do for a long time; help fight the battle against heart disease!
Just about all of us have been affected by heart disease in one way or another, whether personally or we know someone with it or whom has died from it. For Bob and myself it was our fathers that were taken from this world by heart disease.
I was only 15 when my father had a sudden heart attack with no warning one Sunday morning while out for his weekly long run. The doctors said he was gone before his body fully collapsed to the ground while running. We had no warning signs and if there were any they weren't recognized, which actually happens very often with heart disease.

My father and I with the catch of the day a couple years before his heart attack.

By raising awareness of these sometimes misunderstood symptoms and continuing research in science, The American Heart Association is fighting the battle against heart disease and this is the core of why I'm writing this post.

Many of you know I am currently training for the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on June 26, 2010. Running this race along side me will be, Jenny, my girlfriend that stands witness to the battle against heart disease every day she goes to work as a dietitian in a cardiac wing of a major hospital. But, I want you to know exactly why I am running this race.

I'm dedicating my running of this race to my father and I find it fitting that when I cross that finish line I will be doing something he was passionate about the last few years of his life, running, and also accomplishing something he never had the chance to.... running a marathon!

This is also why I've started a fund raising effort for the American Heart Association and why I'll be asking for donations these next several months. My goal is only $795. That's $15 for each year my father graced this Earth with his sense of humor, helping hand, smile and love. Times are tough economically. I don't expect any person to donate, but it would be nice and every cent helps a great cause. Consider this; In the time you took to read this at least three people experienced coronary events and one person has died due to heart disease.

Please at least check out my fund raising page over at AHA and maybe.... at least consider a donation. You know I'll be totally stoked if you make even the smallest contribution! I'd also love to hear your personal stories if any of you have suffered a loss in the family due to heart disease. I'll even co-dedicate this race to any of my reader's loved ones that have passed away to heart disease! Here's the link to my fund raising page:

*Note: Mark my words, when I bite it I want all my family and my friends to have a huge party, go surfing, go running, drink to much alcohol, dance and have a good time in my memory!

The Thursday Stoke!

This Thursday I am stoked about the weekend of course!

This Saturday I'm going to attempt to do something I've never done; run two races in one day!


Because it sounds like a good idea (famous last words) and why not? My training calendar for Seattle Marathon has me scheduled for 9 miles Saturday. It just so happens that there is the Trail of Payne 10k Saturday morning at 8 a.m. and then the Run for Hospice 5k/10k at Tioga Town Center at 4:30 p.m.

10k + 5k = 9.3 miles!

We've dubbed it the "double pump" and Jenny and several of her friends from Team Hot Legs will also be doing the double pump and for them it's just a preview of what they're in store for the following weekend at the Sunset to Sunrise Relay.

This might be...... just might be the healthiest, as in least injured, I've ever been for a race. I'm pretty sure the lump that was once a nagging Achilles tendon injury that has plagued me since last August is merely scar tissue. I'm feeling strong and the Achilles tendon is not bothering me at all. I might just have to actually race one of these, probably the 10k, and see how fast I can go, but that remains to be decided. Whatever, happens it will be an adventure! I promise you that, and I'll have one hell of a recap come next week!

I am ultra stoked about the Trail of Payne because it's a trail and it's through the Payne Prairie State Park. Plus, it's going to be a little muddy because it's been raining, which means we're going to get dirty and ya'll know I like to get me some dirty!!!

Also this Thursday, I am SO NOT STOKED about this new issue of Transworld SURF magazine!

Now I hate to knock on something I'm passionate about, surfing, but come-the-hell-on SURF editors and publishers? I'm giving you a huge "WTF" on this magazine for one reason and one reason only:

The top of the cover states "2010 Gear Guide: 263 Best Surf Products for Your Buck"

I have a subscription to this magazine, for reasons I'm seriously reconsidering, so it's not like I bought the magazine because of this teaser, but if I had I'd be pissed!

It's bad enough that most major surf magazines have to target an audience that would rather look at full page pictures, advertisements and mindless content rather than read something intelligently written with substance all as a means to stay in business, but seriously? SERIOUSLY? Perhaps me and my "bros" possess a higher IQ than the stereotypical surfer that this magazine is targeting, but many of us are starving for some quality content.

When I saw this banner/teaser of a Gear Guide I eagerly sat down and opened the magazine. What I found was an utter disappointment, but not a surprise.

Except for a few basic topic overviews Transworld SURF's "gear guide" is nothing but a "ginormous" advertisement. It's 263 pictures of products with nothing more than a retail price and link to the manufacturer's website. This is why I'm giving it the "WTF?" There's no descriptions, reviews, product information or any details. . . just 263 pictures of inanimate objects. I could of compiled this information while smoking crack and drinking absinthe! A smart monkey probably could have accomplished this...

Now don't get me wrong, I love to follow up on everything surfing and there have been times I truly love this magazine, but I've got to call them out on this issue. I will give them props for the "Gear Nazi" article buried on page 157. It's super short, but creatively written and entertaining.

Wow! I'm on a roll! I might just go for two posting in one day! Stay tuned!

What are you stoked or NOT stoked about today????

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to Tuesday ($40 SURF RACK)

Last week Burns and I built a surf rack at his new house that will hold 8 longboards (or shortboards) on a standard 8-foot wall in his garage with $40 in plumbing parts from the local hardware store. It's been a VERY long time since my first ever blog, which features how to build surfboard horses so I figured it's time for another "how to" surfing blog, but this time a cheap surfboard rack that works! Here's how:

The Background

I'm calling the surfboard rack in this blog the Norton Rack because of the following history. An undisclosed amount of years ago I decided to build my own surfboard rack in my garage. I sketched out a rough design on paper and ended up spending around $80 in lumber and parts. I made a functional rack that holds up to 5 boards, but it wasn't cheap and took a long time to build. It's basically a couple of 4x4 pressure treated posts that I drilled 1 1/2 inch holes into at 90-degree angles and fitted wooden dowels into them covered in pipe insulation. The surfboards are simply rested flat onto the rack. Besides from over constructing my rack, the other obviously drawback is since I surf primarily longboards and they are rested flat on the rack; long fin setups do not allow many boards on one wall. I think I had a 12-15 inch separation only allowing for 5 boards. It works and I'm sticking to it because it works and if it's not broken, don't fix it right? Then I saw my surfer friend Norton's rack that he constructed in his living room of all places (sometimes it's great to be a bachelor)! Like me, he used his brain to design his own surfboard rack. The brilliance factor that sets his rack apart is he designed it so the surfboards rest at a 45-degree angle from the wall. This allows more boards with fins attached on less wall space. He also used PVC pipe instead of lumber, which is easier to work with, cheaper and less weight requiring less hardware.When Burns told me he needed to build a surfboard rack like mine I suggested Norton's idea. The more we talked about it the more we liked it and modified it.... so behold the 3rd Generation Norton Surfboard rack!

The Improvements

Norton's rack featured a system of PVC pipes at 45-degree down angles with PVC elbow joints at the ends to keep the surfboards from falling into "ding land." After talking it over in the hardware store, Burns and I decided to flip flop the entire rack and build it with the 45-degree angle going upward. This would eliminate the need for 12 elbow joints and provide cost savings. It also provides more safety in that the weight distribution is pushing toward the wall instead of pulling away, plus there is no way a board can accidentally become knocked off and fall onto the concrete floor.

The Materials You Will Need

* Approximately 32 feet of 1 1/2 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe.*
* 6 PVC female Y-joints for 1 1/2 inch pipe.
* 24 feet of pipe insulation (we purchased five 6-feet sections and had leftovers)* PVC cement and cleaner* Bag of large plastic zip ties
* Eight 4-inch long by 1/4 inch width lag screws
* Eight 1/4" washers for the screws
* Something to saw/cut PVC pipe (we used a chop saw)
* Drill and bit sized for the lag screws* Socket set to ratchet the screws into place
* Measuring tape, pencil and stud finder
* Knife or razor blade (for cutting pipe insulation to fit and zip ties)
* Beer and surfboards for when you finish

Get to Work

This should take you 1-2 hours depending on how fast you work. You'll be surprised at how fast and easy it is to construct once you have all the materials. First, plan out the section of wall for your quiver. Make sure to allow a few extra inches more than your longest board for a safety zone. Dinged noses and tails are NO BUENO!Now use your stud finder to find the studs behind the drywall and mark them with a pencil. You'll want to consider what size surfboards you ride and own when determining how far apart to mount both sections of the rack. We chose a distance that would hold the shortest board we could ever imagine riding. If you're wall space is concrete or something other than drywall with studs ask the dude at the hardware store what is the best mounting option hardware. Next, use the tape measure to mark off the sections of 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe you will be cutting and make the following cuts:12 - 24 inch lengths (these are the arms to rest the boards upon)2 - 6 inch lengths (these are the top pieces)10 - 8 inch lengths (these are the sections between Y-joints)All together you will be making 24 cuts. Get to work and try not to cut off your thumb!

Once you are good and covered with PVC dust and have all your cuts made it's time for the fun part! Seriously, it's kind of like an Erector Set or a LEGO set. Look at the pictures in this blog to see how it all goes together. We found it easiest to fit together the 8 inch lengths with the Y-joints first and mount them to the wall BEFORE installing the 12 inch arm lengths. We "eyeballed" the Y-joints when it came to making them even and straight because we're not OCD engineers or anything, not that it's a bad thing if you are, but if you are and you need to know that your surfboard rack is perfectly straight an easy way to ensure this is to use a stick, string and weight. Simply tie a weight to a string attached to a straight stick and let it hang out of the Y-joint while you are cementing it into place. Look down at the weighted string and make sure it is even with the Y-joint below it before the cement sets. Continue doing this as you erect the rack.

Drill 1/4 inch holes into the pipe at the sections you want to mount to the walls first. Then use a slightly smaller bit to drill the remaining hole into the drywall and stud (this insures a strong fit). We used two screws down low and two up high on each side. Use your ratchet to tighten down the screw and washer, but make sure not to over do it. You don't want to crack the pipe you crackhead!Once both sides of the rack are mounted to the wall it's time to cement in the twelve 24 inch lengths. Easy as cake!Oh and don't forget the two 6 inch lengths at the very top in the top Y-joint. That's the backing for the surfboard at the very top!

You're almost there! Take a razor blade and cut the pipe insulation to fit each arm and use the zip ties to secure them in place. You'll also want to use the insulation against the back of the surf rack and around the top two 6 inch lengths as these are spots that the surfboard rails will be touching. Use zip ties on these as well. Aren't zip ties awesome? Sometimes I think all you need in this world are zip ties and duct tape!

Guess what? You're done! You now can store 6 boards with fins on an eight foot section (floor to ceiling) wall! Radical! Gnarly! Bitchin'! Yay for intelligent surfers!

It's probably a good idea to let the PVC cement fully set before using the rack (check the label on the cement). That sentence is purely a CYA for this blog. In real life.... we immediately placed surfboards on the rack to see what they'd look like and we were NOT disappointed. In fact, we decided to have a cold beer to celebrate our 3rd generation Norton Surfboard Rack!

And then I ran a 4-miler.... seriously, I did and it felt great with that beer inside me!

*At the hardware store it was cheapest to purchase the PVC pipe in 10 foot sections. We purchased 4 sections and ended up with a lot left over. If you shave 1 inch off the arms and a 1/2 inch off the sections between the Y joints you can probably get by with three 10 foot sections for additional cost savings, but that's cutting it close.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Thursday Stoke!

This Thursday I'm stoked about sweating. Yup, perspiring like the man I am!

Last night I went for a run. A 4-mile run to be exact. The temperature was in the upper 60s. I was feeling good so I ran fast. When I got winded, I ran slow. Then I ran fast again. All in all I averaged about a 7:50 pace and it felt great. This morning I ran before work. It was a 3-mile run and I ran a bit slower since I wasn't quite awake. The air temperature was about 65 degrees and at the end I felt great and ready to tackle the day. I felt great after each run because of one thing:

It's great to sweat again!!!!

I know a lot of you are still in the snow and hearing someone in Florida complain about the cold is probably as frustrating as trying to nail Jello to a tree, but let's face it folks; I'm used to the heat. I like the heat. Most of my life I've acclimated to our "Hades-like" weather down here and if it's not above 85 degrees then it's cold outside! This is the coldest winter I can remember in my entire life in Florida and I'm happy to say so long, bring on the heat.

It's been so long since I've really sweat during a run that I can't even remember the last time. I'm not a big "sweater" in the first place. I mean, don't get me wrong, I sweat just like everyone else does, but it's not uncommon for me to not start sweating until a mile or two or even three into a run and when the weather's been the likes of Siberia outside I haven't sweat at all even on long runs. Ok, maybe I get a little moist, but not a Florida sweat!

A Florida sweat is when you can take off your shirt and wring it out in a cup and have enough water to re-hydrate yourself! Yes, I like sweating and I can't wait to sweat some more and maybe even start drinking Gatorade again and taking Gu's and Gels instead of just drinking a little water and being fine. Bring on the heat!

Here's a picture of my bro Norton doing a hand-stand on Tuesday. We I snuck out of work Tuesday for a mid-afternoon session at Sapphire. It was clean and fun leftover swell from the weekend, but made a great longboard session with long period waist high waves and long lines to be had!

I think he's ready to try out for Circus de Soleil!

What are you stoked about?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Running and Surfing Weekend Recap!

I've been having a bit of a writers blog as of late. I come up with blog ideas and get excited only to let them fall by the wayside for a few days and then they aren't so exciting anymore. However, I have a great recap from last weekend to tell and a few ideas in store for the next week so hopefully my little stumble will fade away.

The Surf

As I mentioned in last Thursday's stoke, it was Jenny's birthday weekend and what better way to celebrate than with some running and surfing!?!? On Saturday part of the gang gathered, or should I say only those of the surfing gang brave stupid enough to venture into our cold surf that has dipped down into the lower 50s due to our record cold winter. Now us Florida boys only have 3/2 wetsuits. Years ago when I surfed in Oregon we wore a 5/4 wetsuit in 52 degree water along with booties, gloves and hood. This Saturday it was more like whatever you can find, wear it! I chose a 2mm O'Neil short sleeve top as a base layer under my Excel 3/2 full wetsuit. I have some 2mm O'Neil booties that I also sported. No gloves, no hood. Dees and JB had similar tactics.

The air temperature was about mid-50s and there was a side shore 15-20mph wind that was mixing up the head high surf a bit. I was glad I brought my 9'8" Anderson nose rider at first because of the wind, but later wished I had a performance board as the waves turned out to be sectiony and choppy and I needed more drive. Jenny watched in amazement as the three of us screamed profanities at the ocean upon first charging it. I imagine to an outsider it's probably the same kind of "your insane" as an outsider looks at runners when they say "I can't go out tonight because I'm getting up at 4 a.m. to do a 15-miler."

I tried to keep my head from getting wet as long as possible, but eventually had to take a wave on the head. It felt like thousands of ice crystals being blown into my face by a hurricane and instantly took my breath away. Soon I lost all feeling in my hands. Then my nose, ears and lips followed. Nevertheless, we were in the zone; cheering, hollering, yelling every time one of us took off after a wave. It was good to be back in the ocean. Nearly a month since I last surfed and for JB his first time this winter wearing a suit (he just returned from Puerto Rico). We were making the best of it!

After about 45 minutes someone said something like, "I think I might take the next one in," and immediately another said, "me too," followed by a final, "me three!" We were all cold. I was so cold that when I stood up on my last wave my muscles were failing to do what my brain was ordering! For safety and health reasons it was definitely time to go in and call it a day.

That may have been as cold if not colder than my session back in Oregon.

Jenny ran a few miles on the boardwalk and was reading a book in my pickup truck bed as I shivered out of the water. Her run was marked by the cold wind as well and wasn't ideal. It wasn't long before we all decided to head home to warm up. It was good to get back in the water!

The Birthday

Saturday night was planned as a beach bonfire night. The Cooper Street gang got the permit, but at the last minute it was canceled due to cold weather and that blistering wind. Not to let that ruin our night a bunch of us decided to have our own little bonfire in my backyard. Jenny didn't want everyone making a big deal about her birthday so I didn't tell most of them, that way we all hung out as normal. What we learned:

Cut up palm tree trunks, no matter how old or rotted, do NOT burn well.

Eating up the jumbo rock shrimp before everyone arrives is a good idea. More for us!

The ceviche was a SUCCESS! Jenny and I made a ceviche inspired by the one JB and Julie made for us in Puerto Rico. It was simple amazing and easy to make. Here's how:
1.) Soak (cook) 1 lb of oily fish in a bowl with fresh lime juice (we used Golden Tile)
2.) chop up a fresh organic tomato, avacado, green pepper, jalapeno pepper, sweet onion and cilantro to be mixed into a bowl with more lime juice.
3.) Once fish turns white-ish in color mix with the veggies and now you have an amazing ceviche dip that is good for you!

The Run (a.k.a. The Stump Jump!)

On Sunday morning, or should I say late morning as we wanted to sleep in and let it warm up, Jenny, myself, Harrison and Katie converged upon the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve for the week's long run. Katie is one of Jenny's running friends from Gainesville and a member of Team Hot Legs. She came into town Saturday night to celebrate Jenny's Birthday and do this trail run with us. It's been several years since I've run this trail, but I've done it on mountain bikes numerous times. The entire loop is 7 miles and that matches our Seattle RnR Marathon schedule exactly. The trail is very similar to the San Falesco route that I've run with Jenny and Katie in Gainesville a few times and I was excited to share with them a trail in my neck of the woods. The weather warmed up to be one of the hottest days of the year so far! Low 70s with a comfortable breeze near the Spruce Creek section of the route. The big difference between San Falesco and Spruce Creek is the difference in under growth. Spruce Creek has much more of it, whether it's scrub oak or palmetto brush, it's harder to see long distances so in some sections of switch backs it's difficult to see the path much further than 10-15 feet.

We nicknamed our run the "Stump Jump." Two reasons for this:
1.) Katie was supposed to do a trail running marathon in North Carolina on this very day, but had to cancel because of an hip injury that she is now recovering from. Jenny decided it was a good idea to give it a name and we even created a "race packet" for Katie with mementos from New Smyrna Beach. Any "race packet" deserves to go with a "named" race so we dubbed it to the Stump Jump and even made a bib with the number 1 for her because....
2.) We saved a bottle of wine for the night before that just happened to be named "Stump Jump" wine. Not sure why, but it sounds like a good race name. The joke was you drink the entire bottle and then demonstrate exactly what a "stump jump" is for your friends!

We drank the wine the night before, but didn't do any stump jumping although during the run there are several log jumps that bicycles jump. As we jumped over them we all yelled "stump jump!" Plus, we decided that a trail run isn't official until someone falls down. This happened around mile 4 when Harrison tripped up and had to fall on one knee. That made it official!

The Stump Jump was a hit with Katie and Jenny and I'm sure we'll return for some more fun out at the Spruce Creek Preserve soon!

I tested out a new app on my HTC Hero phone called "My Tracks" that uses GPS to map out your route and uploads directly to My Maps in iGoogle. I'll probably write a review for this phone in the future as I learn it, but here's the satellite image of the route we ran during the Stump Jump.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Thursday Stoke!

This Thursday I'm stoked about a few things! First off, Happy Birthday to my girlfriend Jenny. I'm so stoked for her and can't wait to celebrate her birthday with her this weekend! And speaking of weekend, how about surfing? What the heck has happened to surfing around these parts? It's been so dang cold that we've seriously neglected the art of riding waves. The right whales seem to be having a blast out there with new media coverage of their migration off our waters each week. I think it's time to get back in the water even if we do freeze in our little 3mm wetsuits and this weekend seems to have the perfect opportunity. Yes, TallGuySurfing is totally stoked and going to attempt to dare himself and friends into the surf this weekend if the conditions warrant! Stay tuned for a recap!

And last of all I leave you with this comment I left on Frayed Laces blog and her Road ID giveaway here. The blog request was to leave a comment as a letter to your body. After writing it I thought, "heck, it might be fun to post it as well!"

Here's an open letter to my body:

Dear Body,
Please rally the parts for the following messages:
To the Achilles tendon,
You never complained once for 32 years and yet recently you decided to let Brain know of your extreme dissatisfaction. Brain seems to have worked out a compromise and negotiated a new work ethic for you. Please stick to your end of the deal in the coming months. We have trail races and marathons to run!
To the mouth,
A couple of things. 1st off, like Mr. Achilles tendon, you've been relatively quiet for 32 years. A 3rd party investigator (a.k.a. the Dentist)is balking at your silence and claiming foul play. If you can hold out a little longer Brain has informed us that a trip to Thailand may be in the works to fix your negligent gum lines. 2nd of all, your voice box seems to be getting more and more blunt in the business world. Please tell Brain to have patience and try and "think" things instead of "thinking aloud" more often than not.
To the heart,
At the request of Brain you've built up some pretty thick walls during our late 20s after being broken a few times and Brain realizes and understands it's importance in having strong defenses. However, there comes a time when you have to lower your defense shields to really have a chance and open up to vulnerability. Now is the time to lower the drawbridge and let that special person through the gates. Brain takes full responsibility if you become broken again.
To the left rotator cuff,
You sir are kicking ass. Ever since that cortisone shot three years ago you have been off the wall. Keep up the good work, the stoke and the strong paddling! Keep us fast in the water and out of harms way!
To the Brian,
Please continue NOT hesitating. You are doing so well and we've come so far these past few years. As the 2010 Hurricane season approaches and a possible surf trip to Ecuador is in the works you will undoubtedly have some quick decisions to make in the water. Please do not hesitate a stay or go decision. Be precise, be wise and be fast. Keep Body safe as we have many more waves to ride and races to run!
Thanks for your time
-The Conscience.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tag I'm it... oh no you'll never catch me!

So today I noticed that I was tagged over at Julie's Running Blog. I'm not usually a tag/tagger type person (not even really in the myspace days), but since the ocean is flat and I don't have much to write AND I've noticed some new readers (Yippeee!) I'm excited to oblige the tag!

The tag is to tell 10 "whatever" things about yourself so here goes:

1.) In 2008 and 2009 I surfed more than probably the rest of my life. I surf 3 to 4 times a week on average (except for this winter, which has been stupid cold). It's something I'm really passionate about right now and I can see myself doing it as an old man.
2.) In 2009 I ran more regularly than I have my whole life. When there's no waves I run and while I've been "jogging" my whole life I only recently consider myself a "runner" and a beginner at that...
3.) Three things in life have changed me and shaped me more than anything else. When I was 15 my father died... when I was 21 I sailed around the world.... when I was 25 my best friend died... now I'm 32 and wondering what the next life changing event will hold for me?
4.) I hate monkeys ... don't ask.
5.) I'm right handed and left footed. Although, I can do a lot of things with my left hand just as good if not more accurately than my right hand.
6.) The sport of golf pisses me off! That is, unless we do NOT keep score and drink lots of beer... then it's a blast!
7.) I work to live.... not live to work. Money has never been the "motivator" for me, just a means of or device to accomplish the living part of life.
8.) I'm 6'6" tall.... probably 6'7" with most shoes and NO I DO NOT PLAY BASKETBALL.
9.) I'm a licensed pilot.
10.) I'm really stoked about all the races Jenny and I are planning on running this year. There's so many up for consideration that it seems like the possibilities are endless, but a few "for sure" ones are Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon, Muddy Buddy (Orlando), Bay to Breakers and many trail runs. Running is turning into a renewed passion for travel. It's fun to plan trips around running... or surfing!

Well, there you have it; 10 random things about TallGuySurfing!
I'm not really a tagger so I'm just going to invite everyone reading this to post a few wacky things about yourselves if you so feel inclined! Happy Blogging!