Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Up Wednesday

Last weekend my girlfriend and I were having a little planning session dubbed the "plan-a-thon" at a Borders Bookstore. We successfully researched and booked airfare to Seattle along with hotel accommodations for the Muddy Buddy Race in Orlando. We were rocking two laptops and jolting from caffeine when a friend joined us for a bit. During the conversation the friend checked her email on an iPhone and saw an alert that a local runner was reported missing. Apparently the runner was last seen running near the Veterinarian College at the University of Florida. Both my girlfriend and her friend frequently go for runs in that area. I'm not sure if they've found the missing runner or not, but the eye opener for me was this missing runner was a male, not a female. He was young and in good shape.

I never give a second thought about taking off on a solo run, not telling a soul where I'm headed and cranking up the volume on my iPod. These are three things that I'm betting most females would definitely think twice before doing. Since I'm a rather large man, or at least tall, I think I tend to feel immune to stories like the missing runner in Gainesville. The more I think about it the more stupid I realize I am.

I have no Road ID.

Often times I run at night.

I do not carry any money nor identification.

Analyzing this scares the sh*t out of me. Yesterday I decided to go for a short 3-mile run. I took a business card (has my office contact information, name & website) and wrote on it a local family member, their number and "emergency contact" next to it. Then I wrote in all capital letters "NEVER GIVE UP." The business card fits perfectly inside my iPod arm case. Waaalaa.... my very own free Road ID.

My girlfriend tells me that when ever she goes from a run she leaves the route open on her computer. Now that's smart. If she went missing we would know the route to start searching. Today, before I ran, I opened up and left the route open on the screen.

It was a good run, despite still having a slight sinus infection, and knowing I've taken added safety precautions is added peace of mind. Think before you run!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

North Carolina Recap Part II


Two blog posts in two days after 10 days of nothingness. I'm a loose cannon!

After conquering more than 14 miles of hills and trails in North Carolina, Jenny and I decided it would be a good idea to end our mini-vacation with a shorter scenic 3 mile run on the Lake Johnson Park Trail. The paved loop around the lake is 2.82 miles and full of SHORT steep hills and scenic views. Jenny and I ran, while Kelly walked the loop. With Jenny and I getting lost once (almost a given these days) and doubling back at the end to meet up with Kelly I'm guessing it was a 3 to 3.5 mile run, but the real point was to have a fun run around the lake.
The trail is absolutely beautiful. The park is free and the whether in Mid-April is amazing, or at least was during our visit. Here are a few pictures of the trail and us goofing off on the run:

If I lived in Raleigh this would be a regular running route for me. It's a short loop, but the hills and beautiful of the forest would make doing a few laps completely bearable. Plus, I heard a rumor that there's an unpaved trail looping around the other side of the lake that adds an additional 1.64 miles. All and all.... I great travel run!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Never Fear I'm Back! (Raleigh Recap part 1)


10 whole days without writing a post on this blog. That's the longest I've gone since creating this monster. Did you think I'd died, or moved on to bigger and better things, or perhaps won the Powerball lottery???

Well, sorry to burst your (or my) bubble, but none of the above are the case. It's a simple one that can be defined in one long run-on sentence:

I took a short vacation to the hills of North Carolina with the girlfriend where I brought home some kind of sinus infection only to head back to being absolutely slammed at work for a week in the midst of trying to squeeze in 20 to 25 miles of training runs per week with my desktop computer at work (from which I often write blogs on during down time) blowing up with smoke and electrical noise right in front of my very own eyes!

Whew! Being down a computer does not help in the midst of all those other things, but GOOD NEWS folks. I'm back. I'm feeling better and determined to get back on track this week with everything that I consider interesting in my life. So I'm going to start right where I left off and recap the North Carolina trip.

But before we go there I just want to point out that one of my followers, Cari Rich at Carichblogs, pointed out a fact error in my last post where I equated a song called "Wagon Wheel" to my upcoming trip and credited the Against Me! cover of it to Bob Dylan. Cari pointed out that Old Crow Medicine Show wrote the song and Bob Dylan was actually covering the song as well. This is awesome and I can't wait to search for the Old Crow Medicine Show recording of it. Thanks Cari!

Onward to Raleigh, North Carolina!

There are two runs to talk about on this trip. First was our long run. Scheduled to be a 13-miler, we mapped out a route, with the help of our lovely host, Kelly, that would begin in the Harris Lake County Park with about 5 miles of trails before heading out on country back roads for the remaining 8 miles back to Kelly's house. The route is nothing but rolling hills and perfect for training for the Seattle RnR Marathon.

First, let me say the park is beautiful. There's a disc golf course that looks really challenging, miles of mountain bike (only) trails, open playing fields and of course hiking trails, however, Jenny and I see them as running trails. Since we were both exhausted from working and traveling the day before along with drinking wine with Kelly we got a little bit of a late start. I'm pretty sure it wasn't until after 10 a.m., but the overcast weather was keeping it cool (probably upper 60s).A mile or so into the run we begin to realize that the trails are a little more technical than we planned with lots of roots to step over, hills to climb and switch backs changing direction. I like it. It's also very scenic with the lake, the newly green trees and even the nuclear power plant on the other side of the lake. Yup, I totally imagined Homer Simpson over there!

After about 45 minutes we realized that we're a little confused as the trail has disappeared. I vaguely remember the trail hugging the shoreline until the end and a small bridge to cross, which we have not reached yet. Getting lost is probably my fault since I suggest we continue on along the shoreline and before long we find ourselves in the middle of the disc golf course. Eventually we find our way out to a parking lot where Jenny asks a guy with hardware pierced all through his face which way to the park exit. He points us down the road and we're off after downing some Gu and Shot Blocks. It's not long after heading down a long hill on the asphalt (Woohoo for pavement after an hour on the trail) that we see hardware guy drive past us and go out of site in a car. A few minutes later he comes back heading the opposite direction not saying a word. Then a few minutes later (and another hill later) we come across the sign saying the park exit is the other way. Hardware guy was lost and he didn't even have the decency to tell us we were going the wrong way. Douchebag! So we turn around and run back up the hills we just ran down and find the park exit. Begin road portion of long run.

North Carolina's hills are different than Florida. I know that sounds stupid and obvious, but this was a good lesson for me. I'm used to being able to see the top of the hill. In North Carolina the hills can go on for miles. For example: right about the time Jenny is really getting into a groove and feeling awesome, I'm starting to feel leg fatigue and the sun pops out from the overcast sky. It's hot, but not super hot so I don't really think it'll bother me that much. I mean, seriously, I run in Florida in July. Anyways, I realize we've been going up a hill for quite a while so I start timing it. 28-minutes later we are still going up hill. Jenny is out front chatting away and I almost completely lose it. "We've been running up this F*cking hill for 28 minutes," I yell. I try to have a sense of humor about it, but I'm definitely not having the best run at this point. You see, the hills in Carolina can go on for miles and they're curvy so after 28 minutes it turns into just getting around the next curve to see if the hill is going to end. Slow gradual hill... I am not used to at all!

This is actually a hill
Jenny and I after conquering the 28-minute hill...

In a nutshell, we did reach the top of the hill. We finished strong going up a steep hill into Kelly's subdivision and yes, you could see the top of that hill. I then collapse in the grass for a symbolic picture of the way I felt. It was a good hurt.

A few days later I mapped out the run, the getting lost, the going the wrong way and even a short cut across an onion field and figured we ran nearly 14.5 miles... NOT 13. Whew!

Well, that's all for now. I'll catch up on the next run tomorrow... a 3.5 miler around another lake in North Carolina with more HILLS! It's time for me to have a beer!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm shipping up to Raleigh!

While many of my blogger friends are "shipping up to Boston" this weekend, I'll be heading out in a few minutes to Raleigh from the Gainesville airport with Jenny to visit a few of our friends for the weekend. Another song comes to mind; an old Bob Dylan song I believe recently covered by Against Me! that goes something like this, "picking me a bouquet of dogwood flowers and I'm a hopin' for Raleigh..."

Anyways, I'm excited to get out of Florida for a few days and away from the real estate business, which has been driving me nuts the past few weeks. Tomorrow we have a 13-miler on tap first thing in the morning. According to a combination of Google Earth and it looks like we'll be able to run from the house we're staying at through the countryside to the Harris County Lake Park where there's miles of trails with our names written all over them. I'm hoping for some hills myself. I'll probably carry along the camera so expect a full recap with pictures sometime later next week after I get back!

I'll also be tuning into the Universal Sports channel Monday morning to watch the Boston Marathon. Best of luck to all you bloggers either spectating or racing/running!

Surfing..... oh man, I'm getting antsy. We've had about two weeks of onshore winds and the few windows of opportunities early in the morning with light and variable winds I've missed because of work. I've heard there's been some "going off" moments on the inside of the rocks. Now that I'm leaving town, I'm sure it'll be epic. I fully intend to hit it hard next week!

Seattle Training Report:
I'm feeling really strong. I've logged 12 miles so far this week without the weekly long run and I'm having to remind myself to take it easy and slow down. Looking back at my training log from last year it's becoming apparent that I had no idea what heck I was doing. I still feel like I'm super new and still a novice, but at least I feel like I'm more wise and smart enough not to overdo it again. Time will tell as I'm about to enter the realm of injury territory where my body will tell me yea or nay for higher mileage weeks. Hopefully, this time with less surfing, softball, tennis and other oddities in the picture an injury such as Mr. Achilles won't repeat itself.

AHA Fundraising Report:
So super stoked to have busted our goal this week. Honestly, I feel like I should have made a harder/higher goal. I had no idea we'd receive SO MUCH support without begging for it. Last I checked we busted $1,300 to support American Heart Association. Running the Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon is going to mean so much to Jenny and I and I can't begin to thank everyone that has shown support!

Happy Weekend to All and catch you on the flip side! Keep the stoke!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Two lessons learned (Long run recap)

12.5 Mile long run down.... a heck of a lot more to go until Seattle Marathon! Last weekends long run with Jenny was fun, but I learned two important lessons.

1.) Don't eat a LOT of one food type (in my case asparagus) the night before a long run.

2.) Don't attempt to go to work where you are going to have to be standing and walking for hours immediately after a long run.

I'm just going to throw it out there. We made Naan bread pizza with asparagus, pesto, cheese and chicken the night before the run. Yup, if you read Runner's World the recipe is in the current issue. I can report that if you haven't made it do it! It's amazing. I ate it off my plate like a starving African kid. It tasted so damn good. Hmmmm.... I think I might just make it again tonight. It's fast, simple and easy. Only problem is with my stomach not being used to large amounts of asparagus it didn't take kindly to me bouncing around on a long run for 2 hours! Yeah... TallGuySurfing had some GI issues on Saturday. But, not to worry. I didn't let it ruin the fun. We had a great time.

Started out about 45 minutes before dawn and made it to the beach just as the sun was breaching the horizon. We held a steady slow pace and stopped for water twice. The air temperature was perfect at about 65 degrees. I carried my camera and took a few pictures.

After reaching the 12.5 mark Jenny continued on for another couple miles (we're trying to merge our training schedules together piece by piece) and I got ready for work. By the time I got out of the shower Jenny had made an amazing omelet for me, which I immediately engulfed! Here's where the second lesson comes into play. I had an open house to conduct at 10 a.m. for a couple hours and then a showing immediately after so I was on my feet for 3 hours after the long run. By the time I got back to the house and met up with Jenny my legs were torched! We decided to just chill out and eat a glorious lunch on the couch with our legs elevated and...... and...... and have a wonderful glass of wine!

Tonight I decided the perfect cure for a bad day (computer crashed... the kind of crash the involves smoke coming out of it) at work would be to charge a high rise bridge. This is actually something I try to do quite regularly, but have been slacking off the past month. So hills it was and 3 miles for 6 repeats. Here's a picture I took a few weeks ago of the only "hill" in town moments before dawn.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Thursday Stoke!

... at the 11th hour that is..... I'm writing the Thursday stoke at the 11th hour! Whoo hoo!

Tonight I'm stoked about this weekend. Jenny and I are totally going to own a 12-miler for a long run. Well, she'll probably own it and I'll probably just get through it. I have to admit I'm a little anxious. I killed the 10-miler a few weeks ago so what's two more miles... yeahhhhh I'll be fine!

I'm also stoked about the upcoming Boston Marathon. I think it just might be on TV. I'm yet to watch a marathon on TV since I feel like I now kind of got a grasp on understanding the sport of distance running. I will be in Raleigh, North Carolina, the day of the race, but be assured, my DVR will be primed and set just in case I miss it up there. It's an even more exciting stoke knowing that some of you will be either running it or be there in person spectating. Maybe we can watch it from a bar. I wonder if there are any drinking games for watching the Boston Marathon. I think it definitely deserves a beer while watching!

Cheers to Redhead Running (cheering on her man), Running Spike, Run Like a King and Run with Jill who will be at Boston. I look forward to your recaps! If I've left anyone out let me know and I'll be stoked for you too! :-)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The coolest Marathon on Earth!

I started work this morning at 7 a.m. It's the only time I can get a couple of customers on the phone to work on an on-going deal. At 7:30 a.m. we were still at a stale mate and I needed to think so I went for a 6-mile run. It was magnificent! 60 Degrees and rising with the sunrise! I skirted around the airport, through a recreational complex and ended near a friends house to chat as he is remodeling the place. Back at work I sit here writing this post and I'm completely relaxed and full of good energy!

My girlfriend sent me this link a few minutes ago with some witty comments about this marathon and how the runners in the pictures look so happy (we both hate the cold). I thought it'd be a great race to share with all you crazy runners out there looking for the next best thing. It's too late for the 2010 marathon (it's happening today), but I hear there's always next year!!!

The North Pole Marathon!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Trails, Waves, Space Shuttles and bonfires on my!

A quickie of the weekend (because everyone likes the occasional quickie!)
Seven miles on the RnR Seattle Marathon training schedule for Saturday morning. Jenny and I decided it would be a good idea to make it a trail run and why not sleep in since it's only 7-miles? Well, we ran about 8.5 miles just for good measure and the final mile or so killed me. Not because I can't handle 8.5 miles, but because some days are better than others and on this particular day spring allergies decided to attack making it difficult to breath. Otherwise it was a great run. Jenny really enjoyed it. I'm happy to report it was the "hottest" run yet this year and we both enjoyed perspiring in the heat! Thank God the cold is gone! After getting home and removing my sand-filled shoes I noticed my legs had taken on a new appearance and no, these are not tan lines!

I've been feeling a little stiffness in BOTH my lower calves and Achilles tendons lately. As a precaution I decided it would be a good idea to cyrogenically freeze them after the run. Only problem is my feet are too big for a bucket... so I used a ice cooler! Ouch!

Saturday night was beach bonfire night. Good times. Good Food. Good people!

Made it to the beach Easter morning. Good swell in the water and glassy conditions. While I passed many crowded churches on the way to the beach apparently I'm not the only surfer that felt Jesus would have wanted me to surf Easter morning instead of going to church. I was not alone in the line up. It's all good though, as I was joined by some good friends and we're now all wearing minimal wetsuits. Yay for Summer!

This morning was the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery. After this launch there are only 3 more launches until NASA retires the shuttle program. Here's a shot I took just minutes before dawn.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Thursday Stoke!

Today I am stoked about the following things in no particular order!

1.) Raw broccoli dipped in hummus! I can't seem to eat enough of it lately!

2.) This week's swell! All week we have had swell in the ocean and mostly offshore winds or no wind at all. Monday was so windy that I found myself diggin' outside rail to keep from blowing off the wave faces. This morning was the best noseriding day yet this year! I'm totally hitting it tomorrow too!

3.) Running while not being injured. I'm knocking on wood so hard right now that I'm probably going to bruise my knuckles, but it's been so long since I wasn't injured with this dang Achilles tendon crap that I think I had forgotten truly how much fun running is.... until now!

4.) The water warming up. I can't quiet shed the wetsuit yet, but I can lose the booties and the extra top! Summer is near!

5.) All the amazing people that have donated to Jenny and my fundraiser to benefit the American Heart Association. I am truly humbled and grateful for every donation and can't believe we are so close to reaching our goal so early! I'm going to thank each and every one person that makes a donation personally as soon as I get a chance!

6.) Last weekend's 10-miler on the Hawthorne Trail! I remember when 10 miles seemed to be so intimidating and now it seems like "only 10 miles" isn't so bad. It was a beautiful run and I'm going to leave all you stoksters with this picture from the run!

Keep the stoke up!