Thursday, September 23, 2010

Delta Lake Half Marathon

I've decided to take a more formal approach to writing my recaps & reviews. Here goes my first shot at it!

Quote of the Race:
"What place is this for," says Jenny after hearing her name and quickly walking up and accepting her award at the after-race-ceremony?
"You got 1st place in your age group," I say to her.
"I got first place???" Jenny says.

Location - Delta Lake State Park, New York
Cost - $25 pre-register, $30 day of registration (Can you say "holy crap that's affordable!")
Year of Running - 4th
Sponsor - Roman Runners Club
Charity - Unknown
Number of Participants - 150
Available Races - Half Marathon
Course Condition - Asphalt paved road. Rolling hills and flat stretches.
Pace Groups - None
Expo - None (packet pickup is on race day)

Take this race for what it is; a relatively small and super affordable half marathon organized by mostly volunteers on a course around a beautiful dam lake with only partially closed roads to vehicle traffic and it's one of the most well organized races I've ran to date. There's no official timing chips, but they did an excellent job with results (the official results were only 1 second off the time kept on my wrist watch). There were aid stations every two miles and somewhere between mile 6-8 there was an unofficial aid station with unknown volunteers handing out their own water and candies, or at least it appeared that way to me. There is minimal crowd support, but the spectators that did come out sporadically along the course are a much welcomed treat for runners. The course is not entirely closed to traffic and in some sections runners must run along the shoulder of the road. However, traffic is so little that I never felt endangered (except for the last 1/2 mile, which was my own fault and we'll get to that later). State Troopers on bicycles paced back and forth along the course and firefighters helped close off some roads. I give the race director an A+

Coming from Florida this race seems out in the middle of nowhere. A rental car would be a must and the nearest major airport is about an hour away in Syracuse. Pre-race traffic was non-existent and even driving through Rome (the nearest city) at 8 a.m. was a piece of cake. The State Park (start/finish line) had plenty of parking, excellent facilities (with showers) and there was no fee for entrance.

A recyclable shopping bag by a local sponsor contained the goodies at pack pickup. Enclosed were a Delta Lake Half Marathon souvenir cup full of chocolate candies, long sleeve high quality cotton Race T-shirt (color is black), bib number, state park brochure/map and safety pins. Not bad for $25 race registration cost. Organizers conducted a free raffle drawing of dozens of prize giveaways from sponsors after the race awards ceremony.

At the finish line organizers handed out water, Gatorade, bananas & sliced oranges. At the post race finish party area about a quarter mile away there was more food including hot dogs, cookies, coffee, yogurt, apples and more water. Awards were given away to the top three finishers in each age group (10 year age groups) and the top three female and male overall finishers.

Jenny and I arrived about 45 minutes early. This race doesn't start until 9 a.m. How freaking cool is that!?! We had plenty of time to pick up our packets, use the bathrooms and scrutinize over exactly what to wear (it was about 49 degrees at start time). A random gentleman dressed in a suit and tie (probably on his way to church or coming home from a long night out) pulled up to the start line in a sports car, got out and belted out the National Anthem a capella with no microphone. He was awesome. After that and very abruptly, the race director yelled through her bull horn, "on your mark, get set, go!"

And we were off, just as simple as that. No timing chips, no corrals, no fireworks, nada. It's been a long time since I've run in a small race and it was almost comforting to have a simple start. It was only a matter or two or three seconds until I crossed the start line. Jenny and I agreed before the start that we'd go our separate ways. She's faster than me hands down and I wanted her to be free to run it, race it, tempo it or whatever she felt like plus get a longer run in at a faster pace as she's training for a full marathon less than 5 weeks away. I also wanted to try and PR this race. We were told by the race director on the phone that it's a flat course with a few small hills in the first few miles (Warning: this course is NOT flat by Florida standards). I've only participated in two other Half Marathons, both while being injured (Achilles tendon) with times not worth mentioning. In fact, I consider my Half Marathon PR to be during the Seattle Full Marathon in June when I crossed the halfway point right at 2 hours.

Today I'm feeling strong. I'm not injured. I'm well rested and there's very low humidity and favorable temperatures for me. It's time to race. I decide in the first 1/2 mile that anything under 2 hours will suffice. There's a few larger groups of runners to run around in the first 1/2 mile until we find a group at our paces. Jenny runs ahead of me and for the longest time I can see her ponytail bouncing back and forth. I think I lose all sight of her at some point after mile 6.

I'm wearing a L.L. Bean tech T-shirt, Nike running shorts, Brooks running hat and Brooks Adrenaline (with about 250 miles on them) shoes. The temperature is right at that critical envelop for me of almost being too cold, but just right. As we pass the first mile marker I look at my watch and it reads 8:10. "Crap, need to slow down," I tell myself while forgetting that some of the first mile was down hill. The field spreads out and soon there are only a handful of runners around me. We're running through residential neighborhoods. To the left there are lakefront homes - very large and very expensive looking. To the right are some equally impressive looking homes. Occasionally, someone is standing along side the road cheering for us. There's an ever-so-slightly breeze. It feels good on my skin. I'm not sweating. A few runners around me are sweating profusely. I can't help but think of how they'd probably have a heat stroke in Florida.

I pass up the first aid station, but decide to take some water at the mile 4 aid station. I manage to get a mouthful on the run without stopping and discard the mostly full cup near a volunteer with a trash bag (there were no trash cans). Some time after this a group of runners pass me. I begin to ask myself if I'm slowing down. I still feel strong so I keep going at what I feel is a sustainable pace. I begin to ask myself when I'll crash. The last Half Marathon I did, while injured (because I'm stupid), I crashed at mile 8 and actually got passed by a speed walker all because I started out too fast. Today I'm going faster than that "too fast" start last December. This echos back and forth in my mind. It's like some psychological warfare playing games with my subconscious. When will I crash? Will I crash? Maybe if I had some music I'd be distracted. It'd be nice to blast some Papa Roach or Rise Against right about now. . .

At the 10k mark and aid station I'm right around 50 minutes if I remember correctly. This might have been a 10k PR for me, but only mile 6 was marked, not mile 6.2. I decide that I'm a little slower than my 10k PR and that's a good thing because I don't want to crash in a few miles. I see the aid station approaching about a football field away. I reach into my gel pocket and pull one of three GUs out. It will be the only one I feel the need to take during this race despite my going for greatness in bringing three of them. It's "chocolate outrage" with caffeine. Yummy. This time I managed to gobble all of it down in two swallows and just in time to grab a cup of water from a kid that can't be but 7-or-8-years old. He's holding it as high as he can reach and looking up at me with that expression I know all too well; "wow that guy is tall!"
As I take it from him I say, "thanks big guy!"
Then I start to try and drink the water while running. I'm forced to stop and take three or four walking steps in order to ensure I get a LOT of water to mix with the Gu. Just before I resume running I look back at the kid and see him turning to his parents and smiling ear to ear. The giant guy called him a "big guy!"

The next several miles are uneventful. Everyone has kind of found their pace. There are three guys in front of me and one woman. I don't look behind me nor do I care. I'm pretending I'm the predator in this race, not the pray. I never see the mile 8 marker and for a while I start debating with myself of if I'm still in mile 8 or in mile 9... or perhaps I'm approaching mile 10? Soon I see mile 9 and as I pass it I realize I'm still feeling strong and I haven't crashed! I check my watch and then start doing the mental calculations in my head to keep myself occupied. It's a strange thing to try to do time/distance problems in your head while your exerting yourself near Vo2 max. I conclude that at my current pace I will most definitely break 2 hours. In fact, I might be on pace to finish in the low 1:50s. Then I remember the super long downhill stretch that we drove on our way to the race and how basically the last mile is all downhill. Another runner back at mile 3 mentioned the long downhill stretch near the end. If I calculate a long downhill mile into my pace I might be able to finish under 1:50:00. Having a Half Marathon time with the second number starting with 4 sounds a hell of a lot better than 5.

As I consider this I start to feel slightly fatigued. I decide I need to pick up my pace and I need a mantra. If there was ever a time for a mantra it's now! I'm feeling stronger than I've ever felt in a distance race. Without any major catastrophe I will surely PR, but after re-accessing my situation I want more. What would I be happy with no matter what at the finish line? I decide on "finishing strong." No matter what I want to go with negative splits these last few miles and finish strong. Finish Strong.... FINISH STRONG! I yell it in my mind at myself every few seconds as I push myself harder. At mile 10 see a volunteer holding a cup of red liquid. "What is it," I ask as I quickly approach and make eye contact with him. "Gatorade," he replies. "Awesome," I yell as I take it and slam as much in my mouth as I can without gagging. I hear all the volunteers in the background laugh a little behind me. I must look like a maniac. I feel like a maniac! Finish strong bitches!

"Only a 5k left to run," I tell myself. Who's pray? Finish Strong! Those are the only three things floating around in my mind now as we approach mile 11. The same three guys and a woman are still in front of me. They are spread out for about 50 yards with the closest to me being 20 yards away. I pass the first guy on the outside (he was hugging the shoulder) and keep pushing it. Finish strong! Next is the woman. She's wearing long pants, long sleeve shirt and a sleeveless vest over the shirt. God, she must be burning up! She has a gray ponytail and is listening to her iPod. I lay chase for some while and it seems I can't make much progress. I can't believe there's a gray haired woman kicking my arse! She seems to always pull away on any uphill stretch of the course. Finally, there's a long straight flat section and I manage to pass her. What an amazing athlete. I hope she places in her age group!

We reach the mile 12 aid station and all I can think about is the final downhill stretch. Still two guys in front of me, both looking like their in my age division of 30-39 years old. I'm good at downhill. I actually like downhill. Runners always complain about how hard downhill can be and how it'll trash your legs without warning. I have no idea why I'm good at downhill, but I LIKE IT! I take a cup of water and throw it all over the back of my neck and shoulders. It's cold and it feels good and there's no point drinking anything at this point in the race. 1.1 miles to go!

We turn a corner past the "dam" and the aid station and there's a hill that looks like Mt. Everest. I'm sorry for the language, but I belt out the biggest "what the F*ck!" as I look up at this beast before me. Nobody said anything about one of the biggest hills of the race being in the last mile. This is a huge blow to my plan of finishing under 1:50:00. I check my watch, do the math and realize I'm going to have to run something like a 7 minute mile to break 1:50:00 and apparently it's going to be partly UPHILL!

I shorten my stride, lean forward, look down (not to the top of the hill) and swing my arms more violently in an attempt to defeat this monster. There are still two guys within 40 yards of me. They are the only two runners in sight. About halfway up the hill I hear someone huffing and puffing behind me. It's a small short guy and he passes me with an amazing stride. He's new. I haven't seen him the entire race and he's definitely running a sub-7 minute pace uphill! I attempt to pace just behind him and soon realize there's no freaking way! He passes the two guys in front of me and I change my focus on keeping pace with them until we get to the top of the hill. Finish strong!

As we reach the top of the hill I feel myself running harder and keeping my breathing pattern the same. At the top I pass the first guy. Now I can see the long stretch of downhill road leading up to the finish line. Time to finish strong! I don't look at my watch. I just start running faster and faster. I let gravity pull me downhill. I imagine all the increased distance of my stride during that instant in each step where my entire body is airborne and free of the pavement. The machine of a guy that passed me on that hill is rounding the corner and I can barely see him passing the 13 mile marker. He is soon gone. Only that last guy in front of me. He's wearing a white shirt with thin orange stripes on the sides. He's only a few feet away and hugging the shoulder. This part of the road is not closed to oncoming traffic and occasionally there's an oncoming vehicle. Just as I decide to make my move and run on the outside (the only real estate available) and into the road I see a large truck quickly approaching us. I'm shoulder to shoulder with him and I'm in the traffic lane. Rather than drop back behind him I gamble and decide that the truck will probably swerve away from us. Not the smartest decision of the day! The truck passes the point where most drivers would begin a swerve. Crap. No time to get out of the way now! At the last second the truck veers away from us only slightly. The side mirror misses me by an arm's length. I feel the wake turbulence hit my body and with that a huge rush of adrenaline shoots down my spine. I smile, deeply inhale a breath of air and tell myself to "use it."

The adrenaline helps and soon I find myself at a full on sprint. The guy in the white and orange shirt is somewhere behind me.... pray.... I pass the 13 mile marker and can see the finish line. It looks SO FAR away. I can't believe that I'm physically able to sprint at this point! It's really not my style to sprint to a finish line so this is new for me. I can see Jenny standing in the crowd waving and jumping up and down. She's stoked about my time. Then I can hear her yelling my name. Finish Strong, finish strong, finish strong, FINISH STRONG!

As I cross the finish line I nearly collapse. During the last few steps I felt as though my legs were about to buckle. I stared at the clock the entire way through and watched as 49 disappeared and as the seconds behind the 50 ticked away. Whatever, it doesn't matter, I finished strong. Stronger than I've ever finished any race. Jenny is literally jumping up and down. The race director (I forgot her name) comes up and introduces herself as she remembered a telephone conversation with Jenny and thanks us for running her race while visiting "all the way from Florida." I tell her how impressed I am with her race and overall everything. It was a truly awesome moment. Later we find out Jenny (who finished nearly 9 minutes ahead of me and that wasn't even close to her PR time) got 1st place in her age division and was 4th overall out of all females. She's amazing!

My official stats:
40th out of 150 total finishers
7th in my age division
Official time: 1:50:21
Watch time: 1:50:20
Average pace: 8:25

Overall it was a great experience. I finished strong indeed and remained injury free. I can truly say that I left it all out there and now feel freshly energized about running. I'm registered for another Half Marathon next month in Florida with an all flat course and can't wait to see how I do without the hills, although temperature/humidity could still be an issue.

Delta Lake Half Marathon = A+ across the board!

After the race with Delta Lake in the background.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I would like to know what kind of threat almond butter poses to plane, crew and passengers in the eyes of the Transportation Security Administration?

Not only did I find TSA failed with a capital FAIL on a recent trip with my girlfriend and I to Syracuse to see her grandparents, but apparently almond butter could possibility be used to hijack an aircraft??? I'm baffled. This super healthy (and expensive) food item is not explosive that I know of and with the consistency of, well, soft butter, it certainly can't be used as a blunt object to knock someone upside the head. Here's what happened.

While driving through an Amish area near Lake Oneida, we stopped at an Amish country store. I was absolutely blown away by the low prices of their products, mostly food items produced locally (obviously the Amish aren't worried about making a greedy profit). Almond butter, cashew butter and peanut butter were all for sale. A large container of almond butter costs around $3.50. The same amount in a grocery store in my home town runs about $10. I decided to buy two of them. My girlfriend purchased one almond butter and one cashew butter. At the airport we checked in and approached the TSA security screening area. Before I knew it we were both questioned about our bags and then taken to the "special" area for further inspection. Now these "special" areas are right next to each other, not more than 5-feet apart. Two TSA security officers diligently searched our bags for explosives, nukes, machine guns, bazookas or whatever. What they found were three containers of almond butter and one of cashew butter between the two of us. Like well trained dogs e,ach TSA officer removed the suspect item and informed us they would need to run the bags through the scanning machines one more time. Fine, whatever. We set there waiting patiently, undignified of our quest to live a healthier life by eating good foods. My TSA inspector officer comes back first.

"Sir, the almond butter can't go with you," she says as if she's made some heroic feat for national security. "You can check it if you are checking any bags."

My response?

"Mame, that butter costs more than $10 per jar in Florida and as you can see from the prices clearly marked next to the product description and ingredients list it is simply not worth it to pay the airline rapeage charge for checking my bag."

She looks at me and says, "OK sir, I'll throw it away."

But wait, there's more!

I pass my girlfriend as she's still waiting on her bags to be scanned over again. She whispers, "did they take your butter?"

I nod and walk away silently. How in the name of national security is almond butter a threat to passengers and crew? It's obviously not a threat to aircraft if TSA is alright with stowing it below in the cargo hold where line guys will surely smash the living hell out of it before tossing it into the plane. That's going to create one hell of a mess in my bag!

My girlfriend is soon released and walks my way smiling. "They didn't take my almond butter or my cashew butter," she says.


Thanks TSA. Not only did you rob me of my healthy almond butter, but you reassured me that your practices and control policies are completely inconsistent. I feel safer now.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hawaii on a whim!

Ahhhh Hawaii! How different my view of your majestic shorelines, vog covered volcanic hills, pristine reefs, lush green hiking trails and friendly residents is now that I've visited, circumnavigated and learned so much more about the "Big Island" than I could ever grasp from books and videos.

A couple of weeks ago an opportunity came up I couldn't let pass. A close cousin to me, like a brother, invited me to join him for a week's vacation to Kona, Hawaii. The trip was all paid for, non-refundable, and the unfortunate event of a break up with his girlfriend left him in need of a good friend to explore the island. All I had to do was find last minute airfare, which seemed impossible until I got some amazing help from some other family members that happen to work for the airlines. Before I knew it I found myself 4,000 miles from Florida climbing down the steps onto the tarmac of the Kona International Airport.

I never thought of any of the Hawaiian islands being my "dream" destination. I've been fortunate enough to travel around the world and I've seen some pretty amazing places. Knowing what's out there, I have a pretty long list of higher priority destinations than Hawaii. After this trip my attitude is definitely different. I want to go back and I want to go back soon! In a week's time, Robert and I drove nearly 500 miles and circumnavigated the largest island in the chain. Here's my best attempt to portray our adventure in the following photo essay.

We spent our first full day driving north from Kona and then south exploring the coastline and beaches. The first beach was Kekaha Kai State Park. I thought I forgot my snorkel at the hotel so I spent the entire time swimming around with no snorkel only to learn later it was in my backpack on the beach. Oh well, we had a blast. I decided to attempt a "rock run" in a sandy spot surrounded by reef that was about 20 feet deep. Leaving my fins with Robert, I dove down and picked up the biggest rock I could find and ran across the patch. I think I made it about 15 feet and then my lungs felt like they were going to freaking explode so I dropped the rock and broke for the surface. I've seen Hawaiians doing this in surf videos and I had to try it. I think it would be an amazing way to cross train for surfing. Talk about building up lung capacity while exerting yourself and trying to stay relaxed all at the same time. Three times of doing this and I was exhausted! I wish we had clear enough water here in Florida. I'd do it every day.

The second day we drove to the northeast side of the island to the Waipio Valley. The landscape changes a ton we crossed over to the windward side of the island. It goes from a dryer arid landscape to lush green tropical vegetation. We rented an AWD vehicle and were surprised they wouldn't let us drive down the valley unless we had true 4-wheel drive. That's ok, because we decided we would walk down and back out. To hell with the car! I got so excited about the sheer beauty of this place I had to do a handstand next to the cliff!

After several hours of hiking around the Waipio Valley we stopped and ate our lunch. There are numerous finger valleys along the shoreline. If I lived here I'd backpack in for several days at a time and camp out. It'd also be an amazing place to sea kayak around the bluffs and into each valley/beach.

Robert and I could see a waterfall miles away up into the valley from our lunch spot on the beach. I wanted to backtrack to the main road and try to find another trail to it. Robert all about continuing on a marked trail named "King's trail" that appeared to go along the opposite side of the valley hoping it would cross over and we could get to the base of the waterfall. Well, this didn't quite work out. We hiked miles and miles before giving up as there was no clear way to get across the valley. We were told that in Hawaii you can go anywhere as long as you don't cross a fence or cross sacred ground. There were tons of fences. It was an amazing part of the day with all kinds of fruits growing everywhere and a beautiful tropical canopy pictured above.

Looking back into the Waipio Valley from the river mouth at the beach.

Robert picked up an avocado. It was so ripe it was almost purple. He thought it was a pear because of the shape. I told him it was an avocado. Not believing me he poked his fingers into it and got a big green surprise. We split it and ate it there on the spot. Hands down.... one of the best avocados I've ever had!

This is far as we got to that waterfall. We snorkeled around a bit in the river and saw some crawfish-like creatures. The day was getting late and it was time to hike back to the vehicle.

Nobody said it would be easy. 1,400 feet elevation gain in .9 of a mile with not one switch back. The sign said it was a 25% grade. I believe it and my calves were freaking pissed at me the next day. Seriously, it felt like I had ran a race or something. I am NOT used to hills like that coming from Florida. I went on and attempted to plot out our hike. It came to about 10 miles.

Next we drove to the southeast side of the island. This is the land of volcanoes with the major city being Hilo, were we stayed one night at the Green Turtle Inn. I wouldn't recommend it for it's accommodations, but for price and the knowledge the owner can share with you it's unbeatable. The photo above was from a beach north of Hilo near Wainaku. I wanted to surf it really bad, but Robert doesn't surf, I didn't have a board and we had bigger and better things ahead of us.

I shouldn't have ate that avocado. Man, it made my lips explode. I must be allergic! Haha... just kidding. I don't know what the heck these were, but we had quite the laugh with them!

The biggest banyan tree I've ever seen. I just had to climb it! This was at Rainbow Falls.

We hiked around to the top of Rainbow Falls. Probably weren't supposed to be there, but you only live once!

One of Robert's best friend's parents actually live in the city of Volcano near Volcanoes National Park. We stopped in to say hello and had a wonderful lunch before getting a tour with them of the park. Above is the Kilauea caldera in the background. It's been erupting since 1983!

While VNP wasn't my favorite part of the island I think there's definitely some fun hikes to be had here. I kept imagining the crazy trail runs and races they could have in the park. By the way, hiking at mid-day on top of black lava rock is HOT! Not Florida hot, but hot enough!

If Jenny was with me I had a feeling we'd be running this trail! :-)

After hitting up VNP and the area around Hilo it was time to get back to the Kona side of the island. We started off early and did the epic Saddle Road drive that crosses between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, the two tallest peaks in all of Hawaii. Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano and also home of multiple observatories. Scientists and astronomers love it up there because of the lack of light pollution and the high elevation making it one of the best places to star gaze on Earth. It's also home of the Keck Telescope, which is 8-stories high! If you're a space geek like myself all of this is fascinating, but I won't bore you with it.

The drive up Saddle Road is almost as fun as the destination, the top or nearly the top of Mauna Kea (13,796 feet). It truly is an epic drive where 4x4 or AWD is recommended.

The last half mile or so has to be hiked to the official summit. Robert and I found we had the summit to ourselves for nearly 2 hours in the middle of the day. We took turns running the route back in forth until we were both clearly hypoxic.

Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world (once you take away the ocean) at around 33,000 feet. That's taller than Everest, but not higher. Definitely worth a hypoxic handstand!

Yoga anyone??? Note: Robert and I switched jackets since mine had a hood and he wanted to go back to the car to retrieve something. The crazy thing about being up there was if you were in the wind it was really cold, but if you moved away from the windward side of the summit it was pleasant.

Yup, that item he went to retrieve was our boardshorts, snorkels and dive masks. How many people do you think have stood on top of Mauna Kea ready to swim? The Big Island is one of the few places in the world that I know of where you can be surfing and snow skiing in the same day. There wasn't any snow on top of Mauna Kea while we visited, but a lot of the year does have snow pack.

We stayed up there for sunset. Quite a few people showed up for sunset so we weren't alone anymore. The temperature dropped down to 36 degrees and it was beautiful. One of my top 10 sunsets! After dusk we headed down to the visitor's center at 9,000 feet where they have amateur astronomy night on Saturdays. There were dozens of large telescopes with people operating them and it was free to view at the Heavens. I looked at Venus through a 16-inch telescope and it looked as big as the Moon does to the naked eye. I could even see the day time side and night time side of the planet. This was hands-down the best star gazing I've ever seen with the Grand Canyon being a close second and aboard a ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean being a third. Sadly, I did not have a film camera, tripod or cable release to do any time-lapse photography.

I did however, have some fun underwater equipment that we played with on our last day in Hawaii all along the northwest coast as we visited the city of Hawi and checked out the Pololu Valley lookout (north of Waipio Valley). The above and below pictures are from the reef only a 100 feet or so off the beach at Lapakahi State Historical Park south of Hawi.

I'll close with a picture of me on the first day after snorkeling the reef at Napoopoo near the Captain Cook Monument. There was a sea urchin shell about 25 feet underwater with the last 10 feet being in a small crevasse of coral. Robert spotted it and asked me to go get it as he couldn't free dive that deep or hold his breath long enough. Me always being up for a challenge said, "ok!" I had no problem getting into the crevasse (not having a tank on my back made it real easy), but as I was swimming out I was more concerned about my head clearance than my legs. I lightly brushed some coral and it sliced open my leg in four different spots! I can't believe I got reef rash and I didn't even get to surf!!! Having experienced scraps from reefs surfing Puerto Rico I was a little concerned about bacteria and polyps. The only thing I could find in my backpack was hand sanitizer. Without thinking I squirted a huge goop of it on the open wound and rubbed it back and forth with my hand. The burn was worse than getting cut in the first place! It was then I learned that it was nearly pure alcohol. Ouch! I might as well have squeezed a lemon on it! Oh well, later on I used some hydrogen peroxide and am happy to report no infection. So that's it. Hawaii! I'll definitely be back and next time I'll bring Jenny and probably check out Oahu and Kauai!

Aloha my friends and Mahalo for reading!

Three words


So..... how is everybody? I feel like I've been away from the blogsphere forever! Jenny and I ran this morning. She did the first of two 20-milers on the schedule for her upcoming Running for the Bay Marathon next month. I biked the first 9 miles and ran the last 11 miles (I'm only running the half marathon).

Yup, 11 miles for Sept. 11th.


PS - Don't worry. I'm getting back in the groove of things and will post pictures and a recap of Hawaii tomorrow!