End of the month today with 205.1 miles even though I had seven days completely off isn't too bad. I only spent $74 dollars this month, so that is a great month and a per mile cost of only 36 cents a mile. I'm pretty happy with the month, but want to keep this pace so I can have a better chance at the Javelina Jundred later this year.
It was a long day at work today, but I'm about out the door to get some rest for the early morning tomorrow.
I saw a cute movie last night called, "Its A Guy Thing" and was amazed with Julia Stiles beauty. Is it just me or does she have the cutest face ever, almost like Renne. My wife thinks they are not cute.
Yann Marrtel really knows how to touch ones soul. I’m writing this book right after reading the final pages of the book.
The first half of the book had me wondering where it was going and if it was just a jumbled mess that had no rhyme or reason, but after reading more carefully I discovered how thoughtful it really is and how deep it touches one.
Since reading Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, I thought I could not be touched by the Holocaust in the same way, but boy was I ever wrong. The final pages are so powerful that I feel it would not be right to give away the most important part of the book.
Stick with this book and enjoy it even as it haunts your soul. This is not an easy read, nor will you feel good when you put it down, but you will be changed. I think I will find myself checking this book out again or even buying it because it is something you should not lose sight of, especially as a Soldier.
I one to think that any Soldier worth his salt is against war, because of what it does to people, and this will drive that point home so clearly. We need to understand what horror can be portrayed and how easily. And even in all this we need to know that as long as we have a why, we can somehow find a way to make it through any situation.
I feel fresh and ready for the marathon. If my back holds up I should be able to post about a 3:30 despite this difficult course. I love how they say it is the nations toughest marathon. Compared to trail 50K's this is nothing. The hardest thing about this is the fact that I will be leaving home at 0300 to get there by 0500 to pick up my race packet and be ready for the 0600 starting gun. I'm really happy that I'll be done by 1000 and have the rest of the day to myself. I have to be right back to work on Sunday at 0545.
Got me a nice 8 mile run in today in 1:04:51, but when I push it I really feel my back tighten up and give me trouble. I don't know what to do about it?
I found the elevation profile for Whiskey Row, and as you can see it is not that bad. The toughest marathon my ass. Also, I'll probably sign up for Mt. Lemmon later this year, and even though it is a constant up hill marathon, I think I will have done worse.
Crazy day spent at the doctor office today. I got X-Rays on my back, which is still giving me trouble. Then I went to the eye doctor and found out that I need glasses. I'm a little upset about the glasses issue because I just got Lasik 7 years ago and already need glasses. Let me see at just over 3K that is about $428 a year? Is that a good deal to get rid of glasses? Maybe that first year in Kuwait driving around with all that sand and not having to worry about glasses, maybe that made it worth it? Now that the Army is funding Lasik, I'll see if they will re-do it.
Nice six days off of running, but I found that taking care of three children is more exhausting than any ultra-marathon. I went to bed each day so exhausted. I'm surprised my wife and I had the energy to do the extra special thing that couples like to do. Now I'm back at work and getting some rest. I love my wife and have so much respect for the strength it takes to do her job. I make the money, but do not work nearly as hard as she does, plus the children can be emotionally taxing. I love my son so much, but a couple of times he really got under my skin, and that feeling really makes you feel so bad for letting yourself get so upset, especially by a four year old.
Well a good 8 mile run today even though my back is bunched up in a knot. The time was 1:08:50, and that puts me at 190 miles for the month. I'll break 200 miles, and on 1 May I have Whiskey Row Marathon, so I hope the back gives me a break, so I can have a decent time that I can be proud of.
Sure wish I was at Zane Grey 50, here are some incredible pictures. Scott Jamie won the race beating out Karl Meltzer who broke his arm on the course and wimped out by not finishing the race (just a joke). The whole day seemed like a lot of fun. I wrestle with myself wondering if the course would be too much of a pain in the ass or a challenge that is really fun. I doubt I'll ever be back in Arizona, so I will probably never do the race. This is my last season in Arizona and it is kinda sad since I'm getting to know the people and the races. Well I'll settle down soon enough in the San Francisco Bay Area and get to know all the ultra people there and be a regular at races like Mi Wok, Quicksilver, Firetrails, and the whole Pacific Coast Trail races.
All I can think of is being home with my family later tonight. I can not wait! Got me 45.3 miles this week with just four running days. Next week I'll only train four days too, but expect to get about the same amount of miles.
I sure hope my glory days are not over. It looks like we will soon be pulling most of our troops out of Iraq and then be pulling out of Afghanistan shortly after that. It is hard to think that I'm really headed on the downward slope of my military career. Once I put on the major rank it will be all but over, because it will truly be staff work from there; plus I think they issue labotomy when you pin on major.
I'm planning on taking the kids to the zoo, museum and even one day to San Francisco and take the boat from Oakland to SF. It should be so much fun.
Intersting talks of VAT and how much people are worried about it. How can they scream about deficit, but have no real plan to lower it. It seems like there is always a way to get out of paying taxes, so the VAT may be a way to force those to pay their taxes and not pay someone to find away to avoid them. It is time to pay the piper, face it; plus realize you are living in the real world and no politician, liberal or conservative are willing to cut enough to make a difference. The whole business of government is to grow, not cut, and no one is strong enough to stand up to that force that has cemented itself into the way we run our government.
I'm so happy that I'm heading back home to be with my wife and kids that I can barely keep my mind on work. It is going to be so nice to be where my heart is and be able to play with my wonderful children. It is so hard to see them grow before my eyes and miss out on so much. My wife called me yesterday and told me that Leo had taught himself to ride his bicycle. Wasn't I suppose to do that with him?
Kept my car at work last night, so that make day 20. I'll leave here again tonight and that will put me at 21 or almost half-way to my goal. I bet I will not be doing so much of this when it is over 105 degrees day in and day out.
I'm at 32 miles this week and should pack in another ten or so miles, then I'm planning on taking six days off of training, or very little running. This may be good to recharge my batteries and help heal any nagging injuries. When I get back it will be a short training week then off to the Whiskey Row Marathon and three weeks later the 12 hour night run!
Nice run yesterday up and over Camelback Mountain. Three hours for a mere 14 miles may sound really slow, but part of that 14 miles was actual rock climbing. Here are my mile splits, you can tell where the actual climbing came in. I really need this run every now and then to remind me that my heart is off-road. Too many of my miles are on roads or on the canal. I feel so much better or "free" when I'm on the trail or climbing. I can let go of my need to track every mile and to track how fast I'm going and just enjoy being outside letting the air flow in and out of me. Too bad I don't live near some real trail and some forest. I can not wait to get back "home" to San Jose so I can run in beautiful trails on a weekly basis.
The Boston Marathon is over, and Ryan Hall was able to pull out a 4th place finish, which is really great. His time of 2:08:41 is the fastest American time since 1994, so he should be very proud. Also, a course record was set by the men with a time of 2:05:52, by a youngster who is only 21 years old. Time to get him out on the trails. The womens race was exciting with only three seconds between first and second ($150,000 vs $70,000), incredible.
This is a picture of Robert Cheruiyot the mens champion. I should be able to find an exciting picture of the female finish soon. It should be awsome to see the finishing battle between Teyba Terkesson (ETH) and Tatyana Pushkareve (RUS) with their times of 2:26:11 and 2:26:14; what a race!
Here are the odds for ZG50 by Karl Meltzer. I think he is pretty spot on, but I am sure pulling for Nick or Jamil Coury for the top spot, but I know it is such an outside chance. If I was putting money on the race I would put top dollar on Karl. He said he has a trick up his sleeve, I can not wait to hear what it is.
Up very early to make it to the volunteer tent by 0400 and start data entry for the Pat's Run at 0445. I did a couple hours of work then took off ot run in the event as a bandit. It was a lot of fun and didn't cost me a penny. I posted a 27:37 or average 6:38 over the 4.2 mile course. I didn't feel guilty because with the chip timing I didn't disrupt the timing and I had a volunteer t-shirt, so as least I did something in exchange for running the race. The field was incredible, over 25,000 people in this race; I couldn't believe it. I started about three minutes after the start and was swimming up stream the whole time. Anyway, I had a great time. Also, I helped out with the kids race, helping with the wave starts, so we didn't have all 1000 plus kids running over each other. What a great event that I'm proud to be a part of!
I did my homeless act too gathering a few cans after the race. I would have thought there would have been more cans laying around with all the people at the race, but I was only able to find about 12 cans to recycle.
I went home and drank a few Odell IPA Pale Ale's and was in heaven; what great beer!
Well went over to Luke AFB and picked up some Robaxin for my back. I've been suffering from a tied up knot in my back for about a week now. Seems like one thing gets healed and now it is something else. I probably could have just worked it out myself, but it was nice to goof of part of the day and try some new muscle relaxers.
Tomorrow I'm giving back to the running community by volunteering at the Pat's Run. I'm going to do some data entry from 0400-0730, then help out with the kids race as a course marshal (pointing the kids in the right direction).
It should be a nice way to spend the day and to get a t-shirt. I really hate to spend $35 dollars on a short race like this, but this race is a big deal in the the city so I wanted to be a part of it.
I can not wait to hear the results from the Boston Marathon!!
I've gotten 45 miles in so far this week and have one more training day. I'm not sure how I will feel after getting up so early tomorrow, but will be sure to get in at least five more miles to get my bare minimum of 50 miles. Next week I'll take off Th-Sat and then the following week from Sun-Tue, so it will be a nice forced rest. Then a good week of training and off to the Whiskey Row Marathon and then three weeks later I'll do a 12 hour night run where I'm shooting for at least 50 miles, or if I'm really feeling good I'd love to get 100K!
I just finished the book Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Relin. It was a great book and I wrote the following review:
I usually don’t like to keep on rating books five stars, but this one is well deserved! Mortenson and Relin weave a powerful story about a true American hero!
This book seems to be a fitting complement to a recent book I finished called the Ugly American. Three Cups of Tea and the Ugly American juxtapose the issue of spreading positive US diplomacy.
I am an American Service man, and hearing how Greg combats terrorism really makes me feel good and makes me see that there is another way that we are totally missing.
There are two sides to any story and even two sides to any solution and this story paints a humble story of Greg making good on his promise to build a school (grew into many schools) after a community came to his aid after a failed attempt to scale K2.
I really enjoyed the explanation of the title of the book when Relin wrote these fine words of when Greg was talking to a tribal leaders and about how he needed patience when working with the people of Norhern Pakistan, he said, “If you want to thrive in Baltistan you must respect our ways. The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die.” I saw this same sentiment when I was deployed as an advisor with an Iraqi Infantry Battalion. What a lesson to learn, but more than tea, it is a lesson in patience, and an understanding on how they look at time. I cannot explain the radical difference time has in their country effectively enough because it is something one has to experience over time to get the full understanding, however, Relin does a pretty good job of trying to explain it.
There was another powerful passage that I have to mention. Again Morteson was receiving counsel on how to fight extremism when he was told the following, “Osama is not a product of Pakistan or Afghanistan. He is a creation of America. Thanks to America Osama is in every home. As a military man, I know you can never fight and win against someone who can shoot at you once and then run off and hide while you have to remain eternally on guard. You have to attack the source of your enemy’s strength. In America’s case that’s not Osama or Saddam or anyone else. The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat it is to build relationships with these people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever.”
There are so many tidbits of wisdom throughout the book which make it a real gem and a joy to read. Also, the rest of the story about where CAI is headed today makes the book even more impressive. I would expect Greg to be nominated and possibly be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Having said all that, I was a little thrown off by the writing style. I’m no English expert and normally I’m not distracted by pulpy writing style, but Relin made the topic feel forced by making some of the descriptions feel overly flowery. Furthermore, the third person description of Greg seemed out of place. I would have liked it more if Relin would have simply wrote as Greg. We all would have known that Relin was writing, but with the third person style it felt very strange and distracting, but it didn’t take away from the great content, which is what we are reading it for in the first place, so I don’t want to come across as too critical.
I ran to and from work today and then to and from the gym for a total of 10.4 miles today. I'm suffering from some back pain and will go see the doctor tomorrow in order to see if I can get a few pills or get some advice on how to make it feel better. I also made it to the pool for the second day in a row. I'm trying to do anything to make this back feel better including really doing some core work and stretching. Maybe it will work out.
Also, saw this picture which got me laughing. Go to this link if you want a good laugh about stupid people with signs (mostly Tea Party idiots, but not limited to them). It is too bad this person is from the state I grew up in, but there is a reason I left Oklahoma. Oh have you heard about their soon to be Governor who wants to stand up to the Federal Government, even if by a militia. What a dolt, basically calling for civil war. Why don't people who hate the situation of the nation focus their efforts on upcoming elections and get over themselves? I almost can't wait for the balance of power to shift so the blaming can go the other way. It seems to be a huge mess that no matter who is in charge will have a very hard time. We simply have too many entitlements right now and less wage earners to make up for the shortfall in revenue. I would think the lionshare of these people who complain about the spending are on some type of government assistance and if you talked about cutting it back they would have a cow.....they deserve it. I'm a veteran and I know for a fact that the VA is full of fraud or 30% plus disable benefits going to hordes of people who do not need the assistance or their disability has been exaggerated, and that is just VA, don't get me started on all the other entitlement programs. Anyway, I'm willing to pay a little extra and do my part to help get this country on the right track, but it seems like so many people are so up in arms and want to pay less (how the hell is paying less taxes going to help with the very thing they are complaining about...huge deficits?). I rarely hear someone saying, "Let us come together and pay more in taxes and cut spending". It seems only to be a fight. Oh well, I'm just a small potatoe in the big picture.
Not much else going on in life now. I'm still enjoying Lost, and I'm at 25 miles for the week so far, with three training days left. I've been drinking too much beer lately and tried to trick myself into cutting back by buying some really bad beer. This trick worked long ago when I used to smoke. I was spoiled living in Korea and smoked only Dunhill Lights, but then wanted to stop and bought a pack of "Pine" and that was the end of that. My Busch Beer is the same idea. Compared to Sierra Nevada, it is like drinking piss.
Only five days until Patriots Day and the Boston Marathon!! It is ironic that Patriots Day falls on the 15 Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing and the big march on DC by the Tea Party folks. Part of me wonders if there will be violence, even if it is a false flag who fires the first shot. Are we ready to crush these guys when they get out of hand? I just hope these Tea Partiers don't cause any problems with the real issue of the day, the Boston Marathon!
LTC Lakin (Lacking in brains) is in the news again. Looks like he is going to get the book thrown at him. I would think that he will get out of the deployment and get an early retirement before it makes its way through the court system. I still think it is bad judgement to bring up "birther" claims in uniform right before deployment. He should have picked a better time than right before heading out the door to do your duty, it makes him look like he is just a pussy and not the "patriot" that is questioning authority, which I have no problem with (out of uniform). Anyway, it will be fun to watch this. I just wouldn't want to be a Commander and have a bunch of my Soldiers use this same excuse. We have a job to do in the military and actions like this only make it that much harder.
Finally, I found this Tea Party banner with multiple Rand references and had to post it, if for nothing more than my love for John Galt and Howard Roark. I know you may think it is strange that me as a liberal can have hero's in such men, but there is something to be said about those who are the engine of society ("who is John Galt") and to those who demand true perfection (Howard Roark) despite what society tells us. I cannot think of two better books than Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead.
Up early and hit the road by 5am in order to make it to Prescott for the Copper Basin 50K. The course was GREAT. Here are some pictures from the day. The course had a few climbs and the altitude (5100-6500 ft) got my attention, but overall it was well marked and the footing allowed for running most of the way. My time of 6:46:32 felt pretty good even though that comes out to be an average pace of 12:57 per mile. The leaders went 5:59 and 6:02; I placed about 7th overall I think. The results will be posted pretty soon. It was a great end of the training week and 71 miles! Cannot wait to go right back up to Prescott in three more weeks for the Whiskey Row Marathon. Here are a few pictures from the day.
During the race we passed a section that had snow on it, and I was able to see a horny toad on the course. It was nice to see pine trees instead of all the cactus we see all the time down here in Phoenix. Also you will see in the pictures here that there were a few stream crossings that kept your feet wet for at least half the day. The last 18 miles was dry, so there is not much to complain about, plus I'm getting used to running with wet feet; not such a big deal, and now that I have two toe nails that are currently black and about to fall off I have nothing to worry about.
After the race I came straight home and tried to rest, because early Sunday morning (0545) I had my APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test), but I did pretty well despite having very heavy thighs. My pushups were 56 in two minutes, situps 80 in two minutes and the two mile run I was able to knock out a 12:32. I like being with Reserve Units because they are usually full of a bunch of REMF and even though 12:32 is not that fast I was able to beat the next closest person by more than 50 seconds (yes even the youngsters....I'm 38 and twice the age of some of our young Soldiers). Anyway, being number one will not last forever, there is always someone faster and as I do more and more ultra's I am becoming more comfortable with the middle or even back of the pack status. I can't believe that sometimes I'm just happy to finish, but on the longer races I do just want to finish before the cut off times!
Great story here about Scott Jurek. Not sure I would have told my story quite like this, but it was very interesting and telling. Balance in life is the key. Even from a back of the pack runner, this story makes one think about the why. I sure want to get 100 miles under my belt, then I may back off. It seems like 50/100K races are doable and only take up one day, but 100s are such an investment in a whole weekend, not to mention the huge price tag involved. I want a couple of buckles, and after that I hope I can calm down and settle with one or two races a year, but I do think my road marathon days are limited. If I'm going to race I do want to put in a full days work!
Maybe tonight I'll go see Alice in Wonderland. I have a free ticket that is registered to my name. Usually I would use these as a gift, but they are getting weird and making you log into a site and they issue a secret number tied to your name and all so you can not transfer it. Strange?
Nice run home and back to work. Also, I found a LOT of 24 ounce beer cans this morning. I guess there are good things about living in the ghetto.
I'm at 40 miles for the week and ready for the 50K tomorrow. I hope I don't have another disappointing performance, but at least it will be in a beautiful location. I love Prescott!
Boy staying motivated at work is quite a challenge. With under 100 days left and daily work that takes less than an hour in any 10 hour shift really get to a person. My next position will keep me much busier and time will fly by more quickly, but I'm actually having a hard time appreciating the lax tempo that a lot of people would love to enjoy.
Kept the car at work again yesterday, but had to drive it today so I could go take the Census Test and possibly get hired to make a few bucks at night. I only missed two questions out of 28, but with my 5 points Veterans Perference I should be at the top of the stack. The pay is $15 an hour. I want to be able to make enough to pay for the Vibram Five Fingers and the Across the Years race that I'm jonesing for. I'm at 32 miles for the week with the upcoming 50K held on Saturday which is my last training day of the week; looking at a nice high milage week!
Just found out that the Hotfoot Hamster 12 Hour Night run will be a free event! I can't wait. I'm looking to see if I can get 100K in 12 hours and this will be the perfect chance. It should be a hot night, but not too bad. Also, I like to have a good reason to run long and have the support. This is the same course as Across the Years, which I'm in the lottery. I'll find out which race I make it into on 1 May. Check out these great pictures of the race course:
10 April - Copper Basin 50K
17 April - Pat's Run (Volunteer)
1 May - Whiskey Row Marathon
21 May - Hamster Hotfoot 12 Hour Night Run
12 June - Flagstaff 50K
24 Oct - Javelina Jundred
30 Dec - Across the Years 48 Hour Race (if accepted in lottery)
I'll be looking for something inbetween June and Oct, but I will also moving residency and may have slight disruptions in my training, and it seems like I always find something to do to keep my interest up.
I went to the local running store to buy Vibram Five Fingers, but found out that they were sold out. I've been telling myself that I have to cut down on my running spending, so I'm kind of glad they were out, but the book Born to Run has me sold on the idea and I'll be running in a pair pretty soon. I can not wait. The running store said they can hold them for no more than 24 hours, due to the huge demand. So I'm on the bandwagon of barefoot running.
On another note, I'm getting excited to watch the Boston Marathon. I sure hope Meb Keflezighi or Ryan Hall can pull out a top three performance and put American on the marathon map! This link talks about the 9 runners who have posted sub 2:07 times. It should be a great race!
First of all I have to mention the incredible game last night. What an effort by Butler. I really wanted Duke to win, but have to hand it to the underdogs and appreciate what a great display of athleticism! The game was a joy to watch from start to finish!
Start/Finish line is located at the Thumb Butte Day-Use Area. Coming into town from the east on Highway 69, continue on Gurly street until it turns into Thumb Butte. Continue 2 miles up the road to the picnic area on the right. We will be staged out of the Group Ramada area.
I hope to be able to post a more respectable time than I've been running lately. If the course is marked ok and it is not too difficult I hope to come in under 7 hours. Here is a link to a lot of great pictures of the course I'll be running on this weekend! It looks so beautiful!
On 1 May 10 I'm looking forward to the Whiskey Row Marathon. Even though it is one of the harder road marathons, it will be a cake walk compared to these trail events. I am looking for a sub 4 hour performance, and glad I'm got my Boston Qualification out of the way.
Check out how crazy people can get equating President Obama with Hitler. Looks like there is going to be a "reserve civilian militia" for health/disaster emergencies. I'm not scared, and if you can't beat them join them. That is my best advice to all those on the other side, watch your electronic profile, because if it gets bad it is too easy to see who are "enemies of the state".
Boy what a great visit I had with my children and wife. Family life and the joy of a loving family are so clear to me now. What wisdom there is in making a family and loving them with all your heart. Anyway, mushy stuff, but who wants to hear about that from a 38 year old fart, because a lesson like that is something you have to experience to feel the full impact. In my 20's I would never have guessed that children and a loving husband wife relationship could be so powerful.
Now to juxtapose what I just wrote I hope this topless protest trend cotinues!
It was nice to have several days off of running, but now I'm back at it. Got 5.3 mi this morning in 45:23 and plan on getting in about four more miles this afternoon. I have a 50K race/run this Saturday, so I'm on track for pretty big milage this week. I'm looking to build back up and maybe get 250 miles this month, but it might be hard since I'm planning to take off running from 23-27 April while I am home visiting. We will see how it goes.
I'm still at about 50% for my March Madness picks, but I feel pretty comfortable now that Duke will take it. I was really surprised that Butler pulled it off, however, at least it was a very good game. I sure hope that the game tonight is a good one!
There is a new crack pot LTC in the Army who is going public with his "birther" concerns about President Obama. Check out this link. He makes all of us Officers look bad. I hope he gets a quick BCD and a kick, but first hope he has to deploy, because that is probably his main motivation.
In just a few hours I'll be home with my family!
I was able to get 50.9 miles this week in a short five days. I'll be taking the next three days totally off then a medium week before the 50K trail race on 10 April. I can not wait to go up and run in Prescott. They are adking us to bring meat and some type of drink to share. It should be a nice 7 hours of running then eating together; hope I don't get lost.