Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mangrove Marathon - 3:45:38

Nice time out in Florida; took advantage of being in a new state and ran a nice small town marathon.  I was able to go just a bit faster than Chicago.  My time  was 3:45:38, which was the official time.  I ended up going 27 miles flat so my actual pace per mile was 8:25 instead of the official pace of 8:37.  The problem was that I got off course twice. 

The course was beautiful, but with just over 100 people in the marathon we got spreadout and since there were a lot of turns and limited course marking in some areas, I went down a street that if I would have been thinking clearly instead of just following the person in front of me I would not have made the mistake. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Season Is Closed

It is sad that I have no more real races left in this season.  I will be running a marathon in Florida, the Mangrove Marathon on 11 Dec 11, but I almost think of that one as a bonus and one that I'm not really focusing on; I think I have enough base to just enjoy it and the great weather that I should be blessed with at this time of year. 

Other than that I have a couple large Hash events upcoming the Pearl Harbor Day Hash in Milwaukee on 3 Dec, then the Anthrax Hash on 17 Dec. 

As for 2011 this is the line up so far

5 Feb John Dick Memorial Day 50K , WI - (will pay $15 at the door; bare bones race)
24 Mar - Kettle Moraine 50K, WI - (free event)
31 Mar - Clinton Lake 30 Miler, DeWitt, IL - (paid)
28 Apr - Jailbrake Marathon, WI - (paid)
5 May - Cornbelt 24 Hour, WI -  (not available yet)
2 Jun - Kettle Moraine 100K, WI - (not available yet)
3 Sep - Badgerland 24 Hour, IA - (not available yet)
7 Oct - Chicago Marathon, IL - (not available yet)
29 Oct - Lakefront 50 Miler, IL - (not available yet)

I may end up doing a few more,but these are the big ones.  As you can see I'm not taking on the 100 mile distance, but going for a 100K, two 24 hour races (less stress) and one 50 miler along with a couple other marathons.  I don't like to do the same race twice, but with the Kettle Moraine experience last year where I DNF'd makes me feel like I have unfinished business on that great course, and what can I say, I cannot pass up on a Marathon Major that is in my back yard, which is why I will probably do Chicago every year that I'm still living in this area.  Part of me is toying with making the KM100K a 100 mile effort, but I'm going to wait until at least May to see how my training is going before I sign up (it doesn't sell out), so just maybe I'll give it an effort, but I think I will need at least 1000 miles under my belt by 1 May before I think realistically that I can finish the task.  I'm actually looking forward to the 24 hour events and it training goes well that may be where I look to PR or possibly grab my next century.  I think I can easily top my 71 miles that I did in Sep, also NorthCoast 24 may be one more race that I sign up for, but I have to say I really hated that 7 hour drive out there and 7 hours back after the 24 hour effort; but the race was incredible and to spend it with the best in the nation is a hard one to pass up!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Lakefront 50K Personal Record - 4:31:26 ave 8:39 pace

Who would have known that running extra miles and resting before a race would offer a better performance.  I pushed my miles up a notch to just over 300 miles for the month of October and as a result had a great 50K at the Lakefront 50K here in Chicago.  We had great weather and the flat course was just what I needed for a PR.  My time of 4:31:26 came without much pain and it was a very evenly paced event start to finish.  My splits are as follows:

ave 8:39

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicago Marathon 3:47:24

I had a fantastic time at the marathon this weekend.  I swore that I would not bandit another race, but I just might do it next year.  This race is big enough that it will not hurt anyone; I'll start late and be sure not to take any water and stay way on any outside lane so not to hinder any of the competitors.  The race organizers had an area for "bandits" to exit the race course, so that will not be a problem.  The crowd was just incredible and I don't need another medal or shirt however, I couldn't pass up that experience and the feeling of over a million spectators out there pulling for you and the tour through the city was out of this world! 

My time wasn't the best, and I don't have an excuse.  I was having a hard time breathing after about mile 17 and just slugged it in for the last 10 miles.  I lost interest in my struggle and just focused on having a good time, so all in all I'm not too worried.  Maybe my fat gut that is sitting at 186 pounds is part of the problem.  I know that I have not trained seriously doing mostly junk miles; I'm sitting at 1687 for the year right now and that is only about half of what I need to preform at a higher level and I know that.  I'm a long way from qualifying for Boston again and I'm ok with my level of performance and I'm ok with the fact that I will probably take much of this winter off considering the cold weather that we will suffer in Chicago.  I'll see how it goes and have a 50K (John Dick Memorial; gotta love the name) that I'm thinking about signing up for in Feb, but we will see. 

Anyway, will I be a thief again next year for Chicago....maybe I will not be able to do it; all that negative feedback haunts me.  Don't cast your judgement yet, I'm just thinking about it; no thought crime.  If I do I will not be dumb enough to write about it; but hey I'm an outstanding American right and I owe it to Bank of America to pay the $140 to run on those city streets that I pay taxes for; and they need my money even though there is no opportunity cost lost on permits/protection; they will be the same.  If I don't bandit the runners will realize a lower cost, uhh no.  I will enjoy the benifits they get out of the race such as a t-shirt, medal, name in a lasting database, experience of going through the shoot, etc....oh I will get none of those, but still I will be very evil, I guess I will not do it because of what an evil guy I would be. Also, I will never post an electronic picture from a race that I didn't buy.  All those evil people who have done that and have them on their blogs are so un-American and thieves that should be rotting in jail; if they didn't do that the costs to us who pay for them would be so much cheaper; creeps.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Friday Night 50K - 32.3 miles in 6:49:43 ave 12:40 (day 39 taking train)

Friday night I did a nice 50K that started at 10PM.  It was in Warrenville, IL and on a nice flat groomed cinder trail which I really didn't need a flashlight.  Part of the trail was dark and you can see from this picture a little spooky as you went under the road "underpasses", so it made for an interesting race.  I'm happy that I stuck with it, especially just one week after posting 71 miles at NorthCoast.  The run was by no means fast.

32.3 mi
ave 12:40

Monday, September 19, 2011

NorthCoast 24 Hour in the bag! Ave 20:16 for 71.1 miles

Had a pretty good time out in Cleveland this weekend.  I only bagged 71.1 miles, but pretty happy considering my terrible training this year. 

We had great conditions out there, and it was pretty social.  I had fun talking with Ric Munoz and Nathan while out there.  Also, got to see Connie Gardner almost break the American Record, with her performance of 144 miles!

I was really tired by the half way point and really wanted to pack it in, so I went into my car for some much needed warmth and sleep.  I slept for about 2.5 hours then felt guilty, because at that time I had not even gotten to my real goal of 62 miles.  So by 3:30 am I was back into the game walking slowly.  By 7 am I had my groove and was back to running.  The last hour I felt pretty good and broke through from 65 to 71 miles in the last hour.

The drive there and back was as tough as the race.  I left work at about 5 pm and drove through the night arriving in the bad side of town by 3:00 am and then tried to find a place to sleep in the car without getting killed.  I did end up at the park, which had parking restrictions, but I thought it was worth it.  After the race I was dead tired, but knew I had to get home.  I drove and slept taking almost 11 hours for what could be about a 6 hour trip.  Made it home took some muscle relaxers, vicodine and four beers later I was out cold!!  What an incredible weekend; not my best 24 Hour race, but I'm not ashamed of my performance.  I can say that I didn't quit. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Off to North Coast 24 tomorrow!!!

Just returned from a short trip to Philadelphia, and ready for the long day tomorrow, epic weekend planned.  Big drive, 24 hour race followed by another almost 8 hour drive.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fort 2 Base Race 11.5 Miles 79:50 ave 6:54 per mile // Day 36 taking train

Have been taking the train to work most days and settling in to that being my normal way of life.  I discovered there is a program that will help offset the cost, so that is a plus; I like money. 

Had a very meaningful race that I ran for Team RWB today.  The Fort 2 Base 10 Nautical Mile race 11.5 regular miles in 79:30, which was good for 19th place out of 413 and 8th place in my age group.  I felt pretty good and will feel good to rest the rest of the week before NorthCoast next week. 

I'll post my standings when the results come out.  I felt like about 80th place and if I'm lucky I might have gotten a third in my age group since they pull overall and special category people out of the age groups and since they are 5 year age groups!  I'll keep my fingers crossed; I like hardware (update; wrong way outside of the age group awards; even if I was 40 I wouldn't have placed; probably didn't help to have four beers the night before and stay up reading Michael Savage's Abuse of Power followed by an hour of Lost)! 

They gave out fantistic finisher medals!  I'll snag a picture shortly.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Finally a race I did NOT DNF//Palos Hills 32.4 Miler - 5:51:50//Day 30 taking the train.

You can see me there in 5th place.  It was a very rainy day and one to really remember!  I made sure to eat plenty during the race, and I think that made a big difference.  I still was reduced to walk run for about the final 10 miles, but at least I kept going.  This race was a 4 lap time 8.1 miles on very easy cinder trails with very little elevation change, so I have no real reason to be so slow, and the rain was actually refreshing and I can't blame it for my speed.  It was shocking to come through the marathon at 4:30; I'd be so embarrassed if that ends up being my time at Chicago.  I used to make fun of four hour marathoners, and now I may be one.  My strategy will be to run with the 3:50 pace crew at Chicago and if I feel good pick it up at about 20.  I feel like endurance at the 20+ mile time frame was not that big of a deal. 

I've still been taking the train, and like that feeling.  Oh the other big thing this weekend was the Air Show at North Beach.  I had a great time and the Thunder Birds put on a great show!! 

Here is a picture of me scared before the start of the race.  I was thinking; will I DNF again? 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 26 Taking the Train//The Tent Book Review//Duathlon on Thursday and 32 Mile Race on Sat

Well it is starting to get cool in the morings, and I'm  not sure how much longer I will be taking the train.  I'm at 26 days now and I hope that I will adjust and learn to dress and still make a green decision on how to get to work, plus it keeps me more active even on days that I sit my growing but behind the desk. 

I only got 29 miles last week.  I should get much more this week because I have a 32 miler on Saturday; hope not to have another failure.  Also I have a nice Duathlon on Thursday, where I will get to push my speed in competition/ 20 min bike followed by a 20 min run.  This weekend I took the PT test and did 53 push-up in 2 min, 72 sit ups in 2 min and 2 mile track run in 12:22. 

Read another great book:  The Tent by Margaret Atwood here is my Amazon Review:

Here Margaret packs a punch like no other writer I have read before.  This book is packed with a plethora of short essays with so much to say.  These stories allow you to get into the spiritual side of Atwood and challenge your beliefs in thoughtful ways. 

There were several that were particularly touching, "Orphan Stories", described thoughts that have gone through my head, but that I would rather not talk about.  The presentation was refreshingly dark if that is at all possible, yet it gave a very human perspective that cannot be ignored.  The essay goes far in forcing you to look at your own family life and cherishing it; almost no matter how good/bad it may be.   

Voice gave me a new perspective on how we look at our talents, and how one can be absorbed in our own narcissism yet lose our most human aspects in the race (I'm a runner and sometimes lose myself when I get to absorbed in thinking I'm such a good runner).  Margaret uses someone’s incredible voice and how the person can be de-humanized as people only search out her voice instead of the person that gives life to the voice. 

Margaret brings to life what it is to be a Mother and how they can be tossed aside easily by those who love them most.  Her story, "Bring back Mom, An Invocation" forces you to look at your relationship with your Mother and will probably give you pause to see if you have appreciated all the things that your Mother does on a day-to-day base.  She goes over the top with what can happen to an unappreciated Mom, but I think the message could not be clearer in most of our lives. 

Finally the namesake story, "The Tent" forces you to look at your life as if you are inside a paper tent and your life is what you make of it and your only protection is the quality of the story that your write yourself.  Paper cannot protect you, but if you live a worthwhile life and write it on the wall there is protection in the purity of the story.  She lets you come to your own conclusion as to what could happen if you destroy your own life story, your tent of paper that held the protection which was the story of your life; the essence of life.  This essay made me think that our stories are actually the only 'reality'; our immortality and once they are gone so may we be gone. 

There are so many more power thought provoking essays/poems that you will want to read them again and again, because sometimes you get a little different flavor, a gem that Margaret had hidden away in the precious few words.  I recommend this book!! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Glass Castle - Review

What an incredible memoir by Jeannette Walls.  The introduction really said it when they said that some people have a story to tell, but it is rare when they can do it really well. 
The Glass Castle is a fitting name for a story of a family that was always on the go and continuously striving for the better things in life which always seemed to be just out of reach.  The Walls parental figures proved to be smart loving and parents of incredible tenacity, however, they embraced challenges that most of us would think are unacceptable. 
In the memoir, Jeannette tells the story from the perspective of being a daughter among four children and what it was like living in extreme poverty.  She tells the story of her years starting at 3 years of age until her early thirties, but focused on the formative years of about 5-17. 
I learned about true love and loyalty that comes even without money, and how truly great gifts can be given without spending a dime.  You heart may weep a little when you read about Jeannette’s father giving her Venus; such artfully clear emotions expressed in her prose.  You will also grow close and love an alcoholic Father and probably see yourself having trouble saying no to man that clearly loves his family but struggles a lifetime with the demon of alcoholism.  Jeannette’ s mother cannot say no to him and when left alone to care for the family Jeannette herself finds out just how hard it is to say no to her father in the grips of alcoholism.   
You will enjoy the journey that the family takes as they avoid bill collectors, police and others as they skiddattle away from various places in Arizona, California and finally haw they make a semi permanent home in Welch, North Carolina.   
The story takes you on the journey of the children growing up in such poverty, and as they grow older they end up deciding to leave and make their own way in New York City.  One by one they all leave, and in desperation to keep the family together their parents follow.  If you are not careful you will forget the powerful first two pages of the book, but the story all comes full circle when the children break free of the poverty and small town views and stand on their own, despite their parent deciding on a life either on the streets or in squatters quarters.  The children feel sorry for their parents, but it is the parents who worry that their children have lost their soul. 
Irony strikes the reader right in the face when they discover the “worth” of Jeannette’s mother and find out that she chose to live as she did due to strong values of keeping the item of “worth” in the family and never wanting to sell it.   I hope not to spoil the better part of the story, but that is what gives the story the added bit of sentimentality; not to mention the children’s response to their dying father. 
I cannot recommend this story enough, it is a great read that will teach you about what love looks like on the side of the tracks that you may not know about. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 23 Taking the Train and a nice 5K in 18:25

I must admit that this is the second time that I've clocked the post 5K with my Garmin and came up with 3.01 and 3.02 miles each time.  So having said that my 5K times are not as fast as they seem.  I'm still happy with the little pep in my step, especially with such bad ultra results this year, and I have walked away with my third first place in my age group trophy which I donate to the unit.  It makes it look like I'm some kind of great runner even in the dark cloud of my distance races.  What do people really know about my shame at distances above the marathon.  My real focus now is to be able to get to at least 100K at the NorthCoast 24; I've got my doubts with my recent performances. 

I ended up not doing the camping hash because it would have ended up costing over $70 bucks with registration and park fees and all that, so I stayed home and started a new book called "Glass Castle", which I'm really enjoying. 

I also signed up for the English Channel Challenge where I have to swim 21 miles to get a nice T-Shirt.  It cost 10 buck and I spent 1:24:33 today swimming 2 miles; I want to complete this task by the 24th of this month, so that will be a major cross training objective over the next few days. 

I have a 32 mile race on the 20th and a duathlon on the 18th of this month.  The last duathlon I won first place overall and hope to do the same again.  I look forward to rocking it again.  This summer will come to an end fast enough so I have to race as much as I can.  I will hate the winter for sure. 

I haven't gone to a movie in a long time, but last night watched X-Men; it cost $2, so that is good for cheap entertainment.  Tonight I will go see "Bad Teacher". 

Tomorrow right back at Annual Training.  This time Company Level.  We are going to Marsiellese, IL to fire our weapons Monday, then homestation traaining during the week and land navigation on Friday, followed by another weekend of work.  I'll be glad when all this Army stuff is over.  Funny how you see the TPU Soldiers.  Time to put on the rose colored glasses. 

I took the train three out of the five days last week.  I got ripped off once by the conductor, but that only made up for the times that I get a free ride.  I bought a ten ride ticket which even makes it cheaper. 

My wife is home alone with the kids; and I worry a little.  Mom and Dad went to Laos because Dads Mom passed away.  They will not be back until Sep 3rd. 

Big news 31 of our best died in a Chinook crash, possibly by enemy fire.  Also to put fire to the pain, for the first time our Nations credit was nocked down to AA+; we are not the world leaders any longer and I doubt my generation will ever be associated with words like the "Greatest Generation".   I lower my head in shame as we all must admit our addiction to debt.  Now it is time to pay the piper!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

DNF Number Three This Year - 28 Miles in 7:07 DQ for being too slow. Day 20 Taking Train

Well this past weekend I went up to Duluth, MN, which is a great area on Lake Superior.  I drove 8 hours to participate in the Voyageur Trail 50 Miler and was kicked out at mile 28 for being to slow.  The course was incredible; tough and beautiful, but I just didn't have the legs or the smarts to eat during the run which left me dead on my ass at the turn around.  I barely made the cut off time at 25 and missed the 28 mile cut off time at 7:07.  Here are my sorry splits:
28 mi
ave 15:15
ave HR 147

Well I need to do some more long running.  I haven't reported my monthly miles, but here they are and you will get a better picture why I'm not doing so well this year: 


Also, even when I get larger miles for the month they are mostly broken up runs; really nothing over 10 miles in training this year; so I guess I have no one to blame but myself.  Still why do I keep signing up for this humiliation?  I have yet one more time to be humiliated and that is at the NorthCoast 24 Hour Race on 17 Sep.  Look for about 35 miles for a whole 24 hours if I keep up this same type of performance. 

I've taken on one more race; 32 miles on Aug 20th, maybe I'll do better at that race, and I'll have the recent pain of Voyageur in the bag as practice.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Upcoming Races//Day 19 Taking Train

I've got my race calendar laid out for the rest of the year: 

Voyageur Trail Race - 30 Jul - DNF 28 mi in 7:07
Dog Days of Summer 5K - 4 Aug (Actually only 3 mi - 18:25 (1st in age)
Duathlon 20 min bike/run - 18 Aug
Palos Hills 32 mi - 20 Aug
Fort 2 Base - 11 Sep
NorthCoast 24 - 16 Sep
Fall Classic 5K - 20 Sep
Willow Glen 10K - 15 Oct

After Oct I bet it will be too cold to enjoy racing so I have not planned on paying for any races throughout the winter.  Maybe I will change my mind, but for now I'm thinking no.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back from Annual Training and back on the running trail (Up to 18 day taking train)

Well we got back from Ft. Custer MI last Friday, and now I am about to get a rest.  I signed up for a 50 miler in Carlton, MN.  It should be good weather and fun, but I dread the 8 hour drive.  I don't know why I do that to myself.  My boss is giving me most of the day off on Friday, so I can take my time getting up there.  Maybe this time I will not quit.  I haven't been running a lot, so I hope muscle memory will pull me through?  Anyway, this is what makes my wheels turn and like the title of this blog says, the journey is half the fun. 

Here is a picture of my Company at AT, Ft. Custer. I am second row all the way to the left (away from the guidon). 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Train is now part of my life - Day 15 Metra to Work

Now taking public transportation is part of my life.  At least while the weather is good it will be the norm.  I will drive only once a week to haul food/uniforms, but other than that it is a great way to be sure to get in at least 4 miles running/walking and saving the earth a little and money on gas. 

Tomorrow back home for four days with wife and kids.  Life is good.  When I get back it will be hard work then off to Ft. Custer, MI for our Annual Training. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Up to day 11 taking the train

Life taking the train is getting pretty routine.  I am taking my car home tonight because I need to haul clothes and food back and forth so I will be ready next week.  I had a great running week, and all the 4 X miles added on via running to and from the train station pads the milage, even though I keep the pace very slow so I'm not a sweaty mess when I get to work. 

I still want a bike and about to break down and buy one, so I can go totally green, but for now the train is a good money saver and a good way to be sure to stay healthy. 

I've been working a lot lately; as we get closer to our two weeks out in the "woods" (we stay the night in barracks rooms, so it is not that big of a deal), at Ft. Custer. 

Not many running events planned for the next few months, so I will be leaning on Hash runs to fill in my need to keep busy, but I will probably work in a few shorter races before I run the North Coast 24 Hour in September and then the Chicago Marathon in October.  After that it will be cold as heck and doubt that I will want to do any running; wonder if I will even hash? 

Battle Assembly weekend, so it will be lots of fun, wish I could follow Western States 100, but after work I'll check it out. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day Seven taking the train

Back from a great one week vacation in San Jose/Santa Cruz.  We spent three days right on beach, at a Hotel called Beach Street Inn and boy was it nice.  The kids had so much fun doing even the simple things like playing in the sand.  We did spend some time at the Board Walk letting the kids ride the ride and play the arcade games. 

I didn't get much running in, and in fact I suffered a pretty bad back injury.  I'm moving slowly and actually only walking fast for my "work-outs".  I haven't gone to the doctor and just trying to tough it out.  It really happened on 14 Jun and now it still feels as bad as the first day, but maybe it will get better in just a few more days? 

Took the train the first two days back at work, so that puts me at 7 for the year.  I didn't go for the Hash run even though it is a day off, which tells you I'm really not myself. 

Finished another book from the Amazon Vine Program.

Maybe I'm a little too critical, but this story bored me. It did keep my interest, but not my passion. Thayer does a good job of painting a nice picture and a way of making you feel for her characters, but you could easily see around each corner.

This story of loss how you deal with it seemed to feel like a soap opera. As a parent I felt for Carley as she went through the loss of her husband while taking care of her two young daughters. The story takes you on a journey of dealing with in-laws on a small island where everyone knows all your business. Thayer takes you on a journey into finding love in the shadows of a husband that recently died. All this happens under the watchful eyes of young children and how they learn to love the new man in their life.

The icing on the cake is the acceptance of the new love and the fact that the children take to the new stepfather. But wait that is not all; a close friend dies giving birth and with the loss of the main characters friend she finds out that the baby will be hers, which makes the family even more complete......oh and in the final pages of the book the new stepfather finds out that his wife is pregnant making for a big happy family; how trite.

I would recommend this book to a female reader, which I am not. I probably should have picked up a different book to start reading. I doubt Thayer was looking for the male audience.

On the Ultra front, Tony is out of the season bad injury.  How a simple run can change your life.  Western States will be very interesting next weekend.   I have Army Reserve weekend during the WS100 but I will be checking out this link during the incredible 15 hours that the leaders will be running. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 5 Taking the Train

All three days this week I took the train making it commute number 5 using the train.  It is fun to be green and I get a little extra exercise.  I'm going to try to make sure I keep up and make it to my goal of 50 train commutes this year.  I'm also scouting out my bicycle, but what I really like is going to put me back about $600. 

Struggling with my identity, and thinking about moving back to being a marathoner/hash runner.  I just don't seem to have the drive nor the time to really commit to being an ultra-runner anymore, furthermore, the last two races seemed like more of a pain in the ass than something fun to do.  Maybe my narcissism has run out, or I have really realized that no one cares if you can run 5 miles or marathon, or can really even comprehend running 50 or 100 miles.  I guess I'm at a point in my life that I've done that and check the block, at least while I'm living here with the bad weather that makes running ultra distances a real pain in the butt. 

I still have more than enough to still be defined as a marathoner.  I will continue to hit those and a few trail 50K/50 milers in order to get off the road and into something more beautiful, but 100K/Mile will be thing of the past.  As for Hash Running, that will probably define me while I am here at Chicago.  I've made some good friend and really enjoy learning the city through this quality running organization! 

I have also been reading a lot; here is the review I recently wrote concerning The Long Jouney Home:
I should not be surprised by the writing genius of the Mother of one of my favorite writers, Augusten Burroughs.  Mrs. Robison weaves a story that captures your imagination immediately.  Her prose can only be described as pure art.  She explains that her real passion has always been painting more than writing and it is interesting that she defines herself as a writer, but had to work to be a painter. 

Throughout the book, her painting proved to define what was happening in her life.  I could not help but to fall in love with her story and keep longing for her happiness.  Throughout her life there seemed to be so many challenges that most of us escape, and your heart goes out to her and her love of her children. 
She explains her love of her husband and how she tried desperately to make it work for over a decade, despite incredible abuse and challenges that surround anyone with a drinking problem.  Her family life did not stop with simple drinking problems from her husband.  She endured infidelity, violence and his own mental illness that ended up threatening her life.  All these stress pushed her over the edge into her own mental illness that landed her in a state mental hospital.  The journey through the hospital can be defined as horrific. 

Through all of this she finds a way to love and to slowly discover who she really is, and with that she is better able to love her family.  This book continued to follow her life and the incredible roller-coaster that it turned out to be.  Her challenges in love, were beautifully explained, and how love is about the relationship and not the gender of the person. 

Throughout her life she was haunted by her homosexual feeling, but in her wise years came to deal with those feeling and better express who she really is inside.  This book enables one to feel closer to anyone with a mental illness because you will have a firm understanding of what they go through.  It is hard to be prejudice or look down at someone with mental illness after reading this book.  In fact, this book is refreshing because it is a triumphant story of success against all odds. 

She finds love and art through all the pain that is a part of life; her marriage, hurtful words by her son, dealing with a stroke and her internal mental illness are all struggles that she struggles with then defeats.  It is incredible how brilliant her family (even her abusive first husband) is throughout all the challenges.  They are all a work of art and I mean that in the very best of terms!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day Number Three Commuting//KM100 DNF 38.9 Miles

had a fun time up at KM 100, even though I dropped from the 62 mile race at 38.9 miles.  To be honest it was hot, and I was struggling, I couldn't seem to be able to take down food and most of all after ten hours it was not fun and I just didnt want to spend the next 10 hours walking it in, for what another award and pride.  It is true I have not been training enough and I signed long ago when I was training double what I am now.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Taper before KM100 - Goal time 17 hours 59 minutes/National Runnnig Day/Communte Number One

Celebrate National Running Day

It has been some time since I've posted.  I just have not been running or racing like I have in the recent past and it will probably show in my race performace this weekend yet I still love the challenge and love to get out there and push the body.  I cannot wait to push myself to a 62 mile finish.  This is an out and back course, so it will not be easy to quit, which is exactly what I need.  I'm a little pissed that it is scheduled to rain, but what the heck. 

One thing I did today is take the train, which is good for the enviroment and saves me a few bucks along the way!  I would love to think I will do that 50 times this year, but that is probably lofty dreaming.  At least it may motivate me to post some thoughts and my training.  The other great thing about taking the train is that it forces me to almost four miles of running/walking with my pack.  It is just about a mile to the train station from where I live and to my job, so both ways it is almost 4 miles; good for the body as well as the earth! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Quicksilver 50M - DNF; 50K Dropdown in 6:38:34

Had a real hard time on 30 Apr 11 at the Quicksilver 50 Miler.  I felt so guilty for running since I only had two days home with my family.  I wanted to show up for the race but not spend all day.  Anyway they would not allow a drop down from 50 miles to 50K, so I had to accept a DNF for the official time.  I was having trouble with my stomach and even had to do a "code brown" out in the woods and generally felt bad during the whole race. It was beautiful and a race I'm sure I'll do many times in the future, but not when I have such a short time home; my kids and wife are more valuable than any race.  Here are my sad splits for the slightly short 50K race: 
ave 13:16
Anyway, a fair 5K up at Great Lakes. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Horseman 34 - 6:07:01 ave 10:44

Had a great time out in Elgin, IL for a trail race of 34 miles.  What a strange distance, but it was a nice loop course just under 7 miles per lap.  Nice easy pace and still had some in the tank.  It was really muddy and we had to go through some places where standing water was about a foot deep, but that sure made it interesting.  Met a lot of cool people and enjoyed a day without rain, what a blessing that was!

Here are my splits:
ave 10:44
34.2 mi

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cross Roads Marathon 3:34:00

Here are a few pictures of the course, and here for some of me.

Had a nice week of running.  Did a 5K in 18:16 then two days later hit a nice pace marathon in 3:34:00.  My pace was off in the marathon, but I didn't look at my watch once and they didn't have mile markers posted so I kept my mind off the run and just had a great time.  Here is the medal (twist your head) and my 5K times; pretty proud to run that fast in my fivefingers!  You will see my name under #11; Jeff Bott

 Here is my medal. 

My splits were as follows:
26.5 mi ave 8:04

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Not a runner?

What a shock it is here in Chicago.  I've only gotten in 40 miles this month and don't even feel like a runner any more.  I don't feel like myself and the weather sucks so bad.  Anyway I have to get back into it and not let my job get to me so much.  I feel like I'm such a dope here with the new job and I work late into the night and with the cold temps/snow I just haven't been running.  Gotta get back into it.  I hope this will be a blessing and a needed break from the 200-400 mile months I've been putting in over the past three years, but now the vacation has got to be over.  March, here I come; I hope I post that I at least got 150 miles in March. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

On my way to Chicago

About half-way to Chicago and I'm dreading it already.  So much snow and about 8 hours of less than 40 miles per hour driving drove me crazy. 

I've got my season about paid for:

April 30th Quicksilver 50 Miler

June 4th KM 100K

Sept 17th North Coast 24 Hour Race

Oct 9th - Chicago Marathon -

Already dropped some serious dough on these races so I think that will do it for the year. 

Your registration is complete!

You will receive an email in the next few minutes confirming your registration.

Purchased at: February 04, 2011 08:08 PM

Event Confirmation #: 53710067-020411200859

Event Name: Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Date & Time: October 09, 2011 07:00 AM

Location: Grant Park, (map)

Click here to print

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Arizona Road Racers Desert Classic Marathon - 3:24:08

I decided against doing a double this weekend, and probably glad that I did.  My back was giving me some trouble after the marathon, and another one would have really done the job. 

No real excuses for the poor time, and the walking I did out there on the course, so I can't say much except report my splits and you will know that I was lacking in heart. 

ave 7:48 per mile

The weather was great about 40 at the start and warmed up to about 65 by the end of the race.  Also, as usual there was a head wind coming back.  Saw a lot of great people at the race.  I was able to place 9th overall all (out of 118) and 1st in my age group.

Here is a link to a more nothern route that I may need to take due to the weather. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Whole class had to take a breathalyzer

How embarrassing!  We were there at 0800 and a whole class had to fall out and blow to see who was drunk.  This is what one dumb CPT that got a DUI before 0730 in the morning causes.  What is more, we all had to sit through a town hall meeting about the increased "drinking issues" are having on the command climate. 

One solution for the leadership will be to be fierce with the punishement and make it no secret! 

There is no place for DUI's and the Army Officer Corps!!  This is being said by someone who loves to drink, but is very careful not to drive after drinking (often run to the Hash Runs to avoid the temptation).

Couple of Good Sites

Wanting to capture a few links that  I have enjoyed here at the MICCC. 

538 Blog NYT
Huffington Post
Huachuca Hash House Harriers
Daily Kos
Smirking Chimp
Chicago Sun Times
Media Matters
Daily Howler
The Nation
The Raw Story

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ice Breaker 10K - 40:36 // WIN

Had a fun run this weekend, and was able to pull out an outright win.  I must say this does not speak to my speed, but more about who showed up to the race.  There were about 150 people, but no local studs.  My time was officially 40:36, but my Garmin had me at 6.28 miles in 40:21, but who is counting?  My splits were as follows (guess where the hill was)
40:21 ave 6:25

I may never have an outright win again.  Also, what is up with the military intelligence Soldiers?  Out of all the students no one really came out with any speed and they let an old man beat them.  The results should be posted here in a few days.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Heading to Chicago

Change of life is ahead.  Looks like I will start my journey on 2 Feb and arrive at Chicago on the evening of 6  Feb.  I can not believe that this class is over and to be honest how little I have learned. 

Here is the link taking me to Grandma's house. 

This is from Ponca City to Chicago

I need to visit Mom since she is in the hospital.  So that is my major overnight. 

Timeline -
Depart Sierra Vista - 2 Feb
Arrive Albuquerque (possibly Amarillo) - 2 Feb (RON)
Arrive OKC 3 Feb - RON
Arrive Ponca City 4 Feb - RON
Arrive Saint Louis 5 Feb - RON
Arrive Chicago 6 Feb RON
Start work 7 Feb -13 Feb
Arrive San Jose - 14 Feb

Monday, January 3, 2011

Across the Years 24 Hour Race

I was able to calculate my cost per mile for the year and it ended up being only 67 cents a mile.  See this post for all the details.  The total miles for 2010 was 3218 and I spent $2149 for the year.  I've got to buy some winter running clothes next year so I can run in the Chicago winter, plus I'm really wanting a new Garmin that is waterproof; this 405 is driving me crazy.  I'm planning to take some time off and build up over the next couple of years. 
Had a great time at the Across the Years 24 Hour Race in Buckeye AZ.  It is always easy to say how much fun it was when it is over, but it is true.  We had some cold weather that drove me inside my sleeping bag for about 4 hours, but other than that it was fun to get through the miles.  I was able to bag 82.2 miles for a pace of 17:31 per mile.  I had some help from a great guy Boone, who helped keep my mind off the cold.  Pretty happy about the year in total; 3,218 miles or an average of 8.82 miles per day.  I plan on taking a rest in 2011, then build over the next couple years as I learn the Chicago area.

I think most of you probably follow Tony's blog, but if not check out his yearly total