Saturday, June 28, 2008

So, How Am I Doin'?

So (sew) How (Steve Howe) Am (M) I (eye of Sauron) Do (Dew) ing (ing) ?

Lemme know with your comments.

Oh, yeah, you can check right here (I'm race #281, hey check on Squires too, I love that guy! #366):

Oh Good luck us!!!! (oh, and thank you mystery, ghost writer, you rock!!!)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Song of the Week #42, I'm There!!!

I Love this song, I love this State (well the Northern Part anyway :) I do love Colorado, but when I visit Northern Cali, I do feel at home.

I obviously like this song, and I wish I had a video of Dave Alvin singing it, but this is the best I can come up with:

I'm there, I'll be running in less than 24 hours (and gosh, I hope for less than 24 hours, but I will take and be happy with any complete race less than 30 hours!)

er, if I forgot to ask, pray for me, I'll need it!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Helluva Welcoe!

Check it out, first the Times, now around the corner from our "Hotel" (Chase makes some great arrangements after a 12-pack! But he swears it's safe!) in Tahoe City, CA.
I don't know for sure, but I'm betting the Sisters at the Convent rigged this little ditty for me. And look, a new strategy for winning, that's what I've to do the rest of the field to actually win, Knock 'em Dead!

See Star, it's a good thing I do bring that camera everywhere!

By the way, Star's the best! She gave me a little goody bag as a goody lucky go away, and I'll finish Western States powered on 100 Grand Bars and grit (have to supply the grit myself!)
Any way it's nice to feel welcoed in California!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Scales of Justice #172 Part 2

Which weighs more, a pound of Elephant poop, or a pound of feathers?
Er, times up! The pound of poop of course! Ok, they weigh the same (not, that' I'd want to be the guy that weighs them. Talk about your bad part time jobs!)

No weight loss this week, that's the first time in 11 weeks. It's a fair cop!

I could be hacked, but why? Hard to lose weight when you are tapering, I'm just glad I didn't gain any, could go the other way you know?

Something tells me I might just lose a pound or two this weekend, just maybe.....
Well, This week's AndyMan, weighs the same as last week's AndyMan, but I'd rather be this week's AndyMan. Why? Because this week's AndyMan got to maintain by running all of 4 miles, whoo who! And this week's AndyMan is off to California.... right..... NOW! See YA!

Oh, yeah, pray for me, please!

BTW, I'll have a ghost writer filling in for me while I'm gone, so you'll see a post or two, but I won't be able to check or respond until Monday 6/30, have fun with me or heck have fun at me, I don't care, I'll still love you (yes you!)

Monday, June 23, 2008

See One? No, C-2!

Just got word from Terry Tomalin, the best writer (besides Chase) that the St. Pete Times has ever had, and the word is Friday, C-2.

It aint the cover (gotta be Lance's fault, or I could have shaved,) but it's the inside cover. Man, I hope it's good!

Hey, wait, I'll be in California, and while I heart the SP Times, it aint the NY Times, so I'm guessing I won't be able to just snag a copy in Squaw Valley, so if you could pick up like 10 copies for me (Super D has to have one, the sister's have to have three, random people on the street have to have them, better make that 12 copies!)

Hurry guys, Knock Wood, there's a copy left!

Started Packing

I've started packing (I leave Early Wed. Morn).

I plan on putting together just one big drop bag and hope Ali and Kristyn can find me along the course. They'll be carrying: One extra pair of shoes and socks, one pair shorts, two shirts, a wind jacket, a rain jacket, some reasonable substitute for starbucks coolers (I am currently in dispute with starsucks, as of now, they suck, I'll get back to you if they quit sucking), Boost (I still like them, they sent me coupons!) Cliff Shot Blocks, Jelly Belly Sports Beans, Hammer Bars (I'll find out in September if they suck) Batteries, Flashlights, a towel, fresh legs (yeah, I wish!)

Of the stuff I bring, don't tell Kristyn and Ali, but I won't use most of it! I am generally pretty self-sufficient, er, a, provided there are numerous aid stations on the course (yeah, kind of contradicting there.) Oh, I'll use the flashlights, and I'll drink the Boost, I'll use one of the shirts, but the rest. Not likely, I mean who am I Lovey Howell? Am I going to change clothes every 15 minutes. It's just a 24-hour tour!
Speaking of packing, late news that George Carlin passed away last night. One of my favorite concerts all-time was at the Bayfront in St. Pete, watching George in 1979. I liked it, but not as much the two dudes in front of me did. "That's right, you tell 'em George!" "You nailed that one!" and he did. I got a favorite saying from watching those two dude that nigh, "Everything he said was the funniest thing, until the next thing, which was the new funniest thing."
Any way one of my favorite Carlin routines is about packing and stuff.

Hope you got to use all your stuff George, you were great!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

And the Rest

And the Rest!

1. Where did I get it?
2. What does it mean?

Well, I got it from Gilligan's Island season 1. On the intro song they sang about all the characters on the show, except for the Professor and MaryAnne, the were, "And the Rest," all here on Gilligan's Isle.... Well, I always thought that was crap, what you can mention everybody but the last two? So, I wrote them a letter (and the star's manager's complained, and the star's complained), and the network read my letter and changed the song for season two! You all know the new ending, "The professor and MaryAnne, all here on Gilligan's Isle..." much better.

Ok, I was going somewhere with this. Oh, yeah. So, yesterday, Lance with the St. Pete Times, comes out to Croom, I wanted him to take pictures of the Florida Ultra group. I wanted .... Dude writing the story, only wanted pictures of me, so it was kinda weird, he stuck a camera in my grill and took like 400 pictures, and that lens was kinda big, and it was hard to feel normal (not that I know what normal feels like!)

In case the FU'ers aren't in the paper, they'll still be intheSlam...

Davo was there!
Julie came by and sold some wares

Andy B was running great.

You can always tell when Jon's there, his car gives him away. You can always tell when E's there, because everyone is having a better time!

Jon may have the personalized license plate, but Star's got the whole bike! And she wasn't even there, but at least her name was! (kinda blurry, but the symbol says Stat right on it)

Tracy was there, all Sad with the Professor gone
for the summer, we tried to cheer her up.

"And the Rest" not pictured (Dan, Kathleen, Woody, some blondish chick won some race 3 times, Candi, Linda were all out there too, but too fast for me to their mugs on camera)

Oh, yeah, and "And the Rest," Is also because with less than one week until Western States, I'll be getting serious about my rest! No more double digit runs, no more of my weakly bike rides in San Antonio, no more getting up at the crack of dawn, and the rest, all here on AndyMan's Duplex (Right side from the street, on the left if you park in the back)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sign of the Times

Cool run up in Croom this morning.

This dude:
we'll call him Lance, showed up with his, Mine's Bigger! cameras and took some candid shots of my buds and me (well mostly me) for the St. Pete Times. Seems they have agreed to accept the money I sent them and are running my add (ok, it's really an article, see, I didn't have to pay them, turns out I AM GOOD FOR NOTHING!)

I'll let you guys know when the Times is running this thing, see, they are the best newspaper in Florida (well, they were when they had Chase! Though Lance and Terry Tomalin are aces too!)
I've got more pictures, but first, I must nap!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Whether Madness

Ok, It's officially started. The part where I drive myself crazy worrying about things I can't control (but enough about my love life :) I am talking, of course, about the weather. Whether or not I can control it I've still gotta freak out over it.

San Fran will be nice on Wed. (65/52) but so what? We'll have air control and we're out of there on Thursday without running a step.
Now, Olympic Valley (race start) is supposed to gonna be beautiful. Yeah we don't spend much time at the start of the Race.

I don't know how to get a prediction on the temps in the canyons, but I know Forest Hill at mile 62 is predicted to be up to 91 on Saturday, means it's gotta be hotter in the canyons.

Oh, well, can't do anything about it....... cept worry myself sick, which I have covered.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Song of the Weak #41, For Life

Shoot, that 'bout says it!

Pressure, no such thing. Sure, I sucked Stan into this thing. Sure, I got the St. Pete Times coming to Croom Tomorrow to take a few shots and run a little piece. Sure I've already soaked 4 grand into this, with more on the way. Sure, I'm writing the next ultra best seller on completing the Slam (I plan to sell two books in Florida for you guys to pass around!) Realistically, I may not make it, most don't, but darm it, I'm giving it a try, no doubt about that. I may not make it, but I will not quit, I will Run for Life, even if it kills me.

But, that aint pressure. You know why?

I'm just a passenger on this train, the only thing that really matters is that my daughter loves me! And she'll be there with me at Western States, and I will make her proud of her old man.

That's enough for me (ah, but geez, I do want that cool Grand Slam Eagle, and the Tattoo, that comes with it doesn't it?)

National Aint Just for Rentin' Cars!

Hey groovy guys and gals, InTheSlam is going national!

This just in from 100's guru Stan Jensen:


I just got home and added a link to your blog:

Good luck!


More exciting local news soon and it's about Times!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wicken don't Play With Me!

Hey, I run with a whole coven of people that don't know squat about wicken shirts (er, better make that shirts that wick, or wicking shirts)

There is this "theory" that some fabrics take the moisture away from your body and therefore cool you down, just as evaporation of sweat would do. Well, I used one of my "tech" shirts while running in Colorado, and voila! it worked so well, that my shirt was dry when I finished and two days later when I went to run again, I mistakenly wore that same shirt, because it was dry (on the car ride to the trail I notice a strong odor, so the sweat may evaporate but the stink is there to stay!)

Well, there must be something in the atmosphere when you cross the Florida State Line that renders these tech shirts useless. I think it's the Christian Right in the Bible Belt that has worked to destroy all things Wicken! Who knows? But I did find one way to give the tech shirts a little nudge and relieve the moisture issue:

Scales of Justice: Part 172

Don't know if it's the lack of Barley, Malt and Hops, or fried food, or meat, or sweets, but whatever, something worked this last week. For the first time in 11 weeks or so, I managed a two pound weight loss!

So, that's good news, as is that this puts me over the Decca-pound loss since I started keeping track 10 weeks ago. Whooo Who!

I'm a camper and I'm happy, that makes me a happy camper! I-172 going down to 160 somehow, sometime, someweigh before Leadville!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Upson Downs

Auntie Mame wasn't a big fan of Upson Downs, (the name for the country estate of the Upson's, whose bitchy daughter was to marry her precious nephew, Mame put the wood to that relationship!) I'm not a fan of Ups and Downs either. You may not like life's Ups and Downs, but you better learn to deal with them, otherwise you're in for a miserable time.

Saturday as I was crewing for Roger, Becky, Woody and Dan, I also got in a few miles of my own. Running down the mountain I felt light, agile, and even fast. As I was cruising down the mountain, hopping from rock to rock and throwing my body into the perfect position to make turns, I felt like Rocky Bleier of the 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers. Bleier had his Ups and his Downs. He was seriously injured in Vietnam, but came back to play on four Super Bowl teams with the Steelers. He succeeded not because he was the best, but because he knew how to play, he was tough, and he was fearless. (Didn't hurt that Jack Lambert and Mean Joe Green were on his team and not against him!) I always think of Rocky's SI magazine cover from 1975 when I throw my legs from one side of the trail to the other to find the line. Rocky was dodging land mines or linebackers, with me it's just rocks, but the body motion is the same.

Any way, Saturday, that was my UP. I left the trail thinking, Western States, "Look out! I'm Ready!"

Today, the Downs :-( The leg, which I haven't iced since Saturday, didn't feel great. It was really hot, I ran with Davo, he's faster than I these days. I felt slow. I felt fat. I felt like Milli the pede I reported on a few weeks ago.

But, I'll make the most of it. I realize I am somewhere between Rocky and the hard place, and I don't know what will happen, but I'll give it my all, in just 10 days!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Georgia on my Mind

The Suspects: John "Woody" Wood. Wanted in several states, for destroying the mountains!

Dan "The Man" Miller: Never met a situation he couldn't find something wrong with. "Hey, is that a Dirty 100 Dollar Bill you are giving me?" (but in a good way)
Becky, The Sergeant. She kept the troops moving, even before 6 am!
Roger Sutton: Author, Artist, aerospace engineer, Renaissance man, our host. Our tour guide, I want to go back, so, like, he's a great guy and all!
And me, AndyMan, the goofball! The guy with the camera.
Thursday, June 12: Wake up. Pack Car, Feed Harley (Thank YOU JUNE! She's feeding and walking Harley for me while I'm away, what a gal! She's awesome!): Jump in car, go to Ocala to meet with Roger. Roger and I drive to GA. Only one thing eventful trying to find a vegetarian selection on the Arby's menu. Settle for Broccoli and Cheese potato with a hunk of plastic butter (I think it was plastic, it wasn't melting!) on top.

Get to GA, get excited when I see Roger's beautiful mountain get-away home. Then I figure out why he calls it a "get away" because Woody, Becky, Dan and I would stay in the "guest house."

Well, at least the ventilation is good! (he didn't really make us stay there, well, not all of us, but hey, Dan snores!)

Next Roger and I went for a warm-up jog. "No problem AndyMan, We'll just go for a 6 miler at Flat Creek loop." Cool, me thinks, Flat Creek, can't be any hills there. Wrong-O Mary Lou! I huffed and puffed and Roger wouldn't pass me and let me die in peace I had to keep going, he jogged and I raced like a bear was chasing me (there are no bears in GA are there?) and an hour later we were done. Roger told me good job, I couldn't answer back, I was breathing too hard.

Then the internationally famous Chris Wedge came over for dinner. Chris is now famous because his picture and quote are in the 2008 Western States glossy program. His quote is a page long, but here's a little snippet from said quote: "I crossed the line (which he often does, ask Deborah!) It was an emotional moment. .... Like the day you got married." Yeah, Deborah was there for both. Check. He was tired. Check. She looked better than he did. Check. I gotta agree Chris, 3 out of 3, a lot like your marriage day!

Friday morning at 4:15 the crew arrived, Becky, Dan, and Woody. We let let them sleep in while Roger and I met Chris for a loop at Stanley Gap. I wisely let them take off while I hiked. hiked out and up 4 miles. Slow solid climbing and flipped around. About 1 mile into my return journey my earlier question, "Are there bears in Georgia?" was answered by this fella:

He wasn't all that big, but thank you Jesus, thank you lord, he was running away! Of course once his course was well established I bowed up and hollered, "That's right, you better run, I need a new rug!" Yeah, I was a little more alert for the last 3 miles of a now quicker run back to the car!

We returned and the gang was up. Becky, bless her heart, made breakfast for all, I cleaned up and they all (including Roger who was up for more even though he and Chris answered my slow 8 with a rapid 11 of there own) went out for an afternoon 20 mile run on the AT. I got the better end of the deal there. I laid around, read, and watched Tiger work his way in to contention at the US Open. I'll tell you, any day you can see a bear and a Tiger on a day that doesn't involve the zoo is a good day!

After an early dinner, off to bed and ready for an early morning on the AT.
Saturday I was to provide assistance to the gang while they ran 30 miles on a tough section of the Appalachian Trail. Once again, Becky (you guys owe her a big thanks, and I don't mean maybe!) made sandwiches and got together nutrition for all and packed coolers with drinks. For the run I dropped the crew off near Springer Mountain and they ran 8 miles to the first sag stop while I goofed off.
At the first stop everyone refilled while Becky waited patiently (er, well, er, yeah, patiently that's right, yeah, I meant that!) And here they come now!

Then off to the next stop 4 miles down the trail. And I got much better at Crewing. See I spread things out, so no one had to be patient.

Then I even had time to get some running and jumping in.

(I just love that timer on the Camera!)

And then have a well deserved drink of my own!

Then off to Woody Gad 4 more miles down the trail.

Thankfully, Roger made me climb to the high point a mile in.

....................... Totally candid shot, I swear! ............

Then the gang soldiered on towards the run's fruition at Blood Mountain. After a tough 10 miles on the rocky trail we reunited and it felt so good!

So, now we wave goodbye from Roger and Jill's Appalachian Getaway:

What a wonderful trip with people I really dig! Thank you Roger! When we going back?!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Song of the Week 44: I AM what I AM

From the beautiful Mountains of Georgia this week, from Colorado last week, from California in less than 2 weeks; I am what I am and what I am is ....... well, I let Steve tell you, what am I?

That's right Steve! Iam a R-A-M-B-L-I-N Ramblin Guy!

See you soon!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June's Words of Wisdom

June, what a great month, if you are a teacher, which I am!
June, what a great runner.
June, what a great friend (Yall, she's watching Harley for me while I'm hiking the mountains in Georgia and NC, How cool is that? VERY!)
June, what a great sense of humor, if you've ever done a loop with her, you haven't done it without laughing out loud at one time or many others, tellyouthatrightnow!
June, what great words of Wisdom. And here are her thoughts regarding Friday's night run (I love this list!)

1. No matter how bad the trail is during the day, it's worse at night. (how many times can I fall?)
2. You can be very hungry at 3am

3. The darkest hour is not just before the dawn. It's about mile 30.

4. Falling into spider webs is just as scary at night as during the day

5. Animals sound 100# heavier creeping through the brush at night.

6. Some birds don't sleep, same with some trail runners.

7. Beer is just as good at 7 am as 7pm.

8. A boiled potato is better than a power bar.

9. A road shared with friends is a better road than the one you would have been alone on.

10. The world is always turning toward the morning.

Hey, not bad Rook! I already knew most of that, well, maybe not most, but some, well, I did know one thing; that a beer can be just as good at 7 AM, that I did know (Learnt that on Spring Break in Panama City, Whilst attending Auburn (aka, THE University of Alabama!)

So, I'm outta town while June watches Harley, and, I kilt the battery in my computer, so I'm not even bringing it. Unless Roger has one stashed in the GA house, I'm out of commission until Sunday, but when I come back, I'll have pictures, oh yeah, I do bring the camera everywhere!