Thursday, July 31, 2008

Too Many Beans, not enough Deans

Over the last two days Ali and I were at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando. Orlando is on the cutting edge of two things: Tacky, and dealing with large humans.

First, tacky, go there and get back to me. If the World's Largest Bargain stores don't do it, the $24 parking at Universal will. For dealing with large humans (darn if I didn't forget my camera) but at the roller coasters they had this sign:
"For those of you with extra dimensions, Rows 3 and 6 have modified seating to handle people of extra dimensions." NO SCHMITZ!

Hey, Universal, got anything for this? Turns out they don't Ali felt bad for one lady that was too big for the added dimensions.

Hey, I feel bad for anyone that has this type of issue, but there are certain places that not everyone belongs. For instance, I don't belong at a bridal or baby shower, I've done both in my life, if you ever see me at another, feel bad for me. The butt above doesn't belong on a roller coaster or on an airplane. Sorry, I feel bad, but you just don't belong. You want to belong, you fit the seat, don't make the seat fit you!

Ok, I got home from Universal and shagged it over to Centro Ybor and saw the new film about Dean Karnazes' run or 50 marathons, in 50 states, in 50 days. Dean kept harping on the fact that 33% of America's youth are obese. He thought this was unacceptable. Dean, I agree! And I believe he is out there inspiring people to do more and live better. You go Dean, you go!

Dean said, "if I can get one person off the couch, that's worth more than a million dollars!" Well, I'd like to get some people off the couch too, but I'm not rich like Dean, so my saying is a little different, "if I can get one person to get off the couch and give me two million dollars, that's worth more than a million dollars!"

So, at least Dean and I are on the same wavelength.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tail on the Scale #173

Yep, Gained two pounds post Vermont. Back up to 173.

No how do you suppose that happened?

............ Thank you mam, may I have another?.....

I'll be good here on in, promise

It's an ancient Native American Symbol, it means good luck losing weight. What? I swear!

Ok, I'm off to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure with my lovely daughter Ali, so you won't hear from me again until Friday. But have fun, be young, and drink whatever you like!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fact or Friction?

Just got word from a source close to the source.

His words:
This might or might not influence your decision to support events in the future by this race management staff. Most of us were informed late Wednesday night via e-mail about the race cancellation; however the elite running field was notified Wednesday morning to cancel their trips to the race.

er, yeah, nice to know that the race staff went into the Wednesday evening meeting with an "open mind."

Roger, please tell the world how this makes me "feel."

Thank you Roger.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What's Different This Time?

Ok, I'm back, and I'm looking forward.

To get forward, it is prudent (if that means the "right" thing to do) that I take a look back at my year's training and my run in Vermont.

Hey, for me to be pointed at success, I've got to analyze the data, isn't that one of the steps in a theory building and the scientific method and all that Dizzy Gillespie jazz? I believe it is.

So, here we are. Things I should have done differently in the year's training:

1. I remember saying, "I'm going to go to the gym twice a week." I remember going to the gym a couple of times total. I wasted a golden opportunity to sculpt my body in a Barrettesqe form in the last year. Yes it would have been nice to have chicks falling all over me, and yes, I would have loved to be helpful when people asked, "Where's the beach?" but more important than all of that is that I could have strengthened the legs and core and given my body a break from all that pounding. Drats! I can't go back in time, but I can go to the gym a few times during what's left of the slam.
...........These doors clearly did not see enough of me!.............
In addition, more biking would have helped. I did one sad ride with Star and the Good Docotor, and they toasted me! To be truly ready for the slam I should have worked to be able to pull them through the hills instead of having to beg them to leave me to die in peace! Er, yeah, mistake!
2. It would have behooved me to hook on as either Roger or the Wedge's cabana boy in their North Georgia estates. Mountains, mountains, mountains are bigger bigger bigger than tiny little hills hills hills! This one would have been harder to enact, but I needed more time hiking in the mountains. Yes, there were reasons I couldn't go, either injury or Harley issues. I'd trade the injuries, but I wouldn't trade Harley, I've come to really love that dog. He's cool. Sometimes you just have to admit, I did the best I could. As for the mountains, I did the best I could.

3. Injuries. They needed medical attention early and I'm such a home remedy guy I was like, "I'll fix 'em." Hey great, unless you like need to use the feet or hips for I don't know..... running 4 x 100 mile races! I'm not always the brightest bulb, but at least I've got ADD. Hey did I ever tell you guys about the time with the monkey, the rooster.... wait, I think I had more.

Ok, so the training issues I can't really change, and I believe by changing course ever so slightly I'll be getting that cool Miami Ink tattoo in October. But not if I don't take heed of my issues from the Vermont 100.

Issues at Vermont:
1. I started out too fast. I didn't believe the RD when he said, "hot and humid." I thought the same thing that AB, Jon, Roger, Michelle, Rob and a host others did. "I'm from warm weather climate, I'll be fine. I'll just run my race." Don't tell me you weren't thinking it, because I was on 20-hour pace through 50 and you guys were an hour or more ahead of me. We all faded, and we didn't have to. Should have walked more early and dialed it back a smidge. This, I'm not too worried about because normally pace is a strength, I just needed a reminder.

2. I was thinking too big at Vermont. Oh, this was almost my downfall. My success in ultras has always been not even focusing on the event that I'm doing, rather on getting over the hill, or even just getting to the next tree. At Vermont, not only was I thinking, "10 more hours, I'll never make it, I'm so tired." no my mistake was bigger, "Even if I do finish this one, 3 more to go, this is insane!" Yes, it very well may be insane, but I know it's insane for me to be thinking about the long hard race in the Wasatch Mountains while I'm actually running in Vermont's Green Mountains. Be where you are AndyMan, be where you are!

3. AMCD PACER? AM (andyman) C (see) D (the) PACER (dude whose job it is to keep you company and keep you from taking naps on the trail, in people's yards, or even in someone's galldarn driveway!)? Ok, in hindsight, perhaps I should have signed up for a pacer at Vermont. I'm relatively sure that a pacer could have replaced some of the negative energy with positive energy during those last 30 miles.
The beautiful thing is, I can learn from each of these, during the race boners. With little effort I can relieve the effects of a hard situation and clean my race up. Focus on the chore at hand! Start slowly finish strong! Get some company, it's better and easier that way!

So, speaking of company: I'm set for Leadville. I know Wasatch is tough to get to, fly in and out of Salt Lake in early September, but I'd love to have a pacer there, I'll see if the race can help me there, and honestly, spending money to get there is dicey because Leadville only has a 40 -50% finish rate, so practically speaking... we may want to wait on this one (but I'll still take a volunteer!) and then Arkansas. The second Leadville is over, I'm putting the squeeze on somebody to come out there and finish this thing with me! It's what the Doctor ordered!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Club in the Park

How good of an idea is this?Open Mike night at a comedy club in a trailer park, what a concept.

Talk about a baited field for rednecks! Let's see there was the black dude, Sloan, who was actually pretty funny, but he said he felt like a raisin in a bowl of milk (the audience was not ethnically diverse.) He was looking for another black guy just so we could have two scoops!

Then there was my favorite, the 40 something old Texas woman who sang the IBS song. And she felt the need to point out that IBS stands for I Be Sh*tting!

And IBS'ing you not, fulling 1/3 of the audience, led by Bob who's wife is a full-blood Cuban (information I know I couldn't have lived without) got ejected for being too intoxicated and rowdy. Well, at least it wasn't a long walk home!

Wow, Clearwater, Florida, cultural Mecca, who knew?

Oh, and I ran 15 miles this morning with the Beckster, Happy Birthday Becky! My legs felt great and my toes held up well. Leadville, here I come. I'll be obsessing on that for the next 2.75 weeks, I promise :-)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Song of the Week #40, One Down

Now I actually liked this song very much, but it had no lyrics, and it's a little long, but I almost used it anyway. It's Seraphina doing Gwyneth Walker's Don't Step on My Toes. It's for the really little kid in Vermont that did in fact step on my right great toe turning the nail up 90 degrees from said toe. ouch (that quiet ouch that really hurts like when Princess Fiona pulls the arrow from Shrek) Just so you know Chase, that even though that sweet little kid put me in excruciating pain, I DID NOT CUSS him out! Nope I kept my tongue in check (as a matter of fact I even apologized to him and his dad after I shoved the tike across ten feet across the tent by the ice cream line! See, I'm reformed!) So, this is NOT the song of the week:

But since neither choice one or two were perfect I went back to searching (it was either that or clean the house.) While searching, I came up with a different theme. I focused on the hey, I did one race theme. I typed in "One Down" and up popped Ben Folds. I love this guy and he delivered with One down and 3.6 to go. I feel you Ben. Here it is One Down, it's our song of the week:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Homework Assignment

Answer the following question by next Thursday:

For your birthday, your aunt gave you a Vermont maple syrup dispenser shaped like a rooster. Please write her a thank-you note:
Winner gets a First Watch Gift card or I-tunes download.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Trials on the Trails


I listened to the voice recording of Vermont, and I have to figure out a way to post that, or file share or something. It tells an honest story. It is full of trials, but it does come to a happy finish.

The race wasn't just, Oh, he went out, he started too fast he took a few naps and he finished in 27 hours and 38 minutes.

There was more doubt and more quit in me than ever before. Guys, there was more doubt and more quit on that day than I thought there was in me. I always said, "I don't know if I'll finish, but I won't quit." Well, only 1/2 of that is true now, I just don't know.

I almost quit, not once but thrice. Sure, when I was running with Candi for 47 miles, I was fine, I was happy, and I was running well. Things started going poorly when she split off, but I figured they would get better after 70, I was wrong. They never did get better.

Here were the trouble spots:
At mile 70 I had been sitting on a rock on the side of the trail when one of the many filing past me asked, "Are you all right?" my reply, "I am sitting here hoping a Bear will come and eat me." I was serious. Death I figured was a graceful exit. Dying not only meant I didn't have to finish, it meant I didn't have to do this 3 more times!

Approaching mile 77 the West Winds aid station takes one to within 1/4 of a mile of the start finish, I was close, very close to just going to the start finish. If I could have figured out how to gracefully pull out of the Slam, I would have done it. Well, I realized I couldn't just quit, no story there. So, instead of making the left to the start finish I went right to the aid station.

At the aid station I sat in a chair with a blanket wrapped around me, wondering if it was worth it to try to get to Bills aid station at 88. I figured, if I don't have 5 hours from there, I may not be able to make it (I had abandoned my watch, it just made angry to be so far behind schedule.) Could it be possible for me to get timed out at a race that I've finished in less than 21 1/2 hours? Could I get beaten by the clock in a race I've been in the top 25 before? Yes, I decided it was possible. So, I sat in West Winds with a blanket over me drinking a little Coke, oh, eating was out of the question, my stomach was sour from the more than 20 Advil and Aleive combos I'd take to control the pain in my foot. I was in bad shape. If I feel asleep in that chair, the clock would get me and I'd get pulled, but isn't that the same as quitting? I mean I knew while I sat there I was in danger, so shouldn't I get up? Damn it! I did get up.

I was 1/4 mile down the road when I thought of going back.... I'm not going to make it, might as well go back, I mean I stopped and stood and contemplated, I almost went back.... well, maybe I'll catch a ride... From somewhere inside were the words don't quit. I kept going. I found a nice yard, I took a nap in the nice yard. I was so comfortable, some pain in the ass well meaning runner came along told me to get up we had less than 20 miles to go. Yeah, yeah, "I'm coming." It was just 2 or 3 minutes. I feel better, maybe I can finish.

Next hill, I can't do this. Screw it, I lie back down, this time I actually fall asleep, no runner wakes me up, a couple in a car. I wake up and see their back up lights on.
Mrs. Good Effingsamaratin asks, "You alright?"
"Yeah, just resting."
"Sure, you don't look so good."
"I'm fine."
"Would you tell me if you weren't"
"Probably not."
"That's what I thought, I could here it in your voice."
"No, I'm ok."
The Samaritans left, but not before Mrs. EffingSamaratin gave me an idea. "Hey maybe I'm not alright, no one can fault me if I get pulled for a medical reason. That's smart quitting if I'm in danger, that's not wimpy. Now, I just have to get pulled.

I'm coming up the hill to Bills aid station at 88 miles. 88 miles isn't 12 miles to go right now. It's I've gone 88 miles and I'm wrecked. It's not 12 miles, it's 4 hours of torture. It's maybe I have it in me, maybe I don't. As I walk the hill I'm acutely aware that my heart is pounding. Is it dangerously fast, it may be. I'm out of breath, is it because my heart isn't supplying enough blood to my body, could I be in danger of passing out in the middle of nowhere? I vow to get check nine ways to Sunday at the aid station AND go promptly to the doctor when I return for a battery of tests on this obvious heart condition.

At Bills, first they check weight, "175" Ok, won't get pulled there, that's just where I started the race (race scales are always heavy, except the first aid station, it's always low). I sit down, no one is going to take my blood pressure. What? How can I get pulled if they don't know about my heart condition.

"Pardon me, sir, could you take my blood pressure?"
"Sure, come over here."
"138 over 89 a little high, but not bad"
"And My pulse? My heart has been racing coming up the hills and I've been very tired."
"Pulse is 89, not bad considering that hill you just climbed."
"You sure, I don't feel so good, if it's dangerous?"
"Look, you've got 12 miles to go and six hours to do it, get back out there!"

Talk about wanting to quit. I actually made this doctor put a cuff on me and take my blood pressure. That is NOT a can do attitude! There's your Andyman some tough guy! And that "Doctor" putting me in harms way like that! Not only did he kick me out of Bills, but he shoed everyone out, "Come on people, you've got plenty of time left, get out there and finish." I put my watch away when Candi and I parted ways, I had no idea how much time was left. For the first time since mile 47 I checked. I had 6 hours left. Damn it! I knew that I could make it 2 miles an hour, even with my bad heart, so off I went.

For the rest of the journey, there were more naps, but only the one - two minute variety, most on the trail itself so I would get up when a runner came upon me. There was no more thought of quitting or getting pulled, because for the first time I knew I would make it.

I was right, I made it with 2 1/2 hours to spare. My worst race ever, but under tough circumstances.

For now, there are 24 of us left in the slam, another 6 - 10 will drop at Leadville if the statistics hold. I may be one of them, I don't know anymore. But I'm done with quitting. I won't let those thought come into my head again. I've invested a lot into this.

My thanks to that pain in the @ss doctor who didn't tell me what I wanted to hear. My thanks to each of you who kicked me off the trail when I was napping in your way.

I cannot promise you that I will finish, but I will do all I can.

Sorry for the honesty and lack of humor, it's a true story, and I'm not Chase, I'm not the Professor, I'm not always funny. I'm just a guy, I get scared, I hurt, and sometimes I just want to go home.

Oh yeah, tail of the scale 171 and I'm no longer worried about that. I did figure out it's what's in me that counts, not how much weight is on me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hey Slam Fans, There is an S in Vermont!

At the Scenic Overlook, just before we plunged down, quickly, at mile 29. Grandslam candidate from California, Chihping, Scott from CT, we ran far together a great guy and finisher!, Mark Jackson an excellent dude from Melbourne, Florida, don't know what happened with Mark, hope to see him at Croom this year, The Good Doctor, Candi Ashley :-), and some dude.

Well, I lost my S in California, but I found it again in Vermont, but I lost my phone. All things equal, I'd rather have my S!

I found a lot of things in Vermont besides my S.

I found a resolve I didn't know I had. It's easy to keep going and keep smiling when everything is going well, it's that adversity that tells you something about yourself. How will you react?

Well, I learned a lot about myself in Vermont, and I liked most of what I learned. I learned that you can't kill the Rooster! I learned that the Rooster aint all of that, but he may just be enough. I also learned that I have some really great friends with huge hearts and amazing abilities.

I took some cool audio during the run but don't have a clue on how to post it, I'd love to combine that with my pictures and make a slideshow, if anyone can help... for now, here are some pictures:
My good friend Jon, he got a sub-24 buckle, Way to Go!!

The Beautiful Andrea finished her first 100K

A Florida contingent pre-race: Pam, Candi (3rd female in 100k!), Adam (2 x100 finished in 3 months for him!), Tracy (finished her first 100 M!) AMan (1 down, 3 to go), Elaine (helped Andrea finish, thank you, thank you!), Becky (redemption from last year, opened up a can of Whop @ss on tha course and finished her first 100M), bottom row, Andrea, Patrick (finished his first 100M), Roger (fast through 47, but pulled by an evil doctor for weight loss, like the commercial says Roger, you gotta eat!), and the star of the day Andy Barrett, led the Florida Ultrarunners with a sub-24 finish in his first ever attempt at the distance, way to go Andy!!)

On the right is Arkansas Race director and fellow Slammer Chrissy Ferguson.
On the left is fellow Slammer from Illinois, Julie Aistars

The good Doctor with Susie from Austrailia
The Pride of Topeka and fellow Slammer, Willie Lambert

This poor fella was having some chaffing
issues at mile 60, yes, those are his undies he's running in! I offered him my fresh shorts from my drop bag, I think he called it a day instead.

Unlike at Croom, horses, riders and runners get along great at Vermont!

One welcomed sign!

Believe me you don't want to see what's under those bandages. If you are sane and like your feet never run 100 Miles (especially not 4 times!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tomorrow, Beautiful Pictures and All!

Nope, I didn't call anyone.
Nope, I didn't e-mail anyone.
Nope, I sure didn't update no blogs.

I was running and I was walking and I was napping, and after 27:36 some dude done swiped my after race bag, which contained my cell phone.

Now this cell phone isn't anything great, it's old as cell phones get these days, no camera, no video, nothing special.... except these two things 1) It got great reception, even in the Vermont Mountains, and 2) It had all my numbers in it. Dave, I wanted to call you, but you aint listed. I wanted to call my Ali girl, but I don't know here number either. I didn't know anyone's, so, I was out of luck!

So, guys and dolls, write those important numbers down in case some numskull (pronounced numb nuts) walks off with your after race bag with your phone in it (darn, my sporty Arkansas Jacket was in that bag too, it had my ninth place finish listed on it, signs from this weekend's results say I'll never do that again!)

But hey, once I'm up and running again, you guys call me, I'll plug your numbers back in my phone, and BAM! I'll even write them down (well I might) this time and we'll be flush. Oh, and as for Vermont, well, long post tomorrow, but I'm still in it baby, I'm still slammin'. You can't kill the Rooster!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One Down; Three to Go.

Looks like Andy got the job done. Vermont posted results indicate that he finished within the thirty hour time, with a time of 27:38:35.00. I never did get a call, and I called his cellular about a bazillion times.

I'm not really sure why, but it seems that the time to post Beavis and Butthead is nigh.

Shout out to Lynne, who told me that Vermont had posted the results.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Watch This Space.

No News Yet. AndyMan promised me an update by Midnight, and I promised him I'd post it.
Soon as I know something, you'll know something. K?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Song of the Week #40, I'm Diggin' It!

Billie Holliday made it famous.
Frank Sinatra sang it too.
But I really like the Betty Carter Version of Moonlight in Vermont:

It is so beautiful here.

It's one of the states that I would consider after Ali graduates from TC. Pretty cool, when I was up there in 2005 I attended "Solarfest" a symposium on renewable energy. They also had live music. I saw the Duhks and Dar Williams, pretty good stuff.

But my favorite thing about Vermont was this bumper sticker, it was everywhere:

And this pamplet, suggesting Vermont scede from the union, was being handed out at the symposium:

They also fight Wallmart, Target and the other big box stores at every turn, and with only 500,000 people, our 14th State can talk about things like a living wage.

Besides, these guys

Are from there.

Only one big drawback.... this guy:

Howard Duck Dean is from there and when the Dems lose the election in 2008, it'll be his fault, the dumbunny!
But, hey, I guess Vermont didn't want him to be the guy that was unemployed. Course I got a job for him: Hey Duck, Drop and give me 20!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who's Up for some Vermont?

These Ultra buddies, Andy B and Patrick are!
Calm down ladies, sadly they are taken.

She is going too!
I love June! You don't love June, you don't love people (or should I say the theory of people?)

The Good Doctor is, she rocks, she may just win!

Jon's a Vermont Veteran, he'll kill.

Roger, may Win, I'm cheering for him!

Tracy and Adam, together again!
Until Tracy passes him at 99.632. See how she has to stay a step ahead of him (he wants to know what she's doing at all times (except for the Summer that is :)

Me. They're only bring me because I get them a discount at the Skunk Hallow Tavern!

The Woodman and the Beckster.
They've been shunning the FU crowd as they do their "Secret Training."

My buddy Michelle. I predict a top 10, OVERALL finish from her.
Pictured here with the lovely Catra (on the left) at Western States Camp.

Star, sorry, pictures don't do her justice.

E and P :-) These are the original LunaChicks. They Rock hard!

We're having a blast! Where we going next?
Lance it!

Tail on the Scale #17

Ok, it was a good week. I ate well, I feel well, I didn't drink any real beer (I had a couple of O'Douls, now there's a concept, I want the beer belly but I really don't want the rich taste nor the pleasant effect of actual beer. Can you help me? I've discovered that having a beer near is much better than having a near-beer, what a concept!) and I had a couple of Mich Ultras (they were forced on me!) on Saturday, but is Mich Ultra really beer? No it isn't!
Look even our Pres is drinking Near Beer (A near beer for our near president!)
He says alcohol dulls the cocaine. (hey, I just report the facts, don't blame me!)

Any way let's see what our scale reads............. 172! Ok, I said last week, I'd be happy to get back down to that figure and I am. I hadn't been consistently in the 170's in 3 years, and I haven't had to give up potatoes (yet, for Leadville, First Watch may have to Weight! I spelt it wrong on purpose, It's one of them double Intrepids, or whatever they're called)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Badwater = Badwomen!

On the Left is our girl Alisa she was amazing! 20th overall in 37:21 (that's hours and minutes yall, not minutes and seconds!) On the right is Denver's own, Jamie Donaldson, she was 1st female of the opposite sex and 3rd OA in a blazing 26:51!

For the sake of my very good friends, E, P, Becky, Candi, Andrea, June, Tracy, Michelle and Chrissy, I hope the Badwater trend continues at Vermont. What trend? Well how about this 5 or the top 10 were females and 8 of the top 15! Impressive, very impressive!

Now, women rock and women rule, and they are my favorite and all that, but the men weren't invisible. The winner was California's Jorge Pacheco, in get this, 23:21. That less than one day to go 135 Miles from Death Valley 1/2 way up Mt. Whitney.
I've met Jorge several times, he's a buddy of my California friend Michelle Barton (who may win Vermont, you know I'm cheering for her) and a nicer guy you won't meet.

And the FU Runners were very well represented by Dr Jack Butterick. He finished another Badwater, in 33rd place in a stellar time of 41:36, that's another Buckle (you have to go under 48 to Buckle at Badwater) for the 57 year old (way to go Booooy!) Tampa Physician.

It's amazin' the stuff you can get by pluggin' the simple phrase, "Women Rule" in to google.

(geez, Roger, Jon, Prof, AndyB, Patrick any thoughts? I mean, this trend had me cheering for Dean to hang in there, Too late, he got chicked! He finished 4th)