Saturday, August 30, 2008
Roger shows up for our little bike ride (oh, yeah, I'm all about cross training.... now) on a 1980's Trek (it's the genetic twin of mine) with all of 40 pounds of pressure in the tires (if you don't bike, well for a road bike 40 pounds gives a comfortable yet slow ride.) Darn that Candi, she had to point this out to him, so right then I knew I would be riding alone again, naturally.
I was right, they took off and left me to pedal slowly in peace. But you know what? This wasn't at all like my last effort during what Roger described as my 6 week taper for Vermont (yeah, it was about 3 weeks before Western States was supposed to fire off a race.) On that ride I whined, I cried, I hoped for death. Not so this time, by the time I made the turn around (with Candi and Roger long out of sight, thank Gawd!) I had found a little tiny bit of my biking legs and had little trouble making the trip back.
So, I was happy to be out there, and happy to think with some effort I might be able to keep up with Candi, Roger and Star (provided I get to prep their bikes!)
That's all I have to say about that!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Like my last paycheck...
Like a 5th of Gin ....
Like my first 46 years ....
This is what it is..
But you know, that doesn't mean the next 46 years won't be even better! Like I said, I'm actually looking forward to going beautiful places and not having to run the whole dern time! I'm actually looking forward to growing some toenails.
Oh, sure I'll still be running WAY too much, even after Arkansas, but because I want too, not because I'm in the Slam!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Any way, in my classroom, I have nice new high tech equipment (that I have no idea how to use!), and it turns out that Kate is now training people on how to use said equipment. Hey, I'll be missing out on a lot next week when that hardware comes in that will allow me to use the Internet at home. Of course it will be nice to be able to read Chase's blog again, my school filters just don't cotton to the phrase, Dirty and Thoughts in the same lifetime (we are a fine Catholic institution, yeah, but it's fine to have tit and tu in the same word, I guess as long as shun is in there tu!)
Anyway, just some of the stuff besides running that happens in Tampa...
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Like Dante said in the excellent movie Clerks (not Clerks II, there was no inter-species erotica in the original), "47?! You're gonna be 47? Try not to run any miles on the way home!" I think that's what he said, and I think that was the subject matter.
Anywho, On Tuesday, one week from today I'll be turning 47, hence, annual birthday run. Last year I ran 46 with the help of Woody and Becky I think. This year A2, the Professor and I have signed up. The run will be on Monday, why? It's Labor Day and if the run goes anything like the last two, I'll be laboring.
And Most Importantly, It's Ali's 14th Birthday today. Her Mommy, Mr. Jeff, and I are taking her out for Sushi, yum, yum! On Sunday she got to go see these dudes with the Good Doctor and I, it sure was fun! Er, only slightly less fun than running 47 miles!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Pre-race with Robo, Michelle and Alisa. Shoot Alisa ran almost as far as we did because she paced someone to the finish from mile 60. The rest of us, well... er, you know the story.
Ok, anyway, I promised Leadville pictures, so here you go:
Chaser before the pain. He coulda made it, he coulda been a contender, he just needs to do a better job picking his running mates!
Gee, I sure wish these clouds would clear!
Hey, wait that snow wasn't there yesterday! Isn't this August.
After the race I needed several of these to forget.... And the hangover, it wasn't so bad!
The drive back to Denver. You know, we rarely get this much snow in Florida, in August. Very rarely, as a matter of fact August is our 12th snowiest month!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
So many people cheered. So many people prayed. You guys were great. Some of you I don't even know, but you were great too.
I wanted this to end at Arkansas, but sadly, I didn't make that far (this time!)
You'd think I'd be discouraged, but really I'm not. I draw out of this all the positive beautiful things (and I don't have to go to Wasactch!)
To name a few:
As I was going up Hope Pass, obvious to everyone, including me, that I wasn't going to make the time cut-off, nameless people clasping my shoulder or patting my back in a show of understanding and solidarity. "I feel your pain my brother, I've been there, it sucks, but you are going for it. Soldier on!" I can't tell you what that meant to me, but it was a lot.
One gentleman who obviously reads my blog, "Oh no, Andy, I'm so sorry." I'd never met him, but he's been following me and cheering for me.
I met a beautiful lady and her husband from Salt Lake City, and her remarkable crew at breakfast in Twin Lakes on Sunday. We were both too fresh and not sore enough, we knew we a two DNF's at the same place. She was also one of the 18 who had the Grand Slam snatched at Leadville. We talked, she has also been keeping tabs on the blog.
And of course the fabulous Florida Ultra Runners. You guys..... you rock. Advice, money, supplies, but mostly love and support.
I lost the Slam, but I gained..... I gained, if I ever have to pay it back, well, I hope yall take checks :-)
(tomorrow pictures, I swear, gotta draw this out someway, don't I?)
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
In a normal year Leadville will claim a full 1/3 of the souls attempting this incredibly hard feat. This year is not a normal year.
This year the Slam started with a higher than normal number of participants, 37. Thirty plus seven of us went to Squaw Valley in hopes of completing Western States and the three other jewels of the Slam.
June 28, 2008, Western States: I've seen Fire.
Without even firing the starter's pistol 10 Slammers called it quits at Western States. The race committee at WS prudently cancelled the 35th running of the Western States 100 due to raging wildfires throughout California, several of which threatened the race course.
The Grand Slam committee quickly chose an alternate race, the Arkansas Traveller 100. This is where 10 Grand Slam Applicants, either unable to secure more time off work, short of funds, travel weary, or simply no longer interested with Western States out of the picture, withdrew from the Slam.
Now we were 27.
July 19, 2008, Vermont: And I've Seen Rain.
Vermont is normally the easiest of the Grand Slam races, but following the lead of Western States, this is not a normal year! Vermont's temperatures soared to near 90 degrees with humidity approaching triple digits. This humidity turned into significant rainfall and hail storms on the course. Still, Slammers are a hearty bunch and 24 of the 27 of us made it through the entire 100 mile journey. Our times and our bodies suffered, but most of us were alive to fight another day.
Now we were 24.
August 16, Leadville: This would not be the Sunny Day that would Never End.
Leadville normally claims a full 1/3 of the Slam participants. Last year there were 30 signed up for the Slam and 10 didn't make it through Leadville. At Leadville this year, I guessed that Leadville may claim up to 1/2 of the 24 remaining Slammers. That proved to be an optimistic assessment.
500 races stood on 6th Street in Leadville with cold rain pounding on them as they waited for the 4 AM start. Within a few minutes after the start that cold rain would turn into hail. A couple of hours later the hail turned into sleet and later still snow. Leadville with it climbs to near 13,000 feet of altitude is never an easy race, with the challenging conditions on this August day the race was near impossible. There were some heroic efforts, most of which ultimately ended short of the 100 mile goal, and only six of which ended happily at the 6th Street Finish Line in Leadville.
And Now they are 6.
How tough was it?
Out of the 24 well trained Grand Slammers, none finished in less than the 25 hours required for the "big" buckle.
The fastest time by a slammer was from Arkansas' Stan Ferguson at 26:20:45.
Perry Edinger of Arizona, the fastest slammer at Vermont in 18:34:16, came in less than one hour before the cut-off in 29:18:33.
And then there was me.
I entered the Slam having finished 10 of 10 100 miles races.
After Vermont I was a perfect 11 for 11.
I've been training for this for a solid year.
I didn't even make it 1/2 way.
The Leadville website will tell you that I timed out at Winfield, the 1/2 way point. In truth search and rescue found me at mile 48 and the sherrif cut my wrist band on the spot. A race official then drove my wrist band to the Winfield aid station.
This was not a normal year. The slam saw fire and it saw rain, I am hoping for the remaining six that Wasatch will be a sunny (and not too hot!) day that will end in victory!
Congratulations and best wishes to:
Allan Holtz, MN 29:39
Carol O'Hear, 28:31
Dan Brenden, 27:55
Kristina Irvin, 28:53
Perry Edinger, 29:18
Stan Ferguson, 26:20
Please soldier on, please keep the slam alive!
I'll see you in Arkansas.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I guess the telling story came from the plane ride to Vermont. Sitting next to my great friend Jon Docs on the tarmac at the Tampa airport. Jon says to me, hey we're at 8 feet of elevation. He has an altimeter on his watch, he wasn't guessing. This was on the plane, the wheels must have been at sea level or below.
I tell that story so I can tell this one. Hope Pass at Leadville goes to almost 13,000 feet. Leadville is the nation's highest (altitudinaly speaking) incorporated city in the USA. It made a huge difference.
But, I am proud of my effort. I kept going as long as they let me. I kept going even when I knew there was no chance of making the time cut-off. I kept going even thought the altitude had reduced me to one minute of walking 30 seconds of rest. I kept going even when I was dizzy and had to lay down (no nap, more like avoiding passing out.) I kept going after the time cut-off had passed. I kept going until search and rescue found me and cut off my wrist band.
I'll write a report later, but just so you know, I'm fine, I'm happy, I really exciting about skipping Wasatch (no way I'm putting myself through that torture twice in a month) and I'm excited about tackling Arkansas (I want to see if I can still do relatively well on a fairly flat no altitude course).
Thank you all for your huge support, I didn't think I'd fail, but I went down swinging and I learned it's the journey, that's the stuff.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
That said, they have a great race in spite of themselves. And one thing they do very well is update interested parties on the whereabouts of runners. Vermont, I love those guys, but they don't even have a clock, if you aren't wearing a watch, you may as well wait till Sunday noon and check the Internet to see if you finished and if so when. Arkansas, same.
So, today isn't Western States, so my guess is you don't know where I am on the course, heck, I may not know either. I aint lying, I'm scared of this one, it's high in the mountains engulfing Leadville, it's not a Florida friendly course.
But, I will not quit. I won't nap on the course (shoot that can turn into hypothermia and even a light death in the Rockies). I won't lose my phone, so I'll be able to call SuperDave and update him. I will soldier on, I will do all I can do to be all I can be to have a super nice day and keeping my higher being and my power animal in the forefront of the cosmic karma (good pizza!) at all times. (Just practicing stream of consciousness for mile 83.6.)
Be cool (underrated movie with John Travolta and the Rock and Uma)
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Well, the weather service says, "It's going to be cold out there campers." Oh joy.
Er, I'm not in trouble... not yet, I'm in Chase's office working on his computer, shoot, I've got hours more of relative comfort before I go to Leadville. Oh higher being, oh power animal, oh great goddess of the handwarmer be with me!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I'm cool with it.
Guess that's what happens when you get older, you can't just drop the weight (except maybe from your chest to your belly!) like you used to could.
Hey, I'm off to Leadville today, wish me and belly good luck!!
(will he be 2 for 2? Garsh, I hope so!)
Monday, August 11, 2008
Here's your Leadville weekend forecast:
Yeah, ok, I'll have to bring jackets, gloves, hats, but I am NOT wearing the tights! I am not a dancer! You will not be able to take one look at me and know my religion.
I wore tights for a race once, only once. I was in good shape, I had been competing in triathlons, I proudly went to a 10K wearing my tights, I even got a compliment from a local hottie. When I got to my buddy's house, his mom was visiting, Steve was wearing tights too. His mom, an old-school soul from Tennessee, said, to us, "What in the hell are you wearing?"
Steve responded, "What mama? A pretty girl even said we looked good in our tights.
Steve's mom didn't miss a beat, "Son, that girl lied to yall."
Nope, haven't worn them since, aint gonna neither! Don't care if we are likely to get snow flurries in the mountains.
................ I don't think so Scooter!..................
Man, I had it sweet for the last year or more, free high speed wireless, with a clear connection from right next door. Now, shhhh-ot! No unsecured wireless in sight.
1) Only blog at check e-mail at work (economical until I get canned for doing it!)
2) The public library. Good for an hour a day, but they close early and they don't like it if you work on the computer in your underoos!
3) Bite the bullet and PAY for Internet. Ouch!
What you think?
Friday, August 8, 2008
They have 561 entrants! This is an out and back course. It's gonna be a track meet!
Course, from the 40% finish rate, I guess it won't be as bad on the way back.
Also I noticed that of the 1000 (X .561) entrants only 4 of us morons are from Florida. Most runners are from states that end in an olorado.
On the plus side, I checked the weather, an absolutely worthless endeavor 8 days before the race, and the prognosis is..... perfect conditions! Low of 40 degrees and high of 70. Maybe, just maybe.... nah, it'll get hot, maybe not Vermont hot, but Africa hot anyway!
How do I feel about it?
The song of the week pretty much says it (Hey, I think I taught these cats in the video!)
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Well, I go back to work in... two hours. Am I ready? Yeah right! That means, er nope, but I best be getting ready.
They do ease us in though, for the first week it's only the teachers, then the apples of our eyes, the students come in and make everything better and more fun. And that lasts until homeroom on the first day. Then I'll be grumpy for 9 1/2 months, but then more vacation. Ah, who am I kidding, I love school, even when the kids are there!
Gotta go, longer letter later!
Tail on the scale: 173 again. Surprising since I haven't had solid food since Sunday (it's the had a tooth yanked diet, and I don't recommend it!)
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Thank you Star. Thank you Armando!
Top Drawer, Top Drawer, you guys are.
It was fun hearing about each of the adventures out there on the course. Seems we all had highs and lows. But we hung in there as long as the medical dudes let us, which was till the bittersweet end in almost every case.
During the party I gave my rookie attempt at a "mock cast" trying to copy Chase Squires most excellent Podcast of the Bighorn 100 in 2006, available here:
Well my effort had no professional editing team, but if any of you have Power Point and would like a copy of this slow moving (like me!) 30 minute presentation, I'd be more than happy to send it to you.
Monday, August 4, 2008
They called him Wilson.
Yeah, well, what I remember most about that movie was that Tom Hanks' character had this massive toothache. Anyway it got so bad he finally took a rock and bashed himself in his own mouth to lose that tooth.I am not going to do that, but I did call the dentist for an emergency appointment (not the same one Chase went to, this one has a real license from THE University of Florida and everything) So, don't look for pictures from Andrea and Armando's fabulous brunch, they are such great people, until I am able to concentrate on something besides, "When are my four hours up? When can I take more Advil?" Hopefully tomorrow.
Until then, A-Man
Friday, August 1, 2008
I went to make some toast this morning before my little morning jog and noticed that the Harley watcher, had eaten 1/2 loaf of bread and the better part of a jar of peanut butter. Now that's no big deal except, he spent all of let's see ..... 16 hours in house alone with Harley . And I had taken him out to Breakfast Wed. morning. And his mom had took him to lunch on Wed. afternoon. Still despite the brevity of time, and the being taken out for 2 meals in 16 hours he managed to do the following damage, I am NOT making this up! SuperD, could we have done this in such a short time?:
10 Pepsi's (Wild Cherry)
4 Starbucks coolers
.75 Gallon of Ice Cream
1/2 loaf of Bread
1/2 Jar of Peanut Butter
8 Special K bars
6 Quaker Chewy bars
2 Smart Ones Mac and Cheese Dinners
As I was putting away the groceries just now I noticed:
6 Pop Tarts @ 210 per.
I'm sure the ripples will be felt for weeks as I go to grab something.
Jeez, common courtesy says leave one! WTF?
Karno was taking in 5 - 6 thousand calories a day while running a marathon a day for 50 days, guys that up there is, schmitz, that's like 8,000 calories while watching TV. That's 8,000 calories in 16 hours, not counting the Pancake, egg and bacon breakfast, nor the Burger Fries and Milkshake lunch! You know that's 10,000 (now at least 12 thousand!) Calories in 16 hours! Happily, the cous cous and asparagus leftovers I had in the fridge were still safely stored when I got back.
I have no response to this, but my man Weird Al has one thing to say..... Just EAT IT!
Ok, Well, the young man is 16, and at this point still very lean, personally, I'm going for a run... right now!