Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Off-Road Rage

This will surprise everyone (except for Chase and some 10-year old kid).

Doctor Frank and I were running at Morris Bridge Park on Sunday (aka Trout Creek, aka Flatwoods, aka Wilderness Park) and enjoying a leisurely run through the woods on a beautiful day. We'd had the trail to ourselves for quite some time, so neither of us were paying all that much attention to anything but our feet and nature.

Hence, we were both caught off guard when a burly mountain biker came screaming towards us toward the end of our 13 mile jog. I saw him just in time, and Frank must not have understood my warning, as he was a nanosecond later in stepping off the trail. No collision, no squealing of brakes, so no big deal...... to us. The mountain biker was livid. He let loose a string of threats and obscenities regarding trail use.

Well, Mathews wasn't taking this without a few words and threats of his own. "Hey, A-H, you better take it down a notch right now, or that bike is going up your bum sideways!"
Burly mountain biker replies, "No F-U, you Pu$$y, these are our trails too!"
Mathews: "Pu$$y, well you're the one riding away!" (and thank God for that, because: A- He was a big dude. and B-He was a lot madder than I was!)

You know, I almost always say live and let live, and mountain bikers are usually the worlds nicest people, but like Slaid Cleaves says, "Sometimes you've gotta act like you've gotta pair."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Croom Zoom is On!

For those that have been asking for a 100 mile race in Croom we are ...... we are...... we are getting closer! The 100 miler will not be in 2011, but all signs point to go for 2012. The better news is, The Croom Zoom 50K/100K on either Jan. 15 or 16.

All the details haven't been ironed out yet, but the course will consist mostly of 4.5 mile loops in the Vortex at Croom. Space will be limited to 50 total runners. The price tag will be modest. There will be a BBQ to follow the event. There will be awards. It will be fun!

Greg, Steve, Chris, A1 and A2 can vouch for the value of training in the Vortex, and we are all eager to see how racing in the Vortex will go (here's a hint, find out which race Chris and Steve are doing and run the other! Those guys are just too fast!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pinhoti is Alabamian for Slippery Rocks!

Well, number 14 is in the books. That makes me 14 for 16 (I think an 875 batting average).

It wasn't my fastest (20:47) or my slowest (32:10), but I felt that 26:07 was a solid effort. The course, while beautiful, was not designed with me in mind. Lots of steep climbs, not my specialty, with very few long runnable downhills, which is my specialty. I knew I wouldn't be winning the race when after climbing for an hour to the high point on the course, and soaking in the spectacular view, we headed out for what I thought would be a long down hill patch, in which I could catch the field. Well, as we were at the pinnacle, we did descend, sadly the descent was straight down through jagged rocks. I kept looking for Sam and Frodo as I was sure this section known as Blue Hell was near the gates of Mordor. I know for sure I saw Smegal at some point. Needless to say my specialty is NOT climbing hand over fist down a mountain and I caught no one.

The course wasn't the only thing that slowed me down. There were 7 falls along the way. Some gnarly! I hit my knee, my elbow, my wrist, my other knee, my arse. I was a stumbling and a bumbling! Those were some slippery, and well hidden rocks. In addition to the stumbles there were the "Pit Stops." Sylacauga, Alabama isn't known for fine Italian food, but it is known for greasy food. Well when you combine Pizza and grease, you get 5 pit-stops in the woods. I had carried enough supplies for 3 pit stops. Let's just say that there are two cotton running gloves a few miles apart in the Talladega National Forest than I wouldn't want to wear again, ever... under any circumstances!

Later on there were some very nice downhills and I was very happy with the way I ran, but in general given the course and my poor selection in trail shoes for the first 1/2 of the race my time wasn't nearly as good as my effort would have dictated. Happily, I was ok with that. I just wanted to run as well as I could and I did that. I didn't waste any time at aid stations nor did I walk when I should have run. For the most part I just relaxed and used that savvy veteran patience and let the course dictate my action.

Here it is in a school interview. My part is from 1:45 in till the end (boy do I look tired, er, I was!):

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This isn't your Grand Pappy's Alabama!


Pinhoti Alabama is having a live webcast! Shoot when I went to college in Alabama the only web they had spiders in it. Their technology consisted of two Bush's Baked Beans cans and some kite string!

But, they are now part of the "new South." they have the Internet (after it was a guy from another Southern state, Tenessee, that invented the Internet, Al Gore)and they are having a Webcast for the race. Here's the link http://ultralive.net/

The bib numbers aren't up yet, but I'm sure you'll find it. Track us all:

Andy Slow as Molasses Mathews Bib #630
Andy on a Roll Barrett #575
Greg Virgin Vannette #1578
Chris Motor Mottola #633
Steve "Wheels" Wheeler #1581

Oh, yeah!