Across the Years - Here I Come....

Well the Across the Years race has officially started, and looking at the leader board for the 24hr race, I am in 35th place and I have not left work yet. The leader board can be seen here. For those of you that want to check on the current standings of the race, you can go here. The race ends January 1, 2009 at 9am (Arizona time). Since the race is a 24, 48, and 72 hour race, they started today with all the 72 hour individuals, about half of the 24 hour runners and about a third of the 48 hour individuals. Tomorrow at 9am the 24 hour individuals that started today will end and the most of the 48 hour individuals and a couple of the 24 hour runners will start. On Wednesday at 9am, is when the rest of the 24 hour individuals (including me) will start out. I choose to run the New Years eve start, because at midnight, there is a great clelbration and fireworks for everyone. Also, if I make it 24 hours, the awards ceremony is shortly after the finish of the race.
Also, you can send messages to any of the runners by going to the Send Greetings page. While you are at the ATY web page, you can read bios on all the runners. I spent some time reading up on who I was going to be running next to. There were too many runners that have done Badwater, and I believe there were about a half dozen runners that have completed the Trans America run (Across the USA). Several current and former world record holders of distance running.

I hope you can check out some of the web site, and cheer me on to my first official Ultra. I guess I should spell out what my goals are:

#1. Have FUN

#2. Run 100K (hopefully by mid-night)

#3. Stay on my feet 24 hours

#4. Commit to doing it again next year.

Will I make it 100 miles, I doubt it, that would be 322 laps, and never being above 50 miles before, I am not betting on it. However they do have that belt buckle for the 100 miles. Maybe next year.

I hope you all have a great New Years, and will give a recap of the race on the other side, and I do not mean one that goes like lap 1, lap 2, lap 3....


Great weekend and wrapping up the year

Earlier last week, I went in for my blood work, and Friday I got the results. Everything was outstanding. My cholesterol was down 100 points this month, and now in the really good range. The meds I have been on for cholesterol are no more, we will retest in a couple of months. The lab work indicated that the meds for weight loss, have not made any adverse effects on my body, except loosing 18 lbs in one month time frame, I weighed in this morning at 174.4 lbs and I feel a lot of that was due to dehydration. We will see what tomorrow holds in store for me.

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to get in my last long run before the ATY race in 9 days. I went out at a normal casual pace of a 11 minute mile pace for the first three miles. I was really feeling good and started to let myself run and mile 4 turned into a 10:17 and mile 5 was 10:05 and mile 6 was 9:22. I got to thinking that this feels great and I might as well do the first 13.1 miles as I feel comfortable doing, since I am now about half way there. Here is how the first thirteen miles turned out:

  1. 11:00
  2. 11:01
  3. 10:56
  4. 10:17
  5. 10:05
  6. 9:22
  7. 9:17
  8. 9:27
  9. 9:20
  10. 9:15
  11. 9:52
  12. 9:38
  13. 9:43
    .57 seconds
    The total 1/2 marathon distance came out to 2:10, which is a PR for me. I then walked 1/2 mile and then continued the remainder 3 miles at a 14 minute jog pace.

I only took some water and by the time I was done, I had some stomach pain and it would not settle for a couple of hours. I completely depleted my body of all stored energy and I was truely wishing that I had some of that Gu that was sitting on my dresser. It was far from my intentions to go "All out", but I was feeling really good and enjoying the outside.

I am now in the taper mode for the ATY - 24 hour run.


A great Monday

Yesterday turned out to be a great day.

It started off with going to get my blood drawn for Fridays Dr appt. Then Lori and I took our son to his Dr appt, which was clear across town. His appt went well and his Dr wants him to start running, exercise and build some muscle. When we left the Dr. we got a call from Chad and Julie and they both took the day off work and were running around, so we agreed to meet up for lunch. We drove about 30 miles to meet up with them and had a great lunch and conversations. When we finished lunch, Lori, Nicholas, and I headed to Roadrunner Sports to look at new shoes. Nicholas got a new pair (that is now wrapped for a Christmas present), and I picked out my next pair of Asics which I will buy on Friday (payday) and wrap them up for a Christmas present to myself. When we got done there, I had plans to go to REI sports, since they have rock climbing gear there and my son really loves rock climbing. We went there and I told him to look around and Lori and I would be looking ourselves. We found him in the rock section, trying on new climbing shoes. He also got fitted for a new harness and rigging's. I will have to return and get some more Christmas presents for him. I picked up my copy of Fixing your Feet, and then we went to pick up our other son who was in school.

We got home and I grabbed my bag and headed to the gym for a good interval run.

2 minute at 12 min mile
4 minute at 8:34 min mile
2 minute at 12 min mile
4 minute at 8:34 min mile
2 minute at 12 min mile
4 minute at 8:34 min mile
2 minute at 12 min mile
4 minute at 8:34 min mile
2 minute at 12 min mile
4 minute at 8:34 min mile
2 minute at 12 min mile
4 minute at 8:34 min mile
2 minute at 12 min mile
4 minute at 8:34 min mile
2 minute at 12 min mile

Headed home and showered and ate dinner with the family.

Oh, yea while I was out all day, FEDEX came bearing gifts:

I got an email from OutsidePR and Sports Marketing and they came across my blog and was interested in sending me some Gu Roctane to try out, well the sent me two display cases full of the stuff. Just in time for Across The Years and my long run this weekend. I will give some feedback to them and you as to my liking of the product.


The good, the bad, and the ugly

The good news is that I have been on adipex for 31 days and the results show:

I have dropped 20 lbs in 31 days, (and a grand total of 65lbs for the past 21 months) however as you can see from the chart above the weight loss is starting to taper off. I will probably take the medicine for another 10 days, since that is how many pills I still have. My goal is to get to 165lbs and from there start building muscle, get more endurance, and continue to eat healthy. I would really like to not focus this next year on weight loss and on improving on what I got. For the past couple of weeks, Lori, Ben, and I have started lifting weights at the gym after our runs. For me the run is to go 1.5 miles from my house to the gym and then 3.5 on the treadmill. They show up shortly after I do and they run for 25 or so minutes. The weight lifting program has us doing 3 sets of 15 reps each, so the weight is not too high, but by the 15th rep we are suppose to be expended. Last night we did our routine, and we did bench press, incline bench press, cross overs, pull downs, dips, and crunches. They all felt great and we were all able to bump up our weights. The program we are on is a 12 week transformation program, and it seems to be doing well for us.

Now for the bad news, sometime during my workout, I hurt my foot. The pain is on the top of my right foot, around where the tongue of the shoe would be. I am limping and massaging it now, and if it continues to hurt through the weekend, I will schedule an appt to have it looked at. The good part about this, is if I do not move it, it does not hurt.

The ugly part is that that I have 19 days till I race the Across the Years, and I plan on being on that foot for 24 hours.


Luckey number 7

Today was the first time I saw a 7 on the scale in the tens column (and Lori was my witness).

Taking the kids today to see santa at Bass Pro Shop, I think I will ask for a 6 for Christmas.
Now off to church to give thanks for that 7.



I was tagged by Amy to list 6 things that make me happy.

  1. My kids make me happy, not when they are arguing with each other, but when they are listening and being will behaved.

  2. The joy of running, it is hard to believe that 18 months ago I began with a morning 5 minute walk, and now I will go out for a strong 2 hour run through the desert.

  3. Having a secure job, there are so many people out there that are stressing over layoffs, etc. I am glad to have been in my job for over 10 years and have a union contract that spells out how layoffs would occur and I am way down the list.

  4. My over all health has never been better than it is now. I may have had less body fat on me when I was in the military, but I have never been so fit in my life.

  5. Rediscovering God this year.

  6. My ever special and carrying wife. I do not know what I would do without her by my side, in good times and bad times. She has been there to hold me up and to support me when I have fallen.

Thanks Amy for the Tag.
I will now Tag Chad, Julie, Java Mom, and Pat

Post Thanksgiving reflection.
Wednesday after work, I drove my son and I up to the in-laws house in Kingman, AZ. Lori and the rest of the family went up on Tuesday, so they got a longer weekend than I did. The ride was pretty un-eventful, dark, long, two lane road.
Thanksgiving day, while the food was cooking, I ended up chopping down a couple of LARGE trees, without falling it on the house or solar panels. Then, I had to cut the branches off and haul them off to the landfill. With the useful wood, I cut and stacked it for next years fires. Turkey dinner was good, a little blan for me, but I was limited to 500 calories for the meal. (One serving of Turkey white meat is about 200 calories).
Friday, I had my father-in-law put me in the bucket on the tractor and picked pecans for most of the morning and then husked them which left my hands black. They still are and now only looks like I changed the motor on an old car. The stains which penetrates several layers of skin takes several weeks to wear off. We also used the tractor to remove the stumps from the trees that I cut down.
Saturday, I ended up climbing up the windmill and oiling the motor, and repairing a couple of the blades. We then finished harvesting the remainder of the pecans and got more stains on my hands.
Sunday, I got up and went for a nice two hour run. There are lots of trails by my in-laws live and since I did not have a water bottle, I limited my self to two hours. I was able to pull 10 miles and 1500 feet elevation change up and down. The trails were some of the most scenic trails that I have ever been on and they are just right there from my in-laws house. Afterwards, we headed to the cabin in the Haulipai mountains to pick up some stuff we left over the summer. As we were pulling out and locking the gate to the cabin, there were about 6 deer, and I rolled down my window and had Kimberly unbuckle and she climbed on my lap. One of the deer came to the window and she handed the deer an apple. After the deer ate the apple, she came back and kissed Kimberly's hand. I tossed a couple of apples to some of the baby deers that were no taller than 2 feet tall. After watching them for some time we drove home.

On the weight loss front,


Happy Thanksgiving

I am now wrapping up the week of work (all 3 days) and getting ready to head out of town for the weekend. I just wanted to wish each and everyone of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.


Weight loss in the right direction - DOWN

First off I was able to get out and get in a one hour run in this am. I discovered that If I get up at 4am and I can be at the gym and on the treadmill by 4:30am for an hour run and get to catch up on the news. When I got up, I did my usual routine and got on the scale, (who is one of my new friends, although still on probation) and he told me that I am looking marvelous. Oh yea he also said that I now weigh 185.0! WOW, I have not weighed that much in years (and lots of them).

Well, the new medicine that the Dr has me on has done a number on me, like 12 lbs in 11 days. That is more than a pound a day. At this rate, I should be light enough to be blown across the track at Across the Years.
I have about 15-20 lbs to go, which will put me at about 10% body fat, and I can then restart on building lean muscle mass. I would like to have my body in top physical, mental, and spiritual shape with no problems of cholesterol, excess fat, stress, etc.


JJ100 Race weekend Recap Part 2of 2

And the story continues......
I was prepared for when Leigh came thru after her fourth loop (60 miles) to pace her even though earlier she told me that she wanted me at mile 75 (loop 6). She came in and it looked like the full day of sun beating down on her had taken some of her spunk out of her, so I asked if she wanted me to pacer her from this point forward. Her reply was that she would really like me to join her, but the really needed me later. I told her that I will be there for her when she needs me, and does she want me now. She said Yes. So, while some of her friends/crew took care of her. I got on my bottles/fanny pack and lights(s). We headed off for our 40 mile run.
The small talk started with introductions if each other, how ever she could have called me any name during the run and I would be ok with that. Discussed some logistics as to her preferences for me running in front, beside, or behind her. Whether she considered a slight incline as a steep hill yet, when she would walk, march, or run. I was trying to sum up her mental and some physical conditions after going 60 miles. Leigh seemed extremely coherent and alert, which makes my job of pacing and caring for her much easier. Later on during the first loop, I learned that she was having some stomach pain and so we went thru the nutrition checklist, since it was not morning yet, I ruled out morning sickness. It looks like we will have to suck it up and keep going. We managed a good pace that was manageable for her and I knew that I would not have any trouble keeping this to the finish line. Just as we left the second aid station (Jackass Junction) a runner indicated that there was a snake on the trail ahead. In the distance I could see another runner shining their flashlight on it, so as we approached Leigh swerved away and I shined my flashlight in the 15in long Diamondback Rattlesnake, this snake looked like it was sleeping and it was actually very cold out for snakes, so seeing one was a surprise to me. I looked for a marker and about 100 feet down the trail was a glow stick hanging on the tree. Now on our way back we could be alert to its presence.
The end of lap 5 (mile 75) I was feeling wonderful, and Leigh's friend from Fleet Feet came over and took to her needs while I restocked my supplies for the next 15 mile loop. It was around 1:15am when we came into the headquarters, and my son is sitting at the computer with Jamil. I told him to go to bed like his brother has done and I would see him in the am. As we were leaving, I asked Leigh's friend from Fleet Feet, if he sees my son up, to let him know that I told him to go to bed. If us parents don't stick together, then the teenagers will walk right over us. We were heading down the trail on loop 6 and only got about 1 mile down the trail when Leigh indicated that she intended to change her shoes out at the last stop, I looked at my gps and we were one mile out, I could run back and get the shoes for her and run and catch up to her and make the change at the next aid station, but not knowing which pair was hers and where they were, and leaving her on the trail alone. The risk was there for allowing Murphy and his laws to step in. I suggested that we change them out the next go around, and she seemed ok with that. We continued marching up the 7 mile hill and as we got to the glow stick, we both started looking for the snake again, it had crawled away and went to bed. We got to the next aid station and got some soup and took a quick potty break. As we left the aid station and took the left turn at the end of the park to head south, the full moon was out and the silouets of the mountains made is such a beautiful night. The trail seemed to go on forever and I even started looking for orange markers, and I put them out there. We never left the trail, but it seemed to go on forever. We did manage to get some good runs in during this segment, then we finally made it Jav. Junction. where she as a close friend at that gave her a chair massage, while I let the rocks out of my shoes and inspected my feet and applied some Vaseline to them. Leighs friend gave me some ginger cookies to feed to her every couple of minutes for the next stretch, which I did until she threatened to bury me in the desert if I gave her one more. I still have the cookies in my coat pocket, maybe I will mail them to her, or save them for the next time I pace her. We finally got thru the rocky down hill section and the sun came up, we could finally turn the lights off. With about 2 miles to go on this loop, we passed Anthony as he was taking the final loop, offered congrats to him and we headed in from Leigh's 6th loop. We got to the Start/finish headquarters area around 6am or so, the computer was down and timing was now by stopwatch. I indicated to Leigh's friend that she needed to change out her shoes and her blister popped an hour or so ago. I wish I knew this individuals name, but he was a wonderful resource and cared for her very well, what a great friend. After a few minutes of rest, we shook the dust off us and headed out for her final lap (10 miles). We both found some stored energy and were able to make some time up with short quick runs every minute or so. We came across Bob one mile out and he was heading in from his 6th loop (about 2 miles behind us). As we approached the final aid station I was running low on Gatorade and water, I forgot to refill at the last aid station, so I had to stop and fill up and we got some fruit and we were on our final 3.8 miles downhill to the finish line. We were doing some runs, but mostly walking because Leigh felt her heart pounding hard and I told her that we will only go as fast as her heart allows. Then on the down hill, I looked back and Gary Culver was right behind us. Gary is a runner that I run with each weekend for our long runs and canal runs on Thursday nights. The two of them started talking, and then Gary politely departed and headed down the trail with his long legs. Gary only beat us by 9 minutes.
When we got down the hill to the bottom of the riverbed and the 1 mile to go sign that I placed there on Friday, Leigh started to thank me for helping her and we were both a little emotional about the entire thing. For me it was making sure that she got to the finish line safely, and for me it was the first time I ran over 26.2 miles and I was wrapping up 40 miles. We got to a short distance from the parking lot and I saw my son sitting on his bike watching for us, I took off my waist belt and jacket and gave them to him so Leigh and I could go across the finish line together. We made it across the finish line at 28hours 7 minutes. I proceeded to escort her to the medical tent to have her blood pressure checked and make sure her heart was doing well. I gave the medics the information that I could, as to the times when we noticed issues, etc. I then went to get a quick snack, said goodbye to some new and old friends. and had to take off for home.

I got home and took a bath and crawled into bed while my wife took our daughter to a birthday party, I for some reason was to tired to attend. Got up after a couple of hours of rest and went to dinner with the family. Monday I was back at the gym doing jogging laps in the pool. wanted to take it easy for a day or two, but now I am back at the usual routine.

Now that things are back to normal, I can focus on family, training for ATY, and weight loss.

I am now about 6 weeks out from ATY (Dec 31, 9am) 24hr run. I can not thank Leigh enough for giving me the training I needed for the ATY, I can now taper from the long run and get a couple 25-30 milers in over the next couple of weeks. I am following a strict schedule on my running as soon as I write it down. In short I have no clue what I am doing. I figure it is like training for a 5k just multiply each days distance by 20...?

On the weight loss front, this past week, even with running 40 miles I was able to drop 8lbs in 7 days. I did only drop an additional .7 lbs yesterday, since I had birthday cake (my lovely wife turned 28 (again))....Happy Birthday Lori, I love you.


JJ100 Race weekend Recap Part 1 of 2

I am doing this recap in two parts, the first being a volunteer and the second being a pacer. Thursday night, I decided to invite my two boys out to the JJ100 to camp and volunteer. Friday am I told them that if they wanted to go, they had 30 minutes to get ready and have their stuff in the truck. Nothing like being well planned. Nicholas and I dropped Ben off at school since he had a presentation to give on Friday, then the two of us went to the local fire wood store and filled the remainder of the truck with firewood for the weekend.
We got out to the starting area of the race and unloaded the truck and set up camp. By about 10:30 we headed out on our mountain bikes to flag the course (another one of my duties). I spent the next 4 hours riding and stopping every 100 yards to .1 miles and placing flags so that people would know that they are on the correct trail. Then where other trails merge with the route, I would put lots of Blue flags so that Bob would know not to go down this trail. It worked, he stayed on the main trail most of the time, and even found the finish line. Good job Bob.
Back to my story, when we finished, we headed back into town and picked up Benjamin and the three of us went back to camp. We got there in time to meet Bob, Tony, Jamie Donaldson (Badwater Course Record Holder), Rick, Dusty, Angie, Leigh, JavaMom, and many others.
I was suppose to pace Tony a lap, and Rick was going to pace him the remainder of the race, but it was determined that Rick would pace Tony the entire time (laps 5-7). I was OK with that, there were many other people that could use a pacer, and Bob mentioned that Leigh did not have one, and asked her if she wanted one. She did and so I planned on pacing her. When she would want me and for how long she would put up with me was still unknown. We tentatively planned on me going with her from mile 75 thur 100, but things can change. I did not have a problem with going 10, 25, or 40 with her, but we would leave that up to her.
Was able to sit down with my boys and some other runners that were camping near us and got to know each other a little better. Really great company the entire weekend. After dinner, the place cleared out and so we started a campfire and was sitting down with some new friends from Berkley and one of them looked over towards me and said what is that? I turned around and about 10 feet away was a pack of 5 Javalina's heading in to see what is left over to eat. After a while of socializing, after a while, we figured that the night would be too short, so we all headed to bed.
At 4am bright and early, I got up and turned on all the coffee pots for the racers, fixed some eggs for my boys and myself. Then I started checking in the runners. At 6am the racers were off and running, and I sent my two boys out to a remote aid station for an 8 hour work day. The did wonderful, many of the runners and volunteers that knew that they belonged to me, said they did a great job. (I guess I can hang my head high). I went out for a easy 4 mile run with Chad and then took a shower, while he did another 4 miles. At about 9am Chad headed out and was not able to meet up with some of the other blogger. I stayed around the headquarters (start/finish) area and helped runners as they came through with their water bottles, food, etc. until 8:44pm when Leigh came in from her fourth lap and looked like the past 60 hours was starting to take a toll on her. I asked if she wanted me to start pacing her now and she agreed. So I filled up my bottles and grabbed my lights and we were off.
To be continued in part two.....
photo credit to Will LaFollette


Ropelling and Zip Lines

The last of our pictures from Mexico came today, so I thought I would share some with you:


Cabo Dolphin Adventure

Here are the pictures of the Dolphin Adventure in Cabo San Lucas.


Royal Caribean Vision of the Seas cruise review

I am taking one blog and dedicating it to the review of my cruise and the accommodations.
We arrived at the Long Beach terminal at 1:30pm on Sunday and proceeded to check in, before we knew it we were on the ship without our kids :) We went to our room and dropped off our carry on bag and proceeded to explore the ship. First off on the 10th floor is the running track (1479 feet around, or 3.5 laps to about one mile). On the three days at sea, I was able to get in a 10, 14.5, and 5 mile runs) That would be my first international 1/2 marathon! :) The fitness center is also on the 10th floor. In the fitness center they have about 10 treadmills, a aerobics floor, some machines, and dumbbell's. We checked into the Vitality program and that is a program where if you partake in one of their fitness activities they give you a vitality token which you can cash in at the end of the cruise for some gifts. I still have 4 or 5 left, so if someone is going on a Royal Caribbean cruise and would like them, send me an email. Also on the 10 th floor is the shuffle boards. From there we went up to the 11th floor which is a night club. We then proceeded to the 9th floor where at the front of the ship is the buffet, then making our way back is the main pool and 4 hot tubs (although not too hot more warm, this is one of my few complaints about the ship). Behind the main pool is the indoor pool with the glass roof and two more hot tubs, this area is for adults only, is seemed to be a social area for adults and was decent area to hang out, because you do not have the wind that you get at the other pool, remember the ship is going around 25 miles an hour. Finally behind the indoor pool is the spa, where Lori and I both got a couples massage (90 minutes) which was in a corner room with the wall of windows looking out the side and back of the ship. I wanted this room for my cabin. The two ladies that gave us a massage, did an excellent job.

Some other notable items about the ship, our room was on the fourth floor inside in the very front of the ship, next to the main theater, so we hear the music/ performance each night. Although this was not too bad, we could have had the dining room next to us or above us. I heard from someone on the 8th floor, that they could hear people walking by the pool above them, if they listened carefully. While researching the cruise ship, I learned to bring clothes pins to hang up the wet clothes in your cabin, however I did learn that the hangers will hang from the privacy screen in the room, so you can hang the clothes from the hangers.
This being our first cruise, I brought the sleeping pills, and we did not need them, the ship literally rocked us to sleep each night, it was so peaceful and great. I did set my alarm to go off at 5:30 each morning, so I could get up and go running. I would start in the pitch dark and watch the sun slowly creep up into the sky. With that and watching the dolphins in the water while running, was a nice treat. Running on a moving ship, is a lot like trail running. Although the surface is flat, with the movement of the ship, the track would go up and down very slowly with the waves, I have heard some people complain about it, but I loved it. The track went from the front of the ship to just before the smoke stacks, so you never smelled the exhaust of the ship.

The first night we went to the dining room and was escorted to our table, and was greeted by our waiter and assistant waiter. Boon was our waiter and he was from China I think. The assistant waiter was Mariska and she was from South Africa. I told her that I want to bring her home with us (OK, her fiance can also come along). This was her first cruise as a employee, and she did an extremely wonderful job. I ordered a coffee and Lori ordered hot decaf tea with dinner. Each night, we would get to the table and my coffee cup and creamer was on the table and Lori's tea cup and teabags were there waiting for us. By the time we would get seated, the hot water for the tea and coffee would be pored for us. We shared a table with two other people, a lady and her 4 year old son. We somehow only had dinner with them 3 times during the entire cruise. Very nice people and a pleasure to have at the table.

We were anchored in Cabo San Lucas, because of the shallow bay, on Tuesday and we signed up for the activity of swimming with the dolphins at the dolphin pool, worth every penny that we spent. After the briefing and getting life vests on, we were able to sit on the side of the pool and pet the dolphins, then we would jump into the water one at a time and the dolphin would come up and kiss us on the cheek, and then we would be able to kiss the dolphin. We then went into the middle of the pool with a bar and held it up for the dolphin to jump over (I did it twice, holding the bar not jumping). I then had the dolphin roll over and laid on its stomach and went for a ride around the pool WOW that is awesome. Near the end we all (about 8 of us) got into the pool and the dolphin swam around us and we got to pet it and splash around with this awesome animal. We decided to purchase pictures of us with the dolphin and they cost $25 each or a CD with 8 for $100.00 which is what we did. I will upload them later. We then proceeded to go to Poncho's Mexican restaurant. Lets face is around the bay, is the tourist trap area and even a Hooters there. We started to get away from the main area and asked a taxi driver where he would recommend and he sent us to Poncho's which was real good food and great Margaritas. The restaurant is located at N 22° 52.900 W 109° 54.795. After lunch, we did a little shopping and made our way back to the ship.
The next morning we docked were in Mazatlan and when we got off the boat, we walked along the dock to the front of the ship between ours and the Princess cruise ship in front of us and caught a catamaran boat that took us to the island across the water way, where we walked a short distance to the beach where we put on life vests and went for a short 4 mile paddle in a kayak and this was done as a large group of 10 to 15 boats of two. About 1/2 way around cactus Island I decided to jump into the water to cool off. Very refreshing. We then proceeded to paddle the boats back through the surf and to the beach, where we had food and drinks available to us. The group then had the option to go hiking, or swim. Lori and I decided to go swimming in the ocean, since we can go hiking anytime at home. Lori got her hair braided on the beach and I bought a hammock swing. We made it back in plenty of time to do some shipping near the port terminal.

The next morning we arrived in Puarto Viarta, where we caught a zodiac boat and took it to the small town of Boca located at N20 30.760 W105 18.949 where we then boarded some big trucks and that took us to the to the base camp for the Zip lines at N20 28.776 W105 16.044. Here we got fitted with equipment and got on some mules to take us to the top of the mountain where we did about 12 different zip lines ranging anywhere from 50 feet with a angle of 50 degrees to 600 feet with a much less angle. The first several zip lines are above the jungle trees and have a great view and maybe 300 feet down to the ground. After about 7 different zip lines we then rappelled down a waterfall into a crisp clean pool of water. A couple of more zip lines then we walk out onto a platform over a waterfall and do a free fall rappel. The last zip line is set up as two, so two people can race across the 500 foot canopy covered run. You get going about 50 mph at the fastest part, this was such a rush, and once again worth every $$. The pictures that their photographer took sell for a couple $100.00 for a CD. They do not print pictures there, but you get a CD.

The next two days at sea started with the captain getting on the intercom to announce that we would be pulling into Cabo San Lucas to drop off someone that needs medical attention. Some elderly lady was walking on the deck and apparently slipped and broke her hip. So, we pulled in to the bay and dropped a lifeboat that they loaded her into and drove her to a waiting ambulance and the boat returned and we headed back out to sea.

We were in Long Beach on time on Sunday morning where we elected to take our own bags off the ship rather than having the valet service do it. We were one of the first off the boat and were heading to Six Flags for the day. We got there 10 minutes before it opened.

Let me say this about Six Flags Magic Mountain. If you are going there for any other reason than roller coasters, you will be very disappointed. It is full of teen agers and dirty. There is gum everywhere from people spitting it out and even throw-up on some of the ride platforms. They have about 12 good roller coasters and it costs $60 to get in plus $15 to park. Weigh your options before going. We did have fun riding the rides and some scared me to death (X2 ride).

Over all a great vacation, and now back to catching up on all the work.


Race Report for Cactus Cha-Cha 2008

The race was great, it started off cold (for us thin blooded humans). It started off almost on time. First Lori was part of the 5K wave, and she did awesome. She ran the entire time, with out her ankle giving her any trouble.
The called the 7 miler group to the start and I headed for the middle of the pack. Chad headed for the back of the pack. Within 1/4 mile Chad had passed me, so I just paced my self off of him. We got to a sign that indicated it was 1 mile for the mini-cha-cha. They take an additional loop so it was only about .7 miles in for us. It caught some people off guard that there was the first mile. I continued to pace behind Chad for a few more minutes, then I continued to pass him up the hill. I never looked back for him after that, I just focused on running the best I can for the entire time. At about mile 3.2 we encounter 4 switchbacks and the person that was following behind me asked if I was going to run the entire way up. I said "you bet I am" I then asked the only person in front of me if they were going to run up them and the person just got out of the way and I took off up them. At about 3\4 of the way up, I came upon a large group of people that were briskly walking so I just fell in behind them for about one minute. When I crested they all seemed to pull off to catch their breath, and I took off down the other side of the mountain. I was out of the technical area and along a flat area, so I looked down at the distance and it read 4.88 miles, then BOOM, down I go. Got the knee and wrist banged up, but I do not think I missed a beat, I was up and going, only this time focusing on the trail. I then came across the finish line at 1:12:58. 5 minutes better than last year and a new PR for me. Oh yea, Wes I did beat Chad, but that will be short lived (I will gloat in the mean time).

In the morning I head to this:

To go here:


The deep FREEZE Arizona style

I was reading our local trashy newspaper, and here is what is heading our way:

If you have been waiting patiently for fall, your perfect weekend has arrived.
Today will be warm, but it all begins to change on Saturday when cool weather - yes, actually cool - rolls into the Valley from the north.

High temperatures Saturday and Sunday will remain in the 70s, according to the National Weather Service. The last time a weekend stayed below 80 degrees was in March.

Last night I went for a run with Chad to stretch our legs, before the Cactus Cha Cha run on Saturday. With the forecast, I will need to find my parka and Yacktracks for the early morning run. I think we will hang out with Chad and Julie on Saturday and Sunday before we get snowed in, we will head for Mexico.


Just keep swimming

Last night, we went to the gym for a swim. we did 700 yards. Lori wants me to start swimming, to help build my cardio and as a preventive measure for injury. I need a goal for most activities that I get involved in, so I found a training plan that is 0 to 1760 yards in 8 weeks. It has me swimming 3 days a week, starting with 700 yards 4@100, 4@50, and then 4@25 with no more than 15 seconds rest between each set. For the most part, I did well, and then hit the spa. We started packing for the cruise, and I think I packed more workout clothes than any other clothes. I even packed The Stick and the Trigger Point roller and ball. Tonight Lori and I are getting together with Chad for a run, should be a great evening with the weather, etc.

My friend Michelle has given me an "I Heart Your Blog" award!

Thanks a lot, Michelle!!!

This comes with another responsibility: to post another six random facts about myself and "tag" another six bloggers with some blogging love.

Here goes nothing:
1) I have OCD, Once I get something going, I do not let it go.
2) I LOVE politics, you know there is the right way and the wrong way to look at things.
3) I have a slight fear of snakes, I can look at them in a cage, and even hold them if they are handed to me, but I fear comming across one in the wild. I am prepared for when it does happen, I know what to do and that is to get Chad between the snake and I.
4) I hated school until I went for my master(s) degrees. From grade school through college I was happy with just a passing grade, and they were not all passing. My first graduate degree I graduated with a 3.2 gpa and my MBA I graduated with a 3.8 gpa.
5) If I could go back to school, I probably would choose Law school.
6) I am the black sheep of the family.

So there you have it.

I am hereby tagging:1) Bob2) Chad3) Julie4) Lisa5) Pat and6) Poke


Weight loss in the wrong direction

First off, the food intake has not change, and the exercise has only increased and I gained 5 lbs since Friday. Now for the truth behind the numbers, DRUGS (Legal prescription drugs). I am one of the many people each year that seeks treatment for ADHD each year. I have been taking medication for about 4 years now, and the drug I have been on has a side effect of weight gain, high heart rate, excessive sweating, etc. About a month and a half, I started a reduction of the quantity I was taking and started to see results on the scale, with minimal effects, which was good. As of a week or so ago, I had eliminated the medication. The results were a successful/failure type of results. I was short tempered, dizzy, shakey (more than normal), and the weight was pouring off. Saturday, I got to the point where I had to go back onto the medication. I followed up with my Dr. yesterday and he had some good news for me. He is removing all his patients that take the drug I am on, and changing them over to a new drug, that does not have the side effects of the old one. Needless to say, I am optimistic and happy. I started the new drug today, and will see how it does over the next month. He also wanted me to follow up with a local Internal Medicine Dr (that he goes to) to have my metabolism, cholesterol, and other checkups, to make sure that we do everything possible to get me in top mental/physical shape.
I know that you are thinking that this is maybe TMI, but I wanted to share this with you, and get some frustration off my shoulders.


Another slide in the right direction.

New Book for the Vacation in 9 days:

This morning, I weighed in at 186.8 (187) and only 9 days to go till I go on vacation.
I lost 10LBS in the last 18 days.

Last night, I got with the running group and knocked out 7.63 miles in 81minutes. I ended up burning 1341 calories :)

Here is what I did yesterday:
7.63 miles

Food Intake:
Honey Bunches of Oates: 130 Calories
Milk: 60 calories
Cliff Bar: 240 calories
Salad w/ South Beach Italian Dressing: 100 calories
Carrots: 25 calories
Celery: 35 calories
Sugar Free Jello w/fruit: 50 calories
Almonds: 50 calories
Redvines: 420 calories
Beef Tip Meat: 200 calories
Steamed Veggies: 70 calories
Total: 1380 calories

Final Result (This morning), 187 lbs. 17 to go
Total Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) (2129) - 1380(Consumed) = 749 deficit
Total Calories burned exercising = 1341
Total FAT Calories used = 2090


Moving down the scale again

This morning, I weighed in at 188.0 and only 10 days to go till I go on vacation. I would like to be at 180 by next Sunday morning, but we will see what the big man wants for me.

Last night, I was able to kick some dirt and scored 5 miles in 50 minutes. For those of you in congress or our banking industry and can not do any math, that would be a 10 minute mile pace per mile. I ramped up the pace to see how the calories would pay out. I ended up burning 755 calories :)

Here is what I did yesterday:
Run: 5 miles

Food Intake:
Honey Bunches of Oates: 120 Calories
Milk: 60 calories
Cliff Bar: 240 calories
Oatmeal to go: 220 calories
Tomatoes: 25 calories
Celery: 35 calories
Apples X 2: 70 calories
Almonds: 150 calories
Cheese (laughing cow) X 2: 70 calories
Banana: 90 calories
Carrots: 50 calories
Hershey's miniature chocolate: 125 cal

South Beach Turkey Dinner: 240 Calories
Water: LOTS AND LOTS================================

Total: 1490 calories

Final Result (This morning), 188 lbs. 5 down and 18 to go.
Total Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) (2129) - 1490(Consumed) = 639 deficit

Total Calories burned exercising = 755
Total FAT Calories used = 1394