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: