Friday, February 29, 2008

2/29/2008 Happy Leap Year!

Is Happy Leap Year something that you even say? I'm not sure. Oh, well.

Ok, so back to my at-work drama. I believe I am going to switch jobs. I am ready for something more flexible so I can get back to Mark's life. Meaning: my wife, my kids, my running, etc. Life has to be "about ME!" It's too short for anything else. I have let this last year in that ER overcome me and turn me into things that I have learned I don't want to be. So here I go, off into the wild blue yonder! No, I'm not joining the Air Force either, I'm going to work for a medical staffing agency for quite a bit more money and lots more flexibility.

Now then, with all that settled, this weekend has to be about running! Lots of running. I need to make up for lost time. I hope that my fitness base is strong enough for me to ramp up my mileage quickly and keep me healthy for the Grasslands. We shall soon see. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

2/26/2008 La Sportiva Raceblades

Okay, since La Sportiva discontinued my favorite shoes, the Slingshots, I have switched over to running in Raceblades. I really like them even though they are a little more shoe than I am used to. I ran the Bataan Memorial Death March in them last year and really liked them but at that time they rubbed a blister on my right middle toe. So for some reason I had totally dismissed the idea of continuing to run in them. Anyway, fate has forced my hand and I ordered a new pair that is a size larger than the ones I wore last year. I love them! They are amazingly light and comfortable. And, man, you cannot beat the color scheme of these shoes. If you can't see me coming then you have a big vision problem! Once again, ain't life crazy??

Monday, February 25, 2008


After working the last three days I was finally able to get outside this morning and put in about 6.5 miles. Life has really gotten (gotten's not really a word, I know, but we use it here in Texas)in the way of my running lately. I am really having doubts as to if I am going to be ready to run the Grasslands in 25 days or so. I think that if I can get in at least a 20 miler or so by the time of the race I will be okay but who knows. I will just keep trying to push myself and see what happens. I am now considering looking for another job with a little more flexibility in the schedule and possibly even going back to school. The ER is so busy now that it's not even fun anymore. The hospital is so full that we have to hold admitted patients in the ER since there are no rooms at all. So in essence, we are running an 8 or 9 bed Level 1 Trauma Center. Crazy! I've been working ER for over 11 years now and it is definitely not the same. The fun days at work are over I'm afraid. Again...........c'est la vie!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Do you ever have those days where your run is just a bunch of CRAP!!?? I had every intention today of running a good 10 miles out on 1585 and after the first two miles my body just didn't want to go at all! I basically felt like "hammered dog shit!" That's the best comparison that I could come up with. My legs were fatigued and tight and did not want to move. I went ahead and turned around at 4 miles out and slogged back to the house making it a final count of 8 miles. Not sure what the problem was but not even my "Kick-Ass, Run Like Hell" playlist on my Ipod could get me out of the funk. I guess that's what happens when you rub nice weather in peoples' faces. We learn our lessons the hard way sometimes. Well, I am going to head to the hot tub with a glass of Merlot and some Advil and see what happens tomorrow!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I went with Aubrey this afternoon for a leisurely 4 mile run down 1585. It was only his second run since Rocky and he was feeling pretty stiff. He ran the Cotton Patch 8 miler but really had a hard time with his left knee which is pretty disconcerting. We kept a 9:30 pace and about a mile from the truck his left knee started acting up again. We'll just have to figure it out I guess. Aubrey is a Clydesdale which I know would make running far a little harder. Hopefully it's just a stressed ligament or tendon from Rocky.

I need to start picking up the mileage this week in preparation for the Grasslands. I want to run at least a 15, a 20, and a 30 before I go. Shouldn't be a problem.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


It's cloudy and cold out today. It rained like crazy overnight. And I can't get off of my LAZY ass to go do ANYTHING!! I am sitting here in my running gear with a beanie on my head, trying to force myself outside...............and I am half-falling asleep. I have a hand bottle in the fridge ready to go and everything but nothing is working. I believe that when it gets that hard to get out the door then you probably need to take the day off. At least that's my rationalization for it. Probably here in a little bit I will do some upper body strength training and core work but no running for today. Soooo lazy!

C'est la vie!! and Que sera, sera!!

The post above this addendum was written about 2:30pm. About 3:30pm some energy (that I guess fell out of the sky) hit me and I got up and ran a nice little 5 mile loop around the house. The coolness of the air made it more exhilarating than originally anticipated so that was a big plus. I maintained about an 8:30 pace without too much effort so I think that's good as well. So once I got home I hit the weights and worked chest and arms, then did 100 crunches on the stability ball. Yeah!!

Ain't life weird??

Monday, February 11, 2008


I got out this afternoon and ran a leisurely 5 mile loop from my house out to 1585. I didn't push too hard today either. As I mentioned before I had planned on running the Cotton Patch Run as a recovery run but that didn't happen so I took it extra easy today. The wind was blowing out of the west fairly hard so I was glad most of my running would take me east. Man, I hate the wind. (And I live in the plains of Texas!)

Back to work tomorrow for three days and then off for the weekend again.
Oh, and I posted some new pics from Rocky Raccoon below as well.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

02/09/2008 Cotton Patch Run- WTRC

Today was the Cotton Patch Run with the West Texas Running Club. My plan was to run the 8 mile race as a recovery run. Impossible! If there are people out there racing then you're obligated to race too. ha My legs still felt pretty fatigued from last Saturday but all in all I felt OK. I ran it in 1:10. About an 8:49 pace. Not bad I don't think. I got to chuckling as I came in to the first aid station at 2 miles out. I thought to myself, "Where's the brownies and M&M's??!!" Oh, well, I just grabbed a cup of Gatorade and took off again. I can't wait til next month for the Grasslands 50.

So my son, Zach ran the 4 miler and I think he was the only kid in his age group that did it. The rest of the kids ran a relay with 4 kids to a team for a mile each. So CONGRATULATIONS TO ZACH FOR BEING THE STUD OF THE DAY!! He ran it in 38min and 42secs and won first in his age group!! What a man!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Just a quick blurb to let ya know how I'm doing. My legs are feeling perfect again, maybe just a slight bit of fatigue in the quads but otherwise good. My left big toe where I kicked the root is pretty sore still. I wish the toenail would just go ahead and give up the ghost. Stupid toenails just get in the way of progress anyway. ha I have an 8 miler with the WTRC scheduled for Saturday and it's a nice flat out and back so it should make for a good recovery run. My son has asked to run the 4 miler so we'll see how he does. He's a wiry little squirt so I have loads of faith in him. I'll keep ya posted.

In the pic are my kids.............Zach, 10.5 years and Makenzie, 9 years

Monday, February 4, 2008

2/2/08 Rocky Raccoon Race Report

This was my first 50 miler. It was fantastic! I wish road marathons were this well organized.
At 0700 on the dot, we were off. I really didn't know what to expect from myself or the course but I "knew" it was going to be a long day.
It was to be 3 loops of 16.67 miles each on the trails of Huntsville State Park. My drop bag was left at the lodge where we would pass at the end of each loop. I knew that the aid stations were close enough that I would only need to carry one hand-bottle and I carried about 20 S-caps and 6 or so GU gels in my small trail pack. I planned on taking one gel every 30 minutes or so.
Aubrey and I just hung out at the back of the pack from the start so we wouldn't go out too fast. It worked. I actually think, in retrospect, that it might have been too slow for me personally. However, it was nice to kind of settle in and just put one foot in front of the other. Our plan was to run 20 minutes and walk 5 minutes. I stuck to it pretty well for the first loop and then kind of ad-libbed after that. As for the course itself, it was beautiful. The trails were mostly covered with pine needles so it was pretty soft footing. We were forewarned that there was a lot of tree roots on the course. If you've ever had to run tires in high school PE then you can understand how parts of this course were. Very challenging. There were also several fairly sloggy areas but they were easily traversed without getting muddy or wet and some had wooden bridges over them. Some of the bridges were incredibly long and felt quite springy underfoot which made them a really nice change of pace. There was also a good mix of inclines and declines so the course was pretty diverse. At one point of each loop you come out of the woods and climb a small hill to overlook the lake and it was gorgeous in the morning, like black glass. Definitely a highlight! The first loop felt incredibly easy to me and I ended up leaving Aubrey about 30 minutes behind. He had intended to keep a slower pace than me from the beginning so I kind of expected this. Once back at the lodge and my drop bag I reloaded my pack with GU, took some Advil, and ate a couple of brownie bites. Damn, they were good! The aid stations were amazing, and the volunteers were even more impressive. As I ran into the aid stations, the volunteers basically "attacked!" They filled your bottles, directed you to the calories, and patted you on the back. They also encouraged you to pat someone else on the back out on the course. The race was made by these people. THANK YOU SO MUCH ALL OF YOU!! I truly felt like an elite athlete because of them.
So I took off from the lodge for the second loop. I still felt good, no fatigue or aches as of yet. I never really ate much at the aid stations other than a few peanut M&M's and some peanuts. I also caught a hankering for Coke late in the second loop which seemed to help the ol' energy level big time. The second loop for me was fairly uneventful. At the end of the second loop I changed to my size 43.5 Slingshots from my 43's. I didn't change my socks simply because I didn't want to see how my toes looked. ha It was also warming up pretty nice so I lost my Spandex undershirt and just kept my North Face pullover. It made it much more comfortable for the last loop.
I really didn't know what to expect for the last loop. Before the race started I figured that I would end up walking most of the last loop and I was wrong. I felt really good and was able to run most of the time. As I headed out again I ran into Aubrey and saw that he was still doing well. He said that he had fallen about 4 times but didn't look too worse for wear. ha Somewhere about 4 miles into the last loop I kicked the shit out of tree root with my left big toe. It didn't give me any problems at all during the race but it's definitely jacked now. Anyway I got to the aid station at the end of the out and back portion and saw that I was only 10.1 miles to the finish and that boosted my confidence big time. I mentioned that to a fellow runner and he sourly told me that he was a 100 miler and he had 50 more to go. Oops, my bad! I drank a couple more cups of Coke here and took off again with a little more spring in my step. Anyway I kept a decent pace from there on out and was able to finish in style with a half-ass sprint down to the finish line in 10:25. I came in 55th out of 138. Not bad for my first experiment with this distance.
I honestly cannot express enough thanks to Joe and Joyce and all the volunteers who made this race so amazingly enjoyable. I sincerely hope to see you all again next year when I take on the 100 miler. Thank You!!

Oh, and Aubrey finished the race in 11:51. It had fallen into darkness and I was really getting worried about him since he didn't have a headlamp or flashlight on him. However, he made it in with the help of one of the 100 mile runners who happened to have an extra flashlight. Thank you, Sir, whoever you are!