Friday, March 30, 2007

Wildflower Training

Two cupcakes and I...oh and bikes too

Long, Long Post. Eat in slices.

Friday morning I rolled out of bed groggy and tired but excited. I was up till the wee hours of the morning finishing work related stuff and packing. Spamsi was my ride down and being the Social Director in charge of the whole show she had to be there early to get things rolling. As I got ready I started to have a craving for coffee and donuts. That's me when I'm tired, a desire for coffee and sugar. Well it was my lucky day, after getting coffee from the coffee shop downstairs, waiting for me in the car was a pleasant surprise - two cupcakes.

Spamsi, besides all the other stuff that she needed to do had also been baking like a fiend. She made cupcakes and bread for her cabin as well as a three layered cake for Coach Neil whose birthday was on Saturday. Even the cake frosting was made from scratch. Spams my birthday is in November. I ate my two cupcakes on the way down and managed to sneak out another from Cabin 5 later that evening. I picked the right time to attend my first WFTW.

Image courtesy of Spamsi.

So off we went. Picked up some supplies along the way, met up with other folks as well, had lunch. We got to Lake San Antonio around 2:30PM. It was nice and warm. I was tired yet excited. I couldn't decide whether to nap, swim or bike. Unfortunately it wasn't up to me, there was stuff to do before the rest of the club checked in. By the time I was done it was 5PM and time for my shift at the welcome table. I managed to get it covered however, got some folks from cabin 7 to join me and off we went to the lake for a swim. By the time I got back I just had enough time to shower and head out for my free 30 minute Chiropractor visit. Yup free. One of our sponsors sent down two of their guys to perform free chiro tuneups for Friday and Saturday. Pretty nice huh. Space was limited and the online sign up was full in minutes. It was however not a feel good thing, it was downright painful but I felt loose and better afterwards. The chiro guy, Adolfo, made a comment that he'd never worked on someone with such tight legs. Haha, I didn't tell him about my slacker habits with stretching and the type of miles I put in on the weekends. The rest of the night was spent at Cabin 5 (event headquarters). There was a meeting the coaches session and an ice breaker. During this whole time people were coming in, not everyone was able to leave the city early and registration was open till 11PM. A lot of folks choose to carpool which was a great thing. I'm sure new friendships were made just on the way over. Good to have company on a 3 hour drive, 4 with traffic. In between all the activity at C5 I managed to get some food down, wasn't the dinner I was thinking of though. No one was cooking at my cabin, good folks but no cooks.

Bike clinic / briefing.

We were up by 7AM in my cabin. I had the couch, everyone else had the rooms. I choose to be in the living room because I snore when tired, besides I had it all to myself. We made breakfast and hung out for a bit. By 8:30AM we were down at C5 for the Bike Clinic. The coaches from Endurance Mill Valley and Coach Neil from TriMoreFitness was holding court. I was snapping pictures with Spamsi's camera while trying to source out a pair of bike shorts since I had forgotten all of mine's. The long ride on running shorts would have been uncomfortable, I wanted that padding. Fortunately Alan was able to lend me one. I wasn't worthy to wear his shorts being that he consistently places in his age group but I was very grateful. There were 2 rides that day; long course of 56 miles and the short course of 24. I was with the long folks. Matt of Endurance Mill Valley had a lot of good points on the bike, the one that stuck with me was the "circles on the hips" advice. I've been practicing that since Saturday. Basically he told us to stop focusing on our feet so much, a mistake a lot of people make since the foot is the interface with the pedal. Instead he had us focus on our legs, hips. Make the circles of your bike stroke in your upper legs not with your feet. I thought that was genius. I always focus on my feet.

Ride started easy enough, there was about a 100 of us, maybe more and we managed to stay together at first. As we were riding out of the park there was a pack of Deer on our left watching us go by. One of them even moved to the edge of the field to take a good look at us. I thought it was cool but didn't think much of it until 5 minutes later when I saw a brown streak to my left closing in fast on a perpendicular path to the road. I applied the brakes and the lead deer came flying across about 20 yards in front of me. I made it through but the riders behind me started yelling, "DEER! DEER! DEER!". The other deer in the pack came running through like a mini stampede, galloping right across the path of the bike group. Fortunately no one was broadsided, something must have spooked them.

After the little excitement I settled in. I was still riding alone until I fell behind a group that was making good progress, a bunch of folks that I knew. I latched right on to the back of Lori's wheel. She in turn was behind three other strong cyclists who was leading the group. In cycling you are faster, save more energy when you ride in a group, provided you're not the one in the front. The phenomena of drafting is illustrated well by boats. The lead boat(s) plow through the water creating a smoother path of water behind it. Boats following behind use less energy, travel faster because of the smoother path. Same with cycling. The person in front creates an air pocket behind them, people riding behind encounter less resistance, you can imagine how much more beneficial this is when there is a head wind. Lori and I were the slower riders in the group and couldn't contribute by taking our turn in the front. The group traveled at a good rate of speed and we passed a lot of riders this way, especially those who were traveling alone. Eventually however the people in front kicked it another gear and Lori and I got "dropped", the cycling word for getting left behind:) Once you fall away from the slipstream you will find yourself being rapidly left behind. As Lori fell back a few bike lenghts I jumped ahead of her to see if I could bridge us both back to the group, her riding behind my slipstream as I inched back to the group. No dice, they were just moving too fast at that point. Both exhausted we pedaled along until a couple of friends passed us and we hung on their wheel. Again we rode together for a few miles until ultimately we got dropped again, we had wasted too much energy trying to hang on to the first group. Hahaha! We were like orphans looking for a family. It stayed this way until the first aid stop. There we met up with a group that was riding a few minutes behind us and we rode out of the aid station with them. This group Lori and I rode with for the rest of the ride. I knew Lori but never ridden with her before and it was a fun experience working together like that. Cycling really emphasizes teamwork and I love it when it happens. Unfortunately drafting is illegal in triathlon. The course was beautiful and not too hilly. The weather warm but not too hot. Towards the end of the ride there was one substantial hill, "nasty grade", it was nothing. About 1500 feet for 1.5 miles. It's a good climb and I'm sure come race day it will hurt but it ain't all that. If you're not used to hills it's a big deal but here in the bay area there is not a lot of hill free rides. The climb up Nasty Grade was followed by some long downhills. The women in our group was absolutely fearless, they took point and pushed their bikes to 47-48 miles an hour. I was at the back at 43 mph. I'm not ashamed to say that I do get squeamish on the downhills, all it took was a couple of falls. By the time we made it back it was about 12:30PM. Some of the folks in our group were extending their ride by a few miles, Lori and I declined and made a beeline back to headquarters. There were a select few that was riding the course again for 112 miles, race distance of an Ironman bike event. I was happy with my 56 miles. Ran into the cabin, inhaled more energy gel and energy drink and I was off to the 1PM Swim.

Swimmers Blur
Swimmers headed down to the lake. Image courtesy of Spamsi.

The swim was great but oh so slow. It took me forever to swim a mile. I won't post the time here because I am greatly embarrassed. One of these days I'm going to sign up for one of those swim clinics where they video tape you underwater, go through the tape with you, prescribe exercises that you can work on. Maybe in the summer. Anyway it was slow and steady. I am however comfortable in the water. Come race day that swim will get done one way or another.

From the swim it was off for a 2 hour run. I had no idea where to go so I just followed the bike course until I found some trails. Great thing about this area is there are a lot of trails and fire road but even the fire roads here are softer than what I'm used to. It would have been longer but I promised to help out, take pictures during the "transition contest", the video of which was taken by Brian McNitt (see previous post). I had just literally finished running when I joined the crowd. The ladies were not pleased:) I was sweaty and very salty. Most people had already cleaned up and were ready for the BBQ. Bah so what. I had a beer and took pictures of the event.

The Saturday evening BBQ was delicious. Just the food I needed after a day of eating nothing but energy gels and energy drink. The beer slowed me down but made me hungrier. After my one beer I was done, I was content for the rest of the night to just sip lemonade. The first one mellowed me out so much that I didn't want to fall asleep in the middle of dinner. I had a good day and now I was just coasting through the evening. Everyone was in a great mood and all seemed to be having a great time. If you came into this event not knowing anyone you would have no problems.

With pals Mari and Alyssa at the BBQ.

Saturday night found me bouncing from a couple of cabins. C5 had snacks and Cranium, C11 were having drinking games and dessert. The campers up the hill had a fire going and were enjoying the scenery. Most people were done before midnight from what I heard, I know I was. The day wore me out.

I was up at 7AM again to finish packing and meeting Kelvin at 8AM for our long run. We had early checkout so I got my stuff in order and trucked it to C5 before the run. Kelvin was at C5 which made it very convenient. The afternoon before he approached me about skipping the 8:30AM Swim Clinic and doing a run instead, then re-joining the group when they did their run at 10AM. In triathlon you are supposed to spend the most time in your weakest event, for me that would be the Swim; however I needed my long run. It seemed like a win-win situation, I get my long run in with a running partner. Kelvin was one of the folks that did the 112 mile bike ride the day before. He's an animal when focused. No wonder he seems to never stop eating. Skinny but eating non-stop. So off we went by 8AM, both heavy with breakfast, both a little slow from the day before. Kelvin is a faster runner so our pace was a bit faster than I'm used to. But it was a pace I could keep up and I welcomed the challenge. After an hour we were grooving and we ran the half-marathon course in 1:46. The course is 40% asphalt 60% trail on rolling terrain. Again like the bike there was supposed to be this difficult was nothing but it does come at the 9-10 mile mark of the run. If you're hurt or wasted by this time, this hill will take your name. I still remember Big Kahuna last year where my back muscles cramped up and every incline was torture. I will do my best not to make that mistake again, besides I've been riding this season. We got back in while people were just getting started on the Run Clinic. Kelvin and I spent the time getting something to eat and doing some easy jogging to stay warm.

As we started on our second loop, I felt great but it passed quickly. As they say in Ultra, "if you're feeling good don't worry it will pass". It was a struggle to maintain my earlier pace and my heart rate was close to or at max. Then my legs started to feel really tired, undoubtedly from the activities the day before and from keeping up with Kelvin. 4 miles into it I let Kelvin go, backed off and settled on a slower pace. The second half was definitely more challenging and it was good to experience because come race day I would probably enter the run feeling much like this or worse. Good to get that practice now. The silly hill wasn't so silly anymore but it still made me laugh, this ain't no hill. I managed to get lost which is so like me and tacked on an extra half-mile to my run. That's so typical Rick! The second half cost me about 2 hours this time. That run did me in. I was no longer maintaining a normal walking gait after that. Cleaned up and called it a weekend.

WFTW After Run
After the run.

We stayed until most people had checked out and then it was off to the outlet malls at Gilroy, there we met up with other folks at Inn-n-Out for burgers, fries and a milkshake. It tasted great after such a weekend. By this time I felt like sitting at every opportunity. While Spamsi did a little shopping I sat outside and greatly enjoyed all the sitting. I wore myself out! What a great weekend.

WFTW weekend was everything people said it would be and more. Endurance Mill Valley and Tri-More Fitness did an excellent job coaching. The people were great. People have made comments expressing the same especially from the new kids. The caterer for the BBQ did an excellent job and we have them again for race weekend. The weather was fantastic. I thoroughly immersed myself in the workouts and the socializing, not a wasted moment on my part. And most of all, Spamsi did an excellent job of putting it all together. This is her second year as Social Director so the torch is going to get passed to another at the end of the year. Whoever it is has big shoes to fill.

There was only 20 people at track on Tuesday and most of those who showed up were at WFTW. We must have all looked worn out cause coach M2 canceled the benchmark workout we were supposed to do that night and gave us a recovery workout instead. Kelvin only completed half of the exercises which put a smile on my face, you just couldn't see it cause I was having my own problems getting my 200's done:) Tonight at Spin I was back in form, still a little tired but crankin like a fiend even with my 4 layers of clothing. Sweating like crazy, hot but having a good strong spin. This was followed by a 23:32 5k on the treadmill, although by this time I shed the layers - couldn't handle the heat anymore. Mari who was on the second class complained of being tired all week, hahaha good job Mari now just give your body some time to recover.

I took a lot of pictures, we also opened solicited images from the club and I took ownership of editing, organizing and posting all the pics to our team Flickr site. If you want to see more images here are the two options we gave our members. Enjoy.

WFTW07 Highlights

Complete Set

Monday, March 26, 2007

What A Weekend

The whole WFTW training weekend lived up to it's billing. After hearing about how great it was for the last 3 years I've finally gone and experienced it - excellent. I am so thoroughly worn out but in a good way. Much kudos goes to Spamsi our Club Social Director who was in charge of organizing the whole thing; setting the date, securing the cabins, organizing the events, securing the coaches, getting the schwag bags printed, answering all the questions, dealing with the evite, dealing with last minute cancellations, handling the cabin overflow, dealing with the campers, stuffing all the schwag bags with all our sponsor's give aways, giving me a ride:) and a ton of other details that I don't even know about. So I'm still in the process of writing a weekend report. I also got to use Spamsi's camera and have a ton of photos to process for our club, a few select ones will make it to my report.

In the meantime check out this video that Brian McNitt did during one of the events. I'd explain it but he does a better job on his blog. Brian is an excellent guy, long time member. Speaking of videos I wish I had a video of him doing the bag game Saturday night. A drinking game where you stand on one leg, arms on the side (not allowed to touch the floor) and attempt to pick up a paper bag using only your teeth. Easy? Not when you've been riding your bike and running earlier in the day. Oh and the paper bag is shortened for difficulty. But I digress once again. Enjoy the video, check out the gorgeous weather - nuthin but sun. Back with a report later.

Friday, March 23, 2007

WFTW Training Weekend

Pictures from a dying camera. At Fairfax during a 70-mile ride with the club. Excellent, excellent ride, legs were jelly for the rest of the weekend. Overlooking Golden Gate Bridge the next day during my long run. Need new camera!

What a crazy week. It's 4am and I'm just getting done with what needed to be done so I can skip early today for our training weekend. WFTW for Wildflower Training Weekend. It's a weekend set up to train for the Wildflower Triathlon in May but it's really more like a club retreat. We head down there today, sleep in cabins, have coached workouts and a chance to hangout and get to know other club people. About 150 us is headed out for the weekend, a little less than a 1/3 of the entire club. It's a 4 hour journey South. I've never been to training weekend because Wildflower, the actual race, always falls on the same weekend as the Miwok 100k. This year I've decided to skip Miwok for Wildflower so now it makes sense for me to go to the training weekend. Usually though people go anyway regardless if they are doing the race, rumor has it that training weekend is alot more fun than race weekend itself. We'll see, I should have a full report come Monday. Bit of some bad news though, my camera has finally called it quits. That little guy has been with me through 8 races, 9 volunteer events not to mention all the training rides and runs. Shopping for a replacement now. Has to be cheap, small and run on conventional batteries. Mebbe I can borrow a camera this weekend. We'll see.

But what a crazy week it's been, trying to squeeze 5 days into 4 was tough this week. Worked has picked up again, been up and down lately. It's been harder to get stuff done now that I've been strict about my 8 hours of sleep every night, tonight's an exception of course:) No more burning the candle on both ends. Well it will teach me to be more efficient or do with less. Been so busy I didn't even get to share with ya'll the absolutely great weekend of swimming, riding and running that I had last weekend. Ah well, next time.

Anyway just wanted to make a quick stop and wish you all a good weekend.

Monday, March 19, 2007

First Timers at Cool Canyon 50k

This past Sunday I finally got a chance to catch up with a couple of friends who ran their first ultra at Cool Canyon two weekends ago. Both are great athletes and both understandably were anxious and excited about the big day. Here and there they asked me questions and I was only happy to help. Heck I was honored.

Sunday morning I met up with John when he came to join our group for the club trail run. I spoke with him briefly Thursday night but wasn't able to hear more about the race. John's an older guy, I would say mid-40's. He looks like he's been active most of his life, I know that he did at least 4 Ironmans. Caught me by surprise when he told me he was doing Cool, I had no idea he was looking into doing an ultra. He was worried about his mileage and admittedly he could have put in a lot more so we just talked briefly about pacing during the race. "John walk your hills" exactly what I told him. His mindset was right in line with his fitness, he just wanted to finish in one piece:) Came in at 6:21. One observation he made which made me laugh. At the parking lot he noticed there was like 30 Subaru Outbacks. "Is this the vehicle of choice for the ultra folk?" I dunno John but I can see why; spacious, rugged, sure footed and comes in a variety of outdoorsy colors.

Then Sunday afternoon I was at church and caught up with Tim. Tim is a fast cross country runner, trains and races every year. He's older too, 40's. He mainly does 5k's and his longest distance for a race was a half-marathon. Belongs to a local running club here in the city but also hangs out with the Tamalpa runners over in Marin. I think those guys insipired him to run an ultra. At the Quad Dipsea last year he was at the finish waiting for friends who were racing and it was shortly after that when he mentioned about entering Cool. His issue was nutrition and hydration, his runs are so short that he doesn't need to carry a water bottle or bring energy gels. The thought of carrying those items wasn't appealing to him, sure I don't blame him but I also told him "Tim you need to train long for this race and to train long you need to keep your body hydrated and fed. If that means carrying a bottle and a couple of gels you should do that or run circles around your car". One afternoon he was beaming in the pew. He had just done a 3-hour run, he had never done a 3 hour run before. So you know I figured he would do okay but not great. I figured that all his training in the short distance would get him to the finish at a good time but issues with food and hydration would play a factor in slowing him down. Well I was wrong. I came up to him and said "5 hours". He looked at me puzzled, "5 hours for what?...oh Cool Canyon, I did 4. Sucker pulled a 4:03 for 14th place. It was a loaded field! Did he even know the people he passed to get to 14th? I was very impressed, almost speechless and embarrassed a guessing 5. What do I know, I'm a mid-packer. His major beef was that it was too hilly, "Rick the hills were steep enough on some parts that I had to walk, I'll consider doing another if it wasn't so hilly". So I told him "That's how it is in ultra" but I forgot to tell him that the 50ks here in the Bay Area have even more elevation. If he ever got serious with the 50k distance he would do well in ultra races but I think his heart is in cross country and the shorter distances. But what an impressive performance, speaks volumes about his experience, speed and training.

I was excited for these guys and I'm glad they came through in high spirits and intact, no injuries and no traumatic moments:) I hope they do another but if not I'm just glad they experienced it for the first time. To experience an ultra trail race full of great runners, excellent people, exceptional volunteers, great aid stations, amazing scenery, good camarderie, etc, etc, etc. They picked a great race for their first one.

Friday, March 16, 2007

A shirt from the SnorgTeescollection.

Made my day. I like funny shirts, I never buy them but I like them. I should come up with a couple of my own.
Happy Friday everyone. Feeling much better, got more rest this week. Bailed on the TAG tri-group training ride for tomorrow. Too short and much interruptions, plus I'm always sweeper. As much as I'd like to keep helping out I need a longer, harder ride if I'm going to get through the Wildflower Long Course triathlon in decent shape. I will be swimming with the group tonight though, although I won't be helping anyone. The volunteer becomes one of the students. I'll be lucky to keep up! I've just started my swim training. Such a slacker when it comes to the swim.

Joined a group for a 70-mile, hilly ride on the club calendar for tomorrow. I don't know anyone on that group which is nice. I know the route, if they drop me I can always make it back to the city on my own:) I should be fine. If everything feels fine Saturday I will be back out on Sunday for my usual long run and leading the club trail run at 10AM.

Here comes the weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Last year I designed a new website for EQ swimwear, a swimsuit company based out of Portland, Oregon. I worked on the new logo and Ellen, the owner, liked my work and our working relationship so much she asked me to do the website too. Created the artwork, got it approved, built the rest, made the countless changes, had a programmer program it, there was some issues with the back end and it went nowhere for awhile. Then tonight I got the notice that it's up. Sweet surprise. I've got a long way to go before I start designing some really kick butt websites but this one is okay. Still learning. I'm primarily an Identity (logos) and Print (publications, brochures, printed paper) designer.

Check it out here: EQ Swimwear

Something Funny

A friend just shared a story with me how a guy said "just Google it" during a presentation. They work for Yahoo. I thought this was hilarious.

Monday, March 12, 2007


With my good friend Tanya at Cafe Claude.

Friday night I was out with my good friend Tanya. Cafe Claude, a little French Cafe in an alley close to home. I had Escargot, Cheese and a lot of bread...oh and wine. Guess how well I felt the next morning on the bike:) Not too good.

But it wasn't the French wine or food that slowed me down this weekend. It's several weeks of hard workouts and not enough recovery. I'm skirting the edge of over training I think. I noticed it three weeks ago when I would wake up tired despite my 7-7.5 hours of sleep a night. I guess the changes I've incorporated to my training this year is just hard enough that my body has a hard time recovering. Besides, I don't get those hours of sleep on Sundays because I'm loving the pre-dawn starts. Sleep earlier you might say...ha it's the hardest thing for me, harder than a 100-mile race. I've been keeping an eye on it but I didn't do a very good job handling it this week. I had a fantastic run the weekend before and it was enough to upset the tenous balance. Another telltale sign was that I started eating more crap than usual. I was lacking the self-discpline to keep things in check. I promised myself more sleep if I just made it through the weekend but it wasn't to be. I rolled out of bed Saturday feeling okay. The plan was to volunteer for a couple of hours with the newbies in our TAG triathlon training group, ride for a couple more after that and later that afternoon a swim in the bay. Didn't happen:) After two hours of the training ride I felt like I was bonking, energy just plummeted. I knew it wasn't bonking though because I was drinking my energy drinks, eating my GU's. I cancelled the rest of the day. When I got home I didn't even change, I just plopped down on the couch and napped for 2 hours. When I awoke I didn't feel any better. Strange. So I just continued to take it easy. Sunday I cut down my 6 hour run to 3.5 hours. I was much better Sunday but still flat. Took it easy and expected nothing. Soon as I hit home I crashed again.

Weekend reminded me of the time I forgot to charge my cellphone. I only noticed my phone was almost out of juice as I was about to leave the house. Expecting some calls I plugged it in anyway, a bit of charge is better than none right. Unplugged it when I really had to go, it wasn't enough but it was something and fortunately it lasted. What little rest I got Saturday was not enough but it carried me through Sunday.

So it's clear that I'm gonna need more recovery time or cut down on my "activities". I'm gonna try upping the rest thing first. I'll see about getting my sleep up to 8-8.5 during the weekdays and I'll see about getting more sleep prior to my pre-dawn starts on Sundays. If I do all of that and I'm still waking up tired, undisciplined in my diet and not having that zing in my workouts during the week then I'll start eliminating or shortening some workouts. Hopefully it doesn't get to that. Cut out more of the TV probably. Be more efficient with my daily schedule. Stop hanging out with friends. Haha I was just kidding on the last one. I do enough of that already - neglecting friends. I do need to go through my schedule and make changes for the short term and mid-term.

The main problem I think lies in the fact that I just enjoy too many things and I need to choose. I like being the run director for my triathlon club and all the responsibilities that go with it. I like being a volunteer in the TAG triathlon group. I love training for ultra-marathons and triathlons. I enjoy my church community especially teaching Sunday school, in fact if it was up to me I would be doing that every weekend or at least more than the twice a month commitment I have now. I love my work despite the sporadic schedule and sometimes frantic deadlines. I like it when my friends ask me to design stuff for them even though it always takes time and no pay. I enjoy taking small vacations in the form of dvd movies. I love my moments of doing absolutely nothing as an anti-dote to all the busy-ness. All of that takes time though and I know I'm preaching to the choir when I say that there's just not enough of it.

As for Blogging? Don't worry that falls under "therapy" and won't see any "budget cuts" anytime soon.
Wish I could be like Dean and function with only 4 hours of sleep. Eh it wouldn't work anyway. If tomorrow I woke up with the ability to function and train with only 4 hours of sleep I would pile more stuff on the schedule.

I think what I need is better time management and restraint not more time. For the short term, more rest.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

2 For 2

Two cupcakes for 2 years in blogland for my friend Spamsi.

Shoutout to my pal Spamsi. Who among other things is a great cupcake maker/baker. She baked two cupcakes to celebrate the two year anniversary of her blog. Way to go Spams.

Rumor has it that on the last batch I ate 5 cupcakes in one Sunday afternoon during a club event. It was only two. It just looked like I ate 5 because I kept circling the tupperwares and had frosting on my mouth the whole afternoon. It was the same frosting I just wasn't aware of it. Boy did they hit the spot though, pulled a long run that day and had nothing sweet for my post run lunch.

She might be baking more this weekend. Since it's another 6-7 hour long run I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Rude Awakening

Miwok singletrack, bottom of a long downhill connecting to Redwood Creek trail.

Sunday I was 3 hours into a long run. Coming down the Miwok single track trail, headed for the Redwood Creek trail and Muir Beach Road. The trail was slightly muddy, some standing water. It was downhill and I was groovin, dancin left to right, leaping here and there, music was right on. I started dreaming that if there was a highlight reel for my run this would be it. I was feeling very very good. Flowing down that trail like water; softly, quickly and gracefully. I could hear the crowds cheering in my head, "go Ricky go". Then it happened. {*poof} I was on the ground in an instant, before I could say "whoa". I hit a root obscured by vegetation. I must have half twisted in the air, probably still day dreaming all the way down. I crashed on my right shoulder first finally ending in my back. I didn't even have time to throw my arms out or anything. Lucky for me I landed in a soft patch of dirt and mud, no roots or rocks. Can you imagine? Whew. There's been times in runs where I've thought to myself "If I eat it here, I'm dead, hamburger meat". Maybe I should have been thinking that, I would've have been more careful. Well I was blessed, I came out unscathed - just a sore pride and even more sore shoulder.

Moral of the Story: No day dreaming on downhills!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Happy Birthday J.P.

JP B-DayJP and Dad
J.P. at Khan Toke Thai restaurant Saturday night. With dad Sunday. JP, led the club trail run and dad came along.

Saturday night I and some of J.P.'s close friends were at Khan Toke for his surprise b-day party. His girlfriend Janet organized the whole thing. He was definitely surprised. Just a good night of eating, talking and hanging out. JP is one of the good guys, responsible, honest, down to earth. You can't go wrong with a friend like that. Janet's the same way, they're a good match. Today, Sunday, he led the trail run for the club and his dad came along. Mom and Dad live close to the trail head. Word on the street is that they are pretty active. Now we know where he gets his athletic prowess from.

Happy Birthday man! A pleasure and an honor to spend part of your birthday weekend with you.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Crazy Europeans

An 8-mile race. Military training course meets Muddy Buddy on steroids. Check out the ESPN web article, nicely designed site complete with video and great pictures. The scariest part was too muddy men in thongs, at least the attached race numbers covered their butts, oh wait it didn't.

Thanks to Sherpa John Lacroix from the ultralist for the link.

An excerpt from the ESPN article:
"I was pissed in a pub and got talked into it," a thonged man named Chris explains through chattering teeth. "And then none of us had the sense to back out."