Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
This on top of some people stiffing MeatGazer on the El Paso trip last January. Is this the reputation the Kimchi hash wants?
Pay up, deadbeats! Gas, grass, or ass...nobody rides for free!
The Security Forces Apprentice Course trains Security Forces personnel to perform the duties of a Security Forces apprentice. Training includes application of IBD operations, nuclear/nonnuclear security, convoy operations (nuclear/conventional and humanitarian), response force, alarm response, installation entry contril, area/building/vehicle searches, high-threat entry, authority and jurisdiction, advisement of rights, installation patrol, recapture/recovery operations, land navigation (topographical map and grip map), military working dog operations, sentry duties, secure prisoners, interview persons, restricted area security, launch facility response force tactics, expanded weapons use and tactics (M9 Handgun, M4 Carbine, M240B Grenade Launcher, M240B Machine Gun, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon), force protection/participation in homeland defense, individual physical apprehension and restraint techniques, participation in AEF operations, extensive tactical response force in a Mission Rehearsal Area (MRA) and MOUT, career field history, training and supervision, force protection, operations security threats to USAF installations and resources, legal considerations and provisions, general security forces duties, application of force, contingency operations, and security forces operations.
Done most of that stuff with the Infantry before, but in the Air Force I won't have people yelling at me all the time, plus the 9 to 5 workday is gonna be sweet!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Maybe he'll go to the same church as Paris Hilton. I love how celebrities always find religion after they've been busted. I'm one of those heathens who isn't very religious, but then again I've never electrocuted a dog either.
Jokes aside, I bet Vick ends up playing with the Raiders someday.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Winfield to Twin Lakes (10.5 miles)
So I'm about to head out for the second half of Leadville. I've been downing ensure all day (350 calories per bottle - I would down a dozen of them during the run), staying hydrated, and miraculously I felt real strong for having just run 50 miles, most of it well over 10,000 feet. Which came as a pretty big surprise to me, considering how much trouble I had been through in a couple of 50 mile training runs. But, no time to contemplate my good fortune, it was time to start the second half.
Melissa and I leave Winfield and slowly make our way to the opposite side of Hope Pass. This part is a little steeper and a little shorter than the first trip. We hike up, keeping a good pace and passing lots of people. Having Melissa along makes the miles go a bit quicker, and before I know it I'm at the top of the pass. We pause for a photo and head down to the aid station, where I'd have my picture taken with one of the 28 llamas. Eat your food, Tina! Still feeling good after 55 miles. M and I then proceed to blast down the rest of Hope Pass, probably dipping under six minutes per mile at some points. I was never known as a downhill runner in Texas, but living in Colorado has forced me to get better at the skill, and it showed on that decent. Even though most were able to run down the Pass, I was still passing lots of folks. Towards the bottom the mud would slow me down a bit, but overall I ran well and had a ton of fun coming down. Once at the bottom, it was back across the river to the Twin Lakes aid station. I had just met the most formidable challenge of my ultra career, the infamous double crossing of Hope Pass at Leadville, and passed the test with flying colors. I come into Twin Lakes at 7:59PM (the cutoff is 9:45PM), which is just under 16 hours into the race. The Hope Pass section, 21 miles, took me seven and a half hours. FYI, my road marathon PR is 2:55.
Twin Lakes to Halfmoon (9.5 miles)
Going into the race, I knew I needed to get to Halfmoon before it got dark to have any chance of finishing. Getting stuck on Hope Pass in the dark would not have been fun. I make it with about half an hour to spare, so I'm still doing well. Definitely starting to feel the effects of the race, but that's to be expected after running almost 100K. After my usual ensure-powerbar-coke binge at the aid station, I take off, leaving Melissa so she could drive ahead and join me for the night run. Leaving Twin Lakes, there's a big climb, which I don't remember being so steep on the way in. I hike this section, and before I'm at the top it's time to break out the flashlight. So here comes the night, the hills seem a lot bigger on the way back than on the way out, and I've been running for well over 17 hours. I'm definitely starting to feel it. But I trudge on, squinting in the night to find the next chem light marking the course. After what seems like FOREVER I finally hear the voices of the Halfmoon aid station, 69.5 miles into the race. Somewhere during that last section I set a PR for miles run, passing the 62 miles I ran at the Bandera 100K a few years ago. I'm starting to feel pretty crappy here, but at the same time, in a weird way, I expected a lot more pain in the first 70 miles so I'm still in decent spirits. I see Paul Dewitt at this aid station, and he says that a runner could walk it in to the end and still beat the cutoff times from this point. So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. Short break, and it's back out to the trails to hit treeline, where Dani and Melissa are waiting, and then to Fish Hatchery. My time at Halfmoon is 11:45PM (cutoff is 12:45AM), 19:45 into the race. The last 9.5 miles took me 3:46, my worst section yet.
Halfmoon to Fish Hatchery (7.0 miles)
Leaving Halfmoon, I think of my buddy Moogy, who always seems to have issues at 70 miles. It's about three miles to treeline, where my crew is waiting. Somewhere during those three miles, I completely fall apart. I've had to deal with sleep deprivation before, and have always hated doing it. But tonight, it's kicking my ass. Got up at 6AM on Friday to drive out to Leadville, then got a restless four hours of sleep Friday night, got up at 2AM on Saturday, then been put through the rigors of 70+ miles of rough terrain at high altitude, and things were going to shit. I'm starting to see things that aren't there, and my legs are becoming wobbly, at times to the point where I almost fall over. I get to treeline and find Dani, and before she can figure out what's going on I'm climbing into the back of her truck for a nap. I tell her to wake me in half an hour. After what seems like a blink of an eye, she's yelling at me to get going. I look at my watch and sure enough, it's been thirty minutes. I feel a bit refreshed after my cat nap and Melissa and I leave for Fish Hatchery. I run/hike and make somewhat decent time since a lot of this part is on the road. The good vibes from the nap don't last very long, though, and as we hit FH I'm feeling worse than before my slumber. The time at Fish Hatchery is 2:08AM (cutoff is 3AM - slowly creeping up on me) and I'm 22:08 into my race. Usually I'm getting kicked out of a bar at this time on a Saturday night. The seven miles along the easiest part of the course take me 2:23, a whopping 20:25 per mile!
Fish Hatchery to Mayqueen (10 miles)
Sitting in the Fish Hatchery aid station, I'm finished. There are cots all around, and I want to lie down on one for about thirty hours of sleep. Somehow, Melissa and Dani convince me to get my lame ass moving. Melissa and I head out of Fish Hatchery, where somehow I'm able to run a good chunk of the road leading to Sugarloaf pass. Then the climb begins. And I have nothing to respond with. The events of the past day and a half have left me physically worthless. I feel like I'm trying to summit Everest without oxygen, not make it up and over Sugarloaf pass, which earlier today I crossed with no problem. My legs are buckling, I fall over several times, and each decent sized rock I see is registered in my brain as a mountain lion ready to bite me. And I'm so afraid I'm actually jumping out of the way. Not the strongest moment of my life. I keep telling Melissa to let me take a 15 minute break, but she'll have nothing of it and somehow keeps me moving forward. Every twenty or thirty seconds I ask her again if I can take a nap, and she continues to tell me no. I actually get to the point where I want to choke her out because she's pissed me off so much. And not in a kidding way, I actually want to knock her out so I can rest for a bit. Anyone who knows Melissa knows how psychologically wacked out one would have to be want to bring her physical harm, she's about the nicest person in the world. But after what seemed like an ETERNITY of climbing, we finally reach the top of the pass. I'm too out of it to even care, and the downhill seems just as hard as the uphill. And it only gets worse when we can actually see the Mayqueen aid station, it felt like I was on a treadmill - it never seemed to get any closer. I'm certain I'm gonna get to the final aid station over the cutoff, and I'm glad. And I decide out there that even if I squeeze in, I'm dropping. No friggin' way I can cover another half marathon. I hit Mayqueen at 5:47AM (cutoff is 6:30AM), race time is 25:47. The last ten miles have taken me 3:39.
Mayqueen to Leadville (13.5 miles)
I seriously thought about dropping at Mayqueen. I even had an Incline Club shirt in my bag, which I would have changed into in case of a DNF, so as not to embarass Team CRUD. I know a lot of folks would ask here, "how could you have run 87 miles and not have been able to tough it up for 13 more?" but until you've been in this position you just can't understand. I've done training runs where I've been lost for over 13 miles, but at that point it might as well have been running to the end of the universe for me. 13 miles seemed like forever. But there are actually a few CRUD crew members who have waited around for me, and I can't bring myself to quit in front of them. I keep a bright face on in the tent, but I figure I can just drop at the Tabor boat ramp a short distance down the trail. Melissa and I leave the tent and I see the most beautiful sight of all time - sunrise. And suddenly, somehow, I feel fresher than I did when I started the race. Pain? None. Sleepiness? Not me. The overwhelming urge to kill Melissa? Gone. I have four hours to cover the final 13 miles around Turquoise Lake and into the finish line in Leadville, and instead of not wanting to continue I panic and think I won't make the cutoff. I inform Melissa of a plan to run for ten minutes and walk for two minutes, and tell her to keep track of time. We leave on the first ten minute interval and I hammer. Uphill, downhill, doesn't matter to me, I'm running like it's the last quarter mile of the race. Melissa, who has been pacing ahead of me for the last thirteen miles, is now struggling to keep up. No way to tell, but I'm fairly certain I covered more than 1.25 miles during that ten minute burst. The two minute hike comes and goes, and I hammer again. Still running like a madman, Melissa can't keep up and tells me to press on. Yes folks, I've just dropped my pacer! I feel like Carl Lewis, but I'm actually probably running about eight minutes a mile. Which is pretty amazing for having run almost 90 miles and hitting such a low point just a few miles earlier. Melissa is able to catch up to me during the two minute hike intervals, but I continue to drop her during the running. All the time, I'm passing tons of runners, many of whom are walking in the final miles, too smoked for anything else. I continue running incredibly strong, ten minutes on/two minutes off, and finally I turn off Turquoise Lake and start heading into town. Shortly after turning onto the Boulevard, the final long stretch of dirt road that takes you to the Leadville city limits, I catch up to Paul Dewitt, who is finishing with his dad. I realize at this point that I'm well under the cutoff, and I stop to walk for a bit. It's a pretty amazing feeling, going through hell to get to the point where you realize you're gonna finish. Still, when we pass a tree and Paul says, "this marks 5K to the finish line" I shake my head and pause for a bit and say, "FUCK that's a long way to go." But I drive on, and get some distance between Paul and I, as I realize this is probably my last chance to ever beat a former Leadville winner. I pass runners who are limping horribly, runners who are crying out in pain with each step, but yet they're pushing on to the finish. I feel bad for some of the runners in the same shape who I passed shortly out of Mayqueen, they'll cover the distance but won't make the cutoff. Soon, the end of the dirt road comes, the 99 mile mark. The last mile is run through the streets of Leadville, very quiet when I passed by over 28 hours before but alive with cheering spectators now. From about half a mile out you can see the finish line, and I'm really glad this is about to be over. I run the last mile, not wanting to look like a wus in front of all the folks watching. The last 15 feet of the race are on a red carpet, and you get to break a ribbon like you won the race. I'm happy to finish, but so tired and whiped out from the last 28+ hours that I just don't feel any emotion. Dani is waiting there at the finish with a chair and a cold PBR, and I collapse. It's 8:37AM on Sunday. Official time is 28:37:32.
So that's it, the story of my first hundred miler. Very happy with my race, I was running to finish and didn't care about my time. Gained a ton of valuable experience, and someday I'll return to this race for a sub-24 hour finish. Little bit of post-race depression, as Leadville has dominated everything I've done for the past ten months and now it's over. Physically, I feel fine. Had a rough time driving home, had to stop for an hour to sleep. Of course, the next day I was super sore, but just a few days later I felt fine. Forcing myself to take at least ten days off from running, but soon I'll start training to finish Cactus Rose in November and to run my first ultra for a time goal at Sunmart with the Rogues.
Can't say enough about my crew, Dani and Melissa. They were awesome. I hate to admit that I might not have been able to do it without them, but during the rough times when that cutoff was creeping up on me it was those two who made me keep going. And yes, I have apologized to Melissa for wanting to kill her.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Weather is actually looking decent for Saturday. But we can't wait for over-sleepers, gotta get up and down those peaks before the Colorado afternoon thunderstorms roll in.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
We'll be starting at the Missouri Gulch trailhead around 6AM. 4 miles to the top of Belford, another 2 miles to the top of Oxford. Counting time spent chilling on the peaks, this is gonna be about a ten hour hump.
While that would be the largest group I've ever hiked up a 14er with, all those people have told me, many times, that they'll hike and then they bail out. We'll see who shows up come Saturday morning.
I told him I wanted to know what it feels like to be his age.
But seriously, at work I listen to KKFM, a good classic rock station. Today they've played Nirvana and Soundgarden, two bands I listened to in high school. Talk about feeling old, hearing the anthems of your youth on a classic rock station....
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Left Colorado Springs early Friday morning for the beautiful drive to Leadville. Had to make the medical check in by 11AM. The scene at Leadville was phonemonal, I felt proud of being part of the ultra community. After the pre-race briefing and bag drop I went to check in at the local Super-8 motel and then hung out in town for a bit. Before too long Melissa arrived and we headed to Rosie's (America's highest brewpub) for my final meal. Had a pint of Mt. Massive (a homebrewed malt liquor) and a dozen wings. Dani arrived shortly, and after she wolfed down a cheeseburger it was back to the hotel.
Too nervous for a good night's sleep, I ended up getting up at 2AM. Showered, dressed, and then it was off to the start. Standing at the start, I reached into my pocket and found a ten dollar bill that had been through the wash. I took this as a good luck sign.
Start to Mayqueen (13.5 miles)
Let the fun begin. 600 runners toed the line, ready to take on the challenge. The most important thing here was to not let my adrenaline get the best of me. Too fast a start here would doom me later on. At the same time, I knew I couldn't go too slow, I needed to get some time in the bank that I would need later on for the hills. Did my first mile in 8:47. I was happy with that, I was afraid I'd screw up and run 5:45 or something. The first leg is run on a wide dirt road which narrows after about five miles for some technical singletrack around Turquoise Lake. Just before we turned onto the singletrack, I could hear the beat of a drummer off in the woods. A surreal scene, a very peaceful night, 600 trailrunners with their headlamps, with the steady drumbeat in the background. It's difficult to pass on the singletrack, so I just settled in with a group of runners and kept the pace to the Mayqueen aid station. Was quite the sight, you could see a line of runners with their flashlights all around the lake. Came into Mayqueen feeling good. Took me 2:28 to get there, 47 minutes under the cutoff. It was 6:28AM.
Mayqueen to Fish Hatchery (10.0 miles)
Never ran with an iPod before, but decided to do it here so some of the early miles could pass quickly. Had to be careful not to let the music push me too hard, it was still way too early for fast running. This section had the first major climb, up and over Sugarloaf Pass. Felt strong, could have easily ran the whole thing, but I let common sense win out and I hiked up the hill. Got to do a good chunk of the climb with 1SGT Sowers, a buddy of mine who I've had the pleasure of running with several times during my Leadville training. Let myself go on the downhill, wasn't crazy but I did pick up the pace a lot. The iPod really helped, this section went by pretty quick and I still felt strong as I came into the next aid station. Took me 2:08 to do the ten miles from Mayqueen to Fish Hatchery. It was 8:36AM and I was 4:36 into the race.
Fish Hatchery to Halfmoon (7.0 miles)
One of the easier sections of the course. Gotta give props to my crew, Melissa and Dani, they were teriffic the entire time and I would have had a much harder time completing the race had it not been for them. Along with the crew from Team CRUD, I felt like a professional nascar driver, I'd just come in to an aid station and sit down, and a swarm of people would descend upon me, filling my camelbak, giving me food, asking if I needed anything. The first part of this leg was on a road, which I would have hated, but there were amazing views of Colorado's two highest peaks, Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, to take my mind off the boring road. Ironically, my iPod rang up "Mountains Win Again" by Blues Traveler during this part. After the paved road the course turns onto a dirt road that runs back to the Halfmoon aid station. I come into Halfmoon, just over 30 miles into the race, feeling good. I arrive at 10:04AM (the cutoff is noon), 6:04 into the race. Takes me just under 90 minutes to cover the leg.
Halfmoon to Twin Lakes (9.0 miles)
Six hours into the race and I'm still feeling good. Almost too good. The iPod has really helped me and the miles have passed quickly. I'm hydrated, as I've been stopping to piss about twice an hour. Also crapping all over the woods, but it's not the horrible issues I had at San Juan. There are some decent climbs during this section, but I'm running smart and making good time on all of them. This section takes me on some familiar trails, it's part of the climb up Mt. Elbert I did last year. I bomb the final downhill and hit Twin Lakes at 12:34PM, 8:34 into my race. The cutoff at Twin Lakes is 2:30PM. Did that nine mile leg in two and a half hours.
Twin Lakes to Winfield (10.5 miles)
I realize the next twenty miles will be one of the most physically challenging events of my life. I'm starting to show signs of having just run 40 miles, and Hope Pass is staring down at me. I leave Twin Lakes, eager to begin the defining section of the race. Finally get my shoes wet, as getting over to Hope Pass required crossing a very wet field as well as a thigh deep river. And then the climb began. Hope Pass was as tough as advertised, the climb seemed to go on forever. It climbs over 3000 feet in about 3 miles. I latched on to a Hardrock veteran and kept a good pace all the way to the top. Passed quite a few folks on this section. It was a real hard climb, but since November I've been doing nothing but mountain runs, so I was able to survive. In fact, I told myself that sometime next year I'd drive out here to see if I could run the whole pass without stopping. I think I can do it. Anyways, there's a small aid station near the top of the pass, the "hopeless" aid station as it's called, and it's great to finally arrive. They hump all the supplies up here on llamas. At the aid station I see fellow CRUDer Harry Harcrow, on his way back. He's looking very strong in 5th place (he would end up second overall). I grab a bite to eat and head out, only a half mile from the top now. The top comes, and what an amazing view I'm treated to! You can see all the way back to Leadville, and I'm amazed at how far I've run. And I try not to think that I hafta run it all again. I fly down the other side of the pass and before I know it, I'm halfway there. Arrive at Winfield at 4:26PM, 12:26 into the race. The last ten miles took me 3:52 to cover. I feel surprisingly well for having covered 50 miles over rough terrain. See lots of familiar faces at Winfield, including my awesome crew, and I'm looking forward to beginning the second half of the race. Melissa is going to tag along the next section, and I'm glad to have the company.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Course profile of Leadville. Notice how horribly painful the Hope Pass crossing is. Took me 7:25 to do the twenty miles from the Twin Lakes aid station to Winfield and back. Ouch. Someone out there told me that the double crossing is "the hardest twenty miles of ultrarunning." I believe him.
The climb that gave me the most trouble was coming back over Sugarloaf Pass. I had already run 80 miles, the Hope Pass double crossing had taken a good chunk out of me, I was suffering horribly from sleep deprivation, and I just didn't want to go on. This section, Fish Hatchery to Mayqueen, would bring me closer to the cutoff, 43 minutes, than any other leg.
600 starters, 210 finishers, so barely a third of the folks who started were able to finish. My official time was 28:37:32.
Congrats too all the hashers (Z, Knees Up, Chinwacker, Boobs, and NASCOCK) who took on Pikes Peak this weekend!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Set up camp at 12,000 feet, had a few beers, then it was up early on Sunday to do the DeCaLiBron. Hit the trail pretty hard, did the entire loop in 4:23. That included our lengthy stays on all the peaks, so M & I could probably do this loop in well under 3:30, if not under three hours. I invited a lot of newbys on this hike, and I think most of them were scared of doing four 14ers in one hike, but there was a seven year old who did the loop today. And I doubt he's the youngest ever to do it.
Great weekend of altitude training right before Leadville! Woohoo!
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Sat AM - Depart Colorado Springs at 4AM for Mt. Princeton, near Buena Vista. Details on the Mt. Princeton Road trailhead can be seen here:
I hope to drive up to the radio towers to begin the trek.
Sat PM - head up to Alma and out to Kite Lake to set up camp. The beta on Kite Lake, as well as a description of the next day's DeCaLiBro hike, can be found here:
I'll actually set up camp just outside the boundary of Kite Lake so I can avoid the $7 fee. Screw the man! But if you're driving up the road you'll see me. I'll probably already be drunk, boozing it up at 12,000 feet rocks! Just be sure to save four cans of beer for the hike. And bring firewood, campfires are still allowed.
I know that doing four 14ers in one day might seem a bit much for some of yunz, but it's actually a somewhat easy hike. Most of the single 14ers I've done were much harder than doing all four around Kite Lake. Last year I took a sea level Austinite on the hike, and she did just fine. Details of that hike are on my blog at:
Plan to start the Sunday hike at 6:30AM.
Let me know if you plan on joining me for any or all of the weekend. And let me know by Friday, I'm not sure my cell phone will work out in the mountains.
PS - also plan a summit of Rocky Mountain on Thursday. RM is about a half hour hike from the top of the Incline. Probably start the Incline around 5:30PM. Again, let me know if you wanna join me.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Looks easy enough, but I was alone and had I taken a fall, it woulda been a long time before anyone came by to find me. After that I goofed off on this rock for a bit:
Definitely getting better at the sport, enough so that I'll probably find a rock gym in San Antonio to go so I don't lose everything I've gained.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Just a reminder, I know it's still politically incorrect to say anything bad about New Orleans, but the Saints suck ass. Same with Virginia Tech, I hope their football team goes 0-12 this year.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Anywho, since that day I've run races from 400 meters (PR of 55.0!) to 100K, and of course am about to tackle my first 100 miler. Finished 9 marathons (first one was the Chambersburg Marathon during my junior year of high school), and 13 races over the marathon distance. And I'm still undefeated in international competition, winning the Guantanamo Bay 5K while I was over there.
Didn't have a digital camera for the early years, but below are some of my more recent running pics.