Tuesday, January 31, 2006
When he got to heaven, God was showing him around. They came to a modest little house with a faded Colts flag in the window.
"This house is yours for eternity, Peyton," said God. "This is very special; not everyone gets a house up here."
Peyton felt special, indeed, and walked up to his house. On his way up the porch, he noticed another house just around the corner. It was a 3 story mansion with a black & gold sidewalk, a 50 foot tall flag pole with an enormous Steeler flag, and in every window hung a Terrible Towel.
Peyton looked at God and said, "God, I'm not trying to be ungrateful, but I have a question. I was an all-pro quarterback, I hold many NFL records, and I even went to the Hall of Fame."
God said, "So what's your point Peyton?"
"Well, why does Ben Roethlisberger get a better house than me?"
God chuckled, and said, "Peyton, that's not Ben's house, it's mine!"
Monday, January 30, 2006
Shot's Tavern, in Security, Colorado (just south of the Springs, about seven miles from my apartment), is my type of bar. If you could take the usual busy crowd at Barfly, take away the shitty smoking ban, and instantly age everyone in there 20 years, you would be at Shot's.
Arrived around 5:30PM and was shown around. Not only saw behind the bar, but saw the walk in coolers and all the other business stuff. Saw two cases of jager and thought of taking them and running, but I resisted.
Shot's is a local pub and it's usually packed. It opens at 9AM, and there are usually people waiting to get in, even on weekdays. So I knew I was gonna be in for a rough time. My only saving grace was that another of the bartenders at Shot's is in a band, Distant Warning, and they were playing that night. So I knew I'd be hammered early, then I'd have some recovery time, then get hammered again around 1AM when the show was over and the heavy drinkers returned.
I've always had a great respect for bartenders, even more so now. It's a lot of fun, but damn it's hectic. Especially later on, when everyone is drunk, and they're all calling your name for their drink. I shoulda told everyone my name was Horatio or something tough to say when one is hammered, jt was too easy.
Luckily Shot's is a beer and a shot kind of bar. I normally don't deal with booze (besides Jager, of course), so I was afraid I'd have trouble making all the girlie drinks. One idiot chick kept trying to stump me, going so far as to order a Monkey Fuck (vodka, rum, pineapple juice, some other crap booze), but she was too drunk to know if I messed it up or not. The most popular drink of the night was definitely a Tuaca bomb. It's not a stretch to say I averaged making 15 of these every hour I worked. Luckily, they're quick to make. Shot's has a Tuaca machine (like a Jager machine) and Red Bull is in the soda/water/OJ dispenser. Shot's does have Jager, but it doesn't seem too popular with the locals. Which is good, more for me! I was also disappointed that I didn't sell one single can of PBR all night!
Finally around 2:30AM the owner kicked everyone out. Had to do the usual clean up stuff. Clean the glasses, wipe down the bar, take out the trash, stuff like that. Ended up getting out of the bar around 3:15AM-ish.
Had a blast, looking forward to the next time! Definitely have a greater respect for bartenders, especially those who work at a busy pub. So remember to tip your bartenders, wankers!
Sunday, January 29, 2006
After hopping a fence with several "No Trespassing" signs, Ute Pass brings you out at the trailhead of Waldo Canyon. I had heard several runners talking about this trail, and I was pretty psyched to finally run it. It was tough, you climb to over 8000 feet, but the scenery was beautiful. It's not the most technical trail, so you can keep one eye on the trail and use the other one to check out your surroundings. It was a nice day out, at least for January in Colorado, but we were able to watch a pretty rough storm pounding the top of Pikes Peak. Seven mile loop at Waldo and it was back to the Ute Pass for the return trip back to Manitou.
Total time was just over three and a half hours. My first real long run since Bandera. I seem to be recovered completely from my 100K, though it's a tough call since I'm not used to the altitude or hills up here. I'm sore, but I don't think it's anything from Bandera, so I'll probably go ahead and start training for the San Juan Solstice 50 miler.
Off to Durango this weekend, so I'll miss the IC run on Sunday. The week after I'm planning on going the entire way up to Barr Camp and back with those crazies.
However, after many months and with the help of very good lawyers, they were able to successfully appeal their sentence down to life imprisonment.By a stroke of luck, it was a Saudi national holiday the day their trial finished, and the extremely benevolent Sheik decided they could be released after receiving just 20 lashes each of the whip.
As they were preparing for their punishment, the Sheik suddenly said, "It's my first wife's birthday today, and she has asked me to allow each of you one wish before your whipping."
The Cleveland fan was first in line (he had drunk the least) so he thought about this for a while and then said, "Please tie a pillow to my back." This was done, but the pillow only lasted 10 lashes before the whip went through. The Cleveland fan had to be carried away bleedingand crying in pain when the punishment was finished.
The Cincinnati fan was next (he almost finished an entire fifth by himself), and after watching the scene said, "All right!! Please fix TWO pillows on my back." But even two pillows could only take 15 lashes before the whip went through again, sending the Bengal fan out crying like a little girl.
The Steeler fan was the last one up (he finished off the crate), but before he could say anything the Sheik turned to him and said, "You support the greatest team in the world, your supporters are some of the best and most loyal football fans in the world. For this, you may have TWO wishes!"
"Thanks your most Royal Highness," the Steeler fan replied. "In recognition of your kindness, my first wish is that you give me not twenty lashes, but 100 lashes."
"Not only are you an honorable, handsome and powerful man, you are also very brave," the Sheik says with an admiring look on his face. "If 100 lashes is what you desire, then so be it. And your second wish? What will it be?"
"Tie the Cleveland fan to my back."
Friday, January 27, 2006
On the first day of this new year a lion was found viciously mauled. A week later, a bengal tiger was discovered horribly beaten. While the lion only had flesh wounds, the tiger appears to have been suffering regular beatings for years.
Just seven days after that, a colt was found battered. People at the scene said it kept muttering something about not getting enough protection.
Hours ago, Denver authorities found another horse, this time a bronco, wandering the streets. The horse was not physically injured, but quite dazed and confused. When asked about the incident, the hapless horse said "I was at home and everything was fine. I was about to feed my pet snake when he started choking and screaming about some sort of terrible towel following him around."
Rumor has it that the next target will be some sort of bird, possibly a seahawk.
All of the victims report trying to peek behind a giant steel curtain shortly before their incidents. As a result, the following warning has been issued to all animals: Peek behind a steel curtain, get hit by a BUS.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Just returned from the incline. As expected, it kicked my ass pretty good. At least I was able to get up it though. One mile long, over 2000 feet of elevation. It took me just over 39 minutes to make it. That's more than 34 minutes over my current PR for the mile. I believe that once I get back into shape and get used to the altitude, I'll be able to break half an hour though. Once at the top, I ran back down the Barr trail, about four miles. Slippery as hell on the trail, but it was fun. The views here are spectacular. Total time for the workout was 70 minutes.
You can see the incline in this pic, it's the path going straight up the mountain. It kinda takes your breath away when you're at the bottom, like you're about to go on a big roller coaster or jump out of a plane.
Another view, from the highway. You can see Pikes in the background. I've climbed Pikes, and at no point on the Barr trail is it near as steep as on the incline.
So I'm finally done being lazy after my Bandera adventure, decided on the next one. The San Juan Solstice 50 miler. Good thing I entered when I did. They only take 150 runners...and I'm number 150!
Should be pretty rough, several climbs over 13,000 feet, topping off at 13,334. But it's supposidly a pretty well run event, and I do love having my ass kicked.
Gonna go attempt the incline today, should be fun. I know it's tough to do in the summer, I'm not even sure it's doable with the recent snowfall.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Got more snow in one night here than the seven years I spent in Texas combined!
The move to Colorado Springs has gone fine so far. Had perfect weather for the drive up. Thursday afternoon it started snowing, the first significant snowfall I've seen in years. Got to shovel sidewalks for the first time since I was a kid.
The apartment is pretty cool. Two bedrooms, a kitchen, a big living room, pleanty of crash space for anyone. Landlord seems pretty cool too, when I met him at the house to get the keys he had a six pack of Mass Transit Ale from the local Bristol brewery waiting for me. Good stuff. New address is:
623 Alexander Apt. B Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Due to all the trees on my street, I can't really see Pikes Peak from my front yard. But when I leave the house running or driving I'm treated to this view:
Was able to snag a bartending gig at a local dive, Shot's, aka the Loser Bar. My first trip to the other side of the bar! Well, at least the first trip there that won't get me kicked out. Drank up a storm there last night, and made some new friends:
I'm sure I'll make a lot of new friends tomorrow, as I'm off to the Denver hash and post-hash AFC Championship game party. Of course, I'll be representing my Steelers and will be dressed head-to-toe in Black & Gold!
3 Man on the plane! Woohoo!
Me, Opie (some of yunz may remember him from the Austin 20th anniversary), Anal Power, and Porno Pud at Sunset brewery.
Got to meet the lovely Late Night Drive Through at the "mountain bikers and babes" party. Thanks for the Yuengling, LNDT!
Yeah, that was it, a whole three pictures. A few less than Ass Gagger took, but I guess I was too busy drinking and hashing to remember my camera.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I'll be offline for a while as I get settled in at my new place in Colorado Springs. Phone number will remain the same until further notice.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
The first Pub Run of 2006 is this Thursday, January 19th, starting, as always, at 6 PM from the Runtex Annex. 5 miles, 3 pubs. Bring a shirt, $$, and an ID.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
One year later...
It's 6AM and I've started my pre-race coffee binge. I'm nervous as hell. I've been training for this since May. Nine months of the Greenbelt and the Hill of Life and Government Canyon and Rocky Hill and Huntsville and Warda and even Pikes Peak. Not to mention all the miles I spent training on these very trails.
I have a ton of friends running and volunteering today, and shooting the shit with them took some of the edge off. Some of them, like Tiffany and Nicole, were doing their first trail runs. Melissa was doing her first ultra, the 50K.
My first issue was the drop bags. Never used 'em before, wasn't sure what to put in what bag. Got to send three bags out. The trick was figuring out when I would be able to use each bag. Where would I be when it got dark and needed a flashlight? Where would I be when it got cold and I needed another layer? What if it started raining? Luckily my roomie Padre used to do these long runs and was able to help me out, giving me an outline that held up pretty good throughout the entire run.
7:30AM, and the race starts.
As you can see from the course profile (this is the 50K, my day consisted of doing it twice), the fun starts right away. Lots of steep, rocky hills. So steep that going down these hills actually hurts me just as bad as going up. The first hill is affectionately known as the Big Nasty. I settle into a slow pace with a pack of buddies. Pete, Kelly, Arne, Shan, and a few others make our way through the first few miles. On an early hill everyone was already breathing heavy and talking was limited. At this point, Kelly blurbs out "If anyone knows a good joke this would be a great time..."
Soon we come to one of my favorite parts of the course, Ice Cream Hill. Very steep. Very rocky.
Not long after ICH we come to the first aid station, Nachos. 5 1/2 miles down. This station is staffed by volunteers from the Rogue group, who I have spent a good amount of time training with. I see Sisson and my future pacer, Abe. Refill the water bottles, eat a few pretzels, and I'm off.
The next part of the course is not my favorite. Mostly consisting of the 8/9 loop, it's relatively flat and non-technical and reminds me too much of Huntsville. It is a section where you can actually maintain a decent pace and make some time up, but it's just plain boring. Kelly and I run this together, keeping a good pace to the next aid station, Chapas (11 miles down).
Same thing to the next aid station. More boring field running. Yuk. Kelly and I are keeping a quick pace, but I'd rather be on the more rugged trails. Anyways, we're running strong as we come into the Cross Roads In (17 miles down) aid station. Same routine - gatorade, salt, calories, take off.
After my mediocre performance at Sunmart, I was talking to a HCTR member, an exercise physiologist, about salt intake. I told him I would take a succeed pill every hour. He told me to try taking one pill every time I finished a bottle of gatorade. I was using this strategy and so far it was working, as I was feeling pretty strong. This was gonna be tested though, as the temperature was slowly but steadily climbing.
Anyways, out of XRoads In, back to the Bandera I love. It's a quick loop to the next aid station, but it includes the Three Sisters so it's all good. By now the pack is thinning out and I find myself running alone.
A quick five miles and I'm at the Cross Roads Out aid station. I've been running about four hours now, and it's lunch time. I scarf down a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some cookies. Yum yum. Only about nine miles to go to the halfway point. I realize that I've covered that nine mile loop several times in training though, and even though it's a tough loop I know I can do it, and do it while tired, and that gives me a boost of confidence.
Up, up, up Lucky Hill. Good stuff. Lots of technical parts on this section, and I'm still fresh enough to enjoy it. It's getting hot out, probably mid 70s without much shade, but my new salt plan is working.
Before long I come into my favorite aid station, Last Chance. I've covered an entire marathon, and I'm not even halfway. I see thay have tequila, beer, and jager there. I start to drool. And then I see Chicken Choker from the San Antonio H3, he's a volunteer at the aid station! I refill on Gatorade and grab a handfull of chips, and we agree to toast the SAH3's 1000th run on my next time around.
At this point it's about five miles to the halfway point. I'm feeling pretty good for having covered a marathon over rugged terrain, but I am starting to get a bit tired. A few more hills, a couple of spectacular views of the Hill Country, over Boyle's Bump, and I'm on my way in to the halfway point. I arrive in just under six hours. Perfect for me. I fully expect to slow down about two hours over the second half, so I'm right on pace to break 14 hours.
My aid at the halfway point was fabulous. Meredith was waiting to refill my water bottles. Nicole and Tiffany, still sweating from the 25K, sat me down and fed me pickles and Gu. Tiffany then asked if there were anything else she could do. I replied, "I'm chafing pretty bad, could you rub vasoline on my balls?" You can only imagine the dirty look I got in response.
So, 31 miles down, 31 to go. I was tired and beat up, but I felt fine for what I had been through. I knew the second half was gonna be tough, but I had a feeling that as long as I didn't break an ankle I was gonna finish.
Left the halfway point at just over six hours. Second loop, same as the first. I'm still running alone, but I'm gonna pick up a pacer at the next aid station. Still moving along at a decent clip, probably running in about 12th place at this point.
Hit the Nachos aid station. 36 miles down, one marathon to go.
Fellow Pikes Peaker Abe, who was volunteering at an aid station, wanted to get in a long run and offered to pace me the final 26 miles, and I happily accepted. Pacers are great to have. I was tired both physically and mentally, and to have a fresh body to make sure I didn't take a wrong turn and to make sure I was still eating and drinking was an enormous boost. Not to mention the fact that I'd have someone to talk to to take my mind off of how much I was hurting and how much longer I still had to go.
We exit Nachos and tackle the boring part of the course. I am starting to feel fairly horrible but Abe helps keep the pace honest. We cover the Nachos to Chapas section in 62 minutes, which Abe tells me is faster than the leader of the race covered it. He's probably lying, but it sounds nice.
Chapas to Cross Roads In is also covered fairly fast. I feel like walking most of it, but once again Abe keeps me going. We even manage to start passing people here. I move into the top ten.
Arriving at Cross Roads In, I stop at my drop bag for a long sleeve t-shirt and my flashlight. Padre's plan to have my main drop bag here worked perfectly. Still pleanty of light, but I'd be toast if I had been out on the trails when it got dark if I had no light, so better safe than sorry. And when I open up my bag, what a surprise! Two slices of pizza from Cowboy Capital Pizza! Woohoo! A lot of people say bad things about Nicole, but she definitely has her finer points! I scarf down the pizza, throw on a long sleeve shirt (under my Lovejoy's shirt, of course!), and Abe and I are off.
The next part goes fine, though I'm starting to hike up inclines that I hadn't even noticed the first loop. The Three Sisters kick my ass pretty good here. Still, even with the walking, Abe is keeping me at a decent pace and my 14 hour goal is looking good.
Into Cross Roads Out. Tiffany, Nicole, and Evan are sitting here, drinking beer. I've covered about 52 miles to this point, longest I've ever run, and that cold beer is looking good. Nicole offers me a bottle of Shiner and I take a good, long swig. Mmmmm, good stuff. She reminds me that there are two bottles of Yuengling Lager waiting for me at the finish line, so I continue on.
I'm able to run for about another half hour before the flashlight comes on. Physically I'm feeling horrible, but mentally I'm doing fine and I'm pretty sure I'll finish. Having a pacer is making all the difference in the world, I know I'd be walking most of this section without Abe pushing me along.
On and on to the Last Chance aid station. Christmas lights everywhere, folks watching movies, it was quite the party. 57 miles down. Chicken Choker greets me and hands me a shot of jager. "Here's to the 1000th running of the San Antonio Hash House Harriers!" we shout and down the shot. Damn, that was good. I also down about half a bottle of Shiner and contemplate another shot but decide against it.
Five miles to go. I've been running for over eleven hours. I started running just before sunrise, ran all day, and the sun had set over an hour ago. Needless to say, I was starting to feel pretty shitty. But the psychological boost of knowing the finish line was close gave me a good kick in the ass and I kept moving forward.
Up and over Boyle's Bump, walking and stumbling most of it. Even my arms were tired, making it tough to hold my flashlight. But after that bump, it was all downhill to the finish. What a feeling crossing that line was. The months and months of hard work had paid off. I had finally managed to conquer the rough Bandera trails, crossing the line in twelve and a half hours, a full 90 minutes under my goal (Abe was probably responsible for 80 of these minutes).
Immediately after finishing I went to the tent for my well deserved Yuengling. Of course, I put on my sweet new Bandera 1ooK Endurance Run fleece and showed everyone my very first belt buckle. I was completely drained, and all I could do was sit by the heater drinking beer. I felt bad, like I should have gone out to an aid station and helped, but I was just completely wasted.
Too many people to thank for getting me to the finish line, but I'll try anyways.
Sisson and all the Rogues. Gave me the plan and kicked me in the ass whenever I wasn't following it. I feel awful I won't be around for the Pikes Peak group this year! Already looking forward to seeing yunz all at the Austin post-Pikes party in August.
Joe, Henry, Melissa, Joyce, Meredith, Pete, Shan, Kelly, Brandon, and all my HCTR training buddies. One year ago I was starting my first trail run. Since then I've finished at least seven ultra trail runs, mostly following the advice I picked up while running with yunz guys. I can't say enough about the help you all have given me. I only hope the trail running scene in Colorado is half as good as it is in Austin!
Not sure what my next challenge will be. Of course I'll attempt the double at Pikes in August. And we'll see how the Western States lottery goes, I'm glad I'll get to use Bandera as my qualifier. Also see a rim-to-rim-to-rim crossing of the Grand Canyon in my future, we'll see how that goes.
I'll leave with a great quote I heard from TJ:
"Any idiot can run a marathon. It takes a special kind of idiot to run an ultramarathon."
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Luckily that'll change soon with TexMex and the Colorado move coming up.
I am working on a Bandera race report. Taking longer to do that then it did to run the thing. Still have some quad issues but nothing too serious. I'll be ready to battle Finger Pickin' Good at the Asshole trial this Sunday. For all you new TexMex folks, if you don't do the asshole trail you're a poser!
Monday, January 09, 2006
Not feeling too bad. Was limping pretty good yesterday and my quads are still a bit sore, but I should be fine by tomorrow.
9. Beer doesn't tell you how to have sex.
8. Beer has never caused a major war.
7. They don't force beer on minors who can't think for themselves.
6. When you have beer, you don't knock on people's doors trying to give it away.
5. Nobody's ever been burned at the stake, hanged, or tortured to death over his brand of beer.
4. You don't have to wait 2,000+ years for a second beer.
3. There are laws saying that beer labels can't lie to you.
2. You can prove you have a beer.
1. If you have devoted your life to beer, there are groups to help you stop
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Friday, January 06, 2006
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Austin Full Moon H3
SSSABH3 (South Austin, TX)
Heart of Texas (original)(Killeen, TX)
Heart of Texas (full moon)(Killeen, TX)
Hill Country (Killeen, TX)
San Antonio H3
Kiss My Hash House Harriers (San Antonio, TX)
Dallas/Fort Worth H3
Eat Me H3 (College Station, TX)
Corpus Christi H3
El Paso H3
Pikes Peak H3 (Colorado Springs, CO)
Nittany Valley H3 (State College, PA)
Chattachoochee Valley H3 (Columbus, GA)
Southern Comfort H3 (Atlanta, GA)
Carolina Trash (Fayetteville, NC)
Sir Walter's H3 (Raleigh, NC)
Hogtown H3 (Toronto)
Guantanamo Bay H3
InterAmerica's (Austin, TX)
InterAmerica's (Toronto, CAN)
Colorado Invihashional (Winter Park, CO)
TexMex Invihash (El Paso, TX)
Nittany Valley (State College, PA)
Pittsburgh H3 1200th weekend
Texas Interhash (DFW, San Antonio, Kiss My Hash, Houston)
Snowdown (Durango, CO)
Crab Hash (Houston, TX)
Dog Daze of Summer (Seguin, TX)
So now I'm stressing over the small things. Like drop bags. Never used 'em before, now I'm scrambling to pack. Also picked me up a pacer (thanks, Abe!), so that should help those final 20 miles when I'm dead tired and tripping over every rock in the dark.
One of the things that will help me keep on keepin' on is the Last Chance aid station. Tradition states that you do a shot of tequila here, and it's only about three more miles to the end.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Took a quick trip up to Killeen yesterday for my last Hill Country Hash. Of course, why go all the way up there without stopping at the finest trailer bar in the world! I'm not a big fan of the Killeen/Fort Hood area, but this bar was OK with me and I thought it was one of the very few decent places to hang out if you couldn't get down to Austin.