Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I'm in a Better Place

Spokane Falls Blvd. BridgeAhh, much better. Apparently, according to the lady behind the coffee place counter, you have to be right under the main broadcast point of the free WiFi zone. So that's where I went--now I'm on the 3rd floor of River Park Square. Man, I got no work done because I was going from spot to spot--I have to head home soon. But I figure I should get some pics up first. Here's my second attempt.

I can't wait to get back home so I can get back to training.

Spokane Falls

St. Aloysius (Gonzaga) Church

There's Hope in the Spoke

Okay, my time here is running out as I leave the Spoke and head back to H-town tomorrow. There have been good things, there have been bad things about my visit. The one thing that I thought would be good is that Spokane has been trying to revitalize downtown and thus have set up a WiFi HotZone. I thought this would be awesome since I would be able to blog to my heart’s content whenever, but here I am, at Cabin Coffee, behind the Four Seasons’ Coffee store, without a connection and writing this blog offline. I tried earlier at Starbucks, but I eventually had to use Tmobile pay WiFi because the signal was so low…same thing here right now. I can’t seem to be able to find the sweet spots…only the dead spots. Now I’m sitting here, behind to girls, who seem to always have something to talk about. Ooops, spoke too soon--they’re leaving now. I’m about to ask the lady behind the counter if they usually don’t get the signal here in the store. Alright, I got the skinny. I had to step outside to get a signal. Now here I am in 30degree just so I can get this blog out to all my loyal readers (i.e., Nick). Jeez, what the heck, I have some pics too, so I'll put those in here too.

Alright, gonna make this quick because my hands are now freezing. Lets see. I actually got enough balls to run yesterday and just went for about 5 miles. Only 5 because I was taking pictures too...oooh, Common on the radio...I'll put those on here. It was actually nice after a few miles of running. I see my breath. This soup is helping a little. The run is where I found out about some of the improvements to downtown. They put in a fountain at Riverfront Park, enclosed the gondolas so that passengers wouldn't be freezing, their adding onto the convention center, and there were other things that I noticed but can't quite remember right now.

Went to Mass this morn and saw no one I recognized. Even the priest presiding--had never seen him before...he's Japanese, Ohno. That's his last name.

Okay, that's it for now, can't stand more of this cold. Enjoy the pics!!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Gobble Gobble Weekend

here ya go, NickUgh, no matter how many times I do it, I never seem to remember the next year--I totally stuffed myself with my Mom and Sister's cooking and felt a little past miserable yesterday night. Okay, I felt obligated to eat that much because there was a ton of food as usual--too much to be realistically consumed by a normal family. But I tried and lost. Now I defintely need to get some workouts done this weekend in the nasty, cold, wet Spokane weather.

Recapping this past week. Monday, a day after my long marathon training run, we had nav practice and Tom and Collins joined me on the hunt. We let Tom do the navigating because he wanted to get some experience. He did fine and we found 3 out of the 5 before we had to head back and meet with Lisa to discuss our 2006 race goals. That meeting was a little screwed up as we found out that Collins wasn't planning to do that many races next year...I was shocked, to put it lightly. Anyway, hopefully we can work something out. All I want is a stable, respectful team to race with the whole year if possible.

Tuesday, I took the day off of training. Then Wednesday I went swimming. I had a pretty nice breakthrough on Monday regarding my swimming--I started doing flip turns and was able to go longer on my laps before having to stop and get my breathing under control. I was so excited that I did the same thing Wed. I felt a little more fatigued for some reason and the water was definitely a lot colder that day for some reason, so I didn't go as far, but still felt good about my improvement. I did intervals of freestyle-sidestroke-breaststroke-sidestroke-backstroke-sidestroke-freestyle. I stopped doing the butterfly because it just took too much energy out of me to finish the whole interval. Then I finished up with freestyle sprint drills.

Thursday, I thought I would get a short bike workout before I left for the Spoke, so I rode my roadbike to the fruit loop then stopped by *-$ to pick up some coffee then went back home. Now I'm here in Spokevegas and I don't feel like doing any workouts because of the weather. I'm sure I'll get myself out somehow. Alright, I'm done here. I need to get out and get some walking done to offset turkey.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Week of Light Training

This week was pretty light in terms of training intensity. Monday, I was still recovering from the 25k the day before, so I just took it easy and just coached, without participating as well. I watched their bikes while they were on the run. I made them do a run-bike-run-bike-run brick...about 2mi-5mi-2mi-5mi-2mi, the run being from picnic loop to 610 and back and the bike on the fruit loop. It was really boring just sitting there, so I did some technical drills on my bike and did a bunch of pushups, dips, and situps. Then Tuesday was run by Tom and we ran the jogging loop and did sprints at the track and pullups along the way. The sprints were pretty tough, but I was feeling oddly fresh and happy, so it was a good session for me. I felt strong on the pullups and even did extra ones on the last set. That is plain amazing considering I used to have trouble just doing one pullup about a year ago.

Wednesday I took off because we had a Stress happy hour, which is pretty rare. It wa a tough decision, but I thought spending some time with coworkers would be good. Thursday, Rick took over and I helped out a bit while he talked to Carlos. That was a tough one as well as we did a bunch of cals and ladders and more cals and more ladders. I was out of breath, but survived. Then of course yesterday was an off day. I was only able to swim once this week since we had a lunch meeting on Monday and the T-day luncheon yesterday. I do feel like I'm improving, though. I got to start trying to go several laps nonstop on my freestyle. The breathing part is still kicking my ass.

So the training camp for the Dare is going on this weekend, but my team had other things to do. I'm really worried about our team--we haven't even practiced together yet. That kinda screwed up my schedule for this weekend--not really sure what to do today. I do know that I need to do my long marathon run tomorrow for sure.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Wakeup Call

Holy sh**!! Man, okay, maybe I have to rethink this marathon thing. That was painful...I reluctantly did the 25k today and that should have been my first sign that maybe I should have sat this one out. But I had already paid the entry fee yesterday, so I peeled myself out of bed this morning, not sure what to expect. So I have most likely ran more than 15.5miles before in an adventure race, but there were always breaks in between extreme efforts, allowing my heart rate to go down for a little bit, for a little while. This was another ballgame...no respite unless I decided to slack off. I did run about 13 miles a weekend before, but I had to stop several times because I had gastric issues...and I ran out of hydration. That was another thing--I didn't think in advance about how I would hydrate. I just figured I would bring my fuel belt (which was missing one bottle, summing up to a whopping 24oz) and then use all the water stations along the way. Man, I was pretty unprepared in retrospect. Of course I had about 2hrs to think about it.

Another reason I should have bailed was that the temps were unseasonably hot AGAIN and humidity was close to 100%! WTF. I starting to hate Texas for that reason...thanks, global warming. But I ignored it thinking, "hey, this is just a training run and I wasn't really going for time", right? Who was I kidding? Apparently me for the first loop of the race...that's yet another thing--three loops of the same course! When I saw ~1000 people at the start, I tried to comfort myself, "how can all these people be wrong." Pretty easily...mob mentality is all I can figure.

So at the line I felt relatively confident, thinking I've done a lot of training, getting me to the point where I should be fit enough to do alright in this run...see, its never a training race for me...I would be running for time. Gun goes off and right away I start trying to pace myself...I figure 8min/mile is a good training pace. Hmmm, a little hotter than I would like. That pace didn't last very long and I compromised and said, okay, 8:30 is a good training pace. But I didn't let go of 8min pace until maybe halfway through when I knew it wasn't going to happen, based on how I was feeling. I really felt fresh for the way out, a little over 4k. At the turnaround I saw Dora and she was a little puzzled. I don't think she really recognize me until a few seconds later--I think I heard her call my name. But the next couple laps she said nothing...not sure what happened there. Anyway, after the turnaround I saw Randy and that energized me again. After the first lap, I told myself "a third there!" Next lap I latched on a girl who seemed to be going the same pace. I wasn't really latched as she would pull away occasionally, but I was keeping my eye on her and my pace. I unfortunately lost her at the next water stop where she started walking and never caught back up to me, despite me losing steam at this point. I was now hovering at 8:30+, which was starting to get into my head.

Finally, third lap started. Each time I turned for the next lap I saw Carlos' son and wife and they cheered, which gave me a temporary burst sending me sub 8. At the start of the 3rd lap, I felt good, so I thought I would shoot for 8min pace again. Good for the first mile or so, but I really started to lose energy. The half a gel pack I consumed on the last lap wasn't helping. Neither was the music. The Beattles blaring at full, yelling "Help!"--that's what I wanted to scream. But I was too dehydrated to say much. Yes, I fluids didn't quite last and the aid stops were just too far apart. I felt the dryness of my lips and it immediately reminded me of Lance Armstrong during his time trial a year+ ago. My lips felt as crusty as his looked. Then my legs were lead weights. I started to worry about cramping. Hold on, I told myself...less than 4 more miles to go. Normally that's a cakewalk, but at the end of a 15.5 mile run, not so much. Saw Eric along the way too and Rob, cruising along. When I saw the overpasses just before the Wortham center, I knew it was the final stretch and I started to ramp up the speed around sub 8...but I was in total pain at this point. I had nothing left. On the last lap I had taken off my jersey to where it was just hanging around my waist, so I had to put it back on about 500meters out. When I had first taken it off, I thought, "this is why guys run shirtless!!"

So I finished in 2hrs 10mins, about 8:22 pace...downloading the data right now. The only real upside of this run was the cool long sleeved wicking shirt we got for finishing. I saw Tognarelli at the end and he was of course already in his post-race clothes, as dry as can be. I think he ran in 1:45 or something insane like that. Obviously he had a bad day a year before when he ran something like 2 flat. Yep, I ran about 8:20 pace. Okay I guess for now, but I was hurting really bad. How can I do 26.2 miles?!? I really have to see how I feel in a few weeks. If the long runs feel as miserable as that did, I don't think I really want to do it. So much punishment for my body. And you want to do Primal Quest?!

Okay, now that had probably bored you and you have already moved on to some other page, I'm gonna talk about the night before, which now that I think of it, may have contributed to my painful run this morning. So I was just at the computer, minding my own business while watching ND whup on the Naval Academy and Jaunda and Cynthia start IM-ing me and tell about their plans for Sushi. They invited me and who am I to pass on sushi?! So I went. It wasn't so much the sushi that hurt me but possibly the two vodka tonics. It was fun nonetheless--Tracie, Cynthia, Jaunda, and me the guy chillin with 3 beautiful women. They actually had opera plans right after dinner so they had to rush out of there. So I decided to pay for their drinks so they didn't have to wait for change. It was so funny--it was packed and busy one minute and when it was showtime, the bar was practically empty. I talked to the bartender about that for a couple of minutes and then walked around downtown for a few minutes. Nothing was really going on yet--it was just too early. So I called it a night at about 9.

Okay, that's it. I'm here at Borders and I'm still hungry despite having a sandwich, so I'm going to get some kolaches or something then hopefully I can crash and take a nap for a few hours. I'm beat. I burned over 2000 calories! Crazy!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My Goal is to Deny Yours

Missin Sweet Lu
So I decided to go to Borders today since I may not have time to blog tomorrow, depending if I decide to do that 25k tomorrow...ugh, I really don't feel like it right now, but I know it could be the right thing to do. Regardless, I need to do some long run this weekend, 14-16mi according to my training book. That sounds terrible. I guess I can use the 25k as the slow run. I just know I'm going to want to bust it out. Oh well, I should do it, so I'll probably go and register today.

Last night was the Talmo nav race. I was planning to do it with either Caroline or Stan, but both were out of town...that's when I thought, wait a minute, Elwood can run! I knew he was planning to do it anyway so I decided to ask him to be on my team...he agreed and we were now Team HART Stress! Gotta love that. Things were going okay about 30mins before the race. Then the competition started to show up: Dave Boyd, Patti Plagmann etc. of MOAT and USARA fame, Tara and Messer I assume racing as Dead Reckoning, and pretty much all the other navigators from HART. I knew if I kept it clean we most likely could beat MOAT. It was rogaine style with Talamini sending us in different directions at the start to prevent following. Then it started to fall apart for me a few minutes before start--I of course locked my keys in Audi, keeping me from everthing that I had left in there...thankfully I had already put on my hydration pack, glasses, compass, and lights...I did not have lamination paper, though, which would come back to bite me. I stressing hardcore, but as soon as the race started, it was all business.

First point, 14, was on the other side of the picnic loop and we found it relatively easily after coming across a rude roadie (redundant) who thought he owned the loop. Then we followed the green trail towards the next point. Only thing was that I took one branch of it that I had only used once and I knew was pretty hard to follow. I tried it anyway. This was slow going as the trail dissappeared and I just started going north to hook up with the main green trail. We did finally, but I wasn't sure where on the trail we were. I told myself I wouldn't bushwhack much since Talamini told us that these were "easy" points. So I started off running west, but I came across a log in the middle of the trail, which I thought was west of the bridge we were looking for. So I told Dave we were turning back, plus he said he saw the lights from the maintenance buildings, which were close to the bridge. We ran east for a while, then I realized we went the wrong way as I started to recognize where we were. No prob, all we had to do now was follow the maintenance area fenceline to the ditch and bridge. It was really slow going as it was a thick bushwhack. I was starting to doubt our location when I heard Elwood yelling something. I ran towards him and saw that he found a bridge...the bridge we were looking for! We got back up onto the trail and I turned on my niterider and there it was a few meters south. CP 13.

Now we were heading towards CP 11. We stayed on the green trail, looking for a split in the trail. We ran for a while, got a false alarm, then ran into a split. I didn't know it then, but this wasn't the one we were looking for. Nevertheless, we dropped down into the creek, where the point was supposed to be. I looked at my compass and it didn't quite match with where I thought we had dropped into the ditch, so I modified the gameplan and we headed west along the ditch. Elwood charged ahead as I was meticulously looking at the map and compass and trying to keep my niterider pointed forward. That's when it got really bad...I wasn't paying attention and I was trying to go around a curve in the creek on a thin slip of sand when I misstepped and lost my balance and fell completely into the creek...it was really deep there so I was fully submerged, swimming! When I surfaced, all I said was "fuck". Elwood rushed back and had to pull me out of the creek. I was fully soaked and most importantly so was the map...it was fading away in front of my face. A feeling of dread started to come over me as I remembered this is what happened to Collins at nationals and knew Rick was pretty pissed about it. I didn't want to face him after this. Thankfully, the point was a few hundred meters off. We snuck away from the point as we saw other headlights coming our way...stealth mode. I could still kinda decifer the map, barely. CP12 was next and looked pretty easy as it was on Memorial. All we had to do was count poles along the way to pick the right one and write down the number. Done.

Now, the CP numbers were now unreadable...all I could faintly make out were the circles. At this point we saw MOAT ahead of us and they were heading for a CP across Memorial. I decided we would find the same point and ask them which one this was. It worked well...CP 7. In typical MOAT fashion, they jetted out of there and we were left trying to uncode the smudges on the map. The next one seemed to be right off the picnic loop, but I still didn't know the number...we decided to go get it anyway. We searched and searched and couldn't find it--I knew something was wrong now because the point was so obvious on the map. That's when I finally decided that we needed to go back to TA and get a new map. I had no idea how much time this would cost us, but I knew it would be better than trying to find these smudges on the map. So we ran back to TA and asked Bob for a new map. Thankfully he gave us one and that's when I realized that the point we were just looking for was a symbol for a water fountain or something. Geez. At this point I figured MOAT had won cause we lost so much time on that point and having to come back for this map, but we trudged on. We headed west of TA for a last batch of CPs before we would have to motor back to TA. CP 2 was next. Easy--in the middle of a grassy field that split east and west bound traffic on Memorial, bordered by the train tracks on the west. CP 1 was easy too, north of Memorial, just west of the jogging track in a ditch. That's where we found a bonus flag that had obviously been out there for a while--it was tattered and faded and had a punch...thankfully the right CP was just a few meters to the east.

Next was CP 5, which had a 3pt value, so I knew we would need it if we expected any chance of winning despite all of the debacles of the night. It was in the triangle, right as we entered the trail system...we had to find a shallow ditch that ran north. It was tough, but I finally found it. That's when Cynthia, Jaunda, etc. came up on us, hearing my shouts for Elwood...I had to yell because he was going the wrong way. Oh well. Next was CP 4, which was in a well defined ditch next to the trail. People were saying this point wasn't there, but I found it...have no idea what they were smoking. We recorded the letter on the checkpoint and I had to decide if we had time to go for one more point...we had less than 15mins, but I still thought we could get it. So we charged west along Woodway after I got my bearings back. This one was in the Arboretum, so I knew it would relatively easy to find, and it was. At this point we had about 10mins and I knew we would be back in time. So we jogged back to TA, not sure what would happen...we had 12 total points, including the 3 bonus points.

Slowly the other teams trickled back in and we were still in 1st, with Bobby and Monty the closest at 10pts. Then time was up and MOAT was nowhere to be seen...the penalty was harsh--2pts per minute over. That's when I knew we had won. In your face, doubters. I had one of my worst navs and we still won. It was extra special with MOAT and DR being there...small victories are sometimes the sweetest.

We got nice schwag, although too big--Elwood got a cycling jersey and I got a cycling vest that looked futuristic. I said I would wear it out to the clubs and it probably would have been alright. Now it was back to my original problem of locking my keys in Audi. Elwood drove me back home, in the hopes that Sam would be there so I could get in the house and retrieve my spare. He was! First obstacle cleared, now the spare key. It wasn't where I usually placed it, but then I remembered that I don't think I used it after moving to Kansas St...I finally found it in one of the unpacked boxes in the closet. All is good again.

Stay Golden, Ponyboy.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Domer Returns to Homeland

This is Love So the frivolity of the past weekend at Notre Dame has come and gone. I'm just starting to settle back into the routine. We ended up winning against Tennessee 41-21 and that gave us a one place jump to 7th in the polls. Nice. It was good to see old friends at ND: Tracy, Marco, Amy, Dean, Kurama, etc...and to see the GU reps of Matt and Danny. Its so different now, yet so much the same. The main difference is that Tracy is pregnant and Amy is pregnant again. Craziness. Then Kurama goes and tells me I'm getting old at 32 and I need to settle down. I'm starting to believe him. Until then, I will go on with what I feel is right.

Like I told Nick, training doesn't stop just because you're traveling. Play hard, work hard. I did two runs while I was in South Bend, one being a marathon training run of 13miles and another one being about 3-4 miles of tempo and stairs. Mostly it was to offset all the drinks and food consumed during the weekend. Even so, I felt lethargic last night, my first practice since leaving. I'm afraid that my training intensity is slowly waning and will make me lose my edge...but everywhere I read that it is neccessary to take it easy this season to refresh myself. So I'm so conflicted. Plus, we're going to be racing the Texas Dare as Team RunBikePaddle.com, so I want to do well, hopefully getting on the podium. MOAT is racing so it would be tough to take it from them, the USARA champs both in the open and masters divisions. That's just sick. Not fair.

There's a 25k race this weekend that I am contemplating doing right now, but 15.5 miles seems to be a long way to run right now...let alone race. Just upgraded Eve with Chris King hubs and 517 Mavic rims and I can feel the difference. Now I'm thinking of switching out my handlebar and headset...Nick has been my guide in this. He gave me the funniest thing for my birthday...my pimp name is Farrow Flex so he thought it would appropriate that he give me a Funk Master Flex medallion. Its so fresh! I just wish I could put it on Eve somehow.

BTW, Cus was played of course, but I was demolished by Matt, the newcomer. Beginners luck.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Revised Race Schedule

  • Talmo Navigation Race, Nov. 11, 2005. Stan?
  • Team Texas Sprint O, Dec. 3, 2005.
  • Texas Dare, Dec. 10, 2005. Team RunBikePaddle.com (Stan, Erin, Michael Collins)
  • Chevron Houston Marathon, Jan. 15, 2006.
  • TooCool Big Chill 24hr, Jan. 28, 2006. HART/Texas Rough Riders
  • King of Jester, Feb. 25, 2006.
  • BP MS-150, Apr. 22, 2006.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Touchdown in chitown

Touchdown in chitown

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Re: [AustinAdventureRacingTeam] Martindale Tri Results

--- Deborah Richardson <advrace@pdq.net> wrote:

> This weekend our relay teams took second and third
> place in their
> division and overall at the Martindale Triathlon
> with only a minute
> between the two!!! It was a close race. Congrats
> guys. HART and AART
> were well represented.
> Austin Adventure Racing Team
> Dave Bartell paddle 00:48:00, Mike Rendon run
> 00:51:25,Mike Drost bike
> 00:47:40 Finish 02:27:05
> Houston Adventure Racing Team
> Adam Nevill paddle 00:52:10, Stan Curtis run
> 00:51:52, Kenny Farrow
> bike 00:44:00 Finish 02:28:02