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"

Friday, September 28, 2007


Recently, for some reason, I've been getting reoccuring yearnings to go back to the Philippines for a visit. Not sure why, but it seems to be feeding on itself. I got a bit nostalgic, mostly because of Google Earth, and looked for my house in Angeles City. Here it is:

navigators always love to map it out

So crazy...it was so long ago, but I can vividly remember fragments of my time there. I'm just hoping I can finally get back and maybe even do an adventure race there--there's a yahoo group that I've joined just to keep track of the race scene there. They've actually done several races at the former Clark AFB. Speaking of, it makes me the saddest when I see what that place has become. So many buildings have been left to rot in place. A great example is this set of photos I found of the Base Hospital. Funny, because I used to dread going there, but now I miss it for some sadistic reason.

Clark Hospital just after abandonment, I think

Clark Hospital 2005

Crazy huh? I remember seeing photos of Wagner High School too, with the jungle pretty much reclaiming it...I didn't even go there (my brother did), but I miss it! Anyway, I just wanted to vent a little. Just in case, anyone want to race in the Philippines in the near future?!?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

RBP #3 Signals End to Sprint Season in Texas

HART/Hammer NutritionSo I had promised myself that I would not be denied a race this time--I was racing the 3rd and last installment of the Run Bike Paddle series. This looked somewhat to be in jeopardy as I had some trouble coming up with a teammate. Tom was racing with his son, and a number of other people had prior engagements. Thankfully, Rick was on the task and put Robert with me, so I would be racing in the male division again. I wanted to race coed to put up some USARA points for HART/Hammer Nutrition, but it just wasn't going to happen. So Flo and Tracie subbed in.

pre-race meetingThe 2 weeks before the race I got in some good training: HART practices, a speed workout (12x30-30), vetting of the WG Jones permanent orienteering course, biking the fruit loop for some mileage (cut short due to flat), and another LSD run of about 12 miles. Of all these sessions, I would have thought the speed workout would hurt the most, but it ended up being the LSD run since it was a nice hot and humid morning again on Saturday. We ran all the way to Heights Blvd and back and I had to dial it back a bit because I forgot my nutrition. I remembered that I just needed the mileage, so I didn't try to push the tempo.

Mo accompanied me to the race that morning and it was a good thing because Rick was running short on staff unexpectedly.

"Bob was working on other projects and [Rick] had to do this race all alone. Michelle is in Germany, Vera, bless her heart wanted to race and Lori, well Rocky had an emergency, Debbie T, and Monica wanted a crack at winning the series, Matt and Nancy needed to rest from vacation and they may have had enough last race to last a while...Mo helped with registration, Linda took over the registration and all the finish line stuff. Lisa managed Tom and Linda's kids and got all the boats finished up, the race bags done the finishing medals back up the tower and so much more...Mo, made the best hot dogs we've ever had."

picturesque morningSo, thankfully, everything seemed to just fall into place on the race management side of things so we could all just worry about racing. Hey, I did pump up one sevy and dragged, er, carried it over to the lakeshore. :) Anyway, Robert and I shored up our TA and warmed up a bit before the pre-race meeting. I knew Shaun and Carlos (MOAT) would be racing today, so we'd all be racing for 2nd place. Man, the race I decide to skip (RBP #2) MOAT doesn't show--figures! LOL. Sue opened up with a prayer and Rick went over the course. Pretty straightforward: run, bike, hike-n-bike, bike, paddle, climb tower, finish. There seemed to be a good turnout, with a lot of them being newbies.

uphill startWe were given 7 mins to get ready and then the race would start running up the boat ramp. After waiting a few more minutes for Shaun to get out of the WC, the race started with the blast of the megaphone horn. Immediately, the pack thinned out, with Carlos leading as usual. Flo was effortlessly towing Tracie up front and Tommy and Sarah were close by. Robert was certainly the stronger runner of the two of us, so I had planned to just hang on. In retrospect, I should have told him to tow me, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to sap his strength for the bike as I was sure the roles would be reversed. Anyway, we just kept plugging along and soon after Carlos and Shaun warmed up, they started to gap the whole field. We slowly pulled away from HART/Hammer Nutrition COED as we rounded the turnaround back to TA. I gave it one last burst on foot as my favorite part was about to start.

the podiumWell, my favorite part almost didn't last very long. We had a pretty quick transition and were on our bikes in no time. I had decided to just bring water bottles since I figured the trails wouldn't be that bumpy and I should be able to grab them without trouble. First time I tried, I mis-timed it and hit a dip as I tried to put back my bottle...there it went. Robert asked if I wanted to go back and get it, but we didn't have time for that...plus I still had one more. Next, as we went across a paved road, there were kids just aimlessly riding there bikes and I was briefly distracted by this. I drifted a bit off the dirt path and was heading for a ditch. Thankfully, I looked back forward and got away with my life by a slim margin! In fact, I hit the edge of the culvert, sending my back tire popping up high in the air and I barely saved myself from a very spectacular crash. Robert was impressed, and so were the kids as evidenced by there "oooohhs." I told Robert I would stop screwing around.

Meaux after her great volunteer workThe rest of the bike leg was pretty much uneventful, thankfully. We were about 3-5 mins behind MOAT and HART/Hammer COED was behind us by about the same amount. After finishing the loop, Robert transitioned into his running shoes while I stayed in my bike shoes as he said he was good to run the whole hike-n-bike. You know me--I wasn't going to disagree with him! So, for the most part we were going about 9-10 mph, which was a good pace...but not good enough to make time on MOAT. I think both MOAT and HART/Hammer COED made time on us on that leg--both teams had superb runners. After that leg it was another, shorter, bike leg. I remained happy as I was still on the bike, but it was then that we realized that MOAT had indeed made time on us, but we were pulling away from HART/Hammer COED.

We got back to TA in no time and Robert's wife said we were kickin' butt! Next was the paddle, which, in hindsight, could have been bad since we had never paddled together. I assumed I had more experience in the rubber duckies, so I immediately took rear seat. While it wasn't the fastest paddle, we did alright and was able to stay on course. It was at this point that the placings were pretty much set as a snapshot. We looped around the channel markers, docked our boats and did the final run up the tower and back down to the finish line. We finished in a bit over an hour...now that's what I call a sprint! 2nd place overall.

The weather was great and the race was even better--I had a lot of fun at this one. I had no expectations for this one, so that made it real relaxed...except for that brief moment right before the horn went off--my nerves always go whack at that point! As tough as these sprints are, I'm somewhat sad that the season is over. But of course, we have bigger fish to fry later in the year!

Yuki wants rabbit for dinnerAnd, oh yah, we got a rabbit. Yes, everyone...Mo. Even the best defenses let one through a gap once in a while. Say 'hi' to Usagi. Actually, she's really cute and fun--its like pressing fast forward as she likes to suddenly sprint in random directions without provocation. Of course, I think Yuki wants to eat her, so we have limited their exposure to each other.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

RunBikePaddle Sprint AR #3 Suunto T6 Log

* pods not used due to race rigors
** altitude not calibrated: about 120ft below actual

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

K-SPoT's Home on the Web is Moving Again!

ok, bud, where do you want it?WARNING: Non-adventure race-related material.
Alright, it was coming. Time Warner has switched over to Comcast, so my web host has changed by default. So please update your bookmarks:


I tried getting "kspot" again, but this time someone beat me there! Frick! Anyway, in the process, one good thing happened: I have a little more space to work with therefore the following links now work:

"Left Hemisphere"
-->"Academics" (past classes and project reports in PDF!)
-->"Research" (papers and DISSERTATION, draft, in PDF!)
-->"Buildings" (this one is still in skeleton form)

"Right Hemisphere"
-->"Turkey" (travel jounal, pics still not operable)
-->"Japan" (travel journal, pics still not operable)
-->"Visual-Visual" (still skeleton form)

As you will notice, a lot of the photos aren't up because I still have to update the pointers for them. Otherwise, papers, reports, etc are available! Anyway, if there's anything that should be on there and isn't and you want it back on there, let me know.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

This Week's Training Update

Warship and the CajunSo, its been a while since I've blogged about my training, so here's my attempt to catch up. I have been having good weeks of training, until my one-on-one battle with conjunctivitis a week or so ago. My eye was red for a week, but didn't bother me...then came the second week--ouch! I didn't know pink eye could be so debilitating! So, I pretty much took a week off of training and when I tried to get back on the wagon with a 7mi run, it hurt. It pisses me off that it only takes a few days for you to notice de-training! After a week of good re-training, I think I'm back to where I was before the infection.

Last Monday I went for an easy 40min run around the Memorial jogging loop just to get back into the swing of things. I saw Mikey and Tracie training, cruising. We were going opposite directions so all we did was wave. Tuesday was HART training--it was somewhat easy because of the 24hr race the weekend before and also because the heavens opened to unload sheets of rain. We did a loop around Memorial and performed some cals along the way. Of course, with the ditches filled with water the way they were, we weren't going to escape without a little wading. There was so much rain that it was up to my waist when I jumped in. Good times.

Took Wednesday off because I had my eye docs appt that afternoon, then Thurs was HART training again. It was hot as usual and Rick decided it would be a good day to do a PFT run. I haven't done one of these in probably a year and I wasn't going to start up again in this oppressive heat, so I just took it easy. In fact, it was my slowest PFT time since I started recording them back in 05. Tommy was very happy that he beat me finally in a PFT. We finished the training session off with some pullups then 8 laps around the fruit loop. I was with the Warship so we cruised., finishing ahead of everyone.

Mikey and KennyFriday was another off day, then Saturday morning I went on a LSD run of 10miles. It felt really good and I was able to keep my pace at around 8min, with brief uptempo sections getting up to 7:30 or better. I was very happy that I didn't have a repeat of last weekend's LSD run--that was painful. Sunday I went for my usual in-town bike ride: Beauchamp-Houston-Washington-Arnot-Crestwood-Memorial-Fruit Loopx10-Memorial-Crestwood-Arnot-Washington-Roy-I10-Shepherd-9th-Bayland-Beauchamp. While at the F-loop, I saw Shaley, the Surgeon, Iron-Will, and Nipple-I. They were just getting done with a trail run. Looked like it was fun. :) Afterwards, Mo and I went over to her co-worker's Labor Day Weekend cookout. Little did I know that it was another one of her ambush attempts--when we get there, there's a "suprise" for me. Yes, everyone...a puppy. Actually two, but she gives me the option of only adopting one. Thanks. I stayed firm with our agreement, so we didn't come home with a dog. You're welcome, Yuki and Nikko. Despite all this, Mo's coworker's friends were pretty hilarious!...why do most weekend discussion devolve into scatiological humor...not that I disapprove, I'm just curious.

Monday, we decided to do a team training session up in the Bastrop/Smithville area. The Google map posted in my previous blog was our plan, but the weather and shortness of day conspired against us. Nevertheless, we got in a good 25mi paddle from Bastrop to Smithville, finishing in 4hrs--yes, the water was up! We then proceeded to Rocky Hill to get a lap in, but that's when the storm rolled in. Ross and Raymund had just finished their ride and advised us not to go out there. Hardheaded, we went out and at about 1mi in, it just got plain nasty. We called it and turned around--good thing we weren't deeper into the trail system to where there wasn't any turning back. We threw our bikes into the cars and met up with Raymund and Ross at the Roadhouse. Not exactly the training session I had envisioned, but still a pretty good paddle otherwise.

into thin alpineaire :)This week looks to be pretty routine, until the last RunBikePaddle sprint race of the year...I hope to actually race this one! Anyway, that's all I have for now. I leave you with another pic from RTNX, courtesy of Jen. Cheers and happy training!