Friday, November 23, 2012

A Day of Thanksgiving!

Yesterday morning I awoke with great excitement in anticipation of my first race in some time. After downing 2 Gatorades and heading to the gathering area in Ft Worth, I discovered that evidently almost 15000 others had the same idea which made parking quite difficult. It was not long before the announcer stated that the 10K would be starting in 5 minutes. And then the 2 Gatorades made their presence known in my bladder. I asked a race official if he could give me the location of the nearest portable facilities and after getting directions from this fine gentleman, I rushed to the facilities only to find out that I could complete the actual 10K and still not have made it through the long lines to the facilities. At this time, the announcer declared that the 10K would be starting in 2 minutes so I rushed back to the starting line and after a few side-straddle hops and cartwheels, the race began.
My racing strategy was quite simple. I planned to start slow and the gradually go slower. When I reached the 5th mile, my plan was to catch everybody that was within my vision to the front by sprinting to the finish line. I felt that since I ran 6 miles on Monday evening in 1:08:35, I was going to aim for a finishing time of about the same for the 6.1 mile race. I decided to play it safe with my ETA since I had never run this course before and only had one rough map to gauge elevation.
Surprisingly, I kept to my strategy quite well during the first 5 miles and I found that the time I spent studying the course with the rough map I did have proved quite helpful. At no time did I not know where I was on the course and how far was left to negotiate. The hills that were on the course were quite tame in relation to the trail hills I have faced and thus I was able to power up the hills with some ease. It was amusing to hear people curse when they arrived at the hills and then watch them slow down to a walk. It brought me great pleasure to pass these unprepared enthusiasts.
Before I knew it, Mile 5 had arrived and I was ready to begin racing. I gradually increased my speed and began roping people in. It appeared I inspired a few runners in my area because a few of them attempted to start their kicks with me. One female wearing a White Rock Marathon shirt seemed to be especially keen on staying with me for the last 1/4 mile. But when I saw the finish line ahead and the PA speakers blaring SRV, I smirked and took off even faster leaving her behind to enjoy the view of my posterior. My finishing time was 1:06:06. but strangely my phone read a distance of 6.3 miles. If that is accurate, I actually ran faster at the race than I expected to!
As I crossed the finish line, I headed straight to the facilities and found no lines. I do not know which felt better: finishing the race or relieving myself in the facilities. After this task was complete, I began to look for my work friends who were on the 5K course. I reversed the course and was able to walk in to the finish line with them thus completing this race day chasing a very fast 5 year old grandson of a coworker across the finish line. He crossed the line and yelled "I won!". Yes you did!
After a few more cartwheels and side straddle hops, I headed home to begin my feasting and to give thanks openly for my great speed!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A 6 Mile Excursion Along the River

 I would like to open this rendition by congratulating the strapping Flugelhorn players in Amarillo for their victorious match against Lubbock High School last week. Their Winged T formation was a beautiful combination of artistry and substance!
 Last night, after achieving limited hours of sleep and no runs on the weekend past due to a staph infection obtained by my offspring, I ventured to the Trinity River for a 6 mile run. My objective was to ensure my body was at least slightly prepared for the 6.2 mileTurkey Trot on Thursday morning. I decided that a slow pace would better serve me since this run was basically a test to find out at which mile I would be needing medical attention. It would appear that this will be at miles 2 thru 6.
 I am pleased with my decision not to run for time. My run was interrupted frequently by work issues and families of 10 that felt it proper to not move aside for sparsely clothed runners as myself. I finished in 1 hour : 8 minutes : 35 seconds with an average pace of 11:25 per mile. Also, I chose not to kick at the end of the run which will almost certainly not be the case if I am still verticle at mile 5. Unfortunately, this may not be the case since my initial course preview says that the Turkey Trot contains quite a few hills. However, my strategy is developed and it is sound. I feel the best way to enjoy the race is to visit each individual person who I see on the race course and thank them for their support. And if they have a house nearby, I will ask them if they would be so kind to let me borrow their facilities and / or couch / bed / undergarment drawer.
  No intentional runs are scheduled until the Turkey Trot. I hope to blog immediately upon the conclusion of the run if the medics will allow me to do so.  Until then, I wish all great happiness and bliss!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Tale Insanity....

Since last night's run was not accomplished, and slightly inspired by my completed registration in the Ft Worth Turkey Trot that takes place on the Day of Thanksgiving, I decided to challenge myself this very eve. After work I immediately dispatched to the Trinity River Trail and embarked on a 3 mile run. After the run was complete, my plan was to go without delay to the last Flugelhorn practice of the year. Then after Flugelhornery was complete, I would embark on a 2 mile excursion to place my daily run total at 5 miles.
As I neared the practice, I discovered that neither my son nor my brother were at the practice. Thinking the easy task to perform would be to go home and focus on nutrient acquisition, I decided that a trip to the local track for a 2 mile run would be the least intelligent endeavor to complete. So obviously I went to the track.
My legs were not happy with my decision so Run # 2 was not off to a fun beginning. I decided that after 4 laps I would re-evaluate my condition and then see if a continuation was feasible. The first mile went extremely slow, but I found the pain ironically pleasurable and I as I hit the 1 mile mark, I continued running. At this point, stopping before another mile was complete would seem foolish. Thus I continued running and quite honestly, when I completed mile # 2, I felt I could have perhaps run at least another 10 yards to 1 mile. While my pace for the second run was not anything to boast about, I felt pleased that I put myself in a challenging situation and did not collapse in the process.
This night validated my reasons for running. I was able to place myself, voluntarily, in a position above my current fitness level and enjoyed the opportunity to feel some decent pain in the process. I can summarize my reasons for running by saying I run to hurt.
Tomorrow I am playing with minstrels in Frisco so no running excursions are planned. Additionally, I would like to congratulate the Wing T Formation Sandstorm in Amarillo for their competition victory tonight. From the sound of the score, their victory came with great ease. This concept of ease is something that my running is not very familiar with.
This weekend I plan to run 1 long run (by my standards) of 7.5 miles. Then a maybe a 3 mile run on Tuesday to keep me loose for my 6.1 race on Thursday morn.
I wish all a good night and I wish the good and just people of Frisco good luck with my playing tomorrow night. I hope they are patient and understanding with my musical talents!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A River Revisited!

Since an All-Star Flugelhorney practice was scheduled at 6:30pm last night, I decided that the best chance I had to get a decent run in was to head back to the haunting Trinity River and run 3 miles. My plan worked almost to perfection and I arrived at the park @ 5:15pm. My objective was to get my run completed in 30 mimutes and then head straight to coach the young flugelhorn enthusuiasts. To my great surprise, I finished the run in 29 minutes and 33 seconds and off to Flugelhornery I went.
 Tonight there is no practice so I am going to attempt 5 miles despite my soreness from the 2 days hence. Perhaps some type of ointment rubdown will be of benefit. I can proclaim for sure that this run will be slower than my previous 5 mile run. But miles in the bank will surely facilitate a stronger finish at the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morn.
 At this time, I would like to wish the Amarillo High Sandstorm good fortune in their playoff match against the Lubbock High Westerners tomorrow evening. The Traditional Wing T Formation of marching that is used by Amarillo should surely find them great success against the Westerners. I wish I could attend the event in person, but I will be playing with the minstrels this weekend so my moderately untalented services will be needed in the burg of Frisco. I feel with great confidence that the Amarillo instructors will have their flugelhorners fully prepared and that their choice to wear exotic thongery will inspire their students to an exciting victory! And to show my support I will also wear exotic thongery for my endeavors this weekend!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Run on the River....

With a raging fever and frequent Frugelhornery limiting my runs last week, I ventured to a park near my office of employment after work to embark on a 5 mile adventure along the Trinity River Trail. The trail was sparsely populated and I felt as if it was just me and the river (and whatever was floating in it of unbeknownst origins).
My pace was fairly quick for me and I decided that I will see if finishing in 50 minutes was feasible. At 2.5 miles, I turned around and headed back to the starting point. At mile 4, my timepiece stated that I had been running for 41 minutes. A 9 minute mile on my last mile would indeed be a challenge for my lacking fitness, but I gamely kept moving as fast as I could manage in hopes that my efforts would seize the day!
As I approached my vehicle at the conclusion, I looked at my timepiece and it stated 51 minutes & 4 seconds. And more disappointedly, it stated 4.95 miles. My logic and meager calculation skills dictate that if Point A to B is 2.5 miles, the reciprocal should also be 2.5 miles. Evidently my calculations skills are indeed lacking. After cursing loudly, I got inside my vehicle and contemplated the whereabouts of the missing .05 miles. The only workable conclusions that I could surmise were the following:
1. The curvature of the earth and it's rotation spinning towards me caused the finish line to move up .05 miles
2. I entered a Distance Wormhole
3. A combination of the 2
Either way, I will not tarry too long with such complex physics calculations. If had such skills in my possession, I would surely not be writing this blog but instead be traveling through time with a trusty band of Ninja Monkeys.
Tonight's plan is to run an easy 3 mile jaunt again along the Trinity. And perhaps tonight my distance will not be shortened by enviromenta phenomena!
I have attached a few photos the Ft. Worth skyline on last night's run. Besides the floating carcasses in the river, the Nutria trying to splash me and the sounds of coyotes, it is quite fun to run this trail and watch the traffic congestion on I-30 & I-35 and observe the road rage from a safe distance.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Plan is Devised....

 With it being Election Day and Frugelhorn Practice Day yesterday, I prioritized my evening plans and journeyed to my voting site dressed as George Washingtonfirst after my workly duties were complete. To make my vote count even less, I decided to run to the polling site in honor of our great forefathers who voted before cars and hove-arounds were invented.
 It was indeed going to be a long journey to the site so I took off running attire at a steady pace cursing at the stability of my wig (or Whig). After a few paces were completed, I heard my name called out and turned around to see my patriotic son coming after me. He asked my permission to accompany me to vote even though he is not yet eligible to vote for he is 6 months too young. But his enthusiasm for witnessing the democratic process (and additionally his desire for probable extra credit for his AP US Government class) inspired me to run at a brisk pace with him trailing behind me. After our 200 yard journey to the polling site was finished, I rushed in to vote and we returned to the domicile feeling patriotic and rushed about to get to Frugelhorn practice. The young men were quite confused by my George Washington attire and asked why I was dressed as that dude on the money. I replied that for $1 I would give them an answer. Much to my surprise, my coin purse was not any heavier at the conclusion of practice.
 After practice was complete, I referenced my new running plan and was happy to see that I was scheduled for a 3 mile run. I completed that quite easily in an embarassingly slow 29 minutes and 3 seconds. From the lack of traffic, it appeared that most citizens were carefully monitoring the election results and were at home working on their excuses for not being able to vote.
 I would like to share my racing (the term "race" hardly feels apropriate considering my inadequate skills) plans for the next few months so that you, my loyal reader, will be able to share my future defeats with me. Here is a list of my future races so that you may mark your calendars enthusiatically with your quills:
 November 22nd - Ft Worth Turkey Trot 10K (dressed as pilgrim or Native American - gender       undecided)
 February 16th - Cross Timbers Trail Race @ Lake Texoma Half Marathon (dressed as cupid)
 February 23rd - Cowtown 5K in Ft Worth (attire undecided- suggestions welcome)
 March 23rd - Grasslands Trail Race in Decatur TX - despite my earlier threats, I feel it will be more entertaining to run the marathon at this race and save my first ultra race for the summer when it is warmer and potentially more fatal.
 I hope all are doing well and that this post-election day finds you in great spirits!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Weekend Trail Run Accomplished!

With an afternoon of the work phone looming in front of me, I felt it only appropriate to head to Cedar Hill State Park armed with a pens and work papers stuffed in my Fanny Pack of Fun with 2 water bottles for hydration purposes ready to handle any obstacle that appeared before me. The weather was outstanding with the temperature a sunny 74 degrees and plenty of daylight left to attempt the 7.5 mile Blue Loop .
I considered staying on the short loop and doing laps, but I was harboring a desire to get out a little bit to avoid the crowds that generally stay on the short loop. My plan was a success and I was only interrupted by workage calls during the first mile. I was pleased that the appropriate materials was stuffed in my Fanny Pack of Fun and handled these issues with surprising efficiency.
The trail was at times densely populated but my manuevering skills made their impact on my run minimal except for the large group of Asians who were predominantly pushing their bikes and made me feel like I was watching a parade pass by. At least they apologized for their slowness and I was able to continue my jaunt through the park with great enthusiasm.
Today I was able to total 7.5 miles and feel pleased that I had some energy left at the end of the run despite this being the beginning of my resurgence into the world of running. This week will surely be a challenge to get quality miles in, but I have contingency plans in place. I look forward to putting them in place to continue my quest for a last place finish in March.
Now it is time to prepare to watch the Dallas Cowboys Football Club continue their dreadful display of football!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Tale of Bonus Miles!

With no obligations until 7:30pm, I felt it only appropriate to head to River Legacy in Ft Worth to see how the trails looked after my jobly duties were complete today. The temperature was a comfortable 86 degrees F which made me perform a mild interprative dance before the run since I remembered not so fondly of a run at this very park when the thermometer read 106 degrees earlier this very year. 20 degrees is an exciting and stimulating difference! Additionally, Daylight Savings Time is fast approaching and I fear the darkness will be quick approaching too quickly after work to do any more trail runs next week hence.
I feel obligated to also mention that I have been strength training in the wee morning hours and this morning was dedicated to heavy squats. This activity had a heavy influence on today's performance and I fear upon my waking on the morrow, the morning will be filled with various cursages and the questioning of my existence.
Human population on the trail was sparce as I began and I embarked on my objective enthusiastically with a keen eye on the available sunlight. My first mile went faster than expected but it was not soon upon its completion that my swollen quadriceps reminded me of this morning's activity. At that time, I realized that speed was not going to be an ally of mine on this run. I forged on and reminded myself that in a normal run through this darkened forest, I would only have to cover 2.6 or so miles and within 30 minutes I would be back at my vehicle heading to my domicile to prepare for the rest of the night's activities.
Evidently, the trails had been worked on since my last jaunt through them and I found new undiscovered areas to explore. Some of which had large congregations of males in them. I felt it safer to run through these areas as fast as possible (despite my increased lactic acid buildup due to this morning's heavy squats) and did not waste much mental energy debating the activities that could be taking place in the general vicinity. The extra loop I discovered, while inhabited by individuals with questionable intentions (this park does have a reputation of extracurricular male entanglements), provided a pleasant extra mile in which I considered a bonus despite my depleted quadricep's cry for stoppage.
As I lay in bed with the quivering of my quadriceps slowly ceasing, I am very pleased that I was able to get some dirt time in while I had the opportunity to do so. I shan't have the opportunity to enagage in any runs until Sunday. But I feel the rest will allow my legs a goodly chance to recover and thus I look forward to Sunday's run with great exhuberance!
And a further note: Do not eat large amounts of cheese on heavy exercise days. I have become a great friend of A & D ointment this evening....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Tale of Resurrection

So I feel an explanation is in order for my elongated absence. I can only blame my ambitiousness and the unexpected success of the frugelhorn players who surprisingly advanced well into the postseason. Unfortunately they will not be playing in the final round but will get to play in 12 days for 3rd place! I am proud of their accomplishments but it took a lot more time out of my day than I ever anticipated. Hence my training suffered dramatically. My conscious would not allow me to parcel my efforts between intense training and frugelhorn instruction. Thus I chose the altruistic path and spent more time and effort with them instead of myself. I deduced that more of them were influenced from my instruction than were finding this blog beneficial. But as this season winds down to a smoldering close, I am opportunistic that I can renew my training!
And I have chosen on this Eve of All Hallow's Eve to announce that I will not be able to run in the Rockledge Rumble on the 10th of November. For that very morning, we have our last Flugelhorn Competition. I have emailed the race directors to express my plight in hopes that someone will be able to take my spot. For as talented as I may not appear, I am surely not talented enough to be in 2 places 20 leagues apart at the same time.
I have decided to embark on a new race objective on March 23rd, 2013 that is called the Grasslands Race in Decatur TX. This should give me ample time to train for I shall need it! The race lengths are either 13.1, 26.2 or 50 miles. Common Sense dictates that I should attempt the 13.1 race, so naturally I will make the 50 mile race my objective.
I have run sporadically over the last 2 months, but I ventured out this very eve and completed a paltry 4 mile run and feel none the worse for it. And this after donating blood yesterday (once again Common Sense has eluded me)! Much to my surprise I averaged just over 10 minutes per mile so perhaps I have retained a small pathetic portion of my my previous unfitness!
Additionally, I am working on a tweeting social media application that will allow, all who wish to do so, the ability to get updates on my training runs. I am planning to have it send out updates every 1.5 miles and I hope to have this application operational for tomorrow's run. Thus if you see my progress cease to a grinding halt, please notify emergency personnel immediately for my enemies may be upon me! When this exciting application is running correctly (unlike it did this very night), I will give the necessary instructions that are needed. I am sure that you are excited to watch relentless backwards progress as it happens live!
I hope this prose has found you well and that you look forward to my new mis-adventure opportunities!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Getting the Trail Legs Back....

 With sore legs after last night's weakened slog home after Flugelhornery, I looked forward to testing the trail legs at Gateway Park after my workly duties were completed today. With no rain in the area since yesterday afternoon, I was hopeful that the trail would be open and dry enough to get some decent work in with the weather slightly cooperative for the skies were clear skies and the temperature rested at a humid 91 degrees . With great joy and celebration, the trail appeared open and I began my journey with enthusiasm and jubilant merriment. The parking lot was scarcely populated so my concerns about being stalked and approached by men with less than pure intentions quickly faded. Last night I was metaphorically spanked by Mile 2 Hill on my run home and I had no intentions of being involuntarily spanked by manly means on this night (if rumors about some of the fitness enthusiasts in this park are accurate and an experience in this park recently did little to dispel such rumors). Nonetheless, I took off from the trailhead opportunistic that my run would be successful and pleased that my recent concerns were purely imaginative given the lack of potential perpetrators in the near vicinity.
  My opportunism soon vanished as my legs displayed great reluctance to appear athletic within any stretch of the imagination due to the stiffness from last night's run. Though I mentally attacked the trail with aggressive determination, my legs were very slow to respond to most of my requests and the tightening in my upper legs made me fearful of injury. Thus I decided that a run of any decent length would due more harm than good so I convinced myself that 1 loop through the trail would adequately work my stiff legs which had not recently experienced the technical challenges of any trail running. Other factors weighed in this decision as well. My evening schedule was not as clear as I previously thought with extra errands needing to be completed in a timely manner upon my run's completion. Thus with great disappointment I exited the trail after one brief loop of 2.68 miles.
 Tomorrow's run will be 4-6 miles and then this weekend I will courageously attempt a 10-15 mile skirmish on Saturday followed by 9 mile hackery on Sunday. I will need to get my fitness back as quickly as possible to regain the momentum needed to get back on schedule. For at the end of this week I will have but 9 weeks left to train before I embark on my race adventure and quest to finish DFL.
 It would be easy to be disenchanted with my quest and if I appear in such a manner, do not be discouraged or uneasy about my affairs. I am stubbornly motivated and will take whatever actions that are needed to cross the finish line after all others. Of this I am extremely confident!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Painful Return....

 Finally I have been blessed with a return to my DFL training! The last week was filled with so much Flugelhornery, rain storms, and unscheduled minstral appearances that finding time to even consider an inadequate weekend run was indeed out of the question.
 I was worried that the lack of training over the last 2 weeks would put my fitness in a state of despair. After tonight's run, I feel that my concerns were quite substantiated. The Flugelhorn players were released by 8:30pm this evening and I promptly clipped my Party Bag of Man Pursery on and took off running before some concern could present itself which would make me have second thoughts of my current undertaking!
 My first 2 miles were at blistering pace. Much faster than I have ever run before on this course and my confidence level swelled immensely. However, Mile 2 Hill had second thoughts about my pace and before I reached the crest, I was confident that certain impending humiliation had my throat firmly grasped. My pace, up until then, was averaging a brisk 9:30 minutes per mile! But Mile 2 Hill promptly pulled down my britches and gave me a sharp spanking for starting out too fast. By the time I had completed Mile 3, I was a minute slower per mile and my hopes of a 5 mile run were quickly and enthusiastically abandoned. With the recent rains, the humidity had doubled since my last training session and I felt as if I was running in a steamed bath house minus the obligatory towel whipping from the obese hairy gentleman in the corner. I obviously was not prepared to complete a run of decent distance or any resemblance of comfort for that matter. I decided that my final mile would be a decent opportunity to work on struggling of which I am sure I will be doing at the race. This objective was successfully completed  for I am sure that anyone who saw me surely gasped in horror and awaited my impending collapse. As I turned onto the final stretch, I had slowed almost to 11 minutes per mile. This humiliating effort, though both mentally and physically painful, will be righted in due time!
 This run already has motivated me to vigorously attack my training in the upcoming days and I will need all the assistance (and also prayers) I can get.  I am hopeful that tomorrow's run will be on a trail near work for 7 miles. I do fear, however, that the trail may be closed due to the recent rainfall so alternate routes of failure will need to be contemplated. Nonetheless, I will be prepared to attack tomorrow's training with as much energy and curse words as I can muster and am hopeful that the adventure will give me plenty of ill advised antics that I can report to you upon its completion!
 I hope that you are pleased with my inglorious return and may this report confirm to you that my idiocracy has not been abandoned and will thus continue with ill advised determination and relentless stupidity!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Surprising Return After a Brief Interlude....

I give my sincerest apologies for not reporting an account of my affairs over the last week. Due to increased demands from work and a significant amount of attention needed by the young Flugelhorn players, I was not able to work on my fitness for a week's time. With great fortune I was able to not only schedule but complete a run tonight which caused me great despair throughoust this day. I was indeed overly concerned that my fitness level had decreased in a week's time to such a state that even a marginal jaunt would be cumbersome and sickly. Hence I concluded that I would test my current capacity with a lazy and slothfully paced 5 mile excursion through the neighborhood.
To my surprise the begiining of the run was quite easy and I reached the one mile mark with little to report and at a pace of 10 minutes and 20 seconds. I felt even somewhat refreshed thus I decided to concentrate on my breathing and not so much my running. I had a desire to see how long I would last by breathing through my nasal cavity and out of my mouth for I had read that this method of breathing allows an decreased amount of carbon dioxide build up within the lungs which facilitates more efficient running. I started this breathing method at mile number two and by mile three I was pleased enough with the results to continue doing so until I felt that any more continuance would be detrimental to my survival.
This breathing is much quieter than my normal hyperventilation method and I was surprised when I ran up on two different groups of young people who evidently had been gathering at different spots along my route to conduct in Late Summer Revelry. I felt pleased to see such young people out in the night looking to have a positive effect on our community. Surely the smell of alcohol was my imagination or some new fashionable perfume they had decided to use. I paused briefly at each group and thanked them for volunteering for the better good of our humble community and to this they were well pleased for they all stated something that sounded like "punto" and "pentejo". Though I am not conversant in the local Hispanic Dialect, I am familiar with a few common terms and I believe they were telling me that I looked well and that they wished me luck on the rest of my run. My heart was warmed by their encouragement and I continued on my journey. They must have thought I was thirsty for I heard two bottles crash behind me each time I left one of the groups. How nice of them to consider my needs! I must remember to ask them if they want to be a part of my race crew if I see them again. I would be honored to have such wholesome citizens included in my race adventure!
I was not able to continue my breathing pattern much after mile three, but my breathing after that was very relaxed so I must remember also to continue this method in the future.
To my surprise I concluded my five miles in under 54 minutes. After some searching through my records over my last ten runs, I was surprised to see I was almost 3 minutes faster than my previous runs at a distance of five miles. This alarmed me greatly for I felt surely that my week off would have a negative effect on my ability to improve. Alas this gives me great hope that my chances of DFLing are still quite good. My evil foes were not about this evening but I will remain on alert for their crafty ploys should they decide to be on the attack again.
I bid you all a good evening for it is time for me to extinguish the reading candle and begin a peaceful slumber that will prepare me adequately for the adventures that tomorrow shall bring forth.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Miscalculation Improves Speed

Tonight's running plan looked very solid on paper as I plotted out the prospective course on my parchment with my favorite feather quill. The evening began at the local high school where I would pick up my son and then we planned to attend a planned Flugelhorn Instructor's Certification together. I would drive to certification from the local high school and then run the 4-6 miles home for my son would be able to ride home with my brother who had also planned to attend the certification process. Flugelhorn Instructors take certification very seriously and seeing the many Instructors in attendance made it a pleasant affair, though competition among marching teams is always very heated, especially the first week of the marching season. While we Instructors share a commom fondness of Flugelhorns and all that it implies, the icy stairs between Instructors created a freezing undercurrent that only can be warmed on the field during the heated battle of competitions. Our first competition will be this coming Saturday and not one Instructor feels that their players are ready. I feel that the Instructors are just as nervous as the players!
 After the certification was complete, my son joined my brother and they began their journey home and I prepared for the run. After stopping by my vehicle to get my hydration belt, I started to run out of the parking lot. I looked back at my vehicle briefly then stopped suddenly! If I was to run home, then how would I get my vehicle back to the domicile? What a shocking display of planning! For hark! Alas! I would still need to somehow get my vehicle home. I surely could not run and drive at the same time! I thought briefly of running 1.75 miles away from the vehicle then returning to the vehicle with a textbook Out and Back Adjustment for my planned distance this evening was 3.5 miles! But then my vehicle would be unattended and would be left quite ripe for sabotage. It could very well be that my running foes are secretly allied with the Instructors. Thus I changed my plan and drove to my abode and then I could get miles in around the neighborhood where my vehicle would be protected from foulery.
 After I arrived home, I plotted a new course that would total 4.4 miles of flat road road running. The flatness would give me an opportunity to increase my speed and the extra .9 miles would put me ahead of my weekly total. This plan was briefly celebrated and then I embarked on my run. I began running confident in my energy level but slightly disappointed in my earlier logistical management, which was severely lacking any intelligent forethought.
 Nonetheless, my run began at a brisk pace and I soon could tell I was in the midst of a a run of epic proportions! The few days off since my long run on Saturday had apparently given my legs some much needed rest and I was running as fast as I ever run this course. I kept waiting for the throes of fatigue to tackle me and stop me dead in my tracks. But hark my speed never decreased! I found myself not jogging, but actually running as if the wind was carrying me through the streets. As I passed potential thuggery gathered on the street corners drinking large containers of apparent imbibery, I exclaimed loudly "I am the wind! I am the wind!" The silence that followed was an obvious sign of intimidation.
  Soon I was on the backstretch of my run, striding ever harder when the pacekeeper on my cellular communications device told me dryly that I had reached 3.0 miles. Evidently I miscalculated the route! I finished at 3.1 miles instead of the intended 4.4! Another logistical miscalculation has risen before me! I was in a state of great dispair as I stopped in the yard of my domicile and silently cursed the state of my self-imposed affairs. But alas, creative cursage would only pull me deeper into dispair. Thus I pulled myself out of my neighbor arousing tantrum and quietly entered my abode. I could let this affair dampen my spirit, but I shall not! I at least completed a run in which my pace was faster than expected. For this I will be pleased and will use my miscalculations today as a lesson to take more time in my planning. A lesson learned indeed!
 Tomorrow's run will consist of a 4-6 mile jaunt home after Frugelhorn rehearsal and of this route I am quite sure that I shall not defeat myself with unintelligent planning!
 I am the Wind!

A Highly Anticpated Run That is Cancelled

 I eagerly looked forward to an enegertic 6 mile jaunt after Flugelhorn practice on Tuesday eve. I felt somewhat satisfied that my training and DFL strategy implementation were placing me in a state of near confidence and that I had a decent chance of successfully reaching my objectives. 
 However, a look to the north quickly dashed my hopes of a decent run. A highly electrical storm was fast approaching and the forbidding clouds darkened my hopes of any safe training on this night. The storm approached with such speed that we had to clear the young Flugelhorners from the field due to near by lightning strikes.
 After the young enthusiasts were dispatched to their parents, the instructors quickly followed. The violent lightning strikes created a surreal, apocalyptcal scene that caused me great fear. Thus I agreed with the recommendations of my fellow instructors that our lives were surely in danger and that the seeking of immediate shelter would be a prudent decision.
 The storm as passed now and I feel that my chances of running on Wednesday night are quite good. Hence I hope that the cooler temperatures that ushered in such atmospheric violence the previous night will motivate me to train in a hardy and robust manner this coming night.
 I shall report my success at the conclusion of my run tonight and would hope that my loyal readers following my progress from their homes will encourage me to be at least moderately successful.
 Until tonight, I wish you a great day and that all of you create your own daily masterpieces!

Monday, August 13, 2012

An Early Morning Adventure....

 Due to Flugelhorn practice running late on Friday evening, I was forced to forego Friday evening's run. I was reluctant to make such a decision, but a run of vital significance would be taking place the following morning (a long run at Cedar Hill State Park). If I had indeedrun on Friday night, the run's late finish would have more than likely impeded my performance the following morning. Thus I began to focus on the Saturday morning run immediately upon practice completion.
 I awakened from my slumber @ 6:30am CST Saturday with the temperature hovering at an incredibly fortunate 71 degrees. By far the coolest temperatures in quite some time. This caused quite a stir in my body parts upon my awakening. To take advantage of the temperature and to hasten the completion of my run, I rushed hurriedly to the trailhead. I feared that with the cooler temperature, the trail could be quite congested. Thus I wanted to secure a parking spot close to the trailhead so that I would not have to crawl far upon finishing the run. Surprisingly, there were only 6 cars present and this excited me greatly. I was not in the park but 2 minutes when I spotted 2 coyotes walking around the park road. When they noticed my presence, they looked at me brieflly and then sprinted into a wooded area. I felt this was a good omen indeed and I wondered out loud if my evil foes had attempted to foil me again with coyote usage.
  Due to me being needed at a Flugelhorn event at 11am after the run, I decided against running the longer loop posted at 12 miles, but instead embarked on the posted 3 Mile Loop. My objective was to complete 4 laps of this loop which would put me at a total of 12 miles. Additionally, this plan would keep me closer to the bathroom in case of acute gastric detonation. Foreshadowing intended.....
Feeling confident of my run strategy, I was even more surprised when another strategy developed surprisingly within my collective consciousness which created additional excitement. This racing strategy will be an epic advancement in Ultra-marathon racing and will, with little doubt, allow any individual an easy path to DFL in any race they enter. I will share this with you at another time possibly, but there is more adventure to share with you at this time!
 Upon nearing completion of my first loop (which ended up being a mere 2.65 miles and not the posted 3 miles), a familiar chaos was beginng to reveal itself in my bowels. I decided to keep running when I reached the trailhead, but instead of remaining on course, I sprinted straight to the bathroom. The parking lot was becoming more congested, but I still managed a hurried wave and declared to all who were present to not worry! I will be fine upon the completion of my next bodily objective! The neaby bathroom was quite hospitable and this task was successful with great thanks to my sprinting abilities. At this time, I was quite pleased that I had not chosen the longer loop for using Poison Ivy as a moist towlette has no appeal to me and would be difficult to explain if so asked as to why I am rubbing my reddened derriere on the ground like a frustrated canine!
After sprinting back onto the course and getting alarmed gasps from fitness enthusiasts gathered near the trailhead, I was able to complete Loop 2 with few incidents of consequence except for a monumental surge in energy caused by the nasty tasting Roctane Gu I had consumed. This sticky concoction is of the foulest tasting snake oil potions I have ever tried, but is quite affective in maintaing energy levels. I am still wondering why some of this ended up in my hair and inside my running shorts (which the consequencial stains caused more gasping from various peoples).
 I was still slightly surging from the Gu burst when a fellow runner approached me at mile 6.73 and told me she had just seen a snake not 100 yards away from me on the trail in the direction I was heading! I am naturally apprehensive of snakes and my anxiety level rose dramatically upon hearing this dreaded news. She said the snake had red and black stripes so I immediately tried to recite the saying I learned as a child when my father would drop me off in the field with the "babysitters": Red on black friend of Jack's - red on yellow kills a fellow. This caused me great alarm for I would be that fellow! I knew not what to do due to the fear that suddenly enveloped me. I started to turn around and sprint the other direction exclaiming "Snake! Evil Snake Ahead!" but with some unexplained courage, I reached down, grabbed a very large stick and declared I am prepared for death (whether my demise came from a snake or my own undoing it matters not). With the club grasped tightly by my hand, I forged ahead declaring loudly that I was prepared to bludgeon any serpent that approached me! A more whimped bludgeoner has never been seen!
 I kept close track of my strides so that I would be all the ready after covering 100 yards where the serpent allegedly laid in wait for my approach, no doubt anxious to inject me with deadly venom to perpetuate my demise. I carefully searched the trail for any signs of ambush. But hark, I did not ever see the snake, but I did cause a bicyclist great fear when he pedalled by me. He may have believed that I was going to bludgeon him and not the snake! I was indeed apologetic for causing him fear, but when it comes to the Serpents of Satan, I must protect myself with all the resources I can muster. I would not in the least be surprised if this whole serpent affair was a foe generated ploy to slow my progress.
 Loops 2 and 3 went with no further events to report. As I approached the completion of Loop 3, I checked my watch and decided that if I hurried, I could complete one more loop before departing for Flugelhornery. I actually completed the last loop faster than any other. This shows my new strategy is quite successful and this should make you well pleased with my efforts. I finished the 4 Loops with just enough time left on my time piece to arrive at Flugelhornery only a few moments late.
Though I was not pleased that my 4 Loops totalled just 10.66 miles (the furthest I have ever intentionally run when not being chased) and fell short of my expected miles, I am pleased that my new strategy is sound from all perspectives. It will surely allow me to have the energy later in the race to activate stalling measures to ensure my DFL finish! This is outstanding news!
The rest of the weekend was filled with disasterous affairs. I will list briefly the circumstances that prohibited me from running on Sunday. I list these in chronological order due to these events possibly causing a chain reaction of future events:
1. Flat tire on Minstrel Transport Vehicle on the way to our performance Saturday eve causing late arrival
2. Major sound issues at performance that caused even more tragic delays
3. Flat Tire on my vehicle on my way home after unloading the Minstrel Trailer
4. Severe lightning storm on Sunday evening
I was forced to spend Sunday morning on vehicle repair and maintenance. I also had Flugelhorn meetings for my son on Sunday afternoon and early evening, thus narrowing my running opportunity window.
 This week will be challenging as well. I will be surprised to complete 2 weeknight runs and 1 weekend run. But with my new strategy, I feel I can still move forward even with my limited opportunities. This week's focus will be on quality and not quantity. For this reason, I will not pre-post too much information concerning my plans so that I will cause my foes (who so wish to sabotage me) great confusion.
I have attached a photo of the temperature when I ran Saturday as well as a photo of me upon completing the run. Please enjoy these images and may they bring you great amusement!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Much Day of Rest and a Vampirism Confirmation...

 I had originally planned a 5 mile jaunt through Cedar Ridge Preserve on Wednesday evening, but by lunch time yesterday it was quite obvious that I was in no condition to attempt any form of activity that would require even a minute amount of concentration. I was apparently in such a state of fatigue that even co-workers were questioning my health. I looked back at the amount of sleep I had been able to undertake for the previous 3 evenings and could not count more than 12 hours total. I decided that rest would be the best decision I could fathom and managed to get 8 hours and a half more last night. And I feel much better for it.
 To adjust my running schedule, I have concluded that the best option would be to run 6 miles on Friday after Frugelhornery and then arise early on Saturday to train at Cedar Hill State Park for 11 miles and one half more of heat induced running. I feel it will be a tough turn around, yet it is imperative that I establish consistent long runs on the weekends, despite whatever circumstances offer impedence.
 Upon further reflection on my Vampire Run, I have concluded without a doubt that I was in fact visited by a Vampire on Tuesday evening. That would explain my drastic energy drain the day following for Vampires are known as Drainers of Energy as well as of Blood!
 Additionally, I recalled that the Being that ran with me stated that he attended the same school that my son attended. Thus I gave my son an accurate description (or as accurate as I could considering the darkened circumstances) and my son declared alas he had never heard of such a person! It would make logical sense that a Vampire would not actually attend a public school since they have a strong aversion to sunlight and thus would miss all their classes (unless they attended a Vampire School). Vampires are known to bear false witness against their victims and this Vampire dispatched lies as easily as he dispatches his victims. He must have known a man of my apparent means would validate all information given to me. But he knew by the time I would be able to do so, his deadly craft would have already been used against me. Obviously, my crafty foes hatched this sinister plot to weaken me. But I declare to them that once they may have temporarily weakened me, but I am now even more motivated to DFL!
 Their attacks against me have increased in number over the recent weeks so I feel that my training efforts are increasing their fear of me. Who is to know what the next attack against me will entail? For I have been attacked by wolves and now the Undead. What means do they have to achieve such evil?
 As I train, I am sure they create more hazordous plots against me as they gather in a candle lit room hatching more plots of sinistry. But I fear not and will be adequately prepared to remain alert to foil their plans all the more! Fear not for me but for them I declare!  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

An Experience That Defies Explanation....

As run number 2 of Monster Week began at the conclusion of Flugelhorn practice, my legs felt semi-recovered form last night's excursion and an element of excitement filled the air. For this night I decided to test my belt system for the first time. It has 2 compartments for holding hydration bottles on the side and 2 storage compartments between them for holding whatever sundry items that may be of need such as nutrition, cellular communication devices and small mammals. Some might see it and think it a pack of fannery, but I refer to it as my Party Pack. For its inaugural run, it held my wallet, one water bottle and initially my phone.
Most of the first mile consisted of me tightening the belt, loosening the belt, putting the storage compartments on my posterior side and then finally on my front side which allowed for an easier reach to access my water bottle should it be needed. Despite all the adjusting of the Party Pack, my pace was still consistent with my runs from the previous week. This pleased me greatly so I looked forward to the next 5 miles.
As hit the the beginning of Mile 2 Hill (which after careful research I discovered that Mile 2 Hill actually begins at the completion of mile 2 so it could really be called Mile 3 Hill but I will still refer to it as Mile 2 Hill because it arrives at the completion of mile 2 thus mile 2 is only referred to at that time in a historical sense) I suddenly noticed a long haired young man next to me. His appearance came upon me quite suddenly and I was somewhat startled. He asked for my permission to let him run with me for a portion of my run and since he seemed like a decent young man, I granted him permission and we approached the upcoming hill in unison as we introduced ourselves and discussed the logistics of the rest of the run. He would stay with me for 2 miles and then head to the south while I would head north at the predetermined juncture of the run. He seemed to be well versed with the course and appeared to be much faster than me, which did not cause me great discourse because I have little need for speed to reach my lowly objective. He, on the other hand, stated that he ran competitively on a local cross country team. thus speed is a very vital component of his training.
At this time I felt poorly for slowing this skilled runner down and stated my apologies for being not as nimble at foot as he obviously was. But he waved my disappointment off and stated that he was having a decent time running and that pleased him so.
We continued at a brisker pace than I really desired, but soon enough we were at the juncture where our journeys would part different directions and we wished each other great fortune in our future endeavors and thusly split up and continued on our seperate paths.
As I headed north, I realized that I had been in deep conversation for the last 2 miles and at a quicker than desired pace than I expected, thus I was nearly out of breath and quite thirsty. At this time I decided that my overall objective was to run far and not fast. To stay consistent with this objective, I walked for half a mile to reduce my fatigue and to hydrate myself to an adequate state.
As I pondered the last last 2 miles, I began to wonder if this young man was actually a young man at all. His sudden appearance on me and his manner seemed to be slightly abnormal for a modern young man. He mentioned that he enjoyed poetry and wanted to study at Oxford, which is quite unusual for a young man of these times. His running gait also appeared to be slightly unnatural as well his running attire. I began to consider the possibility that perhaps this young man was a, I am nearly afraid to say this for it may seem impossible, spirit or ghost! In disbelief I contemplated the evidence before me:
1. He seemed to appear from nowhere
2. He professed a love of poetry and philosphy
3. He desired to attend Oxford University
4. His chosen attire of a t-shirt, baggy shorts and running shoes (to the best of my knowledge) did not
appear consistent with those of a modern high school athlete (of which I am highly familiar with)
5. His running gait was not a natural gait in the least and appeared quite gangly, yet very fast.
With the evidence I have just presented, would you yourself not be in the least bit suspicious?
If not a ghost, he surely could have been a vampire (which then I should feel very fortunate that I was not attacked and my very blood drained from my body - perhaps my cross necklace saved my life). He appeared too fast and coherent to be a zombie. Even if he was in the infant stages of zombiefication. Plus, the fact that the consumption of my brain did not seem to concern him in the least. Thus I conclude that I should consider the fact that I was visited by a young vampire who was night running for pleasure and who must have recently fed so that his appetite was, at the moment, content. If he is indeed a vampire, then he appeared to be of the lonely sort so I can safely draw the following conclusion:. Either there is not a large and thriving vampire community in my fair burg, or he has been cast out from the local covens.
None the less, this event will take further contemplation on my part to draw a logical explanation and I intend to do so at my next available leisure.
At the risk of causing any speculative alarm, I will discuss this no further and continue with the conclusion of my run. After my brief walk, I began to run again and finished feeling somewhat strong. My final time of 56:48, though slow for vampires, was quite consistent with my runs of the same distance from the previous week. Even with the brief walking break,
Tomorrow's run will be a 6 mile trail run at Cedar Ridge and I am sure that more walking will be needed on that challenging course. I must remember that it is not about the speed, but the distance that is important.
As I surround my bed chambers with garlic, I pray that I will rest peacefully.....

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Disruptive Return to the Grind....

 Normally after Flugelhorn marchery on Monday, I look forward to the transport home after practice due to the fact that The Plan specifically forbids me from running on Monday. I use this time with fellow marching instructors to discuss the progress of our young marchers and also to assess whether our plan to ensure our path to mediocrity is on schedule. But after receiving a phone call today, I was forced to make some adjustments to my weekly schedule to make time for rehearsal on Thursday forthcoming with a band of minstrels I perform with. We are scheduled to perform this coming weekend and lo we have not performed together in some time. Hence I will be with the minstrels and not the young marchers on Thursday. To allow for me to get adequate mileage in this week, I plan to do my weekly runs Monday thru Wednesday and then return to longer runs on the weekend. Thus I ran, or rather planned to run this evening.
 The initial plan was to run around 5 miles and after 1 mile, to my great surprise, my pace was consistent with the pacing of last week's runs. Perhaps the days off allowed for my body recuperate. Unfortunately after I appoached Mile 2 Hill, a work situation occurred that required my immediate attention. Hence I was forced to walk for a short while as I discussed this situation with an associate. This matter of great concern would require more of my attention upon my return home. And either a lightining storm was approaching from the north or wizards were in intense throes of battle. Thus my planned 5 miles was shortened to 4 miles . Additionally, traffic was extremely busy (I gather this was due to the slightly cooler temperatures - it was in the lower to mid 90's) and I needed to arrive at home as quickly as possible to conclude my work issue in a timely manner. With the traffic and work phone calls, I was forced to stop altogether on several occasions to watch for motorists and to handle the afore mentioned work situation. With all the stoppage, I struggled to find a true pace that I felt comfortable with and my time suffered for the cause of it. Nonetheless, I finished the miles in around 45 minutes which is about 4 minutes slower than my initial subjective.
 I will not let this run be a discouragement to me however. I feel there is no such thing as a bad run unless there is injury involved or you are indeed caught by the law enforcement. Surely I jest!
 The first run of the week is always the most difficult to begin so I plan to use the momentum I gained from staying true to my weekly mileage plan and will indeed live, if fortunate, to run again on the morrow.
 I took no still photographs on tonight's run due to the distractions and my eagerness to aid a work associate in need, But will make every effort to make up for the lack of photography in the near future if you so desire.
 I have received no emails concerning volunteers for traversing the race course with me while driving the temporary Necessasry Module behind me. So I feel that obviously there must be some type of email malfunction for surely by now supporters would be lining up for such opportunity! If no supporters are found, I plan to use a family of Gypsies as a workable substitute, though I will always be in fear that they will take off with my temporary facility and will never hear of them again. Never pay gypsies in advance for their assistance. The are likely to suddenly disappear.
 But alas there is always the morrow  and the Prince of DFL is prepared for battle!

A Weekend Off Yields an Epic Idea!

I knowingly entered the previous weekend with many doubts that any training would occur due to the complexity of the weekend's activities and my prognosis was indeed accurate. By the time I was in a position to train last night, I had run out of daylight to train in. Thus I resigned to my sleeping quarters to peruse my plan for the following week and to contemplate what I could do physically and mentally to ensure myself of a DFL finish.
After a long study of my previous training of which lasted a good 2 minutes, I discovered 2 issues that would need attention. The first issue was an overall improvement in my endurance which I feel will be accomplished with continued training.
The 2nd issue I noticed was the effect that gastic events was having on my training. I decided to focus my attention on this very issue and came up with a very workable solution. I will attack this weakness with a 2 pronged plan.
The first attack will be centered on my current diet. Perhaps a look into my caloric intake and quality will have a positive effect on my current training. Thus I will energetically research current diet trends and see to what level visits to local Taco Bell eateries can aid me in achieving my training objectives.
Secondly, I came to the conclusion that I needed to be prepared for gastric events should they occur during my race. With the chance of Necessary Rooms being split up to 5 miles apart, I feel that a backup plan will be in order so that should a gastric event incur during the race, I will be able to handle such event with ease and confidence. Using a form of diapery seems like a logical solution, yet the possibility of chafing caused me great fear. With some quick research I found an alternative plan that will enable me to handle almost any ghastly event! I found a vehicle that could follow me around that will allow me to dispose of any Necessary Needs while on the trail. It is very similar to a Temporary Necessary Module, yet wheeled! A most incredible invention!
This solution does not come without its challenges however and this is where you, my loyal reader and supporter come into play! I will be in need of a volunteer to drive this vehicle behind me and keep it at the ready should need of it be Necessary. What better way to enjoy the race and be involved in a most worthy cause than by supporting a below average runner for 8 hours by driving the vehicle pictured below behind myself with words of encouragement! An excellent way to partipate in a sporting activity without the risk of fatigue or injury!
Anyone is interested, please reply to this blog or email me! Should there be more than one person who desires participation in such a worthwhile cause (which I am sure will be the case), we could either have a friendly competition or if the candidates do not wish to compete, the drivers could work in alternating shifts so to allow as many particpants as Necessary to enjoy the wonderous aroma of nature and the beautiful outdoors!
Reply quickly for a I fear the spots will be taken quickly!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Break from the Routine....

As I left my humble office today, I was prepared to rush home and enjoy a 7 minute meal before leaving for marching practice with the Flugelhorn students. However I received a communication from our leader that our fair and just City Officials decided that all organized outdoor activities were to be cancelled due to excessive heat. The temperatures had risen to 106 degrees F and I am pleased that precautionary measures were taken to ensure the health of our younger citizens.
I, however, traveled to the marching field @ 6:30pm to route the young enthusiasts that were present back home to ensure their safety. Only one team member arrived. Thus I quickly dispatched him out of harm's way. I would bet that many of the players were able to find out early about the cancellation and were able to communicate the the unwelcome news through any number of social media options that are so prevalent in today's society. I am sure that they missed me and are praying that tomorrow's practice is not cancelled. Of this I am quite sure.
Upon leaving the marching field, I went straight to an establishment to get a much needed trim of my hair which appeared to be getting a mind of its own. After the cutting of my hair was complete, I walked next door to a general store to buy a new shirt and some lighter shorts to run in. Of this objective I was quite successful.
I decided that waiting to run until 9pm tonight would be a sensible decision. Thus after the trim and brief shopping excursion was complete, I went home to rest and to prepare myself for my run. I studied some ancient maps and quicky mapped a hearty 5 mile run around the neighborhood.
Shortly after 9pm CST, my run began and I noticed some lagging soreness and fatigue from my previous training. I concluded that I would start out slow (as if I knew of any other speed) and would see how I felt after 1 or 2 miles. After my first mile was completed, I noticed that the pace was faster than I expected and I felt that with a minimal effort I would be able to match or better Tuesday's slow sprint. I slowed slightly on miles 2 and 3 but when I reached the 4th mile, I began a a kick that would have indeed made a practioner of sumo wrestling almost jealous. My route took me on the street behind my domicile where a stray canine jumped out at me just 60 cubics from my finish! The ferocious beast was barking loudly and seemed to be intent on attacking my heels. I found it such a distraction that I stopped and faced the dog and began walking towards the devil in hopes of discouraging this unwarranted attack. The dog was relentless in its attackery! It refused to yield! So with no chance of peaceful escape, I prepared myself for battle and told the demon that I accept its challenge and if battle is its desire, then I announced myself quite the ready for it! I rose my hands up to challenge this hairy opponent to a match of Man to Beast fisticuffs. I hopped back and forth on each foot in a most nimble manner and with my hands fisted, I rotated each fist back and forth in front of me to display my great skills.The canine bully was obviously frightened or confused by my actions and quickly dispatched himself back to his hiding place with no further incident. I am convinced that this brutal attack was orchestrated by my DFL foes to distract me from my training. I would think that it would better serve my enemies to train more instead of spending time devising devious plans that are poorly conducted and have little effect on my stringent dedication!
And I am pleased to announce that dispite my brief interlude in combat, I beat Tuesday's time by an impressive 12 seconds!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Totally Shocking Affair...

My 2nd day of intense training and mileage rampage was eagerly anticipated. I felt with some mimimal confidence that my planned 6 mile excursion could possibly be successful. I hydrated adequately and felt that I was in position to put my best foot forward.
As I checked the temperature upon my arrival, I felt prideful that I would be running in a temperature of 106 degrees F (screen shot attached below - not suitable for the weak of heart). As I approached the trailhead, there was a slain deceased armadillo in the middle of the walkway. This could not be a positive sign of my impending adventure and was quite obviously a deterrant placed by my rivals to discourage me from training. In the future, it will be wise not to mention the location of my future training sites. But alas! I will not prohibit myself from training because of feeble distraction attempts from my gangly foes. I snapped a photo for prosperity's sake (photo attached below - not suitable for anyone currently breathing) and energetically walked to the trailhead to begin my jaunt.
Though the heat was oppressive, my conditioning and preparation seemed to have me almost adequately in position to complete a loop of 3 miles plus one more. I had fancied, though quite briefly, to make this a time trial to set a noteworthy benchmark of my current fitness status. However, I reconsidered due to the higher than anticipated temperature. I determined that mere survival would be a worthy objective and that if I walked out of the trail on my own 2 feet, then my excursion would be more than successful.
At mile 2 a rumbling began in my stomach that appeared to be increasing at a brisk enough rate to cause me to pay great attention to it. I walked briefly to see if this disturbance was just a brief squall or if it was in fact a gastric thunderstorm. After a few paces and some sips of my hydration bladder, I felt it safe to continue running, although alert and cautious of my curent status. To my dismay, I was forced to walk again shortly thereafter and began wondering if a visit to a quiet secluded spot off trail to relieve my symptoms was in my immediate future. This walking and running continued in earnest for the next 1.5 miles and I was quite disappointed with the fact that as I ended my first loop my only desire was to dispose myself of the toxic waste that was begging to exit my bowels.
I ran as fast as I could to the first temporary Necessary Module I could find and let the curse run its course. If it was 106 degrees F in the open air, the module was surely at least 120 degrees F and the stench within only added to my discomfort. A steady waterfall of sweat left puddles on the floor and I contemplated when I have ever felt such misery (recent surgery not withstanding). When the task was painstakenly completed, I noticed that no wipery was within so I had to locate another module that contained the necessary papery to conclude this catastrophe. With fortune, the 4th module I checked contained exactly what I needed and with a sigh of relief I ambled towards my vehicle. But not without noticing that my familiar chafe had reappeared with great vigor. I had briefly hoped that I would be able to complete another loop but alas I decided that my posterior needed immediate attention. Quite ironic it is that on the previous eve I was deeply concerned that my posterior would be getting undesired attention on this very trail!
With a saddened and poutful expression, I painfully walked to my vehicle and departed the park a sullen loser contemplating what placed my bowels in such violent upheaval. Hark! The answer came quite quickly for it was my lunch at Gloria's Mexican Cuisine that created such intestinal havoc upon my plan! I will surely distain from eating at this establishment again on days that I choose to run immediately after work. Thus my lesson is learned!
I do not feel that my worthy foes were successful in preventing an adequate training session. For they are surely not to blame. I was not undone by deceased armodillery but by my own fetish for spicy cuisine! I will live to train another day!

The Point of No Return....

This very day will for ever live in infamy to me. For this is the day I officially registered myself for the Rockledge Rumble that will take place on the 10th day of the 11th month of this very year. After taking a cursory glance at the information provided for the race, it was quite apparent that the race is nearing capacity. After quick deliberation, I determined that immediate action was in order for me to secure a spot for only 30 spots were yet taken. And these spots were for the 50K event thus I will not have the option of running a shorter race which well could have been the intelligent decision to make had I such a choice. None the less, I am officially registered and consequently my training has taken on a more serious nature so that my desire to DFL will be successful.
With this in mind and additionally a potentially busy weekend approaching, I adjusted my plan to allow an increase in mileage with fewer runs in case I must forfeit a run this weekend. This shall consist of 2 runs of 5 miles on the familiar road passages after Flugelhorn practice and 2 trail runs that will total 18 miles. This will be a significant challenge especially taking into consideration that my trail run tomorrow may be in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. I will put forth my best effort and with any fortune I will be writing this blog on Thursday's eve from my own bed and not from an infirmary.
The first run of my adjusted plan began tonight at the conclusion of a heated Flugelhorn practice that started with temperature resting at a comfortable 106 degrees. The young players displayed great effort despite the temperature and at the conclusion of our marches I took off on my jaunt with great zeal that I quite confidently can state was partially motivated by my race registration and also my desire to eat chocolate ice cream upon my return home. With these motivators pushing me manically on, I completed the run in just under 1 hour. I write this blog now with a belly full of chocolate ice cream and Gatorade (sponsorship opportunties again present themselves) feeling ever more confident that my chances of a successful last place finish are increasing in possibility.
I shall approach the next 5 days with great courage and energy. And I pray that though my talent is quite limited, my stupidity and energy will see me through successfully. Tomorrow's run will be at Gateway Park where there very well may be runners whom are motivated by desires other than physical fitness and a life of sporting leisure. Thus I am prepared to be on full alert and sincerely wish that the heat will discourage any potential debaucherous mis-adventure at my expense! May my posterior not be inviting come tomorrow....

Monday, July 30, 2012

Awakened by Glorious Tidings

 Since today is a much needed day of rest from training, I normally do not post on this blog in order to give my faithful readers time to contemplate my previous blogery. But upon receiving a receiving an encouraging transmission early this morning, I felt compelled to mention a bit of most glorious news.
 It appears that a most worthy and just crew of Frugelhorn Instructors have gathered in the municipality of San Antonio to discuss the most current trends in Frugelhorn marching formations and costumery. My heart has swelled with emotion with the knowledge that these robust and manly of men are working diligently to expand the current knowledge base of Frugelhorn techniques. And such dedication surely should not be unnoticed for their transmission came to me at 1 in the morning! To think that these lively and raucous gentelman are working late into the night vigorously discussing profound ways to improve marching formations is indeed inspiring! I thank these gentleman profusely for inspiring me to work with greater energy with our own young Fruglehorn players here in my fair city! I hope that in a few years that my very own offspring will be able to join them as an ally in the advancement of Frugelhornery if he so chooses to do so. Few things would make me prouder!
 At this time, I urge the young coaches in San Antonio to take the time to enjoy the scenic city and to make some time for relaxation and folly for few cities offer such intoxicating amenities as San Antonio.  I might suggest Dirty Nellies as a nice establishment to visit if one is inclined to enjoy refreshing libations and sing alongery in a darkened peanut shelled filled saloon along the refreshing Riverwalk. Additionally the nearby township of Bandera offers many challenging trails to pursue the sporting life, but please be cautioned of the pistolet duels that often occur on the town's main thoroughfair.
 Good tidings to all and to the dedicated gathering in San Antionio, I wish them a most adventerous day!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Long Run Shortened ....

After a deliberate study of my weekly plan, it became apparent that I was slightly ahead of schedule this week and The Plan's 4 mile jaunt would need to be adjusted to a shorter 2.5 miles in order to keep my lack of mileage under some form of reasonable control. I decided that Cedar Ridge Preserve, with its intense and steep pathery would be an excellent choice so I departed for the familiar preserve with the temperature showing a chilled 100 degrees.
The run itself felt like a brisk affair despite the intense technical paths that indeed presented a worthy challenge. My legs were still quite stiff from my previous runs, but I found them responding to almost 50% of my requests and with little consequence, I emerged from the trailhead in a state of near consciousness.
After drying off from my efforts, I embarked on my journey home as eagerly anticpated watching a portion of the Olympics hoping I would get at least a decent amount of inspiration from the elite athletes who are blessed to be competing. As I headed to my destination, I pondered whether my efforts would have any affect on my race in November. I am certainly making some feeble progress but my mileage is not near what will be needed in order to successfully DFL in the future. At least I can look forward with lacking confidence to an increase in mileage in the coming weeks that will no doubt give me a clear indication as to whether my body is ready for such a challenge. And with the temperature set to rise to near Amarillo-esque proportions, the weeks ahead will indeed present a test of my fortitude and dedication. For now, I will feast on banana split ice cream and detach myself from my future training endeavors.
I have included a summary of this week's follies and hope that those of you keeping track of my progress in your ledgers at home will find these statistics entertaining.

Total Miles Planned: 21.5
Total Miles Completed: 21.3
Total Miles Pursued by a Man With Possibly Unpure Intentions - 1
Total Times a Bicycle Enthusiast Was Heard Cursing Loudly After Crashing: 1
Total Coyote Incidents: 1
Total Unintentional Runs Clothed in Leedenhosiery - 1
Total Gastric Events on Runs - 0

Cedar Hill Revisited

After careful deliberation, I decided to attempt to run on a different trail on Saturday morning in order to facilitate a nice change of scenery and also for new opportunties for failure. After a quick study of available options, I came to the conclusion that Oak Cliff Nature Preserve would indeed be a pleasant departure from my previous routine so I departed with haste and great hope that new adventure would await me.
Upon arrival at the preserve, my hopes faded immediately upon seeing at least 50-60 bicycle enthusiasts in tight bicycle shorts gathered around the entrance. Still slightly squeamish from a run last week where I was briefly followed by a man with possible unpure intentions, I quickly changed course and headed for the hardy Cedar Hill State Park.
The Plan for Saturday called for 6 miles, so I decided to run the Blue Trail (7.5 miles) and see how my lack of conditioning would fair. If needed, I could run the 6 miles as planned and crawl the last 1.5 miles so that I could enjoy enjoy the scenery and the heat.
I started out running as slow as I could and with great deliberation. I forcibly held back any intentions to speed up and the strategy worked out brilliantly. I ran the first 4 miles without any need of emergency help and thus decided to take a walking break to invigorate myself for the final 3.5 miles. As I began my walk, I heard a pack of coyotes in the not too distant vicinity yelping with enthusiasm. I feared that my scent had reached them and I fearfully pondered whether I could escape their jaws if they came upon me. I decided that I would not be eaten without a brave but probably fuitless battle. Thus I grabbed the first stick I could and prepared for the worst. But alas! Mile 6 came upon me with no sound of the howling coyotes. With renewed hope I began to run again in earnest, hoping that my escape from the evil canines was successful.
As the temperature increased, I decided that walking the inclines and running the rest of the terrain would indicate sound judgement on my behalf so I followed this strategy for the rest of the run. As I approached the last half mile, I came upon 2 hikers who had stopped on the side of the trail. One of the poor hikers was laying face down on the side of the trail with his head resting on a water bottle. I assumed that the young man had succumbed to the heat and asked if they needed assistance. The conscious hiker replied that they had assistance en route so I continued my journey and decided that I would check on them upon my run completion. Shortly thereafter, I saw a kindly gentleman with an ice pack on the trail heading my way. I stopped and told him that I was indeed feeling fine and had no need for the ice pack. But there was gentleman in great dispair not 100 yards up this trail that would greatly benefit from his assistance! He gave me a disposing look and walked away towards the fallen hiker. How unpleasantly rude! I felt that this was no way to treat a lifesaving man as myself! But hark, I did not let his brashness affect me for I was closing in on the trailhead and was on course to relief myself of this run.
When I completed the trail, I immediately dispatched myself to the bike cleaning station to hose myself down with its cooling water. Upon my return, I saw 2 gentleman assisting the wobbly hiker back to their vehicle. I felt confident that his health was on the rebound and thought of the matter no more.
I finished my 7.5 miles a little faster than last week and felt that my training is making adequate yet slothful progress. I will study The Plan before Sunday's run to ensure my mileage is close to the prescribed amount. Thus I will adjust Sunday's run accordingly.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Tale of a Wardrobe Folly....

A warm southern breeze gently blew across the dry marching fields as we concluded our meeting this evening with the young Frugelhorn player's parentage. Tonight's meeting was quite boisterous due to our discussions of uniform design. I presumed that my plan of gayly colored Lederhosened uniforms would show our appreciation for the classic Frugelhorn players of our distant pass. However, a strong contingent seemed set on more traditional Frugelhorn attire. With reluctance I relinquished my firm stance to display a spirit of friendly cooperation and to also get the meeting to a state of completion that would allow me to eventuate my nightly dash. I bid all in attendance a good evening and took off with frantic energy into the darkly night..
I had decided earlier in the day that I would run the same route as I ran this Tuesday past. I desired to see if my recent training consistency was assisting me in my return to my pre-surgery below average pace and to also set a benchmark on my ill progress.
At the 1 mile mark, I noticed that my pace was almost a minute and 30 seconds faster than Tuesday's run and thus decided to see if I could maintain this pace without causing a hinderance upon my immediate health. At mile 2, I reached a section I affectionately call Mile 2 Hill (or sometimes Mt. Regurgitation) which is a steady 50 foot climb over the entire 2nd mile. This is usually where I spend a goodly amount of time cursing my existence. Upon completion of mile 2, I took notice that I had only slowed 45 seconds per mile! At this time I felt a personal course record was within my feeble grasp and I gamely powered through the remaining 2.1 miles with dogged determination as passersby cheered me on! I was indeed in a state of excited ecstacy.
Upon reaching the conclusion of tonight's jaunt, I felt happily content that I had finished the course almost 5 minutes and 30 seconds faster than previous runs! I am thusly gaining confidence that my bizaare training methods may enable me to DFL in my future competitions.
Before I walked into the house I took notice of my current attire and cursed loudly to the heavens and thrashed wildy in the yard, ripping the very clothes that were upon me in ceremonial disgrace! Apparently in my haste to begin my nightly run, I had somehow forgotten to change out of the Lederhosenry I was modeling in for the Frugelhorn parentage! (read again if necessary)... Gasp! It appears the raucous mob was not yelling out words of encouragement when I hurriedly departed our gathering. They were instead attempting to derail me from certain embarrassment from my fellow citizens! This explains the honking and exclamations I incurred upon my journey as I pushed my efforts beyond what was previously possible. While on my route with deeply concentration, I thought my fellow denizens were encouraging me as they drove by and I would give them a hearty wave and snarling smile and then with a quick hop, lower my head and continue my run displaying fearless steadfastness in a display of gratitude for their unsolicited support. For I even jumped up and clicked my heels together several times in an attempt to entertain several stopped vehicles as I crossed many intersections. In reality, now I realize they were questioning my sanity and not cheering on my effort and dedication after all! I truly hope that I do not become a feature of the local gazettes as I remember many vehicles stopping to photograph me.
Alas! I have gone from a sporting, kingly man to a dawdling jester in a matter of minutes. I am surely cursed and must dig deep within my resources in order to successfully rebound from tonight's shocking events.
I sadly have attached a screen shot of what will go down in history as the Lederhosen 4.1.
I plan not to run tomorrow so I can spend time contemplating my previous wardrobe folly and I will look ahead with great anticipation hoping that my trail run on Saturday morning will not be a career ending debauchery.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Run Away....

After careful deliberation of not more than 32 seconds, I came to the conclusion that I shall perform today's training at the joyfully gay Gateway Park in Ft Worth after completion of my daily job assignments. This would allow more free time at the conclusion of my run to work on the marching plans for the young Frugelhorn players with fellow instructors this evening.
I had minor reservations about the safety of this run due to the rising outdoor temperature (picture shown below), but I felt confident that I could avoid certain hospitalization by strategic pace regulation. For me this is fortunately not a challenging obstacle in the least.
I started the run fearing little interaction from fellow outdoor enthusiasts as myself due to torrid conditions and I joyfully embarked on my journey with great enthusiasm and a slowness of gait.
As I reached the conclusion of mile 1, I looked behind me and to my surprise was a gentleman running not 12 paces behind me. Startled, I immediately moved to the side of the trail to display a courteous demeanor to allow this fellow outdoorsman to pass by so that he would not be held up by my lagging effort. For he appeared to be a kindly fit gentleman who was enjoying the ecstatic views the sporting life provides when one exercises in the splendidness of nature. To my surprise the nice fellow stopped as well and asked me to continue my run and if I would be so kind to allow him to follow me since he had never ran on this particular trail before. I saw that this propitious gentleman had no means of hydration upon him! Hark! To engage in physicalities In this heat, the gentleman must be remarkably fit and full of potent energy! Sensing an opportunity to display my lacking skills and poor stamina, I gave him my permission to follow and continued my undertaking.
After 3 minutes of me robustly bounding through the path, I looked behind and the gentleman was still trailing behind my posterior, but his breathing was hampered and of a heavy nature.
Then a thought entered my consciousness that changed my perspective on this gentleman's motives. Perhaps gaining fitness and being an advocate of the sporting life was not this gentleman's objective and thought it quite feasible that he had other intentions on his mind. Intentions that were perhaps more consistent with the reputations that this park, in some underground circles, has been known for. Especially those intentions one would often find in back page advertisements in such certain publications as Craigslist, the Dallas Observer or The Voice. All fine publications in their own right, but tend to cater to a select group of the population of which my social network rarely frequents with great regularity.
After a brief moment of indecision, I determined that I had but one choice that could facilitate me any means of safe passage. Despite my continual insistence of running slow, I picked the pace up considerably to see if the gentleman's intentions were rabid or peaceful. My efforts increased and soon I was cresting the elevations powerfully and appeared as a manic pinball ricocheting off the trails edges on the descents. Rarely have I displayed such technical skills or energy! After burning through 1 mile and a half more, I peered behind me and the poor gentleman was near no more. He had either failed to keep my pace or vanished mystically into the thick air! At this time I can not discern with any confidence the motives of this man, if in fact he was a man at all. It very well could have been an apparition of my heat infected mind. Whether I was being followed for pure or scandalous reason by a gentleman or a banshee, it matters not. I finished the trail completely and felt that I was reasonably safe upon my return to my means of transport. But Alas! What of that mysterious man... Will I be haunted by his image or will these strange events become forgotten like a feverous, malarious dream....
My Plan was to achieve 4.5 miles this day and though I certainly felt I could have continued further, I ceased my exercise at the trailhead after completing 3.1 miles (pictured below) and rapidly evacuated the premises. I will leave the contemplation of today's events for another time for too many potential scenarios create fear and confusion.
I feel it would behoove me to end on a brighter note. After a brief text conversation with my brother David who resides in the heated burg of Amarillo, it has come to my attention that tourism in that high desert has risen nominally since my mention of it in this blog. I would encourage all who are considering a visit to that municipality to do so with great enthusiasm, especially to watch their talented Frugelhorn players display great marching precision with their famous Winged T formation in the fall marching season. It is an uniquely blessed event that shan't be forgotten.
I bid you great tidings and hope that you look forward to my training session on the morrow as much I do not.
But what of that man... What does this mean?