Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ahhhhh! Alas! The Bowels of Hell Have Exploded Uponst Me...

I apologize for not blogging recently. I have been out of town. During the course of my vacation, a minor physical condition that had befallen me morphed into a painful travesty of ghastly and bloody proportions. Despite a visit to a Dr before the embarkment of my journey, the condition worsened into such extreme measures that reasonable enjoyment of the trip was a far fetched impossibility. Upon my return, a new Dr was found who informed my personage that the only cure for my current malady is immediate surgical intervention with implements designed for the worst of diabolical cruelty. After thoughtful consideration of my current condition, I have decided that indeed the only way to relieve myself (pun intended) of this horrendous curse is to put the fate of my life's quality in the hands of a skilled and smirking surgeon. Alas I am to be under the practitioner's knife on the following Monday (a day and a night and a day and a night from hence)!
With great luck, I shall be relieved of this abomination (or abominations) and will be able to forge forward soon (couple of weeks?) in my training. Perhaps temporarily weakened, but with great hopes of rising above the darkened abyss of blood and pain to set a new standard in idiotic training.
I shall update this world of my condition and recovery if I am fortunate enough to survive this affliction with any sense of faculty and presence.
I implore your prayers and wishes to pull me from these darkened, gloomy depths of peril so that my plight will soon cease and desist from impaling me. Thus freeing me from its desolated malediction.
Hark! Let blessedness reign again!
(no thesauri were intentionally harmed in the making of this prose)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cedar Ridge Revisited vs Thunderstorm

I knew getting in a run after work was going to be a challenge today. Bad thunderstorms were getting close and I-30 wasn't much of a help on the way home. I wanted to get a long run in because I am heading to New Orleans this weekend so i doubt I will get a good opportunity for my long (really short for non-DFL's) run this weekend.
Under compressed conditions, I opted for Cedar Ridge Preserve. With the storm approaching, I decided to snap a shot of the approaching clouds. And took off. With the wind picking up, this run was going to be more like a sprint thru the trail than a lazy jog.
I made it about a mile in and hit the pond (pictured) pretty quick, but I remembered the run back from last night with Branden and the technical trail that was ahead of me. Plus the trail was actually kind of crowded and I was getting advanced storm updates from Mom (which included hail). I received lots of weird stares from people I passed on the trail. Maybe they didn't realize that if they don't hurry, they were soon to be shelled with baseball sized hail. I personally try to avoid getting hit in the head by hail and I regretfully left my helmet at work (but amazingly remembered my drool bucket). Go figure. The drool bucket, while a little wet, makes a good helmet and I wore it proudly on my head.
I finished with a total of 2.5 miles in just under 30 minutes. But there were a few interruptions with weather reports from Mom. Thanks Mom! It's better to run again tomorrow then to be concussed by hail today (even though the drool bucket would have worked fine).
And I apologize to Branden for beating our time from yesterday. But I was putting on a display of extreme average agility on the back mile.
Sweet! Live. Love. DFL!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2 More Pics from Cedar Ridge...

The last pic shows how great Branden felt as we untriumphantly came out of the woods! DFL's Rule!

Cedar Ridge w/ Branden!

Tonight I decided to hit Cedar Ridge with my son Branden who starts summer football camp on Monday morning (@ 6:30am - evil laugh). Branden wanted to do some sprint work on the football field, but I suggested that why run on a flat field when we can work more leg muscles running on a trail. I didn't think he would fall for it (he has a 4.2 GPA), but somehow my lack of logic worked.
We arrived @ Cedar Ridge right @ 7:30pm. The preserve was pretty crowded but at least it was reasonably cool for a June night (you can see his enthusiasm in the 1st picture)!
We decided on an easy to moderate trail and I was very proud of him for making me follow him (he knows me too well...). We were doing great on time and pace until we got 20 yards in. That's when we had to take our first water break. After 20 more yards we hit the sign telling us we made it to the start of the trail. Another water break was needed. Sweet! 40 yards and I am well hydrated! That never happens!
After a few wrong turns and 5 water breaks we made it to another place where we could make a wrong turn. So obviously we took that turn because it looked technical and painful. At this time I had counted 64 This Is Stupid Dad comments. I discontinued the This Is Stupid Dad comments because they were starting to blend into one comment with the No Way comments. It sounded like This Is Way No Stupid Dad and then a tree would be run into. This is actually great training for blocking large defensive tackles, but kids these days obviously don't understand my great wisdom. I'm sure his heavy breathing was pure elation at getting to spend time with me (not fatigue) and could have been affecting his ability to verbally acknowledge my wisdom.
After 26 more stops and about 78 indiscernible comments from him of which most of them were directed at me praising my great ideas and his thankfulness, we cleared the trees and made it out of the trail. To toughen the workout, Branden bear crawled (or something similar - more like a crawl but sounded like a bear) to the car. This guy is awesome! He gets it!
Total mileage - 2.5
Total Time - 35 mins 17 seconds
Total Curses - 145
Quality Time with Son - arguably infinite!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

North Shore Long Run (yeah right)

I headed out to North Shore this evening to attempt 10 miles. But true to my goal of underachievement, I got in between 6-7 miles (off trail and GPS issues). I have decided that in order for me to go DFL (see yesterday's post), I need to work harder on my endurance. I believe in order to DFL I need to avoid a DNF (Did Not Finish). But considering that I was out fishing last night and got home @ 4am, I thought I did a great job of not meeting expectations. I do need to point out that Branden (my son) out DFL'd me in our fishing competition on the lake due to his new found skill of hooking fish but not getting them in the boat because they got unhooked (or he would get them in the boat and they would slap me in the leg causing minor blood loss to my lower extremities). I was totally out fishing trip DFL'd by a 17 year old. Due to lack of sleep, I was not able to head to North Shore until 6pm.
The first 2 miles went great. I even came upon a cool sign at 2 miles (pictured below). That sign is awesome because I know God supports my quest to finish DFL.
After that things got a little scary. I was concerned about losing sunlight and my goal was to make about 5 miles and head back to Rockledge Park for a 10 mile total. I think I got within a mile of the MADD station turn around, but it was starting to get dark so I did a very ungraceful u-turn and headed back. I did get to cross come creeks and see a suggestion box (pictured below). Here's a suggestion! How about a snow cone stand? I also took a random picture which at this time is unexplainable.
After about 1-1.5 hours, I crawled back to the gate and decided that I had enough failure for one day!
There will be plenty of opportunities to embarrass myself later and I had fresh caught fish to eat. Sweet!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Concept....

In keeping consistent with the philosophy of this blog, I have hence forth dedicated myself to be DFL (Dead F...... Last) in every race I enter. I have little talent. My chances of winning a race are minimal. Let the fast people duke it out. I know people are scared to DFL. Well don't worry. I will take that fear off your hands. If you are afraid you will DFL, let me know! Pay my racing fee and I will gladly DFL so you won't have to! Any race! Any time! The reason I am doing this is because I care. Plus I think it takes more effort and talent to DFL. It becomes strategic! A well timed trip to the porta-potty (whether needed or not) or a simulated shoe tie are 2 of the many weapons in my arsenal!
The Ultra-Idiot is taking DFL to the next level. Back of the Packers Beware! I have arrived!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sansom Park Complete!

Got in only 2.5 miles but the trail is very technical! My legs are fried! I saw some guys drinking beer by the lake. I heard a banjo start up and hightailed out of there. I put some pics in that I took between pukes.

Sansom Park Trailhead

This is either going to be a stupid idea or a really stupid idea. See ya @ the hospital!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

6 Horseman Takin' Me To The Buryin' Ground

After delays getting out of work, I walked outside and was happy to feel the cooler air. I decided, despite it being later than planned, to hit the Trinity Trail. Today's plan officially called for 2.5 miles. I was actually thinking of combining yesterday's miss with today's 2.5 miles and getting completely on schedule. But it was too late. I headed to the start point and took off slow. I forgot to stretch my tight groin (probably better because children were present). After 1.2 miles, I started to look for my turn around point. As I looked ahead, I saw 6 horsemen taking up the trail about 1/4 mile away. I don't know about you, but due to my extensive blues experience, I know this is not a good sign. I turned around immediately and headed back to the start. I am sure the horsemen either laughed at my fear or cursed my escape of death. I made it back to the car and squealed out of the parking lot. I am still breathing but I will be up all night watching the window for those guys. 2.5 miles and still breathing! I attached a picture from the start of the run. I was too busy escaping death to take any more pictures. And this write up probably took longer than the run. Ha.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sad Face to Happy Face

As of 9:30pm, there is still too much lightning and rain to run intentionally. I have decided to use my alternate workout plan....

Sad Unhappy Face

Looks a little too wet to run at Legacy this afternoon. Plus there is lightning. I will have to wait and run on the pavement around the neighborhood later tonight. The good thing is my neighborhood is use to me running around in my Superman underoos.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week 2 is underway!
 I have recovered quite well physically from my nightmare run @ River Legacy. I learned a minor lesson or 2.
#1 - Forest Druids are evil. Never trust their directions. Their intentions are meant for evil purposes.
#2 - Good maps are awesome (I printed maps of all of the trails I plan to run and I may even take them with me on my runs)
 Back to Week 2! Today was a planned as a short recovery run. 2.5 miles didn't seem like much of a run so I decided to hit the Trinity Trails in Ft Worth right after work. I hit the 2nd mile and decided that I would exceed expectations and felt good enough to run 5. Then I felt a weird sensation overtake me and I headed back @ 1.5 miles and totaled 3 miles. I think this weird sensation could have been my first ever encounter with discipline. A very much foreign concept with me. A strange voice inside told me to follow the plan. If you don't follow the plan, then why even have a plan. So I headed back towards the car and finished 3 miles in a little over 30 minutes. Definitely not my fastest time but it was 95 degrees outside and I did finish strong. I stopped by 7-11 (sponsorship opportunity) and bought some Gatorade (sponsorship opportunity again!). The clerk asked if I was ok because I was still sweating and I imagine a little rank. I kept smelling my son's locker room bag from football. I guess it was me. I told her I had just ran 3 miles outside at the Trinity. Thinking that sounded impressive, I was surprised when she asked me if I ran that on purpose. Ha! Yes ma'am I did run that on purpose. I am the Ultra-Idiot.
 When I got home I put on a welding helmet and looked at Venus transversing the Sun. That was pretty cool even if the neighbors were somewhat confused.
 Tomorrow The Plan (I will now refer to the plan as The Plan because it makes the plan look More Important) calls for 3.5 miles. I am considering doing this on a trail because it will create more opportunity for Mis-adventure. We'll see how the weather holds up. Gotta go. I think I saw a laughing armadillo outside which makes me wonder if I need counseling.

Monday, June 4, 2012

First Long (?) Run of my Ultra Career or Druids and Barbed Wire....

 This should give you a good indication of why I am endeared to as the Ultra-Idiot by a large group of one (which is me). I am going to post about my last (and only) long run of my Week 1.
The plan was to run 3 to 3.5 miles @ River Legacy in Arlington TX. I have never run there before but the course looked simple enough from my extensive internet research that lasted about 3 minutes. My total mileage is going to be pretty light right now. This will give me better puke training for when I get to increase my mileage in the future. But more on that later.
 I didn't get to the trail until right at 7pm. I decided to digest dinner and to let the temp get below 90. I strapped on the Camelback (I mentioned the brand so they will sponsor me) and headed out on the trail.
 Mile 1 - Felt great w/ an 11 minute per mile pace. This course is really kinda easy when you compare it to Cedar Hill State Park (another sponsorship opportunity). Nice and flat. I got this!
Mile 2 - No cussing yet! I expected to hit a turn around but took an extra loop somehere. Then I appeared to change direction and this was looking like it was the easiest long trail run of my ultra career (also my first). I saw some female hikers and they asked how much further the trail was. I said I didn't have any idea. This is my first time out here. They told me to stay to the right and I will make it back easy. Hindsight tells me that they were evil druids.
Mile 3 - According to my phone I was getting close to the last leg. But I hit some kind of loop. Found my way back to the original trail.  Then hit it again. And again. I passed the same  armadillo 5 times. He laughed at me. 5 times. He wasn't even scared of me. Not once. I ran up the hill in the image at the end of this post 6 times. That was a blast.....  I obviously was in a time - space continuum (I don't know what that is but it made me sound smart and very scientific).
Mile 4-6 - With the darkness coming upon me and my fear of druids and laughing armadillos controlling my every thought,  I decided to climb a barbed wire fence and leave the park. From my phone map, there was a road that I could follow to get back into the park after another bloody barbed wire fence climb. Anything would have worked better than what I was currently failing at. As I climbed the fence off the trail (the 2 bikers that saw me do that got real quiet when they drove by - they probably thought I was champion ultra marathoner and were intimidated), I heard a growling noise and took off as fast as I could for the road. When I got to the top of the road, I thought that an evil dog was following me and I took off running. It ended up being my Camelback strap. Or a ghost dog. I ran about a mile and then saw a good spot to re-enter the park. Or get shot as a trespasser. But that sounded better than being kidnapped by druids and eaten by a ghost dog or laughing armadillo. As I climbed the fence, I got stuck in some thorny bushes. There was blood. And cussing. My sneak back into the park was more like a loud bulldozer riding through an antique shop. I got many stares from the partiers in the park. I guess they thought I was the Wild Man of River Legacy. I was covered in blood and burrs ( I am still removing the burrs).
 From my phone, I had about a 3/4 of a mile run back to the car. Where upon my arrival, I discovered that I couldn't open my magnetic spare key holder. After 10 minutes, I just broke it and threw it in the bushes. It hit the armadillo. He wasn't laughing any more.
Total Runs for Week 1  - 4
Planned Miles - 14
Actual Miles - 19.5
Tetanus Shots Needed - 1!

1st Blog!

Monday June 4th 2012
I started training for my first ultramarathon last week. There are many blogs that contain useful information on how to train, what gear works good, diet recommendations, training plans and useful race reports. This blog will contain none of them. There is no indication that I have the slightest clue on how a slow runner who can barely run 8 miles on the road can miraculously finish a 31.1 mile (50 kilometers - I looked that up) in November without being carried out on a stretcher. So I think I should preface all entries into this blog by stating that if you follow my path, you are certain to at least achieve a mild form of complete failure, if not a severe form that may include up to and including hospilizations and probable ridicule from friends and family (of which I am quite accustomed to). Since my mantra is Do as I Don't, I felt compelled to title this blog Relentless Backward Motion by the Ultra-Idiot. I welcome you to my world of misadventure. May my odds never be in your favor!