Cheaha 50k trail run

February 24th, 2012


On my way to cheaha 50k trail run. 200 miles down, the rain is starting. Glad I have good gear! Supposed to be low 30’s when we start running tomorrow!

Tough Mudder Tampa Report

February 7th, 2012

I put this together right after finishing the Tampa Tough Mudder to email to some co-workers, but never posted it here.  It was great event, a lot of fun, about a 2 and a half hour effort of running, mud, obstacles, mud, waiting, mud, climbing, mud, crawling through tunnels, and more mud. A playground for huge numbers of like-minded nuts out get sweaty, dirty and work together to conquer some of the military type obstacles that lay in our path.

Before the start, and after the finish… yes,  those are the same white shirts.








I’m not in any of the other pictures below,  but all were taken on Sunday at our event, a picture or two of most of the obstacles that we dealt with through the Tough Mudder.   We actually crossed through countless mudholes, ditches, creeks and swamps, basically every ditch or water hole they could run us through.   Most of them had deep holes, dropping from knee deep to waist/chest high, then back out.,

There was also a pond we had to go in, and swim under rolls of barrels, several sets of those and there was one more series of 4 walls I think it was, we had to go over but I don’t have a picture of those, but they were just like you see in the military obstacle course.

Jacuzzi = Pink ice water, that board on the right was a barrier, you had to JUMP in, go 5-6 feet to the barrier,  go under it , and another 5-6 feet to climb out.  Those guys had just resurfaced.

Unbelievably cold, complete shock to the system.   Could not breath, nor feel much of anything until we got to the next obstacle.







Steeplechase – I think 8 of these, just little waist high walls to hurdle, till you went over the first one and realized they had a big ditch cut on the other side. JUMP!  Got the heartrate up.







Underwater Tunnels

No-picture, but we crossed a pond, bobbing underneath several rows of barrels floating parallel in the water.


Kiss of Mud – crawling through the mud under  barbed wire.  Not terribly difficult, but slippery and a nice introduction to the dirt to come.






Spiders Web.  Up and over a cargo net.  Easy, fun, just like you see on TV!










Underground tunnels, zig-zagging along, complete dark, easy to run right into the wall when the tunnel made a 90 degree turn.







Lay on your back, with feet wrapped around the rope and pull yourself across a muddy pond.










Make your way through some swinging tires.  Kind of boring for a ‘Mystery Obstacle’.







Devils Beard – Crawling under a cargo net along a very long mud flat, with some holes, thrown in for good measure. Falling in the deep holes, having to hold the net up so you don’t get tangled in it.  Yea, we’re dirty now!










We went through countless mud holes, ditches, mud flats, submerged roads.  Every place they could run us through some nasty, muddy, wet area, that’s where the course went.

Then we had to climb up and over 3 or 4 sets of big round hay bales.






How’s your balance?  How’s your balance on a wet muddy 2×6?   How’s your balance on a wet muddy 2×6 that’s being shaken by other people also trying to keep their balance on the same 2×6?

Yea, thought so.  I ALMOST made is all the way across, only a FEW feet left,  before plunging to the water below.








Down the tunnel, very easy slide down, into  the muddy water at the bottom,  back up the SLICK tunnel with nothing to hold onto inside.  It was tough.







Walls, walls, walls.   Two separate sets of walls, one was 4 walls, probably 10 feet.  Could jump, grab the top, and get over these.  then later on the course, a set of two walls, taller, that most people had to get a hand from above to help get them to the top.










More water, more mud, more deep holes to fall in.










Hope you’re not afraid of heights!






Jump from hay bale to hay bale, spaced FAR apart, or climb up, jump down, climb up, jump down, about 8 of those to cross.








Then we had to run a  series of steep man-made ups and downs in the dirt.  Reminded me of running a gnarly motocross track.

Tough little exercise here, that board for the feet was very thin and muddy.  Mostly using hand strength to hand on and move along the wall.  At least no water to fall in here.








Run through fire, wouldn’t have been bad, but the breeze was blowing the smoke right along our running path, so we got to breath smoke for a while.








Up a ramp, across a cargo net, down a ramp










Grab a big log, carry it through a pond, don’t freak out when you see the floating alligator head. That was a nice touch 🙂







Climb the mountain of hay bales.













Funky Monkey – Cross the monkey bars, never done monkey bars going UP.  Up then down, don’t fall!  I trained like crazy to prepare for these, a little worried that I’d not be able hang on and do the up and down angle, but I CRUISED across them with no problem. Nice!








Sprint fast, get as high as you can, and lunge for the lip of the ramp.  Hopefully a little help from above and you’re up and over.  It’s dang hard to run up a BMX ramp!  Got it first try though.



















Shock treatment – we expected lots of little zaps of electricity as we ran through these hanging wires.  No, it was like getting hit with a baseball bat in the chest, a full body blow.

I got in 6  feet or so with no shocks, and just as I thought it was going to be non-event , just at the hay bale crossing, the first jolt hit me and put me on the ground.  Next thought was ‘Oh Damn, I have a LONG way to go!’  I got one more shock like that, glad it wasn’t more.


Oh Man!  Good Times!












The End!   A fun way to spend a Sunday morning, that’s for sure!

Tough Mudder Sunday!

December 1st, 2011

This Sunday is going to be fun!

Death Waiver has been signed and we’re ready to go!

Tough Mudder Trailer


Tough Mudder Tampa!

October 3rd, 2011

My first ‘event’ in quite a while, the TOUGH MUDDER in December.  Myself and a few guys from work are teaming up to experience what is “probably the toughest event on the planet“.

That is their advertising slogan anyway 🙂

Hey, I’m sure it sells entries, but 12 miles, 21 obstacles, average time 2 and a half hours?  I don’t care if it’s designed by British Special Forces or the Devil himself, I have a very hard time believing this is going to be anything more than a very fun diversion, playing in the mud, climbing on monkey bars,  running through fire, what a cool way to spend a couple hours!

Below are a few details of the upcoming fun.  A map of the course and a description of the 21 obstacles ( well, 20 of them anyway).  Click the picture for fullsize.

December 4th in Tampa!  Bring on the mud, ice, fire, ropes, logs, walls, water cannons, WHATEVER!

Dr. Spetzler is supposed to be the best there is…

August 3rd, 2011

Dr. Robert Spetzler of Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ  is considered a pioneer in his field and one of the best neurological surgeons in the world.   He has authored hundreds of articles and developed tools and techniques that have changed and improved the neurosurgical techniques being used today.    He’s not good at what he does, he’s the BEST at what he does and is breaking new ground for those following him.    Have you ever joked at work “This isn’t brain surgery”?  He can’t say that, and I seriously doubt they bother with the “It’s not Rocket Science” thing at BNI.  His patients are referred from all over the world, often to handle the difficult cases that other surgeons may not be comfortable attempting.

Tamara flew out of Orlando this morning to Phoenix.  This Friday, Dr. Spetzler will be removing a Cavernous Malformation from the medulla oblongata area of her brain, the lower part of the brain stem.

As serious as this is, and it is extremely serious or she would not be there, she knows she has the best of the best taking care of her, as do I.

We expect to be home late next week.  Of course, we’re saying prayers, and thinking positive thoughts, but it sure is good to know a physician with this man’s credentials is on this case.  He KNOWS what he is doing.  We have no doubt of that.

Try as I might with all my athletic endeavers to impress her, I just can’t get the upper hand.  “Yea, you’ve done 3 Badwaters and whatever else… big deal, have 3 babies and brain surgery, then come talk to me about tough, Mr.”  I’m not going to argue that for a second.

I love you honey, all is going to be fine.

Post Tupperware 10k Relay Race

May 12th, 2011

Yesterday after work we had a Corporate 10k Relay race.   Teams of two to four runners or walkers do 1.55 mile loops.

When I got home afterwards, this was waiting for me on the front door… (click for full size)

Front door when I got home.

VERY COOL!  Thanks Familia!

What Next?

March 21st, 2011

What Next?    After a lifetime of bike races, triathlons and running races, with the last several years including 5 Ironman distance triathlons, 50+ ultramarathons and seven 100+ mile finishes (three Badwater’s, two Western States, Massunutten and Umstead), I’m at a point where I’ve just not been able to get excited enough about any particular event to put in the required training.  I miss it, but yet I can’t seem to get myself to stay focused enough to do it.

I entered the 2011 Umstead 100 in North Carolina, that will be held this April 1, but last month had my name removed from the entry list so another runner could have the spot.     I simply have not been able to get motivated to do the long training sessions.  I’m loving the workouts I do, clicked off a nice 5 miles this morning before work, fitness is coming along ok, but everything I do is short, and I don’t have a goal, a purpose.   So I’ve been bumbling along staying in decent enough shape, doing some runs, doing some weights, a little bit of lifecycle at the gym, but I NEED to be chasing something.  But WHAT?

SO, after mulling things over for a while, I’ve decided on a new lofty goal of a  SUB 20:00 5k


That seems kind of silly considering I’ve run countless 18-19 minute 5ks, and a couple 17’s in my life,  but I’ve not tried to run that fast for quite a while.    Though in the last few months I have run a couple 22:30  5k’s, so I’m in the ballpark.

That’s it, my goal at this point is a Sub 20 in 2011. To do that I know I need to get my weight down to 170 or so, and start kicking in some faster runs.  It will do me good, after so many years of long, slow distance on trails, to change the dynamic with some speedwork, sprints and seeing how fast I can run.

Once I’ve achieved that, I’ll see what inspires me.

To help add some variety and let me get some hard workouts,  I’ve started rebuilding my bike, which has been down for over a year when I had a minor incident resulting in a broke wheel. (well, broken spokes, wheel can be salvaged).  The thing is COVERED in dust and dirt, but MAN, what a nice bike.  I love it, Cannondale Six13 with Campy Record Carbon components.

THAT’S THE MISSION for all the world to know!  Sub 20 5k in 2011


Tommy Emmanuel… WOW!!!!!

February 25th, 2011

Tamara, William and I went to see Tommy Emmanuel in concert at the Plaza in Orlando last night.  Oh my gosh! That guy is amazing.   Acoustic Guitar like you’ve NEVER heard.       They both LOVED it, it’s hard to impress William sometimes, but there was no doubt about it this time.

I’ve had several of his albums for a while, but to see him play this stuff live is simply amazing.    I bought these tickets way back in October when they first when on sale and we had GREAT seats, 3rd row, SUPER close.   You could see everything he was doing, well kind of, it was pretty fast, and the sounds he gets from his guitars don’t really seem possible.   I’ll definitely go back to see if if the opportunity arises.

Let me re-phrase ‘Great Seats’, they were in a great viewing and listening area for the venue, but THE SEATS IN THE PLAZA IN ORLANDO ARE ABSOLUTLEY HORRIBLE.  They are worse than any high school auditorium, or public venue I have ever seen.   I don’t think I’ve EVER been anywhere with such tiny, crammed together seating as this place.  TINY TINY metal chairs, no arm-rest, and about 10 inches from the seat in front of you.     You could not possibly leave your seat without having everyone else in the row actually leave the row.  I’m not a big guy, nor was the guy sitting next to me,  but we were shoulder against shoulder.

I’m honestly not sure I’ll back to the Plaza with their current setup.   IT was only an absolutely incredible performance by Tommy Emmanuel, that made the night a grand success.   So remeber, TOMMY EMMANUEL… if you get the chance to see him, GO!