Morning 5k

September 22nd, 2010

Slowly getting myself back to fitness. This mornings 22:34 Tupperware 5K is a step in the right direction.  That was good enough for 1st place on this particular morning! We have another 5k this evening, will be interesting to see how my legs feel.

I’m preparing for the Space Coast Marathon in November, then the Umstead 100 in April 2011. Will probably do Mountain Mist 50k in January, and maybe Cheaha 50k in Feb as I prepare for Umstead. Nice to be running again!


I’m goin’ back to BADWATER!

July 9th, 2010

WOO HOO!   Leaving tomorrow morning for Las Vegas, then straight to Death Valley, CA.  Furnace Creek to be exact, to prepare for the start of the 2010 Badwater Ultramarathon!   135 miles on foot.  Weather Channel says Monday’s race day start will have a high of only 120 degrees.  That’s downright chilly in Death Valley!

Oh, I’m NOT actually RUNNING it this year,  I’m CREWING.  It’s my great honor to assist one of the guys that crewed ME for three years in a row to get to the finish line.  He’s run with me, walked with me, carried water and food for me,  listened to me bitch about stuff like being given the wrong flavor Gatorade, massaged cramps out of my legs and generally done whatever he(and the rest of the team)  had to do to keep me heading toward the finish line.    And he did it 3 years in a row.

Now it’s my turn.  I can’t wait.    William Ansick from Auburn, Alabama will be starting his first Badwater at 6:00 am, July 12, at the young age of 23.   Tamara and I have known him since he was a baby, he and his family have come to see me compete in various running and triathlon races most of his life. Later as he got older, and I started running Ultra runs, they would come watch and crew some of those.

His  High School athletics consisted of Soccer and Wrestling, but once in College, he started getting interested in running, triathlons, and cycling.   A good athlete and a quick study, he’s steadily improved every year that he’s been at this.   First short triathlons, then longer ones up to 1/2 Ironman.  Then Marathon’s and almost immediately Ultra Runs.     That was natural, he was 18 years old when he and his dad, Vince were crewing for me in my first Badwater Ultra.    At the time, he was just getting into the endurance sports, but was asking questions and trying to improve, it just seemed natural to me to try to get him and Vince out there with me if possible.

Even though we’d moved from Huntsville to Orlando by that time and didn’t see a lot of each other, we still consider the Ansick’s among our closest friends and I knew I could count on them to watch out for my best interests in Death Valley.

That was 5 years ago, and I don’t know how many Ultra’s and various races William has run since then, but he’s clicked off some really good races and sub-24hrs for 100 mile trail race.   He’s tough, not a quitter when things aren’t going his way, and really seems to be able to take advantage of those races where things ARE going his way.

It’s going to be a blast watching him finish his first Badwater.

The proudest moment a parent has is when their kids do something great, I’ve had that feeling many times as my own Ashley, William and Emily have participated in their various events.      He’s not mine, but I know I’m going to have a lot of those same feelings as I watch him make that last climb up to the Whitney Portals.   Gonna be very cool indeed.

Follow the webcast, which officially starts Sunday, but they seem to already be posting things out there.

CCC100 – Coast to Coast to Coast in 100 hours (96 actually)

July 9th, 2010

April 8th, 4:00am.   I am waking up, and just stepping outside of my buddy Jim’s  back garage/apartment where I’ve spent the night.  He’s just coming over from his house, opening the garage to check on me.    By 4:30, we are on the road, him on his BMW 1200RT, me on my Yamaha FJR1300.  WHERE TO?   First to Ormond Beach, to walk down to the Atlantic Ocean, get a sample of sand and water from the beach.

Start of first morning

For the next 1500 miles, it is nothing but riding.   Our first REAL stop is Fort Stockton, Texas, 1500 miles from our stop point.  We did that in just under 24 hours from our first gas stop near Jim’s house.   A short 4 hour rest, and we head out for the next leg of our trip…

About to leave Fort Stockton, TX

Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, BIG Winds, but finally, we make it to San Diego, CA.   Coast to Coast in about 46 hours from leaving Jim’s house.   We headed down to the beach, gather another sand and water sample from the PACIFIC Ocean this time.  And headed to a hotel for a few short hours of rest.

Stopped to chat with from friends in San Diego

After another 4 hours or so rest, we gear up, and begin the 2600 mile trip back to Ormond Beach, FL.

But it wasn’t ALL just riding…

Climbing a cool rock in Arizona (or somewhere out West?!)

Heck, we even had time to stop and visit the ALAMO!
No real stops the whole way back though.   We rode straight through, only stopping at rest areas to sleep when we needed to.   West Texas got a little crazy with some very high winds, then rain.   We stopped there, Jim slept wearing his helmet, both to stay warm (it was VERY cold that night) AND to quieten the noise from the 18 wheelers that were running.

An hour or so nap at a rest area in Louisiana ( or Mississippi?)

That was it all the way back to Ormond Beach.   We were VERY sleepy toward the end.   BUT, 96 hours after we started, we had ridden our motorcycles from Coast to Coast to Coast 4 days.  COOL!

Jim has written a full comprehensive report of our trip, which I will post when I have time to go through it all.

2nd place Team Tupperware’s Tupperfit Challenge

June 22nd, 2010

For the 12 weeks of March/April/May, I was in a company sponsored weight loss challenge  (think biggest loser).  The Tupperware Tupperfit Challenge consisted of six 3 person teams, seeing who could lose the most % of weight in the 12 week period.I’m proud to say, my team, Team Weight Crashers, took second place.   Each team worked out twice a week with an assigned trainer, plus one other on-site activity on our own.   Olga was our trainer, and yes, she LOVES to make people suffer.  Tough workouts, twice a week with her, then we did at least one other workout together or in a class.  Of course, I did quite a bit of other stuff on my own.As a team, we lost 8.7% of our body weight in 12 weeks.  Personally, I lost just over 25 lbs.     That was the most of anyone on my team, and the 3rd highest pounds lost of all 18 people.   Kind of funny, as when we were doing all the initial meetings and weigh-ins, there were several references to how whatever team I end up on needed a handicap, since I didn’t have any weight too lose, can’t count how many people asked me why I was doing this, I didn’t need to lose anything.I’d say 25 lbs is something, and about 5 more will have me right where I need to be.  Needless to say, there were a few surprised folks when they started naming biggest losers and winning teams!

Good thing about that is that with the heavier weight lifting and cardio work we’ve been doing, my overall fitness is really coming back.  I feel great and  I’m MUCH stronger than I was at the beginning of the year.

Team Weight Crashers

Finished my Blackguard Telecaster

June 22nd, 2010

Long time, no write.     Since my last post I’ve done a lot of stuff, as far as the guitar projects I mentioned last blog, I did finish one of those…A Blackguard Telecaster, built from Pine, with a Butterscotch Blonde finish.   I actually ended up building it as an Esquire, ( no neck pickup), though if I run across a vintage Gibson humbucker, I may cut the pickguard and add it, ala Keith Richards Micawber guitar.William declared it the best playing guitar in the house.  I’m loving it.

(have a 1970’s Fender Silverface Champ Amp supposed to be delivered today too, can’t wait to hear that)

The Cedar body is getting close, I’ve just been having so much fun playing this one, I’ve not taken the time to finish it.
Reflection Reflection 2
 FrontTwo Guitars

New Guitar Builds

February 9th, 2010

My first guitar builds where I built the body from scratch.  Building a old school Butterscotch Blonde Blackguard style Telecaster with pine and one from Cedar that will have a clear natural finish…

For the Blackguard I’m using Fender Blonde color, then amber/yellow tint on top of that..

Still have some sanding/cleanup on the cedar before I start clearing coating it.

It’s like this now, waiting for clear/tinted clear


















But it started like this…


Here with Reranch  Fender Blonde applied…  This is NOT Butterscotch Blonde, it’s Blonde and actually is whiter than this pic looks.

Next comes various concoctions of color to get the neck tint and ‘aged’ Butterscotch to simulate 50 years of smokey bars, sun and yellowed lacquer…

It’s getting there,  but I have to decide when enough is enough.  This is pretty close to exactly what I want, I think I’m going to shoot some clear, then some LIGHTLY tinted clear.   Same for the neck, I’m going to do clear, then decal, then tinted lacquer and clear till it’s right.

I have some sanding and prep before I shoot clear on the cedar, but when I wipe it down it really looks pretty.  With a nice polished clear over it, it should come out nice.

2010 Mountain Mist 50k

October 30th, 2009

I’m not  trained, I’m not ready, but I am ENTERED.    2010 Mountain Mist 50 Kilometer Trail Run.    This was the first Ultramarathon I ever ran, some 40 plus ultra’s ago, and it’s still probably my favorite.  I’ve done  6 of them now, 10 gets me a jacket.   (I guess they still do that?)   It’ll be tough this year, as I’ve not done any serious running in 2 years, but seeing my name on the the entrant list will motivate me to do all I can do in the next 2 1/2 months to get the weight down, and the fitness level up.   We’ll see!

Mountain Mist 50k

North Carolina Motorcycling Trip

October 25th, 2009

What a great ride up to North Carolina on the FJR1300.   Rode up Friday, played all day Saturday and 1/2 day Sunday, then back home by 10:00pm.

The week was pretty crazy, with me not getting home from work before 8:00pm any  day that week, and having to change oil and mount a new Michelin Road Pilot 2 tire on Wednesday night.  That left me up VERY late Thursday night getting all my gear together, including camping gear, tent, etc.

Friday was pretty crazy, I was supposed to leave Clermont and meet Jim and Paul North of Orlando about 45 minutes from my house at 5:00am, so we could get through Jacksonville before rush hour traffic.    Well, thanks to going to bed two hours prior,  I woke to the sound of HARD rain… at 5:30am.    Not good.   I jump up, grab my cell phone that had several missed calls and call to see what’s going on.   They are waiting, clear skys where they are.    DAMN!  Quick check of weather, and there are some pretty bad cells of storms here and there, with the biggest being HERE, right on top of me.  It will be like that off and on most of the way up.

We decide for Jim and Paul to start North, I’ll get started and catch up after Jacksonville when they will stop for breakfast.  I get ready as quickly as possible, and am out the door a little after 6:00 in a hard rain.  I get out of the weather quickly, but the roads are wet, it’s still dark, and early morning traffic is starting to move enough to keep my 45 minute backroad trek to get to our Interstate meeting place a full 45 minutes.  Once on I-4, I’m in catchup mode.  Out of the rain, I’m doing everything I can to make time on guys I know started 45 minutes before me, and are riding 70-80 miles an hour.

As I get to Jacksonville, I get a voicemail from Jim that they are at an exit in Georgia and ready to roll out.   They are exactly 13 miles ahead of me as I exit to get gas, and a little caffeine.    Since I’m just pulling in, need gas, bathroom, and coffee, I tell them to go ahead, I’m close, and will close the gap in an hour or two.

300 or so miles of rain, construction zones and slow-downs later, we finally get together at an exit in South Carolina.  All day was in and out of rain, some heavy, getting cooler as we headed North.    It was a pretty crazy day.    Once we were all together, it was only another 150 miles or so up to the cabin in North Carolina(we thought we were tent camping, but last minute change had us staying in a nice cabin).  It’s almost at the top of a mountain up a 3.5 mile gated, cattle guarded, steep dirt mountain road.   A pretty interesting proposition for two FJR1300’s and a BMW RT1100.(Click photos for full size)

These pics are the flat sections, some of this was pretty treacherous, both up and down.

North Carolina Mountain RoadNorth Carolina Mountain RoadNorth Carolina Mountain Road

After the ride to the top of the mountain…

Top of the mountain

we spent a  relaxing evening planning the next days ride.

On Saturday, we headed into Pisgah National forest, and various roads in the area.  Were going to ride Blue Ridge Parkway, but one direction was closed due do a landslide, or contruction or something, and the other direction was closed that morning do to SNOW!  Yes, as we got to higher elevations, the sporatic rain, fog, mist turned to snow!   After a while, we had ice accumulating on our windsheilds.

In the afternoon, things cleared up, and we had a great ride.  About 250 miles on Saturday, with some great stops at some local diners.  Sunday morning, 27 degrees at 7:00am on our mountain, but warmed to the 40’s by 10 or so.  I don’t travel without my running shoes, and got in a two hour trail run up and down the mountain, which was just great.  I love running the trails so much.

After that, a huge lunch at Golden Corral before letting the big bikes stretch their legs and take us home by around 10:00pm.  Around 1500 miles of riding for the long weekend, with great curvy roads, dirt mountain roads, snow and some trail running.  Good times!  (CLICK PIC FOR FULL SIZE)

North Carolina Motorcycling Trip SnowNorth Carolina Motorcycling Trip Snow

North Carolina Motorcycling TripNorth Carolina Motorcycling Trip