Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10th

I gotta make a plan for myself
Can't look to you can't look to anybody else
Only this way am I truly free
I wasted time too long now it's up to me”
I"ll admit that lazy people bug me. People that go on vacation and just sit around on a beach and do nothing, that bugs me too. Taking 2 hour naps is a waste of time. That’s what night is for. People that take zero initiative to see the wolrd, people that are complacent and passive...Ugh! None of this bugs me to the point that it affects me too much, but it is just  waste of life. As far as I know we only have one chance on this go-round. Why wouldn’t you want to see what you can accomplish? Why wouldn’t one want to see the world and feel alive every day? And sure, I have a crap job (that pays pretty ok with good benefits) so I am not happy at that, and a career person could say the same about me, and maybe they do. I just choose to put my energies in a different place.

Running down a trail in the middle of the mountains is a serene experience that brings peace to the soul. Or pedaling a mountain bike on single track. Or riding a bicycle at 50mph down a mountain.  Except for the running at the moment, these are the things that make up my life on a daily basis. But it doesn’t have to be “x” or “y” or even “z.” Find a passion, give it your all, and take it as far as you can go.  People not having a passion is such a waste of life - surely something must light a fire inside. And I think the last few weeks really drove this home for me to why I think like that.  A couple girls that I’m really good friends with both lost their brother, another friend of mine lost his good friend, and then another friend lost his Grandma. And sure, maybe grandma was old and maybe it was her time, but dammit to hell, for the other 3 it was NOT their time. These people had a life, a passion, were good people with people whom loved and looked up to them. And now they are not here anymore. But Sally fatass eating her gallon of ice cream sitting on the couch each day doing nothing but taking up space will live to be a 100. Life isn’t fair and I realize that. But still, get out and actually live and love life. No one is guaranteed to wake up tomorrow. And crap, I may not even survive the day to go to sleep tonight, so I am damn sure that I will do something in life today 100%.

Nothing is worse than an indecisive person either, or one that lives for others.  I know what I want out of life, and have goals and sure, right now some of them are just dreams, but I will do all I can to make them happen. And if I fail so what? I am giving it my all, and I can gurantee that failure won’t be lack of effort or because I hesitated or didn’t or wouldn’t make a decision. The journey and pursuit of the goal brings so much joy and accomplishment as I work toward the endpoint. It might not work out exactly how I planned it but it should be fairly clost to my vision, because really - it’s up to me.  And I won't let myself down.
That’s my rant for the day.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Where it all started

my first real road bike - Nishiki International
I remember watching the Tour de France as a kid; I’m not sure what year it was, 1984 or 85? or maybe even 86. I just got my first “real” road bicycle, meaning it was something I would not flip the handlebars around and ride wheelies with, or jump, or basically beat the crap out of like every other bicycle I have owned. This was a real bike, meant for going faster, longer, harder, with toe clips that meant falling over was a cumbersome affair to untangle oneself. I even had some cool Avocet shoes that offered a harder sole to increase pedaling efficiency and grooves to hold my foot into place; this was a real frigging bike. And Hell NO do not forget to loosen your toe clips at a red light, there is no last minute twist of the foot to unclip with those damn things! I was ready to haul some ass.  Give me some spandex. A cool EURO La Vie Claire jersey and some matching Look shorts. Damn that was badass! As bad ass as you can be in spandex anyway.

It was the first day of the tour, and the prologue was it’s typical crazy short self, maybe 4K or so.  The pros did it in whatever time they did it in, I can’t remember. But I do remember hopping on my bike, hitting start on the cyclometer, and then pedaling my ass off around the neighborhood to see how close I could come to the winning time. Only quickly to realize that stop signs, other cars, and whatever other neighborhood hazard there is around to slow me down that it wasn’t a fair comparison. Sprinting up  to 29 mph, staying at  that speed maybe 5 feet, basically hyperventilating, then completely falling apart all within the first 400 yards.

Long slow rides with friends, stopping at Burger King to refuel, those were the food and fun days I remember from riding. Nowadays I am just getting back into the same type of riding I did as a kid. Getting lost, running out of food, exploring new areas, just riding without a distance, time, pace, or specific destination in mind. Having fun again and just being a kid on a bike. And I may not be  a bad ass in spandex, but don’t most superheroes where spandex? I may get to that point at some time. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

A few photos from biking and hiking Zion

One thing I have been realizing lately is I don’t take enough pictures – of the things I do. I take tons and tons of pictures of the kids, whether it is baseball, a little hike, the playground, jumping on the hippity hops at home, go carts,  or whatever our adventures entail. But when it comes to the time I am not with them I hardly ever take pictures. I have ridden at probably 10 different trail networks this year, and I’m pretty sure the only place I took pictures was in Utah. This year I have ridden in Anacortes, Kettles, Woodinville, Lord Hill, Galbraith, Chuckanut, Lake Padden, Salt Lake City, Jem trail loop in Zion, and Gooseberry Mesa at minimum, I’m probably missing a couple places. Amount of pictures I have taken in Washington…..ZERO!  
Hidden Canyon was a cool hike. Hiked along 300 foot cliffs which is pretty brave (for me).
   I need to change that – even on my road rides I see so many cool things, spending a couple hundred miles per week on a bicycle is such a cool way to see the world. Single track or some back road that not many people know about it filled with interesting things and memories and views that most people will never see. Sure, I took a picture of a canyon wall a thousand feet high in a national park – but 1000’s of those pictures already exist that are basically the same. Seeing an owl waiting patiently before it dives for its prey is indescribable, but not having a camera to capture the owl perched and waiting is inexcusable. So many amazing sunsets and full moon bike rides I keep forgetting to capture – I need to do better.
Waking up to this every morning was pretty cool.
Sunset was amazing each night.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


This week I definitely crossed the line from riding my bike “just to have fun” to actually training for races. I rode about 215 miles, not crazy high mileage or anything, but the fact that I am constantly pushing myself to eke out another  .2 or .3 mph to my pace, or push my cadence a few revs quicker means the little switch got flipped. Oh, and I can’t forget about the amount of rain I rode in this week. Seriously, I got dumped on each of the last 3 rides – crazy amounts of wind and rainfall which is not too fun to ride in. I am not quite doing 5 hours rides in 38 degree downpours anymore, but 2.5 hours at a strong tempo in a deluge would not be happening if I wasn’t trying to get my ass back in bike racing shape. I know that I am enjoying the pedaling because I don’t even bitch to myself during the rides how shitty it is to be out in crap weather. This past Thursday it completely dumped on me for at least 90% of a 42 mile ride and not once did I internalize the fact that this weather sucks and I don’t want to be out here. Nope. All I thought was “Hey, I’m starting to feel stronger on the bike” and “Damn I love pedaling my bike and no one else is around, this is so peaceful and even the bunnies are hiding so hopefully I won’t have to worry about running them over and wow it feels good to be riding a bike again.” Yep, that’s what I think about when I ride. Just my cadence and bunnies.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Spent 4 hours riding trails like this on Easter Sunday. Gorgeous day in the mid-60's with a couple friends is a great way to spend the day. Anacortes certainly has a gem of a trail system and I'm glad I got to spend a day exploring and pedaling.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

trails and more trails

Back on the bike…for about 6 weeks now, and yea it was running injury influenced I’ve been bouncing around endurance sports for the past 20 years now – triathlon, running, bike racing, trail running,  back and forth around the various forms of heavy breathing. It is so good to be back for a lot of different reasons. For one – I am really enjoying being around my bike riding friends again, and also meeting a lot of new ones as there are quite a few new people involved in the 4+ years I was gone. And oh my, the mountain bike sure is fun. Bombing down a bumpy single track trail with the bike dancing all sorts of way underneath you is such a fun experience. Elbows up, body centered, like a surgeon planting your tires between trail hazards and hitting the perfect line, only to completely drill something you didn’t see and flip over the bars the next second is still so much fun.  Hell, I’ve been pedaling on dirt for about 30 years now, ever since we made a supercross track for our BMX bikes in the fields behind Cloverbank school back in good ole NY.

  Riding on dirt or mud is always the most fun, but the road has been surprisingly fun if I get on the correct road meaning a steep incline or decline, or tailwind, or fast group ride. Well the more I think about it all of it is enjoyable except for trying to ride directly into a huge headwind. It will be nice when I get my good road bike back also (Are you reading this Gaby??????? : ) as I do have my Ksyriums all ready to rock that 15 pound rocket stip. OK, it probably isn’t quite a rocket anymore as I am working the engine, but it is certainly at least a Cessna, or maybe one of those gliders that get pulled a long because I am fairly certain that I can still suck wheel pretty well. I’ve been riding with other people so much that I am sort of missing the singular experience of the solo jaunt. I get a couple night time solo rides per week – but I’m thinking more along the lines of a solo mountain bike ride in the daylight. I’ve only done one of those since I’ve been back and ended up breaking a finger so maybe that’s telling me something.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I don't want to limit this thing to just writing about running, or pedaling or whatever. No one reads these musings anyway - so I am just going to write whatever the hell(o) I want to write about. So suck on that people! : )

Damn do I have a story to tell. Some of my closest friends used to tell me "Dude - you need to write a book about all this crap!" And like a lot of poseur's in the world I always wanted to write a book, never was too sure exactly which kind to write though. I have so many unifinished manuscripts lying around - I lost count.  And it's the one thing that has come easily to me in life - writing, but not finishing. So I actually started one, and it's not exactly one I am hoping to sell, or even independently publish - but it sure is a damn deep and emotional story that I am never at a loss for words on how or what to say - at least internally. And yes, it will have running in it - what's a book without running? Of course many other things. It's a story I need to tell even if no one reads it, although I will make a few close friends read it, and if anything it will be hugely fun to write. But it's a story about me at my worst (and looking back and seeing how much of a mess I was will be comical now) and weakest to a depths of hell that I never knew existed until I actually lived there for a long time -  so I'm not sure how exciting that will be - but it's not the events that make up the story, it's the way the story is told that determines how good it is or will be. And if I am completely honest I will understand how big of an eff up I was at one time - but that's quite ok and I am happy with how things turned out from the central point of this story. Because the one thing I have learned is that no matter how bad one thinks things are - they can ALWAYS get worse. yep - that's a joke but also true. It's nice that I can look back at things and laugh now. Always have to laugh! and smile. Life is so much more fun that way : ) It sure is fun to write though, and the emotion behind it, the depth the little black words on a page can bring out, whether written (or read) is always a passion I will have).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Randumb Tuesday thoughts....

Random thoughts running through my head…OK, it’s not all running related, but I’m sure I can get it there,  but running is really such a small part in my life, and the most meaningless in my hierarchy of needs – or at least to what’s really important in life.  It’s a good thing when I am able to think about running or training or racing, because that generally means everything else is going ok. But just because the opportunity is there, it doesn’t meaning the running is going to go smoothly. For something the human form is supposedly Born to Do  (see what I did there?) it is also the most frustrating at certain times.

I stopped and thought about this while at physical therapy one day. I have no less than 8 people that I work with keeping me running. I have numerous physical therapists, athletic trainers, massage therapists. That’s a lot of people’s talents and education and hard work all trying to keep me running and happy and healthy. And yet I am still broken. I have had 3 separate issues in the past 10 days which directly impacted my running. My ongoing knee, blah blah blah, that’s fine if I avoid the trails, my calf / Achilles – but that’s no big deal. And now my foot. Seriously! How the fudgsicle do I get a knot in the tendon of my foot? I am getting really close to just hanging up the running shoes for a while. I have lots of bicycles that are needing some love thrown their way. But man, bike riding is such a massive time suck. And I still tend to ride a bicycle like I’m 20 at times; meaning I’m not always smart enough to slow down to go faster, instead hucking myself into some precarious moments which include bouncing off the ground at 25 mph or more.  Dirt hurts. Pavements is worse.

Why do all these girls wear those tall boots? Nearly everywhere I look they all have them. This is perhaps the largest most blatant evidence of the term “group think” that I can ever remember seeing. Even cattle when out in the field stray from one another now and then. . Do they all shop together? Because one girl got some everyone has to have them? Sorry but they look stupid. Maybe it’s the old punk rocker in me or some innate individualistic gene I possess, but those things just look plain silly when everyone looks the same. Why do all these women want to look like everyone else does? Don’t these women know that tryouts for ZZ Tops video “Legs” already came out 30 years ago.   Move on….

A quote I came across the other day stuck in my head…”There are two kinds of people in the world, the ones who go into a room and turn the TV on, and one that enters a room and  turns the TV off.” I am definitely a turn the TV off person, although living (mostly) by myself it’s never really on. I generally cannot sit still long enough to watch a movie, nor do I care to for the most part. But I can sit still and read a book. Not really sure what the difference is although culturally it is more acceptable to read a book -   for whatever reason sitting on your ass reading is better than sitting on your ass watching a movie.  Am I making myself smarter? I don’t know about that.  But watching TV seems like a passive thing to do in life, and I tend to take a proactive approach to everything I do. Nothing ever got done just talking about it. Or watching it unfold in some electronic form. But reading tends to enlighten and inspire? I dunno about that. I’ll just go outside and do something hoping that will satiate whatever desire I have to feel like I did something with my day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Knees - Pffft!!!

Somewhere in here is the problem.
But where?

Being injured and not being able to do what you want is hugely depressing. Yes, I can still run, but I can’t run what I want to run, and the what I want to run is the basis for why I even run in the 1st place. I am no happy plodding down a flat road, or running around a town (although that IS a good way to get errands done).
I have been dealing with some sort of knee pain in relation to running single track for over 4months. I can run up, I can run flat, and I can run a lot of miles, but running any “real” downhill like the kind often found when running single track just isn’t working. I took a month off of trail running, and stuck to the flats, and yes, my knee was getting better so I thought so I tried running trails – and nope! Not working. It was pain free for maybe 2 miles, but the first long 800 foot of vertical descending did not make my knee happy. It wasn’t horrible, but it’s not like 2010 where I could just let the stride open up and haul butt down a mountain.

  I have been pretty good with my physical therapy. Certain issues are ruled out such as patella tendonitis, and confirmed by an ultrasound that the swelling of said tendon is minimal. I’m at a loss of what to do at this point outside of hopping on the mountain bike and getting into the good stuff that-a-way. It’s not the way I want to do it  though, and anytime you have to stop doing something on your own terms it never makes one happy. I don’t know if I am quite at that point, but I do know I am close enough that I am actually thinking about this.  That scares me.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


This is all the motivation I need

It’s a boring and conflicting time of year. Fog. Cold. Wet. Dark. Motivation sometimes rises and falls with the amount of sunshine, and then all of a sudden with no warning it is off the chart again.

One day I am in the middle of running 27 miles and feel completely burned out, then the following week I run 82 miles and just want to keep running.

Not sure what triggers this – but am just glad I am going all out again with seemingly unlimited (sometimes too much) motivation to run.

Lance has finally admitted the 30% truth, because really, with his arrogance and narcissism he must think we are all a bunch of idiots to believe he is telling us the complete story. I could write forever about this dude, and compare and contrast him with other people that I once knew, and that would be so much fun. I would love  to write it, but I won’t waste my time on him or anyone else that is either too dumb, too arrogant, or too callous to even get it. I wasted enough words on that, but did I mention how fun it would be? Go rot in obscurity after making amends with the lives your ruined – although that’s not really possible.

Call me pessimistic, but do people really honestly believe there is no PED use in ultrarunning? Really? Again. Really? And how long did it take you to understand that Lance was NOT clean. Or Marion Jones. Or Ben Johnson. Or...(the list goes on). I hate to pat myself on the back, but I think I had been a non believer since at least 2001. Add the facts up and sometimes things that are too good to be true are just that. I would never name a name without proof, but some of these times from 2013 are just plain crazy fast.  And the amount of improvement people make from year to year is astonishing. Hours improvement in a single year? I’ll remain skeptical about a lot of these runners and really just hope I’m wrong.

Back to my running. Mine mine mine. My running. Like it is a physical object that I can wrap my arms around or something.  The truth is far from anything like that – I have never been able to settle all my running riddles, and currently I am in a huge one. Patella Tendonitis…patella tracking issues…whatever. The only thing I know is that I CANNOT run downhill without pain. And it’s not a little bit either, it’s the stride altering kind where I run like I have a peg leg, but nope, it’s just my leg, no peg. Physical therapy gets me to cross train, I have always been such a slacker in that regard, and avoiding elevation does seem to help.  But gosh darn it, I miss the single track. If I was ever patient enough I would just go to Tiger Mountain and walk to the top of it, and gingerly walk down.  At least I’d get some single track back into my soul. But I know I would end up peg legging downhill – and of course the knee would be stressed.

Oh! Did I mention with this injury I am still able to run 80+ miles per week? Yep, I cannot understand this one either. Although I think someone should just permanently attach whatever kinesio tape job is always on my knee. Riddles. I like easier riddles. Like I’m hungry so I should eat. Or I need to be here so I need to leave at this time. This one is above my knowledge base, and I’m not quite sure the people I have been working with are entirely successful in decoding my knee dilemma.  I have eight weeks left to train for a 100K – I’m not worried about running 62 miles, I’m worried about the descending and climbing within that 62 miles. I could always powerwalk it, uphill no big deal but it would be so painful (mentally) to have to walk or run gingerly  downhill.
  Maybe I can find a run across Nebraska? Or Kansas?