Wednesday, December 26, 2012

pick it up, shake it, throw it on the ground

 2012 was a year where I decided to relax. I wanted to enjoy the things that I do and in general I did that.

 2013, will be different. I have stricter goals for the upcoming year as an athlete, in my career, and at home. A year of structure, highly focused on a few main goals.

 1st, change my physical dynamic. I have never worried about carrying some body fat, My goal though is more than a vanity project it's about changing my physical make up overall. My reason is to become a faster runner it's as simple as that. I want to run faster to do that there needs to be less of me.

 2nd, I have running goals the most important for me is to finish under two hours for a half marathon. The last time I trained for a half to achieve this goal was  the 2010 S.I. half, this was also my first ever half marathon and I missed it by 5 minutes. I was happy with my achievement but bummed that I didn't achieve my goal. Looking back though I know what I did right and what I did wrong. I did a lot right but the biggest thing I did wrong was not taper. i did an 11 mile run one week before the half. I should have done that two weeks before.  Big lesson learned.

 Since that time I am a completely different runner, I have done more training runs over the 13.1 mile mark than I can even count. Now it's time to revisit the half marathon as a test of my ability not just a fun thing to do.

 Two main targets for me regarding the half. 1, revisiting the S.I. half and beating the 2:00hr mark.
2,  The 2013 Wine and Dine half at W.D.W. this is my absolute main focus for 2013. The Wine and Dine is a night time half held around Nov. 7th. The only issue is that all Disney runs are crowded so I could get bogged down behind a crowd, no excuses though I want 1:50:00 for the Wine and Dine.

 Lastly at home, getting rid of debt. We have systematically been doing this for a while but suffered a set back this year. My personal goal for next year is to eliminate 75% of our debt by this time next year.

 2012 was great 2013 is going to be better.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Yoga....that's some bullshit

 "You know, I really want to get back into yoga.I was in really great shape when I was doing yoga" "You lose a lot of weight doing yoga."


 Here's what was going on. You were younger, had more time, more dedication, and probably less kids. This is why you were able to go to yoga 4 to 5 times a week and why you were happier with the way you looked. Now.... a little older, a lot busier, kids! we all know how overwhelming kids are. Busier job and your a little softer around the edges.

 Yoga once a week ain't gonna cut it.

 You can not smoke, drink, over eat, live a very sedentary lifestyle and then mosey over to a yoga class, half ass your way through it and then reward yourself with a mimosa and eggs benedict at brunch.

 You know those yoga practitioners who are in great shape? They live that lifestyle, not just 1hr. a week but all day everyday. They are the ones who are in great shape from yoga.

 I'm using yoga but it could be anything. Zumba, cardio, weight training,  etc. etc. A part time attitude will get you no where.

 It takes complete dedication to make the change you want to make.

 One hour a week ain't cutting it. You know it, it's an excuse to not really change.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The final review of the S.I. Trail Festival.

 When you finish a race at Willowbrook Park you know you are close because you can see the carousel through the trees. It can be a beautiful sight if you are exhausted or an inspiring one if you are flying. I was definitely the latter on Saturday. I finished this race feeling strong.  I wish I could say it's from a perfectly executed training plan but more than likely it was because I was way to cautious for the first third of this race.

 So I crossed the finish line and I never felt stronger after finishing a race again not a good thing in my book. I finished, hung out, started to feel kinda gross as 15 miles of sweat and muck began to stick to my skin creating a barnacle like feeling. Luckily I had a change of clothes in the car.

 As we waited around for the 50k crew to start making there way back I was introduced to Lime A Ritas! A fantastic concoction that doesn't taste like a margarita or a lime beer but as a product itself it's pretty good. Funny that when I first tried it I wasn't digging it but I quickly learned to enjoy it. I learned a lot of other fun stuff as well. The funniest to me was the mystery of the man of the Greenbelt.

 As we waited around for "Stupid" Pete and "Dumb" Andy to finish, terms of endearment I assure you we saw this strange little creature straight out of the Hobbitt come out of the woods.  A tiny man, bald, with white side burns and moustache. He was wearing a shiny planet with the planets emblazened all over it. He reminded me of the old magician Doug Henning. So this magic man appears out of nowhere and we notice that he has a 50k  bib on. He starts heading down the course again but then detours into a very nice caravan. I don't know if he ever came back out or if he used some Hobbitt magic and transported himself on top of High Rock.

 We labeled him "Jim Greenbelt" the steward of the Greenbelt.

  A group of ladies finished who ran the 25k as they did so one of our club members started staring daggers, apparently they knocked this member over ass over tea kettle at the start of the race but didn't finish until almost an hour later.

 One of the ladies from the group started standing around with her hands in the air. We of course ask whats the haps and she says "Look at how swollen my hands are" I of course tell her "I have no idea
what your hands look like normally."  At the time this was hilarious to me, as I write this I still find it amusing.

 The nick names "Stupid Pete" and "Dumb Andy" were also created with the help of Lime A Ritas.

 Lastly the "S" in S.I.A.C. now stands for  Sexy Overload, The Sexy Overload Athletic Club.

 Goodnight Ladies and Germs!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Trail festival review part 2

 As we continue our review of Saturdays race our fearless hero is about to renter the dark and dangerous Greenbelt forest. The section of red/yellow trails next to the golf course is mainly a descent but it does roll up and down on its way down the hill. The fog was still thick at this point and now in the distance someone was using a chainsaw chopping up wood I hoped, as I passed a couple of runners I commented that I hoped no one pops out of the woods with a mask made of some front face.

 Luckily I made it through there safely and proceeded up the back end of the yellow red trail headed towards the Nature Center. I actually slipped here but no biggie. Some schlub said something about "All you hurt was your pride, hiyuk hiyuk" Another trail runner mentioned that a little slip like that was no big deal. If your not slipping out at some point during a trail run then you are hiking not running ass hat! Anyway, I am getting close to the long descent on the white trail the scene of the crime where I shoved Plymouth Rock into my heel the week before race day. As I began the long descent I am ultra alert because there are tons of loose rocks on this part of the course. Luckily I made it through safe and sound and pressed on.

 Down the white trail and up the long, winding hill behind High Rock where the path was changed from last year. The new section sent us right up an are that constantly has water runoff streaming down it. I immediately thought of Corey Ferritti and his sparkly shoes. How he must have been howling in protest over getting his shoes dirty.

 In High Rock we circled around the Green Trail which was immaculate! Crossing over the street to Moses Mountain which we skipped this year because i think it was to slippery or something or other, who cares why really. There's that little hill past Moses Mt. that I nick named Lil' bastard it's a short hill, not very steep but it always ends up at a point of the run where you are already a little tired so you feel this hill. Up the step hill and then down towards the Nature Center where the eventual winner of the 10k shot past me one way and then seconds later shot by the other way.

 At the last water stop I screwed around to long and lost a minute because i wanted to refill a water bottle, with only  two miles out I didn't need that water.

 The home stretch is a two mile descent and with the energy of the 10kers coming up behind me I picked it up and finished pretty strong. in hindsight though there were a lot of sections where i should have pushed harder. This is my issue, I am afraid to push to hard during racese because i don't want to bonk out and not finish. This is the main thing i have to deal with in 2013.

 Part 3, the after party in my next report!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The best recap ever of today's Staten Island Trail festival pt.1

Today started out late last night really with me sitting in front of the teevee watching the drama "Sons of Anarchy". I never saw it before which of course means I watched three episodes in a row which  then meant that I didn't get to bed until 1:30 in the morning....not wise but damn that show is good.

 Anyway the alarm gets me up at 6:30am and I feel fine, I shuffle my way into the bathroom where I laid out my clothes the night before and I get dressed.....pretty standard so far I know. The damn dogs start warbling for food so I herd them outside, feed em and proceed to the race.

 The roads and the traffic were horrible. I barely made it. With tires screeching I slid into a spot Duke boys style, ran to the desk grabbed by bib pinned it right to my time to mess with the shirt and joined the group with seconds to spare before we were sent off................................................. Nah, the roads were fine, no traffic. Plenty of parking, I casually walked to get my bib, walked back to the car got dressed, I didn't forget anything, I actually over packed...BORING

 Okay, we line up. I am maybe mid pack which is perfect for where I always finish a race mid pack dullsville. There is a new exciting phrase coined today by Lebow "Get some trails!" oof that was a dud Matt, good idea but that catch phrase has its own catch phrase "P.U."

 Were off, I start out slowwwww i'm playing it safe early on for a few reasons. First, my left heel that I smashed into a rock last Saturday feels fine now but I'm thinking about the later miles and I want it just as strong then. Second, I know the course, it's a deceiving incline for the first few miles so I don't want to over do it to soon, "blow my wad" as they so eloquently say. Lastly, I am a slow runner and a notoriously slow starter this is why I really dislike 5k's they are all about starting out fast and hard and staying there. I am not good at that.

 As annoying as I was that I was getting passed, a lot I knew I was doing the right thing by chillin'. My heel began to protest and it recruited my left calf to do the same, not enough to worry me but enough for me to feel it. There's something about the first couple of miles of this course that I hate running on but as soon as I cross over the stream I start to click into a rhythm, usually. Sometimes I need to cross the street but today was a stream day so by the time I got to the first street crossing I had a hunch I was going to enjoy today's race, and boy was I............? suspensful isn't it...

 Right! Yay! Sure shuffling over those slimy boards was scary as I had images of my foot slipping off and snapping clean off but that obviously didn't happen. What did happen though was me having to pee very badly, so as I was running up the white trail hill behind the nature Center I noticed that I was all by myself sooooo I did the bow legged run, I whipped it out, and I peed. I will spare you the steamy details but I was laughing out loud as I did my own trail marking. My next problem was that I was overheating, 3 miles in and I was burning up so I pulled off my singlet and my long sleeve shirt tied it around my waist and threw the singlet back on. At the first aid station I threw the long sleeve down and told the volunteer that I will pick it up on the way back and that "It had better be there, got it sister!!!" then I tore off up the trail feeling the beautiful, cool, foggy/misty air on my skin. It was like I was in a Oil of Oley commercial. My long locks flowing, baby deer and bunnies playing along the side of the trail.

 Removing that shirt was a terrific idea, I liken it to a big engine that was being choked of air and finally that has a steady stream of cool or even cold air running over it. Keep it cool, keep it classy. There is a small stretch of single track right after the uphill next to the Nature Center that is ever so slightly down hill. It leads you to the multi use trail, this little stretch is one of my favorites. It's flat as in very few roots and rocks which allows you to open it up a bit. Today it was gorgeous on this section, the fog flowing through the trees and the overcast skies all meshed together perfectly.

 On to the multi use trail, a perfect spot to really open it up and make up some time. Not so much for me today though, even though my heel wasn't in any pain it wasn't happy when I tried to push it so I kept at a good pace figuring that if this is where I can run without hurting my heel than so be it. More amazing scenery along the multi-use trail but the next section on the course is the most technical and had the highest possibility of slippage so I prepared myself.
 Two left turns later and I was headed to the cliff, this is the section of trail the runs above St. Andrews Church it is very technical, has a steep angle to it, and today it was slippery to boot. The slippey condition was do to the.......rain obviously it was from yesterdays rain what else could it be. I made it through but the sideways shuffle wreaked havoc on my heel, and it started to feel ouchy, I believe that is a technical term. Coming off of this cliff and running towards the golf course is about the halfway point I believe so i am going to stop this one here and start anew later. It gets a lot funnier later I promise.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dodging a bullit...I hope

Today I had time to stop by the Nature Center and do a  quick loop to test my left foot and make sure I will be okay for Saturdays 25k event.

 The verdict is very promising, I walked to the trail entrance and simply started running. The first thing I noticed was that i felt nothing at all it was if my foot had no injury at all. "Hallelujah, I'm good." I thought but just to be safe I kept creeping along as to not activate the heel boo boo.

 Whenever I thought I felt a twinge coming on I would focus on form, making sure to land mid-foot so my heel stayed safely away from and obstruction.  What I then noticed was that the trail that wraps around the nature center was in amazing shape. It was super clean from everything including leaves. For me starting over basically with this trial run having this trail so clean was a great help as the chance of stepping on something that I didn't see was basically eliminated.

 I was going to just do a tiny loop but I felt good so I decided to stretch it a tad and i headed down the white trail. The same section that tried to do me in last saturday. I descended own extremely carefully and as I emerged from the section that bruised my heel along with my pride I knew that all I had to do was do the same thing on sat. and even though I might lose a minute of time i will be stronger and pain free for the flatter, faster sections that are coming up later.

 I did notice some fatigue in both calves but i believe that is more from not running since sat. morning.

 So, things look good. I feel ready for Saturday I'm looking fwd. to it and that's all I care about really.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stone soup, stone free, stone bruise

 Interesting thing happened to me as I was running the final mile and a half of a training run for Saturdays 25k race. I was headed down a large descent that is part of the white trail. I have been on this section of trail many times over and I know that is becomes very rocky so i was diligently watching my foot placement so I don't twist an ankle one week out from race day.

 Well, I can honestly say that I absolutely did not twist my ankle during yesterdays run BUT as i so expertly planted my left foot as to not twist it i missed the pointy rock that was camouflaged  by the leaves. This rock, nay this horn of Lucifer itself met up and oh so gently kissed my left heel with the tenderness of a sonic boom.

 I hoped upon hope that I could run through it but it was very apparent that I should stop running. Listening to my body I walked back to the truck and headed home. I staying off of my bum hoof as much as possible but besides that theres not much else i can do. Switching back and forth btw. icing and heating is said to help some but apparently a Stone Bruise just has to heal itself.

 My plan is to run on Saturday if I can't I can't.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sliding into home

 Well 2012 is winding up nicely and it was a year of mixed results running wise. I accomplished some nice goals but some other ones eluded me. This has led me to think about 2013 and what i want to accomplish in this upcoming year.

 First and foremost i am going o shrink back down a bit. I've have comfortably stayed in the Clydesdale division for literally my entire running history and the reality is that i will always be in the Clydesdale division but instead of being well into it I am going to strive to be on the fringe of it weight wise. This means I am looking to drop about 15lbs. next year primarily fat but also reshaping my muscle definition. I will still be over 200lbs. but i'd like to hang out around 220 instead of 235 which is where I have been all year.

 That's the main goal and as that gets accomplished my other goals of increasing my 5k, 10k and half marathon times should follow nicely.

 So to sum up

Immediate/ short term: goal refocus nutrition and begin to shed lbs. 15lbs. is the goal around 220lb.

medium range goal: increase times in the 5k, 10k, and especially half marathon time.

long term goal for 2013 anyway id the WDW Wine and Dine half Marathon. I want a time of 1hr 50 minutes. This is primary focus for 2013.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

running to celebrate everything

So this Dec. 8th is the second annual Staten Island Trail Festival. I yet again will be running the 25k distance. I'm excited to be running this race again but there's a giant elephant on the room or on the trails this year.

 The stupid storm Sandy that smashed Staten Island in late October left a level of destruction that was horrific and for those of us who didn't suffer any loss from Sandy we still at a minimum lost a week due to the chaos left in Sandy's wake. The following weeks after Sandy felt unsettled, the days were uneasy and again my house and my family lost nothing, suffered nothing. There are thousands who suffered actual loss from Sandy and those weeks were a twisted nightmare of flooded houses, streets filled with massive amounts of debris. Chaos and garbage were everywhere.

 In my neck of the woods it wasn't the flooding it was the downed trees. Massive trees that survived hundreds of storms. Wind, snow, ice these trees stood fast until Sandy. It was if Sandy was a petulant child having a temper tantrum knocking over her toys and smashing her blocks. Trees were picked up and thrown around like they were pixie sticks. Our beloved Greenbelt has certainly had its share of downed trees looked like the hand of a giant swatted down trees in a twisted rage. This giant just ran through the Greenbelt slapping trees down, kicking them over, flipping them ass over tea kettle leaving the trails in such disarray that the Greenbelt has been shut down since Sandy.

 I know that a crew of volunteers and professionals have been diligently putting the Greenbelt back together again. The Festival will go on with some necessary modifications to the trails but by the spring the new sections of trails will simply become the trails and we will run on.

 The race on the 8th was supposed to be the race I trained hard for gave 100% effort etc. etc. Sandy though,threw mine and everyone elses training for a loop, it cancelled the NYC Marathon for heavens sake. So today as I was driving home I decided that I am going to celebrate this race. I am going to celebrate my time running the actual race, the time I spent training, those I trained with and those I will run with. I celebrate my girls at home, our health and happiness, I will celebrate the year that was 2012 and the upcoming 2013. I  have already begun planning out 2013 and look forward to what it has to offer.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The demon named doubt

 This is going to be a very running centric post.

 You know when your alarm clock goes off and its freezing cold outside and still dark outside but you still shove those covers out of the way and put your running short pants on that's you kicking Doubt right in its balls.

 Today's run was brought to me by the letter U. U is for ugh. I felt awesome at the beginning of the run. My first crack in the armor was at the halfway point. I had just eaten a gel and I think it was giving me a Tummy Upset but after about 15 minutes I was back to feeling like a million bucks so onward and upward.

 I didn't feel any real pain until around the 13 mile mark and the only pain was from my legs freezing up as we waited for traffic to wane so we could cross the street. At the final crossing I knew that I was cooked. Even though i only had 1.7 miles left they felt looooonnnggggg so a path that I have run hundreds, that's probably a little high, dozens of times so much so that I know the terrain incredibly well and being that its a nice descent it's usually a great stretch of trail to finish up with.

 Not today Ladies and Germs, When I am exhausted I start looking for familiar markers and during the final mile and a half I was looking for every marker I could find. After you cross the little stream there is one mile to go, when you get to the intersection just past the dog run/ archery field there is 4 tenths of a mile to go. The last great marker is the Carousel, once you can see it through the trees you are just a sprint away.

 So where does Doubt enter the picture you ask? I'm glad you asked. Next to the little stream is an old chimney this is a big marker so it's one I always look out for even when I am feeling good. Today though I was staring ahead begging for that chimney to appear. The voice that says "You're done, start walking" was screaming in my head but I figured If I can get to the chimney than the rest of the trail is flat and easy. I crossed the stream and willed my nearly frozen legs to keep moving. I knew that a series of very crude wooden bridges were coming up and that voice was back telling me to walk at the bridges. "Don't you feel that pain? That is your legs telling you to quit."  Again I pressed on, by this time my form has devolved into some odd tribute to Igor from every Frankenstein movie ever made. I couldn't keep my head up for longer than a few seconds then it would start flopping around again. This time it wasn't the voice in my head telling me to quit it was my own inner dialogue telling me to duck out at the archery range instead of finishing that last 4 tenths of a mile.

 When all you have left is 4 tenths of a mile how do you not finish it? That was the voice in my head that won the debate I was having with myself. Doubt though wasn't finished quite yet. During that last little stretch my body wanted to stop, my mind wanted to stop and Doubt was screaming at me to quit. "Why continue? what is there to gain? You've done enough." I shut out every voice, ignored my screaming leg muscles and finished. When I was done I was exhausted. At least I could head right home, shower, eat and recover.......oh yeah i had to go to Costco and get garbage bags. Going to Costco with blown out legs is not a fun experience.

 The point of all this is that i knew i wanted to run the entire 25k course and i did. The voice of Doubt can be overwhelming at times but all of us have the ability to ignore it  and bust through it.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

check, check, check, annnnnddddcheck.

Bin full of clay, check

parts for kickwheel arrived and in production, check

sketch book full of sketches, check

why am I blogging instead of creating....gotta feed the kids so I have a minute to be online.

see ya.

Friday, November 16, 2012

bearings, blocks, rods and shafts equals??????

 Coming from the magical elves who live in the village of  McMaster Carr is a series of bearing, pillow block, and flange, shafts, collars etc... all for what you ask.


 I threw out a ton of shit in the cellar last week, pulled the clay out from the dusty corner and designed a kickwheel to throw ceramics which I  am in the process of building. I've always felt a connection to clay the process in which it's and it's possibilities when it's finished. Most clay work shows the human touch when it's finished. A simple thrown pot has that long slow spiral from top to bottom that is from the human hand. A hand built product will inevitably have a fingerprint somewhere probably more by chance than on purpose but it's there. The way it can crack if it dries to fast, the rough hewn finish that can be enhanced from wood fire kiln or a pristine porcelain finish.

Endless possibilities, the fog has been lifted and I'm once again making stuff. Not for you, not for galleries, simply because I want to. the only reason that matters.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

if you don't know me by now

 What's new you ask? It isn't so much what's new as what's come back. A few years ago I put away all of my sculpting supplies. The clay was tucked away, all of my carving tools are sitting idle and my sketch books collected dust. 2009 I was part of a big outdoor show in NYC and I enjoyed being part of it but when the show ended it was like someone flicked a switch. i lost any interest in doing another piece of art. The desire was gone, the creative urge non existent, i always had a sketch book with me so i could scribble down thoughts that would pop into my head and they used to, a lot then it stopped. That section of my brain had gone blank, instead of the the constant swirl of oddball objects it was a dark vacumn of absolute nothingness.

 Lately though little sparks have been flickering about. I started doodling which was another constant that stopped then the constant swirl of these bulbous forms started coming back and I actually thought about making something again. Dealing with the Super Storm Sandy and seeing its aftermath has gotten me thinking and I started to realize that I have the desire to make something again and not another piece of furniture for the house but an actual piece of sculpture that came from my head and is shown life by my own hands. It will probably be made of clay but it could be carved from wood i' not sure yet.

 The first thing I am going to do is make a ceramic kick wheel. It's very simple to do and i have about 90% of what i need already.

 Once this begins I am hopeful that the creative floodgates burst wide open.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Throwing cynacism aside. Proudly optimistic

 A new resolution for myself. I am going to drop the cynical, sarcastic attitude that works quite well for a guy as he ages threw his 20's and 30's but as a man who is 41 with two girls that give me new hope and resolve every day that facade of looking at everything through a cynical lens loses its appeal.

 I have always been a optimist and I have always tried to look for the positives in every situation. It's not possible in every situation, some things are unfair and just plain suck and that's that.  I know that given a choice I will always gravitate to the positive.

 I am going to lead by example. I am going walk in a positive light. I am asking for you to join me. If you choose to wallow in a mire of cynical self pity well that's on you.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

16 miles and what do you get......

 Good grief, Lucia must have a sense when I need to get up a little early for a long run because she was up in the middle of the night rolling around protesting over who knows what finally at 6:00 am, fifteen minutes after I was scheduled to get up I got her a juice box and she finally settled in. I on the other hand had to start my day.

 Grabbing my running stuff in the dark to try and not disturb the ol' ball and chain. I sneak downstairs have some Nutella on bread and move on out.

 Nice group at 7:00am, 6 strong. Within a half mile of the run I already feel like a piece of poop. No energy, sluggish, no focus. I make a decision right before the two mile mark to eat a gel. I always have a couple when I run 10 miles or longer but I have never had one so early. Today I did and within no time I started feeling a lot better. My focus improved, my cadence normalized, and I started talking more to the other runners. This was the main clue that I was back to normal self. Lots of tough hills today most of them will be on the 25k course so the more we do them the better prepared we will be on race day. We meet up with 8:0 o'clock group and we become a centipede of 12 strong. Right up Moses Mountain and right down. we loop around the red yellow trail then we turn around and loop back where we came another massive hill that takes us up the back end of High Rock and the 8:00 o'clock crew is dropped off.

 We start back to WillowBrook minus one but plus two, the Ferrittis. A devious duo of fierce speed and passion. Ferretti in Italian means passionate runner, I think anyway. Moses Mt. again up the lil' bastard hill that leads to the trail intersection that gets us to Rockland. The Step Hill is next, A hill that starts out very technical but stretches out to a nice hill where you can power up the second half of it. The Nature Center is our last water stop and then its just 2.5 miles to the finish.

 As we wrapped up today's run Myself, the Ferritti's, and Cupcake Bob pulled ahead. Once you cross the last street there is approx. 1.75 miles left and we decided that we had enough trail running for the day. We turned it up, cruising over roots and rocks. Gracefully negotiating through the switchbacks. Finally through the cracks between the trees we see glimpses of the Carousel. We are so close, my lungs are burning, my legs are this weird mixture of jelly and concrete but I burst out from the trees a stumbling, sweaty mess. Tired but elated that after 14 miles of tough trail running I had the ability and more importantly the will to finish strong. A great precursor to what I should be able to do on race day.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New wizards arrive

 In the morning the girls are awoken to a weird buzzing. The silken furs are busily running around the room gathering bits and pieces so they can create a nest for themselves. Silken Furs are very social but they also like a place of their own to eat and rest so any toys left around are being scooped up as used as part of the new nest. Yaya sees one of her favorite toys in the nest and begins to protest. She starts squawking and stomping around. Yaya runs over to Theressa and starts tugging at her and pointing at the nest "Yaya stop it!" Theressa does not like to be awoken early and even this famously happy child will be crabby in the morning. Yaya doesn't stop she keeps tugging and pointing until Theressa looks up and realizes that all of her favorite toys and jewelry have been used as well. "Yaya, we will have to get them a proper place to sleep so we can get our stuff back." Yaya nodded her head in agreement and both girls began their day.

 After breakfast the uncles take to the markets to find something that will make a perfect nest for the two silken furs. The citizens of Esser love to see the princesses and it's especially exciting when the uncles make an appearance. Everyone moves aside and greets the girls as the search for the perfect nest. As they move along a merchant shows them a beautiful box that would be perfect for the silken furs. Its big, and bright, with lots of jewels all over it. the girls love it, the uncles buy it and everyone is happy. Everyone except A man in a cloak watching from across the street.

 The wizard Quitz, he was called to the castle early on to work with Yaya but he is very quick tempered and started yelling at Yaya. It didn't take long for the king to pick him up and throw him out a window. Quitz vowed revenge from his humiliation. As he passes by the girls he tries to throw a powder on Yaya but Fop tripped over a rock bumping into Quitz and the wizard ended up throwing the powder into his own face. Quitz's face immediately turned a bright  blue. Quitz had some blue razzle powder. A blue razzle is a large beast with thick skin that grows about four spiky horns on its snout. Once the horn gets to be about two feet long it falls off and another one begins to grow.These horns have been used by wizards for centuries.

 The girls continued on without even knowing that the wizard was running the other way so he can get the anecdote for his blue skin.

 "One silken Fur can be a handful/" said the king "but two, this is going to lead to trouble, and when it does I will hold the uncles responsible."  "I will see that the girls are being responsible." said the Queen. "Its good for the girls to learn some responsibility." "Now, I want to talk about the Toad Queen. I know that she is going to try something else." She has really lost her mind living all by herself in that swamp." "I fear her ability to talk some of the more hostile tribe of Skeel into becoming aggressive. She is your family so I want you to talk to the other members of your family about getting her out of the swamp and back into proper society." The actions of the Toad Queen really riled up the king. He knew that she was using Yaya as an excuse to go after the Queen. To kidnap the queen would resul in an attempt to gain more riches or possibly more land. This is a babaric tactic that was used when Esser had many tribal leaders instead of one king. There are some including the Toad Queen that would benefit if Esser went back to that system.

 As Quitz stumbles away a flock of red ravens flies from the castle into the swamps. The Toad Queen sent the Red Ravens to the castle to spy on the princesses. A flock of red ravens has the ability of remembering everything they see and given some magical feed will lay eggs that when cracked open and looked at by a powerful enough wizard then can read what the Red Ravens witnessed the day before.
All 8 Red Ravens returned and they were fed the necessary feed. Tomorrow they will tell the Toad Queen all she needs to know.

 In a pile of broken shells the Toad Queen sees that  Quitz has failed to humiliate the princess. "Idiot wizard. I want those princesses out of my way, I want the Queen out of my way. I want the King out of my way! I want to rule all of Esser not just the swamps. Not just the shadows where the the bugs and the lizards hide. i want it all."

 Before the royal family visited The Toad Queen she devised a plan to humiliate them so that they would have to vacate the throne. As the ruler of Esser it is very important that the royal family keeps an appearance of strength and dignity. If they do not they could be forced out by a vote of Hippeldeedoo. All the Knights and the families of the knights can vote for Hippeldeedoo if it can be shown that the royal family has not kept up to standards. The Toad Queens plan is to continually embarrass the Royal Family so that she can bring up a vote of Hippeldeedoo.

 Her plan to embarrass the family at her house failed, her plan to have Quitz embarrass the princesses failed but the Toad Queen has many more plans to embarrass the royal family.

8 miles or 9.84 moles and we keep on rolling

 This morning I had the honor of leading the siac group through 8 miles of trails in and around our illustrious Greenbelt trail system. Everything we covered was part of last years 25K event so most group runs from now until this years 10/25/50K trail festival will be on the trail route.

 If you noticed in the title I said 9.84 moles. A mole is unit of measurement created by world famous trail runner Johann Schlitzerberger. He was a Finnish man who lived in the 17th century and is a pioneer of trail running. He came up with the term mole instead of mile because his eyesight and handwriting were so bad from a bad fever as a child that nearly wiped him out. He got the distance of 1 mile equaling 1.23 mole by sheer bad math.... Johann was a moron apparently.

 No deer today, a few hikers and a mountain biker who did a nice skid stop. We covered Moses mountain named this because this is where Moses was given the 15 commandments but as Mel Brooks' historical documentary "History of the Word part 1" showed us he dropped one of the tablets so we only have ten. We traveled up the red trail over to the multi use trail where we opened it up for a nice chunk then up and along the slopped path above St. Andrews church. This section is very technical, you have to take your time here. We stopped at La Tourette for a potty stop then cruised along red trail until we reached the Nature Center for our final water spot and then we shot back to the High Rock parking lot. A good run with mixed terrain. As run commander i decided to pick up the pace where the terrain was relatively rock and root free. It's time to step it up the 25K is only 6 weeks away.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Toad Queen/ continuing of details pt.2

The King stands in front of the Toad Queen his black eyes are staring directly at her as she glares back her mouth hanging wide open as she begins to croak in fright. Before the king can grab her she hops out her window and escapes into the swamp lands.

 Yaya and theressa, hiding behind the kings robe, know that when the king gets mad somebody gets in trouble but not this time. The toad Queen escaped her fate for now. Unfortunately for Yaya she will return.

 "Ready the chariot and get us out of the swamp ordered the king." Everyone moved as fast as possible. No one liked being around an angry king.

 These swamps are barely under the Kings control their is a race of creatures that live in the swamp that used to rule the island. They have the upper body of a human but instead of legs that have long tails like a snake. They are more like Eels though as they are very fast in the water but clumsy on land. These creatures are the Skeel. Normally they are friendly but they are not unified in there beliefs so the king wants to leave as quickly as possible.

 As they fly back over the mountains the king looks out towards the sea and thinks back to why he actually started covering his armor in mud. When the king was a young knight the king at that time sent his bravest knights to an nearby island that was used by pirates the kings ships. The ships landed deep on the edge of a thick forest the brave knights made way through the incredibly thick forest until they found where the pirates were hiding out.

 The pirates saw the the knights coming forward and the took to hiding in the shadows to ambush the invaders. As brave as the knights were they were also very loud. They believed that they were the toughest, smartest, finest warriors ever so they feared nothing in front of them. The pirates, not wanting to fight let the knights pass by they then circled behind them and ran back to their own ships.

 The knights kept moving forward not knowing that they passed right by the pirates. The island was not very big and after a couple of days they realized that no one was on the island. They didn't realize that the pirates escaped and were waiting for the knights to leave.The knights decided to leave but they left the king and one other knight behind to spy on the pirates when they return.As the knights ship leaves the king and his companion settle in they made a camp on the highest part of the hill so they can wait for the pirates to return. Later that night the pirate ship returns they quietly slip into and tie their boat off and return to their hideout. The knights saw the ship come in and they began searching out the pirates. Everytime the knights thought they saw one there was no one there. They ended up walking in circles all night the armor was weighing the knights down where they eventually had to rest and that is when they realized that they were surrounded.

 Red eyes stared at the knights. The night turned quiet, the knights were encased in a bubble of silence.  Swords made of a red metal, skin a smooth brown, hair red but covered in the same brown that covers their skin. The eyes, a deep red like a burning ember. No one who sees these eyes ever forgets them. This is tribe of very secretive people. They rarely speak to those outside of the tribe. South of Esser is a series of volcanic islands nick named the "Hot Rocks" by Essers knights the natives call them Kor-MooM in their language it means mad mother. These islands seem hostile at first but past the cliffs of volcanic rock and lava filled beaches is a rich, fertile land that the Kormo use to farm and raise livestock. They learned very quickly to not trust newcomers so using a natural sailing ability the Kormo decided that the best way to keep outsiders away was to create a aura of mystery and misery that no ship wants to deal with. Piracy done in a way that usually leaves the victimized ship burning on the beach is the main way that the Kormo keep intruders away.

 Tonight though the Kormo and the two knights are stuck staring at each other. yes there are more pirates than knights but even the Kormo know how dangerous a knight from Esser is and the knights know how unpredictable the Kormo can be so everyone decides to sit still. Everyone except of one.

 The Kormo do not have a king or Queen they have a series of Generals and Teachers. Every Teacher and General are promoted through a series of ceremonies after they have shown their value. Soomah is the daughter of a General and a Teacher. Soomah means heart of fire. Soomah walks towards the knights lifts up her sword and slices at the future kings neck. The other knight lunged at Soomah knocking the blade out of her hands and saving the future kings life. Both knights spring into battle. Knocking down some Kormo and stealing their weapons the knights attacks the Kormo holding onto to them so that they cannot sneak back into the shadows to attack. The fight was quick and brutal the king sustained serious wounds. His partner slumped over a boulder, his body is filled with spears and a short sword called the "sihtah" translated into poisonous sting. The Kormo who survived disappeared into the shadows.  Soomah lays unconscious in front of the knight next to her were three dead Kormo how many disappeared the knight doesn't know.

 The knight, Soomah and the other injured Kormo were transported to a cave by another group of pirates that landed on the island to check on why they didn't meet up with Soomah's crew. "why didn't they just kill me" thought the knight. he looks around and sees Soomah resting. "I will kill her" he thinks to himself . "When the time is right I will kill her"

 "No one is killing anyone here" The knight looks over at the voice who said that. "You knights of Esser are brave but I thought you were smarter than this." "Confused? That's understandable.Some of us from KorMoom have learned to read minds. But I can tell what you are thinking just by looking at you."
 Out of the shadow stepped a man covered in a matte black substance, his red eyes stared right into the knights soul. A Teacher, a very important one by the way everyone is following his commands.
 "Knight, you are quite a valuable treasure do you know that?""Soomah tried to kill you yet you lived, not many can say that knight of Esser." As the knight looked over at a still unconscious Soomah then back at the man speaking to him. "My king will not be pleased that you are holding me hostage." "You are not a hostage knight, you are injured. When you are ready you can go. We will give you a boat and some provisions. We are not savages, on the contrary we are more civilized than even the mighty land of Esser!"

 Over times the knights wounds begin to heal and he begins to slowly interact with the Kormo. Soomah intrigues him. Her skin is stripped of the coating which he learns is a mixture of sediment form Kor-Moom that acts as a type of armor but works more on a psychological level. Her body has scars from past battles and her facial features give the impression that she is a scowling at you but when she smiles she face lightens up and her true beauty shines though.

 The teacher who first spoke to the knight watched and knew that Soomah and the knight were getting close. The teacher knows that this will not end well. Soomah is his daughter all her life she has run from relationships. She is to wild and never be tamed. The knight doesn't know this yet but he will.

 "Look Daddy", Theressa is grabbing at the Kings robes "In the sky, it looks like a ball of fire in the sky." The king and queen look over and in the distance they see a bright ball getting closer wih what looks like ribbons flowing back and forth above it.

 "You there! Hello there." A booming voice comes from the ball and immediately everyone in the royal chariot knew who it was. Filp, and Fop, the girls uncles and world travelers. They have somehow, somewhere acquired a balloon that looks to be powered by DRAGONS! "Land that balloon!" screamed the royal guard. "Land it before we knock it out of the sky."

 "Alright alright were landing." said Fop. "Hello Theressa, hello Yaya." "Hi Uncles" screamed Theressa, Yaya runs to the window and waives furiously to the balloon.

 "Guards" said the queen "We are close to the castle. The girls uncles may follow us." "Yes your highness". As the royal chariot and balloon begin to land the King feels the scar from his fight with the Kor-Moom looks at his girls and walks into the castle.

 "All bow for the King, all bow for King Orune." The Black Kings birth name is Arustif Orune. The Orune family has a long line of kings in their families history. In Esser a king rules then when his reign is over another king is chosen from the 8 ruling knights of Esser. The 8 knights are called the "points" because the kings crown has 8 points this symbolic reference means that the knights have loyalty to the crown and to Esser above all else. This process of rotating in new Kings has stopped all civil wars in Esser.

 "Your majesty!" Filp and Fop call for the King. "Your royalness, most hononarble King." Usually the king enjoys the tales from Filp and Fop but the Toad Queens actions weighs heavy on his mind. What was her plans for the princesses he kept thinking. A quick look to the guards and the the uncles are pushed out the doors locked and the king finally gets some time to himself.

 "Uncles!" yelled Theressa "tell me where you got the dragons!" There are no dragons in Esser they are found in the southern mountain range and the far far western regions that are also home to other creatures The huffump is a large, round, smelly, furry creature that hops when it wants to move.

 " Technically they are not dragons they are a type of Lizard that glides more than flies. The balloon rises due to the cloud stones that are in it. As long as the lizards are fed some fish heads they will gladly power us where we need to go." "We have gifts for you both. Fop get the girls their gifts please." Fop comes back from the balloon with a stack of gifts starting with very big boxes to very, very small boxes. Toys, clothes, exotic candies littered the room and all that was left were two small boxes. "Inside these boxes are two very special gifts that your mother said you were big enough to have." Theressa runs to the box hoping that inside each box is a silken fur. A silken fur is one of the rarest creature their is.

 Yaya is sitting on the ground staring at her silken fur and theressa has climbed on top of her toy chest and is watching her silken fur get used to its new home. Yaya being young doesn't really know what to do so she keeps looking up at her big sister for clues. Silken furs are like a mix between a small monkey and a squirrel with near human like intelligence. They cannot talk but they can communicate through gestures.  The uncles and the Queen leave the girls in their rooms as they watch them slowly fade away into a deep sleep as the silken furs nuzzle into the arms of each girl.

Todays run was not what I was looking for.

 Today was supposed to be a nice run starting behind the Petrides complex, up the hill, over to High Rock and back. I started out okay but pretty soon my trousers started falling down. I had a small water bottle and my phone in each pocket and the miniscule weight of these objects kept yanking my my pants down. I was getting so annoyed that that I almost turned around. I instead held the bottle and phone in each hand and continued on. I make my way up the steepest part of the hill slowing down where the trails are thick with stone and roots no big deal it's where the trail was clear and relatively flat that I had my issues.

 I kept gassing out. Every time i felt like things were feeling like normal I began to get a stitch or my right Achilles started letting me know it was not having any fun. I proceeded to run until I my form started to suffer then i would slow down a bit. This became a self fulfilling prophecy I would see a difficult section ip ahead and instead of charging up it I would feel the ache in my right foot or my arms would curl up again. For a long stretch just outside of the High Rock parking lot I said screw it and started walking. I walked around the ponds, looking at the emerging fall colors just taking advantage of the solitude.
 Just before the last 1/4 mile out from High Rock I turned around. The Achilles was really screaming at me so I decided lets get back to the car, get the kids and move on. I slowly started back taking the yellow/blue trail back I followed yellow in because it's more direct but I took blue back because of the one down hill section that I knew led to a long winding up. Feeling better at this point as I made my way back up I felt redeemed. Looping back I only slowed down at the rootiest of sections or where the Achilles was on red alert.

 Back at the car I shook my head at how difficult that was. Not all runs can be winners but even the worst runs can have benefits.

Let's see how tomorrow's run shakes out.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's not me it's you.

 I became a little to dependent on you baby. Every time we were together I would keep checking on you, looking over to see if you were okay. I suddenly realized that I was spending to much time focusing on you and not on my own enjoyment. So...... after a few months apart I decided to make it permanent, were separating.

Darlin' or should I say Garmin were through. I stopped wearing you in August and yeah at first I was freaked out going out there all by myself but as time progressed I started to realize that every time I strapped you on I would get anxious that I wasn't keeping up, I wasn't going far enough. Instead of enjoying my runs I started stressing out, well i'm done. I have been on countless runs, a half marathon
a bunch of beach runs where the watch is forbidden any way so away you go into a drawer, sure I will grab you when I get to do some speed work again, that makes sense besides that get lost.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

There's a Yak in my car, oh wait that's me.

 Good afternoon blog, or diary if you will. I saw the cutest boy today i think i want to marry him, after i become a successful marine biologist and cure whale cancer. I assume this is how every preteen girl writes in their blog/diary.

 Any fudge, I am recuperating from a glorious 16.5ish mile trail run that happened this morning. Thats right while you were sleeping off a bender of wine coolers and Zima we were out there early doing the thing baby! We started out under the cover of darkness like a band of 4 outlaws fleeing some one horse town in the old west. We stormed through the trails of the Greenbelt eventually meeting more of our gang at the secret spot we rest, have a shot of whisky and a piece of hardtac and set out. A mighty gang of 10 cruising through the trails like some distorted centipede. I kept hoping that whatever creature used to shoot at the centipede in the old arcade game wasn't around to start picking us off. Thankfully we were from that 8bit assassin today.

 We do a terrific loop incorporating a lot of the hillier sections and wind up back where we started to drop off our reinforcements. After saying our goodbye's ( I shed a tear) the original 4 horseman of siXac pressed on heading back where we started. Today's run is the start for us to prepare for the S.I. Trail Festival happening Dec. 8th. Most of us are running in the 25K race. Some, I call them show offs are running the 50K. All of us are who ran today got a beautiful day. Perfect weather will near perfect trails. They're trails they shouldn't be perfect then they would be a groomed path which isn't the same.

 As we waited to cross the last stretch of road I stood there watching car after car head to the mall to stock up on Halloween lights, or Thanksgiving Day Horns of Plenty? Who knows, all i know is that a lot of cars were headed that way. Maybe Costco had a sale on a 20lb. bag of Reese's p.b. cups? If so I'm outta here. I love reese's p.b. cups.

 Final stretch, My legs are feeling heavy and stiff. This is a sign of fatigue which in a long run like this means that I accomplished mt goal of running hard and far so that i push my lactic threshold level. That heavy feeling is from Lactic Acid which isn't the cause of your legs feeling like concrete it's more of a by product of you running so far that your leg muscles are kaput. Think of Lactic Acid like this, You know when you see two guys are fighting and there is a group of onlookers watching. After the fight the guy who lost and i still sitting on the ground is your legs. the guy who won is the road or trails in my case. Lactic Acid is the group of idiots who are hanging around consoling the loser. See they weren't actually fighting but they are still part of the event and just like a crowd slowly starts to get bored and leave so does the Lactic Acid. An hour or so after you run its gone.

 This is rambly ramble of a blog, The old chimney where local satanist sacrifice chickens while playing Judas Priest on an old 8track is the marker for 1 mile to go. I was glad to see this chimney, my legs were cooked at this point. Pete and I left the girls because one of them tweeked there ankle so they decided to cruise on in. A wise strategy when you have a bum hoof. We on the other hand were feeling tired but still good. I really liked how I was able to push through the exhausted feeling and for the last half mile we picked it up so that by the end we were doing a nice sprint to the finish. Usain Bolt watch your back jack!

 Run's over, I say g'bye and warble my way to the car. I am stiffening up and not in the i just saw a picture of Susan St. James wearing a spandex pair of slacks from 1979 kind of way. Sitting in my truck I see the left over p.b. and jelly I was eating on my way to the park. I scoffed that down fast, it was delicious. As I begin to drive back home I realize that smell, a lot. It's pretty gross actually. I need to either shower more than once a week or sweat less when I run. Either way I was grody (there's a word from the way back machine.) I said to myself that I smell like a Yak and I couldn't disagree with what I said. My face was caked with salt so much so that if one of the deer that crossed my path today would have stopped they could have used me for a salt lick. My legs started to feel like someone shoved metal rods in them. When I got out of the car I had to walk to the house in this weird side shuffle kinda thing but i knew that i was minutes from a hot shower and a delicious breakfast.

 HAHAHAHAHAHA yeah, no. We didn't have enough eggs so i had to slide my shoes back on and schlep up to the deli to grab a dozen.

 With the eggs delivered I got that shower i so deserved shoved delicious eggs, potatoes etc. into my face and now i am here with you regaling you with this morning's adventure. Next up, how long can i sit on this couch ohhhhhhhh it's going to be exciting.

 Thanks for reading sports fans until next time. next topic will be how after careful consideration i am getting a divorce (Cue excited music).

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fartlek, the word never gets old

Today's run is perfectly described as a fartlek run. What is a fartlek run you ask, fartlek simply means that while you are running you randomly vary your speed and intensity and that is what I did today.

 I started off at the Willowbrook Carousel and headed up towards Hyerdal Hill.As I began my run I realized pretty quickly that the foliage that were choking out the trails over the summer are receding nicely and the areas that have a history of being muddy are bone dry. The best news is that the nasty biting flies are gone. These buggers were so bad that we were avoiding a good half mile of trails over the summer.

 Anytoots I felt great today, I knew todays run would be a smidge over 5 miles and toorrows run will be about 15 miles so I really didn't want to blow out my stems today BUT along this section of the white trail there are really nice stretches of clean, flat path so I just started opening it up for 50 yards, 100 yards whatever felt good or until I hit a bunch of roots then I would gear it back and cruise on.

 Another reason why I was playing it cool like the Fonz today is my right Achilles. After I ran the VIA half a month ago I was feeling some pain on the outside of my right Achilles. A simple overuse issue so I have been cautious with my runs for the past two weeks. During a run if I feel the pain returning I slow down until I am pain fee then I press on. Today that worked perfectly, I picked a clear spot and picked up the pace and by the time the trail got technical again my Achilles was letting me know that is was ready for a break.

 Tomorrow's run will be interesting, it will be the first of a series of long runs to prepare for the Dec. 8th Trail Festival. i will be running the 25K distance looking to come in under 2:30, I really want to come in closer to 2:20 but I will leave a little wiggle room because who knows how the trails will be that day. Muddy, snowy, frozen over we shall see.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

thoughts on the silent princess

I haven't been writing notes about the littlest princess but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it.

Her world is in my head i can see it all. How everyone looks, the castle where they live, the island they rule and most everyone that lives on it.

 I also have extended characters in mind. Her uncles, the magicians that are called to help her, her sister and how much the silent princess and the entire kingdom looks up to her, Her parents their back story and how much they care for and worry bout their daughters.

 This is a world I created to help document Lucia's progress. In real life she is stubbornly not talking. She communicates by pointing, gestures, any way possible but speaking. It's more frustrating than anything else for everyone Lucia included.

 The world they live in will be a mix of Dr. Seuss and Conan the Barbarian, the Arnold version. I mean that its a magical, wacky, world but there are some treacherous characters that This family will have to deal with. There wont be a James Earl Jones Character that turns into a giant snake but there will be giant snakes, maybe James Earl Jones will appear who knows.

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm back and i got so much to say!

 Finally, I wallowed without my computer for a couple of weeks but in reality I haven't been with it since August 19th when I went camping.

 So many scammails to respond to, I have to talk about how i am becoming even more minimalist in my running and so much more.

 Tomorrow I am headed to P.A. to run a 5K to support Aidan. Sunday i will sit around and do little else...hahhahahah yeah right.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Assateaque 2012

This year marks the 20th anniversary of my initial visit to the sacred grounds that is Assateaque Island State Park. I was introduced to this place by a college girlfriend, it was and possibly is a favorite place of her families as well. Anyway, i just returned from my 14th, possibly 15th Assateaque trip depending on if i am counting correctly and every year leads to knew discoveries and memories.

 The Airstream performed with honors this trip. It tows like a dream, stores all of our goods and sleeping in that bad boy with that ocean breeze blowing through led to some relaxed, restful nights.

 Once we added kids to the mix 6 years ago that has been the main focus. They are both beach bums already and Thira's confidence in the ocean grows every year.

 For me it's all about using this week to think about where I am in life and where i would like to head in the future. I didn't do to much introspection this year because keeping an eye on two kids at the beach takes a lot of time also I am in a good place as a wellness coach right now so not much soul searching was needed.

 I got two good runs in, I wanted a final long run but my achilles was so tender from my last beach run that I did a lot of biking instead.

 I also went to a beginner yoga class that they have every weekday morning. The session was definitely entry level but the movements felt great at 8:00am on the beach.

 New traditions at the campsite were born including the introduction of Spam, and two new breakfast spots were discovered.

 Some obvious negatives like my bike being stolen the night before we left and the brand new generator shitting the bed after about 10 hrs, of very light operation. With all of this though when the sun is shining, the waves are crashing and the kids are playing on the beach all the stressful aspects just get washed away.

 Until Aug. of 2013 have a good year Assateaque.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Oh no I ripped my shorts, wait a minute i'm not wearing any.

   So the big day has finally arrived a clothing optional 5k held at the exquisite Sunny Rest Resort in Palmerton PA.

 Danielle and I arrived at the gates and two clothed, regular looking fellas checked to see that my name was on the race list and then they let us in.

Through the gate and about 100ft. to the left we saw our first nudist, a woman sitting on a deck. We are now officially in new territory. By the time we drive up very steep roads (important detail I was to excited to notice) I see a bunch of runners doing there normal warmups. Nude this time though. I park, register, get my race t-shirt, one of the few I am excited about and  a number is written on my arm in sharpie. No bibs are given, no clothes to pin them to duh.

 I go back to the car to dump my shirt, wallet, Danielle took my keys as I looked around I took off my shirt and dropped my short pants. Clothes are in the car and I am naked as a jaybird. An odd feeling at first but after a moment or two I felt great and I decided to start warming up.

 Here's where the foundation of all of the jokes lie. Running without clothes your going to bruise your balls and twist your wang all up. Besides the bruises on the inside of my knees from the tip of my penis hitting I had no side effects from running naked. In fact the body seems to know to pull things in nice and tight while one is running naked to keep everything safe and sound. One of the ladies who ran wore a sports bra for support no knickers though and afterwards she lost that top toot sweet.

 Okay, so I warmed up, a few times actually and I started to realize that its pretty hilly at this resort. The race director, who was fantastic by the way kept us informed and amused as he hosted the ceremonies in his friendly North Carolina accent. The director led us to the start and explained the course. As I walked to the start I saw a lot of hanging wangs. Then sprinkled in between were some female participants. "Alright" I thought this isn't a total sausage fest. Some of the girls were quite cute and as it turned out quite fast.

 "I'm going to clear up some muddy water." the race director said. "The course starts right here and it's a one mile loop." Great, loops. I hate a course that repeats. "There is a misconception that this is a downhill course, it is down hill except for Cardiac Hill." Laughs and some moans form the returning runners.
"Cardiac Hill, what the fuck is Cardiac Hill I said to myself." I just wanted to do a simple 5k at a nudist resort for the experience and the laughs and now I have to run up Cardiac Hill whatever the hell that is, three god damn times!

 The director staged us by mile speed sub six, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, walkers. You get the idea. He did this to reduce slower runners from getting run over from faster runners and it worked perfectly.

As I previously stated this was a fairly mixed group of runners there was a decent showing of females of various running experience. Lined up in the seven mile section were two very fit female runners. I figured that I at least get to look at couple of cute heineys for a while. Nope, these girls were gone and all looked at was pale guy ass. Ladies I don't know how you do it.

We are moments from the start, the final instruction are give and we are off. I start off feeling fine keeping it cautious because I have no idea where I am or what's ahead. A rather large guy dashed past me at about an 1/8th of a mile in and I silently shook my head. New runner getting excited, he's gonna gas. We hit a patch of trail 50 meters in length which the director said would be there and in a flash my trail running legs shot me past 3 runners who are looking at the ground like it was lava covered with cobras.

 Downhill we go, 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile and then we hit a small but steep hill. This leads to another good sized downhill which feeds us into....Cardiac Hill, its a good sized hill that as you climb up it gets steeper.The worst part was this scrawny pain in the ass guy who was standing right at the point where the hill transitions to its steepest point and he's offering "words of encouragement". He had a nasally mountain man tone to his voice so even if he was sincere he sounded like a condescending jerk.

 Surprisingly to me it took one mile for me to pass the big guy who blasted in front of me. As I passed him he sounded like a car that couldn't get enough air. Huffing and puffing and wheezing. He was also wearing a gross pair of boxer briefs, blech.

As I was looping around my second mile I suddenly heard more huffing and puffing right behind me. I thought the guy in the undies had returned but it was another runner, he was also a big guy but I could tell by his form that he knew what he was doing.

 The reality is this race was just like any other race. A young, in shape guy took first overall and one of the young, in shape girls took first female. The biggest difference was that the spectators were nude and that provided some much needed laughs.

 As I began my last lap I passed a group of walkers who were all wearing underwear. One girl, a cute red head looked back to see who was coming and as she did that I saw her quickly look down at my you know what. I smiled because that just seems to be what you do you look at someone's face, do a quick scan of their body and then look at their face again. Further along on my final lap I passed another walker who looked like a giant bear. He had hair all over his body, a baseball cap on his head and cheap black sneakers and thick black socks on his feet. He lumbered down the path looking for honey no doubt.

 My final time up Cardiac hill was as painful as the first. I was able to pick off a few people during this final lap and there was one last guy I wanted to catch. He was about 20 feet in front of me for 2 laps and i was sick of seeing his pale, flat ass. I caught up to him at the top of the hill and stayed right behind him as we made our final descent. Here's where i wanted to make my move. We were back at the start and all that was left was a tenth of a mile it was slightly uphill but i didn't notice I picked it up and caught up to my final catch and as we running into the finish corral I passed him. Photo finish, we nodded and high fived as he acknowledged that had he known I was there he would have kicked harder.

 Post Race:

 I shuffled over to the post race table for a banana (I chuckled) and some water. All the finishers were hanging around just like every race except were all nude. As I was recovering I started to notice the nudity again. Our purpose for being nude was over so now we're just naked because we want to be.

I learned some lessons at this race. When running at a nudist resort you must bring your own chair and towel. I don't know the official reason but not chairs were provided maybe because we all had sweaty runners butt. After a while I just didn't care and I sat down on the grass. Runners and walkers were still coming in so we encouraged them as they finished by cheering them on. I will say this, the ladies looked a tad bit better running to the finish line than the men did. The men were either a little overweight so they had almost no penis showing or they were an older fella and they were hanging to the ground.

 As I was sitting, talking to Danielle I turned my head and right in front of me was a shining moon. Luckily it was a female, one with a great butt actually. I should know I was inches from it as she bent over getting some water. I felt awkward so after a few minutes I suggested we move back into the shade.

 A photo was taken, for purchase. I participated but didn't buy one maybe I will. Rewards were given and then we left.

 In the end this 5k was like all the others. I finished in the mediocre middle. Some people should keep more clothes on than others but after a while you noticed those who were fully clothed more than your fellow runner who was naked.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sensa....tionally disgusting. Sprinkle Diets!

Holy Shi,t I saw the stupidest thing ever today. It was on the tee vee even imagine that.

Sensa, the sprinkle diet. You sprinkle this magic on your food and that"s it! You will definitely lose long as you follow a good diet exercise routine etc. etc. but make no mistake about it You are losing weight because of the magic you sprinkle on your dinner.

So what is Sensa? I think its fairy farts collected by woodland sprites and then bottled for your use.

This blog does a terrific job breaking it down so i don't hav to do the dirty work.

needless to say its bullshit.

Lets go to their website shall we and see who is endorsing this fabulous product.

Oh look, that horrendous Patti whats her name. The way she smirks i bet her mouth smells like a dumpster.

Some generic blond, grab that paycheck darling and keep telling yourself that this product don't

Roger Shultz you piece of garbage. I saw you on the Biggest Loser, you seemed like a decent guy but according to your own testimony on the magic of Sensa you immediately put 120lbs. back on. Nice dedication there Rog.

Now your to busy to shove a salad down your gullet. Time is short so I gotta eat the unhealthiest crap i can besides i can then drop some of it again and endorse one of the stupidest things ever created. Why don't you have Sensa in one hand, a Flex Belt around your newly expanded waist, a Shake weight in your other hand, Shape Ups on your feet and for the heck of it take a handful of those balance bracelets and shove em where the sun don't shine for optimal balancing power.

Unless that Sensa shit is Crystal Meth is isnt't going to do a thing except suck more money out of your wallet.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

looking at all of the scams in the health/fitness industry

 I'm not sure how i got there but i ended up on a bunch of websites either promoting or slamming a fitness based MLM product where they were selling some shitty shake for 120.00 a month.

 I noticed that everyone who posted a video or responded to the video had some generic website name like

 I was sickened by the whole thing, the MLM program disgusts me. The focus is on continually sucking in new fools to sell some shitty product that is completely unnecessary to friends and family. No where in an of these video commentaries did anyone show proof that these shakes did anything except pull more money out of peoples pockets.

 Gross, the supplement industry overall is built on lies, false promises and manipulation.

 Everything you need is already there provided by nature unless you have a medical concern but some sugary shit shake isn't going to help you with that either.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Runners High, more importantly my high.

 Right now I am about 2.5 hours from the finish of a 6.5 mile trail run and I feel unbelievably fantastic. I am alert, energized, but very calm and relaxed. I feel this way after just about every run and most other workouts as well.

 The longer I run the longer the runners high lasts. When I do a run that goes into the teens in distance The runners high can last for a couple of days.

 It really is a fantastic feeling you should try to achieve it and when you do think of me.

The laziest scammail in recorded history

Look at this pathetic scammail

Do you need a loan ? if yes send us your:Full Name:.Country:.Amount:.Duration:.& tel

Honestly, wheres the incentive? The inappropriate use of God to give me the sense that you are an honest person. The promise of a young, kinda gross female for me to wed.

 This is a sad, droopy attempt to steal my money and frankly i am offended.

 Step it up scammers!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Flex belt.....what a piece of shit

I want to expand this blog to include my musings, and whining as a person. My replies to the oh so hilarious scam emails, and my critique of products that are for a lack of a better term a giant pile of horse shit.

First up, The Flex Belt
Look how Tone Denise Richards is and its all do to the Flex Belt. Have you heard her dull, monotone read for this piece of shit. She really knows how to sell baby!

Yeah the Flex Belt. One of many  electrical ab stimulating belts designed to give you a six pack without doing a darn thing.

 "Hey you get a six pack while sitting on the toilet with the Flex Belt."

 "Show off those sexy abs. while eating every meal  at all you can eat buffetts with the Flex Belt."

 Why doesn't it work you ask? Simple, six pack abs are something everyone has. Men, women, everybody unless you don't have an abdominal wall.

 You're abs show up when your body fat is under 10% for men and approx. 15% and under for ladies. No matter of electronic stimulation will burn enough fat in that specific area to show off the muscles underneath.

 The Flex Belt does not have the capability to strengthen an ab muscle by sending some sort of pulse through it.

 It's such silly nonsense that I am amazed that anyone would fall for it. In actuality I'm not amazed, we want a quck fix and the promise that some silly belt will give you six pack abs is very appealing to those who do not want to actually want to put the work in to actually achieve it.

 There are billions of dollars being wasted on gimmicks that will never ever work.

Here's good....stop here.....

 I was with a terrific group last night running 7.5  plus miles on the trails. It was hot, ridiculously hot like running in a tub of split pea soup hot. No biggie though its the dead of summer in the trails so yeah, its going to be hot and uncomfortable.

 The run itself was great, our route was plenty challenging and the perfect mileage for a Monday night run. One thing that was bothering me physically was our scheduled stops were causing me to feel stiff when we started back up again but that's do to my lack of consistent running lately.

 Anyway, as we powerewd our way back and hit the few spots where we had to cross the street  I was secretly grateful because at this point I was dragging ass. I felt a bit light headed, my footing was unsteady and loopy as we turned for the final 2 mile descent.

 By the time we crossed over our final street crossing I knew that it was just over a mile to go and hey there's nothing left to prove here if you feel like slowing down slow down. Okay, I was following the front group but internally i was screaming "pull back a bit, your dehydrated". I was dehydrated, my head was pounding on the back and sides and I couldn't suck down enough water from my bottles so I knew I was dehydrated but as I kept telling myself to slow down my body didn't listen. The legs wanted to keep churning, keep flowing over those rocks and roots. Run through that little stream, it feels good and the 8yr. old in me gets a kick out of it.

 With just a half mile to go I figured "ok pull back and cruise in." I didn't do it, I kept going in fact I physically had to interest in slowing down I was fighting a huge mental game and I was winning.

 Out of the woods we emerge, in my mind it was 7 graceful deer coming out of the woods with one giant slobbering ogre just trying to stay upright.

 I mentioned to a fellow runner on a previous run that my running posture is evolving, it feels looser, sloppier even. My arms feel like they flop fwd. and back and when i get tired my head falls fwd. and i find myself staring at my feet. I am a bit concerned by this because I work hard on keeping a nice form but I think this is part of me transitioning to a newer looser and hopefully faster runner. Time will tell.

 Anyway as we hit the final, little stretch of road I do slow down a tad only to look for a water fountain but there was none to be found so my head slinked down, I looked at my feet again and I slowly started to pick up my pace ever so slightly just to stretch out a bit as we finish up.

 My new favorite thing to do lately after a huge run is to go to the local 7 eleven and get a giant water or something. It doesn't matter what it is. I love walking in there completely sweat soaked, muddy, exhausted and stomping through the aisles. I picture myself looking like a swamp monster leaving little piles of sweat and mud everywhere I go.

Yay trail running!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Frustration, nervousness, sleeping badly or how i learned to embrace being poor

 Most people I am close to know that I reduced my work schedule in the past 8 months due primarily to my increased role as stay at home dad.

 Obviously I love spending all this time with the girls, its a rare treasure that we are able to swing this. Were not quite a one paycheck family because I obviously have my clients and group classes and other things that I do to bring in some cash but in reality my primary job is housekeeper.

 If we were in a slightly different financial situation and I honestly mean a slight adjustment not some HOLY SHIT WERE FUCKED! type of situation, far from it in fact. Anyway, A slight tweak would make my time at home a lot easier on my psyche.

 For a while now I have felt a bit stuck. I want to jump in and work a lot more but after crunching the numbers it would cost a hell of a lot to have 2 kids in daycare while I work. It's basically a wash so we agreed that because Danielle's job has the insurance, and benefit package I would be the one to stay home.

 I know that this is all temporary and if fact School is only 2 months away for both of the girls so this staying at home with the girls already has an end to it. Now I have to get back to where I was a little while ago.......or do I.

 Here's the newest wrinkle and it hard to admit but its true. I am a little burned out. My job isn't always fun, most people would think that working in the health and wellness world would be a lot of fun after all all you do all day is workout! The reality is that I have the task of holding the mirror up to peoples faces. When you aren't doing what you are supposed to be doing then you begin to make excuses, or cancel, or tell me you are to busy, or maybe you just don't want to do it anymore but you already paid for it so you want to muddle through.

 I simply feel stuck. I want to move forward, do new things, teach more classes. I want to be all over the island with a full list of things to do but not with the girls, i tried bringing them and it's gotten to a point that I feel unprofessional bringing them. Thira is fine she just plays but Lucia is just about 2 and a handful so I do not feel right bringing her with me anymore.

 A bit of frustration to start of the week. Now on to bike rides and wading pools....what was i complaining about again?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My reply to scam emails

I have been posting the scam emails and my replies on fbook for a while so why not share them everywhere. Be warned I use salty, foul language in these replies.

Original email,

Swift Code: BPH KPL PK,
A/C#: 329606=101244=169=678

Attention; Dear contractor,


We Apologies, for the delay of your payment and all the Inconveniences and
Inflict that we might have indulge you through. However, we were having some
minor problems with our payment system, which is Inexplicable, and have held
us stranded and Indolent, not having the Aspiration to devote our 100%
Assiduity in accrediting foreign contract payments.

From the Records of outstanding contractors due for payment with the federal
government of Nigeria, your name and company was discovered as next on the
list of the outstanding contractors who have not yet received their payments.

I wish to inform you now that the square peg is now in square whole and can be
voguish for that your payment is being processed and will be released to you
as soon as you respond to this letter. Also note that from my record in my
file your outstanding contract payment is USD$10.700, 000.00 (Ten Million Seven
Hundred thousand United States dollars)

Kindly re-confirm to me the followings:

Your Full Name: _____________________________
Your Complete Address: _______________________
Name of City of Residence: _____________________
Country: ____________________________________
Direct Telephone Number: ______________________
Mobile Number: ______________________________
Age: _______________________________________
Fax Number: __________________________________
Occupation: __________________________________
Scan Copy of Identity_________________________

As soon as this information is received, your payment will be made to you by
the Diplomatic Agency or Wired Transfer into your nominated bank account
directly from central bank of Nigeria.

Best regards.


 My reply,

Regards to you good Lamido

How are things in Tattooine?

I heard you were having some trouble with the sand people and that is why my funding is being held upward.

You know when they travel they travel single file to hide there numbers. Some tracks are side by side. They are caused by storm troopers pretending to be local sand people DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THIS!   

Lamido, that sounds like love me do. Are you a Beatles fan LoveMeDo?

I'm glad you think I am an outstanding contractor, i think you re pretty terrific as well.

lamido lets get together, smoke cigars and help each other out.
When you transfer my millions I want you to come to my mansion in Quebec Ontario Canada. We can be free Lamido.
i will whisper Love me Do in your ear every night as we sit in a bathtub filled with monies.

I love how you tease me with talk about your square peg, I love the sexy talk. I'd love to wrap my circle of rope around your cylindrical neck squeeze it tight and watch your round eyes pop out of your swollen head. Does this exciting you my pet?

i will gladly give you my info Lammypoo

full name (as if you don't already know)       Mr. Honorable Phrederick k. Ballgrabber
company address                                               1 luv you street  Blue Ball Pennsylvania 20003330
country of residense                                           Nigeria (my heart is already there lamido)
cell #                                                                      (8907) 6-anal (its an old number from a different time lov)
Age                                                                       A lady never tells but for you anything.......8
occupation                                                          I deliver pizzas for A local pizza company, Berchims Pizza our slogan is your pizza in 4 minutes or else we
                                                                              76.00 dollars....we never make any money thankfully we also deliver crack, crank, crystal, diet pills, st.                
                                                                              Johns Wort, Diet Mountain Dew Ice, Crystal pepsi, and now Bath Salts. I love bath salts. I'm on them right now totally naked chewing on a rat I trapped in the sewer. I WILL EAT YOUR FUCKING FACE LAMIDO WHERES MY FUCKING MNEY.


You have 3 minutes to respond Lamido

tick tock bitch

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I am what I am.........

 As I stumble and bumble around running here and there over this and that I have come back to realize that I am someone best suited to running in the woods and the farther the better.

 I still enjoy the track work, its a current obsession but the 7 mile run done tonight was pure pleasure. I was talking up every uphill and zipping along every flat and downhill.

 I am Darren and i am a trail runner...who also like the track.....I don't hate the road mind you its important to be well rounded but overall I am at home on the trails.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Here we go again

 A nice long weekend camping near Cape May N.J. has led me to some revelations.

 Our Airstream has some issues, the outside lights are temperamental. I couldn't get them to work the entire way down to the campsite and I believe that the trailers brakes were also not working. This is a dangerous situation and one that I decided to resolve while we were down there. I found an RV service center that had a good reputation and when we were done I hitched it over there dumped it on a field gave them my key and a list of lingering annoyances and away we went.

 Now, I am not sure if the problem is on the Airstream's side or the trucks side so I have get the truck checked as well. The truck also has a couple of odd issues to be looked at so now is the time to get it all sorted out.

 What does this have to do with anything? Its the ability to take something to completion. Instead of continuing to half ass the camping trip Danielle and I want the camper to be 100% functional so that when we are on the beach with the girls we know that everything will work when we need it to. A simple concept but in reality much harder in reality.

 Life itself is like this, we set goals but anything can get in the way so you pare back your goals until you end up right back to where you started. Obviously some things take precedent, the girls for me are my tippiest top priority. I will throw anything aside for them as most parents would.

 BUT, we use the difficulties of the day as an excuse to not pursue our dreams and that's a shame because a week later your still where you were and that "crisis" has passed. Now multiply this by a month, or a year and eventually you look back and you have a pile of half done dreams and regrets.

 One other issue that I have been thinking about recently is our lack of down time. How much time during the day do you spend staring at some sort of screen? Phone, computer, t.v., everywhere you go you have to stare into a some electronic screen.

 The question of the day for you is do you ever truly unplug yourself and relax. Try a solid half hour without looking at any electronic device. It's a lot harder than you think.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Where did it all go wrong

I stopped blogging recently and i don't know why. I like blogging, everyone seems to enjoy my posts so I should start blogging more again. It's settled, i am going to begin blogging more regularly and I am going to add in my scammail reples I have been doing lately along with some fun new criticism's of what ever i feel is a scam in general. health and fitness related and beyond.

Monday, May 14, 2012

meditative running

I keep thinking about this. This past Saturday I had to turn back early from the sat. morning trail run because of the senior class i lead every sat. morning.

Anyway, as I was headed down a very familiar trail on a very clear open section i was able to just clear out the mind and go. I can get to a point where i will run a distance yet no really remember getting there. I no longer feel my feet hit the ground. My breathing gets becomes steady but no labored and although I am looking at my surroundings it seems like i can close my eyes.

 I did this three times on sat. then I purposely snapped out of it so I could speed up or hop over one of the streams. This is something i am going to pursue further.

Monday, April 30, 2012

From heaven to hell in 24 hrs.

 The joyous event that was High Rock was over, the post race celebration we had at the house finished early and i flopped on to the couch with one thought in my mind. "Why did I sign up for a 5k tomorrow. A road race none the less."

 I'm not the fastest runner, especially on the road. This is why in the past I gravitated to longer trail runs. This is why I am now switching back to shorter races. I'm average at best so I challenged myself to drastically improve my 5k time. I am putting in the time doing track work, shortening my distances, and increasing my speed.

 Waking up Sunday morning the first thing I did was move my legs around a little to see how they felt. My first impression was that they were pretty good, then I stood up and oof my quads were sore. I decided to go on autopilot, I walked to my dresser and immediately put on my running gear. Once that stuff is on the chance of me not running is close to nil.

 I looked back at Danielle still sleeping next to Lucia and thought one more time about crawling back into bed and then all of us head to a diner for breakfast. Nope, its easy to go back to bed especially after hard I ran High Rock but going out with blown legs is the hard choice, this is where gains are made. I finished getting ready and headed out.

 I deliberately parked on the other side of the park so I could do some recovery jogging and give my legs another chance to loosen up.  I started thinking that I did this in January. I ran a half marathon on Saturday and then a full marathon the next day so whats the worry. In reality there wasn't any. Yes I ran harder at high Rock than at the half and my legs felt a lot more worn out but I only had to go another 3.1 miles not 26.2 it's less than 30 minutes of additional running no big deal.

 Well here's the issue as i stated originally this race distance is still fairly new to me. The start is a sudden acceleration that doesn't stop until you cross the finish line. Okay, whatever I want this so here we go.

 As we line up I see a lot of familiar faces that I know i wont see again until I cross that finish line. A girl sings the national anthem pretty well i might add and then were off. Bah, i'm on the street, theres all these people around me i got no where to go but straight down the hill which means I have to go right back up another hill. Normally this course wouldn't have been that bad but it took about a half mile for me to realize that this is going to be a painful experience. As we climb up the hill I am determined to keep a consistent pace. The little voice that pops in every runners head to just quit was there real early but that's not an option. So as I try to settle in I hear this odd click, its got louder nad louder and I look over to see one of the Kimbell brothers who just won the High Rock challenge (yet again) the day before pushing a baby stroller and with a look of complete relaxation methodically pass me. "Unbelievable" I thought look at how relaxed he is. Then I thought "Look at how relaxed he is". I will remember the look on his face and try to emulate his relaxed nature especially when I venture into unfamiliar territory again.

 Mile 1, I feel....okay mile 2..well lets just say I'm glad that i'm more than halfway done. My legs don't feel stiff they feel floppy slightly unresponsive but they press on. My lungs were working overtime sucking in as much oxygen as possible even when every inhale felt like I was ingesting hot coals.

 I knew we were close wrapping this up and although I was in agony I still had something left in the tank. A cliche I know but its true. i kept going not only that I started picking people off. As i looked ahead I would see a runner whose head was either down on flopping to the side so I knew I could take them. this really helped and as I climbed the last little hill near a quaint bridge I heard footsteps but no way in hell was anyone passing me not with less than a mile to go. I came to this race to prove something to myself and I was.

 I was on the final stretch and the burning increased, my legs were flopping, and plodding to the finish line yet there I was running a PR a slow PR but I didn't quit. I woke up with destroyed legs, yet i still managed to run a 5k race faster than I ever ran one before.

 I didn't quit, I didn't go back to bed, I didn't listen to that voice that tells you to just quit. I did what I set out to do and i'm proud of that. I know I will achieve my goal of drastically reducing my 5k time because if I can run like I ran this past Sunday at about 60% capacity with fresh legs there's no stopping me.