Tuesday, November 13, 2012

STONECAT TRAIL MARATHON RACE REPORT

At the early hour of 4:45 AM Steve, Cindy, Kerry and I headed to Ipswich for the race.  We had absolutely no expectations or goals for this race except to have fun and preferably not get hurt.  We were pretty much all undertrained.  Kerry and I both struggled to get serious about training after the IM and Steve and Cindy had just done a marathon at the end of September.  We met Patty and Bonnie there.  Patty had done multiple races leading into this and Bonnie was the craziest of all of us as she signed up for the 50 miler instead of just the marathon.  We put on our team uniforms and headlights and were ready to hit the trails.

Let's get this party started
The race actually started late which in retrospect wasn't that bad because it meant less time running in the dark.  Considering the weather we had leading up to the race the course wasn't in too bad of shape.  Thick mud in some spots, tons of wet leaves down and covering rocks and roots and some puddles that you could pretty much run around.  It was cool to see all the runners standing around with headlamps on.

UMM..where do we go??
We weren't more than 2 miles into the race before I was laughing so hard I swallowed my gum and could barely run.  As was the case most of the day it was at Cindy's expense.  We LOVE you Cindy!!  Cindy is by far the most social of all of us.  That girl will talk to anyone.  Despite having 3 of her friends running with her she started chatting up a few strangers instead.  Shortly thereafter one of them pulled of the trail to stretch a muscle.  Then another jumped off to tie her shoe.  And then one more off to the side with a cramp.  HHMMMMM.  Now Cindy had no one to talk to and when she rejoined us Patty asked the million dollar question.  "What did you say to those people?"  They were dropping like flies!!!"  This of course had us all hysterically laughing and then Kerry and I decided Cindy was like a human battering ram and she could run ahead and just by talking to people clear us a path.  It wasn't long before Cindy struck again.  A lot of this race is singletrack.  For you non-runners that means there is only room for one person so if you are stuck behind a slower runner you need to go off the trail to pass which can be dangerous or they need to step aside for you.  At one point we were stuck behind a bunch of people who were going too slow for us and finally Patty had had it and made her move.  As a group we passed about 6 people or so and at one point Cindy said a bit too loud "only more more to get around" and I think the person was offended because she made a snotty remark as Kerry almost rolled down a cliff while passing her.  Whatever.  Our next laugh fest was a doozy.  I was a bit ahead of the group so I will tell you what I saw from my perspective.  I was at the bottom of a hill waiting for Cindy, Kerry and Patty when I heard hysterical laughing.  I looked up and saw Kerry on all fours on the ground and Cindy standing over her taking pictures.



There's NO crying in marathon running Kerry!!!!
Don't be alarmed.  Kerry wasn't really crying NOR did she fall.  She tripped and luckily for her Cindy was right in front of her which led to Kerry face planting right smack in the middle of Cindy's butt and then bouncing right back up as she and Cindy both remained upright.  Simply amazing.  Kerry then of course began laughing so hard she couldn't stay upright and that is how she ended up on the ground.  Nice catch with your ass Cindy.  I think we can all see that Cindy is a better friend since she offered up her ass as a cushion when we know from a prior blog that Kerry hightailed her ass away me in the same circumstances causing me to draw blood.  Just sayin!!!!  Steve was smart enough to stay away from us during the race but did say he could hear us laughing on several occasions.
Steve is really just trying to get away from us here!!!
  This was pretty much how the rest of the race went.  Lots and lots of laughing.  The aid stations for this race are amazing.  Besides your usual water and gatorade they had PB&J, eggs, bacon, pancakes, soup, cookies, potatoes, chips, pie, grilled cheese, M&M's.etc.  It is an all-out buffet.  Remember there are crazy people out there doing a 50 miler so they can be running for up to 12 hours.  They need food.

Loading up on chips and PB&J at the aid station
Kerry and I finished up the first loop and chatted with Deb as we waited for Cindy and Patty so we could all run the second loop together.

Patty and Cindy finishing up the first loop.
Notice Cindy's flowing hair in the picture.  She was obviously running blistering fast for that to happen.  Also notice Patty's perky bustline thanks to her hydration vest that doubled as a push-up bra!!!!  For those of you who don't know...Deb's husband Jim passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in September.  Not only was he Deb's husband but he was our friend. He is the originator of the Dead Horse Beach Athletic Club and designer of what might possibly be the ugliest, most uncomfortable running shirts I have ever owned!!!!  Jim loved this race and was signed up to do it so Deb decided to run one 12.5 mile loop for Jim and since Deb isn't all that fond of running and we love her dearly we decided we would do it with her.

DHABC doing it for Jim
Off we went and it wasn't long before the laughter began again.  Deb made a potty stop behind a tree except that there were people walking through the woods behind her that got a full moon sighting.  Apparently Cindy did this too at one point during the second loop also.  She squatted behind a tree and yelled "Don't look" to the group which of course made every one of them look her way only to see her head behind a tree but her butt half-way out on the trail.  Oh the joys of running in the woods.

Everyone wanted to take our picture
As you can tell by all the pictures there was a whole lot of stopping during this race.  After hitting the aid station around Mile 17ish my toe was really starting to bother me and the longer I was out there the worse it got so I had to make a decision to go ahead of the girls.  I didn't want to but I wanted the pain to stop so I needed to be done.  I ran the last 8 something miles alone.  I am going have to breakdown and get the damn thing operated on soon I guess.  Anyhow....we all finished eventually and got some sweet sweatshirts with the following logo

Love this sweatshirt
An awesome race on an awesome day with awesome company.  Couldn't ask for anything else. Well..it would have been nice to have Bonnie's company but since she started earlier with the 50 milers we didn't see her too much.  Despite spending half the day together for the race we met at Cindy's that night for wine, beer and food.  The laughter kept on coming and one discussion led to our next race which we will also need to develop as it hasn't been done before.  We were torturing Cindy (again I know) about her making her kids ride their Big Wheels for miles and miles when they were little which led to Patty saying she never had one.  What?!!!!!  So we told her partner Jim to buy her one for Christmas which led him to say "Oh no...she'll find a race somewhere that uses them and then I'll have to go"  This led to the idea of the First Annual Big Wheel 50 Miler.  Adults only.  So after Christmas I will begin training.  Look out peeps I am pimping out my Big Wheel!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

THE BAHAMAS

At 2AM this morning Quinn and I finally got home after 5 great days in the Bahamas.  It was a relaxing, fun trip and I have the tan and a few extra pounds to prove it.  After a ridiculously aggravating week at work I simply could not wait to get the hell out of here.  I knew however that I had one last hurdle before I could relax.......flying.  Now don't get me wrong, I like to fly.  The problem is that they don't require an IQ test to fly so I knew the airports will be FULL of idiots who have forgotten how to read or follow directions.  The general public did not disappoint.  There was the women holding up the line to board the plane while looking for her boarding pass.  WTF.  It's not like she didn't have over an hour to get it readily available.  There were those who park themselves in the aisle while arranging their gazillion carry-ons and coats etc while others are trying to get to their seats.  Let's not forgot those who are clearly far too important to turn off their electronic devices when asked and continue to yak on the phone, send emails or update their Facebook status until the flight attendants threaten to take their device away.  Here is what I think their Facebook status should say.......Acting like a complete ass on Jet Blue while person next to me tries to NOT choke the life out of me.  UGH.  And wait there's one more....the father of the family of 5 who despite being given the customs forms at the beginning of the 2hr 45min flight decided to wait to fill all of them out until he was actually in the line to go through customs.  IDIOTS.  Finally we cleared customs, got the shuttle to the hotel and parked ourselves here

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH
The next 5 days went like this...sleep, eat, drink, lay at pool, eat, drink, lay at pool, shower, eat, drink, sleep REPEAT.  We spent a lot of time marveling at the way people dress.  I would under NO circumstances EVER wear a bikini because I know no one needs to see that.  I think you should have to be certified to wear a bikini because honestly there were people there who easily had 100 lbs on me sporting them.  I didn't even know they made them that big.  I don't give two craps how big you are but for the love of God please dress appropriately.  And guys.....if you look down and you can't see your feet because your stomach is in the way then please step away from the Speedo!!!!!!!!!  We have a habit of naming people on vacation also.  Rosario was there..the maid from Will and Grace.  The woman looked just like her.  Dudley Do Right was there also

Remember him????
Now the dude didn't actually look like him much BUT he was Canadian ehh and never shut up the entire time he was there.  I almost jumped in the pool to drown him at one point as he was yapping about our country and how screwed up it is etc.  Really Dudley???  Shut the F up and go back to your own damn country.  There was also Trailer Trash Chick who I never saw once without a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  Perhaps the most amusing yet painful thing that happened all week was at my expense.  For whatever reason there were lots of bees around and as I went to sit up on my beach chair unbenownst to me I sat on one.  The bee took issue with that and stung me soo far up my inner thigh that I really think the damn thing should have at least bought me dinner first!!!!!  I think maybe in some foreign countries we might be married after that encounter.
Mom meet your new son-in-law
Holy crap did that hurt!!!!  The following day the pain was replaced by incessant itching which led me to utter "Why couldn't I get bit somewhere where I could scratch and not look like a creep?!!!"  It looks a bit better finally but man that was not fun.


Now THAT left a mark
I did manage to do something somewhat strenuous while there and climbed the rockwall.  It seemed to be a lot harder than I remember from six years ago.


Does this harnass make my ass look big?  Umm yeah.
The weather was pretty good all week.  Mid to upper 70's but very windy.  This was pretty much as close as Quinn got to the water all week because it was rough.


You got sand where???
It actually got a bit chilly in the afternoon when the wind picked up and the sun dropped behind the buildings.  This is what I had to resort to




No I'm not cold. What gave you that idea???
All in all a great vacation and we brought a little bit of our friend Jim to the Bahamas with us


Dead Horse Beach Athletic Club hits the Bahamas
Despite spending five days with low blood pressure and no stress it took me all of 10 mins after hitting the airport for the trip home before I wanted to smack some sense into someone.  Check in...good...Bahamas immigration..good.  When you travel out of the Bahamas you actually go through US Customs there as opposed to when you land in the states.  This can be good since it saves that whole get your bag, go through customs, recheck bag and go through security nonsense BUT this time it didn't work out so great.  We spent about an hour in line for US Customs and had to deal with all the dumb annoying people and one chick in particular who spent the whole time lamenting the fact that she and her snooty friends didn't use the private jet this time.  It would have saved so much time.  Really Barbie?!!!!  Get over yourself.  Oh well...back to reality peeps.

Monday, November 5, 2012

I AM OUTTA HERE

So Saturday I was here
 
Ready to go
Here is the Stonecat Trail Marathon.  We do look like total dorks but in our defense the race started in the dark so we needed headlamps.  It was wet, muddy, slippery and a complete and total blast.  I have never laughed so hard while attempting to run a marathon in my life.  I have many details to share about the race BUT I don't have time right now because tomorrow at 6AM I will be on a plane to here

 
This is where you recover from a marathon

If all goes well I should be drunk by 2PM and sunburn by 4.  See you in a week peeps!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

UMM..YOU CUT YOURSELF HOW?????

What up blog peeps?  So in my half-ass attempt to get in some kind of worthwhile training for my marathon in 13 freakin days I have been running 4 days a week.  This is unusual for me as I have been a 3 day a week runner for years now.  I am trying to get that 4th run in during the early am hours because honestly work sucks the life right out of me and I have issues with getting out there to run after work.  So instead of putting on my big girl panties and dealing with it I prefer to run at o dark thirty.  I headed out Thurs and was having a great run in the wonderful 45 degree dry air until mile 4.5 when I tripped over ......well who the hell knows what I tripped over...my feet, a rock, the sidewalk, a piece of dust , air...whatever.  I executed a stunning slide and once again managed to scrape up my knees.  My hands were ok since I had gloves on.  So for the umteenth time I finished out a run (2.5 miles) with blood running down some extremity.  The only redemming part about this wipeout was that since it was dark and 5:15 AM no one saw me do it!!!  That however was NOT the most amazing blood-letting incident of my week.  That came yesterday morning at Mile 11.75 of a 12 mile run as I arrived at a blind corner of a driveway at the same time a guy WALKING a bike with a 10 foot rusty pole balanced on it was exiting said driveway.  He had no idea I was coming and I had no idea he was coming until this very large pole all of the sudden appeared in front of me.  I had all of 1 sec to reach my hands up to prevent me from decapitating myself on the damn thing.  By doing that I managed to slice open my hand on the rusty pole.  After a series of OMG's and sorry's I reassured the guy I would be ok and I finished yet another run with blood dripping down an extremity. 
If this guy had a metal pole and was walking the bike it would be my guy!!!!
Seriously peeps.....who the hell gets sliced open buy a killer rusty pole???!!!!!WTF.  Quinn just shook her head when I told her what happened and pointed to the hutch which houses the first aid bag of wound care products, gauze, bandages, tape, etc.  Man that thing gets a lot of use. Today I ran a 9.3 mile race in the woods and on some very technical trails and did not wipeout at all.  Kerry and I did get lost and added a little under a half mile to our race.  Cindy and Deb ran..they got lost.  Steve ran..he got lost.  All at different places though.  Go figure.

On a non-running note.  Tray and Ariel came over after Ariel's guitar lesson yesterday so we could walk downtown get some lunch and freak watch.  It probably would have been easier to order a pizza and sit on my couch and watch those two instead.  After a dreary, rainy, foggy, cloudy morning it turned into a beautiful 70 degree day.  Well...unless you are a member of the Dudevoir mushroom family.  They frown upon bright sunshine.  If you go to their house on a bright summer day every window, door and blind will be closed and every air conditioner and fan in the house will be on.  You will need a headlamp to find your way around the house in the dark. FREAKS!!!!!! We walked into town to a chorus of "I'm hot, why did the sun have to come out, omg I am sweating".  Most people would consider yesterday beautiful but those Dudevoir's suffer from combustitis...the fear of spontaneously combusting when exposed to sunlight.
Now THAT will leave a mark
Despite the pissing, moaning, whining, complaining and worrying about melting we had a nice lunch and saw some typical Halloween in Salem freaks.  16 days till the BAHAMAS!!!





Monday, October 8, 2012

7 MONTHS IN 6 MINUTES

After the Ironman I spent umpteen hours putting together a slide show that summed up the experience.  It was a colassal pain in the ass to do but it came out great and I burned it onto a few DVD's to send to the family.  Unfortunately for whatever reason the DVD does not play in anyone's DVD player but it does play on the computer if you have a DVD player installed.  What freakin ever.  That crap is way outside of my realm of know how so I decided to upload it here for your viewing pleasure.  Hope you like it. The quality of the pictures isn't anywhere near as good as the real thing but until I get home to PA in December it is the best youns will get!!!  I take that back.  I tested the link and when it comes up there is a little thing that looks like a gear with a HD next to it.  Click on that and make sure it is on 1080.  That will make the video crystal clear.  Love you all.  For my not so computer saavy peeps the video has music and you can view it full screen.  That button looks like a picture frame doo hickey thingamabob.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4_Tjmj2f1Y&feature=youtu.be

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A NEW TRADITION

After many many years of being parade watchers it has become apparent that Ariel and I will now become permanent parade crashers.  We had an absolute blast Thursday night and all of you blog peeps will be happy to know that we did not throw one piece of candy towards anyone's head.  In fact...brace yourself....we had so much fun no one even got on our nerves.  UMM WHAT???!!!!  Yep it's true.  First off let's talk about the costumes.  Once again Quinn outdid herself and with $20 of material and 45 minutes made us look like this.

I like your taste in clothing!!!!

Pretty cool huh?!  I would expect nothing less from someone who looks like this

Clearly she looks brilliant
Thankfully the rain ended around 5 Thursday and we headed downtown for dinner.  After eating my weight in chips, salsa and a burrito we went back to the car and Quinn dressed us.  We weren't 200 feet from the car when a young college kid and his girlfriend stopped and asked to take a picture with us.  Since we looked like penguins we decided we should walk like them
video
We stopped at our usual parade viewing spot and waited for Kerry and the penguins from the Carlton School to come by.  They were towards the beginning of the parade so we were in the parade in no time.  We marched along handing out candy and waving to the crowds.  We marched the whole way to the end at the Salem Common and got kudos from the assistant principal and a kindergarden teacher at the school.  Nothing liked getting thanked for crashing a parade.  A women at the Common asked to video us and a guy from England asked to take our picture to show to his "mates" back home.  As usual Ariel and I spent the whole night cracking each other up with our warped sense of humor.  As the bagpipers went by I declared "I love men in skirts".  When the cop on the segway went by she looked at me and said "Paul Blart..mall cop".  Some other random things we said or were said to us in my favorite run-on sentence style of writing are ...Hoooooooo. He is totally rocking that dress. Attention attention we have two penguins busting a move at the common. Don't worry I just removed a layer of skin. Are you two related?.  What a fun night so looks like it is a go from now on.  More candy next year and new costumes.  Not going to commit to not pelting someone with candy though.  It is bound to happen eventually.  For me Thursday was simply awesome.  After work I talked to my nephew Josh for 25 minutes on the phone and then spent the next few hours with Ariel.  Those two mean the world to me.
I am by the way still working out despite not blogging about it much.  I am sort of kind of training for my marathon in November.  I am running 4 days a week and over 30 miles a week but don't really have the long runs in that I should.  Oh well.  On Saturday Kerry, Patty, Cindy, Bonnie, Steve and I did a run on the marathon course.  It is a 12.5 mile loop and I did 4 miles before.  Overall I felt ok and managed to not face plant.  There were two parts of the course that had puddles you simply had to run through.  Nothing like submerging your feet in ankle deep water 4 miles into a run.  That is the fun of trail running though and it didn't bother me one bit.  The race is all about fun so I am not getting worked up about it.  I miss my bike believe it or not.  The weekend weather hasn't really been cooperating so my biking outside has been minimal.  As far as swimming goes.......still hate it and it is even harder now to go because I don't really have to.  Who cares.  I still manage to get there twice a week..usually. BTW only 30 days till vacation.  BAHAMAS baby!!!  That is how you recover from a marathon.  Sun, sand and frozen beverages.

Monday, September 24, 2012

DOOBY DOOBY DO

BEWARE THE PENGUIN......anyone remember that Bud Light commercial?  If not you can watch it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVWtq-_VYk8.  Ok but why am I bringing it up you ask.  Well every year since she was knee high, on the first Thursday night in October I have been bringing Ariel to the Salem Halloween parade.  We go to dinner with Quinn and her friend and then they leave us to head to the first of many bars while Ariel and I find a spot to plop down and watch the lamest Halloween parade ever in the Halloween Capital of the World.  There is a theme every year for this parade but it seems like everyone does their own thing and people just pop in anywhere along the way and join.  We simply love this parade and decided last year we were going to crash it and join the fun this year.  The theme for 2012 is animals and when I told Kerry we were going to crash the parade she said Jack's school was dressing up like penguins.  Perfect.  Easy costume to put together and you are all aware of my affinity for the Penguins of Madagascar.  Just for the record...Kerry told me about this while we were out riding bikes and oh yeah...it was raining.  WTF!!  No it wasn't supposed to.  Whatever.  Apparently Mother Nature still has issues with us. But I digress.  So Ariel, Quinn and I hit the craft store for costume supplies yesterday and then loaded up on candy.  We don't think anywhere near enough people throw candy during the parade so we are going to do our part.  Of course I needed Quinn for the craft store part because that kind of stuff isn't my forte...oh crap Tray...I just remembered we forgot your craft sticks...oops.  Anyhow if you put me and a glue gun and glitter and scissors together in one room something bad is bound to happen and I will be permantly glued to some inanimate object although I will be really sparkly.  So next weekend we will make our costumes for the Oct 4th parade.  For those of you who don't live in these parts, Halloween is a month long celebration in Salem so the parade is early and kicks off the madness.  By the time the last two weekends of October roll around I don't even attempt to take my car anywhere.  Sheer madness.  After the costumes are made there is one final detail to work out.  Apparently certain members of my family are a bit concerned about the throwing candy part.  They are afraid that my anger management issues could possible result in me bouncing a roll of Smarties off someone's head at warp speed.  Ariel doesn't really tolerate the general public's stupidity all that well either so the two of us together might just be problematic.  But hey...here's a thought....if you get beamed off the head by a Tootsie Roll or a piece of Super Bubble.......A.  For whatever reason you clearly had it coming, B. You did, said or thought about saying something that annoyed us C. You stole candy from someone younger than you or D. We just totally felt like clocking you upside the head with a piece of candy.  Stay tuned for the parade recap in a few weeks and remember........BEWARE THE PENGUINS!!