Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ummm, I went to run 12 miles but no one showed up...

The Woodlands Running Club site says, Sterling Ridge, 12 miles, Sat, Dec 21st. It's now Sat, Dec 20th....So I'll assume that Saturday, December 21st is actually going to happen tomorrow....that was a waste of time and fuel...maybe I'll try again tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

OK, it's time I set a couple of goals...

Having run a 22:04 (7:06 min/mile) at the RTW 5k race last weekend, it SURELY begs the obvious. Sub 22-minute 5k. If it's a 21:59, I'll take it. That's there for the grabbing.

Next, I wanna run the 5k in sub-7 minutes per mile...this'll be a tad tougher and will actually require me to WORK at it! That equates to a 5k time of 21:41 (6:59 min/mile)...that's a sizable jump. Ahh, the challenge.

I don't recall where my 5k times were back when I was running fast, but I think I was just about in the low 21's and maybe bumped into a high 20 minute 5k.....I'm not a fast 5k runner. Also not a fast 10k runner at about 44:20ish, back in the day. The point I'm making is that my 5k pace isn't much quicker than the 10k and so-on for the 1/2 and full marathons. But the distance doesn't seem to be a problem. I guess I'm more wired for endurance than speed.

I just went to the Wednesday Night Track Workout with The Woodlands Running Club. Damn these people are fast! Tough crowd! I now recall why I hate speed work at the track. I thought I was gonna cough up a lung. Not too bad, but running fast DOES hurt! I'm going to stick with my new-found Wednesday night regimen and see if I can't make good on that 21:41 (6:59 min/mile pace).

Tonight we did 1-mile repeats with a 3-minute cool down. I warmed up for a mile, then ran 4 repeats. So YES, I ran 5 miles DURING the week! Woot!

Ran a 6:35 pace for the 1st mile, then a 6:38 for the 2nd.....toned it down for the last 2 I guess I CAN run fast, but damn the fortitude is hard to come by!

I met my running buddy Sabrina and told her we have a standing appointment for Wednesday nights. After all, I AM training for the Houston Half-Marathon in 1 month! Training, yeah, that's what it's called....

Monday, December 15, 2008

WG Jones Forest is Open! Good running...

After Hurricane Ike, the WG Jones Forest was closed. There's a local group who runs there and it's convenient for me to run my dogs there. The runners kept going in after the closure, until the next incident occurred, the crash of the news helicopter.

This time the Forestry Service had white signs made with big red letters that said, "CLOSED". And they posted them all around the place. Umm, that tells me that they seriously didn't want anybody in there! Finally the signs were gone on Friday and I took my dogs in there for a 4 mile run before the Run The Woodlands 5k. The RTW race started at 8 am, so I had to be efficient.

Old pics, but valid:

The little Border Collie was on fire! She had boundless energy, running WAY ahead! I'd call her and she would turn around and run FULL SPEED back to me. So she prolly ran 5+ miles. We got home and I had a plan to sneak her back out and take her to the 5k to further whittle away her super high energy level. I fed the cat and the big dog, then whispered for her to jump in the truck....she KNEW exactly what we were doing and jumped up there without alerting the big dog. We escaped, unnoticed.

At the race, she just took off! I had to keep calling her back. Then about half way through the race, she began to hang with me, finally burned off some of the energy! WE ran a nice 22:04! Not my quickest, but not at all bad. Good times!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

OK, I'm back...How rude to have bailed!...

OK, running before Thanksgiving, 4.5 miles...Thanksgiving, 5 mile race...Friday, 5k race(1st place Masters' WIN [still milking this all I can!])...Saturday, 5k race. LOTS of fast running in 4 days!

Before the "Run Thru The Woods" 5 mile race on Thursday, me and my buddy, Laura:

Receiving my TROPHIES from "Puffy the Pine Cone":

Thanksgiving day, admiring a beautiful Ford Model A (it started rolling down the driveway as the guy was taking my here I'm posing for the photo AND arresting the car's movement...multi-tasking to the max):

WTF? The WG Jones forest is STILL closed!!?? My poor dogs haven't been running with me in months! Good grief, open the forest, already!

Last Saturday, I just had to show up at the Sunmart Endurance Race. Roger Soler has been sponsor and Race Director for the Sunmart event for MANY years. Having met Roger and his running stores/running groups in San Antonio/Helotes, I'd always been 'too busy' to travel all the way to Huntsville to run a really long race. Because I now live pretty close to the Sunmart event, I was fresh OUT of excuses this year! I saw many friends from San Antonio and plenty of friends from the Houston area, too. What a GREAT venue! Schucks, I'll run the 50k race next year! I ran about 9 miles with my buddy, Sabrina...good time!

Sabrina getting a little breakfast before the race:

Chatting with Randy Reina:

Donny, Evan, Roger Soler:

Jon Walk and Roger:

Jim Braden, Debbie Tripp, Bill Dwyer, the usual suspects:

Thundering thru the woods with Sabrina:

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sometimes you just gotta DO IT YOURSELF!

Several years ago, a friend of mine from "an outlaw biker web forum" told me that a component on his very expensive ($22,000) German motorcycle had failed and that failure of the component was prevalent. He suggested that I design a new and much improved component and sell them. I did. I designed a killer kit that could be installed without special rivets and machinery for crimping/swaging mechanical connections, a kit that could be retrofitted by someone with reasonable mechanical aptitude and simple tools.

I designed and built 100 kits, on my time, with my money. After selling about 50 kits, the guy lost interest and got busy with family/work. After getting pretty hacked off, I told the guy that this WASN'T within what we agreed to and that I wanted to recover my inventory. It took several months for him to box up my stuff and send it back to me, but I've got it now. Not a bad guy, we're still friends...just not a business/money/marketing guy.

I've tried Microsoft's 'Front Page' website authoring software and found it to be tough to learn. Same thing with 'Dreamweaver'. Finally, I found a pretty simple program that I learned. I spent $40 on the software and $13 to register the domain name. So for $53 and a couple of days work, I present to you my NEW website for selling this little fringe product. I'm not quite finished, but getting close. HERE IT IS (taah dahhh):



Friday, November 28, 2008

"OK, I've had ENOUGH running in the MIDDLE of the pack!! ARGH!! Today, I'm gonna be FIRST PLACE!!"

"I don't care if it kills me, I'm tired of NOT coming in FIRST PLACE in the Master's Division! I'm gonna go out there and KILL today!" (Notice determined look on my face/marching sort of running):

"You're going DOWN!! And everyone in front of me that I determine to be a threat is GOING DOWN!! Got that? Good! I'm talking to YOU!":

"I'm DAMN SURE that I won FIRST PLACE in the Master's Division!" (arms extended to 'glide' into the finish):

Photo credits: Bill Dwyer! (what's new, he's on the ball!)


I'm sure it ain't true, but Bill D later wrote that I left too early and I have a TROPHY!


NO WAY, but I'll take it! Apparently, I won FIRST PLACE, MASTERS' DIVISION!

Before today, I've not really given the "Masters" much thought at all. I'm pretty sure one must be old to qualify for such. I never imagined that one day it would be my CONDUIT to a FIRST PLACE FINISH! (I'm still capitalizing words I shouldn't 'cause I earned it, DAMN IT!) I'm gonna be studying this whole new world of 'Masters', as it's my NEW way to get me some BLING! BABY! :):)

That pesky (kidding!) OLYMPIAN 5k runner, Jacob Mazone WON the whole event which SOMEHOW left me with a FIRST PLACE in the Masters! WOOOHOOO!

Let's be clear, I'm NOT a fast 5k runner. My fastest 5k is a 7:04 pace, and my fastest marathons were 7:26 min/mile pace. NOT a big difference, which favors me to the longer distances...Hey, I'm NOT going to argue or contest my FIRST PLACE WIN! WOOOHOOO!! :):)

The Knack

My friend, Jeff, recently emailed this video to a couple of people. In the subject line he wrote, "I know someone who has this". I called him on the phone and yelled, "HEY" when we were talking about it. He said, "I didn't say WHO had it, only that I know someone with this affliction". I replied, "HEY, I resemble that"! I'm totally guilty of having this disorder:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ok, I'll play...4th Folder, 4th Photo....

As seen on the blogs of both Tiggs, Coach Bill, and Viv, I went to the 4th photo folder in my 'puter and picked the 4th picture. Now I just KNEW that this would likely fall outside of the realm of what's usually discussed on this-here blog. Yep, it's not likely to generate much interest here.

OK, it's WORK STUFF!! You guys who really don't know me well, don't know that I just LOVE MY WORK!! I literally spring out of bed really early to get going, most days. I'm an inventor! With an engineering degree, I went backwards after college and bought machine tools and taught myself how to operate them. This was all in the name of building faster and more-bad-ass jet skis and drag racing cars.

One thing led to another and I taught myself how to do very intricate programming of computer-controlled machine tools, formally called Computer Numerical Control (CNC). Then logically, I started buying CNC machines. I do REALLY cool stuff!! I do stuff for the DoD (defense department), medical stuff, and have some (exactly 5) REALLY COOL parts that are ZINGING to PLUTO at over 52,000 mph for 9 years, as you read this. Anyway, the picture above is of a company moving one of my machines, about 5 years ago.

Earlier this year, my 2 current machines were moved to my current location. Here:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Want a Superior Sandwich? I sure do...

A "Which Wich" location opened very near my home. Something other than the same old stuff is always welcome. Their claim of "Superior Sandwich" is surely well founded. My friend Jamoosh has also had the pleasure of such a delicious Wich at a franchise near his home, and concurs that the claim of "superior" is valid...get yours today...

Here are some of the photos from the R&R Half Marathon, last Sunday. I had intended to bike down to the start, take some pictures of the venue and friends, then drop off my camera, backpack, and cell phone at the car, then go back to the start.

There was NO WAY that was about to happen due to the time crunch. And I wasn't about to drop off $1000 worth of electronics at the UPS truck. So I ran with the backpack, camera, and cell phone.

This caused a "wardrobe malfunction". Janet Jackson's got nuthin on me! Early in the race, Sonya pointed it out and I tugged on my shorts to fix the problem. Apparently it was much worse than I thought! Later, a guy came running past us and said, "dude, check your shorts"! Sonya said, "told ya!" I reached around and to my shock, they were pretty much way the hell up under the belt for the pack. I think more than a few folks got to see Ev's ass! I'm lucky I wasn't arrested! So for the rest of the race, I was reaching back and pulling my pants back down to where they could cover my fanny. Here's but a concise example of Evan's rear end:

At mile 7, I just hadta call MOM!:

Go baby!:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Great Weekend, now I need a work week to recover...

This was a working weekend with a race thrown in for good measure. I rented another large U-Haul trailer to make one of the last trips to my old house/shop, near San Antonio. It's been almost a year, but the guy that bought the place is super cool and has more workshop space there than he has stuff to fill it.

I briefly visited Daniel and his family:

And I got to visit my buddy Jeff and his family:

Going to the inaugural Rock & Roll Marathon in San Antonio had me kinda miffed at first. We ran the half-marathon, not the whole. I woke up at 4:10 and made my way down there...major street closings everywhere. I rode my bike to the Alamodome a few miles away, locked it there (finish line), then saw the line of people waiting for shuttle buses. VERY long line and only ONE bus in sight! So I opted to run 2-3 miles to the starting line, fully clothed, many layers of clothing. Now the whole thing IS a major clusterf**k! Very much running out of time, I had to get to the clothing drop off (corral #30) from my corral (#2) and get back with very little time until the race. And to think I started at 4:10, hours earlier!

I called Sonya who said she was in line somewhere and couldn't get with me to run. I refused to accept that! I haven't seen or run with this girl in almost a year. At the last possible moment, she showed up. Seconds before the gun, I got a runner to snap our pic:

I REALLY couldn't believe that a year had passed, it REALLY only seemed like a few weeks! She also said, "it's been a year?" While driving to the race, I was sure that I had run with my group a few times this year, but knew it wasn't the case. Strange sorta time-warp, guaranteed. If this year went by that quickly, the rest of my life oughtta happen like anytime, now!

We were definitely running a conservative pace. And due to the fact that we had a year's worth of chit-chat to catch up on, it was good (we do actually talk on the tele every now and then, though). As is TYPICAL of Evan, I was already talking about "bolting" at 2.4 miles. Sonya just rolls her eyes, "what's new?". I said I thought it would be good to stomp on the pedal at mile 6. She said 8. I quietly responded, "7.5?". At about mile 7, I called my mom! I called her as we were screaming through downtown. Mom later said it was fun to get such a call! Mission accomplished!

As I always do, I just get so fired up at the races that I couldn't stand it and had to bolt. I dropped her at mile 8 and took off! All was good and I really enjoyed the venue after the maddening start. Good time! At mile 11, my toe exploded. Really sharp pain in ONE instant! I thought that either my toe had snapped into 2 pieces, or I popped a blood blister. Gazing down at my shoe revealed a white shoe, not a red one. The pain slowly subsided a bit so I reasoned it was a blister that was draining.

After the race I surveyed the damage. A tale of what was to follow?:

There was certainly one casualty:

Sonya wheeling in with a nice 1:53:

I was able to score a 1:49 which is really good considering I had ZERO training! I'm really not pleased with my lack of training. It's been a strange couple of months with no shortage of 'show stoppers'.

OK, you heard it first, right here. I'm going to TRAIN for the Houston half-marathon in January and WILL be running under 1:40! Yep. Then one year from yesterday, I'll be ready to run another full marathon, my first since 2002. San Antonio 2009 with a run under 3:30! Hey, man's gotta have goals, eh?

My buddy Joel (see a couple of topics below this one) had hoped for a 2:35-2:45, but only mustered a 3:08. He had a bad knee deal pop up....poor guy.

My friend Carolyn enjoyed a tasty PR (personal record, for those who aren't runners)of 3:55!! She thought the event sucked and had a bunch of hills! Hmmm, I thought it was really great and enjoyed the lack of hills! EXCEPT for that long-ass uphill ramp at the very end, leading UP to the Alamodome...WTF?? What genius came up with that? People see things differently, I suppose. GREAT JOB Carolyn!

THEN I had to load up several thousand pounds of stuff, drive it back to Houston, unload and return the trailer by 7am Monday morning. I had a great nap after lunch.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My BEST Running Buddy in THE World!! Sonya!

As much as anything, I'm really looking forward to going running with Sonya! We've run together for 9 years, starting in 1998. I wrecked the running streak when I relocated here, late last year.

As running groups work, a large group fragments into a number of smaller groups. This is mostly due to differing running speeds, but personality cliques also enter the equation.

Four people comprise our primary sub-group of Roger Soler's running group. Within this sub-group, Greg and Mary paired up, and Sonya and I seemed to be a great fit.

Those who run in a group know what I'm writing about. It's at least half the reason that I'm there! Your running group ANTICIPATES your presence. You don't have to 'stand them up' very many times before you have no running group at all. I've told people, "the easiest way to get out of running with Sonya is to JUST go run with Sonya! It's not worth having to catch hell for not showing up!"

The camaraderie is all important! We just laugh and chit-chat the whole time that we run! It's shared exercise and it's catching up on what's going on in our lives. I LOVE my running group!

I can't believe it's been almost a year since I've run with Sonya! We've probably run together more than 400 times and by my estimation have run 60-90 organized runs/races together! Coolest chic anywhere! We'll be thundering on Sunday!

Looks like San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon is on!

The weather should be really cooperative, albeit maybe a tad cold at the start. But that beats the typical SA Marathon weather pattern of turning hot and humid the day before the event.

I just talked with my good friend, Joel. Many who read this here blog know Joel. He's SUPER FAST, having run a half-marathon in 1:04!! That's 1 hour, plus 4 minutes!! Geez, I don't think I can ride my bike that fast! Granted it was few years back, but stout nonetheless. He's been training a bit for the marathon and is looking to run between 2:35 and 2:45....geez! Here, I'm pacing him as he's about to win the Helotes Half:

San Antonio, 2001:

DAMN DOG!! Despite my efforts to thwart further escapes from our yard, Tessie the Border Collie just isn't going along. It appears that I have another task to accomplish today, stringing an 800 volt wire along the perimeter of the yard, down low on the fence:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Houston's a Trip! Fun race...

I cruised downtown to do my part in the 15 mile,3-person relay, yesterday morning. Great running weather, great turn-out. And I got to meet Tiggs and Manny!

I was the 3rd and last to run for our team, so after the race started and commenced for a bit, I hopped on my bike and rode maybe a mile up from the finish line, locked the bike and ran with Tiggs to the transition, where Manny then took the ankle band that had our timing chip. I then ran with Manny back to the bike, then rode back to the transition so I could run my part of the race.

What I did garner from the run was, "I'm dead meat for running in San Antonio next weekend!". But then in an email, Sonya wrote, "relax, you still have 6 days to train!"

And due to differing post-race shcedules, breakfast at Le Peep didn't happen....So I settled for Rudy's on the way home...Yea!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pre HMSA Race Check...

*** Leak Check***, A-OK (note to self, don't drink so much Diet Coke before running).

***Systems Check***, Marginally-Acceptable, but OK for tomorrow's 5 mile race.

I had an 'incident' 8 days ago. Contusion on stomach is much better, largely healed. Unlike a continuous scab that's 4 inches long, a healed area that's healing with small, not-connected scabs IS okay for running. Got it. (tmi, I know...but it's real)

Tweaked left ankle, uncool.
Three bruised ribs on my left side, uncool.
Screwed up left hand, uncool.
A big hit to my right shoulder, uncool.

But none of the aforementioned really entered the scene this morning (other than guzzling a bunch of diet coke on the way to the race...freaking dumbass). I was reminded of all of my current maladies, but I was surprised that I had no real show-stoppers.

I narrowly dodged a "no-running-for-you" bullet, big time! For that, I'm thankful! Whew!

I ran a 23:49, then went back to run with my sister-in-law. This is only her second running race, ever. I think I wrote 2 weeks ago, she "she just gets it!". I'm not having to prod her to the next race, she say's, "I'll be there next time". She just gets it! Congrats! Good times....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Great weekend for running! Beaut weather....

We've got the Run The Woodlands 5k tomorrow. I'll be doing a "systems check" of my ability to run (or not). My skeletal issues seem much better and the skin on my belly is healing well. The tummy healing being the biggest show stopper; it has been impossible to run due to the pain of the afflicted area flexing and bouncing, ouch!

Then Sunday we're off to the HMSA 25k run, where I'm a 1/3 team member for the relay. I'm teaming with Tiggs and Manny. With my uncertainty and Tiggs' illness, it kinda begs the question, "Hey Manny, can you run the whole 15 miles while Tiggs and I watch from the sidelines?" Just kidding, we'll pull it off somehow!

Following the race on Sunday, I'm thinking it would be great to share breakfast over at Le Peep, in Rice Village (MAP).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

News Flash: Beer that fends off diseases!

This is in today's Houston Chronicle (CLICK for article):
Rice University students are trying to develop beer that could fight cancer, heart disease and diabetes

Hmm, who woulda thought?! And can you imagine defending your thesis or wrapping up a PhD for such important and timely work? Smart and forward thinking folks, these kids! Nice work!

Monday, November 3, 2008

As though my run training wasn't already bad enough...

I mildly twisted my freaking ankle. Where's my "rolling eyes" emoticon? I'm running in a relay this upcoming weekend and San Antonio 1/2 marathon the following weekend. I'm sure I'll do OK, but I really could have used some great running this weekend to bolster my training...sigh...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Got to thinking about my friend, Barry...

He's the guy I wrote about below. While he's been caught up in raising a family and building a fine homestead, he's HARDCORE when it comes to mechanical things. Barry and I see eye to eye on many things. He's a hardcore motorcycle drag racer. Here, he's refueling his dragbike on the dynamometer for tuning: (pics are maybe 5-6 years ago)

Just HOW COOL is Barry? He loaned me his "big tire" dragbike! No way! Loaning a dragbike is something that just doesn't happen in the real world! I made 4 passes on the bike at the drag strip. Talk about a RUSH! The thing launched HARD! I was doing the first 60 feet in 1.36 seconds (this pissed Barry off because my 60' times were slightly better [on this bike] than his and he's ridden for years)! :):) Here's my debut into the world of dragbikes:

Screwing around at the end of my driveway in Helotes:

At the race track, doing the 'burnout' to warm the big ole drag slick:


I'll never forget that! The initial acceleration is off the best be hanging on when you let go of the clutch lever!

You "pin" the throttle wide open on the starting line, engine is screaming at red-line, on the rev-limiter as you wait for the starting lights to flash, when it's time, you snap your finger off of the clutch lever (no feathering) and you and the bike completely launch!

The acceleration exceeds the brain's sampling rate, you ARE somewhere other than where you started, before you realize where you are! It is GO TIME BABY!...Fond memories....Barry is top shelf folks...I'd do this again, big time!