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Showing posts from June, 2009

100,000 and still going strong..."The Raven"

Had to post this...a dude named Raven Craft, who ran 8 miles every day on Miami Beach for the past 34 years and hit the 100,000 mile mark. Master competitor readers need to watch this 8-minute video. It really resonated and touched me; some of The Raven lives inside Tommy Terrific.

http://runtrails.blogspot.com/2009/06/raven-craft-man-who-ran-100000-miles.html

After The Raven segment there's a great follow up video featuring Forrest Gump.

Credit to Scott Dunlap's Trail Runner's Blog...always a good read.

Ride 'em high

How's this for a colorful shot of fun about to begin? How could I move on with new blog streams without acknowledging another wonderfully named event?

This is the start of "Blood, Swear and Gears," another of the local events near Boone, NC. This photo depicts the crew that was ready to tackle the tough course two weeks ago.

Each community has its own special opportunities and personality. I am quite thankful for the endurance sport community, for it's through that lifestyle that I have connected with so many places, events and people.

Life can have its ups and downs. But in my mind, training and participating in rides like Blood, Sweat and Gears keep things interesting and active.

What are your favorite events? If your list seems a bit short at present, reach out and grab onto a new ride or run and let the fun begin.

The name makes the game

I've been participating in ultra-distance trail runs for almost 21 years.

And what I have learned from then until now is that the name of a race really does make a difference.

An event may be titled the "Blue Sky 50K" and that may be well and good for some, but why not throw down with the big boys on a course that elicits groans and puts fear in the hearts of men?

What brings about this valued response? Well, the name of the race for sure.

Check out the logo above. I tackled my first ultra in 1988 and it was none other than the Mountain Masochist 50 mile, an epic sufferfest birthed by ultra's elder statesman David Horton. What a run and what an event. It's famous for the final few miles; you hit an aid station that reports less than three miles to go, when one encounters "Horton miles" and it's a mad struggle for something much further than that.

So, I'm rather amped up for the Blue Ridge Brutal 100 bicycle tour. It will be my first official rid…

Crashorama

It was a wild day with consequences. A friend asked me to ride with her to the "Vet Med" cycling club ride. Vet Med is a fundraising group the rides out of the U of FL veterinary school...so we spun down from our neighborhood this morning to partake of the outing.

Word was out that Vet Med group had experienced recent crashes and I'm sorry to report that today was not an exception. Over 20 riders attended and the group rolled out of town around 8 am.

We were only a few miles in when it happened. A girl went down hard and tumbled, took two or three others with her and another woman on an expensive tri bike rode over the first girl's head and went down.

Carnage all over the road.

Mostly, it was bumps and bruises. One women left to get stitches in her hand, while the girl who took the biggest hits was seemingly intact. Her eyes were puffy and swelling and I'm guessing she'll have two nice shiners from that impact.

Here are a few observations I made during the mishap:

Shoot the gap

An academic cohort recently told me "there's a big gap between 40 and 50."

My friend wasn't talking about the speed I travel on the highway; rather, he was commenting on how we do life once we push past the age of 50 and beyond.

Truth is, I don't "do" life I used to. When in France, I wandered the streets and ran in the parks and drank coffee at sidewalk cafes. We saw the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre and the Monet museum. It was an introspective time. I also had a high level of interaction with students, possibly the highest and most meaningful interaction of my three study abroad experiences. But that said, I wasn't as active as some others, taking in additional sites and museums and busting out for side trips on the weekends.

But I don't want to fade to black just yet. The move to Boone, NC will present many new activities. The town has an artistic flair, and the cycling and running is off the charts.

I will become a full time educator as as…

Aura

Life offers twists and turns. It seems we're going into a crisis, riding out a crisis, or waiting for the next crisis to occur.

Then there are times when life clicks and the notes fall into place like sweet music coming off my Taylor 310 cutaway - when someone more talented than me is playing it!

What I want to blog about today is Aura. I have been examining it for some time.

When your head's on right, you're training well, your diet is good, and your perspective on life is strong, one's aura casts out a positive glow. You're someone who's easy to be around...heck, people go out of their way to hang with you.

Aura-rich individuals don't draw down on the energy around them...they supplement it. They live by example. They embrace the good and weather the bad.

Aura is intangible, but powerful.

As I near the one month mark to blast off (finish PhD and move to NC) there are stresses and anxieties. But above all that is the fact I'm good with who I am, and th…

Blue Ridge Brutal 100

OK, so now I'm jacked.

Check out the verbiage for the Blue Ridge Brutal 100 on August 15:
The Blue Ridge Brutal features three ride options: 59 mile, 74 mile, and 100 mile. The Brutal will have six rest stops, three mussette stops for the fast pack, Ham radio communication, Ashe County Rescue Squad and SAG Wagon Support. Helmets are mandatory and all traffic regulations must be observed. No personal SAG wagons will be allowed. Blue Ridge Parkway Rangers reserve the right to ask riders to stop if there are safety concerns or issues. For a few hardy souls who want to challenge the mountain, the Brutal is offering the “Assault on Mount Jefferson”. This option is available at no extra cost, but due to Mountain Jefferson State Park regulations, we can only offer it to twenty-five riders in the 100 mile or 75 miles ride. ALL ASSAULT RIDERS WILL BE TRANSPORTED DOWN MOUNTAIN.
Holy *##%##@!!! And I'm moving to this place where warriors roam!

Well, as soon as I get Brutal 100 under my belt,…

I'm b-a-c-k-k-k...

Sorry. Haven't posted in awhile. Life is bearing down, dissertation deadline for first submission is one week away, house is on the market, teaching analytics in advertising class starting next week, selling most of what I own, moving to NC in a month.

So what's new with you?

I opted for the photo above, it's Johnny O'Mara with his kids after winning some CA mountain bike race...he's sponsored by Specialized, check out the carbon fiber 29er he rides. Nice stuff.

So, I'm attempting to dial back on the food and alcohol and lose the 13 pounds I gained over the past three years. I came to FL in the summer of 2006 and kicked it in the butt and got down to 163 pounds; now my shorts don't fit and fatty fat fat needs to purge off some poundage in the hot FL sun.

We had a heat index of 112 last week, so that helps.

What's the motivation? I'm moving to Boone, NC in August and I'll have to run and ride at a higher level. No more flatland, it's the Blu…

Wausau and the glory of running

Here's a silly self-portrait from my run this morning, crossing Thomas Street bridge about halfway through the loop I love to jog on a daily basis.

One might stereotype Wisconsin; you could visualize cow pies and old barns in need of paint. But there's another side with beauty and depth and diversity.

It's hard to demonstrate what I experience each morning while I run the course my brother Rick and I laid out almost 25 years ago. I made best efforts today by taking my camera and attempting to document the experience.

So, click to http://picasaweb.google.com/funtalking/WausauRunningLoopJune2009?feat=directlink and try the slide show...and journey down my path for just a few moments.

How about that turtle, what a monster!

This is the portion of life I truly enjoy, the close experience of nature while traversing the streets, paths and trails within the community. There are some of the new foot trails and bridges along the Wisconsin River, Fern Island, down past the old MacDonal…

Addendum: The life that eludes us

There's nothing better than a good game of pass the orange. It forces some levels of intimacy that would be considered inappropriate in other settings.

But when an orange is featured, the means to an end is the only deciding factor. Please note the orange passing technique at left; this was the "I'll come up underneath you while you slip that orange..."

Let's just leave it at that.

I've been thinking about yesterday's post. The part about a young mind and body. The truth is, I can't be young. I can only be receptive.

A female cohort in my PhD program told me I have a younger man's body but an old man's brain. That stung a bit, but was insightful. What I have noted most among the students I teach is that they are hopeful about most all things, while I am tempered by the knocks of life. I'm a realist, yet my realities produce limitations. With hope comes new opportunities.

I am hopeful for my future as a professor at Appalachian State. …

The life that eludes us

Here's a great fun and games photo that keeps old master competitor happy. It's a shot with some of the mass comm study abroad students, at one of the town squares in Bordeaux, France. I forgot this image existed until I received an email telling me I had been "tagged" in a photo on Facebook; so there you have it, Tommy Terrific and the girls having a big time.

Life is rather strange in that respect. I'm 52, but still on the cusp of being able to relate to the younger set, in a way they appreciate. I don't know why that is, accept to state that I have been roaming the USA unfettered for quite a while now. Many cities and experiences, all part of staying connected to numerous user groups.

I'd say ultrarunning had a piece in it also. The adventure and activity of the sport makes for a free spirit and I seemed to be poured into that mold.

So what does all this tell you? Maybe it's to run hard, stay young in mind and body, and if I'm lucky there&#…

Stalled momentum

Here's a shot of my family abode. Built in 1950, it's the Mueller homestead in Wisconsin. Still the place my parents call home, the only house they ever owned. My bedroom is the same, some minor updates but still the "crib" of my youth. Used to keep an old, outdated full size TV in the closet. I'd stay up late, with the volume low, and watch science fiction movies on one of the two channels offered in our market.

I'm back there now, not so much reliving the past as trying to understand the future. My parents are older and my dad is having a rough time recovering from hip replacement. Yesterday's trip to my brother's in La Cross was a struggle. I'm questioning what impetus ignites us from the inside and what keeps us pushing as the years rush by.

Have to admit I've lost the fire in the belly for training and racing. I have more pounds around the middle, and fatty fat fat has been drinking too much wine over the past several weeks. I'…

Stuff

I'm in the Atlanta airport, en route to Wausau, Wisconsin for a week with my beloved parents. So, a few thoughts for the road...

Check out the Quorn at left. Not too well known to vegetarians in the US of A, it's a big hit with the British. Tom Musson, my mother's pen pal from Wakefield, has been a vegetarian for over 40 years and he loves this stuff. Evidently, it's some sort of mushroom fungus brewed in large vats...yummy. I didn't get a chance to taste test this compound, but will be sure to roast up a batch the next time I travel to the U.K.

I was just about to badmouth the ATL airport, but after a long walk I found a big recycle bin near the A concourse main area.

I'm finding a new way to live with more interior (yes I meant to use that word) power, but compartmentalizing my beliefs. This bears more discussion, possibly another blog someday. It's a way to find peace within the parameters of what I believe to be true. I'll be taking this new p…

Shooting the gap

Thought I'd nick ya with another AGD - attention getting device - by posting this rendition of two lovers. It was stroked by a local artist at the winery we visited in Bordeaux. I thought it was great then and it'll make a great screen saver now.

I'm home, you know that. Life has slowed and reality stung me over the past two days. The dream world of living in France for a month has been subjugated by stress and to-do lists and the fact that I'm packing out of here in about 7 weeks.

That really hit home today when I booked a transport trailer that will attached to the back of the rental truck, that will haul my CR-V and every other possession I have to Boone, NC.

Have you ever shot the gap from what you know to be, to what is the unknown? I try to picture my life in NC and project into what I hope will be a revived attitude towards training, diet and racing. I picture a new mountain bike, 90 minute rides before work in the morning, runs to epic peaks like Grandfather…

Paris revisited

Hey, how do you like my shot of the Eiffel Tower?

Pretty nice, don't you think?

Had to chuckle, came across this today, knew I had scanned it sometime ago...it's a shot I took while in Paris, must have been December, 1981.

So, I bridged an almost 30-year gap and made a return trip in 2009. This time around life felt fresh and new and rewarding.

The last time I was in Paris, I wasn't a runner. So there weren't as many takeaways. Just couldn't be.

I really don't believe hindsight is 20/20. Rather, I'd suggest hindsight is broad and deep and lets us better understand the roads we've walked on. Sometimes there's a fork in the path and one direction isn't right and good and true over the other. Sometimes it's simply a choice we must make. So we choose and march forward.

That is the place I find myself in today. I chose a path to North Carolina and plan to walk surefooted into my future. Leaving Florida will create a void - it seems like yesterd…