Monday, March 24, 2014


Last Monday night, I get a call from Attitude. During our conversation, I get an urge to drive down to Eugene for a visit. Next morning, I act on that urge, and hit I-5 South. I pass Longview where Gerald and I were just a couple days earlier for a run. Stop for gas in Woodland and text Dyno-M happy birthday.

I've been visiting Eugene for over 11 years now. This is the very first time I've stayed at Attitude's place! He took me along to his photo shoots in Corvallis and Sweet Home. He even bought me beer!!! I'm really beginning to like Attitude's new attitude.

But I doubt anything, will ever top the ultimate feeling of beating Attitude in tennis. Yup, another 3 matches in Ocean's win column. Damn that's fun.

So I'm normally used to mid-week meet-ups in Everett, Mukilteo, but mostly at the Yurt.

However, it was a nice change to enjoy a meet-up with Ventoux and Attitude in Eugene. No tv, meant no college basketball. Instead, we enjoyed our usual activities.

Tennis, eating, drinking, walking so we can get more to drink, smokings, and shooting the shit on life. I realized that's what I do when I go to Eugene. It's what I call camaraderie. I look forward to doing it some more at the upcoming Eugene Open.

So to finish my week off, I head back to Seattle. Gerald & I travel to El Paso, Tx, and then drive to White Sands Missile Range in NM. We do the Bataan Memorial Death March marathon. We road march 26.2 miles with 35 lb packs. The whole event/experience was a lot of fun. Gerald definitely has soldier spirit. I was extremely impressed with her performance. At mile 18, I remember telling her that we've done about 2 DC road marches so far, get ready to soldier through a third. She definitely did!

So in El Paso, I spot a Whataburger. Haven't seen one in about 14 years. I don't stop there, but it inspired my blog post's title. Whataweek. The only down side was I didn't sleep much at all after drinking 12 hours straight with the Eugene fellas. Unfortunately that lack of sleep continued the next 4 days. All in all, a very small price to pay for such an enjoyable week with my BRS friends.

Lo To Ja

Anyone interested in riding Lotoja this year?  I'll be submitting a team application in the Ride category, let me know if you want to ride!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What is your favorite color?

Mine is blue….

CTR 50M March 8, 2014

I’m drinking at 8:30 AM (which would have been 7:30 if you account for Daylight Savings) but I’m still pescatarian this month, GD it!

Grapefruit accountability.
2/18: 15 PU + 50 SU
2/26: 15 PU + 50 SU
3/3: 20 PU + 50 SU
3/5: 20 PU + 50 SU
3/7: 20 PU + 50 SU
I’ve only gained back 1 lb of the weight I lost in the first 2 weeks of Drynuary, and realized it does make a difference when I gave a lecture in my old suit Friday (the one I got in 2007 for my job interview and my mom laments I never buy any new clothes) and it fit. Only 8 more lbs to go to be in reasonable shape for Comrades June 1. I’m considering doing another dry month between now and then (but it can’t be first 2 weeks of April, can’t not drink in Paris and Ticino!). Anyone else in?

Friday after my lecture, buzzed from adrenaline and sleep deprivation, I drove with VVN to Spokane for the CTR 50M. I had done the 37 mile point-to-point both up (2012 Nine mile to Idaho border) and down (2011 Idaho to Nine mile) so when Ken the RD introduced the 50M this year of course I had to do it. When people see us running all day they ask, “what are you training for?” as if anyone needs another reason to run 10+ hours straight, or do a marathon carrying a ruck. VVN has the Badger Mtn 100 miler in 2 weeks and I have the Pac Rim 24h next weekend. Our other friend Francine (with whom I ran CTR 2012) who is training for the Umstead 100 couldn't make it due to her husband having hip surgery.
Long drives are so much more pleasant in the Beast (4Runner) and with company. I wanted to stay at the famous Davenport Hotel because I figure, if I drive home the night after the race this would justify the cost of staying at a fancy historical place for 1 night. It is opulence above opulence.
Too bad I was too tired to shower and enjoy the fluffy white towels. I don’t know why I sleep so much better on hotel beds. Apparently I too could own the Davenport bedding for a cost of like $10,000.

This is a totally unsupported “fatass” style run, and though the weather gods were smiling (no ice spkes needed!) I didn’t think I could carry all my supplies for 50 miles on my back. Plus the western part of the course (from Nine Mile to Spokane City center) is the most scenic, so we decide to do a double out-and-back. But that means doing the hilliest part of the course twice. It didn’t help that I took a wrong turn and we spent the first hour doing an extra 1.3 miles straight up the wrong hill.

I have not run uphills in a long time. I walk hills and grind through the mindless flats, this is where my brain turns off and I find peace. VVN on the other hand, loves steep climbs/ descents and technical trails. Although I warned her the "centennial trail" was actually a completely paved path, in her trailrunner’s mind she imagined jeep gravel instead of cold, hard pavement.

I had forgotten how hilly it was, but VVN kept a steady jog-walk pace so we ran up all the hills. We ran to Spokane city center and turned around, so it was mile 30 when we got back to Nine Mile. VVN looked like she’d had enough boring pavement for a lifetime, but we came there to do a job, so I chugged 2 protein shakes, we refilled our water bladders, and got back on the path.

We happened upon a young man in camo and boots humping a large pack. Of course I had to ask the obligatory questions, how much was in the pack and “what are you training for?”. Turns out, it was 55 lbs, and he was doing a solo 20 mile RM to prepare for the Bataan Death March. Of all places. He is doing it with a team of 4 other Army reservists in the Military Heavy category, and there are 2 girls on his team! We chatted about Bataan and he seemed to find my description of the Davis Challenge amusing, being very familiar with PT tests. He insists that Tuna MREs are in fact delicious and that the heating packets can be converted into explosive devices. You meet random like-minded people you would never meet, and spend 10+ hours talking not just texting with people, this is something that people who don’t run 10+ hours cannot understand.

We are starting to get cold from walking >2 miles and I’m having major GI distress from the protein shakes, so we bid bid Random Army Dude adieu and take off. I regret not getting a photo for posterity. We do the last turnaround and pretty soon we have only 9 miles left to Nine Mile. We pass a family that asks, “did you see the deer?” Nope. But soonafter, we see several clusters of deer. They are very well camouflaged except for their white butts.

We finish just before dusk, and just before the pouring rain, at 10:38:30. I’m sore and stinky but mentally at peace for the first time in days. We stop at McDonald’s and the heartbreak of not having a Big Mac is tempered by the World’s Best Fries and the Filet O Fish. The drive through the pass in torrential rain is tough despite coffee, Pringles, and nasty Twizzlers, but the DC mix helped.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Blood Pressure, Grapefruit Challenge and Time

So I believe Gerald is headed back to Spokane this weekend with her running pal V. Maybe it'll be a Thelma & Louise type road trip over the snowy pass? If so, I recommend not stopping at any country bars to line-dance, don't pick-up any male hitchhikers, and avoid all canyons.

So here I am atop Mt. Spokane 5 months ago. I asked Gerald to take this picture specifically, because I wanted it to represent myself, at my highest blood pressure reading. I had recently seen the doctor, and I had dangerously high blood pressure. I told Gerald I was going to take care of that. Well, I'm happy to say I did take care of it. For the past month, my blood pressure has been normal.

Next up, my grapefruit challenge. So I'm beginning to look at time by splitting up the calendar year into quarters, or in other words, seasons. Novel. I know. But it is novel to me, because I never really divided time up before. It just all kinda meshed together. Very disorganized. So this is what I've discovered so far this new year of 2014.

Winter season. Jan, Feb, Mar. March will wrap up the first quarter. So far, I've completed 468 push-ups, 791 sit-ups, walked down & up St. Andrews 27 times, and biked down & up St. Andrews 2 times.  If I do only the minimum over the last remaining three weeks, I'll add another 90 push-ups, 180 sit-ups, 9 more walks, and 1 more bike. Incredible. What I mean by that is without the grapefruit accountability,  to be honest, I probably would have done zero push-ups, sit-ups, walk-ups, and bike-ups. I'm not kidding whatsoever. The funny part is the intangibles that I didn't mention. Like the amazing view of the Puget Sound, Olympics, and South Whidbey Island at the top of St. Andrews. How that hill informs me of my cardiovascular status. The pain, agony, and joy of biking up that damn hill. 

So I also wanted to reflect on my previous grapefruit challenge of biking Whidbey Island month-in, month-out. I did that for 2 years. That's 24 straight months. It was time for something new, and I'm really enjoying this new grapefruit challenge, because of the frequency. A week-in, week-out physical challenge is very helpful to me right now in my life. 

So all-in-all, I completed 28 Whidbey rides. I enjoyed those rides with Dyno-M, Cindy W, Skirtsteak, Gerald, Gerald's boss, Attitude - fka Ennui, and Omaha. I also did a lot of solo rides, which I enjoyed a lot too. One ride I cramped up so bad, Mrs. Ocean came to the rescue. Also, can't say how glad I was that sometimes I/we parked car at Mukilteo, and drove home after the ride. Whidbey Doesn't Mess Around.

I also varied the route. My go to ride was to Langley and then simply double back. Never taking the bike route by-pass of course. (Some local resident once informed me I didn't have to bike that damn hill on the way back. There was a by-pass). The varied routes included, Freeland, Freeland home via-525, Langley-home-via-Langley Loop, Deception Pass state park, home via GLT, home via the ferry hill, Whidbey Island part of the 3 Ferry-Ride, Whidbey Island part of 4 State-Park Ride, Lancaster stairs, and bike-camping sort-of at South Whidbey SP with families. 

I endured cramping, bike-mechanicals, ferry-mechanicals, ferry fire drills and water bottle squirts/water bottle losses (Attitude of course), awesome pre-ride breakfasts at Speedway Cafe, and great post-ride feasts and swigging. 

If you don't currently enjoy a Grapefruit Challenge, you might ask yourself why not? Time is not on your side. Ha, I'm currently suffering with Gerald's GD-NMM. At least I can take some comfort that Gerald is doing her own Grapefruit Challenge over the next three months. I nearly forgot!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tell Me Why?

My favorite photo every year from the DC is the pre-run photo?

Damn, GDNMM is here. God-Damn Non-Meat March. Had a Dick's burger at lunch with Omaha, so guess I'll start "tomorrow". Sorry, but don't get Esquire's review that that burger is life changing?

I'll close with a final question. So how does DC continue to get funner & funner?