March 2006
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Month March 2006

be back online oneday

so i’m in the process of moving twice this month (officially sold a house i co-owned on monday – “the studio” – so all that work stuff needs to be moved, then my roommate and i are moving into a new house too), and have been without internet at home for the past week. i’m not sure if i’m addicted to online life or what, but it’s driving me nuts! i can’t check email, write updates here, take care of other clients, etc. i’ve frequented local establishments with free wifi alot lately. right now i’m at atlanta bread company. very unimpressive connection and atmosphere. panera is really the best option out there and has treated me well in multiple cities.

with the selling of the house comes a nice lil bit of cashola. i’m going to smartly save most of it, but will treat myself to a new laptop and finally a new camera! i hope to be sportin’ my new gadgets within the week! that means i can get back to normal with my bit of photojournalism efforts on the site.

also, got the thumbs up from dr julien’s “replacement” today for my foot. i can race this weekend at the River Gorge (well maybe not race, but run it), and if that goes well i’ll be at the blue ridge adventure race the following weekend. yeah! (i say replacement for dr. j because he had a horrible crash skiing in colorado and his femur crushed part of his tibia. he won’t be walking for months and will be out of work for awhile too. i wish him a speedy recovery!)

the final NGAR…

I was supposed to be racing in the North GA Adventure Race this weekend (30hrs of fun), but I am still recovering from an early season injury (my teammate’s jeep ran over my foot at the Odyssey 1-Day Xtreme in Feb). I will still be up in the mtns though, running support for my team Boo-Yeah! You can follow the action here at CheckpointTracker.

This race will apparently signal the end of Tony’s Raceday events, which is terribly sad. (And it makes me sad to miss racing it!) Only time will tell if he gets the RD bug again. I think everyone is hoping so!

slowly getting back into the swing of things

The last two weekends I’ve been going out and trying to feel a bit more normal. Last weekend the Trailblazers held a mock race up in the Bear Creek/Pinhoti area near Ellijay, GA. The event was a rogaine format with a focus on navigation and had both trekking & biking legs. I teamed up with Jim Farmer (so I could ingest all his nav knowledge), along with Karin Jacobi and Vlado Barun. We started on foot and they were cool with mostly walking. I didn’t want to overdo anything and figured a few hours on trail would be enough for me. And it was… and then some. We did some light jogging and it felt pretty ok. But when we did a nice bushwack up the side of a mtn, I knew I went overboard and had to use a walking stick to help get me back to the transition area. Bummer! It wasn’t terribly painful; more of dull ache that I knew wasn’t quite right. We were out about 3.5/4 hrs (prob a bit too long for my debut). The bike however was fine. I’ve been wanting to ride up here for so long and can’t believe I just haven’t found my way up before now. The trails were perfect (as was the weather)! A combo of some fast hard-packed stuff (ok, not that I really go that fast ever), whoop-di-dos, great challenging climbs leading to scenic views (both of which I def enjoyed), then some good descents that of course challenged me too. After about 3.5hrs of riding we hit the 5pm cut off – a great full day! A few of us stopped by Bear Creek to clean up – I soaked my foot in the chilly water hoping to ease the ache a bit. (Brenda & Lee chose to simply sit in the middle of the creek – yikes!) After gorging on food at a local mexican eatery I had a long drive home.

from my phone, while slowly moving, out the front windshield, catching some dash. but still beautiful.

Today I hung with Ken, Shelley, John J, John B, and Liz at Blanket’s Creek. We rode 3 loops (about 15miles) on the intermediate & advanced trails, changed shoes, and went back out for a run. Liz kept me company on the beginner loop – I wanted to avoid lots of elevation change and rocks and concentrate on a light nice jog. We did a bit under 4 miles and I felt minimal discomfort. (Wed at spin I did 2 miles on the treadmill and felt pretty good too).

So I think that I am finally progressing. I did withdraw from the North Ga Adventure Race next weekend (with much sadness!) but I know that was definitely the right decision. I don’t want to jump ahead to quick and risk reinjuring myself. I plan to finally join my early am running crew next week to up the distance a bit and see how things go. If well, there’s a trail race on the 1st I’d like to do, followed by the Blue Ridge AR the next weekend. Fingers are crossed my plan works!

YMCA Goldrush 24: A day in the life of a support crew

I just got back from supporting the Goldrush race and in my post-race delirium (and not wanting to go to bed at 7:30pm on a Saturday night), I thought I’d try to be a bit productive with a report of the event. I was looking forward to racing this with 2 of my morning run friends Jon & Tim, but due to my foot injury I had to withdraw. One of Jon’s normal teammates Michelle was thankfully able to make the trip from NC to complete the team. I then shared the support crew responsibilities with Di.

The race started Friday at 12:15pm, with 3 waves 15 minutes apart designed to spread apart the field. This wasn’t an entirely bad idea, but the groups were not seeded according to ability, thereby giving competitive teams starting in the first wave a 30min advantage with daylight – a key element in the very nav-focused race. If I remember correctly, favorites Enduraventure and Litespeed were in the 1st wave and Rock Creek Outfitters, Odyssey AR, as well as my team Liteweights, was in the 3rd. Another, NADS/Cycleworks, was racing as a 3-person male today and therefore not a real factor in the co-ed elite division (although they certainly pushed the pace!)

Racers began with running a few miles to the boat launch, then continued on with a heinous paddle across Lake Allatoona. Sustained winds must have easily been in the 20mph range, with gusts topping 30. To say the lake was choppy was an understatement. Whitecaps broke over the bow soaking those inside. Not a fun way to start the race, esp with ice-cold winter water! After a 2mile portgage, my team met me at the first TA, where they transitioned to a trekking section. I had my own adventures getting here, as the road had turned into a mudpit. I was driving Jon’s wife’s Jeep Liberty and was slip-sliding all over the place… did get my heart beating fast. While my team started 30 minutes later than the frontrunners (with 20 teams in all racing), we were the 3rd to come into transition. Nice work! The aforementioned favorites filled the top 6 I believe.

Crews then had the opportunity to meet our teams at an assisted CP (#8), to refuel as neccesary – and it might be if teams chose to swim a portion to save time. This was a nice area at the Macedonia Cemetary, although shaded so we got chilled (and I couldn’t run around chasing frisbees with others in the field – where burial plots were available for a mere $500. :) Neal, Pilar and I huddled in the front seat with heat blasting every so often. Enduraventure & Litespeed were the first to arrive (with Litespeed’s crew not being present, so I filled their empty water bladders and donated some bars to their hungry tummies. Sure, they’re competitors, but I guess I just believe in helping when needed, esp with something essential like this). Rock Creek came through 30min later, then my team about 30 min later looking good – they opted to take a longer route onfoot around the swim portion (only a handful of teams decided to swim, including 1 that stripped down to the skin, putting their clothes in their drybag for protection. a great idea, but not one I’d choose in the winter!). Then Shelley arrived to help Neal support Blazing Saddles (starring Sam, Norma & John) and brought gifts of hot pizza that hit the spot – we gave some to the CP officials and in exchange I scored some homemade banana bread (yum!).

Next up was assisted CP 10 at the Stamp Creek Game Check Station. Night fell and the temperature continued to drop (although the crystal clear skies were a bonus). As expected, Enduraventure was the first in and out, but Rock Creek surprised us sneaking in 2nd place, with Litespeed coming in 1 hr later. Then Odyssey & NADS came in, with us just a few minutes behind. (great race so far!) They continued on foot while Di & I restocked on hot chicken sandwiches, firewood and cold beer. On to TA2 at Pine Log WMA. We arrived to find a bonfire already going, but they were happy for more fuel. Enduraventure flew through the bike section there in 4 hrs (it’s practically Lisa’s backyard, so they had quite an advantage). While we waited for our teams, we chatted, drank a lil, and tried to snooze. Rebecca and I climbed into the front of the ambulance to escape the cold for a bit (unfortuantely since one of the emts was already snoozing in the back part).

Rock Creek emerged from the WMA in about 5 hrs (putting them I think 2hrs behind first place). Rebecca took off to their next TA and Di & I tried to grab some more winks. (I’m not too good at actually sleeping and consider it a “deep rest”, which is better than nothing I guess). Our team emerged next with Odyssey nearby – bothnow in front of Litespeed – yeah! Oh, but they couldn’t find some CPs (although we had 1 more than OAR). Now we only hoped Litespeed was missing some also. We then raced to meet our teams at the next TA, where they got their final passport instructions and transitioned to another paddling section. Litespeed followed not too far behind where we learned they had found all the CPS (darn! :P )

OAR, Litespeed, NADS and Liteweight all got into the water within minutes of eachother. This would be a long section, about 18 miles including paddling up Little River – up as in upstream. And this thing had a good current kickin. What sucked though was the low water levels making portaging over sandbars and small rapids a necessary evil. Teams didn’t look too happy coming in. We had a few hours to kill here, so Di & I grabbed some bfast at Waffle House then set our chairs in the sun and hoped to get toasty. Enduraventure had already come, gone, and finished the race by the time we arrived. I was surprised to see Rebecca (Rock Creek) still waiting for her team (dan, jim & patsy) to show up. The did soon and claimed 2nd place. NADS was the next off the water, followed by Litespeed (3rd place), Liteweight & OAR. (getting 1st & 2nd in the “Alternate Course” division – which seemed to be made up at the awards ceremony…some new category since we finished with missing CPS. (weird).

The finish of the race (as well as the awards ceremony) was held in downtown Woodstock on the square, where they had a festival and chili cookoff going on… a pretty cool way to finish the race. Lots of average joes were introduced to the craziness we call adventure racing. I’m not sure they really get it judging by the strange looks! But hopefully a few will be intrigued and try out the Siege race in June! The race was well run, although with only 6 teams finishing the course, it seems that the SE is getting quite a reputation as of late. The only finishing teams this weekend were what I consider among the best in the region. There were many other strong racers out there and while a variety of factors may have prevented them from finishing, many more were capable. It also seems quite discouraging to those new to the sport to see such a high number of DNF’rs… an interesting thing to consider in future races…

Time for my sleep now. It’s nice that it is still just Saturday and that I have another day of the weekend to rest and play. Going back to work immediately is not fun! But I suppose missing a day of work on Friday to race (and thereby not getting paid) isn’t exactly cool (but definitely fun!)

update on the foot, race, and orlando

After 2 solid weeks of resting my foot, I went on a short run Monday evening down in Orlando. At first, the run felt fine. No heel pain! But as I went on, I noticed the stiffness under my ankle that I initially felt from lack of mobility in the aircast. It didn’t seem to get worse; but it didn’t quite feel right. I iced and rested that night. Tuesday I woke up before dawn to catch my flight home and noticed the not-right feeling immediately. Navigating thru 2 airports didn’t help either. I called Jon to talk about the race… we decided that it just was not smart for me to try to do it – esp with many other spring races coming up soon, I can’t risk the injury becoming worse and taking me out for a longer period of time. Sadly I withdrew from the team, with one of Jon’s normal teammates Michelle (badass!) taking my place. I will still get to be part of the action running support with Di.

The visit to Orlando was great!
- picking up my nephew Evan at school and having him run right to me, giving me a big hug & saying Caffeeeee! This is the first time that he’s really known me – a very cool feeling!
- spending time with my sis & bro-in-law and their sons (Evan is 2.5 years now and Ethan 7.5 months. They are both the cutest!)
- attending the wedding of one of my best friends, jenise. the ceremony was simple and beautiful and the reception that followed a huge celebration. her and dave will have a long happy life together!
- seeing a bald eagle chowing down on a fish by the pond in front of my sister’s neighborhood. I had just finished my run and did a double take… he was only about 10yards from me.
- seeing a shooting star on the way to the airport yesterday morning. or was it something else? it was huge – not one of the little ones that fly across the sky. it was like right there. way cool.

- figuring out my foot is not yet ready to train. or race
- bringing back a cold from my nephews
- knowing it’s going to be too many months before I can see everyone again!