Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer is here.

90+ degrees all week.  Looks like I'll be getting up before dawn to get in the long run.  Bummer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The 20 Mile Climb

Saturday morning has turned into long ride day with the boys from spin class.  We set out about 8:30 a.m. for 50 miles past Benbrook and into Aledo.  All was fine and good and well until my seat abruptly slid slightly forward.  We pulled over and started doing some maintenance.  The bolt connecting the seat to the seat post had come loose.  No problem.  Patrick, our fearless leader, had the tools to help.  As I was tightening the bolt, it suddenly gave way, ripped the shreds, and broke in two pieces.  Seriously?  Um... now what?  20 miles from home and no seat.  "No problem," Patrick confidently spoke.  "Just take my seat.  I'll do the last bit of the ride standing."  Again I say... seriously?  And so he did.  Every time I start to think I'm hardcore, somebody else comes along to remind me I'm not.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Marriage, Motherhood, and Mayhem.

It has been an interesting and (often) exhausting few days.

Friday evening, my wife and son rehearsed their respective roles as bridesmaid and ringbearer in preparation of my little sister's wedding to Mr. Smith.  (That is his acutal name.  I am not intending to be coy or clever.  (Not that you assumed I was attempting either.)) 

Following the practice session, we enjoyed fine food and tasty beverages at the original Kincaid's off Camp Bowie.  Our two and half year old gooblin (a cross between goober and goblin) did his best to disrupt Mr. Smith's father's toast, but we were able to keep him at a bay just long enough for the clinking of glasses.

Saturday, after a brisk 8 mile run at a decent 8:12 per mile clip (yay!), my bride bid me adieu as she ventured to the salon/spa for hair, make-up, and general bridesmaid mirth.  The boy and I played for awhile until I layed (or is laid?) down the law and enforced the necessary afternoon nap.

(Somewhat) refereshed, the Valdez men got dressed and made it to the church on time.  The ceremony, a beautiful affair with trumpets, organs, and violins, went off without a hitch.  My favorite moment had to be my son standing in front of the congregation holding his Nana's (my mother's) hand and casually eating corn nuts while she read from the Gospel.  Precious moments.

We partied hard into the night, enjoying several "fast beers" and a delightful dinner, until the wee hour of 10:15 p.m.

Thankfully, Ezra did not let the late night affect his nightly routine of waking around 3:30 a.m.


Late this morning, we shared a very nice mother's day brunch with our extended family, including (the newly-established) Mr. and Mrs. Smith, at the Iron Cactus.  It was a mind-blowing mix of sushi, bacon and eggs, prime rib, trout, chicken fried pork, and other such food stuffs topped off with a bread pudding to rival Pat O'Briens' (so I am told).

Happy Mother's Day, Nell!

Happy Mother's Day, mom!

Happy Mother's Day, G-ma!

Happy Mother's Day, Grams!

May you all get the wonderful sleep that I so desparately desire.

p.s. Warrior Dash results show a finish time of 27:02 at a pace of 8:43 per mile.  I finished 154 out of 899 in my division (males 30-34), good enough for the top 17%.  Given the obstacles and the distance (3.51 miles), I'm fairly suprised and pleased with the result. 

p.p.s. I hope everyone enjoyed the (excessive) use of parathenses in this post.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Sweat, mud, and tears.

David S. and I headed to Forney, Texas early yesterday morning to run the Warrior Dash--a 3.51 mile romp under, over, and through various obstacles.  Decked out in a kilt (er, plus-size mini-skirt), a beaded "warrior" shirt, a skull-and-crossbones headband, and donning a mohawk, I was ready to act like an idiot for 30 minutes of running and rambling.

Despite the uncertainty of whether the event would actually take place, I was very impressed with the race organization.  Parking was a breeze, volunteers were everywhere, and the facilities were top notch.  The main entrance looked more like an outdoor concert, sporting various booths for vendors to hawk their wares (anything from beer and turkey legs to stone tossing and hatchet throwing).  A large stage and video screen anchored the grounds, where a pretty decent cover band was rocking out to inspiring tunes from the likes of Survivor and Journey.

Around 9:45 a.m., we made our way to the starting area.  Fifteen minutes later, as giant flames roared into the sky around us, we were off. 

After about half a mile, we entered "torando alley," where a fan boat blew gusts of wind directly into us.  Cutting through a muddy path, we next came upon some planks over a short gulley.  Pretty easy stuff so far.

Then it was down into a creek that varied in deepness from a few inches to several feet.  After that, we had to pull ourselves up over a slippery, muddy embankment.  We ran through more standing water and mud until we can upon some stacked hay bales that we had to climb over.  Again, nothing to hard yet. 

Coming around a corner, we arrived at the first tiring obstacle--traversing down a creek bed.  The water was too deep to touch, so there was nothing to do but swim.  With mud-soaked clothes and shoes, it was slow going.  After we made it across, we had to jump over some wooden spools, followed by a rope wall (pretty benign).  Next up was the fire jump, which was goofy and fun. 

Finally, we arrived at the last obstacle--crawling through muddy underneath barbed wire.  I made the calculated mistake of diving head first into the muck, which caked my eyes and ears with mud, rendering me blind and deaf.  It sucked.  My eyes were stinging from the mud and I had no idea where I was in relation to the barbed wire or how far I had to go.  I just stayed low and kept moving foward until I was back on grass.  Then I got up and ran it in to the finish.  My eyes were tearing like crazy from the mud, and it took me several minutes and splashing them with water before everything returned to normal.

All in all, it took us a little under 30 minutes to complete the race.  It was different and fun.  If I can get some folks to join me, I'll probably do it again next year.  It was a nice change from the long distance stuff.


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