Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Calico 50K 31 miles in Luna sandals on my 32nd B-day

January 16 2011 myself  and 4 other Lunatics set forth to run the Calico 50k in sandals
Major motion picture? Straight to dvd?
Not exactly.
Just a nonsensical Bourbon Feet blog post
as usual.

I guess I'll pick up where my last post left off.  I got the call from Barefoot Ted, he was on the tarmac at LAX just after 2p.m. Saturday.  I was out the door and at the airport in 15 minutes to pick up Ted and his good buddy Philip.
We packed in my Hyundai, Equus sandals on my feet. (I only added this sentence because I find it amusing that Hyundai just came out with car called the Equus, perhaps I'll pick one up) We were on the road to Calico (1/2 way to Vegas).  I drive like old lady (usually with my heated seat and heater on full blast, the window down with reggae vibrating my ear drums).  Traffic was smooth and we got to Calico a little before sunset.
Philip and Barefoot Ted.

 It  looks like they are the towns security trying to keep me from entering.
"Don't worry dude's I aint after your claim."

Anyway we checked in, picked up our shwag  and went for a stroll around town. My experiment with taping my foot was going well and I was excited to be running the next day.
Rumour has it  (Says me) that the souls of dead miners reside in the numerous wild calico cats that roam the city still searching for that elusive vein of silver.  I took  10 pictures of such felines and all of them came out blurry.  Can you say Paranormal activity?  
Townsfolk 

I know exactly what the cowboy was thinking  "Stupid city boy would'nt last a day in these hills but he does have on some mighty fine Sandals."

The sun was setting, time to go get some dinner check into the hotel and figure out our game plan for tomorrow.

Pre race dinners at the race site are usually pretty lousy.  We decided to take our chances finding something to eat back in Barstow.  Philip and I had been talking Bourbon of the way up and we were looking forward to wetting our whistles. (Are wet whistles really better than dry ones?)

Barefoot Ted takes his first sips of Bourbon.  I can read his mind  "Mmm Delicious." 

We ended up at some Italian joint and I had a pretty damn good vegi pizza (no cheese) We downed a couple Jim Beam bourbons it was all they had but at least in wasn't Jack Daniels.  Ted was a good sport joining us for our 1st round.

After dinner we found our hotel and it was time to figure out which Luna's to wear for the race? I had been wearing my Equus all day and also brought my Original Luna's and my Ledvilles.
Sneak peak at future Luna's. Ted ran in a pair just like these

Ted even brought me a pair of prototype recycled tire Luna's developed by a friend of mine. Hmm what to do? The Ledvilles were only needed if the course was really technical, which I did not think it would be.  The new sandals seemed nice but I wasn't ready to make the switch. I opted for my original pair that I have been racing on roads in. This meant that I would be sacrificing grip and protection from rocks in exchange for comfort and lightness.


Random tangent

When I was a kid we use to go on 2 vacations a year. The first one to Las Vegas, and the 2nd to Las Vegas as well.  Everytime we passed the Calico Ghost town I'd beg my mom to stop. (As a child the ghost town sounded like the coolest place in the world and ever since seeing that Brady Bunch episode where they got locked up by some crazy miner, I had wanted visit one). Sadly we never stopped. :(

But now my wish had come true (whoop te do) 


Where did we stop when I was kid?

The wonderful Barstow McDonalds build inside of a train car.  I've been there maybe 20 times and I still do hold some nostalgia for it. As luck would have our hotel  was right across the street.  Did I stop to eat there?

No way Jose!

Back to business

 Driving to the starting line about 30 mins before the race my car said it was 41 degrees outside.  It felt cold but not that chilly.  For some dumb reason I decided to wear my Moeben tank top.  Mother nature blessed (or cursed) me with the ability to grow my own shirt but for some reason I did not think that would be enough that day.  I also wore my USTAF hat and shorts a pair of Moeben Camo Fleece sleeves (size XS) and a pair of CEP calf sleeves (size Mens elite).  I covered my right foot in some fancy $.99 store athletic tape before lacing up my Standard Luna's via a somewhat traditional method.
Barefoot Ted and I about 15 minutes before the race began

As I approached the starting line I saw some friends.  Normally I would head to the very front of the pack, going out a fast pace with the leaders.  That was not the game plan today I had no (initial) plans on racing.  I was simply there to see where my body was at and hopefully be able to finish the race in one piece. I tried to remain optimistic but really I was scared that this would be a day from hell that I would be back on the disabled list.  Running wise things had become to pedestrian and at this point in my life I needed to know where my body was at.  I had only run about 10 miles total in the last three weeks and I was ready to get the ball rolling (hopefully not over the side of a cliff)

Worse come to worse I'd get a T-shirt with my B-day on it

On your marks, get set,  GO!

The leaders went out out at about 6 to 7 minute pace, while I hung back running much slower for the first 2 miles before settling around at a 9min 30sec mile going uphill.  I was out for a stroll enjoying the scenery.

Photo by Ben Jones

For the first hour or so I held back resisting my desire to run fast as chatted with a few other racers.  My body was holding up surprisingly well.  My Achilles was okay so far and the tape felt good on my foot.  The race was going better than expected but I knew at ant second things could take a turn for the worse.  So far the terrain was simple to navigate and Luna's were preforming perfectly.  The course was full of soft sand and gravel.  I heard other runners complain but that's what I'm use to. I love the feeling of my foot sinking into the ground.  At times I wished I had been barefoot. 
Looking at the course profile I expected miles 2-10 to feel like work but they didn't.  All my training at the beach has made me a really good uphill runner with inclines between 5 and 20 percent.  I felt like I was on flat ground.  About 8 miles into the race I decided to increase my tempo.  By this time there was around 50 or so runners in front of me.  Winning the race was out of the question but surely I could start moving up the ranks.


Photo by Roccco  

One of the reasons I needed to run this race was too gain some more experience racing in Luna's on the trail.     The first 10 miles I could have ran with my eyes closed.  Around mile 10 it was time to start implementing some strategy.  When you run in sandals on a rocky course it's important watch where your feet are going, you become more in tune with the trail and can feel every rock or  smooth section of dirt your foot lands on.  Neurons start firing in your brain and well planned  steps provide instant gratification. At this point it was easy to get into "the zone"  as my mind and body worked together conquering the trail.

At mile 13 I could choose to take a different path and do the 30k instead.  Hmmm?  No way.  I was feeling good (almost as if I were a competitive runner) I was passing a couple people each mile and enjoying the morning out on the trail.  It was time for another climb but this time it was a little steeper.  My legs were spinning beautifully as I dashed passed about 15 people during the next few miles.  At mile 16 I passed the first place woman which was  a good sign that I was at least being competitive.

Their map
My map from gps (Proof I did not cheat)

Then out of nowhere at mile 16.5 my Achilles started screaming at me "Stop running you dumb ass." I was in excruciating pain and kicking myself for not choosing the 30k option.  I had a good feeling going into the race that this may happen but since it felt okay the whole first half, it came as a surprise. I slowed my pace wee bit bent my knees a little more and focused on lifting my legs rather than pushing off.  After about a mile the pain subsided as quickly as it had appeared and I got back to business.

Photo by Roccco
I'd passed a bunch kids on the uphill climb (which is my foray) but now I was at the top of the mountain nowhere to go but down.  The trail was nearly vertical for the next quarter mile and my sandals have about the same amount of grip as a paper plate.  To make matters worse I am no trail runner. I lack the confidence to be be aggressive going downhill which can only gained  from experience.  The kids I had passed on the up hill sailed nimbly (that's a fun word to say "nimbly") passed me and out of site in no time.  I stayed within my boundaries safely climbed to the bottom.  For the rest of the race we would play a cat and mouse game where I would pass them on every uphill and they would regain the lead during the technical downhill sections.

The next 3 miles consisted of a gradual down slope on gravel and sand.  It was pretty easy to get my legs going and I was running about a 7 minute mile.  I was carrying 2 water bottles so I had plenty to drink.  The weather heated up to around the mid sixties.  Each aid station had only one jug of fluid to refuel with and twice I found myself with the dilemma "Do I wait in line to fill my bottle (at least 2 minutes) or ration my fluids and make up for it at the next station?"  On both occasions I decided not to stop and run on through.
photo by Joe Orawczy


I was running a good race by this point but my body felt soft.  I did not have the passion to really push myself.  I felt stronger than I expected but the lack of training was evident.  On the plus side I was really enjoying my sandals.  On occasion a golf ball sized rock would roll over on top of my foot and I would fling it 20 or so feet with no pain. It was a very empowering feeling.  At no time did I even come close to stubbing a toe or cutting up my foot.  Pebbles  occasionally would find their way into the arch of my right foot.  I'm not sure if this was a reflection of inadequacies in my form or if I didn't lace up tight enough.  To a tender foot this may be very painful.  I decided to embrace acupressure and only shake them out once or twice.
photo by Joe Orawczyk
 photo by Joe Orawczyk

Well I'm getting board with typing and I was getting sick of running.  Miles 26-30 were pretty technical I was hoping to gain some ground here but the terrain kept me from doing so.


Photo by Ben Jones

At about mile 30 I popped my head over a hill and saw the Mayer of Badwater Ben Jones taking pictures.  It was only a few more steps to Calico.  I climbed the final hill from the parking lot into the heart of town and through the finish line in 8th place 4:32:30


The feet held of well.  The tape had done it's job although my foot was trying to bust out it.  My feet felt good and I had no blisters or cuts.

On a scale of 1 to 10 on how the race went I would have to give it a 9.  My body felt remarkably good.  My Achilles was sore and will be for a few days (that was inevitable).  Going into the race I gave myself about a 5 percent chance of finishing 4:45 or better which I had done with little effort.  In hindsight if I had known my body would hold up that well I think I would have pushed myself a lot harder at the beginning with the potential to shave off 15 or so minutes potentially placing in the top 3 and with well trained legs maybe a chance at the win, but should of could of, would ofs mean nothing. I had run the race the way I had planned and placing was not the goal. (although it would have been nice).  I stayed within my limits, my body is healthy and I am proud of my efforts and everyone who beat me definitely deserved to  and I congratulate them.

I do have one regret however.
I couldn't find any saloon doors to walk through (No wonder why Calico became a ghost town)

Why am I wearing a Shirt?

I bet you hardly recognize me
I was parched and needed to replenish my body with some liquids.

Famous artist rendition of events proceeding the event

  Lucky for me I brought a tube of NUUN.  I grabbed  a beer and used the tube to pop off the cap so I could get some much needed Libations in me.  
Attention NUUN execs:
(I did drink some Nuun Before and after the race as well)

Time to sit back relax drink a few cold ones and enjoy the afternoon


Sada Crawford womans Back to back Champion.
 I presume she hurried off home to carve herself a rocking chair with her well deserved trophy


4th place finisher
Yep I lost to this guy! He's recreating his stride to the finish line in this pic. check out the movie Running on the sun if you want to see him in action
Former Badwater Champion and highly respected friend Eric Clifton.  He came in about 10 minutes ahead of me in forth place.  I had a really nice chat with him and his lovely wife after the race.  Good job Eric.


Some how Ted snuck through the finish line with out me seeing.  He ended up Placing 3rd in the womans 40-49 year old division.  I'm not quite sure why or how he got in that division but that's what the results say, so good for him, ( I mean her. :)

Ted was in great mood after the race his new sandals had performed well and his body felt strong.  He had beat the time he expected by about 30 mins and is amped for the Copper Canyons. (So am I!)

My new buddy Philip came in all smiles.  he's really cool guy and floated into the finish line.  Well done my friend.  I really dug his brown leather laces that he made himself.  It looked almost like he was barefoot.  He was also kind enough to give me pair to try out.
Last member Peter finishing in style

After the whole crew had finished we sat around  talking for a bit before it was time to get going. 



On the way to the car I almost stepped on this little guy.

Ted diverting trafffic so the tarantula could make it safely across the parking lot

Once our new friend was safe we hit the road back to L.A. It was good day.  I had a great time with Ted and Philip and it was really cool to meet Jules and Peter

After dropping Ted and Philip off at the airport I headed over to moms house for some B-day Love.  My sister Baked me a delicious Vegan Pecan Pie and my nephews gave me my very first Pillow pet.

I was stoked on the new pet now I just need to teach him to stop humping my bourbon.
Oringal Luna's with a leather top the next day


Ted was nice enough to hook me up with a prototype Luna sandal.  The same type he ran in over the weekend.  I considered racing in them as well but decided against it.  they will be on my feet for the next few weeks

Home
Monday morning it was 75 Degrees at the beach I jumped on my bike for easy going 20 mile recvoery ride to get some of the lactic acid moving out of my muscles
Eventually I copped a squat on the beach with a frosty beverage a book, and some Positive reggae vibrations.

Every day must come to end and so shall this blog post.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Year in preview

Well it's a new a year. Well a couple weeks into a new year I've been lagging on this post and I'm too impatient to wait a few more weeks for Chinese new year so here goes it

  I just got finished reflecting about the year that was, time to get back to the present and figure out where I'm headed.  I find myself In the same predicament gimpy with no clue what's instore.
Looking Into the future?

Maybe thats not such a good idea.  The present is what's important.  First off I need to get my body to start working for me.  I can only go as far my legs and feet will take me.  Mental toughness will completely destroy me if I let my ego take over.

Resolutions?
 why not.  I plan to take them one day at a time

1.Be kinder to people!
The easiest and simplest way to make the world a better place for all

2.  I will NOT use the word  work.
 I shall replace it with the notion of play.   It's a state of mind that I am ready to embrace

3. The word injury shall also escape from my lexicon.
I realize my body has limits. how bout I use the word Hmm "detour" instead.  Sometimes you need to take a different path.  It's a good chance for new discoveries.


4. Buy less stuff and use less resources and end the year with less possessions than I start it with.

  It cost me about $15,000 to live last year, with half of that going to rent.  I live a pretty frugal life but still get caught up buying crap I don't need.  I plan to spend less this year.  So far were 2 weeks into and I've spent less than $150 all on groceries (my pantry and Liquor cabinet are both pretty stocked) I do have some bills to pay and my gas tank is pretty low.

5. Avoid an untimely death

The pic has an erie story to it. Awhile back I randomly found myself strolling through a cemetery In Louisiana near New Orleans while a massive thunderstorm rolled in.  As I walked through the city of the dead the skies turned black, and I decided to pose in front of a crypt for picture.  It just so happened that tomb I randomly stood in front of already had my name inscribed across the top  "SWEENEY"

6. Not use any plastic bottles

I was never big on bottled water.  I don't plan to ever use a a disposable plastic drinking bottle ever again.  If I do aquire one I will try to use it nor less than 10 times before sending it to the reccycle bin


I had planned on writing all this stuff about what I want to accomplish but for now I think I should keep that in the back of mind. Their are a lot of races I wish to run but I'm not ready to commit myself to anything other than the

The Copper Canyons Ultra 3/06.
I'm not sure how I'm gonna get the body ready but I will!

 I'm picking up Barefoot Ted and another Luna runner from the airport Some time in the next hour (Saturday afternoon).  Were heading out to a Ghost Town in Calico halfway between L.A. and Vegas for a 50k Sunday morning on  my 32nd Birthday.  I signed up for the race yesterday.  I don't plan on trying to win, I'm out to see where my body is at and I may even drop to the 30k if need be.  I ran a few miles yesterday and my foot wasn't happy.  I spent last night tossing and turning sleeping only about 30 minutes of each hour.  ( I did wake up from some really cool dreams,  the only one I kind of remember, I had this cute little (space) alien girl stalking me. She looked like a pixie version of Mila Kunis but hotter.  lol. I tried to get back to sleep but unfortunately could not back into the dream)
I tried taping up my foot today and it feels pretty good.  I have never ran with a taped up foot but plan on doing it tomorrow.  I'm packing my kilt but will most likely run in shorts.  On my feet I plan on using a standard pair of Luna's with a leather top laced traditionally, unless I find out the course is really technical in that case I'll switch to the ledvilles.

Will see what happens.

Last thing I'm starting to realize more and more that everyday is an opptertunity to find more joy out of life.  From time to time stupid trivial things do annoy me It's all in my head whether something makes me happy or not 
 I choose happiness.  Are you with me?


Now for some proclimantions and revolations :

The other day I was at my moms house and I stumbled upon My grandpa's old tea pot hidden in cubboard (it was their so it wouldn't get broken)  Well I don't have a single family heirloom and my grandfather had passed away long before my birth.  I didn't feel worthy to take it at first thinking I may break it (that's stupid) I've been using it everyday and I somehow feel a bond with a man I never met :) If it I break so be it.

I Say:
Life is too short to save your favorite shirt for a special occasion. If you keep waiting that day may never come.  Every day can be special.  I say wear your favorite shirt and eat your favorite food off the good china every day!

Make time to do your favorite things
 everyday?

Although the sun will set again tomorrow get your ass outside and enjoy the one tonight!

I planned on writing more or maybe proof reading (that will be the day) but I'm off to the desert








Friday, January 7, 2011

2010 Who am I? What have I become and why are my arches so damn high?


video

Last week I was running on the beach with M.r Burke I congratulated him on his win at the Operation Jack Marathon and he was thankful for my support.  After the run I came home and in the driveway the local paper sitting their and who's face is staring at me?

Freak'n Christian lol. But discerning eye's can find yours truly lurking in the background.



Also in my Driveway was the other weekly paper the "Easy reader."  A quick scan through the pages and I found Mr. Burke and once again  my dumb ass clapping in the background.

However I did get a little love in a small blurb about the year in sports.

It got me thinking, maybe it was time to digest everything happed in 2010,  I found it all a little hard to digest so here I am spewing out the year that was.


Bourbon Feet 
a
Year in Review
2010


I have always lived a pretty stupid life by this year takes the cake for ridiculous.  
It started out as an experiment.  Lets go the whole year without shoe's and see what happens.  It became a lifestyle but not quite a moniker.  You can call me barefoot Pat if you like but it aint who I am.  Early in the year it was a struggle to figure out I really was.

If you don't try different things how gonna find out what makes you happy.
 I was confused. Do I take my first step with right foot or the left?  A world possibility awaited. Time to figure out who am I? and where do I go from here?
Exploration
 The path was dangerous, full of obstacles and threats. Must avoid being being swallowed up by it all
While in the bowels of a T-rex (the one from Pee Wee big adventure) in Cabzan.  I came across a painting of what appeared  to be Barefoot Ken Bob.  Barefoot at the time I think it was a sign that I was on the right track.
Maybe I should go back to professional disc golf?
I thought about trying my luck out as a Power Walker  but that's way to much gear for me.
Maybe I was scuba diver not a runner?
This pic was taken in Mexico,  this wasn't real diving it was more like the Submarine ride at Disneyland, I'm only about 10 feet below the surface and the ground in another 10 feet below me.
Back In Southern Ca Diving near Catalina.

My buddy Jon (the dude I was best man for) took me out diving in the frigid, bone chilling water of the Pacific for my Birthday.  I'm practically cold blooded and not very buoyant. I enjoy diving but it's kind a hassle and it's hard to feel the suns rays when your 80 feet under water.

 Time to get my ass back on beach and start spinning my legs in the sunshine.

I'm a runner, a Hobo with no need for a train, time
to see where my legs would take me


January
(how the hell as I supposed to remeber  that far back half the time I don't even know what day of the week it is)
I spent my morning masochistically rolling on the Floor with Layona  (my foam rolling)
I was coming off a hip injury that made mundane tasks like driving a excrutiatingly painful.  I had been doing a series of exercises every day to streghten the muscles  around my sciatic nerve they were paying off and I was learning how to be a runner again

February

A little tipsy before 10 a.m. after 2 races and 5 beers.

Hey look at me at meI'm running a race again.  The Redondo beach Super bowl 5k and 10k back to back with beers in between and my first time racing in Fivefingers.  I was out of shape but had a good day.
Strolling
A coupe weeks later I coasted through my first Ultra of the year, also in five fingers a real mellow 50k at the Orange Curtain I wasn't out to prove anything and coasted to an easy sub 4 hour finish.

March
 I think I was out sorts to start the month.
I know at some point I cruised out to AZ for a 3 days, 5 trail runs, 3 rounds of Disc Golf and 4 games of Spring training baseball.  Basically I went from stadium to disc golf course and in between and when I saw a spot that looked like a fun place to explore I'd go frolic up some  rocks. (yep I'm man enough to use the word frolic an not feel insecure)

The body started to find a groove near the end of the month.

April 
For the first time I felt like a runner again
Got into the Guiness book of world records for most people wearing a blanket at the same time
I imagine it reads "Patrick Sweeney and 43,000 of his minions set world record.  Pat did not make them drink the kool aid, but some wanted to after an Angels loss."
I got a job with the government canvassing the neighborhood in my treks.  I even got a promotion on my very first day of work.  Strange that when my schedule starts to get busy my training increases.  Every spare minute I had I was running.
At Leona Badwater Dan in front and my Sports Med Dr. Dan behind me.

Running wise the miles were  starting to stack up.  I had spent zero time on the trails.  I was signed up for the San Diego100 miler in June.  I had planned on running in Vibrams and needed to see if I stood a chance .  At the last second I got into the Leona Divide 50 miler figuring that if I had trouble running a measly 50 I shouldn't attempt a 100.  I decided not to race it but to go out casually with my buddy Dan Westergaard (the onlly man ever to Sextuple Badwater and really cool guy) I was there to listen to my body.  We ran together for the first 42 miles, and I felt great.  Realizing my training on the beach had made my legs stronger than ever I took off up the final climb and finished the race with plenty of juice left in the tank.
 The work shoes were good enough
the feet were a little soggy , the Kso treks don't breathe as well as I would like and it felt like my feet had been soaking in water for the last 8 hours.


May 

Podium at P.V.
The start of somthing good.  In a an effort to relax from my training for the San Diego 100 miler. I entered the Palos Verdes  Marathon.  I figured if the stars would allign I could run a 2:45.  Well it turns out they did ,and also rockets must of been firing out my ass because i won the damn thing with a time of 2:37 by a margin of over 11 minutes.


Surprisingly I think it's still the fastest time anyone has ever run in Vibrams

Totally unexpected I ran with positive attitude and a smile. The race came to me very easily which is not usually the case.  A few months earlier I had purchased the Domain name,  pause....  Take a Guess....   Bourbonfeet.com.  I figured maybe now was the time to do something with it.  I think spent like  $1.77 from Godaddy.com for the first year.  I couldn't let that money go to waste.

Thus the world began to get polluted with the nonsensical  blabbering of some dude who got lucky at a race. Well  at least the trash I create is digital.

Strange oppertunities started to present themselves.  Companies I'd never heard of offered me product and even my elementary school principle wrote me a letter.
Mr. Rugg is a Hero of mine and gotta be pushing 90

I was getting pretty high on my horse (Legal Disclaimer: I don't ride horses. Nor do I get high.) I was pushing my body pretty hard in training For San Diego.  Wednesday of  my last heavy mileage week  about  15 miles into a planned 25 mile barefoot run on the beach my good leg totally crapped out on me.  I limped to phone for a ride home but couldnt get a hold of anyone.  I was in a lot of pain both walking and running.  I decided to run back to my car about 5 miles Increasing the pain but shortening the time I would have to endure it. (pretty smart huh? what a dumb ass!)

I'd been training too hard without a rest. I was bummed because 3 days later was the Manhattan Beach 5k  on the sand
My favorite pic ever taken of me Thanks to John of
I shouldn't have entered but couldn't resist.  My body was at about 70% but I figured I could get through a 5k on  adrenaline alone.  I jumped out to an early lead, was tracked down by some kid but my ego was too large to let a high schooler beat me.  The result back to back wins.

 In a strange twist of fate I was approached by a sports agent,  who throws me bone every once in awhile.
And no it is not Scott boris
Eventually I even had to have some head shots taken  (what a douche bag I have become, lol)

June
Dr. Dan and I, he makes me look like I'm 7ft tall.  (that little dude ran a great race, way to go Dan)

The San Diego 100 came 2 weeks  to late for me. My body had bonked I wasn't at full strength  but decided to give it a go anyway.  The hotel was reserved my entry was already payed for and my family was looking forward to the vacation.  By mile 25 my body felt worse than it ever had in race.  I have no doubt that I was mentally strong enough to finish,  but by mile 37 for once in my life I made a wise rational decision and pulled myself out of the race. I had nothing to prove and nothing to gain by continuing to injure my body. I shall live to fight another day.

and that I did a couple weeks later (some might say using a cape is cheating, not me)

Out of the blue I got a chance to start running for team Jamba Juice and on Fathers day I participated in the Culver City 5k (they had a 10k as well but I was too gimpy) Although I finished in 4th place I ran well and was pleased with time 16:05.  I never was a short distance runner and this was a nice change of pace.
I had so much fun in the 5k I searched online for whatever race I could find for the following weekend.  I entered the Stand 4 Hope 5k at the Rose bowl and this time I took the win.

Sometime in the middle of June I received my first pair of Luna Sandals.  Earlier in the year I had made my own Huaraches which were okay but the Luna's blew them out of the water.  I didn't start running in them right away but thought they were pretty cool.

July

July 4th, my favorite day of the year to live at the beach.  For the 3rd year in a row I competed in the Hermosa Beach Ironman (run a mile, paddle a mile, drink a six pack). The year before I had finished 2nd and I had higher aspirations this time around. I came out strong first one done with run and into the water, my paddling was decent for me but sucked compared to yoked out surfers who's domain I was entering.  My  lead of just seconds turned into a defficeit of minutes.  By the time I got to my beers the eventual winner was almost done with his 6th.  I drank like a fish and remarkably finished my 6 pack in 2 minutes and 32 seconds (about 1 minute faster than what I thought a perfect time would be).  It put me back in contention.  I was proud of my effort I gave it my best but the competition was better at paddling which is the most important part of the event and I finished in 4th place. Bummed on the results (for about 2 seconds) I had just finished a six a pack of beer there were girls in bikini's everywhere and was the freaking 4th of July and I quickly became very happy.

How could I be upset when the world is full of so much beauty?


Time for a vacation in the desert. off to go pace Badwater for the 2nd year in row.  I love the desert and I love being a part of this race.  My buddy Dan had doubled Badwater the last few years. I had planned on doing most of my pacing in my vibrams but the heat transfer was way to intense on the burning asphalt and they started to melt.  Lucky for me I packed my Luna's as a novelty, thinking that maybe I would run a mile or 2 in them.  Well over 40 miles of running later I was in love with my new sandals realizing they were the absolute perfect footwear for the desert and my new running shoe of choice.  I had to get back to work (I totally regret it) while Dan went on to run the course 6 times consecutively over 880 miles.

San Francisco Marathon (can't you see the big bridge I'm running on?)

The month wasn't over and I had one last fun run to do.  My training wasn't that focused for this event.  I knew I would do well  but I was just out for a good time and sometimes that's all you need to be successful.  My sister decided to join me on the road trip and we had blast I think I played 6 different disc golf courses and ran a marathon  over a 4 day stretch. I finished the race in 18th place 2nd in my age division with a time of 2:44, nothing to brag about but I was content.  Honestly I was way my more stoked on all the Disc golf I got play and the quality time I got to spend with my sister.


August
(Man this post is getting long, perhaps I should have started it last year)
Mt Disappointment 50K
I am not a trail runner but sometimes I like to pretend that I am.  I had Missed out on Mt. D in 2009 and was not going to miss it this year.  I signed up the first day not even knowing if was going to be a 50k or a 50 mile race I was game for either, it turned out to be a 50k (my body was happy with that).  I wanted to race in my Luna's but was not confident enough yet to commit to open toes on a technical trail so I raced in my Kso treks.  I was running a good race grinding through the miles in 4th or 5th place when I began to pick off the leaders  Realizing I had a chance at the win my body found an extra gear during the final climb straight up the mountain to the finish line and in the final mile errupted into a sprint when I saw the leader.  He didn't see me coming until it was too late, I took lead  during the last 1/4 mile and won the race.  I'm getting a chill just thinking about it.  It was a real surreal experience fight or flight had kicked in and I was running way faster than my body should not have capable of.
Sátiro (gravity I defy you)
Hills are Alive 10k
The very next Sunday I was signed up for the America's Finest City 1/2 marathon I wanted it to be my first race in Luna Sandal's but I still wasn't 100 % sure how well they would preform.  The Wednesday before Badwater Dan told me about 10k by his house on Saturday morning.  Hmm... I had plans that Friday to go the O.C. fair and see Weird Al  play at the O.C. Fair (yep I am that cool) but sure why not get a little run in the next morning. Fueled by deep fried crap and a lack of sleep I laced up my Luna's and ran in the Hills are alive 10k in Rolling hills.  To my surprise the course was mostly on horse trails not asphalt.  The race director looked at me funny when he saw my sandals.  I took that as a challenge and in an act of arrogance and determination I told him I was gonna win!  And I made good on my proclamation.
(that race director has since become my manager)

It was here that I was first approached by a blog reader that I never met before, the dude was nice and very complementary.  It made me feel good but I was also a bit creped out.  (This is how I imagine most women feel when they first meet me.)
It was off to San Diego the next morning to compete in my first 1/2 marathon ever.  There was a purse to be won which brought out some elite runners.  I was hoping to finish in sub 1:15 (which I had done in training) but my legs were tired from the day before.  and I finished 1:15:38 although my 10k split was 34:23.  I wasn't even close to being in contention but I did get 2nd in my age group and a lot of bewildered looks from sidelines when people saw what I was running in.
By this time Me a Layona had been getting pretty serious and the sadist that she is got a make over to reflect her true personality.
I was getting way too pretty it was time to grow a beard and get dirty.
Still running for team Jamba I entered the L.A. Mud Run.  It was a horribly run event that cost too much money and was grossly understaffed.  I was running for free and also got VIP treatment afterwards (Free Beer) So I really shouldn't be complaining but I felt bad for the poor bastards that paid to participate.  Anyway I gave it a good go, ran my ass off but finished second.  Some other dude was a bit faster that day, oh well cheers to him.

 September
My manager was directing another race, this time in San Pedro across the Vincent Thomas bridge and back. He got me a decent sponsor who through down a bit a cash and some bonus money if I could win. I focused my training on going fast and arrived with a healthy body and a good attitude.  The race was a little over 5 miles and I was neck and neck for the lead through mile 4  at that point my rival had a gear I did not have.  Once again I ran strong but finished second.  I was still happy with my performance but definitely not satisfied with the results.

The Hermosa 24
 Minutes after the race ended I booked it to the beach to watch my buddy Mr Burke finish 24 hour run to raise money for his daughters school.  He set the world record for most miles ran on sand over 24 hours.  I was proud of the dude. Next year this will be a full fledged race and I'm gonna do my best to shatter his record.
I could totally crush these guys (well maybe.)
Over the year my diet had been transforming.  I was never a huge meat eater but by now I was eating meat less than once a week.  I was still eating plenty of cheese and butter but by October I had gone Vegan with my Diet.

October
Manhattan Beach 10k
Most people would say this is horrible picture of me.  I absolutely love it! I did not dog it through the finish line I accelerated. The race was over and I was still powering through not ready stop firing on all cylinders I could have gone straight through brick wall If I had to.  I finished first in my hometown race against a field of over 3,500.  2nd place was nowhere to be seen I had set a new P.R. 32.47 in my Luna Sandal's.  This is by far the most special win for me and I look forward to wearing the  #1 bib next year.


From the Last time I ran LB in 2006  I was a little to perky

My manager had got be free entry into the Long Beach Marathon
The win at th MB 10k  however came at a cost I had pushed my body passed in boundaries.  My body was busted and I had to withdraw F**K.
(sorry about the language kids)

Kara (founder of the 100 mile club) and I at the starting line.

The next week I was scheduled to run in the 100mile Endurance Challenge to raise money for the PLEASE CLICK LINK 100 MILE CLUB TO FIND OUT MORE. Barefoot Ted had even offered to come down from Seattle and pace for me. I tried just about everything to get my body together but it was not in the cards, I could even run a 1/4 mile and the race was 400 times that length.  I felt like I needed to go out to the starting line and cheer on the the other competitors.  I was a mix of emotions that morning I was excited about the race but was killing me inside to not be participating in it.  I still plan on running the entire course by myself when my body is ready but as of now I am still not there.
My mood sparked up when I got my picture taken with Ms Corona.
(she totally grabbed my butt)
I'm not quite sure what year she was Ms. Corona? But who could resist such beauty and a tiara, I felt like a prince. (and I feel like an idiot typing this crap)

For the month of October I became a cyclist.  I had to get some exercise to maintain my sanity and over a 5 week period stretching into November I peddled over 1,000 combined on the recumbent bike and my strand cruiser

November



Although I was not happy with my prognosis I had come to grips with being a certified gimp. My ass was getting sore from the bike.  I kept going to the beach  riding  along the strand and almost everyday for month I saw the dolphins swimming  and witnessed a beautiful sunset it was worth the pain.  It may suck to be injured but it sure is great to be alive. :)

December


The month started out kind of Strange one day riding my P.O.S. bike I pushed it past it's limits causing the handlebars to go one way while the front wheel went the other.  This did not bod well for me as I went flying, taking a pretty good poke in the ribs and the same time getting a face full of sand. It was sign telling to me to get my ass off the bike and start running.
The next day I was back on the sand reclaiming my beach.
Surprisingly my body was coming together quickly, I didn't feel like I had lost that much strength.  Well my desire to run was stronger than my bodies resilience.  On about my 10th day in a row of running during a 20+ miler on the beach I strained my Achilles. Maybe a good thing because it made me take a rest (after a few more days of running through the pain) My other injury was still not better either.  I wanted to run the Yule tide 5k in Manhattan but my once again I was not ready.  I decided no racing till next year.  I also planned on very limited running until the body feels right.  This is easy for me to tell myself when the weather is crappy outside but the second the sun comes out my plans usually change. (damn you Annu)
Interestingly during my hiatus more and more strange opportunities have presented themselves.  I have gained a few more sponsors. I don't have any clue what the next year is bring but I wake up everyday excited about the experiences I shall have.

Right now my body is hit or miss the other day on the dreadmill out of nowhere I started running and easily ran a sub 4:45 mile in My new Luna Equus sandals.  But a few days later the Achilles flared up and is still nagging me. 



My report card for the year

Note:
I would never give myself an A in anything because I sure as hell am far from perfect and know I can always get better at anything and everything I do.  I got mostly A's in college (even in English HA HA) and I resent every teacher that gave me one.  I'm good at finding flaws in systems,  rather than trying to learn the subject matter and get the hamsters spinning in my brain I'd sit quietly in the front row and kiss the teachers ass when the needed it.  I learned little, did all my homework and the grades came easy for me. There's always room for improvement and handing out A's or A+'s is ridiculous

Running 
D
I came into the year calling myself a distance runner.  I hardly did any long runs this year.  I ended up running barely over 2,500 miles for the year.  I honestly feel that if Ididn't run a single race I would have easily supassed 4,000.  Of my miles run over 2,000 of them were barefoot and the others in Vibrams or Luna sandal's

Racing
B
Personal pycho analisis on myself.  Why do I give myself  a better grade for racing after I just claimed it kept me from achieving the distances I wanted to run? Answer:  I think the ego is trying to salvage something out of my mistakes.  I don't take my win wins for granted and I am proud of my efforts, rarely was I the best runner yet many times I came out ahead. I won 6 out of my last 11 races with 2 second place finishes and distances ranging from the 5k to the 50k.

Nutrition
B
I'm pretty happy with where this is heading.  I'm eating healthier foods with fresh ingredients and trying to cook almost all my meals.

Love
D
There were some shining moment that I will never forget but definitely not enough.  I'll grade myself extra harsh on this matter because I am optimistic about the future.  As for Layona we have an open relationship  anyone who comes over is encouraged to roll of the floor with her and I have my eye on  her replacement.

Bank Account
C
It doesn't cost me much to live.  I have never been in debt and do not live from paycheck to pay check.  My bank account dropped a little over the year,  which I don't really have a problem with.  I can be smarter with my money and by less crap.

Career
B
I never wished to follow a career path instead  I prefer to live from day to day and sieze oppertunitity as it presents itself.  It's what's best for me and I don't wish my life upon anyone but I dig it.  If you are able to grasp any knowledge from my trials and tribulations I comend you.  I'm going to continue to do what I do.  Bumps in the road are fun if you look life as a thrill ride and take it all in with a smile.

Blog
C
I've had some fun writing this blog and it please me when I'm done with a post  At times it feels like homework and I'm highly skilled procrastinator.   My grammar is atrocious  (like I really have to tell you). Over 25,000 people have visited since May. I'm a total novice at this and plan to get better.  If you like what I have to say, feel free to say hi.  All kind words, constructive criticisms and creative insults make me happy.

Family me to them
C
I love my family more than anything.  Watching my nephews grow up is really special to me.  I spend a lot of time with and I take it for granted more than I should.  I need to cherish every moment.  They only have one childhood.  At moment life could take me in different direction where I can't be with them.

Family them to me
A
I said I wouldn't give myself an A but for this is a grade for how my family has treated me.  They are always their when I need them.  Through good times and bad they always have my back.  Were not really one of those touchy feely families but there is a lot of love shared between us.  Thank you for being so supportive in the stupid things I put myself through.



Thank you to everyone who has visited this site over the last year!
The world is what you make of it.  It's beauty surrounds us at all times. We are all on this rock together.
Cheers to a Kick Ass 2011