"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's in the Bag!

It's that time of year again.  Everywhere I look people are making resolutions and goals for the coming year.  Not one to totally ignore what everyone else is doing I decided to not disregard it this time and join instead.  I don't have many goals for the new year and here they are.

  1. Build on the foundation of the 100+Project.
  2. Increase my level of fitness
  3. Spend 12nights in the bag.
More to follow...End Transmission...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Total Reboot!

Q: So what do you do when your computer starts to get slow and bloated with cookies?

Visit Savage Chickens for more hilarity!

A: Reboot it!
A couple of years ago I read an article about the shelf life of PR's (Personal Records).  The Basic premise was that having a 17min PR for a 5k is great, provided you didn't run it 20years ago when you were on the high school cross country team, and you currently run in the high 20's if at all.  I agree with this philosophy whole heartedly.
As most of you know the quality of my running has diminished considerably as of late so I won't bore you with details.  During this mornings run out on the trails I was so disgusted with myself that I decided to wipe the slate clean of all my old PR's, and start over.  Lets face it there is know way that I could come close to any of them without extensive training.  Plus I feel like Brett Michaels, nobody wants to hear his new music they just want to hear "Every Rose Has It's Thorn", I don't want to run all slow and bloated all the while talking about the time I used to run well.  I'm too young to be a HasBeen!  Which brings us back to the Reboot.
Starting today everything is new again.  It will be a long slow climb back to where I was and an even farther climb to where I want to be.  I just don't want to be the Brett Michaels of running anymore.

No offense to Brett Michaels.  His music is probably awesome.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

100+Project dot com

Ladies and Gentlemen I am proud to announce the new website for the 100+Project.  I thought it was time to separate it from this blog so things could go back to normal plus it is easier to refer someone to 100plusproject.com than patrick-trailanderror.blogspot.com (curse the person squatting on trailanderror.com).

There will certainly be overlap at times but I will try to keep it to a minimum (wink).


So what are you waiting for? Click the link and check out the new site.  Trust me it will get better in time!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Castlewood Experience Video

Robin put together a nice video from all the footage that was shot during the Castlewood 8hour race.  We all had a great time and it ended up being one of my favorite races ever.

I hope we do it again next year!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The CastleWood Experience

I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking "I can't believe Patrick is writing a post that does not involve the 100+Project!"  That's right Ladies and Gentlemen this post will not be about fundraising, travelling 100+miles on some weird contraption, or my rising status as a local celebrity.

It will be about the Castlewood Experience.

I have explained before how my friends Robin and Chuck of ROCK Racing got me into adventure racing so I won't go over all that again.  This year for the Castlewood 8hour Adventure Race Chuck and Robin are introducing even more people to this great sport, and when they asked me to be involved I couldn't say no.
ROCK Racing has put together 3teams:

  1. ROCK Racing Rebels, a four person all female team  
  2. ROCK Racing Trail Rats, a four person coed team
  3. ROCK Racing Renegades, a two person male team
Most of the members of these teams have little to no experience in adventure racing.  The idea for the Castlewood Experience as I understand it came when Robin and Chuck got tired of hearing people say "I would love to try adventure racing but...".
They figured with a couple of seasoned vets, like themselves to guide the teams along there wouldn't be room for any more excuses.  Basically we are going to move as one 10person team giving everyone a chance to navigate without the fear of being hopelessly lost in the woods (I think it is this possible outcome that keeps most people away).  We will mountain bike, paddle, orienteer, and whatever else the course has to offer together having a great time along the way.  What an awesome way for Chuck and Robin to give back to the sport they love.

Thanks for letting me be a part of the Castlewood Experience!

Chuck, Robin, and me Goomna 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

What's Ahead For The 100+Project


After a successful Skate 100+ back in Sept I had taken a little time off from training but now I am ready to get back into things full swing again.  Well maybe half swing for now, I don't want to get ahead of myself.  During my hiatus I wasn't just resting on my laurels, I was mostly doing that but I did manage to acquire some new toys.  But first, the next thing on the agenda for the 100+Project is being a celebrity host/announcer at the St Louis AAFA Trivia night this Saturday.  I will be joined by a few other local celebrities to read the trivia questions.  Sounds like it will be a fun night.  Originally I wasn't going to do it because I feel awkward in situations like that but on second thought there was no way I was going to miss a golden opportunity to publicize the 100+Project.  I need to grasp every chance to get the name out there so people will understand what I am doing and why especially if I plan to go after some big money corporate donations and sponsorships.  Lets face it my family and friends were pretty well tapped for donations with the Skate 100+.


So 2011 is drawing to a close and 2012 looks to be a busy year.  I don't have any dates for anything yet and the only certainty adventure-wise is that I will be competing in the Missouri River 340 a 340mile kayak race from Kansas City to St Charles Missouri.  I was scheduled for this last year but it was cancelled because of flooding and unsafe river conditions.  I hope there is better luck next year.

Right now everything is a seed of an idea and those seeds have been planted and are starting to grow and take shape.  There are almost too many.  Later I will consult with Beth and narrow my focus to what I believe can be accomplished in 2012, and begin to work toward making it happen.

In the meantime check out my transportation tab for information on what types of vehicles may be seen in the future of the 100+Project.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

CRASH!

Earlier this week Superkate tweeted something about most memorable bike crashes.  It prompted me to access the memory banks to determine my own most memorable crash.  I have crashed on a bike so often that you would think it would be hard to pick just one, and you would be right if you did.  I thought of three right away and strangely enough the crash on my road bike at Tour de Donut that resulted in a broken wrist was not one of them.
I have said before that if you aren't falling you aren't really living.  A life without an occasional fall is a life played a little too safe.  If you don't risk falling you just might be missing out on some really great opportunities.  The falling I am referring to here is not metaphorical, I am actually saying that a complete and total gravity check can enrich your life.  Don't go out and fall on purpose that would be foolish and be missing the point entirely.  Go take a risk and see what happens the reward is taking the risk in the first place sometimes you will totally bust your ass but sometimes you won't and that will lead you to bigger and better things.  Most of the time you won't die either or even get seriously injured.
So with out further adieu here are my top three most memorable bicycle crashes in no particular order:

This how I was rollin' back in the day except mine had a chain.
1.  When I was a kid I loved jumping ramps on my bike a Huffy Buckaroo, not the ideal bike for what I was using it for but it got the job done.  Some of the older boys in the neighborhood had built a ramp in the alley.  The ramp was nothing fancy just some plywood and 2x4's it was maybe a foot and a half tall.  We jumped our bikes off that thing thousands of times, competing to see who could jump the farthest or the highest.  It was really a fun time, but not without risk.  I was probably around ten years old at the time and was pretty good at jumping off the ramp, as simple as it was.  I remember a specific instance of riding up to the ramp wanting to jump higher and farther than I had ever done before.  Everything was perfect I hit the ramp and launched my bike like a rabbit.  This was going to be awesome, until I notice that my front wheel had come off in mid air.  This is the part where everything went into slow-motion.  I saw the wheel on the ground rolling away and had time to think about how bad it was going to be when I came down.  It was very surreal knowing that my fate was fixed.  There was no way to avoid it as a front wheel is a key component to a bicycle, I was going to crash.  The whole episode took place in a split second but it really felt like a long time.  I came down and my now wheel-less forks dug into the soft sun baked asphalt of the alley and I flipped over the handle bars with the bike landing on top of me.  I was shaken up and had a few scrapes but wasn't hurt too badly (In the early 80's no one wore any protective gear).  Thirty years later I still can remember the exact feeling I had when I was in the air without a front wheel.  Sometimes I think if I only could have shifted my weight back I could have rode it out on the back wheel, ridiculous right?  All the other kids thought it was really cool, but no one asked me to do it again.

2.  The second crash also happened when I was young a little older than crash number one (so the order is chronological after all).  My bicycle jumping skills were really getting better thanks to the new bmx style bike my parents bout me for Christmas.  Unfortunately that bike was stolen so I was forced to bring the Buckaroo out of retirement.  I didn't want to but everyone rode around on their bikes in my neighborhood so I was left with little choice in the matter because lord knows my sister was not going to let me use her ten-speed (another crash related story involving me racing a motorcycle, needing to stop quickly, and not knowing which brake was which).
There was this rock pile behind a gas station near my house that we had been jumping.  We had a lot of fun jumping it and were starting to get a little fancier with our jumps, adding x-ups, and tucks, as well as table tops (if you don't know what these are don't worry it's not important to the story).  Bringing the Buckaroo out of retirement didn't slow me down at all.  I didn't realize at the time that it could not take the punishment that my recently stolen bike could.  I was a kid not an engineer after all.  The last time I jumped the rock pile behind the gas station started off like every other time before.  Up the rock pile and into the air I went, Sweet!  Everything seemed okay.  I landed hard on the ground and immediately my handle bars broke.  The right side bent all the way down and I went down with it.  I couldn't believe what had just happened.  There was no slow-motion moment this time I was taken completely by surprise.  I don't remember the extent of my injuries but they were most likely minor.  I finished breaking the right side of the handlebars off and rode my bike that way, left side handlebar, right side jagged piece of metal for a couple weeks until I got new ones.

3.  The third most memorable crash happened about four years ago out on the mountain bike trails at SIUE. I had recently bought my mountain bike because I wanted to start riding again.  I had ridden the trails a few times but since I didn't know any other mountain bikers in the area it just wasn't as fun as it could have been. I decided that I would recruit my nephew to be riding partner.  He had a crappy mountain bike and I hoped that he would love the trails so much that he would decide to buy one of higher quality.  His bike had no brakes so he did not enjoy his time on the trails and we decided to cut things short.  I kept telling him how awesome it was to ride a decent bike, and how he should really think about getting a better bike.  I wanted to let him ride my bike but I had clipless pedals so it wasn't possible.  The area where we came out of the trails meets up with a bike path.  Right at the end of the trail there is kind of a dip that I decided to jump.  Ideally I would land on the path and ride away.  Instead, I had too much speed and realized that when I landed I would have to stop immediately or I would fly off the other side of the trail and down the steep hill into the woods.  In a panic I grabbed two handfuls of brake and flipped head over heels over bike.  Flipping a bike with clipless pedals is a little crazy.  So after trying so hard to convince him that mountain biking was the thing to do I ended the day with a spectacular wipe out.  Not very convincing.

So those are my top three most memorable bicycle crashes what are yours?  And if you don't have any maybe you should!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Feb 29th

I was doing a little planning for some upcoming events and just happened to notice that 2012 is a leap year, which means one thing to me...LEAP DAY!

For about 16years now February 29th has been a very special day for me.  Here is my philosophy: every 4 years an extra day is added to the calendar to keep everything in order.  I see this extra day as a gift.  The best gift of all, Time.  The past 4 Leap Years I have taken Feb 29th off from work, and done whatever I wanted.  Four years ago I spent the day laying on the couch watching TV, not very productive but it's what I felt like doing so I did it.  The point is do what makes you happy.  Don't worry about others, surely whoever is in your life can survive without you for one day every four years.  Which is not to say you have to spend the day alone do what YOU want and don't let anyone tell you what you have to do.  Don't we spend enough time already engaged in activities not of our choosing.

This Feb 29th I hope you join me in doing whatever you want, the day comes once every four years claim it for your own, there's plenty of time to worry about everyone else until it rolls around again.

Start planning now and come up with something fun!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

100+ On the Air!

Today I was on "Let's Talk"  hosted by Mark Ellebracht airing on WBGZ 1570AM.  Joining me on the program was Jessica from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.  Mark who went to school with SuperKate heard about the 100+Project and had to know more about it.  He contacted me and asked if I would like to be on the show.  Obviously I said yes.  I have never been on the radio before and was a little nervous, in fact right before Mark threw me the first question my mind was a blank, literally.  As he was asking the question there was nothing in my head, but then when it was my turn to speak I found the words.  I am no great orator by any stretch of the imagination but I think I did okay.  Jessica did really well too answering the questions about the Foundation that I would have answered poorly.
For the 100+Project's first media event I think things went pretty well and I look forward to doing more in the future.  I will add public speaking to the list of things I need to work on right under learning to ride a unicycle.
You can listen to the audio from the show below if you missed it on the radio this morning.


Thanks to Mark for showing an interest in the 100+Project and for having Jessica and I on the show.




Sunday, September 18, 2011

Magic Wheel Practice

In my research of different vehicles to use for the 100+Project I happened to come across the Magic Wheel.  It seemed so closely related to skateboarding that I thought it would be easy enough to learn, and I had never seen one before, which made it even more desirable.  The YouTube videos didn't help matters either, one showed a guy talking on a cellphone while eating an ice cream cone, how hard could it be?
Apparently the company that manufactures these went out of business so they are pretty rare.  I found one on ebay for almost $400, way too much money if you ask me.  I put the aside and figured if one came along at a cheaper price I would buy it.  I didn't have to wait very long.  A couple weeks later and there it was again on ebay (different seller) but at a much more affordable price.  I put in a bid and a few days later I was the proud owner of a slightly used Magic Wheel.  The seller has another one for sale if anyone is interested.

Ladies and Gentlemen, without further adieu I present to you "Magic Wheel Practice", a short film from Trail and Error Productions.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Photo Friday

Skate100+: Getting ready to leave from the rest area by 157 on the Schoolhouse Trail, about 35miles in.  I did wear my helmet occasionally.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

100+Project: Project Concern

While skating over 100miles I made you all aware of the the St Louis Asthma and Allergy Foundation.  Through my efforts many of you shared personal stories with me and some of you even opened up your wallets and donated to them through the 100+Project.  I can't thank you enough for your donations, and I know the good people at the Foundation thank you as well.
Since you donated I thought you might want to know how your money will be spent.  Below is some information about Project Concern that I have taken directly from the Foundations website.  Project Concern is just one of the ways that the Foundation is making the world a better place for children and young adults who suffer from asthma and allergies in the St Louis metro area.
While skateboarding over 100miles may be an impressive feat, the St Louis Asthma and Allergy foundation has been working hard for 30years.  That is impressive!


PROJECT CONCERN
“Over 27 years of helping children
in the St. Louis community to breathe easier”
WHAT IS PROJECT CONCERN?Project Concern is a comprehensive asthma management program that provides medications, equipment, education and support to uninsured or underinsured children with asthma and allergies from birth through age 22.

WHO DOES PROJECT CONCERN SERVE?
Children and young adults through the age of 22 who:
• Are uninsured or underinsured, with a mid- to low- income as determined by the Federal Poverty Level guidelines.
• Are in the process of applying for MC+ for Kids or Illinois All kids or Kids Care and are waiting for coverage to become effective.
• Are in need of assistance with prescription co-pays.
• Live in or are seeing a doctor in one of the following counties: St. Louis City, St. Louis County, the Missouri counties of Jefferson and St. Charles; and in the Illinois counties of Madison and St. Clair.
HOW DOES PROJECT CONCERN WORK?
If a child is seen by a physician at one of the children’s hospitals or at a neighborhood clinic, a nurse or a social worker can assist with a Project Concern application and mail or fax it to the AAFA office. All applications are reviewed individually and in a quick manner to provide immediate assistance.
Caregivers can contact the Asthma and Allergy Foundation to obtain an application.
WHAT IS COVERED BY PROJECT CONCERN?
Approved asthma and allergy medicines
Nebulizers and attachments
Peak flow meters
Spacers
Allergic bed encasings
Asthma management/educational materials

Now when you combine that with the fact that Asthma is the #1 reason children are hospitalized in St Louis, and that approximately 80% of Asthma prescriptions go unfilled due to the family's inability to afford the medication, you can see why Project Concern and the work of the Foundation is so important (source aafastl.org).

In future post I will highlight other ways the foundation is helping.
Until then stay safe and breathe easy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Skate 100+ The Final Five!

So Sunday I went out and picked up the final 5miles.  112 was just an arbitrary number, the amount of miles that the route took to completion.  So really within the confines of the 100+Project the 107miles from Saturday was enough.  But since the 112mile distance was hyped up I figured I couldn't orphan them.

A little Skating Video

Not all of my preparation for the Skate 100+ was just flat out pushing the long-board for miles and miles.  I had to have a little spot of fun, didn't I?  There is a nice skate park up in Highland, IL so I dusted off my old board and dropped in to see what if any skills I had left.  The state of my current ability is nowhere near where it was over 5years ago when I thought I left all of this nonsense behind, but I did pretty well I think, considering.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Exceed Possibility

My hat feels tight today.
First I am prominently featured on the AAFA StL website (did you see the size of that font?), and now I am on Tom Evans' blog Exceed Possibility! Tom was kind enough to send me some questions to answer regarding adventure and the 100+Project.  It was a great honor that he would post my poor writing on his blog, I hope he doesn't lose too many followers.
You should go and read the post and the rest of his blog as well.  Let's make a deal click the button to the right that says "Join this site" then go read Tom's blog and do the same..


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I told you they were excited!





I noticed someone from the Red Cross visited my blog, and then noticed they came from AAFA StL.  This all feels very real!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Skate 100+ Test Ride

This was from a a few days ago.

Skate 100+ the When and the Where!

After a lot of hard work, staring at maps and drawing routes, driving around looking at road surfaces and what-not I have found a route that will be safe and limit my exposure to cars.  I have also chosen a date on which to start this project.  That being said I would like to officially announce that Skate 100+ the first of many projects under the 100+Project umbrella will officially take place on Sept 3rd.  I will ride my Longboard from  Edwardsville near the Market Basket and end approximately 18.5hours later at the Pere Marquette State Park visitors center.

I haven't left much time to raise money but I have to get this done before I run out of daylight.  Minimizing my time traveling in the dark is key to my safety.  I am taking every precaution, reflective vest, lights on front and back, helmet, etc. I want this to be a triumph not a tragedy.  I have thought this route through and found it to be the safest route given the limited amount of daylight.

Check out my fundraising page at Crowdrise.com to donate to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America St Louis chapter.  If you have any questions on the donation process check out the "How to Donate" tab at the top of the page.  I appreciate any support you can give!

If anyone wants to follow along you are more than welcome to join me, you can run, ride, or meet me somewhere and give me a high-five as I roll by.  If that sounds like something that interests you let me know and I will let you know where I plan on being and when, or if you wanted to surprise me you can contact Beth since she will know where I will be at all times.  If you aren't interested in hanging out with me you can follow my progress on twitter @trail_and_error I will be sending out live tweets as long as I have a signal.  Sadly the signal at Pere Marquette is spotty at best so there might not be a celebratory tweet from the finish, bummer.

Click on the images below to view the route I will take.

The first short loop


I will complete this loop twice


No more loops time to head North!




Why AAFA?

Why indeed?  If you have read some of the other entries I have posted recently then you are already privy to the Reader's Digest version of my story.  Prepare yourself for the story in detail.
The year was 1997 and my family was living in North Carolina near Fort Bragg where I was stationed in the army.  My current enlistment was coming to an end and I decided that I would not re-enlist.  We decided that Beth and the girls would move back home so she could look for work.  We didn't have enough money to maintain the apartment in NC as well as a place for the family to stay back home so we arranged for me to rent a room from John a guy I met during training.  It was a sweet deal and I couldn't believe my luck.
We got everything packed up and Beth and the girls moved back home and I moved in with John and his family.  However, in the time between making arrangements to move in with them, and actually moving in there was an addition to the family.  They now had a cat!  I knew that I was allergic, but never thought to mention it when we made the arrangement.  I thought it was not an ideal situation that would make my stay less comfortable but decided to roll with it.  My allergy symptoms were only sneezing, dry eyes, runny nose, a nuisance but not something that couldn't be managed, right?  Wrong!  This time things were different.  The nuisance symptoms seemed to be less of a nuisance as I found myself struggling to breathe.  I had never really thought much about asthma and thought it was a condition that children suffered from.  My ignorance left me wondering why I was having such a hard time.  I was sure it had something to do with the cat and my allergy.  Growing up I took care of stray cats and eventually had an inside cat as a pet with no allergic reaction so after developing the allergy in the first place the idea that it could evolve into some other form made sense to me, even if I didn't know the exact nature of what I was going through.
I decided that since it was an allergy and the military "sick call" system basically assumes you are faking your illness/injury I would treat this myself.  Keep in mind that in the late 90's the internet wasn't as awesome as it is now.  If I had the resources then that I do now I would have went right to the doctor.  I was popping antihistamines like they were skittles.  I tried inhaling steam, both in the shower and with my head over a pot of boiling water.  Nothing worked.  Those of you that know anything at all about asthma are probably thinking "WOW, this guy really had no idea!".  The only bright part of my day was going to work (sad I know).  When I left the house I would start to feel better so that by the end of the day when it was time to go back I almost felt normal.  Almost.  It really sucked but after all it was only a temporary living arrangement, all I had to do was suffer through it until the end and everything would be better.
Eventually the cumulative effect took its toll on me and leaving the house for work did not bring much relief.  It was at this point I stopped sleeping.  Not because I wanted to, I couldn't sleep.  I would lay down and try but it was taking such a conscious effort to breathe that when I would fall asleep I would stop breathing and (thankfully) wake up.  John had a couch outside on the back porch (classy) so I ran an extension cord for my alarm clock and started sleeping outside.  I couldn't breathe or sleep, I was trying to sleep outside on a couch, and none of my home treatments were helping, maybe it was time to get some help (Duh!).
I went to sick call when I got to work in the morning, fully expecting them to send me back to work for being a faker like they did pretty much every time in the past.  This time they believed me, maybe they were convinced by my constant wheezing.  They administered a breathing treatment that I felt wasn't helping at all, probably because I withheld from them that I was suffering from prolonged exposure to a cat.  After all I was going through I still needed a place to stay and had few options.  Despite the fact that the breathing treatment wasn't helping I was glad to finally be getting some help.  They gave me a prescription for an inhaler and sent me on my way.  Now I could treat myself with prescription medication this was going to be awesome.  I could use the inhaler to get me through the night, and through the day.  There was only one problem a rescue inhaler doesn't really do its job when you continually place yourself in danger.  Back to sick call I went.  They gave me another breathing treatment and made an appointment for me to see the pulmonologist.  But first I had to get a pulmonary function test.  This was the hardest medical thing I have ever done.  The technician put nose clips on my nose and I had to blow out into a machine that measured the output.  Over and over.  I almost passed out.  When it was time for my appointment I decided it was time to come clean about everything, and that's when the pulmonologist looked at me like I had brain damage, and said "You know you can die from this don't you?"  Say what?  I could die, from being stupid?  I absolutely no idea the danger I was putting myself into.  Job one was getting away from the cat.
I spoke to John and his wife and they agreed to find a home for the cat.  To be honest I think they were glad to get rid of it.  Things got better and once all of the dander from the cat was taken care of with a good cleaning I started to feel normal again.  Things were going great I was fully recovered, and had a place to stay that didn't cost much.  A couple of months passed.  I came home from work on a Friday evening and spotted a litter box in the corner.  John saw me notice it and said "Sorry man I didn't know she was going to do it."  That night I stayed in my room with a towel against the gap at the bottom of the door.  There was no way I was going through this again.  I was so pissed, that John's wife would do that.  Everyone was aware of what I went through.  I woke up early the next day packed up my things and was gone before anyone woke up.  I was away from the cat but now I was homeless.  Eventually I found a place to stay but not after some strange living arrangements like hiding out in the barracks sleeping on a couch, and crashing with different people for a couple days at a time.
Since then I have avoided cats when I can, but it hasn't always been easy.  I had a job as a kennel manager, which required me to work in the cattery occasionally.  I was upfront with the owner and said that occasionally was about as often as I was willing to do that, and it wasn't a problem.  There were a few times that my asthma flared up while at the kennel but as often as we cleaned and with all the hard surfaces that didn't hold onto the dander I was okay most of the time.  After I left the kennel (for non-cat related reasons) I landed a job doing maintenance at a local apartment complex.  Once again I was upfront and told them that I was allergic to cats and that it could conceivably interfere with my work.  I encountered more than a few cats during the time I worked there and for most jobs I could be in and out before I was affected.  Although I learned that some cats affected me more than others.  I installed a deadbolt on one woman's door so I was there for a while but I was only inside long enough to plug in my extension cord, the rest of the time I spent standing in the doorway, and I couldn't finish soon enough and get away because I could feel my airways cinching shut.  Another time I had to replace a water heater in an apartment with cats and they hardly even bothered me.  It would be interesting to find out more about this phenomenon just not from first hand experience.
Now I work at a hospital so no cats for me.  I avoid going to people's houses if I know they have a cat and if I am already there and notice a cat I try to find a way to leave without seeming impolite.  My oldest daughter who lives in Kentucky has two cats.  So I don't visit.  It was easier when she first got them because she thought I was the devil and I thought she was the spawn of satan, now we get along much better, as we have both grown a little wiser, but even so the cats remain.
Cats are my kryptonite, their mere existence could cause my death.  That is weird to think about, but at the same time it's true, and as bad as it is I am lucky.  According to the AAFA St Louis Chapter's website asthma and allergies strike one out of four Americans.  Many of these people suffer severe reactions from things that are not as easy to spot or avoid as cats are for me.
When I was looking for a charity to support with my 100+Project I knew it would have to be something to which I had a connection.  Without a connection I worried that I would lose momentum.  I also knew I wanted it to be at least somewhat local so that maybe I could also connect with the people I was trying to help.  When I found the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America St Louis Chapter I knew that I had found the organization.  They have programs that help children, and educate the community as well as healthcare providers.  Asthma is serious business, and not something to be taken lightly.  I didn't show any symptoms until I was 27 years old.  So even if you have never been affected by it you could be at any time.  I especially like that the AAFA StL helps children, it was hard enough for me to go through as an adult, I can't imagine how frightening it would be for a child, or the parent of a child powerless to help.
The AAFA StL is a great organization and I hope that you are inspired to donate whatever you can to help them continue to do the great work that they do.
If you are inspired to donate it really is very simple you can click on the "CrowdRise" button on the top right of this page to go to my fundraising page on CrowdRise.com and follow the directions or you can clickon the "How to Donate to the 100+Project" tab at the top of the page.  If you don't plan to donate or are not moved by my story or enjoy when people take on crazy challenges for charity, I get it, but what you could do is tell people spread the word and maybe the people you tell will donate.  I would like to thank everyone in advance for their donation, and help spreading the word.

Next I will be announcing the date and the route for Skate 100+!

Until then stay safe and breathe easy.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why 100+?

Funny you should ask.
I have always dreamed of leaving the shackles of the working world behind to become an adventurer of sorts.  The problem was I never knew how, and always thought that I would never be able to do something so grand as the people I had read about.  The reason why I love the longer events is that I don't want the adventure to end because it is the adventure that makes me feel whole.  I remember a few years ago when Chuck and Robin needed a replacement teammate for the Goomna adventure race.  Robin had sent out an email to the Metro Tri Club members saying that the first to respond was in.  Luckily I happened to check my email at the right moment and thought "sweet!" because I had been wanting to try adventure racing for a while and figured this would be a great way in.  I didn't respond right away though.  I had doubts, I barely knew robin at the time, and I had never met Chuck.  I didn't know how fast they were, I didn't want to hold them back, and so on.  Finally I decided that if I didn't get on board I was a fool.  I emailed Robin and I was in.  It turned out to be a really great decision, one that would ultimately lead me down the path that I currently on.  Together we have had some great adventures and the future will bring even more.
Chuck and I had planned on racing the MR340 this year but it was cancelled.  We spent a lot of time paddling, and somehow in my Internet searching for paddling I came across Dave Cornthwaite, who I have mentioned before.  I read his on his website and could relate to it really well.  Too well.  Dave made a change, he would skateboard across Australia.  First though to warm up he skateboarded the length of the UK.  He wasn't just going to do it though he was doing it for charity.  As he said "skateboarding with a purpose".  Since he completed the two skateboarding journeys Dave has created Expedition 1000 where he will raise money for his charities while completing journeys of 1000miles or more each using a different mode of non-motorized transport (sound familiar).  So far he has kayaked the Murray river in Australia, and is currently paddling the length of the Mississippi on a stand up paddle board.  That is how we met.  I was pretty excited about an Adventurer coming through the area.  I tracked his progress and when he got close I sent an email asking if he would mind if I joined him for a day.  He said he wouldn't mind at all.  It turned out to be a rough day of paddling with strong headwinds and a high temp of 103degrees.  All the while I was trying to figure out how I could do what Dave does.  While he has done some remarkable things he is just a person who puts his shoes on toes first just like me.  I finally figured out that I don't have to do what he does or what anyone else does.  Meaning I don't have to quit my job and become a full time adventurer (although I would still like to) in order to be happy.  I can create meaning in all of the things I do by trying to raise awareness and money for a cause that has affected my life.  And thus the 100+Project was born.

I chose the 100+ because face it 100 is an impressive number and on some "vehicles" I have in mind 100miles will be pushing me beyond my limits.  The "+" is the other side of the coin, because some of the vehicles 100miles would be relatively simple.  So 100+ leaves me with many options to work with since there is really only one guiding principle, that I travel a distance of more than 100miles.
Whenever possible I would like to complete these events with one continuous effort but there will be times when this is just not possible.  For instance I plan to paddle the length of the Illinois river by canoe sometime next year, and because of the distance involved it will take a few days.  Along the same lines I will be competing in the Missouri River 340 next year as well using my kayak.  For those of you that may be wondering, yes I plan to run a 100mile race as part of the project although I can't say when.  
There is no way, at least at this point to know how many of these I will be able to complete each year.  Currently I am limited by how much time I can be away from work.  Also the different types of training I will have to do will be a big factor.  Running 100miles takes a huge amount of time effort and focus in order to run it slowly, while the two previously mentioned paddling adventures are similar enough that they could be trained for concurrently.

I chose skateboarding for my first project as an homage to Dave since he is the one that was the catalyst that started the wheels turning in my head.  I was a skateboarder for many years until I gave it up about 6years ago so I knew it would be a good vehicle to start with since I wouldn't have a steep learning curve to deal with.

I have many adventures ahead of me and I am really looking forward to each one, especially the ones I haven't even thought of yet.

Next up I will explain why I chose to raise money for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America St Louis Chapter.

In the meantime,
Stay safe and breathe easy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

100+ Skate Build!




Click the tab at the top for more information about the project.

On the first journey of this project I will be riding a skateboard 100+ miles on a route that has yet to be determined.
Soon I will post the reasons behind the significance of "100", and why I chose a skateboard for the first event.

Stay safe and Breathe easy!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.


Something has to change.

Photo Friday?

Technically it is Saturday morning, sue me.

Can't wait to see how it turns out.  Wait I already know, can't wait to see what happened along the way!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Gear?

It has been a long time since I have bought something other than running shoes.  It feels good.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Part Time Adventurer Meets a Full Time Adventurer

Have you heard about this guy Dave Cornthwaite?  He is a British Adventurer embarking on a series of twenty five 1000+ mile journeys each with a different form of non-motorized transport.  Dave has done many impressive feats such as skateboarding the length of Great Britain, and across Australia.  He also kayaked the length of Australia's Murray River.  This is just a sampling of Dave's adventures for a more complete and impressive list you should go check out his website at DaveCornthwaite.com, go ahead I'll wait... just don't forget to come back.
Dave taking break
Pretty cool right?
A couple months ago I stumbled across his website and thought WOW! This is the type of thing I would be doing if I could.  More on this later...
Evan watches the dredging operation
When I saw that he was getting ready to start another journey, this time on a stand-up-paddle-board, traveling the length of the Mississippi river I thought "Wait a tick, I live near the Mississippi, in fact I cross it twice every work day."  It was the equivalent of a major sporting event being played down the street from your house.  There was no way I was going to miss it!  Adventure was coming to me all I had to do was wait.  I followed Dave's progress down the river on twitter, facebook, and his website. 
one of the places we stopped
As he got closer I was starting to wonder how I was going to locate one person on such a great river.  I started emailing back and forth and before I new it there was a time and a place to meet, Hamburg, IL.  I asked if there was anything he might need, and he said they were running low on water.  I wasn't sure who else was with but it didn't matter.  I bought a 2.5gallon jug of water and Beth and I headed out to Hamburg.  Upon arrival there was no sign of Dave, and believe me there is no place to hide in Hamburg.  We drove back and forth, waited, and drove back and forth some more.  Eventually I saw a canoe out on the water and then there was Dave Cornthwaite on a SUP.  I turned around and headed back into town and started to unload my gear at the boat ramp.  They pulled off a little up river from where I was and we introduced ourselves and I met Evan who on a whim decided with no paddling experience to travel from the Headwaters in Lake Itasca to St Louis to raise money for the Susan G. Komen foundation (he lost his mother to breast cancer, something we have in common).  He definitely has the adventure spirit!  Dave apologized for being late, the headwinds were terrible and they weren't making much progress.  It was doubtful that we would make it to Grafton.  We talked for a bit and then we were off like a shot, a slow shot into the mighty headwinds.  Being low to the water in my kayak I was less affected by the headwinds, and it looked like Dave and Evan were really working hard.  I kept it easy and maintained whatever pace they wanted to set.  We stopped and rested a few times and discussed philosophical topics ranging from the subtle differences of candy in the UK vs US to speed dating at 60hours with no sleep.  It was a good day out on the river the brutal headwinds helped us cool off, the heat index was 118degrees.  Once it became clear that we were not going to make it to Grafton I was worried about where Beth was going to pick me up (I had just recently sent her driving all over the sketchy back roads of Okawville in an attempt to pick me up off the Kaskaskia river and I did not want a repeat of that experience).
Dave recording while Evan calls the Dam operator
We went through the lock at the Winfield dam which was an experience.  Evan said I was lucky because my first lock was as difficult as it gets, which was only slightly difficult and mostly uninteresting.  It's supposed to go like this: Paddle up to the location indicated by the signs, pull the chain, wait for the operator to open the lock, paddle in, wait for the water to lower, and paddle out the other side when it opens.  Really a very simple procedure.  In this case the chain was broken so Evan looked up the number and called them.  They asked when we would be there and he informed them that we were there already and their chain was broken to which they replied something to the effect of 'we keep forgetting to fix that'.  The rest of the trip through was uneventful.  After we made it through the lock we looked for a marina that appeared to exist only on Evan's map. 
Me, Dave, and Evan
We ended up taking a rest over on the shore.   Dave and Evan rested on their mats while I sat on a pointy rock.  Since you can only sit on a pointy rock for a limited amount of time I went down to the water and waded out a bit where I called Beth who had scouted some locations to pick me up.  We decided on the Double Ranch Marina because there was a store.  I had planned on buying Dave and Evan a beer when we got to Grafton so I thought this would be a good alternative.  Unfortunately we pulled in just after 5pm and the store had closed.  I felt horrible.  I gave them the rest of the water and food that I had with me and wished them well.  I hope they enjoyed the burritos I gave them.  They both seemed very excited to have them.  
Dave's SUP, Artemis.
As Beth and I drove away I felt a bit sad to not be going back out on the river.  Beth was all but certain that I was going to tell her that I was going back out with them.  While my time with Dave was short I found it to be very inspirational.  While I cant't travel all over the world completing grand adventures the way Dave does I can embark on my own adventures in the surrounding area.  I am very fortunate to live in the St Louis area, in that there are many opportunities on a wide variety of terrain all within a couple hours drive in any direction.  
I've got some ideas of a few things that want to do but I will keep them under wraps until I work out a few of the details.  Suffice it to say that my Adventure Spirit has been rekindled and I am looking forward to what the future holds.  Now if I could just find a way to quit my job...does anyone want to pay me to be a professional adventurer?
I wish Dave the best of luck on the rest of his journey down the river and on all the rest of his adventures.  If you haven't yet Check out his website and at least consider making a donation to one of his charities.  They are both really good causes.  

Friday, July 8, 2011

Time to make (eat) the Donuts!

Yeast_raised_donuts_february_26th_2009_1
Tomorrow is the Tour de Donut in Staunton, IL.  Last year I crashed and broke my wrist (and still finished).  This year I plan to not crash, eat some donuts and have a great time.  I have a donut eating strategy but I'm not sure if I am going to eat as many as I can or just a few.   

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tapped Out

Streaming video on Netflix is great.  They don't always have the most current movies but what they lack in movie selection the more than make up for with their broad selection of documentaries.  Recently I sat down to watch "Tapped"(2009)a documentary casting light on the evils of bottled water.  I have never been a huge bottled water drinker if it is available after a race I will grab a bottle, but I would never go to the supermarket and purchase a case.  My family has for years used a water filter that attaches to our kitchen faucet to tend to all of our drinking water needs.  I do drink a lot of Gatorade though and once a bottle is emptied it gets rinsed and becomes a water container for the rest of its life, however long that may be.
I have always heard that bottled water was pretty much the same as regular tap water, so I wanted to learn a bit more.  To me the choice not to buy bottled water is a no-brainer, considering the huge mark up in price, the use of fossil fuels to create the bottle and ship the water to where I can buy it, but people love the stuff and can't seem to get enough.
The documentary started out pretty good focusing on one area in Maine where Nestle' was pumping water out of the ground unrestricted.  Apparently the laws in Maine are behind the times and allow the person with the biggest pump to take as much ground water as they want.  Residents of the area seemed to be taken by surprise and could do little to stop their water from being taken, and organized some grass roots efforts to force Nestle' to stop or at the very least cut back.  This part of the documentary was great and I wanted to learn more, instead it took a strange turn.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The remainder of the film was about the dangers of the plastic bottles themselves in the manufacturing process as well as when they are discarded and eventually end up in one of the oceanic garbage patches.  I thought all of these points were valid but it seemed like they were laying these problems at the feet of bottled water.  Water is sold in plastic bottles to be sure but there are hundreds if not thousands of other products that are sold in containers made from the same materials.  I don't recall if they mentioned what was the proportion of water bottles to other containers but it would be an interesting statistic.  Possibly blame was being lain so heavily because lets face it I can get my water from the tap and put it in any container I want, like the stainless steel water bottle a vendor at work gave me, but if I want to drink a Cherry Dr Pepper my choices are more limited.  All it takes is the turn of a faucet to eliminate those bottle from entering the waste stream, a turn of the faucet can help to reduce the negative health effects related to the manufacture of the plastic bottles.  So while bottled water is not solely responsible for all of the problems in the film it is the easiest of the sources to eliminate.  I just wish they would have used that approach instead of the heavy handed one they chose.
They also talked about the health risks associated with Bisphenol A (BPA) a chemical used in the manufacture of some plastic containers.  The FDA claimed that BPA was safe to be used in the packaging of foods but has since (with egg on its face) updated its position.  According to the scientific community BPA is pretty nasty and should be avoided.  I generally don't trust the FDA since they come off as either corrupt or incompetent in all of the documentaries I watch, but I do trust the scientific community, as long as I know who funded the research. If you know what I mean.
There was plenty of other good information in the documentary and I recommend that you check it out.  While I didn't agree with the presentation of the material that doesn't take away from its validity.  I would have also preferred that they spend more time addressing the opinions of the bottled water companies themselves.



I thought this was a pertinent topic considering it is summer, and many of you are going to be out there in the heat running, riding, paddling, etc. and hydration is a key issue.  While you are out there remember to use smart container choices, check out the bottles that you use and make sure they are safe, the manufacturer will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding what your bottles are made from.  Eliminate plastic when you can, but if you are like me try to recycle those Gatorade bottles it may not be the best choice but it's better than nothing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

History through Music

This song has been rattling around in my head since 1989 when I first watched "Streets on Fire", a skate video from Santa Cruz.  This segment of the video features Natas Kaupas.  I had the deck he is riding in the video, it was one of my favorites.  I remember watching these videos, usually at Jeff Smith's house and then going out and attacking all of our local spots.  It was a great time to be alive!

So without further adieu I present to you Natas Kaupas in Streets on Fire with musical inspiration by the band fIREHOSE and the song Brave Captain.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Dungeon!

100_0002
This is where I do all of my workouts.  I don't like going to the gym so it is nice to have a place at home where I can get it done.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Accountability

It's no secret that I am not in great shape.  Many times I have started working out with great enthusiasm only to have my enthusiasm peter out within a week.  This time is different, I call it "New Monday".  So what is different about this time you ask?  Well for starters I am taking things slowly, and not trying to kill myself to get results immediately.  Next my running miles are next to nothing (in the past I would say the workouts affected my running negatively).  Finally I am enjoying myself.  I can see where I am going but I am not in such a big hurry to get there.

So what am I doing and what are my goals?

First my goal is to get to 160lbs (I know blah blah you shouldn't focus on a number).  This is the weight I was when I got out of the army and it is a good weight for me.  When I get to 170 though I will reevaluate where I am and decide if I want to drop the last 10 pounds or not.  If you look to the right you will see my new weight loss widget, currently I have 30lbs to lose.  I will get there, but like I said I am not in a hurry.

In order to achieve my goal I am being more careful about what I eat, I ride my bike, occasionally run, and do P90X.  I think this is a recipe for success.

So now that I have put it out there I am accountable.  It's New Monday and things are about to change.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Goomna 2011 Teaser

Just a short synopsis of the race to wet your appetite for now.  It was good that I had a helper stop by the Adventure Shed to help me clean up while I made this video.



Thanks to Mark (RD), and all of the Volunteers that made this race happen!  It's pretty awesome to have such a great and fun event right in our backyard.

Thanks For Watching!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Expedition Impossible Update (SCOOP).

Way back when you may remember that Chuck, Robin, and I tried to get on a new television show called "Expedition Impossible", and were not selected (boo hoo).  Robin and Chuck have a very strong adventure racing background in fact I think ROCK Racing is currently ranked #1 in the nation for two person co-ed teams.  I may not have as strong of a background as they do but I have the adventure spirit and like new challenges.  We would have been the team to watch.  All that is behind us now since the first season is in the can as they say and the show is going to air on ABC June 23rd (check your local listings), and even though we were dissed by the producers I still encourage you to watch it.  I know I will be watching, and talking smack about how ROCK Racing could have blown away the competition.  Just to wet your appetite you can watch the first 14minutes of the first episode below.  Enjoy!



note:  I was wrong ROCK Racing is 4th in the nation.  Not bad for two people with full time jobs and families!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Berryman Love Slideshow!

By now most of you have heard that I did not finish the 50miler at Berryman this past weekend.  I am definitely disappointed, but it is what it is.  Many little things were working against me, as well as a few really big ones.  One thing I had going for me was the support of friends  and family.  The following slideshow are some screen captures I took from Facebook, Twitter (texts from my phone), and DailyMile.  Watch it and feel the love!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Return to Berryman, or Team Godzilla Attacks the Trails!

Tomorrow after work Beth and I will be headed down to Southern Missouri for the Berryman Trail 50 again.  Actually I am going for the 50 and Beth is going because she loves me.  We will be staying at the Super8 motel in Potosi, again.  This is all sounding like a flash back to 2008 when I first ran the 50.

My training sort of fell off last month after Double Chubb so I am not as physically prepared as I would like to be but mentally I am in the zone.
 
The big difference between 2008 and 2011 is that this time I won't be running alone.  Jim Donahue will be running the 50mile course with me.  It is funny to hear us talk about the race because we both know we are not prepared but I say Jim is more ready and he says he thinks I am.  We'll find out who was right, Saturday.
To be fair I did run the Marathon last year with Chuck and Robin.  We had a good time, but the Marathon is not the 50.  This time everything will be different.  I am not sure if Jim and I will run the whole race together or if we will split up and run our own races but either way it is going to be an adventure!

In honor of the momentous occasion I have decided to bring back the Haiku.

Running fifty miles
Rocks,  roots, trees, and streams for hours
Repeat second loop

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Expedition Impossible Update (there's sand everywhere, yo!)

You may remember that a while back ROCK Racing's Chuck,and Robin, and I tried to get on a new reality show called Expedition Impossible.  I don't want to give away too many details, buuuuuutttttt...we weren't chosen and will be watching it at home like most people.  I think the producers of the show made a huge mistake by not selecting us.  Their loss.  Next year we will put together a kick ass video and hopefully be selected.
The show will be airing on June 23rd.  Check it out.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Gasconade60 Race Report and Video

All day Friday I was excited about getting off work and hitting the road, then Beth called and told me that her car wouldn't start and it was in the Wal-mart parking lot.  I left work early to see if I could get it to start (I couldn't).  This was the last thing I needed since I still had to load everything for the race and drive over 2hours to get to the hotel.  We ended up leaving a note saying that we were having car trouble and left it there until Sunday morning when it magically started, and we drove it home (still need to figure out what was wrong though).
I was stressed out because I had so much to do.  Certain that I was going to forget something I over packed and brought way too much stuff.  At the hotel everything was pared down to what I needed, and surprisingly I didn't forget anything.  On the way down we stopped at Sports Authority and bought a Sportbrella XL for Beth.  She didn't use it but it will be good for her to have in the future.  The Garmin was giving us directions, and I missed a turn so when it recalculated it had us going in an infinite loop in Clayton, I was afraid we would get pulled over for DWP,  "Driving While Poor".  I saw what it was doing and turned somewhere else then everything was fine.  We made it the rest of the way without incident.  Michael and Terra had a bit of excitement when one of the straps holding his kayak down broke and it went flying of to crash land on the interstate.  Shockingly there was very little damage.
At the motel I got everything ready for the race including my new favorite race food, Bean and Rice Burritos. Those things really hit the spot out on the river.  They taste good and they travel well, what could be better?  I also brought plenty of Honey Stinger Waffles and Ginsting Gels to get me through to the finish.  Ginsting is like jet fuel, I haven't found a gel that works better.
Race morning we headed out early and got to the race start with enough time to unload at a relaxed pace, and had everything ready before the pre-race meeting.  There were a wide variety of boats in the race.  Some that looked super fast, and they were.
After the meeting the race started.  We decided not to start in the water, so after every one took off we got in and started our trip down the river.  The weather was cool, and misty for most of the day, with a drizzle of rain every now and then.  There was also a crazy headwind for most of the race.  We had some snags in the first leg and ended up separating.
I had a lot of fun using the new Adventure Camera that Beth bought for me.  It is waterproof and shoots video as well as stills.  I kept it attached to my PFD with a lanyard so it was always handy.  Not having to worry about it getting wet is great.  I look forward to using it quite a bit during future adventures.

Now I will leave you to watch the video, but before I do I want to mention a few things that really surprised me about the race.
My Stohlquist aSEA PFD was awesome.  I had some concerns about using it for the 340 because it is a little thick, but after 9+ hours of paddling I hardly even noticed that I was wearing it.

I was also very impressed with my Garmin 305.  It lasted the entire race!   One time at around 6.5hours it gave the low battery warning, and I kept expecting it to die, but it stayed on for the whole race.  When I used it for Double Chubb I thought I was lucky to get 6.5hours out of it, little did I know it had plenty of life left.

So here is that video I was telling you about.  It won't win any awards, but I promise I will get better at editing .

  

I would like to thank the Aquaholics and all the volunteers for putting on such a great race.  It was a long day in some lousy weather to be standing around waiting, and waiting for some boats to paddle by.  It was a great experience, the farthest I have ever paddled by 40 or so miles.  I felt like I could have kept going and now I have a little more perspective for the upcoming MR340.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Coming soon to a computer or mobile device near you!

The GAS60 race report will be here this week just as soon as I can type it up and put the video together.  In the mean time, watch the start of the race.  Don't look for Michael and I though we took the lazy start after everyone had gone since it was more of a training opportunity for us, although I am sure I would have been right up there with the front runners had we started at the gun.



These guys were fast!