Tuesday, November 13, 2012


One of my life's goals was to say that I ran a marathon. I didn't want to run it, I just wanted to say that I have. Figuring I wasn't getting any younger, I trained for the Columbia City, Indiana Veteran's Day Marathon for the past couple of months. Race day was warmer than I wanted and there were a bunch of hills on the route - including right before mile 26. But somehow I managed to finish. Right before mile 25 my right calf cramped up so I had to do a goofy looking running/hopping gait, but it worked. As I saw the finish line I wanted to sprint, but then my calf seized up so I hobbled to the end. A woman running close to me came to make sure I was ok. My goal was to get under five hours, I got five and a half. But I can cross it off my to do list.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mustache Contest

Amy and I went to a Victorian Day for fun last weekend. Quite a few people were dressed up, making Amy jealous that she didn't have an old time dress.

We went to tea,
and there were buggy rides; including one with a dog.
But the real reason we went was for the mustache/facial hair contest.
There were some strong contestants,
including the guys who started the Great American Fierce Beard Organization (GAFBO) based in Lansing.
The one guy took fourth in the world competition, but he didn't do anything to get ready for this competition. That opened the door for me winning "Best Creative use of a Mustache or Beard as a Medium of Artistic Expression." My brother-in-law suggested the whip:
There were about 15 entrants and 6 winners; which gave me a pretty good shot. But there were was fancy facial hair.
We went out to eat and to the Avengers that night, which made Amy uncomfortable even though my facial hair was award winning. To placate her, I cut it down to just the stache.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Tough Mudder

Recently I did a Tough Mudder - a 12 mile run with about 25 obstacles. The beginning wasn't bad. We had some hurdles to hop over, a giant trough of waist high ice-cold water, muddy hills, a smoke filled path and some walls to scale.

There were some giant haystacks to jump over/through, then a muddy hill to go up and down multiple times while walking through water for part of it.
Then we had to do a 25 foot jump into some freezing water. It was in the 50s with no sun and slightly windy; making everything colder.
It had been a long time since I've done a dive and I froze as I fell into the water. And then the mud really began. It started off not too deep, but then slowly built up.

Falling back I turned my head a little too much and got my ear covered in mud.

It took about five minutes to get my ear cleaned out on the inside after I got home. Part of this obstacle were mud filled holes about chest high. It was slick.
 At least I didn't get my head fully covered.
The mud did not stop. I'm not sure how many times we had to run through it of differing heights. Sometimes it was just around the shoes, sometimes up to the ankles, sometimes knee high. The hardest obstacle had small hills - about 4 feet high, followed by a drop into a mud filled ditch about 4 feet high. There were more than a dozen of these all in a row. It was slick enough that in some places you couldn't make it up on your own; you had to have someone pull you up or push you out.
We then had a rope obstacle. It didn't look that hard; but the ropes were heavy and pulled down on you meaning you had to crawl on rocky mud covered ground. There were pins all over the ground as well that fell off people's shirts (that attached our numbers).
We then slid down tubes into water with barbed wire over our heads at the bottom.
We had to crawl up a tube, which didn't sound hard but there was no traction and it was covered in muddy water. We had to waddle up on our arms like a seal since our legs were useless. There were more boards to scales, monkey bars with water underneath if you couldn't make it (I survived one of the two), a long and shaky balancing beam with water underneath (I made it), hills covered with mud, crawling underground in a dug out tunnel, hopping over and under logs, going through a river, climbing up and down rocks, more mud and yet even more mud. There was climbing under barbed wire in mud as well as climbing under wire that was wired to give an electric shock if you got hit. I got a tiny zap. The last big obstacle was a half pipe we had to scale. I got close enough on my first try that the people at the top could pull me over.
Once this was scaled, it was a run to the end where there were more electric shocks waiting. Some how I made it.
No one obstacle was overly difficult, but over 12 miles they got progressively harder as I got more worn out. At the end I was dead and freezing. I used up all of our hot water taking a shower trying to get clean after I got home. Now I'm ready for next year.