If there was one thing that went well this month it was my ability to make my blogging quota for the month. To my own amazement with all the events and issues we have had to deal with this month I was able to not only get the self-imposed minimum of 6 posts out, but opted to go ahead and get this bonus entry out of the way. Out of the way in this context means never to be spoken of again! Like most people, I’ve had my fill of misfortunes and failures. Some of those were due to my own making, others due to the actions of others and there are those things we can chalk up to things out of our control – like say, I don’t know, maybe the weather. A pretty deep seeded fault of mine is not doing well with failure regardless of the circumstances, but especially if it is my fault which brings us to today’s “never to be mentioned again” race recap bonus.
Last year I signed up for my first 50K race ever. I had fallen in love with trail running for its welcome departure from the body pounding pavement along with the challenge of taking on difficult terrain. Having totally exhausted myself running the half marathon at the Cry Me a River event (link here), figured it was only natural to more than double the distance and do it all again. Linda wasn’t too happy about that decision knowing of my difficulties after my full marathon a few years earlier. No worries, a year to train I should be fine. Unfortunately, I was not expecting the tremendous amount of rain we had this spring that limited my time on the trails and more importantly cost me valuable heat conditioning. Who would have thought we would have been enjoying mostly perfect running weather up through May. Come the day of the race, the weather gods decided we had enough of being spoiled and put the burners on high.
Hit the jump if you really want to know how this all played out – the title should limit your expectations.
More waiting time, might as well find a comfy place to sit it out and give the fingers a bit of exercise. Things are progressing well at Mayo. Linda has finished 4 of her 5 appointments today and now just waiting for a meet with the cardiologist. I cannot say enough about how efficient Mayo Clinic is. I realize they have had a lot of practice moving people through, but I could say the same for many other organizations that are nowhere close to the honed processes I am witnessing here. Check out the plan for the day on the Mayo app, arrive, check-in, execute medical task and you are on your way. Now the downside is from a social perspective, this area can be a definite downer. Being at the tops of the medical field brings with it a higher concentration of the serious ailments humans must endure. You look around and your heart feels for the hardships many of these patients must deal with on a daily basis. If there is any calming, it is knowing they are at least in the best place possible to get some relief.
Last post, I featured the golden-eyed one (the White-Tipped Dove). Definitely a stunning feature should you be lucky enough to catch a specimen in enough light to show it off. While looking at my processed queue found another eye stunner.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots of Mr. Redeye.
Greetings all! It has been a bit sparse out of Intrigued as of late and for that my apologies. Unfortunately, the production is probably going to stay a bit light for the remainder of this month and then into early August due to most of my time being devoted to helping my wife through her medical situation. Looking forward to when this is all behind her – until then, my activities will take a backstage. If there is lemonade in this basket of lemons is there might be a significant amount of wait time involved with all her appointments at Mayo. Will have my trusty Surface to crank out what I can in those wait cycles – probably good for me to keep my mind busy on other things when she is away.
This being the first day of appointments and sure enough sitting in a waiting room waiting for Linda’s name to be called. How about we turn our attention to a rather colorfully hued member of the Dove family.
The White-Tipped Dove is not a new bird to the blog. This red-legged Dove was first featured back in February of this year (link here). If you recall, that post featured an encounter at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge back in January of 2017. Well, guess what, I had the pleasure of meeting likely another specimen of this species at the exact same location on our December 2017 trip. Now, that may seem like an odd coincidence, but in truth, you are not going to find them in too many other locations.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots of the White-Tipped Dove.
Well, today is officially my one week anniversary of pulling myself away from the big bright light. Beyond the staples in the head becoming quite annoying – not to mention an apparent great conversation starter since going back into the office last Wednesday. Kind of hard to hide and eventually someone starts getting quizzical when you are deliberately trying to keep them to the front of you. Also didn’t help that my supposedly lovely wife is a Facebook junkie – had to threaten her with retaliatory hospital photos from her upcoming surgery if she followed through on her threat to post images from the emergency room! Will post more detail on the mothership blog soon, but for now things are progressing slowly. Did a quick 2 miler on Tuesday, a 4 miler on Thursday and put 6 miles in this morning’s heat. Definitely a long road back to where I was, but as they say in a runner’s world, it’s simply putting one foot in front of the other.
With the hoopla and stress leading up to the race, I didn’t get a chance to really enjoy the 4th of July celebration. Looking through my blog fodder queue, decided today we would feature an All-American bird in honor of our independence.
…and by All-American, I simply mean a bird that happens to have “American” right in its name. In the off chance you happen to be unfamiliar with our long billed friend, that is an American Avocet. Fortunately for my brother Ron, this is not a new bird for my checklist. Linda and I saw our first one back in 2013 on a trip to the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve while visiting Nevada. To simply embarrass myself, it didn’t make it on the blog and thus not an official check until December 2017 (link here). Think this may be the first time I’ve been able to get a shot of one of them flying – okay bird counters, take a quick glance and guess how many you estimate in this shot – note, this is a practice test for later in the post.
Hit the jump to see A LOT more of these birds!
Well, yesterday was the planned 50K date. I thought things were starting to fall into place – the ankle was healed up enough to bear the dangerous footings on the hilly trails, the rains had subsided enough to let the trails dry up a bit leading to high confidence at the start. I will post the details on my other blog in due time, but I foretold victory or tail between my legs on a previous post. Unfortunately, the day ended prematurely with my tail between my legs along with 4 staples in my head. Mother Nature opted to replace the expected overcast and temps in the 80’s with an overbearing sun and heat index at 100. Fought through 14 miles and decided to rest a bit at a water station. Apparently should have kept going as my body revolted – stood up thinking I might get sick only to gain consciousness with people standing over me with blood covered hands – not a vision I’ll forget anytime soon. Long story short, had a stressful ambulance ride to the ER. Took in 5 IV bags and a set of staples from a large gash in the back of my head having hit a wooden railing following by the sharp edge of a box fan on the way down (so they tell me). Pleaded with the doctors to allow me to go back and finish, but they had my wife on their side. Total failure and my first DNF in 17 years of running. Looks like another solid year of training, but I’ll be back for some unfinished business.
Enough of that embarrassment, let’s get to something much more entertaining.
Today, I’m bringing you the same Raptor species from two different locations along the Texas Gulf Coast back in January 2017. The Northern Harrier is one of my favorite Raptors for a couple of reasons. The first is they are just plain cool to watch while they are scanning the fields and marshes for prey. Deadly aerial skills that allow them turn on a dime or virtually hang in the air leveraging wind dynamics to determine the best angle to pounce.
Hit the jump to see and read a bit more about this deadly predator.
Greetings everyone! Just sitting here outside my RV enjoying the sounds of joyful birds while enjoying a beautiful purple and pink sunset. Of course, don’t let that fool you, It may be beautiful on the outside, but inside my body is undergoing some serious stress as we are camping at the starting line of tomorrow’s 50K. Hard to say if I am even close to being ready for this, but if not, I only have myself to blame (shhhh, don’t tell Linda, I like to use her as my excuse … takes the edge off of failure ha!). In an effort to quell the rising concern, thought I’d make a quick post from a previous race.
A couple of weeks ago they held the annual running of the Steamboat Classic in the Peoria area. Basically a local race that just happens to be on the same training course my friends and I use throughout the year. Well, for at least the difficult part, we do not bother with those wussy 2 mile flats into and then out of the monster hills – those are for those 4 milers that are not brave enough to head up into the hills for the full 15K
Hit the jump to read more about how the race went!
Happy July 4th to my fellow countrymen and women especially to those who have or currently serving in the military which brought and sustains our freedom!
Somehow my next event clock got into the steroids as I was sure there was at least 2 or 3 months left before my next race and next think I know it is a mere two days away. With the final training run in the books as of last night, at this point it’s all about getting some rest, doing a few more healing treatments on the tweaked ankle mentioned previously and then either put up or put the tail between the legs and admit defeat. The good news is the ankle felt strong in the quick 6 mile test last night – forward direction seems to be recovered, just need to make sure I make the foot plants solid as the outer stabilizers are still a bit tender. As long as I keep it warmed up during the race it should be fine and expectations are the rest of the body will be so battered I won’t even feel it.
However something will likely be sticking in the back of my mind and it all has to do with this.
Yep, for the second year in a row, I took on the Blue Chevy Trail Classic back in May. You can read all about my maiden run at this trail race on a previous post (link here). If I remember correctly, that was my first official trail race. Since that time I’ve added a number of others and have clearly grown to love this new venue. It is definitely harder than the traditional road miles, but then again challenge is good for the soul (and my doctor’s and chiro’s pocketbooks). With the extra experience from the other trail races and the luxury of having done several training runs on the same course since, there was a sense of more confidence than when I toed the line the first time. Besides, this time the race coordinators stated there would be finisher medals this year which took the pressure off of having to place to get anything to show for the effort.
Riiiiiiiigggggghhhhhht! Turns out there was plenty to worry about that race day.
Hit the jump to read a bit more detail on how the race went.