Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tennessee State Finals

55 to 59 200 meters medalists
I have trying to write this blog since the State Finals meets almost two weeks ago, I have been busy to say the least.  But the meet was very successful and it was a great tune up for the Nationals in 9 days.   I medaled in all three events I was in.   I did not get any golds this trip, I won two silvers and a bronze.   But I ran really fast in the 50 m and 200 meters and was beaten by the new and younger guy-- Lyon Fleming # 1387.  He is just starting his career in the Sr Circuit.   I was visiting with Lyon and he indicated that he ran longer distance stuff and was working out one day when he was basically approached by George Siros --a star in the 80-84 mens division-- and thought he would give it a shot.   He ran a 28.09 200 meter and a 7.01 50 meters and won both events!   George found some real talent in Lyon. 

The picture of Lyon and me with Jerry Crowe was taken right after the 200 meter event, which was easily the best race of the weekend.  I love to be in the nailbiter, lean fest finishes.  We were basically in a dead heat the entire final straight and Lyon got me by 0.08 seconds and Jerry by 0.3 seconds.  Linda got it on video as well and it was quite a race.  I ran about as hard as I could and may be able to get below 28 at nationals depending on the conditions.   The conditions for this meet were hot on Sunday and a head wind.  We had to do a lot of waiting around the starting lines and I was surprised that we did not dehydrate and get injured.   If we can handle those conditions, nothing at the Nationals in Minnesota will give us a problem.
I wanted to defend my state record in the 50 m and Lyon broke it and reset it to 7.01 and I actually broke the old record, but ran third at 7.30.  I was real happy with that race, but got beat.  I think I jumped the start, but it was legal and it was real fun race.

I had an opportunity to visit with Chris Edlin from Carroll county in Tennessee.  He is in the young men's class and won the 50 meters and ran very solid at the meet.  Chris has been following my blog since the beginning and I wanted to give a really nice person a shout out.  Thanks for following me Chris.  I had conversations with some other people who like this blog and I appreciate your support.  I like doing this, it helps my writing and gives me an outlet to vent when it is needed, and hopefully some info to help the other senior athletes stay healthy and fast.

Charlie Baker, George Siros and Evelyn all ran this year and won their divisions.  Charlie and George are the royalty and are just gifts to the sport.  George is in the 80-84 division and recruited Lyon and told me he woke up at 3:00 AM on meet day and could not go back to sleep--too nerved up!!  You got to love the passion, I hope I can keep it as long as he has.  George beat Charlie by 0.2 seconds in the 200 m, Charlie is in the 85 to 89 division and they ran the same heat.  George was really worried about beating Charlie, different class, but who cares--he hates losing.   Evelyn won the 50 m in her class, she has two new knees, that is a real recovery!!  Keep it up, gives a lot of hope to the other folks that struggle to get around.   She did her best and that is what these events are all about, compete against your self and give it.....

I am ready the nationals and I think Tennessee is going to have a good shot at the 55-59 mens 4 x 100 relay.  The groups shown along with another speedster will be in the relay and I think we have a legit shot a medal.    A medal would really be a big deal, this is some elite racing and you have to perform when that gun sounds.  No excuses.

I had little soreness after either day of running and was actually surprised of the lack of muscle soreness.  They were really fatigued, I stretched on Monday and they were really dead but felt fine.  My stretching has been effective and I also wore a lot of compression wear during the weekend to keep the fluids from accumulating.  This something that I will repeat in Minnesota.     Speaking in Minnesota, I am in Wisconsin this week and I did run one evening at the "Papermakers" track.  Nice facility, with turf and synthetic track.  The wind was stiff and if I ran into the wind, it was the best workout.  I used my parachute for a couple of 100 meter sprints, but keep snapping the connectors, it was a stiff breeze.   If you ran with the wind, it was like a vacuum with no resistance and not a good workout, nothing to be learned.   So I got in some good sprints and struggled to stay warm, it was in the 70's and trying to rain.  So the gear needed will be a little different in the North country.     Last week, I ran at the local track near home in fowl weather.   Racing at this level happens regardless of weather, lightning will stop the action, but rain is not a problem.   I got warmed up and it started to rain and I ran some really good sprints as the rain increased.  I was running in a track that 1/4 inch deep in water at the end.   The lightning was getting close, so I headed for the vehicle.   A couple things were learned about rain running--wear your glasses, a thin top and make sure your shoes are tight.   The rain will basically blind you, the shirt will hold a lot of water and your feet will slip in the shoes and that is a bad feeling.   It was fun to do some rain running, but not something that I would suggest unless the heat is just too oppressive.

There is a lot more on Facebook about the race, so you can probably get the video and other posts from Jerry and Lyon if you look.  Back to work

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The busy season is exploding

June and July are usually jam packed with action and this season is no different.  I have the State Finals track meet next weekend, a wedding, the National Track meet, and I just learned of a high school reunion I would like to attend--all by the end of July.   Linda and I will be running our butts off and using up a lot of frequent flyer airline miles.  And for work I will fit in a trip to Portland, Oregon, Auburn, Mass and a few other car trips.    Gonna be really busy.
  The garden is starting to provide some food and that is good, but you hate to miss any really fresh stuff.  We are already getting more kale and peppers.  Corn, tomatoes and green beans are just around the corner.   We have a beautiful little patch of black raspberries in the meadow and it has been yielding some yummies as well.    All mixed together and it is busy around here. 

The porch project is completed!!

I finished the final paint on the porch and got all the little detail crap finished.  So I can get my tools back in the shed and get back to the kitchen project.  We have a new dishwasher to install and that will happen--I am not sure, looking at the schedule it could be August.    But I have already worked up my drawings and will start accumulating the required materials.   The dishwasher will be installed higher than normal, so a drawer for baking pans will be underneath and loading and unloading is substantially easier-- a lot less bending and I like that idea.

I have been cycling my training, trying to peak and be rested for the State Finals next Saturday and Sunday.  On Saturday I will run the 400 m in the morning and on Sunday run the 50 and 200 meters.  I like splitting it up, the 400 m just kicks my ass and I am exhausted for hours trying to recover-- aging has its effects.   I ran at the track this morning and ran a couple of 400 meters, which were supposed to be 600 meters.  The wind was so strong, that regardless if I started into the wind or finished with the wind, my heart rate was at 99% and I could not get the last 200 meters out of my old carcass.  I also worked on full speed starts with and into the wind and some 50 meter speed work.    I felt good, but was absolutely gassed for a couple of hours.  No significant aches and pains--which is really important to the Seniors.   

This week I will work really hard on stretching, everyday if possible.  I will train a couple of days with some light running at a fitness rate, no max effort stuff until the race.     I will see Geoff on Friday and get a good rub down and hopefully be ready.  I still hold the 50 m state record in my age class and would really want to defend it one more time or lower if possible.  In the 200 meters, I would really want to get sub 28 seconds again.  The 400 is just survival, period.  We will see....

Sunday, May 24, 2015


 This picture is of Lady Liberty at the New York New York resort across the street from my hotel, the Tropicana.  A great symbol for the Memorial Day Holiday coming up.  
I was in Las Vegas this week for a sales call at a local tissue mill.  Yes,  they have a tissue  manufacturing plant in North Vegas!  I am 58 years old and this was my first trip to Vegas.  I had been to the airport numerous times, but never left the secure areas, so that does not count.   By the way, as I left the secure area to get my bag, there was an interesting sign overhead coming down the escalator.   Two words and two arrows.   Baggage to left, liquor to the right.   Pretty simple I think.  The bars do not close, neither do the carry out stores, restaurants, casinos, etc.  Around the clock action--that is Vegas.
I had never had any interest in going to Vegas, but I made the most of my chance this trip.  I did not gamble, because it is impossible for an amateur such as I to do anything but give them money while learning.  I can stand to the side and spectate for that kind cash.  The hotels rates during the week are quite reasonable, the resorts are gorgeous, the shopping is top shelf--Harry Winston diamonds for one--and walking around the city is a joy.   I spend one evening doing a walk about and had some dinner at an outdoor Irish Pub.  It was just a very enjoyable evening for one.    I would like to go back and take Linda.  I think with some good planning, we can have a reasonably priced vacation and also meet some of our other adult friends for a good time.  We would play cards, but for fun and conversation. 
Yesterday, the local shoe store, Fleet Feet, had a track meet for all comers.   I ran in the 100 m, 200m and the 400 m races.   We ran in that order as well.  I think close to 150 people actually ran and some of the athletes were definitely elite.  Some of the elite Senior Olympians were in attendance and the quality of the middle distance people was exceptional.  One young college runner did a 10.9 second 100 meter and ran about 22 flat in the 200, he was really quick.  I was chatting him up a little and he indicated he had never run the 400 meters but had signed up.   I was trying to help him figure out how to pace himself, which is a big part of the race.   He said that he runs about a 22 second 200 and I told him to go for a 26 or 27 second first 200 and then see what was left,  and see if he was being pushed and let it rip after that.   He ran a 26 second first 200 and finished in 52 seconds--perfect right out of the box. He looked great and of course, had some really good coaching as well.  That was a fun race for me--just watching.  
The track was quite fast, it was a six lane black synthetic with the temperature in the low 80's and party sunny.  The first race was the 100 meters and I ran a 13.55 seconds and took first.  I felt pretty good and won my heat.  I was not challenged and basically ran my race.    The race promoter gave the winners a $15 gift card--cool.   The next race the 200 and I ran it in 28.2 and took first place.  I ran it hard the last 120 meters and felt good.  That also yielded a $15 gift card--I am liking this pro stuff.  Those times are near my best for the last couple of seasons, so my training is on track to be competitive at the state championship in 4 weeks.  I will continue to concentrate on my speed work, which I have been doing for only three weeks.  I think this strategy is working and I will continue my current training.  I have been really trying to avoid the over training related fatigue and injuries. 
  I also ran the 400 m late in the day and was out of gas so to speak.   I ran 70 seconds and finished 4th in the heat.  I was fine with that time, I was dehydrated and knew it. The easiest time to get hurt is during periods of dehydration, so the 400 was just a practice lap.  I drank 4 bottles of water and had no inkling of needing a potty break.  After the race I had a 24 ounce smoothie, a cup of warm coffee that was in the car, more water and finally worked up a little stream, I was dehydrated.
While in Vegas I worked out on the UNLV track.  In the background of the picture you can see the top of one of the hotels on the strip.  So, if you go to Vegas and need a place to workout, check out the UNLV track, it is close to The Strip and has a nice red synthetic surface.  The wind was really tricky at this track.  A storm was brewing to the West and  it did sprinkle a little during my hour on the track.  I was trying to run with the wind so I would not work my muscles that hard with a meet coming up in two days.  The wind switched 180 degrees about every minute or two and it was hard to get in a 200 meters without hitting the wind somewhere in the run.  But I felt pretty good and my stretching was really good. 
Have a great Holiday.  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Summertime Feet

I am not including pictures for this post because of the fear of reprisal.   Wintertime feet are nice and clean and soft because they are always in nice socks and boots or shoes.   But summertime feet for those of us who garden and wear flip flops all summer, are dirty and dusty with the always present dirty ring around the toe nails.   The toes are always dirty and even when you scrub like no tomorrow, they still have the little residue around the nails.  I guess this is the price I pay for wearing flip flops all summer.   I really do not help me case since I run the tiller and garden  with flip flops are well

   I have been doing  some roof work recently and I wear an old pair of running shoes so I can maximize the traction while on the metal.   As with any job I do at home, I will get distracted by  the garden and end up with a tiller in my hands or the hoe for a few minutes during a break.    Even with running shoes, you get the ugly summertime feet.  The mesh material just allows the finer material to filter thru and you still get dirty feet. So it goes, get the hose ready or head for the creek.

Linda and got to see the Prairie Home Companion radio show at the Ryman last night.  What a treasure !  We have seen the show 3 times at the Ryman and she has seen it multiple times at various sites, it is such fun and it about the best two hour show you will ever get to see.  Great writing and production, wonderful music and it has been going on for over 50 years.  The genesis of the PHC was the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman when Garrison came for a visit in 1972.  He could not get in because it was sold out, but watched and listened thru the windows (it was the days before AC) and he was hooked. He wondered if he could something similar and he has!! He has created one of the best weekly show anywhere and when he hangs it up, we will lose a real American treasure.

I have to brag a little, but I have been furiously trying to get a patch of yard to grow and the local mole population have insisted they get to help.  Their help is really unwanted in my newly seeded area, but they insist.  This week, I finally got one cornered with the garden hose and after about 15 minutes of water in the hole, it came out looking for air.  It made it a few feet and I made sure the shovel hit the mark.  I was so proud!   Next day--another mole in the same spot.  Boy was I aggravated.  I tried the hose again but to no avail.   I will work on him next weekend, hopefully he gets careless like his predecessor.    I also tried some of the mole baits early in week that are formed to look like earth worms.  I lost my patience with their lack of effectiveness and moved on to the hose.  The baits look exactly like the Creepy Crawlers  that we used to make many decades ago.   You would pour some liquid into a mold, cook it, and pull out a spider, snake, etc.  I was a fan of the purple spiders, but they always looked like beetles, because you just would tear off all the legs getting the thing out of the mold.  Creepy Crawlers were doomed because of the leg issue.  Now if ZI can doom the moles as well.

My first competition will be Saturday May 23 at a local high school track.  Fleet Feet who is the premier running shoe supplier in the area is doing a fund raiser with some track events.  So I am signed up and will see what times I can run in the sprints.  So, I now have something to shoot for and hopefully I can get free the week to do some running on the track.    It is hot enough, no excuses left.

Happy Mothers Day to all !!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It's Summer Already

We blinked and it turned into summer.  Garden is coming up, grass is getting dry and needs watered and the weather is nice and hot.  Great time of the year to be outside and enjoying it. 

I have finished the high work on the roofing project for the front porch.  I am glad that is done because of the heat. As it got warmer , it was really tough to work on the new shiny metal roof--dehydration was pretty rapid.   So, the roof is finished, gutter installed and I can now work on the lower stuff that I can do in the rain or shade.  I need to rebuild the support columns and deco P's as I call them.   Our paint colors are selected and we will get on with the painting of the porch as the pieces are repaired and replaced.  It should pretty classy when done.  I looked like it was going to fall in earlier this year.  

One of the previous owners of the house stopped by last weekend and wanted to admire our work.  He was impressed by the improvements we have added.   He owned the house when the high school was built next door.  During the construction--which included a lot of limestone blasting-- the house sustained significant damage to the floor structure.  He had the floor replaced, including support beams-- in the lower bath and hall because of the floor was developing very wide cracks and the entire upper story.    He also improved the electric, water and added the present HVAC system which works quite well.   He spent a lot of money on the house interior, and he also financed the improvements by selling off several one acre building lots.  It was then purchased by the Peters family from whom we purchased the property. It must have been worth saving. 

I was been traveling quite a bit, although this week I am working at home, and have been getting in little real training.  I have been doing distance work twice a week and feel pretty good.  The local Fleet Feet is doing a fund raiser in a couple of weeks by holding some track events at a local high school.  I am going to run a couple events to see how I am doing with my speed.  I could run the 100, 200 and 400 if I like.  I will probably run a couple, all three may be too much.  I need less stuff to do while I am home, so I can get in some harder training on the track.   Whine Whine

May 4 was a major anniversary date for me.  I graduated from college May 4, 1980 and started full time employment in the paper business on May 4 , 1981.   34 years of the paper business and still counting.  Hopefully I can make it to 45 years before I step away!!  The new job with Kadant is going well.  I am getting to still see some familiar faces and my insights into the tissue making process appears to be helping the sales process for doctoring blades. 

Linda asked about why the doctor blades are named that, great question for Google.  According to Google, doctor blade comes from the word "ductor blade".  The ductor blade was used in early block style printing to remove excess ink from the block when prepping to print on paper.  Ductor turned into doctor and that term is used today in all types of printing, roll cleaning and tissue making.  Nothing to do with medicine, even though the words tissue and doctor may get the unsuspecting pointed in the wrong direction.    That is our little FYI for the day, now we all know.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tired and Sore Season

The busy season for me is always accompanied by the tired  and sore season.   Yesterday I set up the scaffolding and worked on the roof project again.  This session was replacing the siding in a section of the house that I had to destroy when I replaced the roof on the porch.    Small section of siding, but the access was terrible and for some unknown reason, every time I would get going good, the sun would come out and just cook me on the roof.  It looked great when I got the cedar siding installed, but I managed to drag almost every tool I could carry up on the roof, including the leaf blower.   I use the blower to clean up the dust and debris created when you work on an old house.   Dust of all sorts is created and makes for a filthy mess.   I need to do another section on the other end of the porch, but it has better access.  Progress is being made. 

I worked until the rain was ready to fall and will hopefully complete the repairs up high next weekend if the weather cooperates.   It is still raining today, so I will put my tools away for another week.  My body is pretty sore, I did a lot of climbing up and down the scaffolding and as my Mom says 'you ain't as young as you used to be".  She reminds me of that every time I get to whining about being sore.  But my ass is sore today.  Mom's are always right....

We finalized our paint colors yesterday and bought some bright yellow for accent, hunter green to match the roof for the trim and a neat shade of violet to paint the ceiling in the porch.   There will also be some white for the main part of the house, but I can get that stuff anywhere. 

My new work vehicle arrived yesterday morning.   The leasing company found a blue Ford Explorer in Nebraska and had it shipped to my house.  Finally, I can get off the rental car carousel and drive 'my' vehicle. 
 The new gig at Kadant has been going very well in my opinion.   I have been traveling recently and it has been to some spots that are not on the big map--you need a small map for these spots.  I did get to see a mountain lion/lynx while in Western Wisconsin this week.  It just flashed across the road while we were headed to the supper club.   At the supper club the bimonthly Wednesday night cribbage club was playing.  They had a great turn out and the Old Milwaukee was popular with this group.  They play from October thru April and break up for the summer.  I was stunned at the quietness of the group--no trash talking or anything of that sort--very civil.    As you travel, you notice different slices of the population and in this section of the country the hairstyles for the women was just so different to the Nashville area.   Of the dozen or so women playing cribbage, not one had hair that could touch a collar on a shirt, but neither could any of the men.  I thought that was so striking.  In Nashville, long hair on women of all ages is the norm.   Maybe only one barber in the area could cut hair ?  

I have attempted some gardening this Spring, but it has been wet and getting anything started that will be good to eat will have to wait. I will wait for my chance to get it planted-- it will resemble corn farming, it gets dry and you go full bore day and night to get it all planted.  I did plant some grass and it has been perfect weather to grow grass.  A section of yard that was all crabgrass last season, looked anemic after I killed the crabgrass this year needed to be redone.  So, I tore it up, planted and rolled out the bumps.  The grass is coming on now, I hope this is last time I need to plant grass in this section of the front yard.

About 12 years ago Linda and I first started to date.   We have been with each other ever since.  It has been a great run and I hope it continues.   Speaking of running, I have been running about twice per week,   Last week,  I ran outdoors at Ladysmith, WI --home of the Lumberjacks--on their very nice all weather track.  I felt good to get an outdoor workout.  I was very breezy and warm and enjoyable.  I am hoping for some dry weather so I can get a little track time this weekend.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Busy season

When I started changing jobs almost 4 weeks ago, I was also going to lose my pick up truck, which was a company owned vehicle. This created a deadline to get the roof work done.   Without a truck to haul around lumber and debris, I was not going to be able to repair the roof on the front porch of our house as planned.   The roof was leaking and had to get repaired this year.   The plastic siding that was covering the old wood -which was completely rotten in many spots-was falling off and it was time to fix it or forget it.  So I rounded up some scaffolding, ordered house jacks--(the porch was 8 inches lower on one end than the other), ordered the metal roofing and started the process.    Last weekend was expected to be rain free and I removed the old roof, did the necessary structure repairs-- (a lot of that)-- and put down the new metal roof.   I looks great and last night it rained really hard for a bit and it did not leak.  That was good news.    
There are also several decorative elements on the porch posts that were rotting on the ends, (as a result of the roof leaks), and needed to be repaired or removed.  They are shaped like a "P" with small holes drilled for relief.   I removed them and will repair as needed.  They are made of three boards that are cut to shape and then nailed together.  They add nothing structurally, but do break up the silhouette and give the owner somewhere to put some accent color.  When I reinstall them, they will not be completely white.   With the roof on, I can repair the decorative elements at my leisure, and complete the other work that was a result of the water damage.  Also, putting on some paint that might be a more than white with a splash of white is an important part of the process.
Last weekend, March 29 was my sister's birthday.  She would have been 53.  If you think something is wrong with you, go the doctor.  Waiting solves nothing. 
Our daughter Rosemary is in town for the Easter weekend.  She flew in from Austin yesterday.  I flew in from Portland about an hour earlier, so I just met her at the gate. The airports were pretty busy yesterday, the Spring breakers mixed with the normal Friday traffic really made for a crowd.    Today is spa day and I need it after the long plane rides this week.  The planes seats are hard on my back.    We are also going to The Hermitage Hotel for Easter Brunch, they do it real nice. Eating and relaxing, I like the sound of that. 
Next up is gardening and mowing,  I am a little behind because of the porch repairs.  This week I am not planning on any travel and can hopefully get the dirt tilled and some planting started.
I am still getting some treadmill work in to stay in shape on my trips.   I am running a couple times a week and when we get some warm weather, I will get outside.  No current injuries to report and that is my main goal this year--run healthy.   I feel strong when I run, so I think I will have a good season for the oldest man in the group-- 55 to 59. I need to lose a few more pounds, but otherwise, I feel ready to race.