Thursday, July 30, 2009

Iron Girl Atlanta on NBC

Yea, I'm doing them a favor, cause Iron Girl Atlanta is one of my all time favorite sherpa-ing events. So sue me :-)

It's going to be on NBC this Sunday from 2-3 PM EST.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Obligated

The Tail of the Anti-Virus Virus

There are bad people in this world. Yea, besides the ones who want to do nasty stuff to other people. Them kinds are just the sickos.

I've been noticing a pattern visiting my favorite news website. Every once in a while, my web browser will get redirected to a page that sez, "You gotz virii!". Given my recent experiences with Dee Dee's netbook. I thought I would share.

Dee Dee popped open her netbook the other day, and it would not boot. After shutting the power down and rebooting, it came up. All kinds of messages started popping up, on their own, of how Dee Dee's computer was full of viruses. I inadvertently clicked on something on the task bar which began an install I could not stop. By the time it was finished. Dee Dee's computer was lost.

Evidently, somebody had downloaded a viral anti-virus program to the netbook. When you downloaded and installed the anti-virus application, it took over the computer and kept flooding the screen with these "You got a virus" messages.

I managed to dig through the registry and computer configuration and remove it, but it had done something to the core network protocol stacks, and none of the web browsers would work. In the process of fixing this, I had to wipe Dee Dee's hard drive clean and re-install the operating system. Unfortunately for me, I had already paid $49.99 to upgrade Dee Dee's Norton Internet Security (which had lapsed), and I installed HP's MIE operating system instead of Windows XP. Norton doesn't work on that OS.

That's the dirty low down. Now, back to the news website. There is only one of two ways that my browser could get auto-magically redirected to this viral anti-virus web site. One, there is an advertisement on the site that is redirecting the browser when it comes up. Two, the internet stream is having a redirect inserted without them knowing about it. When request a web page on the internet, the information might travel through dozens and dozens of computers before it reaches you. If one of those computers follows the dark side, your internet stream can be corrupted.

What does this mean to you? If you see a window pop up in your browser that you did not ask for, kill it immediately, even if you have to open the task manager to do it. Do NOT download unauthorized programs, and do NOT run them. You are better off powering down your computer to prevent this. Do not view emails from people you do not know. My email client does not load images until I give it permission to do so. Do not click "Load Images" on emails from people you do not know. This is how spammers confirm your email address. Finally, NEVER NEVER NEVER open an attachment from somebody that you were not expecting nor told in advance what it is.

The internet is a scary place. Stay safe out there, will ya?

Wes

p.s. As an upside to this, Dee Dee has taken to the HP MIE operating system (Linux) like bees to honey, which is a good thing, I think :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Swirls

A Run for Life 10K Race Report

The cackling and giggling coming from my cube was both unintentional and deserved. Out of curiosity, I found the race photo from the 10K on Saturday on the internet. I've been needing a new profile picture and was kind of hoping this one would do the trick.

The near hysterical laughter was an indciator of... you guessed it... no!

Being a good boy, all things considered, I've been getting a decent amount of rest, and the semi taper leading up to the 10K helped. As a matter of fact, I felt good enough to wait for Dee Dee to come home from work Friday night before hitting the bed. I probably would've tossed and turned waiting for her anyways. By the time she got home, ate, and got ready for bed, it was past midnight. I'm used to getting very little sleep the night before a race and have learned not to worry about it. No worries!!

The alarm clock went off at 5 AM, and I allowed myself 15 minutes of slothfulness. After a few near misses dozing off, I jumped out of bed and got myself dressed. Prepping for a road race is so much easier than a triathlon. I wore my singlet from the Disney World Marathon, my black Mizuno shorts, Umbro socks, and my Mizuno Wave Inspire 4s. Downstairs, the coffee was already made. I let the dogs out while I ate my breakfast. The plan was to arrive at the race site at 6 AM for a 7 AM start. I left the house while it was still dark, only to turn around because I had forgotten the check book. I had been getting these emails all week about how my registration was still pending, due to debit card issues, and I was unsure if I would have to write them a check or not.

I drove to the general vicinity of the race site, only to realize that I had forgotten specifically where it was at. It was only about 30 minutes from my house, and I knew the area rather well. I figured, even if it took me 15 to 20 minutes to find it, I would be fine. I saw a road with a familiar name and turned on to it. It took me directly to the race start. Bulls eye!

There was plenty of parking at the various office buildings around the race site. I just picked one, not knowing if any particular place was the right place to be. I made my way down to the registration table. Sure enough. They had not processed my registration. I had to fill out the form to get a race number, even though they did not make me pay again. We agreed to resolve the payment issue after the race.

As the sky lightened, more and more runners arrived at the race. I got in and out of the port-a-potty line early. Like a lot of people, I have GI issues when I run. I have taken special pains to ensure that I do not have problems during the race, and today turned out to be a good day as well. By the time I got back from my twenty minute warm up, the line was long. Not wanting to sit still, I walked around for the final ten minutes before the race started. With minutes to go, I made my way to the front of the line and to the left. This wasn't a big race. Being in the front of the line was not a problem for me. There was plenty of room on the three lane road for faster runners. With almost no warning, the pistol fired and the race got underway.


My body felt good and strong as I started out on the slight downhill. I didn't know much about this course, but I figured it would be fairly flat. I kept checking my Garmin to make sure I was not blowing myself out in the first couple of miles. Coach's words kept reverbrating in my head... HOLD BACK HOLD BACK HOLD BACK. I winced visibly when I saw an average pace of 8:15 at the half mile mark. TOO FAST TOO FAST TOO FAST. I reigned myself in. I was almost gleeful when Garmin reported my pace at 8:45 for the second half of the first mile, which I crossed at 8:30 according to my watch. About fifteen seconds later, I crossed the official line.

It was here, at the start of the second mile that we encountered our only real "hill" of the day. It was about 70 feet of elevation change over three quarters of a mile. It took a lot more out of me than I care to admit. My focus was on good form and keeping my pace in the 8:30 to 8:45 range. I identified a couple of "bunnies" that I could chase here and did my best to keep up with them. The downhill for mile three was nice, and I just let my legs run free. I knew I needed to take advantage of this downhill slide if I was going to achieve the time I wanted. Besides, mile 3 was just ahead, and I needed to get ready to CHARGE! LOL...

After passing the third mile marker, I told myself to CHARGE! but my body would not respond. The little up hill section had my entire focus, and I was struggling to maintain my nine minute per mile pace. When I reached the flat section before mile 4, I was able to relax a bit, but in my mind, I knew that the hill was looming again. I struggled to catch my breath and keep up with my bunnies.

The second time up the hill was even worse than the first. I looked at my Garmin and my HR was climbing into the low 170s. My pace was at a nine minute mile, still. This was very discouraging for me. I cursed under my breath and kept running. At the top of the hill, I celebrated and vowed to pick up the pace and recover while running. Unfortunately for me, I just could not seem to get my pace below 9 minutes. This was disappointing for me and a far cry from the PR pace I had planned. As my average pace crept closer and closer to a nine minute mile, my heart sank.

I made the turn around before the six mile marker and glanced down one more time at my Garmin. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I thought my 10K PR was 54 minutes. When I saw the Garmin already had a 54 on it, I decided that I wasn't going to bust my ass anymore. That lasted for a couple of hundred meters before I changed my mind. It sounded too much like quitting, and I am not a quitter. I dug deep and picked up the pace. I made the left hand turn back onto Vaughn, anticipating the finish line.

Pick your head up. Smile. The race photographer is just ahead...

A car parked on the side of the road played this through a loud speaker over and over again. I looked up. I tried to smile. The result was laughable. I'm not going to share that picture here. If you want to see it, go find it yourself.

The final right hand turn was into the parking lot and under the finish line banner. I crossed the line in 56:45, and boy was I sweaty and tired. I made my way over to the table to get some water before walking back to the main registration area. I picked up my "goody bag" (LOL) , race shirt, a banana, and some water and walked back to the car. In a moment of brilliance, I swapped my sweaty singlet out for the race shirt, thus avoiding stinking up the upholstery in my car.

As I pulled out of the parking lot, I smiled. That was fun, I thought. I am ready to do it again.

When I got home, I uploaded the Garmin data to the laptop, and I was a bit pissed to see the mileage come across as 6.35 on both the 205 and the 50. To verify, I ran the race route through g-maps and it came out to 6.5. WTH?!? This just made me furious.

I guess this was kind of the kicker to the swirl of emotions that flooded in after the race. I was a little disappointed that I didn't PR, a little afraid that I had disappointed my coach. Angry that my progress in this sport just seems to have slowed down so much.

Over a couple of beers, I made peace with my race effort. I HAD done my best. I had fun. It was my best effort on this day, and I am not at all ashamed of that.

At this point in my life, my body is as fit, if not fitter than it was at the peak of my Ironman training, yet the improvements are just not coming. My conversation with Liz about this, and it has not been the first, went well. We both want the same thing. I want to be the best athlete that I can be. We (everybody) share a passion for the sport we love. It might take years to see the improvement that I want to see.

As of right now, what I know, fer shoor, is that I am going to accomplish my goals, on my terms. Love me for who I am, or don't love me at all...

Wes

Friday, July 24, 2009

10K!! (gone and dun it)

I finally pulled the trigger on the August Olympic distance triathlon. I was waffling back and forth between the one in Tennessee, and the one in Georgia. I'm really trying to avoid any unecessary expenses this year, and I was trying not to have an over night stay. Well, the way it ended up... I would have an over night stay for either, and I opted to stick to the original plan. Fall Creek Falls Triathlon it is!!

The next order of business was to find some place to stay near Pikeville, TN. The nearest decent hotel was a Holiday Inn Express in Spring City, 19 miles away. The good news is that the race is in the central time zone. Despite the thirty minute earlier start time, I will get that little bit of extra sleep!!

Tomorrow, I get to do something I haven't done in a long time. I am running in a stand alone 10K. I am excited about this opportunity. There hasn't been any run only blood letting in a while, nor vomitting for that matter, and I feel like it is overdue.

Coach has prescribed a pretty standard race plan, and I intend to execute it flawlessly. Build the first two miles to a good pace. The third mile is steady. Then, for the second loop.... CHARGE!!! {queue trumpet}

It is times like these that we seek to break through our limits. I know I have a PR in me. The question is, how much? Only time will tell...

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wes

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sometimes

So, I try not to be stupid. Here's a clue for you young people. Avoiding trouble is a lot easier than getting out of it. While its true, sometimes trouble will find you, wanted or not. I've been fairly successful at avoiding it. Unless, of course, it is of my own choosing.

Unlike last year, when I was training for Ironman, I find myself pushing my workouts off until lunch or in the afternoon. I will usually go get my swim on at lunch, and if I have a double, do the second workout in the evening. I really really want to be a morning person, but I, evidently, lack motivation. Once I wake up, I'm fine. I have energy. The mood is good! There's just no motivation during that first thirty minutes to go do a workout.

This was the situation I found myself in yesterday. Even at lunch, I kept putting off the swim. The pool is getting more and more crowded. I rarely have it all to myself now. By 1 PM, it was obvious a lunch time workout was off, and at some point during the day, I decided I would go swim in the lake.

I really love swimming in the open water. The big quandry here was that after my swim, I needed to run for thirty five minutes. If I swam at the park by my house, I had no where to run. If I swam at Red Top Mountain, I would have no one to swim with me. Sometimes, you just got to do what you got to do. I chose Red Top.

Now, I don't swim solo. I take safety seriously. But this day... I just needed to, ya know? When I arrived, a couple of triathletes were leaving, and there were a few people along the cove. In truth, I wasn't entirely alone. I donned my gear, including my Swimsafe belt and took off across the cove. About half way across the cove, I had the usual panic attack. I am in deep water. What if I can't swim anymore? How will I breath? yada yada yada... I willed myself to relax and recovered quickly.


Once I relatively comfortable I was not going to drown, I got around to swimming. I really enjoy my open water swims with other peeps. There is something entirely different about doing it alone. I angled along the shore line to "stay safe", quite a few times almost touching the bottom with my hands. The setting sun blinded me on my left side as I attempted to bilateral breath. When I reached the cove, I toyed with the idea of trying it, but, I decided against it. That would be pusing this a bit far.

Instead, I turned back towards home and picked up the pace to half Ironman effort. When I reached home base, I headed to the pier and back to reach my 1500 meter minimum.

As I climbed from the lake, I said hello to a couple of other families that had come down to enjoy the beautiful day. I went back to the car, dried off and changed into my trail shoes. I spent the next 35 minutes going up hill, down hill, through hill, and up and over a few trees to boot. At the end of the day, I was happy, happy to know that this type of workout is now in my bag of tricks, although I certainly won't make a habit of swimming alone.

Wes

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Old and New

The goal of the week, quite frankly, has been survival. A 6+ mile run during the middle of the week is just not normal for me, and I calls it like I sees it. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed it in a "let's kill myself and smile" kind of way. It just... crushed me.

Coach knows...

Up till the weekend, the workouts were light, yet sufficiently challenging. A couple of bikes, a swim, a light easy run... One would think I would be on the road to recovery. No? No....

OK. Yes... but I'm kickin and screamin along the way.

In a show no mercy kind of way, Coach prescribed a 2.5 hour and 1.5 hour run this weekend. Take that with a grain of salt. I told Liz I loved my workout block, and I do. She wanted me to do hill repeats, but let's face it. Unless I go up to the freakin mountains, there is no such thing as a 5 minute hill here in Georgia. One to two minute hills, we got those coming out the wazoo, but a five minute hill? Not so much.

Keeping with the SPIRIT of the workout, I headed to Cartersville, the land of hills and beer, to do my ride. I got up early, again, and arrived in the parking lot at 7:50 AM. Unfortunately, I had a bike kit bag malfunction, and was not able to get on the road until 8:15 with my spare tubs, canisters, and tools stuffed into my bike jersey and bento box.

I really enjoyed getting back to The Bud Plant ride. Something old, something new, dontcha know? I downloaded the new routes for 2009 and downloaded it into my Garmin (Thanks, Kim!). I gotz this fear of getting lost. With queue sheet in hand, I set out for my ride. The route changed quite a bit. There is still plenty of hills (remember, we gots tons of those little ones). I found myself riding the old route backwards a little. Everything went splendidly. I told the Garmin I wanted to do the route at 18 mph, and for the most part, I did fine. There was this one part where one minute I was three minutes ahead of schedule and the next time I looked I had fallen behind. WTH?

That was about the same time the Garmin told me I was off route. and the cow showed up. No kidding. There was a 2 ton cow walking down the road unsupervised. I laughed. He looked really cute with a 152 tag in his ear. He gave me this "I can totally take you look", and I laughed and rode off.

I was very grateful that the new route avoided all those hills at the end of the old one. I WAS TOAST. I still beat the Garmin by over 2 minutes, although the Forerunner 50 reported the mileage as 48.4. I also thought that I would wear my 2XU compression sleeves during the ride, and I say. Never again!! I was so glad to get them damn things off my legs. They are great for recovery, but riding? Not so much.

Saturday night, I decided to rehydrate with beer. Yea. It's been a while. I slept in too. Funny, I woke up at 6:30, 9:00, 9:15, 9:30, you get the idea. I came downstairs, had coffee, made breakfast for Dee Dee and the kids. Before you knew it, noon was fast approaching. Not to worry though. It is downright pleasant here in Georgia, in July. Unbelievable. I went for my run at noon, complete with Fuel belt, and gels, and THE most pleasant breeze for the entire run. I chose to do the 8.3 mile hill route in my neighborhood. My legs felt surprisingly good, and at times, I had to hold myself back from cutting loose. It was a good thing to, as coach wanted me to run for 15 minutes in Zone 3 at the end of my run, and by that time, I was definitely feeling it.

Zone 3, by the way, comes easy in my neighborhood.

1:28:33 ended up being my time. Not a stellar run by ANY stretch of the imagination, but I executed the workout perfectly, and I'm not so much hung up on time anymore that I even care. I got more workouts coming this week ;-)

I hope y'all had a great weekend!!

Wes

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Crazy Laps

cra zy - [krey-zee] adjective, -zi⋅er, -zi⋅est, noun, plural -zies.
–adjective
  1. mentally deranged; demented; insane.
  2. senseless; impractical; totally unsound: a crazy scheme.
lap - [lap] verb, lapped, lap⋅ping, noun
-noun
  1. The amount of material/distance to go around a thing once.
cra zy lap - [krey-zee lap] noun
-noun
  1. running around in a circle, at the utmost speed, when the reason for such activity is not readily apparent to the casual observer.
This is a term coined by my Coach to descibe the activities of her dog, Boss. In case you were wondering, Boss is a chihuhua, and I suspect that the name is very fitting :-) When Boss gets excited, he does crazy laps until he collapses in exhaustion. I think this is where Elizabeth gets the inspiration for her track workouts.

Of course, I have my suspicions that Boss may be altering my workouts behind Coach's back, as this photographic evidence seems to support.

Personally, I have done speed work, but I have never done a track workout, other than my recertification tests. When I told Coach that I was adding a 10K to my schedule in July, she said, "You will do TRACK!" I could almost hear the glee in her voice through the email. Sure enough, after my fitness test, the track workout shows up on my schedule, along with the note, You are going to LOVE this...

The last time I tried to do a track workout, I discovered that both high schools by my house kept their tracks locked. I understand the reason behind this, but I am a tax payer, and I would like to run on a track that is paid for with my money. After doing a bit of Google Maps reconnisance, I discovered the track up by Bolling Park, which belongs to Cherokee High School. If worse came to worse, and this track was locked, I could run on the one mile trail at Bolling Park, using my Garmin to clock the distance.

Up and at'em early this morning! I got to the track at 7:30 AM to discover it was indeed accessible. Score!! I started my twenty minute warm up. It was cool, but muggy. The track was in a depression, and the sun had not yet peaked over the trees. Keeping with my new attitude of "the right effort at the right time", I walked a good bit and hit the port-a-potty before starting my first interval. The workout called for descending ladders, 1600m, 800m, 400m, with an easy 400m in between.

On the first interval, I, of course, felt strong. I reminded myself to hold back, as Coach wanted me to negative split the run AND come in faster on the second set of intervals. My mile came in at 8:14. I thought that was reasonable, given my time on Saturday. I did my recovery lap and went right into my 800 meter interval. It was getting hotter now, and harder. My time came in at 4:02, definitely faster than my mile pace, but would I be able to go faster the second time around? The third interval was hard. Mentally, I was fine, but I could feel my body getting tired. My left knee started to hurt, and I worked hard on keeping good form. My time for the third interval was 1:56.

I was very grateful that I had brought two bottles of water, one of which I converted to G2. It was getting hot, and I was sweating up a storm. After drinking half the bottle, I started my second mile interval. I tried hard to keep up the pace, but my body just wasn't having it. I came in at 8:16, a tad bit slower than my first mile. I walked the top half of the track before resuming my easy jog. When I reached the starting point, I took off again, determined to do "better", but again, my body just wasn't having it. My 800 meters came in at 4:20, and this did not make me happy! After my recovery run, I was determined to beat my first 400 meters. I gave this last lap everything I had and came in at 2:02. Just damn :-(

I dripped with sweat all the way home. Next time, I remember to bring a towel. I gave this workout a lot of thought. It WAS a great workout. It showed me that I can hold an 8-8.5 minute pace for 5 or more miles. With my warm up, my total mileage for the day was 6.75 miles. That's extremely long for me for a mid week run. To top it off, I wasn't 100% from my run on Saturday. In retrosepct, I am not going to quibble over 5 or 20 seconds for that matter. I will learn to hold back a little more on those first intervals AND negative split my run.

It's all money in the bank...

Wes

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Recertified!

Yes, I know that sounds suspiciously like certifiable, but we don't need to go there.

My annual recertification for being a soccer referee has come and gone. I like to attend Gold Rush here in Atlanta. It is a weekend of training for all referees in the state of Georgia. We typically get between 150 and 300 of us together in one place.

Unfortunately for me, they hold it in the bowels of Gwinnett County. That means I have to get up at the ass crack of dawn to get there by 6:45. Not to worry though, my energy level seems to be pretty high these days. I was up at 5 AM and out the door by 5:30. It would have been earlier if I hadn't forgotten that darn check book.

I made the customary stop up the road from the school at the Quik Trip to off load and buy a drink. There were a lot of cars in the parking lot when I arrived, proving I was running late. Saying a few quick hellos to the guys, I took off around the track for my mile warm up. A quarter of the way through my second lap, the whistle blew. I ignored it and finished up my lap. I found my instructor and made sure I was with the right group, then waited for the start of our 12 minute TT. My age group still has to run 2000 meters in 12 minutes, for a 9:39 avg pace.

The head instructor dropped his arm and we were off. My plan was just to cruise and come in as close to 2000 meters as I could. I was still sore in the hamstrings and thighs from my impromptu weight lifting session. I started easy and cruised around the track for the first lap. I had to beat 2:24 per lap to stay on target. My first lap cam in under two minutes, like 1:52 or something like that. Funny, that's right in the target range for a speed workout on McMillan calculator :-) I turned in the second lap at about the same time. I started feeling good and picked up the pace.

The instructor yelled: "7:52" as I passed him for the fourth time, not as good as my 7:23 from two years back, but respectable since I was taking it "easy". I slowed down a little bit for my fifth lap, and the instructor told me I could take it easy. I tried for about half a lap, but I looked down at my watch, and I had about 40 seconds to finish six laps in 12 minutes. I pushed it to the end and made it with 5 seconds to spare. 2400 meters in 12 minutes for an 8 minute avg pace. I'll take it! and I felt good to boot.

Next up were the sprints. I ran first on the 40 meter sprint and came in at 7.3 seconds, a .26 second improvement, and I improved almost 3 seconds on the 200 meter sprint. I am getting a little bit faster!! I think the rest of my peers thought I was nuts when I took off around the track at the end for a 1/2 mile cool down! LOL...

Anywho.... Watch out, Atlanta! I am good for another year of refereeing soccer. That means I'll ruin a few games, do exceptional on a few others, and be my normally good self on more than a lot.

Wes

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sands Thru the Hourglass

OK. So I had a wee pity party. Brought on no doubt, by my performance in the pool on Thursday. Coach likes to sneak in these time trials on my rest weeks. Time trials are fun.

(who is this guy?)

They start out with a decent warm up, followed by some sprints. Then, it's on. 3x300 at max consistent pace.

I went hard, but this time was different. I reached "uncomfortable" and held it there. Uncomfortable was not my max. It was more like cruise intervals. When I finished, my T-time was four seconds slower than my 500 meter time trial, and I was not happy! Coach sez that's good, but not I.

So I sulked, and got pissy, and whined. Finally, I decided to go back to the gym and hit the weights. They say us "older" athletes should strength train religiously in order to maintain our fitness. I've had trouble finding time.

Not so much that evening. Matthew was out with friends. Jimmy was at practice. I managed to find all the proper machines too. I used this machine called a "Hack" squat to do my squats. It was interesting, fun, and perfect. No problem injuring myself on that thing, and who knew I could leg press 350 pounds? Just once though! I ain't stooopid (am I?) :-)

Today, my ass is sore. Literally. But I'm happy. Life goes on. Tomorrow, I have my referee recertification test. I have to run 2000 meters in 12 minutes. I think I'm going to sand bag this year. I just seem disinterested in going hard for no reason lately ;-)

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wes

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rutting

If I was a deer, this might be a good thing...

Well, Dee Dee might think its a good thing ;-)

For me, rutting means... I'm in a rut.

Putting things into perspective. This is SUPPOSED to be an easy year for me. I have four triathlons on my schedule and a couple of road races. An easy schedule, right? No ambitious goals. No pressure. A little hard work. A whole lotta fun.

Evidently, it means no improvement either. OK. That's not fair. I've seen some improvement on the bike. A smidgen. We are grasping at straws here, people.

So... What's the goal, the plan, the reason for all of this...

First off, a healthy perspective. When this stuff becomes not fun anymore, I will stop doing it. Yea, like that is ever going to happen. So always, this first and foremost.

Second, focus on the little things. There is always something with my form I can work on, whether that's swimming, cycling, or running.

Thirdly, I am working on my eating habits. I am in the process of de-bloating again, and it feels wonderful. I am losing more weight. Less weight = faster right?

Finally, patience. I gotz patience. Keep doing the right things, trust in the process, and let the chips fall where they may.

In case you couldn't tell, this is a rest week for me. Tuesday, the little old lady in the lane next to me had a longer main set then I did. Yesterday, I did a 45 minute run that had a good bit of walking before and after the main set. I liked it that way. Today, I had a 3x300 time trial, and I didn't try my hardest. Yea, I did it, but it was a reasonably hard effort, not max. *le sigh*...

OK. I'm feeling whiny today, so I'm leaving. I'll be back soon, and hopefully, I'll be a bit more chipper :-)

Wes

Monday, July 06, 2009

Late Fourth Post

My representative in the House of Representatives, Chip Rogers, sent this in an email. I thought it was a good thing to share, and although I didn't ask for permission, I think Mr. Rogers would approve whole heartedly.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the fifty-six men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the fixty six fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well death would be the cost if captured. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKean was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr. noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their thirteen children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education.

They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot about what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't fight just the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government!

Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't. So, take a few minutes this year while enjoying Independence Day and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Keep Your Mouth Shut

First things first!! Down to bidneth....

The winner of the $75.00 Saucony gift certificate from Onlineshoes.com is:

Lisa @ Chasin Bunnies!!


Congratulations, Lisa! I have sent your contact information to the marketing peeps at Online Shoes dot com. Let me know if you haven't heard from them by next week!

I am off to Mobile this weekend to visit with my mother. Now that I have no restaurant holding me back, I have no excuses to get home and see my family more often. Matthew and I will be packing it in this afternoon and making the short-ish drive. The down side is that Dee Dee has to work again and will not be making the trip with us. Boo!!

In order to stay on track, I packed Dee Dee, Matthew, and the bikes in the car and made the trip to the Silver Comet Trail yesterday evening for my one hour bike ride. I rode for 20 minutes with Dee Dee and Matthew, then wrapped up the final 40 minutes by myself. Even though the outside temperatures were in the high 80's, the Silver Comet is mostly shaded, and it was most enjoyable. Unlike riding in the morning, the clouds of bugs were out in full force. I quickly learned to keep my mouth closed and breath through my nose. Bugs don't really have a taste, but they are awkward going down :-)

I hope everyone has a great Fourth of July weekend!! Stay safe, and I'll see you on the flip side of the fireworks!!!

Wes