I’m Almost There!

In my blog entry “Running: Okay, this time it’s for real ……. I promise.” I told you that until I’m able to run my current route without walking, I would not venture off. Well, I’m almost there! I am trying not to get too excited about it, but seriously I’m almost there!

I can’t explain how excited this makes me. Kind of a strange feeling, though, since a couple of years ago I was running near ultras and hills or not, this route was merely a warm-up.

Just the same, looking that the maps that my running app, ISmoothRun, and Strava, provides and seeing in picture format how far I have come in the 30 total runs since March 22 give me a sense of accomplishment. Blue lines are where I walked, and if you look at June’s map, you can see I walked only once, and that was on the flattest part of the route. I can run every hill now.

Awesome. Maybe I can come back from this. I think I’ll look for a 5K run to sign up for.

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I’m Sorry: Memorial Day

Memorial day never been easy for me, today is more then most because I hurt in my heart and feel guilty for not visiting my brothers and sisters who served, and for many died, for the freedoms we enjoy. I was raised to honor this day and Veterans Day by my father, to take just a little time to remember, and honor by visiting the graves of those who served.

I’m sorry my brothers and sisters for not visiting you today. But, know that you all are always with me, always in my heart, and that I love you, thank you for serving and most of all, for being my bothers and sisters. Until I see you in heaven, I will always remember you for will always be my family and part of me.

Brothers Not Forgotten..

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She bought a Horizon T303 treadmill

Horizon T303 Treadmill

My beautiful wife had been talking about purchasing a treadmill for a long time. Even though I am not a treadmill fan, I 100% supported her venture; after all, anything that gets you moven,’ and groven’ is good for you. In all honesty, I’m sure I will use it on days that I don’t feel like getting rained on and I need to run, or when the darkness has come, and when my anxieties/PTSD strike suddenly late at night or in wee hours of the morning.

My wife spent a lot of time researching treadmills and asking me questions about them which I know nothing about. She wanted to find a treadmill with the best quality and available features to value. She ended up getting the Horizon T303 treadmill. A trip to COSTCO added a 32″ VISIO TV (which we returned for an LG yesterday, the VISIO was app laden and lethargic) for viewing pleasure.

It took my wife and me about an hour to assemble, this thing is HEAVY, 325 lbs heavy. I have to say, as far as instructions go and making it simple, Horizon nailed it! The instructions were laid out cleanly and easy to follow; the best instructions I have ever seen in a product. A bonus was they provide all the tools you need to assemble the treadmill.

There was an issue found while testing. The treadmill can do up to a 12% Incline, and it was not working. I followed the Horizon troubleshooting guide, which indicated that the incline motor connector might have come loose during shipping and to open the cover and ensure the connector to the incline motor is fully seated.

Checking the connector, I unplugged it and re-plugged it, and sure enough, the incline started working. Good? well, no. After putting it together, my wife attempted to use it, and the incline motor stopped working. I took it apart again and checked it, but everything looked fine. I plugged the unit in with the cover off to see if I would notice anything before I called the company. I noticed that when you plugged the treadmill in, the incline motor attempts zero, meaning that it resets itself to 0% incline. I found that the motor was stuck. I after a second unplugged and plugged the incline motor, freed itself, and went to zero.

I could then use the manual incline buttons to cause the incline motor to move through all of its ranges. I noticed that near the 1% and 2% zones, the screw shaft that moves the running deck up and down was dry of any lubrication. I took a Q-tip, took some of the lubricant I found at the top of the shaft and lubricated the dry section. I ran the incline up and down a few times and put the treadmill cover back on. We have not had a problem since. Horizon should spend a few cents more and add a round shaft dust bellow to keep the dust and dirt off the shaft. I don’t know, just the Engineer in me thinking. The expose shaft is an area I do think will need maintenance dust and dust bunnies are bound to find their way onto the shaft and gum the works up.

My wife took it on its maiden voyage and is delighted with it.

A day later, I turned on the TV found a trail running video on YouTube, and took it for a 1-mile run—odd experience. Running to a trail running video is sort of strange, enjoyable, but strange. I had never run to a video on a treadmill before. I found that I was following the trail rather than the treadmill. Do you know what I notice? The treadmill goes in a straight line and does not follow the trail as it curves. More than once, I found my foot hitting the edge of the 20″ wide deck. LOL

Overall, it’s a sweet treadmill just wish that we would have bought it during the memorial day sale they are having right now; I would have suggested she get one of the Studio versions.

If their AFG Pro App were not so awful, I might even recommend the Horizon T303 treadmill to others. But the APP sucks so bad I would have to qualify the recommendation with how bad the app sucks; so I will not recommend it at all.

The things we like:
• Simple controls easily move through the selections and change things such as speed and incline even while in a pre-programmed routine.
• Easy to read displays and layout for the stats
• Heartbeat monitor is neat but don’t expect it to be too accurate.
• Built-in Fan is a COOL idea, just not very strong.
• The 20″ wide X 60″ Long running deck is PERFECT.
• Thumbs Up for built-in routines
• Solid Deck – Not too springy feels just right underfoot
• Solid & stable – the machine doesn’t bounce or move while in use feels strong or well built.
• Easy to install
• Folding Option

Things my wife and I don’t like:
• Their AFG Pro APP SUCKS! Not just a little A LOT! Very disappointing.
o Crashes all the time on the iPhone (OS 14)
o Not intuitive at all.
o Will not work on SAMSUNG tablets
o APPS you can export to are limited to just FitBit and UnderArmour apps like MapMyRun.
 It doesn’t support the major apps like STRAVA or Runkeeper, which sucks.
o You can’t program anything without being connected. You unable to configure your
routines ahead of time.
o Only one device can be connected; if you connect two, you will have to disconnect and
re-pair later. Major hassle.
• No onboard memory. Once your session ends and you clear the display, or it times out, you lose all your data unless you use their crappy app and it doesn’t crash.

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Long Run? – Not sure what to make of it

Not sure what to make of it, this morning I woke up wanting to do a long run, my 18-mile long run to be exact, the one that would take me down the strand into Coronado. I know it is not possible for me to RUN_FAR yet, but just the same, I felt like doing a long run. Is that weird?
Maybe it’s a sign that my Ultra mind is resurfacing. I don’t know, but that urge to RUN_FAR is egging me like the sharp click and drop of a mechanical clock’s longhand. I can hear the hand drop in my head – Click-Tick-Run.

I long to be back to the abilities and distances I once enjoyed running. I miss running in the mountains and deserts of California with other trail runners. I even miss the Ragnar Teams – I wonder what the ‘I LIKE PIE’ team members are doing now. The I LIKE PIE team are people I didn’t know who found me and asked if I would like to run with them in the Ragnar Los Cayotes Trail Run in 2018. It was the first time that I had ever been on a running team where I didn’t know a soul, and it turned out to be one of my best adventures.

I LIKE PIE Teams 1 and 2 – 2018 Ragnar Los Cayotes Trail Run

The 2018 Ragnar Los Cayotes Trail Run, 2017 Ragnar Road Washington DC, 2016 Shadow of the Giants 50K, among other smaller races, I never blogged about. The Shadow of the Giants 50K (7:27:43 )was probably the pinnacle of my running between 2015 and 2018.
I find it funny that I went to the trouble of making a video about it but never blogged or posted it. If you are interested, here is the video.

The Shadow of the Giants 50K 2016
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Woke Up Missing My Girls

Today I woke up thinking about my girls. The trigger may have been the “My Daughter’s Words” blog entry that I read in Movin’ it with Michelle. Whatever the case, I can’t concentrate on my work pictures of my daughters keep flashing in my mind, interrupting my train of thought. My simple text to both of them, “I miss you both, and I love you,” did not suffice in the waning the feeling of absents.

When I think of my little girls, I am in awe of all they have achieved and continue to pursue in their lives. How powerful and independent they have become as women. They see their goal and let nothing and no one veer their path. Most of all, they take responsibility for their actions, exhibit solid morals and work ethics; so rare in today’s world.

The last time I was with both of my daughters was in July of 2019 at the promotion ceremony of my eldest daughter to Staff Sergeant in El Paso, TX. My youngest daughter and I had the honor of pinning the new rank on her. My youngest daughter and I donned our uniforms for the occasion. I can’t express how proud I was that day to not only pin Staff Sergeant on one of my little girls but to stand there in uniform with them both. In actuality, four generations of Military are represented because I could no longer fit in my SEABEE uniform, so I wore my father’s.

I’m proud that my girls decided to carry on the family tradition of serving our great nation. Our family has been serving since the War of 1812 and on both sides during the Civil War.

From that day, this is my favorite picture. I not quite sure why. There is just something about it.

Can you tell I am a proud dad standing in uniform with the two Baby Girls in theirs?

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Running: Okay, this time it’s for real ……. I promise.

After numerous false starts and disappointments, I’m back. Really, I am. You see, I’m sick of being a slug, feeling awful, tired, and a disappointment to myself.

It’s hard to think about where I was three years ago; running Ragnar’s trails, other various trail runs, 10K, ½ and Marathons were easy-peasy. 22 mile long runs on Saturday mornings were the norm. Daily 6, 8, 10 runs seemed so short.

The Shadow of the Giants 50K run that I completed in June 2016 was what I considered my entry into the Ultra World and my first stepping stone to 100. 100-mile trail run, huh… feels so far out of reach now.

Now, even though I’ve been running since March 22, 2021, runs seem hard. 22 minutes less than 2 mile runs on pavement, granted almost 70 percent hills, take it out of me. I need to shed the ballast beneath my skin.

This time around, I decided that I would work on time running vice distance. So currently, I’m doing 22 minute runs every other day (20 minutes in March and April). Wherever 22 minutes ends up distance-wise is where it is. I’m not thinking about “How Far” right now. I’m not sure if it the right approach, but it’s the one I have committed to.

I run in my neighborhood which a pretty much 70% hills, and there are still sections, albeit short, where I still have to walk. I have told myself that I will not venture off this course until I can run the entire route without walking.

So Here are the stats:

March I weighed 205lbs Running Average was 1.67 miles in 20:06 (Total Miles March 10.04)

April I weighed 197lbs. Running Average was 1.73 miles in 20:13 (Total Miles March 29.79)

May so far 1.93 miles in 22:38 (Total Miles March 9.64)

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Shoe Sniffing: I thought I’d seen everything

Does living in California do something to the brains of people? At over 60, I had thought I had seen just about everything. But the RING doorbell has exposed more people’s habits and fetishes that I could ever imagine. Some of the stuff I have seen people do in the presents of a RING doorbell has been ODD, even alarming, this instance is no different.

Here we have a young man sniffing shoes left on the porch of one of my neighbors, to his credit? He did leave a dollar for the privilege of sniffing someone else’s shoes. Only in California……

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If you read one BOLG today, Read this one

If you read one blog posting today I recommend that you read this  by beautybeyondbones:


I almost never crosspost

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I Have Retuned!

Yes, it has been a long while since I have posted anything. Life has a funny way of getting in the way, and in this case, the school was the most significant reason I had dropped not only from the blogging scene but also from running. A full-time job, family and 22 hours of school that included six essays per week “proved too much for the man.”

So what happened while I was gone? Not much, the only running I did was Ragnar Washington D.C. last Sept 2017. I did not run my 50 milers which turned out to be a good thing because I left what would have been the next day for the Philippines and ended up in the hospital in the Philippines from catching a bug. Had I run the 50, my immune system would have been already compromised, and I would have been really bad off, if not medevacked from the bug I caught.

I started running again two weeks ago, and I’m disgusted with my performance. Nothing like starting over. The first week of running was hell, and I struggled to complete just two miles. I’ve been running three miles about four times a week, unless I run Juan St. then I do 2 miles. Next week I plan to kick up my runs to four miles. I need to get up to at least 6 miles by the first week in November because I also joined team I EAT PIE 2, to run Ragnar Los Coyotes Trail Nov 9-10. LOL yeah when I jump, I jump in with both feet.

It feels good to be running again, so all of you will be see me posting again often!

Happy Trails!!!

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Grandkids, Nipples, and Band-Aids

Grandpa! Haha why do you have band-aids on your nipples?

Because your daddy was trying to suck milk out of them and they got hurt.

 MOM!!!  he yells as he ran to the guest room. Mom, Grandpa had band-aids on his nipples because Dad was sucking the milk out!

This was my ‘good morning grandpa’ when I returned from my long run this morning. What a great laugh…

FullSizeRenderI know I’ve been off the blog for a long time; Life got in the way along with my Zion race I’ve been swimming allot; so much so my running started taking a backseat so I’ve been remedying that and have stated kicking my mileage up again. But I fear its a bit late I’ve go my 50K trail run on June 10 so this is going to be interesting to see how well I do on this run.

I’m using the 50K Trail run as a sort of benchmark on my journey to my Ultra 100 mile goal in 2018. I’ve gone as far to seek to Andy Jones-Wilkins as a coach which he has agreed to do after I’ve run my 50K. I was so jazzed when he wrote me back and said that he would be happy to coach me.

I could not ask for a better Ultra Trail running coach and am so looking forward in him working with me. Well off to catch up on every ones blog….

So glad to have the time to read all of you!

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