Friday, May 29, 2009

Farewell, Woody

My cat, Woody, died yesterday. He was 18 1/2 years old. He was a good cat, a pain in the ass at times and a good friend too. Woody wasn't a lap cat or the most friendly one you would ever run across. He was your best buddy when it was dinner time, but try to scratch his belly and be prepared to lose some blood. He would wake you up at 5 in the morning by jumping up on the bed or hawking up a hair ball next to it. In other words, Woody was a typical cat in many ways. He acted like he didn't care until he wanted something. Woody liked to sit next to my computer and wait for me to give him his tuna treats. It just seems like he was always around, lurking, waiting to pounce. I watched him jump on a squirrel once and then not know what to do, i caught it, now what?

The last year or so, he was deaf, which bothered me because he couldn't sit in the window and enjoy the outdoors at it's best, in other words, not hear the birds. Through all that though, he was still a great and beautiful cat. I will miss him.

I think i will plant a flower garden over where he rests now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wachusett Mountain

I headed up to Wachusett Mountain for the race this past Saturday and then on to Burlington, VT for the Vermont City Marathon and Relay. I was only there to shoot some photos and cheer on 3 of my teammates that were running the trails. Since i arrived pretty early, i decided to do a run with Martin Tighe and get a feel for the condition of my left calf muscle that i pulled a few weeks ago. The day before, i had had a massage from Nicole Toth and the calf was sore from that, but deep down, it felt good. So off i go with Martin, it felt good to run some trails. We ran maybe half the course, it looked to be more challenging than just running up the auto road. I bagged it early and turned back, happy that the leg held up and not wanting to risk too much. Now i could settle in with the camera and try to shoot some good stuff.

The race itself was great to watch, nothing like a close finish. See the photos here

Here are a few shots from Vermont City Marathon

Monday, May 18, 2009

Homebrew Weekend

I started the weekend with my first real bike of the year, 53 miles with Don Henderson. It started out as a nice ride to the Point Judith Lighthouse and back to North Kingstown, but the ride got ugly towards the end, mainly because i bit off a little more than i could chew. It was a painful ride past forty, the body was running on empty, but i survived and realized i need many more miles on the bike. I am not in 50 mile condition, more like 35-40. At least it was a workout of some sort, since running is not going good at all right now with a pulled calf muscle. Friday is massage day, i can't wait!

Once the ride was over, it was time to get down to the business of the day,
 homebrewing two batches of beer. These are going to be some big beers, one being an imperial porter and the other is an imperial IPA. 

The porter is made up of various grains steeped before boiling and then adding in 12lbs of dry malt extract. That is alot of malt, which means high gravity/high alcohol and some hop aroma with a late addition of cascade hops in the last 10 minutes 
of the boil. This is not what you would call a "session" beer, 2 after a
 hard run will knock you on your ass. As you can see by the photo, fermentation is going well.

The IPA is my favourite style of beer and this particular recipe is the best i have. It will turn out to be a large, chewy, aromatic brew. I started out by mashing 6lbs of pale and crystal malt followed by 9lbs of dry malt extract and when finally done, 12ozs of hops. I dry hop in both primary and secondary fermentation to get a beer that just smells heavenly. 

Joining me for this homebrew extravaganza was George Ross, Mark Howard and Bob Jackman, who had just finished second to Mark Carroll at 5k just up the street from here. The race wasn't close ;)  They got to experience the sights and smells and sample some good beers along the way, as well as a great still cider i made 6 years ago, and yes, i even helped press the apples for the fresh cider. 

Looks like a busy weekend coming up as we make the annual trip up to the Vermont City Marathon and Relay. I am the captain of the mens master team in the relay, but obviously not running. The long range goal was to be in this race but there always seems to be some minor setback that crops up to kill my training. I keep having to reset my goal races. I think i should just plan on being in as good of shape that i can be for snowshoe racing next winter. 

On the way to Vermont, we will be stopping in at Wachusett Mountain so Bob Jackman and Martin Tighe can run the race and i can take some pictures. I'll be the one on the mountain slopes with the big camera pointed at you. Smile and say hi if you like, should be fun.




Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

What a beautiful day for a race! Newport, RI was a great place to be today, unless of course, you were a beat up out of shape Tuesday Night Turtle. A few weeks ago over a few pints, one of our members decided it might be a nice idea to have a race for the ragged bunch of Turtles that are coming back from injuries or just not training much anymore. We set Mothers Day as the time and Newport for the place. For the record, it was the NPEF Mothers Day Road Race, but were calling it the Broken Down 5k, a race within a race.

We had 11 runners show for the race of which  7 were in the "banged up" class. There should have been more, i did not run because i tweaked my calf on Monday and hadn't run since , that is my excuse and i am sticking by it. Being Mothers Day, i figure the rest had prior
 commitments, or they were just plain chicken.

The race went off like all others, some guy from Australia took the lead and the rest followed. As the busted up Turtles came by, i thought i could hear bones creaking, but maybe that was just the 30 mph winds blowing through the trees. Coming up the final hill, we had Martin Tighe and then Dave Schaad come by before the first broken Turtle, Capt. Ken Kirejczyk came by. It should be noted that Ken only had a broken collarbone from falling on the ice in a race on New Years Day. Next up, Jenny Saunders, not broken and running pretty good followed by Pieter "Dutch" Snoeren, who is recovering from knee surgery. After this, the fun started. Who would be next? Who would be walking? "Cousin" Rich Northup was next in followed by the blazing Rick Curran and Mark "no knees" Mitsmenn. Finally we had Sir George Ross of Scotland and Mark Zartarian bringing up the rear. This race is sort of a run in to the Sir George Ross TNT Handicap Race and Barbecue in August. Today just gives us an idea of where some runners are in their training or lack there of. It also sets off the 8 weeks of trash talking that will precede the handicap race. If you are counting, that is only 10 runners, Iron Mike Darigan was 4 seconds behind Jenny, that makes 11. 

With my latest setback this week, i was forced to put off my run up Mt. Washington until next year. It is something i really did not want to do, but i really need to be in shape to run up this hill, and i am i such lousy running condition, i had to do it. I still may go up to cheer on friends that are running and take a few photos. It sucks, i was looking forward to doing this race, but i am so far behind in my training. I look forward to next year.