Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 By The Numbers

And so with the last post of 2014 here goes the traditional by the numbers post, 5th Annual.

Well after 10 years it finally happened. I have stopped officiating. Last season the winter of 2013-14 I only officiated 2 wrestling tournaments. Probably about 45 matches. This season nada, I have officially retired from officiating or at least on hiatus.I have other things going on and being yelled at by parents, as much as I love it, has lost its luster. So for now I will just sit in the stands or my living room and second guess the officiating like everyone else.

I hit 2000 miles exactly of movement this year. Most of that was running, some was rucking, or bicycling, or walking. 299 less miles of movement this year but I was down for 3 months with that dang Achilles injury. That seems to be clearing up and I am currently training for my next 100 mile race. I also joined a Crossfit gym so I can finally do the cross training I kept talking about doing.

I ran 20 races this year. 2 less than last year but more varied. Some of the highlights:
1-100 mile DNF ( the scenery was outstanding)
3-Marathons ( 1 as pace group leader)
1-Cyclocross race ( this was fun and muddy)
3- Races ran with a 3X5 US Flag. 1 marathon, 2 5K

More than ever I am deeply involved in pre hospital medicine. I graduated the Paramedic program earlier this year and was certified as a Nationally Registered Paramedic.
3- Number of ambulance services I work for "part time".

Random Numbers
Years since joining the US Army-32
Years since Army Retirement-10
Years since Ranger School- 26
Years since SF Q Course- 24

I connected with 2 old friends this year and we had a couple long talks catching up.

Well there is probably more but I am done. 2014 was a good year. Here is to 2015!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Throwback Tuesday

I was looking back through my blog as it enters its 5th year. I have posted some good and some bad stuff. Here are posts from the last 4 Decembers that I feel are still good reads:

2010- So This is Christmas?

2011- How do I feel?

2012- Is it Just Me?

2013-Paramedic Update

Here's to another year of blogging

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ultra Runner of the Year

Allow me to geek out for a second. During my normal long run this Saturday I was listening to a podcast as I often do. The discussion was about voting for Ultra Runner of the Year. The discussion centered around this, what qualifies you as Ultra Runner of the Year? The Mountain, Trail and Ultra (MUT) community is so varied how do you decide?

Here is part of the dilemma, suppose you have an athlete that has won 4 50K races and a 50 mile race against stiff elite competition and you have another athlete that has dominated the 100 mile distance winning 3 of the biggest 100 mile events also against stiff competition. In the only head to head match up the first competitor crushed the second however the first has never run the 100 mile distance. So who is the best?

It really goes to your philosophy of what an ultra runner is. Personally I vote for athlete #2 as to me the 100 mile distance is the gold standard of ultrarunning. Pretty much any marathoner can complete a 50k and 50 miles is also not a huge stretch. But 100 miles.. well things happen in 100 miles that just don't happen in the other races. I think an Ultra runner ought to be doing ultra things.

Also the voting doesn't include any Europeans. Ultrarunner of the Year ought to include the entire field shouldn't it? I mean Killian Jornet is so head and shoulders above every other MUT runner he is in a class by himself. The dude runs up ladders for gods sake!

In the only North American race he ran this year, the Hardrock 100, He beat the course record and seemed to be lolygagging to do it. But he is European and has spent most of his year doing  Fastest Known Times (FKT) ascents of different mountain summits. But what about other Euros? So I am a Killian Fanboy but he is probably not UROY. I would vote him the best all around Mountain Athlete of his generation however.

It is just so confusing. What about stage races? Are they Ultras? This looks pretty Ultra to me.

Anyway it was a rousing discussion and I am excited to see who wins.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Red Herring

I was doing my normal lunch run today and a random memory came to mind. I thought I would write it down.

In 1993 I was a  young SSG on my first Special Forces ODA. I was on ODA 085 B Company 3rd Battalion 10th SFG(A)Fort Devens Mass. It was winter and my ODA was conducting our annual ski training at Cannon Mountain New Hampshire. We spent our days skiing and taking instruction and nights bunking at a Boy Scout camp, drinking beer and bullshitting. What a way to serve your country!!

My team was colocated with a sister team 081. We shared the same cabin and after hours we all kind of hung out together. One night after most guys had hit the rack, Myself, my teammate Jimmy Mac and two guys from the other team Jeff and Mike were up talking and drinking the last bit of Apfelkorn. Apfelkorn is a German apple schapps and is pretty potent. Jeff was from Alaska and while we were drinking he was munching on some smoked herring that he said was from his home state. Not being a fish eater it smelled pretty nasty to me although he swore it was delicious.

As we continued to talk Jeff and Mike got the idea that they needed to "share" this fishy loveliness with their Team Leader. Team Leaders in SF are Captains but despite that they are generally the least operationally experienced members of the team. Unfortunately once they do become experienced they are wisked off to a staff job somewhere and they are never on a team again. They only return to an operational position when and if they become a Company Commander. So many of the good officers are looked down on because they want to remain at the team level. The end result of this is that the enlisted guys spend years on the teams and they constantly harrass new team leaders until that team leader earns their respect.

Jeff and Mike called their team leader " Little Buddy" and they constantly tormented him. He took it all in good humor because what else could he do about it? Well anyway these two thought it would be nice if they put smoked herring in every orifice of Little Buddies gear and clothing. They even put some in his wallet. We all had a good laugh at their little joke and we went to bed. So the next day I had forgotten all about this little prank. About noon I was getting on the ski lift for another run and Little Buddy skis up and sits down beside me. On the ride up the mountain he tells me how he has been finding fish in his gear all day. He has searched all over but he can still smell it. He asked me if I knew anything about it. I was thinking " Did you check your wallet?" But I denied knowledge of any activity. Deny, Deny, Deny and make counter accusations. All the poor guy could do was look at me, shake his head and say " THOSE FUCKING GUYS!!" I laughed all the way up the mountain.