If you have or have had kids, you can relate with the title. Pieces, parts from every gadget and toy from multiple birthdays, Christmas mornings and the like. That's exactly how I feel after shutting down my blog-brain for awhile. A whole bunch of pieces/parts just lying there and they need to be cleaned up and put away...much like any kids' playroom. So this post is more of a "what's been goin' on...what's comin' up...time to catch up" kinda post.
In the running world...well, there isn't much to tell you. That's a good thing, though. Since the Fools 50K at the end of March, I haven't pinned on a race number except for the Flying Pig 1/2 Marathon (where 2 pins were removed from that bib to keep Marjie's pants up...gonna have to read her blog for that story). I have enjoyed just running...to run...just for the pure joy of it. No schedule, no plan. Occasionally, I'll wake up and run a marathon (see a few posts ago for that one) in my neighborhood consisting of multiple 2.4 mile loops or I'll go for a 20 mile trail run...on a whim. In all, I've been averaging between 30-40 miles a week...on the low side of a preferred 50-60 mile average week. Things will change soon enough, though. In July is my next race at the sold out Buckeye Trail 50K followed 2 weeks where I'll pace Bobcat Trail Marathon/Bigfoot 50K co-race director, Brandon Huff, to his first 100-mile finish at the Burning River 100 Miler. For those of you in front of Brandon at the BR100, be prepared for a butt-kicking as you come through Happy Days as I'll be volunteering there until Brandon shows up. I think that's about 36 miles to the finish. After that, not much until mid-September when I'll run the YUT-C 50K again followed by my repeat visit to the Oil Creek 100-Miler in October. Pushing into the fall, I plan to run the Bobcat Trail Marathon in November and cap off 2010 with the inaugural Bigfoot 50K in December at Salt Fork State Park. Relating to it all is my sort-of-an-injury...sort of not injury. The 'ol left adductor problem has reappeared now and again. There's really no method to it's madness. I know what irritates it (muddy/slick trails) and what doesn't (dry trails and roads). So, even though I love mud and muddy trail running...and I'll graciously dive head first into a pit of it on the trails (followed by a bath in a water crossing)...I'm avoiding it. No need to do exactly what I know I shouldn't just for the greed of it. I think what I really need right now is a deep tissue massage to get me reset. My massage therapist who came to my house for quite a long time no longer does house calls so I'm on the hunt for a replacement...recommendations welcomed! I was also just picked by Brooks Running to wear test another pair of their shoes...just in time, too. I was about to place another order! It's the second pair I've wear-tested for them and hopefully (although not guaranteed), I get to keep this pair.
On the military front, it's been a dose of frustration often and a whole lot of unknowns. Two and a half years ago, I re-joined the Navy but this time in the Reserve. (I was previously on active duty for 10 years from 1991-2001.) I was told at the time that once I graduated from the Navy's Supply Corps Officer school, expect to be mobilized to Iraq or Afghanistan immediately and for at least a year. Oh how much can change in 2 years. The thing that got a lot of us Supply Corps officers mobilized to the war effort was the Army's need for us within the Embedded Training Teams in Afghanistan to train up the Afghan army. Well, the Army has taken that back and can now meet the need so we no longer augment them. So today as we draw down in Iraq and beef up our presence in Afghanistan, the mission is constantly changing and the needs are as well. I am presently very close to landing a job in a new Navy unit where I'll get a great opportunity to lead junior sailors as well as serve in a very active part of today's War on Terror. If that happens, I'll probably get my chance in the future to head to the sandbox for awhile and do my part. Many ask me why on earth would I want to do such a thing. Those people nearly 100% of the time have never served. They also often take service members and their freedom for granted, as well. I will tell you this: I didn't re-join the Navy to sit around once a month and not give back to my country. No one who raised their hand after the attacks of 9/11 did. And let me tell you...recruiting numbers are NOT down. We are still an all-volunteer force and one to be reckoned with. I have found it quite difficult lately to not get fired up at the ignorance of others who I come in contact with all of the time. So, so, so many people's lack of patriotism and support for our service members disgusts me. Yes, it is light years ahead of what Vietnam vets came home to 40 years ago, but when we currently have our brothers and sisters half a world away dodging bullets for us, how can SO many live completely in a vacuum from it all? It really came to a head as I was running 10 miles last Saturday with Hope's Trinity Trotters in Hartville and I passed a yard-sale where a lady had her flag laying on the ground. I politely asked her to pick it up and she immediately let loose on me with her smart-mouth. A verbal back-and-forth ensued and my blood boiled over onto the burners. That along with seeing so few flags flying over the holiday weekend in my town and so few people at the Memorial Day ceremony at our cemetery just exhausted me. If nothing else, it fueled my fire to a whole new level to want to serve more. I could really rant endlessly on this so anyways....
I think I need to get the 'ol blogging up and going again. I've really enjoyed sharing with my loyal readers over the past few years and ironically, the moment I stopped blogging, more people subscribed so go figure... I was really starting to think I no longer had anything to say but as many of you know...I always have something to say. :-) The road forged ahead by someone who bases his life on holding others accountable, an uncompromising level of integrity, and reaching to heights always a bit out of reach...will always have bumps in the road and consistent and relentless obstacles. That's me to a tee. That's OK, though. I'll take the rough road any day before I compromise myself and take the easy road. Call it the 100-mile race option vs. the 50K race option, right?!
Happy Trails, friends....we'll talk more often from now on.