Half Marathon

Half Marathon

This past Thanksgiving I ran in a half marathon in Atlanta. It was my first. I loved it.

Anyhow, this sports photography company took this picture, and sent me an email asking if I wanted to buy it. I didn’t notice this goofy guy while running, but now here he is forever placed in my memory of the event.

I’m still deciding if I should buy a print of this or not. It’s both annoying and hilarious to me. Oh yeah, I’m on the left.

By |March 28th, 2008|Photo, Running|0 Comments

276, Dog Pictures

I rode 276 up to the Parkway again yesterday. I felt stronger than last time, and the weather was perfect. Here’s a graph giving you a good idea of what the road is like (click it so you can read it):

Today I’m getting a haircut and going to the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Also, since I keep forgetting to post pictures of the lost dog that’s currently living with us, I might as well do it now.

Lost dog

lost dog

lost dog!

By |March 14th, 2008|Photo|2 Comments

Assault on the Carolinas, Bike Commuting, Banff Film Festival

I’ve mentioned I’m going to be riding the Assault on the Carolinas previously, but I figured I’d let you all know what it is. It’s a 100 kilometer bike ride beginning in Brevard, looping around down into South Carolina and then back up to Brevard. Here’s what their website says about the 100k ride:

The 100K has everything from: flats, rolling hills, the Walnut Hollow climb (hello, it’s me, Hall. I’ll just tell you that this is a hell of a hill. It’s like 14% grade for way, way, way too long), fast descents, and a grueling 6-mile climb up Caesar’s Head near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. This ride will take you through the river valleys of Transylvania County, up Walnut Hollow, and up and over Hwy 178. Hwy 178 offers some amazing descents, with miles of curves, that will be enjoyed by all who ride the course. Once riders cross Hwy 11 in SC they will ride rolling hills and some flat sections where many pace lines of varying abilities form. When riders reach the bottom of Caesar’s Head they begin a challenging 6 mile climb to the top. Once over Caesar’s head it’s @ 15 miles back to Brevard High School with more descents, flats, and a ride back through the river valley. This ride has 5 rest stops.

It is a lot of fun, and a lot of work. I’m excited about riding it this year, because I’m in a lot better shape than last year, when it wiped me out. I am a little disappointed that none of my friends are riding in it this year. Hey Evan, fly our here and ride it with me!

Today was the second day I’ve commuted to work by bike. It was freezing cold this morning, but it really is better than driving. Yesterday I took my mountain bike, but it’s frustratingly inefficient, so I cleaned up the touring bike and took that this morning. I ride a gravel road part of the way, so the bigger tires really help with that, plus I can put my panniers on and don’t have to mess with my messenger bag which kinda sucks loaded down. The trip is about 5 miles one way. It’s a great way to wake up in the morning.

This weekend (Friday and Saturday) Brevard College is hosting the Banff Mountain Film Festival world tour, and I’m pretty excited. I’ve been going for the last few years, and it’s consistently pretty good. I looked over the list of films they’re showing this year, and it seems like there are a lot on skiing. I swear, someday when I actually go on my long tour, I’m going to film it and it’ll get in this thing.

Oh, and I told you all I’d have a picture of the stray dog I found, so I’ll have to do that this evening. I forgot yesterday.

By |March 12th, 2008|Friends, Work|1 Comment

Cycling, Housework, and a Visitor

A few new things are going on here. It’s starting to warm up a bit in Brevard, and that means I’m transitioning from running to cycling. I’ve really enjoyed running, but at the same time I’m getting a little bored with it, and I’m excited to have the chance to get on my bike outside and not freeze.

My first ride of the season was a 20 mile ride on back roads around Brevard. Except for one incident, I really enjoyed the ride and really noticed the strength that my legs had from past months of running. Looping around a small valley out towards Crab Creek Road, I came up on a section of road that takes an almost 90 degree turn.

the turnAs I was nearing the turn I saw a car coming the opposite way. It wasn’t moving exceptionally fast, but I kept an eye on it just in case. Coming toward the corner (I was on the green arrow side in the image), I moved out towards the yellow lines, and then started turning out towards the white line (in my lane) so I would hit the apex of the corner and would be able to keep my speed. As I was at the edge of the white line, I see that the driver of the car decided he would shave off .15 seconds from his drive and cut into my lane. As he was coming over, I noticed he didn’t see me at all. I hit the brakes and my bike was almost completely sideways, my tires skidding and leaving black marks on the asphalt. At the very last moment, for some reason the driver decided to look up, possibly he heard me yelling “WHAT THE FUCK ASSHOLE?!” at the top of my lungs, or saw me skidding towards a head on collision with his Honda, and jerked the car out of my way.

I’ve said this before: I think I handle situations like this very well. Some people freeze up and react by doing nothing, some people panic and cause more damage, but when I’ve been in situations that are like this, I have control over myself and generally act to fix the situation as fast as my brain can function. I also tend to react with some anger.

It was odd to see the car coming straight at me. For those few seconds I was calculating how to get out of the situation, where to turn, how much to pull on the brakes, what would happen if the car hit me, how I should possibly turn my body to roll over the car’s roof, because that’s what I had decided would happen if I didn’t go through the windshield. It was interesting, afterward, to go over what I had thought about in such a short time.

Luckily, I was fine, and there was no collision. The car did slow down and almost stop right after, and I saw that it was a newer gold/champagne Honda with a Brevard College Faculty parking sticker on the back window. After a second of staring at it, I decided I would go tell them to watch the hell out next time, and then they split. The car sped off, and I tried to chase it, but even with the adrenaline and my strong legs, there was no way I was catching it. Oh well.

My second ride of the season was last Thursday. I rode 276 up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was an hour and 20 minutes of almost constant climbing. Riding 276 sure does hurt sometimes, but it’s amazing fun and I always get a huge sense of accomplishment when I finish. My third ride was yesterday. I went on a 30 mile ride out towards Hendersonville, through DuPont Forrest and then down 276 into town. There is a good bit of climbing on that ride as well. It’s fun to get back out on the bike, and I’m hoping I’ll be in a lot better shape for the Assault on the Carolinas this year.

In other news, Scott and I installed the range hood over the stove. I had to run new wiring to the hood. It looks nice. Now it’s time to finish mudding and sanding the office so we can move stuff in there and have less clutter in the rest of the house.

Scott and I have had a visitor since Saturday. He’s an orphan dog that I found in our neighbor’s yard. He has a shock collar on, but no tags. I put a notice up on Craigslist, a classified ad in the Transylvania Times, and called Animal Control. So far there haven’t been any emails from Craigslist, the newspaper said the ad wouldn’t get put in until Thursday, and the Animal Control people start their week on Wednesday apparently, so he’s just been hanging out at the house with us. I hope that his owners come get him soon, because he’s a really sweet dog and I’m sure they’re missing him.

I’ll post a picture of him tonight. For now I’m running around trying to figure out what happened to the server at work.

Oh, also, I finished the design for my portfolio site.

By |March 11th, 2008|Design, Friends, Running, Work|0 Comments

Changing Things

I’ve set a new workout routine lately.  Since I’ve got nothing else to do but sit around and type on here before I go to bed in a few minutes, I’ll tell you what it is.  Monday: upper body workout at the gym.  Tuesday: run about 5 miles.  Wednesday: same.  Thursday: road bike ride up 276 to the Parkway.  Friday: same as Monday.  Saturday: long run or bike ride, or day off.  Sunday: whatever I didn’t do on Saturday.  I’m already in good shape, but if I keep this up, I should be in great shape and ready for the Assault on the Carolinas at the end of the month.

Today I started the new side of my job.  I’m now doing “maintenance.”  Today I picked up rocks, put them in a cart and moved them to a pile.  After that I took pieces of wood, put them in a truck and then threw them down a hill.  And then finally I walked around a dried lake and picked up trash.  Not very interestingly, I picked up about 120 tennis balls, 10 golf balls, 15 frisbee golf discs, a watch, a Swiffer handle, a pair of underwear, a pair of swimming shorts, and a level.

In conclusion, I need a new job.

P.S. Scott and I finished mudding the office tonight.  Hopefully we’ll finish the room this week and then at some point soon we’ll start on the flooring upstairs.  I’m really enjoying seeing this house come together.

Someone find me a new job.

By |March 3rd, 2008|Running, Work|1 Comment