Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Marlboros and a Bach Concerto

Smoke billows as crescendo grows
Remembering youth, days of ole
Resting my head, feather pillow
Marlboros and a Bach Concerto

Straight line, winds make cusp
Back then, was it us
I’ve tried the wine, just fine
Laying here, marking time
Marlboros and a Bach Concerto

Allegrissio, images appear
Never catching the ones
I hold, most dear
Fear keeping us apart
For you dear, my heart, my heart
Marlboros and a Bach Concerto

Prestissimo, and although
Around and around, mind goes
Must hold image, Sostenuto
There you are, and far away
Barely can see you, through the haze
Marlboros and a Bach Concerto

Misterioso, can I feel
When you were near, so near
Track changes, now Chopin
Washing it all away
A miner, with a pan
Marlboros and a Bach Concerto

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Real Immigration Issue

Here is a copy of a letter I sent to the Paisano, the Student Newspaper at UTSA.
It was written in response to a previous letter http://www.paisano-online.com/2.840/statue-is-a-symbol-of-strength-1.28218
arguing for not removing a statue that depicts a border crossing into the U.S. by Mexican Nationals.

Here is the link to my original: http://www.paisano-online.com/2.840/economics-of-immigration-1.28179

The original issue was that the statue should be removed, but the person I wrote a rebuttal against said no. My letter was the response.

The Real Immigration Issue
By John T. Sharp
April 4, 2006

While reading the 4 April edition of The Paisano I was shocked and appalled by the opinion letter submitted by Ms. Bowman.
First, I am concerned by how she cloaks her argument in the veil of racism and has the audacity to call anyone who is arguing for the removal of this statue a racist. Granted, using a racist cloak makes for an effective argument and generates popular support and sympathy, I expected more from a person as erudite as her title implies.
Also, the claim of covert reverse discrimination can made against her argument by her omission to any “adversity” faced by Irish-Americans in New York after the Irish Potato famine beginning in 1845 or any other American that has to mark “Caucasian” on government documents because there is no special block for them.
Second, her statement regarding the rightful ownership of Texas land confuses me. These illegal immigrants have no title to any property in Texas. The Mexican government once possessed title to this great state but after the Texas Revolution of 1836 this title was lost due to the ineptitude of the Mexican military and political leadership. It could be argued that the historical corruption and ineptitude of Mexican political leadership has exacerbated the current issue of illegal immigration. The Mexican-American War of 1848 further reinforced the claim to U.S. possession of Texas. To claim that this land is rightfully “theirs” is to flout international law of treaties.
Third, she makes the claim that these undocumented workers pay into the Social Security system, “a system they will not be able to partake in”. I fail to understand how an employer can pay into the Social Security system for a worker with no Social Security number.
Fourth, she says she has never seen an unemployed illegal immigrant. If you want to see some unemployed illegal immigrants, I ask only that you go downtown around the jail and you will find plenty of illegal immigrants that are unemployed.
The real issue at stake here is economics. If there were no incentives to come to the U.S. (e.g. jobs, health care, education) there would be no cause for the “Border Crossing” statue nor would there be cause for massive illegal immigration.
I am in agreement that the current house bill on immigration is misguided. Why would the house pass a bill criminalizing being here illegally? By the nature of the definition isn’t being here illegally already against the law? However, I do support the provision of the bill that authorizes state and local police to enforce immigration laws and to transfer aliens to federal custody.
The most effective way to prevent illegal immigration is to remove the incentives. By this I suggest that the government crack down on businesses that employ illegal immigrants. Fines should be imposed that represent the real lost revenue to the government plus associated interest. If there are no jobs available to illegals they will seek work somewhere else.
Additionally, health care and education should be denied to all persons who are not citizens and do not posses a social security number, unless here as an official guest of the U.S. government. Illegals “de facto” steal money from tax paying citizens when their children are educated in the public school system. This is a particularly acute problem in Texas because schools are financed by property taxes, increasing the tax burden on the average tax-paying citizen. Not only is this unjust to the citizens of this state but these illegals even think it prudent to demand bilingual education which further increases this burden.
The same issue of the “de facto” stealing of taxpayer dollars by illegal immigrants is evidenced by a visit to your local hospital emergency room. Illegals go to the emergency room for care because U. S. law says that no one can be denied emergency services in the health care industry. These services and fees have to be paid for by someone and it is not the illegals in most cases.
If these Mexican nationals, who are here illegally, and their supporters, who wave the Mexican flag on U.S. soil in their protests, want to effect real change their current strategy should be revamped. A positive strategy to pursue is for these foreign nationals to withhold remittances to their home country. Remittances are the 2nd largest source of income and make up 70% or Mexican GDP. Without this money the Mexican government and business interests will be more willing to support real economic and social change to further the betterment of these proud Mexican people.

John T. Sharp
Undergraduate Student and Citizen

German Unification

Here is a copy of a paper I wrote back in May of 2006 for a class on Europe in the 19th Century:

German Unification

At the beginning of the 19th century the Germany we know of today did not exist. The German peoples were established as a confederation of states after the Napoleonic wars, each ruled by their own princes or kings. Austria and Prussia both contended for power and influence over the confederation. The two main currents were a gross Deutschland strategy and a Klein Deutschland strategy. The gross Deutschland proposition placed Austria at the head of the confederation with Prussia included. The Klein Deutschland strategy, the one pursued by Prussia, placed Prussia at the head of the German confederation and excluded Austria. By the close of the 19th century and into the 20th century Germany was a unified, formidable force in central Europe and a world power. Germany had a robust economy and had overseas colonies, primarily in Africa.

Not since the time of Charlemagne had Germany been a unified entity under one ruler. Many Germans wanted to be united and longed for the nostalgic time when Germany was one. Only one man was able to achieve this unification of the German principalities into one nation. This man was Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck. Bismarck was able to maneuver around the domestic and international political landscape to achieve unification. Bismarck’s skill in statecraft and diplomacy was unmatched by his peers. Bismarck is remembered in posterity as the Father of German unification.

This essay will focus on two key foreign policy maneuvers and two key domestic policy platforms that Bismarck used. The foreign policy tactics helped to achieve the actual, final unification of Germany after a long series of steps employed by Bismarck. The two domestic policy points in the essay will center on how Bismarck tried to strengthen the unification and nationalization of The German Empire, while cooping the radical socialist elements that existed in German society at the time. Most all of the tactics that Bismarck used were effective in achieving their goals, but not all of them.

To understand how Bismarck was able to wield so much power in the Prussian government to achieve this unification, one must understand the responsibilities inherent

in Bismarck’s positions in the Prussian government. Bismarck was the Prime Minister of Prussia and the Foreign Minister of Prussia. As Prime Minister of Prussia, Bismarck was directly responsible to the King of Prussia, King Wilhelm I and he also presided over parliament. In this capacity, to question Bismarck was almost to question the King himself. This position as prime minister gave Bismarck a wide degree of latitude to implement the policies necessary to achieve his domestic policy agenda. As Foreign Minister of Prussia, Bismarck was also directly responsible to the King of Prussia. In this position, Bismarck possessed total control over Prussia’s foreign affairs, its dealings with other nations, whose power was only checked by the King himself. Additionally it must be noted that Bismarck was a Junker. A Junker was word used to reference the landed aristocracy of Prussia. As a Junker, Bismarck had a vested interest in increasing the power of Prussia as the head of a unified Germany. Bismarck was fiercely loyal to his king, in all his dealings with other nations and domestic politicians, and he used his personal skill of statecraft, negotiation, and manipulation to increase the power of the King of Prussia.

In 1863 the Danish king, King Fredrick VII died leaving no male heirs to the throne. The Danes presided over the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein. The duchy of Schleswig consisted primarily of Danish peoples, whereas the duchy of Holstein was made up of Germanic peoples. Once the king died the Danes and the Prussians competed for control over the duchies. The Prussians wanted control of the duchies to establish a naval base in the harbor of Kiel. This base was important to the Prussians, which would enable them to establish control over the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. With control over these seas the Prussians could trade coming out of the Rhine and from Russia with ports along the Atlantic coast. Furthermore, Bismarck wanted to build a canal across the duchies to keep the Prussian government from having to build to navies, one in the Baltic Sea and the other in the North Sea.

The Treaty of Ribe stated that the two duchies were inseparable. Disregarding this treaty the newly appointed King of Denmark, Christian IX, passed a resolution annexing Schleswig for the Danish peoples primarily because of the large population of Danes that lived in the duchy. Bismarck used this action as a base of argument in the international arena to seize control of the duchies.

Bismarck was aware of the international forces that had an interest in one, checking the power of Prussia, and two, ensuring legitimate transfer of power in the duchies. Bismarck used the Austrian government achieve these ends. If Prussia invaded the Holstein duchy with out the aid of Austria then, internationally, it would seem as though Prussia was trying to make a grab for power in the North Sea. The British would not have allowed this encroachment on their power in the North Sea and would have made war against the Prussians and would have come to the aid of the Danes. The Prussians needed the Austrians to invade the duchies. With Austria on the side of the Prussians the other main powers of the time (Brittan, France, and Russia) would not have wanted to get involved in what merely seemed to be a succession disagreement. Additionally, it is interesting to note how Bismarck manipulated the Prussian king to decide in favor of invading the duchies. King Wilhelm stated in a letter to Bismarck, “I have no right to Holstein” (Bismarck, vol. II, pg.13). Bismarck casually reminded the king that every recent King of Prussia had taken action to add territory to Prussia and that it was his duty to intervene. Bismarck was able to manipulate the Austrians by using their sympathies with the gross Deutschland strategy.

Needless to say the Austrians and the Prussians invaded the duchies and defeated the Danes in what is referred to as the Second War of Schlewig. The circumstances could not have been more favorable to Bismarck. Through is diplomatic skills of negotiation he was able to influence Austria to assist Prussia in the invasion while keeping the other main powers in Europe out of the conflict.

The Austrians and Prussians jointly decided that they would occupy the duchies as independent powers in support of the German confederation. After this conflict the Austrians controlled the administration of Schlewig and the Prussians controlled the administration of Holstein. Due to the circumstances of the relationship within the duchies under joint Austro-Prussian, Bismarck was able to provoke Austria in to war with Prussia by claiming that Austria had violated their administration agreement under the Gastein Convention. Austria declared war on Prussia, which made Austria appear as the aggressor. It was important that Austria declared the war so Prussia would not appear, to the international community, to seek power. The Prussians defeated the Austrians in Austro-Prussian War in 1866.

The importance of this war was significant for a number of reasons. First, this proved the military strategy of Bismarck was effective and proved that the Prussian Army was a major force. Second, the two duchies now came solely under the influence of Prussia and the German Confederation virtually excluding the Austrians. This is exactly the Klein Deutschland strategy that Bismarck pursed all along. Third, Prussia achieved these goals while merely appearing to be defending their own sovereignty.

Prussia controlled the states of northern Germany, which were primarily protestant, but the southern German states of Baden, Bavaria, and Wurttemberg were still independent. These south German states were primarily Catholic and were somewhat sympathetic to Austria, which was also a Catholic country. Although sympaethic, these south German states were still Germans and were interested in a unified Germany. The French were disturbed with the new balance of power in central Europe and the humbling of Austria after its defeat by Prussia. The French sought to neutralize this growth of Prussian influence because they saw this growing Prussian hegemony as a threat to their national security. Understanding this while still trying to increase Prussian dominance in central Europe, Bismarck was looking for a way to influence these states to join the Bund.

This opportunity came in 1870 when the Spanish offered the throne of Spain to a Hohenzollern prince, Prince Leopold. Prince Leopold was a distant cousin of the Prussian king, King Wilhelm I. The French under Napoleon III, due to internal and external crises, were looking for a foreign policy victory. The French were afraid that ascension of a German prince to the Spanish throne would ally the Spanish to the Prussians. With this kind of alliance the French would be in effect, boxed in, by Prussian influence and considered this a definite threat to their national security. In the event of a war the French would have had to fight a war on two fronts. Napoleon III government asked the Prussian king to influence Prince Leopold to withdraw his canadicy to the throne of Spain. King Wilhelm I acquiesced to French demands and the prince withdrew. Napoleon III was disappointed that the Prussians gave up so easily because what he really wanted was a war with Prussia, which, in defeating Prussia, he would strengthen his power in France. The French sent their ambassador, Vincent Benedetti, to demand that King Wilhelm I agree that he would never support the candidacy of a Hollenzollern prince to the Spanish throne into perpetuity. King Wilhelm declined to support French demands and sent an account of his meeting with Benedetti to Berlin in what is know as the Ems Dispatch.

Bismarck took this opportunity to instigate a war with France. If the Prussians won a war with France, Bismarck’s goal of German unification could be completed. It was important still for Prussia to appear to play the part of defender, not as the aggressor. Bismarck basically falsified the Ems Dispatch. He did not add anything extra to the text of the telegram; he took out a few key lines. In effect he strengthened the language of the telegram to make it appear that King Wilhelm I was insulted by the actions of the French and their ambassador (Bismarck, vol. II pg. 97). Bismarck knowingly edited the message in this way to provoke France. Being as how the French were looking for a war, by offending the French with this telegram he felt for certain that the French would take action to defend their honor. This is political manipulation at its finest hour. Furthermore, Bismarck released this telegram at the direction of the king, which could have merely been left as an internal message, to the press. By releasing the telegram to the press he could garner sympathy and support from the German peoples for a war and in the same token he the French people would support their government in a war with Prussia. This action had its desired effect. The French were insulted and promptly declared war against Prussia in July of 1870.

The French were defeated in the Franco-Prussian war. This war established Prussian supremacy in central Europe and was the last step, in a long series of steps; Bismarck took to unify the German peoples under one crown. The German Confederation and Prussia were re-designated as the German Empire. King Wilhelm I led this empire as the German Emperor, a first among equals (Wikipedia). Once King Wilhelm was made the German Emperor he appointed Bismarck as the Imperial Chancellor of the German Empire. Now that this unification had been achieved Bismarck pursed policies which he hoped would solidify and strengthen the German Empire.

As Bismarck began this strengthening of unity towards the new German nation he turned his attention to domestic policy. Within the new empire was a large portion of Poles. These Poles due to the nationalist sentiment of the era were pressing for more autonomy. These Poles were also Catholic. Bismarck began implementing polices to reign in this growing threat of Polish nationalism in the state of Posen which he saw a danger to the newly formed empire. These policies were collectively known as the Culturkampf, a culture struggle. It has generally believed that these policies were directed specifically at the Catholic Church and its worshipers. According to Bismarck, the Prussian government was not anti-Catholic, but really just anti-Polish (Bismarck, vol. II, pg. 137). Bismarck on a personal and political level generally tolerated differing religions as long as those religions did not impose upon the authority of the government (Bismarck, vol. II, pg. 137). The policy aims of the Culturkampf were to acquire the means of combating Polonism, removal of certain articles in the German constitution, and most importantly making the state as head of the school system. The legislation passed during this time was known as May Laws. The May Laws put disciplinary authority over priest in Germany under state control, made the state in charge of education of the clergy, introduced civil marriage, and extended state control over the education in general. The Catholic Church would not recognize these laws so the German government cut off all financial aid to the Church. What Bismarck was trying to do with these laws was to limit the power of the Catholic Church inside of Germany which he felt was the driving force behind Polish nationalism. Because of these policies the progressive party in Germany defected to the Centrum party which was the party of the Catholics (Bismarck, vol. II, pg. 145). These laws were basically a failure in domestic policy for Bismarck. Instead of creating greater unity in the German empire; this policy created deeper divisions among the Catholic minority and the Polish elements. By 1879 Bismarck realized this failure in policy and repealed most of the May Laws.

Emerging in Germany and across Europe in general was a growing socialist movement. Bismarck felt that this socialism was an even greater threat to internal security that the Catholic Church or Polish ideas of independence. In 1878, after two attempts on the life of the German Emperor, King Wilhelm I by socialist radicals, the Reichstag under the direction of Bismarck passed anti-socialist laws. These laws were meant to check the growing influence of Social Democratic Party in Germany. Bismarck re-aligned himself with the Centrum party to help him get these laws passed. These laws were wholly reactionary and failed to achieve their stated aims. The anti-socialist laws forbid meetings of socialist groups and socialist leaders were arrested (Wikipedia). A person who held socialist beliefs could still run for office in the government, so socialists would just run as independents. By doing this the socialists basically circumvented the anti-socialist laws and were strongly gaining more influence in the German government. Based on the lessons learned by the failures of the Culturkampf policies, and with Bismarck realizing the anti-socialist laws were also failing, Bismarck tried a new strategy. Instead of combating, head to head, with the socialist why not coop their policy platforms into the governmental policy thereby reducing their influence among the constituents. If Bismarck could successfully coop the socialists their whole reason for political unity would crumble. Bismarck succeeded in this strategy. Bismarck took the first steps in creating labor laws. In 1883 a Health Insurance Act was passed. This health insurance allowed the workers to pay two thirds of the policy premium and the employer would pay the other third. Additionally accident insurance was provided to workers in case they were hurt on the job. In 1889 pensions and disability insurance were also given to workers who were retired or who were disabled. These reforms were dynamic in the fact that there was no precedence for this in any government until Bismarck. In our own time workers expect that health insurance and disability will be provide along with a retirement check from the government. Workers across Western Europe and United States ultimately have Bismarck to thank for these "rights". These reforms did not entirely bridge the gap between workers and government, but it can be said that these reforms stifled any type of worker revolution that the socialists were clamoring for.

Bismarck was the most influential figure in European politics in the second half of the 19th century. His realistic views of the political situation and his pragmatic approach to unification allowed him to unify the German states into a strong and cohesive nation state. His foreign policy built a German juggernaut in central Europe which other European powers respected. Although most of his domestic policy can be viewed as a failure, he was merely trying to build the strongest internal cohesion that would allow Germany to become a great nation. Bismarck achieved these goals overall and it is thankful he did not live to see this great nation, only forty-seven years after his death, become mired in two world wars, in which they were soundly defeated, and brought to its knees due to the political ineptitude of his successors.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Onward, Onward, Onward
I run, Onward into the sun
Reaching for you, cannot grasp
Calling for you, voice rasp
Yearning for you, void remains
Love for you, always restrained
Passion for you, never fulfilled
Feel with me, this invoidable will
Onward I run, into the sun

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Poem For You

I remember us then
Were just kids, rail thin
In rain played, by day
Danced and laughed, what'd you say
Love me forever, yes ever

Hair blowin wind, bills set in
Wishin, we were rail thin
Go out on Friday, we may
Must meet responsibilitays
Love me forever, maybe never

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Poem For Your Thoughts

Upon a star love, we wished
Blue cheese devoured with ease
As over wine, we dined
Sun setting, waves cresting
Many seagulls 'a festing
Thistle thyme, passing time
Over mountain for love, climb
Upon a star love, we wish

Thanksgiving Run

Naresh and I will be do a 100 miler on Thanksgiving.

We don't have a name for it yet, maybe Dos Hombres Sojourn.

Here is the map:


I think it will be fun. We will be traveling along the access road of I-10 and stopping in Gonzales at some of my family's house for food.

Going to drop water tonight, 2 gallons every 10 miles.

This area of Texas is pretty rural and when we get to Koerth, we will ride 4 wheelers and shoot shotguns. Should be a blast!

Send us good vibes and texts: 210-347-6392 for me and 203-564-0233 for Naresh.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ditty Mao

What is ditty mao? It means hurry up in Vietnamese.

I went for Vietnamese food on Saturday night. I was kinda forced into after packing race packets for Cactus Rose. It was really good. Not like those Chinese food places that make you wanta puke.

Earlier in the day on Saturday, I ran the Frankenthon Marathon. I think it was my slowest marathon to date. 5hr15min. But who gives a shit. I had fun. Ran the first 18 miles in the Vibram Treks. Then had to bum a pair of shoes from Jeff, because my freakin feet were killing me. Thanks, Jethro. Got to hang out with my buddy Mark and his family for a bit. His son Gavin is a pretty cool dude!

I was trying to keep my heart rate in a certain zone, under 150bpm. Did well, had great energy. I didn't take any food or gels or anything besides salt and water. I walked from mile 18 to 21 because my feet hurt and I need to get used to the shoes I borrowed. Most of the race was on concrete. Oooh, that sucks. The last 5 miles i ran at about 160bpm. Nice. Felt great the whole time, stable solid energy levels.

Afterward, Cheri busted out the pigs-in-da-blanket. Umm, Umm, Good! I even gave some chick a calf massage at mile 23. Yea, I'm a playa! hahah.

Went to NXNW for the Ocktober fest deal they were having. Hung out with Naresh (i.e. Tonto) and Jeff and Cheri. We had a good time. I think Jeff is gonna put the smack down on me for choke slammin his dog. Not a mean choke slam, an instructional choke slam. Oh yea, the girls were dressed up like little Bavarian girlies. Oooh, it just did it for me. Nice little cute out fits. Eye Candy!

Sunday was pretty tame, went riding the Harley with Bill. Went to the old tunnel where the bats live. Had some beers. Saw some fat school teacher biker chicks that pissed me off. Ran about 90mph back down I-10 and lost my do rag. Dammit.

Hooters sucked today. Got there about 2:30. They had the C team workin. Jeeze. Where's my ladies. Ahhh! Dammit.

Peace out.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Palo Duro Weekend

Well my weekend started early, Thursday lunch to be exact. I went to work Thursday feeling like crapola so I says to myself, "John, you outta leave work early and drive out to South Llano River State Park and just go chill out." So, I called up Enterprise and picked up a car, 4 days for $70 bones. That's a steal. Asked the boss man if i could just roll out at lunch and he was cool with it. So bam, just like that I'm out the door at 11:50. Sweet, dawg.

It was nice little 4 door red number, a Chevy Colbolt. What POS. I spent 4 days in that damm thing. We made an agreement. If the car would not piss anyone off, I would promise not to beat the steering wheel when it just pokes along as I nail the gas pedal.

I got to the South Llano river park about 4ish. I got my sleeping pad outta the car, and my new book "Where Keynes Went Wrong" and lay in the shade, under a tree, by the river and started reading. Well from the title you can tell it was probably pretty booring, so about 15 minutes in I fell asleep. I needed to, because I was feeling like shit anyway. I think I had the brown bottle flu from Hooters on Wednesday night.

I woke up about an hour later and went to my campsite, but I forgot my tent. Oops. No problem, I just slept on the picnic table. That went pretty good except for the mosquitoes. Of course I forgot Off, but the park hostess lady has some and fixed me right up. I was asleep by 8PM. Up by 430 in the AM, I showered up, and took off for the rest of the drive up to Amarillo for the Palo Duro Canyon 50 Miler.

My good friend Bill Conway, signed up to run this race. He started training while I was at Hardrock, after reading Ultramarathon Man. I have been excited to run see his development regarding running. Bill and I have been friends since '96. We were stationed together in Germany while in the Army. We used to lift weights together back in the old days. He taught me alot about nutrition. I got down to 5% body fat just before I turned 21 and had 17 inch arms. Whose ya daddy? Anyway, we have traveled around the U.S. on motorcycles and we both work for Verizon Wireless. He was there as a pallbearer at my grandfather's funeral. I was there at his mom's wedding, and his wedding. So yea, we are good friends. We have been friends my whole adult life I guess.

This guy is built like me, about 5'6 or 5'7 180 lbs. Like a brick shit house. hahha

I told him, hey man I am gonna run with you. You run your race and I will provide motivation and coaching, on the fly. Like take more salt, or hows your blood sugar. Eat some food, etc..... Drink more water.....

Loop 1 went well. 2hours 40min. with 5 min at the start/finish aid station. loop 2 went pretty good with about 2 hours 50min. with 10 min at the aid station. So we were still sittin pretty. He wanted to make a shoe change here. Loop 3 we had a slow down b/c of his knee. It was bothering him quite a bit. But we did quite a bit of walking and got to talk about alot of good stuff. Like whats going on in your life, etc... But more than just the casual B.S. that you usually talk about. That really made the whole race for me.

We came into the start/finish about 30 min over the cut off so we had to stop. But this guy ran 38 miles. Wholly shit, on 2.5 months of training. Hell, I'll take that any day. If he wouldnta tweaked his knee, then we would have been out on loop 4. His wife came also to the race. A beautiful lady, who is totally supportive. He is a lucky dude.

Also my friend Mike West and his wife showed up with his son Cody. Totally unexpected. Mike and I have pictures of us sitting on his parents couch in our underwear when we were kids. His dad and mine worked in the oilfield together back in the '70's. I don't guess I have known anyone any longer than Mike. Well, other than family. We got to catch up quite a bit. He is doing well and so is Mindy, his wife. As I was running down the start finish chute, I told Cody to jump on my back and ran in with him. That was cool. We may have us another trail runner one day. I guess we will see. hahah.

After the race, we sat around drinking beer at the Austin runners hangout. John Kuss had an RV and Joe brought the overhead cover. Crash was cooking and about 45 folks showed up for supper. Crash is the man! The food was great, and the camaraderie was also pretty damm good. The freakin Barney Fife park rangers showed up about 10PM givin everybody shit and busted up the party. Freakin douchbags. Prob for the best though, I passed out in the car shortly after. ahahah

On Sunday morning, Brenda and John Brown had their post wedding reception breakfast. That was real nice and I wish them the best. They met the year before at the race. Pretty cool! Again Crash was cooking up the vittles. Wow, ultra runners are some hella good folks. Come out and run an ultra. Preferably one that Joe puts on. You will come back!

The drive home was pretty uneventful. So I will end here, but will say its one hellva long drive from Amarillo to San Antonio.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Run Some, Then Eat Gorgonzola Filet

Did a little 6 miles to the gym after work in the Vibram Treks. http://www.kayakshed.com/prod/vibram-five-fingers-mens-kso-trek.cfm
Then some one legged over head press (50lbs DB). Then some one armed farmers walks (45lbs plate in one hand) around the gym, and finish off with leg extensions ( 2 X 60 R @ 50lbs).

My sister is in town this week so we went to Bravo here in San Antonio. http://www.bravoitalian.com/

The have the best ensalada de la casa and Gorgonzola Filet. I think the waiter was shocked when I said, "Hey Boss, bring me another Peroni (beer # 4)." Top it off with some Tiramisu and you got yourself some good eats.

I always like to have tiramisu when I go for Italian. Reminds me of my friend Heidi and 1999 just before we left to Saudi.

The only problem I got is that I have to run to work in the morning, cause my truck is still there. Uhh, dammit. Well it could be worse, I could be worrying about how I am going to pay child support for three kinds. Humm, kinda puts things into perspective don't it??

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pretty Good Weekend

Wow, I finally downloaded IE7 and now my freakin blogger will load. I kinda quit doing a blog b/c the freakin thing too for ever to load. Not so anymore. Bout time.

Well two of my running buddies finished their 1st 100 miler up in Kansas. Ryan ( http://distortedveracity.blogspot.com/) and Thomas. These dudes kick ass!

Congrats for them and the best part is, they still have time to sign up for the Western States lottery. I am callin them out, sign up dammit. http://ultrasignup.com/events/lottery.aspx?did=5752

As for me. Humm. Chilin like a villian. Went to Bandera (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/hill_country/)for about 10 miles on Saturday with my friend Cheri. She is going for her 1st 100 miler on Oct. 31 @ Cactus Rose. http://www.tejastrails.com/CactusRose.html Whooo, Hoooo! I am going to pace her on loop 3. Looking forward to it. I left about 11 and went over to Enchanted Rock. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/enchanted_rock/

Enchanted Rock was fun. I did some hill repeats in the Vibram Treks. i.e. Rock Eaters. And it was a blast. What a great place to learn how to run up and downhill. Real steep grades, good footing. Ran from the top of the rock to the latrines, 3.5 minutes. I love it. I will be back.

My sister is also in town for the week. Its been fun to catch up. We went to the Symphony on Sat. night. 1st time I have been but it was pretty fun so I will most likely go back again.

I ran 9 miles in the Treks on Thursday. My lower leg, the part below the calf is taking a beating right now, but its a good kinda whippin.

Been reading books from the Ludwig von Mises Institute www.mises.org Currently working on Epistemological Problems of Economics by Ludwig von Mises. Great read so far.

Have decided after 5 years of political limbo that I am, in fact, a Libertarian. Pretty liberating. I get a daily email from the Campaign for Liberty. http://www.campaignforliberty.com/ If you are tired of being manipulated by the douches, give these folks a look.

Ron Paul is the man! This guy is a tireless defender of Freedom and Liberty. Ron Paul 2012.

This website has some kick ass T shirts: http://www.rangerup.com/ and so does this one: http://www.zazzle.com/libertymaniacs

Recently read: End the Fed by Ron Paul. Great book. It should be required reading to get outta douchebagdom. http://www.amazon.com/End-Fed-Ron-Paul/dp/0446549193/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255319726&sr=1-1

Thats all for now!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some Stuff

Alright, Okay, yea I know! I have not been keeping up with this freakin blog. So there!

Not a whole lot going on here, I am up in Leadville getting ready for the 100 mile trail run. I hope I finish. Its going to push me pretty hard, but if I keep the calories going then I should be fine.

I did the Incline in Colo Springs twice this week and hiked up Pikes Peak. I didn't start getting a headache until about 13,500 feet so that was pretty nice. On Tuesday I went to Rocky Mountain National Park and ran about 2.5 hours at 12,000 feet. That went well with no headaches. I helps when you are well hydrated. I haven't seen any of the Leadville Trail but from what I hear it is not as aggressive as Hardrock. So maybe I will have something working for me.

I bought a sixer of PBR today. It's okay, but it says union made on the can, so this will be the last PBR sixer I will ever buy.

I don't have a whole lot of anxiety about this race, not like all of the other 100 milers. So I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

I got to spend some time with my friend Heidi over the weekend which was nice. Her and her husband John are great folks. She has a nice place east of Denver complete with chickens, guineas, goats, alpacas, horses and sheep. She has a regular farm going on there. Pretty cool I think.

I also hung out with Yvette another friend of mine from the Army who I haven't seen in 10 years. She was a little tired from working all night, but we had a fun time driving out to the national park.

I have been seeing signs around Colorado that the road construction projects are being funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. You know, the "shovel ready" projects that the 750B is being spent on. The only problem is all I see are cones and barrels and no workers. Humm. Another funny thing is that in places like Colorado all the road work is done in the summer from what I understand. So is this "investment" really just the Federal government spending money on projects that were going to be done by the states anyway?? And if so, what happened to the money that the state had already allocated for that project?? Interesting.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Little Experimentation

Had a pretty good day today. Did a workout at lunch and then one after work.

Lunch workout was:
1 set 7 kettlebell swings each hand with the 32kg bell.
1 set 10 Kettlebell swings each hand with the 32kg bell.
2 sets 15 reps each hand with the 10lbs Indian club.
2 sets 10 reps on the ab wheel.
2 sets 5 reps of Janda situps.
2 sets 10 reps of Russian Twists.

After the lunch workout I went up to Chick-Filet and ran into one of the ladies from my running group. I havent ran with them for a while, so it was good to see her. I am committed to run with them next week now. Oh, dang it. I guess I gotta get up early.

After work I went to Gold's Gym. First time in a long time. Saw a really nice blonde, I gotta find an excuse to talk to her next time I go in. I was experimenting with some old school power lifting exercies. Power Cleans, Snatches, Clean and Jerks, and Clean and Press. Also the Sots press.
The Sots press is where you Clean the weight, then squat down till your ass touches the back of your calves, with your heels on the floor. Then you press the weight. WHolly shitbags, it is tough. You have to have some hella strength in your core to do this and hella flexibility in your hip flexors.
I also did deadlifts. These deadlifts are with the straight bar, not the Gerard Trap Bar. They are significantly harder. I used 25lbs plates because with these you get about 4 inches deeper than if you used the 45lbs plates.

1 set of 5 reps @ 295 (10 25lbs plates total)
1 try of 1 rep @ 345 (no dice)
1 set of 4 reps @ 295lbs
1 set of 3 reps @ 295lbs

Really tried to work on form and staying "tight" through the midsection and squeezing the glutes.

Also did 2 laps of Farmers Walks around the gym with a45lbs plate in each hand on my tippey-toes. OOOOOHh, and wearing the Vibrams.

Yea, sucka that shit hurt.

Saturday night was Humid as Hell.

Okay, all ya folks out there.

I did a recovery workout yesterday from the 60k that I did this weekend.
Foam roller, assisted stretches with the kettlebell, bag swings, and 32kg kettlebell swings.

Not much, but got out there in the heat, in the garage, sweated a little, just loosening up.

The 60K at Muleshoe went well on Saturday night. I got there about 30 minutes late and didn't really feel like running, but I got talked into it. Dammit. I was hoping to just sit around and B.S. I ran loop 3 - 6 with my friend Cheri. We had a good run, check out the splits. It was a 10K loop on trail.

Cheri Woldt
L1 1:46:46
L2 2:02:56
L3 2:12:24
L4 2:09:53
L5 2:02:11
L6 1:51:32
TOTAL 12:05:42

John Sharp
L1 2:03:36
L2 1:46:05
L3 2:12:20
L4 2:09:45
L5 2:02:26
L6 1:51:31

Yea we were over the cut off of 12hrs, but not bad considering that I didn't even want to run I was just happy I didn't quit. If you will notice we got faster every loop after loop 3. With the 6th
loop almost as fast as the 1st loop. This race was just a 60k, but it had a only a 40% finish rate!
It was hot, humid, and it rained so we had a shitty muddy aspect to this race.

Hurray for pizza!

On another note, I just bought 200ft of water hose. I have to start watering some of my mountain laurels, trees, and grass. Its been super dry round these parts. I may even wash my truck today and my dishes. Hummm, we will see.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

28 July 2009

I didn't really want too, but I did hit the track tonight for some speed work.
Here was the workout, 5 x 400 and 1 x 800. Times are in min/sec/hundredths

1. 1:30:34 - 400m
2. 1:29:03 - 400m
3. 1:26:69 - 400m
4. 1:40:28 - 400m
5. 1:37:87 - 400m

1. 3:45:63 - 800m

My freakin feet hurt like hell. And, yea I know these are pretty slow, but I haven't done any speed work in a long ass time. And I know I planned on 10 x 400, but I didn't do that.

I also did a few Turkish get ups, anchored snatches, and double cleans with the kettlebells.
I did make a few video recordings of some of these lifts, but I am not entirely happy with them. The camera angle needs to be wider. Also I need to figure out the editing software.

Monday, July 27, 2009

27 July 2009

It's been a while since I have posted anything to this blog. I am going to try to start posting my daily workouts again, hopefully to create a little more accountability and consistency in my training.

Did quite a bit of stretching in my garage "Bikram" studio. It's hot in a garage in July, let me tell ya. Focused on hip flexor and leg stretches.

Also started working on the Turkish Get-Up with the 25lbs Kettlebell Brice left at my house. These are going to be a challenge. Hoping to move to the 54lbs kettlebell in a week or so.

Went to the football practice field at the high school near the house and did sprints.
10 x 120 yard sprints, here are the times. In seconds and hundredths of a second.
1. 18:87
2. 18:17
3. 18:10 Only took a 40 second rest between the 3rd and 4th sprint. A real ass kicker.
4. 19:22
5. 19:98
6. 18:02
7. 18:28
8. 21:33
9. 23:12
10. somewhere below 20 seconds, forgot to start the stop watch.

I ran these in my Mizuno racing flats. Something similar to these.

These are the thinnest shoes I could find at the Fort Worth Running Company Store. Not quite barefoot, but we are looking at less than a half-inch of sole without any arch support.

I am going to focus on speed work during the week for the next two weeks before I leave for Colorado for the Leadville 100 Trail Run.

I need to get the wheels turning faster so this should do the trick.

Planning on 10 400's tomorrow, wish me luck.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

When I Run

When I’m Running

You know how, sometimes, you have things on your mind that you just need to work out?
Recently, a friend, and running buddy of mine asked for guest writers to contribute to his blog, http://welshrunner.blogspot.com/, for his “Other Voices” series. He asked for volunteers to write about running and fitness and how those things had made an impact on their lives, etc… It just so happens that, for the last few months, I felt I wanted to write a little on running and what it means to me. Like a sort of, “WHY or WHAT FOR”, so to speak. I couldn’t really discern an exact why or what for as I thought about what I would say. So my approach in this essay is to talk about what goes through my mind when I run. When you start thinking about something, ideas flood at you all at once, and it’s hard to make heads or tails out of it. But, sometimes there is a singular moment of clarity which comes at you, and in a flash it’s gone. For that instant you are at peace with yourself and with your surroundings.
In August of 2007 I was unhappy with myself. I finally came to the realization, that I was an alcoholic. Yea, I went to work on time, I had recently finished a BA in management, owned my own home, etc… But, alcohol, I could do that, and I liked it, a lot. Eighteen liters of single malt in 3 weeks once. I never really investigated what it means to be an alcoholic or how you come to be one, or what distinguishes one from some intermediate state. But, what I did know is, is that I was not happy with the kind of person that I was. We were in D.C., my sister and I, we were doing morning jogs around the capital mall, and I decided that I would run a marathon before I turn 30. That is when I started on the road to recovery, the road I am still on.
Theory of Forms: One of my hobbies is reading western philosophy, particularly classical philosophy. Yea, that probably sounds pretty boring to most folks, but I picked up my first book of philosophy when I was fifteen. Do I know a whole lot? Not really, but it’s enjoyable. On a run one day I was started thinking about Plato’s theory of forms. Like there is a perfect triangle, but when you draw one, it’s never perfect or a circle or any other geometrical shape. The form though, is perfect. That got me to thinking about myself. If we are unique in the eyes of God and we are created in his image, then we have a perfect form. But, when you look at yourself or others around you, you notice blemishes. I noticed plenty of blemishes about myself, how I am selfish, narcissisistic, and who knows what else. I felt that there was a better me inside, but I was hiding it, to my own detriment. Why, not sure, but it probably has a lot to do with ego. When I run far enough for long enough, the ego goes away and what’s left is something that is closer to my true form. That me that wants to cry when I am sad, instead of hold it in. That me that wants to help my fellow man. Not because of what I get from it, but from a true sense of compassion. That me that can let another runner finish a race ahead of me and not try to belittle his accomplishment. Some may say, “Well that isn’t what a man does.” Humm, maybe. But, I think “What is a man who can not allow himself the full range of his own emotions?” That is the me that I want to be every day, the me that lives up to the virtues of fidelity, truth, courage and magnanimity.
Choices and Opportunity Costs: Over a series of runs, I started kicking around this idea of choices and opportunity costs. In life, sometimes it’s the choices you make, and sometimes it’s the choices you don’t make. I was trying to talk a friend of mine into signing up for a half-marathon. He was undecided saying things like, “Jeeze, its like $80!” Yea, sure it is, but when you cross that finish line for the first time, the feeling you get, you’d pay $1,000 for. Because it’s not the $80, it’s all the things you had to give up to get to the finish line. You know, with the training you have to do, the lifestyle choices you have to make which will allow you to get to that finish line. You have to train, maybe not eat that greasy food when you really want it. All the sacrifices you make leading up to the point where you cross that finish line, that is what makes it worth it. Maybe it’s not the finish line you cross, maybe it the new car you forego, so that you can save for your kids college. When they cross that stage, you cross your finish line.
Hero: Everybody wants to be that Hero that saves the world. Not many of us get the opportunity where circumstances put us in that place that we can “save the world.” I thought about this one time while I was running. But, you have the opportunity to be a hero everyday. I think that for each one of us, we are a hero to someone. Whether it be to a friend, a child, a neighbor, niece, nephew or maybe a complete stranger. One of my heroes or, rather, heroine is a lady from California named Catra Corbett. She is now fifteen years, clean and sober. She is an ultra runner. I have only met her twice. But, what an example. Or Dick Beardsley, give his book a read. What an inspiration. For me, both of these folks were complete strangers, but they have made a huge impact on my life. Other heroes are Joe Prusiatis and Allen Wrinkle. Joe is my coach, he ran Hardrock and Badwater (these are ultramarathons, the hardest, toughest 100 and 135 miles races, respectively) in the same week! Allen ran 203 miles in 68 hours once! Wow!!! Other heroes for me are 1st Sergeant Jacob Walls. He was my first team chief back in ’96 when I was in the Army. I looked up to Sergeant Walls. We used to have pushup competitions in the motor pool in Germany. I think we did 150 consecutive pushups one day, a challenge. Or Coach Pensik, he gave us a speech once during half-time at a football game which we were loosing, against a town called East Bernard. He talked about, effort and hustle. He said, “What, Do you think Earl is gonna make the tackle?” Who the hell Earl was, I still don’t know (maybe Earl Campbell) but what we realized is, if we don’t hustle we aint gonna win. We each have an opportunity to change the world, one person at a time, by our example. By our zest for life, our desire to seek out the best of every situation and make the most of it.
Validation and Self-Confidence: I have thought about this idea quite a bit while running. My conclusions may or may not be valid but I have hit upon a few ideas that seem to resonate with me. I think that what drives a large majority of human behavior is the seeking of validation due to a lack of self confidence. We choose to do some things like college, career, or relationships, not because it’s what is true to our own nature, but because we are seeking validation. Validation from a significant other, a mother, a father, or some idol that we choose which we think will validate us. What does validate mean in this sense? To me it means, if I do this thing then I will earn respect, acceptance, etc… Then I will be complete as a human being. We seek this validation, because we are not sure who we are, what we mean, and what our significance is in this world. We feel that if someone can just tell us, then all will be well. Maybe so, Maybe not so. For me, the biggest thing is the recognition of what drives our action. What underlying desires drives my action? Have you given any though to this? Try it sometime, you may be surprised as to the answers you come up with. For a long time, and sometimes still, what drives my actions, whether it is power lifting, body building (back in the old days), drinking, dancing or running is validation. I was seeking validation because of low self-confidence. Through running, I was able to find self confidence, maybe it was the self-confidence I lost, or the self-confidence I never had. It happened to me at about mile 87 of my third attempt at a 100 mile run. I sat in the aid-station tent for two hours wanting to quit. I didn’t give up, even though I had already given up in my mind. I finished that run, that day and a good friend Mark Richards ran about 45 miles with. Another good friend, Bill Johnson, came to watch me finish. I am glad I didn’t quit. A month later, that’s when I realized how important that day was for me. I was at the same place, Hill Country State Natural Area, and I had an epiphany while running. Funny, now that I try to recall it, I don’t remember a damm thing about what I was thinking. But, life was simple, clear, I finally understood. I was confident in myself and who I am for the first time in my life. It was during a training run, and after 15 miles I had to quit and walk 5 miles back to my truck because of my hip flexors and I was okay with it. I didn’t feel like a puss. It was the best 1.5 hours of my life and I was all alone. What a beautiful day.
Courage: Courage is a word of French origin. Something about the heart, I am not sure exactly and I don’t feel like looking it up just now. What is courage? It is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain without fear. I went out to Lake Tahoe in July of 2008 for my second attempt at a 100 mile run, a run that I didn’t finish. A month before this run, I had just run my first 100 miler. Running a 100 miler is crazy, that’s all I can say. But, I wish everyone could do it, so that one could experience the life changing experiences one has when one runs one. The two weeks after my first 100, I got drunk everyday and smoked cigarettes. Yea, I know, you are thinking, “This guy is a freaking douchebag!” But, drinking was/is how I cope, it’s what I know can “fix” it. Well, I was sitting at work on a Saturday and started thinking about courage and what it means to me. Courage is one of my four “cardinal virtues”. I thought, I have to run this thing. I signed up for it, I know now how bad it’s gonna hurt, but I gotta do it. So, I bought my plane ticket, finally. I was sitting at a restaurant in Carson City, Nevada the day before the race and decided to call my friend Bill Conway. We have been friends since ’97, and have grown a lot together over the years. He is like my older brother. He had recently become a Christian, which he still is, and I noticed a change in his approach to life. Some things I agreed with, some not. But, he was better for it, not only as a friend but as a person in general. I wanted to discuss with him this idea of courage. I says, “I think that if there is a God, then he favors courage over obedience.” Maybe I was coming out of left field, but it made sense to me. Courage, as we defined earlier, is a quality which allows one to face pain without fear. So, take for example, Jesus. Much courage he possessed as he drug his own cross to his own crucifixion. Obedience will not get you there, but I think courage will. I don’t remember what he said in response. But, I think about courage a lot. It takes courage to make a change in ones own behavior. To be able to step outside of yourself and ask tough questions. Who am I? Do I matter? What to my actions say about me? In what context am I making these decisions? It takes the most courage to give reasoned responses and in most circumstances, being honest with yourself. My old boss, Brad Cooper, told me about the Mobile Theory. It’s a theory about a mobile, you know, the one above a baby’s crib with the little horses or whatever hanging from it. When you move one out of balance, all the rest of them try to put the protagonist back into its place. It’s what happens when you try to make some change in your life, which makes those around you uncomfortable, and they try to put you into the place where they recognize you. It takes courage, not to be put back. To stay on your path, and become the person you can be. The person that, in your heart, you know you can become.
These are the things I think about when I run, among a whole host of others, but these are the leit motifs of my running thoughts. Do I have any answers? Probably not, but, for me, the most important thing is that slowly, surely I am on road of self-discovery. Will I be a better person for it, yea, I think so. I don’t drink as much now. I am more empathetic and compassionate now. I value people now as an end of themselves, as opposed to a means of a selfish end. I have more patience now. I believe in the value of others and that everyone has something to offer. I talk less and listen more.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Past Week and Easter Weekend

I don't think I have posted anything since last Tuesday so I figured that I would catch up on this.

Wednesday the 8th of April was a hard training day. After work I did my standard routine of abdominal work, kettlebell and bag swings. I did not do the deadlifts. I decided to save those for the deadlifts for the gym. I ran 3 miles to the gym and did my deadlifts, 3 sets of 25 reps and 1 set of 30 reps with 165 lbs. Then I took off from the gym, they got upset because I was deadlifing barefoot. hahha!! Power to Me. I ran another 11 or so miles before I went home. This workout I did took about 4 hours, I used to handhelds worth of water and 1 gel Needless to say, I was pretty well jacked up from this.

Thursday the 9th of April I did my ab routine and some kettlebell swings but not too much. I also ran 10 miles. So for the week I only ended up with about 30 something miles, but hey I was satisfied.

Friday the 10th of April I did not do any workout whatsoever. I did manage to make it to Hooters for some beers after work though. Funny how its so easy to drink a few beers, but it's so hard to find the courage, time, etc.. to hit your workouts.

Saturday the 11th of April: Taxes. You can thank me for doing my part. I paid in $19,500 worth of taxes this year. The 43% of filers who actually pay no tax can also thank me for supporting our deficit ladened government.
In the afternoon I went back home to Yoakum, Texas for the Easter weekend. I picked up my nephew who is now 15yrs old and showed him how to workout with kettlebells. He is a pretty tough kid. We were doing farmers walk, swings, floor presses, standing presses. Good time.

Sunday, no workout but ended up eating pork chops at my sisters for lunch. She is a great cook!
Also shot the .22 with my nephew.

Monday the 13th of April was a pretty good day.
Did 5 miles this morning with the Ladies.

At lunch I did a little bit of kettlebells:
2 sets 40Rn swings each arm with the 24kg bells
1 set 10R swings each arm with the 32kg bells
1 set 25 R deadlifts with 165lbs
2 sets of bag swings 10 each directions with 36 lbs bag.

Had to go back home after work to pick up my dog. She ran off Sunday while we were target shooting a .22 caliber rifle with my nephew.
Once I got home, at about 8PM I went out for 8 miles. It was a great run, pretty fast with no water bottles. Legs felt great.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A New Week, A Good Start

I haven't posted in almost a week but I have not been too terribly lazy.

Last Wed I did my home gym workout. I was so sore and jacked up I didn't do anything last Thursday.

On Friday, I went to Bandera after work and put in an 11 mile loop. The same loop as the week prior. I was able to run all the hills and didn't feel near as bad as the last time I ran the same route. So, I must be making progress. This run was about half-night run with the headlamp. I didn't check my light before I got there and it wasnt working, but thankfully I had a spare.

On Saturday, I did a 10 mile loop out at Government Canyon with my friend Erin from the Schertz Ladies Running club. It went well. It was her first trail run and she did fall once but it was not bad. I was worried the whole time that something like that was going to happen, but we got luckey.

On Sunday I chilled out. Drank a few beers at Hooters and then went to my buddies house and grilled some fajitas and sausages. After the food and some beers I played some baseball with his two boys. They are the coolest dudes. haha. Later I went home and finised my 3rd book on my Kindle from Amazon. It was called The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria. It was actually a good book. I need to finish two other books I started back in December. The First World War by John Keegan and How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Arthur Herman. I will be working on these this week.

I ended up with 45 miles last week. I want to pick up maybe 20 to 30 more miles this week. We will see.

Today I did my weight workout in the garage. I did 4 sets but split them up into two workouts because I had to pick up a tiller so I could till up my garden. The garden is 16'X16'. It's not too big but that is okay. I am thinking of going another 16' to make it 16'X32'. Who knows. I will be planting tomorrow. I have some corn, radishes, tomatoes, squash, onions, carrots, squash, okra, cucumbers, peas, green beans, cauliflower and lettuce.

Here was todays workout.

4Sx20R Deadlifts @ 165lbs
4Sx15R Kettlebell swings with 54lbs
4SX5R Janda situps
4Sx10R of russian twists with the barbell and 20lbs of weight on the end.
4Sx10R ab wheel rolls from a kneeling position.
4Sx10R @ 65lbs on arm deadlifts with long bar
4SX20R Indian Club swings with 8lbs clubs, Persian Style.
4Sx5R @ 54lbs one arm kettlebell presses.

Thats it for today. Have a great day, week, etc....

Hit your workouts with all you got today, one day you will not have it anymore.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fun and Running

The past weekend started off good. I left for Bandera about 3 PM after I woke up from working the night shift.

I made it out there about 4PM and was getting set up to go for a little run and Joe and Mike showed up. I left out for a 8 mile run or so and ran all of the hills. It was a little tough but not bad.
Then later that evening, a freakin cold front blew in. Wind was howling like crazy. I was not ready for that crap at all. Ended up sleeping in my truck on the front seat.

I lay there all night thinking, screw this I should just take off. I don't want to run in this wind in the morning. It's going to be freakin cold. And cold it was in the morning. We left for our run in the morning. Alot of folks with Rogue training. The loop was an 11 mile loop with lots of hills. I ran all the hills, but got my arse kicked. I didn't take any gels and had just my two handhelds. I was having some issues with my blood sugar. I think it could have been because of the beer the night before. I only ended up doing 1 loop, but oh well. That was all I could put in on Saturday.

I left about 3 PM and came back to San Antonio. My buddy Rick came down from Ft. Worth and we went to Hooters. The B Team was working so we were unimpressed. We watched a bunch of the Pavel Training videos and then decided that we should go to the country bar called Cowboy's Dancehall. I know now why I quit going there. Too smokey, too dark and it just wansnt really much fun.

On Sunday we took off heading to Ft. Worth. Stopped in Lockhart for BBQ at Black's. They have the best sasuage in the whole state. When we got to DFW we met up with one of my co-workers at Bone Daddy's in Grapevine. I kicked back way to many brewskies, but the views were exceptional.

On Monday I had a class at one of our switching offices in Arlington and got to see the new Cowboy's staduim. Holy Crap that thing is huge. Jerry's big glory hole. Thats what they call it. I hope the Boys can do something this year.

Monday night we drove back, Harold and I from DFW back to San Antonio. I went out for a run about 845 last night and did about 14 miles. It went pretty good and I only took my two handhelds.

No kettlebells but I will try to work some in tonight!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mowing the Yard and such things ...

If anyone wants to read about a real life bad ass! Then click on the link below. This guy ran 203 freakin miles. If you need to be inspired, read this and discover what is possible.


Yea, okay, homeowners association. I finally mowed my yard so quit sending me those letters.
Really, I haven't mowed my yard since August or so. I don't really remember when the last time I mowed it. We have not had any rain since then so I figured, "Why should I mow, the grass isn't growing?"
Looks pretty good once you mow it and I was able to take down those weed trees I had growing.
I actually did a little workout today against my own will, or with my own will, if I am not careful someone will be reading my will. My sister gets everything, so don't ask.

Here was the workout:
4 sets X 20 reps @ 165lbs deadlifts
4 sets X 10 reps @ 35lbs alternating military press kettlebells. (10 each arm)
4sets X 10 reps on the ab wheel
4sets X 10 Reps @ 55lbs one arm dead lift with long bar (both sides)
1 set X 10 Reps @ 70lbs kettlebells swings (10 each arm)
3 sets X 15 Reps @ 52lbs kettlebell swings (15 each arm)
2 sets X 10 Reps @ 26 lbs bag swings (10 each direction)
2 sets X 10 Reps @ 37 lbs bag swings (10 each direction)
3 sets X 10 Reps @ 5lbs indian club swings (10 each arm)
1 sets X 10 Reps @ 8 lbs indian club swings (10each arm)
Also some stretching. Umm, its good for you.

And here are some pictures of my Home Gym that is actually pretty portable.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another Day Down

Well once again I didn't want to work out, but did it anyway.

2 sets of 5 reps of the same ab routine from yesterday, from the Pavel Beyond Crunches DVD.
2 sets 10 reps each arm Indian club swings, 5lbs clubs.
2 sets 10 reps each arm kettle bell swings with the 53lbs bell.
2 sets 15 reps of dead lifts with 165lbs.

Went for 10 mile run at slow pace. About 2 hours. Trying to rebuild my base a little bit.
I have not done any base building work since probably mid November.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Workout for Today

Today I did not feel like working out at all. So I decided that I would just do something.

I started out by straightneing out my garage so I would have some room to work out in.

Then I did all the exercises from Pavel's Beyond Crunches DVD. You can purchase this at

These exercies include:
one arm deadlift with the long bar
Russian twists with the long bar planted in a corner.
side bends with 5 lbs plate in each hand, hands above the head extended.
Janda sit ups, I only did the negative portion becuase I can not do the whole sit up yet.
Ab wheel. From a kneeling position.

I did 3 sets of 5 reps for each of these exercies.

I also did the following:

3 sets X 10 reps (each arm) kettle bell swings 35lbs.
3 sets X 15 reps Deadlifts 115lbs
3 sets X 20 reps Bag swings (10 each direction)
3 sets X 10 Reps Alternating military presses with 35lbs kettlebell.
3 sets X 10 Reps (each arm) Indian club Persian swings with 5lbs club.

Went for a 6 mile run, no water, no technology. After each mile I did 50 Hindu squats.

This workout is a little light, but it was better than sitting on my rear all day.

Hopefully tomorrow will go a little better.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Little Run

Have you ever felt like, Hey I need to just go run. No conraptions, no technology, no hassels? That was how I felt, So I just laced 'em and went out for a little jaunt.

Went for a nice little 9 mile run Friday. A little fast it felt like, but that is okay.

Tomorrow will be some real fun.

Oh yea, I have just come to the conclusion that Barak Obama is a douchebag!

Let me say this, I hate that son of a ...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 1, 100 Something Left to Go

Well I guess I can officially call today, Day 1 of my training for Hardrock 100.

I ran with the Ladies on Schertz Parkway this morning. A slow 5 miles.

My training area today was an open field near my neighborhood just off of I-35 in Selma. The field is about a 1/2 mile loop.

After work I started my training:

1 mile pulling a weighted sled with 80lbs (2 loops)
1/2 mile with a 125lbs. (1 loop)
The loop is oblong so on the long parts I did forward walking and backward walking and on the shorter ends I did sideways walking.

I did 4 loops with my 26lbs Bulgarian Training Bag on my shoulders at a slow jog. At the end of each loop I did 40 bag swings. About 40 of the total swings were walking swings which are totally a real ass kicker.

I did 1 loop with a pair of 35lbs kettlebells in each hand. This is called the Farmer's Walk.

It really sucked, but hey thats part of it.

Not sure whats going to be going on for tomorrow, but I am sure it will be a real sonofa ...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

When you can not run, Pump Iron!

Well, as you may know I have a broken toe! That sucks. Not that it really hurts that bad, but I am not able to run b/c I wan it to heal so I can run and prep for my next 100 miler.
I did run in the Texas Independence Relay this weekend and I do plan to start my training next week after I get back from snow skiing in Taos this weekend.

Also, since the beginning of this year I have been looking for alternative to the traditional "gym" workout. I have also been looking for some new training devices for running. Maybe some of them are gimmicks but, I don't really care. I will give them a shot. Here is a run down on some of the devices I will be using to prepare for Hardrock 100 and to just workout with in general.

Indian Clubs - http://www.revolutionclubs.net/
Kettlebells - http://www.kettlebellkettlebells.com/
Power Sled - http://www.competitiveedgeproducts.com/detail.aspx?ID=573&affiliate=33
Resistance Vest - http://www.resistancewear.com/
Running Chute - http://www.sparqstore.com/catalog/productdetail/model_nbr--77928/sku--7-7272/cm--Left+Nav/
Deadlift bar - http://oldtimestrongman.com/gerard_trapbar.html
Bulgarian Training Bag - http://www.bulgariantrainingbags.com/
Macebell - http://www.torqueathletic.com/ts1/details.php?prod=MP10

Some of these devices may seem unconventional but that is okay with me. I have spent way too much money on equipment so far this year, but hey I am single and dont have anything else to spend my money on. haha

Additionally, I have been looking into body weight exercises and calisthenics.
Hindu squats and push ups. Bear crawls and mountian climbers.

I will be working these into my runs along with the sled, parachute, and weight vest.
The dead lift stuff is for high reps upwards of 30 to 50 reps at about 130 to 180lbs.
The kettlebells and Bulgarian bags will be used for heart rate training and recovery.
My coach has also suggested the stair climber so I will be working on that also.
The mace bell and Indian clubs are just for fun. I may incorporate some sledgehammer training into my routine also.

You may be thinking, "What the hell is this guy doing, sledgehammers, macebells, deadlifts etc... Hell I don't know, but it sounds like fun to me!!

I will continue to do Bikram Yoga along with kung fu and tai chi. I really need to get back to the yoga studio. I have been sandbagging on this and I can really feel it.

Anyway, check back from time to time if you are interested in what is going on with my training!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mountain Laurels Blooming

I left for work a few mornings ago, and noticed that the mountain laurels were blooming. Mountain Laurels only bloom once a year, and the blooms are beautiful. I wrote a few lines, I hope that you will enjoy.

Mountain Laurels Blooming:

The dew fell on the mountain laurel blooms

Flowers glistening, purple hue
A blanket spread in the meadow there
Heather blooming, we had no care
Could we know, sun low
Whether love wither, love grow

Thrice loved, Twice hated
Time passed, love abated
Apart together we travel
Till judge rings the gavel
When mountain laurels bloom

Friday, February 20, 2009

Down Time?

I have been taking it easy this week. My knees have been bothering me, probably because I have been hitting it pretty hard on the running side. Additionally, I have a piece of bone broken on my index toe on my right foot so I talked it over with my coach and I have decided to take about 4 weeks or so off from running. I am supposed to be doing core work, but so far I haven't done any of that.

I have, however, done something. On Monday and Tuesday I didn't do didley squat. But on Wednesday and today I did some work with my Indian Clubs and Bulgarian Bag and also did kettlebell military presses. I did end up going to kung fu today which was nice. I had to take it a little easy, because of the toe, but no problem. I went through the forms slow, which makes them a little harder to remember and worked on getting low in my stances which helps the flexibility.

I ended up buying more workout equipment online a pair of 5lbs and 8lbs Indian clubs and a set of kettlebells 35lbs, 53lbs and 70lbs. I now have a pair of 35lbs bells, but will probably let one of my good friends use the 35lbs extra one I have so he can start using kettlebells. Once my new Indian clubs come in, I will let him use the 1 and 2 lbs clubs I have also.
Here is the link to the place where I ordered the Indian clubs:

I have also been reading a book called The Naked Warrior by Pavel. Its about strength secrets using bodyweight exercises. Here is the link if you are interested:

I bought a book today at the Shaolin-do school where I take kung-fu and tai-chi called Secrets from the Temple. It's a book which talks about the history of Shaolin kung-fu and has an indepth section on meditative breathing. It's actually pretty good. Here is the book on Amazon if your are interested:

The plan for this weekend and next week is do work on my kung fu and tai chi forms daily, hit yoga once a day, do medicine ball, indian club, and kettlebell work each day and lastly start working on some freakin core work. hahah