Saturday, May 31, 2008

"the race is done, what are you going to do now?"

I'm Going To Adventureland!!!

Opened in 1973 Adventureland is an amusement park located in Altoona, Ia. About 20 min from where I live. Each year my employer provides entrance and meal tickets to the divisions employees. The last thing I really wanted was to be on my feet all day. But hey, its free and I have kids.

Visiting a park like Adventureland will give you an even greater appreciation for the Disney parks. The following commetns on this post are not intended to slam Adventureland. Instead they are meant to show how Disney really goes the extra mile. This post may run a bit long and as I said I am not trying to vent here.

Let's start with the theme park mascot, every park needs one. Six Flags has Bugs, Disney has Mickey, Universal has... umm... Universal has... What does Universal have? Adventureland has Bernie the Siberian Husky. If you refresh the link I posted above you can view Bernie in multiple poses. Here is my favorite. To me it says "kiss my butt" I really don't get this image. In another image Bernie is an amputee without his left arm. And in another he looks drunk.

Before entering the park you can pick up a map. Note two things here, instead of a Mickey head this park has a large A and the maps are not multicultural. (ok I understand that, but I am surprised that they did not have a Spanish copy)

The front portion of the park is clearly styled after Disneyland. The train station sits up on a berm and you walk under the tracks to enter Main Street. (what no castle?)

The first attraction everyone wanted to go on was the Raging River. Think of it as our answer to Kali River Rapids.

I got soaked on the Raging River. I would spend the rest of the day in damp shows and socks. Next we headed to the back of the park to one of the two western themed areas of the park. In this photo you can see an example of something an imagineer would never allow. (Note the floating hoses next to the water cannons.)

After leaving this area I noticed this attempt at product branding ala the Passamaquoddy style.

Although our park does not have Dumbo we do have something close. The flying Dragon ride. (not quite Elliot though)

We have a Tea Cup ride (but you can't spin them)

We don't have a Maliboomer. We have a Space Shot.

We have two audio animatronics. One of which raises his arm and twitches his head. Here is the old prospector himself.(note the creepy wig)

The lack of themeing stands out all over the park. Just look at this row of attractions standing side by side.

Our log ride is missing its mountain.

Instead of Pirates we have the "Infant Ocean"

So what else does it have?
It has a train.(although reduced in scale)

It may not have Sky Buckets but it has Skychairs.

It has a School on Main Street.

You can buy Hanna Montanna and High School Musical gear here.

I even managed to find a hidden Mickey.

And a giraffe.

I know this park could never truly be compare to a Disney park. It is after all, simply an amusement park and not what "I" consider a true theme park.
In the end we had a pretty nice time.
I made my piece with Bernie.

And I purchased a Mickey window decal for each side of my car.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Wall? What Wall? 02:04:33

Hi Team. Dam to Dam went very well. Here are the details of the day.
I awoke promptly at 4am and ate some breakfast. Stepping outside I knew the weather was going to be great. By race time we had 60F clear skies with a light breeze coming out from the east.

I picked up Larry on time at 5 and we headed downtown to catch a bus up to Saylorville Dam. People sure behave funny. The masses all headed to wait in the long lines for the buses that were lined up front. We walked on back to about the third bus and hopped right on. This was a senario that would repeat itself with the use of porta-potties or water stations. The masses always choose the first thing they hit.

I wore my Garmin and started it as we crossed the starting line. I'm sure that those of you who have already taken part in an organized race can related to the congestion of the first few miles. The pack did not really break up until between mile 4 and 5.

I gave the water station at marker 2.5 a pass because I felt ok and I "knew" there would be another at mile 4. Well there was "suppose" to be one there. For some reason they set it up at mile 5. Which was stupid because the next one was a mile six. Once I hit mile 5 I took a little water at each following station.

Mile 6 brought on the first hill. It's an overpass above I80-I35. This hill was no trouble and the 10k mark was just on the other side. Leaving that hill felt good and I picked up the pace a little. Mile 7 into 8 brought the next hill. This one is bigger and I ran out of some steam about 3/4 of the way up. So it became as brisk of a walk as I could make it. At the crest I was right back into a jog. About a three blocks past that hill I saw Emily and see took this picture. Much different than that '06 picture I posted huh?

I took some gator-aid at mile 9. Mile 9 runs downhill all the way. I tried to pick up the pace again here, but the way the cones were laid out in the street created a bottleneck, only three runners abreast wide. This was frustrating.
As mile 10 approached, the course flattened out and I knew I was NOT going to hit that wall. Woo Hoo!!!
The approach to mile 11 brought another hill with simular results as mile 8. This lead into another bottleneck as the course now joined a bike path. At this point I noticed a couple people laying in the grass being assisted by volunteers. At mile 11.4 there were some kids giving the runners high fives as they came by.

Only one more mile to go. As I finally reached Locust street I could hear the drum corp in front of the YMCA. In '06 that really pumped me up and I gave it all the gas I could. This time, I could not manage that last sprint until I was closer to the finish line.
At the finish line I turned to look for Larry and did not see him. I waited for a while but my thirst drove me to a water station. I then walked back and waited for Larry to finish. I was pleased to finally hear his name. He came through the finish and told me the heat had really bothered him. Shortly after, while looking for his family and we found Emily. She took this picture of us.

Shortly after taking this picture Larry did not feel well and went over to the aid tent. While he rested I partook of the free food and beverages they had. Pulled pork sandwiches, kettle corn, fruit. It was all good.
I went back to check on Larry and he was still not feeling well. After laying down for awhile he felt worse when he sat back upright. Larry told medics he felt he should take an iv of fluid to aid his hydration.
Earlier in the week Larry had been to the doctor and was on antibiotics. Although he had been drinking plenty of water the day before, he questions if his medicine did not allow the water to hydrate his body.
I went to bring the car closer and by the time I got back the iv had done it job and Larry was feeling much better.

2008 DAM Numbers
2580 Male finishers
2233 Female finishers
4813 total finishers

Of the male finishers I came in at 2100. 284 out of 348 for my age bracket.
My official clock time was 02:10:31 which is 9 minutes faster than '06.
My Garmin which was started and stopped on the lines read 02:04:33

Larry came in at 2467. 254 out of 270 for his age bracket. His official time was 02:30:53 Larry hit the starting line with me so his actual time would be about six minutes less also.

2006 DAM Numbers:
1991 male finishers
1539 female finishers
3530 total finishers

1812 out of the male finishers 254 out of 284 for my age bracket.
Official clock time 2:19:38

1736 out of the male finishers 251 out of 284 for his age bracket
Official clock time 2:14:21

The start and finish line photos are from past events. I just thought it would be fun to add them to the post.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Greetings Team Voice members and All About the Mouseketeers. The adventure has begun. With todays replay of episode one I thought it wold be fun to post the script. I will put the others up over the next four weeks. I know the text looks small so you can either click on it for a larger view or right click, save it and open it using your software.

Ok on to today. I had a great nights sleep. Temps were in the 60's with rain outside. Windows open. Ahh fresh air is just the E ticket for a good nights rest. This afternoon I will be picking up Larry and we will drive down to the Des Moines convention center for packet pick-up. My plan for this evening is to be in bed no later than 10 o'clock. As I will be picking up Larry again at 5am. The race is running bus transportation from Downtown up to the Dam at Saylorville Lake.

I made a trip up to the Dam last night and drove off the course. Mostly because I wanted to refresh my mental picture and secondly to check out the condition of the roads. The course is mostly in good shape but the road has some rough spots between miles 8 and 9.5. Runners will need to pay attention to avoid some twisted ankles. Other parts of the course have fresh asphalt.

Of course I visited the scene of the crime from my 06 run. Mile 10 that is. I've already talked about on earlier posts. It's were I "hit the wall" and finished out the race by wogging. My primary goal this year is simply not to hit this.

I would like to finish with an improved averaged pace, but truthfully if I can avoid the wall and finish feeling strong that will be the victory for me.

Update tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tuesday is for Maury, Wednesday is for Fernando

Saludos, it is I Fernando! Today I have taken over the Tundra to test the waters of blogging. You know, I read many blogs and so many of them are mahvelous, absolutely mahvelous. So I said to myself “Nando perhaps you too should blog.” But then I think about today’s guest and his second blog which has not been updated in a long, long time, and I question the time commitment it would take. I mean I love to chat and hear myself talk dahlings, but I need time to mambo everyday too.

So lets go ahead and bring on my special guest, joining me here in the Hideaway. You know him from his intro work over on the All About the Mouse Podcast. Let’s welcome Jeff W from Iowa.

Greetings dahling, have a seat here in the booth. You look mahvleous, yet you look a bit tired today. What’s up with that?

First, let me say that as always, you also look marvelous, and second it’s this crazy schedule that I have at work. My hours vary from week to week and this week started with Saturday and Sunday 11am to 8pm and then Monday through Wednesday 5am to 2pm. By Wednesday I’m shot. Hey can I get some coffee?

Certainly, I know that you tend to be a night owl dahling, so I can imagine you do get tired.

Excuse me one moment, sweetheart would you be a dahl and bring Jeff and I each a cup of Joe? Thank-you.

So, how many hours of sleep are you getting?

Typically about six. But when I work the early shift I am lucky to get in three. Last night I got in four.

Muy bueno! How did you manage that?

Some good advice from a feline friend last night on Skype. She simply said “you need to go to bed” She mentioned something about dressing up as Edna Mode, which frightened me, so I put on my Spiderman pajamas and went to bed.

You have Spiderman pajamas too?

I’m kidding you, because I know you are a kidder. No actually, mine have Mickey Mouse on them. They’re flannel and they feel great.

Let’s shift gears a moment. Tell me what’s up with the W? You are clearly not related.

Ahh good one. When I first wrote to Bryan at All About the Mouse I signed without giving my full name and I just kept it that way. Adds a certain mystique don’t you think? Kind of like Blue Man Group wearing sunglasses. That’s all there is to that.

You have a big race coming up this Saturday. What are you doing to prepare?

Well my left foot feels good this morning, so I’m planning a short run this afternoon, keeping my water intake up, I will probably throw some protein on the grill tonight, and Friday I’m planning on having some pasta. And then Saturday I need to pick up Larry at 5am. So sleep is also a big deal over the next few nights.

That sounds mahvelous. What can we expect from you and the Wonderful World of Intros?

That’s actually getting exciting. I have been receiving email suggestions, scripts, and questions about how others can make intros. Hopefully I will be collaborating with Mike Fess again soon, and Stroller Boy Chris has approached me with two really good ideas. I’m not giving anything away though.

The All About the Mouseketeers are listening dahling, please do tell.

Nope sorry, however I will say that if you like Star Wars, be sure to listen to the All About the Mouse podcast for a short intro series I put together. It’s coming up very soon.

I’m giddy with anticipation. But for now we have to go.
Jeff will you be updating this blog later today?


Ok then. Join me here next time when I will be interviewing Edna Mode.


UPDATE: Ok I got out and did 6.88 miles tonight. Now it is rest and goods eats until race day. Woo Hoo!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Parkersburg, Ia.

Update: mgreene asked about the recent tornado we had in Iowa. On May 25th the town of Parkersburg was devasted by what is being called the second deadliest tornado in our states history. The last count I heard was that eight people had lost their lives. Parkersburg is located 121 miles away from Des Moines

The tornado moved between 5:30 and 6:15 p.m. from Aplington to New Hartford to the north side of Waterloo and then into Dunkerton, according to Miles Schumacher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Parkersburg bore the brunt of the severe weather with 93 mile an hour winds. At least 150 to 200 houses were destroyed.

We have crews hard at work from our Waterloo office rebuilding Cable TV to the town.

But sadly, there is not much left of it...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Caption This #2

Thank you to everyone who contributed comments to the last post. I think I might make this regular thing. Once every couple weeks or once a month. With all the banter going back and forth between That Darn Cat Lisa, and Edna Mode over at I could not resist posted one more pic tonight.
On another note I finally got out and did a mid distance run tonight. The foot feels ok now. Tomorrow morning will be the real test. I plan on doing a 5-6 mile jog on Wednesday and then resting until Saturday.

From: Caballerofan

"How many times must I tell you Helen?
No more wire hangers for your super suit!
It distracts from the now!"

From: Mike F.
"NO SOUP FOR YOU dahling!"

From: Rae:
"What No miles?!"

From: Joggerblogger
"I told you to bring me the Doughboy.
What do you expect me to do with his arm!"

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Caption This...

Time for a little fun with Star Wars.
What caption would you add to this picture?

From: Caballerofan
"Look Sir, Shower Curtain Rings"

From: Mike F.
"That hole Vader was talking about in the Death Star is about this small"

From: Joggerblogger
And then Lord Vader said "I do"

From: Basil
"So you're telling me if I get it to land on one of those Coke bottles, I get that giant stuffed panda? Sounds easy enough."

From: Eric
Would you say this is a 'C' pin or a "B"?

From: Doc Terminus
"Look sir, giant hobbits"

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Yoo Hoo, Listen To Your Body

The goal this week and next was to do some mid level runs and then allow a couple days of rest before DAM next Saturday. This past Wednesday I went out for a mid week run. On Thursday morning I awoke and discovered that a deep discomfort had returned to the ball of my left foot.

Today(Saturday)it has finally subsided. I am in a quandry. I feel the need to get out and do something before next weekend, But I don't want to push it. I have thought about using either the ellipticle or a bike at SNAP. But I am still concerned about how much my foot might flex. I really do not want to risk injury before next weekend.

This run is important to me. It marks a return to a place I was at two years ago. I place that I had let slip away from me for over a year until Jonathan Dichter inspired me to get off the couch. And now there are so many more of you, that it inspires me even more to keep chugging along.

Perhaps I will do something light tonight. Maybe just walk. Something.

On to something I have been enjoying for a few days now. I picked up a copy of "How To Be A Megastar" by Blue Man Group. It contains both the DVD concert and a CD of that concert. Very cool. There is a great documentary about the group that is included. One of the main things they like to focus on is finding your bliss. Or rather pursuing those things in life that make you happy and still allow you to be yourself. I posted one song over in the clip joint.

Also I highly recommend going over to itunes and checking out the Bringing Disneyland Home video cast. Brad aka "Oakfan" does a fantastic job with in the park videos. I believe it was during Westfeast 07 that he did a special presentation that combined Disneyland footage with Blue Man Group. Check Out Vidcast 35.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Visit To Mathmagic Land

Oh hello there. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Professor Ludwig Von Drake. I have given Jeff the day off, because I wanted to chat with you about something you might find interesting. This post is dedicated to Jonathan Dichter and the amazing weight loss he has achieved over the past year. Have you ever thought about how weight loss can help your joints? Let's talk about heel strike.

Heel strike is when the foot makes contact with the running surface. Your body weight effects that. Forces of 2 to 3 times you body weight will impact your joints with every footfall. So lets split the difference and have some fun with math shall we? Here are our friends Jeff, Jonathan, and Bryan.

We know that Jonathan and Jeff have been posting their weight. Bryan whose weight we do not know, is also a Gazelle. (I personally think he could out run Mufasa) Therefore we will leave him out of our little equation.

Jonathan started his weight loss efforts at 370 lbs. If we assume 2.5 lbs of force times his starting weight we have an impact to his joints of 925 lbs per heel strike. Right now your thinking Holy Cats! But wait there's more and it's good news.

This week Jonathan posted a weight of 288 lbs, if we do the math, we will see that Jonathan is currently impacting his joints with 720 lbs of force. That's an 82 lb weight loss resulting in 205 lbs less force affecting his joints. Wow, isn’t that amazing? And he's not done yet. Those numbers should give you some motivation. An 82 lb loss is fantastic but think about how much longer (and further) Jonathan's joints will be carrying him in the years ahead. And as I said before the best part is he's not done!

Jeff started off at 230 lbs with 575 lbs of force. At 200 lbs he is now hitting his joints with 500 lbs of force.

These numbers add up (or rather drop) fast. Just think about how much easier runs will become for those of us who are still working on weight loss.

Remember, every pound you add or lose affects your joints by 2-3 lbs of impact force.

So get out there and make good choices today.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A new and unpleasant experience...

Late this afternoon, following a nap, I took off my Spiderman pajamas and finally went out for my long jog. A couple things where different regarding today's outing.

First with the temps in the high 80's I decided to use my water holster.

It has a second bottle to pour a gel pack into. Which brings me to the second thing I tried today. I planned on using power gel to see what I thought of it. All I can say is, be afraid, very afraid. These might work for other runners but they are absolutly not for me.
I think even Nancy Reagan would advise everyone to "just say no"

I had two packs. I took the first one about twenty minutes before setting out and let it work into my system while stretching and briefly responding to an email from "sambycat." (Still need to write you back again dahling)

My goal today was 10-12 miles. The first 7 went fine. It was about this time that I took the 2nd gel and followed it up with water. It was at mile 8.2 that the darn stuff 'attempted' to come back up on me. Believe me when I say it was bad enough going down the first time. Shortly after that my intestines began bothering me. Nothing painful, just a lot of uneasiness. I slowed to a walk for nearly an entire mile while it passed. I was finally able to resume jogging and finished with 11.6 miles in the bank.

Perhaps a different gel brand might be better. But with the way I felt. I do not believe I will experiment again prior to DAM to DAM. I tried the Power Bar brand.

Also one other new thing happened. Near the end of my run, it felt like I had somehow picked up a rock in my right shoe, just between my middle and next smaller toe. I toughed it out and when I was done and checked my shoe I found...nothing.
Somehow that toe must have become crowded and was getting friction from the next toe.
Guess I'll start gliding my toes too.

Even Rocky said "Keep Moving Forward"

Rocky - His Whole Life Was A One In A Million Shot

With high winds tonight I decided to wait and run tomorrow. If the winds persist then I will commit to a long jog at SNAP on their dreadmill.

But tonight I watched a movie that really surprised me. Rocky Balboa is actually a good film. Let's face it, the two previous films were a little weak. And don't get me started on Tommy Gunn.

This final installment of the series marks a return to what made the first two films so good and I can sum it up with one word. Heart.

Adrian we find has passed away, yet Rocky still loves her enough to remember and honor her every day. There are a number of poignant moments. Rocky has moved back into his old neighborhood and we find that he still has a laid back style and cares about the people that still live around Philedelphia. He even strikes up a friendship with Lil' Marie. The girl from the original film that told him "Screw You Creepo" when he was just trying look after her best interests. Now that she is grown up, life turns around in such a way that Rocky is able to be helpful to her this time.

Of course there is a fight. Every Rocky film needs to have that. And I think this one was done well. At least it was better that the last two. No need to go into that really. The true enjoyment of this film is seeing Rocky come full circle.

I have posted a few videos in the clip joint In the first two, Rocky uses a line Byron introduced to Team Voice some time ago. His reference came from "Meet The Robinsons" but coming from Rocky it's pretty darn inspiring. Don't you think?

Before I close here is Mike Fess doing his impression of Rocky.
da,da...da,da,da...da,da,da...da,da,da Gonna Fly Now...