Thursday, April 30, 2009

Next Up: The Odyssey

This was originally posted on 4/21, prior to the Relay but has been relocated so that all of the relay posts can be read in sequence.

The next stop on the race journey is the American Odyssey Relay. The relay is less like a race and more like an adventure. It's me and 11 friends that will run from Gettysburg, PA to Washington, DC. We each get to run between 13 and 22 miles over the course of 36 hours or so. We start this Friday at 7 am and, with any luck, we'll finish our run on Saturday evening between 6 and 8 pm.

This thing started about a year ago when some blogger friends decided to put together a team. It was local for me, so I couldn't resist. Since then, seven of the original twelve dropped and we've been able to find some great folks to jump in.

So who's on the team? Glad you asked.

  • There's team captain and official Grand PooBah Karen, also known as Pokie. Karen gets to deal with all the b.s. coming out of the race organizers as well as figuring out some of the logistics from her home in Arizona. (At risk of pissing off the team captain, I always thought of her as a blogger, but I just noticed no blog posts in more than three months, so I'm thinking maybe she's a former blogger.) Her (former?) blog is here.

Katie blogs here. She's a fellow Baltimorean and one of the original team members. Katie's the VP of Purchasing. Katie's brother was kind enough to design our awesome team logo, displayed on the left.

  • We've got a couple of Canadians on the team -- Nat and Jeff. Nat blogs here. They're visiting the boss in Boston on their way here. Just hope they're not too wasted from that part of the trip to put in 30 miles on their feet later this week. I've been trying to speak Canadian so they can follow all the instructions. If they make it here on Thursday, I'll feel a lot better about all that language barrier stuff.

I'm the last of the originals and, with my current state of employment (or lack thereof), I've taken on the VP of Logistics role. Lemme tell 'ya, with 9 people coming in on three flights and from six states and provinces (Arizona, Arkansas, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ontario and, of course, Maryland) the logistics of getting everyone everywhere has been damn near a full time job. (Wait till they all get my bill.)

As we started to lose folks that committed nearly a year ago, we were able to find some most able replacements, despite at least a few nervous moments.

Taryn is another Arizonan and, apparently, comes from hill deprived Yuma. Not even flat AS a pancake, FLATTER than a pancake. Since Taryn volunteered to run extra miles if were were short a runner, she instead wound up with a leg that even the race director recommend that this runner not be ashamed to walk. What's the big deal? Just a 4 mile "run" at a 5% climb. I've been pep talking her and I know she can do it. Taryn blogs here.

Last winter, I met Ann Marie when we were training for Team In Training. She was running the Alaska marathon. We were about the same running pace and we found out that we live just a block away from each other. Who knew? Check out Ann Marie's blog here.

Dan and Matt join us from the Garden State of New Jersey. Dan and I both ran the 2007 Philly Distance Run in 2007 and we've been friends since. Matt and Dan are in the same triathlon club. Dan blogs here.

Cheryl blogs here and comes to us from the home of my boyhood hero, Brooks Robinson, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Sorry to say I don't know much about Juliet and Jaqualin other than that they're from the great state of North Carolina.

By the end of the weekend, I'm sure we'll all be fast friends. Either that or we'll never want to see each other again. Given the no whining rule, I'm sure we won't know how we really feel about each other until we get our holiday cards. . . or not.

I hope to be posting periodic updates on my Facebook page (if you're not a Facebooker, no time like the present!) from the road as long as my battery holds out.

May be a while before I get a report here, though.

That's about it. Looking forward to sharing my stink with these 11 folks. Should be a blast.


American Odyssey (AOR) - Chapter 1 - In the Beginning

It would be hard for me to post the AOR report in just one post, given my tendency toward verbosity, so I'll break it down into a few easily digestible chunks.

Without recreating too much history, this whole thing started about this time last year. A couple of bloggers, Karen, aka Pokie, from Arizona, and Michelene, from Reno, decided to try to put together a relay team to run the American Odyssey Relay. Since the event was going to be so close to home, I jumped in quickly. We sent in our dough and registered last July. Over the course of the next six months or so, more than half of our original team turned over -- babies, job situations, and travel costs all led some to change their plans. We replaced all those that couldn't hang and, after much planning, the event was finally upon us.

Of my 11 teammates, I had met just three. The other 8 were relative strangers, other than some whose blogs I follow. I was hoping this wouldn't be the beginning of some kind of horror movie!

In preparing to go, the first order of business was the packing. We would be in ordinary mini vans with 6 passengers each. Along with that, we'd need all of our running clothes as well as support. Unlike normal running events where there are water and first aid stations at regular intervals, this event was essentially unsupported. We were responsible for our own water, Gatorade, food, first aid, etc. There were a couple of stops with services, but we'd need to be prepared for everything. Katie filled the shopping list, met at my house on Thursday and we were off.

Back of my CRV -- how's all this gonna fit in the van?

BWI was the best option for us all to meet, with so many different inbound locations. Deb dropped Katie and I off to pick up the rental van and then we waited. Karen and Taryn were due in from Phoenix at 4:15, but were delayed until about 5. When they arrived, we met them at the airport loaded their luggage and headed towards Gettysburg, about 90 minutes away, not including traffic. En route, we stopped for dinner at Ledo Pizza and a quick stop in the grocery store in Westminster and got back on the road.

Arriving at the host hotel just after 8, we quickly found the three members of our team already there and soon after, van 2 arrived. It was kinda weird to meet all of these people that we had been emailing back and forth. In my mind, I started to play through the horror movie scenario and quickly determined that most of the team could be trusted. (Not saying who I thought might be able to do it!)

The lobby was packed with runners. At 8:30, we headed into the open Team Captains meeting. Bob, the organizer, handed out a list of concerns. Mostly related to safety. Since we'd all be running on strange roads, he wanted to be sure we knew what was going on where. Also, he announced the winner of the best team name. That would be the team called "Four Score and Seven Blisters". That would be OUR team. Yeay! Amazingly, this team name was supplied by Nat, one of our Canadian runners. We won a case of iced tea. Woo hoo!

Our leader accepting the tea award.

Following the meeting, we had our own team meeting on the floor at the host hotel. After that, finally, it was off to our hotels to get some real sleep, sometime after 11. By the time I fell asleep, it was close to one, I'm sure. Just four hours until the alarm goes off. . .

Floor meeting.


American Odyssey (AOR) - Chapter 2 - And We're Off

The alarm went off way too early. In fact, three alarms, mine, Nat's and Jeff's went off in concert at 5 am. Since Jeff and Nat were in van two, I rolled out and into the shower first. My initial thought was that the four hours of sleep was all well and good on a normal day, but how would I be feeling a day later with not much more rest time. Not much that could be done about that now.

After dressing in my first leg running duds, I filled repacked and headed to the breakfast bar at the Holiday Inn Express. Coffee, ahhh!
At 6, we were at the host hotel where we were all to meet for the decorating of the vans. Ann Marie did a great job getting our decorations ready. Once we were there, it was time to relocate our bags, get the decor on the vans, do some window painting and get ready for our 7 am start. The weather at this point is nearly perfect for my money. Upper 30's, maybe 40, sun's out. Sweet!

Team 4 Score an 7 Blisters. Little did we know what the next two days had in store for us.

By quarter to seven, we were en route to the starting line. Seven teams lined up for the first starting time of the event. Seemed kinda low key compared to just about any event. Nonetheless, there we were. At 7:05, with much fanfare, Karen was off and running. The innaugural American Odyssey Relay was under way.

Karen is the second woman from the right.

So now, the fun begins. Van 2 heads back to their hotels and Van 1 is on for the next six hours, give or take. Time for coffee. We're off to the local convenience store to caffeinate. As we're pulling in, seems Van 2 had the same idea. From there, we're on to Transition 1. Karen finishes in great spirits and we're suddenly off to T-2, where I will meet Ann Marie and head out on my first leg. T-2 was at Boyd's Bear Country. Kind of an oasis across from the battlefield. Best part about it -- indoor plumbing! Turns out Ann Marie's leg was about a mile longer than advertised. Once she arrived, I was off for my longest leg -- 8.4 miles.

The leg was advertised as fairly flat, but the first mile or so had some nice big hills with road paving construction going on. Take a deep breath -- nice smell of tar -- mmmm! After that, the leg was pretty much one big square on country roads. Lot's of farmland, animals, manure, you get the idea. Oh, there was a funny sign -- right next to a driveway there was a long gravel road, sign said "Lover's Lane, $20, Pay Ed Inside". Now, I couldn't see what was at the other end, but it did provide a moment of comic relief. Still wondering how much old Ed makes off of his "lane."

I didn't want to carry water with me for that distance, so I had my team meet me at about mile 5. They passed me and shortly after, I met back up with them for a much needed water break.

The transition was next to a stream and through a covered bridge. Very cool. As I finished, Matt was next up and he took off. I tracked the distance at 8.55 miles and I averaged just under 10 minute miles. Not bad at all for me at that distance.

Some good came out of those leftover Ron Paul 2008 signs!

Matt was up next with an 8.3 mile run with some serious climbing. His leg ended at the Ski Liberty Resort. He kicked some butt on his leg and Dan was up next. Dan made easy work of his leg and then it was on to the big daddy of them all. The dreaded leg 6.

My new freind Taryn "volunteered" for the six leg. Taryn lives in Yuma, Arizona which, I'm told, doesn't have a hill in the town. Leg 6 was actually rated as the third toughest of the 12 legs, but leg 6 looked like a pretty tough leg from the elevation chart. Basically 4 miles at a 5% grade. Okay, so just do some treadmill training, I thought, and you'll be all set. Taryn seemed a bit stressed about it all.

Thankfully, we never saw this leg for real until we got there in person. The map didn't do it justice. Just a brutal climb to the highest point in the event. As we drove past Taryn, she was all smiles, just working her way up the mountain. She kicked some serious mountain ass. As all of the runners arrived at the summit, there were cheers from all the participants. Once Taryn arrived, she was presented with a proclamation from the team: Queen of the Mountain. She truly did us proud.

Queen Taryn!

Sometime after 1 pm, Van 1 could rest. We handed off to Van 2 and it was time to relax. One leg down, two to go.


American Odyssey (AOR) - Chapter 3 - Into the Night

It was good to see our Van 2 team mates. This was the first we had seen them since we headed off at the start.

As for our van, we were having a blast. Everyone knew at least one other person before they arrived in person, but we quickly became fast friends. As we drove along, we cheered for all of the runners that we passed, even gave a few a hard time, like the guy that passed Taryn half way up her climb on leg 6.

Now we've got 6 hours to kill.

From the end of leg 6, we headed out to the town of Rouzerville, PA, where we were told that the townspeople were very excited we were coming. They had a little reception set up in the Lowe's/Wal Mart parking lot. When we arrived, we went through their little set up and the off to the Subway at Wal Mart for lunch.

While we were in Rouzerville, the local paper was crawling all over the place. They interviewed a bunch of us and Natalie and I even got a mention. Check out the article by clicking here.

We hung out in Rouzerville until the team caught up with us and then we headed down to the next transition point for leg 13 in Smithsburg, MD. On the way, we continued to shout out to the runners. There were three legs starting or ending in Smithsburg, so it was a welcome transition point where we could hang for an hour or two until we were back on the clock. For the first time, we emptied the van of blankets and chairs and just chilled on the school grounds.

As the afternoon wore on, it would soon be Karen's turn to run. Dusk was approaching, so we got her outfitted in a safety vest and red blinky lights for her run. This run was fairly hilly and she struggled. When she arrived at her transition, she was in obvious pain from a cramp in her butt. Actually, what she screamed was: "I have a mixer in my ass!" Yeah, it's funny now, but it wasn't then. Actually, I must admit it was funny then, but I've got a sick sense of humor.

Karen trying to stretch the mixer out of her butt.

Ann Marie was the first to don a headlight, as we would all do until daybreak. She ran her leg and then I was back up.

This was my first night run ever. Though I thought it would be a cool experience, I'm not sure I'll voluntarily do it again. It's kinda freaky being out there on the strange roads. You hear dogs barking and have no idea if they're chained up or not. Then there are the locals: we're in farming community and the locals are most certainly not expecting to see us. They're also not used to seeing runners on their roads. You could tell when they were forced to stop or slow that they didn't like us one bit. Even the runner's waive didn't help. Okay, screw 'em! Enough on the locals.

My leg included a 1 mile incline at a reported 5%. The damned road seemed to go on forever. My speed had slowed and I was sweating like a pig in the high humidity of the night. As I slowed, the sweat was leaking right into my eyes and I could barely see. Just then, my team van pulls up and I'm able to wash out my eyes and get on with the run. As I reach the summit of the hill, I can see the lights of Boonsboro. Kinda like an oasis. Well, that's what they were calling it anyway. I finished the 4.6 mile leg in about 47 minutes. Not too bad. Now, where's Matt. Oh Matt? Where the hell are you, Matt. Seems ole Matt was delayed in the men's room. Oy! About 5 minutes later, Matt is found and he's off into the night.

The Boonsboro Oasis was a pretty cool setup. 5 legs started and/or ended at Boonsboro, including the next transition to Van 2. The setup was at the Boonsboro school complex, with a high, middle and elementary all sharing the same property. There was a live band, shower facilities and some of the high school clubs were selling hot food and snacks. I got a couple of slices of not-so-hot pizza and then signed up for a massage. Both vans were now here. Van 2 struggled to sleep in the close quarters, but they'd be on the clock before too long to run through the night. It was also pretty loud with the live band playing outside.

It was nice to hang out with some of the Van 2 folks. Nat and I had a quiet couple of moments before she went for her massage. When my turn was up, I took 15 minutes on nothing but my feet. Wow, what a great 15 minutes that was. I didn't even want to walk on them they felt so good. Suddenly the blister that had formed on my right big toe was no longer a factor.

Matt finished his leg, then he ran with Dan on his leg. Taryn then went out for a short 3.3 miler. At last, we were done leg 2. It was pushing 2 am now and we were starting to feel the effects of a very long day. Next stop, Antietam Battlefield for our next transition.

Antietam was the bloodiest one day battle of the civil war with 23,000 soldiers losing their lives. Question was, how would 100 vans full of runners fare in the darkness of the battlefield.

When we arrived, we found some parking but the place was very dark. In front of us were civil war cannons and some kind of building, but we saw no restroom facilities. Apparently, neither did anyone else. I can only imagine what that place looked like in the daylight. Sleep was gonna be tough. Dan decided he'd go sleep on a cannon. Yes, you read that correctly, Dan slept on a cannon. He said that he knew his opportunity to ever sleep on a cannon again might never come. Well, no shit! Taryn went out and found some real estate and sacked out on the battle field somewhere. That left Karen and I in the two front seats, Ann Marie sacked out on the middle bench and Matt out on the back bench. Somehow I think Karen and I got the short end. We figure we each got a good half hour of sleep. The others, maybe an hour or two.

By 5 am, we were all starting to wake. Time to find some coffee. I felt drunk, having not had nearly enough sleep for four nights now. We were all a bit punchy. Getting out of the parking lot with more transitions going on around us was the first order of business. I proceeded slowly, very slowly, so as not to hit anyone or anything.

We drove 10 miles toward Hagerstown and found a beautiful sight -- an Exxon station opened all night with indoor plumbing and hot food and coffee. Perfect! As I'm sitting on the commode, my phone rings -- it's Natalie from Van 2. Katie's running, better get back. Oy, she's ahead of where we thought she'd be. I finish my business, grab some food and head back.

As Katie heads back in, daylight is breaking and we're suddenly back on the clock for the last time, about an hour behind schedule.


American Odyssey (AOR) - Chapter 4 - The Last Frontier

We're now 24 hours into the event and it's crunch time. The forecast for Saturday was hot and humid -- expected to be into the mid-80's. Seems like we were getting paid back for the lack of warmth through the early part of spring. Prior to the week before, there was only one day when the locals could run on Saturday without tights. Well, this would change, for sure.

Even during Karen's last leg, we could feel the day warming up as the sun continued to rise over the horizon. Without a doubt the heat would take it's toll on us.

Karen finished her leg and was officially our first cheerleader. No more running for her. Ann Marie followed with a leg that also seemed to defy the elevation chart. As she finished, we moved to the C & O Canal towpath, a flat, crushed gravel, partially shady run. The relay would stay the towpath for most of the remaining legs.

I took the team for my last run for 6.9 miles on the towpath. I had high expectations for myself, given the terrain and the shade. Dressed in my usual Saturday Team In Training duds, I started strong, feeling very good, considering the lack of sleep and miles already run. At the start, there was another runner at about 200 yards and I was slowly closing the gap over the first couple of miles. Then things started to go a bit haywire.

I slowed down a bit and gave back the distance I had made up. At 3.5, I started to feel some pain in my right foot. I slowed again and eventually stopped to take off my shoe. Only thing I could see was that my shoe might have been too tight. I retied it loosely and began a slow jog, but my mind was telling me to walk. I was cursing myself for slacking. 7 miles is not a big run, but my body was arguing back. I walked/ran the rest of the way, intermittently running from one tree to the next to singing 100 bottles of beer on the wall to myself, just to get through the finale. When I finally saw the transition, I was able to kick it into a higher gear, but I was thrilled to be done. On average, this leg was closer to 11 minutes per mile. It certainly felt much slower.
Now around 10 am, you could cut the air with a knife. At each of the next few transitions, there were millions of little gnatty bugs. Almost like mosquito's, but since they weren't biting, I'm sure they weren't. They were just everywhere. You couldn't feel them when you were running, just standing still. Strangely, everyone had their hands straight up in the air. One of the other runners said that this would keep the bugs higher since they go for the highest thing around. I'm sure that there were lots of locals around who got a kick out of this little urban legend. Looked pretty funny to me. And it also didn't work.
Matt handed off to Dan, who handed off to Taryn. In addition to having the monster hills, she was also blessed to have the single longest leg at 8.8 miles. She started running at noon in the heat of the day. Tough leg. She did it though. Amazing.

As we awaited Taryn's arrival, we discussed with Van 2 the need to skip a leg or two. We needed to complete the run no later than 8 pm and, given the temps, now in the 90's, we'd likely be pushing 9 pm. The race official told us that there was only one team behind us at this point. She informed us that everyone must run 3 legs, so runners skipping a leg needed to run a leg with another. Jeff L. gladly gave up his 8.2 miles to run 4.6 with Natalie. Soon after, Cheryl gave up 8.3 to run 6.8 with Juliet.

At least one of us got more sleep than the rest.

Once Jeff and Nat were off, Van 1 headed into DC to shower off our three layers of stink.

The plan was to meet Van 2 at the finish line. Unfortunately, the park was more difficult to find than we expected. It had no address so we were trying to get there by feel in between DC traffic and construction. Juliet called me every minute or two as Jaqualin was due in any moment. We finally arrived at 7 pm and we ran through the finish as a team!

Team Four Score -- We're All Winners!

Once the results were posted, it was official: time wise, we finished dead last. Enthusiasm, no doubt we were first.

I'll be back with one more post -- dinner, brunch and some final thoughts.


American Odyssey (AOR) - Chapter 5 - Epilogue

It's entirely possible that I've spent more time writing my little AOR report than I did in the actual running. It's just that there is so very much to say and I promise to wrap it up in this last post.

Once we finished the run, we were off to the hotel for showers and then dinner. We had a fabulous dinner at Lebanese Taverna in DC. It was an amazing meal in an unusual place. We arrived and it was amazing how much better we all felt once showered and in a more relaxed atmosphere. Deb joined us, but Ann Marie couldn't.

After dinner, it was finally off to sleep. Dan and Matt drove back to NJ, Deb and I back home, Juliet and Jaqualin back to Virginia. Sleep never felt so good.

On Sunday, most of the group met at my house for brunch. Deb put on an incredible spread and NO ONE was counting calories! We cleaned up the vans and everyone was off to home, where ever that was.

And that was that.

It's hard to put into words how incredible this weekend was. We had so much fun and we learned a lot about ourselves and each other.

  • We had no expectations. The fact that we had to skip a couple of legs was not a big deal. We really had no choice. You'd never consider that with an individual race. You keep going and you're racing yourself. Dan said it best, this was one of the most fun things I've ever done, except for the running. The running part really was secondary. I looked forward to getting back into the van.
  • It's all about camaraderie. With a group like ours, were so few people had more than one or two known connections, anything could happen. Here it did -- we had a blast.
  • A hot shower cures all ills. No doubt, as the race was coming to an end, we were all suffering from our last legs and the heat was brutal. Tensions were high as Saturday wore on, but everyone was in great spirits by dinner. By Monday, we were all looking to do it again.
  • Speed doesn't matter, but. . . we should have had a couple of ringers. If we had two or three seven to eight minute per mile runners, we'd have made the finish line on time with all the legs completed and time to spare.
  • We couldn't go it alone. There's no way most of us could do something like this without the support of family and friends. For most of the team, this was a four or five day event. We relied on spouses, parents, in-laws and friends for child support and encouragement. (Not to mention awesome chocolate chip and peanut butter oatmeal cookies provided by Deb.) It would be almost impossible to take the time away without them.
  • Finally. . .

Beware of other teams being a bit too competitive! Enough said.



Sunday, April 26, 2009


Meant to add in the press clippings to whet your appetite. Check this out:

From the local paper in Southern PA -- check out the section on the "Eclectic Group" here.

And even The Washington Post mentioned our team name here .


What an Adventure

Well, we did it. 12 of us completed the American Odyssey Relay this weekend -- 200 miles from Gettysburg to DC.

So much to tell, just not right now.

I'll be back in a few days with reports and pictures.

For now, I'll just tell you that it was a truly amazing and incredible experience.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Perfect Run

Yes, I proclaimed that I wouldn't be running on Sunday, I just couldn't resist. The weather was damn near perfect for a run -- low 50's, sun high in the sky -- a day just begging for a run, despite Saturday's 10 miles and leftover wet shoes.

Turns out the shoes were still too wet to wear so I pulled out my old pair, dry as a bone of course, put on a long sleeve "t" and shorts, grabbed my ipod and set out for a run. The day was perfect and so was the run.

I wasn't looking for the big hills to my east, just the rollers to the west. As I set out, I settled in to a pace well below 10:00 and just kept going. And going. Often, my brain turns to thinking about how short I can run or I keep checking the Garmin to see how fast I was going. Not this day. I don't think I checked once until 2 miles in. At 4 miles, I had an option of heading home, but kept going. The perfect run continued.

Every glance at Garmie showed a 9 something pace. It was all going too well.

Making the last turn back into my neighborhood, I was ready to come home, but totally enjoying it all. Turning into the driveway, Garmie turned 6 miles on the nose. The time? 58:08. A 9:41 pace.

Now, I've had sub-10 minute miles and I've averaged just under 10 minute miles for long distances, but primarily on a treadmill.

This run blew me away. It was fast (for me.) It was consistent -- every mile was within 10 seconds of the average. And, most importantly, it was fun! Can they all be like that? Well, no, but the fact that any run can be like Sunday's is what's important.

Aside from the enjoyment of the day, I continue to be intrigued by the speed improvements. I truly expected that I'd only see significant improvements with added weight loss and I've been stagnant in that department for a good 4-6 months. What I have changed, however, is the rest of my workout routing, now centered around weights, with twice a week Body Pump and 2-3 times a week boot camp.

Can't wait to get back out there again.

P.S. Happy Birthday, mom!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Forecast -- Weather and Etc.

What a shocker, it's Saturday and it rained today. By last count, we've had exactly one nice Saturday running day for the Team In Training group. By nice, I'm talking about a day that was both dry AND warm enough to wear shorts. As usual, we seem to be able to get one out of two. Shorts today, but a nice steady rain the whole ten miles. Good news is it'll take my running shoes at least two days to dry out, so I think I'm done running for the week.

It wasn't that long ago that I'd avoid weather like today like I'd avoid the plague. Not any more. Now I kinda look forward to the crappy weather. There is something about the weather that I'm really enjoying, hot or cold, wet or dry, like a change in landscape. Mentally, it helps with so many events on the schedule, though honestly, I'm hoping that the price has been paid so the AOR relay weather will be just about perfect! (Certainly don't want to listen to my Arizonan team mates whining if they've got to run in a sub-60 chill.)

Today I got to run with a couple of TnTers that I hadn't run with before. I'm always bummed when I do my long run on my own. Not trying to set any records on the long slow run, just enjoy it, and with some new friends, it's all the better.

This week, with the kids on break, they got to their first ever Orioles Opening Day against the Yankess, no less, AND the O's delivered a win. Thursday's beautiful weather took us back to Camden Yards to see the O's and Yanks duel again and Monday, we'll head to the Nationals Park to see their home opener against the World Champion Phillies. (It will be my 46th Major League park, but who's counting?)

With break coming to an end and spring in full swing (giving advance credit for weather improvement), lots of running events on the horizon. Just two weeks until AOR, Frederick is a week after that and the Maryland Half is at the end of May. Just about then, it's time to start ramping up for Marine Corps. Wondering if I'll ever feel the saddle of my bike.

As for that pesky little job search, finally getting some responses this week. None that are terribly positive, but at least some of the resumes I've filed into the abyss are generating a response. Looking forward to more positive response very soon!

That's about it for now. I'm way behind on reading other blogs (and blogging too), concentrating my computer time instead on the job search. If you're one that I follow, I'm thinkin' about ya, just not reading.

That's it for now. Happy Passover and Easter to all. Thanks for checking in.