Friday, March 28, 2014

Homeless GU

Z – “Are you selling the GU?”

H – “Yes.”

Z – “Am I reading this right? 26pks for $3?”

H – “Yes.”

Z – “So if I give you 3 $1 bills… you’re going to give me 26pks of GU?”

H – “Yes. Meet me at the MacDonald’s by St. Vincent’s at 6:30p.”

Z – “I’ll be the one in the lime green Element.”

H – “I’ll be walking my dog.”

I started debating whether or not this was a scam. I’ve been pretty fortunate with my Craigslist ventures. I’ve bought and sold plenty of items, but this seemed too good to be true. If you know me by now… you know that I oftentimes find myself in sketchy situations… ie: not so pleasant hotel/motel rooms, sleeping in shopping center parking lots, roaming remote back country trails in the wee morning hours… so of course… my curious side got the better of me. I know, I know… “curiosity killed the cat” but… cats also have 9 lives! So with that theory going for me… I was going to be fiiiiiine.

As I made my way to University Blvd I turned up the radio… excuse me… I “turnt” up the jamz. No… like for realz tho. Any time I go downtown Birmingham or Atlanta… the rap MUST come out. So there I was… stopped at a red light, seat leaned back, gently bobbing my head to the smooth sounds of Young Jeezy. Ok, so maybe the lime green Element isn’t a “Caddie with diamonds in the back”… I do have a Black Diamond headlamp in the back seat… that counts as a diamond in the back right?

I pulled into the MacDonald’s parking lot and immediately saw the seller. The girl was in a dirty pair of blue jeans, a hoodie, a black backpack slung over her shoulder, and of course… she was walking her dog.

Z – “Do you have the GU?”

H – “Yes.”

She unzipped her backpack where I could inspect her stash. I only had a $20, so I had to go make change. I offered to buy her some coffee or some food… she declined. I like this chicka. Strictly business. 

As I walked into the golden arches for some coffee, I noticed two nurses across the street smoking cigarettes. They were staring intensely. Have I been set up? Is this a sting operation? Could these two blondes be narcs? I shrugged it off and purchased my coffee. I walked back out to meet my seller… I handed her a $5 bill… she handed me a box.

Z – “Keep the change."

I turned up Young Buck, took my first hit from my newly acquired stash, and drove into the sunset.

The transaction itself… looked sketchy as hell. I’m semi-surprised someone didn’t call the cops on us. I’m almost 100% positive this chicka picked up a half a box of GU’s left over from the Mercedes Marathon weekend... but who am I to judge? I'm a GU junkie and needed my fix... 

Craziness. Have I hit a new low? Maybe. I’m buying GUs from homeless folk off the streets of Birmingham for Pete’s sake!!!  I think it’s because I haven’t really pushed myself in a few months. I’ve been battling a nagging plantar fasciitis spout for a little while, but I’m thankful for the break.

Let me catch you up…

I bought a mountain bike. On ride #2... Althea fed me some humble pie. About halfway down “Blood Rock” my senses kicked in… “hey bro… what the hell are you doing?!”

I picked myself up, wiped the blood from my knee and continued down the mountain. A few miles later… I clipped a tree, flipped over the handle bars, drilled the back of my legs on something, and slid down a hill… only to be stopped by my head… against a log. Yep. I’m still paying for that one. I still have swelling/bruising on the back of my legs! So much for the healing aspect…

I’ve also had the opportunity to run with some really great people. 

I’ve started doing a lot of training with Sunny since we are running an event later this summer together. It’s been a blast bouncing around the trails with her!

I am also trying to be more social within the BUTS (Birmingham Ultra Trail Society) group. I unfortunately live a little further from Birmingham, so I rarely get to catch group runs and fun outings… but I did get a chance to share a few local brews at Cahaba Brewing with the group during the new shirt release party. It was fun catching up, meeting new people, and being talked into a certain epic overnight race this summer that the BUTS are putting on (thanks Kyle…). 

I’ve spent a lot of time taking in some really relaxed running...


Catching some sunsets…

Celebrating St. Patty’s Day on one of my favorite overlooks...


You know… the norm! ;) 


But thanks to some friendly discussions, a link being sent to me, and maybe a few too many brews… a seed has been planted… so now... it's time to plan an adventure... 


Till tomorrow…  


Monday, March 3, 2014


What happens when ultra runners have to lay off their feet for a while? She happens.

Going from running +10hrs a week to the big goose egg (0)… well it has not been wife can contest to that. I don’t train like most folks.  I don’t base my mileage or training around race season. I just love to run year round. I love to run the same trails throughout the changing of the seasons because they turn into completely different trails! It’s amazing how that happens!

In my opinion… I’ve been handling the whole not running thing pretty well… I’ve still been on the trails, but it has been mostly hiking. And since *insert douchy voice* SPRING BREAK!!! is coming up soon… I have gotten back into a gym routine. Ok…  maybe my gym routine is not because of Spring BreakFor the record… I DON’T do Spring Break. I never have, never will…unless… it will involve some sort of weeklong epic endurance adventure! Mostly I got back into a gym routine because of the Nulivscience sponsorship. I’ve been taking their plant based supplements for a little over 2 months now and have been happy with the results. I had been lacking motivation to get into the gym for strength training, but after partnering with these guys… I’ve been incorporating some much needed strength training into my life.

It hasn’t all been easy… there’s been a lot of complaining and self pity going on in my world. Kati mostly gets the bulk of it, but to keep it fair… I’ve made sure I’ve branched out to my closest friends too! You’re welcome guys! I can say though… the amount of support and advice I’ve received has been amazing! It has helped me stay focused and most importantlystay positive! And Kati’s shown me some tough love… on days that I’ve been down and wanting to just come in from work, grab a beer, and slum around on the couch… she’s literally forced me out the door to go play. 

After a long week of being cooped up inside and at the gym… we enjoyed a relaxing Friday night with Owen and Sunny. It was a night filled with pizza, chocolate milk, hot tea, talk of bikes, adventures and other craziness. This left me anxiously waiting the bike shop’s call on Saturday. I was dying to be back on some single track moving at a good pace. Well… I got a call from Chuck and he was stranded at the mechanics shop while his car had work done. After a lovely morning of Dunkin Donuts and fabric shopping with the wifey… we swung by and picked him up. He bought us lunch before heading back to the house. After relaxing for a bit, we decided to get out and about. We swung by and picked up Althea and headed out to Oak Mt to hike. Chuck has been recovering from a broken foot so running would be kept at a minimum. We headed up to the falls to start our 6 mile loop.  

After a few hours of playing in the woods, I dropped Chuck off and headed home to get cleaned up. Then it was off to Tin Roof for a few drinks with the Crump brothers. Good People Brewing IPA and fun live music had me creeping into bed waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay later than I’m used to.

I woke up Sunday to an absolute perfect weather day… blue skies… white clouds… breezy and 70degrees. Now of course that only meant that the days during the week would be dreary, cold, and freezing… but that’s Alabama winters for you. I had planned on taking full advantage of the day. I packed a cooler, my hydration vest, and headed to Oak Mt to meet up with the Crump Bros. After lounging lakeside and basking in sun's rays for an hour… it was time to ride. Stephen (Scrump) has a bike… his brother, Chris… well let’s just leave it at “I had a bad experience." We started off by doing a 5.5 mile loop around the lake. It felt wonderful flying down rolling single track again! Of course it’s not running… but I’m moving fast through the woods!! WIN!! We wrapped up the loop and headed back to our spot by the lake to let the girls hike and yes… I’m including Chris in with the females. When the ladies got back, we packed up and headed back to the car... but I wasn’t done.

I refilled my vest with the clean tasting, purified water from the OM beach bathroom sink before heading back onto the single track with Althea. It was late afternoon and most everyone was already off the trails and heading home to enjoy a relaxing Sunday night. Not me… no sir! I was just too excited to be back in the woods covering distance! I rode 6 miles before deciding to turn around and head back.  After throwing Althea into the back of the Element, I walked down to the beach area to say hey to a few friends.

Standing in the hot shower with a cold beer in my hand… I smiled. It felt good to have my thighs burning from climbing again… to feel the rush from swiftly moving through the forest... I felt alive again... I felt normal again. Being on the bike will never take the place of running. There is just something about running… it’s so primal… so original… it would be hard to replace that feeling of freedom… but Althea is close. I named my bike Althea which is a Greek name meaning  “healing.” I felt it was appropriate. I am extremely excited about the adventures I will share with her. I feel as though it will make me a better rounded athlete and make me appreciate running more. Maybe this “injury” was necessary… maybe it happened to open my eyes to a whole new world… a new fantastic point of view… whatever the meaning behind it is… I will continue showing you the world… shining, shimmering, splendid…

Oh and you're welcome. If you own the movie... Aladdin will probably be watched now... if not... enjoy "a whole new world" being stuck in your head for the next 3 days... 

Till tomorrow...