Death Race.

Don't let me sign up for this.



According to an article by the LA Times today, California State Parks are closing. What no one seems to know is how many and which parks. We'll just have to wait and see. I guess I could move to Colorado and do altitude training...nah, that sounds hard.

I got some jalapeno peppers and dried figs at the farmers market over the weekend. The peppers are delicious in everything from last nights grilled salmon and spinach salad to tonights veggie burgers. The figs are good on their own but add something nice to fruit smoothies as well...speaking of which. I think I'll have one right now.


Trail to 1000 late July update...

Trail to 1000 update...

526.8 miles of wonderful dirty dusty trails run in 204 days, 2.58 miles per day average
473.2 miles of rocks and mountains to go in 161 days - 2.94 miles per day average


Sarcasm From Sea Level...

Way to go California! I'm so proud of you. Okay we're all familiar with sarcasm...

Almost three weeks late(r) California passed it's State budget. There are cuts to school funding, to health care for the poor, continued furlough days for state workers, the expansion of oil drilling off the Santa Barbara coast, and the taking of billions of dollars from local governments. Those are just some of the highlights.

What about the State Parks? As per the Associated Press (less than an hour ago) the new budget "cuts about $8 million from state parks, allowing the majority of state parks, beaches and attractions to stay open. Some parks are likely to close, however, based on popularity and use." Certainly better than the originally proposed 80% closure, and with all of the cuts all over the place I consider it a win...as much as there can be in this kind of situation.

Oh yeah, fun fact I left out about the Bulldog 50k course - it goes through an area where the opening and other scenes from M*A*S*H were filmed. There are still a couple of rusted out shells of vehicles up there in the middle of nowhere. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was also filmed up in these mountains. Enough trivial trivia...



Nicole showed me this music video that is made using the bands fans and their webcams...it's awesome. There I said it.

Great run on the Bulldog course today. There were a few areas where the course wasn't marked and I had to "figure it out" so I ran an extra mile or so for 16.5. The miles were fine, the heat was crazy. It's only going to be hotter on race day...and twice the distance. Ouch.


Contingency Plan...

When the milk spills...time for plan B.

Totally my own fault. I waited too long to register for the Mt. Disappointment 50k Endurance Run. I was printing out the paperwork tonight and found that the race is full and no longer taking entries. Like I said, I take the blame for this, I figured it could wait to get back from Thailand before worrying about it. I would have done it sooner, but dragged my feet since I had to print out race results to prove I had previously completed an ultra and then mail in the entry with a check. I'm spoiled on internet registration. So I can only be upset with myself for this, however...there was a contingency plan in place.

I am now registered for the Bulldog 50k Ultra Trail Run. It takes place 2 weeks after Mt. Disappointment in Malibu about 30 minutes from our house. Nice. I am going for an organized 25k training run on the course tomorrow morning. Race day will be two of the 25k loops at a total of 8000 ft elevation gain. Unfortunately much of the course is fire road, leaving only a little bit of single track. I don't think I'll be complaining about that 29 miles in on race day. A nice bonus is that Nicole will be home from Thailand when I run this one.

Training run report to follow. Time for bed. I haven't gotten more than 5 hours sleep a night since returning from Bangkok. Looks like I'm repeating that pattern tonight...


I wanna go to the zoo zoo zoo how about you?

I'm back in LA. Somehow the 14 hour time change, 6 airport, 2 bus, 1 taxi,3 country, 30 hours of travel on 2 hours of sleep didn't mess with me. 20 hours after I landed at LAX I was at work. Day two of work done and pushing midnight and I have energy to spare. Went for a great run in the mountains after work yesterday. Ah trails. And now for a couple of photos from the "Great Thai Adventure".

Ah Ronald. You are indeed everywhere. No, I did not eat McDonalds in Thailand. This was simply a photo not to be passed up.

One of the many cool Temples in and around Bangkok. Not an optical illusion. It was really freaking steep.

Not nearly as steep...and the happy couple says hello. Oh by the way in case you noticed, yes I wore the same clothes pretty much every single hot sweaty 95 degree muggy day in Thailand. I washed the shorts a couple of times but I had at least 4 shirts that I never wore because this one was so so comfortable. It sounds impossible, but Nicole can vouch for me that it never even remotely smelled bad. Seriously.

Good shot of ruins in Ayutthaya. Amazing experience.

Nicole wants to bring home the elephant painted like a panda. The tusked trunked creatures had enough of pandas stealing their attention, stole some white paint, and in the dark of night painted one another to the sight you see. Some of that is true.

I will leave you with a couple of informative pictures taken at the zoo. You know, cycle of life and all that.



Landed in Japan. Headed to the next airport in Osaka. Then on to
Tokyo. Eventually LA.

Off to Japan...

Great last meal in Bangkok with Nicole. A place around the corner from
her apartment. Then a taxi to the airport. The picture is our airport
farewell. We've had countless numbers of these from our beginnings as
a long distance couple. I'm hanging out in the free Japan Airlines
lounge. They have food, drinks, and wireless. Next stop Osaka. Then
Tokyo. Then LA.


Temples and Foods...

I'm loading smaller pictures because it takes so long to do with the sloooooow internet here. It took about 15 minutes for these little pictures to load. I'll post more pictures when I get back to Santa Monica.

On a side note, I could have packed even a little less and gotten away with it. It's not like the Appalachian Trail where when I find I have extra stuff I just mail it home, so I'm stuck with lugging the extra stuff back across the ocean. My Keen sandals have been clutch with the frequent afternoon rainstorms.

Some Grand Palace pictures...yes similar to Nicole's pictures from a little while back. It was after all the same place!

Delicious dinner last night. The best Thai food that I've had here so far. It's a short walk from Nicole's apartment. We have had amazing Indian and Vietnamese food as well.

And that is all for now. A few more days of Thailand coming up!


Letter Home...

Dear Santa Monica,

Do you miss me yet? Yes, I think about you too. Thailand is treating me well. Here are a couple pictures to keep you company until my return.

I bought Nicole a Ferrari. Or to put it another way. I didn't. This was taken in what is rumored to be the largest mall in this part of the country.

Gatorade is thirst aid no matter where you are. Especially in this climate.

We enjoy delicious desserts after delicious meals. We stopped at this dessert shop after dinner last night. It was even better than it looks.

There are many temples and Buddhas throughout the city. This one for example.

It had just stopped raining when I took this from about half way up to the Golden Mount Temple.

That's all for now. It's really easy to get around the city and there is so much to see...

More soon.


Jet Lag? What Jet Lag?

Brief update... Got about 5 hours sleep after arriving in Bangkok last night then headed out to Wat Pho to see one of the largest reclining Buddha's in the world among other amazing statues and such.

We followed that up with an amazing hour of Thai massage for around $10 US each. Later I checked out the sauna in the apartment building (it was around 148 degrees!) then went for a swim in the third floor outdoor pool.

Also throughout the day there was also a ride on a tuk tuk (video won't load), water taxi (boat ride), sushi lunch, salmon and sea bass dinner, crazy outdoor concerts at the shopping center, and the new Transformers movie.

Tomorrow is pretty much mapped out and plans are in the works, and it's 2:30 am, so I guess I should catch a few hours sleep before hitting it again tomorrow. Bye now.


I'm in.

Hey all. 19 hours or so and a layover in Tokyo later I'm in Thailand.
It's about noon Friday LA time but 2am Sat here. Nicole showed me her
great apartment and now it's time to snooze. Adventures tomorrow!


Off He Goes...

I'm testing mobile posting again (right now) since it may be the
primary means of blogging for me over the better part of the next two
weeks. Tomorrow I leave for Thailand with nothing but my GoLite Jam2
pack and excitement. Half of the weight I am carrying is Cliff Bars
and EmergenC brand drink mix. My layover is in Japan and total travel
time is something like 19 hours. I think I can only post one picture
per mobile post...so enjoy!