Thursday, June 24, 2010


You may or may not remember that awhile back some of the Clevelanders and I were getting ourselves all fired up about something called Warrior Dash.  Well that was this past weekend and since nobody else has bothered to mention it, and I am in the middle of two loads of laundry I figured I would report.

First, because I like posting gross photos online I should mention that I wound up not doing the Dash.  Not because my running hasn't been up to warrior levels (although that is the case) but rather due to injury.  During a hard fought soccer playoff game I rolled my ankle and after getting up the next morning, flying to Tucson, AZ, driving to Mexico, walking around, playing two games of beach soccer (as goalie -- but still not smart), standing around at a three hour concert and stuffing myself with nothing but tacos and taco relatives, my foot looked like this:
Note the swelling has pretty much engulfed that knobby ankle bone. Cankles! That purple business wrapped all the way around my foot. I got quite a few funny looks at the pool.

Upon my return to the U.S. of A. I was diagnosed with a sprain, got a prescription for steroids and a cool air/gel cast.

The following weekend (June 19) was the Warrior Dash. And while I had to decline participation I did make the trek to Joliet, IL and got my T-shirt (which Andy B. promptly stole to add to his stash of my belongings he's collecting), my furry warrior helmet, my free beer, and some samples of sunflower seeds.  More importantly I was a spectator which meant I got to hold everybody else's crap, motivate both friends and strangers with vocal abuse and take photos.

Everyone in my Warrior posse (4 of 5 are Mile Challengers) did well.  They conquered the run, the mud, the hills, the cargo net, the fire, the hay bail mountain, giant puddles and more mud. I was impressed.

My spectating was mostly at the fire jump and the mud crawl portions.  Pretty entertaining.  In the mud people lost shoes and then had to fish for them in the muck, got shirts stuck on barbed wire, tackled friends and threw mud bombs at strangers.  Here's Andy taking care of the mud:
It's like he'd done it before.  All business.

Anyway, perhaps the Warriors have better insight but from my angle it seemed like a good time. Well organized, cheap beer ($1!), turkey legs, music, a place to recycle your muddy footwear and general fun all around.

Here's the Cleve gang after their 3.17 mile, obstacle-filled feat. Accomplished, muddy and happy:

Everybody's a winner! Nice work, Warriors.

Pro available here:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mmmmm, Pickles

Meant to post this awhile ago, but got distracted and saved as draft. Anyway, better late than never I suppose ...

An interesting article from the NYT on a study done about drinking pickle juice to prevent muscles from cramping: Phys Ed: Can Pickle Juice Stop Muscle Cramps?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Nature Of A Different Status

Since my bird post is still appearing as the last thing posted, I thought I'd add a bit of an opposite view of nature that I experienced. Not as cheery as the birds but sometimes the whole yin/yang thing takes over I guess.

This tale begins this past Sunday when I went out for a row with some of my rowing chums. We had some heavy rain in Cleveland Saturday night into Sunday and when this happens the debris in the Cuyahoga gets pretty bad. Everything from every storm drain, creek, roadway, etc. winds up in the river. So it's tree branches, bottles, basketballs, chip bags, hats, logs and plenty of other goodies. Most are just gross, but the big stuff is also rather unpleasant for the rowing shells if you don't see one and there is an impact.

So this particular day there was a lot of stuff out there. At one point we were coming up on a section of river that was like a minefield of debris so we had slowed so we could ease through without destroying the equipment. Up ahead we see something floating that doesn't look like the usual log or garbage. As we pull up alongside we discover this mystery object is an enormous, fat, bloated, and very dead raccoon. It smelled pretty bad and looked even worse.

We carried on and about 10 minutes later we come up to something else big and out of the ordinary in the water. This one? A dead deer floating along.

I can sort of see how a raccoon might get trapped in a swirl of water in some pipe or something and wind up in the river, but the deer has me stumped.

So there you go, two different tales of nature along the Cuyahoga ... the living and the dead.