Been a long time

Haven’t written in a while. No surprises there.

Need to get things out of my head.  So that they don’t keep swirling around tarnishing anything else.

Part of what I feel today is stemming from a lack of sleep from last night. Got to bed later than normal, and couldn’t sleep well.

Besides that, what I’m feeling is how I feel rather often, and frustratingly so.

Despite all I have going for me: Healthier and more fit than I’ve ever been in my life, home ownership and good credit, a steady job that is 98% stress free, family lives close by, good friends… despite all that I have terrible self-esteem. I’m self-deprecating at the best of times and crippled by self-doubt at the worst.  I don’t give myself enough credit. I know I’m a smart person, I have good sense of humor, I’d like to think I have a good personality (from the perspective of another person), I make good decisions, I exercise, try to eat healthy and run my races, I work hard, keep my life drama-free and I take care of my own business in my life. So then, why do I feel this way?

Why can’t I stay motivated to update my resume and really push into a job search? (besides the fact that I’m one of those mid-thirty somethings that has no clue what they want to be when they grow up). I always feel inadequate. “That job description is way beyond what my skill set is…” or “I’ve never done things like that, why would they hire me?”

Constantly questioning and second-guessing myself.

Why is it that I can’t even be bothered to talk to women when I’m out, or even on the silly online sites?  I end up with questions in my head not to far removed from the job search questions. “Why would she like me, she’s far more successful.” “She seems really cool, but why would she like me?” or “I can’t really relate to any of these women, why bother?” (<– I guess that is a bit more rational of a question, but anyway…)

This is what goes on in my head. I can sit here and type it out and try to explain it… but it doesn’t make sense to me.  It is as if there is a ball-and-chain attached to the motivational sectors of my psyche.

My introverted personality might have something to do with it also, but there are plenty of successful introverts out there in the world.

All I want is to be content with my little slice of what I consider success.  What is success to me? Being happy, healthy and stable. What more can you really want?

I need some sort of change. I have probably said that before, in which case, the change has continued to elude me.

It’s easy to say that I should just bite my lip and get stuck in, doing whatever. Be it going for some new job or trying to pull a lady friend, but it isn’t that simple to me.  Some folks just have a natural gumption that I seem to lack.

Bah. Rant over.


Spartan Sprint DC

I have come to the realization that I possess more of a competitive nature than I admit to.  I wanted to run this past weekend’s Spartan race with my team, but I also wanted to run it alone, because I wanted to be able to just flat out go for it.  Not that I was expecting to get a podium spot or anywhere close, but I wanted to push myself to do the best I could.  I seem to always want to have the proverbial rabbit to chase, which may be why I run faster when I’m with others and not so much when I run alone. Self discovery!

The race was good though. Very tough. More hilly terrain than I was expecting but I was able to at least jog half of the 4.6 miles of the course. The obstacles were spaced out well, though the beginning, they came fast and furious. The O-U-T, 7′ wall, incline wall, Tire pull, barbed wire crawl, big cargo net and herculean hoist all one right after the other in quick succession. And the mud! Hah! In the morning heat I ran, the mud was the consistency of melted ice cream. Soupy and thick. Later in the day when I volunteered, it was like thick glue, the water having been “carried” down the course progressively throughout the day by the participants.

I felt like I ran out of fuel during the race, and I wonder if I simply screwed up on my pre-race breakfast. On other races I had a peanut butter sandwich and two or three hard-boiled eggs, but this time I made a smoothie with banana, chia seeds and protein powder,etc and it filled me up to the point where I didn’t want to eat anything else. So by the time the actual race time came around, I was operating on a smoothie that I’d had three hours previous, a single egg and two bites of a peanut butter sandwich. Oh, and a couple energy gummies as well, woo hoo!  Last time I make the mistake of not eating solid, genuine food before a race. Live and learn.

I enjoyed the race very much, and would definitely do it again. So many new OCR people though, I don’t think they knew what they were in for. Granted, I’ve only done 5 or 6 OCRs and three Spartans, but there were folks who should’ve started with something easier like Warrior Dash. Spartan race requires some genuine prowess.

Volunteering was definitely interesting. I was assigned to the cargo net, shepherding folks down the correct direction and making sure everyone was alright as they progressed. I had a couple folks go down with injuries which was unfortunate for them but I think they were alright in the long run. Helped disassemble the barbed-wire and the 7′ & 8′ obstacles with several other volunteers including this really cute curly-haired girl..who I thought was teenager at first, but apparently she’s closer to my age, though I never asked.  In any case, it was very long day and I was happy to roll into a Five Guys on the way home and get a burger. There was a hole in my stomach after running around all afternoon as well as the race in the morning.

Good weekend all around! Got some new battle damage on my legs and a wicked sunburn from standing in the sun all afternoon. (WTF, sunscreen, SPF 30 my ass) WINTERGREEN is next!

Spartan Battlefrog

Hey folks!


This past weekend, I participated in a fairly new race. I think the series is only maybe two years old and from the way it seems to me, they’re off to a great start. Battlefrog! (

It’s a race inspired and designed by US Navy SEALs, based on some of the training and obstacles that those hardcore sailors have to endure.  There are three race distances designed for different age groups; 1miler for younger kids, a 5k for teens and some adults and 15k for the more veteran adult racers or those who want a good challenge.

I have to say that this was one of the best races I’ve done. I haven’t done very many, but I rank it higher than the Tough Mudder, which to me, is more of an “experience” and after party rather than a competitive event. Maybe I say that because I enjoy the actual competitive nature of the race event and don’t look as much for the social aspects after the race is done with. That’s the introvert in me.

In any case, as I said, I was duly impressed with the Battlefrog race, which was held on the grounds of a Motocross track North West of Martinsburg, WV.  Much of the race though did not limit itself to the track itself and meandered through the woods and terrain on the outskirts of the property.  Plenty of tough, rocky terrain that required that you paid attention to where you stepped. A lot of loose rocks that could turn your ankle quite easily.  Good, steep hills inside and outside of the woods to keep your balance on its toes.

The obstacles had a good mix of standard fare such as scaling vertical walls, or inclined walls, etc.  But there were also terrain-based obstacles such as wading through mucky ponds that could easily have sucked a shoe right off your foot. One of the more unique obstacles was the “Tsunami” in which you run up a 1/4 pipe about 30 feet tall and grab a rope to haul yourself up onto a platform.  After the platform, there is a water slide that is fast and fun. I have to admit that sometimes those gravity based obstacles, even something as innocuous as a water slide, gets my heart racing. I don’t much like the sensation of falling.

There was actually a rope climb that I could accomplish too! It was only about 10 feet, so it wasn’t much, but I was able to at least practice the foot braking technique that I’ve wanted to try to figure out so I can do the real ones at Spartan races more easily. (No Burpees!)  There were several large a-frame obstacles in which you ascended and descended a cargo net or a frame-only structure; both of those were fun for their height, though that freaked others out who don’t like heights.  There were a couple weighted carry-type obstacles also, with jerry cans and sandbags on good steep hills.

Overall, I was happy with the event and would do another Battlefrog race in a heartbeat. Very fun and challenging. I hope they get on their feet a little more to attract more racers in the future and grow. There honestly were not a whole lot of racers, but for a race that is relatively in its infancy, I think they took it in stride well and the organizers still put on a great event.

Thanks also to my Capital Punishment team mates for a fun time and for helping each other.

And now this weekend is the Spartan Sprint in Southern Maryland!! I’m running early and then volunteering in the afternoon. It’s going to be a long day, but oh well, it will be fun. Aroo!


Completely unrelated to racing, I finished my landscaping project, (well sort of). I finished putting down the edging stones and river rock on my front walk area complete with some new azaleas.  Big ones that should grow well hopefully with some luck. I’m going to replace the little “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” plant that is quite sad to look at, even though it’s hanging in there. Barely. I’ll try to be careful and replant it in the back somewhere and maybe it will have better luck back there.

Thoughts on me.

Hello! Some of you know me/have met me or what have you. Those that have met me could probably tell you that I’m rather quiet in social situations; an introvert that doesn’t always like small talk. Not unfriendly in the least, just quiet. My friends like me for my quirkiness and dry humor and being ridiculously knowledgeable about all sorts of topics. Among folks I’ve known longer in small groups, I’m perfectly fine chatting and talking at length about this or that.

That all being said, I am terrible at chatting up women. I can see a girl I’m attracted to while I’m out or whatever, and even if I do end up saying hi if our paths cross, I can never seem to follow up. I feel like I’m held back by some force that is likely simple shyness. I’m perfectly content by myself, but I’d like (obviously) to find someone to date. It isn’t as if I haven’t had gfs in the past. My longest relationship was three years. But one thing or another didn’t work out, as they do. It’s been more than a year than I’ve gone on more than one date with someone. In all honesty, It’s been since last August since I even went on what I’d call a date.

I’m also a bit emotionally “neutral” as my ranges of emotion don’t go up or down very much. I don’t get super excited about stuff that much, and likewise don’t often get sad. Sometimes I feel like that comes off as me being stoic or disinterested in things or people, and it really isn’t. That’s just how my brain works. I’m not free of affectations, I smile, laugh and have genuine facial expressions when responding to conversations or scenes on a TV show, etc… I simply don’t react much.

I don’t like to burden folks with the ‘pouring out a little of my soul’ but sometimes one needs to seek advice to keep from over-thinking and getting down in the dumps as I tend to do sometimes.

So besides the typical “Go out and talk to people” type advice, what is there for me to do to change things? I don’t meet people at work because I work with just my boss in an office and most of my time outside of work is spent at home in the evenings while I occasionally go play pub trivia with some friends. I obviously also do my races and reenactments but I don’t often meet new people for much the same reasons as I stated above.

Just feeling a bit lost.

World Cup!

As many who know me will attest, I am a big soccer fan. I mainly watch Chelsea matches, but I also enjoy seeing other clubs play as well as the national sides.  The World Cup in Brazil starts tomorrow, with Brazil as the host side playing Croatia. I’m really happy that the WC is being played in a similar time zone, as I am more able to watch/pay attention to the matches as I might not have been in the South African WC in 2010.

I’m not incredibly familiar with the US team as most of the players do not play in the Premier League in England. They’re spread out all over Europe, as well as Mexico.  I’m hoping that they can do well enough to get out of the group stage, but I really don’t see that happening.  The United States is in one of the infamous “groups of death” wherein all four teams in the group are fairly strong, with a couple definitely standing out.  We’re grouped with Germany, Portugal and Ghana.

Of those sides, Germany is definitely the strongest with Portugal a few pegs down, but still a great team. Portugal has one of the best players in the world in Christiano Ronaldo, even though he is recovering from nagging injuries from the last few weeks of Real Madrid’s campaign in Spain and in the Champions League.  Germany’s team has some of the best players in the world and is also a deep squad, meaning that even the players on the bench can have just as much of an impact as their starting players.  They’re really one of the teams I can see going at least to the semi-final round.  Ghana I don’t know much about. They’re on of the USA’s bogey teams, as they always seem to have good luck against us. The Ghanians will play the US on Monday the 16th in their first games in the group stage, so we’ll see what happens.  As it stands now, I can see the group shaking out like this: Germany wins, Portugal runner up. Ghana and the United States are knocked out.  It’s not because I don’t believe in the American side, I just don’t think that we’re quite good enough to compete with the stronger sides. I hope I’m proven wrong and pleasantly surprised.

I see the following teams in the semi-final: Spain, Germany, Argentina and Brazil.  Is that even possible given the breakdown of the groups?…I’m not 100% sure.  It should be fun to watch regardless. Hopefully there are some exciting moments.


In other “me” news; Tough Mudder this Saturday!! I’m stupid excited. I love obstacle course races as I’ve pointed out previously and I’ve never done the TM, so it will be a learning experience. I’m also doing the race with a team for the first time, so I’m hoping that my propensity to be a loner doesn’t work against the team. It’s supposed to be sunny and warm, but we’re also in one of the first waves of the day at 8:30am, so it shouldn’t be too bad. Lucked out there. There also won’t be a metric fuck ton of accumulated mud from previous waves on the obstacles either, so that also is a blessing in disguise.  The team is getting a pro photographer to try and get photos of us as we navigate the course, so hopefully we’ll get some good shots from him as well as the race-provided photographers.

And vacation next week! It’s the first time this year I’m having a week off, so that will be nice. I’m not going anywhere as I can’t afford it, but maybe I can do some house work and get other things done. It will definitely be a nice change.

Long time, no typies


I’ve not written in a while, not because I didn’t have anything to write about, but mostly because I can get lazy and unmotivated and just plain neglect it. Apologies. I probably also get distracted far too easily by the proverbial shiny objects that exist around me. Like just now.

I last left off I think in September. Yeah. Vacation stories and such. Much has happened. Races were run, holidays passed, houses bought. What’s that, yes…I bought my first house! woo!

It is a nice-sized townhouse on the Western side of Woodbridge that seems so far from the Eastern/Central portions I used to live in. I have my own back and front yards, grass, plants and windows. No garage or basement, though.  There are a few wonky things about it that annoy me, such as poorly-hung doors, but in general, I like the place.  I don’t have a lot of furniture to fill it, but with time and some cash, it’ll be fine.

The neighborhood is pretty quiet, despite being right off a main road, which can get noisy at times. I have plans to plant a tree in the front yard, since there’s this piddly little flower bed with nothing but weeds in it that was left by the previous owners. That’s where I’ll put it.

I have now been there since mid-November, so more than 6 months! How about that!

And now for something completely different, RACES.

Last September and October, I ran in the Marine Corps Marathon 10k, the Clarendon Day 10k and was a marshal for the RidgeRunner’s Turkey Trot 5k/10k. I also back in October signed up for my first Tough Mudder, (which incidentally, is now NEXT WEEKEND). Signing up for this race kind of put me in an obstacle race tizzy, and I signed up for 4 Spartan races and a Warrior Dash in addition to the TM in 2014. So I’ll be going for my Spartan Trifecta medal with two Sprint-distance races, a Super (The Virginia one at Wintergreen again) and a Beast race in South Carolina. Thus far in 2014 I’ve run the Four Courts Four Miler in March, one of the Spartan Sprint races – The CitiField Stadium Sprint – in April, the MayDay 5k and the Maryland Warrior Dash last month.

Ever since signing up for the TM and the other races last fall/winter, I’ve joined the Snap Fitness gym in the shopping center near my house. I know that I have/had some issues with some of the obstacles at the Spartan race both last August and this past April as well, so I had some strength training to do.  Mostly upper body things so I could do pullups and/or haul myself over a wall and also trying my damndest to conquer the rope climb.  I had trained and worked on my arms and back since December and I simply wasn’t able to hack it at the rope climb at the CitiField race.  Pissed me off. Everything else was (relatively) a breeze.  I was easily navigating endless amounts of stairs and leg-based obstacles but my arm and upper body strength was failing me.  I managed the Herculean Hoist much easier and also the traverse wall, though I slipped and had to crank out the dreaded burpees. I was three steps away from the bell! So frustrating.

So in the gym, in addition to occasional leg days, I’ve been working on my abs, arms and back. I would say that I have been successful in improving, but I’m not 100% sure and the results damned-sure come slowly because I know for a fact that I’m being undisciplined about it. Which is my own fault. I don’t make up WODs or follow a particular plan, I don’t go at a regimented time and stay for a certain period of time, but I *have* made progress regardless. I can now do 4 pullups, whereas before, I could maybe do one.  I’ve got the lat pull machine set to 130 pounds which I use it, so I’m slowly working my way up.  I want to be able to conquer those 8′ walls at the Spartan races without help. (Help is always welcome, of course, but I want to be self-sufficient.)

I have however, started running longer distances on what seems like the regular now. Last night for instance I did the 7-mile route with the Ridgerunners just because I wanted to get my endurance up a bit since the Tough Mudder next week is 12-13 miles long. I also knocked out 8 miles a couple Saturdays ago and a 10k distance this past weekend. I know running those lengths will not only bring my endurance and cardio strength up, but also burn a few more of those pesky calories of oh-so-delicious foodz.


Hrm. That’s all I can think of right now. More later.