Monday, January 21, 2019

Race Report: Frozen H3 (Not Hash Related)

I'm probably more sick of writing DNF reports than you are of reading them.
But I don't feel like working or cleaning up rabbit crap, so here we are.

I'll be brining my own belt buckle to future 100 attempts.


Frozen H3 is the winter version of The Hell Hole Hundred. Depending on the flooding and snakes, it typically runs the same course. Frozen H3 takes place mid/late January and there's no telling what the damn weather might do. But it does sometimes drop into the teens during the winter in South Carolina, thus "Frozen H3".

This race offered myriad distances to choose from, all run on a 16.3mile loop through the Francis Marion Forest. A few months ago I had rego'd for the 50k day AND the 50k night. Ya know, because I think I'm such a badass.
 A couple of days after rego'ing for that dumb shit, Heather went and rego'd for the full Hundred. (Good thing she's hot, because she really pisses me off sometimes.) And now this left me wondering if I should give it a go.
 I felt like I'd been training pretty well. Up until mid December anyway...I knew the course. A ton of friends were going to be there. And the updated weather forecast called for highs in the low 70s! Everything lined up, so a week before the race I pulled the trigger and re-rego'd for the Hundo.

I felt so frickin good going into this race, like butter on a pop tart good. Even if my nutrition plan was a little half-ass, my pace plan was spot on. I had this race dialed.

I don't like my kit. That's why I look grumpy.


Everything went smooth as silk right up to mile 42. I'd been eating. I'd been drinking. I took my Endurolytes. Our pace was exactly where we needed it.


Then I hit the Wall. 

I fully recognize the ups and downs that come with Ultra. There's gonna be some real shitty times over the course of a Hundred.
But the wall I hit musta been a wall to a port-a-jon.

I hit the wall on 2 or 3 of those things.


There was no slow creep up to the bonk. It just slammed me. I got dizzy. Water tasted bad. My godamn Lats started cramping on me. I wanted to puke and my otherwise bubbly personality went to shit.

I rolled into the Yellow Jacket Aid station with Dave and Heather, but I was barely hanging on. It's maybe 4pm and the weather is getting finicky. 

My crazy bad-ass wife decides to stay with me to see if I'll recover. Dave goes on ahead and will ultimately Buckle (Congrats Dave!)

I'd tried throwing up at the aid station, but couldn't. I took on some more food and water and off we went. We had decided to switch our Run/Walk over to a 2/3 at Yellow Jacket, but for me now, it was all Walk.
I tried running a little bit here and there...no good. Nothing is working. I spent about 5 miles trying to dig myself out of that hole.
Didn't work. We rolled into transition just under 12hrs, but I would not be rolling out for that 4th loop, let alone the 5th or 6th.
I could make a million excuses on why I DNF'd. But I'm pretty sure the reality is I wasn't as prepared as I thought. 
I still need to train harder, and smarter. I still need to analyze my nutrition, pre, during and post race. I need to start taking my own advice.

But enough about me, lets talk about the course!


I love and hate this course. It's flat, of course. But it's a shit mix (and I say this in a loving way) of pine straw, arrow straight double track, a few miles of dirt road, terrifying foot bridges and swampy mud. Personally, I think it's a pretty hard course to run. The pine straw has zero purchase, the foot bridges may impale you with re-bar and the swampy mud will bring you to a crawl.

Lets blame those horrible long shorts for my DNF.


But it really does have huge attraction too. The changes in terrain seem to come just when you're sick of the terrain you're currently on. The pine straw is soft and forgiving. The dirt road lets you open up a bit. And the swampy mud, I think that's really why people come back year after year to this race. We all want to see how shitty it compares to other years. It's really damn hilarious no matter how you cut it.

This isn't the aforementioned Swamp Mud, I don't have a picture of that. But this gives a ballpark idea of what some, not all, of the course looked like.



Frozen H3 had three total manned aid stations on course, all with food, Doc Scotts Electrolytes, H20 and portajons. The Hwy 41 station is about 6 miles out and Yellow Jacket about 11 miles out.
Transition was fully stocked and even offered us some Vegan options. (Thanks so much for that Chad, that is really kick-ass and much appreciated.)

As usual, I had a damn good time. There was camping at this race so I got to hang out with some great friends and see the usual suspects of Eagle Endurance events. 


I also got to see my wife kick that race in the ass. Her review should be up soon, here's a link to her home page and you'll have to find it from there.


Here's a picture of my co-worker with my self given buckle, hat and shirt.

That buckle was NOT given to me for DNFing. I've owned it for years, but it is quite fitting.








Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Fod Bloog: Cinnamon Roll Protien Almond Bark

This was actually an accidental recipe.

It's mid December here in Myrtle Beach. That means it might be 70 degrees outside or it might be 30 degrees. It changes day to day. You roll with it, no big.

I had a run scheduled for Sunday. The stupid trail was closed and I knew those shit head hunters would be at Lewis Ocean Bay (I hate hunters with a passion, hope Cheney or some other asshole shoots them all in the face and they die in agony from face rot). 
Thus I had to run pavement. Yuck.

Well, Heather needed to go into work for a while, so I hitched a ride with her up to Murrels to go for a run along 17 and into the State Park.
I get really hungry after running, so I left a pack of Protein Almonds in the car for when she picked me up. And I'll be damned if they didn't melt.


I don't have a picture of them melted.


I really try my best not to waste food, but now I just had a big bag of sugary goo with almonds at the bottom. What to do?

Of course, throw them in the freezer.

My skill with a camera is only exceeded by skill with the written word.


I let the bag Protein Almonds sit in the freezer for a couple of days and just this morning decided to try them for breakfast.
And much to my joy, I had created Almond Bark!

See the marble effect there? That's quality Bark.


I know many people like to make Bark, especially around these holidays. But I just found a way to save you a bunch of time. Not money though. I'm sure these almonds aren't cheap. However, I can give you a nutrient content on my Bark: 

230 Calories per serving of 15 almonds.
10g of Protein and 16g of Fat. (This is a lot of fat, its a mix of saturated/poly/mono)
10g of Sugar,110g Sodium.

I can also tell you my Bark doesn't taste good. It actually doesn't really even look good. Im looking at it and thinking it kind of looks like oysters at low tide. Ever seen that? All bunched up on top of each other? Gross. Now I don't want to eat it.


Announcing my Third ever giveaway!
If you'd like to win Cinnamon Roll Protein Almond Bark, simply come over and get it!

We can sit and have coffee together if you'd like.





Friday, November 16, 2018

Fod Bloog: Christmas Sushi

Blatant Click Bait right here. Isn't he cute? That's Agent B.


I love sushi.
The first time I had sushi was with the Marilyn Manson Girl at Shin La in Brattleboro VT back in maybe...2001? 2002? Oh shit, it might've been in 1999.
Since then I've been rolling my own sushi more than going out for it.
Even though I only eat Vegetarian Sushi, it still gets pricey paying $4 a roll when I easily eat 5 or 6 rolls.
Rolling my own is not only cheaper, it's also kind of fun and allows me to experiment a bit.
Sometimes my sushi is really damn good. It's pretty hard to fuck up a Football Roll (Cream Cheese and smashed Doritos). And sometimes its just rather "meh."

Every day's a gamble in my kitchen. Every god damn day.

Here's a link to Andy "God Damn" Williams' Christmas Songs to help get you in the Christmas-y mood.

There's a few basic ingredients I need to make sushi, however your needs may vary.
1) Nori. Gotta have it.
2) Rice. White, Jasmine, Brown, doesn't matter. Need rice.
3) Stuffing. Veggies of some kind. 
4) Vinegar. I have  Apple Cider Vinegar at my house.
5) Sugar. I have White Granulated here.
Don't worry, there'll be pictures of most of this stuff. Sort of.

Putting all this together is actually pretty basic.

Get your rice going. Make sure you're cooking it right though. Each type of rice requires different care.
I used Jasmine Rice. One to Two ratio, boil then simmer for 15min.

While your rice is simmering, dig your Nori out from behind the pancake mix.

It even says "perfect for sushi" right on the label.


Prep your stuffing. All I had was one lone avocado for today. The rabbits get more veggies than I do.

 (No picture, you know what an Avocado looks like)


Mix your sugar and vinegar in a microwave safe bowl, then microwave until dissolved. 
This is where you can make or break your sushi...
How sweet do you want your rice? Add more or less sugar.
How tart do you want your rice? Add more or less vinegar
How red to you want your rice?  Skip the sugar and use last years red sugar sprinkles!!!

One picture, two ingredients. Efficiency. 


Got your rice cooked to perfection? Good! Now comes the Christmas in Christmas Sushi.
Add your vinegar and red sugar sprinkle concoction.

I think this picture speaks for itself.


You are now ready to roll some damn sushi!

Don't fall for the hype that you need a sushi mat and special tools and shit to roll sushi. You only need that stuff if you want to do a good job.
All you need is a spatula.

Slap some rice onto your nori and revel in how festive it looks. That red (pink?) rice against that green nori just screams Christmas.

Keeping a furry ornament nearby guarantees you'll get your RDA of fur. Just incase you didn't get enough cat or rabbit hair in your breakfast grits.


But it gets better! Now lay down some of your sliced avocado, adding more green to your holiday.

Recognize that sexy dinner plate on the right? Hell ya you do!


Now you need to roll it, slice it and eventually, I suppose, eat it.

It actually tasted just fine. Put enough wasabi and soy sauce on anything...


With last years Red Sugar Sprinkles you can turn anything into a Holiday Dish. You should make this for family Thanksgiving.

Stay tuned for Christmas Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Asparagus.
Green Asparagus, by the way.




Monday, October 15, 2018

Race Report: The Revenge of Stede Bonnet

It has been a good while since I've written about a race. Honestly, I haven't really been wanting to run, let alone race and write about it.
But last night's event was unique to local racing and pretty damn cool. 
I bring to you: Eagle Endurance's "The Revenge of Stede Bonnet".

I stole this image from Eagle Endurance.


Always give at least a little backstory, ya? 

"The ‪#‎30dollarclub made me do it."  
You'll hear this phrase more and more, not only from Heather and me, but many of our local running bud's too. 
We race (or at least attend) enough Eagles Endurance events that the $30 per month more than pays for itself over the course of the year. We pay $30 a month and race any and all Eagle races. HUGE savings, and it also has the nice side effect of creating a pretty tight community of like minded idiots.
You should join. We have fun.

Camping and Running. Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter.


This race was held Octobeer 13th, 2018 at  Biggin Creek in Monks Corner, SC. I spelled Octobeer like that on  purpose.
Three different options were offered to racers. A 5M, which was one loop, a 15m of 3 loops and a 10hr of as many complete loops as you could finish in the allotted time.
Pretty cut and dry sounding ya?
Nope!
Start time for all races was at 19:00. Which is 7pm in normal people speak. So it was dark. Not wicked dahk, but quickly getting there.
I had run this venue last Feb for The Almost 9 Miler. (I could have sworn I wrote a review on that, but I can't find any sign. Quick re-cap of that race-I got owned by some 14yr old, and basically everyone else on course.) But back to this race, I knew the course was pretty damn similar terrain to my Hulk with the same kind of twists, turns and short climbs, so I wasn't expecting a stellar performance, but did hope for at least 50k over my 10hrs.

Well, sometimes you gotta take one for the team. The details on why aren't mine to give, but I instead ended up setting out on the first lap with Heather's 10yr old kid, Kain, (Did I spell that right?) while Heather did her own race.
The new general plan was for me to run with the little spaz then kick it at camp with both the boys and crew for her as best I could.

We'll start with the first part of the plan: Running a race, at night, with a 10yr old.
Ever done it? 
You should. Or at least you should with this kid. He didn't give a flying f*ck that it was dark as a pocket. I'm not even sure why he bothered with a lamp. He never seemed to use it. Any root or branch was just another fun feature to jump or duck. Every other person on course was a friend and a competitor. A constant monologue about nothing in particular with the occasional "For Grampa" streamed from him for five miles.

Kain and I spent the first ten to fifteen minutes picking people off. He'd come flying up on them, give them a friendly "On your left" than blow right by while offering some cheerful encouragement or talking about Minecraft or some random shiny thing.
Then, of course, the inevitable happened, he slowed down. Not to a crawl, but enough that everyone we had passed now passed us. We made a team decision to do a Run/Walk for the rest of the way based on how he was feeling.
He must have been feeling pretty good. Biggin Creek is windy and rooty. There are a few short little climbs that get your quads wondering what you're doing, and some of it is pretty technical. 
He always seemed to walk the easy stuff though. 
We finished the five miler in about 1:14:00. Not too shabby for a 10yr olds first Night Trail Five Miler. He actually ended up placing second in the Men's cat!
(We fully encourage the kids to skip the work-a-day races and go right for the good stuff.)



After celebrating a bit with the kid, it was time to concentrate on wifey.
She seemed to averaging about 1:05/1:10 a loop. Her second loop through (my first as Crew as I'd just run with Kain) all she needed was a Tailwind re-up, then she was gone. Next loop all she needed was a Stroopwaffle and a Tailwind re-up then she was gone.
It's now about maybe 11:30 and it feels like thirty damn degrees. I start freezing in my running gear so, like a sensible human being, I finally change into my sweats and my super awesome Camp Slippers! I'm finally a little warm, its actually only about 60 out, and I sit around at the Out of Bounds compound we seem to have at every race we go to chatting with our friends.
But duty calls so I head back up to the transition area (Start/Lap/Finish/Aid Station) to wait for my girly, this time with a bottle of Tailwind at the ready.
When she comes in from her fourth lap (20miles), I know she's going to need a little more than the Tailwind I'd brought. To my surprise, she asked me to pace her! 
I used to love running with Heather, but she's gotten too strong of late and I cant hang.
I tell her this! "Hun, I'll run with you, but I'll slow you down". After confirming with me she was ok with this I had to go get out of my wonderfully warm sweats and back into my funky running shorts.
A few minutes into the course I see why she wants company. There's an obvious homeless camp set up just off trail. A Walmart mountain bike, tent, beat up chair and back-pack all set up nicey-nice. 
I never got the feeling of being watched, but I certainly didn't want Heather running alone near this. 
At this point we're doing a 3/2 Run/Walk. Thank god...my legs are shot from a bike ride early that morning and I'm not in running shape.

This kind sums up how I feel about running right now.


We have a reasonably uneventful lap this go-around. We might have seen an aardvark, or maybe it was an opossum. Basically we enjoyed being out running a 1am.

Lap 2 has bit of a backstory in itself.
After finishing my lap with the kid, most of us spent some time kicking around between the Start Line and our camp. On one of my walks back to the aforementioned camp I was triple Sea-Dog dared to run a lap naked. (To protect the not so innocent I won't say who dared me, lets just call him Mr. H)

I've been friends with Mr. H for a few years now, but I've been friends with some of you for a whole lot longer. Most of you know I'm happiest naked. 

Reflective body paint. I need to lose weight.


I really enjoy running naked. I've done my share of UGHs and even a couple of Naked 5Ks. Wifey's been there for most of them, so I don't think she was least bit surprised when I warned the volunteers at the Start/Finish line, dropped trow and headed into the woods.

We ultimately only ended up passing one other runner this loop and Heather went first to give the poor fella plenty of warning. Coming into the Start/Finish Line I think my lamps blinded anyone that may have been (for some ungodly reason) offended by me being naked.

You may recognize this picture from one of my other awesome blogs.


Heathers' 7th, my 4th total lap: it's feeling a little chillier and we're going to be moving much slower now, which means clothes are now a smart option. Shorts on, shirt on, get some Tailwind in my bottle, food down my throat and off we go. It's about 2/2:30AM.

As nothing of real significance happened on this lap, I'm going to just express how awesome it was to be outside in the early morning running in the woods. Sorry Roadies, keep your marathons. I want to see the stars when I run. I want to hold my wife's hand while we're on a Walk. I want to take in the air and smell rotting trees, growing flowers and even the fetid mud. 
Night Trail Running is awesome and this event captured all of that, as well as providing us with ultra food, great company, fun camping and a chance to hang with the #30dollarclub and many of our Out of Bounds friends.
We finished up our last lap around 4am, Heather ultimately winning overall!


All and all a great event. Step outside your normal running and give this kind of race a try. Better yet, come to South Carolina and race with us next year.


Thanks to Eagle Endurance and all of our usual suspects for an unforgettable weekend.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Fod Bloog: Soy Burger Nori Wrap with Ketchup




Writing is hard.


I really eat the stuff I bloog about. Don't think for a second I just toss this shit into the garbage. 
It's also possible I was drunk for most of this bloog process.

I'm a militant vegetarian and money's fucking tight, so sometimes you just throw a couple of things together and hope for the best.
You prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.
Guess which this creation was?

Today's cuisine is a fusion of traditional Japanese Sushi mixed with some American ghetto frozen patty goodness. When you add the word "Fusion" to your menu you can charge extra. Did you know that? It's true. 
Fusion and Tapas, what a bunch of shit. Just feed me.

Presentation is everything with this dish, mostly because it tastes like ass with some ketchup on it, so before even prepping this make sure to have your Pioneer Dinner Plates on hand.

Neanderthal man here can't wait to eat.



You probably already read my review and have those plates at the ready, so lets get to the recipe!

First, thaw out your Soy Burgers by nuking them for a minute or so. 
I prefer Aldi brand burgers. Any Soy Burger honestly tastes like shit, but Aldi is cheap.

I'm so excited for these, I took off my pants.


While you're a-thawing, heat up your skillet pan. And once that pans warm, add your cooking oil of choice.
Olive Oil tastes better, which won't really help, is probably better for you, but also has a lower flash point. Vegetable Oil is cheap and most everyone has some in the cupboard. So use whatever you want. I would be weary of using Karma Sutra Love Oil though, there's no flash point listed, and I think Strawberry might over power the otherwise shitty taste of a soy burger.

I bet this tastes like High School romances of days gone by.


Burgers' thawed? Toss it into your pan and cook that fucker for a while. Flip it when feels like you should flip it.
Don't splash any oil on you.

Remember when I rescued this pan from an abandoned apartment?


While your tasty burger is cooking up, bust out your Nori of choice!
I buy whatever I can find.


Still excited. Still no pants.


Check your burger! Don't burn it. Bust out your ketchup or catsup or whatever and slap a sheet of nori on your classy dinner plate.

All good fusion is served on camping plates.


We're getting close to the end of the recipe! Are you excited? Nobody will blame you if you take off your pants. Unless you're baby sitting or something. 

Take that burger out of the pan, slap it on the nori, squirt on some ketchup and there you go!

This is going to taste much like you'd expect to. Make sure to have a decent side dish to go with it. Lima Beans might be good. And all good chefs will offer a drink pairing for their cuisines, and my pairing to go with this dish is Listerine.

Stay tuned for more Fod Bloogs. I have ideas for Bunny Turd Salad and a Breakfast with Jesus menu.
In the meantime, maybe check out one of my original Fod Bloogs, On The House Bloody Mary Mix.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Product Review: Merrel All Out Crush Tough Mudder 2 Boa

I think it was last fall or maybe last winter?
Tough Mudder and Merrell put together an Instagram Photo Contest with prizes including a trip to CO for two to race in a Mudder, entries into a Mudder 5k and a pair of shoes, these shoes here:

You should do Tough Mudders.


The contest was a combo of votes for your pic and having Mudder choose your pic from the final ten.
A post shared by Geoffrey Hart (@bigcatbox) on
Long story short, we didn't win the Grand Prize, (still don't know who did, there was some dodgy shit going on with the voting) but ultimately we did end up winning two tix for a Mudder 5k, and these kicks.

Here's my thoughts on these things.


Merrells rarely fit me correctly. I ordered an 11, got an 11, but they felt like a 12. HUGE.

But I ran a trail half at Tuckfest in them anyway.
And since that half I've put a bunch of runs into them. I've washed them several times and it seems more like they've shrunk than my feet have grown a full size in 4 months.
Anyway, they fit now...

Starting from the bottom of the shoe:

They won't stay white long.


It has a nice aggressive sole, it gripped everything I run on and sheds mud pretty readily. The tread kinda looks like Chinese Stars. Remember those?

6mm of drop in this kick. The heel maxing out at just over 22mm and the toes coming in around 16mm. This felt really great for me. There's a good amount of ground feel, but I never felt susceptible to any ground protrusions. Not that Myrtle Beach has lots of rocks.

Did I use this picture in my Orange Mud blog?


There's a pretty lightweight mesh and thermo plastic upper, which feels pretty damn stable around my foot. If you happen to slosh into a puddle, which this shoe is obviously meant for, most of the water will quickly drain. Merrell claims 8oz per shoe.  I don't have a scale, so I'm going to trust them.

I look awful. Usually I'm really damn good looking.


The ankle cuff is a nice neoprene fabric, quite comfy. But there's a weird flare around the ankle that actually lets debris into the shoe. Typically a Runner Lace Lock would have alleviated this.

Now, the vegan meat and potatoes on this shoe, which is actually Vegan! Huge win for me, thanks Merrell!!


The Boa Lacing System!

 I wish I had this on my road bike shoes. What a great concept.
But on OCR shoes?  This system sucks, and I'll tell you why.
First, I could never get it tight enough. I had to pull slack lace at the front of the shoe and tie a knot to make the string shorter. I don't have a picture of this, but look at the pic below and use your imagination.
Second, the knob you use to tighten the laces does not work well with wet and muddy hands. The grip on the knob is insufficient to offer any purchase when you're covered in mud. And when you're thrashing around in waist high deep mud puddles, you really don't want that shoe feeling like it's gonna fall off, you want it tight. 
Laces may come loose, but you can easily re-tighten them, even with muddy hands. If you're drenched in mud and these shoes come loose, you're boned.

Twisty turny to tighten this shoe, Pull the knob to loosen. Cool concept gone wrong here.


Loosening and removing the shoe however, is a snap. You simply pull the knob up, the laces loosen, you pull the tongue forward and the shoe comes right off.
Neat.

So I'm in no way knocking the Boa lacing system, it's a great concept that works wonders with some shoes/boots. But for OCR, that knob needs to be updated. A cross shape or even a square would work much better than a round slightly gnarly knob.

I'm mostly content with this shoe. It is my current go-to trail shoe. The drop is nice and the ground feel is good. But I do run into problems, every damn run, trying to tighten them.

I understand that Merrell does offer a standard lace version of this shoe. 
I want that one. I may try to save the hundred bones it currently retails for. Everything other than the lacing system kicks ass. With standard lacing, that funky flare at my ankle would (probably) go away too.

I have not OCR'd in these yet. I have done some nice muddy terrain though. One day I may cash in those Mudder 5k tickets, or probably just do a Full Mudder instead. I'll post a re-cap when I do
. Until then, it's coastal Carolina running.