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What a Test!
2006-08-07, 2:51 p.m.

Day 715 What a Test!

Had a tiny change of plans Friday morning before we left for Jersey. Decided to maybe skip the usual early morning trip to the gym. Probably did a lot to preserve the viability of my left nut.

Anyhow Ė Made it to the reunion in one piece. Made it back home in one piece too. Managed to stay in one piece the whole time there.

Didnít need to worry about finding some runners for Saturday morning. That turned out to be really easy. Three of us went for a lovely little 4.3 mile trip. Hills, dales, creeks, deer, really a nice run. We did a little out & back, pretty much down into a valley, across the bottom, back up the other side, turn around & come back. Itís kinda funny I donít specifically remember running any of the down hills, but every step of the up hills seems to be permanently etched into my quads. Predictably, I started to struggle just after the 3 mile mark (5K). The guys I was running with were both younger and in better shape. Tried to stick with their pace, but lordy, those hills really suck it outta you. (I also only know all those distances because I went back and drove what we ran. Just had to know.)

Later that day, the vast majority of the reunion, 26 folks in all, headed for Bucks County Pa, and a tube ride down the Delaware River. That was one great way to spend a 90 degree afternoon. No real rapids to speak of, water depth ranged from a few inches to 5 Ė 6 feet deep, water temp was 80 degrees. Perfect. Kids had a blast, adults got in some relaxation time and we all got to see some of the narrowest goat paths to ever allow 2 cars to pass in opposite directions. With houses 3 feet from the road.

Admittedly, we got stuck on a detour because of some bridge repair, but the route around was on some roads that clearly were not intended to be used for more than a driveway. Also have to remember that this particular section of the country was settled a looooong time ago, and kinda happened instead of actually being planned out.

Food at the reunion was delicious. Ate way too much. Showed up on the scale too. Clam Chowder, Lasagna, way too many tacoís, quesadillaís and fajitaís. Then add in the flan, butter cake, coffee cake, breakfast stradaís, cold cut sandwiches and way too many peanuts and you have a recipe for a couple of pound weight gain. Itís ok though. Made up my mind that this weekend would be off the charts. Now itís back to serious grinding again. Wonít make the new goal, but I think now maybe Iíll drop into more of a maintenance mode and if a pound or two comes off here & there, thatíll be good. Otherwise, Iím not at a bad weight, itís just that my skin is a little thick in some spots. If I just behave myself, stay away from the freakin Oreoís & peanuts, I ought to be able to keep the weight down in my new happy range.

One very good thing came out of the weekend. I forgot that the vast majority of the adults in this branch of the family were smokers. Trying to stick with using only my fingers, I can count 9 adults that smoked, while only 6 were non smokers. Three of those non smokers were (are) reformed smokers. Needless to say, there was a LOT of tobacco getting fired up there. Last time I saw most of these folks was right before I quit smoking, so thatís how they remembered me (smoking and 80 lbs heavier). One cousin didnít even recognize me until we were playing basketball and I drained a bunch of long shots on him. THEN he remembered us playing at another reunion a few years ago. It was real funny seeing his reaction Ė actually everybodyís reaction. But after a while you start to get tired of all the ďHoly Cow!! What happened to you?!? Howíd you do it??Ē stuff and you just want to go hide. I didnít, hide that is, but sometimes I wanted to.

Oh yeah, the point of that paragraph - in spite of the quantity of tobacco available, no nasty urges to try any ever surfaced. Maybe a little "gee, I wonder?" but that run Saturday morning shows both how far I've come, and how far there still is to go. One smoke would re-start the whole addiction - and I don't want to go through THAT again. Besides, I'm nearly halfway to having the lungs of a lifetime non-smoker I've heard. How cool is that?

Highlight of the weekend? On the tubing trip, we were heading over a teeny bit of a water fall. Maybe a foot tall. A couple of us found a neat little chute to use, kinda got squirted right through a gap in the rocks. Cindy couldnít work her way over to the gap, ended up going directly over a rock. The front edge of her tube really dipped & dug in as the water kept pushing the back along. Flipped her right over Ė with the whole clan watching. Didnít hurt her any, but she did lose her sunglasses. Water was pretty deep on lower side of the little riffle so she had trouble getting back in her tube. I had to kinda double back and wait for her to drift down to me so I could help her hop back into her tube. Alas, no photo documentation of the event. Too risky taking the camera out on a trip like that.

Low light of the weekend? Well, like I mentioned before, this part of the country was settled a loooong time before there were even white men up around where I live. The core of our hosts house was built in 1730. They do not live in a village per se, so there is also no city type sewer. Which means their house is on a septic system. Septic systems do not respond well to an invasion of 30 some human beings. But. Seeing as this house is nearly 300 years old, it did have one thing many of our more modern, electrified, indoor plumbed houses donít have - an outhouse. A working 3 holer to boot. However, after my first trip, I had only one word of advice for Cindy and all the other ladies present: hover. There were 5 boys under 11 yrs old in attendance. Boys that age arenít especially known for aim, attention span, or attention to detail. Details like aiming. This led to some of the ladies shunning the outhouse and sneaking inside to use the Ďrealí bathrooms. By Saturday night, the septic tank had had enough. This led to the locking of the bathrooms, so the cheaters couldnít do any more damage. That, in turn, led to many more trips down the road to the nearest McD0n@lds so folks could ďget a cup of coffeeĒ. Heee. A six mile round trip just to pee. Hover, baby. And hold your breath.

Our souvenir of the trip? Well, besides screaming quads and lost sunglasses, we picked up a bit of a delicacy to share with the kids. Not too far away from where we stayed, actually on the way to the tubing place, there is a buffalo farm. Friday, the family hosting the reunion served a lunch of buffalo burgers they had purchased there. We were somewhere around Binghamton, NY at the time and Cr@cker B@rrel doesnít serve buffalo, so we missed out on the goodies. But we did circle back to the buffalo farm Sunday morning and pick up a family sampler pack. Deep frozen for our future enjoyment. Got 2 lbs of ground, 2 pounds of patties (only 6 huge patties!!), a couple of rib eyes, 2 lbs of sausage, some hot dogs (hot buffaloes?), and some bison ravioli. First night we can get all the kids to sit still for dinner at the same time weíll do up some buffalo burgers and see what the fuss is about. The rib eyes are going to be saved for later Ė like some evening when the kids are off to college and Jill is back home visiting for a weekend. Might even try smoking them, but that can be a bit of work for two lonely rib eyes.

In spite of the tender thighs (mine, not the buffaloís), I actually got in a normal morning cardio session today. Kinda pressed for time (dang 8am meetings), so no weight work this morning (again), but today should have been a leg day, so maybe itís just as well. Give them another day to rest up before I torture them again. Poor wittle wegs.

While grazing through the salad bar line in the cafeteria at work today, my cell phone was giving me quite the buzz. I peeked at the number calling me. Saw it was from a neighboring area code, but I didnít recognize the number as being from anyone I knew over there. Plus, I have that number stored under a sooper seekrit code name, so Iíd know, ya know?

So Serena, if that was you? You have my sincerest apologies. I might have goofed. But I did go do a reverse look up of the number, and it didnít show up as being from your town, so I never did call it back. (You donít want to be from that town. It smells bad, literally. Sulphur springs ya know) Who ever it was didnít call me back, so maybe when the caller heard my name on the voice mail, they figgered out they had a wrong number. I hope. Unlike the one time I got a call from some lady trying to reach her sonís teacher about something. I called her back so she could go try again. But the lady that called and left a scathing voicemail about how her parking lot needed to be plowed NOW and where were you, you lousy #$^* snow plow guy? I didnít call her back. Hope her car got stuck in her own parking lot.

Updated stats:

Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight 187 on 8/7/06 (one bad, bad, very bad weekend)
Next weigh in: 8/14/06

New target Ė 8/22/06 to be at 180 (right)

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marnís Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 8/7/06: 624.72
Miles with cool down: 686.20
Target for 2006: 1000 miles
Plus 60+ miles biking so far.



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