Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Icarus Florida Ultrafest

Okay, I'm sick again.  Last time I crewed for Lee Anne it was the stomach flu.  This time, the regular flu.  I've been running a fever for 2 days.  I know that no one likes being sick, but I totally resent 2 days of down time.  Such a waste, and I have some important tasks that should be completed before long.  It is snowing heavily and I have yet to attach the snow blower to the tractor.  My car still has summer tires...  Not happy!

Speaking of not happy, Lee Anne's 100 mile attempt did not end well.  At 100+ km, she started having problems with nausea and felt tired.  Lee Anne tired?  At 9:00 PM?  Wow.  A 20 minute nap did not wake her up and by 110K, she had lost the ability and desire to keep running.  I believe the heat and humidity were a big factor.  Although 82F is "cool" by Florida standards, Lee Anne has been running in 5C temps up here in Canada.  I think she pushed too hard when she should have taken a few breaks.  Oh well, live and learn.

The Icarus Florida Ultrafest should do very well in future years.  The RD's are very accommodating, the course is ideal for PB's and the location is decent.  Yes, there are improvements that can be made, but for its inaugural year, the IFU was impressive.

I am waiting to get better, then back to building the sunroom.  I am painting the trim and preparing to lay the floor.  Hopefully completion will be next week.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Lee Anne's Exercise Room

For those of you who have visited my house (if you ran Creemore Vertical Challenge, the answer is yes) you might recall an oddly shaped sunroom attached to the house.  It was originally intend to be used during the warmer seasons.  I know, in Creemore there is 2 weeks of hot weather during the summer (also known as the CVC) and snow.  By "warmer", I mean Spring, Summer and Fall.  Not winter.  The room's role evolved into a combination mudroom and exercise room, 4 seasons per year.  Unfortunately, it was not insulated to CWS (Creemore Winter Standards).  A draining battle ensued, pitting an overtaxed Napolean wood stove against the elements.  Strike II was made manifest due to a engineering oversight.  If the room was heated in the winter, snow on the roof would melt and since there was only 5 inches of room for flashing above the roof and below the bedroom windows, you got it!  Roof rot.  When the snow was more than 2 feet high on the roof, it would back-seep (new word, please move on) above the flashing and rot the plywood.  When I removed the metal roof 2 weeks ago, the plywood fell to the floor!

Which is a bit of a segue for the latest project, replacing the sunroom with an exercise room.  Let's face it, I live in a small house.  By Canadian standards, I have a big garage.  Since the house is an A-frame, an addition is problematic.  The house is big enough for the two of us, but Lee Anne suggested that we convert the sunroom into an exercise room.  I love building.  I'm lousy at it, but love it nonetheless.  Tomorrow I am helping master carpenter Csaba with a project in Mississauga.  He knows I am lousy at carpentry, but I think he enjoys my jokes.  He is actually willing to pay me, so I now consider myself to be a professional comedian.  Let's move on.

The conversion is simple.  Tear down the sunroom and build on almost the identical footprint.  One change point is that the new room's roof is built up to the roof of our bedroom on the second story.  The ceiling in the exercise room is 14 feet high!  This should eliminate the leaky roof.  I will have pictures soon.  The outside is painted (board and baton) and I have taped and applied the first coat of drywall mud on the inside.

I might have a better date for the CVC!  I can't divulged further details at this point, as the date change involves changes at other races that are not finalized.  I thought I should mention something as I have told many people that the decision on CVC would be made in early November.  Other changes are in the works, but they should wait until the big decision (to hold the race or nay) is made.

Icarus Ultrafest

Here we go again!  Lee Anne will run 100 miles once more.  The venue this time is in Florida; a new multi-day event that is drawing attention from the mega-ultra runners all over.  Definition:  A mega-ultra is someone that considers running for 6 days to be perfectly normal behaviour.  Yes, there is another description - please, let's move on.  Lee Anne will start running at 07:00 Thursday November 13 and hopefully finish Friday, circa 10:00.

My running has taken a back seat to the exercise room project.  I have only run once since the Canlake 50K.  I was holding a sheet of plywood above my head.  When I grabbed the nail gun, a gust of wind blew the plywood over my head and the edge caught my calves.  Big ouch.  My left calf turned yellow down to my ankle.  Perhaps giving it some time to heal was a good idea.

But let's talk about hypothermia.  I studied the weather charts carefully and today was the perfect day to drive the tractor up to the property.  We have 92 acres near Blue Mountain, where we make maple syrup.  I had bought 3 totes - large plastic containers, to hold sap.  Two of the totes hold 1200 litres each, so they don't fit in my Civic, hence the tractor trip.  It was supposed to be sunny with a high of 9.  Wrong!  It was cloudy - it actually rained at one point, and it reached 4 degrees at the property.  Let's make this interesting.  I replaced a 1,000 litre tote with one of the 1200 litre totes, which is taller.  Problem:  The 4 main lines terminating at the tote are at a specific height and I cannot re-string them without days of effort, so I dug down until the top of the new tote was at the same height as the old tote.  I was standing in water (it had rained since ^$#& April in this area).  The trip home, sitting on a tractor exposed to the elements was a study in hypothermia.  I get home and the fire is out and someone (hint:  not me) has left a window open.  A balmy 15 degree inside...

That's it for now.  I'll endeavor to take and post pictures of the exercise room and the Icarus Ultrafest.

Happy birthday Lee Anne (November 6)!