Monday, November 30, 2015

I Live in Iowa: Week 231

This was a nice week, oh boy was I looking forward to four consecutive days off for Thanksgiving. It seems like I just want to go go go go, even my vacation this past year has involved running 24 hours in Italy or climbing Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood on back to back days. Sometimes it is nice to lay around and decompress. Well I did that this past week.

Three short days of work were productive. I finished a couple things and got ready for next week in Germany. I have a variety of skills, motivating people, and enhancing communication are two of them. Both are skills I have used significantly this past year and two skills I certainly have room to improve. In short, while it is nice to look at work as put in X and get Y results, there is an attitude factor, and communication barrier between the inputs and the outcomes. People sometimes need a little encouragement, and a little extra explanation, I know that I do.

I ran a nice 62 miles including some moderate hill repeats and moderately long half marathon/marathon pace intervals. I've had some right ankle pain along the tendons just above the ankle on the outside, and back by the achilles tendon, but some heel drop exercises and massage seemed to work them out. Building mileage is the hardest. It's not hard to do hard workouts or high volume, it's hard getting to that point.

Wednesday night through Sunday afternoon I spent with my immediate family. A fair amount of sleeping, some watching tv, talking, watching a couple movies. In short it was relaxing. I look forward to doing it again for Christmas!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Video From El Capitan Solo 2010

Here is a blast from the past. One of those videos I wanted to upload and post years ago but never got around to it. Back in 2010 when I tried to rope solo The Nose on El Cap I did not make it. I struggled and did not even make sickle ledge at the top of the fourth pitch. It beat me up. I just did not have the skills or the desire to beat myself up and make it to the top. It was a great learning experience, and I'm happy I tried. I mean, I did make it 500 feet up off the ground, alone, at age 24.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I am Thankful for (Blank) in 2015!

In years past I have written a blog post on Thanksgiving Day about something or things I am thankful for. Last year was not dying on Mt. Everest and 2012 was a smattering of 100 things I am thankful for.

What to write about this year? A list? No, that will come again, but not this time. The thing I am most thankful for? Well that's God, covered in 2013. Humm... what else?

Family. I am extremely thankful for my family. It's an ever evolving relationship as we all age. To say that there has not been yelling by all parties would be a lie. To say that any person in the family is perfect would be a lie. We are imperfect humans. However, I look at my parents and my sister and wonder how our little unit got here. We are so blessed! For example, my mom and my sister came to Italy in April for the 24 Hour World Championships, despite the fact I was injured going into it and there was a 95% chance it was not going to be a 150 mile day. They still came. My dad, I think of all the middle school basketball games he came to as I sat on the bench, he didn't have to be there. Every time I go off on some hair brained adventure risking life and limb, they might not understand why, but they support me. I was blessed with a great family from my birth, and I hope that I can pay my thanks forward to others.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I Live in Iowa: Week 230

I worked five days, there were ups and downs. It is work after all. The biggest up is we passed a test and can now move ahead with a design change that will make a better machine, and it only took four days in the cold room over six months!

I ran 45 miles with a couple light workouts and no long run. It's progress, I'm healthy but still recovering from the fall 50.

Something social happened this past week too, but I forget what it was. Good night.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Doping Scandals Just Seem to Grow

I don't talk much about cheaters in distance running because it's frustrating. I was beaten by Rita Jeptoo at the 2013 Chicago Marathon who was later banned. I was beaten by Ezkyas Sisay Tsegaya in the 2011 Des Moines Half Marathon who was also later banned. These two were already better than me, why did they have to cheat? Those are just the two high profile examples I know of.

As the IAAF comes under more pressure to get the cheaters out, and I hope we do flush the cheaters out, the sport loses something. I suppose it loses it's innocence. Hard work? What is that? The other side of it is, I've never been drug tested for sport. I've been drug tested twice for employment, but never for sport. Personally I think rather highly of myself and my running accomplishments, like I should be someone who gets tested, at least once in the last 15 years!

Another frustrating part is, role models. Athletes are entertainers, public figures, and role models for the next generation, and every time a winner is caught, or worse, a winner not caught, or just as bad people behind the winner are cheating, they cheapen or reduce the value of the responsibility that professional athletes have. Every time I hear about a lack of male role models I want to scream, "look at me!" But I know I am not perfect and I have many flaws, so I say nothing. Time and again the people we look up to have just lost our trust. Lance Armstrong, Jared Fogle, Tiger Woods, Ray Rice, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Bill Cosby...where does it end?

The part about doping and cheating in long distance running that hurts is the thought that I might have been closer to the front. I don't mind getting beat. If I did my best, and they did their best, and they beat me, congratulations to them. I know my best is good and fast in running, but to continue putting in the level of training that I do and commit to the sport as much as I do, with no chance of doing as well as people cheating makes me question why I keep trying. Sebastian Coe, why should I keep trying? Max Siegel, why should I keep trying?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Life Gets in the Way...

Forgot to blog until I'm laying here in bed. Life got in the way, and that's okay, in fact, life should get in the way of social media more often than the other way around.

Friday, November 20, 2015

My Coworker Died Today

Rich R. a coworker of mine died this morning, or perhaps last night. He was 68 and had just gone to Rhode Island last week to visit his newborn youngest grandchild. As far as I know he didn't have any plans to retire, and if he had any health concerns he was at work on Thursday, so he didn't show it. He was a very nice man, always willing to help if you needed it. A little bit of a comedian too...

May God be with his family as they grieve. And let us all remember in this season of thanksgiving how temporary our time is on earth and refocus on those things, like God's blessings, that are more valuable than so many other material things we focus on.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


I vacationed in Pakistan in 2009, and I'm itching to return. The Paris attacks last week were tragic, and I have a feeling those won't be the last ISIS attacks in Europe. Fortunately, I'm not going to Europe for two weeks until I go to Germany. 

We can't let fear paralyze us. Risk is all around us. You could die today. That's the challenge isn't it, how to live your live like it is both your last day on earth, and like you will live to be 100? Don't be afraid of people with guns and bombs, respect them sure, but you can't live your life jumping at every shadow. Terror? I'm far more afraid I won't pay my God given blessings forward, as I am able, than I am even remotely afraid of someone with a gun severely interrupting my life.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What does it mean to be a man in the 21st century? (1 of 4)

In the summer of 2014 after returning from Everest I was feeling lonely being single, and I wrote a series of four articles exploring my singleness. This is the first in that series although I doubt that I will publish the rest of those articles. I have added updates as other events have occurred. In particular this past week, Malala Yousafzai coming out as a feminist including saying “…because feminism is another word for equality.”  Specifically, I have considered myself a feminist for the better part of a decade, but in the last year I’ve begun to wonder if I can really stand by that. First the original article.

Original article:
I’m going to do a miniseries of four articles talking about my views of being a man, or at least an adult male, and being single. While I am typically rather revealing of my personal life, I think these four articles may take it a step farther. It is important to note that some of the things I say will probably be rather negative and not the most optimistic, perhaps even offensive, but I aim to be me, and present the world as I see it. The second article is, “More Scary: Mt. Everest or a Beautiful Woman”, the third is, “My Trouble Dating Women”, and the fourth is “Letting Go...”

With all of these tech companies releasing their employment demographics and the relative push to get more women into STEM fields, I feel we have done a fairly decent job of at least opening the doors to the old boys clubs. As we motivate women to take on more  technical jobs and motivate men to do more at home, we are really redefining the roles of men and women. To be honest, this is a stumbling block for me. Men and women are different. I believe that as different, complementary humans, they do have different roles. But what is the truth, what is best or ideal when it comes to the roles of a man or a woman? I don’t know. I hear stay at home dads do really well at raising kids. 

A woman I know told me, she will not ask out or approach a man, in the context of dating. He must come to her and make a move. Diverging for a minute, why do women date jerks and the “bad” boys? Simple, those guys are the ones that ask them out. I know a lot of great guys, awkward engineers, that would bend over backwards to make a woman happy, they are single because talking to strange new women is really difficult. The point being, if women can do everything a man does, why does he still have to lead in a relationship setting? Taking it a step further, if women can do everything a man can do, why do men have to stand up for women?

I don’t know. I mean, I know what it means to be an American in the early 21st century, which to me is paying it forward to all the less fortunate, six billion people in the world, and pushing the limits of “possible”, interpreted as pushing the limits of what has been done. I suppose the ideal person to define what it means to be a man is his significant other. By that I mean that in any individual case the expectation and the ideal might be different. Yet, simply by his actions before even meeting or getting into a relationship with her he is already defining the type of woman he is looking for. It seems a positive feedback loop, or a escalating spiral. In other words, the way a man acts defines the kinds of people he meets and woman he becomes involved with, which in turn define and encourage those traits he started that led him to that woman in the first place.

The above is great, yet, men can’t have babies. We cannot achieve that miraculous opportunity to grow another pre-born human inside of us. In that way women and men will never be equal. At least it’s going to take a long time before scientists figure out how to put a functioning uterus in a man. Frankly, I’m not sure it will ever happen.

I’ve been thinking about this for over a year, ‘what does it mean to be a man?’ I must say while I have considered the question, ‘what does it mean to be a woman?’ I’m not in the best position to really say, although to define one is to define the other. On the men’s side I’ve come up with a word to describe a man: strong. It’s difficult to further refine that because physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually there are exceptions to every generalization. Yes, many men can be emotionally expressive, and also emotionally stable, with an emotional strength. Similarly, men can be physically strong, yet I know a dozen female track athletes that can out lift me in the weight room, and that's just in Dubuque, Iowa. Yet there is a certain male strength that all men seem to have in some form. One good article defined it as strength with restraint. The challenge with calling men strong is what it implies for women. 

I’ve realized that we young males have trouble expressing our strength and masculinity in the 21st century. How are we supposed to express our masculinity? Wars rarely beckon, and their purposes are not so clear. Women are graduating with more college degrees and getting good jobs, while many men are taking the lower skilled jobs, so being a family provider is not as clear as it was in the recent past, although perhaps more like it was in the distant past. That is to say, what it means to be a woman has changed significantly over the last 150 years in the view of society, but if you go back 200 years or more, it might have been more like it is today, at least from a day to day economic sense. I mean, when 95% of the world were farmers, the women did plenty of work, right along with the men. Even early industrialization involved women weaving in factories.

Two months ago a 66 year old woman was sexually assaulted and killed by a 19 year old boy here in Dubuque, basically in public at 5 AM, along my commute. It’s heart breaking. Sure we can blame a lack of male role models, mental illness, lack of community, and other factors, but I think some small measure of responsibility is that we as a culture or a society don’t have a great way for men to express their masculinity. In the past men were protectors, warriors, often leaders, very defined roles in what were often violent times. Keep in mind, we are living in the safest time period in recorded human history. A man no longer needs to be the protector, even though we want to be.

What I’m saying is, “…feminism is another word for equality.” and it can be, but what defines equality? Because again, men and women are different, to deny that is the scientific equivalent of saving the Earth is cube shaped, not basically spherical. So how does different but equal exist?

In Bible study the past year we read from Ephesians 5:22-33. We as a 21st century  society always get hung up on the “wives submit to your husbands” because how can it say that in the context of equality?! Yet after that short passage, there is a much longer passage about husbands loving their wives, as their own body. After reading that the married woman sitting beside me said, “I feel fortunate to be the woman, that sounds so much harder for the man.” Which stuck with me, and obviously I had no response, because in today's world asking a woman to submit to me, is bewildering. I've certainly never done it.  

I’m 29.5 years old. I don’t own a house. I still have student loans. The five traditional signs of adulthood are: a stable job, owning a home, being married, having kids, and finishing your formal education. I have only two of the five, and the other three don't seem likely to happen soon. Am I not a man? It seems ridiculous, if I am not a man, who is a man?

It's such a luxury to contemplate this kind of question. People in poverty don't have the luxury of taking hours and hours to research and write this article and talk with friends and family about intangible issues like this. I am a man, at least in my own eyes. What does that mean? It means I have to pay it forward, to sacrifice, for those that don't have what I have. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Discerning Meaning From a Sample Size of One

Way back when I was in college. Nate Jenkins made a comment on his blog about how each athlete, marathon runner specifically, is a study of one, someone who will respond slightly differently to the training as anyone else. As a master of science (and I do have my M.S.) it has always stuck out to me because the scientific part of me thinks, 'what can you possibly learn based on one example?' Yet another part of me knows that to say you can't learn anything from a sample of one does not make sense because that is how we have learned everything. At one point Thomas Edison, or probably one of his assistants, turned the light bulb on and it didn't burn out in a few seconds, or even a few minutes, it kept glowing for 13.5 hours. It was only a sample of one, but it was a breakthrough. 

While I could talk about Patrick Makau, Wilson Kipsang, or Dennis Kimetto, the last three marathon world record holders, who don't have any Olympic medals between the three of them because they are all relatively up and coming, and I could say how each one is a study of one with little to teach sedentary Americans about running, those three are a huge study in team work, training, and Kenya having an environment for the marathon. However, Kenya is about to get a number of athletes exposed for doping over the next couple months, so I won't talk about running tonight. I just wanted to say that as a middle class American I highly doubt I can replicate the conditions for anyone in the U.S.A. to have the same background as each of them. However, they all run lots of miles, and run hard workouts, which is a good place to start training to be your best. No, I'm not going to write about running today, but rather engineering. 

I have had four days of testing in the cold room at -40 degrees C/F this year. Two in May and two just recently in November. While preparing for these tests one of the comments was how, "each test is different, you can't conclude X, Y and Z from one test." Now that I have been through four of these I see what he meant. Do you know what oil does at -40 degrees? Probably not, because no one really does, if we knew how to analytically model it, instead of testing in the cold room, we would. Every test has presented some surprise. I won't divulge the specifics, but like the title of the article how can you say X works or does not work from a one hour long real time test? It can work for ten minutes, then quit working. Another example of small sample sizes I really like, the space program, specifically Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. Every mission was trying something that had never been done before, and if they got it to work, once, it was a huge success. In hindsight we only hear about the successes, and maybe Apollo 1, but space walking was a huge challenge on Gemini until Buzz Aldrin trained in a swimming pool. Apollo 11 had a computer malfunction giving an error as it became overloaded. Apollo 14 almost didn't land on the moon because of a short circuit in the lander that could have triggered an automatic abort. I'm getting off topic, but the point is to show that just because we landed successfully on the moon once doesn't mean that future landing were risk free at all. 

Of my four tests, they always happen in pairs, a baseline and a prototype test, so I have really only tested two new designs. In May we failed, the results were inconclusive due to a number of factors so we went back to the drawing board and asked the experts and came up with a new design. The new design "passed" but there were a couple of issues we encountered during testing and while the results still seemed to show the new design was better than the old design, there is no one waving a flag and cheering saying "This is the answer! You solved the problem!" Partly because people don't do that often in engineering, but also because we all know that minor variations in one test could affect the future production reliability. 

If I was more versed in statistics I would enjoy talking about Weibull slopes and probabilities, but I am not an expert there. There is always the chance that this test was of the best possible situation and you won't pass again. Typically situations in real life are more similar than they are different, which is very fortunate, but we engineers still spend much of our time working on the rare cases and trying to discern the two factors that contributed to failure in that particular instance. 

What can you conclude from a sample of one? It worked that time, it may work again, under the same conditions. That's a positive spin on it, but an accurate view too.

Monday, November 16, 2015

I Live in Iowa: Week 229

This was a nice week. For starters, while I greatly enjoy traveling for work, spending three out of five work weeks in hotels can wear on a person, and I did not travel this week.

Work was good, I had a cold room test on Monday, at -40°, which I always enjoy. The rest of the week was spent trouble shooting a variety of quality issues and taking a number of software classes for a new system that we are going to begin using in December. I expect that I will travel for work before Thanksgiving, but I don't have anything planned of early Monday the 16th.

Running was also good, I ran 42 miles, no workouts. I was still getting over the cold I have had the last two weeks and most days I didn't even feel up to running five miles. Fortunately on Saturday at the end of the week I managed to put in a 12 miler. The daily pleasantry of running over the trails through the forest for well over an hour is so nice.

On the social side I had dinner with a nice lady Friday, and watched the Iowa Hawkeyes first ever 10-0 game at my friends' house Saturday. Plus I went for a social bicycle ride on Saturday, and went out for wings on Thursday, although I didn't actually have any wings. That's about the most social week I have had in some time.

Saturday I watched Inside Out the movie, and it is excellent! It is so true how when we are young our understanding of emotions is simple, but as we grow older the extremes are usually tempered with a mix of emotions. When I hear this constant drive in the media to be happy, it actually gives me a little disgust, because happiness on it's own, exclusively, seems so ignorant. There is a lot of sadness and fear in the world, and valid reasons to have anger sometimes, but remaining happy as you hear about starving refugees or bombs in Paris is not the compassionate emotion to express.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Buying and Selling a Stock: Part 7

I haven't bought any stock in the stock market, outside of my retirement accounts in two years, until last week. DHT Holdings, the stock that I found back in 2012 is starting to do really well again. In fact, so well that I bought a couple hundred more shares.

For starters, after lackluster earning the last three years because of a downturn in the oil shipping market they had less business, that seems to be turning around. Also, they were involved in building new ships, which is very expensive.

In short, this is going to be their best year in a while. Their most recent quarterly report was very positive. The recent earnings transcript was positive too. To add to it, the management owns far more shares than I do, so they have a vested interested in the company doing well, and it's mostly the same people there now that it was back in February 2012 when I learned of the company.

You should certainly do your own research, listening to me is a sure fire way to lose money. However, the DHT's price to earnings ratio is 7. Their dividend payout is higher than 8% at the current stock price just above $7.00 per share. Their price to book ratio is close to 1, which means what you pay for is what you get, not the hope of assets to come. On the down side they have a fair amount of debt, because they recently built some new ships. However, that's the best part. Of the six new ships they have bought, one is scheduled to hit the water in November and the next in January. Which means, they have been paying and paying money to build these multimillion dollar ships, and now they are about to start making money.

In my estimation it all adds up to an undervalued stock price.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Bubble?

Are we in a bubble? The price to earnings ratio of the S&P 500 is about 22. That's ridiculously high for an average, below 20 is reasonable, and 15 is more normal. Antique Ferrari prices are off the charts for the 250 series, up to $38 million for a car that sold for $9000 when first sold. Plus, the tallest building in the Bay Area is being built right now in San Francisco. All may be indicators of a bubble. That being said, I don't think it's an overall economy bubble but more of a tech bubble. In the last few weeks I have learned the term "unicorn" which is a billion dollar company based on private valuation from investors, not a public valuation, or based on income, in other words Kohler doesn't count. A billion dollars?!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How Blunt? Or How Tactful?

Recently I had a work situation where a senior person was very blunt with me. Blunt in a positive way about a situation I was dealing with. Words were used that I had not used myself, but I had been thinking. 

It got me thinking about how we and how I say things to get the point across. Numerous times when I was younger I was accused of having little tact, that is sharing a little too much information or being very blunt with a person. I felt that it was something for me to work on. Working with Asians the past several years I have really been able to exercise my indirect communication skills. It is a perpetual challenge, how do you say things as they are, and at the same time be positive and uplifting to the team?

I don't have the solution for this. Communication is always hard. However it is well known that by encouraging positive behavior you get better results than punishing negative behavior. Both have a place of course, punishment still needs to exist on some level. Yet in my quest to accentuate the positive, I might have gone so far as to be so indirect with the negative that only I realized the specific incident I was talking about. When you get so indirect that no one else knows what you are specifically talking about you have gone too far. 

In other words, you can't just call someone a liar and expect your relationship with that person to improve anytime soon. A moderately direct response might be, "you did not send me that email." A less direct response would be, "could you resend that email I can't find it." The least direct response would be, "I am not familiar with that information, could you send me some documentation." The final response does not directly address an email, which pleads ignorance about the whole situation. Of course, if the conversation is about an email, it would be okay to mention it specifically. So how direct one is is always a challenge. Again, I don't have the answer. The funny thing is, I have gotten so used to being vague on my blog that at least in one instance that vagueness carried over into work. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


The hardest lesson to learn about my own patience is that I don't have enough. Of course it's a never ending spiral. There are some things that really I would benefit by being so patient they happen after I am dead, which is another way of admitting that I am not in control. Patience is in large part about control. Patience is allowing events to happen along a course and timeline that you would not have chosen. The benefit of patience is usually that we appreciate the final result more because of the wait and hurdles that were encountered.

Monday, November 9, 2015

I Live in Iowa: Week 228

It was a good week, because God has blessed me to look at my life as the best life in the world. It certainly wasn't ideal. I started out the week recovering from a sore throat, and then leaving home at 4 AM to be on a 6 AM flight south. Monday went okay, but Tuesday the sore throat was back with a vengeance. Normally it would be no big deal, but on a work trip to Covington, Louisiana I had no place to hide. In fact, for the first time in my life Tuesday I repinned an electrical connector that we accidentally broke while repairing a machine. It took me three hours. However, it worked just fine once the machine began running again. 

By Wednesday I was all out sick. Sick on a work trip is no fun. There is nowhere to hide or go home early. The upside is I had Louisiana oysters Wednesday night and they were good! The downside was maxing out my corporate credit card. 

Thursday on the way to the airport I was called by my travel colleague who basically said, "our repair is broken, we need to repair it again." That's not actually what he said, he was far more specific, but that's what he meant. It's frustrating to spend two long days working on something only to know it has to be done all over again. 

Friday I was hoarse at work. I went in because I've learned that mentally if I can finish something that is giving me stress I will physically recover faster. It's amazing how a little progress mentally helps make progress physically. 

I slept 12 hours and had a quiet Saturday running for all of 20 minutes for the first time since Sunday. I did go out to eat with friends and then watched Good Will Hunting. Not too exciting I know, but it was the social event of my Saturday. 

Also, Inside Out the Pixar movie hit Redbox this weekend, with more demand and less availability than I have ever seen for another movie at Redbox. I am excited to someday get to see it. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Well, Suppose I Best Recover

Oh man, being sick is no fun. Well, I am back home lying on my couch, and this weekend is recover mode. I don't have the flu, just a sore throat, but a serious sore throat. I need to hydrate, sleep, eat and relax, and I am going to do that this weekend! Plus, I'm not traveling for work next week, so I have more time in my normal routine to grow strong again. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sick on a Work Trip

Ugh. That little sore throat from last week, yeah, it got bigger. As I sat with hands folded on the narrow airplane seat I was acutely aware of the coughing and sneezing from around me, I'm flying during cold and flu season.

Travel opens people up to getting sick. You are touching things that others touched, being exposed to a variety of other germs that might not be native to places like Iowa, and there is the mental stress of travel, which seems to wear down on the body regardless of the germs one encounters.

Work travel is not vacation. It's great to travel and see so much of the world, a huge perk of a job, in my opinion, but ultimately there is a job to be done, meetings to be had, problems to be solved, people to placate, and it all must be done before the return flight. While sometimes there is a day, or at least half a day of opportunity to see something a little touristy, by that point most people are so tired that we just want to get home and sleep in our own bed.

Sick on a work trip? Too bad for you, but it happens, the show must go on, and remember eventually you will get home to eat some soup and drink decaf green tea.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mt. Rainier 2.0 2015 Video is Posted!

Here is the little video I put together for Mt. Rainier in September!

This is as good as mountaineering weather gets, I even wore a short sleeve shirt for part of the descent. We had almost no wind, it was good. Kind of funny to watch parts of it in hindsight, I was definitely on my toes toward the end.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

When There is a Risk, Send the Engineer.

Sometimes I wonder why I have been traveling so much recently. Most of the time I'm only marginally helpful. Certainly I have gotten better at operating heavy equipment and my mechanic skills are growing. However, you don't need to fly an engineer down and pay his travel expenses to do that. Well, yesterday we broke a little plastic piece, and it's not a service part, so how do you fix it? Well, you have an engineer on site to figure it out. I'm not ready to divulge our solution, because honestly I'm not sure we want to replicate it. The point is, if I had not been here, this would be a delay of game more than it already is. Well, I earned my pay yesterday.

Monday, November 2, 2015

I Live in Iowa: Week 227

Another week that saw me spend two nights and three days outside of Iowa, it was Louisiana this past week. I even took a picture and put it on my blog a few days ago. 

Work was good. The three days I spent in Louisiana were frustrating because we were looking for a problem, but did not find it while I was there. Fortunately they found it Wednesday afternoon, and again on Thursday. ... Which means I am writing this from a hotel in Louisiana Monday evening. One of the big challenges is identifying the problem. Seriously, we don't always know that something is wrong, don't get me started on "a (insert any rotating part of the machine) noise" which does not necessarily mean something is wrong. However, there was indeed a problem on this particular machine so we are fixing it.

I only ran two days, nine miles total. I'll take it. The week was spent recovering really. Sunday and Monday the muscular soreness, Tuesday and Wednesday I had pain in my third and fourth metatarsals in my right foot, and Thursday I had a bad sore throat. Friday I started running again, sluggish, but healthy.

In other news, we had a costume party Friday night, and a couple of my rock climbing friends and I went as presidential candidates, which ones? Aside from Trump (look at the hair) does it matter?
Saturday I spectated the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference cross country championship and it was muddy! There was a slight rain all morning and the course was chewed up by the time the men finished running! Oh cross country!
A bunch of fast college kids running in the mud.