Monday, January 19, 2009

1st Race, 1st Win

This morning Momentum sponsored the first of 4 crit races at the Marine base. I was looking forward to this race because I knew I had been riding pretty strong and I wanted to see how I would do. We had a great turnout from the HACC and there were 37 total racers in the senior category. Bryant, John, and I talked about the race during the ride Saturday and we decided we would try to stay up front and keep the pace hard from the start to hopefully narrow the pack. The first lap was neutral. The three of us managed to stay in front so we could take off hard right at the start of the second lap. Bryant took off and I stayed on his wheel. John would then come around. We managed to stay up front and control the pace for most of the race. If the three of us would fall back, Steve Lindsey and Jon Lorian would whip around and take a strong pull. I heard some of the riders talking about how the couldn't believe how many HACCers were riding up the front.

I was able to stay in the front 4 or 5 riders and each time someone would try to take a sprint, I would pick up the pace and catch their wheel. I kept watching my heart rate so that I wouldn't burn out the wick before the end of the race. There was a couple of times when I chased a few breaks down that I was afraid I had overdone it. Luckily, that wasn't the case. With about 4 laps left, Spence, the captain of the Armed Forces Triathalon team took off. I worked so hard to catch his wheel that I was again afraid I may have over done it and wasn't going to have enough to finish strong. Luckily, when I caught his wheel he slowed enough that I could catch my breath a little. With 2 laps left, Jon and Steve both took strong pulls which were perfect as I was able to catch their wheels and stay out front. I think there were two riders ahead of me as we rounded the curve at the end of the back stretch. I amped it up a bit into the end of the curve then started my sprint. I almost lost it as my wheel started to slide but I caught traction and put the hammer down. I crossed the line a couple of bike lengths ahead throwing my arms up in a Tour De France style finish.

The rest of the HACC did very well. Bryant finished 5th in our race. John Girmsey finished 3rd in the Master's category . Kelly did exceptionally well finishing first in the women's category and 4th overall in the public race. Ed finished third in the public race as well. We were complemented for our great turn out. I know I wouldn't have done as well without the hard pulls by Bryant, John, Jon, and Steve. Too bad I will miss the next race which will be in February, due to my TDY. When we race in March, I am going to race in the Expert category which may be tough since I have a 3 week TDY and 1 1/2 week vacation between now and then.

Friday, January 16, 2009

More Bad News

This has been quite a week. Today I learned of the passing of one of my old bosses, Lt Col Bob Lester, retired. Lt Col Lester and I served together both at Beale and at Offutt. He always thought very highly of me and was very instrumental in me cross-training into manpower. He was always willing to set down and talk to his people. Sometimes maybe a little more than we really wanted spend. He flew 130's and also had a law degree. He would do anything for his people and treated us much better than some of his bosses treated him. He will be missed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sad News

Today I found out that a good friend of mine,CMSgt Denise Mikolajczyk, passed away suddenly. while TDY to Offutt AFB. Denise and I were stationed together for 3 years in Germany. She was a great person who was a hell of alot of fun to be around. Luckily I got to spend a week last fall with her and Curt Marshall at our training conference in Mississippi. We had a great time, golfing, drinking and reminissing. I had hoped we would get the chance to do it again soon. I had even invited her to come for a visit in Hawaii. I hope she had a chance to try Sam Adams light as I suggested. She will be missed by all who knew her.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beauty in our own backyard

Living in paradise gives us the opportunity to take pictures of many different beautiful areas all over the Island. However we often over look the great beauty that exists on Hickam. We have always taken sunset pics at Sunset Beach on the North Shore. After living on Hickam for almost 1.5 years we discovered that the oceanfront next to the Fort Kamehameha Housing makes an excellent setting for taking pictures of the sunset. Fort Kamehameha Historic Housing is a section of base housing on the south end of the base that was there before WWII. They recently moved all the families out because the structures were getting pretty old and required significant upgrades to meet the Housing Standards. It is a shame because although they were substandard, they had Million Dollar views of the ocean and are the only houses on Hickam that actually sit next to the Pacific Ocean. Chris and the girls headed out about 5 pm and I rode my bike out to meet them after work. We took a bunch of pics of the beach, Ginger and the sunset. We were even treated to a helicopter fly by.

Last April we moved into a brand new house on base. The house is great, plenty of room, a garage, all new appliances. The only problem is the location. From our lanai you can see the AAFES warehouse, the federal detention center and the base recycling center. We are also next to the Airport so you can see and hear planes taking off and landing 24/7. The only reminder of the fact that we are in Hawaii is the one lone palm tree sitting between two telephone poles. Sometimes I like to sit on the lanai with a beer and a cigar and relax while watching my lone palm tree sway in the wind.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Then and Now only 1 year apart

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2007
I was looking through some old blog posts and found a couple of pics of me playing football on the beach with the girls Christmas 07 when i was pushing 200. I notices some contrast to the ones we took last month. I guess the south beach diet and many many miles on my bike did some good.

Then and Now

May 1985

Chris was cleaning out some old pics and I ran across this one that was taken the day I Graduated HS. I thought it might be kind of neat to take a similar pose just to see the changes. The Hair is much shorter thanks to the AF. I have also taken to adding gray highlights. The face has a few more lines due to years of playing in the sun. I think I could probably fit in to the same shirt although the pants would probably be a little tight. Back then I could run a 2 minute half mile, today I can't but could still do a 6 minute mile if I had too. I guess the past 22 years haven't been too bad to this old boy.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Kailua Beach Ride

Last summer Heather and I joined the HACC for a long ride. The longest ride Heather had done before was about 30 miles. We ended up riding 80 and she did great. One of the first things she mentioned doing while home for her Christmas break was to do another long ride. Since today was a family day and late in her break we chose to do the ride. I sent out an invite to the HACC and had a great response. I got up at 0600 happy to hear silence from outside meaning that it wasn't raining. After getting dressed and having a cup of coffee, I woke up Heather. She was less than thrilled with getting up that early but she got up and got dressed. I opened the door and looked out at a grey sky and wet pavement but at least it wasn't raining. We headed to the gym to meet the rest of the gang, actually making it there right at 0700. As we headed out the gate the rain started and the rooster tails of water rising up from everyone's tires really made me wish I had brought my fendered bike. Nimitz provided the worst of the rain and traffic and once we got to Waikiki it had pretty much stopped. Luckily the traffic through Honolulu was pretty light and we made pretty good time. Everyone stayed together pretty well even up the hill past Hanauma Bay. We stopped at Makapuu for some pictures and to fix the first flat of the day.

The group got a little broken up on the Wiamanalo bypass but we got back together as we entered Kailua. We stopped at the Green Market coffee shop to down some nutrition and java before heading back. On the way back due to flats and folks needing to get home, the group broke into 3 groups. Heather and I stopped at Makapuu so I could ride up to the lighthouse. John helped Jeff fix two flats so they were a little behind us and the rest of the group headed back to base. Heather was doing great and talked about trying to extend the ride to 100 miles. We decided to stop at Momentum so I could pick up some chain lube. John and Jeff apparently passed us as they were already at Momentum picking up tubes for Jeff. The four of us rode back to base together. Heather and I did a couple of laps around the block so we could finish with 80 miles. Heather has ridden over 200 miles since she arrived earlier in December. The pic of her computer was taken at Makapuu with over 30 miles left in the ride. Due to it being late, we decided to forgo the extra miles happy with our 80 mile ride. Even though the weather and conditions were less than perfect, we still had a great ride.

After we got back, we went to Pearl Ridge for some shopping with Courtney and Chris and took in the new movie Marley and Me. It was a great story that every dog owner will love.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hello 2009

It is hard to believe we are bringing in another year. As we get older time sure seams to fly. Last year was great. We celebrated Stephanie's Bachelors Degree and my Masters Degree as well as Courtney's 8th grade graduation and Confirmation. 2009 will see us celebrating Heathers graduation and her entering her graduate Physical Therapy Program. Before we know it we will be referring to her as Dr. Steele.

This year we brought in the new year at a neighborhood block party. Think I found the perfect bike. It is small enough to pack and take about any where and it gives a hell of a workout. I am not sure though if I would be able to do any around the Island rides. Riding it 100 feet was tough enough. I planned on doing a early morning ride to kick of the New Year but the rain put the kabosh on those plans. Heather, Jim and I did set out on a nice easy paced 2 hr ride covering Hickam, Pearl and Ford Island. On Pearl we stopped to see a memorial that described all the ships that were involved in the Dec 7 1941 attack and what damage they sustained. It is hard to believe that some of the ships that sank were actually put back into service a few months after the attack. I took an neat picture of one of the discriptions capturing Jim riding behind it as well as one of the ships in port. After we got back, Chris joined us for a ride around the neighbor hood. GOALS FOR 2009

I don't do New Years Resolutions because they tend to be short lived. Instead I have a list of goals that I hope to achieve. The list is fairly long so that hopefully I have some goals that I can achieve to make up for the ones I don't.

1. Get more sleep
2. Drink more water and less soda and beer
3. Maintain and improve my fitness level
4. Achieve a sub 60 minute time in the 40k TT ( 1:03:10.0 last year)
5. Place in the top 20 in the Dick Evans Memorial Race (27th last year)
6. Run Hickam 1/2 marathon
7. Run Honolulu Marathon
8. Be more organized and productive at work
9. Make Chief
10. Save more money
11. Have alot of fun