February 2008

Ran the Ugly Mudder trail race over the weekend. Definitely an easier course than Chilly Cheeks. I actually felt like I was running more downhill and level trail than uphill on this one. Although it did have it’s share of doozy uphills. Not much to speak of in terms of ice this year. A few slippery spots but not many. We did have a “situation” though. Let me explain….

uglymudder08large.gifAt about mile 1 we came up to this water station. I don’t drink during races unless they’re like half marathon length or more. So I cruised right through along with the 300 people in front of me. When we were about a 1/4 mile past the water station we heard a ruckus and turned around to see what was going on down at the water station. Some people had turned right instead of slightly off to the left past the station and were starting to turn around. They had gone the wrong way. Derrrr. About 5 minutes later some people caught up with us and started yelling that WE were going the wrong way. Yeah, right. All 300+ of us. And the water station people just let us all go by without telling us. Uh huh. So we continued on. Up hill, down hill, over rocks, roots, downed trees, up rock scrambles, down lightly snow covered trail. Passed 2 more water stations. And had about a mile to go. It suddenly occurred to me that we hadn’t seen the Pagoda. Maybe I just had my eyes so focused on the trail and my brain zoned out and I missed it. I mentioned it to the people around me. Nope, they hadn’t seen it either. No matter. Ron had said that the trail was slightly different this year…we wouldn’t be running up the steps of the Pagoda because they’d been condemned. We’d be running around or under it or whatever he said. So we continued along to the last hill scramble. Up I went on all fours and then through the parking lot of cars to the finish line. I saw the clock…1 hour and 10 minutes. Holy $%^&*&(*()_!!!!! I felt like I was flying but that was fast for a 7.25 mile trail run for me. Dang!

I ran through the chute and went over out of the way of finishers and started stretching. Ron Horn called everyone’s attention with his bullhorn, “Those of you coming in right now…the first 400 runners, in fact…did NOT run the full course. You took a wrong turn. You ended up running 6 miles instead of 7.25. No big deal. Just don’t go home feeling all good about yourself because you think you set a PR. You didn’t.” CRAP!!!

Well, it still would have been a PR for me…add on another 1.25 miles and I probably would have finished about 1:25 or so. Still pretty good for a Reading trail run in my book.

Next up is the Mt. Penn Mudfest 15K trail run in late March. Woohoo!

I’ve just been through what was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life – a two-week long quest to get a backup of some files on my hosting account from a web server that suddenly no longer existed. (Don’t even get me started.) Fortunately I had a current backup of all of my sites. Unfortunately, there were a couple other sites on my account that I was just hosting and didn’t develop. There were some files that they needed. I requested a backup of the files from the server. They do daily backups after all…all hosting companies do. Three days later I had a lovely 166 Meg backup file that was completely corrupted. I could only extract 3 files from it…none of which I needed. I argued with the web host that the file was corrupt. They finally agreed after 4 days that the file was indeed corrupt and promised to get me another backup. After repeatedly getting conflicting information and multiple promises (6 at last count) that a request would be submitted for a second backup but never was, I was told yesterday that a backup could no longer be retrieved. That they only keep 3 days worth of backups on hand and then they’re overwritten. Yeah, sure. I’ve thrown my hands up in disgust, filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and the online Better Business Bureau, and sent the corrupted backup to a data recovery specialist to see what he could extract.

I’ve moved all the sites that I had on the 1and1.com account over to my private server at HostMySite.com…which is located in Delaware….close enough to actually wring some necks should anything like this go wrong with them. Not likely though…they are an outstanding company.

I’ll be adding the pictures back to this site as I have time. (read: over the next few months or so)

Moral of the story…backup, backup, backup, then backup another 10 times.

Got the rest of the fascia boards up on the house on Sunday. All I’ve got to do is paint them if it ever gets above 50 degrees without raining. Not 30 minutes after I put the last board up I heard this scrambling and scratching that sounded like it was coming from upstairs. Went up and didn’t see anything. Went outside and looked up. There was a freaking squirrel CHEWING on the fascia boards I just put up. GRRRRR!!!! Where’s a 22 when you need one? Now I gotta put flashing up over the fascia board to keep that son-of-a-gun from chewing up the wood.