Bunchgrasser’s World

My unique filter on life

Archive for October, 2008

Bunchgrasser’s quote of the day

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 28, 2008

“I just run as hard as I can for 20 miles, and then race.”

-Steve Jones (when asked about his race plan, after he had won the Chicago Marathon in the then world’s best time)

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United Sodium vs. FC Portland Platinum

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 26, 2008

The lady warriors finished their 2008 fall season ‘Sodium-Style” by handing FC Portland Platinum a 3-0 loss on Saturday. The day was made for playing soccer with blue skies, sunshine and a crisp cool breeze. Sodium went up 1-0 in the first half on a hard shot from katherine Kramer that deflected off the head of an FC player and went over their own goal keeper’s head. That goal went unanswered during the remaining minutes of the half.

Sodium hit the pitch in the second half looking to add more points quickly and it wasn’t long before they had another one. An FC hand ball in front of their net led to a Sodium penalty kick. Mac Kearney squared up and drilled a screaming shot off the crossbar and into the net to make it 2-0. 

Late in the game, several Sodium players patiently worked the ball deep into the FC corner and then crossed a pass in front of the net. At least a couple of close-in shots were blocked, but Emmy Owens kept at it and eventually popped a shot into the net for goal number 3.

View a slideshow of the game.

More game details on Sodium’s team blog

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Scored my first ring in the water

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 23, 2008

Sunday morning I got up before daylight and took my new White’s Beach Hunter ID 300 to the river. I wanted to spend another day in the sand/water and also needed to put in some hours learning this new detector.

I arrived at the river just at daylight and it was a beautiful sight. A layer of fog blanketed the area and the sun was trying to push through. It was awfully cold so I spent the first couple of hours in the sand trying to find some coins & jewelry. Unfortunately all I got for my trouble was a massive number of bottle caps and a few clad coins.

Later when the sun came out I put on my water shoes and began to cover the sandy shallows. I didn’t want to get out too far because this river is deep, swift and known to claim swimmers every year. This particular beach is one of the few that has a flat beach before it drops off.

The BH was working great and I found it easier to run in all-metal mode and then just watch the indicator lights. I skipped the red light signals (iron) but dug everything else. As you can imagine, I dug lots of bottle caps and pulltabs with my sand scoop.

I was standing in thigh deep water and one particular signal was strong and loud (just like bottle caps) so I didn’t think much of it. I dug it, shook the scoop underwater to clear the sand and found this large gold ring waiting for me. To say that I was excited might be putting it mildly and I think I did do the happy dance. I’m sure the people on the beach thought I was crazy to be out in the river in the first place (no wetsuit and it was cold).

I’m stumped on this ring because there is no visible stamp. It looks and feels like gold but without a gold tester I have no way of knowing. Looks like I might need to buy a tester. My wife looked at it and she thinks there is a rectangular stamp on the inside of the band but it has worn off.

Anyway – I’m extremely excited to have found my first ring in the water. This is really, really fun!

Posted in Metal Detecting | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Small park gives up another ring and bracelet

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 22, 2008

I went out for a 3 hour hunt Saturday morning at my favorite “small” park. I took my camera (with a full battery) this time. The first pic shows the grassy area that I’ve been covering. I was taking it real slow and digging pretty much everything.

I managed to recover a handful of clad coins, several miscellaneous items, a mood ring (my 3rd one of these) and a 92.5 stamped silver charm bracelet. I also recovered and disposed of another handful of pulltabs and screw caps. I sometimes imagine what this earth would look like if the top 6 inches of soil were transparent.

When I was almost done detecting, a lady that works at the community center at this park came over to me and tapped me on the shoulder. As I took my headphones off I was expecting her to ask me to leave. As it turns out, she had been watching me for awhile from inside the office. She told me she was very impressed with my target recovery speed and how I left no trace in the grass. She said other detectorists had been to this park and were very sloppy. I thanked her for the compliment and asked that she not judge all of us by the unfortunate behavior of certain individuals.

However, the real reason that she came over (and why I’m telling you this) is that a lady had reported that she lost an expensive amethyst ring there the previous weekend and it was apparently a significant emotional loss for her. She pointed to where the lady thought she lost it and asked me to try finding it.

Well, I was almost ready to leave but I did spend about 15 minutes searching the expansive area but to no avail. I promised to come back and give it some serious effort as soon as possible.

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Finally…”Once a Runner” novel going back to printer

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 21, 2008

I just read on Kelly Johnson’s Run Oregon Blog that “Once a Runner” by John L Parker Jr. is finally going back to the printer and will be available this spring.

I heard about this inspiring, fictional novel when I started training for my first marathon last year and wanted to get a copy. However, the book is in such high demand that finding a copy is near impossible, unless you want to pay $60-$90 or more on Ebay for a used copy.

You can pre-order your very own copy of this book from Amazon for April 2009 delivery. I’ve already ordered mine and I can’t wait to read it. Check out some of the reviews below:

Review
“By far the most accurate fictional portrayal of the world of the serious runner. . . a marvelous description of the way it really is.” — Kenny Moore, of Sports Illustrated

“I hate to use a clich, but I couldn’t put it down.” — Joe Henderson, Runner’s World

“I’m jealous. This is very close to the kind of book I’ve wanted to write for years. . . [Parker] has shown an ability to find that vein that runners have within them, and write about it better than anyone ever has.” — Don Kardong, of Runner’s World

“I’ve read `Once a Runner’ six times and still enjoy it immensely. It continues to renew my heart to `go after the fire, not the smoke.” — J.A. Sandoz, Olympia, WA

“My 17-year-old son was transfixed with `Once a Runner’. . .” — Jon Boon, Columbia, MD

“Perhaps the best novel ever written about running. There are parts of Once a Runner that are pure poetry. I have never read descriptions of what it is to run and race as accurate and compelling as Parker’s.” — Tom Jordan, Track & Field News

“The best piece of running fiction around. Beg, borrow, or buy a copy, and you’ll never need another motivator.” — Dave Langlais, Runner’s World

“There is a remarkable parallel between the pacing of this novel and a well-run race.” — Ed Ayres, Running Times –This text refers to the Paperback edition.

(reviews and image compliments of Amazon.com)

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THUSC Sodium – 2008 Fall League Standings

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 21, 2008

THUSC Sodium continues to tear it up in Girls U13 Fall League. After a tough battle for a tie with Oregon Rush 95 Girls last weekend, Sodium is currently ranked second. Standings from OYSA are listed below. Check out the Sodium Team Blog for more details: http://sodiumu13.blogspot.com/.

Club
Info
Group A Total
Points
Games
Played
Wins Losses Ties Goals
For
Goals
Against
Ylw
Card
Red
Card
A1 : Oregon Rush 95 Girls Nike 31 12 10 1 1 32 10 2 0
A4 : THUSC United Sodium 27 13 8 2 3 21 10 0 0
A5 : LOSC – Extreme 25 13 8 4 1 24 12 2 0
A3 : FC Portland Platinum – 95 19 12 6 5 1 16 14 0 0
A7 : Keizer – Hotshots 15 11 5 6 0 13 13 1 0
A6 : ESUFC Arsenal 11 11 3 6 2 8 15 0 0
A8 : EMFC 95 Magic 10 12 3 8 1 5 18 0 0
A2 : WSM Strikers 1 12 0 11 1 2 29 5 0

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Bunchgrasser’s quote of the day

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 14, 2008

“We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.”

-Emil Zatopek

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Another ring at the small park

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 14, 2008

I had a couple of hours Saturday morning so I headed back over to the small park that I found my last ring at. I was planning to cover more of the grass there that I wasn’t able to finish last time.

However, when I arrived I noticed they had done some excavation at the park. On one end of the grass field they had scraped out a 30×40 foot section and piled the dirt around the perimeter. I know this park is old so I spent most of my two hours covering the scrape and dirt piles pretty thoroughly. I just knew there would be some old silver coins in those piles. Unfortunately all I found was a few clad coins and lots of screw caps. I believe this particular park was the place to drink beer judging by the sheer number of screwcaps I’ve found.

Anyway, I had about 25 minutes left so I walked over to the playground and hit the wood chips for awhile. I wasn’t getting many hits so I think the playground equipment might have been added recently. As I came around the bottom of the slide my MXT got a solid 30 VDI hit. I kicked away the chips with my foot and saw this ring. It is stamped 18k GP (gold plated) – so not valuable, but it was nice to get any ring on that short hunt. The pinkish stone is likely glass and the ring has eagles on each side. I’ll add it to my collection.

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Portland Marathon – 4:33:53

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 6, 2008

Yeah baby! I’m a marathoner now…

After more than a year of training and several frustrating injuries, I finally completed my first marathon on Sunday. My 4:33:53 finishing time isn’t likely to impress anyone, but I’m savoring the accomplishment nonetheless. My average per-minute pace was 10:27 and I placed 3746 out of 7498. Not too bad for a first-timer with a knee injury.

My status was questionable right up until the night before due to my sore knee. As I’ve documented on this blog – I acquired my sore knee on an 18 mile benchmark run many weeks ago and it has been slow to heal. I was leery of running such a long distance with knee pain, but at the same time I would have been crushed to miss the Portland Marathon again this year.

So, I showed up at the start line at 6:30am on Sunday morning. I stood in a long line to take my turn in the portable john. It was still kind of dark and cool but not cold. I wore an old white long sleeve t-shirt over my black Dri-Fit short sleeve running shirt. I ended up tossing the sleeves in mile 2 after I warmed up a little. I stepped into the sea of runners somewhere in the 3rd or 4th wave and waited for the starting horn. I had 2 GU gels (Espresso Love – naturally) and my Ipod Nano with exactly 4 hours and 30 minutes of music designed to keep me in “the zone”. I also tucked a $20 bill and my cell phone into my Ipod armband just in case I needed to be rescued somewhere along the course.

The first 5 miles went fine with a short loop downtown and then up Front Avenue to Barbur Blvd and then back. From there the course took us out Front Avenue into the industrial sector with the turnaround point at mile 9. This area is not exactly “scenic” but there were lots of supporters along the course cheering and plenty of drink stations. As I recall, the first of several Gummi Bear stations was in this area as well. I’m normally not a big fan of Gummi Bears, but on this day I was tossing em’ down.

I have to say that putting my name ‘Danny” on my bib was a great idea. I lost count of how many times supporters yelled my name along with some encouraging words. I’m sure if you’ve ran a few marathons this type of support isn’t important – but I can tell you assuredly that it helped me. So, I smiled, waved and enjoyed the sites along the way. Aside from guys peeing behind trees and some girls peeing behind trucks, the scenery was interesting and kept my mind off my knee.

At around mile 11 we left Front Avenue for a short tour of NW Portland which eventually dropped us onto St. Helens Road around mile 13. Now all had been going well up to this point. My knee was sore and achy but not causing any serious problems. I don’t know when I noticed but it had started raining and my shoes were pretty soaked at this point. I knew the blisters would come – but I couldn’t afford to think about anything negative. I recall dodging puddles and cussing the strong headwind on the long slog toward the St. Johns Bridge. I had been warned that you can see the bridge from the distance, but it is deceptively far away.

By the time I passed mile 16 and saw the long, steep ramp that takes you up onto the St. Johns Bridge, my knee had definitely taken a turn for the worse and was really bothering me. I could see that the majority of people were walking up the ramp but I continued a slow jog until the last 100 feet where I started walking also. It saved my knee and gave me a minute to reflect on where I was on the course. I made the turn onto the bridge and focused on getting to mid-span. I knew that once I made it over that bridge I would finish the race. There would be no quitting and no turning back. I just knew it. Heading down the other side of the bridge was an amazing feeling. I got a serious mental lift and felt like I had energy to spare. I even had enough energy to pump my fist and yell something incoherent as I passed a videographer while making the turn onto Willamette Blvd. Yeehaw! I made it past the bridge and it would be smooth sailing from here on out. Little did I know what would come in the next mile…

You know, we’ve all heard the phrase “hitting the wall”, and honestly I’ve always wondered what that actually meant. Since this was my first marathon, I’ve never had the chance to experience this before. Well, all I can say is that it got ugly really quickly after passing the 18 mile point.

I don’t think I really noticed how badly I felt for awhile, but at some point my face became permanently affixed with a grimace of pain and I started having thoughts of quitting. I recall thinking that the remaining 8 miles might as well have been 28 miles because there was no way I could do it either way. Willamette Blvd just happens to have a number of wide, flat speed bumps and each time I went over one – a jarring bolt of pain went up my legs. My mind had me convinced that every patch of wet, muddy grass along side the street would be as comfortable as my bed at home. I really, really wanted to just lay down for a couple of minutes. I’m pretty sure that I would have done that except stepping up onto the curb would have required some serious thought and effort on my part. Luckily I chose to keep running.

I passed mile 19 and, although I was a complete zombie I kept plugging away. I still had enough sense to realize that if I just kept moving I would see another mile marker in 10-11 minutes. I also knew that the blisters on my feet were getting worse and there was nothing I could do about it. I applied lots of Body Glide and Vaseline before the race, but the wet shoes & socks eventually wore away my protection.

At mile 20 there was a view of Portland’s industrial sector off to the right. It wasn’t much to look at but the change in scenery did help a bit. From there we passed the University of Portland campus and began a long downhill section that couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Basically it was coasting for half a mile and man did it feel good for awhile.

Miles 22-23 took me under the freeway and then up an overpass before cruising by the Memorial Coliseum. A hard right turn put me on the Broadway bridge and I was headed back over the river. The course narrowed considerably on the bridge and for the first time since the start of the race – I was shoulder to shoulder with other runners. We circled around and headed south on Naito Pkwy toward the finish. At this point I was completely spent and beyond running on fumes – I was running on pure determination. I didn’t dare stop to walk as it would have been nearly impossible to start running again.

I grabbed another cup of Gleukos and slowed down to drink it before making the final push to the finish. There were lots of supporters along the street now and hearing the cheers helped a lot. I focused on the pavement ahead of me and finally looked up to see the Salmon Street sign. It was such an amazing feeling knowing that I was about 3 blocks from the finish.

When I crossed the finish line they put a space blanket over my shoulders and pointed me toward the medals table. And, I kid you not, the last song on my Ipod play list – Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd was playing as they hung my medal around my neck. I was having trouble standing on my own and I think someone pushed me toward the tables of food. In 5 minutes I had downed some apple and orange slices, grapes, string cheese, several cookies, carton of yoghurt, bag of chips and a bottle of chocolate milk. I felt sick after that.

I found a chair to rest for awhile and then I managed to get through the t-shirt line and get my picture taken. As I stumbled through the crowd to the reunion area – a wave of emotion hit me. For the first time, I was able to focus on the accomplishment and not the pain. I just ran my very first marathon! Holy crap – I just ran 26.2 miles!

Yeah baby! I’m a marathoner now…

Posted in Running | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Another 5.5 mile run tonight

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 1, 2008

And…yes my knee is still a little sore, but it didn’t necessarily slow me down. Now I must decide whether to run the marathon on Sunday. I’m about 95% sure that I won’t be able to finish the race. It’s almost a given that my knee will start hurting long before the race is over. So, do I run and get some value from the $90 registration fee? Or do I cut my losses and look ahead to the next marathon? Having that “DNF” next to my name will be tough on my ego. I’m obviously torn – but I need to decide by Saturday evening. Wish me luck…

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