The Waffle House Chronicles...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hey Mark, where have you eaten lately?

Funny you should ask! I have all of my 2005 eating in a spreadsheet. I will do a statistical analysis at the end of the year with charts and everything. But to give you a brief look, here is where I’ve been most in 2005 (year to date) with a + meaning I have went more often lately and a – meaning I haven’t went as often lately.
Chilis: 13
Taco Bell: 10
Red Robin: 9-
Delitalia: 8-
Olive Garden: 6+
Tumbleweed: 6-
JT Whitneys: 6+
McDonalds: 6

Note: Papa Johns leads the pizza category (5). Dunkin Donuts leads the donut category (4) and was eaten on 4 consecutive days. Note also that the 5 non fast-food restaurants are basically the “rotation”.

Mid-week update!

Last night= 3 more pasta bowls. Jess had a hankerin’ for the Pasta Bowl and who am I to say no? I added the optional meatballs for $1.95 only to find out that Olive Garden’s meatballs are pretty tasteless. We watched a vacation video about Disney World last night and I am very excited to go again! We totally have to rebook our trip as Allegiant Air no longer flies out of Madison so we are in the process of doing that. A little research goes a long way as we have found lots of great deals and even a coupon for Jungle Jims! Also got my new speakers last night so the home theater should be rockin’ even more pretty soon!

I am playing Jak2 now and the stage I tried to tackle this morning is such a pain and is one of the most difficult mission’s I have ever experienced in Video Games (should be easier than the last stage on GTA 3 though.) Shooting is my weakest video game skill.

Will finish the week 2-2 (2-3 if you include fantasy football) which sucks after a 5-0 week last week (6-0 with FF.) No more hockey though! Volleyball team is still in 1st place (9-3) and so is kickball (3-0-1.) FF team is 1-1 despite being the highest scoring team. Barry (Sofa King Amazing) is 2-0 and is like the 9th highest scoring team.

J.Bro gave up some bone marrow on Tuesday. That is friggin' insane! I didn’t know anything about it and after reading his recap I admire that he donated even more so! Get well soon man, that is awesome!!!

That’s all I got… I wonder what Riz is doing right now?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Boggle time! A night of Boggle, cards, games, food, friends and fun will occur this Friday.

When: Friday night, after work
Who's invited: All wanna be Boggle players who know me, post it you want to come and I'll e-mail you directions
Defending champ: Riz (dammit)
Other games to be played: Oh Hell will be played for sure, easy to learn & fun to play. We will also have a players choice round where the most random person at the event will choose a game.

If Russell comes we will also entertain some fun charades...

Monday night and all the TV shows are on! No not Monday Night Football! King of Queens, How I met your Mother and Weeds! OK, right now I have both football games on but once Weeds comes on at 9 I'll be all set!

Anyways, I promised some Top 5 and Top 10 lists so here goes. Friday I had Pitch Black 2 from Mountain Dew so now I have to revise the Dew rankings. So here goes (with a 1 to 10 scale thrown in:)

1. Code Red- 9.8 Simply the best! Bottle and the gun are preferred over cans
2. Mountain Dew- 9.2 The classic! Bottle is preferred
3. Live Wire- 5.9 A very large step down from the top 2, decent for an orange
4. Pitch Black- 4.9 I don't crave grape soda much but when I do the PB is the best option
5. Pitch Black 2- 4.7 Don't drink with a meal, very unique however. Use in place of sour in your favorite mixed drink
6. Baja Blast- 1.2 The worst non-diet soda I've ever tasted. Tried it again because I didn't think it could possiblty taste that bad...but it does!

So get a 2 liter of Code Red and have yourself a great afternoon!

Pics from Chequamagon and the Ironman 2005. No action shots of me or the team yet, but here is a small taste.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Chequamagon Fat Tire 40 Race Update!

I know you all want to know how the race went so here is my race update. Stephen, Emily, Jess and I departed the Pacific Cycle parking lot at 2pm on Friday to head up north. First things first though was the stop to the Olive Garden and some neverending pasta bowls! I only was able to do 3 unfortunately but hoped it would give me the fuel needed for tomorrow's race. We arrived around sunset to Rice Lake and spent the evening watching the Brewers and hanging out with Dave and Kathy! Thanks so much for the hospitality!

We woke up early on Saturday, had some breakfast and were on our way. On the hour drive up to Hayward we all decided on our goals. I wanted to do it in under 3 hours but realistically anything under 3:15 would have made me happy. Stephen vowed not to be the last singlespeeder and Jess wanted nothing more than to finish (preferrably in under 4 hours and to beat Cornflake girl, who unfortunately didn't race.) When we reached Hayward we quickly found out we were in for more than we bargined for. We get there at just before 8 to find out that the bike area was already getting filled, I estimated there were over 500 bikes already laid out in the front. We frantically sent Emily to the registration tent and the rest of us grabbed our bikes. I weaved my way among the mass of bikes as far forward as they would let me, but still probably 40 rows back from the leaders (I probably started in the top 700. Stephen and Jess were a little move conservative starting near the back (probably about 2/3 of the way back.) After registering we hung out and got ready. We even parked by Joel and Eric from the team and Eric was searching for extra tubes (unfortunately between the three of us we only had 3 tubes so none to spare.)

The race rolled out at 10am. Unfortunately starting so far back when we heard the start cannon we still had another minute or two before we could even get rolling. Fans 3 deep lined Main street in Hayward so it was a rush. I quickly went up the right gutter to pass as many people as possible on the 2 mile road leadout, sitting in myabe 500th when entering Rosie's Field and feeling outstanding. Once we hit the grass and birkie trail, I continued to pass people. Unfortunately one of the people I passed was Eric, who had flatted. I was going to fast to even think at that point so I wasn't able to help. I would have been little help anyways, he flatted both tires. He ended up borrowing a patch kit, fixing it and was in last place for quite a while before recovering, having another flat, fixing it and finishing. Anyways a mile later I passed Joel and I knew for sure I was having a great day (he later passed me back although I never noticed.) Also my cheif rival Ebben caught me at mile 5, so I really cranked it up and never saw him again. For the first 15 miles I was passing about 10 people a mile and only getting passed by a person or two. We got to OO fast (16.5 mile mark) and then the race started to settle in.

The rest of the race was tough, although my average speed continued to rise. Unlike 95% of the people around me I was able to ride most of the long, loose dirt climb, estimating gaining 50 spots (I was forced off my bike on the second section for about 25 feet.) It was a valuable time savings as many of those people would pass me back and we ended up riding in a 20 person group after that for a while. As anyone there can attest, miles 30-34 were the toughest, rolling steep and tough hills on slow grass, but I knew my time was good (I had no watch or bike computer) so I kept marching on. I hammered with a guy I knew was better than me (some dude on a yellow Giant) just to keep my pace up. A couple more up downs and then a fast decent and grass climb to the finish, I pull up to the cheers of many (including Garett and Emily) in 2:49.50. Holy crap!

I see Joel at the finish (OK I didn't beat him) but then in the next 15 minutes I hear the names of all the people that beat me at WORS races (Edens, Gosse, Ebben all of who have medalled this year) announced as coming in, so I beat them all! My best race of the year! I even got stronger as the race went on!

Stephen came in a little later, looking dehydrated. He dropped both his waterbottles on the course and had an adventure (stopping at a rest stop and slamming cups of water and a friendly volunteer donating a bottle to him) but he said he loved this race!

Jess gave us a nice salute as she finished. She broke a part on her bike, some integrated anti-chain suck thing which got loose and messed up her chain, making her wait for 10 minutes for someone to help her fix (she didn't have any tools.) But she soldiered on and although it didn't look like she made her goal at first (4:01 was the clok when she came in) the clock ended up being a couple minutes off from the offical race time.

Here are the stats:
Mark Larson:
Finish Time: 2:47:07.5
Pace: 14.68 MPH
Age Group Place: 44th out of 106 Men 25 to 29 finishers
Overall Place: 425th out of 1655 Chequamegon 40 finishers
Division Place: 385th out of 1411 Chequamegon 40 Men finishers
Time Check 1: Double 0 Split - 16.0 Miles
Time: 1:05:26.4
Pace: 14.67 MPH
Age Group Place: 40th
Overall Place: 440th
Division Place: 395th

And the rest of my party:
Finish Time: 3:25:38.7
Pace: 11.93 MPH
Overall Place: 1144th out of 1655 Chequamegon 40 finishers
Division Place: 47th out of 58 Chequamegon 40 Single Speed Men finishers

Finish Time: 3:59:14.3
Pace: 10.26 MPH
Age Group Place: 17th out of 22 Women 25 to 29 finishers
Overall Place: 1497th out of 1655 Chequamegon 40 finishers
Division Place: 113rd out of 157 Chequamegon 40 Women finishers

We all made our goals!

Here is a photo!

Emily greated us with fudge (a good way to be greeted) and then we ended up going to Coops pizza in Hayward (highly recommended) and gorging! Stephen and Emily on pizza, Jess on a grilled cheese and fries and I on a 2/3lb cheeseburger sub! *yummy* The the long trudge back to Madison (thanks Emily for driving the whole way) and listening to the Badgers and Brewer games (yeah Badgers!)

Next time I hope we can stay longer and hang out! It was one big party and everyone was so nice!

Other notables:
Finish Time: 2:20:50.6
Pace: 17.42 MPH
Age Group Place: 8th out of 235 Men 30 to 34 finishers
Overall Place: 45th out of 1655 Chequamegon 40 finishers
Division Place: 44th out of 1411 Chequamegon 40 Men finishers

Finish Time: 2:37:47.0
Pace: 15.55 MPH
Age Group Place: 50th out of 235 Men 30 to 34 finishers
Overall Place: 246th out of 1655 Chequamegon 40 finishers
Division Place: 232nd out of 1411 Chequamegon 40 Men finishers

Finish Time: 2:37:39.5
Pace: 15.57 MPH
Age Group Place: 32nd out of 106 Men 25 to 29 finishers
Overall Place: 243rd out of 1655 Chequamegon 40 finishers
Division Place: 229th out of 1411 Chequamegon 40 Men finishers

Eric Mr. 3 Flats:
Finish Time: 3:26:41.7
Pace: 11.87 MPH
Overall Place: 1170th out of 1655 Chequamegon 40 finishers
Division Place: 48th out of 58 Chequamegon 40 Single Speed Men finishers