Friday, April 24, 2009

Updates Updates

What's new out yonder you may wonder? Well, not a whole lot. Been busy socializing I will say. I have been making new friends and acquaintances exponentially the last few weeks. Doing such has kept me busy and away from spending time in front of this computer updating you all, or on the phone talking to those that I do talk with.

Biggest deal I suppose you could state is the recent date I went out on Wednesday night. The assistant Athletic Director Megann opted to take me to a bar & grill called the Trough over on/by the Dos Rios Gold Course. She is 24 like I and a graduate of Slippery Rock University back home in PA. Nice thing was that she knew of areas that were familiar to me...IUP, Pittsburgh, etc. I must say I was slightly intimidated by her physically b/c she is 6 foot 2. Ha. Cutting to the chase, do I see potential in a relationship? No. Do I see a good friend? Yes.

What else fun happened this week you may ask? Well, I have continually been afforded the opp to play ultimate frisbee with some students that play on the field outside my building multiple times a week. As recently as last evening, in the shadow of a capture the flag bust, we played a game of ultimate with a light up disc. Pretty awesome fun to get out and mix it up with slightly younger humans. I tell you, being around a college atmosphere makes you feel younger...at least for me. I'm not sure how Amy feels. Anyways, the more I talk to current faculty in my department, the more they encourage me to become a professor like them. I have received comments on how I interact well with students and seem to have a knack to teach subject matter. This is all very positive feedback. I am not 100% decided, but I believe that it will be my intended path of study...becoming a professor that is. One step at a time. Nothing new as far as graduate school yet. This month's top 2 choices are Chico State in California, and University of Colorado in Boulder. I hear the latter has a great Ex. Phys program.

What the crap else? Well, the weather here has been pretty delicious the past few days. Highs in the 60's, which to you back East may seem cold, but in reality it's quite warm here. Even summertime here only gets into the high 80's (if we are lucky) I hear. But being closer to the sun :) we feel warmer at lower temps than ya'll. Warm enough to be shirtless - as I can attest to yesterday during my run with Scott.

Lastly, no news yet from the Club at Crested Butte. My source Madelyn is dependable but its the folks that run the ship that are shifty. I think it's a stressful time up there b/c they are over budget on their renovations and so forth, so we'll play it cool till mid-May, at which point I will call hoping for answers. If I don't get that job, I'm not entirely sure what I'll do for summer work yet. I get paid I think approx. 50 percent less in the summer for my work here at the college so it could be rouggggggggh till work is found.

Training to go climb Mt. Hood, Jefferson, and Rainer still goes well. My running and hiking is going to help me for sure. As of this morning, I'm clean shaven in preparation to start growing my beard for the climbs! haha. Love that ability to grow facial hair.

Take care ya'll. Catch you when I do!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hike to Signal Peak (behind the college)

video

So not the best video, but y0u can still see the vantage point and how here in Gunnison we are situated in a surrounding of mountains! Snowed a bunch on Thursday eve/Friday morning but tis almost all gone by today...at least down out of the mountains. Hard to tell in this video. Hope all is well! ttys

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And....BACK

Hello peoples. I am back in Gunnison finally...well I have been since Sunday evening. As you may recall, this past weekend I was in Loveland (just North of Denver 40 minutes or so) for the Easter holiday with my cousins Renee and Lory, Renee's husband and children, and Lory's new friend Jason. It was nice to have some family time out West here because my family was doing the same back in Indiana (minus of course Erica, Ev, and Elana in Illinois).

I am excited to announce to you guys, my readers, a new Blog I started as part of my job at the college. It is a blog designed around exercise and sport science topics. So, each week I will post a new topic for discussion amongst any and all peoples interested. No log-in is required. Just visit the blog (http://haplabblog.blogspot.com/), read up, comment if you'd like. It will be a great source for exercise topics and almost mimic an exercise forum. Why is this good? Well, many of you probably wish you had a better handle on your exercise habits and/or lifestyle activity habits. This blog will be your chance to ask any questions pertaining to exercise/activity/nutrition and have expert feedback all free of charge! Tell your friends, family, co-workers, etc. It is my brainchild. I intend to maintain it every week...even better than this blog (no sad faces! haha). So yes...

I believe last post left you with the news that I was not being offered a job at the Club at Crested Butte. Well, after speaking with the lady that works there that I know, she stated that they are 99% sure that they want to bring me on-board for summer. So I am waiting for the day they call and offer me a job. We'll see!!!

Otherwise, things continue to go well. Today and yesterday have been sunny and in the high 50's. Can't complain...though there is a chance of snow tomorrow through Saturday I believe. Crazy spring-time weather. For those unaware, I set to go climb Mt. Rainer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rainier) in early May with my brother-in law Robbie and his friend Paul. To help ready myself for this experience I have been hiking around Gunnison with a 50 lb. pack of birdseed! Cheap training method. I look forward to it. Lucky for me though, I have altitude training on my side already...being that I live out here at 7,700 some feet.

Hope things are going well for ya'll...hurry spring time along if you can. Take care everybody.

Love,

Al

Oh and of course, new pictures have been posted from Easter as well as some sunset photos I took from the other day. As always, the website for my photos is http://picasaweb.google.com/aldsmith3. Bye!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Back in Gunny...for now.

Hello all. I am back from my Sacramento trip. All went well. The sunshine was quite a relief because with the sunshine, there was warm weather and not snow! (though it is all about melted again here in Gunny)

A lot was done in the short 3 days we visited. First off, we stayed with my cousins Shawn and Katie Claybomb. Be sure to check out my Picasa website pictures (follow the link to the left, or this one http://picasaweb.google.com/aldsmith3). Secondly, I, Scott, and Tim visited Chico California (just north of Sacramento by about 80 miles) to see one of Scott's former classmates from his doctoral program at Univ. of Northern Colorado-Greely. His friend Chen is a Biomechanics professor at Chico State. The University is a lot like my alumna matter IUP. It is a division 2 school with about 15,ooo students; and the university resides in Chico, which is about 60,000+ residents. Very beautiful campus; in fact, much more so than IUP, possibly because of the longer warm months. I am seriously considering applying there for Graduate school. As I may have stated in an earlier blog post, I intend to apply for a graduate assitantship or teacher's assistantship to defray completely or partially tution. I know I just mentioned that I look to possibly go to school in North Carolina, but perhaps I can do my doctoral work there?! The key difference is the contact I now have in the Kinesiology program at Chico state in the form of Chen (whom is in a few of the pictures).

Not forgetting the whole purpose of our trip to Sacramento though. Tim's 50 mile (!) race was on Saturday. The race started at 6 am sharp so we all got up and ready around 3:45 in the morning! Whew, talk about early. If you follow the pictures in order, they take you through the course in a sequential fashion. Scott and I were crewing for him, so after each aid station we would hop into the rental car and rush off to the next station about 5 or so miles down the course to offer him food, gatorade, water, mental support, etc. Made for a busy morning. Cousin Shawn met me at the 2nd to last aid station (Rattlesnake Bar nature area) and got some photos as well. For those of you that keep in touch with him, feel free to email him for his take and perhaps photos. One nice thing about starting a race at 6 am is that it finishes decently early too! Tim finished 5th overall and was only 12 minutes behind the winner. He finished at 6 hours and 16 minutes! What an accomplishment. 650 people entered the race and an unknown amount probably didn't finish.

The wager for next year is that Shawn will pay for both Scott, Tim, and I's race registration costs, if we all enter it and finish it! Can you imagine me doing 50 miles in a day!? Haha, lucky for me I have a year to train...going to climb lots of mountains as a cross-training effect rather than purely running distances.

Other fun things about Sacramento: Shawn has gotten into Long-Boarding (a longer skate board), and taught Scott and I how to. I took a bit more passionately to the sport than Scott did but at least he tried it a number of times. I will try to put some videos up from our few skating sessions in Shawn's neighborhood. By the way, the pictures of his house and the houses around are quite beautiful. Do check them out please! (http://picasaweb.google.com/aldsmith3)

Things continue to go well. I had 1 Lactate Threshold test in the lab yesterday; one today, and a VO2 max test later today as well as tomorrow! Thursday morning will find me off on a field trip to Denver with the college to tour exercise physiology facilities and sports-related businesses. The trip lasts till Friday afternoon, at which point I am planning to head to Renee Early's (my 1st cousin) house for Easter weekend. Her sister Lory, my cousin as well, will be coming into town Friday night as well. Should be a fun weekend with extended family; though I will be missing all of you back in Indiana for the first Easter in memory. Do take care this Easter season and cherish what you have; never know when it could go away.

Talk to you peoples soon.

Love,
Alan

P.S. Oh and before I forget, I did hear about the job at the country club in Crested Butte; they are still undergoing budget restraints - partially due to the economy, and their 2 million dollar renovation, so if I do get hired it won't be until late May before the grand-reopening. I'm not crossing my fingers on it, but I am hopeful. We'll see. ttyl.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1st...

Well I could start this off by saying it snowed last night...APRIL FOOL'S!!!! but then I would be disappointing in more than one way. Sadly, it did snow last night and is still currently putting down such as I write! I'd say there is an easy 6 to 8 inches on the ground right now, and it's increasing! So much for a good April Fool's day trick. Perhaps I'm getting too old...hmm...NEVER! Since I already broke the ice for the April Fool's thing, I feel it is too late to start with a new one so let's just move on.

For those of you that read this and had a chance to be in town this past weekend, then you probably might have gotten to see me. For those of you that live in Indiana but did not get to see me, I apologize. Even my family - Mom, Dad, Steph and Rob only got to see me for a good solid evening of dinner. You probably think I flew home right? Wrong; I had the grand idea to drive home...haha. The real reason was so I could switch out mom and dad's vehicle that I had used to haul out the uhaul, in favor of my small 4 door Mazda Protege. So I left here in Gunnison last Wednesday morning (the 25th) and traveled to Lincoln Nebraska to stay with Lory Baker, my cousin. After a delicious dinner, good conversation, and a few card games I went to sleep in order to wake up early to drive to Erica and Ev's in Champaign, IL. I was delighted to reach their house by about 3 pm local time. Getting there early allowed me time to visit and play with that beautifully cute niece of mine, Elana Kay. Not forgetting the important part either, I got to visit with Erica and Ev as well! Early Friday morn found me on the road again for good ol' Indiana, PA!

I arrived by about 3 pm in the afternoon eastern standard time, dr0pped my car off to be looked at before it's trip back West, and then had a wonderful evening with friends uptown. I did not get to see all the friends I would have liked to, but the most important ones I did get to see and that was fine with me. Can't please everyone. Saturday, I was invited to play in a wiffleball tournament at the Rose Inn with my good friend Adam, as well as some other friends from Indiana that I know. After which, I hung out with Rotten Robbie (oh how he hates that name, haha) and then eventually had dinner that evening with the fam at Steph and Rob's pad. Sunday morn found me up early packing and anticipating a delicious breakfast with mom and dad at home. I was sad to have spent so little time with mom and dad...next time you two!

I repeated the same route on the way back out except for one small detail. I first traveled to Erica and Ev's; slept the night, and then headed West on the same route as I had come East except that instead of staying with Lory I went straight for her sister Renee's house in Loveland, Colorado. Needless to say, after 15+ hours of driving, I made it! I wasn't exhausted as you might think; I think at that point you are beyond tired and just wired for survival! haha. That was Monday, and of course Tuesday morning found me driving from Loveland (which is just North of Denver aka the Front Range) to Gunny.

So I'm back into the swing of things. All in all I traveled ohhh easily 3,500 miles by car in 7 days!!!!! Wow, that seems a lot, and it's not terribly bad by yourself I think b/c at least you have no one to argue with when you get cranky...

So today is Wednesday and tomorrow obviously Thursday...well, where I'm going with this is that I'm actually headed back out the door tomorrow at noon time; this time though with Scott and our friend Tim Par. We first will be driving to Denver International Airport from which we will be flying to Sacramento International!! A little bit about Tim Par, 23 or so years of age, lean and muscular, exceptional distance runner. He is the reason for this trip further West. He is running, on Saturday, in the American River 50 mile race (http://www.run100s.com/AR50/)...check out the link to learn more! Lucky for us though, Shawn and Katie Claycomb are graciously offering their house and hospitality for the duration of our stay; which goes till Sunday afternoon. Scott and I are fairly confident Tim will do quite well and maybe/probably win the race, if his head is straight. He has been training hard for this race and Scott is pretty much his coach. I joke with Scott and say that if he's the coach then I'm the road manager...planning the trip, lodging, etc. And, lucky for us, since I am an employee of Hertz, we are renting a car using my employee discount for a mere 14 bucks a day! Lucky/fortunate us!

So, that is the news from the past week and the news yet to come for this week/weekend. Wow, the snow continues to come down...jolly good (hope you caught the sarcasm). Take care and would love to talk to any and all of you soon. Haven't heard from some people in a while. Oh well, Happy April!

Oh and P.S., as always, Pictures have been posted to my Picasa website...click the link that follows to view (http://picasaweb.google.com/aldsmith3)


Alan