Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hike at Autrey Mill

Jen & Mary thought it would be a good idea not only for the boys, but also for their new puppy "Georgia" Peaches to burn some energy off on a hike; they picked Autrey Mills Nature Preserve.

None of us had ever been there before (and it's only 10-15 minutes away) so it was nice that we were seeing this for the first time.  Reading about it on their website, it states that it was a working mill, owned by the Autrey family from 1877 to the early 1900s.  It was built for grinding flour and corn.  You can read about it here.

The property is about 46 acres and has multiple trails the criss-cross yielding about 2 miles worth of hiking, which was just enough for the boys and Peaches.

One of the first things we noticed was a huge teepee and the boys raced down to it, of course one got there first...

it's not fair...
However, once they figured out they could go inside, well the seat didn't matter anymore : ) and there were trees to climb.

And if big brother could do it, well...

what determination!!!
Next to the river/creek.  I suppose this is the one that powered the mill?  Anyway, at this point we really just wanted to keep the boys out of the water...

It's a great place for hike. We read some of the signs that indicated they also have Guided Hikes - I'll have to look into that, would be fun to learn more about this.

And of course, before we left, who needs to use the bathroom?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Race 31 - Museum of Aviation Half Marathon

Race 31 - Museum of Aviation Half Marathon, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia

The Day Before

I love this part - leave work early on Friday to head south on I-75 to Macon.  It really does feel like playing hooky from school as a kid!   I needed to get to Macon by the time my grandsons got out of school.  Made it just in time with a couple of bottles of Yoo-Hoo.  This is the third year in a row where I spent the night at my daughter's house for this race.  Jen and I where both signed up to do the half.  As usual, we all headed out for their favorite Mexican restaurant for the pre-race carbo-loading meal : )  As usual, it was good.

The Day of the Race

Up early, coffee, eat a little and head down to the Museum of Aviation which is right next to Robins AFB where the race would take place.  As always, they have the museum hangar opened and it is heated so with the temperature hovering around freezing outside we were able to stay warm until the race started.

One of the neat things about this venue - aircraft all over the place!  Not what one typically sees prior to a race.

Jen & me in front of a C-130
I believe they had about 1200 people for the marathon, half marathon, and 5K.  The marathon started at 8:00 and the half at 8:15.  The picture below is the starting line for the marathon with  the old Air Force One - again, not your typical starting line.

At the starting line - Air Force One (retired)
At 8:15 the half started.   Except for the very beginning, this race was never crowded.  We exited the Museum property onto the base within a couple hundred yards.  We passed many Air Force buildings in the first 4-5 miles and then made out way towards the runway.  The scenery changes drastically when you get to the runway.  (click on photos to enlarge)

Robins AFB runway
backside of the runway

backside of the runway

we had to cross the tarmac around mile 9
Yep, the back side of the flight line was pretty much what you would expect for the back side of a flight line. After that we made out through the base golf course, horse stables, a camping ground, and finally through base housing.  

Update on the Knee

This race was a test of my left knee that I hurt during Soldier Marathon back in November.  I have taken it easy on the knee, have had no pain at all in the last 4-5 weeks.  Last weekend I did 14 miles, walking, no running, and everything felt great.  So my plan for this race - jog 1.5 minutes, walk 3.5 minutes.  I did that for the first 5 miles and everything felt okay.  Then, around mile 6, a little twinge, a little tightness.  I really thought it would go away.  It did not.  The same exact pain in my left knee that I had in Soldier Marathon, I have again.  The pain steadily got worse from mile 6.  I need to make an appointment with the Sports Medicine Doc and try to get to the bottom of this.

On a high note though, my daughter Jen got a PR today 2:14!   : )

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Homeland Security Ate My Homework

Walking, without a doubt, is my escape.  This is a good thing.  What I have discovered, the longer the walk, the longer the escape, typically.  Of course at the end of the walk, all of life's problems are still there - I just get to see them in a better (hopefully) perspective.

What does frustrate me is when there is something in my brain that I cannot escape from, even on a really long walk.  Well, that sums up my 14 mile walk this morning.  One topic kept popping back up in my head.  The thing that my brain could not escape from this morning's walk was the recent news about Homeland Security urging people to disable Java because of vulnerabilities.

At the local college where I work we have over 3000 courses, this semester, that use an LMS (Learning Management System) and requires Java.  Some of these courses are fully online and some simply augment an on ground course, however they all need Java.  The use of Java is required to do things like submit assignments or submit quizzes.  Without Java or with Java disabled, a student will not be able to do either.

So, through the years I have run into many student reasons about why they could not submit an assignment or quiz, e.g. the (electronic) dog ate my homework.  Some reasons legitimate, some not, some we'll never really know, and some incredibly entertaining. Well it appears that the newest reason will be, I could not submit my assignment because Homeland Security told me to disable Java.

I suspect next week at work will be interesting.  I just don't want to think about it now...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Walk at Georgia Gwinnett College

For 2013 my first long walk Saturday was at Georgia Gwinnett College.  To change things up a bit, for 2013 I thought I do some of my long walks at some of the local college/university campuses.  GGC is a fairly new (2006) state college in Georgia, I read on their website that Gwinnett County was the largest county east of the Mississippi without a four-year college.  Well, that is no longer true.  The 260 acre campus is located about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta and is home to about 9000 students.

Georgia Gwinnett College
The campus is fairly spread out and continues to grow.  In the picture above, it is a new Athletic Complex that they are building in the background.  I was there pretty early on this winter day but I did see quite a few signs that said "Move In Day" with arrows pointing direction.  As I made my way around campus, more and more cars/people were showing up.

Dorms at GGC
One of the biggest buildings on campus is the "B" building, with quite a unique design:

"B" Building at GGC
I once had an office in the "B" building.  Before GGC was created, this facility was actually shared by a few colleges & unversities and called Gwinnett University Center (GUC) and I was instructor for one of the colleges.  A lot has changed since I taught here, a number of new buildings and the dorms are new too.

But the biggest surprise, they have baseball now!  The GGC Grizzlies will play their very first NAIA Collegiate Baseball game on 2/8/2013.  So I made my way over to the new baseball field, the workers were hard at work building the stadium!

34 days til first pitch!
The bulldozer is in left field and you can see both dugouts & backstop in this picture.  Yeah, there's some work that needs to be done!  I'll definitely come back for a few of their games this year. 

I needed to get 10 miles for this walk in prep for a half marathon later this month, but the campus really wasn't big enough for that without looping.   So after about 4.5 miles I headed over to Suwanee Greenway for the other 5.5 miles.  The best part of the 10 miles today - no knee pain, none!  This is good.