Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Cohutta Planning

As I stated yesterday, I have decided to go ahead and race the Cohutta 100 mountain bike race on April 19. This will be my first 100 mile race but I am getting some good training so I'm confident that I'll be prepared for it physically.

Mental preparation is always the hardest for these endurance events. A couple days ago, someone mentioned that I should dedicate each mile to someone and use that as motivation throughout the race. Well, that's where you come in. I have decided to dedicate these miles to members of our Armed Forces and contractors who are working in Afghanistan and Iraq. I'm saving some space on the list as well for a couple friends that I have working as missionaries in different parts of the world like India and the Ukraine. I plan to write these names on a new jersey from Primal Wear Clothing with the US Army logo on it and wear it for the race. That way I have the list with me during the race and I can look down and see the names of these
folks and after saying a prayer for their safety, keep on with what I'm there
to do. Here is what the jersey will look like (

Therefore, if you know someone who is serving in Afghanistan or Iraq --whether they are a contractor or military -- and you'd like me to add them to the list, please send me their name and location. Same goes if you know a missionary you'd like to add. I will put this info on the jersey like this "Elbert Hwang, Afghanistan." The week before the race I will post a picture of the jersey covered with these names on this page. If I need more space, then I'll get the arm warmers as well!

I know this is a bit different, but thank you for your time. I'm sure that our
folks overseas appreciate our thoughts and prayers so let's not forget them!

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Maybe one day I'll figure out how to change that huge picture at the top of this page!

A lot has happened since my last post. I got a new job working with a mid sized commercial general contractor in Atlanta, I moved this last weekend into a new apartment, my nephew, Isaac, had yet another surgery (thank God there were no complications at all this time), and my social life is not suffering either. I’ve also been presented an opportunity to go mountain biking in Tibet for a few days this summer. Of course, after all this starts happening, I get an email today from a firm that I wanted to work for about a job in Kabul that they are looking at me to fill.

The last two months have been an absolute whirlwind of happenings and emotions. At the start of the year, I was planning to put my life on hold and head back to Kabul and here I am back in Marietta where I have family not far to the north and south, friends, my church, my job (relocating in April to 10 min from my apartment) and, oh yea, a great trail that’s a 3 minute ride from my front door. I live next door to the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area, aka Sope Creek. Sope just happens to be one of my top 3 favorite places to ride. There are some challenging technical climbs backed up with fast sketchy descents and if you clean everything you try, well, it was a great day! I can get a 13 mile loop there so with (6) of these technical climbs tossed in there, it makes for a great workout.

Along those lines, I’ve decided to do my first hundred miler. I was planning to do this race last year before I went overseas so to get the opportunity this year is great. I’ll be doing the Cohutta 100 which is just up the road a piece in beautiful north GA, with the start / finish being at the Ocoee Whitewater Center near Ducktown, TN. This will be a good precursor for the Tibet trip and will be a big accomplishment. Of course, I have done centuries on the road, but a mtn bike century is another deal indeed. I’ve been getting some great workouts in that include running, swimming, weight training, and riding so I believe that I will be prepared physically. My goal is to complete this race in 10 hours, while being happy with 12 ;) Of course, I’ll keep you posted here with a race report and pictures.

No back to our regularly scheduled program.