While much of the human-focused section of the sciences is going bananas over the discovery of a new species of African monkey, I’ve found out that one of the professors in my Anthropology department was a part of the team behind the all-important discovery. Dr. Detweiler is one our department’s most respected professors and serves as a beacon to the level of quality the department prides itself on. This discovery only serves to further bolster that. Now, I wish that the University as a whole took this as seriously as we do and started offering more classes! Offer less sections of b.s. intro classes and offer more interesting, in-depth 3000 and 4000 level classes, the stuff people are interested in!

As an aside, back in 2008, Dr. McCarthy simulated what a neanderthal may have sounded like. This was a huge deal when he released his research — I was enrolled in his “Evolution and Creationism” class at the time — and he was over-the-moon about its reception, for obvious reasons. He was/is a great professor, I’m sad that FAU didn’t give him a full professorship, we badly need more like him. And like Dr. Detweiler.

Another Tough Owl workout. Overall, this one was a little easier than the first one but only because I was acclimated to the exercises and the guys competing. I managed to get in some time on the tire and became very acquainted with the Atlas stone…to the tone of smacking my chin with it. The tire decided I wasn’t beat up enough and left some nice bruises on my arms.

All weights are estimates, we have no reliable way to weigh a tire this huge or a safe way (on the field) to weigh the Atlas stones.

Farmer’s walk: 100ft , 125lb each hand (I think, I slapped 2x25lbs on each handle)

Tire flip: 2x100ft , 1x75ft in ~45secs. Approx weight ~200lbs

Atlas stones:
3×5 150lbs
1×12 150lbs (AMRAP 1 minute, competition time)

Slater’s Log clean & press: 1×3 135lbs (weight is approximate since we don’t know what the log itself weighs. Weight is log + 2x25lbs plates)

So far, my weaknesses are still the C&P and Farmer’s walk. In the gym, I can regularly do standing military presses or overhead shoulder push-press up to about 115lbs without struggling too much but we have to reset after each rep, so we’re forced to clean and press this god awful log each time. Farmer’s walk is another story altogether. I can easily walk the handles, even with a transition at the end, their dead weight is about 80-90lbs. I’m OK with added plates until we get to add 25lb plates to each side, that’s when my grip starts going out. It’s not so much that I can’t lift the weight, the handles are shearing my grip apart after about 60 feet, which is 40 feet short of the 100 ft distance we’ll use in competition. According to the lift sheet, we’ll be adding 2x45lb plates to each handle in competition and I literally cannot even lift that. Not only are my hands not that strong, my traps aren’t that strong yet either.

These last two weeks since my last post have been filled with football, school business, and my on again/off again love affair with ITB pain. It’s been mostly football and stuff at school since we’ve passed our midterms time and are plodding right into presentations and papers that need to be written. In the time off from that, there’s been a lot of fun stuff we’ve been doing in the Owl Photography Club with workshops and I even gave a 101 presentation on the basics of controlling exposure in your photos. I am trying to plan the next workshop but have not come up with a good topic just yet, I think I have about two weeks before I need to be ready, so I hope the presentation gnomes visit me in my sleep to plant ideas. Last week’s Owls game versus Middle Tennessee State was much better than our home opener even though we lost again. The Owls managed to rack up perhaps three times as many total yards against MTSU than they did against Western Kentucky, so things should be even better in our remaining home games.

Yesterday (Sunday) was my first official 5k in six weeks since the Freedom 5k last month. It was overcast — it has been raining for four days straight with most of South Florida flash flooding on Friday night — so the temperatures were excellent for a great run. How great? So great that I PR’ed the race at 30:15.6, a 5k PR I am definitely proud of. That is 61 seconds faster than last month and over two minutes faster than my race in July. But it gets better! How? Thanks to now being 30, I snagged 5th in my age group! I even managed to best my old coworker Pepe by over a minute even though his group of four served as my pacers for over half the race. I ended up pulling away from them at about the 2.3 mile mark, at which point I also pulled my shoes off. I am not sure how I did it but I managed to hold their roughly 9:45 pace the whole time I was running. Frankly, I am not sure how I even held that pace the whole race! Even when training, I rarely hit splits close to the 10:00 mark, let alone running an entire race fifteen seconds faster than that. I am super excited about this new time since I am seeing time improvements despite only running once a week on average since the race last month, even with the ITB injury.

Coming up this weekend is the Champions Mud Bash, a race I have been anticipating since May or June. It will be my first mud run/obstacle run so it should be a ton of fun based on materials I have seen from other, similar runs. By the way things are looking, I am going to be running at least one of these a month until next summer although I may be doing two this month if I am up to doing the Superhero SCRAMBLE in Deerfield Beach next week. This also happens to be the site of December’s Warrior Dash, so it would basically be a warm-up for that race. My only worry now is that I will be getting my only pair of shoes super dirty here pretty soon and since my recent barefootin’ has only resulted in more hip pain, I need to get some new shoes STAT! I would like to try out some Brancas but I also want to try out the new Merrell Road Gloves from their 2012 collection but they are not being released for another few weeks. I may even finally try out some monkey toe shoes from Vibram or even those weird Adidas Adipure Trainers. I have eyed Vibrams for years and have never taken the plunge but I finally have a reason to, plus I could use another pair of shoes any way, I am already wearing through the flip flops I bought two or three months ago.

While not running related, as I was writing this, I took my niacin supplement and it just kicked in. I truly hate taking this stuff but my doctor seems to think it will help with my overall cholesterol numbers. This stuff sucks terribly. For those of you who have never had the displeasure of taking it, it flushes your skin after you take it. It does this by rapidly expanding your blood vessels and rushing blood to your skin. What does this feel like? Well, the first time I ever took it, I felt like I was going to vomit and my skin was on fire. I was very nauseous and I really felt like I was on fire, my skin was incredibly hot to the touch. Now that I have been taking it and my body is used to it, the flush is not as bad as it used to be but it still feels awful. Think about the last time you went to the beach and got sunburned, that’s how I feel right now. This stuff is awful. I want off this crap as soon as possible.

This weekend was the inaugural football game in Florida Atlantic University’s brand new football stadium! It was a total BLAST! The stadium itself is beautiful and is a welcome addition to our campus. While I think the name of “FAU Stadium” is boring and generic, I hope that next year it will be renamed to Howard Schnellenberger Stadium to honor Coach Schnellenberger who has worked for the last 13 years to get a stadium on FAU’s main campus in Boca Raton. If that name sounds familiar, it should, he is the former head coach of the University of Miami’s national championship team in 1983, worked with Bear Bryant at Alabama (and recruited Namath there!), former head coach for the University of Louisville and now he has built up the FAU football program for the last eleven years. The stadium is the culmination of his work at the university and we are all indebted to him for it.

While the FAU Owls did not bag a win in their home opener — or score :( — it was so much fun. The stadium was abuzz with life and energy, even in our terrible fourth quarter slump. I cannot wait for next week’s game against Middle Tennessee State, I just hope I don’t tailgate too much! Speaking of tailgating, the OWL Photography Club was on-hand for the campus’s first ever tailgate and it was a campus-wide party. We parked all the way in one of the south lots furthest from the stadium and by the time my girlfriend and I got to the stadium, I think I saw people tailgating in every parking lot we passed. The Breezeway quad was packed to the gills with frats, sororities, and other clubs all partying it up in school spirit. I took a ton of pictures that still need to be edited but will be on our Facebook page. In the upcoming games, I hope that we will be able to get some media passes to shoot the action from the field. For this game, our treasurer Melissa was on-field shooting but I want to push to get at least 5 or 6 of us down there to broaden the experience for everyone in the club. I am anxious to see her shots but may have to wait since she was shooting for the school newspaper, the University Press/UP. We will make sure that we get some FAU Owls coverage before the season ends in December!

The best part of our stadium besides the awesome Jumbotron? You can see the Atlantic Ocean from the press boxes, only stadium in the country with that kind of view!