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LDR February Musings

posted in JoMo's Musings by Last Ditch Racing


Some more random musings and updates from Triple Caution Farm. I find it hard to separate the rally updates from life updates/musings because rallying is intertwined through everything else in my life. :-)

Seems like we just completed the Team O'Neil rally last weekend, although it's been a couple of weeks now. We were a bit off the pace from the get-go. We had a nasty whistling noise in the engine bay under full boost. We figured it was the spare turbo we had to use for the event, and I think the noise really played into my not being as aggressive in my driving as I could've/should've been.

I drove us into a snowbank, and we spent about 8 minutes in there. Spectators were amazing and lifted and tugged us out. Thanks to everyone who helped. We finished the event, but at that point, were no longer in contention for a podium so took it relatively easy the rest of the day.

New turbo has arrived from Blouch Turbo in PA. Great folks to work with. I can't say enough about how knowledgeable and helpful they were on the phone. I spoke with three other well-known turbo shops and no one conveyed the sense of knowledge that Blouch did.

We're in the midst of making preparations for the Regional Rally Championship event at 100 Acre Wood in Missouri. 2.5 days of driving from Maine and we'll be there! ;-) Ordered soft gravel tires and will bring every other type of tire we have! Who knows that the weather will be like. Making hotel reservations, checking documents for trailer, rally car, tow rig. Getting crew travel arranged. It's a huge logistical undertaking and really my least favorite part of rallying. When the rally starts, that's when I finally get to work! :-)

So, between now and the time we leave on the 23rd, we'll put the new turbo on, check the rally car over for any other damage. Most likely replace the inner and outer tie-rod ends. The Sprinter haul rig will get it's 12" subwoofer installed(we need the bump!), and a new balljoint up front. Trailer will get some R+R on the brake system. If it's not the rally car that needs help, it's some other component of the infrastructure!

Some more musings on fitness. I've lost about 47 pounds since I started going to the gym a year ago and working with my trainer, Scott Kahkonen at USA Fitness here in Bangor. Scott tortures me once a week, and I do a cycling class and Body Combat class with him once each week as well. Couple of nights at Karate with my oldest son each week, and that's my routine.

So why am I posting about fitness?! Well, the reaction I've received from friends and family has been odd and mixed. Some people ask me if I'm sick. I think they see my Livestrong wristband and think I have cancer. I started wearing it after a Livestrong fundraising campaign at the gym in the fall. In my line of work as a PA, I've cared for many cancer patients in a primary care role. Of course, Lance Armstrong is inspirational to me as well for his work on, and off, the bike.

The strangest reaction is when people tell me that they think I'm obsessed with fitness and tell me I need to stop or gain weight back! My cholesterol has fallen to great levels, I'm finally at a point where my BMI qualifies as nomal and not overweight or obese. I'm eating what I need(and yes still have chocolate and other goodies from time-to-time) and doing some high protein replacements after heavy workouts.

So what's wrong with being fit?! I haven't figured it out. Believe me, I really don't want to get off the couch and go to the gym, but I'm working for myself, my family and my trainer. If I can increase my general health, decrease my risk of developing cardiac disease, diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and be around longer to drive my kids crazy, so much the better! Oh yeah, I have to buy a smaller race suit now because I look like I stole a bigger man's suit! ;-)

Let's talk Missouri and 100AW. Last year, we had a great run in the event, but had a speeding penalty, costing us the win. Completely our fault. We had no speedometer(drive in the tranny doesn't work) and the Terratrip(rally computer) wasn't working for the entire event either. I thought I had slowed enough for the speed control, but obviously not.

So, we had a great event, with a podium finish. Just wasn't the result we had worked for. So, this year, we need to step it up even more. The Krolikowski's are coming off a great finish at Sno-Drift, so I imagine they'll have some good confidence going into the event. Although not having a great finish at O'Neil's recently, we did shake down the new changes to the car and all was fine. A bit of tweaking, and a new turbo, and we should be good to go.

Competing at long haul events takes a different kind of mentality, than a regional event. We'll have 2, 12 hour days in the rig towing down and back, and 4 days on event in Missouri. A town we don't know. Trying to find the restaurants, tire shops, car part shops, Wal-Mart, etc, all adds to the complexity of managing a team in an unfamiliar environment.

So, we'll do what we do best. Get the movement plan done, order the fuel, mount the tires, check the car three times and hit the road on the 23rd, hoping to have a great scrap in Missouri with the other Regional Rally Champions! :-)

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