Training Week 9: Dec. 29 – Jan. 4


Off, because I was working in the city.


TRX in the evening after work — which was a weird TRX class. It involved jumping jacks and circuits and the instructor yelling a lot. I totally get that after a day of sitting around at work, “Cardio TRX” sort of makes sense for people. The class is geared at 9-5ers who want to get a little sweat on. At this point, though, I am 100 percent sure I could be a fitness instructor, but my class would be only geared to freelancers who have a lot of time to train. It would be just the strength work I want and none of the extra bullshit.

Swam 1,500 yards relatively easy.


Biked 14 miles. I was going to ride more, but it was a long exhausting day and by the time we left, I barely made it to the end of Lucas Valley before I wanted to turn around.

Yoga routine at home.


Rode 41 miles with Steve out to Pt. Reyes. Way, way better than the day before. We actually hauled a decent amount of the ride, with me on my time trial bike, so that was fun.


Swam 3,150 yards at Masters in the morning. Oh, Masters.

Ran up Mt. Baldy after — the long way around Phoenix Lake and up the back side. It was cold. I was running across ice on the shady back side of the hill. And, it wasn’t that clear at the top because of all the fireplaces or “haze” or whatever. Still, though. It was a gorgeous run.

Saturday and Sunday

Cross-country skied. It turns out I am pretty good, for never have done it before. (That one time we tried to go in high school in Wisconsin totally doesn’t count, because my recollection is that we went almost nowhere. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure we were trying to do the wrong kind of skiing for the kind of skis we had.) But, being surprisingly good for your first time is still not the same as being actually good. So, we still sort of had to screw around on the trails, fell over some, accidentally went up a black hill, and managed about two and a half hours each day of real skiing.

TOTAL: 12:40

The cross-country skiing messed with my training a little bit. What does that count as? How much time do you have to spend not falling over for it to count? Will it translate to running fitness? And, I’m really sore in weird places today, so that sort of messes up the rest of the plan.

This was my last real week before heading back to L.A. And, things are about to get crazy as soon as I head back, so I won’t be getting as much training in. That means I wanted to get more in before I left, but you don’t always get what you want.

Getting Out of Your Head: The Mental Half of Everything

From the New Yorker
From the New Yorker

Happy 2015! Now, stop lying to yourself.

(Kidding. You can totally keep lying to yourself. I don’t care.)

I was at swim practice this morning and — as has happened many times before — I found myself wondering about the thought process going through other swimmers’ heads. I was at the back of the lane, largely because I have never done a warm-up fast in my entire life and I don’t (usually) cheat drills, so I always end up at the back before we start the main set and that’s fine. But, then, when we got to the main set, I was the only one who made all the intervals and followed all the instructions about negative splitting and descending, without “resting” any of the efforts or putting paddles on for the whole thing just so I could keep up. This is a little frustrating, but it’s mostly just mystifying.

Why would you consistently put yourself in a lane you can’t actually do the workout in? Does it make you feel better about yourself? If you have to cheat the workout, then aren’t you not really doing the workout? I totally understand pushing yourself sometimes and wanting to just see if you can hang. I’ve done it too. Sometimes it makes sense to do whatever you can to try to keep up with a lane that’s too fast for you. Sometimes that’s what you need. But, not every time.

There’s a weird mental thing that goes on in sports. I suppose it goes on in everything, in life. But, when there’s a time and a distance and a schedule, it’s impossible not to ignore what kinds of lies you tell yourself. Are they working?

As long as you can do the warm-up fast and make some of the intervals, even if you have to put on paddles and pull the whole thing, then you can still tell yourself you belong in that lane. You’re not slower than you’d like to admit; you’re just having an off day. Because I’m at the bottom end of fast when it comes to swimming, those lies are more prevalent around me. The people who aren’t close to the fast lane yet don’t care or maybe they just don’t know how far off they are. The people who are legitimately fast mostly can’t be bothered with the lies. But, those of us who are fast enough to know we’re not fast, we have the most emotional issues. We can see what we’re not.

I get in my own head a lot. It’s not my predilection for injury and accidents, or my inability to sustain large training volumes, that is my biggest problem. It’s my tendency to doubt myself, to question and worry, to see the lies for what they are.

Since I started training again for real in October and went on my racing binge, things have felt weirdly effortless. The races all hurt, but in a way that was possible to lean in to. I had my ‘this is the slowest I’ve ever gone’ and ‘I’m the worst ever’ moments, but I came back from them all. I was sure my mind had finally gotten on board. Then, the Christmas Relays were miserable and I wanted to do nothing so much as lie down on the side of the course. I started struggling in some workouts and cutting things short. Last weekend, I headed out for my hour run with four miles at goal marathon pace, following a bike ride, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it. I felt terrible and I couldn’t stop thinking about the last time I failed at this workout. I almost stopped.

But, then, instead of doing 30 minutes easy into the goal pace, I just started going faster and faster. It was hard, but at least it was hard because it was supposed to be hard. I kept waiting for it to feel effortless, to settle, for my mind to be convinced I was unconquerable again. And, finally, it did. All of a sudden 6:50s felt like I was just ticking off the miles, like I could go forever.

If I’m being honest with myself I know that I cut two miles out of the warm-up. I know that if I’d done those two miles, I would have struggled to drop down to pace. I know that half of my four miles at pace was on false flats downhill. I know that as soon as I finished the four miles, I was jogging 9:00 pace home. And, I know it hurt more than I let myself think about. I know that there were lies I had to tell myself about how easy it felt and how I killed it, but they worked. Sometimes, you do need to pretend you belong in this lane. Sometimes. But, you only get so many times saying that before you stop it. Don’t use them every swim workout.

2014: The Year in Review

With everyone getting all excited to share their Facebook photo montages and blog posts about how totally super amazing their year was, I started to feel down. I didn’t do much this year, I thought. It was sort of lame. And, then, I realized I guess I did a lot actually. I crashed the car; I shattered my teeth; I did an Ironman; I moved down to L.A. for this grad program; I started school (which means I had to quit a bunch of work); I went to Turkey, Canada, Boston, Chicago, Wisconsin, Arizona, Seattle, Kentucky, other places; I wrote some stuff too. So. That’s a year.

I’m not a New Year’s Resolutions person. This may come as a shock, but I generally find the whole exercise a self-congratulatory pointless, well, exercise. If you want to draw a line in the sand after which you will raise your fist to the sky and declare that now, now things will be different, then that’s your right and that’s fine. Mostly, though, it’s just annoying for the rest of us that the gym is full for the first two weeks of the year.

But, since December usually coincides with off-season, it’s always been a convenient time anyway to make plans and sketch out schedules. The problem this year is that none of those things are true. I have no plans past May. Or, rather, I have plans, lots and lots of plans, but no sense of which of them is going to work out. No timetables or checklists. Nothing to write in your little journal and underline, to pin on your vision board.

This means I’m not thinking too hard about 2015 yet. I’m just going to put my head down and work for a few more months, get things done and learn and explore ideas. And, then I’ll draw my arbitrary line around April or May, my New Year’s Eve, after which I will declare that now, now, things will be different.

In 2014, I…

Ran: 774 miles (plus a little water running)
Biked: 3,266 miles
Swam: 256,050 yards

This amounted to about 455 hours, give or take — the biggest obvious difference over last year is that I started being a triathlete again and stopped being a lifestyle runner.

I raced…

Then, after almost two months of nothing, I went on a racing binge from late October to early December and did:

The biggest months were probably this month (clocking in around 50 hours) and late February through mid-March, when there were the training camps but before I shattered my teeth. The lowest month was August when I’m pretty sure I counted walking from the train station to class as “exercise.”

This year was some of the most concentrated, consistent and highest volume training I’ve done, but it also included some of the biggest drop-offs mixed in. That kind of thing is so frustrating, because it’s so easy to just keep thinking ‘what if…’ I was pretty fit in May/June. What if I hadn’t torn a muscle and face-planted off my bike before that? What if I could go a whole year without any major injury or accident? I raced really well at Alcatraz, but ended up a few seconds off the places I wanted to be. What if everything just came together? What if…

In case you were wondering, yes, I have those thoughts about work stuff too. What if one of the great things I wrote (which are rarer than the average things I write) actually got into the right hands? In that vein, here are a few things I wrote this year that I actually liked. There was other stuff I wrote, lots of it, that was quick and fun and light and easy, but these are the things I’m kind of proud of:

Sunny Running posts from this year that are worthwhile:

And, since I spend an absurd amount of time reading everything, here are a handful of things I read this year that I loved. This is not a comprehensive list. It is not a ‘best of’ list. It just is some things I really liked:

And, these are the books I read — slightly fewer than usual because of all the reading the news and the internet, which is boring me right now:

  • The Book of Life — Deborah Harkness
  • *Americanah — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Seating Arrangements — Maggie Shipstead
  • *Public Apology — Dave Bry
  • The Odd Couple — Neil Simon
  • The Secret Race — Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle (re-reads totally count)
  • *The Princess Bride — William Goldman
  • *Duel in the Sun — John Brant
  • The Circle — Dave Eggers
  • *Slow Getting Up — Nate Jackson
  • The Runaway Jury — John Grisham
  • Never Have I Ever — Katie Heaney
  • *Hyperbole and a Half — Allie Brosh
  • Orange is the New Black — Piper Kerman
  • *The Night Circus — Erin Morgenstern
  • Eleanor & Park — Rainbow Rowell
  • State of Wonder — Ann Patchett
  • Tangerine — Edward Bloor
  • How to Buy a Love of Reading — Tanya Egan Gibson
  • *Let’s Pretend This Never Happened — Jenny Lawson
  • David and Goliath — Malcolm Gladwell
  • *The Interestings — Meg Wolitzer

* means you should definitely 100% read this; I had no absolute-must-recommend-makes-my-top-ten-overall-list book this year, though

What if?

Training Week 8: Dec. 22-28

Yes, I am doing almost all my hard workouts running and almost all my volume biking right now. This is deliberate — almost as if I actually make concrete training plans and sort of know what I’m doing, in a fashion. Largely it’s because I don’t want to get hurt with too much run volume, but also my bike volume is a known weakness. As long as I get enough work on the bike in, then it all translates reasonably well. And, swimming, ugh, who cares about swimming.


Oh man, I didn’t even get out of bed until noon after throwing up all night.


Swam 2,000 yards easy and did some light strength/core work just to get moving again. After being sick, you got to have an easy day before any real days.


Ran 10 miles with [6 x 5 minutes at 6:35-40ish pace]. It was surprisingly hard. Usually I do seven of these repeats, instead of six, but maybe I usually take more rest in between. Or, maybe I just don’t remember how much it usually hurts. Usual is so hard to pinpoint. Of course, the one hour it rained was encompassed within my run. And, of course, as I was doing my hard efforts it was getting windier and rainier and branches were falling and I was squinting. Maybe that’s why it was hard. Who knows.

Light yoga and rolling after.


Rode about 20 miles easy with Steve.


Swam 3,550 yards at Masters in the morning. Oh, man, how I hate/love Masters. And it was just so Masters Classic on Friday: everyone cheated the warm-ups and drills until I was super far behind, then they couldn’t actually maintain the pace for the main set so they kept “resting” 50s, and then I was stuck making up the gap as I has to pass them. And, everyone was confused and wanted to talk about the workout more and what number were we on and what pace should be go and then they all just swam as hard as they could anyway, cutting the interval to make it. Solid thinking, guys.

Ran five-and-a-half easy in the afternoon at China Camp. It was cold.


Rode long with one of my old high school kids. We went 83 miles out to Tomales and back down Highway 1. It’s one of my favorite rides, but there were so many cars and tourists out this weekend. Stupid holiday weekends. It wasn’t the hardest I’ve done this ride, but it wasn’t super easy either. Just a solid long ride. And, halfway through it occurred to me: five hours doesn’t even feel that long anymore. What.


Rode about 18 miles moderately easy — mostly because I was tired; it wasn’t supposed to be easy. The whole goal was to substitute the ride for a long run and go into my hard tempo fatigued. Mission accomplished.

Ran seven miles, descending down to Goal Marathon Pace with four miles at GMP. I had given myself up to a half-hour to get down to Goal Marathon Pace (GMP), which is 7:05 to 7:15, depending on my mood. But, it’s actually harder to run easy first and then go fast. It’s almost easier just to run hard from the start, because then you never have the chance to realize that you could go slower. So, I did two miles in the mid-7:00s and then when my third mile was at 7:04, I figured we’d just call that the start of the tempo portion of the event. Then, after the 7:04, I ran a 6:52, 6:49, 6:53. That’s basically OGMP (very Optimistic Goal Marathon Pace). It was hard, but it was hard in a way that wasn’t hard. If that makes sense. It just felt like my body was going without me. And, it did not feel like that at the start. I was pretty sure, at the start, that I wasn’t going to be able to do any of the GMP miles. That’s the difference your mind makes.

TOTAL: 13:25

This week was nearly as perfect as could be, with being sick last weekend. The only problem now is the next 10 days are a little bit nuts to get in a ton of training before I head back to L.A. Hmm.

Training Week 5: Dec. 1-7

This was the last week in Los Angeles before finishing up the semester, so I had a lot of projects due and life. I gave myself a bit of a break on the workout front, then, especially considering that I knew when I got back to the Bay Area I was going to go nuts. Still, I got some solid work in and am ready for five really solid weeks in Marin. The biggest problem is going to be not overdoing it — which I’m already having trouble with.


I messed something up in my neck/shoulder swimming the day before. It meant that I only managed to swim 700 yards before I had to get out. Eh.


Ran on a treadmill, a treadmill. And, I ran a hard workout on the treadmill. This is shocking. The amount I hate treadmills can not be overstated. If I had to run on treadmills regularly, I’d never get off the couch. They are the worst. But, I slept through my planned wake-up in the morning and then it turned out it was pouring anyway. So, the only way to actually get the hard workout I needed in was to do it on a treadmill. You do what you got to do. Ran six miles with 30 minutes as [10 minutes at 6:55, 10 minutes at 7:15, 10 minutes at 6:55]. It was hard and I was dripping sweat. But, done.


Strength work at the USC gym: TRX, box jumps, some deadlifts, and basic physical therapy.

Swam about 3,800 yards with The Kids. We did a 3,200 yard workout of 200s and 100s at steady state. Then, we did silly relays.


After failing to get my bike to work, I decided to just do my easy run instead. Ran 5 miles slow, with drills and strides. Followed up by some basic yoga moves.


Rode the 11-12 miles to school (and then again back from school). Did not swim.

Did run the Beer Mile later in the day with The Kids. That totally counts as a workout, even though it didn’t so much work out my legs as much as other things.


Rode about 45 miles with Justin, partially up Mt. Baldy. It was a pretty solid ride with him and another one of the kids.



TOTAL: 9:40

My plan is to put in a month of solid, big base before heading back to school (with a very full schedule) in early January. Then, I’ll just be focused on more speed and building anyway, so this is totally, 100 percent going to work out. Really.

The Difference Between Serious Training and Just Working Out

Somehow, recently, I slipped back into training ‘for serious.’ I’m still sort of messing around, but my fitness is coming back so nicely (and I have a month now to build up a big base), that it’s hard not to imagine what could happen if I had a whole year without any major injuries, accidents, or other disasters.

But, the difference between serious and not serious is so thin. It’s all in your head.

The other day I had one of those one-thing-after-another afternoons that used to happen all the time when I was training a lot. Because when you’re training a lot, there’s always something that doesn’t work right, so there’s going to be a lot of ‘When You Give a Mouse a Cookie’ days. Thursday, I needed to change the tires on my bike, but it was really hard to get one of the new tires on and I cut my hand. Blood and grease everywhere. Then, I finally got them on and couldn’t get the wheel to fit into the bike. So, I let some brake cable out to loosen the brakes, but it still wouldn’t fit. Finally, after lots of finagling and yelling, I decided the tire must be too thick for the frame. Took it off, put the old tire back on, re-aligned the brakes. And, by then, it was too late to go for a ride. (I also dropped a drawer on my foot, and tripped and fell into a door frame during all this.)

This would never have happened when I didn’t give a shit. I would have just given up much earlier in the process. That’s one of the major differences between serious training and just working out. These are some of the other things I do distinctly differently when I’m serious:

  • Actual workouts on the treadmill
  • Rain riding
  • Bothering to make sure my equipment works
  • Writing schedules
  • Swimming

Things I have not yet started to do, but will mark when I am really serious:

  • Stop eating all the desserts

Something Steve always tells me. And, it’s true. Tonight, I went to swim practice with The Kids, because it was on campus and I was on campus, and we did silly relays for 45 minutes at the end. It was convenient and fun, but ideal training? Yesterday, I ran my hard tempo workout on a treadmill because it was convenient (ugh, rain) and important for my training, but it was incredibly not fun. And, when Justin will ride with me or Ilyce will do hard runs with me, I’m totally willing to drive to get a good workout in. Always two of the three.

Workouts can be convenient, social, or good for your training. Never all three. Pick two.

Turkey Trot Race Report: On the Art of Returning

Steve won the Turkey Trot 5K we did on Thursday, which surprised everyone — including him. Since he hadn’t run in years until I made him do that Turkey Trot last year (at which he would like you to know he beat me) and now he runs just a couple times a week casually, I don’t think he thought it would go great. But, maybe none of us should have been that surprised that it did. After all, he is a very, very good athlete and that is always in there somewhere.

I won the women’s race too, but it was hard. (Here’s a video of me crossing the finish line, if you really want to see what I look like getting outsprinted by a 14-year-old boy.) It was a classic cross-country-style course. We ran across a field, over a hill, on a path, through a parking lot, down a trail, up another steep hill, and around a soccer field. I ran pretty fast at the start, but it felt easy. Then, it felt really hard. When Ilyce went by me around halfway, I was sure I was done. Mentally, I threw it in and figured this seemed like a good enough pace. Only, then I came back.

Having done three 5Ks in three weeks, among other races too, I think it’s probably time to stop now. But, one thing I have learned in this spate of racing off very little fitness is that it’s always in there somewhere. I’ve learned that I have more capacity to come back than I even realized.

After being a huge bum for August and some of September and then being sick for a month, I wasn’t sure how long it’d take me to come back or how out of shape I was. The answer is: not as much as I was worried.

It turns out the base I built training for Ironman this summer, the years of working out and getting just a little bit better at a time (and then a little worse and then nothing), the miles and miles are all in there. And, then, Friday, Steve and I went for a long bike ride to Marshall. It’s a ride that’s a Marin classic and litmus test — one of the first ones you do when you move here. For me, it used to be epic and take all day. I still think of it that way and so I wasn’t sure if I was in any shape to do it with Steve. But, we did and it was hard, but not that hard. The Marshall Wall didn’t even seem like a wall. It seemed easier and smaller. The Return was scarcely a return. It was just another day to add to the stores.

What Should I Do This Year?

I can’t decide if I want to really do anything athletic or not. Or, if so, what I want to do. Sure, I’ve complained about the cycling in L.A., but really it’s mostly a time-efficiency question. If I have to drive to get in good rides, then long-distance triathlon training is probably off the table. I’ve been thinking about just running, but the prospect of going up and down (and up and down) beach bike paths and around the neighborhood is depressing. Without trail running, I sort of hate running. But, it turns out I’m a super big trail snob. That one’s too hot and exposed; this one’s too hilly; that one’s too dusty.

What should I do? Suggestions? Should I:

  • Run the L.A. Marathon
  • Run a bunch of halves and 10Ks
  • Race Oceanside 70.3
  • Race collegiate triathlon
  • Collegiate Nationals
  • Another Ironman next summer
  • Ultra-running
  • Ocean swimming – I think that’s a thing
  • Lifestyle fitness/Crossfit
  • Hang out

Race Report: Big Kahuna Triathlon

Won a trophy -- if not THE trophy.
Won a trophy — if not THE trophy.


Short version: It turns out that if you don’t really train for a half-Ironman, then it’ll go pretty much how you’d expect it to go. My legs stopped working with 2.5 miles left to run. Between then and the finish, I went from second to fifth, which was excruciating — physically and emotionally. On the plus side, my legs worked for a lot of miles before that point. And, it turns out my five hour finish (5:08) may not have been as super slow as I thought; the race, itself, was also slow and long. (For the Big Kahuna aficionados, they’ve extended the bike course slightly.) Bonus miles!

Long version: When I’m really not excited about a race and can’t think of any possible reason I want to do it, I tell myself just to go through the motions. Just go through the motions of getting ready, setting up transition, warming up, standing at the start, and eventually the rest will kick in. It usually works.

Sunday, I went through the motions like I’ve done this before and eventually we were running down the beach to the ocean. I am, apparently, really fast at that, because I hit the water first. The crowd sorted itself within the first 20 feet. Then, it was me and a girl who was swimming quickly away from me. Right after I lost her feet, another girl went by me, and then it was just me. But, I knew I was swimming well. I could tell from the amount it hurt my arms and by how many guys I was passing from the earlier waves. I, actually, maybe for the first time ever, didn’t hate my life or the sport of triathlon during the swim. I knew I was swimming a PR, so at least there’d be that high note.

After coming out in 28:30 (yay!) and running the half-mile to transition in bare feet on concrete, I started the part of the race I was second-most worried about: the bike.

It wasn’t awful. It wasn’t great either. My heartrate monitor stopped working — no matter how many times I pressed “Find” on the computer — and I don’t have power in my race wheels, so I went by feel. Going by feel works really well if you know what that effort is supposed to feel like. I have no idea right now. Instead, I kept asking myself: Does this hurt? But, in a way you can sustain? Should you pass that guy up there? Probably, you should.

About 10 miles in, I saw someone up ahead hanging on the wheel in front of them, to such a degree that this person was coasting at points and at other times sprinting to jump back on the wheel. Typical, I thought, 45-year-old male behavior. Because that is who I usually see drafting. I rarely see the front women go deliberately out of their way to draft. For the most part, I see women just trying to deal with the men they’re catching and the men catching them and the general chaos that is triathlon when you’re a fast female in a mass race. Then, I realized this was a woman. It took me another 10 miles to catch her, after which she tried to hang on to my wheel for a bit.

At the turnaround, the woman in first came blazing through from farther up the road, past the turning point, yelling about having missed the police cars and cones and volunteers. Trying to keep her in sight was a new motivation, but it only worked for so long. Then, things got blurry for a bit. I’m not sure if it was partially the fog that was literally making things blurry or partially that we had reached the edge of my fitness, but I was struggling with that classic battle: I just want to be off my bike, but then I’d have to run. Lose-lose. Also, I was actually literally having a hard time seeing.

I was enough out of it that when I got to transition, I swung my leg over the back to dismount, still coasting in slowly, and I got my leg caught on the seat. I’ve never done that, even in practice, and I didn’t have the wherewithal to save it. The whole bike came crashing down on top of me as it, and I, tipped over and semi-skidded to the dismount line. I’d like to think at least some of the time in my not-so-awesome 2:47 bike split was used up by me pseudo-crashing and picking myself up.

But, still I was fine. Everything was fine. The run started out strong enough. I focused on high turnover and running steady. I told myself that I’d finally nailed my nutrition and wasn’t going to collapse in a heap somewhere in Santa Cruz — as has happened before. I just kept ticking off 7:15-7:30 miles. It was fine. Even when it got ugly around halfway, which happens for everyone on this course as you run around a never-ending field, I was still running in the 7:00s. Heading back up the long hill in the sun around 9 miles in, I rationally knew that I didn’t feel any worse than anyone else and, in fact, I felt far better than the last time I had been crying while stumbling up this stupid hill. No, everything was fine.

See, everything is fine. I'm obviously have a better race than that guy.
See, everything is fine. I’m obviously have a better race than that guy.


Obviously, abruptly, it wasn’t fine anymore. I’ve heard the phrase “the wheels came off” and I’ve even used it, but I don’t know that I ever fully appreciated what it meant before Sunday. I went, very suddenly, from running 7:30s to running 9:30s. My legs simply hurt. Every step the right leg screamed in pain, especially on the downhills. My legs wouldn’t bend. They wouldn’t move forward. They were done. I was still pretty fine aerobically, completely aware of the women closing on me from behind, but there just wasn’t much I could do about it. One woman, who actually started five minutes after me, passed me with 1.5 miles to go. She then put more than another three minutes on me in that last 1.5 miles. And, she wasn’t running that fast.

Eventually, it ended. I didn’t even walk, not even through that long stretch in the sand at the end, though walking might have been quicker at points.

I'm actually right at the point when it went bad here. It just looks like I'm still running, because things look faster from behind.
I’m actually right at the point when it went bad here. It just looks like I’m still running, because things look faster from behind.


The extra added bonus fun of doing a race you’re not physically prepared for is that when you push your body to that point, and it hasn’t had the appropriate amount of time to get ready, it really hurts. I have been in more pain since Sunday than after any race except possibly the Dipsea that first year. My dad said that I just wanted to see how far the tank could run on empty. And, I guess now we know.