Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kayaking on the Weekiwachee



From our Florida trip to visit my parents...





Kayaking on the Weekiwachee River with Iska, Myers and my parents ... we saw a few manatee and lots of fish, interesting birds and turtles.

The water is amazingly clear and blue, with white sand on the bottom.

Nice trip...!!




Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tennessee Christmas


At Iska's house in Sewanee...


With Iska, Myers and Lily (the dog) by the tree.

Happy Holidays!!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Green's View in Sewanee - above the clouds


Photo by Iska's brother, Brunson Hoole - Thanksgiving weekend in Sewanee.

Green's View.

(click to enlarge)


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

William Yelverton in concert: Springfield, IL - 10/29/11

Faith Lutheran Church, 2313 Whittier Avenue.
Springfield Classical Guitar Society concert
Springfield, IL
Saturday, October 29, 8PM


Music of Dowland, Rameau, Turina, Lauro, Gismonti, Assad and more...

Guitar, Alto Guitar, Renaissance Lute




Friday, October 21, 2011

Fontana Lake - October 2011

On the boat for 5 nights on beautiful Fontana Lake.

Click on pics to enlarge


Fontana Lake, NC - in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

The weather was perfect. Two days got up near 80º. The other 3 days were around 70º and clear. I swam a little everyday.

The first day I was there, it was exceptionally windy... a Lake Wind Advisory was in effect for wind gusts to 45 mph. There were one to 2 foot waves with white caps on the main east-west stretch of lake. (see video below). In the many coves, it was a different world, completely sheltered from the wind. I was always comfortable with half my canvass up and my propane heater cranking. I even have an electric blanket for the cabin, so it was cozy.

Iska was able to be there for 3 nights - a real treat. We hiked the Lost Cove trail out of Eagle Creek to the Shuckstack Tower. It was a great hike. The last mile is great for 'firing the glutes' as it very steep.


The first photo shows what it looked like on Tues morning, my last day. It was spectacular. I saw a bald eagle fly over head as the fog was lifting and I was drinking my morning tea.

Awesome place.

Truly the best way to visit the Great Smoky Mountains - by boat.




This is the 21st year I've owned this 1987 SeaRay 230 Weekender. I wouldn't trade it for any other boat in it's class. It's a custom order boat with some unusual options. The teak appointed interior, the three deck hatches, the oversize water (36 gal.) and fuel (70 gal.) capacities give this cruiser a cruising range of about 200 miles. The 5.7 L. Mercruiser can push this boat to 43 mph. I may never need another boat.




Sunday, October 9, 2011

William - RIP



My cat William has died.

He was one of three cats I inherited from my ex Jenny in 1998 just before we broke up. I took the entire litter of three cats which I named: Willy, Nilly, and Emma. Emma was the runt of the litter and is now the sole survivor. Nilly ran away after a few years. She was a wild one.

I loved Willy, referred to him as "my only son." He was my favorite. I never expected to lose him so soon. He lived just 13 yrs and 5 months. His exact cause of death is not determined, we think it was a chest infection, probably lung cancer. His organs tested fine but... he stopped eating and went down hill very fast. He had fluid drained from his chest and I gave him subcutaneous fluid, and antibiotics. I force fed him some broth and baby food.

The second photo shows William and Iska on the couch in my kitchen on Saturday. Our last weekend together - the 3 of us.

But just a few days after his vet visit, by Sunday night, it looked bad. I almost never sleep with my cats but that Sunday night, I slept with William. It was his last night.

I had a busy Monday 10/3 with a Nashville doctor's appt. and an errand planned. I felt that morning he needed to be euthanized. I couldn't bring myself to do it before going to the doctor and I left him from noon until 3 pm. I knew that I had to take him in to end his life when I returned home. He was laying on a pad in the kitchen and his breathing was labored and he couldn't sleep. He was not purring anymore when I pet him like he did on Sunday. I left the inside door open so he could see the light from the front door from where he was laying in the kitchen. I turned on the vent so there would be good air circulation. When I returned home, I found him dead by the front door. The last thing he did was walk toward the light of the door. Dying on his own was his last gift to me. I did not want to take him in.

I got him when I was 37 and had just moved into my house. I am 51 now. He is the first animal I ever raised from birth to death. He was a very friendly guy, always coming up to greet visitors. It will be an adjustment ... everytime I see something dark on the floor, I think it's him. William was close with his sister Emma, they were together from birth. They always slept close together when it was cold. She will miss him as well. He had a good life.

William
(4/98 - 10/3/11)




The three litter mates cooling off on the concrete - July 30, 1999. They were just over a year old in this photo.

Aten flag - holiday decoration



I like the Aten flag. It'll be my holiday decoration this year. It seems to fit nicely above my front porch.

Aten is the sun disk in ancient Egyptian mythology.

Ancient Egyptian religion deifies the sun. It is likely that much of Christianity and other religions have been based on the ancient Egyptian religion. (see video below)

There are not many things more important in this world than the sun. Life would not exist without it. One super big gulp of coronal mass ejecta from the sun could exterminate life on earth at any time.

I'm not a sun worshipper, but it's easy to see why ancient cultures did worship the sun. To me, the Aten flag is decorative art piece, not a religious symbol.

The flag looks awesome back lit at night.

This 'hippie pagan symbol' should definitely confuse the local rednecks....







“The Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the sun, in which they put a man called Christ in the place of the sun, and pay him the adoration originally payed to the sun.”

Thomas Paine - author, revolutionary, inventor, intellectual, and a Founding Father of the United States.


Monday, September 26, 2011

My 2012 Elantra GLS



My first new car.

Since I'm 51 and debt free, I guess I shouldn't feel too guilty about buying my first new car. It is THE top rated compact sedan by Consumer Reports, Motor Trend, and Cars.com.

Arguably, the hottest small car in America in terms of value ... the 2012s are selling fast and there are vitually no new 2011s available. Even my mechanic says Hyundai has surpassed Honda in technology and quality.

My priority was value and economy... and the best warranty in the business. It has the same leg room as some mid size cars and a huge trunk.

I went with an extended 10 year/120,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty.

I got 44 miles per gallon on my first highway trip, (which exceeded the 40 mpg rating). I'm very pleased with the car, but I'm afraid I might scratch it. I don't even want to drive it to work.

The 2012 Hyundai Elantra GLS with the 'Preferred Package' upgrade - in black, of course.

And thankfully ... I'm still debt free.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My new state 400m record



56.09

Breaks the 13 year old M50 mark of 57.00

Double Gold at the TN State meet. More at Sprint Forever blog.





Thursday, June 16, 2011

William Yelverton in concert: Miami International Guitar Festival - 6/17/11

William Yelverton performs at the Miami International Guitar Festival.

University of Miami - 6/17/11, 8:00 PM, Clark Recital Hall, Frost School of Music

updated: concert photo -


Monday, June 13, 2011

400m Gold: Southeastern US Masters Championships



Gold medal in the 400 meter dash Southeastern Masters Championships M50-54

Official time: 55.54

Presently ranked 6th in the USA Men's 50-54.

Silver medals in the 200m and 100m, M50-54

Tennessee Guitar Festival and Competition 2011 - music and parties!





The TN Guitar Fest 2011 was a great hang.


Awesome music, friends, and parties.

Here are some photos... click to enlarge.









Thursday, June 2, 2011

TENNESSEE GUITAR FESTIVAL AND COMPETITION: June 1-4, 2011


Tennessee Guitar Festival is up and running. June 1-4, MTSU.

Concerts 8:00 pm, MTSU


Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Perfect Sunday weather on the Cumberland Plateau

Summer-like weather is ahead this week for Middle TN, however it's still spring-like in Sewanee on the plateau.





A great walk on the Caldwell Trail this perfect Mother's Day Sunday afternoon with Iska and kids.











Such beauty in the forest.



Friday, April 22, 2011

Oh, Glorious Spring




Life is so good... another academic year over .... house paid off .... 100% debt free .... the beginning of a vacation ... starting my third year in love with the beautiful Iska ... in the best physical shape of my life - sprinting in college track meets at age 50 ... and it's gardening time ... the weather is gorgeous ... OH, glorious spring!!



My pool is open and warm!




The flowers are potted, and the tomatoes, and cucumbers are in the ground.




My little friend, the tree frog in one of my pots.




Sunday, April 17, 2011

My new blog - Sprint Forever

Since my posting here at Bill's TN Paradise has been dominated by training and sprint racing, I've decided that all such discussions need a different home.

SO ...

Here's where I will post on running, track, training, and lifestyle of a 50+ masters sprinter with an ageless athletic spririt. Visit anytime...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I'm back...

UPDATE 2: Pictured here - my new Spira Genesis 2 training shoes with the so-called "wave spring technology" Took 'em for a test drive this morning and they felt great. Springy, comfortable, stable. Goodbye to my old Saucony Pro Grids that served me well for over 3 years. Thanks Dad!

-----------------------------------------------

My first light day of speed work, 12 days after the hamstring injury.

Mile warm up
Long spints at 85-90% effort:
400m in 63 sec
4 x 200m in 27-28 sec

Thinking strongly about running the 400m for the first time at the Vanderbilt Invite on 4/23.

58 or bust!

UPDATE:

Last 2 workouts:

mile warmup
2 x 400m - 61, 66
3 x 200m - 28, 27, 27

mile warmup
800m - 2:33
2 x 400m - 63, 68
200m - 26.5

This sprint training on blacktop is ripping up my feet. My Saucony training shoes will be replaced as I've ordered some Spira Genesis 2's. I am an "under pronator" which means I sprint heavily on the outside of my foot. The skin below my little toes is ripped, bleeding. I'm going to have to tape them next time.

Training strategy is to work on long sprints and strength at 80-90% effort. No consecutive run days. Resistance exercises and leaps on off days. At least one full day of rest, and one light day.
I WILL race my first 400m at Vandy on 4/23 (I'm registered!).

I'll then eventually transition back to shorter speed work and starts. Future races are: May 5 - 400m, May 14 - 100m and 200m, May 21 - 100m. Depending on how I do in this, my first 400m race will determine whether I see this as a competitive race for me. If I think I have a chance to go under 57 in the future, I will continue to train. If I struggle to run 59.75, I probably won't continue competing in it. The result will probably be somewhere in between. I seem to be able to stride a 27 sec 200m with not more than 90% effort, now if only I could put 2 of those together.

Weight is good: 139

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wings clipped - temporarily


It's really a gift to sprint competitively ... at age 50. On 3/26 I ran the 100 meter dash at Vanderbilt's Black and Gold Invitational. It was a bad day, I injured a hamstring during the race, my first race injury of the season. It wasn't a serious pull, I still managed to hobble across the line in 13.10 ... (0.2 faster than my age group was won at the Finals of the TN Senior Olympics last year). It could have been worse. Fortunately, it was only a "level 1 strain", no 'pop' or serious tear. It felt more like a cramp, and I kept running, albeit, with a shorter stride.

It was really disappointing. Suddenly not being able to run. I should have known I was pressing my luck, my fifth consecutive weekend track meet. I didn't warm up enough. I just ran 3 full speed bursts, no more than 6 steps full speed. It was a cold day and I stood around at the start for more than 10 minutes without doing much. I won't make that mistake again. I was even planning on running the next two upcoming weekends but now, I'm thinking I should wait until May. Also thinking about running the 400m instead of the 100m in my next race. Doing 400m training would be good for me and help strengthen my legs. I'll see how it goes, but there is another invitational at Vandy in 3 weeks, but that is probably too soon.

My ultimate goal is to break some or all of the TN state age group records in the July TN Senior Olympics. It would be a tall order: 12:32 100m, 25.70 200m, and 57.0 400m. The 200m would be the easiest to get.

Looking around at the other sprinters at last weekend's meet, I was the only one who was not wearing tights. After reading an interview with masters sprint champ Bill Collins, I emailed him and asked him about the CW-X tights he wears. He swears by them as being supportive and helpful in preventing injuries. He both trains and competes in them. So, I'm going to give them a try.

It's been 5 days since the injury and it's feeling good. No pain, I'm jogging at a good pace, doing light static stretches in the hot tub and doing a light rehab program. I can run up stairs with no pain. I hope to do one day of light speed work next week and then pick up the pace the week after, returning to full training by the 3rd week in April. I definitely want to run the 400m full speed at the Chattanooga District Senior Games on May 5th, and the 100m and 200m in Nashville on May 14. Unfortunately, these are hand timed events with little competition but participation is required to compete in the state finals.

The injury came really at an opportune time. I need to concentrate on guitar playing since I will be leaving in a week for a clinic and concert in NH. Anyway, this makes me want to train more carefully and intelligently because being injured is no fun. It's a gift to sprint and worth preserving.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Two more Golds and faster still - Indiana Masters Indoor Track Championships




Since I had nothing better to do on spring break, I drove to Taylor University in Upland, IN for the Indiana Masters Indoor Track Championships on 3/12. I won my age group in the 55m with a 7.43 and ran the 200m for the first time ever. Surprisingly my 200m time won both my age group and the overall best time of the meet in all age groups: 26.30.

My 7.43 in the 55m is my best time so far, down more than 3 tenths of a sec from my first meet 6 weeks ago. That is 4 PRs in a row, a nice way to end my indoor season. My only regret is missing the USA Masters 'All American Standard' by just .03 seconds in the 55m.

The Indiana meet didn't offer much competition. I won both my heats and didn't see anyone during the race (although I ran the 55m in a heat of 8 sprinters). These masters meets are so different from running in college meets where I'm far behind the heat winners. In college meets, I feel accomplished to not finish last.

I worked out Tuesday with weights ... the squats and dead lifts have made me quite sore, but I hope to recover by Saturday to run my first 100 meter outdoor race at Governors Stadium in Clarksville on 3/19. I may scratch, I haven't run all week but I'd really like the opportunity to get a baseline time from which to improve upon. I can run the 100m three consecutive weekends: 3/26 at Vanderbilt and 4/2 at either Sewanee or Clarksville.

My goal for the first race is to just get below 13.00. BTW... the TN Senior Games was won last year at 13.28 in my age group. Ultimately, I'd love to get below 12.5. 12.28 was the slowest qualifying time in last year's USA Masters Nationals final heat. We'll see, I've not run a 100m race in 33 years!

UPDATE:
I ran 12.56 in the 100m at APSU on 3/19. A good start.
Next Saturday 3/26: Black and Gold Invitational at Vanderbilt
I hope to run the 100m and 200m

The TN Senior Games state sprint records for the Men's 50 age group 100m and 200m are certainly within reach: 100m - 12.32 and 200m - 25.7



Monday, March 7, 2011

Getting Faster - Mason Dixon Indoor Track Meet



My 55m time is now down to 7.52 and I ran my first 400 meter race ever in 61.72. Good enough for 2 age group Gold Medals in the 51st Annual Mason Dixon Games in Louisville, KY on 3/4/11. The 400m was a surprise since I did not train for it, earned me a national rank of 22nd for that event. I really faded in the last 50m, in better shape, I could easily run under a minute. My splits were approximatley 26 and 35! Talk about languishing in the end.... I was flailing across the finish line, but in first.

My new Nike Superfly R3 shoes seemed to help, although the spike pad got a little chewed up on the antique wooden track. I love these shoes, a big improvement over my old 'UT orange' Adidas Demolishers. They are really light, about 5 or 6 oz.

My 55m time still ranks 8th nationally and will likely remain in the top 10 since the indoor season is wrapping up.

I just may run the outdoor season. 100m and maybe more.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sprinting the 55m: College Indoor Track Meet

Moving up a notch in the National Masters Track rankings. I'm presently 6th ranked nationally in my age group in the indoor 55m dash - with a 7.60 at the Sewanee Invitational last Saturday, 2/26/11.

My start was good but not great, and I'm happy to have run about the same time as I did at TSU more than 2 yrs ago. My weight was good, probably around 141 at race time. I was proud to be the oldest competitor on the track, and it's amazing that I actually beat 2 college sprinters at this meet. (If I were them, I'd hang it up). I did not train for this, so it gives me motivation to take it more seriously next year. My present speed is not trained ... just 'au naturale.'

I think there is room for at least a 0.35 improvement, maybe more. I need to do some serious lifting and resistance work begining late summer and then work on my starts and leaps with some explosive plyometric training. It would be nice to be able to be strong enough to do more actual sprinting so as to work on form, rather than just saving myself for the meets to avoid injury. The only complete 55m full out sprints I've done this year have been just in the 2 races.

This will be my last sprint race of the season, unless I get crazy and drive to Louisville on Fri.

The guy in the blue in the photo is Dezman Cage who ran a smokin' 6.37 in the finals to win the event.

This has been pure fun, nothing like the feeling of sprinting 100%.

Power and joy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Return to the track - competitive sprinting at age 50

This blurry video frame is from my 55 meter sprint race at the Tiger Invitational at Sewanee, TN, a college indoor track meet on 2/5/11. Obviously, I'm in third place here, running against college sprinters 30 years younger than I. I finished in a dead heat for third with a college runner who was behind me at this point in the race (just out of the frame).

It was my first sprint race in 2 years and my time wasn't as good as I had hoped for: 7.74. However, it was good enough for a national ranking of 7th in the USA Track and Field Masters for my age group. It's over a second slower than I ran at my peak of speed 32 yrs ago, and 0.15 slower than in '09. Amazingly, I was not the slowest sprinter at that track meet, but naturally, close to it.

It felt great. I'm so happy to be able to participate at my age. Sprinting full out on a nice track when everything is working is a great feeling. Unfortunately, at my age, I simply can't practice full out sprinting as much as I would like. I have to be cautious and save my legs for races.

I feel I can run much faster, and I regret not training for this. Perception is funny, it 'felt' like I was running faster, but the clock doesn't lie. The video shows I had a good start. If I had started training in October, I'm sure I'd be a few tenths faster.

A lot of it is weight control. The higher my body weight, the more stress on the body. It wasn't until just the past few weeks I was able to get down to my high school weight of 143 lbs. I was up as high as 160 just after Christmas.

Indoor track events are not very common around the south without having to drive long distances to attend. I'm happy to have discovered the Fowler Center track at Sewanee and hope to compete there again in 3 weeks. Sprinting is so much more fun than training and running 5K races, although 5K are really good for the heart, lungs, weight control and general health. 5K training however, is hard on the knees. Maybe I'll grit my teeth and run one 5K this year too.