how to drill a two foot hole through a tree.

how to drill a two foot hole through a tree. I.

wanting to make progress on The World’s Most Awesome Treehouse(s) i asked about drilling a hole through a tree and got some fantastic advice which led me to ordering a big bit, baby. but how to get that bit through the tree? well, for that, you need a big drill. something like the milwaukee 3/4 inch “super hole shooter” which our local true value “agri-center” has in stock for rent.

the agri-center folks loooove when i start a big project and are always very helpful with advice and tips. when i picked up the super shooter the rental guy told me to keep a good grip on it and to be mighty careful because it’d really want to twist me around the tree.

turns out it went smooth as a hot knife through butter.

how to drill a two foot hole through a tree. II.

after i drilled the hole, i banged a 3 foot threaded rod through the hole which will hold the tree house supports. i thought it would be a pain to get the rod all the way through but it went in without too much of a fight.

next up, hanging the supports without falling from the ladder!

a big bit, baby!

a big bit, baby!

progress on The World’s Most Awesome Treehouse(s) is going a little slower than i’d like ( pesky marathon training! ) but it’s still happening.

thanks to suggestions after asking about drilling a hole through a tree i done did ordered a 3/4″ x 24″ auger bit which is plenty long enough to make it through the tree 12 feet up.

i’m hoping to drill a hole straight through two trees, run threaded rod through the holes and bolt the tree house supports to the threaded rod. so now i just need to figure out how to drill the holes through two trees that are about 15 feet apart so everything will be level after i start building the deck on top of the supports.

45 degrees F. time to bust out the fashionable winter running gear.

45 degrees F.   time to bust out the fashionable winter running gear.

finally running weather befitting a snowdeal! after running in brutal heat and humidity all. summer. long. i am absolutely, positively ready for running in colder weather and much, much prefer 32F-60F running over 70F-90F. and, hey, what’s not to love about running around in veeeeery fashionable cold weather stretch pants?

i’ve had these hind running pants forever and really like them. they do a fantastic job keeping me warm even in the 10-30F range. but this comment leads me to believe the well-known reputation for quality has disappeared in recent years.

anyone have any recommendations for reasonably priced cold weather pants?

tapering down for the chicago marathon which, unbelievably is only two weeks away! a mere 9 mile run in coold weather today after weeks of long run in the heat felt great even with 20mph wind gusts. i can only hope it’s this cool on race day.

here comes the science: why cilantro-haters hate cilantro

six years after i started documenting my dislike of cilantro ( and here ) after learning i was not alone upon reading a boingboing post, they point to new research on the genetic basis for why cilantro-haters hate cilantro which is linked to a variation in a gene associated with our sense of smell. see also previous reports, “getting to the root of the great cilantro divide” and “cilantro haters, it’s not your fault”.

20 miles! and the brutal math of Being A Clydesdale.

20 miles! and the brutal math of Being A Clydesdale.

whoohoo! i ran 20 miles for my long run this weekend in preparation for the chicago marathon which is, unbelievably, only 4 weeks away! i was “only” going to run 18 miles for my LSD ( long slow distance ) run this week, but things were going so well i decided i had enough gas in the tank for 2 more miles. i think i’ll probably run another 20 next week, maybe a bit more if i’m feeling good and then it’s time to taper down for the marathon.

since it’s getting close to race time, people are asking more often what time i think i’ll finish the marathon in. the answer to that is pretty straight forward and gives a good opportunity to give a refresher in sports nutrition and glucose metabolism.

despite running for a year and losing what i hope will be around 70 pounds on race day, thanks to my 6’4″ frame and the genetics card i was played, i will still be, er, solidly in what is known in the running world as the clydesdale class which is an endearing term for runners who weigh over 200 pounds.

as a card carrying clydesdale, i burn a lot of calories when i’m running. how many? if i run 10 minute miles ( 6 miles per hour ), i burn around 1100 calories per hour. the problem is that even if i carbo load before a long run, i’m only going to have about 2,000 calories in stored glycogen in the “gas tank”. once that gas in the tank is used up, you hit the dreaded “wall”. you’re done. kaput. obviously, if that was all i had, then i could only run for 2 hours or about 12 miles. i can and will take in as many calories as i can while running, but an endurance runner can only take in and absorb about 275 calories per hour. try to take in any more than that and you’re going to run into, uh, gastrointestinal problems and bring on a case of the runner’s trots ( or worse ).

so, i’m burning 1,100 calories an hour at 6 miles per hour, which is a 4:20 marathon race time, and i can take in about 275 calories an hour which nets about an 825 calorie burn rate. good deal! i can burn some fat! surely i have enough fat to burn! ah, but at moderate levels of physical activity you can only get about 50% of your calories from fat ( and you still need glucose around to burn that fat, once the glucose is gone you lose the ability to efficiently utilize either source of fuel ). so, i need about 800 calories per hour and i can get 400 of those from fat which means i’m going to drain the glycogen tank at the rate of 400 calories per hour.

if i have 2,000 calories in the glycogen tank that means i can run for 5 hours. awesome! if run at 6 miles per hour or a 4:20 marathon race time, all the math works out in my favor!

but what if i want to push it and run an unadjusted paul ryan race time of 4 hours? well, then i burn a little more calories, or about 1,200 per hour. after i take in 275 an hour in “goo” and sports drinks and whatnot i’m netting 925 calories per hour. here’s the kicker, the additional exertion decreases the efficiency of fat burning and i can then only get about 40% of my calories from fat which means i’m burning 555 calories an hour from the 2,000 calorie glycogen tank which means i run out of gas in about 3.6 hours. or about 30 minutes before i theoretically finish in 4 hours.

which is a long way of saying, if everything goes well, i can probably run a 4:15-4:30 marathon without risking running out of gas and hobbling towards the finish line.

by my calculations, i could theoretically run a sub 4 hour marathon if i weighed about what i weighted as a sophomore in high school. that might happen someday, but not this time around :-)