Wednesday, January 28, 2009


My back is feeling better each and every day... I am still a bit sore but since I have been working on core strength and flexibility, the aches are from that.

I managed an easy 4 miles sunday and the screw shoes did the trick on the icy bike path. It was nice being able to run w/o worry about sliding. I am getting really antsy to run on a trail but with the snowfall we have now, I'll wait a day or so and let some others pack down a path.

I want to make sure I start back slowly and ramp up in a sane manner towards the Mohican 50K run in April. Time to register for that race to get committed. Time to also get some friends to tag along for the extra peer-pressure!

This has been a long winter already but at least it has stayed cold. Maybe there will be fewer bugs this summer...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

BT50K Race report: "Dead Last to First!"

Well, my back was feeling better and I decided to give the race a try. Common sense would say to skip it, but I have never been accused of having much of that...

My plan was to hike/run/walk or whatever the first 5 mile out-n-back to Brandywine Falls. If things felt good, then maybe, maybe try the 1/2 marathon...

Beautiful morning with a slight relief in temperature at a balmy 20-something degrees; a few inches of fresh snow, and slight wind. We all gathered outside the Boston Store and with a blast from Tanya's whistle, we were off. We all stopped suddenly as the group had to form into a single-file line for the towpath. There was only a small packed-down trail and no one wanted to break a new trail through the 10-12 inches of snow... I let everyone go in front of me and started walking. There was a small group of us at the back and I was the last person in line... DEAD LAST! I have not been dead last since I stopped racing my Hobie Cat sailboat... I did not mind since this was my plan.

I was almost within earshot of the last pack and tried to jog back up to connect. I was able to do so and the slow jogging felt pretty good. The snow was not too bad and I had pretty good traction. The screws I installed on the soles of my shoes seemed to be doing the trick. The woods were very quiet and the contrast of the dark tree bark against the fresh white snow was very pretty to look at. We we arrived at the first hill, seeing the 'conga-line' of brightly-colored runners snaking their way up the hill contrasted against the black and white of the woods, was definitely a Kodak moment.

I passed a few people when the trail split into two paths as we followed tracks of the people ahead of us. The front-runners soon started coming back at us and we all played "Chicken" to see who would bail out into the snow first. I usually gave way since I was not in a hurry, except when they were coming down-hill. It was faster for them to basically slide down the edge of the trail than to go down the steps!

I shouted out hellos to Kirk and JP as they returned and I arrived at the aid station at Brandywine Falls. Quickly passed through since I did not need/want anything and started back to Boston Store. My back was feeling ok, and I was starting to entertain serious thoughts of going on to Pine Lane for the 1/2 marathon distance. A mile later, things started to tighten up again. I flipped and I flopped in my mind about what to do: Stop at 5 miles or try for 13...

Finally, common sense did prevail and I stopped at Boston Store after 1 hour and 10 minutes in the woods. A good decision and it gave me the distinction of being the FIRST finisher!! Not exactly the way that I wanted to be first, but a first is a first right??!!

Went inside, picked up my jacket, ate a bowl of chili and went back outside. I wanted to thank the volunteers out there. They will be there all day long in the cold. At least the runners can generate heat but the volunteers stay in one place. The snow was still falling as I made my way to the car for the drive home.

Great morning! Not what I had expected last October when I registered for this event, but a great day nonetheless. Thanks to Tanya and all of the volunteers for another great 50k!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Down and out!

Last week I was fighting a cold. It was not too bad and then friday morning, I felt a slight twinge in my back as I stood up from tying my shoes. I did not think much about it until later in the day when it became more and more difficult to stand straight.

Saturday morning it felt ok until I coughed! Something happened and I was down. I like to think that I have a fairly good tolerance for pain, but this was different. As long as I sit, or stand with a bend at my waist, I am ok.

Urgent care visit sunday after no relief and I have an "Acute sprain of the lower back". geesh,I knew I needed to do more core work, but this is rediculous... The meds are working pretty good but it is questionable if I am going to be able to run the BT50K this weekend. I am bummed... We finally have the weather that I was hoping for this race and I may not be able to enjoy it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I've got to start carrying a camera!

Monday evening, I met up with "The King" again. He is this awesome 10-point buck that hangs around the parks in Twinsburg where I run. I was running near the treatment plant and I noticed him ~10yds away on the grassy rise. I stopped running and my headlamp illuminated him pretty good and he froze in the light. We looked at each other for about 30 seconds before I clapped my hands together and he bounded away in a flash! Very majestic and beautiful...

I resorted to the dreadmill last night and tonight after work since I don't like ice... It is a different kind of running/workout and I guess that I could get used to it, but I prefer the outdoors much more.

I will probably stay indoors this week in an effort to get over this cold... It figures, the week before the race and I get sick. Oh well, I just consider it a forced taper... If I only had the training to taper from... :)

I have no expectations for the 50k next weekend: I just want to enjoy the time in the woods and have fun, at least as much fun as 6-7 hours of running can be! The weather looks to be cool next week so the mud should freeze and the trails may be in good shape.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A look back at 2008

A quick summary of my running for 2008. It was an epic year for me with the most training miles ever and the completion of the Burning River 100 mile trail run.

A quick summary of my monthly run miles and highlights:
  • Jan - 148 - Winter BT50K pr 6:05
  • Feb - 136.3
  • Mar - 159.05
  • Apr - 126.9 - Fools FA 41 miles total for the day and then recovering for the rest of the month from an over-use injury...
  • May - 163.15
  • Jun - 153.3 - Vacation in the Adirondack and my trail run with a Black Bear!
  • Jul - 161.1 - Final push for Burning River
  • Aug - 136.8 - The race! 102 miles was the race itself!!!
  • Sep - 77.2 - recovery
  • Oct - 66.5 - no motivation
  • Nov - 133.05 - Oops! I had better start training for the 2009 Winter BT50K!
  • Dec - 120.4 - struggling with consistency
1581.75 miles total. Biggest week was 60 miles and longest run, besides the race, was 41 miles.

I wanted to run more but I was not able to fit the miles/time into general life. This caused a fair amount of anxiety on my part before the race, but it turned out to be a lot of worry for nothing...
Keeping the long runs going as many weekends as possible was the key for me.

2009 Events: (Subject to change at any time!)
  • Jan - Winter BT50K
  • Apr - Forget the PR 50K at Mohican
  • Jun? - Mohican 50 mile
  • Sep - Run with Scissors Double Marathon
  • All year: Do whatever I can to help JP get across the finish line at Burning River 100 in August.
I hope that everyone has a great 2009. The current economic situation will ensure that this year will be 'interesting', but keep focused on the important things in life (family and health) and the rest is just noise!