Saturday, March 27, 2010

Things you see....

Another crazy weekend schedule had me completing my long run last night after work. The plan called for 22 miles and I decided that 2 laps of Bedford Reservation would be just right. The training of running after a long day and then running into the night would be good. I started at Egbert shelter and after completing the short out-and-back to the park entrance, followed the Burning River 100 course through the park, across Alexander road, and down to the Frazee house on the towpath. Back tracking to the car completed the first 14 miles.

I refilled my water bottles, grabbed my headlamp, and started the second loop. This time I skipped the out-and-back and headed towards Alexander. As I neared Bridal Veil Falls, the sunset was turning the sky into a brilliant shade of orange and the almost-full moon was out shining bright. I paused to look up at a couple of Canadian geese that were flying overhead and they were a bright orange color from the sun and right in front of the moon! It was one of those perfect photos but, no camera. I will just have to remember that moment...

I had to turn on the headlamp shortly after-wards and completed my run through the woods. I was able to spot a couple of raccoons and several deer. Before long I was back at my car and heading home after completing my 22 miles.

I had almost arrived home when the car in front of me suddenly slowed down. I assumed a deer but there was something scurrying across the road. It was an opossum and he was running as fast as his little legs could carry him. Opossums are not known for their intelligence and sure enough, this one ran full speed into the curb! He hit so hard that his back-end lifted clear off of the ground and almost landed on top of the curb! He picked himself up and scrambled over the curb into the brush, acting as if that was all planned.... They are stupid, but pretty funny!

I ran another 10 miles this morning as a 'recovery' run. My legs felt pretty tired at first but warmed up and I felt ok. As I was nearing a turnaround point on the trail, I looked ahead and saw a woman walking. I was surprised since I usually don't see many people on this section of the trail. I was just about to say "good morning" when all of a sudden she dropped her pants, squatted, and started to relieve herself! She obviously did not expect to see anyone popping out of the woods behind her and even if she did check first, I wasn't there yet... I was nice and quietly turned around and headed back into the woods. I did not need to startle her or worse.... Hey, if you have to go, you have to go. Pretty funny though...

So, 32 miles completed in less than 24 hours. Just some perspective: In three weeks, I will complete the "Forget the PR 50K" (31 miles) in hopefully 6.5 hours and in August, complete 100 miles in 30 hours (or less, much less). These training runs are all stepping stones towards that end goal. It is, and has been, quite a journey.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Big week!

52.6 miles total! 25 mile run w/JP yesterday in the valley! Still feeling good!

That about sums up the week! I was able to meet JP yesterday and share 25 miles of trails in the CVNP. It was nice to get caught up with him and hear his stories about the Old Pueblo 50 miler he completed! This was my longest run and my biggest week, so far for the year. I know more is to come and I am excited/anxious about "Forget the PR" and "Burning River". My main goal is to keep healthy and keep moving!

We took our annual trip to Burton for the pancake breakfast this morning and enjoyed walking around the Century village after-wards. There were some horses in a pen acting a bit frisky, and then we found some turkeys in another pen, acting very noisy! It was pretty funny hearing the two toms gobble away with their tail feathers in a big fan! The two hens in the pen did not seem too impressed however...

This weather is really helping to brighten everyone's mood... The extra daylight in the evening helps too.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daddy/Daughter date(s)

Denise and Gina were at CSU all morning yesterday, leaving Abby and I to hang out and run some errands. We traveled to the Lush store in Beachwood to restock on bath stuff for Denise, Gina, and Abby. It was lunch-time so Abby and I enjoyed a fine meal at the Bistro in the Joseph-Beth bookstore. It was fun to get totally caught up with her school activities, books that she is reading, and life in general (from her perspective). I have not sat down with her to "just talk" in an embarrassing long time. We have, and have had shorter chats, but nothing like yesterday! It was very, very nice.

Abby was then off to a sleep-over, Denise was working, leaving Gina and I together. We headed to Panera for dinner, where again, I listened as she shared scheduling of classes for next year, swimming, ADK plans, and mother's day options for this year. After all, it is never to early to start planning...( I know that Denise will read this! lol ) We then came back home and watched the first half of the "Phantom of the Opera". It was a perfect way to unwind from a crazy week.

We seem to always be doing things as a family and I don't get many chances to spend one-on-one time with each of my girls. As they get older, it becomes more and more difficult, but more and more important. Boys are starting to appear on the 'radar' and I am terrified and ecstatic at the same time. I love my girls and I want only the best for them.

I think they know that but I will keep telling them and showing them for as long as I live...

Didn't feel like a recovery week...

This past week was the first week in a long while where all of my miles were on the road! With the snow melting and ground thawing, I knew the trails would be a sloppy mess. I am going to wait a few more days before I venture back.

This was also a recovery week in my training plan with only 34 total miles. I am glad because my legs have taken a beating from the hard asphalt surfaces. Trails are much more forgiving, even with the uneven surface and obstacles. Or, maybe I am just getting old...??? I know that the purpose of training is to stress the body just to the point of breaking, but not go over. Recover and do it again... The trick is to know where that breaking point lies.

I am straying a bit from the vegetarian diet in order to get some additional protein. My legs will thank me later. I also need to get more diligent about the late night snacking. I want to get down closer to race-weight for my 50 mile run at the end of May. I want to run the "Run with Scissors" course as a long shake-down training session. I need to decide if I will run it all in daylight, or start early/late for some night running. I think it will be weather dependent. I have to think about this...

Spring fever is in full force around here! The girls are in their last quarter of school and before long, we will be in the ADK, hiking up another mountain or two!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The weekend we waited all winter for...

Sunshine, temperatures above 40 degrees, Whoo hoo!!!! Spring is getting close. I know that there is still a lot of winter weather left, but boy oh boy, it sure felt good to be outside these past two days!

I had a great 18 mile run early yesterday morning while the snow was still solid. I followed up this afternoon with 10 miles on the asphalt! The bike path was very crowded but I did not mind. It felt too good to be running with the sun beating down!

I finished the week with a total of 48 miles, my biggest week so far for the year! My ramp-up is going well and I am feeling good. Tired, but good. Next weekend will be busy with activities for Gina and Abby, which will make it challenging for me to squeeze in a 20 mile run. Maybe it is time for a night run???

This is probably the hardest part of training for endurance events: scheduling the workouts around 'life'. A supportive family, some creative scheduling, and lots of flexibility, helps. I have to give a shout-out to Denise, Gina, and Abby for tolerating my endorphin habit. Without your support, I would not be able to do this!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thanks 'deer'....

I am really pleased with how my training has progressed this winter; until this past weekend... My mileage was building and I was planning an 18 mile run for Saturday. Then yet another winter storm dumped more snow on us and I was not liking the thought of slogging through the wet snow for 3 hours...

I shoveled the driveway, assembled a desk/vanity for Abby's room, and then finally decided to suck it up and get outside for a run. I thought that I would try the trails and then could always bail out onto the bike path if it was as crappy as I thought it would be. My goal was at least 6 miles. Mentally, I was already beat... not a good place to be.

Surprise, the trail was not too bad! A couple of walkers and dogs had been through and the packed snow trail was visible as a rut in the new snow. As long as I stayed on the 'packed path', it was ok. If I wandered an inch or two to the side, it was deep slop. Focus was the word.

Ventured up to Old Hickory trail where I had the pleasure of blazing through the fresh snow. I was out of my 'funk' and was enjoying the run. The hardest part of any run is the first 15 minutes...I seem to keep having to learn this over and over again... Completed the out and back and kept going through the park. I ended up completing 9.5 miles, far short of the 18 that I had originally planned, but good miles nonetheless.

I was hoping to complete the same route on Sunday, but my stomach had other plans. We went to IHOP for lunch after church and something did not sit well at all... I was pretty wiped-out for the afternoon. Oh well, I guess my recovery week arrived a bit early...It is all good.

Tonight, I ventured out after work and repeated the route from Saturday. No one else had ventured onto Old Hickory trail since Saturday except for several deer. They had followed my tracks through the woods, helping to pack the snow. Unfortunately, their tiny hooves do not do a lot of packing, but it was fun to see my tracked mixed with theirs. I heard my friend the Owl hooting off in the distance but was unable to see him. It was still light enough to run w/o my headlamp, which is a good sign that Spring is close. Daylight-savings time starts in two weeks, which will allow for some longer evening routes.

I am ready for spring. The snow has been nice, but I am ready to see some grass. I know that we first have to get through some mud, but that will be a small price to pay.