Friday, July 8, 2011

Train Kept a Rollin'

"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." -Jimmy Dean

It's officially been two weeks since I've made the transition to a stay-at-home-father.  Slowly I've put together a mental checklist and schedule for cleaning the house, laundry, groceries, ect, that I've been hesitant to put down on paper as it's an ever changing beast.  Once I put down "Do Such-and-Such Thing on Such-and-Such Day" I know I won't stick to it as something will always come up. 

The kids are doing amazing.  Our oldest is adjusting to having a little sister, and by adjusting he's not as harmfully curious about her.  Where in the beginning you could definitely see that he didn't know what to make of her, after just two weeks, you can see in his eyes that something is starting to click.  He's gradually become gentle and calm when he gets near her.  I'm sure that he doesn't grasp the concept of "sister" yet but he understands that she is here to stay.

She was officially a month old a week ago and has been developing at a good pace.  She's been trying to keep her head up to look around when she's sitting up in either mine or my fiance's lap.  She is beginning to make little "cooing" sounds that babies do, and smiled for the first time a few days ago.

As for my running, I got back on tallying mileage as soon as I hung up my scrubs for the last time.  I've started running at night, just as soon as we've tucked in my oldest at 2200, and mostly on road.  Even though I'm not a big fan I know it's a necessary evil if I am ever to consider running a 50 any time soon.  Usually pavement tears me apart and leaves both my knees in shreds for a few days, so I was hesitant to start with long mileage, but since I've changed my stride, my knees have been fine.

Mileage last week was 33.73, and this week (it's Friday morning) I've logged 11.26 but haven't hit a long run and have taken too many days off.  Mark that up to laziness.  I'm keeping a more watchful eye on my miles as I know I need to be running, at least, 40-50 a week if I am to even think of finishing a 50 miler by 15 hours.  I'll start building up the mileage slowly to make sure my body adjusts to the roads.

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Paths Ahead

My running has taken a bit of a backseat these past few months.  I'm hoping to start adding more miles soon, but it will be difficult.  The balancing act of parent and runner is teetering a bit, especially since my fiance is about to deliver our second.

Time to upgrade to a double-kiddo running-stroller.

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells 'CAN'T', but you don't listen. You just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper 'can'. And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are."
- Unknown

Usually on Fridays I tone down my runs.  I try to keep it short and simple, and trot about three miles at a slow pace to wind down from the week and look forward to a long run on the weekend.

I got off work a bit early, and as I was driving over to the trail, thought, "I wonder if I could crank out a half-marathon before I need to head home."  It was barely 0530, and I knew my kiddo wouldn't be waking up until close to 0830, so I had a window.  With the temperature hanging around 58 and the sun still not up, how could I not try? 

Luckily, I've started carrying my trail-running gear, and keep two to three 2.5-gallon jugs of water in the trunk of my car at all times.  Knowing I had everything I may need, once on the trail, I set my GPS and was off.

My pace hovered around 12.03 min/mile the entire time, which felt great.  I feel, now, that I could have run faster, but with it being dark, I hung back.  I had already eaten it twice when I tried to gun it and didn't want to take any chances. 

It was nice to be out in the cool night air, just the sound of my feet and the wind in the trees.  I didn't come across many critters until sun-up and didn't even run into another person until close to 0715.

I did consider stopping twice, not because I was tired, but my mind kept telling me "Your SUPPOSED to be running a short day!!".  Maybe I should start rethinking what I consider a "short" run.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We can rebuild him...

Slowly building the mileage back up to what I was used to at the end of the year.  The holidays really threw me for a loop there.  Sure it's fun visiting family, but the evil combination of running flat open roads (Iowa, I'm glaring at you) and also NOT running (damn you's Januaray and your stingy needle-like icy-rain) tore me down.

Meh, but I've been back at it these passed couple months and plan on hitting the usual long runs every other weekend (so as to have a "life" and appease the fiancee).  Still planning out any races I'd like to hit, but so far it looks like it might be touch and go as we are expecting our second little trail runner in June.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rollin with them MT101's

Sunday was like a first date.  Catious in every move, flirtatiously pushing any buttons that came to mind all the while toeing that imaginary line that hovers in the gray area of lust.  I kept my pace low, took frequent breaks, and really listened for any aches and pains.  I had already layed out ground work for the past few weeks, changing my stride, lightingThankfully I've been planning for this transistion into a lighter and more minimilistic shoe for sometime, so everything felt in order.

Fast forward to Tuesday, where I said the hell with caution.  I ran all uphills and BOMBED downhills with a reckless abandon that I never afford myself.  Every footfall was solid, with a few exceptions when running through an ankle-deep creekbed, and no matter how technical the trail got, I did not slow down with a fear of slipping because of loose terrain.

I have not been this excited about a trail shoe since I first started wearing my old Brooks ASR's back in the day.  Wearing them now, they feel like tanks in comparrison, but they were a great transistion from pavement to dirt.  I still wear them, just not to run because they are damn comfortable (and yes, they ARE falling apart at every seam but are damn comfortable).

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year = New Life Challenges

A long time ago I decided to forgo the usual tradition of coming up with a New Years Resolution, instead I try to use the first month or so of the year to pen a list of goals that I intended to accomplish by the end of the year.  I'm still putting things together but I should have a grocery list by the end of the month.  Now that I have a one year old and another kiddo along the way, I think my schedule may be a little full.

Until I have my list in order, I'll just be going back and forth, incorporating more saddle time on my mountain bike along with my logging miles running.  I forsee at least one adventure race somewhere in this year.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Shoes and such!

This was just a way to nod to Running and Rambling.  A great source for runners, especially those considering the move to minimilist running.  Oh, and I get a chance to win these killer shoes.  YES!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Recovery was nice, but being on the trail is so much better.

Went out for 20 miles this morning.  Kept a good pace, and brought some new stuff along for the ride.  Got myself a new skullcap, and yes, it's sweat-wicking.  Also, I recently won a sampler pack of the new formula Cliff Shots, THEY KICK SOOO MUCH ASS!  They've definately improved on a good thing.  I brought along vanilla, mocha(+caf), chocolate, citrus(+caf), razz, double expresso(+caf), and chocolate cherry(+caf).  The vanilla and mocha weren't so hot, to me, they're just a bit too rich.  Out of the batch, so far, my new personal favorites are citrus and chocolate cherry, not just for the caffeine factor, but the flavor.  I could probably sit and put down a handful of the citrus alone.

Also picked up some Nuun tablets.  Just mix a few with each refill of the Camelbak bladder and I've got some pretty potent eletrolyte replacement on me.  One less thing to worry about, though I still took my pills and put down some coconut water, just because I like the taste.

GI complications reared it's head again, but I think I've pinpointed the cause before it got out of hand.  I'm putting too much protein in my system and not enough fluid.  Next weekend I'll go for another long run and just bring gel shots and only have a protein shake for breakfast.  Once out on the trails, no more shakes.

Damn it's good to be back on my feet.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wild Hare 2010

It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt

First things first, I had to drop.  Mile 43 and I dropped.  Seven miles left.  GI problems, dehydration, and bloody urine were the culprits.  BUT I do know what I did wrong, both the day before and the morning of, to screw myself over.  Oh well, lesson learned.  Time to start planning next years races.

At 6am, the few of us tackling the 50 mile option gathered outside the main house on Bluff Creek Ranch.  I hate using tired cliches, but the air truely was on fire.  Everyone was litteraly quaking with electricity as the countdown to 6:00 began.  Headlights aglow, we headed off into the woods for the first of seven loops.

The course was broken in such that the first loop was a quick 5 mile and each subsequent loop being 7.5 miles.  About halfway through the loops was the second aide station where the spread consisted of bananas, apples, oranges, pb&j's, a few candies, water and gatorade.  Oh, and always smiling, happy volunteers.

The course itself was great.  A solid mixture of sand, dirt, rock, and some sketchy pavement.  I cannot wait until next year to have another go, and bring a medal back home.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

So it's race weekend is finally here.  Tomorrow all I have to do is go out, do some grocery shopping, pack and then hit the road.

Saturday I'll trust in my training and leave it all on the trails.

"Step with care and great tact

and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!"
-Dr. Seuss

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pre-Race Peppiness

Time sure flies by when you've got your head wrapped around your significant other, kiddo, work, family, friends (the ones still hanging around) and then working them all around your running.

The past six months have whizzed by, it's hard to believe I'm tapering for the Wild Hare 50m already.  Training has been great, I feel like I've got a good base established, all there is now is to go out there Saturday and rock it out one mile at a time.

Lack of sleep, bickering over crazy waking hours (**WEEKENDS ARE FOR SLEEPING IN!!**), randomly falling asleep at home in odd places, raiding the fridge after long runs only to suffer from immense heartburn or deadly gas, leaving mud prints all over the house when I forget to take off my shoes, leaving mud prints all over the house when I do, evil silences incurred from staying out hours past when I say I'll return, and the slew of aches and pains have all been worth it.

A special thank you goes out to Molly M, my ever gracious girlfriend.  "It's not that I'll be patient, but I will TOLERATE it."  Her understanding, and sometimes lack of, has helped me push through to where I am right now.  Oftentimes I haven't been able to eloquently elaborate upon the answers to the questions she's posed, but she's always just accepted whatever I've given her.  For example, the every-weekend half-a-day-encompassing Long Runs.  Those have always been fun trying to explain, and then still making as much effort as I can to be a father and understanding partner whilst dead on my feet.

Oh, and did I mention that during all this, for half of it she's been pregnant?  The woman has been awesome.

So now all that's left is to go over my checklists for the ump-teenth time, and then go through everything I've packed one last time before I hit the road late Friday afternoon.  Saturday, rain or shine, is going to be glorious.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Last Long Trail Run

"The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare."

- Juma Ikangaa, Tanzania

Got onto the dirt around 0630 this morning.  The temp hovered in the upper 30s to lower 40s until right around 0800 when I began to feel a little warmth from the sun.  It began peaking through the trees a little after 0720 with enough light to put away my headlamp at 0750.

I finished my first 7 mile lap around 0800.  Refilling my pack and getting something in my stomache was a pain in the ass as I couldn't feel my fingers.  I couldn't grab the zippers on my pack, couldn't operate the twist off for the mouth of my Camelbak's bladder, and pouring water from my resovoir was a pain.  Lesson learned, next time it's that cold I'll wear gloves.

Things progressed well during the entire 20 mile run.  Ran into some friendly bikers, and one not so friendly.  I understand that when you get a flat your mood isn't in the stratosphere, but if someone's offering help (especially if that someone's a runner who happens to always keep his mountain biking gear in his pack) maybe being a little more humble would keep you from having to carry your bike back to your car.

Only saw one other runner, the guy I've started nicknaming Mr. Aqua Velva.  I can smell him coming around the corners, it's THAT strong.  I need to start saying hi to the regulars, is it weird that I feel guilty that I've seen some of these bikers and runners on a consistant basis and don't know any by their real names?

I've found out an easier method to keeping fueled.  Instead of hauling around a couple of water bottles and guesstimating how many calories of protein shake I'm drinking I made single serving bottles using my kiddo's old 4oz baby bottles.  They're small enough that I can fit two of them into the outer pouch of my camel and now I don't have to guess as to how much I'm taking in every hour and risk sicking it all up if I get too much accidently.  Each one is exaclty 200 calories.

Now that I think I've worked out all the kinks, it's time to start dialing it all down to get some rest for the race.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


These past few weeks I've fallen hard into the shame spiral that is boredom.  I haven't been hitting the trails as hard as I know I should,  my mileage has fallen dramatically, and thus, my stamina also fell.  As the date of my race draws ever closer, I do know what I need to do to make damn sure I'll be crossing that finish line.


I know in my mind I can finish, it's all up to pushing myself.