Monday, November 29, 2010

My week of Inside Workouts

The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks 8th nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with the hunting-related industry. Each year, hunting has a $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.
A total of six deer may be harvested in eastern and southeastern Ohio’s Zone C (38 counties) through the week long gun season. The antlerless deer permit will be valid for deer-gun week only in Zone C.

Deer Gun Season is the second holiday of November here in southern Ohio. This is the week of the year that I eschew outside workouts. After living here for years now, I don't really feel that safe on the roads around here.
So, my week of indoor workouts:
Monday: Day off. OR, I may do some incline walking on the treadmill.
Tuesday: Visit the YMCA, figure out how to use the rowing machine. Run some miles on their treadmill, and use the Stair Master.
Wednesday: My day off this week from work. Usually a long outside run. I think I will revisit the YMCA again, use their treadmill/elliptical and Stair Master for a two hour work out.
Thursday: Treadmill run at home.
Friday: Scheduled day off from running
Saturday: Long Run...what does that mean on the treadmill?
Sunday: Again, improvised work out.

And there is a provision to the workouts this week: They may, at any time, get superceded by the need to harvest deer. If all works out, I will be cleaning and wrapping deer for the freezer.
Last year, I cut and cleaned deer three days in a row. Tedious yes, but when you like to eat very healthy (and cheaply when you kill deer on your own property, thereby needing no permit) hunting supercedes workouts.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Beauty of a day on the trails. I got out for around five miles. I was a little tired.


Still, I exceeded what my planned mileage for the week. I had guestimated around 33 miles, I ended up with 34.nov281

Nice sunny day on the trails. Really appreciated that sunshine.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Small Victory

It was cold this morning. I garbed up to drive a short distance to Salt Fork, my state park in my back yard.
As I left the nice warm house, the wind hit me. I shuddered.

Then I thought to myself, it's going to be cold for TWOT. And Reverse Ring.

And that was all I needed to say to myself. I got in the vehicle and went out to train and run.

The switch has been flipped.

I just hope the forward momentum will continue, after December 8, where I will know my fate.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Courage is defined as weighing in and recording it the Day after Thanksgiving!

I'm up 2.5 lbs which I expected. I've been hovering around 22-23 lbs lost for the last couple of weeks.

I picked up the measuring tape to see where my waist and hip measurements were, as I was shopping for Christmas items for the husband to give to me..

Happy to see I had lost 0.5 inch off my chest, 1 inch off the waist, and one inch off the hips since I had lost measured and recorded, in September! So progress keeps getting made!

I am an on-line subscriber of Weight Watchers. WW is revising their "points" system on Monday, so I am looking forward to the new program. I think it's going to be much more time-consuming (as a long time WW'er, I've had points of many many foods memorized) in the beginning, but it will also be as a "Fresh Start". I believe this should kick-start my next phase of weight loss. I expect to be 15 pounds lighter by May!

Oh, and for anyone wanting to lose weight, don't wait "Till after the holidays". Really? Why then need to lose another 5 lbs on top of what you want to lose? It's really a good feeling to get through the Christmas season either weight-neutral or down a few pounds. Why not weigh in December 1 and either eat correct or exercise enough (and that could be alot of exercise!!) to drop a few pounds?

I'll put my money where my mouth is. I will lose 5 lbs by January 1 2011. That would be these 2.5 lbs I've put back on, and 2.5 more. Doable!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's the latest running video from Matt Hart:

I'm thankful for many things. I'm in a very good spot right now in my life, much more content than I have been in the last two years or so. Let's call it a midlife crisis.
I'm truly happy these days again. Many thanks to my friends for being there.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I got 6.48 miles in today, since the rain subsided, and I got out for a pretty nice mild weather run.

For motivation, I got this from the NEO Trail Forum today:

Ohio Stats for MMT

Average time is 31:45
Median time is 31:50
Fastest is Regis Shivers Jr at 24:41 in 1999.
Slowest is Stephen Wirick at 35:42:03 in 2008.
Average age is 42.8 years old.
Youngest was Gabe Rainwater at 30:15:12 in 2009 at age 21.
Oldest was Mark Calcatera at 34:36:28 in 2010 at age 61.
81 finishes from 38 gentlemen.
25 gentlemen have 1 finish.
Only 13 have been succesful in multiple attempts.
Most is Roy Heger with 11 finishes.

There are at least 4 guys and 3 women on the Visitor's List from Ohio.


How's that from motivation from friends?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Road Running Dangers

So I survive running around the rocky trails of western PA for two days, including opening day of bear season, to draw more blood on an out-and-back here on the home roads!
I opened the door to see what the temperature was like. I was stoked to see it was between 55 and 60 degrees! Wheee, I was out the door!
A bio break called around 3 miles. A dash into the woods. I caught some briars on the leg, saw a little pinprick of blood. I glanced down a few minutes later, blood is pouring down my leg. I try to swipe it off, but all I do is smear it around. I caught some good looks from some Amish kids walking down the road to the schoolhouse!

I was pleased to see my running mileage for last week was 64.8 miles. My goal was 50, push for 60 miles. I am planning on trying to get my weekly mileage up a bit.

This week's goal is get back to journalling and following WW Points system. Well, I probably won't journal on Thanksgiving (maybe I should try though) but I don't go hog wild on that day either.

Ok! Now off to get that stretching done!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Back from Slim Pickins

Slim Pickins is a Fat Ass NEO Trail Event that I have been looking forward to since..well, last year's Slim Pickins.

It's always held the same weekend of the JFK 50 Miler. We're not fans of the JFK..for various reasons. I have several. Too many miles on the towpath (26.2 I think) and then I think, another 10 on roads. The only part that was interesting to me at all was the first part on the Appalchian Trail. Then there is the whole entry fee/ race director salary. But I digress. Suffice to say, I never thought about entering the JFK.
But around this time of year, in ultra running, it's "Slim Pickins" if you eschew the JFK. Get it???

I got over to Linn Run State Park, about 1030 am. I left a careful itenary on where I was running (since I was alone). I started up the "Quarry Trail" then absent-mindedly ended up on the Grove Run Trail. Ooops. So much for my trail itenary!

I ended back up on my original trail, the Quarry Trail. It then seemed to change into the "Powdermill Trail" since I saw signs about it on trees. It led me to a dirt road triangle..with nothing marked, no blazes, and no signs. I chose the lower jeep road.
This dumped me out right along the PA Turnpike. OK! This was good. The PA Turnpike runs east-west. I squinted at the sun. It was 12.37 pm. So I should go east. I should pick up the Laurel Highlands Trail (which runs north-south) eventually.
If I was wrong, I should end up in Donegal, Pa. I had 40 bucks and a charge cell phone in my pack. I would think someone would give me a ride to my cabin (about twelve miles away) for twenty dollars.
But this trail led to an actual sign, and I was confused about where I was. So I chose a direction.

And ran into fellow NEO Trail member, Bruce! I told him of my confusion. We ran back the same I had come, and took a different trail. This dumped us on Fish Run Trail, which would lead us back to the cabin. At this point we ran into club President Bob Combs.

Bob chooses to run around and run back with us. I've had a good day of running. I've gotten 15.38 miles for my troubles.

We have this awesome cabin at Linn Run State Park. Fireplace, stove, frig, bedrooms. We get the fire started, and start breaking out food. We're relaxing, and a fourth club member, Rich, arrives shortly after dinner.

We have a few drinks, and pretty much decide to go to bed. It's 9 PM! I get into my bunk (I have the 'girls room') solo bunk bed. I hear Rich and Bob talking about how nice it is outside, with the full moon. I am still wired also, so I go out and ask them how far we are running. In short time, we're garbed up and outside in the cool icy night, starting up a hillside in the dark.
It was great. We would hit some un-rocky ground where we could turn off the lights, and just run/hike in the dark. Awesome six miles on the trail.

We got up early the next morning to run some more. Slim and Cam were joining us. These were my running buds from the Ring. It was cool that Cam (and Jim) hung with my running pace, which is not up to par with these guys yet.

I got to have some great chats with both Bob and Jim. Have I mentioned how much I love and respect these guys? They believe in me so much, tell me I can accomplish my goals and are so generous with their advice and admonishments. They've been a huge part of my growth as an ultra runner (and person!)

We got in somewhere around 28'ish miles. (The Garmin died on me). So I got 20+ miles on Friday, with the night run, and 28'ish on Saturday. I got good advice on plans for future runs and races. I got feedback on my training. I got to hear hilarious stories about past runs and racers. I got to share trail and face time with friends-priceless!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Beaujolais Noveau Day!!

And another blog post about Beaujolais Noveau Day!

t one past midnight on the third Thursday of each November, from little villages and towns like Romanèche-Thorins, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. Banners proclaim the good news: Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! "The New Beaujolais has arrived!" One of the most frivolous and animated rituals in the wine world has begun.

By French law, Beaujolais Nouveau is to be released no earlier than the third Thursday of November.

Well, here in rural Ohio, I usually get the Beaujolais Noveau, 2010, around the second week of December. It takes more time to get it here.

The red wine is usually...not that good. It's a 2010 (new harvest) edition. It hasn't aged at all. I usually drink the bottle by myself ( or with a local friend) as the husband has signed himself out from participating with the vintage.

It's more about the "event" that is usually 2 weeks late around here, than how the actual wine tastes.

But actually, the husband and I are going out for lunch at the local winery on Thursday. Perhaps we shall celebrate "Beaujolais Noveau Day" in spirit.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Zoar Valley Trail

As I had to have bloodwork drawn at the doctor's office, I decided to head north just a bit, to Bolivar, Ohio, and run on the Zoar Valley Trail.

I picked up this trail at Fort Laurens. This is a historical site-the only Revolutionary War Fort in Ohio.

Apparently the Zoar Valley Trail is also combined with the Ohio&Erie Towpath Trail at this point also.
Canals were popular in the early 19th century to get people and goods faster than horseback. This was before trains. There were quite a few canals dug and built in Ohio. Most were finished around the time of the railroads-which pretty much killed their business. There was a big flood in 1913, which destroyed many canals.

Well, for anyone not from the Ohio area, horses or mules pulled the canal boats. The animals walked on the "towpath" right next to the canal. Many of these towpaths have been converted into recreational systems. Some have asphalt surfaces, some are a crushed limestone. The towpath I was running on was a bit rougher.
I passed three of the locks. These locks were due to a change of elevation. The canal boats would enter the lock, and the water would be either lowered or brought up so the canal boat could continue. (Don't ask me how this worked.)
As I ran, I also noticed the "blue blaze" on the tree. The Buckeye Trail also shares space on this trail.
I got almost to my turn around point, where I noticed the historical marker for the Zoarville Station Fink Truss Bridge. Well I had to go and look at it! Pretty cool bridge.
The Zoarville Station Bridge at is the only Fink Through-Truss bridge known to exist in the United States. Well, of course, I had to find out why this was a big deal.
The Zoarville Station Bridge is a rare survivor of the earliest period of iron bridge construction in the United States, an era when unprecedented railroad expansion gave American bridge builders an international reputation for innovation. German immigrant Albert Fink first developed this truss design for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the early 1850s.
Because it is the last of its type, features unique engineering, uses Phoenix columns in its structure, and is ancient with an 1868 construction date, this is a bridge that is rivaled by few in terms of importance.

The bridge features the highly unusual Fink truss configuration. These endposts are vertical and utilize a modified Phoenix Column. Phoenix columns are also used for the top chord and vertical members. Phoenix columns were a special patented type of built-up member. Very few examples of them remain today.

The bridge is also noteworthy for its high levels of aesthetic value. Most notably, the portal of this bridge has a very unique and stunning design to it that makes standing before this bridge quite a visual experience.

Wow! This apparently is a big deal. This is only one section of the bridge. There was originally three sections, and it spanned the Tuscarawas River in Dover. It has been reassembled and restored, and now is over the Conotton Creek.

It was a nice little find out there. Fort Laurens is right off I-77, at the Bolivar exit. This entire trail is actually 20 miles long. It's non-hilly. It's almost flat. This might be a good training trail for some "safe" winter miles.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day!

Thank you to all the service people out there. My husband is a combat veteran; we're going out to eat today.

I had a doctor appointment first thing this morning. My husband drove to town with me, as we had an insurance appointment next. Then he went to buy some groceries and I then ran home! 11 miles in 2.15.

My doctor was very pleased with me. As she has not seen me in a year, she was very happy with the 24 lbs I have lost on their scales. My BP was 94/64- no wonder I always get faint whenever I have blood drawn. My oxygen level was 99%, HR was 56. The doc agreed with all the blood work I want to have done-cholesterol, Vitamin D, potassium, magnesium, and the T3 & T4 for the hypothyroidism. She also remarked my levothyroxine dose may need to be changed with my weight loss-something I had not considered. She didn't know what to do about the calf cramping but finding out what my magnesium and potassium levels are would be a good start. (And the calf just throbbed on my run today-I guess mr Knot didn't like getting discussed!)

I was very pleased with my time, which included power walking up some steep hills. I'm wondering what I could do in a flat-like 1/2 marathon course!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I have been assessing the rest of November and December. Although I look at each week, assess my work shifts, and then decide on a workout, I also decided I needed to pull back and look at the overall picture too. I think I need to try and push my mileage a bit.
I have a race or "event" once monthly through February. January is an actual "paid" for race. Having an event or race helps get some automatic mileage in.

I work one weekend every month which generally leads to a lighter mileage week.

So my mileage looks something like this:

This week (work weekend) 30 miles
Slim Pickins Weekend-50 mile week, push for 60
Thanksgiving Week- 40+
1st week of December-which is deer gun season-40+. Now this mileage could be set almost to zero if my time after work is tied up with cleaning and wrapping deer. Last year I believe we cut and cleaned deer on 3 days straight.
Work weekend- 33 miles
URINEO Weekend- 80 miles
Week of Christmas- 30 miles
Week of New Years- 60 push for 70
Work Week- 30 miles
Week of Jan 15- 100 K Race on January 15. 64 miles.

I do have some big weeks pencilled in. But at URINEO, I am planning on running 50 miles that day. That only leads to getting 30 miles in on other days.
This will be weather depend also. I'm staying very flexible to weather and family plans.

Planning the weekly mileage out a bit in advance will help me in deciding-and then keeping-the daily mileage runs.
For example, my husband told me Tuesday we were having friends over on Wednesday evening. That meant no run after work. That made me very determined to get my planned 6 mile run in on Tuesday after work.

Which I did! Darkness and all! This was done on the flat bike asphalt trail. As tedious as an out and back is, I think having this trail close to work will help me get miles in this winter. 6 miles, with average pace of 10.58. I was very pleased with my time and getting the full miles in.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Daylight Saving Time

It's here. Did you turn the clocks back? Got an extra hour of sleep?

Daylight Saving Time was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II the federal government again required the states to observe the time change. Between the wars and after World War II, states and communities chose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time.
Daylight Saving Time is four weeks longer since 2007 due to the passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005. The Act extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November, with the hope that it would save 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced use of power by businesses during daylight hours.

Of course, that means, here in the East (EST) it will be dark at 5 pm. As winter progresses, closer to 4 pm. Many of us will rise in the morning-in the dark and work all day, and return home in the evening-in the dark.

It just sucks your will to live.

(I would never last in Alaska. One, with the 23 hours of sunlight, I'm sure I would go sun happy and kill myself doing things 23 hours of the day. I wouldn't even make it to the winter hours.)

However, this year I'm prepared for it. I've already thought about it (hence the blog post) and am mentally preparing for doing most workouts in the dark.

It is what it is. Good training for the dark hours!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weight Gain

I gained 2.5 lbs this week. I wasn't surprised at all. I've been doing a poor job of journalling-and following-the WW point system. When I follow the plan, I lose weight.

So I sucked it up, weighed in, and recorded the 2.5 weight gain. Now it's a fresh week, I've pre-journalled my food for today, and hope to stay on Plan.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mike McCune

I got an early morning email from Di Shivers. A running friend of ours, Mike McCune, had passed away. Di's email, which came from Mike Jaccolenne, said Mike had been fixing a gas leak, and was overcome. I don't know whether Mike was working on the job, or at home when this happened.
Mike, and his wife, Cassandra, were very good runners in the Zanesville area scene. Mike had completed the Mohican 100 Race 7 times. Mike and Cassie were always good people to hang out with prior to a race-low key and laid back. And a good sense of humor.
Mike would frequently show up at the Mohican 100 race with a Mohawk haircut. A favorite memory of Mike was when he showed up with this head of curly-really curly hair-locks! I pretty much did not recognize him!
Another favorite memory-I didn't see, just heard about, in our pre-race bs talks. Mike consumed, from 1-5 RedBulls. He was so jacked up, he outran everybody!! for a little while. Like the first 1-3 miles or something like that. It became one of our Mohican Legends.
Sigh. Life is too short people. I'm really sorry about this, Cassandra.

I just wanted to post a few thoughts about Mike. My run around the block was ok, noting spectacular. Just some good miles in. But wow, Mike is gone. Mike was only, 10years or less, older than me? (And anyways, it seems like his death was definitely accidental.)

Life is too short folks. So enjoy that 6.4 mile run around the block, or that kind of dreaded 4 miler after a 10 hour work day. It's still a workout, you're still around, and your loved ones are still around.

Rest in peace Mike. I'm glad to have run with you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vote Run

I combined atheletics and civic duty this morning. I ran the 2.69 miles to the township hall; voted, and ran home.

Chilly morning, around 30 degrees. I was a bit worried about there being more traffic on the twisty road to the hall, but that was unfounded. I think I encountered nine cars on the round trip.