Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Brief Respite

Today the weather gods gifted us a mild day here in Ohio.

This was not "early spring" or the 'beginning' of anything.  It was just a freak day.

I think we will all take it.

I got out of work at 515 pm, the temperature was 61 degrees F.

By the time I got to Salt Fork, with the idea of just some time on the dirt road, it was 59.

59 degrees was still glorious.  I dumped my clothes into the parking lot, and chose the running shorts, instead of tights.  One long-sleeved shirt, I was good to go.

On my fast walk to Forest Road 51, I realized I didn't have a light, in the rapidly gloaming. I didn't care. I was staying on the dirt road.

My Garmin died before I hit the start of the dirt road. I didn't care. I was planning on running down FR 51, to FR 52, and turn around at the bottom, and run back. I did have my Zune with me, so I decided to just run for time. I started at 1756.

These back roads at SF are just dirt/gravel roads, undulating hills.  FR 52 leads you to the valley.  I decided to run for 20 minutes down, then turn back.

As I ran, into the dusk, I realized how tense I was. I don't have the same stresses at work that my old position has, but there are stresses, in different ways.  I could feel myself relaxing.  Slim's QOTD came to mind:

"People lose tension when they run.
The feeling of self respect will almost always increase.
You accept yourself a little more."
-Ted Corbitt

 It was rapidly turning darker as I turned.  I amused myself by running more of the uphills on the way back. It was 20 minutes downhill, 21 minutes uphill. Not bad.

As I turned onto the bridle path, my shortcut back to the car, my path brightened considerably as Van Morrison's "Moondance" came on, low, on the Zune.  It was nice to see Mr. Moon, in half-glory, peak out from the clouds to give me a low light back to my vehicle.

Shorts on the last day of January. I will take it!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Blast From the Past: My First Ultra Race Report

I've been organizing files (photos) on my computer this morning. In doing so, I came across my first ultra race report, the HUFF.  I thought I would post this for your Sunday morning reading pleasure.

HUFF 50K December 2005

Short version: I did it!! 7 hours 38 minutes official, my watch said 7 hours 22 minutes (what's 10 more minutes after 7 hours...)

Pre-race histrionics: I start SUV to warm it at 0530. I lock doors with clicker. Clicker stops working at this critical minute. Panic and despair ensue. I finally call the Huntington Police, who say they will send someone out. There must not be much crime in Huntington at 610am Saturday morning, because the K-9 unit showed up, broke into my vehicle,and I was on my way again at 615am!  (The police officer did say maybe this was a sign I shouldn't run the race...) 

I arrive way early at the campground, enough time to calm myself down, get all my food, clothes, etc ready for the loops. I am parked right by the trail so I can change or pick up food from my own vehicle. 

This is a loop course, 10.8 mile loops around the Roush Lake Reservoir. Temps are a bit cool, in the teens (F) when we start. We're all really really cold at the start. 
The cannon does go BOOM!!! And we're all off, the relay runners and 50K'ers. The one-loop fun runners will be started about ten minutes behind us.  
This is a nice, scenic course, it was very pretty at daybreak, sun glinting off icles and the lake. It was hard to look up though, because the footing was very uneven and unstable this first loop. There was probaly 6-8 inches of snow, which, due to the cold, was not getting beat down at all, even with all the folks in front of me. The first loop was very crowded, too, it was pretty much going one by one up the trail. Passing someone ment going into the deep snow of about one foot on either side. The trail or the racers finally opened up for me about the second aid station, which was around mile 8 or so. 
I had no real expectation of time goals, although I thought 6 hours seemed rather a reasonable number. I thought I could do each 10 mile split in about two hours (I was just ignoring the other 0.8 mile, not being a mathelete.) And my splits through the 10 miles were 2.01 hours, then around 2.15 for the second 10, and 2.30 for the third then (more or less).   
On the second loop, there was no problem with running space! Everyone had spaced out, and I wasn't running around alot of other folks. It was amazing what I remembered on the first loop to prepare for the second loop. The footing was improving too, the sun was heating some of the snow and it was getting trodden down, improving in many areas. I was getting tired already though, the first lap of tromping and teetering, trying to balance, had tired me. My upper body was stiff after constantly watching the trail. I was shuffling along on the second loop, on the road to the first aid station when I thought to myself "I am dog azzed tired" And I immediately felt worse. Then I banished that thought, thinking, no "I am strong but slow." Then I thought it should be "strong AND slow" so I quibbled over that myself and managed to while away a good half mile before I decided on "slow AND strong". 

Loop 3 came about and I did not change my shoes and socks like I did after the first loop. Which I should have, because I had changed out of my trail shoes for running shoes, which got soaked rather quickly in the inches of snow. I just grabbed a fresh toboggan hat (I changed hats at each loop I sweat so much) and more food and shuffled on. 

Loop 3 was good because it was the LAST loop!!! I was really out there by myself now. I picked up some of the remaining Coke at Aid Station 1, and that really perked me for a few miles. I then tried to keep eating as I went forward, because that seemed to help with energy levels. 

I was of course power walking any slopes. There were only a few areas that I could call "hills" here it was a very mangeable course. I developed a non-specific leg pain in my right thigh (different that my normal hamstring pain) which actually hurt when I walked. 

I glanced at my watch at one point and saw I was over the five hour mark...longer than any other run I had every done..then once I clicked over 26.6, longer in miles than any run I had ever done! 

I just kept watching for the mile markers on the last lap, and the big landmarkers..airport, check..aid station 1, check. Awful road section by shooting range, check. 3 runners passed me here and asked if I was okay. I was walking the uphill and eating potato chips and told them I was fine. I caught them at the last aid station, grabbed some hot chocolate on the go and moved on. It was interesting trying to drink hot chocolate and shuffle at the same time. Next was the reservoir, then 3 foot bridges, then the restrooms at the campgrounds, then done. 

Got to the reservoir, headed across it. There was a woman ahead of me, just moving ahead very steadily. I was surprised when I caught up to her right before mile 10, she had been doing great. I passed her and then finally saw the Magical Mile Ten Marker!! 0.8 miles to go!!! I was so excited, I was muttering "ten! ten! ten!" Then I knew all I had to do was pass over 3 footbridges, and then I was see the restrooms and be at the campground. 

I pass over the first footbridge and heard an awful commotion behind me. First I thought it was dogs barking, then I thought it was the trio of runners being me, catching up to me and yelling! I must have really slowed down! No, it was the geese over on the reservoir I was hearing, I was finally getting close!!! Two more bridges....and then...yes it was, ohmygod, I've never been more happy to see a bathroom (well, actually I probaly have been, but this meant the end of the race) I trucked it through the campground, and turned the corner into the finishing shoot and completed the race!!!! 

My chip and bib strip was taken, and then I passed the mental examination in the hot tent (I had to fill out a card with my name, sex, bib number and approximate finishing do that after running 7 hours..) I must have passed because I got my finisher's medal and was pointed to the soup tent! 

I got some great chicken soup, slumped down over it in the corner and started to cry..I am not sure why..just so damn glad to be done running. Some nice man noticed me and came over and talked to me, congratulated me for the race and finding out it was my first ultra. That helped me recover a bit and he said he thought conditions were pretty tough out there on the first loop too.

I was really beat after this run. I was running two more hours longer than anything I had ever done. I am glad I had just run the marathon two weeks prior though, where I had good mileage in for this. If I had only run 20 milers or so for this I think I would have been cooked. 

I'm going to buy some more wool-blend socks and some gaiters for winter running too. 

I'm really really pleased with myself. At no point did I not think I could run these race...strong and slow, I knew I could do it. I really did not have too many bad hurts, just one toe which I knew was kind of turning into hamburger but there was nothing I could do about it, and leg pain, but nothing really too bad. 

 Notes from 2012:  I don't think I would recommend running a road marathon 2 weeks before your first 50K..

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fun Day Up North

I travelled up north-to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park-for the traditional Winter Buckeye Trail FA, held on the last Saturday of January. Most have forgotten about this, since it turned into the "Run for Regis" which is now held MLK Jr weekend.

But NEO TC has not, and the King of the Miles Contest is underway for 2012!!

Six of us made it, with two more females that must have turned and ran a different route. Tara, Wild Bill, Barefoot Johnny and Pepper, Dean, and Bryce. Dean and Bryce turned back after one hour, and Johnny had gotten behind, so it was just Tara, Bill and myself.

Blue Hen Falls
We ran the Buckeye Trail to the stables-very muddy and slick. We returned on some of the BT, but also took a side trip. Wild Bill even took us off piste for a bit!!

I had never been to Brandywine Falls, so we also made a stop there:
Check out the force of nature here!!

Bill and Tara
The Trail Goddess and Tara

A good run "up north" today.  Trail conditions were slick and slidy, and lots of water.  I got the time on my feet that I needed, and completed my last long run before The Wild Oak Trail.  I feel kind of relieved to have gotten the miles in.  Now for the modified taper-ish time!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Five for Friday

1. I tracked all last week on Weight Watchers-both my food and activity points!

This is a very big deal to me. I even tracked my food I ate on my long run.  Result? A two pound weight loss. That is not any additional weight loss, it's almost back to my lowest weight.  I was up several pounds, and the trending was going UP, not down, so that was why I buckled down and decided to journal everything.

It's been a long time since I have successfully tracked every day.

2.  I don't think I am eating enough for my weight loss goals.

In the last week, I was listening to an old episode of Marathon Talk, an interview with Matt Dixon, from Purplepatch Fitness, who coaches or coached Ryan Hall in last year's Boston Marathon. There were a few interesting points I took away.

The first was his quote: "I have yet to meet a training endurance athlete who fuels enough to support their training and health needs." The whole article is here.

As endurance athletes, we may be fueling during the event, but are we eating enough later in the day?

The host of the podcast, Tom Williams, coined a phrase that Matt Dixon agreed with, and I thought was rather fitting also:  instead of being overtrained, we are perhaps actually under-recovered
While I love the WW program, it does not really fit in with an endurance athlete lifestyle.  I was reading on their website, about how many Activity Points (APs) that WW recommend daily, is six. My average, last week, was fifteen.

After viewing my WW chart, I have two conclusions. One, I am drinking too many of my activity points (APs).  So that is an easy enough fix, need to cut way down on the wine!  Two, I need to eat those activity points.  So that is my mission for this week, drink less, and eat more.  I am also planning on tracking my points for the week also.

3.  It is time to plan the garden!  I've been looking through seed catalogs, circling items, trying to plan my garden out for 2012.  I will be putting some work into the garden in June, with being out of town for my two weeks for Hardrock,  so I have to make sure it's pretty low maintenance for the husband.

I'm planning on buying mostly heirloom seeds this year. I am going to start saving my seeds, for both economy and for market crashes. That way, I will have my vegetables for future years.

4. CE's  I report my Continuing Education credits this year for my license. We do this every three years. I need to have six credit  hours.  I found my file, with a paper clip on a bunch of papers, where I've got 3.5 hours totalled up so far.  Now I need to find all the loose CE certificates around my office-which means, it's time to clean and organize the office!

5. Three Day weekend!  A co-worker needed Wednesday off, so I gladly traded my Friday for her Wednesday, so that is why I am sitting here, posting a F-for-F post instead of working! Happy Friday, all!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bread Baking Wednesday

I finally got around to experiment with the 5 minute, no knead bread method.  This is from the book: "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day".


This is Attempt Number 1 !! 

The bread came out a bit dense.

I am not sure I had the proper whole wheat flour, as it said "whole wheat graham flour". I am going to buy some new whole wheat flour for another try.

It really is dummy simple. Mix the dry ingredients, add the water, let rise. No kneeading. Throw it in the refrigerator. On baking day, take out, make round-like, let rise for 90 minutes, then bake.

Okay, for running content-no run today. I have had a bit of pain in my adductor muscle, the adductor magnus, I believe. This is probably due to the uneven surface snow surface at Mohican on Sunday. Instead of the 10K run planned, I elected to walk on the treadmill and get my pushups in.

I am planning on running 20 miles for the Winter Buckeye Trail FA, in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Saturday. I would really like it to be 50K, but I will see how I feel. I have to keep in mind I do have a 100 mile event coming up soon and I do not want to be overtrained-or under-recovered for that.

It felt Like Spring

The temperature was a balmy 36 degrees this morning. In the daylight it felt like spring, after the cold winds of the last few days.

Today was hill repeats. I drove over to my hill.  It is about 3 miles into my normal 10K loop, but performing hill repeats on the hill in the middle of the 10K does not give me enough time in the morning to get all this in.

My 10K loop is a nasty road to drive on, as it's mainly slidy mud right now.

I am glad I got out for these hill repeats, because I can tell my improvement on this hill from last year.   I could have done more repeats had I not run out of time.  I was not that fatigued climbing the hill as I was last year.

This was an interesting kind of observation/quote from Frozen Ed Furtaw, from the Barkley List:

I like the way this concept was stated by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:
"It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though the limits of our abilities do not exist."

With this interpretation, one's estimation of their abilities is irrelevant.  What is important is how one proceeds or acts, regardless of preconceived estimations.  At Barkley, we must proceed as if we can succeed.  If limits of our abilities do indeed exist, they will smack us in the face in due course, regardless of our beliefs.  Of course, those smackings occur sooner for some runners than for others.


I will keep this in mind for The Wild Oak Trail. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Run at Mohican

I had seen on FB that Terri and others were going to run at Mohican on Sunday, but I was just planning on 20 miles on the roads here around town.

Then Mikey called and personally requested my presence. He's going to be moving soon, and might not be back on the beloved trails of Mohican any time soon. So of course, I am off to Mo for the run.

Mike, myself, Terri, Mark, Zach, Don, Nick, Rob, Mark all convened at the pavilion at the Class A Campgrounds.  There was still quite a bit of snow at Mo-4 to 6 inches.  We were already downgrading the proposed 50K down to something managable.

We asked Terri what we were seemed the plan was to run the Mohican 100 course loop.

So off we went.  The first mile of trail had been broken by a snowshoe trekker the day before.  Then Nick took the lead and broke trail as we crossed across the river to the mountain bike trail.

Lots of talk talk talk on the trail.  Lots of joke, smack talking.  We were trying to ignore the fact that the snow was rather deep; there was much more slogging thru snow than alot of running.

We lost Don, Nick, and Zach after a few miles, as they peeled off on the road to complete their runs.

The rest of us trodded on.  It was quite funny in places, as we tried to figure out where we were, exactly. (The group had more than one thousand Mohican miles between us.) 

Mark had a brillant idea when we got to the mountain bike trailhead, nine miles in. He proposed we just turn around and retrace our steps..since we now  had a broken in trail to run in, with the slight wind behind us.  This was readily accessable.

Rob elected to bail with Mark L. here, to continue on with his training plan of the day, so it was down to Mike, Mark, Terri and I. 

It was slower going back, but still a good time. Terri need to make her mileage an even 20, but I was fine to bail at 18 trail miles for the day.

GREAT to be back at Mohican and even better to spend some trail time with Mikey!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I had a good run today.

It was cold-about 21 F at 11 am, and windy.  I donned long johns under my Marmot Precip Pants, and on top wore just one merino wool long sleev tops and my Sierra Designs windbreaker. I also brought along my $32 dollar wind mittens, along with my cheapo knit gloves.

I also decided to try out the Ultimate Direction bladder that my new Wink pack arrived with.  I was rather dubious of its design.
As my rotten pics show, there is no screw on lid, or clip for the UD pack.

It has this kind of sandwich bag type seal. But I could not get this to seal together.

Then you roll down the plastic bladder.


 And secure with the velcro.  Now this does seem kind of secure.


 And then into the pack, hanging off it's little velcro hook.

The reason I decided to try this today was, the hose is insulated.  (And I could not take it off this bladder for use on another.)  It worked out just fine, but I am kind of hesitant to use this in a long race. I may use this again tomorrow, and see how it works out.  I am just hesistant about having this filled up at an AS and not having it sealed or cinched down properly.  As an old AS worker myself, this would also be a hydration pack that I would make the runner close up themselves.

Has anyone used this Ultimate Direction bladder in a race? Feedback?

Ok, back to the run.  It was cold, the wind was strong, and I was miserable. I was very glad for all the windbreaker clothing I had on, it was needed.  Miles 0 through 4 sucked.

Once I climbed up to the ridgeline, it was the point of no return, if I did retreat it would still be 4 miles back.

At mile 5.7, I paused. I could take the side road, for more mileage-original plan-or I could continue down the road to finish up a bit shorter.
Well, what would the point of that be?  My husband went out of town for the morning, so I couldn't even use the excuse of that.  I turned left.  This is a township road, so it was just like running on a snow covered trail, since it's mainly a dirt and gravel road at best.
I ate a Payday mini bar as I climbed up the township road and crossed the road for the big downhill section. I also clicked the Zune over to "music".
And, at mile 7.9, the calories or sugar hit from the candybar simultaneously with the music starting, I was running downhill, and it was GREAT!!
It did not hurt that this is about a big one mile downhill.  The rest of my run was great. I smiled the rest of the way.

The husband was just returning home as I ran down the hill, so great timing!

I'm glad I suffered through the wind and my attitude for the first few miles.  Must remember this!!

PSA: Screwed Shoes

It actually is a record; it's the 20th of January and I just screwed my shoes this morning.

For anyone not familiar, this is the old school, cheapo, better way to traverse on ice in the winter months.  It will cost you about two bucks to go buy some sheet metal screws.  The hexagonal ones, not the round. The round ones won't help you at all.

This was the first post I ever read about screwing your shoes, and it tells you everything you need to know.

The rusted screws are from last year.  They were worn down, and many had fallen out, so I just decided to add to the others. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Five For Friday

Well, probably not.  But it's a popular blog title.

1. It's Five degrees F out.  I'm so glad this was my scheduled day off from running. Ha, take that, weather! Guilt free!

I was planning on running 20 miles on Saturday, then I noticed the weather forecast for Sunday...high of 47. That's a no brainer, how about a shorter run, 11 miles for Saturday, and save the long run for the milder temps.

2. I wish Google would let me stay logged in to multiple accounts so I can cross post from different blogs. It's a PITA to constantly log in and out.

3. My dog Tino is depressed. That makes me very sad too.

4. Planning planning planning-getting pysched and a bit skeered too for the upcoming run on the Wild Oak Trail in Virginia. I am planning on running 4 loops of the 25 mile trail. Yes, that makes 100 miles.  There are two big climbs-Big and Little Knob, which are both 4000 feet.  That would give me 64,000 feet of climb-but maybe more importantly, 64,000 feet of descent.  I need the quad workouts for the descent.  (Is this right?)

Upcoming plans for next week is to get a long run in on next  Friday, and then go north for the tradish Buckeye Trail FA on the last weekend of January.

5.  Goal for this week is to stay on Weight Watcher plan and track my food and activity for the week. When I track, I lose weight.  I am up a few pounds, because of the crapola from last weekend, but that's okay. You just have to know when to stop it and get back on track. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scooter Is Back

I went out for my 10K around the block. This time I decided to run it clockwise, I usually run it counterclockwise.

I did get out around 9 am, in a period when it was not actively raining. But I did keep the raincoat in the pack where it has been.

About one mile into the run, it began to pour. I quickly dropped the bag, and took off my merino wool top, leaving on a short sleeved shirt, since I was already warm-the temperature was about 48 F.

The rain was not so bad, it was more the wind. I even put up the hood of the rain coat, and then had to cinch it down so it didn't act like a sail.

I was going to do some hill repeats, but after one, my legs felt like concrete and my heart just wasn't into it.

I ran into Scooter in his neighborhood. He decided to accompany me. Which was fine, until we got to the corner of my road.

Scooter started following me up this road too. I stopped, and called for extraction. I told Dennis to just start down the road and pick me up.

So I called to Scooter, who now was delighted to run more, and proceeded to jump all over me, so I could tell he'd had a skunk encounter in some prior time.
I managed to extricate myself from Scooter and hop into the vehicle when Dennis arrived. Scooter was on his own to meander back to his house.

I think I am going to 1) Find out who Scooter belongs to, for future reference 2) run my loop CCW instead of CW. About one or so miles going the other way, the Gump dogs live there, and Scooter always turns around as not to get involved with these other dogs and their territory!

So I actually got a little bonus mileage, aka "Scooter miles" for my 10K. Thanks dog!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just jump in

Sometimes this cold weather running is just best gotten over with.

I got up, checked the temperature-a balmy 18 F out.

Contemplated running 4 miles on the treadmill, and decided I did not want to do that. I finished my coffee, and decided to just go for total immersion.

Donned the tights, socks, two shirts; jammed a tobaggon hat and a wool Buff on my head, tied my shoes, found two non-matching gloves-the idea was to get dressed and go.

Grabbed my Wink pack-yes, not needed for a 4 mile run, but since it was still loaded with gear and water from Saturday's shortened run, decided might as well carry it.

The water tube froze where it came out of the pack, despite having a couple of Nuun tabs dissolved in the water. I may need to insulate the water tube if I am going to use it for winter running.

Not a bad run, not a great run. Just 4 miles around the block, got it done. Yay me.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Brave American 5K Februrary 25th 2012

 I stumbled across this on Facebook, and I thought I would give him a shout out.

" Hello, my name's Rob.  I'm a 16 year old runner at Quaker Valley High school, where we are required to complete "Sophomore Project" during our 10th grade year.  As my sophomore project, I've decided that I wanted to organize a 5k race that would benefit wounded troops coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The proceeds of this race will go directly to the "Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors" which delivers therapeutic outpatient care to troops suffering physical and psychological wounds. It truly is innovative in that it fits a niche that currently isn't filled in the world of wounded veterans. Learn more about the retreat on the website .  "

Race Date: February 25th, 2012, at 9 a.m. It will be at War Memorial Park on Blackburn Road in Sewickley PA. 

If you would like to volunteer, or have any questions, please contact me at

His Facebook Site:

His Website:  or click here

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My dog Sandal

My dog Sandal

My dog Sandal, passed away today. She had cancer, with a tumor removed in June. She fought a good battle with chemo and radiation and was loved by everyone. She tolerated all her treatments so well. In fact, she would jump into the vehicle to go to the "spa" as we called it. She had a cancerous tumor removed last week, and then this week, all of a sudden wasn't feeling so good. It was very sudden. Pneumonia in her lungs and it appeared that the cancer was also back in her lungs. We took her to Medvets on Friday, and she was in the ICU. The doctor indicated that the antibiotics weren't going to cut it, and we decided to let Sandal go, so she wouldn't have any suffering. Sandal was the best tempered family member we ever had. She was just loved by everyone. And she loved everone. She was the best.

 My two favorite pics of me and Sandal.  This is from 2004. I have just ran and returned from the Akron Marathon. My first marathon.  I've have a few glasses of wine LOL.

I just love this picture of she and I here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

It is What It is

Yes, a third blog post today. I have time on my hands.

The husband and dog made it safely to Columbus, a two hour drive that took 3 hours. On first quick evaluation, she has pneumonia and will likely be in the hospital for at least two days.

Of course I am stressed out, but at least I am being productive here at home.

I walked on the treadmill, 10% incline, up to 4 MPH, for one hour. Then I did a thirty minute interval running work out on the treadmill. Oh, and I couldn't hear my movies over the treadmill noise, soI put on an old taped episode of the Biggest Loser and watched it. There sure are alot of food commercials during the BL.

Then I mopped the kitchen floor, cleaned the counters, cleaned the bathroom, put the laundry away. Swept all the floors.

I've been using the reframing technique all day.

Yes, the dog is in the hospital. Yes, isn't it great that I can afford to have the dog in the hospital without having additional worry about the bills.

Yes, I had to bail on my run with my friend today and the training run for tomorrow. Yes, but I did get in a workout today. I just have to let go that I didn't get my miles or time on my feet in. I can always go hang out on the treadmill for more time.

Since the dog is being cared for, I can still get a long run in tomorrow. I'm not sure what I want to do. I could always go up to CVNP and bandit the Regis Run, but I am not sure I feel very sociable right now. I tend to go quiet when things are bothering me.

The weather has turned abruptly into winter (imagine that, January in Ohio) and the forecast for both here and northern Ohio is the same, cold and windy.  So I haven't made any sort of decision.  Perhaps I should just go to Salt Fork, and cobble together 30 miles the best  I can.

Today's workout is..

I'm going downstairs to the treadmill.  I have a few movies to watch-Prefontaine,  Run for your Life, The Long Run.  It kind of depends on the sound quality of the movies, if there is quiet dialogue I cannot hear it over the treadmill.  So we will see.

I'm going to stop feeling sorry for myself and get a workout then.
Then I am going to take a nap. Dennis left with the dog to take her to the hospital. It's the first big snow day of the year, so who knows how long his trip there will take. My dog is so miserable, I'm glad she is on the way now. I would guess she might have pneumonia, from the rattles and wheezes in her chest when she briefly slept last night. It is what it is. And now it's time for me to get a workout in.

Change of Plans

The dog was not well overnight, so I cancelled my trip to Virginia for the weekend.

So I have gone from getting 20 miles in on Friday, 30 miles in on Saturday, to undecided plans now.

The dog will probably be hospitalized today, so I should be able to go somewhere for a long run on Saturday.

Things to ponder at 5am on a few hours of sleep.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Keeping Everyone Happy

Today was my day off.  I had a doctor appointment at 9am, "in town" and the husband wanted to go out to lunch at a new restaurant 1/2 hour north.

First I thought, go to doctor's appointment, then run home, shower, go to lunch with husband.

Husband didn't like this option, as he thought we would be going to lunch too late.

I have a real problem with getting myself out the door, in the afternoon, at home, especially when we've been out and about.  As in, it doesn't  happen.

Ok.  How about doctor appointment, drive home, go to lunch with husband, and then get dropped off in town, and then run home? Not my best scenario, of eating sushi, and then going running, but it fits best.

It worked.  We  had lunch at the new restaurant, have potentially a new sushi restaurant within 1/2 hour drive.
Then I changed clothes in the vehicle on our drive home.  I got deposited out on the other side of the Tuscarawas River, and started up the back roads home.

A good solid little run. Nice sunshine, nice sunshine at home too. Everyone stayed happy-a good balance!

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Horoscope for the Year

Year 2012 Overview


The confusion of 2011 is about to lift as clarity returns in 2012.

You've no doubt been through a series of powerful metamorphoses since 2008, when Pluto took possession of your stars for the long haul. You're not even a quarter of the way through the 18-year shedding process that Pluto requires ... and yet you're not the same person you were just a few years ago by any stretch of the imagination.

In some ways, you can expect this year to be a long, dramatic pause. You'll be questioning many aspects of your existence, especially your professional life. Mars, the planet of work and action, will be retrograde for the first quarter of the year in your house of higher learning and travel, putting you in a deeply introspective and philosophical mode. During this time, you'll be less inclined to hit the road than you will be to hit the books.

When the eclipse patterns stir up the winds of change for you again in spring and summer, you'll experience some major epiphanies about the new direction you need to take. The new Moon solar eclipse in your work sector brings a fresh approach to the way you go about your daily routine.
And then, the full Moon lunar eclipse of June in your dream sector will bring the muse and vision to inspire you to go beyond the known. The total solar eclipse and new Moon in your goal sector in November is the final push to plant radically new seeds. There's no question that you're leaving your old life behind; it's now just a matter of faithfully emerging into the new.

My Birthday Run

I will be awakening at 4 AM, to get some birthday miles in.

Why? Well, because my husband is cooking me dinner after work, so I can't run then.

And birthday miles count as FatAss Miles in the "King of the Miles" contest. So, although the miles won't be much, I want to run them.

SO I am heading out, on my 46th birthday, to run in the dark. Maybe Scooter the dog, around the corner will join me.

Nah. He'll still be asleep.

About a month ago, I had a startled thought.

I'm middle-aged.

What the hell does that mean? Indeed, I am. 46 years old, I am there. Halfway to my 80's.

I am in the best shape of my life. I can kick the ass of Kim the 20 year old, and certainly the 30 year old.

Thank heavens I started down my weight loss journey in my late thirties.

I ran my first marathon in 2004, and my first trail run, and then ultra, in 2005. I was hooked.

I had pretty much the standard mid life crisis  and gained back a bunch of  the weight I had previously lost.

Then I got over that, and finally got serious about losing weight and training. And gaining confidence. And that was 2010, and then results were delivered in 2011.

And now, 2012? Wow, this is the year. Dream race on tap. 6 months to train. 6 months to get in the best shape of my life.  Happy birthday, indeed.  I am ready for it!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Route

I tried a new side road today, on my run around the block. I was hoping it would be a "hilly" road as I look for hills to run on.
I do actually have plenty of hills here, but I am always looking for a new route just to change things up a bit.

The new side road did not pan out, it stayed kind of on top of the ridge. I had to put the gloves back on due to the wind on the top of the hill.

I wore my new Wink pack but forgot to throw the windbreaker jacket into it. It's getting more comfortable although it weighs a bit more than the Nathan vest. I will be very used to it soon.

Kind of an uneventful run until I started down Pleasant Valley Road, which is closed. It soon became apparent, as I saw the "landslide" sign posted, then spotted the heavy machinery.  I was able to duck around the big shovel, and stopped to chat with some workers.

We don't have zoning out here in the country. This is one of the times where it might have been helpful.  About 8 years ago, someone dug out a flat space down the hill from the road for their trailer.  The road began to slip just past it the next year.  Now the entire slope has crumbled, and it's turned into quite the construction project. 

I continued on, pushing the big 1/2 mile downhill I have here. The legs have a bit of residual heaviness to them, and the last couple of miles I kind of sludged through.  Still, a very pretty but chilly day out due to the wind. 10 miles for the day. Next up, birthday miles!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Don't Freeze your FA FA Report

I got the FB invite  around Christmas time, Jay Smithberger was organizing another FA for New Year's Day. Last year was very successful, but we apparently "muddied the trails" in the Dennison University Bioreserve and Jay got some flak about that.

This year, the FA started from the Smithberger Estate, and Jay had two loops mapped out-first loop, five miles of road, back to his place. Then, two miles down the road to the Bio where he had gotten the green light for use to do a 9'ish mile loop on.

My quads are still not recovered from the MHM on Wednesday.  I got to chat a little with Tom Patton on the first road loop.  It was a very scenic little loop around the neighborhood, I liked this little building:

It started to rain as I got back to Jay's place, so I donned the rain jacket I had been carrying.

Gear note: I wore my new WINK Ultimate Direction pack. It's heavier than the Nathan Hydration Vest, but there is more room to store items in it. I will most likely carry this at HR, so I will start using it now. The rain quit around the time I got to the Bio entrance, so I stopped and took the jacket off!

 Happy New Year!

Then, about ten minutes later, the rain commenced and back on went the jacket!

The Bio does have some good ups and downs. The downs were killing my quads. They are not recovered yet from the MHM.

I'm following Jay's pink ribbons. Then I notice I am going by the sign that says "Cuckoo Trail Closed." Hmm. I have already ran by this sign once. But where did I miss a turn?  The Bio is full of trails and I am not carrying a map.  Rather than run the loop that I have just done, I decide to backtrack, since I know this "Closed" sign was close to where we entered the Bio.  Hey, I was paying that enough attention!

So I backtrack, and hit the road section again back to Jay's. Since everyone is still out and running, I decide to just head for home.  Happy with the effort and 12 miles logged for the new year!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

So is it end of the year or beginning of the new? I'm on to the beginning of the new. I couldn't even get to Reverb 11 this year after the December 4th lottery results. How can I reflect on 2011 when 2012 is dawning?

Okay, I will try and reflect. I had an extremely awesome 2011. I gained confidence in myself as a runner and posted a solid finish at Massanutten. I finally realized that I am *not* the same person that I was before, so I needed to drag my thinking about *that kim* is not the Kimba I am now. I finally left that other person behind, and had a very productive 2011.

I did not complete the WV Trilogy,so that left me with unfinished business. 50 Mile races do not seem to be my forte. There has been the suggestion of 'only' running the 50 miler at the Trilogy, but on the quick look, the Trilogy weekend looks to fall on my weekend to work, so that is out of the question.

Hardrock 2012 was not the plan. The plan was to apply for the Barkley, and complete one loop. To set myself up for more loops and sucess down the way. I was even planning on going to Frozen Head State Park in January, on my 4 day weekend. Then the Hardrock lottery commenced, and spun me into the Hardrock Race for 2012.

And that's fine. I've got six months to train for it. I head out on January 1 for a run. I'm carrying my rain jacket. Why? Because I will be carrying it at HR. And I might as well start carrying the beginning of my gear now. Training commences now. I am so looking forward to 2012. Seriously, it's "Living the Dream" year for me.