Sunday, September 30, 2012

Crappy pictures, good run

I felt a little better waking up getting a dog toy dropped on my face by a puppy this morning.  I made it almost to 7am.  My HR, using the phone app was 55 and 58.  I felt rested, not tired this morning.

I had a good run.  It was cool out, about fifty degrees. I wore a short sleeve shirt with my Moeben sleeves.  This have really been quite useful.  Instead of wearing a long sleeve shirt and getting too hot, it's very easy just to peel these off after 30 minutes or so.

I felt good. I had energy out on the run.  I had energy on the whole run.

My pictures are kind of fuzzy.  I don't know what is up with that. I specifically ran this 11 miler, so I could get a couple of good fall views with the red barns:

This old house has the greatest view.  It sits atop the highest ridge in the area, about 1281 feet.  Nobody is living in it right now.

I did have to stop and pet one dog.  I ran by his house. He was sleeping in the yard, this old basset hound.  I had passed him, but he came bounding out into the road, so happy to see someone, I had to go back and give him some love.

This is usually a great view from Gilmore Road.  Actually, the view is great, my camera skills are not.

Our failed wine buying trip in Zanesville yesterday was not a total failure.  I picked up the seasonal Punkin Ale:
A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. Perfect to warm-up with, as it cools down.

It is okay.  I am not really tasting the pumpkin notes in it;  but I have to say it is a very tasty post run beer.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Zero Days-the Results

What is the saying, "if you think you have a problem, you do?"   (As in if you think you have a drinking problem, you do)

So if I think I am over trained, then I probably am.

Or, actually I prefer the term "under recovered".  I think that fits much better. 

 It's not that I have had an insane month of training.

I don't think it is so much I have been over-exercising, but I feel it's the accumulation of stress of the last two months. Well, the month of August, running the 50 mile race, out of town,  then not really recovering much in September; going out of town for the 50K Groundhog race, and then out of town again for the YUTC 50K race.  I was very tired after the YUTC weekend although I did not run it.

From Pfitzinger:
"Although the causes of over training are not well understood, many cases of over training are believed to be due to over stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. This stimulation is a result of all the stresses in your life, including training, sleep deprivation, nutritional deficits, job stress, family stress, etc. Chronic sympathetic stimulation leads to increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline and the feeling that your mind and body are stuck on-leaving you unable to fully relax or to perform at your best."

It is now three days of sleeping in-well, until 0630 or 0700 am. And no running, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

HR Friday 62   This is elevated. My resting  HR is usually in the high 40s, or low 50's.

Saturday I placed the phone beside the bed; I have an "HR app" on the phone.  I slept in, till about 730am, grabbed the phone, drifted off, then woke up, and used the "HR app" on the phone.

HR Saturday 62


I was hoping all these days of rest, of sleeping in a bit, and not getting in six miles before my work shift, was helping.
Now I don't know what to do.

My tentative plan for Sunday was to run to town and back, which is about 17 or 18 miles.  I have a brand new pair of road shoes, and I have a 100 mile run coming up in about 17 days!

I guess the question is, what's more important, getting in one longer last run, for the 100 miler, or rest?

I already know the answer to this.  I've got the endurance for the 100 miler. But is it the psychology of sitting around on my ass for too many days that is bothering me?  I'm not burning calories doing nothing. 

Besides, I "like to run".

 I was happily busy all day Saturday with the husband, have a portrait picture taken, then lunch and wine shopping in Zanesville-a big FAIL BTW, we can scratch food and wine off the Zanesville map; and then shopping at various antique malls/flea markets on the way home. I picked up a couple of Christmas presents and actually a few items for myself, score!

So I guess I will let Sunday present itself. I will sleep in. Till, oh, 730 am or so. And see what the weather dictates.  It's either the 10K around the block, or the 18 miler, to town and back.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weigh In Thursday

I re-joined Weight Watchers this Monday.  My weight was up seven pounds (plus the five or ten original pounds that I still have not lost).  I felt a little clueless on what tactic to take-count calories, go back to WW?

I thought about WW.  I thought "it's a pain to do all that measuring, and portioning out, and journalling.."  and I had the "aha!"  moment.

Yes, that's why you lost 75 lbs the first time.  And then 40 lbs.  And if you measure, and portion, and journal, these 20 lbs will come off.

Yes, it can be kind of a pain.  Yes, WW does not mesh well with an ultra runner excercise routine.  My current WeightWatchers Activity Points Goal (for the week) is 46 points.

Weight Watchers recommends a Weekly Activity PointsPlus goal of no higher than 42. To reduce the risk of injury, we recommend you earn no more than 6 activity PointsPlus values per day unless you're under the supervision of a qualified exercise specialist.

My 10K around the block earned me 15 points just for one run.  So I just reset my weekly Activity Points Goal to 99 (the highest it will let me go.)

So once I rejoined, my little on-line weight tracker gadget gave me a new 5% goal.  This just immediatley helped me.  I had a brand new little white board, nice and clean.  I was starting over.

I decided to keep my weigh in day the same, Thursday morning.  With my  work schedule, Thursday is one of the days of the week I have the most "off".  Hence we probably go out to eat the most on this day, and/or I over-eat or over-drink at home.  So, it's best to weigh in first that day, you have the rest of the week to stay "on plan".

Today's result: 1.5 pounds gained

I thought about not posting this, but then, I thought why not?  I've been pretty honest here.  I've taken pics and posted them at my fattest size, and posted the more flattering pics. 

I also found it a bit funny, too. Oh well.  1 (or 2 lbs) can just be water, maybe due to the 11 slices of turkey pepperoni I had at work for a snack.  (I try not to eat salty foods the day before a weigh in.)

So I shall see if I can post a 3 lb weight loss for next Thursday. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Coopers Rock

I got out to Coopers Rock State Forest last Friday. Beautiful weather, great day to spend in the woods on the last day of Summer.
I started on the north side of I-68.  The first 1.9 miles is kind of boring, out under the trees.

I finally hit single track trail about mile 2.   There is also the defunct trail bridge here.

This trail, on the north side of I-68, is the WVU Research Forest:

I ran down Ken's Run Trail, which I can pick up the Hemlock Trail.  The Hemlock Trail is a loop, with a little spur out to the road:

I get out to the road, where a female and her black lab are just getting ready to start.  I re-take them, as I am just turning around at the road.  I re-encounter them on this little loop.

Following my map, I should end up back at my starting point of this loop, then run the spur backwards to where I have started.
But the trail goes off to the left, so I follow.  It dumps me out on the natural gas right-of-way. Which I do remember crossing.  But this cairn, by the trail, is not the same one.

I do spot a trail, across the right of way. I start down it.  But I encounter sketchy trails-aka deer trails-and several big cobwebs.  Now, if I have been down this trail, in the last hour, I should not be ducking into cob webs.

I go back to the right of way.  I'm kind of obstinate, in a bad way.  I choose not to get back on the path I have travelled down.  I whip out my *compass* and map, which I have brought.  The gas right-of-way is not on the map.  But I know I need to go north.

And if I follow the right of way, north, it *should* intersect the trail.  Cuz I remember crossing the right of way, earlier.

I climb two significant climbs and descents.  I'm getting a little doubtful.  But the compass is still leading me north. I'm getting a bit stressed, as I am spending way too much  time on this area of trail.  I still gotta go scope out the Cooper's Rock area.

FINALLY, I run down a hill, and find the trail sign I am looking for.  Hooray for compasses and common sense to use them.  I think the natural gas line should have  been on the map too.

South Side

The South Side of Coopers Rock State Forest is the populated side, with many small trails.
Views from Coopers Rock:

Playing on the boulders around the Overlook is alot of fun

I tried to hit up on some trails I had not been on before.  One was Raven Rock Trail, which promised a great view at the end:

After I got back to my car at the Overlook, I drove over (in the sake of time management, I could have also simply ran over) to the Picnic Area loop.  I picked up the Rhododendron Trail, which I remembered being on, and then navigated my way over the short trails to the Iron Furnace.

I keep saying short trails because many of these trails are just short in distance, like 0.3 to 1 mile in length.  You can cobble together a long route, using most of the trails.
I was running out of time, as I had a three hour drive home, so I came up the Ridge Trail to "Rock City".

It would be fun to explore the rocks right here, but I just continued down the trail, to get back to my vehicle.

The giant at Coopers Rock:

I got 6 miles on the north side of I-68, and nine and change on the South Side.

  While running all day-it was nice and warm, in the 70's, I kept wondering if the snakes were still out.  I jumped over this guy late into the day-yes,  I guess the snakes were enjoying the weather too~!

Monday, September 24, 2012


I did it!  I wore a long-sleeved shirt AND gloves and capris for my morning jog.  First time in colder gear since being in Colorado!

My hamstrings are still horribly tight, but this morning jog was actually more about just getting out there to burn calories.  I am still up seven pounds but am committed to getting at least one or two of these off this week.  Better food planning and less alcohol.

I jogged down my side road and then went down Yellow Water Road, which is a steep downhill, down to the Yellow Water Creek and the tiny one lane bridge over the creek.  I should run on this road more, as there are no houses on it, just one drive leading back to a hunting cabin.   Spooked three deer out of the road but they only ran up the hill a short ways; they weren't afraid of me.

I had the idea of doing "speedwork" at the track tomorrow morning, but I think I am bagging that-again.  With my legs as tight as they are, I don't see what benefit I would get.

Stretching is on the agenda for this week!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Today's Run

I did not run Saturday.  Saturday we "put the garden to bed" meaning we (I) yanked up all the weeds, all the posts, and then roto tilled the beds.  My lower back was very sore after all this stooping and pulling, and my hamstrings were a bit tight.

We went grocery shopping in the morning, and it was SUCH a specatucular day out, I decided to go out for my 11 mile "around the block".  The right hamstring was twinging, and I could feel it, but I thought excercise would be good for it.

Fall is really here, the leaves are starting to change.  I believe it will be a quick fall foliage season here due to the drought conditions.

I had an almond butter and honey-bought from the local Amish, very good, not overly sweet-bagel as my 1130am lunch.  I thought I had taken care of business, but within a half mile or so, down the big hill, I jumped into "Nature's portopotty":

My run was almost cut short about mile 3, when the Great Dane that lives here bounded up.  We were much closer on the original encounter, and I gave him my best friendly dog chatter.  Then I backed away, across the road, and he mellowed a bit.
The funny thing was, a cat came out with the dog, and the cat started following me as I walked down the road!!  I don't run when I have a dog encounter, cuz you are just encouraging them to chase you, so the darned cat was keeping up!

I thought the hamstrings would warm right up with a few miles, and NOPE, they did not.

 But this is what I see when  I run roads in my area. Not bad, eh?

This is our now defunct Grange Hall.  

Established in the late nineteenth century, the Grange, formally known as the Patrons of Husbandry, was an organization created to assist farmers with the various problems that they faced. 
Most rural communities across the United States eventually had a Grange chapter. Ohio had more than nine hundred chapters. Many chapters built their own meeting halls. These halls provided a place for the farmers to meet, but they also served as places for dances, quilting bees, and other social activities, helping alleviate the isolation of farm life.

Not the best pic.  The alpaca (or llama, I don't know which) with its herd of sheep.  Alpacas (or llamas) are used as "guard dogs" for sheep and goat, from predators like coyotes.

I stopped to tie my shoe lace on a downhill and could not believe how I could not squat down to do this!  Apparently this was not the best activity for a stressed hamstring.

But it was still 10.6 miles, on a beautiful early fall day in Ohio.  I will take it, sore hamstring and all.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blowing out the Cobwebs

The last couple of days I've been pretty fatigued, runs have been rather "so-so" and I chalk it up to residual tiredness left over from the 50 mile race and the 50K race.

I've made an effort to get more sleep the last two nights, and have been making far better food choices.  I did a lot of junky eating in Ugly August, and it just kind of followed me into September, where I am still up seven pounds, but I am okay with that, that will come off as I drill down more with better food and more consistent exercise.

I slept in until *almost* 7 am. I tried to play dead until the GS pup stuck her big GS nose into my eyeball.  I did take my heart rate while laying in bed, it was 54.  So that is a bit up, I think it's usually in the higher 40's. 

It was a great cold morning, 50 degrees and a breeze.  I wore a short sleeve shirt with my Moeben arm warmers on, and I was glad to have them.  The hands were actually chilly for about one mile.

But the cold weather felt really nice, and I felt nice and energized in the first two miles, something I haven't felt in a bit.

I did slow down and pet Scooter and talk to his owner, who were both standing in the road, so I figure I lost about 30 seconds for being sociable.

I continued feeling good, running most of the way, still power walked up the big hills.  Just didn't feel like busting my butt that badly, as my hiking pace up these hills is probably no faster than trying to run up them.

Got to the neighbor's mailbox, my stopping point for my 6.4 mile, stopped and looked at the Garmin.

1.13!! Well Well Well. That is actually a PR for my little route.  I am pretty pleased with that.  It would be nice to finally get the time shaved off a bit for this route-and considering my weight is up also right now.  The colder weather also helps.

Even more impressive-at least to me-I managed four steps in a row on the slack line.  And I was able to repeat that three more times.  Hey, you have to start somewhere!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reverse Run

I had originally planned on a speedwork session at the high school track for Monday, but I changed that workout on my drive home from work on Sunday.  I was just tired.  I didn't see where I would have a good session, so I just resolved to do my normal 10K around the block.

I decided to run it in reverse, which I rarely do.  These days it is due to Scooter the dog.  The last time I ran this way, he followed me down to the state route that I live on.  Now I know it is not my responsibility for Scooter, who runs freely.  But he followed me and got hit by a logging truck I would feel horrible.

Boy I was glad for a no speedwork day! I felt like crap.   Legs were tight and felt like that concrete had been poured in them.  It seemed I was walking up all the hills. Maybe they will feel better in a few miles.

I did finally get warmed up around mile 4 or so.  I stopped the Garmin at the usual spot and was actually surprised to see 1.20, pretty much my usual time for this loop, I felt it would have been more like 1.30.

I do listen to my body more these days, especially about recovery, but that doesn't mean I am not frustrated by it! I did just run a 50K a week ago, and a 50 miler two weeks before that.

I was a bit startled to look at today's date and see that it is September 18..already. About one month until my 100 mile run.  Time to be thinking about better recovery from these last two efforts, cleaner eating.  I did hop on the scale this morning.  I am up about eight pounds, which was what I thought. After my stress eating of Ugly August, I let some bad habits creep back in.  Time to get rid of those!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Home From YUTC

I will write an "Aid Station Report" probably  Monday (as I work tomorrow) but my YUTC weekend thoughts:

I had the usual post YUTC depression, where I have to leave my friends and re-enter Real Life. Sigh.

We had GREAT weather!

We trail marked Friday.  Kelli, a new member of the NEO TC, came down from up north just to see the trails and help trail mark:

Kelli and the Bunny Monkey on the Monkey Trail

For our trail marking duties, we got quite the lunch treatment, grilled steak, potatoes, mushrooms, all grilled up by Moose.

A rain fell, as we finished up marking.  This was in our favor, as the Friday night vandals were not out and it appeared that our trail markings were not touched.

Mike Dobies, in search of volunteer hours, came down from Michigan and brought beer.  We stayed up  a bit too long Friday night-wake up calls at 4 and almost 5 am a bit early, but we want to always proof (meaning check) the course for our markings, make sure nobody has messed with them.

Runners always go off course.  And I don't know how. But they do. 

A long day, working the Aid Station. I was quite hoarse and a bit stiff getting out of the vehicle. Huh? I only hiked/jogged 4 miles this morning. But  I think I sat down for about 5 minutes of the last 8 hours.

Excellent time on my feet. I saw runners finishing their first ultra. Many of them it seemed.  Some were in what looked like serious pain, others almost in tears.  One man ran across our finish line hand in hand with his cute grandchildren, so neat to see.  While it is always awesome to see the "old timers" or the folks with multiple finishes, it is a little special to see the folks break the *barrier* and finish their first ultra.  

And although maybe they were hurting (and this is an ultra, if it was easy, everyone would do it!) it seemed like everyone was coming away with a positive experience from YUTC.

And that is pretty much all we want to do with YUTC.  Have people share the trails, enjoy them, and get a good run in.  Our job is to merely support them.

Friday, September 14, 2012

It IS YUTC Eve!!

It's been a tough day so far.  I am sitting in my camp chair, waiting for Slim, at MCP, looking at Lake Glacier. We marked trail this morning, and then Moose cooked us a very tasty steak lunch.

Kelli and I then got the Monkeys on the Monkey Trail, and now I sit,  finishing my IPA, waiting for Slim to finish marking his section of trail.

I think we have quite a few more tasks to finish before we get into any serious drinking.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's Almost YUTC Eve

It's the eve before YUTC eve.   My vehicle is packed. I have my spare popup canopy, my Aid Station supplies, my gym bag full of assorted clothes, from warm weather conditions to cool weather conditions; the Monkey Hill Mascots are in the front seat, waiting to be safely seat-belted in.

For this weekend, it's the YUTC!!  (Pronounced YUT-SEE)

This is the Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic, the 50K that my club NEO Trail,  runs every September.  This is the 8th running of the race.

I have missed two years of the event, the first year, and then in 2009, due to a work schedule conflict.
Last year and this year I have graduated to club management and Aid Station duties during the race.  No worries, I get to tour the park during our volunteer run. (And there is also URINEO in December!)

Our race is a pretty old school ultra.  It is in a great location, Mill Creek Park, right in Youngstown Ohio.  This is a gem of a park right in the middle of a city.

The course is a figure eight, so it makes it easy for aid and aid station.  Aid is available about every 4 miles, and there are only two Aid Stations, at the Log Cabin and the Covered Bridge.

Friday we will mark the course, meaning we'll run the trails,  hanging colored ribbons for the runners to follow.  We have a few people to mark trail this year, so this activity should be done fairly quickly.
Then a picnic lunch of sorts, and then on to buying the rest of the foodstuffs needed for the aid station, like the fresh fruit.  Evening to be spent drinking IPA and Knob and finishing up whatever last minute details that need to be done.

This year Gombu and Shubi will not be here. They have, like the Elves, moved into the West.  They will (and I am already) be missed at this  year's race. I love you guys!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Running Partner Wanted

Wanted: running partner, for six to ten mile runs weekly.  Would be nice to extend to 13 or 20 miles over time. Must be within 1 hour radius of my home.  Must be able to maintain my pace OR (preferably) be a slightly faster runner.

I have a four week work schedule, and my days working-and days off-differ week to week on the schedule.  This makes it rather difficult to schedule things, unless I have my little date-book in hand.

Hence part of my problem with speedwork. No, I have not abandoned it.  But I ran the 50 mile race August 25, then  I ran the Groundhog 50K Sept 8, and I haven't been able to schedule the speedwork in, amidst recovery.

At first I thought I would get my track workout in Thursday, Sept 13.  But my legs and quads are still a bit heavy from Punxy. So I think I will get back to the track Monday, September 17, my next day off from work.

When I ran the Groundhog 50K, I did not get *tired* until about mile 29 or 30.  I still had energy.  This tells me I was not exerting myself as much as I could.

I have told Mongold the same in the past month, I physically have the means to motor on, but I do not have the mental push. I could run faster,  but I don't have any little voices in my head exhorting me on.  My body can do it.  I just have to get the mind to sign on and tell the body to speed it up.

Hence, the idea of running partners. Of maybe people just running slightly faster than me.  We will see. There is a group in a town; one town over from me, that seems to do a group run on Wednesday evenings.  I think I will explore that option and see if anyone is near my pace-or slightly faster.  Even on roads.  Couldn't hurt!

I am going to see if "tomorrow" is a good day to try and speed up my 10K (which is really 10.64) around the block.  It seems like the weather may cooperate and be a bit cool.  Which may almost be *cold* in our normal, late summer context.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Alternative workouts

I would have titled this "Mountain Biking" but I don't think I generated enough time on the bike to make it a proper post of its own.

I got to sleep in this morning, after an interrupted sleep of hearing the coyotes howl and yip outside; which caused my GS pup to do her own howling.

If you don't know what coyotes wailing and yipping sound it, try to imagine a high school gym of girls, where someone throws a snake into the floor.  It's a high pitch squeal almost.  The first time I heard coyotes yip, I thought there was a gang of teenagers out in my field somewhere.  There was also howling last night, along with yipping, so it was quite entertaining..unless you were trying to sleep at 2 am.

I had a nice mellow morning, got the dogs out on their hike, yanked out some thyme plants from the garden and repotted for the winter months for the house; cleaned up my AS gear and packed it for the upcoming YUTC weekend race.

Then I decided to hop on the mountain bike and ride the gravel private road on our property, and try to spin out some of the lactic acid in my legs.  Traditionally, for me, DOMS hits my legs on the second day, so since I felt pretty good, I thought a little elevated heart rate and leg excercise would be good after the Groundhog 50K.

I got off the gravel road, onto our "trail" around the estate, which included some of the pasture.

I hastily concluded I should do some brush-hogging through these fields, if I want to bike through them; the briars were tearing up my legs.

Last stop was my slack line.  The hipster has a slack line; and I was really interested in it.  It's a great work out of your core.   Since installing the slack line, I think I have been on it two or three times. One of my future podcasts shall be entitled : "Waiting for my slack line to dry".  It suffices to say, Ohio has a different dewpoint than Colorado.  
I still suck at it. I can barely get both feet on it, with a step or two before falling off.

But at least, I got my HR elevated with a little biking, got a sweat going, felt the quad muscles, so I hope to have a little less muscle soreness on Monday.

Due to work schedules, I do only have a three day work week this week, I AM looking forward to that!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Groundhog 50K Race Report

A return to one of  my favorite races, the Groundhog 50K.  I ran it last in 2009. Since then, the race director has changed over to Bob Lott and it is sponsored by the VFW.  I was happy to say the Groundhog 50K has remained a nicely organized, friendly race that I remembered.

The hills (and the course) have not changed!  The course is a "lollipop" you run out on the stick, run the circle loop (twice) and then finish run back along the way you came out.

Race morning was warm. 75 degrees. But the weather forecast was for 100% rain and a drop in temps that I was looking forward to.

It was funny, in perusing the entrants list, how few Buckeyes were over for the race.Back in the day, like in 2009, it seemed at least 1/2 the entrants were from Ohio and I knew most of them.  I did run into Lew, from WVMTR before the race, and also Scott and Rick.

My legs were extremely tight on the first few miles, both hamstrings, and shins.  I carefully ran down ESPN Hill, since I didn't feel warmed up yet.

The rain began about mile 2. This made the descent of "Two Beers Hill" a little slick, and I took it more easy than I usually do.  But these climbs and descents did warm up my legs finally.

I got over to the Buck Run AS, and I got a shout out from ultra runner Brian Krogman, who was working the AS. This energized me to get down the trail, to face "Yellowbus Hill" and then "Crybaby Hill".

In past Groundhog 50K races, the male winners have always managed to pass me on my first loop (which is their second loop.)  I was happy to see this year, the winner did not manage to lap me.

I enjoyed revisiting the named hills again.  We were running in a light rain, and once past these hills, the skies opened and the rain really came down.

The second loop is in the rain, and Rick and I share some trail time after the hills.  We start down the short road section, before we encounter the Buck Run AS, and are astounded to see two downed trees in the road.  These trees were not here on the first loop through!  Must have had some severe weather on the course, but not where I was.

Last time through the Buck Run AS.  I got alot of positive energy from the Krogman, and was really energized leaving the AS.  I was still feeling very good, and really not out of energy.

But now I had the Water Tower Hill (really not that bad) and the few miles of reclaimed strip mine to get through.  The rain had almost stopped, but the temp was still a bit cool.

I had run this whole race without a watch.  The Garmin beeped "low battery"  so I turned it off and chucked it back into my vehicle before the race. So I was just....running.  I didn't  know how fast, or slow.  I was just running.

The problem with the Groundhog course is you might be running very well, on course for a PR..but you still have to go up both Two Beers Hill and ESPN Tower Hill.

My climbing skills have improved dramatically since 2009. Two Beers is done, no stopping, and  then  I am running down the backside of TB.  I cross the road and then climb the ESPN Tower Hill.  I don't catch anyone on the climb, but I pass three people on the way back to the finish.

One guy catches me at the high school and re passes me. It is all downhill here now, but he's on fire, I can't catch him.

It's all downhill but it's on a town road, so there is car traffic.  I put my head down and run.  I am almost to the hardware store when a car stops on the side street next to it.  Oh no, dude,  I do not want to stop for  you.  He waves me on, and I tear around the corner of the hardware store to the finish line.

There is no finish line clock or really any finish line;  I stop running by the timing tent.  Some guy says good job and hands  me a little box, and I ask "what's my finishing time?"


6.41.  I ask them to repeat them that.  Awesome.  I ran without a watch, running to feel, and I PR'd my Groundhog 50K time-from 2006.  

So, nice race, nice to see the Groundhog 50K course again, and a PR.  A good day for me!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Since I am an ultra runner, I am tapering for my 50K.

This means, I am not running Thursday and Friday, before the event.

I am working too many days lately.  I read a post on FB, about how the weather for the Groundhog 50K. 

"Oh pshaw, "  I thought. "It's too soon to be thinking about the weather, it will change by next weekend.."

Hey there!  Ooops, I remembered, wow, the race is actually this Saturday.  So the weather forecast-now a high of 70 degrees, and maybe 70% percent chance of rain-has me all giddy.  That's what 95% humidity and 90 degrees does to an East Coast runner.  I will love it if the temperature drops AND it rains all day. That would suit me fine.  (It would suck for the volunteers though  :(  )

So I am leaving for "The Weather Capital of the World" after work tomorrow.  I will miss the spaghetti dinner where Phil makes a special guest appearance.   I am pretty stoked about my return trip to the Groundhog 50K course, it's been a few years!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Schedules.  I need to make one soon.

Work out schedule, that is.

I'm not doing a speedwork session this morning.  That was the plan, until I woke up yesterday with some pretty lower back pain.  I don't know whether I slept funny or it is due to working 5 of the last six days, being on my feet for nine hour days.  I'm guessing it's the nine hour work days.

Yesterday I did run my 10K planned route, but the back really hurt, jarred with every step.  After working yet another shift, I took a bubble bath and pretty much went straight to bed.

This morning, it feels much better, but I'm not in the mood for speedwork. 4 miles around the block is going to have to do it.

I do have the Groundhog 50K this Saturday.  This speedwork training sessions aren't really fitting in very well with the 'tapering' and recovery from an ultra.  These days, I actually take the recovery a little more seriously than the 'tapering' portion of the training.

This is my fall running schedule:

September: Groundhog 50K
October: Self Supported 100 Mile FA
November:  Slim Pickins Weekend  (FA)
December: URINEO 50 Miler (FA)

There may be more little races thrown in there, like doing some 5K's as my speedwork sessions, but that's my fall plan.  Cost of these 4 events?  $65.  (That's the cost of the Groundhog 50K last minute entry).  If you love to run, and don't need a medal or a T-shirt, then explore some FA events.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hot Yoga Running

You know that kind of yoga where it is performed in the enclosed room with the temp turned up and it's humid (or I am guessing it should be humid)?  That's what my run was today.

I got my lazy butt out the door after 11 am.  It had been raining, which I was hoping for, but the rain had subsided, leaving it about 99.994% humid.  It was hot, but the extreme cloud cover kept it from being horrible.  It was, in fact, like I had wrote above, like running in a hot sauna room.

I need to do yoga.  Or I just need to stretch.  My legs have felt like they are filled with concrete.  The run today was good, the legs loosened up after three miles or so, but my hamstrings are still tight.

I did not try and push this run at all.  I think it was a good shake out run for the legs. If I can get to the stretching I think that will help.  Perhaps I can fit a short run in the morning before I go to work.

I need to do speed work this week.
 I need to look at the work schedule, and figure out which day is best. I am working an extra day this week, meaning  I work 5 days in a row (I work 10 hour shifts.)  I am thinking Wednesday morning might be my best day for this.

If I continue with the speed work, I also need to look at my fall running schedule. It feels good to say that. I was in limbo land for UA (Ugly August) it's good to know I can now plan ahead.

Back to Punxsutawney!

My work schedule got all changed around for this week, meaning I'm picking up an extra day of work but now I do not have to work this Saturday.  For some reason, I woke up  this morning, thinking about that, then realized-I could now go run the Groundhog 50K!

The Groundhog 50K, in Punxsutawney, PA, is one of my favorite 50K races.  I've run it three times, in 2006, 2007, and 2009.  My times were 6.45, 8.17, and 8.03.

Me and Phil-the Groundhog 2006

The 50K is very runnable, jeep road not single track.  The hills are named, with banners:

It's very runnable, except for the hills.  But I haven't been on these hills since going to Virginia, and hitting up some hills with slightly higher elevation (ie Signal Knob, 2106 feet.) and some little climbs out West!  So this will be interesting to see how I fare for it.

It appears that the course has not changed at all, so that is great, I remember most of it.

Goals?  1) Finish the Race (always)  2) Beat my 6.45 time from 2006.  Can I?   If I don't dawdle? 3) Finish sub 7 hours 4) Finish sub 8

I am super psyched to get back to Punxsutawney!  I will miss the pre-race dinner Friday night, so no new picture with Phil, but maybe some new race pics of the hills there!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Awesome Post

Not by me.  I read it via Roni's Weigh:

But check it out:  Hey Fat Girl

Welcome September!

Now that Ugly August is over, it's time to get things back to normal.  Back to working on my speedwork project, and to establish some sort of a running schedule, meaning blocking out when my long runs/races are.

I don't typically run that many organized races these days.  But maybe this fall, I will look into somewhat local 5Ks-or even 10ks-for the speedwork option.  I think I am doing fine with the "endurance" side of the equation.

Speaking of speedwork, today I am at Coopers Rock State Forest, West Virginia, running a trail 10K, the "Stump Jump". 

I've run some of the trails at Coopers Rock before.  Depending on what trails they use for the 10K, it could be somewhat of a technical trail run,  Or not.

My usual 10K around the block here (which is actually 6.4 miles) is 1.20, so hopefully I can go 1.10? 1.05? On legs that just ran a 50 miler the weekend before?  We shall see.

Well, I am not at Coopers Rock.  A co-worker had a death in the family, so I offered to work for her Saturday so she could get tasks done that she needed to do.

Back to the "life's too short" musing.  I have got a few activities that I want to accomplish;  items that have been on the burner, and it's time I got to working on them.