Thursday, April 21, 2011

Off the Grid

I am heading out to the mountains of NC for a few days for some camping and trail running. Apparently,  Easter weekend is quite popular for camping! I had to scramble to get some reservations. Two of my fav park campgrounds were already booked!
I hope that our neighbors at the campground are cool. Nothing worse than being next to someone "camping" in their 30 ft long RV with the generator and the wide screen tv going, campsite lit up like a airport runway and, well....... you get the picture. I will be in my tent, on my sleeping bag, with a good book. No laptop, electricity, tv. Cell phone will be off, only turned on to contact the fam periodically.

Off the Grid.

Have a great weekend!   

Friday, April 15, 2011

Endurance Training 4/13

Got home from work at 5am. Got up at 7am, had to meet painter that was coming to paint interior of our house. Made coffee. Met with painter, got him squared away. (Thank God I am fluent in spanish!) Back to bed at 10 am. Back up at 1pm to check on painter. Everything is good with painter. Head to store to get groceries. (and more coffee) Back home at 3pm to meet daughter coming home from school. She is going to Florida for spring break. Other daughter is going on a cruise with her boyfriend and his family. Mom is working (tax season) and of course this painting thing is HER idea. Me, why I'm hanging out with the painter, brushing up on my spanish, trying to figure out when the hell I'm going to fit in my run today.

4pm, both daughters hit dad up for money for their trips.

4:45pm : drop daughter off at dance. Dance is from 5pm-6pm tonight, so I decide to do one of my "commando" runs from the parking lot of the dance studio, heading back into the neighborhoods behind the studio. FINALLY!!!

The run feels awesome. 70 degrees and sunny, and I drop right into a nice groove out in the streets. I even see two of my friends from the gym out running as well!

I get four miles in. I consider this a victory today.

6pm: with daughter in tow, I head back to the house. Painter is done with the living room, so now I move all the furniture back in place, then move the furniture in the sun room and play room so it will be ready for the painter tomorrow.

A quick bite to eat, shower, and now.... well now I get to go to work!

Still running.................

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rumble through the woods

9 miles on the Birkhead Mountain Wilderness Trail yesterday. Since it requires some driving for me to get there, I always feel the need to put in some miles there. I also have the trail half race in three weeks, so it was time to do trail work!

It was good running weather, overcast and 50 degrees at the start of my run, but humid. After a few days of rain, the trail was muddy, but in good shape overall. I was taking it easy today, also going solo, as my trail partner was attending her neice's B-Day Party. I was also testing out my new Nathan Hydro vest, which I must say was awesome!

Once again, the trail was pretty empty. I only came across three people in 9 miles. The hard woods are now all starting to bud, so next time I'm out, the forest will be completely green.
I hit my turn around at 4.5 miles, and felt good until around mile six, then I started to hit the wall a little bit. I had to climb a couple of steep ridges, and wound up run/walking/gasping/cussing up the last climb like a Galloway runner with tourettes. Having survived that ass whooping (somewhat), I was encouraged to see "smiley tree", which meant I only had about a mile and a half to go.
The last mile is downhill towards the trail head, and not very technical, so I picked up the pace, jumped the last little creek, and mercifully arrived back at the car.
  I was muddy, sweaty, tired.............and happy!!

A man and his pack.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday 4/9

Six miles on the soggy American Tobacco Trail. Ran with my friend Heather, and we both enjoyed the fact that the trail was pretty empty for a Saturday. It rained hard overnight, complete with a few strong T-storms ( forecast called for a 40% chance of rain.... Really???)  The trail was in good shape, and the dark and gloomy skies were probably the reason most folks stayed away.  The rain stayed away too, making for a nice run at a comfortable pace of 9min/miles. Got to the trail at 8am, so by 9am we were headed home, workout done for the day!

Got to enjoy my favorite post run concoction too!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday 4/8

With the Government on the verge of shutdown, what better time to shop? Picked up some warm weather running gear and some Honey Stinger today!! Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Darkness on the Edge of Town

Gene Meade  In my endless search to keep training runs new and interesting, I tested a new approach Wednesday morning. As my night shift brothers and sisters can attest, it is sometimes difficult to squeeze in a workout due to our schedules. I have taken to keeping my gym bag in the car, with a full compliment of running gear. My work takes me to different towns throughout NC, and I am always scoping out spots to run.
My crew finished up Tues night/Wed morning around 4 am. On my way to the job, I noticed  nice stretch of road, well lit with sidewalks running all the way along the road. It had several nice inclines along the way as well.
I sent the crew on their way, and changed into my running gear. Starting out in the parking lot of the local at Trader Joes, I set off into the early morning darkness. It was a little chilly, and I initially cursed  myself for not wearing my gloves, but after the first mile or so, the hands warmed up. The condition of the sidewalk was even better than I expected, with no uneven spots, so the chances of an epic pre-dawn face plant were minimal.
I planned to run 5 miles, going out 2.5, then turning back around. The streets were empty, and the only sign of life was a possum that wandered across the sidewalk up ahead of me. I hit the turnaround at 2.5, feeling good. A couple of nice inclines on the way back, and before I knew it, I was back at the parking lot, my five miles completed. It was a little before 5am, and traffic was still light, so the ride home was easy. I had to teach spin class later that morning at 9:30am, so I even had time to get a quick nap in before class too!
So, the new "commando" training run technique was successful. I hope to make it a regular feature in my training week!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Back to running today. Had kind of a rest day yesterday, ran/walked a mile or two with a friend and her dog.

 Today I headed back to the trails. We are in the midst of our annual "Pollen scourge", and every outdoor thing is covered in a  neon green coat of the stuff! So what better place to go than a trail in the middle of the woods? On top of that, there was the wind. Now I thought that March was supposed to be the "windy" month, but it appears that April (so far) is picking up where March left off.
 I did a easy seven miles on the Peninsula Trail at Harris Lake. Normally I would just run the complete 5 mile loop, but I felt pretty good about 2 miles in, so I decided to turn around on the trail at 3.5 miles, and double back. I had never run the trail in reverse, so it was a nice change of pace.
I was pretty sheltered from the wind when I was in the forest, but every now and then the trail would jut out to the edge of the lake and WHAM! a nice slap of 20mph wind mixed with pollen was there to greet me.
 I actually saw another runner on the trail today! Saw two other folks who were walking their dogs as well. Spring has returned, and the temp was right at 70 degrees at 10am this morning.
Now if we can just get a nice rain storm to wash some of this pollen away!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bengal Booster 5K

A little home cookin' this morning at the Bengal Booster 5k race here in town. It was nice not to have to get up at the ass crack of dawn to travel to a race!
It was a tad chilly this morning and we had a nice little breeze working. I arrived about an hour prior to the start, mainly due to the fact that one of the race organizers called me the night before to ask if I could burn a couple of audio CD's so they could have music playing at the start/finish line during the entire event! After dropping off the CD's to the audio guy, we mingled with the rest of the early arrivals. The start/finish of the race was in the parking lot of the gym where I teach, so we were able to go inside and keep warm. We also got to use REAL toilets for our pre-race business, another nice perk.
My daughter was also running this race, and being the "sprinter" of the family, this was considered a "distance" race for her.
There were a total of 177 people at the start. This was a nice change from the massive hoard of people at the start of the Half  I ran on 3/20 (some 3000 plus!) . I knew the course pretty well, (more home field advantage) although they did change the route slightly from the original. A few hills, but nothing crazy.

My daughter did great, finished in 32 minutes and some change. ( This was the longest distance she had run to date.  The old man finished in 24:58
A good start to the weekend, for sure!

Friday, April 1, 2011

March 2011

I had a good March, run wise. Logged about 80+ miles between Road and trails. Ran the Tobacco Road Half Marathon on 3/20. Was shooting for a goal of  2:15, finished in 2:05:16, so I was happy with my time. At mile ten, It looked like I may be able to break the two hour mark, but a couple of little hills near the finish cooked my ass! 
I did notice that hydration belts have become quite popular! There were some folks that had them strapped on bandolero style. I saw one women rockin this look, along with her phone, mp3 player and compression socks. She looked like an ATF agent about to raid a Meth lab! ( There were aid stations along the way, with water, gatorade and Gu!)
I also noticed the increased popularity of the run/walk method as well. I noticed this due to the fact that it seemed that everyone doing this stopped to walk right in front of me and my friend Heather! If it works for folks, God bless 'em. If I stop to walk, game over!! I gotta keep running!
So next big run is the Race for the Land, which is a Trail Half Marathon.( It will be run on trails on a 1400acre section of private land, with a maximum of 200 entrants. April 30th is the date.
Can't wait!!