"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Friday, January 28, 2011

Another Mountain Lion?

file photo
Yes, yes, y'all there has been another mountain lion in the area although this one was shot by more than just a camera.  Click here to read the news story on  the Macon Chronicle-Herald website.
I'm not saying that I am scared of being attacked by a mountain lion while out trail running, but these recent sightings might signal the end of carefree adventures out on the trails that we have enjoyed in this area for so long.

Remember to be safe out there.

See you on the trails!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A PSA From Trail and Error.

Remember, when you are out on the trails you might not be alone, and pepper spray will only make you more palatable to even the most discriminating mountain lion.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snowmageddon or Snowpocalypse? You Decide

Last night Mother Nature dropped 12inches of fresh powder on the Edwardsville area.  I woke up early because I knew it would take a while to dig the cars out and get ready to head off to work.  I dug everything out in about an hour and a half of hard labor.  I was taken back to the days when I used to shovel snow as a kid.  Ah, the good old days.  Too bad there weren't any kids out this morning.  I got in the truck and started to back up.  The truck moved a couple feet then the front end started to slide to the right toward the tree.  I did not want to hit the tree but more importantly I did not want to hit the neighbor's car that was parked close to me but on the other side of the tree.  I pulled forward and then tried to back up again, still the front end moved to the right. I was getting closer to the tree so I got out and looked to find that my passenger side front tire was on the other side of the landscape timber that borders my parking area.  It is only a few inches high but combined with the copious amounts of snow it was enough to keep me from pulling out. I called work and told them I was having trouble and would be on my way soon?  After some more digging and scraping I finally made it out onto the road.  Victory is mine!  Not quite, once out on the road basically all my tires did was spin and spin.  After some difficult maneuvering that may have included me pushing the truck, I made it off the street and back into my parking space.  I called work and told them I was going to wait for the plow to come through, but if they didn't come I would just stay home.  As much as I love a day off from work I did not want to use a vacation day.  Well you can't say I didn't try to make it in, and let's face it if you are going to get stuck right outside your house is the place to do it.

Now all that is just a long way of saying SNOW DAY!

YakTrax Pro y'all!
While I was waiting to see if the plow was going to come down my street I decided that it would be a good time for a run.  Why not?  I was already warmed up from all the shoveling and what-not.  Once I was all geared up (including my YakTrax) I headed out the door.  After about a tenth of a mile I had to turn around to get my sunglasses.  The snow was bright and the stuff that was falling was hitting me in the eyes pretty hard.  I was disappointed that I wouldn't be able to hit the trails.  That would have been fun.  I ended up heading out on the MCT Nature trail, since the trail head is so close to my house.  The Nature trail is the trail that I first started running on, and I don't get out there much anymore so it was cool seeing all the old landmarks.

When I first turned off the road I was really enjoying the feeling of the semi-fresh (someone beat me out there) snow fluffing up to my shins with each step.  So refreshing.  After the first mile I decided it wasn't so refreshing anymore, it actually kind of sucked.  It was around this time that I started thinking about how far I was going to punish myself.  I decided that I would run to Beth's office and shovel the snow for them since she always hurts her back when she does it.  I made it to rt157 after what seemed like forever and started to pick up the pace since I wasn't dragging my feet through the snow anymore.  Everything was going fine until I saw the snowplow headed toward me.  At first I thought "Oh crap!" but then decided to wave them on as if to say "hit me with your best shot!"  They moved over to the next lane so I guess I won that round.  When I got to the office Beth was surprised to see me, but not totally surprised.  Over the last 20years she has learned to expect the unexpected.

The snow was fairly easy to shovel and Beth's boss said dinner was on him, Score!

I stopped and took this picture with my phone.
It's not blurry that's just how Big Foot looks.
The rest? from running while shoveling the snow was welcome, since my legs were so tired from running in the snow, but with the snow shoveling finished it was time to hit the road.  I guess I should have mentioned it earlier but I don't like to run on the road when there is snow, the cars and the people get pushed too close together.  Like a good runner I switched sides of the road so I could run facing traffic, however this side of the road did not have the shoulder plowed as well as the other.  At one point I had to sprint and duck into a driveway to avoid getting too close to a big truck.  In truth it probably wasn't that close, but it it was close enough.  I switched back over to the other side where I could cut through some parking lots.  Much safer but the drifts going from parking lot to parking lot were sometimes waist high.  Even though they were so deep they were loosely packed so it wasn't too difficult to power through them.  On my way through the Wendy's parking lot a guy in a truck with a plow almost backed into me, that one was close!  From Wendy's I crossed over and ran through the High School parking lot them it was back onto the Nature trail.  Once on the trail nothing interesting happened just a long slow mile and a half to home.

I can't really say how much the YakTrax helped but they certainly didn't hurt.  I plan to use them more this year in different conditions.  I know some people who swear by them.

Even though this was the toughest 5miles I have ever run I still thoroughly enjoyed it.  Running in the snow is by far my favorite running scenario.  Hopefully we will get more snow this winter as long as I can get to work on time.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Coming soon to an injury near you!

Thanks to YouTube I have been watching a bunch of skateboarding videos.  It started off simply enough searching for videos of Rodney Mullen, which are insane you should look him up.  Then more and more videos starting showing up in the "recommended" section and I felt compelled to watch them.  Then I started searching for more videos, and more were recommended.
I "retired" from skating about 5 years ago for a few reasons that are not important now but may come to light later.  Despite the fact that I have only ridden once since the retirement, skateboarding is still a big part of who I am.  This fact has brought me to the decision ala Brett Favre to come out of retirement.  It won't be a full fledged comeback though.  I don't have the time for that but I will session a couple of times a month just for fun.
So I predict a few new injuries in the coming months, but falling = living.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Devil is in the Details

I am not a detail oriented person.  I am more of what you call a big picture type of guy.  Which is why there are two races on the schedule that are weighing heavily on my mind.  Two races that will require more than a half-assed approach.  My current methodology of registering and showing up on race day simply will not work.

The races are the MR340 and the OT100.  Both for me will be logistical nightmares.

For those of you that are not familiar with the MR340 it is a 340mile kayak/canoe race along the Missouri river from Kansas City to St Charles.  The OT100 is a 100mile foot race along the Ozark trail in southern Missouri.  These races are very similar in that they are both point to point races with many check points along the way.  I will need to figure out when I will arrive at these check points and what I will need when I get there.  During both races I will have a crew to assist me which is most excellent but I will have to instruct them on where to be, when to be there, and what I will need when I arrive.  Also they will need to know what to do if I am late arriving or if something out of the ordinary happens.  As an added bonus the OT100 has HEED electrolyte drink on the course, this wouldn't be a problem if I didn't hate the taste of it so much.  I have between now and November to figure that one out though.  It is actually simple carry my own or learn to like HEED.

Is 100miles too far to run for a belt buckle?

It is bad enough that physically these races are going to run me through the ringer but mentally they are going to grueling as well.

Luckily there is a very thorough crew guide on the MR340 website that someone made for last years race.  It will save me hours and hours of work, hours that I can use to dial in my OT strategy.

Things are looking better already.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Big things on the way from Saucony

I have been a fan of Saucony shoes for some time now and am really excited about the new shoes that they are going to be releasing this year.  Click the pictures for links to the previews on RunningWharehouse.

PowerGrid Cortana


Secret Santa

A few weeks ago Fitness Training Log proposed a site wide Secret Santa.  Normally I don't get involved in stuff like that but it sounded interesting to me so I signed up and a few days later they sent me the name and address of my Secret Sant'ee.  The limit was supposed to be $15 including shipping.  I spent $15-ish dollars and ate the shipping cost (what the hell it's Christmas right?).
I read some of my target's posts and ended up buying her a couple of items for bicycle maintenance that I am always saying I should buy for myself.  I also threw in a Honey Stinger gel, bar, and waffle.  I was worried if she would like everything, and was pleased when she posted these nice words, "My Daily Mile Secret Santa better come clean, because I need to know who to thank for this package of awesome! :-)".  What relief!  I knew I would have been happy to receive that package but after all it wasn't for me.
A few days later I received a package from Cafe Press.  Inside the package was a nice stainless steel water bottle from my Secret Santa.  The circle was complete.  
I was glad the people at DailyMile did the whole Secret Santa thing.  I am not sure how many people use their website or how many people signed up for the gift exchange but I will do it again next year because it was kind of fun buying a gift for someone I have never met.
The saying on the water bottle got me thinking about another website called  Athlinks that collects race data.  I was surprised that they had data from various small time 5k's whose results were never posted online.  So in the spirit of the water bottle here is the link to my race results on Athlinks.  They don't have all the races but they certainly have quite a few.