Friday, September 22, 2006

Muddy Trail Run / G'Pa Fun

I had fun with the Trail Nerds last night, (after dark). We ran about 7 miles in the rain on the muddy BuRP trails, with two crossings of the Blue River. By the end of the run, I had enough turf on me to plant alfalfa! The lightning (and main storm front) didn't come through until well after we had finished and by the time we were home.

Since D keeps showing off her beautiful grandson, I thought I'd show off my 4-y.o. G'Son. He's an active little guy that likes doing stuff with his Grandpa, including trailrunning and getting muddy. I guess "little guy" is a relative term. He just turned four, and he's 44-inches tall, already! He is very athletic and has very good balance, for his age. He's a very social kid, too. He's also a real sweetie to most folks, but especially to his grandma, mom, and my dog (and all animals).

G'Pa Ben and G'Son on the merry-go-round.

June2006photos 080
"My imaginary friend can beat up your imaginary friend."

Future skateboard (and soccer) champion.

Blast 'em all!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Good Day and Good Night

I had a REALLY decent day, yesterday.
I started the day early with a hella-workout on abs, back, and biceps, guided by my personal trainer, Igor. I only worked a half-day, (but still didn't get off until 2pm). I went home and caught up on some chores that have been neglected because of my recent injuries. I also had some "quality" play time with my big dog.

At 7 pm, I started running at SM Park with a couple of early night-run attendees, Good Ben and newbie, Josh. We got a little far away from the 8pm starting area and had to push the run hard to get back in time to run with the main group run. This particular Tuesday Night group was a fast group, so I decided to set a faster than normal pace for the 4-mile loop. I was wearing my Garmin 305, and later found that we had finished the last mile of that loop with a 7:16/mile pace, all on rocky, hilly, and curvy trails. The 3 of us early runners had also had two sub-7-minute miles, albeit those miles were on pavement. Total mileage: 8.76 miles.

The best part about the day's experience was that I felt strong, and my back and hamstring were barely bothering me. I haven't felt this strong in the past 6 weeks. I could have done another 4-mile loop, but I'm getting better at reading my body. It's better to finish strong and recover to run well the next day, than to extend myself and not be well rested. (It takes me a couple of hours to wind down for sleep, and I had finished running at about 9 pm as it was).

I can't say enough about my personal trainer, Igor Gantman. He helped me to have an "active recovery" from my 100-miler injuries. If I had just sat at home on the couch waiting to get better, it would have taken me 8 to 10 weeks to get better, I'm sure.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Fun Weekend of Trailrunning

On Saturday morning, we had a fun time out in Lawrence, Kansas at the 1st annual Clinton Lake North Shore Trail Run.

This trail race was a race put on by our trailrunning group, the Kansas City Trail Nerds. The course was an 8.5+ mile run on the beautiful, rocky and root-laden trails of the North Shore trail system. This course never seems that hilly to me, but it still had an Elevation Gain (ft) of +2,570 / -2,570, so I guess it was hilly.

We ended up with 17 competitors for the day. There were 14 other events on this same day in the local KC Metro area, so I guess this wasn't too bad for a race that was officially announced one week prior.

It was a group effort: Greg Burger laid out a wonderful course. Ed Payne got the permits in order and worked the finish line, and Kyle and I brought the equipment out. Several of us marked the course on Thursday night, and Kyle and Greg de-marked the course after the race. This course is a KEEPER! Race Photos.

Sunday morning, I slept in. I had a lot of other things going on, Saturday (besides the trail race), so it was nice to sleep in a little. Sunday afternoon, I decided to do a 2-hour trail run by myself. I took along the I-Pod and had a wonderful run by myself listening to Coltrane. The only activity out there besides me were 2 MTB riders, a man walking his dog, and an innocent-enough looking Copperhead snake. The snake only held me up for 10 seconds or so, while he went about his business crossing the trail.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Running Along Okay

Well, my recovery continues. My back and hamstring still hurt, but I've been running through the pain okay.

I ran well Tuesday evening. 10 miles on the SMP trails, at a medium pace. Thursday night, I ran about 10 miles while marking Saturday's race course with the Trail Nerds. Tomorrow I'll race the 8.5 mile course, (which is actually about 9.5 miles), then help de-mark it, for a total of ??? miles. Sunday, I plan to run for 3 hours or so at Kill Creek Park. I'll have 40-50 miles for the week, depending upon what I run on Saturday morning. I've also been getting back to my weightlifting workouts, and have had 3 good ones so far this week, with one more scheduled for this afternoon.

By the way, my son will be running in the race on Saturday. Pretty cool.

I finally set up a link to my photos from the start and finish of the CCC100 trail race.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Dean Karnazes to Run Across the U.S. in 3 Days?

I've found a way for D.K. (or any ultrarunner) to run across the US in just three consecutive days. It would involve buying a vintage airport baggage loading vehicle and having your crew drive it, while running on the conveyor belt.

This could open up a whole new ultrarunning class. NASCAR might even get involved. There could be a completely different version of the Daytona 500 viewed on Fox or ESPN 12.

Whad'ya think?

Actually, I'm sick of all of the DK talk on the Ultralistserv, and just wanted to have some fun.

Happy trails,
Bad Ben

A Busy Weekend

The weekend started out with some fun. Friday night, we took my grandson to a local theme park. We ate BBQ, and then rode the rides. My daughter and I hit some of the crazier rollercoaster and scarier rides. My back injury was talking to me by the end of the evening. We got home at 11:30 p.m., and were asleep by 12:30 a.m.

I awoke to the alarm on Saturday at 5:15 a.m., after getting a decent 4-1/2 hours of sleep. I headed out to WyCo Park for the XTerra "Dot" trail race. Caleb and I were going to make sure the XTerra folks knew where to put the aid station for the 5K/10K trail race. We also needed to run the course and make sure it was still marked right (from our Thursday night efforts). We were both going to be running in the 10K, along with some other Trail Nerds and the rest of the runners. I ran a decently smart race, even though I'm a fat, old gimp. I took 2nd place in my age division. The only reason I wasn't beat by two of the other 40-49 year olds, is my ability to run downhill quickly on rocky & technical trails. Down I can do.

Caleb took 2nd in his division (in this race), too. He was a little tired from many miles of ultramarathon training the past week at a 5:45/mile pace with some other fast area runners. Neither one of us did too bad, though. He and I both took first in our age groups for the entire XTerra trail race series, and we also tied each other for first place (overall) in the series, based upon points! Not bad. We both went home with medals and some nice North Face race schwag. After the race, Caleb and I ran the course again, to take down the signage.

Sunday, I drove out to Kill Creek Park and ran on technical trails with the Nerds. I ended up only running for 1-hour & 20-minutes, but it was a quality run, and I finished strong. The rest of the day was spent preparing race-day supplies for the next 2 races (next weekend), and brewing some homebrew in my garage.

My back and hamstring were bothering me last night and this morning, but I think I'm getting back to normal, finally. I won't run today, but will workout in the gym this afternoon.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Trailrunning, MTBing, XTerra, and Road Weenies

I ended up doing 9 miles last night on the hilly WyCo Park trails, with 6.5 miles at a decent pace. My hammy and back were talkin' to me, but I ran through the pain. I believe in an "active recovery," when I can actually move; (last week, I was barely moving). I'm trying to break-up any scar tissue that may be there from the injury, so when I run, I try to run as I normally would. I hit the gym this morning, and did back and biceps. I backed-off on the weight for some of the back stuff, though.

Caleb helped me mark the course for the XTerra folk's race, last night. It's funny, because he will probably win the 10K tomorrow. (He's already won the last two 10K's in this series). You normally won't find roadrunners that will volunteer or help with a race that they are running in...especially not the winners. Trailrunners don't mind pitching-in to help. This is another thing that separates roadrunning from trailrunning. It's very similar in the biking world, too. I may be generalizing here, but many road cyclists have prissy/snobby tendencies. They seem more focused on how they look and their equipment, rather than adding or giving back anything to the sport. Maybe that's why we call them "Roadweenies." Most MTB folks that I've met are just the opposite. In fact, many MTB'ers don't mind putting in eight hours of trail maintenance every few months; thank goodness!

Back to the Xterra race. Xterra pisses me off. They put on these local trail race series' with expensive entry fees all over the country, but they don't know anything about most of the local trails, and they don't participate in any local trail maintenance or cleanup. As you know, I'm all about promoting trailrunning and trail racing, but these folks are a bunch of poseurs that really only care about the almighty dollar. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it! I hope that with time, this will change, though.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Healing-up, and Now Running Again

I'm running again! After a major hamstring and back injury on my last run, I'm definitely on the mend. Ice, electro-stim, acupuncture, chiropractic, and lots of R & R seems to have done the trick.

I ran on Sunday afternoon with my son, and Tuesday evening with the Trail Nerds group. The Sunday run was slow, painful and generally, pure torture. On the Tuesday night trail run I felt tons better. It was amazing. It showed me that I haven't lost any speed or fitness. I worked out on weights last night with my personal trainer helping me to find things that wouldn't strain my still-healing injuries. I did just fine, but resisted the urge to go for a run last night.

Tonight, I'll hit the gym and then run at least 6.5 miles on a very hilly group trail run. Saturday, I'll actually run in a 10K trail race, albeit at an easy pace. Sunday, I plan on running for 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending upon how I feel.

Anyway, it's good to be back on the trails!