Sunday, November 26, 2006

Dude, Where's the Trail?

I decided a while ago to do Lou Joline's 50K, aptly named "Dude Where's the Trail." What I screwed up thoroughly, though, was being well rested prior to the event. I ended up putting in a total of 21.1 miles the day before (on Saturday).

Let me explain...Saturday's weather was just gorgeous. I ran with 3 newbie trailrunners for 6.7 miles at Kill Creek Park early Saturday morning on one of our normally scheduled training runs. On the way home, I decided to stop by SM Park, and check out the trails on the south side of the park. Well, I ended up putting in another 14.4 miles. So I already had over 21 miles "in the bank" for the weekend when I showed up Sunday morning to run the 50K.

"Dude" is no ordinary 50K. It is advertised as a run, not a race. It's also advised that runners should take a map, the 4 pages of instructions, and a cell phone. If you were smart, you went together in a group. My group consisted of Patrick Perry and Jacqueline Jackson, and for a short time, Mike (from Colorado). I couldn't of had any more upbeat, fun, (and fit) running companions.

About 30% of the course involves following flags and bushwhacking through the woods without the pleasure of running on actual trails. This was the real fun part. The wild roses, brambles, and other assundry weeds, woods, and cat-of-nine-tails had their way with our legs & arms. Let's just say that I am now thoroughly exfoliated. We ended up taking a wrong turn during one of our bushwhacking episodes, and put an additional 4 miles onto our total. We just considered it as part of the fun.

Most bare flesh looked like this after the run. Photo by Dick Ross.

Oh yeah, the 21 miles that I ran the day before came into play during the run...(dumbass me). My legs basically felt dead from mile fifteen on. I suffered through it, and my running companions were sympathetic, and didn't pretend to notice too much. So I had a solid fifty-four miles and change for the weekend's total. It was some decent training, but nutty nonetheless.

What a fun day. Dirty Deeds Run Dirt Cheap!

Trail Nerds Rick and Gabe prior to starting. Photo by Dick Ross.

More Photos

Monday, November 20, 2006

Hmmm...This is What I've Been up to, Lately

Update for the last week or so:
I went to Texas for my annual (job-related) training down at Texas A & M. I was there all of last week. We packed two weeks worth of training into 4 days, basically.

The weekend before I went to Texas, the Trail Nerds had a fun little trail run on Veteran's Day. Details Here. I was the race director, but I got to run in the event, too. We had a flag ceremony and played the Star Spangled Banner prior to the start of the race.

I ran every day when I was down in Texas, but only for 30-minutes each morning. When you run at 4:30 a.m., you tend to see some interesting characters. On Tuesday morning I saw one guy running with a parka and shorts, wearing knee-high white socks, carrying a 6-foot long wooden pole...I didn't ask.

This past weekend, I ran 9 miles on trails at SM Park on Saturday. Kyle and a newbie showed up. On Sunday, I ran with a gaggle of the Trail Nerds at (hilly) WyCo Park. Kyle and I opted for two loops, for a total of 20 tough miles. I didn't take-in enough calories prior to the run and I bonked BIG TIME! I was light-headed and spacey for the last 5 miles of the run. It took me a couple of hours to recover. I have to start eating better before my long runs!

Because of work issues and travel, I've neglected my weightlifting for 2 weeks, but I was back at it on Monday morning. I plan to "stay with the program" for the foreseeable future.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Here are some photos from our Vet's day race:

The start of the Vet's Day trail race on a cold Saturday morning. This photo by Dick Ross at

The footing sucked, somewhat. It was a fun time, though.
What madman would design a course like this?
Guilty, as charged.

At times, the trail was hard to find and hilly as hell.

Running across an open area.

Stacy is finished!!! We even had chip timing, courtesy of Raul Flores.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Some Fun

I just had to post these (recent) photos.

This is my grandson on Halloween.
Notice how the pizza slice brings out the color in his face?

This is our dog patiently waiting for Trick or Treaters.
He enjoys Halloween almost as much as my grandson.

This is our dog on part of the trail race course that he designed.
No fooling.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Too Many Long Runs, I Guess

I'm leaving for Texas A & M this Sunday for my annual 1-week refresher course (for work). This means that I'll have a viable excuse for NOT running a long distance training run or race next Sunday. I'll run our little trail run on Saturday, and then skip doing a long run on Sunday.

Some recent history...I've done at least a marathon distance to 50-mile distance for the last four straight weekends. My weekly mileage has never been more than 65 miles, though. This last Sunday, my body finally said "uncle." I struggled significantly for the last 5 miles of a 24-1/2 mile training run. I felt totally spent for about 6 hours on Sunday afternoon, and I had a lot of sh*t to do, (that wasn't getting done)!

So I think a rest & recharge is in order!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Trailrunners Represent!

Well, I'm finding out that it's cool to be part of a Steering Committee for a local park system. I have the honor of representing local trailrunners' needs, which happen to coincide with local mountain-bikers' needs, as well. We both want the same thing - sustainable dual-use singletrack trails that are built in accordance with IMBA standards (so that they don't errode the landscape). We also want to limit pavement and development in one of the last decent natural recreational areas in this over-developed county.

My involvement on the committee consists of attending a lot of planning meetings, and making sure that I get trailrunners to attend the "public input" meetings. So far, so good. The only downside: I'm running less because of it, although I did get to run after the public meeting last night with Caleb. Caleb, by the way, uses cycling and running as his only means of transportation, so he's a great representative for us. Fellow trailrunners Good Ben, Kyle, and Shane are MTB and road cyclists also, so they can mingle very well with the cycling representatives.


Our trailrunning group is also involved with building and maintaining sustainable trails in two other counties in the area. We not only build & maintain trails and haul-out trash from the parks, but our April 28th race will give a significant amount of the net profits directly back to the same trail system that we will be running on.

We are having a positive impact! And all of this came about from a few guys & gals running together on the trails, and talking about how we could get more trail-friendly stuff happening in the area. Of course, Ed Eveld's article 1-1/2 years ago gave us some notoriety and got a lot more people interested in trailrunning. That article helped kick us in the butts to get things rolling.

Trail Work Day in WyCo Park, June 2006
Seven Trail Nerds doing trail maintenance on a hot Saturday in June for 8 hours.

BenH_2006_NorthShoreTrailRun_photos 023
Running on the North Shore Trails of Clinton Lake in September

Group training run at Kill Creek Park in Late October 2006