Monday, January 28, 2008

Very Nice Trip


What can I say? I absolutely love to go to the Pacific Northwest.

An incredible trip. Once again.

And Seattle co-conspired with Mother Nature to make it an incredible trip with great weather, while I was there. I was priveledged with many sightings of the Olympics (mountains) throughout the weekend; a rarity in January.

I ran in Discovery Park with a good friend, and basically had no set schedule on late Saturday and all of Sunday...just enjoyment.

I also got to visit with my cousin, a brewpub-owner friend, and I met some new and interesting people.
Yes, one day...I will find a way to live in the Northwest once again, come Hell or high water. Until then, I'll make the best of it, wherever I am. That's life. The things that are the most important in life are my loved ones. I've got to take care of the ones I love, and make sure that I spend as much time with them as possible. That's my biggest priority in life, as it should be for anyone. If this requires more travel and planning, so be it!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fat Ass and 100-Mile Trail Run

On New Years Day, myself and a few of the other Trail Nerds hit the trails at Wallace State Park in Cameron Missouri for the Annual 50K Fat Ass Run. The conditions were not fun. The cold was fine...about zero degrees wind-chill. But the snow on the trail really sucked - big time. Imagine 4 inches of powder on top of 4 inches of dogshit-consistency snow. Even after multiple 6-mile loops, the trail didn't get any better or packed down. It actually got worse! I'm not whining, just telling the facts, man. Gabe has a pretty good write-up on his blog. I took some photos and will post some of them later.

On a good note:

I'm feeling fit and ready for the 100-miler at Rocky Raccoon in a couple of weeks. In fact, I feel as fit or fitter than when I ran a PR there in 2006, which was a 22-hour, 4-minute effort.

In addition to my regular trailrunning training, I've been hitting the gym religiously for 9 weeks now, for 5 times per week. My core, upper body and shoulders are stronger, which helps a lot on a trail run...especially in a 100-mile trail run. The leg workouts have helped a lot, too. I am now a big believer in single-leg presses, and other single-leg exercises for runners. My speed is better, and I just feel good and strong at the end of every long or short run, now. I really feel tough as nails, right now.

Our Digs at Rocky

I'll have 4 bodies (including mine) packed into my Ultramobile for the drive to Rocky Raccoon. We won't have much room in the car, but it should be a lot of fun.
Gary "Luddite" Henry (from Lawrence), and Tony "Semper Fast" Clark (from Wichita) will be riding down with me. My son will be going, too. He will be our crew (and probably part of the entertainment). Hopefully, he'll be rested enough to help drive part way back to KC after the race. He and I love our road trips together, and this one should be a good one. Gary had his name mentioned recently (by me) on an Endurance Planet podcast...and he's still speaking to me. Tony is a young, fast Marine from Wichita, and I think he'll do well at Rocky; probably a sub-18 hour time. This will be his 2nd 100-mile run.
Other Trail Nerds that will be going down are: Kyle Amos, Rick Mayo, John King, and Gabe Bevan. It will be John's first 100-mile run, but he's well-trained and ready. Rick Mayo will be pacing for John. Kyle Amos' wife (Stacey) will help my son with the crewing duties.

I get to be "the grisled veteran" at this race, since it will be my 6th Rocky Raccoon 100, in as many years. I like the role of "trail mentor," and being able to help people avoid the mishaps that I've had along the way. Joe (the race director), will give me my 500-mile jacket this year, since the only thing he had in my size last year was the 500-mile shirt. He's an awesome race director, and never forgets a thing.

I just had my yearly company-mandated physical. The doc said that I was "as healthy as a horse and strong as an ox." He was surprised that I was as flexible as I am, though. He asked me to touch my toes, and I put my palms onto the floor. I did notice that my blood pressure is about 10 points lower than my normal pressure, without my morning coffee. Interesting.

Between now and Rocky, I'm going to Seattle for a 4-day weekend. I'm really looking forward to that trip. It will be an incredibly fun break from my "normal" life. Seattle equals True Love, to me.