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    Sunday, December 21, 2008

    Treadmill blues

    Six miles on the treadmill today - I had absolutely no motivation to run in the rain - at 7-7:30 mins per mile.

    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    Race Report - Blue and Gray Half-Marathon, Fredricksburg, VA

    Following last Wednesday I coasted into the weekend with a weights session and short three mile interval workout on Thursday. Friday and Saturday were days off from training to rest before this morning's half-marathon.

    Woke up at 5:00am to head to Fredricksburg for the race. Polished off two bowls of cereal, two cups of coffee, and a squeeze bottle of water. Thankfully I had gotten to bed relatively early the night prior so I was well rested.

    Arrived at packet pick-up by 0630 - temps were in the high 20s, low 30s and the wind was kicking like a ninja.

    Race went off at 730am. I took the first mile and half to warm up nice and slow and hit my stride. Although it was cold I was warm enough in tights, two long sleeve tee-shirts, light gloves, and stocking hat.

    The course wound out of the parking lot and headed north towards the Rappahannock River that runs through downtown Fredricksburg. We went down a long hill - 1.5 miles long to be exact past a hospital. I knew it would not be fun on the way back to the finish after 11 miles of running.

    The race then went beside a canal on a raised path then through some very pretty neighborhoods as the we wound to the half-way turn around point on the Mary Washington University campus ballfields. After running the half-way point and heading back the way we ran out the course ran fast. I developed a bit of a cramp from taking two gatorades at back to back aid stations and had to slow for about a mile to work it out.

    Once i crossed the 10 mile marker I slowed up some to pace before the huge climb back up out of the river valley. When I hit the bottom of the hill I ran hard up the hill and climbed it painfully but relatively quickly - passing at least a dozen folks who hit it at full stride.

    I ended up finishing in 1:38:40 - 7:28 miles and placed 8th overall in my age group.

    Overall this was a fitting end to my fall-season and the year in general. Open water swimming, a couple of half-marathons, an ultra, and a trail run series. Perfect because I was able to do several with friends. Add to that my overall fifth place finish in the Backyard Burn Trail Run Series and my solid run today and I am pleased.

    I am now going to stand down the next two weeks - one workout per day and relatively low intensity. I need a bit of a break. In the next few days I will post my reflections of this past year, my tenative training plans for the coming year, and my race schedule.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Training over the past ten days

    Although I was unable to compete in the final race of the Backyard Burn Series I had scored enough points to earn fifth place overall. I walked away with a nice beer mug and a gift certificate to VA Runner - a superb store.

    Quick summary on my recent training:

    Last week - two six mile runs, hard intervals of 10x800m with 400m in-between, two weights sessions, three swims of 1600m each and a slow four miler

    This week (so far!) five miles, 8x800m with 400m in-between, one weight session, one swim of 1200m. Remaining is a a three mile run, a four mile run, one weight session, and one swim.

    This coming Sunday I am running in the Blue and Gray Half-Marathon in Fredricksburg. Stay tuned for a race preview later in the week.

    Tuesday, December 9, 2008

    Sadness

    My uncle died last week. He was only 58; it was from complications due to severe arthritis. As these things inevitably go it was sad for the whole family but especially on my mom. He was her little brother.

    To An Athlete Dying Young
    THE time you won your town the race
    We chaired you through the market-place;
    Man and boy stood cheering by,
    And home we brought you shoulder-high.
    To-day, the road all runners come, 5
    Shoulder-high we bring you home,
    And set you at your threshold down,
    Townsman of a stiller town.
    Smart lad, to slip betimes away
    From fields where glory does not stay, 10
    And early though the laurel grows
    It withers quicker than the rose.
    Eyes the shady night has shut
    Cannot see the record cut,
    And silence sounds no worse than cheers 15
    After earth has stopped the ears:
    Now you will not swell the rout
    Of lads that wore their honours out,
    Runners whom renown outran
    And the name died before the man. 20
    So set, before its echoes fade,
    The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
    And hold to the low lintel up
    The still-defended challenge-cup.
    And round that early-laurelled head 25
    Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
    And find unwithered on its curls
    The garland briefer than a girl's.

    Sunday, November 30, 2008

    Downtime and forced rest

    After last Sunday's long run and the following Monday's swim I was psyched to train hard last week.

    The best laid plans of mice and men....

    Tuesday I took off to recover and we drove to NC for Thanksgiving. Tuesday night and Wednesday I ended up being very sick. This laid me out until Friday when I did a six mile run. Saturday and Sunday I ended up feeling week as well.

    Hopefully I will not lose too much before my race next Sunday. I will have all week to train and plan on making up for the time lost.

    Sunday, November 23, 2008

    Cold Miles

    Brrrr is the word of the weekend. I haven't run in weather this cold since I left Germany.

    Saturday I did a quick six from the house over some nice rolling hills. Sunny, bluebird sky and a killer wind! It was biting quite deep. I was layered up in a long sleeve tee, pearl izumi long sleeve top, knit cap, gloves, and fleece-lined tights. I was warm enough when not in the wind but for about half the run the wind was slicing through my clothes. I was regretting not wearing my windblocker vest.

    Sunday I met my boss - aka known as Sasquatch or the Northern Virginia Minotaur - for 15 cold miles. We started and finished and Burke Lake Park with some additional loops thrown in for fun. It was about 24 degs but thankfully no wind. I wore my waist belt Camelbak and had all the cold water I wanted to drink. My mini clif bar froze though and was like eating cardboard.

    I followed up the morning run with a nice Thai lunch while shopping with Mrs. Hoyawolf for Hoyawolfette and Hoyawolf Jr. The only thing I ran through faster than the Northern VA woods was my cash at Toys R Us!

    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Slog Week

    This week has been rough. Work kept me quite busy and I have been fighting a little respiratory cold. To add difficulties I have been hoovering up any food I can get my hands on completely blowing my training diet. Not by eating too much, just rushed for time and eating too much junk!
    Here is a recap of my training over the past week.

    Monday - 1600m swim, 100m - 200m - 300m - 400m - 300m - 200m - 100m

    Tuesday - 5 mile tempo run, 7-7:30mi/min pace
    weights

    Wednesday - no training due to work intervention - argh!

    Thursday - intervals, 12x400m with 400m in-between laps

    Friday - weights
    1600m swim, 1000m free, 200m w/kickboard, 200m w/bouy, 200m with fins

    Forecast for the weekend is pretty cold. I am planning to run Saturday and Sunday with a long run Sunday. Check back Sunday night for more details.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Montrail Hardrock Trail Running Shoe


    The 2008 Hardrock is an excellent shoe for long distance and technical courses. Long a trail running favorite Montrail delivers yet again with this year’s edition.
    Ample cushioning where it is needed most ensures a comfortable ride. The well padded heel and forefoot mitigate much of the shock of hard surface running, especially when pounding down steep singletrack. The stiffened toebox gives good protection to the little piggies as well – always nice when running a very rocky trail.

    The aggressive “Griptonite” sole supplies purchase under almost all conditions. The high-density medial post in the shoe lends reinforces the arch and the overall stability of the shoe. The uppers breathe adequately and even though I am prone to excessive foot heating during long runs the Hardrock performed well.

    The lacing provides a tight fit that goes long down the foot and allows a tight fit to the running platform. The shoe’s sizing runs a little small – I usually wear a 10 to 10.5 but fit an 11.5 Hardrock. The medium volume gives room for foot expansion without leaving too much wiggle room for shorter jaunts.

    I have put about three months of satisfied running into my new Hardrocks. On a recent half-marathon they performed well overall , including on one paved section. For longer training runs the cushion and support is appreciated, shorter events in the 10k range probably do not need this much shoe unless on very technical terrain. The shoe's real test for me will be in February 2009's ICY 8 Hour Trail Run.

    Bottom Line: I would buy this shoe again and would recommend it to friends. It is an excellent performer for long runs and on technical terrain. It’s beef cushion, solid footbed, and tight lacing allows you to plant each stride firmly without breaking stride – even on steep downhills.

    Monday, November 17, 2008

    Race Report - Fountainhead Regional Park




    Sunday dawned cold and slightly overcast with winds gusting to 20mph. The temperature at race time was about 38f with the windchill around 31f - freezing my bare legs. After check-in and number pick-up. I started my warm up with a nice jog from the parking lot down to the marina and around the lake side. I was warmed up by the time I got to the truck and stretched out almost right up until race time. My boss has been running the same series as well - except he is running the 10 mile races. We are both signed up for a half-marathon to finish our season off on 12 December down in Fredricksburg, VA - The Blue and Gray HM. It runs from downtown over the battlefield and back. Sounds like a good time!

    The wind was ripping by the time the race started so when the siren sounded I was ready to run. It had rained for three days straight so the course was trashed - the creeks were full, the hills muddy, and all the rocks covered with lots of leaves. Trail racing at its finest! This race course's prologue was about a half-mile down a rolling paved road. It was very fast. I was in the first break of about 15 runners when we turned off the pavement into the woods. The trail was fast down to the first main creek crossing, the far side of which was mud puree! Made for an interesting climb up - I could only imagine what it would be like after the pack got through there. It was a quick few rolling up and down hills and back onto the ridge for a slight uphill climb to the road crossing.

    After crossing the road the trail turns along the paved road and follows it for about a half-mile over mostly even but winding track. This portion ran fast. The course turned back into the woods and the next three and a half-miles would be in the back reaches of the park, great isolated cold and windy trail running on superb singletrack.

    There were a few very steep but fast descents - they all ended dead into creeks and water crossings. This made for some chilly hooves on my part - thankfully I had wore my gore-tex shoes. By the time the trail winded its way to the final mile it dropped steeply back to the reservoir and proceeded to climb a longish winding trail up to a rolling ridge. Some needle packed singletrack and then a hard left turn brought me to the finish chute with a 6th place finish.

    Overall my race was good and I really enjoyed it. Although the lead-out was fast I recovered my wind by the road crossing. I cruised at a very solid pace during the next three and half miles until the last half-mile where I really started to charge home - running up the large hill in good form. I am not sure how I slipped to sixth place. I was only passed once - and by a ten mile runner (they have red numbers).

    Now the mark is set for the last race. I am tied for fourth overall and the third place finisher is only one point ahead. So the final race in three weeks will be a real race. Lots of speedwork will be the order of the day!

    Thursday, November 13, 2008

    Backyard Burn Race #3 preview and taper summary


    This week's training has been good and I feel strong going into the weekend. My legs are a little sore overall from the amount of speed work I have been doing lately but two days of rest should freshen them up.
    Wednesday morning I ran four miles worth of intervals at 6:20 min/mile pace. My afternoon swim was four sets of 300m free, 200m w/kickboard and fins, and 200m w/pull-bouy. I finally replaced my old worn out, yet lovable, goggles. My new ones are Speedo Vanquisher, after two swims my initial impression is pretty good. A more comprehensive review will follow in the coming days.

    Thursday began my taper to the race - a short tempo run followed with weights in the afternoon.

    The course for this weekend's race is at Fountainhead Regional Park, which is situated along the banks of the Occoquan Reservoir in Western Fairfax County. This park is beautiful and feels surprisingly remote for being so close to Washington D.C. The racecourse consists mostly of hiking trails (including the Bull Run Occoquan Trail), horse trails, and old dirt roads.

    Last year my time on this course was 40:37 with a sixth place finish. After two fifth place finishes (currently third overall) I am really hoping to break into the top three.

    This is a moderately technical and fast course. The race begins in the main parking lot and runs down the paved entrance road for approximately a half-mile over rolling hills. The course then dives offroad and runs along some excellent singletrack over a wooded ridgeline. A short but sharp descent brings the racers to an intermittant stream crossing with its subsequent climb. Last year there were a number of tumbles at this creek crossing. The course then climbs out of the draw and loops through more of the scrub oak forest before merging back into the ridgeline where you run out the same way the track entered the woods.

    Once crossing the entrance road the course follows alongside the road for a little ways before going back into the farther reaches of the park. The race course from there until the finish is a series of rolling ups and downs with numerous stream crossings. The course feels very isolated on these back stretches because the numerous draws keep the majority of runners out of view from each other.
    After dropping down to run beside the Occoquan Reservoir for a short distance the final stretch climbs quickly back up to the ridge top and runs over a few small hills before bursting out of the woods and literally directly into the finish chute.
    Hopefully the weather will hold and it will be cool yet dry this Sunday. Stay tuned for the race report.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Soccer season wrap-up

    Here are a few pictures of Hoyawolf Jr's soccer season. He really progressed a lot over the year and had a good time. Perhaps not as much as his dad who really enjoyed watching him play!

    Monday, November 10, 2008

    Off and Running

    Monday is a day-off for me, as is Tuesday. Perfect way to start any work week!

    My training over the past few days was decent. Friday was a weight room day at work and a short but fast tempo run after work. These days it gets dark quite early so running in the dark is the evening norm.

    Saturday was a day off for me - my legs hurt from my interval workout and from doing several lower body exercises at the gym. We also had soccer all day - Hoyawolf Jr's final game was Saturday. He mostly played half-back all day and had two nice blocks; one of which he was the only thing between the other team's striker and the goal.

    Sunday was a middle distance run in almost perfect conditions - upper 60s and sunshine. That afternoon was Jr's soccer team party. It was held at Fuddruckers. An odd location for a youth party and I gorged myself on a huge burger, fries, and a beer. That shot my nutrition plan for last week!

    Monday morning I did a nice 10 mile loop from the house - the weather was definitely more fall-like. Cool, breezy, and sunny I was bundled in long sleeves, tights, and knit cap. This afternoon I am going swimming. First I have to get some new goggles - mine suffered complete failure last week at work.

    Thursday, November 6, 2008

    Thursday

    I started off the day right - with a very hard track workout. 4x400 at 6mins/mile, 3x800 at 6 mins/mile, 2x1200 at 640mins/mile, 2x800 at 6.40 mins/mile, 1x400 at 5.40mins/mile. My trackworkout starts with an 800m warm up and I ran 200m between the first sets of 400 and 800 but then full 400m between the 1200s and the remainder. My quads have been screaming at me all day.

    In the afternoon the pool beckoned. I swam 5x200, 1x200 w/fins, 1x200 w/pullbouy, and 1x200 w/fins and kickboard. As always the pool was quite chilly and it takes the first 200m or so to warm up. What I like best about pool-day is sitting in the hot tub afterwards. Today I was in no hurry to get back up to my hobbit hole so parked there for 15 glorious minutes.

    Yesterday I did five miles. A progressive tempo run starting at 730 mins/mile and then moving to 650 mins/mile for the last mile. It was a great day to run - misty and cool. After missing my Tuesday run and only swimming on Monday it felt nice.

    Tomorrow is weights and a short run.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Race Pictures







    Here are a few pics from Sunday's race. They were taken at the top of the huge climb between miles three and four.

    Monday, November 3, 2008

    Blue Monday

    My hammies were a little tight after the hills at Hemlock yesterday. Subsequently today's pool workout hurt - at least for the first three hundred meters!

    I also found out that I am sitting third overall in the Backyard Burn Trailrunning Series. If I can manage one more strong finish I will be in a solid position to place for the overall series.

    Sunday, November 2, 2008

    Race Report - Hemlock Park


    Perfect weather, a super course, and a decent finish - a great day! I expected a cold morning but was pleasantly surprised when it was low 50's and slightly overcast. Perfect race conditions and the trails were in great shape. The total mileage was 5.5 miles for the race with a short prologue.

    The route was as challenging as last year; although, I had forgotten how steep the climbs were!!!

    From the start the race was fast. The prologue went very quick; I hit the first .7 miles at 3:45 - yikes. The long downhill to the river continued at the same pace but hit the slow-stop along the banks. The trail went to big rocks, little rocks, huge rocks, stacked rocks - you get the picture. In several places I had to stop running and "mantel" myself up onto the next section of trail. There were several sections along the river totaling approximately 2 miles.

    The last climb was absurd - probably about a half-mile and gained several hundred feet very steeply. The upper portions were over large steps composed of split ties.

    Although I started to fade just over the middle of the race after the long climb the race broke out into some open fields. I was able to get my wind back and power strong to the finish.

    I finished 5th with a time of 40:15. I wanted a little faster time but was happy with placing again. My interval workouts helped me with the endurance at high speed but I think it will be another two weeks before there is enough "speed" in my legs to run sustained. However, I am positioned quite well for the overall series standings and will post those results when they are released.

    Friday, October 31, 2008

    Backyard Burn Race #2 Preview


    Sunday's race will be at Hemlock Park in southern Fairfax County. It is a really nice park situated on an old farmstead. The terrain varies greatly - steep short hills, scrub oak forest, and open fields. The southern edge of the park is bounded by the infamous Bull Run Creek; farther upriver is where the famous Civil War battles were fought.


    The race starts with a very fast slightly downhill prologue that follows a dirt road before winding between some old farm buildings. The course crosses a small field and then runs along the sides of a farm pond before hitting the first short hill. This portion of the race was very fast last year!


    After crossing the same road the race started down the course goes into the trees on some relatively tight singletrack as the course winds down towards the Bull Run. Once along the creek the route becomes very "technical," literally running riverside over a very narrow rocky path.


    This portion of the course ends with the longest climb of the day - a series of two steep climbs that bring the runners back level with the farm. Into the singletrack around a series of fields the course picks up speed as you cross several open areas and then race around the farm pond againt to the finish.


    Last year I finished 7th at this course with a time of 40:48 for 5.8 miles. I am hoping to place better - into the top five again. If i can secure two top five finishes during the series my chances of a top five place overall will be very strong.

    Thursday, October 30, 2008

    Race Week

    This week has been a little hectic but for the most part I hit my training gates. Monday to Wednesday I was at a seminar away from my usual office here in DC. While I greatly enjoyed it - the subject was Africa - it complicated my daily training plans!

    My swim workouts for Monday and Wednesday were the first victims; thankfully they were really the only ones as well. I started the week with a three mile very fast speed workout on Monday. I didn't want to push too far and long due to the long ten mile run on Sunday afternoon. Tuesday was strictly a weight room day - have I mentioned I love my new work out regimen? I will post it soon. Wednesday I ran five miles at a nice tempo pace - resistance training as well with all the wind! Thursday was an interval workout on the treadmill and that afternoon I was able to get to the gym too.

    Tomorrow will be a short two-mile run and a swim workout (finally!).

    Sunday, October 26, 2008

    Weekend Recap

    Friday was a good day. Intervals and a swim. My legs were smoked so Saturday I didn't even bother with a run.

    Hoyawolf Jr. scored his second goal of the season in his soccer match on Saturday morning. It was excellent - playing down-field he took a decent pass and punched it straight into the goal. The real challenge was a bunch of kids playing in the rain for a full hour. Hoyawolfette was in rare form for her soccer - she was convinced she wanted to go home until about two seconds after she ran out onto the field.

    Today the weather was great - cool and sunny, but very breezy. I ran a double five mile loop by the house. Did I mention we live in a VERY hilly area? Ugh, my quads are burnt.

    I am hoping to get two speed/tempo workouts in by Thursday so I can rest fully on Friday and Saturday prior to my next race. If I can lock up a top five finish next Sunday then I will definitely be in the hunt for overall series top five as well.

    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    Speed Week

    No fast cars here just a lot of hard effort running! Tuesday was back on my feet and I did a nice middle distance tempo run - five miles at seven mins per mile. Later that afternoon it was weight room session one for the week.

    Wednesday was a short - three mile - but fast workout. I did the three miles at 6:18 per mile and then went immediatly to the pool. Swam 5x200's and then headed back to the office. All in all it was an efficient hour-long workout including stretching/warming up.

    At this point I must confess that although I have had the intention of running from home in the early morning hours sleep overtook me on Tuesday. Monday had just been too cold to be outside and I am still in my summer mindset.

    Thursday I made the break - at about 31 degrees it was damn chilly. A nice small loop near the house at a slower pace. Tomorrow is my interval workout - death!

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Race and recovery


    Sunday's race went excellent. The morning was cold and clear - lows in the high 30s - with bluebird skies and sunshine. I love running through the trees and fields on days like that.

    The race was Wakefield Park - like mentioned in a previous post it was mostly flat and FAST. The prologue is about a half-mile down the road until you hit a turn onto the single track. The pace was furious to make the turn. Luckily I was in the lead group of about 20 or so and had good positioning.

    I ran very well through the first three to three and a half miles. Then I started slacking up a bit until I picked it up on the last mile to finish strong. I only had one fall - whew!

    I finished fifth in the five mile race so I was pretty happy. Unfortunately I pulled out to head home a little early and they did not post the results as quickly as usual. My friend called me (he was in the 10 mile race) to tell me the results.

    The most important thing that happened this weekend however was that Hoyawolf Jr. did the monkeybars!

    Today's training was just a recovery day. I was in the pool for about 2000m - swam two 500s, five 100s, and 10 50s. Then i just sat in the hot tub for about 15 mins....bliss.

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Simmering down...

    Ah yes - the late fall season and with it the blessed end of long multi-hour runs that last distances beginning with the digit 2,3, or 4!! The flip-side is short but fast workouts that leave you feeling like you have been knifed and beaten with sand-filled rubber hoses.

    After being in Turkey for an entire week and not running at all it was back to grind. This week I put down a few nice tempo runs of about 7 and 8 miles with two shorter speed workouts; one interval session and one three mile race-pace run.

    I am feeling pretty good about this weekend's race at Wakefield Park. The course is relatively flat across multi-surfaces; road, singletrack, crushed pathway, and open fields. The technical portions (ie rocky!) are along Accotink Creek. There are a few steep but short climbs up from the creek that cross several of the draws as you break out of the trees toward the finish with about a half-mile across an open field. The finish is great with lots of folks there to cheer on the racers.

    Last year I finished 10th in this race. I am looking for a top five this time. I am going into the fall series four pounds lighter at 150 with a good bit more mileage in my legs although perhaps not as much speed work. The weather looks to be cool - low mid 40s by the 9:00am start. Look back here Sunday night for a race report.

    Saturday is also Hoyawolf Jr and Hoyawolfette's soccer day. The last game Hoyawolf Jr. scored his first ever goal. It was beautiful and his interest spiked accordingly. Hoyawolfette continues to blaze away at her tiny kickers sessions as well. There is no one cuter in pigtails kicking a soccer ball that I know!

    Bring on the race, I am ready for the post-run beer. Happy Trails.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    It's been a while...

    I just got back to work this week after being in Turkey last week for work. I didn't do a single bit of running - which was glorious. Instead concentrating on 12 ounce curls - actually .3 litre curls it was Europe you know. The Sheraton in Ankara is very nice; if you get upgrade room to Club Level drinks and snacks free during happy four hours daily. I highly recommend it, especially on the government dime.

    Just before I took off I ran the Army Ten Miler here in DC. My time was 1:15:02 for about a 7:30 pace. Not too bad and I was pleased with the effort - especially given all the recent running I had done.

    This weekend will be the first race in the Backyard Burn Trail Series. I finished 8th overall last year and am hoping to medal this year.

    I just joined Facebook as well - on an invite from a friend. I can't believe how many folks from high school and college are on there.

    Sunday, September 28, 2008

    Sunday morning run and other musings

    Rainy weekend since Friday - terrible weather for being outdoors. The little Hoyawolves' soccer games were canceled on Saturday morning the fields were so soaked.

    We had some friends over on Saturday night, the kids all played well together as usual. I hid from the raucousness by watching some college football. Sadly both the Georgia Bulldogs and NC State Wolfpack were beaten in a manner similiar to that ofa rented mule.

    This morning I headed out to Burke Lake to run - did a quick 11 miles in the pouring rain. I had set out to run a full 15 but it was raining too hard.

    By the way I have to address something: The Rocket Man, Yves Rossy. He is a Swiss fighter pilot, airline pilot, and parachutist whose life quest was to build and fly a jet powered wing across the English Channel. He did it and was successful! You can see the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMjuzy68hw0

    It is an awesome adventure as well as a great feat of engineering. I think most people may have dismissed it as another stunt but I think it has enormous potential for the future of personal flight. Particularly if you consider the advances made since the first heavier than air powered flight by the Wright Brothers.

    Hopefully soon we will all have the opportunity to soar like Yves Rossy.

    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Humpday was yesterday

    It has been a great week for training, kids, and life in general.

    First - die Kinder. Hoyawolf Jr's teacher sent a note home via email, not that kind of note though! It was a note that said he was doing excellent in class and ahead of his peers. Just the kind of thing you want to hear.

    As for training - I have been focused on my taper plan for the week. Five miles at 7:30mins per mile on Monday, three miles Tuesday, and two miles yesterday, all at the same pace. I am also fully into my new lifting program. I am doing eight exercises, two sets of 20, with lighter weights followed by five ab sets of 25 reps each. Smoker and leaves me beat. I also have gotten in a couple quality swims this week. As I ramped up my running I scaled back my swimming. Instead of 2-3000m per session I stay short but intense with 1200m per session.

    I know I spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on food here - mainly because I stay hungry all day long! However, here is what I have eaten so far today: four chips ahoy cookies, a bowl of honey nut cheerios, a nutrigrain bar, an apple, a bannana, rigatoni with tomato sauce, a coke zero, and two cups of coffee. I still have to eat supper and I weigh only 151 pds. This afternoon I will drink three bottles of water...now I'm hungry again!

    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    The past weekend's training (or lack of!)

    I am using the time honored excuse of tapering for what did (not) happen this weekend. The intent was an hour on stairs Saturday and 10 miles Sunday before starting to taper down to this coming week's Great Endurance Run.

    Friday I did a short fast tempo run - something like 7mins per for 5 miles. Saturday I did a few laps - on the pizza at Hoyawolfette's birthday party and the follow-up at Johnny Rocket's for dinner :)
    Sunday was back to the grind with another tempo run.

    Tomorrow really starts the taper plan - coupled with a strong hydration and nutrition plan. I give myself about 90% chance of full achievement!

    Race on!

    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Transportation Strike

    The workers for the Fairfax Connecter - the buses that I ride to and from the city - are on strike. This has driven the cost of my commute up about two dollars a day and added 30 mins a day. I am ready for these folks to get some sort of agreement signed!

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Big day for the Hoyawolves!

    Our little princess turned four years old - that is right - Miss Hoyawolfette. She is such a precious girl and we love her very much. She has made the last four years of her Dad's life extra special.

    To celebrate I have been training extra hard this week. I started a new weight training program - it is very good and I really like the suffering!

    Tuesday was short quick tempo run followed by the new training program. This morning I did a very solid interval workout - 2x400, 2x800, 1x1200, 1x800, 1x400 - at a 6min per mile pace for the run and about 8.5min per mile for the jog.

    Work interfered with my swim this afternoon so instead of only one workout tomorrow my hand is forced. Arrrgh!

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    Weekend Recap and Monday Run

    As usual the weekend went by in a flash. Saturday was the start of the soccer season for the kids. It was great. Hoyawolfette was very intent the whole time and although at her age they don't play a real game she chased and kicked the ball for 45 mins solid. Hoyawolf Jr on the otherhand was in full swing - minus goalies. He played in all four quarters and did equal time on offense and defense. Making one dash down the sideline dribbling the ball. Mom and Dad cheering loudly of course!

    The rest of the weekend it seems like all we did was eat. Last night was perfect at a local middle eastern place.

    This morning was back to training hard. I put in an hour, knocked down about 7.5 miles at a nice even steady pace. Swimming this afternoon.

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    End of a slow week

    This morning went for another quick fiver - just not motivated to run too much and my knee has been hurting from slamming into the downed log this past weekend. I got some weights in and generally took it easy this afternoon. Next week back to the grind.

    I did locate the local high school however - two opposing high sets of bleachers - about one and a half miles from my house. Perfect warm-up and cool-down distance prior to some quad punishing sessions on the stairs.

    Next week I am back to my regular job - this week was spent at another location and that has contributed to my general laziness....naah, just excuses! I'll be up and out early to punish myself prior to Hoyawolf Jr. and Hoyawolfette's soccer games tomorrow.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2008

    Back to the grind

    Up and out early this morning - five quick miles on the local loop from my house. Lunchtime weights. Feeling good. However, my knee is a little stiff but doesn't bother me running or lifting.

    Last night was Hoyawolf Jr's first soccer practice. It was great - he did a good job but the little fellow is a tad smaller than his classmates. I guess his 5'9.5" 150 pd dad and tiny mom aren't helping in that regards.

    Time to start preparing for the Great Eastern Endurance Run....

    Sunday, September 7, 2008

    Trail half-marathon results







    After our race course was altered I was a little bummed. I had really been looking to spend most of the day on singletrack trails - mainly because my strength is technical running, definitely not running fast on the flats of the fireroads we were on most of the morning.

    My time was 1:42:15 with a 14th place, not too bad.

    The day was not without incident though - I think I was underhydrated and the last four miles were ran on half-breaths with a wicked side stitch. Thankfully my only deity bestowed talent is to suffer.

    Tomorrow I am not running - just hitting the weights but then I start ramping back up for the Great Eastern Endurance Run on 27th Sep. I hope to get a few extended speed sessions into my legs before then.

    Friday, September 5, 2008

    Stop - not hammer time

    After a nice relaxing rest day today and yesterday my race for tomorrow morning was scrubbed due to weather. Thank-you Hurricane Hanna.

    ...So I did what any endurance athlete would do - I ate a personal sized greek pizza and followed it up with a piece of carrot cake (out of this world homemade variety). I'm carbing up and restocking my simple sugars all at once.

    The race should go on Sunday morning but if the storm is as bad as they expect it may be canceled.

    In that case no telling what I'll eat!

    Wednesday, September 3, 2008

    Simmer down!

    Sixty-seven degrees as I rode to the metro station this morning, a pleasant three and a half miles.
    Ninety-five plus degrees as I headed home in the evening was not as enjoyable.

    I kept to my taper plan today for this weekend's race: two miles at 6:30 and 6:00 mins per mile respectively for my tempo run followed with a quick ab circuit.

    Tomorrow I will lift in the morning and then do nothing until the start gun on Saturday morning. The forecast looks wet....good; suffering is the only talent that comes naturally to me.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    Taper and a bike - two bits? :)

    On a lark at the last minute I signed up for the Ex2adventures Trail 25km Run this weekend - although I have been putting in a lot of miles the past few months. This morning I ran a quick four miles and lifted this afternoon.

    The hard part is trying to resist the completely homemade carrot cake Mrs. Hoyawolf has sitting in the fridge!

    By the way, two weeks ago I bought a new bike for commuting - Novara Safari. Nice 26" wheel touring frame. I hung fenders and put a stem extender on it to make it a little more commute friendly. It took some creative metalwork to mount the fenders, pictures to be posted.

    Sunday, August 31, 2008

    Welcome and a Sunday Run

    Started this blog to capture mine and my family's adventures - from museums, to star gazing, to biking and camping. Mrs Hoyawolf and I try to set a good example for Hoyawolf Jr and Hoyawolfette. Watching them enjoy the great outdoors, the art gallery, and each other is the best reward!

    This morning I headed out early to run with the Burke Lake Runners - a local group that meets once a week for putting down some mileage. I put in about 11 miles; I am semi-tapering for a half marathon this coming week. Great weather and a great run.

    This afternoon we went out to the Sheraton in Tyson's Corner to "Brickfest." An exhibition for Lego toys and the adult geeks who made it all possible. Hoyawolf Jr and his friend were duly impressed - Dad liked it too :)