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    Thursday, December 31, 2009

    Winter Haiku - New Year's Eve

    Fallow frozen fields
    Landscapes shaded silent gray
    -- the lone crow caws

    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    Travel lessons after 100k airmiles in 2009

    My last two trips to Germany pushed me over 100,000 air miles for the year on Star Alliance. An excellent accomplishment because I like to board early and enjoy my sometimes complimentary upgrades!

    As any frequent traveller knows you have to seek ways to increase your chances at successful and comfortable travel. Once-in-while travellers can get by with an uncomfortable flight here and there; missing luggage, or other challenges but road-warriors who frequently take to the globe depend upon minimizing these distractions so they do not interfere with business.

    Here are a few personal observations:

    Pack small and light. I have a small backpack (30 liter volume) which I use as my carry-on bag. If making multiple connections the fewer bags the better, if at all possible carry-on everything.

    Use the smallest computer you can get away with, simplifies pulling in and out at all x-rays.

    Place all associated electronics in one or two gallon size ziplock bags. This allows easy visual inspection and unpack/repack at security. Also, sometimes they want to x-ray these separate.

    Carry a collapsible pillow and fleece blanket. This cuts down on germs from the airline provided stuff and provides in-terminal sleeping comfort when making long intercontinental connections.

    Bring snacks - sometimes you cannot change money late at night in developing world airports and there may be nothing for sale anyways. Also, always have a headlamp. When the power goes out in the Mombasa airport you will be the only one able to see.

    Always keep some money in your pockets, along with a photocopy of your passport.

    Limit the number of books you bring, better off buying a new one than adding weight to your carry-on. This is hard for voracious readers like myself.

    Pack a toothbrush!

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    Run to the Hohe Ziegspite, well almost!






    Took off just after lunch today for a long run in the mountains. I had already packed my bag last night with Gatorade, some warm clothes, camera, and headlamp. I took off up the local path for the Hohe Ziegpitze, a 1900m tall mountain. I made it way up onto the shoulder of the mountain to about 1700m before the trail was just too iced/frozen over on the north side for me to continue without my poles and only my Montrail Mountain Masochists. A great long run in a perfect setting. Bis naechste Zeit!

    Sunday, October 25, 2009

    Forest running





    Today I went for a run south of Garmisch. My total time running was 1:24:38. I guesstimate my total distance somewhere around 15km. It was a perfect day - high 40s and sunny although the temps dropped fast when the sun fell behind the ridgeline. Several nice long climbs, some short steep downhills, fast meadows, and stream crossings made it a classic trail run.

    Along the way I passed families out walking in the forest, two fly-fishermen, kayakers playboating at some huge rapids (I think they were the same ones I saw earlier in the day near a damn in town), and some small "huetten" for overnight stays.

    Did I mention I love Germany?!

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    Back in Garmisch, Germany for the third time in 2009!



    I am in Germany this week for a conference so I will be posting some photos. The conference just happens to be in my favorite Bavarian town - Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which I know as well as my own hometown due to the amount of time I have spent skiing, running, biking, and mountaineering in the area. Stay tuned!

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    Sunday, September 6, 2009

    The change of seasons is almost here

    Autumn

    Nearing August’s end, cloud’s carrying
    Swollen turbulent rains to gritty soil sail
    Into September; leaf trading, dry dusted
    Green for brittle yellow and wine red; orange
    Moon, suspended throughout October,
    With firework intensity for curtailed cooling days.

    A distracting sleight of hand, obscuring
    Knobbed and stripped boughs; the humbled
    Lords of long days, grey-white at November’s
    Start, stand naked; next year’s tribute to rain cycles
    And seedlings.

    Sunday, July 19, 2009

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    Rainy Day Run in Huntley Meadows




    Rain, rain, Gonna fall, down on your head - "Rain" by Rusted Root

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Gear Review: The North Face Men's Personal Record Shorts


    The TNF Personal Record shorts are among some of the most comfortable I have worn. As expected from TNF the craftsmanship is solid and attention to detail evident in the features.

    My pair are medium-long with the five inch inseam. I wanted a shorter short but with enough fabric to keep the details covered and provide superior range of motion. The shorts fit well, snug enough to run without having to tie the drawstring. I have a 30-31 inch waist, TNF sizing guide suggest 32-34 for Medium and 28-30 for Small. Us middle of the roaders would most likely sing an octave higher at the smaller size. The fabric dries very quickly, something I tested several times at Highland Sky in June.

    The features are where this short distinguishes itself. The liner and waistband are both seamless, excellent for distance running. The mesh side panels vent the shorts nicely. The logo on the side is reflective, a nice detail on black shorts. There are three pockets, one on each side and centered in the rear, which are just big enough to hold a gel or two each. I have particularly found the rear one useful for carrying nutrition when running middle distances (10-15 miles) with handheld hydration.

    I highly recommend this short and am scouring the net for my second pair. Unfortunately there seems to have been a run on medium-long! Purchase yours via www.iRunFar.com at Backcountry to help my man Bryon Powell keep his sweet blog coming.

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    Lake Laps




    Distance runners thrive on new experiences; each stride takes us further into the new. Running an unknown trail for the first time is our addiction, an intoxicant that returns us to the natural. Lacing up at the bottom of a previously un-run mountain or trail cannot be replicated.

    The familiar is where we are most comfortable. The place we go to escape inside ourselves while running in nature.

    Like a worn pair of trail shoes it is always close, waiting, knowing you will return after the latest mountain run, new trail, or exciting race. The familiar has seen us at our best, setting private PRs to no acclaim as we dash from the second turn to the big oak, again. The familiar has seen us at our worst, dehydrated, sore, making excuses, and quitting.

    We know our familiar trail with a lover’s intimacy. Every line through the trail's bends are imprinted in our unconsciousness. Each hill is as an old friend. We float effortlessly over and through it’s creeks, anticipating every stone and root’s ample footing.

    We know each season. Living their arrival, maturation, and transformation; feeling on our skin the metamorphosis from dormancy to rebirth. A runner knows the cold sting of winter’s breath and the quiet of breaking fresh snow-covered trail. A runner knows the searing heat of summer, breezy springs, and color-bursting autumn. The solitude of deep winter fills us with jealousy when warmer days bring others with whom we have to share.

    After your next race, destination running trip, or fastpacking weekend enjoy the privilege of your familiar trail, the one to which you turn when you need escape or simply added training mileage.

    The familiar is our constant companion. We have seen all it offers and depend upon every mile.

    Sunday, June 21, 2009

    Highland Sky 40 Race Report


    Overall an excellent event and West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners did a great job putting on the race. I highly recommend anyone thinking about it to register for next year's edition when available.

    The weekend started out with good weather for the drive from Alexandria, VA to Canaan Valley State Park, WV. Just a bit over four hours travel time - not bad. The campground was excellent with superb views of the Canaan Valley and surrounding mountains. The pre-race dinner was about average - spaghetti with meat sauce, veggie lasagna, bread, cookies, etc. The stand-out was the local beer from Mountain State Brewing in Thomas, WV. After dinner the clouds starting rolling in, accompanied by thunder - uh oh.

    After raining through most of the night the 4:00am wake-up was actually nice, cool temps with a slight breeze. After a quick breakfast - just coffee, fruit, and a few sweets - we boarded buses to the start. Portajons at the start were superb, I hope they sustain this performance in the future.
    Promptly at 6:00am the field was off and running!

    The first two miles were on a paved road following a river until we came to a Forest Service right of way through two fields. After the turn-off was Aid Station 1 a short distance across the field. We began heading up steeply alongside Flatrock Run. The first Thunderstorm started about 30 minutes into the race and began dumping buckets. The trails were already inundated from previous rainfall so the trail conditions were quite challenging. Much of the trail was under standing water or on the inclines under moving water! After climbing from 2500 ft to just over 4000 ft elevation the trail crossed the Roaring Flats. Imagine running through gutters filled with black mud while surrounded by mountain laurel and rhododendrons.

    After hitting Aid Station 2 in 2:30 at mile 10.5 the trail continued across the Plains until dropping down the side of the mountain. A 1200 ft descent down mountain to the South Fork of the Red Creek and then following creek to Aid Station 3 for a 1600ft climb kept things interesting. The rain continued to fall through this portion of the race. Crossing near the head of the creek was interesting to say the least - the water was fast and cold. After Aid Station 3 the trail ran through the Red Creek Plains - more water logged singletrack. There was some excellent - and dry! - running in some pine groves on the higher ground during this portion. Near the end of the Red Creek Plains we crossed "10 Bridges," ten wooden foot bridges through a very swampy area. Just after the last bridge the trail hit a forest road and headed about a half-mile down the road to the half-way point (20 miles) at Aid Station 4.

    Since Aid Station 4 was the half-way point the drop-bags were laid out. I did not dare change shoes since the course was proving to be "wet, wild, and wrocky" as advertised. I only changed socks, dropped my IPOD and gorged on peanut butter and jelly sammies. There were lots of families and spectators here and it made for a festive mood. Great atmosphere. I even got a hamstring knot massaged by one of the volunteers! My time at the half was 5:00, right on my target pace of 10 hours.

    The next section of the race traversed a Forest Service road known as "The Road Across the Sky," it had some killer views over the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area and the Monogahela National Forest. Thankfully the sun had come out and the rain went away. Since Aid Station 5 was only three miles from 4 I did not even stop, just grabbed a drink of water on the jog. I made it into Aid Station 6 in just under an hour; not bad to put together seven 9:00 minute miles after the first twenty! At this point I started thinking I had a chance to really make a good time and beat my goal of 10:30. However, this superb effort came back to bite me a little later.

    By the time I hit Aid Station 6 it was windy and cold. The route followed the Raven Ridge Trail across the Dolly Sods. I fought bad winds until the trail crossed a small stream and went into the trees. The rolling open hills and sparse copses of trees during this portion made it very beautiful and fast. I ate up the hills and was able to run very well over the flats. At the end of this segment was a superb boulder field that was approximately a mile long - some you could run between, some over, and some around. However, navigation was tricky and challenging. A long gradual climb through some open forest ended at Aid Station 7.

    After passing through the aid station I picked back up my run but my stomach went into revolt. I had to walk about 35-40 mins to get it to calm down; not to mention drink a lot of replacement fluid and eat a ton of Skittles. After my stomach finally settled back I was at the bottom of a huge ski-slope at Timberline Ski Resort. This was a hard long climb and the sun was out in full force. Once at the top the trail immediately started downhill on the infamous "Butt Slide" portion of the segment. I was able to run the entire slide quickly. I firmly think that rock climbing and mountain biking made me an excellent downhill runner because I can pick a line easily. Also, my renewed emphasis upon core workouts helped my body control at speed.

    After coming down out of the woods and running a dirt road I hit the Aid Station 8, the last one. From here I knew it was all a matter of pain tolerance. I opened up my pace and ran the last 4.1 miles to the finish at about a ten minute/mile pace. After crossing back into the Canaan Valley State Park the route followed the entrance road for about a mile before going onto a walking trail. A final 50m climb up from the trail to the grassy back lawn of the resort was followed by a quick 100 yards to the finish. My time was 9:23, good for 60th overall out of 201 starters.

    Final thoughts - the hosts were superb, I cannot say enough about the fun, family-friendly atmosphere, kudos to the WVMTR. My Montrail Hardrocks performed flawlessly. I almost ran in my Mountain Masochists but they were pretty light and I wondered about the steep rocky descents during the first 10 miles. This was the best decision I made all day, my feet only had one small blister on one toe. Perhaps if I had not pushed so hard on the "Road Across the Sky" I could have broken 9 hours; lesson learned for next time. My Nuun Hydration products were excellent. I only recently started using these and they proved their worth at Highland Sky.
    All in all it was excellent race and a great experience.

    My final final words are reserved for my family. Thank-you to Angie my wife who supports my running/outdoors/adventure habits with early wake-ups on weekends as I get out of bed to run and camping in biblical floods at ultra-races. My kids are the world's best pace crew, thinking of them is motivation to run fast to the finish! Thank-you honey for all that you do and supporting me.

    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    Taper Week and Pre-Race Thoughts

    This week I have not really done any "hard" training. I have maintained some intensity with my runs by doing a short three miles at 7:30 mins/mile and a four mile run at 8:00 mins/mile. Last Thursday was my most recent real training run of 10 miles.

    I feel well prepared for the race. Only two real concerns, nutrition and weather. I am planning to pace my friend the first half over the large climbs. This is where I tend to get myself into trouble because it is hard to "go slow." The weather can only be endured!

    My next post should be a successful race report - stay tuned!

    Picture me rolling - Highland Sky 40 preview


    The point to point course begins near the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area on Red Creek in Laneville, WV. Following a 2 mile paved section, the trail ascends to Roaring Plains, Flatrock Plains and Red Creek Plains into Dolly Sods. The course proceeds north along the Allegheny Front to Bear Rocks. Here runners will turn west crossing Dolly Sods to the rim of Canaan Valley north of Timberline Ski Resort. A descent through Timberline leads to Freeland Rd and into Canaan Valley State Park.

    The course climbs a total of 5474 feet and descends 4856 feet and is basically in three sections; the Plains, the Road Across the Sky, and Dolly Sods. Two significant climbs occur in the first 15 miles where a 2300′ ascent is followed by a 1700′ descent, and then another 1200′ climb. In the first half of the course highly technical (rocky), single track sections occur from mile 7-11 and 16-18. The Dolly Sods section has an exciting boulder-hopping section from mile 30-31. The course is 75% trail, 15% Forest Service road, and 10% paved road. There are eight aid stations.

    The difficulty can be gauged by the fact that this 40 mile race has a time limit more commonly found on longer 50 mile races. The first ten miles are key, basically you are running up the entire time and must make the time gates in order to continue with the race. The only worry I have for this year is not making one of the intermediate check points and being pulled from the race. That would really bum my weekend. After picking my drop-bag at the half-way point I plan to tweet my progress so tune in on Saturday to Facebook and Twitter (key word: Hoyawolf).

    I am running the race with Bob Holzhauer, aka the NOVA Sasquatch. He is fresh off a monster effort at John's Run, a 200 mile crossing of Maryland from Cumberland to Bethesda. We have turned this jaunt into a carnival complete with camping families.

    Several links to race reports by Team Montrail, iPlayOutside.com, and Virginia Happy Trails Running Club.

    Gearing up!

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Running of the blogs

    The always entertaining posts by Anton Krupicka about mountain running. I think he sums up the "why" quite succinctly for us trail runners, "The trail turns upward and I'm out of the trees and on the tundra and holy shit, THAT is a mountain, until suddenly there I am toiling up an impossibly steep slope." If you have not looked at Anton's blog, Riding the Wind, before this is the perfect excuse.

    AJW's blog has been logging a lot of mileage in the uber-running geek world about his nice poll about the upcoming Western States 100 potential winners. You can catch up on all the latest gossip right by checking out AJW's Blog. His training summaries and insights are also pretty good reads as well.

    Over at Team Montrail you can find a handy gear review on the Mountain Masochist. I will be wearing this shoe on Saturday at the Highland Sky 40 myself. Look for a full report to follow! A great review of Inov-8 hydration systems was posted at iRunFar by guest reviewer Meaghen Hicks. If you are about to spring for an upgrade or new pieces I suggest considering the Inov-8 products based upon her review alone.

    The weekly video comes to us via Mountain Hardware's Blog. A new film, Terra Antarctica won at Savannah's Blue Ocean Film Festival. Watch the trailer - excellent!

    Sunday, June 14, 2009

    Two weeks out and staring to taper

    A good week of training as I start to ramp down towards my run on 20 June. I took adequate time off and still managed one or two good workouts.

    Monday - Complete rest day following nice back to back long runs over the weekend. It was well spent!

    Tuesday - Excellent pool workout in the morning. I swam 3000 yards in 4x250yds, 4x200 yds, 2x100yds, 6x50yds, 2x200 w/board, 2x200 w/buoy, 200 KOS. The workout was preceded by my smashing two toes. It hurt, a lot! Thankfully there were not broken. I ran that afternoon and did a short but fast five miles on the treadmill at 7:30 mins/mile.

    Wednesday - Hit the gym early. Definitely looking forward to changing up my routine and am very motivated in the gym because of this. Afternoon run was only about 45 mins, 15 mins of which were on the stairs of the local high school football stadium. Good finishing work.

    Thursday - 2000yds in the pool, nothing special. Same workout as above minues the drills.

    Friday - Gym in the morning. Right after work I headed to do a quick ten miles on a local trail. Ran with some friends, a good time and decent pace. Just under 1:30. Faster than my race pace but good tune-up prior to starting my taper.

    Saturday - Spent all morning on the river kayaking. Hip flexors sore from "rolling" for about two hours solid! A good time though!

    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    Running of the blogs

    Last week's Teva Mountain Games produced a lot of buzz in the outdoor sports world. Lots of good entries from which to choose. Here you can find Team Inov-8's take on the games. By all accounts it was a smashing success.

    If you are laid up with an injury or are stuck inside due to incessant thunderstorms a good book is always nice. The new title by Chris McDougall, "Born to Run," is apparently a decent read. You can check out fellow trail runner cum book-reviewer Scott Dunlap's take on it here. Definitley sounds like it is worth picking up.

    There is a lot going on out there, I hope you are all getting after it. If you need a few reminders of all the upcoming events check iRunFar. As usual they set the standard for the trail running blogosphere.

    For your viewing pleasure check this sweet video from Piton Productions of some nice mountain running in Utah.

    Saturday, June 6, 2009

    Run and a taper - two bits!

    Saturday - Trundled out of bed at 5:00 am to head out for a long run. Temperature was low 60s will little humidity given the amount of rain we have had recently. I drove to Burke Lake Park and ran one lap by myself, completely alone in a park that is usually crowded. Very nice views of the lake with a bit of mist hanging about the trees and water. The Northern Virginia Minotaur turned up to take two turns around the lake with me before heading back to his house. I ran a final lap and change by myself for a cool 20 miles at 2:51 ~ 8:33 mins per mile.

    Sunday - Legs felt pretty good and I spend most of Saturday afternoon reloading my calories - otherwise known as gorging! Met a running/swimming friend back at Burke Lake for a few laps. We ran two laps and change for 10 miles in 1:22 - most of the run was a good solid pace but the last 3/4 of the final mile was a flat out sprint! Argh, my quads were screaming for relief by the time we hit the cut-off for the parking lot trail.

    I feel that I have some miles in me over the past month and that I am ready for Highland Sky despite my long-ish break in training from travel and sickness. Over the next two weeks I will post my taper workouts, race preview, and some gear reviews.

    Friday, June 5, 2009

    Mediocre week?

    Monday - Good swim. 2000yds 4x250, 2x100 w/buoy, 2x100 w/board, 100 KOS, 10x50. Felt really good in the pool, tried to concentrate on my drills to improve my stroke so that I do not "short" myself on the pull.

    Tuesday - Another very good session in the gym. I am definitely feeling good lifting right now and although I want to change my workout am hesitant. I also ran 3.5 miles in the afternoon, temps were in high 80's and very humid. Ugh - not really looking forward to summer.

    Wednesday - A run in the morning, short but quick three miles. This was followed immediately by a good core routine in the gym. I need to rest the next two days for my Army Physical Fitness Test on Friday morning.

    Thursday - Off day.

    Friday - Army Physical Fitness Test; I did 100 push-ups in two minutes, 100 sit-ups in two minutes, and ran two miles in 12:35. Off the rest of the day.

    Saturday I am looking to run 20 miles and Sunday run a 10k. Monday starts my 12 day taper to Highland Sky.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009

    Running of the blogs

    Kudos to Mountain Hardware for sponsoring a group of wounded veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as they climb Denali. The expedition consists of four wounded veterans, their two mentors and one guide, as they move from the base of North America's highest peak in Alaska's Denali National Park to the mountain's base camp at an elevation of 6,850 feet. You can donate to their climb at this website. A good cause indeed.

    If you are by lucky chance in Golden CO in the near future definitely stop in at the American Alpine Club Mountaineering Museum. A nice collection of Bradford Washburn photographs are going on display. Priceless and well worth a look!

    Fresh off his win at the MMT 100 Karl Melzer outlines some of his upcoming plans. It looks like you can find him racing at the Big Horn 100 in the near future on 19 June. Looks like Team Inov-8 will be busy all around the country this weekend. I bet the Teva Mountain Games will be the place this weekend. Hopefully we can get some coverage on tv over the weekend.

    Here is another great video from our friends at trailruningsoul. Check this one out - the La Granja de San Ildefonso race took place on May 10. Brilliant footage. Patagonia's blog - The Cleanest Line - also has a great surf video posted. Both are well worth a look.

    One final shout out for The Great Outdoor Provision Company. If you are from North Carolina odds are you know this great company that embraces everything from fly fishing to mountaineering. They are up on Twitter and Facebook. Highly recommended!

    Sunday, May 31, 2009

    Back to back long(er) runs

    This weekend I put in two back to back long(ish) runs. Unfortunately weather and time conspired against me!

    Saturday I ran 10 miles from the house around my usual loop that is quite hilly. A good run but a little hot in the late afternoon shade. An early soccer game and midnight bedtime the night prior precluded my usual crack-o-morning running.

    Sunday was a 15 mile day at a local park. Excellent weather - sunny, low humidity, low 80's. Just about perfect. I really wanted to do 20 but by the time I got out to run it was three o'clock and when I looked at my watch it was a quarter to five! Yikes! I knew the wife was making homemade meatballs and with house guests I could not be gone too long... :)

    Overall good runs. The Montrail Mountain Masochists performed very well in the mud, packed gravel, pavement, and singletrack. I will post a more comprehensive review soon.

    Next weekend I am going to do a 20+ miler and then start my taper to Highland Sky 40. I am a little undertrained with having been gone and sick most of April but I have been training hard. Hopefully I can suffer through to the finish!

    Friday, May 29, 2009

    Another week closer to Highland Sky

    Monday - Long car drive. Eating all weekend. Nice and cool temps in DC. Of course, a run is the only logical conclusion! I stretched out in the local area from the house for about 15 miles in two hours, good long effort. The only bad side-effect was overeating at the Maccaroni Grill. This in itself is not bad but stacked upon a weekend of overeating at my parents' house it was catastrophic! Two pounds over my usually svelte 150.

    Tuesday - Slept in early morning because I could! Solid weight session in the afternoon. Nuff said.

    Wednesday - Early morning. Cold pool. Fast laps. I swam 2000yds at 3x50yds, 3x100yds, 3x150yds, 3x200yds, 2x100yds w/board, 2x100yds w/bouy, 100yds KOS. Although my legs were a little wooden after yesterday's run the swim felt great. Nice flow in the pool, I call it my shark lope, just a perfect rhythm. Nice evening run in my new Montrail's, 4.5 miles at about 8 mins/mile, rolling terrain.

    Thursday - Another good weight session. I either need to increase my resistance, reps or redesign a new program. I want to get to once a week with weights until the summer racing season is over. Thursday night lights was the name of the evening game. I did a short run down to the local high school and did stairs, total time from house was 45 mins round trip. Very nice!

    Friday - 2000m in the outdoor pool! Drills first - 2x100m with buoy, 2x100m w/fins, 100m KOS followed by 10x100m and 10x50m. Remember your sunscreen kids!

    This weekend I have two back to back long runs planned - 10 miles Saturday and 18 miles on Sunday. One more week before I start my taper for the Highland Sky 40 Miler.

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    New shoes in da' house!


    My Montrail Mountain Masochists arrived today. Time to start breaking them in for Highland Sky.

    **Update** I just took them out for a spin around the neighborhood. Performed well on pavement and packed gravel. I am looking forward to getting them out on some singletrack. Hopefully post a full review this weekend after my back to back long runs.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009

    Running of the blogs

    There is, as always, a lot going on in the outdoor world! Thankfully many of us are out there doing it! Just maybe not as often as we would prefer?

    Kudos to Zappos, an online shopping site. I ordered a pair of Montrail Mountain Masochists and they arrived the next day - 12 hours later!!! Wow, talk about customer service. Although I tried to size them based off of my Montrail Hardrocks they were too large and were back in the mail today.

    Mountain and trail running are different sports. Here is a great post from TrailRunningSoul about the Skyrunner World Series that was held on 24 May, 2009. A young Briton, named appropriately Ricky Lightfoot!, won the second race in the series which was held in Spain's Basque Country.

    A little closer to home for most of us is the Team Inov-8 USATF Mountain Circuit. This six race series is held thoughout New England on some excellent and varied mountain courses. Another race series where I wish I just had the time! You can find more information on the series at the Team Invo-8 blog.

    Giving back to the community is a great way to support trail running and the American Trail Running Association has done just that. The Teva US Mountain Running Team Blog reports they have partnered with Outdoor Recreation Insurance to provide mountain/trail runners with much needed insurance coverage which may plug gaps in existing coverages. This could definitely help out with unexpected costs of a rescue! If you are not an ATRA member you cannot get this insurance so this is a great incentive to join now.

    Hope you are all following the Giro d'Italia. If you are not but want to go here for the latest coverage. Carlos Sestre stormed to a win at Stage 16 but Denis Menchov remains the overall leader in the Maglia Rosa. Levi Leipheimer, the best positioned American to make a podium bid, fell from third to sixth in the General Classification. Lance Armstrong continues to improve and may be in very good shape indeed for the start of the Tour de France in July.

    Final Note: I am considering a one-person tent any suggestions?

    Sunday, May 24, 2009

    Running Dirty

    Just a little video experimentation with music as I try to improve my manipulation of the digital medium! Enjoy.

    Friday, May 22, 2009

    Get up, Stand up!

    Monday - Morning swim in a hot pool. Is this how granola feels? 10x100yds, 1x200yds w/board, 1x200yds w/buoy, 100yds KOS for a 1500yds total. Thankfully after this coming weekend the pools outside open. I took the afternoon off from running to rest.

    Tuesday - Slept late - skipped weights! However, I did put down a fast 6.8 miles at 7 mins/mile. I also posted my first training video. I will experiment with this and post some more in the future.

    Wednesday - Stairs with two friends. I ran 45 mins on the stairs 72 stairs in all. Very good workout that left my quads crushed. That afternoon I went for a short swim. 2x100 yds w/board, 2x100 yds w/buoy, 100yds KOS, 1x250yds, 5x50yds. Great little workout to bridge the afternoon.

    Thursday - I just hit the weights - hard. I have really been getting some decent sessions the past two weeks. However, I think I am starting to plateau. I am hoping to shift to once a week after the end of the month as I start to really ramp up my aerobic training.

    Friday - Drove to North Carolina to visit family over Memorial Day. Five hours in the car will cramp the legs! My solution was a 5.5 mile run in the woods near my parents' house. I put down at just over 8 mins/mile.

    Saturday - The plan is to swim in the morning - provided I can find a pool open and lift in the afternoon. I'll post an update tomorrow evening. **Update** Swam this morning in a meters pool, hard transition after spending the last month swimming yards! I swam 3x50m, 3x100m, 3x150m, 3x200m, 1x200 w/board, 100m w/buoy, 100m KOS. After the pool I went straight to the gym for a good weight session. Always hard to lift after a swim but it felt good.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    Running of the blogs

    Bad news for the week - Chris Horner crashed out of the Giro d'Italia on the monster 10th stage. A key rider for Team Astana his presence will be missed. It remains to be seen how it may affect Leipheimer's chances in the GC. Tactically there will probably be secondary effects upon the racing strategies of the other teams as well. Going into the weekend the race should be very interesting indeed!

    The past weekend's MMT 100 here in Virginia was apparently a spectacular event. One local runner's blog describes his experiences there. The weather was crazy and the rain just incredible. I can only imagine how mentally and physically draining this must have been. The Team Inov-8 Blog gives a great perspective as well.

    Looking out west here is a nice 12k, San Francisco's Bay to Breakers. Sounds like a nice time to share with 33,000 of your closest running friends! In Colordado - Wal Mart - yes, Wal Mart - is sponsoring the Cheyenne Canon Mountain Race. Sounds like a great event. As I look to see what trail running hijinks I can get into later this year when I may move to Monterey, CA the Pacific Coast Trail Runs look pretty good.

    Sunday, May 17, 2009

    Sunday Rain Run

    Forecast this morning was for rain and wind. Yet somehow I was surprised when indeed it was rainy and windy when I woke up! A quick breakfast of a bowl of Kashi Crunch and I was out the door to run ten miles with my new friend/training buddy Tyler.

    After meeting at my house we rode out to Burke Lake Park. Rainy there too. Damn. Out of the truck and into the weather we started strong and stayed fast. The trail was muddy but not excessively given the past two weeks of rain. There were not many other runners out but by the second lap they were starting to show.

    We finished the ten miles in 75 mins exactly. A good effort on a bad day!

    Thursday, May 14, 2009

    "I got my swagger back" Jay-Z

    Thankfully I am fully back into training and will complete a full-cycle of workouts this week! It has left me sore after five weeks of being sick, traveling, and light workouts. However, in keeping with my personal philosophy about mediation, zen, and exercise this suffering is good for my soul. I have recently overcome some personal challenges and this is helping to keep me focused.

    Monday - Cloudy day and overcast but I started out with a solid swim of 2000 yds. I swam 10x50yds, 5x100yds, 2x250yds, 2x100yds w/board, 2x100 w/buoy, 100yds KOS. May I mention that I hate yards pools vs. meters pools. Swimming the shorter pool makes me feel like a rat in a wheel, stroke - stroke - turn - repeat! The afternoon was nice and cool but sunny. I ran 4.5miles at 8mins/mile on rolling hills. Last week was solid and I felt really good.

    Tuesday - I love "10k Tuesday." The morning started out with a good weights session at the local neighborhood gym. I am having withdrawal after two years of maximizing my time in the Pentagon's excellent facilities. My afternoon run was really nice - some rolling hills, speedy flats, and one really long two mile hill. I put in 6.83 miles exactly at 8mins/mile. This nice run was followed up by beer o'clock and grill-thirty.

    Wednesday - Crowded, hot and wet; not another trip to Africa but the Belvoir pool. Ugh. I swam my 2000 yds but it was painful. It was 5x200yds, 2x50yds, 2x100yds, 2x150yds, 2x100 w/board, 2x100 w/buoy, 100yds KOS. The water was 87 degrees. It felt like bath water. Wednesday being a light day I ended on a good note - an entire Greek pizza from our local favorite!

    Thursday - Stairs. I ran stairs for a solid 45 mins. A cool and overcast morning made for fun running. It crushed my thighs and calves. I hit the weights in the afternoon at the post gym. A nice change from the neighborhood gym. At this point I have probably plateaued with my weight regimen. My current plan is to continue my present workout for another three weeks and then adjust to once a week with weights so I can ramp up my running.

    Friday - Standard morning swim time at 2000yds: 11x50yds, 1x100yds, 1x150yds, 1x200yds, 2x100yds w/board, 2x100 w/buoy, 100yds KOS. I did not get to run in the afternoon so I will have to double up this weekend.

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    Running of the blogs

    This week has a lot of action packed into it from around the world and locally here in my roaming area of Northern Virginia. Leading off the little Hoyawolves are both playing soccer this weekend! Go Sharks and Mini-kickers!

    The eyes of the sporting world (the interestings sports at least!) are on Italy and the Centennial of the Giro d'Italia. The return of Lance Armstrong to the grand tours, 11 North American riders, and two US teams all make this year's race for the Maglia Rosa very special and exciting. Definitely worth tuning in if you have the opportunity.

    My favorite ultra-running blog is going bigtime - Hollywood style. Well maybe not Hollywood but just north of Yosemite National Park is close enough. Bryon Powell, a TransRockies and Marathon des Sables finisher, is going full-time into web based reporting on the ultra community. His site - IRunFar.com - is excellent and sets the standard for ultra-blogs. Although the local legal community is suffering a loss the national trail running scene is about to get richer!

    Locally this weekend is the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 - one of the fabled and hardest east coast races. In the past it has been the scene of many epic battles. If you have nothing to do this weekend make your way to the Shenandoah Valley to cheer on the runners and catch some of the action.

    Looking at the climbing world check this story from SummitPost about a first-timers trip to Chamonix. I can attest that the Alps are special to mountaineers and Chamonix is like the Louvre of climbing. The giants and legends are all there, passed through, or are buried in its graveyards. Looks like North Carolina is getting some more national press - long a first-class climbing destination the state is a gem for its pristine trad ethics. Apparently the Old North State is pushing the envelope at the far end of the YDS.

    Friday, May 8, 2009

    Travels to Kenya

    I am frequently gone for short periods of time with my work as an Army officer who works international affairs. Recently I was in Kenya from 20-24 April for the US Army Central Land Forces Symposium. This annual conference brought together senior US Army leaders and regional counterparts from nations throughout the Middle East and East Africa.

    As an African policy specialist it was a great opportunity to meet some of my peers working on the continent while I am serving in the US. It was also a solid chance to meet various Army Chiefs of Staff from throughout East Africa from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania - among several others. US Army Africa also attended the conference and were represented by their commander; however, the central attraction from an African standpoint was GEN Ward - the US Africa Command commanding general. Watching him interact with his peers was a priceless opportunity.

    The conference was held in Mombasa, Kenya at the Serena Beach Hotel. This was a gorgeous venue on the Indian Ocean. Here is a link to a press release from Africa Command and a link from US Army Central and US Army Africa. This short video features the commander of US Army Central, and the co-host of the symposium, LTG Lovelace talking about its importance.

    Thursday, May 7, 2009

    Guess who's back, back again, Hoyawolf's back, tell a friend

    Rain delay, pause, laziness, etc... Three out of the last five weeks on the road, respiratory cold, tropical sickness, lack of training all contributed to an extreme lack of posts.

    I am back in the saddle and ready to blog...stay tuned!

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Human wheels go round and round...

    Following a sorry effort over last weekend that only saw me running to the fridge for more snacks I started this week off right and am planning to end it with a nice 15 mile effor this Saturday. We'll see how things develop!

    Monday - Cold wet conditions left me to run inside. I ran six miles at 7:30 mins/mile. The surefire cure to a bad day at work is a pool workout. Focusing on breath-stroke-breath-stroke-turn definitely helps to focus the mind and unclutter your thoughts. I swam 2000m today: 6x50m, 3x100m, 4x250m, 1x200m w/board, 1x100m KOS, 1x100m w/buoy. Good stuff and excellent for stoking up the furnace before supper!

    Tuesday - The gym was pain this morning. I never really felt that I could get into a good rhythm. Definitely need more than five hours sleep! A standard tempo run of five miles at 7:30 mins/mile. Nothing to see here...move along.

    Wednesday - Short and slow, I ran three miles at 8:00 mins/mile. My legs were really tired and needed the break. This afternoon I did a shorter swim as well. I swam 1350m: 2x50m, 2x100m, 2x150m, 2x200m, 1x200m w/board, 1x100m w/fins, 1x50m KOS. Torqued my left calf while doing the KOS laps. Ouch.

    Thursday - Left calf still hurts, so I took the day off. Planning to run tomorrow in the morning. We'll see how that turns out!

    Friday - I ran four miles but the calf hurt so I took it really easy.

    Satuday - Seven miles at eight mins/mile. Feeling much better.

    I am gone to Italy and Germany the week of 22-28 March. Probably not going to have much opportunity to post.

    Sunday, March 15, 2009

    Running of the blogs

    The trail running season is upon us and if you are not logging your training time now you better get started! Of course I could use with taking my own advice. This weekend was supposed to be long, back to back runs, however, it ended up as two nice stay in the house and play legos with the little wolves days. No complaints. I'll just train harder...With spring just around the corner it seems the outdoor world has really come alive.

    The Elizabeth Furnace 50km is what I supposed to run on Saturday but some other commitments kept me from it. Thankfully someone was out running! Sounds like it was a great time. Since the Wolf family camps there often I look forward to hitting the Elizabeth Furnace/Signal Knob trails soon.

    The impeccable Irunfar had two great pieces this past week of interest to all runners and outdoor enthusiasts. The first was on trail running photography and the second on trail running camera selection. Obviously these skills can help benefit anyone active in the outdoors looking to take the perfect - or better than usual with no head chopped off - picture.

    While this past week was snow, rain, and chilly wind our trail friends in California were again enjoying excellent weather! Who among us east coasters doesn't wish they were running carefree in the sun? Lynn Astalos' blog really shows the advantages of year round good weather; look at this guy's calendar!

    Speaking of California, here is a race report on the Way Too Cool 50KM. Sounds like a great time and it is definitely one of the "to do" races for the early season racer. Any blog that has running, woodworking, and books is a winner!

    The prestigious Piolet d'Or prize is given once a year to the most innovative, challenging, and imaginative climber/s who epitomize alpine mountaineering's most cherished traits. This year's nominees are all exceptional. I have been climbing since age 16 and with a fair amount of experience in all mediums I appreciate what commitment these climbers possess.

    If you need to motivate yourself this week for training here is a good video from trailrunning soul that gets at why we run (or push ourselves in our various endeavors) whatever they may be!

    Saturday, March 14, 2009

    In the trenches of a training week

    Sunday - The weather was perfect - mid 60's! - for a run. Despite gorging myself at lunch with some friends I persevered and in the afternoon squeezed out for a nice run. I recently "found" a new route with endless possibilities for some interesting running. I ended up doing a nice quick seven miles at about 7:45 mins/mile. The interesting part was the gradual uphill slog from the Potomac River back to the level of my house. I guesstimate it was was long two mile hill. Fun indeed!

    Monday - Kicked off the morning with fins on my feet! My legs felt like hammered billy goats; not good in case you were wondering. I managed to neck out my 1500m: 5x100m, 10x50m, 1x200m w/board, 1x100m w/buoy, 1x100m kick on side (KOS), and 1x100m w/fins. The afternoon ended up very busy and I almost did not escape the clutches of bureaucracy to run. However, I succeeded and ran four miles at 7:30 mins/mile. A nice tempo run.

    Tuesday - Lifted weights early with Woody. It felt good but difficult. I can tell I have not eaten enough protein over the last ten days or so. Powered through my usual Tuesday sets. The afternoon was much chillier than the previous day, temps in the low-50's. Woody and I ran from the building to the Iwo Jima Memorial. This is 3.6 miles round-trip; we were moving slow and turned it in about 32 mins total.

    Wednesday - Swim and recovery day. Thankfully Wednesday is my "half-day." I only do one workout! It is quite nicely placed in the middle of the week to boot. I swam 1500m in: 2x50m, 2x100m, 2x150m, 2x 200m, 1x200m w/board, 1x100m w/bouy, 1x100 KOS, 1x100 w/fins.

    Thursday - Good weight session this morning. I took my time working through each set. It was excellent! Ran outside today - it was very nice downtown. A bit breezy to start with temps in the low 40s but lots of sunshine. You can tell tourist season is upon us as there are more people walking around and more buses disgorging young tourists. I ran to the Smithsonian from work, it is 6.5 miles. I ran with Woody at about a 8:00 mins/mile.

    Friday - Ahhh...to sleep, per chance to dream! - Macbeth, Shakespeare. Thankfully I plan on doing long runs back to back this weekend. This is thankful because today was only a swim day! I ended up doing 2000m in the pool - that blissfully, was not crowded. I swam: 4x5om, 3x100m, 1x1000m, 1x200m w/board, 1x200m w/buoy, 1x100m KOS.

    Saturday - Rest day!!! I was planning back to back long runs this weekend but the weather didn't cooperate.

    Weekly totals: run - 20.2, gym - 1:30hr, swim - 4500m.

    Sunday, March 8, 2009

    Running of the blogs

    Sitting down to write a blogpost following an absolutely gorgeous weekend is never easy. The mind easily starts to wander and becomes distracted - thinking of high mountain ridges, grassy glades, and twisting singletrack. Sadly, for me these indeed are just daydreams as I pound out most of my training mileage in Suburbia. Living vicariously through others is a skill so let's see what is going on in the wider world of adventure!

    While northern Virginia was digging out from under snow and ice others putting down some mileage in the rain. The Napa Valley Marathon sounds like a particularly appealing race. I like wine, running, and nice weather; this year's edition seems to have had only two of three ingredients! The views were obviously gorgeous and it sounds like the schwag was excellent as well.

    It seems some folks are thriving on the icy conditions in their locales. I highly recommend this story about climbing waterfall ice in Norway. Ice is definitely a precarious medium upon which to practice your craft. The transitory nature of ice is what makes it so perfectly suited to artistic expression through climbing. The sense of being "out-there" on the sharp end is definitely an exercise is sensory awareness!

    Speaking of being out-there; the BHP Billiton Rock and Ice Ultra is an ultra distance snowshoe and xc ski race held annually in March in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. It looks like an excellent event of the hard sort. Silly me - here I am just dreaming of doing the famous "Birkebeiner" one day!

    Good news for aspiring US climbing guides the Union Internationale des Associations D'Alpinisme (UIAA) has certified the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Single Pitch Instructor Course as compatible with their high standards. Although it is the only internationally endorsed AMGA program it is a step in the right direction for the US guiding community. The US-based climbing community does not have a strong reputation abroad because of the loose standards applied to the guiding business. The AMGA was started in large part to address this disparity.

    I have a soft spot in my heart for bike touring. Recently I found an excellent website about a group of intrepid explorers based in South Korea. They are riding an epic tour from China to Ireland in order to raise money for the charity Kiva, which is a micro-finance institution for developing countries. The trip looks like it would be an excellent event with a good purpose!

    Saturday, March 7, 2009

    Little Hoyawolves Racing the Grizzly Mile and Cub Run





    The Grizzly Mile and Cub Run in Fredricksburg was our destination! It was a great time. Granpa and Grandma Wolf were there too, so it was an extra special day for the little ones. The race was held at Riverbend High School, a great venue. The weather was excellent, very warm, low 60s.

    Hoyawolf Jr's race was a mile around the school grounds with a lap on the track. Prior to the race was a warm-up and stretching. My little wolf fell in the warm-up lap but got back up, tears and all, and ran the race. After having viral pneumonia last week I was concerned he couldn't finish or run it all but he did a great job. Jr ran the whole race and hit the jets to sprint the last 100m. He put in a decent 10:28 mile (chip time!) - not bad for a six year old recovering from being sick!

    Miss Hoyawolf, decked completely in pink of course, ran after the end of the little wolves race. Her run was a 300m jaunt around the track. I ran with her and half-way around the lap she took my hand. We ran the second-half of the race holding hands the whole way. Well, almost, the whole way. About 50m from the finish line she stuck an arm out, giving me the Heisman. She crossed the finish taunting that she beat Daddy for first place!

    It was a great time and an excellent race. The Fredricksburg running club does a solid job with the kids' races. They are good for building confidence and, of course, everyone walks away with a prize. The Hoyawolves are eagerly looking forward to the upcoming Great Train Race on 3 May!

    Friday, March 6, 2009

    Neither wind, nor sleet, nor rain, nor dark of night


    Training this week was a bit insane. My personal philosophy is that "bad weather" mileage counts double when you are storing up suffering for an endurance event! Sunday it began the snowy wintry mix and by Monday we had a good six to eight inches of powder! The temps remained in the low 20s through Thursday during the day. Brrr...

    Monday - Solid swim although I felt a bit rushed in my workout because I was pressed for time. I swam: 6x50m, 4x100m, 2x200m, 1x200m w/board, 4x50m w/bouy, and 2x50m w/fins. Still in rebuild phase as I get in shape for my open water events this summer.

    Tuesday - Good weight session but I felt a little weak. Probably not enough sleep over the past few days. I hope I do not end up sick like my son. Nothing wrecks a well-laid training program like an unforseen illness. My afternoon run was solid, I managed a decent tempo run of six miles at 7:30 mins/mile.

    Wednesday - My favorite day during the week! Not only does it bring us half-way to the weekend but I reward myself by sleeping late and working out only once. Today I hit the pool in the afternoon. I swam 1500m: 5x200m, 1x200m w/board, 4x50m w/bouy, 2x50m free.

    Thursday - Hit the weights again with Woody. Can definitely feel the effects of moving from my strength to endurance training program. Nice to feel the muscles stretched and sore! I think over the course of three months I managed to stack-on an extra two-three pounds of muscle. My body weight is hovering around 154 pds now instead of 151 pds. My afternoon run was excellent, I did hard intervals for a five mile total: 2x400m at 5:42 min/mile, 2x800m at 6:00 min/mile, 1x1200m at 6:00 min/mile, 1x800m at 6:00 min/mile, and 1x400 at 5:42 min/mile.

    Friday - At the pool platform early for my swim going into the weekend. I swam 1600m total. The sets were: 2x50m, 2x100m, 2x150m, 2x200m, 1x200m w/board, 1x200 w/bouy, 1x100 w/fins, 1x100 kick on side. I didn't develop a good rhthym in the pool this morning and while the workout was good it was not completely satisfying in terms of quality. Due to an unforseen work emergency I could not run Friday afternoon. I plan on running back to back over the weekend to make up for this missed workout.

    The weekend looks to be nice - mid-60s. The little Hoyawolves are racing this weekend and I have a date with a long run Sunday morning. A good time shall be had by all!

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    Running of the blogs

    As part of my efforts to actually do something worthwhile with this blog I am instituting my now-to-be weekly feature: Running of the blogs!

    My intent is to highlight and hyperlink to blogs, articles, and other noteworthy items to the endurance athlete/outdoor adventurer.

    Sitting inside the Hoyawolf's den with the snowy winter outside I am glad to see that I am not the only one looking forward to some warm weather running. Check out the latest from Karl Meltzer. Looks like he is planning a nice series of 100s this season.

    DC local, Bryon Powell of IRunFar fame, is in the final stretch before jumping across the pond to the run the Marathon de Sables in the Moroccan Sahara Desert. Bryon is a training animal, the proof is in the figures.

    Is it fair the iced in East Coast trail scene has to suffer while others celebrate in the sun? Trail beasts everywhere will be jealous of the weather and mountains Coloradans are enjoying.

    A team of Candians recently claimed the fastest trek to the South Pole via the Ronne Ice Shelf. Obviously an amazing feat of endurance and adventure but what struck me most was their diet. If only I could eat like this and still be competitive - and less than two hunnies!

    As a native North Carolinian I am partial to that fine state and the many, many outdoor opportunities it offers. Asheville has long been a mecca for mountain athletes with its mild climate, excellent quality of life, and proximity to both the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests. One of my favorite events in the area is the Black Mountain Marathon and Mt Mitchell Challenge. This is one of my dream races. The combination of weather, terrain, and competition is excellent!

    Since the winter hibernation period is quickly coming to a close the races are starting to reach capacity. If your calendar is still a little thin there are plenty of trail runs and road races from which to choose.

    Sunday, March 1, 2009

    Sunday stroll


    Ran 13 miles today, started much later than I had planned because Hoyawolf Jr. had a 3 am trip to the hospital. Mrs. Hoyawolf graciously took him to the hospital and I remained in bed - you know - to watch the other sleeping ones! :)

    We had about a half-inch of snow last night but by the time I started to run it melted. The sidwalks were clear and mostly dry. I went for a nice 13 mile figure eight loop on some of the roads near my house. I was turning about 8-9 minute miles.

    I also used my Nathan HPL 020 hydration backpack, it was a gift from Parents of Hoyawolf. Based upon a review by Bryon Powell on Irunfar.com (http://blog.irunfar.com/2008/10/nathan-hpl-020-review.html) I asked for it as a Christmas gift. My review will most likely be posted here after I use it at the Elizabeth Furnace Fat Ass 50km Trail Run.

    Lately I have been thinking of how to expand my blog and make it more useful, informative, etc. My plan is to add several "regular" weekly features. I would like an "around the blogs" section that examines some of my favorite trail running, biking, and swimming sites. A weekly "feature" or "op-ed" would be a good addition as well. If I could get my posts down to three-four regular posts a week that would be a nice format. Maybe posts on Mon, Weds, and Fri to cover the blogs, opinion, and my training. I will give it a try this week!

    Friday, February 27, 2009

    Running outside - in shorts!

    Today, for the first time in a long time, I was able to run outside in shorts. True, I do get cold easily, but it was a glorious 60 degrees. Woody and I went for a nice jaunt down the Potomac River via the Mount Vernon Trail for about 55 mins. Felt nice to spend the afternoon outside.

    This morning we swam at the pool together as well. 1500m broken down into 5x100m free, 10x50m free, 1x200m w/board, 1x200m w/bouy, and 1x100m w/fins. I followed this up promptly with a nice soak in the hot tub.

    What a great start to the day. Unfortunately I did not have anywhere near enough food with me today and I have been sneaking food from folks all day long!

    Tomorrow is an off-day and I am looking forward to it.

    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    Future plans? Who knows...

    Today was another good weight session in the gym. However, I do not feel that I have quite figured the weight needed for each set. I didn't leave feeling like I had really been worked hard. It will probably take me another two workouts or so to tweak it just right.

    This afternoon the plan is to do a short tempo-pace run. My right hamstring is still a little sore and I don't want to aggrevate it.

    On a completely different note is a little musing on my racing plans for the summer. Right now I am registered for the 20 June Highland Sky 40 Miler at Davis, WV to be ran in the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area. All reviews and reports indicate this will be an awesome race. I really want to dedicate myself to this race so I have forgone racing my usual short trail series in the spring. This was a lot to give up as I am competitive at the 10k distance and finished 5th overall in the fall series.

    I don't have any other plans at this point. I will do two open water one mile swims but other than that my calendar is free. I am currently seeking a 50 miler for late summer in the August/September time frame. A 50k would suffice as well.

    Some professional developments have shot my plans to run the TransRockies Stage Race this year. I am tentatively looking at a 100 miler for 2010. There is a very strong possibility I will be abroad next year without my family. To occupy my time I could train for the ultimate distance.

    I found this great article on Velonews about collegiate cycling - enjoy!
    http://www.velonews.com/article/86826/rick-crawford-college-days

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Pool and out

    This morning I met my friend, Woody, for a swim workout. Felt good to swim and I actually felt strong in the pool for the first time in a few months. Amazing what a few consecutive weeks of swimming will do for you.

    I swam 1600m broken into these sets: 3x 50m, 100m, 150m, 1 x 200m (all free); 200m w/kickboard.

    Bliss is 10 minutes relaxing in the hot tub after a nice long swim workout....

    time for second breakfast!

    Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    Interesting Bytes

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/02/24/sports/RUN.1-436623.php - I can only hope that at 44 I am running this strong!

    http://www.ultrarunning.com/ultra/features/health/nutrition-and-your-mental.shtml - Solid article on nutrition. The more I learn the more I know it is the hardest part of my training to get right.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGVQMnFvkwY

    New weight routine and other musings

    Today I began my new weight lifting regimine with a friend this morning. Time to start ratcheting back from the heavier lower reps to my favorite high intensity light weight and high reps routine. This afternoon we are planning to run some intervals - always a good time. I plan to run 10x400m at a 5:42 pace with 400m inbetween.

    My new schedule is this:

    Tuesday -

    (all sets are 2x15 reps) dumbbell bench press, tricep extensions, dumbbell incline press, leg press, dumbbell curls

    (all sets are 2x25 reps) back extensions, crunches, sit-ups, legs raises

    Thursday -

    (all sets are 2x15 reps) decline bench press, seated rows, bar curls, flies, dips, dead lift

    (all sets are 2x25 reps) weighted side bends, trunk rotations, ab pulls, sit-ups

    I try to keep the intensity high throughout the workout and minimize rest time. It is a good routine. Most likely I will stick with it for the next 2-3 months until I really start to get serious about running and swimming. Then I will cut my weights to one session per week.

    In the future I am going to post a few links to interesting running/swimming/endurance sport articles daily but under a seperate blog entry.

    Monday, February 23, 2009

    Monday is fun day!

    After a good nights rest and carb-reload on Ravioli, Salad, and Bread I was pumped to hit the pool this morning. Unfortunately the pool has been crowded lately.

    I swam 1400m broken into several sets: 5x100m, 2x150m, 1x200m, 200m w/kickboard, and 200m w/pull-bouy.

    I felt beat at the end and I never had a good kick after my long run yesterday. My right hamstring is a little tender and my legs felt tired.

    This afternoon I am running with a friend. I plan to put down about 5 miles at 7:30mins per mile.

    Sunday, February 22, 2009

    Sunday slog in cold wintry mix

    I was supposed to run early yesterday morning with the Minotaur but did not. My left hamstring was pretty sore, I think I may have slightly strained it during my interval workout earlier in the week. Ended up taking it easy on Saturday - went to the Musuem of the Marine Corps with the family (Mrs. Hoyawolf is a Marine). Very good museum and I highly recommend it.

    This morning I got up a little later and decided to go on a middle distance run. I met my friend Rob and we ran 4.2 miles together at a slowish pace. The weather was overcast and slighly misty. Our route was a hilly loop from our houses.

    After one lap Rob had to head to the house so I drove on for two more laps for a total of 12.6miles. Maybe five mins into my second lap it was snowing big heavy flakes mixed with frozen rain. Thankfully I was well bundled!

    After a quick problem with a kink in the hose of my new hydration pack - a Nation H20 (review later in the week) - things were back to normal into the second lap. A quick snack of water and gel kept me motivated and on the third lap I picked the pace up some. However the last mile is basically up and over a large hill. My hamstring started acting up again on the climb and I eased downhill to the house to lessen the stress on it.

    A good run all in all and much better than just lazing the day away in the house.

    Tomorrow I begin my new workout plan and will post details here.

    Friday, February 20, 2009

    Excellent training and preparation to transition

    This week has been solid for workouts. Three hard weight sessions - each leaving me a little sore. Four great runs:

    Monday - 5.5 miles at 7:30mins/mile
    Tuesday - Intervals 10x400m at a 1:28 with 400m between
    Thursday - 5 miles at 8:00 mins/mile
    Friday - 3 miles at 7:00 mins/mile

    Weds and Thurs I was in the pool for 1200m each day. 12x100m on Weds and ladders on Thurs.

    I have (mostly!) kept to my eating plan this week as well. My trips to Turkey and Germany in Jan seriously derailed my normal healthy eating habits.

    This weekend it is supposed to be cold but with no rest for the wicked I am meeting the Minotaur (my boss and running fiend - er friend) for a 16 miler in the morning.

    Next week I start my new workout and will post the details later this coming weekend.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Back in the saddle!

    "Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this son of York; And all the clouds that low'r'd upon our house, In the deep bosom of the ocean buried." - Richard III, Scene 1, Act 1

    It has not quite been the winter of discontent but the clouds have lowered upon our house. It has been a cold winter with lots of travel and eating. Did I mention that I have positively gorged myself over the past two months since my last race? Thankfully I have only put on about 3-5 extra pounds.

    I have been focused on building some strength over the winter. I cut down running to two-three days per week and am just now ramping back up the mileage. However, I have logged a few cold long runs - the record was 13 miles in 17 degree weather. No shrinkage, it was plain inversion!

    My gym routine has been pretty tough. Here it is:

    Monday:
    Dumbell Flat Bench 3x8 75pds
    Flies 3x8 30pds
    Dumbell Curls 3x8 35pds
    Tricep Pulldowns 3x8 90pds
    Dumbell Lunges 3x8 55pds
    Leg Curls 3x8 105pds
    Back Extensions 3x20
    Crunches 3x20
    Sit-ups 3x20

    Wednesday:
    Dumbell Decline Bench 3x8 75pds
    Dumbell Press 3x8 40pds
    Standing Pulldowns 3x8 50pds
    Tricep Kickbacks 3x8 25pds
    Dead Lift 3x5 155pds
    Leg Extension 3x8 110pds
    Leg Raises 3x20
    Trunk Rotations 3x20
    Sit-ups 3x20

    Friday:
    Incline Bench 3x8 55pds
    Seated Rows 3x8 120pds
    Dips 3x15
    Bar Curls 3x3 90pds
    Clean and Press 3x8 85pds
    Leg Press 3x8 155pds
    Side Bends 3x20
    Ab Pulls 3x20
    Sit-ups 3x25

    My cardio has consisted of temp runs of 4-6 miles at 7-8 mins per mile twice a week. Longer runs on the weekend at a slightly slower pace. I tried to swim but events have overcome me and I probably only swam half a dozen times.

    This is my final week of the above program. I am switching to a more runner friendly program next week. I will post the details then.