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    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 - 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 ( 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!