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    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!