Saturday, May 7, 2011

Gone, Gone, Gone.

I was just searching through some old posts on this site, trying to figure out how I made my KSO's fit so well after buying a new pair of KSO Trek Multi-Sport VFF's. I find the fit to be quite a bit different with the re-designed heel pocket. It's cushioned, so there's a little more play in them than the KSO's.


I did like running in them. Very grippy on the dirt trails that snake through my little run between my Tarrytown hotel and Irvington.

It is not lost on me that I haven't posted all winter.

It's been a blur of work, travel, new things, new people...and not a whole lot of running or anything really to report that will keep anyone interested for any length of time. I am not as interested in keeping every aspect of my fitness or lack thereof completely public.

But...I do realize that when I was keeping this up, that I was more consistent in doing the training thing, which led me to question my motives for starting this in the first place. Why do any of us pursue what we pursue? Why do we make it public? What makes us keep it up? What makes us stop?

Ah, fuckit. No combination of keeping this up to date or tweeting runs is going to motivate me. That comes from within. Need to find the true reason to do it besides "everyone else does."

I was in NY all week last week, got out one evening to run, then weight workouts every morning. Nothing really consistent, I seem to run now to blow off steam more than have a goal in mind. That suits me pretty well. Turn the dial on my chronograph to start, go out as far as I like then go back.

No math. No calculations on calories burned. No steadily increasing effort in pursuit of some goal. I'm more interested in doing for the doing's sake.

I still find great joy in running. I still find great joy in being outdoors. I still find great joy in minimalist footwear. I don't find great joy in taking it to the obsessive level I did before. When everything was out of whack and all I talked about was training, arguing about shoes for Christ's sake.

I ain't going to win any races anytime soon. I was probably never really in contention to do it anyhow. But I will keep enjoying this. Even if I never run in another organized event, there's still the inner journey. The new experiences. Pushing yourself and finding out who you are. Balance.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Las Vegas

I am headed to Las Vegas this evening. The glimmer and allure of supposed debauchery has worn its course on me through repeated visits. Now when I go - all I want to do is work, then make sure that I have time for an early morning run up and down the strip.

It's always fun to see the odd mix of people out at 6 am in Vegas. I'll be looking forward to my run tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tarrytown

Got out for a couple runs so far this week on the Old Croton Trail which conveniently cuts cuts across Broadway and meanders to Irvington just a couple blocks from my hotel.

It's fairly level, rocky in spots and mostly dirt. The little section I run was about a 4 mile out and back. No sweat.

However, the Old Croton Trail is 26.2 miles long in total, and stretches from Croton Gorge Park to the Yonkers/NYC line. Hmm.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hyland.

45 minutes at a humid, blessedly not above 75 degrees Hyland. Not used to even moderate hills. O brother how far we have fallen!

Starting From Scratch

This is still echoing in my brain from last night.

You can't accept what you've been told
Anchored in sin you must reverse your descent
Declare the weight of the world has yet to claim you
And admit that your faults will not restrain you
Glimpses of fate bring light to your despair
Realize hope isn't short of your grasp
Resurrect every dream that you've buried alive
And never succumb to the war that you fight in your heart
- lyrics from Hatebreed's "Perseverance"

I have yet to find better music to run/workout to. Hardcore and with a positive message...It keeps me inspired in the ways I want to be inspired.

It makes me aware that the choice to change lies within me and that's a good feeling.

Getting ready to leave Connecticut. Have run 3 of 4 days I've been here. It's a good feeling to wrest control of my schedule and do something that makes me happy even though right now it hurts and I'm so f#@king slow after so long off.

At least my feet are still relatively conditioned and I can still rock the Vibram KSO's. But it is time for a new pair...Look for that post soon - I'll show you how to make them trail ready.

I will head into the office for a bit after I land then this evening am going to Hyland to run trails.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Aaand We're back. Notice the catchy new name.

Hi there.

I am back. Under a new name. The old site got hacked by Russian pill-pushers. No joke.

It's been a year since I've posted. I've been a working fool for a year. Not much running. Not much commitment to balance or sanity. Trading one indulgence for the other and it's time for all of that to stop.

I know that when I was updating this on a regular basis and somewhat involved with my community that my well-being and balance was maintained.

These days I feel adrift. In different cities all of the time, choosing things to occupy my time and act as stress-reliever other than healthy outlets.

I know I have the tools to change all of that. So...here goes nothing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Washington: A Most Excellent Adventure

I tore myself away from work while on a business trip to Seattle and struck out for a long weekend of adventure...

I finished working on Thursday night, went out with a few co-workers and then got a little sleep, despite being really excited about a new adventure about to begin.

At the crack of pre-dawn, I left my luggage with the bellhop and jumped on a ferry to Bremerton. A very kind and charitable friend picked me up there and drove me to the Big Quilcene Trailhead 833.1, with an intended destination of Camp Mystery at Marmot Pass.

We had a chance to catch up on things during the long ride up and it was nice to be in good company with good coffee in a warm vehicle and listening to NPR on the radio before heading into relative isolation for three days.

The trail up to Camp Mystery and Marmot Pass starts uphill at about 2500 feet above sea level and remains uphill for another 2900 feet, initially through old growth forests and past nicely roiling little streams which empty into the Big Quilcene river.


I passed one small group camp then noticed a sign that said "STOVES ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT." 3,500 feet above sea level...Onto the mountains!

I hiked up and up, playing leapfrog with a couple that started behind me. I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't a race! To slow down and enjoy the views.

And there was plenty to see. Wildflowers, the peaks of mountains breaking the cloudline, the intricate construction of weathered trees clinging to the sides of the mountains. It was truly stunning. The scale of it made me feel very small. Looking straight up at mountains is always very stunning and awe-inspiring.


It seemed like it took forever to climb the five and a half miles to Camp Mystery. By the time I arrived at my campsite, I decided I had done enough for one day, and that I would be extra attentive at setting up my campsite, as it was to be my home for the next couple days.

I picked a spot by a stream, just because I liked the way it sounded. I knew I would pay in terms of temperature, but I thought I could handle the tradeoff.


I laid down a bed of evergreen boughs underneath my tent for a little fragrant cushioning and insulation, strung a clothes line and hung my bear canister up about fifty yards away from camp over a log that was propped A-frame style between two trees.

I wandered down to the stream and noticed that there were animal prints that were decidedly not dog prints in the mud. There are no claws at the tops of the toes like there would be if they were dog prints, and the top pad of the foot is dimpled - just like the picture of a mountain lion track I pulled up on google. I decide to call the stream "Cougar Lick Creek," because it appears it is a watering hole for mountain lions. We will share this wilderness, I decided...

After camp was set up and the chills went away from thinking that mountain lions regularly drink out of the stream mere yards away from my camp, I took a quick mile long barefoot hike. Even in the VFF's, my feet get hot sometimes and long for the dew and the feel of soil beneath them...

Light began to fade, so I prepared dinner, inhaled it and bundled up for the night ahead. Needless to say, I slept like a rock.

The next morning I hatched a game plan. I would do a 14 mile round trip hike out to Tubal Cain Mine via Marmot Pass and back. I wrestled with just gearing up in running shorts and a tee shirt as it was beautiful out, but I also wanted pictures and the weather seemed to have the ability to change on a dime up in the pass. For imstance, I went to bed pretty comfortable but froze my ass off that first night. It was tough to get out of my warm sleeping bag to go wash up in the creek, that's for sure.

I started hiking up to the pass with a low fog surrounding me. By the time I arrived at Marmot Pass, the clouds were rolling around the peaks. giddy.


From there, I hiked towards Tubal Cain Mine, further into the Buckhorn Wilderness. The terrain ranged from scree fields to even more stunning vistas at around 6,200 feet and then tumbled back into old growth forest. A couple that I was hiking near stopped me to ask about the VFF's, how I liked them, how long have I been running in them...what's an ultramarathon?

Actually, I got a lot of comments on them from a lot of folks I saw in the mountains. I could always hear the hikers in their big hiking boots on the trail past my camp...CLUMP CLUMP CLUMP CLUMP. I don't know how people walk in those things! I'll take the VFF's any day.




I had lunch near a stream, hiked up the Copper Creek a ways and then decided that due to a lack of water and sustenance, turning back for camp was a prudent idea. I tried to fast hike it as best I could, fog was setting in, so I ran sections of the trail and made it in about half the time it took me to walk out there.

I chatted with a couple other hikers back at Marmot Pass then descended towards camp.

I ate heartily then retired. That night, something large brushed past my backside that was against the wall of my tent. Needless to say, I did not sleep well that night.

The next morning the skies were perfectly clear, treating me to grand views on my way back down to the trailhead.


From there, I got a ride back to civilization on Bainbridge Island. My friend took me kayaking in Poulsbo with her son, where we saw harbor seals come right up to our boats. I made three new seal friends that day...I spent the night at a state park there and had a great fire, good dinner and a decent night's sleep.


From there, I made my way back into civilization, hiking 6 miles to the ferry and then back into Seattle to work, then sleep in a bed and flush toilets and turn lights on and off.

The next morning I got to meet my barefoot running idol, A very fit, very awesome Barefoot Ted. He lives about 2 miles away from the hotel I was staying at, so I ran out to visit with him and his dog Edgar.

Ted just finished the Leadville 100 mile race wearing the new Vibram FiveFingers Trek in just over 25 hours. Amazing! We visited his Huarache workshop and his training grounds in Volunteer Park, where he teaches classes and coaches athletes to become fitter, faster and free-er.





I love listening to his theories about running and left there quite inspired to carry the "less is more" message to as many folks as I could. Just like Ted was doing when I left him. Two prospective students were there, Ted introduced me to them as a "fellow minimalist runner" and then he hipped me to a great little trail to run on...after I thanked him profusely for his time and inspiration and took off I heard him begin his lesson with "Okay, boys and girls!..."

I really do love the Washington area. It's so full of a diverse array of life and stone's throws to entirely different climates and experiences. This was truly an epic and memorable weekend!