Saturday, September 22, 2007

I Seen What I Saw

on a 15 mile trail run on a sunny, hot friday morning:

-a large coyote bolt across the trail and into a ravine

-whitetails fleeing deeper into the woods as I plodded by

-blazing sumac on the ridge at devil's cliff

-a girl on an expensive mountain bike with a very large, unleashed doberman

-small, closely spaced coon tracks in the sand by schroll's

-a sky bluer than blue framing waving bluestem at the top of horse hill

-compass plants in the low areas

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Asked to name their favorite season, most will say fall. But, truly perhaps it is easier to love the spring around these parts. Days lengthen and warm, the gray pallor our winter world has taken on for days on end shows cracks where the greens find entrance, possibility, it seems, seeps back into the sky.

They love fall, yes, but often with the addendum, "But I don't love what comes after." I argue that true affection comes not only from the indulgence of those beautiful, comfortable cool days, but also from recognition of consequence. Lovely October transforms into flat cold November. The runner in me knows and does appreciate this fact. November and after will not keep me indoors and inactive. I will run.

And so it was that autumn's bellwethers were evident on last Thursday's six miler. That chill had returned that portends stocking caps, gloves, breath caught in air, and yet a ripe orange harvest moon hung over the long dormant red brick Libby's pumpkin processing plant where I pass by often, but tonight bathed in fiery evening light, a beacon of change of its own, speaking to the rotations, ebbs and flows of season.

Lingering in the air the unmistakable scent of woodsmoke, a sure sign to compliment night air on perspiring skin. To the edge of town, moon hangs cerulean now over fields just faded a rusty brownish tint, some left stubble by an eager early-season harvester.

In the ditch along the fields, sumac, wine red halfway up its length, surely bloodied only recently by autumn's initial blade tip thrust. Only a mere rosebud splash of plasma. The others, the maples, oaks, display patience, still overwhelmingly summer green, yet ready to accept fate. It is palpable, this certainty.

Down the final half mile home I run lightly. Darkness has crept in quickly, air thick with night cold now. For myself, even knowing what is to come after, I can say with confidence--fall is my favorite season.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ultrarunning On youtube

Back from a gorgeous Sunday morning 7 miler. Motivation not needed. If you need some, here are some great links:

Tony Krupicka, winner of the Leadville 100. Homeboy trains 220 miles a week:

Uphill Challenge:

Dances With Dirt, Gnaw Bone:

Monday, September 10, 2007

IVS Half Marathon 2007

Spent four days last week in the Smokies of East Tennessee. Luckily I was able to get out and get a few miles in. Ran pretty much the entirety of the Ramsey Cascade trail, hill repeats for 20 minutes around our rental house, and a 6 mile run on Greenbriar Road.

Hiked Chimney Tops, only 4 miles total, but 1300 feet of climb in about a mile, no switchbacks. Saw a bear on Abrams Falls trail. All in all, a great trip. Temps stayed mild but humidity low due to persistent drought conditions.

Ran the IVS Half Marathon yesterday. Hilly, fairly tough course, double loop up through Springdale Cemetery. I managed to finish in 1:55. Not a great time, but I'll take it. Have been scaling back long runs until late September for a buildup to McNaughton and really had no time goals or speed specific training for the race, just a fun run. But then aren't they all?