Monday, February 25, 2008


Last Friday I intended a long run at Farmdale, figuring McNaughton was out to due to snow, ice, etc. Well, I lasted all of 12 minutes at Farmdale. I'll run on pretty any surface.

The one surface I weenie out on is bald ice under a layer of powder snow. That's what we had last week after torrential rain followed by a quick, deep zero freeze, then powdery snow a few days later. I opted for pavement, a three hour run on the River Trail (paved) from East Peoria to Morton and around some of the small neighborhoods along the way. Trail running it isn't, but clearer footing allowed for a faster pace, and what I think was a worthwhile run.

If the weather holds, the goal is a long run this weekend at McNaughton.

Monday, February 11, 2008

McNaughton Run

Five hours and seven minutes of running, hiking, scrambling, sliding at McNaughton Park. More snow last week. Thaw brings a nice coating of ice underneath the snow, deeper in the ravine bottoms, actually gives better traction.

East facing slopes (more sun?) are the only places where there was any melting at all, and even there was there ice. Creeks were up to my knees and cold. Six times across them. Feets sting at first, but in actuality it feels pretty good, even in 25 degree weather. Four point scramble up rope hill, side-foot slide a few seconds later on the way back down.

Mixed in some granola bars, a few drinks, and put the time in. First sunny day in days. Quite the beautiful run.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Sunday's afternoon seven miler started as a gray, typical early February day. A mile in came a rumble like a jetliner at low altitude or...thunder. Surely not, not with 10 or so inches of snow on the ground and freezing air. Mile two, another rumble. Mile three, a flash of...lightning, yes, lightning, a crack this time not a rumble. Snow started as a flurry but mere minutes later was a downpour.

Thundersnow. A few more miles home in the driving sheets of frozen precip through the bizarre world of this rare phenomenon. Watched the rest of the show with a glass of wine in hand from our kitchen window. Seven not-so-boring miles on a gray Sunday.

Reading. I've delved into a few books lately. Most notably, "Feet in the Clouds: A History of Fell Running." This is a tough to find, but interesting book about the characters involved in fell running, which is basically mountain (fells) trail running in Great Britain, largely in the Lake District of north England.

I have a new hero--Joss Naylor, sheep farmer and mountain runner:

The chapter on him is well worth tracking this book down for. Actually, the rest of the book is good too--a mix of profiles, history and lore of fell running, and the author's firsthand accounts of his foray into the sport.

"Hard Road to Glory" Another British book, this one an autobiography of former Cruiserweight boxing champion, Johnny Nelson. I've been a big fan of Nelson's almost chessic boxing style since the 90's. He's virtually unknown outside of the U.K., and actually, probably isn't all that well known outside of his hometown of Sheffield, although this is a good read about a thoughtful and interesting boxer.