Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The desire to run returned late last week. Resulting recovery runs have been short and slow. I feel much better both physically in terms of aches and pains psychology in terms of weariness and motivation.

I've decided to not really plan any races until I get back out on long runs to test the legs and ferret out any residual effects of the 50. So far, so good. There are times when it's good just to run for the pure joy of it, without a target goal. I personally find this much easier to do in the spring, when the temps are perfect, the world blooms, and it's difficult NOT to find a reason to get out and run.

Today's morning 4 1/2 miler was beautiful, radiant sunshine and 63 degrees, actually running in short sleeves with no discomfort is a wonderful sensation.

Oh, I got me an Ipod for my birthday. Loving it so far. I'm not one who normally runs with music, and I won't on trail runs, but for 5 or 7 or 9 miles road runs, it's perfect. So it's with that we come to requisite "what's on my Ipod for running" list. The masses tune in for these gems...or not.

What's Currently On My Ipod For Running List (note everything in caps to feign significance):

Frontier Trust "Speed Nebraska" most of the this amazing album, save two tracks I don't care for.

Lungfish tracks from "Unanimous Hour" and "Artificial Horizon"

Podcast from Trails and Tribulations. The Tim Twietmyer interview awaits. Check it out:

Monday, April 14, 2008

McNaughton Park 2008

50 Mile version for me this year. A short report.


Bottom line is that I trained better by my humble standards, and that means that I built a good base of 3-4 hour runs through the fall then transitioned into 4-6 1/2 hour runs on the actual course building to the race. Long runs were every other week. I also increased my distance during the week to 5-8 miles per run for the most part.

The only thing I really skimped on was speedwork. In all honesty, this was a tough winter to train through and I just didn't feel like repeats or much up-tempo stuff, other than the occasional fartlek session during a mid-week run.

Weight is an issue. I kept my weight fairly low, again by my standards, but eating in a more balanced fashion. My tendency is to eat very little to no beef, mostly chicken for protein, but I did up protein intake a bit and mixed in lots of greens and fruits.

The Race. It rained most of the week. This was a cause of concern and nervousness. I felt tapered and focused going into Saturday, ready for whatever conditions. Conditions turned out to be muddy and mucky, but as always , we tend to worry ourselves over things that turn out to never be as bad we envision. Mud is not impassable.

The first 43 miles or so were run with Adam Zimmermann and Stan Zygmut, both of whom are tough hombres. Having these guys to jaw with made the time and miles tick by. Tapp joined us for the fifth loop and ended up pacing Adam in hard for the last few miles.

Me, I crossed in 13 hours 15 minutes. Time is just time, the significance for me is just completing the distance, and that is accomplished. Got that 50 mile buckle.

So, McN is a great race with tremendous organization, volunteers, and the one of the best courses in the Midwest. Another great day on the trails.

100 next year?

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Strange Sort of Prayer

Running can be construed as a selfish activity. Solitary, a diversion, an escape from other activities..."real" activities, things constructive.

Running can be construed, and I think often is, an act of egoism--competition, an absorption with times, gear, splits. Those things alone aren't negative, but for me the real appeal of running comes during the long run. When it's right, running long to me is a form of prayer, a chance to offer up, maybe to connect if things are clicking.

A strange sort of prayer, maybe, but a prayer nonetheless.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tapir, Tapeworm...

"Bridges crossing water
Bridges crossing land
Subterranean rivers
Seeping through the sand"

Lungfish, "Oppress Yourself"

Taper. Reducing mileage before the big run. That's where I am now. Last weekend was a medium weekend, really didn't do much other than a medium distance run/hike at McNaughton. Would have been an ideal day for the race, 50 and sunny.

As it stands, weather calls for everything from rain to 70s and sun. We get what we get and we like it, right? The mantra of the trail. I've been running in old shoes. Funny how you can tell almost right away when your shoes are no good, aches where there shouldn't be aches during a run, not from long run recovery or anything, those are different, but strictly from the shoes. I ordered a new pair in anticipation of that day, that first feeling. Finally got them today after struggles with a store-that-shall-remain-nameless. But, they're here and I'll have a few runs to break them in before next weekend.

And so we wait to run long again...tapering.

soundtrack: Lungfish "Artificial Horizon" Man, I love Daniel Higgs. You have to be in a meditative state of being to "get" Lungfish, but when you are, it's really transcendent stuff. Like going to church.