Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chasing Cardinals

A trail run at Farmdale.

The nuts and bolts of the run, the stuff that goes into the running log, are time (four and one half hours), temperature (21 to start, 29 to finish), distance (don't know), and maybe some notes on how I felt, what I ate, etc. (good, but with some slight back pain the last hour).

The guts of the run are things like:

- noticing the last vestiges of greenery in the shrubs along the creek, many with red fruit still on, apparently they don't look good to birds. Couldn't I.D. the plants.

- wondering what sort of building that big concrete pad supported? Surely someone knows. While you're at it, fill me in on the stone bridge footings over Farm Creek.

- hearing shotgun shots ring out in the woods bordering the reservoir. Opening day of shotgun season. Some of the deer along the trail are skittish, some don't move at all. Perhaps they the know the fate they're avoiding by hanging out with me. Oh, didn't see anyone hunting illegally or driving deer. Not to say that doesn't happen.

-falling hard on TNT late in the run for lack of foot lift and not caring. A curse word followed by a dust off. Contemplating whether it speaks ill of my personal character that my snap reaction is to cuss.

-loving running on the thick pine needle bed on roy l. and to a lesser extent on schroll's. Almost makes you long for the north woods.

-being surprisded to see four cardinals criss crossing in front of me from tree to tree, a shade of red that seems to intensify with the coming winter and embelished further by the skeletal backdrop of leafless trees. Chasing those cardinals for 100 yards or more down the trail, looking down and regretting that the run was almost over.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ultrarunning Quote

Ran across this today while reading a race report and I think its very well stated:

"Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers.

But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense. The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone, that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being -- a call that asks who they are ..."

- David Blaikie

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mystery of Chessboxin

Chess. I've played for years, sometimes well, sometimes not, often obsessively, at times with just a passing interest. I've been playing online correspondence for a few years with some decent results, blitz even longer and to the point where I'm probably in the 90th percentile for aggro blitz, 5 minutes and shorter. Correspondence and long games are more what the game is really about, though.

A few of my better recent games (play as "runninfiend"):

[Round "1"]
[White "Antonius Block"]
[Black "runninfiend"]
[WhiteRating "1702"]
[BlackRating "1565"]
[WhiteELO "1702"]
[BlackELO "1565"]
[Result "0-1"]
[GameId "2442968"]

1. e4 Ng8f6 2. e5 Nf6d5 3. d4 d6 4. Bf1c4 Nd5b6 5. Bc4b3 dxe5 6. Ng1f3 exd4
7. Nf3e5 e6 8. Qd1f3 Qd8f6 9. Qf3e4 Bf8c5 10. O-O Nb8d7 11. Bc1f4 O-O
12. Nb1d2 Nd7xe5 13. Bf4xe5 Qf6e7 14. Nd2f3 f6 15. Be5xd4 Bc5xd4 16. Qe4xd4 Rf8d8
17. Qd4h4 Qe7c5 18. c4 a5 19. Bb3c2 h6 20. b3 a4 21. Ra1c1 axb3 22. axb3 Bc8d7
23. Nf3d2 Qc5g5 24. Nd2f3 Qg5xh4 25. Nf3xh4 f5 26. f4 Bd7e8 27. Rf1f3 Rd8d2
28. Rf3f2 Rd2xf2 29. Kg1xf2 Ra8d8 30. Kf2e3 g5 31. fxg5 hxg5 32. Nh4f3 g4
33. Nf3e5 Kg8g7 34. h4 Kg7f6 35. Ne5d3 Nb6d7 36. g3 Nd7e5 37. Rc1d1 Ne5xd3
38. Bc2xd3 Be8g6 39. Rd1f1 e5 40. Bd3b1 f4 41. gxf4 Bg6xb1 42. Rf1xb1 Kf6f5
43. h5 exf4 44. Ke3f2 Rd8h8 45. Rb1h1 Kf5g5 46. b4 Rh8xh5 47. Rh1xh5 Kg5xh5
48. b5 Kh5h4 49. c5 Kh4h3 50. c6 bxc6 51. bxc6 f3 52. Kf2g1 g3 53. Kg1h1 g2 0-1

Decent tactic in this one, although it should have been caught:

[White "burvm01"]
[Black "runninfiend"]
[WhiteRating "1740"]
[BlackRating "1565"]
[WhiteELO "1740"]
[BlackELO "1565"]
[Result "0-1"]
[GameId "688109"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. Ng1f3 Nb8c6 5. c3 f6 6. exf6 Ng8xf6
7. Bf1b5 Bc8d7 8. Bb5xc6 Bd7xc6 9. O-O Bf8d6 10. Rf1e1 Bc6d7 11. Bc1g5 h6
12. Bg5xf6 Qd8xf6 13. a3 O-O-O 14. Nb1d2 g5 15. Qd1c1 Qf6f4 16. dxc5 Bd6xc5
17. b4 Bc5d6 18. a4 g4 19. g3 Qf4f7 20. Nf3d4 Rd8f8 21. Re1e2 h5 22. b5 h4
23. Qc1f1 hxg3 24. fxg3 Qf7h5 25. Qf1b1 Bd6xg3 26. hxg3 Qh5h1 0-1

I tend to play a defensive style, oftentimes even go so far as to use the KID as white or just set up a Reti type fortress with 1. Nf3 or 1. g6 against superior players. Prefer to play 1. e4 into Ruy Lopez systems against players of = or < strength. Not a big 1. d4 fan as white, though. Not real familiar yet with the Queen's Gambit as white, don't mind it as black, however.

I quite enjoy playing slow, grinder, drawish type games. Not sure if that means anything. Maybe oddly, I'd list Tigran Petrosian, Gedeon Barcza, and Aron Nimzovich as my foremost chess heroes. An example of a draw out of 1. c4:

[White "runninfiend"]
[Black "davidmacc"]
[WhiteRating "1565"]
[BlackRating "1739"]
[WhiteELO "1565"]
[BlackELO "1739"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[GameId "2628830"]

1. c4 c6 2. e4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. cxd5 Qd8xd5 5. Nb1c3 Qd5d8 6. d4 Ng8f6
7. Ng1f3 e6 8. Bf1c4 Nb8d7 9. O-O Bf8e7 10. Rf1e1 O-O 11. Bc1g5 a6
12. Qd1d3 h6 13. Bg5h4 b5 14. Bc4b3 Bc8b7 15. Ra1d1 Nd7b6 16. Nf3e5 Nb6d5
17. Nc3xd5 Bb7xd5 18. Bh4xf6 Be7xf6 19. Bb3c2 g6 20. Ne5xg6 fxg6 21. Qd3xg6 Bf6g7
22. Qg6h7 Kg8f7 23. Qh7g6 Kf7g8 24. Qg6h7 1/2-1/2

Oh, went for a nice run this morning. Gee it was almost warm, 45 degrees at 6:30 a.m., nice partial sunrise over the corn and bean stubble. six and one half miles at something something pace.

If you want to know what Mystery of Chessboxin is:

Parental discretion advised. Like life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pages Turn

How quickly turn the pages of our world. Last Saturday, 70 degrees, sunny, S caps at McN-- this Saturday, 31 degrees, gray skies, all the leaves off, fewer S caps at Farmdale. Cold, but a good reminder of why winter is a primo time to run the woods. Out of the wind, no crowds, harder to dehydrate. Got in a good four hour run.

Mike Siltman is hosting a Fat Ass 30 miler at McNaughton on Dec. 13th. If you don't know what a fat ass is, it's a free run with no awards, no shirts, etc. It's bound to a blast, especially if we get some snow before then. More info on fat asses:

As for me, planning on running Folepi River Trail Classic 4 miler on 11/29 (haven't run that since 2001), doing a long run on 12/6, some miles at the McN fat ass, maybe McNabb fat ass in January, then hopefully some ultras in '09.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Election Day

Is always a good day for a run, right? Seven miles in the a.m.

Marvin Doyle organized a "tour" @ McNaughton last weekend, essentially a group run with a few folks who know the course and a few who didn't. Nice to get back on that trail, warm day considering we started at 9 a.m. I ended up doing a 10 mile loop in 2:07, then a partial loop with Mike Siltman for around three and a half hours total. Trail was in excellent condition, there's a spankin' new bridge in the ravine before totem. Very nice bridge, if you like bridges. Me? I like ravines.