Summary Feb 5-11

Sunday Feb 5, AM 5.1 Miles, 42:04 Power Line trails, left calf/ankle has been sore, making technical terrain a little more difficult.

Monday Feb 6, AM 1 Mile, 9:32 Originally left the house to do ~5 miles, but my calf/ankle was really acting up, causing me to turn around at the half mile mark.
PM 2.0 17:02 Short shakeout run in VFF’s to try to diagnose the goings on in my lower left leg. Allowing the heel/achilles to fully relax seems to help a lot.

Tuesday Feb 7, AM 11.6 Miles, 1:42:43, 1500′ Allamuchy loop, powerhiking most inclines to take the stress off of my left calf. Powerhiking seems to be getting faster, as I’m losing very little time compared to when I run the whole course (~2-3 mins over 12 miles).
PM 2.0, 16:36 Continuing the shakeout, strangely, a slow-ish couple of miles at the end of day seems to really relax my left leg.

Wed Feb 8, AM 5.1 Miles, 38:42 Power Line trails trying to push the speed, new course record, and  positive I can run it much faster if I go all out.
PM 1.0 8:17 Neighborhood loop, cold roads are forcing me to give my Five Fingers a workout instead of going naked foot.

Thurs Feb 9, PM 1 5 Miles, 40:23 Broken Shin Loop with the guys, typical Thurs.
PM 2, 1.2 Miles, 11:00 John Needed to keep his streak alive, and traffic made him show up to the run just as we were finishing the five mile loop, so, Not to let anyone run alone at a social run, another mile tacked on for the streak.

Fri Feb 10, AM 11.6 1:45 1500′ Allamuchy loop. Mentally I had planned to use Fri/Sat as back to back 20+ mile runs, but halfway through the first loop, it was becoming obvious that doing a 20 today would be a total slog-fest. In spite of the week being relatively light, I’d been less than diligent with my hydration/nutrition, which seemed to catch up to me here.
PM 1.0, 8:23 Shakeout

Sat Feb 11, AM 21 3:18:18, 2900′ 21 Mile through Allamuchy with 1 crew stop at my car to replace a handheld, change my shirt, and grab a Gu. I often find that long runs done solo involve a tremendous amount of mental strength, especially when fatigue sets in. The run itself was very mercurial, ranging from about as tired as I’ve felt on a run, to several minutes later feeling great about moving through the woods, the body/mind are strange things (and how we operate metabolically is even stranger). In spite of feeling like I had been going rather slowly for the duration, I finished only ~1 minute behind my previous time.

Totals: 67.6 Miles, 9h58m vert 5900′

Strange week, with the nagging leg soreness, and fundamentally bailing out on two runs, but within the range of mileage I had hoped for, as well as surprisingly consistent times considering how slow I was feeling at times.

Split shorts in February…

Incline

21 miles in Snow…

Awe, Mama, Ain’t it good to be alive!?

Yesterday morning I woke up obviously on the wrong side of the bed. I went out the door for my usual ~5 miler, still feeling low from this cold I’ve been battling, and within the first hundred yards I knew something wasn’t right with my left ankle/calf. So I bailed out at the half mile mark, making it a round trip mile, and overall a shitty start to the day. So I spent the day knotting my fists, cursing the misstep on Saturday that resulted in the twist exacerbating this long standing Achilles-oriented weakness. The ensuing funk lasted for the duration of the day, making me realize just how cathartic these runs are, and how much they keep me level-headed throughout the day.

Fast forward 24 hours. My ankle is still sore, but not un-runnable (in fact, the soreness is much higher in my leg than it was last time this happened, and no where near as tender). So, I went out this morning for my usual Allamuchy loop, deciding to power-hike more of the inclines to save the abuse on my left ankle, but still take advantage of the 50+ degrees outside. After a week of not really being “on” the mountain, the sheer act of summitting this small peak, and looking over the area from that vantage point is still exhilirating. I’ve hit this peak 7 times since the turn of the year, it refuses to get old (I actually thought the number was higher than this…). So, even with some mild discomfort, it feels good to be alive, forget the trivialities of every-day life, and simply run.

Summary Jan 29 – Feb 4

Sunday Jan 29 AM 5.1 Miles, 44:14 Power Line Loop in minimalist shoes to recover from the previous days long run.
PM 1.0, 8:20 Shakeout evening mile to keep things loose, also run the “Butters” hash during the afternoon, but not recording it as proper mileage.

Monday Jan 30 AM 6.0 Miles, 44:19 Running local roads slightly up-tempo from my typical off-road pace, feeling a head cold coming on.
 PM 1.0, 9:34  I’m beginning to think these light evening miles are kind of important…

Tuesday Jan 31 AM 10.15 Miles, 1:15:05 Normal pavement 10 miler, definitely getting sick, and losing the motivation to drive to a trailhead.
PM 1.0 9:40 Finally it’s warm enough to run barefoot, although I’ve lost some of the toughness on the soles of my foot since the summer, it still feels great to lose the shoe, and get out in skin.

Wed Feb 1 AM 1.0 Miles 8:44, Wasn’t sure if I would have the energy/motivation to run again in the evening after a ~14 hour day in class/rehearsal/teaching
PM 3.21, 19:05 Mustered up the gumption to put a few miles on, and decided to go quickly, it’s nice to see that I still have some pep in my legs, and even better to think that I can run a ~5k at this pace and not feel like I’m particularly exerting myself.

Thurs Feb 2 PM  6.5 Miles, 55:28 New Shoes!!! I finally retired my MT101’s and replaced them with the “upgrade” MT 110, so far, this shoe is fantastic, the input from Krupicka and the Skaggs brothers has created a killer mountain shoe (more to come on this later, when I have a few more miles in them)
PM 2, 5 Miles, 41:19 Broken Shin Loop

Fri Feb 3 AM 5.1 Miles, 41:26 Power Line loop, testing the new kicks, and feeling like hell as a result of a gnarly head cold.

Sat Feb 4 AM 5.1 Miles, 43:22 Same loop, this cold is really bumming me out.

Total Miles:50.16   6h40m

Pretty light week(did I really just say that about a week that had 50+ miles and 12 separate runs?), although I think my body could use some recovery time, and the (still lingering) head cold definitely took some wind out of my sails. Didn’t track vert this week, as I’m still working on acquiring a reasonable means to do so. Otherwise, things feel pretty good, save for some lingering soreness around my left ankle, which apparently has still not regained 100% of its strength since rolling it last July. I’m also experimenting with some different nutrition variables, adding Udo’s Oil again, as well as some supplemental protein and vitamins to try to maintain higher mileage in the upcoming weeks without totally feeling like crap.

Lastly, here’s a video of a great band that a few of my friends are part of:

Tammany

I’ve got a fever, and the only cure, is more summits…. This morning Dave and I ventured the 45 minutes West to the Delaware Water Gap to tackle some technical trails, and some of the most condensed vert available within a reasonable drive. The loop to ascend Mount Tammany gains and loses roughly 1165 feet over the course of 3.3 rocky, technical miles, and the view across the Delaware towards Mt. Minsi and the rest of PA is arguably one of the best in the state.

The guide claims that the “hike” should take ~3 hrs to complete, although, through a combination of running/power-hiking, we covered the loop thrice in ~2:17, with the first lap at ~:38. By the end of the first lap however, we began to run into rain/sleet, which made footing more challenging, especially on the more technical terrain. By summit 2, it started to become apparent that I was substantially under-fed relative to my effort, and in spite of my consumption of a gel immediately prior to lap 3, I was unable to avoid the impending bonk. This means that Dave was subjected to a litany of incoherent rambles, songs, and caveman grunting throughout the third loop. Like most runners, I loathe bonking, but I’m more than acutely aware that becoming familiar with this degree of depletion is  important, especially with consideration of my racing goals. Having not hit the proverbial wall in quite some time, it’s nice to know that even when my legs are feeling heavy, and I’ve lost the ability to form complete sentences, my muscle memory can take over, allowing me to continue without a substantial change in pace.. Now it’s just a matter of seeing how far this autopilot can go for!

With ~3500 feet of vert under my feet today, I’m definitely feeling pretty depleted, as well as sore in the leg, making me wonder about the prudence of running the Broken Shin loop this evening with the Hashers… But, what’s another 5 miles!?!?

False Summit

Mt. Minsi

Dave does downhill

Descent!


C.C. Summit pose!

Faces made mid-bonk….
Not as flat as it looks

All photos that I’m in are courtesy of Dave Franz

Why I run….

Running has, to me at least provided an outlet. A source of constant inspiration, struggle, an activity that seemingly knows no limits. A lot of people I regularly associate with fail to understand the psychology of the runner, specifically those of us interested in endurace-oriented events. This, (to me) has less to do with the actual running, than it does the philosophical point of view of the runner. In my opinion, with the exception (albeit slanted by my participation within) of the artists, our society has become increasingly numb, and complacent. This has created a sort of “dead” society, concerned more with the pursuit of comfort, mostly (in an American sense) in the form of ease of work, recreation, consumption, transportation, and every day goings on. This, however, is not what I would consider a true pursuit of happiness, especially when you consider the abundance of uppers/downers/anti-psychotics/anti-depressants that the general population consumes purely to maintain their lifestyle. Instead, my pursuit of happiness, is different. I do not yearn for variety, but rather choose to indulge extravagantly in one specific activity. In fact, I’m pretty sure I speak for most runners when I say that our passion, our extravagance, has little to do with worldly pleasures, but  rather with an over-indulgence in the most primal thing we can find, we forgo the technological extravagancies of our time, and instead pursue the most basic, simple activity we can.

This being said, the simplicity of running is paramount. On the micro scale, yes, we have an abundance of choices (especially those of us interested in trail running) do i put my foot here? there? etc etc, but on the macro scale,we are absolved of the anguish of decision making, for it is simply binary: Run, Don’t Run. That is it, pure, simple, no mistakes to be made, no judgements to be passed. Regardless of whether or not you prefer to run on the trail, the road, or the rubberized oval, a simple stopwatch mediates your effort, it does not lie, but rather provides the runner with a concise, pragmatic quantification of effort.

What, for me, makes the act of running, (especially on trail) so important to my daily life is the sense of aliveness that I get from doing so. Whether running up a switchback towards a summit, with my quads burning, or descending down a fast leaf covered single track, I am never anything but dwarfed by the power of the terrain I’m covering.  Granted, my typical running grounds are nothing compared to those in the Mountain timezone, or the Pacific Northwest, but the simple ascent of 1500  feet over rocky terrain is hard-won, and humbling. I run the same paths on an almost daily basis, and every day, they teach me something new, and push the boundaries of my comfort zone, both as a runner, and a human being. When I descend from these mountains, with the breeze in my hair, frost in my beard, and cuts and scrapes on my body, I am alive. and when I return to my home, peel off my shoes, and finally rest, I feel that I can truly sleep well, and look forward to tomorrow, when I’ll do it all over again.

This is how I pursue my life, and how I continue to feel alive. Everything exists as a result of it’s opposite, and without strenuous effort, restfulness would not be as beautiful.  So at the end of a long day, of running, creating, and music making, this is what allows me to sleep at night, and more importantly, this is what encourages me to get out of bed in the morning when that god-awful alarm starts buzzing well before the sun comes out to shine.

Allamuchy, Demonstrating the Chris Carey Summit Pose

Summary Jan 15-21

Sunday Jan 15, AM 5 Miles, 42:19 Broken Shin Loop with Limpy, Roadie, and Jeff Boy-ar-Dee. Met the guys for a frigid AM run, wish I had worn socks, and managed to freeze my beard pretty well… although, the companionship made the wind and unreasonably cold temperature a lot easier to deal with.

Monday Jan 16, AM 11.6 Miles, 2:04 Ran through Allamuchy with Dave, again, wicked cold (~8 degrees) but we covered roughly 1550 feet of ascent/descent over the course of 2 hours, without running particularly hard at any point (but managed to test some speed on a few technical downhills). We also took the time to take some rather contrived trail-running photos, and upon returning to the car, and changing, my jacket (a lightweight softshell) froze completely solid… I suppose winter has come….
PM 3.85 Miles, :40, Turkey Brook loop with Roadie, Jeff, and Hairy, a nice second run of the day, trying to stay loose, also wore uber-minimalist shoes to concentrate more on biomechanics.

Tuesday Jan 17, AM 4.85 Miles, 40:39 Power Line Trails, completely frozen over, making for a rather nice variety of rocks, and frozen mud, good traction, fast trail, I think this is either THE, or close to the fastest time for me on this route… eventually I’ll check the log-book and find out. Also, took a pretty great digger tripping over an embarrassingly small rock.

Wednesday Jan 18, AM 10.15 Miles, 1:16:04 Tempo-ish hill run through the local roads, running this route at mid 7 pace is becoming increasingly easy, I’m going to need to find a harder tempo run in the next few weeks… or pick up the pace substantially (still haven’t decided which yet)

Thursday Jan 19, AM 4.85 Miles, 41:02 Power Line trails… Ground has softened up a lot creating a strange combination of really soft mud, ice, rock, and frozen soil, footing is a complete guessing game. This variety of trail conditions is part of how, and why I run the same routes a lot, I may cover the same ground, but each run is fantastically different from those that precede and follow it.
PM, 5 Miles, 37:52 Broken Shin Loop, ran ahead of the pack, and then was chased down by Bob, power of ego overtook my better sense, causing this intended recovery run to be much faster than I would have liked.

Friday Jan 20, PM 4.85 miles, 44:16 I originally tried to run 10+ at Allamuchy, in fact I drove all the way there, stood outside my car for a few minutes, used the bathroom, and instead of running, returned home…. a  few hours later I pushed myself out the door for the Power Line loop, and ran the whole thing convinced that I was falling asleep

Saturday Jan 21, AM 10 Miles, 1:26:41 Ran through Schooley’s Mountain and surrounding Rail Trails during a snowstorm. This was by far the most challenging run of the year, mentally, physically, and especially with regard to the elements. The snow made for questionable traction(causing me to fall on level trail), as well as providing additional drag/forcing me to keep my knees higher than I would otherwise like, not to mention the constant head-wind, and snowfall pounding my face. There’s a beauty to the solitude of being the only runner out there in this sort of weather, and the challenges that face you while attempting to run trails under  these conditions.

Total Miles:  60.15 8h52m, Falls: 2 Frozen Beards: 4

Gino also has his beard frost over

Jeff around Turkey Brook

Dave and I on top of Allamuchy (Photo courtesy of Dave Franz)

Ice Beard at Allamuchy (Photo Courtesy of Dave Franz)

Descent is steeper than this shows (Photo courtesy of Dave Franz)

Finally, it snows

Downhill in the snow

Summit!

Summit Profile

Not quite postholing, but close…

It’s a good hurt… I Promise

Ouch, Ouch, Ouch, Fuck, Ouch, Fuck, Ouch, How much further? Fuck, Ouch…. that was what was going through my mind on this mornings ~10 miler, where Mile 2 felt remarkably similar to mile 25… Oh the joys of stacking mileage, forgoing rest days, running doubles, and being on pace for 140 miles in 14 days. Yes, that’s correct, I’m on pace to run 140 miles by midnight on Saturday… that means in 14 days, I’ll run 87% of the distance I covered in the previous 31… so much for prudent increases in mileage. If I stay on pace, that means that in January I’ll run 150% of the mileage I ran in December, no small feat, and certainly not the mileage increase that more sensible types would pursue…. although, seriously speaking, when have I ever been known to be sensible!?

All masochism aside, I thought I’d speak about first why I am pursuing these miles, and later, how I’ve been going about it. I’m NOT running this much with the intention of hurting myself (although if someone decided to go Tanya Harding on my knees this morning, I’m not sure I’d have complained too much…) If it was my intention to be masochistic/injure myself/facilitate an abundance of discomfort I could find much more efficient means of doing so. As previously stated, I actually enjoy maintaining a high(ish) weekly mileage, although, the first few weeks of it are typically a bit of a grind. The jump in mileage is primarily to pursue a strong base before I start introducing more functionally specific workouts. I’ve already mentioned my plans for the year involve pursuing Marathon and Ultra-Marathon distances almost exclusively (at least with the intention of competition…. I’m sure I’ll enter a few shorter races, but with less lofty expectations). This means that unlike runners of shorter distances, it’s advantageous for me to run in states of varying depletion/discomfort. In fact, I NEED to train my body to continue running even though my legs feel as if they’re on fire/being repeatedly stabbed my annoyingly fast midgets, and there is no way of getting used to this other than simply running a lot… even if that means running when my legs feel as if they’ve been repeatedly pummeled by a meat tenderizer.

Now, increasing your mileage by 40% from one week to the next is certainly not the most reasonable progression. In fact, it’s not something I’d recommend… period. As much as my “training” seems to be a result of flying by the seat of my pants, my body is actually quite adequately prepared for this sort of abuse. I’m very fortunate to have rather neutral bio-mechanics, and to be able to pay a lot of attention to small details/feedback that my body is giving me before, during, and after a particular run, both of these things seem to help me reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries. Also, as last weeks mileage demonstrates, I’m not running particularly hard right now. Some of my runs are fast(ish), but last weeks avg pace is ~8:45. The lack of “hard” workouts is deliberate. Yes, I’m running hills, Yes, I’m running some decent-ish tempo runs, but at no point last week, or this week am I intending on running full-out… more like ~80%. I expect this to be my M.O. for most, if not all of January, as I try to establish a strong base before integrating harder workouts (Hill repeats, up tempo trail runs etc).

That being said, knowing the strain that this is putting on my body, I’ve also been much more diligent about post-run recovery. Normally, my recovery process is not so dissimilar from 1970’s Canadian Hockey players… plenty of beer, fall asleep eventually. In spite of beer obviously being a fantastic recovery drink, this plan is less than ideal. The majority of my (plant based) diet revolves around whole foods. When I’m “training” (such an ugly word….) I’m substantially more diligent about what I put into my body, especially when it comes to hydration (3-5 liters of water a day seems to do it) and protein content. I also deliberately eat more frequently, and in smaller amounts, in an attempt to avoid the Food Coma my seemingly endless post-run appetite often induces(this allows me to function like a normal human throughout the day… rather than a bonk-induced semi-zombie). Other than that, I often wear compression socks (are they a placebo… or are they real…. the world may never know) and spend a good amount of time with Mr. Foamy. With that said, it’s time to return to the misery stick for a few hours, then back out the door for another 4-6 miles.

Training Ruminations

The past week I’ve had several conversations with other runners about my seemingly lacksadaisical approach to training. I’ve decided that although my approach to training for a race is slightly unorthodox, mostly due to its lack of traditional structure, it’s still proven itself effective over the course of the past year, and allows me to run more, and plan less. With that being said, let me explain how I go about planning my weekly mileage, and why I run where/how I do. Fundamentally my training is based around a few VERY important runs, and a lot of recovery/junk/lazy miles. (I hate the term junk mileage, my implication is that these miles are slower, and over easier terrain than my more ambitious runs, but are very important for maintaining my fitness, as well as a time where I hone in on form issues, lower leg flexibility, and turnover rate)
The runs I deem as “workouts” are the following: Tempo Runs, Hill Runs, and Long Runs. Note that speedwork is NOT included here. This is for a multitude of reasons, the first and foremost being that speedwork isn’t why I run, I don’t find it enjoyable in the least, in fact I find it more masochistic than anything else I could run. this is not to say that speedwork isn’t an effective means of building strength, both in the legs and the cardiovascular system. Many (almost all?) people I run with, follow, read about, and admire do speedwork,and I don’t necessarily recommend my lack of interval training/mile repeats. Instead of doing speedwork, I do an abundance of hill running. I deliberately seek out inclines, and refuse to let these inclines have a significant effect on my pace. This in turn, forces my cardiovascular system to work much harder for the ascent, and allows me to relax some on the descent, in effect not being tremendously dissimilar from interval training as far as heart-rate is concerned. In addition, the races I’m eyeing for the next year exist primarily on mountain trails, so being comfortable with both ascending and descending, especially on trail is abundantly necessary, and there is no other way to get there, than by simply doing it. That being said, I think for my purposes the Hill run is both more functionally specific (for my training goals) and forces me to take my cardiovascular training to a higher level, thus alleviating my need for traditional interval training, and considering the physical abuse of hill work, and speedwork individually, doing both in the week would most likely lead to a higher risk of overuse injury.
Tempo Runs:
These are very self-explanatory, my tempo runs are traditionally shorter in length (5-10 miles) and depending on where I am in my training, can be anywhere from 30-90 seconds/minute faster than race pace. The shorter the run, the faster I run. It’s a simple plan, increase turnover rate, maintain a high heart rate. Since I’m primarily concentrating on trail running, I try to do these runs on technical terrain, but sometimes I don’t have the luxury of driving to a trailhead, and end up running on the road, in which case, I run as quickly as I can for  the prescribed distance.
Long Runs:
The long run is typically the corner stone of any endurance/long distance runner, and I am no different. Although where most people will typically take a “light” day before the long run, I’ve found it more effective to enter my long run in a state of moderate soreness/depletion. This is fundamentally to train me for the end of the race rather than training for the beginning, and builds strength, both mentally and physically. I also make a concerted effort to keep my long runs relatively close to intended race pace (+ ~10-20 seconds/mile) again, the intention being to train my body to move at or near pace, while already beat up.
The remainder of my mileage is typically slower, more relaxed runs over a variety of terrain, usually determined by time/ambition. These miles allow me to keep my legs loose, and since they’re often run with a degree of lingering soreness/stiffness, encourage me to work on bio-mechanical efficiency, and diagnose any potential red flags before they become a significant issue.
So how does it all break down? Typically each week has at least one of the above runs, although the long-run is sometimes replaced with two back to back medium runs (especially at the early onset of a training period). In addition to this, I often maintain a “streak” running no fewer than 1 mile per day, period. I ran consecutively from 5/23-10/9 this year, and presently have not missed a day since 11/30. I also try to maintain a relatively high mileage during spurts of training, preferring to hang in the 60-80mpw range.
Lastly, Since I’ve been trying to post these for weeks, Here are my monthly totals for Dec, which was fundamentally a recovery month with regard to my (now no longer!) sore foot.
12/1    3.2
12/2    4.85
12/3    8.4
12/4    4.1
12/5    1
12/6    7.1
12/7    1
12/8    5
12/9    1
12/10   10.62
12/11   4.05
12/12   1
12/13   6
12/14   1
12/15   9, 5
12/16   3.21
12/17   1
12/18   5.18
12/19   2
12/20   15
12/21   1
12/22   4.1
12/23   5
12/24   4.1
12/25   6
12/26   4.05
12/27   4.85
12/28   8.6
12/29   5
12/30   7.1
12/31   11.16

Totals: 159.67 miles, 26h 19m

Binge Runs

Thankfully, the semester is over, which means that I have some more time on my hands to run/recover/sleep/eat/drink beer. Now that my foot is feeling (almost) normal again, I figured that since I have no immediate running goals, just the long-term desire to run faster, farther, and harder in some trail races next year, a few really long runs should be in the forecast. Having the lack of running-related pressure allows me the chance to basically run what, where, and however far I please, at least for the next several weeks, and the Binge Run seems to be the answer.

Now, there are a lot of runners out there, and I believe I’m in the minority when I tell people that I really enjoy running long, this is not to say that I don’t end my runs bonking, sore, stiff, dehydrated, and that bonking, being stiff, sore, and dehydrated doesn’t feel bad. It does. In fact, it feels really bad, and not to imply that I’m a masochist, if I were, I highly doubt that unnecessarily long runs would be my preferred method of discomfort and self-destruction (I think I’d choose the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man…). The reality of it, is when I find myself running for long time frames, it teaches me a lot, and allows me to fully decompress. It also helps me to jump-start my fitness, or at the very least stay relatively on-track.

Now the binge-run is a special case, typically it’s an obnoxiously long run (3+ hours?) preferably without any specific purpose. This allows me to not worry about pace, run where I want, and throw in the towel whenever I feel like, allowing me to only concentrate on running, and enjoying the trip. There are a few disclaimers to the binge run, in case any of you are thinking of attempting it.

It DOES require some planning, if you run trails like I do, run in a system you’re familiar with, or at the very least bring a MAP (best plan, do both!!)

Food and Water are imperative! I always bring way more Gu (or whatever I’m eating this week) than I think I need… and carry at least 1, sometimes 2 handhelds.

Let someone know what you’re doing! This sounds like a no-brainer, but the more comfortable you are, the less likely you are to let someone else know whats going on. There is some risk involved, especially on trails, the last thing you need is to roll an ankle 10 miles from your car, and have no one know you’re missing…. not exactly 127 hours, but in the case you get hurt/lost, it’s nice to know someone will eventually start looking.

Lastly, even though this usually goes against my M.O. this run, I was talked into bringing a cell-phone with me. They’re useful in the OH SHIT situations, and most cell-phones have GPS so you can either be located, or map your way out of the woods… Maybe this is worth the weight… although my inner minimalist is still anti-technology.

Phone, Food, Water, Garmin, Map


Trailhead

TURN LEFT!


Mid-Run Snack

Saw this 2.5 hours in… I couldn’t help but yell it out loud

Mountain running may be hazardous to your pedicure


Summary 12/4-12/10


Sunday 12/4 4.1 Miles through local neighborhoods 32:47

Monday 12/5 1 Mile barefoot 10:07

Tuesday 12/6 7.1 miles on local roads with an emphasis on hills. I tried to run this quickly in an attempt to jump start my fitness so that I can return to the local trails with some hill climbing strength, and without my breathing being too labored. total time: 51:19

Wednesday 12/7 1 mile through sleet/freezing rain (shorts were a bad idea) 7:29

Thursday 12/8 Broken shin loop, 5 miles 44:29

Friday 12/9 1 mile 8:29

Saturday 12/10 FINALLY my foot feels almost normal, for weeks, it had taken several steps after waking up for the tightness to go away, and even then, there would be a bit of lingering discomfort, but today, it feels like a regular foot again. 10.62 miles to, and around Schooley’s Mountain. This is one of my favorite trail systems to run, mostly because of its proximity to my house, and despite the fact that it’s roughly 2.8 miles of FLAT to and from the mountain, the trails on the actual mountain are rather unforgiving, requiring very steep ascent/descents, and very technical terrain. This run is by nature slow (my record on the course is somewhere in the high 1:4x:xx range, with an average run taking just shy of 2 hours. Saturdays time was 2:03:56, my longest run (time-wise) in weeks, perhaps a month.

Total: 29.4 miles 4h 39m

So I’m not quite “back” yet, but things are getting better, I spent some time with Mr. Foamy today after a short 4 mile trail run with Brian, and my foot is still a little tender, but runnable. I’ll probably stick with a lot of road running in the next few weeks, working on bio-mechanical efficiency, and trying to get my leg and cardiovascular strength up a few notches so that my more ambitious trail runs take less of a toll on me physically, especially with regard to my energy levels later in the day.

MT 101’s ~260 miles

Ghetto Heel Drop (a la Krupicka?)

Some typical NJ trail

Allamuchy Sun 12/11 Photo courtesy of Brian James

More NJ trail… before my feet went through it
Ice and mud covered feet

When I got to the car, my shoelaces were frozen tied… So enter the shoe dryer