Monthly Archives: December 2009

Rock On

“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.”

I weighed in this morning, with a 1 lb weight loss for the last two weeks. I’ve lost 10.5 lbs.

I’m feeling very successful and motivated. For me, success begets success. As I continue to show positive (or should I say negative numbers) results on the scale, it pushes me to continue portion control and getting my cardio in.

Today I hope to get a run in outside, if it warms up to around freezing. I also hope to see the snow still covering the private road out back, so I can get on the cross country skis for the first time this season!

Keeping your Butt Alive

With the weather turning a bit more inclement, it is time to think realistically about your gear and clothing for the elements.

Actually you should think about this year round, summer is as dangerous as the winter months. In fact, regulation of the body’s core temperature is one of the most important facets to keeping your butt alive. Cody Lundin addresses this in his book “98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping your Ass Alive”. Having certain items with you, in your kit, and keeping a positive attitude will help you keep your butt alive when that day hike goes awry.

One very good point that Lundin makes is 1) having a plan and 2) letting people know what your plan is. That really boils down to letting someone know where you are going, what route you are taking, and when to expect you back.

I’ve been doing this better. I write down where I am parking, and what trail I am going to run. I then also give my husband a ballpark time when I will return. As in ” don’t send out the search party until 5 pm”. When I get to wherever I am parking, I put a slip under my windshield wiper with what trail I am travelling, and also my husband’s name and home phone number. I feel safer leaving that info, knowing the park rangers will have a contact number if the vehicle is still there late in the evening.

I’ve also made sure I have a few essential items in my hydration vest: albuterol inhaler, emergency whistle, a Bic-type lighter. These don’t weigh much, so they are always in there. There are usually a few Hammer espresso gels which just stay in there, even for a short run. According to Lundin, it’s these short day hikes that people don’t take the water bottle, or leave the sweater in the car, where problems can occur. I’m getting better about checking the contents of the hydration vest too! to make sure these items are there. One other item I should add, which is also little weight, is an emergency blanket, one of those mylar sheets.

Think about what you are doing before you run out the door for just a “short run in the woods”. Tell someone where you are going (even for a road run, sometimes cars are just as dangerous!) and when to expect you back. Tell them the route so they can start looking when your time has expired-before you do!!

Vitamin D Run

I finally got my butt out the door and went to Salt Fork for a run.

Knowing it would be chilly, I decided to bring my new Christmas Snuggie with me on the run. Hey! They take them to football games,I figured a trail run would work!

Well, I decided to leave my Snuggie on the tree branch to retrieve later. Bad idea. Scroll down to end of the post for the sad results…

A gorgeous day to be on the trails! I counted 14 deer in the first mile of the run, and 28 overall! Not bad for 8’ish miles!

Not a bad run for December in Ohio!

As I came back toward my vehicle, I cam across this low spot, which I thought was due to the rains yesterday.

It appears Mssr. Beaver have been busy at work in this sector:

Well, I got back to where I had left my Snuggie. It’s missing! I did see a pile of deer poop under the tree. So, either the deer stole my Snuggie or some human did!!

What kind of person steals a Snuggie? I bet karma determines it won’t keep you warm!!

Okay, just to let you know it did not kill off my sense of humor to have my Snuggie stolen, I had to post this latest bit of tree graffiti:

I saw this and immediatley thought of Mikey and our training runs at Mohican and the road training run..and the road graffiti there.

Bridge is Closed

Well, this was some bad news to find out about on Christmas:
12/17/2009 11:35:00 AM NOTICE – Effective immediately, the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Bridge that crosses the PA Turnpike is closed due to structural deficiencies resulting in unsafe conditions. This closure applies to foot traffic as well as snowmobile traffic. This closure could impact your trip planning. Please contact the park directly for further information and assistance. 724-455-3744

From newspaper article:

The department is awaiting the full inspection report before deciding on a course of action, but “it’s probably going to have to be removed and replaced,” Mr. Mumau said. The bridge was erected in the 1970s.

A new bridge would be wider and would have to be designed to accommodate future widening of the turnpike, he said. The area also is prone to high winds and plumes of salt kicked up from the highway for four to five months each year.

Read more: … z0anbO67T1

Rats! This was going to be my spring race for 2010!!! This can’t bode well for the race…the Laurel Highlands Trail crosses the Pa turnpike around mile 38. Maybe the race will stay open as a 50K.

Snow Day 2009

The storm that dumped lots of snow in the south left us with 3-6 inches of snow and pretty pictures.
Workout? Well yes of course. 1 hour on the treadmill walking with a 5% incline. Then one hour on treadmill jogging. I really need a DVR. I hope Santa is bringing one.

Salt Fork Run White Trail Loop

Yowza! I was hoping the elevation JPEG would come out a bit bigger. For a short trail run, this kind of kicked my butt!!

I parked at this little parking lot, below the Salt Fork Lodge. I was originally planing on parking at the Sugar Tree Marina lot, but for some reason there was a “road closed” sign across the road. Since these trails were right in front on me, I decided to start with them.
The Pine Crest Loop was first. It’s a nice gentle 1 mile loop. Going out is a bit rooty, on the flip side it’s a big rocky.
Garmin had me right at 0.99 miles and I started out on the Morgan’s Knob Loop Trail. Nice single track, ran past some big huge rocks. This hugs the shore line of Salt Fork Lake.

More tree graffiti. I do find this interesting, even though I cannot condone maiming the tree like this.
I came up to this intersection. I decided to go stage right onto the yellow blazed trail, as I believed the opposite way would just take me back to the car.
This yellow blazed trail ends up a big hill, rather abruptly. If you can’t tell, the trail ends here.
Behind the trail, on the next hill top over, is the Lodge. Of course, I noticed the trail continuing down the hill, so I followed it. It kind of became a deer trail. I went to the right, hoping to hit the white blazed trail, but when I couldn’t find it, I hiked back up to the top of the hill, ran down it, and took the intersection on the white blazed bridle trail.
I had no idea how far the loop would go. I knew it was a loop, and we would have to get close to the Sugar Tree Marina and cross Park Road 67. The bridle trail wasn’t as “nice” as the non-horse, hiking trails had been. There were some ruts, but mainly, the trail was covered in leaves. At first it was fun to be in leaves up to my mid calves in places. But with the leaves so deep, it was slick trying to climb the hills!

This was a good challenging loop! Nice to find new trails!

Where is Ultra Running Going?

Subtitled A Dean Rant

Ultra running is growing in popularity. Races sell out 8 months early (the summer Buckeye Trail 50k), meet their runner limit in minutes (Way Too Cool and the Umstead 100 for example) and others have gone to lottery system to designate who gets a chance to run: Western States, Massanutten, Hard Rock, Bull 50, Miwok.

A new race caught my eye: The Dean Karnazes 50K Ultra which I see is sold out!

If you read farther, all this race consists of are tacking 4.8 crummy miles “before” the official start of the PF Chang Rock N Roll Marathon. For this privilege, 50 runners are paying 150 dollars. They run their 4.8 miles, then have to hang out in a corral behind the “elite” runners and then they run the official marathon.

So that’s 4.83 dollars a mile. Heck, the Massanutten 100 is 150 dollars-that’s a dollar a mile folks! And you get real food! What do you get at the DK 50K Ultra? Water, Cytomax, Gu (hint: the normal marathon stuff.) I just don’t get it. Many ultra runners will use a marathon as a long run, and might tack on miles before or after. I don’t know if anyone then calls it their “Cleveland UltraMarathon finish”.

The race also advertises rock bands at every mile for the ultra. Well, it’s actually for the marathon. Could you imagine hearing a band every mile at Umstead? Actually, I don’t think the rockers could last 30 hours out on the course LOL.

Oh, if you haven’t gotten enough Dean yet, he’s also putting his face to yet another race: The Fargo Marathon

So why I am writing this post? I don’t know. I’m dismayed to see ultra running entering the slick world of the Rock N Roll Marathon. I don’t need chip timing, water every mile with paper cups to trash roads with. I kind of like our little below the radar, quiet, laid back ultra world. Where running a marathon is just some miles and most of the time “it’s only a 50K” are common comments. I don’t want to see all those anxious, watch timing uptight marathon runners showing up at ultras. Groaning about the hill coming up, muttering that they are still “on target” to run a 7.32 50K. I’d rather not see
The Barkley mentioned in the NY Times. Ultra running is like a hip little secret. It doesn’t need to go mainstream.

Luckily, lots of us ultra runners don’t need the fanfare of a medal for a 50K. Many ‘races’ are run without official sanction of…well, anyone. Sometimes they are called Fat Asses or just “group runs”. Where time on the trail (or road!) and some camaredie is all the recognition one needs.