Monthly Archives: January 2014

Vote for Me!!

I am going to attend Fitbloggin 14 in Savannah, Georgia this June.

The Keynote Address is going to be an Ignite Session, ours is called Ignite Fitness.

What’s an Ignite Talk? I had no idea either! “Educate us, but make it quick”.

It’s a five minute speech on your choice, with 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes.

Apparently this is a popular geeky thing, but  I had never heard of it.  I watched a few videos, really cool concept.

So Fitbloggin is looking for 14 bloggers to give five minute Ignite Fitness Sparks.  7 will be chosen by popular vote-hence, your help is needed!

What do you need to do?  Just go to Fitbloggin, and scroll down the list and click on the little stars under the topic.  I’m not sure whether I am supposed to tell you which topic is mine; it should be self evident.  I wanted to do something with trails, or running, and I came up with my helpful winter tip.

If you have an work computer, and a home computer, you could vote twice! 🙂 I’m just saying!

You don’t have to log in, sign up, or do anything but click your mouse!

If selected, presenters also get a free ticket to the conference, which would be very cool. 

Fitbloggin-hanging out with other people who aren’t necessarily ultra runners-is another way for me to use my 2014 word, “Reach”.

Thanks for voting!!! 

Correct Choices

Today was another one of those tedious choice days in the wintertime in Ohio: do I run on the treadmill or do I run outside?

And what’s the weather supposed to be like?  Saturday was forecast with low temperatures and high winds. It was windy in the morning, when we took the pups out.

After being outside for a few hours, I decided to run outside after lunch.  I knew it would be more of a hike than a run, but I was okay with that.

My timing was impeccable.  It was a bit windy when I started, but then I dropped down into the creek bottom, out of the wind.

 This is township road that is not “maintained” from November through April. Truth be told, it’s not really maintained at all.  There are no houses on this road, just one hunting trailer and one road which might lead to some one’s hunting cabin. 

 There was about 4 to 8 inches of snow on the “road” so it was just like breaking trail.
This township road leads to an asphalt road, and I ran down it a bit to get to three miles.
This old abandoned house is here, inside a cow pasture, and I took a couple pics since I had the camera on me.

Then I ran back to my unmaintained township road and headed home.
I had just got my new Black Diamond Z-Poles the day before, and this was my first run with them, as I have a good descent and then climb out of the creek bottom.  I’m very happy with them! They are so light, compared to my newby REI hiking poles.  I didn’t have an issue with carrying them as I ran, they were so light.
The BD poles were very helpful in both climbing and descending my hills, as it was a bit slick under all the snow.  The hiking poles will come in handy for the climbs (and descents) on The Wild Oak Trail-fast approaching!! I’m also looking into hiking at the Wave in Arizona, so I’m sure they’ll come in handy then! I don’t think that’s the only thing I’ll need for that hike though; most hikers invest in the Dreamland Wave Tour as it can be a very challenging hike. I can’t wait to get out there and get hiking in the wilderness! It’s becoming a passion…

11 Degrees, 11 Miles

I was in a bit of a funk this morning when I woke up and saw the “one” degree on the temperature outside.  Rats, I had a 16 mile run to do.

Being my day off from work, I had plenty of wiggle room to get the run in.  I thought about the treadmill.  There was NO WAY I could run 16 miles on the treadmill. And besides, what if the electrician showed up this morning? (The treadmill is in the basement where he is currently working.)

Okay, how about NOT running 16 miles?  That immediately took some of the pressure off my mind. How about I just run around the block, and do some out-n-backs-and get in, 8 or 10 or 12 miles? That seemed much more doable, and sounded safer to me.

Clothing-tights and wind pants.  On top I wore a wool shirt and my rain/wind jacket. Big fleecy orange hat and my Hannibal Lechter face mask. Drymax winter socks and screwed Hokas.

I wore fleece mittens and my windbreaker mittens over those. I also activated and tucked in a chemical handwarmer into each mitten. I remembered my pain on my trail run from the other day and did not want to duplicate that! I also wanted to see if the handwarmers were still okay, as they were at least 2 or 3 years old.

Run was good! Slow! I feel really slow when I am wearing two pair of pants, I do not know why. But I was toasty warm too.

Only picture of the run. I have been tucking my phone into my Spibelt, keeping it next to my body, to keep the battery from draining.  (For warm weather peeps, batteries and electronics drain quicker in cold temperatures.  If you keep them on your body, they will stay warmer.)  But when I saw the random child’s electric guitar on the fence, I had to stop for a photo.

I tried to keep my route down in the valley, to stay out of most winds.  I found myself chilling about the same mileage-it seems like around mile six my torso starts to get a little cold. I don’t know if that is where I start to slow down more, but that’s where a bit of a chill sets in.

My mileage ended up at 11 miles, coincidentally, the same temperature in Fahrenheit as I ended the run. Not quite the 16 on the schedule, but I am fine with that. It was more about the mental attitude to get out and get it done.  I’m feeling pretty good about being able to handle cold temperatures on  The Wild Oak Trail in about fourteen days.


Routine | Have you started a new routine this January?  Is this routine different from last year?  Is it the result of a resolution or goal you’re working on?  Tell us about your days.  How do they flow?  If you’d like, maybe give us a full “day in the life” or just some snippets.

My new routine? Journalling my food again, via Weight Watchers.

Results? I am down about four six pounds.

What else? I’m not mindlessly snacking. I plan out what food I am taking to work, and I don’t buy anything extra, other than a diet soda or a diet Snapple.  I was starting to get into a routine with that, buying something extra-aka chips or crackers-my crutch.  This month,  I have consumed what was planned out and no more.

I am also practicing “portion” control which got out of  hand with me.  That is really what WW is mainly about.  Even if you are not doing WW, food journalling-and being true to portion size-can really help with weight control.

If you are in a bit of a plateau with weight loss, or have made the new  year’s resolution to lose ten or fifty pounds, WW (or food journalling) is a good tool to use.

Mean Dogs and High Winds

I don’t know why I thought it would be a “good idea” to get my 15 miles in today on the roads.
I ran 15 miles on trails yesterday, and I thought I would be much quicker on the roads today.

The roads had different ideas.  Once I got off my state route, the roads were totally snow covered. I was wearing just road shoes, so it was just a bit slick going.

I kept going, was glad to see the township truck plowing and laying cinders, that made it a bit easier for me.

About mile six, I had just topped out a hill and passed a house, where I then heard the dog commotion and turmoil behind me.  I turned and saw one dog (of two) heading toward me at a dead run.

I  had to stop and yell “NO” at the dog.  His hackles were up and he wasn’t happy. I kept walking away and he kept following (at a distance) and barking.  Eventually I seemed to be at the edge of his property and I carried on.

I knew it was going to be a windy day, but my goodness, it was soo windy.  It was really sucking my will to run. 

But I did.  My energy level was a bit low.  But I kept going.  When, on a loop run, what is the alternate? I wasn’t hurt, the weather wasn’t *that* bad.  But the asphalt was getting to me.  Ugh.

But, 16 miles is 16 miles in the bank. I believe I’ve got 58 miles in for the week..and tomorrow is a day off, I’m looking forward to that!

Fifteen Miles at Salt Fork

My run began this morning at 11 degrees F.  Not that bad out, but my hands suffered in the first two miles.

I took my hiking poles out with me.  I got very disenchanted within a few minutes with them.  The ground here is frozen-but just on top. The poles kept sinking down into the mud below.

My hands also were freezing. I mean seriously freezing. I was even wearing my new fleece gloves, but my hands were actually hurting. (Well it was only 11 degrees out, and windy.) I don’t think clasping metal poles-even with their rubber molding-was helping.

I jumped off the trail about mile two, to abandon the poles. I retrieved them later from the road.  After leaving the poles, I made a conscious effort to move my arms up and down to get some blood flowing to them.  My hands finally warmed up about mile three or so and I had no more issues.  (But this is a good point to note. I do have those hand warmer items, and I could have started my run with those to keep my  hands warm initially.

The schedule called for 15 miles and I needed trails!  I meant to start at the Dog Park Beach at Salt Fork, but they had the road closed past the first parking lot for the beach, so I parked there, and headed up the trail.

I followed the Bridle Trail, then met up with the pink blazed trail which marks the Bigfoot 50K.  Lots of frozen mud and ruts left over from the 50K.  I had a bunch of time thinking about trail races.  There was a  trail running race in the Alum Creek Area which apparently destroyed about six miles of mountain bike trail due to the mud conditions.  The bridle trail at Salt Fork State Park-which is most of the Bigfoot 50K loop-was also very chewed up.  I spent a good deal of time contemplating on trail stewardship-who is to determine how many runners can be in a race? Should loop course races be allowed?  What kind of mathematical formula could be involved to help determine numbers? 

 Although most of the trail was frozen, there were parts that were very chewed up from runners.  I run this loop year round, I see it dry, wet, muddy.  So I know what it looks like, pre-race, and I am seeing it a month post race.  (And incidentally, I just ran 15 miles, in a loop, at SF, so I could cobble together a 2 loop course, rather than a 3 loop course in the same course.)

I got to the Lodge about mile five, stopped and drank from my water bottle and refilled. I was wearing my old UD Wink Pack.  But I was storing my water bottles in it instead of the bladder. Also carrying a few items that I will need for TWOT. In other words, this was a training run for TWOT.

 Not a bad training run either, with the frozen ruts the trail was more technical.  I did more hiking than running, and that is going to happen at TWOT.

 The Lake is almost frozen.  I really liked the patterns the snow and wind left on the Lake.

I had a good run/jog/hike today. I got my fifteen miles in, more mental fortitude built up for TWOT.  Clothing choices were good for today.  I wore silk long jowns under my tights. I wore a singlet under my wool shirt, covered by my rain jacket.  That was enough on the top and very warm on the climbs.

A very good return to the trails today. TWOT is rapidly arriving.


I ran 13 miles today.  Not quite the 16+, with vertical, that I had planned on, but I will take it.

It wasn’t a bad run. I had pretty good energy but took it very easy.  It helped that it was 51 degrees WTF after five days ago being -8 F.

I wasn’t very happy when the rain started back up on me around mile six. I didn’t wear a rain jacket-as it wasn’t raining, and 51 F when I started.  But the rain did subside, after a few miles.

I ran up a new side road.  It was dirt, no loose dogs were encountered, so I may have another new route to add to my “around the block” road repertoire.

I am a bit frustrated, as this was to be a big weekend of training, and it has turned into more of a weekend of rest.   But illness is never reckoned into the schedule. It is what it is.

I won’t try and double up on runs, I will just go back to my regular schedule.  Hopefully this was my sickness for the year!