Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is it really December already?

Boy, I have become downright pathetic when it comes to updating my blog. My life really is fairly exciting, even though you'd never know it by checking out my blog. So what's new? Well I'll start with a bit of running news. After laying low most of the summer and fall, I decided on a whim to run the Seattle Marathon. Yikes! I was reminded why I focus my energy toward the trails. Granted, I was pretty happy with my time (2:49.53), but it felt so hard and painful. The crazy thing was that I was laboring up hills that would be nothing more than speed bumps in an ultra. Running moderately fast is really tough. So, for now, I'm going to stick to being a big slow trail runner. I'm getting excited about the 2009 season. I haven't fully commited to much more than going back to Western States, but there will be plenty of fun races between now and then. Let's see...what else? Oh, I've taken up fly fishing. Between that and trying to learn Portuguese I feel pretty worthless. Thank goodness I always have running to make me feel somewhat competent.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm still a runner...I think

Where does the damn time go? I can't believe how long it's been since I've last posted, and yet it doesn't seem like that long ago. Well contrary to the many rumors that are flying around, I'm sure, I am still running. In fact, I'm even signed up to face off with my old nemesis again in 2009. No, I'm not referring to any individual. I'm talking about Western States. This race is kicking my ass these past three years. This year, even though there was no race, felt like a blow from which I may not recover. However, after some time off from racing, and running only a little, I'm feeling a bit more refreshed and ready to get back to work. As soon as I have some interesting training or some races to report on, I'll be posting with more regularity.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blogging In

Whew! It has been a long while since I've updated, let alone visited, my little blog. In case anyone was concerned, I'm fine. I haven't been laid up with injury or bed-ridden with some mystery illness. I've simply felt a bit burnt out on running. The cancellation of Western States had a much greater impact on me than I would have ever imagined. I've never felt so perfectly trained and tapered for a race, as I did for States. I was so wound up the week of the race, it felt as though I was going to explode, but when I got the news that the race had been canceled, it was as though all the wind was just let out of my sails.

I am pretty sure that scientifically you can't just lose all of that fitness, but that's really how it has felt. I attempted to run the White River 50 mile, thinking that might jump start me if I got out and started racing. Unfortunately I never felt mentally engaged in the race, and as soon as the race started getting hard (30 or so miles) I just decided to call it a day and walked back to the start. Since then, I really haven't run much more than 30 miles a week. I did run a 5 mile trail race yesterday, and that felt alright. I finished 3rd in just over 30 minutes. I'm hoping to get back into a regular training routine September 1st. My plan at this point is to run the North Face championship in early December. I'm going to try to be a bit more regular with updates on my blog as well.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Northern California is burning...my ass!

Let me just start by saying one thing. F*#K, SH#t, ASS, BALLS! Ok, so maybe that was more like four things, but when you put six months of hard training toward one single event that doesn't go off, it's a little frustrating. As I'm sure most all of you have now heard, Western States was canceled for the first time in 35 years due to wildfires.

As devastated as I was to hear the news, it was the right decision. Having been down there, I can speak to the atrocious quality of the air. We didn't see sun for three days because of how much smoke is in the air. From the little bit that I've read, it also sounds like there was a fire burning within 2 miles of Dusty Corners. It certainly must have been a hard decision for the board to come to, but it was the ONLY choice given the conditions.

That being said, how bad is my luck with this damn race? I received a number of phone calls and text messages from friends and family offering their apologies. One in particular came from my friend Tim. He said he was sorry to hear the race was canceled, and then went on to say that I must have the worst luck at Western States. Now I'm not naive enough to think that I'm the only one who has had some hard knocks at Western States, but the odds of what has happened to me there over the past 3 years must be one million to one. I went from being a near winner in my first Western States, in what Tim Twietmeyer told me were the worst race conditions he'd seen in 25 years racing, to the first ever disqualified Western States winner. Then I went back last year in better shape only to get sick two weeks before the race and drop out at Dusty Corners. Ah, then there was this year. Third times a charm right? WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! This year I really felt more prepared than ever for the race, and I was really expecting a great finish. In fact, just minutes before the Hammer called me to tell me the news of the race cancellation, I had just told my wife and mom that I really felt good about how things were going to turn out this year. In 35 years, this was the first time the race was ever canceled. I'm sure that there are hundreds of other stories just like mine, but it's sure frustrating to put so much hard work into this and make so many sacrifices only to have 3 years and ZERO finishes at States.

How about the good news? Well evidently everyone scheduled to run this year has automatic entry for next year. Honestly, when I initially heard that the race was called off, I said that I wouldn't be coming back, at least not for a while. Of course, that was before I heard that everyone had a guaranteed spot for next year. So now what? I'll have to give it a little thought yet, but there's a pretty good chance that I'll roll the dice on this one next year. Maybe since this year's race never even got started, it won't count as my third time. Then I can still count on the third time's a charm rule. No, that won't work. This was the third time, but I can't possibly have bad luck 4 years in a row, right?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What goes up, must come down...100 GRAND!

On May 1st I reset the history on my Suunto T6. I wanted to know how many hours and how much ascent I could do before Western States. Having rolled over 1 million feet of ascent sometime in late April, I was curious to know how much climbing I could put in before the big day, so I reset the history and kissed my million plus goodbye.

Not really knowing what an attainable goal was, I set my sights on 75,000 feet of ascent. Well 75,000 came and went with the the month of May and I realized that 100,000 may not be out of reach. Well I'm proud to say that today my 14 mile run with 2657 feet of gain put my at 100,396 feet of ascent in 46 days. I can't tell you exactly how many miles I've run in that stretch, but I feel pretty dang good about that much vertical time.

Of course, as all Western States runners know it's the downhills that can kill you, so it may be just as important to note that I've descended 102,520 feet in that same time. I've never tracked my total ascent and descent so closely, so it's hard to know what it means, but it can't hurt to be averaging over 2,000 ft. a day.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Livin' the Dream

Whew! I'm a little tired, but no worse for the wear. Having just returned from a running road trip to Auburn, CA with the Alabama Hammer, I'm feeling more ready than ever for States. With just under 3 weeks to go, there's still some work to be done, but after the past 9 or 10 days of hard training, things are looking pretty good.

Just prior to leaving, I did a one and a half repeat of Mt. Si on Friday and a PR 12 peaks on Saturday. My thanks to Greg Crowther and Susannah Beck for pushing the pace on that one. For being a couple of super quick road runners, they greatly impressed me with their speed on such rugged terrain.

On Sunday morning, the Hammer and I loaded into the rented Prius and hit the road. We rolled into Ashland, OR around 3:30 pm and headed straight to Rogue Valley Runners. Hal and Carly were out of town, but we connected with Ian and met Erik Skaggs. Having been in the car for eight plus hours, it was time to stretch out our legs, so Ian laid out directions for a nearby trail run.

We were able to run a little over two hours on trails that led right out of the town's central park. These trails are the real deal too. They climb like crazy right off the bat, and there's everything from double track road to windy, technical singletrack. We awoke monday morning and squeezed in one more run in Ashland before hitting the road. Ian, Erik, Chris and Jenn led us through their six mile trail race course. I just can't say enough about what a good thing they having going down there. And geez, look at the talent pool Hal's assembled. I'm convinced that Ashland is a trail runner's paradise.

As much as we were enjoying Ashland, we had work to do on the WS trail. Thankfully Ashland is over half way to Auburn from Seattle, so Monday's drive seemed downright quick compared to the previous day's haul. We rolled into Auburn sometime around 6:00 pm or so and anxiously parked the car and threw on our running clothes. Monday's are normally an off day for me, but being on a road trip specifically to run made me think otherwise. The sun was still beating down as we left the track and began down Robie Point to No Hands Bridge. It was quite surreal to run this section of trail for the first time since my 2006 debacle, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

On Tuesday, our first full day on the course, we opted to run up in the high country. We parked at Robinson Flat and ran out beyond Duncan Canyon aid station. There was still a lot of blow down and a little snow from Robinson down to the bottom of Duncan Canyon. As we climbed back up out of the canyon, it was obvious that the clearing work had begun in earnest on the other side. Still there was a lot of saw briar out there, and our legs took a lashing. The weather was not the warm sunshine that we'd hoped for, it even sprinkled a little, but it felt good to be on the State's trail regardless. We finished the run in just under four hours and figured it to be 20 or 21 miles.

Wednesday we awoke to sunny skies and warmer temps. Just what I'd hoped for on the day we intended to hit the big canyons. We drove down to Michigan Bluff and parked the car. Having the one car meant that everything was to be an out and back, so we planned to run out to Last Chance and back. The Hammer had never seen the canyons, and was pleasantly surprised by how lush and beautiful they really are. He had imagined them to be much more barren and dusty. We ran a pretty relaxed pace out to LC. Once we were there, a very friendly fellow doing some work on the course pointed us to the spring to fill our bottles. He said it had never been tested, but people had been drinking from it for years. Sounded good to me, so we filled our bottles and pushed the pace back to MB. Aside from a wipeout right through a bunch of poison oak, I was very impressed with how strong I felt hammering the downhills. As I crossed the Swinging bridge, I told myself to run every step up the Devil's Thumb just so on race day I could tell myself it's not so bad. It wasn't easy, but I did run every single step up the Devil's Thumb.

We quickly stopped atop Devil's Thumb to discuss our plan. I told AH that I was going to run back through Michigan Bluff and add on the jaunt through Volcano Canyon. I told him where the key would be, and he'd come meet me at the base of Bath road with the car. Reaching the bottom of El Dorado canyon I quickly hopped into the river hoping it would rinse off any poison oak oils. Feeling refreshed from the cool dip, I mostly ran back up to Michigan Bluff. Once back at the car, I refilled just one bottle and grabbed another gel before hammering down the dirt road out of Michigan Bluff. Although it wasn't hot hot, it was definitely warmer as I descended into Volcano Canyon.

The Hammer was waiting for me just as planned at the bottom of Bath Road. He was psyched on his run and commented how good he felt climbing up to MB out of El Dorado Canyon. I finished my run in 5:32 and figured it to be about 30 miles with nearly 9,000 feet of ascent. We piled back into the car and headed to Auburn for a little grub and then down to the American River to soak in the sun. The sun, even though not all that hot, was such a treat for us. We haven't seen consistent sunshine in Seattle for months and months.

For our final run on Thursday, we decided to hit Cal Street. Again, having only one car, we decided to run down to the river, then take Driver's Flat Rd. up to the highway and hitchhike back to Foresthill. Thursday was the warmest day of the bunch, and it felt so good to blaze down Cal Street to the river with no shirts on. Geez, how long had it been since either one of us had had our shirts off outside in Seattle? For clarification sake, we parked and started in front of the library not the school, but we arrived at the river crossing in 2 hours and some seconds. Granted it didn't come after 62 miles, but it felt good nontheless.

Somehow we got separated down at the river, and we each climbed out of the canyon alone. The Hammer made it out first and found a ride back without even having to hitchhike. I followed, but unfortunately didn't have his luck and had to thumb it back. Only a half dozen or so cars passed before I was picked up. As I climbed out of the van at the library, I was relieved to see that AH had also made it back safely. We sorted out what happened and were laughing about it in no time.

Thursday night we arrived back in Ashland and met Hal and Carly at the pub for burgers and beer. It was so good to catch up with them and to hear about the store and life in Ashland. They were kind enough to offer up their home, so we crashed at their house and were able to shower. We headed out for one more run in Ashland Friday morning, and then stopped by the store to say our goodbyes before driving north to Seattle.

This trip rocked in so many ways. The Hammer and I got a lot of training in and had tons of fun along the way. It feels good to have some fond memories to go along with my many crappy memories of the WS trail. The real treat, at least for me, was to be able to bookend the trip with stops in Ashland and catch up with friends. The drive itself was made bearable and sometimes even enjoyable with monster riffs courtesy of My Morning Jacket and Pearl Jam.

BONUS: Our rented Toyota Prius averaged 46.5 mpg and only took 4 full tanks of gas!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The calm before the storm

Having trained and raced hard for four weeks, last week was a much needed recovery week. Since I had a couple days off work and no racing to be done, Andrea and I headed east to seek out a little sun. We left midday Friday and drove over to the Methow Valley to camp for the weekend.

I couldn't have asked for a more refreshing getaway. The weather was fan-Frickin'-tastic. Finally we got a little sunshine, and Andrea, Kiwi, and I took full advantage. We hiked, swam, mountain biked, and ran...just a bit. A little sunshine and warm weather goes a long way in recharging the body.

Update: Having taken so long to finish this post, I've since had another week of big volume following the recovery described above. Boy, hard training and frequent blogging do not go hand in hand, at least for me. Training is going very well, and I can't wait for this next week. The Alabama Hammer and I are headed down to Auburn to get a little time on the course. I'll try to be a little more dilligent with my posting. Thanks for the understanding. Now back to training.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back to B-ham

This past weekend capped off a big block of training. I raced two 50 mile races in a four week span. The second of which took place Saturday in Bellingham, WA. My plan had been to race the Quicksilver 50 miler, but when the North Face Challenge was moved to Bellingham, it seemed too good to pass up.

I had never run a step on dirt until my final year at Western Washington University. As I began climbing more frequently and running roads to stay in shape, the notion of combining the two took hold. I really owe my introduction to trail running to the folks at Fairhaven Runners. On a whim, I showed up for a Wednesday night trail run in 2001. Yes, that's right, a night trail run. It must have been mid-November and it was dark by the 6pm start time. Therefore, all were instructed to bring headlamps or flashlights. Admittedly, I was a little nervous about running on trail in the dark, but I trusted their trail running expertise. I was hooked immediately and was soon a fixture at the mid week runs. We ran extensively on Chuckanut Mountain and sometimes even ventured further south to the trails of Blanchard Mountain. Since moving to Seattle, I only get up to Bellingham 2 or 3 times a year to run, and I cherish those few occasions.

Saturday's race was an exciting return to those trails where it all began. Due to the early start time, I was up and about by 3 am. Thankfully, I'm an early riser and was psyched to begin in the wee hours of the morning. We were required to carry lights for the first hour of the race, but I only clicked mine on in one or two places. It was so much more pleasant to run under the gradually increasing natural light of the day. I went out in front, but knowing that I was running a challenging course on hard-ridden legs, I kept things in check.

I ran alone for the first few miles until my shoe was sucked right off my foot on the descent toward Lost Lake. At that point Dan Gallant caught up to me, and we ran together most of the way to the 3rd aid station. Doug McKeever greeted me at the third aid station and told me how much I'd like the next section of trail. I believe he called it the Hush Hush trail, and it was a very pretty, winding climb up to Dan's Traverse and the beginning of the technical ridge trail.

While quick-footing it through the rocks and roots of the ridgeline trail, I was joined by Andrew Mullenix. Andrew, an Ironman triathlete and first time ultra runner, was moving quickly. For the first time all day, I started to feel a bit of competitiveness and tried to notch up the pace. I popped out at the 4th aid station just moments before Andrew and was met by my wife with two full bottles of Nuun ready to go. Wasting no time, I grabbed the bottles and took off down the trail.

Being a fairly strong downhill runner, I planned to take advantage of the next 3 miles of descent. Andrew showed no signs of letting up though, and he was with me stride for stride down the trail and onto the dirt road. Although my legs felt good, my stomach was feeling a bit unsettled and Andrew pulled ahead as the course transitioned back to singletrack. After succumbing to a quick pit-stop, I was feeling a little down but not quite out. I reminded myself that this was just another step toward my "real" goal. There would be bigger fish to fry in just over a month. As much as I believed that, it was still tough to let Andrew go.

Much to my surprise, as I ran into the halfway aid station, Andrew was just heading out. My wife was again there with a full waistpack and a couple more bottles. Feeling a little surge of confidence, I took off after Andrew, and we began the longest climb of the day. Knowing that climb could make or break the day, I pushed the pace to an uncomfortable level. Slowly I pulled away, but even as I crested the climb, Andrew was still in sight.

That was the last time I saw Andrew, but I felt he was never far behind. Having run hard up the road, I was relieved to hit the next steeply descending section of single track. My quads felt great, and I was able to hammer downhill. The trail soon opened back up onto road, and in the distance, I could see an aid station full of runners. I was now sharing the course with the 50k runners, and it provided a nice break from the monotony of running alone. There were a few familiar faces and I even stopped to give a hug to my good friend and 50k runner, Don Mukai.

The excitement of seeing so many other runners soon wore off, and my stomach again rebelled. I was nearly to the mile 37 aid station, when I bent over and began puking for the first time. It was over and done with in a timely manner, and I felt immediately better. Reaching into my pouch, I pulled out a couple pieces of ginger and ate them instinctively. All was better, at least for the time being. I rolled into the aid station and was met again by my bottle-wielding wife. A few quick words of encouragement from her and I was on my way again.

The four miles to the next aid station seemed like the longest stretch of the whole day. Knowing I needed to keep eating, even though nothing sounded appealing, I began sticking one Clif block at a time into my mouth and just sucking on it until it was gone. I figured that'd be easy enough on my stomach and at least a few calories would make their way back on board. It seemed to do the trick. Finally, I emerged into a broad clearing with an awe-inspiring view across the Samish Flats. This was home to the mile 42 aid station and the last time I'd see Andrea until the finish.

Armed with two full bottles of ice cold water, I set off downhill at a pretty good clip. I knew the descent would be short lived, so I ate a gel and took an electrolyte cap, preparing for the final, burly climb to the top of Blanchard Mountain. Almost immediately my stomach protested and again I buckled over and puked. Thankfully this was followed again with instant relief. I scratched and clawed my way up the ridiculously steep ascent to Lily Lake and breathed a deep sigh of relief. Knowing that the climbs were all behind me and feeling the magnetic pull of the finish line, I took off downward to the final aid station.

A quick sip of Coke, and I was out of the aid station just like that. With 2.5 miles to go, and mostly on dirt road, I was really able to open up. I didn't know how far back the next 50 miler was, but I wanted to erase any chance of getting caught in the final couple of miles. Knowing that there was no chance I'd blow up in the final mile, I kept my foot on the gas (by fifty mile standards) all the way to the finish. I ended up winning in a time of 7:58. Andrew hung on for second, finishing about 20 minutes later.

I'm ecstatic to have won the race, but more importantly I feel like my training is right on target for Western States. As I mentioned earlier, this was the first time I'd ever run two 50 milers in such a short timespan and with no rest in between. If nothing else, it feels good to be going into Western States with two fifty mile wins under my belt.

I hope this race happens again next year at the same venue. It was a beautifully rugged course with solid organization. I'll be the first to admit that I was very skeptical going into this race, but all my worries were put to rest from the beginning. I wouldn't mind making this an annual trip to B-ham.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

TNF update

Since ultra results are so hard to come by, I figured I'd just take a moment to highlight yesterday's Northwest Region Endurance Challenge. Just as a quick aside, the course was very well marked, much to the relief of all runners. Nikki Kimball won the women's 50 mile, and I won the men's 50 mile race. Krissy Moehl was the overall winner of the 50k. The 50 mile and 50k courses were very rugged. My watch logged 10,500 feet of ascent for the 50 miler, and Krissy said that she'd logged 6600 for the 50k. When I have a bit more time, I'll post a more complete write-up.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Almost there

Whew! I'm so close to a little recovery. All that stands in my way is a mere 50 miles of racing on Saturday at the North Face Endurance Challenge. Don't get me wrong. I'm feeling really good all things considered. Normally I stick to a 3 week on 1 week off program, but the way my race schedule worked out, I'm pushing through a fourth week of big miles. I've never done a big block like this with two 50 mile races mixed in, so next week will be a much deserved reprieve.

Even with some decent prize money, I'm having to remind myself that this race is just a tune-up. There's much more than money on the line in another month and a half. So I'm just looking forward to getting back up to Bellingham and running the trails where it all began for me. I'll post a report after the race.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Now THAT'S training

This past weekend I added a new element to my training, and I feel like I'm really on to something. I hesitate to even share this, because I feel like I may have finally found a leg up on the competition. No, no, no, I'm not talking about performance enhancing drugs. This is even more effective, I'm certain.

CONCERT-GOING! That's it. Brilliant, right? Right? What do you mean you don't get it? Must I explain everything to you people. It's quite simple, really. All you have to do is go out and train like you normally do. Now, if you're like me in peak training, you go to bed early and cherish your sleep time. Ah, not so fast. Here's the catch. Instead of eating dinner and going to bed, go out and see a rock show.

I stumbled upon this method rather accidentally. There were shows this last Friday and Saturday night that I was very excited for, but there was training to be done as well. I figured that I may be a little tired but no big deal. Well I went out Friday morning and did 16 miles with 8 of those being uphill at threshold pace. That was followed by an hour at the gym. Sounds like a decent day of training, right. So here's where I took it to the next level. At 10pm, which is already my bedtime, Andrea and I headed downtown to see Liam Finn perform. Although the show was fantastic, I was feeling incredibly sleepy but forcing myself to be alert. It's perfect training for hundreds. Friday was a long day, but like ultra training, the back to back rock concerts are the core of this program. So I was up early Saturday morning for 23'ish miles on the trail followed by yet another show. This one even tougher than the previous days show. Mike McCready of Pearl Jam was playing his annual CCFA benefit show at the Showbox Saturday night. There were 3 openers, and with lots of guest stars throughout the evening, we had to be there start to finish, so as not to miss anything. It was somewhere after the second opener, when I was struck by the effectiveness of this training. We'd been standing in place for about 2 hours and my legs were aching and begging for a break. Rather than whine about how uncomfortable I was, I sucked it up and looked at it as time on my feet. "This is damn good training", I thought to myself. When all was said and done, I'd been standing for nearly five hours, and the time was 1:30am, way past my bedtime. Now here's the bonus capper of the weekend. This is where you really put the nail in the coffin of your competition. I was in bed by 2 am Sunday morning and up by 6:30 am to lead the store trail run. Now THAT's training!

Monday, April 28, 2008


The sun came out this past weekend. I know that may not mean much to non-Washingtonians, but we haven't seen the sun for months. I'm focused enough that I've been able to train through the bleak cold, gray weather, but it hasn't been all that much fun. Running has felt much more like work than a sport that I love.

All that changed over the weekend. This is going to shock you, so make sure you're seated. I got 3 days, yes I said 3 whole days, of running in nice-ish weather. Can you believe it? Well if you live in Washington, you know what a treat that was, and I took full advantage of it. Now, I don't like to go into training specifics too much, because I feel like it's a bit self absorbed to write down the details of my running week to week, but I will say that I had 3 days of good, hard running.

Friday morning began bright and early with a trip out to Squak Mountain for some uphill threshold work. The weather was quite suitable, but the company was the story of the morning. Justin Angle and Tom Ederer were the real troopers of the day. They were out there by 5:30 am to grind out a double ascent. Phil Kochik, Greg Crowther, Scott Jurek and myself opted for the late start (6:45 ish), since we were only doing a single ascent. Even though we all live in Seattle, it was the first time that we'd all come together for a run. Good times!

Saturday began less bright but even earlier. I hit the road at about 3:30 am on my way to the Capitol Peak 50 miler. I arrived just after 5am and had plenty of time to check in and put myself together for the 6am kickoff. The start was a little chilly, but the skies were clear and the sun had begun to take hold in the sky. The 55k and the 50 mile started together, which was nice for me, because I was able to run with 55k runner, John Berta. The first 10 or 12 miles passed easily chatting with John. I was feeling comfortable running with John, but I reminded myself that I was running 50 miles and I let him go to chase down the lone runner in front. From that point on, my day was spent running alone. Considering the hard 2500 feet of ascent I'd done on Friday, my legs felt quite fresh all throughout the day. I was really focused on steady eating, even to the point of forcing food down when it didn't sound appealing. I truly believe that being able to eat constantly is as much a part of running well in hundreds as just about anything else, and being able to eat a lot on the run requires training as well. Anyway fuel and electrolyte intake remained constant, and I felt good all throughout the race. Even contending with about 4 or 5 miles of snow, I was able to run 7:37 and win the race. I was quite pleased with the time and effort I put forth. It was a terrific hundred mile training race.

To cap off the weekend, I headed out Sunday morning for the SRC trail run. We ran our typical 14 mile loop, and although I started out very slowly, I felt great once I warmed up. This was my biggest weekend of the year, and I feel like I'm coming into form at just the right time. And maybe, just maybe, the weather will start coming into form as well.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Catching up

I apologize, to the two or three of you who actually read my blog, for my long hiatus from posting. Quite frankly, I haven't had anything too terribly exciting to write about. So does that mean that I'm now bursting with exciting stories? Not really. For those who may be interested, I'll just fill you in a bit on these past couple weeks.

I came down with a bit of a cold in the week following Diez Vista. I'd scheduled that to be a rather big week, but I opted to play it smart and take it easy. I did get out for a couple runs. One in particular was a run out at Tiger Mountain. The weather was fabulous highs in the upper 70's. Fantastic, right? Well it would have been except that I encountered a fair bit of leftover snow on top of Tiger 1. Rather than slog through snow up the trail to the summit, I instead chose to take the more easily navigated road to the top. What had been a great run suddenly turned into a brutal march through 2 feet of mushy snow, and that brings me to my next topic.

What the F is the deal with this much snow in April? This is crazy. Just this past weekend we were treated to a bit more. Evidently this was the latest recorded lowland snow ever in Washington. It sure feels a lot more like work when having to go out to run long in such miserable conditions. I feel like a bit of a whimp, but I've lived in Washington my whole life, and I can't remember such awful weather. I've always scoffed at the notion of Seasonal Affective Disorder, but this lack of sun is seriously bringing me down. Besides just having a harder time getting motivated run, the amount of snow on places like Rattlesnake Mountain and Mt. Si is keeping me from doing some of my key spring training runs.

This weekend I'll be running the Capitol Peak 50 miler. I'm assuming that I'll be contending with more snow down there. If I could at least catch a glimpse of the sun, it might be manageable.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A great week in Canada, eh.

Two trips to Canada in one week? I may ordinarily go two times in a year, but with Eddie Vedder playing his first ever solo show, the week was far from ordinary. For each of the past three years, the Diez Vista 50k has been the reason for one of my bi-annual jaunts to the Great White North, and this year was no exception. It just so happened that both EV's show and Diez Vista fell into the same week. With work in between, there was no choice but to make two trips across the border. Good times, eh?

Eddie Vedder played at the Centre in downtown Vancouver. It's a magnificent venue that seats about 1800 people. Being a PJ fanclub member, I was able to pre-purchase tickets to the show. However, the tickets had to be picked up at will call the day of the show. Because the fanclub tickets were randomly assigned, Andrea and I didn't know, until arriving at the venue, where we would be sitting. We were pleasantly surprised to find our seats dead center in the 10th row. Incredible!

Liam Finn, the son of Split Enz and Crowded House member Neil Finn, opened the show. He played a very inspired half hour set. The crowd seemed really into Liam, especially considering he was all that stood between them and Eddie. I must say, Liam Finn was probably the finest opening act I've ever seen. As his set closed, I felt ready to burst with anticipation for what was to come.

Hours seemed to pass as the stage crew carefully pieced together EV's simple, living room-like stage setup. Finally the lights dimmed and Eddie Vedder took the stage, armed only with an acoustic guitar. He must have played 4 or 5 songs before eventually acknowledging the crowd. He seemed, at least initially, to be a bit nervous. With each passing song, he became more and more at ease, and by the end of the night, he was even telling dirty jokes. Who'd have thunk, eh? Well the show was fantastic, and I feel so lucky to have been able to see my favorite musician in such a stripped down, intimate environment. For those of you who haven't yet, do yourself a favor and go buy Into the Wild. It's a brilliant album.

Speaking of brilliant, the Alabama Hammer and I neglected to take notice of the start time of the Diez Vista 50k. Having left Seattle at 3:45 am and experiencing a few navigational glitches, we arrived at the Diez Vista start just after 7 am. We were taking our time sorting through our race goodies when we suddenly wondered where everyone was. At 7:25, we asked the woman next to us what time the race started. I nearly panicked when she said that it started in five minutes. Cripes! How could we have missed that little detail?

Having hastily gathered our race necessities, we arrived at the starting line with only moments to spare. Race director Paul Slaymaker reminded us of the course change from years prior and we were off just like that. Whew! We had just barely made it.

Since I don't really care to go into blow by blow details of the race, I'll just give you my own abridged account. I set off at a steady clip. Having trained up to the race, my legs weren't optimally rested, but they felt pretty good. As the course transitioned from double track to incredibly technical single track, I became hyper-focused on every precise foot placement. To allow your mind to wander, even for a split second, could cost you your running career or worse on this terrain. I wiped out once, but I bounced right back up without missing a beat.

As much as I enjoy the steep, technical descents, I was relieved to pop out onto the more runnable road sections that make up the middle of the course. I was able to comfortably push the pace through the third aid station and beyond. Somewhere about half way between aid stations 3 and 4, my motivation began to slightly wane. I arrived at the 4th aid station in 2nd place, but 2 other runners shadowed me, only seconds behind.

Seeing the two other runners provided a much needed kick in the ass, and I felt a little more energized running back uphill toward the fifth and final aid station. Unfortunately I was overtaken by Gary Robbins, and as hard as I tried, I didn't have the kick to stick with him through the final few miles. I ended up 3rd overall in a time of 4:27. Even having won the race 2 of the last 3 years, this was my fastest time by over 5 minutes.

Not a bad week in Canada, eh?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Just another tuneup

I won't be lined up with all the big guns in Sacramento, but I'll racing tomorrow too. The Alabama Hammer and myself are headed up to the Great White North for some ultra fun. We'll be racing the Diez Vista 50k. It may not have the talent pool of AR 50, but the spectacular views and incredibly technical singletrack will make for an exciting time.

Like everyone else I'll be anxiously awaiting the results from AR 50. It's fun to speculate about who else will be earning a spot on the starting line in Squaw. The chic pick seems to be Anton, but there are a lot of speedsters lining up tomorrow. Anything can happen in a fifty miler. I seem to recall even Uli Steidl having a tough go at AR50. He won the race but, for the first time in an ultra, missed the course record.
Good luck to all those racing this weekend! I'll post a report here after the race.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A few random thoughts

I've been meaning to comment for a while on how much I'm in love with the new Inov 8 Roclite 295s. I've trained in the shoe a number of times now, and I've had two solid race performances in them as well. I wore the Roclite 295s at the Chuckanut Mountain 50k, and I was amazed by how good they felt on the flatter hard packed road sections of the course. I also just raced a ten miler in the sloppiest conditions I've ever run in. The course was a slippery combination of melting snow and mud on winding technical single track trail. I missed the course record by a mere 20 seconds, so that to me was a pretty good testament to the shoes.

I'm feeling pretty good about where my fitness is right now. I've got a full 3 months of structured training under my belt, and I'm starting to feel really strong. One thing that I did really well in 2006 was to train in blocks, 3 weeks on 1 week off. Last year I lost sight of that a little bit and my "easy" weeks tended to be a little too hard for a true recovery week. This year I'm definitely sticking to that plan a bit better, and if my health is any indication, I'm doing a much better job than last year.

And what would a post on my blog be without some mention of Pearl Jam? Yes, that's right. Tomorrow night I'm headed north to see Eddie Vedder perform solo at The Centre in Vancouver, BC. I'm very very excited, but I'm a little worried about my favorite songwriter. I went to see X last night at the Showbox, and Joe Doe, the bassist of X, said that they were dedicating this next one to their friend Eddie who was supposed to be there but was sick. SICK! Are you kidding me? Oh please, not now. Eddie, please just drink and pee. That's what my grandma always told me when I was sick.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The North Face

So what's the deal with the North Face Endurance Challenge? I mean is it asking too much to know course details a month and a half before a race. Because if that's the case, I may be out of line here. To me it seems that the vast majority of folks running any distance, especially an ultra, like to plan their schedule in advance. Most people, and I know there are some exceptions, probably aren't going to jump into a 50 mile race on a whim.

That's why it's absolutely shocking to me that the May 10th North Face Endurance Challenge hasn't nailed down a course yet. The race had originally been set for May 10th in Seattle, and now Seattle has come to mean Bellingham, 3 counties and an hour and a half from Seattle. Having a bit of an inside look at their race organization, I can speak to what a complete cluster f#!k the whole thing is. I know for a fact that the Seattle race was originally slated to take place at Cougar Mountain, and now since that fell through, Bellingham has become the new location. I'm fine with the race taking place in Bellingham, in fact that's why I'm tempted to run, but it's frustrating to see such poor planning.

You shouldn't feel like you're gambling when signing up to run any distance, let alone 5o friggin' miles. You need only read Uli Steidl's race report of the championship race in December 2007 to realize how poorly the course was marked, and this with $10,000 on the line for the winner. I just don't think that it's too much to ask, especially for a race that you're shelling out 70 or 80 bucks for, to have a course map and elevation profile at least a few months before the race. Last time I checked this wasn't the North Face Endurance Fat Ass. This series has the potential to be something huge. There are some big name sponsors and prize money, but poor management is really killing it.

That said, I'm willing to roll the dice on this one. Why? Well for a few reasons really 1) It's only a tune-up race in my case. 2) I do love the trails on and around Chuckanut Mountain. 3) There's a pretty good chance to win some prize money. Talk about selling out, huh?

Friday, March 21, 2008

PJ Update

Well it turns out that yesterday Pearl Jam announced a ten day east coast tour. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but I'm excited for those fans living back east. I was really hoping to see a Seattle date or two pop up. For now I'll have to be content going to Vancouver April 2nd to see Eddie Vedder solo. I can't wait! And I'll keep my fingers crossed that the east coast dates may just be the first leg of a U.S. tour.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The waiting drove me mad...

This entry will probably take me an hour to write, because every 15 seconds or so, I'm compelled to jump over to Pearl Jam's website. Why? As anyone who actually reads this blog knows (maybe 2 or 3 people), I'm an enormous Pearl Jam fan. When Pearl jam makes a big announcement, the band's staff issues some vague hint about a *tweet* from a little birdy. That's fine until the *tweet*, that was supposed to be announced Wednesday, gets pushed back to Thursday. This after alluding to the *tweet* over the weekend. So, since Saturday, I've been going crazy waiting for this dang bird chirp. I know it sounds crazy, and I don't expect anyone else to understand. It makes sense in my crazy little world, but I swear, if that frickin' duck doesn't start quacking, I'm gonna' lose it.

For the 2 or 3 of you that read this blog, I'll pretend that you care about my Pearl Jam news, and I'll share with you the announcement when I know.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Chuckanut Recap

Saturday morning began with rain and cold temps, but that didn't stop 300 hearty runners from lining up at the start of the Chuckanut 50k. Nobody looked all that motivated to run, myself included, but as soon as the race got underway, the rain let off. Amazingly the weather steadily improved throughout the day, and although the course was muddy, the overall conditions were pretty good.

Having decided to train through the race, I knew that I probably wouldn't be in contention to win this year, especially with Bryan Dayton, Scott Jurek and the Alabama Hamma' toeing the line. Still, I felt that I should be able to put forth a strong effort based on where my training has been.

I ended up 4th overall in a time of 4:14. It wasn't my fastest time there, but having trained right up to the race, it's a good indicator of where my overall fitness is. It's especially satisfying to have been able to run so well at the end of the race. My final split of 1:05:29 was the fastest of the field.

Team Inov 8 had a great showing at the race with Devon Crosby Helms and Bryan Dayton each winning.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Inov 8

I'm excited to announce that I have a new shoe sponsor for the 2008 season. After two seasons with Brooks, I have opted to go a different direction for 2008. I am very thankful for what Brooks was able to provide me for a couple of seasons and I'll continue to run in their road shoes. However, when it comes to dirt, I'll be running for the Inov 8 ultra team. I'm very excited to team up with a company that is dedicated to trail ultra running.
Inov 8 shoes fall right in line with my less is more philosophy of trail running shoes. They are incredibly light, low to the ground, and have great traction. I have been running in the Roclite 297 and the Roclite 315. They both feel great and fit well. This weekend I'll be running in the lighter of the two, the Roclite 297.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chuck a what?

Can it really be the middle of March already? Where does the time go? This is always an exciting time for me since it means a return to the trails where it all began for me. While going to school at Western Washington University, I began trail running in the fall of 2001. In March 2002, I ran my very first ultra, the Chuckanut Mountain 50k.
Since I was sick last year and missed the race, I'm looking forward to a return to Chuckanut. Having finished 2nd, 4th, and 3rd overall, I'm determined to win this thing one of these years. That being said, this may not be the year. Because my "A" race is Western States, and it's not until the end of June, I really need to be smart about using these early season races as training runs. Scott Jurek once told me, and it really stuck, that you have to be willing to get your ass kicked early on if you want to win Western States. Oh, it's soooo hard though.
Regardless of how the race turns out, I'll be refueling at one my favorite college joints, Casa Que Pasa. The potato burritos really hit the spot after a taxing effort. Believe me, I too was once skeptical about a potato burrito, but they're pretty darn delicious.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Subject drought

Well after what I felt was a pretty solid start to my blogging career, I've hit a wall. You'd think that as an endurance athlete I would have been smarter about my pacing. Initially, I had more blog topics in my head than I could put to paper and now nothing. My well of thought seems to have dried up.
I think I may have made a huge mistake by blogging about the best training run ever. That was such a rookie move, because now I've reached a high point that will be hard, if not impossible, to match. And really, between you and me, that run wasn't even THAT great. I mean sure my legs felt like finely tuned rockets, and I was able to offer some solid encouragement to Ryan Hall and Meb, as I passed them going up Cleator Road, and to top it off, Pearl Jam just happened to be rehearsing right next to my parked car. It was ok at best. But I just had to boast about it, and now look at me, I've got nothing. NOTHING!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Best training run, ever?

Yesterday I may well have had my best training run ever. It was no doubt my best training run of 2008, and it stacks right up there with the best all time. Kiwi and I headed up to Bellingham for some fun on Chuckanut Mountain. The weather combined with how good my legs felt were major factors in the enjoyment of the run. A bigger factor though, was that I have so many fond memories from those Chuckanut Mountain trails. For it was runs to places like Raptor Ridge, Fragrance Lake, and Arroyo Park that I developed a passion for trail running. Going back to those trails is always an invigorating experience.

This weekend capped off my second block of building. I generally stick to a 3 weeks hard 1 week recovery program, but sometimes you have to listen to your body and be willing to modify things on the fly. Usually that means sooner recovery, but on very rare occasions, that can mean adding in another higher volume week. This week was one of those less frequent situations where I opted to postpone my recovery week, because my legs were feeling so good after Orcas. Now I'm coming in to my recovery week with two solid 40+ mile weekends in a row. I know it's not very Anton-esque, but I'm feeling pretty good about where my training volume is right now.

BTRE Stats

Distance: 26 miles
Time: 3:50
Ascent: 4600 ft
Avg. HR: 143
Weather: SUNNY! (a major factor in the quality of the run)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I've got a golden ticket...

I've got two actually, two tickets to see my favorite musician. It didn't come easy, but yesterday morning I battled through site crash after site crash and error message upon error message, coming out no worse for the wear with two tickets to see Eddie Vedder in Vancouver. There was a special pre-sale for fan club members, and the tickets were being sold only through the Pearl Jam website. Unfortunately for many, the website was not able to keep up with the demand and crashed repeatedly. At one point, I had two tickets shown in my cart, but as I entered my credit card number an unknown error message popped up and froze the screen. Poof, just like that my tickets disappeared into cyberspace. After nearly an hour of more of the same, and frustrated beyond belief, I nearly gave up. Could it be that my uncanny Pearl Jam luck had dried up? Alas, at 11:03 am, an hour after they'd gone on sale, my luck kicked in and I was able to navigate through the minefield of error messages unscathed, emerging with two tickets and an email confirmation to verify it. Persistence pays off.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Orcas Report

Yesterday I headed up to Orcas Island with UB and the Alabama Hammer for some fun in the San Juans. Fun being a fairly relative term, as there were certainly moments when I questioned my decision to wake at 3am to drive an hour and a half to Anacortes, the departure point of the ferry, to run 31 miles. That's fun, right? Well it was mostly fun, and that's why we were willing to give up a full day when all the running and traveling was said and done. UB decided to stick with the 25k option, while the Alabama Hammer and myself opted for the full 50k. Due to snow on Mt. Constitution, RD James Varner opted to re-route the course. The 50k was set to be two loops of the 25k course, and the pre-race buzz was that it would be a really "runnable" course with substantially less elevation gain than the previous years' route. That sounded pretty good to me since it was my first ultra of the year, and my long run coming in was only about 19 miles. Of course, being a James Varner designed course, "runnable" turned out to mean mostly "shuffleable." I don't think that's a real word, but I'll use it because it so perfectly describes the pace dictated by the terrain. There were lots of straight ups and downs with some very slippery slopes. All said, it was a very pretty and challenging course with only a few expletive inducing sections. Despite the seemingly interminable second loop, myself and AH finished tied for third. In all honesty, we should have been tied for fifth, because two runners ahead of us made a wrong turn and got off course. Neither of us were racing, although we had to remind ourselves of that a couple times, so place really wasn't the goal. We came through the finish in 5:06 . Matt Hart was the winner, but I don't know what his finish time was. We had hoped to catch the 2:55 pm boat to Anacortes, so we didn't have much time to socialize after the run. We quickly changed, packed our gear, and sped off to the ferry. We arrived well before the departure time, but the line was full, so we were told we'd be on the 6:15 pm sailing. After a near emotional meltdown, we all managed to keep our cool and sauntered down to the restaurant for beer and burgers. To keep a long story a little shorter, I'll just say that we didn't get back to Seattle until about 9:30 pm. It was a very long day, but we had more fun than not.

Race Stats:
Distance (w/footpod): 31.73 miles
Time: 5:06
Ascent: 6400ft
Avg. HR: 143

*On a non-running related note, I'm very excited for a special pre-sale today. I'm a long time member of the Pearl Jam fanclub, and today at 10 am, fan club members have a crack at a limited number of tickets for Eddie Vedder's solo tour. For any of you reading this, please cross your fingers and send me positive thoughts at 10 am.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fitness Marker

Tomorrow I'm headed up to the San Juan Islands for the Orcas Island 50k. It'll be my first 50k of the season, and I'm really just treating it as a long training run. It'll provide a good marker of where my current fitness level is. Last year, by this time, I had raced a 1/2 marathon, 25k, and a 50k all during January. I had a decent run at Orcas, but I was already feeling a little worn out. This year I've taken, what I hope is, a much smarter training approach. I've got 7 weeks of solid base training under my belt,with no racing, and I'm feeling like I'm getting stronger each week. Obviously it feels great to see marked improvement each week, as opposed to this time last year, when I was already feeling a little run down. So I'm excited to see how things shake out tomorrow. The weather's looking good, and I really love the trails at Moran State Park. It should be a great day out there. I'll get a report up here when I return to Seattle.

Here's a quick recap of my 2008 training log
wk 1: 64 miles
wk 2: 74 miles
wk 3: 80 miles
wk 4: 53 miles (recovery)

wk 5: 76 miles
wk 6: 80 miles
wk 7: 92 miles
wk 8: recovery

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


No, I won't be discussing corporate downsizing here. I'm talking about taking a sort of less is more approach to running shoes, particularly to trail shoes. I remember my very first pair of trail shoes. They were, of course, the tried and true Montrail Vitesse. Wasn't that everyone's first trail shoe? At the time, I thought a trail running shoe had to have a rugged feel to make the cut. Even when I began working at Seattle Running Company, I would scoff at the various road shoe brands attempting to make trail shoes. I'd tell customers, "Those are just beefed up road shoes." They weren't "true" trail shoes. In the past two years though, I've made a complete 180 degree turn on this issue. No longer do I feel like a trail shoe has to feel like a light hiking boot, and it's hard for me to understand why I ever did. Admittedly, I've now gone to the extreme opposite end of the spectrum, running now in the Brooks Racer ST flat. I really have come to realize the benefits of a lighter, more flexible shoe, even on the trail. A good shoe for the trail doesn't have to feel like a brick. Shocking, right? It's amazing to me though how many people feel like that inability to move your foot naturally is what you need in a trail shoe. Granted, I don't recommend everyone rush out to buy a road flat for the trails, I think that comes with time spent working on form and efficiency, but we can all get by on a lot less shoe. Thankfully the trend seems to be moving toward the development of lighter weight and more flexible trail specific shoes.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Runs

Every Sunday morning, rain or shine, I meet at Seattle Running Company at 7am to lead a hearty group of individuals out to our local trails. Lately it's been much more rain and snow than shine. The Cascades, and even our smaller local foothills, have been hammered with an abundance of snow this year. Last Sunday I thought it would be fun to head out to Tiger Mountain and run the 16 mile fat ass loop. I knew that there would be some snow, but I had no idea that we'd be breaking trail through two feet of snow. We cut the loop short, but it still took us over 3 hours to cover 11 miles. I was bonking so badly breaking through the fresh snow that I started seeing stars and thinking that I may pass out. The two other runners with me were real troopers. Even as I started to lose my cool, they pressed on and kept a really great attitude. Today, we opted to stay a little closer to home by running a Cougar-Squak out and back. We covered 19 miles with about 5000 feet of ascent. Along the way we encountered just about every winter weather condition that exists in the Pacific Northwest. We got a lot of rain, a little snow, and enough warmth that one guy even shed his shirt. It was just another crazy day in this wild Washington winter. I guess running in these conditions builds character, right?

Friday, February 8, 2008


I have some fabulous training partners that really inspire me and make training fun. They're very motivated and dedicated athletes. But, like all of us, they're real people with real commitments. Life can get pretty crazy and sometimes running has to take a back seat to more pressing issues. I know that's sometimes the case for me. Basically what I'm getting at is that people have complicated lives and running can't always be the primary focus. However, my dog Kiwi has no such outside distractions. She is always ready to go at the drop of a hat. I was thinking about this very thing today as I was chasing Kiwi up the side of Squak Mountain. She, ever the playful one, would dash up the trail 50 yards or so, spin 180 degrees, and then rocket back toward me, repeating again and again. Kiwi, clearly in her element, had no idea that I was cursing my decision to get a little later start on my run. The plan was to run one and half times up the 3.5 mile trail to the top of Squak Central. As I parked and pulled out my gear, the skies opened up and beginning dumping rain. This on top of the already strong winds that had been gusting all morning. Basically the rain/snow mix was blasting me horizontally as I left the car, and gazing up at Squak, I thought twice about scrapping the whole thing. However, there was Kiwi, with boundless energy, ready to get things going. How could I say no? So we did it just as planned. Had I been running with another person, it would have been easy to scrap the run and grab a cup of coffee. To Kiwi a run's a run. Nothing else matters. Sometimes I think I'd like the simplicity of a dog's life.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Time Management

Anyone out there speak Portuguese? Well I don't either, really. As you may or may not know the title of this blog is Portuguese for always running. I'm finally, after nearly 6 years of half-assed attempts, learning to speak Portuguese. Why Portuguese? My wife and her family are Portuguese. I've been to Portugal three times, but I've never really been able to communicate fully with her extended family. I just purchased Rosetta Stone Portuguese 1-3, and I have to say it's really great. I've even managed to fit it into my busy schedule of work and training. Getting up just a little earlier in the morning, I've managed to spend at least a half hour every day learning Portuguese, and it's not even cutting into my training. Nothing starts the day off right like a cup of coffee and some Rosetta Stone.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Training with purpose

There's nothing more rewarding as a runner than seeing and feeling the results of training. As any competitive runner knows, there's a huge difference between just running and training. Through much of my summer and fall I was running a lot, but I was training very little. After taking a break in December, I committed to a smarter training program starting in 2008. The first couple weeks after taking a break felt tough. But now after a month or so of solid base mileage, I'm feeling really great and ready to go. I've been slower to introduce my typical January threshold runs around Green Lake. Instead, based on an article by Greg McMillan in Running Times, I've opted to do once or twice weekly sub-threshold runs. These runs are described as those which are 15-20 seconds slower than lactate threshold pace. The argument of the article was, and I've experienced this myself, that true tempo/threshold runs can cause a runner to peak too early in the season. Considering my peak race (Western States) isn't until late June, I have pushed back my true threshold workouts until later this month and have opted to incorporate 6-8 weeks of sub-threshold workouts instead. So far so good, but it'll be interesting to start racing in March without 2 months of threshold workouts in the bag.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

And so it begins...

I've never considered myself the blogging type, and maybe I'm not, but I'm compelled to give this a whirl. Over the course of the last month or so, I've become quite the avid blog reader. It's become part of my daily routine to stay abreast of my favorite ultra running blogs. I've come to enjoy reading other's musings so much that I figured perhaps someone may also enjoy whatever I may be able to contribute to the blogging world. So it is here that I'll write, mostly about running, and hopefully someone can find some enjoyment in what I have to share.