Monthly Archives: February 2012

Ice Shoeing

Snow/Ice/Mud Shoeing
Since next week I have a super far long run (23 miler!), we went out snowshoeing again on Saturday.  Our second week of snowshoeing was a completely different experience.  We went to a place where we have been several times and have had great hikes.  We took off a bit later in the day because I had to work with the scouts in the morning.

We arrived at Big Springs park a bit after noon.  We had to park at the bottom of the park and hike up to the trailhead.  When we got there, people were coming down carrying their snowshoes and walking down the trail.  They told us that the trail was icy.  Ice and I don’t get along very well, and me slipping on the ice is even worse.  I had never snowshoed in icy conditions.   It was slow going for me most of the time, not only because of the ice, but my legs were dogging me and I felt like I had been to the local buffet.  I was just sluggish all around.

The brown part was icy.  In some places it covered most of the trail.

We were able to navigate around the ice for the most part and when we got a bit higher, the snow was in a bit better shape but there were some bare spots and we broke through the crusty snow in others.

Mud Shoeing

Sorry for all the complaining, but it was a rough day for me.  I was way behind most of the hike.  We did get a good workout and it is always good to be with my son and my brother.  They are both great guys.

Corey and Gordon.

The Rest of the Story
The rest of my training during the week went well.  Friday was my long day.  The schedule called for another “Miracle Mile” run.  I ran easy over to the high school track.  Did some short intervals and then ran a fast mile (for me) to gauge my readiness for the marathon.  It showed me that I am still on track for a 13:30 min/mile pace for the marathon.  I would be really happy if that ends up being the case.  After doing the quick mile, I did some cool down intervals and then ran easy until I had 7 miles total under my belt.

I got caught up on my blog reading and you all seen to be doing great!

Hang in there and I will too!

There No Business Like Snow Business

I posted quite a bit last year about my snowshoeing adventures.  Snowshoeing was a blessing for me last year because even though I couldn’t run in the first part of 2011, for some reason, snowshoeing didn’t aggravate my injury at all.  It helped keep my level of fitness up and it was a lot of fun as well.   My son and my brother also enjoyed getting out as well.

This year has been a different story.  I have been training for a marathon and it has been a lean snow year so far.  If I hadn’t gone winter camping in the snow with the Scouts a few weeks back, I would have had doubts about there being enough snow to go to our usual spots.  Snowshoeing had dropped off my radar for some reason.

But as my wife and I were driving around, she mentioned something about snowshoeing and it hit me that in spite my good intentions, I hadn’t been out this year.  I knew that I could probably do my long run on Friday since it was shorter week this week.  Things worked out, I got the long run in as planned and lined up Corey and Gordon and off we went to a familiar place up American Fork Canyon.

It was a great day to snowshoe!

Gordon ready to get after it.

We kept up a good pace from Tibble Fork up to Granite Flats campground.   Once in the campground, there was a trail head to Box Elder Peak.  We decided to go up just a little ways and then we cut over to another trail and dropped back down into the campground.
Gordon and Corey

Me and my “little boy.”
Cutting across to the other trail.

Nice views heading back down to the campground.

Box Elder Creek
Snow on the Pines
As we went down through the campground, the Scoutmaster in me couldn’t help but think that the picnic tables would make a nice single snow cave that wouldn’t have much of a chance of collapsing.  If I could talk the scouts into the mile hike up, I think they would have a blast.
Picnic Table Covered with Snow

We headed to the bottom of the campground and then followed a trail down that followed the creek all the way back down the the parking lot.  We hadn’t been this way before and we all really enjoyed it.

Almost to the parking lot.

It was fun to get out and do something that was not only a great workout, but full of fun for all of us as well. I hope this isn’t the one and only trip of the season.

A big payoff was yesterday when my son and I were sitting at the table and he said that he noticed a big difference this year.  He has been working out on the treadmill quite faithfully and he said that it made the trip much more enjoyable!

Hang in there and I will too!

Sherry Arnold Virtual Race

Sherry Arnold – runner, mother, wife, daughter, and teacher- went for an early morning run on January 7, 2012, and never came home. Sherry’s goodness, courage and strength prevail and she is not defined by the tragic way in which she died. 


Yesterday was a day to honor someone I didn’t know personally.  Sherry Arnold left her home to go running on January 7th and didn’t come back.  Beth at Shut Up and Run knew Sherry though, Sherry was her cousin!  She organized a virtual race to honor her cousin.  Yesterday was the day of the virtual race which worked out well for me since I had my longest training run to date.  I read on Beth’s blog that there were a lot of participants throughout the world that donned a bib and dedicated their run to Sherry.  If you want more details, head on over to Beth’s blog to find out more.  
Yesterday’s run was a 20 miler.  As I mentioned before, I have been using Jeff Galloway’s approach to running.  Which is a good thing because I don’t think I could have finished this long run any other way.  Based on previous “Miracle Mile” runs, my run to walk ratio is 1 min run / 1 min walk.  I was able to do this for most of the run until about mile 17.  I had a big problem with cramps.  I had to stop quite often and stretch our my calves especially.  Three things contributed to the cramping I think.  First of all, on Thursday, I tried to get up two flights of stairs quickly and took the steps two at a time.  I don’t normally do this and it probably strained my calves a bit.  Alan and Michele are both probably laughing at this point since both are stair trainers and two flights is nothing to them.  Usually it isn’t for me either but taking them two at a time was not a good thing.   Second, I started my run later than I usually do and this usually turns out to not be good as far as having a good run.  Three, maybe my long run shouldn’t include Provo Canyon because my elevation gain was over 3,000 feet.  I should probably save the uphill for interval training.  
I didn’t make it up the canyon as far as I would have liked.  When I reached one of the highest points in the run, I ran into some ice.  It doesn’t look all that bad, but it would have taken extra energy to watch where I was stepping among all of that ice.

I have posted pictures of Bridal Veil falls before, here is what they looked like yesterday before I headed back down.



I always hate it when I have to refigure my run.  Since I had to turn back early, I had to make sure that I picked up the extra mileage before I got back home.  Sometimes, my brain doesn’t think straight when I have been running for a while, but I got it figured out and finished up a 20 miles on the dot.


Biggest Loser Contest
I mentioned that our family was having a Biggest Loser contest.  I lost 1.6 lbs.  I have gotten off caffeine for over a week now, and finished off the week of not having much refined sugar.  I think cutting back on the sugar was much harder.  My brain is addicted to the stuff!  The rest of the family is doing great, everyone that reported in had lost weight.  One of them lost 8 pounds!  Nicely done!


Hang in there and I will too!

Focus

Whatever we are working on, mulling over, avoiding, contemplating facing, or rehearsing in our minds becomes literal. It’s you and the thing and the thing becomes the hill and there you are — taking it on. There is a certain amount of clarity that oxygen deprivation provides. Couple that with pain and you get the inner hum that becomes white noise and suddenly you can think. 

Kristin Armstrong, Stones, Mile Markers blog, Runner’s World.com

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be like the Dug, the dog in “Up”.  Squirrel! —>  I tend to be thinking about several things while I am attending to one or more task.  Sometimes I go to start something and before I realize it, it is quite a bit later and I didn’t get around to starting what I supposed to. Squirrel —->

 

I work in the software industry.  It is not unusual to put in late nights.  Most software engineers have terrible memories when they were on a project where you were in the “death march.”  The product was nearing a deadline and there was too much left to do.  It was time to put in long hours, little sleep and dinners that consisted of pizza and Coke to keep you going.

 

A study I read about said that sometimes late night hours were helpful in some cases.  Your reasoning power diminishes, but there reaches a point where your body can only focus on one thing at a time.  It just doesn’t have the energy to pay attention to the … Squirrel —–>.  What you lose in mental capacity is made up somewhat by your focus in on one task at a time.

 

One thing that I really like about running, is that it puts you into a state where you can’t focus on too many things at once.  It takes an effort both mentally and physically to get the run in.  I think that what the quote above is talking about.  When you put the time in to a longer run, a lot of things melt away.  The continual padding of your feet keeping a harmonic time with your breathe can get you into a zone that allows you to focus in on something that your mind thinks is important.  I have a lot of introspective moments when I have been out running.  I have learned a lot about myself in these moments and have also had a few epiphanies where I finally understood something in a new way. 

 

Lastest Long Run

I have been attending a tech conference in Salt Lake City the latter part of the week.  Salt Lake is about 30 or so miles north of my place and our work was putting on the conference so the cost was minimal for me to attend.  It did make for a challenge to get the workout in before I had to leave.  Saturday, I was supposed to put in a 1X6 mile run.  The goal was to run one mile at marathon race pace and then walk a mile to recover.  Then repeat 5 more times in this case.  I really enjoyed the run.  I had to cut the last mile short since I had to get back and get ready.  I wish I could have gone further I felt so good.  It was the best run I have had in a long time.

 

A Geeky Conference

This isn’t running or weight loss related, but I had a couple of chuckles at the conference.  Usually, if given a choice, men tend to spread out if chairs are close together.  There was a group of young developers who wore the same t-shirts and if they were attending the same class would sit right next to each other.  I don’t know why I found it funny but I did.  Here is a picture of three of them.

 

 Later in the day, as we were headed back to parking, there was a guy sitting at a piano in the back of a truck with his dog sitting on top.  The picture is not that great, but hopefully you get a feel of how it looked to us as we crossed the street.  Fun time had by all!

 What about you?  Does exercise give you the added bonus of contemplation and focus?  Seen anything that made you chuckle just a bit lately?

Hang in there and I will too!