Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Where the Hell Did McDuff Go?

I'm not sure why I haven't been posting to this blog.....

For sure I've been busy, but almost everyone that blogs is busy.

So rather than make excuses, I'll simply state that I've enjoyed a few brews and am ready to make a short post!

Often when there's a break from posting, it's due to injury, illness, etc.  Well, I was injured when I started blogging and I haven't been ill! So I guess I can say I've been lazy....

The NIACC XC teams came together very nicely with the men placing 8th nationally and the women 13th. Both very close to their final rankings. It was a fun year and I had fun with some team-building ideas like a "Mojo Stick" and "Who's New On the XC Crew" 5 questions!

I was resigned to more hiking than running but did put a Master's Team together for the annual Living History Farms Race and we came up with a podium finish (2nd) after missing out the past couple years.

I was able to get a bit of biking in so I could ride a 50 mile gravel ride in Minnesota at the same time as my good friend, Dave Nauman. He bikes a lot and was obviously more prepared than I was.

I'm currently enjoying an off time from coaching with indoor season starting in January. I've been disappointed with the surprising thaw as I hope to prepare for the US Snow Shoe Association National Championships in Eau Claire this winter. I've been out on snowshoes a few times already this year but it's been rather dismal for snow lately...I never thought I'd be so anxious for a snowy winter!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Making Right Turns On the Track!

This week has been a bit hectic....I've felt a bit rushed and confused at making right turns on the track.

There's been a bit of sensory overload as I want to read race reports from Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon and from Leadville. Lots of excellent reports to read and lessons learned! Friends like George Zack and Brandon Fuller's reports but then podcasts with Leadville's winner, Rob Krar, or 2nd place finisher, Mike Aisch. There's just not enough time what with NIACC XC Camp and all.

I spent yesterday marking the trail for the afternoon practice at Pilot Knob.

I was able to include a full loop of the park and the varied terrain. It was a great workout for me in the morning and seems that the athletes enjoyed the run in the afternoon. It's a great park for a hill workout and only 30 minutes drive from Mason City.

In addition to the practices, I've been trying to introduce the team to our followers of the NIACC Track and Field / XC Facebook page. By using 5 questions, I've been posting a different individual each day. Lots of fun and a chance to reuse "off the wall" questions that I've heard on some of the podcasts that I subscribe to.

Monday, August 18, 2014


By virtue of logging my miles on the Lime Creek Trails nearly every day, I tend to see patterns in frequency of use.

Sunday afternoon was a day that the NIACC Cross Country teams chose to use the trails for a longer run. The new dog park for Mason City is currently nearing completion of a building phase, so additional parking is available at the trailhead on Elm Drive. I've never seen so many cars parked there, at once. And only a couple were for the dog park. The rest were out using the trail system. WOW!

Zerble Trail entrance to the Lime Creek system

Whereas I usually run to the trail, today I needed to have my Jeep available

Out on the trails was hot and humid today but enough shade to be tolerable. Every year it's amazing to see a few clumps of Surprise Lilies erupt beside the trail!

I spent a fair amount of time on Saturday and Sunday on the computer using live-tracking to follow friends and acquaintances who were running Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon and some at the Leadville 100. Some great performances and brought back lots of memories for me.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Nothing Stays "the Same"

Looked at how long ago I last's been a while.

Sure I have lots of excuses, but plenty of busy guys like Hypoxic Marmot, still get their daily post out.

I've always noticed that the running blogs I follow seem to drop off while they rehab from injury. I've been struggling with actual running for quite some time. Sure I get in an occasional long race where walking actually is good strategy, but I've been missing the pain-free, easy-going, smooth runs of my past.  

A month ago, I tried a new therapy for my left knee, PRP injection, and after some initial improvement on stairs, the running has been a bit less fruitful. I'm still holding out for improvement though.

The NIACC XC season has begun and it's been a blast to help get our athletes headed for another successful season.

As far as Lime Creek Trails go, the wind and weather has caused a bit of change to the view of things.

June 19, 2014

July 28, 2014

My reference tree has succumbed to the wind.
So the trails have changed, the NIACC team has changed, and my knees have changed....hopefully all for the better!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

40 Days and 40 Nights

Seems like I'm still uninspired to keep up with the blogging. Not that I haven't been getting out...I still get in a run, hike or bike almost every day. The knees still make it a sometimes uncomfortable workout though. 

I'm taking steps towards some new therapy, however. By mid-July I will attempt some PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections. I have approval from insurance and an appointment with the only doctor I could find in Iowa performing the technique!

The past four (not really 40) nights have produced thunderstorms that have been raising a little havoc with the streams, rivers, and trees in this area. The Lime Creek Trails have taken on a new look.

My time contemplating while on the trails helped me realize that this whole time writing about and sharing photos from Lime Creek and I really haven't described what the conservation area really is! Therefore, I soon intend to dedicate a post  to explaining the area and what a blessing it is to have such an area so close to where I currently reside.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Case of the Recalcitrant Blogger

Since I last took time to post on my blog, I've stubbornly resisted the urge to that end I will still basically just use photos to catch up to June!

April 22, 2014 

Interesting conglomerate on the fringe of Lime Creek's Badlands

Trash beside the trail that reminded me of my father for some reason

NIACC had some qualified athletes participate at the Drake Relays on April 27

Taking Piper out along the lake in Chicago May 3 while NIACC was at Regionals Track and Field

First mess of morels for the season, May 10th

Mesa, Arizona for Nats from the 13th to the 18th

Downtown Mesa

at the Mesa Community College track

Phoenix Airport on way home May 18

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on the 22nd

still finding morels on May 23rd

Beside the trail on May 31at same spot as this photo stream started

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

RAGBRAI Announcements -Hump Day

The local planning group for RAGBRAI revealed the theme, the route through the city, and the main stage entertainment tonight. This cycling event is quite the experience and i've enjoyed many a great ride in the past.

As current president of the North Iowa Touring Club, I feel a little stress towards volunteering and helping promote Mason City vs. riding and enjoying the party!

Had some company on today's run as Steve Younker and Shawn Kittleson...both of whom have been training partners in the past...came up on me and encouraged me to run a bit today. 7 miles.