Saturday, March 31, 2012

How Much Wood ...

Busy day today with yard work in Clear Lake, repair appointment for our cable service, and tickets for a play (Damn Yankees) tonight at NIACC .  So the only way to be sure I got a workout in was to rise early and hit the trails around 6:30 AM.  I couldn't help but feel I was missing out as the NIACC track team traveled to Pella today for another outdoor meet.  Men placed 3rd as a team. Women placed 13th.

The morning was foggy so the trails were quiet and still quite muddy.  I moved along at a steady pace while listening to podcasts.  I was startled at one point when a Ground Hog (Wood Chuck), that I disturbed, chose to run at me rather than away??  That is, until I let out a rebel yell that turned him around and off into the woods!  My work on a rabies project during college didn't indicate that I had to fear this guy being rabid...but it was strange non-the-less to have him come straight at me.

internet borrowed photo

I'm hoping for another increase in my long run tomorrow so today was scheduled to be a bit less and at a comfortable pace.  7 miles in the AM.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Too Big For Your Breeches

The woods were wet and trails a bit muddy following last night's rain.  I wanted to check out a pair of Fellcross S-Labs that I've had on my shelf and decided a wet, muddy trail might be a good test.  They really felt great out there today.  It made me realize that I have gathered a "quiver" of shoes that I can choose among depending on the trail conditions and the type of workout I have planned.  In my early running days, I usually only afforded myself the luxury of one pair of shoes at a time.  I've spoiled myself as I've aged!

Fun to watch the vegetation on the woodland floor change daily.  Today I happened to spot some Dutchman's Breeches.  Kind of a neat little flower.

11 miles and perhaps a recovery hike later.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Off Day = Day Off

Almost called this ...Road Trip Part II.   Impromptu trip to the Twin Cities.  Scored some more brews!  Even Alaskan Amber on tap at Happy Hour at the Owatonna Timber Lodge  Great with the walleye cakes as appetizers.

Time on my feet but nothing that I can log for any miles.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pumping Iron

My call was for a bit longer run today so stayed with a plan for multiple loops that pass the nature center.  I used similar loops on last Sunday's run in order to take advantage of the chance to refill my hand-held water bottle at the hose they leave available.  Due to the taste, I'm sure there is more iron present in this well water than in the city tap water.  I think this is an added benefit for those of us that exercise so often and for so many hours.

When I worked for the Iowa DNR, I would sometimes inspect this water supply.  But because it is a transient public supply, they are not required to test for iron...only for bacteria and nitrates.  I would be interested to know how this water tests for other constituents!

Sunny, cool, and windy today.  I realized I needed to deliver my Jeep to the NIACC Automotive Dept. for work on the starter so I headed home a bit early, lunched, then drove to NIACC and hiked home.  This allowed for not only the delivery but several additional miles.  It was pretty cool to see many of our NIACC track and field team also using the hiking path between the college and town.  I probably crossed paths with at least 8 team members!

14 miles total.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bridge Caddy

As I began to wake this morning, I could still hear a strong wind.  With yesterday's colder temps, I couldn't help but think it was nasty out so stayed in bed a bit longer than I'd planned. Once I realized that it was much warmer than yesterday, I got out for a late start knowing I needed to be home in time to get to a bridge tournament after lunch.  Our Relay For Life team is earning some extra funds by volunteering as help at this region's competition.  Cathy and I were caddies, which meant we ran the "boards" between the tables.

When I told Cathy about the title of yesterday's blog, she asked what does "watch yer topnotch" mean?  I said I'd heard the saying many times before and especially remember it from the movie "Jeremiah Johnson." I basically was referring to the strong wind and watching your hat (head) on such a blustery day.  But also saw relevance in the tuft of feathers on the woodpeckers head...or even to be careful not to undo what you have worked to build e.g. my running base build-up.

I began by hiking because I just didn't feel sharp yet since Sunday's longer run.  A little soreness nagging my right hamstring.  But after bumping into Dave Nauman on the trails, (he's building up to another 50K race in Wisconsin in late April) I became inspired and began running. Also running that race is Jeanne McCurnin of Mason City who I'd seen running the trails during my long run Sunday!  It felt good to run so I kept at it until I got back to pavement.  Therefore, I arrived home with plenty of time to spare and wish I'd gone out further on the trails!   I did take a few minutes extra to help modify what the gods of wind had dealt us.

The tree was too heavy and wedged for me to drag out of the way but brittle enough for me to break down.

7 miles in the AM and 3 miles in the PM after being a bridge caddy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Watch Yer Topknot

Today's cloudy start gave way to sun but also some very strong winds.  It was good to be along the bluffs and in the woods.  Later, while at the high school track where NIACC was holding practice, the wind was particularly wicked.  I wore a skull cap today rather than a brimmed hat that would surely have been swept off my head numerous times.

The change to cooler weather resulted in an interesting response from the Bloodroot blossoms that I photographed last week.  They closed up and seem to be huddled, waiting for the sun and warmth to return.

There were some other interesting sightings today.  Deep in the woods near a river bend, I saw a rather seldom seen Pileated Woodpecker.  The largest woodpecker in North America at about the size of a crow!
Since I didn't have a camera ready, I borrowed photos from the web.

Then on the return trip I spied a River Otter sunning itself in the sun on a bank.  It scurried off as I waited for my camera to be ready to shoot the photo. So I borrowed another web image.

Today was a recovery day and I didn't push many stretches beyond a fast hike.  I was also disappointed in the number of bottles and cans that I, again, retrieved from beside the trail...oh well, at least most were redeemable for cash!

10 miles.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Longest Run Since 8/19/2007

Today's planned long run ends up being the most distance in one workout and most for one day since I ran the Pikes Peak Marathon in 2007.  The downhill that day really took a toll on my knees and I haven't run the same since except for a brief spell following SynVisc injections.

The weather was great for this effort and even though I felt a chill starting out, I quickly warmed up and was comfortable (temperature-wise) throughout.  My knees did begin to groan during my 3rd loop so I called it at 17 miles rather than force myself through an additional 3.  With a 3 mile recovery hike this evening, I'll still hit 20 for the day.

Surprised to see Garter Snakes out in the sun at two different spots today.  Again, this is much earlier than I've ever seen snakes out at this time of year!

Red-sided Garter Snake
Total of 20 miles for the day so 74 for the week.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Outdoor Track Season Begins - Grandview in Des Moines

Had a chance to spend the day in Des Moines at NIACCs first outdoor meet of the year, the Grandview Viking Relays.  There were some good performances that qualified some of our athletes for outdoor nationals. 

So it was another of those days where the main training benefit for me was time on my feet and being out in the sun most of the day.  I did get out for a short hike once back home .  

Friday, March 23, 2012


Turns out that Cathy and I needed to be in Clear Lake at the time I've become accustomed to running so I put it off until after lunch.  I was amazed to see a young puppy who, with his owner had walked to the trail head...that reminded me a lot of Buck, my son's dog that died unexpectedly last month.  This dog's name was Diablo and is also a boxer/pit bull mix.

This afternoon's weather was very nice and the later start seems to have worked to my advantage as I was able to run comfortably for most of the distance.  The lower water level in the quarry ponds has resulted in small patches of exposed rock that someone has built rock cairns similar to what I've tried to maintain at certain points along the trails.  Today a Canada Goose was trying to be inconspicuous by imitating a cairn.

Good steady run at the limit of my calculated MAF heart rate. I covered 12 miles faster than I have yet this year.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Early Spring

I went back to the area around the old Krieger foundations to get a photo of the root cellar.  I've added those shots to the previous post.

The floor of the woods is really changing daily as the vegetation takes off.  Today I saw Bloodroot flowers.  This seems at least three weeks to a month early this year.  So unless the recent weather trend drastically changes, I'll be hunting for morel mushrooms a lot earlier this year.

I thought about how much easier it is becoming for me to actually run routinely on my run days.  Perhaps I've been too guarded in recent years and I may have benefited sooner from strengthening the knee capsule through increased exercise rather than additional rest.  The running felt nearly normal for most of today's 10 mile loop.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Recovery Hiking

I planned on no more than hiking today.  This made it possible for me to check out a couple other sources for podcasts, both of which turned out to be boring and rather ridiculous.  It's hard to beat the information and energy that come from my prefered podcasts at and from Endurance Planet.

It was calm in the woods and still wet from overnight rain.  I'm continued to be amazed by the amount of trash that shows up within a day or two on these trails.  I spent a little extra time to be sure to pickup even little wrappers and of course, all the cans and bottles.

10 miles.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


During one of my runs last week, I realized another reason I feel an affinity to the Lime Creek trails.  In the woods beyond the Badlands loop are the foundations of the greenhouses and home of my Great-Grandfather Carl. I've heard many stories from my Dad about growing up working and playing at this location.  The second house was built around 1919 and that is the foundation that is slowly becoming hidden in the woods.

Notice the short set of steps leading from the house to the garage level.
Those steps are in the center of this shot!
The greenhouse foundations are lined up just north of the house. Today these are becoming less and less distinguishable as they fill with underbrush and fallen limbs. There is also a rather distinctive root cellar (photos added) still visible in the hillside NW of the site.
circa 1920's

 Before Dad died, I had a chance to use the balloon tired, trail wheel-chair from the nature center to get him back out to see the ruins.
My Dad, Eugene, with cousin Ernie, a dog, and sisters Dorothy and Gretchen  sitting on the curb.
Can you see that curb today?
Here I am with my father at the home foundation site.
Looking into the root cellar.  Apparently now used as a party-room.

The top of the root cellar built into the hillside.
The cement plant purchased the property from Great-Grandma Elsa in 1949.  The original Krieger's 20 acres were essentially donated to the Cerro Gordo County Conservation board by North-Western States and Lehigh cement plants in 1976 as part of a 260 acre acquisition. My Grandfather's brother George had moved the greenhouse operations downriver to south-east Mason City.  The easily recognizable sign has been there for years and the greenhouses just closed this past year.

 My run today was another encouraging one.  I wore the heart rate monitor and learned a lot about my perceived exertion at different rates.  The overnight rains had soaked in for the most part and left the trails very runnable...quiet and soft. Great to hear the chorus frogs on this first day of spring.

13 miles total included walking the pavement 3/4 mile to and from the trails.

Monday, March 19, 2012


I took to the trails again today wearing the heart rate monitor.  But, again, there was some sort of hitch in that every time I started to run, the receiver would stay locked at the rate whence I began to run. Not until the final 3 miles did I finally get everything situated that the rate would reflect my effort whether hiking or running!

A lot of the podcasts that I listen to from Ben Greenfield end up discussing supplements of one kind or another.  I certainly don't have the money to spend chasing down all the stuff this guy seems to take or at least condone taking.  But his explanations and discussions of the science behind the supplements are quite logical and interesting.

How do wild animals get their supplements?  In some cases, by gnawing on weathered bone that lay on the forest floor.
8 miles of run and hike interspersed.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


This week worked well to build up some miles.  Today was to be easy because of yesterday's long run followed by a few extra beers.

It was my shift to volunteer at the Lime Creek Nature Center so I chose to hike there and back.  I also needed to recollect another bag full of recycle cans and bottles, that I'd stashed under some logs during yesterday's run, so that added to my total for the day.

There were a remarkable number of visitors (89) today. The strange spell of abnormal weather surely accounts for that.

Without snow, the signs of any coyote activity are no longer visible like they had been this winter.  But I had a discussion with a visitor that stated he is hearing more of them and more often.  He lives just over the river from nature center property.

8 miles for the day so that brings the week to 71 with three key workouts that were predominantly running and others at a fast hike to recover.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Paddy's Day

Busy day and night.  So it's after midnight as I sit to write today's post.  Cathy and I had a great time over at Charles City with NIACC coach, Curtis Vais and his wife.  There was a St Patrick's Day parade, then we had some supper and drinks before heading out on the traditional bar crawl (or bar brawl, as my wife once described it) complete with the travelling bagpipers and green beer!

The day started slow as I got some odd jobs out of the way but I had plenty of time to head to Lime Creek for another long run.  I struggled a while to get the transmitter of the heart rate monitor to send one point it recorded my heart rate at 212 and I was merely walking and in no distress!  But eventually all was well (after I started completely from scratch to re-situate the chest strap).  I ran for the most part after reaching the trail and only walked if the rate exceeded 140.  So the entire workout consisted of a steady but seemingly slow run. I still feel very comfortable when the rate is between 135 and 145, but tried to keep it closer to 120 -125 based on the Maffetone "180 formula".

I thought about staying out for around 18 or 20 miles but decided it was still prudent to hold it to 15 because I had already been out for 15 as recently as Tuesday.

I had also decided to write some about another reason I enjoy running at Lime Creek but its too damn late and I need to go to bed. I'll save that story, with pictures, for another day.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Rest and Relaxation

Chose to back off a bit today because the week has gone well.  Cathy and I drove to Des Moines and found some good shops and some good food....the big plus was "happy hour" at El Bait Shop...more than 100 beers on tap!

Some easy hiking at dusk once back home.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

At the Heart of the Issue

The only time I remember checking my heart rate during training was when a coach of mine in the late 1960's had the cross country team check their pulses between intervals on the track.  As I continued to run through the 70's and 80's, I would check and record my morning pulse before getting out of bed each morning (I still have the log books!).  But training for me back then was, and has continued to be, by feel.

Oh, I read about heart rate monitors and training zones but never took the expense nor initiative to determine or use this equipment.  A couple years ago, a basic Polar  Beat was given to me.  I used it briefly to see how it worked but then put it in a drawer. Since last year, I've been reading Lucho's blog and his discussions in comments  with other readers and recently listening to his podcasts on Endurance Planet.  I have become most curious about what's going on with my heart rate and how accurate my perceived exertion has been.

While taking care of errands this morning, I had the battery replaced in my Polar and took to the trails as soon as I got home.  What an interesting run....I walked, then ran, then slowed down, then forced the pace, then slowed down, then walked...all the while paying close attention to what happened to my pulse rate and how I felt.  I hadn't had this much fun while running for quite some time and nearly forgot about any pain in my knees. 

I'm surprised how fast the pulse drops back below 100 when I switch from run to hike.  I was also encouraged by how relaxed it felt when holding the rate between 135 - 140.  I guess I should get out and use the monitor in a test situation to help determine my specific zones.  A good project for this weekend!

10 miles

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


After yesterday's record breaking high temperature of 69 degrees, today is supposed to be another record high in the upper 70's.  I had plenty of time and didn't want to run much because of yesterday's effort.  So a long hike was in order.

I was surprised by crossing paths with a Northern Leopard Frog in the woods above the river.  It was healthy but because it is cold-blooded, it couldn't move very fast, much less hop!   I can't imagine that I've ever seen frogs out this early before in this area.  Had I spotted more than one I may have been tempted to collect a few for frog legs for tomorrow's breakfast.

There was another disgusting array of recycle cans and bottles today.  I'm not sure if I'm helping clean the environment or enabling the other trail users to cast these off knowing that someone will pick them up?

10 miles

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Redemption Run

Such a beautiful morning, weather-wise, that I had to try to make up for the long run that I had wanted over the weekend.  The trails were soft but not too clingy so running was good.  I ran steady for the first hour then began to alternate in some hiking.  The prairie loops were great...sunny, soft but dry and not too windy.

I saw several other runners out today, but that's not surprising given the great conditions.  Because I intended to run so long today and wanting to minimize my distractions, I did not have a camera along for photos.  I carried my Ultimate Direction hand-held water bottle instead.  Good thing because I needed plenty of water today.

I was on the trails for the same amount of time as yesterday but covered over twice the distance.  Redemption was mine!

15 miles

Monday, March 12, 2012

And the fishermen return

The recent trend towards moderate weather and the ice out has resulted in a return of some of the regulars to the fishing holes along the trail.  Kinda nice to see, except they are often a source of the trash along the banks.

I diverted from the main trail several times today as I have again begun to search some of the deer paths for winter shed antlers.  I surprised myself last year by actually finding a couple sheds in different locations in the woods.

8 miles  most of it at a fast hike.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Eagle Has Landed

Interesting how even with the switch back to Daylight Savings Time, our biorhythms remain much the same.  Although the clocks in our house read an hour later than usual, I settled down to run at nearly the same time as past days, according to the sun.

I was encouraged by how the run was going today.  While I cruised out to the Badlands area, I had spotted an American Bald Eagle flying along the river.  By staying close to the bluffs above the river I eventually found it resting in a tree and took time to get a few photos.  Unfortunately for me, I wasn't quick enough with the shutter to get a shot of it as it stretched its wings to again take flight.

My intent was get a longer run in today and concentrate on more running than walking.  The plan was working well except for my tendency to be distracted by trash along the trails, especially recyclable and redeemable containers.  So I took a few breaks to gather trash.  I am disappointed by how much trash can show up in such a short time on trails that I frequent almost every day.  The season lends itself to easy spotting of these cans and bottles.  Other than a few remaining leaves from last fall, there's not much cover for the trash to hide.

Today's haul
Before writing today's blog entry, I looked at the stats page and was totally blown away by a sudden increase in hits.  Most were on yesterday's post about how to make homemade energy gel.  It became apparent that the increase came from a link in George Zack's blog, Hang Nine. George has a very popular blog and generates a lot of traffic. Thanks for the mention GZ!  I have found the gel recipe to very economical and useful when running for long periods of time on trails.

12 miles running today with a two mile recovery walk. I had planned a possible 15 to 18 miles run but settled for the 12 due to the extra time I took for the cans and bottles. So 65 for the week, which surprised me because of the struggle I was encountering midweek with motivation and overall tiredness.  Next week I'll be sure to stretch my long run to my goal distance.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I Useta Could

More thoughts today about what I was able to do for training years ago.  I find myself thinking I should be able to train like I used to....useta coulda... but I just can't maintain the pace without additional recovery!!  It was very pleasant out and the run went well, less mud and more solid trails.

10  easy miles today with a couple miles of recovery walk after but planning for a bit longer and faster tomorrow.

How to make your own energy gel

Originally from ninelittlepiggies in RoadBikeReview Forums, I've made a few extra comments in red.

"You need to get the following ingredients:

Brew Store

Maltodextrin - Comes in many packages or bulk. Ranges from $2-5 a pound. Get this cheap as it is the main ingredient!

Citric Acid

Calcium Carbonate

Grocery Store (QFC) or similar bulk foods store

Fructose - Sold in bulk at QFC, get around 2 lbs, it'll last a long time.


Sea Salt - Also found in bulk, you don't need much.

Flavor Extract  and perhaps Gin (optional for those using non-alcohol based flavor extracts)
* I have learned a quick and easy way to flavor and color the gu is to simply use a half-teaspoon or so of your choice of powdered Kool-Aid or similar powder drink mix.

To package the GU efficiently, buy Collagen tubes from REI ($2 for a two pack). These seem to be the best way to carry GU into the mountains and in jersey pockets. The following proportions will make one Collagen tube perfectly. 
The small polyethylene flasks from Gu, FuelBelt, Ultimate, or Hammer Gel are easy to find and hold close to the equivalent of 5 commercially purchased foil packets.

Supplement Store:

Branched chain amino acids (all three): These are SO important and pretty expensive. Grind them up in a mortar and pestle.         
I haven’t tried these yet.


200 mL - Maltodextrin
50 mL - Fructose
100 mL - Water

Carefully measure out the above ingredients, and mix them together lightly. Bring the water to steaming hot and slowly whisk in the maltodextrin/fructose mix. Once this is done, mix in a "pinch" of Citric acid, calcium carbonate, sea salt, and pectin. Whisk on med heat until all the lumps are gone.  
I've been using the microwave but you need to be sure it gets hot enough to help break up the lumps.  

Now you are ready to add your flavor of choice. Almond extract is a staple flavor, but one can get more creative! I’ve tried a Pina Colada with pineapple and coconut flavorings. Make sure that you add some gin if you are not using an alcohol based extract less your GU have a nasty after taste! (Again remember that Kool-Aid works quite well.)  I then pour into the poly flasks to cool a short while before storing in the fridge for use the next morning.

The proportions I have found to work have been producing "stable" liquidy GU. Even slight variations in the ratio of maltodextrin to water cause major differences in the consistency of the GU. A little too much water and your have a clear sugary liquid, not enough and you'll have GU-chew! Below I have grabbed the ingredients list for authentic GU off their website. I have chosen to leave out some of the harder to find ingredients that they use like amino acids, who knows whether they make a difference. Read the marketing and come to your own conclusion!

I started using this recipe for mountaineering. It works very well on my 24 hour climbing marathons. One other thing that really helps is chocolate covered espresso beans. Caffeine releases fatty acids into your bloodstream with offers 9 kcal of energy/g as compared to 4 kcal from protein and carbs (there is a little more to this story, but I won't bore you with the biochemistry.)

I hope this helps,
Doug (ninelittlepiggies)"

from the Gu website...gel ingredients:

Maltodextrin (Glucose Polymers), Filtered Water, Fructose, GU Amino Acid Blend (Leucine, Valine, Isoleucine, Histidine), Potassium And Sodium Citrate, GU Antioxidant Blend (Natural Vitamin E And Vitamin C), Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, GU Herbal Blend [Chamomile, Cola Nut (Has Caffeine), Ginger], Fumaric Acid, Pectin

Gluten-free. Dairy-free. With ~20mg of caffeine.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Still Recharging

Not quite ready to ramp up on trails so took the day off all together.  Instead, my wife and I drove off across the sunny country-side to check out the bulk foods store in Osage.  I was able to restock some fructose for my home-made gel and finally found some crystallized ginger that I've been hearing helps digestion and makes a good snack besides.  There's a wide variety to their selection such as quinoa, all kinds of different flours, dried fruits, spices, salts, etc.

Perhaps I'll find a way to post the gel recipe that I really helps save money over purchasing the individual packets at the stores.  I have plenty of maltodextrin for the mix because I scored a 50# bag at a very good price. In fact, many of the ingredients needed for the gel are available here at the Kountry Kupboard.

Lunch was a real treat as we ventured into Ecky's Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Shoppe for an excellent malt with a Big Bopper maid-rite and Cath had the daily special...chili with cornbread and honey!  Very good lunch.

1 mile recovery walk

Thursday, March 8, 2012


The trails are coming back around although there is still some ice and quite a lot of mud.  A few stretches were normal today and some dry back in the woods.  I didn't get out very early today as I was taking the car in for maintenance.  I had lots of time to think about all that we need to fit into a day and how I thought I'd be loaded with time after I retired...but I think I'll write some of those thoughts in a future blog entry.

Speaking of time.  The car was getting maintenance performed today and I feel that that's about all I'm accomplishing with training this week...maintenance with little or no progress.  I hope that this is temporary and I can build again later.

one reason that mountain bikes are asked to be restricted during certain types of weather
10 miles

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hill Repeats?

Partly due to the muddy conditions yesterday and partly because it's been a while since I've tried any up-tempo running, I chose to abandon plans to add more trail miles in favor of hill repeats at East Park today.  But for whatever reason, once there I felt lethargic, and with short rain showers occurring, I chose to bail after my first repeat...I guess that means they weren't repeats...Instead I hiked home early to work on projects around the house.  My general plan is to get another good long run or two in before the week ends!

Perhaps its my age that interferes with recovery but also because of that age (through experience), I've learned not to push too hard to finish a workout that just isn't working.  I've done that plenty of times and continued to feel tired for days.  I'll shoot for extra sleep tonight because I've been watching TV and working on the computer until the wee hours of the morning lately.  I need my rest if I want to continue the build towards June.

6 miles 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What a Mess

It's amazing how quickly conditions can change.  Today seemed to be too warm and there was an incredible amount of mud and water on the trails.  Because of that and in order to recover from yesterday's running, I purposely restrained my activity to fast hiking.  When the mud made the going difficult I opted out to the prairie trails for a while.  I was able to gather quite a few recyclable cans and bottles and then also some more  black walnuts today. 

10 miles

Monday, March 5, 2012

Diverse Opinions

Back on track with the new podcasts, put on the screw shoes, and hit the trails.  Listening to a new recording from Trail Runner Nation and realize that there is currently a wide gamut of opinions regarding footwear and injury prevention.  This podcast states we need to avoid orthotics at all costs and stresses barefoot (or socks only) at work and home whenever possible. It further claims that stretching is for bozos.  What are we to believe?  The exact opposite has also been promoted.

I guess we need to listen to the "experts" but choose what works for each of us as an individual.  I am game, however, to continue to ween myself away from the orthotics I've used for ten years.  I've already stopped running with them and have begun to go barefoot at home more often.  I still use orthotics in my normal use shoes.

There was still snow covered ice out there today but, as I discovered last week, it's easier to run on the ice than it is to hike.  Not bad traction and the time went by rather quickly.

12 miles mostly running with a few short hikes.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's Baaack! More Snow

I've gone back and added a few photos to recent posts to help record some of the trip visually.  When I headed to the trails today, it was snowing.  A change from the green grass and robins from the previous two days further to the south.

I intended to write a bit about the training while on the trip to Illinois for indoor nationals.  And while I was pleased with the running with Curtis at the beginning of the trip, the weather and just plain being out-of-sync with my daily routine, left my legs flat and dropped total miles.  However, I am quite certain that the two days at the track...being on my feet, pacing around to various locations at the track and just simple tension of the meet...cannot be totally discounted as having no training effect.  My legs were quite wasted after the first day of competition just from moving around the event center and Eastern Illinois campus.  So even though the rain and timing of the shuttles between the hotel and the event left my mileage total a bit flat, I am pleased with the chance to spend a lot time on my feet.  With any luck, I can build on this and slowly increase the distances of my long run each week.

not quite enough for snowshoes yet again

Several times today, I slipped on ice beneath the snow
Notice the scratches caused by the screw heads in my shoes

10 miles today so 56 for the week