Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekly Summary: Monday Oct. 22 to Sunday Oct. 28 ..... Watch Your Nuts

This week was really crowded with distractions and as a result I logged my lowest weekly mileage total for the year, so far. (That's not counting the week of RAGBRAI where I biked an additional 235 miles on the bike while only running 16.)  There was a change in weather, the regional XC meet, a funeral, and travel to winterize my mother's apartment and return my son's dog to him.

The squirrels are really working to store their winter food supply and I've been competing with them to gather some choice walnuts.  I clean and crack at least a dozen walnuts a day (when home) and have regained on my supply for breakfast!

Squirrels have been shucking walnut hulls!

Monday -8 miles

Tuesday -2 miles

Wednesday -7 miles

Thursday - 7 miles

Friday - 6 miles
The NIACC men's and women's teams ran quite well in some blustery weather.  The men won the regional championship (while Iowa Central is sanctioned from team results for failing to properly certify their international runners.)

Saturday - 2 miles

Sunday - 2 miles for a 34 mile week.

My Mother and I with a photo of my nephew who is serving overseas.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekly Summary: Monday Oct. 15 to Sunday Oct. 21

This week was a sharpening week as we prepare the NIACC XC teams for the regional tournament Friday Oct. 26.  I spent a little more time getting to their workouts this week...including the early morning core workouts on Monday and Wednesday.  

The equipment available for me to use in the rec center is something that I have neglected to take advantage of during all this time as an assistant coach.  I could have been using things like a rowing machine, stationary bikes, treadmills, multi-hip machine, etc. Hope to get there more often as the weather changes and use the facility more than I have.

I've continued to get in plenty of miles but not with a lot of running.  Just a lot of hiking.

Monday -10 miles.
Tuesday -7 miles
Wednesday -7 miles
Thursday - 7 miles
Friday 9 miles
Saturday - 7 miles
Sunday - 12 miles for a 59 mile week.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Recovery Week

I've not posted during the past week because I've been off my routine and trying to recover from the damage of the trail race.  So my miles have been reduced and I've tried to get more rest.

The highlight of the week was the NIACC XC meet in Dubuque.  

I was able to run about 5K of the Loras course and felt pretty good while doing that.  It seems that ramping up for the Living History Farms Race is still possible.

I ran 53 miles for the week with most days at two workouts...AM and PM.

NIACC Men results.

Today was Mason City's chance to showcase their own certified marathon course hosted by Newman High School.  There were a lot of runners in town from all around the country.  My daily route on Lime Creek is actually a portion of the course and I was able to enjoy sharing the trail for my workout today.  I ran quite a bit more than I have recently...inspired by the other runners, I suppose!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sore Knees

Saturday's race left me limping for quite a while.  So I took it easy yesterday and will only do some hiking today.  

It was fun to be the volunteer at the Nature Center yesterday afternoon as there were a lot of visitors and plenty of birds at the feeders.

63 miles for the week ending yesterday.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Timber Trot - 5 mile

In it's fourth year, I finally was able to run in the race on Lime Creek Trails. The course is one that I set and measured at the request of the county conservation crew.  Most post-race comments are that it is a challenging course and now that folks are running with their GPS watches, I'm told it's dead on accurate!

Personally, my race didn't go very well.  For some reason the pace or terrain or something caused my left knee to develop more pain than at any time this summer while training and running for the Black Hills race.  After a couple of brisk miles under 8 minute pace, I was reduced to walking for a lot of the third mile.  I relaxed the knee enough to get in a final two mile at around 8 and half minutes/mile but the 10 minute 3rd really took me out of the race.

Ended up 1st in the over-60s though!

6 miles in the AM with the race and jogging.  and 4 more hiking recovery miles in the PM.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Trail Setter

I spent the early part of the afternoon helping the Lime Creek naturalist, Todd Von Ehwegen, set the course for tomorrow's Timber Trot trail race.  This is the 4th year for this race and after designing the course that is used, I'm finally going to actually enter and run the race.  I often used the course when training for the Black Hills race last June.

After finishing, I grabbed my son's dog, Piper, and hit the trails for a 6 mile workout.

We'll likely get out for another 3 yet tonight even though I'm racing tomorrow.  I'll be training through this one with my sights set on Living History Farms next month.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I've finally committed to another race...Living History Farms XC... the 3rd week of November.  We've entered a team for 20 years now, the last 17 as Masters.  But as we've aged, it's become more difficult to field a team and stay competitive with 40 year olds.

So this year after a record-breaking cut-off time for race entry (36 hours), we were faced with a team of 4 and two of us have been slowed by injury (or years of wear and tear).

So I took a chance, similar to two year's ago when I was fortunate enough to have ex-Olympian, Rod DeHaven run with us, and I sought out some younger masters.  Using last years results, internet searches, and checking on this years entries, I was able to contact a couple of guys in their 40's that were interested in running for a team race as well as for the individual race.

So welcome to the McDuffers, Scott Drum of Marquette, MI. and Scott Forkenbrock of Lawrence, KS!!  Your additions will certainly help us stay competitive.

Got in a quick 5 miles before noon and plan on another 3 yet tonight.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Can It Get Any Drier!

Man are the trails becoming dusty.  It is so dry this summer and fall that none of the usual creeks or wet-land areas contain any moisture.  Calmus Creek, the quarries, even the river are showing more bank or shore than ever.  My shoes and lower legs are dusty and dirty after every workout.

Yet the change in leaf color and pleasant temperatures still result in fantastic scenery!

7 miles at noon and another 3 after dusk.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mink vs. Wood Duck...Bet On the Mink

Yesterday, Oct. 1, had me out on the trails for my routine mid-day workout and what did I find coming down the trail towards American Mink dragging a male Wood Duck that it had somehow ambushed!  It continued to run towards me and the dog until it was quite close then turned and ran behind a tree until we had passed. Quite a bizarre sighting, although I had seen mink along this portion of the trail before.

Borrowed photos.

8 miles for the workout with another 4 in the evening.

Today, I wanted to see if I could begin to gain a bit of leg turnover because I will be racing a couple of short trail races this month and next.  So after a 6 mile effort with the dog, I went to NIACC to put in some time during the NIACC XC team workout.  I tried to pick up some pace during a couple of mile repeats and did better with the second but bailed at two as I wasn't ready for much more.  

I sense that I may be less fit for racing than last year even though I'm putting in more miles.  But the miles are apparently too slow and I need to focus on some better running. I entered the Living History Farms Race over the weekend (the 7000 runner field limit was reached in 36 hours!) so now feel like I have more direction to devote my training towards.

6 miles at mid-day, 2.5 at NIACC, and 3 more yet tonight for an 11.5 mile day.

Monday, October 1, 2012

And from the ashes...the Phoenix Rises (Part 3)

For the month of September, the weather and my workouts seemed to fall into a very boring pattern.  This is part of what caused my blog entries to lag and I will use this post to catch up to this week.  I'll highlight an occasional day, especially if there was a NIACC event.

The weather was most generally sunny and very dry.  My workouts were most generally two-a-days, with 6 to 10 miles around mid-morning and an evening 3 mile jaunt.  There were several evenings when the dog and I nearly walked up on a striped skunk in the dark.  I used a flashlight just in time to see the raised tail and allowed us to stay put while the skunk scurried off!!  A couple of nights also presented a lumbering opposum that also headed for shelter when it noticed Piper and I walking so quickly.

Week of September 2 to 9
After 3 weeks of 40 miles each in total workouts, I finally increased back to 62 miles.

Highlight this week was the Men's XC team at Grinnell on Saturday the 8th.

An unfortunate turn for our lead runner as he became misdirected near the finish and dropped at least 9-10 places and 30 to 40 seconds.

Week of September 10 to 16
Another 61 mile week for me.

Highlight this week was the NIACC men and women competing at ISU in Ames.

Men      Women

Week of September 17 to 23
I increased my mileage to 70 miles this week.

Highlights this week were working the Gene Balk High School Meet on Thursday and the NIACC  women competing at Grandview Viking Invitational in Des Moines on Friday.

Women   We're having difficulty fielding an entire, healthy team as several of the women are treating for sore knees, ankles, or leg muscles!

Week of September 24 to the 30th
My mileage was at 72.

Highlight this week was the Roy Griak XC meet at U of Minnesota (Leo Bolstad Golf Course).

Men     Women

Leo Bolstad Course during one of the races (10 races during the entire day)

Walking wounded after the meet...all six of our women sought out ice bags for their legs!                                                    (Lindsey Brunson took the photo)