Monday, April 29, 2013

Overnight Success

A rainstorm during the night, coupled with warmer temperatures, and it's amazing what can happen in the woods in less than 24 hours. There were spring wildflowers beginning to bloom today where there were none yesterday!



Put in 7 miles on the trails and resumed the 3 mile evening hikes that I used regularly last year. Second day in row at 10 miles.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Blue Oval

This was the week of the Drake Relays. This is the first year that Drake has allowed qualified runners from Iowa community colleges to compete.  NIACC qualified our 4 X 400 relay team for the event and the rest of the team competed across town at the Viking Open hosted by Grandview University.  We had a couple  of our women throwers perform well enough at Grandview to qualify for NJCAA nationals.

1st NIACC runners to participate at Drake Relays

Late afternoon sun as the Viking Open winds down.
Not nearly the attendance in the stands as over at Drake but we finally were able to run in decent weather.  I have some photos of the blue track at Drake from our competition there a couple weeks ago at the Jim Duncan Relays.

Head coach Curtis Vais and  I at the Drake stadium. Spring looks like fall!

The 10K race at Jim Duncan
The sudden change to milder weather has allowed for more comfortable outdoor time.  Nice to run along the limestone bluffs of Lime Creek.

A better week for me mileage-wise and I'm slowly regaining some steady running.  41 miles total.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Came across an article, about how to take a walk in the woods, that makes several points that "hit home" with me.  I hope many of my blog posts demonstrate some of the ideas expressed in the article.

Last night was a blast at Wayne's Ski and Cycle.  Spring tune-up info, food, beer, and conversation.

The day had been busy with a quick trip to Ft Dodge. I drove a visiting sponsor/coach from Papua New Guinea who is looking at Iowa's community colleges for opportunities to bring talented athletes to the U.S. to begin their higher education.  We currently have two of his runners on the NIACC squad. One was recently featured in the local paper


The weather was very nice today so I spent a lot more time out in the woods and ended up with 9 miles for the loop...makes up a bit for a lower mileage day yesterday.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Still Watching for Signs of Spring

Monday was a bit dreary again with drizzle and rain much of the day.  Made for a less than comfortable outing but with temps in the upper-40s, not all that bad.  Ended up getting in 8 miles as I listened to some podcasts.

Today was colder but drier and the sun almost peaked out a few times.  Speaking of peaking...there was the beginning of new vegetation in the woods today.

During today's 6 mile loop I came across some White-tailed Deer that were curious but un-intimidated by a lone runner.  I must be losing weight again and cutting a slim silhouette!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Where's Spring

Quite a week with yet no sign of buds on trees or normal undergrowth in the woods.  Makes it easier to pick up the trash as I can see large areas with no obstructions.  So as unwanted debris goes, the trails are looking pretty good right now...but I am ready for spring flowers and other plants.

As far as distance of my daily excursions, I'm simply trying to put in some steady, base efforts and I'll worry about increasing mileage and speed later...perhaps after I determine a race to target for summer or fall.

Had a Cooper's Hawk settle onto a branch beside the trail and cooperate long enough for me to fumble with my camera and take a quick shot!

The higher than average rainfall this month has brought the water level in the river to a more typical depth lately.


For comparison:  4/23/2012
I took a squad of NIACC track and field athletes to Central College yesterday.  These were the competitors that did not make the selection for the Kansas Relays.  The group with me set many personal records on the day and while none met the qualifying standards for NJCAA nationals, it was still a great meet for them.  We have some throwers that are very, very close to the mark!

Finished the week at 33 miles.  A couple of the days I was able to sustain more running than hiking so I'm planning to continue that trend and hope my fitness begins to return!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Taking A Break?

It's been two weeks since I've attempted a blog update...taking a break but also not a lot happening in my personal training.

The weather has been generally quite depressing and I was also busy with track and field meets, a trip to visit my mother, and, of course, finally got around to filing my income taxes.

Lots of wind lately!
The lack of emerging vegetation allowed for easy recyclable sightings so I filled many bags while on my loops  several days in a row.  The cash for the cans is a nice addition to my beer money.

All four Iowa community colleges from the Border War challenge
There was an interesting meet fomat at Iowa Western on the 6th with the Iowa NJCAA teams pitted against the teams from Kansas.                           Results

Signs of spring with the stream flow increasing and my first sighting of a catapillar.

Another track meet last Friday night...Jim Duncan Invite at Drake Stadium.  Still dealing with poor weather conditions but some good performances none the less.

My mileage is not surprisingly low with 39 total last week and only 27 this week.  This is more than half of what I was running last year when I had my sights on racing the 50 miler in South Dakota.  I just can't get motivated this year without a goal race. I found Lucho's discussion of motivation interesting in the most recent Ask the Ultrarunner podcast from Endurance Planet.