Monday, March 31, 2014

Running Pays!

At least there's one advantage to being forced to run roads while the snow banks of winter are thawing! The photo above was from yesterday's outing and then today...more of the same...only to a lesser degree.

The bills were easy picking but the real haul was $25 worth of deposit cans that I've pulled in over the past week. Collecting the cans causes numerous interruptions in my flow as I've tried to improve on my running distances. However, the extra work in going in and out of ditches then carrying increasingly more additional weight seems to be giving me more of an overall workout.

8 miles yesterday for a 40 mile week then started this week out with 6.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

There's been some Canada Goose activity along the stream and river lately. I understand that the Canada Goose mates for life. But the river ice apparently feels no such allegiance and has been vigorously "breaking up" due to the melt and rain this week.

Obviously not a good time to think about getting out in a canoe. Ran in the cold rain yesterday but today was much nicer. Held back a bit with 5 miles each day.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Robins vs. Eagles

It was a windy and cold day. I chose to run the gravel opposite of the trails. Not bad footing but still packed snow and ice to worry about.

American Robins have been back in this area for several weeks now but for some reason they were grouped into flocks more than usual.

That is until I noticed them scatter for some reason and saw shadows above...three adult Bald Eagles were circling.

With help from what was a tailwind on my return, I clipped off a pretty good run and again saw a few Robin concentrations beneath specific trees beside the roads.

Put in another 6 but need to consider increasing the distance of my long runs if I want to attempt another ultra this year...late spring or early summer!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Regression Run

Sometimes in spring the weather has trouble making up it's mind. Today it regressed to winter and chose to snow all morning. I stayed off the trails and headed out to gravel.

6 miles

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ice Jam

The outdoor track season took off yesterday for NIACC and it was a cold one with an overnight drop in temps and a bitter wind all day. The teams did well despite the weather and had a few performances close to meeting outdoor national qualifying standards.

Pricillar John  in a relay with me cheering  trackside

JR and Sapolai in the 10K

Today when I ran on Lime Creek Trails, the cold resulted in icy footing and the river was refreezing after some break-up. Guess it's time to compare the status at the bend.  

March 23, 2014

January 5, 2014
June 13, 2013
April 16, 2013
6 miles total today.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Already tiring of the roads, I decided to head out on the trails of Lime Creek on a in the act of reconnoitering. Yeah, so maybe I am listening to too many podcasts from Great Britain. 

It was a beautiful sunny day and absolutely great for a recce! Left the camera home and simply enjoyed being out-of-doors. Guess I simply had a "Morning Yearning".

6 miles on the day.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I believe there's something beautiful about the county-side in Iowa. It's just not always apparent at this time of year.

I'd much rather be finding my way back onto the wooded trails!

Perhaps more disturbing than picking up trash while in the woods, is the amount of trash that shows up beside the country roads. I have taken the distraction of collecting the recyclable cans and bottles as a challenge when I run. This time of year is particularly vulnerable as the debris is so visible during the melt. 

1st of three bags today even after three yesterday
What's of more concern than the presence of the cans, is that the predominance of beer cans and liquor bottles means there's a lot of vehicles on these roads with drivers that are likely drinking!

5 mile loop (now nick-named "the three bag loop").

Monday, March 17, 2014

They Shoot Horses Don't They

Still getting out on the North Carolina gravel and saw these horses resting in the sun. I remembered a saying that refers to shooting a horse when it pulls up lame (they made a movie). Couldn't help but think of how I feel lame now-a-days and wonder if I'm pushing the envelope!

A local TV channel contacted me today for an interview about why marathon and endurance athletes exercise. I found it curious that the reporter chose to first try to locate me through Facebook rather than the telephone book. I still maintain a landline and am listed but she first called mutual friends through Facebook to get into contact with me! She also contacted Curtis Vais, the head coach at NIACC, for info on getting in touch. But apparently didn't consider what was traditional for me in using the phone book.

The slant that the TV story took was not the positive one presented to me when the reporter inquired. It became more of a story warning about the "danger" of endurance sports and this was "not" what I thought I was helping present. Shame on you KIMT! Shame on me for not fully understanding the purpose of the story.

I intended to run an 8 mile loop but the strength of the southern wind made me decide to turn and run back for 6 rather than expose myself to long open stretches along the county blacktop!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Other Side of the River

Crappy snow....

The thaw continued and as a result I took to Plan B where I can go out on gravel and still run beside the river for a good stretch. Every spring I tend to run this "other side of the river" across from the Lime Creek Trails.

By wearing my Hokas, I've been pleased with the running. However, for some reason my left ankle is complaining every morning when I get out of bed. It seems better by the time I hit the roads, though. I'll have to be cautious and see how it responds to the change off of snow and back to the roads and trails.

Keeping at least 6 miles each day for now. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Losing It

When temps stay above freezing overnight and throughout the day, the snow base doesn't hold up very well. In 24 hours the adequate conditions of yesterday yielded to crap. Lots of slush and lots of sliding described my outing today. The wet, soft snow made for lots of extra work. A week ago I lauded how nice the snow was for faster running but today was a complete 180°. Sliding to the side, sinking deep, running through slush...yuk.

6 difficult miles.

Running in New York...Meltdown...Snow Spiders

The trip to New York used up nearly a week and I'm just now recovering my daily routine and recovering to normal rest. Quite the visit but I wouldn't want to live there. The NIACC team performed very well and set many personal and school records! Some photos and results can be found at the newly created Facebook website for our teams NIACC Trojans Track and Field / XC. Here are a few photos of my own from the trip.

Athletes on top of my daughter's office building with the Empire State building in the background.

Bicyclists going by the entrance to the Armory Track and Field venue. Also the New Balance Center.

Very cool to be at this venue that I've seen so often only on television.

One of Pre's uniforms on display in the Armory.
Posted near the indoor track.

The coaches in Times Square.
Another treat of this trip was seeing and partaking of the well-known Coogan's restaurant...America's #1 runners restaurant.

As featured in Runner's World March 2011

And at 10:30 AM, this guy had nearly finished his bottle of booze while directing traffic on the sidewalk!

Yesterday I finally got out to run on snowshoes again. The weather has changed dramatically since we left and I was curious about the conditions. It was a warm day above freezing but with silicone spray on my snowshoes and an adequate base from all my runs prior to this thaw, I was able to get in an excellent workout. The snow is rounding off by melting and low areas are getting slushy.

If I move off-trail even slightly, I sink deeper.

 One interesting observation while running today was a tiny spider that was moving across the snow!

6 miles.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Russian River Surprise

I almost wish I was not making the trip to New York tomorrow. The snowshoe running conditions at Lime Creek are the best ever and I hate to miss while in such good shape. 

I ran before lunch today in order to have time for a coaches meeting prior to practice. We take off early tomorrow so will not be able to snowshoe prior to the bus. I will, however, be getting in some hikes and road runs during the trip.

I was amazed to find a package at my door when I returned from the business at NIACC.  Thanks to, I will be able to try a beer that I haven't had the opportunity to try before!  I've always heard good reviews including from my son who was recently out West and also gave his kudos.

5 brisk miles and then time planning for the trip East.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Perhaps there is evidence of climate change. We keep seeing headlines of weather related anomalies that seem to indicate a departure from the norm. I know that the most recent winters have not been what I remember as standard when I was growing up.

This past week has presented some of the very best snowshoe running conditions that I've ever seen. With outdoor track and field scheduled to begin in 3 weeks, I can't believe the snow conditions that we're seeing now. 

The county got out yesterday after my run and groomed their portion of the trails. There are a few stretches that I like to run where I've stay just off the county grooming and it has become a very runnable and quick section.

Even with the sub-zero temps today, I was comfortable, especially when out of the wind, so I got a brisk 6 in and totally enjoyed the outing.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Not Alone

I spent yesterday getting a handful of NIACC athletes up to Northfield, Minnesota for a last chance indoor track meet. The bus for Nationals in New York leaves on Tuesday and this meet was an opportunity for some of the runners that were close to again try at the qualifying standard. No luck this trip but there were three results less than a second from making it. Dang.  Saw a bunch of cars in the ditch on the way up interstate during snow and blowing snow.

The snow continued overnight and there was a lot of light, fluffy stuff out there when I snowshoed today. Almost caught a snowmobile that was using the off-limits ski trails but he got restarted and tore off before I could talk with him. I wasn't the only concerned citizen as a skier also rushed into the center to report. The city police even made the trip out to investigate.

The trails were again great for running. I used my wooden runners for packing but had help today from a small group of snowshoe hikers.

I can't believe how the squirrels locate the correct area under inches of snow to dig for walnuts.

Put in a brisk 6 today as I thought about the national snowshoe race in Vermont that I'm missing. Even with my knee issues, I truly believe I would have been competitive in my age group.