Saturday, October 27, 2012

Amish Run

I haven't been running much lately but when I do, it's all mostly been out on the trails. I got the itch to do a long run on the road today. I was curious as to where my pace would be, most of my trail runs have been pretty casual. I typically run some hills and walk some hills and stop to take some pictures while on the trails. It's been a good change for me lately.

I headed out this afternoon after work, feeling good I decided to run the Amish Route. The Amish Route is a half marathon distance that runs right through the heart of the Amish countryside. Lots of horse and buggy traffic, goats tied up in the front yard, dirt roads, all sorts of interesting things to see. I had not run this route in quite some time and found it to be a real challenge. The entire run seems to be up hill or down hill.

Here is the elevation chart from today.

I started out feeling great for the first 8-9 miles then I started to struggle a little. Running 13.6 miles with almost no training was not the smartest thing that I have ever done but I did enjoy all but the last couple of miles. It was a perfect day for running, and for being poorly trained, I am happy with my results.

I hope you were able to get out there and enjoy a run today!

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." - Oscar Wilde

Monday, October 22, 2012


I am putting a focus on fitness again. I have been running very little lately. Partially due to a nagging cold and congestion, and partially due to the work / life balance being out of whack again. Luckily I have started back with my early morning core fitness group on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and now the gym is offering a boot camp class on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Yeah, I may be a little obsessive at times, but now that I have the first week's soreness behind me, it should all be loads of fun!

Last week I had a couple of short and early road runs just trying to ease back into things, then I hit the trails on Saturday afternoon. I bought some new trail shoes, Mountain Masochist 2, so I had to give them a spin. I ended up doing 6 miles out on the trails and had a great time.

I missed a lot of the colors, but the trails are still beautiful right now...almost picture perfect!

I initially planned to take it easy and avoid the hills, but halfway through I was still feeling good so I took the hilly route on the way back.You cannot see them here, but off to the left out of the picture were a couple of deer that watched me as I took this picture.

I took these pictures with my phone and the zoom isn't real great. The deer was about 100 yards away, I have him circled but it's still pretty tough to see it. He is hiding behind the tree, you can barely make out his head to the right and his rear end the the left.

Some areas of the trail are still calf to knee high with grasses and weeds. This time as I was cruising along and found something a little sharper than the average weed.

That's about the extent of things now. My plan is to run the Ice Age 50 miler in May and maybe  a 50K sometime in the very early spring before that. Beyond that, I really have nothing planned.

How is your training going? Any big races on the horizon?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

With a Purpose

I think I am finally back at it with a purpose. I have been sick now for a little over a week with coughing, sneezing, congestion, etc. I finally felt well enough today to venture out for a run so I chose my favorite area of trails.

It wasn't a very long run but it gave me enough time to reflect a little about why I have really enjoyed running on the trails. It can be easier on your body than road running because the grass and the earth can absorb your foot strikes much better. But more importantly, trail running makes you focus on the task at hand. When you are on real trails, there is no zoning out like there can be when you run miles down the road. You have to focus on where you plant almost every foot step or risk falling and possibly even injury. Here is one of the hills I ran up, and then back down today.

It's a fairly steep but not significantly long hill. On the way down I really have to engage my core to control my speed so that I am not out of control while also trying not to step into one of the cracks in the ground. There is no day dreaming on this hill, it's all me with one goal at the moment; making it down this hill quickly and safely.

The other thing this area of trail running provides is year 'round beauty. I have had the pleasure of seeing plenty of deer, turkey, and raccoon while out on my runs. "My trails" are not perfect by any means. There are several areas where the grass is waist high and all you can do is follow the deer paths. The footing in most areas is pretty awful too, rarely is there much of a level area to step. But the changing seasons and variety of trails keeps me coming back. 

Who wouldn't want to run in a place such as this?