Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bumping, Barking and Body Clocks

Not a big fan of the EST.  Tried to go to sleep earlyish last night so as to get up and run w/ the crowd this am.  After tossing and turning for an hour or so to no avail I was just drifting off when the little one did some drifting of her own - drifted out of bed onto the floor.  A nice loud noise, a bit of a lump on the forehead - she slept right through it.  I want her ability to sleep.

She may have slept through it - but a nearby dog didn't.  It barked and barked and barked some more.  Then more of the same.    Please stop.  Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark.  Enough already.  Bark, bark, bark.  Went on for 1/2 hour or so.  Bark, bark, bark - you get the idea.   I realize as I get older if I don't get enough rest I get cranky.  If you add a barking dog to the mix - and I'm usually okay with dogs - that keeps me awake, Daddy is not a happy camper.

I decided about then to not bother waking up early to run w/ the crew.  Instead to wake up whenever and run either by myself or the first born.

The runners left at 7:30 ish, I got up shortly after, the rest of my family still sleeping (the kiddos never heard the dog) and after putzing around for a bit I geared up and hit the trail.  The plan from the night before was that most people were going to do a longer run.  So, I figured giving them a 40 minute headstart I may catch them by the end.  Didn't happen.  They ended up doing the same run as yesterday.

I did 7.2 miles.  Some good rolling hills involved including a couple of steep ones that were 1/3 to 1/2 mile long w/ about 300' of climbing involved for each.   Started on a trail, full of leaves (nice) - then was on some back (paved) roads for the majority of it.  Despite all the pavement it was a good run and brings the weekly total (for the third week in a row) to 35 miles.

The run cleared my head - not so cranky anymore.  Although if I see a dog around later, that might change. 

Kids are bored out of their minds.  I'm a little of the same.  There is only so much to talk to "Uncle Steve" or "Aunt Kathy" about when you only see them once every year or so.  So we may head into Williamsport later to see where they have the LLWS - not that any of my kids care about baseball.  Maybe we will find a Walmart.  It's nice to get away some times - but there is something about home.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A long Thanksgiving

The day started at the "Y" in Briargate for the annual Turkey trot.  We parked just down the road and walking through the parking lot my 2 girls got stopped by a TV crew for an interview.  They are so stinkin cute, but just as shy - they did the interview, but were so quiet.  After scouring the online archives of the news (Ch 13) - they didn't end up using the footage.  Oh well - they don't need the fame of being asked what their favorite part of Thansgiving was - although for what it's worth - one answered "green beans", the other said "apple sauce".

Did the (so called) 1K w/ my littlest - a comfortable 1/2 mile.  Then shortly after along with about 2800 of our closest friends I ran w/ my oldest daughter in the 5k - a great effort from her, maintained a steady pace throughout and did 27:3x.  #12 ran on ahead and he chip timed a 21:0x.  Great result for him.

Then we literally hauled off out of there, raced home, cleaned up, drove to the airport and flew to Philly.  After 3+ hours landed, jumped in a car and drove 3 1/2 plus hours to my wife's family reunion.  (near Williamsport).  Arrived at 1 am.  A very long day.

We are here for a few days.   There are some runners  amongst the Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and hangers on.  So at 7:30 we stumbled on to a trail.  My son and I gave everyone a couple minutes head start - then took off, uphill.  Our favorite.  Apparently no-one else likes hills like we do and we passed them in a couple of minutes.  Following a carefully drawn map - insert: a couple of lines on a napkin - we cruised 4 1/2 miles.  Some nice rolling terrain.  Was good to run w/ my son again.

Then on to the feast.  Need to run again tomorrow - feast was good.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blodgett Peak

I did my best impression of an Aimless, possibly Headless, wandering Turkey, yesterday afternoon.  I've been wanting to get up Blodgett Peak for several weeks.  Not for training purposes, more so "just because".  Having never been up it before and not having much of an idea what to expect - I parked at the Trailhead, started the watch and away I went.
From the Trailhead
Faced w/ 2 initial options on how to start moving upward - a service road to some water tanks, or a small trail that initially started heading South (desired direction to the Summit is West).
I took the trail option.
Started out innocently enough
Followed that for a bit as it soon joined another trail, not a lot of directional signs to follow as other trails, turns and twists came and went.  Gradual climb, was able to slow jog most of it.  Took a few turns and my trail got narrower.
Nice steep slopes to traverse
After about 20 minutes, I figured out I was still heading too far South instead of West - so I needed to try to head more NorthWest.
This direction looked about right.
I resorted to hiking, following what sort of looked like someone or something had been there before.  That soon ran out and for the next 40 minutes or so I was left to blaze my own trail, traversing steep slopes, rocks, occasional snow spots, fallen trees, was half expecting to see a Mountain Lion.  Instead, lots of this terrain.
After traversing up / West and over / North of a couple of Ridges I saw the target.

Still a good hike to get up there.
No signs of any trails, but I kept hiking along - admittedly completely lost but not too concerned as I was sure I could figure out a way back down.  So, kept going up.

Not the way up to try
Finally, I came upon a small trail and jumped on it.....
Which lead to a huge boulder field that seemed like the way to the top.

Rock hopping
About 85 minutes after starting out I made it to the Summit.

Took a few photos before heading down.
Pikes Peak in the distance

Air Force Academy

Rampart Reservoir?
Heading down was a little slow through the boulder field, then below that was various tracks and trails through the gulley until finally came upon the actual trail.  Followed that all the way back to the car.  About a mile from the end I did get stopped in my tracks by this guy walking in front of me.

Yes Sir, you have the right of way
Made it back to the car, was pretty wiped out having not taken any water or food.  Was gone for almost 2 1/4 hours, yet only 4 1/2 miles, with just under 2500 vertical gain.

 A few scratches, a lesson learned - stick to the trails.  An awesome view from the Summit.  Overall - a good time.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Running with Cookies

For the first time in who knows how long - definitely several months - we didn't have any family activities, like kids soccer, to go to.  What a welcome relief and a chance to relax. 

Woke up Saturday morning expecting to see howling winds in full effect, but instead was low fog and no wind.  So, I got out for 8 miles and it ended up being a moderate tempo run - maintained 8:12 pace for the first 6 1/2 miles - the "big hill" to come up near home knocked me back a bit - but still was a good result.

While my son was in what we call "a book coma", and my oldest daughter and wife doing some sewing - my 6 yr old and I decided to make cookies.  Neither of us had really done it before, so we needed a little supervision - but after a while, as well as some misplaced flour - we made 3 dozen of the worlds best ever Chocolate Chip Cookies.   Should have taken photos - the saying of "a picture is worth a 1000 words" would not have done justice.  So we have a new saying - "the taste of cookies is worth a 1000 calories", or something.

Then I signed the 2 oldest kids and myself up for the YMCA Turkey Trot - I'll also run the 1K kids Fun Run w/ #6 prior to it.  So, after signing up - time to start training.  The plan - as always - is to run with the kids.  2 years ago, was w/ my son, last year, was w/ my oldest daughter.  This year will be the same.

So, we all bundled up - by now the wind had really started blowing and got to it.  We drove down the road to a neighbors house.  W/ the wife and youngest being cheerleaders - the 3 of us jumped out and started up our big hill - is a 130' climb, followed by a flat "ish" section to our house, then turn around and back to the start.  2 1/2 miles total distance, total climb of 170'.  On the way back I picked up the youngest and we ran about 1K back to the start.

We repeated this on Sunday, was less windy and a little faster for all of us.  We may do it again on Tuesday morning.  I really enjoy running w/ the kids - is fun and special to share a common activity.  Baking cookies, or devouring them as a family over the course of the weekend is also a fun, could become more common activity.

I also managed to get in 5 miles over at Spruce Mountain on Sunday as well.  So, 4 runs for the weekend, 3 dozen cookies (We didn't eat them all - yet), 2 naps, 0 soccer games played - although we did watch a few on the Tube.  All in all - was a good weekend.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pikes Peak Barr Camp Nov 17

Was hoping to get up a little higher but started too late and was very snow / ice packed trail - particularly the 3 1/2 miles below Barr Camp.  Some places on the trail will likely not see the Sun again for months. 

Still good to get over 3600' elevation climb and a total of 13 miles.   Slow going, 3 hr 15 minute round trip. 

Wind damage (from last weekend) had left it's mark as several trees were down, some across the trail.  Downhill journey left it's marks as I wiped out hard, twice.  (No photos of the war wounds this time).  If and when I do this next time I will be sure to take Yak Tracks or something to help w/ traction.  The last 3 miles I had my new headlamp on and finished in total darkness.

Despite some new ouchies, was still a good time.

Some photos of the trip......

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Colorado Springs - Live it up

Was just looking at extended forecast for next week (family doing the annual YMCA Turkey Trot) and noticed the below news video.

City paid $111k to come up with "Colorado Springs - Live it up"


Monday, November 14, 2011

Blowing smoke, sh%$&* and W's 7

Scattered thoughts alert.....

Running first - after only doing 22 miles the prior week (knees and arthritis acting up), last week I ran Monday thru Friday - for the first time running 5 consecutive days since about June - and totalled 36 miles.  Nothing more than 8 1/2 miles, nothing less than 6 miles each day.  No adverse effects on the bod, particularly the knees.  Quite pleased with that.

Soccer next - last Soccer games of the season, Saturday was the longest day.  Left home at 7:30 am, finally back at 7 pm.  In between a game in Colo Spgs, then a drive up to Fort Collins for a game, then back home.  Not quite sure why the soccer fields are not more closer to the city - instead they are right beside I-25, and downwind on a very windy day.  No real nice way of saying how bad the smell was from the neighboring farm(s).  Do they feed the cows there beans?

On the way up to Ft Collins earlier in the day - wind damage was evident, 2 big road signs blown over.  A semi truck completely upside down.  On the way back - just as it was getting dark - I recognized Pike Peak in the distance, from North of Denver.  Gave me an appreciation of just how high that thing is.

Sunday I bagged running to stay in (out of the wind) to hang out with the family and get our new home computer up and running.  The old one has been on it's way out - giving us what we call "the blue screen of death" a few times.  So, we got a new modem, comes with Windows 7.  Plugged it in, turned it on - seemed to be working fine.  Quite impressive how fast it was.  Went to print something - nothing.  Wondered why - after a while going nowhere found out that the printer doesn't work w/ W's 7. 

Groan - now we have to get a new printer.  Moved the old printer out to the old computer - which we have "given" to the kids while it is on it's last legs.

Later in the day remembered I hadn't transferred running data from Friday into Garmin Connect.  Plugged the watch into the new computer - why am I not surprised - doesn't support W's 7 (64 bit).  Groan again - fortunately can use other computer to do that.

The moral of the story: When life blows things your way - be they unexpected, unpleasant (smelly) or unplanned - take a nap.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Memories of Pink Floyd

Saw a commercial a night or 2 ago for a "best of" Pink Floyd album coming out on i tunes.  I'm gonna check it out.

About 25 or so years ago I went to a concert of their's in New Zealand.  I remember it was pretty cool, was (I think) the first concert I ever went to.  Aside from the very nice blonde that I went with - Diane I think her name was - other memories include it being an outdoor concert at a dirt speedway.   We sat on a dirt bank of a large, elevated oval while the stage was set up in the middle of the track below.

The show had all kinds of things flying down a zip line during various songs from the back of the place to the stage including a huge pig, a bed and for the song "Money" - a pot of gold.

Good times. 

Nothing to do with running, don't know if any of their songs on the old i pod would help me run better, stronger, faster.  But for right now - was nice to listen to this one this morning.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Barometric Humbugs

What kind of a post title is "Barometric Humbugs" you ask?  Beats the %#$@ out of me.  But whatever it is or means - it seemed like last week something was not right and I am now doing an experiment to see if I am on to something.

Actually, it ain't new.  I typed into an online search engine: "barometric ailments" to see what came up.  Top of the list was this website ehowdotcom

Okay - so potentially what I have been thinking about for a few days has been studied for a while: "People sometimes complain of headaches and physical ailments during weather changes. Studies conducted at various times throughout the last two centuries have consistently shown that lower barometric pressures may also have a negative affect on human behavior".

Science has never been a strong point of mine, although I am curious as to "what would happen if ______ would happen".

Here's my point.  Seems like with the past few snow storms / cold fronts that have come through - my knees, especially the right one that had the surgery on it, swell up - a lot.  Range of motion is much more restricted.  Running, walking and even sometimes sitting is not overly painful - but frustratingly and annoyingly more difficult.

Do I blame that on falling barometric pressure?  Sure, why not.  But how much does age, diet, arthritis, sleep habits or too much / not enough exercise effect it?  Dunno.  Could be a combination of some or all of them.

Spelling it out - I'm going to keep a (loose) record of how I feel when there is a cold front coming through.  For the record so far - meaning the past few weeks - knees and other joints (wrists for example) have not been great about 1 to 2 days before the storm. 

However - with another storm in the forecast for tonight / tomorrow - no swelling or discomfort so far.  A little odd.  Plus, I was able to get out and run 7 1/2 miles this morning - knees did fine.  Maybe we won't get a storm.  Maybe I have no idea what I am talking about.   

What a wierd body I have - not that I think I'm alone - you do too.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Peak aboo

Ate some lunch today from one of my favorite places to "peak" a view (Mesa Rd overlook - Kissing camels in the foreground, Pikes Peak in the background).

I have mentally committed in my mind to do the Pikes Peak Marathon next year.  Now I have 9+ months to talk myself out of it, talk myself into it train for it.