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.

Friday, November 29, 2013

A week with 3 2 hour runs

Happy belated Thanksgiving to all who read this - and no, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in New Zealand.  Too bad though because I for one am always looking for an excuse to overeat tasty food.  I did that with reckless delight yesterday with friends - whom I am very grateful for.  I am just as grateful for other friends who asked me to come share some of their food and fellowship - alas I didn't make it to anywhere else. 

By days end I was happily anchored to a calorie filled table, laden with pies, pastries and other delightful goodness.  Some of which I even baked myself, including Scones (from a New Zealand recipe).  I also played around with making Blackberry & Apple mini pies (as in baked in a muffin pan).  I tried 3 different types of crusts (White flour, Wheat flour, Brown Rice flour) and learnt that the white flour crusts were the best.  The most awesome part of it was that I somehow managed to make the lids removable - which then allowed for a generous dollop of whipped cream to be added.  The angels were singing with delight - or maybe that was just me.  In any case - not only did I like them, but the people also did.  I was glad to be a part of the fun and the giving.

There was a definite need to run this week with such a big food intake yesterday.  So this morning I waddled around the 13 mile loop of Falcon trail with my slowest time in recent weeks.  But this capped off another 40 mile week - my 4th in a row.  On Tuesday and Wednesday I got in 2 other 2 hour + runs - first time I have done back to back long runs in who knows how long.  Tuesday I did the Mt Herman 8 mile loop with 2300'+ gain in the fresh snow which was really fun.  Then on Wednesday I did Falcon Trail again in a creaky 2:03.

So I am quite pleased with 4 40 mile weeks in a row - not training for anything - but enjoying the weather, the trails and the ability to not gain too much weight by staying on top of some good mileage weeks. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Another 40 mile week in the books

I managed to get my 3rd week in a row of 40 miles of running per week.  2 reasons - I am eating too much and if I don't run I will get fatter.  The other - and more important in my mind - reason is that I really enjoy running at this time of the year. 

Bundling up and running in the snow - especially on trails where the snow is freshly fallen and yet to be trampled on by anyone - is one of my favorite things to do.  I got to do that today and it was awesome.  More on that in a moment.

The beginning of the week was the 7 1/2 mile race at Palmer Park which was fun, because I enjoy the racing environment and the resulting desire to push and compete.

Monday I did another lap of the Falcon Trail at the Air Force Academy - my fourth time around it in the past 3 weeks.  Each lap (13 miles) I have alternated direction and gone 2 to 3 minutes quicker each time.  I was happy to go under 2 hours this past Monday (Clockwise) - the first time in several months.

I did a tempo run of sorts on Wednesday for 8 miles - managing to hold a 7:35 pace on the return 4 miles.  Still really slow, but faster than all my other runs have been lately.

Did a 4 mile slip and slide on the snow and ice yesterday and then came today where I did my new favorite loop of Mt Herman.  8 miles with the first 1 1/3rd mile gaining 1600'+.  The rest of it is mostly downhill, but has 700+ of gain mixed in.  98% of it on singletrack trail. 

There was about 4" of untouched snow up top, very slippery getting up there, 20 minutes slower than last week to get up to the top and 35 minutes slower overall.  But it was awesome.
Mt Herman, I park on the right and go up the side

Summit of Mt Herman, looking SE

On the trail (716) down from the summit
In Limbaugh Canyon on Trail 715

2 miles to go, an overlook of Palmer Lake and to the North

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall Series Race at Palmer Park

It was the 4th and final race of the series - although only my first race, deciding to do it a couple of days before.  Just under 7 1/2 miles on mostly single track trails.  I finished squarely in the middle of the pack with a 1:07 finishing time.  It was fun to get out into a race atmosphere again - but more fun was to run on trails I have not been on before.
I felt okay as I had just managed to finish up a second week of 40 miles - so I had some sort of endurance in the race, although not a lot of speed.  No big deal, was fun, good weather and then in the kids races later my youngest daughter finished as 3rd place girl in the 3/4 mile race.  Fun times for all.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Feeling forty

I'm not actually forty - 5 1/2 laps of the sun more than that if one must count.  With old age comes wrinkles, creaky bones, seemingly increasingly bad tolerance of niff norfs, along with bad math, or if one already has bad math - then that gets exposed.

Why does one mention this math problem?  Well I am finally running again after a bit of a slow recovery from surgery - 2 weeks ago I managed to put together a 20 mile week - 3 runs with a fair amount of walking in it because I was just too exhausted to run.  Then last week I decided to add to the distance and try to do a 30 mile week.

Thanks to a combination of bad math on my part - along with great weather for this time of the year - 30 miles became 40 miles.  And I am okay with that.  In fact, it was great.  Not training for anything, waking up and deciding if and when and where I wanted to go for a run.  Changing my mind several times before and during a run.  No structure.  Alas there was also no speed, there is extra weight I have gained.  But all in all it was good to be running again.

My week was capped off on Saturday with a lap of Falcon Trail with Steve.  A slow but really enjoyable 2+ hour run.  I thought after that I would be needing a rest day on Sunday - but 60 degree weather was irresistible so I opted for a Mt Herman excursion.  I did the 1600' climb up the NE draw to start with and then meandered down trail 716 to Mt Herman road - connected that to trail 715, just before the shooting range - which both times I have run beside it has felt way too close.

Fortunately I made it safely through there and dropped into Limbaugh Canyon which flanks the West side of Mt Herman - so quiet and pretty through there, complete with a few stream crossings and fun single track trail.  Making it to the North end provides a great overlooking view of the town of Palmer Lake.  Having only been on this trail once before - with Steve as my guide - I was doing well so far to stay on track.  Oops, spoke too soon as about a mile later I found myself behind a 6 foot tall fence.  I noticed the fence when I noticed 2 signs - both blank and white.  I left the now dirt road that I was on and went to the fence, managing to pull it back enough to read on one sign "NO TRESPASSING". 

Great, I'm on the wrong side of the fence.  Wonder what the other sign says......"BEWARE OF DOG".  Oh crap.  I nearly did.  So I tip toed along the fence for a bit, till I came to a gate, locked.  With fortunately no sound (or sight) of the dog I gracefully leaped somehow managed to climb the fence.  Climbed uphill to where I heard some hikers on a trail and found the trail.  And then backtracked along it to see where I had missed it.

After seeing my missed turn I then turned back around and returned to my car.  9.3 miles, 2600'+ of gain and 2 1/4 hours of unplanned fun.  I'm guessing the correct route is about 8 miles and 2000'.  One I will look to do again.  If and whenever I feel like it.