Recent Runs

Saturday, August 11, 2012


There was a point in my life where I really loved to run.  At times when that love wasn't there, I found that signing up and training for races helped me to drive through the low points. Something about being out at a large event, challenging yourself on a tough race, and interacting with people trying to achieve the same goal seemed to drive me through tough workouts and the long miles it used to take to prepare for ultras. And then life hit a few bumps.

During my two months of no running, I have watched my father's health continue to decline.  A combination of the heart issues and diabetes had him in the hospital three times over two weeks.  This was pretty much adding fuel to the desire to get out and get moving. I could see the rewards for a sedentary lifestyle were not what I was wanting.  And then I went on vacation with my daughter.  Standing on top of Mt. Evans at over 14,000 feet elevation, this fuel suddenly caught fire. Driving up Mt. Evans was one thing.  But I needed more.  I needed to climb the other 14ers.

I realize I have a long way to go.  Running at Austin elevation is enough effort for now.  And a couple of repeats up the Hill of Life is enough to do me in.  But the reality is that my next mountain is probably a year away.  And September is usually the best weather for mountain climbing in Colorado. 

Until then, I'll have to set some intermediate goals.  Most likely, Bandera will be one of them. 

Sunday, August 05, 2012


Well, sometimes you hit a bump in the road.  And sometimes that bump is huge.  After about 2.5 months off with absolutly no running, I cam back from Colorado with one desire: climb mountains.  No way I could climb mountains in the conidtion I was in.  So, I'm getting back on track.  I'm sure I'll start doing a few races, but I think my main goal right now is another Colorado trip for next year.  I'd love to make it September but we will have to see about that.

Kailey and I made the drive up to the top of Mt. Evans on our first day in Colorado.  It is the highest road in North America climbing to over 14K feet.  You have to climb a few more to reach the summit, but it is about a quarter mile and 100+ ft elevation.  No real climbing.  I'm sure I couldn't handle it.  I left the summit feeling sick from the altitude.

I'll have to develop a real plan to handle the altitude when I go back to climb.  But for now, I need a year of really pushing myself to be in physical condition to actually do the climbs I want to do. 

I did log almost 12 miles in my first full week back.  I expect I'll get a couple more next week, but today is a rest day.

Monday, March 26, 2012

General Update

I have a few reports I really need to add. I've just been focused on other things. Work is keeping me busier, and I've been out of town quite a bit.

The travel has really had an impact on the weight loss.  I really haven't gone backward except for my trip to Georgia. I just can't eat mom's cooking and not gain weight. The other two trips, one to help at Nueces 50 and the other to visit my daughter, just really kept me from progressing.  Still, I'm down about 21 pounds total this year. And I'm determined to start the downward trend again.

During my trip to Georgia, I managed to get in a nice little 5K race. It was by far the slowest one I've run since I started running again 11 years ago.  Still, I was happy with my effort, and I'm thinking I need to try another one soon.

More later.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Back on the Green Belt with Weight Update

So far, the diet has been going very well.  I'm not super strict; however, I do stick to plan most days.  I've also become much better at getting in regular exercise even adding some weight training to my normal cardio workouts.  Overall, I'm now down 17 pounds from my start weight.  A bigger issue for me though is that I'm feeling much better.  That would show during the run.

This week I finally made it back out to the trail at the Barton Creek Green Belt.  I work only a couple of miles from the Hill of Life so I really should be there more often, but I work from home so much that it isn't as much of an opportunity as I may seem. 

As I hit the trail, I wasn't really sure what to expect.  Would the knee hurt, would it turn out to be mostly a hike, would I cut it short, or would I actually be able to enjoy a slow run of 5 - 6 miles?  My initial goal was to explore some of the trails to the north and west of the Hill of Life.  I used to run a few of these, but lately things have been too routine.  After getting a bit turned around over there the last time I was out running here, I decided it would be beneficial to know these trails a little better and make the run a little more interesting.

To start, I will be taking this long route down the hill of life again. It was rocky, rolling, and twisty. In some places, the GPS track doesn't do it justice.  It also took about 2 miles of this twisty stuff to get to the creek near the bottom of the Hill of Life.

I then took the main trail down to almost Twin Falls before turning around.  I was allowing myself a short walk of 15 - 30 seconds every 5 minutes; however, I found myself skipping the walk a couple of times.  Run pace was very slow for me, but I'm just happy to be running again.  And while the final hike up the Hill of Life slow, I felt much stronger climbing it than I have in a long time. 

There was a little knee pain during the run, but none of it lingered after I was finished.  I believe the weight lifting may be helping in that area as well.  I think the time I've spent on the rowing machine has also helped.

Mostly, I believe carrying 17 fewer pounds made the run much more enjoyable than any run I've had lately.  I'll be limiting the runs quite a bit still and spend time rowing and cycling. I'm already looking forward to the next run.  It has been a while since they have been something to look forward to.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Week 1 Report

Overall, I am quite happy with the first week of my diet.  I lost 7 pounds in just over a week.  That is a bit faster than I want to lose; however, the first week is always the easiest.  It has been hard to stick to the diet most days, but in general I'm getting close to my targets.  Most importantly, I did not let a bad day derail my efforts. 

Exercise was really weak this week.  I got in a short run after work Thursday, but that was it for the week.  I will get rolling this week.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

My Challenge for 2011

Well, this year is about losing weight.  I've managed to gain back every pound I have lost and am back to not being able to run due to all I'm carrying around with me.  So, here I go. 

Losing weight has always been tough for me.  I like to eat.  I stress eat.  I eat when depressed as well.  But this year I have a new job.  I like the people I work with.  And I can't wait to get back to where I can run with my friends again.  Slowly, I'm going to make progress.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Reruns and a Cat

OK, it has been forever since I've blogged anything.  It makes sense due to my lack of activity.  But lately the activity level is starting to increase a bit.

Running was down to very, very few miles. I used to log over 200 miles a month. Last month, I was happy to break 30.  As bad as it sounds, it was a great improvement over what I had been doing.  This month, the goal is 40 - 60.  Used to be a normal week.  So what got me running again?  That is where the cat comes in.

Even when I couldn't run, I loved riding the bikes.  I was happy either mountain or road. But after cracking both frames last year, I needed something new.  My answer: a Catrike. The bikes had started causing a little too much pain from the saddle. The best way to avoid that is a recumbent.  And while recumbent bicycles are great, the tricycles are so much more fun.  I ended up purchasing the Catrike Road and had a larger chain ring installed for better top-end speed.  I'm not really sure how much I'll use the big ring, but I doubt the smallest one it shipped with would have ever been used.

As the endurance on the trike has improved, I've felt like going out for a run more often. It still doesn't feel good, and I doubt I will ever return to the ultras, but I do see and feel improvements.  Three miles still feels like a long run.  Maybe I'm on the right path to change that now.