Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The latest...

So it's been quite a while since I've posted...  I've been struggling to run about 40-50 mpw up here in the north country although the weather has been decent and I really have no excuse to not run other than my foot still bothering me bigtime some days.  It's probably about 60% now, but only when on the roads or flatter loops.  I obviously prefer to run trails and mountains, but the climbing is horrendous on my toes and ball of the foot.   Whatever I did to it in August did serious damage and it has taken months to improve with any noticeable significance.   I can barely go up on my toes on my left side and struggle mightily when climbing very steep trails.  I start to go flat-footed as much as possible and only find myself pushing off on my right side, which destroys my right calf.  So needless to say, I can't do any sort of good climbing but the normal trail and road runs go OK for now.  I'm essentially just going through the motions and trying not to get fat (which I think Kevin Tilton refers to simply as 'training in the winter here in the Mt. Washington Valley').  I've decided to just finish out November and December (so essentially 2012) and call it a wash.  I hope to get back to the grindstone with a fresh start in 2013 with some changes from top to bottom.

I've done a lot of good redlining and peak-bagging lately with KT and it's been great to get out again and 'run' for an hour + per day.  I've done up to 12 miles or so during some of these sessions and it's been OK.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, I regularly post on there (if you aren't friend me!). I've posted a lot of videos and photos of some of our runs but have had little desire to blog.  I am forcing myself back into the swing of the blog to try to keep motivated now that I am confident I can do some decent training (within reason).  I think if I stick to flatter runs for now, I can get back some fitness and start building while my foot continues to heal.  There are some good folks to run with here in the valley and even though the days are somewhat short at this time of year, it's still no excuse to sit on my backside and not continue to 'build hurtin' bombs'.

I missed some great races locally here since I went down with injury in August.  The Kennett XC Challenge (White Mountain Milers vs. Kennett and Fryeburg Academy, where it may have been my last chance to beat Silas Eastman before he becomes a household name), the Millen Mile, Kismett Cliff run, the White Mountain Milers Half Marathon, and the Madison Thanksgiving race.  Needless to say, I've been pretty depressed about that.... but I have a lot more to look forward to once the dust clears on this year.  I am expecting a baby daughter in January and that will be greatly exciting.  I get a lot of 'you're running will be over' and 'have fun now before it's all over' when talking about having a child.  Everyone seems to think that as soon as you have a baby, your life is somehow completely changed.  That's certainly true to a degree....but I'm not planning on hanging up my running shoes simply because I am becoming a father.  On the contrary.  I am going to continue to train, race, be fit and healthy, and competitive to not only set a good example for my children but also to be a responsible parent and take care of myself physically and mentally.  I understand when people tell me this (it's been a lot of folks) when they don't stop and consider that I work from home and see my wife 22 hours a day (less an hour or so if I go out running or she goes out to yoga, etc.).  I will be around my family (as long as my job lasts as-is) all day.  My thought (as well as that of my fully supportive wife) is that if we can't spend at least an hour a day doing something we love to do or need to do to stay healthy and strong, then there's really something wrong.  Considering I will have the unbelievable chance of being home with my wife and child during the day and I won't be travelling or commuting to work a couple hours a day + like some folks do, I should have ample time to get my run in during the afternoon or morning and not have to worry about missing family time.  If I was commuting and didn't get to see my family as much as I do now, I'd maybe think about cutting back my focus on running and training and racing, but as of now, there will be no plans to back away from being me and enjoying life as I have been this past year (injuries aside).

As I focus now on the impending doom of getting buried with snow, I am getting excited about building strength this winter on some snowmobile trails, great snowshoe runs, and some nordic skiing as well.  I am starting to think about what I want to focus on for running and racing in 2013. It's hard to really focus on what I really want to do, which is dip my toes into some longer ultras this coming year, because my foot is still junk and I can't quite fathom being able to go the distance just yet.  But I'm keeping that in the back pocket for now and have penciled in some dates of the GSSS races I want to do + the USATF NE Mountain dates and a couple of other 'no-miss' races for me.  The USATF GP voting is still going on, so I can't commit to any of those right now.  Which brings me to another subject which is the voting for USATF slates (if you haven't seen DD's 'rant' on this, check it out here).  I spent 1 hour drawing up all my 'conflicts' for each race in each slate and figured out which one would yield the least amount of conflicts and pain in my schedule.  It was slate 3 for me. The marathon was a wash so I voted for Manchester because it's way closer to home, but I don't care if it's Cape Cod that gets the nod.  If I'm healthy, I'll run either one.  The problem is that when it came time for me to vote, I logged onto the site and accidentally voted for slate 2!!!  I have no clue how, but I had a momentary lapse of reason and clicked the wrong thing.  I inquired about having it changed on the backend, but no dice. I understand they can't change the vote and it was my fault for accidentally voting for slate 2.  If slate 2 wins by 1, I'll be miffed.  If it or slate 1 win by a lot, I won't really care.  Either way, I'll only be able to make a few GP races next year at best.

So in summary, I hope I haven't completely lost all my readership...I'll start posting again..maybe Eric MacKnight-style where I wax poetic about all my meals, television habits, and bowel movements....or maybe Judson Cake style where I carve out all my insane workouts (although I almost never do any) on a daily basis...We'll see how it goes.  Either way, I've missed blogging and I've missed reading about other's hijinx as well...

As of now...the night runs are in full effect here in the valley. It seems a nice short/slow run at Whitaker is becoming a Tuesday night staple...


  1. Kids do not meaning running is over. Sure, are priorities different at times. Hell yeah. But I find that healthy for the running anyway.

  2. Hey Jim, congrats on the news (sorry about the foot)! No worries on the fitness regime. I didn't start really running/racing until I had kids. They keep everything in perspective and definitely give you a reason to stay healthy.

    Speaking of which, any ideas on where I can get a decent pair of used snowshoes (starting something new this year, weather dependent of course)?


  3. Thanks Mark! I appreciate the info. You could check out any of the Granite State Snowshoe events this year (Website) and shoot Bob Dion a message to ask if he would be able to send/sell a used pair that you could either pick up at the race or maybe you could buy it from him via the mail...you'd need to ask. Bob has a representative go to all the events and rent out snowshoes for 5 bucks. He may be able to have the rep sell you a used pair (a rental pair) ... it's worth it to ask. Friend him on FB or send him a note. Bob Dion. He makes the snowshoes for racing that most folks use in New England. I use the 121 frames (the only ones they send to the races) with the Secure Fit bindings and Ice Cleat (although I think the rentals are the standard cleat).

  4. Night runs in the Valley? That was a staple with a small group of us in WMass. Since moving to the MWV I find most trail runners don't know what a headlamp is.