Thursday, December 22, 2011

Am I a Blogger?

Can you call yourself a blogger if this is my first post since August 2009...more than 2 years ago?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Keep on Running

Well, here it is, the middle of August. I resolved to do at least 2 things with my running on 2009: 1) run everyday, and 2) run marathon distance of longer races on two consecutive days. So, I'm still running everyday...haven't missed a day since January 1st. Even ran the day after a 50 miler. Only 2 miles slow, but still a run.

And now, I'm registered, along with hotel bookings for 2 marathons. The first, on Saturday, October 10th, is the Hartford, CT, marathon. As soon as I finish, I'll hop in the car and drive 2 hours to Albany, NY, where Sunday, October 11, I'll do the Mohawk River something or another marathon.

I'm psyched! A challenging goal and it will keep my training focused, wanting now to do some speed work and pace runs. I can't wait!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another Team Slug 50K

Since 2007, I've ran 3 of the Team Slug 50K races on the infamous (yet secret) trails down in central Delaware. For whatever reason, for all 3, I brought the extreme weather gods with me.

January 2007 - the high was 73, a record. Who would have thought that dehydration would be a consideration in an early January run!!!!!

September 2007 - a heat-wave with a high of 90 degrees and a blistering sun.

June 2008 - torrential rains and thunderstorms throughout the entire 5 hours+ of running.

You just have to love it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Team Slug 50K

I'm excited about this coming Saturday, June 20th. I'll be driving about 90 minutes south of Philadelphia to a small state park near Dover, Delaware, for a Team Slug 50K. It's a low-key event...10 loops of a 3.1 mile trail; no entry fees; bring your own food and drink, along with some communal food and drink to share; and perhaps 20 runners at best.

I've done the Team Slug 50Ks before and they are the best, reminding me always of what ultra running is all about. It's not about the awards, nor how great this year's goodie back is. No tech-wear shirt either. It's just about running and when you finish, it's about having a beer with other runners, some whom you see but once a year; others you're seeing for the first time but will hopefully see again.

I am psyched!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

May Running and Other News

It's the last day of May and I'm just back from an easy 6 miler, for a May total of 223 miles. And my 2009 resolution is still intact as I have ran at least 2 miles everyday thus far.

I have to say that I am mildly surprised. Some mornings, I feel a little low on energy. But I am injury free and have not had even a hint of a cold or other similar winter/spring maladies likely to occur when you don't rest your body periodically.

I finally found a perfect replacement for my New Balance 851s...the Brooks Avalanche is 12EE. I'm on my second pair and they feel GREAT!!!!! Hilary who owns Born to Run in Spring House, PA, recommended them and since she's an accomplished runner (as in sub 3:20 marathons), I listened to her and her recommendation was the best.

Well, being a beautiful Saturday morning, it's time to hit the garden.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ready for the Mudfest and Other Ramblings

This has been a slow week as I'm running every day and tomorrow, I'll be doing the Mt Penn Mudfest. It's a short trail race at 15K and located outside Reading, PA, about an hour's drive from my house. But it is a hard race and they do not call it Mudfest for nothing. And with rain predicted tonight and into Saturday morning, it will be a mess.

That's Sarah laying on the sofa after a run. On the floor is her sister Sammie. Sammie was diagnosed a few weeks back with bone cancer so she had her right leg amputated. She is such a warrior. Within 24 hours of her surgery, she was up and taking short walks and now, just 2 weeks after the surgery, she can go on long walks and parades up and down the street like there is nothing wrong with her. She is great!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Running in the Mud

Last Sunday, we were awaiting a snow storm that produced about 7" in this area. Monday was snowy and by Tuesday morning, the cold had set in. And then Wednesday morning at my usual running time of 4:00 a.m., it was about 9 degrees. But Philadelphia weather being what it is, the high yesterday was 71, and this morning when I started my run at 7:00, it was 57...warm enough for shorts and just a light long-sleeve polypro top.

So Sarah and I were off on the trails. Sarah is not a big shepherd. Two weeks ago at her annual check-up, she weighed 70 pounds. She is one huge muscle from all the running she does. But she's pretty low to the ground. When she runs on muddy trails, all the water and mud kicks up on underside. This morning was no different. When we got back from a 10 miler, she was dripping in mud.

I have to trick her into going around to the back of the house and waiting on the back deck while I duck inside and return with a huge beach towel. I have to give her credit, though. She'll sit down patiently while I towel her off. Then I'll throw the towel over her and she sort of gets all tangled up in it. She'll shed the towel quite quickly, give herself a shake, and then gives that look as if she's saying, "Can we go running again?" A big bowl of food and water usual set her straight. Me too, although I prefer my food on a plate and my water in a glass or bottle.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Weekend

This morning was a quick 3 miles on the road. But the big news is the weather. Whereas it snowed at the beginning of the week and mid-week found morning temperatures in the low teens, today it will be in the low 60's. So, that means another run on trails...muddy trails, no doubt.

More later!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hopefully Our Last Winter Storm

I woke up this morning knowing there'd be snow on the ground and sure enough, there was. But it seems it wasn't as much as they predicted, unless it snows more throughout the day as they predict. Right now, we have about 3" to 4" in the neighborhood, but the greatest accumulation was supposed to be in New Jersey.

Sarah and I did 5 miles this morning. Fortunately, as early as we get out, we had the roads to ourselves, but with gusting winds, we both worked a little harder than we normally would for 5 miles. By next weekend, though, temperatures are predicted to be in the low 50's. Some I'm remaining hopeful that this will be the last storm of the winter.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Random Running Thoughts

Sarah and I were out the door at 4:00 this morning for our usual run. Lethargy best explains how I felt for my 5 miles. Sarah, being her usual self, was energetic and she must have put in a mile more than I as she constantly zig-zags in front me, nose to the ground.

Yesterday morning, I was at the dentist and when I was done and ready to drive home, I felt like kicking myself in the butt. You see, driving from the house to the dentist is perhaps 5 road miles. But, I could have picked up a trail 1/2 mile from the house, ran about 3 miles on trails, and would have exited a trail about 1/2 mile from the dentist. I should have ran there. As the visit involved oral surgery, I probably would have walked home on the trails. A lost opportunity, to say the least.

March 1st is almost here and that means more and more spring-like weather. And soon, the trails will soften up and all the green will appear. I especially loving running in the spring. Where I do my trail running, there's a creek that the state stocks each spring with trout. I think the first day of trout season is April 4th. I love seeing all the anglers lining the banks of the creek. It's a sure sign that spring is fully upon us. Also takes me back to my youth in Vermont where the first day of trout season was almost as important as the last day of school.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Balance Running Shoe Update

A few weeks ago, I tried the NB 1011 as a replacement for the NB851 and after about 50 miles, the verdict is in. They felt like I had duct taped two pine boards to my feet and went running.

So I switched back to an old pair of 851s and my feet said thank you!!!!! Unfortunately, old meant 400 miles on them and I knew it was just a matter of time, and injury, before I would have to totally disuse them. Solution?????

Last September, I bought a pair of NB 768s, not so much as a running shoe replacement, but as a comfortable walking around shoe. I decided to try them running. They've felt great. Fit is near perfect, they are flexible and responsive, and for my running style, I get what seems to be enough cushioning. Mind you, I only have a few miles on them. But I'm hoping they will continue to feel just fine.

A word on my running style and bio-mechanics. I'm 6'4" and weigh 185. But I'm relatively light on my feet and am not a hard heel striker. I wear a 12EE and my feet are probably the flattest in the word.

Again, I'm hoping for the best.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Farewell New Balance 851, I Knew Thee Well

I bought my first pair of New Balance 851 shoes, size 12EE, back in 1997 (or thereabouts). From that first pair, I have not run in any other shoe model until two days ago, when I switched to the New Balance 1011.

When NB originally stopped regular production of the 851s back in the late 90s, they still did a production run for Road Runner Sports. So every 8-10 months, I'd buy 6 to 8 pairs and go through them before another bulk order. But 2 weeks ago, I checked and there were no 851s in my size in stock.
My heart sunk, tears formed, and I felt a twinge of panic. My last pair of 851s had nearly 400 miles on them. What was I to do? I needed the EE width and who other than NB could deliver the fit and comfort I demanded.
After some research, I settled on ordering a pair of 1011s and they arrived Wednesday. So far, after three runs, they seem fine, although psychologically, my feet feel as though they have become permanently molded to the shape of the851.
Maybe I need counseling...get myself psychologized. Make that maybe I need a shower more as I only got back from my second run of the day 20 minutes ago.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Running Memory

For the last week, we've had mostly nuisance weather, beginning last Wednesday when an inch of snow turned into ice that remained on the roads for several days. And then yesterday afternoon, 6 inches of new snow fell and that has mostly been left unplowed on the streets I run on.

I went for my first winter trail run back in late December of 1963. I was in the 8th grade and our junior high basketball coach decided that it would be good training to take us running in the woods. No trail running shoes back then, just winter hunting boots with heavy wool socks and I probably wore my red-plaid wool hunting jacket. And not much in the way of trails, either. Mostly old logging roads that hadn't been used in years or the occasional deer trail winding through the hardwood forests surrounding our town. And hills!!!!!

I'd love to say that that run inspired me to become an Olympic-level cross-country runner or an NCAA Division 1 10K record holder. Neither happened, and outside of further running in a gym as part of formal basketball practice, I didn't go out for the exclusive purpose of running until the summer of 1964. Only this time, I was able to shed the hunting boots for a pair of Converse canvas high-top basketball shoes. Where was Bill Bowerman when your feet needed him back in the early 60's?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Philadelphia Weather

My miles have suffered these last few days. On Wednesday morning, we had about 2.5 inches of snow, certainly not in the blizzard category, and as the day progressed, the temperatures rose slightly and it rained some.

Now, Philadelphia is in a budget crunch and has significantly reduced it snow plowing operations. Not that these operations were stellar to begin with. Things just went from bad to worse. So, when the cold front came through Wednesday evening, most of the roads in my neck of the woods were nothing but ice, of the kind where tire tracks were left frozen in place. And on many roads around the house here, those frozen ruts are still present, only slowly melting some during the day.

As everyone knows, this makes for some hard running, always trying to pick out a running line when seeing bare spots of asphalt. It reminds me a little of mountain biking on technical single track, where you have to ride your lines. The good news is...I haven't fallen.

Sarah, meanwhile, hates it and my zig-zagging down the roads to avoid icy ruts confuses here. She's more of a "point me in the right direction and let me go" type of dog. And I think she has slipped and nearly landed on her butt more times than I have.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Need a Running Partner

This is Sarge, a 1 to 2 year old German Shepherd up for adoption through the Save A Shepherd Rescue Alliance in the Philadelphia area. We'd love to adopt Sarge, but with two already, we'll wait. But he looks like a great runner!
But this post isn't about Sarge, per se. It's about anyone, anywhere, looking for a running partner. There are so many great dogs in shelters and with various breed rescue societies that need a running partner. They're just waiting and as a running partner, here's what you get:
1) A loyal and fun companion.
2) Someone who will take you running anytime you want.
3) Someone who will adjust to your pace.
4) Someone who will be patient and listen to you as you rant and rave about that heel or knee injury.
5) Someone who doesn't need a lot of runnng gear.
6) Did a I mention a loyal and fun companion.
7) Someone who will never forget that you decided to be their running partner.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Running and Cars

On an easy day, I run more than the number of cars I've bought in the last 22 years. Since 1987, the grand total being 3, with today being #3, a brand spanking new 2009 Honda CRV. My first Honda was in 1987, a Civic, and then in 1997, an Accord. That Accord had 135,750 miles, while the Civic had 125,000. Fond memories!

I drove that Accord to so many races, I can't even begin to recall them all. It went to Ohio for the Great Buckeye Challenge triathlon; Sarasota, Florida, for the start of a Florida Coast-to-Coast 3-day adventure race; to North Carolina for the Tsali off-road triathlon; several trips to Ohiopyle, PA, for adventure racing; someplace in Georgia for the North Gerogia Adventure Race; Indianapolis, New York, and Vermont for marathons; New York, Vermont, Maryland, and Virginia for ultra-marathons; just to name a few.

I almost feel like a snob with all 35 miles on my new CRV. I mean, it has a CD player. My Accord didn't have one and I'm not sure CD's were around in 1987 when I got my Civic.

I'm sure it will only be a matter of weeks before it goes on its first road trip to a race. I can't wait!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Feel Like a Wimp


Yesterday morning (Thursday), I awoke with a killer tooth ache, but did 6 miles nonetheless. But the discomfort was too much for eating. I was eventually able to see an oral surgeon, and at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, out goes the tooth, in goes some stitches, and back home I go, in some discomfort and a noisey stomach from not eating.

So this morning, temperatures in the single digits, a sore mouth, and a still empty stomach, I sucked it up and did three miles. Three miles...ONLY three miles. I feel like a wimp.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ramblings from a Mortal Runner

Like most mortals, I will never log 100+ miles a week, and I am no longer able to do those 6 minute miles. In my younger days, the 70 mile weeks were common, as were sub 40 minute 10Ks. But at 59, those days are gone for the most part.

Still, I'm resolved to run every day in 2009. Wednesday would normally be my rest day, and if I were following that plan, my weekly total this time of year would be 45-50 weekly miles. But with that seventh day in there, my total is actually down...intentionally, for now.

In adding that seventh day, I want to feel as though I still have fresh legs for the paltry 2 or 3 miles I've chosen to run on that day. So, for the other six days, I've back off a few miles, hoping that as I continue to build the mileage count, my legs always remain fresh. So far, it's working. By my humble calculations, even a modest 5% increase in my weekly total will get me to a weekly total of 50 to 55 miles in another few weeks.

So why be greedy at my age with trying to get in too many miles, too soon? Come to think of it, why be greedy at all?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Running Blog Entry

It's not a very creative or inspiring title. This is nothing more, nor nothing less, than a blog entry about my morning run.

For the last 2 days, Sarah hasn't been feeling well...stomach issues...and us dog owners know exactly what that means. So, I've been reluctant to have her join me running, but caved in both yesterday and this morning. She gets so excited when I put on my hat and gloves. She'll sit attentively at the front door, just waiting for me to grab her leash and walk outside.

It was cold this morning, with crystal clear skies, no wind, no ice on the roads and no cars. Still, we had our excitement, or rather, Sarah did. As we rounded a corner to go down this small street, a fox was crossing the street, no doubt still scavenging from garbage cans and the like. Well, when Sarah saw the fox, any signs of lethargy brought on by an upset stomach instantly disappeared and she became an animal...pulling, nose to the ground, tracking the scent, ready to give chase. Did I say she became an animal? Yes, but in that great German Shepherd way. Proud, loyal, and ready defend her family and territory against any and all threats, real or imagined.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Marathon Memories

From 2001 to 2003, I went marathon crazy. Not only did I run about 35 marathons during this period, but they were all over the country and one was in Amsterdam. So, not only was I training and racing, I was flying, making a lot of hotel reservations, and renting cars. It's only when I go through my finisher medals that I remember a few, but some will always live vibrantly in my memory.

Pikes Peak in one. Starting at 7,000 feet, you run up 13.25 miles to reach Pikes Peak at 14,100 feet, then back down. What I recall most of this marathon is the last 2,000 vertical feet or so of climbing. Slightly oxygen deprived, I remember one thing kept me going...if I didn't finish this sucker, I couldn't wear the Pikes Peak sweatshirt or hat. It was a tough marathon, but I finished.

Ah, the Death Valley Trail Marathon. Done on fire roads in winter, heat isn't an issue. The first 12 miles are pretty much all up, then the remaining miles are all down. I recall being about 3 miles from the finish line and being able to see down and in the distance some reflections. I later learned that those were from the white painted roof-tops of the school buses that would take us back to Furnace Creek...race headquarters.

In early October 2003, 3 weeks before doing the Amsterdam Marathon, I was in Big Sur for the trail marathon. I can't recall anything highly unusual about why I loved this run. I just did.

Since my last 2003 marathon, Dallas White Rock in December, I've only done a handful of marathons, concentrating instead on ultras. May 2009 may just be a year to visit my old 26.2 mile haunt.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Logging and Blogging Miles

I've always been good at logging my miles. No, not logging as in writing in a book, but logging with feet on the ground.

Blogging my miles is a little different. Just not the same writing about running as it is actually doing it. Oh well, I'll keep going.

As a runner, I know that other types of training are important...strength training, stretching, and beer drinking. Regarding the first two, I have always found it difficult to follow some specific strength or stretching program. Still, I find that most days, I can get in at least 100 push-ups, 10 to 15 minutes of stretching, and some other similar training. My formula is simple. Find a natural opportunity and just do something. Last evening, for example, I was warming some red potatoes in the fry pan.. So, while slowly warming, I figure that while waiting, I'd just drop down on the kitchen floor and whip out 50 push-ups. Not very scientific and didn't find this method in any book. Just did it.

I do things like that daily. At work, I always walk up the five flights of stairs to my office. After a few hours at my computer or during a meeting break, I do 4-5 minutes of stretching. Or at home before settling down for the night, a quick 50 crunches before jumping into bed.

It all adds up. As for the beer drinking, I'm logging off now and running to the fridge for a cold one.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Meditation with a Sig 9MM

I grew up around guns. As a kid, I got my first .22 caliber rifle when I was 12, followed over the next couple of years with a .410 shotgun, a .12 gauge shotgun, a 30-30 rifle, and then a 30-06 rifle.

When I entered the military, I found myself in a military speciality requiring constant use of firearms and numerous trips every year to the range for qualification on the M-16, .12 gauge shotgun, .38 caliber revolver, .45 caliber semi-automatic, M-203 grenade launcher, M-60 machine gun, and .50 caliber. There were a few others along the way, including some foreign-made firearms. How can one ever forget those range commands, "ready on the left, ready on the right, ready on the firing line, commence firing!"

After my run yesterday (January 4th), I drove out to my local indoor range with my trusty 9mm Sig Sauer Pro 2009. I've always found shooting to have a meditation-like quality about it. First, when you walk onto the range, you clear your mind of all external distractions. No thinking about work, the stock market, or other day-to-day distractions. My focus is totally on safety...treat every weapon as if it is loaded; and always keep the muzzle pointed down-range.

Then the time for shooting comes. Still with a constant focus on safety, I have to always concentrate on a few additional things. Breath slowly and in a controlled way, inhaling and exhaling slowly. Acquire a good sight picture. Squeeze the trigger, don't pull it; otherwise, I'll pull my shots to the left. Stay patient and don't hurry the next shot. Repeat 100 times or more.

My wife Lori also joined me yesterday, shooting a .22 caliber revolver. Just a beginner, as I watched her, I know that a couple of hundred rounds from now, she'll have tight groupings and an Ultradawg proclaimed level of expert.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

It's Coming Together

I spent much of the late summer and early fall of 2008 hobbling around on a sore heel and took nearly six weeks off from running. I had done some ultras in April, June, and July, so no was an overuse injury. So for the next six weeks, I spent at least 45 minutes everyday, peddling indoors on my road bike and trainer.

I'm just now getting back to where I can increase my miles, having used November and December as a time to slowly build back my base miles. Seems that my strategy is working. Although I still feel a little heel tenderness, everything else is "full-steam ahead." Today, it was a strong and fast 6.5 miles on trails, followed by a 1 mile road climb...the road being about a 7% grade. Then the final flat .5 mile cool-down...and a post-run breakfast of waffles and orange juice.

Coming off a foot injury, I spend a lot of time thinking about my running shoes. Are they giving me enough support? There was a time, though, nearly 30 years ago, where my running shoes weren't shoes, but were combat boots. I recall fondly my weeks and weeks in Texas running daily in combat boots, black cotton socks, cotton fatigue pants, and a cotton tee-shirt. There was nothing high-tech. We hydrated from luke-warm water sloshing around in a plastic canteen and popped the occasional salt tablets in those pre-electrolyte days. My body no longer misses those days, but my mind does.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 Begins

This morning was a good start to my 2009 Resolution of running every day of the year. But, Sarah chastised me for not talking with her about the resolution. She knows she will have to take a few days off when I race, but this still means she will do perhaps 350 runs during the year. So in the future, I need to clear things through her.

Will I stay motivated to run each of the remaining 364 days? I like to not think of them as days, but as running paces, with each day being a pace. So, 364 paces is merely a half mile, or close enough for government work. Now, when I take that first step in a 50K, how many paces am I going to cover? It comes out to be something like 24,000, or properly more as my stride length will often shorten on hills near the end of a race when I'm tired.

But like most ultra marathoners, when we're tired and moving slowly, we still place one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. That's part of how I will think, feel, and stay motivated.

Sarah, too. And if there are any mistakes/typos in this post, Sarah proof read it and she is solely responsible for any and all errors and omissions.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions for 2009

Resolution 1: To run every day of the year. On January 7, 2009, I turn 59. What better way to celebrate this last year of my sixth decade of my life! I will define a day of running as doing at least 1.5 miles. I figure this will be done on my rest day, as I do 6 days a week of serious ultra training, and the low mileage 7th day will be my rest/recovery day.

Resolution 2: To run back to back (Saturday and Sunday) races at least at the marathon distance. I've done 50K ultras on consecutive weekends, but this year, consecutive days.

Resolution 3: To figure out how those running shirts advertised as having "advanced wicking properties" or made with "performance fabrics" actually work. Cases in point. In July 2008, I wore a shirt advertised as having advanced wicking properties. At race start, at 10:00 a.m., it was 85 and sunny, with a high forecasted in the upper-90s. Ten minutes into the race, I was drenched. No wicking...nada. I did a second race where racers were given a shirt made of performance fabric. Again, nothing. I wasn't faster, wasn't stronger, didn't feel anything at all improving my performance. So, in 2009, I want to both wick and perform wearing one of these shirts. Maybe I can find a service manual on the Internet.

Resolution 4: Keep resolutions 1 and 2.

Monday, December 29, 2008

O Dark Thirty Running

Weekdays mean we’re out the door running at O Dark Thirty. That’s military speak for middle of the night or some other ridiculously early hour in the morning when normal people are still sound asleep.

When my alarm clock goes off at 3:30 in the morning, Sarah and I make our way downstairs where I have a quick cup of coffee before lacing up the running shoes. And Sarah has come to know that when I sit and put on my shoes, it’s her key to run to the front door and wait for me to grab her leash and take off running.

I’m now entering that phase of training where I want to build my weekly base for three great ultras I have planned for 2009…not the only, but three I’m looking forward to.

The first is the North Face Endurance 50 on May 9th at Bear Mountain, NY. This is a brutal race, whether you do the 50K or 50M. Technical single-track, long ascents, and running through boulder fields…make that running on boulders the size of small cars.

Then on June 6th, there’s the Pittsfield Peaks Ultra, another brutal course in the Green Mountains around Pittsfield, Vermont. At 53 miles, you climb and descend, climb and descend, only to climb and descend again.

Finally, there is the 20in24 in Philadelphia on July 18th and 19th. There are several distance options, but the ultra one is to run as many laps of an 8.4 mile loop as you can in 24 hours. Sponsored by the non-profit Back On My Feet, it’s a flat loop, but in July, Philadelphia is hot. With a race start of 10:00 a.m., you can expect temperatures in the high 80s at race start. But the cause is worth it as this nonprofit uses running as a way to help motivate homeless men and women to get healthy, enroll in job training, find a job, and become self-sufficient. As runners, we have found so much for ourselves in our running. What else could be better…give back through your feet what your feet have given to you.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Stuck on 7 Miles

Seems like I'm stuck on 7 miles. Oh well, given that I'm running 7 days a week and just now upping my weekly mileage, not too shabby.

Here's Sarah relaxing on her downstairs couch after a run. And that's her older sister Sammie on the floor. Sammie has been with us 9 years now...another rescue like Sarah. When we got Sammie, she was 1 1/2 years old, weighed 37 pounds, and had been both physically and emotionally abused. Over the past 9 years, she's been a great dog and loves playing with Sarah. But she isn't a runner. I've taken her out running from time to time, but for whatever reason, she'd just rather walk and smell the flowers.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another 7 Miles Today - All Trails

Sarah and I spent another hour or so on the trails getting in 7 miles. Whenever I run in the Wissahickon, I am always amazed at how few other runners I see. Within the Wissahickon Valley, there are 50 miles of trails. Running largely north/south, Forbidden Driven is about 5.5 miles long...a wide gravel roadway closed to traffic, but always full of runners and walkers. But throughout the entire valley, there are another 45 miles of mostly single-track trails. Here, I can run for hours, and although I will come across walkers and mountain bikers, I'll see very few runners. On the one hand, I think more folks should hit the trails running. But then again, I like having the trails largely to myself.

Sarah never gets tired, or so it seems, while we're out running. I keep her on a leash and she's always in the lead, although occasionally, she's off leash, especially when we have water or other rough terrain to negotiate. Here she is in the Adirondacks with me in August 2008, coming out of the water and ready to go many miles.

Friday, December 26, 2008

More About Sarah

Sarah has been a runner since she came into our home on the last Saturday of October in 2006. She was probably 1 ½ at the time, having lived most of her life on the streets on North Philly. She was picked up by animal control and eventually made her way to the Philadelphia Save-a-Shepherd Rescue alliance. And we adopted her.

As soon as I saw her, I knew she was a runner. So, that second day we had her, off to the trails we went. Not knowing exactly how she’d do, we limited the run to 6 miles. She was addicted. In the 2-plus years she’s been with us, she has gone out with me on probably 700 runs, and the only time she misses a run with me is when I race. She feels it is totally wrong that most races don’t allow dogs!!!!!

Sarah doesn’t have any "papers." She’s just your basic fun-loving, full-of-energy, and full-of-love German Shepherd. She never tires of playing and every time I get ready to go out the door for a run, she’s there at the door, waiting for me to open the door, walk out with her, and hit the road or trails.

If ever there was an ultradawg, Sarah is it.

7 Miles - Trail and Road

Today was a good day running. We did 7 miles at a moderate pace. From the door, we only have a half mile run on roads before we hit a trail head to the Wissahickon Valley and then some fun single-track trails. It was quiet out on the mountain bikers and no other walkers or runners. After about 4 miles on trails, we took another trail head and made our way back to the roads, where 2 more miles got us back to the house. We're both looking forward to tomorrow...Saturday...for a run a little longer and nearly all on trail.