Thursday, February 16, 2012

Touching base - Mid-Feb

I've been absentee since Feb 1st, in regards to posting anything on the blog, so I figued I would take a couple minutes to post.

Been dealing with a fairly busy schedule; between life, refereeing on weekends, trying to get on the trails when I can (Thank God, the days are getting a little longer for the post work trail access), running at night and a hectic work schedule; but I've been staying motivated and out pounding the trails and pavement.

Been also treating myself to a few gadgets and new shoes too:

I bought the Petzl headlamp off of eBay. I have to say that I really, really like it. It is extremely comfortable and when you put the deflector up, it really does a nice job illuminating in front. I've been using it almost every night going out, as Pine Street is so riddled with potholes, that it gives my feet and ankles a fighting chance if I can see what lies ahead of me. I've taken it out on the trails as well. I used it one moon-less night coupled with my knucklelights. And although the addition of the knucklelights did make a difference, I have to say that I almost preferred not having anything on my hands and just the headlamp.

I tweaked the lower part of both of my hamstrings refereeing the other day, so I've been babying them for about a week. I stopped by CitySports on my way to the train after work the other night and picked up some 3/4 compression shorts. And after resting from running Sunday and Monday, I put them on and went out. I was cautiously nervous about tweaking it again and having to walk home. I shortened up my stride considerably and about half way through the run, I actually felt fairly fluid in the run. And although I thought the compression shorts would be more binding and tighter, I’m impressed. Wednesday night, the right hammie reminded me it was still not happy as I left the driveway, but it behaved itself to let me finish. Today I put on a compression wrap for work today as it was sore this morning, and took it off around lunch time.  I hear that the foam roller's are the way to go.  I'll have to plan on picking one of those up. 

In regards to shoes, I am still totally loving the New Balance Minimus. And with not being able to hit the trails much, I've been treating myself wearing them around town. I just love the feel of those shoes.  My ONLY complaint is I wish they made them in half sizes for the larger feet. I take a 13 but they were a bit short in the toe box, so I had to go to a 14. Been tripping on the trails and I'm almost thinking that is the reason. Or then again I could just be a klutz. As my old Nike's are SO old and tired, I bought a pair of Asics for the days I'm on the roads. Took them out the first night for a 3 mile run and about half way through my right ankle was simply not happy. Got home, put the Nike's back on, went out for a half mile; pain gone. So I called the local Sports Authority that I bought them at and they said that I could return them. I was not only happy (as they ran $ 104) but also impressed. And who says customer service (like chivalry) is dead?

Well enough for now. I also just bought a Natham backpack, that hopefully I can tryout this weekend, but with only 2 weekends left to make any substantial money refereeing, the christening of the Nathan may have to a wait.

Until then ~ Be Well ~ Sank

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stone Cat and January

Well I've made my decision.  I had been kicking around the idea of doing the Vermont 50 in September, but after researching races, figuring out my summer and trying to plan things out I've decided to do the Stone Cat 50 miler in November of this year.

I think that coupled with the fact that Stone Cat is a loop course (4 at 12.5 mile per loop), obviously a much flatter course than Vermont, me being a novice at this distance, and that the finish times across the board seem to be faster; I went with Stone Cat.

Even if I do or don't plan on entering the Western States' lottery, knowing that it is a faster course, makes the 11 hour WS100 qualifying time more optainable if I decided to try to get into Western States 2013, also helped me to pick Stone Cat in the end.  But WS is obviously a much bigger commitment, but we can cross the moss covered trail bridge when and if we come to it.

While researching races for 2012, I keep coming across the name of an experienced and fairly successful trail runner in my town.  I sent him out a note and he was nice enough to respond.  And is willing to help me when I hit a question regarding training at the ultra's and regarding racing the longer distances on the trails. 

And no I'm not talking about Ben Nephew from team Inov, who is extremely successful, who I have to admit, even though I have spent almost 99% of my 49 years in Mansfield, MA, I have never seen Ben running on the roads.  But I digress.....

I finished January with a montly total of 69 miles.  Having not run since my dad passed away on August 4th of last year, I honestly wasn't sure where I was going to be at the end of the month as I was only trying to keep track of having a weekly increase, while trying to build up the tendon strength in the right ankle.  The ankle feels a thousand times better than it did at the beginning of the month, so I am looking to finish February somewhere around 105-110 miles for the 29 days.  I think it is realistic goal and will keep my ankle happy (especially if I continue to do the exercises I found on line). 

Enough for now, Happy February to you all.  Tomorrow is one of my favorite holidays of the year.  Seriously it is.  I mean how can you not love a holiday based around a rodent and if he sees his shadow.

Happy Ground Hog's Day everyone

Be Well ~ Sank