Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ready, Fire, Aim - Traprock 50K!

I have heard that phrase a lot lately.  On the lifestyle design and entrepreneurial sites that I follow, they encourage you to "Get off the couch/bench" and try something without planning out every last detail.  At the office in our very conservative corporate engineering environment, I heard the opposite this week.  We don't want to be in a "ready, fire, aim" situation.  We avoid risk to the point of missing opportunity.

What is the right answer?  I think it is a little of both.  Do your homework enough to avoid major risks, but don't worry about having all the answers before you jump in with both feet.

What does this have to do with ultra-running?  Well, the Traprock 50K is coming together nicely, and we expect it to be a success on April 17.  However, we didn't have everything planned out in advance.  In fact, we are still working out last minute details.  Regardless, we had a great run with 13 people this weekend at Penwood State Forest, and it would not have happened if we didn't announce our intentions to hold a race there.  The Goat and I have been talking about hosting a race for quite sometime, and it is finally coming together.  Just this week, we finalized details with the state park.  We received the bib #'s in the mail, and we have runners signed up.  Today, we investigated some potential changes to the course, and we still have lots to do before race day.  The cool thing is that it is coming together.  Would it have happened if we waited for every last detail to be worked out?  I think you know the answer to that question.  So, next time you are thinking of trying something new, remember "Ready, Fire, Aim!"

So, how was the run on Saturday?  It was awesome!  The crew was a unique combination of folks from our Reach the Beach Relay team, the Shenipsit Striders, and the CT Climbers and Mountaineers.  You gotta love it!  We had quite a diverse group of runners and I was a little concerned about how we would get everyone around the course without people getting lost.  Bruce, Scott, and Mark are training for 100 mile races, so they are running strong.  In fact, all the Shenipsit boys were running well.  So, I was wondering how this would work out.  I started out with the lead group and we had split into 2 groups before the 2 mile mark.  Uh Oh!  Goat waited for the RTB crew and I shot some video of everyone on the Stairmaster.  Great fun!  At the top, Goat and I switched.  It was good for him to run with the ultra crowd, since he is training for Vermont 100.  I had a chance to run with my old buddies and get their take on the course.  I also had a chance to get to know some newer faces in the crowd.  Mirela is running her second ultra, and we had a chance to chat while she tried to get her Nathan rehydration pack to work.

At the finish of the loop, we had coffee and confectionaries thanks to Paul D. and the Goat.

The ultra boys had gone over to Heublein Tower to get in more mileage and I could see Goat was ready for more. I sucked down some sugar and we headed over to the tower for more.  We compared notes on runner feedback on the course and enjoyed the sunny morning.  As nice as it was to run with the crew, it was nice to run a bit with just the Goat and me.  We logged another 11 miles on varied terrain and called it quits after 4 hours and 22 miles.  What a great day!

Hope you are all signed up for Traprock 50K.  You can run 1,2, or 3 laps...just sign up.  It will be a great time!  Sign up this week, so Goat can place the shirt order.

Weekly Totals:
Mileage: 40ish  (OK, 39+)
# of runs: 4
Strength Training: 2 workouts, but they were weak (at least I did them)
# of muffins: ZERO!

Have a great week everyone!


P.S. - If anyone has tips on uploading video to Facebook or Blogger, I could use the assistance.  Very frustrating as I don't even see the video icon on Blogger anymore.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A week in review and Traprock 50K update

Total Mileage: 43 Miles
# of runs: 4
Other exercise: Zippo
# of muffins: None since the resolution
Big steps forward: At least 1

So, what do you think?  A good week?

I'm pretty excited about it.  With the week I had at work, I was psyched to get in 4 runs of decent mileage.  I also am eating healthier and avoiding those tempting muffins.  I was tempted this morning, but enjoyed some awesome oatmeal instead.

One big step forward this week was the purchase of my first Mac Book.  It's so freakin' awesome!  My only regret is not getting one sooner.  I did some video editing of Traprock footage yesterday and just need to get it uploaded for your viewing pleasure.  Good stuff!

My goals this week are to get in 4 more runs plus 1 workout of strength training.

Traprock Update:

We are so psyched with the interest in the race as well as the out pouring of support from the running community.  We hope you enjoy the race!

 Race numbers are ordered.  Contemplating some tweeks to the course.  Need to order some race fuel.  Goat is working the T-shirts and other items.  Volunteers are stepping up.  Now, we just need to find a bagpipe player - I wish Graeme was still around.

Come join us this Saturday for a Traprock training run at 7:15AM at the entrance to Penwood State Park off Rt. 185 in Bloomfield.  All are welcome.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Running (with Scissors)

It's happening.   The Traprock 50K is coming together nicely.  The State Park people seem to have pre-approved our request and the Shenipsit Striders are backing us for insurance.  Registration is open and we have our first group training run on the course tomorrow.  Volunteers are coming out of the woodwork, and Goat is working on the shirts.  It's awesome!

I'm so amazed how the Universe comes together to bring a vision to life.  I always underestimate the power of it all even though I have witnessed it so many times.  Working 12 hour days, teaching on the side, training, and being a Father and Grandpa keep me busy enough.  Goat is a busy guy as well especially now that he is training for Vermont.  "How could we pull it off?", I thought.  There's still a lot of work left to do.  Awards, aid stations, etc., etc.  We'll get there though.

It's happening.  I probably won't get my taxes done, but the race is happening.

Come out and join us for an amazing adventure on April 17!  It will be a great experience for all.

Now, off to meet the Goat for our Saturday morning run/planning session.  Cheers!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chocolate Luvin' Muffin Man Update

So, I had an eggwhite omelette for breakfast with toast, then a sunbutter sandwich for a mid-morning snack, and egg salad wrap for lunch. I was feeling pretty good having dodged the chocolate muffin bullet. Then it happened....You know....that late afternoon binge. My cube-mate asked me if I wanted a Green muffin for St. Patty's Day. I bit (pun intended). Before I knew it, the muffin was gone and I was looking for more. I had to remind myself that I just swallowed a load of calories.

My plan was to hit the climbing gym, but ended up working until 6. So, I went for a run instead. Logged 6.5 at a reasonable clip on flat terrain. Not bad compared to most weeks lately.

Let's check the score:

Muffins 1, Steve 0
#of Aerobic workouts this week: 2 and rising

What's your personal challenge?

Get off the couch!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Chocolate Muffins Must Stop!

It was symbolic of the situation. I've become a regular chocolate muffin frequenter in our cafeteria. I'm so hooked on them that the cashier tries to save them for me. I've even had 2 in one sitting. It's bad! Today, one of my peers saw me about to bite into my chocolatie delight, and said,"YOU OF ALL PEOPLE should no better than to eat one of those things!! Look at the oil oozing into the napkin for Pete's sake!" I was caught brown handed.

Has it come to this? Has my health fallen so far off track that I eat chocolate muffins every morning. My weight is as high as it's been in 3 years (which is probably a good thing in the eyes of most people), but it's not muscle. I run twice a week and am a shadow of my former self in terms of speed and endurance. I once logged 90-100 miles per week for 2 months straight, and now I'm lucky to log 90-100 miles per month. I've been blaming my fitness level on age, but I can't really hide behind that excuse. I know I can mount a charge if I put in the miles.

It's time to quit whining and get off the couch. The Goat's on a business trip, so I decided to skip the hills. I barely got myself out the door to the gym. I jumped on the treadmill and started moving. I started faster than usual and thought it most unusual. I picked up the pace gradually and kept coaxing myself into more mileage. The UCONN-Northeastern NIT game was on, so it helped keep me engaged. Before I knew it, I had knocked off 8 miles at 7min pace....not bad for a chocolate-lovin' muffin man. It's a start.

Join me. Get off the couch and get in the game! Try to get in 4 aerobic workouts per week. I once ran 6:50's for the marathon. My goal is to get back there. It's going to take a lot, but tonight was a start. What's your goal? Tell me and then let's get after it!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Traprock 50K Update and then some...

It's been a busy weekend for Goat and me. Plans are finally coming together for the race. We implemented plan B on Saturday and mapped out a new course. See our facebook page or for more details. Registration is officially open, so please sign up before April 6. We also shot a really fun video for your entertainment pleasure. Check it out on Facebook.

It's been awhile since I posted a blog entry. I love to write and chronicle recent events, but time has been tight lately. As far as adventure, Tara and I finally got out for our annual skiing ritual. We usually manage to get out once per year (and sometimes not even...). On Friday, we went to Catamount Ski area on the border of MA and NY. I grew up in NY and always wanted to check out the place. It's not a big ski area, but we had fun. I had 2 free passes that I picked up through the United Way Silent Auction at work, and wanted to use them before the snow turned to mud. We arrived at 9AM just as the lifts started up. Tara needed some coffee to wake up, so I sipped some hot cocoa. It was interested watching the old retired guys get ready for the big ski day. I thought, "So this is what retirement is like...". It looks a little lonely, but I'm sure I could get over that part pretty fast.

Tara and I laughed because our quads were sore after a couple runs. The conditions were better than I expected, but it did starting getting slushy in the afternoon. We skied until 2pm and Tara couldn't go on anymore. She was tired, so we headed for home. It was fun talking with her. She talked about raising money for Haiti and asked for ideas. I told her that maybe the Traprock 50K would donate if she showed up to help with the race. It sounded like a win/win to me. She took the hook...I wonder if she knows there is a 9 hour cut-off!

It was nice spending some time with Tara. She graduates from UCONN in May. I know she wants to travel and live in different places (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree I suppose), so I cherish these opportunities.

Similarly, my granddaughter, Maliyah, and I did her first 5K today. Sure, she's only 1, but it's never too early to start. OK, technically she rode in a stroller, but she covered the whole distance without complaining. She seemed to enjoy herself throughly until the last 0.3 miles or so. I have to admit it was chilly and windy. I kept trying to get her to keep her mittens on, but she kept pulling them off. I thought, "Her mother will never forgive me if they need to amputate for frostbite." At first, we could walk for 10 minutes and then I'd have to put the mitts back on her, then it became 100 yards, then 100 feet, and finally I gave up. She seems to have survived the event with both hands intact though.

I have to admit it was the first time I did the 5K loop in jeans and leather shoes. Maliyah waved to everyone and I encouraged some of the runners. I asked one guy that we saw pass us a few times how many laps he was doing. He smiled wide and proudly said, "Five, this is my last lap". I told him he was doing great...I think it made his day. Wonder if he's heard about the Traprock 50K?

Maliyah and I tried to run the downhills, but Grandpa's jeans kept falling down. Bummer. Maybe next time we'll get a baby jogger and test it out for real. I wonder if I'll be able to tell her about her first 5K someday as she prepares for her first ultra....

I can dream, eh?

Have a great week everyone!