Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ski Flick

After recovering from Wii and my boo boo knee, I skied twice this week at Great Glen Trails. Felt great both days. Skiing definitely brings on a different type of tightness around my hips and such. I think that was causing the strain on my knee. I've been stretching moderately ok sorta kinda, so hopefully that diligence will pay off. D is planning to take me out on a 7-mile run today, which will probably kill me. Should be fun.

I have a new camera at work, and have been using it to capture some of the trails. It's a pocket digital camera, so it's tough to keep steady, so if you haven't taken your Dramamine don't click below.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My arm hurts

The Wii is a bad creation. It hurts. Tennis, bowling, baseball, gold and Guitar Hero. My arm hurts. My almost brother-in-law brought his Wii to Christmas at my parents, and we played. A lot. Ouch.

In a related story, in between runs at my parents' house, I did nothing but eat, drink and sit around. I am wicked tight, and my right knee doesn't feel very good. I think I'm going to take a couple days off and just stretch.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Two chicks at the same time

Lawrence is great. Especially, because his name is Lawrence...not Larry. That's genius. Then again, I spent all of my freshman year of college thinking I was Bevis, so my perspective might be skewed.

Where was I? Oh yeah, two chicks...actually two things. For the first time ever, I'm trying to run and ski this winter. I love to ski, so that's imperative. Plus, I'm being "racing" Nordic Meisters again this year, so I want to be moderately competent on skis. And, I'm planning to run a 10-miler in February. Yeah, I think it's official. I'll be on hand for the Mid-Winter 10-Mile Classic. So, obviously, I need to have my butt in shape for that. The combination of running and skiing will be great for the strength part of the equation, but speed is what I'm worried about. Not speed in the sense of actually running fast, but speed in the sense of not just being able to run slow. At least, I think there's a difference anyway. I've laid out what I think will work for workouts for the next 6 weeks, and hopefully it will pay off. That being said, it's really not easy to switch from one to the other. The general fitness is basically the same, but everything else is completely different. It's really tough to explain, but for the first few minutes of each run I feel really out of whack. If I'm running, I feel like I should be skiing; and if I'm skiing, I feel like I should be skiing. The other trick is that I haven't really done much winter running since college. Since for the last ten years, I've been either 1.) Hurt, so I've just been skiing, since I couldn't run or 2.) Focusing on getting fat, which I did quite successfully for a couple years. There's just an extra level of effort involved in winter running. Maybe it will make me tougher. I know I could use that.

Speaking of not tough, I had a less than stellar run this afternoon. I had to run an errand before I started, so by the time I got to the B/T bike path, I had to pee. Of course, I ignored the urge and the nicely located port-a-potty in the parking lot, and about 2 minutes into the run, I was unhappy. The good news was that in the parking lot I spoke to a guy who had just finished his run, and he informed me that the bike path was clear. Sweet! No Yaktraks today. They're great when the ground is covered with snow and ice, but it's much nicer without them. So, Yaktrakless and full-bladdered, I trudge along. Luckily there is a privy along the bike path, since a stealth pee is impossible between the number of people generally out walking or running, the lack of foliage and the proximity to the highway. In a real emergency, yes, but not the best option. I reached the privy, peed, and continued. Unfortunately, my urge to pee was masking my ravenous hunger. Within seconds of leaving the privy, my stomach started rumbled, and I became fearful of a major bonk. Luckily, no bonk. Just extreme grouchiness. Perhaps two ghetto waffles, a glass of OJ, three fig newtons and half a pot of coffee is not the best choice of fuel when you don't start your run until noon. Yes, I'm an idiot.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Ski, ski and more ski

It's been snowing. And that pretty much kicks ass. There's probably more snow on the ground here in Topshizzum than we had all of last winter. Good stuff.

I skied the last two days at Great Glen Trails. (Click there to make me look good. Dick Vitale voice: Site traffic, baby!!!) Right now, the skiing is awesome. So, get out there...anywhere. Who knows how long it will last.

This song has been in my head all day. Hopefully, it will now also torment you. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Blog Neglect

If you have a blog but no one reads it, does it make a sound? In other words, if you don't update, what's the big deal? Even if a bajillion people read it, it's still just a blog. Why am I even bothering addressing it? Welcome to my feeble mind.

Well, we had a classic Midcoast Maine snowstorm: Glorious powder under 2 inches of ice. As my friend Nate often says: "What a pisser." It seems to happen will some regularity. A snowstorm will move in and bring us the beautiful white stuff. Then the storm will kick us in the nuts and drop ice on top of it. The ice locks the powder away beneath an impenetrable crust. OK, that's a bit dramatic, but the net result is that you can't ski in it. Well, you could, but it would suck. You'd either slip all over the place, probably tearing a groin. Or, you'd you break through the crust at irregular times, most likely slipping you ski under the crust and your shin directly into it, which would no doubt induce bleeding and cursing. Ah, I love the coast.

All is not lost, my friends, because the good Lord has brought us the grooming machine. (He made it on the 8th day.) So, when I said you couldn't ski, I lied. You just need to go to a touring center, which isn't a bad thing because the groomer can pretty much ensure good conditions. Good conditions make me happy. Take that icy crust of doom!

D's folks were up for a visit for an early Christmas. We stayed inside for the duration of the storm on Sunday, which was a great way to spend the day just hanging out. Their flight was scheduled for Monday, and off they went. After we dropped them at the airport...err, Jetport...we headed to Pineland Farms for a ski. And, conditions were indeed quite good. The tracks were firm and nice. Good times. It was pretty windy, which was a bit of a downer, as, its name would suggest, Pineland Farms has a number of open fields. It's especially a downer if you forget your specially designed Nordic skiing underwear...which I did. I did manage to rig up a system to get an extra ski hat to stay in place in my pants to "protect the sensitive area." Click here if you want to see my underwear. (Sicko)

Because it was so windy and we didn't start skiing until later in the day, a lot of oak and beech leaves had fallen into the tracks. They were kind of sticky. Any time you picked up speed, they tended to grab a hold of the ski. It made things a bit tricky. Good to stay on your toes. In any event, we had a great ski without any thoughts of the icy crust of doom. Ah, the coast.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Short run today, and it wasn't a whole lot of fun. It was 17°, windy, snowing and almost dark. It hadn't started snowing yet when I was changing or stretching. It started just as I was heading out the door. It was a cold, slippery run. With that thin veneer of snow on the ground it disguised the icy sections that had formed after yesterday's warmth and last night's cold. I slipped and shuffled my way along the bike path. I kept telling myself that it was going to help me somewhere down the line. Which line...I have no idea.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Now that I've started this prosaic adventure, I feel the need to post something every day. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it's because my Mom always told me that you have to finish what you start. The problem with that in the blogosphere is that there really isn't a finish. So, I type away.

A lot of it boils down to the fact that I haven't really classified what exactly this blog is. So far it's just ramblings from my feeble mind. It's not a real training blog since I refuse to admit that I'm really training for anything. It certainly isn't political. It's not exactly humor. Not sure what it is.

In the meantime, watch something funny...conditions are perfect...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

That's better

I felt the need to redeem myself after my crappy run yesterday. And I did feel better today. I'm still in shuffle mode, but that's OK. Actually, I'm really trying to get used to running on the roads. Snow is a good's always a good thing. But the snow has knocked me off the trails, and onto the roads. Well, onto the pavement anyway. I try to avoid running on the roads themselves because in the winter that involves narrower shoulders, slush and stupid drivers. I prefer not to get run over on my runs...I'm picky like that. So I'm moving my runs to the Brunswick/Topsham bike path. It makes for a nice, car-free route...albeit a paved one. It's your typical boring out and back, but I'm not complaining. I will need to mix it up a bit, but for a couple days a week it will suffice. The real trick with getting back on pavement is that it's much harder than trails. Seems pretty obvious, but it definitely makes a difference. My calves don't like pavement. It makes them pretty tight. Plus, on my ski the other day, I slipped at one point and my left hamstring exploded. It feels like boo boo. That's not good. Gee, doesn't all this sound like fun?

Monday, December 10, 2007


Kind of a crazy week at work, but I did manage to ski a couple times. There is a huge difference between my waxless and waxable skis. And, really, the problem is me. Now, the kick wax I threw on my skis on Sunday was a little cold for the conditions, but I thought it would be OK. It wasn't. I could barely get it to work. I'm just not that proficient with old kick and glide. That being, said the ride on my waxable skis is so much nicer than my waxless. Smoother, more maneuverable...good stuff.

D and I ran today on the Brunswick/Topsham bike path, and it really wasn't a whole lot of fun. My calves and hamstrings were so tight from skiing that I could barely move. It was more of a shuffle than anything else. I guess that switching between the two activities is going to be harder than I thought. Plus, I'm trying to plan out a way to get ready for a 10-miler in February, and it's going to be really tough. Just from a scheduling standpoint. Between work, travel and the need/desire to ski, it's going to be really tricky. And now with the new found knowledge that the two things may not go that well together, it's going to be a struggle. The good news is that we don't have to sign up until just before the race. So I have some time to see how it all goes. But after today it doesn't look good.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Get A's. Get Fat.

In Seminole County in Florida, if you earn good grades, you also earn a 660-calorie Happy Meal from McDonald's.

From Advertising Age

That's disgusting. McDonald's is evil. I want to write more about this, but I think I'd get too angry and it would just turn into an ugly rant. Don't eat at McDonald's.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

First Ski

I got out for my first ski of the season this year. The snow at Great Glen is really sweet right now. I was a little rusty, but it was a nice 45-minute, classic ski with a couple stops thrown in for photos.

I am certain that I'm going to be sore tomorrow. A whole different set of muscles. Ouch. Speaking of muscles, my quads were a little sore today. I think yesterday was harder than I thought. The snow must have caused something to be a little different. I'm sure it's nothing to how I'm going to feel tomorrow...stretch at the desk.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Snowy Run

8" of new snow...check.
Sun thinking about setting...check.
Strange looks from neighbors...check.
A great run...check.

I headed out this afternoon not really knowing where I was headed. The roads had been plowed, but I still wasn't ready to give up the trails. So I headed for the powerlines figuring that at the very worst, I could tough it out until the Highland Green road. As it turns out, a truck had been into the tower and ATVs had been out on the trails giving me some fairly well packed tracks to run in. In a few places the snow was a little deeper, and overall it definitely slowed me down. The uneven sections were more uneven, but I only almost ate it twice. Looking forward to getting on the skis in the next couple days.

I just saw an ad for Arby's Cheesecake Poppers. I can't imagine why America would have an obesity epidemic.

Happy to be wrong

It wasn't quite the 17 feet that was forecasted, but it was/is a legitimate snowstorm. About 8 inches or so here in beautiful Topshizzum. D skied this morning in the Commons, and said it was pretty good. She took her rock skis, but claimed she could have used her not race/not rock skis. I'm a little skeptical of that, but it is indeed real snow. Also definitely enough snow for Great Glen Trails to get open. (Yes, shameless plug.) This means that we might actually take in some cash, so we can keep eating, paying bills, etc. I'm headed up there for a couple days this week, so I'll definitely be getting some good skiing in. Hopefully, winter is here to stay.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Boring Post

D and I went for a short run in the Brunswick Town Commons today. She showed me a route through this one section that for some reason always baffles me. (That second right still doesn't make sense, as it feels like your going in the completely wrong direction.) It was chilly, but nice out. Blah blah.

Previously to that we had to make a stop at Home Depot, Target and Best Buy. I'm still itchy. America is ridiculous.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Don't Believe the Hype

The weather channels are all in a dither over the impending snow storm. Forecasts are calling for snow to begin late Sunday night or early Monday morning. "Heavy accumulations possible."

I'm not buying it.

The first snow of the season is always over-hyped. It never is as big as they claim. Never. The meteorologists are all weather geeks, so they get all fired up for a big "event." They get so excited they always over-predict.

2-3 inches at most at my house...with a mix on top.

Friday, November 30, 2007

No, Read Mine!

As it turns out, there are approximately 8,398 blogs out there about one dude's or chick's quest to run this distance this fast at this time of year.

"Today, I took a right out of my driveway instead of left. It was amazing!"

Thrilling. Really.

That's exactly what my blog is going to be like. Just add me to the list.

At this point, I could go into a probing analytical monologue about the psychology of the blogger. Or, I could continue listening to Johnny Cash and go back to work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wandering in the dark.

Here's my day:
Look up...realize it's dark. UGH.
I had planned to go for a run today. How did it get so dark? So I whined to myself for a bit. Called D, so she could convince me to go for it. And that's exactly what I did. Reflective vest and headlamp on I headed out the door.

As I mentioned, I'm taking it easy this week and next. The plan was to run twenty minutes. I headed down the powerlines. I don't think the batteries in my headlamp are so good. Probably should have checked those first. There is a fair amount of sand along the powerlines, and I think today I saw it in all its forms: loose, solid, frozen, semi-frozen, breakable crust and a couple others. It was really weird and really not that fun to run on. So instead of the out and back like I planned, I took a left up the road into Highland Green at which point I had a brilliant idea: run to the golf course clubhouse, run up the first hole and connect back to the trails I usually run on. Seemed simple enough. I'd seen the first green from the trails hundreds of times. Then again, I'd never actually run that connection. Oh yeah, it was dark. So, I'm an idiot. Couldn't find the connection, turned around, tried to bushwhack back to the road, nearly fell into a stream, tried to bushwhack again, slipped into a tree, then finally made it back to the road. Back on the road, back down the powerlines and safely home. Instead of 20 minutes, it was more like 30. No big deal, but more running and more adventure then I had planned on.

The run did give me a cool idea for a workout. The golf course is closed, so it could make for a cool fartlek. Run the holes hard and recover on the cart paths between the holes. The course is pretty spread out, so there'd be a fair amount of recovery. Plus, none of the cart paths are paved, so it would essentially be all on trails. Maybe I'll give that a try in the next couple weeks getting ready for the race I have on my calendar. (More on that later.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I need a thighmaster

You don't see many infomercials for the thighmaster anymore. That's a shame because I think I could use one. My piriformis muscle in my right leg/butt isn't really what it should be. It's one of the factors in my impinged infrapatella fat pad. I need to do some exercises to stengthen it. The thighmaster would be perfect for these. Maybe for Christmas I'll get a thighmaster. I hope it comes with leg warmers.

Of course, I need to stretch, too. I always need to stretch. I could also use a personal masseuse to provide daily massages. I recently heard that the Minnesota Viking's Adrian Peterson is getting treatment on his busted kne 6-8 hours a day. This is good for my fantasy football team, but it's a load of crap. I spend 6-8 hours a day sitting at a computer pretending to work. Perhaps I should spend that time making my knee feel better.

Speaking of feeling better, I started my mellow two weeks today. I ran for 20 minutes, stretched and did some non-thighmaster-having exercises. That's the plan for the next two weeks. Twenty-minute runs rock. It's like they barely happen. It's going to be a nice couple of weeks.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back from oblivian

Actually, we're really just back from North Carolina, which incidentally, is a really long way from Maine. Holy crap. 17+ hours in the car yesterday was not good times. We survived, though, with only one blow up from me based on the confusing, wrong, utterly-baffling signs posted by the MA-DOT. The Mass Pike is off this exit? Oh really? Screw you, MA-DOT. Screw you.

We had a great trip to North Carolina to visit D's parents. I got to play golf on Thanksgiving in 75 degree weather. Not your usual holiday. I also got to shut my brain off for a couple days, except for the NY Times crosswords. Yes, my life is akin to that of Motley Crue circa 1985.

The athletic highlight of the trip was the Wilmington Road Runners Turkey Trot at Carolina Beach State park. I was not in good spirits going into the race. As I mentioned before, I took 6 days off last week due to a cold, then I rolled my ankle. I followed this up with the drive to NC and two walks on the golf course. Don't get me wrong, golf isn't really taxing, but it did make me tired and my calves really tight. All that walking and driving, contributed to more tightness, which really started to bother my knee. I have an impinged infrapatella fat pad in my right knee that acts up from time to time. Well, it was acting up. Between all those things, I felt terrible warming up for this race. Really terrible. The upside was that it was under 40 degrees at the start of the race, which made it quite pleasant for running. It was a good turnout of about 230 people, as I thought all the southerners would stay inside on such a cool day.

The race started, and I felt really weird. After about 100 yards, I looked up and there were only about 20 people in front of me. Huh? I wasn't really busting it, so I just rolled with it. The really good news was that after after 1/4 mile we left pavement for good. The remaining 3.75 miles were all on trails, which was awesome. What was less awesome was the fact that a fair of amount of these trails were loose sand. Not the fastest, but way better than pavement. As soon as we hit the trails people started slowing down. I passed a few people and found myself in a comfortable place...then a lonely place. I was behind one guy and the first woman for a while, then they pulled away a bit. Then another guy passed me. I thought about going with him, but I had no idea in where I was. Oh yeah, I forgot to start my watch at the start and there were no mile markers...just endless twists and turns, through the sand and scrub pines. So, he got away, and I continued on. I ran by myself for most of the race. It was a little weird because I was totally lost. I just kept following the orange flagging, which was very well done. Suddenly, I heard a few cheers and rounded the turn to the finish. I picked it up a touch, so the chicks would be impressed. Overall, it was a good race. I felt pretty strong. Nothing hurt, which was a huge surprise/blessing. I just wished that it was either A.) two miles longer because I probably could have held that pace or B.) there were mile markers so I could have gaged my effort a little better. But, really no complaints. I was pretty happy, especially for taking so much time off and doing absolutely no speed work.

I ended up 14th overall in 27:07 (6:47 pace) and 4th in my division. Top three got prizes: cool hats. Bummer. The top 3 in my division were 2, 3 and 4 overall. UGH. But the good news is: D won her division! Cool hat for me! What? She'll never wear it.

Thanks to the Wilmington Road Runners for putting on a solid event complete with ayce breakfast and free massage following the race. Oh yeah, the breakfast was complete with grits. Ah, the South. (And, no, I didn't eat any. Grits are just not good.)

Complete Results
(Due to a data entry error, the results have us listed as being from Eggleston, VA. Hopefully, we don't have to move there.)

Here we are post-race, but pre-ayce breakfast:

Special thanks to D's parents for taking photos, driving us around and getting up early!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


We're in North Carolina. It's a long drive from Maine.
Traffic is not caused by the number of cars on the road. It's caused by the fact that people don't know how to drive. So angry.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I ran in the snow.

It was jacked. I got strange looks. Just what I was going for.
That being said, it was a really short run. Only 20 minutes. I am soooo freakin' tight. My calves feel about 1.5 inches long. Not good times. Gotta stretch more. My knee hates me. Ankle felt fine, though.

It's snowing.

Mark that down. November 20th in beautiful Topshizzum, actual snow is falling. Of course, it's not accumulating, and it will probably change to rain. The Midcoast rocks.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ok, maybe this will happen...

I contribute to a blog for work: (Yes, that was a shameless plug.) It's a good way to cut through the crap and talk about what's going on in our corner of the world. But I feel a bit hamstrung about being as crude and cynical as I normally might be. So with that in mind maybe this blog thing will happen. I dunno.

Anyway, I broke my ankle yesterday. Not broken in the sense of broken bone, but broken in the sense that I rolled it and crunched it. D and I were out on a trail run Bradbury Mountain State Park. I rolled it pretty good in the first 15 minutes but decided I could still complete the hour run we had planned. I'm kind of an idiot that way. On top of that, I'd taken the last 6 days off due to illness and an all around crazy work schedule. Thus, I was tight and creeky and my right knee hurt like hell. Yup, still an idiot. So, I'm enjoying hobbling around today. Oh yeah, we're running a race on Saturday. It's 4 miles. I'm done exactly zero speed work, so I'm certain my hamstrings are going to explode. I'm a friggin' idiot.

However, I should mention that Bradbury is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to run. The East Side trails are sweet. Except for the little friggin' pieces of death that try to break your ankles.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

This is not a blog

This is not a blog. (Maybe someday it will become one.) I only have this to post snarky comments on other people's blogs.