Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back Home

I'm back home now from visiting family, to much food and to little activity. I was able to get out on a few hikes, two "bushwacks" and one trip up Roundtop Mountain. My camera went dead half way through the trip so I wasn't able to get many pictures. Roundtop was awesome. I hiked this trail last spring with my sister when the trees were all leafed out. The trail is a totally different expierence during leaf off. The trail follows a bluff line, you hike up to it then follow at the base. Incredible views of 75 vertical feet of bluffline. Then the trail takes you on top of the bluff. I wish I had pictures, maybe my Dad will send me a few. The trail tops out at 2050 feet, storms were moving into the area so the cloud ceiling was about 1950. It was odd walking into the clouds, kind of like fog but the wind was blowing the clouds around you.

I got some really thoughtful presents, my family rocks. My aunt Judy saw the post about my Snappy Cap getting chewed and contacted Susan to make me another one. Thanks Judy, awesome gift. My Grandma also came through with a much needed gift and my parents hooked me up with a planter, can't describe it in words, only a pic will do it justice.
I love it. This spring, an asparagus fern is getting planted for his hair. Kind of looks like Side Show Bob. Not in the picture is a bicycle planter my Mom got me for my birthday some years ago. I love to garden/landscape and I am stoked to have a house this year where I can do those activities. Large veggie garden is in the works for 2009.

Today I got out for a two hour road ride on the mountain bike. Temps were really not bad,48 deg., I was in shorts, two jerseys and arm warmers. I was a little under dressed as I started to get uncomfortably cold as the sun began to set about 4p. A big weekend coming up, my first mountain bike race of the year! This was a spur of the moment type of decision. A buddy of mine wanted to race and is willing to drive, also the trail is about 45 minutes from my parents home. How could I say no. Should be interesting, I'm not exactly in the best shape right now. Oh well, I'm just going to make it a spirited group ride.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Avoiding The Crowds

I had some last minute Christmas shopping to wrap up today and was really dreading fighting the masses. I hate crowds and really despise heavy traffic, so I hit up the bike trail and avoided all the traffic. Not to mention I was able to park literally at the front door of all the places I shopped today, no hunting for parking spaces.


One more day of work and then off to Jasper to spend some time with the family. No riding for the next few days, however, I should get in a run or two and some kick ass hiking. Newton County has some of the best hiking, I truly love this part of Arkansas. I'll have some photos on Saturday. Happy Holidays.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Cold Ride on Mt. Kessler

When I woke this morning, I was greeted with very warm temps. 55 degrees to be exact. These are the clothes I picked out for my ride today.
I knew there was a cold front coming through sometime today, I just didn't know when. The last thing I wanted to happen is getting caught out in shorts when the temp drops 20 degrees. So, I checked the weather channel's hour by hour, sure enough, I would have froze in the above outfit about half way through the ride. I decided to run some errands and gear up for a winter weather mountain bike ride. By the time I got to the trail, the temp was 32 with a strong north wind. The current wind chill is 20. I felt fine on the trail, but the ride home was frigid. Total elapsed time was 3hrs, my computer says 2.5hrs. The reason for the discrepancy, I took a lot of pictures, enjoy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Enjoy it While It's Here

Warmer temps are here. It has been a tough week dealing with the frigid temps during my commute to work. Not much training so far this week other than the ride to and from work. I do try and pick out a hill or two, going out of my way to find an incline. Tonight I was able to get out on a short run with Smuckers. The temps were balmy, I was out in shorts and long sleeves as temps were in the upper fifties. I managed to snap a few pics while we were out.
The square looks great

Here are a few of Smuckers from Saturday
These two pics were taken on a steep downhill section of trail. The pics don't show how steep.

The weather looks ok for outdoor activities this weekend. Saturday's forecasted high is 60, awesome. Sunday it turns cold again with a high of 30. Wacky weather.

Monday, December 15, 2008

TG Points

Do I get any tough guy points for commuting to work this morning? Air temp was 17, wind chill of 2, head wind the entire ride in, does this count? I guess it depends on who you ask and where they live. The fact that I was riding yesterday in shorts and sleeves made this ride so tough. Everyone at work thinks I'm crazy, but they had those feelings from the beginning when I told them I rode my bike to work.

I apologize to anyone who reads my blog that lives somewhere that it actually gets really cold in the winter and still manages to ride their bike. You are probably scoffing at my rants about how "cold" it is here. Sorry. It's all relative. To me and what I'm used to, it's cold, damn cold.

Tomorrow morning will be a repeat of today, cold and windy.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's Kite Flying Weather

The weather this weekend has been nuts, today's high reached 69 and yesterday was in the low sixties. That's warm for Northwest Arkansas in mid-December. The only complaint I had with the weather this weekend was the wind. There was a sustained wind of 22-24 mph coming up from the South. Me being the genius that I am decided to end both my rides this weekend coming home fighting the wind. Averaged about 20mph heading to the trail and about 11 mph heading home, ouch! Got in about 6.5 hours of saddle time between sat and sun, plus a long hike with Smuckers.

It felt awesome today, riding in shorts and short-sleeves and half-fingered gloves. Lots of other riders out today, most of them way over dressed. They had to be roasting underneath all those clothes as I was sweating with the above mentioned kit. The weather will be short lived however as a massive cold-front blows through tonight. High today- 69 High tomorrow- 22. No joke, 22 is the forecasted high for tomorrow. Oh well. A trainer isn't looking so bad now.

No pics, I think my camera is broken. At least the battery will not charge.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's On

Starting the training for Xterra Nats this week. Tentative schedule for Xterra is up now. Where is the South Central Champs? I guess that's the reason it's called a "tentative" schedule.

Training schedule is mapped for the next month and a half. Also, I am placing a big emphasis on diet this year. I will try to stick to this diet. The diet along with cutting way down on this activity should help tremendously.

Looks like a great weekend, I have two long mtb rides planned andthe weather looks outstanding.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Group Riding

I've always been a fan of group rides, road, mountain or any combination. There are plenty of road group rides to pick from here in Fayetteville that travel through some absolutely beautiful terrain in NWA. During the spring, summer, and early fall one could hit a road group ride every day of the week, somedays two a day. This is all fine and good, but I love my mtb. I especially love riding my mtb with a bunch of good friends.
I first started riding mountain bikes alone, I got my first mountain bike in '94 and at that time and place(Pocahontas, AR) , none of my friends were riding bikes. My first bike was a POS Murry I bought at a garage sale for ten dollars. The tires were dry rotted and 25 minutes into my first off road trip, I flatted. Needless to say I didn't have a spare or any type of inflation device, so I hiked back to the house, thrilled at the enjoyment experienced during the 25 minutes of riding.
Riding alone will always have a place for me. I enjoy it, plus most specialized training must be done alone. However, I have an opportunity this spring to lead a couple of off-road group rides for the local tri-sports club. I've been a member for a few years, just not extremely active. I join in many group rides, but I have never lead a group. The fact is the club is mostly "on road" it has never offered any off road activities(other than trail runs). I am very excited to become the off road cycling chairperson. It's an area that has been lacking from this club, will have future updates on my plans for the club.
My training is still on hold. Just when you think you are done with moving, something else rears up and must be dealt with. Right now I am busy painting, pretty much the entire house will be painted. Once you start you just can't stop. You look at the freshly painted walls and suddenly the unpainted walls, that were fine before you painted the adjoining wall, look horrendous. It's a vicious cycle that I hope ends soon. Marcus, a good friend of my sisters, came over last night and knocked out the kitchen. He does this sort of work for a living and it showed. The quality was far better than I would have done and he did it in a lot less time. I finished up the bathroom tonight, I think. It may need a second coat but we are out of paint. I'll see how it looks in the morning.
Planning a night ride on the mountain bike tomorrow night. It's been almost a year since I've been on a trail at night.
More pics next post, less text

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Woke up this morning to a dusting of snow with more snow falling. This was the scenario for the entire day. Wind and flurries. I wanted a long mountain bike ride today, but I was informed of showers in the area while I was in LA. With the snow melting on contact and the showers the previous day, I decided to can the mountain bike ride and go for a run instead. A very mellow run, 40 minutes at an easy pace. Temps were hovering at 33 degrees with snow and a stiff north wind at the time of the run, I think the wind chill was 22. Actually, I felt really comfortable out there today. I guess I'm getting used to the cold. There's not much one can do about cold, nasty weather(other than move), just dress accordingly and get out there. Getting out there is the biggest obstacle for me when it gets cold, staying indoors seems very appealing. Once I convince myself to get out from the comforts of heated air, I'm fine. I really love training in cold conditions, it's just that I have to remind myself every time. I have to prep both mentally and physically this time of year to get outdoors and train. It also helps to read blogs from people who live where it really does get cold. To see them ride in nastier conditions than will ever be seen here in Fayetteville is inspiring, I really can't complain.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


The move is officially over. My last three weeks have been consumed with moving activities. There is still some work to do for the new house but the majority is finished. Cable guy showed up tonight to hook up cable and internet, you never realize how much you miss these luxuries until you spend a week with out them.
I have some pics I will post now with more to come.
A big thanks out to my parents. They helped me move, sacrificed their off time, and have been key in the decorating department. Thank you ever so much. The new house is looking fantastic.
Training has been little to none. Mostly just riding to and from work. Yesterday, between stuffing my face, I managed to get out for a 35 minute run. Needless to say, I didn't feel fluid out on the run. The first 25 minutes was brutal, the last 10 minutes was great.
Tomorrow is a long mountain bike ride. It's been a whiled since I have been out for a long ride so I am super excited about tomorrow's ride. I'm thinking about a super loop connecting all the local singletrack I'll have pics and a write up tomorrow.
A few pics from the house:
Thanks Dad andMom
We love the mirror!
This frame was made by my dad some years ago. My sister and I have always admired it. We are ecstatic to have it here in our house.New curtains are nice, thanks to Larissa and Mom for picking them out.
LC chillin with the dogs, note the T6 socks

Friday, November 21, 2008

Off Air

The big move has finally arrived. We move the major stuff tomorrow. I'll be without internet until next Saturday. Hope you have a better weekend than me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Big Thanks to Highroller Cyclery

I need to send a big thanks to Highroller Cyclery for hooking me up with a Lefty fork while mine is off to the manufacturer for a rebuild. My second rebuild in a year and a half, is that normal? All I've ever used is Cannondale products, Fatties and Lefty's. I don't ride in a lot of muddy, wet conditions, I try to avoid such situations. I think I am going to try the Lefty for one more season, then I will decide if I want to switch to a Fox. Again, thanks to Chris D. at Highroller for letting me borrow the Lefty. It's good to have a great relationship with a good bike shop. I went in the bike shop on Thursday, told them the situation, they gave me the loaner fork, I installed it, gave them my fork on Sat., and today my fork is on it's way to PA to get rebuilt. Spot on. The above photo is my bike with the loaner fork.
The weather has really sucked around here the past week. I grew up in the south, mostly in Louisiana and Arkansas, so I love the heat, no, I thrive in it. Honestly, I'll take 90 deg. over 50 deg. any day. It hasn't been Wisconsin cold, but it has been to cold for me. Saturday's high was about 44 deg. Sorry for the bitching, it's going to be a long winter. I've had my eye on this place for a while. I think I could handle the temps.
On the training front, all is not well. I have been occupied with moving into a new house. This past weekend was mostly spent cleaning and painting. Fri. and Sat. were pretty much a complete waste with regards to training, I did manage to get in a swim on Sat. Sunday I did manage to get in a long run though it just didn't feel smooth. I was suffering from all the painting and cleaning.
I dread next weekend. It's the heavy lifting time. Sofas, washer, dryer, refridgerator, basically everthing left in the house. My parents are coming up from LA to help so that is a huge bright spot on the weekend. Everything will be back to normal soon, I have forgotten what a pain it is to move. When I moved up here from Monroe, LA in May '02, I fit everything I owned into two loads of a Ford Ranger.
Over the weekend I did manage to pick up a new pair of running shoes. I went with a pair of Books Cascadia 3. Long time ago I wore the original Cascadia and I loved them, by far my favorite shoe. Recently when I was up for a new pair of shoes, I tried and tried to find the originals, no luck. So I decided to try the newest version, Cascadia 3. I'll post opinions after some time in the shoe, I hope it is as good as the original.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not So Snappy

Damnit. Not 24 hours after I received my Snappy Cap, one of the dogs thought it would make an excellent toy. I'm not naming any dog names, but I have narrowed the culprit down to a multi-colored dog. Here's what's left of my cap
Also, the fork on my mountain bike is in need of service. This is a big deal because the fork is a Lefty and has to go back to Cannondale. No one around here can service Lefties, at least not what I need done. Last time I had my fork rebuilt, my LBS had a spare fork to loan me while mine was away. Fingers crossed they still have it. I love my Lefty. . . when it is working properly. But sending it in every year is a huge hassle and expensive. Thinking, maybe, a new ride for next year. I'll just save my pennies for the Specialized
Last Sunday I headed out for a run with my friend Katie. Started from my house and headed up the hill to the trails on top of Mt. Sequoia. Katie was looking just to get out for an easy run as the day before she had completed a 50k trail run/race(she won). Her legs weren't quite under her, 15 minutes into the run she clipped a rock/root and down she went. She took a direct hit to the knee by a rock. That ended her run, we walked the rest of the way to her house, all downhill. She was in pain. She'll be back soon though, she's tough.
My training is moving right along. I'm just following the plan that Trevor lays out. Right now is all endurance/base training and of course my favorite, weight training. I'm still sore, at some point I hope my body will adapt to the weight training and I will stop being so sore. Tomorrow is a rest day leading into what looks to be a great weekend.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Feelin' Snappy

My cap finally arrived! I customed ordered a cycling cap from Snappy Caps back in late August and have been anxiously awaiting it's arrival ever since. Well I finally got my hands on my one of a kind hat today and I'll tell you I am stoked. I have been a fan of cycling caps and when I saw Snappy Caps on Guitar Ted's site and Enduro Snob, I had to get my hands on one. Ordering was simple, pay a deposit, answer a few questions( color preference, style, fabric, pattern, etc.), then you just sit back and wait for Susan to create you a kick ass cap. She will then send you a pic of the cap she created just for you before you pay the remaining balance, simple and easy.

For my cap, I chose a muted color scheme. I also wanted an argyle print, I'm a huge fan of argyle. Other than my hat size(roughly) that was all the info I gave Snappy Caps, here is what Susan created for me:


On the training front, I survived my second weights session today. I am really trying to keep a positive atitude about lifting weights, I know I need to strength train and it will pay off once my season starts. So, with a positive attitude, I hit the gym today and really had a great session. My focus this winter will be to become stronger in the upper body and to build a strong run base. Focus is a good thing, I need it. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh So Sore

Did my first weight lifting session last night and today, of course, my upper body is extremely sore. My lower body, however, is not sore at all. What gives? I guess I just didn't work my legs as much as I thought. Yesterday marked the first time I have lifted weights in about 2 years. Honestly, I can think of many things I would rather do than lift weights, it's just not enjoyable to me. But, I truly believe it is going to be extremely beneficial to me in the upcoming Xterra season, so I will continue to pump iron for the next two or three months. I hope its not longer than that, depends on what this guy says. As much as I hate lifting, I can't wait for my next session. Gotta get rid of this soreness

Got in a good swim session today. Most of my swimming lately has been at the pool at work. It is a new facility, very clean and I really like the pool. Most of the other pool users are older and use the pool strictly to aqua-jog or do aerobic type activities, so I feel a little awkward swimming intervals next to them. I am Micheal Phelps of the 20yd, geriatric pool. My only complaint with the pool is that it is only 20 yards in length. Swimming gets tricky when Trevor prescribes intervals at certain distances, a few require some improvising. I'm getting the work done though, putting in the yards and effort. Swimming is becoming fun again. I love that feeling of pulling yourself through the water, streamlined and efficient.

One more thing on my mind is next year's Xterra schedule. I know I am way ahead of myself as the schedule is probably a long way from being released. I hear rumours that my region(South Central) may get a championship next year! Fingers crossed it's Eureka Springs. Plus I am excited to plan out my race season for next year. All things will come in time and I will have time to prepare for each race

Monday, November 3, 2008

Great Weekend

I could get used to these four day weekends. I took a couple days off to have more time to move into my new house. However, the house isn't ready to be moved into yet so I just spent the weekend training and relaxing. It was fabulous. I got in a couple hour long trail runs, a three hour mountain bike ride, and a swim. Today was a rest day and I did just that, no activity other than stretching. All training lately has been at endurance pace, just building a solid base for next year. My body is responding great, no pain in the knee. A few pics from the weekend.
This was taken from the same place as the pic from last week, the leaves are just about finished.Smuckers and Randy leading the way
On the trail on Mount Sequoia
Leaves are really putting on a show
Smuckers catching a break

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Get Out of Jail Free Pass

Today the weather cooperated. Absolutely a beautiful day here in NWA. I took the dogs out for a run this morning through the trails on top of Mount Sequoia. I don't usually take my sisters dog on runs but today I just couldn't leave her behind. She did great, I wasn't sure how she would act. She(Randy) stayed right with us, I never got the idea that she was wanting to run away from Smuckers and me. The run was just a hair over an hour and the legs felt great. The dogs, however, started to tire somewhere around 45 minutes. They made it though.

Second workout today was an hour and a half mountain bike ride. Decided to hit the multi-use trail, ride one lap at Lake Fayetteville and return home. I guess everyone had a get out of jail free pass today as I must have seen at least a hundred people on the 8 miles of paved trail. It was insane, I've never seen that many cyclist when it wasn't an organized ride. It was really good to see everyone out enjoying this great weather.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Arrgh! Rain!

I knew we had rain forecasted for today so it shouldn't have been a great suprise that my afternoon run was rained out today. I watched the weather all day, no rain in sight with temps right around 68 degrees. I wanted to run so bad, however work load was high so sneaking out for a midday run was not possible. I get off work at 430 every day, about 345 today I notice the sky getting really dark. Sure enough, about 30 minutes later rain falls. My commute home was a little wet to say the least. Thanks to the bike trails at least I didn't have to fight the rain and traffic.

The temperature has dropped about 15 degrees and it is still raining, as I type. I didn't make my run today. Not a huge deal, however, I will start preparing better for inclement weather. I have at my disposal a great gym with treadmils, pool, workout equipment, etc. Gives me no reason to miss workouts, just need to be prepared i.e bring workout clothes.

I'm looking for a trainer. Never thought I would be in the market for one, but I think it makes sense. Lots of bike training this winter with limited daylight and the possibility of rainy, nasty weather. I'll still hit the trails a lot, I'm a big fan of night riding and will ride outdoors as often as possible. Nontheless, a trainer or rollers is in my near future. I foresee much pain and suffering prescribed by this guy Bring it!

Monday, October 20, 2008


This is probably a post that every cyclist/blogger has done or will do. Tires. I've always been a geek when it comes to bike shoes. The other day I tried to recount all the bike tires I have ever used and have come up with a pretty good list.

Onza Rip
Onza Rail
Panaracer Smoke
Panaracer Dart
Panaracer Smoke(White)
IRC Mythos
Continental SS(loved these tires while in north LA)
Specialized Roll X
Tioga Blue Dragon
Specialized Roll X Pro
Geax Blade 200
Kenda Nevegal
Maxxis Ranchero
Maxxis Larssen 2.0 tubeless
Continental Explorer

I'm sure I have forgotten a few tires, these are the ones I can remember.

My point is that I think tires are an extremely important part of the whole mountain biking experience and they can make the difference between an outstanding experience and a truly suck time on the mtb.

Of all those tires listed above, only a few I can endorse as working here in NWA. The Nevegals are great tires for NWA, they work in all conditions. The only downfall is that they are sloooow. Not for racing, great for training just not for racing. The second tire I would recomend for NWA is the Maxxis Ranchero. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical when this tire was suggested by a local bike shop. I bought the tire, used it, it rocked. Hooked up well on climbs and descents, my only complain is that the tire failed with a cut sidewall(within 2 months). Still a great tire. The final tire I want to sing praises to is the Maxxis Larssen. So far this has been the most stable tire I have ridden. It's predictable and supple, I love the tire front and rear.

There you have it. A tire review from a blogger, how unique. Tires are hard to quantify, there are so many different terrains and every tire behaves differently. The tires I have mentioned work great here in NWA

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lake Leatherwood

Got a solid three hour ride out in Lake Leatherwood this morning. My plan was to ride the Xterra course twice for my scheduled 3 hr mtb ride. I did get one loop of the 13 mile course in, 1hr 35min. The winner of this event last year had a bike split of 1 hr 18min, I think I can come really close to beating that time. Today was just a casual ride, easy on the flats but I did go hard on the hills. I did get to ride Miner's Rock trail three times, it is by far my favorite trail. Total length is a little less than 4 miles. You have to climb from either end, but you are rewarded at the top with some of the best bench cut singletrack I've ever ridden. Just a hair over two miles of flowing singletrack that always puts a huge grin on my face.

Weather really sucked today in NWA. Sunny, light breeze and a high of 69 degrees. Damn the bad luck. I saw 6 bikers out on the trail today. 9 out of 10 times I ride at LL I do not see another biker. I did see a rider on Miner's Rock who wasn't wearing a helmet. What? How can someone be that ignorant?

Here are a few pics from today's ride, the leaves are falling

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Laying Low

Not to much going on around here lately. I've been laying low after my race last Sunday. Training wise, just a few spins on the bike, a couple super mellow runs. So far my knee has done just fine. No pain during either of the last two runs. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

This weekend should be great, sunny with highs in the mid sixties. Saturday I have a three hour mountain bike ride planned, where to ride? I think I have narrowed it down to Dennis Moore's trail or Lake Leatherwood in Eureka Springs. Both are outstanding trails with LL being the longer of the two. It is also the site of the Eureka Springs Xterra. I want to do this race next year as long as it doesn't conflict with this, like it did this year. Anyway, I know the ES Xterra course well. I believe it is about thirteen miles and hits every major climb in the park. Twice around would get me my prescribed three hours. On the other hand, Dennis Moore's trail recqires only human powered transportation to get to the trail head. I can leave straight from my house, ride the road for about 45 minutes one way, hit one loop, and ride home for a solid 3 hr ride. Of course I could head out to Hobb's or maybe Devil's Den or Lake Wedington. It's good to have choices.

Sunday is for running, I have an hour trail run as my main workout. I'm gonna head out to Lake Wedington with Smuckers.

I'm ready for some trails

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Two Turtles Race Report

The first race of the four race series was this morning at the Two Turtles trail at Lake Fayetteville. All these races will be around nine miles of varying terrain, today was about 70% dirt and 30% paved trail. I don't know if I was just pumped for my first race in a while, but during my warmup as I was easy jogging my heart rate was up to 161. WTF? I tried not to let it bother me, just chalked it up to pre-race jitters. The race was small, I don't know yet how many entered.

I did notice a couple former Razorback XC runners at the start, so there were definitely some fast runners on hand. Started the race in a large field that funneled the racers onto a paved trail. The paved trail lasted for about a mile and a half, then it was onto the dirt trail. I felt great through the first 6 miles, I started to tire about then. I didn't bring any calories or water with me, i feel like I could have used some calories sometime around mile 6 or 7. At mile seven I also started to feel a tweak in my left knee, not really the same location as my IT band pain but really close. The last couple of miles were at a very slow pace, got passed by four people. Finished the race 1.14, not great but not terrible.

My left knee still has a dull ache. I left the race shortly after I finished and went straight to the pool for a super mellow swim. When I got home, I stretched a bit and took an ice bath. Keeping my fingers crossed that all will be better tomorrow. Gonna relax, drink a couple beers, and watch some college football. Hope the Hogs can get a W, we need one.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ice Bath, Weak Core

Why have I waited so long to try an ice bath? My problems with my IT band have been well documented on this site, stretching and rest so far have been my only course of action to ameliorate my situation. Until now, I have known about ice baths for a while now but have been skeptical. Well, I tried one tonight after a run, so far my legs feel great. The real test will be how snappy the legs feel tomorrow. Ice baths may become a regular routine for recovery and injury prevention.

On another note, during a run last week which included some hill intervals I noticed that on the jog down the technical trail to start another hill climb my stomach muscles and lower back(core) became fatigued. I informed TG about this and he prescribed some core strengthening workouts. These wo's are kicking my ass. I've never done any type of core work and I'm paying for it now. I've read several articles about core strength and running, basically a strong core=more efficient running.

Trail running race coming up this weekend at Lake Fayetteville. From what I understand the race should be two laps around the lake for a total of~9 miles, basically a 15k. This is the first race in a four or five race point series, should be good times. Race report on Saturday.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Swimming, Biking and Running

I didn't make it out to Dennis Moore's trail as advertised, I opted for a ride on the trails on Kessler mountain instead. The Fayetteville area received probably a tenth of an inch of rain Saturday morning, so I didn't want to risk riding on DM's trail. He's pretty picky about his trail and the last thing I would want to do is upset him. Kessler drains very well and I waited around until about 2p to start my ride, I knew it would be dry enough to ride. Total ride time was just over three hours. Add in an hour in the pool. I slept well last night.

Today was my long run for the week, scheduled for an hour. Smuckers and I headed up the hill to the Sequoia Woods trail. I'm lucky to have such an awesome trail so close to my house. I pulled off the run followed by an easy spin on the bike. Took my camera along, here are a few pics


Friday, October 3, 2008

Looking Back

Tonight I found an old photo of myself running in a duathlon in Shreveport in 06. It got me thinking about my progression as an athlete. At the time of the photo I really thought that I was in great shape. Looking back, I was not in shape at all for the duathlon. That race was absolutlely terrible, but that is another story. Looking back I really wasn't in shape at all. I have been swimming, cycling, and running for a couple years since then. Each year, so far, has brought a new level of fitness. My only hope is that in a year from now I can look back at this post and can say that I have achieved a new level of fitness for myself. That is all I can hope for, progress.

I'm geeked about next year, my goal is to qualify for Xterra nationals. I have been reading these guys blogs, James Cody, as they prepare for this years nats. I want to go next year. I have some guidance, Trevor, in my pursuit of a nationals berth. TG has been great, personalized workouts, no cookie cutter, one size fits all. I look forward to working with him to achieve my goals.

I'm riding Dennis Moore's trail tomorrow. I will take my camera and post some pics Saturday night. We have some great trails here in Arkansas, Syllamo and Womble, both IMBA epics. Not to mention several other trails that are worthy of high regard. DM's trail, however, won't even get mention among mtb'ers that live just miles from it's corridor. Most people don't even know it exists. Dennis Moore is a long time resident of the Fayeteville area that owns several acres just outside of Fayetteville close to Farmington. An avid cyclist, Dennis constructed a ~6 mile network of technical singltrack trail atop a large hill(I can't call them mountains, even though technically they are). I love this trail, it's short but very technical. It can be the best or worst mountain biking expierence, some days I can fly through all the rock other days I'm not so fluid. Not to mention the nasty hill you have to climb just to get to the start of the trail, lungbuster. TG has me doing a intervals on the climb before the fun singletrack.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Forced To Stretch

Early this year I suffered from ITBS, iliotibial band syndrome, it kept me from running most of this year. It was completely preventable and all my fault. I didn't stretch, at all. In elementary school I can remember doing tests for stretching during PE, I was the kid who struggled to touch his toes with both hands while seated. I was a skinny kid and very athletic, I was just born un-flexible.

So you can see why I didn't stretch on a regular basis, it hurt and I didn't see any downside to not stretching. That is until this year. During a group run in Feb, I expierenced my first knee injury ever. I felt a sharp pain laterally just above the knee, I thought I was cramping. It was so painful I slowed to a walk, the pain left. After about five minutes of walking with no pain, I decide to run again. No good, pain immediately came back, same spot.

My thoughts were just give it a week of rest from running then see how it goes. After a week off, I hit the local trail for a casual run. The knee had felt fine all week, no pain aven on a few dog walks. Well, about five minutes into the run, same pain. Damnit. Ok, how about two weeks off, nope same scenario as before.

Now I begin to think something is seriously wrong. I hit the internet searching for sites about knee pain. I self diagnosed my pain as ITBS. Then I find this site What a difference it has made. I have been running pain free now for a couple of months. Stretching has become a nightly routine for me, I actually enjoy my stretching time so much that every now and then i'll throw in a morning session as well. As my running is starting to pick up in volume, stretching is becomming even more important part of my recovery, timing is key. I was forced into stretching due to injury, now I stretch to prevent injury(and enjoyment).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Great Training and A New Schedule(I think)

Just found out about this trail running series, looks like fun. All these venues are less than a 30 minute drive from my house. It's trails that I regularly ride and run on, I'm stoked Here is the entire Fall schedule:
Fall 2008 Series

Register for any event by mail:
Registration Form

Lake Fayetteville - Two Turtles
Registration Online
11 Oct 2008, 9am
Fayetteville, AR
Address, Map, Directions

Slaughter Pen - Pen-demonium
Registration Online
08 Nov 2008, 9am
Bentonville, AR
Address, Map, Directions

Dennis Moore's - Water Works
Registration Online
22 Nov 2008, 9am
Farmington, AR
Address, Map, Directions

Devil's Den - Fossil Flats
Registration Online
13 Dec 2008, 9am
West Fork, AR
Address, Map, Directions

Hell yeah! Hats off to Darby for putting this together. My plan is to race in Fayetteville on Oct 11 and then the next weekend Oct 19 hit up the AMBCS race at Womble(mountain bike). This is one of the best trails in the state(nation) it is deemed an IMBA epic. This will cut out the Chile Pepper on the 18th, I'm ok with that. I'd much rather run these fantastic trail races/mtb race than run through a field in the Chile Pepper. Don't get me wrong, CP is still a great race that brings in super fast runners from multiple states. I, however, would rather run on trails and race my mountain bike.

I had a great weekend of training, thanks to Trevor for setting it up. I finished a swimming threshold test on Sat. as well as a mountain bike ride out at Hobbs state park. Today was a long run, including some time at race pace. I felt great, you know it's a great effort when you can out run your dog. I had to drop off Smuckers so I could get in a race pace effort. This was the last 12 minutes of the run and I felt as fresh as when I started the run. It was a great run with zero knee pain

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ghetto Track

I had a run test set for Thursday per coach. I had originally planned this run to take place a the Fayetteville High School track, which is a top-notch track. I got off work early yesterday, so I got my clothes and shoes and headed for the track. FHS track was a little busy, the football team was practicing as well as the track team. No problem, I'll head further down the hill to the new U of Arkansas track. Wrong. They were practicing as well. On to my third choice, Ghetto Track.

I knew no one would be here. I wonder why?

Had a decent run despite the track conditions, didn't quite turn in the time I wanted. Just leaves lots of room for improvement right? Today is rest. Tomorrow is the last of the tests, swimming. I think I am looking forward to this one the most. I swam on a highly competetive swim team year-round as a youth. I remember hours and hours spent in the pool after school doing all sorts of drills for technique and speed. I am hoping those hours will help me out in the near future.

Also in the plans for tomorrow is a longish mountain bike ride, I've decided to go to Hobb's State Park. It's a newish trail system, about 4 years old. Super buff, fast riding loops totaling 20 miles in all. Miles and miles of 16'' ribbon like trail through the trees, you can't ask for much more. Should have some pics up tomorrow or Sunday. It's Friday! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lovin' the Camera

I purchased my current camera about a year and a half ago. I basically traded a Salsa Juan Solo frame plus a red King headset for this camera, Pentax A20. I also bought dinner and a few pitchers for a couple friends and my sister with said trade. I think I came out on top. Here goes a few of my favorite pics:

Don't know why, I just like this photo

It's Smuckers waiting for me to do something

Pic of a stream south of Fayetteville

During a group ride to Eureka Springs

Self photo mid-way through a run while visiting Steamboat