Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Carbon Offsets Losing Momentum

Carbon Offsets Losing Momentum

As seen in NY Times today, check out the above link for more detailed information.
All I have to say is, "It's about time." This program is nothing more than a way for rich selfish people to feel good about making a contribution to the environment - without actually changing their behavior. Of course it could be argued that there has been some positive effects of these programs, and there will continue to be more positives. But it's not doing anything to change people's behavior. It boils down to policy change. In order for anything to happen on this affront, we need policy makers to instill positive change. There are just too many passive people in this world that just aren't going to do anything until they are forced to. this country used to be so progressive, a leader in all new technology and policy. Not anymore. We have become a reactive country. No one is bold enough to do anything new that will actually make improvements. Good thing George Washington or Abe Lincoln never thought like that.

Trail Run in the dark (and wet)

Can't see much in this picture? That's because this is a perfect example of what it's like running trails in the pitch dark. Well...maybe not quite that bad, but it sure is a lot harder to run fast then in the day time. But it's pretty cool at the same time. The trails were soaked. The hardest part was not stepping in a mini lake as the leaves that floated on top of the water perfectly camoflaged the puddle. We ran for 1:10 and only covered 7.5 miles. But we were seriously running as fast as our eyes would allow without falling on our ass. It's good training for the 100 mile races though, as much as for ourselves as for our equipment. Lord Hill has some pretty good litte climbs, so we got to work on the hills at least. Running downhill is more a delicate feat of trying not to fall on your ass or trip on a rock or stump. It was a great way to change up the monotony of running on the roads for training. I just wish it was warmer. 42 degrees and a rain is not the best of conditions for a run, but the undulating trail is enough to keep you warm.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Obsess Much???

I do. I obsess about everything. I love having something to obsess about. There is no other way to do something. I am running a 100 mile race in February. I can obsess about the training. I can go over every run with a fine tooth comb and see if what I'm doing is enough. Or too much. Or just right. It's not necessarily the race that makes everything worth it. Not at all. It's the journey. The running with friends while training. All the great runs on the great trails of the Pacific Northwest that I'll play on while preparing for the race! The animals I share the trails with. The people I will wave to. The people I will meet. The early mornings when I am one of the first people on the trail. The satisfaction of each long run. Did I mention that apple fritters I can justify eating after another 30 mile run?

Ron Herzog 50K

Holy crap that weather sucked. I think it hailed, rained, snowed, windy, rain some more, on and on and on - all at the same time. Only for about 20 of the 32 miles, so I guess it wasn't that bad. Or more accurately, it could have been worse. I couldn't see that during the race though, maybe because of the fog.

I ran with Glen for most of the race, he was keeping me in check and making sure I didn't go too fast for a training run. Although I think I can actually thank the chocolate milk he drank before the run more than anything. Glen marked the trail like a dog at a dog park. He now owns Forest Road # 41. Or as the cool kids would say pwned... got me, I'm old, balding, ugly and definitely not too hip on what's cool. Hell, I ride a scooter dubbed "Little Blue Flame(r)." Nuff said.

Glen and I started pretty easy. Hurdling the puddles like Jenny Barringer (no relation that I know of) in the 300 steeplechase. We had a good time and were running 3rd and 4th to the 1/2 way point. It was pouring like a sonuvabitch at the top and they had a tarp over our drop bags. The volunteers filled my bottle because my hands were numb. I thanked them profusely and waved my flaccid stub goodbye as I started my return trip. It was really fun going back with most of it downhill, until the numb fingers attempted to open a Clif bar. It was pretty pathetic sight watching me for 5 minutes wrestle the wrapper. I couldn't grasp the paper, I couldn't bite the thing open. Glen tried and couldn't get it either. I actually stopped for a minute and tried to use a rock to rip the damn thing out. No luck. Eventually I did get it open but ended up eating it while running uphill, which is not the best place to do it. After about 1/2 way through the thing it tasted like sand and was all over my mouth and not giving into gravity. Other than that it was pretty uneventful. I picked up the pace with about 8 miles to go and ended up crossing the line in 4:22. 5th place. Way faster than Baker Lake, but this course is basically a road race with zero single track and is pretty conducive to a fast run despite the early elevation gain. You gotta hand it to the volunteers at the 1/2 way point as they weather there was the worst of the day. Thank you.

Glen ran 4:32.
150 miles in 15 days and my legs responded pretty well. I actually ran 12 the next day and felt decent too.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween Marathon Training Run

Wow. What a fun little training run. Some of it was a little messed up just because it was kind of a pain in the ass to check in every lap for 10 laps, and I had to run to my car a couple times to get food among other things. But I really like Bellingham. It is such a great little athletic town. And Lake Padden is a gem of Bellingham - so it's a great little venue. I've run around the lake a few times, and of course ridden the mountain bike on the Galbraith trails, and raced here also so I'm familiar with the area.

Round and round we go. There's the lake. There's a couple with a dog. A little hill. A duck. A goose. Another runner. The gorgeous lake. HOLY CRAP!!! I think I see the sun. Wooeffinhoo!!!! Although it's a short lap, and we had to do it a bunch of times I never got bored. For one, we were running on dirt. I love dirt. I've always loved it. From the time I was first raced motocross, to running XC in college, BMX dirt jumping, mountain bikes, Cyclocross (CX), any excuse I get to play in the dirt I'll give it a whirl.

Anyhoo, I dressed like a nun as it was Halloween. It was a pretty cool costume, and also the closest thing you'll ever get me to that is church related - but my weekly longish runs are sort of like my mass anyway. But running in it was a little tough; I had to hike up my skirt, or whateverthehell it's called, and it was a bit warm. So I did one lap in that, took it off and ran in the usual getup for the rest of the run. My legs were absolute crap at the beginning of the run, but I'm not really used to 60-70 mile weeks yet, but I'm getting there. To make a long story short my legs vastly improved by the 15-16 mile mark and by the end of the run I was just on autopilot and feeling really good. I felt like I could have kept on going forever.

I ran solo the whole way as I don't really know that many people in the running community. That's what I get for racing bikes the past 4 years. Plus the run was so small sort of felt like I was infringing on a group of friends' training run. But everyone was certainly nice enough, the money was donated to a good cause, I got a good training run, and I did meet a few people. I have no idea what my official time was, but I know my running time was 3:26. Not too bad for someone who has been running less than a year and ran a marathon the weekend before.

We'll see what the 50K will bring next weekend.