Monday, July 30, 2007

Marathon Season II

Training continues for the Marine Corps Marathon. I ran my first 20-miler this past weekend and recovered quickly. The tempo runs and speed work are paying off as is the biking. I'm finding that on the day after a long run active recovery is important. Yesterday, after Saturday's long run, I went mountain biking on the Schuylkill River Trail from Port Clinton to Auburn. I rode with my friend Brian who knows the area well, and we took a diversion up over a mountain, which provided us a little more riding time and a better work out. All in all we pedaled 13.2 miles.

Up this week: 1600m repeats, a tempo run on Thursday and an 18 miler on Saturday. I also have to increase bike mileage a little to prepare for the Covered Bridge Metric Century on August 19th.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Marathon Season

Training is well underway for the Marine Corps Marathon which will be run the last weekend of October. I have decided to go with the Furman FIRST program which has me running three "key workouts" and two cross-training workouts a week (for more information, click on the Furman link under fitness). My primary cross-training workout is biking.

I'm on my third week of training in a sixteen week program. I'm feeling much faster, stronger and have more endurance than I did last year at this time training for my first marathon. Bike riding and preparing for and running in two spring triathlons have given me a leg up. I feel I'm on pace to qualify for Boston and have been meeting all my pace goals under the FIRST Boston qualifying program.

Will I run Boston if I qualify? I'm not sure, but I've been told that I'd be foolish not to. If I don't qualify for Boston, then I may run my first ultra-marathon, the HAT Run, in March 2008. It's a 50K (31.1 miles) trail run in Susquehanna State Park in Maryland.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Boy of Summer

"Mr. July"

Slate Run

Spent two nights along the banks of Slate Run in Lycoming County this past weekend. Slate Run is one of my favorite trout streams. If I could only fish two streams in the East, it would be the Hughes River in Virginia and Slate Run. Both streams have numerous wild trout, but they are opposites in a lot of respects. The Hughes plunges down a granite boulder-strewn gorge in the Shenandoah National Park while Slate Run drops gradually over slate rocks with an occasional waterfall.

I left for Slate Run on Friday and drove up the back way through the Bald Eagle State Forest, then Route 44 into Jersey Shore and the Pine Creek Valley. The weather was clearing and it was getting cooler. Got into Slate Run about 3:30 and drove up to Morris Run. Along the way I saw a big rattlesnake crossing the road. A true indication of being in the wild.

Parked at Morris Run and finished loading my pack and then hiked into Red Run to meet my friend Scot and his brother Steve. They were just finishing setting up camp and decided to head downstream to fish. I set up my tent, and then headed upstream. The fishing was tough; the water was low and gin clear and the sun was bright. I fished about 200 yards above camp then headed back down. I made some supper then headed out on Red Run.

I never fished the bottom of Red Run and was impressed with the small glen just upstream from the confluence of Slate Run. I was also impressed with the size of some of the wild brook trout. I fished for about an hour and picked up about a half dozen brookies. I then headed back down to fish the last hour of the evening on Slate Run. I didn't have any luck, but I did miss a nice brown.

The next day, Steve decided to head up Red Run, so Scot and I headed up Slate Run. We had a lot of succes moving fish, but not a lot of success landing them. We both caught one trout in about 12-13 strikes. The low water made them skittish, and they struck very fast and then were gone.

After lunch, we headed back up the same section and then fished up Morris Run. We were fairly successful and each caught a couple of brookies and I even picked up a brown. We then headed back down and fished through the Glen on Red Run. Again, we both caught fish, but not a lot as we were fishing behind someone.

Finished up the day on Slate with the sole purpose of trying to catch some of the big browns we saw earlier. I had managed to move a big one on Friday evening, but couldn't hook up. I went back to where he was hiding, but couldn't get him to come out. Scot managed to land a nice brown that was about 12-14. " I had one more chance at one, but struck to soon and sent him packing.

All and all a great trip on a great trout stream. We didn't fish on Sunday because of family commitments and headed down early. I again drove through the Bald Eagle State Forest and enjoyed the gorgeous day.