Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Dangerous Book for Boys"

I have never read this book, but I probably could have been a contributing writer. Both my boys have had the advantage of traipsing around in Chiques Park off the beaten path, which led them to sliding down hills, climbing over rocks and extricating themselves from concertina-like briars. They do so with a smile, because after all, that is what "super hero" training is all about.

Yesterday we sought a cache that was located up the side of a hill, and the aforementioned actions were needed to locate it: rock climbing, hill sliding and extracation. We were successful. This made our 4th cache of the holiday.

It was beautiful day to be out: cold, bright and the under brush had died back.

The feature that Kyler is pointing to is a trace fossil of scolithus linearis

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Geocaching

Growing up, Thanksgiving morning was always set aside for pheasant hunting. Now, with the absence of pheasants, new tradtions are being created. The boys and I spent our morning "hunting" for geocaches. We found two in Mount Joy, including a microcache. We then went to my in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner, and before we ate, we took a drive to Struble Lake, located near Honeybrook, and found our third cache of the day.

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, and remember: "Cache in; trash out."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Harrisburg Marathon 2007


I spent the last two weeks recovering from the Marine Corps Marathon and training for this one. I had some good training runs prior to Sunday and felt fully recovered from the MCM. I changed my diet around three days prior to Sunday; I really loaded up on carbs. During my last two marathons I was plagued with cramps around mile 20. I figured it didn't have as much to do with lack of training as lack of fuel. So, after doing some reading, I loaded up the muscles with glycogen.

On race day, I got up at 5:30 and went for a 1 mile run to get the system warmed-up. I ate a bagel and drank a glass of Accelerade. We got the kids ready and "Team Enck" was on the road by 7:00. I ate a Powerbar on the way to continue the fueling process.

We got to City island around 7:40 in the morning and check in was simple. The weather was brisk, but the sun was out and you could feel it's warmth as long as you weren't in the shade. Went for a half mile run and was back at the starting line by 8:20.

While at the starting line, I met John, who took Pilates from Tina. He had two friends, Howard and Andy, who were, like John, trying to Qualify for Boston. John and Howard needed 3:30s, but Andy needed a 3:20. I too wanted to try for a 3:20, so Andy and I decided to run together.

The race went off promply at 8:30

Miles 0-5

The race was a little bunched at the start, but not as bad as the MCM, despite a little more room to maneuver, we only managed an 8:20 pace for the first mile. After that, we picked up the pace, and made up the deficit by mile 3. In hind sight, this might have been a little too much too early. Perhaps we should have made it up over a longer period of time as we were running at sub 6 minute pace for short periods of time. This section included a short run on the Greenbelt which was nice and easy on the legs.

Miles 6-10

Settled into a nice pace averaging about 7:30 per mile. The weather was perfect and the views along the river on front street were phenomenal. Both Andy and I were running smooth and were able to maintain a conversation, which was an indication that we were running within our means. At one point during this stretch, we had almost 1 minute of time in the bank. We decided to slow up a little and conserve some energy.

Miles 11-15

No problems here. Pace was good, around 7:35 a mile. We did encounter our first hill, but it wasn't that bad and we pushed over the top and made our way towards the HACC campus. This section was flat and it was the first time that I was able to rendezvous with "Team Enck, " which now included Linda K. I enjoyed the cheers and Kyler's pronouncement that Tristan "peed on his leg." This gave me something to ponder and chuckle about. Also had to take care of an equipment issue around mile 15.5. My timing chip, which I laced onto my shoe, was digging into the top of my foot and cutting off circulation to my calf. I loosened my shoe, and things were back to normal.

Miles 16-20

Boston may have "Heartbreak Hill, " which I intend to experience, but Harrisburg has Wildwood Park. We were running with 30 seconds in the bank when we entered the park, but I knew after the first hill we were probably going to expend that quickly. This part of the run, while scenic, was brutal and consisted of 4 steep rolling hills along the eastern edge. They took their toll and as we came out of the park, we not only burned our surplus, we were in a 40 second deficit. The question became, how fast do we make it up? By mile 19, we had gotten back about 10 seconds. "Team Enck" was waiting at Mile 19. I gave Kyler a high five and pushed on. We made it up a short hill at mile 20 and only a 10K downriver remained, but that was going to be a long 10K with a 30 second deficit.

Mile 21-Finish

There were a few runners in front of me, and I decided to try and overtake them to provide myself with a goal that would help me pick up the pace while taking my mind off my flagging energy levels. I was maintaining about a 7:40 pace, and knew I had to hold that to crack 3:20.
At mile 23 I was running on empty and glanced down at my watch only to realize that I had fallen to about a 7:55 pace. I did the math, but it wasn't going to work in my favor: I couldn't muster a 7:30 pace over the next 3 miles. I came close, but a 3:20 will have to wait for another day.

All in all, I was happy with my performance: I ran a 3:21:57, which is a new PR, came in 87th overall and 7th in my age group. It was a great day to run and I enjoyed running with Andy. It was certainly nice to have someone to help with the pacing and keep my mind off the run. And, I solved another piece of the marathoning puzzle: Fueling properly before a long race can stave off cramps.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Tristan "Chuck Norris" Enck

Tristan "Chuck Norris " Enck doesn't sleep, he waits.

Police label anyone attacking Tristan "Chuck Norris" Enck as a code 45-11 - sucicide

Tristan "Chuck Norris" Enck grinds his coffee with his teeth and boils water with his rage.

There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Tristan "Chuck Norris" Enck lives in Pennsylvania.

Some people wear Superman pajamas; Superman wears Tristan "Chuck Norris" Enck pajamas.

Marathon Season XIV

I thought I had written my last post for this season, but I have decided to run the Harrisburg Marathon on 11/11, so I'm technically still training.

I didn't do anything for two days after the MCM. My quads were hurting; steps were not my friend. By Wednesday, however, I felt like I was recovering, so I rode the bike trainer for 30 minutes. On Thursday, I went through my weight routine, and I was back to running on Friday. My first day back I ran 3 miles at 8:00-9:00 minute per mile pace. Saturday I went out for six miles and ran under 8:00 MPM pace. On Sunday I went on a 15 mile ride with the cycling club, which is highlighted below.

Not sure how hard I'm going to run this Sunday. I'll be happy with anything under 3:30, which is Boston qualifying time for me. If I feel good, and conditions are right, I may try for a new PR.

Manheim Township Cycling Club Ride

(Josh, Joe, Me, Brad and Matt)

Went for a ride with members of the Manheim Township Cycling Club yesterday. It was my first ride as the new faculty advisor to the club. We met at the school at 1:00 then proceeded to the northeast. I was amazed at the amount of open farmland and low traffic volume in this area. It reminded me of rides outside of Mount Joy.

We maintained about a 14-15 mph pace, which was fine with me, because of being in recovery mode from last week's Marine Corps Marathon. Shortly after leaving the school, we encountered our first hill, which I believe would have been Kissel Hill. After a short climb we were treated to a really nice downhill, which ended in the Millport Conservancy region. This was the most beautiful part of the ride. The stream - Lititz Run - looked really nice with a decent flow. I began dreaming of where I would cast if I were fly-fishing, but my dream was shattered by "BustyourBallstown" Road. While not a long hill, it definetely was steep, and got the heart pumping. I was reminded yet again of something my earth science prof at LVC told the class: "the world is flat when you're driving in a car. If you want to experience topography and the results of tectonic forces, ride a bicycle."

After the climb, we were rewarded with another nice downhill, and then a general leveling off back to the school. Got back around around 2:00. Really nice ride with a great bunch of young riders.