Monday, December 28, 2009

Backpacking, Michaux State Forest

This past Sunday to Monday, Brian B., Mike M., Andy B., Kory E. and I went on a 14 mile backpacking trip in Michaux State Forest located in Southcentral PA. It was a fourteen mile loop that I came across on We did the the Rocky Knob-Quarry Gap Loop

We got on the trail at 11:30 Sunday and the weather was beautiful, however, the trail was quite wet due to the recent snow melt. In fact, we were forced to take a detour because we were unable to cross Birch Run.

We put in about 6.5 miles on Sunday, and made camp at the Birch Run Shelter, which was one of the nicest AT shelters I ever stayed in.

The temperatures dropped to about 25 Sunday evening/Monday morning, but having the shelter made things quite easy - the shelter, and a nice fire.

We got on the trail Monday morning at 9:00 and put in 8 miles on the AT. This is a really picturesque section of the trail. The going was fairly easy despite the recent snowfall and icy patches at various places.

We got off the trail at 12:30, and headed to The Pub in Gettysburg, where we had burgers and Brooklyn Brewing's Chocolate Stout.

It was a great two days in the woods.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Holidays and Winter Fitness

Last week I ordered the final pieces to my winter riding ensemble, and they arrived the day it snowed. I was, like in the past, planning to ride as much as possible over break, but unless the roads clear, I'll be confined to the trainer.

But, on a positive note, I was able to get back on XC skis again after at least a two year break. I had been downhill skiing, but the lack of snowfall and lack of travel time to get up to Crystal Lake, precluded me from hitting the trails.

The best skiing of the weekend came on Sunday evening. My buddy Scot H. and I got out along the river on the new trail. It was crisp, the snow was good (note to self, get glide wax) and it was great to be skiing along the river. I can't wait for the trail to be completed, which will add more miles for recreation.

I can't believe it is almost Christmas. I'm looking forward to the break and spending time with the family. I also hope to do some riding, more xc skiing, and going on an overnight backpacking trip to Michaux State Forest. I also need to look ahead, and start making some decisions as to what races/events I want to participate in in 2010. I'm signed up for the Got the Nerve Triathlon, so that's one. I have also been entertaining the notion of a 70.3 event.

Since I'm not planning on anymore races this year. Here is my recap of 2009.

Tri to Help Indoor Triathlon (February): 5th overall
Frozen Foot 5k (March): Ran with Kyler, 35:00
Hempfield Tri for Life (April): 23rd overall, 5th in AG (40-49)
Ride for Literacy (May): Metric Century event
Pinchot Triathlon (May): 2oth overall, 2nd in AG (45-49)
Got the Nerve Triathlon (May): 51st overall, 6th in AG (45-49)
Pasta Run 5K (June): 13th overall, 1st in AG (45-49)
Harrisburg Triathlon (June): 21st overall, 2nd in AG (45-49)
Jimmy's Grill 5K (July): 18th overall, 2nd in AG (45-49)
Seashore Striders 5K (July): 11th overall, 1st in AG (45-49)
Lebanon Fair 5K (July): 13th overall, 3rd in AG (40-49)
Livestrong Philly (August): Full Century
Speedwell Triathlon (September): First Oly. Dist. event; 59th, 8th in AG
Jingle Bell Run 5K (December): Ran with Kyler, 30:00

Merry Christmas everyone, and Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jingle Bells

Last time I updated, I was thinking of turkey, and here it is almost Christmas.

Kyler and I ran the Jingle Bell Run this past Saturday, and I was proud of him. I'm a bit of a fool when it comes to racing as I live by the motto that I first heard uttered by my buddy Rob D., that "DFL is better than DNF is better than DNS. " As a former Marine, DNS is not an option, and only death or severe wounds would keep me from finishing.

So, it was in that spirit that Kyler and I headed to Lancaster for the Jingle Bell Run despite rain and temps in the mid thirties.

We picked up our packets, and had about 25 minutes until start time, but elected to stay indoors rather than warm-up. It was so cold and miserable that we also decided to run with all our gear on rather than strip down. I may be a fool, but I'm not stupid, and I didn't feel like freezing.

We lined up in the pack, and we were about 30 yards from the start when the command was given. We had to pick our way carefully through the first half-mile, and never got into our 9:30 pace that we hoped for until around a mile into the run. Kyler was warm, and dry, but overdressed, and even though it was cold, he began to overheat. He also had to contend with running while carrying about 5-8 extra pounds of clothes, some of which was getting wet.

There was a brief moment in the run when Kyler's enthusiasm began to wane, but at this time another boy about his age passed us. It was enough to light a fire, and he picked up the pace, and was able to retake the lead. With a 1/4 mile to go, I opened up my stride, and forced Kyler to open up his. With about 100 meters to go, we raced to the line. I must say, my boy is developing a kick. And this is comes solely from playing soccer. Other than that, he has not trained for any distance running.

Final results: 30:40; 464/923 (overall); 27/39 (age group, 14 and under)