Friday, August 5, 2011

Odds and Ends

It's funny because for all of the times I think about what I'm going to post to this blog, not much makes it to the keyboard.  I'm gonna try to change my ways tho.

Here is a compendium of recent running related stuff...

Paratriathlete Guide
A week ago Sunday I had the pleasure of escorting my brother-in-law through the Escape to Blue Ridge Triathlon at Blue Ridge, GA.  This was a spur of the moment endeavor and turned out to be a lot of fun.  My wife was doing the Blue Ridge Triathlon and her brother, Jeremy, wanted to do it as well.  However, Jeremy is legally blind and can only partially see in very low light conditions.  He was an accomplished short distance runner in college and has been training recently for a tri.  So while Allison was lamenting the fact that her brother needed someone to guide him in the tri, I said, "I'll do it!"  So then I found out that we would be tethered (1 1/2 feet) in the swim for 600 yards, would ride an "economy" 50+ lb tandem bike for 18 miles, and run tethered with a complete blindfold on him (5k).  Since I agreed to do this on Tuesday before the race, I hadn't swam in over a year, and I was completely freaked out in the swim.  I almost quit a couple of times but Jeremy didn't stop as I slowed to a breaststroke and the only option was to keep swimming.  I was so happy to get on that tandem cruiser.  In the end it was a great experience!  The venue was beautiful.  The race was well organized.  I learned alot about perseverance, communication, teamwork, and paratriathletics (I think I made that up).  And Jeremy kicked it!  We ended up running 7:34 miles, so not shabby for running blind and tied up...literally!  I'm not sure how in the world he ran like that but it was pretty impressive.  I think with more practice and a better tandem, we could compete at the national level in the paratriathlete division.  Unfortunately, the race also confirmed that swimming is just not for me.

This week I signed up for Lookout Mountain 50 Miler in December.  It's put on by Rock Creek so it should be a good one.  I've got a bunch of other stuff scattered about including a new Georgia 9 mile trail race, a Ragnar relay race, some Benton Mackaye Trail long runs, some cycling centuries, and I'm putting together plans to run the Grand Canyon from the South Rim to North Rim and back (aka Rim to Rim to Rim) on a Saturday in November.  I'm definitely excited about the last one since that has been on my bucket list for a while.  I'll post more on that one later.

It's actually been surprisingly hard to find some longer trail races that will fit my schedule.  I knew that I wanted to do the Grand Canyon and Lookout Mountain in November and December, but the south has very few trail races in the 13 to 30 mile range in the fall.  So my plan is to have fun and build up a solid base. 

So far so good
What have I been doing this summer?  Running though the dang-blasted heat.  It's taken longer than usual to get my mileage back up.  But I've been running faster pace stuff.  I've also been cycling a bit more.  I've been getting in a very good base and this week I've turned the corner to be able to run whatever I want and recover well enough for the next day.  Finally, I've been very motivated.  I'm loving my runs and can't wait to get out there the next time. 

Here is a picture from a nice run I had in New York state on some very nice back roads of Binghamton.  It was drizzly and hazy as I was running past this idyllic little cemetery that was loaded with deer.