Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mountain Masochist Report

What fantastic weather we had for the 27th running of this event. I, unfortunately was not in my best shape and suffered for most of the day. I still got it done and ran really well at the end - just too much damage was done the previous 10 hours. Still, with an 11:38 it was not even my worst time here. For starting basically "off the couch", I suppose that is not so bad. I got to run with a lot of good folks including Rebecca Phalen, Ed Marsh, Ashley Funderburk, John Teed, Melinda Yelton and DC Lucchesi. I wasn't with DC or Melinda long as they ran great races. DC posted a 9:37 and Melinda got 10th female! I also spent a good amount of time towards the end with Tom Green - the only person to start all 27 editions of this race.

I really did have a good time even though the ego took a hit with my performance. The road trip up with John was a blast with a stop at Lexington BBQ and lots of old school country music and southern rock blaring the whole way. The trip up is usually as much fun as the run. The trip back however, is no fun at all. Now, I have to decide if I am still game for Hellgate...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mountain Masochist Preview

Tomorrow I head up to Virginia to run the Mountain Masochist Trail Run. This will be my third start and I am really excited because the temperature looks to be near perfect. Lows in the 40s with highs in the 60s and sunny! It will be cooler at the higher elevations but looks to be a fabulous day in the mountains. Many of my running friends from all over will be there so it will no doubt be a fun time all the way around. I have no real goal for the race other than to do my best. Hopefully that will mean a PR for the course but who knows. With Hellgate looming in just over a month, this is going to be more of a training run. Sure a 50 mile one, but a training run nonetheless. I will post a report as soon as I can. Wish me luck.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Quick Post

Red Rocks was incredible. I ran about a 12 mile or so Loop inside the park and had to hustle a bit to finish up before it got too dark. It was amazing scenery and pretty cool how it is so close to "The Strip". I took it really easy and was please that the temps were pretty mild. Maybe they always are in Vegas in October. I did notice how dry the air was. Given I live in NC, where it can be pretty humid it was a nice change. Other than this, I spent the rest of the time in Vegas at a conference and caught the redeye back to Charlotte. I plan to visit Red Rocks again (hopefully for a longer trek) next time I am out that way.

After I got back to town, I hit Crowder's for a about a 3 hour run with a good bit of climbing. It was great to be out there again after a few months. There was a lot of cloud cover so I didn't even drink the two bottles I had with me. Felt really good and manage a sub-8 pace on the road back to the Linwood parking area.

Had a couple of good runs last week - sandwiching some tempo pace stuff into a couple of 10 to 15 mile runs. Felt nice to stretch the legs out but I am not where I hoped to be for Masochist. Oh well, I have run the race twice before and know what to expect. With Hellgate looming, Masochist will be an ideal training run. More to come.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I am alive!!!

Just been extremely busy so I haven't been able to update much the last several weeks. Work travel has been crazy and my running has taken a bit of a backseat. I am still getting quality miles in just not as often as I would like. I am headed to Las Vegas tomorrow for a work conference that I am speaking at. I am not a gambler so I plan to check out Red Rocks Canyon during my free time. Looks like some nice trails only 15 miles or so from "the Strip". Will be nice to hit some trails in a different locale. Mountain Masochist and Hellgate are fast approaching so I will need several quality outings to ensure I am prepared. Good news is the work travel is abating some. I will update after my trip.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Laurel Valley Report

I had another great time at Laurel Valley this year. Time, as in fun, not performance. For those unfamiliar with Laurel Valley it is a run of about 35 miles along the Foothills Trail in the South Carolina upstate. The run is self-supported as access is basically nil from Rocky Bottom where the race starts to the Upper Whitewater Falls parking area (where the race ends). While the run is very scenic, the self-supported nature does add a bit of intrigue to the run. No biggie though, just grab some of whatever you like to eat, a couple of water bottles and throw it in a pack and get going. Don't forget the iodine tablets to treat the water and a little dose of humility. If you forget the latter, the trail will provide it for you.

Two years ago, when I first ran LV, I got my a$$ handed to me. Yeah, it was over 100 degrees but I was still unprepared for what was ahead of me. I got some lovely blisters on my heels as a souvenir. Remember this lovely picture?

Last year I ran great and had an absolute blast, running much faster than 2007. Cooler temps helped as did being in really good shape. What would 2009 hold? Well, I ran slower than last year, but faster than 2007. About what I expected. I am not in as good of shape as last year, but one thing that matters at LV is experience and I had two of these under my belt.

The temperature was certainly warmer than last year but the humidity was what I really noticed. I made great time early. In fact, my buddy John and I were really cruising the first three hours or so. I knew I couldn't hold the pace and let John go ahead. He went on to post his fastest time on the course. I got to Toxaway a bit before 9:00 and was really wiped - not a good sign at LV. I took it easy on the next sections walking all the hills and running easy on the flats and downhills. When I got to the Horsepasture River (about 2/3 home), I did something I have never done in my previous two runs - got in the water. Man was it great! I spent a solid 25 minutes in the water there and it made a big difference. I left around 11:45 and figured I was about 3:30 from the finish. Last year, it took me about 3:15 from this point to finish.

As the temperature rose, my spirits tanked. I was drinking well and eating a gel about every 30 minutes. I was also taking two S! Caps every hour (about 700 mg sodium). My legs were just dead. I moved along as best I could and eventually ran out of water. Bill Keane, a grizzled veteran of this race and many throughout the southeast gave me some of his water to try and lift my spirits. Bill is 64 years young and is still cranking these things out. Awesome! I felt better running than walking which was weird given the situation. Eventually I got to Thompson River, which is about 5 or 6 miles from the finish and the last major water stop. Guess what, I got in the water again for about 20 minutes and it felt great. A couple of folks joined me and it was really hard to get out. I left just before 2:00 and decided I would walk every step in. My race was shot and it would be nice to know how long it would take walking every step. I ran really well last year and covered this in about 1:25.

It was very uneventful the rest of the way. After all, I was walking! I crossed the falls and had the final doozy of a climb between me and the finish. Last year, I did the final climb (about .8 miles) in around 18 minutes. I would need to do it in about 25 minutes this year to break 10 hours. So, I took it easy and made my way up. Then I ran the last 1/4 mile or so in to post a 9:56. Not my best but not my worst. I had a lot of fun and really took it easy so I am not sore at all as I type this. What a great event! They even had ice cream at the finish - thanks Mike Day!

It's funny, Mark Long and I remarked as we were sitting in Thompson River, why we come back every year. The answer is actually pretty easy - we're stupid and never learn!! Seriously, LV is as pure a run as you can get. If you are looking for fancy aid stations, nice awards and to be pampered - go find a local road 10K or even a marathon. If you are looking for a scenic trail and a great group of folks to share it with and nothing more than maybe LV is for you. There actually was a shirt this year but finishing this race is the best award I get all year. Now, with three LV finishes, one that starts with a 10 (10:24 in 2007), one with a 9 (9:56 this year) and one with an 8 (8:06 last year), I need one that starts with a 7. Guess where I'll be the second weekend in August 2010?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Laurel Valley Preview

Every year, when the mercury really inches northward I know that Laurel Valley is around the corner. Hard to believe that it is already August this year! It has really been an up and down year for me both in terms of running and life in general. However, things are definitely back on track and I am very excited about running Laurel Valley for the third time. With a race in SC in August, temperature is a big factor and it looks like this will be a warmer year than last. No worry though, I am looking forward to really enjoying the scenery along the way and will just give it my best effort. If that is 8 hours or 10 hours, I am fine either way. As I have written in years past, Laurel Valley is a pure race with no fuss about shirts, awards or even aid stations. There are none of these! All you have to worry about is one foot in front of the other and treating your water so as to avoid guardia. This minimalist approach is a great mental test 9at least for me) as it helps you learn to rely on yourself more than most races. I am just psyched to be on some nice trails as it has been a while. Look for a report early next week.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Grandfather Mountain Report

I ran the Grandfather Mountain Marathon back on July 11 for the first time. Have been traveling for work and on vacation since then so the report is a little overdue. What a great time! The race is very well organized yet low key so that it is a lot of fun. I saw many familiar faces including Tom O'Donnell, Leon Harmon, Mark Long, Joey Anderson, Julia Engel, Ashley Funderburk and Byron Backer. My family went along for the weekend and enjoyed Grandfather Mountain park while I ran. It was a beautiful day and finishing at the Highland Games was really cool. I took it pretty easy, keeping my heart rate under 150. I managed to run around 4:33, which I was pleased with considering I took it so easy. I will definitely be back for this one.

I have the Laurel Valley Whitewater Run next weekend so I have been attempting to acclimate to the heat. More to come on that race. It feels good to finally be getting back in decent shape once again.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

I love the Fourth of July. I am a patriotic person for sure but this holiday brings so many fond memories of my childhood. I am trying to pass many of those same memories on to my own kids. No matter what ones political and/or social views are, it is important to reflect on our independence as a country and pay homage to those who fought so hard to establish the good ol' USA. Hope everyone has a good day.

On the running front, things are going very well. I have the Grandfather Mountain Marathon next weekend. I have always wanted to do this race and am excited to finally be in it. Hopefully it will be a nice training run. More to come soon.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back on Track

Well, I have finished "licking my wounds" from the pathetic DNF at Massanutten and am now gearing up for training in full force. I don't want to ever be as out of shape as I clearly was going into MMT ever again. That said, the DNF is a great motivator to get myself back in gear. I am still putting together my fall schedule but I just signed up for Mountain Masochist. I have run the race twice and have always had a terrible effort there - 11:40 in 2006 and 11:15 in 2007. Both times I ran the GEER 100K about five weeks prior but so have many others. In any case, I want to run the race really well this year.

I am really excited about ramping up the training again. I really missed running on a regular basis earlier in the year when I was surrounded by the "dark clouds". I am also doing the Laurel Valley Whitewater Run again this year. I love this race as it some of the most beautiful trail around and a great group of folks show up every year for it. Not sure what else I am planning but will update as plans firm up. Thanks to everyone for the supportive comments regarding my DNF at Massanutten.

Monday, May 18, 2009

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, the key to DNFing MMT...

Respect. Seven simple letters that speak volumes. I didn't have enough of it for the MMT course - going into the race under trained. If you have looked at the results from Massanutten, you know that either I was confused and thought it was a 40 mile race or the race did not go as planned. Either way, I suffered my first DNF ever this weekend at my favorite race. What happened? It is pretty simple, the heat wore my under trained body out. I had hoped to get my third MMT buckle, but that will have to wait until next year.

I went into the race under trained but felt that mentally I could get there. There is a saying in ultrarunning: "Ultrarunning is 90% mental, the other half is physical". When it came to the "second half" I was waaaay short. I still had a great time up at the race and chalk this up as a great learning experience. The first DNF was bound to happen eventually and in some ways, I am glad to have the first one over with. Here is the brief (remember I only did ~40 miles) story.

I started out running fine but noticed it was very humid. Many of us remarked before the start how much warmer it felt compared to previous years. I got up the road and up to Buzzards Rock with no issues. I was drinking often and hitting a gel every 30 minutes. I was soaked to the bone in sweat due to the humidity. I came into the first aid station feeling good and kept on truckin' after refilling my bottles. Felt good all the way to Veach Gap, where I stopped for a pancake and sausage and again refilled the bottles. I also drank two cups of water here.

The section to Milford Gap was uneventful and I tried to take it really easy since there was plenty of time. Plus there was a 4 mile road section coming up where I could make up time if I needed to. I was taking an S! Cap every 45 minutes or so and things were going well. On the way to Habron Gap, I was running good and having lots of fun. I had to stop and pee a couple of times which was a good sign in terms of hydration. I did get passed by some folks but I was still moving along at a good pace. I was very focused on running my own race.

When I got to the road section to Habron Gap, I turned on the Ipod and cruised along the road. I ran the early couple of miles a little too hard and had to back off some towards the end because I ran out of water. Still, I got into Habron Gap later than I wanted but was not concerned. I sat and rested for a few minutes and then got moving. I drank a Boost, restocked on gels and S! Caps, downed a couple of cups of water and headed to Camp Roosevelt.

I deliberately took it very easy on the climb here trying to not wear myself out. Was moving along okay when WHAM!, the heat just zapped me. I had to stop and rest a few times but still was able to keep moving. When I would run, I started to get dizzy - not lightheaded but room-spinning dizzy. When this would happen, I stopped and rested. I have had heat exhaustion before, and knew this was an early sign. I normally do okay in the heat and humidity but being under trained, I obviously was more vulnerable. Lots of folks went by and all asked how I was doing. Eventually, I came around a bit and started to move pretty well. I was able to run some downhill sections pretty well but then the dizziness came back. Also, I started to shiver some (think teeth chattering). This was a BIG concern, since it was likely close to 80 degrees. From there, I basically "death marched" to Camp Roosevelt where I hoped to recover.

The volunteers were great, stuffing my bandanna with ice and making sure I had plenty of fluids. I picked up an extra bottle at Habron Gap and drank all three on the way to Camp Roosevelt. In fact, I was empty for the last 15 minutes or so. I stayed at Camp Roosevelt for about 30 minutes, then refilled and decided I would see how I felt at Gap Creek. I was worried that if the dizziness didn't go away, my race was done. I started out to Gap Creek and soon a wonderful thunderstorm started - it felt fantastic and really cooled me off. I actually made decent time on the climb up and then started to run down at a good clip. But, the dizziness was there still. I had to stop and get it under control. I was continuing to eat and drink, and take S! Caps regularly.

To add to the frustration, I slipped and somehow wrenched my back. Now not only did I get dizzy when I ran, but my back seized up as well. Finally I got to the aid station around 4:00 p.m.! I was almost at the next aid station at this time last year. I had an hour to get things under control and get moving. I stretched the back, lied down, sat up, did everything but just couldn't get it right. So, I dropped out when the 5:00 p.m. cutoff came. I hated to do it but it was definitely the right decision. If I had continued, maybe I would have finished or maybe I would have gotten hurt much worse. Who knows. I am actually proud that I was smart enough to pull the plug. Folks often say DNF is an acronym for "Did Nothing Foolish" and well as "Did Not Finish".

I learned that a course like Massanutten deserves much more respect than to go into it under trained. That is a lesson that I will not soon forget. Congratulations to everyone who started, especially the finishers. Massanutten is a tough race and finishing it is quite an accomplishment.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Massanutten Preview

I can't believe Massanutten is already here! This is one of my favorite races and I am glad to have completed it twice. In fact, this is the only 100 mile race I have run (due to my DNS at Umstead this year). My training has been very lackluster but I am still very excited. I may not be 100% physically ready but I have plenty of mental fortitude that should help a good bit. Plus, I am a big believer in experience and having some familiarity with the course will be key to my success. The weather looks to be a little volatile - some rain, possible t-storms and warm temps during the day. I have heard that the course is already a little sloppy in places but hopefully things won't deteriorate too bad. The course drains very well and should be fairly dry as long as a ton of rain does not fall right before the race.

My plan for the race is to really take it easy early on. I am going to really try and get ahead on fluids and calories in the early stages. Easier said than done but hopefully I can pull that off. The toughest sections for me are later in the race when I tend to get really lazy during a couple of long 8 mile sections. I would like to really cover these sections better this year. Keeping myself in check early will be a key to this happening. In terms of a goal, I really don't have one as I just want to get the finish. But, I would certainly like to be closer to my time last year (31:34) rather than my 2007 time (35:02).

I feel very blessed to be able to even contemplate something as demanding as a 100-mile run. I am really looking forward to enjoying my time in the beautiful Massanutten mountains of Virginia. You can follow myself and other participants on the VHTRC's MMT page here.

Speaking of other participants, check out the entrants list as it is a very competitive field including the likes of Meltzer (my pick to win), Walker, Sproston, Kulak, Casseday, Mongold, Knipling and on and on... Look for a report from me early next week. Best of luck to everyone who is running/racing this weekend.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Wow, things have been very busy the last few weeks. The new job is going great but I have been extremely busy. I am having a lot of fun again with work, which is a nice change. Running is going reasonably well. Massanutten looms next weekend and I am very excited to run this year. Despite not being in ideal shape. I love the course and am hoping for a fun time this year. I will do a more in depth preview next week. I recently saw "Running the Sahara" and thought the movie was very well done. It had just the right balance of drama and intrigue. No matter how tough one is or how elite an athlete, you have to be impressed with 111 days of running without a day off! Add in the variety of conditions from sandstorms, searing heat and even freezing temps, and it is quite epic. Look for more on Massanutten next week.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

In the Loop

Well, I have left BofA altogether. I have signed on with a smaller private investment bank named Loop Capital Markets LLC. Loop started as a municipal bond shop about 12 years ago and has diversified into corporate finance so that about 50% of revenues are from the municipal side. Smaller firms like Loop are poised to capitalize on the current environment as the big banks are shedding jobs and delve further into making money at a client's expense. I like Loop because they are client focused and if telling a client that the best thing to do is nothing, that is okay. At BofA one would be chastised to no end for not "putting the firm first".

It may sound hypocritical coming from a banker (especially to some anonymous "fans") but I truly believe that clients interests should be absolutely a top priority, not lining your pockets with fees from structures that make no sense. So, I am excited about this opportunity. Loop wants to expand its presence in the southeast and I am "getting in on the ground floor". I have long sought something more entrepreneurial in nature and now I have it. I will update the blog as things progress.

Running is going very well but it was wise to bag Umstead. I could have definitely finished but it would not have been pretty. Lastly, the weather has been fabulous in NC this weekend. I always love this time of year.

Friday, March 27, 2009


So, my "explanation" post is long overdue. Here's the deal. I got whacked by BofA (or Merrill) on February 26 after 10 years. it was not a surprise but still a disruption. I got a new gig at the bank within 5 days. In this economy/job market, I feel fortunate to have it. My work life as been prety hellish since January. I worked hard in 2008 and exceeded all of my performance targets and got $0 for incentive compensation. This makes up a major portion of my total pay so a zero is a big pay cut. There has been a lot of to do lately about bonuses. Sure, there are certainly abuses at all companies, but for many jobs like mine, folks should get paid if the bring the revenues in the door. Obviously, I am biased. Then a month later, I am gone. Oh well, it is in the past and in hindsight, probably a blessing. In talking with my former co-workers, Merrill is doing a great job of blowing things up and flushing morale down the toilet.

The Mount Mitchell Challenge/Black Mountain Marathon on February 28 was a nice release after such a rough week. The weather was tough and I was ill prepared for the wet and cold conditions. I was one of many who were sent down the mountain at the marathon turn around due to the Park Service closing the summit. It was a smart choice as many folks had hypothermic conditions. I likely would have too had I continued to the top. Still, it was a fun day and I got a nice solid training run in.

My good friend Rich Daileader started his AT trek northbound on March 1. His plan is to average around 15 miles a day and finish up sometime in late July/mid August. I hope to join him for a couple of days in April or June.

Running is going pretty well and I am anxious to get cranking with the race schedule.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Up for the Challenge!

It has been a loooong time since I have posted. I have had a lot going on in my life outside of running that has been a major distraction. Training has fallen off severely. I will write a post over the weekend giving more details. Tomorrow I am running in the Mount Mitchell Challenge 40 Mile. Am I ready? Not hardly but I am well rested and have lots of frustrations to take out on the trail. I have always wanted to do this race and am excited to do it this year. I am not worried about time but want to have a good time and just enjoy the day in the mountains. Speaking of which, the day will start early as I am leaving at 4:00 AM for the ~2 hour drive to the start in Black Mountain. So I am off to bed. Look for a report and more details about what has been going on (hint: I work in financial services) of late over the weekend. Peace.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

GEER 2009 - Buy 50K Get 50K Free!!!

I have written many times about how much I enjoy the Great Eastern Endurance Run. It was my first trail ultra back in 2006. I talked with Gill, the RD for the event this week and he informed me of a special for early registrants for GEER this year. The first 100 entrants in the 100K will pay only half of the entry fee! That's right - 50% of the cost. Trust me when I tell you that the event is worth every penny of its full fare, so it is an absolute steal at $62.50! I have run the race three times and think it is one of best coordinated events I have participated in. It is not for the meek as it features rugged terrain, lots of climbing and descent and unpredictable weather. This is balanced out by an excellent venue, great aid stations and enthusiastic volunteers. Gill and Francesca do a great job of planning the event complete with several training runs beginning in July. Entry opens on February 2, so there is plenty of time to get this on your 2009 race schedule. You can sign up for the event here. Feel free to post a comment with any questions about the race.

Sign up soon so you can grab one of the half priced spots - they will surely go quickly. Get signed up and then get out there and run!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Umstead Training

So, I have been thinking about my training plan for Umstead a lot the past few days. With the current state of the banking sector, this is at least a positive topic. I am not too worried about the 100 mile distance at Umstead (I know that sounds ridiculous) as I have completed the distance twice and "know" what I need to do to complete it. The terrain is not technical and the weather is usually moderate. I have had few nutrition issues in races and have a good idea of what works best for me. My biggest concern is the repetitive loops that I will run (8 to be exact) to complete the 100 miles. I paced my friend John Straub last year, running his final two loops with him. He suggested breaking the race up into "day" and "night". In his experience, the loops started to really wear on him after about the fifth loop (62.5 miles) and is just before it starts to get dark. It sounds like a good approach and worked great for him last year as he ran sub-21.

I have been base building the last month or so while battling some plantar fascitis pain but am overall pleased with my progress so far. The extra pounds from the holidays are starting to drop off and my endurance is starting to get pretty good. Two key areas for me to work on are speed/intervals and practice running loops. During training I am a big proponent of at least one speed workout per week. Not all out sprints but some 400M, 800M and even 1200M repeats at or above threshold heart rate. This worked great for me during the season last year and I will incorporate it again. Besides helping you run, well, faster it also breaks up the "monotony" of the training cycle. I don't do speed workouts during recovery weeks.

Round and Round
Other than an 1980s metal hit by Ratt, round and round is what I will be doing at Umstead and running all those loops is a big concern for me. One of the reasons I love running in the mountains is all the scenery and generally point-to-point or single loop nature of the courses. I want to get myself "mentally trained" for it so I have started doing this at least once a week. For example, today I ran 5 miles at lunch on the indoor track at the YMCA. You have to run 9 laps to cover a mile so I did 45 laps today in a little over 40 minutes. Not killing it by any stretch but it was a comfortable pace. I figure getting past the "boredom" of loops will only occur through practice. I plan to do at least one run per week that incorporates multiple loops and every other week it will be my long run.

I don't need to run technical trails for Umstead but will need the practice for Massanutten, which is about six weeks later. I am running a very hilly and technical 50K next weekend and the Mount Mitchell Challenge 40 Mile in late February. My final "long" run will be on the weekend of March 14 or March 21 and the plan is to do a loop 40 to 50 mile run. I will likely measure a 10 to 12 mile loop and use that as a final practice for Umstead.

Other aspects of training include the following:

Weight train twice per week
- one workout will coincide with a recovery run day and a more rigorous workout on a "rest" day.

Core (ab crunches, sit-ups, push ups, etc.) every day
- easy to do at night after dinner and will be very important for overall fitness. I slacked here a lot during the late fall.

Run 5 to 6 times per week
- these are the types of runs I will typically do:

1 long run (typically 2 to 3 hours or so) every other week as a loop run,
1 speed workout (standard repeats of 400M, 800M, etc.),
2 - 3 recovery runs (45 minutes to 1h 30m) - one of these will be the "loop" run,
1 tempo/cruise run (1 - 2 hours) - this will include a warm-up, then a segment at marathon pace and then a cool down

The running part is evolving but this is what it will mostly look like. I will follow a 4-week cycle of build, build, peak, rest. All runs will occur every week (except no speed during rest) but will vary in length and intensity. Also, in about a month, I will incorporate some hill repeats into my training schedule. For now, I want to work on getting my speed and leg turnover back up. Also, I will often include some speed intervals inside some long runs to assist with this. Say the long run is 15 miles, 2 miles warm-up, 3 miles at 10K pace, 1 mile recovery pace, 3 miles 10K, 1 mile recovery, 2 miles marathon pace, 3 miles cool down. This has worked very well in the past for me.

I feel good going into the training and am excited to get the blood flowing again. I hope to run really well at Umstead and set a solid 100-mile PR for myself. Plus a hard effort there is a great excuse for a slow run at Massanutten. Just kidding. I will continue to update as things progress. Now, I've gotta go run some more.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well, 2009 is here - amazing how quickly 2008 went by. I am not a big New Year's person so my "celebration" is at best mundane and most likely boring to most. I did manage to see the "ball drop" though. Any way, now that 2009 is here, I am back into training mode big time. I actually have been for the last several weeks but now, with a little holiday trimming around the waistline, my regimen will be more consistent. I got in a nice trail run out at Crowder's Mountain yesterday of about 3 hours. After running mostly on gravel/dirt roads down in Georgia the last week, the trails were nice.

The Umstead 100 looms large the first weekend in April. So, my training will focus largely on getting ready for that. That means a lot of flatter, fast workouts and less of the rocky, rooty terrain with lots of climb. However, Massanutten is on the horizon so I will need to mix in some runs to gear up for that as well. I will put more detail to my training plan in the next few days. Hope everyone enjoyed Christmas and New Year's.