Monday, February 9, 2009

Montrails roasting on an open fire.

Take caution runners. Two years ago when I ran across the Grand Canyon it poured rain on us the whole way across. It was cold and we barely escaped flash floods and rocks plummeting off impromptu waterfalls cascading off the canyon walls hundreds of feet above. Robert actually took a rock on his hand as we squeezed between the canyon wall and the waterfall beating down on the trail. All in all it was an eventful day and one I'll not forget. The biggest lessons I learned that day however, I learned not while running but upon reaching the North Rim.

1. Always accept rides from complete strangers with heated leather seats.
2. Don't try to eat soup while shaking uncontrollably from hypothermia.
3. Don't place wet running shoes to close to a hot fire.
Yes, my Continental Divides actually shrunk a good 2 sizes that night. I ran across the canyon in size 13 Montrails and back in size 11! Now when my shoes are wet I dry them slowly .
Happy trails & dry feet,

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Winter Training-Finding Peace in the World.

Let's face it. Sometimes it's hard to get out and run. Heck, sometimes it's hard to get out of bed! It seems that winter always brings an extra challenge to an already hectic, full, schedule. What with work, communting, kids, work, and oh yea did I mention work, who has time to do anything? But it is of utmost importance that we find those moments that answer the question, "What is it all for?". Sometimes it's a song, a moment, or if you're lucky, spending time running in the mountains.
Sometimes it is those little moments where you are completely at peace and all is right with the world. I think that running tends to be pre-disposed to having those moments because there is a point when you're stripped down, physically, emotionally, that you're more open to feelings of real joy. Let's face it, running and wearing yourself out gives you a new perspective; a hot shower feels better, a coke never tasted so good, and sitting down is heaven. I would challenge everyone to find those moments every day. Take a few minutes to appreciate your life everyday, embrace your place in the world, and renew your spirit.
Happy Trails, Mike.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mountains, garmins, and goats oh my!

Well, I have to admit that running up here in the mountains is great! I feel so lucky to be able to train and live here! This weekend we were down in the big city so I had the opportunity to hook up with some long lost friends/training partners. I met up with JR, Wendy, Steve, Diana, Joe, Bill, John, and others for a run from the Topanga Overlook to Red Rock amphitheatre. It was a hilly and challenging 14 mile run. It definately feels nice to run at sea level! The next day I again met up with a group of Mountain Goats and The New Basin Blues at Tunnel 1 on Kanan. We ran to Encinal Cyn and back for a nice 10 mile run. After the run Jeanie and many runners had a "pot luck" affair with everything from stuffed grape leaves to ice cream! It was great to see everyone and train with such a talented group of runners. I'm definately looking forward to training with several of them up on the AC 100 course this year.
I am enjoying running with my new Garmin 405. It is great to accurately track miles and pace. Bottom line...better training-better racing.
Happy trails......