I let another near two weeks pass since an entry on here.. haven’t regained my footing in making it a habit to post something. Well, I figured a weekend recap might be a good place to begin. Friday night I went to the “Empty Bowls” fundraiser at Manna Meal and it was really nice! There were dozens of donated handmade pottery bowls from local artists and potters, which the guests paid 25.00 for one and they were then treated to unlimited soup and salad (also donated by local restaurants and volunteers. Saturday was a largely uneventful day, a little errand running, etc. Sunday turned into a porch painting day split up by a pretty good mountain bike ride with Brian at the KSF.
I have been going back and reminiscing over some of my posts this evening and I couldn’t even remember how to post anything but I finally sorted it out and thought I would try to revive this and get back to doing some posting. Stay tuned…
Man, I am just such a lazy turd these past two plus weeks. I have only run once… yes, once, since the KT 50K in mid-July. More than two weeks later I have logged a single 10k road run. I’m not sure what my problem is, I think a lot of it is the truly oppressive and energy sapping heat these past weeks. It has just been brutal and super hot! I also have been getting my Surly bike back into shape, got some new bars and a rack for it to convert it into a commuter bike of sorts. The plan is to quit driving to work.. it’s only 2 miles (not even) and it’s all downtown streets so I am starting tomorrow now that the bike is all set. Maybe I will try to post a picture soon.
Here is the finishing picture of me heading down the finishing stretch of the KT 50K.. oh the agony!
Long shift day at the mall recruiting office today… boooorrrringg. Anyway I now have plenty of time to post to my blog, do the office schedule for August (done), daydream (ongoing), and surf the web and play with my ipad (also ongoing). I went to the Charleston Bicycle Center today and picked up a wheel box to ship my wheels off to my ebay auction winner, and while I was there I also picked up a few goodies for the bicycles. I think I am going to put the rack I got on Cam’s bike and go back and get the cute little pink/argyle-ey looking rack panniers at the shop. We have vowed to commute the less than two miles to our respective jobs, by bike starting Monday. In the meantime, I have rekindled my love for my Surly Cross Check bike and I am converting it into a super commuter of sorts as a single speed. I have my eye on a full conversion kit (used on ebay), that includes a single speed crankset too… pretty smooth for the price! I also grabbed a moustache bar today at the shop too, now I guess I need brake levers as my hooded levers won’t work, I don’t think anyways. I snagged another shopping bag style pannier on ebay yesterday too. We had a set but one got stolen a few years back when Cam’s bike got stolen out of our driveway. I am getting quite excited about all of this, especially now that the motorcycle is gone and we truly only have one vehicle (gas powered, I mean). It is going to be cool… now if only we had a good grocery store on our end of town and not crap like the Dollar General. The farmers market will do for now, but in a couple of months all the produce will be replaced by folks pimping out pumpkins and potted mums. Kanawha City has a Kroger but it’s about 5 miles away (maybe 4 1/2)… not really too bad, but not great riding to get to it as far as traffic, etc. We’ll see.
Today is a mixed day for me as I sold my treasured BMW F800GS motorcycle to a fellow I met on Adventure Rider.com. I haven’t ridden it much since buying it new in Sept. 2009 and I felt the money I was spending each month on my bike payment and insurance could be more wisely spent, or saved for other things. So, I corresponded with the buyer, who flew up from Houston, TX (I know right!) and I picked him up at the airport here at home in Charleston and we did the deal at my local bank, signed our papers, he handed my a nice big check (nothing left over for me, the bank gets it all unfortunately), and off he went on my old and his new bike! I am actually really happy (as is my wife… she is ecstatic), as now it’s like getting a 500.00 per month raise in a sense as that money will no longer be going out, which, let’s face it, is pretty cool. Haven’t run one step since the Kanawha Trace 50K last Saturday… it has just been so hot and miserable, and frankly I have no motivation to get out there and suffer in it right now, so there is due to be a slight break in the heat next week when I plan to gear it back up and start looking forward to the races in October. I likely will look for a couple shorter 10 miler/ half marathon types of events between now and then, maybe try to work on some leg speed a little bit too. Thanks for reading.
Let me start this by saying how I originally had visions of a 6 hour +/- finishing time for this event… until I began the “2nd half” of the course that is. Course descriptions had the first half as the tougher half… not so my friends, not so at all! The second half was 10 times harder, at least in my book. Lots of tough steep climbing and technical stuff… and LOTS of gravel road/ jeep road stuff, which really became a drain on my psyche. So here goes…
Got started a bit late, around 7:45 am and had a nice easy mile and a half or so approach up to the first trail section, this contained a bit of up and down, under Rte 35, and along for a few more miles, pretty uneventful. Then the road section, lasting about 4 to 5 miles give or take, to what I consider the first real AS, even though there was a little water AS a couple miles in to the race. I was feeling really good, nice and smooth, miles ticking by with what, in my opinion was a little too much road for my taste. Fast forward to the “half-way”, which was actually just a mile and a half or 2 miles beyond the true half way point. I was feeling pretty good, fueling up and no stomach issues, etc… doing fine on hydration for the most part. I opted to change my shoes along with my socks and refill my pockets with gels, and off I went. Took longer than I should have at the AS, but it’s not like I was running for the win or anything, so no big deal. Off I went after the pair of runners that I was more or less within pretty close proximity for the previous few miles, then I caught them and was following along as we lost the course for a few mins… then back on track and up a few little climbs and over the fence into the “bull field”, then off the course again… Thoroughly frustrated, I decided to turn back and pick up the course once more deciding not to follow anyone else… and pay better attention to avoid any more lost time. There were a handful of places that I think the course could have been supplemented by the organizers with extra markers to make the course a bit clearer… after 20 miles or so, things get a little tough to process at times and more defined markers would help this. I heard some anecdotal talk of a few people getting slightly lost out there… nothing too bad for me though. So as I plodded along, I was totally and thoroughly regretting my change of shoes. I had my LaSportiva Crosslite 2.0’s on earlier and changed into my Mountain Masochist’s… the Crosslite’s were just so much more comfy and stable feeling.. maybe it was just the state of my feet at that particular time? Anyways… AS 5 was great.. 9.5 miles left, the AS workers there were the best of the race in my mind, very positive and helpful to all of us, and from here it was a total slog into the last AS (during this stretch I really started hurting and got passed by about 5 people), then I was lucky enough to be able to pick up a rose for Cory’s wife Ami for their anniversary, top off the water bottles and head out for the final stretch. One more person passes me, and the final lonely few miles to the finish line that seemingly would never come to me! I mention the people that passed me because at the time I honestly thought I was in the 30-35th place range, and I was discouraged because I felt like I was falling apart and losing all sorts of spots. I wanted to finish in the top half at least… that was my goal. So when I crossed the line in 7:05 and 16th place I thought to myself how much higher placed I was than I ever thought was realistic. Imagine if I had not dropped those other places… hah! Tough, tough, tough course, hats off to Cory and his team of volunteers and boyscouts.. I plan to be back next year, better prepared and now knowing how tough the course is.. ready to tackle it head on! Thanks to all of you hard-nosed runners too for a great day of tough running!