Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fungus among us - Harbins Park run

Up early on Father's Day for a run at Harbins Park in Gwinnett county. It started off really nice temperature-wise.

Dewy fields under the powerlines as the sun's coming over the trees.


I stopped to shoot this shroom and it turned out to be a theme for the day.


Later, these guys were looking like Martian landers from War of the Worlds.


More orangey stuff.


Siamese mushrooms.


I was out on the bike trails for 7 miles and stopped at the car for refuel.

Daniel (from Primitive Athletic Training blog) was in the parking lot after his blistering 9 miler. He was headed home to, hopefully, a Father's Day breakfast.

I went back out for some more trail and finished with 15. Then home to bask in the adoration of the family.

It was a good Father's Day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rainy run at Ft. Yargo

So Jenny and I were planning a run at Ft. Yargo Sunday morning. Plan was to get up at 7 and head to the park. We'd run for an hour or so and send Jenny home. Then I'd go out on my own for more miles.

We woke up to rain. Jenny woke up first and won't let me forget it. :)

Anyways we drove down to Yargo and suited up. Coffee for now. Waffle for later.


We started down the inner loop trail, walking easy to warm up.


We ran easy too. Worked our way around through the campground and to the dam.


Crossed the long bridge to keep the mileage down and passed by this family enjoying the wet weather.


We were talking the whole way around. Or as Jenny put it in her tweet, #yapyapyapyap.

Party time!


Waffles make the party.


It's the simple things.


We made it back to the cars and enjoyed an orange before Jenny headed home. I went back out for some more on the outer loop.

When I got to the connector trail intersection, I decided to see what it was like. So down that trail for an out and back.

The connector trail runs over to the city park. So if somebody was wanting to hike or bike but didn't want to pay the 5 buck fee at Yargo, they could park at the city park and take the connector trail. It's blazed green and intersects with the outer loop before ending at the inner loop. I think it was almost a mile each way. Easy running.

Back on the outer loop and the rain is picking up.

I had about 3 hours and 10 miles so I decided to cut through the campground and take the inner loop back to the car.

It was a good choice. I finished with 4 hours and 15 miles.

Home for hot coffee and breakfast burrito.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

ADD Drugs in Athens, GA

Jon and I were tasked to pick up a box springs in Athens today. So we took the opportunity to take a little detour over to Five Points in Athens to eat lunch at ADD Drugs.

ADD is an old school drug store complete with lunch counter.

Jon started off with a chocolate malt.


I had a sip. Crazy good.

The two ladies working the counter have been there for years.


Jon and I had been here before about a year ago to celebrate getting his driver's license. And they remembered us.

One lady said, "Weren't you guys here after getting his license?". I couldn't believe they remembered that.

Anyway, the french fries are perfect.


But this is why we came back.


The pimento cheese burger. They make the pimento cheese. Man, it's better than the Varsity.

We're happy.


Cheesy goodness.


The prices are old school too.


If you get a chance, go visit. They're next to Earth Fare and closed on game days. Worth the trip.

After getting the box springs, we stopped at Trader Joe's for necessities.


Like chocolate covered espresso beans, chocolate covered potato chips, chocolate covered s'mores. Stuff like that.


And coffee. We were almost out of coffee.

I like Trader Joe's. I like being close to Athens.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chattooga River 50K report - June 3, 2012

I ran this one in 2009 on the old course. And I was excited to return to run the new course.

Sunday morning I awoke at 4 to drive up to Mountain Rest, South Carolina. I made it on time to sign in with Terri and enjoy the plush facilities, noting the showers available for later.

Suited up and ready to go, we gathered to hear the required pre-race briefing complete with detailed course directions from Terri.

Don't cross the road!


Go that way!


Turn around at the bridge!


The two Jason's had matching outfits to dazzle the onlookers and confuse the competitors.


Terri sent us off promptly at 7 and we started down the Winding Stairs trail for the first out and back section. 3.5 miles out to turn around and return. The out section had lots of down and made for great running on fresh legs.

I was in line running behind the two Jason's before JRogers pulled over to tie his shoe. Double knots are your friends.

Following Greta down the trail. See how fast we're moving?


Sully pulled ahead and I chased Greta to the turnaround. We met Sully just before the turn. He's kinda hard to spot here in the video but look for the yellow. :)

Running back on this section wasn't too bad as the grade was gentle. We made the turn at Big Bend trail and climbed a bit steeper before the first aid station. One of the excellent aid station workers grabbed my bottles and refilled them for me. I grabbed some snacks and got out of there with Janis' voice in my head telling me to get through the stations quicker.

Running down Big Bend trail.

More good running on the Big Bend trail down to the Foothills trail at the river. I noticed more flagging on the trail than I had seen at any of Terri's races. So no worries following the course.

First glimpse of the river and we're glad to see it.


The trail follows the river for a few miles with short ups and downs. I came up on Viktor on this section as he was working the hills. Viktor ran the Saturday edition of the race and was the only runner to return on Sunday for the double. A very tough man.


I had to work hard to keep up.

Beautiful course!


I followed Viktor as he ran looking for Sully up ahead. We caught Sully and company before the second aid station and Viktor pulled away. Sully kept me on course and we were glad to get to AS 2 in good time.

Once again I had help with my bottles and got out quickly. Ahead of Viktor and Sully, I pushed the downhill section to the turnaround at the bridge, greeting the faster runners working their way back.

I was really glad to get to the bridge and start back. Sully wasn't far behind and neither was Viktor.

Touch the bridge and turn around.


Jason Rogers was also running well but worried about an 11 mile death march. Thankfully that wouldn't happen today, as Jason recovered from his low spot to finish strong.


Glad to be out there!


I made the climb back to the second aid station and made sure to drink all my water before refilling both bottles. Next was a long stretch back to the finish with no aid.

Excellent volunteers taking care of us.


Nice spread of goodies. The banana bread was terrific!


I took some snacks and kept moving.


I had begun the day thinking I would finish between the two Jason's. Now I was ahead of both and trying to make good time to stay that way. I knew Sully was a stronger runner but thought he'd be tired after running Laurel Valley the weekend before.

Still enjoying the views on the way back.


Moving well, I came up on several runners that had somehow made wrong turns. I assured them we were headed the right way and we moved on together. One bottle was already empty and I stopped at the river for a refill using my Steripen to purify.

Here I still think Sully is behind me. :)

The lost runners recovered well and I didn't see them again. I ran on to the junction and couldn't really see how somebody took a wrong turn. Lots of flagging was in place and I turned back up Big Bend trail for the last section.

I was thinking Sully would catch me any time through here but kept pushing. And stopped at a creek crossing to refill another empty bottle. This time I made a better move by walking on while the Steripen worked on the water.

As usual, this last section seemed to go on and on. But finally made it to the road and the location for AS 1. That aid station had been closed down and a case of water was left behind. The faster runners enjoyed that water and I found empty bottles. Don't tease me! :)

From here it was downhill to the turn for the finish and I ran on in with tired legs. Richard Schick is fresh as a daisy as he's showered and rested at the finish waiting on Jason Rogers.

Shaky finishing video with Schick looking good!

After shooting that video, I look over to the food area and there's Sully enjoying the BBQ. I yell at him, "What the heck?!" and one of the other guys tells me that Sully snuck by me while I was getting the first refill from the river.

Classic. I was expecting Sully to come running up behind me and he was already in front. He said he was looking over his shoulder all the way back. It was a good move. :)

Shortly after, Jason Rogers came in running strong. Viktor also finished strong looking like he could go out again on Monday and run it again for the third day in a row.

Terri has some great chicken cooking for BBQ sandwiches with baked bean, potato salad, and a most excellent watermelon. That watermelon was really, really, really good.


After enjoying a couple of sandwiches and mucho watermelon, I headed to the showers. And that was a treat to get cleaned up before the ride home.

Finish time was 7:48. Thanks to Terri and her volunteers for a great race on a beautiful course.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.

I got in two runs over Memorial Day weekend.

First was at Fort Yargo on Saturday morn. I showed up early and temps were cool. I thought I was doing fine until about halfway.

Then I kind of bottomed out energy wise and slowed a lot. I got back to the parking lot with 11 miles done in 2:30.

At the car I shot some video to show how humid it was.

I was puny all day after that. The scale had me 4 pounds lighter after the run and that was after lots of water.

So I rested on Sunday and ate more to make up for it.

Monday I went to Harbins Park early and things were better. Lower humidity and I didn't go as long. 8 miles in 1:40.

I ran the bike trails off the paved section and didn't see anybody.

Well, nobody on a bike anyway. This guy was friendly enough.


Later I ran across another one that was a bit more shy.


Good trails at Harbins.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Warming up

I've been pretty happy with the spring temps this year. Relatively mild for Georgia and all.

Then today we're getting a taste of what's to come.

I went out for the lunch run and ran slow since I was tired. But 3 or 4 miles into it and I was getting hot.

So I started searching out the shady stuff.

Like here, I can hug the tree line.


That will get you only so far and I walked a bit to stay in control of the hot stuff.

I cut in to the lake and enjoyed the breeze over the water.

And ran into the youngsters out for a stroll with Mom and Dad.


Dad was hissing at me (or maybe that was Mom).

And this last thing from Runner's World was too good to pass up.

It's only funny because it's true.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekend running at Fort Yargo

Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, GA is our go-to for the closest trail running. I hit it yesterday early for a long run and got in about 13 miles. Good times.

Then this morning I went back with Jon for a shorter run. Our plan was 30 minutes out and 30 minutes back. Jon was telling me to go ahead since he would be slower than me. Jenny was planning to join us.

I was up at 6 thinking we would be leaving to get an early start. After getting some coffee going I went to check on Jon. Had to wake him up so he could tell me the plan was to go at 7:30. They just forgot to give me the plan. :)

So Jon and I hung out waiting for Jenny to get up so we could leave at 7:30. But that didn't happen. Jenny missed her alarm or something. Jon and I went ahead and left at 7:30 to get moving.

Down at the park we started at the bridge across the lake. Such a nice morning.

Lake at Yargo

The trails at Yargo are shared with the mountain bikers and that usually makes for nice trails.

Lake trail at Yargo

Early on I chased Jon.

Jon on the trail

But I bonked out pretty hard. Some runs I get all shaky and stuff after 15-20 minutes. Usually I eat some snacks and by 35 minutes I'm good.

Here I'm walking it out trying to get through the tough stretch.

Crossing the dam, I'm still working on it.

Jon passed me on his way back moving well. I made the turnaround and started feeling more like it. So I picked up the pace to run Jon down.

I managed to start closing on Jon on the way back. Here he's running across the dam.

Jon running across the dam at Yargo

I went by him around the lake.

We ran on in and made it home in time for church. Except that church wasn't happening today. So we ate instead.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Son of the Voice in My Head

I was planning to take Mom to lunch today after she rescheduled yesterday.  So I got to the gym at work early figuring on running some miles after the weights to make up for missing the lunch run.

And that's what I did.  Weights first (ugh), then 6 miles on a beautiful morning.  Cool temps with the sun coming up made for a nice run.

I called Mom at 11 to check on her and she begged off again.  Just not feeling like going out today, she said.  No problem, I told her, we'll try again next week.

Meanwhile, even as I 'm telling her that, the voice in my head pipes up with "Hey, now I can go for a run!".  This must be a different voice than the one that wants to cut the hill repeats short.

So I sit there and ponder the state of things.  I could go for another run.  But that's probably not the smartest thing to do.  I'd hate to mess up the weekend trail running by overdoing it today.  Such a nice day though.

I compromised by taking a walk around the lake.

And that seemed to make everybody happy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Voice in My Head

I had planned to take Mom to lunch today for a late Mother's Day.  Then she had to reschedule.  We'll try that again tomorrow.

So I got to run instead and headed out for hill repeats.  Slow hill repeats. 

Thursday morning boot camp was tough today.  Lots of stairs and other assorted goodies left us all looking like a wet noodle.  We enjoyed a recovery cinnamon roll courtesy of Lois' 80-something mom.

At lunch I jogged up the driveway at work headed for the longish hill.  Lots of room beside the driveway to run in the grass and that's where we do hill repeats.  It's about 300 yards with a decent incline.

And usually I do 10 repeats.  Run (sorta) up the hill, turn around and jog back down.  Repeat.

Today the voice in my head started right up telling me how hard boot camp was this morning.  How 10 repeats were an awful lot and maybe 6 would be good today.

I bat that idea around while the repeats continue.  I don't mind listening to the voice in my head but I need to keep moving.

I get to the 6th and keep moving.  The voice pipes up with how 8 would really be a good number considering how the legs feel.  This stuff really goes on in my head.

7 and 8 go by and I keep moving.  The voice kinda shuts up for a bit, then starts talking about which direction to take after 9 and 10.  Easy way back to work or around the corner for 2 more miles.

I listen to the voice and finish 9 and 10.  Easy way is straight ahead but the legs know better.  Back down the hill and around the corner for 2 more miles to finish with 5 miles total.

I don't have to argue since I'm not going that fast.  It doesn't really hurt and the day is beautiful.

The voice is always there offering alternatives to the planned workout.  I'll listen but I got to keep moving.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Waiting for Nathan and other things

Recent events include moving my oldest son, Nathan, to his new place. We purchased a small house in Winder and he's renting from us.

Here's Nathan in the new place.

Nathan's new place

He's pretty happy with the fast internet and TV on the Roku box.

His new place is much closer to our house which was one of the main goals of moving. So we can spend more time with him and help out when needed. I took him to the Ingles nearby for grocery shopping.

Nathan takes a while to buy groceries. I enjoyed a coffee and chili while waiting patiently.

Chili & Coffee @ Ingles waiting for Nathan

Chili wasn't bad, but I prefer Wendy's. Didja know Wendy's is now serving baked sweet potatoes? How good is that?

Baked Sweet Potato @ Wendy's!

It's served with a buttery, brown sugar condiment. Yummy.

And here's most favored daughter Jenny on the porch at Andy and Nancy's house in Charlotte. Just for fun.

Jenny on the porch at Andy & Nancy's house

Sunday morning I headed to Fort Yargo for a run. It was raining when I started.

Yargo trailhead on a wet day

And raining when I finished. Lots of puddles, lots of mud, lots of fun.

I stopped by Nathan's house after the run to pick him up for a Mother's Day visit. He wasn't quite ready so I went to Bojangles for coffee and a biscuit while he showered.

It's Bo Time!

I have decided that waiting for Nathan can have its benefits.