Friday, January 31, 2014

Still Running

After working all day and going to a meeting, I got home at 5:30pm and laced up my running shoes.  It will soon be time to start riding but I'm just not ready yet.  And its still butt cold. 

The sun was low on the horizon and I took off up the pavement.  Dropping into the woods I was pleased to find that the snow on the trail was only mildly packed down and not an icy mess. 

My feet gently crunching on the snow, I focused on breathing deeply and relaxing. 

After about 10 minutes of running, I was comfortable.  Not too hot, not too cold.  This is something that I have enjoyed about running this winter. 

The sunlight faded and twilight moved in.  My legs and lungs were feeling good so I lengthened my distance.  Passing one other person with a  light and two bottles, I wondered how far he was going and thought it would be fun to join him.

A big black dog greeted me in the middle of the trail.  No humans on the trail,  he must belong to one of the nearby houses. 

The frozen trees above whispered in the wind and I made it to my turn around.  Heading back as darkness continued to fall, I didn't race it.  I stayed steady and allowed myself to be swallowed up by the absence of light. 

Back out onto the pavement and heading home, I soaked it all in.  Thankful to be heading home to warmth and dinner, and looking forward to temps in the 40's and 50' over the weekend!

Its good to be alive.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Apparently, getting over the flu takes a while.  I've been up and  around since Thursday but running out of energy fast.  I had Mono in my twenties.  I'm not sure how much that affects me know but definitely could.

But I'm also restless,  so I started (continued) another project.  The kitchen is behind this wall.  Small, cramped and dark.  The wall is coming down, to be replaced with cabinets, counter space and a breakfast bar.  This is a project that I have been looking forward to for the last 9 yrs, since we moved in.  When  complete, the living room, kitchen, dining space will be one long open room,with vaulted ceilings to boot! 

Still on the search for the right electrician,  that is one thing I have no experience in and don't want to burn my house down! 

Hopefully this week, I'll get back out on the trail for a run.  Time is running out, and I'll need to start riding again.  Waiting for some parts to come in and then blam,  single track time!

Can't wait!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Flu Flew Phlue

yeah,  I got the flu.  It knocked me down hard.  But I'm on the mend.  I wanted to die.  Laying there on the cold floor,  half shivering, dreaming about 100's of knick knacks lined up around me and not daring to move lest I disorganized any of them..  then I woke up, only to lay there thinking about where to take my next bike packing trip.  I could almost feel the warmth of the sun on my back as I wound through a forest of green on the Palmetto Trail.....

And so it goes.  It didn't kill me so I must be stronger.  Back to life, answering phone calls and e-mails I didn't dare answer while I was sick.  Don't make commitments when you are not coherent!

It is 2 degrees as I write this, and I'm thinking about riding again, but not in these temps.  Can't run either,  not a good recovery.  Some roller time?  Maybe I'll do that this weekend.  

First on my list is to start getting tuned up for the Liberty Bikes Thursday night ride.  Daylight Saving Time is March 9th, so I'm sure the ride will start soon after that.  I don't want that to be my first ride of the year. 

The rest of the year is up in the air right now.  I'm waiting on the wife's work schedule,  who knows.

After a complete standstill, the house project continues slowly.  I'm currently looking for the right electrician to do some work for me,  if you know of one, send me some contact info.  I'm pretty picky about who comes into my house. 

Well,   off to pour another cup of coffee and stoke the fire.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Good news.   This weekend, I started to get that itch to start riding again.  I was in the middle of helping a friend lay hard wood flooring at his house and suddenly I felt like riding.  And camping.  Aaah, bikepacking.  Still  a little cold for that, but in time. 

Last night I started working on my fleet.  Replacing worn parts, setting up the single speed.   It felt good and I was getting more excited about the coming year. 

I'm looking forward to just riding, training, and enjoying my time on the bike.  I am not setting much in the way of goals, just planning on finishing the races/events that I start. 

I'm also looking forward to warmer temps.  We are only half way through January, and had a taste of warmth recently, but it was enough of a reminder of what the warm sun on the skin feels like......

6 more weeks or so, and spring will start to creep in!!

Friday, January 03, 2014

"Snow" Storm

Not really a snow storm, but definitely cole (10 degrees) and windy (60mph).   I'm really glad I dropped that $400 that we didn't have budgeted,  on additional insulation.  Its almost toasty in the house.

The wife worked last night, 7-11pm.  At 10:30pm I went outside to check the road and knew that there was  a good chance she would have trouble getting home in the mini van. 

The wet roads from earlier rain had frozen over, and the snow was landing on top of that.  She didn't have the chains in the van either. 

At 10:45 pm she called and asked me to come pick her up.  I already had the truck running and the chains on.  I rousted the kid out of a deep sleep.  Some friends had offered to come hang out so he could sleep, but I figured a family adventure would be fun. 

Driving to the hospital with the hum of the chains, I was convinced that it was a good idea on the first hill out of our neighborhood.   Then when we got to Biltmore Ave,  and the climb that leads up,  we saw 15 cars, scattered all over the road,  not able to make forward progress. 

The cold snow swirled outside,  lit up by yellow and red blinking hazard lights.   I eased onto the accelerator gently.  The F-150 with rear wheel drive pulled ahead and we carefully wove in and out of the stranded vehicles.  The chains dug into the snow and ice and we had no problem getting up the hill.

We picked up the wife and headed back home.  By the time we got back to the bottom the police had blocked the road.  We drove around the roadblock and headed back home.  My biggest concern was the hill that leads up into our neighborhood, but this proved to be a non issue.

Safe and sound back home, we all crashed into bed, tired from the mini adventure. 

Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year

Well,  here we are in 2014.  The start of this new year felt different for some reason.  I can't put my finger on it.  Maybe it's because I'm worn out.  The house remodel project is set to continue but we need to build some funds back up first.  The next step will need to wait for warmer weather as well. 

I'm still running and after completing a solo 25k in 3 hrs, last week at Carvin's Cove, I'm excited about another challenge coming up in the next month or so.  I can't tell you what it is,  every time I tell people what I plan to do, it doesn't happen. 

I do have some goals though.  This year, I want to run/hike the Art Loeb Trail. Maybe an out and back.  I could do that in 3-4 days.  On the cycling end of things,  Fletcher Flyer, P55/P111,  ORAMM?,  of course the Stage Race is on the list as well.  And I'd love to get on the TNGA!

For the first part of the year, I'm going back to my roots and setting up my Siren John Henry as a single speed.  I'm looking forward to the change of pace and riding style. 

Winter storm warning in effect to the west of us,  should be a great day for a run!