Saturday, January 7, 2012

I never thought I'd be caked in salt and craving an S! Cap during a January run but, sure enough, this morning I was. Met up with Neal and Drew for an out and back on the Appalachian Trail on the Three Ridges section. This six mile, 3400 foot climb is legendary around these parts and the run is beautiful.

My partners were nice enough to stay with me in the early part of the climb but began to pull away after about 45 minutes. I wasn't totally popped off the back but pretty close. Obviously, more time is needed to get back into shape. The really good news about this run was the descent. I felt like my old self again on the descending switchbacks and was able to open it up a bit during the last 1000 feet or so. Given that, a couple months ago, I wondered if I would ever be able to run downhill again, this is a positive sign indeed!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Had an early morning finance committee meeting and I wasn't able to get out before school. So, I squeezed in a quick, easy 7 at lunch on Carter's Mountain. Probably fine since I have a pretty big weekend looming running with some of the VA fast guys and I am, after all, still trying to get back into racing shape.

Weather is weird warm. It almost feels like spring. Ran in shorts and t-shirt at 11am and almost needed to take the shirt off. While it's nice and all it does make me wonder about global warming, etc...And, knowing it is warm and dry in the West as well I am beginning to worry a bit about the summer fire season. Strange stuff!

A little Friday fun!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Interesting. Sluggish off the doorstep but flowed into a nice pace within 10 minutes. Not as cold as yesterday. Nice to do a Thursday 10 miler. Made it to the 1 Mile tree in 39 flat and then back under that. Unusual to negative split this. Contemplative run; 9th grade trip, Board Agenda, class visits, running schedule. Good. Foot felt solid. It always amazes me how running shines a light on things that nothing else really does.

Lining up a couple good long runs in the mountains this weekend with a few other guys including the Grand Slam Record Holder. It's kind of nice to be prepping for runs when I actually need to bring water and gels.

Monkeyboy shared this with me....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Glorious run this morning. Quite cold so hands were numb for the first 20 minutes. Skies were crystal clear and nobody was around. The silence and stillness were perfect. Legs felt well-rested after day off and the miles just clicked by. Foot a bit achy but nothing to worry about. I've been trying to focus on form a bit and channeling my inner Uhan/Ryndman. Some days are better than others. Regardless, the mind keeps wandering to the Western States Trail and the fourth Saturday in June.

Wednesday's always a great day at school with Meeting for Worship, Speaker Series and general calm. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Woke up to the coldest morning of the year. Felt pretty good, actually. Really not missing Idaho (with the exception of the altitude) all that much! Good to be back in school, in the rhythm, seeing the kids, mixing it up.

Crazy busy day at school but all good. Think today will be an off day from running with all the moving parts clanging around this place. Back at it in the morning.

Enjoyed the peaceful interactions of the day combined with the newness of the spring semester beginning. Something about the promise of the new year seems to spill over into everything. Running is the best tonic...

and this...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Got out for a great mid-morning 10-miler on the last day of vacation. 82 miles in 7 days. Feel like I've turned a corner. Hokas are money.

Really enjoying the process of slowly rolling back into shape. It is both humbling and inspiring. Nice to have sore quads like I was a newbie.

Something so simple and yet so poignant as running cannot be easily understood. Yes, there are those out there who call us crazy and there are those who admire us. But, at the end of the day, who do we really run for? I guess that's why I'll lace 'em up again tomorrow and see what happens.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Got out with the Charlottesville Area Trail Runners (CATs) today. Ran from Sugar Hollow up to Blackrock and back. Felt good to be out there. 14 miles and about 3000 feet of climbing. Off to a good start.

It was quite fun to get out there with a group, on a trail I barely knew, and just run. We met up with a group of like-minded folks at the top of a trail on a big pile of rocks and all felt good with the world. I love it when that happens.

Maybe next weekend we'll do it again...

New Year's Day inspiration.
After four and a half years I decided to suspend my blog, AJW's Blog, last night. Today, I am starting a new one, Keep it Simple. On this blog I will reflect about life, living, running, and my newfound desire to simplify my life. Last year I lived through an extremely complex series of events and while I do believe I am the better for it I also feel it has intensified my desire for a more simple existence. Hence, this blog is born.

Now, I am off to run in the Blue Ridge Mountains!