Monday, October 29, 2007

What would you rather do...Run or Work?

I have a long list of outdoor chores that need to be completed, but while the air is still not to crisp and it is not dark before 5 pm, I would rather run. Distance matters little right now as the season is over, but what really matters is that I get to spend quality time with the family as we ramble through our town.

Today was perfect. 58 degrees, a slight breeze, and a chance to unwind after a rough day @ work. Complete with zweiback toast for dirrty feather and some oj for little dirt dawg a few miles was all I and Dirrty Girl needed to recharge our batteries for the rest of the evening. A far better alternative then becoming a zombie in front of the boob tube to relax and a lesson I hope the little ones will remember.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fall Fun Frolick

The email had gone out earlier in the week to our friends Missile and Lightning who were coming up to visit that the Fall Fun Frolick would be a premier running event that we would all be participating in this weekend. Lightning thought that this was an "actual" race that had both a 5k run/walk and 5 mile ramble, but Missile knowing better said that this was surely a Dirt Dawg creation.

A damp morning with sprinkles threatened to cancel the Fall Fun Frolick as participants Missile and Dirrty Girl volunteered to go get bagels instead. Lightning said as race director, that I had the final you think I would say no?

With an official starting time of 9:15 am set, participants scrambled to get ready, when Missile almost derailed the entire frolick by forgetting?? her running shoes. Luckily, Dirrty Girl and Missile wear the same size and was able to provide a spare pair.

The run began with much vigor and conversation, before Dirrty Girl, Missile, and Dirrty Feather headed home to complete the 5K Run/Walk and Lightning and I ambled off to finish a 5+ miler.

Post run rewards included bagels and coffee. A good time with good friends.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The North Face ROCKS!!!

I received a letter today from The North Face regarding the Anurva 50 BOA I sent back due to fabric failure:

REFUND - We have determined to replace your The North Face product under the terms of our warranty. Unfortunately, an exact replacement is not available at this time. We are sending a refund check for the value of your product.
--- The North Face Warranty Department

How awesome is that? Some sweet new trail shoes will soon be mine!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Detroit Free Press Marathon

My original plan for this race was to treat it as a fun run. Take the camera, snap some pics and enjoy a run through the D as I finished when I finished. Twinkle Toes in his first marathon had boldly made a prediction of taking a crack at 3:40 and we made the pact that if I caught up to him in the latter stages that we would run to the finish together. I really didn't think that I had it in me to run quite that fast, although a 3:40 would be a PR and my knee was actually feeling pretty good.

The first 10 miles of the race finds you running through the city to Mexicantown and then over the Ambassador Bridge into Canada, before heading back into the U.S. via the tunnel, where of course my Garmin lost its signal.

(Going up the Ambassador Bridge)

(View from across the pond in Canada)

(Old Tiger Stadium)

Passing the half in 1:45, I was more than elated, and of course I start running numbers through my head. If i don't fall off too badly, then I might have a new PR and Twinkle Toes who was running strong was just beginning to have some trouble with a lingering IT band.

Soon enough, Twinkle Toes and I parted ways. Up ahead, I ran into and with a guy named John who was completing his 96th marathon and was going to run next year's Boston as his 100th!!!! I listened as he dispatched nuggets of wisdom that I hope will have me running for a long, long time.

A small part of me felt bad for leaving Twinkle Toes behind, but the thought of a new PR pretty much quickly erased that. Figured I could tell him I was sorry on the way home. He said he would have been pissed at me if i didn't take a stab at a PR. I just didn't establish a new PR, I dropped 11 minutes off my PR that I set earlier this spring and that is a 14 min overall improvement from the beginning of the year. Not a bad way to end the season.


3 hr 33 min 09 sec / 3hr 46 min 43 sec

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Race #

#1800 for the 30th Free Press Marathon. In addition to the regular timing chip, the race is also asking for us runners to put that thin plastic strip you see on the race bin on our shoes. They said it is a disposable timing chip that if successful will replace the other chip. Shouldn't we be getting paid to participate in this trial?

Anyway, in what has now become a tradition, Twinkle Toes (sporting a green bib = virgin marathoner) and I rambled down to the D to get our race numbers and secure goodies for our loved ones (today is sweetest day, and forget the flowers or card, this year Dirrty Girl got some new running swag, at a discount no less!!) and of course Twinkle Toes got a ticket (I got one last year) after putting money into a broken meter. Somethings never change in the D.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Like Steve McQueen.....

Like Steve McQueen
All we need's a fast machine
And we're gonna ride it, all right...

Sheryl Crow

Team Dirt is complete now with the addition of the Baby Jogger Q Series to the roster. Look for pilots Dirrty Girl/and myself along with co-pilots Little Dirt Dawg and Dirrty Feather tearing up area road races this fall.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Circle of Life

With every death (Nike Air Moto IV 6/25/07 - 10/11/07; 324 miles)

There is life (Brooks Radius 10/14/07 - ??),

It's the circle of life....Chazz Reinhold.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Go on. Go on, have a bite.

When the crisp air arrives and the leaves begin to fall, it's time for a trip to the apple orchard! All week we had been telling little dirt dawg that we would go this weekend to get our pumpkins, apples, donuts and cider. A perfect fall morning seemed to beckon everyone and their brother out to the apple orchard.

Trying to beat the rush or just on autopilot after next to no sleep with Dirrty Feather sprouting new choppers, we hit an early road block when one of Michigan's finest pulled me over and said, "Son, do you know you were doing 73 in a 55?" " sir." Looking inside the vehicle the ocifer then goes into some diatribe about how if your a Michigan fan, those Ohio State Troopers are pretty unfair so they in turn like to return the favor and if you are going north that there are signs indicating you to slow down in mulitple spots. After his rant, which left me confused as to whether or not I was going to get a ticket, he let me off with a warning...WHEW!

Finally arriving at our destination, a quick ingestion of pure sugar from donuts and cider, left little dirt dawg and dirrty feather ready to pick our pumpkin and fill the bushel of bags with an assortment of both eating and cooking apples (is there a difference?)

"Dad, the Red Delicious is a cultivar of apple. It is the most widely grown apple in the world, red with darker red streaks, and five "points" on the bottom.. " (wikipedia)

"Look, it is red and shiny, I should eat it!"

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Night Lights

No pep rally, no cross town rival, no shutting down the town to watch the game of the week, just a solitary dawg out for a run. But not just any run....THE PHEDIPPIDATIONS WORLD WIDE HALF MARATHON CHALLENGE.

With a full fall weekend with the kids planned, I had no choice but to don my reflective vest and headlamp and head out to get my 13.1 miles in. A single beam of light was my guide as I ambled across a few towns and saw a bustle of activity and ghoulishly decorated houses.

I might just have to run at night a bit more often. :)

# of Starters: 1
# of Finishers:1
Starting time: 7:28 PM
Temp: 51 degrees
Distance: 13.1 miles
Time: 2 hr 12 min 07 sec
Avg per mile: 10:05

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Scaling Back

Perhaps foolishly before my 50 miler, I had envisioned running the Detroit Free Press Marathon and even maybe take a crack at my PR set earlier this year of 3:44. I thought that 5 weeks would certainly be enough time to recover and be ready to "race" a mere 26.2 miler.

Funny, how things change. After the pure joy and elation of finishing the 50 miler, I was left with an aching right knee and a body that was telling me to "go slow". I really couldn't comprehend right away how physiologically taxing that race was. By mixing a heavy dose of walking and running and taking some time to reflect on what I actually accomplished left me with a new game plan for next week's marathon.

I am going to treat this as a "fun run" through the cities of Detroit and Windsor. I might run 2 miles and then walk a mile, run a mile and then walk a mile, or whatever I feel like at the time. When I finish, I finish. So if you see the Dirt Dawg along the route feel free to say hello and maybe run or walk a spell as I tour the city in style.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Red October Run

Today found Team Dirrty on the road to it's first family running event, the Red October Run. With only one baby jogger, Dirrty Girl and Little Dirt Dawg decided to run the 5k while Dirrty Feather and I were going to do the 5k walk. Pre-race activities included getting little dirt dawg a number #2 to pin on his race t, carbo load him up with a bagel, and Dirrty Girl make the comment after seeing a race walker, "You know, you should try and win the walk." To which I responded, "have you seen the stroller i am pushing your daughter in?"

With temps hovering in the high 70's and a thick air, a run or walk at a PB was highly unlikely but that did stop me from strapping on the Garmin 305 and when the gun went off, so did Team Dirrty. Soon enough, Dirrty Girl and Little Dirt Dawg were out of sight, but I focused on hunting down anyone with a yellow bib and pass them convincingly as Dirrty Feather squealed.


Dirrty Girl and Little Dirt Dawg - 5K - 34:22

Dirt Dawg and Dirrty Feather - 5k walk - 36:22 (3rd overall)

A nice little saturday morning as we basked in post race refreshments and I had to pick up a medal for my 3rd place!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Daddy Day Care

My normal work day consists of working with behaviorally disordered/emotionally impaired adolescents only to come home and hang with the family. Today was different. Due to a day care situation and prior agreement with Dirrty Girl, today was my day to take off and care for the chitlins. So the day goes a little something like this.

6 a.m. - wake up and put on an a ginormous pot of jet fuel to wake up

6:30 am - dirrty feather and little dirt dawg wake up and dirrty girl leaves for work

6:31 - 7:45 am - feed and clothes children, shuttle little dirt dawg to school

8:15 - 9:00 am - fold clothes, check work email, finish fun run newsletter, put air in baby jogger while dirrty feather power naps

9:15 am - 10:45 am - ralk (run and walk) 7.34 miles with dirrty feather. lesson learned can not run and feed baby a is not try!!

10:46 - 11:05 - put dirrty feather down for power nap, shit, shower, and shave (legs!!), shuttle back to school to pick up little dirt dawg

11:06 - 11:15 am - hang out with all the other mom's in a sweat box waiting for their kids

11:16 am - 12:00 am - off to McD's for some grub and try not to engage some strange dude who says "you know, we told my sister when she was young, that she was conceived by the milk man, but your kids look just like you"

12:01 - 1:00 pm - give dirrty feather some lunch, little dirt dawg plays some Candy Land Castle, fold another load of laundry, and put little dirt dawg down for nap.

1:00 - 1:38 pm - dirrty feather says " No sleep til Brooklyn" before succumbing to sleep

2:50 pm - wake up both kids to rush to dr. appt to recheck ear infection that dirrty feather had

3:15 - 4:45 pm - sit on floor in waiting room feeding a bottle to dirrty feather as a pack of wild children (5) run around while mother states "if you don't behave the dr. is going to give you another shot." Little dirt dawg offers up his chair when we finally get one to a mom and the mom states that it is pretty nice of a 3 1/2 yr old to think like that.

6-7 pm: watch little dirt dawg at soccer practice and try and keep dirrty feather from getting into everyone else gear.

7-9:30 pm: Give baths, walk 2 miles on treadmill, finish this blog and go to bed!!

Man, I'm glad I am going to work will be a piece of cake...

Monday, October 01, 2007

What will they do??

Below is the letter I sent with my shoes back to North Face. In all reality, I am thinking I paid about $9.00 to have them sent to Cali.

The North Face Inc.
Customer Service
2013 Farallon Dr.
San Leandro, CA

To Whom It May Concern:

I purchased these Anurva 50 Boa Trail Shoes on May 4, 2007 from Moosejaw as I began my training preparation for the North Country Trail 50 miler held on September 15, 2007. Straight out of the box I loved the plush cushioning and innovative lacing system and wrote glowingly of them on my blog:

However, after a long run of 20 miles and just 250 miles overall on the shoes, I developed a blister due to a defect in the right heel. I have since stopped running in them because of that defect.

I have purchased numerous North Face products in the past and have been satisfied with their performance. As for the Anurva 50 Boa Trail Shoes, I am disappointed in the fact that I not only paid over $115 for these shoes, but that they did not even last as long as my Nike Air Pegasus which I ran my 50 miler in. With the defect they are not even comfortable enough to be relegated to lawn duty. Take them back and do with them as you wish, and the next time I am looking for performance gear, I will look with a cautious eye at North Face gear.