Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fairfield Bay, Arkansas

We took a short family trip last weekend to a lake resort in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas. It snowed on Thursday night, and a thin blanket covered everything in morning. Miles and miles of gravel roads, fire roads in the woods and a few short single track trails - all to myself. I wouldn't call this corner of the Ozarks mountainous, but there are some big hills with long, steep climbs.

First it was a slippery trail out to Indian Falls.

Then I ran down to Greers Ferry Lake. That's the majestic Sugar Loaf mountain veiled in the clouds. Sugar Loaf stands as an island in the middle of the lake, and with it volcanic shape, looks like it belongs in the South pacific. Apparently there is a ferry that can take you out to the trail-head that leads to the summit.

Piney woods are good for the soul.

And a piney beer for the recovery.


Monday, March 25, 2013

3h Snake report (3/16/13)

Photo by beyondordinarylifeok.com
The Snake 3 hour found me a bit under-prepared, typical for my first race of the year. I missed two key long runs in the build up, thanks to a cold and a new subscription to Netflix. The plan was to go slow and steady; a nice training run for the OKC Marathon next month.

Yeah, right. I don't possess that kind of discipline on race day. Adrenaline is a powerful drug, and it doesn't help that your constantly passing or being passed by someone, ever aware of where you stand in relation to those immediately in front of and behind you.  I finished each of the first out and backs (4.2 miles) in around 38 minutes.  And then the inevitable; about a mile into the fourth, the legs began to protest...loudly. On the return they simply gave out. After that it was waddle like a turtle. It took 46 minutes to finish the the fourth and final loop of the Snake trail. Then it was off to the half mile loop with 17 minutes left. The first loop was just pathetic; my right ham muscle cramped up, forcing me to sit down on the side of the trail for a few minutes. The second go around was better, but I finished with three minutes on the clock, not enough time to get another one in even on a good day. 17.8 total.

Could I have run smarter? Sure. But I'm not convinced that starting out slow would have saved that much energy for a strong finish. I suspect that my legs would've given out before the end simply due to the lack of cumulative time spent on my feet since Christmas. I seem to need an early race like this one to kick my ass in to gear and to start taking training seriously.

One thing I'm sure of: six hours of that trail sounds dreadful. My hat goes to those with the mental fortitude to stick it out that day.

Prairie Artisan Ale's 'Merica for the recovery. This farmhouse ale is springtime in a bottle. A single malt and single hop; deceptively simple ingredients for such a flavorful beer. Smells like fresh cut grass and earth. Tastes even better: earthy, grassy and citrusy hops, a bit of fruity tartness, with a spicy and dry finish.

Friday, March 1, 2013

In the shadow

The sun passes behind the ridge
and the vale is overwhelmed in shadow.

A path leads up to woods aflame,
promising warmth and golden vistas.
A path leads down 
into the cold and gathering gloom.

I take the lower path,
for the shadow promises nothing,
asks nothing,
and allows me to disappear 
for a while.