Monthly Archives: May 2014

5 Reason Why, I Would Rather Run, Race, or Train

FIVE Reason Why I Would rather Run, Train or Race on Trails.

12hrATR IMG_0543

1.  The Footing, The foot landing a trail provides is so much softer then on roads.  The cushioning that a soft trail offers is much better on the joints, reducing the potential for injuries.

2.  The View, Around every corner, over every climb on the trail is the wonder of nature.  I’ve seen streams, waterfalls and wildlife of every kind while lost in the spirit of the trail.

3.  The Solidarity, You can be truly alone in a world unseen by 90% of the population.  I’m not sure of the true statistic. However I would be willing to bet that a vast majority of us never get off the pavement or concrete.  I was a member of that group…..until I decided to mix it up.  I run trails as often as I can now!

4.  The Calling, There’s a sense of returning to nature.  The rat race, the cubical farms and the urban closeness are not natural, they are man made.  On the trail my space is shared by the trees, flowers, rocks and terrain.

5.  The Challenge,  Whether it’s climbing a hill or crossing a stream trails offer challenges not found anywhere else.  Your feet get wet, and your legs will get dirty but the trail will clean your soul.

FIVE Reason Why I Would rather Run, Train or Race on Roads.


1.  The View, Running the roads of a new town, either small town USA or big city sprawl you get to see sites few visitors do, up close and personal.

2.  The Support, During a big city race thousands of people line the roadways becoming your personal cheering squads.  When the run gets tough there’s nothing more up lifting then hearing a complete stranger call out to you by name encouraging you to finish.

3.  The Footing,  The roads offer a firm, level and consistent landing spot for your feet.  Unless your running in a construction zone for the most part the fear of a twisted ankle or broken leg is removed.

4.  The People,  While banging out long lonely miles it is sometime fun to engage in some people watching.  Face it, it is entertaining to run along an active roadway, boardwalk or city street taking in all the sights which is our fellow man.

5.  The Proximity,   Most of us can head out our front door and begin our workouts without having to drive to a city, state or national park system  This time saved can be add to our running time or given back to our families.

So basically I’m confused……ROAD OR TRAIL, TRAIL OR ROAD?

Big Cat Adventure – Life, Running and Cats

Grandkids are Awesome.

Not only are they are easy to love, fun to snuggle and incredibly adorable.  They also provide you a chance to revisit your childhood and do somethings you would have missed while stuck in the adult world.

grandmaandaidenPretty Grandma and Aiden looking at a bug

Visiting our Grandkids Aiden and Alaina this week Michele and I along with Jessica and Anthony (our kids), were able to visit, Cat Tales Zoological Park & Zoological Training Center.  What makes Cat Tales different from an ordinary zoo is that it is a Big Cat Rescue.

runfoodCrazy Sign…OBTW I did not run

From their web site: Promote the welfare and survival of all living species through dedication, conservation, and education.  Promote the preservation of endangered species in general, with a specific focus on the endangered & exotic cats.   Cat Tales works with various state wildlife agencies, USDA, and HSUS plus private agencies throughout the United States in rescuing and relocation of exotic animals of all types. The Park is on standby to receive and house exotic cats which need homes for various reasons ranging from abandoned or abused animals to the cases where someone wanted a “unique pet” but tired of it after the novelty wore off.

 Aidenandcat  anthonyfeeding  daddydaughterselfie
 Aiden and a Tiger  Anthony Feeding  Daddy/Daughter Selfie

What we enjoyed the most was that compared to regular zoos Big Cats provided a more personal experience.  On a smaller scale it was much easier to view and interact with the staff and animals.  Cat Tales is home to Lions, Tigers and Bears…Oh My.  Yes Big Cats has two bears on hand.  The staff was welcoming and eager to tell you the personal history of all their animals.

AnthonyandMichelracingAnthony and Michele Racing Monkeys

We had a blast!  Our family highly recommends a stop at Cat Tales to check out these Big Cats (and the Bears).

Throw Back Thursday – Top 3 in a 5K, Running, Racing and Life

My first top three in a 5k, okay my only top three…

base5k3rdplace(Me 3rd, Garth 1st and Atticus 2nd)


2005, Wingman 5k, RAF Mildenhall, England:  This is the only race that I’ve been able to crack the top three.  If I remember right about 20 other runners ran this event.  The three of us in this picture were the oldest runners in the race.  We were also from the same unit, 352 Special Operations Group and good friends.  Garth an established Ultra-Runner won the event by a long margin.  Atticus came in second, he is an annual Boston Qualifier.  To bring home a medal I had to hold off a young 2Lt also from my unit to capture 3rd.  It was memorable race for me.  At the start alot of younger folks blew by me, but they could not keep it up.  Within the first mile I reeled them in and passed a lot of younger runners that went out to fast.  Closing in on the last half mile the Lt was coming hard but he did not have enough in the tank to make up much ground once I could hear him.  For an older guy it was fun to take home 3rd.



Last Week In Review (19 – 25 May) Ultra Marathon Running Racing Training and Life

Last Week In Review: (19 – 25 May)

Monday: 10.20 miles (Fast Time for 10 Miles)
Tuesday: 7.54 miles
Wednesday: 10.25 miles @
Thursday: 6.6 Miles
Friday: 0
Saturday: 50 Minutes on elliptical
Sunday: 0 Recovery & Taper time

Total:   34.59 miles – YTD Total: 885.63 miles on 77 Running Days

Running Thought of The Week:  The Trails Are Always Open..


Monday:  Great run.  I had no real goal when I first went out other then to run in my new Hokas Stinsons.  Started the run on the conservative side,.  Midway thru, powered by @runnershighntr, I felt pretty good and turned on during the second five miles.  Finishing up, I ran my fastest ten miles (either in a race or training) ever at 1hr 22min 25sec.  The Hokas provided a cushioned ride with a fit that rivaled my Nike Air Pegasus.

Tuesday:  After my ten mile run Monday night, my only real objective was to log a few miles.  Michele and I stayed on Fort Lee where I ran The Peterborough National Battlefield Trails repeating a hilly section twice.  Although my legs were a bit tired it was a very pleasant run.

Wednesday:  Another double digit run around the HOA.  Nothing great and nothing bad.

Thursday:  Last planned run before Windermere Marathon.  My legs felt sluggish and some tenderness in my left ankle provided the motivation to shut down the training early.

tapertime(Marathon Taper Time with my Grandson Aiden)

Saturday/Sunday:  50 minutes on the elliptical, I hate being stuck inside but very thankful I have an alternative when I can’t run or when it’s better that I don’t run.  Good workout and no tenderness.  

Memorial Day 2014


This weekend we should all pause and reflect upon the true meaning of Memorial Day.  The holiday began after the Civil War, and at that time was known as “Decoration Day.”  While it was originally founded to honor the soldiers who died during the Civil War, today, Memorial Day is a day to honor all of the Americans who have died in military service.  President John F. Kennedy once said, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

Many thousands of American men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  This weekend, take a moment from your day of celebration and leisure to reflect on their brave sacrifices.

Ultra Running Product Review – AFX Toe Sock for Running, Walking, Racing, Training and Living

Some days are just better than others.

New sheets on the bed day.  Birthday cards in the mail box day.  AND new socks day!

Running a ton of miles over the years has afforded me some great opportunities.  Recently I was provided a selection of socks from AFX Socks to test drive.  With all of the beating my feet have taken over the last few months, Umstead 100 miler, 24 Hour Run and Graveyard 100k, my feet where looking forward to this product review.

From their web site:  AFX Socks provide a provide odor-fighting antimicrobial protection in a seamless five-toe design. Permara delivers long-lasting and renewable antimicrobial protection, eliminating up to 99.99% of bacteria and fungi to help keep the socks odor-free.

Now I’m not a five finger, toe shoe running guy.  I run in traditional Nike Air Pegasus and Hoka  Stinsons.  Yet I found these socks comfortable and well fitting.  At first I was a bit concerned because they are touch thinner than my “other” socks.  I had reservations that they may allow my foot to slip in my shoes.  They did not.  The thinner design actually provides some room in the toe box.  This extra room was a welcome benefit during long runs when my feet tend to swell.

I knew the AFX toe socks were a hit when my wife, swiped a pair for one of her long walks.  Now I have to tell you my wife is a fast walker.  She can walk mile after mile at 12:30 to 13:00 per mile pace and walks 8+ miles routinely during her long walks.  She had been having blister issue between her toes.  After her test drive she reported the AFX toe socks took care of that.  Her blister issues are gone.  She liked their no show design so much she wears to work with her girlie shoes.  The drawback is now I have to go find “my socks” when I want to wear them.

 toesocks  toesocks1

If you’re looking for some new socks or are having blister issues, My wife and I highly recommend picking up some AFX Socks and giving them a test drive.

Check them out online:
Visit their website: AFX Socks
Follow them on Twitter:  AFX Socks
Like them on Facebook:  AFX Socks

Happy Feet make a happy runner…

Friday Favorites – God, Ultra Marathon Running, Browns, NASCAR and a whole bunch more

Some Of My Favorites

God the Creator.

Favorite Local Race(s):  Umstead 100, Virginia 24 Hour Run For Cancer,  SeaShore 50k

Favorite Races:  Western States 100, Leadville 100 and Rocky Raccoon 100 (I like saying that name)

Favorite Shoes:  Nike Air Pegasus but Hoka Stinson are winning me over


Favorite Sports Teams:  the CLEVELAND Browns, first and foremost, Twins/Indians


Favorite NASCAR driver:  Present Jeff Gordon #24, Post Modern Richard Petty #43


Favorite Drink:  Diet Dew, still winning the war.  Mikes Hard Lemonade

Favorite TV Show:  Survivor, Amazing Race


Favorite Auto:  1970 Dodge Challenger T/A (That one is mine)

There are some of my favorites.


Summer Running, Training, Racing and Surviving Your Workouts Part 2

In my last post on the Dawgs Days of Summer we learned about the hazards of heat stress, this post we will look at how you can protect yourself.

cool dawgs

1.  Understand thirst lags the biological need for fluid.   Don’t wait until your thirsty to start thinking about hydration.  Drink early and drink often.

2.  Drink 4‑8 ounces of a sports drink 10‑15 minutes before a strenuous workout.

3.  When possible, schedule runs with high heat stress potential for cooler periods of the day.  During the summer months plan your long runs or track workouts early in the day or later at night.

4.  Wear light colored, moisture wicking and light weight performance exercise clothing.

5.  Avoid strenuous workouts after recent alcohol intake.

6.  Certain medicines such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, anticholinergic drugs and some heart and blood pressure medicines, consult your doctor.

7.  While on your run, seek out the shady areas along the path.

8.  Meals prior to your run should be light and cool.

9.  Plan heavier meals for the evening after your run.

10.  Best NATURAL DEFENSE against heat illness is ACCLIMATIZATION, give yourself some time to adjust to the heat.  Avoid running long distances, hard speed sessions right after returning from a vacation in a cooler, less humid location.

The effects of heat stress range from discomfort to heat stroke and even death.  Direct heat stress related illnesses include heat exhaustion, cramps, stroke, fainting, rashes, and heat fatigue.  Heat can also cause injuries indirectly.  Heat stress conditions may cause you to become weak, faint or dizzy, fall, use poor judgment, or become distracted or irritable.

If you think you’re being overcome by a heat stress condition, stop your run, cool down and if conditions persist, consult your doctor.

Keep cool people…Run on…

Last Week In Review: (12 – 19 May) Ultra Running, Training and Racing

Last Week In Review: (12 – 18 May)

Monday: 10.20 Miles
Tuesday: 7.22 miles @ 8:23
Wednesday: 10 miles @ 8:36
Thursday: 5.34 Miles
Friday: 0
Saturday: 20.65 Miles (3hr 12m 01s) @ 9:18
Sunday: 0 Rest day

Total:   53.41 miles – YTD Total: 851.04 miles on 73 Running Days

Running Thought of The Week:  


Monday: 10. 2 Miles around the HOA. Felt good to get in another double digit run.  Been battling some minor aches and pains, but nothing to bad.  The heat is on around the 757, starting temp was 90f.  Even with hot weather running in full effect, and without my GPS this was a solid run with good tempo.  Happy Day!

Tuesday:  7.22 Miles, uneventful and still pretty warm.

Wednesday:  10 miles (again) around the HOA.  The hot and muggy temps broke providing a much cooler run.  Managed a 8:32 pace and felt strong.  Loved it!

hoka stinson

Thursday:  5.34 Miles after local Run/Walk club meeting.  First run in my new Hoka Stinsons.  The ride felt great, cushioned and stable.  I plan to break these in slow and add them as my primary shoe for long runs.


Saturday:  20.65 miles in 3hrs 12mins 01 secs.  Great morning temps of 58f to start off.  Ran two “big” laps at the Noland Trail.  This is the same loop we ran during my 50 mile training run for Umstead.  Tim S. one of the runners who ran a few laps with me in January teamed up with me again.  Great run with some great conversations.  Funny how although I’ve only run with Tim twice, we share so much in common.  Ultra Runners are a special breed.  We all have a story.

Running, Blogging, Writing, and Life

Four Things I like…


Running. The repetitive task of placing one foot in front of the other has added so much to my life.  The addition is not only in terms of fitness.  I’ve added to my social (media) circle.  I feel like not only am I following people, but I’m enjoying in their lives as they grow, transform and reach new goals.

Blogging. This blog as simple as it is has allowed me to share my life and my running pursuits with more people then I ever thought possible.  I hope that I have inspired just one person, if so then it has all been worth while.

Writing.  I never thought I would enjoy the art of crafting a tale.  In high school I barley passed the required classes.  Today I find I’m drawn to expressing myself through words and paper.  I only hope that someone gets some form of enjoyment out of my works.  Oh I struggle with grammar, spelling and word choice.  I know my English teachers are loving this.

Life.  We only get one shot.  God the creator has blessed me beyond my belief  His son died for me even while I was still a sinner.  I’m blessed with a wife who treats and loves me better then I deserve.  The same God who loves me has given me two wonderful children.  Lastly my health allows me to find peace in the sport I love.  What else could I ask for?

Life is Good!

HAPPY FRIDAY...what is your Friday Favorite?