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Oct 04

The nights are getting longer and there is only one explanation for that, it’s because the days are getting shorter.

I often run through my neighborhood and the neighborhoods adjacent to mine in the evenings.  In the summer I generally don’t have any issues with traffic but when the days start getting shorter and the runs start lasting into the dark hours the chances of ending up like a bug on someone’s windshield increase.

I’m embarrassed to say that it took me awhile to figure this out.  For a few years I would run in the evenings making sure to wear light colors consisting of mostly whites, bright oranges and yellows.  I figured with these colors on it would be easy to see me running along the streets.  I was wrong.

Last winter seemed to be the worst.  Maybe it was just the fact that I had my closest call.  I was running through a neighboring sub division when a white Chrysler 300 came around the corner.  It was leaving me plenty of room until right when it got near me.  It seemed to swerve towards me and then dodged away from me at the last minute.  Needless to say I was not humored with this event.

It was only after talking to one of my wife’s friends that I discovered maybe they really just couldn’t see me.  She mentioned that she saw me out running one night and it startled her because she couldn’t see me until she was really close, no she was not in the Chrysler 300.  This set off a bell in my head, well more like a train whistle.

I went out and bought a reflective vest and a headlamp.  Headlamps are pretty light weight now days and I barely even notice I have it on.  I haven’t had anyone come close to me since then.  Most cars even go out of there way to make sure that they give me room.

So my number one recommendation for running at night is reflective gear.  Not something that has one or two reflective spots on it but something that will nearly blind someone if there headlights hit it.  Nearly blind, you still want them to see you.   :)  I’ve seen quite a few running vests that are lightweight and will fit over your running attire.  If you don’t want to wear a headlamp then at least get the gear that may save you from being a hood ornament.  This is the actual vest that I wear and a similar headlamp.  The silver on the vest is highly reflective and if they can’t see you wearing this, they shouldn’t be driving.

    

Oct 02

I’m in East Idaho so I’m going to miss the Saturday morning run with the gang.  I decide to take a run starting from the in-laws house and along the maintenance road on the river.  I run to the main highway along the maintenance road and it’s a little rocky.  I’m thinking to myself that I’m risking a sprained ankle.  I hit the first of the Twin Bridges and decide to try the trail on the other side of the river.  It too has the larger river rock so I double back to run along the road.  Danger one avoided.

Since I’m close to the river you’re risking running into some wildlife.  Entering the in-laws neighborhood last night we saw a couple of deer so I know that the most dangerous predator that I have to watch for while running is liable to be close by.

Running along the road I see a snake.  It had been run over and was small, just a water snake so no danger here.  This predator, while in its shell is quite dangerous in East Idaho.  If you can get it out of its shell then you are pretty safe.  So with all of the wildlife that can be along the river, what could it be?  Mountain Lion?  Bear?  Crocodile, not in East Idaho.  No, its the ever so NON elusive Redneck in a pickup truck.

I start thinking to myself that I’m wearing bright yellow which should detour and warn this danger that I’m around.  But then I realized not even hunter orange is always a safe color here.  And then it happened.  The scariest thing that you can see during hunting season.  A mailbox with the name Cheney on it.  Now I’m not only worried about the white pickup truck pulling a trailer but I’m also worried about Dick lurking around each corner.

Actually the run was quite nice.  The drivers here, including the rednecks 🙂 gave me plenty of room usually moving into the far lane.  Much more than I could have even asked for.  It’s nice to be home.

Apr 14

This weekend I decided to take it a little easy since we have The Race to Robie Creek next weekend.

Tuesday we did an 11 mile mountain bike ride.  It’s been a long time since we’ve been on the single track and it felt really good.  It was a really windy day so we did the climb through Rocky Canyon so that we could have a wind shield.  This worked well until we got to the top.  Now we were riding at about a 65 degree angle leaning into the wind just trying not to get blown over.  Shane, Dan, Brent and I had a great ride despite the 40 mph breeze.

All last week I’d been craving a hill run.  Not sure how you can crave a hill run but I just had this itch to get into the foothills.  Tuesday we did the ride.  Wednesday the weather was awesome.  However, my day to pick up the kids since my wife had to work late.  Thursday was raining.  Ah, Friday.  Perfect weather.  Even though we do our long runs on Saturdays I decided to hit the foothills for an easy hill run.  It was a great run and a really nice way to start the weekend.

Saturday morning we decided to limit our run to 8 miles so we turned around a little early.  We did the Bardenay Route starting in Eagle an running the Green Belt.  I love this run it is mostly dirt trail and runs through a lot of wooded area along the river. 

Sunday I limited my ride to 40 miles and again the weather was perfect.  A lot of hills on the Cartwright Loop running through Hidden Springs.  There was very little traffic and almost no breeze.  Perfect for riding.

Feb 01

A group of us are training for an Ironman.  A few of us are doing Coeur d’ Alene Ironman and a few of us, myself included, are training for the Boise Half Ironman.  Last years, 2009, finish in the Boise Ironman had to have been one of the closest in Ironman history with Craig Alexander passing Chris Lieto in a final sprint to the finish.  Just watching this finish makes you want to get out and run.

IMG_8331 Training for marathons and triathlons with friends and setting goals in the same races is one of the best ways that I stay motivated.  There are some Saturday mornings where getting out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to get ready for the run just doesn’t sound fun.  These are the times that training with friends comes in handy.  You feel an obligation to be there in the morning and it pays off with some of the greatest runs you’ll have.

This morning we had a 40 mile ride planned out.  Even though the weather wasn’t cooperating 3 of us decided to give it a shot.  We headed out in a wet snowfall in 34F degree weather.  We made it out 1.5 miles when we discovered the water combined with the temp was just going to make this a miserable ride.  We ended up turning around and only getting in about 3 miles.  We got back to Todd’s house and Todd, Brent and I set up our trainers and turned the wheels for 2 hours.  Trainers are not the most fun when compared to riding outside and Todd, Brent and I all admitted that if we wouldn’t have been there as a group we probably would have only lasted about a half our on the trainer instead of two hours.

IMG_8341 Training for a Triathlon can get into your blood.  All of us enjoy getting together on Saturdays for a run and Sundays for a ride.  Eventually we’ll end up doing brick training on one of those days.  We all mostly do our own training during the week.  Some of us get together on Wednesdays for an interval run and spin class.  As soon as we have enough light in the afternoons, we will replace this workout with a small brick.

The foothills of Boise were full of runners this weekend and it is truly an awesome feeling to be up in  the hills looking over the city when the sun rises.

Jan 15

P1010083 My first race was in April of 2006.  Now most people I believe would start off with a 5k or a nice flat half marathon, but not my wife and I.  We chose “The Race to Robie Creek”, the toughest half marathon in the North West, located in Boise, ID.  Runner’s World did an article on Robie Creek calling it “Best Bragging Rights” in 2008.

I hadn’t done much running before 2006.  I’d played a lot of basketball, softball, a little rugby in college but I’d never really just gone out and ran.

I had neck surgery to fuse a couple of discs in my back in 2005.  After this surgery I took to running a couple of miles 3 to 5 times a week.  I couldn’t really do any lifting or jumping in basketball so this was my way to keep in shape.

A couple of buddies that I went to college with and played softball with talked me into running longer distances with them on Saturdays.  They eventually talked my wife and I into running “The Race to Robie Creek” with them.  I’ve been running longer distances ever since.  Our group meets up every Saturday for a longer run and it continues to grow.P1010086

After running 4 or 5 marathons we decided to tackle some Triathlons.  In June of 2009 a few of my friends in our running group decided to start their triathlon career with the Boise Half Ironman.  I started mine about a month or so later in the Boise Spudman.  A couple of months later I did the tri in Emmett Idaho.

Currently I’m training for the 2010 Boise Half Ironman which two other friends are racing with me.  A few of the others in our group are doing the 2010 Coeur d’ Alene Ironman.

4 years later and I still can’t wait for Saturday mornings to go running with the group.  The wife and I love running with this group and they are now among some of our closest friends.  I’d have to say that this is the number one way to stay motivated, train with friends.