Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Race Report: Rock & Root 30k

The second running of the Rock & Root 30k by the guys at Peak Mountain Sports went down at Haw Ridge Park in Oak Ridge, TN back on August 29. Yeah I know what you're thinking, wait long enough to write a report? Yeah,well when you're training for events you don't have time to blog, haha. I have to say that the Rock & Root is probably one of my favorite trail races and for a number of reasons.

The course is challenging to say the least. The Peak guys changed it up a little this year and added some extra vertical gain. There's one climb in particular called the Hill of Truth (H.O.T.) and in late August it's definitely HOT. It's a loop course and you have to run it twice. Thankfully, there is an aid station at the top of the climb put on by the Hill of Truth Hooligans. I'm always glad to reach this aid station because not only do they have water and/or electrolytes, they usually have some other libations if you so desire if you catch my drift. I call it motivation for getting up the hill.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Gear Review: Thule Capstone 32L Backpack

Some of you might have heard and even seen that Thule (luggage and car roof rack giants extraordinaire) has started making backpacks for outdoor adventures. That's right, the brand that dominates the "on top of your car" bicycle rack world and apparently luggage world has entered the outdoor scene on a new avenue. They have two new style packs that just recently launched and I was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to try one out...The Thule Capstone (32L edition).

Upon arrival, I could tell this was more than just a day pack, indeed it could also be used as an adventure pack and even an overnight lightweight backpack. I couldn't wait to get it out in the field for testing but alas, wait I would have to do. Fortunately I didn't have to wait to long to really put it to the test.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Gear Review: Munk Pack Oatmeal Pouch

As an ultra marathon trail runner, I'm always looking for ways to refuel during my long training runs. We're talking runs that are anywhere from 10 to 30 miles. I'm always trying new things during my training so that come race day, I have everything dialed in and I know that what I put in my body will cooperate under that kind of physical stress.

A month or more ago, the folks at Munk Pack asked if I'd like to give their squeezable oatmeal a spin. I jumped at the opportunity. It was something new to me. Usually it's either, waffles, gels, chews, or granola bars that get me through my long runs. Having oatmeal on the trail sounds like a dream come true. It wasn't long before the squeezable pouches of heaven arrived on our doorstep.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Be Unique with Keen's UNEEK Open Air Footwear Review

I have a serious obsession with all things sandals, flip-flops, and barely-there footwear. So when Keen approached me asking to review the new Women's Uneek Open Air Footwear, I jumped - literally! - at the opportunity to give them a try.

My Keen Newports are my absolute favorite shoes on the face of this planet. I've had them for years now, and they have been everywhere with me: from the tops of mountains, to creekbeds, to sandy shores, to muddy garden beds, and endless grassy fields. You name it, they've been there! And they are still in glorious shape - considering what I've put them through.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited about the new Keen UNEEK's - an open air shoe/sandal made from a sole and two pieces of polyester braided cord intricately intertwined to form the body of the shoe - striking shock and awe the hearts of all solve-the-maze lovers, self-proclaimed origami experts, and the never ending curiosity of *those people* that can't help but take things apart (points at herself). -I have not ripped apart the shoes yet, just because they are SOOOO cool... not because I'm any less tempted to.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Race Report:2015 KTC Lakeshore Trail Trek Marathon

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to run in another one of the Knoxville Track Club's trail series races, The Lakeshore Trail Trek Marathon. This was the first year for the marathon. Last year I ran this same trail race but the long distance portion was a brutal for me 16 miler as I went out to fast and struggled to finish after about 7 miles. Needless to say, after a few more races and again struggling this year in some of them due to starting out too fast, I finally wised up and took things slow.

This was a big race for me. Albeit I've run in a handful for 50k's up to this point as well as a 12 hour race in which I ran a little over 50 miles in under the 12 hour time, this would be the first time I had attempted a marathon, on trails no less, since my first ever debacle attempt, back in the day when I was in the Navy and thought it would be fun to run a road marathon. Needless to say, I only made it 16 miles that day when my legs said eff you buddy and decided they would not take another step forward. (as an aside, I had never trained for the marathon then and the night before I got pretty liquored up on Tekillya. Not making excuses or anything, but seriously I had no business attempting that Shamrock Marathon in Va. Beach back in 1994).