Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Race Report: War at Windrock Stage 1: 4 Miler

I took about 2 weeks off following the Dark Hollow Wallow trail race I ran back in February. One reason for this was it was the longest race I've run in a very long time. The other reason, and main reason, was because Robin was having back surgery two days after the race and I was on tap to take care of her and Dinah Bug.  Little did I know at the time, that not only was I taking 2 weeks off from running, but I was also going to be off from work for about a month and a half. At Robin's 2 week follow-up appointment, her doctor put her on a lifting restriction of no more than 10 pounds for 4 weeks.

It was during this 4 week stretch that I got back to training, and this time my sights were set on the Panther Creek Challenge trail race, an 11 mile trail race at Panther Creek State Park (another in the Treadin' Troddin' Trails series by the Knoxville Track Club). Of course with Robin's restriction, I was limited to doing my training runs when Bug was napping, or when the teenager was home to help Robin with Bug. That would allow me to get my long runs in.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Finding Solace in Tragedy

It's hard to know what to say on days like today. As I sat watching some horrific details unfold on the television while my almost 16-month-old played at my feet, so many thoughts went through my head. What was I going to say to our teenager when she asked me what was going on? Who would do such a thing? How is this going to affect Tim? What has this world - that our babies are growing up in - come to? All cliche thoughts, moments of selfishness, moments of personal dread. Then the other thoughts rolled in... How many people were injured? Dead? Who's daughters, sisters, mothers, brothers, sons, fathers were out there? Who was unaccounted for? Who didn't have a place to go? How could we help?

The problem is, I didn't have answers. No one had them at that moment in time. And I wasn't going to be able to deliver answers, or reassure my children - myself - that everything was safe, that we were safe.

It wasn't long after that I realized I knew enough to teach my girls to find solace in tragedy (or ... at least one of my girls. The other is still too small to understand, so we used her magnet letters to spell "good" words like pray, heal, peace, love, etc.).

So after picking up my teen from school this afternoon, of course, the first thing out of her mouth was about the Boston Marathon (okay, I'm lying - it was about a boy, but we'll forgive her that since she is 16) --

So I tried to explain that it was too early for any details to have emerged BUT that she needed to remember a few simple things:

1) Not everyone in this world is bad. Generally most people are good, but tragedy does happen and it happened today.

2) And when a tragedy like this strikes, it only causes all the rest of us to grow closer together - to lean on one another - because that's what God intended us to do.

3) (As morbid or macabre as this may seem to you) We never know when it's our time to go - so be nice to people, love yourself, love others, be respectful, never leave an argument unresolved, and always, always uphold God.

4) Last, I reminded her (as if I needed to) to pray for those affected.

So with that, with prayer, and in quiet reverence,

May you see God's light on the path ahead
When the road you walk is dark.
May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.
When times are hard may hardness
Never turn your heart to stone,
May you always remember
when the shadows fall—
You do not walk alone.

Robin & Tim

Friday, April 12, 2013

Be a Summit Sampler, Get $500!!!

Photo Courtesy: Post®
Want to get paid to hike a mountain? Who wouldn't right? That would be the dream indeed. Well here's a chance to make a bit of "cheese" just for hiking a mountain in your area:

"In celebration of the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary's ascent up Mt. Everest, Post® Grape-Nuts® is recruiting modern-day adventurers of all ages and abilities to ascend a nearby peak of their choice and distribute samples of the new Grape-Nuts® Fit cereal to any and all they meet along the way (whether it be one hiker or several dozen).  And don't worry...the selected local mountain need not be Everest-like in height or fame!

Review: 2Toms Stink Free Sports Detergent - Part 1

There's one thing about living with a runner that I loathe - his laundry. Typically, I try to wash his running clothes the same day he goes running, because if you don't - well, your nose will pay the price.

More times than not, he'll come home muddy and sweaty, throw his running shoes in the laundry room, and then shower. I'll grab up his clothes that he's placed wherever (it's a hunt every time), and either strategically place them in an area where they can air out or wash them immediately.

Well, this past week my 6-year-old LG front loader decided it was going to quit spinning. Long story short, laundry piled up... and piled up... and piled up while we waited over a week for the part to get here.

At one point, laundry had gotten so out of hand that I took some loads over to my mom's house to wash. That was when I found THE SOCKS.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Race Report: Dark Hollow Wallow - 2/17/2013

Last year the Knoxville Track Club added a couple new trail races to their Treadin' Trodden Trail series. Of these races, one was in our own backyard, figuratively speaking. I remember having wanted to do the Dark Hollow Wallow last year, but I was in no way ready or in shape for it. Fast forward to the end of November and it dawned on me that the race was coming up again in February and if I was going to represent, I had better get on the ball with training.

I had been running off and on since July of last year but now I was ready to commit and begin training. Besides I had been running on the roads and was ready for a change. I just had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that trail running would be so much better for me and way more adventurous. For three months, well almost three months, I was logging miles at least 3 days a week. Unfortunately, two of those days were on the roads as I was running those two days during the week and before work. Why roads at that time? Well it was too dark in the mornings so I opted for the safe route as I didn't have any experience running trails in the dark. Needless to say, I looked forward to my weekend long runs. I started out with 3 mile long runs and worked my self to about 7 miles as my longest run before race day got here. I wasn't sure going into it if it was enough, but nevertheless, I persevered and went with it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Review: Dutch Oven - Cast-Iron Cooking Over an Open Fire by Carsten Bothe

I love cooking over the campfire. I've adapted so many household recipes that I've seriously considered writing my own book. I don't usually use my Dutch oven, but I have one. Sadly, it looked like this previous to this review (not too bad, really, but it needed some love):

Obviously, I didn't have a clue as to how to take care of it. I was treating it like a household skillet. It takes more than cold water and a small wipe down with oil every once in a blue moon to take care of something that you use over the open fire (and burn things in constantly). I have had such a sad experience with my Dutch oven that I've punished it by sentencing it to near solitary confinement in the darkness of the back of the cabinet. (It is kept company by my unused Foreman grill.) I would occasionally take it camping and burn biscuits and applesauce-gingerbread cake. I've successfully baked biscuits (from a can) maybe once.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


While we aren't RV'ers by any stretch of the imagination, Thousand Trails, home to some of the most beautiful and natural campgrounds and RV resorts across the U.S., is giving outdoor enthusiasts a chance to get out and camp with the Gear Up and Camp sweepstakes.  One lucky camper will win a free week of camping and a camping gear package, with a combined value of $1100.  Sweepstakes entrants will also be entered for a chance to win one of four second place prize packages, and one of 30 third place prize packages daily.

The sweepstakes grand prize includes a week-long camping trip for the winner at any participating Thousand Trails or Encore RV resort campground.  In addition, the winner will receive a package of camping gear, including the following: Rand McNally’s RV-specific GPS device - the  RVND™ 7720 LM; $100 gas card; Strongback Chair; Coghlan's Camper's S'mores Grill and Corn Popper; Coleman Lantern; $50 MyRVMarket.com gift certificate; Thousand Trails sweatshirt, umbrella, window cling, backpack, blanket and travel mug; and a Duck Harbor Cool Weather Sleeping bag.