Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Contest

Beer in a can is as refreshing as running on a snowy trail. Name the brewery and beer in the picture and you'll be entered to win a free bottle-top opener. Respond on Facebook, Google+, or on this post. Contest ends 12/31/2012. Happy (insert whatever you celebrate) -

Congrats to Chris Bellevie, you are the randomly selected winner from the correct answers. Send me an email at so I can send you your winning! Thank you, to everyone that entered.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Tree Hunting

A little less about running, and little more fun. Got a Christmas Tree Permit to venture into the National Forest and chop me one down. Fun day, cold day...and these non-farm trees aren't completely full. Next year, I'll hunt down some spots while I'm running. Merry Christmas.

National Forest Christmas Tree Permit

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mount Teneriffe and Mount Si

Golden, red, and brown. These are the colors of my trail.

The leaves fell hard, splashing the moist rocky trail with each impact. Each leaf linking with another leaf to form a colorful jigsaw puzzle at my feet. The rain, a cold reminder of the months to come, fell confusingly parallel to the rate of my perspiration. "Am I sweating? Or is that rain?" One breath in, one breath out. The clouds, thick with moisture, sit teasingly high above me at 6,000 ft. Just enough space to expose the summits of today's route.

The first ascent is just shy of 5 miles, with 4,000+ ft. of vertical and isn't a route that can be run fluidly. Run. Hike. Breath. Repeat. At times, the effort feels like a 400m sprint. Miles inch by at a snails pace. The Tortoise, of Aesop's Fables, has become the Hare, and I am forced into patience. The wind slashes through the trees as it becomes impeded by the sudden uprising of the mountain. The first mile after the waterfall humbles you with 1,300 ft. of vertical gain, and then the mountain breaks you. The final .88 mi., casts an intimidating shadow with 1,900 ft. of vertical gain. I have an angry, simple thought, "Mountains should change their names to Masochist." Finally, I summit. My hat is nearly blown off my head as I take in my surroundings. The wind is gusting at 30 mph, and the temperature is much lower than the 50°F at the Mount Si Trailhead. Snapping a quick photograph, I look west toward a rock face jutting about the tree swept mountainside. Destination number two, Mount Si.

I meander around the summit of Mount Teneriffe for a few minutes looking for the "trail" that connects the two mountains. My mind is shivering, my body is cooling. Finally, a red marker catches my eye. On the map, my planned route looks easy to follow. The bold green trails drawn on a sandstone background provide pre-run confidence. Navigating this mountain isn't that green-and-beige, however. The steep ascent now becomes a slippery descent. I slide on my ass, accidentally.  The "not really a trail" evolves slowly from no trail to deer trail to human trail. A sigh of relief, and the legs keep moving. The trail comes to an end, for now, as it transforms into an old logging road. I head down the rock studded, muddy road just as a drenching rain settles in above me. The connector trail is a little over a mile away, I think. Otherwise, it's a seven mile descent on an unused road. I don't self-inflict pain for monotony, so that route is abandoned before I even begin the run. A large marker, maybe 3 feet in length, hangs soaking wet ten feet above the trail that intersects the road. "How did someone get that up there?" More simple thoughts. I take the trail, and after a cold mile, arrive at the "distant rock summit" that I had seen on top of Mount Teneriffe. The vegetation not wanting to retreat from the trail hangs itself out for full-body hugs for anyone passing their rooted position. I snap a view photographs, and head toward home. The descent is easy: nothing technical and the trail is tacky. Arriving back in the parking lot, the skies open up. After a natural wander, a natural shower.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mizuno Ascend 7, Guest Review: Josh Reed

The Mizuno Wave Ascend 7, is a light-weight trail running shoes weighing in at 11.4 oz. It’s not their lightest shoe, but it’s by no means heavy. I generally recommend Mizuno's for beginning runners because their midsole allows a comfy impact with plenty of protection. The Ascend 7 is equipped with Mizuno’s Wave TechnologySmoothride Engineering, and Dynamotion Fit.  These three trademarked entities enable the Ascend 7 to dissipate impact, create a seamless heel-to-toe transition, and eliminate stress points on the upper area of the foot.

Alright enough on the stats, you can read those on Mizuno's website. The real question: What is it like running in the Ascend 7?  Think, jet fighter. The Ascend 7 likes to go fast on trails.  As we all know, trails are up-and-down, and tend to be somewhat technical: rocks, roots, creek crossings. From the first obstacle to the last, there was never a doubt of slipping once these shoes made contact with the ground. Every downhill I could really bomb, and felt like I was glued to the ground; however, the Ascend 7 isn't made for every day training, in my opinion, and it shows. 

The fit isn't as impressive, as the traction. I have about a half a shoe size difference between both my feet, so the shoe fit perfect on one foot and tight on the other.  I have this issue with some shoes, but most tend to fit both feet pretty well.  It's an anatomical difference, and much less of a “shoe” issue. Lets be for real, though, most people actually do have at least a slight, if not substantial, difference between their feet.  It's never bothered me during my runs, and my right foot didn't fall asleep, or become tingly. There was just a noticeable difference between the fit of the shoes.

These things are loud. Loud? No, they don't speak to you. I don’t know why, but they made a pretty loud slapping sound when I was running. I tried changing my foot-strike to see if it's just the way I run, but nothing seemed to work. Right before my weight transferred to the ball of my foot the shoe would make a slapping noise.  Needless to say, if your goal is to be a ninja runner you might want to avoid these shoes. The noise combined with the colors of the shoes would make sneaking around near impossible.

Now, I said earlier I usually suggest Mizuno running shoes to beginners for the Wave Tehcnology Mizuno uses in their midsole. The Ascend 7 would be the exception to that rule.  You feel everything in these shoes and when you are trail running that’s a lot!  It was never uncomfortable, plus I tend to like a less cushioned shoe, but these are the typical “ride” you expect from Mizuno.  Less of a sedan, and more of a sports car feel to them.

Overall these are great shoes. If I could find a right shoe that’s about half a size bigger I would be set.  For trail racing these are up there for me. They want to go fast and make you feel comfortable with your foot placement. I wouldn't suggest training in them everyday since the cushioning is less desirable, but a couple times a week shouldn't hurt.

Joshua Reed is a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, a runner, and a triathlete.