December 8, 2014

Moab in December

Delicate Arch is fantastic place to finish the day

Andrea and I would rather ski on a big fat snowpack (in t-shirts) in May/June than on a shallow snowpack, scuffing up our bases on rocks in December. With WARM temperatures (high 50s) in the forecast, we decided to drive down to Moab after work on Friday afternoon for some more fun in the desert. Southern Utah has treated us very well this Fall.

I got in a pair of runs on a favorite route (Kane Creek Road). We hiked around Arches National Park (had the place to ourselves). We rode our mountain bikes on the M-O-A-B brand trails (fun!). We stumbled across the Moab Christmas Electric Light Parade (who knew such an event existed?!). We went out for some good food (we highly recommend the Moab Brewery).

Winter is coming. I don't know when we'll be down south again, but I'm itching for some ski mountaineering in the La Sal range next spring.

The clouds parted just in time after an overcast day



Another shot of Delicate Arch



Turret Arch



Andrea under the North Window



Balanced Rock



Running on Kane Creek Road



Andrea biking on the Bar-M loop

Christmas Electric Parade in Moab. Surprisingly entertaining!

November 30, 2014

Still ticking... Thanksgiving in Connecticut


Family turnout for the Commodore Hull Road Race

It dawned on me over Thanksgiving that I haven't posted anything about running here since Chicago. At that time, I was planning on running CIM... but the hamstring that was bothering me leading up to and during Chicago didn't bounce back quick enough, and I decided to just jog my way through November. I posted some of my thoughts on my training log on November 3rd. Essentially I've just been run-commuting (my forte!) and enjoying the relaxed and no-pressure running. I'll start ramping it back up soon, and will post something about my spring 2015 plans shortly.

We had an excellent Thanksgiving back east in Connecticut, highlighted by a nice family turnout at the Commodore Hull Road Race, bingo, hot tubbing, Christmas sweaters, and plenty of good food / wine.



With my parents and cousin Andy at the Turkey Trot


Running (slowly) with flowier hair


Drone view of the Commodore Hull Road Race



Ammunition for an excellent multiday Thanksgiving celebration


Andrea and I


Krong family


A white, snowy Thanksgiving in Connecticut this year


Grandma is partially proud of us, and partially scared of us


We spent a lot of time in the new hot tub

November 11, 2014

Everywhere you look, there is something awesome! (Another weekend in the San Rafael Swell)

Temple Mountain in the twilight

Two weeks ago we spent a weekend camping at the wedge area of the San Rafael Swell (photos, more photos). We had such a good time that we had to make another desert camping trip before it got too cold. This time we ventured a bit further south and camped near the intersection of the Temple Mountain Road and Behind the Reef road, just 10-15 minutes away from Goblin Valley State Park.

We really have fallen in love with this area of Utah. I think we'll be spending a lot more time down here in 2015.

Sometimes we debate (usually on Thursdays) whether it's worth getting in the car and driving for a few hours on Friday afternoons. The answer is always yes!

On the way home, as we were talking about the hikes we did and admiring the landscapes, Andrea said - Everywhere you look, there is something awesome! I think that is very true of the San Rafael Swell region... and it's a heck of a way to view life in general. Sometimes the awesome things are really obvious, and sometimes you have to search for them... but they are almost always there.

Lots of photos from the weekend...

Our campsite near Temple Mountain



Nights were cold - so we needed lots of fire


Running on the Temple Mountain Road. I'm down there, barely visible.



Andrea and Amiee heading into Crack Canyon




There are so many cool hikes like this one in the swell


Roo had fun exploring


Running on the Behind the Reef road


Andrea biking along... she obviously takes all the running photos, so I stopped for a second and took a picture of her for once.


Mining ruins from the days of Uranium prospecting



The girls (and Roo) approaching Ding Canyon

The yellow rocks in this area really stand out



This little guy crushes slot canyons


Sometimes... you just have to jump


Roo getting some help from Andrea and I



The textures and colors in these canyons are really hard to capture on camera

November 2, 2014

Marathon Fueling Strategy with PowerGels

I struggled to find a good way to take in many calories during my first couple marathons, and that probably contributed to some late race bonks (ie. Philadelphia 2011). Over the course of my first four marathons, I probably took down a combined four gels. Not good.

In 2013 I made an effort to increase the amount of calories I took in during marathons, but I had a hard time swallowing the contents of GU and Cliff gels without choking, especially at fast speeds.

I don't remember exactly who told me to give the Powerbar gels a try, or whether it just happened through process of elimination, but after years of using Powerbar "solid" products I switched to PowerGels and have finally found the formula.


I've been eating these basic Powerbars before races since I started running 15 years ago

The Powergels have a more "liquid" consistency compared to other gels I've tried - which makes them go down easier without additional fluids, and they are also easier to swallow in colder weather. 

Each gel pack is 110 calories with 200mg of Sodium (more than typical gels). The flavors I prefer have 25mg of caffeine. Other flavors have 50mg, and there are some that have no caffeine at all.

I've gotten to the point where it's no problem to get 400-500 calories worth of gels during a marathon, which is a huge improvement for me. To a certain extent, I look forward to taking them!

I know a lot of people struggle to figure out in-race nutrition and have a hard time tolerating gels. Give the PowerGels a try - at first they seem a little different, but I think you'll quickly realize it is a good different.

[Note: Yes, I'm sponsored by Powerbar, but this isn't a sponsored post. I'm writing this because I really believe in the product. I will continue to use these gels in marathons regardless of future sponsorship.]

October 31, 2014

More (San Rafael) Swell Photos

It's Halloween / Friday, so it's obviously time for more pictures of Roo!

Earlier in the week I put up some photos from our camping trip to The Wedge. Our friend Amiee sent us a bunch more, so here are some from her camera...
















The desert is a beautiful place.