Only Those Who Will Risk Going Too Far Can Possibly Find Out How Far They Can Go

- T.S. Eliot

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 - Year In Review

So at the end of 2012 I decided to set a lofty goal of running my first ultra. I was running 100+ miles a month in the winter of 2013 and didn't see that changing for spring, summer, ect.. Well heat hit and my running dropped off. My plan to train for the North Face 50 miler ended up going out the door. So on race day in Sept I was not physicaly ready to run the 50 miles. I DNF'd...I quit...which was something I told myself I would never do. I was in so much pain I was crawling at times. My running buddy was there to help pace and for the last 7 miles before I pulled myself out he witnessed my complete and utter break down. I was hurt. I couldn't belive I didn't live up to my plan to train and get stronger and faster. Who was I to think I could just go out and run a 50 mile race with no real foundation. Well after I got done crying about how much I sucked and didnt meet my goal another opertunity came knocking. The Huff... a 50k. Yes not a 50 miler but still and ultra and still officaily could meet my goal. So I entered and me and my son both finished our first ultras on the same day...him and hour faster thou! So now we are on to 2014 and more running, more adventures, more pain i'm sure, and more fun as well. What races did I do last year... Martian Half Marathon Bayshore Marathon Grand Island Marathon 5/3 Riverbank Run North Country Trail Run Half Lakestride Half Marathon Seaway Half Marathon North Face 50 Mile - DNF Muskegon Turkey Trot Muskegon Sgt. Preston Run Ludington St. Pattys Run Holland St. Pattys Run I think thats all of them...I didn't hit my goal of 2000 miles total for the year but ended up with 1200. So now I have to sit here and figure out new goals for the year. I wish I would have done this sooner but I basicaly just completed my goal for 13 and that didn't give me much time for a new one. Stay Tuned.. P The Huff 50K

Thursday, January 31, 2013

So it’s been quite some time since I have decided to blog about anything in particular. Running has taken an even bigger hold on day to day life. I also believe that what I deemed “running” before has now evolved into something that I could have never imagined.  In the past when I would go out for the run I go with purpose (running faster was usually the purpose). The run has become part of my daily life and I need to make it to the top in my head. In one form or another I revolve around it and it no longer revolves around me.
Recently, I spent a nice January run out by the ice of Lake Michigan. Timing myself was not going to be important that day…I would relax, but the run two and from and the views and pictures took while down by the lake was more fun than I could have ever imagined. I know that I really felt alive that day.

You don’t need to spend money on a tiny adventure like that and that helps with the enjoyment factor for sure. You don’t need to plan every little detail of your run because sometimes surprises can be a good thing. You don’t need to time your run every time in order to get better or enjoy it.. simplicity can be addicting too. What I realized is that with a deep breath and one step forward a wonderful adventure can easily begin and it doesn’t always have to be about being faster, stronger, or winning. 
I’m not saying I will ever give up on trying my best and pushing myself to my limits…but I think I realized now that in order to enjoy order to have more of that moment of harmony…at times you need to step back and take everything in and enjoy the simple things. It’s quite a peaceful thing.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mackinac Island - 8 Mile Loop

So last week I was able to spend some time with my son and the Ludington XC team. One of the days we spent on Mackinaw Island in Northern Michigan.

The “Main Event” for the day was the 8 mile run around the island. Mackinaw Island is known quite well by many for two main things no cars and lots of fudge. I didn’t realize ever that there was a great track of sorts that wrapped completely around the island right on the lake shore.

As the run began we left town and headed out. One of the first things I noticed was a neat rock formation on my left hand side known as “Arch Rock” and all the hand stacked rocks on my right hand side. It was neat to see the stacks everywhere in the lake and they continued all the way around the island.

Around mile 4 there was a bathroom facility and some nice houses and cottages began to pop up here and there. The lake breeze was comforting once I got to the other side of the island and even thou it was blowing at my face and not with me. The views continued to be great and eventually the Mackinaw Bridge came into sight. I knew I was on the home stretch now.

As I continued a creepy cave like formation appeared very close to the running path known as the “Devils Kitchen.” I was told later that there are tons of creepy stories about this spot and mainly that it is infested with bad spirits and the spirits were cannibals and they would cook inside the cave creating the black ceiling.

I was just a couple miles away when the Grand Hotel was on my left and the town was again coming into view. As I finished up my run with my son at my side for the last few yards (he passed me a very long time ago) I was happy that on my first visit to the island I could say I also ran entirely around it too!

View Toward Fort From Start

Ate Lunch After The Run Here...Great Food!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Injury - RH Knee

I have found many things with running…things that have helped me physically feel better, emotions from winning or losing a race that I haven’t felt in years, and pain and suffering too.

One of the hardest things to do when you’re an addict is to quit something even for a short time. I know from past experiences and unfortunately that’s my current situation right now. My body and more specifically my knee has decided that I have pushed too hard and its lashing out.

Any expert or intelligent person would tell you to give the knee some rest or more damage could be done. I being who I am believe at times that taking off time is one more difficult sometimes then actually running thru the pain. It’s truly amazing how this thing…”running” has taken me to places I couldn’t even imagine and the scary thing is I’m just starting or re-starting depending on how you look at it.

I have goals just like any other dedicated individual. My running goals are quite exact (times, distances, etc…) and I know the work that will be required to get my old body to reach them. Maybe knowing that on top of the thrill and feel of the run the “high” as some call it makes taking time off, even small amounts of time very difficult.  

Running has brought me peace. Peace in the sense that all my problems big or small don’t seem to bother me as much if at all. My mind is focused on the run, my mind drifts away from my problems and focuses on the run. The feel of the road or trail, the way I’m breathing, the next step in front of me…that’s all my mind thinks about. How can you leave that behind even for a short time especially in the world I live right now?

Sometimes I guess we have to do things we really don’t want to do. So I will take some more time off even if I hate it. The end result will be better this way. That’s what you have to keep telling your self. The time off will help you down the road. You need to get back to 100%. You need fresh legs. You have races this fall and huge plans for next year so don’t blow it!!

Next week XC starts and if all goes well I will be able to run with my son and his teammates on the trails in Northern Michigan. I am truly looking forward to that week but for right now “rest” it is. The rest I need will leave me better off in the future.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Saucony Kinvara TR - Quick Review

Can you say perfect???

So the team at Saucony has done it again....made one hell of a good shoe. The Kinvara TR the trail runners Kinvara!!! This shoe is solid all around. When I first put it on and felt how comfy the shoe was I was in awe. The Kinvara TR is basically and jacked up version of it's street shoe brother the Kinvara 3. Big differences are the toe plate and tread plate. Both solid as a rock but yet still feel very good under the foot. The shoe holds the foot well also, with a very small 4mm drop (just like the Kinvara 3).

I have yet to test this shoe out in mud but it handles loose dirt and sand very very well. Actually the shoe doesn't feel to bad on pavement too but I wouldn't recomend running for long periods of time with these shoes on. I would suspect you would wear the tread a lot faster than designed.

I am in awe!

P.J. Hoffmaster - 7/29/12

Just some quick pictures from todays trail adventure.

Trail View Toward Lake Michigan

Nice Up Hill Portion Of Trail


Trail View Toward Lake Michigan and Boats


Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Balance MT20V2 Review

Well here is yet another attempt of a shoe review. More specifically the New Balance MT20V2 Trail Running Shoe.

When New Balance came out with this shoe you can see that had one thing in mind “Minimal Everything.” The first thing you notice when you pick the shoes up are that they are light as a feather, mainly because there really is no material to call a shoe. The upper is very strong but light weight and thin. It resists mud, dirt and trail cookies very well.

The lowers are a “Vibram” outside and flat as a pancake. If you want to get close to the way things use to be in the cave man days without running all out barefoot this is about as close as you can get. I have run in these shoes on the Treadmill and on the Trails. They feel good where ever. I did take me a while to get accustomed to the feel of a simplistic structure but once I did I never looked back

The nice thing about these shoes too is they clean up very easy. I was running a trail the other day and it had rained the night before so mud was pretty rampant but after I was done a spray down on the shoes was all that was needed. I don’t think I could do that with some of my other running shoes and not get a stink or cause damage to the uppers. The New Balance is very resistant to the elements and what ever you can dish out at them. I would definitely recommend these to any runner looking for taking the minimalist approach to running.