Sunday, October 7, 2012

McKinnick Trail - Sandpoint, Idaho

Inspiration has finally hit me upside the head with nature's version of a 2 by 4! We have moved to the beautiful town of Sandpoint, Idaho. North Idaho is a gem in many ways, especially for those that have a thirst for the outdoors. The myriad of trail running options has motivated me to begin running more and explore the area before the snows begin to hit in earnest.

So far, one of my favorite places to run is McKinnick Trail, located just outside of the Sandpoint city limits near Schweitzer Mountain. This is a 3.5 mile trail (one-way) that "switchbacks" through 160 acres of gigantic rock outcroppings, grassy meadows, and  tall old growth timber There are views of Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint, and the Cabinet Mountains. The top boasts an elevation of 4300' for a total elevation gain of 2150'. This is a great hike, trail-run, or snow-shoe in the winter. However, I plan to run it as long as possible. I am guessing I will finally need to purchase some spikes for my running shoes.

View of Lake Pend Oreille and Sandpoint

My German Shorthair Pointer finishing our run together

Directions: From Sandpoint, take Hwy. 95 north 1.3 miles to Schweitzer Mountain Road; turn left and go 0.5 miles; turn right at the T junction and go 0.8 miles; turn left (at Schweitzer Sign) and go 0.5 miles to Woodland Drive; turn left and go 0.7 miles. The trailhead parking area is located on the right. There is also an outhouse there.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Unbreakable: The Western States 100 official trailer

I am an avid follower of Anton Krupicka's blog, Riding the Wind. Unbelievable mountain runner...check out the trailer for a movie about Western States 100, featuring Anton and a crew of other awesome trail runners...if this doesn't motivate you, what will?!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

FIRST Training Plan vs. Run by Feel

Last Spring I decided to use the FIRST training plan while training for the Eugene Marathon. I highly recommend checking it out. It is basically a program based on 3 quality running days per week, with some cross training in between. Check out the link above, as there have been amazing results with that particular program/philosophy.

The reason I went in that direction is that I have had a tendency to get burned out following plans that are too complicated. I was following plans developed by the legendary running coach Jack Daniels. It seemed to suck the fun out of running over time. The FIRST training plan was simple and effective.

Moving on to the here and now, I have decided to run by feel over the next several months. I have run 17 out of the last 20 with my shortest run being 2 miles and my longest being 7. Ninety-Five percent of the running has been done on trails, which is best for me in many ways. The last three days have all been 6 miles and further. I have no aches and pains, but will take today off to play it safe. I am not sure what tomorrow will bring. I am enjoying running more than ever right now. I am hoping to keep riding this wave, listen to my body, and adjust accordingly. I am currently experimenting with a Heart Rate Monitor...more to come on that one...loving it though...

Check out the photos below. This is where I run most of the time...Port Gamble Trail System...

My German Short Hair wondering why I am running so slow.

The splendor of the Olympic Mountain Range

Single Track

The Brothers Peak, Olympic Mountains

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Training for Chuckanut

Well, I did it...I signed up for the Chuckanut 50K. It sold out in under two hours and now I have to figure out how to prepare for a 31 mile trail race having not run more than 10 miles since the Eugene Marathon in May. YEEEHAAAA!

Moonlight running in the morning
 I have been getting up early and running  just a few miles in the morning this week up and down a hill by my house. Trying to get used to running early morning. Next week I will hit it hard in the a.m. I am finding that I am enjoying the solitude of running in the quiet cold of the morning. The only sounds I hear are my breathing and the jingle of my dog's collar. A guy could get used to starting his day like this.

The weekends will be long runs. These primarily will be exploring the beautiful woods and mountains of the Pacific Northwest.  As you can see below, my dog will immensely enjoy the experience, usually fitting breaks in while I catch up to her.

Oops...6:08, better get off for that run...

Dose cooling off in the water, even at 35 degrees!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hitting the Trails with My Daughter!

Just got back from a run in the Port Gamble Trails with my daughter. The run was short, but hilly. We ended up gaining about 450 feet in three miles. This was two days after gaining 2100 feet in two miles at Mt. Walker on New Years Eve morning. Legs were sluggish for sure. I was impressed with Mikhaela, as she was really tough on the hills. I couldn't have gone any faster today and she was always a step ahead.

If you haven't been to these trails, I highly recommend them. There is a link to a map in an earlier blog post. Check it out here!