Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Big News: I'm Leaving Atlanta

Yes, you read that correctly: I am leaving Atlanta.


In ten days, my lady and I are moving West. Waaaaaaay West...all the way to the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm going back to school to pursue my MBA at Cal-Berkeley's Haas Business School. Go Bears!
I can get used to this

It doesn't hurt, of course, that the Bay Area is such a haven for trail runners.

This summer I will travel around the United States as part of a little sabbatical. Those travels will include lots of trails but more on that later.

For all of you from the Bay Area, I'm looking for a trail running club. Sorta like G.U.T.S. ... just with people that say things like "gnarly" or "I work for [insert technology company here]".

Also, where can I find races? I know of PCTR but nothing beyond that other than the general TrailRunner Magazine listings. Is there a comprehensive list of trail runs for (Northern) California?

Boy, I'm so exited!! More to come...

Completely unrelated to trail running...but this picture has always made me smile and it's somewhat relevant to this there!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sole Searching

As a runner, I think a lot about taking care of my feet. After all, they are what carry us through the woods and must be protected, pampered and taken care of at all times. I personally use a lot of different products to make sure that my feet will carry me for (hopefully) a long time. I use second skin to pretape known hot spots on my heels. Injinji toe socks prevent blisters on my toes. Ankle braces support, well, my ankles (which are part of the foot area, in this runner's opinion). Post-race I use Biofreeze to treat any bruises and Gold Bond cream to massage my feet. Phew, that's a lot of product!

Before and during the SweetH2O 50k, the top of my foot was hurting pretty bad. It actually forced me to stop some training runs. I was fearing I had every runner's nightmare: a stress fracture.

After SweetH2O, I laid off running for bit to see if that would help. It didn't. It was during this admittedly frustrating time, that I was approached by representatives of the company Sof-Sole, who, I promise you, don't have a sixth sense (or do they?). I have worked in sponsorship and marketing my whole professional career, so I was very skeptical at first. Would I have to blog about the product, if they sent me samples? The answer was a clear "no." They just wanted me to try it. So I thought, "What the heck. Send them!"

The answer to my problems.

They sent me some insoles and at first they were laying around my house as I was trying not to run too much. But eventually I tried them. And, WOW, did they feel amazing. The Sof-Sole Athletes were sooooo comfortable. Not only that, but they also deflected a lot of the impact when I would step on rocks, roots or similar. They're pretty much a trail runner's deam. But the very best thing was that the top of my foot completely stopped hurting since I've started wearing them! No more thoughts about stress fractures.

I've taken them onto all kinds of terrain now and all types of runs (short and long) and I have no idea how I ever ran without them. They simply are amazing! I would highly recommend you try them out (remember, I'm not getting paid for this nor do I have to write an endorsement. I actually feel this way). If you're wondering where you can find the Sof-Soles, check out Sof-Sole's retail locator.

My next post will be about soul searching not sole searching (yes, I can spell!).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Atlanta Trails 2.0

Less than a week ago, I launched the Atlanta Trails Map project in the hope that one or two people would help me build a map with all the dirt trail locations in Atlanta. And the response has been overwhelming! So many people either e-mailed me with information, posted on the GUTS forum or went into the application themselves to make changes. And the results were amazing! Never did I think were there more than 15 or maybe 20 trails in Atlanta. The count is now up to 30+! Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who helped out!

The map will live on in the side bar to the right. Feel free to link directly to the map from your blog. It’s a resource created by trail runners for trail runners and sooooo web 2.0!

To The Locals
I hope you explore some of the new trails you may have never heard about. My personal favorite has always been East Palisades, in case you’re looking for a suggestion.

To The Out-of-Towners
Enjoy this resource for those times that you come to Atlanta, but furthermore consider doing something similar for your hometown. I’ll be glad to help set it up for you and to share my learnings.

Happy Trails!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Atlanta Trails Map Project

How about a collaborative post? I sometimes get e-mails from out-of-town visitors inquiring about the nearest trails. This sparked an idea to create a map with an overview of all the different trails in the area. All you have to do now is click the map below, hit any of the blue buttons and, voila, you get a short description of the trail (terrain, distance, etc.) and can click the link for your customized directions. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

Now, let’s do this together.
The trails that are currently on the map are the ones that I regularly run. There are many more in the Atlanta area, so please add them (just hit the edit button). Also, if you disagree with my description, simply improve it. Think of it as Wikipedia but for trails in Atlanta. I’m looking forward to seeing this resource grow!

P.s. You have to have a Google/gmail account to edit. If you don't have one, just send me an e-mail and I will add you to the list of authors (which is NOT necessary if you're already a member of Google universe). Hope that makes sense. Thanks, Rahn, for helping me figure this out.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Spring Season in Review

My spring season has come to a close and it was quite a ride. I’m an officially an ultra-runner now. And I’m having more fun than ever before. Looking back at my goals for 2008 that was clearly important to me coming into this year (and still is):
Have Fun Running: Often I find that focusing too hard on one goal or preparing just for one race can be stressful and may detract from my original reason of why I run: to have fun. My spring schedule is set up in a way to maximize the fun aspect of running.

So, let’s look at the damage I did:

Runnin’ the Rocks 10k: This race was easily the low-point of my running career. I bonked two miles into a six mile race. Not good. But I learned two lessons: 1) Everybody is going to have a bad race. You, me, everybody. And it will teach you a lesson in humility. 2) Don’t run a hard work out less than 24 hours prior to a race and then expect to do well the next day. That’s just not going to work.

Red Top Rumble 11.5M: Now, this was a fun race! Lots of my friends ran this with me. And my confidence level was back to normal.

Thrill in the Hills ½ Marathon: I love Thrill in the Hills. As a matter of fact, I’ve run all of them so far (there have been two). And they have scenic port-a-johns.

Oak Mountain 50k: Going into this race I was really worried. Was I worthy of becoming an ultra-runner? How would my body hold up? My goal was just to fight and toughen things out until the end. Well, it wasn’t all that bad and actually a lot of fun (sense a theme yet?). I will never forget the Oak Mountain Experience!

SweetH2O 50k: Powerlines. Dorkiness. And lots of H2O.

All in all, this has been a phenomenal first half of the year. It gets me very excited for what is to come!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


The past 10 days, basically ever since SweetH2O, have been very busy. There have been lots of personal things going on (more on that later) including a short trip to California just to mix things up. Unfortunately, I have been running little, but I have been cross-training by playing...softball!

Sprinting around the bases, swinging a bat and drinking beers is totally going to improve my trail running. (nope)

About to score from first. Technically, that's a trail.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Nut? Nut!

I was flying to San Francisco this morning. For the last two hours or so, I would look out the window and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of such areas as the Sierra Nevada. And you know what? All I was thinking about was how nice it would be to go running down there right now. I'm a trailrunning nut. (Seriously, what's wrong with me?)