Saturday, January 06, 2007

What time of year is it again?

Okay, I woke up in time to do some hiking on the Billy Goat trail I posted about in my last entry. I took the long way to the west side (up river near Great Falls) start of the trail, getting some casual hiking done on the trails in Chesapeake @ Ohio National Park. A bit uneventful, other than how great it felt to be hiking again, first time since October. The Billy Goat trail is quite tricky for a 1.7 mile hike next to the Potomac River. Lots of hopping from rock to rock, and some scrambling (climbing on a less vertical pitch than used by rock climbers but still requires two hands to grip the rock). I remembered why it took over an hour to hike it. It's tough.

I decided to hike in a long sleeve wicking T shirt and nylon pants, figuring that even if high temperatures were supposed to be near 70, it would be cool and breezy in the morning. Wrong! Tow things stood out today. One was how I didn't want to do anything after hiking to my car besides stretch down, go home, and jump in the pool. The second was in hindsight, I was sitting down eating lunch near the waterfall. Chillin out on a rock, eating a sandwich, warm as all heck, tons of people in the park, a gray cloud passes by the sun, it may drop a brief May shower, what a great spring day this was.......


A little wisecrack, but I was really conflicted today. Half of me appreciated this warm, springlike day more than you can imagine. The other half is terrified that 70 degree days in January here in the DC area are that start of a dangerous trend. Maybe more on global warming when I'm not so tired.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Running, Over-Hydration, Billy Goats, and NFL Playoffs

Happy New Year! The Bowl Games are almost done, three more left. I really wish I could have stayed up to watch the end of the Fiesta Bowl, i.e. the Boise State arrival game, but I could not. I'm up to a lot in 2007, not only a new job but I am continuing with a running group that I started with in December. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, fun runs leave from Pacers running store in Old Town Alexandria. On any of three courses, these runs are 5-6 miles, with many different paces from people training for long distance races to slow schmoes like me who just want to get in better shape. It's come on all and run, which is great for me. Having never been on a steady running program before, I find it much easier to get motivated to come out for runs when groups of people are also running. If I can keep up there are people to talk to. If I can't, it's motivation to keep running (and eating better) so I will be able to soon.

I've been to 5 runs now, and while I'm getting used to running 5 plus miles, I cut the run tonight by about a mile, taking a shortcut on Madison Street. To make a long story short, I needed to make a facility break at a Safeway. I over-hydrated all day long, no TMI or further description. Those things happen, live and learn, but it did force me to cut the run short so I could catch up with others. I did not want people to be waiting around for me for minutes upon minutes. I learn something new everytime I run. Maybe I'll learn something when I run on my own Saturday.

If I don't go hike the Billy Goat Trail instead. I can make the hike longer than four miles if I get up early enough, seeing as I have to be on the REI Sales Floor at 3 pm. The hike is about a 40 minute drive from me, and includes a short strech of scramling up some steep rocks. I obviously take the path that takes me up those rocks instead of down the rocks. Me no like climbing down steep, rocky things unless they are covered with snow and me have skis. It will be in the 60s on Saturday, no snow.

NFL Playoff Preview:

I like the Chargers to beat the Saints for the Super Bowl on February 4. But I'll make my picks round by round. Home teams are in capital letters.


Dallas 27, SEATTLE 23: I don't have a feel for either one of these teams. Quite frankly, neither are very good. The Cowboys have forgotten how to play defense and lost to the freaking Lions for Jim Rome's sake. But Seattle has been about as consistent as the weather on Mount Washington (New Hampshire). I guess the terell owens tenure in Dallas lasts another week.

PHILADELPHIA 34, NY Giants 17: The Giants really, really, suck. They are the worst playoff team in NFL history. I, like ten million other NFL fans, was dead wrong when I thought they were headed for 6-10 after Donovan McNabb was lost for the season to injury. They've perservered, rediscovered their defense, and will win this game with ease.


INDIANAPOLIS 37, Kansas City 31: I could see the Chiefs winning this, with a 220 yard rushing effort by Larry Johnson leading the way. Indy can't stop the run to save their lives, but it won't bite them in the ass this week at home. Next week, different story. I do see them scoring enough to overcome their defense in this one.

NEW ENGLAND 20, NY Jets 13: Belichick gets the better of his former pupil Mangini. I am quite concerned about this game with Rodney Harrison being out. I don't think Chad Pennington and his receivers will be able to take full advantage of his abscence. James Sanders will step it up, and a total team defensive effort will lead the way to victory. I see an unspectacular but solid, never really in serious doubt, victory.