I've been derelict in maintaining this blog since I've been very busy at work and in other affairs (more on that momentarily). Fall is in the air. My favorite time of the year.
With fall comes football season! I had the pleasure ('er, displeasure?) of seeing my beloved West Virginia University Mountaineers lose to Syracuse. Nevertheless, it was cool hanging out at the stadium and watching the marching band form the outline of the state.
Fall is also a time for some runs. As I mentioned previously, a couple buddies had some ultras on their dockets. Conrad Quesen (below) did a great job running his first 50-miler ever at Tussey Mountainback. I even had the opportunity to pace him for 4 miles. By the way, that's his son Anthony, front and center, in the picture below. I'm the guy lagging behind on the right :-)
The next day, Eric Ripper (below) completed his first 100-miler at Oil Creek. Congratulations to him on this huge accomplishment! It was an interesting experience getting to observe it. Thanks for letting me watch you do this, Eric!
The old knee is slowly coming along. I've still been doing PT three times a week and swimming under the tutelage of Beth Byron. In fact, Beth, being a strength and conditioning coach at West Virginia University, is completely retooling my workout regimen. This will be interesting because of a couple of reasons. First, I am a bit of a control freak (gulp!). Second, it feels like I've been battling chronic, nagging injury this summer above and beyond my knee. I suspect this is due to a number of reasons -- age, overtraining, very infrequent rest days, improper technique, etc. I'm looking forward to seeing how this all plays out. In fact, I'm taking a rest day today ... and already feeling anxious about it!
My runs are now up to 5 miles three times a week. In the past, I've always preferred to run alone but I've been running a lot lately with Joey Gigliotti. Joey is a 26-year-old solid slab who spends lots of time in boxing gyms, weight rooms, etc. Suffice it to say, Joey keeps me honest and makes sure that I am not "mailing in" my runs. In addition to being a wonderful person, he's also working on a Ph.D. in Nutrition so we have these very cool conversations.
Finally, I want to take this brief opportunity to plug a race to be held in Morgantown, WV on December 11. It's called the Mason-Dixon Madness 50K. I won't get into the details about the race here; those are well laid out for you when you visit the website. There are a couple of things I will say. First, this is my first attempt at being a so-called race director (RD) and I am in shock at the sheer amount of work involved. Actually, I am a co-RD. The other co-RD is Dannielle Ripper (Eric's wife) who is a model of drive, organization, and management. Without her, this race would have no chance of being held this year. Secondly, Dannielle and I decided to donate most of the proceeds to two local food banks. This is for a great cause in this stale economy of ours and we are hopeful for a good turnout. So spread the word and help those in need!