Chasing 42

Life, the Universe, & Running

Archive for the tag “Daily Chase”

Daily Chase: Vol. 69

So, it would seem that our collective post apocalyptic nightmare is in fact a reality, and we didn’t simply imagine the election we all lived through. Now, following a poorly attended inauguration (unless you have the magical ability to deny reality while looking at conclusive photographic evidence), and an empowering and energizing global march, we are left to deal the daily fall-out. Hopefully, you have at least some sense of just how bad pretty much every decision he has made thus far is for anyone who isn’t a rich, White, heterosexual male. However, regardless of your political beliefs, you are reading this blog because you are a runner. You like to be active and be outdoors. If so, then this administration should scare the s#@t out of you! Between the climate change denial, the relaxing of EPA regulations, the increased ability to sell public park lands, the silencing of research coming out of government agencies, and the ease with which pipelines are being approved, we are watching as the world around us is pulled apart at the seams. We can only hope that the other countries who signed on to the Paris Climate Accords pick up the slack and double down on the efforts.

On the flip side, if our Bobblehead of State succeeds in building his giant monument to human stupidity otherwise known as the wall, then someone will clearly need to organize a race from one end to the other 🙂 I’ve got dibs on the first FKT attempt!

white-clay-1

Chasing42 Log: 20170116- 20170128

Run: It’s been a solid two weeks of running. I’m still surprised by the mild winters in Delaware, but certainly don’t find myself complaining about wearing shorts in January. My volume has remained pretty consistent, and I’ve thrown in some solid tempo workouts and vertical gain pushes to mix things up. A week ago, I headed out to Brandywine Creek State Park and did hill repeats on one of the more difficult climbs in the park. Both the climb and descent were good practice due to the fairly technical terrain, and I managed over 2,000 ft of gain in a little over 10 miles so I was quite pleased. This past Friday, I had the afternoon off since I had to work yesterday morning. This meant a golden opportunity to do a longer run on Friday, and explore some of the trails in White Clay State Park that I’m not as familiar with yet. It was a perfect afternoon for a run, and I only managed to get a bit lost once, which is a big accomplishment for me. Not being able to run yesterday morning was a great reminder of the importance of being flexible in your training. Your training schedule needs to fit in with your life, and you need to be comfortable with adjustments when things arise that throw off your schedule. Things will always come up!

white-clay-2

Thought: As I wandered around the trails at White Clay State Park on Friday, it occurred to me how unfazed I was by the prospect of getting lost. The park isn’t large by many standards, but for me, it was more about the realization that I felt comfortable enough with significantly longer distances that I wasn’t worried about getting off track. If I ended up tacking on 5 or 10 more miles, I didn’t mind. I had the daylight, some fuel, and confidence in where my endurance is at right now. It’s a very freeing feeling to know that you can just keep going, and know that it means you can do even more exploring than before, and simply have fun with it. I pretty much had the trails to myself, and that nature high just got more and more intense with each passing mile, each stream crossing, each hill climb, and each new switchback. Running has definitely given me increased physical fitness, but it’s the mental freedom that I’m most thankful for overall. I’m happy to be #chasing42, no matter where I’m going or how far it takes to get there!

Daily Chase: Vol. 68

Happy New Year to everyone! It’s always a bit of a shock to the system when the new year creeps up on you, and this year was no different. The beautiful epicurean and I had a wonderful time in Arizona over the holidays, and reluctantly hopped on a plane on New Years Eve day to return home. Alas, the epicurean caught my cold/flu, which made travel less than ideal, and we were quite happy to curl up on the couch and relax on New Years Eve. I honestly can’t remember the last time we went out and did anything overly entertaining for New Years, and instead have consistently opted for quiet nights in. This is not to say that we are necessarily opposed to such endeavors, but we both seem to lack the commitment to do any actual planning. I’m sure that if I applied as much energy to planning those activities as I did my runs, we’d no doubt have a raging social life, eh? 🙂 At any rate, I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years (if you were celebrating), and that your 2017 is off to a wonderful #chasing42 start!

jan17-2

We escaped the cold for a Christmas tour at Longwood Gardens. 

Chasing42 Log: 20161231- 201701115

Run: My training has gotten off to a great start in the new year, despite not finishing up my actual training calendar for the first half of the year yet. The weather has been generally really nice (for January), so I’ve spent a good deal of time outside, have been able to explore some new routes and trails near campus, and have even made it to track workouts on Tuesday nights again. Speed work has never been something I enjoy a great deal, but it sure does feel good when I’m finished! At the last minute this past week, a friend was even able to offer me a bib for a local 50K race, so I had the chance to toe the line for the first time yesterday as well. The trails were fantastic, the race was well organized, and I decided to push myself a bit, which resulted in a 5:29 finish on a course with almost 4,000 feet of climbing. I’m pretty sure I could have finished faster if I had been a bit smarter during the first (of two) loops, but adrenaline and a lack of a clear goal clouded my mind and I went out a wee bit too fast 🙂 I know you’re shocked! So, in case anyone is counting, the #chasing42runstreak is up to 422 days.

jan17-1

Thought: Are you a resolution maker? Do you set goals for yourself in the new year, or do you scoff at the arbitrary nature of waiting until January 1 to make a change to your life that you no doubt have been thinking about for months of even years? This time of year always encourages new commitments to the gym, eating healthy, and a host of other activities that really just make good sense 12 months out of the year. However, an entire industry and emerged, centered around these resolutions, and the result is people hoarding their intentions for the moment the ball drops. People save up their intended changes for the magical moment where everything is possible, instead of opting to make changes throughout the year as they identify the need for them. More important, folks tend to craft lists of resolutions that are so long and extensive that the odds of actually achieving them decrease with each addition. In general, you are far better off sticking to one or two significant changes and working on deciding how you can best alter your daily routine to incorporate those changes. It’s hard enough to do something simple like deciding to wake up earlier or change your diet without trying to follow a brand new checklist of activities each day. So, whatever your resolutions or goals are for 2017, keep them simple, manageable, and measurable. Once you’ve worked that one new lifestyle activity into your regular routine, then you can move on to the next one. It’s all part of working smarter, not harder, as you continue #chasing42!

So what will your first change or goal be for the new year?

Daily Chase: Vol. 67

There is so much anticipation around the holiday season that we begin talking about it months in advance. Ultimately, the payoff is hopefully positive, but nonetheless gone in a flash, and we are left to look forward to the next significant event in our lives. I can’t help but think about the similarities with many of the major races we run each season. We train for months and months, all in the hopes that the stars will align and we will go out and achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Our best laid plans are somethings thwarted, of course, by weather, or illness, or any of a number of life events that so inconveniently get in the way. This has certainly been the case for me on many different ocassions, and it has given me pause to consider the level of anticipation I place on any one day or event. I love celebrating with family and friends, just as I love running and the running community, but I feel I’m much more careful now. My hope is that I can remember to enjoy the moments in between, take advantage of unexpected opportunities when they arise, and properly contextualize my big races, just as I do major holidays. This may not stop me from getting ridiculously excited to surprise the epicurean with any number of unique and unexpected gifts, but it will help me remember again in the upcoming year that every run is important in its own way. I’m #chasing42 each time I lace up my shoes, whether it’s for a simple training run or a 100-mile race! 


Chasing42 Log: 20161220- 20161230

Run: The last week and a half have provided perhaps the most diverse array of running opportunities I’ve had in quite a while. In the days leading up to the beginning of winter break on campus, folks start to disappear early, which means accomplishing anything meaningful becomes more and more difficult. As a result, I was able to leave early the last two days I was in, and enjoy some mid-afternoon, mid-week trail time, which was a delightful treat. We flew out of Philly last Friday, and were lucky enough to snag a non-stop flight to Phoenix for our annual journey to see the epicurean’s lovely family. I squeezed in a morning run before our flight, which was needed considering the 5-hour flight across the country. This past week has been a running delight for the most part. I’ve been able to venture out onto the Arizona desert mountain trails on several ocassions. However, I was held back a bit by an unexpected cold and fever earlier this week, which meant not pushing quite has hard and doing some more running around town as well. Despite feeling a bit under the weather the last few days, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the variety of trail experiences. The highlight was most definitely a run up Elephant Mountain near Tonto National Forrest yesterday, and some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen. I’ll be sure to share more trail highlights in an upcoming post! 


Thought: It’s that time of year again where the calendar resets, and everyone eagerly pours over potential races and other adventure goals.  I don’t have many races on my calendar as of yet, but am hoping to fill it in soon. However, my hope is to plan a few more solo or group adventure runs in the new year as well. There are a lot of ways to experience the world around me, and I want to make sure I don’t miss out on any opportunity! 

So, what do you have planned for the upcoming year? What exciting races should I be looking at? I’m always up for adventure invites too! Happy New Year to everyone as you ring it in tomorrow night! 

Daily Chase: Vol. 66

The end of the semester is always a tad bittersweet as classes wrap up, and the new year looms on the horizon. Although January 1st doesn’t signify much in the higher education world, the last few weeks of December certainly mark a time of transition. These are the weeks when I have the chance to catch up on all the tasks that have eluded me for the past 4 months, and I look forward to the change of pace every year. This year, that was especially true as I wrapped up my first semester working full-time on top of teaching. It was a test for me to see how my new job, teaching responsibilities, running and training, and maintaining a home life would all balance out. I’ve always thrived on being busy and the past 4 months have certainly given me that. I may have had to make a few adjustments and compromises to my schedule and life along the way, but I’m ultimately quite happy with how I spent my time and balanced everything along the way. The idea of “chasing42” has taken on various meanings over the years, and it continues to be an evolving quest to understand life, the universe, and running!

Chasing42 Log: 20161212- 20161219

Run: With classes done for the semester, and projects at work winding down, I have been able to maintain a bit more structured training schedule as I look forward to our yearly trip to Arizona and ease into the new year. I’ve been out for some more consistent runs, despite the cooler weather and the darkness that seems to come earlier and earlier. I’ve done some quality bonding with my headlamp and discovered some new running routes near campus along the way. Perhaps the highlight of this past week was a freezing-rain filled past Saturday morning. You’ve heard me mention before my extreme hatred for the treadmill. I haven’t done a significant run on the treadmill in will over 5 years, and I’ve never been able to run more than 14 miles without boring myself to death. However, this Saturday forced my hand, as freezing rain and slippery roads constitute the one weather condition I won’t run in. I obtained a free guest pass to the local YMCA and made my way there in the wee morning hours on Saturday. I was determined to overcome this mental challenge, and to get in a much-needed long run along the way. I fell into a rhythm after a while, discovered the joys of adjusting the grade for a greater challenge, and occupied my time with ESPN, people-watching, and some chatting with a friend. When it was all said and done, I had knocked out 22 miles and 5100 feet of climbing. I may not have enjoyed the experience, but I valued the mental challenge and know it’s just one more piece of the ultra-puzzle!

Embracing the darkness!

Embracing the darkness!

Thought: Well, like most folks, I didn’t get into the Western States 100 or the Hardrock 100. Mind you, this was the first time I’d ever had the opportunity to enter either lottery, but I couldn’t help but get my hopes up at least a little bit. I had put some other plans on hold as I knew getting into either race would be a significant financial and training commitment. Now that my schedule is a bit more open, I can begin thinking about other races I’d like to add to my calendar for 2017. I already have the Umstead 100 on my list (April 1st), and I hopefully applied to the Laurel Highlands 70.5 mile race, but I’m waiting to receive notice either way. Beyond that, the sky is the limit (well, and funding, and time, and the good graces of the beautiful epicurean), but I’m determined to have my schedule cemented early on in January so I can get on to the business of training. I’ll be adding a second class to my teaching load in the spring as well, so making excellent use of my time will be that much more important. Do you have races locked in on your 2017 calendar yet? I’d love to hear where you’ll be chasing42!

Daily Chase: Vol. 65

The end of the semester is always a whirlwind of activity, and this year was no exception. Add to that the preparations for the holidays, and the added workload courtesy of some frightening political decisions, and you have quite the busy schedule. Throughout it all, however, my running and the daily routine of it have kept me grounded and given me the opportunity to reflect on the day and process the multitude of sometimes very challenging conversations I’ve had over the course of the last few weeks.

We've been getting out for some more hikes lately. More time in nature is never a bad thing!

We’ve been getting out for some more hikes lately. More time in nature is never a bad thing!

Chasing42 Log: 20161127-20161211

Run: My streak has remained strong, albeit challenged at very points over the past two weeks due to my schedule. There have been numerous days as of late that have limited me to a few laps around the neighborhood, but they have been balanced with some energizing explorations of Newark, as well as some excellent trail miles. Last Saturday, I had the privilege of joining a friend (and several others) as he celebrated the 40th anniversary of his first marathon by running 33 miles along the Mason Dixon Trail. I’m in awe of his endurance and longevity, and can only hope that I’m still capable of knocking out a 50K in another 35 years!

Enjoying some trail time at Brandywine Creek State Park!

Enjoying some trail time at Brandywine Creek State Park!

Thought: As the events of this nation over the course of the last month have proven, community is very important. The work I do, educating others, challenging beliefs, providing new perspectives, and most importantly, listening, is made possible because of the community of colleagues, allies, and activists that I surround myself with, both virtually and in person. Thus, it’s no surprise to me why I value the running community for many of the same reasons. They provide an outlet for sharing thoughts, ideas, challenges, triumphs, and give me a voice. These two communities don’t overlap all that often, but they are equally important to my overall happiness, and essential to motivating me on a daily basis. I may not have found other communities in Delaware just yet, but having these folks in my life give me the strength and motivation to keep pushing myself, both as an educator and as an endurance athlete. That is the true essence of #chasing42 and I am forever grateful!

Daily Chase: Vol. 64

The last week has certainly been a bit more relaxing than the one before it, and it’s been nice to get back to focusing on each individual run as an opportunity to reflect on the day, as well as various other aspects of my life. I suppose it’s somewhat timely that I would think more intentionally about the different aspects of my life that I’m thankful for, even if the Thanksgiving holiday itself leaves me with mixed emotions due to the historical events it represents.

Our feast was one for the ages!

Our feast was one for the ages!

I’ve now been in my job for almost 6 months, and I feel more at home than ever. It’s a wonderful feeling to be doing work you are passionate about, with people who are equally passionate and push me to be better on a daily basis. The balance of variety and normalcy that I have on a regular basis has given my life some much-needed consistency and comfort, and I am happy to start each day at work as much as I am to end each day by lacing up my running shoes.

The epicurean continues to be a better partner than I could ask for, and I have been taking a lot of comfort in the fact that although our move out east left us both a bit anxious and uncertain, it was our teamwork that helped us come through it better and both in positions in our lives we are happy about and excited to look to the future.

Calm waters during a morning run- gorgeous!

Calm waters during a morning run- gorgeous!

Chasing 42 Log: 20161118- 20161126

Run: It was a week filled with excitement and accomplishments on the running front as I kept my streak alive. Most significantly, I hit the 1 year mark with my streak on the 21st. It’s hard to believe that I’ve run every day for the last year, and I have no intention of stopping now. The day prior, I also had the opportunity to visit with a wonderful friend from Ames, as she traveled to Philly to run the Philadelphia Marathon. It was a chilly, windy morning, but still a great race, and very well-organized. I’ll have more to come in a full report as well! Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we traveled to southern Maryland to spend a few days with family, which also meant several enjoyable and relaxing runs in unique and interesting places. It’s great having family so close, and I’m starting to learn my way around on foot, which is a sure sign that we are spending some significant time there.

Calm, silent, and bright...waiting for opportunities to emerge!

Calm, silent, and bright…waiting for opportunities to emerge!

Thought: Milestones have been on my mind as of late. Hitting the 1 year mark with my running streak was a new accomplishment for me, and I’ve really enjoyed the consistency that comes with streaking. In the lead up to the Philadelphia Marathon, I’ve been having a lot of training and preparation conversations with a co-worker who ran her first marathon. It was great being able to provide her with some guidance, as well as encourage and support her, and cheer her on during the race itself! It gave me pause to think back to my own first marathon and remember the energy and excitement, as well as the nervousness I felt, and how incredible it felt to put that medal around my neck. I may be running every day, and be able to rattle off longer runs as a part of my training, but I never want to forget the rush I felt after finishing my first marathon. That nervous energy is fuel for the soul, and you can never have enough of it, whether you’re running a 5K or a 100-miler. It’s all a part of #chasing42@!

Daily Chase: Vol. 63

Well, my friends, a lot has changed since my last Daily Chase. The world has been flipped upside down in a lot of ways, and making sense of it all over the past week and a half has been a challenge. I was, perhaps, naively confident that despite the fact that he shall not be named had made it this far in the race, there was no chance that the American people would elect him to the highest office in the land. After all, he had proven on countless occasions how woefully unprepared and unqualified for the position he was, and his racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and ableism-laced comments continued to seep from the blowhole he calls a mouth. Yet, millions upon millions of people were ready and able to overlook all of these shortcomings. Any single one of them should have been enough to tank his campaign, but they weren’t. He continued to survive comments everyone were sure would lead to scandal because for so many in this country, hate and bigotry just aren’t deal-breakers when electing a world leader. We are now 10 days into a new era and already beginning to see the makings of a train wreck of monumental proportions, and I’m still in shock. The fallout and legitimate fear on the part of many, has meant I’ve been working some long hours and having some difficult conversations. I’ve had some time to run and try to ignore the anxiety, but not nearly enough time to run the 100’s of miles that I need right now. Running away, of course, isn’t the answer, but I would happily keep running toward something better. My social justice efforts are now more important than ever, and I’ll continue to fight the hatred and bigotry, and educate others as best I can. Along the way, I’ll keep running, and probably engage you in a more meaningful conversation if I come across you out on the trails or pass you on the road!

The flowing Brandywine offered a welcome sanctuary this past weekend.

The flowing Brandywine offered a welcome sanctuary this past weekend.

Chasing42 Log: 20161109-20161117

Run: The streak is still alive, and I squeezed in some great weekend trail miles, but the weekday runs have not been nearly as long or as hard as I would have liked these past two weeks. I’ve worked some late nights, which has meant short runs, and the fact that it’s dark now by the time I leave work hasn’t helped. However, I’ll be running the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend with several friends, and I’m looking forward to the positive energy and great memories!

Thought: How. Did. We. Get. Here. Intellectually, I can look at history and mostly understand. Emotionally and spiritually, I’m at a loss.

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