Saturday, January 14, 2012

Strafford Nordic 10k Skate

Today I did my third day on skate skies and did a 10k skate race.  Needless to say the race was not my best effort.  I don't do many skate races, but prefer hard track skating when I do.  With the recent snowfall the track was pretty soft.   Being a pretty big guy I was pushing through often.

The venue was great.  This is the first year they are in operation.  I really hope they make it.  The terrain they are working with is really top notch.  There were some really great homemade bagels for sale after the race.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I, just like everyone else, malign New Year's resolutions, but also make a few myself.  Most of the time, resolutions are made with crazy dreams of unattainable plateaus in life.  My resolutions are a little more grounded in reality, concrete and are within my reach (hopefully).

Usually I write down my resolutions somewhere.  This year I decided to write them up like this.  It may be entertaining for others and help me to stick by them.

Character Traits:

-Prioritize and dedicate:
Life gives us so many avenues for our time and our energy.  Few of these are really worth the time it takes to engage in them.  My internet usage is a small example.  Because I am such an avid reader and have a broad interest base, I frequently spend way to much time poking around the internet.  Some of the material is worth reading, much of it isn't.  This goal encompasses: my time allocation, interpersonal behavior, and assumption of tasks.

- Patience:
While I deeply believe in introspection, I have found it increasingly hard to practice as I age.  Perhaps this is because my habits have ossified.  No matter the cause, I need to work on this.  Without effort on this front I alienate friends and become a burden to work with.

- Considerate:
For me, this is closely dovetailed to the preceding goal.  If I take time before acting I am usually considerate, but haste and frustration frequently gode me towards inconsiderate or gruff actions.  Both are nasty, and a a source of shame and regret.

Physical Goals:

-Regain fitness:
Yeah, Yeah, me too.  I have joined the countless millions with this resolution.  Since beginning law school I have spent way less time exercising and more time eating / stressing.  The results are predictable, that I have put on some weight and slowed down substantially.   This goal really requires me to meet the first of my character trait goals.

-Compete in a full off road tri schedule:
After stepping back from the sport for a couple of years, I realized how much I miss it.  The last couple of races I did on a whim and performed relatively poorly.   Regaining the type of form that saw me winning races is unlikely this year, but I would like to get an overall podium before the end of the year.

-Build up core strength and improve flexibility:
The impetus for this goal is to avoid running injuries and to mitigate back pain.

-Bike Racing:
Do enough of it to match how much I love it.  The last two years I haven't done enough.  I had been blaming my other commitments but in reality, I lacked the commitment to make it happen.

-Keep a workout log:
This year I am actually going to do it.

Mile Markers:

-Complete 25 titles of reading:
This year I fell short of my 20 book goal.  I blame several of the large works that I read for this failure.  I did manage to take down two of Tolstoy's epics and several of Dumas' as well.  So long as I can maintain my habit of pleasure reading every day and don't take on too many large works, I think I can make it.

-Break 19min in a 5k:
A few short years ago I was trying to break 16, but here I am.  Putting down solid goal on this front will probably help me stick to a regular running schedule.  Since leaving UVM XC I have pursued other forms of exercise and cut my weekly milage by about 80-90%.  At the time, my peak weekly milage would creep into the 70s.  Without a long injury free buildup, I doubt I could hit that sort of milage.  So, I have to scale back my milage.  As long as I am able to get 25-30 miles a week, I hope I can hit that time by this summer.

-Complete Marcel Proust's works:
So much for my first goal of this section.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A trip to Wheelock

I just got back from my friend's hunting camp up in the NEK.  Since I was at MMU a group of our friends has been going up for an annual Christmas Bowl on either side of the holiday.  The last couple of years we have all been to busy or too far away to make it happen.   This year a friend of our who has been living in China was going to be back for the holiday and suggested we revive the Christmas Bowl. While we couldn't get all of our high school and sundry friends together, we got a pretty good crew together for four days in camp.

The camp itself is pretty awesome.  Located miles from the closest town road, over rough terrain, it is practically a world unto itself.  There is no electricity and no running water.  A hand pump brings in water from a well, propane lamps provide light and an ancient wood fired stove is the cooking implement.  Although the camp is pretty plush by hunting camp standards, it is a long way remove from our normal modes of life.  The added tasks to cook meals, heat the building and even to wash your hands are reminders or a different time.  The perspective I get from a visit is always great.

Traditionally, the main event is a game of tackle snow football.  This year the game was out of the question.  There was no more than an inch of snow on the frozen solid ground.  When we were younger we probably would have just played and gotten the snot kicked out of us.  Fortunately, some things have gotten better, or at least more reasonable with age.

We did get in a lot of solid hunting.  Snowshoe hares and grouse are in season.  We didn't see much action on the latter durring the trip, but we had some pretty good hare hunting.  Most of the time we were man-dogging to get action.  This entails working your way through dense cover while still trying to get a shot at a hare that may pop out.  One of the days we were treated to a pack of really great rabbit dogs.   Our former principal and a couple of other hunters met up with us and worked through a couple of thickets.  

This was the first time that I had hunted rabbits with good dogs.  It totally changed how we hunted.  Instead of hours of forced marches through thick cover, we were able to set up good shooting spots and let the dogs run the rabbits back to us.  I did enjoy the additional shooting that we ended up doing, but am still unsure how I feel about the dogs.

Most of our nights there we played games of chance or the Settlers of Catan.  Both of these provided some great opportunity for competition and carousing.

Sadly, we never go to the primitive biathlon we have occasionally done.

All in all the trip was a much needed break from my regular pattern of life and