August 28, 2008

Thursday, August 28

What would a journey be without a few bumps in the road? Early last week when I was knocking out some miles the IT band flared it's ugly head, again. If I were to try and describe the situation "disappointment" would be sugar coating it. Helpless, mad, and pouty would be much more appropriate. And if you asked the right person, you will find I replaced Owen as the baby of the family.

After figuring I was forced to take some time off I went up and became a month member of the Bwick rec. I finished the rest of last week taking a rest and started in this week on the bike. In this situation I know riding serves a purpose, but quite honestly I hate it. My plan was to take 2-3 weeks riding the bike and hitting the pool in hopes the time off would heal the band. Plans have changed however.

From a referral of another runner I visited a sports doc and according to him I can run through this. In a nut shell, the solution to the problem is working hard to break up the scar tissue that has formed to allow it to heal correctly. Doc did some major work on the IT band and turned me loose over the weekend to see how it does. From his past experiences (I trust him, the man has done 3 IronMan) he thought 1-2 more visits and I should be good to go and back to normal. Let's hope so. I'm right on the heels of Elk and C-bus. First test tomorrow 4am.

Hunt wise I feel I'm right on track. The pack is complete. It's been packed and re-packed and finished weight settles in right at 40lbs. Arrows are fletched, spun, and are ready for launch. To this point I feel I have done pretty much everything I can to prepare. The next 21 days will be spent rolling on miles and thinking over every last detail. Bugling Elk and fresh mountain air are just over the horizon...........

August 18, 2008

Monday, August 18

32 days and counting.........

Last week I was able to get back to my routine. It felt great to walk out under the cover of darkness into the chill of the morning. Reminds me of fall. To me, there's nothing like getting up early and hitting the pavement before the sun rises. For some reason it's in my blood. I look forward to every part of getting up at 4am to start the day. Call me crazy, I absolutely love it.

With knee healed up it was back to the grind, Monday off (OP), Tuesday - 6.5, Wednesday - 7.2, Thursday off (OP), Friday - 7.2, Saturday - 8, Sunday - 11. This gets me 39 for the week, not bad for a first week back. A decent base to start building on for the Columbus Marathon, October 19. C-bus is for all the marbles, it's where I hope to pump out a 3:10. The magic number for me to make the Boston qualifier.

Sunday I ventured back to the hills and mud of the Buckeye trail. Ever since the 50K I have been waiting to head back. The Buckeye was going to be the true test for the knee. 11 miles of ups and downs and it held up great. What a relief. Today is rest, so tomorrow starts a new week of training.

Prep for the hunt continues. Yesterday I put everything together in the pack and it came out at 42 lbs. Needless to say, a little heavy. The next step is cut some items and really scale it back. For this run I packed my "everything" list. Next, in hopes to lighten the load I'm packing my "necessity" list.

Over 11lbs of that 42 is food. In effort to save every ounce, I did a lot of research to find the best combination of energy/weight, or calories/ounce. Each item on the list (sample attached) made the cut because it contained the highest calorie per ounce ratio. It had to pack the good stuff and at the right weight to ride in the pack. I'm sure somewhere out there is a better list. If you know of one or have a thought I'd like to hear it.

So with Monday brings a new week and a set of new goals. There are miles to conquer and arrows to shoot. Elk camp is right around the corner. 32 days and counting to be exact........

August 7, 2008

Saturday, August 9

Yesterday was a great day. Last night I managed to get in 5 miles with no pain in the knee. I think the time off (total of 3 weeks) has done it. Ok, sort of 3 weeks. Last week I was out of town and had access to a great workout facility. Everything I read about ITS mentioned that cross training was fine, so I took advantage of the stationary bike and rode hard. I was the Lance Armstrong of stationary biking for a little over 3 days. I coupled the bike with a mile or two on the treadmill, stretching, ice, and yesterday told me it might have worked.

Everything is nearing final stages in preparation for the hunt. Fletching is almost done, next step is to sharpen and spin the Montecs. Once done, I'll shoot each one, check flight, and pick which one gets the honor of being first out of the gate. Food and equipment is almost entirely put together. I need to start washing, packing, and separating equipment into the 4500. With a little over 41 days left everything is getting close.

Over the last couple of weeks since I have started Bowhunt Quest, I have been asked about "failure is not an option." So let me do my best to explain. About 4 years ago, I was making some banzai trips to Southern Ohio to hunt whitetails. I would wake up at 1am, make the 2 1/2 hour drive, be in the stand before before first light, hunt all day, and then make the 2 1/2 hour drive back home. That made for some long days, but I was determined. During those long days, I thought a lot about the efforts I was putting in, only to come home empty handed. I realized that with bowhunting, it doesn't matter how hard you work, 9 out 10 times you're probably not going to close the deal. I realized that in order to be successful, "quit" cannot be part of my vocabulary. Simply put, "failure is not an option" was my only option. It's what I had to live by, it had to define me.

After this thought I remember going to work and printing off different sized failure quotes to find the one that fit perfectly on my bow limb. I wanted it there so each time I thought about quiting that quote was right in front of me. Each year when the new Pearson arrives, I take it off the old bow limb and tape it on the new one. That quote has become as important to me as the sight on my bow.

Each year that I travel west only to come home empty handed has been, in my eyes, anything but a failure. Sure I would have much rather been riding home with a punched tag and a set of 6X6 antlers sticking out of the back of the truck, however each time I left, I left knowing I gave 110% of everything I had. Everything I had, I left on the mountains. With the ending of one season comes the start of another. And over the past year I have worked harder than I ever have before. In 365 days, I have covered a little over 1750 miles all in effort to tag my first Elk. Each day when I roll out of bed at 4am to pound out 10 miles before work, I keep telling myself, if I put in enough hard work, its going to happen. So if this year is not my year and I come home empty handed, do I consider it a failure? Absolutely not. If this quest has taught me anything at all, it has taught me that there is much more to this journey than just tagging an Elk. I will come home, tell myself"failure is not an option" and press on.

August 1, 2008


Waiting. I hate waiting. It seems like a total waste of time and I don't think that my personality goes together well with it. The last week and a half I have been waiting for my iliotibial band to heal before I can get back out there and start hitting it again. It's killing me. During the 50K, I had some major pain in my left knee which I have now found out is one of the top 5 most common runner injuries called "iliotibial band syndrome". Basically from what I have learned, the iliotibial band connects the hip to the lower leg and when it gets either tweaked or over trained it hurts. The cure? Rest, ice, and an a script from the doc for inflammation. The part that is killing me is rest. With only 49 days left to departure, all I can think about is training and at the moment it has to wait. There's that word again.......

In my quest to train for the hunt I managed to find the race details on the Ptauny 50K in Pennsylvania on September 6. If the little situation I'm dealing with allows I'm going to get that in. Due to the timing and distance, it would be a total "Banzai" run (if you don't know what "Banzai" means, then I would suggest you pick up Cameron Hanes book, "Backcountry Bowhuting"), more to come if the leg allows. Anyway, September 6 is two weeks before we leave and it would be one last chance to get the legs and mind ready, the timing is perfect. We'll see how it plays out.

With the forced time off I have been spending more time scouring gear and getting ready. I started to fletch up the Carbon Express. Last year I switched to the NAP 2" Quickspins and they worked awesome. Loved them, busting dots out to 70. Gear is almost completely put together with the exception of a few last food items. I spoke to Pup the other day and his pack is together, came out at around 42 lbs. Wow. I don't know what mine is yet, but I sure hope it's lighter than 42 lbs. All the more reason to go out and pound more pavement.

So for now, I'm stretching and doing my exercises to help the healing process, let's hope it works. I have no time to waste.