Saturday, November 7, 2009


so here are some pictures of 3 pairs of new balance 152s.
they have 100, 1000, and 2000 miles on them.
notice the hole underneath the big toe in the most worn pair.
of course, i have some insoles in there to run in those ones, although they are now relegated to slow runs of less than 3 miles.

i started wearing racing flats because it is hot in georgia in the summertime, and my old shoes (and socks) held the heat in really well. i got to hating hot feet, and i found some light weight shoes on the clearance rack....tried them out, and found that the light shoes also have very breathable, light weight uppers. perfect for shedding heat. i also started wearing my shoes a half size too big, so that there was more room for air to circulate inside the shoe. along the same vein i stopped wearing socks. now i am so used to them that i wear them the same year round.

i wear these shoes with just the included insoles for about the first 250-400 miles, then the EVA is sufficiently compacted, and the upper stretched enough, that i put in spenco insoles. usually a 1/8" thick insole.....then after 800-1000 miles the shoes are compacted even more, and i switch to a 1/4" pair of insoles.
i am on the original 1/4" insoles still, these things last forever....probably have 3000+ miles on that single pair of 1/4" insoles.

the only thing these shoes aren't great for is trails with sharp rocks, at least when they are really worn. that being said, i raced mountain mist in them this year, and since i was running hard and concentrating on the trail, they were ok.
i would not want to run a trail race longer than 50 miles in then, because after 50 miles i would rather have more padding on the feet than light, breathable shoes. more padding so that when i am tired i don't have to concentrate so much on foot placement.
on roads i wore them for the mother road 100 (at least the last 80 miles). and i wore a previous version (the NB RC 550's) for more than 200 miles of the vol state 500km a couple years ago.

i've still got a couple pairs of these stored under the bed, so it'll be 2011 before i really need more shoes, especially is these MT100's work out well for some trail running.

initial thoughts on the MT100:
that rock plate decreases the flexibilty of the shoe significantly.
i use a razor to slice the shoe in several places, and regain that flexibilty.
i've done this to many shoes in the past, and it doesn't cause them to split like one might think.
after a few more runs in the MT's i'll post again on that.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


it feels like fall is close, there have been a couple cool days and nights.

the goal as it stands is to prove that starting the business and running alot at the same time is possible.

the business is coming along at mach 4, one big job completed a couple weeks ago, and 2 more in process......

the running is solid but not stellar, 50 mile weeks are doable but 65-70 seems out there.

this fall/winter are available for big games, should i be ready and equipped for them....
run across north georgia,
NC to springer speed,
100 miles on the track,

thus far the regular 9-12 mile trail runs at cochran shoals and the 15.4 mile home loop in athens are the places for work to be done, just need to get from 4-5 days/week to 5-6 days/week.
and need to be ok heading out for long ones on the weekends.....not easy, but fun.

most amazing: level of productivity/effectiveness now compared to any time in the is higher, period.


Sunday, March 29, 2009


busy as heck, man.
1. running the lathe, laser and EDM for tech.
2. busting out numerous hours for
(even brought scott down for a little paycheck)
3. some time prototyping pedals,
4. thinking about a bicycle horn that rivals a car horn and mounts inside the handlebar (rechargeable Li-ion, easy swap-out).
5. special wrenches for Trek dropouts.
6. and maybe some barkley preparations....

prototype sweet pedal. this one is light!
fun stuff.
need to make fixtures for manufacturing 4 or 8 at a time....

mom's flower, nicely done!

barkley update, t-minus 5 days....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

tree frog and caesars head

ran byron's idea of the caesars head double marathon yesterday.
furman to jones gap state park, up to caesars head state park, then back down to furman.
48-50 miles in 8:30 or so. quite a rainy day. fun stuff, and churned out the last 15 or so at 7:30-8:00min/mi pace. felt good and the legs are A1 today. nice confidence boost, and really enjoyed the time out there.

side note: saw my first tree frog at the lake house tonight.
plenty of other wildlife all the time....king snakes, black racers, squirrels, deer, myriad birds, lizards, etc, but hadn't seen a tree frog...of course, technically this is a "gutter frog" since that's where i spotted him/her....

Monday, March 9, 2009

walking in the woods

friday evening i left atlanta and stopped at the walmart in dawsonville.
i got
a pound of roasted salted almonds
10oz beef jerky
16 imitation nutrigrain bars
12 hershey bars (with almonds)
a pound of skittles
some 55 gallons trash bags
a bic lighter
some AA batteries

i went back to the parking lot and divvied each the food into bags. 4 bags of each.
i stuffed my sleeping bag, pad, rain gear, and socks into my day pack, along with 3/4 of the food.
the fanny pack got 2 water bottles, 1/4 of the food, and my notepad, pen, chapstick, and lighter.

i drove to amicalola falls state park.
the plan was to hike to NC and back. 170 miles round trip. 4 days.

i slept in the van, and awoke to my alarm at 5:45. a few minutes more of sleep, then final preparations and water bottle filling at the ranger station.
6:14am and i'm off for the 8.5 mile climb to springer.
only the first 20 minutes require the headlamp.
arriving at springer mountain at 8:55am i find that there is now a "caretaker," Fred, who camps there, 10 days on, 4 days off. a talkative dude who hastens to strike up a conversation in the dense fog and mist.
i tell him that in 10-15 times being on top of springer i've only seen the view twice.
he details his schedule and inquires about my plans. i'm just out for 4 days, i say, but i'll be back.

over the next several miles i intersect the benton mackaye trail, and i contemplate this may's adventure ( )
i manage to stay above 3mph even through the roller coaster of hightower gap, horse gap, cooper gap and another unnamed one.
these are the steepest most unforgiving on the AT in GA. they also coincide with a longish stretch without water...i forgot.
nearing gooch gap i scoop some water from a spring, and guzzle the goodness.

at 3:04pm i pop out at woody gap. my pace is strong, and without any stops i've managed to cover 28.5 miles in under 9 hours. considerably above 3mph, even with the 20 lbs on my back. i am pleased.
soon the back of my knee starts to talk to me. i ask him to quiet down and forge ahead. i sit for 1 minute at preacher rock. the view is too nice to pass without a pause. even in just 60 seconds the tendon in the knee tightens. i ease it out and work towards blood mountain. throughout the day i pass many who are just starting their personal journey of a THRU HIKE. just before jarrard gap i pass a couple with an aussie accent who are working hard. they ask me about the distance to a gap i've never heard of....i tell them there is a good camping spot less than a mile ahead and wish them luck. it interests me to see the different attitudes and style in these thru hikers every year.
i always judge them in my mind, "yep, she'll make it..." or, "no, not him." who knows if i am ever right?

at the base of blood mountain i get the almost obligatory question from a guy with a pack.
if anyone wonders what sport has sold itself best as the toughest, let there be no doubt. whenever i am moving well on the trail or roads, and someone gets personal and asks how far i am going, the most common follow up question is......"wow, so are you a TRIATHLETE?"
i chuckle and answer no, no, just a runner, jogger, hiker, as the case may be.

throughout the day i eat 3 nutrigrains, 3 hersheys, a handful of skittles, almonds, and jerky. probably 2000 calories. way less than i usually eat when i'm sedentary, but this hikng stuff keeps me busy. the hours fly by and i feel like i've only just begun to walk.

i am pleased to arrive at the summit of the second highest mountain georgia (and 38 miles) only a few minutes before sundown. i turn on my cell phone and check in with my family. my knee is hurting, but i don't mention it. they worry enough already. dad has some suggestions on training for the barkley, and is keenly interested in how the hike is going. i tell him i'll continue into the night and see how things go.

down the mountain towards neels gap the sun disapears and the nearly full moon emerges. significant pain, i bring out the phone again and voice my concern to dad's ears. he says that if it doesn't improve i shouldn't hesitate to call him for a ride tomorrow. i limp a little pathetically down to the road crossing.

the walisi-yi center at neels gap is an outfitters that doubles as a party scene for the month of march. there are at least 100 thru-hikers around, and a band has come up the mountain to play some cover songs for the aspiring adventurers. I contemplate marching on into the night, towards my goal of 42.5 miles per day, but i can't find the reason. i need to push myself, but a serious injury from too much pushing is not justified this close to the main event. i stop at 40, then lay out my pad and sleeping bag, and crawl in. i doze for several hours while the band and revelers use the night to their advantage. around midnight i actually fall asleep. the sky is clear and the moon bright. i awake and roll over every 45 minutes or so, when the hip gets sore.

i assume i will wake up early but am surprised when i wake up to real daylight. the clocks moved forward while i dreamt, but it's already 8am!
i quickly pack and look up trail and down.
with my knee talking so loudly i am hesitant to continue. surely i won't be able to maintain the pace, and i have to be back tuesday evening no matter what. i decide to turn around. better safe than sorry with the knee in this shape.

i go around blood mountain on the freeman trail, which is heinously rocky, and no quicker a route than the AT over the mountain. its endearing quality the the AT lacks here is plentiful rivulets of water. i drink and hydrate.

at bird gap i pass the campers who recognize me from the evening before. they have a happy camp. soon thereafter a runner passes me heading the opposite direction, i think to ask him what "endurance run" name is printed on his t-shirt, but he is gone before i muster the words.

my knee talks louder and louder, and my enthusiasm wanes. i think about hitch-hiking from woody gap back to amicalola, but know that that in itself would take all day, i'd have to find a ride to dahlonega, then to dawsonville, then to mean feat. i figure i'll just go 20 today and then 20 tomorrow and be back to the van. i don't like to sit down when i'm hiking...relentless forward motion is the name of the game, but i am tired and wimpy. i sit on a rock for a minute. along comes a woman runner, going my way. she spritely jumps over me and drops down the hill. i get up and think about all the times i have flown by this point, enjoying speed. i trudge on. a while later, as i cross a creek, i look back and see our resident internet fiend, and ultrarunner/poster extraordinaire, christian. he says, "there you are!" and runs on by.

i contemplate asking him for a ride to dahlonega, but think i should tough this out. I use him as a carrot and pick up my pace on this uphill, not losing much ground...but i am working for it. soon he calls back, "hey carl, if your knee is hurt, do you want a ride?"
"that's really enticing, i wish you hadn't asked," i reply. then, "let me think about it, i'll let you know in 3 miles when we're back at the road crossing."

the trail flattens out and his run spanks my walk. i know i can keep going, but my pace is slow, and i don't look forward to hiking until 2am to get back on a hurt knee, or stopping short and just doing 20 today...i decide that since christian lives in atlanta i can just give him my pack (with my overnight gear) and finish the hike with only my fanny pack.
this has several strong points:
1) i will finish 40 miles today, because without my gear i must make it all the way to the van.
2) i lose 12+ lbs of gear, decreasing the strain on my tendon
3) my legs still get the benefit of 80 miles in two days, with 20,000+' of gain and loss.
when i arrive at the road christian introduces me to devon and victor, the other two runners, and tells me, "sure," he can hold onto my bag. it turns out that he works about a mile from my friend's apartment in atlanta, so retrieving it later this week shouldn't be a problem.

ok, life is better. now instead of 40 miles, i have 29 to go. and no heavy pack. and the weather is fine. life is good. enjoy it and soak in the training benefit!

cruising south from woody gap i collect some water and spend 30 seconds wiping the cold wet all over my head and neck. ah, that feels good on this hot spring? afternoon.
still, 29 miles is 29 miles, and it's already noon. after gooch gap i remove my shoes and soak my knee in a cold creek. it is feeling better without the extra weight on it. two college students hike past, and one inquires after my new balance 152's. he says he wore the same shoes in his first marathon recently, but he is incredulous that i wear them on the trails. i tell him yes, they are magnificent trail shoes, and i have run 100 miles in them. he says he'll do his first ultra at the peachtree city 8 hour in may. i commend him on his well roundedness, since here he is out on the trails, preparing for an 8 hour race on a track!

now i return to the roller coaster of cooper, horse, hightower, and unnamed gaps. man these are tough! the sun hits my neck and i think about applying the tiny sunscreen tube i brought....but i procrasinate and end up never doing it (today my redneck proves it). i begin to tire, but arriving at three forks i can almost smell the barn. 12.5 miles to go and it is cooling off. i remember to eat and drink, but really i am burning mostly fat at this pace. my 200 lb frame surely is burning at least 6000 calories/day out here, and i'm only taking in 2000.

i reach springer mountain a few minutes before sunset. and there is a hopeful thru hiker sitting there alone with the beautiful scenery. I inquire about his plans, and he tells me he plans to hike both the AT and PCT this year. the first half of the AT now, then out west to do the whole PCT with his girlfriend, and then back to finish the AT. I take a picture for him with the sunset and the terminus plaque, and wish him the best of luck. what an adventure he is setting out on!

i pass a couple more hikers making their way to the springer mountain shelter, and then the sun sets and i am alone on the trail. i keep the headlamp in the fanny pack for an hour, enjoying the night vision. i pick up my pace, realizing i have a shot at finishing this return trip in the same time the outward bound trip took. i take off my shirt and glide through the woods in the slightly cool night breeze. it is freakin great! green eyes are startled by me 40 feet ahead, and the fox or bobcat scurries off.

the last 2 miles are more steeply downhill and a little more technical, so i give in and turn on the headlamp around 9pm. i won't quite do the return in the 13:01 it took me to go out.
my feet hurt for the last few miles, but aside from that i wouldn't mind going on. i still limp slightly from the knee tendon, but long ago stopped thinking about it. finally i am on the gravel road down the mountain. i turn on my cell phone (while i am up high and have coverage) to tell my parents i am safe.

at 9:28pm i walk up to the ranger station and put a dollar bill in the coke machine. although the sign says the drinks are sixty cents....i get a mr. pibb and 70 cents in return!
i walk over to the car and say, "thank you," to no one in particular.

what a weekend, how fun to walk!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


foot traffic:
barkley - t-minus one month!
training to include 7 day 230 mile hike next week. intense.
(fueled by 2 lbs each of: peanuts, raisins, granola, beef jerky, skittles, and hershey's chocolate)
(i am gonna be dieing for a freakin hamburger!)

machine/inventor shop:
carbon fiber brake levers - lighter than campy, and for small hands. almost done.
carbon fiber trekking poles - under 4 oz. each, adjustable from 30"-50". still prototyping.
titanium/carbon fiber pedals - the idea has merit, gotta prototype. exciting.

actually getting paid for:
laser assisted machining research - prove that if you are cutting really hard metals then you can save money by hitting them with a laser just before they're cut...softening them and allowing them to be cut faster and with cheaper tooling.

fun busy times in laniak world.
deboomp, woman!
anybody know benial haley?

Friday, February 13, 2009


well here's what the laniak boys are up to, sans jobs, plus passion.

todd's distributor, etc, for the mustang

scott throwing down

carbon fiber project prototypes

carbon fiber project

under the water at watson mill....feb 12, 2009

scott checks out the barkley chaps.

Monday, January 12, 2009

not stopping at the fun run

lest i attempt to lose focus.

i need to remind myself that last year i was focused on this "failure" for 5+ months beforehand.

let's get on the training and mental prep!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

new year

the year started with a couple bicycle rides, one with ashley in greenville, on a cold clear day, and one in athens, in nasty wet cold - if not for frozen toes, this one would have been extra enjoyable too...

late friday night i got the urge to visit the AT. my old standby weekend run during college was from Woody Gap to Neels Gap and back, a 22.6 mile round trip that offered two trips over Blood Mountain, Georgia's second highest peak.

sitting in my room at 11pm, i decided i might want to do this run tomorrow, so i pulled out my ipod, only to find that this was my old ipod that had been fried a year or two ago in the rain. I'd held on to it, hoping it might dry out and be ok, but after a few months i gave up hope. well holy craziness, i plugged it in and it worked! even more craziness, the songs on there were the ones i used to listen to on this section of the AT, and i've since lost the CD's. I knew i was meant to head back north of dahlonega and run.

in the morning, i stopped for some breakfast and grabbed 3 snickers bars at a gas station. I started the run with an empty water bottle and some iodine tablets. the fog and mist were dense. views from big cedar mountain were limited to the 50 foot sight distance into the fog. the upside to this was that there was no excuse to slow down.

i believe the fastest i've run this route is 4:05, and since i've been running less with a heel injury for the past month, i was really just hoping to feel ok and maybe run around 4:30. I took off down big cedar and a couple miles later filled up my water bottle from a spring. i enjoyed remembering all the landmarks on the run. remembering which slight hills were usually runnable and which ones were too steep or tough to be worth powering through. heading up blood mountain the first time i passed a few hikers, feeling for them with their heavy packs. i figure some of them must switch to trail running after seeing us zoom by?

at the top the fog was still all encompassing, and several groups of hikers were chilling out (literally) on the rocks. i can remember the first time nick and i attempted to hike the GA section of the AT alone (when we were 14) and spent a FROZEN WINDY HELLACIOUS night in the stone cabin at the top of Blood Mountain.

Heading down towards neels gap i started to pass all the day hikers who use neels gap as the trailhead for a hike up and down blood mountain. a few times i was slowed for large groups, including one boy scout or church group that must have had 30 people. i guess they didn't know that groups in wilderness areas are recommended to be 10 or less!? oh well. the kids were hilarious, you had the annoying one who kept repeating "i am robert LOJA" in a crazy voice, and you had the annoyable one who was yelling at the other one to "shut up!" it was straight up bret barkelew versus glenn matthews from my boy scouting days. i got a great chuckle out of them. i have no doubt the annoyable one burst in to tears later in the hike.

this downhill, on the east side of blood mountain was easily the highlight of the speed session from the day. I was flying down the slick muddy and rocky trail, thoroughly enjoying the concentration and speed. man i love trails like this! it helped that i had some sweet techno/dance music playing in the background.

when i reached neels gap i ate a snickers and finished off my first water bottle, i went inside the walisi-yi center and tried to get some water, but the sinks were turned off for the winter. oh well, i would just have to wait. there were a bunch of hikers and cyclists resting in the parking lot, so i turned around and left them to do the resting....

i chugged up the initial climb to flat rock gap, and then really turned uphill again. I smoked this uphill section for quite a while. i repassed the scout/church group, and heard one kid telling the other that it's illegal in new york city, on tuesday's to eat a chocolate ice cream cone, and that in florida it's illegal to leave your pet crocodile tied to a fire hydrant, but alligators are ok. cracked me up again.

i sped up the mountain, running as much as possible. i passed the spot on the granite where i once happened across a rattle snake on a cool overcast day. i remember thinking he must be dead, because he wasn't moving when i got close, but when i touched his tail he got upset. it was such a cool day that i knew he didn't have much motion in him.

over the top again, and started cruising down the other side. passing even more hikers and enjoying the techinical downhill again. when i finally got to the base, i ate another snickers, filled up my water bottle again (long overdue) and decided to wait for a specific gap before i drank it, early enough that i would keep from getting really dehydrated, but late enough that it would give the iodine time to disinfect the water. i held it together for 15-20 minutes, and then took a chug. I was still feeling good, and hoping to keep to the sub 4:30 plan. of course i don't look at my watch, but i was just hopeful.

another few miles and i passed a father/son out hiking, they asked how far i was going, so i told them 22 miles and wished them a happy day in the fog.

getting the water back in me i was feeling a little better and new i could keep this pace to the end. i refilled my bottle one more time at the spring about 4 miles from the end, and ate the last snickers bar. up over big cedar mountain again, i was ready for the speed descent.

i used to seriously rip up this descent to woody gap. i have no doubt that i've put in a 5 minute mile on this rough section of trail. i absolutely love the feeling that i am simultaneously moving my legs as fast as i am capable, and finding the series of foot placements that's going to allow me to stay upright.

south side of big cedar mountain, north side of blood mountain, south side of blue mountain, panther creek boulder field, sidewinder trail in boise....these are the spots of pure, anadulterated speed and joy.

as i cruised into the trailhead, i checked my watch and found a total time of 4:08. this was very pleasing, especially since the lap times showed that i ran to neels gap in 2:01, stopped for 4 minutes, and then ran back in 2:03.

i stopped by the zaxby's in dahlonega (a tradition for me, and for james and shamus and donald, who have all been up for AT running at times in the past) and then cruised on back to athens, well satisfied with my day in the woods.

rekindling old flames in the woods and on the trails. life is good. might have to go up there next week and bring it sub 4 style? certainly doable.