Saturday, March 24, 2007

Kennesaw. Yet Again.

*yawn* I am tired of looking at Kennesaw Mountain and the surrounding trails. We did the trail to Burnt Hickory and continued until it meets the east trail as you head out to Kolb Farm. ~7 miles of moderately paced hiking on the warmest day of the year.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Today a friend of mine referred to me as part of the "hoparazzi" of Atlanta. That was a bit... different. Perhaps it has to do with one of my other domains,

Monday, March 19, 2007

Hiking the AT: Unicoi Gap to (almost) Tray Gap

Yesterday I drove to Unicoi State Park, just north of Helen, GA, for a hike on the Appalachian Trail (AT) from Unicoi Gap toward Tray Mountain.

That section of the AT doesn't go through the part of the park we were in. Oops.

A quick carpool 10 miles up the road we found the trail at Unicoi Gap. Up the trail we head. Its 6.2 miles (one way) to Tray Mountain, but we were not planning on going the entire distance. We broke up the team into 2 groups, those who wanted to hike 3 hours and those wanting to hike 4.5 hours. Each team left the same time and was instructed to turn around after half of their time had elapsed (i.e. 1.5 hours out).

I was sweeping — in the back of the pack to make sure everyone was OK — for the longer group, so I started up the trail at the back of the pack with Sandy and her dog Eva. The first climb was from Unicoi Gap to Rocky Mountain, an elevation change of over 1000' in 1.3 miles. This was an unrelenting climb all the way to the top! After stopping and grabbing some pictures I headed down again and met up with the 3 and 4.5 hour groups at Indian Grave Gap where everyone was having a bite to eat. The 4.5 hour group headed off about 10 minutes ahead of me, giving me some great time alone on the trail. It was a beautiful, but cold, day and I was enjoying a little solitary hiking.

And then it happened. Sandy had passed all the members on the shorter hike and decided she better catch up to the rest of us. I have no idea how she did it, but she ran right up behind me. I picked up the pace and we hiked out to just before the trail climbs to Tray Gap. The group had assembled there to take in the view of Tray Mountain and the surrounding area from a beautiful rock outcropping.
After some pictures, we turned back to Indian Grave Gap and started back up to the top of Rocky Mountain...

The legs were willing, the lungs were not. It was a long, hard hike for me and another hiker ,who was also having trouble breathing, as we came up to the ridge a few minutes behind the rest of the pack. Thankfully its downhill all the way back to the cars, I don't think I could have taken on another long, steep trail! By now the ice on the trail had melted, making the descent muddy, so I was happy to get back to the trail head, back to my car and out of my hiking boots.

Overall we hiked ~8.4 miles in a little more than 4 hours.

One question remains: Can someone explain how ice forms like this? I swear it looks like fiberglass fibers strewn on the ground.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

So Hard

Get your mind out of the gutter.
Steph and I watched "Shut Up and Sing", a documentary about the Dixie Chicks, last night. Now I've been listening to their latest album, Taking the Long Way, with a new perspective. Particularly the song So Hard...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The drinks got better...

After leaving the Heartland Brewery I met up with Chris Prosise, Will Chan — two of the Foundstone founders — and Eric Heitzman, an old coworker for dinner at OG in the East Village. We had a great dinner and then headed down the road to Burp Castle for some beers. Going to places like OG and Burp Castle remind me why I love NYC. Hearing what my coworkers pay for rent reminds me why I will never, ever live there.

It was great seeing some of the old Foundstone gang again. I miss these guys, their intellectual curiosity and just hanging out with them. Foundstone has changed as the old guard has slowly left and new folks come on board. Its not bad... its just different.

Off to waste 3 hours at Newark International Airport while I wait for my flight...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sitting in Heartland Brewery in NYC

My hotel is a total dead zone for cell or EV-DO coverage, so I had to come to the Heartland Brewery instead. Too bad their beer is pretty unremarkable...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Kennesaw Mountain Again...

Yes, back at Kennesaw this week. We did the same hike as I did last Sunday, so nothing exciting to report other than my knees which are killing me this week. Time to go see the chiropractor!

Drink for Discovery II is officially ON! The date is set for June 9, 2007, 3:00 PM at 5 Seasons Brewing in Sandy Springs. Thank you so much to my friends at the 5 who are helping support LLS and my Hike for Discovery. Time to start working on the brewers to collect kegs for the big day!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Kennesaw Mountain Hike

Yesterday was the LLS All Sport training session and pig-out fest at Piedmont Park. I didn't get in a good workout, nor did I work out as much as I should have this week, so I went to Kennesaw this morning for the hike to Burnt Hickory (in-and-out, just over 5 miles). Mike, a HFD mentor, and Traci came along for the hike. Although cold this morning, it was a nice hike under clear blue skies with a good view of Atlanta as the day progressed.

Last year I used Gatorade, Clif Bars & shots and Lara Bars when I was training for energy and electrolytes, but I was aware that I was consuming a lot of refined sugar which was giving me a sugar high followed by a distinct low. Coming back up Little Kennesaw from Burnt Hickory is where I noticed this most, I was usually dragging ass half-way up the hill. On a friend's recommendation, I bought some products from Hammer Nutrition for training since they don't contain refined sugars that will give me a sugar high. I ordered some HEED (energy/electrolyte drink) along with a mix-pack of their energy gels to try and find a flavor I like.

Customer service at Hammer Nutrition was amazing, they called me the day following my order to see if I had any questions on their products, how to use them and other products they offer. My shipment had just been packed and they added in some extra samples for me to try, including the Hammer Bar. I received everything on Saturday and read all of the literature that was sent along with my order.

Today I tried the products out on the hike. I used the HEED in a Nalgene bottle to supplement my hydration bladder filled with water and ate the Hammer Bar and a Espresso flavored Hammer Gel. I have to make sure that I can stomach them — some of these things taste like ass! — and that they don't give me any trouble with digestion. So far, so good!

No energy spikes or lows, everything tasted OK and I felt like I had more consistent energy through the entire hike. [Edit: I had not done this hike this season, I may just be in better shape...] I'll definitely have to use their products more over the next few weeks to see how they fare, but the Gatorade is definitely off my training schedule and I'll probably stop bringing Clif Bars or Lara Bars on hikes in the future.