Race Report: 2008 Promise Land 50K

At the finish of the Promise Land 50K

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Promise Land finish

Bill Potts, David Horton, and Sophie Speidel at the finish of the Promise Land 50K.

David Horton’s Promise Land 50K is a rite of Spring for many ultrarunners on the East Coast. This beautiful course climbs up and over the Appalachian Mountains from the East, crosses into the Shenandoah Valley, and then returns up and over back to the start. In typical Horton fashion, nothing is easy. The run crosses the Blue Ridge at Apple Orchard Mountain (4,225 feet), the tallest mountain in central Virginia (headed South to North, this point is also the last time the Appalachian Trail rises above 4,200 feet until New England).

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Race Report: 2008 Terrapin Mountain Marathon

Finish of the Terrapin Mountain Marathon

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Finish of the Terrapin Mountain Marathon

The scene at the finish of the Terrapin Mountain Marathon. That’s David Horton getting friendly with a female finisher. Terrapin Mountain looms in the distance.

“You’re going to like this one a lot more than the last one.” That’s what David Horton told me at Saturday morning’s check-in of the Terrapin Mountain Marathon, “the last one” referring to his Holiday Lake 50K. While this wasn’t saying much, Horton was right — I really did like this one.

This was the inaugural year of the Terrapin Mountain Marathon, and the first time in nearly a decade that the half marathon was run. Since the race is relatively unknown, I’ll first describe the course and then describe how my race went.

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Heart Rate During Training

In a previous article I discussed how my heart rate varies during ultramarathons, which was in response to a post by Greg Loomis inquiring about heart rate zones appropriate for ultramarathon training. My original article focused on racing, which was necessary since knowing how to train requires knowing how you race. Now that that that’s done, I’ll provide some insight into how I train.
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Hiding Time Machine Drives on the Desktop

Time Machine icon

New to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is an integrated backup solution called Time Machine. To use Time Machine, simply plug an external hard drive into your Mac and configure it as the Time Machine back-up volume. Time Machine will now automatically perform hourly back-ups of your files.

Mounted drive on Desktop

While the periodic back-ups run more-or-less transparently in the background, one slight annoyance I’ve had is with the icon of the Time Machine Volume  appearing on the Desktop, as shown in the figure to the left. The genius of Time Machine is its “out of sight, out of mind” approach, and the persistent Desktop icon (for a drive you should not care to have access to anyway) runs counter to the original intent. Apparently I am not alone, as this complaint has also been brought up on macosxhints.com. Here I’ll discuss two solutions for removing the Time Machine Volume  from the Desktop.

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Heart Rate During Ultramarathons

A couple of weeks ago my friend, Greg Loomis, asked about heart rate zones appropriate for ultramarathon training. Having trained consistently with with a heart rate monitor (HRM) for the past four years, and having run a few ultras during that time, I thought I might be able to shed some light on the subject. In this article, I present and discuss heart rate data from marathon and popular ultramarathon distances: 26.2 mi, 50 km, 50 mi, 100 km, and 100 mi. The data I present are from races, each run at an “all-out

The Latest in Canine Electrolyte Replenishment

Rehydrate Electrolyte Sports Drink for dogs

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Rehydrate Electrolyte Sports Drink for Dogs

The latest in canine electrolyte replenishment.

Rehydrate Electrolyte Sports Drink for Dogs is the first rehydration supplement for dogs, designed to replenish lost electrolytes and spent energy to be given before, during, or after workouts or other vigorous activity. The tablets, once dissolved in water, provide an effervescent performance drink fortified with canine-appropriate levels of sodium, chloride, potassium, and vitamin C.

Call me a skeptic, but I think this looks suspiciously like NUUN. Don’t take my word for it, however — see for yourself.

Race Report: 2007 Hellgate 100K

Four years ago, David Horton introduced us to Hellgate, a unique 100-km ultramarathon starting at midnight in the middle of December (the inaugural event started Friday night December 13, 2003). The race, which traverses the Blue Ridge Mountains near central Virginia, is famous for its frigid and icy weather.

Much has been written about this unique event (see the Hellgate website for several race reports). Aaron Schwartzbard (five-time Hellgate finisher and winner in 2007), has written an excellent course summary. His mileages, however, are based on David Horton’s published numbers, which we know are never accurate. During this year’s race, I wore a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS, and in this report I provide what I believe to be accurate mileages for this event. I’ll also tell you how it went.

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Copy CDs or DVDs in Mac OS X

Disk Utility icon

Here is a simple method more duplicating CDs or DVDs using Disk Utility in Mac OS X.

  1. Insert the CD or DVD you want to copy into your Mac.
  2. Launch Disk Utility (in the Applications > Utilities folder).
  3. In the Finder, drag and drop the icon of the CD or DVD onto the Disc Utility icon in the Dock.
  4. A window will open asking you to name the new disk image, and where to save it. Give it a name and save the image to the Desktop. In the Image Format drop-down menu, choose DVD/CD master (no encryption is necessary). Click Save, and a new disk image (with the extension “.cdr”) will be created on your Desktop.
  5. Eject the original CD (the one you just copied), and insert a blank CD into your Mac.
  6. In Disk Utility, look for the disk image of your CD or DVD (the “.cdr” file you just created). This is on the left-hand side of the window, at the bottom of the list of mounted drives. Select the image (the “.cdr” file) and click Burn.
  7. When you are done, eject the burned disk and delete the “.cdr” file from the Desktop.

Extracting Icons from Mac OS X Applications

Finder icon

Occasionally you may want an image of an application icon in Mac OS X (perhaps you are writing a tutorial, and wish to include an image like the one to the right). Within each Mac OS X application is a package that contains an “.icns” file, which is the icon image used by the application.

Using the Finder

You may access this file through the Finder, using the following steps:

  1. In the Applications folder, choose the application whose icon you wish to extract.
  2. Ctrl-click (right-click) on the application icon and choose Show Package Contents.
  3. A new Finder window will open. Browse to the Resources folder and look for the icon. This file usually has an “icns” extension.
  4. Open Preview, and drag the “.icns” file to the Preview icon in the Dock. The image will open in Preview and from there you may save it as a “.png” or “.jpg” file. The former is the preferable format for the web; select the “Alpha” check box to preserve transparency.

Using Get Info and Preview

More on apple.

  1. Select the volume, application, folder, or file whose icon you want to stamp onto another, just click the icon to select it.
  2. From the File menu, choose Get Info or press Command-I to open the Info window.
  3. Click the icon in the upper-left corner of the Info window to select it.
  4. From the Edit menu, choose Copy or press Command-C.
  5. In the Applications folder, choose the application whose icon you wish to extract.
  6. Press Cmd-I to open a Get Info dialog. In the upper left of the dialog windo is a small icon. Select it and then select copy (under Edit > Copy)
  7. Go to Preview and paste. Four sizes of the icon will open: 512×512, 128×128, 32×32, and 16×16 px

Using Terminal

If you prefer the command-line, see these articles on Mac OS X Hints and MacWorld about using the unix sips command to convert “.icns” files to various image file formats.

The Next Thing in Caffeination