Friday, December 23, 2011

Jeremy Ranch Triple Peaks

I've been planning this run all year so I'm glad I finally got it in before the snow gets any deeper.  It extends the Pinbrook Perimeter loop by adding out-and-backs to Summit Park Peak, Pinebrook Peak and Ecker Hill.

Click here for Garmin Connect route

I set off into the dark at 6am, it was 0ยบ F, brr.  I put the microspikes on at Gorgoza Park and wore them the whole run except for the brief road section at the end of East Perimeter trail.  Toll Canyon is awesome in the dark, really calm and quiet.  I got to the top of Summit Park Peak just before dawn and hung out there for a few minutes savoring the view.  Heading back down into Toll Canyon was pretty incredible with the sun rising. Turning onto the West Perimeter trail there were no new human tracks since the last storm, but some pretty fresh moose tracks. A couple minutes later, I found the moose. Up onto the west side of Pinebrook Peak, I saw 2 more moose, then onto the top of Pinebrook peak.  I came down the steep east side of Pinebrook Peak which was fun, and followed the ridge and cut a big switchback following moose tracks that stayed on the ridge.  When I got to the Roosevelt bench there were 2 more moose.  I went down East perimeter, onto the road, back up Ecker hill and then down to home. Great run and 6 moose.  Here are a few pics.

View of Gobblers Knob from Summit Park Peak before sunrise

West perimeter trail

View of Summit Park Peak from West Perimeter

West side of Pinebrook Peak

Pinebrook Peak looking at Murdoch Peak

Thursday, December 22, 2011

IP address conflict on RackSpace Cloud Server

I came across an issue today that took me a while to figure out so I thought I'd share to hopefully help someone out someday.

I'm working on RackSpace cloud servers configuring and compiling packages for a web application.  We are also using RackConnect, a service from RackSpace that allows the cloud servers to coexist in a private network with dedicated servers.  I started with base CentOS 6.0 image and used yum to install a few packages that I would need.  Well, I inadvertently installed NetworkManager which was the source of my problems.

After a reboot, both network interfaces eth0 and eth1 were coming up with the same IP address. Looking at other 'working' cloud servers I could see that only eth1 was configured with the private IP address and eth0 was disabled.

I confirmed with RackSpace support that the contents of /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth* were correct, but NetworkManager doesn't use these so it was configuring them unexpectedly. It was assigning the private IP address to both interfaces creating an address conflict. I could recreate this by doing

/etc/init.d/NetworkManager restart

which would create the address conflict, and then

/etc/init.d/network restart 

which would correctly assign the private IP to eth1 and leave eth0 inactive.

Because this will eventually be an application server, there won't be a need for NetworkManager so my fix was to remove NetworkManager from loading during boot.

/sbin/chkconfig --del NetworkManager

I should mention that I've used NetworkManager on laptops and desktops for years and it works great, but it really shouldn't be installed in a server environment that will probably have static addresses anyway.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Running Mid Mountain in December

Yesterday I tried to run the Hunter's section of the Mid Mountain Trail. There hasn't been much new snow recently so I thought it might be doable if snowshoers had packed it out. Heading up to Pinebrook Peak was perfect in microspikes, but past that there was really only animal tracks and a couple ski tracks. I stayed on the west side of the ridge where the snow was thin but then eventually dropped over the ridge onto the trail. The rest of the trail was mainly uneven crusty moose tracks and shin deep post-holing, not very runnable but I still enjoyed it. When I got to The Canyons I coasted down the groomers which was really nice after miles of slogging.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ducks & Drums

Here's some action from our week in Houston.

Cian loves ducks so we went to Hermann Park to find some.

Fish in the Japanese Garden.

And then the drums showed up...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

2011 Antelope Island 100k

This weekend I ran the Antelope Island 100k. which was my first 100k and the furthest I've ever run.

The course was modified a bit because of the high water level of the Great Salt Lake making it a little under 100k, 59.4 according to my watch, but I'm calling it 60. The course was pretty amazing, remote and varied terrain. There were 2 laps on a loop around the island. Miles 0-17/30-47 were hilly and remote. Miles 17-30/47-60 were flat on really nice singletrack along the east side of the island.

The start was snowy and dark. I tried to ignore everyone and go out slow which was kind of hard because it was so cold and I wanted to warm up, but after a few miles I was in about 10th place out of about 50 starters. Running in the dark was amazing because there are no lights to be seen on the west side of the island except for the trail of headlamps. Right around dawn I could hear some animals calling in the distance, pretty eerie. Not sure if they were buffalo or antelope. I kept the first lap pretty steady and was able to eat well at the fantastic aid stations. At mile 17ish, the terrain levelled out so I picked up the pace a tiny bit and dropped a couple guys. There were a few snow showers but by the end of the first lap the clouds broke and the sun came out.

Finishing the first lap, I came in to the start/finish area just behind a couple guys. I changed into dry socks and took off a couple layers. I left ahead of one guy and caught and passed the other heading up the first climb. At the aid station at mile 36, they told me that I was in 4th and the guy ahead was about 6 minutes ahead. At mile 44ish they said 4 minutes. I actually felt pretty good until mile 50ish, then the urge to walk was getting too heavy. I was so happy to see Aileen, Cian, Murtaza, Rebecca and Eli at mile 53ish and then again at 55 and 58 miles. So nice.

Miles 57 and 58 were pretty rough. I walked a good bit and kind of gave up the chase. I was stripped down to something pretty raw at that point. I never caught 3rd place, and finished in 4th with a time of 10:29:02.

Excellent event. Great course. Thanks to Jim Skaggs for putting on the race, all the volunteers for braving the elements and my support crew, Aileen, Rebecca, Murtaza, Eli and Cian.

Here are some pictures:

First Lap, west side just after sunrise.

Mile 14ish, snowy section

2nd lap, sun came out.

2nd Lap, west side

Mile 11/41ish - Cobbley beach section

Mud Grass singletrack on the east side. It's hard to see but the trail was slippery mud here.

Here's the data from my watch. I used a Garmin FR 305 which is only supposed last 10hrs, but it lasted 10.5 hours and under cold conditions so that was pretty good. I was kind of looking for an excuse to get a new FR 910 but I might have to wait, or sign up for longer races.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Art O'neill Challenge 2011

Amazing event. Around 100 runners departed Dublin Castle at 2am through the streets and out of town. The road on higher ground was slushy packed snow from the 400 walkers that left at midnight. Took it real steady to avoid over doing it too early but was feeling good on the steepest part of the hill and pushed the pace a bit. After 15 miles of road, Kippure House was the first checkpoint. I had some soup, snickers, changed my top layers and filled my pack with more gear. I decided to keep going in running shoes and my feet felt good so I didn't change socks.

Leaving Kippure House there were about 15 hikers and runners ahead of me. I could see their lights heading up Ballinabrocky and eventually caught a group at the top. My feet were totally soaked from bog at this point but not cold. With the help of GPS, I eventually found the trail down and then back on to the road for a few miles. The fog was thick now and there was a slight tailwind so it didn't feel too cold probably about -2C. I caught and passed one runner climbing up to Ballynultagh Gap. There was a checkpoint there and the guy told me there was 4 in front of me, but the fog was too thick to see any lights heading up Black Hill. The trail up Black Hill was easy to follow the lower part had some big puddles that were iced over. There was an inch or 2 of freshly fallen snow so I could see the track of the others. I broke through a few puddles and got soaked again but feet were still ok. After the summit of Black Hill, it was onward to Billy Byrne's Gap. The trail disappeared and the fog was thick so I relied on the compass and GPS and headed through the frozen bog. I found the gap and then dropped down eventually out of the fog and headed to the lights of Glenbride village. I got a little lost amongst the houses and had to jump over a couple walls. Then I found the grassy trail down to the road.

At the Ballinagee Bridge checkpoint I had a cup of porridge and a Redbull. The guys told me that I was in 2nd place. I headed across the road into the forest and onto good fire road leading to the river. There was a faint wet trail heading up the river and it started getting light out. I could now make out the ridge line on the right so I crossed the river and headed up toward the ridge. As I went back into the cloud, it started snowing and the temperature was dropping. The wind howled over the ridge and the terrain got nasty as I headed toward Three Lakes. Huge tussocks and deep bog gully's filled with snow and ice. I was watching for the lake on the right, but then spotted it on the left. I overshot it. I came around it and got really disoriented. I came across some fresh tracks which had to be Eoins but they were going the wrong direction. I was heading back north. Dangit. I turned around and kept going constantly checking the compass. Eventually I hit the Avonbeg river. Following the river was harder than I thought it would be. The river banks were steep and snowy. Finally I could see the Table Track, got onto it and headed down the Glenmalure Valley. I only saw 1 set of footprints so was pretty confident I was still in second. The last 2 miles were long and really icy but the sun was rising through the mist at the end of the valley. Amazing. I finished 18 minutes behind Eoin.