Weekly Summary: 6/24/19 – 6/30/19


Views of Loudon Heights from the AT through Harpers Ferry

Soooo, the outcome of all this recent mountain running was… sore knees and beginnings of shin splints. Yikes!

Unsurprising when I look back, even though I could see great improvement from an aerobic fitness point-of-view. But if the legs ain’t happy, it’s hard to enjoy running.

An easier week was required!

Monday 6/24 – 3 miles along river and C&O canal

Gentle run, around 9 minute mile pace. Out and back along the river and then the C & O canal. Beautiful evening again. Legs felt ok on the flat but definitely need to take it easy for a while.


Tuesday 6/25 – Rest day

Wednesday 6/26 – Rest day

Thursday 6/27 – 1.4 mile morning hike around HF

Included a nice climb from the river back up to Washington Street, on top of the ridge. The path climbs directly up, intersects the AT and continues on to come out by Storer College and the ATC center. Could feel my lower legs hurting at first, but eased up completely after half mile or so.

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Stairs on the climb back up to town


Storer College, now National Park building used for training

Friday 6/28 – Rest day

Saturday 6/29 – 1 mile walk with the family

Walk in the woods along the River Trail, starting from Harpers Ferry National Park visitor car park. Very hot, so the boys took a “swim” 😂

Sunday 6/30 – 1.7 miles along river

Testing out the legs again, specifically lower shins and knees. Ran around 9 minute miles, which is my usual running pace and feels comfortable. Legs were ok, but still feel tender. Going to be a while until I can go running up/down hills again 😦

In other news…

I finally created an inventory of all my adventure diaries from over the years:



Week Summary: 6/17/19 – 6/23/19


Monday 6/17 – Rest day

Tuesday 6/18 – 7.5 miles. Hill Repeats up Maryland Heights

3 repeats up and down the lower portion of the Maryland Heights trail. The turnaround point is the marker that’s exactly half a mile up the trail. So a repeat is 1/2 mile up, 1/2 mile down.

Felt pretty good tonight, definitely fitter than a few weeks ago. My breathing in general is miles better than earlier this year and orders of magnitude better than in Florida last year. So that’s good to see.

Good banter out on the trails with this group –>


Wednesday 6/19 – Rest day

Thursday 6/20 – 7.8 miles. Stone Fort loop

Connected with Josh from the HURT crew (Harpers Ferry Ultra Running Team) to run a loop around Stone Fort, including the lookout. Great run.

Feeling little fitter again, but legs are definitely feeling the strain of all the vert that’s been suddenly imposed upon them. The volume of my running has also increased, as my lower legs and knees are telling me.


Friday 6/21 – Rest day

Saturday 6/22 – 4.1 miles. Flat and Fast

Wow, shins and knees are a little sore, so no chance of Loudon Heights this weekend. Instead I ran out and back along the C & O canal. 1 mile from home to the canal, 1 mile out along the canal, and then same way home to make a 4 mile round trip.

I ended up running instead of jogging tonight, averaging around a 7min 30sec mile pace, which is about as fast as I can go at the moment. Wasn’t planning to do this, but legs felt good so I just smiled and enjoyed the moment. Felt exhilarating compared to my usual plodding.

Beautiful evening, as the following picture from the river’s edge shows:


Sunday 6/23 – Rest day

Sore shins and knees. I will have to go easy next week and be patient. My legs need time to transition from low volume, flat Florida runs to higher volume, trail runs with real vert!

Summary – 19.5 miles

Two long(ish) runs (at least by my standards) and one fast run (again, by my standards). Absolutely loving the trail running but my exuberance has gotten the better of me, and my knees and lower legs are aching. They’re simply not strong enough yet.

Looking forward, I’m going to need to rest for a bit, then scale back a little and just do easier runs on mostly flat terrain to build up to 20+ mile weeks and beyond. The goal is still to run Ultras of course, but that is a loooong way off at the moment 😉

Week Summary: 6/10/19 – 6/16/19

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Monday 6/10 – 2.4 miles AT + River Trail around HF

Out along Appalachian Trail to Harpers Ferry. Return via River trail. Last minute decision to head out once we’d put the kids to bed. No one out. Had Jefferson Rock to myself so I phaffed around and balanced the camera on a rock to get the shot above. 👍

Tuesday 6/11 – 5.1 miles. Hill repeats up Maryland Heights with the HURT club

Went at my own pace as I get used to trail running again.

Wednesday 6/12 – 2.5 miles. Hike/run with Lex along AT + River Trail around HF

Both testing out our new trail running shoes: Altra Lone Peak 4. They feel like a pair of slippers. Ridiculously comfortable.


Thursday 6/13 – 7.3 miles. Murphy’s Farm loop with the HURT club

Wow, who knew Harpers Ferry had so many local trails? Discovered lots of new trails and another fabulous lookout tonight. Longest run I’ve done for a long time…


Friday 6/14 – Rest day

Saturday 6/15 – Rest day

Sunday 6/16 – 6.9 miles. Cruise up Loudon Heights.

Pretty hot out! Hard work on the uphill to the ridge. Felt smoooooth along the ridge to the lookout. Chatted to a friendly hiker there for 10 minutes. Bonked a little on the orange trail but came back after 10 mins or so.

Legs are getting a little stronger and more accustomed to trail running. It’s much, much more absorbing than road running, which means less time daydreaming because I have to focus on where to put my feet 😉

The lookout at Loudon Heights is 🔥🔥


Summary: 24.4 miles

For me, this was a solid week of trail running. I haven’t had a week of runs like this for a long, long time. I can feel my knees starting to ache though – they’re not used to the hills yet!


The Next Chapter: Harpers Ferry, WV


In May 2019, I finally realized a long-held dream of mine of moving to a mountain town, in this case Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

There’s an abundance of fantastic trails with plenty of vert. The Appalachian Trail runs past our front door. We love it here!

I’m going to keep a basic log of outdoor activities here, although all the boring details like pace, splits, elevation etc. are kept on Strava.


Week 1: 13th – 19th May 2019

Wed: Hike up to Maryland Heights overlook, 6.8 miles
Fri: Run around HF on river trail/AT, plus river trail out to NP visitor center, 4.6 miles

Week 2: 20th – 26th May

Tues: Run around HF on river/AT, 2.4 miles
Thurs: Run around HF on river/AT, 2.4 miles
Sat: Out and back along the AT by Loudon Heights area, 3 miles

Week 3: 27th May – 2nd June

Tues: Loudon Heights hike with mum, 6.1 miles
Thurs: Stone Fort Loop with Harpers Ferry running group, 5.4 miles
Sat: Stone Fort Loop hike with mum, 8.2 miles

Week 4: 3rd – 9th June

Mon: Hike up to Maryland Heights overlook, 6.8 miles
Tues: Loudon Heights overlook, 6.7 miles
Fri: Flat run to Brunswick bridge and back, along river then C&O, 4.2 miles
Sat: Slow out along river, back along AT, 2.5 miles

City Hike #1: San Francisco

I love visiting big cities. I love the energy, the vibrancy, the creativity of people in the big cities. And I believe the best way to soak it all in is by walking the streets.

I’ve done this ~16 mile hike around San Francisco twice. Once in July 2018 with my brother, and once in April 2019 by myself. Both times I was in San Francisco for the Google Next conference.

Click here for technical recaps of Next 18 and Next 19.

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Approximate route of the San Francisco city hike

San Francisco Hike July 2018 (with Pete)


“An army marches on its stomach”. We began the day with a monster breakfast at a cafe in Hayes Valley


Example of the gorgeous Victorian architecture in San Francisco


Our walk took us from one end of Golden Gate park to the other, passing most of the major attractions. It’s a fantastic public space. Shown here is the Conservatory of Flowers.


One of the many old gnarled trees in Golden Gate park


Two brothers standing at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. He lives on one side and I live on the other. For now.


Sea stacks in the Pacific Ocean


We explored the ruined Sutro Baths, as our route hugged the coast north towards the bay.


Catching an early glimpse of the Golden Gate bridge, with “Karl The Fog” obscuring the top.


Loving the trails around Lands End. Amazing for a city hike!


Passing Lands End


Looking back at SF.


Pete along the Batteries to Bluff trail, with the flowers in bloom and that bridge in the background. It really is a fabulous hike.


Just two goofballs


It never fails to impress me!


Beyond the bridge, the path follows the top for a while through old fortifications, before dropping down to Crissy Field. .Hard on the knees and back now we’re old buggers!


What it’s all about… a good walk, good nosh, good beer, good chat!

San Francisco Hike April 2019 (solo)

I enjoyed this hike so much last year that I decided to repeat it again this year.

I was staying in roughly the same area and followed much the same route, so it was probably around 16 miles again.

An excellent day out! (Although it was more fun with my brother!)


Past the Conservatory of Flowers in the Golden Gate park


Golden Gate park goes on and on and on! Really fantastic place.


Walking along the beach on the Pacific Ocean


Past the Sutro baths


Sutro Baths and the Pacific Ocean


Along the Batteries to Bluff trail


The weather was perfect, with the bridge peeking out behind the clouds.


You get a different angle of the bridge around every headland.


The bridge from near Marshall’s Beach


The clouds completely cleared as I got close, to give me one of the best views of the bridge I’ve ever had.