Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekly Recap and the curse of pre-race insomnia 11/8-11/14

Monday - 8 with Josh, Lauren, Alex, and Joe- 2.5 to the nature preserve, then 4 laps(total of 3 miles) of "Indian Run," - running in a line, back of the pack surges to front, constant turnover. Im not usually one for speedwork, but this is really fun. There is one hill on the loop, and we try to time it so that we can stick some poor sucka with surging up the hill(Think hot potato). 2.5 back. Fun way to recover from a 20 miler the previous day.

Tuesday- 10 miles-2 warm up, 6x800(2:55, 2:55, 2:55, 2:50, 2:45, 2:38) on the track, 3 miles of cool down w/striders, then 2 miles easy. This may be a little off, but not by much(Who cares?, it was a fun workout).

Wednesday- 7 miles with Sean and Phil at the Gazelle group. Kept the pace around 8:00 miles or so. More of an easy, social run. Downtown Kalamazoo has the Christmas lights up-makes me chilly just looking at them.

Thursday- 7- 2 to the fieldhouse(flat bike tire caused me to be late for practice, so I was on foot), 2 miles of "pick ups"- 3/4 speed effort on straights, ease up on the turns. 2 miles home. 1 mile of intermittent resting between miles. Nothing crazy, but just enough to get the heart pounding and feel "race legs." probably 6ish minute/mile pace. Im terrible at track workouts- they drain me of confidence pretty quickly.  Today's run was just to feel fast and get some speed in before a rest day tomorrow, then the Road Hawg 10k Saturday. I've never really "trained" for a race before, so this will be interesting. It does remind me, however, that Im not a runner. Im a guy who likes running. I have very little ambition to beat people or pound out miles on boring courses. I don't mean to say that I'm not competitive so that I can be passive-aggressive, but I'll take a solo or group run to a race any day. The races are just the end that justifies the means and measure progress.

Friday- 4- Pretty abysmal 4 mile downtown run with Alex and Abbey(on her bike). Pretty beautiful morning with the the sun out and keeping the chill off. Legs felt a bit dead, but I guess I should've expected that. A week of actual quality running will do that to a person like me who lives on junk food and junk miles. Abbey almost got hit by a car, so that was the most exciting part of the adventure. Coach said to run just far and fast enough to make a sweat, so that's what we did, then a light sesson of resistance training(been going to the gym 3 days/week for a couple weeks).

Saturday- Road Hawg 10k, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base 35:23 3rd Place. Not a bad performance, considering another pre-race fiasco that resulted in no sleep. I travelled to Allendale to attend a friend's birthday party. Little did I know that some of the partygoers planned on being up until about 4am-directly over my head on the next floor while I tried to sleep. I had to get up at 5:30 so I could make it to school on time to catch a ride to the race in Battle Creek. I had been sleeping very well all week, so I wasn't terribly worried about 1 night's sleep affecting performance. Other than the overwhelming frustration that comes from drunken noise while attempting to sleep, I feel that it hardly affected my running. I arrived on campus and walked with Abbey to our ride. Our coach, George Dales, was there to meet us along with Tom Coyne, who would be driving the rest of our running club to the race. We arrived in time for me to get registered and warm up with Joey, Mike, Alex, Evan, and Josh. They were warming up a little too fast for my lazy ass, so I jogged a bit with Tom and did a little stretching. With about 25 minutes to the race start, I made my mix of RedBull/Gatorade and downed with some water. A little more jogging around to warm up, and then it was time to head to the start line.

In typical small race fashion, I was suprised by the start of the race. All of the racers(5 and 10k) took off at the same time, and ran the first 2 miles together. I was within sight of Alex and Joey, but they quickly pulled away in the 1 and 2 spots in the 5k race. Mike and Josh were near me for the first mile. Josh stayed with me until the course split, and mike dropped back at the first mile-but only by a couple seconds. Evan and I were the only ones from our club running the 10k, and my goal was to stay with him as long as possible. Our running abilities are pretty closely matched(his time at the Grand Rapids Marathon was 1 minute faster than mine), so I figured we could help each other out as much as possible until we had to separate. I love running as a team; its great to feel the support of friends in a setting in which individuals and egos usually take precedence. About mile 3, Evan put some distance between us. At first I was a little frustrated, but quickly shrugged it off when I realized that I had gone through the 5k mark at 17:20- a new 5k PR! No matter how the race ended, I knew the day wouldn't be a total loss. I maintained even splits of 5:40-5:55ish pace for the rest of the course. It was mostly flat, with the exception of an elevated bridge and about 3/4 mile of hilly gravel access road(which is always a fun experience in Vibram Fivefingers).

10 miles total for the day with warmup and cooldown included.

Im incapable of being photogenic, so I make ugly faces.
Our group of misfit runners(left to right): Coach George Dales, Kevin, Joey, Me, Alex, Evan, Josh, Mike, and Abbey

Sunday- 5 miles with Sam- Went to Al Sabo for some hiking and running. I was wearing shorts and a long sleeve shirt, Sam was slightly dressed slightly warmer. We ended up doing more running than hiking to stay warm. ran about 4 of the 5 miles of our hike. Lots of fun climbs and descents of the little hills and lots of wandering around and running the fun sections. Great recovery run and quality time in the woods. This time of the year is always great. There is a strange beauty in the barren trees and brown leaves- the final sign that snow and frozen ground is upon us.

Total- 51 miles. If I can keep having weeks like this all winter, it will be a nice, relaxing season with time to socialize and study. quality running and lots of fun times with friends, but still enough to maintain some base.

final realization- Im running a decent amount of milage...just for fun. Really enjoying the ride!


  1. Those W's from a distance look like pot leaves. I did a double take :)

  2. to the best of my knowledge, our school does have a cannabis club. LOL