Thursday, March 31, 2011

I forgot to name this week.

5 miles - hit the trails for some time in the sun. I was a bit pressed for time, but enjoyed a nice jog. Still some lingering fatigue from the weekend. I felt a little remorseful for not running more, but as time wears away my foolishness, I learn that there has to be a bit of a cycle with training. Saturdays run was longer than I've run in a while, and the return trip was about the same pace as my faster short runs around town. Running lower miles early in the week could benefit me by allowing me to save miles for the ever important long run on the weekends. At least that's what I tell myself as I sit here in this lazy state I find myself.

6 miles - finally got off my lazy glutes and ran to the bike shop to get a new tube and some bar tape for my Trek. (cyclists- is cow spotted tape cool? I thought it looked sweet). Stopped for some lunch while I was out. Spring is in the air, and I was feeling good, running a pretty quick pace with a backpack on and a gut full of beans and rice. Now for an actual workout in a couple hours...shit.

Workout(sort of)-  7 miles. 2 mile warmup, 5 hill repeats on Oliver hill, 2ish for the cooldown. Alex, Joey, and I were feeling fatigued. I was still battling a little long run fatigue from the weekend, Alex was still recovering from the royal ass-whoopin' he delivered to the Kal-Haven race, and Joey is returning from a pretty nasty infection that forced him to take time off. I afraid to admit that although I seemed to feel the best, I was STILL the slug out of the three of us. Riding my bike to and from the workout helped get the ache out of my legs before plopping my butt back down in my chair.

Noon - 4 miles - met up after class with Josh, Alex, and Phil to do some laps on the grass at the Intramural Fields. My legs felt a little still. My legs aren't dead, but there really hasn't been much change since Sunday afternoon. The soreness will dissipate in time, I just have to shuffle along until it does. Nice little 4 mile shake out that didn't quite shake anything out.

PM - 10 miles - Met up with the "urban herd" for some running downtown. Alex and I stopped for a piss(our cycles are synchronizing- a good indication of training), then had to play catch-up with Shawn, Phil, and Lance. I was feeling kind of beat for some reason, but still had fun and kept a solid pace. Since I haven't any runs that I'd consider slow in a while, I can assume that averaging 10miles a day over winter has helped me emerge stronger than last year. Back on track to a decent mileage number*

AM - 5 miles - My first attempt at "Earth Mama's speed workout." I had to work during our normally scheduled track session today, so I opted to modify what the group was doing. The plan for the track was 1 mile tempo(for me- 5:35-5:40), then 1200, 800, then 400 at 5k pace(for me-5:15-5:20). More of a tune up workout than anything. One particular loop at Al Sabo is nearly 1 mile long. Its flat, but has quite a few hairpin turns and some mud, roots, and rocks. I marked the spot I'd have to run to in order to make it 1 mile. After doing the "official WMU run club" warmup and 2 miles of jogging, I ran the mile as fast as I could run the singletrack. The terrain, not my lungs, limited the speed. Lo and behold, I managed a 5:55! For the other distances, I just based it off of time rather than distance. Ran hard for 4, 3, and 2 minutes with a few minutes rest in between. Im sure the first hard mile wiped me out, so the others were slower. Got 4 miles in, then walked the rest of the way to my car, enjoying the rare combination of workout exhaustion and the peace of the woods.

PM - 4 miles - I ended up not having to work, so I joined in to watch the Run Club workout and do some barefoot miles on the track. 1 mile warmup, then ended up doing 2x800 on the track. The second one ended up being a PR of 2:27. My track PRs are all barefoot now. Is it a form issue? a weight issue? Maybe I was just having a good day. I didn't want to push it, so I paced Alex and Joey for the last 200 of their final 400. I like having them chase me when I'm more fresh...because I'm a bastard and because I have to take advantage of them finally being slower than me. To cool down, I went for a 10 ish mile bike ride with Evan, stopped off at Bell's for a Kzoo stout, then rode home for burritos.
so, to sum things up- Thursday is awesome. I must figure out how to maintain this lifestyle on a pauper's salary.

4 ish - This is pure junk that wont really add, but I like documenting time outside. Afternoon hike on the trails with Jess. walked the trails and the landbridge over the swamp. Nice, relaxing hike in the woods. Calling it a "hike," as opposed to a "walk" makes it sound like a fitness activity, but in all actuality is a some time in the sun and nothing more. 4 miles or so, but nothing for the books.

Afternoon run- 5 miles - Met the Joggas for a group run put on by Gazelle Sports. The special guest for the evening was none other than Anton Krupicka. Though he didn't actually run with the group(injury/lingering pain from a sub-13hr 100 mile at Rocky Raccoon I suppose), I got to speak with him for a moment about Boulder and running in general before the run. Anyway, we are now best friends and plan on running in the mountains together every day until one of us dies...Alright, that's not true. I told him I was too busy for that. He understood. The 5 miles itself was a good time. I caught up with Travis, a friend from Kalamazoo and multiple-Ironman maniac. He's substantially stronger than I am, so it was fun for the jog to turn to a tempo effort. Travis and I joked about how running by a stationary Krupicka made us feel like we were running by a childhood track coach. Post run was spent talking to friends, including one that I've known since age 4, but haven't seen since high school.

Pictured left to right: Brandon Mulnix, Anton Krupicka, Jason Robillard, Some hipster in a flannel, Jeremiah Cataldo, and Scott Hadley.

5 miles - After the sun finally decided to show itself, I drove to Muskegon State Park to run my favorite singletracks. I swear this place is cursed sometimes. I ate prior to running, had water, and was well rested(maybe that's the problem-I can barely ever say that), but still found myself in a trance, clawing my way up the dirt on my hands an knees 2 miles into the run. My memory is spotty, and I've never felt so weak. This happens every few months out of nowhere during times of exertion and has no diagnosed cause. Blood pressure drops and there is some distance between where I am and where I last remember being. I barely even remember the shuffle back to my car. I downed a GU and headed out for a few more miles. I became exhausted again, and remember saying audibly, "Fuck it" and gave in. I had to lay myself down on a wide fallen tree, tucked away from other parkgoers and stared up at the sky for 20 minutes or so, letting the sun keep me warm. It was one of those moments that helps realign perspectives. I'm fortunate to enjoy the time I have in this world, and I can't spend my days obsessing over mileage and training schedules. I have great people in my life that help keep me on an even keel(the competitive end, the fun end, and the responsible end), but apparently I have to learn some lessons alone, collapsed in the woods staring up at the clouds.

0 - saved up some energy for what I hope to be a better week. Consistency has never been my strength, but scraping myself off the ground repeatedly sure as hell is.

Total - 55 miles- goddammit.
*note- I realize that mileage is an arbitrary number and has no real relevance to training. Quality matters over quantity, but since my training varies from 5k specific workouts to preparation for my  pipe dream of a 100 miler, the definition of "quality" tends to change. Will repeat 400s help with a race that takes a day? Will a 9 hour run help with a race that takes(ideally) 15 minutes? It all helps tie certain metabolic systems together, but sacrifices depth for breadth.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A little spontaneity never hurt anyone.

0 miles - 30 minutes on an eliptical at work, but a long day kept me out of my running gear. I sit here now at 9:30, contemplating whether I should do a cold, dark, boring run or save some energy for a nice trail run tomorrow.

AM - 8 miles - really nice run at Al Sabo. Deviated from my normal route and found a cool way to connect some of my favorite trails together. A route I previously thought was 6 miles ended up being 8. I'd better go back and correct several weeks worth of mileage tallies...or just not care. The latter sounds better. Held a respectable pace and felt smooth, which was a welcome change. I used my Garmin for the first time in a while, and was pleasantly suprised with what it told me. Resting the day before, finally getting my preferred trail shoes back(TrailGloves), and easing into a smooth pace proved to be a good formula. From this feedback, I think it would be proper to use the Garmin every so often for an occasional check-in, but run by feel more often. As I get more acquainted with myself,  I need to be told what to do less often. Caught this catchy tune on the radio. In my typical "cornier than ethanol" fashion, I related it to distance running.

PM - 6(?) miles - Indoor workout (we bailed on the outdoor track due to freezing rain/hail) 6x300, 300 rest in between. mile cooldown inside, then a 2mile jog in the rain back to my house.

AM- 1 mile - should I even write this down? I missed the bus and ran the 1.4xxwhatever miles home. Felt easy, but my Chucks are a bit narrow and cramp my foot.

PM - 9 miles - Ran with the Gazelle group for the first time in quite a while. Though usually a fun time, I realize that longer runs like this in the "medium" effort range are an important part of my training. 7:15-7:30 pace on the hilly backstreets of Kzoo.

AM- 6 miles - Woke up a little later than planned, but scraped the ice off my car(not cool-thought this weather was behind us) and headed to Al Sabo. 3 miles at a pace between medium and tempo effort(about 7:15), then 3 easy, lingering in the warm, sunny spots to thaw myself out. Shorts were a bad idea. Usual stops on the boardwalk and observation deck during the 3 easy miles. The frozen dirt made running a bit more difficult than tuesday's trail outing, but was fun nonetheless.

10 miles - Ran down to the Rec to meet Alex and Josh. Picked through a fun, hilly route that took us downtown. Cruising around at 7:20-7:40 pace is feeling pretty easy nowadays, especially since I'm slacking in a big way lately on mileage. Tomorrow is the Kal-Haven race, but Im not registered. Im hoping to assume some pacing duties for a couple friends. Maybe I'll get a nice long run in, since Im about due for one of those. If I want to do any ultras this season, I need to get my ass into gear and stop being lazy.

37 miles - Long run of pacing for the Kal-Haven Ultra. Well, that will cure a lazy streak pretty quick. My plan was to pace 10miles with Joe and Erik. I ended up running with them for 18 miles. Doubled back a little to run with my friend Tim, who was also running the ultra. A fun time on the way out, but a bit of a boring jog on the way back on the flat, gravel railroad grade. Averaged about an 8:30 pace on the way out, and somehow managed a 7:10-7:30 pace on the return trip. I'll call it a good workout. The night before- at about 12am - My friend Kelly and I may or may not have stashed red and white cans of my secret carbohydrate fuel along the trail. Since I was fueled solely by GU and several cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon for 4.5 hours, I'd say it was a near perfect day. Some hills might have been nice.

4 miles(I think) - Samantha and I slept in(though we were downtown until 3am), made breakfast, then went to meet the Dirt Herd for a short trail run. I didn't actually feel too bad, but was tired. I could have maybe run harder or faster, but I figure that surviving a sporadic, poorly planned 37 miler was pushing it enough. I had a good week of mileage, so I wanted to just get out and show Sam some of my usual spots where most of my pondering takes place. We had a good jog and walked a little, enjoying some warmth in the sun.

A couple miles in, I realized that maybe I was a little more tired than I thought  I was "running" up a hill, only to find Samantha hot on my heels...walking. ugh.  

This view never gets old to me. Michigan will be a part of me wherever I go...

...and so will she...

...even if she made me shave my beard.

Total - 81 miles -

Food for thought and ramblings for the week:
I like my running like I like my food - high in volume, lots of junk, and most of it to be enjoyed with friends and alcohol. I may never be a competetive runner, but the day I quit enjoying it is the day I quit. Though this week was decidedly low in consistency, every run felt great, which is more than I can say at other times. Is it a sign that I did it right, or that Im lollygagging in the woods however and whenever I want? Are these two things even mutually exclusive? These questions neglect the side of me that truly loves competing in races. Im not delusional enough to think that its entirely intrinsic motivation that moves me. We all have the hunter instinct in us and I wont deny mine. If I was truly as intrinsically motivated as I make myself out to be, I'd save a lot of money and have way fewer oversized t-shirts and finsher medals.

Long runs are certainly addictive- if I hadn't had to report to work immediately after Saturday's run, I may have continued to run some of Kalamazoo's hilly backroads and rack up the miles. My winter long runs have often transformed into painful marches, but as spring steadily arrives, the longer runs have been more and more pleasant, whether solo or in the company of others.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Go for 2x70 mile weeks? What the hell?

8 - Evan and I met up for a night run since we're both busy all day. 8 miles of essentially flat roads. We were blessed by the heckling of our shorts, along with the great scent of cigarettes from the scumbags outside one of the local "gentlemen's clubs." Makes me sick. Oh well, I guess we all can't be as cool as douchebag strip joint patrons.

AM - 6 miles - Al Sabo. Im a creature of habit I guess. Ran what I presume to be 6 miles. I left my watch(GPS or otherwise) at home, but I ran for just over an hour. Even on a bad day, I can crack 10 minute miles, so I'll claim six. The trails are opening up little by little, but still icy in spots. on the soft, pine needle - laden stretches, I could get into a really comfortable stride and power up the hills. Explored the east side of the preserve and found a cool short loop to tack onto longer runs. The squirrels are running wild all over the place. Call me paranoid, but I thnk they're plotting against me...kidding.

PM - 7 miles - little over a mile for warmup, then hill repeats on Oakland Drive. About 1/3mile hill. Not terribly steep, but running fast up it 6 times is about enough to induce vomiting. Tucked in close behind Joey and held on. Missed the bus, then jogged home.

...showing the utmost of class, I replenished my energy stores by choosing beer over actual food for dinner. The explanation to my horse jockey build are surfacing.

AM- 4.5 miles - Not feeling so great from yesterday's debauchery, so I ran an easy 4 around campus and the intermural fields. Traffic was chaotic, people all over the sidewalks. Why does the census double just because it's nice outside?

PM- 2.5 - A short fartlek on the treadmill to help motivate a client. She asked if I could max out the speed and grade of the treadmill for 1 minute. I did it, but my heels nearly touched the carpet behind the dreamill!

...Running less than 10 miles per day gives me an excess of energy lately. I'll take it as a good sign

AM- 4 miles- Easy run to Asylum Lake. It's a nice area, but really small and close to heav traffic. Great Weather, actually broke a sweat.

AM- 2 miles- Running around campus(seemed like I was running late for everything, but I had my Garmin on, so I may as well do something with it's bulky nerdiness).

PM - 4 miles- A nice, sunny run around GVSUs campus barefoot with Sam. My soles are tender from a winter of shoes.

0- slept, did a brake job on my car, prepped my road bike for spring, and just messed around a bit.

18 miles - Run at Cannonsburg with Jason, Mark, Rick, and Jeremiah. Maybe it was the rest from the previous three days of slacking, but this run felt pretty good.

56 miles on for the week. I'll take it, considering my terrible slacking as of late. Better luck next time.

...short on words at the moment. Have a good week!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The love/hate relationship between myself and my wind bags

AM- 4 miles- Ran to class, then did a quick chest/core workout, ran home while eating an awesome veggie pita. I realized that without school, I'll need some damned good reasons for wandering around aimlessly and enjoying myself. The working world tends to frown upon that.

PM- 2 miles - did a little jogging on the treadmill.

PM - 4 miles - 2 warm up, 10 minutes at 6:05ish pace(so, 1.6ish?), 1 mile cooldown. I was meant to do another 10 minute set, but I felt awful. My lungs actually felt ok, but I have a substantial amount of lingering fatigue from a week of being sick. Jogged a little more to catch the bus. Other than 10 minutes of tempo, combination of slow, easy running that totaled up to 10 miles. I'll take it I guess.

AM - 8 miles at Al Sabo. The trails were muddy and icy, but it felt great to touch grass and dirt with my feet again. It actually took some adjustment to run on something other than ice. The lowlands still had snow, but anything with sun exposure was dry and warm. Gorgeous.
My 100s have evolved into sandals, yet they're still better than the 101s.
brush cuts, mud, rocks, shorts! Spring is upon us, my friends!
PM - 7 miles - 2 to the feild house, a few warm up laps, sprint drills, then 8x300 workout .Watchless- I just wanted to run as hard as my lungs would take me on this "rehab week." A fun workout with some good company. We had a good amount of people at the workout tonight. The more people we have, the more fun I have. It takes away the business-like feel when people of different abilities an motivations mix it up. 2 miles home with Phil and Alex.

This was an unusually splendid day of running that refreshed me and helped me restore a little faith in myself.

8 miles - Honestly, wasn't too motivated to run in the rain after my AM classes, so I just banked on a decent effort with Joey and Evan for the night run. An 8 mile out/back route, 4 miles of long hills on the way out, and speedy, long downhills on the way back. Just a hair under 7 minute pace, and I dont ever remember to shut off my watch for stops, so it was a good effort for an easy run. It was wet, but the temperature was nearly perfect. Finished up with some of Evan's home-brewed coffee stout and some chillin' on the porch. Excellent way to salvage what would have been a pretty lazy day.

AM- 4 miles- Went to brave the cold air at Al Sabo. Just a light spitting of snow when I started, but turned into quite a little flurry by the time I was done. My legs felt fairly beat from yesterday's "easy run"(those bastards), so I couldn't really squeeze much speed out of them. Anything in the 8min/mile range hurt, so I saved some for the speedwork tonight...(My last post has more on the revelations of this day. It's boring).

PM- 6 miles - 1st workout this year on the outdoor track! It was wet and cold, but I'll be damned if coach didnt have us out there anyway. The workout went exceedingly well considering how stiff and achy I felt this morning. 7x800(2:55, 2:58, 2:50, 2:48, 2:45, 2:38, 2:37), then some jogging on the track and watching Alex and Joey fly around. I intended to do 8 repeats, but I could feel my form get a little sloppy, so I left one in the bag. Alex was shooting for a 2:20ish 800, so Joey and I led him on the last 200. Alex did well, and I even managed a fast 200 out of the deal(0:37ish). We had a good group today(Joey, Evan, Alex, Phil, Josh, and myself) and a fun atmosphere that was conducive to some good running. Shit, even Coach was in a good mood.

Today is a perfect example of my split personality at work. Morning "run" inspired by Thoreau, Afternoon run inspired by...I can't think of any famous runners right now. Bannister I guess.

AM- not hap'nin. Ran across the street to catch the bus.
PM- 8 miles - The trails at Al Sabo just keep getting less and less icy. The run was slow and painful, but I ran steadily for the entire distance, more than I've been able to say on usual runs there. By then end, I finally felt loosened up. I then put on some warmer clothes and hiked another 2 miles, stopping to read in the grass. I managed to find a spot that was out of the cold wind, but still in the warm sun. Didn't get a whole lot done, but enjoyed the afternoon. I ran the last mile or so back after reading to warm myself up and felt suprisingly springy. There must be some restorative effect of being outside.

14 miles - This run doesn't go in the "ordinary" category. Ran 1.5 miles, then decided to get some food at Qdoba. Veggie burrito, chips and salsa, mellow yellow soda. I ate my lunch in the resteraunt, then ran out. If I wanted to get my 10 in for the day, I'd continue running away from my place until my watch read 5 miles. I got distracted and turned onto the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, which turns into the Kal-Haven Trail leading to South Haven. I ended up running a few miles on the Kal-Haven, then turned onto an unknown backroad. I somehow got turned around and was heading in the wrong direction. Ended up closer to home than I feared. Did some pick-ups the last mile just so the entire run wasn't slow. The bursts of speed felt great; I should have done them earlier in the run to perk my dead legs up.

5 miles - Windy, boring, painful run on congested streets. I ran arduously slow for some reason and couldn't pick up the pace. Decided not to push it since I want to get a good start in for next week. I haven't even looked at the clock all day, but somehow dayligh savings time has still made me sleepy.

70 miles - After looking back on this week, it certainly feels like more than 70 miles. My legs feel alright, but something about the amount of time spent running this week felt a bit off. As daylight increases, Im hoping for the opportunity to extend easy runs.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cold On the Outside, Warm On the Inside

This post was intended to just be part of my weekly account of running, but I began to babble and put it in its own entry.

AM- 4 miles- Went to brave the cold air at Al Sabo. Just a light spitting of snow when I started, but turned into quite a little flurry by the time I was done. My legs felt fairly beat from yesterday's "easy run"(those bastards), so I couldn't really squeeze much speed out of them. Anything in the 8min/mile range hurt, so I saved some for the speedwork tonight. I was feeling a bit down. I've been training pretty regularly with a group of great runners. Why aren't I "there" yet? This feeling didn't last long, as I became a little ashamed of the little pity party I was throwing for myself. It was then that I seemed to wake up. I was cold, hurting a little, and not really focusing on where I was. My eyes were removed from the trail by the sight of the flakes of snow blowing in the wind. To see the snow falling onto the recently exposed mud and grass was new and exciting to my eyes when compared to months of snow landing on more snow. The contrast was something to appreciate. Watching the grass get ever so slowly covered in large flakes distracted me from how my body was feeling; I was watching something bigger than myself go through its own changes. Spring is here, and winter is still trying to hold on. I found a nice spot to sit- a pad of reddish-brown pine needles under a tree that borders the fields- and sat there for about 15 minutes. My new shelter was small and sheilded me from the wind and cold. It was easily the best part of the outing and the run served the purpose of warming me up enough to allow me to sit in a snow flurry with shorts and a 1/2zip shirt covering me.

I realized that I don't come out to the nature preserve for great workouts. I enjoy making frequent trips there so that I can be familiar with the outdoors. Watching things change and getting acquainted with those that were here before us gives me an inexplicable feeling of being home and feeling safe. Though I've made myself somewhat comfortable in my current house, the feeling of Home is absent. Even when returning to my parents' house for weekends and holidays, the security seems to have disappeared from there too. I'm a guest, no matter where my mail is sent. The experience of transitioning from a child to an adult is something I've avoided for some time now, but it's happening, ready or not. Spurred on by the notion that Home isn't the place were I keep my possessions, but the place that beckons me with feelings of comfort and security, even if it doesn't have and address That place for me at this point in time is without walls or a roof. In this time where security is absent, we find comfort in ourselves instead of our surroundings. For me, Home is where the restless feeling subsides for a while.

I suppose this coincides with my last name literally translating to "restless wanderer" in Scottish mythology. Ain't the internet wonderful?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ups and downs, but not much elevation change

0 - felt like crap. My asthma has taken me down. On one hand, I'm glad I don't have chronic asthma that limits my respiratory function every day. On the other, the days that I have flare ups make me feel as if I'm going to suffocate and die. Every time I wake up short of breath, I can only remember my mother carrying me around outside in the dark, allowing the fresh, cool air to relieve some pain. The majority of my outdoor time today was spent walking around, enjoying my limited mobility. I hate to over exaggerate, but I honestly was struggling for air the entire day. Life has its good days and bad. This wasn't great.

Tuesday -
7 miles - I felt up to a run, so I met Mark, Rick, Ryan and Tony at Hoffmaster for some joggin.' I felt fine as long as I kept the intensity low and focused on breathing. I can't help but be thankful for the humbling experience. Next time I worry about going sub 7 hours for 50 miles, I'll think about the day that I could barely get oxygen in my lungs.

0 miles - Today was sort of a "middle" day. My asthma symptoms were fairly compliant, but I lacked motivation. If my lungs aren't rebelling against me, my brain is. Laziness coupled with cabin fever is a dangerous combination.

4 miles - 4 easy with Sam at GVSU. a chilly run, but we enjoyed ourselves. Sam guilted me into turning off my Garmin, and I'm glad she did. Just enjoying some movement outdoors was all I needed.

9 miles - Evan was in town visiting his family, so he and I met up for an easy run around GVSU's campus in the rain. I should have remembered- I'm slow and "easy" is a relative term. 7 flat was about all my wheezy lungs could muster up for the 9mile trip. Since I hadn't taken my inhaler or had a nebulizer treatment in nearly 48 hours, I'll take it as a good sign.

11 miles - Met Jason in Grand Haven for 5 miles of tempo(ended up around 7:10 pace on hilly streets on the lakeshore), and a nice jog around the lake to cooldown. Discussed some future race plans and life in general. business as usual.

5 miles - Met the Gazelle Dirty Herd for some trail running at Robinettes Apple Orchard in Grand Haven. Jason, Shelly, Mark and I did some running, then met up with John, a tech rep from Merrell, for some fun and food at the Twisted Rooster. I'm not paid or affiliated with the company in any way, and I can honestly say that they've nailed the essence of the minimalist shoe movement. Impressive gear and great staff.

36 miles. Though incredibly underwhelmed by this figure, I can't help but be happy that I managed a week like this with inflamed airways and one of the worst cases of malaise I've ever experienced in my life. There's a slight glimmer of hope for this train wreck of a runner.

Here's to re-lighting the spark of motivation. Maybe the first full week of March wont be so decidedly crappy like february. I feel like I've built up some strength over the winter, and maybe I can start to polish it now.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Burnin' this motha down

Remember in elementary school when we learned that wildfires keep eco systems healthy by clearing out overgrowth for bigger, more complex organisms?

Well, that has little to do with what I'm talking about.

I think a similar event is happening with my life. The last two weeks have consisted of less running than I've done in about 2 years. Sickness, malaise, and missing skin have turned me into one of the walking dead. Im on my last college spring break of my undergraduate college career. Planning on making this a "kick off" of sorts to the spring season of running, I wanted to do several solo trips on trails I've missed since fall, but they've yet to clear. Returning home for a week has rid me of my joggin' mojo, mostly in the form of debilitating athsma. I type this now, taking a break from staring at my ceiling fan and listen to my lungs wheeze and feeling my heart race in response to my nebulizer treatments. How did I go from an aspiring ultrarunner to a buble boy in a matter of days? Life's funny sometimes. If life is anything other than random, then maybe this series of events has prevented me from starting a good training season with burnout.

Im sure I'll make a quick recovery, even if things are looking a little bleak at the moment. Taking this setback as a reset rather than a disaster is the way to go. If I didn't learn it on hunting trips with my dad in the frozen swamps near Kalkaska, I learned it on overnight runs in the summer: Its always coldest before dawn.