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.

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