Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tad bit flabby, but none too shabby.

My sister ever so nicely pointed out my love handles this week, hence the title of the post. Not to mention, it rhymes, which is more important. My mileage wasn't phenomenal, but is it ever? Considering how early in the year it is, I'll take it.
4 easy miles - Damn you daylight savings time! Slept until 11am, giving me a couple hours to run, check out my squeaky ass brakes on my car, book my flight to Denver, and get my lease stuff sorted. Barely had time to stop for a bitchin' burrito! My legs felt surprisingly great after the long run. Ahh, the restorative effects of veggie pizza and staying moving. I'm trepidatiously starting to feel like a runner again because I felt like doing more.

16 miles - Started out on a route I knew to be 12. The sun was shining, it was 65 degrees, and I was struttin' around with no shirt on. Sorry, Dalton Township. I added an extra 2 miles on a golf course/affluent subdivision. I arrived at home with extra energy still, so I ran to Samantha's house. I haven't had a run like this in a long time. I ran the entire time, comfortable and smooth, fueled by nothing more than a prerun GU. Must be the sunshine.

It reminded me of my first experiences with running, which must have been about 4 years ago. I once ran for three hours straight, which was 2.5 hours longer than my previous best. I paid for it the next morning, but I'll never forget the feeling of not wanting to stop. My neighborhood looked so different on foot. I've spent the last years trying to recapture it. It doesn't happen often, but it's worth the daily chase.

9 miles - Planned on doing a fartlek or hill workout, but just didn't feel right. Ran the first 4 pretty easy, then did a few pickups in the latter half, making sure to sprint the only hill in a 3 mile radius of my house.

I've decided that getting "mountain ready" is pretty much a lost cause. I feel that the best plan of action is to just get generally fit and take the lumps that are coming to me in those first couple weeks in CO. My heart and lungs will be ready, but my  quads are going to take a beating. Can't wait! The beatiful weather today made me realize just what a beautiful place I'm leaving behind.
Empire Bluff, near Traverse City, MI
There's potential for me to work here upon returning home.
Don't ask what my plans are, for I have no idea whatsoever. 
AM 7 miles - Standard 7 miler around the house. Felt good and barely felt my legs. Considering that I've run 100 miles in 7 days, I'd call that a good sign. Finished with some fartlek in that last 2 miles.
 Not having the time to drive to trails is liberating and boring at the same time. It's nice to just put the shoes on and jog out the driveway, but I do miss my trails. Driving to the trails would add an hour or more to the total time I take to run each day, so I'd rather do a fast, flat road run for 90-120 minutes than a 30 minute trail run. Plenty of trail time to come.

PM 4 miles - Finally bought headlamp batteries and went for a post work(and pub) jog from the house. I hadn't doubled in a couple weeks, and this felt pretty good. I don't know what to attribure my recent increase in vigor to lately, but I'm going to let it ride and try not to burn out. With the Kal Haven race approaching, overdoing it would be a that's probably what I'll end up doing.

4 miles - The night run caused me to stay up late. Staying up late caused me to sleep my morning away. I woke up, ran for 30 minutes, and went to work. I am a rather boring individial that only runs and operates a grinder. Those running magazines are full of shit, man. I see no tan girls with nice stomachs while I go running. No glory. No well placed beads of sweat. Just a pasty, red-faced kid plodding down a dirt road for no reason at all. It's not a glamorous hobby, not even with new shoes on. I'll never be a poweful looking runner gracing the pages of a magazine or winning mega huge prize purses. That's not even what I want. What am I spending every minute of free time I have on this for anyway? I'm chasing a dream that is just a mirage on the horizon, my eyes in an aimless stare. I'm moving toward...something, but I don't even know what it is. The desired result from all my effort? I have no idea. Just keep chasing an elusive dream.

Random frustrations aside, I discovered a beautiful section of singletrack near my house today on some "not so public" land. I jogged around on it for a bit, sat near the small, widing creek and had  peaceful moment. Small moments like this are all we get sometimes, and this was all I needed to feel right again. The nagging questions, the hows and whys of this ludacris hobby just faded away as I realized why I do it. My feet brought me to this little trail, next to this quietly flowing creek, where all was right for a minute. That's why.

Why do I get so serious? Other people get all serious and shit, and I tell them to lighten up.

17 miles - Parked at Snug Harbor, ran a quick trail loop, then headed into North Muskegon for some mile repeats on the track. One small oversight on my part: Hydration. By the time I reached the track, my water bottle was nearly empty, it was 76 degrees, and I was on a black rubber track. Not a drinking fountain to be found. I did manage to find a half full bottle of water lying in the grass, so I dumped it on my head. 3x1mile@5:50. I was aiming for 4, but bagged it early when the last one was substantially slower(5:59).

On the way back, I stopped at my Grandparents house and help them move some boxes into their garage attic, filled up my bottle, and jogged back to the trails. I made a point to visit my favorite section of trail, a tight singletrack on a ridge where the dunes meet the woods. A great run overall, and my final hard effort before the Kal Haven Trail Run. The trail run and the sun-baked road sections were great. Sweat pouring out of me and taking in some easy miles in my favorite place to run.

5 mile - Felt sort of blah, didn't really feel like running all that much. Must have been the food coloring in all that green beer.  An easy run around the block just for the sake of staying moving.

66 miles  - Sixty-Six actual miles, verified with either a Garmin, gmaps pedometer, or a track. All decimals were simply rounded off. The past two weeks have been great to me. Relatively low mileage(not for me, I feel like a baus, but for real runners), but some speedy runs, some relaxing jogs, and some quiet reflection have made me feel more at ease. No days off, which is nice.
The week was kind, as was the weather. Shirtless running and flaunting of the muffin top.
Let's see how I survived the winter. Kal Haven Ultra next weekend.


  1. Sunds like you had a great week.
    I liked what you had to say about Friday and the reason we run.
    To much green beer kept me in bed most of the day today as well :)

  2. I have to ask: where did you get that shirt you are wearing in the last picture? That might very well be the most awesome shirt ever! ;)

    Take care and keep up the great posts!
    Stefan from Denmark.

  3. HA! I love that shirt too. My girlfriend got it for me at a local art fair a few years ago. Can't beat a good tye dyed shirt!

    1. Haha :D That is great.
      I guess I'll have to create one myself. I was hoping it would be possible to get one not in cotton. My eternal love of anything made out of wool is an expensive habit.

      Take care and keep up the good work - I'll keep on reading with interest.