Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey Trottin' Week

21? miles - 2:45 on the rolling hills at Yankee Springs and the North Country hiking trail. Nice back to back runs from yesterday and today, and I feel pretty good about it. It felt nice to do a little of what I used to, just putting miles on and enjoying the trails. I can tell that the pep would be taken from my step if I did it long term, so I'll go back to shorter, intense efforts for the weekdays. Great times with Evan on the trail, hoping to not get shot by the orange coats. Finished up with beer and fries. Nobody else was in the bar at 2pm. Weird, yeah?

zippity - Installed drywall at my sister's place, then went to work for exercise classes. I didn't really feel bad about missing a run, nor did I really *need* to skip it.

4 miles - Another busy-ish day of drywall, drinking apple pie flavored homemade liqour of some sort, and a little wood splitting. Snuck out for a late 4 miler, with alternating 30sec on/30sec off for about 5 minutes. Turkey Trot in the morning. I felt decidedly unfashionable for not getting drunk on the biggest bar night of the year, but Sam worked all day, and the obnoxiousness of the crowds appealed to neither of us. Lonely in solitude. Uncomfortable in groups. The human condition, isn't it?

6 miles - Barely a mile's worth of warmup, then the Thanksgiving day Turkey Trot at the Muskegon YMCA. A great turnout this year to raise moneys for the food bank. Over 600 people turned out for some good times in good weather. I really love these kinds of events, in spite of them being low-key and not geared toward "serious runners"(what does that even mean? We all just run around and go nowhere. How the hell is it serious?). Looking around at these places, inspiration is plentiful. Kids running their first 5ks. Adults making their first steps toward getting healthy. College kids coming home and being with Families. Exercise for it's own sake, and people enjoying each other. Big races like the Leadville 100 are unforgettable in their grand uniqueness, but the realization that fun exercise and a smiling commnity exist in our backyards on a daily basis is even better.

Anyway, 17:38 on a flat out/back 5k course. 600 people running, jogging, strollering, and dog-walking right at me down the bicycle path made for some fun obstacle course style running. Even jumped over a small kid who darted out in front of me(he's fine, I even got my legs high enough to clear his head). 1st place. Its incredibly fun to see everyone on the course, especially my own family. My mom, aunt, cousins, sister(8months pregnant and walking briskly, no less), and girlfriend were enjoying the morning too. A mid 17minute 5k is what I was running while training in college, and it usually resulted in being laid up for a couple days with a bruised foot or tweaked knee. Today? Absolutely no pain whatsoever. A win is a special thing no matter how small the venue, and I'm thankful for the boost in confidence that comes with being the fastest on that course on that particular day. All I have to do is run a whole minute per mile faster to be a real 5k'er. No thanks.

2 mile cooldown back to Samantha and 12 year old cousin Emily, who were running together, and ran them in.

5 miles - First snow accumulation of the year, a nice recovery run was perfect. Spent a couple hours stacking wood in the cold air, then took off for a nice 5 miler. Started out kind of stiff, which I think was mostly from sitting on my ass all afternoon yesterday. Should have doubled. Got down to a 7 minute mile for number 4 before cooling down, so I feel restored back to my normal state.

4 miles - damn, I'm slacking this week. Fairly typical behavior for me, given the circumstances. The long runs tend to suck the ambition to plod out more boring miles. The holiday has presented more social obligations, as has the temporary joining of family into the "not-so employed club" due to holiday vacations. And I'm sure my subconscious has proclaimed "You've won two local, turkey-themed 5ks recently. If you don't back it down a bit, you'll be in the same boat as that Armstrong fellow."

...oh, right, the run. 4 miles in about 27 minutes. Did it as sort of a "blind time trial." Set my stopwatch on the table in the garage, did the loop, and checked it. Not an all out effort, but I knew the clock was running.

AM - 1 hour at the State Park. Ran about aimlessly, taking some pictures along the way. 5 miles worth would be my best guess. Lots of stopping and looking around, which just felt right. Every day can't be fast I guess.
Nice overlook over Snug Harbor.

One of my favorite hills to slog up. Holding a running gait up it is tough.
...unless you're staging a photo of course.

Great little section of trail. I think it's a deer run. One slip and you're cartwheeling down to "Lost Lake."
Cool overlook that was recently installed over the Gulf Coastal Plain.

PM - 2 miles - Kind of a random run. The sun popped out for a moment, so I did too. Only double of the week.

47 miles for the week. I told myself I'd chill out after the 68 mile week, and apparently I'm good at doing what I'm told, provided it involves laziness. Trust the plan, trust the plan, trust the plan, even if it's my own plan that doesn't jive with conventional ultra wisdom. 5k legs with just enough endurance just might beat a conditioned shuffler if I play my cards right.

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