Monday, January 28, 2013

Lumberjack Training: Week 1

Maybe that will be my next life crisis. No lumberjack stuff here.

Running is back on the radar. I planned on starting training New Year's day with a triumphant return to my running shoes. Then I got drunk and woke up sick. I thought it was simply a hangover, but when the aches, fever(103 at the highest, thank you), vomitting, coughing, and exhaustion continued for two and a half weeks, I surmized that I'm not capable of that level of epic partying. Sidelined with the flu before I even got started. Oh well.

I'm feeling better, and figuring out how to integrate running into a school and work schedule. The goal for the week is to hit an honest 30 miles of just cruising. The body isn't up to speedwork just yet, but a little consistency should help shake the remaining demons out and get me going. Umstead's in 3.5 months. Not planning on an epic performance any more, but I've adjusted goals.

New plan for my Spring 100: Negative Split. My last two 100s were of the rather amazing variety, and I'm proud to have finished them under their unique circumstances. They were, however, colossal failures from a performance end. I ran the first 50 miles in 10 hours for each race. Then, I crawled for 18 and 19.5 hours, respectively. To be succinct: fuck. that. noise. I'm not the type to do anything perfect the first time, and I accept that. Now it's time to experiment again. I want to run the first half slow. Too slow. Embarassingly slow. Then, I want to run faster. Nothing is as demoralizing as feeling progressively shittier, then bottoming out, then crawling it in. I've accepted that Umstead may not be a fantastic triumph from a numbers standpoint, but could be a great learning experience that will help me figure out the code for running a solid 100mile time someday. Forever a student.

Here's how the week went. Don't laugh

zero: This is my 13 hour day at school, so I let it slide on account of still coughing out what I assume is a combination of phlegm, brain matter and Taco Bell.

Three: Running literally felt foreign. very nice, but foreign. Not a single ache or pain.
Water classes as well. A new group that likes to work hard, so the intensity is up and I even get to challenge myself for one of the 4 hours.

Five: A quicker cruise around the block in the snow. Not fully healthy still. Patience is in order, I think.

No run. Couldn't scrape up the time. Class in the morning, work at night. Afternoon? Oh, I almost forgot: I'm an uncle! My sister gave birth to my new neice, Leah Kay. Spent my "run time" for the day meeting my newest relative. A perfectly healthy, 8lb baby. Definitely one of the best days of life thus far. People are born every day, but live is a wonderful thing, even in all of its crying, pooping complexity.

Two: Sickness is creeping back in, and a run helped get it out. Worked on an essay instead of running more. meh.

Fifteen: A road trip up to the VASA trail in Traverse City with Evan. 3 hour drive for a 2:15 run. I felt remarkably shitty on this run. A wiser man would have stayed home, especially knowing that Evan is faster than me on a good day. About a quarter mile into this run, we were stopped by an uppity skier, then a very polite trail groomer. No running shoes shall touch the trail in the winter. If we vowed to run the woods next to the trail, we were allowed to run the route. Instead of a speedy 40k run, we did a slow 25k slog in ankle/mid-shin deep snow, weaving in and out of trees and over logs. Once we got over the wrist-slapping, it was really enjoyable. As mentioned, I felt terrible when I pushed the pace, so I just let Evan go and he waited when he noticed I was a ways back.

zero. Slept in, didn't do much. Shoveled some snow.

25 miles for the week. In a mass email from the Umstead folks, participants were told "Good luck to each of you as you finish up these last few critical weeks of training and remember to taper." Ummmm...what?

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