AM: failed attempt to run trails. 5 minutes in and we realized it was a light dusting of snow over several inches of slick ice. Core work instead.
PM: 4 miles in the dark on the sidewalks around campus solo. Easy pace with some charges up the hills.
(7 miles?)1 hour at Al Sabo Land Preserve with Kelsey. Icy trails with some fluffy accumulation on top. Beautiful day to be out, even if I was a little underdressed for 15deg. This felt like the first continuous timed run in a while, and it was wonderful. Staying moving in the snow and sliding around on powdery singletrack made me feel grateful for the day. Maybe it was New Year's Eve that caused the mellow reflection, but I was pondering a year that really put me through the wringer. Many reminders of how finite our time is on this planet threw me into a state that alternated between angst and ambivalence about how I would use this gift of time. I smiled to myself because while I've fretted mourned, people and experiences have kept me laughing and healthy.
The year ended as Kelsey and I stood silently, alone on a hill in Kalamazoo, watching fireworks off in the distance as we passed a mason jar of champagne back and forth. A wonderful way to cap off 2013. 2014 is showing a lot of promise. Exciting, terrifying, motivating promise.
2 miles - Yes. 2 miles. Jog on the River Valley Trail with the dogs, mostly for the sake of tiring them out. I got more than I bargained for when Calvin(40lb spastic leash-yanking variety of dog) Tugged me along on an interval workout.
AM(okay, noon): 4 miles of postholing in knee-deep(in some spots) snow from the apartment. I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but I do occasionally love running in such difficult conditions. Inconsistent footing, picking up the knees, and feeling my body warm up in spite of it being 10deg outside. Something about embracing a struggle is comforting. When it's difficult, I can't zone out with each step, which makes me less likely to mindlessly shuffle.
PM: 3 miles at the Arbs with Kelsey and Cohen. Even though this is the spot where I lost consciousness and had some sort of seizure, I love this place. A nice, small network of trails, and today had beautiful weather. It was cold enough to make ice crystals float about in the air and reflect in the Sun. Kelsey was testing out a slick new pair of snowshoes, and I'm envious. I even got to try them out.
They may not be long or fast, but these short trail outings as of late have made running feel fun, and shown me that physical activity such a vital part of my happiness. Compared to the infrequency of my running in the past...year(wow), I still feel like I'm building fitness one small piece at a time. Being back in the town where I went to school has reminded me of the lifestyle I had when I made large gains in fitness. Frequuent runs, resistance training, occasionally swimming and keeping my mind busy(seldom a problem, as is evident by my parenthetical ramblings) is far better for me than feeling like I'm starting with nothing every day.
AM: No jogging. Body weight exercise: Planks, tricep dips, push-ups, squats, lunges, sit-ups, shower, oatmeal, coffee. I'm just listing words now.
PM: 12 miles. Pseudo-workout in the snow. A mix of plowed and unplowed sidewalks on the route to the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, which was untouched by anyone since the last snow. I trudged along until I reached the Kal-Haven trail, which was packed down by snowmobiles. Once my watch hit one hour, I turned around and did a timed interval workout on the way back. 1x5:00, 1x4:00, 1x3:00, 1x2:00, 1x1:00, 1x0:30. Equal rest interval. I was kind of bored on the return trip, and the thick snow provided some added resistance to build some leg strength. Felt excellent when I got home.
No jogging during the day, but a few miles of hiking at the Yankee Springs Winter Challenge to find an aid station manned by Mark, Ryan, and Tony. I was unabashedly pleased to not have been running a race today, but hanging out at a cool local event for a while is always motivating. Some people I know, and many that I don't, were out in the winter weather for 10k-50mile runs. Kelsey, Cohen and I loitered around and waited for Mikey to come through the AS, then hiked back.
AM: 1 hour. 5 miles, I guess. Al Sabo Preserve with Kelsey and Cohen. Deep snow, swinging on a swing in the middle of a field, and a quiet morning in the woods. I have an incredibly hard time getting myself out the door for winter running, but really enjoy it once I get out. I type this as I try to muster up the motivation to get outside for another run. I don't stark work until next week or school until tomorrow. "No time" is an excuse I won't be able to utter for a while.
PM: 5 miles. About 45 minutes around campus, but the entire area was a big snowdrift. It made for a frozen yet fun experience, running around in the dark alone. Stomping up the hills around buildings that I normally see surrounded by a sea of humanity(at least that's how I remember it; I haven't been here during class hours in a couple years). Dark, cold, and awesome.
42 miles. Good, in that it's the highest mileage I've done lately and it didn't feel that hard. I could improve by adding some intensity and simply trying to get two runs in per day. Not necessarily two long/fast runs, but tacking some extra minutes of training onto each day. Run to work. Run to the store. Feel like a runner, a way I haven't really felt in a while.
Jog on, Joggers.