Monday, March 24, 2014

A Slight Increase

Training is starting to intensify in my 11th hour attempt to get fit for Zane Grey. This isn't an incredibly interesting read(is it ever?), but at least people can see this after April 26th and say, "no wonder he died in the Mogollon Rim."

4 miles + weights: A fairly standard loop around campus. I wore my super thin Merrell Vapor Gloves to see if my gait has gone to shit from wearing the Adios, a clunker in comparison. No jarring or bone smashing to speak of. After that, a simple weight workout with a heavy backpack. Lunges, squats, push-ups, curls, shoulder press. I questioned the efficacy of something so simple, but I write this 24 hours later with sore everything.

10 miles: 1:20. I didn't really know where I was going, then a guy at a stoplight, also jogging, started talking to me about jogging of all things. We decided to get an easy hour of running in together since neither of us knew exactly which route to run. Meeting random people is fun. I then did approximately 50 sit-ups in a row and made cookies.

26.2 miles: Had a work cancellation, so I decided to run a marathon. A sort of hilly, cold, rainy, solo road marathon. I still have no real desire to run the trails. They're either impassable, vulnerable to erosion, or both. I mapped out a route that happened to be 13.1 miles from my door to an intersection in the middle of nowhere. It featured a winding road, some rolling hills, and a few bodies of water to capture my gaze as I shuffled by. I reached my turnaround point in 1:35(no stopping the watch for intersections), and pondered the idea of negative splitting it to go under 3 hours for a marathon. The jog out was relatively easy, so I figured it was possible. I stopped my watch, ate a banana, and drank the rest of one water bottle. I was wearing my Ultraspire Spry vest with another bottle in the pocket. With no way to know my real-time pace, I just ran comfortably hard to see if it looked possible to make it back in under 3. I fucked up and didn't re-start my watch after a traffic light(the pressure of having a time goal made me more obsessive about a real time), so no official time for me. The watch said 2:52 when I wheezed up to the door of the apartment building. If only I could remember what those two songs were on the radio and add their times up...or I could just not care. I chose to not care and go buy an absurd amount of food from Qdoba.
I felt good for the most part, but being cold and wet and tired made me want
to sit in this old (and probably haunted) chair and wait for spring.

This is my longest run in quite some time. I'd be concerned because of it only being 3 hours, but if I'm going to adhere to the idea that quality matters more than quantity, then I'll have to put the insecurity aside. I've got a couple 4+ hour jaunts in the next few weeks. That should suffice. I think.

4 miles+ weights. One of the more intense sessions in the weight room. One-legged deadlifts, weighted lunges, chest press, calf raises, alternating row push-ups with dumbbells, and various yoga-ish core exercises that look totally masculine and graceful at the same time, I'm sure.

6 miles: 3 miles with Kelsey and Cohen around campus. A couple hours later I thought I'd try out the trails. They sucked, as expected. Sliding around is kind of fun, but sinking every couple steps got old pretty quickly. The snow/ice is still well over a foot thick in most spots. 3 miles and I called it a day.

18 miles: with Evan and Ephraim around GR. I felt the previous miles of the week accumulating in my legs, but still managed to hang as we ran around and outside of town. Still amazed at how time goes by quickly with good company. I don't think I'd still be running without the help of my friends. It's not a team sport, but doing it alone kind of sucks.

Rest day.

68 miles is enough for the week, given the drastic increase in volume. I'll try to rest so that I can put more quality in in a few days. With a very unofficial marathon PR and no nagging injuries to speak of, I feel that I'm fortunate and shouldn't push it. I don't feel exhausted, sick of running, or hate my life, so I'm probably not training hard enough. Flights and hotels are all booked for the journey, so there's no going back now.

Whenever I go to publish this training log, I wonder why I'm doing it. I started a blog to write reviews and race reports to practice writing. My life, motivation, and overall outlook have changed since then, but this seldom-read journal remains. I remembered why I started running in the first place. Running, with its associated enjoyment, friendships, travel, and personal growth, has changed me for the better. One good change lead to another, and I've become a happier person. The logging of miles is no stroke of genius, but it helps keep me on track and fill the gaps between times of inspiration.


  1. Hope this doesn't make you think I'm a creepy stalker, but I enjoy reading your blog posts.

    1. Not at all! Thanks, Heather. Also, Please don't think I snubbed you on the MyFitnessPal app. I went with a "shovel food into my mouth" approach after I got a feel for how many calories to consume. It's just a lot.