Monday, March 16, 2015

Incremental Last Minute Progress

Starting to feel a bit obsessive. It's a nice break from complacency.

Scheduled day off, and a perfectly timed one at that. I went to bed and almost immediately spiked a fever, chills, nausea, and sweating. I could barely breathe and considered going to the ER. Moral of the story is that humidifiers are the devil. Seems like something I should know already, given a history of hospitalizations from lung disorders and extensive schooling in biology, but I make no claims to be smart.

AM: 4 miles - 22:00(cycling)- Just the typical chilly bike commute to school. I know I said I'd be run commuting, but I had too much stuff this time, and planned on double-digit mileage in the afternoon.
PM: 4 miles - 25:00(cycling) - Pedaling home. Two Med/Surg texts and a drug guide are a bit much for one sunburned shoulder and a messenger bag.
PM 2: 10.6 miles - 1:25 - First day of putting the blinders on and being coached. The decision to ask for help and get a real coach is a whole post in itself, I suppose. More on that later. 10 miles of gravel bike paths and sidewalks. Knowing I was done in ten miles, and that all I had to do was get it done made it go by much faster. I just enjoyed picking my way around the east side of flagstaff, finding as much dirt as I could to put my feet on. 8:00/mile pace felt a little harder than I thought it would, but I didn't check the pace until it was over to keep myself from running too hard.

Daily total: 2:12 of activity. Bike, exam, lecture, lab, bike clean, run roads. Some days just have to be investments in the future, but this was still a good one.

AM: 10 miles - 2:00:00ish - Drove down to the Bell Trail with Kelsey for some exploring. We bought a touristy book of "50 favorite hikes" for this area. Truth be told, the wide-eyed newness of tourism suits me. I'm not too cool to be excited and have no idea where I'm going. This trail, just a 4-5 mile jog to a turnaround, had a wide variety of terrain and views. It started out with a flat, rolling trail along a creek, then crossed the creek to a pretty technical climb with outstanding views and wound up on a mesa with a very faint trail. It's a real gem of a trail, especially considering that it has actual flowing water.
Running trails with this kind of scenery that aren't insanely difficult is great

Seeing Oak leaves by this creek made me nostalgic for home

The trail ascended from the canyon pretty abruptly.

The home mountain range off in the distance

I complain, but I love the steep, technical trails
PM - 8 miles - 1:00:35 - would liked to have done the full 18 on the Bell trail by doubling it, but had to get home. Ground out 8 miles on the hilly streets of flagstaff and the gravel urban trails, already thinking about where to do the next long run. Roads make trails more fun, and trails make roads feel really fast. Ideally I'd shift the ratio more to a trail bias, but sometimes, even in Flagstaff, doing a run on 100% trails involves more driving than I'd like. If I can reserve the car for a couple of weekly trips to sedona and not drive for day to day stuff, I can justify the expense and fuel.

PM 2 - Weights - 40:00 - I felt pretty weak, but accompanied Sarah and Kelsey to the gym to do a workout. Hit each muscle group twice and then ate a whole pizza, bread ball/bite/stick things, and a bottle of soda.

Daily total: 3:40 of activity

8 miles 1:04:00 - Really fatigued after the previous day's 3+ hours of exercise, but shook it off and made it home in time to rush off to the hospital for clinicals. A product of running more in the last couple weeks has been feeling my running economy improve a little. I no longer feel like I'm bounding along in disjointed steps, but rather gliding a bit more with a straighter back and little bird steps. It feels cool.

AM - 8 miles - 1:16:00 - A morning off for Kelsey and me, so we jogged along highway 180 for some somewhat flat, easy miles. Living on a small mesa means at least 300' of loss/gain when we run from home. Adjusting to actually running consecutive days in a row has been pleasant. "only 8 today? sweet!"

PM - 7 miles of cycling - Just a cruise around town to kill some time and run some errands.

Daily total: 2:00

10 miles - 1:41:00 - easy trail running at night from home. Left at 8pm for Buffalo park, rambled around in the trails for 6 miles, then shuffled home. Running trails alone in the dark is always a little unnerving for me when I first start. Once I've gotten all the scary thoughts out of my head, it becomes a peaceful, quiet experience.
The scenery at night is a little less breathtaking.
3/15/15 - 5 miles - 41:00 - easy stroll around the neighborhood to cap off the week. It was "optional," but I felt good and felt like taking advantage of not having any pressure to run. The pace was so mellow that the only benefit was some conditioning of my foot skin.

 My mind wandered, but I remember feeling happy about how a 59 mile week felt. I don't even know if I had a 59 mile week leading into Zane Grey last year. I could probably find out, since that's supposedly the reason I keep this blog. This week was just fun. I feel like a committed runner- like I have a shot at breaking out of my current performance level for the first time in 3 years. Surely that's very optimistic of me, considering that a mere 59 mile week is commonplace for anyone who owns as many half-used running shoes as I do. I'm sleeping better, my weight is slowly decreasing, my running gait seems to be smoothing out, and my feet are starting to look a little fucked up. All good signs.

Totals: 59 miles of running, 11.5 hours of total training. This is the part where I don't take a period of relative success, get overly ambitious, and ruin it.

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