Sunday, December 12, 2010

12/7-12/13/10 weekly recap

8 miles- short on time, but long on creativity, I turned my running club time into an errand-running session. I had to run the 4 mile trip to the grocery and back, then the run to class. I was enjoying the heavy snowfall so much, that I just ran right by the bus and took the long way jeans and my bulky Brooks Cascadias, full backpack. The pace was decent considering the extra weight and bulky clothes(about 8:30ish pace). Got home and shoveled the deck and sidewalk as a cooldown. It was a nice day to ease into another week after last week's relatively high mileage.

PM- 5 miles- Went to Al Sabo, but didn't even plan on running any harder than it took to stay warm. Turns out, that was harder than anticipated. It took 2 miles before I even felt my feet. I may have to break down and wear socks. The run was picturesque, and I stopped to take in some of the views over the pond. A run like this would be great to be documented with a camera.
PM- 6 miles- 3 warm up with Abbey and Joey. It was nice to cruise around downtown before going into the gas chamber that is the indoor track. 3 miles indoors was enough for me, so I called it a day and headed to my meeting. After running a snowy trail on my own and indoor in the same day, my feelings about indoor running have not improved

AM- 5 miles with Abbey and Alex. An easy, flat shakeout jog on the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. Followed by some lifting.
PM- 7.5 miles with the Wednesday night crew at Gazelle. Ran to campus, did a loop, headed up by valleys, saw some huge ass Christmas light displays, and took Crosstown Parkway back to the store. I wore my NB100 trail shoes, and they gave me considerable knee pain, even with the heel removed. Warmth and truly minimal shoes are not often found together, so I attempted to wear something warmer. I'd rather be cold.

6 miles- Looks like school and my procrastination got the better of me today. Got in 6 easy with Alex and Abbey this afternoon. It was a great run, but I would like to have gotten in some more miles.  I was up until 4 this morning working on my final project, so I opted to go home and rest instead of doubling. Another long night of schoolwork ahead.

0 miles. After feeling decidedly crappy yesterday, I chose to just take a day off. It threw off my plan of having another 80mile week, but suffering through it for the sake of an arbitrary number seemed senseless. As much as I love the proposed strength gains to be yielded from indoor track workouts, I have to wonder if they're for me. I've yet to have a good experience in the fieldhouse, and the poor workouts are usually followed by my injured knee feeling loose and showing some swelling. I'll try to acclimate to the dry air and speed more slowly, as I may have some sort of characteristic that keeps me from adapting as quickly as the fast guys I run with. The comeraderie I get from the guys at running club is unmatched anywhere else, so I'd like to hang in there just for the good times. The only part that is frustrating is the residual fatigue and soreness that results in cutting the easy, long trail miles-where my love of running really lies. Motivation also tends to disappear when I spend two consecutive nights in the lab working on a project until dawn. No complaints here, but running just had to take a backseat for a bit.

0 again. Another night of inadequate sleep and a truly booked schedule kept me out of my running gear again. 4 hour CPR class in the AM, Meetings all afternoon, and some socializing at night took precedence over running in nasty rain once more. Bummer. I really can't explain it, but I felt that this break, albeit excessive and abrupt, was necessary. After three weeks of slightly above average mileage, weeks that got progessively higher, a down week was sounding pretty good. I'd love to get to a point someday where a down week still consists of relatively high miles, but I'm confident that I'll get there.

Get it comes...0 miles. Woke up feeling exhausted, so I studied, slept, and read all day. Im getting really good at this sedentary stuff. Consecutive days off are getting to me, but They've also been helpful. Instead of saying to myself, "I'm behind on my miles, I should run xxmiles today," I now just have the itch to get moving. Numbers be damned.

Total for the week :37.5

Here's what the majority of my week consisted of. Note my official sign, thoughtful look, and calculator. If you need further proof that I was working, notice the pencil in my mouth. A true sign of mental depth.

I've realized that the reasons I run aren't for the same reasons as the next person. Not better, not worse, but different. I love being outside.
As I hear people talking about their disdain for winter weather, I can't help but wonder what the falling snow looks like at this exact moment. One of my favorite spots at the nature preserve is a patch of pines sitting near an open, prairie-like field. Once I get warmed up enough to slow down, I head to that spot and sit on a log, watching it snow. First peering out of the forest, watching the snow blow powerfully across the field in waves-not unlike the waves that lap over the sand at home on the beach of Lake Michigan when a storm rolls in. Turning around, I can see the same snow drifting through the canopy of the pines as it slowly and peacefully settles on the ground. I can sit there looking at a scene nearly calm enough to sleep in, while outside the shelter of the trees is a violent air that burns the skin as it freezes, chapping the exposed skin that peaks out from my shoes.
My affinity for running hasn't always been this way, but it's getting to be more and more so with each passing week. Could I walk and experience this? Certainly, and I do, but the pleasure of the experience seems to be heightened by a heartbeat that rises and falls in concert with the hills.

As finals week will surely come and go quickly, Im blessed with nearly 3 weeks off of school. As I write this, the thoughts of long runs, either solo or with friends, are looming in my head. The silence of the woods that I find just a couple hours North of home is inviting. It will help me appreciate those around me more and allow me to enjoy the pleasantly exhausted feeling after hours of running.

If anyone is reading this that doesn't see me often, please know that Im still a goofball who enjoys bathroom sounds and the dirtiest of jokes, but my writing has, for some reason or another, taken on this fancy-pants pretentious vibe. The wordy-er I get ,the longer it will take me to get to something productive.

Hope all who read this are well. All 2 of you.


  1. Hello Jesse! First of all i really enjoy your blog. I am currently a 60 to 70 mpw trail runner in northern Arizona. Over the course of the last year and a half I've transitioned to more and more minimal footwear. I started with NB 790s, then to NB 100s, then to NB 101s with vibram five fingers for lighter/shorter (less technical) runs. I liked the 790s for a few months, then when i transitioned to the 100s i felt certain i'd found the perfect shoe.... until i started having some pretty serious (right) knee problems with increased mileage over the last several months. And after trying the 101s i've definitely found i do not like them at all, even for short runs. Very recently i bought a pair of nike streak xc 2 and i've fallen in love with them! Only problem is they are falling apart after a few hundred miles. My knee problems have all but faded away with this very minimal shoe, that and running about 4 to 6 miles a week barefoot on grass. The reason i'm posting this is to find out if you have any good suggestions beyond vibram ffs? I'm absolutely convinced that even the minimal 100s are causing lots of trouble for my knee, and until the NB minimus trail makes its debut i'm a little uncertain with what to go with next. Thanks man. All the best to you with future training and racing! If you ever happen to be in the high desert of norther AZ let me know (, i'd love to show you some great trails around Mingus mountain and Sedona. Take care.


  2. Tim-
    I had a pair of waffle racer IV xc flats that I loved, real light and nimble, with decent rock protection. I did further surgery on them to get them just right(shaved a rubber pad off the heel and rounded it just a little), but really liked it other wise. I had the same problem in 100s as you, even after cutting the outsole off, removing the heel, and reattatching the outsole. This did improve the shoe greatly, but I still like a wider toebox.
    I cant talk about it too much, but Im currently testing a shoe that I'm confident you'll like. Its a good competition for the NB minimus, but it has a troe zero-drop platform and very roomy toebox. Traction and protection are good as well. I like the EVO from Terra Plana, and the EVO II is reportedly better. If you havent tried Treks or Treksports from Vibram, they're definitely great trail shoes. I raced a 50 in them, as well as a gravel 68miler with zero stone bruising or even a blister. I still prefer over anything else if Im running a road route that takes me to a trail. Thanks for the kind words and stay healthy!

  3. Hey I read this! haha. Let me know of a good time you want to go running in your neighbor hood. I would like to see something new! I'll try not to fade! haha And let me know if theres a particular weekend day you want to go skiing! :D

  4. Can do, Ryan. We have some decent trail areas here, especially within driving distance. Ft. Custer, Yankee Springs, Even some of the smaller areas are nice too.

  5. Thanks Jesse! I appreciate the recommendations. Also good to hear about the tester you're working on, obviously you can't give details at the moment.... any idea when you can let that cat outa the bag?.. I'd be very interested in checking them out. Thanks again man. Take care!