Sunday, December 5, 2010


8 miles- Used running as my transportation for the day. 4 in the morning, 3 to school, 2 with running club before going to class. Running 4 different times in one day, mostly with a 30lb backpack, is a quick way to make the legs tired with low volume. It also helps when the buses refuse to run at their scheduled times. Met Abbey at the Rec for core work

10 miles. Workout done with Abbey and Alex. 1.5 to the feildhouse, 1.5 for a warmup, 5.5 miles worth of Oliver hill repeats(a substantially long, steep grade, if there is such a thing in the midwest), then 1.5 home. This was great workout, one that makes me greatful for great friends and good health. Added some explosive bursts at the end to work on speed after being tired.

8 miles with the Gazelle Sports Group. Good turnout tonight and a good group. Nice easy 6, followed by 2 to make an even 8. About 7 miles of walking today too, but what kind of runner would I be if I counted that? Ran on snow covered sidewalks and roads, adding a few subtle nuances to an old route. Met Abbey and Alex at the rec to lift weights(shoulders, chest, triceps)

AM- 6.2 miles at Al Sabo. I wanted to break trail on the more technical sections of the land preserve. I also ran some new paths. All I had to do was wait for some snowfall, then the deer showed me where all the good trails are. Headed toward the college and ran on that side for a few miles. One part that was particularly fun was a small "boardwalk"(slightly elevated 2''x8'' boards) that covers some wetlands. It was completely covered in snow, so running on it was akin to running on a tightrope that I couldn't see. Maintaining a fast pace over it was fun and challenging. Im not bragging. Wanna know why? I fell in. Nearly waist deep in water. At least I wasn't wearing socks-I dried up pretty quickly. Not sure if it was the RedBull, the snow, the perfectly cold temperature, or some combination thereof, but this was a greatly enjoyable run.

PM- 6 miles- Gazelle Sports "Run Through the Lights" in downtown Kzoo. We ran from campus to the shop, ran the 5k fun run, tacked on some extra, then headed home. Fun downtown run at a 6ish minute/mile pace. The light-heartedness kept it fun. Gazelle does some pretty cool community events, which explains the amount of good runners in the area.

PM- 4 miles- did a quick loop around my house with Abbey at 10:30ish. She had to work at the store during the run tonight, so I ran with her when she got out of work. NIce run in the snow, but ice covered sidewalks made it interesting. As I run around on the night known as "college friday," I realize that Im  a little bit of a social outcast, but I still keep good company.

AM- 6 miles with Alex. We headed downtown, but then headed down the River Valley Trail to Parchment. 3 out, three back. The snow is all gone on the sidewalks, leaving a nice crust of ice. The feets were a little numb and slippery. The day I find a warmer shoe than FiveFingers that doesn't give me knee pain will be joyous. We met Abbey immediately after for some weight lifting(back, biceps, legs). With 1 exercise left to do, I was feeling pretty trashed. I then realized that I hadn't eaten since the previous night. Bonk practice. Got some food, went to class, then finished my fitness assessment project, which involves finding my 1 repetition maximum for benchpress and leg press. Synthetic exercise is terrible and now my legs hurt.

PM- 4 with Abbey. I was feeling pretty beat up for some reason and didn't want to run, but was bribed with dinner. Same loop as yesterday, but in reverse. It ended up being a calm, relaxing run in the dark. other than our constant yammering, it was silent as the dusting of snow hung in the air on the "Arboretum" loop.

PM- 10 miles- A rather ominous solo run at Al Sabo The clouds were dark, making it seem like a late afternoon run, but was only 2pm. The first 2 miles served as a warmup, then I decided to follow some of the very faint trails that seem to only be used by animals. For some reason or another, I became dizzy, disoriented, and lost. Long story short,I woke, up on the ground, completely out of sight from any would-be passers by. I was only out for a second or two, but felt as if I were returning from sleep. I immediately downed a GU Roctane and shuffled back to the car. My vision was blurry and Couldn't focus on my footing. I glanced down at my watch to see how much further I had to go to get to the trailhead. I would have to call foul, but the pace read in the low 6minute/mile range for several minutes/. Other than in a 5/10/25k race, I'd be incapable of sustaining such a pace. How could I possibly be shuffling along, barely coherent at PR pace?  My best guess would be that a severe case of hypoglycemia  was the cause of the incident, although I had eaten and hydrated before the run.

I made it back to the car and sat down for a minute or two, drinking water and eating another GU to try to revive myself. Still a bit disoriented, I sat in my car reading for a few  more minutes before heading out again. I slowly headed back into the woods to give it another go. I felt stable, so I did another 7 miles of criss-crossing the preserve, with a few breaks in between of stopping and ejoying the silence. The wetlands looked suprisingly beautiful in front of the gloomy backdrop of the dark clouds as I sat near a stream and watched it trickle out into atwater pond.

Runs like this, despite the slight difficulties, impress upon me the desire to see more of nature and enjoy a world less influenced my our hurried lifestyles. Though I love trail racing, I'd be content with giving it up in exchange for endless hours exploring the world. I suppose that's the best part about trail ultras-that's how you train for them. What I need  to do now is find a locale that is conducive to such things.

PM- 4 miles- There wasn't much of a break between the last run and this one, but I did drive to Abbey's to start, so I guess its two different runs. We left from the Rec Center parking lot, did the downtown out/back, then stopped by the store to say hi the people working at Gazelle who were closing up shop for the night. (A store is something that lots of people may take for granted, but having a group of people nearby who really care about the health of the community is something special). We continued on, passing through the park as carolers sang in the christmas lights.

14 miles- Went to Al Sabo to meet the Dirty Herd Trail Runners. I got there a little bit early, so I did 3 miles to warm up. Alex and Evan arrived and we did 9 together in the trails. I was bored and not ready to go home, so I slowly jogged 2 more. It was a great run, jogging around in the freshly fallen snow. Ran A few miles with Tim, Lance, and Justin, some of the regulars in the running group.

Total- 80 miles

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