Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Fourth Week of January

I hear birds outside my bedroom window and it reminds me of spring. Still enamored with fresh snowfall, but the only thing I'm tiring of is washing so many shirts.

AM - 6 miles - Ran to Military fitness, hoping for less cardio and more resistance training to give my body a different challenge and some rest after the previous day's 20 miler. Of course, it was sprint day. It ended up not being so bad, even rather enjoyable at times. I'm not sure it its a lack of explosive strength in general or tired legs, but I find that the basketball court length sprints aren't quite long enough for me to find my stride. Its actually a lot of fun, so I should work on it more in the coming weeks. Sprinting makes me feel like I'm on the playground again. They did take quite a toll on my legs, so the run home was embarrassingly slow. At least it was still dark.

AM - 7 miles - Great time at Al Sabo this morning. The weather was warm(28F) and the snow was crunchy and packed down from skiers. The more well-travelled trails provided great traction with YakTrax XTRs on. The little used single tracks were still untouched from our last snow with a pretty crusty base underneath. With a list of my favorite spots in mind, I ran to each one and took a couple pictures. Speed wasn't very important to me on this run but I still occasionally glance down at the Garmin and wasn't disappointed. The day wasn't the most photogenic I've ever seen here, but it wasn't too shabby.
The map that doesn't serve much of a purpose.

I resurrected my MT100s because they suck considerably less than my MT101s. The YakTrax hold the upper together with some duct tape. I removed more midsole material from the heel and pulled the glued-in midsole out. I still greatly prefer my Merrell Trailgloves, but they superpliable sole doesn't bode well for traction aids.

The Al Sabo Preserve has many different terrain types in one small area, making it feel bigger and more interesting.

cool stairs that ascend to Lookout Tower.

A nice little stream crossing that isn't exactly necessary, but the alternate path seems to be eroding, so I avoid it to minimize excessive wear.

This is about as close as these swans let me get.

tree tunnel on the land bridge

back to my awesome-ugly car.
 PM - 8 miles - Its funny how quickly things can change. A very defeating run with Alex, Joey, and Josh. 3 warmup to a water fountain downtown, then was time to see how Alex's crazy idea worked. He decided it would be a good idea to shovel one of the lanes of the track and do a 2x2mile workout. The only problem is that we had two shovels-my snow shovel and Alex's dollar store mini shovel. After 1.5 hours of shovelling, we had a crappy lane dug out and ready to go. I made it through one of the 2milers at 13 flat. I was really disappointed in myself when I let Joey and Alex take off on me. I thought I was making progress in my running, but was quickly reminded that I may have a long way to go before I develop a sufficient amount of leg speed. I felt drained and decided to sit the second 2 miler out. Allowing myself to quit was, in retrospect, salt in the wound.  3 mile cooldown. The highlight of the day, other than my awesome trail excursion, was walking around and riding the bus with a snow shovel. I even had to go to the bank. I guess never wearing shoes in public has trained me to deal with stares.

AM - 5 miles - My semi-daily grind run to Military Fitness, with some warmup laps when I got there. It was a very push-up oriented day, but not without its sit-ups as well. 8x1minute of various core exercises, pyramid pushups(1, 2, 3, 4, 5,(...)10, 9, 8, 7, (...)3, 2, 1), 3 laps, partner sit ups, 78 continuous sit ups, 10 pushups on the 1 minute mark. There was some other stuff in there, but you get the idea. Stretched and ran back home with 10 minutes to eat before hopping on the bus back to campus.
PM - 6 miles - I was late getting to Gazelle Sports for the Wednesday night group, so I had to run solo. I ran the normal route that Shawn and Alex run, hoping they were running it backwards. I didn't catch them, but had a decent jog on the quiet streets downtown.

AM- 4 miles - Nice little shakeout at Al Sabo. The footing wasn't spectacular, so it made for some slow going on the hills. No big deal, I was just out to take in some air and jog around. I knew I'd be doing the indoor workout in the evening, so I didn't want to have a repeat of Tuesday's lackluster track session. Enjoyable solo run in the snow. Maybe its because I'm still a relative newbie to this running game, but I still feel happy to be able to run 4 miles on a whim. It would be a good long-term mental goal to continue to appreciate the little things like this. Higher mileage and faster times create about 20% of the happiness, the ability to enjoy movement is the other 80%.

PM- 6(?)miles -  Indoor track workout at Read Fieldhouse. As it turns out, Joey and I were the only ones doing the workout. A few of the others had slight nagging injuries, so they opted to sit one out. This time of the year, its definitely a wise decision. The workout wasn't vomit inducing, but still got the legs turning and the heart rate up. The goal was to simply stay below 3:00 for 800m repeats. I ended up doing 4. [2:58, 2:55, 2:43, 2:55]. Once the times started to curve upward again, I decided to call it good, do a few pickups and cool down. Workouts are finally starting to feel good more often than not, so I may dabble with increasing intensity in the coming weeks.
AM - 10 miles - It was my "lucky day" today at Military Fitness. After running there, we were told to run on the track or on the elliptical for the entire hour. Since I dislike elliptical, the choice was easy. Didn't really count miles, but maintained a decent clip for 55 minutes. I'll lowball it and assume 9 minute miles to make sure I don't lie. Add the 4 mile round trip, and presto- mileage is done for the day. I still feel good, but I'm trying to play it cool and hit an about 70 this week for consistency's sake. The rest week is upon me, so I just need to hold on for a little bit longer before I drop down to 1 run/day for a week.

PM - 3 miles - I didn't have any running stuff with me, but still managed a 3 miler in my jeans with Josh, Alex, and Shy. (note: I was the only one in my jeans...poor verbiage). Didn't really need to do it, nor did it serve much of a purpose, but there's also no need to be anti-social. We jogged around the state hospital grounds for a bit and headed back to school.
0 miles- I didn't even wake up until early afternoon, and when I did, I was greeted with a fever and a cold. Rather unpleasant frustrating.
AM-25 miles - Whenever I'm especially drained and sleep deprived, I can always count on an early am run with Jason and/or Jeremiah to occur. We met in Grand Haven and ran along the lakeshore, post holing in the snow until reaching some roads that took us to Coast Guard Park. We then ran 9 trail miles and headed back through Grand Haven to our cars. A great run that didn't drain me or leave my legs feeling dead. I was tempted to do more miles once daylight came about, but I had already surpassed my mileage goals and lacked motivation after a week of almost constant sleep deprivation(with the exception of Friday night's sickness).

Jeremiah and I decided to do some sweet snow angels in the crystallized snow at 4:30am
Photo: Jason "I'm too cool to make snow angels" Robillard.

Total 80 miles

Not quite the 70 mile week I had envisioned, but close enough. I was slightly ahead of schedule on Friday, so saw no reason to run through a tight work/weekend schedule or the nasty sickness. The illness cleared and I got a great night run in. I'm hoping to make this week easier on me, so I may limit my running to Military fitness and run club workouts, forgoing the solo stuff for a bit just to temporarily reduce volume. One of my biggest enemies last year was burnout and overuse, so gradually building the mileage would be a way to improve quality and consistency coming into this spring. The "3 weeks on : 1 week off" practice is commonly used for real athletes, so why couldn't it work on me?

Have a great week!

1 comment:

  1. You're making me trail jealous! Nice catch on Jason skipping out on the snow angels :)