Sunday, December 22, 2013


Monday- No. Up for approximately 36hours after a red-eye from San Francisco. No jogging.

Tuesday- Finals day. Incredibly not fun. Water aerobics(yeah, I still do that for now) and 3 miles of jogging in the dark. Actually a little sore from 23 miles of mountains. "pacer soreness" has a slight sting of guilt to it.

Wednesday- 7 miles - 1 hour at Muskegon State Park. About 6 degrees on Lake Michigan's shoreline. I plodded along and enjoyed the cold. Winter running is fun in its own way. That being said, being stuck in San Francisco wouldn't break my heart until I ran out of money.

Thursday - 3 miles - Quick jog from home. Still cold.

AM- 3(?) miles with Kelsey and Cohen at the Arboretum.
PM- 1 mile balls out barefoot through the snowy streets of Grand Rapids because whiskey and Evan made me.

Saturday - No running, just a few hours of downhill skiing. Really fun outing with Ryan and Nick, but I think the thought of skiing to a place sounds even more appealing. Fantasized about attempting a cross-country ski race this winter. Still, "skating" from place to place gave my arms and legs a workout I guess.

Sunday - 3 miles with Cohen(Kelsey's Great Dane).

A super impressive 19 miles this week. I guess logging them is a step to realizing how lazy I've gotten.

AM: 6 Jog around the streets of Kalamazoo rather aimlessly, except I was in search of toothpaste.
PM: 3 Arboretum Trails with Kelsey and Cohen.

Water Classes, and nothing else. Some random push-ups, pull-ups, and squats, but mostly just out of boredom.

Slept late.

Squats, lunges, etc. as a warmup, then a 5 miler around the house. First time I've opened it up on flat roads in a while. I wore the Garmin(mostly because I was paranoid about missing a phone call) Averaged a 7 minute pace in hardpacked snow on the side of the road, including warm up and cool down. Heh. Being out of shape is balanced out by fresh legs.

3-miles - A pretty nasty ice storm blew through and laid down a 1/8'' sheet of ice over everything. The roads were as slippery as wet glass, but my carbide-tipped strap-on spike things allowed me to get some miles in. Driving to the nearest trail head wasn't worth the risk. Shit, I must be getting old.

2 hours - 9 miles(?) - A run that actually evoked some thought:
I drove West to Muskegon State Park, my favorite spot to run when I'm home. Sand Dunes and Gulf Coastal Plain are a very rare eco-system that I've been fortunate enough to enjoy since I can remember. As I ventured down the scantily-salted backroads to the park, I wondered what the trails would be like. I anticipated knee deep snow and high-stepping it through others' tracks, and a blanket of white covering my home trail system. When I arrived, I was surprised(not sure why. Probably because I don't think very hard). I wasn't just the only one there, but I found no tracks. The dunes weren't covered in snow. They looked like
 it had missed the Western-facing sides entirely. What was there, however,was a thick layer of clear ice that could support my weight. What is usually difficult to run because it constantly gives way is now more difficult because itfsd doesn't give an inch.

Even a grade this slight required no sled for a bruised ass.

Maybe it was just being a little hungry, or maybe the caffeine. This slow, methodical stomp up and down ridges between two beautiful lakes felt perfect. It was cold, slippery, dangerous, and unforgiving. Water sat beneath the ice in some of the lowlands. As I dug my crampons(Why do I even own such things?) into solid ice on my way through a chest-deep cornice on the back of a dune, I felt like me. I sat up there in the wind and watched tugboats drag a ship through the channel. Some deer managed to find traction and wind through the trees, nearly invisibly.

It may be too much for a simple person like me to understand, or maybe I think about it more than other people. Maybe it's just part of the human experience. I find myself preoccupied with where happiness comes from. Of all places, why did an overwhelming rush of happiness show up here on this day? I'm not particularly fit. It was cold. I was alone. I could barely get out of my own way on the trails. The sun was nowhere to be seen, yet I felt the way I've felt in the Rockies, above Lake Tahoe, on the West coast, in the Appalachians or outside of Flagstaff.

Have I rekindled a love with the Midwest, vowing never to leave my home and forsaking all other places? Of course not. I could interpret this as a nice, quaint, "home is where the heart is" sentiment and stay here. I could also accept the ubiquitous notion that happiness will find me as long as I'm open to it. Follow intuition and think before saying no.

Frozen fingers and typing a blog post on my phone in a coffee shop has me all over the place. Blah, blah blog.

4 miles from home at 11:30pm. Easy flat run for no reason other than enjoying the quiet snowfall.

30ish miles on this week. That's a little better.


  1. Merry Christmas! I too ran with a dog this week; first time I've ever done that. I did a couple 5 mile trail runs in the mountains of British Columbia with my in-laws' lab/wire-hair cross and man, can that thing haul. I decided to just try and run whatever pace the dog wanted, so alternated between sprinting up hills to stopping to look at squirrels to peeing on bushes to flying down icy hills at far above the posted speed limit. Great HIIT fun! Might be getting a dog ourselves now...

    1. He's definitely a lot of fun to tag along with. On those days where a purposeful "training run" just sounds boring(most days), running with an animal that just loves being outside reminds us why we do it in the first place.