I haven't written much since Zane Grey. I suppose the mundane day-to-day doesn't hold a candle to a trip to my future home for a truly wonderful weekend of outdoor experience, but I'm trying to get in the habit of logging exercise again. Not for the sake of boosting my ego(that I'll admit to at least), but to feel more connected to the practice.
I haven't been doing much training since late April. Sporadically at best. I ran the Kalamazoo Marathon with Kelsey the weekend after Zane and have done a smattering of other typical jogs/workouts. This past week, however, was filled with motivation. Maybe it was the good weather, the laid-back feeling of Summer setting in, or the fact that Kelsey and I are both doing a race in a couple weeks. Because it's close and excellently managed, I'll try my hand at a double marathon at the Yankee Springs Trail Run. As much as I'd love to say that Zane Grey bolstered a great deal of confidence, it's just not true. I can't shake the feeling of being squishy and out of shape as I try to get into an honest rhythm of summer running. That feeling of being a little bit sore each morning, a little bit sunburned, and wanting to get out for a run on any surface at any pace is something I miss. I'll keep chasing the feeling.
I sit here on a Monday, contemplating a workout. Track? Tempo? Hills? The structured running that makes me feel fit certainly has its draw, but the warm weather has me thinking summer. Summer, for the past few years, has been more about adventurous things than workouts. Big, arbitrarily-selected loops around bodies of water; the town just over the ridge; scrambling to summits or painfully flat bike paths to nowhere permeate my sweaty, salty, over-the-top memories of summers past. I like the preparation and contemplation of going somewhere on foot, even if it's nowhere. Long outings on sore legs that finish in a different place than they started have me daydreaming at my work bench. Workouts and track runs just don't do it for me this time of year. Honestly, races don't either.
Short, painful runs must be done, however, because adventures are no fun if you aren't fit enough to finish them. I don't have time after work to run to the next town and back. Tagging a summit or two won't even be a possibility until August, and I can not be more excited about it. For now, I'll try to get and stay fit for the next thing to come my way. Feeling pretty fat and out of shape these days.
Trail intervals: Anderson Arboretum trails. Usually a place for easy runs with Cohen and Kelsey, I thought I'd take advantage of small loops with semi-technical rolling hills. I have no way of really measuring the distance of this loop (My Suunto Ambit 2 is on its way), but it took 8:26-8:30 to run it, depending on the direction. A small, flat loop served as the rest loop at the start/finish of the big one. 4 loops at 8:30ish with an additional 9 minutes hard on the other trails. Pretty enjoyable workout as far as solo outings on minimal shuteye go. 8ish miles total.
Legs/crosstraining/didn't feel like running: I had little motivation to go out for a long run and I have no rec center access this summer, so I improvised. I put a combination of dumbbells and rocks in my old hiking backpack and walked to the stadium. Stairs and short, steep hill repeats. Slowly paced, but big lunging steps. 90 minutes on my feet total with plenty of up and down. Extremely effective? Probably not as much as a run so intense I puke out of everywhere, but getting outside and sweating always feels good.
A couple nice runs in the heat with Kelsey. First the Arb trails with Cohen, then some roads with Joe and the Urban Herd group. 11 miles for the day
Easy 1:20 to Asylum Lake and back. Kind of a loud, hilly, construction-zoned jog to the land preserve, but worth the noise to run some singletrack and meadows as the sun went down. Stopped for a few minutes just to sit and do nothing. I do lots of nothing, but it was nice to do nothing outside in beautiful weather for a change. 10 miles? I don't know. Sounds fine.
Took a day off. Fridays are tough when I get up at 4am for work. I know, people do it all the time, but this is different. Those people are hard working or motivated or whatever.
AM: 8ish miles with Kelsey at Fort Custer. Weather and trail conditions were as close to perfect as it gets. Comfortably warm and sunny with a nice breeze rolling in off of the lakes that the trail winds between. Now that I'm done being positive, I'll express some frustration over the inundation of trail cyclists (why are they called mountain bikers? This trail has 350' of gain/loss). To go a full minute without jumping off the trail was rare. The bad part about good weather, I suppose. Awesome morning anyway.
PM: 12 miles on the Kal-Haven Trail. I wanted to run fast on gravel, so I did a 1x10km of hard effort, a tempo 5k, and a harder 5k. Just over 6min pace for the 10k, 7:20 pace for the easier 5k, and 6:30 for the final 5k. This trail that I bemoan for being so flat actually has a slight east-to-west decline, giving me a handy excuse for slowing down.
4 miles: Easy jog down to the track for some barefoot running on the infield. I was thinking that I should get back into weightlifting to get some strength back, but I have no access to a gym these days. Lo and behold, there was a stack of old trailer tires near the track. x-fit, bitch. I did some squats, lunges, triceps dips, pull-ups, and push ups. I was then thoroughly exhausted and shuffled home deliriously.
53 miles or so, plus miscellaneous other activities. Not bad.