Friday, November 30, 2007


I almost did it again today.

There was a problem. 3 miles in, I got a call from a coworker asking: "So.... when are you coming in?" I was kind of hoping he was joking, because he's a practical joker that way.

He wasn't.

Did make for a pretty good tempo run on the way back, tho. It's pretty difficult terrain- relatively hilly (for Michigan) with snow and ice to make things interesting. Rocks, roots, and other random bits make for a treacherous path even on good days.

Still, I maintained a 8:30 pace or so for the three miles back, dropping about 2 minutes/mile from the way out. Sadly, though, I was an hour late on the first day of the sale. On the plus side, there were still four or five employees there, and one was kind enough to stay over an extra hour covering for me.

I just don't know if I'll make my 47-50 mile goal this week, though. Oh well, we'll see. :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Winter running

Went for a 10 Mile trail run today; I saw a few hunters, but I don't think they like the cold and snow any more than mountain bikers do. Real temp was about 30 degrees, but with the wind and everything the "feels like" temp was something about 15, with 20-30 mph gusts.

When I got to the parking lot, I had a long moment (maybe three or four seconds) wondering... do I really want to do this? A couple of friends got injured on this trail a few weeks back, and they didn't have to contend with snow and ice.

It was warm in my car. Diane Rehm was doing an awesome interview with James Lipton, the host of Inside the Actor's Studio. And I was feeling that sense of lethargy that comes with drinking way too much coffee yesterday that completely screwed up my sleep schedule last night. I mean, seriously, half a gallon of the evil black elixir of life. Doesn't help with going to sleep, especially combined with a six mile night run.

But then I opened the door, let all the warm air escape, took a deep breath and started.

And you know what? It was a pretty good run. Not fast, nor perfect, and around mile eight I was pretty happy there was only a couple of miles left. But it was good. And I may very well do it again tomorrow, everything going well...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Speed/cadence sensor...

Garmin offers a speed/cadence sensor for their GPS systems; three little bits of plastic and metal that can tell you how fast you're pedaling and the speed you're going. It can be a bit tricky to mount, though, and without an instruction booklet it can be a bit confusing.

Still, after trying to kludge a few things together, I realized that if I stopped thinking two dimensionally life would be a lot better. That is, if I mounted the sensor thing obliquely rather than (granted, how it seemed to be designed) straight upon the chain stay, I wouldn't be required to jury rig anything.

It wasn't really thinking out of the box. It was more like realizing the box was larger than I thought, and If I looked in a different corner, I'd find the answer to the problem I'd been looking for.

I'm sure there's a metaphor for this somewhere, but right now I have to go do laundry of my dirty running clothes. *sigh* that's one sad thing about winter- both the number of layers and the volume of laundry quadruples.... at least, when it comes to my workout clothes. :P

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving/Turkey Day everyone! To celebrate today I skipped out of the race and slept and extra few hours- partially because I really needed the sleep, but mostly because I'm a relatively lazy git.

I go now to do an hour on the bike trainer as penance. Cheers!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Deer firearms Nov 14- Dec 9

Welcome to the beginning of deer season, where northern Michigan is busy and the trail runners are nervous.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Red letter day. My technical/wicking socks have finally pushed the last of my cotton and dress socks out of my daily sock drawer. They've now been relegated to back of my bottom drawer behind my wool socks and on top of my really bloody old blue jeans.

I now have enough Smartwool, Asics, Mizuno, Nike, REI and Wigwam socks to last about a month and a half if I only exercise once per day.

Um... this might be getting a little out of hand...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

upping the miles

In the peak of the marathon season, I was up to 60 mpw (miles per week). After the marathon, I dropped to 20-30. This week I hit 42 or so, and next I hope to hit 46.

Building, always building. What I hope to build to is 60-70 mpw on a regular basis. During the building phase I'm thinking I'll only run one slightly harder run- maybe a few miles at LT pace (7:48 or so) before settling back to my easy 9-9:30.

Of course, when I'm running with a group, all bets are off. Though typically I'm going 10:30-11:30, rather than sub-8 when I'm running with a group- I hate dropping people, having been dropped in the past.

I'm also thinking that I'll count each hour spent cross training as about five miles against the total. If I go harder, perhaps more. I'll try to differentiate it by heart rate, but I don't know how successful I'll be. Last week I did 3.2 miles at a 12:30 pace with a HR of 133; the day after I did 12 miles at a 9:30 pace with a HR of 140.

At least, that's the plan. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Decisions are over-rated. :)

I didn't do the 10 mile warm up prior to the race- I just did the race.

It was a lot of fun, and the hot chocolate afterward was a wonderful touch. :) My friend N~ and I drove into the park together to save money on a park pass- it's always a lot nicer to go to a race with a friend. Last year I went alone, and though there were a lot of nice people hanging out, established relationships make life a lot easier.

After a quick warm up and listening to the pre-race instructions (most of which I couldn't hear) the group of us started off jockeying for position. Like many people I think I might've taken the first mile a bit too fast, but it is kind of hard not to when you know it'll be very hard to pass people later in the race and you're running just to warm up. 40 degrees and windy is chilly when you're in shorts! I warmed up nicely, but the first mile or two were a bit nippy.

I cruised up some hills, down some hills, avoided rocks, roots, and runners- took a gulp of water at the first water station without breaking stride and spilling only when I was being deliberate about it. I ran behind a guy for the first couple of miles- he would push himself hard up the uphills but I had to hold myself back during the downhills, and I was content with this situation till I decided it was time to push. My heart rate bounced between 160s and 180s during the time I was following- right about where I wanted it.

Right around mile three I decided to push it into another gear- I was hanging out at about 80% effort and I wanted 85% so I passed him, caught up to another, passed again, and spent about another mile and a half trying to reel in a third. All three were remarkably polite in first checking with me to ask if I wanted to pass, and then stopping and stepping off the path when I was ready. Courtesy is not dead! Even in competition.

Anyway, I finished the race, had some hot chocolate, and waited for the awards ceremony. Sadly, I didn't place. :( Still, I had a great time sitting around camp fire, staring at the flames and participating in the conversations around me. it's a very fall thing to do, and I haven't done enough of it this year. *sigh* Oh well.

Afterward N~ and I went to breakfast and I rewarded myself with three of the largest blueberry pancakes I've ever seen. Honestly, I think they broke the "Don't eat anything bigger than your head" rule. But they were tasty, and I figure I had earned it.

The stats:
Distance 4.9 miles(~8K)
Time 41:52
Pace 8:34/Mile (~5:15/K)

3/16 AG
14/94 OA
12 minutes faster than last year! Some pretty good improvement between then and now, eh? :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

decisions, decisions...

After taking two easy weeks after the marathon, I wanted to get my running back up to my more normal miles- 40 to 45/week- and build from there to 50-60 per week. It's a different philosophical training which I thought would be fun to try- at the very least, it would give me more time out on the road.

So far this week, I've done about 38; tomorrow I have a 4.8 mile race planned. However, a couple of friends are planning to do a 10 mile trail run before hand. The race is a trail race. I really enjoy running with these friends. They're planning to do a trail ultra in February, and I'd love to join them. But it'd put me past 50 miles this week.

Decisions, decisions...

Monday, November 5, 2007

The bike trainer is the treadmill of the cycling world.

I spent 90 minutes of my life today, watching the movie Equilibrium and "spinning" I guess you'd call it. It wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. But then, I was thinking it'd be pretty bad.

I chose Equilibrium because it's a movie I didn't have to think about while I was watching, and the fight scenes are prettily choreographed. And I think watching it along side "Through a Scanner Darkly" may be as unwise as watching my "Crash" and "Million Dollar Baby" double feature.

But I spun, and it was okay, and the movie progressed as it should. And if I'm able to do it twice a week, or more, I may be able to start next season better able to bike than I left off last.

I still need to figure out how to get my swimming in, however. I really has been weeks since last I was in water. Ah well, I'm sure I'll figure something out.