Saturday, April 27, 2013

My Week On The Run...

Before I forget, I suppose I could point out one of the driving reasons for the recent buildup in mileage.  I'm helping out with a fundraiser for Camp Sumatanga, with the idea being that I run the entire route (see the route here), while various groups, youth and otherwise, run "relay"-style with me.  The route is intentionally indirect in an effort to run by as many Methodist Churches en route, since Sumatanga belongs to the North Alabama Conference of the UMC.  I put up a facebook page for the run a little earlier this week, which can be found at: 

Back to the regular training report...
This was my first week over 60 in quite a while, but all in all, no real complaints.  One more building week before something of a taper.

Sunday (4/21):
8pm  After Youth.  Good weather; easy recovery run.

Monday (4/22):
Various parts of both legs took turns protesting this run, so chalking it up as a mental training day.

Tuesday (4/23):
Didn't want to start, but felt good once I did...

Wednesday (4/24):
Just squeezing a few miles in before youth in drizzly rain.  Easy...

Thursday (4/25):
@ Pt Mallard.  Easy out, felt like I picked it up coming back, but only ~7:25/mile pace.

Friday (4/26):
Cloudy, windy, trying to start raining but never quite making it.
Easy, just going through the motions...

Saturday (4/27):
Warmup, cooldown, and Swampers 5k (18:02, 4th o/a)
Threatening rain the whole time, but only actually rained the last <1 good="" mile="" p="" so="" temps.="">No valid complaints; distance and race felt fine.

Weekly Totals:
63.6 miles

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Run Salvaged

Sometimes you just have those days.

You don't want to go run, but convince yourself to head out the door under the assumption that everything will feel great once you get started, and 99% of the time, that's exactly what happens.

Then there are those days.

You've optimistically gone out the door and given an honest effort to get into and enjoy the run, but the various bits, pieces, joints, and giblets of your legs take turns protesting the decision to venture away from the couch.  Usually these protests subside after a mile or two, but on those days, such twinges are relentless.

The "rhythm" of the run never really materializes, and you feel sluggish and disjointed the whole time.  You chalk it up to a "mental training day" and hope for the best the next day...

Then, with just a few minutes left, a random stranger runs by, smiling, and says "nice race!"

Having no earthly idea who this person is, we are left to assume it was an angel, sent from running heaven to save you from the demoralization of a bad training day.

On occasion, we are all indebted to these road angels, who appear and disappear, and yet provide us with such a wonderful gift.

A run salvaged.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Week On The Run...

I started this week with grand intentions of making it one more mileage building week before a recovery week, but weather and vocational responsibilities got in the way.  No big deal; I'll just swap it with the next week...  In any case, here's  the breakdown...

Sunday (4/7)
made the mistake of taking a nap during a free afternoon upon the premise of running after youth (honestly), but, true to form, murphy's laws of running took hold when one of the youth needed to stay and talk until around 10.

Monday (4/8):
it's a little intimidating on yet another mileage buildup week to not have that mileage cushion from a sunday run.  even so, once out the door, things went rather well in the newly arrived spring weather.  even broke the seal of shirtless running for the year.

Tuesday (4/9):
warm and windy (and pollen-y).   Aside from that, not too noteworthy. (i guess that means it was a good run...)

Wednesday (4/10):
10 (1:18:12)
3 before youth (22:26), and 7 after (55:46).  both went well.  7 late (started ~9ish) reminded me why i used to like the late-night runs in starkville (except for the downtown/bar areas, no one out and about... roads all to myself...)

Thursday (4/11)
wussed out in the bad weather and decided to bag it the rest of the week.  i did walk a mile on friday with rob, kathy, and george to help mark the quarters of their certified mile race on saturday, and saturday drove to atlanta.

Total:  30 miles (3:51:16)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Perceptions (Wandering Thoughts)

Spring is finally making itself known around here; longer, warmer days make getting out the door just a little easier, and the re-emergence of some strange substance called pollen is giving everything around here a strange yellow-ish tint.

Along with the rise in temperatures comes the inevitable shedding of clothing worn, especially while running.  I suppose it's the relatively sudden change in running wardrobe that has caused such a curiosity, but I can't help but wonder how the perennial dwellers of the great indoors perceive those of us that seem to always be braving the other.

The stark contrast of worlds is nothing new; I've been relatively amused at the strange looks I tend to receive from both patrons of one of the bars I pass on my daily runs, as well as people trapped on the treadmills, staring out the windows of an apartment gym downtown.

Throughout the winter, I can only imagine the strange thoughts that pass through their minds when, shortly after they get inside and shake off the bitter cold, they see some random guy galloping down the street in shorts, seemingly oblivious to the miserable weather that they had just escaped.  These same air conditioned personnel perhaps have some choice words for the very same scantily clad runner making his way through town on the first few warm days of spring (not to mention the searing days of summer sure to come...)

Of course, there are certainly interesting trains of thought to be had regarding my (our) perception of them, and I suspect there are similarities between the two opposing views.  Who knows...?

Wandering thoughts... one of the hidden gems of the daily grind...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Week On The Run...

I seemed like this week was Old Man Winter's (hopefully) last stab at making life miserable for those of us inclined to venture out of doors even in such nonsensical weather as 30's in April.  In any case, nothing too monumental to report; just the relentless upward march of miles...

Sunday (3/31):
no MYF for Easter (ironic...). dodging rain and listening to birds; good temps (low 60's), body felt good at finish (i.e., no twinges).

Monday (4/1):
took a little will power to get out, but no valid complaints once the run got underway.

Tuesday (4/2):
felt a little sluggish; took a little longer than normal for the ankles to loosen up and never really got into a groove, but uneventful otherwise.

Wednesday (4/3):
squeezing a few in before youth.  a little drizzly, but i think the rain shell was still a bit much.

Thursday (4/4):
just going through the motions.  drizzly and cool; *hopefully* the last gasp of winter (which, by the way, caused some rather unfortunate chaffing that i wasn't aware of until after i finished...).

Friday (4/5):
easy run at pt mallard.  finally some good weather.

Saturday (4/6):
2 mile warmup (15:44)
River City 10k (38:31: 5:42, 5:54, 6:11, 6:10, 6:37, 6:34, 1:21)
2 mile cooldown (15:59)
1:10:14 total
not my best showing at river city, nor my most intelligently executed (fairly telling splits...), but a little educational, and a fun run none the less.

Total:  57.2 miles (7:19:30)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


The weathermen are telling us that the temperatures are going to be "cold" again for the next couple of days, although "cold" in this case simply means highs in the 50's with lows in the 30's, as opposed to the highs in the 30's with lows in the don't-want-to-think-about-it's.

As much as I want to gripe about this (hopefully) last gasp of winter, I must admit that such a cold snap is one of the most promising signs that spring has begun.  Runs the last couple days have been in such overly-pleasant temperatures that I'm scared I'm getting soft; I suppose these all-too-frigid 50 degree temps should fix that (note the tongue stuck firmly in cheek...)

All that to say that it's the subtle reminders the time of year that are often the most exciting.  Birds emphatically chirping their existence.  Orders of magnitude more people out and about during a run.  Daylight lingering later and later.  Even the stinging remnants of sweat in the eyes for hours after the run.  These are some of the most anticipated indicators of the year, the reward for a winter of pushing through the cold, wet, windy days.

What are your signs of spring?  I hope you take the time to notice, because as we all know, these "overly-pleasant" weather days for running are exceedingly rare, and soon enough, summer will have us awaiting the promise of fall...