Sunday, January 30, 2011

Slick Ending of Week

I made another trip out west to Jeremy's house. The four of us had some slick roads to deal with but we got it done. A few hills to challenge the legs a bit and we made the loop back home.
My body felt much better than last week. I can't believe how much the human body can improve in one weeks time. Crazy! Hopefully next week will feel as good and I can squeeze out a few extra minutes to the long run.

Total: 1:33:00 11.8 miles

Weeks Total: 43 miles
Years Total: 96.9 miles

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Strap on The Snowshoes

I woke up pretty tired on Friday morning but got my butt downstairs and made my way out to the trials of Hartley in yet another balmy January morn. (22F) I started off a bit sluggish but soon I was ready to hammer and need to keep things calm as it is not "hammer season" yet. I didn't see any animals but I saw the usual deer tracks and some rabbit tracks to go along with some fox tracks. They are out there. They're just not willing to show their faces. I added a bit to yesterdays loop plus a repeat up and over baldy. I have done this three times this week and may try to sneak in some extras this next week.

Total: 51:40 5.8 miles

Saturday I woke up to ~4" of fresh, dry powder and realized that running on the roads or trails would be very difficult. (my Yak's are shot and new ones due any day so that wasn't an option) I made the quick decision to take out the snowshoes for a trip on the snowmobile trails. The trip down towards Amity was decent but boring! On the return trip I made it a bit more interesting and took the SHT from Hawk's Ridge to Vermilion. A good choice! My legs felt super, but my breathing, and I'm sure my heart rate, (no HR strap today) was spiked most of the return trip. I'm ok with that for one day, as it was a super workout.

52:00 ~5 miles HIGH HR!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Green Eyes in The Thickets

I've been hitting the stellar single track of Hartley everyday this week. The weather has been close to perfect, as far as January goes, and the wild animals probably agree. Hartley has tons of deer and lately I have been getting freaked out by all the green eyes watching me from the edge of the trails. I'm referring to the large herds of deer. I normally see between 4-6 deer each trip out. At least I'm not alone out there.

I continued to feel great and added a bit to the loop from Monday. I managed to keep the pace very close and I'm sure the HR followed but I forgot to put on the monitor strap. My legs are taking on a new feeling for the better and my stride is following. Nice!
49:47 5.4 miles

Another superb trip out to the trails. I was wondering at what point in the run I would start to fatigue but it didn't happen. I turned home because I figured I had to be cautious. A good move based on years of doing too much too soon.
Getting older I listen to my instincts a lot more and usually I am pretty close to being right. I know my body. Spending a few more weeks running very conservative will benefit me come the middle of the racing season.
56:55 6.2 miles HR=127 bpm

I knew I needed to be cautious yesterday and I am thankful I did. Hitting the trails this morning felt a bit "off" compared to the first part of the week. My legs were just a bit heavy and my stride was not as peppy as I would have liked. Good thing I had planned my run to be a short one and just shake out the lactate. Job accomplished.
Yak's are a must for grip. The temperatures are getting too warm and the added grip allows one to relax on the corners and downhills compared to sliding off into the rubarb.
38:55 4.3 miles

Monday, January 24, 2011

Need For New Yak's

I took off this morning for my usual warm up heading into the Hartely trails. It's all uphill from my house so I usually crawl up so I don't spike the HR too soon. As I entered the trailhead I noticed my right Yaktrak slipping form under my foot. I had forgotten to tighten the strap in my morning fog. What I also noticed was the right coils were broke in two spots and the left also is broke in two spots. I guess it's time for a new pair as I have a solid three to four seasons on them.

The trails were in great shape and I had a subtle wind of -5F to deal with in the open spots. Hardly noticeable compared to yesterdays negative digits. I was happy with how my legs felt considering I had run my two longest runs in over a month on back to back days. Tomorrow I will focus once again to keep the HR ultra low and just squeeze out some additional time. It's still several weeks away but I am already getting excited for the next phase of running to fall into place.

Total: 40:06 4.3 miles HR=126 ave.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Western Roads

I wasn't planning on this particular run this morning but it was a pleasant surprise and I will take it. Last night I got a message from Jeremy that if I wanted in on a 80 minute run come on out to his house for the 8am start. I decided to give it a go. Having the temps in the -15F range wasn't exactly what I wanted but that is what they made winter running gear for.

We ran a nice road loop up Highland to Proctor and returned home via West Skyline. With the exception of my left big toe, how important is that toe anyway, (i know, really important, as I know folks that have lost their big toe and its a new walking game) I felt really good. For the first ten minutes of the run I thought I was going to loose that left toe but I finally loosened up and had the blood rush to my digits much to my liking!

The time of the run was at my max for sure. I hadn't run that long since October and as long as the pace remained mellow I was able to complete the loop with minimal damage. (tomorrow will be the real gauge on that) Overall a very nice way to get a medium longer run in.

Total: 1:27:17 ~11 miles

Weeks Total: 31.6 miles (5 days)
Years Total: 54.1 miles

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cool Trail Running

Last weekend was a wash. To be honest, I tried to hang with a few 20-somethings (i did pretty well) for a night on the town. I had a few too many sociables and had to wipe Sunday off the fitness plans. Oh well, as long as those weekends are far and few in between I will be OK.

The laziness poured over into Monday and Tuesday of this week. I sat and stared at the window Tuesday morning and finally made a cup of coffee and made the lunches for the day. I got back on track (trail) on Wednesday and have been going strong since. My plan is to carry the momentum into next week and try for all seven days.

Monday: 0 miles
Tuesday: 0 miles

I finally made it back to the trails and what a wonderful morning. I always feel so comfortable on the trails of Hartley in winter. (not so in the summer) It's funny because I was not feeling too peppy on these runs, but more of a "let's just get it done" kind of mode. I tried to keep the HR low but I think I failed.
38:49 4.3 miles

As I ventured out the door I figured I would cross paths with CG but we missed each other by a mere 10 minutes or less. I tried some new trail across the pond to Hartley Estates and looped back to the visitors center and CG had popped out of the trail and made his way for a second loop ahead of me. Next time!
I was feeling a bit better than yesterday but I was pushing the HR as well. I need to get back to controlling the lower rates better. My stride remains to feel choppy and I can't wait for that morning when I feel fluid again.
44:52 5.1 miles

I woke up to the thermometer reading -20F without windchill! Easy decision. Stay indoors. I opted for a TM run later in the day. That didn't happen at work so I hit the 'mill at home after work.
What a terrible run. I was struggling with paces between 7:40 and 7:30 per mile. My legs were just not willing to flow lightly and I called it a run at half an hour. Better than a zero.
30:50 4 miles

Stellar run! It's funny how come late spring or summer I will look back at this run and say "big deal" but today it was a big deal. I ran a hour and felt great doing it. It was still -15F windchill but the woods of Hartley protected me for the most part. Now this was the run I have been waiting to have for two weeks. I can carry this energy into the next week and keep pressing the time of each run until I am over an hour a day. That will be great and then I will be ready for some easy fartlek workouts. Still a month away though.
1:02:39 7.2 miles

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Challenge

I managed to hit the trails one more time on Thursday and found myself working really hard to keep the HR down in the proper zone. I like that feeling. When things start to click I will become quicker at a lower HR and soon I will find myself looking to up the volume of my runs. I ran the same loops in Hartley and was loving every minute of it. We did get a light layer of fluff-snow but not too much to mess up the trails, yet.

Total: 45:09 ~5 miles HR= 128 bpm average

Friday I woke up to 3-4" of fresh powder and the temps were in the mid-teens. This usually makes a really good recipe for terrible running. I didn't want to get locked in the single track with poor conditions so I opted for the roads. I don't think it made any difference as the roads sucked just the same and I struggled the entire loop. Lots of slippage and I had a terrible time keeping the HR in the zone.
When I finished the run I felt my mid back tightening up and after a half-hour of shoveling things stayed the same. I spent the entire day and evening with a sore back and had to opt out of a Saturday morning run because of it. It looks like my best bet for a workout on Sunday will be a ski somewhere.

Totals: 35:41 4 miles HR= 129bpm ave.

Saturday I did not run. Moved snow for an hour or so. Maybe a ski tomorrow.
Total: 0 miles

Weeks Total: 22.5 miles
Years Total: 22.5 miles

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More of The Same

As long as the trails stay runnable I will continue to sneak on them in the morning darkness lit by headlamp. Today I was allowing myself 5 beats higher of heart rate and I found myself finishing with an average of just 2 heartbeats faster. I ran the loop with an average of 128 bpm compared to yesterday's 126 bpm. My legs continued to thank me and they responded nicely!

We are currently getting a bit of snow but I doubt that it will amount to much more than a dusting. Just enough to gain bragging rights of being the first out in the am to make the circuit.

Total: 40:12 4.4 miles HR= 128 bpm

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keepin' The Heart Rate Low

I have followed this type of training before and had good luck crawling out of the cellar. I am not too far out of fitness range but I could use a period of super-low heart rate training and now is the time.

The theory is to train all heart rates and start low and slowly introduce faster heart rates as you build stronger mitochondrial paths in the muscle. Arthur Lydiard was doing this long ago with his base-building phase.

This morning I ran the similar loop as yesterday but kept the heart rate (HR) as close to 125 bpm as possible. That was very difficult but I felt great afterwards. It just showed me that the day before I was pushing the pace just a bit. I hope to be up and running 40-50 mile weeks within the next three weeks then if all is well I will try to ramp up the mileage as much as my schedule allows for Feb, March and April.

Total: 43:00 4.6 miles HR= 126 ave.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Headlamp Single Track

I was surprised to bounce out of bed as easily as I did this morning and make my way for the "running change room" in the basement. I decided to wear 'get-a-grips' and that was the correct decision for the trails, you just have to remember not to put them on upside down as the spikes don't do any good pushing up to your shoes!

The single track of Hartley is amazing and I will continue to loop there until they become a mess. We are expecting some snow throughout the next 24 hours so maybe a snowshoe will be in store one of the mornings.

I felt decent this morning but was exhausted very quickly. At 25 minutes things were slowing down but I pushed on to do a loop nearing 40:00. A very good effort this morning!

Total: 39:40 ~4.5 miles

Sunday, January 9, 2011


About 10 or so hours after my last post I was hit by some two-ton virus train and it rolled right over me. I got the flu or something associated with it and sat on/off the toilet for some 14 hours before the train slowed down. I continued to be down with little energy until Friday and Saturday.

I guess I will "remount" and start fresh this Monday. Today I spent the day with my son on the ski hill for near 4 hours and he has mastered the snowplow and is skiing independently. I'm so proud of him, as he listened and took the lessons learned from his Spirit Mountain class and applied them today and he saw success! For me, I could feel the legs and arms getting a workout and after he and I were done my sis and I did a half-dozen runs before calling it a day.

Looking forward, I know I was doing all this talk about skiing but once again, I have shifted mind-sets and will try to run at least 30 minutes per morning and if I have time will add skiing in the evening. I may dedicate one morning to skiing on the weekends but I guess I will see how the legs respond to the daily runs. Either way, I am looking forward to gaining some fitness and it's nice not to have any long "marathon" goals anytime soon.

Totals: 0 running for week, one day downhill skiing, sick the rest.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hartley Tracks

I made my way out to Hartley with Rod and Bau and did a couple loops of classic skiing.

When I classic ski it is often an act of balancing my Anerobic threshold since I am way out of tune with form. I'm getting better and I have to believe that it is good for me to red-line a couple times a week in other ways but running. A great afternoon! Afterwards I got the enjoyment of pounding down a fresh bowl of turkey-noodle soup. Yum, yum!

Two days in a row. Next week should be interesting as I have a few hurdles with my sons birthday and a little travel involved.

Total: ~50:00 min. of classic ski in Hartley

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bring on The New Year

I'm not sure why it is, but beginning the new year I feel motivated again to get out the door 7 days a week. I will run when I can. Ski and snowshoe as much as possible. Continue to do the core/leg exercises 4-5 days per week and hopefully get myself out of the hurt-locker.

I started the year fresh with a trail and road loop I made up as I ran the different terrain. I started in Hartley and the trails are in good shape it just was a bit difficult with the fresh 3" of powder so I made my way to the roads to finish out the loop.

My breathing was labored more than I wanted and my upper hamstrings remain to have the nagging pull with each step. That's got to go away!

Overall a decent opening to a new year. Windy, 4F, and fresh powder everywhere.

Total: 39:40 ~5 miles
*most workouts will be focused by time for the next couple of months.