Sunday, January 27, 2013

Faster and Longer In Good Weather

Following a pretty light week, I put in another, um, pretty light week.  Last week's light week wasn't purely intentional.  I knocked out a 10 mile trail run on Saturday (I count running weeks as Sat-Fri).  I had every intention of putting in a good 40-ish week.  But I'll be honest:  this year I've gotten kind of tired of running in the cold. Oh, I'll go out and do it.  But I'm just as likely to replace a run with a swim or an indoor session on the bike, NordicTrack, or rower.  And, this past week,that's what I did.

Ultimately, I got in a couple of swims while knocking out only 20 miles in runs (including Saturday's).  The most interesting run of the week happened around 4:45 on Friday afternoon. I had my GPS watch on for some reason (I like it, but rarely wear it, because it makes running stressful).  I took off and thought, why not  push it for a 5K?  So I did.  I ran the fastest 5K I've run in quite some time.  I felt good at the end, but a little gassed.

On Saturday morning, I awoke and vowed to have a good running week - 30-40 miles.  I popped out to the river, and moved easily through 8.75 miles (according to my GPS).  I had been worried that I'd do a crap run after kicking through a 5K the night before, but there was no need to worry.

Later in the day, at the home of friends, over bowls of chips and dips, and a few margaritas, I watched KU play OU.  I left feeling as though I'd just let my training down.  Instead of blowing it off to being foolish,I decided another workout was in order.  I hit the pool and did about 2/3 mile before calling it a night.

This morning when I woke up, I knew it was going to warm up.  Even though it was a bit dark, blustery, and rainy, there was a warm up on the way.  I threw on a sleeveless tech shirt, a long-sleeve shirt over it, tights, and shoes and socks, and then headed back to the river.  And, to be honest, today I felt the run.  After a fast run, a decent run, and a good swim (not to mention the margaritas), my legs and core were a bit overcooked.  But to me, to go out and do the run when I'm really not feeling it, makes for a great training session if I can just go do it.  So I just did it.  I enjoyed the air, the mud, the wind, the discussion of the French forces in Mali on NPR, and the simple freedom to be in nature on my favorite trails with almost no one else around.

I did run into Coleen and Ricki on a training run.  We were headed in the opposite direction, but paused to talk about an upcoming 100 mile race that some of Coleen's protoges are doing next week. Otherwise, I saw no one.  It was simply too muddy to bike, and most runners do the 3(ish) and 5 mile routes on the trails rather than the full distance.

On Saturday's run I wore my Mizuno trail shoes.  Almost all of my shoes are Mizunos of some sort now.  I have come to love the brand over the past three years.  For today's run, I pulled out my old Brooks Cascadias.  I'm not nearly as fond of them.  But since they have a much lower tread profile than my Mizunos, I figured they'd pick up less mud (even though that would technically give me less traction).  The Brooks worked fine.  I've been a little critical of the Cascadias over the past couple of years.  But they have held up pretty well.  Still, though, if I'm just heading out the door to run trails, I will always opt first for Mizunos.  Just to give you an idea, my road shoes are 4 pairs Mizunos, and 1 pair Nike, and a minimal pair by Merrell.

Since we are supposed to hit 68F manana, I'm sure that I'll be out somewhere.  I'm thinking the 7.5 Lecompton Interchange run might be the ticket.  And shorts (also by Mizuno) will be in order!

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