Sunday, February 17, 2013

Another week of running

I was able to crank out 41 miles last week.  It was a beautiful week for running, and I tool advantage of it.  As the weekend drew near, I figured I'd go long on Sat, and then do a shorter recovery run on Sun.  But Saturday was really a bit colder than I envisioned for a long run.  So I bundled up and played 18 holes of disc golf with some friends.

When this morning dawned, I knew I was going to be out in it.  At 10 am, I geared up and popped out the door.  It was an incredible morning, with light wind out of the south.  I wasn't feeling too good, but I ran.

The reason I wasn't feeling fantastic could be the result of altered diet before the run.  I had read that you could do protein before a workout.  I never do because I have also heard that doing protein before or during a run can kind of make you sick.  But I woke this morning, brewed some Yirgacheffe coffee (oddly from the town of Yirgachefe, Ethiopia - normally spelled with just one 'f'' - but don't get me started on all of the bs that surrounds that coffee, though it is good) and a Boulder Bar then waited a couple of hours before heading out the door - just to make sure the protein was digested.

While I enjoyed almost all of the run, I did get hit periodically with waves of nausea. It was very odd, because I am not a runner who normally experiences any type of stomach upset.  I did manage to finish the 12 mile jaunt without losing any of my breakfast.  I will, however, stick to carbs in front of, and protein in back of the workouts.  Life lesson learned.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More Miles

I am finally back on track with training (specifically) and running (in general).  Training for what, you might inquire.  Well, that is complicated. I'm always training, but unlike most runners who train for a specific event or race, I almost never have a race or event in mind.  Instead, I have a fitness level in mind.  Could I go out today and run a marathon?, is the first stage.  Could I go out and run a trail marathon?, is the second.  The answer to the first is yes, but not well.  The answer to the second is maybe, but definitively not well.  So,  judging my fitness by my own internal standards - really not calculable on a watch or GPS device - I still have some serious work to do.

In getting that going, this week I will be back up over 40 miles for the first time in at least a couple of fortnights.  I calculate my weekly mileage between Saturday and Friday.  And last Saturday the city was recovering from some wetness.  I had gone on trail runs the weekend before.  Both experiences left me looking, to a casual observer, as if I collected mud for a living.  So this past Saturday, I vowed to steer clear of mud for once.  I popped out to the levee and did a pleasant 10 miler.  It was a little bit boring, because the levee is the very definition of flat.  It is actually that kind of flat where no matter how far you run, you simply cannot detect progress.  Yet the day was stunningly beautiful, and I kind of mentally checked out and just ran on auto-pilot with the expansive fields on one side, and the trees and river on the other.

Sunday I awoke, got dressed for running, and took off.  I felt great as I ran, until 200 yards into the run, the wind hit me in the face and I turned around and went home.  I waited the rest of the day for the gusts to die down, but they never did.  I just couldn't see myself putting in 10-12 mi in that kind of wind.  I did an indoor workout - one that was as hard as I could make it, took a sauna, and then put the windy day behind me.

Monday was gorgeous.  I decided to take a slightly longer lunch than normal, and popped out for another 10 mile run.  I had the SLT trail completely to myself except for a lone cyclist who showed up right as I was attempting to lose some water weight behind a tree at the western end of the trail.  It was truly weird timing.  I finished the run strongly and was able to knock out the rest of the day's work with ease.  I plan to do the same run for the next 2-3 days before taking a day off.

Less about running - I spent the weekend watching the new Netflix series (all 13 hours released so far), House of Cards.  It is a remarkably fun show, and not the kind to which I normally gravitate.  Once I had finished that, I finally set my sights on the illustrious Downton Abbey.  Now DA, may just be a show that will earn its creator a place in Heaven (or at least a place in a loftier caste).  The writing is wonderful, the setting, stunning, and the costumes non-pareil.  If you haven't seen it, you should treat yourself to an episode or two. I believe you will be hooked.

More next week.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Mots - Mabe Bon, Maybe Non

I saw Calexico last night. What a fun band!  The opening act, a band called Bahamas, was also fantastic.  Originally, I had tickets to see Morrissey.  But as the week wore on and he seemed to be getting sicker and sicker in the pages of the paper, all bets were off.  The evening was a total blast.  I ran into friends of all types – some I hadn’t seen in a while, one who’s moving to Oregon shortly, a former trainer of mine, a musician acquaintance, etc…  Anyway, if you haven’t seen or heard Calexico, you should at least try them out on Spotify.

The week in running was less successful. The long run I had planned for Saturday fizzled. I had a headache before the run even started, and then felt an asthma attack coming on within the first mile.  I slid right out the back of the pack and slowed down to keep the wheezes at bay.  I managed to get in between 4-5 miles, but it was about half of what I had planned.  Today I waited until the warmest part of the day and popped out to the trails again, this time in shorts and a long sleeve shirt.  I only wanted to do 5-6 miles which turned out to be a good workout because the trails had turned to mud.  My shoes continuously picked up a pound or two every hundred yards.  Parts of the trail looked like the muddy old battlefieldf pics from WWI.  I still managed to crank out 5 miles and enjoyed the heck out of the run.  I don’t like running in mud.  But since there was nothing that could be done about it, I thought I might as well try to enjoy it.

I got a bit of swimming in this week as well.  I’ve really taken to hitting the pool whenever it gets too cold outside.  I’ll run in frigid conditions sometimes, but if there is an option like the pool, I’ll opt for it on a pretty regular basis.  It is either a sign of aging, or good sense (I'm not sure which).

Finally: If you have Netflix and are looking for a good movie, check out Nate and Margaret.  It is one of the best little movies I’ve seen in some time.  It follows the friendship of a kind of awkward gay college student and a 52 year old aspiring comedienne who lives in the apartment next door.   It doesn’t sound promising, but it will surprise you as you laugh and cry your way through it.

Until next time: Nonne descendite adulteri