Fall to winter…

Man imposes his own limitations, don’t set any. ~ Anthony Bailey

Been taking things a bit easy of late and work has been slammin’ so that has kept me very busy. Still managing to get in some decent running though my volume has been off of a bit. Still gunning for a 2500 mile year and need to step it up a bit in November/December to make that mark.

I have been nursing a calf/Achilles tendon goofiness for the past couple of weeks that seems to crop up after 5 miles or so of running. Definitely wanting to take care of this rather than allow it to become a chronic problem so my longer runs have not been particularly long. Spun 10 on Sunday on trails near my house that take me into Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Still not much snow in that area of the woods but one can sense that it is on its way. Probably not many weekends left of uninhibited high-country trail running so I am enjoying it while I am able.

Very excited about the addition of a Sole F85 Treadmill to the arsenal for this winter. Much more convenient than hitting the gym and it forced me to rearrange the office a bit and commit to a stand-up desk (which I built over the weekend). Still need to sort a few items out in there but it is coming together nicely.

I couldn’t find another good marathon to run this year so will focus my attention on running a sub-3 next season. I am planning to work in a 5K and 10K before the end of the year and hope to put together a couple more long-ish adventure runs before we get completely socked in with snow. We’ll see if those get done before it just becomes silly.

One race that is definitely on the schedule for ’11 is the San Francisco Marathon in late July. That isn’t really a PR kind of race but it should be a blast. Really looking forward to that one. Will have to sit down and figure out the rest of my schedule soon. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

~stubert.

Round and round…

Deep e deep dow do dee do do ~ Hamster Dance

Tues: 00:55, 6.00 miles, Treadmill surges
Wed: 1:37, 12 miles, Treadmill/Track tempo
Thurs: 1:00ish, Not terribly far, Skate skiing

Words can not really describe how nice it was to get out of the hamster maze yesterday. The temps here have been incredibly low of late and yesterday, they finally started to break from their single-digit (or lower) rut and climbed into the mid teens. It wouldn’t have mattered as I was bound and determined to get outside for some fun in the sun but seeing 12° when I pulled on the skate boots at the base of Eldora lifted my spirits for sure. More on that in a moment.

I have been stuck in the gym but have been making good use of my time and spinning some solid efforts. On Tuesday, I warmed up for 30 minutes then did 10, 1×1 surges at an increasing pace. Felt a bit woozy to start after less-than-ideal nutrition for the day and a massage but a gel picked me up and I was able to finish the full workout with gusto. Then I did a circuit of upper body weights and called it an evening.

Wednesday featured the addition of wind to the frigid temps as well as client meetings in Denver so it was back to the gym for a tempo workout. I tried to mix things up a bit to fight off the boredom associated with running on the ‘mill and track and ended up having a great run. Started on the treadmill with 30 minutes at a 10-minute pace, then went into my tempo slowly with 2 miles at 8:00, and 1 mile at 7:30. Then I moved to the track for 35 minutes at 7:00 then cooled down for 10 minutes at 10:00 on the treadmill for a total of 1:37 and 12 miles. Felt great but I was definitely getting pretty sick of running in circles by the end.

So that brings us back to Thursday. This was the first time I have skated since college (about 18 years) and I was definitely rusty. The wind was howling at the Rock but the nordic center there is hidden in the trees so once one gets going it isn’t that big of a deal. I fell pretty much immediately (whoa those skis are skinny!), got up, fell again and broke the grip on my pole. Hmmm. Not an auspicious start but I was committed so I went in and got some rental poles and got back after it.

“Graceful” is not the adjective one would use to describe my form but in the next hour or so, I managed to quickly improve to the point where I was able to glide some uphill and didn’t eat it any more, which was nice. Just worked on staying upright, getting used to standing up on toothpicks and trying to not look like a total kook. Two out of three ain’t bad, I suppose. Had a lot of fun and am excited to get my pole fixed so I can get back after it.

Looking back at the past few weeks, I definitely have had some days that were better than others. All were productive, however and, though occasionally suffering, really have enjoyed myself. Some days feel a bit more like suffering than others but really, post run or ski, I feel way better about well… everything. That’s why I do it and why I encourage others to just go spend a little time getting the old heart pumping. It soothes what ails ya.

~stubert.

Meh…

Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started. ~ Steve Prefontaine

1:36, 10 miles, treadmill/track, steady

Today was a bit less than awesome on the running front. I did get the driveway mowed, however, so that was nice. Then I went to the gym and jumped on the treadmill for 1:20 (8 miles). Felt pretty shitty, really… just couldn’t get relaxed or feel any sort of solid rhythm. So I switched over to the track for another 16 minutes or so (2 miles) and called it good. Felt a lot better on the track so maybe next time I’ll start out there then move to the treadmill. Or just strap on some snowshoes and go wander around the woods for 3 hours like I was supposed to.

All in all, it beat sitting on the couch all day so there you go.

So speaking of getting off the couch, here is a video of a Frozen Flash Mob in Grand Central Station:

~stubert.

Back and forth…

Gas brake honk. Honk honk punch. Gas gas gas. ~ Homer Simpson

This week featured some great runs and a lot of commuting to Boulder for running and film festival activities. I am reminded, again, that I do not miss my commute. Surprised? I doubt it.

This year’s festival showcased a lot of great adventures and environmental movies. As a member of the jury, I saw most of these over the course of the past 4 months during screening events to select which movies would ultimately be shown at the festival and would win awards. Some highlights included:

  • Swift. Silent. Deep.
  • No Impact Man
  • First Ascent: Point of No Return
  • Signatures
  • Reporter
  • Making the Crooked Straight

Thursday, I did do a quick run around the neighborhood. Broke out the Vibram FiveFingers for the short spin and I still really like these friggin’ things. Definitely a cool addition to the gear list. Though I don’t ever envision doing anything more than a few miles at a time in them, I do believe that they help reinforce solid mechanics, improve foot and lower-leg strength and stability and provide a nice way to break up training so that a routine run becomes “something different”. I’ll probably work in a little barefoot time in my indoor workouts over the winter (*cough* today *cough*) to help offset the monotony of treadmill and short track laps.

Yesterday, I bailed on the snow to go to the gym and do surges on the treadmill. Mellow XC course for 30 minutes (10-minute pace) then stepped it up for another 10-15 to get in some nice, smooth surges. Felt great, actually. Since we got another foot overnight, I am heading back today to do my long run. Eldora opens this week so I’ll be hitting the XC trails soon and may toss in a snowshoe race or two this winter just for kicks. We’ll see how things progress.

~stubert.