No track mind…

Snow at the Casa
Plonk.

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. ~ Lao Tzu

Tues 23 Mar: 00:47, 4.25 miles, Treadmill surges

An upslope storm rolled in last night and dumped about 18″ of fresh stuff on the Casa del Critters. Standard operating procedure for the Front Range this time of year. What is significantly less standard is my “meh” reaction to the whole thing. Typically, I would be standing in a line with a thousand other yahoos waiting for the lifts to start churning. This year, not so much.

Lots of factors contribute to my blah reaction to what would normally be unbridled enthusiasm for blower pow conditions. The death of my friend, Jonny Copp, in an avalanche last Spring certainly isn’t getting me overly thrilled to go out and tackle the backcountry and the shitty snow conditions we have experienced all year aren’t helping either. I tend to get into patterns of behavior and if things don’t line up, I move on.

I am a bit bummed that I bought passes again this year that have remained virtually unused. And I think my bummed-ness comes less from the money I spent on the passes than from the loss of enthusiasm for something I once cherished. I have been trying to look at it all from a more Zen perspective (with mixed results). Over the past 10 years or so, I have racked up an average of about 60 days per year. So over the long haul, I have gotten my money’s worth. I think that the overall change in attitude has to do with the quality of running I am experiencing this year. All season I have been telling myself that I would rather go for a good run than a mediocre ski and now, well… I think that I would rather go for a good run than a good ski.

Perhaps next year things will change. If the East Wall at the Basin will ever open up, maybe my attitude about skiing this year will come around. But I really only look at that as a way to cross-train for running. Apparently, I now have a no-track mind.

~stubert.

Week in review…

The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Tues 16 Mar: 00:46, 4.69 miles, Casa trails surges
Wed 17 Mar: 2:08, 13.5 miles, Dearborn tempo
Thurs 18 Mar: 00:32, 3.11 miles, Snowy trails slog
Sat 20 Mar: 00:40, 4.35 miles, Treadmill surges
Sun 21 Mar: 5:00, ~30 miles, Long, slow Boulder run
TOTAL: 8.75 hours, 55 miles

This was a pretty solid week of training, actually – especially considering how I felt most of the week. After last Sunday’s effort, I was a little beaten up going into my normal schedule and though I was able to keep up the plan, I was definitely feeling it this week. On top of that, I donated platelets/plasma on Wednesday and that took it out of me a bit. Thursday I had to drag myself out on my run but, as experience is proving, once I got out there, I had a great time. I did modify my route to be more about entertainment than running (post-holed for much of the “run” in deep snow drifts) but sometimes that is what you have to do. Mix it up. Enjoy.

By Saturday I was feeling pretty much all together again and Sunday’s run was another tour of way North Boulder. Amazing how the miles just tick off. By hour 4 I was getting a little tired but finished up relatively strongly (even if getting a bit sore) and managed to come away from the whole experience feeling very positively about the effort. I must admit that I am a little sore today but am sure that will pass quickly.

While running multiple hours on end, one has the opportunity to do a lot of thinking and one item that comes up fairly often for me is the philosophy that there is no such thing as a bad run. Sure, some are more productive than others, or hurt less, or have an overall quality that surpasses others, but really, there are lessons to be learned from each and every experience. Sometimes the lessons are big (remember to drink, don’t step on rusty nails, punching yourself in the face is not a good motivator) and sometimes they are as simple as, “I can do this!” Regardless, I have discovered that getting out there, even if the end result doesn’t feel especially “good”, is way better than not getting out there.

Enjoy.

~stubert.

Altitude…

Molly
And now, for no apparent reason... Molly.

He who argues for his limitations gets to keep them. ~ Richard Bach

Sat 6 Mar: 00:39, 4.31 miles, Neighborhood surges
Sun 7 Mar: 4:12, 23.19 miles, Casa to Ned loop via Mag and P2P

Did my first long(ish) solo run in the mountains this weekend and it went. I was a bit hammered by the end but did manage to stay out almost as long as I wanted. Temps dropped a bit in the last several miles and this, coupled with my starting a bit too fast, contributed to the suffering at the end. Not sure that my elevation gain/loss numbers are anywhere near correct either but the entire run was done above 8000 feet. Good altitude training for sure.

Also saw Alice in Wonderland on Friday to celebrate our anniversary. Rach has put up with my shenanigans for 19 years now and frankly, I am not sure how she does it but I am grateful that she does! Hoping for another 19, fun-filled years with my sweetie.

~stubert.

Get up, stand up…

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that! ~ the Queen

Tues 2 March: 00:40, 4.9 miles, Boulder Creek Path surges
Wed 3 March: 1:48, 12.5 miles, Westview loop tempo
Thurs 4 March: 00:39, 4.4 miles, Mtn. Meadows/Beav easy

Still rolling consistent mileage. I felt a little whooped going into Wednesday’s tempo run and slightly blah about the whole endeavor. Once we got rolling, however, it ended up being a decent effort. I blew up quite dramatically at the end but still managed decent splits. Lessons: Pay attention to what your body is yelling at you, time your kick, push through the finish. One out of three isn’t great but gaining the knowledge of the other two makes up for their absence during the effort.

These runs aren’t all about time on my feet. They work as training for my head as well. Getting up for a daily run can be difficult. Some days, my brain tells me to just bag it, to take the day off and everything will be right with the world. These are the days that when I pull on the trainers and get moving, I can make that big, wuss part of my brain shut up for awhile and then I realize how much better I feel for having ignored the naysayer in me and gotten out for awhile. It is rare that I feel worse after having gone out for a run. And that is a big part of why I do it.

Americans are an “all or nothing” kind of society. Sometimes (when embracing the “all”), this works to our advantage and great discoveries are made, records are broken and we really shine. Unfortunately, the “nothing” takes over much of the time and we are left with generations of couch potatoes with carpal tunnel syndrome or video-game-thumb. I can’t count how many times I have had people ask me about running and comment that they would like to run a marathon (or half marathon or whatever) but that they just don’t have enough time. So they do nothing.

My advice is always this: If you only have 15 minutes to run, go run for 15 minutes. That’s it. Sure, the bigger goal may still loom out there but running 15 minutes will get you moving in the right direction where sitting on the couch will get you nowhere. It’s the same advice I give people who want to go vegan but just can’t give up food-item-x. So eat less of food-item-x… you will be doing yourself a favor and helping the planet. Strap on the trainers and go out for 10 minutes. That’s 10 minutes more than nothing. Which is much more than just a start.

~stubert.

RIP Skip…

Skipper Dipper
Skipper doin' the flop.

You were sitting backstage in a dress. A perfect mess. ~ Red Hot Chili Peppers

Sat 27 Feb: 00:40, 4.18 miles, Treadmill barefoot and weights
Sun 28 Feb: 3:55, 24.35 miles, North Boulder LSD

Quick update since I have been on the computer way too long today. The running news this weekend was all good. In contrast to other events. Our beloved bunny, Skipper/Skipper-Doodle/Skipper-Dipper, died this weekend. He was an awesome, HUGE New Zealand with the sweetest disposition and a knack for making friends. He came to us with serious problems with his jaw and Rach nursed him through multiple surgeries and many late nights. He delivered the goods, always excited to see us and to hop his big butt around for our entertainment. He will be sorely missed.

On the running front, I put in some barefoot miles on Saturday on the Treadmill then lifted some weights. Barefooting is interesting and I am fascinated by the biomechanics of it. Since my experiment last week where I noticed a marked jump in effort after switching to shoes mid-run from barefoot, I have been paying a lot of attention to my stride and how it affects my efficiency. On Saturday, I warmed up for 30 minutes barefoot and felt great. When I switched to shoes, I felt a lot less great and started to immediately experience tightness in my glute. I removed my insoles and that helped a bit but not completely. Interesting stuff. Going to keep my eyes on it.

Sunday, I jammed down to Boulder for a Long, Slow Day. Warmed up for about 9-10 minutes (1+ miles), then joined the group for a tour of the back-roads between Boulder and Lyons. Felt very relaxed (average heartrate: 144) and relatively sporty (average pace: 9:42) throughout. Got full expression in my right hip, which is something for which I have been striving for a couple months now and felt smooth and fluid throughout. Excellent.

Finished February with a good 52+ mile week and ended the month with 157+ miles and one race under my belt. All in all… not too shabby.

~stubert.