12/30 - Inside Run- Easy

Last night, I was packing my trusty blue and grey North Face backpack up for my run today.
Hat - check
Gloves - check
jacket - needed to be washed
pants (all three pairs) - needed to be washed
cold weather underwear - needed to be washed

Laundry sounded like a lot of work last night in order to prepare for an easy 40 minute run. Okay, change of plans - easy on the dreadmill, weights, and stretching.

Easy 40 minutes turned into a 5.5 mile 45 minute easy run. I did my core body workout and did some arm/shoulder/back free weights. My arms already feel it.

Long run outside planned for tomorrow!


12/29 - Hill Running in snow

Okay, this is my buddy John running with me over lunch today. Do you see how many layers he is wearing?

Some people are not so bright. I was in the locker room getting ready to run in the 4 degree weather today and had a similar set of clothing to what John has pictured above. I was pulling on my running pants, and had two long sleeve tech shirts, a turtle neck, and a running jacket piled up on the bench that runs through the locker room. Next to the pile of clothes, was my winter hat, running mittens, and sunglasses.

This guy changing next to me asks: "So, are you going outside?"

Hmm, how should I respond? Should I say, "No, I'm just putting on these clothes to go run on the treadmill." Or "Do you think I should wear shorts instead?"
Instead, I opted for the gentle nod of the head, and responded "Yep, I just have to bundle up a bit."

Then, again, he responded with "Geez, you must love to run."

Okay, here I was taking 10 minutes to get dressed to run in the really cold weather. I thought he was the one with the dim light, but now that he said it that way, maybe I am the one that is not so bright!

Today's run was the hills labeled "Pain". Enough said. These are 7.5 miles of killer hills. Mix it up with the snow and ice, and you get a perfect training run for an upcoming trail run.
If you take a look at John's shoes from the previous picture, you'll notice one way not to slide. Simply just put screws in the bottom of your shoes. (You can see where the snow/ice gathers around the head of the screws on the heel of shoe in the close up picture below.) John mentioned the screws were beginning to wear down. Instead of "unscrewing" the old screws, he opted to add some more. At least 15 screws in each shoe.

Okay, so let's recap. Who is not so bright? A guy who states the obvious or a guy who takes 10 minutes to get dressed and puts screws in the bottom of running shoes? In this situation, I'd like to think there is an option C.


12/28 - Run inside!

After some periodic running , I'm back at it. To summarize where I have been the last couple of weeks, let's just say I was running in T-Shirt and shorts outside, and had the opportunity to run by Cinderella's castle!

Last week, we were up in Minnesota celebrating Christmas with my in-laws. I was able to get in a couple of decent outside runs, including a solid run on the trails and a 10 mile run. It all felt good and I'm now getting focused for a hopefully decent race at Psycho in KC on Feb 13.

With the hills of Psycho, I'm stepping up my hill training. Because we got back late last night, I didn't have time to prepare to run outside today, so I was inside on the treadmill. I did the following workout which lasted about 46 minutes with a few minutes of walking after the cool down - All at about a 8 min pace.

5 minutes warm-up (slightly slower than 8 min pace)

incline at 5,6, and 7 (slightly faster) minute each;3 min recovery (slightly slower); incline at 6,7, and 8; 3 min recovery; incline at 7,8, and 9; 3 min recovery; incline at 8, 9, and 10; 3 min recovery, incline at 9,8, and 7; 3 min recovery; incline at 8,7, and 6; 3 min recovery; incline at 7,6, and 5

5 minute cool down + walking.

A solid Monday run.


12/12 and 12/13

Back to outdoor running!

This past weekend, I headed out on two back to back outdoor runs. With all the snow we have received, it was slow going for me, but just what I needed!

On Saturday morning, I headed out with the Saturday morning group. It was great to be back with the group. However, it was difficult to stop after only 6 miles. Many of them were headed out for 10 more miles when I had to depart. I forgot how much I miss the long run, it gives me a chance to challenge myself each week - there is nothing like being done and looking back at a 15+ mile run and giving yourself a pat on the back for the accomplishment.

Sunday was an easy 6.5 mile run with John. Sunday mornings are usually designated for trail runs, but since there is like 3 ft of snow on the trails, we decided to best stay in town.

A twelve mile weekend? I'll take it. Patience and progress is my mantra at this point.

I did set myself a goal - I recently signed up for the Psycho Wyco trail run in February. The race offers a 10 mile, 20 mile, and 50k option. I signed up for the 20 mile run and will shoot for it. One of the hardest courses ever but run by a great trail running group out of KC - the trail nerds.

The plan is take today off of running (likely elliptical and some strenght training today) and hit a couple of easy runs on Tuesday and Wednesday.


12/11 - Elliptical

60 minutes on the elliptical today. My shin is at 100% after the small amount of running I did yesterday. I'll head out tomorrow morning with the group for an easy 5-6 miles to see how it goes.

The elliptical was fine - 60 minutes burned around 900 calories for me; or at least that is what the machine said!

While on the elliptical, I was watching one of my guilty pleasure shows - Rachel Ray. I really like Rachel - and today, I found out that she is starting to run everyday - at least 3.5 miles and will start to increase her miles. Yep, I'm sold - I'm signing up for the Rachel Ray fan club.

One of the segments today talked about these woman who started a lunchtime running group in Chicago. They meet 3-4 times a week and run over lunch anywhere from 3 to 7 miles.

I've long been an advocate of the lunch time run, many reasons where the same as the woman in the group. It rejuvenates the mind and body and it is a great break in day. Also, it is "soul warming" to be able to run with people over lunch. I rarely "not" smile and laugh with my lunchtime running buds, and truly enjoy the company of my running friends.

I can't wait to get out more often with my running lunch buddies as I start my road back to everyday running!


12/10 - Cycle and Run

Well, today was a split day between running and cycling. I hit running pretty hard last week and my shin was a little ache on the last half of the weekend. I decided to take it easy from running for a few days and see how it felt. Originally, I was going to take Monday, Tuesday off, run Wednesday. However, Mother Nature blessed us with 16 or so inches of snow. Instead of a normal workout, I did the "Rocky IV" old school workout and shovelled a hell of a lot of snow. A few hours worth.

So today was a welcome normal workout - 45 minutes hard cycle class (Kari was brutal on the hills today) and 20 minute run. I was a bit apprehensive on the run because I thought for sure my shin would hurt. It didn't get worse, in fact, after a bit of loosening up, it felt really good. No pushing it though, I stayed within my 20 minutes. I did change the speed, start at 8 min miles, then after 5 minutes, moving to 7:43. I left the incline at 1.5 and left both there as it felt really comfortable. I pushed it a bit with 5 minutes remaining, increasing the speed to 7:30 pace. Instead of going faster with 4 minutes left, I increase the incline each minute, first to 5, than to 7, then to 10 and held it at each for 1 minute before bringing it back down to 5 before settling into a 4 minute walk to cool down. I finished with the general strenght workout out and some stretches.

Today my thoughts while running centered on having passion - about challenging yourself to do something and believing that you can do it. It came from watching the movie Julie and Julia - which I recommend. I believe the movie represents two incredibly strong but struggling woman trying to find a place for herself. I, of course, relate this running. I think about all the souls who start to train for their first marathons, and after a few months of training, the tears and smiles they display at the finish line. For many people, the story ends there - and it is a great story. For others, it is the start of something more. It becomes their passion.

Run on!