Friday, December 26, 2008

Solid Running Day...

Put in a really slow, but clean 12-13 miler this morning and a solid 7.1 mile treadmill work out this afternoon. Felt good to put in a really clean, comfortable, 20 mile day. Put in a 5:20 and a couple of 5:30 miles in on the mill - felt great. 6:00 miles are pleasurable at this point - very comfortable and easy. 

My fitness is good right now. I am not in 2:20 marathon shape quite yet, but I am definitely in a good place for a fast 50-100 miler. My shape is at a place where at any moment, give me 3 weeks and I would be ready for a fast race. That said, I am keeping running in its place and treating it the way I ought to in the off-season. NO EXPECTATIONS. Peace.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy B-Day Jesus Half-Marathon

I came in as the inaugural 'Happy B-Day Jesus Half-Marathon' champion this morning. Good race. Ran a really clean 13 or 14 mile Christmas run. Very nice. Cold. But glorious. Happy B-day Jesus!

Merry Christmas!

God bless all ya' all. Merry Christmas. Peace.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Running

17 miles today - 12 and 5 mile runs. I may have gotten frost-bitten on my 12 miler this  morning. Stupidity ruled the day and it shined in my run. I went out into a 5 degree day (-10 windchill) with nothing more than a running cap, tights and a light wind-breaker. Needless to say, I have never been more miserable on the run. The last 4 miles I began cussing and screaming in pain as my ears, cheeks, lips, fingers and legs entered the first stages of complete freeze. My ears are still in pain, my fingers are a bit numb still and my cheeks are not all there. Stupid. After weeks of sub-zero running and the occasional sub -30 windchill running I became desensitized to the cold. I learned my lesson today - I saw that it was above zero and thought, 'hey, warm, Fall gear time'. 

In the PM, I went on a redemption 5 miler. Pretty quick and fully clothed. -12 below windchill, but in my full-on winter running gear. No doubt, it was redemptive. I ran it fast and WARM. My ears are still struggling to feel, but my I am feeling good about a pretty strong 17 mile day. Good stuff. Best part of the day? Sitting here with my family, watching a cheesy, Hallmark, Christmas movie after a Christmas play at church. Love it. This is what Christmas is all about - being with family and celebrating the birth of Christ. Life is good. Peace and love.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Last Mileage Update for the Year...

106 miles last week in the sub-zero temps. Felt good about that. Last week marks the end of my mileage log for a bit.

Fall 2008 Running Stats

- 2195 miles
- Ave. 129 miles/week for 17 weeks
- Ave. 18 miles/day for 119 days
- 204 miles, biggest week (during a 40 hour work week)
- 50 miles, longest continuous run
- 55 miles, most miles in 24 hours (during an 8 hour work day)
- Coldest training run, -20 air temp, -35 windchill (13 miles)

I need to take a break from counting mileage, until next Spring's training cycle. Just running free and clear now - feeling really, strong and solid. This seems like a good time to focus on other things, all the while maintaining my shape and enjoying, truely enjoying my outings. I put in a 12 miler this afternoon in Albert Lea. It was cold, -9 or so and a bit windy, but it was a really rock solid run.

From now, until mid-February - when I begin my next training cycle-, I will throw periodic life and running tid-bits in occasional on this blog. So stay tuned. Thanks for hanging.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Character Building

I have been doing a lot of character building runs lately.

Yesterday, I did a 10 mile steady run at 5 in the morn... needless to say, it was cold, very cold. -20 or so air temp with a decent wind. I returned back to my place with my eyes nearly frozen shut. In the PM, I did a 7 mile hill work out with a -20 windchill. I flew on the very steep, returning downhill at about 5:30 pace or better. Goggles were necessary.

Today, it was a 10 or 11 miler out and back. The out consists of slight to moderate hills and of course the the back is a downhill cruiser. On the out today, there was a steady 15-20 mph headwind, putting the windchill at -20 or so. Goggles were essential. The uphill against the wind wasn't nearly as trying as it has been in the past, a testament to both my physical and mental shape. The downhill was awesome, very awesome. I lifted my goggles and dropped my face mask and rode the wind for the 5 miles back. Took it at 6-6:30 pace. It was really comfortable and cleaaaaaaaaaaaaan.

Getting out, in less than ideal weather conditions, has been very good for my mental game lately...reminding myself that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and commit. Also, I obviously haven't been able to run full-on work outs given the snow, ice, wind and cold, which has made for much more relaxed outings - just getting out there, enjoying the movement has been the story lately. Good stuff. Deeeeeeeep breath.

Feeling Blue

Here I sit, in the LEAP room, cold and blue. Physically, I am cold. Emotionally, I am blue. I don't know why. Sometimes, I guess I just feel so isolated, uncertain and neurotically hopeless that I cannot move. A stuck sort of feeling, ya know. I wish I could put more words to it. It is frustrating, because I find myself here almost everyday - in this state, cold and blue and worried too. Hmmm. Shoot... Anyways, that is all. Hope everyone is finding joy. Peace.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Frosted Over

Put in a cool 10 miler this morning. It was warmer this morning, -14 or so. It felt colder. There was a bit of a wind. Probably on the order or -20 to -25 wind chill. I was bold and went goggleless this morning. The result? Frosted eyes, forehead and outer mouth. The problem is, the moisture and heat from my breath is directed upwards by my face mask and freezes instantly on my face. This actually provides a certain level of insulation, believe it or not - from the extreme cold, at least. The thermal concept behind it is similar to the insulation of snow cave - at least that is my theory. By the end of my run my eye-lashes were solid ice blocks and the exposed portions of my face, although few, were frosted solid. Regardless, it was a really quick and clean run (considering).


Great movie. 'Elf' will be our feature film at LEAP today. I am not sure if the choice of movie is more for me or for the kids. Surely, they will enjoy it equally, if not more, but my despotic rule of LEAP laid the selection squarely on my shoulders - bypassing the regular democratic process of majority of kids rule. At any rate, they will love it. They must! For it is my favorite film and thus thou shall be theirs too. Blitzkrieg! Achtung!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cold Weather Running

Saturday, I put in 11 miles in the morning and 7 in the PM. The air temp was in the negative teens and the windchill was -30 or so. Yesterday, I put in 15 miles with an air temp of -23 or so. No wind though, thank the Lord. This morning it was -31 or so and I put in a nice little 5 miler before school. My eyes nearly froze this morning. My goggles froze over and I was forced to lift them about 3 miles into my run. I had to blink and blink and blink to keep my eyes from completely freezing shut. This weekend was a good test of the mental capacities - the 11 miler on Saturday especially (it was a total blizzard and halfway through the run I found no relief from the blowing snow, cold and snow-covered sidewalks). Good stuff. What doesn't kill makes you stronger, right?

Friday, December 12, 2008

High Mileage

It is amazing what the human body is capable of. Over the last year I have maintained 100 miles a week or better - with no days off. It has become the most natural thing to me. Granted, there are many times where I have a hard time getting out the door, but once I am out, I am free. Most professional runners peak at 120-130 miles a week during intense training cycles. Over the last couple of months my most comfortable maintenance weeks have been around 140 miles a week - complete with solid work outs.

Though my mileage is high now, it will not be forever and I am 'okay' with that, I really am. In fact, I am pleased with the notion of change of routine and mileage. I am trying to let go of the numbers and focus on quality (of running with life).

Also, actually, most importantly, I need to rework running into my life again, in a balanced way. Running is not everything. That is truth, but too often I let it be everything. Not that I talk about it or act like it constantly, but I tend to get worried, nervous or anxious about the next runs, the next days weather, the next weeks miles, this week's miles, etc. These thoughts distract me from living a full life. I run best when everything else is in order and in turn when I am running well, I am peaceful and engaged with my non-running life; my work, my spiritual life, reading, friends, etc. Deeeeeeeeep breathe.

There is more to life than running. There is more to life than running. There is more to life than running. There is more to life than running. There is more to life than running. There is more to life than re-typing that there is more to life than running.

Be gone worries, fears, anxiety and guilt! Freedom. Sweet, sweet freedom, is found in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. No worries, fears, anxieties or guilt (without Truth). Deeeeeeeeeep breathe. Peace. Love. Truth.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tis the Season to Tempo

Put in about 20 yesterday. Running club went great yesterday. The boys' behavior is improving. We had a good 15 minute, individual pace run.

The weather today was absolutely perfect for a fast, clean tempo. Calm, in the 30s and sunny. I put in an 11-12 miler at an outrageous pace. I threw down on the last 6 miles. It was surreal. I found a really clean, fast stride. 5:30-6 or so pace up and down the undulating landscape of the Coulees. It was great to be a part of such a beautiful day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Heart to Heart

This blog, up to now, has been fairly rudimentary - covering the most basic numbers, thoughts and ideas associated with my running life. Unfortunately, I don't know how to pour out or truly express my emotions and deepest feelings. Just know that I am crying out right now for life, for change, for friends, for love, for God, for family, for companionship, for comfort and for peace.

Now for the numbers and the most elemental thoughts of which I have trouble expressing. Yesterday I put in two clean, steady runs - a 13 miler in the morning and 7 miler in the PM. This morning I had a really nice 11 mile tempo run, again, clean. This afternoon I will head out for another 7-8 mile easy run in the wind.

Yesterday, I crossed the 2000 mile mark, since I began keeping a log in Great Falls (August 24th, 2008).

Monday, December 8, 2008


Not a whole lot to report. 132 miles last week. 23 yesterday. I am not feeling so hot this morning. Feeling a bit down. Trying to keep myself together for these last two weeks before I go home for Christmas. The count-down begins... Anyways, hope everyone else is doing well and finding joy in their days. Peace.

Friday, December 5, 2008

It is Friday and I am Tired

21 cold and snowy miles yesterday. I am tired, on this Friday. Thank goodness it is the last day of the work week. I am trying to take deeeeeeep breaths and appreciate the tiredness for what it is... a result of working hard and running hard this week. This weekend is looking to provide a nice respite. Two awesome runs yesterday. The first was a 9 mile clean cruise through the essing Coulees of the country and the second was a really clean 12 miler around Great Falls, returning, literally at the stroke of midnight - barely keeping the run in the confines of Thursday, Decemember 4th, 2008.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Life Affirming Snow Run

This morning I ran a really clean, smooth 13 miler on the fresh blanket of snow. It was a comfortable 17 degrees with no wind! Awesome stuff. The pavement was covered with a fresh 1-2 inches, which made for a smooth and springy run. It was awesome. Felt like I was running on carpet. I am enjoying this natural, seasonal transition of training. The snow/ice/elements make for lower mileage weeks and slower miles on the whole - I have no choice over that if I am continue to run outside. This is great because I am forced to slow-down, run less and in turn enjoy, truly enjoy the slower pace, smooth runs. This morning was one of those. I cruised this morning, but it felt right. My body felt so fluid and the stride was nearly effortless. It was a transcendental sort of run. Praise be to the Lord! I will go for a nice 7-8 mile snowy stroll this afternoon through the Coulees before running club. Today, the kids probably won't be running outside because of the cold and snow. We will be finishing up our profiled runners research and then present our famous runners to the entire club. Good stuff.