Thursday, December 24, 2009

December blues

It happens every year in Minnesota, winter comes, December begins and I get into a funk. Why, darkness, cold, snow, months of it ahead. My running screeches to a slow pace, take last Sunday, plenty of time to get outside but it never happened. I did a lot of things but did not go outside. I told myself, you can run on Monday. Well, work went late, had a contact issue, long commute, my guess is you can see the trend. Tuesday, plan was to run at lunch, didn't happen, no problem run after work, nope needed to Xmas shop, run after Xmas shopping, didn't happen. Yesterday, same issues. I still need to run 22 more miles between now and new years to make my goal of 1500 miles, so that got me going.

So today, I said no more excuses, I ran 3 miles on the treadmill barefoot, so I at least got in a minimum run. That gets me to just 19 more miles which shouldn't be a problem except for a snowstorm combined with holiday travels. My hope is that I can sneak a few in over the next few days otherwise I may be heading out on the 31st with a few more miles to run than I would like. I am too close to fail on this goal, as Yoda says "do or do not, there is no try", now it's time to do.

December is always the worse month for my running, I think it's the fact that I dread the coming months of winter. The nice thing is that Christmas always puts me in a better mode, I get to spend time with my family, I get away from work and the best part of where we are is the calendar. The darkest day of the year is now behind us and I always perk up in January as the light returns. I start thinking only one really bad month of winter left and then each month gets easier.

I have ruled out Psycho Wyco as I haven't run more than 12 miles since Surf the Murph and a return there would be just a butt kicking kind of day. I had that last year and would like to at least think I have a chance to kick back a little on a return trip. So now the search begins for which spring race to do and once I lock into one, that will get me out the door and then before we know it spring will be here but first:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Runners Round Table

Well, I did it again, I hosted the runners round table episode 61 with Albert (Albert Runs) and Lesley (Going the Extra Mile). We interviewed Jan Seeley and Joe Henderson from Marathon & Beyond magazine. You can get more info about the show on the runners round table website including a link to the podcast.

I have to admit it was really cool to get to talk with Jan and Joe (I had previous talked with them about the show along with Rich Benyo from Marathon & Beyond, heck that was great to). To be able to have a conversation with the publisher (Jan), editor (Rich Benyo) and a columnist (Joe) from a magazine, especially one I love is great. To be able to talk to an author like Joe (I think I have read at least 6-8 of his books), I was like wow, he is a legend.

It's safe to say I have no future in radio or as an interviewer but just ignore me and listen to every one else. So check it out.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Odds and Ends

Running Barefoot
A while back I posted about my relationship with treadmills (I don't like them) but I outlined a plan that was intended to get me on it this winter. The plan was basically to give barefoot running a try. I decided instead of going barefoot, I would wear my water shoes which I purchased for $2.00 at WalMart. So they don't have any support, just a rubber bottom.

Well I have done two runs and have had no issues. The first run was just 2 miles and I did a mix of 2 minutes walking, 2 minutes running and stepped up the pace on each running segment. I waited a week before I tried again and repeated. I added in an extra mile, shortened the walking breaks to 1 minute and did a few more accelerations. Everything feels fine today. I did notice that I had no trouble landing on my mid/fore foot while running but I landed a bit on the heel when walking. I will continue to explore as it does get me to run on the treadmill. I do have to confess that while walking, I almost fell off. I was looking down and just drifted almost off of the treadmill.

Shoe Repair
I finally got around to repairing my Vasque Velocity VST's, the heels were separating from the sole. What I ended up doing was poking a hole through the outer sole, they are basically hollow underneath. You can tell if yours are like mine if you pull the insole out you can see right into the heel. Basically a honeycomb shape, what I did was drill the hole and then I filled it with it silicone (caulk for windows - cost ~$1). The silicone seemed to stick and the heel separation is gone and I have enough left over for about 10 years of shoe repair. The real test is that I have put 30 miles on them with no issues. Yes, I will get my mileage out of these shoes after all. So the VST's are back in my good graces.

Runners Round Table
I have posted before about the podcasts I listen to, one of them is called The Runners Round Table, a weekly running podcast about a variety of subjects hosted by podcasters and bloggers. Well, I volunteered to host, along with Albert and Lesley, this weeks show. We will be interviewing Jan Seeley and Joe Henderson from Marathon and Beyond magazine on Wednesday, I am sure I will post something after the show along with a link to the show. Feel free to join us.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First snow of the year, :-( or :-) ?

Well, a couple days ago when I saw the forecast I got a bit sad, irritated, frustrated, depressed, gloomy, not quite sure how to describe it but I was not very happy. I am not a winter person, I endure each winter of living in Minnesota but it is safe to say that I am never excited about winter starting, ending yes, now that's a wonderful day. You see I hate the cold, I am ok with the snow and the ice as long as it stays off of the roads, trails and my driveway.

Yesterday, I had one of those moments that help me get through it. With the snow starting to come down and the thought of my first 2+ hour commute home, I left work a little early (around 3) and decided to head to Lebanon Hills and get a run in before it got any worse or my motivation went away. The trails had 1-3 inches of snow and the wind was brisk but it felt good to get out, I always feel good when I get outside, it's just getting out that I struggle with.

About 2 miles into the run, I was on a section of trail between the maintenance road and the christian camp road running the single track when I looked down at one of the lakes and instead a 4 to 5 foot high tree stump caught my attention. It had moved, I immediately stopped and looked hard at it. Was I imagining it as the snow was right in my face and then it moved again. Actually the stump didn't move but the owl sitting on it did. It turned it's head and stared at me, we were about 10-15 feet apart. It was covered lightly in snow and it was huge (about a foot and a half to two feet tall). It blinked it's eyes at me, looked down and seemed to not care the least about me. I just stood there and stared at it and thought to myself "way cool". As I turned and started to take off, it was still not concerned about me so I simply told it to have a good day. Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera, (I have to start carrying one for moments like this).

After I got home, I looked up owls and I am 99% sure it was a "Great Horned Owl", here is a picture of one from wikipedia.

In Lebanon Hills, I have seen owls before but never so close to me. I like to think that without the snow, I wouldn't have had the experience, a great reminder to appreciate all of the seasons and yet another reminder of why I run trails.


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