"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW-- What a Ride!"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Monday

Rest day today. Too bad because it was 72, clear blue sky and no humidity. Awesome. Time to look back at last week and get a grip on this coming running week.

Last week I ran 30.85 miles. It was warm and muggy every night. Wednesday night at 8 p.m. the heat index was still well into the 90's so I ran inside at the Y. I know lots of us were fighting oppressive heat last week. I hope you get some relief this coming week.  The one thing I am happy with from this past week is the recovery from the medium and long runs seems to be shorter than it was a month ago.  I am reaping some fitness benefits.  Soon, it will be time for a mileage increase.  Maybe this week even.

I did my long run on Saturday evening instead of Saturday morning this past week. It felt lots better. I don't know, my body just prefers evening runs I guess. The one thing that was difficult was the deer flies. They were thick!  Those little boogers just love drilling me right in the back of the head.

Sunday we smoked a pork loin over apple wood.  My wife wrapped it in bacon first and injected some sort of beer sauce into it the night before.  It was awesome!  Then to make things even more awesome she made a homemade cherry pie from the cherries we picked last week.  Wow, much better than canned cherries.  It's all I can do to not just sit down and eat the whole pie.  I think I could live on cherry pie.

What's been awesome for you lately?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hot Hot Hot

Because it's been a hot week for running for a lot of us. Embrace the heat but be careful out there. Hydrate and then hydrate some more.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Week in Review, 7/11-7/17

Sorry for being MIA.  Work was very busy last week and that took priority.

Here's the summary of how the week went:

Monday:  Travel day for work and rest day.
Tuesday:  Got out close to midnight for a run under the nearly full moon around the golf resort we were staying at (Boyne Highlands).  Had to dodge the sprinklers.  Got about 3.4 miles in.
Wednesday:  Got out again under the full moon around the resort.  The golf courses are strangely silent.  No crickets, no frogs, nothing.  No night sounds at all.  Just the sound of sprinklers.  Got about 5 miles in.
Thursday:  Rest day and traveled Thursday night.
Friday:  Got about 6.2 miles in back on my home route.  Felt good to be back.
Saturday:  Got up early to beat the heat.  Got 10 miles in.  Later, went and picked cherries with the family.  Cherries fresh from the tree taste nothing like what comes from the grocery store.
Sunday:  HOT!  I slept in.  Too hot to run until evening.  I waited until the sun went down and got 5 miles in.  It was still 81 degrees at 9:30 p.m. and very humid.

This week I am celebrating my one year runnerversiary.  Woot!  I am planning to celebrate by...running!  LOL.  I am starting to see a fitness improvement on my 10 mile runs, so I'm thinking one more week of the current mileage and then I will bump my long, slow distance run up to two hours and fifteen minutes for approximately 11.5 miles.

Weekly food notes:  This past week we had dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings a couple of times.  I discovered the mango lemonade.  Yum!  It rocks!  It pairs with the mild sauce just perfect.  Watching the MLB All Star game on a tv screen that was about 15 feet across was cool too.  Saturday we had dinner at Thatsa Pizza in Traverse City, MI after picking cherries.  I loved it.  The crust was light and the toppings were substantial.  Just the way I like it.  We'll be going back there again.

Cucumbers are coming on in our garden hot and heavy now.  Very tasty.  I'm been eating them as fast as I can, but they grow faster.  Our peas are almost done.  The kids ate most of them, but I did get a few.  Peas from the garden are a special summer treat.  Too bad it can't last all year.  The tomatoes should start soon.  Probably by the end of this week we'll be able to start picking tomatoes.

What's your favorite summer produce?  Mine has to be tomatoes.  Garden tomatoes are packed with flavor.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Week in Review

This week I went 29.9 miles, did my third 10 miler ever and 2nd one in two weeks.  Had I known where I was at week to date mileage-wise, I would have added .1 miles to my run this evening.  Oh well.  Stuff happens, eh?  The good thing is that other than sweating a lot and working on hydration issues, the mid-summer heat isn't bothering me that much.  I just keep thinking about how cold those January and February runs were.

This coming week the plan will be the same as this past week.  I'm thinking two more weeks of a 10 mile long run and 30 miles for the week.  Then I'm either going to bump the miles or add more hill work.  I'm leaning towards the hill work as I will need to be strong on the hills for my trail half marathon.

We're in the time of year when pizza and buffets just don't sound as good as fresh fruits and veggies.  Still, my wife had me try a chicken bacon ranch pizza this week.  Yum!  I liked it.  Even though it wasn't traditional, I still enjoyed it a ton.  Thank you honey for the suggestion and for broadening my world!

What are your training plans for the week?  Stepping up the miles?  Adding speed or hills?  Cutback week?

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Last night's run was a short 3.5 miles.  The night before some thunderstorms had rolled through at midnight which woke up my daughters who in turn woke up mom and dad.  I felt that lack of sleep as lead legs the next day.

Tonight's run was 6.2 miles.  Since I slept better last night, the miles clicked by a little easier.  It was my first time ever to run in compression shorts.  I think I liked it.  I definitely liked the fact that my music player wasn't bouncing all over the place.

Next up is a rest day tomorrow.  Yay!  Saturday will be my long run for the week.  The plan is for 10 miles again.  Sunday will be 4-5 miles of forest trails.  Next week the plan is to repeat this week.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Running With the Fireflies

Last night's run turned into an adventure.  In a good way.  The first 4 miles or so it was just me, the crickets and the fireflies.  Lots of 'em.  They were everywhere.  It was a really cool experience to have that many fireflies blinking away as I ran by.  One meadow looked like it had Christmas lights strung through it because of all the flashing.

At one point I treed a raccoon.  All I could see was his eyes glowing back at me in my headlamp and the unmistakable tail silhouette.  As I got closer it climbed higher in the tree.  No growling at me thank goodness.  Those raccoons are not the nicest critters.

Later my headlamp revealed a skunk crossing the path in front of me.  I slowed down and gave it lots of room.  The last think I wanted was to get sprayed.  The little guy (gal?) slunk off into the underbrush and disappeared.  Whew.

Then came the last two miles.  All the fireflies suddenly disappeared.  What?!  Then the lightning started.  Oh great.  Nothing gets your feet moving like lightning.  I turned an easy run into a tempo run and made a beeline for home.  Just as I got home the sky opened up and it started to pour and thunder.  Wow.  That was close.  I don't mind rain, but lightning makes me nervous.

Have you had any running adventures lately?  Have a great day!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Week in Review

Sorry I've been MIA this week.  Life has just been too busy to allow for blogging.

In all this past week was the best running week I've had since the end of March.  I hit 10 miles on my long run and really felt good afterwards.  My paces (not that I am real concerned about pace) were much more consistent than in the past 6-8 weeks.  In all of my runs I felt good the whole way, felt very little stiffness in my knees, calves or hamstrings, and the heat/humidity of a mid-western summer seemed to quit bothering me.

Something I started a couple of weeks ago is to move my weekly long run to Saturday morning.  It fits better in my schedule.  For some reason I also feel better throughout the run even though I am primarily an evening runner.  The only issue is that I am REALLY hungry all day afterwards.  We ended up at the Chinese buffet last night so I could re-fuel.  A couple plates of sushi and cocktail shrimp later and I was good to go.

In the coming week the plan is for a 10 mile long run again.  Also, I need to add more miles during the week to properly support that long run distance.  If I add a 3-mile 5th day and extend my Thursday run to 6.2 miles I'll land at 30 miles for the week with the 10 mile long run.  That's about where I want to be for the next 2-3 weeks.

Summer is great in northern Michigan.  Next week the dark, sweet cherries will begin to ripen and that means we get to go cherry picking.  Cherries fresh from the tree are the best.  Our family tradition is to go to the orchard in the morning, pick a couple bucket loads of cherries and then take them to the beach on Lake Michigan for a picnic.  By evening we have a nice pile of cherry pits :-D  Hopefully we'll have enough cherries left to freeze some.

An administrative note for the blog:  With my summer work schedule now kicking into high gear I am going to be posting on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.  Not that I hadn't already pulled back on the posting, but I wanted you all to know that I wasn't abandoning the effort or anything.

So, how was your week?  Did you have some good running moments?  Some forgettable moments?  Some burn the tape and never speak of them again moments?