"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!"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mid-week Update

Time for a mid-week update:

A little quieter work schedule means I can get back to blogging a little more often.  Yay!  Right?

This week I weighed myself for the first time in about 3 months.  I went up by about 10 pounds.  Ack!  So, back to logging what I eat to get control of it.  I've concluded that I was snacking way too much without thinking about it.  I also need to weigh myself a little more often to nip these things in the bud before it becomes a problem.  Spending the summer working on the road and eating out a lot didn't help either.

Lately I've been working on keeping the easy runs easy.  I have a tendency to just take off at my normal pace and before I know it my easy run has turned into a medium effort run.  That's counterproductive and increases my risk of injury.  What I didn't realize was how much mental concentration it takes to slow down and keep to an easy effort.  By the end my brain is tired.

In October I am contemplating taking two weeks off from running entirely.  I'm sensing that a break like that would do my body good.  More on this later.

So, what's up with you all?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Virtual Fall Trail Tour - Cadillac Pathway

This week the virtual fall trail tour took me to my "home" trails:  Cadillac Pathway.  I run these weekly and sometimes several times in a week.  There are short loops and longer loops.  For my long run I can chain together some loops to get to 10+ miles.

The trail:  Mostly hard packed dirt and sand single track.  These trails are more technical than the Vasa trails I ran last week.  Far more roots and rocks to watch for.  The Cadillac Pathway is used for cross country skiing in the winter.  It is also a nice place to go snowshoeing.  The terrain rolls pretty good.  There isn't much in the way of boring flat spots.

The run:  Today I ran 10.1 miles.  The weather was cloudy and 68 with a stiff breeze out of the SE.  The wind really helped keep me cool.  I didn't bother timing my run as I kept stopping to take pictures.

A nice maple showing some color in the distance

Which way to go?  Hmm...

Lots of leaves down already
Single track snaking through the trees

My nemesis, the beehive.  The trail goes right under that.
A colorful maple in a clearing

More color in the clearing

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall Trail Tour - Vasa Pathway

Today I started my fall trail tour.  The idea is to do my weekly long runs on trails that are new to me.  I came up with this as a sort of non-competitive fall event.  It seems like a good way to motivate me to get out of the house without registering for a race.

The Vasa Pathway is near Traverse City, MI.  It's a mish-mash of old logging roads.  In the winter the trails are used for cross country skiing.  In the summer the trails are used for biking, hiking and running.  The trail itself is mostly sand with some areas of gravel or packed dirt.  Since it's made up of old logging roads it's mostly two track and wide enough for passing anywhere.

The weather was sunny and 67 degrees with a pretty good breeze blowing.  I couldn't tell from which direction.  Down in the trees it was swirling a lot.  I ended up running 12.4 miles (2 laps of the 10K loop).  There were a few respectable hills.  I only ended up walking up one of them on the 2nd lap.  It was a climb that just went on and on.

I took some pics today.  Hope you enjoy them:

The trail map

Decisions, decisions...hmmmm

The hill in the distance is bigger than it looks.  Whew!

Lots of blind curves like this.  Had to keep a sharp eye out for cyclists.
In the middle of the endless climb.  The picture doesn't show the steepness very well.  It just went on and on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Running Under the Harvest Moon

These past few days those of us that run after dark have been running under the harvest moon.  Where I live the skies have been clear and the moon bright making for some beautiful runs with the moonlight reflecting off the lake.

Our next full moon will be the hunters moon in October.  I'm hoping the weather is nice and clear for that one as well.  For some reason I just enjoy running under the full moon.

At times I will turn off my headlamp and just run by the moonlight.  I love the stark contrast between light and shadow.

So how about you?  Do you have a favorite time to run?  Pitch black?  Full sun?  Rain?  Snow?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekly, a RR and new shoes

Just back from a week at the lake with my family.  We had internet and all, but for some reason I just didn't want to blog while relaxing at the cottage.

So, this weekly will cover two weeks...

Week 1 was active recovery after my half marathon.  Some short, easy runs.  On my Saturday long run I got caught in a thunderstorm.  Yikes!  Nothing else really notable happened from a running perspective.

Week 2 was far more interesting:
Monday - Ran in a local 5K with my wife, 9 year old daughter and my mom.  I set a new PR of 26:20.  Even more significantly my wife completed her first 5K!  Woot!  My daughter set a new PR for herself as well.  Yay!  It was awesome just being able to share the race with my family.  I hope to do that again sometime.
Tuesday - Got up early and did 5 easy miles.  We had our first frost of the season that morning and it was very chilly.  Brrr.  I hadn't brought anything with me for 30-ish degree temps, so I just made do with a long sleeve T-shirt.  My fingers were cold, but otherwise I ended up being fine.
Wednesday - Headed out in the evening for 7 miles under a gorgeous waxing moon.
Thursday - Rested
Friday - Another night run.  Kept my eyes peeled for northern lights as the conditions were optimal.  Didn't see any though.  Gorgeous night.
Saturday - Rested
Sunday - Long run on my home trails.  Got 10.1 miles on forest single track.  It was much warmer than it's been which pretty much kicked my hind quarters.  By mile 8 my legs were jelly.  Even though I wasn't feeling really good, I still ended up with the fastest time I've ever posted on that loop.  Also tried out my new trails shoes:  New Balance 876.

New Balance 876 notes:  My only other trail shoes are Nike Air Pegasus 27 Trail, so that's what I will compare the NB876 to.  The NB are stiffer and firmer in feel than the Nike shoes.  I found I had more trail "feel" with the NB.  The Nike shoes have a distinctly softer ride.  The NB felt like they had more bite on the downhills.  The Nike Air Pegs breathe a little better.  Good in the summer.  In the winter I think I will like the NB better.  The NB feel lighter than the Nike Air Pegs.  Not sure if they are, but it seemed like my cadence was better with the NB.  My legs seem to prefer the firmer ride of the NB for longer runs.  Time will tell if that's true or not.  In short, I like the NB876.  I'm looking forward to adding them to the rotation.

Hope you all had a great week!