Just as we are starting to come into the spring season, I find that I'm also starting to come out of a hibernation of sorts. I haven't posted on here since my Twin Cities Marathon recap (10/9/15), largely because I have not had much to share! To be honest (and I think us runners can always do that with each other), I have ran very little over the past 4-5 months.
I am a firm believer in rest (both physical and mental), and although I try to give myself a 1-2 week break between "seasons", I think giving yourself permission to choose whether you want to run or not on any given day (over a period of time) is invaluable. That is what I've been doing since Twin Cities. I've had some weeks where I haven't ran a step, but most weeks' mileage varies between 10 and 20 miles (4-5 days) with a max of 32 and a long run of 10.
This break has allowed me a chance to physically recover (while focusing on stretching, core and weights), but importantly, I have been able to mentally recover from running. It's a sabbatical of sorts that really seems to light a fire to my passion for running. Of course, I still have plenty to fill my day without running, but lately I find myself missing the race preparation and the training cycle (I mean, who couldn't go for a 2-mile tempo right about now?).
When I get to this time of year, I always think of track. I used to say, and still do, "it smells like track season". The competitiveness of track is what I think first got me interested in running. Of course now, I enjoy running for what it is, regardless of where I finish in a race (or if I'm even in a race!). Many people enjoy the scenery of cross country or the camaraderie of a marathon, but for me, racing on a track will always be my favorite thing. Thanks for letting me be a little sentimental about track today!
So maybe I am an every-other-week sort of writer. That is going to have to be okay. Things have been great here at the store. I am especially pumped about our two big February announcements that we have unveiled in the past two weeks. The 1st ever 605 Summer Race Series leading up to the Sioux Falls Marathon weekend and the big news that we have landed Asics as the latest line of shoes offered at the store.
To be completely honest my training has not gone well as of late. The past to weeks have been a bit of a pity party for myself, but I’ve made some changes and I think I’m getting back on the right track. In particular I was frustrated with my slowing pace per mile and the fact that I felt like I was gaining weight while running so much.
The reality is I’ve stayed the exact same weight this whole time not losing or gaining anything at all – it is all in my head. The pace thing really erks me so I intentionally cutback mileage last week in hope of recovering and picking the pace back up as I move forward. So here is my daily progress report for weeks 5 & 6.
February 2nd – We had a pretty spectacular blizzard today so I went to the gym to get my work in. I utilized the Woodway curved treadmill and holy cow did it kick my butt. 6 miles!
February 3rd – Today I split my total mileage doing 3 in the morning at the gym again on the curve. The evening offered up a very difficult 4 mile run in fresh snow going uphill. 7 miles!
February 4th – I got up super early this morning (3:45am) to be on KSFY in Beresford to help promote the Frostbite 4. That didn’t stop me from getting back to the pool for some laps before actually starting my workday.
My beautiful bride and I took the time to sit down and talk with Sports Dietitian Lizzie Kuckuk about our eating habits and where we could improve our diets. I found this to be a very productive meeting and highly recommend it for everyone. As I previously mentioned I’ve struggled with weight and appropriate eating for my training. Lizzie had great examples of serving sizes and real-world examples of things I like to eat and can incorporate into my diet.
I followed up our meeting with Lizzie with my running analysis and group-training program at Sanford. The fieldhouse really seems to be becoming a second home for me and I am truly blown away by the number of experts in the sport available under one roof.
February 5th – This was the day that I really started to get exhausted by running during this training program. My run on this particular morning was completely miserable and left me in a very down mood going into a race weekend. 8 miles!
February 6th – Frostbite 4 Race Day! This is seriously one of my favorite events of the whole year. The community of Beresford does such a great job hosting a race and the Chili feed afterwards is top notch. I was thrilled that I got to talk to so many people at our booth and enjoyed seeing so many familiar 605 Running Co. shirts present for the race. While I ran 3 minutes better than my time last year I was disappointed with my race performance. Chalk it up to too much standing around talking, not eating any pre-race food the whole morning, and no warm-up. Bottom line is I fell short of my personal expectations and that put me in such a bad mood following the race I blew off the other 10 miles I was supposed to run that day. 4 miles!
February 7th – We hosted a family super bowl party at our house and I spent the day cooking and cleaning. In my house the super bowl is a holiday, which means I took the day off from training and ate as much food as possible with no regrets.
February 8th – Monday is normally a rest day for me, but after a bad running day Saturday and the super bowl on Sunday I felt compelled to be active. I made my way to the gym and incorporated several my Thursday Sanford workouts into my sweaty AM workout.
February 9th – I made the conscious decision to cutback on my running workload for the week so I once again did some work in the gym and stayed away from running for the day.
February 10th – Wednesday night group run once again had a great turnout. What I most enjoyed is that this group joined me for a slightly longer than normal evening run which brightened my spirits significantly. 7 miles!
February 11th – Tonight at the Fieldhouse we got a new workout and I really enjoyed it! Hard work pays off and my mood about running is once again improving.
February 12th – Travel day! We took the weekend to visit family in Iowa City. Good timing for a cutback week.
February 13th – In case you were wondering it was cold in Iowa this weekend too! They have some great running areas near my family’s house and I took full advantage with a long slow restorative run. I may have nearly frozen to death, but this was just the run I needed. 14 miles!
February 14th – We drove home through a snowstorm and my valentine suggested we go straight to the gym before we lost motivation. I was thrilled with decision and happy to be home.
It has been a difficult couple of weeks and I am truly thankful for such a supportive community at 605 Running Company. Thank you to all of the runners that have turned out for our group running events and fitness programs. I had to combine the last two weeks because writing has been a little difficult at times, but I assure you I’m back on track now and should have weekly updates moving forward. Thanks for reading all of the words this week.
January 19th – Took the bike trail from the shop south into Pasley Park. There was a nice little layer of mostly untouched snow; which made for great, soft, cushy running. 6 miles
January 20th – Another awesome night at the Wednesday evening group run. We once again journeyed through Falls Park, up the switchbacks by the pen, and continued toward the airport. 6.2 miles
January 21th – This was a very difficult day so I skipped my swimming. I did however make it out to the Sanford Fieldhouse for our training group – I was very thankful to be surrounded by friends that evening.
January 22nd – Sometimes you just need to run alone. I took this day as an opportunity to run around my neighborhood. The Sanford training group makes these Friday morning runs interesting. On this particular day I felt awesome. 6.3 miles
January 23rd – WOW, what an amazing turnout for the group run! I couldn’t believe the number of runners we had and I’m truly thankful for everyone that came out and enjoyed the day. I had every intention of doing a long slow 10-mile run. However, once my group got to the 5-mile turnaround I was feeling really good. With the wind at my back I decided to put the hammer down and pushed hard to get some negative splits going. 10 miles
January 24th – Chelsea took me to a Great Life gym I had surprisingly not visited yet Willow Run. I guess when I’m out there my only focus is golf. The temperature was cranked in the fitness area so I got a nice sweat on for my 10-mile bike ride.
January 25th – Happy for a rest day!
January 26th – Jumped on the bike trail from the store and ran toward Great Bear. With the melting and re-freezing today was a slippery endeavor. This is one of my favorite paths and I cannot wait for the expansion all the way to Great Bear! 6.7 miles
January 27th – Another huge turnout for the group run! I love it when I’ve got such a great group to push me further. We did the usual Wednesday night route, but this week we were met with some stiff wind out by the airport, which made things interesting to say the least! 6.6 miles
January 28th – Got to spend some quality time at Willow Run with my sister. Slowly beginning to understand just how challenging the curve treadmill can be. 3 miles
Followed the morning workout with another night at the Sanford Fieldhouse. Our regular trainer Charlie was back from his trip to Mexico and he had a new routine for us – little did I know this was going to kick-my-butt for the next several days!
January 29th – Started the day out right with another solid 10-mile run! Special thanks to my friends that I met at the Avera Wellness center at 5:15am, better known as the crack of dawn! We took Southeastern Avenue to 85th street, to Sycamore, to 57th street, to Harmadon Park, to 41st street, and back to the wellness center. I need to add an extra mile so I went down the bike path to get the watch to say the right number (I’m turning into that runner …)
After the night at the Fieldhouse I did not feel like I had the legs for this run. It was dark, cold, and early in the morning. I’m so thankful I had people to run with; otherwise this trip would not have happened. 10 miles
As if the early morning wasn’t tuff enough we also had a beer run at the store that evening. 3 miles
January 30th – Once again I was amazed by the turnout at the group run! Because I got some extra miles in the night before I decided to cut my run short by two miles. Also I was extremely sore still from Thursday night at the Fieldhouse. We had a very fun group to run with and I was thrilled with all of the support. 6.1 miles
January 31st – Normally this is my bike day, but I got to join another amazing group of runners in Beresford, South Dakota. I met up with the great folks that organize the Frostbite Four road race. While I was STILL pretty sore from the miles and the training night at Sanford I was happy to tack 3 more rural miles on to my week with great people. 3 miles