Me and Dzangel

Me and Dzangel
RMC 5K 2007

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Crazy Wisconsin weather

They, who ever they may be, say that if you don't like the weather in Wisconsin, wait 15 minutes and it will change. It may have taken longer than 15 minutes but we certainly have had unique weather conditions. On Monday the 28th it was in the low 40's. Maybe a bit damp and cloudy. I did a quick run of about 3.75 miles. I probably could have run in shorts and should have just to say I ran in shorts in January. Tuesday morning it was still in the mid 30's. Although it was a bit breezy it was still a nice day. I got in a nice long run for a winter day-just over 10 miles at a nice and comfortable pace. I left for work a bit early to run some errands in Stevens Point before my 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift. About 10 miles from home it was snowing and blowing so hard I could barely see the highway. When I left work at 11 p.m. it was around -10 F with a windchill around -40 F. When I got up this morning- Wednesday- it was -18 F with a windchill hovering around -45 F. Winds were gusting around 40 mph. I like to think of myself as a hearty soul but it was too cold for me to run outside. I relegated myself to the basement and a ride to nowhere on the bike on the fluidtrainer. By the end of the week it is forecast to be near 30 again.
The weather, along with my schedule, has been wreaking havoc on my training. I should be trying to get in some cross country skiing but it just isn't falling into place. I have been getting in a good variety of workouts-running, bike, and some skiing. I just wish I had more time on the skis. I haven't registered yet, but I would really like to do the Birkie at the end of February. This is a 51K cross country ski event in northern Wisconsin. The course profile looks like the business end of a hand saw. I'm not sure there is a flat spot on the course. Okay, I know, just a bit of exageration, but it is HILLY!!! I think I have the endurance but I know I don't have the ski specific strength I need. If I do the Birkie I would like to be able to do it comfortably and not suffer too much. So, I need to find some more time to strap on the skinny skis and hit the trails. Fortunately the area I ski at kind of mimics the Birkie course. It doesn't have the long, steady hills but it is a hilly course without much time to recover and rest. I think if I get in a couple of long (50K) days I should be ready. Then all I need to do is make sure I can get time off from work.
Well, it's been a long day and my beer glass is almost empty so I'll sign off and head to bed. More later......

Monday, January 14, 2008

Finally, back to normal?

Okay, for anyone that is following this, I know, it's been a while. The Holidays were just insane! Between trying to see everyone in our extended familys, work (yes, I worked all the Holidays) parties and anything else that popped up I thought I might actually go crazy! I probably brought some of the stress on myself, but that's how I am. Anyway, the Holidays were great. We got to see all the kids, if only for a short time. My Dad and Step-Mom came down to visit. We had a couple Birthday parties for Grandkids, kids..... and ME. On the 5th of Janurary I turned 47, our Grandaughter turned 1 on the 6th, our Grandson turned 3 on the 7th and Bud and his S.O. both had birthdays on the 11th. WHEW!! Add in a couple more family members out of town and it's a crazy time of the year.
My training has been so-so. I was getting some great early skiing in and then we had our Janurary thaw. 40+ degrees and rain just after the first of the year. It seems the snow base has held up quite well and I hope to get out and get some more miles on the skis. I have eased up on the running just a bit and added some workouts on my road bike on a mag-trainer. Just as boring as a treadmill but if I plan on doing more serious racing this year I figure every little bit helps.
On New Year's Day I ran a 5K in Neenah. It was cold and windy. Temps were in the single digits and the windchill was around 10 below. The sun was out in full force so that seemed to help a bit. I had no goals or predictions going in to the race. I had skied apporximately 15 miles on a very hilly course the day before so I just wanted to do the race as a way to start off the New Year. I didn't push at all and had no idea where I was in relation to the front runners. I felt slow and a bit stiff so I just kind of tucked in with a small pack and went at their pace. I had a fairly strong finish, pulling away from the pack in the last half mile or so. I immediatley went to my car to change into dry clothes and then went and had some food and waited around for results and door prizes. When they announced the age group awards I almost fell out of my seat when they called my name for 3rd place. My time was 22:23 which is kind of slow for me but I'll take it. I'll chalk up the slower times overall to the cold since they did have a good turnout-350+ runners/walkers. It was a great start to the New Year and one I hope I can continue with.
I have decided to list some goals for the New Year on my blog. I figure if I put them down here I might be more apt to try and keep them since someone might actually read this. They aren't earth shattering or anything special. Just some goals I would like to try and achieve if all the stars and planets line up and the Gods smile down on me.
  1. I resolve to finally run at least a marathon, hopefully an ultra. I've been talking about this for a couple years and it's time to put up or shut up. No time goal in mind. I just want to do one and enjoy the experience.
  2. I resolve to be more well rounded, for lack of a better expression, this year. Not so much time running. I would like to ski, run, bike, maybe rollerblade, hike, etc this year.
  3. I resolve to compete more seriously in the WORS series. This is a mountain bike racing series that I used to race in regularly but haven't been that serious since 2001. I would like to see just how well I can do again.
  4. I resolve not to be so caught up in the numbers game. Last year I tried to pile on the running miles. 2000+ miles is pretty good for me. I got caught up in some Nike+ challenges and just ran, ran, ran....

That's about it for now. I do have some performance goals in mind but I'll try and put those down later. How about you? Have any goals in mind for the New Year? Something to get the fires burning and get you out the door on these cold, dark winter days?

Well, that's all for now. I hope everyone enjoyed the Holidays and has a great New Year.