Me and Dzangel

Me and Dzangel
RMC 5K 2007

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekly update

Well, it was back to work for me last week. After being laid off for the first time in over 20 years, I headed back to work on the 20th. From famine to feast. I worked 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. with no day off. Then from that to a planned week off due to vacation this week.
I had a little slower week last week than the previous week. Day shift isn't my favorite and I just seemed less inspired and more tired after work than usual. It was fairly busy at work but that shouldn't have mattered. Just one of those weeks I guess.
I had a couple of good bike rides during the week. Unfortunately they were indoors on the trainer. On Tuesday I did longer intervals and on Sunday I did a "mountain bike start" workout. It was supposed to simulate a mountain bike race start with 1 minute hard out of the saddle and then 10 minutes at a sustained effort to make you suffer and get used to that wonderful feel of burning legs as you try not to let the leaders leave you too far behind.
My runs last week were shorter and less intense than the previous week. Part of it I will chalk up to the weather. It went from springlike in the beginning of the week to mid 80's on Friday and then rain and thunder showers on the weekend. We even had some pea sized hail here on Saturday afternoon as I was trying to decide whether I should run or bike. After looking at the black clouds and hail covering the lawn I decided to plop down on the couch and relax. No sense fighting Mother Nature when she is in one of THOSE moods!
I also managed to hit the gym twice last week. I have been very lax in getting to the gym on a regular basis. I mean to do better every week but it seems like something comes up. Yeah, I know, no excuses!!! I am trying. My goal is at least twice per week. I was set up with an excellent program when I joined the gym. Nothing to fancy or time consuming. No heavy weights. It focuses more on balance and the core. It seems to work great for me. I could tell right away that it was helping. I honestly believe the workouts helped me double pole the last 5K of the Birkie after my ski broke.
As I mentioned before, I am off again this week. With the time off I hope to get in some more endurance workouts. Maybe a long trail run on the Ice Age, that would be nice. It would also really be nice to get my road bike out of the basement and on the road where it belongs. I am also contemplating racing this weekend. Nothing too strenuous. It would be a 5K on Saturday. It starts just a few blocks from my house and goes around the neighborhood and right past the house. It is flat and fast and also it is kind of a spring tradition for me. I actually set my PR for a 5K here a couple of years ago. I am also thinking about a duathlon on Sunday. I need tires for the road bike first. It sounds like it would be fun and since I swim like a rock it is as close to a triathlon as I am going to get.
In between all this I hope, no, I WILL, finish some of my home improvement projects this week. I'm not the handiest guy, but I try. I have to do some work to earn some play time. It's only fair.
I will keep you posted as the week goes on and update you on any race results for the weekend.
Have a great week and enjoy yourself. Gotta run.........

Monday, April 20, 2009

Going long-weekly update

I had a good week the week of April 13-19. My training is mostly unstructured right now. I seem to decide what I am going to do as I head out the door. A lot of the decisions hang on what the weather is doing. It has been 70 degrees one day and rain and 30's the next. This morning, Monday, April 20, it was snowing as I left for work. Not enough to stick around, but snowing none the less.
I took a couple of days off at the beginning of last week to do some yard work and catch up on chores around the house. By Wednesday I was itching to get out and hit the roads. I filled a couple of bottles and grabbed a couple of gels and off I went. I had a general idea of what I wanted to accomplish and where I wanted to go. I wanted to get in a very easy and relaxed long run. Just enjoy a great day and run. It felt good to put on some serious-for me anyway-miles. By the time I was done I had put in a little over 17 miles. I was tired and a little achy, but not bad at all.
I took it easy the next couple of days. I did an easy run with my wife, Tammy. Just to keep the legs loose. The next day we did an easy bike ride.
By Saturday I was ready to put in some miles again. I had always wanted to try the run/walk method on a long run and this seemed a good day to try it. I headed out to the Tomorrow River Trail. This is a rail trail that runs between some of the little towns here in central Wisconsin. I headed out from Scandanavia towards Amherst. I ran for 4 minutes and walked for 35 seconds. According to the Galloway schedule, if I ran fast enough I could use this for a 3:30:00 marathon. For my first attempt it went fairly well. The run segments weren't quite fast enough. I averaged just over 8:10/mile. The run ended up being over 14 miles and again I felt tired, but good at the end. The walks seemed to help but the overall average pace was just so-so. I think I'll try this again and measure it against a steady long run of the same distance.
The next day it ended up being rainy and cold but I wanted to get out and do an easy, short run. I put in around 6 miles and was frozen and wet by the end. Of course it waited to rain seriously until I was out a few miles. I guess the miserable weather workouts make me stronger, right?
Not it is back to work. After being laid off for a week and a half it is time to put the nose to the grindstone. Then a week of vacation. Almost like a part time job.
Well, time to wrap this up. More soon. Gotta run..........

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Weekly update

Good morning everyone. At least I hope it is a good morning. Not much going on here in sunny (at last!) central Wisconsin. I am laid off again, so I am trying to get some of the spring chores done and get out and get in some good workouts.
Last week was pretty good if a little crazy. I worked 11 pm to 7 am on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I worked 3 pm to 11 pm. Thursday started the lay off but I got called in to work on Friday so I worked from about noon until 5 pm. Yeah, I know, be glad I have a job. If I hear that to often though I may go nuts. The company I work for manages to give me just enough hours so I can't claim unemployment but I also don't get 40 hours. Times will be tight, but I'll get by.
I had a couple of nice workouts on the weekend. On Saturday I ran on the Ice Age Trail with Mrs. Svenofthenorth. We ran a nice and comfortable 6 miles. I felt pretty good so when we got back to the car I decided to run home. It ended up being just a bit over 15 miles. I only had a swig of water at the car and a shot of energy gel but I felt good when I finished. It was the longest run of the season for me and I didn't set any records for pace but it felt great to get in some distance.
On Sunday I hauled the mountain bike out of the garage and got in around 17 miles on the roads around Waupaca. It was still a bit cool and windy but it felt good to be on a bike outdoors instead of on the trainer in the basement. The ride was like my run the previous day, no records for pace or distance, just easy and relaxed.
My racing season is coming up fast and I don't think I'll be ready. SURPRISE!!! Looks like I will be racing myself into shape again this year. I'm not even sure how many races are on the schedule for this year. I think paying bills and living will come ahead of race fees. I will get some in though. Gotta have some fun and push myself once in a while. It's just that competitive itch that refuses to lay down and be quiet.
Well, I can see the sun shining outside and I can hear the roads and trails calling my name so it's time to sign off.
More soon. Gotta run............

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekly update

Well, I just finished up a fairly good week. Went back to work on Wednesday after a short layoff, but another one is coming up starting this Thursday, the 9th.
I got in some good runs and even managed to get out on my favorite trail twice. Nothing epic or structured. The trail is still a little too sketchy for that. Mud hidden under the leaves, snow, and the ticks are out already! YEAH!!!
I did two bike workouts on the trainer. One was just a longer, steady ride while I watched a video about running. Just can't watch a movie while running. I have to concentrate on not falling off the treadmill. My other ride was a Spinervals video workout. It was an interval workout called "Sufferama" and suffer I did. I guess I should have been doing these all winter because my legs still felt like noodles 2 days after.
I have to work 3 days this weeks before my layoff. I am hoping for some better, at least seasonal, weather so I can get in some longer runs and maybe, just maybe, get the road bike on the roads. We'll see. I'll keep ya posted.
Gotta run........

Friday, April 3, 2009

First trail run!

FINALLY!! Yesterday, April 2nd, I did my first trail run of the season. I have run a few sections of our River Ridge Trail, a trail that runs in and around town. This is what I have been waiting for though, ever since our first warm false spring days. I took my running gear to work and hit the section of the Ice Age Trail that begins just outside of town. It was a cool and cloudy day. I was a little under dressed and getting cold by the end, but it was totally worth it. The trail is still soft and muddy. Snow still covers portions of the trail and I had to watch my footing so I didn't go head over heels down a hill. The forest critters are not out in force yet either. I did scare up one lonely white tail deer and did see one other person out with a dog. Other than that I was the only person out there. It seemed a little odd going by the edge of the state park campground and not seeing a camper or tent, or hearing kids yelling as they played in the park.
It was a great run. Slow, steady and calming. I let my mind wander where ever it wanted and just flowed with the hills. I even slowed to a walk on some of the more treacherous icy section, something almost unheard of for me. I ran out around 5 miles and turned around and headed back. I wanted to run more but didn't want to push too much. I had stayed upright the entire run. I wasn't too muddy or scratched up and it didn't seem right to tempt the trail gods into sending me flat on my face. I can't wait to get out again and run "my section" from end to end, around 16 hilly miles.
I followed that run up with a killer "Spinervals" video workout on the trainer today. Tempo intervals, all out intervals, standing, seated.....By the end I was dripping sweat and my quads were noodles. Not sure if that means it was a tough workout or I am the out of shape. I was hoping I wouldn't have to race myself into shape again this season. We'll see.
Gotta run.........

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A pretty good week

Time for the weekly update.
Last week was a pretty good week here in central Wisconsin. For part of the week, and the beginning of this week, I was laid off. That definitely isn't what made it good. I am lucky, I still have a job. The company I work for is going through slow times like many others and that has caused and is going to cause some downtime. I'll get by but times will be tight for a while. Not complaining, just stating the facts.
The days off helped me get some things done around the house that probably would have had to wait until a week of vacation. Hate to spend a week of vacation working too hard when I could be out playing!
I managed to get out and get in some runs and even got the mountain bike out for a ride to the gym. I had one very good run early in the week. I ran on the Wau-King trail, a paved trail that runs out of town a little over 4 miles. It has a few good hills to make the run a bit more challenging. I ran out easy and relaxed and when I hit the turn around I picked up the pace. I pushed hard, or hard for me, especially this early in the season. It felt good to push the pace and finish a run feeling that satisfied. I felt strong on the hills and let myself flow on the downhills. All in all a great run.
Now it's back to work, for a week anyway. Then more down time. This week I hope to finally get out on the Ice Age Trail, one of my favorite places to run. Hopefully most of the snow is gone and it isn't too muddy. I know, it's a trail. I shouldn't expect to end run looking pretty and pristine. I just don't want to spend too much time on my face tripping through the mud and falling over the roots and rocks. I don't plan on running long or far but once I hit the trail it's hard to stop. I just love the solitude and the scenery and the challenge of the terrain.
I need to start really working on the endurance. The race season is coming on fast and I do have some goals. If the weather ever warms up and the rain and snow quits, it would make things much easier. Then again, a little suffering now makes all that work later seems much easier.
Well, that's about it for now.
Gotta run...........