Me and Dzangel

Me and Dzangel
RMC 5K 2007

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Holiday season

Ahh yes! The Holiday Season is upon us. Or, for many of us, the season of "how do I fit in my training without going nuts" season. Between family gatherings, parties, work and the diminishing hours of sunlight, getting in some training can be difficult.
My Holidays (or Holi-daze) have already started. I have family coming for a quick lunch today. I might be able to squeeze in a run before a nap and then off to work. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I am working the 11 pm to 7 am shift this week. That means sleeping a few hours in the morning. I'll get up around noon and try to fit in a quick run or bike and then have Thanksgiving with family later in the afternoon. I'll try to fit in a quick nap before work. I guess I am thankful that I only have to do Thanksgiving once. I won't be traveling here and there trying to visit in-laws and outlaws.
Work doesn't seem to get any busier for me during the Holidays. That makes training a bit easier. There is a little overtime due to people wanting extra time off but it isn't too bad and most of it is optional.
Christmas is up in the air for me yet. I am not sure if the company I work for will be running or shut down for Christmas Eve/Christmas. If they're running, I'll be working. I have family traveling here to central Wisconsin. My sister lives in Portland, Oregon. She is a runner so I would love to take a day and run with her. It gives us a chance to spend some time and talk and vent. I try to go easy but it isn't always easy. She is a BQ runner and that seems to mean a little quicker pace than I want this time of year. Between that visit and trying to see the rest of our family and relatives Christmas week could be nuts. My running, and hopefully x-c skiing is my stress relief this time of year.
That is mainly what my training is this time of year. Stress relief. Me time. Time to clear my head and enjoy the crisp air. At the moment I am not really training for anything. I am trying to get in longer and slower runs. Endurance base training is how I look at it. Getting a good base for x-c ski season and the Birkie.
I have been getting in some easy bike rides with my wife. I enjoy these because they force me to slow down and ride shorter distances. Plus, I get to watch her improve by leaps and bounds each time we go out. She surprises herself by her rides but I don't know why. She is much better than she gives herself credit for and it makes me kind of proud that I may have started this riding bug in her.
I've been thinking alot the last couple of weeks about next years goals. I think I have them almost planned out. Just some fine tuning and tweaking in the next week or so. If I survive the Holidays I'll let you know what grandiose plans have been floating in my empty noggin.
I am running the Stevens Point YMCA Frostbite 10 miler on December 5. It will be my first race as a Brooks ID'er and I'm kind of excited about that. No big time goals, I just want to run fast and finish strong. I'll let ya know how I do soon.
Gotta run........

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall plans & post Whistlestop

Hey everybody & anybody,
It's been a little while since my last post so I thought I would weigh in with my fall plans and how I've been feeling since I finished the Whistlestop Half-Marathon.
My fall and early winter plan-before the snow piles up-is to build an endurance base. Nothing fancy. Lots of slow and easy miles. Most of this will probably be running. It just seems easiest to throw on the shoes and head out the door during this time of year. Especially when I work day shift. I don't have to worry quite as much about the fading sunlight when I'm running. Plus, I just enjoy running during the fall. Not really sure why?
I have been on the bike(s) the last few days. The weather here in central Wisconsin this past weekend was just amazing. Sunshine, 60's and breezy. Kind of hard to pass up days like that. I did a great 40ish mile road bike ride one day and then threw a short run in right after. Felt great. The next day I took the singlespeed out to Standing Rocks and did a lap on the single track. Just a little bit more challenging this time of year with all the leaves on the trail. I had to pay more attention to keeping a steady pace on the hills or the bike would spin out on the dry leaves. On the downhills it was the same thing but braking instead of pedaling. Kind of like riding on ice or snow. I really think riding the singlespeed will make me a better rider next year. No worries about what gear I'm in, when to shift, will the bike shift, ......Just point the bike down the trail and concentrate on staying upright. Pay attention to the trail ahead and keep up my momentum.
So anyway, back to the fall/winter plans. I am hoping some running endurance will translate into a good x-c ski season. I would like to get in some trail runs before the snow sets in and between all the hunting seasons around here. Running on the trail seems to work my entire body but is easier on the body. I just need to take it easy on the downhills because I believe that is where my knee problems started. I pushed pretty hard on some runs the weeks before Whistlestop. Between the sudden increase in mileage and flying down the hills my knees just said "enough". Lesson learned. It's hard for me, but I am learning to pay more attention to my body as I get older.
I would like to get a race or two in yet before the end of the year. Not sure what. I just enjoy the challenge.
In addition, I just got accepted into the Brooks I.D. program, so I kind of feel like I should put forth a little extra effort for the opportunity they are giving me. It isn't about being fast or I never would have qualified. It is more about being a running ambassador, for lack of a better explanation. "Inspire Daily". I would like to think I do this a little every day. I try to show that if I can run, train and race on my schedule, anyone can. Helping get Tammy started is another part of why I love to run. It is so much fun watching her run and seeing her enjoy something I've enjoyed for years. Then she gets a few of her friends interested and the ball keeps rolling. Or is that the feet moving? I don't mean to sound boastful, but it makes me proud to say I started one person on the path to running and enjoying the sport.
Well, that's enough for now. Time to finish my Fat Tire Ale and turn out the lights. Need to get to bed so I can enjoy these last few nice fall days.