Monday: 6.0 Miles - The millI had planned on taking the day off, as I felt good about the prior weeks effort and felt that I should take a day. After a little reflection, I decided against it. After all, if your body isn't necessarily saying "stop," then what's the point? I did feel that I should take it easy, so I opted for a slow run on the treadmill. I took a book that Christine and I are currently reading together and keep my pace slow enough to read. I found the time flew by as I read and pondered. I thought the multitasking approach was a good compromise.
Tuesday: 8.2 Miles - The millI was hoping to get a lunch trail run in today, but Christine had a flat on her bike....husband to the rescue. That said, I was lacking in motivation today. So, after getting home a little later than anticipated from work, I decided to mill it again today. I didn't feel too terribly bad, getting 8 in right at an hour including a slow warm up. I did start having some calf tightness during last couple miles so I backed off, which is frustrating. I've only had a solid week of running without discomfort in my right ankle and now this. I'm finding that running is a sport where it's critical that you listen closely to your body. If you feel the slightest ache or tightness, it's better to slow down, stop, stretch, take a day off, etc or risk a serious injury. Hopefully I'll be disciplined enough to follow my own rules!
Wednesday: 6.0 Miles - Rabbit Mountain
After I saw that most everyone had left work early for the upcoming Christmas break, I wasn't planning on being the overachiever! I left while there was still daylight and did a couple loops at nearby Rabbit Mountain Open Space. The sun was trying to pop out from behind the clouds and I enjoyed picking up the pace on the semi-flat (around 400 vert ft) yet technical terrain. My thoughts migrated toward mileage, and just how many miles one needs to get in daily, weekly, etc!?!? I've been enjoying reading a lot of people's blog lately. They give me encouragement, inspiration, and motivation to move forward with my running. I've also noticed how different each runners weekly routine looks. Some are just running up a mountain everyday. Some have weeks that blend the trail, road, and track. Some seem to have little to no set pattern, just running however it feels good or fits into their schedule. Other than routine (i.e. just running trails or being more regimented in various running exercises), many of the runners I've been following (i.e. of the ultra-marathon breed) report a huge variance in weekly mileage totals. Some are getting in 60-100, while others are hitting 150 plus. My question is, is there a such thing as good miles and bad miles? Ok, maybe I answered that before I asked! But seriously, can one person get in, say 50 miles, while another is doing 100, but the former make much more of his 50 and be in better (i.e. faster and stronger) shape? I guess where I'm going is looking inward. Recently, I've been working to get my weekly mileage totals up. Ensuring I'm running at least 8 miles a day, as well as getting a long run in on the weekends. Should I focus less on the quantity and more on the quality? If so, how is that done? Ah, questions questions!Christine and I headed to Picture Rock for a Christmas Eve run. We drove separately so I could get a few extra miles in. We did the first 5.25 together. The first part of the run was a little choppy, having to constantly stop to allow mountain bikers to pass. After I said goodbye to Christine, I headed out to retrace our steps. I held a fairly solid pace for the out portion. Just as I hit my desired turn around spot, a mountain biker passed by me heading back toward the Picture Rock trailhead. I thought this would be a great opportunity to get some turnover in the legs, so I tried by best to stay with him. I stayed about 30 yards behind him for about a half mile, then he stopped to wait on another rider. I quickly passed and gave it all I had to stay in front, knowing these 2 guys would be gaining fast. Even though the descent was at a slight decline, I was able to hold them off due to the abundance of switchbacks. I figure I held a solid 6 min/mile pace for about a mile before they caught and subsequently passed me. I was able to keep them within 40 yards for another half mile before the trail smoothed and straightened out, allowing them to really kick it in gear. It was a great exercise to test my speed out on a semi-technical trail going downhill. Plus, it was super fun to give it all I had against a couple cyclists.
Thursday: 10.5 Miles - Picture Rock
Thursday: 10.5 Miles - Picture Rock
A little ski cross-training
Saturday: 6.0 Miles - Rabbit Mountain
After enjoying our Christmas morning, filled with gifts and great food, Christine and I went to nearby Rabbit Mountain Open Space for a run. Christine and I had set a pretty low budget for our presents to each other. I pretty much stuck to the plan, trying to be as creative as possible with my gift purchases. Christine, on the other hand, broke the rules. She, along with one of her best friends, got me (and her friends husband) lift tickets to Silverton Mountain, which is an all guided back-country ski operation based in Southwestern Colorado. Knowing that Christine had gotten me a great gift, plus talking to others about their respective gifts (iPad, Wii, etc), I started feeling a little sucked in to, shall I say, consumerism. After running the first mile in pretty much silence, Christine asked me what I was thinking. I, speaking as honestly as I could, told her I had this strange desire to buy something. It was almost as if I felt entitled to purchase something....anything....big. I rarely, if ever, feel like this. There was definitely a weird battle playing out in my thoughts and they were taking me to a place I'd rather not visit.
After a few more miles of running and talking, I realized, with thankfulness, that I was in the midst of what I really enjoy and desire. I was with my wife, outside, on a beautiful, sunny day, in the mountains.....and it was all pretty much free and created for my enjoyment. Trail running had become another activity to help reorient my life to what's important. For me, it's easy to lose sight of the things that are (what I consider) good and right. I need things (including people) to help me reorient and gain perspective. Today, I was thankful for the gift of trail running.
Sunday: 6.7 Miles Total
4.2 Miles - McIntosh Lake with Christine (AM)
Got up for an early morning run around the lake with Christine. We were both feeling pretty tight in our joints. It was nice to be out early, watching the sun rise higher and feeling the warmth it brings.
Hot Yoga - 1 Hr + 2.5 Miles - Prospect Loop (PM)
Overall, this would be considered a mediocre week of running. I had a few runs that would/could be filed into the good+ category. Most of the runs were just getting the miles in. I also didn't get a long run in, which I've managed over the past few weeks. I do plan on getting at least one substantial run in this coming week before heading to the mountains for a long holiday weekend in Grand Lake.
Here are a few pictures from one of my evening runs at Rabbit Mountain: