Sunday, January 2, 2011

Weekly Summary - 1/2

Monday: Off
Decided to take the take off. Even though I didn't hit my hoped for weekly mileage, I felt that I should take a day. It was good to get home from work at a decent hour and hang out with my wife for the night.

Tuesday: 9.2 Miles - Neighborhood Figure 8 Plus (PM)
Was feeling pretty bad for at least the first half of the run. My ankles were super stiff which caused my calves to tighten up. After I settled into the run, my legs slowly loosened up and I was able to pick up the pace. I'm not sure what happens with my body, but it seems that my legs are always stiff after a day off.

Wednesday: 8.0 Miles Total
4.0 Miles - Rabbit Mountain with Christine (Lunch)
Wind can make a trail run borderline miserable. The temperature was nice, in the mid 40's, but the wind was brutal. I can't believe I was running in shorts on December 29th. Although, in the next 48 hours, we should see negative temperatures on the Front Range.

4.0 Miles - The Mill
I needed to get a few more miles in, so I headed to the mill for some nice and easy miles. I read an interesting article talking about training in the 'black hole' zone. It gave an example about a former champion rower. The following year, he was doing pretty bad in early season races, but had changed nothing in this training. After further research, they found that he had a new boat. This new boat, and the excitement that came with it, caused the rower to give it a little extra during recovery days. Therefore, he wasn't actually recovering. The article ended in saying that you should stick to intense days (i.e. race pace-ish) and light, easy recovery days. The days that hurt you, or are basically wasted miles, are the moderate ones. It was definitely an interesting read and had quite a bit of research to back it up.

Thursday:8.2 Miles Total
4.0 Miles - Hall Ranch (Lunch)
What a beautiful day to run. Today was, in my opinion, our first 'real' snow of the season on the Front Range. It had just started snowing as I was driving to work at 6:30 AM this morning. As soon as I saw it, I knew I needed to get out for a lunch time run. By the time I headed to Hall around noon, there was a solid 4 inches on the ground. I felt like a kid playing in the snow. It was definitely a slow, sketchy run, as it was difficult to see the rocks and roots under the snow. The entire run was spent on the edge of falling or injurying myself, although you couldn't wipe the smile from my face. The downside was only getting 4 miles in, as I had to get back to work.

4.2 Miles - McIntosh Lake (PM)
I couldn't resist getting out for another quick run in the snow. Despite the quickly falling temperatures (it was around 12F), I wanted to catch the last bit of daylight and take a spin around the lake while the snow was still falling. It was absolutely beautiful outside and it was another reminder of why I love where we live. I had almost forgotten, due to a mild December, that Colorado has four distinct seasons and that's just one of the many things I love about it. And Colorado dawned its winter today. Welcome to the snow and the cold!

Friday: 4.0 Miles - The Mill (AM)
Christine and I opted for a quick shake out on the treadmill this morning before heading up to Rocky Mountain National Park with a couple friends.

Saturday: 4.2 Miles - McIntosh Lake (Lunch)

Today was a big day in regard to the Wilson Family and football. The Alabama Crimson Tide were playing the Michigan State Spartans in the Capital One Bowl. You might ask why this was such a big game for the raining National Champion Tide. Well, one side of my family is pretty big Michigan State fans. My wifes side to be exact. She started out attending college at Michigan State, before transferring to Western Michigan University to major in Dance. Her sister Kim graduated from Michigan State. Both of her parents graduated from Michigan State. In fact, at least one of her grandparents graduated from Michigan State. So, as you can see, there are some pretty strong ties to the school.

As for me, I graduated from the University of Alabama. The tradition of Alabama football is equal to none. Most people that I run into, that aren't from the South, often question this tradition, wondering just how intense it really is. I typically tell the story of my senior design project. I was a Mechanical Engineering major, and my project team was driving to Birmingham from Tuscaloosa to present to Southern Company. We were driving down the interstate, in a university vehicle, which was simply a white Ford Taurus with a university emblem. Suddenly, a man in a beat-up pickup truck (I think he had a sleeveless button-up on!) was yelling, with his windows down, Roll Tide Roll!!!! WOW!!!!

I've always thought that sums up the passion and intensity of Alabama football and, especially, the fan. That is, until I saw this ESPN commercial which paints a clearer picture:

BTW - Alabama won 49-7!

Sunday: 12.0 Miles - McIntosh Lake (PM)

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