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Friday, January 14, 2011

Lows and Highs and Eventual Evenness

Training? No. Not training at all.

The past month has been full of diaper changes and... burping and very little in the way of training... this boils down to about 2 runs a week and just cracking into double digits for mileage estimates. Ouch. What I have gained in appreciated quality family time, I am sure to have lost exponentially in fitness (and the mental game is a fading memory).

So the down sides are obvious and the positives are immeasurable and gushy... but this is a running blog, so let's focus on that.

Perpetual Mondays
I found my mood plummeting over the last week, ever since the hard effort in the FYTO V5k, which had been my last run until yesterday. The combination of 3 more feet of snow (about 5 feet already this winter), fatigue and general laziness and wont of warm comfort... has kept my running gear stowed in its upright and locked position and my mood degrading by the minute. On Wednesday and Thursday I was finally tasked by my wife to get out and go for a run... I guess this is one way to get out of diaper changes??

"But I don't wanna"
What could be chasing this man?
I did not feel like running. I did not feel like covering up every inch of skin to run around on icy roads and in temperatures of  7 degrees (with wind chills I don't want to know about). I felt like checking facebook again or reading blogs or sitting and staring out the window in my beer-stained sweatpants.

But- I knew getting out would make things better... logic did not tell me this- rather the memory of a time long forgotten (December) said get out there and see how 5 minutes feels, just go that far.

So I did. I got geared up, face warmer and all and hooked up the elder husky (Aster) who is normally good for about a mile of all out pain and a return mile of dragging her behind me (reminds me of me in high school). Off we went, cold as berries in the wind and pretty cozy in the wind shade.

The Run (Here is the route)
We reached a mile and Aster looked back at me, and we moved along, a little further. Another mile and we reached the base of a steep 1.5 climb. I stopped and let her rest near some cattle and assessed her condition. Could she make the climb? Yes... I think so. Can she run another 25-30 minutes afterward? Well, let's see!

Certainly no question of overheating, just fatigue and after all... she is a dog. So- we began the climb.

Aster enjoying the snow
The first section is very steep so we eased into it and soon we were breathing with a healthy, deep rhythm. We then recovered on the small transition to the next area. This was a little shorter and a little less steep but it was easy to see that Aster was beginning to feel her lack of mitochondria density. We kept on slowly and I used this opportunity to do some uphill form drills... high knees and butt kicks.

As we approached the final pitch, a gradual and drawn out section seemingly on top of this particular portion of the Earth- I took in the view of snow covered beauty. Aster took in the smells of dog pee and climbed around on snow banks. She had made it! Then we were blessed with the relaxed coast down the backside of the route. With an extra mile of distance on the return, the grade is more gentle and spread out allowing me to focus on smooth running- at least as smooth as I can within my current state.

The Payoff
During the downhill ride I had the opportunity to think about how good this feels, this running. How the crisp winter air allows clarity of thought (and nostril) and the deep powder in the adjacent woods which is so comforting to take in.

Upon returning home my mood was completely reversed, I felt healthy and happy again and so thankful for the gift of running!

Happy Running!


  1. Sometimes we have to give up our personal time for family man. I am with you Sean -- it does make my runs that more special.

  2. Enjoy baby Sylas! it( the baby stage) goes by SO extremely fast~ It does make those little windows of time we allot ourselves to run-- ME TIME. It's important that you and the lovely mama take those for yourselves!! :o)

    at the end of my long runs or races that is what urges me to hurry up and finish so I can see my kiddos! :o) I'm so happy for you guys! stay warm! enjoy winter! keep on fighting the good fight! spring ( and snowless running surfaces) will be here soon! ( at least that is what I tell myself:oP)

    take care!


  3. Kudos to you for getting out in the nasty conditions! Cheers!


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