25 June 2010

black water

5 x 1 mile loop around our 'block.' just trying to get something in and managed to run at or below 7 mpm without trying to push. my family joined me for the 4th mile which always makes me happy.

after we got our baby monster in bed, i mowed the lawn into dusk. i had to go fast to try and avoid the mosquito clouds. as a result i'm sure there are patches of un-mowed turf. oh well, who really cares anyway? i'll trade a crappy lawn for not getting west nile any day.

i'm sure glad it is...

happy friday.

24 June 2010

old friend

chuck was in town last night so he stopped by to see us. it is always good to catch up with old friends. actually, chuck was a part of our family for the two years while we were in grad school staying with us every other week so it is almost like catching up with family.

i also played in the mid year scramble for the league i sub for. we didn't play exceptionally well as a team but i was very happy with how i played. based on handicap, i think i was the 4th best player (team of 5) but i was the most consistant and we kept a lot of my shots. i guess that is good.

happy thursday.

23 June 2010

chugging

got out for an easy 40 minutes last night on the iat through the golf course. it is getting to be that time of the year again and as such i scored a pro V1 and a pro V1x. the trail is far enough from the fairways for these finds to be pretty poor shots yet somehow the vast majority of balls i find are the $4/per variety.

man we've been getting a lot of rain. the mosquitos are ravenous and when we take the dog out we are brunch. every year around this time we get the bloom but it seems especially bad this year.

happy wednesday.

22 June 2010

fighting sleep

got out for a nice 40 minute run with cal in the jogger last night after work. our son has taken to fighting naps and after a day of fighting sleep tooth (or two little teeth in his case) and nail, he slept for the duration of the run. that was the longest i had ventured out with jogger...it is just enough extra weight to make the hills pretty tough. i like it though so hopefully we can make it a regular occurance.

the storms blew through (including sirens indicating a tornado warning) around bath time. luckily, the tornadic stuff was already past us so no impact on getting our boy to sleep (he still sleeps at night sort of).

amazing how all my schedule milestones now involve a baby eating, sleeping, bathing, etc. last year at this time it pretty much just involved when the brewers might be playing.

happy tuesday.

21 June 2010

first one

had a really nice father's day weekend. played some golf with my dad, spent some quality time with my son and enjoyed a nice weather weekend...even had a couple beers along the way. we gave our kelty backpack baby carrier a try at the big dog park so i even managed a little strength workout.

calvin is very close to crawling. he is doing the reverse army crawl, rolling to get places and can turn himself in circles. he just can't quite get the moving forward trick yet. we need to baby proof asap.

he still doesn't like sleeping through the night. we know he can but he chooses not to. i guess he just misses us and wants to see us at several points through the night. that and he is a hungry beast child.

man mondays seem to come faster and faster. yuck.

happy monday.

18 June 2010

12 pack

robin and i have started to do some core work with the hope of getting a little more strength/definition in our middle sections. and by 'started' i mean we've done it once so far. we were supposed to go again last night but were too sore...we are old. but maybe eventually we both will be able to contribute to a 12 pack of abs.

these core strengthing activities contribute to my overall goal of general fitness that will allow me to pursue athletic goals in the future sometime. i've written about how running is a 'high density' aerobic activity and i have been doing a fair amount focused more on time than on pace. the majority has been on trails which i hope will allow me to emerge stronger overall. right now, the left side of my body is feeling sore which is always how it goes when i start back up with running. we'll see i guess. i hit the foam roller last night and probably should continue that practice.

this weekend is fathers day which means my dad and i will be playing in the fathers day golf tournament in mt. horeb. the interesting new wrinkle is that this year i'm also a father. for all the challenges we have had with calvin this year, i wouldn't trade being a daddy for anything. i really do feel fortunate for my family and will certainly spend time on sunday relishing calvin, robin and yes, even oliver.

happy friday.

15 June 2010

55 minutes and i'm out of here

got out for just under an hour of running last night on a mix of roads and the ice age trail. 65 degrees and misting which is near perfect in my book. felt good considering how inactive i was over the weekend so that is something.

happy tuesday.

14 June 2010

beat

visted eau claire for the first time since the christmas holiday. it was a very nice visit but we are beat. first, we aren't used to sharing a room with the boy. he does just fine but we struggle with waking up everytime he moves. second, the dog isn't used to hearing noise at night. he spent the first night barking at car doors, etc. even though he was relegated to the living room, he still drove us nuts. third, the cat. i'm mildly allergic so by sunday i'm usually feeling pretty bad. saturday night apparently he was sick of us using 'his' room so he came in, jumped on the bed and gave robin the stare down. it would have been pretty funny but we were beat. all that said, it was nice to visit (i'm sure if we visited more we would get used to it) and i do miss eau claire at times. the downtown is finally becoming something special and i'm excited to see the continued improvements. it should be a slam dunk with the eau claire and chippewa rivers confluence right in the heart of the city.

i thought it was going to be easy to sneak away and run this weekend. i was wrong. oh well i guess. here is to more consistent workouts this week.

happy monday.

10 June 2010

slogging

ran the middleton bike path to pheasant branch conservancy and back last night. i hit the crushed gravel path at the conservancy as well as the hiking trails up on the mound. i started feeling saturday's race in my legs the last 15 minutes or so but all in all it was a good 1:15 effort.

happy thursday.

09 June 2010

interesting article

i've pasted an article from running times below. while this is specific to minimalist/barefoot running, i thought it could also apply to what motivates people to ride single speed bicycles. while i'm not going to go out and run in vibrams or ditch my geared bicycles tomorrow, i do 'get' what he is saying about simplicity and style. i share that thought when i see the 'multi sport' people out wearing fuel belts at a 10k race or riding $6000 bikes but barely making the time cut at ironman.

having calvin around has really made me think a lot about simplification lately. i just don't have time to maintain bicycles and train to ride them anymore. i think that is why i'm drawn to running during periods of my life with time crunches. hell, maybe i should trade my geared bikes for a single speed...i might just get out and ride more.

Why Anton Krupicka Runs Barefoot Embracing the simplicity of running
By Anton Krupicka

I initially began pursuing the act of running barefoot and wearing more minimal running shoes over six years ago. After a series of injuries in high school, a well-meaning podiatrist convinced me that I needed heavily constructed motion-control shoes coupled with expensive, custom-made fiberglass orthotics in order to remain injury-free.

But I continued to get injured.

The thought of throwing out my orthotics and experimenting with lighter shoes first occurred to me simply because of how much more enjoyable running was on the few occasions that I wore lightweight racing flats (at that time, I typically wore flats for speed workouts and races). As a result, over the course of a few months, I gradually transitioned from wearing orthotics and conventional trainers to logging miles in racing flats and often nothing more than my bare feet. Over the past year or two—and with the help of the timely publication of some peer-reviewed research and the best-selling book Born To Run by Christopher McDougall—this practice has now hit the mainstream in a big way.

However, the adoption of this minimalist philosophy by the masses has not been without debate and controversy. While I consider the scientific evidence on barefoot running regarding injury prevention and performance enhancement to be largely inconclusive and lacking any significant causality, as with most things running-related, I view footwear as an experiment-of-one type situation that should be based on personal goals and individual preferences, not necessarily on a generalized theory.

So, what are the reasons that I have chosen to run barefoot and in minimalist shoes? Recently, running author Matt Fitzgerald wrote an article titled “But Is It Faster?” that outlined his take on the recent shift towards barefoot running and its potential for improving racing performance. I appreciated the article’s pragmatic, levelheaded spirit in addressing an issue that has—strangely—become quite heated on both sides. However, in reflecting upon my own practice of running barefoot and in minimalist shoes, I realized that his titular question was relatively irrelevant for me.

Part of this is because I don’t see myself as a fanatical adherent to any sort of unshod dogma. Rather, as a trail, mountain and ultra runner, I find myself balancing the practical demands of my preferred terrain (steep, rocky, rooty trails) with the more aesthetic requirements of taking the simplest possible approach to running in the mountains. If I want to run quickly, efficiently, and effectively in such an environment, shoes are definitely in order. But, the shoes I do wear in the mountains manage to provide some requisite protection while still aligning with the basic minimalist design principles of a low-profile midsole and very little drop between the heel and forefoot.

As runners, our feet are what keep us connected with the ground and offer important tactile, sensory feedback, which makes the structure and design of the shoe on our foot essential in shaping our experience with the surrounding terrain. By wearing a shoe that eliminates unnecessary gimmicks and gadgetry (and, most importantly, a big, cushioned heel), I am allowing my foot to operate more effectively, efficiently and naturally while freely relaying proprioceptive information back to the rest of my body.

Minimal footwear enforces a heightened sense of the position of my body in space and its position relative to the technically challenging terrain. This sort of awareness is at the basis of any skilled movement we do as athletes, and the athleticism that running quickly over variable terrain requires is probably the essential difference between a trail/mountain runner and the traditional road/track athlete who operates primarily in a straight-ahead plane of movement.

To train my body for this type of coordinated movement on trails, I am sure to incorporate a significant amount of true barefoot running in my weekly regimen. Of the 150-170 miles per week that I log in a typical period of heavy training, about 30of those are run barefoot around a grass and turf half-mile loop. Most morning mountain runs are concluded with a mile or two of this barefoot running, and another three to four miles are included in my usual hour-long evening outing. I would prefer to do this full hour barefoot, but generally can’t tolerate more than 30 minutes or so of repeatedly running the same flat loop.

The changes in my form that come from this barefoot running—a midfoot strike pattern; shorter, quicker, lighter strides that fall under my center of gravity; an upright posture—all translate to enhanced performance during my shod running in the mountains.

But, for me, incorporating barefoot running into my training isn’t only a means to a more coordinated, performance-oriented end. A really big part of my motivation for running in general comes from the actual “doing” rather than in just the end-goal “achievement.” My best runs are where the felt kinesthetic experience of moving quickly and efficiently through a natural landscape is most fully realized, not necessarily the runs where I make it to the top of the mountain and back down the quickest. However, I think it is not by accident that these two ideals often coincide.

In the world of big mountain alpinism—in the Alps, Andes and especially the Himalayas—there is a select group of mountaineers that specializes in climbing light and fast. Reinhold Messner pioneered this ethos in the 1970s when he scaled the world’s highest peaks without oxygen, often solo and with only the absolutely necessary gear for survival. This tradition is carried on today by climbers like Oregon’s Steve House. In his book Beyond The Mountain, he sums up the motivation for these risky, lightning-fast expeditions with the explanation: “The simpler you make things, the richer the experience becomes.” For men like Messner and House, simply getting to the top of the mountain isn’t a worthy enough goal—the style in which that goal was accomplished is equally as important.

This ethic is precisely my motivation for trimming my mountain running gear—including my footwear—to the bare essentials, which means I’m often out there all day with nothing more than a pair of shorts, a gel or two tucked in my pocket, a water bottle and, of course, a pair of shoes that rarely weighs more than seven or eight ounces. Because I don’t evaluate my running based purely on performance results—and even resent the idea of being nothing more than a calculating automaton looking only for that extra edge—the most appealing aspect of barefooting and minimalist footwear is that its underlying ethic is one that meshes best with my overall outlook on life: Simplify, and most of all, pursue the purity of the experience.

my night to party

and by party i mean get out and do something. i could do time trials at blackhawk but i have a feeling it is going to be wet in spots and that doesn't sound like fun to this cat. plus, those time trials involve more sitting around than riding. i think i'm going to do a nice long run somewhere...just need to come up with a route. i'm almost over my soreness so it is time to give myself another kick in the junk.

we're heading up to eau claire this weekend. if i was super motivated, i'd bring my bike and try to hit the trails at lowes creek. but i'm not...so maybe i'll just bring my trail running shoes and go that route.

wouldn't it be cool if the brewers had stephen strasburg? well, at least until his first tommy john surgery that is.

happy wednesday.

08 June 2010

at the finish



'oh shit...i'm going to be sore for the next week'

07 June 2010

soreness crescendo

got more and more sore throughout the day yesterday although i certainly didn't drink enough water to flush the system (there is water in coffee, right?). i'm feeling a little better today but still pretty sore. that is what i get for jumping in an 18k trail race on little training.

cal is feeling better so i'm hoping that robin and i can both get a full week of work in. fingers crossed!

happy monday.

06 June 2010

blue mounds

against my better judgment, i ran the blue mounds trail run yesterday. 18km including the overlode trail, the freshly cut/mowed trail up to brigham park, and some of the hiking trails leading back to the top of the mound. i went out a touch too hard and slogged the rest of the way to the finish. i was 12th around 1/2 way and finished 19th in around 1:30. somehow, i managed a 2nd place in my 30-34 age group. considering how little 'training' i've done, i'm pretty content.

trail running is really fun. but boy it is different than getting out on the roads. i'm really really tender from my abs to my quads. it was just slick enough for my to really punish my stabilizer muscles...my hip flexors are especially tender.

so, it was a good day.

happy sunday.

04 June 2010

cal bear is a good pitcher

a great pitcher in baseball is able to command all of his (or her) pitches, be able to move the ball around the strike zone and always keep the batter guessing. with regards to the latter, calvin would be a great pitcher. taking him to daycare proved to be unfruitful. he made it until around 3 (mostly because he slept the entire day) and then i had to go pick him up. once i got him home, changed hime and fed him he was fine. since he can't go back today, robin and i are splitting the day. so, we are both slowly moving towards getting fired rather than just one of us.

i was playing with oliver and bent down to get his ball. at the same time, he jumped up the result of which was his head catching my mouth with some considerable force. i ended up with a split lip (with considerable swelling) and a cut on my gum above one of my front teeth. i've been meaning to try and eat better (less)...so maybe there is a silver lining. after that, cal and i did a short run together which was very fun (except for my throbbing mouth).

happy friday.

03 June 2010

i've really let myself go

poor diet, lack of exercise, and minimal sleep have all contributed to a general malaise that i have been feeling lately. but i need to remind myself that this is prime time - summer - the time of year i dream of when it is cold and wet and dark at 4:30.

i got out for a quick 45 minute trail run last night after the storms swept through. it was a good opportunity to see how the new montrail rockridge trail shoes hook up in the mud. the answer is: they hook up very well indeed. the lugs are rugged enough to lock into the trail surface but still allow for comfortable running on pavement stretches. i'm really feeling the trail running right now...and like i've said before, i'm just going to go with what feels right at any given moment.

robin and i split the night sleeping on different levels of the house to try and get each of us at least a little uninterrupted sleep. calvin's fever has diminished some and we decided he could go back to daycare today. he also slept a little better last night only getting up twice.

happy thursday.

02 June 2010

sickly

4 day weekend in the books. calvin, already fighting off an ear infection, now has a virus of some sort. he is spiking a pretty solid fever and doesn't like sleeping at night. we are tired of being tired. cue the smart ass "you better get used to it" comments...that is like nails on a chalk board to my ears. people (in general) need new material.

i did manage to get a nice 1:10 trail run in on sunday. there is a pretty long coninuous segment of the ice age trail that runs right by my house out through verona and further. it is a pretty good run with tons of undulations. robin picked me up at the end...maybe some day i'll be able to do the full out and back. i wouldn't have wanted to on sunday though...it was 90 degress when i finished.

i was going to do the madison marathon until calvin fell ill this past february. i guess i should apologize to all the competitors this year...seems any marathon i even think about signing up for is destined to be a hot one. i've been toying with the idea of targeting the eau claire marathon in may 2011 for my next attempt. but, it seems that these days if i plan something in advance i'm ultimately unable to participate. i know 3 hours for a marathon is as arbitrary as any number...but i really want to beat it someday. hmm.

happy wednesday.