Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Is Trail Running Becoming Too Commercialized?

The question of the month. Kind of vague. Trail running, or trail racing? Does "commercialized" mean "mainstream" in this context? I'll answer it the way I answer most questions, which involves a long-winded thought, fraught with indecision.

"What brand of shoes do you wear?"

"How do you like that hydration pack?"

"Do compression socks work?"

"Did you hear that Kilian is the 'Adventurer of the Year?'"

"I heard Tahoe went to a lottery this year."

The topics up for discussion in the world of trail running seem to be limitless. A sport that boasts simplicity and a nature-oriented mindset is being consumed by commercialism and taken over by the elite capitalist class.

Corporate money-grubbing is clearly ruining MY sport.

...isn't it?

Of course it is. It's everywhere you look. Our beloved sport is little more than a market for the world's elite to peddle their goods to those who will pay for them.  It's just getting way too commercial. We used to be a bunch of running hobos(who could, like, afford plane tickets and entry fees and stuff). What went wrong?

more commercial corporate stuff.
Companies and their advertising dollars are bastardizing our hobby. Their blatant hijacking of my trail-running bliss has me thinking about switching to a pastime that hasn't been pillaged by greed.

Look at this crap. Sell-outs.

If you haven't stopped reading this yet, you're probably picking up what I'm laying down. Money and commercialism are part of the sport, but participation in that part is more optional than we realize. As long as the ads stay in the magazines and off of the trails, I don't care. In this writer's(I use that term loosely) opinion, the sport of trail running is going the way of triathlon. Buy more crap. Get faster. qualify for that spot in that race so your co-workers will be impressed on Monday. Spend money on what the pros get for free. Beg and pray for spots in coveted, overrated races. To be candid, I think it can be fun. I like feeling important once in a while. A little pageantry never hurt anyone. I like cool gear and big races. If you've never, ever done a large event with photographers and finish line swag, then judge away. If you have, then you know what I mean. This is by no means the sole reason for my running, but if it's yours, I truly wish you the best. Jay-Z says it best: "what you eat don't make me sh*t."

It doesn't have to be this way. We don't have to fret over "our" sport going a direction we don't like. We don't have to govern everything. Let the hipsters get the eye-rolls when they say they were trail running before it was cool. Think of what you want your runs to mean to you. Make it happen.

I randomly chose some pictures for this post from a file I lazily named, "running pics." Just arbitrary shots from the crappy point-and-shoot camera I seldom remember to bring along, these images are what I think of at work or school while fantasizing about a weekend on the trails. They're fairly average views of popular running regions. Out on the trail, commercialism plays a small role. Our gear gets us where we want to go safely, and that's all. Money doesn't matter out there.

From here, I can't tell if trail running has gotten too commercialized.

The question, again, is "is trail running becoming too commercialized?" Maybe it is. More importantly, maybe we are. Instead of worrying about what shoe companies, race management, and corporate sponsors have to say about trail running, we have to ask ourselves what it means to us. It means more to me than the new models of trail shoes that are coming out or which races have the biggest prize(not that a slacker like me needs to concern himself with that).  Nature offers us a way to disconnect ourselves from the synthetic stresses of life that our bodies still haven't adapted to yet. For me, friendships have been forged, scars have been earned, and stories have been made to be told too many times. It can be as commercial as it wants. All I have to do is turn off my computer and find a trailhead. Let races be a chance to mingle and push yourself. Let your training runs be time with people you like in a place you like. It's your sport, not theirs. Enjoy it, have a sense of stewardship, and love the trails.

Advertise all you'd like. I've got everything I need.
(pacing Kelsey Gray, TNF EC 50 mile, 2013)

I'm submitting this blog,'s this.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Week Ending 4/6

6 miles. Typical post long run hobble. Nothing in particular hurt, but I felt blah as I took a 4.5 mile route to the SRC. Upon entering the weight room, I saw it was packed. I couldn't even see any weights or benches in the sea of people. I've gotten pretty good at controlling panic attacks in crowds, but I saw no need to go in. I did the next best thing and jogged to Pita Pit.

6 miles. Dammit. I'm fatigued. I guess it's what I wanted this week, to actually feel like I've been training. Getting a "big" week off to a slow start is frustrating, but nothing new. A couple miles to the football statdium, and 15 minutes of robust repeats of the bleachers. They are called bleachers because they are typically uncovered, and therefore susceptible to fading from the Sun. Look at that. You may have just learned something from me. 

The feeling I had on this run was reminiscent of days when I felt like crap all the time. Warm ups and cool downs used to feel long and laborious, making my joints ache and muscles twinge. I just went along with it, thinking it was all part of the process of getting better and depussifying myself. It very well may have been, but I've grown acustomed to feeling good on runs. Since I'm performing nearly as well as I used to when I was consumed by running, it makes me curious. Did I develop a base that I'm still drawing from, or have I learned to train smarter? If life has taught me anything, it's a combination of both. The subtle nuances we pick up on every second of every day make us better in tiny increments. I get a little smarter every day, but I must get equally lazier to balance it out.

5 miles: Easy jog to the gym, where I did 20 minutes of incline running and then lifting. Again, crowds.

Another day of being inexplicably tired and lazy.

4 miles home from Gazelle carrying my sweet swag bag for the Kal Haven Trail Run. I'm excited to run a flat 34 miler tomorrow. I'm excited. I'm excited... Fuck.

I need a long run to feel confident for Zane Grey. It's in no way a similar course or experience, but it will serve a specific purpose. Kelsey and I want to run the course in about 5 hours. Whether flat, mountainous, hot or cold, it's a (relatively, compared to a sub-marathon race) lower intensity beating for a long duration. It's boring. I'm sure to chafe and get blisters. It will hurt and seem pointless while I try to talk myself into being in a good mood. A gel can bring you back from a shuffle or make you puke all over the trail. A mile will seem like three, and I'll swear we passed that sign already. In a way, it's a definitive ultramarathon. I've done some beautiful races in great company, but running 50 miles is just plain boring sometimes. We do it for the thrilling moments among the mundane. To get from A to B. If a kinesthetic experience can be enjoyed on a "rail trail."   If you need breathtaking views and well-known trails you read about on irunfar, you're faking it.

A flat, nontechnical trail to train for "the toughest 50 miler in the US?" not ideal. Why are hills and technical terrain great for training? The variety prevents injury and reduces impact(among other benefits, but I'm trying to talk positively to myself if you don't mind). We are looking to stress our bodies to force adaptation, then why not pound away?

4 more miles after dinner on the Arboretum Trail. Sort of a tempo effort with mostly sub-7minute miles.

33.5 miles: Kal Haven Trail Ultra with Kelsey. We hated it. Okay, in many ways, I did hate it, but it was cool. I don't really admit to being a mountain snob, or even a trail snob, but a flat trail that is essentially straight and level from beginning to end is borderline masochistic. Though decidedly boring and repetitively injurious, I got what I wanted from the run. I spent 5.5ish hours on my feet(far longer than any of my training runs of late), I got a little refresher of what ultras feel like, and I spent some time outside. Kelsey hammered out her first long run in approximately six months and took 2nd place in the Women's race. I love running with her, so if there's anyone that can make a purgatory-like running experience enjoyable, it's her.

In more frustrating news, I write this with a swollen, bruised cankle. I'm assuming the rubbing of the heel collar of my shoe over the time on the course is what did the damage. Time for some damage control in the form of NSAIDs, ice, rest, and wishful thinking. I'm confident that it won't have a lasting effect, but it's frustrating nonetheless.

Hobbling about. No jogging. Everything feels completely recovered, other than the achilles. Increased swelling and bruising. The good thing is that it seems to be an acute injury and not a chronic one. One of the warmest, most beautiful spring days yet, and I've sidelined for the first time in a while. I went up North to visit my family and enjoy some Sun before going back to the grind.

58.5 miles in total. Meh.

Monday, March 31, 2014

End of March

6 miles: 2 miles to the Rec. After 20 minutes of waiting for a treadmill, I hopped on for my 30 minutes of allotted cardio. There were three people walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes, each of them reading a book. I feel like a prick, but...come on.

Anyway, 2x15 minutes at 15% incline. Long hills are weird. My legs and lungs burn. Sweat runs off of me onto the treadmill belt. I huff and puff and grunt and gross things happen. I get light-headed. I shut it down, and feel fine 10 minutes later. My guess is that the pace being generally slower than running(if I can hold a 10min/mile pace, I feel pretty good), and utilizing a shuffle stride doesn't actually hurt the body too much, but gives the lungs a beating.  I'll try to get myself to the gym this month for longer climbs...maybe.

Followed up by 2x15 of weighted lunges to give the simulation of the eccentric contraction of downhill running. Upper body exercises after that. All the gym time this winter must be giving me a complex. I feel like a scrawny, pale, lopsided distance runner compared to bunch of fit people.

5 miles: The only jogging for the day was two trips to the library to print things. Though only a 10 minute jog, running as a means of transportation(and avoiding parking tickets) is fun when I have time. I'll be honest. I always have time.

9 miles: I set out for an easy hour, then decided to go to the track instead. It was sunny and the track is tucked out of the wind for the most part, so it felt less cold. 6x800 with 200m jog recovery. I decided to shoot for 3:00 per rep, but ended up sneaking them all in under 2:50 and the last one under 2:40. 20 minutes of a short hill loop after that, mostly because my legs still felt fine. My mind is thinking it's spring, but winter won't let go, as is evident by the frozen puddles on the sidewalk.

7 miles: Meandered to the SRC for some incline running and weights. I've been unorganized this week(shocking), so I haven't had much of a plan for resistance or speed training. On the jog to the rec center I decided just to do 30 minutes of continuous climbing at a slow as hell pace. Going really slow was kind of embarrassing at first, I admit. People would have to look past my purple shoes, dumb shorts, and sort of baggy v-neck shirt to notice that I was sweating my ass off at 15 min/miles for 30 minutes. The 15% incline is less evident. First 15 minutes at 15min/mile pace, next 10 minutes at 11min/mile, then speeding up to a 9-10min pace for the last few minutes. Easing into it felt great. After that, a short and feeble bout of leg press, shoulder press, lunges/curls, and leg lifts. blah blah blah I exercise, I'm so special.

I either ran for 30 minutes, or I just said I did. I can't remember. Ifelt gross and nauseous all day,

am: 10 miles with Kelsey. Stupid shitty goddamn snow all the time. A road loop. I still enjoyed it. She and I don't get to run together much these days, so I'm really grateful for it.

pm: 7ish miles. 2 to the rec, and 45 minutes of 15% on the treadmill. A slow pace(which got more and more difficult to sustain) for 1200m, and an 85-90% effort for the remaining 400m of each mile. Squats, one-legged deadlifts, lunges, chest press and rows after.

am: 20 miles. Met with Jeremiah in Grand Rapids. 18 around town, then 2 back at the house. Even got a stroller pushing mile with his son yelling "faster, faster!" First day of nice weather.

pm: 6 miles. A real recovery run. Just under an hour of running in the grass at the IM fields, some stair repeats, and barefoot running at the track. As is usual for the first days of wonderful weather, there were joggers everywhere. Pretty cool to see people outside appreciating a beautiful day. I tried not to think about tomorrow's return to a climate-controlled, sterile, windowless factory.

Total: 70 miles. One more week of this kind of volume, then it's taper time.

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Slight Increase

Training is starting to intensify in my 11th hour attempt to get fit for Zane Grey. This isn't an incredibly interesting read(is it ever?), but at least people can see this after April 26th and say, "no wonder he died in the Mogollon Rim."

4 miles + weights: A fairly standard loop around campus. I wore my super thin Merrell Vapor Gloves to see if my gait has gone to shit from wearing the Adios, a clunker in comparison. No jarring or bone smashing to speak of. After that, a simple weight workout with a heavy backpack. Lunges, squats, push-ups, curls, shoulder press. I questioned the efficacy of something so simple, but I write this 24 hours later with sore everything.

10 miles: 1:20. I didn't really know where I was going, then a guy at a stoplight, also jogging, started talking to me about jogging of all things. We decided to get an easy hour of running in together since neither of us knew exactly which route to run. Meeting random people is fun. I then did approximately 50 sit-ups in a row and made cookies.

26.2 miles: Had a work cancellation, so I decided to run a marathon. A sort of hilly, cold, rainy, solo road marathon. I still have no real desire to run the trails. They're either impassable, vulnerable to erosion, or both. I mapped out a route that happened to be 13.1 miles from my door to an intersection in the middle of nowhere. It featured a winding road, some rolling hills, and a few bodies of water to capture my gaze as I shuffled by. I reached my turnaround point in 1:35(no stopping the watch for intersections), and pondered the idea of negative splitting it to go under 3 hours for a marathon. The jog out was relatively easy, so I figured it was possible. I stopped my watch, ate a banana, and drank the rest of one water bottle. I was wearing my Ultraspire Spry vest with another bottle in the pocket. With no way to know my real-time pace, I just ran comfortably hard to see if it looked possible to make it back in under 3. I fucked up and didn't re-start my watch after a traffic light(the pressure of having a time goal made me more obsessive about a real time), so no official time for me. The watch said 2:52 when I wheezed up to the door of the apartment building. If only I could remember what those two songs were on the radio and add their times up...or I could just not care. I chose to not care and go buy an absurd amount of food from Qdoba.
I felt good for the most part, but being cold and wet and tired made me want
to sit in this old (and probably haunted) chair and wait for spring.

This is my longest run in quite some time. I'd be concerned because of it only being 3 hours, but if I'm going to adhere to the idea that quality matters more than quantity, then I'll have to put the insecurity aside. I've got a couple 4+ hour jaunts in the next few weeks. That should suffice. I think.

4 miles+ weights. One of the more intense sessions in the weight room. One-legged deadlifts, weighted lunges, chest press, calf raises, alternating row push-ups with dumbbells, and various yoga-ish core exercises that look totally masculine and graceful at the same time, I'm sure.

6 miles: 3 miles with Kelsey and Cohen around campus. A couple hours later I thought I'd try out the trails. They sucked, as expected. Sliding around is kind of fun, but sinking every couple steps got old pretty quickly. The snow/ice is still well over a foot thick in most spots. 3 miles and I called it a day.

18 miles: with Evan and Ephraim around GR. I felt the previous miles of the week accumulating in my legs, but still managed to hang as we ran around and outside of town. Still amazed at how time goes by quickly with good company. I don't think I'd still be running without the help of my friends. It's not a team sport, but doing it alone kind of sucks.

Rest day.

68 miles is enough for the week, given the drastic increase in volume. I'll try to rest so that I can put more quality in in a few days. With a very unofficial marathon PR and no nagging injuries to speak of, I feel that I'm fortunate and shouldn't push it. I don't feel exhausted, sick of running, or hate my life, so I'm probably not training hard enough. Flights and hotels are all booked for the journey, so there's no going back now.

Whenever I go to publish this training log, I wonder why I'm doing it. I started a blog to write reviews and race reports to practice writing. My life, motivation, and overall outlook have changed since then, but this seldom-read journal remains. I remembered why I started running in the first place. Running, with its associated enjoyment, friendships, travel, and personal growth, has changed me for the better. One good change lead to another, and I've become a happier person. The logging of miles is no stroke of genius, but it helps keep me on track and fill the gaps between times of inspiration.

Monday, March 17, 2014

2 week catch-up

6 miles
I felt inexplicably great all day, but only slept about 4 hours the previous night. Debated whether to take advantage of the good vibes or rest the tired body. I then realized it was march and that I've been resting all winter. Shuffled to the Rec Center to lift weights, but it was closed. Oh, right. Spring Break. 12 reps on Mount Oliver would have to do. Some slick spots in the dark in 5 degree temps, but it got done. Legs and lungs burning and all that. The skin on my hands cracked and bled, ice hung off of my face, and my arms were swinging hard enough to give my chest a back a workout. I'll take it, and also a long shower.


7 miles - one hour run in the Sun around campus. Evidence that shitty weather has played a role in keeping me inside. I immediately got out for a run in the "nice" 35 degree weather just because it felt so great to not feel the stinging cold on my skin for a change.

4 miles - typical 4 miler from the apartment. Warm weather made me wish I didn't live somewhere with 6 months of frigid ass temperatures.

2hrs with Evan and Qdogg. Out and back in Grand Rapids to an arbitrary spot and back. The goal was a comfortable 2hr run, since these two are training for spring marathons. 17 miles(I think) In just under 2 hours means a moving pace of 7ish min/miles. I'll take it. My cynical side thinks that feeling good must mean I'm in shitty shape. The optimist in me thinks I should shut up and accept that a quick 2 hour jog felt pretty good.

25 minute recovery jog + 4 sets of squats. Just trying to beat the legs up a little bit more.

Total: 37miles. Okay, that's a little better than last week, but...shit.

A decent week, given a cold and some sleep deprivation. Excuses, excuses.

8 miles with Evan. Downtown Kalamazoo to Kleinstuck Nature Preserve, then through campus and back to Gazelle Sports. A classic loop that brought back memories from a few years ago. Hard repeats on the 1200m loop with Coach Dales and his stopwatch waiting at the entrance are probably the only reason I still hold any pep in my legs.

8 miles + Weighted stairs 15 minute warmup, then a short hill loop(about 2:30 per rep) for 30 minutes. 3 one way, then 3 the other, repeat. As much as I loathe/like the treadmill hill workouts of late, they don't quite suffice when targeting my weakness of downhill running. This has been evident since the Pike's Peak Marathon in 2011(9th to the top, 16th to the bottom) As far as uphills go, I can confidently say that I can hold my own. Good for me, right? Sure, but I'm not a hill climb racer. I need to turn around and give the legs a beating that only that braking eccentric contraction can provide. This loop provided that stimulus. Enough of a grade to give legs and lungs a test, and long enough to load the quads on the way down.

I also tried looking inconspicuous in the apartment building as I went up and down the stairs with a backpack full of dumbbells and books on my back for 10 minutes.

Shorts weather has given me the desire to go outside and jog. Given that I'm not sleeping much these days, it's good that I have motivation to get outside. I mentioned in my last post the need for momentum. I'm working 55 hours/ week and the jogging is increasing, not decreasing. I guess this is that momentum, and I'll ride it until burnout.


4 mile tempo. According to Gmap Pedometer, Cool Running Pace Calculator, and my awesome Timex watch, 4.4 miles in 29 minutes is roughly 6:35 pace. For some reason, I don't think I was running that fast, but numbers make me look like I know what I'm doing, so I'll leave them there. Got an email about Zane Grey today. Reminds me that I have to buy tickets and get a hotel and a rental car and put in the time off for work and work overtime to pay for it. Oh, and train. Gee, I have no idea why more blue collar workers don't take long expensive trips to exert themselves in their free time.

15 miles - 10 hour work day, but a nap fixed me up rather nicely. 2 hour run of what more or less hill was repeats. I found three loops that had 60-100' of gain/loss each and ran each of them for 30 minutes. It seems so sad compared to what some of the very my friends out west are posting, but I'm just not caring at the moment. I live where I live. Maybe someday soon I'll have a mountain paradise to play in after work or school, but I'm enjoying the early spring running bug and running short hills hard. I've had some good(for me) mountain races in the past on fast road training, and it's all I've got.

16 miles - Intended to run a marathon out/back course with some nice rollers on it, but felt blah and cut it down to 2 hours and ate two donuts while jogging. Felt shitty at the start, and then stronger as the run went on. It actually felt nice to have some stiffness and fatigue in the legs for a change. At least it feels like my body is adapting then.

Another 3[edit] miler with Cohen and Kelsey later in the day. Definitely the more enjoyable jog of the day.

Drove North to see the family for the day. No shuffling for this guy.

54 miles on this week. I'll take it.

See, I did a 90 mile week. It only took me 14 days.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Shuffling into March

An interesting week. I'm slapped in the face once more with the notion that free time is like air(I'd say it's like sex, but I'm classy): It's not valued until it's gone. A 50 hour work week with a little school thrown in made for less jogging, but I've had lower weeks with an overabundance of free time. Motivation for a secondary goal(like ultramarathon training) is separate from life, but at the same time intimately entwined. People crush ultras while working time-consuming jobs, competing with dedicated mountain bums. Whether squeezing in workouts between work and picking the kids up, or logging 4 hour runs in the middle of the day, the victors in running and life are the ones who don't have time to be down on themselves. On one of my few runs this week, I tried to think of the pillars of a successful person.
-Internal locus of control

When I think about the most successful times in my own life, I often remember feeling like I was on a roll. Life was "clicking." I was busy, but time felt manageable. Instead of feeling like my goals were competing with one another, they were complimentary. I think many of us can agree that when life goes well, running goes well. Or is it the other way around? I'm mostly talking to myself here(because I need it and also because I don't post shoe reviews to draw people to this blog anymore), but my point is that the all-inclusive life is the one I'm after- live more, run more, love more, learn more, bitch less.

Obnoxiously positive self-talk quota: met.

35 minutes of easy jogging around campus. Work and school had me up at 5am and home at 6pm, so I shook out a measly jog. Not so much for fitness gains, but so I could have my back straight and my heart rate up for a while to make up leaning over a work bench.

...2 days of not jogging later.

7 miles: Treadmill hills + squats: 15 minute warmup, then 3x10 minute at 15% grade. 10 minute cooldown, then 3 sets of 5 squats. nice and tired after that. I realized I can't do an easy run on a treadmill. It has to be a sweaty, nasty grinder of a workout or I get bored and quit. When I'm on it I just sort of...think about running. Running in other places. Missing mountains. Looking forward to Zane Grey. Being terrified of Zane Grey. Why is airfare so expensive for Zane Grey? Mostly the "looking forward to" part.

My work gives us the lovely "option" of coming in at 5am so we can start the week off early. 4 hours of sleep and my 10th day of work in a row(don't laugh overachievers. I'm adjusting) put me in bed.

12 miles. Worked, made two huge burritos, took a nap, then went for a jog. 45 minute warm-up, then 2x15 minutes to get me back home. Not sure about any splits, but my watch read 1:22 from the door of the apartment and back. Mapped it out to an even 12 miles(6:45 pace). The way out was fairly easy, and the way back wasn't. I ran hard for the intervals. "Snot blown all over my face and jacket" kind of effort. I'm not going to get faster by looking pretty. Long runs have been a rarity this winter, so intensity will have to do until I get scared into doing a long road run.

Jury's still out on these Adios Boost, but so far, they're really great. 10mm drop shoes with plastic arches. Socks.
What am I becoming? 

Giving into weather and life-induced doldrums and sat around until it was time to go to work and watch other people workout.

23 miles? Shit. March had better be a good month for jogging.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ability and Desire: Week ending 2/23

Working in the fitness industry has its occasional perks. In my story, they aren't money, but people. Working with athletes of any kind is fun, but my heart leads me to those that seek health before performance. I gravitate toward those that need a more gentle approach to guidance in their search of a fitter, more disciplined self. Whether because they've made bad decisions in the past, someone's bad decisions have impacted them, or the simple and inescapable fact that time catches us all, there's always room to improve. To do better, feel better, and chase a better version of ourselves. Goals and obstacles come in many forms and many magnitudes. One person's 100mile race is another person's stairs from the basement to the kitchen. Honesty is what measures the task, not the opinions of others. We know in our hearts if we're challenging ourselves.

A man asked me for some advice on the topic of aerobic training for his cardiovascular health. We talked about his medical history, any diagnoses, and his schedule. We used his preferences and personality to find an outline of a week that works for him. He told me stories about why he decided to take control of his life, and I could identify. The blessings that come from helping a person like this are simple: I got to know someone. He told me about his life and how he wanted to improve it. I advised. I'd love to think he got something out of our talk, and I'm sure I did.

He asked about my life, telling me I looked like a swimmer. I told him about some of my running exploits and plans for travelling to find a home and further my education. Before he left, he told me about the importance of actually wanting to do such a thing. "Keep in mind that lots of people have the ability, but few have the ability and the desire." He explained that when he was younger he had the desire and not the ability, and that the inverse happened when he got older.

This man may think I was just being polite when I told him I enjoyed our conversation. My most sincere desire is that he understands my gratitude. I've been a little lost lately, worrying about where my life is going and what I'll do to leave this world a better place than I found.  For whatever reason, I seem to have ability. The most precious thing of all is desire. It can't be bought or earned, but rather has to emanate from us. I'd rather feel lost and keep looking than let the desire slip away. We have to keep asking what we can get(and give) from each hour, each day, and our lives. Getting the most from each day comes from receiving  and giving love without dwelling on it.

Sort of an incomplete thought, but I guess they all are. 

1: 6 miles. Kind of a blah workout. 10 minute warmup, then 10x400m w/ 400m rest. first 7 were at 15% grade, last 3 were 5% grade at 11mph(5:30 pace...ish). The last three were admittedly easier than I'd like, but steep grade of the previous reps wore me out. I did the last three fast so I could get to the library to study. Letting go of the numbers when running at a steep grade is difficult for the ego. I

2: Gettin' swole. Wearin' headbands, takin' swelfies on my swell phone. I'm periodizing the weight training, starting with a hypertrophic phase, then a strength phase, and finishing up with an endurance phase. Mostly because breaking things into small chunks makes it less boring.

10 miles with Evan and Rob. Easy out and back on some crowded streets in Grand Rapids. Warmer weather meant less layers and faster turnover. 7:10 pace felt pretty good, even after yesterday.

0. Very little sleep and waking up at 5am for work kicked my ass. Walked to the Rec center, then bailed when I felt dizzy. Food and sleep. I'm allergic to a full day in a factory I guess.

3 miles + workout. Kept the intensity up in the workout and rested less between sets, mostly because I was tired as hell and wanted to get home. Moving for 90 minutes and lifting still has to be good. I'd like to alternate days of "circuits" and heavier lifting.

1 hour. 6(?) miles around town. Through campus, then downtown, where I proceeded to slip on ice and land right on my ass with my feet up in my air. I fell so awkwardly on the frozen cement that I saw my own ass hit the ground and cut my calf at the same time. I'd be embarrassed, but I haven't got time to take myself seriously. Quick pace on the clear sidewalks, then marching through the knee-deep, sharp ice on W Main. Socks and longer tights would have been nice.
1 hour. 8 miles with Evan and Ephraim. Standard Piss Cave loop. This sunny weather with barely freezing temperatures is awesome. Makes me actually want to run again.

A rather quick workout before work started. 15 minutes on the track that got progressively faster(small tracks make me neurotic), then 15 minutes at 15% grade. I'm not sure if a new pair of shoes gave me a placebo effect, or if the questionable breakfast sandwich I had prior was giving me super powers, but the 15 minutes of uphill was done at the same pace as the 7x400m repeats early in the week. could be anything I guess, since Monday felt awful the whole way through.