What better way to recommence writing in this blog than to attempt to win a new pair of shoes!
A lot has happened during my vacation from daily writing...perhaps I can attempt a short review and get back up in the saddle.
Monday, August 12, 2013
As much as I intended to post to my blog each day, I just plain blew it off. NIACC XC began with a camp meeting last Sunday the 4th and I feel as if I've been hustling every day since, including getting around to riding my bike again!
I spent time on Monday, the 5th, marking a one mile course for a baseline time trial for our teams. Also took the opportunity to run it myself for some faster paced stuff, in fact, I'm learning that running with the teams helps me get in the faster stuff and some sustained runs with Curtis Vais. It's kicking my butt and I like feeling like this again...guess my daily Lime Creek excursions were pretty tame as I gave in too soon to feeling tired.
|Some of the NIACC XC training on campus.|
- Monday the 5th, 8 miles;
- Tuesday the 6th, 11 miles...some of this was on the Park to Park race course in Cedar Falls where we took the XC teams for a field trip.
- Wednesday the 7th, 10 miles.
Found a nice cluster of edible Sulfur Cap Mushrooms !
- Thursday the 8th, a 10 mile road bike ride to get my bike computer re-calibrated and 3 mile hike.
- Friday the 9th, 7 miles squeezed into a busy day.
- Saturday the 10th, a 22 mile bike ride with friends in Cedar Falls and more reconnaissance of the Park to Park course and a 3 mile recovery hike in the evening.
- Sunday the 11th, 9 miles including a 4 mile run with the XC teams on Lime Creek. This gave me a total of 51 miles and 32 miles on the bike.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
I haven't posted since Monday in order to give Monday's blog plenty of time for the link to Ben Greenfield's article to be noticed... It must have worked because I ended up winning one of the free watches he was promoting for such links from people's blogs, articles, etc. I had hoped for a GPS or heart rate model but they were already spoken for, so have a Timex Ironman 250-lap sports watch coming!
Each day this week I've been more encouraged by my progress towards more sustained running. The miles are coming back and paces coming down. A speed workout on Thursday, as prescribed by Scott Gall of The Runner's Flat in Cedar Falls, helped me realize that I can run the shorter intervals (200s this week) because of the short breaks between hard efforts.
I experimented with short breaks during my longer runs and found that I don't lose a lot of time with short walk breaks inserted into each mile. Perhaps my overall time is as good or better than what would result if I tried to push through the entire distance without the short hiking breaks. Something to think about and leave dangling out there as a possibility for longer races this fall.
|Dangling vines from the cliffs along the river trails.|
Also noticed a cicada on the path during the run on Friday. I had learned a lot about the periodic cicada emergence's (17 year and 13 year) in a museum on Staten Island while we visited New York in May. Turns out the cicada I saw this week is simply of the annual variety...Iowa can expect the periodic emergence's next year and in 2015.
|Annual variety of Cicada|
|Entrance to the display in the Staten Island Museum featuring the periodic emergence of the 17-year Cicada|
13 miles Tuesday, 10 miles Wednesday, 8 on Thursday, 10 miles Friday, 10 on Saturday, 9 today for a 70 mile week...whoo-hoo!
Monday, July 29, 2013
Great day out on the trails...woods then prairie. Not pushing too hard today as I'm looking for some better workouts later this week. I've been noting a touch of digestive tract issues lately and wonder about the cause. Good reading in a recent Ben Greenfield article! I listen to Ben's podcasts every week and have gained tons of fitness and nutrition knowledge. In fact, my daily eating habits have changed immensely during the past year, partly as a result of the information I've gained through his podcasts and articles.
Unusual siting while in the prairie loops was a mink. I've seen mink before while along the river bluffs but this was a surprise in the middle of the prairie.
A 10 mile day today.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Last week I was complaining about heat and humidity and today was already so chilly that I can't believe it's July in Iowa! Beautiful morning for running and I embraced the chance to get in a relaxed run.
Surprised to see a Fox Snake getting out in the cooler weather but it was still spry enough to bluff a few strikes at my hand when I picked it up to observe.
Also enjoyed seeing some Goldfinches flitting around in the thistles.
With today's total of 9 miles, I reached 62 for this week. Some runs are feeling easier now so I'm hoping to continue sustained runs in prep for a September race.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Very nice weather moved in after a thunderstorm last night. I took the time to get out on the trails and included some of the prairie loops. There was a rather impressive display of Black-eyed Susans out there.
Nice to be out with no time constraints so able to get in a 10 mile loop with some recovery hiking planned for yet this evening.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Tuesday was a break in routine so that Cathy and I could drive down to Des Moines to experience a bit of this year's RAGBRAI. There was a new "History of RAGBRAI" exhibit opening in the historical museum and some great entertainment scheduled.
The day was lots of fun and beer. I helped generate some electricity at a couple of the booths and truly enjoyed seeing so many bicyclists and their rigs.
|Helping Tiny Circus with an animation project. (black hat and shirt with red shoes!)|
|Booths were set up on three of the bridges downtown|
|Live performing live|
Wednesday was spent getting work out of the way so we could head up to Forest City to dog-sit for Cathy's niece. This allowed me to get out for the evening hike on a different golf course then go to Pilot Knob State Park today for some better hill running. Some of the trails were quite overgrown and footing quite tricky at times due to rocks and horse traffic in mud.
|Some interesting layers of Bracket Fungus.|
|Colorful mushroom beside the trail.|
3 miles Tuesday, 9 on Wednesday, and another 9 today.