Monday, August 12, 2013

And Again Cross Country Begins

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.
Today ended up being some good mileage for me as I drove early to Pilot Knob State Park to mark the loop for the XC teams to follow.  The workout concluded with a series of hill repeats to the tower on the knob (2nd highest point in the state of Iowa).

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!