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Showing posts from January, 2012

Take 5!

We've been spoiled this winter due to mild temps and a shortage of snowfall. Trails have been quite clear and we can get by with 3 layers of clothing on most days. My wife Jeanette and I had a run a few nights ago that was very mild. No wind and clear skies gave us a great view of the stars. On our way back through Bunker Park we stopped about a mile and a half out and took a stargazing break.
     Laying on our backs, across the trail, and staring up to the skies it only took a few minutes to adjust our eyes and get a good look at all the stars. We know a few of the constellations, but mostly it was just fun to be out in the park, no one around and just looking up at natures twinkling stars and planets. 
     After a bit, and just before we got cold, we got up and headed back. Funny how just a small change in routine can really add to a run. Saturday morning I ran with Dave, finally back outside after a two week battle with a cold...( he still got his mileage in during the las…

Save the hammies!

Doesn't take much to pull a hamstring in the winter. Cold temps and icy paths make a lethal combo for tight muscles at the start of a training run. I start slow, warm up a bit and see what the trial conditions have in store for me.
     Especially at night, coming up on an icy patch happens quickly and suddenly I begin a slide forward. Stay loose, keep calm and ride it out, hoping not to end up smacking my hip into the only non-snowy spot on the asphalt path. Later, I find my foot slipping away from me as I push off, and that's when the fun really starts. The leg extends and my hamstring says "Hello! How are you! Wanna stretch too far?" 
     Even with all the poor footing, night running in the winter is great, especially when the temps are above 20', and the wind is light. The quiet and solitude are a welcome relief from work and the constant buzz of radio and tv. I always run unplugged from electronics, and totally plugged into my surroundings. 
     If I had…

What's up with my toes?

They look like blisters, but they don't hurt. Kinda looks like frostbite, or poison ivy. Not too bad, but had to check the internet about my toes. Since I live in Minnesota, gotta deal with some cold winter runs so onto the web I went. 
     Chilblains, a pretty well known ailment due mainly to a lack of circulation and or warming up the toes too quickly after being in the cold. The docs suggest exercise...is running in the cold oxy-moronic when you have Chilblains? Most people may think it's plain moronic, and maybe it is, a little. But, so far it is getting better with me paying more attention to keeping all the little piggies warm and rubbing on some Warm Skin lotion a couple times a day.       It's funny how things can sneak up on you. A little lack of focus, or maybe just paying lots of attention to something else, and suddenly a new ailment, or work situation, or relationship has a 'blister'. Most of time we can resolve the issue fairly quickly…

Grind it out...it's worth it!

Pair of shoes, pair of socks...shorts, tights, pants...long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt...jacket, face mask, ski hat, liner gloves, gloves...Garmin 305, headlamp.
     Left work late, half hour to change and be ready to run. The above items total 19 items to put on. Could have worn a reflective vest for an even 20, but Bryan and I were running in Bunker Park. Toss in a couple of pit stops while dressing, chap stick on the lips and Warm Skin on the face and I was ready by 6:20.
    It's nights like these that keep us on track. We won't remember them because the pace was average and I felt like a slug. Thankfully Bryan was patient and didn't mind the slower pace, especially since the trail was fairly icy due to a short rain-snow mix this afternoon. 
     But, a run is a run and it's 8 miles I needed for the week, can't do a long Sunday run on 5 milers alone. So what if it's 18', 20mph gusts and a bit of sleet dropping down...it's…

Winter sunrise run

After an easy run last night, with wife Jeanette, along some sloshy snow and ice paths, I figured the trails would be tricky as Dave and I started our 7am run. Dave has relatives in town and an early start was needed. Thankfully our mild winter brought us 25', clear skies and no wind. Amazing. Last year at this time we were trudging through plenty of snow, and battling low teen's temps on what seemed like every weekend run. Blessings for the new year, for sure.
     Headlamps were on, and as we made our way through the park I found the footing was pretty clear in most parts, just a few icy corners and areas where the sun doesn't quite hit during the day. Bunker Hills park gives us a sense of running through a forested park, as we are surrounded by oaks and pines, with a couple of areas of prairie restoration mixed in. There is a 27 hole golf course on the west end, providing an awesome buffer zone. On the northeast side you will find a stable with horses for riding a…

Winter reflection

Winter has finally arrived, at least for a few days, here in Minnesota. After one of the dryest Decembers on record, we received a few inches of snow new years eve, after a few inches of rain, of course. Oh, and the wind has picked up, brisk gusts of 20mph on a 14' day make for a bit of a battle on the way back home. It was good to be with others on todays run, especially good to see my wife, Jeanette, get a five mile run in, her first at this distance since taking time off for a post-marathon injury. Bryan and Dave and I got in 9 miles, it felt like 11 in the hills.
     With all it's seasonal extras, winter is a great time to force the training into moderate pace mode. On our workouts we can talk more easily, and we add topics that are less about training, and more about life. But we do get to dream about spring running; the warmer weather, the clear trails and if we stay healthy our faster workouts and finally our racing goals.
     But we love the winter. The beauty …