Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How to Light a Fire

February is off to a "fire lit under your ass" start. Just as I was hoping, the excuses are fewer, and the workouts are harder. For the first time in years I am following a structured training plan for this season and it feels great. January was very unstructured and uninspired. 

I take that back, the last two days of January were pretty inspired. With a spin work out right out of a deep dark place that no one should ever really want to go, to treadmill speed work that may very well have come from the same ugly place. Those two workouts led to a lot of time spent in the cave.  

I finally got to wear my Mv2's for a workout, but have yet to get them outside on the track so I will save my thoughts until then. They do look cool. 

From there it was a trail run on Friday for the first time in I don't know how long. I missed running on the trails. I picked up a pair of Kinvara trail runners to keep in the car along with my mountain bike and bike shoes. I like to be ready to run whenever, wherever. With these guys in the car I will no longer have an excuse to bail out of a quick run after a mountain bike session. 

My thoughts on these? They are sleek and light, very much like the original Kinvara. The grip is excellent. The most important part, to me,  is that they allowed my foot the freedom to maneuver the trail without the shoe hanging me up on roots and rocks or whatever else is in the way. When a shoe is too bulky or too supportive, running the trails with it can be hazardous to your ankles. In these kinds of shoes when you hit a rock your foot cannot react, the stability of the shoe chooses which way your foot turns leading to rolled ankles and a lot of pain. That is my experience anyway. I've rolled my left ankle more times than I'd like to recall. I have finally learned my lesson.

Overall the Kinvara TR is a great trail shoe, simple and low profile. I can't wait to get them completely torn up and muddy so they fit right in with the Mountain bike in the back of the Subaru. 

Monday marked the start of my planned training. It began with an hour swim at the pool. This swim begins at 5:00am which is a wonderful time to get up and out into the cold only to drop yourself into freezing water. But I exaggerate, yesterday the pool was a moderate temperature and the air was actually quite warm. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually lasted for a mile swim and then some. I have only gotten my feet wet once since October, and that was barely a 800 yards and I was dead. 

Today I had an hour ride and 20 minute run on tap, in other words a moderate brick workout. The snow and ice on the ground kept me indoors for both the ride and the run. Luckily the gym is right below my apartment, so it was an hour in the pain cave and a quick jog downstairs to the treadmill. 

Zoe, of course, supervised the ride to make sure I was working hard enough. 

Side note to all you hardcore folks: I wasn't reading the book while I was on the bike, I just happened to leave it there looking suspiciously like a bit of reading material for my time in the cave. I promise you there was no reading of any kind going on during that ride. Only a bit of picture taking since Zoe was posing so nicely. 

All in all I am two days into the plan and have followed it word for word. Each day the training goes according to plan is a small victory to celebrate. 

Post work out I made a green monster which has just recently made it's way back into my life. Pretty good, and packed with good for you everything. I feel a noticeable difference in my recovery and endurance when I have at least one of these guys a day. 

Today's concoction had spinach, a whole banana, a handful of blueberries and 3 blackberries. Plus skim milk, natural protein powder, creatine and vitamin C powder. Doesn't look that great, but it tastes wonderful. 

Meanwhile in the present world, my new Newtons just showed up at the store. Out with the old in with the new is taking place as I type this. I finally had to pull the trigger and order a new pair. My old Gravity's have 495 miles on them. This morning was their last run. I will retire them to the old Newton's cabinet until I find it in me to throw them out.

The Ikea desk cabinet: Where Newtons go to die. It is always a little bit sad trading in my favorite pair of running shoes for a fresh pair. They are so perfectly worn and light from all the miles, the new shoes feel so heavy compared. But with weight comes cushion and that is exactly what I have been lacking the last 50 miles or so. Time to move on. Cannot wait for tomorrow night's run so I can begin the mileage count all over again. The pink color of these bad boys I can do without. But trust me when I say they will be filthy in no time and all the girlie-ness they are exuding now will be extinguished with mud, sweat and anything else I happen to trample through. 

What, if anything, can you take away from this? New shoes and a solid training plan are a good way to light a fire under your ass and get going towards your goal...

Or you can use a book of matches and make a teepee. Your choice. 

What is your favorite recovery shake/meal? 

How do you light a fire under your ass?


  1. Ha, I traded in cushion for no cushion - I think I am crazy considering how sore my feet are tonight!

    You do seem to have a good feel for your shoes though, which is soooo important! I tried on some Newtons a few weeks back, but they just didn't fit right for me.

    1. The newtons aren't for everyone, just like the vibrams. There is no way I would be able to run in those guys, I'd be hurting. I give you a lot of credit!