This week in training:
Monday 26 miles in 4:18
Tuesday 10 in 78
Wednesday 4 in 38
Thursday 8 in 63
Friday 5 (untimed)
Saturday 40 in 6:57
Sunday 7 in 68
There's a lot I feel like blogging about, but I'm going to try to stick to just the running and what I saw while running.
I'd taken two days off from running and reworked my chedule so I could run all day on Monday. It was 7 below zero when I awoke, so I headed to the Bielenberg Sport Center and ran around the soccer field. the plan was 7 hours, but I was not feeling right and bailed on the workout early.
There were two different groups I had to run around, futbol players and soccer players: same sport, but different outlook. The futbol players are young, speak Arabic, design scoring chances, praise good shots and apologized whenever I had to dodge an errant ball. The soccer players are middle-aged, speak English, don't co-operate until necessary, complain when teammates make mistakes and are unaware of anything between them and their goal. I can see why Americans are not popular in much of the world. The young guys are there to hone their skills, to learn and to teach. The old guys are their to escape responsibility and to be somewhere where there's clear goals and rules and where the results of their efforts are tangible.
Windchill was still below zero in the middle of the day, so I went to run in the Metrodome. I caught up with a bunch of guys I've competed against for decades and we started discussing guys who disappeared from the local running scene. The most unusual was the saga of Rolf Schmidt; Rolf went to the same high school as I (3 years later, so we didn't overlap; Andrew might've run with him) and ran a 2:16 marathon when he was 18. Then he moved and didn't even tell his family where he went. Just dropped off the planet. One of the guys had actually googled his name and found a 43-year-old Rolf Schmidt in California, still running 32 minute 10K's.
Ran a single lap with Sonya Decker, who was running about 6:30 miles. And more than a couple of them. She's ready for a big year, I think.
Contacted Pierre about maybe being a last-minute volunteer at Arrowhead. Then changed my mind, when I saw the weekend weather report.
Back to the Dome. Ran with a bunch of top 50-year-old guys, like Dale Heinen. Turns out that they'd remembered my Trail Mix win and a couple of smaller races I'd done last year, but they also thought I was older - that I was competition. I had to quit early due to chafing problems (same pair of shorts I wore at FANS, which caused blood to run down my legs).
This is the day I should've had a camera. Here's the pictures I would've posted: peachleaf willows looking like torches, the St. Paul Winter Carnival Vulcan Crew, ice sailing competition (best comment of the day: "you Minnesotans just can't stop dreaming up odd things to do outside in the winter!"), kite flying exhibition (one kite, looking like a puffer fish, had to be towed by car to get airborne, it was so big), kids riding Shetland ponies and miniature horses, my friend's new dog "Diesel" and me being happy for a change.
I needed this day. I needed this warmth and sunshine; it went from 25 to 45 degrees while I ran. I could've used an I-pod, though; the lyrics of "You Want History" by the Kaiser Chiefs went through my mind a thousand times.
I had a bad patch from 2.5-3 hours and thought I'd fall apart quickly. A pit stop and Tylenol later and I felt great by 3.5 hours. Then I felt like quitting at 4 hours. Got hungry at 5 hours and had a banana and some apricots; otherwise ran on just "hummingbird food" - salted sugar water.
Next big idea
I haven't done anything particularly stupid lately, so I've been thinking of a Shrovetide bakery run. The plan would be to run from bakery to bakery, hitting all 33 or 34 in St. Paul and eating something at each one. Saturday the 21st was the target date, thinking I could get others involved, but bakeries tend to have short hours on the weekends. I'm not sure how I'd manage the logistics, no matter what day (or days) I choose.
Big change in life today
4 days ago