New monthly running today

Today I got in a short 2 mile jog with my wife to round out my May running totals. I managed a new high total month racking up 135.30 miles in the month. I also hit that type of mileage much sooner this year as my marathon is in June, however unlike 2014 I won’t have nearly the same length of taper as I did before TC Marathon last October.

Legs are sore and tired today and I’m ready for a day of rest. Back at it Tuesday this week with a 10 mile race on Saturday.

Finally got 20

This morning I woke early, headed out with the wife to the park and started my one and only 20 miler run before Grandma’s Marathon next month. Most marathon plans call for at least three 20 mile runs, however with my busy trail race schedule this year, and having to bail on one of the runs, I had yet to actually complete the big 2-0. I’ve done 20’s before so I know how it feels, and it pretty much sucks when you get to the end. That’s just the way it is.

Today however, wasn’t as bad as other runs. I felt pretty decent at the end. I kept my pace in tight control, downed 2 full packages of shot blocks, and kept my walking to a minimum. I managed a 3:38 moving time, which puts me right where I want to be on race day. My only this year is to beat 5 hours, getting as close to 4:48 as possible. At the pace I did today I ‘should’ be able to do that, but it will be close. Hopefully, I’ll be able to use the adrenaline to my advantage and get a couple quick miles off the start to give me some buffer.

Pleased with where my running fitness is at this year. Getting closer to pulling the trigger on signing up for a 50K in the fall. We’ll see how Grandma’s goes, and then I’ll decide how hard I want to work for the rest of the year.

Ripples

The busy-ness of the prior week and weekend gave way to a nice quiet Friday afternoon. I arrived home from work a bit early, and I’ve been enjoying the peaceful patter of a light rain as I sit next to my office window. This is the type of rain that lazy afternoons were made for. The air is moist and still, but the rain has a cooling effect on any current of air that wafts through the window.

I look out the window at my back lawn, and realize it needs to be mowed. The garden in the distance is soaking up the rain with glee. There’s very little sound outside except for the rain. Inside there is little noise apart from an occasional question from the child asking for advice on schoolwork. Even those discourses are carried out quietly and peacefully.

There are days when you immerse yourself deep in thought, questioning the paths you’ve taken in life. Thinking about the future, things that it might hold. Rainy, quiet afternoons give space and freedom to contemplate, consider, relax and breathe. We can’t subsist on these types of moments forever, and I’m hopeful for sun and warmth tomorrow. But in this moment I will be content, and at peace.

Powering through

Warning, this post contains TMI. If you don’t like mentions of natural bodily functions, turn back now!

This morning’s run went wrong in so many ways. I decided to run to work, and had planned ahead slightly. Unlike the last time that I had to bring clothes with me as I ran, today I didn’t have to bring shoes or a towel or anything like that. I just needed a change of clothes and everything else was waiting for me at work. Because of this, I decided to just grab a drawstring backpack. This was one of many problems with today’s run.

The first problem started out earlier though. My usual routine is to have a good bowel movement in the morning when I wake up, and then go run. Today I was constipated. That fact alone should have told me that today was going to suck. There’s nothing quite as miserable as running with a stopped up intestinal system. However, my urinary system was working just fine, as I had to stop multiple times at gas stations to pee.

Back to the drawstring bag. I discovered that you just can’t get them pulled tight enough on your back to keep them still. No matter what I did the bag kept bouncing from side-to-side, in opposition with my stride. This threw off my running, and my right hip is killing me from compensating. I need to just face the fact that if I haven’t gotten all my stuff to work ahead of time I can’t run with a backpack.

Finally, I can tell that it’s high allergy season. Although I get allergy shots, and they do wonders for controlling all the usual symptoms, I still get a day, here and there, where I feel a bit run down and groggy. Today is one of those days. I would really like to just crawl back into bed for a few hours.

Despite all of this, I managed to get my 8 miles in today. It was slow and miserable, but it’s done now.

Minnesota Spring “snow”

On my bike ride home from work today I got to experience what I like to call Minnesota Spring “snow”. Basically, it’s cottonwood seeds that fall from the trees like snow and coat the ground in little “snow banks”. At one point in my ride the wind was strong enough that I was surrounded in what can only be considered a blizzard of these seeds. I was wishing I had worn some kind of sunglasses to protect my eyes, so I had to squint and muscle through.

I finally stopped on one of the paths and took a picture of some of the seed mounds, and that comprises my creation for the day.