Fitness week recap – 7/8/2019

I’ve decided that I want to try something new in the blog for a few weeks. I’m going to try to do a weekly fitness recap each Sunday night of what I’ve done during the prior week. I’m looking for this to be a way to capture, not just the numbers and stats of my activities, but how it felt.

Week Starting 7/8/2019
Running:
 33.7 miles
Biking:
 78.8 miles
Steps: 117,422
 (59.23 miles –  25.53 walking)

Impression: Had a busy weekend, and so this post slipped my mind last night. However, this week was back to the grind. I built back up to a 33 mile running week, and had my second highest week of biking ever. This was due in part to a nice 30 mile ride on the Paul Bunyan Trail up in the Baxter/Brainerd area.

That ride in particular was significant because for the final 10 miles I pushed hard. Despite being a pretty flat trail, the final miles on the southern end are rolling. I made the choice to see how hard I could push, and managed a sub-19 minute 5 mile segment in this area. It helped me understand more of what a hard bike workout should feel like.

My running this week was good, however the heat continues to suck. I know that heat is going to be an issue at Badger 100K, so I just need to get used to it. This coming week is going to be my final ramp up week, focusing on as much race day simulation as possible.

Fitness week recap – 7/1/2019

I’ve decided that I want to try something new in the blog for a few weeks. I’m going to try to do a weekly fitness recap each Sunday night of what I’ve done during the prior week. I’m looking for this to be a way to capture, not just the numbers and stats of my activities, but how it felt.

Week Starting 7/1/2019
Running:
13.3 miles
Biking:
25.7 miles
Steps: 78,672
 (38.53 miles –  25.23 walking)

Impression: As I hoped, this week ended up being a nice down week for me. I didn’t run or bike until Thursday, and then just minimal miles. I felt like my body needed a solid rest, and that’s what it got. My runs were short, and my Sunday was more of a hike than a run as Lisa and I explored the river road. Likewise, my bike rides were nice and short as well, with just a couple jaunts for breakfast.

I did end up with a full day on Saturday working the Afton Trail Race, but I was mostly standing in one spot, so it was more just time on feet, than any type of training. I’m looking forward to trying to get back to it next week. I’m less than a month away from the 100K, and I’m feeling pretty darn ready.

Fitness week recap – 6/24/2019

I’ve decided that I want to try something new in the blog for a few weeks. I’m going to try to do a weekly fitness recap each Sunday night of what I’ve done during the prior week. I’m looking for this to be a way to capture, not just the numbers and stats of my activities, but how it felt.

Week Starting 6/24/2019
Running:
35.5 miles
Biking:
63.6 miles
Steps:
130,139 (64.7 miles – 29.2 walking)

Impression: This week was much the same as last, but with a few less running miles. The week started out good with some solid runs early, and then a nice long bike ride for my Beer & Bikes ride. I also got in two commute rides, one just to the train station, and one fully to the office. The biking week finished out with a nice ride with my wife and our friend Abe to a cafe.

On the running front I had a solid 20 mile run at Afton on Saturday where my friend Mike and I repeated a bunch of the hills. I ended up with 2,800ft of vert, which is killer for the training. However, during the run my legs really felt heavy and tired. As I finished out the 20 miles I surmised that I might be doing a bit much right now with both biking and running, and need a little rest. Therefore, this upcoming week will be an intentionally low mileage week. A couple runs, nothing over 8-10 miles, and no biking all the way to work. I also will be missing my Wednesday Beer & Bikes ride due to a soccer game, so that will cut down my mileage.

I’m hoping I can get a little bit of recovery going in my muscles and hit things again next week. With my big 100K race coming up the first weekend of August, I need to make sure I’m focusing enough on my running, and balancing the biking more.

Fitness week recap – 6/17/2019

I’ve decided that I want to try something new in the blog for a few weeks. I’m going to try to do a weekly fitness recap each Sunday night of what I’ve done during the prior week. I’m looking for this to be a way to capture, not just the numbers and stats of my activities, but how it felt.

Week Starting 6/17/2019
Running:
40.2 miles
Biking:
62.8 miles
Steps:
137,268 (68.3 miles – 28.1 walking)

Impression: This week was an increase in biking, mostly through commuting, and a really long Beer & Bikes ride on Wednesday. I also ended up commuting a couple extra times than I had planned. My running was mostly solid, and I put down a PR on the Afton 25K course, however I bonked hard on the final 2.5 miles of my 18 miler on the day. Overall, a solid week, and I feel like my legs are starting to realize that this is the new normal.

I also have been working a lot on my calf and quad rolling to help with some tight ligaments near my knees. After having a few years of really high mileage I’m starting to understand more of what is normal for my body, and is just a “niggle”, vs something I need to pay more attention to.

Sibley State Park camping

A couple of weekends ago the wife and I took the camper out for our first weekend of the summer. I had read a news article about how it was the 100th birthday of Sibley State Park, out near New London, MN, so we picked it as our destination. We decided a simple one night trip would be a fun way to kick off the year. Especially, since I had a very long run (20 miles) scheduled for Saturday morning, it was easier to plan to be at more familiar parks for that.

As with many of our trips, I try to find new and unique breweries along the way to sample. In this case, there were two before we hit the park. The first was in Willmar, MN called Foxhole brewing. This brewery is right in downtown, next to a theater, and had a typical taproom vibe to it. We found a table and I ordered up a flight. As I worked my way through the variety of beers I was struck with how none of them appeared to have any brewing flaws. Even the sour ale was spot on. When you’re dealing with small out-state breweries, the quality of the brewing process can sometimes leave something to be desired. However, in Foxhole’s case, they put out a solid line up of beers. Needless to say I was impressed.

After our visit to Foxhole we headed up the road to New London for a stop at Goat Ridge Brewing. Goat Ridge is built right on the banks of the Middle Fork Crow River, and their back patio sat right along the shore. I ordered up a flight and we picked a table outside, listening to the sounds of the river. The beer was adequate, and not quite as good as Foxhole, but it also didn’t exhibit any particular brewing flaws. I think that if I had done these breweries in the reverse order, I wouldn’t have dinged Goat Ridge at all. For a brewery in a town of 1200 people, it exceeded the expectations.

After Goat Ridge, we finally arrived at the park. Thanks to the late setting sun we were able to sit outside and enjoy a bit of the evening before turning in. Unfortunately, the camp site next to us was very close and the people decided to stay up until the wee hours of the morning talking. They weren’t being loud or obnoxious, but their campsite was so close to ours that it was impossible not to hear them. It meant that we got a more restless and disturbed night that we would normally want, but eventually I did manage to get some sleep.

Come morning it was time for an 8 mile run. It was drizzly and a bit chilly, but I knew once I got started that it would be just fine. My goal was to hit a loop called the Mt. Tom trail, and then partway through the loop, head over to the west side of the park and do some of the horse trails. Once I finished with the horse trails I would follow Mt. Tom back around to Lake Andrew and then back to the campground.

One of the first things that struck my about the Mt. Tom loop was how relentless the ups and downs were. The park’s website said that Mt. Tom was 220ft high, which isn’t that big outside of central Minnesota. However, the trail that goes around the mount was a constant journey up and down. There was almost no part of the trail that was flat. Thankfully, the trail was really nice, and it was easy to run on the runnable portions, but by the time I got to the horse trails I was ready for a change.

The horse trails were pretty standard, and they went around a few hills and prairies. I got to see a giant snapping turtle at one point which was fun. They were wetter than the Mt. Tom loop, but since I was already soaked from the drizzle, it didn’t matter that much. I got back to the main loop and continued on my way to the lake. I thought about cutting it short, but knew I’d probably regret that. I did take an alternate path back from the lake that was paved, but it was a nature interpretive trail with placards describing all the trees. It was a fun way to end the run.

As luck would have it my wife was finishing her run at the same time, and we met up a quarter mile from the campsite. She had a blast on the Mt. Tom trail as well, and commented on how unexpected it was to get so many little hills. We also both really enjoyed the Mt. Tom overlook, which is squat little tower on top of the hill. From the second story you can get a beautiful view of the entire area, and it’s actually quite breathtaking.

Once we finished our run it was time to start showering and packing up. Even though it was mid-morning, I still felt a tiny bit bad running my drill to crank up the camper jacks. The poor people in the site next to us probably were unceremoniously woken up earlier than they wanted.

Since it was only an hour and a half drive back we decided to hit a couple more breweries along the way. First we hit Nordic Brewing, a new one in Monticello, MN. We arrived just as they were opening, and got to park ourselves at a nice set of comfy chairs by the windows. Their beer was pretty solid, and I particularly enjoyed their imperial oatmeal stout.

Once we were done there we headed over to Big Lake and one final stop at Lupulin, which is an old favorite that I hadn’t been to in a while. I had a couple beers there and then we headed back to the car for the final part of the trip home. Overall, this was an incredibly fun weekend, and even though we were only gone a single night, it was really easy. Having the camper, and all of our stuff just set up in a box, makes setup phenomenally easy. Most of the time when we get to a campsite, we’re ready to start relaxing within 15 minutes. It sure beats fighting with an air mattress in a tent.

This is the first of a bunch of trips this summer, and I feel like we started off the season right. Sibley State Park was a lot of fun, and the Mt. Tom loop was a great route for a shorter distance run. It was well worth the drive from the cities.