Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer: Over-rated, but still lots of good things

Summer isn’t my best season, due mostly to the fact that it is too hot and humid to ever be comfortable running, plus the mosquitos are atrocious which can make working or relaxing outside decidedly un-fun. So a big fat double boo hiss to summer for messing with two huge parts of my life.

Anyway, I decided to make a list of things I actually DO love about summer.

- Butterflies and dragonflies
- Birds singing
- Swimming in a deep, refreshing lake
- Getting a tan
- Dressing very light when running
- Blackberries
- Fresh produce in general
- Long, long hours of daylight
- Greenness
- Open windows
- Outdoor shower
- Clothesline
- Thunderstorms
- Our Fiskars lawnmower

Cooling their paws after a big storm, from L-R Siku, Neeka, Mali, Jesse, Willy, Meela

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Great Summer Read: Endurance

If anyone is looking for the perfect adventure story to read this summer, try Alfred Lansing's 1959 classic (the 1999 2nd edition is widely available) Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage.
It is an absolutely fascinating account of the 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition that went horribly wrong. Lansing wrote the book after interviewing and researching diaries of the majority of the expedition's members. It's a tough one to put down.
“For scientific discovery, give me Scott. For speed and efficiency of travel, give me Amundsen. But when disaster strikes and all hope is lost, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.”
–Sir Raymond Priestley

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Training sensibly and seeing where that leads

All through the last year of spiraling down into injury and then building back up to recovery, I still "loved running" as a life philosophy, and basically just something I deep down really do love. But really? Many, many, many of those runs were pretty darn sucky. I was hurt, burnt out, and then finally just plain out of shape.

The last few weeks things are really starting to click again, and I'm loving running as an actual Thing To Do again, not just a theory. In a way I'm loving it more than I ever have, because I'm so revived and appreciative of it after the break from training, and I'm also returning in a sensible way.

This sensible approach business feels so good I think I'm going to continue it. Instead of my usual high weeks then really low weeks where I'm toast, I'm going to pace myself, increase mileage gradually, and just generally be a whole lot smarter.

I'm in the middle of a recovery week after three consistent weeks of 7-8 hours each, and I'm recovering really quickly while only dropping down to about 6ish. A more typical pattern for me might have been something like 11, 14, 4, 6 ....not intending the 4 or the 6 but paying the price. I still want to increase, but I'm not going to try going from A to Z all at once. Skipping those other letters is not a good idea at all. I think I'm going to really enjoy those other letters.