Zumbro 17 Training: Week 2

Back on track!

Monday: 5.6 mi, paved trail (lower Lakewalk), 135 bpm
Tuesday: 4.4 mi, 4x Bagley hill, 139 bpm
Wednesday: kind of a rest day
Thursday: 5.3 mi, paved trail (upper Lakewalk), unknown bpm
Friday: rest
Saturday: 6.6 mi, trail (Jay Cooke), 140 bpm
Sunday: 8.4 mi, trail (Munger Trail from Jay Cooke), 138 bpm
Total: 30.3 mi

This week was a heck of a lot better than last week. I mean, obviously. I ran almost twice as much. It still had its ups and downs.

Tuesday I did my first night trail run. It hardly counts because it was at Bagley, but it was a start. I did a warmup of the non-hilly loop of Bagley, then went up the hill, back down the way I came, up again, and then down the other side. I looped around and repeated the same up-down-up-and-over exercise, and then cooled down with the non-hilly loop. My heart rate sucked on the hills. Whoops.

Wednesday I did actually run a little bit. However, my heart rate was way out of whack. It was spiking at what is normally a warm-up speed, and wouldn’t settle down. I gave up after like a mile and a half.

Thursday I was stupid and didn’t quite get how cold it was. My hands were unbelievably cold throughout most of the run, to the point where they were swollen and clumsy when I got back to the car. The rest of me felt fairly warm, so I’m not sure why my hands were so cold, but it was awful and I was glad I didn’t push to go farther. I need some better gloves.

Saturday and Sunday were above freezing! It was glorious. I know it’s going to get cold again, but I don’t mind quite as much when there are a few days of respite here and there. Sunday it was even sunny. On most winter days, if I see that it’s sunny, that means it’s bitterly cold. Sunny and warm is typically too much to ask.

I went to Jay Cooke State Park both days. I wanted to get out somewhere I don’t normally get to, rather than the same old trails around town. The first day, I headed across the swinging bridge and along the Silver Creek trail. The trail was only semi-packed, so it was slow going. Even the downhills were slow, since the snow was kind of soft and would give way without warning, so I never knew if my foot was going to sink in or not.

Silver Creek (I think)


The Saint Louis River, as seen from the swinging bridge

Sunday I followed the Superior Hiking Trail the other way, along the Munger trail. It’s a snowmobile trail, so it was much flatter than the Silver Creek trail, and it was… kind of groomed, I guess. The snow was really soft, so I was expending a lot more energy than I normally would have on such flat terrain. That was kind of frustrating, since it was my “long run” day. I felt pretty good for most of the run, and didn’t see too many snowmobiles, so it wasn’t all bad. I do need to get some prescription sunglasses. I wasn’t doing Future Donna’s vision any favors.

Sunday’s run was my longest run since the Harder ‘n Hell Half, which surprised me when I just now looked it up in my training log. It also took me 2 1/2 hours. That was kind of depressing, but at the same time, it’s what I’ve gotta do in these kind of conditions, with this kind of training. Once it’s milder and the trails are clear of snow and the mud’s dried up, I’ll be moving along at a much better clip. I hope.

PP5M Training: Week 3

Apparently last week was so boring I didn’t want to write about it.

Monday: 4 mi (road)
Tuesday: 4.9 mi (trail)
Wednesday: 3.5 mi (road, tempo)
Thursday: OFF
Friday: 4.2 mi (road)
Saturday: 7.1 mi (trail)
Sunday: 3.4 mi (trail)
Total: 27.1 mi

I wanted to get up to 30 miles last week, but I didn’t, thanks to Wednesday and Sunday. Wednesday was really misty so I had to cobble together a safer route, as I already discussed.

Both Saturday and Sunday were terrible. Saturday I drove out to Jay Cooke State Park to check out that section of the Superior Hiking Trail. I got a year’s state park pass for $25, which is a bargain! I am sure I’ll get my money’s worth this year. It’s good until July 1st of next year.

People were swarming the swinging bridge, but I was heading out the opposite way, ready for some nice technical trail action. It turned out to be paved the entire 3.5 miles I ran out. It turned back into trail just as I was turning around, which was annoying, but there was no point in going any further. I wasn’t dressed for running (I had shorts on, which are fine for intermittent running, but kept bunching and riding up when I was running, and I hadn’t put on anything to prevent chafing, so I had to run kind of bow-legged at times while trying to adjust them.) and I was wearing my hydration pack (bladder empty, but a full sports drink tucked in). I also just didn’t feel like running. I could not get my feet and legs moving for the first three miles or so. I ended up with a respectable 16:49 average time, I guess… but considering I was running on paved, mostly flat terrain, I should have been about a minute faster. I can probably attribute some of that to the shorts. The pack didn’t bother me much.

Since Saturday was supposed to be my “cross-training” day and ended up being my long run day, I set off on Sunday in search of some real hiking action. My plan was to park at the SHT lot near Ely’s Peak and head south. I drove all the way there and the lot was closed and the temporary lot was overflowing with cars. My car really sucks and isn’t exactly secure, so I didn’t feel comfortable leaving it on the road. I ended up driving back to the Magney-Snively parking lot near Spirit Mountain and decided to try out the Spirit Mountain section of the trail.

It started off nicely.

Then I came across a trail detour. It turned out to be straight uphill, followed by a mile along the road to the Spirit Mountain Chalet. I made it about half a mile up the road, in the direct sun, with the pavement radiating heat, looking like a bedraggled hitchhiker, before I decided to forget about trying to hit any specific mileage goal, turned around, and hoofed it back down the road to the cover of the spur trail.

It was kind of a disappointing week of training. I felt ok, but my motivation was lacking for some reason. I’m chalking it up to a bad week and putting it behind me.