Running on Tired Legs

Springtime!, when a young man’s heart turns to thoughts of lakes and wildflowers and big runs through the mountains.  Time to put away the skis and start thinking about trail training.

By early April, it looked like spring was well-sprung.

By early April, it looked like spring was well-sprung.

Back at the end of March, it was clear that the winter of 2012-13, such as it was, was pretty much a done deal and I might as well kick the summer training into gear.  Thus began Operation Active April: doing “something aerobic” for 30 minutes a day every day of the month.  Maybe alternating running with bike commutes for a nice, rounded training profile.

Pasque flowers up, spring is definitely here.

Pasque flowers up, spring is definitely here.

Hah!  April more than made up for the lack of snowfall in the previous five months with significant storms at least once a week.  I took four rest days in there, driven by weather or extenuating circumstances (bigger fish to fry) but managed 21 runs, five bike rides, and one weird, cold night of XC skiing on the local mesa (interesting but not much fun).  By month’s end, I’d managed my biggest April ever for running mileage (106 miles), but this was in short-distance runs (longest was 8 miles) almost entirely on the flats.  Lots of miles, but were they good training?

One plus of all this running was that I finally graduated to a real GPS watch to track mileage, heart rate, and so forth (a Garmin Forerunner 305 which is quite nice).  In the process, I realized that I’ve been running with a map in mind all these years.  Having a good GPS on my wrist is incredibly freeing; I can now run weird bushwhacks and explorations without worrying about how I’m going to determine my mileage to the nearest tenth later.  Well worth the money, plus it’s a fun toy.

That's 14" of snow during one of the Weekly April Blizzards.

Mother nature had other plans.  That’s 14″ of snow during one of the Weekly April Blizzards.

Speaking of mileage, I’m now through the second two-month period since I set an arbitrary New Year’s Goal.  So add this to the totals:
March: 72 miles running, 33 on the bike
April: 106 miles running, 84 on the bike
At the one-third mark on the year, I’m at 303 miles (30%), so that’s pretty good.  The cycling, I’m only at 10% of my yearly goal.  Not so good.

Running on tired legs is supposed to be good ultra training.  My legs are really tired, so I must be really trained, right?  This month I resolve to run less often but longer distances with more challenging terrain.  Now begins Operation Methodical May!



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