Monday, November 22, 2010

Lac La Belle - Oconomowoc

Ran around a lake today.  7 + miles on a less than perfect day.  Of course I loved every minute of it - even have a video. 

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posted by UncleRick @ 12:40 AM   0 Comments

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inertia and seasons, part 2

Guest blogger: Melody Fairchild is an accomplished runner training for the Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston, TX in January 2011. This is the second of two blogs from Melody.  Enjoy!

Perhaps one reason for the timing of many of the world’s biggest marathons - in the Fall - is so that runners can slow down a bit during winter and allow themselves to be in sync with nature. My first and best marathon (Twin Cities 1999) was in late September. Like many runners that day, I was energized by the crisp, cool air and the beauty of my favorite time of year.

Inertia can connote being stuck. Like me and the shoes losing a battle with the door, which on some days goes from being a piece of wood with a knob on it, to the Great Wall of China. I can win that battle by allowing the changes outside to be the external forces which inspire fresh and gentle approaches to the daily rigors of training. Luckily we don't have to sleep for six months to rejuvenate. Very gratefully, we can infuse ourselves daily with joy, through our senses, spicing-up our seasons of running.

Halloween has just passed, a day which my Colorado neighbors associate with the first snowfall. No snow yet. Each morning, I wonder if that stillness which precedes a good dumping if snow will impregnate the airwaves, and then the silence of a big snow will slow the world down for a while. If it does happen, I will enjoy it, letting myself mirror the mood of my immediate environment. There is a Zen saying, "Go Slow, Slow, so you can go Fast, Fast." Arthur Lydiard interprets for us runners, “Run Easy” and “Train smarter, not harder.”

When that first snow comes, I vow to dart into it, celebrating the new experiences for my senses and hydrate by catching snowflakes on my tongue, quenching the thirst my body remembers from hot summer runs. I’ll embrace the darkness, to feel the omnipresent stillness.

I recently saw a quote: "Dreams keep one young." Whether it's the Olympic Trials, or a dream to run all four seasons with joy, no doubt the external forces of nature will keep us peering into the internal frontier with child-like wonder, at the delightful path our senses will take us down next.

Here's to allowing the external forces of the coming winter season to nudge us toward our shoes, so we may express, through the Art of Running, our playful and focused, quiet and ambitious, slow and fast selves. When we do, we'll give ourselves the gift of realizing that every day is beautiful.

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posted by UncleRick @ 12:33 PM   0 Comments

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Inertia and seasons

Guest blogger: Melody Fairchild is an accomplished runner training for the Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston, TX in January 2011.  This is the first of two blogs from Melody. 

As the seasons turn toward the darkest and coldest of them all, and the one we associate with slowing down, my inner-coach is revealing some vulnerability as I wonder if I will slow down too. Fear of failure and reaping what I've sewn are motivators to respond soundly to this vulnerability. After all, I have a marathon to train for. And I've done the hard work of callousing myself to the mileage for a good six weeks now. I'm ready to do twelve weeks of serious training. This means focused, intentional miles and specific workouts to prepare for the pace I need to run.

Some days, as I notice the trees around me grow bare and the days get shorter and colder, I feel "inert." I want to rest like the trees, whose sap will rise again in spring, able to sprout green, dancing leaves. I could be a bear and take a six month nap. The definition from the world of physics for inertia is “the property of matter by which it retains its state of rest, so long as it is not acted upon by an external force." When winter finally takes hold of the earth with the strong grip of a true hard frost, and then a heavy blanket of snow, the inaction of trees and bears are a reminder of the power of going within. Their clear message to the world lets us know that no external force is going to alter their plan for rest and rejuvenation. Mother Nature is so perfectly wise. I will use the strength of those hibernation messages to go within for the next 12 weeks and summon the focus and conviction I need to achieve my running goal.

Often while running on unusually warm days in winter, I get a whiff of air, or hear a sound which takes me time travelling to a warm, spring day. This infuses me with hope and excitement for new beginnings, and extra gratitude for the barrenness I see and feel in winter, knowing what beauty will return in the Spring. Inertia for nature is medicine. Inactivity for part of the year is the secret to its success.

Inertia for a runner is often something we fear and battle. While I would like to be in sync with the trees and the bears, the calendar and my sense of urgency to qualify for the Olympic Trials Marathon with a 2:46 or faster on January 30 in Houston, calls for serious activity right now.

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posted by UncleRick @ 6:55 PM   1 Comments

Monday, November 01, 2010

Keeping it simple

Rules for keeping it simple:

- Distance - something you can run in less than 50 minutes. This way you do not have to worry about water or a bathroom.

- Outfit - you have to dress for the weather. The theme of this blog is, "All Beautiful Days." But there is such a thing as a bad outfit day.

- No watch - sometimes the seconds matter, but most of the time they do not matter one bit of a second. Do yourself a favor and leave the watch at home for one or two runs per week. No GPS either.

- Location - this is important and worth planning, even if that sounds "unsimple." I think you should plan the location to be someplace safe and relatively quiet. In Milwaukee and Cleveland this is not a problem. Wherever you are, I really hope this does not mean a ride in the car before and after your run. If it does, you should move.

- Company - go alone. In case you have not already realized it, running is a lonely sport. Not all the time, but most of the time you are running on your own. Enjoy the time to yourself.

- Time of day - anytime that works for your schedule.

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posted by UncleRick @ 10:00 PM   0 Comments