Out of the Loop

Yikes – apologies that I’ve pretty much been a ghost around here the past few weeks. :/ I’ve been getting used to my new work schedule (including the recent beginning of longer “busy season” hours), but that’s no excuse to at least post some shorter entries regularly. I love my new job so far – I’m learning a lot, I enjoy the work, and my coworkers have been great! I’ve had to make some adjustments to my running schedule, with the biggest one being that my weekday runs are done in the dark (either before work or after work). Because the winter here has been very mild so far (keeping my fingers crossed it stays that way), I’ve tried to run outside on nearby sidewalks and roads more often than I might during a “normal” winter. I’ve found that biting the bullet to get up early and run before work is better for me than waiting to run until after work. At the end of the day, I’m often tired and it’s too easy to just skip running. It’s not always easy to get up early, but I feel OK once I’m awake for a few minutes and get rid of the cobwebs. Plus it’s a good feeling knowing I’ve done my run and accomplished something first thing in the morning. I haven’t started getting up early enough to get in long runs on weekday mornings though…I think I’ve kept all of my weekday runs in the last month under seven miles.

My recent long runs haven’t been as far as they probably should’ve been, but they’ve gone pretty well. I need to get a lot better about doing longer runs at slower paces. I’ve mostly been running by feel lately – just running whatever pace feels comfortable with a moderate effort – and not having a target pace in mind. I need to stop doing that as I increase my mileage on long runs, so I can build up a good mileage base without pushing it too much on those runs. Instead, I should pick a slower target pace and try to maintain that pace throughout my long runs. My wife has had some shin pain recently, so she has reduced her mileage quite a bit recently. I hope her shins feel better very soon, as she’s anxious to get back to a more regular running schedule and get her mileage and fitness back to their previous levels. Once she’s back to her normal mileage and running schedule, we’ll try to get back to doing a long run together each weekend. That usually helps my pacing and keeps me from doing long/slow runs at tempo run-like paces. It also helps her improve her speed and pacing over longer distances, and we enjoy doing at least one run together each week even though we normally run at different paces from each other.

As I mentioned earlier, we’ve continued to have great running weather here considering it’s the middle of winter. It’s helped me avoid the treadmill and indoor track for the last few weeks, which I really appreciate because I’d much rather run outside when possible. I just hope the mild weather continues until spring (wishful thinking, I know). Here are some photos I’ve taken on recent runs…sun, relatively warm temperatures, and minimal snow/ice are always bonuses for running around here in January and February!

A little snowy and dreary, but otherwise good running weather at Stony Creek Metropark a couple weeks ago.

This photo doesn't do it justice, but this is a huge hill. The arrow is where I started, and the photo was taken only about two-thirds of the way up.

Here's the rest of the hill from the previous photo – looking up the hill instead of down it this time. The arrow shows where it finally ends. A great workout (and also a pace killer).

A cool bridge along one of my long run routes.

This is about as picturesque as I've seen the Paint Creek in the middle of winter.

One of the many neat bridges along the Paint Creek Trail.

It's always a bonus when the back roads aren't like quicksand in the winter.

If you’re not in Michigan, has it also been unseasonably warm where you are?

Any running news to share?

Do you watch the Super Bowl for the game, for the commercials, or both?

Do you have any Super Bowl traditions (host a party, watch the game at someone else’s house, go to a sports bar, etc.)?

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4 Responses to Out of the Loop

  1. lnknake says:

    Is that hill on Dutton Road? If so, I’ve run there before!

  2. Glad you’re finding a good balance w the new job and running. Love all of the pics from stony creek, so pretty. I hope janets shins start behaving soon!

    I’ve been loving this weather! I didn’t really watch the game, but did catch some of the commericals. We don’t really have any traditions for the game.

    • Matt says:

      Thank you! Stony Creek is a great setting for running. The local trails and back roads are also very scenic. Janet saw a PT last week and it’s OK for her to keep running, but it’s very limited right now. :/

      I liked several of the commercials, and I’m glad the game was really close. I know the coverage leading up to the game can be a bit excessive (and repetitive), but I think it’s fun once the game and commercials finally get started.

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