March 29, 2008

Hyland Lake Trail Conditions

Well Gang, I was a little late getting out the door to the afternoon orienteering skills clinic, so I grabbed my camera and decided to check out the current trail conditions at Hyland Lake park. More specifically, I wanted to check out the trail conditions on the Trail Mix course. I didn't get around to the Lake or Hill Trails at the south end of the park, and I skipped the ski hill (the goat track leading up the back side looks like a mud slide right now), but I hiked the rest of the northern section.

In general: northfacing slopes and trails in the woods are still snow covered - I'd estimate that to be about 40% of the trail that I checked. About 5-10% of the trail is very runnable, but in short sections that are few and far between. Really short sections. Really few. Really far between. I'd estimate that 5% of the trail is currently under water, another 5% is deep, soft, shoe stealing mud, and the other 40% is mud of varying degrees of muddiness.

In other words - give it another week or so before venturing out on the Hyland trails.

March 27, 2008

Midweek Report

Training has been a little more consistent this past week:

Fri - 10 miles
Sat- barefoot strength training circuit
Sun - easy 3
Mon- hike 3-4
Tues- 4 tempo
Weds - strength training & watch space shuttle Endeavor land after a marathon mission at the International Space Station.

This Saturday will be very busy:

Morning - I will be bringing my massage table and a biofoam roll to the MDRA 7 Mile to offer free PNF stretching and teach self myofascial release to the runners who participate. I've been doing this for several years as a way of giving back to the club, so stop over and say "Hi" and get stretched out before or after the race if you feel like it. The race is free for MDRA members!

Afternoon - Time for the annual orienteering skills clinic at Hyland Lake park in Bloomington from noon 'til 3 pm! Opportunities will be available for all abilities, including learning how to use a compass and read a topo map, pace counting, a few different courses of varying lengths and difficulties, adventure racing skills, etc. If you think running on trails is fun and dirty, here's your chance to try "cunning running" off trail! You'll also get a topo map of Hyland Lake park, like the one that I drew last years Trail Mix course on:

2007 Trail Mix course

MNOC also sells topo maps of other popular trail running spots, such as Afton, Murphy-Hanrehan, Lebanon Hills, Nerstrand, Jay Cooke, Wirth Park, Telemark, etc.

March 21, 2008

Enough Already!

I'm ready to be done with the black and white landscape (although a bright red cardinal perched on a snowy branch is quite striking). Yes, the snow is pretty, but so are flowers and I'm ready for some of those.

Here's what my usual running path at Bredesen park looks like right now:

I'm ready to be done with screw shoes for awhile too!

Four weeks until Trail Mix - and I'm not even close to being prepared. Longest run so far this week was only 6 miles, with a few other shorter runs. Need to get a longer one (at least 10 miles) in this weekend. Also need to start running on trails instead of the hamster wheel or pavement!

March 17, 2008

Get Yer Green On!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's been a little slippery around here lately with all of the melting and re-freezing overnight. Did a little slip - slidin' for 6+ miles yesterday and an easy 3 on the treadmill today in between clients. Sunday's 6 miler felt tougher than usual. I'm blaming it on too much beer and too little running.

Hope they kick the skiers off the trails at Hyland soon so I can get out in the mud to get ready for Trail Mix.

We'll find out tonight if the Gopher women get in the Big Dance - definately on the bubble with all of the conference tournament upsets.

Have a great week!

March 11, 2008

Playin' Hooky

We are finally having some bona fide beach weather today - 46 degrees! Above zero. I snuck out for a quick 4 miler and ran through puddles of snow melt while bunches of robins were flitting around. First batch of robins I've seen this year!

OK - gotta go see another client....

March 7, 2008

Dissin' Winter

Still having a hard time getting motivated to run outside in sub zero temps or inside on the treadmill. Been another week of more cross training:

Mon - elliptical + strength training circuit
Tues - 4 miles on the treadmill
Thurs - stationary biking
Fri - gotta get a run in somehow.... then see how My Girls do in the Big Ten Tourny.

We are supposed to have another sub-zero night tonight, which means I'll probably try to get a 10 miler in outside on Sunday afternoon. Saturday will probably be strength training + cross training, or perhaps indoor climbing.

In a feeble attempt to "protest" winter, last night I made Caribbean Chicken Stew with Lime Rice, cranked up the heat, burned some "ocean air" incense, and put on some Marley tunes. Had a nice cold beer to go with it. Here's the recipe:

Caribbean Chicken Stew

1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed
1.5 cups chicken broth
1 large zucchini squash, cut into bite size chunks
1.5 lbs chicken, cut into bite size chunks

Put everything into the slow cooker and simmer on low heat for a few hours.

Serve over brown rice with juice from lime wedges.

March 1, 2008

Buh Bye February

After averaging 10 miles per week for the month of February (ouch), it's time for new beginnings. February wasn't all that bad, considering I did get some things accomplished (not all related to running or fitness). Once I emerged from computer hell, I decided to spend more time doing cross training and weight lifting instead of forcing myself to run on a treadmill or outside in sub-zero temps. Running is supposed to be FUN, and for awhile, it just....wasn't. The last few days have seen warmer temps, sunshine, and it doesn't get dark until ohhhhhhh, about 6:30 ish. I'm starting to get excited about running again, which is good since the Trail Mix 25K is only a month and a half away. Yikes!

Training for the past week:
Mon: elliptical for 20 min, strength training, easy 3 miles on the hamster wheel.
Wed: barefoot kettlebell circuit, stationary bike 25 min.
Thurs: strength training, easy 3.
Fri: made campsite reservations at Temperance River for Superior spring races.
Sat: easy 8 miles 'n change at Bredesen park.

Temperance River

Other recent developments: sent in registration forms for Superior 25K and Runnin' in the Ruff 10K. Afton starts accepting regs in mid March. Also joined the Upper Midwest Trail Runners and signed up for the 2008 MN Trail Race Series. You should too ;)