Sunday, July 31, 2011

Running log July 2011

31: Two hours at night. Last 5K with great legs. Engine is running a little hot; maybe it's time to back off a little before I get injured.

30: 5 (five!) runs throughout the day, to the playground, to the store, with Christian etc. PR on 10xHills: 21:16!

29: 5K jog with the Girl and the Dualie jogger. Weight: 65.7kg

28: Long run: 2:15. Five loops on the perimerter trail.

27; Mixed stuff. Can't really remember. 1X Stenskoven

26: PR on 10XHills: 21:28!

25: Biked 3xStenskoven. Ran a little bit?

24: Treadmill intervals (in the rain). Couldn't remember how I did them last year. Now, I run 4000 twice, like this: 3X800 fast with 200m at 12.5kmph in between. The last 1000 I run at 0% incline (the rest at 1%). Got 15:11 and 14:55, I think.

23: Hill loops under 2:20: 35 loops!! New PR

19: Hills loops under 2:20: 29 loops. New PR

17: 10x Hills: 21:35. I think close to a PR, but I'm not sure.

The early part of the month, I ran in Sweden and in Denmark, but nothing was timed.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A good day

It's hard to complain about life right now. Getting back into shape should be my priority number 6 or 7, or whatever number sounds good to you. Without a doubt, there are bigger things on my plate right now, like the Girl, the kids and work.

But I have to admit I've been waiting to get fast since last fall, and finally being able to train hard feels great. This winter and spring, my work (and commute) and being a dad to Natali took too much time to seriously train. One would think that exchanging a 10-year old for a new-born would add more work, but I was more or less a single parent to Natali for most of the time. Most nights, it was a question of going for a run or spending time with her, and she could manipulate me very effectively.

So I'm coming into this late summer very undertrained but perhaps the most excited about running and competing I have ever been. And I'm not even that undertrained. Sure, the miles have been low, but I've run 4 or 5 marathons around 3:10 to 3:15 and they should be able to count for long runs through spring and winter. So, I'm not starting from scratch.

These last weeks, I've gotten serious. I've lost weight and I'm improving quickly. With everything else going on in life, it's intoxicating to feel myself getting faster almost daily. Maybe it's escapism, but at least it's a healthy form of it.

So what am I training for?

I still have enough track runner in me to think of ultras as just a little bit of a cop-out. You can't really compare the times in those races, not to races of equal distance or, really, to the same race previous years.

On the other hand, I train almost 100% on trails, and when the Girl and I talk about races for the fall and next year, they are all trail races and/or ultras. I think a compromise will be to run a few "real" races, just to post some times to show (myself) that I am fit, and then run the trail ultras for the awesome experiences they can be.

This evening, a solid PR on my hilly route capped off a perfect day of paternity leave. I've gotten so incredibly close to Christian since the baby was born. It's a combination of having time for him, while also wanting him to know that the new baby isn't going to replace him. He is such funny age (three and a half), and his language is such a comedic treasure trove. I can feel that just this last week I have changed the way he looks at things, and I love getting that feedback from him.

The baby is perfect, meaning that he is cute, eats and sleeps well and holds the promise of becoming someone with a personality soon. The Girl is a superwoman, for good and for bad. She is being watched, both in real life and on her blog, while she pushes the envelope for what's possible post-partum. She would do well to take a day off now and then and enjoy her maternity leave but I have very little to say in that matter.

And the two kids in America are doing well. Andreas is spending the week in northern Wisconsin and Natali is about to start soccer camp.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Baby is Born!

Mattias was born yesterday. Everything went well and we were back in our apartment with a perfect brand-new baby 5 hours after we left home. The epic details can be found on the Girl's blog, of course. She is already at the gym working out and showing off her newborn son.

Becoming a dad for the fourth time has released a lot of strange emotions in me. I've thought even more than usually about my two kids in La Crosse. We skyped yesterday and Natali was very interested in everything. Andreas took a quick look at the baby and promptly went back to playing Wii Mario.

Christian had been with my parents for a few days and already knew that the baby had been born. When my parents brought him to our house, we had put the baby in the back bedroom, so we could "discover" him together. He exclaimed, "there is my baby" and ran over to look him over dilligently. He did poke at the little eyes, and a few times an elbow found its way drilling heavily into the defenseless baby, but he seemed genuinely excited to meet his little brother.

The impending delivery and all its uncertainties, like whether it would produce a normal, healthy baby, had blocked our view of the future a bit. But now it seems realistic to start planning the life that starts after my fellowship ends on December 31st.

We had talked about moving to Madison, but it turns out that we'll be in La Crosse next year. No doubt Madison would have been cool, but I'll be working a lot closer to La Crosse and it will be great to live right by the kids. Also, La Crosse has somewhat better running and much better biking opportunities than Madison.

Which leads me to our racing schedule for next year. For the first time in months, I am starting to train seriously. I have already dropped 3 or 4 pounds and I can feel that I am getting faster every day. We have Skovløberen, a trail marathon, and the Milwaukee marathon planned. I don't think neither I nor the Girl will be able to hit peak shake so early though, so hopefully we can find a race in late October/early November. Maybe the Copenhagen 6 Hours? I will have to look into that; for now I just enjoy getting back in shape.

The plans, in terms of race schedule, are also solidifying for next year. I think Ice Age (50k for me, 50m for the Girl) and Voyageur are pretty certain as is a little triathlon near La Crosse (the first triathlon we ever did in 2008). La Crosse has a marathon now, called Granddad's Marathon (named after the big bluff towering over the city), but it's all on roads and the level of competition has varied a lot in its first two years. We may run the Tuscobia race, which is put on by my ex brother-in-law, Tim Roe. And we're talking about the Birkie, although the Girl has never cross-country skied.

The Girl is home, beaming from being able to exercise the day after giving birth.