Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Runnin'

It seems like every year, summer ends. This year, it seemed to end especially quickly. I'm not complaining--it's been an excellent summer. I got to go on a couple great trips, go fishing quite a bit, meet my new nephew, do some biking, and I finally feel like I'm getting back into a normal training routine.

Biking in Southern Minnesota with temperatures in the low 60s.

All that fun, however, really made summer fly by, especially since I'm at a year round school now and meetings started this week. Besides that, the last few days have been very cool in the morning. On Saturday and Sunday it was in the low 50s when I started my runs. The weather doesn't even know it's still July.

I love running in this kind of weather. I've read that training in hot weather can be an excellent training stimulus--some say it's as good as training at altitude. And while I like training hard, I definitely enjoy running a little more when I can run faster and not sweat so much my feet slosh in my shoes.

While I'm not putting in quite as high of mileage as I did last summer, it's nice to be be back running as least moderately high mileage again. Less than three weeks from now I'll be running the Ragnar Relay on an ultra team. I believe my total mileage for that race will be somewhere around 35 miles. Should be a good time!

Happy Running!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vacation Running

One of the big bonuses of being a teacher is the long summer vacations. Now that I'm at a year-round school, I only get six weeks off. Oh no! We really had to pack it in this summer. Since my last day on June 12, I've only been at home for six full days. In the meantime I spent time backpacking with my lovely wife on Isle Royale, meeting my new nephew in Nebraska, chaperoning a youth trip to San Antonio, and spending a little time at a family reunion in Omaha.

I have managed to get some running done, squeezing in runs in three different states in the past three weeks. The best of my runs was definitely on Isle Royale on the Stoll Memorial Trail out to Scoville Point on the eastern side of the island. The trail was rocky and tough to run in some spots, but the cool weather and the awesome views of Lake Superior were well worth it.

Lake Superior from the Rock Harbor trail.

Creek by our campsite
From the observation tower on Mt. Ojibway

Loons on Lake Superior

Though I didn't get much running in on our backpacking trip, we did do a lot of hiking--over 40 miles worth, much of it with loaded packs. We also got to see some pretty cool wildlife, listened to a ranger talk about the wolf and moose populations on the island, and listen to another ranger give a talk about the beavers on Isle Royale. We did see a moose, but it was only a quick glimpse--too quick to take a photo. We did get a shot of this guy:

Isle Royale fox

Running in San Antonio by the airport wasn't nearly as scenic--it's definitely nice to be back home. I'm putting in some pretty good mileage this week and am planning on continuing to up my mileage until Ragnar.

Happy Running!