I stopped posting my weekly training logs at the end of December, after deciding that they were more demoralizing than motivating, and "training" was probably hurting more than it was helping. I'm still getting out 15+ hours each week, lifting twice a week, and generally doing what I was doing before. And ever since the Fat Pursuit, I've felt progressively better. I still have occasional battles with shallow breathing, and realized that I might be overcompensating by taking it too easy. For the most part, thought, things have been going well.
A long-time blog reader recently contacted me about my "Running on 3 Cylinders" post, and completed the car analogy. I laughed at his observations:
Anyway, it's been a great week of low-horsepower non-training. On Monday I was still in Fairbanks and trying to catch up on some work, so I went for a lunchtime run. My friends live at 1,500 feet, where the temperature was 5 above zero. I set out wearing a single layer — luckily packing several more — and descended 800 feet into the Goldstream Valley. After about a mile on the lower trail, my legs and shoulders went numb. "Maybe it's not 5 degrees down here," I thought. Actually, it was -15. This photo happened after I put on more layers, than loped along for two more hours. Toward the end of an attempted loop, I failed to find a trail connection and decided to "shortcut" back to the road. Turns out waist-deep snow is no shortcut. It took about twenty minutes of lunging like a seal before I swam to safety. Note to self: This is even more difficult with a bike.
The freezing fog did make for some beautiful scenery. It was still hanging around on Thursday when Beat and I went running at Walker Ranch. The temperature was about 15 and there was light misting ice in the air.
Later, when I turned my back to the wind and lowered my head to buffer the blast, this particularly strong gust tore the sunglasses right off my face and whisked them into oblivion. #$&! you, West Wind.
Still, it was a useful outing — particularly for Beat, who had an excellent quad workout, and learned that he doesn't like flexible poles. I gained more insight into my breathing episodes with a hope that I'll better learn to control them (avoiding the shallow breathing and hyperventilating.)
It's interesting approaching this year's Iditarod. I have all of the same fears, and more, now that I have a slightly better idea what I might face out there. Still, I can't wait to be out there.