The Black Track Cut No Slack

IMG_6242There are tracks like this in nearly every city or town with a school or recreation center. Sometimes running in an ellipse in the summer sun is just what I need. In off-hours, frequently, no one else is there. What a great opportunity to make a training meet-up with a friend who is at a fitness level close to yours. Early mornings on a track can also be invigorating. Remember this option; it’s a good one. Use it according to your needs, fitness level, and do check with your physician if there are any known conditions for which you should get a doctor’s OK.

Today for me, this is how I used the track.

warm up: 50 body weight squats (25 half, 25 full).

Ran 12 laps (3 miles)…

One Sprint per lap, or 1/4 mile…

Eleven 50 yard sprints…

Lap 12 was a 220 meter sprint…

1 quarter mile cool down walk…

It was 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Coastal trails and fair ocean breezes

 

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Winter’s last deep freeze?

The morning’s snow fog cloaks trees in ice, an eagle flies North, and the days of February blow forward. Is Spring training near?

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Storm Watch from Snowy Hills

An hour hike yesterday…

starting out

starting out

bit further along

bit further along

curious about that hilly ridge south of me

curious about that hilly ridge south of me

where the hike went off trail uphill to the south

where the hike went off trail uphill to the south

gained a hill shoulder, looking west into the storm...

gained a hill shoulder, looking west into the storm…

and east toward the plains

and east toward the plains

found a snow dune

found a snow dune

and a volcanic rock, a bomb from some ancient eruption or a meteorite or a foreign rock brought in by an old rancher as a joke on passers-by

and a volcanic rock, a bomb from some ancient eruption or a meteorite or a foreign rock brought in by an old rancher as a joke on passers-by

backtracking east to the curious ridge
backtracking east to the curious ridge

back west, snow dunes from above and the mountain storm
back west, snow dunes from above and the mountain storm

higher
higher

and the contrasting west

and the contrasting west

the curious ridge is edge of a flattop hill

the curious ridge is edge of a flattop hill

 

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storm views, a frozen lake from the top

storm views, a frozen lake from the top

Winter Training: Light and Heat

Clouds Take on Light and Heat

Clouds Take on Light and Heat

Many times we shrink from cold weather training because, well, it’s cold out there and we feel chilled, or we imagine what discomfort we will encounter in coldness.

However, like clouds, our water rich bodies transfer heat and light energy, even use them to make nutrients.

We generate heat. Movement circulates it, and enlivens us with it.

If I spend a few hours writing and editing on a winter afternoon, I often notice my hands are cool. If I go outside in the freezing temperatures layered-up to train or labor, when I come back in, for a good long while my hands are warm and very comfortable.

Observing Cloud for Training Wisdom

1. Clouds change shape but keep moving, albeit sometimes very slowly. We can too. It is one of the qualities of adaptive training among crazy-busy pressures that would stress us into inactivity.

2. Clouds transport water, a resource to the lives of others. Training our bodies and minds builds physical courage that can support other acts of generous, giving courage.

3. An otherwise bright white cloud can have very dark, very water-dense little clouds nearby (see the banner). Suppose you are in one of those small, dark, water dense clouds. You’re likely to see all grey, all gloom, and feel all wet. Yes, until a beautiful, white sunlit cloud expands and engulfs you and you find that many of your problems were perceived right there within your own tiny individual cloud. You also realized how much water you have to give among others.

4. Clouds get out in the other elements, indeed, bring them together within themselves, contribute to them. So do we when we train, exercise, work, compete, and apply our physical training to something worthwhile.

5. Clouds make their own view by starting out light, rising, gathering, then supplying. A thunderstorm or snow storm is quite an exciting gathering, maybe even a competition, with lightening clashes, the refreshing ozone, and every gathered cloud a part in that great event. Gatherings of clouds bring out the best in each.

6. Clouds have training partners that truly inspire them with their energy, warmth, and mastery at conducting the weather as if it were a symphony orchestra: Mr. Sun and his band the Stars.

7. What shape will your training take today?

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Hit the Road Jack

Mountains catch light and shadow so subtly and differently from moment to moment, their beauty brings enough surprise to feel transportive. There is a sense of renewal given by myriad conditions.

It is the same way when you hit the road for a walk, run, or cycling. Part of the reason for hitting the road is to put variety in your life. There are so many roads, routes, directions, and orders of taking them that hitting the road will often have reset value for you.

So hit the road. Renaming yourself Jack is optional.IMG_8282

Veterans Day: 10.5 Mile Hike / Run on 4th of July Road and Trail (Indian Peaks Wilderness)

Enjoyed this Veterans Day and celebrated with much communing and attempted silence on this trail:

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Water

There are times you may not consciously realize that you need or want to renew your relationship to water in your training life.

Yet water and its properties are forces of nature that are part of your physical, mental, and if you will, spiritual being.

My Denver Half Marathon Half Rainbow

follow the path of movement

Take time to recover

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IMG_9549 download

Lake in a snowstorm

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Please don’t go …

I’m re-blogging Lyle Krahn’s essay and photograph of a ruffled grouse here on Farm Your Training Day because this illustrates to me a person who is highly attuned to his outdoor experience. Of course he is tuned into the nuances and shades of wonder: he’s an outdoor photographer, right? That is exactly why I reblog him here: each of us has the capacity to develop that greater level of attunement for all that is around us each time we are training outdoors, whether spotting natural wonders in the city, rurally, or in the wilds. Such attunement to the natural is a powerful motivator to return to outdoor training opportunities wherever we may be.

Thanks Lyle Krahn at Krahnpix for sharing his attuned perceptions in the blogosphere so we can take it beyond into the three plus dimensional world.

Best, Mike