“All alone. Whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot!” - Dr. Seuss
The Winds of Change
Running was always my way of talking with Dad, it has served me well my whole life.
On a lonely beach, on a quiet forest trail, even in the madness of a city, the connection could always be found!
There was always a simple beauty in it, running is simply putting one foot in front of the other, nothing more, nothing less.
Yet this simple act of freewill can defeat even the strongest of men.
It can also bring the meekest to great pride in themselves!
Hello everyone. I just joined today. I am thrilled to have stumbled across this site. I am excited to find people in West Michigan who have similar interest in trail running or running in general. I have never really called myself a "runner" although I have always had to run when training for hockey and always enjoyed it. With a sincere passion for spending time outdoors I look forward to really submerging myself into trail running. I am going through some tough life changes and a difficult break up so hopefully this site and running will be a good outlet to relieve stress.
I am currently in the process of training for my first 50K. As part of that training, I ran the full marathon in early June at the Yankee Springs Trail run for part of my training buildup. Technically, I wasn't "scheduled" to hit a 26 mile training run yet, but I really wanted to do it this year since I ran the half there last year and really enjoyed it. I planned to run the marathon slowly and treat it as a training run, because I wanted to make sure I could keep on with my normal 50K training volume and not need to take a ton of time off after the race.
It’s finally summertime in West Michigan and I am excited to be sweating it up out on the trails! There are some different challenges to trail running when it’s hot, muggy, and humid, hydration depleting weather. Are you drinking enough water during the day to keep yourself hydrated during the run? While that’s a question road runners will ask themselves too, it’s even more important when you are working harder climbing all those hills. Are you wearing SPF? Yes, you are mostly shaded by trees on the run but what about when you are hanging out before or afterwards?
With the 2014 5/3rd Riverbank Run quickly approaching, many people are coming up with or perfecting their “plan of attack”. This past weekend, a friend of mine asked me for the 4th or 5th time what my plan was for the 25k race. I don’t have one! Is that strange? That’s just not the kind of runner I am.
Last week was rough. I had a minor complication from some oral surgery that left me feeling pretty miserable. Well, perhaps just a touch more miserable the pre-planned misery of oral surgery. I may not have helped matters by hyper-focusing on my training plan. The jury is still out on that one, but all of this did make me think about the idea of goal versus intention.
At the risk of sounding like Stuart Smalley, there is true power in stating intentions out loud (or in writing in this case). It’s widely researched. It’s true. Energy flows where attention goes. But sometimes it sounds cliché, and I want to run in the opposite direction, to push back and resist, to prove I am different. Perhaps it’s a little left over teen angst; I am not sure, but in any case I’m calling bullshit. I am a human being. I am like everyone else. I am connected to the human race on a primal level.
As I waited for others to show up for a Thursday night "gravel road" run at Seidman Park, I listened to the rain and wind hit my van, and watched puddles form on the ice in the parking lot. No big deal, I wasn't worried about traction, I had hex head screws on my trail shoes. As the time to run arrived, no one else had, so I decided to head out on my own. I was here, I was dressed, and I knew where to go, so I headed down the road, my hex head screws clicking on the blacktop.
I have a birthday coming up and as I approach 31 I'm not upset, depressed or attempting to lie about my age. I'm excited to be getting older! I know some women reading this might be thinking, " ya, wait 10 years then tell me about how excited you are!". Which may be true but for now 31 is just fine!
Some people to go Key West for a girls’ weekend. We do a 50k!
I started running in 2007. I actually just had to look up my first 5k time to see that it really had been that long ago. I tried running a couple of times prior to that, but it didn’t take. My husband Patrick, an amazing runner and athlete, wanted so badly for me to start. But the more he pushed, the more I resisted. I’m a bit like a feral cat in that way. It was too far past my edge. Slowly something within me shifted, and with the support of Patrick and my dear friend Trudi, I decided to try again with a “couch to 5k in five weeks” training plan.
Behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgement.
Often when I tell people about my outdoor runs, this time of year, I'm met with a look of bewilderment. That's followed by the question, "why?!" The exclamation point was necessary because it's often more of a demand of an explanation than a simple inquiry. Many don't understand why I would willingly go out in freezing temps and run. And they REALLY don't understand why I seem to enjoy it.
The time to make resolutions, renew commitments, and set goals comes at the worst possible time for runners--for when we step on to the trail we find a layered cake of ice and snow. It's not easy to get out in these conditions here at the turn into 2014.
What we see out the door right now is not what many would describe as the romance of winter running: lightly falling flakes, no wind, and a four inch powder cushion.
This is it! This is the winter that I try running snow shoes. I live in Michigan, after all. It snows here . . . sometimes A LOT!! And so after months of debating, researching, discussing and considering, my husband and I finally picked me out a pair of running snow shoes. The Atlas Run Unisex were the ones we chose. They are spring loaded suspension, 6061 aluminum V-frame, have LightSpeed binding, aluminum Twin-Trac toe crampon and Heel Traction. I was so excited when they arrived! Christmas came early! But of course the day they showed up on our doorstep there was no snow to speak of.
Thirty years ago, I used to run across people who, like me, had read and enjoyed Robert Pirsig's wonderful, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This book remains one of the most intriguing ornaments in modern American literature, but, like I said, I haven't heard anyone talk about it for a long time.
So, it's Sunday and approaching 4pm. It's a cool 20 degrees out. It's snowing. Most people were probably settling in for the night. Starting dinner, adding wood to their fire, making some hot cocoa. Not this girl! I was putting together my running ensemble for my weekly trail run at Robinette's Apple Orchard. I'll admit I love putting together my running "outfits". Matching together my hat, layers, socks. Silly I know, but if it motivates me to get out the door and run then I don't care what you think of me! (insert a laugh and a wink)
"Wanna go for a trail run?”
It was an innocent question posed by my nearly new boyfriend. We weren't even three months into our relationship, but he was no ordinary guy and I wanted to impress him.
"Of course! Let's do it!" I replied excitedly. I mean really, how hard could it be?
Ever notice that when you drink some "adult" beverages or make bad eating choices that your running always suffers the next day? Either you choose to not to run at all or, like me, you force yourself to go run anyways and feel horrible, slow and like a ball of sludge on an endless uphill climb. It's just not enjoyable, people! So, why do we do it to ourselves?
Why did I start running? It's probably the same reason you started running. To lose weight. I had already been on the " journey to a healthier me" for about a year when I started struggling to stay motivated. Then I asked myself a simple question, whose body did I envy? And what did they do to get that enviable body? All the people on that list in my head had one thing in common. They were runners!
This morning I raced in a 5-6K trail run that gave runners two options: "short and brutal" or "longer and a little less brutal." The two options were intended to represent equivalent opportunities. I chose the short course.
Running in the dark may sound like a bad idea, but with some precautions, practice, and common sense, it can be really fun. By mid-November in Michigan it's dark by 6:00 p.m. If you want to run trails after work, you have to be equipped to do so in the dark.
It’s safe to say that many of you understand and know the simple rules of trail etiquette. But if the mountain bikers make you nervous, or you're worried about pissing people off, read on...
I've been running with this group of West Michigan Trail Runners since Fall of 2011. Many have been running trails together much longer than that. But in the last two years, much of what I've learned about trail running, and running in general, is how much more productive it is with others. I really didn't think running with a group was for me. Now I can't imagine trying to do all this work all by myself. No wonder I was a stop and start runner for many years.