I’ve always loved winter. As a cross-country ski racer and coach – I longed for epic winters and the wonderful aroma of wood-burning stoves. Now, as a runner, the cold temps, blue-bird skies, and incredible lighting that comes with crisp, dry weather is what I look forward to the most. This past month has been perfect in Gunnison – cold, dry, and clear. Since mid-December, the daily low temperatures have been between -10°F and -33°F every morning, with the daytime highs between +1°F and +18°F. It’s been cold – no doubt about that. I’ve been hobbled with this glute/hip/hamstring injury, so I’ve largely missed out on one of my favorite times of year. That bums me out. Do I miss the actual training? Yes indeed. Mostly though, I miss being outside on these perfect days. Until Thursday, even just walking had been painful – so, I’ve been limited in my time out-of-doors. Definitely looking forward to getting outside more over the course of the next couple weeks. Weekly recap:
Monday – 1/14/13
AM: Took the day off. Zero Training. Actually feeling energized, lean, strong, and positive. Also, feeling productive at work, and excited for several new opportunities that may be opening up. 0 training today.
Tuesday – 1/15/13
AM: Took today off again. I’m convinced that the largest single factor in my recovery from this injury is rest – complete rest. We’ll see how that plays out, but I decided to take today off completely. I am also convinced that one of the most important pieces to my potential success as a runner in 2013 is weight loss. Through eating a clean Paleo diet over the past year-and-a-half, I’ve been able to get my body composition under control, but I still find myself with a too much muscle. Through a lack of both xc skiing and upper-body weight lifting, it feels as though I’m finally starting to lose that upper-body mass once again. Remaking the body…
Wednesday – 1/16/13
AM: Headed up to the EFC for a 5:30am session on the elliptical. Felt good to get in there and sweat a ton during the course of the 1 hour workout. Felt pretty good. Also did pull-ups, sit-ups, and 20 minutes of varied stretching exercises. Hip/butt felt tight, but not painful. 1 hour training.
PM: Lunch-time workout. I did the full pre-run routine of the Lunge Matrix and various other running drills. Then I went for a 40 minute run, out-and-back on the airport road. Yikes. This hip/butt injury flared up right away. Thought I could run the stiffness right out of it, but nothing changed for the whole 4 mile run. Came back and did sit-ups, push-ups, and 15 minutes of stretching. Limped around the rest of the day. Set-back for sure. 45 minutes training. 4 miles running.
Thursday – 1/17/13
AM: Headed to the EFC for an elliptical workout and stretching. Another solid 1 hour on the elliptical, followed by pull-ups, sit-ups, and stretching. I spent a few extra minutes on a piriformis stretch and walked out of there without pain or stiffness. Spent the rest of the day feeling great! Pain free. Thinking that maybe I’ve turned the corner on this injury. 1 hour training.
Friday – 1/18/13
AM: Did a solid 1 hour on the elliptical in the early morning. Added in several hard 2-minute intervals, which enabled me to get my heart rate up higher than I have in a long time. Felt good. Pull-ups, sit-ups, and stretching. Positive morning. Remaining pain-free! 1 hour training.
Saturday – 1/19/13
AM: Woke up completely flat and exhausted. Maybe I went a bit too hard on the elliptical yesterday morning? Not sure. Ended up going to the EFC for a 30 minute workout on the elliptical. Can’t say I felt bad, but I did feel exhausted. Later in the morning I taught an xc ski skate clinic for Gunnison Nordic. This was another beautiful day! 30 minutes training.
PM: Headed out on my new Redfeather Race Snowshoes! I walked around the fields in the park next to our house, and out into the meadows behind our house. Carried Jordan on my shoulders. Awesome! Not really training, but great to spend time with Jordan and try out my new snowshoes. Beautiful day.
Sunday – 1/20/13
PM: Woke up with super tight hips. Decided to do some light stretching, but otherwise I took the day off from training. I was able to make it out for a 1 hour walk in the afternoon though. Really just hankering to be out in the sunshine. I walked the ridge-line to-and-from the red radio tower. Beautiful day! Nice to be out. Hips are tight. Right knee is painful. Not sure what to make of how I feel today. 0 training today.
Week totals –
5 hours training. 1 hour running. 4 miles running. Focused on nutrition and health. Eating well.
Back in June of 1999, a friend loaned me his road bike for the summer. He was actually trying to sell it, and I was attempting to con my parents into buying it for me, but with a hefty price-tag I knew it was a pipe-dream. I can still remember the bike – white, with black graphics – a Cannondale SR500. Despite how beautiful, light, and fast it was, it sat in my garage for a month because I was too busy roller-skiing and running. Then Lance Armstrong won the Prologue of the 1999 Tour de France, and I spent the next two months of summer riding that bike everywhere. I rode it as transportation. I rode it for training. I rode it long distances to-and-from other roller-skiing and running workouts.
I was 16 years old and about to enter my senior year at Glens Falls High School. I’d been involved with endurance sports since my freshman year, but had not been ‘serious’ until my junior year. So, less than 1 year into ‘serious’ training I became absolutely transfixed by the story of Lance Armstrong. To me, Lance was the definition of a great endurance athlete – and at the time – I wanted nothing more than to become a great endurance athlete.
Fast-forward to the present. For years now, I’ve understood that there was a good chance that Lance was not a clean athlete, but this past week still sent shock-waves into my memory. Not sure how to describe my emotions pertaining to the past 6 months of Lance Armstrong news, but there is no doubt that this week’s ‘confession’ has ‘impacted’ me greatly. I’ve been reading nearly every article I can find on the Lance doping scandal and three really jump out to me. ESPN’s Bonnie Ford wrote this great piece suggesting that ‘The Confession’ is merely a ploy by Lance to ‘take control and shape his own narrative.’ ESPN’s Rick Reilly spent 10 years defending Armstrong and wrote this article in response to a personal apology he received from Lance. Lastly, Selena Roberts of Roopstigo.com did a wonderful job with this piece detailing how others were worried about Lance’s behavior as far back as the early 1990’s.
Thanks for reading. We are not invincible. Choices matter. Live well. DC