After a good week of training (14 + hours), I should thank my wife, Rochelle, for letting me go out and play so much. And in case you think I’m a deadbeat dad or husband, most of these runs happen late at night once my son has gone to bed. During the week, I usually rush home after work, cook supper for the three of us and then play with Kieran until his bedtime. So, I try not to let my training interfere with my family responsibilities.
I think running makes me a better husband and father. While my wife relishes opportunities to meet up with friends and to attend large social gatherings, I find large groups and social activities particularly draining. Running offers me the silence and solitude I need to recharge my soul. As well, I’ve found that most problems or concerns can be figured out by the end of a good run.
Of course, there are the obvious health benefits that come from being physically active. In addition to feeling healthy, I’m glad that I’m setting a good example for my son. With rising obesity rates among young people, I hope Kieran learns the importance (and fun) of regular exercise. Rochelle also takes him to the gym with her during the week, so he sees both parents making physical activity a priority.
While the weather has been bitterly cold this week, the trail conditions have been pretty decent for running. Of course, water bottles freeze within minutes, but a little dehydration isn’t a big deal. Although most weeknights were spent on the roads, I did get in a night run on the trails, which was cool. I’m trying to get in at least one night run on the trails every week or so, just so that I will feel comfortable running at night with a headlamp in my 100 milers this year.
In addition to hill work during some lunch runs, I also started incorporating some hill sprints. Keith sent me the workout info, so I’m giving it a try. Essentially, the short workouts build muscle strength and also increase the power and efficiency of your stride. In my first session Wednesday, I did two reps of eight-second sprints up a hill. That didn’t feel too bad. Today I ran four reps, and really felt the burn. Kind of nice, actually. We’ll see how much stronger I get over the next few months as I gradually increase the reps. Continue reading