5 simple steps for a music induced rush of adrenaline

1. Make a playlist of some high energy songs

2. Load up your iPod with the playlist

3. Go running and listen to your playlist

4. Repeat step 3 many, many times

5. Play one of the songs on your running playlist at a random moment

 

After you run or do some serious workouts listening to the same music over and over again, your mind will associate those particular songs with the endorphin high that comes with running. 

 I will be half awake, drinking my coffee during the morning commute and “Apologize” by Timbaland or “One” by U2/Mary J. Blige or some other random song that I have had on a running playlist at some point comes on. Then I feel like someone has stuck a needle full of adrenaline into my arm. The hairs on my arms stand up, my heart starts beating fast and I feel like I could tear the steering wheel right off the car.

Happens all the time, it is quite an experience.   I do find that it happens much more frequently when I am consistently training and in very good shape. My general energy level is higher then and I think my body is ready to release the endorphins more easily.

Fitness for the New Year

We seemed to have reached some sort of equilibrium between the kids schedules and our schedules. That is excellent, but I am still struggling to find time keep in shape and to improve on my fitness. Last month I picked up a treadmill so I can go for a run while Parke is out working and the kids are sleeping. That has been a big help for my energy level and sanity level. But I need to find some way to include some strength training in my life. So I’m thinking I might try the one hundred push plan. Sounds interesting.

I’ll get started next week and let you know how it goes.

Dexter Ann Arbor Run

Results of the raceI ran the Dexter Ann Arbor 1/2 marathon on Sunday with 2500 of my closest friends. It is a great event, which goes from (suprise suprise) Dexter to Ann Arbor. This year due to the impending construction on Huron River Drive it finished up at the new high school, Skyline, near our house.  It would have been more fun to finish downtown, since it was the Taste of Ann Arbor this weekend, but the short walk home from Skyline was appreciated.

Not having done much serious training this spring, the only real goals I had for the race was to enjoy the event and to not run so hard that I trashed the rest of Sunday. I did enjoy the event and apart from hour or so at the Taste of Ann Arbor later in the afternoon when I thought I would throw up, I managed not to trash Sunday. So all and all a great day.

Hiking to the top of the world, ok just to the top of Laurel Ridge

Top of the worldWhile we were down at the Anthill this past weekend we packed in lots of activities. My favorite was the hike from Ohiopyle along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. Over the years we have hiked many sections of this trail, but we haven’t done the first few miles. Mostly because it is straight up, then down, then back up, then back down. You get the idea. But Pam and Paul just got back from trekking in Nepal where they took some hikes that made this look like a small knoll.

Actually Parke did this hike when she was a kid, probably about 20 years ago. So it had been a while. At the top of the ridge you are rewarded with a stunning view of the Yough river and the surrounding hills. We hiked up, took a break for lunch at the overlook and then hustled back down as the rain was setting in.

This hike inspired me to consider the Laurel Highlands Ultra which takes place in Mid June. The entire hiking trail is 70.5 miles and about 100 hardy souls complete the journey in one go. The winner usually finishes in an astonishing 12 hours and the cutoff for those at the back of the pack is 22 hours. A couple of years ago they started including a 50k option (31 miles). I’m thinking of trying the 50 k option. I figure it is only 5 more miles than a marathon and I plan on walking/hiking a big part of it. Plus, I’ll have my support crew meeting me a various points along the way so I can always bail out if it gets too dicey. The downside is that the terrain is much harder than a typical marathon and I haven’t been training for a marathon lately. But I’m in decent shape so next time we’re down at the Anthill, I’m going to do a run/hike over the first 10-15 miles to see how it goes and then decide if I want to sign up. Whatever I decide I’m sure it will be an adventure.

Trail head, the adventure beginsHiking with OliverMile Marker #2Eli runs across a bridgeEnjoying the view

Nationaldagsgrillfest på Delsjön

GrillfestWednesday was Sweden’s National Day. I felt like I managed a whole weekend in just one day. Mats and I decided to ride in the Nationaldagsloppet. It is a bicycle race with a 25k, 60k, and 100k option. We decided to take the 60k option. The race began at Kviberg, an old military base. We were treated to an escort out of the base by a group of guys dressed in old military outfits, riding old military bikes and there was also an impressively loud canon blast announcing the start of the race.

We managed to finish 4th and 5th in 1:50:20, averaging 32.6km/hr (20.3 mph). Most of the serious bikers took the 100k option, so the competition was pretty slim in the 60k group. The course went through some beautiful areas. There is one really big hill that just about killed me as I stink at hill climbing. Going back down was exhilarating, we made it to around 60 km/hr. Thankfully there was a volunteer warning us to slow down as we approached the bottom. There was a sharp turn that would have been impossible to take at the speed we were going. We were hoping to find a group to ride with but after the big hill, we were forced to go by ourselves. It was good practice for Vätternrundan.

After the bike race, Parke, Eli and I met up with a group of friends for a little grilling at Delsjön, a local nature area. Eli found the world’s biggest anthill and managed to become the world’s dirtiest kid. The life of a three year old is fascinating. The two pictures below of were taken about 1 minute apart. One moment shear joy, the next, complete sadness.

Worlds Biggest AnthillHappiestFaceSaddest FaceMorgan

A Marstrand Ride: beautiful scenery and a spectacular crash

Route MapAlthough, we have lived in Gothenburg for 2 years, we haven’t yet made it to one of the most popular destinations on the West Coast of Sweden: Marstrand. Getting there by bicycle was an excellent way to go.

The air was still and cool, perfect for riding. I met up with Mats around 9:00 and we headed out. The first section of the ride across Hisingen has a few busy roads and is not particularly nice, but once we crossed Kungälv, the scenery was beautiful. There is no bridge over the river, instead there is a very flat boat that constantly shuffles back and forth carrying cars, people, bikes etc. The section between Kungälv and Marstrand was very peaceful. Once we got to Marstrand we stopped for a short fika by the water and enjoyed some strawberries.

The ride back home was much more challenging. The wind picked up and our legs were getting weary. By the time we reached the river again I was starting to bonk a little. After eating a little and chugging lots of water my situation improved. Once back on the busy road on Hisingen, I was in the front when Mats lost his concentration for a moment. His front tired clipped mine and he crashed: two full flips, some rolls, and lots of sliding. We were doing around 30 kph at the time. He is bruised and scraped, but all things considered very lucky; no serious damage to himself or his bike.

After several minutes, we got ourselves put back together and made our way home. Overall about 106km, 6 islands, several powerbars, a box of strawberries, and the smell of sea air. An excellent way to spend a Sunday morning.