When the temperature sinks to 15°F, most people stay inside. I was desperate to get out in the cold.
The last two holiday weeks gave me a much needed rest. Before Christmas, I trained lightly, but I still managed to clock more than seven hours of activity per week. A lingering cold finally caught up with me a few days before New Year’s Eve. I decided to take it easy, skip a few workouts, and extend my Week 8 recovery to two weeks. I had grand plans to explore a new training ground before the end of the year, but I decided to scale back instead. I want to be ready for the muscular endurance period.
After three days of sleeping late (9 am), cooking, eating, drinking, and overindulging, I decided to go to the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark across the street. The Jahnsportpark or Alter Exer is a former training ground for the Prussian military, who stopped using its exercise grounds at the end of the 19th century. Today, the park is primarily used for soccer matches; track and field events; American football games; and youth field hockey. Years ago, my wife and I would enjoy romantic picnics in a underused part of the grounds, a wide-open field next to the soccer pitches. In the last three years since our youngest child’s birth, others have discovered the area. Joggers have worn a path around the field’s parameters and families found a new location for their children’s birthday parties.
A few months ago, I decided to reclaim the space. After reading about Steve House at Smith Rocks in Oregon, I liberated two, old, snow tires from a dusty shed at the house of my wife’s grandparents. I left the tires there when we got rid of our car years ago. Since I never took the tires to the dump, I figured I could use them for tire dragging, a max strength exercise.
To escape my holy daze, I took the tires to the Jahnsportpark. I wasn’t in the mood to run hill sprints. I figured I could tromp with the tires across the field. The exercise would prepare me for the next training period, and it would help me break in my new Koflach double-boots, which I had bought in late spring. I had tried the boots at the Humboldt Heights training area, but the boots and I needed a real workout. The freezing temperature would help.
Car Wheels on a Jogging Path
When I arrived at the park, two joggers were running around the field. They looked at me cautiously as I tied some cheap, building supply rope to the tires and attached the rope to my climbing harness.
I took my first lap around the field. I then criss-crossed the field blazing a new trail across the pock-marked ground and frozen grass. I was pleasantly surprised. I felt like I was hiking in the mountains. The Max Schmeling arena and soccer stadium were the only peaks in the distance, but the crisp, cold air was refreshing.
Jahnsportpark is Next to the Mauerpark
When I finished training, I hid my tires in the underbrush. I did not want to cart the tires back and forth, so I left a note on the tires.
A Hidden Treasure or Tires in the Underbrush?
The note exclaimed that the tires were not trash. They were for a well-known hunter, who required them to prepare for his pursuit of the Yeti.